Aegon II Targaryen
Aegon II by Amok©
|Reign||129 AC - 131 AC|
|Full Name||Aegon Targaryen the Second of His Name|
|Alias|| Aegon the Elder|
Aegon the Usurper
|Other Titles|| King of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men|
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm
|Born in||107 AC, at King's Landing|
|Died in||131 AC, at King's Landing|
|Royal House||House Targaryen|
|Predecessor||Viserys I Targaryen|
|Heir|| 1st: Jaehaerys Targaryen|
2nd: Maelor Targaryen
|Successor||Aegon III Targaryen|
|Issue|| Jaehaerys Targaryen|
|Father||Viserys I Targaryen|
|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)
Aegon II was the sixth Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne, succeeding his father, Viserys I Targaryen, as Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. His ascent was disputed by his older half-sister, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, who had been their father's designated heir. Aegon and Rhaenyra fought for the throne in the civil war the singers called the Dance of the Dragons, in which both siblings perished.
Aegon was married to his full sister, Princess Helaena Targaryen. His dragon was Sunfyre the Golden and for his personal sigil he took a golden dragon instead of a red Targaryen one, indicating his mount. During the Dance of the Dragons, his faction used his personal heraldry as their battle-flag.
Appearance and Character
- See also: Images of Aegon II Targaryen
Aegon 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. He was lazy, sulky, and gluttonous.  Grand Maester Kaeth also described him as grasping. He was also very promiscuous, and it was widely known that he fathered several bastards. When news came that his father died, Aegon was not found with his wife and children, but in the bed of his paramour.
Aegon’s father, King Viserys I Targaryen, 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.
A year later, in 106 AC, King Viserys married again, this time to Lady Alicent Hightower, who bore him three sons: Aegon, Aemond, and Daeron. Alicent also birthed Viserys a daughter, Helaena. Despite now having three sons, however, Rhaenyra remained King Viserys's heir, a decision he left in his will.
Aegon's mother, Queen Alicent, did not agree with her husbands decision to name Rhaenyra heir to the throne over Aegon. When attempts to persuede him to do otherwise failed, Alicent attempted to convince her husband to have Rhaenyra and Aegon marry. Viserys did not agree. The two siblings were ten years apart in age, and had never gotten along. King Viserys knew that Alicent only proposed the match to get Aegon on the throne, and thus married Rhaenyra to Ser Laenor Velaryon instead.
Queen Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra did not get along either, and the enmity between the two women was passed on to their children: Aegon and his brothers, Aemond and Daeron, did not get along with their Velaryon nephews, and resented the three boy for having stolen their "birthright", the Iron Throne itself. Prince Aegon was convinced that Rhaenyra's three Velaryon sons were fathered by Ser Harwin Strong, and stated such to his younger brother Aemond. It has been said by Grand Maester Gyldayn that forcing Aegon and his siblings to be close to Rhaenyra's sons (attending the same feasts, balls and revels, and having them train together in the yard, and study together) only caused their mutual dislike to grow.
It is unknown when Prince Aegon became a dragonrider, but by the time he was thirteen years old at least, Aegon had succesfully bonded with Sunfyre.
In 122 AC, Prince Aegon married his sister, Princess Helaena Targaryen, in King's Landing. Their first children, the twins Jaehaerys and Jaehaera, were born a year later, as were Aegon's first two bastards, one boy he had fathered on a girl on the Street of Silk, and one girl he had fathered on one of his mother's servants. In 127 AC, Princess Helaena gave birth to Aegon's youngest son, Prince Maelor.
Despite the various attempts of King Viserys to get Aegon, his siblings, and their Velaryon nephews on friendlier terms, Aegon remained resentfull of Rhaenyra's children. When, in 127 AC, Prince Jacaerys Velaryon asked Princess Helaena for a dance, Aegon took offense. They argued, and might even have fought, had the Kingsguard not intervened.
Dance of the Dragons
Main article: Dance of the Dragons
When King Viserys I died in 129 AC, Princess Rhaenyra was still the heir to the throne. With Rhaenyra pregnant on Dragonstone, at the moment of Viserys' death, however, the greens in King's Landing hid the news of Viserys' death, keeping the King's body in his room for seven days, until their preparations for Aegon's coronation was done. It would be Ser Criston Cole, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and later known as the Kingmaker, who crowned Aegon king. It is said that Aegon at first did not want the crown, untill 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 was split into two factions, known as the greens and the blacks, and the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons began. Aegon kept his grandfather, Ser Otto Hightower, as his Hand of the King. Some time in this period, for unknown reasons, Aegon had Grand Maester Gerardys fed to his dragon.
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.
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 Targaryen fought and killed Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, the Queen Who Never Was, and her dragon, Meleys. Aegon and his dragon Sunfyre were badly maimed. Aegon suffered from burns and broken bones. His armor had melted into his left arm, and it would take him a year to recover, his mind clouded by milk of the poppy, causing him to sleep nine hours out of every ten. Only his mother, Queen Alicent, and his Hand, Ser Criston, were allowed to disturb his rest. Prince Aemond took over the rule 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 secretly smuggled Aegon out of the city. Disguised as one of the smallfolk, Aegon hid on Dragonstone and convinced several blacks to defect and help him take the island. During the coup, he fought Lady Baela Targaryen, both of them mounted on dragons. When the dragons fell to the earth during the fight, Aegon tried to jump off Sunfyre's back, shattering his legs. He carried great pain with him for the rest of his life, but refused milk of the poppy, due to his experience with from his 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 late 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. The war continued, however, as Rhaenyra's supporters continued her cause supporting her son, Aegon the Younger, despite the boy being King Aegon's prisoner. Upon King Aegon's return to King's Landing, Lord Corlys Velaryon was released from his imprisonment, pardoned, and named to Aegon's small council.
Death and Legacy
After the defeat of Borros Baratheon's army by the Lads and the approach of Lord Cregan 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.
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, thus uniting the two branches of House Targaryen. She would die two years later and with her ended the royal line of the marriage of King Viserys I and his second wife Alicent Hightower.
Despite being considered as part of the Targaryen dynasty, unlike Rhaenyra who would be remembered as a usurper, history would not be kind on Aegon. On his Lives of Four Kings, Kaeth would describe him as "grasping", and comparing him with some of the worst Targaryen kings: the weakling Aenys and Maegor the Cruel.
Small Council under Aegon II
During the reign of King Aegon his small council had the following known members:
- Regent - Prince Aemond Targaryen
- Hand of the King - Ser Otto Hightower
- Hand of the King - Ser Criston Cole
- Master of Laws - Lord Jasper Wylde
- Master of Coin - Ser Tyland Lannister
- Master of Whisperers - Lord Larys Strong
- Grand Maester - Orwyle
- Lord Commander of the Kingsguard - Ser Criston Cole
- Position Unknown - Lord Corlys Velaryon
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.
|“||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.||”|
*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
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 The Rogue Prince.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 The Princess and the Queen.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Aegon II Targaryen.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 The World of Ice and Fire, Aegon II.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The World of Ice and Fire, Aegon IV.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 12, Tyrion II.
- ↑ The Hedge Knight.