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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Rhaegar Targaryen (259-283 AL)

Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was a member of House Targaryen. He was the eldest son of King Aerys II Targaryen and, as heir-apparent, Prince of Dragonstone and crown prince for the Iron Throne. Prince Rhaegar was tall and handsome, having dark lilac eyes and the silver hair of the Targaryens, and was also considered to be a talented musician and skilled knight. He was deeply affected by the shadow of Summerhall, because he was born in grief and was considered melancholic at times. He died in Robert’s Rebellion which was triggered in part by his alleged abduction of Lyanna Stark. 

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Daemon Blackfyre (170-196 AL)

Daemon Blackfyre was the bastard son of Daena Targaryen and Aegon IV. Targaryen on both sides, Daemon had strong Targaryen features, with deep purple eyes and silver-gold hair which he wore long. Many thought that he strongly resembled portraits of Aegon I. After Daemon distinguished himself during a tourney melee, his father Aegon IV acknowledged him as his bastard son and presented him with Blackfyre, the Valyrian steel sword of Targaryen kings. There were rumors that his half-brother Daeron II was not the son of Aegon IV, but of Aemon the Dragonknight. Hence, Daemon, as a Targaryen on both sides and a legitimized heir to the throne, was a logical choice to replace the academic king. In the end, it was the wedding of Princess Daenerys to the Dornish Prince Maron Martell that led to the Blackfyre Rebellion. It was said Daemon loved her and she him, so he rose in rebellion when she was denied to him by Daeron. Daemon swayed half the kingdom to support his claim to the Iron Throne. He bore the arms of House Targaryen with the colours reversed: a black three-headed dragon on a red field. Thus he became known as the Black Dragon.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Ashara Dayne (unknown - 283AL)

Ashara Dayne was a noblewoman of House Dayne, the younger sister of the famous knight Ser Arthur Dayne. Ashara was tall, with long dark hair and haunting violet eyes. She had a reputation for great beauty. Many men were infatuated with her, including Barristan Selmy and, according to rumor, Eddard Stark. After the events of the Tower of Joy, Ned Stark went to Starfall to inform House Dayne of Ser Arthur’s death and return to them his greatsword, Dawn. Ashara jumped from the top of one of the towers of Starfall, called the Palestone Sword, on the cliff atop the sea. Her body was never recovered. After these events, Ned Stark returned to Winterfell with the infant Jon Snow, whom he claimed as his bastard son, refusing to name the child’s mother. This sparked rumors that Ashara had been the mother of Stark’s bastard, and that grief at learning that her lover had been responsible for her brother’s death was the cause of her suicide.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Aegon I Targaryen (27BC - 37AL)

Also known as Aegon the Conqueror and Aegon the Dragon, he was the conqueror of the Seven Kingdoms and the founder of the ruling Targaryen dynasty of Westeros. He is described as tall, broad shouldered and powerful in appearance with purple eyes and cut short silver-gold hair. He was very charismatic and commanding. During the Conquest he typically wore a shirt of black scales into battle and wielded his Valyrian steel sword Blackfyre. His crown was a simple circlet of Valyrian steel, set with big square-cut rubies. He was a great warrior but only rode his dragon for battle or travel and never entered tourneys. He remained faithful to his sisters and left governance in their hands and only took command when necessary. While he was harsh with those who defied him, he was generous to those that bent the knee. He was a solitary person whose only friend was Orys Baratheon.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Arthur Dayne (unknown-283 AL)

Ser Arthur Dayne, known as the Sword of the Morning, was a famed and legendary knight and a member of Aerys II’s Kingsguard. He was Prince Rhaegar’s closest friend and the brother of the Lady Ashara Dayne. He wielded the greatsword called Dawn as part of his office as Sword of the Morning, carrying it slung across his back. He also knighted Jaime Lannister, who would later become a sworn brother of the Kingsguard. He died at the Tower of Joy fighting Eddard Stark and his companions, but the exact circumstances of his death are unclear. In a memory of his father, Bran Stark recalls his father describing Arthur Dayne as the finest knight he ever saw, and elaborates further that Dayne would have killed him if not for Howland Reed. According to Catelyn Stark, Dayne was the deadliest of the seven knights of Aerys’s Kingsguard.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Orys Baratheon (unknown - 38 AL)

Orys Baratheon was the founder of House Baratheon and was the first Lord of Storm’s End. Orys was the rumored bastard half-brother of Aegon I Targaryen. He was one of Aegon’s fiercest commanders and was regarded as Aegon’s only true friend. During the War of Conquest Orys and Rhaenys Targaryen with her dragon, Meraxes, were tasked with taking Storm’s End. The Storm King, Argilac Durrendon, knew his formidable walls would not protect him from dragonfire. Argilac rode out to give open battle. Orys slew Argilac the Arrogant, the last Storm King, and married his daughter Argella. Later Orys took Argella as his wife and adopted the stag banner, honors and words of the Durrendons.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Visenya Targaryen (29BC - unknown AL)

Visenya Targaryen was the older of King Aegon I Targaryen’s sisters. She was also one of his two wives, the other being her sister Rhaenys. During the War of Conquest, she rode her dragon, Vhagar, to battle. She was a passionate, temperamental woman, both stern and sensual, more voluptuous than her sister, more passionate, but with a dark and unforgiving side. She was a warrior, more comfortable in ringmail than in silk, she was apt to dress as a warrior, with her long silver-gold hair in braided coils or bound in rings. She wielded the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister. Visenya accompanied the Targaryen fleet to Gulltown on her dragon. After the Arryn fleet defeated the Targaryen fleet in the battle of Gulltown she had Vhagar burn the Arryn fleet. After the Field of Fire she was charged with subduing the Vale while Rhaenys was charged with conquering Dorne. House Arryn sent an army to the Bloody Gate but Visenya simply flew on her dragon Vhagar straight up to the courtyard of the Eyrie to obtain the surrender of the Vale of Arryn. She succeeded and the Vale was taken bloodlessly.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Bran the Builder (unknown)

Brandon Stark, also known as Brandon the Builder and Bran the Builder, was the legendary founder of House Stark who is said to have lived during the Age of Heroes. According to legend, he built the Wall and Winterfell. Some stories say he did it with the help of giants. Some claim Brandon also helped Durran build Storm’s End when he was a boy. It is said that Bran the Builder gave the Night’s Watch Brandon’s Gift, a stretch of land 25 leagues wide, but some maesters argue it was another Brandon of House Stark.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Rhaenyra Targaryen (97-130 AL)

Realm’s Delight and Half-Year Queen, Rhaenyra was the first-born child of King Viserys I. She was Viserys I’s only living child by his first wife, a lady of House Arryn. She grew up expecting to become the first ruling Queen of Westeros while Viserys I himself treated Rhaenyra as his heir, keeping her by his side in court and at council meetings. Rhaenyra was a pudgy girl and a stout woman, with a thick waist and a large bosom. She had the Valyrian looks, wearing her silver-gold hair in a long braid in the manner of Queen Visenya. She always dressed richly, favoring purple and maroon velvets and golden Myrish lace in intricate patterns. Her bodice often glittered with pearls and diamonds, and there were always rings on her fingers. Her claim to the Iron Throne was challenged by her younger half-brother, Aegon II Targaryen, sparking the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. After the Storming of the Dragonpit, Rhaenyra fled King’s Landing. Once she reached Dragonstone, she was betrayed by Ser Alfred Broome, whose men slew the remainder of her Queensguard. Her half-brother Aegon II then had her fed to his own dragon, Sunfyre, at Dragonstone. Aegon II decreed that Rhaenyra was never a queen and that she be referred to only as princess in all chronicles and court records. The civil war ended when Aegon II died shortly after his victory in 131AL with no male issue, and was succeeded by Rhaenyra’s elder son with Deamon, Aegon III, who was later succeeded by his younger brother Viserys II.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Elia Martell (257-283 AL)

Elia Martell was a princess of Dorne. She married the crown prince, Rhaegar Targaryen, and by him birthed Rhaenys and Aegon. She was a gentle, good and gracious lady, but frail due to her delicate health. According to Barristan Selmy, she was kind and clever, with a sweet wit. She was said to be very fair, with the typical Martell features: dark hair, black eyes and olive skin. At the Tourney at Harrenhal, Rhaegar met Lyanna Stark and apparently became infatuated with her. He won the tournament and crowned her Queen of Love and Beauty, passing over Elia. A year later Rhaegar either abducted or ran off with Lyanna, and this event sparked Robert’s Rebellion. Aerys kept Elia and both of her children in King’s Landing as hostages against possible Dornish betrayal and she was murdered by Ser Gregor Clegane during the sack of King’s Landing.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Alysanne Targaryen (unknown)

Alysanne Targaryen, known as Good Queen Alysanne, was the daughter of Aenys I and wife of her brother Jaehaerys I the Conciliator. Alysanne was slim of waist and small of breast, with a long neck, a fair complexion and a high forehead. She was tall and straight, unbowed by time. She had clear, blue eyes and high cheekbones. In old age her hair turned white as snow. She wore it in a bun, pulled back and pinned behind her ears. Age left crow’s feet around her eyes and laugh lines about her mouth, but her face never lost its strength. Like her brother-husband she lived a long life. In her youth Alysanne was a fine archer and hunter, and loved to fly atop her dragon, Silverwing, to all the distant parts of the realm. She had great influence over Jaehaerys and convinced him to abolish the lord’s right to the First Night. When the couple visited the North, the queen travelled to the Wall on her dragon Silverwing. Impressed by the bravery of the Night’s Watch, she asked Jaehaerys to double the size of the Watch’s land. The acquired land was called the New Gift. During her visit she stayed in castle Snowgate, which was renamed Queensgate in her honour. She also convinced the Night’s Watch to build a new castle, Deep Lake, as a replacement for the Nightfort.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Maegor I Targaryen (unknown - 48 AL)

Maegor I, called Maegor the Cruel, was the son of Aegon I and Visenya, and the younger half-brother of Aenys I. Maegor was a warrior, he was bull-like with heavy shoulders, thick neck and huge arms. He kept his hair short and his beard trimmed to his jawline and wore Aegon I’s crown. Maegor was considered a skilled knight and was one of the youngest in the kingdom ever to be knighted. When his father died he served as Hand during his half-brother Aenys’ rule. When the Faith Militant uprising began, Aenys was unable to deal with the crisis and much of the responsibility fell on Maegor to handle the revolt. Maegor instituted laws forbidding Holy men from being able to bear arms which became known as Maegor’s laws. Upon Aenys’s death, he came to the Iron Throne ahead of his brother’s son, Jaehaerys. During his reign, the Faith Militant uprising continued. He crushed the rebellions with ruthless and brutal methods. Maegor completed the construction on the Red Keep, giving Maegor’s Holdfast its name. Maegor also had three Grand Maesters executed during his reign.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Lyanna Stark (267-283 AL)

Lyanna Stark was the younger sister of Lord Eddard Stark and was betrothed to Ned’s childhood friend, Robert Baratheon. Lyanna is described by all who knew her as beautiful, with the dark hair, grey eyes and long face that characterize the Starks. Ned refers to her as wolf-blooded: headstrong, willful, courageous and hot-tempered. She is noted to have been an extremely skilled rider and was very fond of the blue winter roses that grew at Winterfell. Rhaegar Targaryen won the tournament in Harrenhal and shocked all present by passing over his wife to crown Lyanna as queen of love and beauty. Her abduction by Rhaegar Targaryen was the event that ultimately triggered Robert’s Rebellion and led to the downfall of the Targaryen dynasty.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Brynden Rivers (175 AL - unknown)

Lord Brynden Rivers, called Bloodraven, was a legitimized Great Bastard of Aegon IV Targaryen and Melissa Blackwood, his sixth mistress. An albino, Brynden had milk white skin, long white hair, and red eyes. On the right side of his face he had a red winestain birthmark. He was a shade under six feet tall and very thin, gaunt, and he wore the colors of blood and smoke. His personal arms were a white dragon with red eyes breathing red flame on a black field. Shiera Seastar, another bastard of Aegon IV, was his mistress. This increased the enmity between him and Aegor Bittersteel Rivers. A strong warrior, Brynden carried the Valyrian sword Dark Sister, but preferred to use his weirwood longbow and was an expert archer. He lost an eye during the Blackfyre Rebellion his half-brother Daemon started. Later, he served as the Hand of the King Aerys I, and Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Rhaenys Targaryen (26BC - unknown AL)

Queen Rhaenys Targaryen was the younger of Aegon I Targaryen’s sister-queens. She had the silver-gold Targaryen hair which she kept long and wore loose. Physically she was more slender and graceful than her sister and was known as less stern and more playful and curious than Visenya. She was also interested in music and poetry. She loved to ride her dragon Meraxes and spent twice as much time riding than her siblings. Rhaenys was Aegon’s favourite sister-wife, though she may have dabbled with other bed-mates. She surrounded herself with comely young men and there were whispers that she entertained men while Aegon was with Visenya. Rhaenys led her army into Dorne. However, the Dornish refused to give battle, instead melting away into the mountains and deserts, returning only to launch guerrilla raids on the army. Rhaenys captured holdfasts to no avail, and the Targaryen army withdrew from Dorne, leaving the country untaken.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Rhaella Targaryen (unknown - 284 AL)

Rhaella Targaryen was the sister, wife, and queen of King Aerys II and the daughter of King Jaehaerys II. Rhaella was in love with a knight prior to the princess’s official betrothal to her brother, Prince Aerys. Ser Bonifer wore Rhaella’s favor and won a tournament where he named her queen of love and beauty. The pair had a passionate but ultimately doomed love, as Ser Bonifer was of too low birth. At the command of her father Rhaella married her brother Aerys at some time before 259AL. According to Barristan, there was no fondness between Aerys and Rhaella on the day of their wedding. On the same day of the tragedy of Summerhall happened, she gave birth to Rhaegar. In later years, as Aerys’s insanity began to set in, he grew sexually abusive toward Rhaella. He developed a sexual fetish for fire and death, only sleeping with Rhaella after he had executed someone by burning. After the Battle of the Trident, Queen Rhaella and Prince Viserys were evacuated, sailing to Dragonstone before King’s Landing fell to the rebels. She gave birth to her third child and only daughter Princess Daenerys while a raging summer storm threatened to rip the island fastness apart. Rhaella died shortly thereafter from complications of giving birth.

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pre-asoiaf characters ♔ Aerys II Targaryen (243-283 AL)

Aerys II Targaryen, also called Aerys the Mad, the Mad King, and King Scab, was the seventeenth and last member of the Targaryen dynasty to sit the Iron Throne, ruling from 262AL to 283AL. By the end of his life, Aerys’ madness had taken a serious toll on his appearance, so that although only forty years old at the time of his death, he looked much older. He ate little and became gaunt as a result of his fear of poison. His fingernails grew to cracked yellow claws nine inches long; His beard was matted and unwashed, and his silver-gold hair hung down to his waist in wild tangles. He wore the elaborate dragon-emblazoned crown of Aegon IV.