The Blackfyre Pretenders were a series of claimants to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, flying the banner of House Blackfyre. The Blackfyres opposed the reign of House Targaryen from the reign of King Daeron II and until they were eliminated during the reign of King Aegon V.
The conflict divided Westeros, bringing sporadic periods of pain, grief, war, and murder that lasted for decades. Much of what we know of the conflict comes from flashbacks and from the Dunk and Egg novellas, which have the Blackfyre tensions as an important plot point.
King Aegon IV Targaryen legitimized all of his bastard children on his deathbed, most notably his noble Great Bastards, most famous of whom were Ser Daemon Blackfyre, Ser Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers, Ser Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers, and Shiera Seastar. After Aegon's death he was succeeded by his legitimate son, Daeron II. However there were rumors that Daeron's true father was Aegon's brother, Prince Aemon the Dragonknight.
Daemon Blackfyre then decided to found his own House using the reversed colors of House Targaryen. In his youth Aegon IV had given Daemon the Valyrian steel sword Blackfyre, instead of to his trueborn son Daeron. The possession of Blackfyre was seen by many as a symbol of Targaryen rule; it had been the personal weapon of all Targaryen kings since the very first, Aegon I the Conqueror.
First Blackfyre Rebellion
In 196 AC, Daemon Blackfyre, the bastard son of the late King Aegon IV Targaryen and his cousin, Princess Daena Targaryen, attempted to usurp the throne from King Daeron II Targaryen, the legitimate son of King Aegon IV Targaryen and his sister-Queen, Naerys. This caused the the second major civil war in the history of the Seven Kingdoms. In the war tens of thousands were killed. At the end of the war, Daemon and his two eldest sons, Aegon and Aemon, were killed, and his allies defeated. However, five of Daemon's sons survived and were carried into exile to the Free Cities by Aegor Rivers, known as "Bittersteel", Daemon's halfbrother, who continue plotting. For this purpose, Bittersteel founded the Golden Company.
Second Blackfyre Rebellion
In 212 AC, Daemon II Blackfyre, disguised as "Ser John the Fiddler", and other Blackfyre loyalists attempted to launch a second rebellion under the pretense of gathering for a tourney, but were exposed by Bloodraven who ended it swiftly. Daemon II was kept alive and imprisoned to discourage Bittersteel from crowning his younger brother Haemon Blackfyre as his successor.
Third Blackfyre Rebellion
In 219 AC, Bittersteel launched a new invasion after crowning Haegon Blackfyre. It was late in the reign of King Aerys I Targaryen, who was not very involved in ruling, but his younger brother Maekar's leadership during the conflict was commendable, as was the courage of his youngest son Aegon "Egg" Targaryen. Aerion Brightflame was also active in its events. The war featured the second duel between Bittersteel and Bloodraven. At the end of the final battle Haemon I was dishonorably killed after he surrendered and given up his sword. Bittersteel was taken captive and in chains to the Red Keep, yet while Brightflame and Bloodraven both urged that he be executed, Aerys I foolishly offered him mercy, sending him north to join the Night's Watch. The Golden Company learned of this through their informants and attacked the prisoner transport as it sailed to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Before the year was over, Bittersteel had returned to Tyrosh and crowned Haemon's eldest son as Daemon III Blackfyre.
Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion
In 236 AC, Daemon III Blackfyre and Bittersteel launched the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion. Their army landed at Massey's Hook. However, they had little support. At the Battle of Wendwater Bridge, Ser Duncan the Tall slew Daemon III and Bittersteel retreated across the Narrow Sea again.
Fifth Blackfyre Rebellion: the War of the Ninepenny Kings
In between 259 AC and 261 AC, a descendant of Daemon and captain-general of the Golden Company, Maelys Blackfyre, also known as "Maelys the Monstrous", tried to regain power in the east and invade Westeros. King Jaehaerys II Targaryen responded swiftly, dispatching an army to the Stepstones. The ensuing conflict was dubbed the War of the Ninepenny Kings. The threat to Targaryen rule was ended when Ser Barristan Selmy slew Maelys the Monstrous in single combat. Together with Maelys, the male line of House Blackfyre died.
After decades of conflict all the Blackfyre pretenders have been killed. The Golden Company, however, escaped destruction and continues to exist as a mercenary force in Essos.
- Daemon Blackfyre, killed at the Battle of the Redgrass Field with his two eldest sons.
- Daemon II Blackfyre. Captured by Bloodraven's men.
- Daemon III Blackfyre, who led the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion
- Maelys the Monstrous, killed by Ser Barristan Selmy on the Stepstones during the War of the Ninepenny Kings.
|Aenys||Two sons||Daughter(s)||Calla||Aegor Rivers|