Aenys I Targaryen
Aenys I by Amok©
Starry Sept, Oldtown or Red Keep, King's Landing
|Full name||Aenys of House Targaryen, the First of His Name|
|Predecessor||King Aegon I Targaryen|
|Heir||Prince Aegon Targaryen|
|Successor||King Maegor I Targaryen|
|Born||In 7 AC, at Dragonstone|
|Died||In 42 AC (aged 35), at Dragonstone|
|Buried||In 42 AC, at Dragonstone|
Queen Rhaena Targaryen|
Prince Aegon Targaryen
Prince Viserys Targaryen
King Jaehaerys I Targaryen
Queen Alysanne Targaryen
Princess Vaella Targaryen
|Father||King Aegon I Targaryen|
|Mother||Queen Rhaenys Targaryen|
Aenys I Targaryen was Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and the second Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne. He was the son of King Aegon I Targaryen and his younger sister-wife, Queen Rhaenys Targaryen. He had a younger half-brother, Maegor I Targaryen.
Appearance and Character
At birth, Aenys was small, with spindly limbs and small, watery eyes. He was weak and sickly and slow to grow, but once he was given the hatchling Quicksilver, Aenys began to thrive. Although not in his youth, as an adult Aenys was as tall as his father, yet slender and weedy at the same time. His fingers were long and slim. He had lilac eyes, paler than his father's had been, and curly hair which fell to his shoulders in ringlets. He also wore a silky beard and mustache.
Aenys dressed in the finest silks, samites, and velvets. Aenys was a kindhearted, courteous, charming, and soft-spoken man, who wished to be loved by everyone and always sought to please. This made him indecisive, as he would dither and hesitate over his decisions, fearing to disappoint someone. He made friends easily, but he also trusted everyone and allowed himself to be easily influenced. He was a dreamer and delighted in music and dance, so much so that he became a patron of singers, mummers, and mimes. He was a good singer himself, and had a "strong, sweet voice". A charming man, young girls doted on him.
A diligent student who did not lack for courage, Aenys was an adequate fighter. However, he was not a warrior, and lacked his father's strength. Training for battle eventually lost every appeal to him. Instead, he preferred the companionship of maesters and septons, and dabbled in alchemy, astronomy, and astrology. Aenys was a clever man, though he could not be considered bookish. He also loved to ride, and was given coursers, palfreys, and destriers. However, his favorite mount was always his dragon, Quicksilver.
Aenys was born on Dragonstone in 7 AC to King Aegon I Targaryen and Queen Rhaenys Targaryen. He was weak and sickly at birth and cried all the time. He refused to nurse from wet nurses and would only nurse at his mother's breast. He was so unlike the king that it was rumored that the boy could not be the son of Aegon the Conqueror, who was a peerless warrior, and that perhaps his father had been one of the singers or mummers that Rhaenys delighted in. However, when Aenys was given the hatchling dragon Quicksilver in the same year, his condition quickly improved, and "as the dragon grew, so too did Aenys." The rumors that he was not Aegon's son ended at this time.
Aenys was three years old when Queen Rhaenys died in Dorne. The death of his mother shattered him: he went back to crawling around as if he were a baby. Aenys was five years older than his half-brother, Maegor. He was not close with Maegor while growing up, as Aenys was kept by his father's side in King's Landing, while Visenya and Maegor lived on Dragonstone. Aenys was trained by his father's Kingsguard, and although he was an adequate fighter, he lacked his father's size and strength. From time to time Aegon would let him practice with the Valyrian steel sword Blackfyre.
Aenys was married to Alyssa Velaryon in 22 AC. Their marriage was a political match. Together they had six children: three sons, (Aegon, Viserys and Jaehaerys), and three daughters, (Rhaena, Alysanne and Vaella). By all accounts, Aenys had a good and loving relationship with his wife and their children.
Aenys accompanied his father to Sunspear to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the peace between the Iron Throne and Dorne. When King Aegon I turned sixty, Aenys took over the royal progresses together with his wife, Alyssa. In 37 AC, when King Aegon I died of a stroke at Dragonstone, Aenys was at Highgarden. He swiftly flew Quicksilver to Dragonstone for the funeral and his coronation. He was proclaimed king by Grand Maester Gawen. After Maegor had spoken the eulogy for their father and Aegon had been cremated, Aenys gifted his brother with the sword Blackfyre, admitting that Maegor was more fit to wield the blade than he was. Aenys asked Maegor to wield the sword in service to him, and told his brother that they would rule together.
After Aegon's funeral, Aenys traveled to King's Landing, where he claimed his father's throne amidst the rubble and mud of the torn-down Aegonfort and the foundations of the Red Keep. He was cheered by many. There are conflicting written accounts about his coronation by the maesters. According to Archmaester Gyldayn, Aenys was crowned with his father's circlet of Valyrian steel and rubies on Dragonstone, and later, when he traveled with his wife and children to Oldtown by the way of Riverrun, Lannisport, and Highgarden, was presented by the High Septon at the Starry Sept with a crown of yellow gold, with the faces of the Seven inlaid in jade and pearl. However, according to Maester Yandel, Aenys was crowned during a ceremony in the Red Keep with an ornate golden crown.
Aenys received the blessings of the Faith. Nonetheless, some people cast doubt on his ability to rule. Dowager Queen Visenya Targaryen voiced a similar opinion, claiming that, by giving Blackfyre to Maegor, Aenys had admitted that he lacked the strength to rule.
Within the first year of his reign, uprisings led by four rebels rose throughout the realm. The first of these occurred in the riverlands, where a bandit outlaw known as Red Harren claimed to be a grandson of Harren the Black. Harren and his men seized Harrenhal and killed Lord Gargon Qoherys. On the Iron Islands, a man claiming to be the priest-king Lodos began to gather followers, while in the Dornish marches the Vulture King began to gather an army of Dornishmen who wished to avenge the destruction visited upon Dorne during the First Dornish War. Finally, in the Vale, Lord Ronnel Arryn was taken captive by his own brother, Jonos Arryn.
Convinced that the smallfolk loved him, Aenys did not understand why people felt the need to rebel against him. He considered sending messengers to the four rebels, to learn why they had rebelled. While Aenys was unable to decide how best to handle the rebels, the lords of the Seven Kingdoms took matters into their own hands. Lord Allard Royce gathered forces and penned Jonos up in the Eyrie, after which Prince Maegor flew up to the Eyrie on Balerion to resolve the situation. Lord Goren Greyjoy sent his fleet to Old Wyk and Great Wyk, where thousands of the followers of the priest-king Lodos were massacred. Lodos himself was slain as well, and his pickled head was sent to King Aenys in a jar. The largest of the threats, the Vulture King, was mostly ignored by Princess Deria Martell, although she assured Aenys that she was doing everything she could to put the rebellion down. Eventually the marcher lords resolved the situation, by defeating the followers of the Vulture King and capturing the Vulture King at the conclusion of the Vulture Hunt. Red Harren lasted the longest of all rebels, but he too was eventually defeated. Aenys sent his Hand of the King, Lord Alyn Stokeworth, to hunt Harren down with a few hundred men. Harren was eventually killed by Lord Alyn's squire, Bernarr Brune.
When all these insurrections finally ended, Aenys rewarded all lords and knights who had led their forces against the rebels with gold, titles, and lands. Bernarr Brune was personally knighted by Aenys as a reward for his service. Aenys granted Goren Greyjoy "any boon he might desire" as a show of gratitude, a decision Aenys would later regret as Goren required that he be allowed to expel the Faith of the Seven from the Iron Islands, much to the Faith's fury.
As Lord Alyn Stokeworth had been killed by Red Harren, Aenys named his brother Maegor as his new Hand of the King. Despite their differences, the brothers ruled together amicably for two years. In 39 AC, shortly after the birth of Aenys's sixth child, Vaella (who died in the cradle), a new crisis arose. Prince Maegor announced that his wife was barren and that he had thus taken a second wife. Aenys and Maegor quarreled bitterly about the polygamous marriage. The High Septon denounced the marriage, and many of the pious lords in the realm similarly condemned it. Feeling he had no other option, a furious Aenys gave his brother a choice: either set Alys Harroway aside or go into exile for five years. Maegor chose the latter option, and left for Pentos in 40 AC with Alys and Balerion. Aenys requested that his brother return Blackfyre before he left, but Maegor refused to do so. In an attempt to placate the Faith, Aenys named Septon Murmison as his new Hand of the King. However, the High Septon continued to voice his discontent, while the lords of Westeros began to call Aenys weak and consider him incapable of ruling. Aenys was oblivious to these criticisms.
In 41 AC, Aenys announced that his eldest daughter, Princess Rhaena, would wed his eldest son and heir, Prince Aegon. The negative reactions to his announcement took Aenys by surprise. The Faith condemned the planned incestuous marriage as an obscenity, Aenys though normally indecisive, decided to stand by his decision this time and went ahead with the wedding. On the day of the wedding, Warrior's Sons scowled and made note of the guests as they entered the Sept of Remembrance. At the feast that followed the ceremony, Aenys named Aegon Prince of Dragonstone, a title which had previously belonged to his brother Maegor. Dowager Queen Visenya left the feast in protest.
Aenys decided to send Aegon and Rhaena on a royal progress throughout the realm to win the love of the people, remembering the cheers of the smallfolk when he made his own progresses. He refused Rhaena when she requested to bring her dragon Dreamfyre with them, not wanting his son Aegon to seem unmanly by riding on a palfrey while his wife rode on dragonback. However, Rhaena and Aegon were jeered wherever they went. For having performed the wedding ceremony, Septon Murmison was expelled from the Faith. When Aenys asked the High Septon to restore Murmison, explaining the long history of Valyrian marriage customs practiced by House Targaryen, he received a denunciation as a response, addressed to "King Abomination". The pious lords of the realm, and even the smallfolk who had once loved Aenys, turned against him. When the High Septon declared Aenys to be a pretender and a tyrant who had no right to rule the Seven Kingdoms, the Faithful responded. Within a fortnight, Septon Murmison was hacked in pieces, signaling the start of the Faith Militant uprising.
The Warrior's Sons fortified the Sept of Remembrance on Rhaenys's Hill. Aenys decided to leave for Dragonstone with his family. Three days before they were set to sail, a knight of the Kingsguard[N 1] saved Aenys's life when two Poor Fellows scaled the walls of the king's manse upon Visenya's Hill and slipped into the royal apartments in an attempt to murder the king. At Dragonstone, Dowager Queen Visenya counseled him to bring "fire and blood" to the Starry Sept and Sept of Remembrance. Aenys refused to do so, but at the same time was incapable of deciding how to act instead. Eventually, the king fell ill. By late 41 AC, most of the realm had turned against him. Thousands of Poor Fellows prowled the roads, threatening and slaying any of the king's supporters, while dozens of lords took up arms against the Iron Throne.
According to Grand Maester Gawen, Aenys looked like a man of sixty even though he was only thirty-five years old. The maester despaired of improving his condition. When Dowager Queen Visenya took over his care, Aenys briefly improved, but he suffered a collapse upon learning that his eldest son and daughter were besieged at Crakehall during their yearly progress.
Aenys died in 42 AC, after only ruling for five years, at the age of thirty-five. He was cremated at Dragonstone, with his widow, Alyssa Velaryon, singing a dirge for him. Years later, some people suggested that Dowager Queen Visenya Targaryen had been responsible for Aenys's sudden death. They cited Visenya's preference of her own son, Maegor, her ambition to seat him upon the throne, and the fact that she took care of the sick Aenys when he apparently disgusted her as her reasons.
Small Council under Aenys I
During the reign of King Aenys, his small council had the following known members:
|Hand of the King||37–37 AC||Lord Alyn Stokeworth|
|37–39 AC||Prince Maegor Targaryen|
|40–41 AC||Septon Murmison|
|Grand Maester||37–42 AC||Gawen|
The king was easily influenced, swaying this way and that like a reed into the wind, like as not to heed whichever councillor last had his ear.—writings of Grand Maester Gawen
—Visenya Targaryen to Aenys
- Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Aenys I Targaryen.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- The Sons of the Dragon.
- So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 1, 2005)
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Dorne Against the Dragons.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Aenys I Targaryen.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineages.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: The Men of the Stormlands.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.