- For other characters who share the same name, see "Aegon Targaryen (disambiguation)".
King Aegon I Targaryen, known as Aegon the Conqueror, was the founder and first king of the Targaryen dynasty when he conquered all of Westeros (with the exception of Dorne and the lands beyond the Wall) with three great dragons, Balerion, Vhagar and Meraxes. He was married to both of his sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys.
Aegon I Targaryen was the first king of the Targaryen dynasty. He was a warlord and Lord of Dragonstone who, with his two sister-wives Visenya and Rhaenys, three great dragons and a small army, invaded and unified six of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros in the War of Conquest; only Dorne managed to successfully resist the Targaryens, using guerilla tactics to resist the dragons until voluntarily joining the Seven Kingdoms with a peaceful marriage alliance.
Afterwards, Aegon founded the city of King's Landing, began construction on the Red Keep, and forged the Iron Throne from the swords of his defeated enemies, melted with dragonfire. His descendants ruled the Seven Kingdoms for a further three centuries.
Sansa Stark is given a history lesson by Septa Mordane while visiting the throne room in the Red Keep. Aegon the Conqueror is mentioned as the king who unified the Seven Kingdoms and forged the Iron Throne.
In Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys Targaryen and Ser Jorah Mormont discuss Aegon's invasion of Westeros and how he unified six of the Seven Kingdoms (the seventh, Dorne, was not added to the realm until some time later) some three hundred years ago. Jorah points out that Aegon had no "right" to the Seven Kingdoms, and never made any legal claim for his conquest: he conquered most of Westeros because he could. Daenerys points out that he could because he had dragons. Jorah expresses doubt that Aegon had dragons, indicating the events happened so long ago it's impossible to be sure.
While at Harrenhal, Lord Tywin Lannister recounts to Arya Stark the history of the castle. King Harren the Black of the Ironborn wanted to establish a legacy by constructing Harrenhal, the biggest castle ever built on the entire continent. Harrenhal was designed to defend against an attack from the land, and as Tywin muses, "a million men could have marched against its walls, and a million men would have been repelled." However, Harren did not anticipate an attack from the Targaryen dragons, who during the War of Conquest flew right over the high walls and attacked with dragonfire. As Tywin summed it up, "Aegon Targaryen changed the rules." Harren and all of his sons were roasted alive within their own hall by Aegon's dragons, and Harrenhal was left a blasted ruin. However, Arya Stark notes that Aegon was assisted by his sisters in his conquest of Westeros rather than acting alone.
In the Great Pyramid of Meereen, Tyrion Lannister compares the dragons used by Aegon the Conqueror during his conquest of Westeros to Daenerys's dragons. He makes a point to Varys, Missandei, and Grey Worm about how Daenerys's ancestors after Aegon began locking up their dragons, leading them to shrink in size and eventually go extinct entirely. Tyrion uses this in an attempt to persuade the three to free Daenerys's dragons from their captivity, having been placed there due to Daenerys being unable to control them across Slaver's Bay. Tyrion later unchains the dragons.
While having a vision of the past, Bran Stark learns that his "half-brother" Jon Snow is actually the son of his aunt Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, Daenerys's brother, making Jon another descendant of Aegon the Conqueror. Around this time, Jon is declared the new King in the North despite his status as a bastard son (but in reality nephew) of the late Eddard Stark. Meanwhile, Daenerys sets sail for Westeros with her armada and dragons with the same intentions as Aegon had: to conquer the Seven Kingdoms.
|Jaehaerys I Targaryen|
In the booksIn the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Aegon was a child of House Targaryen, dwelling on the island of Dragonstone in the Narrow Sea. The Targaryens, a family of Valyrian origin, had been in control of Dragonstone for a century before the Doom of Valyria destroyed their homeland in a volcanic cataclysm. For another hundred years on Dragonstone, the Targaryens slowly built up their strength and raised their dragons, the last in the world. When he was of age, Aegon, his two sister-wives and his three dragons led a scant few thousand troops in invading the entire continent of Westeros. Despite being vastly outnumbered, Aegon was able to secure victory after victory using his dragons. He smashed the Gardener and Lannister armies on the Field of Fire, securing their capitulation, and convinced the Arryns and Starks to join him peacefully through negotiation. Eventually all of Westeros acknowledged him as king, save only Dorne which he decided not to conquer after encountering fierce guerrilla resistance.
After the Conquest, Aegon ruled for thirty more years, apparently wisely and well. However, upon his death the realm was plunged into a bloody war when the Faith of the Seven rejected his sons, born of incest, from following him on the throne. Eventually the uprising was put down and the Targaryen rule secured for centuries.
In The World of Ice and Fire, it is revealed that Aegon was born 27 years before his coronation as king (and 25 years before leading the invasion of Westeros, his coronation being dated from the day the High Septon anointed him in Oldtown). He was the son of Lord Aerion Targaryen and Lady Velaena Velaryon. All of the previous six generations of Targaryens born on Dragonstone were the product of incestuous marriages, but Aerion had no sisters - though by marrying a Velaryon he still ensured that his children were of pure Valyrian descent.
Aegon married both his sisters when all three were very young, but had already become dragon-riders. Aegon helped end the attempt by Volantis to conquer the other Free Cities, using his dragon to support the forces of Braavos, Tyrosh and the Westerosi Storm King in driving the Volantenes from Lys and Myr. In doing so, he confirmed that he had no interest in reforging a Valyrian empire in Essos.
Aegon began planning the invasion of Westeros long before launching the attack, spending time incognito visiting Westerosi cities and castles and gaining intelligence on the different houses, their lords and their vassals. Rumors circulate that Aegon and his sister Visenya also visited Oldtown at some point before the Conquest. He used this intelligence well in dividing the houses and winning the allegiance of some of the houses against the others. He was helped in the planning by his bastard half-brother, Orys Baratheon, his most loyal ally and vassal, his best friend and the first Hand of the King. When Argilac the Arrogant offered Aegon an alliance against Harren the Black, offering his daughter's hand in marriage to cement the deal, Aegon declined and instead offered Orys's. Argilac took that as an insult and cut off the hands of Aegon's envoy. Aegon used this as a justification for his invasion of Westeros.
Aegon I fortified his initial landing point at the northern shore of the mouth of the Blackwater River, a strategically very defensible position protected to the east and south by water, and surrounded by open plains which would expose any attacking army long before it arrived. After the conquest, Aegon ruled for some time at the crude boomtown which sprang up there, known as Aegonfort. However, it remained a ramshackle pile of wood and earth, so after some time he moved his seat back to Dragonstone, until such time as a proper new capital city could be built in the former location of Aegonfort. He had Aegonfort razed, while planning and construction of King's Landing continued. By the time Aegon I died, however, only the foundations of the city and tunnels of the future Red Keep were finished (thus apparently Aegon continued to rule from Dragonstone for the rest of his life, though he always intended to move the royal seat back to the mainland some day).
Aegon was considered an enigma even by his contemporaries. He was a very solitary man, and his bastard half-brother Orys Baratheon was said to not simply be his best friend, but his only real friend. Aegon only rode his dragon for travel or war, never pleasure, and did not ride horses in tournaments. While Aegon did weigh in on major decisions, he left most of the matters of day-to-day governance to his sisters - as well as to his later "Hand of the King" Orys. Aegon was ruthless to his enemies, but was always generous to those who surrendered. He also knew that conquering Westeros had been the easy part and that the hard part would be maintaing the realm he had built. To ensure that his dream would not die, Aegon spent most of his time traveling the various Kingdoms on royal progresses to remind lords and smallfolk who ruled them and to make his presence familiar to them. He also refrained from trying to unite the Kingdoms under the same laws, instead allowing them to retain their old laws and he would judge crimes committed in these Kingdoms according to their customs. Under the influence of Rhaenys, he also contracted several marriages between members of the Great Houses to maintain the peace between former enemies, namely a marriage between Lord Arryn and a daughter of Torrhen Stark, the new Lord of Winterfell. However, these efforts, though successful, were met with great opposition from many and Lord Stark's sons refused to attend their sister's wedding. Aegon also maintained friendly relations with the Faith of the Seven, never missing an opportunity to visit the High Septon when he visited Oldtown.
Despite a highly successful reign, Aegon did face considerable problems and none were as difficult to deal with as the First Dornish War. In 4 AC, the Targaryens decided that the time had come to finish the Conquest and they returned to conquer Dorne. However, the Dornish proved just as elusive as before and the dragons that had united six out of Seven Kingdoms proved useless. Eventually, the war took a different turn when Rhaenys, Aegon's youngest sister and his favourite wife, was killed in Dorne when her dragon Meraxes took an arrow in the eye. Aegon's fury and grief at the loss of his wife was such that he headed for Dorne himself. Accompagnied by Visenya, the last two Targaryens rained fire upon the desert strongholds to break the Dornish. The next two years were known as the Dragon's Wroth, a period when every Dornish castle felt the fury of the dragonriders. The only castle spared was Sunspear, the seat of House Martell, in hopes that the Dornish would turn against their liege lords. The strategy failed and Dorne remained unconquered. Aegon and Visenya placed bounties on the heads of the Dornish lords who retaliated by doing the same. The Conqueror was almost killed by assassins in the streets of King's Landing and was only saved by Visenya. This led to the creation of the Kingsguard, with its first members chosen by Visenya to protect her brother with their lives. When Princess Meria Martell died in 13 AC, her son, Prince Nymor, sued for peace, having grown weary of war. He sent his daughter, Deria, to King's Landing to treat with the Conqueror. The peace demanded by Dorne was a peace between two sovereign kingdoms, not between a liege and his vassal. Although Aegon heard her out (against the advice of his advisors, such as Orys and Visenya), he apparently decided to refuse the request for peace. Before he could speak, Deria mounted the Iron Throne and placed a letter from her father in his hand. What was in the letter is unknown but Aegon's hand was so clenched around it that it started to bleed. He burnt the letter and left on Balerion for Dragonstone. The next morning, he returned and signed the peace treaty proposed by the Prince of Dorne, recognizing its as a sovereign kingdom. Historians suspect that Nymor had revealed to Aegon that Rhaenys was still alive and badly injured from falling off Meraxes and that he would end her suffering if the Conqueror agreed to peace. It is the most commonly agreed upon theory.
Aegon fathered two sons with his sister-wives. His older son, Aenys, was born to Rhaenys in 7 AL, and in 12 AL Visenya bore his younger son Maegor, later known as "Maegor the Cruel". Aenys succeeded Aegon upon his death, but was a weak ruler. Many saw Aegon's death as an opportunity to throw off Targaryen rule while it was still relatively new, culminating when the Faith of the Seven called for a general insurrection against the Targaryens, due to their religious prohibition against the Targaryens' incestuous marriage customs. Aenys died after ruling for only five years, and despite having a son of his own, he was succeeded by Aegon's younger son Maegor - who brutally crushed the Faith Militant uprising, while riding his father's dragon Balerion and wielding his father's sword Blackfyre. Maegor died without issue, however, so he was succeeded by Aenys's son, Jaehaerys I.
Rulers of the Seven Kingdoms
Aegon I, the Conqueror · Aenys I · Maegor I, the Cruel · Jaehaerys I, the Conciliator · Viserys I · Aegon II · Aegon III, the Dragonbane · Daeron I, the Young Dragon · Baelor I, the Blessed · Viserys II · Aegon IV, the Unworthy · Daeron II, the Good · Aerys I · Maekar I · Aegon V, the Unlikely · Aerys II, the Mad