Visenya Targaryen

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House Targaryen.svg Queen
Visenya Targaryen
House Targaryen.svg
Visenya, by Amok ©

Allegiance House Targaryen
Race Valyrian
Culture Crownlands
Born 29 BC[1]
Died 44 AC[3]
Buried 44 AC[3]
Father Lord Aerion Targaryen
Mother Lady Valaena Velaryon
Spouse King Aegon I Targaryen
Issue Maegor I Targaryen

Queen Visenya Targaryen was the older sister and wife of King Aegon I Targaryen, the first Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. Her younger sister, Rhaenys, was married to Aegon as well. Visenya was a dragonrider, and rode the dragon Vhagar.

Appearance and Character

Like her siblings, Visenya possessed the classical Valyrian features: long, silver-gold hair, which she often braided or bound up in rings, and purple eyes.[4][5] Hers was a harsher, more austere beauty than her sister, Rhaenys.[5] A voluptuous, sensual, and passionate woman, Visenya was also stern, serious, and unforgiving.[5][4] Some claimed that Visenya dabbled in dark sorceries and played with poisons.[5]

Visenya was both a dragonrider and a warrior, comfortable in both silk and in ringmail.[5] When garbed as a warrior, she always wielded the Valyrian steel longsword Dark Sister.[4]


Early life

Born in 29 BC[1] on the island Dragonstone,[2] Visenya was the eldest child of Lord Aerion Targaryen and Lady Valaena Velaryon. Her two younger siblings, Aegon and Rhaenys, were born within a few years following her birth.[4] Since young age, Visenya trained together with Aegon at arms, and she became a skilled warrior.[5]

As expected, Visenya was wed to her brother Aegon following Valyrian custom. However, Aegon took their younger sister as a wife as well. People claimed that he had wed Visenya out of duty, and Rhaenys out of desire. Prior to her wedding, Visenya became a dragonrider, having bonded with the dragon Vhagar.[5]

In her youth Visenya was reported to have visited the Citadel of Oldtown and Lord Redwyne of the Arbor together with her brother Aegon.[5]

The Conquest

Visenya (left) with her brother Aegon I and younger sister Rhaenys, by Amok ©

When Aegon's Conquest of the Seven Kingdoms began, Visenya sailed with her siblings from Dragonstone. While Aegon began construction of the Aegonfort, Visenya subdued House Stokeworth by setting ablaze the roofs of Stokeworth. After the defeat of House Darklyn in Aegon's first test, Visenya claimed the riches of Duskendale, swelling the coffers of House Targaryen. Having conquered a dozen houses and secured the mouth of the Blackwater, Aegon was crowned king at the Aegonfort. Visenya, now queen, placed a Valyrian steel circlet on Aegon's head while their sister Rhaenys hailed him as the new King of All Westeros. Following the coronation, Visenya accompanied the Targaryen fleet to Gulltown and the Vale of Arryn. When the Arryn fleet sunk a third of the Targaryen ships and captured many more in a battle in the waters off Gulltown, Visenya descended from the sky upon Vhagar, burning their ships.[5]

Next, Visenya was sent to Crackclaw Point by Aegon. The local lords had learned of the death of Harren Hoare, King of the Isles and the Rivers, at the burning of Harrenhal by Aegon, so the Crackclaws submitted quickly to Visenya, swearing oaths of fealty. Visenya took them as her own men, and from that day forth the lords owed their loyalty directly to the Iron Throne.[5][6]

Visenya met Rhaenys, Aegon, and the Targaryen host at Stoney Sept, from where they raced south. There, they met the combined hosts of the Reach and the westerlands in battle. Visenya and her siblings fought from dragonback, setting the dry grasses and stands of wheat on the battlefield afire. With more than four thousand men dead from the fire, and tens of thousands wounded by the flames, the battle became known as the Field of Fire. Mern IX Gardener, King of the Reach, died in battle while Loren I Lannister, King of the Rock fled, giving the Targaryens the victory.[5] According to legend, Visenya thanked the gods that Loren had ridden forth to face the Targaryens when she saw Casterly Rock, as she believed that dragonflame would not have been able to dishearten the Lannister king if he had remained inside the Rock.[7]

Visenya had taken an arrow in the shoulder during the Field of Fire, but soon recovered. Following the surrender of King Loren, the three Targaryen siblings parted ways once more, but met soon again at the banks of the Trident, where they awaited the host of Torrhen Stark, King in the North. After Torrhen bent the knee, Visenya parted from her siblings and returned to the Vale, where House Arryn had strengthened their defenses. A strong host had been positioned at the Bloody Gate, and the garrisons of Stone, Snow, and Sky had been tripled. However, Visenya bypassed these hosts by flying up to the Eyrie upon Vhagar's back. She landed in the courtyard, where she was met by Ronnel Arryn, the young King of Mountain and Vale. Ronnel's regent and mother, Lady Sharra Arryn, surrendered the Eyrie to Visenya.[5]

First Dornish War

Visenya riding Vhagar into battle.

Visenya fought alongside her siblings in the First Dornish War, which lasted from 4 AC to 13 AC. After Rhaenys died in Dorne in 10 AC, Visenya and Aegon, grief-stricken at her death, set every castle, keep, and holdfast in Dorne ablaze at least once, with the exception of Sunspear and its shadow city.

They also placed bounties on the heads of the Dornish lords. Although half a dozen and more of those lords were killed by assassins, only two of the killers lived to collect their reward. In retaliation, the Dornish lords hired catspaws themselves.[8][9] Visenya and her escort were once attacked in King's Landing, and she cut down the last would-be assassin down herself with Dark Sister.[10] Visenya also twice wielded her longsword to defend her brother,[11] with one occasion occurring in 10 AC.[9] When Aegon argued that his guards were still sufficient for his protection, Visenya drew Dark Sister. Before his guards could react, she had cut Aegon's cheek, pointing out to him that his guards were slow and lazy.[11] This event led to the birth of the Kingsguard. Visenya modeled the vows of the Kingsguard upon the vows of the Night's Watch, and she selected the first seven members herself.[9]

In 13 AC, Deria Martell, Princess of Dorne, arrived in King's Landing in 13 AC with a delegation to discuss peace. With her, she brought the skull of Rhaenys's dragon, Meraxes, which was ill-received by Visenya. Deria and Aegon eventually reached an agreement, striking a peace which ended the war.[8]


Visenya with Dark Sister, by Bella Bergolts ©

The day-to-day governance of the realm was often left in the charge of Visenya and Rhaenys, and Aegon's councilors.[9]

Rhaenys's death in Dorne in 10 AC shattered the health of her son Aenys, and people began to doubt as to whether he would live. As Visenya had not yet gotten pregnant by Aegon despite more than a decade of marriage, some had come to believe that she was barren, and even went as far as to suggest to Aegon that he should take a new wife. Although many young women were presented to Aegon, he refused to voice his opinion on the matter. In 11 AC, Visenya announced she was pregnant with a son, and the next year, she gave birth to Aegon's second son, Maegor[3] on Dragonstone.[12] Visenya raised Maegor on Dragonstone, and gave him her Valyrian steel sword, Dark Sister, as a nameday present when the boy turned thirteen.[3]

In 23 AC, Aenys's first child, Princess Rhaena, was born. Shortly after Maegor turned twelve, Visenya proposed a betrothal between her son Maegor and Rhaena, to settle the issue of the royal succession, as Rhaena's birth had sparked the discussion about who was next in line behind Aenys: his own daughter, or his brother.[3] However, the High Septon protested, and suggested his own niece, Lady Ceryse Hightower, as a bride for the young prince instead.[13][14]

Visenya's relationship with Aegon, which had never been a warm one, grew more distant. When Aegon in 35 AC had the Aegonfort torn down so they could start building the Red Keep, Visenya was left in charge of the construction. In his histories, Archmaester Gyldayn states that it was suggested at court that Aegon had left Visenya at King's Landing so that he would not have to endure her presence on Dragonstone.[9]

Reign of Aenys

When Aegon died, both Visenya and Maegor were present as his body was cremated and Aenys I Targaryen was crowned. Aenys gifted Maegor with Blackfyre saying he was more fit to wield it. Visenya Targaryen voiced the opinion that Aenys was unfit to rule, claiming that, by giving Blackfyre to Maegor, Aenys had admitted that he lacked the strength to rule.[3]

In 39 AC, Visenya's son Maegor shocked the realm by taking a second wife and married Alys Harroway. For lack of a septon, Visenya officiated the Valyrian wedding ceremony. The outrage that followed resulted in Maegor being sent into exile.[13] Visenya was present the next year at the wedding of Princess Rhaena to Prince Aegon. At the feast that followed the ceremony, King Aenys named Aegon Prince of Dragonstone, a title which had previously belonged to Maegor. Visenya left the feast in protest and returned to Dragonstone upon Vhagar. Singers claim that the moon turned red as they passed it.[3]

When King Aenys abandoned King's Landing at the start of the Faith Militant uprising and fled to Dragonstone, Visenya counseled him to burn down the Starry Sept in Oldtown and the Sept of Remembrance in King's Landing. Aenys, incapable of making a firm decision, instead fell ill and chose not to heed her counsel. Visenya took over his care and for a time his health improved. Aenys suffered a collapse when he learned his son Aegon and daughter Rhaena were besieged in Crakehall, and he died three days later.[13] As soon as Aenys was buried, Visenya then mounted Vhagar and flew to Pentos to retrieve her son Maegor from exile.[14]

Reign of Maegor

Queen Visenya, by Elia Fernandez ©

With Visenya's aid, Maegor claimed the Iron Throne. Visenya accompanied him to King's Landing, where she challenged anyone who denied Maegor's right to rule, which resulted in a trial of seven between Maegor and the Warrior's Sons. Though severely injured, Maegor was the only survivor.[14]

In 42 AC, Visenya flew to Driftmark upon Vhagar to convince Aenys's widow, Dowager Queen Alyssa Velaryon, to leave her father's castle to where she had fled after her husband's death. At the royal court, it was said that Maegor's Hand of the King and council members enacted his will but did not have his ear - but instead, he was ruled by three queens: his mother Visenya, his paramour and second wife Alys Harroway, and his new third bride, the Pentoshi spymaster Tyanna of the Tower, a rumored sorceress. Visenya came to distrust Tyanna and a rivalry developed between them.[3]

In 43 AC Visenya aided her son against those who refused his royal summons. Mounted upon her dragon Vhagar, she burned the seats of several houses in the riverlands, as once she had burned castles in Dorne: House Blanetree, Terrick, Deddings, Lychester, and Wayn.[N 1] Next Visenya and Maegor turned towards Oldtown, threatening to incinerate the Starry Sept in response to the High Septon's condemnation of her sons polygamous marriages. When the High Septon suddenly died, Lord Martyn Hightower opened the city's gates, saving Oldtown from the fire. Visenya watched as the new High Septon anointed her son as king.[15][3]

After Maegor's victory in the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye, Visenya persuaded her son to spare the lives of several highborn rebels. After Prince Aegon's death, Visenya held Alyssa and her two youngest children, Jaehaerys and Alysanne, as her wards on Dragonstone.[3]

By 44 AC - despite being healthy enough to ride her dragon to battle the year before - Visenya had grown thin and haggard, as the flesh had "melted" from her bones.[3] Visenya died that same year while Maegor was on campaign. Upon her death, Alyssa and her two children slipped away from the castle in the confusion, taking Visenya's Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister with them.[3][14]

Visenya was cremated as per Targaryen custom. Her bones and ashes were interred beside those of her brother, King Aegon I Targaryen.[3][N 2]


After Visenya's death, it was suggested that she had caused King Aenys I Targaryen's sudden death, causing some to call her a kinslayer and kingslayer.[13]

Elissa Farman gave the names Aegon, Rhaenys, and Visenya to islands she found in the Sunset Sea.[16]

The Great Sept of Baelor sits on Visenya's Hill in King's Landing.[17]

The Conqueror's Two Wives is a play about the royal siblings.[18]


Aegon I
Aenys I
House Baratheon.svg
Maegor I
Jaehaerys I
Tyanna of
the Tower
House Targaryen.svg

Quotes by Visenya

Your guards are slow and lazy.[9]

—Visenya to Aegon I Targaryen after cutting his cheek to prove a point

You are a fool and a weakling, nephew. Do you think any man would ever have dared speak so to your father? You have a dragon. Use him. Fly to Oldtown and make this Starry Sept another Harrenhal. Or give me leave, and let me roast this pious fool for you.[3]

—Visenya to Aenys I Targaryen

A true king, blood of Aegon the Conqueror, who was my brother, my husband, and my love. If any man questions my son's right to the Iron Throne, let him prove his claim with his body.[3]

—Visenya to the Warrior's Sons


  1. The Sons of the Dragon states that Visenya burned the seats of Houses in the Reach, before listing off all of these Houses, known from other sources to be in the riverlands. This one-word mention of the Reach is thus probably an error. It is corrected in Fire & Blood.
  2. The Sons of the Dragon states that "Her bones and ashes were interred beside those of her brother and sister." However, the body of her sister, Rhaenys, was never returned from Dorne after her death in 10 AC (The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Dorne Against the Dragons), making this impossible. It is corrected in Fire & Blood.


  1. 1.0 1.1 See the Visenya Targaryen calculation.
  2. 2.0 2.1 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Visenya Targaryen.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 So Spake Martin: More Targaryen Descriptions (December 24, 2005)
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Fire & Blood, Aegon's Conquest.
  6. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20, Brienne IV.
  7. The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: Casterly Rock.
  8. 8.0 8.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Dorne Against the Dragons.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
  10. Fire & Blood, Reign of the Dragon - The Wars of King Aegon I.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Fire & Blood, Three Heads Had the Dragon - Governance Under King Aegon I.
  12. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Maegor I Targaryen.
  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 14.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
  15. The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Oldtown.
  16. Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
  17. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
  18. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 34, Cat Of The Canals.
New title Queen consort of the Seven Kingdoms
137 AC
With: Rhaenys Targaryen
Succeeded by