Rhaena Targaryen (daughter of Aenys I)

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House Targaryen.svg Queen
Rhaena Targaryen
House Farman.svg
Rhaena by Hylora.jpg
Rhaena Targaryen, by Hylora ©

Allegiance House Targaryen
Race Valyrian
Culture Crownlands
Born 23 AC[1]
Died 73 AC (aged 50)
Father Aenys I Targaryen
Mother Alyssa Velaryon

Rhaena Targaryen was the eldest of the six children of King Aenys I Targaryen and Queen Alyssa Velaryon.[4][5] She was a dragonrider, and rode the dragon Dreamfyre.[1]

Rhaena was forcefully married to her uncle, King Maegor I Targaryen, who had usurped and killed her husband Aegon, becoming one of his Black Brides. Later, in the reign of her brother, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, Rhaena was called the Queen in the West during the time she spent in the westerlands,[6] and the Queen in the East during the years she held Dragonstone.[2][7]

Appearance and Character

Rhaena had lively lilac eyes and silver-gold hair. She was small at birth, but happy and healthy. By the age of fourteen, Rhaena had grown into a beautiful young girl.[1]

Rhaena was a shy, dreamy child, more comfortable with animals than other children. She would often hide behind her parents as a child when near strangers, and never warmed to any of the female companions her mother presented her with. She much more preferred books. After bonding with her dragon Dreamfyre, however, Rhaena began to outgrow her shyness. After she had flown for the first time, though she remained a quiet child, she could no longer be considered timid. Shortly thereafter, Rhaena made her first friend. Numerous female favorites would follow throughout her life.[1]

Rhaena had an exquisite singing voice. At eighteen, Rhaena was considered brave, fierce and headstrong.[1] As an adult, she was sometimes stern and sometimes shy, frequently brooding. Rhaena had no interest in other people's children, but was possessive of her own, and of people she loved. She was furious when betrayed, and scornful of those she did not trust.[7] Due to numerous betrayals and tragedies in her later life, Rhaena became withdrawn and detached. In her last years, her hair turned completely white.[3]


Early life

Aegon I Targaryen holds his infant granddaughter Rhaena, by chillyravenart ©

In 23 AC, Rhaena was born at Dragonstone to Prince Aenys Targaryen and Lady Alyssa Velaryon. She was named in honor of Aenys's late mother, Queen Rhaenys Targaryen. Rhaena was the first grandchild of King Aegon I Targaryen, and it is said that he wept the first time he held her.[1] Following Rhaena's birth, many wondered if her uncle Prince Maegor would fall behind her in the line of succession, as she was the eldest (and at the time, only) child of Aenys, the heir to the throne. That year,[N 1] Maegor's mother, Queen Visenya Targaryen, proposed a betrothal between her son and Rhaena in order to settle the succession issue. However, both Rhaena's parents and the High Septon protested the match. The High Septon instead suggested his niece, Lady Ceryse Hightower, as a bride for Maegor.[4][8][1]

As a child, Rhaena was shy, preferring the presence of animals instead of other people. At age of nine, Rhaena was presented with a dragon hatchling. She bonded instantly with the dragon, whom she named Dreamfyre. At the age of twelve, Rhaena flew upon Dreamfyre for the first time. Shortly thereafter, Rhaena became good friends with her cousin Larissa Velaryon. The two girls were inseparable, until Larissa was suddenly sent back to Driftmark to marry the second son of the Evenstar of Tarth. Rhaena soon befriended Samantha Stokeworth, the daughter of Lord Alyn Stokeworth, the Hand of the King.[1] Rhaena would go on to have a number of favorites, all of whom she would shower with affection and attention to such extents that it was cause for whispering at the court.[6]

Rhaena and her next-eldest brother Aegon were close during their childhood, and Rhaena would sometimes take him with her to fly upon Dreamfyre. Rhaena doted on her siblings, and it was said that she placed a dragon egg in the cradles of her brother Jaehaerys and sister Alysanne, from which their dragons Vermithor and Silverwing hatched. Although she would sometimes take others flying with her upon her dragon, Rhaena most often flew Dreamfyre by herself.[1]

Reign of Aenys I

Rhaena and Dreamfyre, by Samantha Altarozzi ©

In 37 AC, King Aegon I Targaryen passed away, and his son Aenys, Rhaena's father, ascended the Iron Throne. That year, King Aenys went on a royal progress to Oldtown, taking along his eldest three children, Rhaena, Aegon, and Viserys. Unfortunately, Rhaena loathed being separated from her dragon Dreamfyre, and her most recent favorite, Melony Piper. As she toured the realm with her father, she reverted back to her former shyness and became sullen at feasts, refusing to partake in any of the festivities. After Queen Alyssa Velaryon summoned Lady Melony to join the progress, Rhaena's mood improved.[1]

Rhaena had numerous suitors, but she gave no encouragement to any of them, preferring to spend her time with her siblings, her cats and dogs, and her newest favorite, Alayne Royce. When Rhaena turned sixteen, she declared herself to be free to fly wherever she wanted. Dreamfyre was seen in Harrenhal, Tarth, Runestone, and Gulltown. It was rumored, although never proven, that on one of these flights Rhaena had given her maidenhead to a lowborn person. (Stories have named a hedge knight, a singer, a blacksmith's son, or a village septon.) Some have suggested that due to these rumors, King Aenys wished for Rhaena to marry as soon as possible.[1]

In 41 AC, when Rhaena was eighteen, she was betrothed to her next-eldest brother, Prince Aegon, fifteen. According to Archmaester Gyldayn, Rhaena and Aegon had likely expected to be wedded to one another ever since they were young, and were fond of each other, and so neither objected. However, the Faith of the Seven did not accept the incestuous match — they had ignored the marriage of Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters, but would not do the same for their grandchildren. (This was compounded by the fact that in 39 AC Prince Maegor had taken a second wife, Alys Harroway, and had been exiled to Pentos for it.) The High Septon wrote that the marriage would be "an obscenity" and that any children born from the marriage would be "abominations in the sight of gods and men". This declaration was shared to the Faithful throughout the Seven Kingdoms, by ten thousand septons. Despite this reaction, Rhaena and Aegon were wed in the Sept of Remembrance — while Warrior's Sons of the Faith Militant lined the streets, making note of every wedding guest.[1]

After the wedding, King Aenys decided to send Aegon and Rhaena on a royal progress, remembering the cheers of his own progress when he ascended the throne. Rhaena asked her father's leave to bring her dragon, but Aenys forbade it, fearing that Aegon, who had not yet claimed a dragon of his own, might be considered unmanly by the lords and commons if they saw his wife on dragonback but him on a palfrey. During their entire journey, Rhaena, Aegon, and their escort were jeered by crowds. At one village, Rhaena and Aegon were pelted with dirt by a group of Poor Fellows that far outnumbered their escort, and Rhaena rode up to threaten them, saying that they would not be so bold if she returned on a dragon.[1]

Relationships between House Targaryen and the Faith continued to worsen. The Hand of the King, Septon Murmison, who had performed Rhaena and Aegon's wedding, was expelled from the Faith. When Aenys wrote to the High Septon asking for Murmison's restoration, the High Septon instead responded angrily, addressing Aenys as "King Abomination," declaring him a pretender and a tyrant, with no right to rule the Seven Kingdoms. The pious of the realm heeded his words, starting an uprising against the Iron Throne. Septon Murmison was attacked in the streets by Poor Fellows, who hacked him to pieces with axes. Rhaena and Aegon were forced to abandon their progress and take shelter in Crakehall. By the start of 42 AC, Crakehall was besieged by thousands of Poor Fellows. Upon learning of the attack on his children, King Aenys collapsed, and died three days later on Dragonstone.[4][1]

Reign of Maegor I

Rhaena with her daughters Aerea and Rhaella, by chillyravenart ©

Upon the death of King Aenys I Targaryen, Dowager Queen Visenya Targaryen flew to Pentos to retrieve Aenys's brother, Maegor, from his exile. On Dragonstone, Maegor claimed the throne for his own, ignoring the claim of Rhaena's husband and Aenys's eldest son, Aegon.[8][1]

When the Poor Fellows who had besieged Crakehall finally departed for a march on King's Landing, Rhaena and Aegon took their refuge at Casterly Rock, where Lord Lyman Lannister protected them by extending guest right. There, Rhaena discovered she was pregnant. Her twin daughters, Princess Aerea and Princess Rhaella, were born at Casterly Rock the following year, in 43 AC.[1][5] After the birth of the twins, the High Septon proclaimed them to be abominations, born of lust and incest, cursed by the gods. According to the maester serving at Casterly Rock at the time, Rhaena begged Aegon to flee with her across the narrow sea, out of Maegor's reach, stating that she would be willing to give her life for Aegon, but was unwilling to risk the lives of their children. Aegon refused, however, as he was determined to claim his throne.[1]

Although Lord Lyman refused all of Maegor's demands to turn over Aegon and Rhaena, he also refused to pledge his swords to Aegon's cause.[9][1] Most of the knights and lords who accompanied Aegon and Rhaena on their progress had abandoned them, as well as Rhaena's handmaids and companions. Only Rhaena's friend Alayne Royce stayed by her side, and her former favorite Melony Piper arrived at Lannisport with her brothers to swear the loyalty of House Piper.[1]

In late 43 AC, Rhaena and Aegon took advantage of Maegor's half-year absence from the capital. They managed to successfully infiltrate King's Landing with the help of several collaborators within the city. However, they did not dare seize the Iron Throne, knowing they lacked the strength to hold it. Instead, they had come for Rhaena's Dreamfyre, and for a dragon for Aegon. When Rhaena and Aegon left King's Landing, they did so flying side by side, Rhaena on her Dreamfyre and Aegon on their late father's Quicksilver.[1] Rhaena and Aegon returned to the westerlands to assemble an army, which gathered at Pinkmaiden Castle. However, when Aegon marched to war against Maegor, Rhaena did not accompany him, staying at Pinkmaiden with their daughters. It is not known whether the decision was Rhaena's or Aegon's, or if the presence of Dreamfyre would have made a difference later. In the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye, Aegon and Quicksilver were killed by Maegor and Balerion, and Aegon's army was slaughtered. When Rhaena received the news of the deaths of her husband Aegon and her loyal friend Melony, she responded with stony silence, saying she had no time for tears.[1][8]

Rhaena then took her daughters and fled to Lannisport, and from there to Fair Isle, where she was given sanctuary in Faircastle by Lord Marq Farman, whose family had pledged to Aegon's cause. Aegon's elder daughter Aerea could now claim to be the rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, but as she and her twin Rhaella were barely a year old, Rhaena worked quickly to protect them from Maegor's wrath. She disguised the girls and sent them away with allies, who placed them in foster families who had no idea of their true identities. This ensured that even Rhaena was unaware of where her daughters had been hidden, so she could not reveal their whereabouts under torture. However, though Rhaena could also disguise herself, it was impossible to hide her dragon Dreamfyre. Therefore, she remained on Fair Isle, only wondering how long it would be before Maegor sent for her. It is said that on Fair Isle, Rhaena grew "more than fond" of Lord Marq Farman's second son Androw.[1] (However, according to Faircastle's Maester Smike, it was Androw's sister Elissa who was Rhaena's true love.[6])

In 47 AC, King Maegor was dealing with the issue of his lack of heirs, despite having already married three women. Lord Daemon Velaryon, Rhaena's uncle and a member of Maegor's small council, advised Maegor to wed Rhaena, to unite their claims and prevent new rebellions, and to gain her as a hostage against any potential schemes of Dowager Queen Alyssa. Later that year, Maegor summoned Rhaena to King's Landing, and she did not defy him, to not return the Farmans' kindness with destruction. At the Red Keep, Maegor married Rhaena in a triple ceremony, together with Elinor Costayne and Jeyne Westerling. As the three women were all widows of men Maegor had killed, they became known as the "Black Brides".[8][1] Although many believed that Rhaena would give a show of defiance at the wedding, Maegor's mistress of whisperers, Queen Tyanna, revealed she had found Aerea and Rhaella, and ensured Rhaena's cooperation. But Rhaena spoke her vows icily, and she would later claim that during the wedding night, she attempted to kill Maegor with a dagger hidden beneath her pillow.[1]

Immediately following the wedding, Maegor declared Rhaena's elder daughter Aerea as his heir until he had sons of his own, while disinheriting Rhaena's youngest brother Jaehaerys in the same decree. Rhaena's younger daughter, Rhaella, was sent to Oldtown to be trained as a septa. Rhaena herself remained at the Red Keep until 48 AC. When she learned that Jaehaerys had announced his claim to the Iron Throne, she escaped King's Landing in the night on Dreamfyre to join Jaehaerys's cause at Storm's End. Rhaena also took her daughter Aerea and the Valyrian steel sword Blackfyre, which she stole from Maegor while he slept. Enraged, Maegor sent a rider to Oldtown commanding Lord Hightower to behead Rhaella as punishment for Rhaena's betrayal. Lord Hightower refused, and instead imprisoned the messenger.[8][1] Following Maegor's death, Rhaena and her siblings Jaehaerys and Alysanne flew on their dragons to King's Landing to claim the throne for Jaehaerys.[1]

Queen in the West

Afterwards, discussion arose as to who had the better claim to the Iron Throne. There were some who suggested that Rhaena's claim, as the firstborn child of King Aenys I Targaryen and Queen Alyssa Velaryon, was the strongest. Her gender argued against her, however, and Rhaena herself had come to loathe King's Landing and its court. The claims of her daughters were argued for as well. If Maegor was to be considered a usurper, the true king would have been Rhaena's husband, Aegon, who had claimed the throne before Jaehaerys had. As such, some suggested the throne should pass to one of his daughters by Rhaena, Aerea or Rhaella. The young girls did not have much support, however, and Rhaena herself agreed that the crown should go to Jaehaerys instead.[10]

In late 48 AC, Rhaena traveled to Oldtown with the court for the coronation of Jaehaerys in the Starry Sept by the High Septon. Nine days later, Jaehaerys departed Oldtown for King's Landing with Rhaena's elder daughter Aerea, while her younger daughter Rhaella remained at the Starry Sept as a novice sworn to the Faith. At the time, it was widely believed that someone had switched Rhaena's twin daughters, disguising Aerea as Rhaella and Rhaella as Aerea, as their personalities had shifted, with Aerea now more bold and adventurous and Rhaella now timid and quiet. Archmaester Gyldayn has suggested that either Rhaena or her mother, Dowager Queen Alyssa, was the person responsible for the switch. However, no one questioned the decision, since Aerea was the heir to the Iron Throne until Jaehaerys had children of his own.[10]

Rhaena accompanied Jaehaerys on his return journey until Highgarden. From there, she flew to Fair Isle, to return to Lord Marq Farman's seat.[10] In the second week of 49 AC, Rhaena married Marq's second son, Androw, in a quick and small ceremony. Lord Farman presided over the wedding, and guests included Lord Lyman Lannister, his wife, Lady Jocasta, and two of Rhaena's friends, Samantha Stokeworth and Alayne Royce. Days after the wedding, a raven was sent to King's Landing from Casterly Rock, to inform the new king and his court of the marriage. Rhaena's mother, Queen Regent Alyssa, was deeply offended that she had neither been informed of nor invited to the wedding. According to chroniclers in King's Landing, this caused a rift between the pair. Lord Rogar Baratheon, the Hand of the King, was furious that Rhaena had not asked the crown's leave to wed. However, the news was welcomed by King Jaehaerys himself and by Rhaena's younger sister Alysanne, who dispatched gifts in celebration.[11]

Rhaena's choice of Androw as her husband was another matter. Lord Marq's second son possessed no martial skills, nor was he considered clever, and the maester of Fair Isle claimed he could hardly read or write. Some have suggested that Rhaena married Androw as a way of showing gratitude to his father, who had sheltered Rhaena after King Maegor had killed her husband. Maester Smike speculated that Rhaena had taken Androw for her husband not because she loved him, but because she loved his sister Elissa.[6][11]

Although Rhaena honored Lord Rogar Baratheon, grudgingly, for supporting Jaehaerys against Maegor, she could not forgive nor forget his inaction when her husband Aegon had fought Maegor. When her mother married Lord Rogar, later that same year, Rhaena did not attend the wedding, and remained on Fair Isle.[11] Men in the westerlands, the Reach, and parts of the riverlands began referring to Rhaena as the "Queen in the West". As time passed, Rhaena began to resent the fact that her claim to the throne, and that of her daughters, had been dismissed in favor of Jaehaerys, to whom she began to refer as "my baby brother". In addition, Rhaena begrudged her mother for promoting Jaehaerys's claim over her own.[6]

On Fair Isle, Rhaena became fast friends with her sister-in-law, Elissa. Together with two of Rhaena's oldest friends, Alayne Royce and Samantha Stokeworth, they formed an inseparable group, that Ser Franklyn Farman, Elissa and Androw's brother, called "the Four-Headed Beast". Yet despite the warm welcome Lord Farman had given her, others were less pleased with the presence of Rhaena and her dragon Dreamfyre on the isle, chief among them Franklyn. When Franklyn succeeded his father as the Lord of Fair Isle in the early weeks of 50 AC, he ordered Rhaena to leave the island, and to take her dragon, friends, and husband with her. He also insisted that his sister Elissa would remain at Fair Isle, and soon marry a man of his choice. However, Rhaena and Elissa defied him — while Rhaena refused to stay where she was not welcome, and left on dragonback that same night, Elissa and the rest of Rhaena's companions departed the isle on Elissa's ship, the Maiden's Fancy.[6]

Rhaena and her retinue were taken in at Casterly Rock by Lyman and Jocasta Lannister. They remained at Casterly Rock for more than a month, until Rhaena began to realize that Lord Lyman wanted more than a guest; he wanted an alliance with the Iron Throne by wedding either his bastard son, Tyler Hill, or one of his trueborn sons to Rhaena, and he wanted a dragon of his own. Rhaena and her court took their leave of Casterly Rock and traveled the westerlands and the riverlands, visiting Ashemark, Castamere, the Golden Tooth, Wayfarer's Rest, and Pinkmaiden Castle. At every seat Rhaena encountered the same problems: all of the lords wanted to take advantage of her, or were afraid of her, or desired a dragon of their own. Eventually, in 50 AC, Rhaena returned to King's Landing where she was a guest for the second wedding of her brother Jaehaerys and sister Alysanne. Rhaena met with Jaehaerys after the wedding, and told him of her troubles. Insisting on having a seat of her own, Rhaena requested to be granted Dragonstone. In addition, she asked for her daughter Aerea, Jaehaerys' heir who had been living with him at King's Landing, to be returned to her care. Jaehaerys granted both her requests.[2]

Queen in the East

On Dragonstone, Rhaena came to be called "the Queen in the East".[2] Although Rhaena was content on Dragonstone, her friend Elissa Farman and daughter Aerea grew more and more unhappy on the island. Unfortunately, as Rhaena and Aerea had been separated for years, Rhaena knew nothing about her now seven-year-old daughter; furthermore, Aerea could not remember her mother, and additionally strongly disliked the dullness of Dragonstone compared to the excitement of the Red Keep. Elissa missed the western seas, and often spoke of returning to them. As Elissa was denied any incomes from Fair Isle by her brother, Lord Franklyn, she petitioned Rhaena for sufficient gold to build a ship to sail the sunset sea. Rhaena denied her request, stating she could not bear to see Elissa go, opening a rift in their relationship.[7]

In 54 AC, Elissa announced to Rhaena she was leaving the island. Rhaena received the news stone-faced. A fortnight after Elissa departed, it was brought to Rhaena's attention that Elissa had stolen three dragon eggs from the Dragonstone hatcheries. Enraged by the betrayal, Rhaena commanded Ser Merrell Bullock, the commander of her garrison, to question the grooms and stableboys sharply, and expelled Merrell and his son Alyn from the island when the questioning did not turn up answers. She further expelled a dozen others, and even summoned her own husband, Androw Farman, to demand if he had known anything of his sister's theft. She only grew more enraged when he denied any knowledge, unable to believe he had not been Elissa's accomplice. When Androw asked to be appointed as Merrell's successor, Rhaena and her companions laughed in his face. Rhaena sent men after Elissa, but after the trail had gone cold, Rhaena traveled to King's Landing to inform her brother, King Jaehaerys. Jaehaerys warned her that if the eggs hatched, they would have no choice but to go to war, he on Vermithor and Rhaena on Dreamfyre against whoever held the hatchling dragons, and pledged her to secrecy on the matter.[7]

Rhaena threatens Rogar Baratheon, by chillyravenart ©

Meanwhile, Rhaena's mother, Dowager Queen Alyssa Velaryon, had become pregnant with her second child by Lord Rogar Baratheon. Unfortunately, Alyssa became deathly ill a month before the child was due, with a complication of pregnancy. When Rhaena learned that her mother was on her deathbed, she flew to Storm's End on Dreamfyre. When Androw announced that he would accompany her, she mockingly refused him, just as she had refused his offer to accompany her to see Jaehaerys at King's Landing following the theft of the dragon eggs. Alone, Rhaena flew to make amends with her mother, but arrived too late, after Alyssa had died from being cut open to save the child. Rhaena was livid, blaming her mother's death on her husband Rogar. Rhaena grabbed Rogar's beard, and warned him to take care of Alyssa's children, her half-siblings. She threatened Rogar that if he ever married again, she would personally kill him, and make another Harrenhal of Storm's End. While Rogar Baratheon claimed not to be frightened of Rhaena's anger, he never wed again.[7]

Rhaena is confronted by Androw Farman while Lianna Velaryon dies in her arms, as depicted by Douglas Wheatley in Fire & Blood.

Following Rhaena's return to Dragonstone, a strange sickness fell over the island. Rhaena's maester, Culiper, was the first to die, suddenly and mysteriously. One by one, Rhaena's close friends fell sick and died as well: Cassella Staunton, Septa Maryam, Alayne Royce, Samantha Stokeworth, and finally young Lianna Velaryon, who died in Rhaena's arms. Rhaena had Dragonstone closed and barred, and sent word to King's Landing, where Lord Rego Draz recognized the described symptoms as the result of the tears of Lys, a deadly poison. Jaehaerys dispatched a raven to his sister, and when Rhaena read the letter, she realized at once that her husband was the culprit. After a long search, she and her garrison found Androw in the Chamber of the Painted Table, where he confessed. Rhaena ordered Androw to be gelded, with his private parts to be cooked and fed to him before he would be allowed to die. However, Androw jumped from a castle window, denying Rhaena her revenge against him. Instead, Rhaena had his body hacked apart and fed to her dragons.[7]

Following Androw's suicide and the deaths of her friends and companions, Rhaena plunged into a deep depression, and grew enraged at even the mention of her husband's name. Queen Alysanne Targaryen came to visit Dragonstone in an attempt to comfort her sister, but Rhaena did not welcome her presence. She attempted to send Alysanne away three times, screaming at her in front of half the castle. Alysanne refused to leave, so Rhaena locked herself in her room, and Alysanne restored order to Dragonstone. She also attempted to comfort Aerea, but the girl also was angry and resistant. Aerea eventually admitted that she felt rejected by her mother and jealous of Alysanne's daughter, and finally begged to be taken back to King's Landing. Alysanne brought Aerea's request to Rhaena, who refused coldly, stating that Rhaena had nothing and Alysanne had everything, but would not take Rhaena's daughter as well. She concluded that "you have my throne, content yourself with that." Rhaena then called Aerea to her chambers, where they argued loudly about the matter. Eventually, when Alysanne left the island, she left alone.[7]

Despite their troubled relationship, Rhaena had often encouraged Aerea to claim one of the dragons on Dragonstone for her own, making sure she was acquainted with Dreamfyre's hatchlings and allowing her to visit all the island's dragons. Near the end of 54 AC, Rhaena discovered that Aerea had fled the island on the back of a dragon: Balerion, the Black Dread. Rhaena mounted Dreamfyre and flew to the Red Keep, convinced that Aerea had gone there, but learned otherwise. When Rhaena exclaimed that Aerea had chosen Maegor's dragon, the dragon that had killed her father, and wondered what sort of "mad child" could she be, Alysanne attempted to comfort her, and told her Aerea was just an angry little girl. Rhaena remained at court while Jaehaerys sent forth ravens across the realm in search of word of Aerea or Balerion; but after seven days, Rhaena declared that she needed to look for Aerea herself, and left on Dreamfyre in search of her daughter.[7]

Rhaena first traveled to Oldtown, in hopes her that Aerea might have gone to see her twin, Rhaella. She was received courteously by Lord Donnel Hightower and the High Septon, and was reunited with her younger daughter, but none could help her. When Rhaena told Rhaella she regretted that she had not been a better mother, the novice septa hugged her and said she was grateful Rhaena had given her the best mother any child could wish for, the Mother Above.[7]

In 55 AC, Rhaena visited Highgarden, Crakehall, and Casterly Rock, but no trace of Aerea or Balerion could be found anywhere. Rhaena then traveled to Fair Isle, where Lord Franklyn Farman received her coldly, saying that if Aerea were to turn up at his island, he would "see her off" just as he had Rhaena. Rhaena wished Franklyn luck in "seeing off" Balerion, stating that the dragon had enjoyed eating Franklyn's brother, and by now might desire "another course."[3] Historians do not know where Rhaena went after she left Fair Isle. She would not be seen for the remainder the year, although reports mention sightings of Dreamfyre at the barrowlands, the Fever River, the Red Mountains of Dorne, the canyons of the Torrentine, flying over the Fingers, the Mountains of the Moon, the forests of Cape Wrath, the Shield Islands, and the Arbor. Instead of seeking the company of others, Rhaena preferred to be on her own, and Gyldayn wonders if she was truly looking for Aerea, or for solitude. Near the end of 55 AC, Rhaena was finally seen again at Estermont, home to the first of her favorites, Larissa Velaryon, who was now a widow and whose daughter had married Lord Estermont. Rhaena lingered for a while at Greenstone castle, seeking solace with her childhood companion.[3]

In 56 AC, Princess Aerea landed in the Red Keep on Balerion, thin, fevered, and incoherent. She had been infected with an insidious disease from Valyria, that killed her the same day she returned. By the time the raven carrying the news reached Greenstone, Aerea had already been cremated. When Rhaena returned to King's Landing, she could only take possession of her daughter's ashes. Jaehaerys offered to have Aerea's ashes interred on Dragonstone, per Targaryen tradition, but Rhaena refused. She said Aerea had hated Dragonstone, and "wanted to fly"; and so, Rhaena took Aerea's ashes into the sky on Dreamfyre, and scattered them on the wind.[3]


After her daughter's death, Rhaena did not wish to return to Dragonstone, as it only had bitter memories and ghosts for her. Nor did she wish to return to Greenstone, where a "kinder ghost" was. King Jaehaerys offered Rhaena a place at court, even a seat on his small council, but she could only laugh and say he would not care for her advice. She also angrily rejected Alysanne's suggestion of taking another husband and having more children. Rhaena eventually settled for Harrenhal, where she became a guest of House Towers. She made her residence in the Widow's Tower, and befriended the sickly and impoverished young Lord Maegor Towers, who was the last of his line. When Maegor died in 61 AC, she took his small household into her own care.[3]

Rhaena never again visited King's Landing or Dragonstone. Once a year, she would visit her daughter Septa Rhaella at the Starry Sept in Oldtown, but otherwise Rhaena remained at Harrenhal. Her hair turned white as she aged, and the smallfolk in the riverlands began to fear her as a witch. Nevertheless, Rhaena would grant hospitality to any traveler who came to Harrenhal, though she never sought their company. Rhaena continued to ride Dreamfyre until her death in 73 AC. Her body was cremated at Harrenhal, and King Jaehaerys ordered that her ashes be interred there as well, near where her husband Aegon had died by the Gods Eye.[3]

Quotes by Rhaena

You are fearless when facing a girl on a horse, I see. The next time I come, I will be on a dragon. Throw dirt on me then, I pray you.[1]

—Rhaena, to the Poor Fellows

I do not have time for tears.[1]

—Rhaena, after hearing of the death of her husband Aegon in the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye

Jaehaerys: Should the dragons turn up, anywhere from here to Yi Ti, we will demand their return. They were stolen from us, they are ours by right. If that demand should be denied, then we must needs go and get them. Take them back if we can, kill them if not. No hatchlings can hope to stand against Vermithor and Dreamfyre.

Rhaena: And Silverwing? Our sister
Jaehaerys: —had no part in this. I will not put her at risk.

Rhaena: She is Rhaenys, and I am Visenya. I have never thought otherwise.[7]

Jaehaerys I Targaryen and Rhaena, about the theft of three dragon eggs

Her blood is on your hands. Her blood is on your cock. May you die screaming. [...] She gave you one son, that should have been enough. Save my wife, you should have said, but what are wives to men like you? Hear this, my lord. Do not think to wed again. Take care of the whelps my mother gave you, my half-brother and half-sister. See that they want for nothing. Do that, and I will let you be. If I should hear even a whisper of your taking some other poor maid to wife, I will make another Harrenhal of Storm's End, with you and her inside it.[7]

—Rhaena, to Rogar Baratheon

Franklyn: I cannot claim to know the princess, but I would say she is well rid of you, as was Fair Isle. If she turns up here we shall see her off, just as we did her mother.
Rhaena: You do not know Aerea, that much is true. If she does indeed find her way to these shores, my lord, you may find she is not as forbearing as her mother. Oh, and I wish you luck if you should try to ‘see off’ the Black Dread. Balerion quite enjoyed your brother, by now he may desire another course.[3]

Franklyn Farman and Rhaena

It would seem that I am doomed to always come too late.[3]

I fed my last husband to my dragon. If you make me take another, I may eat him myself.[3]

—Rhaena to Alysanne Targaryen

Quotes about Rhaena

She is mad. Does she think to frighten me? Me? I did not fear the wroth of Maegor the Cruel, should I fear hers?[3]

Whatever else she may be, Rhaena remains the blood of the dragon, and my sister, whom I love.[3]

My brother Aegon died at the hands of our uncle in the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye. His wife, my sister Rhaena, was not with him at the battle, but she died that day as well.[3]

Jaehaerys I Targaryen at Rhaena's funeral pyre


Maegor I
Aenys I
Jaehaerys I
House Targaryen.svg


  1. Printed versions of Fire & Blood state that the suggestion of a betrothal occurred shortly after Maegor turned twelve, placing the event in 24 AC. Maegor's age was adjusted to eleven in the ebook editions, placing the event in 23 AC.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Fire & Blood, A Time of Testing - The Realm Remade.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Fire & Blood, A Surfeit of Rulers.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
  9. The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Fire & Blood, Prince into King - The Ascension of Jaehaerys I.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Fire & Blood, The Year of the Three Brides - 49 AC.
Preceded by Queen consort of the Seven Kingdoms
4748 AC
With: Tyanna of the Tower
Elinor Costayne
Jeyne Westerling
Succeeded by