Stannis Baratheon: Nobody knows why the Targaryens first came to the island of Dragonstone. Old Valyria was at the height of its power and the center of the civilized world, which ended at the Narrow Sea. Westeros was a filthy backwater with seven kings squabbling over borders and minor glories. So much for progress.
The island itself was and is nothing! It had no gold or gems to lure Valyrian nobility. All it has is rock. Mostly a shiny black stone too brittle for war and too sharp for building. The Targaryens called it "Dragonglass". I call it useless!
But the Targaryens managed to build a castle here. Simpletons claim that they used ancient Valyrian sorcery, forgetting that the Targaryens brought a small army with them from Essos. There is no magic in strong backs, though admittedly, the castle is unlike any in Westeros, foreign and... strange.
If the Targaryens ever regretted their barren outpost and longed for the comforts of home, the Doom made their folly permanent. Valyria collapsed into the waves and was no more. To look east was to see the ruin of their homeland, the greatest civilization before or since; but to look west, as Aegon realized, was to see a fertile land, ripe for conquest. Perhaps a new Valyria.
Though good for little else, Dragonstone proved the perfect staging point for Aegon's invasion of Westeros. The Blackwater Bay granted easy access to the continent. The lands there were disputed by three kingdoms: The Reach, the Iron Islands, and the Stormlands. But their capitals were far enough away that none of them could mount a force before Aegon got a foothold. Even if their kings had been able to stop bickering over whose problem it was.
Then it was too late, Aegon had chosen his first camp well. With the bay to the east, the river to the south and open fields to the north and west, his army was impossible to take by surprise. A perfect site for an invasion and, one day, his capital city: King's Landing.
The Doom had taught the Targaryens the prudence of refuge. After the conquest, Dragonstone became the seat of the crown prince and heir to the Iron Throne. It would serve them well - and me ill - three hundred years later, after my brother - Robert Baratheon - rebelled against the Iron Throne and the Lannisters slaughtered the Mad King Aerys and his royal family. Robert dispatched me to... deal with the last surviving Targaryen children. But before I arrived, a loyal knight had smuggled them across the Narrow Sea to safety.
Hatred for the Targaryens blinded Robert. Unjustly, I was blamed, and stripped of our family's castle of Storm's End, and given Dragonstone in its stead. Over the years, whenever I demanded my rights restored, Robert would remind me of the island's royal pedigree and pretend he was doing me honor. As if I were one of his tavern girls to be so easily deceived and dismissed. .
But Robert is dead and I, Stannis Baratheon, am the rightful King of Westeros. Let the usurpers and traitors sit on the Iron Throne. From Dragonstone, I will be the dagger at their throat.
- King Aegon I Targaryen, the "Conquerer"
- Queen Visenya Targaryen
- Queen Rhaenys Targaryen
- King Robert Baratheon (mentioned)
- King Aerys II Targaryen, the "Mad King" (mentioned)
- Lord Stannis Baratheon
- Prince Viserys Targaryen
- Princess Daenerys Targaryen (mentioned)
- Ser Willem Darry (indirectly mentioned)
- Dragonstone (island)
- Dragonstone (castle)
- Old Valyria
- Blackwater Bay
- The Reach (mentioned)
- The Iron Islands (mentioned)
- The Stormlands (mentioned)
- King's Landing (mentioned)
- Storm's End (mentioned)