Aerys I Targaryen

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House Targaryen.svg King
Aerys I Targaryen
House Targaryen.svg
Aerys I, by Amok ©
Reign 209221 AC
Full name Aerys Targaryen the First of His Name
Predecessor Daeron II Targaryen
Successor Maekar I Targaryen
Personal Information
Born In 172177 AC[1], at King's Landing
Died In 221 AC
Dynasty House Targaryen
Queen Aelinor Penrose
Issue None
Father Daeron II Targaryen
Mother Myriah Martell

Aerys I Targaryen was Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and the thirteenth Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne. He succeeded his father, King Daeron II Targaryen.[2]

Appearance and Character

According to semi-canon sources, Aerys was spindly and stooped, with long, straight hair. He had a long, thin face, a long, thin mustache and a long pointed beard. He wore the crown of his grandfather, King Aegon IV Targaryen.[3] On his coinage, he was depicted with a beard.[4]

Aerys was a bookish man who preferred reading to ruling, and it was said in the Seven Kingdoms that "Aerys would sooner bring a book to his bed rather than his wife".[5]


Aerys Targaryen was the second son of King Daeron II Targaryen and Queen Myriah Martell.[6] He was very much interested in books about ancient prophecy and the higher mysteries.[7] At some point, Aerys read a prophecy that spoke about the return of dragons.[4]

He was married to his cousin, Lady Aelinor Penrose, but he never showed any interest in getting her with child, instead shunning her bed. According to rumor, Aerys did not even consummate the marriage.[7][5]


Aerys became king in 209 AC, following the death of his father, King Daeron II Targaryen, and Daeron's immediate heirs, Princes Valarr and Matarys in the Great Spring Sickness. The plague continued for some time under his rule.[7] Upon becoming king, Aerys appointed his uncle, Brynden Rivers, known as Bloodraven, as Hand and let him rule while he occupied himself with the study of books and lore.[5] A new Grand Maester was also elected, and said to be involved in sorcery.[5] As Aerys had not yet fathered a child on his wife Aelinor, his small council, hoping that Aerys shunned her bed because he disliked her, urged Aerys to set Aelinor aside and take another wife. Aerys would not hear of it, however, and they remained married.[7]

Aerys's reign began during the Great Spring Sickness, and at its start suffered a great drought that lasted more than a year.[5] It was widely held that travel was less safe during the reign of Aerys than under his father Daeron II's.[4]

Aerys's reign was furthermore troubled by war. In 212 AC, Lord Dagon Greyjoy led the ironborn in raiding Fair Isle, the Arbor, and the north.[4] That same year, Lord Gormon Peake, a Blackfyre loyalist, brought Daemon II Blackfyre to the Seven Kingdoms from across the narrow sea and attempted to gather support for an insurrection, the Second Blackfyre Rebellion. Thanks to Brynden Rivers's network of spies and the actions of Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire, this rebellion ended at the Whitewalls tourney with relatively little bloodshed.[4][7]

The Third Blackfyre Rebellion was launched in 219 AC and ended with the capture of Ser Aegor Rivers and the death of Haegon I Blackfyre. Aegor Rivers was brought to King's Landing in chains and while Lord Brynden Rivers and Prince Aerion Targaryen wanted him put to death, King Aerys I sentenced him to take the black instead.[7]

Throughout his reign, Aerys acknowledged four different heirs. First was his brother Rhaegel, who died in 215 AC when he choked on a lamprey pie.[7] Aerys next acknowledged Rhaegel's only son Aelor as his heir, but Aelor died in 217 AC during a mishap caused by his twin sister and wife, Aelora.[7] Aerys's third heir was Aelora.[8] However, she was mad with grief following her brother's death, and committed suicide some time later, leaving Aerys to recognize his fourth and last heir to the throne, his youngest brother Maekar. When Aerys died in 221 AC, Maekar succeeded him.[7][9]

Quotes about Aerys

His Grace cares more for old scrolls and dusty prophecies than for lords and laws. He will not even bestir himself to sire an heir. Queen Aelinor prays daily at the Great Sept, beseeching the Mother Above to bless her with a child, yet she remains a maid. Aerys keeps his own apartments, and it is said he would sooner take a book to bed than any woman.[5]

In Dagon's day a weak king sat the Iron Throne, his rheumy eyes fixed across the narrow sea where bastards and exiles plotted rebellion. So forth from Pyke Lord Dagon sailed, to make the Sunset Sea his own.[10]

—thoughts of Victarion Greyjoy


Daeron II
Aerys I
Maekar I
Kiera of
[N 1]
Kiera of
[N 1]
Aegon V
Stillborn sons
House Targaryen.svg
  1. Kiera of Tyrosh was widowed when Valarr Targaryen died from the Great Spring Sickness; some time later she married his cousin Daeron.