- For other characters who share the same name, see "Daemon".
- "Aegon the Unworthy legitimized all his bastards on his deathbed. Inevitably the greatest of these, Daemon Blackfyre, declared himself the rightful heir, and ignited yet another war for the crown."
King Daemon I Blackfyre, born Daemon Waters, was a bastard son of Princess Daena Targaryen and King Aegon IV Targaryen. Legitimized by his father upon the latter's death, Daemon took the name "Blackfyre" for himself, after the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of House Targaryen, which his father also bequeathed him. Despite his bastard status Daemon believed himself the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, as his father's firstborn (and favourite) child and ignited a bloody civil war against his half-brother Daeron II Targaryen. Despite support from nearly half the realm, Daemon and his supporters were routed in the war's final, climatic battle, and Daemon himself perished, along with his two eldest sons.
Daemon Blackfyre was the legitimized bastard son of King Aegon IV Targaryen and his cousin, Daena Targaryen. He was one of the infamous Great Bastards. After his legitimization, he founded his own new noble House as a cadet branch of House Targaryen: House Blackfyre, named after the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of House Targaryen which his father gave him. He led a rebellion against his half-brother King Daeron II Targaryen, the legitimate Targaryen heir, but was defeated and killed at the climactic Battle of the Redgrass Field.
With Serena Blackfyre, he fathered the twins Aegon and Aemon Blackfyre, and Daemon II Blackfyre.
Daemon, along with his trueborn siblings and his offspring, is mentioned in the House Targaryen entry of the book The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms. The tome mentions that he rose in rebellion against his half-brother but perished from wounds sustained at the Battle of Redgrass Field.
Daemon Blackfyre's ancestors
|Aegon III Targaryen|
|Viserys II Targaryen|
|Daeron I Targaryen|
"Daeron the Young Dragon"
|Baelor I Targaryen|
"Baelor the Blessed"
"Daena the Defiant"
|Aegon IV Targaryen|
|Aemon Targaryen |
"Aemon the Dragonknight"
of Aegon IV by different women: Bloodraven, Bittersteel, and Shiera
|Daeron II Targaryen|
"Daeron the Good"
"Daenerys of Sunspear"
Daemon Blackfyre's descendants
|Daemon II Blackfyre|
"Maelys the Monstrous"
In the books
Daemon was born Daemon Waters, only taking the name Blackfyre after he had been legitimized by his father. He was named after his great-grandfather Prince Daemon Targaryen, since the latter was the wonder and terror of his day.
After the Dance of the Dragons, the civil war between Rhaenyra and Aegon II Targaryen, House Targaryen's royal succession laws were revised to put female heirs behind all possible male ones - specifically that if all of one king's sons die, the throne will pass to his younger brother before it passes to his own daughters. Under the normal succession laws of the Andals, a daughter inherits before an uncle. Both Rhaenyra and Aegon II died in the Dance, but were succeeded by Rhaenyra's son Aegon III. His two sons Daeron and Baelor became king after him but died without issue. Aegon III did have three daughters, but at this point the new succession laws came into play, so Baelor was succeeded by Aegon III's younger brother Viserys II, who in turn was succeeded by his own son Aegon IV.
Had the new succession laws not gone into effect, Aegon III's daughters would have inherited ahead of Aegon IV, instead of being skipped over for their uncle Viserys II. As it happened, the oldest of these three daughters, Daena, had an affair with Aegon IV, her own first cousin, which produced their bastard son Daemon Blackfyre.
The result is that Daemon and the rest of House Blackfyre are actually descended from older brother Aegon III, while all subsequent members of the main line of House Targaryen (i.e. Daenerys) are descended from younger brother Viserys II.
Daemon was a bastard, and though legitimized, he was simply younger than Daeron II. Therefore, part of his claim to the throne rested on the flimsy accusation that Daeron II was himself a bastard, fathered by Aegon IV's younger brother Aemon the Dragonknight. However, others pointed out that Daemon's mother Daena would have been ahead of Daeron II's grandfather Viserys II, had the succession laws not been arbitrarily changed.
Daemon was a great warrior, and one of the most skilled swordsmen of his day. At 17 years old, he participated in the tourney for the wedding of Princess Daenerys Targaryen to Prince Maron Martell of Dorne - Prince Baelor, Daeron the Good's eldest son, unhorsed him in the final tilt. One of the reasons that people started to favour him over Daeron was the fact that Daemon looked every inch a king, was strong and charismatic and there were rampant rumours that Daeron was actually a bastard sired by Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. People already were sceptical of Daeron, who was not a martial man and more scholarly. In fairness, it was a rather long time before Daemon rebelled, and it was rumoured that his half-brother Aegor Rivers had been the man to convince him to do so, along with the master-at-arms Ser Quentyn Ball. It slowly became clear that Daemon was already resentful of his status, specifically his bastardy and what it represented.
Ultimately, Daemon Blackfyre proclaimed himself king, plunging the Seven Kingdoms into the Blackfyre Rebellion. It officially started when Daeron heard of Daemon's intent to go to war with him, and sent his Kingsguard after him. Daemon escaped thanks to the intervention of Ser Quentyn Ball, and those who had supported Daemon used the attempted arrest as cause to start the war, citing that King Daeron had been unprovoked in his actions. During the war, Daemon was joined by some of the greatest knights in the realm, but some houses were divided in their support of either the black dragon or red.
At the climactic Battle of Redgrass Field, Daemon fought 'like the Warrior himself' with Blackfyre in hand, and fought an epic duel with Ser Gwayne Corbray of the Kingsguard for an hour, before finally wounding him. Daemon could arguably have won the battle if he'd moved on from Gwayne, but instead he protected his opponent and paid for it with his life - Brynden Rivers and his company of longbowman, the Raven's Teeth, took the Weeping Ridge, and rained arrows down onto Daemon Blackfyre from 300 yards away, killing Daemon and his twin sons. Brynden was cursed as a "kinslayer" for this, despite there being no way of knowing whose arrow had struck the fatal blow itself (though either way, it was a company of archers he commanded). Years later, however, Brynden personally beheaded Daemon's younger son Aenys Blackfyre (his own half-nephew) while under a flag of truce, making himself both certainly a kinslayer and an oathbreaker - for which he was exiled to the Night's Watch.
Daemon's death on the Redgrass Field resulted in the end of what was probably the greatest of the Blackfyre Rebellions, and King Daeron proved uncharacteristically ruthless in his punishment of those who supported the Black Dragon, taking several hostages, lands and castles from the rebel lords. Despite this, several lords, including Ser Eustace Osgrey, remembered Daemon fondly, even though supporting him cost the knight very dearly.