Aerion Targaryen

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For the Lord of Dragonstone, and the father of King Aegon I Targaryen, see Aerion Targaryen (son of Daemion).
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Aerion Targaryen
MiniTargaryen Aerion.png
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Aerion Targaryen by Mathia Arkoniel©

Alias Brightflame
Aerion the Monstrous
The Bright Prince
The Prince Who Thought He Was a Dragon
Title Prince
Allegiance House Targaryen
Second Sons
Culture Valyrian
Born In or between 191 AC and 194 AC[1]
Died In 232 AC
Spouse Daenora Targaryen
Book(s) The Hedge Knight (Appears)
The Sworn Sword (Mentioned)
The Mystery Knight (Mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (Mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (Mentioned)

Prince Aerion Targaryen, also known as Aerion the Monstrous or Aerion Brightflame as he liked to call himself, was the second son of Maekar I Targaryen. He is one of the most outstanding examples of the latent folly that can hit the members of House Targaryen. Cruel and arrogant, he thought he was a dragon in human form.


See also: Images of Aerion Targaryen

In his youth, Aerion was slim and of average height. He had curly silver-hair, a statuesque face of sharp cheekbones, straight nose and pale skin. His eyes were violet.[2]


Aerion drinks wildfire.
Art by Roman Papsuev


Aerion was despised by his brother Aegon. Aerion had thrown Aegon's pet cat down a well and even once visited Aegon in his bedroom during the dead of night, put a knife to Aegon's privates and joked about removing his genitals so he would become a sister he could marry. According to Raymun Fossoway, the prince is all smiles and courtesy in front of his father, but his true nature shows in front of others.

The Hedge Knight

During the Ashford Tourney, he first appeared with three of the Kingsguard and ordered Duncan the Tall to take his horse, mistaking him for a stable boy. When Duncan says he isn't, Aerion insults him, saying perhaps he's not clever enough to be one. He orders him to bring him food, wine and a wench and Duncan makes it clear that he's a knight. Aerion says "Knighthood has fallen on sad times" before giving his horse to a servant and leaving. At the tourney, he seems about to challenge his cousin Valarr Targaryen to a joust, but challenges Humfrey Hardyng instead. During the charge, Egg, Dunk's squire (really Aegon Targaryen) screams for Hardying to kill Aerion. Duncan notices Aerion lowers his lance too low as he charges and impales Hardyng's horse, injuring Humfrey's leg and leaving his horse to die in agony. Egg is horrified and makes it clear to Duncan that Aerion had done it on purpose.

Later, Duncan was called by Egg to help a puppeteer he liked named Tanselle who, along with other puppeteers from Dorne, were being attacked by Aerion and his soldiers. Their only crime was representing the death of a dragon in their puppet show which, in Aerion's mad mind, was treason towards the Targaryens. Aerion broke one of Tanselle's fingers, stating the dragon should never lose. Dunk, in rage, punched Aerion in the face to defend Tanselle and kicked him when he drew a knife to attack. Dunk was wrestled to the ground by Aerion's guards, who stated that for loosening Aerion's tooth, Dunk would have all his broken. Egg revealed who he was to defend Dunk, and Dunk was imprisoned. Baelor Breakspear said that Aerion wanted his head (less his teeth) but he would not lose his life, but Dunk had struck a prince of the blood and that meant losing a hand (and his foot for kicking him). Baelor also suggested Dunk use his skills as a knight to prove his innocence in a trial by combat. Aerion, when told of this, invoked a Trial of Seven, which his father Maekar considered a sign of fear. Aerion, all smiles, said it was also a chance for his brother Daeron to get vengeance as well (Daeron had blamed Dunk for stealing Aegon from him when he was truly drunk and looking for whores). Aerion bribes Ser Steffon Fossoway, one of Dunk's champions, with a chance of a lordship to join the accusers against Duncan, leaving him less a champion until Aerion's own uncle Baelor stands against him, stating that Dunk had defended the innocent.

During the trial, Aerion and Duncan face each other and Aerion manages to put his lance through Dunk's side and strike him from the saddle with a morningstar. As Dunk lies wounded on the ground, Aerion gives him a chance to yield, since he'll only take his hand (and maybe a foot) but definitely his teeth. When Dunk refuses, Aerion attempts to smash his face in with his morningstar, but Duncan rolls aside and knocks Aerion to the ground, using his skills as a brawler from Flea Bottom to beat the prince down. Duncan considers popping one of Aerion's violet eyes like a grape until he decides "that would not be knightly" and demands Aerion yield. Aerion, terrified, does, but tries to draw a weapon on Duncan until he drags him across the field to Lord Ashford and makes him repeat his statement, ending the threat to Dunk's other champions.

After the conclusion of the tournament, Baelor died from a wound to the head (caused by his brother's mace) and Maekar sent Aerion to Lys, where he stayed for a few years. It is possible that he fathered some children while staying there.[3]


He served with the Second Sons while in exile.[4]

In 232 AC, Aerion died drinking a cup of wildfire, believing it would transform him into a dragon. He died screaming.[5] He left an infant son named Maegor who was later passed over in the succession.[6][7] He owned a dragon egg that was gold and silver.[8]


Daeron II
Aerys I
Maekar I
Kiera of
Kiera of
Aegon V
Stillborn sons
House Targaryen

References and Notes

  1. See the Aerion Targaryen (Brightflame) calculation.
  2. The Hedge Knight.
  3. Many Questions. (October 14, 1998) So Spake Martin
  4. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 66, Tyrion XII.
  5. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
  6. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
  7. The World of Ice & Fire, Maekar I.
  8. The Mystery Knight.
  9. Kiera of Tyrosh was widowed when Valarr Targaryen died from the Great Spring Sickness; some time later she married his cousin Daeron.