Aenys I Targaryen

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Aenys I
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Aenys I by Amok©
Biographical Information
Reign 37 AC - 42 AC
Full Name Aenys Targaryen the First of His Name
Other Titles King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm
Born in 7 AC[1], at Dragonstone[citation needed]
Died in 42 AC[2], at Dragonstone[3]
Family
Royal House House Targaryen
Predecessor Aegon I Targaryen
Heir Aegon Targaryen
Successor Maegor I Targaryen
Queen Alyssa Velaryon
Issue Rhaena Targaryen
Aegon Targaryen
Viserys Targaryen
Jaehaerys Targaryen
Alysanne Targaryen
Vaella Targaryen
Father Aegon I Targaryen
Mother Rhaenys Targaryen
References
Books The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)
The Sons of the Dragon (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (appendix)

Aenys I Targaryen was Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and the second Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne. He was the son of King Aegon I Targaryen and his younger sister-wife, Queen Rhaenys Targaryen. He had a younger half-brother Maegor I Targaryen.

Character and Appearance

At birth, Aenys was small, with spindly limbs and small, watery eyes. He was weak and sickly for the first few years of his life, and slow to grow, but once he was given the hatchling Quicksilver Aenys began to thrive.[1][3] Although not in his youth,[1] as an adult Aenys was as tall as his father, yet slender and weedy at the same time.[4] His fingers were long and slim. He had lilac eyes, paler than his father's had been, and curly hair which fell to his shoulders in ringlets.[4] He also wore a silky beard and mustache.[4]

Aenys dressed in the finest silks, samites, and velvets.[1] Aenys was a kindhearted, courteous, charming, and soft-spoken man, who wished to be loved by everyone and always sought to please.[1] This made him indecisive, as he would dither and hesitate over his decisions, fearing to disappoint someone.[3] He made friends easily, but he also trusted everyone and allowed himself to be easily influenced.[1] He was a dreamer and delighted in music and dance,[1] so much so that he became a patron of singers, mummers, and mimes.[3] He was a good singer himself, and had a "strong, sweet voice".[1] A charming man, young girls doted on him.[1]

A diligent student who did not lack for courage, Aenys was an adequate fighter. However, he was not a warrior, and lacked his father's strength.[1] Training for battle eventually lost every appeal to him. Instead, he preferred the companionship of maesters and septons, and dabbled in alchemy, astronomy, and astrology.[1][3] Aenys was a clever man, though he could not be considered bookish.[1] He also loved to ride, and was given coursers, palfreys, and destriers. However, his favorite mount was always his dragon, Quicksilver.[1]

History

Early life

Aenys was born on Dragonstone in 7 AC to King Aegon I Targaryen and Queen Rhaenys Targaryen. He was weak and sickly at birth and cried all the time. He refused to nurse from wet nurses and would only nurse at his mother's breast. He was so unlike the king that it was rumored that the boy could not be the son of Aegon the Conqueror, who was a peerless warrior, and that perhaps his father had been one of the singers or mummers that Rhaenys had delighted in.[3][1] Aenys was three years old when his mother died in Dorne.[5] Always weak and sickly, the death of his mother shattered him. He went back to crawling around as if he were a baby. However, when Aenys was given the hatchling dragon Quicksilver, his condition quickly improved, and "as the dragon grew, so too did Aenys." The rumors that he was not Aegon's son ended at this time.[3][1]

Aenys was five years older than his half-brother, Maegor. He was not close with Maegor while growing up, as Aenys was kept by his father's side in King's Landing, while Visenya and Maegor lived on Dragonstone. Aenys was trained by his father's Kingsguard, and although he was an adequate fighter, he lacked his father's size and strength. From time to time Aegon would let him practice with the Valyrian steel sword Blackfyre.[1]

Aenys was married to Alyssa Velaryon in 22 AC. Their marriage was a political match.[6] Together they had six children: three sons (Aegon, Viserys and Jaehaerys) and three daughters (Rhaena, Alysanne and Vaella).[7]

Aenys accompanied his father to Sunspear to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the peace between the Iron Throne and Dorne.[1] When King Aegon I turned sixty, Aenys took over the royal progresses together with his wife, Alyssa.[1] In 37 AC, when King Aegon I died of a stroke at Dragonstone, Aenys was at Highgarden. He swiftly flew Quicksilver to Dragonstone for the funeral and his coronation.[8] He was proclaimed king by Grand Maester Gawen.[1] After Maegor had spoken the eulogy for their father and Aegon had been cremated, Aenys gifted his brother with the sword Blackfyre, admitting that Maegor was more fit to wield the blade than he was. Aenys asked Maegor to wield the sword in service to him, and told his brother that they would rule together.[1]

After Aegon's funeral, Aenys traveled to King's Landing where he claimed his father's throne amidst the rubble and mud of the torn-down Aegonfort and the foundations of the Red Keep. He was cheered by many. According to Archmaester Gyldayn, Aenys was crowned with his father's circlet of Valyrian steel and rubies[N 1] on Dragonstone, and later, when he traveled with his wife and children to Oldtown by the way of Riverrun, Lannisport, and Highgarden, was presented by the High Septon at the Starry Sept with a crown of yellow gold, with the faces of the Seven inlaid in jade and pearl.[1] However, according to Maester Yandel, Aenys was crowned during a ceremony in the Red Keep with an ornate golden crown.[3]

Reign

King Aenys upon the Iron Throne, art by Magali Villeneuve.

Aenys received the blessings of the Faith. Nonetheless, some people casted doubt on his ability to rule. Dowager Queen Visenya Targaryen voiced a similar opinion, claiming that, by giving Blackfyre to Maegor, Aenys had admitted that he lacked the strength to rule.[1]

Within the first year of his reign, uprisings led by four rebels rose throughout the realm. The first of these occurred in the riverlands, where a bandit outlaw known as Red Harren claimed to be a grandson of Harren the Black. Harren and his men seized Harrenhal and killed Lord Gargon Qoherys. On the Iron Islands, a man claiming to be the priest-king Lodos began to gather followers, while in the Dornish marches the Vulture King began to gather a force of Dornishmen who wished to avenge the destruction visited upon Dorne during the First Dornish War. And in the Vale Lord Ronnel Arryn was taken captive by his own brother, Jonos Arryn.

Convinced that the smallfolk loved him, Aenys did not understand why people felt the need to rebel against him. He considered sending messengers to the four rebels, to learn why they had rebelled. While Aenys was unable to decide how best to handle the rebels, the lords of the Seven Kingdoms took matters into their own hands. Lord Allard Royce gathered forces and penned Jonos up in the Eyrie, after which Prince Maegor flew up to the Eyrie on Balerion to resolve the situation.[3][1] Lord Goren Greyjoy sent his fleet to Old Wyk and Great Wyk, where thousands of the followers of the priest-king Lodos were killed. Lodos himself was slain as well, and his pickled head was sent to King Aenys in a jar. Grateful, Aenys granted Goren "any boon he might desire".[3][1] The largest of the threats, the Vulture King, was mostly ignored by Princess Deria Martell, although she assured Aenys that she were doing everything she could to put the rebellion down. Eventually the Marcher lords resolved the situation, by defeating the followers of the Vulture King and capturing the Vulture King at the conclusion of the Vulture Hunt.[3][1] Red Harren lasted the longest of all rebels, but he too was eventually defeated. Aenys sent his Hand of the King, Lord Alyn Stokeworth, to hunt Harren down with a few hundred men. Harren eventually killed by Lord Alyn's squire, Bernarr Brune. When all these insurrections finally ended, Aenys rewarded all lords and knights who had led their forces against the rebels with gold, titles, and lands. Bernarr Brune was personally knighted by Aenys as a reward for his service.[3][1]

As Lord Alyn Stokeworth had been killed by Red Harren, Aenys named his brother Maegor as his new Hand of the King.[3][1] In 39 AC, shortly after the birth of Aenys's sixth child, Vaella (who died in the cradle), a new crisis arose. Prince Maegor announced that his wife was barren and that he thus had taken a second wife. Aenys and Maegor quarreled bitterly about the polygamous marriage. The High Septon denounced the marriage, and many of the pious lords in the realm similarly condemned the marriage. Feeling he had no other option,[3] a furious Aenys gave his brother a choice: either set Alys Harroway aside or go into exile for five years. Maegor chose the latter option and left for Pentos in 40 AC with Alys and Balerion. Aenys requested that his brother return Blackfyre before he left, but Maegor refused to do so.[1] In an attempt to placate the Faith, Aenys named Septon Murmison as his new Hand of the King. However, the High Septon continued to voice his discontent, while the lords of Westeros began to call Aenys weak and consider him incapable of ruling. Aenys was oblivious to these criticisms.

In 41 AC, Aenys wed his daughter, Princess Rhaena, to his son and heir, Prince Aegon. The Faith condemned the incestuous marriage as an obscenity, and on the day of the wedding Warrior's Sons scowled at the guests as they entered the Sept of Remembrance. At the feast that followed the ceremony, Aenys named Aegon Prince of Dragonstone, a title which had previously belonged to his brother Maegor. Dowager Queen Visenya left the feast in protest.

Aenys sent Aegon and Rhaena on a royal progress throughout the realm, but the smallfolk was not receptive of them. For having performed the wedding ceremony, Septon Murmison was expelled from the Faith. When Aenys asked the High Septon to restore Murmison, explaining the long history of Valyrian marriage customs practiced by House Targaryen, he received a denunciation as a response, addressed to "King Abomination". The pious lords of the realm, and even the smallfolk who had once loved Aenys, turned against him. When the High Septon declared Aenys to be a pretender and a tyrant who had no right to rule the Seven Kingdoms, the Faithful responded. Within a fortnight, Septon Murmison was hacked in pieces, signalling the start of the Faith Militant uprising.[3]

The Warrior's Sons fortified the Sept of Remembrance on Rhaenys's Hill. Aenys decided to leave for Dragonstone with his family. Three days before they were set to sail, Ser Raymont Baratheon of the Kingsguard saved Aenys's life when two Poor Fellows scaled the walls of the king's manse upon Visenya's Hill and slipped into the royal apartments in an attempt to murder the king.[9][3][1] At Dragonstone Dowager Queen Visenya counseled him to bring "fire and blood" to the Starry Sept and Sept of Remembrance. Aenys refused to do so, but at the same time was incapable of deciding how to act instead. Eventually, the king fell ill. By late 41 AC, most of the realm had turned against him. Thousands of Poor Fellows prowled the roads threatening and slaying any of the king's supporters, while dozens of lords took up arms against the Iron Throne.[3][1]

According to Grand Maester Gawen, Aenys looked like a man of sixty even though he was only thirty-five years old. The maester despaired of improving his condition. When Dowager Queen Visenya took over his care, Aenys briefly improved, but he suffered a collapse upon learning that his eldest son and daughter were besieged at Crakehall during their yearly progress.[3]

Death

Aenys died in 42 AC, after only ruling for five years, at the age of thirty-five.[3] He was cremated at Dragonstone, with his widow, Alyssa Velaryon, singing a dirge for him.[1] Years later, some people suggested that Dowager Queen Visenya Targaryen had been responsible for Aenys's sudden death. They cited Visenya's preference of her own son, Maegor, her ambition to seat him upon the throne, and the fact that she took care of the sick Aenys when he apparently disgusted her as her reasons.[3]

The Iron Throne, due to Visenya's actions after Aenys' death, passed to Aenys's half-brother Maegor instead of Aenys's eldest son Aegon.[10][1]

Small Council under Aenys I

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

Office Duration Name
Hand of the King 37 AC - 37 AC Lord Alyn Stokeworth
37 AC - 39 AC Prince Maegor Targaryen
40 AC - 41 AC Septon Murmison
Grand Maester 37 AC - 42 AC Gawen

Quotes

The king was easily influenced, swaying this way and that like a reed into the wind, like as not to heed whichever councillor last had his ear.[1]
– writings of Gawen


How can he rule the Seven Kingdoms when he cannot rule his brother?[1]
lords on Aenys's rule and his relationship with Maegor


You are a fool and a weakling, nephew. Do you think any man would ever have dared speak so to your father?[1]
Visenya Targaryen to Aenys

Family

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Valaena
Velaryon
 
Aerion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unknown
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Visenya
 
Aegon I
 
Rhaenys
 
 
Orys
Baratheon
 
Argella
Durrandon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ceryse
Hightower
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aenys I
 
Alyssa
Velaryon
 
 
House
Baratheon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elinor
Costayne
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alys
Harroway
 
 
Maegor I
 
Rhaena
 
Aegon
 
Viserys
 
Jaehaerys I
 
Alysanne
 
Vaella
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jeyne
Westerling
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tyanna of
the Tower
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rhaella
 
Aerea
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
House
Targaryen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Notes

  1. The crown of King Aegon I Targaryen has been described in So Spake Martin as "a simply circle of Valyrian steel set with big square-cut rubies" (So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 1, 2005)) and in The World of Ice & Fire as being made of "Valyrian steel" (The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I, and The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I) and as a "crown of rubies and Valyrian steel" (The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II). However, The Princess and the Queen and The Sons of the Dragon incorrectly describe the crown as being "iron and ruby".

References

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