Rhaegar Targaryen

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Rhaegar Targaryen
House Targaryen crest.PNG
MiguelRegodónHarkness Rhaegar Targaryen.jpg
Rhaegar Targaryen © 2012 Miguel Regodón Harkness

Alias Silver Prince
The Dragon Prince
The Last Dragon
Title Prince of Dragonstone
Ser
Allegiance House Targaryen
Culture Valyrian
Born In 259AC, at Summerhall[1]
Died In 283AC, at the Trident
Spouse Elia Martell
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (Mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (Mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (Mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (Mentioned)

Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was a member of House Targaryen. He was the eldest son of King Aerys II Targaryen and, as heir-apparent, Prince of Dragonstone and crown prince for the Iron Throne. Rhaegar was popular with the smallfolk during his life, but he died in Robert's Rebellion which was triggered in part by his abduction of Lyanna Stark. He was slain in single combat with Robert Baratheon at the ruby ford of the Trident.

Contents

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Rhaegar Targaryen

Prince Rhaegar was tall and handsome, having dark indigo eyes and the silver hair of the Targaryens, worn long. Many say that Rhaegar was beautiful.[2]

Rhaegar was exceedingly intelligent and excelled at anything he put his mind to. He was considered to be a talented musician and skilled knight. While well-loved by the people, Rhaegar was said to be quiet, private and bookish. He was deeply affected by "the shadow of Summerhall", because he was "born in grief" and was considered melancholic at times.

While King Robert Baratheon despises him, many think of Rhaegar with respect, especially Targaryen loyalists. Ser Jaime Lannister still remembers the iron tones of Rhaegar’s voice[3]. Ser Barristan Selmy, who served three kings, thinks that Rhaegar would have been better then any of them. His sister, Daenerys Targaryen, is often compared to Rhaegar as a compliment. Eddard Stark, Robert's friend and Lyanna's brother, remembers Rhaegar in a neutral manner.[4][5] People who had romantic feelings toward Rhaegar include Cersei Lannister[6] and Jon Connington.[7]

History

Early Life

Marriage to Princess Elia Martell of Dorne

Prince Rhaegar was King Aerys II and Queen Rhaella's first-born son. He was born in the year 259AC, on the same day that the Tragedy at Summerhall took place.[8] As a child he read obsessively, to the point that jests were made about his habits. He became a noted warrior later in life, although he did not initially seem inclined to martial habits. However, he became motivated to excel in this field, apparently by something he read. [9]

At 17, Rhaegar was knighted, and from all reports grew into a highly skilled and capable fighter, always distinguishing himself well at tournaments, although he seldom entered the lists - he never loved the song of swords the way that Robert Baratheon or Jaime Lannister did.[10] Men said Rhaegar loved his harp more then he loved his lance.

Rhaegar often liked to visit the ruins of Summerhall with only his harp and when he returned he sang songs of such beauty they could reduce women to tears. Although Rhaegar was often dour, private and bookish, Cersei Lannister noted at the tourney for King Aerys II in Lannisport the smallfolk cheered for Lord Tywin Lannister twice as much as for King Aerys II, but only half as loudly for Tywin as for Rhaegar. Aerys refused Tywin's offer at the tourney to betroth Cersei to Rhaegar.[6]

Rhaegar's squires were Myles Mooton and Richard Lonmouth, and after he knighted them they remained close companions. Lord Jon Connington was a good friend to Rhaegar too, but Rhaegar's closest and oldest friend was Ser Arthur Dayne.

When Rhaegar was born the Targaryen bloodline had decreased, and once he came of age, there was no one of that bloodline available for him to marry.[11] To try and rectify this matter, King Aerys, when he was not quite so mad, had sent his first cousin, Steffon Baratheon, to seek a bride for Prince Rhaegar, who had no sisters to wed.[12] The problem that Steffon found when looking for Valyrian blood in Essos was not that there were none with it left, but that he could not find any appropriate females of noble-enough birth.[13]

Later, Rhaegar married the Dornish princess Elia Martell, with whom he had two children: a daughter, Rhaenys, and a son, Aegon Targaryen.

Elia, due to her delicate health, was bed-ridden for half a year after giving birth to Rhaenys and nearly died giving birth to Aegon, after which the maesters told Rhaegar she would be unable to have any more children.[14] Maester Aemon, whom Rhaegar corresponded with via raven messages, remembers that Rhaegar erroneously believed his child Aegon to be the prince that was promised.[8]

Love and Death

Rhaegar crowns Lyanna Stark as Queen of love and beauty - by M.Luisa Giliberti ©

During the Tourney at Harrenhal, Rhaegar Targaryen seemed unstoppable and defeated even Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. Taking the winter rose crown for the queen of love and beauty, he revealed his interest in Lyanna Stark by passing over his wife, the Princess Elia of Dorne, and setting it in Lyanna's lap. Eddard Stark later recalled that moment as "when all the smiles died".[15][9] A year later, Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, for reasons unknown. This act ultimately triggered Robert's Rebellion and the downfall of the Targaryen dynasty.

Commanding the Targaryen army, Rhaegar met Robert in combat at a ford during the Battle of the Trident, where the pair had a legendary duel in the raging rivers of the Trident. Rhaegar, despite wounding Robert, was struck down with a massive blow from Robert's warhammer, which scattered the rubies encrusted in Rhaegar's armor under the water. While Rhaegar lay dead in the stream, soldiers of both armies scrabbled in water to search for the rubies. The location was named the ruby ford thereafter. Rhaegar died with Lyanna Stark's name on his lips. [16]

Rhaegar fighting Robert Baratheon at the Battle of the Trident - by Mike S Miller ©

His wife Elia and their children were murdered by Ser Gregor Clegane and Ser Amory Lorch during the Sack of King's Landing. Amory dragged the screaming girl, Rhaenys, from under her father's bed and stabbed her to death. Gregor, whom Rhaegar had knighted himself, killed the infant Aegon by dashing his head against the wall while his mother watched. He then raped and killed Elia while still covered in the blood and brains of her son.

The circumstances of Rhaegar's taking of Lyanna remain unknown, as is true for Lyanna's reaction to it. The Starks, Brandon Stark in particular, saw it as an abduction, and Robert Baratheon imagined that Rhaegar was raping Lyanna while he kept her prisoner. However, the Targaryen tradition sees Rhaegar acting out of true love for Lyanna. By the time Lyanna was found by her brother, Eddard, she was kept in the Tower of Joy in Dorne where, on Rhaegar's command, she was guarded by three knights of the Kingsguard. Lyanna died soon after Eddard's arrival and his defeat of the knights. She made her brother give a promise, the content of which remains unknown, as Eddard apparently never shared Lyanna's secret with anyone.

What all sides seem to agree upon is that the meeting of Rhaegar and Lyanna was fateful as it led to immense bloodshed. This leads to imaginations of an alternate history, in which Rhaegar never becomes infatuated with Lyanna. Viserys Targaryen blamed his sister Daenerys once for the downfall of the Targaryens, because she was not born earlier, as Rhaegar could then have married her and might have never become interested in Lyanna.[9] Ser Kevan Lannister imagines that, had King Aerys accepted Lord Tywin Lannister's proposal of marrying his daughter Cersei to Rhaegar, the Dragon Prince might have never looked twice at Lyanna.[17]

After his death Rhaegar was cremated, as is traditional for fallen Targaryens. [18]

Recent Events

The Dragon Prince - by Silvenger©

A Game of Thrones

King Robert Baratheon, when referring to Rhaegar, vilifies him as a monster and a rapist.

When the royal party moving south from Winterfell to King's Landing reaches the ruby ford, Arya Stark and her friend Mycah decide to search the Trident for rubies from Rhaegar's armor.[19]

During her fever dream, Daenerys Targaryen sees her brother Rhaegar mounted on a stallion as black as his armor. Fire glimmers red through the narrow eye slit of his helm. Daenerys lifts his polished black visor. The face within is her own.

When Lord Tywin Lannister discusses with his brother Kevan and his son Tyrion the dire situation of the Lannister forces after the defeats in the Battle of the Whispering Wood and the Battle of the Camps, Tyrion jests that his father should take comfort from the fact that Prince Rhaegar is still dead.[20]

A Clash of Kings

Daenerys names one of her newborn dragons in honor of her brother Rhaegar. The green and bronzed scaled dragon is named Rhaegal in honor of her brave brother who was killed on the green banks of the Trident.

Rhaegar appears in Daenerys's vision in the House of the Undying. He is seen talking to his wife Elia Martell discussing what he will name his son (Aegon) and his destiny. He also states:

The Dragon has three heads, there must be one more.[21]

In the House of the Undying Daenerys also sees Rhaegar's death at the ruby ford of the Trident at the hands of Robert Baratheon:

Rubies flew like drops of blood from the chest of a dying prince, and he sank to his knees in the water and with his last breath murmured a woman's name.

A Storm of Swords

While aboard the ship Balerion, Daenerys Targaryen tells Arstan Whitebeard that she knows little of Rhaegar, only the tales Viserys told, and he was a little boy when their brother died. When she asks him what Rhaegar was truly like Arstan replies:

Able. That above all. Determined, deliberate, dutiful, single-minded.

He then tells her a tale told of Rhaegar:

As a young boy, the Prince of Dragonstone was bookish to a fault. He was reading so early that men said Queen Rhaella must have swallowed some books and a candle whilst he was in her womb. Rhaegar took no interest in the play of other children. The maesters were awed by his wits, but his father’s knights would jest sourly that Baelor the Blessed had been born again. Until one day Prince Rhaegar found something in his scrolls that changed him. No one knows what it might have been, only that the boy suddenly appeared early one morning in the yard as the knights were donning their steel. He walked up to Ser Willem Darry, the master-at-arms, and said, 'I will require a sword and armor. It seems I must be a warrior.

While sleeping with his head resting on a weirwood stump, Ser Jaime Lannister has fever dreams. In part of his dream he sees five of his old Kingsguard brothers under King Aerys II Targaryen. Beside them, crowned in mist and grief with his long hair streaming behind him, rides Rhaegar Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone and rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Prince Rhaegar burns with a cold light, now white, now red, now dark. He tells Jaime:

I left my wife and children in your hands.[22]

Jaime replies to Rhaegar that he never thought his father, Tywin Lannister, would hurt his family.

A Feast for Crows

While standing vigil over his father's funeral bier, Jaime thinks about the day he said farewell to Rhaegar, in the yard of the Red Keep.

The prince had donned his night-black armor, with the three-headed dragon picked out in rubies on his breastplate. Jamie pled with him to accompany him but Rhaegar refused, telling Jaime that Aerys feared his father, Tywin Lannister, more than he did his cousin, Robert Baratheon. He wanted Jaime close so Tywin could not harm him. Rhaegar stated that he dare not take that crutch away from Aerys at such an hour. When Jaime balked at that Rhaegar put a hand on young Jaime’s shoulder and told him:

When the battle’s done I mean to call a council. Changes will be made. I meant to do it long ago, but ... well, it does no good to speak of roads not taken. We shall talk when I return.

Those were the last words Rhaegar spoke to Jaime. Outside the gates an army had assembled, whilst another descended on the Trident. The Prince of Dragonstone mounted up and donned his tall black helm, and rode forth to his doom. [3]

Cersei Lannister remembers Rhaegar at the tourney for King Aerys II that had been held at Lannisport in 276AC. She was already infatuated when she was presented to him:

Seventeen and new to knighthood, Rhaegar Targaryen had worn black plate over golden ringmail when he cantered onto the lists. Long streamers of red and gold and orange silk had floated behind his helm, like flames. Two of her uncles fell before his lance, along with a dozen of her father’s finest jousters, the flower of the west. By night the prince had played his silver harp and made her weep. When she had been presented to him, Cersei had almost drowned in the depths of his sad purple eyes. "He has been wounded," she recalled thinking, "but I will mend his hurt when we are wed." Next to Rhaegar, even her beautiful Jaime had seemed no more than a callow boy.[6]

Jaime recollects that when Owen Merryweather failed to contain the rebellion Rhaegar could not be found, causing King Aerys to turn to Rhaegar's friend, Jon Connington, whom he raised to Hand of the King.[23]

A Dance with Dragons

Prior to marrying Hizdahr zo Loraq, Daenerys Targaryen asks Ser Barristan Selmy if Rhaegar wed for love or duty, as he had seen Rhaegar wed. Barristan hesitates and says:

Princess Elia was a good woman, Your Grace. She was kind and clever, with a gentle heart and a sweet wit. I know the prince was very fond of her.

Daenerys thinks to herself that the word fond speaks volumes.[24]

During her wedding procession the girl in Daenerys looks about for her paramour Daario Naharis, hoping secretly that he will come and carry her off at swordpoint, as Rhaegar carried off his northern girl, Lyanna Stark. However, the queen in her knows that is folly.[25]

Tyrion Lannister travels south on the Rhoyne in the company of a sellsword named Griff. During their journey, Tyrion discovers that Griff is actually Jon Connington, the exiled friend of Rhaegar and former Hand of the King to Aerys II. The youth called Young Griff is said to actually be Rhaegar's son, Aegon Targaryen, widely believed to have been murdered by Ser Gregor Clegane during the Sack of King's Landing. The exiles claim that Varys had switched the infant Aegon with a peasant baby and taken Aegon to safety with Illyrio Mopatis, and that Gregor killed the peasant child instead.[26][27]

When Jon is discussing the issue of trust with Aegon, he warns him not to become too wary - else mistrust can poison and make a person sour and fearful. He thinks to himself that:

King Aerys was one such. By the end, even Rhaegar saw that plain enough.[28]

Later, after landing in the Stormlands with the Golden Company to claim the Iron Throne for Aegon, Jon vows he will not fail Rhaegar's son as he failed his father.[14] When Prince Aegon tells Jon that he likes his castle, Griffin's Roost, Jon suddenly recalls Rhaegar’s words to him and the way he looked when he was standing on the roof of the east tower, the tallest at Griffin's Roost:

"Your father’s lands are beautiful,” he said. His silvery hair was blowing in the wind, and his eyes were a deep purple, darker than this boy’s.

Quotes about Rhaegar

In my dreams, I kill him every night. A thousand deaths will still be less than he deserves. [29]

Robert Baratheon, to Eddard Stark


And Rhaegar ... how many times do you think he raped your sister? How many hundreds of times? I will kill every Targaryen I can get my hands on, until they are as dead as their dragons, and then I will piss on their graves. [30]
 – Robert Baratheon


Robert: Treachery was a coin the Targaryens knew well. Lannister paid them back in kind. It was no less than they deserved. I shall not trouble my sleep over it.

Ned: You were not there. There was no honor in that conquest.

Robert: The Others take your honor! What did any Targaryen know of honor? Go down into your crypt and ask Lyanna about the dragon's honor! [30]

Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark


Daenerys: I hit him. Ser Jorah, do you think... he'll be so angry when he gets back... I woke the dragon, didn't I?

Jorah: Can you wake the dead, girl? Your brother Rhaegar was the last dragon, and he died on the Trident. Viserys is less than the shadow of a snake. [31]

Jorah Mormont and Daenerys Targaryen


You took a wound from Rhaegar, so when the Targaryen host broke and ran, you gave the pursuit into my hands. The remnants of Rhaegar’s army fled back to King's Landing. We followed. Aerys was in the Red Keep with several thousand loyalists. I expected to find the gates closed to us. [30]
Eddard Stark, to Robert Baratheon


I wish I could have known him.[32]
Daenerys Targaryen


There was a melancholy to Rhaegar, a sense... of doom.[9]

Arstan Whitebeard, to Daenerys Targaryen


Prince Rhaegar loved his Lady Lyanna and thousands died for it.[33]

Barristan Selmy


Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died.

Jorah Mormont


Daenerys: Ser Jorah named Rhaegar the last dragon once. He had to have been a peerless warrior to be called that, surely?

Barristan: Your Grace, the Prince of Dragonstone was a most puissant warrior, but...

Daenerys: Go on. You may speak freely to me.

Barristan: As you command. A warrior without peer... those are fine words, Your Grace, but words win no battles.

Barristan Selmy and Daenerys Targaryen


Had any man ever been so beautiful? [6]
Cersei Lannister

Family

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aegon V
Targaryen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Duncan
the Small
 
 
 
Jaehaerys II
 
 
 
 
Unknown
son
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rhaelle
Targaryen
 
Unknown
Baratheon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aerys II
 
Rhaella
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Steffon
Baratheon
 
Cassana
Estermont
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rhaegar
 
Elia
Martell
 
Viserys
 
Daenerys
 
Khal Drogo
 
Robert
Baratheon
 
Cersei
Lannister
 
Stannis
Baratheon
 
Selyse
Florent
 
Renly
Baratheon
 
Margaery
Tyrell*
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rhaenys
 
Aegon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rhaego
 
Joffrey
Baratheon
 
Myrcella
Baratheon
 
Tommen
Baratheon
 
Margaery
Tyrell*
 
Shireen
Baratheon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References and Notes

  1. "Rhaegar Targaryen" entry in A World of Ice and Fire
  2. The Winds of Winter, Arianne sample chapter
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime.
  4. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 33, Eddard.
  5. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 35, Eddard.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei.
  7. So Spake Martin: Union Square Signing
  8. 8.0 8.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys.
  10. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys, p 485.
  11. So Spake Martin. To Be Continued (Chicago, IL; May 6-8) May 06, 2005.
  12. A Clash of Kings, Prologue, p 7.
  13. So Spake Martin. To Be Continued (Chicago, IL; May 6-8) May 06, 2005.
  14. 14.0 14.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 61, The Griffin Reborn (Griff II).
  15. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard.
  16. "Rhaegar Targaryen" entry in World of Ice and Fire iOS app (Accessed: Feb 27, 2014)
  17. A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
  18. The Citadel. "Asshai.com Forum Chat" (July 27, 2008) So Spake Martin
  19. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa.
  20. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion.
  21. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys.
  22. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 44, Jaime.
  23. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime.
  24. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys.
  25. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 43, Daenerys.
  26. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 18, Tyrion.
  27. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 22, Tyrion.
  28. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord (Griff I).
  29. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard.
  31. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 23, Daenerys.
  32. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys, p 815.
  33. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker (Barristan III).

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