First Blackfyre Rebellion

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The Blackfyre Rebellion
First Blackfyre Rebellion
Part of Blackfyre Pretenders
Date 195 AC-196 AC
Location Westerlands, the Riverlands, the Reach
Battles Battle of the Redgrass Field
Result Decisive Targaryen victory
House TargaryenHouse Blackfyre
Notable commanders
Daeron II Targaryen
Brynden Rivers
Lord Hayford
Baelor Targaryen
Maekar Targaryen
Daemon Blackfyre
Aegor Rivers
Quentyn Ball

The Blackfyre Rebellion developed out of a dynastic dispute involving the children of King Aegon IV. The conflict was between the Targaryens and the pretenders of House Blackfyre and resulted in open civil war that divided the realm over the Iron Throne.


King Aegon IV Targaryen had legitimised all of his bastards on his deathbed. His noble bastards were called the Great Bastards, the most notable of whom was Daemon Blackfyre, a great warrior and wielder of the Targaryen sword of kings, Blackfyre. In 184 Al, Aegon IV was succeeded by Daeron II. King Daeron was a cultured, scholarly man and reigned over a sophisticated court, attended by maesters and learned men, which was perceived as effete and overly-refined, not pleasing to many of his more martial courtiers and nobles. His marriage to the Dornish princess Myriah introduced foreign influences and manners to the court, further adding to the displeasure with his reign. In addition, popular rumors held that King Aegon IV's sister-wife Naerys had shared her affections with their other brother, Aemon the Dragonknight, leading to the possibility that Daeron II was not the son of Aegon IV.


After more than a decade of building tension, open warfare erupted in 195 AL. The immediate cause was Daemon Blackfyre's rage over Daeron betrothing his sister Daenerys to Maron Martell, Prince of Dorne. Daeron sent the Kingsguard to arrest him, but Daemon escaped with the aid of Ser Quentyn Ball, the master-at-arms of the Red Keep. Blackfyre mustered a sizable army against Daeron and was joined by his half-brother Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers, a fellow Great Bastard. Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers, another Great Bastard, remained loyal to the King. On the small council, Bloodraven advocated a hard line against the rebels, winning out over Prince Baelor Breakspear's desire to pardon. Daemon began to mint his own coinage.[1]

Heavy fighting erupted over the next year, with the Riverlands particularly afflicted. Ser Quentyn "Fireball" attacked the Westerlands, killing Lord Lefford at the gates of Lannisport and then defeating Lord Damon Lannister in turn. At the crossing of the Mander, Ser Quentyn slew all of Lady Penrose's sons except for the youngest, whom he spared as a favor to the lady. A key general, he was slain on the eve of the Battle of the Redgrass Field by an archer.[2]

Finally, at the Battle of the Redgrass Field in 196 AL Bittersteel and Blackfyre led a strong force against a royalist army commanded by Prince Maekar and Lord Hayford, the King's Hand. The fighting was very heavy, with Lord Hayford slain. During the battle Blackfyre came face-to-face with Ser Gwayne Corbray of the Kingsguard, wielder of the Valyrian steel blade Lady Forlorn. Their duel was said to have lasted nearly an hour before Blackfyre gained the upper hand. However, by this time a second royalist force was approaching from the south led by Prince Baelor. Perhaps even more critical was that Bloodraven and his archers, the Raven's Teeth, captured and assumed a position atop the Weeping Ridge, which overlooked the battlefield and allowed them to rain arrows down among Blackfyre and his commanders. Bloodraven personally killed Daemon Blackfyre and his twin sons Aemon and Aegon. The rebels began to rout, but Bittersteel rallied them by leading a charge that decimated the Raven's Teeth, taking out Bloodraven's eye in the process. However, Prince Baelor's Dornish spearmen gained the battlefield and crushed the rebel army against Maekar's shield wall.[3]

It is unknown how many men took part in the final battle, but it is known that more than ten thousand died in the engagement, earning it the name Redgrass Field. With Daemon dead and his forces defeated, the Rebellion was over.


Singers would later immortalize the Battle of Redgrass Field with the song "The Hammer and Anvil", referring to Baelor and Maekar's strategy.

Bittersteel was able to recover the sword Blackfyre from the battlefield and escape to the Free Cities, where Blackfyre's other sons had already fled. In exile, Daemon's descendants continued their struggle for the Iron Throne. The last of his line, Maelys the Monsterous, was slain during the War of the Ninepenny Kings by Barristan Selmy, forever ending the Blackfyre threat to the throne.

Houses by Allegiance

Loyalist (Targaryen supporters)

Rebels (Blackfyre supporters)

References and Notes

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