- "Baelor the Blessed was holy, and pious. He built this Sept. He also named a six year-old boy High Septon because he thought the boy could work miracles. He ended up fasting himself into an early grave because food was of this world, and this world is sinful."
- ―Tywin Lannister
King Baelor I Targaryen, stylized as Baelor of the House Targaryen, the First of His Name, called Baelor the Blessed and Beloved Baelor, was the ninth King in the Targaryen dynasty, ascending the throne after the death of his elder brother Daeron I.
Baelor was the ninth King in the Targaryen dynasty, ascending the throne after the death of his elder brother Daeron I. He had the Great Sept of Baelor, which became the center of the Faith of the Seven, built during his reign in the city of King's Landing. A large statue of him was later erected in front of the Great Sept.
Though famed for his holiness and piety, he was also a religious zealot. Among Baelor's follies, he named a six-year-old boy as High Septon because he was convinced the child could work miracles after he talked to a dove. He also gave the title to a simple stonemason because he believed he was The Smith reincarnated. Baelor also saved his cousin Aemon Targaryen from a snake pit, thinking that the vipers would not harm a man who was so devoted to the Faith. However, he was bitten twelve times and was forced to lay in bed for six months. He starved himself into an early grave with his frequent religious fasting, believing that the Known world was sinful and food was from the Known world.
When Eddard Stark is dragged out of the dungeons to make a forced (and false) confession of treason on the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor, he spots his daughter Arya (who escaped capture by the Lannisters) hiding in the crowd near a statue of King Baelor. He also sees the loyal Night's Watch recruiter Yoren in the crowd, and as the guards lead him past he utters one quick word to him: "Baelor". This directs Yoren's attention to the statue, and notices Arya.
After Eddard makes his false confession, Grand Maester Pycelle pontificates to the crowd that Baelor taught the realm mercy, which is why Lord Stark's life will be spared and he will be exiled to the Wall. King Joffrey, however, in a display of petty cruelty says that mercy is for women, and demands that Eddard be executed on the spot. Ser Ilyn then beheads Lord Stark. Thanks to Eddard's warning, however, Yoren is able to drag the terrified Arya away and successfully assists her in escaping from the city.
Tywin Lannister recounts Baelor the Blessed's follies, including naming a six-year-old boy as High Septon, while conversing with his grandson, Tommen Baratheon, about the necessary qualities required in a good king.
While meeting at a chapel deep below the Great Sept of Baelor, the High Sparrow tells Queen Cersei that Baelor built his Great Sept atop the more humble sept. He praises the sept's builders, who didn't leave their names or any sign of their identities, for not inflicting their vanity on those who came after them, unlike Baelor with his "gilded monstrosity".
Just after the trial of Ser Loras Tyrell, the Great Sept of Baelor is destroyed with wildfire in a plot orchestrated by Cersei Lannister so that she could evade her own trial, which was scheduled to take place just after Loras's, and destroy her enemies.
|Aegon III Targaryen|
|Viserys II Targaryen|
|Daeron I Targaryen|
"Daeron the Young Dragon"
"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"
In the books
In A Song of Ice and Fire, Baelor is the second son of Aegon III, the Dragonbane, and ruled after the death of his brother Daeron I Targaryen, the Young Dragon. He wished to become a septon, but his father refused, instead insisting that he marry his sister Daena in the traditional Targaryen manner. Baelor obeyed, but extremely reluctantly, and refused to consummate the marriage.
Upon his brother King Daeron I's death, Baelor is said to have begun his reign by walking the Boneway barefoot to make peace with Dorne. It is also said that he saved his cousin Aemon the Dragonknight from a snake pit, where he was bitten many times by the vipers whose venom could not kill him because of his faith in the Seven; this tale may simply be a metaphorical version of his visit to Dorne, referring to Dorne itself as a "snake pit," and the Dornish, "vipers." Whatever the truth, Baelor returned home having negotiated the marriage of his nephew Daeron to Myriah Martell as a means of making peace with Dorne after Daeron I's failed conquest. Years after Baelor died, when Daeron was crowned as King Daeron II, he negotiated the marriage of his much younger sister Daenerys to Maron Martell, Myriah's brother, thereby uniting the realms.
Baelor apparently suffered from the Targaryen family's tendency towards insanity, though he exhibited it much differently than others. Instead of being violent or paranoid, Baelor was obsessed with religion and pacifism, to the point of absurdity. Baelor earned the contempt of his nobles by forcing Lord Belgrave to wash the feet of a leper. He tried to replace all the ravens that delivered messages with doves, wore a crown made only of flowers, and once banished all prostitutes from King's Landing. Baelor also confined his sisters Daena, Rhaena, and Elaena in the Maidenvault so they would not tempt him with carnal thoughts.
He also attempted to birth new dragons by praying over the dragon eggs, but his prayers went unanswered. Despite his zealous support of the Faith of the Seven, Baelor decided not to re-arm its old military orders, the Faith Militant, as Baelor was a man of peace who believed the only weapon the faithful should have is prayer.
During his reign he had a stonemason named as the High Septon, a man that could carve stonework so beautifully that Baelor believed him to be The Smith in human form. While a fantastic stonecarver, the new High Septon could not read, write, or recite any prayers. Rumor spread that Baelor's Hand, his uncle Viserys, had this High Septon poisoned to end the embarrassment to the realm. Baelor then raised a boy of eight years to High Septon, whom he claimed worked miracles, although the boy could not save the king's life on his deathbed. History says Baelor starved himself to death by prolonged fasting to cleanse himself of lust, but some believe he was poisoned by his Hand and uncle, Viserys (some who believe this have attempted to claim Viserys acted for the good of the realm, to stop Baelor, who had taken it into his head that the Seven wanted him to convert all of Westeros to their worship, from starting a war with the North and the Iron Islands). Baelor never consummated his marriage and therefore died childless, and was succeeded by his uncle.
The TV series made a slight change by stating that the boy whom Baelor named as High Septon was six years old, instead of eight years old as in the books.
Baelor was extremely popular with the smallfolk, due to his fanatical devotion to the religious virtues of charity. In later generations he became remembered as "Baelor the Blessed" and revered as a saintly figure. Some educated members of the nobility, however (such as Tywin) think of him as a befuddled and overzealous fool who had a tenuous grip on reality.
Aegon I, the Conqueror · Aenys I · Maegor I, the Cruel · Jaehaerys I, the Conciliator · Viserys I · Aegon II · Aegon III, the Dragonbane · Daeron I, the Young Dragon · Baelor I, the Blessed · Viserys II · Aegon IV, the Unworthy · Daeron II, the Good · Aerys I · Maekar I · Aegon V, the Unlikely · Aerys II, the Mad King