Daeron the Young Dragon and his three sisters, Daena, Rhaena and Elaena.
(Edward Burne-Jones, Perseus and the Sea Nymphs, 1877)
"When Jon had been a boy at Winterfell, his hero had been the Young Dragon, the boy king who had conquered Dorne at the age of fourteen. Despite his bastard birth, or perhaps because of it, Jon Snow had dreamed of leading men to glory, just as King Daeron had, of growing up to be a conqueror. Now he was a man grown and the Wall was his, yet all he had were doubts. He could not seem to conquer even those."
From The Hedge Knight graphic novel, issue #5, written by George R.R. Martin, adapted by Ben Avery, art by Mike S. Miller.
Prince Daeron knotted his cloak around his neck and pulled up the hood. Dunk followed him back out into the soft rain. They walked toward the merchants’ wagons.
“I dreamed of you,” said the prince.
“You said that at the inn.”
“Did I? Well, it’s so. My dreams are not like yours, Ser Duncan. Mine are true. They frighten me. You frighten me. I dreamed of you and a dead dragon, you see. A great beast, huge, with wings so large they could cover this meadow. It had fallen on top of you, but you were alive and the dragon was dead.”
“Did I kill it?”
“That I could not say, but you were there, and so was the dragon. We were the masters of dragons once, we Targaryens. Now they are all gone, but we remain. I don’t care to die today. The gods alone know why, but I don’t. So do me a kindness if you would, and make certain it is my brother Aerion you slay.”
“I don’t care to die either,” said Dunk.
“Well, I shan’t kill you, ser. I’ll withdraw my accusation as well, but it won’t serve unless Aerion withdraws his.” He sighed. “It may be that I’ve killed you with my lie. If so, I am sorry. I’m doomed to some hell, I know. Likely one without wine.” He shuddered, and on that they parted, there in the cool soft rain.
"My brothers have the measure of me when it comes to fighting, singing, dancing and studying. However none can best me when it comes to lying insensibly in the mud…"
daeron “the drunken” targaryen
His hands shake as he lifts the too-full glass of wine to his lips, the motion spilling red liquid onto his hands. It’s early in the morning- too early for drink, Aemon would say- but he passed caring years ago.
Fire, nothing but fire, burning- burning everything- but not her. Not this woman. And the eggs- the eggs are opening, they’re hatching! And the sounds! The sounds of the dragons!
He shakes his head, trying to shake off the night’s dreams. He’s had that one before, many times. The music of the dragons would sing him to sleep as a child, when the visions of fire and blood would keep him awake in the night. He’s seen it so many times, but never like this. This time it changed, the visions of fire morphing into ice then back again nearly seamlessly.
It’s cold, it’s so cold. There’s nothing but ice and snow and things moving in the darkness. And a dragon. A dragon lost in the snow, burning brightly against the darkness.
He doesn’t understand it, but he never really has. He sees the future more than he sees the present, but it seldom ever makes sense. It’s a mad world we’re going to live in. A mad world filled with blood, and ice and fire.
Daeron pours another drink.
Baelor I, also known as Baelor the Blessed, was the ninth Targaryen king to reign on the Iron Throne. Known for his piety, Baelor was a septon as well as a king. He was the second son of Aegon III and ruled after the death of his brother Daeron I.
Some remember Baelor as a great and holy man, given to deep prayer and fasting to experience religious visions, and honor him for his contributions to the Faith, including the construction of the Great Sept in King’s Landing. Others regard him as a weak, simpering fool, prone to hallucinations and bad decisions brought about by excessive zealotry.
Upon his brother Daeron’s death, Baelor is said to have walked the Boneway barefoot to make peace with Dorne. It is also said that he saved his cousin Prince Aemon the Dragonknight from a snake pit, where he was bitten many times by the vipers whose venom could not kill him because of his faith in the Seven; this tale may simply be a metaphorical version of his visit to Dorne, referring to Dorne itslef as a “snake pit,” and the Dornish, “vipers.” While he prayed, his uncle, Viserys II, ruled as his Hand of the King.
Baelor earned the contempt of his nobles by forcing Lord Belgrave to wash the feet of a leper. Other acts that lead to some referring to him as Baelor the Befuddled, include trying to replace all the ravens that delivered messages with doves, and confing his sisters, Daena (to whom he was married), Rhaena, and Elaena in the Maidenvault so they did not tempt him with carnal thoughts. He attempted to birth new dragons by praying over the dragon eggs but his prayers went unanswered. Baelor also once banished all the whores and sex workers from King’s Landing. He prayed for them but did not look at them. Baelor then decided not to rearm the faith, as he was a man of peace who believed the only weapon the faithful should have is prayer.
During his reign he had a stonemason named as the High Septon, a man that could carve stonework so beautifully that Baelor believed him to be the Smith in human form. While a fantastic stonecarver, the new High Septon could not read, write, or recite any prayers. Rumor spread that Baelor’s Hand had the stonemason poisoned to end the embarrassment to the realm. Baelor then raised a boy of eight years to High Septon, who Baelor claimed worked miracles, although the boy could not save the king’s life on his deathbed. History says Baelor starved himself to death by prolonged fasting to cleanse himself of lust, but some believe his was poisoned by his Hand and uncle, VIserys.
daeron I targaryen
Beside him, Daena has the gall to laugh. “I quite like these Dornish that you seem so transfixed by, brother. You don’t suppose you could marry me to one, do you?” Daeron doesn’t bother pointing out that she is already married, her husband sitting not a foot from her, his head bowed in silent prayer over his empty dinner plate for the late Lord of Highgarden.
Their uncle ignores her as well. “Lord Tyrell, however foolish he was, was all that was holding your rule in Dorne together. The other lords fight to contain it, but the Dornish are empowered again, wild as only rebellion and the end of winter can make a man. I fear it may be only days before the Martells have control of the kingdom again, if they don’t already.”
Damn them all to seven hells. Them, and their bloody scorpions. It had taken him years to finish what Aegon the Conqueror had started. Years of sand and sun and fire and blood and death. He would not have it all undone in a matter of days. “How long would it take to reform the armies?”
His uncle stares at him down his nose, the same condescending look in his eyes he would have when Daeron was a child. It only serves to anger him more. “Your Grace, Dorne is likely lost already-“
“I will not lose Dorne!” His voice echoes off the walls, and his family sits in silence, none of them daring to move or meet his eyes. “What are my titles?” His uncle looks up, confused. “Prince Viserys, what are my titles?”
“The…First of Your Name. King of the Seven Kingdoms-“
“Seven Kingdoms, Uncle. Seven. That title has been a lie, a courtesy taken by my fathers, all the way back to Aegon the Dragon, when he left his conquest incomplete. I mean to finish what he started. I mean to say that I am King of the Seven Kingdoms and have no man contest it. And I will not have everything that I have fought for ruined by a bit of trickery. So I ask you again, how long would it take to reform the armies?”
This time, Viserys does not hesitate. “Months. Four, five, at best. The lords have not been long in releasing their soldiers; those men won’t be quick to return. Some not at all.”
Daeron crooks his finger. His wine steward shakes as he pours his cup too full. “See that they do, my lord Hand, and quickly. I intend to march for Dorne as soon as possible.” The wine is lukewarm in his mouth, but he barely tastes it; his mind is filled with the burn of the sun on his skin, the sight of the red dunes turned redder by bloodstains. I will see this done. I will see House Targaryen finish it’s work. Even if it kills me.
Daeron I, known as the Young Dragon, was the eldest son of Aegon III and the eighth king to sit the Iron Throne. He ascended the throne at the age of fourteen and is famous for conquering Dorne.
Aegon III died when his son was only fourteen, making Daeron the youngest king to sit the Iron Throne, for which he was called by some the “Boy King.” Daeron long felt the continued independence of Dorne represented unfinished business for the Targaryens, and upon his ascension he vowed to rectify his ancestors’ mistake. Upon taking the throne he set to conquer Dorne, which he succeeded in, becoming the first Targaryen King to conquer Dorne and unite all the seven kingdoms for the first time.
Unfortunately Daeron’s conquest didn’t last. It was undone in a fortnight when a clever trap killed Lord Tyrell, the steward that Daeron had left to rule Dorne. His death sparked a great uprising that overthrew most of the conquest. Daeron lost forty thousand men trying to hold Dorne, culminating in his own death during the uprising. At that time he was only eighteen.
Although married, Daeron died without issue and was succeeded by his brother, Baelor the Blessed.
"Egg has the truth of it. Aerion’s quite the monster. He thinks he’s a dragon in human form, you know. That’s why he was so wroth at that puppet show. A pity he wasn’t born a Fossoway, then he’d think himself an apple and we’d all be a deal safer, but there you are."
daeron II targaryen
Daemon’s quiet when he enters the throne room, the soft sounds of his boots falling against the tiles and the mourning bells outside combining to a strange, haunting rhythm. It sends a chill up Daeron’s spine.
His bastard brother stops beside him, his eyes trained forward, to the Iron Throne. “I get the sword, you get the throne. Is that how this works?”
The new king cuts his eyes downward, to where Blackfyre sits at Daemon’s hip, looking as if it belonged no where else but there. (Years later, when the kingdom is ripped apart between the two of them, he’ll wonder again if it, and everything else, really did belong with him.) “I didn’t know you’d even get that.”
Daemon has grace enough to laugh. “Neither did I. Blackfyre and legitimization.” There’s a wicked stirring in his eyes when he turns back to stare at the throne. “It makes you wonder.”
Daeron’s imagination doesn’t have to wander far. Some of the lords have already been quietly questioning which son Aegon had truly wanted on the throne. He doesn’t comment either way. Partly because acknowledging such talk would only fan the flames of the simmering treason even more, but mostly because Daeron doesn’t know the answer to that either.
He looks again to the sword of his ancestors, now in possession of someone other than the king for the first time in it’s history. “It does make you wonder, brother. It does indeed.”