Visenya Targaryen

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Visenya Targaryen
House Targaryen.svg
Visenya.jpg
Visenya by Amok©

Title Queen
Dowager Queen
Allegiance House Targaryen
Race Valyrian
Culture crownlands
Born In 28BC or 29BC[1], at Dragonstone
Died In 44 AC
Spouse Aegon I Targaryen
Book(s) The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
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)
For other articles sharing the same title, please see this disambiguation page.

Queen Visenya Targaryen was the older sister and wife of King Aegon I Targaryen. Her younger sister, Rhaenys, was married to Aegon as well. Visenya was a dragonrider, and rode the dragon Vhagar.

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Visenya Targaryen

Like her siblings, Visenya possessed the classical Valyrian features: long, silver-gold hair, which she often braided or bound up in rings, and purple eyes.[2][3] Hers was a harsher, more austere beauty than her sister, Rhaenys.[3] A voluptuous, sensual, and passionate woman, Visenya was also stern, serious, and unforgiving.[3][2] Some claimed that Visenya dabbled in dark sorceries and played with poisons.[3]

Visenya was both a dragonrider and a warrior, comfortable in both silk and in ringmail.[3] When garbed as a warrior, she always wielded the Valyrian steel longsword Dark Sister.[2]

History

Early life

Born on the island Dragonstone,[4] Visenya was the eldest child of Lord Aerion Targaryen and Lady Valaena Velaryon. Her two younger siblings, Aegon and Rhaenys, were born within a few years following her birth.[2] Since young age, Visenya trained together with Aegon at arms, and she became a skilled warrior.[3]

As expected, Visenya was wed to her brother Aegon following Valyrian custom. However, Aegon took their younger sister as a wife as well. People claimed that he had wed Visenya out of duty, and Rhaenys out of desire. Prior to her wedding, Visenya became a dragonrider, having bonded with the dragon Vhagar.[3]

In her youth Visenya was reported to have visited the Citadel of Oldtown and Lord Redwyne of the Arbor together with her brother Aegon.[3]

The Conquest

See also: Aegon's Conquest
Visenya Targaryen (left) with her brother Aegon I and younger sister Rhaenys.

When her brother Aegon began his conquest of the Seven Kingdoms, Visenya sailed with him from Dragonstone. Visenya subdued House Stokeworth and, following the defeat of House Darklyn in battle against Aegon and his bastard half-brother Orys Baratheon, did not hesitate to claim the riches of Duskendale, greatly swelling the coffers of House Targaryen. After having conquered a dozen houses, Aegon was crowned king. Visenya, now queen, placed a Valyrian steel circlet on Aegon's head while their sister Rhaenys hailed him as the new king of Westeros. Following the coronation, Visenya accompanied the Targaryen fleet to Gulltown and the Vale. When the Arryn fleet sunk a third of the Targaryen ships and captured many more, Visenya descended from the sky upon Vhagar, burning their ships.[3]

Next, Visenya was sent to Crackclaw Point by Aegon. The local lords had learned of the faith that had befallen Harren Hoare at Harrenhal, and submitted quickly, swearing oaths of fealthy. Visenya took them as her own men, and from that day forth the lord owed their loyalty directly to the Iron Throne.[3][5]

Visenya met Rhaenys, Aegon, and the Targaryen host at the Stoney Sept, from where they raced south. There, they met the combined hosts of the Reach and the westerlands in battle. Visenya and her siblings fought from dragonback, setting the dry grasses and stands of wheat on the battlefield afire. With more than four thousand men dead from the fire, and tens of thousands wounded by the flames, the battle became known as the Field of Fire. King Mern IX Gardener of the Reach died in battle and King Loren I Lannister of the westerlands fled, giving the Targaryens the victory.[3] According to legend, Visenya thanked the gods that Loren had ridden forth to face the Targaryens on the Field of Fire, when she saw Casterly Rock, as she believed that dragonflame would not have been able to dishearten the Lannister king if he had remained inside the Rock.[6]

Visenya had taken an arrow in the shoulder during the Field of Fire, but soon recovered. Following the surrender of King Loren, the three Targaryen siblings parted ways once more, but met soon again at the banks of the Trident, where they awaited the host of King Torrhen Stark. After Torrhen bend the knee, Visenya parted from her siblings and returned to the Vale, where House Arryn had strengthened their defenses. A strong host had been positioned at the Bloody Gate, and the garrizons of Stone, Snow, and Sky had been tripled. However, Visenya bypassed these hosts by flying up to the Eyrie upon Vhagar's back. She landed in the courtyard, where she was met by the boy-king Ronnel Arryn. Ronnel's regent and mother, Lady Sharra Arryn, surrendered the Eyrie to Visenya.[3]

First Dornish War

Main article: First Dornish War
Visenya Targaryen riding Vhagar into battle.

Visenya fought alongside her siblings in the First Dornish War, which lasted from 4 AC to 13 AC. After Rhaenys died in Dorne in 10 AC, Visenya and Aegon, grief-stricken at her death, set every castle, keep, and holdfast in Dorne ablaze at least once, with the exception of Sunspear and its shadow city. They also placed bounties on the heads of the Dornish lords. Although half a dozen and more of those lords were killed by assassins, only two of the killers lived to collect their reward. In retaliation, the Dornish lords hired catspawns themselves.[7][8] Visenya and her escort were once attacked in King's Landing, and she cut down the last would-be assassin down herself with Dark Sister.[7] At another occassion, in 10 AC, Aegon and Visenya were attacked on the streets of King's Landing, where Visenya's actions saved Aegon's life. When Aegon argued that his guards were still sufficient for his protection, Visenya drew Dark Sister. Before the guards could react, she had cut Aegon's cheek, pointing out to him that his guards were slow and lazy. This event led to the birth of the Kingsguard. Visenya modeled the vows of the Kingsguard upon the vows of the Night's Watch, and selected the first seven members herself.[8]

In 13 AC, Princess Deria Martell arrived in King's Landing in 13 AC with a delegation from Dorne to discuss a peace. With her, she brought the skull of Rhaenys's dragon, Meraxes, which was ill received by Visenya.[7] Deria and Aegon eventually reached an agreement, striking a peace which ended the war.[7]

Motherhood

The day-to-day governance of the realm was often left in the charge of Visenya and Rhaenys, and Aegon's councillors.[8]

Rhaenys's death in Dorne in 10 AC shattered the health of her son Aenys, and people began to doubt as to whether he would live.[9] As Visenya had not yet gotten pregnant by Aegon despite more than a decade of marriage, some had come to believe that she was barren, and even went as far as to suggest to Aegon that he should take a new wife. Although many young women were presented to Aegon, he refused to take a another bride.[9] In 11 AC, Visenya announced she was pregnant with a son, and the next year, she gave birth to Aegon's second son, Maegor[9][10] on Dragonstone.[11] Visenya raised Maegor on Dragonstone.[9] She gave him her Valyrian steel sword, Dark Sister, as a nameday present when Maegor turned thirteen.[9][12][10]

Queen Visenya Targaryen - by Elia Fernandez.

In 23 AC, Aenys's first child, Princess Rhaena, was born.[9] Within a year of Rhaena's birth,[N 1] Visenya Targaryen proposed a betrothal between her son Maegor and Rhaena, to settle the issue of the royal succession, as Rhaena's birth had sparked the discussion about who was next in line behind Aenys: his own daughter, or his brother.[10] However, the High Septon protested, and suggested his own niece, Lady Ceryse Hightower, as a bride for the young prince instead.[13][14]

Visenya's relationship with Aegon, which had never been a warm one, grew more distant. When Aegon in 35 AC had the Aegonfort torn down so they could start building the Red Keep, Visenya was left in charge of the construction. In his histories, Archmaester Gyldayn states that it was suggested at court that Aegon had left Visenya at King's Landing so that he would not have to endure her presence on Dragonstone.[8]

In 39 AC, Visenya's son Maegor shocked the realm by taking a second wife and married Alys Harroway. Visenya officiated the wedding for lack of a septon. The outrage that followed resulted in Maegor being sent into exile.[13] When King Aenys I abandoned King's Landing at the start of the Faith Militant uprising and fled to Dragonstone, Visenya counseled him to burn down the Starry Sept in Oldtown and the Sept of Remembrance in King's Landing. Aenys, incapable of making a firm decision, instead fell ill and chose not to heed her counsel. Visenya took over his care and for a time his health improved. Aenys suffered a collapse when he learned his son Aegon and daughter Rhaena were besieged in Crakehall, and he died three days later.[13] As soon as Aenys was buried, Visenya then mounted Vhagar and flew to Pentos to retrieve her son Maegor from exile.[14] Maegor claimed the Iron Throne. Visenya accompanied him to King's Landing, where she challenged anyone who denied Maegor's right to rule, which resulted in a trial of seven between Maegor and the Warrior's Sons. Though severily injured, Maegor was the only survivor.[14]

Between 42 AC and 44 AC, Visenya held Aenys's widow, Alyssa Velaryon, and Aenys's two youngest children, Jaehaerys and Alysanne, as hostages on Dragonstone. When Visenya died on Dragonstone in 44 AC, Alyssa and her two children slipped away from the castle in the confusion. They took Visenya's Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister with them. Angered by their escape, Maegor's third wife, Tyanna of the Tower, tortured Alyssa's eldest surviving son, Prince Viserys, who had been kept at the Red Keep, to death.[14]

After Visenya's death, it was suggested that she had caused Aenys's sudden death, causing some to call her a kinslayer and kingslayer.[13]

Family

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Valaena
Velaryon
 
Aerion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unknown
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Visenya
 
Aegon I
 
Rhaenys
 
 
Orys
Baratheon
 
Argella
Durrandon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ceryse
Hightower
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aenys I
 
Alyssa
Velaryon
 
 
House
Baratheon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elinor
Costayne
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alys
Harroway
 
 
Maegor I
 
Rhaena
 
Aegon
 
Viserys
 
Jaehaerys I
 
Alysanne
 
Vaella
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jeyne
Westerling
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tyanna of
the Tower
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rhalla
 
Aerea
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
House
Targaryen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Quotes by Visenya

Your guards are slow and lazy.[8]

- Visenya to her brother and husband, Aegon I Targaryen, after cutting his cheek to prove a point

Notes

  1. The World of Ice and Fire states that "[Ceryse Hightower] was advanced by her uncle, the High Septon, after he protested the betrothal of the thirteen-year-old Prince Maegor to Maegor's newborn niece, Princess Rhaena. Ceryse and Maegor were married in 25 AC." (The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I); However, it has since been stated that Maegor was eleven at the suggestion of betrothing him to the newborn Rhaena. Notes taken from a reading of The Sons of the Dragon state that Maegor had just turned twelve when the betrothal to Rhaena was suggested, placing the attempt in 24 AC

References

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