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Colonel Green

[TWOIAF Spoilers] Ranking the Targaryen Kings

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In this whole who finally won thing - it's inspired by Empress Matilda and Stephen. Henry II succeeded Stephen by consent and putting aside Stephen's son, but Matilda herself never reigned.

So the Blacks did win in the end, but by default and because if your cause is male primogeniture, your simple minded daughter can't succeed you consistent with the principle you champion.

While the basic setup is inspired by the Anarchy, the actual details of the Dance of the Dragons differ from the Anarchy's outcome. The Blacks routed the Greens in the field, and were poised to seize King's Landing, leading to Aegon II being murdered by his own men, and their agreeing to crown Aegon III instead to save their own skins. That's a Black victory, with some pacifying gestures made to the Greens (i.e., the marriage to Jaehaera, though that ultimately amounted to nothing, and Tyland Lannister being retained in government).

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Thanks to the World Book, my opinion is now the following:

1. Jahaerys I

2. Aegon I

3. Daeron II

4. Viserys II (much higher than before)

5. Aegon V

6. Aegon III

7. Maekar I

8. Jahaerys II

9. Aerys I

10. Baelor I (much higher than before)

11. Daeron I

12. Viserys I (much lower than before)

13. Aegon II

14. Aenys I

15. Maegor I

16. Aegon IV

17. Aerys II

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I don't think that with Aegon III dead the war would continue but that is my opinion

There are still figures for the Blacks to rally around after Aegon's death though - Baela and Rhaena, who have significant dragonblood in them (Daemon, who's mother and father were bother Targs, and Laena, who had a Targaryen mother). The Black's had the advantage in strength (Rhaena had her own dragon at this point, even if it was just a hatchling; the full might of the North had joined in; the Vale still had large portions of its' army in tact; the Riverlords were in support) after Aegon's crushing defeats (The Westerlands were ravaged by both the Fishfeed and the Greyjoys; the Reach was broken in the Second Battle of Tumbleton; the Baratheons, his final allies, were defeated by the Riverlords in the last battle of the Dance. Hence why Tyland Lannister was sent for Sellswords - Aegon had no army left). Furthermore, they were females, and the Blacks started off as backing the female claim in the first place. They could even have backed Alyn of Hull, if they so desired.

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About Baelor...


I used to think he was merely nuts, and while he was even crazier than I previously imagined, his walk of penance was the greatest thing I've read in the World Book so far. Gave me chills.


I was wondering, we usually think more stable and balanced kings are better than Baelors. But with the way people were pressing for him to continue the war against Dorne, and after the murder of Daeron I, almost everybody else would want more war. Perhaps Westeros needed someone as fanatical as Baelor to bring peace, and nothing less.


So while I think he wasn't excelent after he came back, he did more good than harm. I mean, enduring a child septon and the incovinience of trying to use doves instead of ravens must have sucked, but it's still better than having thousands of people die in the conquest



As for the best Targaryen kings... Jaeherys I and Daeron II, obviously. It's so sad that Viserys II didn't live longer, and Aegon IV didn't die sooner. Imagine if Daeron had come directly after Viserys, and Baelor Breakspear hadn't died. Three great monarchs in a row...


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About Baelor...

I used to think he was merely nuts, and while he was even crazier than I previously imagined, his walk of penance was the greatest thing I've read in the World Book so far. Gave me chills.

I think I agree with you here. That whole part was excellent.

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I haven't made it through all the targ dynasty yet, but I really like jaehaerys I so far. excited to get past this section though to be honest!


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And if Aegon III wasn't his heir why would he keep him alive?

The same reason Bloodraven kept John the Fiddler alive.

Why did you need a hostage that as the only claim of the blacks?

Viserys disappeared so if he killed Aegon the blacks would have no claim

Your confiming what i said why the the older left the younger alive since when the younger died the blacks would have no more claim

Not really. Baela, Rhaena and Viserys were after Aegon so they could had been crowned by the Blacks.

So the Blacks did win in the end, but by default and because if your cause is male primogeniture, your simple minded daughter can't succeed you consistent with the principle you champion.

Not really. Aegon II could had named Jaehaera as the queen and when she was married her consoert could lead. Being feeble minded doesn't matter.

Also not true. The Blacks would just kill him and crown Rhaena or Baela (whichever is older).

Well they are twins. But I believe that even if Baela was older they would had crowned Rhaena only for vanity reasons.

Why would the blacks continue the war for the daughters of Daemon?

With Aegon III dead the cause is dead

And Baela probably died before Aegon II

Because they were not just the daughters of Daemon they were also Rhaenys' granddaughters. The people would had fought for the Queen's who never was granddaughters. Also Baela was alive when Aegon II died; she and Rhaena were the one behind Aegon III’s marriage with Daenaera.

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Bloodraven kept Daemon II alive because Daemon I had other sons, Rhaenyra hadn't

And Aegon couldn't nominate Jaehaera is heir because he would lose is own claim...

If Maelor, Aemond or Daeron were alive it would be different

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And i thought that the Reach army wasn't destroyed they only lost a bit more than 1000 mans in tumbleton

The World book makes clear that the Baratheons were Aegon II's last significant supporters, and pretty much the rest of the Realm was against him.

Rhaenyra would have had no (known) sons alive (Viserys being presumed dead at this point), but there is no way the "Black" lords were going to give up. They had perfectly good Targaryen claimants of their own (Rhaena, and potentially even Alyn of Hull). Once you have actually read the book, that will become apparent to you (in particular, read the Hour of the Wolf in Aegon III chapter. Cregan Stark was not going to bow his head meekly and let Aegon rule). By keeping Aegon III as hostage, Aegon II is able to prevent another claimant being crowned.

ETA: Also not sure why you think he would lose his claim. The whole "male before female" was only really a tag to try and make the Greens look better. Really they were just power grasping.

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Bloodraven kept Daemon II alive because Daemon I had other sons, Rhaenyra hadn't

And Aegon couldn't nominate Jaehaera is heir because he would lose is own claim...

If Maelor, Aemond or Daeron were alive it would be different

Not really. Viserys was hidden (a pretender could easily be found) and Rhaena was alive too.

Aegon could name Jaehaera, he could also had married and had more sons. However he tried to take the throne because Rhaenyra's children were "bastards" not only because she was a woman, so he could had named Jaehaera his heir.

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Um, I would advise you stop trying to defend your position until you have read the book. Otherwise you are arguing with incomplete knowledge. Also, there is a thread for.people who have not yet read the book which you might prefer.

Anyway, in answer to your question, Harrenhal we already knew about - Daemon took it back before he fought Aemond.

The Westerlands were largely defeated at the Fishfeed. Their homelands were also ravaged by the Greyjoy fleet. They still supported Aegon, but they were all but finished as a military force.

The Reach had already suffered losses before Tumbleton, and remember that the Hightowers and not the Tyrells were leading them. After the second Tumbleton they were routed, scattered and leaderless.That is told in the Princess and the Queen too. They had no gathered army, and no leader.

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If the Baratheons were is last supporters what happened to the Reach army, westerlands and Harrenhal?

Qorgyle, I suggest you reading the book first. The books reveals pretty much everything about the Dance.

Aegon II had, at the end, no supporters. That's why he was murdered.

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To speculate a little more on the events:



1. Borros is defeated by the Riverlords. KL learns of this, and of the fact that Cregan Stark is coming down with yet another army.



2. When the army of 'the Lads' show up before KL, Corlys and company poison Aegon II, open the gates to the Black army, and crown Aegon III to end the war. He is betrothed (and (possibly later) married to Jaehaera.



3. Corlys declares an end to the war, and sends envoys/ravens to Casterly Rock, Oldtown, and Storm's End to give them terms - those terms most likely only consisted of something like that: 'There will be no repercussions. You can keep your seats, lands, and titles.'



4. Cregan Stark arrived and took over KL after this end of the Dance was declared, but before the Lannisters, Hightowers, and Baratheons had replied. Aegon III was already crowned at that point, as Cregan forced him to appoint him as Hand. Cregan was not happy with this situation - he wanted to continue the war and punish/eradicate the Green supporters (i.e. the Hightowers, Baratheons, and Lannisters). That he could not do after the Greens accepted Corlys' terms.



5. Cregan's harsh punishment of the Greens-turned-Black at court should have been motivated not only by their dishonorable treachery, but also because they stole victory from him, and prevented his plan to continue the war.



It is also suggested that Aegon II was effectively hated and feared at the point he was restored to the throne (possibly many Blacks feared he intended to treat them the same way he had treated Rhaenyra). Thus they fought on even without a pretender.



On Aegon II:



The idea that this guy would have named any offspring of Rhaenyra/Daemon heir in place over somebody of his own blood is ridiculous. Of course, the outbreak of the war was over younger son vs. elder daughter, but this was not the issue with Aegon the Younger vs. Jaehaera. The former was the son of two confirmed (and attainted/executed) traitors, whereas Jaehaera was of Aegon's own blood. The idea that he would go back to law and precedents at this point is ridiculous.



And yes, if Aegon III had been killed, the Blacks may have rallied around and eventually crowned Rhaena of Pentos. After all, she was a dragonrider at this point (or would soon become one).


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My opinion of Baelor improved quite a bit whilst reading. It seems he was almost entirely behind the peace with Dorne, whilst many others would have kept on fighting a pointless war.



My opinion of Aerys I has improved as well, it seems that he certainly wasn't a puppet of Bloodraven, and simply preferred leaving much of the management of the realm to those who knew better. Nothing we have read in suggests he had many bad qualities.



I don't trust the book regarding Aerys II, obviously he was mad, but it is in Yandel's interests to removed anything good about him and exaggerate the bad to make Robert look much better.



I felt sorry for Aegon III, though who didn't.



As for Aegon II, executing Rhaenyra was a shitty political move, not only will he go down in history as a kinslayer, the lords that supported her did not expect pardons, thus they kept on fighting.


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  1. Aegon I- Visenya- Rhaenys (This trio really surprised me)

Jaehaerys I- Good Queen Alysanne (Good kings and queens, made some questionable decisions but their reign was a time of prosperity for the Seven Kingdoms)

Daeron II (This is what a king should be).

Viserys II (Just due to Tyrion's high opinion of his and his Handship during the reigns of his brother and nephews).

Baelor (Pious fool but good king at the end. I commend him for the integration of Dorne in the Seven Kingdoms. He succeeded where his brother, the warrior, failed)

Aegon V (Good king apparently but had bad relations with his Lords. Not a good situation. Successfully dealt with the Blackfyres and helped the North during the harsh winter of 130-33).

Maekar (Kept Lord Bloodraven as Hand, dealt with the Blackfyres in a challenging era).

Jaehaerys II (He might be considered weak by Barristan the Selmy but it was during his rule that the Blackfyre threat was dealt with once and for all. Reign was too short).

Viserys I (Hard to assess his reign. He succeeded a very capable king so he did not had many challenges but it was during his rule that the seeds of the Dance of the Dragons, which was a catastrophe for the Targaryens, were sown)

Aegon III (Melancholy man. Not much to say).

Aerys I (Should have left his books and impregnated his wife. Made Lord Bloodraven his Hand and left him with much power).

Daeron II (Boy wants to play at war. Conquer Dorne. Dies).

Maegor I (this guy has a bad reputation but I think the post-Aegon the Conqueror needed a king like him. He made the Faith bend, while they were all powerful during Aegon and Aenys's rule).

Aegon II (he did not really rule. It was a civil war period so it's hard to assess his reign)

Aenys (what a weakling! what a tool for marrying his children Aegon and Rhaena)

Ex-aequo Aerys II and Aegon IV (The first contributed to the downfall of the Targaryens while the second caused a 80 year-old civil war that could have led to the downfall of the Targaryens)

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I'd still hope that GRRM writes the book he planned about the reign of Aegon IV from his own perspective, and that he results to be not as bad as it seems (or at least let him have some excuses for it). Admitedly, after AWOIAF, this seems much more difficult. An in any case, I'd always rank Aerys II and Maegor below him. We can only put the Blackfyre's rebellion blame on him to a limited extent (just as we do with Viserys II and the Dance of Dragons)



My list:


1. Jaehaerys I. I'd say he is the founder of the realm as we know it. If there had been a lesser king in his stead, the Targaryen dinasty wouldn't have lasted.


2. Aegon V. Probably better hearted and with better intentions than the Old King, but much less effective.


3. Maekar I. We don't know much about his reign, but he seems to have done well enough. And after the failure of his first two sons, it must be admited that allowing Egg to join Dunk is a brave decision.


4. Daeron II. Although he could have done more to prevent the Rebellion. Favoring Bloodraven over Bittersteel, exclude Fireball from the KG, or favoring Dorne over the other regions were big mistakes in retrospective.


5. Viserys II. For the short time he reigned, he seems to have done good enough.


6. Baelor I. He probably went too far in his religious zeal, but the commons loved him, so he must have done something good during his reign.


7. Aegon III. He seems to have done well enough.


8. Aegon I. He seems to have been a conqueror who left the ruling aspect to more capable hands, which is fine with me. But some of his actions are too harsh.


9. Jaehaerys II


10. Viserys I. He would be five spots higher if he hadn't failed so much in the matter of the succession. Bringing back Ser Otto to court was asking for problems. The appointments of a master of laws known for his adherence to Andal law and a LC who was her daughter's spurned lover weren't exactly shrewd decisions.


11. Aerys I.


12. Aenys I. Well, he tried. In more peaceful times it seems that he could have been a very good king.


13. Daeron I. His reign was focused on a useless aggresion war that brought nothing to the realm.


14. Aegon II. He hardly ruled, and when he did he was cruel and thoughtless.


15. Aegon IV. He was an awful man, specially towards his siblings. But during his reign the realm was at peace, and the common people seems to have lived well enough.


16. Maegor I. He usurped the throne, killed two of his own nephews, forcefully married a niece, murdered wives, started a religious war, treasonously murdered tons of skilled workers that served him,... Also, the Mad King was only bad for the last years of his reign, but during the first fifteen years he was good enough. But...


17. Aerys II. He planned to murder the entire population of KL. At least, when Maegar had it all lost, he had the decency to commit suicide without involving the rest of the city.




Edited to fix the absence of a king...


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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!'.

The Vale may have hated him, and told him to get lost when he wanted to continue rule Runestone even after his wife was dead, but while she was alive the Vale stood to gain a line of Dragonriders by putting up with Daemon. No way in hell would the Vale take kindly to being robbed of that chance.

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Despite the fact that I still think he's crazy, Baelor I really went up in ranking, in my head..



The best King, IMO, is hard to pick.. there were multiple with good qualities.. Maegor I and Aegon II, though, I think were the worst. And Aegon IV.


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