- "One day, King's Landing looked up and saw two dragons circling their foul city."
- ―Robert Baratheon
During the Dance of the Dragons, Prince Aemond Targaryen was sent to Harrenhal in order to retrieve his uncle Daemon Targaryen. He took the Green Army and its leader Ser Criston Cole with him. Aemond himself was atop his ancient dragon Vhagar. When they arrived at the fortress, Daemon had already left, causing a celebration among the ranks.
However, Daemon had left in order to lay siege to the capital city of King's Landing. He had flown his dragon Caraxes south in order to meet up with his wife. Unknown to Aemond, Daemon's exit happened as he entered, flying over the waters of the Gods Eye. The population of King's Landing then saw the terrifying shadows of Caraxes and Syrax, about the attack the city and take it. Rhaenyra had come for the Iron Throne. The city was defenseless since that Aemond had taken Aegon II Targaryen's army away from the city, aswell as Vhagar. King's Landing couldn't resist the attack, so the Small Council surrendered Aegon's wife Helaena Targaryen and his mother Alicent Hightower. The King himself had fled the city, despite his wounds and madness after the Siege of Rook's Rest. This allowed Rhaenyra to take her place on the throne. However, after leaving it for the first time, blood trickled down her. There was a rumor that the Iron Throne has spurned her, as it saw Aegon as the rightful King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men. However, it was more likely that due to wanted the throne for saw long, she gripped it too tightly, leading to her cuts on the swords that composed the throne.
After discovering that Rhaenyra had taken his family hostage, Aemond burn every town and village that had sweared fealty to her, on his way back to King's Landing. Criston led the army back to the city in order to take it for himself. This also led to his murder by the lords in The Riverlands who had also become Blacks loyalists.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Fall of King's Landing took place of 130 AC. Ser Criston Cole and Prince Aemond Targaryen retook Harrenhal from the Blacks, but left King's Landing defenceless. Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and Prince Daemon Targaryen flew over the city on their dragons Syrax and Caraxes, sending the smallfolk into a panic. Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower attempted to send dragonriders to confront and and send ravens to vasal lords, but her efforts were halted by the City Watch of King's Landing, who were loyal to Daemon. They then beat and bound Grand Maester Orwyle and imprisoned and killed the seven commanders of the city gates. Ser Gwayne Hightower, the Watch's second-in-command, attempted to sound the alarm and was captured, denounced as a traitor and killed. The gates were opened and allowed the Blacks to conquer the city in less than a day.
King Aegon II Targaryen escaped from the city with his children during the attack, smuggled through secret passages by the Master of Whisperers Lord Larys Strong. Lord Otto Hightower was executed and Dowager Queen Alicent and Queen Helaena Targaryen were taken as hostages. Orwyle was locked in the Black Cells and Ser Tyland Lannister was tortured to discover where he had hidden the crown's treasure. Rhaenyra seized the Iron Throne, though she cut herself as she sat upon it, creating rumors that the throne had rejected her. She was loved by the people at first, but daily executions higher taxes to fund the war earned her their hatred and led them to call her "King Maegor with teats".