rhaenys

2

AU →  Rhaenys and Aegon Waters, the delegitimized children of Rhaegar Targaryen, return to Westeros after years spent in exile.  They mean to take back their birthright, which their father and the usurper both stole from them, and prove that despite being stripped of the Targaryen name, they are still dragons.  

Elia Martell - Reign of the Sun Queen

Elia Martell spent her time in King’s Landing in contempt of half the royal court, declared frail, considered unworthy of the Silver Prince, nearly died giving birth to his two heads of the dragon, despised by her mad good-father, never safe, friendless but for her children and a husband who was by all accounts a dreamer cursed with an elegant madness… a husband who humiliated her by taking off with a wild woman-child and thrusting the Seven Kingdoms into war.

Sometime during the end of Robert’s Rebellion, she defeated Gregor Clegane, a poisoned quill from a crossbow that entered his brain through his eye and killed him within seconds. She and Tywin’s Heir slayed the Mad King. And why not? Aerys had caches of wildfire beneath the city and would have set every living soul in King’s Landing ablaze. She took his crown and smashed the Rebellion to pieces. Rhaegar and Robert killed each other on the Trident and the Rebel forces scattered like rats. If Elia Martell had not used that crossbow to kill the Mountain, she would have been most brutally savaged by Ser Clegane and Robert Baratheon would have been King. Elia Martell is a fierce and determined woman who crowned herself Queen of the Seven Kingdoms over the broken body of Aerys. Covered in blood with the sun shining down her hair, she crowned herself and even Eddard Stark knelt at the sight.

She has survived an unworthy husband, a mad king, and conspiracies and escaped slew the Mountain That Rides, defanged the Lion of Casterly Rock, crushed the Rebellion beneath her dainty feet and pardoned the crown’s traitors who swore fealty with poisoned spears pointed at their throats. 

Elia Martell ruled the Seven Kingdoms with a wise and gentle hand. Beloved by all and protected by her brother’s daughters who declared themselves her Sunguard. She ruled until her daughter, Rhaenys, became of age and ruled just as wisely as her mother.  - Maester Howar

For @reyskywalkings

elia begs rhaegar not to name their daughter rhaenys. she begs him.  

rhaenys targaryen died tortured beneath the hellholt.

the queen that never was died crownless and charred beyond recognition.

so she begs.  names have power, she tells him.  name her nymeria for her rhoynish blood, or alysanne for the good queen if he must have a targaryen name.  but not rhaenys.  please, not rhaenys.  if he names her rhaenys, she is doomed to horror and mutilation.

rhaegar only kisses her forehead.  “she must be rhaenys,” he says simply.  “she must be rhaenys.”

Parallels with Aegon the Conquerer & Jon’s (Potential) Romances

There are some interesting parallels of the below characterizations that I recently realized:

Jon = Aegon
Daenerys = Visenya
Sansa = Rhaenys

  • Visenya is the eldest sibling followed by Aegon and Rhaenys; Daenerys is older than Jon, who is older than Sansa.
  • Rhaenys is known for being graceful and loving music and poetry. 
    • Sansa loves songs and stories.
  • Visenya is “passionate, temperamental” and “dabbled in sorcery” (awoiaf). There’s even a theory that she used magic to have Maegor because she was barren.
    • Daenerys used sorcery to bring back (or attempt to) Drogo; she is currently barren. 
  • Plenty of comparisons have been made between Aegon/Jon, but the similar ones in this context is both as rulers, strong men, and charismatic leaders. 
  • Aegon preferred Rhaenys over Visenya, reportedly spending one night with Visenya for every ten with Rhaenys.
    • They even say he wed Visenya for duty and Rhaenys for love/passion.

This is in part a huge reason for why I think Jon x Sansa is more likely endgame- Aegon went towards the more opposite/other half than the other fiery sister.

“She smells Dornish.”

Rhaella sees Elia’s neck straighten, her chin raised and her lips pursed as Loreza’s ever had whenever Aerys had said something to irk her.  She looks so like Loreza, Rhaella thinks.  

Loreza would have narrowed her eyes and hissed at Aerys, king be damned.  But Elia simply says, “Your Grace.”  She dips into the briefest of curtsies and crosses to Rhaella extending her arms for Rhaenys.  Rhaella hands Elia her daughter, then watches as the Princess sweeps from the room, her neck still stiff.

Loreza had once said that any child of hers would have a spine of steel.  When first she’d met Elia, Rhaella had wondered if Loreza mightn’t have failed.  The girl seemed meek, and quiet–everything that Loreza had frowned upon during her time at court.  But as she saw Elia Martell’s skirts whip around the doorframe of the chamber, Rhaella wondered if perhaps she was wrong.

“Not everyone fights with a sword,” Loreza had once said, when Rhaella had tried to convince Rhaegar to work harder in the yards.  This was before he’d been determined to train, when he was a quiet and bookish boy.  “Some are born for mace or spear.”

Loreza had always said the spear was more of a subtle instrument than a sword.  Swords were for hacking at men, for throwing your body at them.  Spears could be subtle and strong and could kill a man just as well far or near.

Elia Martell’s spine was a spear.  Rhaella did not doubt that her daughter would hold a grudge quite as long as her mother had.  Aerys only looked for swords–for the weapons that men brought into his court, especially after Duskendale.  He never looked for the distant weapon, whose wielder was just out of arm’s reach.

ROBERT’S REBELLION

WHAT FOLLOWED PRINCE Rhaegar’s
infamous abduction of Lyanna Stark was the
ruin of House Targaryen. The full depth of King
Aerys’s madness was subsequently revealed in
his depraved actions against Lord Stark, his heir,
and their supporters after they demanded
redress for Rhaegar’s wrongs. Instead of
granting them fair hearing, King Aerys had
them brutally slain, then followed these murders
by demanding that Lord Jon Arryn execute his
former wards, Robert Baratheon and Eddard
Stark. Many now agree that the true start of
Robert’s Rebellion began with Lord Arryn’s
refusal and his courageous calling of his banners
in the defense of justice. Yet not all the lords of
the Vale agreed with Lord Jon’s decision, and
soon fighting broke out as loyalists to the crown
attempted to bring Lord Arryn down.
The fighting then spread across the Seven
Kingdoms like wildfire, as lords and knights took
sides. Many alive today fought in these battles,
and so can speak with greater knowledge of
them than I, who was not there. I therefore leave
it to such men to write the true and detailed
history of Robert’s Rebellion; far be it for me to
offend those who yet live by presenting an
imperfect summary of events, or mistakenly
praising those who have since proved unworthy.
So instead, I will look only to the lord and
knight who ascended the Iron Throne at the
end, repairing a realm nearly destroyed by
madness.

Robert Baratheon proved himself a fearless,
indomitable warrior as more and more men
flocked to his banner. Robert was the first over
the walls at Gulltown, when Lord Grafton
raised his banner for Targaryens, and from there
he sailed to Storm’s End—risking capture by the
royal fleet—to call his banners. Not all came
willing: Aerys’s Hand, Lord Merryweather,
encouraged certain stormlords to rise up against
Lord Robert. Yet it was an effort that proved
fruitless following Lord Robert’s victories at
Summerhall, where he won three battles in a
single day. His hastily gathered forces defeated
Lords Grandison and Cafferen in turn, and
Robert went on to kill Lord Fell in single
combat before taking his famous son Silveraxe
captive.
More victories were to come for Lord Robert
and the stormlords as they marched to join
forces with Lord Arryn and the Northmen who
supported their cause. Rightly famed is Robert’s
grand victory at Stoney Sept, also called the
Battle of the Bells, where he slew the famous Ser
Myles Mooton—once Prince Rhaegar’s squire—
and five men besides, and might well have killed
the new Hand, Lord Connington, had the battle
brought them together. The victory sealed the
entry of the riverlands into the conflict,
following the marriage of Lord Tully’s
daughters to Lords Arryn and Stark.
The royalist forces were left reeling and
scattered by such victories though they did their
best to rally. The Kingsguard were dispatched to
recover the remnant of Lord Connington’s force,
and Prince Rhaegar returned from the south to
take command of the new levies being raised in
the crownlands. And after a partial victory at
Ashford, which led to Robert’s withdrawal, the
Stormlands were left open to Lord Tyrell.
Bringing the might of the Reach to bear, the
reachlords swept away all resistance and settled
in to besiege Storm’s End. Shortly afterward,
the host was joined by Lord Paxter Redwyne’s
mighty fleet from the Arbor, completing the
siege by land and sea. That siege wore on until
the conclusion of the war.
From Dorne, in defense of Princess Elia, ten
thousand spears came over the Boneway and
marched to King’s Landing to bolster the host
that Rhaegar was raising. Those who were there
at court during this time have recounted that
Aerys’s behavior was erratic. He was untrusting
of any save his Kingsguard—and then only
imperfectly, for he kept Ser Jaime Lannister
close at all hours to serve as a hostage against his
father.
When Prince Rhaegar at last marched up the
kingsroad to the Trident, with him were all but
one of the Kingsguard who had remained in
King’s Landing: Ser Barristan the Bold, Ser
Jonothor Darry, and Prince Lewyn of Dorne.
Prince Lewyn took command of the Dornish
troop sent by his nephew, the Prince Doran, but
it is said that he did so only after threats from
the Mad King, who feared that the Dornishmen
looked to betray him. Only the young Ser Jaime
Lannister remained in King’s Landing.
Of the famous battle on the Trident, much has
been written and said. But all know that the two
armies clashed at the crossing that would ever
after be called the Ruby Ford for the scattered
rubies on Prince Rhaegar’s armor. The
opponents were well matched. Rhaegar’s forces
numbered some forty thousand, a tenth part of
which were anointed knights, while the rebels
had somewhat fewer men, but those they
possessed were tested in battle, while much of
Rhaegar’s force was raw and new.
The battle at the ford was fierce, and many
lives were lost in the fray. Ser Jonothor Darry
was cut down in the midst of the conflict, as was
Prince Lewyn of Dorne. But the most important
death was yet to come.
The battle screamed about Lord Robert and
Prince Rhaegar both, and by the will of the
gods, or by chance—or perhaps by design—they
met amidst the shallows of the ford. The two
knights fought valiantly upon their destriers,
according to all accounts. For despite his crimes,
Prince Rhaegar was no coward. Lord Robert
was wounded by the dragon prince in the
combat, yet in the end, Baratheon’s ferocious
strength and his thirst to avenge the shame
brought upon his stolen betrothed proved the
greater. His warhammer found its mark, and
Robert drove the spike through Rhaegar’s chest,
scattering the costly rubies that blazed upon the
prince’s breastplate.
Some men on both sides stopped fighting at
once, leaping instead into the river to recover
the precious stones. And a general rout quickly
began as the royalists started fleeing the field.
Lord Robert’s wounds prevented him from
taking up the pursuit, so he gave that into the
hands of Lord Eddard Stark. But Robert proved
his chivalry when he refused to allow the
gravely wounded Ser Barristan to be killed.
Instead, he sent his own maester to tend the
great knight. In such fashion did the future king
win the fierce devotion of his friends and allies
—for few men were ever so open-handed and
merciful as Robert Baratheon.

THE E ND
BIRDS FLEW AND couriers raced to bear
word of the victory at the Ruby Ford. When the
news reached the Red Keep, it was said that
Aerys cursed the Dornish, certain that Lewyn
had betrayed Rhaegar. He sent his pregnant
queen, Rhaella, and his younger son and new
heir, Viserys, away to Dragonstone, but Princess
Elia was forced to remain in King’s Landing
with Rhaegar’s children as a hostage against
Dorne. Having burned his previous Hand, Lord
Chelsted, alive for bad counsel during the war,
Aerys now appointed another to the position:
the alchemist Rossart—a man of low birth, with
little to recommend him but his flames and
trickery.
Ser Jaime Lannister was meanwhile left in
charge of the Red Keep’s defenses. The walls
were manned by knights and watchmen,
awaiting the enemy. When the first army that
arrived flew the lion of Casterly Rock, with
Lord Tywin at its head, King Aerys anxiously
ordered the gates to be opened, thinking that at
last his old friend and former Hand had come to
his rescue, as he had done at the Defiance of
Duskendale. But Lord Tywin had not come to
save the Mad King.
This time, Lord Tywin’s cause was that of the
realm’s, and he was determined to bring an end
to the reign that madness had brought low. Once
within the walls of the city, his soldiers
assaulted the defenders of King’s Landing, and
blood ran red in the streets. A handpicked cadre
of men raced to the Red Keep to storm its walls
and seek out King Aerys, so that justice might be
done.
The Red Keep was soon breached, but in the
chaos, misfortune soon fell upon Elia of Dorne
and her children, Rhaenys and Aegon. It is
tragic that the blood spilled in war may as
readily be innocent as it is guilty, and that 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 that 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.
Aerys’s Hand, Rossart, was killed at a postern
gate after cravenly attempting to flee the castle.
And last of all to die was King Aerys himself, at
the hand of his remaining Kingsguard knight,
Ser Jaime Lannister. Like his father, Ser Jaime
did as he thought best for the realm, bringing an
end to the Mad King.
And so ended both the reign of House
Targaryen and Robert’s Rebellion—the war that
put an end to nearly three hundred years of
Targaryen rule and ushered in a new golden era
under the auspices of House Barathe

2

Imagine being Elia Martell, and fleeing King’s Landing with Aegon and Rhaenys before Gregor Clegane could find you.

Submitted by Anon.

goodbye rhaenys

he is seven again.  seven and not frightened, mother tells him that a dragon is never frightened.  a dragon is never frightened a dragon is never she cries.  she cries but doesn’t cry, not the way he cries.  she cries the way that only mother cries, with eyes bright and tears at the corner of her eyes but the tears never fall because mother doesn’t let them fall mother doesn’t let anything fall.  do not be frightened she tells him.

he is seven again and rhaenys is there.  rhaenys who is three and who follows him around with her cat who follows her around so they are a little train of targaryens, viserys first then rhaenys then balerion who is named for a dragon but isn’t a dragon.  he is seven again and rhaenys is crying.

rhaenys doesn’t cry the way that mother cries.  rhaenys cries the way that only rhaenys cries, loud and squalling and blubbering, demanding to know where her father has gone, wanting to go see her mother when the maesters say that elia must rest, loud loud don’t forget me i am still here loud crying that only viserys hears.

don’t forget me i’m still here. that’s what her tears meant.  viserys knows that now, knows it in his sleep though viserys is not seven anymore.  viserys is not seven anymore, but rhaenys still is three.

rhaenys cries when he leaves, cries and hugs him and tells him not to go don’t go don’t go i’m scared viserys don’t go.  don’t go please don’t leave me behind please please please.  

you are a dragon you shouldn’t be afraid.

my father was a dragon too.

His hand does not shake as he removes the orange seal.  It does not tremble, the parchment does not flutter–everything is still, still as a windless night, everything except his heart which beats a violent tattoo against his ribs.

Your grace, he reads in an unfamiliar hand.  I have nothing further to say than what is said below.  

Nymor, Prince of Sunspear

His heart beats faster, his hand remains still.

Brother, He knows that hand–knows it well, knows it from the songs she had written to show him, knows it from the letters she had written him over years of war and peace, knows it and had not thought to ever see it again.  The color of the ink is different–more brown than black, and it is a poor ink for it chips away and fades too soon.  Too soon will her words be gone.

Brother, I live, if this can be called life.  I am dead for death is all that remains to me.  I see no light save the candles, I feel no heat from the stones.  I am broken–broken at the hips from when Meraxes fell, broken–broken in the heart for I know I shall never see my son’s face again, see yours, and our sister’s.

They will not free me.  They have made that clear.  And the freedom I would take for myself they deny me.  Please, brother.  Please free me.  Let them stand unbowed, unbent, unbroken that I might at last be free.

If ever you loved me, let me die.

She does not sign it.  She does not need to.  Rhaenys never signed anything.  He could recognize her hand blind.  

He feels Visenya’s gaze, stern, hard, unyielding.  He doesn’t even bother to look at the Dornish Princess, who he is sure smiles for she must know…

He stands abruptly, stands and folds the letter in his hand, watching as his blood–his blood, had he cut himself on the throne?–smears on the back of the parchment.  Her blood, my blood, he thinks bitterly.  He descends from the throne, marches past the crowds of men come to see the Dornish appeal, out, out, out, into the yard.  He finds Balerion and mounts him without a word and they take to the sky, as high and as fast as they can go.

Please free me.

If you ever loved me, let me die.

And when he is high enough that the wind roars around him, he lets out a howl of rage, of pain, and he curls over the back of the dragon as tears stream down his face.  His sister, his sweet sister, sweetest sister, his love, his life, the mother of his heir, the bride of his desire.  Had he not mourned her enough already?  Would he not mourn her for the rest of his life?  How could he have mourned her while still she lived, while there had been yet hope she could be returned to him?  But if he had not mourned her, surely she would have died.  The freedom I would take for myself they deny me.

What demons they are in the sands.  What horrible monsters, vipers and scorpions, twisted and poisonous and cruel that they would do this.  That they would use her pain, her voice, her death–death for they would not let her live, death for they have broken her so thoroughly she does not wish to–to break him.

And he knows he should not concede.  Visenya would have shrieked and had Princess Deria’s head, emissary or no.  Visenya would have burned all of Dorne, but burning all of Dorne would not bring peace–would not bring Rhaenys peace.

He lets out another angry howl, and this time, Balerion roars with him, and the dragon’s cry covers the sound of Aegon Targaryen, First of His Name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First of Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, bowing, bending, breaking.

Rhaenys was a child too. Prince Rhaegar’s daughter. A precious little thing, younger than your girls. She had a small black kitten she called Balerion, did you know? I always wondered what happened to him. Rhaenys liked to pretend he was the true Balerion, the Black Dread of old, but I imagine the Lannisters taught her the difference between a kitten and a dragon quick enough, the day they broke down her door.
—  Varys - A Game of Thrones