Aegon II Targaryen

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Aegon II
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Aegon II by Amok©
Biographical Information
Reign 129 AC - 131 AC
Full Name Aegon II Targaryen Second of His Name
Alias Aegon the Elder[1]
Aegon the Usurper[2]
Other Titles King of the Seven Kingdoms
Born in 107 AC, at King's Landing[3]
Died in 131 AC, at King's Landing[3]
Royal House House Targaryen
Predecessor Viserys I Targaryen
Successor Aegon III Targaryen
Queen Helaena Targaryen
Issue Jaehaerys Targaryen
Jaehaera Targaryen
Maelor Targaryen
Father Viserys I Targaryen
Mother Alicent Hightower
Books The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
The Rogue Prince (mentioned)
The Princess and the Queen (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
For other articles sharing the same title, please see this disambiguation page.Disambig.png

Aegon II was the sixth Targaryen monarch to sit the Iron Throne, succeeding his father, Viserys I Targaryen. His ascent was disputed by his older half sister Rhaenyra Targaryen, who had been their father's designated heir, and both perished in the war between them, called by singers the Dance of the Dragons. Aegon was married to his full sister, Helaena Targaryen. His dragon was Sunfyre the Golden. His personal sigil was a golden dragon instead of a red one, indicating his mount. During the Dance, his faction used his personal heraldry as their battle-flag.[4]

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Aegon II Targaryen

Aegon II resembled his father in appearance, though not in personality. He had only a wispy mustache and a sullen look to his face. He wore the crown of Aegon the Conqueror and carried Blackfyre, the Conqueror's blade.[2] He was lazy, sulky, and gluttonous. [2] Grand Maester Kaeth also described him as grasping.[5] He was also very promiscuous, and it was widely known that he fathered several bastards.[1] When news came that his father died, Aegon II was not found with his wife and children, but in the bed of his paramour.


Aegon’s father, King Viserys I, had three children by his first wife, Queen Aemma Arryn. Two were sons who died in infancy. Only Princess Rhaenyra survived to adulthood. Lacking a son to succeed him, Viserys had started to groom Rhaenyra to be his heir. He taught her how to rule and made her part of his small council. In 105 AC, shortly after the death of Aemma and her son, hundreds of lords and landed knights had done obeisance to the princess and sworn solemn oaths to defend her rights.[2]

A year later in 106 AC, Viserys married again, to Alicent Hightower and she bore him three sons: Aegon, Aemond, and Daeron. Alicent also birthed Viserys a daughter, Helaena. Despite Viserys having three sons, however, Rhaenyra remained his heir, a decision he left in his will.[2][1]

Dance of the Dragons

King Viserys I died in 129 AC. While it had been his intend that Rhaenyra, Aegon's older half sister, would sit the throne upon Viserys's death, the inheritance would not go as smoothly. Ser Criston Cole, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, later known as the Kingmaker, defied the late king's wishes and backed Aegons claim instead, crowning Aegon king. Aegon at first did not want the crown till Ser Criston persuaded him that if he did not take it Rhaenyra would kill Aegon and his children.

Rhaenyra refused to be denied her crown, disputing Aegon's ascension. The realm split into two factions known as the greens and the blacks, and the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons began. As his Hand of the King, Aegon retained his learned grandfather, Ser Otto Hightower, who had served Viserys I, and even shortly Viserys' grandfather, Jaehaerys I.[2] Some time in this period, for unknown reasons Aegon II had Grand Maester Gerardys fed to his dragon.[6]

Early in the war, Aegon's heir, Prince Jaehaerys, was murdered in the Red Keep by Blood and Cheese, agents of Mysaria, Prince Daemon's spymaster. His sister-wife Helaena quickly began to sink into depression and madness, due to the role she had played in the events leading to Jaehaerys' death.[2]

Because of his grandfather's delays in waging war, Aegon stripped Ser Otto of the Handship and awarded it to Criston the Kingmaker. Ser Criston immediately took to the offensive. Aegon himself took the field in a trap set by Cole at Rook's Rest, where he and his brother Aemond One-Eye fought and killed Rhaenys Targaryen, the Queen Who Never Was. Aegon and his dragon Sunfyre were badly maimed, he suffering burns and broken bones. His armor melted into his left arm. It took him a year to recover, his mind clouded by milk of the poppy, and sleeping nine hours out of every ten. Only his mother Queen Alicent and his Hand Ser Criston were allowed to disturb his rest. Prince Aemond ruled in his stead as Prince Regent. Aegon remained bent and twisted for the rest of his life, half his body covered in burn scars.

When his half sister Rhaenyra took King's Landing and the Iron Throne in 130 AC Larys Strong secreted him away. Disguised as one of the dragonseed smallfolk, Aegon hid on Dragonstone and convinced several blacks to defect and help him take the island. During the coup, he fought Baela Targaryen, both mounted on dragons. He shattered his legs in a fall during the fight. He carried great pain with him for the rest of his life, but refused milk of the poppy because of his experience with it during the recovery from Rook's Rest. Meanwhile, his wife Queen Helaena had ended her grief by suicide in the capital and his second and youngest son Maelor Targaryen was killed by a mob in Bitterbridge.

In 130 AC, Rhaenyra chose to flee to Dragonstone where, unaware of the coup, she was captured, judged a traitor, and fed by Aegon to his dragon Sunfyre, as he and Rhaenyra's son Aegon the Younger (the future king Aegon III) watched.[7] The war continued, however, as Rhaenyra's supporters chief among them Lord Cregan Stark continued her cause supporting her son, Aegon the Younger. Upon his return to King's Landing King Aegon II had Lord Corlys released, pardoned and now serving Aegon on his small council.

After the defeat of Borros Baratheon's army by the Lads and the approach of Lord Stark's army towards the capital, Lord Corlys knew defeat was imminent. He counselled King Aegon to take the black, but the king refused and instead gave orders to have the ear of his nephew, Aegon the Younger, cut off and sent to the Lads as a warning - if his bloodline died, so would Rhaenyra's. Aegon then climbed into his litter, to be carried to his chamber, and was given a cup of wine along the way to ease his pain. When his escort arrived at his private chamber and lifted the litter's curtains, Aegon II was found dead with blood on his lips. Thus died Aegon the second of his name in 131 AC, dead by poison. Who exactly poisoned the king remains unknown to history, though twenty-two men would later be arrested for the crime.[4]

Aegon II had no male heirs left, which led to his nephew Aegon III Targaryen (Rhaenyra's son) ascending to the throne and marrying Aegon II's daughter, Jaehaera. She would die two years later and with her ended the line of the marriage of King Viserys I and his second wife Alicent Hightower.

Small Council under Aegon II

During the reign of King Aegon his small council had the following known members:

Quotes by Aegon

Rhaenyra: Dear brother. I had hoped you were dead.
Aegon II: After you. You are the elder.
Rhaenyra: I am pleased to know that you remember that. It would seem we are your prisoners ... but do not think that you will hold us long. My leal lords will find me.
Aegon II: If they search the seven hells, mayhaps.[2]
Rhaenyra Targaryen and Aegon II

"Let the ravens fly that the realm may know the pretender is dead, and their true king is coming home to reclaim his father’s throne."[2]


Viserys I

*Prince Daemon Targaryen was married to Lady Rhea Royce from 97 AC until 115 AC. He then married Lady Laena Velaryon in 115 AC; their marriage lasted until Laena's death in 120 AC. That same year, Daemon married his niece, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.

References and Notes