Aemon Targaryen (son of Maekar I)
|Born||In 198 AC, at Braavos|
|Died||In 300 AC, at Aboard the Cinnamon Wind, off the coast of Dorne|
A Game of Thrones|
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
|Played by||Peter Vaughan|
|TV series||Season 1|
Maester Aemon, whose real name was Aemon Targaryen, is the third son of King Maekar I Targaryen. He has served as a maester to the Night's Watch at Castle Black for so long that the rest of the Seven Kingdoms has forgotten about his Targaryen blood. He died of old age at one hundred and two. In the TV series he is played by Peter Vaughan.
Character and Appearance
An ancient man of a hundred years old at the beginning of the novel, Aemon is bald, wrinkled, shrunken and blind. He speaks softly but his counsel is so valued and respected that many fall silent to hear it. Despite his age his mind is still sharp as is his hearing. Aemon is a humble and capable man.
Aemon Targaryen was the second of his name, and the third son of Maekar I. He was named after his great-great-uncle, Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, by his grandfather, Daeron II. At this time, King Daeron II had four grown sons, three with sons of their own, and so felt that having too many potential Targaryen heirs was dangerous and sent Aemon to the Citadel.
Aemon forged his chain, and earned the title of Maester Aemon. He served an unidentified lord until his father, now King Maekar I, summoned him to court to serve the Iron Throne. Not wanting to sit on the small council as he felt that would displace the Grand Maester, Aemon chose instead to serve at the keep of his eldest brother, Prince Daeron. After Daeron's death, Maester Aemon's whereabouts are unknown until the death of King Maekar I, when Aemon was summoned to court in the year of the Great Council. He was offered the crown, quietly, but refused, ceding rule to his younger brother, Aegon.
He then chose to go to the Wall to take the vows of the Night's Watch for fear that he may be used in a plot to usurp his brother. On his journey King Aegon provided him with an "honor guard"(emptying the dungeons) to take the vows of the Night’s Watch with him. Among them was Bloodraven, who later went on to become Lord Commander of the Watch.
Rhaegar Targaryen sometimes corresponded with his ancient great-great uncle via raven messages. Aemon claims that every man who has ever joined the Watch has been tested on keeping his vows at least once. Aemon stated that he was tested three times and that the hardest time for him was hearing about the destruction of House Targaryen during the War of the Usurper.
A Game of Thrones
Maestar Aemon is present at the feast when the Lord commander Jeor Mormont welcomes Tyrion Lannister to the Wall. Aemon recognises the intelligence of Tyrion and describes him as "a giant come among us", rendering Tyrion, a dwarf, uncharacteristically speechless.
Aemon aids Jon Snow in helping his friend Samwell Tarly become a Steward of the Night's Watch, fearing for the boy's safety if he remains a recruit under the brutal training of Ser Alliser Thorne. Aemon counsels Jon Snow when he learns Jon's family are in danger, for he knew Jon was having thoughts of deserting to come to his family's aid — just as Aemon had during Robert's Rebellion.
A Clash of Kings
Aemon, being too old to accompany the ranging, remains at Castle Black. The duty of writing and sending messages falls to Samwell Tarly. Jeor Mormont reveals much of Aemon's history to Jon, including the fact that Aemon could have been king, but refused the crown. Mormont has a very high opinion of Aemon and his abilities, an opinion Jon shares.
A Storm of Swords
When Jon Snow returns to Castle Black, badly wounded by an arrow, Maester Aemon treats his injury; despite being blind, his hands are steady and he treats the wound successfully. Donal Noye and Aemon hear and believe Jon's report of wildlings about to attack. When Donal Noye is killed defending the gates from giants, Aemon tells Jon he must lead the men while Aemon provides guidance to him and the other men of the Wall. Aemon also comes to Jon's defense when Janos Slynt and Ser Alliser Thorne want Jon executed for allegedly breaking his oaths and becoming a wildling. During Stannis's occupation of the Wall, Aemon is dubious of Melisandre's claim that Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn.
A Feast for Crows
The new Lord Commander Jon Snow sends Aemon to Oldtown with Samwell Tarly and the wildling girl Gilly, carrying Mance Rayder's infant "wildling prince", to remove all "royal blood" from Melisandre's grasp. Jon fears that Melisandre might kill Aemon for his "king's blood" to use in a spell. However, the sea voyage is too hard for the old man and he is bedridden and near death when arriving at Braavos. Aemon, upon hearing of Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons, is convinced she is the Prince that was promised, the Valyrian word translated "Prince" being gender neutral. During the voyage from Braavos to Oldtown he dies of a chill at the age of one hundred and two. According to Alleras, a novice at the Citadel, he was the oldest living man in Westeros.
He was a good man... No. He was a great man. A maester of the Citadel, chained and sworn, and Sworn Brother of the Night's Watch, ever faithful. When he was born they named him for a hero who had died too young, but though he lived a long long time, his own life was no less heroic. No man was wiser, or gentler, or kinder. At the Wall, a dozen lords commander came and went during his years of service, but he was always there to counsel them. He counseled kings as well. He could have been a king himself, but when they offered him the crown he told them they should give it to his younger brother. How many men would do that? He was the blood of the dragon, but now his fire has gone out. He was Aemon Targaryen. And now his watch is ended.
References and Notes
- HBO, Cast and Crew
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 21, Tyrion III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 60, Jon VIII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell IV.
- Kiera of Tyrosh was widowed when Valarr Targaryen died from the Great Spring Sickness; some time later she married his cousin Daeron.
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