Aegon IV Targaryen

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Aegon IV
House Targaryen crest.PNG
Aegon IV by Amoka©
Biographical Information
Reign 172 AC - 184 AC
Full Name Aegon Targaryen Fourth of His Name
Alias Aegon the Unworthy
Titles King of the Seven Kingdoms
Born in Before 139 AC[1]
Died in 184 AC
Royal House House Targaryen
Predecessor Viserys II Targaryen
Heir Daeron II Targaryen
Successor Daeron II Targaryen
Queen Naerys Targaryen
Issue Daeron II Targaryen
Daemon Blackfyre
Aegor Rivers "Bittersteel"
Shiera Seastar
Brynden Rivers "Bloodraven"

Aegon IV, known as Aegon the Unworthy, was the eleventh Targaryen to sit the Iron Throne and is considered as one of the worst Targaryen kings. He sired numerous bastards, legitimizing them on his deathbed, an act that started the Blackfyre Rebellion and almost ripped the Seven Kingdoms apart.

Character and appearance

Aegon began his reign when he was young and handsome but ended it old and corrupt. By the end of it he was bloated and fat. His eyes were almost lost in the fat of his face, his legs too weak to support his belly. He had a small mouth and a large beard used in an attempt to cover the fat of his neck and face. He had a new crown made, huge and heavy, red gold, each of its points a dragon head with gemstone eyes.[2] On his coinage, he was depicted with a beard.[3]


Early life

Aegon was the eldest son of the King's Hand, Viserys, and grew up during the rule of his cousin Daeron I and married his sister Naerys. Their marriage was an unhappy one, and once his son Daeron was born, she asked Aegon to release her from her vows so she could join the Faith, but he refused her.

When Baelor I became king, he dissolved his marriage to his sister-wife Daena and imprisoned her in the Maidenvault so the sight of her would not tempt him to carnal thoughts. Aegon was not under any such prohibition and developed a fondness for his cousin Daena. On one occasion he helped Daena escape from the Maidenvault and they conceived a child. Daena refused to say who the father was, and was dubbed 'Daena the Defiant' for her wilfulness. In time she gave birth to a son, Daemon Blackfyre, and Aegon noted with approval that he was growing up to be a strong warrior.

Eventually Baelor starved himself to death during one of his pious fasts and Viserys only ruled for a single year before passing himself, so the throne passed to Aegon, Fourth of His Name.


Aegon IV is generally considered to be one of the worst kings in the history of Westeros, and is dubbed 'Aegon the Unworthy' in history texts.

He was a decadent, corrupt ruler who indulged his passions and whims at every opportunity. Being attractive, he was popular with women both highborn and lowborn. He had as many as nine mistresses and many bastards. Supposedly, he had any woman he wanted whether they were married or not. People often joked that the Targaryen words might be "Fire and Blood" but Aegon IV's motto was "Wash her and bring her to my bed."

He quite openly flaunted his Mistresses at court, to the distress of his wife. As an example, on one of his many trips he made a gift of dragon's egg to Lord Butterwells, after guesting at his castle and allegedly impregnating his host's three maiden daughters.[3] On another occasion he caught one of his Kingsguard knights, Terrence Toyne, sleeping with one of his mistresses and had both executed.[4], which led to the death of his brother Aemon, who sacrificed his life to protect him from Terrence brothers' assassination attempt.[3]

Aegon gave his Valyrian steel sword, Blackfyre, which had been carried by Aegon the Conqueror and all the Targaryen kings after him, to his bastard Daemon from Daena when he knighted him at the age of 12, instead of to his heir, Daeron; talk of Daemon becoming Aegon's heir began after this point..

Aegon as many other Targaryen kings was obsessed with regaining dragons for his house, but instead of trying to resurrect the dead dragons of his ancestors, Aegon tried to build new ones out of wood and iron, which he used to try and conquer Dorne but the attempt failed and his dragons burned.[5] [6]

On his deathbed, he legitimized his many bastards, causing five generations of strife as they and their descendants tried to claim the throne of Westeros.[7]


  1. Falena Stokeworth
  2. Merry Meg
  3. Cassella Vaith
  4. Bellegere Otherys, the Black Pearl of Braavos
  5. Barba Bracken
  6. Mylessa (Missy) Blackwood
  7. Bethany Bracken
  8. Jeyne Lothston
  9. Serenei of Lys

Beside those mistresses, Aegon had an affair with his cousin Daena in his youth, and took several other women to his bed, including the three daughters of Lord Butterwell (according to stories).

Great Bastards

Male Great Bastards.jpgSheria Seastar.jpg
Great Bastards: Bittersteel, Daemon, Bloodraven and Shiera

Among the Aegon bastards, several were of noble mothers, becoming known as the "Great Bastards." At present, there are only four known Great Bastards:

Name Description
Daemon Blackfyre Aegon's son from Princess Daena Targaryen.
Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers Aegon's son from mistress, Lady Barba Bracken.
Shiera Seastar Aegon's Daughter from mistress, Lady Serenei of Lys.
Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers Aegon's son from mistress, Lady Mylessa Blackwood.

While on his deathbed, Aegon legitimized his bastard sons and placed them in his line of succession after his firstborn, Daeron II. A few years after Aegon's death, Daemon Blackfyre rose against his half-brother and attempted to take the throne. He was defeated but the Blackfyres continued to trouble the Targaryens for almost 100 years.

Among his other bastards was the daughter he fathered on Bellegere Otherys, who became the next Black Pearl of Braavos after her mother. Her daughter and granddaughter have both been Black Pearls too.[8]


“Aegon was not called the Unworthy without cause.” [9]

Arys Oakheart

Fire and Blood were the words of House Targaryen, but Dunk once heard Ser Arlan say that Aegon's should have been, Wash Her and Bring Her to My Bed.[10]


Aegon IV
of Tyrosh
Two sons
Aegor Rivers

References and Notes

  1. See Theories
  2. .So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 1, 2005)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Mystery Knight.
  4. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 16, Sansa II.
  5. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
  6. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 68, The Dragontamer.
  7. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
  8. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 34, Cat of the Canals
  9. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight, p 239.
  10. The Sworn Sword, Legends II, ISNB 0-00-715436-4, page 159 of 88-190.