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Wiki of Westeros
Wiki of Westeros
This page is about the civil war. For other uses, see: The Dance of Dragons (disambiguation)

"There is no war so hateful to the gods as a war between kin, and no war so bloody as a war between dragons."
―Rhaenys Targaryen[src]

The Dance of the Dragons,[1] or simply the Dance of Dragons,[2] is a royal war of succession and civil war in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros fought between two rival factions of House Targaryen, the Blacks and the Greens. The war emerged as the culmination of a long-brewing succession crisis involving the two eldest children of the late Viserys I Targaryen: Rhaenyra, his eldest daughter and named heir, and Aegon II, his eldest son and heir based on traditional Andal succession law. Both claimants and their allies asserted they were the rightful successor to Viserys on the Iron Throne. Upon his death in 132 AC, the Blacks and Greens would crown their respective claimant and mobilize their forces for war. It is the first full-scale civil war in the history of the Seven Kingdoms.



A Princess of Dragonstone

"Here is the hard truth, which no one else has the heart to tell you. Men would sooner put the realm to the torch than see a women ascend the Iron Throne."
―Rhaenys Targaryen to Rhaenyra Targaryen on the prospect of her becoming Queen[src]

In 112 AC, Queen Aemma Arryn tragically died during the birth of Prince Baelon Targaryen after Viserys reluctantly ordered the child's delivery via cesarean section. Baelon would ultimately die himself shortly after, leaving the King's brother, Prince Daemon Targaryen once again as the heir presumptive. After Daemon insulted the memory of the late prince, Viserys denied the Iron Throne from his rogue brother by controversially designating Princess Rhaenyra, his only surviving child by Aemma, as his heir.[3] In the months following the Queen's death, the Velaryons and the Hightowers both sought Viserys's hand in marriage. Ultimately, Viserys chose to marry Alicent Hightower, daughter of his Hand, Ser Otto Hightower over Lord Corlys Velaryon's daughter, Laena Velaryon.[4] Together, they had four children, the eldest of which was Prince Aegon.[5]

The Seven Kingdoms had never had a ruling queen before; Viserys himself was chosen as the heir to the throne over the elder Princess Rhaenys Targaryen at the Great Council at Harrenhal in 101 AC, and many were troubled by the thought of Rhaenyra, a woman, ascending the throne.[3] The traditional inheritance laws of the Andals dictated that a younger son was ahead of an elder daughter in matters of succession, but the Targaryens had never formalized royal inheritance laws for their new realm after Aegon's Conquest 130 years prior. Aenys I had inherited the throne on account of being the eldest of two sons, but both Maegor I and Jaehaerys I took the throne by force,[6] while Viserys I had been elected ahead of the most senior heir, Rhaenys.[3] Thus, all but one of Aegon the Conqueror's successors had passed over what the Westerosi would consider to be the senior line, the most recent of which ostensibly established a precedent that a woman could not inherit the Iron Throne.[4]

The Blacks and the Greens

Larys: "The beacon on the Hightower, do you know what color it glows when Oldtown calls its banners to war?"
Harwin: "Green."
— Larys and Harwin Strong[src]
TLOTT Criston, Aegon, Aemond, Helaena, Alicent & Otto

The Greens rallied behind, Aegon, Viserys's eldest son, basing his claim on the widely-practiced precedent of male-preference primogeniture.

Upon Rhaenyra's proclamation as Princess of Dragonstone, Viserys extracted oaths of fealty to Rhaenyra from the lords of the realm.[3] However, after the birth of Aegon in 113 AC, many lords came to assume that he would succeed Viserys on the throne instead of Rhaenyra, as he was the king's firstborn son, a sentiment Otto would foster onto his daughter Alicent.[7] In the royal court at King's Landing, tensions gradually rose between those who supported Viserys's and Rhaenyra's claim, and those who supported the Hightowers' claim for Aegon. These tensions not only split the court but also the royal family, as Rhaenyra and Alicent's deteriorating relationship and growing animosity was passed down to their children. Their hostility was heightened by the belief that Rhaenyra's children by her husband Ser Laenor Velaryon were, in fact, bastards born out of wedlock with Ser Harwin Strong. This conflict ultimately led to the rise of two rival politcal factions: those who supported the Hightowers came to be known as the Greens,[8] while Rhaenyra's own followers came to be known as the Blacks.[9]

TLOTT Daemon Jace Rhaenyra Luke and Rhaena Still

The Blacks rallied behind Rhaenyra, Viserys's firstborn child, and her claim based on Viserys's naming her his heir

The Blacks and Greens would compete for influence in Viserys's court for several years, amidst escalating tensions between the main branches of the royal family over the legitimacy of Rhaenyra's children.[10] In one instance, a fight broke out between Prince Aemond and several of Rhaenyra and Daemon's children that culminated in Prince Lucerys maiming Aemond's eye in the backdrop of Laena's funeral. Dissatisfaction with how Viserys handled the situation led Alicent to openly confront Rhaenyra with the King's dagger, resulting in the princess's arm being slashed and their relationship all but shattered. Tensions were further inflamed when Rhaenyra remarried to her uncle Daemon shortly after Laenor's death, as part of an effort to strengthen her claim to the throne.[11]

When Rhaenyra departed with her family from King's Landing to her seat in Dragonstone in 126 AC, the Greens were largely left unopposed to expand their influence on the King and his court.[10] This was further cemented once Otto was reappointed as Viserys's Hand[8], who subsequently began secretly conspiring with his allies on the Small Council to supplant Rhaenyra with Aegon in the line of succession once Viserys died.[12] As the King's health worsened, Otto began amassing greater power alongside Alicent. This culminated in the two effectively heading a regency once Viserys's illness left him bedridden and treatment with milk of the poppy keeping him in a constant state of confusion. In their role as Hand and Queen respectively, the Greens effectively ruled and managed the realm in Viserys's stead, to the consternation of Rhaenyra and the Blacks.[11]

The principal Black and Green members of the royal family were briefly reconciled by a dying King Viserys during a family dinner in 132 AC. Viserys, however, would unintentionally undo his own efforts that same evening when he deliriously began telling Alicent of Aegon the Conqueror's dream, believing he was talking to Rhaenyra. Confused, Alicent misinterpreted Viserys's dying rambles as him wishing for his son Aegon to succeed him. Alicent ultimately left Viserys for the night with this misconception, with the King passing away from his long-term illness shortly after.[11]

Succession crisis

The Green coup

Main page: Coup in King's Landing
Otto: "With his last breath, he impressed upon the Queen his final wish that is son, Aegon, should succeed him as Lord of the Seven Kingdoms."
Tyland: "Then we may proceed now with the full assurance of his blessing on our long lay plans."
— Otto Hightower and Tyland Lannister initiating the coup[src]
TGC Aegon II Coronation Still

The Greens crown Prince Aegon as Aegon II, plunging the realm into a succesion crisis.

The morning after Viserys died, Otto assembled the late King's Small Council and informed them of his passing.[11] Shortly after, the Green Council was formed from it, with Otto and his allies setting in motion their plan to take power and supplant Rhaenyra with Aegon. To delay the princess from learning of Viserys's death and in control of the Kingsguard and City Watch, Otto had several lords and ladies of the royal court bend the knee to Aegon, while imprisoning and executing any who refused. This included Princess Rhaenys, who was placed under house arrest in her apartment in the Red Keep. To further consolidate power and legitimize Aegon's succession to the masses, the Greens swiftly moved to have the prince crowned before a large crowd in the Dragonpit as King Aegon II.[12]

Despite the Greens concerted efforts, news of the king's death ultimately failed to be contain when Rhaenys was freed from her chambers by Ser Erryk Cargyll. Both subsequently fled King's Landing for Dragonstone during Aegon's coronation. Upon arrival, Rhaenys immediately informed Rhaenyra and Daemon of Viserys's death and the Greens' coronation of Aegon, urging the two to flee with their families from Dragonstone. In response, the Black Council was formed, with Daemon mobilizing the Black-allied lords and the garrison of Dragonstone to begin fortifying the island as Rhaenyra entered into labor. Following the funeral of her sixth child, Rhaenyra was crowned Queen by Daemon in front of her family and followers.[12]

War of quills and ravens

"We've wasted precious days in this war of quills and ravens. Words are wind."
―Aemond Targaryen[src]

In the days following Rhaenyra and Aegon's coronation, the succession crisis deepened as several minor houses declared their support for either the Blacks or Greens, although no actual fighting had yet broken out. While the Greens held a numerical advantage in manpower, the Black held a numerical advantage in the number of dragons under their control. As such, both factions began making plans to rally the support of the Great Houses.[12][13] The Greens anticipated the backing of Houses Lannister, Tully, and Tyrell,[12] while the Blacks expected the support of Houses Stark and Arryn. Daemon plotted to treat with Lord Grover Tully to secure the Riverlands for their cause, while both councils also dispatched envoys to gain the backing of House Baratheon.[13]

In the interim, a final effort to avoid war between the Blacks and Greens occurred on Dragonstone, when a Green negotiation party headed by Otto arrived on the island. The party was met by Rhaenyra and Daemon, where Otto presented peace terms offered by Aegon II at the behest of the Dowager Queen: Rhaenyra's supporters would be pardoned and her children's rights to Dragonstone and Driftmark secured in exchange for abandoning her claim to the Iron Throne and swearing allegiance to Aegon II. Rhaenyra and Daemon denounced Otto and the peace terms, labeling Aegon II an usurper and the Greens traitors. Before a battle could break out, however, Rhaenyra agreed to consider the terms after Otto appealed to Rhaenyra's past friendship to Alicent and her desire for peace.[13] A day later, Lord Corlys Velaryon and his house declared their allegiance to Rhaenyra. With the backing of the Velaryon fleet and their control of the Stepstones, the Blacks resolved to reject the Greens terms. Instead, at Corlys' suggestion, the Velaryon fleet will blockade King's Landing while more allies are rallied to prepare for a siege of the capital. To that end, Rhaenyra's son Prince Jacaerys was sent north on his dragon Vermax to secure the Eyrie and Winterfell, while Lucerys traveled south to Storm's End on his dragon, Arrax.[13]

Vhagar kills Arrax

Lucerys and Arrax’s death at the hands of Vhagar ended the possibility of a peaceful reconciliation between the Blacks and Greens.

At Storm's End, Lucerys found Prince Aemond already there ahead of him, having formed a marriage pact with Lord Borros Baratheon. Lacking a marriage proposal of his own and insulted at Rhaenyra's mere reminder for Borros to follow his father's oath to her, Borros dismissed Lucerys from Storm's End, affirming House Baratheon's alignment with the Greens. As the young prince made his leave, Lucerys was soon after accosted by Aemond, demanding Lucerys to cut out one of his eyes in revenge for his own. Lucerys refused and proceeded to flee Storm's End on Arrax amidst a violent storm, with Aemond giving chase atop his dragon Vhagar. A fight ensued above Shipbreaker Bay between the two princes' dragons, resulting in the deaths of both Lucerys and Arrax, much to Aemond's dismay. When news of Lucerys's death reached Dragonstone, Rhaenyra was consumed by rage and grief, all but ensuring open war between the Blacks and Greens.[13]

War of fire and blood

A son for a son

In the days following Lucerys's death, the realm continued to enjoy a tense and tenous peace as both the Blacks and Greens furthered their efforts of amassing support in preparation for the now inevitable conflict, all the while continuing to avoid open hostilities. Whilst awaiting responses of allegiance from Houses Baratheon, Stark, and Arryn, the Greens began looking towards securing the vital Riverlands, with both Houses Lannister and Hightower mobilizing their banners in the Westerlands and Reach respectively for a push towards the region in the coming weeks.[14] Meanwhile, the Blacks' blockade of the Gullet was now firmly in place, shutting down all seaborne trade into and out of King's Landing and placing the city under increasing strain, forcing the Greens to consider either expand their own naval forces or form an alliance with the Ironborn (via offering Lord Dalton Greyjoy the post of Master of Ships) to break the blockade. The Greens would be dealt a diplomatic blow, however, when both the North and the Vale sided with the Blacks. Due to the efforts of Prince Jacaerys, Lord Cregan Stark agreed to supply 2,000 Northern men, all experienced and battle-ready, for Rhaenyra's cause, while Lady Jeyne Arryn hinged the support of her house on the agreement that the Blacks supplied a dragon to protect the Vale from Green reprisals.[14]

Still grieving over her late son, Rhaenyra was largely unresponsive to the positive developments for her cause. After prowling for days along the coasts of the Stormlands for signs of Lucerys atop Syrax, she would return to Dragonstone and her council with the singular demand of wanting her half-brother, Aemond Targaryen.[14] Daemon, already possessing a strong desire of vengeance against his nephew, decides to honor the Queen's wish. Initially attempting to enlist Rhaenys and Meleys to lead an assault on Vhagar to kill her and Aemond, after he is rebuffed, Daemon instead clandestinely heads to King's Landing on his own. There, he enlists a loyal City Watch guard of his during his time as Lord Commander and a rat-catcher with extensive knowledge of the Red Keep's secret tunnels for a singular mission: assassinate Aemond Targaryen. The two proceed to infiltrate the castle under the cover of performing rat-catching duties, eventually making their way to the royal apartments. Unable to locate Aemond, the duo settled on their secondary objective after stumbling upon Queen Helaena: Prince Jaehaerys. Held at knifepoint, Helaena attempted to bribe the duo into sparing her son, but when this failed, she is ultimately forced to point out which of her children with her is Jaehaerys. Helaena would flee her chambers to safety with Princess Jaehaera as the assassins murdered and beheaded Jaehaerys in his bed.[14]

Moves and countermoves

Prince Jaehaerys's sudden death sent shockwaves amongst the Greens, with the Green Council, upon receiving the horrible news, immediately ordering the Red Keep and the city to be placed under lockdown. The Kingsguard and City Watch were tasked with a sweeping search of both the castle and the city, hoping to locate the assassins. Despite these measures, Blood and Cheese managed to escape, with Cheese returning to the city incognito. Blood, on the other hand, attempted to flee King's Landing with the Prince's head in a sack, in an effort to claim his reward from Daemon and escape the impending justice for his crime.[15]

As the Green Council deliberated over the young Prince's death, Aegon made it clear to the council that Rhaenyra was to blame and intended to declare war on the Blacks immediately. Lord Larys Strong then arrived to inform the council that Blood had been detained at one of the gates of King's Landing in possession of Jaehaerys's head. Aegon, furious over his son's death, declared his intent to execute Blood personally, but Lord Jasper Wylde urged restraint, suggesting to interrogate Blood first for information. Ser Otto added that the Greens could turn the terrible incident to their advantage by manipulating public sentiment. He proposed having ravens sent out blaming Rhaenyra and holding a public funeral for Jaehaerys to earn the sympathy of the smallfolk in King's Landing. Aegon initially refused, disgusted at the thought of turning his son's death into a spectacle, but Alicent managed to convince Aegon to allow it. In his place, Alicent and Helaena would ride behind the funeral procession as it made its way to the Dragonpit.[15]

As news of Jaehaerys's death spread throughout the realm, the Blacks were left flat-footed once it reached Dragonstone, and that they, specifically Rhaenyra, were being blamed for it. Rhaenyra was shocked at the allegations, ordering ravens of their own to be sent denying her involvement. Despite this, Rhaenyra's advisor on her small council made it clear that the incident heavily damaged the Black's reputation and position, and it would not be easy to recover. Rhaenyra would confront Daemon over his involvement, to which he freely admitted he was responsible. The two engaged in a heated argument, with Rhaenyra questioning Daemon's loyalty to her and her resulting lack of trust in him now. Meanwhile, Jaehaerys's funeral successfully earned the sympathy of King's Landing's populace as Otto intended, with the Greens ensuring the smallfolk were made aware that Rhaenyra was responsible for the Prince's death. Later on, unbeknownst to the Green Council, Criston ordered Ser Arryk Cargyll to infiltrate Dragonstone, impersonating his brother, Erryk, with the objective of assassinating Rhaenyra.[15]

After Larys interrogated Blood and the revelation that his accomplice was a ratcatcher, Aegon ordered all ratcatchers in the Red Keep's employ to be hanged and publicly displayed throughout King's Landing, Cheese amongst them. Otto lambasts Aegon for his rash actions, explaining that their hard-earned sympathy from Jaehaerys's funeral was all but erased, replaced by the scorn and hatred of the ratcatcher's families. Aegon insists he wants blood instead of ink, to which Otto insults Aegon for lacking Visery's virtues and finishes by saying his father never wanted him to be king. Aegon promptly dismisses Otto as his hand for this and appoints Criston as his replacement. Meanwhile, on Dragonstone, Arryk successfully infiltrates the Black stronghold as his brother and reaches Rhaenyra's chambers. Before he can harm Rhaenyra, however, Erryk enters the room, and the two engage in a ferocious battle that ended in both brothers' deaths.[15]

Opening engagements

Battle of the Burning Mill

The Burning Mill was the first battle between houses supporting the Blacks and the Greens.

"Harrenhal is a useful morass. It will keep Daemon well-occupied while we strengthen our host and weaken Rhaenyra's support on the mainland. We will deal with it in the Riverlands in time. But right now, Rook's Rest is an easy target."
―Aemond Targaryen explaining his strategy to the Green Council[src]

Jaehaerys's death accelerated the polarization the Seven Kingdoms faced between the two factions, increasing tensions amongst rival houses. Among these was the Green-aligned Brackens and Black-aligned Blackwoods, whose centuries long-feud erupted into open-battle over a border dispute near what was now known as the Burning Mill. During a Green Council meeting, Aegon was quick to declare this a victory when it was revealed the Brackens had struck first and had slain Lord Samwell Blackwood. However, the heavy losses sustained on both sides cast doubt on this position. With a Hightower army marching north still months away and the Lannisters still raising an army in the Westerlands, Criston proposed that he raise an army in King's Landing and march on the Riverlands immediately, with the goal of subduing Black-aligned houses in the Crownlands to grow an army for Harrenhal. To that end, Criston departed King's Landing with an army of Targaryen and Hightower knights alongside Alicent's brother, Ser Gwayne Hightower. However, the Blacks were made aware of Criston's movements when Lady Baela Targaryen spotted and harassed Criston's forces moving towards Rosby atop Moondancer, forcing Criston to march at night under tree cover to mask his movements from the Blacks. The Blacks, meanwhile, achieved a significant victory thanks to Daemon's effort, who subdued Harrenhal with ease when its castellan, Ser Simon Strong, surrendered the castle without a fight. With Harrenhal under his control, Daemon resolved to rebuild the castle and treat with Lord Grover Tully in order to bring the Riverlands and its houses into the Blacks' fold.[16]

Retaining a strong desire to avoid adverse destruction and loss of life, Rhaenyra remained noncommittal to the use of her dragons, much to the dismay of her small council, who continued to urge strongly for the Blacks to act. Believing peace could still be achieved without bloodshed, Rhaenyra approached Mysaria over her contacts within King's Landing and asked if she knew of Alicent's movements. Mysaria revealed that the Queen Dowager regularly visits the Grand Sept for prayer, alone. Using this information, Rhaenyra, alongside her Lord Commander of the Queensguard, Ser Steffon Darklyn, embarked on a covert mission into the capital disguised as a septa and septon, respectively, of the Faith of the Seven. Once there, Rhaenyra infiltrated the Grand Sept and approached Alicent, much to her shock. Rhanyra discussed their joint desire for peace with Alicent and asked if there was still a path towards it. Alicent rebuked Rhaenyra, claiming she had no army and was losing allies after Jaehaerys's assassination. Rhaenyra denies her involvement in the incident and stated that Alicent had still yet to answer for Lucerys's death and the usurpation of her birthright, to which denies responsbility and replies that Viserys had changed his mind about her being his successor. Rhaenyra decries Alicent's statement as lies, but Alicent remains steadfast on Viserys's last-minute change to the line of succession, much to Rhaenyra's dismay. When Rhaenyra asks what Viserys's final words were, Alicent states that Viserys, despite his confusing rambles, mentioned Aegon's name and said he was the Prince That Was Promised. Realizing the true meaning of Viserys's dying words, Rhaenyra explains to Alicent that Viserys was talking about Aegon the Conqueror and the Song of Ice and Fire, not her son. As the magnitude of her misinterpretation sets in, Alicent, nevertheless, states that no mistake was made and urges Rhaenyra to leave before she is caught. Rhaenyra implores Alicent that peace could still be achieved, but Alicent remarks that it is too late for that now as she no longer has the power to sway the Greens from war now that her father has been dismissed as Hand and with Criston on the march. She promptly leaves Rhaenyra in the sept, alone and defeated.[16]

TRDATG Duskendale

With the fall of Duskendale and House Darklyn's defection to the Greens, the Blacks' holdings on the mainland were substantially eroded.

With the civil war in full swing, the Greens achieved the first few victories of the conflict as Criston's army marched through the Crownlands, gaining Houses Rosby and Stokeworth as allies when they willingly submitted to his army and added their forces to it. However, when his army reached Duskendale, House Darklyn remained defiant to the Greens demands. This prompted Criston's army to lay siege to Duskendale, sacking the port town, and capturing Lord Gunthor Darklyn. The remains of House Darklyn promptly swore allegiance to the Greens after Criston executed Lord Gunthor, with the Green army subsequently marching north torwards Rook's Rest after Criston received new orders from Aemond. When the Blacks learned of Criston's massing forces near Rook's Rest from Lord Simon Staunton, they debated on how and who they would send to repulse the impending attack. It was then, that Rhaenyra returned from her mission in King's Landing. After informing her small council of the purpose of her meeting with Alicent and her newfound resolve to win the conflict militarily, Rhaenyra volunteered to assist the Stauntons herself atop Syrax. This suggestion was protested by her son, Jacaerys, who volunteered himself and Vermax to go instead. Rhaenyra declined Jacaerys offer, however, citing his lack of battle experience, to which Rhaenys proposed she go to Rook's Rest instead, noting to Rhaenyra that Meleys had significant experience in battle, a suggestion Rhaenyra acceded to.[17]

Sunfyre and Meleys fight

The Battle at Rook's Rest was the first clash between the Blacks and Greens' dragons.

Rhaenys and Meleys flew for Rook's Rest, arriving just as the Green army was making progress in their assault on the Staunton's castle. As Meleys devastated the Green army with multiple dragonfire strafes, Criston sprung his trap, alerting a hidden Aemond and Vhagar deep in the forest to join the battle. Before he could, Aegon and Sunfyre unexpectedly joined the fray, much to Aemond's anger and Criston's shock. Despite Aegon's efforts, however, Sunfyre was brutalized by Meleys, who dominated their struggle against one another before Aemond's intervention with Vhagar left the king and his mount in critical condition. With Aegon incapacitated, Rhaenys directed Meleys to attack Vhagar, with the two massive dragons clashing high above the battlefield. Ultimately, Meleys was outmatched by Vhagar, and she and Rhaenys were killed towards the end of the battle. The remains of the Green army, led by Ser Gwayne, would use the breach created by Meleys's body to capture Rook's Rest. The first engagement of the Dance involving dragons was an extremely costly victory for the Greens. The army assembled from Criston's campaign in the Crownlands was shattered, while Aegon was left critically injured for meager gains. Meanwhile, the Blacks sustained a devastating defeat, losing Meleys, their largest claimed dragon, alongside her rider, Rhaenys, an experienced dragonrider and crucial member of Rhaenyra's small council.[17]

In the books

"Then the storm broke, and the dragons danced."
―Archmaester Gyldayn[src]

The Dance of the Dragons has been mentioned as a historical event since the first of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. George R.R. Martin later began writing a series of prequel novellas describing the war, written as in-universe history books, not POV character prose like the A Song of Ice and Fire series or the Dunk & Egg novellas.

The Dance split the Seven Kingdoms in two, as lords, knights, and smallfolk declared for one side or the other. House Targaryen itself was divided, when the kin of each claimant became embroiled in the fighting. Over the two years of struggle, a terrible toll was taken on the highborn and smallfolk of Westeros alike.

The Dance was a war unlike any other ever fought before or afterwards in the long history of the Seven Kingdoms: armies met in savage battles, but much of the slaughter took place on water, and especially in the air, as dragons fought dragons. It was a war marked by stealth, murder, and betrayal as well, a war fought in shadows and stairwells, council chambers and castle yards with knives and lies and poison.

Aegon II's main supporters were his mother Alicent's family, the powerful House Hightower that rules Oldtown. Rhaenyra's main supporters were her first husband's family, House Velaryon, as well as her mother's family, House Arryn. The rivalry between Rhaenyra on one side and Alicent on the other festered at the royal court for years during the reign of Viserys I. One way this rivalry took shape was in the fashions of clothing that courtiers wore, to display their faction allegiance. Once at a major tournament Rhaenyra wore a black and red gown, the colors of House Targaryen, while Alicent wore a green gown (in the TV series, green is one of the Hightower colors. In the books this is not the case; Alicent simply preferred to wear green). Soon, all of Rhaenyra's supporters started wearing black clothing, while all of Alicent's followers started wearing green. Over the years, the popular names applied to both factions were inspired by the colors they wore: Rhaenyra's supporters were called "the blacks," and Aegon II's supporters were called "the greens."

The Dance of the Dragons draws inspiration from the real-life civil war in medieval England known as the "Anarchy," when Princess Matilda was the only child of King Henry I, but her cousin Stephen usurped the throne, leading to nineteen years of protracted civil war. Similarly, Matilda was unpopular because she was thought to be imperious and domineering for a woman.



  1. "The Green Council" picks up only hours after the events of "The Lord of the Tides," which takes place in 132 AC.

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