Prince Rhaegar Targaryen as depicted by Karla Ortiz in The World of Ice and Fire
|Alias|| Silver prince|
The dragon prince
The last dragon
|Title|| Prince of Dragonstone|
|Born||In 259 AC, at Summerhall|
|Died||In 283 AC, at the Trident|
|Spouse||Princess 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)
The Winds of Winter (mentioned)
The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was the eldest son of King Aerys II Targaryen and his sister-wife, Queen Rhaella. As heir-apparent, he was the Prince of Dragonstone and crown prince for the Iron Throne. Rhaegar was popular with the smallfolk during his lifetime, but he died in Robert's Rebellion which was triggered in part by his abduction of Lyanna Stark. He was slain in single combat by Robert Baratheon at the ruby ford during the Battle of the Trident.
- 1 Appearance and Character
- 2 History
- 3 Recent Events
- 4 Quotes by Rhaegar
- 5 Quotes about Rhaegar
- 6 Family
- 7 References and Notes
Appearance and Character
- See also: Images of Rhaegar Targaryen
Rhaegar was tall and beautiful, with dark indigo eyes and the silver hair of House Targaryen, worn long. He owned night-black plate armor, with the three-headed dragon of House Targaryen decorated in rubies on its breastplate, and underneath the plate he wore golden ringmail. Rhaegar decorated his helm with gold, orange, and red silken streamers resembling flame.
Rhaegar was exceedingly intelligent and excelled at anything he put his mind to. He was considered to be a talented musician and skilled knight. The prince was well-loved by the people, and Rhaegar Frey was named in his honor. However, the crown prince was said to be quiet, private and bookish. Rhaegar was deeply affected by "the shadow of Summerhall", because he was "born in grief" and was considered melancholic at times.
While King Robert I Baratheon despises Rhaegar and accuses him of having raped Lyanna Stark, the only thought of Eddard Stark, Lyanna's brother, that is mentioned in the books is that Eddard did not think Rhaegar frequented brothels. Ser Jaime Lannister remembers the iron tones of Rhaegar's voice. 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. People who had romantic feelings toward Rhaegar include Cersei Lannister and Jon Connington.
Prince Rhaegar was the firstborn son of King Aerys II Targaryen and Queen Rhaella. He was born at Summerhall in 259 AC, on the same day as the great tragedy there. 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, apparently by something he had read, Rhaegar became motivated to become a warrior.
At the age of seventeen, 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 men like Robert Baratheon or Jaime Lannister did. Men said Rhaegar loved his harp more than he loved his lance.
Rhaegar's squires were Myles Mooton and Richard Lonmouth, and after he knighted them they remained close companions. Jon Connington, whom he had squired with, was a good friend to Rhaegar as well. Returning from a trip to Dorne, Rhaegar once visited the Connington seat of Griffin's Roost. His songs brought the castle's women to tears, while Lord Armond Connington sought House Targaryen's support against rival House Morrigen. Rhaegar's closest and oldest friend, however, was Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, trusting him more than Ser Barristan Selmy.
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 tournament in honor of Viserys's birth in Lannisport in 276 AC that 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. Rhaegar fought well in the tourney besting a dozen skilled knights, among them Ser Barristan Selmy and Gerion and Tygett Lannister but was defeated in the champion's tilt by his friend Arthur Dayne. Aerys refused Tywin's offer at the tourney to betroth Cersei to Rhaegar. Rhaegar defeated Arthur in the tourney at Storm's End.
When Rhaegar was born the Targaryen bloodline had decreased, and once he came of age, there was no sister, or anyone else of the bloodline, available for him to marry. King Aerys sent his first cousin, Lord Steffon Baratheon, to seek a bride for Rhaegar. Despite Valyrian blood still being present in Essos, Steffon could not find appropriate females of noble-enough birth for Rhaegar to marry.
After this, Rhaegar married the Dornish princess Elia Martell in a lavish ceremony. His father did not attend the wedding because he was paranoid about an assassination attempt and did not permit the young Prince Viserys to attend. Rhaegar and his father's relationship was straining at this point, and he and his new bride took up residence on Dragonstone instead of King's Landing. Rhaegar and Elia had their first child, a girl named Rhaenys, in 280 AC. When the babe was presented at court, Rhaegar's mother, Rhaella, embraced her grandchild warmly while King Aerys remarked "she smells Dornish". The relationship between Aerys and Rhaegar became more and more estranged.
Elia and Rhaegar had a son they named Aegon. 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.
When Lord Tywin resigned his position as Hand of the King and left court, the new focus of King Aerys's mistrust and paranoia was his own son and heir, Prince Rhaegar. At court, there was growing tension between factions loyal to the king and to the prince. Grand Maester Pycelle dispatched a letter to the Citadel, writing that tensions and division at court strongly resembled those before the Dance of the Dragons. Pycelle was fearful a civil war would break out unless some accord could be reached that would satisfy both factions.
Tourney at Harrenhal
In either 280 AC or 281 AC, Lord Walter Whent announced a tourney would be held at Harrenhal to rival any previous tournament. It is believed by some that the tourney was secretly arranged and financed by Prince Rhaegar, as a pretext, so Rhaegar could meet up with the great lords of the realm to discuss arranging a Great Council and the removal of his father. The tournament was announced by Walter shortly after his brother, Ser Oswell of the Kingsguard, visited his older brother. When Lord Varys alerted Aerys II to this possibility, the king decided to attend the tourney.
During the great tourney at Harrenhal, Rhaegar seemed unstoppable and defeated even Ser Arthur Dayne. Taking the winter rose crown for the queen of love and beauty, he revealed his interest in Lyanna Stark by passing over his wife, Princess Elia of Dorne, and setting it in Lyanna's lap. Eddard Stark later recalled that moment as "when all the smiles died". The next year, Rhaegar seemingly kidnapped Lyanna, for reasons unknown. This act ultimately triggered Robert's Rebellion and the downfall of the Targaryen dynasty.
Some believe that Rhaegar spent the beginning of Robert's Rebellion, also known as the War of the Usurper, with Lyanna Stark at the tower of joy in the Red Mountains of Dorne. Aerys sent Gerold Hightower, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, to retrieve Rhaegar. Leaving Gerold, Arthur Dayne, and Oswell Whent at the tower, Rhaegar returned to the crownlands and took command of the Targaryen army after the defeat of his friend Jon Connington in the Battle of the Bells. Ser Jaime Lannister was left at the Red Keep to protect Rhaegar's father and family.
Rhaegar met Lord Robert Baratheon 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 the water to search for the rubies. The location was named the ruby ford thereafter. Rhaegar died with Lyanna Stark's name on his lips. According to a semi-canon source, Rhaegar's body was cremated, as is traditional for fallen Targaryens.
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, 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. Meanwhile, Jaime Lannister killed Rhaegar's father, King Aerys, to prevent the wildfire plot, earning himself the Kingslayer sobriquet.
The circumstances of Rhaegar's taking of Lyanna, and of her reaction to it, remain unknown. 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. Lord Eddard Stark, Lyanna's brother, and Lord Howland Reed found her at Rhaegar's tower of joy in Dorne. Lyanna died in the Red Mountains after Eddard's arrival and his defeat of the three Kingsguard. She made her brother give a promise, the content of which remains unknown.
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 became infatuated with Lyanna. Viserys Targaryen blames 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. 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.
A Game of Thrones
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. When 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 in 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.
A Clash of Kings
Rhaegar appears in Daenerys's vision in the House of the Undying. He discusses with his wife, Elia Martell, what he will name his son (Aegon) and his destiny. Rhaegar states that the boy is the prince that was promised and his is the song of ice and fire. Dany also has a vision of Rhaegar's death at the ruby ford of the Trident at the hands of Robert I Baratheon.
A Storm of Swords
While aboard the ship Balerion, Arstan Whitebeard tells Daenerys that Rhaegar was able and dutiful. While Rhaegar was bookish in his youth, he decided to become a warrior after reading about something unknown in his scrolls. Arstan later tells of the melancholy Rhaegar's fondness of Summerhall.
While resting his head on a weirwood stump, Ser Jaime Lannister has a fever dream of 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, who burns with a cold light of changing colors. Rhaegar's shade accuses Jaime of not protecting his family during the Sack of King's Landing.
A Feast for Crows
While standing vigil over the funeral bier of his father, Lord Tywin Lannister, Jaime recalls the day he said farewell to Rhaegar, in the yard of the Red Keep. Rhaegar had wanted to call a council after Robert's Rebellion was suppressed, but the prince was instead killed at the Trident. Jaime also recollects that when Lord Owen Merryweather failed to contain the rebellion Rhaegar could not be found, causing King Aerys to turn to Rhaegar's friend, Lord Jon Connington, whom he raised to Hand of the King.
Cersei Lannister remembers wanting to marry Rhaegar after meeting him at the tournament in honor of Viserys's birth, but Aerys refused Tywin's suggestion of betrothal. Cersei, Robert's widow, never forgave Robert for killing Rhaegar at the ruby ford.
A Dance with Dragons
Prior to Daenerys marrying Hizdahr zo Loraq, Ser Barristan Selmy tells her that Rhaegar was very fond of Elia Martell; Dany thinks the word fond speaks volumes. During her wedding procession she 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.
Barristan later regrets having rescued King Aerys II from Duskendale, as he thinks Rhaeger would have been a better king than Jaehaerys II, Aerys II, or Robert I. Barristan also regrets not having defeated Rhaegar in the lists at the tourney at Harrenhal, as the victorious prince had proclaimed Lyanna Stark the queen of love and beauty.
Traveling south on the Rhoyne, Tyrion Lannister discovers the sellsword 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.
Jon discusses the issue of trust with Aegon, and then recalls that Rhaegar had been aware of Aerys's paranoia. 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. Jon thinks that Rhaegar's eyes were a darker purple than those of the boy.
Quotes by Rhaegar
|“||Rhaegar: Aegon. What better name for a king?
|“||I will require a sword and armor. It seems I must be a warrior.||”|
|“||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.||”|
Quotes about Rhaegar
|“||The battle screamed about Lord Robert and Prince Rhaegar both, and by the will of the gods, or by chance-or perhaps by design-they met amidst the shallows of the ford. The two knights fought valiantly upon their destriers, according to all accounts. For despite his crimes, Prince Rhaegar was no coward.||”|
|“||In my dreams, I kill him every night. A thousand deaths will still be less than he deserves.||”|
|“||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. ||”|
|“||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.
Eddard: You were not there. There was no honor in that conquest.
|“||Your brother Rhaegar was the last dragon, and he died on the Trident. Viserys is less than the shadow of a snake.||”|
|“||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.||”|
|“||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...
|“||Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died.||”|
|“||Arstan: But I am not certain it was in Rhaegar to be happy.
Daenerys: You make him sound so sour.
|“||Daenerys: One day you must tell me all. The good and the bad. There is some good to be said of my father, surely?
Barristan: There is, your Grace. Of him, and those who came before him. Your grandfather Jaehaerys and his brother, their father Aegon, your mother...and Rhaegar. Him most of all.
|“||Had any man ever been so beautiful?||”|
|“||Prince Rhaegar loved his Lady Lyanna and thousands died for it.||”|
References and Notes
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 23, Daenerys III.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Rhaegar Targaryen.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys IV.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
- ↑ The Winds of Winter, Chapter , Arianne.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 29, Davos IV.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys IV.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 35, Eddard IX.
- ↑ So Spake Martin: Union Square Signing, July 14, 2011
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell IV.
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 22, Tyrion VI.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 61, The Griffin Reborn.
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 8, Daenerys I.
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 21.2 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- ↑ So Spake Martin: To Be Continued (Chicago, IL; May 6-8), May 06, 2005.
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 The World of Ice and Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire lists 280 AC in "The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II", but 281 AC in "The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring". It has not yet been confirmed which date is correct.
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 44, Jaime VI.
- ↑ So Spake Martin: Asshai.com Forum Chat, (July 27, 2008)
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
- ↑ George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Lyanna Stark.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
- ↑ 34.0 34.1 34.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard II.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 68, Daenerys IX.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys IV.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 43, Daenerys VII.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 55, The Queensguard.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 18, Tyrion V.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire,Robert's Rebellion.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 23, Daenerys II.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys VI.
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