Helaena Targaryen was the daughter of Viserys I Targaryen and his second wife Alicent Hightower, and the sister of the future Aegon II Targaryen and Aemond Targaryen. She was also the half-sister of Rhaenyra Targaryen from her father's first marriage to Aemma Arryn. At some point, she became the wife of her eldest brother (which was common for the Targaryens in order to keep bloodlines "pure"). When her father was on his deathbed, he announced that his eldest child Rhaenyra would be Queen. However, Alicent firmly disagreed and proclaimed Aegon as King. This therefore lead to Helaena becoming Queen Consort of the Seven Kingdoms. This later lead to a rebellion between her half-sister and her eldest brother/husband that would be known as the Dance of the Dragons, in which Aegon would set up loyalists to the crown known as the Greens, whilst Rhaenyra set up a rebellious faction known as the Blacks. She gave birth to three of Aegon's children Jaehaerys, Jaehaera and Maelor. During the rebellion, Daemon Targaryen later hired two murderers, known as Blood and Cheese to avenge the death of his and Rhaenyra's eldest son. One was a former Goldcloak and the other was a rat catcher from Flee Bottom who knew every part of Maegor's holdfast. After breaking into the Red Keep they demanded that Helaena choose which of her sons she would rather have dead, at the very minute she was putting her sons and daughter to bed. Whilst her sons were at knife-point, Helaena begged that they killed her instead, but Blood and Cheese refused. Faced with this ultimatum, Helaena named her youngest son Maelor as the victim of the assassins. Some believed that this was because he was too young to understand, but others believed that is was due to Jaehaerys being the heir to Aegon's throne. Cheese then told Maelor that he was unwanted by his mother. However, Blood then struck off the head of Jaehaerys with a single blow. By the time that the guards came to the bedroom, they found Helaena screaming, driven mad by grief, still clasping her child's corpse. This therefore made the war take a drastic turn, making it become an inhalation of bloodshed on Aegon's part. When Rhaenyra came to King's Landing on the back of her dragon, the Small Council surrendered Alicent and Helaena. After Rhaenyra finally took the throne from Aegon, resulting in his disappearance of him, Helaena flung her from the Red Keep, and was impaled on iron spikes that lined the moat. Her brother/husband would later regain his kingship, but her nephew Aegon would later become King, due to the deaths of all her children.
|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|
- "The mad former queen, Helaena flung herself from a balcony to be impaled upon the iron spikes lining the moat of Maegor's Holdfast"
- ―Viserys Targaryen on Helaena's demise.
In the Books
In 109 AC, Helaena was born to King Viserys I Targaryen and his second wife, Queen Alicent Hightower. She had an older half-sister, Rhaenyra, and an older brother, Aegon, and would have two younger brothers, Aemond and Daeron.
By the age of twelve, Helaena had become a dragonrider, and rode the dragon Dreamfyre. In 122 AC, at the age of thirteen, Helaena was married to her older brother Aegon, following the ancient tradition of House Targaryen. Barely a year after her wedding, Helaena gave birth to twins: Jaehaerys and Jaehaera.
On the first day of 127 AC, Helaena's father, King Viserys I, held a feast to celebrate the recovery of his health. According to the court fool Mushroom, after the king had left the feast, Helaena's nephew, Prince Jacaerys Velaryon, asked her for a dance, which her husband and brother, Aegon, took offense to. Later that same year, Helaena gave birth to a third child, a boy named Maelor.
On the third day of the third month of 129 AC, Helaena brought her three children to her father's chambers, where the king, the night before his death, entertained her children with stories about King Jaehaerys I Targaryen.
The Dance of the Dragons
With the death of King Viserys I Targaryen, a war for succession began. Helaena was informed of her father's passing a day after his death was discovered. When the decision was made to crown her husband, Prince Aegon, instead of Viserys's appointed heir, Princess Rhaenyra, Helaena became a Queen. On the day of the coronation, it was Helaena's mother Alicent who placed the crown upon Helaena's head.
Unwilling to accept Aegon as her King, Helaena's half-sister Rhaenyra was crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms on Dragonstone. While she declared Otto Hightower, Helaena's grandfather, and Dowager Queen Alicent to be traitors, Rhaenyra expressed willingness to forgive Helaena and her siblings, as long as they came to Dragonstone and swore fealthy to her.
When Grand Maester Orwyle suggested traveling to Dragonstone to make Rhaenyra give up her claim, Helaena spoke in favor of his plan, together with her mother, after which King Aegon II Targaryen reluctantly agreed to send the Grand Maester.
Helaena and her three young children, Jaehaera (left), Maelor(middle) and Jaehaerys (right) are surprised by Cheese and Blood.
Helaena was accustomed to bring her children by her mother's chambers in the Tower of the Hand every night before they were put to bed. The two men Prince Daemon Targaryen, Rhaenyra's husband, had hired to murder one of Helaena's sons, were aware of this fact. Thus these two men, known as Blood and Cheese, hid in Alicent's chambers, bound and gagged Alicent, and murdered her bedmaid. There, they awaited Helaena's arrival. They took Helaena and her children hostage, and forced Helaena to choose which one of her sons would die. Helaena offered herself, but was refused. Threatening to have Blood rape Jaehaera, and to kill all three of her children should she refuse, the two men forced Helaena to make a decision. In the end, Helaena reluctantly named her youngest child, Maelor, who was deemed to be to young to understand what was happening. In response, the two men killed Prince Jaehaerys, and fled with his head. Helaena became depressed and slowly sank into madness after Jaehaerys's death, and refused to eat, bathe, or leave her chambers. Nor would she look at her younger son, Maelor, anymore, knowing that she had chosen him to die.
Aegon and Helaena slept apart from one another since then, and after Aegon was severily injured at theBattle at Rook's Rest, Helaena did not even make an attempt to visit him. She had become unreliable as a dragonrider, uncapable to be used in battle. When King's Landing fell to Rhaenyra, Helaena was taken captive.
On the twenty-second day of the fifth moon of 130 AC Helaena, at the age of twenty-one, jumped from her window in Maegor's Holdfast at sunset. She died on the spikes below, with her throat impaled. While some called it suicide, by nightfall that same day rumors were already being told in King's Landing that she had been murdered by Luthor Largent, at the behest of Queen Rhaenyra. That same night, King's Landing rose in a riot, with men and women shouting for justice for Helaena and her dead sons.