This is a listing of ancestors of House Targaryen who have been mentioned in A Song of Ice and Fire and its supplementary stories.
For the main character index, see here
For the main House Targaryen entry and overall tropes, see here
For the Court of Daenerys I Targaryen, see here
- "Every child knows that the Targaryens have always danced too close to madness."— Ser Barristan Selmy
The Targaryen Dragonlords conquered the Seven Kingdoms and united them under a single realm. They have a rich and messy history. They sat the Iron Throne built by Aegon the Conqueror for nearly 300 years before they were finally overthrown in Robert's Rebellion. All reigns dated after the second coronation and anointment of Aegon I in Oldtown, at the conclusion of the War of Conquest until the reign of Aerys II.
House Targaryen held the Iron Throne for fifteen generations and seventeen kings through five civil wars: the War of Conquest, the Faith Militant Uprising, the Dornish Wars, the Dance of the Dragons and the five Blackfyre Rebellions before Robert's Rebellion saw them defeated and exiled.
This entry deals with the monarchs of House Targaryen and their families from the date of the Conquest to the king immediately previous to the contemporary family, meaning, before the reign of Aerys II, the last Targaryen king.
Court of Aegon I
King Aegon Targaryen, the First of His Name; r. 1-37
The Conqueror, The Dragon, The Dragonlord
- "From this day forth there would be but one king in Westeros."
Second child and only son of Aerion, Lord of Dragonstone. Married to both of his sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys. He had two sons, Aenys I (by Rhaenys) and Maegor I (by Visenya). Founder of the Targaryen dynasty and conqueror of six of the Seven Kingdoms. Crowned as King of All Westeros and Shield of His People. He created the offices of Hand of the King and Wardens of the Realm and founded the Small Council. After the Conquest, he ordered the construction of the Red Keep and forged the Iron Throne from the swords of his enemies in the fiery breath of his dragon, Balerion. The crown of Aegon I was a simple circlet of Valyrian steel, set with big, square-cut rubies.
- The Ace: He is the standard by which all kings measure themselves and are measured. Everyone wants to be The Dragon. He is equally remembered as a great warrior and as a wise king.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Unsurprisingly, Aegon was the object of lust for many noblewomen. He reportedly stayed true to his sister-wives.
- Arch-Enemy: Of the Dornish. Incredibly, he never did have the upper hand with them, for all the power he had.
- Battle Couple: Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys took this trope Up to Eleven by being a dragon-riding, continent-conquering triad.note
- Beige Prose: The few quotes attributed to Aegon show he spoke simply and directly.
- Blood Knight: Aegon loved battle but he never played it as a game.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: He was a pretty good fighter himself, and, before the events that led to the creation of the Kingsguard, fairly cavalier about his security. That lasted until he and Visenya were attacked on the streets of King's Landing, leading to the aforementioned creation of the Kingsguard.
- BrotherSister Incest: Taking it even further than the practices of his ancestors and descendants, Aegon added polygamy into the mix by marrying both of his sisters, in a form of Marry Them All: It was a case of Arranged Marriage with Visenya, as she was the eldest, and Marry for Love with Rhaenys.
- The Chains of Commanding: Despite his Blood Knight ways, he understood this more than the vast majority of his successors. The reason he designed the Iron Throne the way he did was because, "A king should never sit easy."
- The Conqueror: The civilization he was part of collapsed in a fiery cataclysm. So what does he do? He conquers a continent and starts his own dynasty.
- Culture Clash: This was the catalyst of Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenys' invasion of Westeros. (On the surface at least; the trio had already been scouting out the possibility of invading for years beforehand.) King Argilac proposed an alliance between the Targaryens and the Stormlands, via a marriage between Aegon and Argilac's daughter Argella; obviously no one in Westeros recognised Aegon's already existing marriages as valid. Aegon refused on his part but instead offered Orys Baratheon as the prospective bridegroom, since by his own standards his second in command was a highly suitable match: Orys was his most treasured companion after his two wives, an extremely competent warrior, and carried the blood of the dragon in his veins. By Westerosi standards, however, Aegon was simply offering his subordinate...who was also heavily rumoured to be his bastard half-brother. Argilac took it as a gross insult to both himself and his daughter and maimed the messenger in a fit of rage, sending back his own insult to the Targaryens. Who promptly started mustering their army.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Riding dragons, the equivalent of nuclear weaponry, it's no surprising Aegon and his sisters brought almost all of Westeros to their knees. Whoever didn't comply had a dragon's breath to contend with. Whoever wasn't burned to death bent the knee. Except the Dornish, the only people who realized honor isn't worth neither their lives, nor their freedom.
- Death from Above: Used dragons to introduce aerial warfare to Westeros.
- The Determinator: The modern era of Westerosi history begins with the reign of Aegon I. That is how unstoppable he was and how important he is to the lore of ASOIAF.
- Didn't Think This Through:
- Aegon and his sisters thought Dorne - populated by the desecendants of the Rhoynar, who fought and lost against the Valyrian Freehold - would bend the knee just like the rest of Westeros. The Dornish thought otherwise.
- Though he was famed for forging seven disparate nations into one, he failed to fully consider the matter of succession, inefficiently setting up his heir to take his place, and not fully resolving rivalries within his court. It should be noted that his death was very sudden, and no one saw it coming.
- Doting Grandparent: To his first granddaughter, Rhaena.
- Dragon Rider: Balerion the Black Dread, the largest of the Targaryen dragons, was his personal mount during the Conquest.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Had a stroke in the presence of his grandsons.
- Famous Ancestor: Several characters in the present day narrative are descended from him and Rhaenys. Maester Aemon, Daenerys, Viserys and Aegon VI, whether he is Targaryen or Blackfyre, is likewise descended from him as is the still alive Humanoid Abomination Brynden Rivers. If the most popular theory of Jon Snow's parentage is true he is also their descendant. Thanks to Baratheons marrying the Targaryens after Lyonel's rebellion, Robert, Stannis and Renly are his descendants as well, as well as their children, Princess Shireen and Robert's bastards: Gendry, Edric Storm, Mya Stone, and Bella. Much like real-history, later conflicts are all elaborate civil wars between which descendant can claim the founder's legacy best. Ironically, he is also an ancestor of the current Martells who are descendants of the first Daenerys, sister of King Daeron II, since she married Prince Maron Martell.
- To his great descendant Daenerys who is widely seen by many characters as his reincarnated Distaff Counterpart ("Aegon the Conqueror with teats"). Aegon descended from Valyrian refugees and was born on Dragonstone from where he conquered Westeros. Daenerys was likewise born on Dragonstone but grew up in Essos as a Westerosi exile. She likewise grew From Nobody to Nightmare and became a conqueror in Slaver's Bay but unlike Aegon she finds it harder to assimilate to the local culture and traditions, mainly because, unlike Aegon, she is radically changing old traditions. Where Aegon was ruthless and had zero tolerance to anyone who spat on his mercy, Dany's natural kindness often works against her instincts to Make an Example of Them as a ruler.
- Stannis Baratheon, another one of his descendants (albeit more distantly) and the current Lord of Dragonstone considers Aegon one of his role models, and seeks to follow on his vision to build a unified, centralized Kingdom with open borders, rule of law, meritocracy and common national unity that cuts across regionalism. Like Aegon, he's The Stoic whose Only Friend (Orys-Ser Davos) is an outsider he rewarded for merit. He also poses a big threat despite having a small army of Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. Where Aegon was an outsider who willingly assimilated into native religious traditions, Stannis however is a Westerosi who converted to a foreign religion and seeks to impose that on his Kingdom.
- Founder of the Kingdom: The first man ever, in thousands of years, to unify all of Westeros (except Dorne) into a single Kingdom and under a single Crown. His reigned supreme over the Reach, Westerlands, Stormlands, Iron Islands, Vale and the North. He also built the capital city, King's Landing, which eventually became a political and commercial hub of the Seven Kingdoms.Stannis Baratheon: This talk of Seven Kingdoms is a folly. Aegon saw that three hundred years ago when he stood where we are standing. They painted this table at his command. Rivers and bays they painted, hills and mountains, castles and cities and market towns, lakes and swamps and forests... but no borders. It is all one. One realm, for one king to rule alone.Ser Davos Seaworth: One King means peace.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: It's very unlikely anybody from Westeros noticed three rag-tag refugees from an Empire-wide cataclysm coming from such a tiny, volcanic rest-point nobody much cared about. They certainly knew when they arrived, though. After Harrenhal, "Nightmare Fuel" would have been engraved on the collective consciousness, if not before. Even before he really started stepping it up his army was simply his men from Dragonstone, House Velaryon, and House Celtigar, based on a small fort in what would become the Crownlands, only a few thousand men. By the time his Conquest ended with Torrhen Stark's surrender, he could muster an army of thirty thousand, with three dragons and the might of five formerly disparate kingdoms behind him.
- The Good King: Despite his Blood Knight origins, Aegon I gave Westeros nearly four decades of unbroken peace and prosperity after securing his crown. He understood, unlike many kings before and after him, that violence was but a means to an end and not an end unto itself. He also seemed to have a similar philosophy to the Starks about how "the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword" so as not to get too comfortable with it. Aegon made the Iron Throne that way because he felt a king should never feel comfortable sitting on it. As a King, he built trade and created a new capital city, and through his sister Rhaenys provided a common civil code and authority.Daenerys: Aegon the Conqueror brought fire and blood to Westeros, but afterward he gave them peace, prosperity, and justice
- Happily Married: He and Rhaenys were a happy couple (not so much with Visenya) and he was devastated when she was killed.
- Heartbroken Badass: After Rhaenys's death, although he did not wear it openly.
- The Hero: He was this for the Riverlords who turned to him to liberate them from the Evil Overlord Black Harren Hoare. The Riverlands had a history of being conquered and occupied by foreign powers, with some of these foreign powers finding allies among the Riverland nobility (such as the Durrandons and Blackwoods, Hoares and Brackens) before becoming tyrants. Aegon I was the only one who kept faith with the Riverlands, and removed the Ironborn out of the region and gave them rule and peace over their own land.
- Hidden Depths: Recent fluff show Aegon wasn't as infallible as the histories make him to be. The creation of the Kingsguard and him getting Out-Gambitted by House Toland are examples.
- The High King: He managed to unify all of Westeros (save Dorne) under the Iron Throne, overthrowing or subjugating six other kings in the process, as Lord of the Seven Kingdoms.
- Irony: Within five years of his death, the first dispute in the royal succession broke out, as his son Maegor usurps the throne from (and kills) its lawful owner, Aegon's grandson (also named Aegon).
- Know When to Fold Them: After reading the letter sent by Dorne to him in 13 AC, he left Dorne alone as an equal for the rest of his reign.
- Lonely at the Top: See The Stoic entry below. It is said he had only one true friend, Orys Baratheon, who was also rumored to be his bastard half brother. Too bad he lost Orys after he lost his hand in Dorne and retired to the Stormlands, and as well Rhaenys' death left him stuck with the less loved Visenya. Later on, Aenys's sons provided him with some degree of comfort, and it was in their presence that he had the stroke which killed him.
- Marry Them All: He was supposed to marry Visenya by tradition, as they were the eldest son and daughter of their family. He was in love with his younger sister Rhaenys though. So he Took A Third Option and married them both. Apparently, love is not always the death of duty—take that, Maester Aemon!
- Might Makes Right: Aegon had absolutely no claim to any of the seven kingdoms he invaded and reshaped into a single, unified realm. Many characters point out his "right" was his three dragons and nothing more. In Aegon's defense, every king in Westeros before the conquest was operating under the same logic, regularly going to war with each other to carve out more land for their kingdoms.
- My Greatest Failure: Dorne was the one Westerosi kingdom he could never properly subjugate, and he lost his most beloved sister/wife Rhaenys in the attempt.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed:
- William the Conqueror. Pretty self-explanatory, minus the dragons and the aforementioned incest, an absolute outsider to a land where he is gravely outnumbered and conquered by bringing something new to the battlefield (the Saxons hadn't faced anything like the Norman heavy cavalry before).
- Also greatly resembles Henry VII (at least during his early years), coming from across the sea with a small force and welding a previously gravely divided kingdom together, before providing decades of pragmatic and peaceful rule. Aegon's character would also dim considerably with the loss of Rhaenys—much as Henry VII would after losing his wife Elizabeth of York and his son Arthur (although the realm at least didn't suffer years of paranoia and plots, much as England did during Henry VII's winter years).
- Likewise, his focus on ruling and administration after winning his battles, overall stoic personality and the peace he brought to Westeros after the constant wars of earlier kingdoms recalls the First Roman Emperor Augustus, especially since his immediate descendants proved to be one Sketchy Successor after another.
- Non-Action Guy: He is regarded as one of the best warriors of his age but he disliked fighting when it wasn't necessary, not even participating in tourneys. He also preferred diplomacy to violence, once saying that it was better to keep rebellions from popping up then it was to have to put them down.
- Noodle Incident: The contents of the letter sent by Dorne to him in 13 AC were known to him only, for he burnt the letter immediately after reading it. Whatever was inside the letter convinced him to make peace with Dorne as equals, and the peace lasted for the rest of his reign (almost 24 years). Also, after reading the letter, he flew to Dragonstone on Balerion and only returned the next day to sign the peace accord. Whatever happened on Dragonstone on that day also became a mystery.
- Outside-Context Problem: An interesting take on this. On the one hand, people will have certainly known that dragons existed and that some in Valyria could control them, so "outside" doesn't seem to quite fit. However, on the other hand, it seems Westeros was supremely unprepared for what this could mean in battle, hinting that they had genuinely never had this particular combo hit them before.note Knowing in theory what has happened to others is often remarkably different to being ready to face the reality of it hitting you. Which the Five Kingdoms they hit at the start demonstrably were not, hence he and his sisters retroactively became "heroes". The one Kingdom to give the Targaryens even a bit of bother before reaching accommodation? Dorne: where many people from Essos-under-Valyrian-rule had settled and whose descendants worked out how to use the environment against even dragons.
- Parental Favoritism: Aegon evidently doted on his firstborn Aenys and had little to do with Maegor, despite Maegor appearing to have far more in common with his father. While it could be argued that he was simply grooming his eldest heir to one day rule, it's implied that he was more attached to Aenys because he was the son he had with his beloved Rhaenys, while Maegor was born of Visenya, whom he had a much colder relationship with. After Rhaenys was lost to him, Aenys was all that remained of her.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: He told Harren the Black "At nightfall, your line will end." before he burned his castle.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Aegon founds his dynasty but his failure in Dorne costs him both Rhaenys (who was MIA) and Orys (who lost his hand and withdrew from King's Landing).
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Though he's famed as a ruthless conqueror and unparalleled warrior, he preferred peaceful solutions to problems, and is noted for taking steps to avert rebellions rather than letting them happen, and quashing them outright, as Maegor would.
- When the Prince of Dorne sent his own daughter to negotiate a peace settlement between Dorne and the Iron Throne, Aegon's subjects wanted the girl to pay for the sins of her countrymen, ranging from sending her back to her father minus a hand to selling her into sexual slavery. Aegon flatly refused to countenance such, insisting the princess was an envoy and would be afforded the respect due to one.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Rhaenys's disappearance came the Dragon's Wroth, where the Targaryens burnt every Dornish stronghold at least once, with the exception of Sunspear, in a chevauchée strategy intended to turn the Dornish against the Martells. Sadly for Aegon, it didn't work, and he was eventually pressured (by means we still don't know to this day) into accepting his enemies' terms of peace and equality.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He maintained that smallfolk should see their king from time to time and he made regular processions throughout Westeros, holding court in both the great castles and small hovels of his kingdom.
- Rule of Symbolism: Aegon had the Iron Throne specifically designed to be uncomfortable to sit upon, believing that no ruler should sit easy, serving as a constant reminder of their responsibilities. Unfortunately, everyone since has thought it was to remind rulers of their enemies.
- Sibling Team: With his sister-wives, Visenya and Rhaenys. This was eventually broken. In 10 AC, Rhaenys disappeared while warring in Dorne. Later in his life, Aegon was said to have grown distant from Visenya.
- Sketchy Successor: Both his sons were this. Not even Maegor's cruelty could crush the rebellions which began under Aenys's rule. It would be up to his grandson to usher in another decades-long reign of peace for the realm.
- The Stoic: Largely discreet and self-isolating, Aegon I shared his full confidence with no one save his sister-wives and his (first) Hand, Orys Baratheon.
- The World of Ice and Fire implied that this trait of his went Up to Eleven later in his life. Orys lost his sword hand while warring with Dorne, resigned as Hand and returned to the Stormlands. Rhaenys's death (also at Dorne) surely did not help matters.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: He dies of a stroke, with no prior mention of any health concerns before that. "Died of a stroke" is literally the sum total of time Gyladyn spends on the matter, before moving on to the after-effects of his death.
- There Can Be Only One: When Aegon arrived to conquer the Seven Kingdoms, each had, of course, their own ruler. But for Aegon, there could only be one king. Either through brute force or willful surrender each kingdom (except for Dorne) fell until they were one realm, under a single ruler.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Aegon of House Targaryen, First of His Name, King of All Westeros, Shield of His People, King of the Andals, the Rhoynarnote and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdomsnote , and Protector of the Realm.
- The Übermensch: Armed with three dragons, a small army on Dragonstone and a vision of a united Westeros with himself and his sister-wives ruling above, Aegon forever changed the political landscape of Westeros in ways that are still being felt in the present, 300 years after his landing. The fact that calendars use AL to denote years after his landing, much like how BC and AD are used in real life to denote before and after the birth of Christ, epitomises how much of an effect he had on the world-history of Westeros. Like a true ubermensch, Aegon also decided his own moral code, forcing the Faith to accept and legitimize an incestuous bigamist with the Divine Right of Kings.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Aegon naming Aenys (elder son from the younger sister-wife) over Maegor (younger son from the elder sister-wife) as his heir would send some of his grandsons to their graves thanks to Maegor's violent usurpation.
- The Usurper: For a given definition, since the Throne claimed by Aegon never existed before him (usurpation in the strict legal sense only applies when you take over a pre-existing claim and inheritance) and had to be created out of whole cloth by right of conquest and acclamation, as noted by all court historians. Aegon, as the son of Valyrian lords on a tiny outpost at Westeros, was an outsider to the Westerosi nobility who had no legal claim over the Seven Kingdoms and only truly had popular support in the Riverlands (whom he liberated from the Ironborn); for the other Lords of Westeros, he had the support of his three dragons.
- Walking the Earth: Maester Yandel confirms that contrary to popular rumor, Aegon and his sisters traveled all across Westeros years before their conquest, learning many things about the regions, differing customs and local grudges. That research fed into the creation of the Painted Table at Dragonstone, a huge large-scale model of a united Westeros. Needless to say, it paid off big time.
- Also after the conquest he often traveled across the continent, visiting this or that lord to keep an eye on his domains.
- Weapon of Choice: The Valyrian steel longsword Blackfyre.
- Worthy Opponent: After signing a peace accord with Dorne in 13 AC, he honored it for the rest of his life. This trope is in there somewhere.
- Young Conqueror: He got started on his conquest at the age of twenty-seven, having planned ahead extensively before setting out.
Queen Visenya Targaryen
Oldest child and daughter of Aerion, Lord of Dragonstone. Aegon I's elder sister-wife and chief military advisor. She and Aegon had a son together, Maegor I. During the War of Conquest, she rode the dragon Vhagar. Visenya was the original creator of the Kingsguard (hand-picking the members of the very first one herself). She died in 44 AC.
- 24-Hour Armour: The Dornish Wars made her warier than ever, to the point she started wearing a shirt of iron mail day and night, even under her fancy court gowns.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Done during the Vale campaign. The Queen Regent of the Vale was shocked to see her and her dragon playing in the garden with her son.
- Battle Couple: Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys took this trope Up to Eleven by being a dragon-riding, continent-conquering triad.
- Braids of Action: Visenya often braided her hair or bound it up in rings.
- BrotherSister Incest: Aegon was originally betrothed to only Visenya, his older sister, as per Valyrian tradition. By his choice, he insisted on marrying their younger sister Rhaenys as well.
- Co-Dragons: As well as wives, both Visenya and Rhaenys were Aegon's most trusted confidantes and enforcers of his will. After Rhaenys's death, Visenya played a more active role in politics, and as a mentor to her son Maegor the Cruel.
- Cool Sword: Dark Sister, which became an Ancestral Weapon like her brother's sword Blackfyre (the sword of Kings), only it was given on merit to the best warriors (including Daemon Targaryen, Aemon the Dragonknight and Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers).
- Dark Action Girl: She actively participated in the Conquest and helped put down a number of rebellions against her son, fighting on dragonback and wielding a Valyrian steel sword, Dark Sister. She also developed a rather sinister reputation; she was known to be ruthless and rumored to dabble in poisons and sorcery.
- Dragon Rider: Visenya was famous for riding the dragon Vhagar, and was more of a warrior than Rhaenys. Years into their reign, she and her Valyrian steel sword, Dark Sister, played a vital role in foiling an assassination attempt on Aegon's life in the streets of King's Landing. This led directly to the creation of the Kingsguard.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Gyldayn spends even less time on her death than he did on Aegon. She's just very suddenly dead when Maegor comes back from some slaughtering, without even saying what she died of.
- Evil Matriarch: It's rumored that she killed her nephew Aenys (the son of Aegon and Rhaenys), so as to ensure the rise of her son Maegor.
- Evil Sorceress: Was rumored to be this.
- Femme Fatale: Both Visenya and Rhaenys were this but in different ways. Visenya was the seductress, and has been described as having a 'harsh' beauty.
- Cersei Lannister. Despite her achievements, Visenya is similar to Cersei Lannister in that both had a son with their brother, and did not see the need to curb said sons' cruelty. In the same vein, Maegor is what Joffrey would have become if he had learned to fight like Robert (and bothered to study as well).
- Arya Stark. Visenya has something like The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry with her traditionally feminine sister, but with the exception that she was the eldest sister and also was given proper training along with her brother, while Arya was less encouraged in grooming her combat skills.
- Founder of the Kingdom: Visenya and Rhaenys, and their dragons, were vital in shaping Aegon's kingdom and, occasionally, even ruled in his stead while he was away.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Although they share their brother Aegon between them, they compete for him too, each in her own way. It is said that her brother-husband Aegon spent ten nights with Rhaenys for every one with Visenya.
- I Have Your Son: What her fun encounter with child king Ronnel Arryn really meant. His mother, who was gathering defenses for the Vale unexpectedly found Visenya and her huge dragon Vhagar playing in the yard with Ronnel. No actual threat was formulated, but Queen Sharra took the hint that any resistance was useless.
- Lady of War: Centuries later, she is one of the only women in history ever respected for their skill in warfare. She was also the creator of the Kingsguard. She may have had a touch of the Blood Knight about her with it, too: she loved a good battle and shone in a well-planned war.
- The Matchmaker: Along with her sister she delighted in matching sons and daughters of noble houses to forge new alliances and tie all of them to the Iron Throne.
- The Man Behind the Man: While the military side was mostly Aegon's responsibility, many of the ideas regarding the governance of Westeros came from his sisters. The creation of the Kingsguard was Visenya's, for instance. Visenya also played a major role as a mentor and adviser to her son Maegor.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: When the Faith Militant uprising began, she made two suggestions to Aenys on how to handle it - 1: Dissolve Aegon and Rhaena's marriage immediately or 2: Go burn the Starry Sept to the ground.
- Mystical Pregnancy: It's implied that she used some kind of dark magic to conceive Maegor. She had not had any children after ten years of marriage (to be fair, Aegon's obvious preference for Rhaenys didn't help here), and the courtiers, seeing an opportunity for advancement, began to whisper that she was barren and went as far to suggest that Aegon should take another wife. Suddenly (and very conveniently), Visenya announced that she was pregnant with a son and gave indeed birth to one, cementing her position as queen.
- Alternatively, it might have been mystical for a completely different reason: neither sister had a huge number of healthy kids. Both only gave birth successfully well after the battles of conquest. Both used a lot of dragonfire for an extended period of time. And, the series does point out that fire magic and pregnancy don't mix all that well. Visenya may have avoided magic for long enough to successfully carry to term.
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: It is said Aegon preferred the more "graceful" and "playful" Rhaenys to the "cold" and "harsh" Visenya. Although Aegon preferred Rhaenys' company, he didn't shun Visenya.
- Not So Above It All: Despite her reputation as a stern Ice Queen, she apparently enjoyed the antics of her fool Lord Monkeyface, and when the fool died choking on a peach pit, she replaced him with a actual ape, which was dressed with the late fool's clothes.
- Our Founder: Of the Kingsguard, which she modeled after the Night's Watch.
- Pet the Dog: Despite her reputation as a stern Lady of War and probably the most ruthless of the Targaryen siblings, her conquest of the Vale was remarkably peaceful and she granted the Vale's child king Ronnel his wish of a fun ride on Vhagar. Three times, actually.
- Sole Survivor: Of the original conqueror trio (plus Orys). Aegon and Rhaenys died decades before her, while she died well into Maegor's reign. Particularly ironic since she was the eldest sibling.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: She gives one to her nephew/stepson Aenys I, for his indecisiveness and lack of spine in dealing with the High Septon.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Rhaenys was much more graceful and playful than her sister Visenya. She loved music and poetry, while Visenya was the warrior and strategist.
- Tomboy Princess: She was this, Warrior Princess and Royals Who Actually Do Something wrapped up in a single, female, ass-kicking package so iconic, even modern Westeros holds her in awe rather than contempt for managing it.
- Undying Loyalty: Despite their apparently frosty relationship, she was Aegon's loyal right-hand woman, and formed the Kingsguard after demonstrating that the current guards were insufficient, all to protect her brother.
- Unwanted Spouse: Was the lesser loved sister-wife. It was even rumored she was appointed to supervise the Red Keep's construction so Aegon wouldn't have to suffer her presence.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Even though she was a strong supporter of Maegor's usurpation of the throne, the various historians/scholars didn't call her out on this.
- Weapon of Choice: The Valyrian steel sword, Dark Sister.
- Wicked Stepmother: Is this to Aenys. Even if she didn't poison him, Visenya was instrumental in Maegor consolidating power at the start of his reign, even though Aenys's sons were the lawful heirs to the Iron Throne.
Queen Rhaenys Targaryen
Youngest child and second daughter of Aerion, Lord of Dragonstone. Aegon I's younger sister-wife and the love of his life. The two of them had a son together, Aenys I. During the War of Conquest, Rhaenys rode the dragon Meraxes. The current line of Targaryens is descended from Aenys, her son with Aegon. She went missing in battle in Hellholt (located in Dorne) in 10 AC.
- Action Mom: She fought the Dornish after giving birth to her son; unfortunately, she went missing in action when Aenys was around three or four years old, and he had to grow up without her.
- Battle Couple: Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys took this trope Up to Eleven by being a dragon-riding, continent-conquering triad. Rhaenys was the sweetling of the three, and even she took part, riding the dragon Meraxes in the Conquest.
- BrotherSister Incest: Aegon married both of his sisters, although Rhaenys was his favorite. He was originally betrothed to only Visenya as per Valyrian custom, but insisted on marrying Rhaenys as well.
- Co-Dragons: As well as wives, both Rhaenys and Visenya were Aegon's most trusted confidantes and enforcers of his will. During the Conquest, Aegon often dispatched both of them independently to subdue the remaining kingdoms of Westeros. Having actual dragons of their own helped.
- Dragon Rider: Rode the dragon Meraxes. She was said to have loved flying and spent more time riding her dragon than Aegon and Visenya ever did.
- Famous Ancestor: All surviving Targaryens (and House Blackfyre) descend from her, as her sister Visenya's only son died childless.
- A Fate Worse Than Death: Played with. There is in-universe speculation that she survived Meraxes's fall, but was captured, tortured and mutilated by the Dornish. According to this interpretation, the mysterious letter was offering Aegon peace in exchange for giving her a Mercy Kill. However, considering the lasting peace the Iron Throne had with Dorne after the accord was signed, and that some of the Dornish lords were known for their affinity to dark magic, a more plausible scenario was that she was tortured for a blood magic ritual which could have cost the life of her and Aegon's only son at the time (who was at Dragonstone in that moment). note
- Founder of the Kingdom: Visenya and Rhaenys, and their dragons, played a vital role in shaping Aegon's kingdom and, occasionally, even ruled in his stead while he was away. Rhaenys was the conciliator, and more of a diplomat while Visenya was martial.
- The High Queen: She was very involved in politics, as well as being adored by the people of Westeros.
- Irony: Despite being the diplomat and Visenya the warrior, it was Rhaenys who died a warrior's death in Dorne, while Visenya ended up playing a diplomatic role both in recruiting the Lords of Cracklaw Point and in the rise of her son Maegor.
- I Warned You: During the initial War of Conquest, Rhaenys went to Dorne as a diplomat to convince Dorne to surrender. Princess Meria Martell refused and warned Rhaenys that she was not wanted there and to return at her peril. Years later, she returned as a warrior to Dorne, and died there. How she died is a matter of speculation.
- The Matchmaker: Along with her sister she delighted in matching sons and daughters of noble houses to forge new alliances and tie all of them to the Iron Throne.
- Missing Mom: Aenys was 3/4 years old when she went missing in Dorne.
- Never Found the Body: Her body was never returned to the Iron Throne. Do note that her dragon Meraxes's skull was eventually returned. Combined with the mysterious letter, it is not hard to postulate that something happened to her after she fell off Meraxes. The Dornish noble house who controlled the place where she went missing (House Uller of Hellholt) also had an unsavory reputation.
- Nice Girl: Of the first three Targaryens - she was generally regarded as the friendliest, she did her best to knit the new Kingdom of Westeros together, she was genuinely concerned for the plight of the smallfolk like her descendant, Aegon V, and like him, initiated reforms like banning the raiding of the Ironborn for women and limiting the number of blows a husband could strike to six (one for each of the Seven but the Stranger) which considering the nature of Westeros, probably qualifies as Fair for Its Day.
- Noodle Implements: The above-mentioned letter, which was burnt after Aegon read it (and he never mentioned the contents to anyone else). Do note that the letter was sent to Aegon in 13 AC, three years after Meraxes went down in Dorne.
- Politically Active Princess: Rhaenys was on personal terms with all the Lords of Westeros, establishing dynastic ties and influences, and was much missed when she died.
- Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Although she was more interested in music, poetry and flying, she's most famous for being a dragon rider and taking part in Aegon's conquest. She also went missing in action during battle.
- Really Gets Around: Was rumored to have entertained many bedmates while Aegon was away from the capital (though that might have been just used as an excuse from Maegor's supporters to claim that Aenys wasn't Aegon's son).
- Uncertain Doom: Her defeat and eventual demise in Dorne is not debated, but her actual cause of death is. Historians don't agree on whether Meraxes fell out of the sky resulting in both of their deaths, or if Rhaenys survived the fall of Meraxes but was captured and tortured to death afterwards. A mysterious letter sent to Aegon by the Prince of Dorne, whose contents are never revealed, but implied to concern her fate, doesn't help.
- The Woman Behind the Man: While the military side was mostly Aegon's responsibility, a lot of the ideas regarding the governance of Westeros came from his sisters. The whole idea of building alliances through marriage was Rhaenys's, for instance.
- The Rashomon: There are three definable possibilities of her demise:
- She plunged to her death with Meraxes;
- She survived the fall and spent the rest of her life in agony being tortured at Hellholt by the Ullers unless Aegon relented his desire to conquer Dorne, giving her a quick death;
- She survived the fall, was captured and had her blood used to curse her son (who at the time of her disapearance/death went back to crawling like a baby) unless Aegon relented his desire to conquer Dorne.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Rhaenys was much more graceful and playful than her sister Visenya. She loved music and poetry, while Visenya was the warrior and strategist.
- Youngest Child Wins: Besides Maegor, all other Targaryen kings were descended from her.
Court of Aenys I
King Aenys Targaryen, the First of His Name; r. 37-42
- ...as the dragon grew, so too did Aenys.—The World of Ice and Fire
Son of Aegon I and Rhaenys. Married to Alyssa Velaryon, with whom he had six children (Rhaena, Aegon, Viserys, Jaehaerys I, Alysanne and Vaella). His reign proved troublesome as one rebellion after another had to be crushed, the most serious being the Faith Militant Uprising. Aenys's inability to crush the rebellion condemned him as a weak and feckless ruler. The crown of Aenys I was large and heavily gilt.
- Adult Fear: Your own brother killing two of your kids!
- Learning his eldest son and daughter, Aegon and Rhaena, were under siege at Crakehall, caused Aenys' failing health to deteriorate, and he died three days later.
- Always Murder: Aenys' bowel illness was said to have been caused by his aunt Visenya.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Though he was generally weak and preferred to avoid confrontation, when his brother's second marriage caused chaos, Aenys angrily gave Maegor the choice between setting aside his second wife or exile.
- The Charmer: Aenys was apparently an affable man and made friends easily, especially with women.
- Cain and Abel: The Abel to Maegor's Cain.
- Cool Crown: It was designed with the faces of each of the Seven. Cool, but maybe a little ostentatious.
- Dragon Rider: Rode Quicksilver.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Posthumously. Maegor is given all the credit for building the Red Keep, the royal seat of power, despite the fact that Aenys was the one who originally envisioned the castle and began its construction in the first place.
- Extreme Doormat: His desire to be a Nice Guy and win everyone's approval resulted in him being a weak and feckless ruler that everyone, from his advisors to his brother to the church, walked all over.
- Fatal Flaw: His indecisiveness. He nearly lost the realm when several dangerous rebels rose up to challenge his reign and he had no idea how to properly handle the situation, and encountered the same problem when he incurred the Faith Militant's wrath.
- Foil: To Tytos "The Toothless Lion" Lannister: A good man, but an abysmal ruler whose regime was sustained by his far more ruthless but capable family members. Unlike Tywin, who was frustrated with his father's weaknesses but still loved him, Visenya and Maegor absolutely despised Aenys for Aegon electing Aenys heir over Maegor, so Maegor usurped Aenys' son after his death (and if rumours are to be believed, Visenya accelerated Aenys's death when he fell ill from stress).
- I Gave My Word: Lord Goren Greyjoy crushed a rebellion, so Aenys offered to give him anything his heart desired. He asked to expel the Faith of the Seven from the Iron Islands. Aenys had to comply because he gave his word of honor. The Faith never forgave him for this blunder.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: Part of the problem with his kingship. Not exactly a bad thing, but not exactly something that wins approval in Westeros.
- Ill Boy: He was a sickly boy in his early years. After bonding with his dragon, Quicksilver, he noticeably became more healthy and stronger (though never to the extent of his father).
- Inadequate Inheritor: Aenys was a different kind of dragon, to say the least. This only furthered rumors that he was illegitimate.
- Irony: The more sickly of the Dragon's two sons ended up being the one to continue the Dragonlord's bloodline.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: Had none of his father's martial prowess, political savvy, or iron will, nor any of his mother's skill as a conciliator and diplomat. Justified in the case of him missing his mother's skills. See Missing Mom above.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Was rumored to have been fathered by one of Rhaenys' supposed lovers rather than by Aegon. Although he was most likely legitimate, just a major disappointment.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: His children with his wife Alyssa: Rhaena, Aegon, Viserys, Jaehaerys, Alysanne, and Vaella.
- Momma's Boy: Needed his mom but lost her at a young age.
- Nice Guy: Too nice, unfortunately.
- Non-Action Guy: He was not the warrior either of his parents were. He did not even see himself fit to carry his father's sword.
- It should be noted, however, that Aenys was trained in combat as befit a prince and was by all accounts perfectly adequate in his skill at arms. He just wasn't a Master Swordsman, a Blood Knight or The Ace in terms of combat like his parents, aunt and half-brother were and had no love for fighting, so no one cared.
- Opinion Flip Flop: Another of his problems, he'd agree with the last person who spoke to him, unlike Maegor, who never changed his opinion once it was made up.
- Pretty Boy: Described as being tall and slender, with softer features than his father. He had his long curly hair perfumed and often wore purple clothes to match his lilac eyes.
- Purple Is Powerful: Subverted. He was royalty and had a penchant for purple attire, however this was not to showcase his power but rather to accentuate his purple eyes. Aenys was in fact a weak ruler.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: With the Faith Militant's rebellion against him gathering momentum, after a narrowly thwarted assassination attempt by the Poor Fellows, Aenys abandoned King's Landing for the relative safety of Dragonstone.
- Unfit for Greatness: Despite being the son of The Dragon himself, Aenys proved to have little of his father's political savvy, military strategy or skill on the battlefield. As such, the Faith Militant (correctly) perceived him as weak and rebelled against him due to being a product of incest. His indecisive handling of the crisis did little to dissuade this assertion.
- Memetic Mutation: The sad thing about Aenys is that a lot of his reputation as an incompetent weakling is historical exaggeration: he wasn't particularly skilled but he wasn't a totally bad guy either (he wasn't an insane tyrant with major flaws), and you get the impression that he'd have made a halfway-decent caretaker king if born into an era of peace (the way that Viserys I was). But the Conquest was still in living memory and the Targaryen dynasty was still young and in need of firm rulers to cement their rule, and Aenys couldn't really rise to the occasion. It's also specifically said that he wasn't totally incompetent at martial skills (as you might assume to contrast him with the preternaturally skilled warrior Maegor): it's said he actually did just well enough not to embarrass himself, but little more—he wasn't tripping over his sword or anything, but compared to the legacy of his father people considered him mediocre at best.
- Unfortunate Name: His name has No Pronunciation Guide, but hopefully it's supposed to be pronounced "a-nees," not...well...you know.
- Upper-Class Twit: Aenys had a fondness for court life and the arts, but little knowledge of the way of leadership. It wasn't even in the way that Daemon Blackfyre was a warrior while Daeron II was a bookish academic—Daeron II was an academic skilled in matters of governance and turned out to be a strong-willed administrator. Aenys is described as just a dilettante, dabbling in alchemy and artwork and the like, with little interest in pragmatic topics that would have aided his rule. He wasn't much of a "twit" in his youth, because at least he is described as truly being charming in person—in his youth, before people became disgusted with his incompetence.
- Younger Than They Look: Was only 35 when he died, yet looked twice his age due to stress.
Queen Rhaena Targaryen
The Queen in the West, the Queen in the East
Oldest child of Aenys I and Alyssa, and widow of Prince Aegon (with whom she had twin daughters, Aerea and Rhaella). She later became one of Maegor's Black Brides, and was one of the two wives who survived him.
- All There in the Manual: Never mentioned in the books proper, only in The World of Ice & Fire and Fire & Blood.
- Ambiguous Situation: Claims to have attacked Maegor with a hidden knife, although there's no way to know for sure since she told this story years after Maegor's death.
- And Now You Must Marry Me: Was one of Maegor's Black Brides.
- Berserk Button: After what happens with Androw, when Alysanne suggests finding her another husband, she snarls that if anyone tries, she'll ensure them a quicker end than Androw.Rhaena: I fed my last husband to my dragon. If you make me take another, I may eat him myself.
- Broken Bird: Her father died (possibly killed by Visenya), her brother/husband was murdered by Maegor, and her younger brother tortured to death by one of his wives before she herself was forced to marry Maegor against her will. Her eldest daughter was a delinquent who hated her, the woman she loved left her and betrayed her by stealing three of her family's dragon eggs, her husband who she neglected went insane and poisoned her friends and servants. Rhaena spent her final days living sadly in Harrenhal.
- BrotherSister Incest: Previously married to her younger brother, Prince Aegon.
- Dead Guy Junior: Likely named after her grandmother Rhaenys, who died when Rhaena's father Aenys was still a child.
- Despair Event Horizon: It's hard to decide when exactly she crossed this, but when her younger sister Queen Alysanne came to visit her at Dragonstone in an attempt to comfort her, Alysanne found her unresponsive.
- Dragon Rider: Rode Dreamfyre.
- Fantasy-Forbidding Mother: She forced her daughter Aerea to stay on Dragonstone and forbid her from returning to her aunt and uncle's court at King's Landing where Aerea had been happiest.
- Freudian Excuse: Among other things, she was a terrible, neglectful mother to her daughter and an abusive, cheating wife to Androw Farman. Given her horrific traumas suffered at the hands of Maegor, her many flaws and problems are not surprising.
- Freudian Threat: She threatened to castrate Rogar Baratheon if he ever took another wife after her mother died giving birth to his daughter and she ordered Androw Farman's penis cut off and force fed to him after he murdered her friends in Dragonstone, but he killed himself before it could be carried out.
- Girl Posse: Since her marriage with Androw, she had a group of lady friends consisting Elissa Farman, Alayne Royce, and Samantha Stokeworth; all stayed at Faircastle to accompany her. Franklyn Farman dubbed them "Four-Headed Beast" as they often rode Rhaena's dragon Dreamfyre together. After ascension of Lord Franklyn Farman and Rhaena left for Dragonstone with her husband, all three ladies accompanied her and remained part of her court at Dragonstone until Elissa left Dragonstone, while Alayne and Samantha were poisoned to death by a vengeful Androw who grew jealous of Rhaena's friendships with her ladies.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Has shades of this after her younger siblings Jaehaerys and Alysanne became King and Queen, respectively. When Alysanne came to visit her at Dragonstone in an attempt to comfort her, Alysanne was approached by Rhaena's daughter Aerea who asked Alysanne to take her back to King's Landing. Alysanne brought Aerea's request to Rhaena, who refused coldly, stating that Rhaena had nothing and Alysanne had everything, but would not have Rhaena's daughter too, concluding that "you have my throne, content yourself with that."
- Hide Your Lesbians: Archmaester Gyldayn all but explicitly says that Rhaena was a lesbian, mentioning that most people considered her marriage to Androw Farman a mere cover for Rhaena's relationship with his sister Elissa.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Didn't seem to understand the people around her, which helped contribute to her sorrows later in life. Her lover Elissa Farman really didn't want to stay at Dragonstone and eventually got so fed up with being stuck in the place with no ship that she stole three dragon eggs to finance one. Her husband Androw Farman was so bitter about being a cover for her relationship and being regularly mocked by everyone that he murdered all the women he could that she might care about. Her daughter Aerea so hated being stuck at Dragonstone with no friends and nothing to do that she flew off with the dragon Balerion and died horribly.
- I Coulda Been a Contender!: One of her major grumbles was being passed over inheriting the throne in favor of Jaehaerys. Despite this, she never showed any interest in governing anyway, preferring to spend her time at Dragonstone sulking.
- Incest Is Relative: After Aegon's death she was forced into marriage by Maegor.
- I Have Your Wife: She went along with the marriage to Maegor after Tyanna showed up with her twin daughters Rhaella and Aerea.
- It's All About Me:
- She got very self-focused after Maegor died. Case in point with Aerea. Rhaena, who demanded her daughter be made to live with her, tended to ignore her for long periods, barely giving her the time of day even when they were together, and arguing more often than not, but when it was suggested that Aerea be allowed to leave Dragonstone, she threw a fit at the thought of Alysanne taking her daughter away from her.
- Not to to mention with Elissa Farman, who repeatedly asked for permission to leave Dragonstone, only for Rhaena to refuse because she could not bear to see her leave, until Elissa got fed up and left anyway.
- Never My Fault: Wails that she gave birth to a monster when Aerea ran off, ignoring the pretty big detail that Aerea ran off because of her awful parenting.
- No Social Skills: She never seems to have got on with other people, or even made basic pretenses of socializing. People who visited her, even assuming they were genuine and not suck ups, got the cold shoulder.
- Odd Friendship: Formed one with Maegor Towers, the young and sickly Lord of Harrenhal, after she settled there in her later years, and took in his servants after he died.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Abandoned Maegor after she learned of her brother Jaehaerys's claim to the Iron Throne, stealing the sword Blackfyre when she did so.
- Shrinking Violet: Started off as one, except around her siblings.
- This Is Unforgivable!: She held Rogar Baratheon responsible for her mother Alyssa's death, accusing him of causing her death by getting her pregnant, despite Alyssa being well beyond a safe childbearing age, and threatened that if he didn't properly care for his children by Alyssa, and if she heard he'd even considered taking another wife, she'd make Storm's End a second Harrenhal.
- Together in Death: Invoked by her brother Jaehaerys after Rhaena died; he commanded she be cremated and her ashes interred at Harrenhal, so she might be close to the spot where her first husband, their brother Aegon had died.Jaehaerys I: My brother Aegon died at the hands of our uncle in the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye. His wife, my sister Rhaena, was not with him at the battle, but she died that day as well.
- Trauma Button: After Androw's stunt with the Tears of Lys, mentioning his name would send her into a rage.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: She used to be a doting elder sister to her siblings and it was said that she placed a dragon egg in the cradles of her brother Jaehaerys and sister Alysanne. Years of trauma turn her into a cold and bitter woman to the point that she sent Alysanne away when the latter came to visit her at Dragonstone in an attempt to comfort her, coldly stating that Alysanne has her throne now.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Her and her daughters' fates after escaping Maegor were left unrevealed until the publication of Fire & Blood.
- Widow Woman: Was widowed three times. Her brother-husband Aegon was killed by their uncle Maegor, who later forced her to marry him. After Maegor died, she married Androw Farman (although she was more interested in his sister). The marriage deteriorated quickly and he eventually killed himself to avoid being punished for poisoning her friends because he was tired of being The Beard and a Butt-Monkey. After vacating Dragonstone because of these these events, King Jaehaerys granted her the use of Harrenhal, where she secluded herself for the rest of her days. Which were relatively peaceful, surprisingly enough. Her eventful life was just that sucky, even Harrenhal couldn't add more to it.
Prince Aegon Targaryen
Aenys I and Alyssa's second child and eldest son and his father's heir. Was married to his older sister Rhaena (with whom he had twin daughters, Aerea and Rhaella). He was killed by his uncle in the Battle Beneath the Gods' Eye in 43 AC.
- All There in the Manual: He was only mentioned in The World of Ice & Fire. Fire & Blood expands on him a bit further.
- BrotherSister Incest: With Rhaena.
- Could Have Been A Contender: Westerosi history would have been very different had he lived.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Died in one of these: Aegon and Quicksilver didn't stand a chance against his Evil Uncle Maegor mounted on the back of Balerion the Black Dread.
- Disney Villain Death: A non-villainous example: Balerion tore Quicksilver apart and Aegon fell to his death.
- Dragon Rider: Rode Quicksilver, his father's dragon.
- General Failure: He wasn't much of a commander and he made mistakes that ultimately cost him his life. Probably his worst was ignoring the advice of his military advisers to destroy each of the six smaller armies loyal to Maegor before they could combine, as he was loath to divide his own forces. As a result of that error, his army was surrounded and crushed.
- Generation Xerox: Was far more like his grandfather than his father.
- Named After Somebody Famous: The first Targaryen named after The Conqueror, and the first to start the trend of bad things happening to anyone who takes it.
- Posthumous Sibling: After his death, his mother Alyssa Velaryon had two more children with her second husband Rogar Baratheon, Boremund and Jocelyn.
- Rebel Leader: A failed one.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His marriage to his sister was what caused the escalating of the Faith Militant's revolt. Maegor didn't make it any better.
- Warrior Prince: He tried to be one.
Prince Viserys Targaryen
Aenys I and Alyssa's third child and second son. Was tortured to death by Tyanna of the Tower in 44 AC (after his mother and siblings fled King's Landing during the chaos caused by Visenya's death).
- All There in the Manual: Only mentioned in The World of Ice & Fire.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: After his mother flees King's Landing, he's tortured for nine days before he finally dies.
- Dead Guy on Display: Maegor abandoned his body in the Red Keep's courtyard, hoping Queen Alyssa would return to claim the body. She didn't.
- Posthumous Sibling: After his death, his mother Alyssa Velaryon had two more children with her second husband Rogar Baratheon, Boremund and Jocelyn.
- The Squire: For his uncle Maegor.
Court of Maegor I
King Maegor Targaryen, the First of His Name; r. 42-48
- "He is better remembered as Maegor the Cruel, and it was a well-earned sobriquet, for no crueler king ever sat the Iron Throne. His reign began with blood and ended in blood as well."— Maester Yandel
Son of Aegon I and Queen Visenya. Maegor served as Hand during the short reign of his half-brother Aenys. Had a total of six wives (Ceryse Hightower, Alys Harroway, Tyanna of the Tower, and the "Black Brides": Elinor Costayne, Jeyne Westerling and his niece Rhaena Targaryen). Though Aenys had three sons of his own, Maegor came to the throne ahead of his nephews. He put down the Faith Militant rebellion with much bloodshed which earned his In-Series Nickname "The Cruel". It was in his reign that construction of the Red Keep was completed. (The royal apartments are housed in the holdfast that continues to bear Maegor's name.) Died without (surviving) issue, supposedly killed by the blades of the Iron Throne. He was awarded Blackfyre by King Aenys and wore Aegon the Conqueror's crown. He was the first and only King from Visenya's line.
- 0% Approval Rating: Maegor is the most hated Targaryen king who ever lived. To the point that his very name is still used as an expletive. Unlike the other two worst kings (Aegon IV, Aerys II), Maegor had the Faith of the Seven as his major opponents... which undoubtedly led his violence to feel more personally blasphemous to most within the Seven Kingdoms than that of his successors.
- And Now You Must Marry Me: He forced his "Black Brides" to marry him after killing their husbands.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Maegor challenged the Faith to a Trial of Seven if they believe he is unfit to rule, and won.
- Ax-Crazy: Murder and torture were Maegor's solution to every problem. When he suspected his wife Alys Harroway of cheating on him, he had every member of her family executed, then had her tortured to death and her dismembered corpse displayed on the spikes of the castle gates. When the Faith Militant rose in rebellion against him, he slaughtered them all and burned the Sept of Remembrance with the worshipers still praying inside, returning to King's Landing with two thousand skulls taken as gruesome trophies.
- Bad People Abuse Animals: As a child, he is said to have butchered a cat with his first sword, though Gyldayn says that's probably a story made up by his enemies. When he was eight, a horse kicked him and he responded by stabbing it to death, then slashing half the face off a stable boy who came running when the horse screamed.
- Beard of Evil: Described and depicted in sources as having had one of these as soon as he could grow one.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: A lot of people were dissatisfied with Aenys because he wasn't a fighter. Well, here comes little brother Maegor, who was.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: If the claims he chose to commit suicide using the Iron Throne rather than suffer defeat on his enemies' terms are true.
- Big Little Brother: He was five years younger than his half-brother Aenys, but was strong, stocky and well-built while Aenys was spindly and sickly.
- Blood Knight: Unlike his predecessor, he was no stranger to battle and was a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. Something he probably inherited from his mother. Although, his reputation is of having been more cruel with it than she ever was, even at her worst.
- The Bluebeard: He had a total of six wives (as revealed in The World of Ice and Fire). He had three (or two, depending on the source; Ceryse Hightower supposedly died of a 'sudden illness' but much of the realm didn't believe that) of them killed. It doesn't help that some of them belonged to the most powerful families in the land like the Hightowers, the Costaynes and the Westerlings.
- Bring It: When he was sent into temporary exile, he took Blackfyre with him. King Aenys asked if he'd be so kind as to not take their father's sword, to which Maegor replied that His Grace was welcome to try and take it from him if he dared. Aenys did not dare.
- The Butcher: Ruthless and brutal, Maegor I had built a reputation as a butcher due to his harsh measures in dealing with rebels, silencing the builders of the Red Keep, executing three Grand Maesters and even murdering some of his wives.
- Cain and Abel: Infamously the Cain to Aenys's Abel.
- Child Prodigy: Was already a better knight in his teens than most grown men.
- Cruella to Animals: By repute. If you couldn't talk and weren't a dragon, you were likely to be labelled "entertainment". note Having said that, he wasn't much nicer to people. note
- Disproportionate Retribution: After his wife Alys Harroway was (perhaps falsely) accused of adultery by his other wife, Tyanna of the Tower, he not only had Alys executed, but also her father (his Hand at the time) and every single living member of House Harroway.
- The Dragon: As Aenys's Hand in replacement of Lord Alyn Stokeworth.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Since Aenys couldn't rule his way out of a paper bag, Maegor proved an effective wartime Hand to his half-brother, thus leading credence to Kevan Lannister's later wisdom in suggesting Randyll Tarly as Hand for King Tommen.
- Dragon Rider: He rode Balerion, his father's dragon. When Maegor had refused several dragon hatchlings on Dragonstone, his good-sister Alyssa Velaryon had teased that he was afraid of dragons. Maegor scowled at that, and stated that there was only one dragon worthy of him.
- Dying Alone: No one particularly cared.
- Evil Chancellor: To his half-brother Aenys.
- Evil Is Petty: A bit of a running theme with this guy. Maegor would kill people simply for disagreeing with or upsetting him. And when he was led to believe Alys Harroway had been unfaithful to him, he not only brutally slaughtered her and every member of her family, but every single retainer in their household.
- Evil Is Sterile: Despite his efforts, he could not produce any living offspring; all his children were stillborn and horribly deformed. It was rumored that he could not have any children because his mother had used dark magic to conceive him, or because the gods were punishing him for his many crimes. note Archmaester Gyldayn's writing: Maegor was cursed, men said. He had slain his nephew, made war against the Faith and the High Septon, defied the gods, committed murder and incest, adultery and rape. His privy parts were poisoned, his seed full of worms, the gods would never grant him a living son.
- Evil Overlord: Even his most loyal servants weren't safe with this guy.
- Evil Uncle: To Aenys's sons, particularly Prince Aegon, whom he killed during the Battle beneath the Gods Eye, and Prince Viserys, whom he had tortured for days before he eventually succumbed.
- Another nephew, the later Jaehaerys I had to raise an army against him in order to secure his own (lawful) succession.
- The Exile: For taking Alys Harroway as his second wife, which outraged the Faith, Aenys exiled Maegor to Essos.
- Family Extermination: Had the entirety of House Harroway executed for Alys' supposed unfaithfulness.
- Force and Finesse: Taken to its logical extremes, Aenys' and Maegor's way of dealing with problems were, respectively, "do nothing" and "murder, torture, and/or incinerate the shit out of the offending person(s)".Archmaester Gyldayn's writing: King Aenys sought always to please; when faced with difficulties, he would answer with soft words, whereas Maegors reply was ever steel and fire.
- Freudian Excuse: Passed-Over Promotion though he is the son of the elder sister-wife.
- Green-Eyed Monster: He coveted his father's dragon and his brother's crown.
- He Knows Too Much: Why he had the builders of the Red Keep (and the secret passages beneath it) killed: old school patent protection at its finest.
- Hope Spot: After Maegor married three women at the same time, two of them became pregnant. Maegor was overjoyed and uncharacteristically generous, showering them and their families with wealth and honors — but then Jeyne Westerling went into labour three months early, gave birth to a deformed stillborn child, and died very shortly afterwards. Tyanna confessed to poisoning Maegor's children in the womb and told him it would be the same with Elinor Costayne; sure enough, Elinor's child was also stillborn and malformed.
- Hot-Blooded: It didn't take a lot to set Maegor off, even playful jibes from relatives would have him pissed for ages afterward.
- I Have Your Son: Maegor kept his nephew Viserys as hostage but he killed him eventually to lure his mother out after she fled court. It didn't work.
- Irony: A fitter and stronger man than his half-brother, but died without any issue.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Sure, his usual solution to problems was a little predictable. But, the Kill It with Fire possibilities he saw in wildfire bore fruit repeatedly down the years: particularly post-dragons. And, Cersei finds out first-hand why he had such a severe and unrelenting policy regarding the Faith Militant...
- There also the fact that his brother's way of ruling, while undeniably less violent, only lead to divisions and the weakening of royal authority. His tactics, while creating severe long term problems, did stabilize and centralized the Crown within King's Landing, and it can still be argued that the amount of violence and war he had against many of the houses bled away enough of the other houses and families power that his reign did more to solidify the Targaryen rule then his brother's did.
- Maegor was, indeed, the son of the older sister. You know, the one Aegon had the officially arranged marriage with, according to ancient dragonlord tradition. It probably didn't become a factor until Maegor got himself a dragon to ride: since, before his father's dragon accepted him after Aegon's death, Maegor wasn't a true dragonlord and probably couldn't be the heir, by family tradition. Once he became a rider, though: yeah... Maegor could well have been legit. Even in Westeros, the issue of older sisters trump those from younger ones in the line of succession.
- Not quite accurate, since the inheritance custom in Westeros says that the King's eldest legal son inherits the Throne, not the eldest son of the eldest queen, & Aenys was definitely the eldest recognized son of Aegon I. Also the Targaryens didn't have an official policy that the heir must be a dragonrider to be eligible for kingship, though given that they were very reliant on their dragons to enforce their will it would have been odd & unseemly if the King & head of the house wasn't a dragonrider.
- Kick the Dog: Maegor brought harm to every level of Westeros society and alienated some of its most powerful families and influential institutions.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: His punishment of the rebel lords who backed Jonos Arryn, who murdered his brother Ronnel (who'd been something of a Morality Pet to Maegor's mother, Visenya) to reclaim the independence of the Vale. Even after they turned on Jonos and threw him out the Moon Door (the same way he'd murdered his brother Ronnel) in the hopes of gaining mercy, Maegor still had the lot of them hanged.
- Kidanova: He wedded and bedded Ceryse Hightower when he was 13 and she was 23, and was noted by attendants to be quite a "lusty" lover in spite of his youth. The day after, he bragged that he had conceived a son on his wedding night. Though not for lack of trying, this turned out to be incorrect.
- Large and in Charge: He looked like a beefier version of his father, and was said to be built like a bull, with heavy shoulders, a thick neck, and huge arms.
- Last of His Kind: The only Targaryen king to be descended from Queen Visenya. All of his successors descend from the line of Queen Rhaenys.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: A large number of his terrible deeds stem from his attempts to solidify his rule with an heir, but he could never successfully impregnate a woman with a healthy child. note All sorts of theories in and out of universe have been suggested as to why, ranging from the standard Westeros belief that 'he was so evil the gods refused to grant him an heir' to the fact that Visenya was rumoured to have conceived him with dark magic; Tyanna of the Tower claimed that she poisoned the children of Maegor's queens in the womb, which might explain the deformities, but the canon has previously made it clear that fire magic and pregnancy do not mix well, and Maegor was certainly surrounded by the former.
- Might Makes Right: His philosophy and Fatal Flaw. He took everything and everyone he wanted by force but his violence turned everyone against him. On the plus-side, he made most people more than happy to follow his nephew (just as Targaryen as he) simply to get rid of him.
- Mother Makes You King: Visenya was his strongest supporter. Her death deprived him of his most capable supporter and marked the beginning of the end of his rule.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: His solution to every problem.
- Never Suicide: Maegor was said to have killed himself with the Iron Throne but his tyrannical reign produced a lot of likely suspects.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Maegor's Dragonpit, which he built over the Sept of Remembrance's ruins, was supposed to be a symbol of the power House Targaryen to its dragons. It instead helped cause the dragons' extinction.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed:
- Of Henry VIII of England; both were the sons of ruthless but pragmatic kings, both married six times and had great trouble producing an heir (although Henry never married three women at once, and he did eventually succeed in his endeavors where Maegor never did), and both once fell into a coma only to awake even more ruthless. Both Henry and Maegor also had a habit of treating their wives badly and executed at least two of their wives (Maegor executing Alys Harroway for alleged infidelity after she gave birth to a deformed, stillborn child and executing all the men she was supposedly cheating with is very similar to what Henry VIII did to Anne Boleyn; Henry VIII reportedly threatened to kill his fifth wife Katherine Howard with a sword upon learning of her infidelity, while Maegor did personally kill his wife Tyanna of the Tower with Blackfyre after she confessed to poisoning his other wives). They both also pissed off the highest religious authority in the land by taking a second wife with a first still living, triggering rebellions which they ruthlessly put down.
- His Shoot the Builder tactics are derived from many legends revolving on Kings killing builders of famous monuments, such as Ivan the Terrible and the architect of the St Basil's Cathedral's.
- While culturally very separate from the other examples here, Maegor burning the followers of the Faith inside the Sept of Remembrance is highly evocative of Oda Nobunaga burning down the Buddhist temple Enryaku-ji. Like Nobunaga himself after the act, Maegor would forever be tainted in the eyes of the followers of the Faith he persecuted.
- He also bears some similarities to King John of England, being universally reviled and getting into constant disputes with the clergy.
- Number of the Beast: He ruled for exactly six years and sixty-six days.
- The Oath-Breaker: Maegor's massacre of the Red Keep's builders was Westeros' greatest breach of Sacred Hospitality until the killing of Prince Lucerys Velaryon over Storm's End during a diplomatic mission note , both of which were later overshadowed by the Red Wedding.
- Trauma Conga Line: With each successive stillborn child, and ever more twisted and misshapen forms. Maegor was driven inexorably deeper and deeper into swirling madness; becoming more erratic and tyrannical as time went on.
- Obligatory War Crime Scene: Maegor burning the Sept of Remembrance with people still praying inside.
- Outliving One's Offspring: All of his children were stillborn, many with horrible deformities. One child was born eyeless and twisted, another eyeless and with small wings, and a third limbless and with both male and female genitals.
- Playing with Fire: Understood wildfire's potential and became the Alchemist Guild's first great patron.
- Pride: He reasoned he could not bond with dragons because none were worthy.
- Reality Ensues: Maegor was a tyrannical and brutal king, using torture, murder, and mass slaughter to oppress his enemies. He had no qualms about ordering the deaths of innocent smallfolk, other nobles, his wives, or even members of his family. Eventually his cruelty made him despised by his entire kingdom, who stood behind his nephew Jaehaerys in rebellion against him. When Maegor called his banners in defense, only a few minor lords replied, giving him a paltry army of barely four thousand men.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: He dressed in red and black as befitted a Targaryen, and was an absolutely vile individual.
- Royal Harem: At some point, he had simultaneous wives. Yet he died without fathering an heir. All of the children he did conceive with his wives were either miscarried or stillborn, and severely deformed. Added to this, his cruelty and blatant disregard of the political clout of the relatives of his victims (who were primarily of the Faith) practically ended the Targaryen drift towards polygamous marriage his father had started.
- His wives: Ceryse Hightower, Alys Harroway, Tyanna of Pentos, and the Black Brides: Elinor Costayne, his niece Rhaena Targaryen, and Jeyne Westerling.
- The Sociopath: Very likely was one, considering he was highly intelligent, had poor impulse control, loved violence just for the sake of it, was good at making allies but had no actual friends, murdered members of his own family with no hesitation or remorse, and would fly into a rage at anyone who showed the slightest hint of dissent.
- The Unfettered: Maegor never let any moral standards get in his way.
- Ungrateful Bastard: A landed knight named Theo Bolling was one of those who fought for him in his campaign against the Poor Fellows. This did not stop Maegor from having him executed on false charges so he could marry Theo's wife.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Maegor accelerated the extinction of the dragons by stabling them in a dragonpit. Without freedom to roam, the succeeding generations of dragons shrank until the last ones were no bigger than cats.
- The Usurper: By law, his nephew Prince Aegon had the better claim to the Iron Throne after Aenys's death. The one man who dared to point this out to Maegor's face swiftly lost his head.
- Warrior Prince: Maegor started as this, being the younger son and not expecting to inherit.
- What Have You Done for Me Lately?: When compared to Aegon the Unworthy, even Maegor's harshest critics will admit that he was, at the very least, a powerful warrior who actually did stuff — such as building the Red Keep, making major inroads in consolidating the Seven Kingdom's governmental power structures within the Crownlands and away from Oldtown, effectively weaponizing wildfire and drastically limiting the overt power of the Faith (albeit his methods were unnecessarily harsh) for quite a long time. In addition, by acting as an active Hate Sink, he ensured continued Targaryen succession by uniting the Realm under his nephew, Jaehaerys. How intentional that last one was... *big shrug*
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Compensated for his inferior position by modeling himself after his father. He bonded with Aegon's dragon, used Aegon's sword, wore Aegon's crown and even took his father's polygamous practices to extremes.
Queen Tyanna, mistress of whisperers
Tyanna of the Tower, the king's raven, the mistress of whispers, the mistress of spiders
- All There in the Manual: Only mentioned in The World of Ice & Fire.
- Bastard Bastard: She was rumored to be the illegitimate daughter of a Pentoshi magister.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: After admitting that she had lied about Alys's infidelity and poisoned Maegor's other wives, causing them to give birth to deformed monstrosities, Maegor cut her heart out with Blackfyre and fed it to his dogs. It's still a better fate than a lot of her victims got, though...
- The Dragon: To Maegor.
- Co-Dragons: For a time she ruled King's Landing alongside Maegor's Hand Edwell Celtigar.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: From a simple tavern dancer, to a courtesan, to queen of Westeros, mistress of whisperers and Maegor's personal Torture Technician.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: She was the only bride of Maegor who shared his penchant for cruelty, and spent her reign torturing, killing, and conspiring to bring about the deaths of thousands.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Part of Tyanna framing Alys for adultery is accusing her of this, claiming that she viewed Ceryse Hightower as a threat and would have done anything to secure her place as queen, including bearing another man's son. In fact this was Tyanna's schtick, as she clearly didn't want any of Maegor's wives to give him children if she couldn't.
- High-Class Call Girl: She was a courtesan in Pentos, before Alys brought her back to Westeros and Maegor made her one of his queens.
- In-Series Nickname: She was known as "the king's raven", on account of her black hair and her influence over Maegor. She was also known as the mistress of whispers and the mistress of spiders.
- Lady Macbeth: Some of Maegor's worst offenses were instigated by her, including his murder of Queen Alys and her entire house after Tyanna (falsely) claimed that Alys had cheated on him.
- Love-Interest Traitor: Tyanna was apparently Alys's lover as well as Maegor's, and Alys bringing her to Westeros helped her to become queen. Didn't stop her from apparently poisoning her sister queen to damage her pregnancy, clearly framing her for adultery, and definitely torturing her for over half a month until she finally died.
- Master Poisoner: She claimed to have poisoned Maegor's other brides so that their children would be born twisted and deformed.
- The Medic: She treated Maegor after he fell into a coma following his Trial by Seven against Ser Damon Morrigen and six Warrior's Sons.
- The Mistress: Served as Maegor's mistress for several years before he married her upon becoming King.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: She lied to Maegor that Alys had cheated on him, since the stillborn child she gave birth to couldn't possibly be his. He responded by murdering Alys's entire family, with Tyanna herself torturing Alys to death. She was likely repeating the process with her husband's 'Black Brides', save that Maegor's suspicions were roused when Jeyne Westerling also gave birth to a deformed stillborn.
- The Spymaster: Worked as Maegor's Mistress of Whisperers.
- Torture Technician: She tortured Maegor's enemies, including Prince Viserys, who she "questioned" for nine days before he died.
One of the twin daughters of Princess Rhaena and Prince Aegon Targaryen, born during their time sheltered at Casterly Rock. Sent to Oldtown to become a septa during the reign of Maegor.
Court of Jaehaerys I
Court of Viserys I
King Viserys Targaryen, the First of His Name; r. 103-129
The Young King
- "He had ruled for six-and-twenty years, reigning over the most prosperous era in the history of the Seven Kingdoms but seeding within it the disastrous decline of his house and the death of the last dragons."— Maester Yandel
Oldest son of Baelon and his sister-wife Alyssa. After the death of his father Baelon, he succeeded his grandfather Jaehaerys I, whose crown he wore. His cousin Aemma Arryn was his first wife. They had two sons who died in infancy and a single surviving child, Rhaenyra, whom he intended to have as his successor. He later took Alicent Hightower as his second wife, having four children by her: Aegon II, Helaena, Aemond, and Daeron. His marriages would have dire consequences for the realm after his death.
- 100% Adoration Rating: He was well loved by many Lords and smallfolk.
- Adipose Rex: His girth became a problem in his later life, causing him no small number of health problems. Towards the end, he was so out of shape he couldn't even climb the steps of the Iron Throne.
- Adult Fear: His two sons by Aemma died in the cradle. One of them, Baelon, lived only for a single day.
- Always Murder: Mushroom claims his own queen poisoned him. It should be noted Mushroom was at Dragonstone when Viserys died... and that the first servant who learned he was dead went straight to Queen Alicent's room.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Don't call the King's grandsons bastards or he will have your tongue.
- He loved his younger brother Daemon and would forgive him a lot, but when Viserys heard of how Daemon had mocked his son, Baelon, who died shortly after being born, as "the heir for a day", he wasted no time in putting Rhaenyra ahead of his brother in the succession.
- Viserys didn't hesitate to fire his Hand (and father in law) Otto Hightower when he felt Otto was overreaching himself.
- Big Fun: He was a plump and jovial man.
- Create Your Own Villain: He took Alicent Hightower as his second wife and had four legitimate children with her. After he died, she undermined his dying wishes by trying to crown her eldest son king instead of Viserys' daughter and preferred heir Rhaenyra. The subsequent civil war nearly destroyed House Targaryen and led to the deaths of all the dragons. Whoops.
- Dead Guy Junior: Likely named after his great-uncle, Jaehaerys I's older brother, who was killed by Maegor.
- Did Not Think This Through:
- Appointing his daughter to be his successor and expecting the whole realm to go with it, despite going against thousands of years of Westerosi tradition (as well as the precedent set by the very same Great Council mechanic that basically gave him the Iron Throne in the first place). Then there's the fact that having decided to break tradition and set a new precedent, he remarried and sired three legitimate sons anyway, creating unnecessary ambiguity. After he died, the resulting power struggle between his daughter/heir Rhaenyra and his eldest son from his second marriage Aegon II, both seeking to claim the throne, led to a civil war that devastated the region, killed millions, nearly wiped out the Targaryens themselves, and ultimately resulted in the extinction of the dragons, the slow fall of House Targaryen, and an unofficial ban on having any woman sit the Iron Throne ever again. Way to go, Viserys.
- For what it's worth, Viserys wasn't foolish enough to assume that his lords would just take Rhae's appointment sitting down. He made them all swear that when the time came, they'd back her as queen. All well and good, except for the little detail that a few decades passed after that, and those lords either died or left King's Landing, with new lords taking their place. New lords who, for whatever reason, were not made to take the same oath, so when Viserys suddenly kicked the bucket, several of them just shrugged "I didn't give any oath." and sided with Aegon.
- Doting Grandparent: To all his grandchildren, regardless of where they may or may not have came from. Just before he died, he was spending time with them, telling stories.
- Dragon Rider: He was the very last rider of the legendary dragon Balerion, the Black Dread, who passed away during King Jaehaerys's reign.
- According to Grand Master Gyldayn, his mother took Viserys riding on a dragon when he was nine days old. The infant Viserys was apparently smiling happily the whole time.
- Fatal Flaw: Arguably, his general aversion to conflict, and his love for both his daughter and his second wife. The latter not only resulted in him going against Westerosi tradition by attempting to install equal primogeniture, but unintentionally undermining said precedent by fathering several children who by tradition and by the law before, would've been heir instead of Rhaenyra. Worse, while his laid back approach to ruling resulted in a generally peaceful reign, it meant that his overall solution to the conflict between Rhaenyra and Alicent was seperate the two, stick his head in the sand, and hope the problem would sort itself out: which it obviously didn't.
- Fingore: Two of his fingers had to be amputated when they got infected after he cut his hand on the Iron Throne.
- The Good King: Played With. His reign, in conjunction with that of Jaehaerys I, is considered the glorious apex of the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros. The dragonkings were never more powerful or popular before or since. The family itself never again had so many dragons or members of royal blood living at the same time. However...
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: His daughter and heir clearly gave birth to three bastard sons, yet Viserys refused to acknowledge this. His mismanagement of his children by Alicent Hightower led to further disaster. It can be argued that the only reason Viserys' reign was so successful was because he inherited a well-managed kingdom from Jaehaerys I and really didn't have to do much.
- In The Rogue Prince, it's suggested that Viserys knew but willingly let it happen anyway. The court fool Mushroom put forward the theory that the mysterious deaths of Rhaenyra's lover Harwin Strong and his father Ser Lyonel Strong resulted from the King's direct orders.
- It's noted in Fire and Blood that, unlike Jaehaerys, Viserys tended to be a hands-off kind of king.
- Hidden Depths: Zig-zagged. He was smart enough to realize Alicent was determined to put her son on the throne (hence why he refused her request to marry Aegon and Rhaenyra, since he could see the siblings loathed each other), but he never did anything to rein his wife in.
- Horrible Judge of Character: When he married Alicent, he (evidently) thought she would abide by his wishes and let Rhaenyra have the crown over her own future children with him. Boy howdy, was he wrong.
- Inadequate Inheritor: Relatively speaking. When your immediate predecessor is considered the best damn king your country's ever seen, you're going to have an uphill struggle just to be remembered as "not them" as it is. And you might notice that, Dance of the Dragons and his family issues aside, there's not a lot said about Viserys as a king, because... well, he didn't do much. Inadvertently causing the Dance aside, he has no great cock-ups to his name, but no tremendous successes of his own either. Basically, his reign's a bit of a no-score draw.
- Kissing Cousins: His first wife, Aemma Arryn, was his cousin.
- Magnetic Hero: Deconstructed. The only reason his daughter and the rest of his sons weren't at each others' throats was because of him; still, he only had to look away for them starting gnawing at each other. It all went down like a house of cards when he died.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Three children (three that were carried to term, anyway) by Aemma—an unnamed son (who died in infancy), Rhaenyra and Baelon (who only lived for a day), and four children by Alicent—Aegon II, Helaena, Aemond and Daeron.
- Master of the Mixed Message: On one hand he wanted to break tradition and make his daughter the first Targaryen Queen and nominated her publicly before several high lords. It's upsetting several centuries of tradition but he is King after all. Then he decides to complicate the issue via a second marriage which produces three sons. Then there's his unsuccessful mediation between the factions of his daughter and his second wife, where his repeated insistence on a forced peace did nothing to contain tensions and only bottled up resentment. On his death, the realm was divided between people who remembered his public nomination of Rhaenyra as his heir versus the ones who defended the feudal tradition of male primogeniture.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He tried to make Aegon and Rhaenrya's families get on. Not only did this not work at all, it actually made tensions worse.
- Parental Favoritism: Made Rhaenyra his heir despite the established precedent against women inheriting.
- The Patriarch: Viserys was head of the Targaryens when the family was at its largest. Only his word was law.
- "Rashomon"-Style: Viserys either died of natural causes or poison, according to Mushroom.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: He and his brother Daemon couldn't have been more different in terms of looks and personality. Whereas Viserys was plump, jovial, certainly not a warrior but with a side of Beware the Nice Ones, Daemon was leaner, harsher, Hot-Blooded and a true Warrior Prince. Their deaths were even opposite of each other; while Viserys died in his bed, Daemon died in dragon-back.
- Tragic Mistake:
- While his decision to make Rhaenyra his heir could be seen as the start of the Dance of Dragons, his most fatal error was sending her to Dragonstone after her rivalry with Alicent Hightower had gone out of control. While giving her Dragonstone was effectively declaring her heir, as the crown prince was traditionally given control of the rock, it put Rhaenyra far from the court of King's Landing where Alicent and Aegon wasted no time undermining his declaration, before declaring Aegon King soon after Viserys' death and all of Rhaenyra's supporters in the capital had been dealt with.
- It could also be argued that his biggest mistake was marrying Alicent Hightower in the first place. Even if she hadn't been a highly ambitious woman from a notoriously power-hungry family who would stop at nothing to get a son of theirs on the throne, any children she had with Viserys would be able to challenge Rhaenyra's claim to the throne. Indeed, Alicent bore him three legitimate sons, the eldest of which, Aegon II, was able to win many lords to his side by arguing that as a male, he should come before Rhaenyra in the line of succession. Viserys may have been able to prevent Alicent and her brood from laying claim to Rhaenyra's crown when he was alive, but obviously he wasn't going to live forever, and the second he died, everything went to hell.
- Unexpected Successor: King Jaehaerys outlived his eldest son Aemon and his second son Baelon (his third son was out of the line of succession due to becoming a maester). The Great Council of 101 AC that was assembled upon the death of Baelon granted the inheritance to Baelon's older son Viserys over Aemon's daughter Rhaenys or any of the other potential claimants.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His second marriage caused a Succession Crisis and eventually sparked a war between his royal children known as the "Dance of the Dragons". Viserys wanted his daughter with his first wife, Princess Rhaenyra, to be the first ruling Queen. However his second wife's eldest son, Prince Aegon II, was crowned after his death despite his wishes, thus beginning a brutal war for the crown between the half-siblings and among the members of House Targaryen as a whole.
Prince Baelon Targaryen
The Heir for a Day
The second son of King Viserys by Queen Aemma. Lived only for a day.
Court of Aegon II
Court of Rhaenyra I
Court of Aegon III
Court of Daeron I
King Daeron Targaryen, the First of His Name; r. 157-161
The Young Dragon, The Boy King
- "You have a dragon. He stands before you."— Daeron I
Oldest child of Aegon III and Daenaera. His singular achievement in his brief reign was his short-lived conquest of Dorne. Died in battle, unmarried, and without issue. He wore (and lost) the crown of Aegon the Conqueror. There is a statue of Daeron in Oldtown where he is astride a tall, stone horse with his sword lifted towards Dorne.
- Badass Boast: His above quote when his counsellors reminded him that Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters failed twice in trying to conquer Dorne and they had Dragons and that the Iron Throne had none.
- Bling of War: His armor was elaborate.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Crowned at the age of fourteen, and his uncle Viserys allowed him to start ruling directly without a regent to avoid the problems with Aegon III's regents.
- Dated History: In-universe, Maesters consider his account of the Conquest of Dorne to be an exaggeration to make himself look more formidable. Doran Martell later tells his daughter Arianne that his book was useful propaganda for Dorne because it made them appear tougher than they actually were, blurring the fact that they have the smallest population of the Seven Kingdoms and that their harsh environment is what truly protects them. Stannis also mocks "that vainglorious book of his", which boasted of a goat-track he used to invade the Boneway (a tactic that Robb Stark himself emulated), pointing out that this attack and strategy, while useful, were merely a diversion for the more damaging ship raid on Plankytown.
- Dead Guy Junior: He was named after Daeron the Daring, his uncle once removed.
- Expy: Of Julius Caesar, in the regard that he was famous of unprecedented military success that was short-lived, like Caesar's campaign in Britain, but won him popularity nevertheless. He also wrote his own Beige Prose account of the war, which categorized the Dornishmen into three groups.
- Foil: Robb Stark is called "the Young Wolf" by his supporters and his enemies to deliberately place him as Daeron's second coming. His arc is similar in nature: Young Conqueror who Won the War, Lost the Peace, and despite winning every battle loses the war via assassination at a peaceful gathering. Of course Robb Stark's betrayers had far less noble motivations than the Dornish did.
- Daeron is similar to another king who played at war: Renly Baratheon. Except Daeron I not only talked the talk, he walked the talk all the way into Dorne and back and then back to Dorne again. Like Renly, he ends up being assassinated.
- Foreshadowing: He and his deeds are mentioned in one of the first Jon Snow chapters in A Game of Thrones. His brother Robb Stark's life and nickname ("The Young Wolf") end up being similar to Daeron's, down to the "dying young" by treachery part.
- Genghis Gambit: Daeron I was the first Targaryen King to rule after the last dragons died under his father Aegon III. By conquering Dorne, he hoped to vindicate the Targaryen dynasty's strength and power without their Weapons Of Mass Destruction. Likewise, any lingering dreams of challenging the Crown's legitimacy by ambitious vassals and desires to secede were quickly defused thanks by focusing on a common enemy for the Stormlanders, Reachlords and others who generally saw Dorne as The Savage South. This was similar to the Realpolitik justifications for the Crusades, minus the religious angles of course.
- To give the Young Dragon credit, he succeeded. His glorious conquest, and death by Dornish treachery, extended Targaryen hegemony by another 100 years, since even the Blackfyre Rebellion merely wanted to usurp the Targaryens rather than return to pre-Conquest Westeros. The first local rebellion against the Crown came six generations later, under Aegon V, when Lyonel Baratheon claimed the crown of the Storm King after Prince Duncan spurned a marital alliance.
- Glory Hound: He charged in and sacrificed tens of thousands of soldiers to conquer Dorne, for a few years, and all in the name of being the first Targaryen to take it. The direct political and social backlash this caused lasted generations.
- The Good King: Subverted and invoked. Though he brought great hubris to Westeros by conquering Dorne while sacrificing tens of thousands of people, Daeron I was well liked by the smallfolk, and his assassination in Dorne was one of the embers that fuelled the hatred against the Dornish. The betrothals that his brother Baelor later enacted between the Targaryens and the Martells functioned as a sort of pardon for the Dornish's killing of Daeron that many other Westerosi lords considered undeserved, ending in a rebellion that lasted decades.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: In-Universe. Among most Southrons and even some Northern Lords, Daeron the Young Dragon is an ideal of martial grandeur and prodigious achievement and he remains as popular among the nobility as his brother Baelor is among the smallfolk. The more skeptical like Uncle Benjen reminds Hero-Worshipper Jon Snow that Daeron Won the War, Lost the Peace, Stannis grumbles that Daeron's victories were made possible by competent subordinates like Oakenfist while Doran Martell reminds Arianne that by boasting about his great victories in his youth, Daeron made the Dornish a far bigger military threat than they actually were, and in the long-term provided useful propaganda for the Dornish, better than anything they could come up with on their own.
- Last of His Kind: Daeron I was the last to wear Aegon I's crown.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Of Alexander the Great, according to Word of God, at least in terms of how many young Lords and Princes wanted to emulate his prodigious achievements. Like Julius Caesar, he also wrote a book that is a favorite among Lords, and prized by commoners like the newly-literate Davos for its readability.
- Pretty Boy: He is remembered as being very handsome.
- Pyrrhic Victory: He achieves his goal to be the first of his line to take Dorne, but can't keep it, losing some fifty thousand men trying to do so during an uprising and being killed alongside them. All this only four years into his reign, leaving the massive fallout from his "adventure" to linger for generations.
- Sketchy Successor: He and his brother Baelor aren't well liked by historians despite their popularity with the common man. In Daeron's case, it's likely due to said historians remembering the losses suffered during the invasion and subsequent rebellion, and the realm gained nothing worthwhile from the whole affair.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: What better way to reunite a realm recovering from civil war than with a military venture against an old foe? In a way, Dorne would never have been finally united with the Seven Kingdoms had Daeron not invaded it. But the unification would bring about its own set of problems that contributed to the Blackfyre Rebellions.
- Won the War, Lost the Peace: Daeron I crushed the Dornish militarily, doing what Aegon I failed to do with his dragons, and indeed his book on the conquest, as per Doran Martell, is only an exaggeration to the extent that its author downplayed how one sided the conquest really was. However his handling of the Dornish and failure to integrate them into the Seven Kingdoms undid his conquest. Mostly because by appointing Leo Tyrell, head of a longtime rival in command, his conquest looked like an occupation and this led to rebellion among the smallfolk against the Targaryens and finally to his assassination.
- Young Conqueror: Deconstructed. He apparently didn't understand that war wasn't a game or a puzzle to be solved. Nor did his victories really earn him anything in the long run. Other than dying young.
Court of Baelor I
King Baelor Targaryen, the First of His Name; r. 161-171
The Beloved, The Blessed, The Befuddled
- "The gods are just, yet Blessed Baelor taught us that they are also merciful."— High Septon
Second child of Aegon III and Daenaera, the "most beloved" of the Targaryen kings. He was training to be a septon when his brother King Daeron died without issue. The Great Sept of Baelor, the high seat of Faith of the Seven in King's Landing, was built by him and named in his honor. Adored by the smallfolk, Baelor I was jeered, mocked, and despised by the lords and knights of the realm for his emasculating behavior. He either starved himself to death or was killed by his uncle and Hand, Viserys. He died without issue.
- 100% Adoration Rating: None of the Targaryen kings are as beloved as Baelor. Many remember him as a great example of The Good King.
- Book Burning: He burnt several of Septon Barth's valuable books on dragonlore because the Faith believed Barth was lacking piety. He also burned The Testimony of Mushroom.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: About as literaly as could be while still remaining "human": An ultimate symbol of purity, piety, and spiritual example; born from a family claiming "the blood of the dragon"; all in the service of a religion with heavy reliance on crystals (and their seven-shaded prismatic rainbows). As icing on the cake, the author himself stated in regard to Baelor's physical appearance, "think Jesus".
- Cloudcuckoolander: He didn't get the name "the Befuddled" for nothing. Some of his hiring choices are definitely out there. Allegedly talking to animals is not the best basis for giving someone a job, after all.
- The Fundamentalist: Strong in the Faith and loved by the commons yet expelled all whores (and their children) from King's Landing and did things like burning books on dragonlore, which would have been useful in reestablishing House Targaryen's power and prestige.
- Going Native: Baelor was the first example of how Westerosi culture affected the Targaryens. He was the first to openly disdain his family's incestuous and polygamous practices and saw the Faith as the monarchy's partner instead of a tool.
- The Good King: He loved the smallfolk and the gods in equal parts, yet imprisoned his own sisters. Some remember him as a great and holy man and praise him for his contributions to the Faith of the Seven, for forging a peace with Dorne, his mercy and his many acts of charity.
- Gossip Evolution: He saved Aemon the Dragonknight from a pit of vipers during a peacekeeping mission to Dorne. Over the years, this story has changed. Some say the vipers bit Baelor but he didn't die. Others say the bites drove him madder. Others say this incident was a just a metaphor for the mission to Dorne itself since Dorne is known as the "Pit of Vipers".
- As per The World of Ice & Fire, Aemon was imprisoned in the bottom of a cage in a pit of vipers in the fortress of a Dornish lord. Baelor was told that to save his cousin, he must go into the pit himself, then did just that, getting bitten in the process but freeing Aemon in time. Aemon then took his cousin to a nearby fortress where he healed from the poison, though it apparently affected his senses for the rest of his life.
- Heroic Willpower: He walked all the way to Dorne barefoot, despite living a pampered lifestyle and as king having the right to end his penance walk at any moment. Also, how else would he have survived getting bit by vipers to save his cousin?
- The Idealist: Baelor was a peaceful, devoted and pious man. Not a martial man, Baelor's favorite "weapon" was a prayer.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Lancel Lannister described Baelor as a 'rare spirit, pure and brave and innocent, untouched by the evils of the world'.
- Inadequate Inheritor: Baelor is often judged inferior to his brother and called feeble. While many see him as a great king others are less impressed by him, believing him to be an overly zealous weak fool.
- Looks Like Jesus: How Martin describes him: thin, with long hair and beard and a gentle, nigh-beatific smile.
- The Madness Place: Mystic? Visions? Ascribed miracles and good moves? Decent enough reign? All checked... Although, those last two parts could be partly be down to his uncle being Hand. He did start to lose his grip on it, though... hence the probably fasting himself to death or possibly being "put down" thing.
- Messianic Archetype: A deconstruction. Many of the characteristics that made him a beloved ruler among the smallfolk also got in the way of his actual job of ruling and his responsibility to perpetuate the royal line. For the former, the credit was often given to his uncle, Hand (and successor) Viserys and for the latter, he left no issue and thus, Viserys became King.
- Never Suicide: Baelor is suspected of having been murdered by his uncle Viserys as opposed to the official story that he accidentally starved himself to death.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His flat out refusal to sire an heir left the way clear for Aegon the Unworthy, and locking his sister-wife away meant she had Aegon's son instead- the boy who would become Daemon Blackfyre. The Blackfyre Rebellions, the War of the Ninepenny Kings, Aegon VI's invasion, not to mention everything Aegon IV did during his reign and all the people the Golden Company ended up killing over their long existence, can be laid at his feet.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Baelor I is almost a direct parallel of Louis VII of France. Both were the second sons of their fathers, the reigning kings; both were fervently devoted to their faiths and were training for ecclesiastical careers before coming to the throne. As kings, both proved to be meek, timid, and pious, but also strengthened relations between the Crown and the Church/Faith. Just like Baelor had three sisters, Louis had three wives, the first of whom was a passionate, free-spirited, temperamental young woman who defied her royal husband and kept lovers.
- He also shares many traits with King Louis IX of France as both monarchs were also extremely pious that oversaw many religious-based changes in their governments, performed pilgramage to desert areas and made attempts at reconciliation with enemy territories (the Dornish/the Saracens). Key difference is that Louis IX was more... martial about it.
- Not So Above It All:
- It's known that he did like Daena and very much loved her, even expressing admiration for her beauty, but decided to keep her at an arm's length because he considered an incestuous relationship to be fundamentally wrong. He even had to put his sisters under lock and key because he had considerable trouble fighting his urges.
- He burned copies of the "Testimony of Mushroom", which is the slimiest and raunchiest account of the Targaryen dynasty. It was so raunchy that even his reputation as a holy man would have been marred. The book didn't disappear, though.
- He may have been a great supporter of the Faith, but he didn't allow them to reform the Warrior's Sons and Poor Fellows.
- He built the Great Sept of Baelor, which is a markedly ostentatious landmark. The High Sparrow later denounces that the building's fanfare goes against the tenets of the Faith itself.
- Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny: He locked up his sisters so they wouldn't tempt him. Some Lords and knights sent their young daughters to the vault as well to keep the Princesses company and to curry favor with the King. Tyrion said he was "afraid of his own cock." He even banished all the whores from the capital.
- Sketchy Successor: He and his brother Daeron aren't well liked by historians despite their popularity with the common man. In Baelor's case, said historians tend to credit his Hand and uncle Viserys for keeping the realm stable during his rule.
- Unexpected Successor: Baelor was studying to become a septon when his brother's death without issue gave him the crown.
- Unwanted Harem: His three sisters whom he didn't touch. He instead locked them up in the Maidenvault.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His attempts to keep his sister Queen Daena in the Maidenvault backfired, as it led her to frequently escape and carry out an affair with their cousin, the future Aegon IV. Had Baelor swallowed his misgivings to do the deed with her himself, there likely would never have been a Daemon Blackfyre. (Then again, if Aegon IV hadn't given that boy his sword, there would only be Daemon Waters, one of many Targaryen bastards to contend with.)
- What the Hell, Hero?: A lot of his lords were angered by Baelor's desire to negotiate a peace with Dorne, given how many had died fighting under his brother to conquer it and the dishonourable way in which Daeron had been killed.
Princess Daena Targaryen
- "I was born to ride a dragon."— Princess Daena
Third child of Aegon III and Daenaera, sister-wife to her brother King Baelor. He dissolved their (never consummated) marriage as soon as he became king, and locked her and their two sisters in a tower because he refused to abide by the Targaryen practice of incest. She was "rescued" by their cousin, the future Aegon IV. They had an affair which resulted in a son, Daemon Waters (later Daemon Blackfyre).
- Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: It's revealed that Daena liked to tease Baelor and that she was indeed the "active" party to their relationship, only that he just wouldn't respond to her advances, and even would respond in the complete opposite manner from what she was expecting of him. Oh, she was ripe, she was willing and she tried and tried to no avail; it's not like she went towards her cousin Aegon at the first opportunity, though.
- Big Brother Worship: Towards Daeron.
- Daddy's Girl: She idolized her father, Aegon III.
- She always wore the golden three-headed dragon pendant she had inherited from her father. At court she wore it on a fine golden chain; when in disguise, she hung it on a leather thong and hid it beneath her clothes. Supposedly she even wore it when bathing and when making love.
- Dragon Rider: She really wanted to be one. Unluckily for her, she was born one generation too late to see a living dragon. So she had to settle for a golden dragon pendant instead.
- Fan of Underdog: She admired her eldest brother Daeron I despite that the guy was a Glory Hound king who got himself killed in the war he started. She also admired her infamous grandfather, Daemon the Rogue Prince, whom she named her son after. Guess how her son and his descendants turned out to be?
- Foil: Let's see: she's a Daddy's Girl, she worships an older brother; she is wilful, defiant and loves traditionally masculine activities. Switch Aegon III with Ned, Daeron with Jon and Valyrian with First Men and you have Arya.
- For Want of a Nail:
- Had she been less "the Defiant" with her cousin, she might have been Queen in her own right (granted, the epitaph of the Dance would have been a giant hurdle). But, a less outrageously Hot-Blooded display on her part contrasted with Aegon's own feckless behaviour could have meant no King Aegon the Unworthy, no Blackfyres, no Rebellions and no Golden Company siphoning exiled, skilled men still seeking some honour from the Wall for decades. A call for a Great Council could have seen it all happen upon Baelor's death, given Viserys' support — which he might well have given... if he trusted her. Shagging his son to get back at your husband by baby? Not very trust-inducing. Whatever else could have gone wrong, Westerosi history would look different.
- If she became queen after Baelor's death, her bastard son Daemon Waters could've been legitimized earlier as, being the monarch, she could legitimize him on her own and make him her heir. There would've never been a Daemon Blackfyre and House Blackfyre, just a Daemon Targaryen and his own Targaryen descendants.
- Girl in the Tower: ... That so didn't work entirely as planned, now, did it? She may not have got out quite as much as she would have liked, but those walls turned out to be decidedly permeable.
- Heir Club for Men: She was passed over in favor of her uncle King Viserys II after Baelor's death, despite actually having some supporters.
- Hot Consort: She had a reputation for being a total stunner.
- I Coulda Been a Contender!: She came quite close to being Queen of Westeros on two occasions but was denied her claim by really bad luck.
- The first was that she was married to Baelor and ideally should have been his Queen, but his religious piety led to their marriage going unconsummated and dissolved with Daena becoming a hostage in the Maidenvault instead. Her defiant act of rebellion in fathering a bastard with the future Aegon IV, probably didn't help matters though considering what Baelor denied her, it was more than justified as an act of revenge.
- Her second chance was on Baelor's death as she was the oldest child of Aegon III but the succession passed to her uncle Viserys II instead of her since nobody wanted to repeat the Civil War of the Dance of the Dragons, since her grandmother Rhaenyra's claim was discredited despite the fact that her sons succeeded to the throne anyway.
- Insult Backfire: She used to dress in black like her father but switched to white to shame Baelor. Except Baelor liked her in white.
- Kissing Cousins: With Aegon IV.
- Rebellious Princess: With knobs on. You can't get more rebellious than a surprise baby you refuse to give clues over.
- Virgin in a White Dress: Deliberately invoked in order to remind Baelor he was flouting his marital duty towards her and shaming him into finally taking her maidenhood. Unfortunately for Daena, Baelor liked her this way because she looked so pure and innocent.
- Warrior Princess: And unafraid to rub people's noses in it.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It is unknown what happened to her after Daemon was legitimized.
Princess Rhaena Targaryen
Fourth child of Aegon III and Daenaera. Locked away along with her sisters. Unlike Daena and Elaena, however, Rhaena accepted her confinement, becoming deeply religious due to her brother's influence and eventually becoming a septa.
- Dead Girl Junior: Likely named after her grandmother Rhaenyra.
- Girl in the Tower: Thanks to her brother's... quirks. Notable in that she seems to have actually stuck to her imposed grounding.
- Gold and White Are Divine: Wore white lace with gold trimmings and often embroidered depictions of the Faith on her clothing.
- Nice Girl: By reputation, at least.
- Proper Lady: Was said to be this. That's how her relatively meek acceptance of the situation is usually read, at least.
- Taking the Veil: When it became feasible, she took vows as a septa.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: She was more traditionally feminine than her sisters.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It is unknown when she passed away.
Princess Elaena Targaryen
Fifth and youngest child of Aegon III and Daenaera. Locked away along with her two sisters. Was married for three times (to Ossifer Plumm, Ronnel Penrose and Michael Manwoody) and had a total of seven children, five by two of her husbands and two born out of wedlock (fathered by her cousin and lover Alyn Velaryon).
- All There in the Manual: The confirmation of her first husband's identity (previously only a theory) and the names of her second and third husbands and legitimate children were only mentioned in The World of Ice & Fire.
- Arranged Marriage: Her first two marriages, to Ossifer Plumm and Ronnel Penrose, were at Aegon IV and Daeron II's behest respectively.
- Beautiful All Along: She is said to have been considerably less graceful than her sisters, though she grew out to be beautiful.
- Behind Every Great Man: Elaena was the driving force behind two of her husbands, Ronnel Penrose and Michael Manwoody.
- Girl in the Tower: In her case, not happily, very reluctantly... and intermittently. She seemed to find ways to get up to trouble even when she was supposed to be banged up. Which pretty much suggests frequent "not being as cloistered as thought."
- Good with Numbers: Very good at math, which resulted in her effectively acting as Daeron's master of coin - a role that her husband Ronnel Penrose technically filled.
- Important Haircut: Cut off her braid after she was imprisoned.
- Kissing Cousins: Her affair with Alyn Velaryon. It is possible she also had a fling with Aegon IV that resulted in her being impregnated with Viserys Plumm.
- Marry for Love: Her third marriage to Ser Michael Manwoody.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: She had a total of seven children: two bastards by her cousin Alyn Velaryon (twins Jon and Jeyne Waters), a posthumous son from her marriage to Ossifer Plumm (Viserys), and four children from her marriage to Ronnel Penrose (Robin, Laena, Jocelyn and Joy).
- The Mistress: To Alyn Velaryon, who was married to her aunt Baela. Possibly to Aegon IV as well.
- Out with a Bang: Her husband Ossifer Plumm supposedly dropped dead upon seeing her naked during their consummation, although Elaena insisted that he "did the deed" before he expired. Although it was never said to her face, it is rumoured that Viserys's real father was Aegon IV.
- The entire incident was the subject of In-Universe Memetic Mutation over the course of the next century. One of Viserys' descendents, Brown Ben Plumm, claimed to his queen Daenerys I Targaryen that Elaena had wed Lord Ossifer on account of his Gag Penis, which was an astounding six feet in length. (Though he agrees with Dany that six inches would be more likely, he points out that such a thing is scarcely memorable.) Tyrion, learning of this later, reflects that the rumor started because Viserys Plumm was born more than 9 months after the wedding, resulting in jokes that Plumm impregnated his widow from six feet under.
- Rebellious Princess: She took after her older sister in this regard. While she didn't cause quite as much trouble as Daena, she still found ways to stick it to Baelor.
- The Runt at the End: The youngest daughter of Aegon III and the least graceful when she was young.
- She's All Grown Up: She only got prettier as she aged.
- Silver Vixen: Her looks only improved with age. Some accounts state that she was more beautiful at seventy than seventeen.
- Skunk Stripe: Inverted, she had white hair with a golden streak.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With her cousin Alyn Velaryon, with whom she had two bastard children, twins Jon and Jeyne Waters.
- Tarnishing Their Own Beauty: Attempted when she got her Important Haircut, sending her cut braid to Baelor as a hope he would find her now boyish looks unable to attract men and not locke her up. It didn't work.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It is unknown when she passed away, although it is implied that she lived to at least 70 (and being more beautiful at that age than she was at 17).
- Widow Woman: She outlived all her three husbands.
Court of Viserys II
King Viserys Targaryen, the Second of His Name; r. 171-172
- "Viserys might only have reigned a year, but he ruled for fifteen, while Daeron warred and Baelor prayed."— Tyrion Lannister
Second son of Rhaenyra by her second husband/uncle Daemon. Married to Larra Rogare, with whom he had three children (Aegon IV, Aemon and Naerys). He served as Hand for his brother Aegon III and nephews Daeron I and Baelor I. He was already fairly old when he became king, and reigned for only a year before his death, the crown then passing to his older son, Aegon IV. He is remembered either for killing Baelor to take the crown or as an unsung hero who steered the realm through the oddities and eccentricities of his predecessors.
- Absurdly Youthful Father: His oldest child, Aegon, was born when he was only 13. Which probably explains a lot about the Parental Neglect: it's hard to juggle work and life even when a bit older, but becoming a dad at that age? How do you begin to wrap your head around that, given your own war-torn, broken and very brief childhood?
- Adorably Precocious Child: Was not born as robust as his siblings, but was said to be more mature than any of them. He carried his dragon egg everywhere he went as if it were a teddy, too. D'aaw.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Whatever his dynamic with Baelor actually was, it had flavors of this on his end.
- Cynicism Catalyst: It's said Viserys became a lot more stern after his wife left him to retun to Lys.
- Death by Irony: If the rumors about him were true. He is claimed to have ordered the death of King Baelor I in order to give back some dignity to the family. Likewise, his son Aegon IV is claimed to have poisoned Viserys himself and all of that dignity left out through the window.
- Dragon Ascendant: Rose to the throne after both Daeron and Baelor died childless.
- Evil Chancellor: Was viewed as this, though he was probably doing terrible things to protect the regime. Such as—allegedly—having a lackwit High Septon and, later, King Baelor killed.
- Evil Uncle: Suspected of poisoning his nephew Baelor, after which he became King. Played with, in that Baelor may have actually died from his excessive fasting. Also, if Viserys did do so it may have been because his nephew's insanities, which though making them beloved among the smallfolk were not particularly helpful in running the realm.
- Foil: His competence and stern character (which stands in contrast to the frat-boy and dumb hijinks of his son and successor Aegon IV) may well be a drawn-out caricature of Tywin and Tyrion Lannister's relationship. Ironically, Tyrion (despite being a hedonist almost to the vein of Aegon IV himself) actually respects and admires Viserys II's administrative record—which definitely makes Tyrion the better man to the latter's debauched son.
- The Good Chancellor: Despite his brother's depression and his nephews' antics, he managed to hold the kingdom together for around 20 years.
- Generation Xerox: Died under similar circumstances as his namesake grandfather.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Tyrion considers him one of the best rulers of the dynasty.
- I Coulda Been a Contender!: Yandel states that had Viserys II lived longer, he might have become another Jaehaerys the Conciliator and joined the ranks of the great kings. Instead, he was "merely" regarded as one of the great Hands the kingdom has seen.
- I Did What I Had to Do: The World of Ice and Fire suggests Viserys poisoned Baelor to stop a war with both the North and the Iron Islands, as Baelor had gotten it into his head that the Seven wanted him to convert all the non-believers in the realm.
- I Have Your Wife: After Viserys was taken prisoner after the Battle of the Gullet, Sharako Lohar, the Lyseni admiral in command of the Green-allied fleet kept him as a well-treated prisoner, with the seeming intention of ransoming him back to either his mother or his uncle once the Dance was over. Unfortunately, the plan was rendered moot by the deaths of Rhaenyra, Aegon II and Lohar himself.
- Inheritance Murder: Its commonly believed that Viserys II poisoned his nephew Baelor to acquire the Iron Throne, and was in turn poisoned by his own son Aegon IV for the very same reason only a year later.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: Viserys's father was Daemon Targaryen, the devilishly dashing Rogue Prince who spent his whole life waiting and scheming for a crown he never got the chance to wear. While both spent good amounts of their respective lives in the background, Viserys seems to have been more patient and less flamboyant.
- He is well-known to be a disciplined, duty-bound and competent Hand and King, while his son Aegon IV would eventually be known as probably the worst and dumbest out of all of them.
- Likes Older Women: His wife was seven years his senior.
- Living Emotional Crutch: To his older brother King Aegon III. Aegon never forgave himself for leaving him behind during the Gay Abandon capture. Finding out he was alive and having him back was one of the few joy of his life, and became the only one he trusted completely. It would be pretty much Harsher in Hindsight if Viserys indeed killed Aegon's son.
- Made a Slave: Averted; Lysandro Rogare had initially been apparently considering selling Viserys to a pleasure house because of his handsome looks, but when Rogare learned who Viserys truly was, he realised there was more profit to be had in cultivating ties with the heir to the Iron Throne.
- The Man Behind the Man: Also according to Tyrion, married to the general view of him. However, not necessarily in a totally bad way: being unscrupulous or subtle in directing or curbing his nephews kept things on an even enough keel.
- Mercy Kill: His alleged killing of Baelor has overtones of this, as Baelor was supposedly off his rocker by the time he was "terminated". It is unknown if this is true.
- Modest Royalty: Like his brother Aegon. He even wore his crown.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: After the horrific mess that was his brother's regency, he decided Daeron wasn't going to go through that crap (probably not incidentally motivated by the fact that Unwin Peake had tried to kill his wife and use him as a political pawn, which would sour anyone on the concept). And then the problem of letting a fourteen year old be in absolute power became very readily apparent when Daeron picked a fight with Dorne, which ended up getting him killed by the age of eighteen.
- Number Two: Before ascending to the Iron Throne himself, he had spent most of his life as Hand of the King to three successive rulers: his brother and two nephews.
- The Paragon: Considered the best Hand of the King that has ever served the Iron Throne and a model to follow, which says a lot especially considering the kings he was Hand for.
- Parental Abandonment: He seems to have neglected Aegon because he was busy holding the reins of the kingdom from his nephews Daeron and Baelor. As such, the young Aegon grew a Royal Brat, surrounded in excesses and unaccountability.
- Put on a Bus: In-universe, during the Dance of the Dragons, Viserys was sent to be fostered by the Prince of Pentos for his protection at the behest of his half-brother Jacaerys Velaryon. Things didn't quite work out that way, and Viserys wound up in Lys for several years.
- You Shall Not Pass!: When the Kingsguard, acting against Aegon III's orders, try to arrest his wife for the crime of being Lyseni, he stood in front of them holding an axe. At the age of thirteen, so the minute they actually draw steel, he books it, and lets his bodyguard, Sandoq, do the killing instead.
- Youngest Child Wins: The only one of Queen Rhaenyra's sons who was actually able to pass the crown on to his descendants for longer than one generation.
Court of Aegon IV
King Aegon Targaryen, the Fourth of His Name; r. 172-184
- "Aegon was not called the Unworthy without cause."— Arys Oakheart
Oldest child of Viserys II and Larra Rogare. Married to his sister Naerys, who gave birth to his only legitimate children, Daeron II and Daenerys. His unchecked libido would ravage the Seven Kingdoms for generations to come. note Aegon's epitaph, "The Unworthy", proved to be apt in the face of his excesses and misrule, and many recall him as the very worst of the Targaryen kings. He had a new crown made for himself of red gold, huge and heavy, each of its points a dragon head with gemstone eyes.
- 0% Approval Rating: Until the Mad King Aerys II, he was regarded as the worst king of Westeros, tied alongside Maegor the Cruel — which of them came first was pretty much down to the personal preference of the given writer, with some noting that Maegor at least built the Red Keep and played a (rather brutal and excessive) part in suppressing the Faith Militant, while Aegon the Unworthy has nothing to his credit. Some historians (such as in The World of Ice and Fire) half-seriously remark that he seemed outright devoted to misrule, as if he was actively trying to be the worst king in history.
- Adipose Rex: Became this. Arguably a Fat Idiot, as well. Or, just a really pig-headed, dedicated Fat Bastard.
- Archnemesis Dad: Daeron II criticized his father for many of his stupid actions, being closer to his mother Naerys and his uncle Aemon the Dragonknight. Aegon IV retaliated by frequently threatening to disinherit him, possibly spread rumours that Daeron was in fact Aemon's son, and finally wound up legitimizing all of his bastards on his deathbed, which many people saw as a spiteful "fuck you" to his own son. It's largely suggested the only reason he didn't disinherit Daeron is because if he did, half of the realm would likely rise up in revolt to defend Daeron's claim to the throne.
- Arranged Marriage: With his sister Naerys.
- Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: Some said his motto should have been "Wash Her and Bring Her to My Bed". It is no exaggeration.
- Big Brother Bully: He treated his younger siblings Aemon and Naerys (especially Naerys) quite terribly, even after they died.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Was a veritable Prince Charming in his youth, but was kind of a jerk even then.
- BrotherSister Incest: Married to his sister Naerys. Even when she begged off after having Daeron II, since another pregnancy could kill her, and asked for them to simply live as brother and sister, Aegon replied "That is what we have been doing."
- The Casanova: His lovers and mistresses include: Daena Targaryen (his cousin and the wife of Baelor), Falena Stokeworth, Cassella Vaith, Megette aka Merry Meg, Bellegere Otherys (the Black Pearl of Braavos), Barba Bracken, Melissa Blackwood, Bethany Bracken (Barba's younger sister), Jeyne Lothston, Serenei of Lys and the three daughters of Lord Butterwell (whose favors he bought for a gift of a dragon egg).
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He died too fat to even rouse himself from his couch as parasitic worms infested his body. Of course, when you consider who it happened to, it's kind of appropriate.
- Didn't Think This Through: This could have been another motto applied to him. Diddling my cousin (Daena) behind her brother-husband's (Baelor I) back when she's obviously wanting to get back at him: what fun! Sorry I got your three daughters pregnant: have a dragon egg as payment! Surely having many children with different ladies from important noble houses couldn't be a problem, surely: it's just so funny watching people steam... Neither would legitimizing most of them before I die become an issue, at all. Or, how about undermining my (very likely) trueborn son by favoring one of my bastards by handing him the fancy family sword? Making my own Kingsguard very tempted to hate my guts through a supreme act of hypocrisy is also a wonderful plan... And, wooden siege-"dragons" containing wildfire? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?... The guy was a vengeful idiot with the long-term planning skills and consideration of a bomber lemming resting on the nuke button.
- Enfante Terrible: Gyldayn's first notable mention of him is at one and a half years old, trying to bludgeon newborn Aemon with a dragon egg for no reason whatsoever, only being stopped because his mother heard the baby's crying. Kind of set the tone for the rest of his life.
- Evil Counterpart: To his great-grandfather, Viserys I. Both of them were corpulent monarchs whose reigns each directly led to a Civil War. But while Viserys was a good-natured man of peace and smart enough to continue his predecessor's good work, Aegon was a mercurial, greedy and cruel hedonist who only cared for his own pleasure and had an axe to grind against Dorne, in defiance of Baelor's peace. Viserys' actions which sparked war stemmed from misguided love for his family, Aegons actions stemmed from spite towards his son Daeron.
- Fatal Flaw: He had absolute zero impulse control and just did everything that came to mind. He bedded whoever he wanted, he gave away dragon eggs, he gave the sword that symbolized Targaryen kings to one of his bastard sons and raped his frail and sick wife.
- Foil: He could almost be considered the Targaryen version of Robert Baratheon. However, they have their share of differences which are very striking. Aegon had practically zero impulse control, like Robert's poor choices, but Robert knew he was a poor king, while not making an effort to do much better. Furthermore, Robert never had any mistresses — official or otherwise — like Aegon, instead bedding mainly whores. Robert also only recognized one of his bastards, Edric Storm, who was highborn, but could have had as many as sixteen. Aegon legitimized all of his illegitimate children on his deathbed, while Robert withdrew the order to kill Daenerys on his, and was not proud of what he had become.
- Although Robert, unlike Aegon, did have genuinely good qualities as well. He was a gifted warrior and military strategist, and physically brave with it, whereas Aegon's one military adventure ended in miserable failure and he showed himself later to be a DirtyCoward. Also, Robert actually had some basic sense of duty as he wanted to abdicate the throne, being utterly miserable in the job, but stayed in a position he hated because he knew his heir would be far worse for the Realm.
- Also, both abused and raped their wives, but Robert was shown to have at least felt some degree of shame for it - referring to his striking of Cersei as "not kingly of me," and muttering excuses when she confronted him about drunkenly forcing himself on her, indicating that on some level he knew that what he did was wrong (not that he made any effort to stop). Aegon, on the other hand, hurt Naerys throughout her life out of seemingly nothing more than petty malice.
- Freudian Excuse: His mother left home when he was quite young, and his father was away on business practically all the time, leaving young Aegon effectively adrift without anyone to rein his behavior in or give him a solid upbringing, let alone something constructive to do — or just company his own age early on. While it doesn't excuse the worst of his excesses as king, it certainly helps one understand how he became the man he did.
- The Hedonist: Very much. When Targaryens decide to channel what gifts they have into something specific, they tend to go all out. And, he decided early on that enjoying himself in the here-now was what he most wanted to do. Bonus if it screwed somebody else over. Could be interpreted as a means of drowning his fears and insecurities that went well over the top.
- Hypocrite: He killed Ser Terrence Toyne for breaking his vow of celibacy, despite the fact that Aegon was a massive philanderer himself (the woman in question was Bethany Bracken, one of Aegon's mistresses, to boot!).
- I Regret Nothing: His shenanigans stained the Iron Throne's reputation, caused the deaths of many people far better than him and sowed the seeds of civil war and a struggle for the throne that lasted four generations, yet he died unrepentant. In fact, his last actions were seemingly born out of a vindictive desire to further destabilize the realm after his death.
- It's All About Me: All available indicators point to... yes. Big time.
- It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Although you could rely on him to always convert this trope to full-scale Didn't Think This Through, his bungles always had either YOLO or trollololol as the root cause.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Started out as a typical Pretty Boy Targaryen, but his appetites took their toll and he bloated up like a balloon.
- Jerkass: He was not called "The Unworthy" without cause. But... perhaps his biggest jerk move came when he found out that Terrence Toyne, a member of his Kingsguard, had slept with Bethany Bracken, one of his mistresses, with both claiming they had fallen in love. He then had Toyne dismembered and made Bethany watch, then had her and her father (his Hand at the time) executed. It's also stated that he was the source of the rumors about Daeron II's illegitimacy, and deliberately gave Daemon the sword Blackfyre to spite his legitimate son, his wife, and his brother Aemon.
- Kavorka Man: Despite his loathsome personality and, in his later life, equally repulsive appearance, he kept attracting a flock of bedmates and mistresses. This is almost certainly due to the fact that he was (by law, at least) the most powerful man in Westeros in a feudal system where Kings were all-powerful which meant that women didn't really have the option of saying no, and considering that the City Watch procured women for him (not only prostitutes but "decent women") the consent is dubious.
- Kid-anova: He was 14 when he had his first mistress, Falena Stokeworth, who's 10 years his senior. He also possibly fathered Falena's daughter Jeyne Lothston around this time.
- King on His Deathbed: Legitimized his illegitimate sons as his last wish. Everyone knew this was a bad idea but they obeyed.
- Kissing Cousins: With Daena the Defiant. Though, according to Maester Yandel, Daena deliberately wanted to give birth to a child to spite Baelor, and Aegon IV was more than happy to comply.
- Last of His Kind: By his own actions. He was the last Targaryen monarch that held the sword of kings, Blackfyre, since he gave it away to one of his bastard sons. This created enormous problems for the crown, as the sword remained a significantly symbolic item, prompting people to believe that this bastard son of his was the rightful King of Westeros just because of his combat prowess and the fact that he bore the damn sword.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The wildfire-spewing "dragons" Aegon commissioned for his planned invasion of Dorne failed so miserably that he never spoke of either his plans or the province for the rest of his days.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: He inherited none of the wisdom or the ability to rule from his father, Viserys.
- Also with his son Daeron II. Fortunately for everyone in the kingdom, Daeron inherited his grandfather's political skills and made the second best ruler after Jaehaerys I.
- Love Ruins the Realm: Subverted in that it's very much lust and not love here. Repeated lust. Played very straight in that it was actually the dumbass move of legitimizing every single one of his many great bastards that kicked off major problems. Worse: by taking lovers from opposing Houses and having retroactively legitimized children by them, he only heated old, cross-Kingdom resentments up into a mess of a civil war. So, by not being able to stick to just his wife or using his brain for his choice of lovers... yeah. Problems. For that matter, it can easily be said that Aegon IV really didn't love anyone but himself: self-love ruined the realm.
- Marital Rape License: After Queen Naerys gave birth to their son Daeron, she was told that having any more children could very well kill her. So she asked Aegon IV to keep separate beds from then on, as she had already given him an heir, but he (despite not loving her and being unfaithful) insisted she continued performing her wifely duties purely out of spite.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: He had at least six children by his sister-wife Naerys (Daeron II, a set of twins that died as infants, Daenerys and her stillborn twin brother, and a child whose birth led to Naerys's death in childbed) and numerous bastards, including: four daughters by Merry Meg (Alysanne, Lily, Willow and Rosey), three children by Bellegere Otherys (Bellenora, Narha and Balerion), Daemon Blackfyre by his cousin Daena, Aegor Rivers aka "Bittersteel" by Barba Bracken, three children by Melissa Blackwood (Mya, Gwenys and Brynden Rivers aka "Bloodraven"), Shiera Seastar by Serenei of Lys and three unnamed children by the daughters of Lord Butterwell. It is also possible he was the true father of both Viserys Plumm and of his own eighth mistress, Jeyne Lothston.
- The Mistress: Yes, he had a massive amount of bedmates, but it was only Melissa Blackwood who came even remotely close to being actually loved by Aegon IV, to the point of almost being his concubine. She was even a friend of Daeron, Aemon and Naerys during her time at court.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Martin describes him as the Henry VIII of Westeros. Others might notice a similarity to John of Gaunt, too. He's practically the worst aspects of both put together, without the foresight of either. And his legitimized bastards cause a lot of trouble, rather like how those descended from Gaunt's bastards, the Tudors, ended up usurping rule of England.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: To people who never met him, Aegon IV was a clown. Let him bed one of your female relatives and he'll grant you any favors you want. To the rest of the court, he was the devil himself who would stop at nothing to fulfil his desires and whose spiteful decisions would tear the kingdom apart for years to come.
- Parental Abandonment: His excesses stemmed from the fact that his father was busy ruling the kingdoms of his cousins Daeron and Baelor. He did not have any responsibilities or accountability as the son of the Hand of the King until he found himself as Prince of Dragonstone under his father's reign. To add insult to injury, his mother left for Essos because she didn't like Westeros. A young man too much rich and too unsupervised.
- Parental Favoritism: Favored his bastard Daemon Blackfyre over his trueborn son Daeron II.
- Pet the Dog: Deconstructed. You'd think that legitimising your illegitimate children on your deathbed would be a kind act. Not so kind when you have several bastard sons from highborn mothers who are now going to play havoc with the line of succession. Particularly Daemon, who was a full Targaryen and who Aegon quite likely made legitimate as one last, spiteful dig at Daeron.
- The Pornomancer: He boasted of sleeping with 900 women at last count, and some said that he didn't go to sleep without company ever. His mistresses included Falena Stokeworth and later her daughter, Jeyne Lothston (who may or may not actually have been Aegon's own offspring) and it's stated that he might have had a threesome with both. Everything is possible with this guy.
- Practically Different Generations: As a consequence of him Really Gets Around, some of his bastard children are actually younger than his legitimate son's kids. Even his legitimate children Daeron and Daenerys are 19 years apart in age.
- Really Gets Around: As long as they were female, Aegon went out to nail Anything That Moves, whether they were highborn or common. It was said not even the decent women of the capital were safe and the Gold Cloaks were far too eager to "procure" women for him.
- Royal Brat: In his youth, he was essentially Joffrey with a lust for women instead of murder and humiliation. Although he certainly enjoyed the latter two at certain points.
- Royal Harem: Essentially converted the Red Keep into this. Many Lords of the Seven Kingdoms won favors from Aegon IV by pimping their daughters to him, and exploited him shamelessly for favors granted in exchange for their daughters' services in his bed.
- Secret Weapon: He had "wooden dragons" built. They weren't effective. At all. They were filled with unstable wildfire and before being deployed spilled on the way and murdered several hundreds of their own support crew in a chain reaction.
- Sketchy Successor: His father Viserys didn't have a particularly long reign as king in his own right, but he was instrumental in holding the kingdom together as Hand of the King for many years prior (and, had he lived longer, might have been remembered as a great king himself). Aegon, on the other hand, was quite possibly the worst king that has ever sat on the Iron Throne.
- Self-Made Orphan: If the rumors about him poisoning his father had some truth to them.
- Speak Ill of the Dead: After Aemon and Naerys died, Aegon did nothing to honor their memory. In fact he kept insinuating that they had had an affair to undermine Daeron's claim to the throne.
- Stupid Evil: The only way to explain his tendency to go for the worst possible plan to screw himself (and everybody else) over for the short-term giggles. That, and/or being Mr Full-Time Troll.
- Unfit for Greatness: It's lampshaded, even: "The Unworthy". In retrospect, perhaps letting somebody else rule would have been a better move...
- Ungrateful Bastard: How does he reward the brother who served him faithfully for many years and even died to save his life? By trying to ruin his reputation after he died. Of course.
Queen Naerys Targaryen
- Queen Naerys: I have done my duty by you, and given you an heir. I beg you, let us live henceforth as brother and sister.
King Aegon IV: That is what we are doing.
Third and youngest child of Viserys II and Larra Rogare, and sister-wife of Aegon IV, with whom she had two (surviving) children, Daeron II and Daenerys. She was sickly all her life, and very thin and delicate. Her marriage to her brother Aegon was a very unhappy one, and she wished to stop sharing his bed after their son's birth, as any further pregnancies could endanger her life, but he refused. She was very close to her other brother, Aemon the Dragonknight (some rumors claimed the two were lovers), and it was said he was one of the very few people who could make her laugh. Naerys eventually died in childbirth closer to the end of Aegon's reign as a result of her poor health.
- Arranged Marriage: With Aegon IV.
- BrotherSister Incest: Married to her brother Aegon IV, and might have had an affair with her other brother, Aemon the Dragonknight (while Aemon was almost certainly carrying a torch for her, he was also compulsively dutiful and there is no actual evidence of this, meaning it's entirely possible that the whole thing may have been made up to support Daemon Blackfyre's claim).
- Courtly Love: Her relationship with Aemon. Deconstructed when it was claimed it went beyond this trope and that Naerys had actually given birth to his son (though it's likely those were just rumors as there was little evidence to support them).
- Death by Childbirth: Revealed in The World of Ice & Fire.
- Domestic Abuse: Aegon IV insisted she continued performing her wifely duties despite not loving her and being unfaithful while fully knowing that another pregnancy could kill her (and it eventually did). And then there's him allegedly using Ser Morgil to accuse her of adultery.
- A Family Affair: It was rumored that she was carrying on an affair with her husband and her own brother Aemon, though most believe it was a rumor made up by Aegon IV and Blackfyre Supporters opposing her son's claim to the throne.
- Good Parents: Do you really think Aegon took time out of his busy, hedonistic schedule to raise their kids with her? Yet, those who made it to adulthood were decent human beings with functional moral compasses. Uncle Aemon probably helped out by acting as a surrogate father figure, at the very least.
- Ill Girl: She almost died in the cradle and was weak and sickly for her entire life—likely the reason which led to several of her children being stillborn/dying in infancy and to her eventual death in childbed.
- Lady and Knight: The Lady to Aemon's Knight. Aemon defended her honor when Ser Morgil accused her of adultery and he crowned her Queen of Love and Beauty.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: From The World of Ice & Fire, we learn that her and Aegon IV had at least six children: Daeron II, a set of twins who died in infancy, Daenerys and her stillborn twin brother, and at least another child (whose birth led to her death).
- Modest Royalty: She preferred simple clothing and rarely wore any jewelry at all, even her crown.
- Nice Girl: Pretty nice, unlike her husband.
- Outnumbered Sibling: She had two brothers.
- The Quiet One: Her delicate nature and sheltered lifestyle made her very introspective.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With her brother Aemon, maybe. If you believe the propaganda spread by Aegon and his Blackfyre descendants.
- Taking the Veil: She was dedicated to the Faith of the Seven and wanted to become a septa, but her father made her marry her brother Aegon IV instead and become queen.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: She enjoyed sewing and embroidering.
- Unwanted Spouse: After their son Daeron was born, Queen Naerys asked Aegon IV to release her from her vows so she could join the Faith of the Seven. He refused. She also asked to sleep in separate beds since they didn't love each other—he refused even more.
- See The Historical Kingsguard page.
Aegon IV's Great BastardsTowards the end of his life and on his deathbed, King Aegon IV decided to legitimize his bastard children from various mothers. Among these children, four of them became prominent in their own right.
- See the House Blackfyre page.
- See The Golden Company page.
Lord Bloodraven, Hand of the King, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch The Last Greenseer, The Three-Eyed Crow
- "A Thousand Eyes, and One."
Brynden Rivers was the youngest of three children (and the only son) of Aegon IV by his sixth mistress Melissa Blackwood, giving him the rare distinction of having Valyrian and First Men descent. An albino with a red skin patch (whose supposed raven shape gave him the nickname Bloodraven), Lord Brynden remained loyal to House Targayren fighting against his half-brothers (Bittersteel and Daemon Blackfyre) during the Blackfyre Rebellions.
A fearsome warrior, Bloodraven wielded Visenya's sword Dark Sister, though he was proficient with a weirwood longbow as well. He used it to kill Daemon Blackfyre and his twin sons in the Battle of Redgrass Field, an action which marked him as a kinslayer. For this, his half-brother and rival Bittersteel gouged his left eye out in ire. Bloodraven in turn refused to wear an eyepatch for the rest of his life, adding to his creepy appearance. Bloodraven later served as Hand of the King under Aerys I and Maekar I, but due to his murder of Aenys Blackfyre to remove him as a potential successor of Maekar, he was deposed and imprisoned in the Black Cells on Aegon V's orders. Given the option, he chose to take the black and was sent as a conscript to the Night's Watch as part of the "honor guard" for Aemon Targaryen. He eventually rose to became Lord Commander, but went missing when ranging in 252 AC.
In A Dance With Dragons, it is revealed that Bloodraven still "lives" in symbiosis with a weirwood tree and is the Three-Eyed Crow that has been advising Bran in his dreams as well as a powerful skinchanger and greenseer, the true source of his reputation for sorcery.
For the Beings Beyond The Wall page, see here.
- 0% Approval Rating: He was thought to be an evil sorcerer and everyone blamed him for the realm's problems. Being an albino bastard certainly didn't help him with all the sinister connotations both conditions have, culturally. Or just having the one eye, either.
- The Ace: Bloodraven was the most important political figure during his time at King's Landing and most certainly the greatest Master of Spies to have ever served the Iron Throne. He is more often than not mentioned by the common folk to be more influential to the events at the time than the Kings he served. Hyperbole aside, he was said to influence even the damn weather itself.
- Ambiguously Evil: So ambiguous, it's hard to say where he stands even now he's mostly a tree, even after the events in the current series he's triggered. Melisandre most certainly considers him evil, or at least a threat, but she's not exactly in a position to talk.
- Animal Eye Spy: It's implied that his amazing skills as a spymaster were/are attributable to his ability to skinchange into ravens.
- Annoying Arrows: His elite group of archers "The Raven's Teeth" were a deadly aversion of this to others. A fact House Blackfyre learned all too well.
- Archer Archetype: His weirwood longbow and archery unit weren't just conversation pieces. He also comes with strong suggestions of being a Cold Sniper with it, what with his propensity to carefully pick where, when and how to engage by throwing in an awful lot of field-prep and deliberate ignoring of social niceties into the mix. But, if you think any of this meant he had to be crap at close-combat... Dark Sister would probably change your mind.
- Big Brother Is Watching: He was notorious during his tenure as Hand for having a vast network of spies and informers and was remorseless to anyone who stated pro-Blackfyre sentiments publicly. In The Mystery Knight, several lords complain about how people were no longer free to express their sentiment out of fear of being spied upon. It's implied that his talents as a skinchanger contributed to this, hence his reputation as a sorcerer. And know that he's the Three-Eyed Crow... it's heavily implied he's still watching Westeros and his descendants.
- Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: In a pretty unsophisticated moment for such a smooth operator, he dubs Lord Butterwell "Lord Butterbutt". And this is after telling the man he's going to tear down his castle.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: His main weapons were a Weirwood Bow and the Valyrian Steel Sword Dark Sister.
- BrotherSister Incest: The love of his life was his half-sister, Shiera Seastar. For her part, she was fond of him, but she also liked tormenting him by sleeping with other men.
- Byronic Hero: Bloodraven was the most important political figure during his time at King's Landing and most certainly the greatest Master of Spies to have ever served the Iron Throne. But he was a very controversial guy: rumored to be a sorcerer (and indeed he was, since he could skinchange in his crows) who controlled the kingdom with his crows, and suppressed the Blackfyre Rebellion in blood. His ruthless actions to keep the Targaryens on the throne eventually earned him a one-way ticket to The Wall. But even there he managed to become Lord Commander until he disappeared Beyond the Wall. It's revealed he didn't disappearhe instead became a powerful half-weirwood figure in a cave with the Children of the Forest and he's still watching Westeros and his descendants. The true meaning of most of his ruthless actions are yet to be found out, but it's safe to say that he would see them as part of a bigger picture.
- Cain and Abel: He was enemies with his half-brother (and Foil) Aegor Rivers, known as "Bittersteel", who also loved Shiera Seastar. On top of that, Bloodraven's mother was a Blackwood and Bittersteel's mother was a Bracken. (As you might be able to tell, Aegon IV did the realm no favors when picking his mistresses.) On the battle of the Redgrass Field, he and his archers rained down arrows on Daemon Blackfyre and his twin sons, succeeding in killing all three. This action earned Bloodraven the tag of "kinslayer" (Daemon being another of his bastard half-brothers, and the twins therefore his nephews).
- Bloodraven was ruthless and unsentimental when it came to engagements. He advised Aerys I to kill Bittersteel, his half-brother and Aerys's uncle, but the former refused. Years later, Bloodraven executed Daemon's son Aenys Blackfyre (his nephew) and put his head upon a pike on the Red Keep.
- Child of Two Worlds: As a child of Valyrian and First Men ancestry, where said relationships are a allegedly a rarity in Westeros And he's the one who shows how powerful a child of Valyrian and First Men heritage may turn out. He's in fact an immensely powerful greenseer and skinchanger. One could wonder how it'd be if Targaryens ever mated with Starks, and it's a very good question.
- Clever Crows: His names, his birthmark, the Blackwood sigil and his skinchanging all have one thing in common: ravens. Add him becoming a Lord Commander of the Crows on top of that? Yeah. He's not dropped the symbology even though he's taken "Blackwood" to heart: he's not just the Three-Eyed Crow, but there are a lot of hints that one of his regular animals is a certain Lord Commanders' raven who loves corn.
- Cock Fight: He and his half-brother Aegor Bittersteel had feelings for their half-sister Shiera Seastar, who choose Brynden over Aegor. Bittersteel was apparently Not Good with Rejection and invested the energy of his wrath in conspiring against the throne...
- Cool Sword: One of the Targaryen warriors (including Prince Daemon Targaryen and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight) to wield Visenya's Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister.
- Combat Pragmatist: His signature style can summed up thusly, "Chivalry is for the losers." Every dirty move was used — no exceptions made; no quarter given.
- Court Mage: Due to his uncanny ability to sniff out even the most closely-concealed treasonous plots, people began spreading rumors that he was some kind of sorcerer who used dark magic to spy on them. They were right, in a sense — he's a powerful skinchanger and greenseer who also had some skill with glamours.
- Distinguishing Mark: A large, reddish birthmark on his neck that was somewhat bird-shaped, and the source of his nickname.
- Dragon-in-Chief: As Hand of the King to Aerys I, Bloodraven essentially ruled the kingdom while Aerys spent most of his time studying scrolls and prophecies.
- Evil Sorcerer: By reputation. He definitely was a sorcerer, although the evil part is still up in the air.
- Evil Chancellor: His reputation was as one, but his appearance in The Mystery Knight suggests something more like a Loyal and Extremely Ruthless Chancellor. One thing to keep in mind: a major reason why Aegon V had a relatively peaceful, productive reign was because all of the major Blackfyre-related problems were out of his hair thanks to Bloodraven's hard work during the previous years. Even if nobody quite acknowledges that.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In the Dunk & Egg stories, Bloodraven has expressed sincere fondness for his grand-nephew Egg; the unlikely circumstances that led Egg to be crowned as King Aegon V (meaning, all the people that had to die for him to receive the crown) have undertones of Bloodraven's hand. Later, as the Three-Eyed Crow, he expresses his love for two of his half-siblings (his king Daeron II and his sister-lover Shiera).
- Expy: Is one for Elric of Melnibone, as he is the albino sorcerer descendant of a dynasty vaguely associated with elfin characteristics.
- The Extremist Was Right: Arguably a case of this. If he hadn't gone after the Blackfyre side as ruthlessly as he did while earning such a dismal reputation for himself, the problem could well have haunted Aegon's reign and beyond quite directly. As it is, he may have missed a couple: if the newer Aegon turns out to be a feint, that is. Still, that would prove the point: trouble brews if you leave it be.
- Eye Scream: He lost one of his eyes to Bittersteel during the Battle of Redgrass Field. He often traveled leaving the socket open which added to his sinister aura.
- Flaw Exploitation: Bloodraven lured Daemon Blackfyre into the open by shooting his son, knowing he would never leave him behind. He then rained arrows on him and his other son. In that one stroke, he ended the battle of the Redgrass Field and the Blackfyre rebellion.
- Varys. The two of them are considered the absolute best spymasters in the history of Westeros ( although Bloodraven is a bit cheating with his skinchanging ability; and have been basically The Man Behind the Man of the kings they served (and mind that they survived a few kings). Also Bloodraven was unexplainably loyal to House Targaryen despite being a bastard himself like Blackfyre while Varys is ambiguously loyal to the supposed Aegon VI Targaryen, or otherwise he means to restore the long-lost House Blackfyre.
- Tyrion Lannister. Both served as Hand of the King and both during a time of war, and were instrumental in their side's victory. Even though they were far more competent Hands than the kings they served (who also happened to be their nephews), they were disliked and distrusted by most people because of their physical appearance, Tyrion being a dwarf and Bloodraven an albino, and also they get in battle a serious injury that makes them even more menacing. They were imprisoned after their time as Hand (though Tyrion was definitely unjustly imprisoned) and were offered to go to the Wall—Bloodraven accepted, Tyrion escaped before it would have happened. Finally, they're both kinslayers—Brynden's archers killed Daemon Blackfyre and his sons at his orders and also murdered his nephew Aenys Blackfyre by himself, Tyrion is accused of Joffrey's murder and eventually kills his own father.
- Jon Snow. History Repeats as another royal bastard becomes a Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. An highly controversial one. Aside for the stigma about bastards, they are suspected sorcerer (which they are - two powerful metamorphs) and they have adopted similar banners (a white dragon/wolf on a black field). Also their powers can be the product of Valyrian/First Men heritage, which Jon is suspected to have along with his (maybe his great-great-great-granduncle?)
- The Friend Nobody Likes: He was loyal to the Targaryen cause during the Blackfyre Rebellion, despite being a bastard himself. However, his unusual looks and sinister aura meant that even his own supporters did not like him very much.
- This is especially notable in regards to his service as Hand of the King to Maekar; Maekar personally disliked Bloodraven, and was quite capable of ruling in comparison to his predecessor, yet still trusted him enough to have him serve as Hand.
- The Gods Must Be Lazy: A possible aversion; some of the apparently supernatural acts in ASOIAF might well have been caused by him.
- Heroic Bastard: With the terrible reputation he has you'd think he's a Bastard Bastard, but actually he is this. He was an accomplished warrior, a competent general and politician (despite, or perhaps because of, his iron-fisted approach to power) has sided with his legitimate half-brother King Daeron seemingly for the affection he had for him and the rivalry he had with Bittersteel, and never betrayed his legitimate half-brother or his offspring in those shady years, and was seemingly their most devoted follower, although one could question his methods (and some did).
- I Did What I Had to Do: His justification for killing Aenys Blackfyre, under a truce sign and parley, violating all codes of diplomacy. On becoming King, Egg arrested him and sent him to the Night's Watch.
- I Have Many Names: Bloodraven for his unusual birthmark and also, the Three-Eyed Crow and the Last Greenseer.
- It's Personal: He did not take Daemon Blackfyre and Bittersteel's betrayal of their dear shared half-brother Daeron II very kindly, so he dedicated most of his life to squashing their pretensions and their legacy with implacable prejudice. Bittersteel and Bloodraven also shared an enmity because of a number of aspects, like the fact that Bloodraven's mother replaced Bittersteel's as their father's favorite, the fact that Shiera Seastar preferred Bloodraven over Bittersteel, and the fact that Blackwood and Bracken had been in constant conflict for thousands of years.
- Lean and Mean: In contrast to Daemon Blackfyre and Aegor Rivers who are tall and muscular, Brynden is thin and gaunt. As for the "mean" part, he is ruthlessly pragmatic.
- Legally Dead: Aged 77, he disappeared into the woods beyond the wall on 252 AC, fifty years before the events of ASOIAF. When Bran encounters him, he's ~125 years old; colloquially old as balls. No wonder no one went looking for him.
- The Madness Place: Very, very highly likely. He's focused (or, perhaps, obsessive) even by the standards of both his stubborn bloodlines. As for thinking outside the box using unthinkable, yet creative strategies... that worked? Check! Making strides in skinchanging, greenseeing and other assorted magical schools when all of them are practically extinct south of the Wall must have taken something unusual. On top of that, going for the tree option as a seer certainly takes a radically different take on things, even by Mad Oracle metrics.
- The Man Behind the Man:
- He was widely held to be this for King Aerys I. The World of Ice & Fire also holds him responsible for sparking the First Blackfyre Rebellion when he gave intelligence to Daeron the Good that Daemon and Bittersteel were going to make their move. Historians state that it's almost impossible that Bloodraven could have obtained this information, but readers will know it can be attributed to his greenseer and skinchanger abilities.
- An awful lot of Targaryens had to die for Egg to become King Aegon V Targaryen, nicknamed "The Unlikely". Bloodraven's dabbling in secrecy and the occult suggests that there might have been foul play on these deaths; he even had to blatantly kill Aenys Blackfyre to clear the way for Aegon from having serious contenders to the Iron Throne. Only time will tell if he did the deed.
- Never Found the Body: Disappeared when ranging beyond the Wall. He somehow ended up North of the Wall as a half-weirwood figure in a cave with the Children of the Forest
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Years of dedicated (and fanatical) service to House Targaryen and all he got was a one-way ticket to The Wall.
- OOC Is Serious Business: His killing of Aenys Blackfyre after personally inviting him to the Great Council was considered especially vile and dishonorable, even beyond the standards he had set so far. All sympathy for his actions went straight down the toilet, leaving Aegon V to give him two options: execution, or join the Night's Watch. He chose the latter.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Wore these to cover his missing eye. They're still (mostly) there, even in the state he's currently in.
- Pet the Dog: In "The Mystery Knight", he seems to have a soft spot for his great-nephew Egg, as well as for Dunk even more so if he was indeed disguised as Maynard Plumm via a glamour, as Plumm saved Dunk's life.
- Police State: His tenure as Hand of the King largely consisted in turning Westeros into one. He built a vast network of spies, had his own private organization "The Raven's Teeth", run security and likewise used his magical abilities to peek wherever he could. Any public declaration of Blackfyre sympathies however innocuous was found and stamped out with extreme prejudice and nobody felt comfortable speaking their minds. This needless to say made him highly unpopular and the popular song "A Thousand Eyes, and One" is not complimentary.
- Pragmatic Hero:
- He is particularly vilified for killing Daemon Blackfyre in the most unceremonious way possible by raining arrows on him and his twin sons instead of facing him on the field of battle. While Bloodraven carried Dark Sister, it's uncertain if he would have stood up in swordsmanship to Blackfyre, who was said to be able to fight like the Warrior himself.
- When Daemon II Blackfyre challenged him to a duel at the beginning of the Second Blackfyre Rebellion, Bloodraven nipped the whole thing in the bud by immediately having him arrested instead... and then keeping him as a hostage rather than having him executed with the rest of the rebels, which prevented his younger brother from being named as heir.
- In another incident, when Aenys Blackfyre (another of Daemon's sons) pressed his claim to the throne following Maekar's death, Bloodraven called a great council to offer a peaceful resolution as a way of avoiding a civil war... and then, when Aenys arrived for these peaceful negotiations, Bloodraven immediately murdered him, in violation of all codes of diplomacy, in order to quash the threat of civil war for good.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Aegon V ("Egg") had him sent him to the Wall as part of a honor guard to accompany Maester Aemon (a fate which he chose to avoid execution for his murder of Aenys Blackfyre mentioned above). He eventually became Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
- Royalty Superpower: What can you get when you cross the blood of the First Men with that of Old Valyria in a time without dragons? A greenseer and skinchanger, that's what.
- Shoot the Dog: This seems to have practically been his life philosophy—coupled with prejudices against his appearance, that caused him to become very unpopular.
- Shrouded in Myth: The banner carrier for the trope. He's one of the most over-the-top High Fantasy characters in ASOIAF, a series that is generally considered Low Fantasy, to the fringes of absurdity.
- Sinister Surveillance: The meaning of the song written about him, "A Thousand Eyes, and One". The "one eye" part is a reference to him having lost one eye in battle, and the "thousand eyes" part because he seemed to have spies everywhere. And he does. As a powerful skinchanger, he can control animals and see through their eyes.
- The Spymaster: Master of Whisperers... it was his job. His information network seems to have exceeded that of Varys.
- Two Aliases, One Character:
- It's implied in the Dunk and Egg novella The Mystery Knight that a hedge knight calling himself Maynard Plumm (who is revealed as one of Bloodraven's spies) was actually Bloodraven himself using a glamour.
- It's revealed in A Dance with Dragons that he and the Three Eyed Crow are one and the same.
- The text seems also to suggest that he may also be fond of warging Mormont's raven and hanging around Jon Snow. That would explain a lot of the raven's interactions with Jon Snow.
- Unexpected Character: Became the Three Eyed Crow after being thought dead for half a century.
- The Unreveal: While it's known why he had a rivalry with Bittersteel, it's not known why both Bloodraven and Shiera stayed so staunchly loyal to the Targaryens. There are no accounts of their relationship with King Daeron and Bloodraven's infamy has only added darkness to the already muddy waters. His appearance on the underground cave suggest that there might have been an element of magic even to this aspect of him.
- It's also not revealed what precisely did he have against the Blackfyres and why was it so damn important to keep them away from the Iron Throne. At first it seemed to be plain and simple loyalty, but his actions against Aenys Blackfyre border on the illogical and have touches of zealotry or even something more macabre.
- While it's known that he was sent to the Wall for killing Aenys Blackfyre, it's not known whether he did it to intentionally head North being summoned by his destiny like Bran Stark did. There's credence to this, as he has willingly spent half a century imbued in a tree beyond the Wall.
- Much like Blackfyre, the Sword of Kings, the sword Dark Sister disappeared when Bloodraven went to the Wall
- It's also a legitimate question wondering if most of the supernatural or ambiguous events of ASOIAF have something to do with him. It's rather unlikely that he spent something like fifty years doing nothing but watching and warging.
- We Do the Impossible: "A Thousand Eyes And One" is not really that far-fetched when you have the medieval-equivalent to CCTV at your disposition. The way he was able to employ it so effectively bordered on the absurd, however.
- Weapon of Choice: While wielding Dark Sister, he was also a gifted archer, having commanded his own archery unit, "The Raven's Teeth", and wielding a longbow made of weirwood.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Bloodraven disappeared beyond the wall for half a century before the events of ASOIAF; it's known to the reader that he became the Three Eyed Crow, but the rationale behind his decision hasn't been revealed; also, no other person than Bran Stark and Meera and Jojen Reed know that he's alive, so to the rest of the world, he simply disappeared.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Personally invited Aenys Blackfyre to stake his claim to the Great Council, only to have him captured and executed as soon as he touched ground. This was especially heinous, as Aenys' claim meant a banner of peace even if he wasn't chosen. Having been elected, Aegon V's first order of business was to give Bloodraven an ultimatum: execution, or the Night's Watch.
- White Sheep: Remained loyal to the family, unlike his half-brothers Bittersteel and Daemon Blackfyre. His personal coat of arms was an albino dragon on a black field. In fact, he was so trusted by Daeron that he was allowed to wield Dark Sister, the sword usually given to the most dangerous and loyal Targaryen, in spite of being a Great Bastard with a bad reputation.
- Would Hurt a Child: Killed his nephews Aegon and Aemon Blackfyre who were both just 12 years old.
- "Bittersteel and Bloodraven both loved Shiera Seastar, and the Seven Kingdoms bled."— Barristan Selmy
The youngest of Aegon IV's "Great Bastards", her mother being Lady Serenei of Lys, Aegon's ninth and last mistress. She was considered to be the most beautiful woman of her time and one of the most beautiful women that have ever lived, to such a degree that she rumored to have been a sorceress.
- Alliterative Name: Shiera Seastar.
- BrotherSister Incest: The most lasting relationship of her life was with her half-brother Brynden Rivers aka "Bloodraven".
- Bookworm: By reputation, she was one of the most well-read of her generation... on certain topics, at least.
- Cunning Linguist: More than most Targaryens. Which says something.
- Iconic Outfit: She possessed a famous silver necklace, alternating sapphires and emeralds to match her unusual eyes.
- Repetitive Name: Shiera Seastar, with "Shiera" also meaning "star of the sea".
- The Tease: Bloodraven was the love of her life, and she shared her bed with him more than any other man. This didn't stop her from sleeping around, though, because she thought Bloodraven was cutest when he was jealous.
- Vain Sorceress: Rumored to be one.
- The Vamp: Well, her appealing to a wide range of men did trigger a few issues, yes.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We still have no clue about what happened to her. And considering Bloodraven is sort of alive and well still, that's quite an important consideration.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: She was considered the most beautiful woman of her time.
Mya and Gwenys RiversThe two eldest bastard daughters of Aegon IV and Melissa Blackwood. They were the older sisters of Bloodraven, not usually included within the Great Bastards.
- See the House Blackwood page
Alysanne, Lily, Willow and RoseyThe four bastard daughters of Aegon IV and his second mistress Megette.
Bellenora, Narha and Balerion OtherysThe three purported bastard children of Aegon IV and Bellegere Otherys.
- See the Braavos page
Court of Daeron II
King Daeron Targaryen, the Second of His Name; r. 184-209
The Good, The Falseborn
- "The whole realm knew that the girl loved Daeron's bastard brother Daemon Blackfyre, and was loved by him in turn, but the king was wise enough to see that the good of thousands must come before the desires of two, even if those two were dear to him."
Son of Aegon IV (or Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, according to some) and Naerys. Married Princess Mariah Martell, with whom he had four sons (Baelor, Aerys I, Rhaegel and Maekar I). Succeeded where his predecessors failed by bringing Dorne into the realm not by war, but through marriage. Unfortunately, this brought in unwanted Dornish influence. This and his questionable paternity would lead to a rebellion raised by his half-brother Daemon Blackfyre. The steady and insightful kingship of Daeron the Good was desperately needed after the catastrophe that was his father's reign. It is arguable that he alone was responsible for prolonging the Targaryen dynasty by another century. Daeron died during the Great Spring Sickness in 209 AC along with his two eldest grandsons and most immediate heirs. He wore the crown of Aegon IV, as a statement that he was indeed his trueborn son. He also had the palace of Summerhall built along the Dornish Marches.
- Adipose Rex: Though not as fat as his father, Daeron did have a bit of a belly. Blackfyre supporters even used this against him, contrasting the soft, fat Daeron with Daemon's Heroic Build.
- Adult Fear: One of his sons accidentally killed his brother, another son went mad and some of his grandsons died with him in a plague.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Fulfilled his family's dream of unifying Dorne with the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, but the unification would bring its own set of problems.
- The Farmer and the Viper: He went out of his way to be conciliatory to Daemon Blackfyre and other bastards legitimized by his father and tried his best to reconcile lords to whom his father had recklessly granted favors. They still revolted and spat on his mercy. Daeron II was wise enough not to repeat that mistake.
- Foil: Calling him "King Aenys with a shiny spine" would be quite accurate. Like his ancestor, he was a bookish, intelligent, kind-hearted Targaryen king opposed and challenged by his more aggressive, warlike brother. But while Aenys dithered on important decisions and lost the respect of his subjects for being weak and easily swayed, Daeron II opted for the Good Is Not Soft route and firmly laid down the law when his rule was challenged, proving himself the rightful king in spite of others' doubts.
- Foreign Culture Fetish: According to the Blackfyre supporters, he had this for Dorne. Several Dornishmen and his wife's retinue became part of the royal court. It would not just explain why he approached Dorne the way he did, but also why he treated his father's bastards so fairly.
- Propaganda aside, it is likely that many lords within the realm (particularly Dorne's traditional rivals in the Reach and the Stormlands) felt that Daeron's deal with Dorne had been too favourable to Dorne. Dorne was allowed to retain many privileges (including the title of Prince/Princess for the rulers), and the casualties suffered by the Iron Throne and its vassals during the invasion of Dorne more than 30 years prior were not properly addressed (if at all) in the settlement. note
- Good Is Not Soft: Took lands, castles and hostages from the lords that supported Daemon Blackfyre.
- The Good King: For all his father didn't think he had the worth of his half-brother, this is how he actually went down in history.
- Irony: A major part of his reputation came from reversing the rot which had set in during his father's reign, which as noted above was pretty much the worst in the history of the kingdom up till then.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: Daeron was dutiful, principled and self-controlled unlike his father. This only increased rumors of his illegitimacy.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: The (likely unfounded) suspicion that started the ball rolling. Considering his mother's piety and his uncle's chivalry, it does look very unlikely, and in-universe most people believe it to be untrue.
- Non-Action Guy: Which is why several great knights and military-minded lords sided with Daemon Blackfyre in his rebellion. Daeron wasn't stupid, though; he knew he was neither a warrior nor a commander, but his sons Baelor and Maekar were, which is why he gave the title of Protector of the Realm (the supreme military commander of the Iron Throne) to Baelor. Needless to say, it worked out well.
- Having said that, his Non-Action Guy status might have played a part in him not understanding some vassals' grievances over Dorne seemingly being let off the hook for the invasion and subsequent rebellion more than 30 years prior, which cost 60,000 lives for the Iron Throne and its vassals.
- Outliving One's Offspring: He outlives his eldest son Baelor and his grandsons, Baelor's sons Valarr and Matarys, leading to the succession of Aerys I.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: With Mariah Martell, which brought Dorne under the rule of the Iron Throne. It was a happy and fruitful one.
- The Smart Guy: Very intelligent and an overall awesome ruler, by all accounts. Pity Westeros as a whole seems to think your jousting successes and curb-stomping your opposition make better metrics for rulership.
- Spanner in the Works: According to Daemon Blackfyre's supporters, Aegon IV promised that Daemon was allowed to have more than one wife as Aegon wanted a marriage alliance with Tyrosh while Daemon wanted to marry Daenerys for love. When Daeron ascended to the throne, however, he forbid Daemon to have more than one wife, which is likely another reason why Daemon rebelled.
- Underestimating Badassery: Invoked. He might have been a scholar, but Daeron was no pushover; he gave Daemon Blackfyre the war he wanted and won categorically (even though he didn't fight himself — he did, however, know how to delegate like the pro you'd expect a decent king to be). Granted, he really tried the friendly way, but neither Daemon or Bittersteel had any of it. In the end, it earned Daeron a lasting reign, Daemon an early tomb, and Bittersteel an exile.
- The Unfavorite: Given that his father openly doubted Daeron's paternity and celebrated Daemon in court and decided to legitimize his bastards in his will all scream of Aegon's low opinion of Daeron.
- Work Off the Debt: His father left him with some bills to pay, like fulfilling the betrothed of Daemon with Rohanne of Tyrosh. Though Aegon basically left him stuck with the bill, in an early attempt to endear Daemon, he paid for his half-brother's wedding out of his own pocket and good will. In the end, this and other efforts amounted to bupkis.
Daenerys Targaryen, Princess of Dorne
- "Whether Daenerys loved Daemon, as those who rose for the Black Dragon later claimed, who could say? In the years afterward, Daenerys was never aught but a loyal wife to Prince Maron, and if she mourned Daemon Blackfyre, she left no record of it."— Maester Yandel
Daughter of Aegon IV and Naerys, and only full sibling to Daeron II. It was said she was in love with her half-brother Daemon Blackfyre and he rose in rebellion when she was denied to him. She married Prince Maron Martell of Dorne, with whom she had several children (the current Martells are their direct descendants).
For Daenerys, daughter of King Aerys II, see here.
- Arranged Marriage: To Maron Martell, the Prince of Dorne at the time.
- Did They or Didn't They?: The whole basis of her and Daemon's "relationship". The singers and Daemon's supporters say they were in love, the historians and maesters say that at the very most it was one-sided on Daemon's part.
- The High Queen: To the Dornish.
- Love Ruins the Realm: Being denied Daenerys' hand was purportedly one of the reasons Daemon Blackfyre rebelled against Daeron the Good — although it's worth noting that Daemon himself had already been married to Rohanne of Tyrosh for three years before the wedding, he revolted eight years after his half-sister's marriage rather in direct response to it, and Daenerys never openly mourned him after his death.
- Morton's Fork: Under Targaryen custom she would have been married to Daeron himself. There might had not been a rebellion had this been the case, though Dorne wouldn't have finally come into the fold. Either way, there were an awful lot of people still pissed at Dorne for the assassination of Daeron I the Young Dragon.
- Nice to the Waiter: Daenerys allowed the children of servants and guards to bathe in the Water Gardens—which Prince Maron had built for her — starting a tradition that survives until the present.
- The Rashomon: Though it's said that Daemon Blackfyre rose in rebellion after being denied the hand of Daenerys...he did so nearly a decade after the wedding, and after both he and she had multiple children with their respective spouses. This version was most likely concocted by later historians or by Bittersteel, who was scorned himself by Shiera Seastar in favor of Bloodraven.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: She is said to be one of the reasons Daemon Blackfyre went to war.
Baelor Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone
Baelor Breakspear, The Hammer
- "This man protected the weak, as every true knight must, let the gods determine if he was right or wrong."
The eldest son of Daeron II and Mariah Martell. Married Jena Dondarrion, with whom he had two sons, Valarr and Matarys. Instead of inheriting the traditional Targaryen looks, he appeared more Dornish, with dark hair and eyes. He was accidentally killed by his brother Maekar in Duncan the Tall's Trial of Seven in 209 AC.
- The Ace: Regarded as the finest Knight and statesman of his generation.
- Badass Bureaucrat: One of the few of his generation who seemed to have a clue what to do with the paperwork as well as on the field.
- Bash Brothers: With Maekar at Redgrass.
- Dead Guy Junior: Named after King Baelor I.
- Generation Xerox: Just like his namesake Baelor the Blessed, Baelor Breakspear is regarded as a martyr killed by his own kin. While foul play in The Blessed's death is still unclear, Breakspear's death really was an accident.
- Like his ancestor Baelon the Brave, he was a skilled warrior and administrator who served his father as Hand of the King and was beloved by the nobility and smallfolk. Like Baelon, Baelor died suddenly before he could inherit the crown, and many assert he would have been a superior king to the individual who sat on the Iron Throne instead of him.
- Loophole Abuse: The Kingsguard are not going to harm a prince, even one on the opposing side, so Baelor takes advantage of it by keeping them away from people they have sworn no oaths to protect.
- Modest Royalty: Didn't dress like a prince, it was his demeanor that was truly impressive.
- Nice Guy: Very much came across this way. He was quite reasonable, too: that was what got him into the whole mess that wound up killing him.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Defending Ser Duncan during the Trial of Seven. He does this because the Kingsguard on the other side cannot harm him as he is their prince, and even seeks out his brother Maekar knowing he can keep him busy. Tragically, Maekar lands an accidental lethal blow during their encounter, despite both parties likely holding back, though neither realize it until after the trial has ended.
- Number Two: Named Hand of the King and Protector of the Realm after the Blackfyre Rebellion.
- Post-Victory Collapse: Because he didn't notice his head was smashed open.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Stood up and fought for Duncan the Tall against some rather trumped-up charges (OK — they were kind of true, but there were huge mitigating factors that shouldn't have been ignored from the start, either).
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Due to taking after his Dornish mother.
- Time-Delayed Death: He's mortally wounded during the Trial of Seven by his brother, though no one knows it until afterwards. Everything seems fine until his helmet is removed, when, to everyone's horror, a terrible head wound quickly bleeds out and kills him. Maekar can't even recall landing the killer blow during the melee.
- Warrior Prince: Even Dunk, who is a little allergic to great inherited power thanks to the dunces he usually sees get it, is impressed by him.
- The Wise Prince: Would have made a great king. Pity.
Prince Valarr Targaryen
The Young Prince
- "My father was only nine-and-thirty. He had it in him to be a great king, the greatest since Aegon the Dragon. Why would the gods take him, and leave you? Begone with you, Ser Duncan. Begone."
The eldest son of Baelor Breakspear and his wife Jena Dondarrion. Was married to Kiera of Tyrosh. His personal sigil was the Targaryen dragon, red on black, with a red border. He died during the Great Spring Sickness along with his grandfather and younger brother in 209 AC.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Died during the Great Spring Sickness, leaving no heirs as his two sons had recently been stillborn.
- Jerkass Has a Point: It's hard to blame him for being angry at Dunk following his father's death.
- Jerk Jock: Strongly implied—through Aegon and Dunk's eyes, at least. (Except he may not quite have been as good a jouster as it seemed on the surface. A lot of those he met in the jousts were second or third stringers.)
- Pet the Dog: He lets his father borrow his armor for the trial of seven. (This may be why he's so angry at Dunk; he's trying to avoid blaming himself)
- Warrior Prince: Like his father.
- You Should Have Died Instead: Look at his quote.
Prince Matarys Targaryen
The Even Younger Prince
The second son of Baelor Breakspear and Jena Dondarrion. He was unmarried and had no offspring.
Prince Rhaegel Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone
The third son of Daeron II and Mariah Martell. Married Alys Arryn, with whom he had three children: twins Aelora and Aelor and Daenora. Died in 215 AC after choking on lamprey pie.
- All There in the Manual: His wife and children are only mentioned by name in The World of Ice & Fire.
- Manchild: By repute, he was this. Sweet, gentle, uninterested in politics...maybe not entirely all there...
- Naked Nutter: Rhaegel is believed to have succumbed to insanity during the reign of Aerys I, becoming known for dancing naked through the Red Keep.
- Nice Guy: Had a reputation for being gentle and meek.
- Royally Screwed Up: However, he also fell to Targaryen madness, and was prone to dancing naked through the halls of the Red Keep.
- Undignified Death: Choking to death on your own meal is not exactly a princely way to go.
Prince Aelor Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone
The only son of Rhaegel and Alys Arryn, twin brother of Aelora. Became the heir to Aerys I after the death of his father Rhaegel, but died in 217 AC in a grotesque mishap at the hand of his own sister-wife Aelora.
- All There in the Manual: Only mentioned in The World of Ice & Fire.
- BrotherSister Incest: Actually, Twincest in this case.
- The Ghost: Mentioned briefly in The World of Ice & Fire as said above.
- Noodle Incident: The details of his demise aren't expanded further than "grotesque mishap".
- Twincest: Naturally.
Princess Aelora Targaryen
The eldest daughter of Rhaegel and Alys Arryn, twin sister and wife of Aelor. Lost her mind after killing Aelor by accident and committed suicide after being attacked in a masked ball by three men known only as the Rat, the Hawk and the Pig.
- All There in the Manual: Like her brother, only mentioned in The World of Ice & Fire.
- BrotherSister Incest: See her brother's entry above.
- Butt-Monkey: Two unfortunate incidents defined her life.
- Driven to Suicide: By the attack of the Rat, the Hawk and the Pig.
- The Ghost: Mentioned briefly in The World of Ice & Fire as said above.
- Noodle Incident: Aelor's death at her hands isn't exactly elaborated upon.
- Sanity Slippage: After accidentally killing her husband/twin brother Aelor in whatever accident she helped cause.
- Twincest: Again, like her brother.
Court of Aerys I
King Aerys Targaryen, the First of His Name; r. 209-221
- "His Grace cares more for old scrolls and dusty prophecies than for lords and laws. He will not even bestir himself to sire an heir. Queen Aelinor prays daily at the Great Sept , beseeching the Mother Above to bless her with a child, yet she remains a maid. Aerys keeps his own apartments, and it is said he would sooner take a book to bed than any woman."
Second son of Daeron II and Mariah Martell. Was married to his cousin Aelinor Penrose, but died without issue. The monarchy reached a new low under his reign, as he was rather unconcerned about reigning and did not produce issue. He wore the crown of his grandfather Aegon IV.
- Arranged Marriage: To Lady Aelinor Penrose.
- Asexuality: Aerys shunned Aelinor's bed and kept to his own apartments. It was said he'd rather take a book than a woman to bed.
- Bookworm: He devoted himself to the study of books and scrolls and left the actual ruling of the kingdom to his uncle, Brynden Rivers.
- The Farmer and the Viper: After Bittersteel was captured in the Third Blackfyre Rebellion and brought in chains to the Red Keep, Aerys I (against the advice of Bloodraven) ordered to have him sent to the Wall. The ship was captured and Bittersteel escaped to plan further rebellions, spitting on his mercy.
- Kissing Cousins: Averted, as he shunned Aelinor's bed.
- Non-Action Guy: Like his father. Still, his short reign saw two of the Blackfyre Rebellions.
- Passed-Over Promotion: Aerys should have been made Prince of Summerhall as the king's second son. It was instead given to his younger brother Maekar. To spite him (or so it is said), Aerys made their uncle Bloodraven his Hand of the King.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Aerys discovered the prophecy of The Prince who was Promised which hoped to restore the Targaryens to true greatness.
- The Smart Guy: Though perhaps Too Clever by Half considering he cared for little else but knowledge. This was also the main reason he made Bloodraven his Hand, since they had similar interests in magic.
- Unexpected Successor: He was the second son but became king after the premature deaths of his older brother and nephews.
- Unfit for Greatness: He was a great scholar but devoted more effort to his scholarly pursuits than to ruling his kingdom. Aerys probably should have refused the crown if he cared so little for its duties.
- Wizard Beard: Had a long pointed beard.
Court of Maekar I
King Maekar Targaryen, the First of His Name; r. 221-233
The Anvil, Prince of Summerhall
Fourth son of Daeron II and Mariah Martell. Married Dyanna Dayne, with whom he had six children: Daeron, Aerion, Aemon, Daella, Aegon V and Rhae. Succeeded his brother Aerys I and was tragically killed in battle against a rebellious lord during the Peake uprising after 12 years of ruling. Maekar I was noteworthy for keeping his own personal sigil; the Targaryen dragon, red on black, quartered. He wore a crown of black iron and gold, with sharp points.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: A downplayed example, at least before accidentally killing Prince Baelor. He was an accomplished Warrior Prince who had earned the fear and respect of many, but the love and admiration of few. He also pushed his children hard to measure up to his example, which likely contributed to Daeron and Aerion's respective issues manifesting the way they did.
- Badass Beard: A bearded and accomplished warrior.
- Badass in Charge: While unpopular compared to his brothers, Maekars military prowess (he *was* the Anvil to Baelors Hammer) appears to have been respected and feared; his father, brother, son, and grandson all had to deal with outright Blackfyre Rebellions, while he wound up only with a smaller uprising from House Peake after 12 years of rule. Apparently, Bittersteel didnt want any of what Maekar was cooking as king,
- Bait-and-Switch Tyrant: Maekar seems to fit the textbook model of evil prince & heavy handed tyrant. But under a veneer of brusqueness & pride, he is actually a fair minded & generally decent person.
- Bash Brothers: Very much. He and his brother Baelor were a right pair.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Despite being low in the line of succession and overshadowed his entire life, circumstance made it so that he inherited the Iron Throne, and the respect that becoming King merited. The sad irony is that he never wanted the Iron Throne, just to be respected and acknowledged for his accomplishments.
- Cain and Abel: Kills his eldest brother Prince Baelor in a trial by combat, but accidentally. He notes people will call him a kinslayer for the rest of his days, and several years later Egg hears squires claiming Maekar means to murder his other brothers.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Despite being a great warrior King, he dies a sudden and anticlimactic death when he is crushed by a boulder during the Peake Uprising.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?
- The Dutiful Son
- Education Papa: It's heavily implied that many of the problems faced by his children were, at root, caused by him trying to pressure them to exceed the feats of his brothers' children by getting the equivalent of As across the board, which is even noted by them all having the names of great Targaryens. They all were very literate and all the boys got training in arms to try turning them into perfect little knights (even if Daeron, Aemon and, to a small extent, Aegon, didn't really take well to that — having said that, Aerion totally bungled the chivalry and logic parts of the course, for all he worked the Jock bit out).
- Though, according to Aemon, his father was opposed to sending him to the Citadel to earn his chain and it was his grandfather Daeron II who supported him in his decision because he felt there were too many Targaryens in the line of succession and wanted to diversify.
- Frontline General: Died during the Peake Uprising because he was close enough to the action to get caught in siege and anti-siege weapon crossfire.
- Generation Xerox: Has similarities to his great-great-grandson Stannis I Baratheon. They were both stern, socially-awkward younger sons with a penchant for grinding their jaws when irritated who are great military commanders that feel overlooked by their brothers, killed a more overtly charming and popular brother of theirs (though in Maekar's case it was accidental and in Stannis's case its unclear how aware he was), are very unpopular throughout Westeros and seen as The Evil Prince, and unexpectedly become King, when neither of them wanted to be. Both are deeply unhappy men who nevertheless continue to do their duty to the realm and their families. Also despite their image as stern and sticking to the law, both show a progressiveness in their treatment of a lowborn but decent Knight, Stannis knighting Davos and making them his Hand, and Maekar letting Dunk take his son Egg on as his squire. Ultimately Maekar seems to be the King Stannis would have been if he had won at the Blackwater, and as a result didn't suffer a humbling, character development inducing defeat.
- Heel Realization: After the tourney and the death of his brother, Maekar is quite remorseful about his ambitions and resentment. He also decides to spare Aegon from some of it by sending him out as the squire to a hedge knight.
- Hurting Hero: It's clear that poor Maekar was tormented for the rest of his life and his reign for accidentally killing his brother.
- Large and in Charge: Even Dunk feels a little... intimidated near him. That's quite something.
- Laser-Guided Karma: One of his sons, Aemon, notes that Maekar felt his reign was a punishment for his kinslaying. He never expected or wanted the crown to fall to him and yet, partly due to his own actions, it did.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: His issue: Daeron, Aerion, Aemon, Daella, Aegon and Rhae.
- Morality Pet: His youngest son Aegon. For all his other faults and failures, his brusque personality, it's clear he loves his son, and as a widower father tries to do the best he can to raise him properly. In turn Aegon frequently defends him furiously whenever others insult Maekar in his presence, especially if they claim Maekar killed his brother on purpose.
- Old Soldier: He was a grandfather at the time of his death, but still fought and fell in battle despite his older age.
- Once Done, Never Forgotten: The death of his elder brother Baelor Breakspear haunts him for the rest of his life, especially as some falsely believe that Maekar deliberately arranged it and means to murder other relatives of his.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His oldest sons Daeron and Aerion both predeceased him, which was one of the reasons that led to the formation of a Great Council to choose his successor after his death.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Lived in the shadow of his brothers, all of whom he perceived as more popular.Ser Raymun Fossoway: Poor Maekar. The King's fourth son. Not as bold as Prince Baelor, nor as clever as Prince Aerys nor as gentle as Prince Rhaegel, and now he must suffer seeing his own sons overshadowed by his brother's.
- This even happens in "The World of Ice and Fire", where despite ruling for 12 years he only gets one page and a lot of it is about the Great Council that followed his death.
- Papa Wolf: Don't. Hit. His. Kids. (Even if they outright deserved it.) It's also the same Papa Wolfness that allows him to finally realize what a screw-up trying to bring Aegon up the same sheltered way as his brothers would be, once he grudgingly admits it to himself. Needless to say, Dunk was left with no illusions as to what would happen to him if Egg suffered any real damage during their adventures together...
- Parental Favoritism:
- His youngest son Aegon ("Egg") was his favorite. Though considering that the eldest (Daeron) was an alcoholic, the second (Aerion) a psychopath and the third (Aemon) was effectively disinherited by becoming a maester, he hardly had any serious competition.
- When Dunk first meets him, it's mentioned he's been playing favorites with Aerion, though only because Aemon's studying, Aegon's gone walkabout, and Daeron is... Daeron, so that really only leaves Aerion to receive dad's attention (rather than, say, a smack upside the head or five).
- Reassigned to Antarctica: It is possible Maekar was given Summerhall (close to the Dornish border) as his seat to keep his unsavory sons Daeron the Drunken and Aerion the Monstrous away from the rest of the royal family.
- Resigned to the Call: Maekar saw his reign as such. A duty he did not expect, nor particularly desire but one that fell upon his shoulders nonetheless. His son Aemon notes he never found peace in life and hoped he'd found it in death.
- Spikes of Villainy: The trope is played with thanks to Maekar's armor during the Trial of Seven instigated by his sons; while hes much more of a Papa Wolf whos failed to have a Heel Realization about his family's role in the situation, hes also wearing highly intimidating armor covered in black dragons teeth.
- Token Evil Teammate: He is thought of as this among his brothers. Many thought that his accidental killing of Baelor Breakspear was intentional, and when Aegon says he loved his brother someone comments Maekar means to love his other brothers the same way.
- The Unfavorite: Sees himself as this. After accidentally killing his brother Prince Baelor, he notes bitterly that many will see him as a kinslayer for the rest of his days. He'll always be the guy who denied them King Baelor II.
- Unexpected Successor: A fourth-born son but outlived his father, brothers and nephews to become king.
Princess Daella Targaryen
Fourth child and older daughter of Maekar I and Dyanna Dayne.
- Arranged Marriage: To her brother Aegon at some point during their childhood, though he did end up marrying someone else.
- The Ghost: Only briefly mentioned in Tales of Dunk and Egg and The World of Ice & Fire.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Her brother Aemon mentioned her as having had children of her own, but that's the only thing we know of her adult life.
Princess Rhae Targaryen
Youngest child and second daughter of Maekar I and Dyanna Dayne.
- Dead Guy Junior: Like many of her ancestors, she's likely named after Rhaenys Targaryen.
- The Ghost: Like her sister Daella, was only briefly mentioned in the published material.
- Love Potion: Slipped one on Aegon's drink so he would marry her instead of Daella. It didn't work as he refused to drink it.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Her brother Aemon mentioned her as having had children of her own, but that's the only thing we know of her adult life.
Daeron the Drunken's Family
Prince Daeron Targaryen
Daeron the Drunken
- "I'm doomed to some hell, I know. Likely one without wine."
The eldest child of Maekar I and Dyanna Dayne. Married his cousin Valarr's widow, Kiera of Tyrosh, with whom he had one child, Vaella (said to be a "feeble-witted girl"). He eventually died from a pox caught from a whore.
- The Alcoholic: Turned to alcohol to cope with his "dragon dreams"... and likely as a response to the pressure of having to measure up to his father's expectations, when that was the last thing he wanted to do.
- Blessed with Suck: He'd argue that prescience isn't a blessing. Like, at all: his visions started young and never stopped terrifying him with their cryptic content and nightmare intensity.
- Crash-Into Hello: Almost having this happen to him with Dunk while he was drunk in a tavern practically knocked years off his life. Even if it didn't, quite, manage to sober him up. He recognized Dunk from some of his darker dreams, hence the panic.
- Dirty Coward: How most people saw him during his life... and how he's gone down in history after his death. And he even cultivated it, as he rather sarcastically puts it to Dunk, nobody is better at lying prone in the mud to avoid serious injury than he is. However, there's a lot more to him than just that: it wasn't a cowardly act to go up to somebody you'd accused as being responsible for an upcoming death to not only (backhandedly) apologize, but to try helping them strategize ways around the problem. Despite knowing full well they were about to be responsible for the death of some Targaryen, perhaps even yourself: even if you were busy trying to make light of it, eh, Daeron?
- Dreaming of Things to Come: He dreamed that dragons would be reborn, as well as Baelor Breakspear's death.
- Hidden Depths: Who would guess in-universe that this waste of space was actually a man who could see the future?
- Ironic Name: The man known for drunkenness shares the name as that of The Daring, The Young Dragon and his own grandfather The Good.
- Irony: He was, perhaps, the strongest, most accurate seer of a trueborn Targaryen born in generations, but he didn't get hit with either the Mystical White Hair or The Beautiful Elite signs of it like most would expect him to with such a specific family trait, so very few even guessed he had it. He did, however, get the strong determination not to try becoming The Ace by pushing his skill even near its limits in any size, shape or form, so was a... determined slacker. Rank cowardice or rare non-Targaryen common sense to go with the non-Targaryen looks? You decide.
- Jerkass: A bit of one, yes. Not in the same league as his evil bully of a brother, though. But wallowing in his problems didn't exactly sweeten his disposition any.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He comes around to Duncan's side during the trail of seven, warning him of whom he faces and promising to make no effort to actually fight him.
- Mad Oracle: Averted using a moat of booze and persistent, very deliberate under-achievement. However, he had the all the basic building blocks to become it, were it not for it being his personal nightmare.
- The Madness Place: Deconstructed. He feared the nature of his dreams with the alternate thinking they fostered and had no idea how to understand or deal with the whole package. So he turned to drink to drown them all out and find a relatively "normal" niche. Well, "drunken wastrel, profligate and disappointment" was a label he much preferred to "crazy oracle of doom" or "Baelor the Befuddled Mk.II". As a coping strategy it left much to be desired.
- Non-Action Guy: His default setting, by choice. His father pressured him to at least try to become worthy of the knighthood he scraped by getting, not all that successfully.
- The Nondescript: Well, as much as a Targaryen can get (by the family standards of beauty, he was more or less The Gonk). He had sandy hair so plain-looking, it could make his eyes get easily mistaken for a more bog-standard blue. Add a medium height, medium build and normally plain face to that, plus take away his rich clothes with dragon insignias and replace them with plainer stuff, have him consciously drop the posh accent (or let him just get slurring drunk)... and most people would have a very hard time guessing they had a Prince among them. It's basically how he evades his father's searches so easily, at first, and why he made Egg shave his head (his hair color was too much of a giveaway for them both to get away with not being where they should have been).
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Implied he'd much rather be seen as a drunken fool than as a mad prophet. Also, did he really "lose" Egg that day, or did he actually know it was meant to be and, thus, make sure Egg was where Dunk could find him? If you're trying to indirectly set certain things in motion (or prevent others), it's perhaps better if strange words or actions are chalked up to drinking too much than to you seeing the future. And... if you fear messing things up if do you try too hard to then get labeled as just another crazy Targaryen, what better disguise or deflection than being a drunk nobody takes too seriously?
- The Slacker: Oh, yeah. Something that annoyed his father beyond tolerance. Daeron, however, was hell bent on being this trope to the max for his own reasons.
- Self-Deprecation: He could get quite snarky, mainly when talking about himself. He raised this trope to an art form.
- Unhappy Medium: Having some really dark and downright terrifying dreams with, given Daenerys' version of the same ability, likely horrific and nightmarish cryptic imagery of the future (probably starting when very young) turned him right off the whole experience. His whole "nope-nope-nope, no thanks" attitude, sour disposition and the resulting tankard, goblet and shot solution become rather understandable once you get that he's miserable.
Princess Vaella Targaryen
The only child of Prince Daeron and Kiera of Tyrosh.
- All There in the Manual: Her name and nickname are only mentioned in The World of Ice & Fire.
- The Ghost: Only passingly mentioned in the (so far) published material.
- Passed-Over Promotion: After her grandfather Maekar's death, her claim was considered (as she was the only child of Maekar's firstborn son Daeron), but was quickly dismissed, with her uncle Aegon ending up as king.
- Royally Screwed Up: In this case, the generations of incest made Vaella a feeble-witted girl. Either that, or her father's years of trying to pickle himself thanks to the family "gift" hit her, too. Whichever or both.
- Take a Third Option: Inverted. She was basically filling the ballot for lack of candidates after Aemon stepped aside and took the black for the sake of Aegon, but she was so feeble that even Aenys Blackfyre would have had a chance at the candidacy if Bloodraven had let him live.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Even those with mental challenges don't stop breathing the minute they are conveniently written off family rolls. However, nothing is known of Vaella from after the conclave. For all we know, she could have had a long life with a merchant husband happy to have a trophy princess-wife, or died early due to her issues.
Prince Aerion Targaryen
Brightflame, the Monstrous, The Bright Prince, The Prince Who Thought He Was a Dragon
- "Are you not dead yet, hedge knight?"
Second child of Maekar I and Dyanna Dayne. Was married to his cousin Daenora, with whom he had a son, Maegor. He died in 232 AC by drinking a cup of wildfire (thinking it would turn him into a dragon). His personal sigil was the Targaryen three-headed dragon on a black field, with one head red, another orange, and the third yellow.
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Wildfire? Not a particularly good choice for a chaser, as it happens...
- Asshole Victim: Ser Duncan's beatdown on Aerion is deserved many times over. And a large part of why Duncan survives attacking royalty is that most people, including many of his own family, wind up thinking he's an asshole too.
- Big Brother Bully: He threw Aegon's cat down a well and also broke into his bedroom during one night with a knife and threatened to castrate him... so he could have a sister to marry. Dude, that's not even a paper-thin excuse!
- The Caligula: Started working on this early, like any good little Caligula should. Had he ever got any real power, things would have turned rather nasty very quickly.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Death by drinking wildfire is not a pleasant way to go. Not that he didn't deserve it.
- Evil Prince: Oh, he tried very hard to live up to this trope to the point of being Stupid Evil about it. It got him exiled to attempt teaching him sense. Thankfully he predeceased his father.
- The Exile: Maekar sent him to the Free Cities to see if he would get better. It is known he joined the Second Sons for a while. As he never made it back home permanently (he did fight in the Seven Kingdoms on the Targaryen side during at least one Rebellion), the safe assumption is "nope: never really got better".
- Insane Troll Logic: An old, well-known folk-tale involving a dragon that gets slain is enacted in puppetry during a festival with an innovative gimmick which gives the dragon its spectacular decapitation-and-sawdust-spilling scene the center of the stage as the dramatic climax? Obviously a subversive message against House Targaryen! Yeah... erm... in which reality, mate? The "flimsy excuses for sadistic urges" one, maybe. Even before that: "cutting my brother's penis off will make him close enough to a sister — let's threaten him with that!". In short, normal logic was not strong with this one, despite his education: his drunker brother may not have been the only one with a touch of the dream stuff.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He supported Bloodraven's plan to cut Aenys Blackfyre off at the pass. Although not a move that would convince anybody that he wasn't still an enormous tool, the idea had some small merit, at least. Supporting the surprise slaying of kin when under a flag of truce for a decisively cheap victory definitely wouldn't have won him any Brownie points, though.
- Aerion also supported Bloodraven's wish to execute Bittersteel after he was captured at the end of the Third Blackfyre Rebellion. Both of them were proved right when the ship transporting Bittersteel to the Wall was intercepted and the moment he was free, Bittersteel went back to plotting the next rebellion.
- Jerk Jock: Out of Maekar's sons, he was the closest to being a naturally martial, jousting knight like his father wanted. And the biggest, dumbest bully of them all with a sense of entitlement quite a bit too large for his boots, too. What a charmer.
- Kick the Dog: During the Ashford Tourney, he drives his lance through the neck of a rival's horse on purpose. He also attacks a puppeteer and breaks her fingers for performing a show in which a puppet dragon is slain by a puppet knight, on the grounds of such performance being treason.
- Kissing Cousins: As per the family tree in The World of Ice & Fire, he married his cousin Daenora. Poor lass.
- The Madness Place: One possible explanation for his moonbats approach to jerktasticness is that... he primarily channeled what he had of this into being a dick.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Shares his name with Aerion, father of Aegon the Conqueror.
- Royal Brat: Basically the Joffrey of this section of the family and/or "Aegon IV: Redux". Except, keeping him off the throne and well away from any other role of consequence. See? People can sometimes learn.
- Royally Screwed Up: Another example of Targaryen madness. He thought he was a dragon in human form and accidentally killed himself drinking wildfire, believing it would turn him into a dragon. Although, to be fair, he was pretty drunk at that point.
- Token Evil Teammate: Yup. Even if Daeron could be a bit of a prick to his family, at least he wasn't in Aerion's league of thoughtless douchebaggery.
- Too Dumb to Live: Died from drinking wildfire, which he believed would turn him into a dragon. He was atrociously drunk at the time, though, as a partly mitigating factor.
- What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: Seriously, Aerion? You wittingly clapped "Maegor" on your only bonny, bouncy baby boy? Unsure if logic-failure or deliberate trolling. Both?
- White Hair, Black Heart: Well, he was both white-haired and decidedly "not good".
Princess Daenora Targaryen
The third child of Prince Rhaegel and Alys Arryn. Married her cousin Aerion and was the mother of his only child, Maegor.
Prince Maegor Targaryen
The only child of Prince Aerion and Princess Daenora. He was one of the claimants of the Great Council of 233 AC.
- All There in the Manual: His name is revealed in The World of Ice & Fire.
- The Ghost: Only passingly mentioned either in the novels, the Tales of Dunk and Egg and The World of Ice & Fire.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: In-universe example. He's noted to be "ominously named," and rightly so: his namesake was none other than Maegor the Cruel.
- Passed-Over Promotion: After his grandfather Maekar's death, the Great Council of 233 AC decided to pass over his claim to the Iron Throne because he was an infant and out of fear he would have inherited his late father's combo of madness and cruelty. His name certainly didn't help his case, either.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After getting turned down for the throne, his life is a blank, although it's presumed even in-world that he remained in Essos. Did he even survive to have kids, legitimate or otherwise? Enter Epileptic Trees, stage right.
Court of Aegon V
King Aegon Targaryen, the Fifth of His Name; r. 233-259
Egg, The Unlikely, The Fortunate
- "It takes a man to rule. An Aegon, not an Egg. Kill the boy and let the man be born."— 'Maester Aemon Targaryen
Fifth child and youngest son of Maekar I and Dyanna Dayne. Was married to Betha Blackwood, with whom he had five children: Duncan, Jaehaerys II, Shaera, Daeron and Rhaelle. Deceased by the time of Robert's Rebellion, Aegon was called "the Unlikely", as he was the fourth son of a fourth son and absolutely no one ever expected the throne to ever come to him. A wise and well-loved ruler, he eventually died at the "Tragedy at Summerhall," on the same day his granddaughter Rhaella gave birth to a son named Rhaegar; his best friend, Lord Commander Duncan the Tall of the Kingsguard, and his oldest son Duncan (called "the Small" to differentiate him from his namesake) perished along with him. His daughter Rhaelle wed Ormund Baratheon, which later provided her grandson Robert's claim to legitimacy after he won The War of the Usurper. He wore the crown of Aegon III.
Of course, readers of the prequels know King Aegon by another name: Egg, one of the main characters of the Tales of Dunk and Egg. Taking place about eighty years before the main series, these prequels cover the adventures of a seven-foot-tall hedge knight named Duncan who is persuaded to take on a bald kid named Egg as his squire. After discovering that Dunk was a genuine Knight in Shining Armor, Egg's father Maekar formally apprenticed him to Dunk as his squire, and the two began Walking the Earth.
- All There in the Manual: Much of what we know of his adult life and reign comes from The World of Ice & Fire.
- Arranged Marriage: To his sister Daella in their childhood. Ultimately averted, as he eventually married Betha Blackwood, with whom he was in love.
- Bald of Awesome: When travelling with Dunk as a young man, in order to hide the silver hair that would immediately mark him as a Targaryen.
- Birth/Death Juxtaposition: He died in the Great Fire of Summerhall, the same time and place where his great-grandson Rhaegar was born.
- Brains and Brawn: Broadly his relationship with Dunk, wherein Dunk was street smart whereas Egg started out as a book-smart, sheltered prince (although further subverted in that Duncan was surprisingly naive, and Aegon already had some familiarity with court politics).
- Cool Crown: Averted. As he was a Modest Royalty, he refused to wear his father's warlike crown or his grandfather's huge red gold one, but settled for Aegon III's slender gold band instead.
- Darkhorse Victory: Sort of. He was given the crown by a council that passed over both his niece Vaella (the feeble-witted daughter of the late Prince Daeron) and his infant nephew Maegor (the son of the insane and also late Prince Aerion) and wanted to crown his brother Aemon, who refused the crown due to taking their Maester's vows seriously.
- Doomed by Canon: His reign proves disastrous and he, Dunk and one of his sons die in a great fire.
- Generation Xerox: Daenerys is usually compared to the Aegon I. And, not without cause: she is a conqueror who has three dragons and who rides the Black Dread of the current day. However, her instincts to help the downtrodden and save slaves by imposing reform, damn what the nobility say? In this, she takes more after Aegon V — albeit, an Egg who successfully hatched dragons.
- The would-be-King Aegon VI's whole story arc is one enormously deliberate invocation of the life of Prince Egg, including a baseborn knight called "Duck" — just add an N. How close he'll actually be remains to be seen: already there are doubts.
- The Good King: And this. Although without what Bloodraven did when he was a lad, he could have been up to his knees in Blackfyres instead of focusing on running the kingdom.
- Good Old Ways: Tried to change this, but failed.
- Hero of Another Story: We've got a few windows into it. But only a few.
- Internal Reformist: He tried to be this for the Iron Throne and the Targaryen Dynasty. His actions, which favored the smallfolk by eroding the privileges of the nobility, earned him hostility and indeed Tywin Lannister made his reputation by completely removing all his reforms as Hand of the King.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Was fond of his cat but Aerion threw it down a well.
- King Incognito: Though was this long before he became King. He shaved his head to hide his signature Targaryen blondness.
- Like Father, Like Son: Egg, the fourth son of King Maekar, fourth son of King Daeron II, had pretty much the same problems his father had: being a strong willed patriarch of an unmanageable brood of determined kids who defy their Dad's wishes and have a series of wildly different personalities.
- Lost Him in a Card Game: Egg's eldest brother, Daeron, known as Daeron the Drunk, once took him to a tavern and completely misplaced him. This is how he first stumbled across Dunk.
- Love Ruins the Realm: According to Ser Barristan Selmy (who was around at the time), Egg married for love, and all three of his sons did the same. Duncan, Prince of Dragonflies, actually abdicated his status as heir to the throne to wed a commoner, Jenny of Oldstones. Unfortunately, the match Duncan spurned was one with the daughter of Lyonel "the Laughing Storm" Baratheon, who took this as a personal insult and rebelled against Aegon (though the two eventually reconciled). Fallout from this also supposedly led directly to the Tragedy at Summerhall.
- As per The World of Ice & Fire, Aegon V and his wife Betha Blackwood wanted to end the Targaryen dynastic incest and become fully Westerosi, while making major reforms to improve the lives of the smallfolk. To conciliate some of the high lords for taking their privileges away, Aegon V and his wife planned on marrying their older children to members of powerful Houses, which said children quickly abrogated by falling in love (one of his sons being gay) and refusing the arranged matches. He was too much of a softie to go full-Tywin on them.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: His children with Betha Blackwood: Duncan, Jaehaerys II, Shaera, Daeron and Rhaelle.
- Modest Royalty: His adventures with Dunk made many people scoff about him being "more than half a peasant". As a King, he tried to make several reforms to improve the lives of smallfolk, whose living conditions he had seen first hand.
- Morality Pet: From what it's seen in ''The Mystery Knight, Bloodraven, of all people, seemed to have been fond of that bright grandnephew of his. So much that one could wonder if he didn't actually clear the way for him to the throne...
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Much like many other characters in the series, he tried to be a good man and a good ruler and found it harder than expected.
- He made several reforms to improve the lives of the smallfolk, which earned him the enmity of the highborn. The Arranged Marriage contracts for his children he planned with his wife to counter the opposition backfired when his sons and older daughter decided to follow their parents example and marry for love (or in the case of his son Daeron, who was gay, remaining unmarried in favor of his "friendship" with a knight with whom he died in battle). He got even more frustrated when his son Jaehaerys II and daughter Shaera proved more conservative than him in reviving dynastic incest, which he had wanted to put an end to.
- His obsession with trying to revive dragons led to the Tragedy of Summerhall, his death and those of Ser Duncan the Tall and his own son Duncan, and the end of the last decent Targaryen king. The marriage between his daughter Rhaelle and Ormund Baratheon eventually led to Robert Baratheon deriving his claim to the Throne from his descent from Aegon. Tywin Lannister made his reputation by removing many of his reforms.
- Not So Above It All: In spite of his scorn towards the incestuous tendencies of his family later in his life, he did court his own sisters when he was young, admitting so much to Dunk. The towering knight does find weird how the boy talks about it as if it were second-nature to him, but he brushes it off because Targaryens are "special". This indicates that his grandfather King Daeron II, and his father Maekar were not so disinclined against incest in spite of their marriages to Dornish women. Having become king himself and denouncing incest, Aegon V was dismayed at his son Jaehaerys' return to the practice.
- Older Than They Look: Maester Aemon points out that despite being a husband and father at the time of his accession, Aegon seemed more boyish and youthful than his years. Granted, he came to the throne at 33 which, even by Westerosi standards, is still relatively young. Still, Aegon's need to "kill the boy so the man could rule" was a major part of his arc.
- Open Mouth, Insert Foot: His sassy tongue more than once gets him and Dunk in trouble. Leading to Dunk's frequent threat to cloat him on the ear.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His youngest son Daeron predeceased him, being killed in battle years before Aegon's own demise.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Failed to convince the nobles of the realm to do this. (Treating the peasantry better than absolute crap, even if said improvement would still be relatively slight, pushing for better working conditions and trying for improved social safety nets with accountability could have led to much less trouble and revolt down the line... and, say, a more robust economy maybe capable of surviving, say, a meddling Littlefinger or an overdue long winter.)
- At a personal level, he refused to strong-arm his children into accepting the arranged marriages he had planned for them. If those marriages had went ahead, it is likely that Egg would not have become desperate enough to think about reviving dragons to push through his reforms.
- "Rashomon"-Style: The Tragedy of Summerhall was either caused by his disastrous attempt at hatching dragons or a sabotage by those resentful at Aegon allowing his son to marry a common girl.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Or, you know, try. Hard. For a lot of his adventures, being a kid can be rather the roadblock to the instinct to Do Something, being a Targaryen notwithstanding. Particularly when being set against other, older Targaryens. Or, you know, Blackfyres.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: How his life story seems to have played out in The World of Ice & Fire. His youthful adventures with Dunk showed him first hand what the lives of the smallfolk were actually like, and as a King he sought to relieve their plight by making reforms. The chief obstacle for those reforms were his own children, whose headstrong willfulness (which they inherited from both him and their mother) he couldn't control or stifle, leading him to dream of bringing back the dragons, which in turn led to the Tragedy of Summerhall and the beginning of the end of the Targaryen dynasty. In the end, Tywin Lannister reversed all his reforms, later rulers don't even bother ameliorating the lives of smallfolk and the dragons he wanted to bring back carry more ominous threats than ever.
- The Squire: To Dunk.
- Spare to the Throne: And then some. When he was born his grandfather Daeron II still sat the Iron Throne, with twelve other spares ready to step up to it. The years 209-233 AC were not good to House Targaryen.
- Tagalong Kid: Being Dunk's squire, they formed a Badass and Child Duo.
- 13 Is Unlucky: Played with. Egg was thirteenth in line for the throne, but he himself seems to have been the last popular Targaryen ruler. So on the one hand, the Seven Kingdoms loved having him on the throne; but on the other, his rule was the sole Hope Spot in a century that ended with the War of The Usurper, the War of Five Kings, and, eventually, the return of the Others. There's also the fact that his life ended with the Tragedy at Summerhall, strongly hinted to be an attempt to hatch dragon eggs Gone Horribly Wrong.
- Tragic Hero: Egg came into the throne determined to make life better for the poor and oppressed but his idealism was crushed by real world politics. The Summerhall tragedy besmirched his name and he is now remembered as another mad Targaryen who got himself and others killed when he tried hatching dragon eggs.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: It's understandable as Aerion is a bastard, but to scream for a stranger to kill him is still creepy.
- Undying Loyalty: To Dunk and his Father. Routinely defends Maekar which occasionally gets him into fights. He also refuses to be anyone but Dunk's squire and is almost always by his side. He later names his first son Duncan.
- Unexpected Successor: It's even in his nickname. Being the fourth son of a fourth son of a king, an awful lot of his relatives have to die for him to become the king.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Unlike other Targaryens, who wanted to return dragons to regain glory, adventure or power, Egg wanted to bring back the dragons so he can have more leg-room to radically alter the Seven Kingdoms society in favor of the smallfolk. It led to the Tragedy of Summerhall.
- The Wise Prince: He had his faults, but evens out as this. Particularly when compared to what his brothers could have done in similar circumstances. Well, two of them, at least.
Prince Duncan Targaryen
The Prince of Dragonflies, The Small
- "The Prince of Dragonflies loved Jenny of Oldstones so much he cast aside a crown, and Westeros paid the price in corpses.— Ser Barristan Selmy
The eldest child of Aegon V and Betha Blackwood, named after Ser Duncan the Tall. Married Jenny of Oldstones. Died during the Tragedy at Summerhall along with his father and his namesake Ser Duncan.
- Abdicate the Throne: Despite being crown prince, Duncan so loved Jenny of Oldstones that he chose her over the realm. King Aegon thereafter styled him "Prince of Dragonflies" so that he could show up at the Red Keep and not look like a complete beggar.
- All There in the Manual: Some of the information about him (his original betrothal, for instance) comes from The World of Ice & Fire.
- Arranged Marriage: Duncan was originally betrothed to a daughter of Lyonel Baratheon. However, he refused that match to marry Jenny of Oldstones, a commoner, instead.
- To Robb Stark. He broke an engagement and married another woman and alienated a loyal ally.
- To Tyrion Lannister who also married a commoner for love.
- To his grandnephew Prince Rhaegar, whose love for a woman not betrothed to him brought enough misery to doom the Targaryen this time dynasty (apparently) for good.
- For Want of a Nail: The History of Westeros would have been totally different had Prince Duncan kept his marriage vow. His brother Jaehaerys would not have been King, would perhaps have not followed his brother and choose to follow his heart, Marry for Love and revive Targaryen incest, as a result of which Aerys and Rhaegar would not have been born.
- Generation Xerox: He seems to have taken after his father quite a bit, which brought them both much sorrow as both proved to be rather strong-willed. He's also named after his dad's Heterosexual Life-Partner.
- In-Series Nickname: "The Prince of Dragonflies", "Duncan the Small" (to contrast with Ser Duncan the Tall).
- Inter-Class Romance: To the point he gave up the crown for Jenny.
- Love Ruins the Realm: Ser Barristan mentions that when someone in his position marries for love rather than duty, it often brings about misery to the realm. The Prince of Dragonflies was just one example among many from the old knight's perspective.
- Marry for Love: Like his father, much to Aegon's own sorrow.
- Modest Royalty: So modest he fell in love with a commonborn girl and abandoned his claim to the throne to marry her.
- Nice Guy: He was the only one gracious enough to accept kid Barristan's challenge at a tourney, even though Barristan was not even a knight & quite obviously not even in the same league, skill & experience wise. Even after unhorsing kid Barristan, Prince Duncan did not laugh at him but helped him to his feet & nicknamed him "The Bold".
- The Nicknamer: The reason why Barristan became "The Bold".
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: To Edward VIII of Britain, who abdicated the throne because he wanted to marry a divorced woman.
- Odd Name Out: Is the only Targaryen without a Valyrian name, having been named after the commonborn Ser Duncan the Tall.
- Rebel Prince: He inherited the willfulness of both his parents, and chose to give up his claim to marry a commoner (which also makes him something of a gender-flipped Rebellious Princess.)
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Jenny of Oldstones.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: As a direct consequence of Duncan giving up his claim to the throne:
- Jaehaerys II became the royal heir and his sister Rhaelle married a Baratheon Lord in compensation for a Rebellion sparked by Duncan breaking the engagement. Jaehaerys also cited Duncan's love marriage as justification for marrying his sister whom he was in love with. This essentially led to the Baratheons getting a claim for the Iron Throne (as a result of Rhaelle's marriage) and Jaehaerys II fathering Aerys who became the Mad King.
- Duncan's Marry for Love and rebellious attitude urged his siblings to Follow the Leader and break their engagements as well. This led to their father, King Aegon V, to dream of bringing the dragons back, leading to the Tragedy of Summerhall, which Ser Barristan claims resulted from Duncan and Jenny's romance.
Prince Daeron Targaryen
The third son of Aegon V and Betha Blackwood. Rejected the betrothal his parents had arranged for him, remaining unmarried and leaving no issue. He was killed in battle against the Rat, the Hawk and the Pig in 251 AC.
- All There in the Manual: Practically everything we know about him (including his own name) comes from The World of Ice & Fire.
- Ambiguously Gay: Rejected a betrothal, showed no interest in women and was constantly in the company of Ser Jeremy Norridge, with whom he had been a squire at Highgarden.
- Arranged Marriage: Betrothed to Olenna Redwyne, today called "the Queen of Thorns." He rejected the match, however.
- Bit Character: Briefly touched upon in The World of Ice & Fire.
- Blood Knight: He rejoiced in tournaments and battles.
- Dead Guy Junior: Likely named after his uncle Daeron the Drunken, his great-grandfather Daeron the Good, Daeron the Daring or even King Daeron, The Young Dragon.
- Incompatible Orientation: Despite being betrothed to the beautiful and rich Olenna Redwyne for an arranged marriage, he wasn't interested in her and asked his father to cancel it. If the rumors are true, it wasn't just her he wasn't interested in.
- Rebel Prince: Rejected his betrothed, just like his other siblings. Unlike his siblings, it wasn't because he wanted to marry for love (though love may have been a factor.))
- Together in Death: Died in battle alongside his close personal friend Ser Jeremy Norridge.
- Warrior Prince: A prince who was also a badass fighter.
Princess Rhaelle Targaryen
- "Tell me, what right did my brother Robert ever have to the Iron Throne? Oh, there was talk of the blood ties between Baratheon and Targaryen, of weddings a hundred years past, of second sons and elder daughters. No one but the maesters care about any of it."—Renly Baratheon
Princess Rhaelle Targaryen was the youngest child of King Aegon V Targaryen and Queen Betha Blackwood. She was married to Lord Ormund Baratheon of Storm's End.
- Affectionate Nickname: While reminiscing on his deathbed, Maester Aemon recalls that his niece used to call him "Uncle Maester" when she was a little girl.
- Altar Diplomacy: She was married to the Baratheon heir after her brother Duncan broke off his engagement.
- Arranged Marriage: To Ormund Baratheon.
- The Dutiful Daughter: The only one of her siblings to marry who she was actually betrothed to.
- Famous Ancestor: The current Baratheon trace their royal line to her, and Robert Baratheon's claim to the crown was legally justified by the fact that she was his grandmother.
- Lady-in-Waiting: Initially to Lady Baratheon.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her marriage made her grandmother to the three Baratheon boys (contrary to Renly's claim of "hundred years past" it was around three and a half decades before he was born) which made them cousins of the Targaryens. This gave them a claim to the Crown that allowed Robert to claim it decades later.
Court of Jaehaerys II
King Jaehaerys Targaryen, the Second of His Name. r. 259-262
- "King Jaehaerys once told me that madness and greatness were two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen was born, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land."—Ser Barristan Selmy
Second child of Aegon V and Betha Blackwood. Married his sister Shaera, with whom he had two children, Aerys II (the Mad King) and Rhaella. His short, three-year reign was hardly remarkable, save for the War of the Ninepenny Kings, which bore witness to the end of House Blackfyre when Ser Barristan Selmy slew Maelys the Monstrous. He wore his grandfather Maekar's crown.
- Arranged Marriage: Was betrothed to Celia Tully, but refused the match to marry his sister Shaera.
- Because Destiny Says So: He and his siblings married for love, but he arranged the marriage of his children Aerys and Rhaella because the prophecy of The Prince That Was Promised would be born of their line.
- BrotherSister Incest: He and his sister Shaera had been in love since their childhood and married in secret against their parents' wishes.
- Disappointed in You: Aegon V was not too pleased that Jaehaerys II was far more conservative than him, marrying his sister despite his intentions to end dynastic incest, and then forcing Aerys and Rhaella to marry as well. He was stated to have been quite frustrated over this turn of events.
- Everyone Has Standards: Barristan is frustrated at King Hizdahr's indecision when dealing with Groleo's death and notes Jaehaerys (remembered for being weak) would have ordered the arrest of Groleo's murderers.
- The Good King: Subverted; he tried to be this, but he lacked his dad's strength of will. Ser Barristan at least remembers him as ruling fairly well in his short reign, and that he rose to the occasion during the War of the Ninepenny Kings.
- History Repeats: Eloped with his sister so they could escape having to marry other people, just like the first Jaehaerys.
- Hypocrite: He got married for love, albeit to his own sister, which his father (the first Targaryen to realize that incest is simply not worth it) discredited, but ordered his children Aerys and Rhaella to marry each other.
- Ironic Name: A weak and forgettable king who ruled for only 3 years, has the same name as arguably the most brilliant of the Targaryen kings who ruled for 55.
- Irony: Jaehaerys' quote seems profound at first, then you realize that he was a Targaryen who was neither insane or brilliant and you have to wonder if he was lacking in self-awareness.
- Ill Boy: He was born frail and sickly, and struggled with various ailments his entire life. One of them finally killed him when he was 37, in the third year of his reign.
- Marry for Love: As mentioned above, this was the case with him and his sister Shaera.
- Nice Guy: While he was a weak king, he was at the very least a rather pleasant person to be around.
- Rebel Prince: Escaped his previous engagement to Celia Tully to Marry for Love.
- Unexpected Successor: He was the second son of his father, but succeeded to the throne after his elder brother renounced his rights.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He forced Aerys and Rhaella to marry, politely ignoring that they were more attracted to other people (Joanna Lannister for Aerys, Ser Bonifer Hasty for Rhaella) than to each other, and for that matter didn't like each other all that much. This forced marriage only fueled Aerys' abuse of Rhaella after his madness got even worse with time; as such, the family was decidedly fractured and were picked apart and nearly exterminated during Robert's Rebellion.
Queen Shaera Targaryen
Third child and older daughter of Aegon V and Betha Blackwood. Married her brother Jaehaerys II and had two children by him, Aerys II and Rhaella.
- All There in the Manual: Only mentioned in The World of Ice & Fire.
- Arranged Marriage: Was betrothed to Luthor Tyrell (who would end up marrying Olenna Redwyne, the "Queen of Thorns", originally betrothed to Shaera's brother Daeron), but ran away with Jaehaerys so that they could get married against their parents' wishes.
- BrotherSister Incest: Said to have been in love with Jaehaerys since childhood, despite Aegon and Betha's best efforts to separate them. The two eventually got married as mentioned above.
- Marry for Love: Married her brother Jaehaerys despite being betrothed to another and their parents being against the relationship.
- Rebellious Princess: She shared the willfulness of both her parents. Because of this, she married her brother against their wishes.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Her eventual fate is unknown. We only know she was still alive when Jaehaerys became king from The World of Ice & Fire. She's not mentioned again past that point.
House Targaryen of DragonstoneThe ancestors of Aegon the Conqueror; a Valyrian dynasty that had settled on the western colony of the Island of Dragonstone before the Doom of Valyria, they became the only remaining dragonlords after the Doom.
Not much is currently known about the pre-Conquest Targaryens on Dragonstone, other than a brief family tree outlined in a single paragraph of The World of Ice and Fire. In general, they spent the ensuing Century of Blood in isolation, slowly shepherding their strength until Aegon I's time. They actually brought five dragons with them from Valyria: one was Balerion, while the other four later died (somehow) - but they left behind eggs, from which hatched Meraxes and Vhagar. We don't yet know how they died, but possibly just old age: it was also stated that the later fight between Balerion and Quicksilver during the reign of Maegor the Cruel was the first time dragon fought dragon since the Doom of Valyria, so these four didn't die fighting each other.
Seven generations of Targaryens lived on Dragonstone, with Aenar being the first and Aegon I being the seventh:
- 1 - Aenar the Exile
- 2 - Daenys the Dreamer & Gaemon the Glorious - brother/sister incest couple who ruled Dragonstone together
- 3 - Aegon & Elaena - another brother-sister incest couple who co-ruled. Children of Daenys & Gaemon. The first Targaryen generation born on Dragonstone. This Aegon isn't include in the numbered count of Aegons because the Targaryens weren't kings of Westeros yet - thus his descendant was known as "Aegon the First".
- 4 - Maegon, son of Aegon & Elaena. Succeeded by his younger brother Aerys (through undescribed circumstances).
- 5 - The three sons of Aerys (and an unnamed wife), all three of which ruled Dragonstone in turn: Aelyx, Baelon, and Daemion.
- 6 - Aerion - son of Daemion and an unnamed wife from House Velaryon. His wife was Velaena Velaryon, herself half-Targaryen on her mother's side - apparently an unnamed daughter of Aerys?
- 7 - Aegon I, his older sister Visenya, and younger sister Rhaenys - both sisters married Aegon I at the same time. All three were children of Aerion and Velaena. It was also strongly rumored Orys Baratheon was actually Aerion's bastard son, and Aegon I's half-brother.
Lord Aenar Targaryen
A dragonlord of the Valyrian Freehold who relocated the family to the backwater outpost of Dragonstone twelve year prior to the Doom of Valyria. He had two children, Gaemon and Daenys.
- The Exile: A self-imposed version, as he fled Valyria voluntarily.
- Impoverished Patrician: After his daughter had a vision of the Doom, he had his family pack whatever they and their slaves could carry and move to Dragonstone, giving up their power and influence in Valyria. They figured he was a fool, right until the Doom happened.
- Our Founder: While he might not be as remembered as his descendants, it's thanks to him they existed to conquer and change Westerosi history.
- The Patriarch: The first Targaryen to settle in Westeros, and ancestor of the entire royal line.
Lord Gaemon Targaryen
The GloriousThe son and eldest child of Aenar Targaryen. Married his sister Daenys, with whom he had two children, Aegon and Elaena.
Lady Daenys Targaryen
The DreamerThe daughter and younger child of Aenar Targaryen. She married her brother Gaemon, and they had two children together, Aegon and Elaena.
- BrotherSister Incest: With Gaemon, per Valyrian custom.
- Cassandra Truth: Her warnings about the Doom were this to the dragonlords of Valyria (save for her relatives).
- Dreaming of Things to Come: She had visions of the Doom of Valyria twelve years before the event, prompting her father to relocate the whole family to the backwater outpost of Dragonstone.
- The Exile: Fled Valyria alongside her father and the rest of her family. Her visions were what prompted the Targaryens' departure.
- Oracular Urchin: Saw the Doom of Valyria coming well in advance, allowing her family to save themselves by getting as far away as possible.
- Virgin Power: She had visions while a maiden.
Lord Aerion Targaryen
Son of Daemion (who was the grandson of Aegon and Elaena, Gaemon's and Daenys' children, by their son Aerys), and Lord of Dragonstone. Married to Valaena Velaryon, with whom he had three children, the future monarchs Visenya, Aegon I, and Rhaenys. Also had a bastard son, Orys Baratheon.
- Droit du Seigneur: Him engaging in this practice resulted in the birth of Orys Baratheon
- Kissing Cousins: Married Lady Valaena Velaryon, who was half-Targaryen on her mother's side.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: When your three kids conquer an entire continent by themselves, you should be proud to count as a footnote in history.