Aerys I Targaryen
Aerys I by Amok©
|Reign||209 ᴀᴄ - 221 ᴀᴄ|
|Full Name||Aerys Targaryen the First of His Name|
King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men|
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm
|Born in||or between 172 ᴀᴄ and 176 ᴀᴄ, at King's Landing|
|Died in||221 ᴀᴄ|
|Royal House||House Targaryen|
|Predecessor||Daeron II Targaryen|
|Heir||Maekar Targaryen (Unknown-221 ᴀᴄ)|
|Successor||Maekar I Targaryen|
|Father||Daeron II Targaryen|
The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)|
The Hedge Knight (mentioned)
The Sworn Sword (mentioned)
The Mystery Knight (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (appendix)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
Appearance and Character
According to semi-canon sources, Aerys was bookish. He was spindly and stooped, with long, straight hair. He had a long, thin face, a long, thin mustache and a long pointed beard. He wore the crown of Aegon IV Targaryen. On his coinage, he was depicted with a beard.
He was married to his cousin, Lady Aelinor Penrose, but he never showed any interest in getting her with child, instead shunning her bed. Rumor had it that Aerys had not even consummated the marriage.
After the death of Daeron II and his nephews Valarr and Matarys (sons of his elder brother, Baelor) in the Great Spring Sickness, Aerys became king. The plague continued for some time under his rule. His reign was troubled by sickness, drought, and war. The Blackfyre Pretenders and their allies launched two rebellions during his reign.
Upon becoming king, Aerys appointed his uncle, Brynden Rivers, known as Bloodraven, as Hand and let him rule while he occupied himself with the study of books and lore. As Aerys had not yet fathered a child on his wife Aelinor, his small council, hoping that Aerys shunned her bed because he disliked her, urged Aerys to set Aelinor aside and take another wife. Aerys would not hear of it, however, and they remained married.
Aerys's reign began during the Great Spring Sickness, and at its start, suffered a great drought. A new Grand Maester was also elected, and said to be involved in sorcery. It was widely held that travel was less safe during the reign of Aerys than under his father Daeron II's. The Iron Throne was also preoccupied with the Blackfyre rebels under Ser Aegor Rivers, known as Bittersteel, as well as the Great Spring Sickness. Meanwhile, Dagon Greyjoy led the ironborn in raiding Fair Isle, the Arbor, and the north.
Because Aerys was seen as bookish and weak, the Blackfyres tried to take advantage. Lord Gormon Peake, a Blackfyre loyalist, smuggled Daemon II Blackfyre across the narrow sea and attempted to gather support for an insurrection, the Second Blackfyre Rebellion. Thanks to Bloodraven's network of spies and the actions of Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire, this rebellion at the Whitewalls tourney ended with relatively little bloodshed.
Aerys's brother and heir, Prince Rhaegel, died in 215 ᴀᴄ by choking on a lamprey pie. Rhaegel's son, Prince Aelor, was named heir and made Prince of Dragonstone. Aelor died in 217 ᴀᴄ in a mishap caused by his twin sister, Princess Aelora, who would commit suicide an unknown amount of time later. Aerys's last heir was his youngest brother, Prince Maekar.
The Third Blackfyre Rebellion was launched in 219 ᴀᴄ and ended with the capture of Aegor Rivers and the death of Haegon I Blackfyre. Aegor Rivers was brought to King's Landing in chains and while Brynden Rivers and Prince Aerion wanted him put to death, King Aerys overruled them and sentenced him to take the black instead. The ship that was tasked to deliver Rivers to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, however, was intercepted by Blackfyre loyalists. Rivers was rescued and returned to the Golden Company and crowned Haegon's eldest son, Daemon III Blackfyre.
Throughout his reign, Aerys acknowledged four different heirs. First came his brother Rhaegel, who died in 215 ᴀᴄ when he chocked on a lamprey pie. Aerys next acknowledged Rhaegel's only son, Aelor, as his heir, but the young prince died in 217 ᴀᴄ during a mishap. Aerys's third heir was Aelor's sister-wife, Aelora. Aelora, mad with grief following her brother's death, committed suicide sometime later, leaving Aerys to recognize his fourth and last heir to the throne, his youngest brother Maekar. When Aerys died in 221 ᴀᴄ, Maekar succeeded him.
Quotes about Aerys
His Grace cares more for old scrolls and dusty prophecies than for lords and laws. He will not even bestir himself to sire an heir. Queen Aelinor prays daily at the Great Sept, beseeching the Mother Above to bless her with a child, yet she remains a maid. Aerys keeps his own apartments, and it is said he would sooner take a book to bed than any woman.
– thoughts of Victarion Greyjoy
- See the Aerys I Targaryen calculation.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 1, 2005)
- The Mystery Knight.
- The Sworn Sword.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys I.
- asoiaf.westeros.org: R+L=J v. 164 – Comment by Ran (December 12, 2017)
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 63, Victarion I.
- Kiera of Tyrosh was widowed when Valarr Targaryen died from the Great Spring Sickness; some time later she married his cousin Daeron.