Aerys I Targaryen

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Aerys I
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Aerys I by Amok©
Biographical Information
Reign 209 AC - 221 AC
Full Name Aerys 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 or between 172 AC and 176 AC[1], at King's Landing
Died in 221 AC
Royal House House Targaryen
Predecessor Daeron II Targaryen
Heir Prince Rhaegel Targaryen
Prince Aelor Targaryen
Prince Maekar Targaryen
Successor Maekar I Targaryen
Queen Aelinor Penrose
Issue None
Father Daeron II Targaryen
Mother Mariah Martell
Books The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
The Hedge Knight (mentioned)
The Sworn Sword (mentioned)
The Mystery Knight (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)

Aerys I Targaryen was a Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and the thirteenth Targaryen to sit the Iron Throne. He succeeded his father, Daeron II Targaryen.[2]

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Aerys I Targaryen

According to semi-canon sources, Aerys was bookish. He was spindly and stooped, with long, straight hair. He had a long, thin face, a long, thin mustache and a long pointed beard. He wore the crown of Aegon IV Targaryen.[3] On his coinage, he was depicted with a beard.[4]

Aerys was a bookish man who preferred reading to ruling, and it was said in the Seven Kingdoms that "Aerys would sooner bring a book to his bed rather than his wife".[5]



Aerys Targaryen was the second son of Daeron II Targaryen and Mariah Martell.[6] He was very much interested in books about ancient prophecy and higher mysteries.[7]

He was married to his cousin, Lady Aelinor Penrose, but he never showed any interest in getting her with child, instead shunning her bed. Rumor had it that Aerys had not even consummated the marriage.[7][5]

Aerys's nephew Aegon once recalled that as a boy he heard Aerys read about the return of dragons in a prophecy.[4]


After the death of Daeron II and his nephews Valarr and Matarys (sons of his elder brother, Baelor) in the Great Spring Sickness, Aerys became king. The plague continued for some time under his rule. His reign was troubled by sickness, drought and war. The Blackfyre Pretenders and their allies launched two rebellions during his reign.[7]

Upon becoming king, Aerys appointed his uncle, Brynden Rivers, known as Bloodraven, as Hand and let him rule while he occupied himself with the study of books and lore.[5] As Aerys had not yet fathered a child on his wife Aelinor, his small council, hoping that Aerys shunned her bed because he disliked her, urged Aerys to set Aelinor aside and take another wife. Aerys would not hear of it, however, and they remained married.[7]

Aerys's reign began during the Great Spring Sickness, and at its start, suffered a great drought.[5] A new Grand Maester was also elected, and said to be involved in sorcery.[5] It was widely held that travel was less safe during the reign of Aerys than under his father Daeron II's.[4] The Iron Throne was also preoccupied with the Blackfyre rebels under Ser Aegor Rivers, known as Bittersteel, as well as the Great Spring Sickness. Meanwhile, Dagon Greyjoy led the ironborn in raiding Fair Isle, the Arbor, and the north.[4]

Because Aerys was seen as bookish and weak, the Blackfyres tried to take advantage. Lord Gormon Peake, a Blackfyre loyalist, smuggled Daemon II Blackfyre across the narrow sea and attempted to gather support for an insurrection, the Second Blackfyre Rebellion. Thanks to Bloodraven's network of spies and the actions of Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire, this rebellion at the Whitewalls tourney ended with relatively little bloodshed.[4][7]

Aerys's brother and heir, Prince Rhaegel Targaryen, died in 215 AC by choking on a lamprey pie. Rhaegel's son, Prince Aelor, was named heir and made Prince of Dragonstone. Aelor died in 217 AC in a mishap caused by his twin sister, Princess Aelora, who would commit suicide an unknown amount of time later. Aerys's last heir was his youngest brother, Prince Maekar.[7]

The Third Blackfyre Rebellion was launched in 219 AC and ended with the capture of Aegor Rivers and the death of Haegon I Blackfyre. Aegor Rivers was brought to King's Landing in chains and while Brynden Rivers and Prince Aerion Targaryen wanted him put to death, King Aerys overruled them and sentenced him to take the black instead. The ship that was tasked to deliver Rivers to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, however, was intercepted by Blackfyre loyalists. Rivers was rescued and returned to the Golden Company and crowned Haegon's eldest son, Daemon III Blackfyre.[7]

When Aerys died he was succeeded in 221 AC by his youngest and sole surviving brother, Maekar I Targaryen.[7][8]

Quotes about Aerys

His Grace cares more for old scrolls and dusty prophecies than for lords and laws. He will not even bestir himself to sire an heir. Queen Aelinor prays daily at the Great Sept , beseeching the Mother Above to bless her with a child, yet she remains a maid. Aerys keeps his own apartments, and it is said he would sooner take a book to bed than any woman.[5]
Sefton Staunton, to Dunk

In Dagon's day a weak king sat the Iron Throne, his rheumy eyes fixed across the narrow sea where bastards and exiles plotted rebellion. So forth from Pyke Lord Dagon sailed, to make the Sunset Sea his own.[9]
- thoughts of Victarion Greyjoy


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

References and Notes

  1. See the Aerys I Targaryen calculation.
  2. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  3. So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 1, 2005)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 The Mystery Knight.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 The Sworn Sword.
  6. The World of Ice and Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys I.
  8. The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
  9. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 63, Victarion I.
  10. 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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