|Born||In 245 AC or 246 AC, at King's Landing|
|Died||In 284 AC, at Dragonstone|
|Spouse||King Aerys II Targaryen|
|Book(s)|| The World of Ice and Fire (Mentioned)|
A Game of Thrones (Mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (Mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (Mentioned)
Queen Rhaella Targaryen was the sister, wife, and queen of King Aerys II Targaryen and the only daughter of King Jaehaerys II Targaryen. Her grandfather was King Aegon V Targaryen. Rhaella was the mother of Prince Rhaegar, Prince Viserys, and Princess Daenerys. She died shortly after Daenerys' birth.
Ser Barristan Selmy claimed that in her youth Rhaella was in love with Ser Bonifer Hasty, a young landed knight from the Stormlands, who had once named her Queen of Love and Beauty. It had been a brief thing, as Ser Bonifer was of too low birth to ever be seriously considered a suitor for a Princess.
Rhaella was married to her older brother, Aerys, on the command of her father, Prince Jaehaerys. According to Barristan Selmy, there was no fondness between Aerys and Rhaella on the day of their wedding. In 259 AC, whilst present at Summerhall, Rhaella gave birth to the first of her children, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, whilst the Tragedy of Summerhall raged.
Rhaella's marriage to Aerys was arranged at the command of their father, King Jaehaerys II. He had been influenced by a woods witch, who had been brought to court by Jenny of Oldstones. The woods witch prophesied that the prince that was promised would be born from Aerys' and Rhaella's line.
After Rhaegar's birth, Rhaella and Aerys had more trouble where their children were concerned. In the seventeen years following Rhaegar's birth, Rhaella went through multiple pregnancies, stillbirths and miscarriages:
- miscarriage in 263 AC
- miscarriage in 264 AC
- Princess Shaena Targaryen, born in 267 AC, stillborn
- Prince Daeron Targaryen, born in 269 AC, lived only half a year
- stillbirth in 270 AC, gender and name of child unnown
- miscarriage in 271 AC
- Prince Aegon Targaryen, born in 272 AC, born two months premature, died in 273 AC
- Prince Jaehaerys Targaryen, born in 274 AC, died later that same year
While at first, her brother comforted Rhaella in her grief, the multiple stillbirths, miscarriages and dead children eventually caused Aerys to become suspicious of Rhaella. He accused her of being unfaithful, and that the dead children had been bastards. Rhaella was confined to Maegor's Holdfast (roughly around 270AC), and Aerys decreed that two septas would sleep in Rhaella's bed every night, to ensure she would remain faithful.
The death of Prince Jaehaerys in 264 AC shifted Aerys' suspicions to others. He first blamed Jaehaerys' wetnurse first, in black rage, and had her beheaded. It did not take Aerys long to decide Jaehaerys had been poisoned, and that the poisoner had been his own mistress, the young daughter of a household knight. The girl and her family were tortured to death, and all confessed to the murder (though the details of their confessions differed greatly).
Afterwards, Aerys decided that he himself had been to blame. He fasted for a fornight, made a walk of repentance across the city to the Great Sept, and prayed with the High Septon. When he returned, he declared that he would only sleep with Rhaella from that day forth. If the chronicles can be believed, Aerys remained true to this vow, thereby ceasing to have mistresses from 275 AC forth.
In 276 AC, Prince Viserys was born, small and robust, and most of all, healthy. However, Viserys' birth terrified Aerys, who feared Viserys would suffer the fate of his brothers. No one was allowed to touch the child, Rhaella included. She was even forbidden to be alone with Viserys. And when Rhaella's milk dried up, Aerys insisted that his own food taster would suckle at the breasts of the wet nurse, to be certain that there was no poison on her nipples.
When Lord Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King, held a tourney at Lannisport to celebrate Viserys' birth in 276 AC, Rhaella was ordered to remain at King's Landing with Viserys. In 281 AC, during the Tourney at Harrenhal, the same occured.
In the later years of the marriage of Aerys and Rhaella, as Aerys's insanity began to set in, he grew sexually abusive toward Rhaella. He developed a sexual fetish for fire and death, only sleeping with Rhaella after he had executed someone by burning. The final time, just before the queen was sent to Dragonstone to escape the coming siege of King's Landing by rebels during the Robert's Rebellion, Ser Jaime Lannister of the Kingsguard recalls listening to Rhaella cry as the king raped her; when Jaime protested that the Kingsguard were sworn to defend the queen as well, Ser Jon Darry replied, "We are, but not from him". In the morning, the queen's maids reported seeing scratches, bruises and bite marks all over her body.
According to Ser Barristan Selmy, Rhaella did her best to protect her younger son, Viserys, from the worst of Aerys's excesses, keeping her child oblivious to the fact his father was sliding deeper into madness. In Harrenhal Jaime tells Brienne that by the time King Aerys was ordering that caches of wildfire be placed all over King's Landing Rhaella's eyes had been closed for years.
Evacuation to Dragonstone
After the royalist defeat at the Battle of the Trident, Queen Rhaella, who was in the early stages of pregnancy, and Prince Viserys were evacuated, sailing to Dragonstone with the Red Keep's master-at-arms Ser Willem Darry, before King's Landing fell to the rebels. During the first months of exile Rhaella crowned her son Viserys Targaryen on Dragonstone. As Robert's Rebellion wound down, Dragonstone became the last haven of the remaining Targaryens.
Rhaella spent the duration of her pregnancy on Dragonstone. Nine moons after their midnight flight from King's Landing Rhaella gave birth to her third child and only daughter Princess Daenerys while a raging summer storm threatened to rip the island fastness apart. Rhaella died shortly thereafter from complications of giving birth.  Rhaella's surviving children inherited her crown. Later, in poverty in exile, they sell their mother’s crown in order to survive.
Quotes about Rhaella
|“||Whenever Aerys gave a man to the flames, Queen Rhaella would have a visitor in the night.||”|
|“||Jaime: We are sworn to protect her as well.||”|
|“||The queen your mother was always mindful of her duty.||”|
References and Notes
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 See the Rhaella Targaryen calculation.
- ↑ A World of Ice and Fire, Rhaella Targaryen.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
- ↑ A World of Ice and Fire, Bonifer Hasty.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 43, Daenerys VII.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys IV.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The World of Ice and Fire, Aegon V.
- ↑ A World of Ice and Fire, Rhaegar Targaryen.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion X.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 The World of Ice and Fire, Aerys II.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 34, Cat Of The Canals.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 44, Jaime VI.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys VI.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
- ↑ A World of Ice and Fire.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 27, Daenerys III.