Aemon Targaryen (son of Viserys II)

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Aemon Targaryen
Aemon the Dragonknight.jpg
Aemon the Dragonknight by Robert O'Leary

Alias The Dragonknight
The Knight of Tears
Title Prince
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard
Allegiance House Targaryen
Culture Valyrian
Born In 136 AC[1], at King's Landing
Died In or between 178AC and 183AC[2], at Westeros
Book(s) The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
The Hedge Knight (mentioned)
The Sworn Sword (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 characters named "Aemon Targaryen", see here.

Prince Aemon Targaryen, called the Dragonknight, was the second son of King Viserys II Targaryen and a member of the Kingsguard.


Early Life

Aemon was knighted young and joined the Kingsguard at the age of seventeen in 153 AC during the reign of his uncle, King Aegon the Third.[3][4]

During his life Aemon served under five kings: Aegon III Targaryen, Daeron I Targaryen,Baelor I Targaryen, his father Viserys II Targaryen, and lastly his brother, Aegon IV Targaryen.

Prince Aemon has been referred to as the noblest knight who ever lived, and his skill with a sword is legendary throughout Westeros. Even over a hundred years after his death, he is a popular figure among the highborn and lowborn in songs, stories and fables. He bore the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister, previously wielded by Aegon the Conqueror's sister-wife Visenya, and Aemon's grandfather, Prince Daemon Targaryen.[5]

Songs speak of his doomed love for his brother's queen, his own sister, Queen Naerys. According to the singers, Aemon loved Naerys, and Naerys loved him. He supposedly cried when Naerys married their brother, and joined the Kingsguard shortly afterwards.[6]According to the historians, Aemon and Aegon quarreled during the wedding feast and Naerys wept and sobbed during the bedding ceremony.[7]

Aemon once fought Lord Cregan Stark. Prince Aemon claimed he never faced a finer swordsman.

Conquest of Dorne

Aemon took part in the invasion of Dorne, led by his cousin and King Daeron the Young Dragon. An assassination attempt on Daeron was prevented by the actions of the Dragonknight who threw himself in the path of an poisoned arrow meant for his king, Aemon survived the poison though and was sent back to King's Landing to fully recover.[8]

Upon his recovery Aemon returned to Dorne to protect his King and won great fame by defeating a Dornish champion, and was present after the rebellion in Dorne undid Daeron's conquest, and Daeron himself died. His King Daeron was murdered while meeting the Dornish under a peace banner, Aemon and four other Kingsguard knights were present, three of them were slain fighting, one shamefully yielded and Prince Aemon was captured alive, though not before slaying two of the betrayers.[8] The Dornish of House Wyl eventually put him in a crow cage naked, placed above a pit filled with vipers. He was eventually rescued by his cousin Baelor, his new king.[9]

Reign of Baelor

Baelor, on his return trip from Sunspear after making peace with the Prince of Dorne, journeyed to try and free his cousin. The Wyls were told to release Aemon into Baelor's custody, but instead they gave Baelor the key to the cage and an invitation to use it. The Dragonknight, fearing for his cousin and new king's safety, begged Baelor to leave him, but Baelor refused and walked into the pit.

Though the tales and songs say that the snakes simply bowed their heads and refused to bite Baelor due to protection of the gods, the truth is quite different. He was bitten dozens of times, yet somehow he reached the cage and managed to hand his cousin the key before passing out. Aemon thrust open the door, leaped into the pit and carried his cousin and King to safety while the snakes snapped all around him. The Wyls were said to be placing wagers on how long they would last, their cruelty spurred Aemon on and he managed to escape the pit with Baelor.

The venom put Baelor in a coma, his cousin Aemon carried his comatose King all the way through the Boneway till he came across a village that gave him clothing and an ass to take them the rest of the way. Aemon arrived at Blackhaven where the castle's Maester treated Baelor. Baelor eventually awoke upon the journey to Storm's End but was half a year more before he was fit to travel to King's Landing.[10]

When Naerys was recovering from a failed childbirth, Aemon convinced King Baelor to send Aegon to Braavos on a diplomatic mission, to ensure that he would leave his wife alone while she recovered.[11]

Reign of Aegon IV

After Kings Baelor I and Viserys II died, Aemon's elder brother Aegon became king. During Aegon's reign, Aemon remained the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, a position he held until his death.

When Queen Naerys was accused of adultery and treason by the knight Ser Morgil Hastwyck, Prince Aemon defended his sister's honor in trial by combat and slew Ser Morgil.[12] This event became famous and inspired many songs, stories and fables by bards, furthering Prince Aemon's renown much to King Aegon's annoyance.

The rumors still remained about Aemon being the actual father of Aegon's son and heir, Prince Daeron.[9] This caused several people to look at one of Aegon's bastards, Daemon Blackfure, as the new heir to the throne. The truth of these rumours have never been proven or disproven.

According to the writings of Maester Kaeth in the Lives of Four Kings, it was in fact Aegon IV who secretly started the rumors of Naerys adultery and used the knight, Ser Morgil to instigate this tale, though at the time Aegon denied this. These accusations coincidentally started when Aegon and his heir Prince Daeron were quarreling. Daeron opposed Aegon's plan for an unprovoked war on Dorne. And if the tale was readily believed it would give King Aegon a legitimate reason to set aside his heir in favor of his bastard. Oddly enough there were no known rumours about the parentage of Princess Daenerys, only about Daeron. [11]

Aemon once won a tournament, disguised as a mystery knight, after his brother Aegon had forbidden him to take part, because Aegon wanted to crown his mistress of that time as the queen of love and beauty. Aemon secretly took part anyway, disguised as a mystery knight known only as the Knight of Tears. The Knight of Tears won the tournament, and Aemon was thus able to name his sister, Naerys, the Queen of Love and Beauty in place of the king's mistress.

Despite Aegon's feelings of disrespect and hatred towards Aemon and Aegon's provocations, Aemon in the end died honorably, defending his brother and king against the assassination attempt by two brothers of House Toyne who sought revenge against the King in retribution for the torture and execution of their brother, Ser Terrence Toyne.[13][14][9] Queen Naerys grieved his death and died in childbirth a year later.

Though Aemon died honorably keeping to his Kingsguard oath and sacrificing his own life to protect and save the life of the brother and king who despised him, King Aegon the Unworthy did little to honor Aemons memory. In fact after the death of both his siblings, Aegon began to make barely veiled references to his son's alleged illegitimacy - something he now only dared to do because both his wife and the Dragonknight were dead.[11] Aegons attempts to blacken his brothers name failed, Aemon is remembered as a legendary knightly figure and his memory greatly respected throughout Westeros, while the same can not be said of King Aegon the Unworthy.

Daeron II, Aemon's nephew (or son, according to the rumors), named his grandson Aemon in honor of the Dragonknight.[9][15]

Quotes about Prince Aemon

The tale of Prince Aemon's treason with Queen Naerys was only that, a tale, a lie his brother told when he wished to set his trueborn son aside in favour of his bastard. Aegon was not called the Unworthy without cause. [16]

– Ser Arys Oakheart

My grandfather named me for Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, who was his uncle, or his father, depending on which tale you believe. Aemon, he called me ... [15]

Aemon, to Jon Snow

Every child in Westeros knows how Prince Aemon the Dragonknight championed his sister Queen Naerys against Ser Morghil’s accusations.[17]

Cersei Lannister

The days when men like Ryam Redwyne and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight wore the white cloak are gone to dust and song.[18]

- Varys to Eddard Stark regarding Robert I Baratheon's Kingsguard.

When he was born they named him for a hero who had died too young.[19]

- Samwell Tarly recalling who Maester Aemon was named after.


Viserys I
Aegon II
Viserys II
Aegon III
Aegon IV
Baelor I
Daeron I
Daeron II
of Tyrosh

See also

References and Notes

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at House Targaryen. The list of authors can be seen in the page history of House Targaryen. As with A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.