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Why wasn't Daeron I married to Daena?

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It's usually custom for the Targaryens that the oldest son marries the oldest daughter, but Daena was married to Baelor before Daeron lost his life in 161 AC. Why was that?

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We have no idea. My personal guess is that Aegon III/Daenaera/Viserys had already brokered a marriage for young Daeron, but the war prevented it that he ever went through with it.

The idea would be that Daeron was betrothed to his cousin - either one of the six daughters of Rhaena Targaryen and Garmund Hightower - or, more likely in my opinion, to a Velaryon cousin, a daughter of Baela Targaryen and Alyn Oakenfist. Queen Daenaera was a Velaryon herself, her father being a cousin of Lord Alyn, and Baela and Alyn (at least supposedly) come from the older line of House Targaryen, being descended from Prince Aemon, Princess Rhaenys, and Laena/Laenor Velaryon. A child from this union is pretty much the only one more better suited to be Daeron's bride than Daeron's own sister.

If these two had a daughter later in life, a couple of years younger than Daeron I, then it would make sense that there was a betrothal but not yet a wedding. A 14-year-old would not marry a 10-year-old, say, especially not during a war, and later on he never got around to do it, being too occupied with his war. And a 13-year-old is also not necessarily old enough to be married and bedded. The marriage of Baelor-Daena took place at his command, but not necessarily while he was present.

But if Daeron I wasn't betrothed to anyone then it is very odd indeed that he forced his own brother to marry their sister - a sister who would preferred it to be married to Daeron - rather than claiming said sister for himself. Or at least arranging his own marriage and wedding before allowing/forcing his brother to wed.

Baelor was Daeron I's heir presumptive, but giving him a sister-wife and the chance to produce children of their own while the king himself was neither married nor with an heir of his body wasn't exactly the greatest of idea. Especially not in light of the fact that his uncle Prince Viserys had already sons and a grandson of his own. Ignoring your own bloodline and strengthening the bloodline of your relatives isn't exactly a great idea.

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This is very much a mystery in of itself. I mean there could've been reasons but we don't really know what is happening there. Its possible he himself had no interest in marrying his sister at all, just has Aegon IV really didn't want nothing to do with his sister aswell

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1 hour ago, King Jon Targaryen I said:

This is very much a mystery in of itself. I mean there could've been reasons but we don't really know what is happening there. Its possible he himself had no interest in marrying his sister at all, just has Aegon IV really didn't want nothing to do with his sister aswell

Except we're given reasons why Aegon and Naerys didn't want to be married to each other whereas Daeron and Daena would, by all accounts, make a splendid couple.

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I figure he was very much like Charles XII, who like Daeron came to the throne very young, proceeded to win fame as a general and soldier, and died an early death (during a siege, admittedly, but there were rumors he was actually assassinated).

Charles said he did not wed in part because he was wed to the military life, and did not desire marriage until he had won lasting peace through his efforts. Daeron strikes me as someone who thought he would live forever, and cared for nothing more than feats of arms, putting off marriage because it was a distraction to these things. And once he was king, and no one seemed keen on compelling him to do as others told him, there was no preventing him from doing as he pleased on the matter.

Edited by Ran

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

I figure he was very much like Charles XII, who like Daeron came to the throne very young, proceeded to win fame as a general and soldier, and died an early death (during a siege, admittedly, but there were rumors he was actually assassinated).

Charles said he did not wed in part because he was wed to the military life, and did not desire marriage until he had won lasting peace through his efforts. Daeron strikes me as someone who thought he would live forever, and cared for nothing more than feats of arms, putting off marriage because it was a distraction to these things. And once he was king, and no one seemed keen on compelling him to do as others told him, there was no preventing him from doing as he pleased on the matter.

That is a good explanation for him not marrying after he became king.

The tricky is just that he apparently married the sister he should have kept for himself to his younger brother. Why not marry Rhaena to Baelor? Why marry Baelor at all before he himself has wed? He has more than enough heirs in Baelor, his sisters, and the descendants of his uncle. There is no reason to rush things, no?

It could help if Aegon III, Daenaera or Viserys had arranged a betrothal for Daeron (possibly with a daughter of Rhaena or Baela) and the king then just postponed that thing indefinitely. If he was never going to marry Daena, it makes sense he would wed her to Baelor. But if he technically could have married her the whole thing is pretty odd.

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I don't really think it's tricky. Marrying off a younger sister before the elder sister might have struck people as a breach of protocol, to some degree. So if he wasn't set to marry, but Daena was of marrying age, and if Viserys or someone at least said, well, someone needs to have heirs if you don't want to marry now, then Daena gets married to Baelor and the question of Daeron's marriage is punted down the road.

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6 hours ago, Ran said:

I don't really think it's tricky. Marrying off a younger sister before the elder sister might have struck people as a breach of protocol, to some degree. So if he wasn't set to marry, but Daena was of marrying age, and if Viserys or someone at least said, well, someone needs to have heirs if you don't want to marry now, then Daena gets married to Baelor and the question of Daeron's marriage is punted down the road.

I agree that it would work, it is just that it doesn't make for a nice story that Aegon III, Queen Daenaera, and Prince Viserys didn't make plans for the king's children before Aegon III's death.

The king had children rather late, and Prince Viserys forced his children to marry four years before Aegon's death. One assumes that if Viserys arranged an incestuous marriage for his children and also helped Daeron I to go through with the Baelor-Daena match, that the betrothal of the Heir Apparent would have been an important thing in the years 153-157 AC.

While the precise details of the children of Baela and Rhaena are not yet worked out (at least to our knowledge) it seems that a match between Daeron I and a daughter of Alyn Oakenfist (if there was such a daughter close to Daeron's age) might be something Aegon III, Daenaera, and Alyn Velaryon may have liked. It is the kind of match that may have made more sense in this specific situation than the traditional sibling incest.

A younger daughter of Rhaena and Garmund Hightower could work in a similar way.

A story where the guys at court simply did not get around to search for a proper future bride for the Prince of Dragonstone would be somewhat weird. Granted, it would definitely be possible but it would be something one would want an explanation for.

The idea that Daeron I did simply not (yet) want to go through with a wedding after he wore the crown - and especially after he came of age - certainly makes sense.

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I don't think it would be surprising if Aegon III was adamant about putting off making matches for his children until they grew older, after his own marital experiences as a pre-teen and teen.

Aegon was only eleven when he wed his eight year old cousin Jaehaera, who killed herself or was killed when she was just ten. Then Aegon had his Hand Unwin Peake trying to wed his daughter to him. And even after Aegon chose to wed six year old Daenaera Velaryon, Unwin continued to pursue those aspirations, and made efforts to have Aegon's choice put aside. At some point, Aegon's friend Gaemon Palehair was killed in an assassination attempt on Aegon and his young wife Daenaera. And though he did his duty, even in adulthood it doesn't sound like he took great joy in marriage.

At the time he died he had two sons, three daughters, a brother, two nephews (though one served in his Kingsguard), a niece, and a great-nephew. Perhaps he thought he could afford to wait a couple more years for his children to mature before he started marrying them off. He couldn't have predicted that his sons would never wed or father any children, or that no male Targaryens would be born between the birth of his nephew Aegon (IV)'s firstborn son Daeron (II) in 153 AC, and the birth of Daeron (II)'s own firstborn son Baelor in 170 AC.

And once Daeron I and Baelor I were kings in their own right, they could be counseled, but nobody could force them to wed or father children, even when Targaryen males were dying with no new Targaryen males being born (from 253 AC to 268 AC, only one Targaryen male was born, while two Targaryen kings died and another was lost to the KG).

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If Aegon III died of consumption then his death would have been long coming and expected. Something like that makes it likely that the man wanted to set his house in order before he closed his eyes forever, and ensuring that his legacy was secure and the dynasty would continue to prosper actually sort of includes to arrange matches for his own children.

In fact, it would not surprise anyone, I imagine, if it turned out that Aegon III decreed on his deathbed that his son and successor Daeron did not need a regent to rule in his name. Not just because of the memory of his own regency - a memory Viserys would have shared - but also because the boy was already ready to rule in his own right.

The comparison with Aegon III's own marriages is off, I think, considering that there is a difference between a betrothal and a marriage. Aegon III was married to at least one girl he may not have liked all that much, and he also wed Daenaera at a rather early age, but betrothing your children is not marrying them.

Rhaenyra betrothed her own sons to Daemon's daughters at a very early age yet nothing came out of those marriages. It could very well be similar with Daeron I's betrothal. And all we know at this point is that Daeron I never married; we do not know he was never betrothed to anyone.

Aegon III had three daughters he could his heir betroth to, not to mention at least six nieces (and perhaps even some grandnieces in 157 AC). And he would have given permission for/not objected to the Aegon-Naerys match in 153 AC, too - something that's very odd, too, if he cared about sparing his children the fate of his own early and unhappy marriages. Are we to believe Aegon III cared only about the happiness of his own children and not that of his niece, the daughter of his brother Viserys? Aegon and especially Naerys were forced into a marriage at a very early age.

If Viserys was allowed to force his children to give him grandchildren at an early age then this implies they did want another generation of Targaryens. And with Viserys having both sons and now a grandson before the king it is odd that the king would have made no preparations for his own children.

But Aegon III's character makes it very unlikely that he actually cared much about the emotional well-being of his family. It would actually surprise me if he had a proper relationship with any of his children.

What we know about Daena makes it very odd that nobody thought of a Daeron-Daena match. She liked her brother very much, and she would have idolized him even more after his victories. Why force Baelor on her, who most likely wasn't all that keen to marry anyway? Regardless who came up with that match - Daeron I himself, Viserys, a widowed Daenaera, or some other person at court - was basically making another 'great match' like the Aegon-Naerys thing. If the king was both unwed and unmarried at the time of the match, why didn't Daena (or anyone) succeed with the obvious plea to make Daena Daeron's bride? Daeron I already being promised to another woman would make that less of a conundrum. In the other scenario Daeron I would just be a dick.

And for a man who may not have wanted to marry himself, Daeron I was rather occupied with arranging marriages for his kin. Not only did he marry Baelor to Daena but he also intended to marry his sister Rhaena to the Sealord of Braavos.

It is still possible that he was of the opinion that there were different rules for the king than his family, but he definitely found time and opportunity to arrange and plan royal weddings.

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I have to alternative theories about it:

1)  Daeron may have been gay. He has been compared to Alexander by Martin, and several authors assume that he had been homosexual (or at least bisexual). If that's the case, it's easily explainable why he brokered marriages for his siblings without caring about his own.

2) Daeron may have intended to consolidate the conquest of Dorne by marrying Mariah Martell. She was, after all, the eldest daughter and heir of the Prince of Dorne. Marrying her would have ensured that Dorne was integrated into the realm. Mariah could have been 11-12 when Daeron died, so he could have been waiting for her to grow a little before marrying her. And it's fitting than she was some years older than Daeron II, since he got her pregnant when he was only  14.

Edited by The hairy bear

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1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

1)  Daeron may have been gay. He has been compared to Alexander by Martin, and several authors assume that he had been homosexual (or at least bisexual). If that's the case, it's easily explainable why he brokered marriages for his siblings without caring about his own.

It is possible, but being gay wouldn't in and of itself explain why Daeron I didn't even attempt to do his duty to provide an heir to the Iron Throne. His father Aegon III was said to dislike being touched, even by Queen Daenaera, and to to have been long in calling her to his bed (Daenaera appears to have been 15-16 and Aegon to have been 22-23 when Daeron was born). But he still wed and provided heirs for the Iron Throne.

1 hour ago, The hairy bear said:

2) Daeron may have intended to consolidate the conquest of Dorne by marrying Mariah Martell. She was, after all, the eldest daughter and heir of the Prince of Dorne. Marrying her would have ensured that Dorne was integrated into the realm. Mariah could have been 11-12 when Daeron died, so he could have been waiting for her to grow a little before marrying her. And it's fitting than she was some years older than Daeron II, since he got her pregnant when he was only  14.

I've also considered the possibility that Daeron I had in mind to eventually wed Mariah Martell. 

Daeron (II) would have been 15-16 when he got Mariah pregnant, as he was born on the last day of 153 AC, the same year the last dragon died, and their first child Baelor was born in 170 AC. TWOIAF says that Daeron (II) and Mariah were both children when Baelor I negotiated the betrothal, seemingly in the first year or so of his reign (161-162 AC?), while the marriage wasn't to take place until they were of age. Whether Mariah was older, younger, or of an age with Daeron (II), she was apparently still a child when Daeron I died, and might have been for a number of years after.

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12 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If Aegon III died of consumption then his death would have been long coming and expected. Something like that makes it likely that the man wanted to set his house in order before he closed his eyes forever, and ensuring that his legacy was secure and the dynasty would continue to prosper actually sort of includes to arrange matches for his own children.

In fact, it would not surprise anyone, I imagine, if it turned out that Aegon III decreed on his deathbed that his son and successor Daeron did not need a regent to rule in his name. Not just because of the memory of his own regency - a memory Viserys would have shared - but also because the boy was already ready to rule in his own right.

The comparison with Aegon III's own marriages is off, I think, considering that there is a difference between a betrothal and a marriage. Aegon III was married to at least one girl he may not have liked all that much, and he also wed Daenaera at a rather early age, but betrothing your children is not marrying them.

Rhaenyra betrothed her own sons to Daemon's daughters at a very early age yet nothing came out of those marriages. It could very well be similar with Daeron I's betrothal. And all we know at this point is that Daeron I never married; we do not know he was never betrothed to anyone.

Aegon III had three daughters he could his heir betroth to, not to mention at least six nieces (and perhaps even some grandnieces in 157 AC). And he would have given permission for/not objected to the Aegon-Naerys match in 153 AC, too - something that's very odd, too, if he cared about sparing his children the fate of his own early and unhappy marriages. Are we to believe Aegon III cared only about the happiness of his own children and not that of his niece, the daughter of his brother Viserys? Aegon and especially Naerys were forced into a marriage at a very early age.

If Viserys was allowed to force his children to give him grandchildren at an early age then this implies they did want another generation of Targaryens. And with Viserys having both sons and now a grandson before the king it is odd that the king would have made no preparations for his own children.

But Aegon III's character makes it very unlikely that he actually cared much about the emotional well-being of his family. It would actually surprise me if he had a proper relationship with any of his children.

What we know about Daena makes it very odd that nobody thought of a Daeron-Daena match. She liked her brother very much, and she would have idolized him even more after his victories. Why force Baelor on her, who most likely wasn't all that keen to marry anyway? Regardless who came up with that match - Daeron I himself, Viserys, a widowed Daenaera, or some other person at court - was basically making another 'great match' like the Aegon-Naerys thing. If the king was both unwed and unmarried at the time of the match, why didn't Daena (or anyone) succeed with the obvious plea to make Daena Daeron's bride? Daeron I already being promised to another woman would make that less of a conundrum. In the other scenario Daeron I would just be a dick.

And for a man who may not have wanted to marry himself, Daeron I was rather occupied with arranging marriages for his kin. Not only did he marry Baelor to Daena but he also intended to marry his sister Rhaena to the Sealord of Braavos.

It is still possible that he was of the opinion that there were different rules for the king than his family, but he definitely found time and opportunity to arrange and plan royal weddings.

Who knows what Aegon III wanted to do before he died? Whatever the case, as far as we know, he doesn't appear to have arranged betrothals for his children before he died. 

In general, there may be differences between a marriage and a betrothal, but a betrothal still has the potential to embroil a young prince in plots and schemes a king traumatized by his own experiences may not consider them to be ready to navigate.

Let's remember that both of Aegon III's marriages occurred before his brother Viserys (II) was recovered, when he would have been the only known surviving Targaryen male as far as much of the realm knew.

And even so, let's also remember that Aegon III was first wed to a child of eight, then to a child of six. So while he was legally married, neither marriage was likely to be consummated for half a decade or more.

In other words, the first decade or so of marriage experience was essentially like a long betrothal.

Aegon III need not have cared much about the emotional well being of his children, or had special relationships with his children, to have made decisions about them based on his own traumatic experiences.

Just because Aegon III allowed Viserys (II) to do something with his kids in 153 AC doesn't mean he wished to do the same with his own in the years leading up to his death. Viserys's eldest son Aegon (IV) was a decade older than his eldest son Daeron (I). Viserys's daughter Naerys was over half a decade older than his eldest daughter Daena. And that sorry excuse for a marriage isn't likely to have inspired him to rush out and match up his still-minor children.

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3 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

I have to alternative theories about it:

1)  Daeron may have been gay. He has been compared to Alexander by Martin, and several authors assume that he had been homosexual (or at least bisexual). If that's the case, it's easily explainable why he brokered marriages for his siblings without caring about his own.

I once asked George whether Daeron I was gay. He said he wasn't, and that he was married but didn't know to whom at that point. It can be found in the SSMs. Since Daeron apparently wasn't married now he may have been gay. Or not. Difficult to say.

Being gay doesn't mean they would not arrange betrothals for him (e.g. Laenor and the other Daeron) but it would make it less likely he would go through with any such betrothal or arrange a marriage for himself after he became king.

People are not so obsessed with having children in this world as one might expect. The dynasty is everything and all, but one can still tell everybody to go fuck themselves. Aerys I did that, too.

3 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

2) Daeron may have intended to consolidate the conquest of Dorne by marrying Mariah Martell. She was, after all, the eldest daughter and heir of the Prince of Dorne. Marrying her would have ensured that Dorne was integrated into the realm. Mariah could have been 11-12 when Daeron died, so he could have been waiting for her to grow a little before marrying her. And it's fitting than she was some years older than Daeron II, since he got her pregnant when he was only  14.

That is an idea that has been tossed around for quite some time, and it would work if Daeron was indeed betrothed to no one. However, by the time the Baelor-Daena thing came up Dorne had already submitted, so why was the Princess Mariah not at court as a hostage and the future queen of the Seven Kingdoms. But then - perhaps she was. We don't know yet.

27 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Who knows what Aegon III wanted to do before he died? Whatever the case, as far as we know, he doesn't appear to have arranged betrothals for his children before he died. 

That is actually not the case. We don't know whose idea the Baelor-Daena thing was - Aegon III's prior to his death or the brainchild of Daeron I and Viserys after Aegon III had already died. We have no idea. All we do know is that it happened under the aegis of Daeron I and his Hand, but we don't know that they planned it.

27 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

And even so, let's also remember that Aegon III was first wed to a child of eight, then to a child of six. So while he was legally married, neither marriage was likely to be consummated for half a decade or more.

We should also keep in mind that Daenaera Velaryon was the boy king's own choice, not the choice of his regents. As far as we know he wanted to marry that girl - which sort of takes the edge of the idea that this was all unpleasant, etc. Jaehaera may have been very unpleasant for Aegon III, of course.

27 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

In other words, the first decade or so of marriage experience was essentially like a long betrothal.

The difference would be that there would have been actual marriage ceremonies for Aegon III and his queens. He may not have consummated the marriages, but he was not just betrothed, either.

And a betrothal doesn't mean you have to go through with the marriage in the mid-teens. That happened rather often but Jace and Luke never went through with their marriages, and neither did the Braavosi who was betrothed to Laena or Aegon V's children. One can ignore or indefinitely postpone betrothals.

Which means it makes little sense to assume a betrothal is an unpleasant interference with the childhood of a child. Especially in the context of the incest policy. Siblings grow up together. Telling a Targaryen child it was to marry its sibling later in life shouldn't be that much of a problem - just remember how Dany always expected that she would marry Viserys one day.

27 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Aegon III need not have cared much about the emotional well being of his children, or had special relationships with his children, to have made decisions about them based on his own traumatic experiences.

While his first marriage may have been unpleasant, I doubt being around a child counts as very traumatic there. Aegon III was suffering from some real traumas in comparison to which the marriage to Jaehaera doesn't seem that big of an issue. It might be difficult if he had been forced to bed her, but considering his own age and especially the age of Jaehaera this is very unlikely.

And what we know of Daena implies she would have had no issue to be betrothed to her brother Daeron. When her father died she was already twelve years old. Old enough to be betrothed.

27 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Just because Aegon III allowed Viserys (II) to do something with his kids in 153 AC doesn't mean he wished to do the same with his own in the years leading up to his death. Viserys's eldest son Aegon (IV) was a decade older than his eldest son Daeron (I). Viserys's daughter Naerys was over half a decade older than his eldest daughter Daena. And that sorry excuse for a marriage isn't likely to have inspired him to rush out and match up his still-minor children.

My point here is more that it was apparently evident to pretty much anyone that Naerys did not want to marry Aegon. But her royal uncle did nothing to prevent it. Naerys could have married Aemon instead of Aegon if the king and her own father had carried about her well-being. They could found other brides for Aegon (also among the children of Aegon III's half-sisters).

In fact, there should also be a rather good explanation for the Aegon-Naerys match in context of the story, considering that nobody but Viserys seems to have wanted this. Even Aegon would have probably preferred a different wife.

But we'll have to wait and see.

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