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Targaryens in the Century of Blood


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So I always wondered. Why we know nothing about the Targaryens in the Century of Blood? 

I mean, 2 pages in F&B filled with really only a little information about them would've been good. How they died, what great things they might have done, etc.

Instead, the family tree is incomplete, we don't even know the names of all of them, and we also know nothing about the other 4 dragons that belonged to Aenar, and that who rode them, if anyone did ever. I mean, Balerion and the 4 other dragons surely were ridden before , but it might be that Meraxes and Vhagar were claimed by others too before Visenya and Rhaenys rode them.

I do get that this is the Century of Blood, but this didn't really affect Westeros, nor Dragonstone on a level that people would've been unable to write down some things about them, I think.

Edited by Daeron the Daring
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It would be interesting to know. I'd like to know why they didn't go pack to Essos and make a play for power in the power vacuum that is the Century of Blood. After all they are suddenly in the newly rare and powerful position of having dragons. Why not try and found a new Valyrian freehold?

Maybe the reveal of what the Targaryens were up to on Dragonstone will be an important plot point later on...although I can't think how.

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1 hour ago, Rondo said:

The Targaryens are good.  They are not power-hungry people.  They conquered to make life better for the underdogs.  They don't conquer for the sake of power.  The family was content to remain at Dragonstone.

We know why Aegon I conquered Westeros, but we also know that his ancestors paid a lot of attention to Essos instead, and even considered carving out a kingdom for themselves in there, but Aegon chose to go for Westeros instead.

And Targaryens aren't any better in general than other Houses. Every House has some bad apples in their barrel, and people are more ambitious than we think, and the current "bad guy" Houses aren't all time villains troughout history.

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I agree, this is an interesting period for the Targaryens that could do with some elaboration. Why did the other 4 dragons die? Old age? A proto- dance of the dragons? Unlikely but it’d be nice to know more about the family tree, family politics and dragons regardless. 

I do understand why George hasn’t written about it though. His history of the Targaryens has always been framed as a history of them as a dynasty, a ruling power for 300 years. Aegon the conqueror= William the conqueror. Most mainstream histories of William’s conquest of England won’t go into his family background 4/5 generations back. Perhaps the Targaryens before Aegon and his sisters were just living on Dragonstone with their dragons, so unremarkable and inactive that their story simply isn’t worth telling given what happened after.

Maybe they were consolidating their power by waiting for more younger dragons to hatch and grow? Maybe they saw what happened to Lord Aurion and didn’t want to approach Valyria lest they meet a similar fate? Maybe they were in conflict with each other and this halted any political progress until Aegon broke the mould? Who knows.

Edited by TheTargaryenHistorian
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We really have no idea what happened back on Dragonstone. The only news we got in FaB is that Aegon's grandfather, Daemion, already employed a maester, as did his father Lord Aerion.

Also, we know that Aenar's son Gaemon the Glorious was the greatest Targaryen Lord of Dragonstone, indicating that this guy may have participated in no small way in the wars and conflicts in Essos during the early phase of the Century of Blood - possibly warring with Pentos and Myr and Braavos over territory in Essos and/or about who controlled trade in the region.

You usually don't get this kind of nickname if you didn't some glorious things (in the military department).

In addition, we also know that Gaemon had another daughter besides Elaena who ended up marrying some petty lord from who a claimant at the Great Council of 101 AC is descended.

The succession of the lords could also indicate there being some sort of internal struggles when Lord Maegon is followed by his brother Aerys and when three sons of Lord Aerys succeed each other rather than the lordship passing from father to son ... but that's not given since people can die early and childless.

As for the other dragons - some may have died of old age, others may have died in whatever battles and wars the Targaryens were involved in the Century of Blood. They may not have played a big role in those wars throughout the conflict, but as I tried to show with Lord Gaemon, there must have been some participation in the early phase.

And other dragons besides Vhagar and Meraxes may have hatched and died during this era ... just as there may have been more dragons than just the three of Aegon and his sisters at the time of the Conquest. They could only use as many dragons as they had riders for, meaning there could have been some more.

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On 2/15/2021 at 12:58 AM, TheTargaryenHistorian said:

I agree, this is an interesting period for the Targaryens that could do with some elaboration. Why did the other 4 dragons die? Old age? A proto- dance of the dragons? Unlikely but it’d be nice to know more about the family tree, family politics and dragons regardless.

On the occasion of fight between Maegor and Aegon I,5, it was stated that this had not happened since the fall of Valyria.

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There are points still unclear:

1. When Targaryens arrived at Dragonstone they had slaves. When Aegon I was Lord of Dragonstone he seemingly had no slaves so probably they abolished slavery during the Century of Blood. 

2. Why Gaemon was called glorious? He had some major wins against the Free Cities? He had some success in Westeros which strengthened Targaryen rule in the Gullet? Or both. Interesting that his daughter married a Westeroshi lord. 

3. 4 dragons died during the century of blood and there was a succesion of Targaryen brothers as Lords of Dragonstone. Possible Targaryen power struggle during which Targaryen and dragon blood was spilled?

5. Storm Kings were ok with Targaryens establishing their rule in the Gullet and houses sworn to Storms End affiliating themselves more to Dragonstone, like house Bar Emmon?

6. What was their plan during the Century of Blood? Hatch more dragons to claim the East? None at all? 

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3 hours ago, Endymion I Targaryen said:

3. 4 dragons died during the century of blood and there was a succesion of Targaryen brothers as Lords of Dragonstone. Possible Targaryen power struggle during which Targaryen and dragon blood was spilled?

A full-out dragonrider war is unlikely since supposedly Balerion vs. Quicksilver was the first dragon struggle since the Doom of Valyria. However, it is certainly possible that some of the Lords of Dragonstone killed each other - Maegon could have been killed by his brother Aerys, Daemion or Baelon could have murdered their lordly elder brother, etc. (although I don't think Baelon is likely to be a kinslayer considering Jaehaerys I named his second son after him).

Chances are much better that the dragons may have died in battles fought during the Century of Blood.

3 hours ago, Endymion I Targaryen said:

5. Storm Kings were ok with Targaryens establishing their rule in the Gullet and houses sworn to Storms End affiliating themselves more to Dragonstone, like house Bar Emmon?

I'd not be so sure that the Storm Kings were okay with the Targaryens being in their neighborhood. But they could do nothing about that.

In fact, I'd also expect that the Storm Kings had to take part in the Century of Blood wars since they owned two big islands the Free Cities and the Targaryens may have been interested in - Estermont and Tarth.

3 hours ago, Endymion I Targaryen said:

6. What was their plan during the Century of Blood? Hatch more dragons to claim the East? None at all? 

I'd expect that different Lords of Dragonstone had different political goals. Gaemon the Glorious definitely would have tried to expand his sphere of influence and territory - both through conquest as well as through economic pressure. His successors may have then lost whatever he may have gained.

I personally could see Gaemon conquering Tarth and Estermont, and establishing his dominance over Pentos by forcing the magisters to elect a son or brother or cousin of his as Prince of Pentos.

The idea that the Dragonstonian Targaryens could just sit on their island untouched by the wars around them while they still looked east is not very likely. And Pentos, Estermont, and Tarth are very close. They could also have warred with Braavos and Myr.

As for the slavery thing - I'd expect that only to have disappeared when the Targaryens started to care less and less about Valyrian culture, adopted the Common Tongue, maesters, knights, the Faith, and all the other Westerosi stuff. That would be a process that, in my opinion, would have started only with Aenar's great-grandchildren (i.e. the children of Aegon and Elaena).

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3 hours ago, Endymion I Targaryen said:

Interesting that his daughter married a Westeroshi lord. 

Even more interesting that we don't know the name of that daughter, nor the name of that Lord, nor we know of which house he was from. And this isn't even mentioned when FnB is talking about the Great Council of 101. Pretty weird, I think.

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2 hours ago, Daeron the Daring said:

Even more interesting that we don't know the name of that daughter, nor the name of that Lord, nor we know of which house he was from. And this isn't even mentioned when FnB is talking about the Great Council of 101. Pretty weird, I think.

It may be a bit unfortunate for the history nerds among us, but it happens a lot in FaB that Gyldayn does not mention names and relations, so I do not think it is weird at all. If I remember correctly, @Lord Varys speculated that Gaemon's daughter married Lord Harte.

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3 hours ago, The Wondering Wolf said:

It may be a bit unfortunate for the history nerds among us, but it happens a lot in FaB that Gyldayn does not mention names and relations, so I do not think it is weird at all. If I remember correctly, @Lord Varys speculated that Gaemon's daughter married Lord Harte.

Yes, the idea there was that this could, perhaps, help explain why the hell Daenaera Velaryon is the kind of 'super Valyrian' that she apparently is. But the idea that the Targaryen blood would still run strong in the Hartes - or in whatever petty house that daughter of Gaemon's married into - after 200 years isn't all that likely.

And one would not have to imagine that it was the Hartes back then, just that Hazel Harte is somehow descended from that petty lord and his Targaryen lady.

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On 2/16/2021 at 9:24 AM, Jaak said:

On the occasion of fight between Maegor and Aegon I,5, it was stated that this had not happened since the fall of Valyria.

Ah I forgot about this, thanks. As @Lord Varys said, the 4 dragons who died before the conquest ere probably either victims of old age or conflict in the east.

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20 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yes, the idea there was that this could, perhaps, help explain why the hell Daenaera Velaryon is the kind of 'super Valyrian' that she apparently is. But the idea that the Targaryen blood would still run strong in the Hartes - or in whatever petty house that daughter of Gaemon's married into - after 200 years isn't all that likely.

And one would not have to imagine that it was the Hartes back then, just that Hazel Harte is somehow descended from that petty lord and his Targaryen lady.

Speaking of House Harte, am I the only one who think they might be related to House Buckwell of the Antlers ?
I mean their sigil have the same field and their device both depicts cervidae which makes sense since they are probably named after types of male deers ("hart" and "buck" respectively). The fact that the Antlers location has being show on the map makes me think the Buckwells are more important than the Hartes. Maybe a Buckwell third son founded House Harte thus the three harte's heads on the coat of arms.

I also wonder if a play on word with "hart" and "heart" might not be hidden somewhere here (especially since harts are a red deers). If the petty westerosi lord the younger daughter of Gaemon married was a Harte, could this be a marriage for love ? Obviously we don't know, but it would be cool to have a lighter loving event amongst all the wars and conquests the Dragonstone Targaryens were involved into.

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14 hours ago, Thomaerys Velaryon said:

Speaking of House Harte, am I the only one who think they might be related to House Buckwell of the Antlers ?
I mean their sigil have the same field and their device both depicts cervidae which makes sense since they are probably named after types of male deers ("hart" and "buck" respectively). The fact that the Antlers location has being show on the map makes me think the Buckwells are more important than the Hartes. Maybe a Buckwell third son founded House Harte thus the three harte's heads on the coat of arms.

I also wonder if a play on word with "hart" and "heart" might not be hidden somewhere here (especially since harts are a red deers). If the petty westerosi lord the younger daughter of Gaemon married was a Harte, could this be a marriage for love ? Obviously we don't know, but it would be cool to have a lighter loving event amongst all the wars and conquests the Dragonstone Targaryens were involved into.

For what it's worth, originally the spelling of 'Hazel Harte' was 'Hazel Hart'. We commented on that, wondering whether she was supposed to be from a new house or the Hartes that we already know. Apparently it's the latter.

The Buckwells and Hartes definitely could be related somehow, but the Hartes seem to be already in existence in the early Targaryen days, so one imagines they are not exactly a new house.

In general, I'd assume that the region that eventually became the Crownlands - a border region between the Storm King's domains and the Riverlands - saw considerable social mobility, with one side driving settlers from the other side out of there, and with people moving there when they wanted to get away from the center of power in the Riverlands and the Stormlands. With the thick forest between Storm's End and the Blackwater this would have been the kind of place you go to lay low.

As for Gaemon's daughter there - I'd expect that this was a younger or the youngest daughter, one for which there was no family match available or nobody cared to make a match for. One can imagine all kind of things for that, but if it was a Harte I'd imagine them to have a seat close to the Blackwater Bay and/or some interest in naval affairs - trade or military - which would allow them to make ties with the Targaryens on Dragonstone in that era. Perhaps this guy entered into Lord Gaemon's service in his youth and fought as a sellsail for him? Something along those lines.

A more prestigious match between the old Targaryens and a more prominent Westerosi house I could see would be the Darklyns. They controlled the largest harbor in the region, so when the Targaryens started to control trade in the Narrow Sea they would want to strengthen their ties with their Westerosi business partners in Duskendale.

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