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Aegon V Targaryen
Aegon V by Amok©
|Reign||233 AC - 259 AC|
|Full Name||Aegon Targaryen the Fifth of His Name|
Aegon the Unlikely|
Aegon the Fortunate
The Prince Who Was An Egg
King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men|
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm
|Born in||200 AC, at King's Landing|
|Died in||259 AC, at Summerhall|
|Royal House||House Targaryen|
|Predecessor||Maekar I Targaryen|
1st: Duncan Targaryen (renounced rights)|
2nd: Jaehaerys Targaryen
|Successor||Jaehaerys II Targaryen|
Jaehaerys II Targaryen
|Father||Maekar I Targaryen|
The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)|
The Hedge Knight (appears)
The Sworn Sword (appears)
The Mystery Knight (appears)
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
Aegon became king after a Great Council bypassed a number of candidates earlier in the line of succession, and after his elder brother, Maester Aemon, refused the throne. As the fourth son of Maekar I, himself a fourth son, Aegon was called Aegon the Unlikely.
According to a semi-canonical source, Aegon had long, shoulder-length hair that shone like beaten gold with strands of silver woven together. Tall, slender and handsome, he had large eyes, deep and dark and purple. He wore the crown of Aegon III.
Aegon was born the fourth son and fifth child of then-Prince Maekar Targaryen and his wife Dyanna Dayne. In his youth, Aegon first served at court in King's Landing as a page. He owned a dragon egg, which was colored with green and white swirls, placed in his cradle with him when he was a babe. He loathed his brother, the cruel and sadistic Aerion, who threw Aegon's pet cat down a well. Aerion once visited Aegon in his bedroom during the dead of night, put a knife to Aegon's privates, and joked about removing his genitals so he would become a girl whom Aerion could marry. Once Aegon's sister Rhae slipped a love potion into his drink so that he would marry her and not their sister Daella, to whom he might have been betrothed.[N 1] Aegon did not wish to marry, instead dreaming of becoming a knight of the Kingsguard, who are sworn not to wed.
Aegon was supposed to squire for his eldest brother, Daeron, in the tourney at Ashford Meadow, but Daeron had no interest in jousting and drank himself into a stupor at an inn. Ser Duncan the Tall visited the inn and Aegon was impressed by the humble hedge knight and followed him. Duncan agreed to let Egg serve as his squire during the tourney. Duncan was arrested and sentenced to fight a trial by battle after attacking a prince of House Targaryen. The trial was to be a Trial of Seven, during which Aegon's his uncle, Prince Baelor Breakspear, fighting on behalf of Duncan, died of a wound inflicted by Prince Maekar, Baelor's brother and Aegon's father, who had fought on behalf of House Targaryen. Maekar wished Aegon to be trained as a knight, but Aegon would only agree if Duncan were the knight who trained him. Maekar, the Prince of Summerhall, offered Duncan a place at the garrison of Summerhall, but Duncan declined and agreed to take Aegon on only if Aegon accompanied him as his squire. Aegon would live humbly, but Duncan thought it would make Aegon a better man than his brothers, Aerion and Daeron. Thus, he served as a squire to the hedge knight Ser Duncan the Tall under his nickname "Egg".
A little less than two years later Egg squired for Duncan during the small localized conflict between House Webber and House Osgrey. In 211 AC, he played a part in the suppression of the Second Blackfyre Rebellion at Whitewalls.
Aegon married Lady Betha Blackwood in 220 AC. The marriage at the time provoked no opposition as Aegon was very low in the line of succession. They married for love and eventually had five children together. Aegon named his first-born son Duncan to honor his friend, Ser Duncan the Tall.
According to a semi-canon source, Aegon participated in the suppression of the Peake Uprising in 233 AC, with Tion Lannister as his squire. Aegon's father, King Maekar I Targaryen, was killed at Starpike during the rebellion, however. According to a semi-canon source, the prince knighted the mortally wounded Tywald Lannister, Tion's twin, during the battle.
With Maekar dead, it was unclear who should be king since two of Aegon's older brothers had died before his father. Daeron left a feeble-witted daughter named Vaella and Aerion an infant son, so a Great Council was called to choose the king. Aegon seemed the logical choice but many lords considered him "half a peasant" due to his youth among the smallfolk. The council approached Aegon's older brother, Maester Aemon, but he refused, stating the crown should be given to Aegon.
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Aegon V was crowned Lord of the Seven Kingdoms in 233 AC when he was thirty-three years old. During most, if not all, of Aegon's reign, his old friend Ser Duncan the Tall served as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
Aegon's first act as king was the arrest of Lord Brynden Rivers, the Hand of the King known as Bloodraven, for the murder of Aenys Blackfyre, as Brynden had offered him safe conduct to Westeros for the Great Council but had Aenys executed when he arrived in the capital. Though all were glad another Blackfyre pretender was dead, Aegon had to punish Lord Bloodraven to prove the word of the Iron Throne was not worthless. Although Brynden was sentenced to death, Aegon allowed him to join the Night's Watch. Aegon's brother, Maester Aemon, decided to join the Watch as well, to prevent any plots in which he would be used against his brother. Brynden and Aemon were joined by many of Bloodraven's personal guard, the Raven's Teeth, as well as prisoners released from dungeons by the king.
Aegon's reign began during a harsh winter which lasted from 230 AC until 236 AC. The benevolent Aegon sent massive shipments of food and grain to aid starving northmen, though there were those who felt he provided too much aid. The end of winter saw the return of the Blackfyre Pretenders, with the Fourth Blackfyre Rebellion taking place in 236 AC. Daemon III Blackfyre attempted to seize the Iron Throne with the Golden Company, but few rallied to his side. Aegon and his sons rode to meet and repel the invaders, and Duncan the Tall slew Daemon in single combat, ending the rebellion. Aegor Rivers, known as Bittersteel, managed to flee with the remnants of the Golden Company across the narrow sea.
Aegon V spent much of his reign dealing with uprisings. On three occasions, the Iron Throne had to intervene in the westerlands due to the inferior and inept leadership of Lord Tytos Lannister of Casterly Rock. Most of Aegon's troubles resulted from his efforts to improve the lives of the smallfolk, whom he had interacted with while squiring for Duncan. Although the smallfolk loved Aegon for his reforms and granting of rights and protections, high lords felt their powers over peasantry was diminished and curtailed by these new reforms. Lacking the dragons controlled by early Targaryen kings, Aegon reluctantly compromised with the recalcitrant lords on several issues.
Aegon faced renewed troubles in his reign caused because of his sons. Convinced the Targaryen practice of incestuous marriage was harmful after spending time with smallfolk, Aegon and his queen, Betha Blackwood, betrothed four of their children to some of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms in 237 AC Their eldest son and heir, Prince Duncan, was betrothed to the daughter of Lord Lyonel Baratheon of Storm's End. Prince Jaehaerys, Aegon's second son, was betrothed to Lady Celia Tully, the daughter of the Lord of Riverrun. Aegon's youngest son, Prince Daeron, was betrothed to Lady Olenna Redwyne of the Arbor, when both children were nine years old. In addition, Aegon's eldest daughter, Princess Shaera, was betrothed to Luthor Tyrell, the heir to Highgarden. The proposed marriages would have won Aegon much support for his reforms, but his children had inherited his willfulness and their mother's stubbornness.
Beginning in 239 AC, Prince Duncan fell in love with and eventually wed the mysterious Jenny of Oldstones. King Aegon, the small council, the Grand Maester, and the High Septon forced Duncan to choose between the peasant girl or the Iron Throne. The prince choose his wife and abdicated as Prince of Dragonstone, making his younger brother, Prince Jaehaerys, the new heir. With Duncan refusing to marry the daughter of Lord Baratheon, Storm's End briefly rose in rebellion, which ended when Ser Duncan the Tall of the Kingsguard forced Lord Lyonel to yield during trial by combat. King Aegon pardoned Lyonel and betrothed his daughter, Princess Rhaelle, to Lyonel's heir, Ormund. Aegon sent Rhaelle to Storm's End as Lyonel's cupbearer and companion to his wife.
While King Aegon disliked the Targaryen practice of marriage through incest, Prince Jaehaerys and his sister, Princess Shaera, desired each other from a young age. With Duncan marrying Jenny as precedent, Jaehaerys and Shaera secretly wed and consummated their marriage in 240 AC, leaving Aegon to deal with the anger of Houses Tully and Tyrell.
Though betrothed for nine years to Lady Olenna Redwyne, Prince Daeron broke his betrothal in 246 AC when he was eighteen years old. Daeron remained unwed, instead preferring the companionship of Ser Jeremy Norridge, a young knight whom he had befriended when they were squires at Highgarden. Daeron and Jeremy perished in battle in 251 AC, crushing a rebellion led by the Rat, the Hawk, and the Pig.
In 258 AC, nine outlaws, exiles, pirates and sellswords hoping to carve out individual kingdoms came together in the Disputed Lands of Essos. Among these Band of Nine was Maelys I Blackfyre, the last of the Blackfyres. Because the outlaws had no great urgency, King Aegon remained intent on his reign and on dragons in particular. Against the advice of his friends and counselors, Aegon V became convinced that only with dragons could he force the lords of the Seven Kingdoms to accept his decrees that granted freedoms, rights, and protections to the smallfolk.
This eventually led to the tragedy of Summerhall in 259 AC, in which Aegon perished while trying to hatch dragon eggs. His son, Prince Duncan the Small; his friend and Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Duncan the Tall; and others of the royal court also perished in the fire. Aegon was succeeded by his second son and heir, Jaehaerys II.
Many of the laws, rights and protections King Aegon V had granted and bestowed upon the smallfolk were later undone during the reign of King Aerys II by the Hand of the King, Lord Tywin Lannister.
Quotes about Aegon
A bloody-handed tyrant intent on depriving us of our gods-given rights and liberties.
– a lord regarding Aegon's reforms
All three of the sons of the fifth Aegon had wed for love in defiance of their father's wishes. And because that unlikely monarch had followed his heart when he chose his queen, he allowed his sons to have their way, making bitter enemies when he might have made fast friends. Treason and turmoil followed, as night follows day, ending at Summerhall in sorcery, fire and grief.
– thoughts of Barristan Selmy
- "so I'd marry [Rhae] instead of [Daella]" can be interpreted to mean that Aegon and Daella were betrothed
- See the Aegon V Targaryen calculation.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
- So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 1, 2005)
- The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
- The Sworn Sword.
- The Mystery Knight.
- The Hedge Knight.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
- The World of Ice & Fire: The Westerlands (unabridged). georgerrmartin.com
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 15, Samwell II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister under the Dragons.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.
- Kiera of Tyrosh was widowed when Valarr Targaryen died from the Great Spring Sickness; some time later she married his cousin Daeron.