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Characters / A Song of Ice and Fire - Court of Rhaenyra I

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This is a listing of characters in the court of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen in A Song of Ice and Fire. For their House of the Dragon counterparts, see here.

For the main character index, see HERE

For the main House Targaryen entry and overall tropes, see HERE

For the rival court of Aegon II, see HERE
From left to right: Rhaenyra's sons, Queen Rhaenyra, Prince Daemon, Lord Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys

The court and supporters of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen during the Dance of the Dragons were known as The Blacks. Many were driven by the oath they swore to King Viserys decades before to support her claim to the throne. Not all of her supporters did this out of chivalry, with some Blacks simply swayed by the allure of power and riches, not to mention a few promises from their Queen in waiting. The Blacks were headquartered at Dragonstone and thus mostly made up of Houses sworn to Dragonstone in the Narrow Sea or at Cracklaw Point, but also had heavy support from the North, the Vale, and the Riverlands, along with a handful of houses in the Reach. They were represented by Rhaenyra's personal sigil: the traditional Targaryen sigil (a three-headed red dragon on a black field), quartered with the Arryn sigil for her mother (a white falcon and moon on sky blue), and the Velaryon symbol for her first husband and major supporters (a silver seahorse on sea-green).

Even though she died during the war, her supporters kept fighting to put her sons on the throne - thus all subsequent kings from the Targaryen dynasty thereafter are descendants of the line of Rhaenyra through her sons Aegon III and Viserys II.

Not to be confused with House Blackfyre a rebellious cadet house of the Targaryens who are referred to as the "Black Dragons".

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The Royal Family

    Rhaenyra I 

Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, the First of Her Name; r. 129-130

The Half-Year Queen, The Realm's Delight, The Whore of Dragonstone, King Maegor with Teats, Maegor's Teats

... "Traitors have always paid with their lives ... even Rhaenyra Targaryen. She was daughter to one king and mother to two more, yet she died a traitor's death for trying to usurp her brother's crown."
Stannis Baratheon

Daughter of Viserys I by his first wife Aemma Arryn. Her first husband was her cousin Laenor Velaryon, while her second was her uncle Daemon Targaryen. She had three sons from her first marriage, Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey, and three children from her second marriage, Aegon III, Viserys II and Visenya (who was stillborn). Her claim to the Iron Throne, which was stated in her father's will, was challenged by her younger half-brother Aegon II, sparking the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. Rhaenyra lost and was fed to her brother's dragon. She succeeded from beyond the grave, though, when Aegon II died without an heir, and her eldest surviving son became King Aegon III. She is the only recorded woman to have been crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and sat on the Iron Throne in the annals of Westeros up to the present narrative in A Song of Ice and Fire. During the Dance of the Dragons, she wore her father's crown.

  • 0% Approval Rating: Becomes so hated by the smallfolk of King's Landing that she's compared to Maegor the Cruel and her nickname becomes an expletive.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Is it "Ray-nee-ra" or "Ray-ny-ra"? The Game of Thrones: Histories and Lore videos use the former pronunciation. So does House of the Dragon
  • Ascended Meme: Her nickname of "Maegor's Teats" would become a popular curse in the following decades.
  • Bad Boss: After taking King's Landing, she immediately cut out the tongues of every Black who bent the knee to Aegon II and then executed them, even those who only did so when they were threatened with death, and who immediately tried to rejoin the Blacks as soon as Rhaenyra took the city. She also ordered the murder of Nettles and the arrest and torture of Addam Velaryon on the mere suspicion of treachery, even though both were nothing but loyal to her.
  • Best Friends-in-Law: She was best friends with Laena Velaryon, her sister-in-law through her husband Laenor (Laena's husband Daemon was also Rhaenyra's uncle). Rhaenyra actually got along with Laena better than her husband. They would often fly on their dragons to visit each other and after Laena became gravely ill from childbirth complications, Rhaenyra kept vigil over her.
  • Berserk Button: Whether it was true or not, insinuating her Velaryon kids were fathered by Harwin Strong was a guaranteed way to piss Rhaenyra off. One of her Velaryon in-laws got fed to Rhaenyra's dragon Syrax for saying it, and if rumors are to be believed Rhaenyra sold her stepmother, Alicent Hightower and half-sister Helaena into sexual slavery when the former dismissed two of Rhaenyra's sons (Lucerys and Jacaerys) killed by her own faction as "bastard blood", although the source for this is unreliable.
  • Boomerang Bigot: When the issue of other firstborn daughters inheriting their fathers' lands and titles over their brothers came up, Rhaenyra was against it, not wanting to deal with all the problems that come with deciding succession issues despite going to war to take the Iron Throne from her brother. She declared herself to be a special case since her father went out of his way to name her his heir. On the other hand, this does serve to demonstrate the problem with Viserys naming her as heir.
  • Braids of Action: Wore her hair like this as a nod to her idol Queen Visenya, even though she herself was no warrior.
  • Break the Haughty: The events of the Dance caused her to become steadily more paranoid and impulsive. This trope could easily describe her entire life.
  • Broken Bird: Considered the "Realm's Delight" when her dad was alive, she had a few skirmishes with Aegon and Queen Alicent before Viserys died; Aegon's usurping and her miscarriage dropped her into the chasm and finally, when her “Velaryon” children died, she hit rock bottom.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: She had a very large bosom and was considered to be very beautiful.
  • Character Tic: Fiddling with her rings when nervous.
  • Child Marriage Veto: She initially protested her betrothal to Laenor Velaryon, saying to her father that he would probably prefer her half-brothers to her. However, she relented when her father put his foot down and threatened to replace her as his heir if she didn't agree.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • When Aemond first called her sons bastards, she called for him to be questioned "sharply" until he revealed where he'd heard it, though Viserys didn't actually consent to said torture, and settled for merely asking the boy.
    • According to some accounts, she went into a black rage when she heard that Alicent and Otto Hightower had crowned Aegon king, screaming curses at them and detailing how she would torture them to death for stealing her throne. If so, she at least relented on this one, sparing Alicent and giving Otto a quick execution when she took King's Landing.
    • When she discovered that Tyland Lannister had divided the royal treasury and sent most of it beyond her reach, she subjected him to incredibly brutal interrogation to get him to reveal where it was, including gouging out his eyes and gelding him.
    • She planned to have Addam Velaryon tortured on the mere suspicion of disloyalty, only stopped by Corlys warning him in time for him to get away.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: After finally capturing her, Aegon II has her set on fire and eaten alive by his dragon Sunfyre - who took six bites to devour her - in front of her son.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Unlike the death of her second son Lucerys, which broke her for a time, Rhaenyra became infinitely more cruel and hard after the death of her firstborn, Jacaerys.
    Archmaester Gyldayn: Broken after the loss of one son, Rhaenyra Targaryen seemed to find new strength after the loss of a second. Jace's death hardened her, burning away her fears, leaving only her anger and hatred.
  • Daddy's Girl: She had a close and affectionate relationship with her father, serving as his cupbearer from the age of nine and later sitting on his small council. He doted upon her and would either dismiss or forgive any of her transgressions. Even though her oldest three children were likely not fathered by her husband Laenor, all accusations of fornication would fall to deaf ears because her father, King Viserys I, would not have it. To the time of his death, Viserys fully wanted his daughter Rhaenyra to become the Queen after him, but not everyone agreed. Rhaenyra sent her own maester to treat Viserys after he badly cut himself on the Iron Throne and also spared Alicent purely because her father had loved her.
  • Distaff Counterpart: She's referred to as "Maegor with Teats". This seems to be an exaggeration, but the nickname stuck.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Deconstructed. Rhaenyra is her father's chosen heir but she is treacherously usurped and killed. Her claim is eventually vindicated when her son becomes King Aegon III after Aegon II's whole side of the family died in their war (though his claim could be derived from Daemon, himself a Targaryen). Yet Rhaenyra is seen as the usurper because by tradition a male claimant has more rights than a female and not even her father had right to change it since that law is also the reason he became king. On the other hand it's hard to see Rhaenyra as the most moral candidate with her treatment of Corlys and the Dragonseeds who had fought loyally for her, which for many people makes her a tyrant.
  • Dragon Rider: She rode Syrax, although she was reluctant to ride her into battle.
  • Due to the Dead: Had the remains of her half-brother Aegon's younger son Maelor, who'd been killed by a mob at a town loyal to her, cremated when they were presented to her, insisting the boy had been "the blood of the dragon".
  • Dying Curse: It's said her last act was to face Aegon, despite being set ablaze by Sunfyre and scream one last curse at him before the dragon's jaws clamped shut around her.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Upon proclaiming herself queen, she offered mercy to her half-siblings if they gave up their attempt to take her throne, citing her unwillingness to kill her own family. She drops this reluctance after Aemond murders Lucerys, leading her to order any of her remaining half-brothers to be killed on sight.
  • Family Extermination: Her first act on getting the Iron Throne was ordering the execution of anyone who'd advised her half-brother to steal the crown. She also ordered that all three of her half-brothers were to be killed on sight and wanted Houses Baratheon, Lannister and Hightower utterly exterminated for their support of Aegon—though Corlys talked her out of the last one, arguing that half her supporters would turn against her if she was so brutal as to totally wipe out three of the oldest noble families in Westeros.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Arrogance. Rhaenyra seemed to believe she could do anything without consequence because she was her father's chosen heir, so no one had the right to challenge her decisions. Despite being married to Laenor Velaryon, she had three obvious bastard sons with Harwin Strong, which her enemies used to challenge her claim to the throne as well as that of her children. When the Storming of the Dragonpit began, she did not believe the rioting smallfolk would actually be able to pose a threat to the dragons, but their sheer number and the enraged frenzy the Shepherd had driven them into overwhelmed them and resulted in the deaths of every dragon in the Dragonpit, including her own mount, Syrax.
    • Vengefulness. The deaths of her two elder sons hardened Rhaenyra's heart, so much that when she reclaimed King's Landing, she immediately set about executing all those who had been against her as traitors, instead of giving them the chance to bend the knee or even be sent to the Wall. The sight of so many heads on spikes outside the gates of the Red Keep gave her the reputation as a savage tyrant queen, "Maegor with Teats." When Queen Helaena threw herself from the window of her chambers, everyone immediately believed it had been at the behest of Rhaenyra, and the smallfolk of King's Landing rioted against her.
  • Fed to the Beast: Her final fate.
  • Get Out!: Aegon (reluctantly, at the urging of his mother, wife and grandfather) sent a peace delegation headed by Grand Maester Orwyle to Dragonstone to try and negotiate a diplomatic resolution. Rhaenyra expelled the envoys from Dragonstone, asserting that she had no interest in negotiating with a usurper.
    Rhaenyra: [as Orwyle was expelled] Tell my half-brother I will have my throne, or I will have his head.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: There's a reason she became known as Maegor with Teats; she was a highly ruthless and paranoid queen who was prone to executing people on the slightest suspicion, with her most infamous moment when she ordered the dragonseeds executed because two of them betrayed her. That being said, a fair chunk of her reputation likely comes from Malicious Slander from Green-leaning historians such as Septon Eustace and Sanity Slippage due to the stress of the Dance; Mushroom emphasizes in his account that Rhaenyra's sons had been killed, she'd suffered a miscarriage, and she was repeatedly betrayed, something that did a real number on her.
    • By all accounts, Rhaenyra was, for a Targaryen monarch, fairly benevolent at the beginning of the Dance, being reluctant to go to war. Lucerys’ death affects her greatly and causes her to become much more ruthless. Jacaerys’ death has a similar effect, and by the time she took the Iron Throne she was very (understandably) vengeful and upset at all that happened for a Throne that, by all rights, was hers to inherit. Sadly, that anger did not make for the best ruler.
  • Good Parents: Whatever her other flaws, she truly loved her children and tried to protect them. She wouldn't tolerate anyone even suggesting her three eldest kids were bastards and insisted on keeping her younger sons out of the war as much as possible. Most of her kids also seemed to have grown up to be decent people by the setting's standards (Aegon grew up to have a lot of psychological issues, though this seemed to be due to the horrors he witnessed during the Dance of the Dragons – including Rhaenyra's death – as opposed to his mother's parenting). Rhaenyra was utterly devastated by her children's deaths and it contributed to her becoming increasingly ruthless.
  • Good Stepmother: By all accounts, she had a good relationship with her stepdaughters Baela and Rhaena (who were also her nieces-by-marriage and her cousins). She gave Rhaena a dragon egg lain by her own dragon, Syrax and also arranged for them to marry her two eldest sons, which would potentially make Baela the future queen. It probably helped that Rhaenyra was close friends with their late mother.
  • Heir Club for Men: Her tragic life shows how harsh and brutal the medieval glass ceiling actually was and what the consequences of rebelling it were, as well as the pressures that came with it.
  • The High Queen: What she aspired to be. She ended up with 0% Approval Rating.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: In-universe. She was blamed for events that she had nothing to do with, such as the Blood and Cheese assassinations or Helaena's mysterious death, which led to her being compared to Maegor the Cruel ever after. While she did share many of Maegor's traits (paranoia, the use of torture, a love of summary executions for anyone suspected of disloyalty, and an explosive temper), she had good traits as well as bad ones, and never quite reached his level of psychotic evil. Rhaenyra at least attempts to be merciful towards Alicent, where Maegor would've just killed her and her entire family the minute he conquered King's Landing, and damn the consequences.
  • History Repeats: Just like she had experienced, during the time of ASOIAF Cersei Lannister also acted as regent during a time of war and unimpeded for a very short time with questions of legitimacy (for both queens and their respective children) and similarly disastrous results. Though unlike Cersei, Rhaenyra was smart enough to Take a Third Option via second marriage to her uncle and produce 100% legitimate Targaryen kids.
    • They also both lost their fleets by making some egregious mistakes regarding House Velaryon.
    • When Rhaenyra sits the Iron Throne, its many blades leave cuts all over her skin, and wise men take this as an ominous sign that her days as queen are numbered and few. Fast forward to Aerys II, who cuts himself so often on the throne that he becomes known as "King Scab"—though not nearly to the extent of "the Mad King".
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: Ordering Nettles executed; not only was Nettles entirely loyal and a valuable asset as one of the Blacks' few dragon riders, but she was incredibly close to Daemon, who was Rhaenyra's greatest asset. No matter the outcome, Rhaenyra would be losing one dragon rider and severely upsetting another, who also happened to be her best general. As it turns out, she ended up losing two; Nettles escaped and was never seen again, and Daemon was so demoralized that he picked a suicide battle against Aemond and died in a Mutual Kill. This move was so boneheaded (Nettles had done nothing to indicate she might be disloyal, and the middle of a civil war is no time to try to Murder the Hypotenuse) that it's often speculated that she didn't actually order it, and it was a false flag by someone (possibly the Maesters or a mole for the Greens) in order to break up Rhaenyra's inner circle. It that's true... congratulations on the plan, mystery person, 'cause it worked like a charm.
  • Hot-Blooded: Her main flaw, she is resentful and arrogant.
  • Humiliation Conga: Oscillates between this and Trauma Conga Line by the end of the Dance, starting with the Sack of Tumbletown. Her paranoia, egged on by Mysaria, drives her to alienate Daemon, causing his suicide-by-dragon. The Shepherd kills off the dragons, including hers, and her final “Velaryon” son dies in the process while all she can do is watch. She has to flee King's Landing, only to find no refuge anywhere else as her few supporters start turning on her, and she has to sell her beloved father's crown just to get back to Dragonstone, where it turns out Aegon II has been waiting for her, at which point she's horrifically killed.
  • Hypocrite:
    • If the very likely rumors about her "Velaryon" sons being fathered by Harwin Strong were true, her distrust of the dragonseeds and order to execute them comes across as incredibly hypocritical.
    • She proclaimed that she and Daemon would have an open marriage, each seeking pleasure where they wanted. When she heard that Nettles was in a relationship with Daemon, she gave orders for the girl to be killed, going as far as accusing Nettles of using sorcery to seduce Daemon, because a girl who looked so common couldn't possibly have Valyrian blood or enjoy Daemon's favor. Keep in mind that one of the arguments that the Greens used against Rhaenyra's children was that they had "common" features, and didn't look like trueborn Targaryen-Velaryon children.
    • When the issue of female inheritance beyond herself is raised, she gives an excuse about how she's a special case and in no way suggesting other women should be allowed to inherit before their brothers.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Was considered the World's Most Beautiful Woman before six pregnancies took their toll.
  • Improperly Paranoid: Getting paranoid after two of her dragon riders betrayed her is understandable. Ordering the execution of several other dragon riders who hadn't done anything on the grounds that they were also bastards, not so much.
  • Insistent Terminology: Only ever referred to Aegon, Aemond and Daeron as her "half-brothers", never brothers proper. Still, nicer than what Alicent, Aegon and Aemond called her. Helaena, however, she had called her “sweet sister”.
  • Irony: The Great Council of 101 established the precedent of both no female queens or female lines of succession for the Iron Throne. Rhaenyra ended up breaking both paradigms, as she ruled as Queen (albeit a merciless, unsuccessful and unpopular one), and the Targaryen dynasty ended up continuing through her line posthumously because, well... everybody else died (though, as the father of her surviving children was also a Targaryen, they were actually covered by both male and female lines, so the latter rule was still upheld).
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • According to Septon Eustace, she rejected Criston Cole's suggestion that they elope partially on the grounds that if he was so willing to break his vows as a Kingsguard, how could she trust he'd keep any other vows? While it was a tremendous dick move, the fact he then broke his oath so as to support Aegon taking the throne doesn't exactly disprove her point (though given the possibility Criston sided with Aegon because Rhaenyra rejected him so thoroughly...)
    • When Corlys Velaryon advised her to spare the lives of Aegon II and Aemond and force them into the Night's Watch to try and convince the Greens to surrender after she took King's Landing, Rhaenyra retorted that if their vows to Viserys I hadn't stopped them from stealing her crown, they weren't likely to balk at breaking the vows of the Night's Watch, and instead ordered that all her half-brothers were to be killed on sight.
  • Kissing Cousins: Laenor Velaryon, her first husband, was also her second cousin. But given Laenor being gay, it's very likely that there wasn't any kissing involved.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Rhaenyra was apparently dead set against her Arranged Marriage to Laenor Velaryon, given that Laenor was heavily implied to be homosexual. She only consented when her father threatened to put his son Aegon ahead of Rhaenyra in the line of succession if she didn't comply.
  • Lady and Knight: Rumored to have had an affair with the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Criston Cole. She did have an affair with Ser Harwin Strong.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After executing Lords Rosby and Stokeworth for treason, Rhaenyra let their sons inherit their lands instead of their daughters, insisting her inheritance of the Iron Throne was a special case. When she later has to flee King's Landing, Lady Rosby, having inherited the lands after her brother's death, refuses Rhaenyra shelter in retaliation.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: It was rumored that her three oldest sons were fathered not by her husband, Ambiguously Gay Laenor Velaryon, but by her lover, Ser Harwin Strong. Considering all of them had brown hair and brown eyes, unlike either Laenor or Rhaenyra, and that Laenor was gay, it was not an unreasonable assumption.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: She gave birth to six children in all. Her children by Laenor - officially, at least (Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey) and by Daemon (Aegon III, Viserys II and Visenya, who was stillborn).
  • The Mistress: Long before they married, Rhaenyra might have been this to her uncle Daemon in her teenage years and it's believed that he took her maidenhead before her sixteenth name day.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: It's possible she tried to have Nettles killed not because she was a bastard (Ulf the White and Hugh Hammer had just betrayed the Blacks) but because of the rumors of her relationship with Prince Daemon. Then again, there is the possibility that Rhaenyra didn't actually send the letter condemning Nettles (as it was an incredibly petty thing to order during a time of total war), but rather was used to alienate Daemon from her cause. As it later led to Daemon's death, it was rather effective if that were the case.
  • Mutual Envy: More like mutual resentment. Alicent and the Greens resented Rhaenyra for being made Viserys' heir despite being a woman, while Rhaenyra and the Blacks hated them equally for trying to usurp the throne despite Viserys declaring Rhaenyra as his heir.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Her short reign at the Iron Throne came as a result of a poorly timed invasion and was so disorganized and brutal that it spoiled the possibility of female succession for House Targaryen; when Aegon III, Daeron I and Baelor I all perished decades later, the succession dabbled with Aegon's daughters, but for fear of another Rhaenyra the crown went to their longtime Hand Of The King Viserys Targaryen (albeit for a rather short time).
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed:
    • Of Empress Matilda, who vied with her cousin Stephen of Blois for the English throne from 1135 to 1153. Matilda's father left the throne to her, her cousin overruled that claim with the support of several English barons, and Matilda's son Henry became king after Stephen's death (thus vindicating his mother's claim), as is the case with Rhaenyra and Aegon III respectively. Also like Matilda, Rhaenyra managed to take the capital of the kingdom only for her apparent victory to crumble as she fled the ensuing uprising. It must be noted, however, that Matilda died peacefully and at the height of her powers (ensuring that her son Henry II remains king), while Rhaenyra was defeated and truly wretched when she was executed.
    • Like Mary, Queen of Scots, Rhaenyra died a usurper but at least her son becoming king united two warring factions. Also like Mary's descendants, Rhaenyra's descendants were deposed and exiled.
    • Queen Mary Tudor. She was very popular in her youth (The Realm's Delight), but as her fate grew darker, her personality grew darker too. Mary had an unpopular marriage with Philip of Spain; no one was happy with Rhaenyra's second marriage with her uncle Daemon. Mary suffered a phantom pregnancy, and Rhaenyra suffered a stillbirth. There is a similarity in their infamous nicknames: "Bloody Mary", Rhaenyra was called "Maegor with teats".
  • One-Steve Limit: A rare case of this being played straight in A Song of Ice and Fire; no other Targaryen that we know of has been called "Rhaenyra"; presumably, the infamy she gained has tainted the name for future generations.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Rhaenyra outlived all her children save for Aegon and Viserys. Her daughter Visenya is stillborn, and her three sons from her first marriage, Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey all die during the Dance. She also died believing her youngest son Viserys had predeceased her. Although she believed Viserys to be dead and never learned he'd survived.
  • Pet the Dog: She spares the life of Queen Alicent upon her capture for the love her father bore her.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: She was always richly dressed. Her wardrobes included pearls, diamonds, jeweled rings, purple and maroon velvets and golden Myrish lace in beautiful patterns.
  • Precocious Crush: She fell in love with Criston Cole when she was just seven.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: She is able to take King's Landing but her actions during her short reign lead the people of the city to revolt against her; the result: Jace and Joff die, the Blacks lose most of their dragons, she is left without a fleet when she imprisons Corlys Velaryon and she has to flee to Dragonstone alone save for her son Aegon, only to find her treacherous brother Aegon II there, ready to have his dragon eat her alive.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: All the sources on her reign compiled by Gyldayn come from people who disapproved of Rhaenyra in one form or another, and all of them are fairly unsympathetic. It is difficult to sort through all of the rumor and outright propaganda to get a sense of who the "real Rhaenyra" actually was.
  • The Resenter: She resented Alicent Hightower for trying to take her throne, which only increased when Alicent remained beautiful through several pregnancies and Rhaenyra grew increasingly fat from the same, despite being younger.
  • The Rival: While the main conflict of the Dance centers on her and Aegon, her true rival was said to be Alicent Hightower, as both ladies aspired to be Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. The warring factions are even named after the color of the dresses the two women wore to court (black for Rhaenyra, green for Alicent).
  • Sanity Slippage: Due to the loss of two of her children and the betrayal of two dragon riders she grows increasingly paranoid to the point she orders some of her dragonriders to be executed just for being bastards, since the Two Betrayers were also bastards.
  • Screaming Birth: When she gave birth to Visenya, her stillborn daughter. It's justified as it was a long, difficult birth and Rhaenyra was under a lot of emotional distress at the time, having recently learned her father had died and Aegon had usurped the throne he'd promised her. She spent most of the birth alternating between screaming at the baby to get out of her and cursing her stepmother and half-siblings.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Deconstructed. Rhaenyra grew up a beauty, but she wanted to know how to please a man (Criston Cole, to be exact) so she took lessons from her uncle Daemon. Their "lessons" became the stuff of infamy, soiling her reputation and her standing with Criston.
  • Short-Lived Leadership: Total time as queen? About six months. Hence one of her other titles, "the Half-Year Queen".
  • Single Sex Offspring: She had five sons: Jacaerys, Lucerys, Joffrey, Aegon and Viserys. She gave birth to one daughter, Visenya, but unfortunately the baby was stillborn. Rhaenyra was devastated by the loss of her only daughter and blamed the stillbirth on her stepmother and half-siblings for stealing her throne. She did however have two stepdaughters whom she appeared fond of (such as betrothing them to her two eldest sons and heirs).
  • Skewed Priorities: Under the suspicion of his infidelity, Rhaenyra sent a letter to Daemon ordering him to execute Nettles, his supposed lover. Daemon is so offended and feels so betrayed by this (basically a capricious command that had no place in the middle of a war) that he decides to kill himself in dragon combat against Aemond Targaryen. It's not actually known whether Rhaenyra indeed authored the letter, or if it was a ruse by either the Greens or the Maesters to alienate Daemon from his wife's side. Whatever it was, it worked.
    • When King's Landing was starving and resentful over her rule, Rhaenyra held a party to name her son Joffrey Velaryon Prince of Dragonstone, alienating the smallfolk.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only Targaryen Queen to rule in her own right - albeit for not very long - and basically the reason why inheriting the throne has been stacked very much against women since then.
  • Teen Pregnancy: She gave birth to Jacaerys when she was seventeen, the same year she married Laenor, and gave birth to Lucerys a year later at the age of eighteen.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Rhaenyra never forgave anyone who crossed her. When a number of her former loyalists who'd defected to Aegon to save their skins tried to return to her side after the Blacks took King's Landing, Rhaenyra coldly told them they were worse than those who'd supported Aegon from the start and promptly ordered them executed.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Taking a non-Targaryen paramour, not even bothering to be discreet with her choice, and having three obvious bastard sons who resembled neither her nor her husband did not do her any favors when it came to the question of succession. Her sons' questionable parentage was one of the factors that allowed the greens to claim that Aegon II and his Targaryen-looking children were better fit to claim the throne.
    • She gave tiny rewards to her dragonseeds and refused to grant them the kingdoms that Daemon offered, contributing to Ulf White and Hugh Hammer betraying her out of greed. After that, she attempted to arrest or kill her remaining dragonseeds, despite being in more desperate need of dragonriders than ever.
  • Tragic Hero: Like most characters in the series, she had traits of both this and Tragic Villain.
  • Tragic Stillbirth: Rhaenyra's only daughter, Visenya, was stillborn and also had severe malformations. Rhaenyra blamed her daughter's loss on her stepmother and half-brother for usurping her throne, vowing never to forgive them. And so began the Dance of the Dragons.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: She was known as "the Realm's Delight" and was beloved by all as a young girl. By the time of her death, she was known as "Maegor with Teats"
  • The Usurper: She refused Aegon II's terms of surrender, declared war to make herself queen, and eventually managed to seize King's Landing. In fairness to her, her brother had crowned himself in total defiance of their father's wishes and repeated public declamations, giving her a legal claim just as strong as his.
  • Villainous Glutton: Septon Eustace disliked Rhaenyra, and described her as such in his account: eating huge amounts of food, growing increasingly fat, and planning lavish feasts for herself and her heir Joffrey while King's Landing suffered under her crippling taxes. Ironically enough, given that Aegon II was also a noted glutton.
  • Weight Woe: She was pudgy growing up thanks to her pampered lifestyle and she became notably thick and stout due to her six pregnancies. One of the reasons she hated her stepmother Alicent was because she managed to keep her slender beauty despite her age and four children.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Apparently, in the early years of her father's marriage, Rhaenyra got on well with Alicent, but Alicent's growing resentment of Rhaenyra for still being her father's heir ahead of her own children and their determination to be the first lady of the royal court turned them into rivals, and then bitter enemies.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: Upon taking control of King's Landing, the Greens were essentially on the defensive and Aegon II went into hiding and Aemond One-Eye was submitting the Riverlands to aerial chevauchées. All Rhaenyra needed to do was consolidate her rule of the city, win over the crowd and then carefully target her remaining opponents; instead, her resentment and paranoia made her lash out at perceived and actual slights with brutal force, a rebellion by two Dragonseeds led her to order the death of the loyal Addam Velaryon and finally rumors of Daemon's adultery with Nettles led her to order Nettles' execution, alienating Daemon in the process. Eventually the people turn on her and attack the Dragonpit, marking the decline of the Targaryens' main source of power.
  • Would Harm a Child:
    • After Aemond got into a fight with Rhaenyra's sons and called them bastards, Rhaenyra suggested that Aemond should be questioned sharply until he revealed where he'd heard such rumors.
    • This was the reason Aegon usurped her claim, under the impression that she would put his family to the sword if she became the queen; considering how the war panned out, with both of his boys and wife dead and his mother captive, he wasn't entirely wrong; whether she would have done such a thing if he hadn't usurped the throne is a matter of debate. In either case, the "Blood and Cheese" incident wasn't her call at all... though she still didn't punish Daemon for it.
  • Written by the Winners: Aegon II decreed that she be listed only as a princess in all court records and chronicles and never as "Rhaenyra, First of Her Name". Thus, despite being Viserys I's designated heir, actually sitting on the Iron Throne and her two younger sons becoming Kings in their own right, Rhaenyra went down in history as a "traitor" and dismissed as nothing more than a usurper and a pretender. In The World of Ice and Fire, Yandel doesn't give Rhaenyra a chapter for her short-lived reign while he does give one to the similarly short-reigning Aegon II.
    • In The Princess And The Queen, Maester Gyldayn exalts the Blacks and her children's qualities (even the Velaryons) while still vilifying her.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: According to the court jester Mushroom, whose account is given in The Rogue Prince, Rhaenyra liked to watch her husband and his lover when they were together.

    Prince Daemon Targaryen 

Prince Daemon Targaryen, King of the Stepstones and The Narrow Sea

The Rogue Prince, Prince of the City, Lord Flea Bottom

"Over the centuries, House Targaryen has produced both great men and monsters. Prince Daemon was both."
Archmaester Gyldayn

Second son of Baelon Targaryen and his sister-wife Alyssa. Younger brother to King Viserys I, uncle to Rhaenyra and later, her second husband. His first wife was Rhea Royce, and his second wife Laena Velaryon, with whom he had twin girls Baela and Rhaena. With Rhaenyra, his third wife, he fathered Aegon III and Viserys II, as well as a stillborn daughter, Visenya. Daemon was the wielder of the Valyrian Steel sword Dark Sister and the rider of the dragon Caraxes the Blood Wyrm.

A notable warrior and a mercurial man who wanted above all to be King, Daemon attempted to establish a kingdom in the Stepstones before returning to his brother's court and holding various offices there, including Master of Coin and Master of Laws, though he's mostly remembered for rebuilding and formally restructuring the King's Landing City Watch, giving them for the first time their familiar gold-cloaked uniforms. During the war, he was the person who named Rhaenyra queen of the Seven Kingdoms, attaining for himself the role of Protector of the Realm, holding the title until his death at the end of the war.

  • The Ace: Aside from being regarded as the most dangerous man in Westeros during his lifetime, the wielder of the sword Dark Sister and a fearsome dragonrider atop Caraxes, Daemon is also considered to be the best Lord Commander the City Watch of King's Landing ever had in all its recorded history.
  • Age-Gap Romance: To a slight extent with his third wife and niece, who he had 16 years on, and even more with Nettles, 33 years his junior. (If Nettles is actually his lover and not his close friend or his daughter according to some theories.)
  • Air Jousting: The "Dance over Harrenhal", the duel between him riding his dragon Caraxes and Aemond One-Eye on Vhagar is a classic example; it ends with Daemon jumping off his dragon in mid-air, running his sword straight into Aemond's skull, and the four of them, men and dragons, falling out of the sky.
  • Ambiguously Related: One of the In-Universe speculations on his relationship with Nettles is that she was his bastard daughter. But as Ambiguous Situation below shows, we can never be truly sure.
  • Ambiguous Situation: His relationship with Nettles. Were they lovers, close friends, surrogate father and daughter, or actual father and daughter?
  • Arch-Enemy: To Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Hated his first wife, Rhea Royce of Runestone, calling her "my bronze bitch" in letters.
  • Bling of War: He's the reason the City Watch is known as the Gold Cloaks, as he found their old uniforms boring and thus gave them golden cloaks.
  • Byronic Hero: A pretty classic example. He was a prince, a pirate and a rogue and lived and loved dangerously. Best described by one maester as having been both great man and monster in equal measure.
  • Cain and Abel: Shockingly averted. For all his wildness and faults, and the great trouble he caused his big brother Viserys, Daemon's most rebellious act was to start his own little sellsword kingdom on the Stepstones, and when he returned, he offered his crown to Viserys as a show of his loyalty to his brother.
  • Co-Dragons: To Rhaenyra alongside Lord Corlys Velaryon.
  • Combat by Champion: He personally dispatched the feared Myrish admiral Craghas "Crab Feeder" Drahar in single combat.
  • Commanding Coolness: He was commander of the City Watch, and many of the Gold Cloaks were actually personally loyal to him, not the king.
  • Cool Sword: He wielded Visenya's sword, Dark Sister.
  • Cool Uncle: Was this to Rhaenyra in her youth, years before the political necessity and usefulness of a marriage became apparent to them. The Greens saw him as the Evil Uncle.
  • The Corrupter: He was blamed for Rhaenyra's moral decline, though it's possible she'd always been a nasty piece of work.
  • Death Seeker:
    Aemond: You have lived too long, uncle.
    Daemon: On that much we agree.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After his wife orders the death of Nettles, Daemon lets Nettles fly away into exile, then challenges Aemond and his much larger dragon to single combat, knowing his chances of surviving are minimal.
  • Driven to Suicide: Once Rhaenyra orders for Nettles to be killed and he has to send the girl away, Daemon essentially commits suicide by taking on Aemond and Vhagar.
  • Did Not Think This Through: He orders the death of six-year-old Prince Jaehaerys as revenge for Aemond's killing of Rhaenyra's son Lucerys. The plan succeeds, but he fails to take into account that having a young boy cruelly murdered right in front of his mother would give Rhaenyra a reputation as a merciless tyrant, not to mention that Jaehaerys' mother Helaena is beloved by the people of King's Landing and killing him would swing the sympathy of the people over to her even further. This is one of the factors that leads to the smallfolk eventually rioting against Rhaenyra and driving her from King's Landing, putting an end to her reign.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: The chronicles make no mention of how Daemon and Nettles spent their last night together.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: He was Rhaenyra's biggest supporter during the Dance, and the most dangerous, without a doubt.
    Aemond: The whore on Dragonstone is not the threat. No more than Rowan and these traitors in the Reach. The danger is my uncle. Once Daemon is dead, all these fools flying our sister's banners will run back to their castles and trouble us no more.
  • Dragon Rider: Rode Caraxes, the Blood Wyrm.
  • The Dreaded: His enemies at court, especially Otto Hightower, were terrified of him and opposed Rhaenyra's ascent largely because the idea of him influencing her while she sat the throne was intolerable.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Daemon challenges Aemond to a duel at Harrenhal, fighting a much larger and older dragon...and proceeds to throw himself off in mid duel, land on Aemond's dragon and buries Dark Sister in his eye just before they smash into the water below.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • He sent Blood and Cheese to exact revenge for the death of Lucerys: "An eye for an eye, a son for a son."
    • Whether Nettles was his lover, his dear friend or — as some theories have suggested — his daughter, he clearly adored her and refused to allow her to be executed.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He refuses to have any part in his wife's breaking of guest right.
  • Evil Uncle: From the perspective of his brother's sons, Daemon was this. It was said even before the Dance broke out, Daemon despised his nephews for pushing him even further down the line of succession and never missed an opportunity to belittle or insult Aegon, Aemond and Daeron at court (much to Rhaenyra's delight).
  • Family Extermination: After Rhaenyra took King's Landing, Corlys Velaryon advised Rhaenyra to offer generous terms to the major houses that had backed Aegon II (i.e., the Hightowers, Baratheons and Lannisters) to convince them to stand down. Daemon, by contrast, advised his wife to exterminate said Houses and give their lands and wealth to more loyal supporters of hers.
  • A Father to His Men: He was the person that formally gave the City Watch of King's Landing its status note ; in turn, the City Watch allows Rhaenyra to capture the city, as it was Daemon who made them what they are.
  • Irony: Despite the fact that in his youth he harbored the wish to succeed his brother, he never got to be king in his own right, or even Rhaenyra's king consort; however, his two sons with Rhaenyra were crowned as kings years after their death, and the current Targaryen line descends directly from him, of all people.
  • Jerkass: He was not the nicest of guys, although he seemed to settle down a bit after his second and third marriages. One of his biggest asshole moments was when his nephew Baelon died shortly after being born, and Daemon made drunken japes about the child having been "heir for a day". While visiting a brothel. Time and place, much, Daemon?
  • Has a Type: His type is much younger (often Ephebophilically young) girls with dragons. Rhaenyra, Laena, and Nettles all fit the bill.
  • Kick the Dog: Mocking his dead nephew having been 'heir for a day' is a dick move, and it is little wonder that a pissed Viserys makes Rhaenyra the heir to the throne instead, Great Council be damned, when he hears of it. Nor did the Dance of the Dragons mellow Daemon out, as evidenced by what he does through Blood and Cheese.
  • Kinslaying Is a Special Kind of Evil: His order of a “son for a son” towards Blood and Cheese, resulting in the death of Aegon’s son Jaehaerys, made the Blacks reviled by the smallfolk.
  • Kissing Cousins: His second wife, Laena Velaryon, was the daughter of his own cousin Rhaenys. This made her his first cousin once removed.
    • He would later marry Rhaenyra, after Laena’s death, who was his niece. If we also factor in that he and Viserys were the product of two generations of Brother–Sister Incest, then she was also technically his first and second cousin once removed.
  • Lady Macbeth: Gender-Inverted; he seemed to have encouraged Rhaenyra's worst tendencies, indirectly or not. This was also how he was seen In-Universe; while Rhaenyra would've already had a hard time ascending to the Iron Throne on account of her gender, her marrying her notorious and dangerous uncle certainly didn't help her gain many supporters.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Or in this case like mother like son. His mother, Alyssa Targaryen, was basically a female version of Daemon.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Daemon's sons Aegon III and Viserys II weren't as flashy as him.
  • Love at First Sight: How he fell in love with Laena Velaryon, who became his second wife.
  • The Man Behind the Man: What his enemies feared he might turn into if Rhaenyra were crowned.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: His children by Laena (Baela, Rhaena, and an unnamed son who died at birth) and by Rhaenyra (Aegon, Viserys, and Visenya who was stillborn). It is possible that Nettles was his illegitimate daughter (and considering his Really Gets Around reputation, he may well have fathered other children, too).
  • Marry for Love: Many believe he married his second wife, Laena Velaryon, from love and there's some evidence to support this (he wasn't exactly subtle about his disdain for his first wife but is never reported saying a bad word against Laena, he was apparently faithful to her throughout their marriage, and he treated her with dignity when she died). Others speculate he married her for her social standing; it could easily have been both power and love that motivated Daemon to wed her.
  • Meaningful Name: Daemon is an old-fashioned spelling of demon - as in the spirits of Hell.
  • Modest Royalty: During his tenure as Commander of the City Watch he was fond of visiting brothels, gambling pits and consorting with lowlifes. This is how he earned his nickname Prince of the City and Lord Flea Bottom.
  • Morality Pet: In Fire and Blood Maester Norren, who had ample time to observe them while they were staying with his lord, wrote that Daemon positively doted on Nettles; he lavished her with gifts, gave her lessons in etiquette, slept in the bedchamber next to hers and even bathed with her. Whatever their relationship, having to send Nettles and Sheepstealer into exile appeared to finally break the Rogue Prince's heart.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: It's questionable how many times he did this (there are some unsavory rumours attributed to him about Rhaenyra's husband's death, and rumors circulate he was behind the fire at Harrenhal that killed Rhaenyra's lover Harwin Strong), but when he wanted to marry Laena Velaryon, Daemon kept provoking her loser fiancé (the match was made long ago before the guy squandered his father's fortunes and Laena's father kept putting the wedding off, hoping a solution would roll down) until the guy challenged him to a duel. Daemon made very short work of him and happily married Laena.
  • Never Found the Body: Daemon's corpse was never recovered, and the Maesters attribute it to 'deep currents and hungry fishes.' Singers say he survived and made his way to live in peace with Nettles, but historians generally consider it wishful thinking as humans simply can't survive that long a fall.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: A combination of Robert of Gloucester (Empress Matilda's half-brother and chief military supporter) and Geoffrey of Anjou (Empress Matilda's second husband).
    • To Charles of Valois, King Philip IV's more boisterous brother. All his life went on in the pursuit of power and a throne, like his brief adventure of being Emperor of Constantinople or King of Aragon, but every chance of ruling in his name or his brother's heirs' name would eventually be spurned. Despite this, he was an excellent military leader, and after his brother's son all died without heirs, it is his son Philip of Valois who would inherit the throne. So like Daemon he was never a king, but his offspring eventually were.
  • Old Soldier: He's pushing fifty by the time of his death... and Aemond, himself a notoriously reckless Blood Knight, is still nervous to face him alone without riding a much older and bigger dragon.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: His second wife Laena gave birth to a malformed boy who lived only an hour. His third wife Rhaenyra gave birth to a stillborn daughter, Visenya. He believed that his youngest son Viserys had been killed during the Dance of the Dragons, though it was revealed after Daemon's death that Viserys survived. He also outlived two of his stepsons, Lucerys and Jacaerys.
  • Parental Substitute: Judging by his reaction to Lucerys' death at the hands of Aemond, Daemon seems to have assumed a role of parent to the Velaryon sons of Rhaenyra when their supposed father Laenor Velaryon died.
  • Passed-Over Inheritance: He was the most important Targaryen never to be king thanks to Otto Hightower, Hand of King Viserys I; Hightower had the impression that Daemon was far too volatile for him to become king. He was Viserys' heir until Hightower insisted that Rhaenyra inherited the throne. Later, Daemon marries Rhaenyra and in reaction, Hightower prompts Aegon to usurp Rhaenyra when Viserys dies (becoming King Aegon II), causing the Dance of the Dragons, on which he dies killing his nephew Aemond in the Dance over Harrenhall. Much later, by process of elimination only his sons are left to pick up the pieces and both become kings. Dude never got a break.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • When his second wife Laena, suffering from childbed fever, collapsed and died trying to ride Vhagar one last time, he carried her back to her bed and kept watch over her with Rhaenyra.
    • He had a very close relationship with Nettles (it's unclear if they were lovers or father-and-daughter), showering her with gifts and affection. When Rhaenyra ordered her death, Daemon allowed her to escape on her dragon.
  • Really Gets Around: Daemon can't seem to stay in a monogamous relationship, except with Laena Velaryon and their marriage was cut short with her death anyway. He frequently visits brothels during his first marriage with Rhea Royce and eventually took a Lysene woman named Mysaria as his mistress. When Mysaria was pregnant with his bastard child, he's forced to send her away to Lys while he conquered the Stepstones with Lord Corlys Velaryon's help. After giving up his King of Stepstones crown and reconciling with his brother Viserys, he grew close to his brother's teenage daughter Rhaenyra, and it's believed that he took her maidenhead before her sixteenth name day, which caused Viserys to exile him. After Rhea's death and his failed attempt to take her castle, he married Corlys Velaryon's daughter Laena. Less than a year after Laena's death, he married Rhaenyra and during his marriage with Rhaenyra, Mysaria apparently became Daemon's mistress once more under Rhaenyra's approval. Later, Mysaria claimed that he slept with Nettles as well. Mushroom also implies one of the reasons Otto Hightower hated Daemon so much was because the latter took his daughter Alicent's maidenhead.
  • Rebel Prince: His unsavory behavior didn't help.
  • The Resenter: He resented never being named heir to the throne and having to sit by the side, while other heirs and descendants were placed in succession before him. He even resented Rhaenyra being named heir at first, though he came around later.
  • Revenge by Proxy: His response to the death of Rhaenyra's son Lucerys Velaryon at the hands of Aemond is to send assassins to kill one of Aegon's children.
    Daemon: An eye for an eye, a son for a son.
  • Serial Spouse: Daemon was married three times; his first wife was Rhea Royce, whom he despised and was estranged from at the time of her death, his second wife was Laena Velaryon, who died from childbed fever, and his third wife was his niece (and rumored lover) Rhaenyra Targaryen.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Narrowly avoided; when Daemon found out his brother had married Alicent Hightower, he nearly beat the serving man who brought him the news to death.
  • Spanner in the Works: Daemon kept being this for the Greens. Otto Hightower initially backed Rhaenyra's claim because they feared Daemon on the Throne and Daemon's surprise wedding to Rhaenyra led to her giving birth to legitimate Targaryen children taking away the Greens' uniqueness value and removing the sting of Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe about her Velaryon children. If Daemon was deprived of the throne, he sure did all he could to keep the Greens from claiming it, up to ordering the murder of Jaehaerys Targaryen for Aemond One-Eye's murder of Lucerys.
  • Spare to the Throne: Somehow, he managed to remain one degree removed from the Crown all his life. His grandfather was King Jaehaerys I, his brother was King Viserys I, his wife Rhaenyra was crowned Queen, his sons by her also became kings as Aegon III and Viserys II (and through them the descendants of all future Targaryens up to Daenerys in the present day). As noted by Gyldayn, the only time he was King was when he crowned himself in full defiance of his brother as "King of Stepstones" after suppressing some pirates. Hilariously, Viserys commented if it kept Daemon out of trouble, he could be king there if he wanted.
  • Start My Own: After being passed over for the Iron Throne once, he flew off to conquer the Stepstones with his dragon and made himself a petty pirate king. Later he returned to Westeros and in a show of faith to his brother, he offered his crown back to Viserys.
  • The Strategist: It is noted he had more military experience than all of Aegon II's commanders combined.
  • Taking You with Me: Leaps from the back of Caraxes onto Vhagar as they're locked in mid-air combat and stabs Aemond in the eye. With their riders unable to pull them apart, both dragons crash into the lake at high speed.
  • Try to Fit That on a Business Card: Throughout his life, Daemon held many titles, including Protector of the Realm, King of the Stepstones and the Narrow Sea, Commander of the City Watch, Master of Coins, and Master of Laws.
  • Uncertain Doom: A downplayed example. Daemon was last seen plunging in to the God's Eye lake along with Aemond and their dragons. Aemond's remains were recovered from the lake several years later, but Daemon's were never found. While Gyldayn brings up folk tales of Daemon surviving the duel, he concludes that Daemon almost certainly died on impact with the lake and his body was either carried away by currents or eaten by fish. Corpse or no corpse, humans can't survive that kind of fall.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • The Gold Cloaks to Daemon: as soon as he appeared at King's Landing on his dragon, the City Watch mutinied en masse, threw the gates of the city open, and killed the few new officers that the Greens had appointed over them after Aegon II's coup. Daemon had been their Lord Commander for years and was the true founder of the modern City Watch, giving them their standardized equipment and training and turning them into a real respectable police force. Gyldayn considers the fact that the Greens did not pause to worry about the loyalty in the City Watch in the event that Daemon personally attacked to be a case of Too Dumb to Live.
    • Likewise, Daemon himself held this for House Targaryen overall. Despite being regarded all his life as Unfit for Greatness being a Wild Card and Hot-Blooded Jerkass, he was loyal to his brother Viserys I and likewise loyal to Rhaenyra's cause through thick and thin. In the end, it was Daemon who ended up being betrayed and used by the people who mistrusted him, first by Viserys I and Otto Hightower who gave his claim to Rhaenyra, then the Greens who sought to unseat his wife's claim to the throne, and finally his wife who ordered the death of Nettles, putting him in an impossible position and forcing him to face Aemond in a Duel to the Death....and even then, Daemon dispatches the single greatest threat to Rhaenyra's forces in death.
  • Warrior Prince: The most accomplished warrior of his time. He even carved a petty kingdom on the Stepstones for himself, though he quickly abandoned it.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: From an early age, he visited the slums of Flea Bottom so often that everyone there was familiar with him. Even in adulthood, Daemon was well at home with unsavory rogues, prostitutes and more.
  • Wild Card: More than most Targaryens, he hated daily administrative duties and enjoyed hanging out with King's Landing crooks, criminals, whores, and fellow gold-cloaks more. He also took any excuse to get away from the capital and engaged in wars with pirates at the Stepstones for fun and games.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Daemon Sent a pair of killers to murder one of Prince Aegon's young children in revenge for the death of his stepson. Nobody knows if the sadistic mind-games they played with poor Queen Helaena were their own touch or Daemon's himself.

Caraxes, the Blood Wyrm

Daemon Targaryen's dragon. Large and powerful with red scales. A veteran of Daemon's years of campaigning in the Stepstones, Caraxes was one of the most battle-hardened dragons when the Dance started.

    Lady Baela and Lady Rhaena Targaryen 

Lady Baela and Lady Rhaena Targaryen

The twin daughters of Prince Daemon Targaryen and Laena Velaryon.

    Prince Aegon, son of Rhaenyra 

King Aegon III

    Prince Viserys, son of Rhaenyra 

    Princess Visenya Targaryen 

Princess Visenya Targaryen

“Monster, monster, get out, get out, GET OUT!”

Rhaenyra Targaryen

Rhaenyra's third child with Daemon Targaryen. Rhaenyra's rage-induced stress due to her brother usurping her throne led the baby Visenya to be deformed and stillborn.

  • Babies Make Everything Better: Oh, so very subverted. The horror of her birth was what led Rhaenyra to war with Aegon.
  • Body Horror: Her aforementioned deformities.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Her death invoked this in Rhaenyra; after she had recovered from Visenya's birth, Rhaenyra angrily blamed Aegon and his cronies for causing the miscarriage by the stress of finding out her brother had usurped the throne, and Rhaenyra swore they would answer with their lives for it.
    Rhaenyra Targaryen: She was my only daughter and they killed her. They stole my crown and murdered my daughter and they shall answer for it.

    Lord Corlys Velaryon 

The Sea Snake

Master of Ships and Hand of Queen Rhaenyra at the Black Court. Husband of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen and father of Ser Laenor and Laena Velaryon.

    Princess Rhaenys Targaryen 

Princess Rhaenys Targaryen

The Queen Who Never Was

The Queen Who Never Was lived fearlessly, and died amidst blood and fire.
Archmaester Gyldayn:

Daughter of Prince Aemon Targaryen and Lady Jocelyn Baratheon. Married to Lord Corlys Velaryon and mother of Laena and Laenor.

Not to be confused with Queen Rhaenys Targaryen, sister/wife of King Aegon I.

  • Age-Gap Romance: She might have been 21 years younger than her husband Corlys, but they were pretty happy together.
  • Character Death: Fighting atop Meleys against both Aegon II riding Sunfyre and Aemond riding Vhagar.
  • Cool Old Lady: Was fifty-five during the Dance, but was noted to be as fierce and fearless as she had been at twenty-two.
  • Dragon Rider: A skilled warrior who rode Meleys, the Red Queen.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Took on an entire royal army (one which was fully prepared for her onslaught) atop her dragon, killing hundreds of warriors, and then when faced by two enemy dragon riders (including one riding Vhagar, the oldest and strongest dragon in Westeros), made no attempt to flee and charged them fearlessly despite knowing full well that death was certain. And she came damn close to killing King Aegon II.
  • Happily Married: To Corlys.
  • Hot-Blooded: She was known to be fierce and high-spirited, even at age fifty-five.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: She could have been the first Queen of Westeros. Good Queen Alysanne wanted her to be the heir and argued with King Jaehaerys, but he insisted that Baelon be named heir instead. She would probably have been a better queen than Rhaenyra, who King Viserys I intended to be the "first queen".
  • Irony: Rhaenys was never crowned, and her posthumous reputation as a lady warrior in Westeros is up there with Queen Visenya, the Conqueror's sister-queen. In contrast, Rhaenyra as the Half-Year Queen had her name blackened for generations to come, and because of her, all the future Targaryen women became barred from the throne.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Both her children died before her.
  • Passed-Over Promotion: Twice. First the Old King Jaehaerys I chose his son Baelon (Rhaenys's uncle) as his heir after the death of her father Aemon. After Prince Baelon passed away, Jaehaerys called a Great Council of lords, who elected her cousin Prince Viserys (Baelon's son) as heir by a 20:1 margin. Hence her moniker "The Queen That Never Was". This is also likely what motivated her to support Rhaenyra, besides Rhaenyra being her daughter-in-law.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: At least in her youth, due to inheriting her Baratheon mother's hair color. By the time she was fifty-five, however, her black hair was streaked with white.
  • Warrior Princess: It's stated that riding Meleys she had a chance of defeating Vhagar, the oldest and strongest of the Targaryen dragons and one of Aegon the Conqueror's original 3 dragons.
  • Woman Scorned: Her husband Corlys neglected to recognize his bastards Addam and Alyn to avert this.

    Ser Laenor Velaryon 

Ser Laenor Velaryon

Rhaenyra's first husband.

The Velaryon Princes of Dragonstone

The three older sons of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Ser Laenor Velaryon, Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey looked nothing like their mother and father -as they turned out brunet and pug-faced-, fueling the rumors that the boys were her sons with Harwyn Strong, notwithstanding that Rhaenyra had Arryn ancestry and Laenor had Baratheon ancestry. In spite of the court's protests, the King allowed them to be part of the line of succession after Rhaenyra, his immediate heir. Dragonriders by their own right, the boys participated in the Dance of the Dragons, and as their mother was crowned Queen by their uncle Daemon, they became the Princes of Dragonstone.

The boys were the first and only heirs to the Iron Throne that did not have the Targaryen last name, as they were Targaryens from their mother's side. After their father's death, Rhaenyra married her uncle Daemon and produced their half-brothers Aegon and Viserys, who wound up becoming kings.

For the main House Velaryon entry, see here

    Prince Jacaerys Velaryon 

Prince Jacaerys Velaryon

Jacaerys at the time of the maiming of Aemond at the funeral of Lady Laena
"Our uncle calls us Strongs, and claims we are bastards, but when the lords see us on dragonback they will know that for a lie. Only Targaryens ride dragons."

First son of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and her first husband, Laenor Velaryon. During the Dance of the Dragons, Jacaerys became Rhaenyra's designated heir as Prince of Dragonstone. Jacaerys died during the Battle of the Gullet after his dragon Vermax fell to the sea.

  • Arranged Marriage: He was betrothed to his cousin Baela Targaryen when they were both children. If Mushroom is believed, he broke the arrangement. See below.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He and Luke got into a fight with Aemond for bullying Joffrey, their little brother.
  • Brainy Brunette: He was a smart and strategic thinker. If Mushroom was believed though, he is a great example of Love Makes You Dumb.
  • Character Death: He was killed at the Battle of the Gullet when Vermax flew too close to the water and was shot down. Jace managed to jump clear and cling to some wreckage, but he was struck by three crossbow bolts, with the last taking him in the neck and his body subsequently sinking into the ocean.
  • The Charmer: He was an excellent diplomat, winning the Vale and the North to his mother's cause very easily with his easygoing and charming personality. It helped that he made his grand entrance on a dragon everywhere he visited. It was thanks to Jaecerys's intervention that Corlys didn't defect when he blamed Rhaenyra for Rhaenys's death.
  • Chocolate Baby: Had brown eyes and hair, which gives credence to the rumors that Ser Harwin Strong was his actual father, as well as his brothers'. Then again Rhaenyra had an Arryn mother and Laenor a Baratheon grandmother, so Jace and his brothers could've inherited their looks from their more distant relatives.
  • Child Soldier: He was only fifteen when the Dance of the Dragons started, and sixteen when he died.
  • Dragon Rider: Rode Vermax.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Reported to have been one to Cregan Stark during his diplomatic visit to the North, as Jaecerys reminded Cregan of his late younger brother.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: He and Luke were given Valyrian names in order to diminish the fact that they looked nothing like their father.
  • Number Two: As his mother's heir, he was heavily involved in planning the war and proved to be an extremely reasonable and able diplomat and commander.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: According to Mushroom, he fell in love with and married Cregan Stark's bastard half-sister, Sara Snow. But Jace would die before this supposed marriage could become a political nightmare. Other sources dispute the claim and even question Sara's existence.
  • The Wise Prince: He was very smart and reasonable, managing to repair the rift between his mother and Lord Corlys following Rhaenys' death, which Corlys blamed on Rhaenyra.
  • Written by the Winners: Though not as mourned as Lucerys (since Jace died later), Jace was written by Maester Gyldayn as remarkably brave and a wise diplomat that brought the North and the Vale to Rhaenyra's cause.
  • You Remind Me of X: According to Grand Maester Munkun, Cregan Stark took a liking to Jace because he reminded Cregan of his deceased little brother.

    Prince Lucerys Velaryon 

Prince Lucerys Velaryon

Luke, Little Luke Strong
Lucerys at the time of his maiming of Aemond at the funeral of Lady Laena
"And with his death, the war of ravens and envoys and marriage pacts came to an end, and the war of fire and blood began in earnest."
Archmaester Gyldayn

Second son of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and her first husband, Laenor Velaryon. He was a promising warrior who had great skill in arms. He was formally the Second Prince of Dragonstone during the war, but his death moved his brother Joff up in the line of succession. He was assassinated by his uncle Aemond during a diplomatic mission to Storm's End.

  • Arranged Marriage: He was promised to wed his cousin Rhaena Targaryen. This prevented him from securing an alliance for The Blacks with Lord Borros Baratheon, who wanted one of his daughters to marry a potential king in exchange for his loyalty.
  • Beyond Redemption: The Greens saw him as a completely evil Bastard Bastard after he cut out Aemond's eye. Alicent cited it as one of the main reasons why she believed the Blacks would put her and her children to death if they ever gained the throne. Even though she disapproved of Aemond breaching the peace, Alicent would later call Lucerys a bastard rightfully killed in war.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He and Jace got into a fight with Aemond for bullying Joffrey, their little brother. Luke eventually ended it by slashing Aemond across the face with a dagger, taking his eye out.
  • Character Death: He was murdered by his uncle Prince Aemond Targaryen, who he encountered at Storm's End when both were trying to secure House Baratheon's loyalty for their respective sides. While Lord Borros forbade them from fighting in his hall, Lucerys was pursued by Aemond shortly after leaving, and killed by his uncle's much larger dragon.
  • Chocolate Baby: Had brown eyes and hair, which gives credence to the rumors that Ser Harwin Strong was his actual father as well as his brothers'.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Attacking Aemond with his brothers and cutting out his eye made Aemond absolutely vicious in his revenge, leading to him killing both Lucerys and every single person of Strong blood.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: If Lucerys was even able to fight back against Aemond, Archmaester Gyldayn notes it would not have been a long battle since Aemond's dragon Vhagar was five times larger than Arrax, and the survivor of more than a hundred battles.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: His response to Aemond pushing Joffrey down was to attack him with his two brothers, and he cut out one of Aemond's eyes after he insulted them. This was a fatal mistake, as it would result in Aemond later seeking his own Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Dragon Rider: Rode Arrax, a young dragon just old enough to be ridden.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: He is mockingly called "Little Luke Strong", a reference to the possibility he was the product of his mother's affair with Harwin Strong.
  • Finagle's Law: Every possible thing that could go wrong for Lucerys went wrong for him, even the freaking weather. He went to Borros Baratheon with full assurance of his fealty to Rhaenyra and absolutely no doubts... then he found Aemond already in Storm's End having convinced Lord Borros of following Aegon; he showed up unarmed and without backup when Lord Borros gave Aemond leeway of doing whatever he wanted as long as he kept it out of the castle. Had there not been a storm outside he could have fled on his faster, smaller dragon Arrax... oh, but a storm there was.
  • Like a Son to Me: Invoked. Judging by Daemon's reaction after his killing and the vengeance he exacted upon Aegon the Elder, it's assumed that Daemon was close in this manner to Lucerys, whose father died in his childhood.
  • Loophole Abuse: When Borros announced that he would accept Aemond's offer over Luke's and side with Aegon II, Aemond wanted to kill Luke immediately in the main hall of Storm's End itself. Borros had him stopped, however, saying that Luke came as a diplomatic envoy and he would not violate Sacred Hospitality - he did let Luke mount his dragon Arrax and leave, but when Aemond asked if he could kill Luke now that he no longer had Guest Right, Borros shrugged and said what happened outside his walls wasn't his problem. Aemond mounted Vhagar and promptly killed Luke and Arrax in a storm.
  • Never Found the Body: According to Grand Maester Munkun, Lucerys' body was never found.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: He and Jace were given Valyrian names in order to hide the fact that they look nothing like their father.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: According to Archmaester Gyldayn, there are varying accounts of Lucerys' death. One claims his body washed ashore three days later with the remains of Arrax, and that Aemond gouged his eyes out and presented them on a bed of seaweed to Lady Maris Baratheon. A second account claims that as he fell from the dying Arrax, Vhagar snatched him out of the air and swallowed him whole. A third claims Lucerys survived the fall, swam to shore, but lost all memory of who he was, and ended his days as a humble fisherman living in Shipbreaker Bay. The maesters dismiss all of these and conclude Lucerys was likely either killed by the fall or drowned shortly afterwards.
  • The Squire: Served for several years as a squire prior to the Dance of the Dragons.
  • Written by the Winners: Archmaester Gyldayn shows great appreciation for the Velaryon Princes, and is in particular very detailed about the tragedy that befell Lucerys. Whatever praise he gave to the brothers, he showed scorn in equal proportion to Aegon II, Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen.

    Prince Joffrey Velaryon 

Prince Joffrey Velaryon

Joffrey at the time of the maiming of Aemond at the funeral of Lady Laena
"I want to fight for you, Mother, as my brothers did. Let me prove that I am as brave as they were."

Third and youngest son of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and her first husband, Laenor Velaryon. He was at first, the Third Prince of Dragonstone, but the death of Lucerys made him Second Prince, and the subsequent death of Jacaerys made him Rhaenyra's sole heir. He was the only Velaryon Prince who didn't actively participate in the war due to his mother's mandate. While heading to the Dragonpit, he fell to his death after the dragon Syrax shook him off mid-flight.

  • Character Death: He fell from Syrax while trying to get to the Dragonpit to save the dragons within when an angry mob stormed it. He was only twelve or thirteen at the time.
  • Chocolate Baby: Had brown eyes and hair, which gives credence to the rumors that Ser Harwin Strong was his actual father, as well as his brothers'.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: After Syrax throws him off, he fell onto one rooftop, then onto several more before making a final impact on the ground, at which point the rooftiles let loose by his falling hit him, and just to add one last cherry on top, gets impaled on his own sword. And he still lingered for a few minutes after that.
  • Dead Guy Junior: He was named after Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, a friend (and likely lover) of Laenor who was killed by Ser Criston Cole at Rhaenyra and Laenor's wedding tourney.
  • Desecrating the Dead: The smallfolk who found his corpse cut it up, trying to claim his jewelry and clothing. Seven of his mother's knights were able to recover the body, minus a foot, though it cost the lives of three of them to obtain Joffrey's corpse.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: A common girl held him until he died, or so the singers say.
  • Dragon Rider: He was bound to Tyraxes, but his dragon was so young that he was still barely old enough to ride, even for long distances. Joff did ride him from Dragonstone to the Vale on diplomatic missions, but never attempted to ride him in battle. They ended up dying separately during the Storming of the Dragonpit.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: He wanted to prove himself in battle, but because of his youth and the death of his brothers, Rhaenyra forbade it.
  • In-Series Nickname: Called Joff by his family, much like another Joffrey we know.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Like his older brothers, he was accused of being a bastard.
  • Odd Name Out: The only one of his siblings who did not have a Valyrian name, due to being named after Joffrey Lonmouth.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: His mom, watching the Storming of the Dragonpit, expressly forbade Joffrey from trying to get to the dragons to save them. The minute her back was turned, he snuck off anyway (Mushroom apparently saw him going, but since Rhaenyra had told him to shut up...) and very soon winds up dead.

Rhaenyra's Queensguard

    Lord Commander Steffon Darklyn 

Ser Steffon Darklyn, Lord Commander of the Queensguard

The first commander of Rhaenyra's Queensguard. He was a member of Viserys I's Kingsguard and was stationed in King's Landing at the time of the king's death. He later sneaked out of the city with several other Rhaenyra loyalists and fled to Dragonstone, where he presented her with Viserys's crown for her coronation.

  • Legacy of Service: By Ser Steffon's time, at least two Darklyns had previously served in the Kingsguard (Ser Robin in King Aegon I's and Ser Davos in King Maegor I's). Ser Steffon had the honor of serving in two: first for King Viserys I, then for his daughter and heir Queen Rhaenyra.
  • Man on Fire: He attempted to tame the dragon Seasmoke after Prince Jacaerys Velaryon asked for more dragonriders but was burned to death in the attempt.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Sneaks out of King's Landing following Viserys' death and the Greens convincing Aegon II to usurp the Iron Throne.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Rhaenyra, risking his life to sneak out of King's Landing to bring her father's crown to her. He did die later the same year trying to claim a dragon to add to her ranks of dragon riders. Most likely had this for Viserys I too, as he originally served on Viserys' Kingsguard and after his death heeded his will and loyally followed Rhaenyra, despite it going against precedent in Westerosi inheritance laws.

    Lord Commander Lorent Marbrand 

Ser Lorent Marbrand, Lord Commander of the Queensguard

The second commander of Rhaenyra's Queensguard. He was one of two members of Viserys I's Kingsguard on Dragonstone when news of his death reached the island.

  • Character Death: He was killed by rioters in King's Landing when Rhaenyra's rule began to collapse.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: House Marbrand and most of the Westerlands fought for Aegon during the Dance of the Dragons, but Ser Lorent chose to remain loyal to Queen Rhaenyra.
  • Rank Up: Promoted to Lord Commander following Ser Steffon's death at the hands of Seasmoke.

    Lord Commander Glendon Goode 

Ser Glendon Goode, Lord Commander of the Queensguard

The third commander of Rhaenyra's Queensguard.

  • Alliterative Name: Glendon Goode.
  • Character Death: Less than a day after he was promoted to Lord Commander, he was killed during the Storming of the Dragonpit.
  • Long-Dead Badass: He was one of the few survivors of the riots in King's Landing, and not only did he manage to escape, but he also recovered the body of Ser Lorent to prevent the crowd from defiling him.
  • Rank Up: He was promoted to Lord Commander less than a month after becoming a member of the Queensguard due to his actions during the riot in King's Landing.
  • Short-Lived Leadership: Has the rare honor of lasting as Lord Commander of the Queensguard less than a day.
  • Torn Apart by the Mob: He was unhorsed by the rioters after setting his cloak on fire before they swarmed him and torn him to pieces.
  • Young and in Charge: He was only twenty years old when Rhaenyra awarded him with the position.

    Ser Erryk Cargyll 

Ser Erryk Cargyll

A knight from House Cargyll in Rhaenyra's Queensguard. His brother Ser Arryk serves on Aegon II's Kingsguard.

  • Mutual Kill: The brothers were too evenly matched for an outright winner, but sadly too skilled not to mortally wound each other.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Both choose the side they felt should rule and set aside any family loyalty when they did so.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: According to the singers, the Cargyll twins professed their love for each other before dueling for an hour and dying in each others arms. The fool Mushroom, claiming to have witnessed the duel, says instead they cursed each other as traitors and had both dealt each other mortal wounds within moments.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Erryk replaced Harwin Strong as Rhaenyra's sworn shield.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: He stopped Arryk from doing whatever he was sent to Dragonstone to do.

    Ser Lyonel Bentley 

Ser Lyonel Bentley

A knight of Rhaenyra's Queensguard. Described as a young knight.

  • Character Death: While Rhaenyra's small group was fleeing from King's Landing, they were ambushed by broken men, one of whom hit Ser Lyonel in the head with a mace. He died from the injury the next day.
  • Red Shirt: Gets literally no characterization before his death, and dies in the same sentence he's introduced in.

    Ser Harrold Darke 

Ser Harrold Darke

A knight of House Darke, a lesser branch of House Darklyn.

  • Character Death: He is killed when Ser Alfred Broome's men ambush Rhaenyra's party on Dragonstone, with one of the soldiers splitting Ser Harrold's head open with an ax before he could even draw his sword.
  • Ignored Expert: After Rhaenyra flees King's Landing, Harrold tries to persuade her to go to the Eyrie in the Vale, which her forces still have complete control over, instead of returning to Dragonstone, which was closer to the front lines and less defensible. Had she listened, she might have survived the war.
  • Legacy of Service: A descendant of Jonquil Darke's, who famously served as the sworn shield of Good Queen Alysanne, Rhaenyra's great-grandmother. Seems fitting for History to Repeat this way considering Alysanne believed Gender Is No Object and pushed hard for women to be able to rule in their own right. Going further, the Darkes are a cadet branch of House Darklyn who have a noted tradition of serving in Targaryen Kingsguard.
  • The Squire: Served as squire to his kinsman Ser Steffon Darklyn before being knighted.

    Ser Adrian Redfort 

Ser Adrian Redfort

A knight of House Redfort.

  • Famous Ancestor: To the Redforts.
  • In the Back: He is stabbed and killed from behind by a spearman when Ser Alfred Broome's men ambush Rhaenyra's party on her return to Dragonstone.

    Ser Loreth Lansdale 

Ser Loreth Lansdale

A member of Rhaenyra's Queensguard.

  • Alliterative Name: Loreth Lansdale.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: His name suggests that, like Ser Lorent Marbrand, he was a westerman by birth and moreover a cadet branch of House Lannister,note  which was one of the biggest powers backing Rhaenyra's rival half-siblings. He was one of the men Ser Lorent handpicked to add to the Queensguard after Rhaenyra took King's Landing, and he fought for her to the bitter end, killing two of Aegon II's men in the ambush at Dragonstone before he was killed.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Despite being taken completely by surprise and hopelessly outnumbered, Ser Loreth still manages to kill two of Ser Alfred Broome's soldiers before being killed, being the last member of her Queensguard to fall.
  • Long-Dead Badass: He was one of the Seven who Rode, a group of knights who tried to rescue Prince Joffrey Velaryon. Three of their members died, but the remaining four (including Loreth) at least managed to recover Joffrey's body.

Household and Supporters

    Ser Luthor Largent 

Ser Luthor Largent
"Daemon gave us these cloaks and they're gold no matter how you turn them."

A tall and fierce knight who commanded the City Watch of King's Landing.

  • Alliterative Name: Luthor Largent.
  • The Big Guy: He is nearly seven feet tall, and strong enough that it's rumored he killed a warhorse with a single punch.
  • The Captain: Of the City Watch.
  • Character Death: He was killed while trying to put down the massive riots that broke out in King's Landing. His five-hundred men were swarmed by ten thousand rioters, and Ser Luthor was pulled from his horse, stabbed, and bludgeoned to death, with his body being only recognizable by its size when it was recovered.
  • Large and in Charge: Described as tall and fierce, and he led the Gold Cloaks.
  • Malicious Slander: He was subjected to this in-universe: after Princess Helaena's suicide, rumors went around Luthor had killed her on Rhaenyra's orders. Post-Dance historians in-universe dispute this however, stating that at the time of Helaena's death, Luthor had the cast-iron alibi of eating dinner with 300 of his men, as well as noting if Rhaenyra had ordered Luthor to kill someone, it would have been Alicent Hightower he threw out of a window, not Helaena, and the source of the rumours was most likely Larys Strong stirring up the smallfolk against Rhaenyra. It's also claimed later that when he arrived with his gold cloaks to seize the Shepherd and disperse his congregation, the first instance of bloodshed in the chaos that followed belonged to a little girl his horse had stepped on.
  • Rank Up: Rhaenyra elevated Luthor to nobility for his role in helping her take King's Landing.
  • Turncoat: Accused of being one by his second-in-command, Ser Gwayne Hightower, after leading most of the Goldcloaks in defecting from Aegon II to Rhaenyra, effectively handing her King's Landing. Luther retorted that he had always been Rhaenyra's man, and that Daemon was the one who gave most of them goldcloaks to begin with. He then executed Ser Gwayne.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Prince Daemon Targaryen.

    Ser Robert Quince 

Ser Robert Quince

Castellan of Dragonstone.

  • Big Fun: He was amiable and noted for being highly obese.
  • Dead Guy on Display: His charred corpse was displayed along with those of Rhaenyra's supporters when she arrived to Dragonstone and was only identified because of its size.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Ser Alfred kills him before he's halfway out of his bed, driving a spear all the way through not only his (rather large) body, but the mattress and a fair chunk of the stone floor beneath. According to Mushroom, Ser Alfred just hated him that much for being passed over as castellan.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Rhaenyra, which is why Aegon II didn't even try to convert him to his side.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: After he hears of the Grey Ghost's death while fighting another dragon, he's quick to name the Cannibal—another dragon with a history of devouring his own kind—as the killer. Out of caution, he forbids any fishing to take place near the dragon's corpse, and confines Baela Targaryen to her chambers when she defies his command. Unfortunately for Ser Robert, this happens on the very night the fugitive King Aegon II lands on Dragonstone in disguise, and reunites with Sunfyre, the Grey Ghost's real killer. Aegon finds that Rhaenyra's hold over the fortress isn't as iron as it seems, and he uses the discontent to foment a rebellion right under Ser Robert's nose. Had Baela not been confined, she might have seen the king's boat—and Aegon's return to glory would be over before it had started.

    Ser Alfred Broome 

Ser Alfred Broome

A knight of the Dragonstone garrison, he betrayed Rhaenyra and defected to Aegon, helping him gather supporters to take Dragonstone from within and ambush Rhaenyra when she returned.

  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Was one of the targets of Larys Strong's coup, during which he was shoved off the drawbridge and impaled on the spikes surrounding Maegor's Holdfast. He was left there for two days before he died of his injuries.
  • Jerkass: A betrayer who doesn't mind hurting children.
  • Karmic Death: Betrayed his queen by helping to overthrow and kill her and died in a coup where his new king was killed.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He was shoved onto the spikes surrounding Maegor's Holdfast and died two days later.
  • Passed-Over Promotion: He was the most senior knight on Dragonstone and felt he should have been named castellan. When Ser Robert was given the post because he was considered more affable, Ser Alfred decided to switch sides and helped win the war for Aegon as revenge.
  • The Resenter: Because of the aforementioned Passed-Over Promotion.
  • The Starscream: Murdered Ser Robert for his position and then betrayed Rhaenyra.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Among those who took Dragonstone, he's the only one who proposes murdering the children; even King Aegon II draws the line at this, instead keeping them prisoner.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Tried to murder Baela Targaryen after Aegon II defeated her in a dragon duel, but Ser Marston Waters prevented him from doing so. Later he advocated Aegon II killing his nephew, Aegon III, but was overruled by the king and Aegon III was kept as a hostage. He was also en route to carry out Aegon II's orders to mutilate his nephew as a warning to Rhaenyra's loyalists when he was killed by Ser Perkin the Flea.

    Ser Garth the Harelip 

Ser Garth the Harelip

A captain of King's Landing City Watch who commanded the Dragon Gate. He surrendered the Red Keep to Perkin the Flea, only for him to be dragged before the Flea and beheaded by the gutter knight along with Rhaenyra's remaining loyal men.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Thought a man called the Flea would be merciful. The Flea answered by beheading him along with 20 other knights loyal to Rhaenyra.
  • Number Two: He seems to have been this for Ser Balon Byrch, since he was left in charge of the Red Keep after the Queen and her people left the capital.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Opened the gates of the Red Keep to the gutter knights of Perkin, hoping he would be merciful. He wasn't.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Opening the gates of the castle to a man of disreputable reputation was certainly a bad move.

    Ser Pate of Longleaf 

Ser Pate of Longleaf

Longleaf the Lionslayer

A squire in service of the Blacks, he killed Lord Jason Lannister at the Battle of the Red Fork, winning his knighthood and the title The Lionslayer. He died at the First Battle of Tumbleton when he was unhorsed and trampled.

  • Combat Pragmatist: Rather than waste time with Criston Cole's challenge of single combat, Pate just signaled Red Robb Rivers to riddle the Kingmaker with arrows.
  • David Versus Goliath: He was a common squire, yet he managed to defeat and kill one of the highest lords of Westeros.
  • Knighting: He was knighted due to mortally wounding Jason Lannister.
  • Rank Up: After his knighting, he was given a command within the Black's army, and helped command the Butcher's Ball, where Ser Criston Cole was slain.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gave a succinct one to Criston Cole when refusing to duel him in single combat, only slightly negated by the fact that Cole was dead before he could hear it:
    Pate: I'll have no songs about how brave you died, Kingmaker. There's tens o' thousands dead on your account.

    Ser Harmon of the Reeds 

Ser Harmon of the Reeds


One of the Seven who Rode, a group of knights sent by Rhaenyra to rescue Prince Joffrey during the Storming of the Dragonpit, being one of the four who survived. He was executed by Perkin the Flea when Garth the Harelip opened the gates of the Red Keep along with 20 other knights loyal to the Queen.



Misery, the White Worm

A Lysene dancer and whore that became Prince Daemon's paramour during his time as Commander of the City Watch. Remained his supporter during the Dance of the Dragons. She arranged for "Blood" and "Cheese" to infiltrate the Red Keep and murder one of Aegon II's sons.

  • Convenient Miscarriage: She got pregnant with Daemon's child but miscarried it after being sent back to Lys.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: She was promised if she could run from the Red Keep to the gates of the city, she could go free. Except she was being whipped the whole way. She got halfway before collapsing with barely a scrap of flesh left on her back.
  • Elite Man–Courtesan Romance: She's Daemon's long-time lover and they've been in a relationship since Daemon's first marriage with Rhea Royce, which frustrated King Viserys I since it worsened the Targaryen's relationship with the Vale (as King Viserys I's first wife is an Arryn). Later, during Daemon's marriage with Rhaenyra, Rhaenyra apparently approved of Daemon sleeping with Mysaria each night, possibly in exchange for her service as Mistress of Whisperers.
  • For the Evulz: According to some accounts, she informed Queen Helaena of her son Maelor's brutal death just for this.
  • Fun with Homophones: One of her nicknames was the White Worm, with "wyrm" being another word for dragon.
  • The Millstone: Her cruel methods went a long way in destroying Rhaenyra's reputation and giving her a 0% Approval Rating, specifically her plan to kill the young Prince Jaehaerys and her encouraging Rhaenyra to have Nettles executed because she might turn traitor.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Coaxing Rhaenyra into executing Nettles for her rumored seduction of the King Consort not only costs them the loyalty of House Mooton—one of the wealthiest houses in the riverlands—but also loses them a pair of dragonriders as well, as a forewarned Nettles disappears for the rest of the Dance with Daemon's help, and Daemon himself is slain within the fortnight while dueling Prince Aemond. And that's just the start.
  • The Spymaster: Became Daemon's Mistress of Whisperers. During the Dance of Dragons, she became Rhaenyra's unofficial Mistress of Whisperers as well.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: No wonder her colleagues referred to her as Misery and the White Worm.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Although she didn't do the deed herself, she was the one who arranged the murder of one of Aegon II's sons.

    Blood and Cheese 

Blood and Cheese
Blood & Cheese holding Princes Jaehaerys and Maelor.

Cheese: Which one you want t' lose, Your Grace?
Blood: It has to be a boy.

Assassins in Prince Daemon's employ. Blood was a former Gold Cloak. Cheese was a rat catcher in the Red Keep.

  • Ambiguous Situation: It's unknown to history whether their mind games with Queen Helaena were Daemon's idea, or whether he just ordered them to take out one of the Queen's children and they decided to give it their own sadistic spin.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Blood is said to have been a physically intimidating brutish Gold Cloak, while Cheese is said to have been a mere ratcatcher. Thus, presumably Blood was bigger (or at least more muscled) than Cheese, and this is reflected in their portrayals in art and the Histories and Lore video (an image of which seen above).
  • Brains and Brawn: Cheese had the intimate knowledge of the Red Keep (the brains of the duo), while Blood had the unflinching brute strength (the brawn of the operation).
  • The Brute: Blood was the muscle of their operation.
  • The Butcher: Blood.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Performed on Blood when he was captured.
  • Decapitation Presentation: What they probably did to the poor prince.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: They were such nobodies that their names aren't even recorded to history, and yet their act is one of the most crucial moments of the Dance of Dragons.
  • Karma Houdini: Cheese, at least officially, was never brought to book for killing Prince Jaehaerys.
  • Karmic Death: Blood, on the other hand, was apprehended and tortured horribly until he expired after about two weeks.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: History only knows them by their aliases.
  • Police Brutality: Blood was let go from the City Watch for killing a whore.
  • Sadistic Choice: Forced Queen Helaena to choose which of her sons would die, and then killed the other one so they could hurt her more and because the one she picked would live with the knowledge that his mother chose him to die.
  • Those Two Guys: Evil variation. They are a duo of ruthless killers basically only recorded in history as acting in accord.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Cheese vanished after the job, but given he was last seen in the presence of Mysaria, a ruthless individual, and Daemon not exactly being the type to leave loose ends...he may well have not lasted long.
  • Would Hurt a Child: A prerequisite for the gruesome mission they were assigned.