Aenys I Targaryen
Born in the year 7, Aenys I Targaryen was the eldest son of King Aegon I Targaryen and his youngest sister-wife, Rhaenys. Upon his father's death in the year 37, he became the second king of the Targaryen dynasty at the age of thirty.
During his reign, he faced the first challenges to his house's supremacy over the Seven Crowns since the Conquest. A weak and indecisive king, he proved unable to resolve conflicts and the kingdom fell into the War of the Faith. Undermined, the king died prematurely in the year 42.
He married a distant cousin, Alyssa Velaryon, who bore him six children: Rhaena, Aegon, Viserys, Jaehaerys, Alysanne and Vaella.
He rode the dragon Quicksilver.
Aenys I Targaryen Personality
Unlike his father and half-brother, Aenys is not a warrior, but rather an intellectual and a dreamer. He enjoys alchemy, astronomy and astrology, which leads him to surround himself mainly with masters, septons and beautiful spirits.
Like his mother Rhaenys, he loves to sing and dance. He is himself a good singer but also a good horseman. Charming and courteous, he manages to make friends with both the nobles and the common people.
Aenys is generous and loving with his family. He easily gives his trust and is eager to please everyone. However, he constantly seeks the approval of those around him and is particularly indecisive for fear of disappointing some or others. Faced with difficulties, he tries to discuss, reconcile and satisfy everyone.
Aenys I Targaryen Physical Appearance
As an infant, Aenys is puny and sickly. He has small wet eyes and cries constantly.
If, in his youth, he shows good will during trainings, he lacks the strength to be a good fighter and loses interest in handling as he grows up.
As an adult, Aenys is the same size as his father without having the physique of a warrior. He has lilac eyes, a lighter color than the purple of his father and a dreamy and anxious look. He wears a gold crown more elaborate than that of his predecessor and often wears delicate and refined clothes.
At the end of five years of reign, the fear and the doubts had had reason of his health: aged prematurely, at only thirty-five years, he seems sixty.
Aenys I Targaryen History
Aenys was born in the year 7. He is the eldest son of Aegon I Targaryen and his sister-wife, Rhaenys Targaryen. He is a sickly child, and the masters fear for his survival, especially since he refuses any nurse other than his mother. He would have cried for two weeks during his weaning.
Soon, some doubted that he was the son of Aegon the Conqueror and thought that the child could be the son of one of the young singers or acrobats that Rhaenys constantly surrounded herself with.
At this time he receives a newly hatched young dragon, Quicksilver, which seems to strengthen him and silences the rumors. In the year 10, Aenys is only three years old when he loses his mother Rhaenys, killed in Dorne with her dragon Meraxes during an assault. Inconsolable, he began to crawl again, seemingly forgetting how to walk, much to his father's dismay.
During the following years, the young prince Aenys accompanies his father everywhere. They are usually on royal wanderings, which is an opportunity for him to meet the people of the Seven Crowns, or at Fort Aegon, but spends little time in Peyredragon where his aunt Visenya and half-brother Maegor reside.
The knights of the Kingsguard, and sometimes Aegon himself, take care of Aenys' military training: although he is willing and brave enough, he lacks strength. He can barely fight properly. His father gives him many horses, but he loves riding his dragon most of all.
In the year 22, he married Lady Alyssa Velaryon, his cousin and daughter of the master of ships, Lord Aethan Velaryon. The following year, Lady Alyssa gave birth to their first child: Princess Rhaena Targaryen.
This birth challenges the order of succession to the Iron Throne. Aenys is unanimously recognized as the legitimate heir of King Aegon I Targaryen, as the first of his sons. However, it is unclear whether Aenys' daughter Rhaena or Aegon's youngest son Maegor is second in line.
The rules for the devolution of the crown were not yet clearly established at that time, and both Maegor and Rhaena could later claim to succeed Aenys.
In order to solve the problem, Queen Visenya proposes to betroth Maegor and Rhaena, as allowed by the Valyrian tradition that the Targaryens still follow. Thus, the problem could be solved: their marriage would confuse their legitimacy and their claims to the Throne.
Rhaena's parents reject this union project. The intervention of the High Septon of Villevieille put a definitive end to it and led to the marriage of Maegor to Lady Ceryse Hightower.
In the year 23, Aenys and Aegon travel to Dorne on their dragons to participate in a feast of friendship, organized to celebrate the ten years of peace since the first Dornian war.
Aenys and Alyssa's marriage proves fruitful: a son, Aegon, is born in the year 26, followed by Viserys in the year 29, Jaehaerys in the year 34 and Alysanne in the year 36.
Aging, King Aegon I Targaryen decides, from the year 33, to abandon his royal wanderings and to entrust this task to Aenys and his wife.
The crown prince and his family spend half of each year traveling throughout the Seven Crowns to make themselves known to their subjects.
In the year 37, while visiting Highgarden, Aenys received the news of the death of his father, Aegon the Conqueror. Riding a dragon, he hurried back to Peyredragon where he was crowned and proclaimed King of the Seven Crowns by Grand Maester Gawen.
The lords, knights and septons kneel and swear fealty to him. His half-brother Maegor does the same, but Aenys raises him up, embraces him and treats him as an equal. In order to gain Maegor's help and support in his future government, Aenys offers him the prestigious Valyrian steel sword of their father, Feunoyr.
The new king sails to King's Landing to claim the Iron Throne and be acclaimed by the crowd. He then set off on a long journey with his entire family, which took them to Riverrun, Lannisport and Highgarden. Everywhere they went, people flocked to applaud them.
They finally arrive in Villevieille where the Great Septon gives his blessing to Aenys and offers him a crown of yellow gold, engraved with the faces of the Seven.
The accession to the throne of Aenys in the year 37 was not unanimously approved. Some felt that the kingdom needed a warrior-king, like Maegor, rather than a dreamer like Aenys.
Unrest soon broke out in all regions: the nobles of the Seven Crowns tried to rebel against the power of the Targaryens, who had subjugated them a generation earlier. Aegon's strength and prestige intimidated them, but Aenys' weakness encouraged them to rebel, in order to regain their freedom.
The first rebel, Harren the Red, self-proclaimed descendant of Harren the Black, sacks Harrenhal and proclaims himself king of the Conflans, while Aenys is the guest of the Tullys at Riverrun. Lord Tully begs the king to ride Vif-Argent and to go and punish the rebels. Aenys, paralyzed by the terrible memory of the death of his mother on her dragon Meraxes in Dorne, prefers to order Lord Tully to gather the ban of the Conflans.
However, he only decides to march on Harrenhal once a thousand men have gathered under his command. When they finally arrived, the rebels had abandoned the fortress and taken refuge in the surrounding countryside. By the time Aenys returned to King's Landing, new pockets of rebellion had emerged.
In the Vale, Jonos Arryn claims the title of King of the Mountain and the Vale. In the Iron Islands, an individual claiming to be the priest-king Lodos is calling the Ironborn to revolt. In the Red Mountains of Dorne, the Vulture King gathers the Dornians to avenge the deaths of the first Dornian war.
The king dithers on what to do. According to Grand Maester Gawen, Aenys does not understand why these events are happening and wonders what harm he could have done to the rebels. He thinks for a while of sending them messages to find out their grievances and understand their reasons for acting.
Fearing for his family's life, he sends them to Peyredragon. He orders his Hand, Lord Alyn Castelfoyer, to lead an army into the Vale to defeat Jonos Arryn, but changes his mind once the fleet is finally ready to sail for the Vale, preferring to keep his forces in King's Landing to defend the city.
He chooses instead to send Lord Alyn with a hundred men against Harren the Red and to convene a Great Council to discuss how best to fight the other rebels.
Aenys does not have time to convene this Great Council. The troubles are finally settled by the intervention of more energetic men: Lord Allard Royce and Prince Maegor put an end to Jonos Arryn's actions. Lord Goren Greyjoy eliminates the so-called Lodos and his followers in the Iron Islands. King Vautour makes the mistake of dividing his ost.
The first half, led by Lord Walter Wyl, is defeated by Lord Orys Baratheon at the foot of Pierheaume. The other half, led by the Vulture King himself, was defeated at the Vulture Hunt by the Merchant Lords Ellyn Caron and Harmon Dondarrion with the help of Lord Samwell Tarly, known as "Sam the Wild". If Harren the Red manages to kill Lord Alyn Castelfoyer in a final duel, he is himself killed by the Hand's squire, Bernarr Brune.
The king rewards them all: Bernarr Brune is knighted, the others receive gold, titles and honors. Aenys imprudently promises Lord Goren Greyjoy to fulfill one of his wishes. The latter asks that the septons, septas, and all religious of the Faith of the Seven be banished from the Iron Islands. Welcomed as a hero in King's Landing, Prince Maegor, whose brutality and intransigence are more suited to governing a newly unified kingdom, becomes the new Hand of King Aenys.
The good understanding between Aenys and his half-brother Maegor lasted from 37 to 39 so that their government seems to have been efficient during this period. But the extreme fertility of Alyssa Velaryon undoubtedly undermines this balance: in 39, the queen gives King Aenys a sixth child, Vaella Targaryen, who does not survive long, while the union of Prince Maegor and Ceryse Hightower remains hopelessly infertile.
Maegor declares his wife sterile and takes for second wife Lady Alys Herpivoie, without the agreement and outside the presence of the king. This polygamous marriage, a challenge to the royal authority and to the Faith of the Seven, provokes a violent conflict between Aenys and his half-brother. Moreover, this union, celebrated according to a Valyrian rite, is not only not recognized in the Seven Crowns but also provokes the ire of the clergy of the Seven.
Lady Ceryse Hightower's father protests and the High Septon is angry about this marriage which he considers unnatural. Aenys tries to calm them by dialogue, in vain. Stung to the core and angry, the latter gives an ultimatum to his half-brother: either he renounces his new wife, or he goes into exile for five years. Maegor refused to submit and chose exile in the year 40.
He leaves for Pentos on the back of his dragon Balerion. He abandons his first wife and armed with the Valyrian steel sword Feunoyr, takes his new wife with him. Aenys demands that his half-brother return the prestigious blade to him, but Maegor defiantly challenges him to try to retrieve it himself.
It is the septon Murmison, renowned for his allegedly miraculous healings, that Aenys appoints as the new Hand to replace Maegor. The king hopes to appease the High Septon, but this is not the case and criticism of the Targaryen's morals and the king's inability to deal with the conflict with his brother is growing. Aenys asks Murmison to put his hands on Lady Cerise's belly every night, in order to cure her infertility.
The king hopes for a miracle that would allow the return of his half-brother. But the miracle does not happen, and Lady Ceryse decides to leave the court, exasperated by the ritual imposed on her. During the following year, Aenys does not care about the discontent born from the recent events.
He devoted himself entirely to the construction of the Red Keep on Aegon's hill. He wants a fortress bigger and more sumptuous than Peyredragon, more beautiful than Harrenhal, that can accommodate his descendants for centuries to come.
In the year 41, Aenys decides to marry his eldest children Rhaena and Aegon according to the ancient Valyrian custom. The Great Septon once again denounces this incestuous marriage as an obscenity: he announces that all children born of it will be considered as abominations.
On the day of the wedding, the Sons of the Warrior of the Militant Faith spill out into the streets to show their displeasure and spot those of the lords who attend the wedding. The ceremony is presided over by the Hand of the King, septon Murmison.
At the banquet, Aenys grants her heir Aegon the title of Prince of Peyredragon, previously held by Maegor. Furious, the mother of the latter, the queen dowager Visenya, leaves the reception without the king's permission to return immediately to Peyredragon.
Aenys does not realize that he is turning the whole kingdom against him. He sends Rhaena and Aegon on one of those royal peregrinations that made House Targaryen so successful in the time of Aegon I. He discovers that they are in the midst of a war.
He discovers that they are booed wherever they go. For having celebrated an incestuous marriage, Murmison is excommunicated by the High Septon. Aenys sends a long letter to the latter to explain the traditions of the Valyrians and to ask for the reinstatement of Murmison in the ranks of the clergy.
The answer of the High Septon is virulent: he gives Aenys the nickname of "Abomination King", calls him a tyrant and announces that he no longer recognizes his right to rule over the Seven Crowns. This act triggers a conflict known as the War of the Faith.
The War of Faith
The faithful of the Faith and the devout support the position of the Great Septon. The situation quickly escalates to the point where Murmison is murdered a fortnight later by Poor Fellows. The members of the Militant Faith are becoming more and more threatening in King's Landing.
Since the unfinished Red Keep cannot accommodate them, Aenys decides to leave the capital with his wife and three youngest children. Three days before they set sail for Peyredragon, two Poor Men's Companions attempt to murder him. The intervention of Ser Raymont Baratheon of the Kingsguard narrowly saved him.
In Peyredragon, he is greeted by the reproaches of Queen Visenya Targaryen, who criticizes his weakness in the management of the conflict and asks for permission to burn the Great Septon of Villevieille with his dragon. Aenys prefers to send the dowager queen back to her chamber, forbidden to leave.
At the end of 41, the rebellion of the Seven's followers spreads. Devout lords reject the Targaryen kingship, accusing them of impiety. The Poor Companions roam the roads, while the Sons of the Warrior take control of King's Landing.
At the beginning of 42, Aenys is cloistered in Peyredragon, racked by doubts and fear. According to Grand Maester Gawen, Aenys is often bedridden, suffers from stomach cramps, and now looks like an old man, although he is only thirty-five years old.
As the Grand Maester fails to cure him, Queen Dowager Visenya offers her services to cure her nephew. Her remedies seem to work for a time, until Aenys learns that his heirs are under siege in Crakehall by thousands of Poor Fellows. He collapses and dies three days later.
According to Targaryen funeral rites, Aenys' body is delivered to the flames in the courtyard of Peyredragon, in front of his wife, Alyssa, and his three youngest children, Viserys, Jaehaerys and Alysanne.
Suspicious death of Aenys
After her death, Visenya was accused without proof of being behind her nephew's death, suspected of having worked to give the Iron Throne to her son Maegor.
This version of events does indeed fit the sequence of events. Visenya had always sought to favor her son and claimed that he would make a better king than Aenys.
Her nephew had outraged her by exiling her son, depriving him of the title of Prince of Peyredragon and rejecting her advice to end the conflict with the Faith. Visenya had participated in Aegon's Conquest and was aware that Aenys's hesitations compromised the authority of House Targaryen over the Seven Crowns.
While initially nursing her nephew back to health, she might ultimately have decided to poison him in order to provide a more forceful king for the kingdom.
When Aenys died, she immediately reacted by riding her dragon Vhagar, to bring her exiled son back to Westeros. Maegor, upon his return, claims the crown and the throne, in defiance of the rules of succession that designate Aenys' son, Prince Aegon, as the legitimate heir. After crowning Maegor, Visenya supports his son's reign until his death in 44.
Limited councilAenys I Targaryen seems to keep his father's advisors when he takes power in 37. Alyn Castelfoyer remains Hand of the King until his untimely death in the year following Aenys' coronation, fighting the rebel Harren the Red. Aenys replaces him with his half-brother, the Prince of Peyredragon Maegor, who has distinguished himself against another rebel, Jonos Arryn. Maegor remained in this position until his exile in the year 39. Septon Murmison succeeded him until his assassination in 41.
Grand Maester Gawen, who had already served for several years under Aegon the Conqueror, retained his office throughout Aenys' reign.