But even in a family not known for equanimity, Aegon stands out for spiteful incompetence. He tore apart the realm simply because he couldn't rule himself, much less Westeros.
As a young prince, Aegon's wit made him beloved at court and won him forgiveness for youthful indiscretions, but the cold steel of the Iron Throne didn't temper his passions. King Aegon proclaimed that if he had to spend his days being pricked by a thousand swords, he'd spend his nights pricking others with his one.
Lords sent their daughters from court so they would not catch the king's eye whilst other lords summoned their daughters to court so they would.
The only woman in whom he took no pleasure was his sister and wife Naerys, even after she gave him a son and heir, Daeron. Perhaps Aegon was jealous of her supposed love for his brother, the legendary hero Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. Aegon was most certainly jealous of him. Not of his bravery or honor, but how young maidens swooned and old whores cried at the songs about him.
But most likely, Aegon disregarded his wife and son because he chafed at restraints of any kind. Be they the bonds of marriage or patrimony or even reason.
When Prince Daeron objected to his father's foolish plan to invade Dorne, Aegon incited a lickspittle lord to accuse the queen of adultery with Aemon, making Daeron illegitimate. Prince Aemon defended the queen's honor in trial by combat. But while the lord's claim publicly died with him, no sword can kill a rumor.
Raised in the Red Keep on account of his mother's royal blood, Daemon grew tall and powerful and excelled at all the marshal skills that men wrongly value in leaders.
Instead of protecting his own heir from a rival, Aegon knighted Daemon at twelve and shocked the realm by bestowing on him the Conqueror's own Valyrian steel sword. He even let the boy renounce his common bastard's name and take the Targaryen sword's name for his own, becoming Daemon Blackfyre.
Still, though a name can change, blood can't. And Daeron was Aegon's only trueborn son. Until he wasn't. On his deathbed, Aegon forever earnt his epithet by legitimizing all his bastards, from the baseborn sons of whores to the great bastards of noble ladies, including Daemon. Fittingly, Aegon's last act was to thrust himself into the realm and seed chaos.
A Targaryen without self-restraint may have led Westeros to the brink of ruin, but the highborn pushed it over. Though Daeron governed justly and wisely, correcting the worst excesses of his father's rule, many lords had grown rich off these excesses and did not approve of Daeron's reforms, particularly the peace he'd struck with Dorne.
The malcontents rallied to Daemon and whispered that he should be king instead of his brother, whom, thanks to Aegon, many suspected was a bastard. At first, Daemon indulged these lords out of courtesy and vanity.
But over time, their grievances and flattery wore down his objections, along with any sense of obligation to the half-brother who had granted him lands and a wife. Daemon agreed to claim the throne by right of birth and, more importantly, arms.
A wheel with two hubs will not turn, and a kingdom with two kings will burn, as the saying goes. Not that such a cost stopped anyone with even the remotest claim and opportunity, much less House Blackfyre. Their rebellions consumed tens of years and thousands of lives. First Daemon's own, then his son, Daemon the Second, who reigned for a night.
Finally, Maelys the Monstrous fell to Ser Barristan Selmy in the War of the Ninepenny Kings, and the Blackfyre Rebellion ended with the extinction of the entire line. As is appropriate. Fire is only black when it is burned to ash.
- King Aegon IV Targaryen
- Queen Naerys Targaryen
- King Daeron II Targaryen
- Prince Aemon Targaryen
- Ser Morgil Hastwyck
- Ser Daemon I Blackfyre
- Ser Quentyn Ball
- Princess Daena Targaryen (indirectly mentioned)
- Prince Maron Martell
- Ser Aegor Rivers
- Daemon II Blackfyre
- Haegon Blackfyre
- Daemon III Blackfyre
- Ser Duncan the Tall
- Captain Maelys Blackfyre
- Ser Barristan Selmy
- Queen Daenerys Targaryen (mentioned)
- Jon Snow (mentioned)