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Aegon II Targaryen

The royal standard of King Aegon II.

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, remarking on Alicent's gown[src]

The Greens[1] are a political faction that support the claim of Aegon II Targaryen on the Iron Throne. During the Dance of the Dragons, they oppose the Blacks, who follow Rhaenyra Targaryen.

History[]

Background[]

The Greens began as a political faction in King Viserys I Targaryen's royal court at King's Landing, being founded sometime after 116 AC. They are named for the green gown that Queen Alicent Hightower wore during the wedding feast of Ser Laenor Velaryon and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, in an act of coded defiance and slight towards her stepdaughter Rhaenyra. The color green refers to one of the colors of House Hightower, and the color of the Hightower's beacon when Oldtown's banners are called to war.[2]

The Greens support Viserys and Alicent's first-born son, Prince Aegon, as heir to the Iron Throne, with his claim based on the traditional succession laws of the Andals which favor male-preference primogeniture. The Greens are in opposition to the claim of Viserys's eldest daughter, Princess Rhaenyra and her supporters, the Blacks, with her claim based on when she was named Princess of Dragonstone by her father in 112 AC.[3]

House of the Dragon: Season 1[]

The Greens suffer an early blow in their power struggle with the Blacks in 116 AC, when Ser Otto Hightower is dismissed from his longstanding post as Hand of the King and replaced with Lord Lyonel Strong.[2] This is reversed a decade later in 126 AC,[c] when Otto is reinstated as Hand following Lyonel's untimely demise. The Greens gain another victory that same year when Princess Rhaenyra departs King's Landing with her family for her seat at Dragonstone, leaving them largely unopposed in both the Small Council and royal court.[4]

As King Viserys's health deteriorates during the final years of his reign, the Greens assume greater power through the efforts of Otto and his daughter, Queen Alicent. During this time, Otto secretly begins conspiring with his allies on the Small Council to supplant Rhaenyra with Aegon in the line of succession when Viserys ultimately dies.[5] Once Viserys's illness leaves him bedridden, the Greens authorize the treatment of his illness with milk of the poppy, leaving the king in a constant state of delirium. This allows the Greens, through Otto and Alicent, to manage the realm as regents, to the Blacks' quiet opposition.[6]

On his deathbed, King Viserys mistakes Queen Alicent for Rhaenyra, speaking to her of Aegon the Conqueror, the Prince That Was Promised, and "The Song of Ice and Fire." Alicent misinterprets this as Viserys wanting their son Aegon to inherit the throne instead of Rhaenyra, seemingly validating the Greens' long sought-after claim of Aegon being the rightful heir.[6]

Following Viserys's death, Otto convenes Viserys's council, announcing the king's death and his intent to move forward with crowning Aegon, leaving both Alicent and Lord Lyman Beesbury bewildered. To the both their shock and dismay, several members of the council have been plotting to install Aegon on the Iron Throne for some time. Only Lord Beesbury speaks out against this, even accusing the Green members of the council of regicide. He is promptly killed by Ser Criston Cole, albeit unintentionally, leaving the Greens in control of the small council.[5]

As the Green Council is assembled, Otto states that two captains of the City Watch are loyal to Daemon Targaryen, and that they will be promptly removed and replaced with allies of their own. Furthermore, Otto counts Houses Tully and Tyrell among their allies, and says that the treasury is secured and to be divided for safekeeping. Tyland, however, expresses uncertainty about House Baratheon, and suggests a marriage alliance to one of Lord Borros's four unmarried daughters.[5] Otto later has ravens sent to House Stark and House Arryn as well.[3]

When Alicent questions what is to be done regarding Rhaenyra, Otto states that Rhaenyra and her family will be given the opportunity to swear allegiance to Aegon. The queen, however, is unconvinced that Rhaenyra, let alone Daemon, would willingly surrender, and gathers that the Green Council intends to kill them. Otto and Grand Maester Orwyle admit this, reasoning that allowing Rhaenyra to live would invite bloodshed. To that end, Otto tasks Lord Commander Harrold Westerling with securing and discreetly killing Rhaenyra and her family on Dragonstone. Appalled, Harrold refuses and resigns as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.[5]

Within hours of Viserys's death, the courtiers of the Red Keep are assembled by Otto and commanded to bend the knee to Aegon. With varying levels of enthusiasm, most do, the only holdouts being Lady Fell, Lord Merryweather, and a few others who refuse to break their oath to Rhaenyra, and thus are promptly imprisoned. Lord Allun Caswell feigns his allegiance to Aegon and attempts to flee the capital to warn the Blacks, but is swiftly captured. After a brief interrogation by Larys Strong and Otto Hightower, Lord Caswell is hanged by the King's Justice. The Greens' seizure of power quickly takes shape, as they assume control of the Kingsguard and City Watch and begin herding thousands of smallfolk to the Dragonpit for Aegon's coronation. There, Prince Aegon is publicly crowned by Criston Cole as King Aegon II, to the adulation of the smallfolk gathered before him.[5]

The Kingsguard present in King's Landing during the Greens' coup remain loyal to them and their new king. With Ser Harrold's resignation as Lord Commander, Ser Criston is named as his successor. However, Ser Erryk Cargyll, believing Aegon unfit to rule, defects to the Blacks. He frees Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, whom the Greens had imprisoned, and steals Viserys's crown, with both fleeing to Dragonstone. Ser Erryk's twin brother, Ser Arryk Cargyll, however, remains loyal to Aegon.[5]

Following the Blacks' coronation of Rhaenyra, the Greens send, at Alicent's insistence, a negotiation party led by Otto to Dragonstone to present peace terms to Rhaenyra. Met by Daemon and Rhaenyra, Otto presents the Greens' terms, which the two summarily reject, labeling the Greens traitors and Aegon a usurper. Otto, however, successfully convinces Rhaenyra to at least consider the terms after appealing to Rhaenyra's past friendship with Alicent and desire for peace.[3]

Both sides send emissaries to Storm's End, hoping to gain the support of House Baratheon and the Stormlands. Prince Aemond Targaryen and his dragon Vhagar arrive first, and Aemond secures a marriage alliance for the Greens, with Aemond being betrothed to Lord Baratheon's daughter, Lady Floris. Prince Lucerys Velaryon arrives later with only a message from Rhaenyra. Lord Borros is offended by the perceived demanding nature of the letter as read to him by his maester, ultimately dismissing Lucerys when he cannot provide a marriage pact of his own, affirming House Baratheon's allegiance to the Greens. While leaving, Aemond and Vhagar chase Lucerys from Storm's End, resulting in the death of Lucerys and his dragon Arrax.[3]

House of the Dragon: Season 2[]

Following Lucerys and Arrax's unintended deaths, the Greens emerge in a stronger position over the Blacks at the start of the Dance, all the while continuing their efforts to amass support from more noble houses. The Greens hold a significant numerical superiority in terms of manpower over the Blacks, lauding the support of Houses Lannister, Hightower, and Baratheon, as well as several minor houses throughout the realm sans the North and the Vale. Whilst still awaiting responses from Houses Stark and Arryn, the Green Council begin making preparations to move against the Black-leaning Riverlands, with both Houses Lannister and Hightower calling their banners to secure the region in the coming weeks.[7]

Greens banner-TBM

Aegon II's banner is raised in King's Landing.

Despite these advantages, the Greens are lacking in the number of dragons controlled, possessing only four (Vhagar, Sunfyre, Dreamfyre, and Tessarion) to the Blacks' now six (Syrax, Caraxes, Meleys, Vermax, Tyraxes, and Moondancer), notwithstanding the several unclaimed and wild dragons residing near the Blacks' stronghold of Dragonstone. Additionally, the Blacks' blockade of the Gullet with the Black-aligned Velaryon fleet is placing King's Landing under increasing strain, forcing the Greens to consider building up their own naval forces in the Westerlands and Reach to attempt to break it.[7]

The Greens are dealt a major diplomatic defeat in the early Dance when the Blacks successfully secure the allegiance of both the North and Vale, effectively losing the northern half of Westeros to the opposition. A more serious, albeit personal, loss is additionally inflicted later on, when Daemon marks Prince Aemond for assassination as retribution for the death of Prince Lucerys. While the two assassins, Blood and Cheese, successfully breach the Red Keep, they are unable to find Aemond, settling on their secondary target, Prince Jaehaerys, resulting in the death of King Aegon II's son and heir.[7]

Houses sworn to King Aegon II[]

Crownlands[]

Reach[]

Riverlands[]

Stormlands[]

Westerlands[]

In the books[]

In Fire & Blood, the greens were unofficially formed in 111 AC during the tournament on Viserys and Alicent's fifth anniversary. Alicent wore a green dress at the opening feast, while Rhaenyra wore black and red. Ever since, their respective factions at court were known as the "greens" and the "blacks," which were previously called the "queen's party" and the "party of the princess." Friends, family, servants, and supporters of Queen Alicent always wore green thereafter.

Whereas in the show the Greens take a golden three-headed dragon on a green field as their battle-flag, in the books the field is black, as Aegon adopted this sigil to honor his mount Sunfyre, not the greens.

References[]

Notes[]

  1. "We Light the Way" picks up directly after the events of "King of the Narrow Sea," which takes place in 116 AC.
  2. In "The Princess and the Queen," Laenor Velaryon states that it has been ten years since his wedding to Rhaenyra Targaryen, which occurred in 116 AC; therefore, "The Princess and the Queen" takes place in 126 AC.
  3. "Driftmark" picks up only days after "The Princess and the Queen," which takes place in 126 AC.
  4. After the taking of Harrenhal, House Strong has no ability to wage war, as Lord Larys Strong is at court in King's Landing and the rest of House Strong have surrendered to Daemon Targaryen.

External links[]

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