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Game of Thrones Characters: the Targaryens

Updated on November 24, 2013
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Game of Thrones Characters: The Targaryens

The Targaryens rules the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros for 300 years but were almost completely obliterated during Robert's Rebellion. The House was one of the ruling families of Valyria, a freehold, destroyed in a sparsely described cataclysm known as the Doom. The Targaryens originally settled on the island of Dragonstone.

They were were known as the Dragonlords, because of their connection with dragons, whom they bred and used in warfare. It was with the help of dragons that Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters invaded Westeros, and subdued six of the kingdoms. Eventually Dorne joined the unified realm through a marriage arrangement and the Seven Kingdoms were ruled by the Targaryens until Aerys the II, known as the Mad King, was overthrown by Robert Baratheon.

The sigil of the House of Targaryen is a three headed dragon, their motto is "Fire and Blood" and their seat was in King's Landing, although the heir apparent was traditionally the Lord of Dragonstone. All Targaryens had very light, almost silver hair and violet or lilac eyes. To keep the bloodline pure, traditionally they married within the family with brother marrying sister. This is possibly the cause of the mental illness which affected some members of the family and which manifested with such tragic consequences in the Mad King.

Events which led to Robert's rebellion

It was Tywin Lannister's ambition to marry his daughter Cersei to Rhaegar Targaryen, the heir of Aerys II. However, the Mad King, who by then was highly suspicious of his Hand refused and Rhaegar married Elia Martell of Dorne. Aerys' heir, however, appeared to fall for Lyanna Stark, Eddard Stark's sister who was betrothed to Robert Baratheon.

Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna, and when her oldest brother, Brandon went to King's Landing to duel, Aerys arrested him and accused him of treason. When Rickard Stark went to King's Landing to attempt to save his son, Aerys challenged him to a duel. However, Aerys insisted that his champion was fire, and Rickard was slowly burnt. Brandon was placed in a contraption that slowly strangled him as he struggled to save his father. This led to Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark to rebel against the crown.

After Robert defeated and killed Rhaegar in the battle of the trident, Tywin Lannister joined the war on Robert's side. His army entered King's Landing without a fight, because Grand Maester Pycelle, who had long been a Lannister plant in the castle, convinced Aerys that Tywin was coming to help.

During the Sacking of King's Landing, Tywin sent his men to find members of the Targaryen household and kill them, he realised that Robert's victory would not be secure if members of the family survived. Gregor Clegane raped and murdered Elia Martell, and smashed her two children Rhaenys and Aegon, who was only a baby at the time. It is said that he smashed the baby's head against the wall.

Tywin later had the children's bodies wrapped in a red cloak and presented them to Robert, to demonstrate that he was completely on Robert's side. In return for this Robert married Cersei, thus fulfilling Tywin's ambition for his daughter to become queen.

Daenerys Targaryen

The death of Aerys at the hands of the Kingslayer

Aerys had his pyromancers prepare a large amount of wildfire, a very flammable and volatile substance, and was planning to torch King's Landing rather than let it be captured by the rebels. Throughout the war he insisted that Jaime Lannister, whom he had raised to the Kingsguard, his own personal guard who are sworn to protect him above all else. Before he could give the order he was stabbed by Jaime, who had earned himself the name "Kingslayer" for this action.

The only surviving Targaryens were the Mad King's two youngest children, Viserys who was a young boy at the time, and Daenerys, a baby. They were smuggled out of Westeros by Targaryen loyalists and raised in the Free Cities. Viserys never accepted the loss of the crown, and travelled through the Islands attempting to obtain help to overthrow "the Usurper" as he referred to Robert. He was not taken seriously by many and was referred to as "the Begger King", but Magister Illyrio Mopatis of Pentos was sympathetic to his cause and arranged for Viserys' 13 year old sister to be married to Khal Drogo of the Dothraki, even though Viserys considered him to be a savage, in return of a promise of an army with which to retake his father's throne.

The Targaryens

Do you get tired of hearing Daenerys Targaryen say "Fire and Blood" 10 times in an episode

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