Aegon V Targaryen
Aegon V by Amok©
|Reign||233 AC - 259 AC|
|Full Name||Aegon Targaryen Fifth of His Name|
Aegon the Unlikely|
Aegon the Fortunate
The Prince Who Was An Egg
King of Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men|
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm
|Born in||200 AC King's Landing|
|Died in||259 AC Summerhall|
|Royal House||House Targaryen|
|Predecessor||Maekar I Targaryen|
1st: Duncan Targaryen (renounced rights)|
2nd: Jaehaerys Targaryen
|Successor||Jaehaerys II Targaryen|
Jaehaerys II Targaryen
|Father||Maekar I Targaryen|
The Hedge Knight (Appears)|
The Sworn Sword (Appears)
The Mystery Knight (Appears)
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)
Aegon became king only after a Great Council that bypassed a number of candidates earlier in the line of succession, and after his elder brother, Aemon, refused the throne. As the fourth son of Maekar I, himself a fourth son, Aegon was called "Aegon the Unlikely."
- See also: Images of Aegon V Targaryen
According to a semi-canonical source, Aegon had long, shoulder-length hair that shone like beaten gold with strands of silver woven together. Tall, slender and handsome, he had large eyes, deep and dark and purple. He wore the crown of Aegon III.
In his youth, Aegon first served at court in King's Landing as a page. He owned a dragon egg, which was colored with green and white swirls, placed in his cradle with him when he was a babe. He loathed his brother, the cruel and sadistic Aerion, who threw Aegon's pet cat down a well. Aerion once visited Aegon in his bedroom during the dead of night, put a knife to Aegon's privates, and joked about removing his genitals so he would become a girl whom Aerion could marry. Aegon himself was betrothed to his sister Daella, though he did not wish to marry her. Aegon dreamed of becoming a knight of the Kingsguard, who are sworn not to wed.
Aegon was supposed to squire for his eldest brother, Daeron, in the tourney at Ashford Meadow, but Daeron had no interest in jousting and drank himself into a stupor at an inn. Ser Duncan the Tall visited the inn and Aegon was impressed by the humble hedge knight and followed him.
Egg served as a squire to Duncan during the Ashford tourney where his uncle, Prince Baelor Breakspear, died of a wound inflicted by Prince Maekar, Baelor's brother and Aegon's father. Maekar wished Aegon to be trained as a knight, but Aegon would only agree if Duncan was the knight who trained him. Maekar, the Prince of Summerhall, offered Duncan a place at the garrison of Summerhall, but Duncan declined and agreed to take Aegon on only if Aegon accompanied him as his squire. Aegon would live humbly, but Duncan thought it would make Aegon a better man than his brothers, Aerion and Daeron. Thus he served as a squire to the hedge knight Ser Duncan the Tall under his nickname "Egg".
A little less than two years later Egg squired for Duncan during the small localized conflict between House Webber and House Osgrey. In 212 AC, he played a part in the suppression of the Second Blackfyre Rebellion at Whitewalls.
Aegon married Betha Blackwood in 220 AC. The marriage at the time provoked no opposition as Aegon was very low in the line of succession. They married for love and eventually had five children together. Their first born son, Aegon named Duncan in honor or his friend Ser Duncan the Tall. 
After his father Maekar I's death in 232 AC during the Peake Uprising, it was unclear who should be king since two of Aegon's older brothers had died before his father. Daeron left a feeble-witted daughter named Vaella and Aerion a minor son, so the Great Council was called to choose the king. Aegon seemed the logical choice but many Lords considered him "half a peasant" due to his youth among the smallfolk, the Council approached Aegon's brother Aemon, a maester, was offered the crown, but refused, stating it should be given to Aegon. 
Aegon was crowned King of the Seven Kingdoms when he was thirty-three years old. According to Aemon, Aegon, despite being a man grown with sons of his own, was still half a boy and had an innocence to him, a sweetness that was well loved. Aegon's first act as King was the arrest of Lord Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers the former Hand of the King, for the murder of Aenys Blackfyre, Brynden had offered him safe conduct to Westeros for the Great Council but had executed him when he arrived in the capital. Though all were glad another Blackfyre pretender was dead, Aegon had to punish Lord Bloodraven least it look like the word of the Iron Throne is worthless, he was sentenced to death though King Aegon offered him a choice to join the Night's Watch to which Brynden accepted.
Aemon decided to join the Night's Watch too, to prevent any plots from developing whereby he would be used against his brother. As an honor guard many of bloodraven's personal guard known as the Raven's Teeth decided to follow their commander and take the black also. Aegon emptied the dungeons and sent the prisoners to join the Night's Watch, Before departing for the Wall, Aemon gave his brother, one final counsel:
It takes a man to rule. An Aegon, not an Egg. Kill the boy and let the man be born.
During Aegon's reign he appointed his old friend Ser Duncan the Tall as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Aegon's reign was a troubled and challenging one, It began during a harsh winter that had already lasted three years and showed no signs of abating. There was massive starvation and suffering in the North. Aegon always concerned for the well being of the poor and weak sent massive shipments of food and grain North, some felt he did too much in this regard though. The Winter after six years finally ended in 236 AC, Aegons reign was tested by those lords whose affairs they felt he meddled in during his youth.
The spring saw the threat of the Blackfyre Pretenders return, the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion happened just as the winter had ended. Daemon III Blackfyre attempted to seize the Iron Throne with the Golden Company but the rebellion rallied few to it's side. Aegon and his sons personally rode to meet and repel the invaders, Ser Duncan the Tall personally slew Daemon in single combat ending the Rebellion, Bittersteel managed to escape though and fled with the remnants of the Golden Company across the Narrow Sea. The Blackfyres sadly were not the only opposition Aegon faced during his rule.
Despite Aemon removing himself as a possible pawn in plots to overthrow Aegon. Aegon spent much of his reign in armor trying to quell one conflict after another, thrice the Iron Throne had to intervene in the Westerlands due to the inferior and inept leadership of Lord Tytos Lannister. However the troubles were mainly caused because Aegon tried to improve the lives of the smallfolk. Having seen first hand the hardship the smallfolk suffer during his time as a Squire to Ser Duncan, Aegon V did much to improve the quality of life for his lowborn subjects. He enacted numerous reforms and granted rights and protections to the commons that they had never known before, these new rights made him beloved of the commons but each of these measures also provoked fierce opposition from the High Lords whose powers over their peasants was diminished and curtailed by these new reforms, the most outspoken of the high Lords against King Aegon once denounced Aegon as a...
Bloody handed tyrant intent on depriving us of our god-given rights and liberties.
It was well known that the resistance he constantly faced taxed King Aegon's patience - especially as the compromises a king must make to rule well often left his greatest hopes receding further and further into the future. As one defiance followed another, Aegon was forced to bow to the recalcitrant lords more often than he wished. Aegon was heard to say, that if only he had Dragons, the Lords would be less hostile to him and could more easily enact all of the desired reforms and rights he wished to grant the smallfolk, if he had Dragons he could remake the realm anew, with peace and prosperity for all.
Aegon faced renewed troubles in his reign caused because of his sons. Ser Barristan Selmy stated Aegon V married for love and all three of his sons were said to want to do the same in defiance of their father's wishes. With Aegon growing up among the smallfolk he had developed a distaste for the Targaryen practice of incestuous marriage, Aegon was convinced that such incestuous unions did more harm than good and he wished to end this tradition once and for all. He had arranged marriages for all three of his sons when they were children, to the daughters of some of the greatest and most powerful Houses in the Seven Kingdoms.
Aegon and his Queen, Betha Blackwood, had arranged the betrothals of four of their children in 237 AC. The first was between their eldest son and heir Prince Duncan to the daughter of Lord Lyonel Baratheon of Storm's End. The second was Prince Jaehaerys to Lady Celia Tully, the daughter of the Lord of Riverrun and the youngest son, Prince Daeron to Lady Olenna Redwyne of the Arbor and finally their daughter Princess Shaera was to wed Luthor Tyrell the heir to Highgarden. If these marriages had taken place they would have strengthened King Aegon's rule and would have won him much support for his reforms. His Grace had failed to take into account that his children had inherited his willfulness and their mothers stubbornness, King Aegon followed his heart and married for love, his sons and daughter would do likewise.
Prince Duncan was the first to defy his father in 239 AC when he became enamored and eventually fell in love with a mysterious woman known as Jenny of Oldstones who he secretly wed. Though King Aegon V grew up among the smallfolk and was a good friend to them, he could not sanction the wedding of the heir to the Iron Throne to a peasant girl, he did all he could to undo the marriage. Prince Duncan shared his fathers willfulness and would not relent though. King Aegon, the small council, the Grandmaester and the High Septon all forced Prince Duncan to choose between the girl or the Iron Throne. The Prince choose Jenny and abdicated as Prince of Dragonstone, thus making his younger brother Prince Jaehaerys the new heir.
This did not restore peace between the Iron Throne and House Baratheon, whose daughter Prince Duncan had spurned to wed a peasant girl. Prior to this, Lord Lyonel Baratheon had been a leal supporter of King Aegon V, thus the reason King Aegon was pleased to have arranged the betrothal of his heir to Lord Lyonel's daughter. The famed warrior and Lord of Storm's End was not a man easily appeased when his pride and honor were wounded. A short bloody rebellion followed which was ended in trial by combat between Ser Duncan the Tall of the Kingsguard and Lord Lyonel, Ser Duncan defeated Lord Lyonel, making him yield. King Aegon pardoned him and to make peace arranged a new betrothal of his daughter Princess Rhaelle to Lord Lyonel's heir. King Aegon sent Rhaelle to Storm's End as Lord Lyonel's cupbearer and companion to his lady wife to make sure this wedding took place.
The second betrothal that was broken was by the new heir Prince Jaehaerys, while his father had developed a distaste for the Targaryen practice of marriage through incest, Prince Jaehaerys was of a more traditional mind and from a young age desired his sister Princess Shaera whose desire for him was similar. When King Aegon and Queen Betha discovered this, they did everything to separate the two siblings, which only served to inflame their passions. When Prince Duncan defied his father's wishes and married Jenny, Jaehaerys did not fail to note that their father eventually relented. In 240 AC Prince Jaehaerys and Princess Shaera who both eluded their guardians secretly wed and consummated the marriage. Aegon despaired over this, but felt he had no choice now and was forced to relent to his children's wishes, while at the same time dealing with the anger and wounded pride of House Tully and House Tyrell. Jaehaerys and Shaera eventually had their first child, a son who they named Aerys.
Prince Daeron followed the examples of his brothers and refused to marry to his betrothed, Lady Olenna Redwyne. He did so when he was eighteen years old, in 246 AC. But while his brothers had broken their betrothals for another woman, this was not the case with Daeron.
While Daeron would not live for much longer, he would remain unwed. He preferred the companionship of Ser Jeremy Norridge, a young knight whom he had befriended when they were squires together at Highgarden. Prince Daeron and Ser Jeremy both perished in battle in 251 AC crushing a rebellion led by the Rat, the Hawk and the Pig.
Meanwhile in Essos during 258 AC, the Blackfyres joined together with other power seekers to form the Band of Nine. Since this group also posed a threat to the Free Cities, King Aegon felt that they would be dealt with by the forces of Free Cities saving the Iron Throne from getting involved, nonetheless preparations were made in case the group became a serious threat.
The turmoil in his reign made Aegon obsessed with the idea of restoring dragons to Westeros. He got Septons to pray over the last Dragon eggs and Maesters to consult ancient scrolls and lore, though friends and counselors sought to dissuade him, King Aegon grew convinced that only with dragons could he have the power to enact the changes he wished and force the stubborn lords to accept his decrees that granted freedoms, rights and protections to the smallfolk.
This led to the tragedy of Summerhall, where Aegon perished while trying to hatch dragon eggs. His son, Prince Duncan the Small, his friend, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Ser Duncan the Tall, and others of the royal court also perished in the fire. Aegon was succeeded by his second son, Jaehaerys II.
Many of the laws, rights and protections King Aegon V had granted and bestowed upon the smallfolk would later be undone during the reign of King Aerys II by his Hand of the King, Lord Tywin Lannister.
Quotes about Aegon
All three of the sons of the fifth Aegon had wed for love in defiance of their father's wishes. And because that unlikely monarch had followed his heart when he chose his queen, he allowed his sons to have their way, making bitter enemies when he might have made fast friends. Treason and turmoil followed, as night follows day, ending at Summerhall in sorcery, fire and grief.
References and Notes
- See the Aegon V Targaryen calculation.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
- Targaryen Kings, (November 1, 2005) So Spake Martin
- The Sworn Sword.
- The Mystery Knight.
- The Hedge Knight.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Aegon V.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Maekar I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, House Lannister under the Dragons.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Aerys II.
- Kiera of Tyrosh was widowed when Valarr Targaryen died from the Great Spring Sickness; some time later she married his cousin Daeron.