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For other characters who share the same name, see: Aegon Targaryen (disambiguation)
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"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."
Varys[src]

Aegon IV Targaryen, also called Aegon the Unworthy, was the fourth king of his name to sit on the Iron Throne and the eleventh king of the Targaryen dynasty to rule the Seven Kingdoms. He was formally styled Aegon of the House Targaryen, the Fourth of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.

Biography

Background

He succeeded his father Viserys II Targaryen and was, in time, succeeded by his sole trueborn son Daeron II. Aegon IV fathered several children, both trueborn and bastard. He was the father of Daeron and Daenerys by his sister-wife, Queen Naerys and with his cousin and mistress, Queen Daena, he fathered Daemon I Blackfyre.

On his deathbed, Aegon IV legitimized all his bastard children, leading Daemon Blackfyre to declare himself the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and igniting another war for the crown.[2][3] Daemon's descendants in House Blackfyre would continue to revolt for almost a century afterwards, and the Blackfyre Rebellion would finally end when the rogue Targaryen cadet branch was rendered extinct in the War of the Ninepenny Kings.

Season 1

Aegon IV (along with his vast progeny) is mentioned in the House Targaryen entry of the book The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms. The entry notes that he became king in his thirty-seventh year, after the death of his father.[1]

Season 4

Tyrion Lannister mentions that Aegon the Unworthy is one of the kings analyzed in the classic book, Lives of Four Kings.[4]

Family tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Famtree-AegonIII.png
Aegon III
Targaryen

Deceased
 
House-Targaryen-heraldry.jpg
Unknown
Queen
Deceased
 
 
 
 
Famtree-ViserysII.png
Viserys II
Targaryen

Deceased
 
House-Targaryen-heraldry.jpg
Visneya
Targaryen

Deceased
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
DaeronITargaryenFamilyTree.png
Daeron I
Targaryen

"Daeron the
Young Dragon"
Deceased

 
BaelorTheBlessedTargaryenFamilyTree.png
Baelor I
Targaryen

"Baelor the
Blessed"
Deceased
 
ElaenaTargaryenFamilyTree.png
Elaena
Targaryen

Deceased


 
RhaenaTargaryenFamilyTree.png
Rhaena
Targaryen

Deceased


 
DaenaTargaryenFamilyTree.png
Daena
Targaryen

"Daena the
Defiant"
Deceased
 
House-Targaryen-heraldry.jpg
Aegon IV
Targaryen

Deceased


 
House-Targaryen-heraldry.jpg
Naerys
Targaryen

Deceased


 
Dragonknightfamilytree.jpg
Aemon
Targaryen
Kingsguard-Main-Shield.PNG
"the
Dragonknight"
Deceased

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Famtree-DaemonBlackfyre.png
Daemon I
Blackfyre
House-Blackfyre-Main-Shield.PNG
Deceased




 
House-Targaryen-heraldry.jpg
3 other Great
Bastards
of Aegon
IV by different
women:
Bloodraven, Bittersteel,
and Shiera
Deceased
 
House-Targaryen-heraldry.jpg
Daeron II
Targaryen

Deceased





 
House-Targaryen-heraldry.jpg
Daenerys
Targaryen

Deceased





Quotes

"The Lives of Four Kings. Grand Maester Kaeth's history of the reigns of Daeron the Young Dragon, Baelor the Blessed, Aegon the Unworthy, and Daeron the Good. A book every king should read."
Tyrion Lannister[src]

In the books

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In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Aegon IV is remembered as one of the worst kings in the entire history of the Targaryen dynasty, which is the reason why he is popularly known as "Aegon the Unworthy." Aegon was a decadent, gluttonous, and corrupt ruler, who indulged his passions and whims at every opportunity. Being attractive in his youth, he was popular with women both highborn and lowborn. He had as many as nine mistresses and many bastards. Supposedly, he had any woman he wanted, whether they were married or not. People often joked that while the Targaryen words were "Fire and Blood," Aegon IV's motto might as well have been "Wash her and bring her to my bed." Due to his years of overindulgence, by the end of his reign, Aegon IV was extremely obese, to the point that his legs could barely support his own weight. Even so, he remained quite vain throughout his life. Moreover, he was a very petty man, needlessly causing strife at the royal court and in his own family.

Four of his bastard children were born to noblewomen, and they became known as the "Great Bastards." Chief among them was Daemon, who, upon being legitimized, created House Blackfyre. Other notable bastards were Aegor Rivers ("Bittersteel"), Brynden Rivers ("Bloodraven"), and Shiera Seastar. Aegon IV foolishly legitimized all of his bastard children upon his deathbed, which resulted in Daemon Blackfyre, rumored to be Aegon's favorite child despite being a bastard, declaring himself the rightful heir and tearing apart the Seven Kingdoms in a civil war. Ultimately, Aegon IV's corruption led to a series of Blackfyre Rebellions, which would plague Westeros for five generations.

According to author George R.R. Martin, Aegon IV is loosely the Targaryen equivalent of King Henry VIII of England. Martin's instructions for artistic depictions of Aegon IV explicitly cite Henry VIII. Both kings started out young and attractive, but by the ends of their reigns became infamously fat from overindulgence, and their numerous sexual affairs resulted in bloody succession conflicts, which were eventually resolved with the rise of good rulers (Daeron II and Elizabeth I respectively).

See also

References

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