Viserys I Targaryen

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Viserys I
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Viserys I by Amok©
Biographical Information
Reign 103 AC129 AC
Full Name Viserys Targaryen the First of His Name
Alias The Young King
Other Titles King of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm
Born in 77 AC[1], at King's Landing
Died in 129 AC, at King's Landing
Family
Royal House House Targaryen
Predecessor Jaehaerys I Targaryen
Heir Rhaenyra Targaryen
Successor Aegon II Targaryen
Queen 1st: Aemma Arryn
2nd: Alicent Hightower
Issue Rhaenyra Targaryen
Unknown son
Baelon Targaryen
Aegon II Targaryen
Helaena Targaryen
Aemond Targaryen
Daeron Targaryen
Trystane Truefyre (allegedly)
Father Baelon Targaryen
Mother Alyssa Targaryen
References
Books The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
The Rogue Prince (mentioned)
The Princess and the Queen (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
For other articles sharing the same title, please see this disambiguation page.

Viserys I Targaryen was the fifth Targaryen Lord of the Seven Kingdoms,[2] ruling from 103 AC to 129 AC. He succeeded his grandfather, the Old King Jaehaerys I. Viserys continued the prosperous peace and legacy of his grandsire,[3] but the seeds for the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons that would much later engulf the realm were inadvertently sown in his reign.

Viserys was a dragonrider who rode Balerion until the dragon died of old age during the reign of Jaehaerys. Viserys never bonded with another dragon after Balerion's death.[4]

Appearance and Character

Viserys was plump and pleasant. He was described as amiable, open handed and eager to please. His generosity was legendary and the Red Keep became a place of song and splendor during his reign. King Viserys hosted countless balls, feast and tournaments and lavished gold and offices and honors among those he favored, he was well loved by lords and smallfolk alike. [3]

In his midlife Viserys's stoutness caused him numerous health problems, including from gout, aching joints, back pain, and respiratory issues. Towards the end of his life his girth nearly kept him from ascending the steps to the Iron Throne.[3]

Viserys sported a bushy, silver-gold mustache and wore the crown of his grandfather, Jaehaerys I.[5]

History

Youth

Prince Baelon Targaryen, chosen by King Jaehaerys I as his heir in 92 AC,[6] died before the Old King, leading to questions about the succession. Baelon's eldest son, Viserys, was eventually chosen by the Great Council convened in 101 AC. He was twenty-six years old and had been married for a decade to Lady Aemma Arryn. In 104 AC, the tourney for King Viserys I's accession was held in Maidenpool.[3]

Early Reign

King Viserys inherited a secure throne, a full treasury and a legacy of goodwill from his grandfather, Jaehaerys I. House Targaryen was at its most powerful during Viserys's time, having the most members and dragons since the Doom of Valyria. Viserys was known as the Young King when he ascended the Throne, and due to his amiable nature the smallfolk were optimistic about his reign.[7][8][3] In his court he had a dwarf jester known as Mushroom.

Holding a splendid court with Queen Aemma Arryn, the Young King was determined to maintain the peace and goodwill of his grandfather Jaehaerys the Wise. They had a son who died in infancy and a daughter, Princess Rhaenyra who was six when her father became king. The princess became his royal cupbearer at the age of eight and was always by her father's side at feasts, balls and tourneys. Rhaenyra was dubbed "the realm's delight".[3]

Viserys's younger brother, Prince Daemon Targaryen, considered himself his brother's heir and coveted the title Prince of Dragonstone. While Viserys loved his younger brother, despite his flaws, he had no wish for Daemon to succeed him. Viserys was hopeful that his wife would give him a son soon and settle the succession issue.[3]

Viserys appointed his brother on the small council but the rivalry between Daemon and the Hand of the King, Ser Otto Hightower, became so great that Viserys in early 104 AC appointed Daemon to be Commander of the City Watch to remove Daemon from the small council. Fearful of Daemon becoming king, Otto tried to convince Viserys to make Rhaenyra his heir. Viserys refused, as he was confident he and his wife would one day have a son. Aemma later became pregnant, to the king's delight.[3]

In 105 AC Aemma died in labor birthing the king's son and heir, whom Viserys named Baelon after his late father, Prince Baelon, but the infant died a day after Aemma. Daemon was observed in a brothel in the Street of Silk making drunken japes with his cronies about the "heir for a day", which enraged the grieving Viserys. After the mourning period was over Viserys held a lavish ceremony in 105 AC and had Rhaenyra declared the heir and Princess of Dragonstone in response to his ungrateful brother's ambitions. Hundreds of lords and landed knights did obeisance to the princess and swore solemn oaths to defend her rights of succession. Daemon left the capital in a fury.[3]

Viserys began to groom Princess Rhaenyra to be the ruling queen, teaching her how to rule and made her part of his small council.[3]

Second Marriage

Since Viserys was not yet thirty, Grand Maester Runciter was the first to urge him to remarry, suggesting Laena Velaryon, daughter of Lord Corlys Velaryon. Such a marriage would have healed the rift between the Iron Throne and Driftmark, since Viserys had been chosen as heir to the Iron Throne over Laenor Velaryon in the Great Council of 101 AC). Viserys instead chose Alicent Hightower, the eighteen-year-old daughter of Otto Hightower, his Hand of the King.[3]

Viserys and Alicent married in 106 AC. Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen poured for her new stepmother at the wedding feast, and Queen Alicent kissed her and named her "daughter". Rhaenyra and Alicent at first got on well, but that soon changed. Prince Daemon Targaryen, when he was told about his brother's marriage, reportedly whipped the messenger who brought the news nearly to death. When Daemon and House Velaryon fought a war for control of the Stepstones against the Triarchy, the peaceful Viserys was unperturbed.[3]

The fertile Alicent bore a healthy son, Aegon, in 107 AC. A daughter, Helaena followed in 109 AC and another son named Aemond was born in 110 AC. The amity between Queen Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra soon ended as both desired to be first lady of the realm. Though Alicent had given Viserys male heirs, the king did nothing to change the order of succession as he considered the matter already settled by naming Rhaenyra in his will. Otto Hightower hectored the king so much that Viserys sent him back to Oldtown, bestowing the position of Hand on Lyonel Strong, Lord of Harrenhal.[3]

Two parties began to form at court. The queen's party consisted of powerful lords friendly to Alicent and supportive of the rights of her sons. Against that was the party of the princess, those who supported Rhaenyra as heir. Envoys from the Free Cities made note of the coolness betweeen the two in letters sent back to Braavos, Pentos and Volantis. [3] In 111 AC a tourney was held to celebrate the five year anniversary of Viserys and Alicent's wedding. Since the queen wore a green gown while the princess wore the Targaryen colors of black and red, it became the custom to refer to "greens" and "blacks" when talking of the two parties.

Daemon offers his crown to his brother at the tourney celebrating King Viserys and Queen Alicent's five year anniversary, by Chase Stone, as depicted in The World of Ice and Fire.

The tourney also saw the return to court of Prince Daemon, who reconciled with Viserys offering him the crown he claimed while fighting for the Stepstones,[3] but six months later Daemon was exiled again from King's Landing. While Grand Maester Runciter claimed the two brothers simply quarreled. it was rumored that Daemon took Rhaenyra's virginity and that Lyonel Strong counseled the livid King Viserys that Daemon should be executed for treason. Septon Eustace reminded the council about the taint of kinslaying, thus Daemon was exiled instead.[3]

Viserys hated conflict and made repeated attempts to cease the hostilities between the greens and the blacks, with many fights and false apologies issued on both sides. He loved his wife and daughter equally, but they only loved each other when he commanded. So long as Viserys ruled, peace prevailed in the Seven Kingdoms.

In 113 AC Viserys decided it was time for his daughter Rhaenyra to wed. Queen Alicent wanted the princess to wed her eldest son, Aegon, so he could one day be king. Viserys would not hear of it as Aegon was ten years Rhaenyra's junior and the two had never gotten on well. The king and council chose Laenor Velaryon to wed a reluctant Rhaenyra to regain the friendship between the Iron Throne and Driftmark. In 114 AC Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor were wed, though it is questioned if the marriage was consummated. Laenor spent most of his time on Driftmark and infrequently visited Rhaenyra on Dragonstone. Later the same year Rhaenyra gave birth to her first son, Jacaerys Velaryon. However, rumor spread that the child's real father was Lyonel's son, Ser Harwin Strong, Rhaenyra's sworn shield who resided with her on Dragonstone.[3]

Queen Alicent bore a third son, Daeron, the same year. Viserys had Jacaerys and Daeron share a wetnurse till weaned, hoping to prevent enmity by raising them as milk brothers. Rhaenyra gave her father two more grandsons years later, Lucerys Velaryon born in 115 AC and Joffrey Velaryon in 117 AC. Instead of traditional Valyrian features, the three Velaryon lads had pug noses, brown hair, and brown eyes. Rumor spread that the children's real father was Lyonel's son, Ser Harwin Strong, Rhaenyra's sworn shield who resided with her on Dragonstone.[3]

Prince Daemon and his wife, Laena Velaryon, had twin daughters named Baela and Rhaena. The brothers Daemon and Viserys reconciled a second time and with the blessing of the king, Princess Rhaenyra betrothed Jacaerys and Lucerys to Baela and Rhaena. This did not change Daemon's ways as the king had hoped, however.

Later Reign

The year 120 AC became known as the Year of the Red Spring because of its many deaths and accidents.[3][7]

Laena Velaryon, the wife of Prince Daemon Targaryen, died after a failed birth. At her funeral, a quarrel broke out between Aemond Targaryen and the sons of Rhaenyra, who were accused of being bastards from House Strong. Aemond lost an eye when Lucerys defended Jacaerys with a knife. The false apologies from the families of Rhaenyra and Alicent fooled no one but Viserys. The king issued an edict that anyone spreading the Strong rumor would lose their tongue, and ordered Ser Harwin Strong to depart from Dragonstone to Harrenhal.[3] A fire at Harrenhal then killed Harwin and his father Lyonel, the Hand of the King. While some blamed the fire on the curse of Harrenhal, others whispered that Daemon, Lord Corlys Velaryon, Harwin's younger brother Larys Strong, and even Viserys were to blame. The king recalled Ser Otto Hightower as the King's Hand.[3][7]

The year saw the death of Rhaenyra's husband, Laenor Velaryon, killed in a fight between his companion and rumored lover, Ser Qarl Correy. Rhaenyra and Daemon shocked the realm by wedding without Viserys's knowledge, a huge scandal as neither Laena nor Laenor had been dead for six months. The year ended with Rhaenyra and Daemon welcoming the birth of their first son, Prince Aegon the Younger. Another son, born in 122 AC, was given the name Viserys after Rhaenyra's father.[3][7]

The forced closeness of Rhaenyra's and Alicent's children increased animosity between the blacks and greens. The royal children and grandchildren became dragonriders and court visitors observed the dragons of one faction snapping and spitting flames at the dragons of the other party.[3]

In 127 AC Rhaenyra argued her second oldest, Lucerys, should inherit Driftmark. Several Velaryons unsuccessfully protested to the Iron Throne that her sons were bastards fathered by Harwin Strong and had no claim to Driftmark. King Viserys heard them in stony silence and after issuing the order to remove their tongues, slipped and cut his hand to the bone on the Iron Throne. He suffered a fever from an infection and only recovered after two of his fingers were removed by Maester Gerardys. He never sat on the throne again.[3]

Viserys died on the third day of third moon of 129 AC during a nap in the Red Keep of King's Landing.[6] Viserys had decreed his heir to be Rhaenyra, the daughter from his first wife, Aemma Arryn. Aegon the Elder, the eldest son of his second wife Alicent, was instead crowned Aegon II by Ser Criston Cole, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. This led to a civil war between Rhaenyra and Aegon II, the Dance of the Dragons.[6]

Small Council under Viserys I

During the reign of King Viserys his small council had the following known members:[3][6]

Office Duration Name
Hand of the King 103 AC - 109 AC Ser Otto Hightower
109 AC - 120 AC Lord Lyonel Strong
120 AC - 129 AC Ser Otto Hightower
Grand Maester 103 AC - 112 AC Runciter
112 AC - 127 AC or 128 AC Mellos
127 AC or 128 AC - 129 AC Orwyle
Master of coin 103 AC - 104 AC Prince Daemon Targaryen
Unknown - 129 AC Lord Lyman Beesbury
Master of laws 104 AC - 104 AC Prince Daemon Targaryen
105 AC - 109 AC Lord Lyonel Strong
Unknown - 129 AC Lord Jasper Wylde
Master of ships Unknown - 129 AC Ser Tyland Lannister
Master of whisperers Unknown - 129 AC Lord Larys Strong
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard 103 AC - 105 AC Ser Ryam Redwyne
105 AC - 112 AC Ser Harrold Westerling
112 AC - 129 AC Ser Criston Cole

Quotes about Viserys I

Viserys I Targaryen had a generous amiable nature and was well loved by his lords and smallfolk alike. The reign of the Young King, as the commons called him upon his ascent, would be peaceful and prosperous.[3]
- writings of Gyldayn


Viserys I Targaryen was not the strongest-willed of kings, it must be said; always amiable and anxious to please, he relied greatly on the counsel of the men around him and did as they bid more oft than not.[3]
- writings of Gyldayn


He had ruled for six-and-twenty years, reigning over the most prosperous era in the history of the Seven Kingdoms but seeding within it the disastrous decline of his house and the death of the last dragons.[7]
- writings of Yandel

Family

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jocelyn
Baratheon
 
Aemon
 
Daella
 
Rodrik
Arryn
 
Baelon
 
Alyssa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Corlys
Velaryon
 
Rhaenys
 
 
 
 
 
Aemma
Arryn
 
Viserys I
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alicent
Hightower
 
Daemon[9]
 
Rhea
Royce
 
Aegon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Laena
Velaryon
 
Daemon[9]
 
Laenor
Velaryon
 
Rhaenyra
 
Daemon[9]
 
son
 
Baelon
 
Aegon II
 
Helaena
 
Aemond
 
Daeron
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rhaena
 
Baela
 
Jacaerys
Velaryon
 
Lucerys
Velaryon
 
Joffrey
Velaryon
 
Aegon
 
Viserys
 
Visenya
 
Jaehaerys
 
Jaehaera
 
Maelor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


References and Notes

  1. See the Viserys I Targaryen calculation.
  2. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  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 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 The Rogue Prince.
  4. Not a Blog: The Rogues are Coming, March 12th, 2014 reply
  5. So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 1, 2005)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 The Princess and the Queen.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
  8. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Viserys I Targaryen.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Prince Daemon Targaryen was married to Lady Rhea Royce from 97 AC until 115 AC. He then married Lady Laena Velaryon in 115 AC; their marriage lasted until Laena's death in 120 AC. That same year, Daemon married his niece, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.

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