Aegon III Targaryen

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House Targaryen.svg King
Aegon III Targaryen
the Dragonbane
House Targaryen.svg
Aegon III, by Amok ©
Reign 131157 AC
Full name Aegon Targaryen the Third of His Name
Predecessor Aegon II Targaryen
Successor Daeron I Targaryen
Personal Information
  • Aegon the Younger[1]
  • Aegon the Dragonbane[2]
  • Aegon the Unlucky[3]
  • The Broken King[4][5][6]
  • Aegon the Unhappy[7]
  • The Uncrowned King[7]
  • Aegon III Dragonbane[8]
Born In 120 AC[1], at Dragonstone[9]
Died In 157 AC[10] (aged 36)[5], at King's Landing[9]
Culture Crownlands
Dynasty House Targaryen
Issue Daeron I Targaryen
Baelor I Targaryen
Daena Targaryen
Rhaena Targaryen
Elaena Targaryen
Father Daemon Targaryen
Mother Rhaenyra Targaryen
Played by Jake and Rory Heard (child)
TV series House of the Dragon: Season 1 | 2

Aegon III Targaryen, also known as Aegon the Younger, and later as Aegon the Unlucky, Aegon the Unhappy, the Broken King, and most famously as Aegon the Dragonbane, was the seventh Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne.[11] He succeeded his uncle, Aegon II Targaryen, at the conclusion of the Dance of the Dragons, which saw the victorious supporters of his late mother Rhaenyra Targaryen install him on the throne. When he was a child, his dragon was Stormcloud.[12] Aegon kept the kingdoms united following the divisions of the civil war, with the aid of his brother, Prince Viserys, whom he eventually named Hand of the King.[5]

In the television adaptation House of the Dragon, Aegon is portrayed by Jake and Rory Heard (child).

Appearance and Character

Aegon was a handsome boy[13] with dark purple eyes which looked almost black, and silver hair which was so pale that it was almost white.[14][7] He was lean of face and body.[13] By the age of ten, Aegon was considered tall for his age.[7] According to a semi-canon source, Aegon wore a short beard.[15]

Aegon dressed simply, and in black (always, according to Maester Yandel,[5] very often, according to Archmaester Gyldayn).[7] Under his velvets and satins, he would wear a hair shirt.[7] He wore a circlet of yellow gold, simple and unadorned.[13]

Aegon was a joyless man,[7] severely marked by his experiences during the Dance of the Dragons. Mushroom's accounts state that Aegon seldom smiled and laughed even less, even as a boy. According to the dwarf, Aegon could be graceful and courtly when it was required, but at the same time had a darkness within him that never went away.[7] The guilt he felt over having abandoned his younger brother Viserys when their ship was attacked during the Dance of the Dragons, caused him to become somber.[16] Grand Maester Munkun called Aegon "broken" after he lost his brothers and watched his mother being eaten by his uncle's dragon, and described him as "dead inside".[13] Aegon showed little interest in women, did not ride (except for travel), hawk, hunt, or joust, nor attend tourneys. He did not enjoy reading, dancing, or singing, and was not interested in wine or food, so much so that he often had to be reminded to eat.[7][13] Similarly, he had little interest in swordplay or the arts of war.[17] During the hour of the wolf, Aegon could often be found standing by a window, gazing up at the stars, but he showed no interest in the study of astronomy.[13]

Aegon rarely displayed emotions, but the mere mention of dragons would send him into a rage,[13] and he was unwilling to go near one.[7][18]

Although clever, he was an overall silent person, who never started a conversation, and answered questions as curtly as possible.[13] He was regarded as solemn,[13] dour, and gloomy.[17] He spoke little, and often retreated into silence, solitude, and a brooding passivity.[17] Aegon had few friends, and during the early years of his reign seldom slept a full night.[13][17] He rarely left the Red Keep after his coronation.[13]

Following his second marriage to Daenaera Velaryon, Aegon's gloom was lifted for a short while.[18] Some joy also returned to Aegon following the return of his brother Viserys.[18] However, he would always remain a melancholy man who found pleasure in almost nothing, who disliked being touched, and who would retreat to his chambers for days on end, brooding alone.[5]



Daemon and Rhaenyra with their sons: Aegon and Viserys, by Jota Saraiva

Aegon was born towards the end of 120 AC to Prince Daemon Targaryen and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.[19] Aegon was named after the first Targaryen king, Aegon the Conqueror.[19] Queen Alicent Hightower, the second wife of his grandfather King Viserys I Targaryen, took offense to Aegon's name, since she had given birth to a son named Aegon herself years before, and felt that Rhaenyra's choice of the name was a slight against her own son.[14] Because two princes during the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen were named Aegon, history refers to Queen Alicent's son as Aegon the Elder, whereas Rhaenyra's son was called Aegon the Younger.[19]

Aegon had three older half-brothers, Princes Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey Velaryon, from his mother's first marriage, to Ser Laenor Velaryon, and two older half-sisters, Princesses Baela and Rhaena Targaryen, from his father's second marriage to Lady Laena Velaryon. Two years after Aegon's birth, Rhaenyra gave birth to another boy, Viserys.[19] Aegon lived with his mother, father, and siblings on Dragonstone, the ancestral seat of House Targaryen and his mother's seat as the Princess of Dragonstone. In 129 AC on Dragonstone, his mother gave birth to Aegon's sister, Visenya, who was stillborn.[12]

Aegon shared his bedchamber with his younger brother Viserys. They were constant companions during their youth on Dragonstone; they took their lessons together, and played together as well.[18] By 129 AC, Aegon had bonded with the dragon Stormcloud, but had not yet ridden him.[20][N 1]

The Dance of the Dragons

Prince Aegon and his dragon Stormcloud, by Jota Saraiva

A war of succession began with the death of Aegon's grandfather, King Viserys I Targaryen, early in 129 AC. Though Aegon's mother, Rhaenyra Targaryen, had been named heir to the Iron Throne by Viserys, Aegon the Younger's half-uncle, Aegon the Elder, was crowned King Aegon II in King's Landing. The resulting war became known as the Dance of the Dragons.[12]

As part of the terms King Aegon II Targaryen offered to Prince Aegon's mother Rhaenyra, Aegon the Younger and his brother Viserys would be given places of honor at the royal court, with Aegon becoming a squire for King Aegon II. Rhaenyra angrily refused the terms.[20]

Late in 129 AC, at the behest of their half-brother Jacaerys Velaryon, Aegon and his younger brother Viserys were sent to Essos while their mother Rhaenyra secured the Iron Throne.[12] During the journey, their ship, the Gay Abandon, was captured by ships of the Triarchy. Aegon escaped capture by flying on his dragon Stormcloud, leaving his brother Viserys behind. He had never flown Stormcloud before, and the experience left him shaken. He clung to the dragon's neck during the journey back to Dragonstone, where he informed the garrison of all that had happened. Stormcloud had been severely wounded during the flight, and died within an hour after arriving on the Targaryen island.[16] Aegon would never ride a dragon again.[12][5]

Aegon would always feel guilty for leaving his younger brother Viserys behind.[16] Their brother Jacaerys led an attack against the fleet of the Triarchy that had attacked Aegon's ship, but died in the struggle together with his dragon Vermax on the fifth day of 130 AC.[12]

In 130 AC, Queen Rhaenyra took King's Landing. Once she felt secure enough, Aegon was summoned to the capital. Rhaenyra named him her cupbearer, so he would always be close to her.[21] Aegon hardly spoke a word during this time.[22]

Although Rhaenyra had secured the capital, her reign was still faced several threats, most notably the missing King Aegon II Targaryen, Prince Aemond Targaryen and his dragon Vhagar, who were terrorizing the riverlands, and the large army under the command of Lord Ormund Hightower and Prince Daeron Targaryen, which continued to advance on King's Landing, defeating every enemy they met on route. Lord Corlys Velaryon, Rhaenyra's Hand of the Queen, suggested terms of peace, which included him taking Aegon II's daughter Jaehaera Targaryen as his own ward, until she could be wed to Prince Aegon. Rhaenyra refused.[21]

Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and Prince Aegon are confronted by King Aegon II Targaryen, by Fkaluis ©

During Rhaenyra's half-year rule over King's Landing, she slowly lost her grip, eventually resulting in the riot of King's Landing, which lasted two days and was concluded by the storming of the Dragonpit. During the second night of the riots, Aegon and his mother stood on the roof of the Red Keep, from where they witnessed the fall of Prince Joffrey Velaryon from the dragon Syrax, and the dragon's death. The next morning, Aegon fled with his mother Rhaenyra and a few loyal men and women from the capital, eventually finding refuge at Duskendale. Rhaenyra, grieving and in despair, refused to be apart from Aegon while at Duskendale, and he became a "small pale shadow" by her side.[22]

Aegon and Rhaenyra traveled from Duskendale to Dragonstone on the Violande. However, in Rhaenyra's absence her seat had secretly fallen to King Aegon II, and when Aegon and Rhaenyra arrived at the castle's gates, they found the charred corpses of Rhaenyra's loyalists hanging from the gates. Aegon was the first to realize what it meant, and cried out to his mother to flee, to no avail. Rhaenyra's last three Queensguard knights were slain, and when Aegon picked up one of their swords, Ser Alfred Broome contemptuously knocked it aside. They were brought to the castle ward, where they found an injured Sunfyre and King Aegon II Targaryen. After an exchange of conversation, Rhaenyra was forcefully separated from her son, and placed in front of Sunfyre, who burned her with dragonfire. Prince Aegon watched in horror as Sunfyre devoured his mother.[22] Aegon was forever mentally scarred, and this event cemented his later fierce hatred for and terror of dragons.[13]

Ser Alfred Broome was in favor of killing Prince Aegon, but King Aegon II refused, insisting that the young prince was valuable as a hostage against Rhaenyra's supporters. Prince Aegon was manacled and brought to the dungeons under Dragonstone.[22]

At King's Landing, King Aegon II's followers enlisted the support of Lord Corlys Velaryon. Lord Corlys insisted that Prince Aegon the Younger was wed to Aegon's only remaining child, Princess Jaehaera, to join the two branches of House Targaryen, and further demanded that Aegon the Younger and Jaehaera would be proclaimed King Aegon II's heirs together. Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower initially refused, but was later persuaded by Lord Larys Strong to reluctantly agree to the betrothal.[23]

King Aegon II, however, upon his arrival at King's Landing, refused the notion, insisting that Rhaenyra's line should end with Aegon the Younger, suggesting that the boy could join the Night's Watch, or otherwise be made a eunuch, as to prevent him from fathering children. While Lord Tyland Lannister argued for executing Aegon the Younger, Lord Larys Strong convinced King Aegon II to agree to both the betrothal to Princess Jaehaera, as well as to naming Aegon the Younger as the heir to the throne, insisting that, after the war was done and won, the situation could be dealt with.[23]

Prince Aegon would remain his uncle's captive for half a year after his mother's death, during which time his mother's supporters continued to fight against King Aegon II and his greens. King Aegon II was eventually murdered by his own men,[4][23] after which Lord Corlys Velaryon and Prince Aegon rode forth from the city under a peace banner to yield King's Landing to the army of Lord Kermit Tully.[23] Aegon the Younger inherited the throne as King Aegon III Targaryen in 131 AC.[5][23][7]

Aegon's regency

Young King Aegon III, as depicted by Magali Villeneuve
in The World of Ice & Fire

In mid-131 AC, Aegon succeeded to the Iron Throne at the age of ten.[7] During the five years of his minority that followed, the realm was therefore ruled by Aegon's Hand of the King and a council of regents. Numerous political schemes, plots, and assassinations happened in those five years, as the regents and Hands fought one another for political power.

Hand of the King: Cregan Stark

During the False Dawn, the riverlords who had marched against King's Landing and the forces of Aegon II swore fealty to the new king. After Aegon II had been cremated, Prince Aegon proclaimed on Aegon's High Hill that peace was at hand, while Lord Corlys Velaryon send forth promises of pardons to Aegon II's former loyalists. Together with Lord Corlys, Lord Kermit Tully and his brother, Ser Oscar, and Lord Benjicot Blackwood, Aegon welcomed Lord Cregan Stark to the city. However, Lord Cregan seized power in King's Landing, in what became known as the Hour of the Wolf, to deal with the resolution of the war and the murder of King Aegon II. Rumors throughout King's Landing claimed that Lord Cregan planned to take Aegon to Winterfell to wed one of his daughters (although Cregan had no daughters at the time), others claimed that he planned to kill Aegon to claim the Iron Throne by wedding Princess Jaehaera. While Cregan investigated the murder of Aegon II, he confined Prince Aegon to Maegor's Holdfast for his safety, with no companion but the boy Gaemon Palehair, a former royal pretender. Cregan did allow Aegon to be visited by his half-sisters, Baela and Rhaena Targaryen, though Aegon paled upon seeing Rhaena's hatchling dragon Morning, and commanded his guards to remove it.[7]

Peace was declared, but Cregan still intended to do justice, by putting on trial and executing those he held responsible for the death of Aegon II Targaryen. Lord Cregan arrested twenty-two men, as well as Lord Corlys Velaryon, Lord Larys Strong, Ser Perkin the Flea, and Ser Gyles Belgrave of the Kingsguard. Intimidating the young Prince Aegon, Cregan Stark was named Hand of the King and presided over the trials. The only person spared from condemnation was Corlys Velaryon, on Aegon's authority, who restored Corlys to his offices and honors and gave him a seat on the small council. Although Aegon was in his minority, still uncrowned, and not yet anointed as king, Cregan agreed to let Aegon's decree stand. Aegon witnessed the executions of those condemned, though in the end only two men were beheaded, while the others took the black. Afterwards, Cregan Stark returned his chain of office to Aegon, and returned to Winterfell.[7]

Aegon was married to his cousin, Princess Jaehaera Targaryen, on the seventh day of the seventh moon in 131 AC. The ceremony was performed outside of the ruined Dragonpit on Visenya's Hill. The marriage united the two branches of House Targaryen. Following the wedding, the couple traveled in an open litter to the Red Keep, where Aegon was officially crowned as King Aegon III.[13]

Hand of the King: Tyland Lannister

Aegon's first act as king was to fill the five vacancies in the Kingsguard. Next appointed were the Hand of the King, Ser Tyland Lannister, the Protector of the Realm, Lord Leowyn Corbray, and the council of regents to sit over them. Although Aegon III would sit upon the Iron Throne when it was required of him, he was otherwise not often seen. By the end of 131 AC, the people of King's Landing began to grow unhappy with their king, while rumors about the new Hand began to spread.[13]

The royal marriage was also troubled. Aegon III was now eleven, Jaehaera was only eight, and both children had been greatly traumatized by their losses and by what they had witnessed during the civil war. After their wedding, they had very little contact with one another except for formal occasions, which were rare, as Jaehaera disliked leaving her chambers. Jaehaera's only other living relative, her grandmother Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower, could not be trusted around the king (as she was likely to snatch a dagger from a guardsman), nor even with Jaehaera, since when Alicent had last shared a meal with her, she told Jaehaera to cut Aegon's throat while he was sleeping, sending the girl screaming. Grand Maester Munkun sent a letter to the Conclave of the Citadel, declaring both children "broken", "not normal children", and fearing for the future of the kingdom.[13]

The sudden death of Lord Corlys Velaryon in 132 AC raised the issue of the king's successor. When King Aegon was asked who his heir should be, the king offered the name of his only friend, Gaemon Palehair, the bastard-born pretender during the Moon of Madness during the Dance of the Dragons. The suggestion was ignored by the regents. Although Aegon's half-sisters Baela and Rhaena were dismissed on account of their sex, the regents determined that any son the twins would have, in particular from the elder twin Baela, would be a suitable successor to the king. In accordance, the regents attempted to have the twins married to suitable husbands, unsuccessfully for Baela (who rejected the regents' candidate and eloped to marry her cousin, Lord Alyn Velaryon), but successfully for Rhaena (who chose one of her suitors, Ser Corwyn Corbray).[13]

Tyland Lannister dies from Winter Fever, attended by Aegon and Septon Eustace. By Douglas Wheatley, from Fire & Blood.

When the Winter Fever struck Westeros in early 133 AC, Aegon distinguished himself by visiting those stricken by the disease, sitting beside them, and sometimes holding their hands or cooling their fevers with damp cloths. He seldom spoke, but was a great comfort to those afflicted nonetheless, listening to their stories and pleas. Most of those he visted died, but those who survived would later speak of the king's "healing hands". Aegon likewise sat beside his Hand, Ser Tyland Lannister, as he passed away from the disease, taking his hand in his last moments.[13]

Hand of the King: Unwin Peake

In the days following Ser Tyland's death, the twelve-year-old king showed maturity beyond his age, naming Ser Robert Darklyn and Ser Robin Massey to the Kingsguard. King Aegon further commanded the disgraced former Grand Maester Orwyle to send forth ravens to summon to court Lord Thaddeus Rowan, who he wished to name as his new Hand, Lord Alyn Velaryon, who he wished to name as his admiral, and his cousin Baela Targaryen. However, Lord Unwin Peake and Grand Maester Munkun, the two remaining regents healthy enough serve in their office, undid all of the king's appointments. With Munkun's support, Peake named himself Hand of the King and Protector of the Realm.[17]

Unwin also undid the appointments of Ser Robert Darklyn and Ser Robin Massey to the Kingsguard, and instead gave their white cloaks to his own kin. Aegon had received the decisions of Munkun and Peake with "sullen silence", but he spoke to object to this, pointing out that Kingsguard serve for life. Lord Unwin replied that they do, but only when "properly appointed". Afterwards, Aegon retreated into silence and passivity, refusing to show his true feelings. For the rest of his minority, Aegon did not much participate in the rule of the Seven Kingdoms, only signing and sealing the papers that Lord Peake presented to him. Occasionally Aegon would be brought out to sit the Iron Throne on formal occasions, or to welcome envoys, but otherwise he was not seen much inside the Red Keep, and almost never outside of it.[17]

Nevertheless, Aegon deeply disliked Unwin's appointment of Ser Marston Waters to the position of Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, as Waters had stood by silently at Dragonstone when King Aegon II Targaryen had fed Aegon's mother to his dragon. He also hated Unwin Peake's personal guard, the Fingers, whose commander, Tessario the Tiger, soon killed Robin Massey in a quarrel. Unwin made further appointments around court, with all positions filled by his supporters, family, and friends. This included the appointment of Ser Gareth Long as the new master-at-arms of the Red Keep, who took over Aegon's training at arms. Aegon quickly grew to despise Ser Gareth, and often ignored his instructions, refused to cooperate, or simply walked away. Since Gareth was not allowed to harm the king, he advised Lord Peake to make Aegon's only friend and companion, Gaemon Palehair, into the king's whipping boy. Gaemon's tears and blood were motivation enough for Aegon, and his skill at arms improved dramatically.[17]

Unwin preferred to ignore Aegon whenever possible, but on the Feast Day of Our Father Above in 133 AC, Aegon was made to watch from the battlements of the Red Keep as Lord Peake had its crowded dungeons emptied and had all the offenders punished publicly. Some of the condemned beseeched the king for mercy as they were tormented with their punishments or executions, but Aegon stood still as stone, seemingly not hearing any of the pleas or seeing any of it.[17]

Later the same year, the king's marriage ended when Queen Jaehaera died, seemingly of suicide, although rumors of murder were told all throughout King's Landing.[5][17] Lord Unwin attempted to betroth the king to his own daughter, Myrielle Peake, but many lords disapproved of the match, which took place so soon after the queen's death. Lord Cregan Stark suggested the north would look on the match with disfavor, Lord Kermit Tully called it presumptuous, and Grand Maester Munkun's support began to waver, acknowledging that the match would be seen as advancing Peake interests rather than being for the good of the realm. Noble ladies wrote to the crown, proposing their own relatives as Aegon's bride (or themselves, in some cases). Due to the pressure, Peake instead announced a ball in King's Landing where the king himself would be able to choose his own bride.[17]

In the weeks before the ball, Peake had his daughter spent much time with the king. At the ball itself, held on Maiden's Day, all the maiden candidates were presented to the king as he was seated on the Iron Throne. Aegon only nodded to each before the Kingsguard led her away. Aegon's disinterest increased with every passing hour, which, according to Mushroom, was exactly what Peake had desired. When only a few maidens remained, Baela and Rhaena Targaryen arrived with their kinswoman Daenaera Velaryon, a six-year-old girl, and announced that they had brought their brother his new queen. Aegon responded positively to Daenaera, returning her smile and telling her she looked very pretty. Afterwards, the last few candidates were brought forward hurriedly, and it was so clear that the king wished to end the parade that the final maiden sobbed as she curtsied. Afterwards, the king summoned his cupbearer, Gaemon Palehair, who announced that Aegon would wed Daenaera Velaryon. Although Peake afterwards insisted that Aegon should instead be married to an older girl, as to be able to father heirs, he was overruled by the other regents. Aegon and Daenaera were wed on the last day of the year.[17]

For a short while following his marriage, Aegon became less gloomy, and was seen far more within the Red Keep. He even left the castle three times, to show Daenaera the sights of King's Landing. Aegon even began to attend the meetings of the small council, which pleased a few of the regents. However, Lord Peake took the king's presence as a slight, and whenever Aegon asked a question, the Hand would accuse him of wasting the council's time, or tell him the subject was beyond the understanding of a child. Soon, Aegon stopped attending the council meetings, and began to return to his former, passive self.[18]

Hand of the King: Thaddeus Rowan

The reunion of King Aegon III and Prince Viserys Targaryen,
by Naomimakesart ©

In 134 AC, Lord Alyn Velaryon returned to King's Landing from his first great voyage. Unwin, who was supsicious of Alyn, had forbidden Aegon from going to greet him, but the regents overruled the Hand, and the king, queen, and court traveled to the docks to welcome Lady Baela home. There, Lord Velaryon presented Aegon with a "treasure" acquired in Lys: Aegon's younger brother Prince Viserys, who had been presumed dead since the Battle of the Gullet in early 130 AC. Viserys's survival and return lifted the guilt Aegon had felt since fleeing from the Gay Abandon, and did much to restore his confidence. However, Unwin was infuriated by the cost of the ransom that Alyn had paid for Viserys, and threatened to resign his post over it. The regency council quickly accepted his resignation, and appointed Lord Thaddeus Rowan as the new Hand of the King. Nevertheless, Unwin's appointments continued to serve in their positions, and Unwin bequeathed his guards to Lord Rowan.[18]

Viserys's return also much reduced Aegon's loneliness, as he resumed his role as Aegon's constant companion, like when they were boys together on Dragonstone. Unfortunately, Aegon's other friend, Gaemon Palehair, was forgotten, and even Queen Daenaera was neglected.[18] Viserys had come to King's Landing accompanied by his wife, Larra Rogare, and several of her brothers. The following year, when Larra gave birth to a son, who was named Aegon in his uncle's honor, King Aegon III's succession seemed secure. Viserys, who had kept his own dragon egg with him during his captivity, similarly presented his own son with an egg. However, when King Aegon learned that the dragon egg of his niece Laena Velaryon had hatched into a monstrosity, a wingless wyrm which injured the babe in the cradle, he ordered all dragon eggs removed from the Red Keep. Though Viserys was greatly angered by this, the eggs were sent to Dragonstone, and Viserys refused to speak to Aegon for a month.[24]

With his brother's absence, Aegon began to spend more time with Daenaera again. Unfortunately, it was during a quiet dinner that Aegon shared with his queen, as well as his friend and food taster Gaemon Palehair, that Gaemon collapsed from belly cramps and Daenaera also suffered from stomach pains. Grand Maester Munkun gave Daenaera a powerful purgative, which probably saved her life, but Gaemon died within the hour. Viserys mended his rift with his mourning brother as they sat by Daenaera's bedside. Although Aegon was comforted by his brother in his grief, Gaemon's death left him inconsolable, and his old gloom settled over him once more, leaving him uninterested in the court and his kingdom.[24][5]

It was determined that the poison was the tears of Lys, baked in the apple tarts. As Aegon usually did not eat sweets, he was not harmed. The Hand, Thaddeus Rowan, investigated the attempted assassination, but his work was halted when he determined that the confessions of the cooks, who had been tortured by the Lord Confessor George Graceford, were valueless. However, with the fall of House Rogare in Lys and the bankruptcy of their bank, the Rogares in Westeros were arrested in swift order. While one of Larra's brothers fled to Braavos, the other two were arrested by the gold cloaks and by Ser Marston Waters of the Kingsguard. Though it was initially believed that Thaddeus Rowan had ordered the arrests, he himself was arrested by the Kingsguard Ser Mervyn Flowers, Unwin Peake's half brother, while Peake's former guards stood aside. Rowan's family and servants were also arrested.[24]

Hand of the King: Marston Waters

However, when the Kingsguard Ser Amaury Peake and a dozen men-at-arms arrived at Maegor's Holdfast to arrest Larra Rogare, they were confronted on the drawbridge by Prince Viserys and King Aegon III. Ser Amaury announed that Ser Marston Waters was the new Hand, appointed by the regents, and when King Aegon replied that Thaddeus Rowan was one of his regents, Amaury said that he had been arrested for treason, on authority of the Hand. Prince Viserys laughed at this, but refused the entry of Amaury and his men, planting an axe upon the drawbridge and warning them not to cross it, before he and Aegon retreated back into the castle. When Amaury's men passed the axe, Larra's personal guard Sandoq the Shadow emerged, and slew them all. After Sandoq was done, he returned to the holdfast, and the king commanded the portcullis be lowered and the drawbridge raised. King Aegon, Prince Viserys, Queen Daenaera, Lady Larra Rogare, Sandoq, the fool Mushroom, several ladies-in-waiting, and a few guardsmen would remain within the castle-within-a-castle for eighteen days of the secret siege.[24]

On the first day, Ser Marston Waters came to swear that he meant no harm to Aegon, and had only acted to protect the king from false friends and traitors. He swore that none would do harm to Aegon while he stood by him. From the battlements, Aegon replied that Marston had stood by him when Sunfyre ate his mother, and only watched. Aegon would not let Marston stand by and watch while Viserys's wife was killed. On the following days the besiegers brought Grand Maester Munkun and Septon Bernard, who drew no response from Aegon. However, when Gareth Long attempted to convince the king to yield, the angered Aegon shouted at the master-at-arms that Gaemon Palehair was dead, and they would get no blood from beating his bones.[24]

On the twelfth day, the besiegers brought forth Thaddeus Rowan, in chains, with his face so swollen that he was unrecognizable. With a slurred voice, Rowan confessed to plotting with the Rogares to poison both King Aegon and Queen Daenaera, to replace them with Prince Viserys and his wife Larra Rogare. Aegon was momentarily shocked by this, but then Viserys asked Rowan if he was part of the plot too, and Rowan agreed. Upon further questions, Rowan also agreed that Gaemon Palehair had poisoned the tarts, and even agreed to Mushroom's inquiry if Rowan had poisoned King Viserys I Targaryen. At this, Aegon declared that Lord Rowan had been tortured by traitors into falsely confessing, and demanded of Ser Marston Waters, to "seize the Lord Confessor, if you love your king… else I will know that you are as false as he is." According to Archmaester Gyldayn, the fifteen-year-old Aegon seemed "every inch a king" in that moment.[24]

Though Marston Wasters did act, arresting George Graceford, who named the other conspirators (all appointments of Unwin Peake), he was slain when he went to arrest Mervyn Flowers. The conspirators said they had acted because they considered Aegon weak, or because they did not trust Larra Rogare and her foreign religion, though some claimed that they had acted under the genuine belief that Thaddeus Rowan and the Lyseni were the real traitors. The mistrust within the Red Keep was so great that Aegon and Viserys did not open the gates of Maegor's Holdfast until six days later, when they saw Munkun send forth ravens to the king's leal lords. By that point, they had run so short of food within the holdfast that Daenaera cried herself to sleep at night, and two of her ladies were so weak from hunger that they had to be helped across the moat.[24]

Hand of the King: Torrhen Manderly

Aegon restored Lord Thaddeus Rowan to the office as Hand of the King, but it soon became clear that the torture he had survived had left him unfit to serve as Hand. Subsequently, he was dismissed, and the office was instead temporarily bestowed on Grand Maester Munkun, until a new Hand could be named. At the gathering of lords in 136 AC, three new regents were selected by lot, while Lord Torrhen Manderly was chosen as the new Hand.[24]

Lord Manderly presided over the trials of the conspirators, which lasted thirty-three days. King Aegon attended only three times, on the days that judgment was pronounced upon Gareth Long, George Graceford, and Septon Bernard. He showed no interest in the rest, and never asked about their fates. Lotho and Roggerio Rogare were also put on trial, for the collapse of the Rogare Bank, and though Prince Viserys came every day to sit beside his wife Larra as she watched the judgement of her brothers, Aegon never attended.[24]

Reign of the Broken King

Aegon III's dismissal of both the regents and the Hand, as depicted by José Daniel Cabrera Peña in The World of Ice & Fire

On Aegon's sixteenth nameday in 136 AC, the king arrived at the small council meeting, where he dismissed his regents and his Hand, and canceled the plans they had been making for him to make a royal progress. Lord Torrhen Manderly was greatly affronted by the brusque manner of his dismissal, and according to Archmaester Gyldayn this act made Manderly Aegon's enemy.[24]

Aegon was regarded as a broken king who ruled over a broken reign. Aegon was melancholic to the end of his days, found pleasure in almost nothing, and locked himself in his room to brood for days on end. It took ten years until Aegon consummated his marriage, when his wife was sixteen, but eventually Queen Daenaera Velaryon birthed Aegon five children: Daeron (born in 143 AC) and Baelor (born in 144 AC), Daena (born in 145 AC), Rhaena (born in 147 AC), and Elaena (born in 150 AC). Following his birth, Prince Daeron was named Prince of Dragonstone by Aegon.[5]

As king, Aegon III strove to give the realm peace and plenty, but his coldness kept him from courting his lords and people. During the later years of his reign, Aegon's Hand was his brother, Prince Viserys Targaryen.[5] Together, Aegon and Viserys dealt with the pretenders claiming to be Prince Daeron Targaryen, brother to the late King Aegon II Targaryen. All of these pretenders were proven to be imposters.[5][22]

Because Aegon had a great distaste for dragons after the tragic death of Stormcloud and witnessing his mother being devoured by Sunfyre, he is often blamed for the death of the last dragon.[2] Some rumors even claimed he poisoned her.[3] After the last dragon died, Aegon III became known as "Aegon the Dragonbane". Regardless, Aegon became convinced that dragons could be used to cow those who sought to oppose him. At the urging of his brother Viserys, Aegon brought nine mages from Essos to attempt to hatch a clutch of dragon eggs with magic, but this ended in failure.[5][25]

Aegon's reign ended with his death from consumption in 157 AC, at the age of thirty-six. Many of his subjects thought him far older, on account of his youth having ended so abruptly. Aegon is not remembered fondly.[5]


Aegon III was succeeded by his fourteen-year-old son Daeron. After both Daeron and his successor Baelor died childless, Aegon's brother Viserys II was crowned king. Viserys was followed by his own son, Aegon IV Targaryen.

Although his sons died childless, Aegon's line did not discontinue altogether. Aegon's daughter, Daena the Defiant, had a bastard child, with her cousin, Prince Aegon, who eventually became known as the first Daemon Blackfyre and contested his cousin Daeron II Targaryen, the legitimate son of Aegon IV Targaryen, for the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, Princess Elaena Targaryen married three times, and gave birth to seven children in total. Her first two children were illegitimate, fathered by Lord Alyn Velaryon. Subsequently, Elaena married Lord Ossifer Plumm, by whom she had one child, Viserys Plumm - though the child was rumored to have been fathered by King Aegon IV. Next, she married Ronnel Penrose, by whom she had four children. Her third and final marriage, to Ser Michael Manwoody, was childless.[26][27]

Small Council under Aegon III

During the reign of King Aegon his small council had the following known members:[5]

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 131 AC Lord Cregan Stark[5][7] Lord Cregan held office for a day during a time known as the Hour of the Wolf. He presided over the trials and executions of those accused of poisoning King Aegon II Targaryen, before returning to the North.
131133 AC Ser Tyland Lannister[5][13] Ser Tyland was expected to be a weak Hand, but he defied expectations and held the office capably. He died in office of Winter Fever.
133134 AC Lord Unwin Peake[5][24] Lord Unwin resigned the office after the king turned down a marriage proposal with his daughter.
134135 AC Lord Thaddeus Rowan[5][24] Lord Thaddeus was imprisoned and tortured by plotters seeking to undermine the Rogare family's influence over the court.
135 AC Ser Marston Waters[5][24] Ser Marston concurrently served as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Participated in a plot to imprison Lord Thaddeus Rowan and members of the Rogare family present at court. He was then named Hand, however, he died trying to arrest his sworn brother, Ser Mervyn Flowers, a fortnight later.
135 AC Lord Thaddeus Rowan[24] Lord Thaddeus was reinstalled to the office after the imprisonment of plotters and death of Ser Marston Waters. However, after a moon's turn, he was dismissed once again due to having a poor mental condition.
135136 AC Grand Maester Munkun[5][24] Munkun served as the King's Hand until the election of a new Hand in the Council of 136 AC.
136 AC Lord Torrhen Manderly[5][24] Lord Torrhen was elected as the new Hand during the Council of 136 AC. Dismissed from office by the king when he came of age.
Unknown–157 AC Prince Viserys Targaryen[5][28]  
Grand Maester 131 AC–Unknown Munkun[5] Munkun served Aegon III both as Grand Maester and regent until 136 AC. Although Munkun is known to have served Aegon's son King Baelor I Targaryen as Grand Maester as well,[26] and only the Citadel can name a Grand Maester, in 153 AC Grand Maester Alford held the office,[29] suggesting Munkun was removed from his office at some point or had died.
Unknown–Unknown Alford[29] In 153 AC, Alford held the office of Grand Maester.
Master of coin 136 AC–Unknown Isembard Arryn[5][24]  
Lord justiciar and master of laws 133134 AC Lord Thaddeus Rowan[17] Served as master of laws and lord justiciar, until he was later named as Hand.
Master of whisperers      
Lord admiral and master of ships 135 AC–Unknown Ser Gedmund Peake[24] After the attempted coup during the regency of Aegon III against the Rogare family and the King's Hand, Lord Thaddeus Rowan, Ser Gedmund was named lord admiral and master of ships to appease the supporters of Lord Unwin Peake.
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard 131133 AC Ser Willis Fell[13] Ser Willis died of Winter Fever.
133135 AC Ser Marston Waters[5][17][24] Ser Marston was named Lord Commander by the King's Hand and regent, Lord Unwin Peake, after the king's appointment of Ser Robin Massey in the position was dismissed on the grounds that the king was too young and hadn't consulted his regents.
135 AC–Unknown Ser Raynard Ruskyn[24]  

In addition to his small council, King Aegon III had a council of regents during his minority, who ruled the Seven Kingdoms in his stead:

The Regents of Aegon III
Name Duration Notes
Lady Jeyne Arryn[5] 131134 AC Died of illness at Gulltown in 134 AC.
Lord Corlys Velaryon[5] 131132 AC Died of old age in 132 AC.
Lord Roland Westerling[5] 131133 AC Died of the Winter Fever in 133 AC.
Lord Royce Caron[5] 131132 AC Resigned in 132 AC.
Lord Manfryd Mooton[5] 131134 AC Died due to old age and illness in 134 AC.
Ser Torrhen Manderly[5] 131132 AC Resigned in 132 AC.
Grand Maester Munkun[5] 131136 AC  
Lord Unwin Peake[5] 132134 AC Resigned in 134 AC.
Ser Corwyn Corbray[5] 134 AC Killed by a crossbowman at Runestone in 134 AC.
Lord Thaddeus Rowan[5] 133135 AC After being broken by torture, he was politely dismissed.
Willam Stackspear[5] 136 AC Chosen by lot in the Great Council of 136 AC.
Marq Merryweather[5] 136 AC Chosen by lot in the Great Council of 136 AC.
Lorent Grandison[5] 136 AC Chosen by lot in the Great Council of 136 AC.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

On the Dothraki sea, Daenerys Targaryen thinks about dragons and what her brother Viserys told her of the last dragons. He had said that they died during the reign of Aegon III, the Dragonbane, no more than a century and a half ago, which does not seem so long ago to Daenerys.[2]

A Storm of Swords

After King Joffrey I Baratheon has ended his betrothal to Sansa Stark and has become engaged to Margaery Tyrell, he informs Sansa that he can still sleep with her, if he wants to. He tells her that "One of the Aegons" had a lot of whores, but fails to remember which Aegon it was, exactly, causing him to (incorrectly) list Aegon III as a possibility.[30]

A Feast for Crows

While discussing dragons, the acolyte Armen tells the novice Roone that the last dragon died during the reign of King Aegon III Targaryen. However, Mollander, another novice, insists it was only the last dragon in Westeros who had died during Aegon's reign, against which Armen argues that the last dragon in Westeros had been the last dragon anywhere.[31]

A Dance with Dragons

Daenerys Targaryen remembers the stories her brother Viserys had told her, including the story about how Aegon III had seen his own mother, Rhaenyra Targaryen, devoured by the dragon of King Aegon II Targaryen.[32]

Quotes by Aegon

Mother, flee![22]

—Aegon, to his mother Rhaenyra Targaryen, on their arrival at the fallen Dragonstone

Get that wretched creature out of my sight.[7]

—Aegon, to his northmen guards, upon seeing Rhaena Targaryen's hatchling dragon

Aegon: The vows of the Kingsguard include obedience, I thought.

Marston: We are sworn to obey the king, sire, this is so, and when you are a man grown, my brothers and I will gladly fall upon our swords should you command that of us. So long as you remain a child, however, we are required by oath to obey the King's Hand, for the Hand speaks with the king's voice.
Aegon: Lord Thaddeus is my Hand.
Marston: Lord Thaddeus sold your realm to Lys and must answer for it. I will serve as your Hand until such time as his guilt or innocence can be proved. I swear upon my sword in the sight of gods and men that none shall do you harm whilst I stand beside you.

Aegon: You stood beside me when the dragon ate my mother. All you did was watch. I will not have you watch while they kill my brother's wife.[24]

—Aegon and Marston Waters, during the secret siege

And if I will not [yield], who will you punish, ser? You may beat poor Gaemon's bones, but you will get no more blood from him.[24]

—Aegon and Gareth Long, during the secret siege

Aegon: Lord Manderly, pray tell me how old I am, if you would be so good.

Torrhen: You are ten-and-six today, Your Grace. A man grown. It is time for you to take the governance of the Seven Kingdoms into your own hands.

Aegon: I shall. You are sitting in my chair.[24]

—Aegon, to Torrhen Manderly, ending the regency

There will be no progress. I will not spend a year upon a horse, sleeping in strange beds and trading empty courtesies with drunken lords, half of whom would gladly see me dead if it gained them a groat. If any man requires words with me, he will find me on the Iron Throne.[24]

—Aegon, to Torrhen Manderly

I mean to give the smallfolk peace and food and justice. If that will not suffice to win their love, let Mushroom make a progress. Or perhaps we might send a dancing bear. Someone once told me that the commons love nothing half so much as dancing bears. You may call a halt to this feast tonight as well. Send the lords home to their own keeps and give the food to the hungry. Full bellies and dancing bears shall be my policy.[24]

—Aegon, to Torrhen Manderly

Quotes about Aegon

The king is dead, long live the king.[7]

This city is a nest of vipers. There are liars, turncloaks, and poisoners in this court who would murder you as quick as they did your uncle to secure their own power.[7]

Cregan Stark, to Aegon

These are not normal children. They have no joy in them; they neither laugh nor play.[13]

Munkun, to the Conclave, about Aegon and Jaehaera Targaryen

Orwyle was wont to call His Grace calm and self-possessed; I say the boy is dead inside. He walks the halls of the Red Keep like a ghost.[13]

Munkun, to the Conclave

I fear for our king, and for the kingdom.[13]

Munkun, to the Conclave

I was a fool but never such a fool as to stay with that fool.[24]

That sullen boy.[24]



Viserys I
[Note 1]
[Note 1]
[Note 1]
Aegon II
Viserys II
Aegon III
  1. 1.0 1.1 Prince Daemon Targaryen was married to Lady Rhea Royce from 97 AC to 115 AC, to Lady Laena Velaryon from 115 AC to 120 AC, and to Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen from 120 AC to 130 AC.


Viserys I
Aegon II
Viserys II
Aegon III
Aegon IV
Baelor I
Daeron I
Daeron II
of Tyrosh
House Targaryen.svg
House Martell.svg
House Blackfyre 2.svg


  1. During the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen and thereafter, it was custom to place a dragon egg in the cradle of each newborn Targaryen prince. Although it is not specified that an egg was placed in Aegon's cradle, it is known that an egg was placed in the cradles of his three elder brothers, the cradle of his younger brother, and the cradles of the three children of his aunt and uncle.


  1. 1.0 1.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 23, Daenerys III.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Hedge Knight.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 5.35 5.36 5.37 5.38 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  6. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys II.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 Fire & Blood, Aftermath - The Hour of the Wolf.
  8. The Rise of the Dragon, Preface.
  9. 9.0 9.1 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Aegon III Targaryen.
  10. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron I.
  11. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 The Princess and the Queen.
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 13.15 13.16 13.17 13.18 13.19 13.20 13.21 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
  14. 14.0 14.1 The Rogue Prince.
  15. So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 1, 2005)
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 17.11 17.12 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Voyage of Alyn Oakenfist.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
  24. 24.00 24.01 24.02 24.03 24.04 24.05 24.06 24.07 24.08 24.09 24.10 24.11 24.12 24.13 24.14 24.15 24.16 24.17 24.18 24.19 24.20 24.21 24.22 24.23 24.24 24.25 24.26 Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.
  25. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
  26. 26.0 26.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.
  27. The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
  28. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
  29. 29.0 29.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
  30. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 28, Sansa III.
  31. A Feast for Crows, Prologue.
  32. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
Preceded by 7th
King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms

131157 AC
Regent: Regency council (131136 AC)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Protector of the Realm
136157 AC
Succeeded by