Baelor I Targaryen
- This page is about the King named "Baelor Targaryen". For other characters called "Baelor Targaryen", please see Baelor Targaryen.
Portrait of Baelor I by Amok©
|Reign||161 -171 AC|
|Full Name||Baelor Targaryen First of His Name|
|Alias|| Baelor the Beloved|
Baelor the Blessed
Baelor the Befuddled
|Other Titles||King of the Seven Kingdoms|
|Born in||144 AC, at King's Landing|
|Died in||171 AC, at King's Landing|
|Royal House||House Targaryen|
|Predecessor||Daeron I Targaryen|
|Successor||Viserys II Targaryen|
|Father||Aegon III Targaryen|
|Books|| The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)|
The Sworn Sword (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
Baelor I, known as the Beloved and the Blessed, was the ninth Targaryen king to reign on the Iron Throne. Known for his piety, Baelor was a septon as well as a king. He was the second son of King Aegon III Targaryen and Queen Daenaera Velaryon, and ruled after the death of his older brother, King Daeron I Targaryen. The Great Sept of Baelor in King's Landing features a statue of him. None of the Targaryen dynasty's kings are as beloved as Baelor, he loved the smallfolk and the gods in equal parts - yet imprisoned his own sisters.
Appearance and Character
Baelor was a peaceful, devoted and pious man. He was very thin (due to his repeated fasts) and frail looking. He had a genle, almost beatific smile, and a reedy voice. He wore a long beard and hair of typical Targaryen silver-gold color. His crown was made of flowers and vines. Not a material man, Baelor's favorite 'weapon' was a prayer
In 160 AC, Baelor was married to his younger sister, Princess Daena Targaryen. He refused to consumate their marriage, however, causing his sister, who usually dressed all in black, to change her clothes to only whites, in an attempt to shame him, as she had sworn to wear nothing else until the was properly bedded. The plan did not work, as Baelor liked to see his sister all in white, feeling it made her look more innocent.
Upon the death of his brother, King Daeron I Targaryen, Baelor, at the age of seventeen, was crowned King and ascended the Iron Throne. His uncle, Prince Viserys Targaryen, acting as Hand of the King, had sent the fourteen Dornish hostages Daeron had brought back from Dorne to the dungeons, to await execution. Baelor's first act as King was to grant a pardon to all the Dornish hostages. He publicly forgave his brother's killers, even though his lords and council were crying out for vengeance. Many similar acts of piety and forgiveness occured throughout his ten year reign. Baelor declared he meant to "bind up the wounds" of his brothers war and make peace with Dorne. He declared he would go to Dorne with neither sword nor army, as an act of piety.
Clad in only sackcloth, Baelor walked the Boneway barefoot. The fourteen highborn Dornish hostages travelled with him, riding horses. His journey took him to the location where House Wyl had imprisoned Prince Aemon Targaryen of the Kingsguard. It is said that Baelor pleaded to Lord Wyl to have Aemon freed, but was refused. Offering a prayer instead, Baelor continued his journey, swearing that he would return.
It was an arduous journey, but Baelor eventually arrived at Sunspear, which was considered the first miracle of Baelor's reign. Baelor met with the Prince of Dorne, and managed to succeed in forging a peace, which was considered the second miracle. Part of the peace agreements was that Baelor's young cousin, Prince Daeron, the only grandson of his uncle and Hand of the King, Prince Viserys, would marry the eldest daughter of the Prince of Dorne, Princess Mariah Martell, when both children were of age.
Baelor was offered a galley back to King's Landing, but refused the offer of the Prince of Dorne, declaring that 'the Seven had commanded him to walk'. There were some in the Dornish court who feared that Viserys would take it as a new cause for war when Baelor died during his journey (as they did not believe Baelor could survive such a journey). Thus, the Prince of Dorne made efforts to ensure that Baelor would be met with hospitality on his way. Special attention was paid to Lord Wyl, as Baelor had requested the Prince of Dorne to command Aemon's release. Yet, when Baelor returned at Aemon's location, Aemon's imprisonment had gotten worse.
Where previously Aemon had only been naked in a cage, there was now also a pit dug underneath the cage, which had been filled with vipers. Lord Wyl gave Baelor the keys to Aemon's cage, and the right to use them. It is said that, while Aemon begged Baelor to leave and seek aid, Baelor smiled, assured that the gods would protect him. So he stepped into the pit. While the singers like to say that all the vipers bowed their heads to Baelor as he walked passed, not daring to strike him because he was so pure and holey, Baelor was in fact bitten by the vipers, though sources differ on how often, ranging from half a dozen to half a hundred.
Baelor managed to open the cage, before collapsing. Prince Aemon was able to pull Baelor from the pit, into the cage, and climbed to safety with the King upon his back. Because Baelor was unconscious, Aemon had to carry him, and did so halfway down the Boneway, before he was offered clothing by a septon. Aemon managed to reach the watchtowers of House Dondarrion, and they were brought to Blackhaven, where Baelor was cared for by the local maester. When the maester had done all he could, Baelor was send on to Storm's End, where he would remain for half a year and more. On the way to Storm's End, Baelor regained his consciousness, but only muttered prayers. After Storm's End, Baelor finally travelled to King's Landing.
Upon his return, Baelor convinced the High Septon to dissolve his marriage to his sister Daena, since it had been contracted before he had become a King, and it had never been consummated above all. The High Septon complied. But Baelor did not stop there. Next, he placed his sisters, Daena, Rhaena and Elaena, in their very own "Court of Beauty" in the Red Keep. This would later be called the Maidenvault. Baelor wanted to preserve the innocense of his sisters from the wickedness of the world, and from the lusts of men, and prevent them from tempting the men at court with carnal thoughts. There were people who wondered whether or not Baelor feared the beauty of his sisters on his own behalf.
Many protested this idea: Prince Viserys, who was still Hand of the King, the three princesses themselves, and other members at court, but Baelor would not relent. The three prinesses were kept in comfortable confinement, and lords and knights send maidens to the Maidenvault to gain favor with Baelor.
Baelor next decreed prostitution to be outlawed in King's Landing, and put more than a thousand whores and and their children out of the city. This was heavily protested, but Baelor refused to listen and closed his eyes to the unrest that followed. After all, he had a new project to keep himself busy with: a great sept he had seen in a vision, which would be build on Visenya's Hill. The construction of this great sept would not be completed until years after Baelor's death.
The smallfolk loved Baelor, as the king emptied the treasure regularly for his charitable acts. But Baelor's decisions grew more erratic every year, and the lords of the realm were starting to grow uneasy, wondering if the snake venom hadn't affected his mind somehow. Baelor had not only undone his marriage, but prevented himself from ever having children, by becoming a septon as well as a king. In addition, the High Septon was gaining more and more influence with Baelor, and the King's edicts became more and more concerned with spiritual matters.
Baelor earned the contempt of his nobles by forcing the proud Lord Belgrave to wash the feet of a leper. He tried to replace all the ravens that delivered messages with doves, a debacle which is discussed in detail in maester Walgrave's book Black Wings, Swift Words. He granted tax exemption to Lords who protected their daughter virtue through chastity belts, and attempted to birth new dragons by praying over his dragon egg for half a year, yet his prayers went unanswered. He donated a loaf of bread to each man and woman in the city for a year. He also had many books burned, including all copies of The Testimony of Mushroom, and Dragons, Wyrms, and Wyverns: Their Unnatural History, written by Septon Barth, because he claimed Barth was more a sorcerer than a Septon, the contents of the book having been enough to win Baelor's enmity.
Towards the end of his reign, Baelor began to fast more and more. He would fast to the point of fainting to tame the lusts that shamed him. When the High Septon died, Baelor personally selected his replacement. He choose a simple stonemason called Pate as the new High Septon, as the gods had told him. Pate could carve stonework so beautifully that Baelor believed him to be the Smith in human form. While a fantastic stonecarver, this new High Septon could not read, write or recite any prayers. He was described as a lackwit and died of a fever the next year after taking office. Rumour spread that Baelor's Hand had him poisoned to end the embarrassment to the realm.
Baelor then raised a boy of eight years to High Septon, a street urchin said to be the son of a draper. Baelor claimed the boy worked miracles. The Most Devout, once more, granted the King's request
When Baelors cousin, Princess Naerys, gave birth to twins who both died shortly after their delivery in 161 AC, he fasted for a moon's turn. In 170 AC, he took it a step further, when his sister and former wife, Daena, gave birth to a bastard son named Daemon Waters. Baelor fasted for forty days and nights, refusing to take anything but water and some bread. On the forty-first day of his fast, in 171 AC, the King collapsed, and neither Grand Maester Munkun or the boy High Septon who Baelor said worked miracles could save him. So died King Baelor I Targaryen.
History says Baelor starved himself to death by the prolonged fasting to cleanse himself of lust, but some believe he was poisoned by his Hand and uncle, Viserys. Amongst those who believe Viserys had poisoned Baelor, different motives are given. There are those who claim Viserys did so to gain the throne, but others claim Viserys had done so for the good of the realm, as Baelor had come to believe that the Seven wanted him to convert all the non-believers in the entire realm. Had Baelor been able to put these believes into action, war with the North and the Iron Islands would have followed.
Baelor is a controversial figure in the Targaryen Monarchy. Some remember him as a great and holy man and praise him for his contributions to the Faith, for forging a peace with Dorne, his mercy and his many acts of charity. Others are less impressed by him, believing him to be an overly zealous weak fool. Baelor is not remembered fondly by all. Tyrion Lannister thinks of Baelor as Baelor the Befuddled, and Cersei Lannister recalls Tyrion saying that King Baelor was terrified of his own cock.
Quotes about Baelor
|“||Lancel: Marriage requires consummation. King Baelor was made to wed his sister Daena, but they never lived as man and wife, and he put her aside as soon as he was crowned.
Jaime: The realm would have been better served if he had closed his eyes and fucked her. I know enough of history to know that.
|“||He was a rare spirit, pure and brave and innocent, untouched by the evils of the world.||”|
|“||The feeblest king who ever sat on the Iron Throne.||”|
References and Notes
- ↑ See the Baelor I Targaryen calculation.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Baelor I Targaryen.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 65, Cersei II.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 1, 2005)
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.
- ↑ Targaryen History
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 30, Jaime IV.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Three Maidens in the Tower
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 58, Tyrion VII.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 14, Tyrion IV.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 59, Sansa IV.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
- ↑ The Sworn Sword.