Aegon Targaryen (son of Rhaegar)
Prince Aegon in the arms of his mother, Princess Elia Martell - by Achen089 ©.
|Born||In 281 AC or 282 AC, at Dragonstone|
|Died||In 283 AC (supposedly), at King's Landing|
The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)|
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (appears)
- 1 Appearance
- 2 History
- 3 Recent Events
- 4 Quotes by Aegon
- 5 Quotes about Aegon
- 6 Line of succession to the Iron Throne
- 7 Family
- 8 Theories
- 9 References and Notes
According to semi-canonical sources, Aegon looked like a Targaryen, taking after his father, Rhaegar, while his sister, Rhaenys, took after their Dornish mother, Elia Martell. The infant Aegon had fair hair.
A comet was seen above King's Landing on the night Aegon was conceived, which led his father Rhaegar Targaryen to believe that he was the "prince that was promised". The comet was seen as "the bleeding star" of the prophecy. Maester Aemon was aware of Rhaegar's beliefs, though it is unclear if he shared them. Aemon would later come to doubt the wisdom of looking for a prince, rather than a princess. He realized there was a translation error, and that the term translated was fluid in terms of gender. This is connected to the term for dragons, which are neither male nor female.
Sack of King's Landing
Aegon was an infant during Robert's Rebellion, having been born a few months before its onset. Prior to the Battle of the Trident, Aegon's great-uncle, Prince Lewyn Martell of the Kingsguard, was reminded gracelessly by King Aerys II that Aegon, and his sister and mother, were in Aerys's hands. Lewyn was ordered to take command of the ten thousand Dornishmen marching up the kingsroad. Lewyn and Aegon's father, Rhaegar, died during the Battle of the Trident, however. Aerys sent his wife, Queen Rhaella Targaryen, and their last remaining son, Prince Viserys, to Dragonstone for safety. The original plan had been for Elia Martell, Rhaegar's widow and Lewyn's niece, to join them, but Aerys came to blame the loss of the battle on Lewyn, accusing him of having betrayed Rhaegar. He thus chose to keep Elia and her children by his side as hostages to ensure continued Dornish loyalty.
With the death of Rhaegar, Grand Maester Pycelle was convinced the war was effectively over, and that House Targaryen could no longer offer a proper king to the realm. Pycelle worked to convince Aerys II to open the gates of King's Landing to the Lannister forces, secretly hoping Lord Tywin Lannister would rise to the Iron Throne.
During the Sack of King's Landing a fortnight after the royal forces had left for the Trident, Ser Jaime Lannister killed Aerys in the throne room of the Red Keep. Jaime, though the only Kingsguard member left in the city, did not think his father Tywin, whose troops were attacking the city, would harm little Aegon and his young sister, Rhaenys. While Jaime was standing over Aerys's corpse, Ser Gregor Clegane and Ser Amory Lorch scaled the walls of Maegor's Holdfast and then killed Aegon, Rhaenys, and Elia. The deaths of the children caused a dispute between Lord Eddard Stark and the new king, Robert I Baratheon, and also began the feud between House Martell and House Lannister. It caused Dorne to remain loyal to the Iron Throne only by name, interacting with the other kingdoms as little as necessary.
Accounts and Motivations
Lord Eddard Stark recalls that Lord Tywin Lannister's soldiers tore Aegon from his mother's breast and dashed his head against a wall. They were also said to have dragged Rhaenys from beneath her bed, putting her to the sword. Eddard had heard rumors that it was Gregor Clegane who dashed the skull of infant Aegon against a wall. It was whispered that afterward seventeen-year-old Gregor had raped Elia, and then put her to the sword. Nobody dared to repeat these rumors when Gregor himself could be listening.
According to Tyrion Lannister, the responsibility of Gregor for the murders of Elia and Aegon was common knowledge in Casterly Rock. The tale states that while Gregor raped Elia, his hands were still covered in the blood and brains of Aegon.
According to Tywin, Rhaenys hid under Rhaegar's bed while Elia and Aegon were in the nursery, a floor below. Since the westerlands were neutral for most of Robert's Rebellion, Tywin needed a way to demonstrate loyalty to Robert Baratheon, a way to convince people that House Lannister had severed all ties to House Targaryen. In addition, Eddard Stark was heading toward King's Landing, leading Robert's army south from the Trident. Instead of the Lannister and Stark forces meeting as allies, there was still a chance for the two armies to clash. Tywin also feared that his elder son, Ser Jaime, might do something stupid or that Aerys would kill Jaime out of spite. By eliminating Rhaegar's children, in a single move the Lannisters proved their commitment to Robert's cause and secured the throne for Robert by eliminating rival claimants for the throne. Tywin was somewhat surprised by the result of his commands. The murders were performed "too brutally" for his needs, and he insists that Elia died because he did not specify she should be spared. He had not grasped yet that Gregor was bestial, not just "terrible in battle".
Oberyn Martell has another view on Tywin's motives. Elia was once supposed to marry Jaime Lannister, based on an agreement between her mother and Joanna Lannister. Following the death of Joanna, Tywin broke the agreement, though he offered Tyrion as a a prospective bridegroom instead of Jaime, taunting House Martell. He had also informed them that his daughter, Jaime's twin Cersei, was meant for Rhaegar, not for Oberyn. When Elia married Rhaegar, the Martells ruined Tywin's plans. Tywin was "not a man to forget such slights". Oberyn believes the murder of Elia was decided by Tywin, to teach Elia the same lesson that Houses Reyne and Tarbeck had learned.
Eddard recalls how Tywin presented Robert with the corpses of Elia, Aegon, and Rhaenys: his "token of fealty". Tywin had laid the bodies beneath the Iron Throne, wrapped in the crimson cloaks of his house guard, which helped to hide the blood. Rhaenys had been barefoot, dressed in a bed gown. The condition of the boy horrified Eddard. The skull was a "red ruin", and even Robert could not stand its sight.
Ser Kevan Lannister was able to recognize Rhaenys, but recalls that nobody could recognize Aegon. All that remained of the boy was a faceless horror of bone, brain, and gore with a few hanks of fair hair. Tywin stated that this was Aegon and everyone else took him at his word. Seventeen years later, however, Kevan expresses uncertainty about the identity of the babe.
Reactions to the death
- Robert I Baratheon was relieved that Rhaegar Targaryen's children were killed. Robert viewed himself as a hero, and was reluctant to kill children, but he knew Rhaegar's children had to die if his throne was ever to be secure. Tywin painted himself as the villain, allowing Robert to keep his hands clean, the reason Robert refused to punish any of the Lannisters for the brutal act. Upon the protest of his friend Eddard Stark that the two children had been no more than babes, Robert named Aegon and his sister "dragonspawn".
- Tywin Lannister knew that killing both children would prove to Robert that House Lannister had forsaken House Targaryen forever. Years later, Tyrion came to question the wisdom of the act. Robert would have bloodied his own hands, soiling his own reputation, if he had done the deed himself. Instead, the Lannisters damaged their own reputation, gaining long-term enemies in the process. Tywin claims the act had been necessary, because House Lannister had come into the war only at the end.
- Eddard Stark called the act murder, while Robert called it war. Eddard protested that Aegon and Rhaenys were "no more than babes", but Robert disagreed, calling the children "dragonspawn". The two men quarreled over the matter, and even Jon Arryn was unable to calm them. Eddard rode out of King's Landing in a cold rage, heading south to fight the last battles of the war on his own. He and Robert would only be reconciled by their shared grief over the death of Lyanna Stark.
- Thoros of Myr claims to have personally seen the corpses of Aegon and Rhaenys, as they were placed before the Iron Throne. In his view, House Clegane was "built upon dead children" and their arms should display "two bloody infants".
- Arianne Martell calls Robert a monster who climbed onto his throne over the corpses of children, directly connecting his rise to the murders of Aegon and Rhaenys. Robert is not held in high regard in Dorne.
- Viserys Targaryen is convinced that Dornishmen are determined to avenge Elia and her children, and would thus rise to his cause.
- Doran Martell mourns for the victims. According to Varys, Doran's hatred for House Lannister is well known. Doran claims to have worked at the downfall of Tywin since they first brought him word of the fates of Elia and her children.
- Oberyn Martell has hungered for justice for sixteen years. He is certain that Gregor had been following orders rather than acting on his own, and wants vengeance on the man who gave the orders, not just the man who performed the deed.
- Nymeria Sand believes that the only fitting payment for the death of Elia's children would be the death of "Lord Tywin's golden twins". Cersei and Jaime should pay with their lives for the old murders.
- Jacelyn Bywater states there are still whispers in King's Landing that "the butchery of Rhaegar's children" is one of the sins of House Lannister and that the Faith of the Seven will punish the entire city for the the act.
- Daenerys Targaryen is unable to see a difference between Houses Lannister and Stark. She considers Eddard also responsible for the murders of Rhaenys and Aegon, arguing that "the Usurper's dogs" acted as a pack of hounds, hunting children.
- Barristan Selmy has been haunted by the "bloody bodies" of Aegon and Rhaenys. His serious injuries following the Battle of the Trident prevented him from examining the corpses, but he has wondered for years whether Robert smiled at the bodies. Barristan concludes that such a smile would have led him to kill Robert, and that no army could have saved him.
- Yandel, when recording the history of Robert's Rebellion, not wishing to offend or anger either King Robert or Lord Tywin, tries to paint the events of the murder in a way that does not cast a negative light on those who sided with Robert.
A Clash of Kings
One of the visions Daenerys Targaryen sees in the House of the Undying involves Rhaegar Targaryen, Elia Martell, and Aegon. She sees a newborn Aegon nurses from the breast of Elia, who is seated in a great wooden bed. Rhaegar decides on the name "Aegon" for his newborn son, as he thinks the name fit for a king. When Elia asks whether Rhaegar will make a song for their son, he replies that Aegon, the prince that was promised, already has the song of ice and fire. Rhaegar then claims that there must be "one more", since "the dragon has three heads". Rhaegar moves to a seat near the window, and picks up a harp. Daenerys listens to the "sweet sadness" of his music as the vision fades away. Afterwards, Ser Jorah Mormont confirms their identities but points out that if Aegon was the promised prince, the promise was broken with his death. Neither have heard of "the song of ice and fire".
A Storm of Swords
During Tyrion Lannister's trial by combat, a wounded Gregor Clegane narrates a brief account of Aegon's death to Oberyn Martell. He first killed Aegon, the "screaming whelp", and then raped Elia. Gregor claims to have smashed her head with his bare hands, the same method the Mountain then uses to finish off Oberyn.
A Dance with Dragons
While in Meereen, Daenerys Targaryen muses about Aegon, who would have been the sixth of his name to sit on the Iron Throne. She believes that, had Aegon lived, she might have married him, as he would have been closer to her in age than Viserys.
In 300 AC, Illyrio Mopatis and Tyrion Lannister depart Pentos for the Rhoyne. Tyrion and a sellsword, "Griff", are to head towards Volantis and wait for the expected arrival of Daenerys in that city, with the Golden Company and more ships for her cause. Based on Illyrio's information, Daenerys has conquered Astapor, made Yunkai bend the knee, and sacked Meereen. He estimates that Daenerys is heading westwards, either by land to Mantarys or by sea to Volantis.
Once aboard the Shy Maid, Tyrion is introduced to Griff's son, "Young Griff", a young man who dyes his hair blue in memory of his late mother, who was from Tyrosh. He is a lithe and well-made youth, with a lanky build already as tall as Griff. Tyrion notes that the boy's eyes seem to be dark blue, but look black by lamplight, and purple in the light of dusk. He has long eyelashes.
Young Griff is well educated and intelligent, speaking several languages, and is well versed in history. He speaks the Common Tongue as a native speaker. He is fluent in High Valyrian, in the Bastard Valyrian dialects of Pentos, Tyrosh, Myr, and Lys, and in the trade talk. He is a novice at speaking the dialect of Volantis, only familiar with a few of its words. The dialect of Meereen, whose terms derive from both Valyrian and Ghiscari, gives him trouble. He has some training in mathematics, with a decent knowledge of sums and a limited understanding of geometry. He also has been trained in songs. Tyrion notes that Young Griff is more learned than "half the lords in Westeros".
After being rescued from the Sorrows, Tyrion admits his suspicion that the youth is claiming to be an incognito Aegon. The young man explains his apparent survival to Tyrion while they play cyvasse. According to his account, the infant killed during the Sack of King's Landing was a tanner's infant son born at Pisswater Bend, a street of King's Landing. The child's mother had died at birth. The tanner sold his boy to Varys for a jug of wine, since he already had other sons, but had never tasted Arbor gold. Varys arranged the swap between the two infants. Elia received the tanner's son, whom Tyrion dubs the pisswater prince, while Varys took custody of the real Prince Aegon.
Tyrion deduces that once the impostor infant was dead at Gregor Clegane's hands, Varys smuggled the genuine Aegon across the narrow sea. Varys first entrusted the boy to Illyrio Mopatis and eventually found an adoptive father for Aegon in the person of "Griff", the exiled Lord Jon Connington, a friend of Aegon's late father, Rhaegar. Tyrion believes that dying his hair blue had served well to make Aegon's violet eyes appear blue. Tyrion learns that Aegon plans to marry his aunt Daenerys, Queen of Meeren, and invade Westeros. Tyrion is skeptical, since Aegon would have a stronger claim to the Iron Throne but Daenerys has a larger army. Tyrion suggests heading to Westeros instead of going east, taking advantage of all the problems caused by the War of the Five Kings and that King Tommen I Baratheon has a weak small council. The game of cyvasse ends with a loss for Aegon. Tyrion is then abducted by Jorah Mormont at Selhorys.
Aegon's journey brings him to Volon Therys, where he and Jon Connington head toward the camp of the Golden Company. Wearing red silk and a black cloak, the colors of House Targaryen, Aegon is introduced by Jon as Aegon VI, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men. This is met with silence by the officers, and Jon realizes the sellswords are already aware of Aegon's identity. They discuss Daenerys's lingering presence in Meereen, and whether they should join the ongoing conflict in Slaver's Bay. Aegon sees the opportunity to introduce his own plan of going to Westeros and claiming the Iron Throne in his own name. Harry Strickland tries to point out the risks, but most officers are eager to support this course of action. Aegon further explains that his aunt is welcome to keep Meereen. His plan is to move fast and strike hard, gaining a foothold before House Lannister can react. The Golden Company swear allegiances to Aegon, but the officers agree to keep his identity secret from the soldiers until they land in Westeros.
The ten thousand sellswords soon depart Volantis, but the landing of the Golden Company is disrupted by storms and less than half arrive in the stormlands on schedule. Jon leads a quarter of the available forces in seizing Griffin's Roost. Simultaneously Tristan Rivers besieges Crow's Nest, and Laswell Peake besieges Rain House. Aegon remains in their camp, guarded by the remaining quarter of the Golden Company under Gorys Edoryen. Haldon collects information about the military and diplomatic situation across Westeros, and he considers marital alliances for Aegon and his Hand of the King, Jon. Lord Connington decides to bring Aegon to Griffin's Roost for increased safety, and he has a plan to capture Storm's End, the last foothold of Stannis Baratheon in the stormlands.
Four days later, Aegon arrives at Griffin's Roost at the head of a column, which includes a hundred horsemen and three elephants. He is accompanied by Lemore and Ser Rolly Duckfield, the first person in his version of the Kingsguard. Jon had pointed out that positions in the Kingsguard should be reserved for warriors of great renown and sons of great lords, but Aegon would rather have men loyal to himself and ready to die for his safety. Jon notes that Aegon's eyes are a lighter shade of purple than Rhaegar's eyes had been. Aegon is in favor of Jon's plan for Storm's End, but upsets his Hand by intending to personally lead the attack.
When news of Aegon's survival reaches King's Landing, the small council of King Tommen declare him to be a pretender. Ser Kevan Lannister, however, recalls Jon from his time at Aerys II Targaryen's court, and wonders whether Aegon could have survived, recalling how the babe killed by Gregor had been unrecognizable.
The Winds of Winter
|| Warning |
This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.
Arianne Martell departs Sunspear on a mission from her father, Doran Martell, to discover the truth about Aegon. At Ghost Hill, Ser Daemon Sand expresses his skepticism of Aegon's claim to Arianne. When Arianne arrives at Griffin's Roost, Haldon informs her that the Golden Company has taken Storm's End and that Aegon intends to meet Lord Mace Tyrell's men in battle.
Quotes by Aegon
- Aegon and Jon Connington
Quotes about Aegon
It is tragic that the blood spilled in war may as readily be innocent as it is guilty, and those who ravished and murdered Princes Elia escaped justice. It is not known who murdered Princess Rhaenys in her bed, or smashed the infant Prince Aegon's head against a wall. Some whisper it was done at Aerys's own command when he learned Lord Lannister had taken up Robert's cause, while others suggest that Elia did it herself for fear of what would happen to her children in the hands of her dead husband's enemies.
- writings of Yandel
- Tyrion Lannister's thoughts
The perfect prince but still half a boy for all that, with little and less experience of the world and all its woes.
– Tyrion Lannister's thoughts
Trust no one, my prince. Not your chainless maester, not your false father, not the gallant Duck nor the lovely Lemore nor these other fine friends who grew you from a bean. Above all, trust not the cheesemonger, nor the Spider, nor this little dragon queen you mean to marry. All that mistrust will sour your stomach and keep you awake by night, 'tis true, but better that than the long sleep that does not end.
- Tyrion Lannister, to Aegon
Kevan Lannister had been here, in this very hall when Tywin had laid the bodies of Prince Rhaegar's children at the foot of the Iron Throne, wrapped up in crimson cloaks. The girl had been recognizably the Princess Rhaenys, but the boy ... a faceless horror of bone and brain and gore, a few hanks of fair hair. None of us looked long. Tywin said that it was Prince Aegon, and we took him at his word.
- Kevan Lannister's thoughts
Aegon has been shaped for rule before he could walk. He has been trained in arms, as befits a knight to be, but that was not the end of his education. He reads and writes, he speaks several tongues, he has studied history and law and poetry. A septa has instructed him in the mysteries of the Faith since he was old enough to understand them. He has lived with fisherfolk, worked with his hands, swum in rivers and mended nets and learned to wash his own clothes at need. He can fish and cook and bind up a wound, he knows what it is like to be hungry, to be hunted, to be afraid. Tommen has been taught that kingship is his right. Aegon knows kingship is his duty, that a king must put his people first, and live and rule for them.
Line of succession to the Iron Throne
After Rhaegar died on the Trident, Prince Viserys Targaryen was apparently named heir to the throne by King Aerys II Targaryen, while Aegon was still alive. After Aerys's death Viserys was declared king on Dragonstone. Viserys would later name his sister Daenerys his heir, by declaring her to be the Princess of Dragonstone.
The sons of the first son come before the second son.
Aegon is a son of Rhaegar Targaryen, who was himself the eldest son of Aerys II Targaryen, which would, under normal circumstances, place Aegon higher in the Targaryen succession line than both Viserys (Aerys II's second son) and Daenerys (the daughter of Aerys II). However, documents from the end of King Aerys II's reign give doubt to the fact that Aegon's claim is truly stronger.
In both 92 AC and 101 AC, the succession of House Targaryen was brought into question when the proclaimed heir of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen died. On both occasions, the male line through a younger son was chosen over the female line through the elder (but deceased) son, by first choosing the King's second son, Baelon, over the elder son's heir, Rhaenys, and by later chosing Baelon's elder son over Rhaenys's son, after Baelon's death. According to Archmaester Gyldayn, in the eyes of many, the council of 101 AC established an iron precedent on matters of succession: that the Iron Throne could not pass to a woman, or to a male descendant of a woman. King Viserys I wished to set a new precedent by naming his daughter Rhaenyra his heir, despite the fact that he had three sons, an issue over which eventually a civil war called the Dance of the Dragons was fought. When King Baelor I Targaryen died without a son of his own, and without having proclaimed a specific heir, the claims of all three of Baelor's sisters, as well as the claim of Baelor's uncle (his closest living male relative) were discussed. The claims of his sisters were eventually dismissed. Further, in the Great Council of 233 AC, Aegon V Targaryen was crowned King despite the fact that the infant son of his older brother was still alive.
After her brother's death in Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys names herself a queen. If Aegon’s claim is a rightful one then the people of Westeros might see his claim as stronger than Daenerys's claim. Nevertheless, Daenerys is Queen of Meereen in her own right, having conquered the city and installed herself as ruler.
However, in contrast to the alleged Aegon Targaryen, Daenerys Targaryen's lineage is not under suspicion. During a small council meeting in the Red Keep's throne room concerning the Targaryen pretender, Kevan Lannister says as much, stating that there is
During the Golden Company's rendezvous with Jon Connington in Volantis, leader Harry Strickland points out that Aegon's lineage can be questioned and Aegon’s marriage to his aunt would quell any doubts,
References and Notes
- See the Aegon Targaryen (son of Rhaegar) calculation.
- Put into question by the appearance of a youth claimed to be the survived prince, backed up by Prince Rhaegar's former friend Jon Connington.
- So Spake Martin: A Number of Questions (August 26, 2000)
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Aegon Targaryen.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Elia Martell.
- A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 25, Tyrion VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 64, Daenerys VIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion X.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 34, Arya VI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 40, Princess In The Tower.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 38, Arya VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 66, Theon VI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 2, The Captain Of Guards.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: Robert's Rebellion.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 63, Daenerys V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 2, Daenerys I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 14, Tyrion IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 22, Tyrion VI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 18, Tyrion V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 61, The Griffin Reborn.
- The Winds of Winter, Arianne I
- The Winds of Winter, Arianne II
- The Winds of Winter, Arianne I
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The End.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Rhaella Targaryen.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 35, Bran V.
- "Maester Yandel is merely reporting based on historical records on events of the time"
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
- The Rogue Prince.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
- The Princess and the Queen.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 54, Daenerys VI.