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Colonel Green

[TWOIAF Spoilers] Ranking the Targaryen Kings

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There was an older thread on this in the main subforum a few months ago, but now, with The World of Ice and Fire released, we've been given a good deal more information on the various kings.



My personal ranking:



1. Jaehaerys I - as the maester observed, the Seven Kingdoms never saw his like again.



2. Daeron II - ranking Daeron in second place was one of my more atypical choices in the earlier thread, but the contents of TWOIAF reinforce my belief on this. The guy clearly had good instincts and knew what he was doing; if Aegon IV hadn't been such a douchebag, and Daemon Blackfyre so ambitious, this might have been the beginning of a new golden age.



3. Aegon I - won the kingdoms, and appears to have done a good job beginning to knit them together.



4. Aegon V - one of the longer reigns, and attempted to reform the government apparatus and improve the rights fo the commons. That his successors backed away from many of these laws suggests he was pushing the nobility farther than perhaps was wise, but it's nevertheless a good thing that he concerned himself with modernizing the state.



5. Viserys I - I expect this is the king whose reign will attract the most disagreement. On a macro level, Viserys' reign was just a continuation of his grandfather's, i.e., a lovely time to be alive in the Seven Kingdoms. The rub is in the intrafamily quarrels that exploded after his death, which nearly destroyed the realm. How much you think his kingship is marred by that is the question; in my case, while he could have done some things differently (in particular, given that he had heirs, he might have been better off sticking with mistresses rather than marrying again).



6. Jaehaerys II - a short reign, but he pursued a successful policy in the Stepstones, and conciliated the nobles that his father had offended. His most undiplomatic action occurred prior to inheriting, when he insisted on marring Princess Shaera, though I guess you can't blame him for that too much given his father and older brother's example.



7. Viserys II - another short reign, but I give him additional points for his long leadup, where he did his best to moderate the excesses of others.



8. Aegon III - I dropped him down a bit from my earlier ranking, as he had less personal involvement in the running of the realm than might earlier have been thought, but ultimately he presided over the stabilization of the Targaryen monarchy, sufficient to survive the turmoil his sons and nephew would bring.



9. Maekar I - a time of peace, we're told, but if the main issue in his reign was the succession, he doesn't seem to have done much to manage it, given the calling of the Great Council. Still, not a bad administration.



10. Aerys I - largely devolved the government of the realm to his councillors, but he picked good people, so there's nothing inherently wrong. His decision to send Bittersteel to the Wall is really not something he can be criticized for, in my opinion, since people have been sending their enemies to the Wall since time immemorial, and it's hardly his fault that this is the rare case where it didn't work.



11. Baelor I - the opening acts of his reign showed a moral vision and courage that might have made a great king, but, whether through increasing fervor or increasing insanity as a result of injuries sustained, he couldn't follow through on that. Nevertheless, unlike many poor kings, his more problematic policies often did well by ordinary people, which is more than can be said for many.



12. Aenys I - had to deal with many problems that weren't his fault, particularly in the form of Maegor, but he committed careless blunders, such as the marriage of Rhaenys and Aegon, that could easily have been avoided, and was indecisive when decisiveness was called for.



13. Daeron I - squandered resources and, ultimately, his life in an attempt to conquer Dorne.



14. Aegon II - I rate him slightly higher than the three below him as, while the Dance of the Dragons is a giant self-inflicted wound, I'd argue he bears less responsibility for it than does Maegor, Aerys, or Aegon IV, since the conflict that he became enmeshed in was ultimately not started by him, though he tried to finish it. The rivalry of the Greens and Blacks predated his birth.



15. Maegor I - did his best to destroy the village (the village is the Targaryen dynasty) in order to save it.



16. Aerys II - I was tempted to rank him last, seeing as he toppled the dynasty, but I guess he has madness as a partial excuses, whereas Aegon IV was just a selfish douchebag.



17. Aegon IV - GRRM has personally opined on this. I wasn't entirely sure on that, but TWOIAF makes a decent case for it. Certainly, of all the Targaryen kings, few did so much to generate their own problems, such as attempting to restart the war with Dorne in a manner that would undo Baelor's work.


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You have Viserys I way too high



1. Jahaerys I


2. Daeron II


3. Viserys II (yes he was 'king' for a short time, but he did all the ruling for Baelor and Daeron I, the book makes it quite obvious that Aegon IV being absolute scum was hardly his fault)



These are the big 3 IMO, afterwards it becomes a little more complicated for me



4. Aegon I (Yes he conquered Westeros, but he also had all the dragons at his side and he loses points for moronically trying to take Dorne again, instead of ruling and building up what he already had)


5. Aegon V (would have been higher had he told his kids "listen kids, I wasn't bethrothed, you were now do your job!")


6. Jahaerys II


7. Maekar I


8. Aegon III (would be higher if he had raised either of his sons better)



The rest is basically garbage if you ask me. Coming back to Viserys I, he could have easily ended a lot of heartache with Daemon (who IMO was the smarter brother as he actually seemed to be aware of what the hell was going on) by betrothing him to someone in Dorne (he would have fit right in there, plus it would help make peace relations between them), The Reach (would have liked chilling with the Knights) and...well basically ANYWHERE except the Vale. He should have disinherited Rhaenyra the minute he saw that all of her first 3 kids looked nothing like Targs and made Aegon II the heir. Making Rhaenyra the heir and making Daemon hate him are what truly caused Westeros to plunge into hell.



Now don't get me wrong, Viserys I is not Aegon IV, but no way in hell would I call him a good king.


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Viserys I is definitely Robert Baratheon.

An excellent summary, my friend.

And is it me or did the Aegon III/Viserys II dynamic kinda remind you of what Stannis and Renly could be had they joined forces?

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1. Jaehaerys I


2. Aegon I


3. Viserys II


4. Viserys I


5. Aerys I


6. Daeron II


7. Maekar I


8. Jaehaerys II


9. Aegon III


10. Aegon II


11. Daeron I


12. Aegon V


13. Baelor I


14. Maegor I


15. Aenys I


16. Aegon IV


17. Aerys II


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Coming back to Viserys I, he could have easily ended a lot of heartache with Daemon (who IMO was the smarter brother as he actually seemed to be aware of what the hell was going on) by betrothing him to someone in Dorne (he would have fit right in there, plus it would help make peace relations between them), The Reach (would have liked chilling with the Knights) and...well basically ANYWHERE except the Vale.

Daemon's marriage was made in 97 AC, in the reign of Jaehaerys, and when Prince Baelon was alive.

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Daemon's marriage was made in 97 AC, in the reign of Jaehaerys, and when Prince Baelon was alive.

I stand corrected on that part, still after Rhea Royce's death he could still have orchestrated the Dornish marriage. Or he could have annuled a marriage neither party was happy with and negotiated for someone else to inherit Runestone considering the marriage didn't produce any kids.

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I stand corrected on that part, still after Rhea Royce's death he could still have orchestrated the Dornish marriage.

Daemon married Laena pretty much immediately after Rhea died -- he flew to Runestone, then, having been rejeced at the Eyrie, flew to Driftmark. There was never any point where Viserys could have considered alternatives.

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Daemon married Laena pretty much immediately after Rhea died -- he flew to Runestone, then, having been rejeced at the Eyrie, flew to Driftmark. There was never any point where Viserys could have considered alternatives.

Which is where the annulment part comes in. Daemon had a lover from Lys and he was forced to send her away because Viserys told him to, that should have been Vis' cue to talk to Daemon about his marriage and how extremely rotten it had become (it's well-noted that not only did he hate the Vale, but the Vale hated him, that's dangerous). Instead Viserys just said 'Go back to your wife, at once!'.

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An excellent summary, my friend.

And is it me or did the Aegon III/Viserys II dynamic kinda remind you of what Stannis and Renly could be had they joined forces?

I actually haven't thought of that. I was actually taken by surprise by how full of life Viserys II was.

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I actually haven't thought of that. I was actually taken by surprise by how full of life Viserys II was.

Same here, I guess I still had that picture of an older Viserys with gold coins and a mistrustful look on his face.

It hit me when I read about Aegon III. I knew the kid was sullen and I always pictured Maekar as the most Stannis-like king, but they mention how Aegon was a good ruler but his largest failing was that he wasn't interested in earning his subjects' love, he constantly kept to himself, wasn't interested in anything that was not his sworn duty and was called a 'broken king'. Then it goes on to say how Viserys was the brother with all the charm, gift for diplomacy and the one who loved bringing people to court (well until his wife left him). Also it's quite obvious that the death of their parents had a much higher impact on Aegon.

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I like Aegon V but rather than a good understanding father, I would say he was a pushover and his kids knew it. He married for love because he wasn't expected to be King, unlike his children.



Aegon III's story broke my heart. I dont think he was a bad King but indeed, as the text said, he was broken.



Anyway, I need a few re-reads to make up my mind but so far, my top three are (not in order)



Aegon I, he knew how to rule


Jaehaerys I, obvious reasons


Viserys II, he did mostly of the ruling for Aegon III.

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I'm sure Aegon III just didn't recover from the horror of seeing his mother eaten, followed by months of atrocious captivity.


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The Conqueror.... Gyldayn's account of the conquest is the best thing in this book, for me.


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Agreed w/ everyone who ranked Jaehaerys as #1, but although she wasn't an official Queen Regnant, Alysanne has to be mentioned here. Love her, love her name, and love the fact that over 250 years later, she has namesakes all over Westeros.



#2 - Daeron the Good. I get why he loses points for being soft on Daemon Blackfyre, but he seems as if he was generally a very good man.



#3 - Aegon V, our Egg from the D&E chronicles, the one Targaryen king we'll likely know the most about after all is said and done. Appreciate his love for the smallfolk and actually laughed that he wanted dragons to bend the LPs to his will. It's as if he wanted to do the Magna Carta backwards! And of course, I need to know about Egg's Beth... and his children. Interesting life, and a spectacularly tragic end.



#4 - Viserys II, who really gave the realm quite a bit of stability after the Dance. Things could've unraveled much faster for the Targs without him. His wife Larra Rogare seems to have provided a lot of strength and guidance for him in his younger adulthood.



I'll think for a while about the rest. :)

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My ranking at the top hasn't really changed:



1) Jaeherys I => You can't beat the guy



2) Daeron the Good => Brought Dorne into the fold. If only he could have reigned after a better king than Aegon IV



3) Viserys II => The man kept the Kingdom afloat for many years



4) Aegon I => Though I feel I have to heap more praise on his sisters than he himself. Especially Rhaenys was impressive, with her marriage politic



5) Aegon V => If only his marriage politics hadn't failed, he would have rivaled Daeron the Good imo. Sadly, the marriages did fail, as did Summerhall and eventually Tywin undid all his great reforms.



6) Maekar I => He strikes me as a better king than I had previously given him credit for



7) Baelor => His early reign was very promising. Fuck the Wylls for all the shit they were responsible for in TWOIAF. He could have been a great one.



8) Daeron I => My opinion of the Young Dragon was fairly low before this, but he actually turned out better than I expected. If only he hadn't tried to wed a sister of the Sealord, he might have won



9) Aerys I => Unremarkable



10) Jaeherys II => Unremarkable



11) Aegon III => Not particularly special, I rank him below his sons though



12) Viserys I => Thanks for the Dance



13) Aenys => Not a good fit for his time



14) Maegor the Cruel => The name says it all



15) Aegon II => A bad king and a usurper to booth



16) Aerys II => Lost the Realm



17) Aegon IV => All problems with the Blackfyre's (which likely helped to topple the dynasty) lead back to him


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Aegon III's story broke my heart. I dont think he was a bad King but indeed, as the text said, he was broken.

OMG yes!!!!

My heart broke for him and what else would he be but broken on what he lost and endured. They really need some psychiatrist and psychologist in Westeros.

Poor Aegon

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