Difference between revisions of "Dance of the Dragons"

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:''For the book, see [[A Dance with Dragons]]. For the song, see [[The Dance of the Dragons (song)]].''
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{{Hatnote|This article is about the Targaryen war of succession. For the fifth book in ''A Song of Ice and Fire'', see ''[[A Dance with Dragons]]''. For the song, see "[[The Dance of the Dragons]]". For the ''Game of Thrones'' episode, see "[[The Dance of Dragons]]". For the book written by Grand Maester Munkun, see ''[[The Dance of Dragons, A True Telling]]''}}
 
{{Infobox Military Conflict
 
{{Infobox Military Conflict
| style = width:300px;  
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| style = width:300px;  
 
| conflict_name = Dance of the Dragons <br> War of succession
 
| conflict_name = Dance of the Dragons <br> War of succession
| part_of =
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| part_of =
| image = [[File:Deaths of Lucerys and Arrax.jpg|350px]]
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| image = [[File:Deaths of Lucerys and Arrax.jpg|350px]]
| image2 =  
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| image2 =  
| caption = [[Lucerys Velaryon]] and [[Arrax]] are killed by [[Aemond One-Eye]] and [[Vhagar]] in one of the first confrontations of the Dance of Dragons<br>Art by Chase Stone, from ''[[The World of Ice and Fire]]''
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| caption = Prince [[Lucerys Velaryon]] and [[Arrax]] are killed by Prince [[Aemond Targaryen]] and [[Vhagar]] in one of the first confrontations of the Dance of Dragons<br>Art by Chase Stone, from ''[[The World of Ice & Fire]]''
| date = {{Date|129-131}}
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| date = {{Date|129}} - {{Date|131}}
| battles =  
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| battles =  
| location = [[Westeros]]
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| location = [[Westeros]]
| result = Deaths of both claimants, [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] and [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]]<br>[[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon III]]'s ascension to the throne<br>Marriage of [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon III]] to [[Jaehaera Targaryen]]
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| result = Deaths of both claimants, [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] and [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]]<br>[[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon III]]'s ascension to the throne<br>Marriage of [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon III]] to [[Jaehaera Targaryen]]
 
<!-- combatant 1 -->  
 
<!-- combatant 1 -->  
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| combatant1 = [[File:House Targaryen (Rhaenyra).svg|60px|center]]
: [[House Velaryon]]
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[[House Targaryen]] ([[Blacks]])
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: [[House Sunderland]]
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: [[House Tarly]]
 
: [[House Tarly]]
| commander1 = Queen [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra I]]
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: [[House Tully]] (originally green)
: Prince [[Daemon Targaryen]], Protector of the Realm
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: [[House Vance of Wayfarer's Rest]]
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: [[House Vypren]]
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: [[House Wode]]
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| commander1 = Queen [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra I]]
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: Prince [[Daemon Targaryen]]
 
: Prince [[Jacaerys Velaryon]]
 
: Prince [[Jacaerys Velaryon]]
: Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]], Hand of the Queen
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: Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]]
 
: Lord [[Cregan Stark]]
 
: Lord [[Cregan Stark]]
 
: Lord [[Roderick Dustin]]
 
: Lord [[Roderick Dustin]]
 
: Lord [[Dalton Greyjoy]]
 
: Lord [[Dalton Greyjoy]]
 
: Lord [[Kermit Tully]]
 
: Lord [[Kermit Tully]]
| strength1 =  
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: Lord [[Benjicot Blackwood]]
| losses1 =  
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| strength1 =  
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| losses1 =  
 
<!-- combatant 2 -->  
 
<!-- combatant 2 -->  
| combatant2 = [[House Targaryen]] ([[the greens]])
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| combatant2 = [[File:House Targaryen (Aegon II).svg|60px|center]]
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[[House Targaryen]] ([[Greens]])
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: [[House Ambrose]]
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: [[House Strong]]
 
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| commander2 = King [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]]
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: [[House Vance of Atranta]]
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: [[House Velaryon]] (originally black)
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: [[Triarchy|The Triarchy]]
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| commander2 = King [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]]
 
: Queen Dowager [[Alicent Hightower]]
 
: Queen Dowager [[Alicent Hightower]]
: Ser [[Otto Hightower]], Hand of the King
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: Ser [[Otto Hightower]]
: Lord Commander [[Criston Cole]], Hand of the King
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: Lord Commander [[Criston Cole]]
: Prince Regent [[Aemond Targaryen]], Protector of the Realm
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: Prince Regent [[Aemond Targaryen]]
 
: Lord [[Ormund Hightower]]
 
: Lord [[Ormund Hightower]]
 
: Admiral [[Sharako Lohar]] of [[Lys]]
 
: Admiral [[Sharako Lohar]] of [[Lys]]
 
: Ser [[Tyland Lannister]]
 
: Ser [[Tyland Lannister]]
 
: Lord [[Borros Baratheon]]
 
: Lord [[Borros Baratheon]]
| strength2 =
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: Lord [[Unwin Peake]]
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}}
 
}}
  
The '''Dance of the Dragons''' was a civil war during [[House Targaryen|Targaryen rule]]. A war of succession between [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] and his half-sister [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] over their father [[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys I's]] throne, the war was fought from {{Date|129}} to {{Date|131}}. It saw the deaths of both rival monarchs, and the crowning of Rhaenyra's son, [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon III]].  
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The '''Dance of the Dragons''' was a civil war during [[House Targaryen|Targaryen rule]] of the [[Seven Kingdoms]]. A war of succession between [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] and his half-sister [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] over their father [[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys I's]] throne, the war was fought from {{Date|129}} to {{Date|131}}. It saw the deaths of both rival monarchs, and the crowning of Rhaenyra's son, [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon III]].  
  
In early 2013 it was announced that the anthology ''Dangerous Women'', previously expected to include the fourth ''[[Dunk and Egg]]'' story, would instead include a novella by [[George R. R. Martin]] named ''[[The Princess and the Queen]]'' which he described as "(...) the true (mostly) story of the origins of the Dance of the Dragons."{{ref|tpatq}} The abridged version in ''The Princess and the Queen'' consists of 30,000 words, while the complete 80,000 word history of the civil war is planned for ''[[Fire and Blood]]''.<ref>Not A Blog: [http://grrm.livejournal.com/331218.html The Princess and the Queen]</ref>
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In early 2013 [[George R. R. Martin]] announced that the anthology ''Dangerous Women'', previously expected to include the fourth ''[[Dunk and Egg]]'' story, would instead include the novella ''[[The Princess and the Queen]]'', which Martin described as "(...) the true (mostly) story of the origins of the Dance of the Dragons."{{ref|tpatq}} The abridged version in ''The Princess and the Queen'' consists of 30,000 words, while the complete 80,000 word history of the civil war is planned for ''[[Fire & Blood]]''.<ref>Not A Blog: [http://grrm.livejournal.com/331218.html The Princess and the Queen]</ref>
  
==Background==
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==Prelude==
King Viserys I had three children by his first queen [[Aemma Arryn]], but only one, Princess [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]], survived to adulthood. Lacking a son to succeed him, Viserys began to train Princess Rhaenyra to be his heir. Young Rhaenyra was included in discussions of the affairs of state, and was allowed to participate in meetings of the [[small council]]. Many of the nobles took note, and Rhaenyra soon acquired a clique of adherents and supporters. However, after his queen died, the king remarried in {{date|106}}, this time to [[Alicent Hightower]] and had four more children, including three sons, the eldest son named [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon]]. Nonetheless, Viserys I strengthened Rhaenyra's place in the succession; he married her to Ser [[Laenor Velaryon]] - who himself had Targaryen blood through his mother, Princess [[Rhaenys Targaryen (The Queen Who Never Was)|Rhaenys]]. Rhaenyra gave birth to three sons during her marriage, although there were rumours that the father of these boys was not Ser Laenor, but Ser [[Harwin Strong]].{{Ref|TRP}}
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King [[Viserys I Targaryen]] had three children by his first queen, [[Aemma Arryn]], but only one, Princess [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]], survived to adulthood. Lacking a son to succeed him, Viserys began to train Rhaenyra to be his heir. Young Rhaenyra was included in discussions of the affairs of state, and was allowed to participate in meetings of the [[small council]]. Many of the nobles took note, and Rhaenyra soon acquired a clique of adherents and supporters. After the passing of Queen Aemma in {{Date|105}}, Viserys named Rhaenyra his heir and hundreds of [[lord]]s and [[landed knight]]s paid obeisance to her.{{Ref|TRP}} Viserys's declaration disregarded precedents from {{date|92}} and {{date|101}}.{{ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I}} The king remarried in {{date|106}}, this time to [[Alicent Hightower]], and had four more children: [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon]], [[Helaena Targaryen|Helaena]], [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]], and [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Viserys I)|Daeron]].
  
When [[Laenor Velaryon]] passed away Rhaenyra married anew, this time her own uncle, Prince [[Daemon Targaryen]], younger brother to [[Viserys I Targaryen]]. Her sons by him are the future [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon III]] (called Aegon the Younger in his youth, to distinguish him from his uncle, [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]], who on occasion was called Aegon the Elder) and [[Viserys II Targaryen|Viserys II]]. Her father's intention that she should follow him on the [[Iron Throne]] was confirmed by proclamation and the will of [[Viserys I Targaryen]]. In {{date|105}}, hundreds of [[Lord]]s and landed [[knight]]s had done obeisance to the Princess [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]].{{Ref|TRP}}
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In {{date|111}}, a great tourney was held at [[King's Landing]] on the fifth anniversary of Viserys's marriage to Alicent. During the opening feast, Queen Alicent wore a green gown, while Princess Rhaenyra dressed in the red and black of [[House Targaryen]]. Note was taken, and thereafter it became the custom to refer to "[[greens]]" and "[[blacks]]" when talking of the queen's party and the party of the princess, respectively. Wearing Rhaenyra's favor, Ser [[Criston Cole]] unhorsed all of Alicent's champions in the tourney, including two of her cousins and her youngest brother, Ser [[Gwayne Hightower]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}{{Ref|TRP}}
  
In {{date|111}}, a great tourney was held at [[King’s Landing]] on the fifth anniversary of the king’s marriage to Queen Alicent. At the opening feast, the queen wore a green gown, whilst the [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Princess Rhaenyra]] dressed dramatically in Targaryen red and black. Note was taken, and thereafter it became the custom to refer to “[[The greens|greens]]” and “[[The blacks|blacks]]” when talking of the queen’s party and the party of the princess, respectively. In the tourney itself, the blacks had much the better of it when Ser [[Criston Cole]], wearing Princess Rhaenyra’s favor, unhorsed all of the Queen’s champions, including two of her cousins and her youngest brother, Ser [[Gwayne Hightower]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}{{Ref|TRP}}
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Viserys I strengthened Rhaenyra's place in the succession by marrying her in {{date|114}} to Ser [[Laenor Velaryon]] - who himself had Targaryen blood through his mother, Princess [[Rhaenys Targaryen (daughter of Aemon)|Rhaenys]]. The marriage caused a falling out between Rhaenyra and Criston. Rhaenyra gave birth to three sons—[[Jacaerys Velaryon|Jacaerys]], [[Lucerys Velaryon|Lucerys]], and [[Joffrey Velaryon]]—during her marriage, although there were rumors that the father of these princes was not Laenor, but Ser [[Harwin Strong]].{{Ref|TRP}}
  
Rhaenyra and Alicents relationship had gone bad early in Alicent's marriage to Viserys, since both ladies had been trying to be the realm's first lady, and there could only be one. As a consequence of their bad relation, Alicent's sons did not take to Rhaenyra's sons. Ser Otto Hightower had also disliked Prince Daemon since the beginning of Viserys' reign, though the exact reasons are unknown.{{Ref|TRP}}
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After Laenor was murdered in [[Spicetown]] in {{date|120}}, Rhaenyra married her uncle, Prince [[Daemon Targaryen]], younger brother to Viserys I. Her sons by him were [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]]—called so to distinguish him from his uncle, Alicent's Aegon, who on occasion was called Aegon the Elder—and [[Viserys II Targaryen|Viserys]].
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The relationship between Rhaenyra and Alicent declined early in Alicent's marriage to Viserys, since both ladies had been trying to be the realm's first lady, and there could only be one. As a consequence of their bad relation, Alicent's sons did not take to Rhaenyra's sons. Alicent's father, Ser [[Otto Hightower]], had also disliked Rhaenyra's second husband, Prince Daemon, since the beginning of Viserys's reign, though the exact reasons are unknown.{{Ref|TRP}}
  
 
==The Dance of the Dragons==
 
==The Dance of the Dragons==
[[File:Dance of the Dragons map.png|500px|thumb|right|1. Aegon's coronation; [[Fall of King's Landing]] 2. [[Dragonstone]] 3. [[Driftmark]], including [[Hull]] and [[High Tide]] 4. [[Storm's End]] 5. Dance over Shipbreaker Bay 6. Battle at the [[Stone Hedge]] 7. [[Duskendale]] 8. [[Battle of Rook's Rest]] 9. the Eyrie 10. [[Battle in the Gullet]] 11. [[Battle on the Honeywine]] 12. [[Battle by the Lakeshore]] 13. [[Battle at the stony ridge]] 14. [[First Battle of Tumbleton]]/[[Second Battle of Tumbleton]] 15. [[Maidenpool]] 16. [[Dance over Harrenhal]]]]  
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[[File:Dance of the Dragons map.png|500px|thumb|right|1. Aegon's coronation; [[Fall of King's Landing]]; [[Battle of the Kingsroad]] 2. [[Dragonstone]] 3. [[Driftmark]], including [[Hull]] and [[High Tide]] 4. [[Storm's End]] 5. Dance over Shipbreaker Bay 6. [[Battle of the Burning Mill]]; [[Stone Hedge]]; [[Battle at the Red Fork]] 7. [[Sack of Duskendale|Duskendale]] 8. [[Battle at Rook's Rest|Rook's Rest]] 9. the Eyrie 10. [[Battle of the Gullet]] 11. [[Battle of the Honeywine]] 12. [[Battle by the Lakeshore]] 13. [[Butcher's Ball]] 14. [[First Battle of Tumbleton|First]] & [[Second Battle of Tumbleton|Second Tumbleton]] 15. [[Maidenpool]] 16. [[Assault on Harrenhal]]; [[Battle Above the Gods Eye]]]]  
  
===The Small Council meeting===
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===The Small Council Meeting===
Upon the death of King [[Viserys I Targaryen]], on the third day of the third month of {{Date|129}}, Queen [[Alicent Hightower|Alicent]] and Ser [[Criston Cole]] send out the [[Kingsguard]] to summon the [[Small Council]] members. During the gathering, the conversation quickly stirred towards [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra’s]] coronation, but Ser [[Otto Hightower]], the [[Hand of the King]], told those who had gathered that it would be a new King who would be crowned, whilst Lord [[Lyman Beesbury]], the [[Master of Coin]], insisted Rhaenyra should be crowned a queen.  
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Upon the death of King [[Viserys I Targaryen]], Queen [[Alicent Hightower|Alicent]] and Ser [[Criston Cole]] sent out the [[Kingsguard]] to summon the [[small council]] members. During the gathering, the conversation quickly stirred towards [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra's]] coronation, but Ser [[Otto Hightower]], the [[Hand of the King]], told those who had gathered that Prince [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon the Elder]] would be crowned, whilst Lord [[Lyman Beesbury]], the [[master of coin]], insisted Rhaenyra should be crowned a queen.
  
Lord Beesbury argued in favour of Rhaenyra, but several other council members countered him. Ser [[Tyland Lannister]] argued that the oaths made to Rhaenyra in {{Date|105}} had not been made by them, since it had been twenty-four years. [[Jasper Wylde|Ironrod]] mentioned that the [[Jaehaerys I Targaryen|Old King]] twice chose a male heir over [[Rhaenys Targaryen (The Queen Who Never Was)|the female heir]], and Ser [[Otto Hightower|Otto]] reminded them all that Rhaenyra was married to [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]], who would become the true ruler, should Rhaenyra gain the crown. Both Hightowers argued that not only they, but also Alicent’s children would lose their lives should Rhaenyra become their Queen. It would later be said that Prince [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon]] only reluctantly accepted the crown because his mother, brothers, sister and children would otherwise be killed by [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]].
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Several other council members countered him. Ser [[Tyland Lannister]] argued that the oaths made to Rhaenyra in {{Date|105}} had not been made by them, since it had been twenty-four years. Lord [[Jasper Wylde]] mentioned that the Old King [[Jaehaerys I Targaryen|Jaehaerys I]] twice chose a male heir over [[Rhaenys Targaryen (daughter of Aemon)|the female heir]] and [[Laenor Velaryon|her descendants]], and Ser Otto argued that Rhaenyra was married to Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]], who would become the true ruler, should Rhaenyra gain the crown. Both Hightower's argued that not only they, but also Alicent's children would die should Rhaenyra become their queen. It would later be said that Prince Aegon only reluctantly accepted the crown because his mother, brothers, sister and children would otherwise be killed by Rhaenyra.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
Grand Maester [[Orwyle]] predicted a war, believing that [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenya]] would never be willing to give up her birth right, since she had dragons at her disposal. Lord [[Lyman Beesbury|Beesbury]] declared Rhaenyra had friends as well, and that he was not willing to sit there and listen to people plotting to steal Rhaenyra’s crown. He rose to leave, but Ser [[Criston Cole]] forced him back into his seat and opened his throat. This made Lord Beesbury the first casualty of the Dance of the Dragons.
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[[Grand Maester]] [[Orwyle]] predicted a war, believing that Rhaenya would never be willing to give up her birthright, and had dragons at her disposal. When Lyman declared that he was not willing to listen to people plotting to steal her crown and attempted to leave, Ser Criston killed him. This made Lord Beesbury the first casualty of the Dance of the Dragons.
  
After Beesbury’s death, the green council made their plans, vowing their loyalty to their new King, and arresting all those in King's Landing who could be loyal to Rhaenyra. To all those who might be loyal to Aegon, ravens were sent. Meanwhile, Rhaenyra remained on [[Dragonstone]], unaware of what had happened.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
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After Beesbury's death, the green council made their plans, vowing their loyalty to their new king, and arresting all those in King's Landing who could be loyal to Rhaenyra. To all those who might be loyal to Aegon, [[raven]]s were sent. Meanwhile, Rhaenyra remained on [[Dragonstone]], unaware of what had happened.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
 
===Coronation of Aegon II===
 
===Coronation of Aegon II===
Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] was sent out to [[Storm's End]], to betroth himself to one of Lord [[Borros Baratheon|Borros’]] daughters, so he might fight for [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon]]. By the time he left, the smell coming from [[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys’]] room was all over [[Maegor's Holdfast]], so seven days after Viserys had died, his death was announced to the [[King's Landing|city]] and the [[Silent Sisters]] were sent for.
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Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] was sent to [[Storm's End]] to betroth himself to one of Lord [[Borros Baratheon]]'s daughters, so [[House Baratheon]] might fight for [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]]. By the time he left, the smell coming from [[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys I's]] room was all over [[Maegor's Holdfast]]. Seven days after Viserys had died, his death was announced to [[King's Landing]] and the [[silent sisters]] were sent for.
  
Aegon’s coronation was prepared in short time. Ser [[Criston Cole]] placed the crown of [[Aegon I Targaryen|Aegon the Conquerer]] on Aegon’s head, while [[Alicent Hightower]] placed a crown upon the head of Aegon’s Queen, his sister [[Helaena Targaryen|Helaena]].
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Aegon's coronation was hastily prepared. The [[Dragonpit]] was chosen as the site for its towering bronze doors, strong roof, and thick walls made it easily defensible. Ser [[Criston Cole]] crowned Aegon, while [[Alicent Hightower]] crowned Aegon's sister-wife, [[Helaena Targaryen|Helaena]]. The night before, however, the first defection had taken place. Ser [[Steffon Darklyn]] of the [[Kingsguard]] had left the city, with, amongst other things, the crown worn by kings, [[Jaehaerys I Targaryen|Jaehaerys I]] and Viserys I.
  
The night before Aegon’s  coronation, however, the first defection had taken place. Ser [[Steffon Darklyn]] had left the city, with, amongst other things, the crown Kings [[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys I]] and [[Jaehaerys I Targaryen|Jaehaerys I]] had worn.
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On [[Dragonstone]], [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] had learned about the death of her father and the betrayal of her siblings. Anger had made her go into labor, which lasted for three days and brought forth a stillborn, deformed girl, whom Rhaenyra named [[Visenya Targaryen (daughter of Rhaenyra)|Visenya]]. Rhaenyra, in answer to Aegon's betrayal, swore revenge.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
On [[Dragonstone]], [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] had learned about the death of her father and the betrayal of her siblings. Anger had made her go into labour, which lasted for three days and brought forth a still born, deformed girl, whom Rhaenyra named [[Visenya Targaryen (daughter of Rhaenyra)|Visenya]]. Rhaenyra, in answer to Aegon’s betrayal, swore revenge against the Greens.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
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===The Black Council and Coronation of Rhaenyra===
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[[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] made her own council at [[Dragonstone]], the [[black council]]. Participants were, amongst others, her uncle-husband [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]], her three eldest sons [[Jacaerys Velaryon|Jacaerys]], [[Lucerys Velaryon|Lucerys]] and [[Joffrey Velaryon|Joffrey]], Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]], and his wife, Princess [[Rhaenys Targaryen (daughter of Aemon)|Rhaenys]].{{ref|TPATQ}}
  
===The Black Council===
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During the council it was resolved that while Rhaenyra remained at Dragonstone to regain her health, Prince Daemon and [[Caraxes]] would travel to the [[riverlands]], to make [[Harrenhal]] their base and rallying point for those loyal to Rhaenyra. [[House Velaryon]] would close off the [[Gullet]] blocking all shipping from [[Blackwater Bay]]. Princess Rhaenys was convinced that [[Storm's End]] would declare for Rhaenyra, since Lord [[Boremund Baratheon]], the deceased father of Lord [[Borros Baratheon|Borros]] and Rhaenys's uncle, had always been a supporter of Rhaenys. Prince Daemon also was convinced that Lady [[Jeyne Arryn]], the Maiden of the Vale, would bring her support to their side. Though they believed the [[north]] to be too remote to play an important part in the war, messages were to be sent to those lords nevertheless.
Rhaenyra made her own council, called the Black Council. Participants were, amongst others, Rhaenyra’s husband [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]], her three eldest sons [[Jacaerys Velaryon|Jacaerys]], [[Lucerys Velaryon|Lucerys]] and [[Joffrey Velaryon|Joffrey]], Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]], and his wife Princess [[Rhaenys Targaryen (The Queen Who Never Was)|Rhaenys]].
 
  
Despite having more dragons, the Blacks knew that wouldn’t be an advantage, since the Greens possessed [[Vhagar]], and from the nine dragons belonging to the Backs, only five were big enough for battle.
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Rhaenyra was crowned queen, using the crown her father and great-grandfather had worn, thanks to Ser [[Steffon Darklyn]], who had arrived from [[King's Landing]]. Prince Daemon placed the crown on Rhaenyra's head himself and was named [[Protector of the Realm]], and Jacaerys was officially named [[Prince of Dragonstone]] and heir to the [[Iron Throne]]. Declaring Ser [[Otto Hightower]] and Queen [[Alicent Hightower|Alicent]] traitors, Rhaenyra allowed for her half-siblings to be forgiven if they would bend the knee.
  
Believing to have allies in the [[Riverlands]] who were only waiting for a place to gather, Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]] decided to conquer [[Harrenhal]] as a base, using his dragon [[Caraxes]], while [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] would remain on [[Dragonstone]] to recover her strength. [[House Velaryon]] closed off the [[Gullet]], and Princess [[Rhaenys Targaryen (The Queen Who Never Was)|Rhaenys]] expressed hope of goading [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon  the Elder]] into a rash attack, believing him to be a green boy.
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Upon hearing these developments, King Aegon II declared Rhaenyra and Daemon traitors as well. After being persuaded by his mother, Alicent and sister, [[Helaena Targaryen|Helaena]], Aegon dispatched Grand Maester [[Orwyle]] to Dragonstone with a retinue under a peace banner, offering Rhaenyra generous terms, but was refused. Not long after but not before swearing on [[the Seven-Pointed Star]] to go only as messengers, not knights did Rhaenyra's sons depart. With the eldest Jacaerys visiting the [[House Arryn|Arryns]] of the [[Eyrie]], the [[House Manderly|Manderlys]] of [[White Harbor]], and the [[House Stark|Starks]] of [[Winterfell]]. Rhaenyra's second son, Lucerys, traveled to Storm's End.{{ref|TPATQ}}
  
Princess Rhaenys was convinced that Storm's End would declare for Rhaenyra, since Lord [[Boremund Baratheon|Boremund]], the deceased father of Lord [[Borros Baratheon|Borros]], had always been a supporter of Rhaenys herself. Though they believed the [[North]] to be too remote to play an important part in the war, the Blacks decided to send messages to those lords as well. [[Jacaerys Velaryon|Jacaerys]], Rhaenyra’s heir, would bring messages to the [[Jeyne Arryn|Maiden of the Vale]], the [[House Stark|Starks]] of [[Winterfell]] and the [[House Manderly|Manderly’s]] of [[White Harbor]]. [[Lucerys Velaryon|Lucerys]], Rhaenyra’s second son, would go to [[Storm's End]], a safer, shorter journey, according to the Blacks.
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===Assault on Harrenhal===
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:{{main|Assault on Harrenhal|Battle of the Burning Mill|Pact of Ice and Fire}}
  
After these decisions, Rhaenyra was crowned a Queen, using the crown her father and great-grandfather had worn, thanks to Ser [[Steffon Darklyn]], who had arrived from [[King's Landing]]. Prince Daemon, Rhaenyra’s husband, was named Protector of the Realm, and Jacaerys was officially named Prince of Dragonstone, and heir to the [[Iron Throne]]. Declaring [[Otto Hightower]] and Queen [[Alicent Hightower|Alicent]] traitors, Rhaenyra allowed for her half-siblings to be forgiven if they would bend the knee. Upon hearing about these developments, King [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] declared [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] and [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]] traitors as well.
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Prince Daemon led the blacks' attack on [[Harrenhal]], which was conquered without bloodshed in {{date|129}}. The castellan, Ser [[Simon Strong]], yielded when [[Caraxes]] landed on [[Kingspyre Tower]]. This conquest led to victories of the blacks at the [[Battle of the Burning Mill|Burning Mill]] and [[taking of Stone Hedge|Stone Hedge]] and allowed the river lords, such as [[House Blackwood]], to gather at Harrenhal.{{ref|TPATQ}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II}}
  
Hoping for a peaceful end to the war, Grand Maester [[Orwyle]] was allowed to visit [[Dragonstone]] and speak with Rhaenyra. The terms he brought with him, allowed Rhaenyra and all their supporters generous terms. Rhaenyra refused. Soon after, Lord [[Corlys Velaryon|Corlys’]] ships took sail to close off the [[Gullet]], and [[Jacaerys Velaryon|Jace]] and [[Lucerys Velaryon|Luke]] left on their dragons with their messages, and [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]] left on [[Caraxes]] to the [[Trident]].
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In the meantime, Jacaerys gained Lady Arryn and the Lords Manderly, [[House Borrell|Borrell]] and [[House Sunderland|Sunderland]], and [[Cregan Stark]] to Rhaenyra's cause,{{Ref|TPATQ}} with Cregan allying through the [[Pact of Ice and Fire]].{{ref|TWOIAF| The North: The Lords of Winterfell}}
 
 
[[Harrenhal]] fell quickly to Daemon. Ser [[Simon Strong]], the elderly castellan, was captured. Daemon had a dozen valuable hostages (including Ser Simon and his grandsons). In the mean time, [[Jacaerys Velaryon|Jace]] allied Lady [[Jeyne Arryn|Arryn]], and the Lords [[House Manderly|Manderly]], [[House Borrell|Borrell]] and [[House Sunderland|Sunderland]], and [[Cregan Stark]] to Rhaenyra’s cause.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
 
  
 
===The Dance over Shipbreaker Bay===
 
===The Dance over Shipbreaker Bay===
[[File:Arrax_storms_end.png‎|Arrax washes up beneath Storm's End by [http://ashleyhunterrice.tumblr.com/ Ashley Hunter Rice] |thumb|500px|right]]
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[[File:Arrax_storms_end.png‎|Arrax washes up beneath Storm's End by [http://ashleyhunterrice.tumblr.com/ Ashley Hunter Rice] |thumb|550px|right]]
[[Lucerys Velaryon|Lucerys]] had meanwhile flown to [[Storm's End]], arriving before a gathering storm. When he arrived, however, he found Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] and his dragon [[Vhagar]] already present. Aemond tried to goad Lucerys into a fight, insulting him, calling him a [[House Strong|Strong]] bastard, but Lucerys, having sworn to his mother not to fight, refused him, and instead delivered his message to Lord [[Borros Baratheon|Borros]]. Lord Borros responded by asking which one of his daughters Luke would marry, should he do what [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] wanted him to do. Luke, already betrothed, told Lord Borros he could not marry any of the girls, upon which Lord Borros told Luke to leave.
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[[Lucerys Velaryon|Lucerys]] flew to [[Storm's End]], arriving before a gathering storm. He found Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] and his [[dragon]] [[Vhagar]] already present. Aemond tried to goad Lucerys into a fight, insulting him, calling him a [[House Strong|Strong]] [[bastard]], but Lucerys, sworn not to fight, refused him. He delivered his message to Lord [[Borros Baratheon]], but was refused and told to leave.
  
[[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] drew his sword before [[Lucerys Velaryon|Lucerys]] could go outside, and Lord [[Borros Baratheon|Borros’]] men had to hold him back.
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Borros prevented Aemond from attacking his cousin in the castle, but did allow for the prince to follow him. Mounted on his dragon, Aemond caught up with Lucerys during a raging storm. The fight between the two dragons did not last long. Vhagar, being five times bigger, had the advantage, and [[Arrax]] fell broken. His head and neck washed ashore three days later, along with the corpse of Lucerys.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
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===Blood and Cheese===
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[[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] collapsed when learning of [[Lucerys Velaryon|Lucerys's]] death. Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]], at [[Harrenhal]], sent a raven to his wife, promising that her son's death would be avenged.
  
{{Quote|He came an envoy. I want no blood shed beneath my roof.}}
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Using one of his friends from [[King's Landing]], Daemon enlisted the help of a former serjeant in the [[City Watch of King's Landing|City Watch]], known now only as [[Blood (the butcher)|Blood]], and a rat-catcher from the [[Red Keep]], known now only as [[Cheese (the rat-catcher)|Cheese]]. The two sneaked into the [[Red Keep]], using secret tunnels and hidden doors, which brought them into the [[Tower of the Hand]]. There, Queen [[Alicent Hightower|Alicent]] was bound and gagged, and her bedmaid strangled. When Queen Helaena and her three children appeared, Blood and Cheese barred the doors and told Helaena to choose which of her sons would die. Helaena reluctantly chose [[Maelor Targaryen|Maelor]], but Blood did the opposite and killed Prince [[Jaehaerys Targaryen (son of Aegon II)|Jaehaerys]] instead. The two fled with the prince's head, leaving the others unharmed.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
…is what Lord Borros said, growing uneasy. At that, Lucerys went outside, mounted [[Arrax|his dragon]], and left. Lord Borros then told Aemond that he could not tell Aemond what not to do when Aemond was no longer beneath his roof, upon which Borros’ men moved aside and let Aemond out.
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Blood was seized at the [[Gate of the Gods]], with the head of Prince Jaehaerys hidden in a saddle sack. Under torture, he confessed he was making for Harrenhal, to collect his reward from Prince Daemon. He also described the whore who had hired him and Cheese, [[Mysaria]]. The goldcloaks, led by Ser [[Luthor Largent]], searched the [[Street of Silk]] from top to bottom but found no trace of Mysaria or Cheese. In his wroth, King Aegon II ordered all the ratcatchers in the city to be hanged. Afterward, Ser [[Otto Hightower]] brought a hundred cats to the [[Red Keep]] to take their place.{{Ref|fab|The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son}}
  
Outside the storm was raging. Though younger and faster, the storm was slowing [[Arrax]] down, leading to [[Vhagar]] catching up. The fight between the two dragons did not last long. [[Vhagar]], being five times bigger, had the advantage, and [[Arrax]] fell broken. His head and neck would wash ashore three days later, along with the corpse of Prince [[Lucerys Velaryon]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}
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Queen Helaena sank into a deep depression, refusing to eat, bathe or leave her chambers and couldn't stand to be in the presence of Maelor, having named him to die. Thus, the king took Maelor from her and gave him to Queen Alicent to raise as if he were her own. Thereafter, king and queen slept separately. She fell deeper into madness, while Aegon fell into rage and drink.{{Ref|fab|The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son}}
  
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===Civil war in the Riverlands===
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:{{Main|Battle of the Burning Mill|Taking of Stone Hedge}}
  
{{Quote|And with his death, the war of ravens and envoys and marriage pacts came to an end, and the war of fire and blood began in earnest.}}
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After the deaths of both princes, both sides called for vengeance. Lords called their banners and marched their armies. The forces of [[House Blackwood]], which had declared for Rhaenyra, invaded the lands of the green-aligned [[House Bracken]], putting villages to the torch and despoiling septs. The Bracken forces were surprised by the Blackwoods while on the march and were ultimately defeated in the [[Battle of the Burning Mill]]. The survivors turned back to [[Stone Hedge]], only to find it had been seized by the blacks in their absence. The Brackens yielded and thus King Aegon lost his last supporter in the [[Riverlands]].{{ref|fab|The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son}}
  
===[[Blood (the butcher)|Blood]] and [[Cheese (the rat-catcher)|Cheese]]===
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===The new green Hand===
[[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] collapsed when learning of [[Lucerys Velaryon|Lucerys’]] death. Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]], at [[Harrenhal]], send a raven to his wife.
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Ser [[Otto Hightower]], the Hand of the King, took to winning over lords, hiring sellswords, strengthening the defenses of [[King's Landing]] and seeking other alliances. He sent ravens to [[Winterfell]], the [[Eyrie]], [[Riverrun]], [[White Harbor]], [[Gulltown]], [[Bitterbridge]], [[Fair Isle]] and half a hundred other seats; he sent riders to the holdings closer to the capital, to summon their lords and ladies to court to do fealty to King Aegon. He also reached out to [[Dorne]], which had fought against Daemon in the [[War for the Stepstones]], but Prince [[Qoren Martell]] refused to take part.{{ref|FAB|The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Black}}
  
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The fall of Harrenhal and the defeats at the Burning Mill and Stone Hedge made Aegon II fearful. His fears deepened when ravens returned from the [[Reach]], where the greens thought themselves strongest, as Lords Costayne, Mullendore, Tarly, Rowan and Grimm declared for Rhaenyra. Such division led the [[castellan]], steward and mother of the young Lord Tyrell, in their role as [[regent]]s, to refuse to take part. Ser Otto sent word to his nephew, Lord [[Ormund Hightower]], to put down the rebellions in the Reach. More blows came to Aegon II in the form of rejections from the Vale and the North, and the constant complaints of merchants for the closing of Blackwater Bay by the Sea Snake's fleets.{{ref|FAB|The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Black}}
  
{{Quote|An eye for an eye, a son for a son. Lucerys shall be avenged.}}
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With his overtures to [[Dalton Greyjoy]] ignored, Ser Otto sent envoys to the [[Kingdom of the Three Daughters]], promising exclusive trading rights at [[King's Landing]] as well as ceding the [[Stepstones]] - even though the Iron Throne had never claimed them - if they would clear the [[Gullet]] of the Velaryon fleet. The Triarchy was slow to move, however, as all important decisions were left in the hands of a [[High Council of the Triarchy|High Council]]. The delay did not sit well with Aegon II, who dismissed his grandfather as Hand of the King and turned to Ser [[Criston Cole]].{{ref|FAB|The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Black}}
  
[[Daemon Targaryen]] had friends in the low places of [[King's Landing]] and at court, and followers amongst the gold cloaks. One of his friends enlisted the help of a former serjeant in the [[City Watch of King's Landing|City Watch]], known to history as [[Blood (the butcher)|Blood]], and a rat-catcher from the [[Red Keep]], known to history only as [[Cheese (the rat-catcher)|Cheese]].
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Ser Criston's first advice to the king was to treat those who denied him fealty as traitors. Thus all the blacks imprisoned in the dungeons were dragged to the [[Red Keep]]'s yard before the [[King's Justice]] and his axe. Each prisoner was given a last chance to swear fealty to King Aegon. Only Lords Butterwell, Stokeworth and Rosby bent the knee to Aegon II, while Lords Hayford, Merryweather, Harte, Buckler, Caswell and Lady Fell remained true to their vows to defend Rhaenyra's rights, and were beheaded along with eight [[landed knight]]s and twoscore servants and retainers. Their heads were mounted on spikes above the gates of King's Landing.{{ref|FAB|The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Black}}
  
[[Cheese (the rat-catcher)|Cheese]] sneaked [[Blood (the butcher)|Blood]] into the [[Red Keep]], using secret tunnels and hidden doors, bringing them into the [[Tower of the Hand]]. Blood killed Queen Alicents bedmaid, whilst Cheese bound and gagged [[Alicent Hightower|Alicent]] herself. Then they waited for Queen [[Helaena Targaryen|Helaena]], who would visit her mother every evening with her three children. As Helaena and the children entered, Blood barred the door and killed the guardsmen accompanying Helaena. Cheese picked up [[Maelor Targaryen|Maelor]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}
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===Duel of the Cargyll Twins===
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:{{main|Kingsguard|Queensguard}}
  
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Not even the [[Kingsguard]] were unaffected by the Dance. The seven sworn brothers split upon the death of King [[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys I]]. Ser [[Lorent Marbrand]] and Ser [[Erryk Cargyll]] were already at [[Dragonstone]] defending [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] and her [[blacks]], later being joined by Ser [[Steffon Darklyn]], the three forming the core of her new [[Queensguard]]. The other four - Ser [[Criston Cole]], Ser [[Arryk Cargyll]], Ser [[Rickard Thorne]], and Ser [[Willis Fell]] - sided with [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] and his [[greens]] at [[King's Landing]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
{{Quote|”Which one you want t’ lose, Your Grace?”}}
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Desiring revenge for the murder of his heir, Aegon meant to descend on Dragonstone atop [[Sunfyre]] to seize or slay his half-sister and her "bastard sons". The green council managed to dissuade him. Ser Criston, still [[Lord Commander of the Kingsguard]], proposed using stealth and treachery as the "pretender princess" had done. Thus he tasked Ser Arryk with infiltrating Dragonstone in the guise of his twin, Ser Erryk. It is uncertain whether he was to kill Rhaenyra or her children, as accounts differ. According to [[Eustace (Dance of the Dragons)|Eustace]], Ser Arryk visited the Red Keep's sept to pray forgiveness from [[Mother (the Seven)|the Mother Above]]. [[Munkun]] states the target was Rhaenyra, while [[Mushroom]] insists it was her sons Jacaerys and Joffrey "Strong". But the twins happened to come upon each other in one of the halls of the castle's citadel and fought to the death. According to songs, the brothers professed their love as their swords clashed, dying in one another's arms after fighting for an hour with duty in their hearts. However, the account of Mushroom, who claimed to have witnessed the duel, they condemned each other as traitors and were both mortally wounded within moments.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II}}
  
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===Duskendale and Rook's Rest===
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:{{Main|Sack of Duskendale|Battle at Rook's Rest}}
  
Calling themselves debt collectors, they gave [[Helaena Targaryen|Helaena]] the choice of chosing which of her two sons would die. Haelena offered herself instead, but they refused and stated if she didn't choose Blood would rape her daughter. In the end, Helaena reluctantly chose [[Maelor Targaryen|Maelor]], but [[Blood (the butcher)|Blood]] did the opposite and killed Prince [[Jaehaerys Targaryen (son of Aegon II)|Jaehaerys]], six year of age. True to their word, they did not hurt anyone else, but fled with Prince Jaehaerys’ head. After this event, Queen Helaena slowly went mad, staying in her chambers, no longer being able to look at her son Maelor, knowing she had named him to die. Dowager Queen [[Alicent Hightower|Alicent]] took over the care of the remaining two children.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
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[[Assault on Harrenhal|Harrenhal]] and the [[Battle of the Burning Mill|Burning Mill]] made the young king, [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] realize his situation was severe. While [[House Hightower]] of [[Oldtown]] and [[House Redwyne]] of the [[Arbor]] stood firmly behind Aegon, Lord [[Owen Costayne]] of [[Three Towers]], Lord [[House Mullendore|Mullendore]] of [[Uplands]], Lord [[Alan Tarly]] of [[Horn Hill]], Lord [[Thaddeus Rowan]] of [[Goldengrove]] and Lord [[House Grimm|Grimm]] of [[Greyshield]] declared for [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]], as did the [[Vale of Arryn]], [[White Harbor]], [[Winterfell]], the [[House Blackwood|Blackwoods]] and other riverlords, who were assembling at Harrenhal.
  
===The [[Battle of Rook's Rest]]===
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[[File: Sunfyre.png‎|Sunfyre by [http://ashleyhunterrice.tumblr.com/ Ashley Hunter Rice] |thumb|300px|left]]
:{{Main|Sack of Duskendale|Battle of Rook's Rest}}
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Ser [[Otto Hightower]] believed that [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]] was Rhaenyra's greatest weakness, and reached out to an old foe of Daemon's, the [[Triarchy|Kingdom of the Three Daughters]] across the [[narrow sea]], hoping to use them against [[Corlys Velaryon]]. Aegon II was running out of patience, however, and removed Otto as Hand. Ser [[Criston Cole]] was named in his stead, and decided quick actions were necessary. Aegon acted by [[Sack of Duskendale|sacking Duskendale]], and having Lord [[House Darklyn|Darklyn]] beheaded for supporting Rhaenyra. Criston then turned his attention to [[Rook's Rest]], for [[House Staunton]] had pledged their support to Rhaenyra as well.
After the fall of Harrenhal, King [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] suffered defeats at the [[Burning Mill]] and [[Stone Hedge]], making the young king realizing his situation was severe. Ravens returned from the [[Reach]], and while [[House Hightower]] of [[Oldtown]] and the [[Arbor]] stood firmly behind Aegon, [[Owen Costayne|Lord Costayne]] of [[Three Towers]], [[House Mullendore|Lord Mullendore]] of [[Uplands]], Lord [[Alan Tarly]] of [[Horn Hill]], [[House Rowan|Lord Rowan]] of [[Goldengrove]] and [[House Grimm|Lord Grimm]] of [[Greyshield]] all declared for [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]], as did the [[Vale]], [[White Harbor]], [[Winterfell]], the [[House Blackwood|Blackwoods]] and other riverlords, who were assembling at [[Harrenhal]].
 
  
This, and the closing of the [[Gullet]] that kept going, made [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon]] angry at his [[Otto Hightower|Hand]]. Ser Otto believed that [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]], Rhaenyra’s greatest pillar of support, was her greatest weakness. He reached out to one such foe, the [[Kingdom of the Three Daughters]] across the [[Narrow Sea]], hoping to use them against the [[Corlys Velaryon|Sea Snake]].
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[[Lord Staunton]] defied his attackers and dispatched a raven to [[Dragonstone]]. Princess [[Rhaenys Targaryen (daughter of Aemon)|Rhaenys]] arrived on her dragon, [[Meleys]], but Criston's men attacked the dragon with scorpions, longbows, and crossbows in the [[Battle at Rook's Rest]] in {{date|129}}.{{ref|TPATQ}}
  
Aegon II was running out of patience, however, and fired Otto as Hand. Ser [[Criston Cole|Criston]] was named in his stead, and decided actions were necessary.
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When [[Sunfyre]] and [[Vhagar]] also appeared, the dragons fought a thousand feet above the ground. Meleys's jaws closed around Sunfyre's neck, and Vhagar fell upon them, causing all three dragons to crash. From the ashes, only Vhagar rose again. Sunfyre had one wing half torn from his body, whilst his rider, King [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]], suffered several broken bones and severe burns. Rhaenys was found completely burned next to Meleys. After the battle, Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] and Criston took Rook's Rest and put the garrison to death. The head of Meleys was brought back to [[King's Landing]], inspiring fear amongst the [[smallfolk]] and causing thousands to flee the capital until the gates were barred by Dowager Queen [[Alicent Hightower|Alicent]].
  
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Aegon was brought back to King's Landing, where maesters attended his severe wounds while he slept under the influence of [[milk of the poppy]]. Sunfyre was too large to be moved and was unable to fly. The dragon remained at Rook's Rest, where guards were posted to keep him safe and fed. With Aegon unable to rule, Aemond assumed the style of [[Protector of the Realm]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
{{Quote| It is not for you to plead for support from your lords, like a beggar pleading for alms. You are the lawful king of Westeros, and those who deny it are traitors. It is past time they learned the price of treason.}}
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===The Dragonseeds===
 
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[[File:Netty.png‎|Netty and Sheepstealer by [http://ashleyhunterrice.tumblr.com/ Ashley Rice] |thumb|350px|right]]
[[Larys Strong]] had a list of all those who had gathered on [[Dragonstone]] to attend Rhaenyra’s coronation. Those lords living on islands could not be touched, but those on the main land could. [[Sack of Duskendale|Duskendale fell easily]], and Lord Darklyn was beheaded. Ser Criston then turned his attention to [[Rook's Rest]].  
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Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]], upon learning of the death of his wife Rhaenys, threatened to leave Rhaenyra's cause, until Prince [[Jacaerys Velaryon|Jacaerys]] named him [[Hand of the Queen]]. They sent Prince [[Joffrey Velaryon|Joffrey]] to the [[Vale of Arryn]] with Lady [[Rhaena Targaryen (daughter of Daemon)|Rhaena]] and three [[dragon egg]]s and Joffrey's dragon [[Tyraxes]]. Prince [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]] and Prince [[Viserys II Targaryen|Viserys]] were sent to [[Pentos]] on the ''[[Gay Abandon]]'' to be fostered with the [[Prince of Pentos]], a friend of Daemon's, until Rhaenyra had secured the [[Iron Throne]].
  
[[Lord Staunton]] closed his gates and defied his attackers, but could not protect his small folk. His provisions running low, he send a raven to [[Dragonstone]], asking for help. The help that arrived was Princess [[Rhaenys Targaryen (The Queen Who Never Was)|Rhaenys]] on dragon [[Meleys]]. Unbeknownst to [[the blacks]], however, Ser Criston had been expecting a dragon to appear. His men attacked the dragon with scorpions, longbows and crossbows, it only served to anger Meleys.
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Jacaerys wanted to attack the capital with as many dragons as possible. With six riderless dragons present on [[Dragonstone]], Jacaerys called out to [[dragonseed]]s, promising [[knight]]hood and wealth to anyone who could master a dragon. Many were injured or died (amongst them [[Lord Commander of the Kingsguard|Lord Commander]] [[Steffon Darklyn]]), though four people eventually succeeded. [[Vermithor]] was claimed by [[Hugh Hammer]], [[Silverwing]] by [[Ulf the White]], [[Seasmoke]] by [[Addam Velaryon|Addam of Hull]], and [[Sheepstealer]] by a girl named [[Nettles]]. Corlys asked Rhaenyra to remove the taint of [[bastardy]] from Addam and his brother [[Alyn Velaryon|Alyn]], making them true [[House Velaryon|Velaryons]], and he named Addam heir to [[Driftmark]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
Next, [[Sunfyre]] and [[Vhagar]] appeared. [[Meleys]] had no chance against [[Vhagar]] and [[Sunfyre]] combined. The dragons fought a thousand feet above the ground. Meleys’ jaws closed around Sunfyre’s neck, and Vahgar fell upon them, causing all three dragons to crash into the ground. From the ashes, only [[Vhagar]] rose again. [[Sunfyre]] had one wing half torn from his body, whilst his rider, King [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]], suffered from several broken bones and severe burns. Princess [[Rhaenys Targaryen (The Queen Who Never Was)|Rhaenys]]  was found completely burned next to the dead body of [[Meleys]]. After the battle, Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] and Ser Criston took [[Rook's Rest]] and put the garrison to death. The head of [[Meleys]] was brought back to [[King's Landing]], inspiring fear amongst the small folk, causing thousands to flee the capitol until the gates were barred by Dowager Queen [[Alicent Hightower|Alicent]].
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===Battle of the Gullet===
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:{{Main|Battle of the Gullet}}
  
King [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] was brought back to [[King's Landing]], where maesters attended to his wounds. He was severely wounded, sleeping nine hours out of every ten, under the influence of milk of the poppy. [[Sunfyre]] was too large to be moved, and due to his injuries unable to fly. The dragon thus remained at [[Rook's Rest]], where guards were posted to keep him safe and feed him. With Aegon unable to rule, Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] assumed the style of Protector of the Realm.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
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Meanwhile, ninety warships sailing from the [[Stepstones]] chanced upon the ''[[Gay Abandon]]'' carrying Prince [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]] and Prince [[Viserys II Targaryen|Viserys]] in {{date|129}}.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II}} The escorting ships were sunk or taken. Prince Aegon managed to escape by clinging to the neck of his dragon, [[Stormcloud]], who was mortally wounded but delivered Aegon back to Dragonstone. Viserys, having only a dragon egg, was unable to escape, and was made a captive of Admiral [[Sharako Lohar]] of [[Lys]].
  
 +
Aegon managed to make it to [[Dragonstone]], and Prince [[Jacaerys Velaryon|Jacaerys]] on [[Vermax]] flew to the Lysene galleys, quickly followed by the four dragonseeds. The warships tried to flee, but in the fighting Vermax flew too low and crashed into the sea. Jacaerys leaped free, but was pierced by quarrels.
  
{{Quote|You must rule the realm now, until your brother is strong enough to take the crown again.}}
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The twenty-eight Lysene ships that survived sacked [[Spicetown]] on their way back, and butchered men, women, and children. [[High Tide]], containing all of Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]]'s treasures, was consumed by fire, one-third of his fleet being destroyed.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
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===Battle of the Honeywine===
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:{{Main|Battle of the Honeywine}}
  
===The Dragonseeds===
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A fortnight later, Lord [[Ormund Hightower]] found himself stuck between two armies: Lord [[Thaddeus Rowan]] and [[Tom Flowers]], from [[Goldengrove]] and [[Bitterbridge]], came down on him from the northeast, while Ser [[Alan Beesbury]], Lord [[Alan Tarly]], and Lord [[Owen Costayne]] were cutting off the retreat route back to [[Oldtown]]. They closed around him, but Prince [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Viserys I)|Daeron]] and his dragon [[Tessarion]] joined the battle. [[Tom Flowers]] died, Lord Rowan fled, the Alans were captured, and Lord Costayne was mortally wounded. The victory in the [[Battle of the Honeywine]] in {{date|129}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II}} led to Ormund knighting Daeron, naming him Daeron the Daring.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
[[File:Netty.png‎|Netty and Sheepstealer by [http://ashleyhunterrice.tumblr.com/ Ashley Rice] |thumb|300px|right]]
 
  
{{Quote|It should have been you.}}
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===The Red Fork and the Fishfeed===
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:{{main|Battle at the Red Fork|Battle at Acorn Hall|Battle by the Lakeshore}}
  
Lord [[Corlys Velaryon|Corlys]], upon learning of the death of his [[Rhaenys Targaryen (The Queen Who Never Was)|wife]], threatened to leave Rhaenyra’s side, until Prince [[Jacaerys Velaryon|Jacaerys]] named him [[Hand of the Queen]]. Together, grandfather and grandson planned an assault on [[King's Landing]], sent Prince [[Joffrey Velaryon|Joffrey]] to the [[Vale]] with Lady [[Rhaena Targaryen (daughter of Daemon)|Rhaena]] and three dragons eggs and Joffrey’s dragon [[Tyraxes]]. Prince [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]] and Prince [[Viserys II Targaryen|Viserys]] were sent to [[Pentos]] by [[Gay Abandon|ship]], to be fostered with the Prince of Pentos, a friend of Prince Daemons, until Rhaenyra had secured the throne.
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Meanwhile, Lord [[Walys Mooton]] retook [[Rook's Rest]] but died attempting to kill the wounded [[Sunfyre]]. When some of his men returned, Sunfyre had disappeared. They found no tracks, suggesting Sunfyre had taken wing again despite his wounds. The dragon would not be seen for another half year.
  
With only [[Vhagar]] left to defend the city ([[Dreamfyre]] was at [[King's Landing]] as well, but could not fight due to her rider being unable), [[Jacaerys Velaryon|Jacaerys]] wanted to attack the capitol with as many dragons as possible. With six riderless dragons present on [[Dragonstone]], Jacaerys called out to the dragonseeds, vowing that any man who could master one of the dragons would be raised to knightship and gain wealth. Many men tried, and some women as well. Sixteen men died, amongst them Lord Commander [[Steffon Darklyn]], and forty-eight were burned or maimed. Four people eventually succeeded: [[Vermithor]] was claimed by [[Hugh Hammer]], [[Silverwing]] by [[Ulf the White]], [[Seasmoke]] by [[Addam Velaryon|Addam of Hull]], and [[Sheepstealer]] by a girl named [[Nettles]]. Lord [[Corlys Velaryon|Corlys]] asked Rhaenyra to remove the taint of bastardy from Addam and his brother [[Alyn Velaryon|Alyn]], making them true Velaryons, and named Addam heir to [[Driftmark]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}
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While the [[north]] assembled forces, Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] believed Daemon and his host at [[Harrenhal]] to be the real danger. Aemond and Ser [[Criston Cole]] rode from [[King's Landing]] with a host of four thousand and the dragon [[Vhagar]] into the [[riverlands]]. Daemon knew of their plans before Aemond had left the capital, however, and he hastened south on [[Caraxes]], staying well away from Criston's line of march. Aemond and Criston found Harrenhal abandoned after a nineteen-day march, believing themselves victorious.{{ref|TPATQ}}
  
===[[Battle in the Gullet]]===
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An army of greens from the [[westerlands]] defeated the western river lords in the [[Battle at the Red Fork]] early in {{date|130}}. Their leader, Lord [[Jason Lannister]], was mortally wounded by Ser [[Pate of Longleaf]] during the battle, however,{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II}} and Ser [[Adrian Tarbeck]] was slain three days after the [[battle at Acorn Hall]].{{ref|FAB|The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant}} Old Lord [[Humfrey Lefford]] took command of the [[House Lannister|Lannister]] host,{{ref|TWOIAF| The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons}} which marched east with the intention of joining Criston and Aemond.  
:{{Main|Battle in the Gullet}}
 
Meanwhile, ninety warships were sailing from the [[Stepstones]] chanced upon the [[Gay Abandon]], carrying Prince [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]] and Prince [[Viserys II Targaryen|Viserys]]. The escorting ships were sunk or taken, and Prince Aegon managed to escape by clinging to the neck of his dragon, [[Stormcloud]]. During the flight, [[Stormcloud]] was injured terribly. Prince Viserys, having only a dragon egg, had no such option, and was made a captive of admiral [[Sharako Lohar]] of [[Lys]].
 
  
Prince [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon’s]] arrival on [[Dragonstone]], with [[Stormcloud]], spread the tale, and so Prince [[Jacaerys Velaryon|Jacaerys]] mounted [[Vermax]] and flew to the Lysene galleys, quickly followed by the four dragonseeds. The warships tried to flee, and all seemed lost for the Lyseni, until [[Vermax]] flew too low and crashed into the sea. [[Jacaerys Velaryon|Jacaerys]] leapt free, and managed to hold on to a piece of wreckage, until he was pierced by quarrels. The prince was swallowed by the sea.
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At the western shores of the [[Gods Eye]], the westermen came across Lord [[Roderick Dustin]] with his [[Winter Wolves]], who had combined his forces with Lord [[Forrest Frey]] and [[Robb Rivers|Red Robb Rivers]]. From the south, Pate the Lionslayer and Lords [[House Bigglestone|Bigglestone]], [[House Chambers|Chambers]], and [[House Perryn|Perryn]] locked him in. Lords [[Garibald Grey]], [[Jon Charlton]] and [[Benjicot Blackwood]] joined with the northmen and other rivermen the following day, while Lord Lefford's ravens were shot down. The day after, they began their battle, which would become the bloodiest land battle of the Dance. Hundreds died that day in the [[Battle by the Lakeshore]], also called the Fishfeed, which destroyed the Lannister host.
  
The lysine ships, who had set sail originally with ninety, sailed back with only twenty-eight ships. They passed [[Dragonstone]], but believed the island too strong to take. Instead, they sacked [[Spicetown]] and butchered men, women and children. [[High Tide]], containing all the [[Corlys Velaryon|Sea Snakes]] treasures, was consumed by fire, one third of his fleet brought down.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
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===Fall of King's Landing===
 
 
===The [[Battle on the Honeywine]]===
 
:{{Main|Battle on the Honeywine}}
 
A fortnight later, Lord [[Ormund Hightower]] found himself stuck between two armies: Lord [[Thaddeus Rowan]] and [[Tom Flowers]], from [[Goldengrove]] and [[Bitterbridge]], came down on him from the northeast, while Ser [[Alan  Beesbury]], Lord [[Alan Tarly]] and Lord [[Owen Costayne]] were cutting off the retreat route back to [[Oldtown]]. They closed around him, when Prince [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Viserys I)|Daeron]] on his dragon joined the battle. [[Tom Flowers]] died, Lord [[Thaddeus Rowan|Rowan]] fled, the Alans were captured, and Lord [[Owen Costayne|Costayne]] was dying. The victory lead to Lord Hightower knighting Prince Daeron, naming him Daeron the Daring.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
 
 
 
===[[Fall of King's Landing]]===
 
 
:{{Main|Fall of King's Landing}}
 
:{{Main|Fall of King's Landing}}
Tide turned for [[the blacks]]. Jace’s death seemd to give [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] strength. Filled with anger and hatred, she resolved to use her dragons.
 
 
Meanwhile  Lord [[Walys Mooton|Mooton]] retook [[Rook's Rest]], and attempted to kill [[Sunfyre]], who still remained there, wounded. The dragon fought back, and burned three score men before the others fled. Lord Mooton himself died as well. When the survivors dared to return to the field again, the dead were still there, but Sunfyre had disappeared. There were no tracks, suggesting Sunfyre had taken wing again despite his wounds.
 
 
With the [[North]] assembling forces, Ser [[Criston Cole|Criston]] saw danger, should these troops join up with [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]] at [[Harrenhal]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}
 
 
 
{{Quote|The whore on Dragonstone is not the threat. No more than Rowan and these traitors in the Reach. The danger is my uncle. Once Daemon is dead, all these fools flying our sister’s banners will run back to their castles and trouble us no more.}}
 
 
The host Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]]  had gathered at [[Harrenhal]] was still growing, and Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] believed him to be the real danger, not Rhaenyra. Aemond and Ser [[Criston Cole|Criston]] rode forth from [[King's Landing]] with a host of four thousand and the dragon [[Vhagar]]. Daemon knew of their plans even before Aemond had left the capitol. He hastened south on [[Caraxes]], staying well away from Criston’s line of march.
 
 
 
{{Quote|When told that Aemond and Ser Criston Cole had left King's Landing, it is said that Prince Daemon laughed and said, “Past time,” for he had long anticipated this moment. A murder of ravens took flight from the twisted towers of Harrenhal.}}
 
 
 
Expecting to find Daemon, instead  Aemond and Criston would find [[Harrenhal]] abandoned after a nineteen day march, and would believe themselves victorious. The truth was very different. With [[Vhagar]] away from [[King’s Landing]], only [[Dreamfyre]] remained, and [[Helaena Targaryen|Helaena]] was in no condition to fly. [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]] and [[Caraxes]] had not fled, but joined up with [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] and [[Syrax]] above [[King's Landing]], leaving the small folk below in terror. [[Corlys Velaryon|The Sea Snake]]s ships sailed into [[Blackwater Bay]], and the only one left to defend the city was Dowager Queen [[Alicent Hightower|Alicent]]. Grand Maester [[Orwyle]], trying to dispatch ravens asking for help, was arrested before a single letter could be send. The riders bearing messages were arrested at the city gates, and the seven captains commanding the gates we killed or arrested, all by those gold cloaks still loyal to Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]]. The city gates were opened for the men arriving with the Velaryon fleet.
 
 
[[King's Landing]] fell in less than a day.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
 
  
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The death of [[Jacaerys Velaryon]] filled [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] with anger and hatred, and she decided to use her dragons.
  
{{Quote|Then she bid her stepmother choose: yield, or burn.}}
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With [[Criston Cole]], [[Aemond Targaryen]], and [[Vhagar]] away from [[King's Landing]], [[Daemon Targaryen]] and [[Caraxes]] joined with Rhaenyra on [[Syrax]] above the capital, while [[Corlys Velaryon]]'s ships sailed into [[Blackwater Bay]]. Grand Maester [[Orwyle]], trying to dispatch ravens asking for help, was arrested before any letters could be sent. Riders bearing messages were arrested at the city gates, and the seven captains commanding the gates we killed or arrested, all by those [[gold cloaks]] still loyal to Daemon, who had once commanded them. The city gates were opened for the men arriving with the Velaryon fleet. King's Landing fell in less than a day.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
All those from the green council who had been in [[King's Landing]] when the attacks began were arrested, safe for Lord [[Larys Strong]], who had disappeared, taking with him King [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]], Princess [[Jaehaera Targaryen|Jaehaera]], Prince [[Maelor Targaryen|Maelor]], and Ser [[Willis Fell]] and [[Rickard Thorne]] of the [[Kingsguard]]. The other green council members yielded, and [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] took her place on the [[Iron Throne]].
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Lord [[Larys Strong]] fled with King [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]], Princess [[Jaehaera Targaryen|Jaehaera]], and Prince [[Maelor Targaryen|Maelor]]. Larys dispatched Jaehaera with Ser [[Willis Fell]] to [[Storm's End]], and Maelor with Ser [[Rickard Thorne]] to Lord [[Ormund Hightower]].
  
Dowager Queen Alicent would be spared, but her father, Ser [[Otto Hightower|Otto]] was beheaded, as was [[Jasper Wylde|Ironrod]]. Ser [[Tyland Lannister]] would be given to the torturers, in the hopes of regaining some of the gold he had hidden.  
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All from the green council remaining in King's Landing yielded, and Rhaenyra took her place on the [[Iron Throne]]. Dowager Queen Alicent was spared, but her father, Ser [[Otto Hightower|Otto]] was beheaded, as was Lord [[Jasper Wylde]]. Ser [[Tyland Lannister]] was given to the torturers, in the hopes of regaining some of the gold he had hidden. Princes [[Joffrey Velaryon|Joffrey]] and [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]], Rhaenyra's remaining sons (Viserys was believed to be dead) were called to King's Landing.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
While Rhaenyra’s return to [[King's Landing]] was cheered and celebrated at first, the amount of heads on spikes and increasing taxes made the small folk dub her '''“King Maegor with teats”'''. Despite this, Princes [[Joffrey Velaryon|Joffrey]] and [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]] were called to King’s Landing.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
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Aemond and Criston at [[Harrenhal]] could no longer agree on a plan of action. Criston wished to withdraw south to join with Lord [[Ormund Hightower]] and Prince [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Viserys I)|Daeron Targaryen]], while Aemond wished to attack the capital. Criston led the greens' army south, while Aemond remained to ravage the riverlands, hoping that Rhaenyra would send a dragon after him.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
 
 
 
 
{{Quote|And for a hundred years thereafter “Maegor’s Teats” was a common curse amongst kingslanders.}}
 
 
 
 
 
===[[Battle by the Lakeshore]]/The Fishfeed===
 
:{{Main|Battle by the Lakeshore}}
 
 
 
{{Quote| Best make an end to these lions before the dragons come.}}
 
 
 
While the news of the [[fall of King's Landing]] reached Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]], fighting in the Riverlands continued. A [[House Lannister|Lannister]] host was on the move, lead by the old [[House Lefford|Lord Lefford]]. At the western shores of the [[Gods Eye]], they came across [[Roderick Dustin|Roddy the Ruin]] with his [[Winter Wolves]], who had combined his forces with Lord [[Forrest Frey]] and [[Robb Rivers|Red Robb Rivers]]. From the south, [[Longleaf|Longleaf the Lionslayer]], Lords [[House Bigglestone|Bigglestone]], [[House Chambers|Chambers]] and [[House Perryn|Perryn]] locked him in. Lords [[Garibald Grey]], [[Jon Charlton]] and [[Benjicot Blackwood]] joined up with the army from the [[North|north]] and [[Riverlands|riverlands]] the following day, whilst Lord Leffords ravens were all shot down. The day after, they began their battle, which would be called the bloodiest land battle of the Dance. Hundreds died that day.
 
 
 
Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] and Ser [[Criston Cole]] at [[Harrenhal]] could no longer agree on a plan of action. They were running short of food. Criston wished to withdraw to the south, to join strength with Lord [[Ormund Hightower|Hightower]] and Prince [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Viserys I)|Daeron]], while [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]], enraged by losing [[King's Landing]] and the outcome of the [[Battle by the Lakeshore]], wished to attack the capitol. And so they parted ways, with Criston taking the army south, whilst Prince Aemond remained to ravage the Riverlands, waiting until such a time when [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] would send out “a dragon or two” to stop him, so [[Vhagar]] could destroy them.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
 
  
 
===The Red Kraken===
 
===The Red Kraken===
After Lord Beesbury had been killed in the beginning of the war, Ser [[Tyland Lannister]] had been made Master of Coin, to take Beesbury's place. This had left the office of Master of Ships vacant. The green council had assumed that [[Dalton Greyjoy]] could be persauded to their allegiance by offering him the vacant council seat. Ironically, at the beginning of the war Aegon II had also thought his reign unassailable, given that he controlled the three largest and wealthiest cities in the realm (King's Landing, Oldtown, and Lannisport) and the previous royal treasury from Viserys I's reign.
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At the beginning of the war, the office of [[master of ships]] had been offered to [[Dalton Greyjoy]], Lord of the [[Iron Islands]], by the greens. Rhaenyra's council offered Dalton something more to his liking, however, and so [[House Greyjoy]] declared for the blacks. With Lord [[Jason Lannister]] dying after the [[Battle at the Red Fork|Red Fork]], his Lannister army destroyed at the [[Battle by the Lakeshore|Fishfeed]], and the green armies of the [[Reach]] marching east to [[Tumbleton]], the coasts of the [[westerlands]] only had skeleton defenses. For several years, Dalton and his [[ironborn]] raided and pillaged the coasts of the westerlands and the Reach. Dalton captured [[Kayce]] and [[Fair Isle]], and though the ironborn could not force entry into [[Casterly Rock]] after Jason's widow [[Johanna Lannister|Johanna]] closed its gates, they sacked [[Lannisport]].{{ref|TWOIAF| The Iron Islands: The Red Kraken}}
  
Rhaenyra's black council offered Lord Dalton something more to his liking, however, and so House Greyjoy declared for Rhaenyra.  Little was to be gained by sailing around Westeros to attack Rhaenyra's supporters in the Vale and the North, but the wealth of Oldtown and Lannisport (which Aegon II had prided himself on) was nearby, and a much more tempting target.  With the Lannister armies destroyed at the Fishfeed and the green armies of the Reach marching east to Tumbleton, the coasts only had skeleton defenses.  For two years, Dalton and his Ironborn raided and pillaged the coasts of the Westerlands and the Reach. Greyjoy captured Kayce and Fair Isle, and though the ironborn could not force entry into Casterly Rock, they sacked Lannisport.
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===Butcher's Ball===
 
 
===The Feasting Corpses/The [[Butcher's Ball]]===
 
 
:{{Main|Butcher's Ball}}
 
:{{Main|Butcher's Ball}}
Aemond burned [[Darry]], [[Lord Harroway's Town]], [[Lord's Mill]], [[Blackbuckle]], [[Buckle]], [[Claypool]], [[Swynford]] and [[Spiderwood]]. Ser [[Criston Cole|Criston]], going south, found everything in front of him dead: forests, villages, horses, men. His scouts found scenes where armored corpses sat beneath the trees, rotting away, a mockery of the fallen throwing a feast. Four days out of [[Harrenhal]], attacks made Criston lose a few men every single time. Seeing multiple “corpse feasts”  Criston and his men grew accustomed to the sight. At [[Crossed Elms]], however, the corpses were no true corpses at all, and attacked Criston and his men when they were riding past. In his flight, Criston fell upon the Lords of the Trident, with [[Roderick Dustin]] leading.  Cole challenged the leaders of the black host to single combat, but was refused.  The battle was the most decisive in the Dance, and after Criston died, his remaining men broke and ran, and were killed by the hundreds in the rout.  The massacre became known as the Butcher's Ball, and it marked the high point of Rhaenyra's fortunes.
 
  
Living in fear of [[Vhagar]], Lord [[Manfryd Mooton|Mooton]] had meanwhile invited [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]] and [[Nettles]] to take [[Maidenpool]] as their base. [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] still terrorized the [[Riverlands]], stricking at [[Stonyhead]], the [[Mountains of the Moon]], [[Sweetwillow]] and [[Sallydance]], and many more. Each day [[Caraxes]] and [[Sheepstealer]] would take wing from Maidenpool, and each day they would return, with Vhagar unfound.
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Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] burned [[Darry]], [[Lord Harroway's Town]], [[Lord's Mill]], [[Blackbuckle]], [[Buckle]], [[Claypool]], [[Swynford]] and [[Spiderwood]]. Ser [[Criston Cole]], going south, found everything in front of him dead: forests, villages, horses, men. His scouts found scenes where armored corpses sat beneath the trees, rotting away, a mockery of the fallen throwing a feast. Seeing multiple “corpse feasts” during their march, Criston and his men grew accustomed to the sight. At [[Crossed Elms]], however, the corpses were actually disguised blacks who attacked Criston and his men when they were riding past.{{ref|TPATQ}}
  
Piteous news soon reached Rhaenyra in King's Landing, which proved just as controversial as the death of Aegon's elder son Jaehaerys. While his daughter Jaehaera had safely arrived at Storm's End, his last son Maelor was discovered and stopped by a mob of pro-Rhaenyra supporters at Bitterbridge. The mob of men and women clamored over the three-year old boy, each trying to claim the reward, until little Maelor was torn to pieces. When the Hightower army worked its way up the Roseroad to Bitterbridge some time later, it razed the castle to the ground in revenge.
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Criston's greens were ambushed by river lords and [[Roderick Dustin]] between the [[Gods Eye]] and the [[Blackwater Rush]]. Criston challenged them to single combat, but was refused. The battle was the most decisive in the Dance, and after Criston died, his men were killed by the hundreds in the rout. The massacre became known as the [[Butcher's Ball]], and it marked the high point of Rhaenyra's fortunes.{{ref|TPATQ}}
  
===The [[First Battle of Tumbleton]]===
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Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]] took residence at [[Maidenpool]] with [[Nettles]], while Aemond terrorized the [[riverlands]], striking at [[Stonyhead]], the [[Mountains of the Moon]], [[Sweetwillow]] and [[Sallydance]], and many more. Each day [[Caraxes]] and [[Sheepstealer]] unsuccessfully searched for Vhagar from Maidenpool.
:{{Main|First Battle of Tumbleton}}
 
[[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] still remained a threat in the [[Riverlands]], stricking unexpectedly. Yet the real threat was Prince [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Viserys I)|Daeron]] and the great army of Lord [[Ormund Hightower]]. Slowly advancing on [[King's Landing]], they were defeating the [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Queens]] loyalists wherever they went, as Rhaenyra’s armies fled before [[Tessarion]]. To defeat Aemond and [[Vhagar]], Prince Daemon and [[Caraxes]] had left for the [[Riverlands]] with the girl [[Nettles]] and her dragon [[Sheepstealer]]. To defeat Daeron and Tessarion, [[Ulf the White]] and [[Hugh Hammer]] flew to [[Tumbleton]].
 
  
Rhaenyra´s forces at Tumbleton greatly outnumbered the Hightower army. People fleeing into the city for safety from Lord Hightowers army, were secretly part of the army, and infiltrated the ranks of defenders. In addition, Ser Ulf the White and Ser Hugh Hammer, since then known as the [[Two Betrayers]], changed their allegiance. Though Lord Ormund and his cousin Ser [[Bryndon Hightower|Bryndon]] died in the battle, killed by [[Roderick Dustin|Roddy the Ruin]] as he himself was mortally injured, the Hightower army kept the advantage, as [[Vermithor]] and [[Silverwing]] joined [[Tessarion]] in the air, and loosened their flames upon [[Tumbleton]] unexpectedly. A savage sack followed.
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===First Tumbleton===
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:{{Main|Siege of Longtable|Sack of Bitterbridge|First Battle of Tumbleton}}
  
Upon learning of the betrayels, Queen [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] ordered the [[King's Landing|city]] gates closed and barred. The Betrayels at Tumbleton made the Black Council question the loyalty of the other dragonseeds, [[Addam Velaryon]] and [[Nettles]]. Most of the Black Council urged Rhaenyra to arrest both, and only Lord [[Corlys Velaryon|Corlys]] spoke in their defense, declaring Addam and his brother [[Alyn Velaryon|Alyn]] true Velaryons. His protests, though passionate, were in vain. Rhaenyra, already suspicious, ordered the arrest of Nettles, at [[Maidenpool]] with Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]], and Addam, currently guarding the dragons in the [[Dragonpit]]. Ser [[Luthor Largent]] went to arrest Addam, but upon his arrival at [[Rhaenys's Hill]], saw [[Seasmoke]] take wing, with Ser Addam on his back. Ser Luthor arrested Lord Corlys instead, since the old man did not deny helping his heir escape. Slowly, chaos started to arise again in King's Landing.
+
The army of Lord [[Ormund Hightower]], accompanied by Prince [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Viserys I)|Daeron]] and his dragon [[Tessarion]], slowly advanced on [[King's Landing]], defeating [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra's]] loyalists wherever they went. While Ormund was leading the [[siege of Longtable]], Prince [[Maelor Targaryen]] and his protector, Ser [[Rickard Thorne]], were discovered by a mob of Rhaenyra's supporters at [[Bitterbridge]]. Men and women clamored over the three-year-old boy, each trying to claim him, until the boy was torn to pieces. A vengeful Daeron burned the town with the [[sack of Bitterbridge]].{{ref|FAB|The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant}} Princess [[Jaehaera Targaryen]] safely arrived at [[Storm's End]] with Ser [[Willis Fell]].{{ref|FAB|The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aeogn II}}
  
In [[Tumbleton]], meanwhile, chaos reigned. Lord Hightowers army remained there. Ormunds sons remained in [[Oldtown]] and were still green boys. Though Prince [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Viserys I)|Daeron]] had been knighted, he was still a boy, used to following commands. Ser [[Hobert Hightower|Hobert]], another Hightower cousin, presumed to take command. Prince Daeron commanded Ser Hobert to stop the savage sacking, but Hightower proved to be very ineffective. Ser [[Ulf the White|Ulf]] and [[Hugh Hammer|Hugh]] were worse. Ser Ulf drank heavy and fed women to his dragon, and became angry when he was named Lord of [[Bitterbridge]], dreaming of [[Highgarden]] instead. Ser Hugh was worse, dreaming of a crown of his own.
+
[[Ulf the White]] and [[Hugh Hammer]] flew to [[Tumbleton]], but Rhaenyra's forces there were greatly outnumbered by the approaching Hightower army.{{ref|FAB|The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant}} Some refugees were secretly greens who infiltrated the ranks of the blacks' defenders. In addition, Ulf and Hugh, since then known as the [[Two Betrayers]], changed their allegiance to the greens. Though Ormund and his cousin Ser [[Bryndon Hightower|Bryndon]] died in the [[First Battle of Tumbleton]], killed by [[Roderick Dustin|Roddy the Ruin]], who himself was mortally injured, the Hightower army kept the advantage. The dragons [[Vermithor]], [[Silverwing]] and [[Tessarion]] let loose their flames upon Tumbleton, which was savagely sacked.
  
In the Hightower army, no decision of a course of action could be made, and the army became smaller every day due to desertions.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
+
Upon learning of Tumbleton, Rhaenyra ordered the gates of King's Landing closed and barred. The Two Betrayers made the black council question the loyalty of the other dragonseeds, Ser [[Addam Velaryon]] and [[Nettles]]. Despite Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]] speaking in their defense, Rhaenyra ordered Addam and Nettles arrested. Addam, who had been guarding the dragons at the [[Dragonpit]], was warned by Corlys and escaped on [[Seasmoke]], causing Corlys's arrest.
  
===Dancing dragons at [[Dragonstone]]===
+
There was chaos in both King's Landing and Tumbleton. Ser [[Hobert Hightower]] presumed to take command of the leaderless green army. Prince Daeron commanded him to stop the sacking, but Hobert was ineffective. Ulf the White, dreaming of [[Highgarden]], became angry upon being granted only Bitterbridge. Hugh Hammer began to dream of a crown of his own. With the Hightower army leaderless, desertions caused the army to shrink every day.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
Around the time of the [[First Battle of Tumbleton]], the merchant cog ''[[Nessaria]]'' made a stop at [[Dragonstone]] for repairs and provisions, having been driven off course by a storm. They had passed the [[Dragonmont]] before arriving at [[Dragonstone]]´s port, and there they had spotted two fighting dragons.
 
  
Inspired by the story from those of [[Volantis]], local fisherman took their boats out for a look the next morning, and they reported having seen the burned and broken remains of a dead dragon. From the color of its scales and wings, they concluded the dead dragon was [[Grey Ghost]], completely torn apart. Ser [[Robert Quince]], Dragonstones castellan, named the [[Cannibal]] as the killer. Only later in the war would the truth surface.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
+
===Fall of Dragonstone===
 
 
===[[Fall of Dragonstone]]===
 
 
:{{Main|Fall of Dragonstone}}
 
:{{Main|Fall of Dragonstone}}
Having smuggled [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon]], [[Jaehaera Targaryen|Jaehaera]] and [[Maelor Targaryen|Maelor]] out of [[King's Landing]], Lord [[Larys Strong|Larys]] dispatched Jaehaera and a Kingsguard to Lord [[Ormund Hightower|Hightower]], and Maelor and another Kingsguard to [[Storm's End]], while he disguised King Aegon and smuggled him to [[Dragonstone]], [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra’s]] seat, the last place anyone would look for him. Aegon was kept hidden in disguise, and would have remained such, as [[Sunfyre]] had not found them. Unbeknownst to those in the castle, it had been Sunfyre who had fought and killed [[Grey Ghost]], and not the [[Cannibal]].
 
  
Rider and dragon went out flying again, regaining strength, while Aegons loyal men had found people enough who were willing to betray Rhaenyra, due to mislike for her. Dragonstone had not been well defended, and it had fallen easily. There had only been one problem. Lady [[Baela Targaryen|Baela]], Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon’s]] daughter, had managed to escape her attackers and mount her [[Moondancer|dragon]]. She met [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] and [[Sunfyre]] in the sky, unexpectedly, where the two dragons fought. Sunfyre blinded Moondancer with fire, but the younger dragon fought on. The dragons eventually fell on the earth. On the ground, Sunfyre won the battle. King Aegon had jumped off Sunfyre’s back before the dragon hit the ground, but had broken both his legs. Baela had stayed strapped on Moondancer, and was burned and battered. She was taken captive, and King Aegon the Elder now held [[Dragonstone]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}
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Around the time of [[First Battle of Tumbleton|First Tumbleton]], the merchant cog ''[[Nessaria]]'' made a stop at [[Dragonstone]] for repairs and provisions, having been driven off course by a storm. They spotted two fighting dragons while passing the [[Dragonmont]]. Inspired by the story from those of [[Volantis]], local fishermen took their boats for a look the next morning, and they reported the burned and broken remains of the [[Grey Ghost]]. Ser [[Robert Quince]], Dragonstone's castellan, named the [[Cannibal (dragon)|Cannibal]] as the killer.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
===The [[Dance over  Harrenhal]]===
+
Lord [[Larys Strong]] had disguised King [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] during the [[fall of King's Landing]] and smuggled him to Dragonstone, where Aegon was later found by [[Sunfyre]]. It had been Aegon's dragon who had actually killed the Grey Ghost, not the Cannibal. Rider and dragon went out flying again, regaining strength, while Aegon's supporters found locals willing to betray Rhaenyra, due to mislike for her.
[[File:Sir-Heartsalot Daemon Targaryen v Aemond One-Eye.JPG|Daemon and Aemond, fighting on top of Caraxes and Vhagar, with Dark Sister in Daemons hand.|thumb|350px|right]]
 
:{{Main|Dance over Harrenhal}}
 
Lord [[Manfryd Mooton]] found himself in a difficult situation, when the message from [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] arrived from [[King's Landing]], telling Mooton to send her the head of [[Nettles]]. Nettles, during her time with Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]], was said to have become his lover, according to Rhaenyra, and was thus guilty of high treason. Prince Daemon was to not be harmed. The decision Lord Mooton had to make was a difficult one, for Nettles was a guest beneath his roof, and killing her would mean breaking the [[guest right]], and facing Prince Daemons wroth. Refusing Rhaenyra, however, would mean being attainted a traitor.  The [[Norren|maester]] suggested that they had never read the letter, and later that night, went to inform Daemon of Rhaenyra´s command.
 
  
 +
Poorly-defended Dragonstone fell easily, with Robert being slain by Ser [[Alfred Broome]], who was angered at not being named castellan by Rhaenyra. Lady [[Baela Targaryen|Baela]], Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]]'s daughter, escaped her attackers on her dragon, [[Moondancer]]. Sunfyre blinded Moondancer with fire, however, and eventually killed the younger dragon after they crashed to the ground. The burned and battered Baela was taken captive, and King Aegon the Elder now held Dragonstone, although he broke his legs in the fighting.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
{{Quote|[[Jaehaerys I Targaryen|The Old King]] would never have asked this, of any man of honor.}}
+
===Battle Above the Gods Eye===
 
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[[File:Sir-Heartsalot Daemon Targaryen v Aemond One-Eye.JPG|Daemon and Aemond, fighting on top of Caraxes and Vhagar, with Dark Sister in Daemons hand.|thumb|350px|right]]
The next day, Nettles mounted her dragon [[Sheepstealer]], with tears on her cheeks. Daemon and Nettles spoke no word of farewell, but when Sheepstealer climbed the sky, [[Caraxes]] gave a scream. Nettles and her dragon disappeared that day, and were never seen again.
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:{{Main|Battle Above the Gods Eye}}
 
 
Prince Daemon told Lord Mooton to spread the word that he would fly for [[Harrenhal]], so [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] could come face him, alone. Once Daemon was gone, Lord Mooton took down Rhaenyra’s banners, and raised the golden dragons of King [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}
 
  
 +
[[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] ordered Lord [[Manfryd Mooton]] of [[Maidenpool]] to send her the head of [[Nettles]]. According to Rhaenyra, Nettles had become the lover of her husband, Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]], and was thus guilty of high treason. Nettles was a guest beneath his roof, and killing her would mean breaking [[guest right]] and facing Daemon's wroth. Refusing Rhaenyra, however, would mean being attainted a traitor. Maester [[Norren (House Mooton)|Norren]] suggested that they had never read the letter, and later that night informed Daemon of Rhaenyra's command.
  
{{Quote|”You were a fool to come alone.”<br> “Were I not alone, you would not have come.}}
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Nettles and her dragon, [[Sheepstealer]], departed Maidenpool for parts unknown the next morning. Daemon and Nettles spoke no word of farewell, but when Sheepstealer climbed the sky, [[Caraxes]] gave a scream. Daemon told Manfryd to spread the word that he would fly for [[Harrenhal]], so [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] could face him alone. Once Daemon was gone, Lord Mooton took down Rhaenyra's banners and raised the golden dragons of King [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
Prince Daemon took Harrenhal from the few who still remained there, and waited for thirteen days. On the fourteenth day, [[Vhagar]] appeared in the sky, and on her back rode Prince [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] and his bedmaid, the pregnant seer [[Alys Rivers]]. Dropping Alys on the ground, Daemon and Aemond had one last conversation before both Targaryens mounted their dragons and climbed into the sky. Caraxes fell down upon Vhagar, starting the fight. Their fight ended as the two dragons, locked together, tumbled down towards the lake. According to the tales, this was when Prince Daemon leapt from one dragon to the other, [[Dark Sister]] in his hand. Aemond looked up in terror, but was chained to his saddle, and could not do anything when Daemon ripped off Aemonds helm and drove the sword through Aemonds blind eye. The dragons struck the lake half a heartbeat later.
+
Daemon took Harrenhal from the few who still remained there, and waited for thirteen days. On the fourteenth day, [[Vhagar]] appeared with Aemond and his bedmaid, the pregnant seer [[Alys Rivers]]. With Alys on the ground, the dragonriders fought in the sky above the [[Gods Eye]]. Their fight ended as the dragons, locked together, tumbled towards the lake. According to tales, Daemon leapt from Caraxes to Vhagar and drove the [[Valyrian steel]] [[Armament|longsword]] [[Dark Sister]] through Aemond's blind eye. The dragons struck the lake half a heartbeat later.
  
[[Caraxes]] lived long enough to crawl back onto the land, beneath the walls of [[Harrenhal]], where he died. [[Vhagar]] died in the water, and was found some years later, when the Dance was over, with Aemond’s armored bones still chained to the saddle, and with [[Dark Sister]] still in his eye-socket.
+
Caraxes crawled beneath the walls of [[Harrenhal]], where he died. Vhagar died in the water, and was found some years later with Aemond's bones still chained to the saddle and with Dark Sister in his rider's eye-socket. Daemon's remains, however, were never found, causing singers to claim he survived to spend his last days with Nettles. It was the twenty-second day of the fifth moon of the year {{Date|130}}.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
There’s no doubt that Prince [[Daemon Targaryen|Daemon]] died that day, as he could not possibly have survived the impact. His remains, however, were never found, causing singers to tell that he survived to spend his last days with [[Nettles]]. It was the twenty-second day of the fifth moon of the year {{Date|130}}.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
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===Storming of the Dragonpit===
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:{{Main|Riot of King's Landing (Dance of the Dragons)|Storming of the Dragonpit}}
  
===The [[Riot of King's Landing (Dance of the Dragons)|Riots at King's Landing]]===
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In [[King's Landing]], the [[House Velaryon|Velaryon]] fleet, counting more than half the army that had sailed from [[Dragonstone]], abandoned [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] when they learned Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]] was in the [[black cells]]. Those who remained could no longer be trusted.
:{{Main|Riot of King's Landing (the Dance of the Dragons)|Storming of the Dragonpit}}
 
In [[King's Landing]], the [[House Velaryon|Velaryon]] fleet, counting more than half the army that had sailed from [[Dragonstone]], had abandoned [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] when they learned Lord [[Corlys Velaryon|Corlys]] was in the Black Cells. Those who remained could no longer be trusted.
 
  
That same day, Queen [[Helaena Targaryen|Helaena]] threw herself from her window in [[Maegor's Holdfast]] and died impaled upon the iron spikes that lined the dry moat below. The stories told of Helaena’s death on the streets and in inns, by nightfall, were much darker. The people believed she had been murdered, as her sons before her. The rumours were believed very quickly. Tales tell that at the moment of Helaena’s death, her dragon [[Dreamfyre]] rose with a roar, snapping two of her chains.
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That same day, Queen [[Helaena Targaryen|Helaena]] threw herself from [[Maegor's Holdfast]] and died on the moat's spikes below. Smallfolk believed she had been murdered by Ser [[Luthor Largent]] of the [[gold cloaks]], however. Her dragon, [[Dreamfyre]], rose with a roar, snapping two of her chains in the [[Dragonpit]].
  
That night a [[Riot of King's Landing (the Dance of the Dragons)|riot]] rose in [[King's Landing]]. The chaos was big, and neither noble nor lowborn was spared. Sailors unable to return to their ships attacked the [[River Gate]]. Ser [[Luthor Largent|Luthor]] and his [[Gold Cloaks]] went to [[Cobbler's Square]], to disperse the rioters, but after the first had fled, there were ten thousand more, and they believed Luthor to have killed Helaena: the mere sight of him angered them even more. The rioters were ten thousands where the gold cloaks were only five hundred, and so the Gold Cloaks were slaughtered, Ser Luthor amongst them.
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[[File: Hobbthehewer.png‎|Hobb The Hewer by [http://ashleyhunterrice.tumblr.com/ Ashley Hunter Rice] |thumb|400px|left]]
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That night a [[Riot of King's Landing (Dance of the Dragons)|riot rose in King's Landing]]. Luthor and five hundred gold cloaks went to [[Cobbler's Square]] to disperse it, but Luthor and many of his men were killed by ten thousand rioters. A hedge knight, Ser [[Perkin the Flea]], crowned his squire, [[Trystane Truefyre]], declaring him to be King [[Viserys I Targaryen]]'s bastard. Perkin bestowed [[knight]]hood on all who would support Trystane, so many fled to their cause. The next day, some order was restored to parts of King's Landing, but chaos remained in the rest of the city.  
  
A hedge knight, Ser [[Perkin the Flea]], crowned his squire [[Trystane Truefyre]], declaring him to be King [[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys’]] bastard. Ser Perkin then began dubbing all those who would support Trystane knights, and so many fled to their cause.
+
Having learned about [[Maidenpool]]'s betrayal and the escape of [[Nettles]], [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] sent ravens to [[Winterfell]] and the [[Eyrie]], pleading for more aid. Perkin and Trystane gained strength the next night. The [[King's Gate]] and the [[Lion Gate]] were opened by rioters, the gold cloaks at the King's Gate having fled, and those guarding the Lion Gate having joined the rioters. With Perkin holding the [[River Gate]], three out of seven gates were now open to enemies.
  
The next day, some order was restored to parts of [[King's Landing]] again, but in the rest of the city, chaos remained.  
+
The people of King's Landing no longer believed Rhaenyra could protect them. A crazed prophet known as the [[Shepherd]] led an even larger mob to the [[Hill of Rhaenys]] to kill the dragons. Joffrey mounted [[Syrax]] to fly to the [[Dragonpit]]. Fearing the worst, Rhaenyra ordered her followers to go after him and bring him back. Seven men followed her command, remembered in history as the [[Seven Who Rode]]: Ser [[Medrick Manderly]], Ser [[Loreth Lansdale]], Ser [[Harrold Darke]], Ser [[Harmon of the Reeds]], Ser [[Gyles Yronwood]], Ser [[Willam Royce]], and Ser [[Glendon Goode]]. Rhaenyra's she-dragon was unaccustomed to the boy and he died after being thrown from her back.
  
That night [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] learned about [[Maidenpool]]s betrayel, and [[Nettles]] escape. Rhaenyra send ravens to [[Winterfell]] and the [[Eyrie]], pleading for more aid, and named a new Lord Commander to her [[Queensguard]], Ser [[Glendon Goode]]. Prince [[Joffrey Velaryon|Joffrey]] donned his armor and begged to fight, but he was forbidden.
+
Meanwhile, the rioters attacked the Dragonpit. [[Shrykos]] was slain by the woodsman [[Hobb the Hewer]], while [[Morghul]] was killed by the [[Burning Knight]]. [[Tyraxes]] went into his lair and roasted many before dying. [[Dreamfyre]] slew more than the other three dragons combined, until a crossbow blinded one of her eyes. When Dreamfyre tried to leap free, the weakened dome crashed on both dragon and dragonslayers. Syrax descended on the survivors. Rhaenyra, watching from atop [[Maegor's Holdfast]], held her remaining son, [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]], until she saw Syrax fall.  
  
The night came once more, and Ser Perkin and “King” Trystane were gaining strength. The [[King's Gate]] and the [[Lion Gate]] were opened by rioters, the [[Gold Cloaks]] at the [[King's Gate]] having fled, and those guarding the [[Lion Gate]] having joined the rioters. With Ser Perkin holding the [[River Gate]], three out of seven gates were now open to enemies.
+
Rhaenyra's councilors agreed that the city was lost. She was persuaded to leave the next day, slipping through the [[Dragon Gate]] for [[Duskendale]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
 
+
===Second Tumbleton===
{{Quote|Bring him back, bring him back, he does not know. My son, my sweet, my son …}}
 
 
 
The people of [[King's Landing]] no longer believed [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] could protect them and a mob twice as big as the one of the night before formed in the city. A crazed prophet made the mob turn their attention to the [[Dragon Pit]] and the entire mob moved towards [[Rhaenys's Hill]] to kill the dragons. By the time they reached the hill, their numbers had doubled. Rhaenyra was watching all this unfold from [[Maegor's Holdfast]]. Prince Joffrey pleaded, fearing [[Tyraxes]], his own dragon, would be killed, but Rhaenyra would not listen, insisting the mob would burn. Joffrey, dissatisfied, went outside and mounted [[Syrax]], Rhaenyra’s she-dragon, the dragon that was not his own, to fly to the Pit. All attempts to get him back failed, as Syrax threw Joffrey off her back as arrows and spears flew up from below. Joffrey, not having used a saddle, fell from Syrax’ back and crashed into the ground.
 
 
 
 
 
{{Quote|Seldom have so many men rushed so eagerly onto their funeral pyres, but a madness was upon them.}}
 
 
 
The battle in the Dragonpit began. Four dragons there were: [[Shrykos]], who died first, slain by a [[Hobb the Hewer|woodsman]] who slamed his axe into her skull. [[Morghul]] was killed by the [[Burning Knight]]. [[Tyraxes]] went into his lair and roasted many before finally dying. And last [[Dreamfyre]], who broke free of her remaining bonds, plunging into the mob with fire, tooth and claw. Dreamfyre slew more than the other three dragons combined, until a crossbow blinded one of her eyes. Dreamfyre then tried to leap free, and the weakened dome cracked under her force, only to crash down on both dragon and dragonslayers.
 
 
 
[[Syrax]] was still alive and free in the air, and descended on the survivors.  Rhaenyra, watching from atop [[Maegor's Holdfast]], would not dare let go of her last remaining son, [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]]… until she saw Syrax fall.
 
 
 
Rhaenyra’s councilers agreed that the city was lost. Rhaenyra was persuaded to leave the next day, slipping through the [[Dragon Gate]], starting the journey to [[Duskendale]].{{Ref|TPATQ}}
 
 
 
===The [[Second Battle of Tumbleton]]===
 
 
:{{Main|Second Battle of Tumbleton}}
 
:{{Main|Second Battle of Tumbleton}}
News of unrest in [[King's Landing]] reached [[Tumbleton]], making the Hightower army believe they should advance upon the city, but Ser [[Hobert Hightower|Hobert]] doubted, and the [[Two Betrayers]] refused to join unless their demands were met.
 
  
With [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] slain and [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon]] still missing, [[the Greens]] found themselves without a leader and a king. Prince [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Viserys I)|Daeron]] was now next in line for the throne and there were some who wanted to name him Prince of Dragonstone, or even King, but the [[Two Betrayers]] did not agree. Lord [[Hugh Hammer]] wanted to be crowned king, by the rights of conquest. He had the [[Vermithor|oldest and largest dragon alive]], trice as big as [[Tessarion]], Daeron’s dragon.
+
News of unrest in [[King's Landing]] reached [[Tumbleton]], making the [[House Hightower|Hightower]] army believe they should advance upon the city, but Ser [[Hobert Hightower]] doubted, and the [[Two Betrayers]] refused to join unless their demands were met.
  
Offended by the arrogance of the Betrayers, the lords and knights of the [[Reach]], and Prince [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Viserys I)|Daeron]], grew wroth. The [[Two Betrayers]] plotted together Hammers coronation, and indeed [[Hugh Hammer|Hard Hugh]] later wore a crown of black iron. When insulted, Hard Hugh’s men came to blows with loyalists, and Lord [[Unwin Peake|Peake]] and Ser [[Hobert Hightower|Hobert]] summoned eleven other lords and landed knights, who together became known as the [[Caltrops]], as to discuss what to do about the dragonseeds. They agreed that disposing of [[Ulf the White]] would be easy, but that Hammer was dangerous, surrounded by men and women day and night.  They decided Hammer had to die first.
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With [[Aemond Targaryen|Aemond]] slain and [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] still missing, the [[greens]] found themselves without leaders. Prince [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Viserys I)|Daeron]] was next in line for the throne and there were some who wanted to name him [[Prince of Dragonstone]], or even king. Lord [[Hugh Hammer]] wanted to be crowned king by right of conquest. He had the oldest and largest dragon alive, [[Vermithor]], thrice as big as Daeron's [[Tessarion]]. [[Ulf the White]] helped plot Hugh's coronation. Lord [[Unwin Peake]] and Hobert summoned eleven other lords and landed knights, who became known as the [[Caltrops]], to plot the deaths of the Two Betrayers with Daeron's consent.
  
With Prince Daerons consent, the [[Caltrops]] carried out their plans. But the day the Caltrops planned to strike, the people at [[Tumbleton]] woke at night to find themselves under attack. The dragon attacking was [[Seasmoke]], with [[Addam Velaryon]] on his back, and with an army of four thousand loyal to [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] behind them. The great host encamped at [[Tumbleton]] outnumbered their attackers, but due to their long stay, they had grown lax.
+
Before the Caltrops could strike, Tumbleton woke at night to find themselves under attack by [[Addam Velaryon]], his dragon [[Seasmoke]], and an army of four thousand blacks loyal to [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]]. The great green host encamped at Tumbleton outnumbered their attackers, but had grown lax due to their long stay. Ulf slept through the [[Second Battle of Tumbleton]]. Hard Hugh was killed by one of the Caltrops, Lord [[Jon Roxton]], who was then killed by Hugh's men in revenge. Daeron is said to have been killed by [[Black Trombo]] or an unknown man-at-arms, or thirdly died from a burning pavilion.
  
Ulf was asleep inside [[Tumbleton]], his dragon outside the town. They tried to wake him, but he slept through [[Second Battle of Tumbleton|the entire battle]]. [[Hugh Hammer|Hard Hugh]] did respond, and rushed to the yard, screaming for a horse so he could go and mount his dragon, when Lord [[Jon Roxton]], one of the [[Caltrops]],  met up with him. He offered Hammer his condolences, and when asked why, he told the new made King he had died in battle, before killing Hammer. He was shortly after killed himself by Hammers men in revenge. Prince Daeron died in the battle as well, though no one knows exactly how. Three different accounts exist on his death.
+
Addam and Seasmoke battled the riderless Tessarion and Vermithor, which ended with Vermithor ripping off the head of Seasmoke. Vermithor, due to his wounds, died next. Tessarion, after trice trying to fly, remained in pain. Lord [[Benjicot Blackwood]] had [[Billy Burley]] end her suffering. Addam also died during the fighting.
  
 +
Though having won the battle, the [[rivermen]] had not been able to take the town. Tumbleton's gates were closed, and without a dragon or equipment, they could not start a siege, so the rivermen took all they found useful and left. Only one dragon remained at the town, [[Silverwing]].
  
{{Quote|Lord Hammer, my condolences.<br>For what?<br>You died in the battle.}}
+
In order to rid the surviving greens of Ulf the White, Hobert drank poisoned [[Wine|Arbor gold]] with him to their mutual deaths. Without a leader or a rider for Silverwing, Lord Peake led the green army in retreat. [[King's Landing]] had been saved.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
The three dragons encamped at [[Tumbleton]] were unchained, however, and all had been roused by the battle. [[Addam Velaryon|Addam]] turned [[Seasmoke]] to meet [[Tessarion]], and the two dragons danced around each other in the sky. [[Vermithor]] eventually rose into the sky as well, attacking everything he came across. And thus Addam turned Seasmoke towards him, to protect those men who were helping them, although he must have known Seasmoke could not beat Vermithor. The dragons were so locked together, neither could get free. Tessarion joined the fight, which ended with Vermithor ripping off the head of Seasmoke. Vermithor, due to his wounds, died next. Tessarion, after trice trying to fly, remained in pain, until Lord Blackwood ordered her killed to end her suffering.
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===Rhaenyra's Death===
 +
[[File:Season5Dance of Dragons25.png|thumb|400px|[[Rhaenyra Targaryen]] is fed to [[Sunfyre]].In supplemental Blu-ray content from ''[[Game of Thrones]]'' Season 5.]]
 +
[[Rhaenyra Targaryen]] was refused entry at [[Rosby]] and was allowed to stay only one night at [[Stokeworth]], half her [[gold cloaks]] deserted on the road, and attackers killed several of her knights. At [[Duskendale]] they were admitted, but not allowed to stay long. Refusing to part from her son, [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]], and without ships, Rhaenyra sold her crown to buy passage on a [[Braavos]]i ship. She returned to [[Dragonstone]], hoping to hatch a new dragon from the island's [[dragon egg]]s.
  
Though having won the battle, the [[Rivermen]] had not been able to take the town. Tumbletons walls were closed, and without a dragon or equipment, they could not start a siege, so the rivermen took all that they found useful and left. Only one dragon now remained at the city: [[Silverwing]].
+
Ser [[Alfred Broome]] and his garrison killed Rhaenyra's remaining men and captured the queen, her ladies, and Aegon the Younger. Once inside the gates, Rhaenyra faced [[Aegon II Targaryen]] and the wounded [[Sunfyre]]. Aegon the Elder fed Rhaenyra to his dragon while Aegon the Younger looked on. With the chance that Rhaenyra's loyalists would continue the fight in her son's name, Aegon the Younger became a hostage. It was the twenty-second day of the tenth month of {{Date|130}}.
  
Eight of the thirteen Caltrops had died in the battle, and one would die the next day. Ser [[Hobert Hightower|Hobert]] and Lord [[Unwin Peake|Peake]] remained, and both found [[Ulf the White]], the last dragonrider, proclaiming himself their last hope. White now proposed to take the throne for him, since Prince Daeron was dead.  And so Ser Hobert visited him the next day with two casks of wine, one red for himself, one golden arbor for White. Ulf, however, became suspicious of Ser Hobert, and insisted they drank the arbor gold together.
+
On the ninth day of the twelfth month, Sunfyre the Golden died on Dragonstone. After this, Aegon started planning his return to [[King's Landing]]. Though Rhaenyra had died, her cause lived on. Aegon II would sit the throne again, but it would only last another half of a year.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
  
And so Ser Hobert drank deep, and asked for more. Having seen this, Ulf drank three cups, and died shortly after due to the poison mixed in the wine. Ser Hobert tried to retch, but for him it was too late as well, and he died within the hour.
+
===The Moon of the Three Kings===
 +
:{{main|Moon of the Three Kings}}
  
Without a leader, and without a rider for [[Silverwing]], the army started to fall apart. And so [[Unwin Peake|Lord Peake]] called defeat, and retreated. [[King's Landing]] had been saved.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
+
After Rhaenyra's forces abandoned King's Landing, chaos took control of the city for several weeks, a period known as the [[Moon of the Three Kings]].  
  
===[[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra’s]] retreat to [[Dragonstone]]===
+
The squire [[Trystane Truefyre]], said to be a bastard of the late King Viserys I, was installed by [[Perkin the Flea]] in the [[Red Keep]]. Meanwhile, a second pretender king was the four-year-old [[Gaemon Palehair]], who was claimed to be a son of King [[Aegon II Targaryen]] and was established atop [[Visenya's Hill]], at the [[House of Kisses]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II}}
Yet [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] did not know about this. She had been refused entry at [[Rosby]] and was allowed to stay only one night at [[Stokeworth]], half her [[Gold Cloaks]] deserted on the road, and attackers killed several of her knights. At [[Duskendale]] they were admitted, but not allowed to stay long. Refusing to part from [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon]], and without ships, Rhaenyra sold her crown to buy passage on a Braavosi ship. And so she returned to [[Dragonstone]], where she knew were more dragon eggs, for she needed a new dragon.
 
  
At Dragonstone, Rhaenyra found her [[Robert Quince|castellan]] slain. As Ser [[Alfred Broome|Alfred]], angered when he had not been named castellan, showed Ser Roberts burned body, his men killed all of Rhaenyra’s men, and imprisoned [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]], her ladies, and [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]]. Once inside the gates of the castle, Rhaenyra stood face to face with [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon II]] and [[Sunfyre]].
+
Lord [[Borros Baratheon]] seized King's Landing for Aegon. Gaemon was arrested and Trystane was executed after being granted the boon of [[knight]]hood. Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]], who had been left in the dungeons when Rhaenyra fled the city, was freed and named to Aegon's small council. As Aegon II's only remaining heir was his daughter [[Jaehaera Targaryen|Jaehaera]], the widowed king agreed to marry the eldest daughter of Borros.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}}
  
Not long after Dragonstone had secretly fallen to Aegon II, ravens had arrived telling him about Rhaenyra’s return to Dragonstone. This had given Aegon the opportunity to prepare for the arrival of his half-sister.
+
===Battle of the Kingsroad===
 +
:{{Main|Battle of the Kingsroad}}
  
 +
With [[King's Landing]] secured for King [[Aegon II Targaryen]], Lord [[Borros Baratheon]] led his armies against the riverlanders who were approaching the city on the [[kingsroad]]. These [[Lads]] were led by Lord [[Kermit Tully]], Lord [[Benjicot Blackwood]],{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Stormlands: House Baratheon}} and Ben's aunt, [[Alysanne Blackwood]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Stormlands: House Baratheon}}<ref>Clarification: [http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/119534-twoiaf-spoilers-inconsistency-or-intentional/?p=6435203 Question regarding Black Aly's relation to Benjicot] and the [http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/119534-twoiaf-spoilers-inconsistency-or-intentional/?p=6435302 clarifying answer]</ref> Bloody Ben Blackwood broke the flank of the confident Borros, and "Black Aly" led the archers that brought down Borros's knights. Lord Baratheon killed Lords [[House Darry|Darry]] and [[House Mallister|Mallister]], before he himself was killed by Lord Tully.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Stormlands: House Baratheon}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Riverlands: House Tully}}
  
{{Quote|Mother, flee!}}
+
This left King's Landing with only meager defenses, with the Lads only a short distance away. Lord [[Cregan Stark]] and his forces marched south to reinforce them.
  
And so it was the [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Queen]] found her brother in her own seat. [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon]] wasted no time, and had Rhaenyra fed to his [[Sunfyre|dragon]], whilst [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]] looked on. With the chance that Rhaenyra’s loyalists would continue the fight in her sons name, Aegon the Younger became a hostage. It was the twenty-second day of the tenth month of {{Date|130}}.
+
===Aegon II's Death===
 +
When the [[Blacks|black]] army of the [[Lads]] was a day's march outside of [[King's Landing]], there were no significant [[Greens|green]] forces to stop them. Lord [[Cregan Stark]] was coming south, and other armies were coming from the [[Vale of Arryn]] as well. King [[Aegon II Targaryen]] refused to surrender, even when Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]], now master of ships on Aegon's small council, advised him that the only remaining option was to surrender and join the [[Night's Watch]]. Instead, Aegon gave orders to have an ear cut off his nephew, [[Aegon III Targaryen|Aegon the Younger]], and have it sent to the Lads as a warning—if his bloodline died, so would Rhaenyra's. Aegon II was shortly found dead after, with blood on his lips from poisoned wine.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II}} Who poisoned the king remains unknown, though twenty-two men would be arrested.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}}
  
On the ninth day of the twelfth month, Sunfyre the Golden died on Dragonstone. After this, Aegon started planning his return to [[King's Landing]]. Though [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]] had died, her cause lived on. [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon]] would sit the throne again, but it would only lest another half of a year.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
+
==Aftermath==
 +
===The False Dawn===
 +
With King [[Aegon II Targaryen]] dead, Aegon the Younger was crowned as King [[Aegon III Targaryen]]. Although Aegon II's host had been defeated and the [[House Velaryon|Velaryon]] fleet once more served the [[Iron Throne]], the period that followed was named the False Dawn.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}}
  
{{Quote|The time for hiding is done. Let the ravens fly that the realm may know the pretender is dead, and their true king is coming home to reclaim his father’s throne.}}
+
The realm faced numerous problems. The cruel winter that had begun the year before on Maiden's Day of {{Date|130}} would last until {{Date|135}}. Much of the realm had been burned out by [[dragonfire]] - in particular, [[Aemond Targaryen]]'s one-man war riding [[Vhagar]], which had burned out most of the [[riverlands]]. [[Broken men]] and outlaws roamed the countryside in the hundreds and thousands, and public order had collapsed in many places. The [[ironborn]], under the command of [[Dalton Greyjoy]]—who had only nominally sided with the blacks as a pretext to attack wealthy green kingdoms—now refused to acknowledge the boy-king Aegon III's commands to stop raiding.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}}
  
===The Moon of the Three Kings===
+
Lord [[Cregan Stark]] and his [[north]]ern army of childless, homeless, and younger men had marched to [[King's Landing]] with hopes of adventure. The sudden death of King Aegon II had robbed them of that chance, leaving Cregan furious. He had wanted to punish [[Storm's End]], [[Casterly Rock]], and [[Oldtown]] for having supported Aegon II over [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]], but upon his arrival, Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]] had already sent out ravens, suing for peace.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}}
After Rhaenyra's forces abandoned King's Landing, chaos took control of the city for several weeks. The Shepherd had survived the destruction of the Dragonpit, and his mob ruled much of the city.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon II}}
 
  
Two pretender kings came to be in the city. The first was [[Trystane Truefyre]], the squire of the hedge knight Ser [[Perkin the Flea]], who claimed the boy was a bastard son of the late King Viserys I. Ser Perkin had previously already been gathering support for Trystane, and after Rhaenyra's flight, installed Trystane in the [[Red Keep]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon II}}
+
===Hour of the Wolf===
 
+
:{{Main|Hour of the Wolf}}
The second pretender king was a four year old boy named [[Gaemon Palehair]], the son of a whore, who claimed the boy had been fathered by King [[Aegon II Targaryen]]. Given King Aegon's philandering ways, this was not seen as improbable, though the boy's mother would later admit that Gaemon had been the son of an oarsman from [[Lys]] when she was hanged. Gaemon ruled from atop of Visenya's Hill, from the House of Kisses, and gathered thousands of followers. He issued a series of edicts,{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon II}} amongst them one declaring that females should be equal to males in matters of inheritance. According to Archmaester [[Gyldayn]], [[Mushroom]] claims that these edicts were almost certainly the work of the paramour of Gaemon's mother [[Essie]], a dornish whore named [[Sylvenna Sand]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| Queer Customs of the South}}
 
 
 
In the end, it was Lord [[Borros Baratheon]] and his stormlanders who seized King's Landing back. Trystane Truefyre was executed, though not before he received the boon of knighthood. Gaemon Palehair was arrested, and would survive the war. King [[Aegon II Targaryen]] arrived back at King's Landing, and installed himself in the [[Red Keep]] once more. Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]], who had been arrested by Rhaenyra and left in the dungeons when she fled the city, was freed and named to Aegon's small council.
 
 
 
As King Aegon II's only remaining heir was his daughter [[Jaehaera Targaryen|Jaehaera]], the widowed King agreed to marry a daughter of Lord Borros.
 
 
 
===The Battle of the Kingsroad/The Muddy Mess===
 
:{{Main|Battle of the Kingsroad}}
 
With King's Landing secured for King Aegon II, Lord Borros led his armies against the riverlanders who were approaching the city. The riverlanders were being led by Lord [[Kermit Tully]], Lord [[Benjicot Blackwood]] (together known as "the Lads").{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon II}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| House Baratheon and Benjicot's aunt, [[Alysanne Blackwood]]}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| House Baratheon}}<ref>Clarification [http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/119534-twoiaf-spoilers-inconsistency-or-intentional/?p=6435302]</ref>
 
  
Lord Borros, upon learning this, grew more confident in his victory, but it was Benjicot Blackwood, thereafter known as Bloody Ben Blackwood, who broke his flank, and "Black Aly" who led the archers that brought down Borros' knights. Lord Borros fought on, and killed the Lords Darry and Mallister, before he himself was killed by Kermit Tully.{{Ref|TWOIAF| House Baratheon}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| House Tully}}
+
Lord [[Cregan Stark]] could not be dissuaded from punishing the betrayers and prisoners of King [[Aegon II Targaryen]]. He found the poisoning foul murder, and had twenty-two men arrested in the name of young [[Aegon III Targaryen]], including Lords [[Larys Strong]] and [[Corlys Velaryon]]. He then made Aegon name him [[Hand of the King]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}}
  
This left King's Landing with only meager defenses, with the Lads only a short distance away, while Lord [[Cregan Stark]] and his forces were marching south as well to reinforce them.
+
Cregan reigned as Hand during a day filled with trials and executions. Most of those accused chose to [[Night's Watch|take the black]]—chief among them Ser [[Perkin the Flea]]—but Ser [[Gyles Belgrave]] of the [[Kingsguard]] and [[Larys Strong|Larys]] chose death. Corlys was spared a trial thanks to the intervention of [[Baela Targaryen|Baela]] and [[Rhaena Targaryen (daughter of Daemon)|Rhaena Targaryen]]. The day after the executions, Cregan resigned as Hand and returned to the north, leaving many of his northmen behind in the south.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}}
  
===The end of the Dance===
+
===The Regency of Aegon III===
The black army of "the Lads" was now a day's march outside of King's Landing, and there were no significant green forces to stop them.  Lord Cregan Stark was coming south, and other armies were coming from the Vale as well. Yet King Aegon II refused to surrender, even when Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]], now Master of Ships on Aegon II's small council, advised him that the only remaining option was to surrender and join the [[Night's Watch]]. Instead, King Aegon II gave orders to have [[Aegon III Targaryen|his nephew's]] ear cut off and sent to the Lads as a warning - if his bloodline died, so would Rhaenyra's.  Aegon climbed back into his litter, to be carried to his chamber, and was given a cup of wine along the way to ease his pain.  When his escort arrived at his private chamber and lifted the litter's curtains, Aegon II was dead, with blood on his lips.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon II}} Who exactly poisoned the king remains unknown to history, though twenty-two men would later be arrested for this crime (Lord Corlys Velaryon and Larys Strong amongst them).{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon III}}
+
:{{Main|Regency of Aegon III}}
  
==Aftermath==
+
With the war over, a council of seven regents was established for the young [[Aegon III Targaryen]]. This regency period was filled with many troubles as the realm struggled to rebuild from the war. Out of the seven original regents, only [[Grand Maester]] [[Munkun]] would serve the full term. The first seven regents were Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]], Lady [[Jeyne Arryn]], Lord [[Royce Caron]], Ser [[Torrhen Manderly]], Lord [[Manfryd Mooton]], Grand Maester [[Munkun]], and Lord [[Roland Westerling]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}}
===The False Dawn===
 
With King Aegon II dead, Aegon the Younger was crowned as King Aegon III Targaryen. Despite the hopes that the troubles were done - Aegon II's host had been defeated, the Velaryon fleet once more served the Iron Throne - the period that followed the war immediately was named "the False Dawn".{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon III}}
 
  
The realm faced numerous problems. The cruel winter that had begun the year before on Maiden's Day of {{Date|130}} would last until {{Date|135}}.  Much of the realm had been burned out by dragonfire - in particular, Aemond Targaryen's one-man war riding Vhagar, which had burned out most of the Riverlands.  Broken men and outlaws roamed the countryside in the hundreds and thousands, and public order had collapsed in many places.  The ironborn, under the command of the Red Kraken - who had only nominally sided with the blacks as a pretext to attack wealthy green kingdoms - now refused to acknowledge the boy-king's commands to stop raiding.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon III}}
+
In {{Date|135}} the harsh winter finally ended, and in {{Date|136}}, when he came of age, King Aegon III dismissed his final regents and Hand.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}}
 
 
Lord Cregan Stark and his army of childless and homeless men, unwed men, and younger sons, had marched to King's Landing with the hopes of war, adventure and plunder, and for a glorious death. The sudden death of King Aegon II had robbed them of that chance, leaving Lord Cregan furious. He had wanted to punish Storm's End, Casterly Rock and Oldtown for having supported Aegon over Rhaenyra, but upon his arrival, Lord Corlys Velaryon had already send out ravens, suing for peace.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon III}}
 
 
 
===Hour of the Wolf===
 
Lord Cregan could not be dissuaded in punishing the betrayers and poisoners of King Aegon II. He found the poisoning fould murder, and had twenty-two men arrested in the name of Aegon III (Lord [[Larys Strong]] and Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]] amongst them). He then made the young King Aegon III to name him [[Hand of the King]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon III}}
 
  
Lord Cregan reigned as Hand of the King for only a day, a day filled with trials and executions. Most of those accused chose to take the black - chief amongst them was Ser Perkin the Flea - yet two chose death (Ser Gyles Belgrave of the Kingsguard and Larys Strong). The day after the executions, Lord Cregan resigned as Hand, and returned to the north, leaving many of his northmen behind in the south.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon III}}
+
===Changed views on inheritance===
 +
The Dance of the Dragons further had influences upon the future Targaryen succession. Upon the death of King [[Baelor I Targaryen]] in {{Date|171}}, the succession of the throne was unclear. Since Baelor had no children and had not appointed an heir, there were some lords and smallfolk who felt the Iron Throne should pass to the eldest of his sisters, Princess [[Daena Targaryen]]. However, other recalled the troubled time when [[Rhaenyra Targaryen]] sat the [[Iron Throne]]. The Dance was part of the reason why Prince [[Viserys II Targaryen|Viserys Targaryen]], Baelor's uncle, was chosen to ascend the throne over the wild Daena.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Viserys II}} By choosing Viserys over Daena, women have came after all men in Targaryen succession since the Dance.<ref>[[So Spake Martin]]: [http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/Comic_Con_San_Diego_CA_July_20_232/ Comic Con San Diego (July 20-23, 2006)]</ref>
  
===The Regency===
+
==Historical sources==
With the war over, a council of seven regents was established for the young Aegon III. They would continue to reign until {{Date|136}}, the day when King Aegon III came of age. This regency period was still filled with many troubles as the realm struggled to rebuild from the war.  Out of the seven original regents, only Grand Maester [[Munkun]] would serve the full term.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon III}}
+
There are several main sources for historical information on the Dance of the Dragons, which are frequently at odds with each other. The first was written by Grand Maester [[Orwyle]], who had served King [[Aegon II Targaryen]] on his council and was arrested by the forces of Queen [[Rhaenyra Targaryen]] when she took the city.{{Ref|TPATQ}} Orwyle wrote his account while locked away in the [[black cells]]. Uncertain about whether or not he would survive the war, he attempted to paint himself in the best light possible.<ref name=Orwyle>[http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/12432 Stockholm and Archipelacon Report]</ref>
  
During the regency, King Aegon III was married to the only remaining child of the late King Aegon II: Princess [[Jaehaera Targaryen]]. Jaehaera would die two years later however, and the King would remarry, this time to a cousin of Lord [[Alyn Velaryon]]: Lady [[Daenaera Velaryon]]. This second marriage would give the King five children.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon III}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| Appendix: Targaryen Lineage}}
+
Grand Maester [[Munkun]]'s ''[[The Dance of the Dragons, A True Telling]]'' was based on Orwyle's account.{{Ref|twoiaf| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II}} It is a somewhat inaccurate history.{{Ref|adwd|8}}
  
The Red Kraken, meanwhile, continued to raid the western coasts.  With peace restored, the devastated Westerlands and Reach gradually built up enough strength to contest the ironborn. This private war between the Greyjoys and the lords of the western coasts dragged on for another three years during the heart of winter.  Eventually, Dalton Greyjoy died on Fair Isle, when after he finished raping a girl in Lord Farman's own bedchamber, she opened his throat as he slept. Dalton had never taken a rock wife, and only had young sons by several salt wives, which led to a fight over the succession. A Lannister force, with the aid of Ser [[Leo Costayne]], attacked the isles in {{Date|134}}, exacting revenge. Entire villages were put to the sword, man, woman, and child. Most of the attacking host was lost, but those who returned home returned with plunder - and with one of Dalton's salt sons.  Lady [[Johanna Lannister]] had the boy gelded and mutilated, and forced him to be her son's fool.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Red Kraken}}
+
The next major source was written by Septon [[Eustace (Dance of the Dragons)|Eustace]], who served at the [[Red Keep]] at the time of Viserys I's death. Eustace wrote ''[[The Reign of King Viserys, First of His Name, and the Dance of the Dragons That Came After|The Reign of King Viserys]]'' after the war had concluded. His account is biased, favoring Aegon II over Rhaenyra.<ref>[Spoilers] The Princess and the Queen, complete spoilers discussion: [http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/100284-spoilers-the-princess-and-the-queen-complete-spoilers-discussion/&do=findComment&comment=5178064 Ran on Septon Eustace (November 28, 2013)]</ref>
  
==Consequences of the Dance==
+
The fourth major source is the account of the [[dwarf]] [[Mushroom]], the court fool at the Red Keep during the reign of King [[Viserys I Targaryen]], who was with Rhaenyra on Dragonstone when the war broke out. Mushroom was believed to be a lackwit by the court, and thus people often spoke freely around him. His account, ''[[The Testimony of Mushroom]]'', contains detailed descriptions of plots, murders, trysts, debaucheries, and more. Although Mushroom's account often differs significantly from Septon Eustace's account, there are some surprising points of agreement.{{Ref|twoiaf| The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I}} During his reign, King [[Baelor I Targaryen]] had Mushroom's book burned on account of its ribald and scandalous content.{{Ref|twoiaf| The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I}}
Since the Dance, House Targaryen has practiced a highly modified version of agnatic primogeniture<ref>Comic Con San Diago [http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/Comic_Con_San_Diego_CA_July_20_232/]</ref>, placing female claimants in the line of succession behind all possible male ones, even collateral relations.
 
  
The war is the subject of the song "[[The Dance of the Dragons (song)|The Dance of the Dragons]]", as well as [[The Dance of the Dragons, A True Telling|a somewhat inaccurate history]] by [[Grand Maester]] [[Munkun]]. [[Archmaester]] [[Gyldayn]] wrote a history of it called ''The Princess and the Queen or the Blacks and the Greens''.{{Ref|TPATQ}}
+
Archmaester [[Gyldayn]] wrote his work, ''[[The Princess and the Queen, or, the Blacks and the Greens]]'', about a century after the war, making use of the accounts that were written down before him, comparing them where needed.{{Ref|tpatq}}
  
==Books and Scrolls about the Dance of the Dragons==
+
Maester [[Yandel]] discusses the Dance in his book ''[[The World of Ice and Fire (Yandel)|The World of Ice and Fire]]''.{{ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II}}
* ''[[The Dance of the Dragons, A True Telling]]'' - by [[Grand Maester]] [[Munkun]]  
 
* ''[[The Princess and The Queen, or, The Blacks and The Greens (by Archmaester Gyldayn)|The Princess and The Queen, or, The Blacks and The Greens]]'' - by Archmaester [[Gyldayn]]
 
  
 
==Family Tree of House Targaryen during the Dance==
 
==Family Tree of House Targaryen during the Dance==
 
{{Targaryen tree Dance}}
 
{{Targaryen tree Dance}}
  
==References and Notes ==
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==References==
 
{{References|2}}
 
{{References|2}}
  
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Latest revision as of 21:56, 23 June 2019

Dance of the Dragons
War of succession
Deaths of Lucerys and Arrax.jpg
Prince Lucerys Velaryon and Arrax are killed by Prince Aemond Targaryen and Vhagar in one of the first confrontations of the Dance of Dragons
Art by Chase Stone, from The World of Ice & Fire

Date 129 AC - 131 AC
Location Westeros
Result Deaths of both claimants, Aegon II and Rhaenyra
Aegon III's ascension to the throne
Marriage of Aegon III to Jaehaera Targaryen
Belligerents
House Targaryen (Rhaenyra).svg

House Targaryen (Blacks)

House Arryn
House Bar Emmon
House Beesbury
House Bigglestone
House Blackwood
House Borrell
House Bracken (originally green)
House Brune of Brownhollow
House Brune of the Dyre Den
House Buckler
House Byrch
House Caswell
House Celtigar
House Cerwyn
House Costayne
House Chambers
House Charlton
House Corbray
House Crabb
House Darklyn
House Darry
House Deddings
House Dustin
House Fell
House Flint of Flint's Finger
House Footly
House Frey
House Grey
House Greyjoy
House Grimm
House Harte
House Hayford
House Hornwood
House Mallister
House Manderly
House Massey
House Merryweather
House Mullendore
House Perryn
House Piper
House Roote
House Rowan
House Royce
House Smallwood
House Stark
House Staunton
House Sunderland
House Tarly
House Tully (originally green)
House Vance of Wayfarer's Rest
House Vypren
House Wode
House Targaryen (Aegon II).svg

House Targaryen (Greens)

House Ambrose
House Baratheon
House Bourney (originally black)
House Butterwell (originally black)
House Crakehall
House Fossoway of Cider Hall
House Graceford
House Hightower
House Lannister
House Lefford
House Leygood
House Mooton (originally black)
House Norcross
House Peake
House Redwyne
House Reyne
House Risley
House Rodden
House Rosby (originally black)
House Roxton
House Stokeworth (originally black)
House Strong
House Swann
House Swyft
House Tarbeck
House Thorne
House Vance of Atranta
House Velaryon (originally black)
House Wylde
The Triarchy
Notable commanders
Queen Rhaenyra I
Prince Daemon Targaryen
Prince Jacaerys Velaryon
Lord Corlys Velaryon
Lord Cregan Stark
Lord Roderick Dustin
Lord Dalton Greyjoy
Lord Kermit Tully
Lord Benjicot Blackwood
King Aegon II
Queen Dowager Alicent Hightower
Ser Otto Hightower
Lord Commander Criston Cole
Prince Regent Aemond Targaryen
Lord Ormund Hightower
Admiral Sharako Lohar of Lys
Ser Tyland Lannister
Lord Borros Baratheon
Lord Unwin Peake

The Dance of the Dragons was a civil war during Targaryen rule of the Seven Kingdoms. A war of succession between Aegon II and his half-sister Rhaenyra over their father Viserys I's throne, the war was fought from 129 AC to 131 AC. It saw the deaths of both rival monarchs, and the crowning of Rhaenyra's son, Aegon III.

In early 2013 George R. R. Martin announced that the anthology Dangerous Women, previously expected to include the fourth Dunk and Egg story, would instead include the novella The Princess and the Queen, which Martin described as "(...) the true (mostly) story of the origins of the Dance of the Dragons."[1] The abridged version in The Princess and the Queen consists of 30,000 words, while the complete 80,000 word history of the civil war is planned for Fire & Blood.[2]

Prelude

King Viserys I Targaryen had three children by his first queen, Aemma Arryn, but only one, Princess Rhaenyra, survived to adulthood. Lacking a son to succeed him, Viserys began to train Rhaenyra to be his heir. Young Rhaenyra was included in discussions of the affairs of state, and was allowed to participate in meetings of the small council. Many of the nobles took note, and Rhaenyra soon acquired a clique of adherents and supporters. After the passing of Queen Aemma in 105 AC, Viserys named Rhaenyra his heir and hundreds of lords and landed knights paid obeisance to her.[3] Viserys's declaration disregarded precedents from 92 AC and 101 AC.[4] The king remarried in 106 AC, this time to Alicent Hightower, and had four more children: Aegon, Helaena, Aemond, and Daeron.

In 111 AC, a great tourney was held at King's Landing on the fifth anniversary of Viserys's marriage to Alicent. During the opening feast, Queen Alicent wore a green gown, while Princess Rhaenyra dressed in the red and black of House Targaryen. Note was taken, and thereafter it became the custom to refer to "greens" and "blacks" when talking of the queen's party and the party of the princess, respectively. Wearing Rhaenyra's favor, Ser Criston Cole unhorsed all of Alicent's champions in the tourney, including two of her cousins and her youngest brother, Ser Gwayne Hightower.[1][3]

Viserys I strengthened Rhaenyra's place in the succession by marrying her in 114 AC to Ser Laenor Velaryon - who himself had Targaryen blood through his mother, Princess Rhaenys. The marriage caused a falling out between Rhaenyra and Criston. Rhaenyra gave birth to three sons—Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey Velaryon—during her marriage, although there were rumors that the father of these princes was not Laenor, but Ser Harwin Strong.[3]

After Laenor was murdered in Spicetown in 120 AC, Rhaenyra married her uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen, younger brother to Viserys I. Her sons by him were Aegon the Younger—called so to distinguish him from his uncle, Alicent's Aegon, who on occasion was called Aegon the Elder—and Viserys.

The relationship between Rhaenyra and Alicent declined early in Alicent's marriage to Viserys, since both ladies had been trying to be the realm's first lady, and there could only be one. As a consequence of their bad relation, Alicent's sons did not take to Rhaenyra's sons. Alicent's father, Ser Otto Hightower, had also disliked Rhaenyra's second husband, Prince Daemon, since the beginning of Viserys's reign, though the exact reasons are unknown.[3]

The Dance of the Dragons

The Small Council Meeting

Upon the death of King Viserys I Targaryen, Queen Alicent and Ser Criston Cole sent out the Kingsguard to summon the small council members. During the gathering, the conversation quickly stirred towards Rhaenyra's coronation, but Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, told those who had gathered that Prince Aegon the Elder would be crowned, whilst Lord Lyman Beesbury, the master of coin, insisted Rhaenyra should be crowned a queen.

Several other council members countered him. Ser Tyland Lannister argued that the oaths made to Rhaenyra in 105 AC had not been made by them, since it had been twenty-four years. Lord Jasper Wylde mentioned that the Old King Jaehaerys I twice chose a male heir over the female heir and her descendants, and Ser Otto argued that Rhaenyra was married to Prince Daemon, who would become the true ruler, should Rhaenyra gain the crown. Both Hightower's argued that not only they, but also Alicent's children would die should Rhaenyra become their queen. It would later be said that Prince Aegon only reluctantly accepted the crown because his mother, brothers, sister and children would otherwise be killed by Rhaenyra.[1]

Grand Maester Orwyle predicted a war, believing that Rhaenya would never be willing to give up her birthright, and had dragons at her disposal. When Lyman declared that he was not willing to listen to people plotting to steal her crown and attempted to leave, Ser Criston killed him. This made Lord Beesbury the first casualty of the Dance of the Dragons.

After Beesbury's death, the green council made their plans, vowing their loyalty to their new king, and arresting all those in King's Landing who could be loyal to Rhaenyra. To all those who might be loyal to Aegon, ravens were sent. Meanwhile, Rhaenyra remained on Dragonstone, unaware of what had happened.[1]

Coronation of Aegon II

Prince Aemond was sent to Storm's End to betroth himself to one of Lord Borros Baratheon's daughters, so House Baratheon might fight for Aegon II. By the time he left, the smell coming from Viserys I's room was all over Maegor's Holdfast. Seven days after Viserys had died, his death was announced to King's Landing and the silent sisters were sent for.

Aegon's coronation was hastily prepared. The Dragonpit was chosen as the site for its towering bronze doors, strong roof, and thick walls made it easily defensible. Ser Criston Cole crowned Aegon, while Alicent Hightower crowned Aegon's sister-wife, Helaena. The night before, however, the first defection had taken place. Ser Steffon Darklyn of the Kingsguard had left the city, with, amongst other things, the crown worn by kings, Jaehaerys I and Viserys I.

On Dragonstone, Rhaenyra had learned about the death of her father and the betrayal of her siblings. Anger had made her go into labor, which lasted for three days and brought forth a stillborn, deformed girl, whom Rhaenyra named Visenya. Rhaenyra, in answer to Aegon's betrayal, swore revenge.[1]

The Black Council and Coronation of Rhaenyra

Rhaenyra made her own council at Dragonstone, the black council. Participants were, amongst others, her uncle-husband Daemon, her three eldest sons Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey, Lord Corlys Velaryon, and his wife, Princess Rhaenys.[1]

During the council it was resolved that while Rhaenyra remained at Dragonstone to regain her health, Prince Daemon and Caraxes would travel to the riverlands, to make Harrenhal their base and rallying point for those loyal to Rhaenyra. House Velaryon would close off the Gullet blocking all shipping from Blackwater Bay. Princess Rhaenys was convinced that Storm's End would declare for Rhaenyra, since Lord Boremund Baratheon, the deceased father of Lord Borros and Rhaenys's uncle, had always been a supporter of Rhaenys. Prince Daemon also was convinced that Lady Jeyne Arryn, the Maiden of the Vale, would bring her support to their side. Though they believed the north to be too remote to play an important part in the war, messages were to be sent to those lords nevertheless.

Rhaenyra was crowned queen, using the crown her father and great-grandfather had worn, thanks to Ser Steffon Darklyn, who had arrived from King's Landing. Prince Daemon placed the crown on Rhaenyra's head himself and was named Protector of the Realm, and Jacaerys was officially named Prince of Dragonstone and heir to the Iron Throne. Declaring Ser Otto Hightower and Queen Alicent traitors, Rhaenyra allowed for her half-siblings to be forgiven if they would bend the knee.

Upon hearing these developments, King Aegon II declared Rhaenyra and Daemon traitors as well. After being persuaded by his mother, Alicent and sister, Helaena, Aegon dispatched Grand Maester Orwyle to Dragonstone with a retinue under a peace banner, offering Rhaenyra generous terms, but was refused. Not long after but not before swearing on the Seven-Pointed Star to go only as messengers, not knights did Rhaenyra's sons depart. With the eldest Jacaerys visiting the Arryns of the Eyrie, the Manderlys of White Harbor, and the Starks of Winterfell. Rhaenyra's second son, Lucerys, traveled to Storm's End.[1]

Assault on Harrenhal

Prince Daemon led the blacks' attack on Harrenhal, which was conquered without bloodshed in 129 AC. The castellan, Ser Simon Strong, yielded when Caraxes landed on Kingspyre Tower. This conquest led to victories of the blacks at the Burning Mill and Stone Hedge and allowed the river lords, such as House Blackwood, to gather at Harrenhal.[1][5]

In the meantime, Jacaerys gained Lady Arryn and the Lords Manderly, Borrell and Sunderland, and Cregan Stark to Rhaenyra's cause,[1] with Cregan allying through the Pact of Ice and Fire.[6]

The Dance over Shipbreaker Bay

Arrax washes up beneath Storm's End by Ashley Hunter Rice

Lucerys flew to Storm's End, arriving before a gathering storm. He found Prince Aemond and his dragon Vhagar already present. Aemond tried to goad Lucerys into a fight, insulting him, calling him a Strong bastard, but Lucerys, sworn not to fight, refused him. He delivered his message to Lord Borros Baratheon, but was refused and told to leave.

Borros prevented Aemond from attacking his cousin in the castle, but did allow for the prince to follow him. Mounted on his dragon, Aemond caught up with Lucerys during a raging storm. The fight between the two dragons did not last long. Vhagar, being five times bigger, had the advantage, and Arrax fell broken. His head and neck washed ashore three days later, along with the corpse of Lucerys.[1]

Blood and Cheese

Rhaenyra collapsed when learning of Lucerys's death. Prince Daemon, at Harrenhal, sent a raven to his wife, promising that her son's death would be avenged.

Using one of his friends from King's Landing, Daemon enlisted the help of a former serjeant in the City Watch, known now only as Blood, and a rat-catcher from the Red Keep, known now only as Cheese. The two sneaked into the Red Keep, using secret tunnels and hidden doors, which brought them into the Tower of the Hand. There, Queen Alicent was bound and gagged, and her bedmaid strangled. When Queen Helaena and her three children appeared, Blood and Cheese barred the doors and told Helaena to choose which of her sons would die. Helaena reluctantly chose Maelor, but Blood did the opposite and killed Prince Jaehaerys instead. The two fled with the prince's head, leaving the others unharmed.[1]

Blood was seized at the Gate of the Gods, with the head of Prince Jaehaerys hidden in a saddle sack. Under torture, he confessed he was making for Harrenhal, to collect his reward from Prince Daemon. He also described the whore who had hired him and Cheese, Mysaria. The goldcloaks, led by Ser Luthor Largent, searched the Street of Silk from top to bottom but found no trace of Mysaria or Cheese. In his wroth, King Aegon II ordered all the ratcatchers in the city to be hanged. Afterward, Ser Otto Hightower brought a hundred cats to the Red Keep to take their place.[7]

Queen Helaena sank into a deep depression, refusing to eat, bathe or leave her chambers and couldn't stand to be in the presence of Maelor, having named him to die. Thus, the king took Maelor from her and gave him to Queen Alicent to raise as if he were her own. Thereafter, king and queen slept separately. She fell deeper into madness, while Aegon fell into rage and drink.[7]

Civil war in the Riverlands

After the deaths of both princes, both sides called for vengeance. Lords called their banners and marched their armies. The forces of House Blackwood, which had declared for Rhaenyra, invaded the lands of the green-aligned House Bracken, putting villages to the torch and despoiling septs. The Bracken forces were surprised by the Blackwoods while on the march and were ultimately defeated in the Battle of the Burning Mill. The survivors turned back to Stone Hedge, only to find it had been seized by the blacks in their absence. The Brackens yielded and thus King Aegon lost his last supporter in the Riverlands.[7]

The new green Hand

Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, took to winning over lords, hiring sellswords, strengthening the defenses of King's Landing and seeking other alliances. He sent ravens to Winterfell, the Eyrie, Riverrun, White Harbor, Gulltown, Bitterbridge, Fair Isle and half a hundred other seats; he sent riders to the holdings closer to the capital, to summon their lords and ladies to court to do fealty to King Aegon. He also reached out to Dorne, which had fought against Daemon in the War for the Stepstones, but Prince Qoren Martell refused to take part.[8]

The fall of Harrenhal and the defeats at the Burning Mill and Stone Hedge made Aegon II fearful. His fears deepened when ravens returned from the Reach, where the greens thought themselves strongest, as Lords Costayne, Mullendore, Tarly, Rowan and Grimm declared for Rhaenyra. Such division led the castellan, steward and mother of the young Lord Tyrell, in their role as regents, to refuse to take part. Ser Otto sent word to his nephew, Lord Ormund Hightower, to put down the rebellions in the Reach. More blows came to Aegon II in the form of rejections from the Vale and the North, and the constant complaints of merchants for the closing of Blackwater Bay by the Sea Snake's fleets.[8]

With his overtures to Dalton Greyjoy ignored, Ser Otto sent envoys to the Kingdom of the Three Daughters, promising exclusive trading rights at King's Landing as well as ceding the Stepstones - even though the Iron Throne had never claimed them - if they would clear the Gullet of the Velaryon fleet. The Triarchy was slow to move, however, as all important decisions were left in the hands of a High Council. The delay did not sit well with Aegon II, who dismissed his grandfather as Hand of the King and turned to Ser Criston Cole.[8]

Ser Criston's first advice to the king was to treat those who denied him fealty as traitors. Thus all the blacks imprisoned in the dungeons were dragged to the Red Keep's yard before the King's Justice and his axe. Each prisoner was given a last chance to swear fealty to King Aegon. Only Lords Butterwell, Stokeworth and Rosby bent the knee to Aegon II, while Lords Hayford, Merryweather, Harte, Buckler, Caswell and Lady Fell remained true to their vows to defend Rhaenyra's rights, and were beheaded along with eight landed knights and twoscore servants and retainers. Their heads were mounted on spikes above the gates of King's Landing.[8]

Duel of the Cargyll Twins

Not even the Kingsguard were unaffected by the Dance. The seven sworn brothers split upon the death of King Viserys I. Ser Lorent Marbrand and Ser Erryk Cargyll were already at Dragonstone defending Rhaenyra and her blacks, later being joined by Ser Steffon Darklyn, the three forming the core of her new Queensguard. The other four - Ser Criston Cole, Ser Arryk Cargyll, Ser Rickard Thorne, and Ser Willis Fell - sided with Aegon II and his greens at King's Landing.[1]

Desiring revenge for the murder of his heir, Aegon meant to descend on Dragonstone atop Sunfyre to seize or slay his half-sister and her "bastard sons". The green council managed to dissuade him. Ser Criston, still Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, proposed using stealth and treachery as the "pretender princess" had done. Thus he tasked Ser Arryk with infiltrating Dragonstone in the guise of his twin, Ser Erryk. It is uncertain whether he was to kill Rhaenyra or her children, as accounts differ. According to Eustace, Ser Arryk visited the Red Keep's sept to pray forgiveness from the Mother Above. Munkun states the target was Rhaenyra, while Mushroom insists it was her sons Jacaerys and Joffrey "Strong". But the twins happened to come upon each other in one of the halls of the castle's citadel and fought to the death. According to songs, the brothers professed their love as their swords clashed, dying in one another's arms after fighting for an hour with duty in their hearts. However, the account of Mushroom, who claimed to have witnessed the duel, they condemned each other as traitors and were both mortally wounded within moments.[5]

Duskendale and Rook's Rest

Harrenhal and the Burning Mill made the young king, Aegon II realize his situation was severe. While House Hightower of Oldtown and House Redwyne of the Arbor stood firmly behind Aegon, Lord Owen Costayne of Three Towers, Lord Mullendore of Uplands, Lord Alan Tarly of Horn Hill, Lord Thaddeus Rowan of Goldengrove and Lord Grimm of Greyshield declared for Rhaenyra, as did the Vale of Arryn, White Harbor, Winterfell, the Blackwoods and other riverlords, who were assembling at Harrenhal.

Ser Otto Hightower believed that Daemon was Rhaenyra's greatest weakness, and reached out to an old foe of Daemon's, the Kingdom of the Three Daughters across the narrow sea, hoping to use them against Corlys Velaryon. Aegon II was running out of patience, however, and removed Otto as Hand. Ser Criston Cole was named in his stead, and decided quick actions were necessary. Aegon acted by sacking Duskendale, and having Lord Darklyn beheaded for supporting Rhaenyra. Criston then turned his attention to Rook's Rest, for House Staunton had pledged their support to Rhaenyra as well.

Lord Staunton defied his attackers and dispatched a raven to Dragonstone. Princess Rhaenys arrived on her dragon, Meleys, but Criston's men attacked the dragon with scorpions, longbows, and crossbows in the Battle at Rook's Rest in 129 AC.[1]

When Sunfyre and Vhagar also appeared, the dragons fought a thousand feet above the ground. Meleys's jaws closed around Sunfyre's neck, and Vhagar fell upon them, causing all three dragons to crash. From the ashes, only Vhagar rose again. Sunfyre had one wing half torn from his body, whilst his rider, King Aegon II, suffered several broken bones and severe burns. Rhaenys was found completely burned next to Meleys. After the battle, Prince Aemond and Criston took Rook's Rest and put the garrison to death. The head of Meleys was brought back to King's Landing, inspiring fear amongst the smallfolk and causing thousands to flee the capital until the gates were barred by Dowager Queen Alicent.

Aegon was brought back to King's Landing, where maesters attended his severe wounds while he slept under the influence of milk of the poppy. Sunfyre was too large to be moved and was unable to fly. The dragon remained at Rook's Rest, where guards were posted to keep him safe and fed. With Aegon unable to rule, Aemond assumed the style of Protector of the Realm.[1]

The Dragonseeds

Netty and Sheepstealer by Ashley Rice

Lord Corlys Velaryon, upon learning of the death of his wife Rhaenys, threatened to leave Rhaenyra's cause, until Prince Jacaerys named him Hand of the Queen. They sent Prince Joffrey to the Vale of Arryn with Lady Rhaena and three dragon eggs and Joffrey's dragon Tyraxes. Prince Aegon the Younger and Prince Viserys were sent to Pentos on the Gay Abandon to be fostered with the Prince of Pentos, a friend of Daemon's, until Rhaenyra had secured the Iron Throne.

Jacaerys wanted to attack the capital with as many dragons as possible. With six riderless dragons present on Dragonstone, Jacaerys called out to dragonseeds, promising knighthood and wealth to anyone who could master a dragon. Many were injured or died (amongst them Lord Commander Steffon Darklyn), though four people eventually succeeded. Vermithor was claimed by Hugh Hammer, Silverwing by Ulf the White, Seasmoke by Addam of Hull, and Sheepstealer by a girl named Nettles. Corlys asked Rhaenyra to remove the taint of bastardy from Addam and his brother Alyn, making them true Velaryons, and he named Addam heir to Driftmark.[1]

Battle of the Gullet

Meanwhile, ninety warships sailing from the Stepstones chanced upon the Gay Abandon carrying Prince Aegon the Younger and Prince Viserys in 129 AC.[5] The escorting ships were sunk or taken. Prince Aegon managed to escape by clinging to the neck of his dragon, Stormcloud, who was mortally wounded but delivered Aegon back to Dragonstone. Viserys, having only a dragon egg, was unable to escape, and was made a captive of Admiral Sharako Lohar of Lys.

Aegon managed to make it to Dragonstone, and Prince Jacaerys on Vermax flew to the Lysene galleys, quickly followed by the four dragonseeds. The warships tried to flee, but in the fighting Vermax flew too low and crashed into the sea. Jacaerys leaped free, but was pierced by quarrels.

The twenty-eight Lysene ships that survived sacked Spicetown on their way back, and butchered men, women, and children. High Tide, containing all of Lord Corlys Velaryon's treasures, was consumed by fire, one-third of his fleet being destroyed.[1]

Battle of the Honeywine

A fortnight later, Lord Ormund Hightower found himself stuck between two armies: Lord Thaddeus Rowan and Tom Flowers, from Goldengrove and Bitterbridge, came down on him from the northeast, while Ser Alan Beesbury, Lord Alan Tarly, and Lord Owen Costayne were cutting off the retreat route back to Oldtown. They closed around him, but Prince Daeron and his dragon Tessarion joined the battle. Tom Flowers died, Lord Rowan fled, the Alans were captured, and Lord Costayne was mortally wounded. The victory in the Battle of the Honeywine in 129 AC[5] led to Ormund knighting Daeron, naming him Daeron the Daring.[1]

The Red Fork and the Fishfeed

Meanwhile, Lord Walys Mooton retook Rook's Rest but died attempting to kill the wounded Sunfyre. When some of his men returned, Sunfyre had disappeared. They found no tracks, suggesting Sunfyre had taken wing again despite his wounds. The dragon would not be seen for another half year.

While the north assembled forces, Prince Aemond believed Daemon and his host at Harrenhal to be the real danger. Aemond and Ser Criston Cole rode from King's Landing with a host of four thousand and the dragon Vhagar into the riverlands. Daemon knew of their plans before Aemond had left the capital, however, and he hastened south on Caraxes, staying well away from Criston's line of march. Aemond and Criston found Harrenhal abandoned after a nineteen-day march, believing themselves victorious.[1]

An army of greens from the westerlands defeated the western river lords in the Battle at the Red Fork early in 130 AC. Their leader, Lord Jason Lannister, was mortally wounded by Ser Pate of Longleaf during the battle, however,[5] and Ser Adrian Tarbeck was slain three days after the battle at Acorn Hall.[9] Old Lord Humfrey Lefford took command of the Lannister host,[10] which marched east with the intention of joining Criston and Aemond.

At the western shores of the Gods Eye, the westermen came across Lord Roderick Dustin with his Winter Wolves, who had combined his forces with Lord Forrest Frey and Red Robb Rivers. From the south, Pate the Lionslayer and Lords Bigglestone, Chambers, and Perryn locked him in. Lords Garibald Grey, Jon Charlton and Benjicot Blackwood joined with the northmen and other rivermen the following day, while Lord Lefford's ravens were shot down. The day after, they began their battle, which would become the bloodiest land battle of the Dance. Hundreds died that day in the Battle by the Lakeshore, also called the Fishfeed, which destroyed the Lannister host.

Fall of King's Landing

The death of Jacaerys Velaryon filled Rhaenyra with anger and hatred, and she decided to use her dragons.

With Criston Cole, Aemond Targaryen, and Vhagar away from King's Landing, Daemon Targaryen and Caraxes joined with Rhaenyra on Syrax above the capital, while Corlys Velaryon's ships sailed into Blackwater Bay. Grand Maester Orwyle, trying to dispatch ravens asking for help, was arrested before any letters could be sent. Riders bearing messages were arrested at the city gates, and the seven captains commanding the gates we killed or arrested, all by those gold cloaks still loyal to Daemon, who had once commanded them. The city gates were opened for the men arriving with the Velaryon fleet. King's Landing fell in less than a day.[1]

Lord Larys Strong fled with King Aegon II, Princess Jaehaera, and Prince Maelor. Larys dispatched Jaehaera with Ser Willis Fell to Storm's End, and Maelor with Ser Rickard Thorne to Lord Ormund Hightower.

All from the green council remaining in King's Landing yielded, and Rhaenyra took her place on the Iron Throne. Dowager Queen Alicent was spared, but her father, Ser Otto was beheaded, as was Lord Jasper Wylde. Ser Tyland Lannister was given to the torturers, in the hopes of regaining some of the gold he had hidden. Princes Joffrey and Aegon the Younger, Rhaenyra's remaining sons (Viserys was believed to be dead) were called to King's Landing.[1]

Aemond and Criston at Harrenhal could no longer agree on a plan of action. Criston wished to withdraw south to join with Lord Ormund Hightower and Prince Daeron Targaryen, while Aemond wished to attack the capital. Criston led the greens' army south, while Aemond remained to ravage the riverlands, hoping that Rhaenyra would send a dragon after him.[1]

The Red Kraken

At the beginning of the war, the office of master of ships had been offered to Dalton Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands, by the greens. Rhaenyra's council offered Dalton something more to his liking, however, and so House Greyjoy declared for the blacks. With Lord Jason Lannister dying after the Red Fork, his Lannister army destroyed at the Fishfeed, and the green armies of the Reach marching east to Tumbleton, the coasts of the westerlands only had skeleton defenses. For several years, Dalton and his ironborn raided and pillaged the coasts of the westerlands and the Reach. Dalton captured Kayce and Fair Isle, and though the ironborn could not force entry into Casterly Rock after Jason's widow Johanna closed its gates, they sacked Lannisport.[11]

Butcher's Ball

Prince Aemond burned Darry, Lord Harroway's Town, Lord's Mill, Blackbuckle, Buckle, Claypool, Swynford and Spiderwood. Ser Criston Cole, going south, found everything in front of him dead: forests, villages, horses, men. His scouts found scenes where armored corpses sat beneath the trees, rotting away, a mockery of the fallen throwing a feast. Seeing multiple “corpse feasts” during their march, Criston and his men grew accustomed to the sight. At Crossed Elms, however, the corpses were actually disguised blacks who attacked Criston and his men when they were riding past.[1]

Criston's greens were ambushed by river lords and Roderick Dustin between the Gods Eye and the Blackwater Rush. Criston challenged them to single combat, but was refused. The battle was the most decisive in the Dance, and after Criston died, his men were killed by the hundreds in the rout. The massacre became known as the Butcher's Ball, and it marked the high point of Rhaenyra's fortunes.[1]

Prince Daemon took residence at Maidenpool with Nettles, while Aemond terrorized the riverlands, striking at Stonyhead, the Mountains of the Moon, Sweetwillow and Sallydance, and many more. Each day Caraxes and Sheepstealer unsuccessfully searched for Vhagar from Maidenpool.

First Tumbleton

The army of Lord Ormund Hightower, accompanied by Prince Daeron and his dragon Tessarion, slowly advanced on King's Landing, defeating Rhaenyra's loyalists wherever they went. While Ormund was leading the siege of Longtable, Prince Maelor Targaryen and his protector, Ser Rickard Thorne, were discovered by a mob of Rhaenyra's supporters at Bitterbridge. Men and women clamored over the three-year-old boy, each trying to claim him, until the boy was torn to pieces. A vengeful Daeron burned the town with the sack of Bitterbridge.[9] Princess Jaehaera Targaryen safely arrived at Storm's End with Ser Willis Fell.[12]

Ulf the White and Hugh Hammer flew to Tumbleton, but Rhaenyra's forces there were greatly outnumbered by the approaching Hightower army.[9] Some refugees were secretly greens who infiltrated the ranks of the blacks' defenders. In addition, Ulf and Hugh, since then known as the Two Betrayers, changed their allegiance to the greens. Though Ormund and his cousin Ser Bryndon died in the First Battle of Tumbleton, killed by Roddy the Ruin, who himself was mortally injured, the Hightower army kept the advantage. The dragons Vermithor, Silverwing and Tessarion let loose their flames upon Tumbleton, which was savagely sacked.

Upon learning of Tumbleton, Rhaenyra ordered the gates of King's Landing closed and barred. The Two Betrayers made the black council question the loyalty of the other dragonseeds, Ser Addam Velaryon and Nettles. Despite Lord Corlys Velaryon speaking in their defense, Rhaenyra ordered Addam and Nettles arrested. Addam, who had been guarding the dragons at the Dragonpit, was warned by Corlys and escaped on Seasmoke, causing Corlys's arrest.

There was chaos in both King's Landing and Tumbleton. Ser Hobert Hightower presumed to take command of the leaderless green army. Prince Daeron commanded him to stop the sacking, but Hobert was ineffective. Ulf the White, dreaming of Highgarden, became angry upon being granted only Bitterbridge. Hugh Hammer began to dream of a crown of his own. With the Hightower army leaderless, desertions caused the army to shrink every day.[1]

Fall of Dragonstone

Around the time of First Tumbleton, the merchant cog Nessaria made a stop at Dragonstone for repairs and provisions, having been driven off course by a storm. They spotted two fighting dragons while passing the Dragonmont. Inspired by the story from those of Volantis, local fishermen took their boats for a look the next morning, and they reported the burned and broken remains of the Grey Ghost. Ser Robert Quince, Dragonstone's castellan, named the Cannibal as the killer.[1]

Lord Larys Strong had disguised King Aegon II during the fall of King's Landing and smuggled him to Dragonstone, where Aegon was later found by Sunfyre. It had been Aegon's dragon who had actually killed the Grey Ghost, not the Cannibal. Rider and dragon went out flying again, regaining strength, while Aegon's supporters found locals willing to betray Rhaenyra, due to mislike for her.

Poorly-defended Dragonstone fell easily, with Robert being slain by Ser Alfred Broome, who was angered at not being named castellan by Rhaenyra. Lady Baela, Prince Daemon's daughter, escaped her attackers on her dragon, Moondancer. Sunfyre blinded Moondancer with fire, however, and eventually killed the younger dragon after they crashed to the ground. The burned and battered Baela was taken captive, and King Aegon the Elder now held Dragonstone, although he broke his legs in the fighting.[1]

Battle Above the Gods Eye

Daemon and Aemond, fighting on top of Caraxes and Vhagar, with Dark Sister in Daemons hand.

Rhaenyra ordered Lord Manfryd Mooton of Maidenpool to send her the head of Nettles. According to Rhaenyra, Nettles had become the lover of her husband, Prince Daemon, and was thus guilty of high treason. Nettles was a guest beneath his roof, and killing her would mean breaking guest right and facing Daemon's wroth. Refusing Rhaenyra, however, would mean being attainted a traitor. Maester Norren suggested that they had never read the letter, and later that night informed Daemon of Rhaenyra's command.

Nettles and her dragon, Sheepstealer, departed Maidenpool for parts unknown the next morning. Daemon and Nettles spoke no word of farewell, but when Sheepstealer climbed the sky, Caraxes gave a scream. Daemon told Manfryd to spread the word that he would fly for Harrenhal, so Aemond could face him alone. Once Daemon was gone, Lord Mooton took down Rhaenyra's banners and raised the golden dragons of King Aegon II.[1]

Daemon took Harrenhal from the few who still remained there, and waited for thirteen days. On the fourteenth day, Vhagar appeared with Aemond and his bedmaid, the pregnant seer Alys Rivers. With Alys on the ground, the dragonriders fought in the sky above the Gods Eye. Their fight ended as the dragons, locked together, tumbled towards the lake. According to tales, Daemon leapt from Caraxes to Vhagar and drove the Valyrian steel longsword Dark Sister through Aemond's blind eye. The dragons struck the lake half a heartbeat later.

Caraxes crawled beneath the walls of Harrenhal, where he died. Vhagar died in the water, and was found some years later with Aemond's bones still chained to the saddle and with Dark Sister in his rider's eye-socket. Daemon's remains, however, were never found, causing singers to claim he survived to spend his last days with Nettles. It was the twenty-second day of the fifth moon of the year 130 AC.[1]

Storming of the Dragonpit

In King's Landing, the Velaryon fleet, counting more than half the army that had sailed from Dragonstone, abandoned Rhaenyra when they learned Lord Corlys Velaryon was in the black cells. Those who remained could no longer be trusted.

That same day, Queen Helaena threw herself from Maegor's Holdfast and died on the moat's spikes below. Smallfolk believed she had been murdered by Ser Luthor Largent of the gold cloaks, however. Her dragon, Dreamfyre, rose with a roar, snapping two of her chains in the Dragonpit.

Hobb The Hewer by Ashley Hunter Rice

That night a riot rose in King's Landing. Luthor and five hundred gold cloaks went to Cobbler's Square to disperse it, but Luthor and many of his men were killed by ten thousand rioters. A hedge knight, Ser Perkin the Flea, crowned his squire, Trystane Truefyre, declaring him to be King Viserys I Targaryen's bastard. Perkin bestowed knighthood on all who would support Trystane, so many fled to their cause. The next day, some order was restored to parts of King's Landing, but chaos remained in the rest of the city.

Having learned about Maidenpool's betrayal and the escape of Nettles, Rhaenyra sent ravens to Winterfell and the Eyrie, pleading for more aid. Perkin and Trystane gained strength the next night. The King's Gate and the Lion Gate were opened by rioters, the gold cloaks at the King's Gate having fled, and those guarding the Lion Gate having joined the rioters. With Perkin holding the River Gate, three out of seven gates were now open to enemies.

The people of King's Landing no longer believed Rhaenyra could protect them. A crazed prophet known as the Shepherd led an even larger mob to the Hill of Rhaenys to kill the dragons. Joffrey mounted Syrax to fly to the Dragonpit. Fearing the worst, Rhaenyra ordered her followers to go after him and bring him back. Seven men followed her command, remembered in history as the Seven Who Rode: Ser Medrick Manderly, Ser Loreth Lansdale, Ser Harrold Darke, Ser Harmon of the Reeds, Ser Gyles Yronwood, Ser Willam Royce, and Ser Glendon Goode. Rhaenyra's she-dragon was unaccustomed to the boy and he died after being thrown from her back.

Meanwhile, the rioters attacked the Dragonpit. Shrykos was slain by the woodsman Hobb the Hewer, while Morghul was killed by the Burning Knight. Tyraxes went into his lair and roasted many before dying. Dreamfyre slew more than the other three dragons combined, until a crossbow blinded one of her eyes. When Dreamfyre tried to leap free, the weakened dome crashed on both dragon and dragonslayers. Syrax descended on the survivors. Rhaenyra, watching from atop Maegor's Holdfast, held her remaining son, Aegon the Younger, until she saw Syrax fall.

Rhaenyra's councilors agreed that the city was lost. She was persuaded to leave the next day, slipping through the Dragon Gate for Duskendale.[1]

Second Tumbleton

News of unrest in King's Landing reached Tumbleton, making the Hightower army believe they should advance upon the city, but Ser Hobert Hightower doubted, and the Two Betrayers refused to join unless their demands were met.

With Aemond slain and Aegon II still missing, the greens found themselves without leaders. Prince Daeron was next in line for the throne and there were some who wanted to name him Prince of Dragonstone, or even king. Lord Hugh Hammer wanted to be crowned king by right of conquest. He had the oldest and largest dragon alive, Vermithor, thrice as big as Daeron's Tessarion. Ulf the White helped plot Hugh's coronation. Lord Unwin Peake and Hobert summoned eleven other lords and landed knights, who became known as the Caltrops, to plot the deaths of the Two Betrayers with Daeron's consent.

Before the Caltrops could strike, Tumbleton woke at night to find themselves under attack by Addam Velaryon, his dragon Seasmoke, and an army of four thousand blacks loyal to Rhaenyra. The great green host encamped at Tumbleton outnumbered their attackers, but had grown lax due to their long stay. Ulf slept through the Second Battle of Tumbleton. Hard Hugh was killed by one of the Caltrops, Lord Jon Roxton, who was then killed by Hugh's men in revenge. Daeron is said to have been killed by Black Trombo or an unknown man-at-arms, or thirdly died from a burning pavilion.

Addam and Seasmoke battled the riderless Tessarion and Vermithor, which ended with Vermithor ripping off the head of Seasmoke. Vermithor, due to his wounds, died next. Tessarion, after trice trying to fly, remained in pain. Lord Benjicot Blackwood had Billy Burley end her suffering. Addam also died during the fighting.

Though having won the battle, the rivermen had not been able to take the town. Tumbleton's gates were closed, and without a dragon or equipment, they could not start a siege, so the rivermen took all they found useful and left. Only one dragon remained at the town, Silverwing.

In order to rid the surviving greens of Ulf the White, Hobert drank poisoned Arbor gold with him to their mutual deaths. Without a leader or a rider for Silverwing, Lord Peake led the green army in retreat. King's Landing had been saved.[1]

Rhaenyra's Death

Rhaenyra Targaryen is fed to Sunfyre.In supplemental Blu-ray content from Game of Thrones Season 5.

Rhaenyra Targaryen was refused entry at Rosby and was allowed to stay only one night at Stokeworth, half her gold cloaks deserted on the road, and attackers killed several of her knights. At Duskendale they were admitted, but not allowed to stay long. Refusing to part from her son, Aegon the Younger, and without ships, Rhaenyra sold her crown to buy passage on a Braavosi ship. She returned to Dragonstone, hoping to hatch a new dragon from the island's dragon eggs.

Ser Alfred Broome and his garrison killed Rhaenyra's remaining men and captured the queen, her ladies, and Aegon the Younger. Once inside the gates, Rhaenyra faced Aegon II Targaryen and the wounded Sunfyre. Aegon the Elder fed Rhaenyra to his dragon while Aegon the Younger looked on. With the chance that Rhaenyra's loyalists would continue the fight in her son's name, Aegon the Younger became a hostage. It was the twenty-second day of the tenth month of 130 AC.

On the ninth day of the twelfth month, Sunfyre the Golden died on Dragonstone. After this, Aegon started planning his return to King's Landing. Though Rhaenyra had died, her cause lived on. Aegon II would sit the throne again, but it would only last another half of a year.[1]

The Moon of the Three Kings

After Rhaenyra's forces abandoned King's Landing, chaos took control of the city for several weeks, a period known as the Moon of the Three Kings.

The squire Trystane Truefyre, said to be a bastard of the late King Viserys I, was installed by Perkin the Flea in the Red Keep. Meanwhile, a second pretender king was the four-year-old Gaemon Palehair, who was claimed to be a son of King Aegon II Targaryen and was established atop Visenya's Hill, at the House of Kisses.[5]

Lord Borros Baratheon seized King's Landing for Aegon. Gaemon was arrested and Trystane was executed after being granted the boon of knighthood. Lord Corlys Velaryon, who had been left in the dungeons when Rhaenyra fled the city, was freed and named to Aegon's small council. As Aegon II's only remaining heir was his daughter Jaehaera, the widowed king agreed to marry the eldest daughter of Borros.[13]

Battle of the Kingsroad

With King's Landing secured for King Aegon II Targaryen, Lord Borros Baratheon led his armies against the riverlanders who were approaching the city on the kingsroad. These Lads were led by Lord Kermit Tully, Lord Benjicot Blackwood,[5][14] and Ben's aunt, Alysanne Blackwood.[14][15] Bloody Ben Blackwood broke the flank of the confident Borros, and "Black Aly" led the archers that brought down Borros's knights. Lord Baratheon killed Lords Darry and Mallister, before he himself was killed by Lord Tully.[14][16]

This left King's Landing with only meager defenses, with the Lads only a short distance away. Lord Cregan Stark and his forces marched south to reinforce them.

Aegon II's Death

When the black army of the Lads was a day's march outside of King's Landing, there were no significant green forces to stop them. Lord Cregan Stark was coming south, and other armies were coming from the Vale of Arryn as well. King Aegon II Targaryen refused to surrender, even when Lord Corlys Velaryon, now master of ships on Aegon's small council, advised him that the only remaining option was to surrender and join the Night's Watch. Instead, Aegon gave orders to have an ear cut off his nephew, Aegon the Younger, and have it sent to the Lads as a warning—if his bloodline died, so would Rhaenyra's. Aegon II was shortly found dead after, with blood on his lips from poisoned wine.[5] Who poisoned the king remains unknown, though twenty-two men would be arrested.[13]

Aftermath

The False Dawn

With King Aegon II Targaryen dead, Aegon the Younger was crowned as King Aegon III Targaryen. Although Aegon II's host had been defeated and the Velaryon fleet once more served the Iron Throne, the period that followed was named the False Dawn.[13]

The realm faced numerous problems. The cruel winter that had begun the year before on Maiden's Day of 130 AC would last until 135 AC. Much of the realm had been burned out by dragonfire - in particular, Aemond Targaryen's one-man war riding Vhagar, which had burned out most of the riverlands. Broken men and outlaws roamed the countryside in the hundreds and thousands, and public order had collapsed in many places. The ironborn, under the command of Dalton Greyjoy—who had only nominally sided with the blacks as a pretext to attack wealthy green kingdoms—now refused to acknowledge the boy-king Aegon III's commands to stop raiding.[13]

Lord Cregan Stark and his northern army of childless, homeless, and younger men had marched to King's Landing with hopes of adventure. The sudden death of King Aegon II had robbed them of that chance, leaving Cregan furious. He had wanted to punish Storm's End, Casterly Rock, and Oldtown for having supported Aegon II over Rhaenyra, but upon his arrival, Lord Corlys Velaryon had already sent out ravens, suing for peace.[13]

Hour of the Wolf

Lord Cregan Stark could not be dissuaded from punishing the betrayers and prisoners of King Aegon II Targaryen. He found the poisoning foul murder, and had twenty-two men arrested in the name of young Aegon III Targaryen, including Lords Larys Strong and Corlys Velaryon. He then made Aegon name him Hand of the King.[13]

Cregan reigned as Hand during a day filled with trials and executions. Most of those accused chose to take the black—chief among them Ser Perkin the Flea—but Ser Gyles Belgrave of the Kingsguard and Larys chose death. Corlys was spared a trial thanks to the intervention of Baela and Rhaena Targaryen. The day after the executions, Cregan resigned as Hand and returned to the north, leaving many of his northmen behind in the south.[13]

The Regency of Aegon III

With the war over, a council of seven regents was established for the young Aegon III Targaryen. This regency period was filled with many troubles as the realm struggled to rebuild from the war. Out of the seven original regents, only Grand Maester Munkun would serve the full term. The first seven regents were Lord Corlys Velaryon, Lady Jeyne Arryn, Lord Royce Caron, Ser Torrhen Manderly, Lord Manfryd Mooton, Grand Maester Munkun, and Lord Roland Westerling.[13]

In 135 AC the harsh winter finally ended, and in 136 AC, when he came of age, King Aegon III dismissed his final regents and Hand.[13]

Changed views on inheritance

The Dance of the Dragons further had influences upon the future Targaryen succession. Upon the death of King Baelor I Targaryen in 171 AC, the succession of the throne was unclear. Since Baelor had no children and had not appointed an heir, there were some lords and smallfolk who felt the Iron Throne should pass to the eldest of his sisters, Princess Daena Targaryen. However, other recalled the troubled time when Rhaenyra Targaryen sat the Iron Throne. The Dance was part of the reason why Prince Viserys Targaryen, Baelor's uncle, was chosen to ascend the throne over the wild Daena.[17] By choosing Viserys over Daena, women have came after all men in Targaryen succession since the Dance.[18]

Historical sources

There are several main sources for historical information on the Dance of the Dragons, which are frequently at odds with each other. The first was written by Grand Maester Orwyle, who had served King Aegon II Targaryen on his council and was arrested by the forces of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen when she took the city.[1] Orwyle wrote his account while locked away in the black cells. Uncertain about whether or not he would survive the war, he attempted to paint himself in the best light possible.[19]

Grand Maester Munkun's The Dance of the Dragons, A True Telling was based on Orwyle's account.[5] It is a somewhat inaccurate history.[20]

The next major source was written by Septon Eustace, who served at the Red Keep at the time of Viserys I's death. Eustace wrote The Reign of King Viserys after the war had concluded. His account is biased, favoring Aegon II over Rhaenyra.[21]

The fourth major source is the account of the dwarf Mushroom, the court fool at the Red Keep during the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen, who was with Rhaenyra on Dragonstone when the war broke out. Mushroom was believed to be a lackwit by the court, and thus people often spoke freely around him. His account, The Testimony of Mushroom, contains detailed descriptions of plots, murders, trysts, debaucheries, and more. Although Mushroom's account often differs significantly from Septon Eustace's account, there are some surprising points of agreement.[4] During his reign, King Baelor I Targaryen had Mushroom's book burned on account of its ribald and scandalous content.[22]

Archmaester Gyldayn wrote his work, The Princess and the Queen, or, the Blacks and the Greens, about a century after the war, making use of the accounts that were written down before him, comparing them where needed.[1]

Maester Yandel discusses the Dance in his book The World of Ice and Fire.[5]

Family Tree of House Targaryen during the Dance

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jocelyn
Baratheon
 
Aemon
 
Daella
 
Rodrik
Arryn
 
Baelon
 
Alyssa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Corlys
Velaryon
 
Rhaenys
 
 
 
 
 
Aemma
Arryn
 
Viserys I
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alicent
Hightower
 
Daemon
[Note 1]
 
Rhea
Royce
 
Aegon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Laena
Velaryon
 
Daemon
[Note 1]
 
Laenor
Velaryon
 
Rhaenyra
 
Daemon
[Note 1]
 
Son
 
Baelon
 
Aegon II
 
Helaena
 
Aemond
 
Daeron
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rhaena
 
Baela
 
Jacaerys
Velaryon
 
Lucerys
Velaryon
 
Joffrey
Velaryon
 
Viserys II
 
Visenya
 
Aegon III
 
Jaehaera
 
Jaehaerys
 
Maelor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Notes:
  1. 1.0 1.1 Prince Daemon Targaryen was married to Lady Rhea Royce from 97 AC to 115 AC, Lady Laena Velaryon from 115 AC to 120 AC, and to Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen from 120 AC to 130 AC.


References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 The Princess and the Queen.
  2. Not A Blog: The Princess and the Queen
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Rogue Prince.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  6. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Lords of Winterfell.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Black.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
  10. The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons.
  11. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Red Kraken.
  12. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aeogn II.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Baratheon.
  15. Clarification: Question regarding Black Aly's relation to Benjicot and the clarifying answer
  16. The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands: House Tully.
  17. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys II.
  18. So Spake Martin: Comic Con San Diego (July 20-23, 2006)
  19. Stockholm and Archipelacon Report
  20. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion III.
  21. [Spoilers] The Princess and the Queen, complete spoilers discussion: Ran on Septon Eustace (November 28, 2013)
  22. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.