Aegon V Targaryen
Aegon V by Amok©
|Reign||233 AC - 259 AC|
|Full Name||Aegon Targaryen the Fifth of His Name|
|Alias|| Aegon the Unlikely|
Aegon the Fortunate
The Prince Who Was An Egg
|Other Titles|| King of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men|
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm
|Born in||200 AC, at King's Landing|
|Died in||259 AC, at Summerhall|
|Royal House||House Targaryen|
|Predecessor||Maekar I Targaryen|
|Heir|| 1st: Duncan Targaryen (renounced rights)|
2nd: Jaehaerys Targaryen
|Successor||Jaehaerys II Targaryen|
|Issue|| Duncan Targaryen|
Jaehaerys II Targaryen
|Father||Maekar I Targaryen|
|Books|| The Hedge Knight (appears)|
The Sworn Sword (appears)
The Mystery Knight (appears)
The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
Aegon became king only after a Great Council that bypassed a number of candidates earlier in the line of succession, and after his elder brother, Aemon, refused the throne. As the fourth son of Maekar I, himself a fourth son, Aegon was called "Aegon the Unlikely."
- See also: Images of Aegon V Targaryen
According to a semi-canonical source, Aegon had long, shoulder-length hair that shone like beaten gold with strands of silver woven together. Tall, slender and handsome, he had large eyes, deep and dark and purple. He wore the crown of Aegon III.
Aegon was born the fourth son and fifth child of then-Prince Maekar Targaryen and his wife Dyanna Dayne. In his youth, Aegon first served at court in King's Landing as a page. He owned a dragon egg, which was colored with green and white swirls, placed in his cradle with him when he was a babe. He loathed his brother, the cruel and sadistic Aerion, who threw Aegon's pet cat down a well. Aerion once visited Aegon in his bedroom during the dead of night, put a knife to Aegon's privates, and joked about removing his genitals so he would become a girl whom Aerion could marry. Once Aegon's sister Rhae slipped a love potion into his drink so that he would marry her and not their sister Daella, to whom he might have been betrothed. Aegon did not wish to marry at all. Instead, he dreamed of becoming a knight of the Kingsguard, who are sworn not to wed.
Aegon was supposed to squire for his eldest brother, Daeron, in the tourney at Ashford Meadow, but Daeron had no interest in jousting and drank himself into a stupor at an inn. Ser Duncan the Tall visited the inn and Aegon was impressed by the humble hedge knight and followed him.
Egg served as a squire to Duncan during the Ashford tourney where his uncle, Prince Baelor Breakspear, died of a wound inflicted by Prince Maekar, Baelor's brother, and Aegon's father. Maekar wished Aegon to be trained as a knight, but Aegon would only agree if Duncan were the knight who trained him. Maekar, the Prince of Summerhall, offered Duncan a place at the garrison of Summerhall, but Duncan declined and agreed to take Aegon on only if Aegon accompanied him as his squire. Aegon would live humbly, but Duncan thought it would make Aegon a better man than his brothers, Aerion and Daeron. Thus, he served as a squire to the hedge knight Ser Duncan the Tall under his nickname "Egg".
A little less than two years later Egg squired for Duncan during the small localized conflict between House Webber and House Osgrey. In 212 AC, he played a part in the suppression of the Second Blackfyre Rebellion at Whitewalls.
Aegon married Betha Blackwood in 220 AC. The marriage at the time provoked no opposition as Aegon was very low in the line of succession. They married for love and eventually had five children together. Their first born son, Aegon named Duncan in honor or his friend Ser Duncan the Tall. 
After his father Maekar I's death in 233 AC during the Peake Uprising, it was unclear who should be king since two of Aegon's older brothers had died before his father. Daeron left a feeble-witted daughter named Vaella and Aerion a minor son, so the Great Council was called to choose the king. Aegon seemed the logical choice but many Lords considered him "half a peasant" due to his youth among the smallfolk, the Council approached Aegon's brother Aemon, a maester, was offered the crown, but refused, stating it should be given to Aegon. 
Aegon was crowned King of the Seven Kingdoms when he was thirty-three years old. According to Aemon, Aegon, despite being a man grown with sons of his own, was still half a boy and had an innocence to him, a sweetness that was well loved. Aegon's first act as King was the arrest of Lord Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers the former Hand of the King, for the murder of Aenys Blackfyre, Brynden had offered him safe conduct to Westeros for the Great Council but had executed him when he arrived in the capital. Though all were glad another Blackfyre pretender was dead, Aegon had to punish Lord Bloodraven least it looked like the word of the Iron Throne is worthless, he was sentenced to death though King Aegon offered him a choice to join the Night's Watch to which Brynden accepted.
Aemon decided to join the Night's Watch too, to prevent any plots from developing by what he would be used against his brother. As an honor guard, many of Bloodraven's personal guard known as the Raven's Teeth decided to follow their commander and take the black also. Aegon emptied the dungeons and sent the prisoners to join the Night's Watch, Before departing for the Wall, Aemon gave his brother, one final counsel:
|“||It takes a man to rule. An Aegon, not an Egg. Kill the boy and let the man be born.||”|
During most, if not all, of Aegon's reign, his old friend Ser Duncan the Tall served as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Aegon's reign was a troubled and challenging one. He would find himself tested by those lords whose affairs he had meddled in during his youth. In addition, he would face the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion, and multiple other conflicts in the Seven Kingdoms during the twenty-six years of his reign.
Aegon's reign began during a harsh winter that had already lasted three years and would last three more. There was massive starvation and suffering in the North. Aegon, always concerned for the well-being of the poor and weak, sent massive shipments of food and grain North. There were those who felt he did too much in this regard. This harsh six-year winter finally ended in 236 AC.
The spring saw the threat of the Blackfyre Pretenders return, with the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion taking place in 236 AC. Daemon III Blackfyre attempted to seize the Iron Throne with the Golden Company, but only few rallied to his side. Aegon and his sons personally rode to meet and repel the invaders, and while Ser Duncan the Tall personally slew Daemon in single combat, thus ending the Rebellion, Aegor Rivers managed to escape and flee with the remnants of the Golden Company across the Narrow Sea.
Aegon would face more oppostion during his reign. Despite the fact that Aegon's older brother Aemon had removed himself as a possible pawn in plots to overthrow Aegon, the king spent much of his reign in armor trying to quell one conflict after another. On three occasions, the Iron Throne had to intervene in the Westerlands due to the inferior and inept leadership of Lord Tytos Lannister of Casterly Rock. However, most of Aegon's troubles were caused because he tried to improve the lives of the smallfolk. Having seen first hand the hardship the smallfolk suffer during his time as a squire to Ser Duncan, Aegon V did much to improve the quality of life for his lowborn subjects. He enacted numerous reforms and granted rights and protections to the commons that they had never known before, these new rights made him beloved of the commons but each of these measures also provoked fierce opposition from the High Lords whose powers over their peasants was diminished and curtailed by these new reforms, the most outspoken of the high Lords against King Aegon once denounced Aegon as a...
|“||Bloody handed tyrant intent on depriving us of our god-given rights and liberties.||”|
It was well known that the resistance he constantly faced taxed King Aegon's patience - especially as the compromises a king must make to rule well often left his greatest hopes receding further and further into the future. As one defiance followed another, Aegon was forced to bow to the recalcitrant lords more often than he wished. Aegon was heard to say, that if only he had Dragons, the Lords would be less hostile to him and could more easily enact all of the desired reforms and rights he wished to grant the smallfolk, if he had Dragons he could remake the realm anew, with peace and prosperity for all.
Aegon faced renewed troubles in his reign caused because of his sons. Ser Barristan Selmy stated Aegon V married for love and all three of his sons were said to want to do the same in defiance of their father's wishes. With Aegon growing up among the smallfolk he had developed a distaste for the Targaryen practice of incestuous marriage, Aegon was convinced that such incestuous unions did more harm than good and he wished to end this tradition once and for all. He had arranged marriages for all three of his sons when they were children, to the daughters of some of the greatest and most powerful Houses in the Seven Kingdoms.
Aegon and his Queen, Betha Blackwood, had arranged the betrothals of four of their children in 237 AC. Their eldest son and heir, Prince Duncan, had been betrothed to the daughter of Lord Lyonel Baratheon of Storm's End. Prince Jaehaerys, Aegon's second son, had been betrothed to Lady Celia Tully, the daughter of the Lord of Riverrun. Aegon's youngest son, Prince Daeron, had been betrothed to Lady Olenna Redwyne of the Arbor, when both children were nine years old. In addition, Aegon's eldest daughter, Princess Shaera, had been betrothed to Luthor Tyrell, the heir to Highgarden. If these marriages had taken place, they would have strengthened King Aegon's rule and would have won him much support for his reforms. However, the king would discover that his children had inherited his willfulness and their mothers stubbornness. Just as King Aegon had followed his heart and married for love, his sons and eldest daughter would do likewise.
Prince Duncan was the first to defy his father. In 239 AC, he became enamored and eventually fell in love with a mysterious woman known as Jenny of Oldstones, who he secretly wed. Though King Aegon V had grown up among the smallfolk and was a good friend to them, he could not sanction the wedding of the heir to the Iron Throne to a peasant girl. He did all he could to undo the marriage, demanding that Duncan set Jenny aside, but Prince Duncan would not relent. King Aegon, the small council, the Grand Maester and the High Septon forced Prince Duncan to choose between the girl or the Iron Throne. The prince choose his wife and abdicated as Prince of Dragonstone, making his younger brother, Prince Jaehaerys, the new heir.
This did not restore peace between the Iron Throne and House Baratheon. By marrying Jenny, Prince Duncan had broken his betrothal to the daughter of Lord Lyonel Baratheon. Prior to this, Lord Lyonel had been a leal supporter of King Aegon V. But the famed warrior and Lord of Storm's End was not a man easily appeased when his pride and honor were wounded. A short, bloody rebellion followed, which was ended in a trial by combat between Ser Duncan the Tall of the Kingsguard and Lord Lyonel, Ser Duncan defeated Lord Lyonel, making him yield. King Aegon pardoned him and to make peace arranged a new betrothal, of his daughter Princess Rhaelle to Lord Lyonel's heir. King Aegon sent Rhaelle to Storm's End as Lord Lyonel's cupbearer and companion to his lady wife to make sure this wedding took place.
The next year, in 240 AC, Prince Jaehaerys and Princess Shaera broke their own betrothals. While King Aegon had developed a distaste for the Targaryen practice of marriage through incest, Jaehaerys was of a more traditional mind. From a young age, he had desired his sister Shaera, whose desire for him was similar. When King Aegon and Queen Betha discovered this, they did everything to separate the two siblings, which only served to inflame their passions. But when Prince Duncan defied his father's wishes and married Jenny, Jaehaerys did not fail to note that their father eventually relented. So in 240 AC, Prince Jaehaerys and Princess Shaera eluded their guardians and secretly wed and consummated their marriage. Aegon despaired over this, but felt he had no other choice but to accept the marriage, leaving him to deal with the anger and wounded pride of both House Tully and House Tyrell.
Prince Daeron followed in his siblings' footsteps a few years later. Though betrothed for nine years to Lady Olenna Redwyne, he broke too broke his betrothal, in 246 AC, when he was eighteen years old. In Daeron's case, however, it seems there was no other woman involved. Daeron remained unwed for the remainder of his life. Instead, he preferred the companionship of Ser Jeremy Norridge, a young knight whom he had befriended when they were squires together at Highgarden. Prince Daeron and Ser Jeremy both perished in battle in 251 AC, crushing a rebellion led by the Rat, the Hawk, and the Pig.
In 258 AC on Essos, nine outlaws, exiles, pirates and sellswords came together in the Disputed Lands to form the Band of Nine. Amonst them was Maelys Blackfyre, the last of the Blackfyres. The Band of Nine wanted to carve out a Kingdom for each of the members, and for Maelys, they had their eyes set on the Seven Kingdoms. At first, it was thought that the Free Cities would rise against this band of outlaws, and put an end to them. Regardless, preparations were made, in case Maelys and his allies would march on Westeros.
Because the Band of Nine had no great urgency, and King Aegon remained intent on his reign, and on dragons in particular. In fact, it was all the turmoil in his reign which had made Aegon obsessed with the idea of restoring dragons. He got Septons to pray over the last Dragon eggs and Maesters to consult ancient scrolls and lore, though friends and counselors sought to dissuade him, King Aegon grew convinced that only with dragons could he have the power to enact the changes he wished and force the stubborn lords to accept his decrees that granted freedoms, rights, and protections to the smallfolk.
This eventually led to the tragedy of Summerhall, where Aegon perished while trying to hatch dragon eggs. His son, Prince Duncan the Small, his friend, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Ser Duncan the Tall, and others of the royal court also perished in the fire. Aegon was succeeded by his second son and heir, Jaehaerys II.
Many of the laws, rights and protections King Aegon V had granted and bestowed upon the smallfolk would later be undone during the reign of King Aerys II by the Hand of the King, Lord Tywin Lannister.
Quotes about Aegon
|“||All three of the sons of the fifth Aegon had wed for love in defiance of their father's wishes. And because that unlikely monarch had followed his heart when he chose his queen, he allowed his sons to have their way, making bitter enemies when he might have made fast friends. Treason and turmoil followed, as night follows day, ending at Summerhall in sorcery, fire and grief.||”|
References and Notes
- ↑ See the Aegon V Targaryen calculation.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
- ↑ Targaryen Kings, (November 1, 2005) So Spake Martin
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 The Sworn Sword.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 The Mystery Knight.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 The Hedge Knight.
- ↑ "so I'd marry [Rhae] instead of [Daella]" can be interpreted to mean that Aegon and Daella were betrothed
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 The World of Ice and Fire, Aegon V.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 The World of Ice and Fire, Maekar I.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 14.9 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister under the Dragons.
- ↑ George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- ↑ Kiera of Tyrosh was widowed when Valarr Targaryen died from the Great Spring Sickness; some time later she married his cousin Daeron.