Queen Alysanne Targaryen is an unseen character in Game of Thrones. She is not expected to appear in the series, being long dead by the time it begins. She was the sister-wife of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, fourth king of the Targaryen Dynasty.
Alysanne's name appears in a list of dragon riders in the Season 5 Blu-ray featurette on "The Dance of Dragons". Alysanne rode the dragon Silverwing, and her husband Jaehaerys rode the dragon Vermithor.
Alysanne was the sister-wife of Jaehaerys I, the fourth king of the Targaryen dynasty, and reigned over two centuries before the War of the Five Kings. Like Jaehaerys, she was a child of the second Targaryen king, Aenys Targaryen. Their uncle Maegor the Cruel seized the Iron Throne upon their father's death, during the Faith Militant uprising.
After Maegor eventually died, Jaehaerys ascended to the throne, with Alysanne as his queen. Jaehaerys and Alysanne ruled so long that upon Jaehaerys's death, he was succeeded by their grandson, Viserys I Targaryen.
|Jaehaerys I Targaryen|
|Aemma Arryn |
|Viserys I Targaryen|
Grandson of Jaehaerys I
|Alicent Hightower |
Uncle and husband of Rhaenyra
Uncle and husband of Rhaenyra
First of Her Name"
|Aegon II Targaryen |
|Aegon III Targaryen|
|Viserys II Targaryen|
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Jaehaerys I is fondly remembered as one of the best kings the Targaryen dynasty ever produced, and his sister-wife Alysanne is similarly remembered as one of its best queens. Indeed, Alysanne was practically a co-ruler with Jaehaerys, heavily involved in governing the realm - and given that they were both children of the past king and married to each other, it was somewhat of a moot point exactly which one of them was the "official" monarch (technically Jaehaerys was).
Jaehaerys I and Alysanne were the youngest children of Aegon I's older son, Aenys I, a weakling who did not easily hold onto the throne. He died of stress at the outbreak of the Faith Militant uprising, at which his younger brother Maegor the Cruel usurped the throne ahead of Aenys's own children. Maegor killed Aenys's eldest son Aegon in battle, then forced his sister-wife Rhaena (Maegor's own half-niece) to marry him. When Maegor's mother Visenya died in 44 AC it caused enough of a distraction for Aenys's wife Alyssa Velaryon to flee their captivity on Dragonstone along with Jaehaerys and Alysanne. Aenys's second son Viserys was then tortured to death by Maegor at King's Landing in retaliation. Jaehaerys was left as Aenys's heir, and rebel lords across the realm increasingly switched loyalty to him. In the end there was no great new civil war as all of Maegor's allies totally abandoned him, and he opened his wrists on the Iron Throne rather than be taken alive.
The subsequent reign of Jaehaerys I and Alysanne lasted over 50 years and was a golden age of peace and prosperity across all of Westeros. Alysanne is popularly remembered as "Good Queen Alysanne". Among her many acts governing the kingdoms, she convinced Jaehaerys to enact several new domestic violence and rape laws. A dragon rider like her husband, Alysanne once flew to Winterfell on a royal visit - her on Silverwing, Jaehaerys I on Vermithor, along with four other dragons. On a whim she flew ahead to The Wall, and on seeing the poor state of repair that the Night's Watch had dwindled to she became a great patron of the order, paying with her own jewelry.
Jaehaerys and Alysanne ruled wisely and well for over fifty years. Jaehaerys lived so long that he actually outlived Alysanne as well as most of his children (many of whom died untimely deaths), and was thus succeeded by his grandson Viserys I - the only time in history that a king was succeeded by his grandson. Alysanne predeceased Jaehaerys by about three years, and her loss broke the old king for the few remaining years of his life, leaving him bedridden until his death.
In terms of Alysanne's personality and temperament, Alysanne was the very model of a dignified, wise, yet powerful monarch (much like her brother-husband). George R.R. Martin described her appearance (for licensed artwork) as similar to Katharine Hepburn's portrayal of Eleanor of Aquitaine in the 1968 film adaptation of The Lion in Winter.
Jaehaerys and Alysanne had thirteen children together. In order of birth, their names were Aegon, Alyssa, Aemon, Baelon, Daella, Aeryn, Vaegon, Maegelle, Valerion, Viserra, Gaemon, Saera, and Gael - but of these thirteen only nine would live to adulthood: Aegon, Aeryn, Valerion, and Gaemon all died young. Apparently, only four of them had children in turn (and two of them, Baelon and Alyssa, were married to each other).
Aemon married outside of the family, to Jocelyn Baratheon, and had a daughter whom he named Rhaenys, after his father's grandmother. Aemon died in 92 AL fighting against Myrish pirates who had seized the eastern side of Tarth. Jaehaerys ultimately chose Baelon over Rhaenys as his heir - despite the fact that an older daughter normally succeeded ahead of a younger uncle according to the normal inheritance laws in Westeros. The exact circumstances that led to such a decision are unclear but it briefly caused a major rift between Jaehaerys and Alysanne.
Baelon himself had two surviving children with his sister Alyssa, sons Viserys and Daemon. Baelon was also named Hand of the King, but later died of a burst belly in 101 AL, two years before Jaehaerys I died, leading to a Great Council to determine who the heir should be. Rhaenys again put forward her claim, along with those of her children Laenor and Laena Velaryon, but she was again rejected in favor of Jaehaerys's grandson Viserys I Targaryen. Daella married Lord Rodrik Arryn and died giving birth to a daughter, Aemma Arryn, who was the first wife of Viserys I and the mother of Rhaenyra Targaryen.
Vaegon was given to the Citadel at a young age and later became an archmaester, holding a ring, rod, and mask of yellow gold suggesting that he mastered economics. Maegelle joined the Faith and became a septa. Well-known for her compassion, she nursed children afflicted with greyscale, but she eventually became afflicted herself and died. Viserra was a high-spirited girl who as betrothed to Lord Manderly of White Harbor, but she died in a mishap when she fell off her horse while racing drunkenly through the streets of King's Landing. Saera was given to the Faith, but she had other wishes and left across the Narrow Sea and did not return from the East, greatly saddening Jaehaerys I in his old age. She later became the owner of a famous pleasure house in Volantis. Gael was a simple-minded but sweet girl who was Queen Alysanne's favorite. It was said that she died of a summer fever but the truth was that she drowned herself in the Blackwater. The reason was that she had been seduced and abandoned by a traveling singer who left her pregnant. In her grief, Alysanne would die a year later - leaving the elderly Jaehaerys an empty shell of himself for the last three years of his life.
The practical result of all this is that despite Alysanne giving birth to thirteen children by Jaehaerys, they only had three grandchildren who survived to adulthood and had children of their own: Rhaenys, Viserys I, and Daemon.