Daeron I Targaryen

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House Targaryen.svg King
Daeron I Targaryen
the Young Dragon
House Targaryen.svg
Daeron I by Amok©
Reign 157161 AC
Full name Daeron Targaryen the First of His Name
Predecessor Aegon III Targaryen
Heir Baelor Targaryen
Successor Baelor I Targaryen
Personal Information
  • Boy King[2]
  • The Young Dragon[3]
  • Daeron the Dragon[4]
Born 143 AC[5]
Red Keep, King's Landing[6]
Died 161 AC
Buried King's Landing
Dynasty House Targaryen
Issue None
Father Aegon III Targaryen
Mother Daenaera Velaryon[6]

Daeron I Targaryen, known as the Young Dragon,[3] was the eldest son of King Aegon III Targaryen and Queen Daenaera Velaryon, and the eighth Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne. He ascended to the throne at the age of fourteen and is famous for invading Dorne, which he wrote about in his The Conquest of Dorne.

Appearance and Character

Young Daeron was handsome, being clean-shaven with long hair.[7] A warrior and conqueror, Daeron was self-confident and charismatic.[8][7] He was also an elegant writer.[3]

Daeron has been considered great by some but mad by others.[9] He was idolized by his sister, Princess Daena Targaryen,[10] and Jon Snow considers the Young Dragon as one of his heroes.[2][11]

Daeron wore the Valyrian steel circlet of Aegon the Conqueror and owned an elaborate suit of gold-and-black plate.[7]



Daeron was born in 143 AC as the firstborn son and heir of King Aegon III Targaryen and Queen Daenaera Velaryon. He had a younger brother, Prince Baelor, and three younger sisters, Princesses Daena, Rhaena, and Elaena. When his father died in 157 AC, the prince was crowned King Daeron I in 157 AC at the age of fourteen. Daeron kept his uncle, Prince Viserys, as his Hand of the King, as his uncle had held the position for Aegon III as well. Viserys did not insist upon a regency for the young king.[8]

Conquest of Dorne

Daeron had long felt that the continued independence of Dorne represented unfinished business for the Targaryens, and upon his ascension he vowed to rectify his ancestors' mistake. Viserys and other councillors objected to the young king's plans, however, reminding Daeron that Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters had failed twice in trying to conquer Dorne with dragons, and that the Iron Throne now had none. Daeron famously replied, "You have a dragon. He stands before you".[8]

Daeron planned his conquest of Dorne with the aid of Lord Alyn Velaryon. The campaign showed great promise as Daeron went over and revised the mistakes that were made in the First Dornish War. Daeron split his army into three for the invasion and personally led the army down the Boneway. Learning from the mistakes made by Lord Orys Baratheon in the first war, Daeron used goat paths located in the pass to avoid traps and ambushes which Dornishmen usually implemented to repel invaders. A second army led by Lord Lyonel Tyrell marched down the Prince's Pass. The third army was a naval assault by Alyn Oakenfist along the Dornish coast, and the royal fleet broke the Planky Town.[8]

After several battles, the Prince of Dorne and two score Dornish lords bent the knee in the Submission of Sunspear in 158 AC, within a year of the invasion's beginning. Daeron became the first Targaryen king to conquer Dorne and unite all Seven Kingdoms for the first time, despite the loss of ten thousand men in taking the peninsula.[2] Daeron wrote The Conquest of Dorne about his achievement.[3] The book was known for its style and simplicity,[8] but in it Daeron exaggerated the numbers of his foes to make his conquest seem greater.[12]

Daeron spent some time in Dorne to consolidate his conquest and eliminate rebels. An assassination attempt on the king was prevented by the actions of his cousin, Prince Aemon Targaryen, who threw himself in the path of a poisoned arrow meant for Daeron. Aemon the Dragonknight survived the poison, however, and was sent back to King's Landing to recover.[8] Leaving Lord Tyrell in charge in Dorne, Daeron returned to the capital in 159 AC, bringing fourteen Dornish nobles with him as hostages.[8] Daeron intended to wed one of his sisters to the Sealord of Braavos to seal an alliance with him, with the aim of removing the pirates that were hindering trade with Dorne. According to Grand Maester Kaeth's Lives of Four Kings, this talk of a marriage alliance with Braavos, at the time warring with Pentos and Lys, caused those other Free Cities to lend aid to the Dornish rebels.[13]

Rebellion and Death

Although the Dornish nobility had submitted to House Targaryen, the Dornish smallfolk continued to resist. Daeron's steward in Dorne, Lord Lyonel Tyrell, attempted to stamp out rebellion, and forty or fifty thousand men are said to have died in the next three years.[2][8] A clever trap at Sandstone killed Lyonel and sparked a great uprising, however, leading Daeron to return to Dorne in 160 AC.

The Young Dragon achieved victories along the Boneway while Lord Alyn Velaryon dealt with the Planky Town and the Greenblood.[8] Thinking the Dornish were again willing to submit, Daeron met with them under a peace banner in 161 AC. However, in a betrayal, the Dornishmen attacked Daeron and his retinue. The eighteen-year-old king died with Blackfyre in his hand, surrounded by a dozen enemies. Three knights of the Kingsguard were slain while defending him — including Ser Olyvar Oakheart[14] — one yielded, and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight was captured, though Aemon managed to slay two of the betrayers before being taken into custody.[8]

Daeron was succeeded by his brother, Baelor I Targaryen, and the Dornish hostages in King's Landing were thrown into the dungeons by Prince Viserys, the Hand of the King.[15] The Weeping Town received its name from the townspeople's reaction when Daeron's corpse arrived from Dorne.[16] Although most lords were vengeful after Daeron's death, Baelor the Blessed forgave the assassins and brought about a rapprochement with the Dornish.[15]

In the city of Oldtown, there is a statue of King Daeron I astride a tall stone horse, his sword lifted toward Dorne.[17] Grand Maester Kaeth wrote about Daeron's reign in Lives of Four Kings.[18]


Jon: Daeron Targaryen was only fourteen when he conquered Dorne.
Benjen: A conquest that lasted a summer. Your Boy King lost ten thousand men taking the place, and another fifty trying to hold it. Someone should have told him that war isn't a game.[2]

King Daeron wrote with an elegant simplicity, and his history is rich with blood, battle, and bravery.[3]


Viserys I
Aegon II
Viserys II
Aegon III
Aegon IV
Baelor I
Daeron I
Daeron II
of Tyrosh
House Targaryen.svg
House Martell.svg
House Blackfyre 2.svg

Behind the Scenes

According to George R. R. Martin, Alexander the Great is an inspiration for the character of Daeron.[7] When asked about Daeron's sexuality in a 2008 Q&A, George R. R. Martin said that Daeron was not gay and married but did not have an issue.[19] It seems Martin later changed his mind on Daeron's marital status as in The World of Ice and Fire, published in 2014, there is no mention of Daeron ever being married.

Daeron's name is twice misspelled as "Daeren" in A Game of Thrones.[2]


  1. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 5, Jon I.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
  4. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys IV.
  5. See the Daeron I Targaryen calculation.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Daeron I Targaryen.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 1, 2005).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron I.
  9. So Spake Martin: Egg and the Targaryens (November 5, 1998).
  10. So Spake Martin: Three Maidens in the Tower (June 27, 2006).
  11. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 35, Jon VII.
  12. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 40, Princess In The Tower.
  13. The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: The Quarrelsome Daughters: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh.
  14. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
  15. 15.0 15.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.
  16. The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands.
  17. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.
  18. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 59, Sansa IV.
  19. So Spake Martin: Targaryen History (April 21, 2008).
Preceded by 8th Prince of Dragonstone
143157 AC
Succeeded by
Preceded by 8th
King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm

157161 AC
Succeeded by