Baelor I Targaryen

Baelor 1 Targaryen

Born around 144 AD, King Baelor I Targaryen, also known as Baelor the Blessed, was the second son of Aegon III Targaryen and his second wife, Daenaera Velaryon. He acceded to the Iron Throne after the death of his brother Daeron I in Dorne in the year 161, when he was destined to become septon.

His faith was deep and, because of his numerous periods of fasting, which he practiced in order to curb his sexual desires, he was extremely thin with a face marked by bliss. Baelor wore a crown of flowers and vine leaves, a practice that was never repeated by any of his successors.

Baelor I Targaryen Reign

Peace with Dorne

Following the death of King Daeron I in 161, the hostages given by the great Dornish families to guarantee their loyalty to the Iron Throne are imprisoned. However, the king's first decisions are to forgive the death of his brother and to make peace with Dorne by releasing them.

He accompanies them on their return, walking barefoot by their side. When he arrives in Wyl, he fails to obtain from Lord Wyl the release of Aemon Dragon Knight, caged naked in the sun above a pit full of vipers, but he promises to return.

He reaches Lancehélion and reaches a peace agreement with the Prince of Dorne, including the marriage of his cousin Daeron to Princess Mariah Martell, the basis for the future integration of Dorne into the kingdom, which will be finally sealed in 197.

Faithful to his promise and having refused the return by boat offered to him by the prince, King Baelor goes again to his cousin Aemon, whom this time Lord Wyl agrees to free, on condition that Baelor crosses the pit to get his cousin out of his cage himself.

Baelor did so and succeeded, only to fall into a coma from the venom of the reptiles. It took him more than six months to recover and take over the reins of government.

Some later claimed that the half-dozen bites he received that day would have disturbed his mind, which would explain the many whims of his reign. However, the rhapsodes and some septons spread the legend according to which vipers refused to sting this holy king of incomparable purity.

The septon king

The ten years of king Baelor's reign were as virtuous as they were enlightened. He kept his uncle Viserys as Hand of the King, who had shown his abilities by ruling the Seven Crowns while Daeron I Targaryen waged his wars in Dorne. Baelor Targaryen's vocation for the religion of the Seven seems to have been compromised only after the death of his older brother, Daeron I.

Some of his whims are however very much contested. For example, he decided to make an illiterate stonecutter named Pat the Great Septon, and then a young boy of eight who performed pseudo-miracles.

Married to his sister Daena before his accession, he had the marriage dissolved because it had not been consummated and had her locked up with her two other sisters, Rhaena and Elaena, in a building in the Red Keep (later called the Crypt of the Virgins) in order to protect himself from the carnal temptation they represented.

He then promised never to marry again and took his vows as a septon. He also decided one day to banish all prostitutes from King's Landing, praying for them as they were led to the city gates, but refusing to give them a look.

Disturbed by the appearance and taste of messenger ravens for corpses, he also tried to have their use replaced by that of doves, without success.

Finally, in the hope of hatching the eggs of the dragons of House Targaryen, he prayed over his own, in vain. It was also during his reign that the destruction of all the books - including Dragons, Veurs, and Voodoo: Their Supernatural History - written by septon Barth, Hand of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, was ordered. Baelor was responsible for the construction of the Great Septuary in King's Landing, which now bears his name.

In the year 171, after forty days of a severe fast begun after the birth of the bastard son of his sister and ex-wife Daena and a then-unknown father, Baelor died without descendants.

Despite the extravagance of his reign, Baelor retains an image among the people as a good king whose reign was prosperous, although the benefits seem to be mostly attributable to his Hand.

Thus, no Targaryen monarch will be more beloved than he, and he has retained the reputation of having loved the little people as much as the Seven. A large white marble statue of him adorns the square in front of the Great Septuary of Baelor.

Baelor I Targaryen Succession

Princess Daena Targaryen was once considered to succeed her brother, but her ten years of isolation in the Crypt of the Virgins, the birth of her bastard son Daemon Waters, and especially the bitter memory of the Dance of the Dragons, defeated her claims. His uncle Viserys thus inherited the throne, even though some people whispered that he had had his nephew poisoned.