Aemond Targaryen

Aemond Targaryen

Born in early 110, Aemond Targaryen was a prince of House Targaryen, third child and second son of King Viserys I Targaryen by his second wife, Alicent Hightower.

Physical appearance and personality

From childhood, Aemond shows a penchant for ferocity. He quickly reveals himself to be bold and full of pride. Although he becomes a formidable swordsman, he remains a quarrelsome and temperamental young man. Impetuous, sensitive and resentful, Aemond is often mocking, insulting or scornful.

He is also boastful, stubborn, and overeager. Overconfident in his military abilities and in the superiority of his dragon, he seeks the honors and glory of a victory throughout the Dragon Dance, which never comes. He was not well liked by the people of King's Landing.

He does not like his uncle Daemon Targaryen and even less his half-sister Rhaenyra or his sons. His rivalry with them turned to hatred over the years, after Lucerys Velaryon accidentally poked his eye out in a fight in the year 120.

Like his brothers and sister, Aemond inherits typical Valyrian characteristics. He sometimes places a sapphire in his empty eye socket.



Prince Aemond Targaryen was born in early 110, half the weight of his older brother, Aegon, but twice as fierce. During his short stay in King's Landing in the year 111, his uncle Daemon Targaryen shows him a remarkable coldness, because Aemond's birth has pushed Daemon further and further back in the order of succession.

Aemond and his brothers (Aegon and Daeron) grow up at the court of King's Landing, alongside the sons of their half-sister Rhaenyra (Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey Velaryon). They attend the same feasts, the same balls, the same revels, sometimes train with the same masters of arms, study with the same masters, but this forced proximity only serves to fuel their mutual detestation.

The rivalry between Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra is passed on to their respective sons. With their father Viserys I Targaryen having named Rhaenyra as heir to the Seven Crowns, the Iron Throne seems to be promised to the Velaryon children, which the Targaryen princes consider to be a theft of their rights.

At the age of ten, Prince Aemond still does not have a dragon, unlike his brothers, Aegon and Daeron, and his sister Helaena. While the royal family is staying at Marée Haute in the year 120 for the funeral of Laenor Velaryon, Viserys I plans to go to Peyredragon afterwards so that Aemond can bond with a young dragon or an egg that is not yet hatched.

Viserys even suggests before him that he could choose, if he is bold enough. Wounded in his pride, Aemond decides that he will not settle for an egg or a young dragon.

Instead, he plans to claim the largest dragon still alive, Vhagar. The dragoness had just lost her dragoness Laena Velaryon a few moons earlier, which makes her cantankerous; Aemond knows he won't be allowed near her.

He tries his luck at dawn, while the whole castle is still asleep, but he is surprised by his young nephew, Joffrey Velaryon. Aemond orders him to be quiet by shoving him. As the child starts to bawl, Aemond quickly jumps on Vhagar's back.

The dragon roars, snorts, and breaks its chains to fly away, describing two circles around High Tide. After that, it returns to the ground, but when it descends, Aemond comes across Lucerys and Jacaerys Velaryon, alerted in the meantime by their younger brother. Armed with wooden swords, they attack Aemond.

This one breaks Lucerys' nose, disarms Joffrey and puts Jacaerys on his knees. He then mocks them, calling them "the Strong". Jacaerys having understood the implied insult, throws himself on him again, but he is beaten.

Lucerys then takes out his dagger and thrusts it into Aemond's right eye. Aemond writhes on the ground screaming, while Vhagar roars too, when the stable boys arrive and separate the princes.

Furious, queen Alicent demands, in vain, that Lucerys' eye be removed in compensation for the eye lost by her son, while Rhaenyra wants to make Aemond be tortured to know where he heard his sons called "the Strong".

Questioned by his father Viserys, Aemond confesses that he heard his elder brother Aegon call them that. Following this incident, Aemond assures that that night he lost an eye but gained a dragon, which is a rather fair exchange. However, his resentment towards his nephews has only increased over the years. He is now called Aemond One-Eye.

During the following years, Aemond is trained in arms by Ser Criston Cole, Lord Commander of the Royal Guard. On the first day of the year 127, a banquet gathers all the royal family, where everyone seems to put on a good face as long as Viserys I is present.

But after the king goes to bed, the latent tensions between the supporters of Rhaenyra and Aegon II are revealed; Aemond raises a glass to his nephews, referring with false admiration to their brown hair, brown eyes and vigor, saying that he has never seen a boy who is so "strong".

During the Dance of the Dragons

The Parricide

Prince Aemond Targaryen was nineteen years old when his father, King Viserys I Targaryen, died and the Dance of the Dragons broke out in the year 129. He is warned at dawn by Ser Willis Fell of the Kingsguard, as he equips himself at the Red Keep armory for his morning training. His first reaction is to ask if his brother Aegon is king or if he should kneel before Rhaenyra, whom he insults in passing.

After his brother's coronation as Aegon II Targaryen, Aemond is sent to Accalmie by his grandfather, the Hand of King Otto Hightower, to form an alliance with Lord Borros Baratheon by marrying one of his four daughters.

While the Baratheons are considered natural allies of Rhaenyra, Lord Borros Baratheon welcomed Aemond, organizing hunts, jousts, banquets and allowing him to choose among his four daughters the one that suits him.

According to the dwarf jester Mushroom, Aemond kissed the four daughters of Lord Borros to taste the nectar from their lips before making his choice. He finally chooses and haggles with Lord Borros to set dates and dowries, on the morning when Prince Lucerys Velaryon, riding his dragon Arrax, shows up in Accalmie as an emissary of his mother, the suitor Rhaenyra.

Lucerys remains unmoved by her uncle's provocations and threats. Having been rudely dismissed by Lord Borros, Lucerys decides to leave immediately for Peyredragon, but Aemond interferes, drawing his sword and ordering Lucerys to pluck out her eye, in payment for the eye he made her lose nine years earlier. Lucerys resists once again to the provocation, affirming to have come as an emissary, and not as a knight.

Aemond threatens to kill him, but Lord Borros objects to the rights of emissaries and hospitality being broken under his roof: his guards prevent Aemond from assaulting Lucerys and he is left free to leave.

However, Maris Baratheon, jealous of not having been chosen as future wife by Aemond, provokes him. Furious, Aemond takes leave of Lord Borros and rushes after his nephew on Vhagar.

Much more powerful and five times bigger than Arrax, Vhagar quickly catches up with him above the Shipwreckers' Bay, in the middle of a storm. The fight seems to have been short and completely unbalanced.

According to the Mushroom Jester's Testimony, Aemond gouged out Lucerys' eyes and offered them on a bed of seaweed to Maris Baratheon, but Archmaester Gyldayn finds the anecdote excessive.

Returning to King's Landing with the allegiance of the Stormlands, Aemond is not welcomed by his mother, Queen Alicent, and his grandfather, the Hand of the King Otto Hightower, who angrily disapprove of Lucerys' murder.

On the other hand, his brother, King Aegon II, congratulates him and celebrates what he believes to be a good start to his reign. Rhaenyra's supporters call Aemond "Parricide", and many of them have a mortal hatred for him since then.

The prince regent

Later in the year 129, Ser Criston Cole of the Kingsguard becomes the Hand of the pretender Aegon II Targaryen. He organizes a punitive campaign against the lords of the crown lands who have rallied to the pretender Rhaenyra Targaryen. In secret, King Aegon II and his brother Aemond accompany him with their dragons, Feux-du-Soleyl and Vhagar.

During the siege of Roughhouse, the dragonriders and their dragons are finally useful: Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, an ally of Rhaenyra, attacks Ser Criston's ost on his dragon, Meleys.

The king and his brother go to the defense of their army. While Meleys is seriously wounded, Aemond brings the mighty Vhagar down on the two dragons.

Princess Rhaenys and her dragon are then killed, but King Aegon is badly burned. After taking Roughhouse, they return to King's Landing, where Criston Cole entrusts the governance of the kingdom to Prince Aemond Targaryen.

According to the septon Eustace, Aemond accepts immediately, wearing the crown of Aegon the Conqueror, claiming that it suits him better than his brother. He then calls himself Protector of the Kingdom and Prince Regent, but does not take the title of King.

Solicited by Lord Ormund Hightower, who has to face Rhaenyra's supporters in the Bief, Aemond does not care to help him, nor to attack Rhaenyra on Peyredragon: the danger comes from Daemon Targaryen, who leads the lords of the river in the Conflans from Harrenhal.

At the beginning of 130, Prince Aemond proposes to the Small Council a bold plan to attack Rhaenyra's followers in the Conflans: Criston Cole will lead their troops from the east with the support of Vhagar, while Jason Lannister will attack with his Ouestians from the west.

The plan was approved by Cole and Tyland Lannister, but Grand Maester Orwyle, Lord Jasper Wylde and Queen Dowager Alicent Hightower expressed reservations, prompting the Prince to delay his offensive.

Impatient, Aemond decides to launch his project without delay. According to septon Eustace, Aemond hopes to cover himself with glory in this campaign and does not want to share it with anyone.

Half a moon later, four thousand men leave the capital, led by Aemond Targaryen and Criston Cole. They think they will reach Harrenhal in sixteen days and win a lightning victory.

Warned of his nephew's departure, which leaves the capital undefended, Daemon Targaryen quickly organizes himself: he disperses the Harrenhal ost and seizes the opportunity to take King's Landing.

Aemond's army is slowed by mud and rain. Ser Criston Cole's vanguard reached Harrenhal after nineteen days, Prince Aemond arriving only the next day with the main army.

He first celebrates his victory before learning the fall of the capital, which humiliates him. Furious, Aemond accused the Fort of Harrenhal of treason. The old governor Simon Fort pleads his innocence.

Aemond decides to confront him in a judicial duel. The old man is quickly put to death and his corpse is fed to Vhagar. All the Fort are executed, legitimate as well as bastards, with the notable exception of Alys Rivers, who has become his lover.

When Prince Aemond is informed of the Battle of the Lakeshore, he nearly strangles the squire who brings the news, who is saved by the intervention of Alys Rivers.

He stays in Harrenhal for a long time, waiting for an assault that never comes, because the Rivers do not want to face Vhagar. His ost is running out of food and fodder, and his men are beginning to starve and die of disease.

Ser Criston Cole offers to retreat south to join the followers of Aegon II, led by Ormund Hightower and Prince Daeron Targaryen, but Aemond refuses to flee like a coward in front of his enemies.

He himself would like to storm King's Landing with Vhagar, but Criston Cole calls this plan madness, as the capital is defended by six dragons. The disagreement between the two men leads to their separation: Criston Cole tries to join their allies in the south, while Aemond leads a war of terror in the Conflans. He leaves Alys Rivers, apparently pregnant with his bastard child, in Harrenhal.

Guerrilla warfare in the Conflans

Prince Aemond Targaryen's first target was the Darry fief, whose crops and castle were destroyed by fire. Lord Darry, his heir and his garrison are killed, and Lady Darry and her youngest children only survive by seeking refuge in the cellars of the stronghold.

Vhagar's fury then fell on Lord Herpivoie-Ville, the Lord's mill, Nerboucle, Boucle, Mare-argile, Souillegué, Bois-l'Aragne. He then attacked Vieux-Saule, Saule-Blanc, Cochonneraie, before burning thirty men and three hundred sheep in the Joyeuse-Chute valley.

He returned to Harrenhal, taken in the meantime by Sabitha Frey, and burned the castle once again, forcing the attackers to flee and freeing Alys Rivers. The river lords send messenger ravens to Queen Rhaenyra to come and help defend them.

In King's Landing, Prince Consort Daemon Targaryen decides to hunt his nephew Aemond. He takes with him the dragoness Nettles and their dragons, in order to flush him out.

They settle in Viergétang, while Aemond continues his guerrilla warfare by attacking Pointepierre, Doussaule, Forlane, the bridge of the Arrow-drawn, the Old Notch, the mill of the Aïeule and the matistery of Bechester. He set them on fire before disappearing again.

Finally, Prince Daemon Targaryen decides to challenge his nephew to a duel. He waits for him for thirteen days in Harrenhal. At the fourteenth, Aemond arrives in company of Alys Rivers, his companion then pregnant.

The two men exchange a few words before mounting their dragons. The fight is titanic, under a fiery sky, the cries of the dragons can be heard for miles. Caraxes charges Vhagar and seizes his neck. In spite of the vice of the bite, Vhagar bites a wing and his claws disembowel him.

In a deadly fall, both dragons fall to the waters of the Œildieu. It is said that Daemon jumped at the last moment from his saddle, plunging Noire Sœur into his nephew's punctured eye just as the dragons touched the water of the lake. The spray of water reached the height of the King's Wood tower, the highest in Harrenhal.

On the twenty-second day of the fifth moon of the year 130, Aemond Targaryen died, at the age of just twenty. The death of Prince Regent Aemond left the Green camp without an official leader, as Aegon II Targaryen had disappeared since the fall of King's Landing.

In the year 131, Aegon II, who had regained control of King's Landing for a short time, commissioned the construction of two gigantic statues of his brothers Aemond and Daeron, who had died during the war, which were to surpass in size the Titan of Braavos.

The heads are sculpted, but before the end of the year, Aegon II dies and the Hand of the new king Aegon III Targaryen, Tyland Lannister, interrupts the project.

A few years later, after the end of the Dance of the Dragons, the bones of Aemond Targaryen are found, still wearing the black armor of night enhanced with gold that he had on during the duel. His body is still strapped to Vhagar's saddle, Black Sister stuck in his eye.


Alys Rivers returns to Harrenhal, where she gathers a coterie of outlaws and gives birth to a child she claims is the legitimate son and heir of Aemond Targaryen.

In his book, Grand Maester Munkun claims that Ser Byron Swann attempted to kill Vhagar, in order to stop Prince Aemond's raids into the Conflans. This apparently erroneous information seems to come from the memoirs of Grand Maester Orwyle, who was imprisoned at the time.