- "Dragon fought dragons, and a second sun blossomed in the sky."
- ―Viserys Targaryen
The Siege of Rook's Rest was a major event during the Dance of the Dragons, an attack by Criston Cole on the town of Rook's Rest, with the assistance of the Greens army against Blacks representative Rhaenys Targaryen.
During the Dance of the Dragons, Jacaerys Velaryon had made allies out of House Stark and House Arryn, the furious Aegon II Targaryen removed his grandfather Otto Hightower from his position as Hand of the King, and appointed his Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Ser Criston Cole. To prove his worth to his King, Criston decided to burn every castle that had declared for the Blacks, and first set his army on the coastal stronghold of Rook's Rest, with both the Greens army and the Kingsguard, marching North.
The Lord of Rook's Rest saw the approach of the army before they had a chance to pillage, so he sent a raven to Rhaenyra Targaryen, begging for help. For days, he saw his fields and villages burning, locked within his castle, Rook's Rest overtaken by the enemy, with no response for Rhaenyra. However, instead of the Blacks army, she sent her former mother-in-law Rhaenys Targaryen, atop her dragon Meleys. She burned the Green army with joy, as her ancestor Rhaenys Targaryen had done before her at the Field of Fire. However, the Greens had set a trap, and Rhaenys was ambushed. Two other dragons rose into the sky to attack Rhaenys and Meleys, first Aemond Targaryen on the oldest and largest of dragons, Vhagar. After, Aegon on the most magnificent of dragons, Sunfyre. However, Rhaenys didn't flee, and instead fought the dragons head on, until there was so much dragonflame in the sky, that it seemed like there was a second sun. When the smoke had settled, Meleys had been torn apart by the other two dragons and Rhaenys was a pile of ash. Aemond and Vhagar were the only ones uninjured, while Aegon and Sunfyre were mortally wounded.
This led to Aegon having to have a constant dose of Milk of the poppy in order to survive, which could have been the cause of his madness, or could have just added to the fact that he had the Targaryen madness.
Meanwhile, Rhaenyra was frightened by this defeat, fearing that she had lost one of her best fighters and allies. She sent her youngest sons away to Essos, in order to protect them from the dangers awaiting, but this led to another battle.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Ser Criston Cole planned a trap for the Blacks at Rook's Rest following the Sack of Duskendale. Lord Staunton closed the castle's gates, but Criston burned his fields and killed his smallfolk and livestock. Lord Staunton sent a raven to Dragonstone asking Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen for help.
Rhaenys Targaryen and her dragon Meleys arrived at Rook's Rest nine days later. Criston had his archers and scorpions open fire on the dragon, which did little damage and caused her respond by burning his soldiers. King Aegon II Targaryen and Prince Aemond Targaryen arrived upon their dragons Sunfyre and Vhagar respectively and attacked Meleys. The battle resulted in the deaths of Rhaenys and Melys, with Aegon suffering severe burns and Sunfyre being badly wounded and rendered flightless. The Greens then took Rook's Rest and killed Lord Staunton and his men.
The deaths of Rhaenys and Meleys were a severe blow to the Blacks. Rhaenys' husband Lord Corlys Velaryon was enraged by his wife's death, chastising Rhaenyra and her sons for not accompanying her to the battle. The heads of Meleys and Lord Staunton were taken to King's Landing. The Greens also suffered, losing eight hundred soldiers and King Aegon being incapacitated by his wounds, with Prince Aemond acting as his regent. Sunfyre was left behind and survived on carcasses and livestock, killing Lord Walys Mooton when he retook the castle for the Blacks.