SunfyreTheGolden

Who was the best Targaryen King?

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Jaeherys I or Baelor I to me. The realm was more peaceful and happy in their reigns. 

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Jahaerys. Baelor, to me, was one of the worst. Viserys II and Daeron II are also up there with the Old King.

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1. Aegon V the Egg. He was good King and good father. He cared about his family and his people. Out of all Kings that ever ruled in 7K, he did the most good for average people.

Baelor was on his way to a total crazyness. So he was bad King, and people were lucky that he died, prior cousing any permanent damage to 7K.

Spoiler

He had serious mental problems. I guess that he was inflicted by Targaryens' genetic madness, but when he was poisoned by numerous snakes, and fell into a coma for a few months, he also suffered additional brain damage. So his behaviour in the last few years prior his death, was becoming more and more irrational. He starved himself to death <- that's not normal. So it's actually good for people that he died. Because first he closed brothels, and chased out of KL all whores and their children, thousands of people. Fairly possible that as his next step, he would forbit to all people of 7K to have sex. And drink wine. And eat. And so on.

Also I think that he was so against sex, because actually he was impotent, so to hide it, he pretended that not having sex was his own choice.

"Baelor then placed his sisters—Daena, Rhaena, and Elaena—in their "Court of Beauty" in the Red Keep, later called the Maidenvault. Baelor wanted to preserve the innocence of his sisters from the wickedness of the world, and from the lusts of men,[11][8] and prevent them from tempting the men at court with carnal thoughts.[13][14]

Baelor next decreed prostitution to be outlawed in King's Landing, putting more than a thousand whores and and their children out of the city. This was heavily protested, but Baelor refused to listen and closed his eyes to the unrest that followed.

Being a septon prevented Baelor from having children, and the High Septon gained increasing influence over the spiritually-inclined king.

He granted tax exemption to lords who protected their daughters' virtue through chastity belts" <- first he frees from taxes, those that put chastity belts on their daughters, and next step would be declaring sex to be outlawed.

2. Daeron II.

3. Baelor son of Daeron II, would have been a good King, same as Rhaegar son of Aerys.

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Generally from what I've read on these forums, votes tend towards Daeron II, Aegon I, or Jahaerys I.

It tends towards what you view as 'best'. From your OP, looking towards a peaceful, prosperous reign, you'd look at Jahaerys I or his successor Viserys I, as having peaceful reigns. For accomplishment, Aegon I gets a look in, because it wouldn't have been easy forging Seven Kingdoms into one. Daeron II gets a mention due to his peaceful annexation of Dorne, although he loses out for the Blackfyre Rebellion.

It would also depend on how you allocate reign. Does Viserys I get credit for the Dance of the Dragons, or is that all Aegon II's fault? Does Aegon IV get credit for the Blackfyre Rebellions? Or are you looking more strictly at when the king was in power?

 

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Daeron II, Aerys I, or Maekar.

I am basing this on them being the closest semblances to my romanticized version of what a King is like and the general peacefulness of the realm during this period (Blackfyres and Lothstons excluded). And before someone says "Why Aerys, he was boring" that's why he was good. He let the more experienced Brynden rule and make the realm peaceful, like his namesake later does with Tywin. 

Edited by ChuckPunch

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5 minutes ago, ChuckPunch said:

Daeron II, Aerys I, or Maekar.

I am basing this on them being the closest semblances to my romanticized version of what a King is like and the general peacefulness of the realm during this period (Blackfyres and Lothstons excluded). And before someone says "Why Aerys, he was boring" that's why he was good. He let the more experienced Brynden rule and make the realm peaceful, like his namesake later does with Tywin. 

Yet you leave out Jahaerys I and Viserys I who had entirely peaceful reigns. 

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1 hour ago, Adam Yozza said:

Yet you leave out Jahaerys I and Viserys I who had entirely peaceful reigns. 

I was referring to the time period of the three listed kings, which I consider to be somewhat of a "team effort". That period to me seems like the ideal and most interesting time in Westeros.

Jahaerys I and Viserys I were indeed good kings, however they had dragons to back them up and that makes being a "good" ruler considerably easier. The end of their peaceful rule was due to Viserys' ineptitude at forcefully and clearly naming an heir much like Aegon IV would neglect to do. 

J & V's peace ends abruptly and violently due to familial infighting and dragons. D, A & M's peace is held without the benefit of dragons, fends off outside enmity, and really doesn't end so much as it just kind of peters out over time many years later. 

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2 minutes ago, ChuckPunch said:

I was referring to the time period of the three listed kings, which I consider to be somewhat of a "team effort". That period to me seems like the ideal and most interesting time in Westeros.

Jahaerys I and Viserys I were indeed good kings, however they had dragons to back them up and that makes being a "good" ruler considerably easier. The end of their peaceful rule was due to Viserys' ineptitude at forcefully and clearly naming an heir much like Aegon IV would neglect to do. 

J & V's peace ends abruptly and violently due to familial infighting and dragons. D, A & M's peace is held without the benefit of dragons, fends off outside enmity, and really doesn't end so much as it just kind of peters out over time many years later. 

I don't really see how having a dragon makes being a good king easier beyond the fact that it might mean less people are willing to rebel. But even if Jahaerys hadn't had dragons I doubt his reign would have had many problems. The realm had rallied behind him and he gave them no causes to turn against him. It was nothing but peace and prosperity, a peace and prosperity that lasted longer than the three kings you listed put together, and there were no issues with succesion. Anytime an issue came up he called great council and allowed his lords to decide who should inherit. No succesion wars.

Viserys continued this peace for another twenty-five-ish years. This period did not end due to Viserys inability to clearly name an heir. That's just completely untrue. If you'll recall, Viserys was actually very clear about the fact that Rhaenyra was his heir. He made this point very clear on numerous occasions. It was Alicent's ambition, Cole's  wounded pride and Aegon's arrogance and their refusal to accept Viserys' decision that led to the Dance.

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22 hours ago, ChuckPunch said:

And before someone says "Why Aerys, he was boring" that's why he was good. He let the more experienced Brynden rule and make the realm peaceful, like his namesake later does with Tywin. 

I disagree with that assessment. Aerys dies 25 years after the Blackfyre Rebellion. By that time, with both Daeron and Daemon long dead, the wounds that the civil war left in the realm should have started to heal. And it's his fault that they didn't.

Bloodraven was competent, but he was hardly a man of peace or someone that could be accepted by the two sides of the old conflict. He was actively hostile against the old Blackfyre suporters, and ensured that no consensus could be met. He made his priorities clear during Dagon Greyjoys attacks, when he allowed him to raid the entire Western coast just to keep his fleet in the East for a potential attack from the Blackfyres. A king that allows that to happen can hardly be on a good kings list.

As I see it, a good king would have allowed the least belligerent Blackfyre exiles to return home, and would even tried to negotiate with some of their leaders.

Edited by The hairy bear

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28 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

I disagree with that assessment. Aerys dies 25 years after the Blackfyre Rebellion. By that time, with both Daeron and Daemon long dead, the wounds that the civil war left in the realm should have started to heal. And it's his fault that they didn't.

Bloodraven was competent, but he was hardly a man of peace or someone that could be accepted by the two sides of the old conflict. He was actively hostile against the old Blackfyre suporters, and ensured that any kind of consensus could be met. He made his priorities clear during Dagon Greyjoys attacks, when he allowed him to raid the entire Western coast just to keep his fleet in the East for a potential attack from the Blackfyres. A king that allows that to happen can hardly be on a good kings list.

As I see it, a good king would have allowed the least belligerent Blackfyre exiles to return home, and would even tried to negotiate with some of their leaders.

 

 

 

Agreed. Bittersteel was the problem yet when Aerys had him he gave him the chance to escape. They should've executed him when they had the chance.

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7 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

They should've executed him when they had the chance.

This. 

 

1 hour ago, Adam Yozza said:

I don't really see how having a dragon makes being a good king easier beyond the fact that it might mean less people are willing to rebel. But even if Jahaerys hadn't had dragons I doubt his reign would have had many problems. The realm had rallied behind him and he gave them no causes to turn against him. It was nothing but peace and prosperity, a peace and prosperity that lasted longer than the three kings you listed put together, and there were no issues with succesion. Anytime an issue came up he called great council and allowed his lords to decide who should inherit. No succesion wars.

Viserys continued this peace for another twenty-five-ish years. This period did not end due to Viserys inability to clearly name an heir. That's just completely untrue. If you'll recall, Viserys was actually very clear about the fact that Rhaenyra was his heir. He made this point very clear on numerous occasions. It was Alicent's ambition, Cole's  wounded pride and Aegon's arrogance and their refusal to accept Viserys' decision that led to the Dance.

Fair enough on Jahaerys. I think he's intended to be the ideal king and it's not too disputable. If Viserys had been more decisive in life perhaps people would have obeyed his wished after death.

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Kinslaying is probably something Aerys had on the mind...and maybe chose to not do it?

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4 hours ago, ChuckPunch said:

Daeron II, Aerys I, or Maekar.

I am basing this on them being the closest semblances to my romanticized version of what a King is like and the general peacefulness of the realm during this period (Blackfyres and Lothstons excluded). And before someone says "Why Aerys, he was boring" that's why he was good. He let the more experienced Brynden rule and make the realm peaceful, like his namesake later does with Tywin. 

Daeron II wasn't awful, but he mishandled the Dornish issue and did quite a bit to precipitate the Blackfyre Rebellions.  Hard to fault him for being so generous to his brother... but he should have done more to remove an obvious potential rival, a move he exacerbated by distributing too much favor to the Dornish and alienating many other lords.

Aerys I was awful.  He wasn't boring, he was ineffective.  He let Bloodraven established a failed police state which encouraged terror, eroded the feudal contract by allowing his subjects to be the victims of vicious raiding by the ironborn (without any hint of reprisal), and didn't bother to produce an heir, a damning indictment of any dynastic ruler.  He actually could be one of the worse Targaryen kings; he achieved literally nothing positive in his reign, and allowed the realm to nearly disintegrate due to neglect.

Maekar, however, is one of the top Targaryens.  Jaehaerys I, Aegon I, Viserys II, and Maekar. are probably the top 4 Targs, in that order

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Not counting Aegon I, who is too sui generis as the founder of the dynasty, Jaehaerys I seems an obvious choice, followed by Daeron II. Viserys II had great potential as an able administrator, but his reign was too short to really compare.

"Too much favor" to Dorne seems strange, given that he seems to have given them exactly enough favor to unify the realms and bring lasting peace with the Dornish. As to the Blackfyre situation, that was a poison pill that his father left him. It seems clear he attempted -- and failed -- to win Daemon over by treating him with honor and respect, but this fed into the narrative of his being weak rather than a narrative of his being just. Which is a shame, really, but how much responsibility should be given for the choices made by others?

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30 minutes ago, Ran said:

Not counting Aegon I, who is too sui generis as the founder of the dynasty, Jaehaerys I seems an obvious choice, followed by Daeron II. Viserys II had great potential as an able administrator, but his reign was too short to really compare.

Well, Viserys II was ruling the realm for decades beforehand, so I don't think it's fair to he had "potential".  His outright reign was short, but he was outright ruling the Seven Kingdoms for a very long time, and the survival of the Targaryen dynasty is due to him, one could plausibly argue.  That his outright reign was only 1 year shouldn't discount from any of that.

32 minutes ago, Ran said:

"Too much favor" to Dorne seems strange, given that he seems to have given them exactly enough favor to unify the realms and bring lasting peace with the Dornish.

I don't agree.  Remember, the Dornish are within living memory of brutally murdering Daeron I under a flag of truce, which even under the brutal circumstances of war is a massive breach of diplomatic laws.  Daeron II marries a Martell wife, which as you say isn't his choice, but he DOES choose to bring the Dornish into the Seven Kingdoms on incredibly favorable terms for them, as if the Dornish wife wasn't a massive concession in the first place.

He self-evidently gave the Dornish too much favor, because he sparks a massive rebellion as a result.  If you look at it from the perspective of a Reacher or Stormlander, you just spent a ton of blood and treasure to fight for the Young Dragon, only to see your family and retainers brutally murdered in a "dishonorable" insurrection, which is capped off by the way-beyond-the-pale outright murder of the king.  Then Baelor abases himself to placate a bunch of Dornish scum, instead of bringing fire and blood in vengeance.  And now you're liege is married to a Dornishwoman, is running a flamboyantly Dornish court, is marrying royal princesses off the Dorne... these are really big deals in feudal politics.  Daeron should be distributing his favors and offices more equitably, especially among constituencies that are feeling alienated by the reconciliation with the Dornish.  If he marries Daenerys to a Caron or a Tarly (or a Baratheon or Tyrell), it sends a message that the Dornish aren't in control of the court, and that the voices and concerns of the Marcher lords will be heard at court - that's how feudal marriage politics works.  Instead, the Dornish get all the royal marriage chips, plus real economic privileges, and a strong case to be made that they should be considered primus inter pares among the other great lords of the kingdoms, as they keep their title of Prince/Princess, along with other privileges.

Quote

As to the Blackfyre situation, that was a poison pill that his father left him. It seems clear he attempted -- and failed -- to win Daemon over by treating him with honor and respect, but this fed into the narrative of his being weak rather than a narrative of his being just.

I mostly agree.  However, seeing as his policy failed, we obviously need to criticize him for it.  A harsher, but smarter (in hindsight, admittedly) choice would have been to isolate or exile Daemon.  His (Daeron's) legitimacy was firmly established by the trial by combat in his father's reign, and Daemon, as a legitimized bastard, represents a real threat to the established social order of Westeros.  He could easily have marginalized him by degrees; take back Blackfyre, for one, and keep Daemon away from the court.  It takes the Blackfrye's quite a while to build up the support needed to launch the rebellion, and given how used to pandering to royal high-handedness the various Lords are, it should have been simple for Daeron to arrest Daemon on trumped up charges, confiscate the source of his legitimacy (Blackfyre) and exile him to Essos.  That would have neatly defanged him.

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15 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

Well, Viserys II was ruling the realm for decades beforehand, so I don't think it's fair to he had "potential".  His outright reign was short, but he was outright ruling the Seven Kingdoms for a very long time, and the survival of the Targaryen dynasty is due to him, one could plausibly argue.  That his outright reign was only 1 year shouldn't discount from any of that.

I'm aware. But he was king for a year, that's it, and we're talking about the best king, not best substitute king or best Hand.

We also don't really know the full extent of what he achieved during the reigns of his nephews. Tyrion opines he ran the realm while Daeron warred and Baelor prayed, but what does that mean, exactly? The histories of Daeron and Baelor that we have are largely about what they did, not what Viserys was doing behind the scenes.

 

15 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

 

I don't agree.  Remember, the Dornish are within living memory of brutally murdering Daeron I under a flag of truce, which even under the brutal circumstances of war is a massive breach of diplomatic laws.  Daeron II marries a Martell wife, which as you say isn't his choice, but he DOES choose to bring the Dornish into the Seven Kingdoms on incredibly favorable terms for them, as if the Dornish wife wasn't a massive concession in the first place.

Yes, I remember very well. ;) But that was something that Baelor made peace with Dorne over -- going so far as to forgive the perpetrators, and then negotiate a significant peace -- , and yet no one rebelled against Baelor over it, and for the most part I think one should be cautious to read Eustace Osgrey's perspective as representative of the majority of those who rebelled. One notices that Osgrey's complaints regarding the Dornish were never repeated by anyone in "The Mystery Knight", despite the fact that it featured some notable followers of Daemon Blackfyre.  I'm not saying this wasn't a factor -- obviously it was -- but there were a lot of factors, and the Dornish business seems to have mattered more to some than others.

The Dornish wife was decided by Baelor, as you say. that was simply part of making peace after the Young Dragon's disastrous defeat. And how favorable were the terms, really? They kept their style. They had a bit more autonomy.  They got a Targaryen bride. And in return, they accepted being ruled by the Iron Throne. 

Being the only kingdom not to be militarily defeated by the Targaryens for centuries obviously earned some perks.

 

15 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

He self-evidently gave the Dornish too much favor, because he sparks a massive rebellion as a result.

A rebellion that seems to have happened only because of the poisoned pill his father left him, as you agree later on. If Daemon Blackfyre had not been a credible rival to the throne, who's to say a rebellion would have happened at all?

 

15 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:


If you look at it from the perspective of a Reacher or Stormlander, you just spent a ton of blood and treasure to fight for the Young Dragon, only to see your family and retainers brutally murdered in a "dishonorable" insurrection, which is capped off by the way-beyond-the-pale outright murder of the king.  Then Baelor abases himself to placate a bunch of Dornish scum, instead of bringing fire and blood in vengeance. 

The fact that there's no evidence Baelor had any trouble with his peace with Dorne suggests to me that 50,000 dead later, many in the Seven Kingdoms were no longer in love with the idea of the Young Dragon's conquest and were willing to be done with it.

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25 minutes ago, Ran said:

The Dornish wife was decided by Baelor, as you say. that was simply part of making peace after the Young Dragon's disastrous defeat. And how favorable were the terms, really? They kept their style. They had a bit more autonomy.  They got a Targaryen bride. And in return, they accepted being ruled by the Iron Throne. 

The fact that there's no evidence Baelor had any trouble with his peace with Dorne suggests to me that 50,000 dead later, many in the Seven Kingdoms were no longer in love with the idea of the Young Dragon's conquest and were willing to be done with it.

TWOIAF disagrees:

From Baelor I's section:

"The outrage that followed was swiftly directed at the Dornish hostages. At the command of the King’s Hand, Prince Viserys, they were thrown into the dungeons to await hanging. The Hand’s eldest son, Prince Aegon, even delivered the Dornish girl he had made his paramour to his father to await execution."

"Even as his lords and council cried for vengeance, Baelor publicly forgave his brother’s killers and declared that he meant to “bind up the wounds” of his brother’s war and make peace with Dorne."

From Aegon IV's section:

"Perhaps it was for this reason that Aegon turned his attention to Dorne, using the hatred for the Dornishmen that still burned in the marches, the stormlands, and the Reach to suborn some of Daeron’s allies and use them against his most powerful supporters."

Daeron II's section:

"However, Prince Maron had won a few concessions in the accord, and the lords of Dorne held significant rights and privileges that the other great houses did not—the right to keep their royal title first among them, but also the autonomy to maintain their own laws, the right to assess and gather the taxes due to the Iron Throne with only irregular oversight from the Red Keep, and other such matters. Dissatisfaction at these concessions was one of the seeds from which the first Blackfyre Rebellion sprang, as was the belief that Dorne held too much influence over the king—for Daeron II brought many Dornishmen to his court, some of whom were granted offices of note."

"He was widely seen as just and good-hearted, even if some questioned the influence of his Dornish wife."

"Knights and lords of the Dornish Marches came to mistrust Daeron"

"Many famed warriors who looked with dismay on the peace in the realm and the Dornish in the king’s court"

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