Jaehaerys II Targaryen
Jaehaerys II by Amok©
|Reign||259 AC - 262 AC|
|Full Name||Jaehaerys Targaryen the Second of His Name|
King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men|
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm
|Born in||225 AC, at King's Landing|
|Died in||262 AC, at King's Landing|
|Royal House||House Targaryen|
|Predecessor||Aegon V Targaryen|
|Heir||Aerys II Targaryen|
|Successor||Aerys II Targaryen|
Aerys II Targaryen|
|Father||Aegon V Targaryen|
The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)|
A Game of Thrones (appendix)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
Jaehaerys II Targaryen was a Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and the sixteenth Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne. He was the second born son of King Aegon V Targaryen and Queen Betha Blackwood. Jaehaerys was the father of King Aerys II Targaryen and Queen Rhaella Targaryen, and the grandfather of Rhaegar, Viserys and Daenerys.
Appearance and Character
Jaehaerys was sickly looking, pale and frail with large purple eyes and shoulder-length hair. He wore his grandfather Maekar's crown. He suffered from numerous ailments throughout his life. An amiable and clever, yet sickly man, Jaehaerys died at the young age of thirty-seven.
Jaehaerys's father, King Aegon V Targaryen, had developed a deep distaste for the Targaryen practice of incestuous marriages and was determined to end the custom. Thus, in 237 AC, Jaehaerys was betrothed to Celia Tully, the daughter of the Lord of Riverrun. However, from a young age, Jaehaerys had been of a more traditional frame of mind, as he was in love with his sister, Princess Shaera. Shaera, in turn, desired him. King Aegon V and Queen Betha observed this and were alerted because of it. They did everything they could to separate the two siblings, yet this only served to inflame their passion.
While Jaehaerys had been betrothed to Celia Tully, Princess Shaera had been betrothed in 237 AC to Luthor Tyrell, the heir to Highgarden. When Jaehaerys's and Shaera's elder brother, Prince Duncan, broke his betrothal to the daughter of Lord Lyonel Baratheon in 239 AC and married a common born girl known as Jenny of Oldstones, Prince Jaehaerys and Princess Shaera took note. Duncan was forced to choose between the Iron Throne and his position as heir to the throne, and his new bride. King Aegon V, in the end, relented, though Duncan was excluded from the line of succession.
Thus, in 240 AC, Jaehaerys and Shaera followed in Duncan's footsteps. They eluded their guardians, and secretly wed and consummated the marriage. Aegon despaired over this, but felt he had no choice, as the marriage had been consummated. He was forced to relent to his children's wishes, while at the same time dealing with the anger and wounded pride of both House Tully and House Tyrell.
Following their example, the younger brother of Duncan and Jaehaerys, Prince Daeron Targaryen, would later also break his betrothal, meaning all sons of King Aegon V married for love, which the king had only agreed to because he himself had been allowed to do so.
While Jaehaerys himself had married for love, he later commanded his son, Prince Aerys, and daughter, Princess Rhaella, to marry each other, despite neither desiring this match. A woods witch, brought to court by Jenny of Oldstones, prophesied that the prince that was promised would be born from their line. Whilst King Aegon V was frustrated by Jaehaerys's decision, he let his son have his way. The firstborn child of Aerys and Rhaella, Prince Rhaegar, was born in the year 259 AC, on the same day that the Tragedy at Summerhall took place, a tragedy which killed multiple members of House Targaryen, including King Aegon V Targaryen and his eldest son, Duncan.
Jaehaerys ascended the throne at the age of thirty-four. Despite his young age, his reign would be short, lasting only three years. Dalbridge, who would later join the Night's Watch, served as a squire to Jaehaerys II in his youth.
The most notable event that occured in his reign was the War of the Ninepenny Kings. The conflict had been brewing for some time. The Band of Nine seized the Stepstones and Jaehaerys feared they would use the islands as a base of operation to launch a war on the Seven Kingdoms. Despite being the least martial of Aegon V's sons, he proved capable of defending realm from the Blackfyre pretender Maelys the Monstrous. Wanting to end the Blackfyre threat once and for all, Jaehaerys assembled the armies of the Iron Throne. Jaehaerys wanted to command the attack against Maelys himself, but his Hand of the King, Lord Ormund Baratheon, counselled the king to remain at King's Landing with Queen Shaera. Instead, Lord Ormund led the attack himself. In 260 AC, the Targaryen armies landed on three of the Stepstones and the war lasted for most of that year. In the end, it was a young knight, Ser Barristan Selmy, who slew Maelys in single combat. With Maelys dead, the rest of the Band of Nine lost interest in Westeros and fell back to their own domains.
Due to his delicate health, Jaehaerys was considered weak by many, but Ser Barristan Selmy, whom he raised to the Kingsguard, thought differently. Jaehaerys's reign only lasted three years, but he reigned well in those short years. He proved a capable king, restoring order to the kingdom, ending the Blackfyre threat and reconciling many of the Great Houses who had grown unhappy with his fathers' reign. In 262 AC, after barely three years on the throne, King Jaehaerys II Targaryen died after a short illness, complaining of a sudden shortness of breath, at the age of thirty-seven.
A Storm of Swords
Arstan Whitebeard mentions Jaehaerys to Daenerys Targaryen. Dany is struck by the realization that Arstan knew her grandfather and will be able to tell her about her family, the people she comes from. Arstan also tells her of the latent madness in her family and that Jaehaerys once told him that madness and greatness were two sides of the same coin.
A Dance with Dragons
After Daenerys's disappearance Ser Barristan thinks to himself that it is his failures that haunt him at night, one of which is King Jaehaerys, whom he feels he failed, as he had stood in his white cloak beside the Iron Throne as madness consumed Jaehaerys’s son Aerys. Ser Barristan recalls that he stood, and saw, and heard, and yet did nothing.
In the Great Pyramid's audience chamber, when Admiral Groleo's severed head is presented to King Hizdahr zo Loraq, Ser Barristan glances toward the throne, having served so many kings he cannot help but imagine how they might have reacted to this provocation, he thinks that even Jaehaerys, reckoned weak by many, would have ordered the arrest of Bloodbeard and the Yunkish slavers.
King Jaehaerys once told me that madness and greatness were two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, he said, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.
—thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen
- See the Jaehaerys II Targaryen calculation.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Jaehaerys II.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys II.
- So Spake Martin: Archon Meeting (October 5-7), October 05, 2001
- So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings, November 01, 2005
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
- See the Aerys II Targaryen and Rhaella Targaryen calculations.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys IV.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Rhaegar Targaryen.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Dalbridge.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 56, Theon V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 55, The Queensguard.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys VI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 59, The Discarded Knight.