Royal progress

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A royal progress[1] is a tour of their kingdom made by a monarch or a member of his family. These tours allowed the Targaryen to make themselves known, loved and respected by their subjects, or to be feared if necessary.[1] The king was accompanied by his retinue, which greatly varied in size depending on the king.[2] They guested beneath the roofs of the lords of the great houses, those of many lesser lords, knights, and even common innkeepers.[3]

Similarly, a lord's progress[4] is a tour of his domains made by a Lord.

In red: Places known to have been visited by the Targaryens during their royal progresses.
In purple: Position speculated of Atranta visited by Jaehaerys I in 53 AC.
In blue: Jaehaerys I planned on visiting Wickenden in 51 AC, it is unknown if he did.

Ancient History

Artys I Arryn

The founder of House Arryn and first King of Mountain and Vale, Artys I Arryn, consolidated his power over the Vale by spending most of his reign visiting castles within his domains, which Maester Yandel described as "an unending royal progress".[5]

House Targaryen

Aegon I Targaryen

King Aegon I Targaryen made many progresses during his 37-year-reign, which usually lasted half a year. The other half, Aegon stayed at King's Landing or Dragonstone.[1] While Aegon was on his progresses, the ruling of the kingdom was left to Queen Rhaenys Targaryen and Queen Visenya Targaryen and the king's councilors.[3] Aegon is known to have visited many places during his progresses, including the Arbor, Ashford, Casterly Rock, Crakehall, Evenfall Hall, the Eyrie, Gulltown, Harrenhal, Highgarden, Horn Hill, Lannisport, Old Oak, Oldtown, Riverrun and Storm's End. He also journeyed thrice to the Iron Islands (twice to Pyke and once to Great Wyk), spent a fortnight at Sisterton in 19 AC, and visited the North six times, holding court thrice in White Harbor, twice at Barrowton, and once at Winterfell.[1]

Aegon traveled during his progresses on Balerion and was accompanied by a famously large retinue, sometimes including as many as a thousand knights and lords and ladies. He always surrounded himself with six maesters, to answer any questions he might have on local law, customs, and history and help him hold court wherever he went.[1] With time, Aegon would also take along his son and heir, Prince Aenys.[6]

Aegon made his last progress at the age of sixty in the North in 33 AC. From that point on, Prince Aenys who would continue to make the yearly progresses with his wife, Lady Alyssa Velaryon.[1][6] Aenys was on a progress in 37 AC when news of his father’s death reached him at Highgarden. He subsequently abandoned his progress to fly to Dragonstone on his dragon, Quicksilver, for the funeral and his coronation.[6]

Aenys I Targaryen

As a king, Aenys I began his first progress as in 37 AC. He wanted to receive the blessing of the High Septon,[6] like his father always did when he was in Oldtown.[7] Aenys chose to traveled by land instead of on his dragon to meet the people he governed over. He was accompanied by his wife, Queen Alyssa Velaryon, his three older children (Rhaena, Aegon and Viserys), three hundred knights and their retinue. They departed King’s Landing and traveled to Storm's End, where they were guested by Lord Orys Baratheon. Next, they marched through the Dornish Marches to reach Oldtown. Once Aenys was anointed, they planned to travel back to King’s Landing by way of Highgarden, Lannisport and Riverrun.[6]

In response to the unrest following the marriage of Princess Rhaena and Prince Aegon in 41 AC, King Aenys sent his two eldest children on a royal progress to win back the love of his subject. Rhaena and Aegon were to travel through the riverlands and westerlands by horse, as Aegon was not yet a dragonrider, and Aenys thought it would not be a good idea for Rhaena to bring her dragon along, in order to prevent making her brother look unmanly.[6] The progress went from bad to worst when thousands of Poor Fellows took the roads to denounce Aenys as an abomination. Rhaena and Aegon were forced to abandon their progress and take shelter in Crakehall castle.[6]

Jaehaerys I Targaryen

Jaehaerys I Targaryen continued the Targaryen tradition started by his grandfather, making several progresses during his reign; some he made alone, some together with his wife, Queen Alysanne Targaryen, or with his children and grandchildren. Unlike his predecessors, he traveled with a smaller retinue (generally around a hundred people) and Alysanne always took the time to listen to the women of the area they visited, in gatherings later known as her "women's courts".[8]

First progress: The Crownlands & the Vale

The first progress took place at the end of 51 AC. Jaehaerys planned to travel to the Crownlands then to the Vale of Arryn. Queen Alysanne Targaryen accompanied him while she was pregnant with their first child, Prince Aegon. The royal couple visited Stokeworth, Rosby and Duskendale, before arriving at Maidenpool. From there, the progress was set to continue towards Wickenden, then Gulltown and the Vale. But while the queen was bathing in Jonquil's Pool, she became the victim of an assassination attempt by three fanatical Septas. Alysanne survived unscathed, thanks to her ladies Septa Edyth, Prudence Celtigar and Rosamund Ball and the intervention of the Kingsguard. Cautiously, the rest of the tour was canceled and Jonquil Darke was named the queen’s sworn shield.[8]

Following the abrupt ending of his first progress, King Jaehaerys I finally visited the Vale in 52 AC. His second progress took him to Gulltown, Runestone, Redfort, Longbow Hall, Heart's Home, the Gates of the Moon and the Eyrie. Queen Alysanne accompanied him again, and held women’s courts at Gulltown and the Gates of the Moon. These women's courts eventually inspired the creation of the Widow's Law.[8]

Second progress: The Riverlands

In 53 AC, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen made a progress through the Riverlands. This time, Alysanne , pregnant once again, stayed behind at King’s Landing where she ruled in her husband’s absence. Lady Jennis Templeton accompanied the king to hold the women's courts in her place. The royal procession successively visited Harrenhal, Riverrun, Acorn Hall, Pinkmaiden, Atranta, and Stoney Sept. From there, Jaehaerys returns to King’s Landing on the back of Vermithor, after receiving news of the birth of his first daughter, Princess Daenerys.[8]

Third progress: The Reach & the Stormlands

After the death of the High Septon in 54 AC, Jaehaerys wanted to avoid the de action of the hostile Septon Mattheus. Several of the king's advisers proposed to intervene by force or murder to influence the election of the new High Septon. However, Jaehaerys and Alysanne decided to gravel to Oldtown personally, on dragonback, accompanied by Ser Joffrey Doggett of the Kingsguard and Jonquil Darke. On the way, the royal couple stopped at Bitterbridge and Highgarden. The arrival of the dragons made a great impression on the population of Oldtown, especially when Silverwing fanned the fire at the top of the High Tower with her wings. Lord Donnel Hightower hosted the royal couple and tried to convince the king to support one of his relatives in the election.[8]

In the end, Septon Alfyn, one of the Seven Speakers and a champion of the doctrine of Exceptionalism was chosen. By the time Septon Alfyn arrived at Oldtown from Ashford, Jaehaerys had visited several castles in the Reach: Bandallon, Three Towers, Uplands, Honeyholt, and the Arbor. In the meantime, Queen Alysanne visited the Citadel and different septs in the city. While at Oldtown, their retinue arrived from King's Landing.[8]

The royal couple returned to King’s Landing by way of the Dornish Marches and the Stormlands. They visited Horn Hill, Nightsong and Blackhaven on their way home. Blackhaven marked the end of the progress, when Jaehaerys and Alysanne learned their mother, Lady Alyssa Velaryon, was dying at Storm's End. The king and queen flew to Storm's End to be with their mother, while the rest of the retinue traveled back to the capital by way of Stonehelm, Crow's Nest, and Griffin's Roost, led by the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Gyles Morrigen.[8]

Fourth progress: The Westerlands

In 55 AC, King Jaehaerys I made a progress through the Westerlands. He successively visited Ashemark, the Crag, Kayce, Castamere, Tarbeck Hall, Lannisport, Casterly Rock, and Crakehall.[2] Jaehaerys did not visit Fair Isle, to make his disapproval felt to Lord Franklyn Farman who had banished Jaehaerys's sister, Rhaena, from his island five years earlier.[2][9]

Fifth progress: The North

In 58 AC, Jaehaerys and Alysanne planned a progress to the North, which had not been visited by the Targaryens since Aegon I's last progress twenty-five years earlier. However, the king had to stay in the capital to serve as an arbitrator in the conflict between Tyrosh and Pentos. It was decided that the progress should not be postponed. Instead, Alysanne departed for the North on her own, and would be rejoined by her husband after the negotiation were done.[2]

Alysanne arrived first at White Harbor, where she was greeted by Lord Theomore Manderly. Alysanne held one of her women's courts at White Harbor before leaving for Winterfell, where she was greeted coldly by Lord Alaric Stark. By the end of her stay the stern northern lord had become friendly with her.[2]

As Jaehaerys was still dealing with the Archon of Tyrosh and the Prince of Pentos in King's Landing, Alysanne traveled to Castle Black on the Wall by way of the Last Hearth and Queenscrown. While at the Wall, she also visited the Nightfort. Alysanne wanted to cross the Wall on her dragon, but Silverwing refused to do as she was bid, to Alysanne's disbelief. The Night's Watch eventually renamed Snowgate into Queensgate in Alysanne's honor. At Mole's Town, Alysanne held a women's court, where she heard numerous stories involving the first night. Alysanne would later bring these stories to the attention of the small council and argue successfully for the abolition of this right.[2]

After six months of separation, King Jaehaerys finally joined his wife at Winterfell. Alysanne convinced Jaehaerys and Lord Alaric Stark to double the lands of Brandon's Gift, thus forming the New Gift. After a month spent in Winterfell, Jaehaerys and Alysanne traveled to Torrhen's Square and Barrowton. From there, they returned to King's Landing on the backs of Vermithor and Silverwing, while their retinue returned to White Harbor to take a ship back to the capital.[2]

Subsequent progresses: The Westerlands & the Reach

Following the First Quarrel, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen departed King's Landing in 88 AC for his first progress to the westerlands in twenty years. The castles Jaehaerys visited included Casterly Rock, Fair Isle, and Crakehall. He was accompanied by his sons Aemon and Baelon at some of the castles he visited. Aemon and Baelon tried to convince Jaehaerys to return to the capital at several occasions, but the king refused, insisting that he wanted to inspect the progress made on the works on his roads.[10]

As his progress in the westerlands ended, a new one began in the Reach, where he visited Old Oak, Bandallon, Highgarden, the four Shield Islands, and Oldtown. Jaehaerys traveled through the Reach for entire 89 AC. At Highgarden, he was joined by his granddaughter Rhaenys, who subsequently accompanied him to the Shield Islands. At Oldtown, Jaehaerys was reunited with his daughter, Septa Maegelle, who succeeded in convincing Jaehaerys to reunite with Alysanne. A fortnight later, the king returned to King's Landing while Alysanne returned from Dragonstone.[10]

Viserys I Targaryen

King Viserys's daughter and heir to the Iron Throne, Rhaenyra Targaryen, made a tour of the Riverlands, the Westerlands and the Reach in 112 AC. She spent time at Raventree Hall, Stone Hedge, the Twins, Riverrun, and Harrenhal in the Riverlands, Casterly Rock in the Westerlands, and Highgarden, Old Oak, and Horn Hill in the Reach.[11][12]

Aegon III Targaryen

In 136 AC, the Hand of the King, Lord Torrhen Manderly, alongside the regents were organizing a great royal progress to mark the coming of age of their young king, Aegon III Targaryen. However, the day of his sixteenth nameday, Aegon came into the council chambers and cancelled the royal progress.[13]

House Baratheon

Renly Baratheon

When Renly turned sixteen, he made a lord's progress across the stormlands to mark his coming of age. During this progress, he visited the isle of Tarth, where Renly courteously danced with Brienne of Tarth.[4]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Fire & Blood, Three Heads Had the Dragon - Governance Under King Aegon I.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
  5. Fire & Blood, The Vale: The Eyrie.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  7. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryens Kings: Aegon I.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
  9. Fire & Blood, A Surfeit of Rulers.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
  11. The Rogue Prince.
  12. Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  13. Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.