Aegon Targaryen (son of Rhaegar)
|Born||In late 281 AC or early 282 AC, Dragonstone|
|Died||In 283 AC (supposedly), King's Landing[N 1]|
- 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 Notes
- 10 References
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. He has purple eyes that look dark blue in certain lights.
A comet was seen above King's Landing on the night Aegon was conceived, which led his father Rhaegar, Prince of Dragonstone, to believe that Aegon 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.
Sack of King's Landing
Aegon was an infant during Robert's Rebellion, having been born a few months before its onset. In preparation of the Battle of the Trident, Aegon's grandfather, King Aerys II Targaryen used him, his mother Elia, and his sister Rhaenys as hostages, gracelessly reminding Aegon's great-uncle, Prince Lewyn Martell of the Kingsguard, that the three were in Aerys's hands. Lewyn took command of ten thousand Dornishmen, but died in the battle, as did Aegon's father, Rhaegar. Aerys became convinced that the Dornishmen had betrayed him, and refused to allow Aegon and his family to flee to Dragonstone alongside Queen Rhaella Targaryen and Prince Viserys. Aegon, his mother, and his sister were kept at King's Landing as hostages to ensure continued Dornish loyalty.
With Rhaegar's death, Grand Maester Pycelle became convinced that 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 Houses Martell and Lannister.
Death and Aftermath
According to Lord Eddard Stark, Lord Tywin Lannister's soldiers tore Aegon from his mother's breast and dashed his head against a wall. Prince Viserys Targaryen told his sister, Princess Daenerys, that Princess Elia Martell pleaded for mercy as Aegon was dashed against a wall. Eddard had heard rumors that Ser Gregor Clegane was Aegon's murderer, and after the infant was killed Gregor had raped Elia and then put her to the sword. According to Eddard, these rumors were not repeated in Gregor's presence. According to Tyrion Lannister, Gregor's role in the deaths of Aegon and his mother was common knowledge at Casterly Rock. He heard that Gregor's hands had still been covered with Aegon's blood when he raped Elia.
According to Tywin Lannister, he required a way to demonstrate his loyalty to the cause of Robert Baratheon, after having remained neutral for most of Robert's Rebellion. He claims that presenting the bodies of Aegon and his sister to the new king ensured that no one could doubt House Lannister had forsaken House Targaryen. Tywin claims to his son Tyrion that the murders had been done "too brutally", and that Elia's death had not been intended. Aegon's uncle, Prince Oberyn Martell, however, believes that Tywin had Elia killed as revenge for her having married Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, thereby disrupting Tywin's plans for marrying his own daughter, Cersei Lannister, to Rhaegar.
Tywin presented King Robert I with the corpses of Elia, Aegon, and Rhaenys as his "token of fealty". He laid the bodies beneath the Iron Throne wrapped in the crimson cloaks of his household guards, which helped to hide the blood. Aegon's skull was a "red ruin", which horrified Eddard Stark, and was so terrible that not even Robert could not stand its sight. According to Ser Kevan Lannister, Aegon had been unrecognizable, as all that remained of him was a faceless horror of bone, brain, and gore with a few hanks of fair hair.
The deaths of Aegon, Rhaenys, and Elia were met with mixed responses. Robert Baratheon was relieved that Rhaegar's children were dead, and that he did not have to be the one to give the order. 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". Eddard called the act murder, and after a quarrel with Robert, Eddard rode out from King's Landing in a cold rage, heading south to fight the last battles of the war on his own. Although he had not personally seen the corpses, Ser Barristan Selmy has been haunted by the "bloody bodies" of Aegon and his sister. Thoros of Myr, who saw the bodies of Aegon and Rhaenys, believes that House Clegane was "built upon dead children" and their arms should display "two bloody infants".
The exiled Viserys Targaryen is convinced that Dornishmen are determined to avenge Elia and her children, and would thus rise to his cause. Indeed, Doran and Oberyn Martell, Elia's brothers, have plotted against House Lannister. According to Varys, Doran's hatred for House Lannister is well known, and Oberyn, certain that Gregor had not acted on his own, wants vengeance both on Gregor and the man who gave the orders. Nymeria Sand, one of Oberyn's daughters, 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. Doran's daughter Arianne, connecting the murders of Aegon and his sister to Robert Baratheon's rise to the throne, calls Robert a monster who climbed onto his throne over the corpses of children.
The exiled Daenerys Targaryen holds "the Usurper's dogs" responsible for the murders of Rhaenys and Aegon, and sees no difference between the responsibilities of Houses Lannister and Stark in the events.
In his book The World of Ice and Fire, Maester Yandel describes the events of the Sack of King's Landing in a way that shifts the blame from Houses Baratheon and Lannister, by then allied with Robert through marriage, to other candidates, and cites supposed rumors that person responsible was King Aerys II Targaryen, or that it had been Elia, to spare her children from a worse fate.
A Clash of Kings
According to Jacelyn Bywater, 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 gods are punishing the entire city for the act.
In one of her visions within the House of the Undying, Daenerys Targaryen sees a newborn Aegon nursing from the breast of Elia Martell, who is seated in a great wooden bed. Rhaegar names the child "Aegon", stating the name is 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". 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.
Tyrion Lannister meets "Young Griff", a young man who is introduced to Tyrion as the son of the sellsword "Griff", aboard the Shy Maid. The company is headed for Volantis, to await the expected arrival of Daenerys together with the Golden Company and more ships for her cause. After some time on the Shy Maid, Tyrion concludes that "Griff" is Lord Jon Connington, and that "Young Griff" is not his son, but instead Aegon Targaryen. "Young Griff" 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, where he was first entrusted to Illyrio Mopatis and later to the exiled Lord Jon Connington, a friend of Aegon's late father, Rhaegar. Tyrion is skeptical about the plot to marry Aegon to his aunt Daenerys, as Aegon's claim to the throne would be stronger than Daenerys's. 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.
Aegon's company travels to Volon Therys, where he and Jon Connington head toward the camp of the Golden Company. After initially presenting the boy as his squire, Jon introduce Young Griff as Aegon VI of House Targaryen, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men. 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 Daenerys 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 a secret from the soldiers until they land in Westeros.
They soon depart Volantis, but the landing of the Golden Company is disrupted by storms and less than half arrive in the stormlands on schedule. Aegon remains in the camp during the taking of Griffin's Roost, and arrives four days later. He has named Ser Rolly Duckfield as the first knight of his Kingsguard. Aegon is in favor of Jon's plan to take Storm's End, but announces his intent 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
Jon: Spoken boldly, but think what you are saying.Aegon: I have. Why should I go running to my aunt as if I were a beggar? My claim is better than her own. Let her come to me ... in Westeros.
—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 Princess 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.
Arianne: Could this truly be Prince Aegon?
Daemon: If Lord Connington's prince has a crushed skull, I will believe that Aegon Targaryen has returned from the grave. Elsewise, no. This is some feigned boy, no more. A sellsword's ploy to win support.
Line of succession to the Iron Throne
After Rhaegar died on the Trident, Prince Viserys Targaryen was 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. Aegon himself, as well as Tyrion Lannister, believe Aegon's claim is stronger than Daenerys's claim. According to the relevant succession laws, "the sons of the first son come before the second son". As Aegon is the son of the eldest son of King Aerys II Targaryen, he would under normal circumstances be 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, due to Aerys's appointment of Viserys.
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 choosing 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, nor through a woman to her male descendants. King Viserys I wished to set a new precedent by naming his daughter Rhaenyra his heir, and kept her as his heir after fathering three sons, an issue over which eventually a civil war was fought. When King Baelor I Targaryen died without a son of his own, and without having proclaimed an heir, the claims of his three sisters were discussed, but dismissed in favor of the claim of Baelor's uncle, his closest living male relative. 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.
In contrast to Aegon, who due to his supposed death is considered an imposter by the small council at King's Landing, Daenerys Targaryen's lineage is not under suspicion. According to Harry Strickland, that Aegon's lineage can be questioned, but a marriage of Aegon to his aunt would quell any doubts.
Even before the release of A Dance with Dragons, the fandom had speculated about whether or not Aegon had survived the Sack of King's Landing. With the revelation from A Dance With Dragons about Aegon's survival and his fake identity of "Young Griff", some members of the fandom have speculated about the character's true identity.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 48, Daenerys IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.
- See the Aegon Targaryen (son of Rhaegar) calculation.
- So Spake Martin: A Number of Questions (August 26, 2000)
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Aegon Targaryen.
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- A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
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- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 25, Tyrion VI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
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- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
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- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
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- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Daenerys Targaryen.
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- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 2, Daenerys I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion III.
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- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 61, The Griffin Reborn.
- The Winds of Winter, Chapter , Arianne I.
- The Winds of Winter, Chapter , Arianne II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 18, Tyrion V.
- 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.
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- A Forum of Ice and Fire: Errors in the WOIAF (March 10, 2015) "Maester Yandel is merely reporting based on historical records on events of the time."
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- 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.