Aemond Targaryen by Robert O'Leary
Aemond the Kinslayer
Protector of the Realm
|Born||In 110 ᴀᴄ|
|Died||In 130 ᴀᴄ, at the Gods Eye|
The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)|
The Rogue Prince (mentioned)
The Princess and the Queen (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
Prince Aemond Targaryen, also known as Aemond One-Eye and Aemond the Kinslayer, was a member of House Targaryen. He was the second son of King Viserys I Targaryen by his second wife, Alicent Hightower, and the younger brother of King Aegon II Targaryen. Like his siblings, Aemond was a dragonrider, and rode the dragon Vhagar.
Appearance and Character
At birth, Aemond was said to be half the size his older brother, Aegon, had been, though he was twice as fierce. At the age of ten, Aemond lost his right eye during a fight with his nephew Lucerys Velaryon. He was later known to put a sapphire in place of the missing eye. As a child, Aemond was bold, wild, willful, hot-tempered and unforgiving, and grew to be a proficient and dangerous swordsman. As a young man, Aemond wore night-black armor, chased with gold.
Aemond was born in 110 ᴀᴄ to King Viserys I Targaryen and his second wife, Queen Alicent Hightower. He had two older sisters, Rhaenyra, Viserys's daughter by his first wife, and Helaena, and an older brother, Aegon. Aemond would later also have a younger brother, Daeron.
The births of Aemond and his older brother Aegon were the cause of some strife at the court of Viserys I. King Viserys had named his only surviving child by his first marriage, Rhaenyra, his official heir in 105 ᴀᴄ, but refused to change the order of succession after the birth of two healthy sons. This eventually led to the rise of the "queen's party" at the royal court, as opposed to the "princess's party". Additionally, Prince Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother of King Viserys and Aemond's uncle, was said to be notably cool towards Aemond and Aegon, as their births had pushed him back even further in the line of succession as well.
The enmity between Aemond's mother, Alicent Hightower, and older half-sister Rhaenyra was passed on to their children; Aemond and his siblings became bitter rivals to Rhaenyra's three sons, Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey Velaryon, resenting them for stealing their birth right, the Iron Throne. The time the six boys were forced to spend together (e.g. attending feasts, sometimes training together at arms or studying under the same maester) only caused to increase this dislike.
In 120 ᴀᴄ, when Aemond was ten years old, his brother-in-law, Ser Laenor Velaryon, died. Aemond accompanied his parents and siblings to Driftmark to attend Laenor's funeral. King Viserys had suggested traveling to Dragonstone after the funeral, and informed Aemond, who out of all his siblings was the only one yet without a dragon of his own, that he could claim a dragon egg or hatchling on Dragonstone for his own, if he was "bold enough". Annoyed by his father's comment, Aemond resolved to claim Vhagar, the eldest of the dragons, who had recently become riderless with the death of Laena Velaryon. Vhagar was present on Driftmark, and Aemond, who knew that his parents would not allow him near the dragon, went to make his attempt in secret.
He was caught by his three-year old nephew, Joffrey. In an attempt to keep the boy quiet, he slapped and threatened the boy, before shoving him into a pile of dragon droppings. When Joffrey began to yell, Aemond climbed on top of Vhagar's back. The dragon broke free of her chains, and Aemond flew two circles before landing. Joffrey, however, had alarmed his two older siblings, Jacaerys and Lucerys. The four boys fought with wooden training swords, until Aemond called his nephews "Strongs". Jacaerys, old enough to understand the insult, attacked Aemond again. When Aemond gained the upper hand and began to beat Jacaerys savagely, Lucerys drew his dagger and slashed at Aemond's face, taking out his right eye. After the incident, Queen Alicent called for Lucerys to lose an eye as penance, which King Viserys refused, while Princess Rhaenyra demanded that Aemond was questioned, "sharply", until he revealed where he heard her sons being described as "Strongs" - as naming them such was suggesting they were bastards, and therefore that Rhaenyra was guilty of high treason. Forced by his father, Aemond eventually admitted hearing the name from his brother, Aegon.
While he was an unforgiving person, Aemond would later say that he considered losing an eye to be a fair trade in exchange for obtaining Vhagar. Despite the loss of his eye, Aemond developed into a dangerous swordsman under the guidance of Ser Criston Cole, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
On the first day of 127 ᴀᴄ, King Viserys I Targaryen held a feast to celebrate the return of his health. After the king had left the feast, Aemond toasted his three Velaryon cousins, speaking of their appearance, mocking them as "three strong boys".
The Dance of the Dragon
In 129 ᴀᴄ, when Aemond was nineteen years old, his father, King Viserys I Targaryen died. Aemond's older brother Aegon was crowned king, despite their older sister Rhaenyra still having been Viserys's chosen heir, starting the war of succession known as the Dance of the Dragons. Aegon's supporters realised that Rhaenyra would likely resist against Aegon's coronation. As the previous lord of Storm's End, Lord Boremund Baratheon, had been a supporter of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, Rhaenyra's mother-in-law and one of her supporters, the greens feared that Lord Borros Baratheon, the current Lord of Storm's End, might side with Rhaenyra as well. Thus, shortly after Viserys's death, Aemond was send to Storm's End, to convince Lord Borros to support Aegon by promising to marry one of his daughters.
While Aemond was at Storm's End, Lord Borros received a visit from Prince Lucerys Velaryon, who had come to speak on behalf of Rhaenyra's claim. Aemond attempted to provoke Lucerys, who ignored his cousin. When Aemond threatened to kill Lucerys, Lord Borros refused to allow them to fight under his roof, and had his men stop Aemond. Once Lucerys had taken off on his dragon, Arrax, Lord Borros told Aemond "It is not for me to tell you what to do when you are not beneath my roof" and allowed him to leave. Aemond chased Lucerys on Vhagar. Aemond, mounted on Vhagar, avenged the loss of his eye when he managed to kill Lucerys and Arrax, which would have terrible consequences. Ever since, Aemond is known as a kinslayer.
Prince Daemon Targaryen swore to avenge Lucerys, promising his wife Rhaenyra "a son for a son". Contacting a former friend, Daemon arranged for two men to kill Aegon II's son Jaehaerys, which drove the child's mother Helaena slowly mad, eliminating her as a dragonrider.
Aemond joined his brother Aegon during the Battle of Rook's Rest, where the brothers slew Princess Rhaenys Targaryen and her dragon, Meleys. While Aegon and Vhagar remained unhurt, Aegon was severely wounded. Aemond ruled in his stead as Prince Regent and Protector of the Realm for a year while Aegon recovered. He took up the iron and ruby crown of Aegon the Conqueror, and was said to have stated that it looked better on himself than it ever did on Aegon.
Prince Regent Aemond and the Hand of the King, Ser Criston Cole, gathered an army to march on Prince Daemon Targaryen at Harrenhal. As they were on the march, King's Landing fell without them present to defend it, as Daemon's spies had learned of their intent. Following the greens' defeat in the Battle by the Lakeshore, Aemond and Criston Cole split up, with Aemond taking Vhagar to burn black-aligned settlements throughout the riverlands.
Prince Daemon Targaryen and the dragonseed Nettles searched for Aemond and Vhagar throughout the riverlands, but were unable to find them. Eventually, Daemon travelled to Harrenhal, challenged Aemond, and waited for thirteen days with Caraxes by his side until Aemond arrived to come face him. With him, Aemond took pregnant Alys Rivers, whom he had taken for his bedmate. On the twenty-second day of the fifth month of 130 ᴀᴄ, Aemond and Daemon, mounted on their dragons, engaged in the battle above the Gods Eye, which ended with the two dragons crashing to the floor while Prince Daemon stabbed Aemond in his eye with the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister. Aemond's body, chained to Vhagar's saddle, sank into the lake. His body (along with Vhagar's skull) was recovered only years later, with Dark Sister still through his eye-socket.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
- The Princess and the Queen.
- The Rogue Prince.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion III.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Baratheon.
- Prince Daemon Targaryen was married to Lady Rhea Royce from 97 ᴀᴄ until 115 ᴀᴄ. He then married Lady Laena Velaryon in 115 ᴀᴄ; their marriage lasted until Laena's death in 120 ᴀᴄ. That same year, Daemon married his niece, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.