Aerion Targaryen

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For the Lord of Dragonstone, and the father of King Aegon I Targaryen, see Aerion Targaryen (son of Daemion).
House Targaryen.svg
House Targaryen (Aerion).svg
Aerion Targaryen
Second Sons small.png
Aerion targaryen by arkoniel.jpg
Aerion Targaryen by Mathia Arkoniel©

Alias Aerion Brightflame
Aerion Brightfire
Aerion the Monstrous
The Bright Prince
The Prince Who Thought He Was a Dragon
Title Prince
Allegiance House Targaryen
Second Sons
Culture Valyrian
Born In or between 191 AC and 194 AC[1]
Died In 232 AC
Spouse Princess Daenora Targaryen
Book(s) The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
The Hedge Knight (appears)
The Sworn Sword (mentioned)
The Mystery Knight (mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
Personal Arms a red three-headed dragon on black; one head orange, one yellow, one red, breathing golden flames

Prince Aerion Targaryen, also known as Aerion the Monstrous, or Aerion Brightflame as he liked to call himself, was the second son of King Maekar I Targaryen.

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Aerion Targaryen

In his youth, Aerion was slim and of average height. He had curly silver-gold hair, deep violet eyes, and pale skin. His face was sculptured and imperious, with a high brow, sharp cheekbones, and a straight nose. He frequently wore clothing as bright as fire, in red and yellow and gold.[2]

Aerion was one of the most outstanding examples of the madness that can hit the members of House Targaryen. Cruel and arrogant, he thought he was a dragon in human form.[2][3] Reportedly, he was a dabbler in the black arts.[4]

Aerion was despised by his brother Aegon. Aerion had thrown Aegon's pet cat down a well, though he claimed otherwise, but Aegon believed Aerion was a inveterate liar. Aerion once even visited Aegon in his bedroom during the dead of night, and put a knife to Aegon's privates and joked about removing his genitals so he would become a sister he could marry. According to Raymun Fossoway, the prince is all smiles and courtesy in front of his father, but his true nature shows in front of others. Even Aerion's brother Daeron called him "quite the monster".[2]


Aerion was born the second son to then-Prince Maekar Targaryen and his wife, Lady Dyanna Dayne. He had one older brother, Daeron, two younger brothers, Aemon and Aegon, and two younger sisters, Daella and Rhae.[5]

Aerion owned a dragon egg that was gold and silver.[6]

Ashford Tourney

Aerion breaks Tanselle's fingers. Art by Mike S. Miller.

Aerion travels to Ashford for the Ashford Tourney in 209 AC. When he arrives, he mistakes Duncan the Tall for a stable boy, ordering him to take his horse. When Duncan says he isn't a stable boy, Aerion insults him, saying perhaps he's not clever enough to be one. He orders him to bring him food, wine, and a wench, and Duncan makes it clear that he's a knight. Aerion says "Knighthood has fallen on sad times" before giving his horse to a servant and leaving. At the tourney, he seems about to challenge his cousin Valarr Targaryen to a joust, but challenges Humfrey Hardyng instead. During the charge, Egg, Dunk's squire (in truth Aegon Targaryen) screams for Hardyng to kill Aerion. Aerion lowers his lance too low as he charges, and impales Hardyng's horse, injuring Humfrey's leg and leaving his horse to die in agony. Egg is horrified and makes it clear to Duncan that Aerion had done it on purpose.[2]

Later, Aerion comes across puppeteers who are portraying a dragon being slain in their puppet show. As Aerion believes he is a dragon, he feels insulted and attacks the puppeteers, breaking the fingers of a girl named Tanselle and has the puppets destroyed. Duncan intervenes and attacks Aerion, punching him in the face and kicking him. Aerion orders Duncan's teeth broken, but Aegon intervenes, and Duncan is only arrested. After Prince Baelor informs Duncan about the ability of requesting a trial by battle, Aerion requests a Trial of Seven. When his father, Prince Maekar wonders whether this is a sign of fear, Aerion insists he wishes his older brother Daeron, who had lied and blamed Duncan for stealing Aegon away, to be able to take vengeance as well. Aerion bribes Ser Steffon Fossoway, one of Dunk's champions, with a chance of a lordship to join the accusers against Duncan. Joining Aerion are his brother Daeron, his father Maekar, and three knights of the Kingsguard, while his uncle, Prince Baelor, joins Duncan's side.[2]

During the trial, Aerion and Duncan face each other and Aerion manages to put his lance through Dunk's side and strike him from the saddle with a morningstar. As Dunk lies wounded on the ground, Aerion gives him a chance to yield, since he'll only take his hand (and maybe a foot) but definitely his teeth. When Dunk refuses, Aerion attempts to smash his face in with his morningstar, but Duncan rolls aside and knocks Aerion to the ground, using his skills as a brawler from Flea Bottom to beat the prince down. Duncan considers popping one of Aerion's violet eyes like a grape until he decides "that would not be knightly" and demands Aerion yield. Aerion, terrified, does, but tries to draw a weapon on Duncan until he drags him across the field to Lord Ashford and makes him repeat his statement, ending the threat to Dunk's other champions.[2]

After the conclusion of the tournament, Maekar sends Aerion to Lys.[2]

Later life

Aerion drinks wildfire, illustrated by Roman Papsuev

Aerion stayed in Lys for a few years. It is possible that he fathered some children while living there.[7] He served with the Second Sons for a time while in exile.[8]

Aerion returned to Westeros at some point and fought in the Third Blackfyre Rebellion in 219 AC. He performed some actions there that are "known well". After Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers was captured, Aerion and Hand of the King Brynden Rivers urged King Aerys I Targaryen to put Aegor to death, but the King decided to send Bittersteel to the Night's Watch instead.[9]

Aerion was married to his cousin, Daenora Targaryen.[5] Together, they had one child, a son "omniously" named Maegor, born in 232 AC. The same year as his son's birth, Aerion died drinking a cup of wildfire, believing it would transform him into a dragon. He died screaming.[4][10] A year later, King Maekar died, and in the Great Council Aerion's son Maegor was passed over in the succession as it was feared that the boy might have inherited his father's cruelty and madness.[4][3]


Daeron II
Aerys I
Maekar I
Kiera of
Kiera of
Aegon V
House Targaryen

References and Notes

  1. See the Aerion Targaryen (Brightflame) calculation.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 The Hedge Knight.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The World of Ice and Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
  6. The Mystery Knight.
  7. So Spake Martin: Many Questions (October 14, 1998)
  8. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 66, Tyrion XII.
  9. The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys I.
  10. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
  11. Kiera of Tyrosh was widowed when Valarr Targaryen died from the Great Spring Sickness; some time later she married his cousin Daeron.

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