This article is about the daughter of Aenys Targaryen. For the other character who shares the same name, see: Rhaena Targaryen (daughter of Aegon III).

"When Aegon's heir wed his daughter to his son, the Faith could brook such abomination no longer. The High Septon led the denunciation of the Targaryens, and all over Westeros the Faith Militant took up its swords against the dynasty and its supporters."
―The High Sparrow[src]

Princess Rhaena Targaryen was a member of House Targaryen and the eldest daughter and child of King Aenys Targaryen.


Rhaena was wed to her own brother Aegon by her father King Aenys, according to Valyrian custom. The leadership of the Faith of the Seven, who already had strained relations with the crown, condemned this incestuous union, and the Faith Militant revolted against the Targaryens.[1]

Family tree

Visenya Targaryen
Aegon I Targaryen
Rhaenys Targaryen
Orys Baratheon

Argella Baratheon née
Durrandon House-Baratheon-Main-Shield
Maegor I Targaryen
2nd son of Aegon I
Ceryse Hightower
1st wife of Maegor
Alys Harroway House-Harroway-Shield
2nd wife of Maegor
Aenys I Targaryen
1st son of Aegon I
Alyssa Velaryon

Founding of
House Baratheon
Rhaena Targaryen
Aegon Targaryen
Jaehaerys I Targaryen
Alysanne Targaryen

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Rhaena was the firstborn child of King Aenys I. Her grandfather, Aegon the Conqueror, maintained a polygamous marriage with both of his sisters: Aenys's mother Rhaenys and Maegor's mother Visenya. Aegon himself always treated Aenys as his heir apparent because he was older than Maegor - though given young Aenys's frailty, there were some who muttered that Maegor should be his heir, given that he was his "firstborn" by Visenya - those who said this were chiefly Visenya herself, and her supporters, though Aegon I would hear none of it.

Thus, the birth of Aenys's own children pushed Maegor even further back in the line of succession, as by the normal laws of Westeros an uncle only inherits after his elder brother's entire bloodline is extinguished. For that matter, as the years passed Maegor failed to produce any heir, and there were fears that he was sterile - causing him to lose supporters, who didn't think it was worth upsetting Aegon I's intended succession for an heir who couldn't continue the family line anyway.

Aegon I was still wary of offending the Faith of the Seven, and promised the High Septon that his family's incestuous marriage practices were a relic of the past which they wouldn't continue in the future. To assure him of this, he had Aenys marry Alyssa Velaryon as a political match, who was mother to all of his children. Maegor's mother Visenya didn't give up on her ambitions in court politics, however, pushing for Maegor to one day succeed ahead of Aenys. Thus when Rhaena was born, Visenya urged Aegon I to betroth her to her Maegor, her own half-uncle. Aegon I, however, dismissed the suggestion - both because he didn't want to risk offending the Faith with such an incestuous marriage, and (it is believed) because he had become frustrated with Visenya's constant attempts to usurp Rhaenys's son Aenys with her own.

As she grew up Rhaena became a dragonrider: her mount was Dreamfyre, one of the progeny of the original three Targaryen dragons.

HL5 Marriage of Aenys's children to each other

The incestuous marriage of King Aenys's own son and daughter to each other sparked the Faith Militant uprising.

Rhaena was born in 23 AC, and her father announced her marriage to her younger brother Prince Aegon in 41 AC - when she was 18 years old and her brother was 15 years old. No one knows exactly why Aenys launched into such an obvious folly, given how strained his relations with the Faith already were: some suspect that as the Red Keep's construction grew, he began to think on the glorious Targaryen legacy he would leave behind, and thus he gave more focus to "keeping the bloodline pure".

Rhaena and Prince Aegon were making a royal progress through the realm when the Faith Militant uprising struck: they were in the Westerlands at the time, and were besieged in Crakehall castle. Within a few weeks, their father Aenys fled to Dragonstone and died in 42 AC (possibly poisoned by Visenya). Maegor then retook King's Landing using Balerion, and usurped the throne ahead of Rhaena's brother-husband Prince Aegon.

The Lannisters extended Aegon and Rhaena Guest right but would not rise against Maegor, leaving them stranded for some time. It was difficult for Maegor to pursue them due to having to devote much of his attention to campaigns against the Faith Militant in central Westeros.

In 43 AC, Prince Aegon himself rallied an army to rebel against his half-uncle Maegor, riding Aenys's own dragon Quicksilver. They clashed in the great Battle Beneath the God's Eye, but Maegor rode the awesome Balerion, killing both Quicksilver and Aegon. In the intervening years Rhaena had given birth to twin daughters, Aerea and Rhaella, and she fled with them to Fair Isle off the west coast for some time. They were ultimately found, however, and taken captive back to Maegor's court at King's Landing.

By this point Maegor had already entered into three polygamous marriages, but still could not produce a viable heir. Growing increasingly unstable, in 47 AC Maegor forced Rhaena herself to marry him - one of three new "Black Brides" that he wed in a triple ceremony, each of them women of proven fertility (whose husbands he had killed in the war). Mercifully, Rhaena never became pregnant by Maegor - unlike his other brides who bore him monstrously deformed stillbirths. Rhaena was thus technically a Queen Consort of the Seven Kingdoms - though for only a year or two, and the Faith never sanctioned the marriage (she was presumably Aegon's consort when he rose in rebellion against Maegor, but Aegon did not successfully take control of the throne, making her at most the queen of a rival claimant - assuming she ever formally claimed the title).

In 48 AC, however, Maegor's behavior had grown so intolerable that many great lords of the realm had finally had enough and turned against him - even the Tullys, who had fought against Prince Aegon not long before. They rallied behind Rhaena's youngest brother, Jaehaerys I Targaryen, who claimed his right to the throne as Aenys's son. Maegor never totally broke Rhaena: when she heard that Jaehaerys had raised a new, massive rebel army against Maegor, while the castle slept she stole the king's sword Blackfyre, then fled King's Landing flying her dragon Dreamfyre. She then brought Blackfyre to Jaehaerys and joined his cause. All of Maegor's supporters then abandoned him, and he died on the Iron Throne - apparently committing suicide by opening his wrists on its blades, rather than be taken alive.

Rhaena actually outlived Maegor, though no information has been given so far on her subsequent life, or that of her twin daughters. Jaehaerys I apparently claimed the throne by Andal custom of male-preference primogeniture (along with his own sister-wife, Rhaena's younger sister Alysanne. There has been no mention if Rhaena's bloodline through her daughters endured.

See also


v  d  e
Lord: Queen Daenerys Targaryen Heir: None
Seat: Dragonstone Lands: Dragonstone
Title(s): Queen of Meereen · Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea · Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men (claimant) · Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms (claimant) · Protector of the Realm (claimant)
Ancestors:Aenar · Daenys · Aegon I, the Conqueror · Visenya · Rhaenys · Aenys I · Maegor I, the Cruel · Rhaena · Aegon · Jaehaerys I, the Concilliator · Alysanne Targaryen · Viserys I · Rhaenys · Daemon · Aemma Arryn · Rhaenyra · Alicent Hightower · Aegon II, the Usurper · Helaena Targaryen · Aemond · Aegon III · Viserys II Targaryen · Jaehaera · Jaehaerys · Maelor · Daeron I, the Young Dragon · Baelor I, the Blessed · Aegon IV, the Unworthy · Naerys · Aemon the Dragonknight · Daena the Defiant · Rhaena · Elaena · Daeron II, the Good · Daenerys of Sunspear · Myriah Martell · Daemon Blackfyre · Brynden Rivers · Aegor Rivers · Shiera Seastar · Baelor Breakspear · Aerys I · Aelinor · Rhaegel · Maekar I · Dyanna Dayne · Aerion Brightflame · Aegon V, the Unlikely · Duncan the Small · Daeron
Deceased members:Aerys II, the Mad · Rhaella Targaryen · Rhaegar Targaryen · Elia Martell · Rhaenys Targaryen · Aegon Targaryen · Viserys Targaryen · Drogo · Rhaego · Aemon Targaryen
Household:Ser Jorah Mormont · Tyrion Lannister · {Ser Barristan Selmy} · {Rakharo} · Kovarro · Aggo · {Irri} · {Doreah} · Jhiqui · Malakho · Missandei · Grey Worm · Daario Naharis · {Mossador}