Alysanne Targaryen

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Alysanne Targaryen
House Targaryen.svg
Alysanne by Amok©

Alias Good Queen
Title Princess
Allegiance House Targaryen
Race Valyrian
Culture crownlands
Born In 36 AC[1], at King's Landing[2]
Died In 100 AC[3], at King's Landing[2]
Spouse King Jaehaerys I Targaryen
Book(s) The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)
Fire & Blood (mentioned)
The Sons of the Dragon (mentioned)
The Rogue Prince (mentioned)
The Princess and the Queen (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
The Sworn Sword (mentioned)

Queen Alysanne Targaryen, also known as Good Queen Alysanne, was the queen consort of her brother, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen. Alysanne was a dragonrider whose mount was Silverwing.

Alysanne's sworn sword was a woman named Jonquil Darke, who was known as the Scarlet Shadow.[4]

Character and Appearance

Alysanne was a small woman,[5][6] slim of waist and slight of frame.[7] According to a semi-canon source, she was small of breast, with a long neck, a fair complexion, a high forehead, and high cheekbones.[8] Alysanne was described as "pretty", but seldom as "beautiful", however. She had blue eyes, and honey-colored curls,[7] which according to a semi-canon source, turned white as snow in old age. She wore it in a bun, pulled back and pinned behind her ears.[8] Additionally, age left crow's feet around her eyes and laugh lines about her mouth, although her face never lost its strength.[8] Alysanne became thin and frail after the death of her son Aemon in 92 AC, and began to have difficulty in climbing hills. After she broke her hip in 95 AC, she walked with a cane. Further, as she aged, her hearing began to fail, and she became too unsteady to fly.[6]

Alysanne was bright but unremarkable as a young girl. She was courteous and biddable, and had a sweet smile and a pleasing voice. She was neither timid nor did she have a willful and stubborn temperament, as a child.[5] According to Lord Rogar Baratheon, Alysanne was a proud girl at the age of thirteen.[5] She was considered to be gentle, kind and loving.[5] Alysanne loved her subjects, both highborn and lowborn,[6] and was well loved throughout the Seven Kingdoms in return.[9] She loved her women's courts, where she listened to and learned from the women of the realm. She loved music, dancing, reading, and flying on her dragon.[6] She was a fearless woman.[6] According to a semi-canon source, Alysanne was a fine archer and hunter in her youth, and became renowned for her charities.[8]

Later in life, it was said that Alysanne had learned to read before she had been weaned. According to Septon Barth, she would have been sent to the Citadel, had she been male. She had a great wit, and all the chronicles agree that she made a powerful impression on those who met her.[7] Alysanne was high-spirited, charming and keenly intelligent.[9] Lord Roose Bolton considers Alysanne to have been shrewish.[10]

George R. R. Martin has stated that "You might consider Alysanne as the Eleanor of Aquitaine of Westeros, and model her on Katherine Hepburn's portrayal of Eleanor in the film The Lion in Winter." Alysanne often wore a slimmer, more feminine version of her brother-husband's crown at court.[8]



A young Queen Alysanne and King Jaehaerys with their son Aemon as depicted by Magali Villeneuve in The World of Ice & Fire

Alysanne was born to Crown Prince Aenys Targaryen and Lady Alyssa Velaryon in 36 AC. She had four older siblings - (Rhaena, Aegon, Viserys, and Jaehaerys) - and one younger sibling, Vaella.[11] In 37 AC, following the death of her grandfather, King Aegon I Targaryen, on Dragonstone,[12] her father Aenys ascended the throne.[13]

Followers of the Faith of the Seven began an uprising after King Aenys I married Alysanne's two eldest siblings, Rhaena and Aegon, to one another in 41 AC. After Poor Fellows scaled the walls of the Red Keep in an attempt to murder the royal family, Alysanne fled with her family to Dragonstone.[13] By the end of the year most of the realm had joined the side of the Faith, and King Aenys, unable to decide how to deal with the rebels, fell ill. In 42 AC, he collapsed upon learning that Rhaena and Aegon were besieged at Crakehall, and died three days later.[13] Following Aenys's cremation,[13] Dowager Queen Visenya Targaryen flew to Pentos to retrieve her son Maegor from his exile. Once at Dragonstone, Maegor claimed the Iron Throne for his own, ignoring the claim of Alysanne's eldest brother Aegon. Alysanne, her brother Jaehaerys, and her mother Alyssa were kept on Dragonstone as hostages, while her brother Viserys was taken to King's Landing by Maegor.[14]

Her brother Aegon died in 43 AC when Maegor killed him in the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye. Alyssa, Jaehaerys, and Alysanne escaped Dragonstone in 44 AC, in the chaos following Visenya's death. In retaliation, Maegor had Viserys tortured to death. After years in hiding, Alysanne's sister Rhaena was eventually found, and in 47 AC forced to marry Maegor.[14] However, the realm slowly turned against Maegor, and when Alysanne's only surviving brother, Jaehaerys, put forward his claim for the throne, all the factions that opposed Maegor unified behind him.[14] Following Maegor's mysterious death in 48 AC, Jaehaerys ascended the Iron Throne.[9]


After the Golden Wedding of her mother the Queen Regent and the King's Hand, Lord Rogar Baratheon, in 49 AC, the small council debated on who Jaehaerys and Alysanne should wed. Still recalling the uprising of the Faith that followed the wedding of King Aenys's eldest daughter and son, the councilors agreed that another incestuous marriage was out of the question. Despite numerous suggestions, no suitable candidate could be agreed upon. However, the council did agree quickly on a husband for Princess Alysanne: Ser Orryn Baratheon.[7]

The wedding of King Jaehaerys and Queen Alysanne on Dragonstone, as depicted by Douglas Wheatley in Fire & Blood.

Alysanne discovered her betrothal. Some say a servant who was present for these discussions forewarned her, others that it was her uncle Daemon Velaryon, the master of ships. She informed Jaehaerys, who acted immediately. He ordered his Kingsguard to discreetly travel to Dragonstone under the cover of darkness, while Alysanne and Jaehaerys flew together to the Targaryen stronghold upon their dragons. On Dragonstone, Jaehaerys and Alysanne married in secret, with Septon Oswyck performing the ceremony. Alysanne remained a maiden, however, as Jaehaerys refused to consummate the marriage, believing Alysanne to still be too young. Rogar and Alyssa arrived soon after the wedding and, upon learning that the marriage had not yet been consummated, Rogar declared they were not married, and ordered his men to secure the royal children. The Kingsguard defied the Hand by forming a wall in front of their king and queen, informing Rogar that he would be the first to die if Rogar's men attacked. Alysanne's mother convinced her husband to return to King's Landing, while Jaehaerys and Alysanne remained behind. They would spend the rest of the king's minority at Dragonstone. No announcement about the king's marriage was made to the realm, nor did Jaehaerys or Alysanne make their marriage public, although they easily could have done so.[7]

Later that year, Alysanne's mother sent several ladies-in-waiting to Dragonstone, claiming that they were there to serve her daughter and be her household. Their true purpose, however, was to try and persuade Alysanne to rescind her marriage. Lord Rogar approved his wife's plans, as he wanted eyes and ears on Dragonstone, and saw these ladies as an opportunity to learn all Jaehaerys was doing. Despite her youth, however, Queen Alysanne charmed all her ladies-in-waiting, who soon became completely loyal to her.[5]

In 50 AC, Jaehaerys came of age, and he and Alysanne were wed in a public wedding; this time the marriage was consummated.[9] Their marriage lasted forty-six years (the years of their two estrangements are not counted as part of their married years),[15] until Alysanne died.[9] These two estrangements both lasted no more than a year or two and are known as the First Quarrel and the Second Quarrel. The first began when Jaehaerys refused to end the exile of their daughter Saera, who had fled to Lys. The second began in 92 AC, when Jaehaerys decided to pass over his granddaughter Rhaenys, the only heir of his deceased eldest son Aemon, in favor of his son Baelon. Alysanne believed there was no reason to favor a man over a woman, and thought that, if Jaehaerys believed women to be of less use, he would have no need of her. The couple reconciled two years later, in 94 AC, with the help of their daughter, Septa Maegelle.[9]


As a queen, Alysanne was well loved by the people in the Seven Kingdoms.[9] She held great influence over Jaehaerys and was his most trusted counselor.[8] When travelling with her husband on royal progresses, she would hold her famous women's courts while visiting a castle, town or city, where she heard women of all ages and births bring her their fears, hopes and consternations. It was at these courts that Alysanne heard the plight of widows and many horrific tales from women involving the ancient right known as the first night. She later brought these stories to the small council and convinced the king and council to enact the Widow's Law in 52 AC and to abolish the right of the first night in 58 AC. These measures became known to the commons as Queen Alysanne's laws.[10][9][16][3]

Together with Jaehaerys, Alysanne frequently traveled the realm. It is said that they often stayed at the inn at the crossroads during their journeys, so much so that afterwards it was renamed the Two Crowns.[17] According to Archmaester Gyldayn, in 58 AC, Jaehaerys planned to visit the north on a royal progress together with Alysanne, intent on visiting Winterfell. However, when Jaehaerys was detained at King's Landing, Alysanne suggested she could go on the progress as planned to prevent Lord Alaric Stark from taking offense, with Jaehaerys catching up with her as soon as possible. As such, Alysanne traveled upon the back of Silverwing to White Harbor, with the royal retinue later joining her by ship. At White Harbor, Alysanne was hosted by Lord Theomore Manderly. She held the first-ever women's court at Lord Manderly's hall, where two hundred women could lay their grievances before her. Next, Alysanne traveled to Winterfell, where she offered to arrange marriage alliances for Lord Alaric's sons with daughters of great southern lords, which Lord Alaric refused. Although Lord Stark's behavior towards Alysanne was cold at first, he warmed to her during the queen's stay, while the queen in turn grew close to Alaric's daughter, Alarra Stark. Next, Alysanne traveled to Castle Black at the Wall.[4]

However, according to Jon Snow, as told to him by Old Nan, Jaehaerys and Alysanne traveled to Winterfell together in a great royal progress that contained six dragons.[18] While Jaehaerys and his Warden of the North had matters to discuss, Alysanne grew bored and flew north mounted upon Silverwing. She stayed in several local villages while flying north. One of such establishments, Queenscrown, changed its name following Alysanne's visit in her honor, and painted the merlons atop the holdfast golden to look like the golden crown she'd worn during her visit.[19][18] At the Wall, Alysanne suggested to the Night's Watch that the Nightfort, the oldest and largest castle at the Wall, which was too costly to maintain, be replaced with a smaller castle nearby. She used her own jewels to finance the construction of the castle, which was named Deep Lake. King Jaehaerys later sent men north to built the castle.[20]

Alysanne so admired the Night's Watch's bravery that she convinced Jaehaerys to double the amount of land held by the black brothers.[19] Lord Stark[N 1] indeed donated the land, which was renamed the New Gift, to the Night's Watch, although the Starks were not glad to do so. Lord Stark's brother even sent letters to the Citadel, asking for precedents against forced donation of property. As such, it was said at the time that the Starks were bitter about having been forced to part with the land, and Maester Yandel believes that this might have influenced Lord Ellard Stark's choice of support during the Great Council of 101 AC.[21] The Night's Watch, on the other hand, was grateful. To thank Alysanne for financing Deep Lake and winning them the New Gift, the Night's Watch renamed the castle Snowgate, dubbing it Queensgate in her honor.[9][22][18]

The death of Alysanne's youngest and favorite daughter, Princess Gael, weighed heavily on the queen. Princess Gael committed suicide in 99 AC, and in her grief, Queen Alysanne followed her daughter to the grave within a year. The good queen passed away on Dragonstone on the first day of the seventh month in 100 AC. She was cremated, and her ashes were interred beneath the Red Keep, where a few years later they were joined by the ashes of Jaehaerys.[9][23]

Jaehaerys outlived Alysanne by a few years. She had been his great love, and it was said that the grief caused by their parting hung over his court,[9] reducing him to a shell of the man he had once been.[24]

There is a sad song, "Alysanne", that may be about the queen.[25] It is probable the galley Queen Alysanne is named after her as well.[26]


Alysanne and her husband had thirteen children, nine of whom lived to adulthood.[11][9] The bulk of Alysanne's children predeceased her, with the loss of Princess Gael in 99 AC being a particularly heavy blow that was believed by many to have hastened her own death.[9]

Alysanne had five known grandchildren, four of them living to adulthood: Aemon's daughter Princess Rhaenys, who married Lord Corlys Velaryon, Baelon's sons, Prince Viserys, who would later be crowned as King Viserys I, and Prince Daemon Targaryen, and Daella's daughter, Lady Aemma Arryn, who would later become Queen of the Seven Kingdoms through her marriage to her cousin, Prince Viserys.[24] Another son of Baelon and Alyssa, Prince Aegon, presumably died young.[11]


Aegon I
Aenys I
Maegor I
Jaehaerys I
Tyanna of
the Tower


Aenys I
Jaehaerys I


Viserys I
Aegon II
Viserys II
Aegon III

Quotes about Alysanne

She was his most trusted counsellor and his right hand.[8]

- George R. R. Martin

Behind the Scenes

George R. R. Martin has compared Alysanne to Eleanor of Aquitaine, including Katharine Hepburn's portrayal in The Lion in Winter.[8]

In one of the earlier drafts of the Targaryen family tree, dating circa 1998, Alysanne was displayed as the daughter of King Maegor I Targaryen. Not much later, however, George R. R. Martin changed the family tree and Alysanne became the daughter of King Aenys I Targaryen, Maegor's older brother, instead.[28] As a result of this change, Alysanne's husband, Jaehaerys I Targaryen, became her brother instead of her cousin.


  1. Earlier prints of The World of Ice & Fire state that Lord Ellard Stark was the lord who had been forced to give up the New Gift. However, it has been confirmed that this is an error, and that the statement would be replaced by "the Starks were glad" in later prints, leaving it unknown for the time being which Stark had been the lord in question.



  1. Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Alysanne Targaryen.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Not a Blog: A FIRE & BLOOD Excerpt just for YOU! (27 September, 2018)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Fire & Blood, A Surfeit of Rulers.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Fire & Blood, The Year of the Three Brides - 49 AC.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 So Spake Martin: Good Queen Alysanne and Rhaenyra (June 18, 2006)
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
  10. 10.0 10.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 32, Reek III.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
  12. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
  15. Inconsistency or Intentional?
  16. The Sworn Sword.
  17. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 37, Brienne VII.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 41, Jon V.
  19. 19.0 19.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 40, Bran III.
  20. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 56, Bran IV.
  21. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Lords of Winterfell.
  22. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Wall and Beyond: The Night’s Watch.
  23. Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys & Alysanne- Their Triumphs & Tragedies.
  24. 24.0 24.1 The Rogue Prince.
  25. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 10, Sansa I.
  26. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 58, Davos III.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Prince Daemon Targaryen was married to Lady Rhea Royce from 97 AC until 115 AC. He then married Lady Laena Velaryon in 115 AC; their marriage lasted until Laena's death in 120 AC. That same year, Daemon married his niece, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.
  28. The Book of Swords - The Sons of the Dragon SPOILERS (August 28, 2018)