Jaehaerys I Targaryen

Jaehaerys I Targaryen

Born in 34 AD, Jaehaerys I Targaryen, also known as Jaehaerys the Conciliator or Jaehaerys the Old King, was the son of King Aenys I Targaryen and Alyssa Velaryon. After the death of his uncle, he became the fourth king of the Seven Crowns of House Targaryen. His reign was the longest of the Targaryen dynasty, nearly fifty-five years, earning him the nickname "Old King".

He married his own sister, Alysanne, with whom he had thirteen children. Four of them (Aegon, Daenerys, Gaemon and Valerion) never reached adulthood. The other nine were named Aemon, Baelon, Alyssa, Maegelle, Vaegon, Daella, Saera, Viserra, and Gael.

He rode the dragon Vermithor.

Jaehaerys I Targaryen Personality

Jaehaerys is a brave, kind and articulate man. While he has a forgiving nature, he can also be stern when the situation calls for it. He is educated and intelligent, and always takes time to think before making a decision. He also knows how to surround himself well.

Jaehaerys I Targaryen Physical Appearance

Jaehaerys has the typical Targaryen features, with gold and silver hair and violet eyes. In his youth and for most of his life, he is slim and athletic. He is a good rider, and skilled with the spear and bow.

Thanks to the training he received on Peyredragon, he is also very good with a sword. When he came of age, he let his hair and beard grow. At the age of twenty-four, he has a long beard and long hair in a thick braid.

After briefly wearing his father's crown, he had his own crown forged: a simple gold band set with seven different colored gems.

Towards the end of his reign, now an old man, he is still alert and wise, and his face is adorned with a long white beard.

Jaehaerys I Targaryen History

Birth and childhood

Jaehaerys was born in the year 34. He is the third son and fourth child of Crown Prince Aenys Targaryen and his wife, Lady Alyssa Velaryon. Having two older brothers, Aegon and Viserys, Jaehaerys was not destined to rule.

His older sister, Princess Rhaena Targaryen, placed a dragon's egg in his crib. The egg hatches at an unknown date and gives birth to Vermithor, who becomes Jaehaerys' dragon.

Three years after his birth, his grandfather, Aegon I Targaryen died and his father became king of the Seven Crowns as Aenys I Targaryen. After being crowned and applauded by the people of King's Landing, Aenys travels to Villevieille with his family, but Jaehaerys and his sister Alysanne are deemed too young to participate in such a long journey.

At the end of 41, the royal family was forced to leave King's Landing for Peyredragon because of the unrest caused by the War of the Faith. Early the next year, when Jaehaerys was seven, his father died. He attended his funeral on Peyredragon, along with his older brother, Viserys, and his younger sister, Alyssa.

Queen Alyssa takes her children away as soon as the ceremony is over and finds refuge in Lamarck, the seat of her original house, just before the return of their uncle Maegor Targaryen from exile: he usurps the crown that should have gone to Jaehaerys' older brother, Aegon.

In the year 43, Queen Visenya Targaryen rides her dragon Vhagar to Lamarck. She convinces Alyssa to stop opposing Maegor and to return to King's Landing with her children, where they attend Maegor's polygamous wedding to Tyanna of the Tower.

Subsequently, Alyssa, Alysanne and Jaehaerys are sent to Peyredragon, under the care of Visenya, while Viserys remains in King's Landing as Maegor's ward and squire. At the end of 43, the battle under the Œildieu, which opposed Aegon to his uncle Maegor, saw the death of Jaehaerys' older brother.

In 44, Visenya died and in the ensuing confusion, Alyssa Velaryon fled with her two children and the Valyrian steel sword Black Sister. In retaliation, Maegor has Viserys tortured and eventually dies.

With no older brother left, Jaehaerys is now the most legitimate candidate to claim the Iron Throne from Maegor. While Alyssa's whereabouts remain unknown to Maegor, it is likely that she has in fact taken refuge with House Baratheon.

In the year 48, when Jaehaerys was fourteen, Lord Rogar Baratheon felt the time was right to challenge Maegor. Armed with the Black Sister, Jaehaerys is proclaimed king of the Seven Crowns by Lord Rogar, in front of an assembly of Orgean nobles and knights.

Jaehaerys makes Lord Rogar his Hand of the King and Protector of the realm and vows to defeat the usurper, Maegor I Targaryen. Lord Rogar's plan is to use the two dragon riders, Jaehaerys on Vermithor and Alysanne on Silverwing, against Maegor.

As the ost marches towards King's Landing, Jaehaerys and Alysanne are joined by their older sister, Rhaena, riding the dragon Soneforth, who brings them Feunoyr, the Valyrian steel sword of Aegon the Conqueror.

They are also joined by two sworn brothers of the Royal Guard, the Velaryons and the royal fleet, and many other great noble houses. The three dragons and their dragon riders arrive in King's Landing nine days after the mysterious death of Maegor I Targaryen. There is no need for them to fight.

Fifteen days later, Alyssa Velaryon and Rogar Baratheon arrive in their turn and summon the lords of the Seven Crowns.

Jaehaerys is crowned King of the Seven Crowns by the High Septon, who crowns him with his father's crown. From his first days in power, Jaehaerys and his advisors cleaned up Maegor's former supporters.

They forgave the lords who had followed Maegor, but were less lenient with his servants: some were sent to the Wall, like the members of the Kingsguard, or executed, like the torturers of Prince Viserys.

Ser Gyles Morrigen is appointed Lord Commander of Jaehaerys' Kingsguard. After being crowned and blessed by the Grand Septon of Villevieille, the King grants a pardon to the captain of the Sons of the Warrior, Joffrey Doguette, who in turn joins the Royal Guard.


Jaehaerys was only fourteen years old, so his reign began with a short period of regency, exercised by his mother, Alyssa Velaryon, the queen regent, who relied on her ally, the Hand of the King and Protector of the Realm, Lord Rogar Baratheon.

With the help of his Hand, Jaehaerys ends the War of the Faith by making peace with the Faith: he issues a general amnesty to former members of the Militant Faith whose heads were put on the block by his predecessor Maegor.

However, the fighting orders were not reinstated, and Jaehaerys also took care to strip the clergy of the Seven of their prerogatives in matters of justice.

In compensation, he grants the Holy Faith the protection of the Iron Throne. This decision restored peace to the kingdom, and later gave him the name Jaehaerys the Conciliator.

From the beginning of his reign, Jaehaerys surrounded himself with royal advisors, cleverly mixing early loyalists with former supporters of his uncle Maegor the Cruel or the Faith.

In addition to his mother, Queen Regent Alyssa Velaryon, and his Hand Rogar Baratheon, he called upon Lord Edwell Celtigar as Master of Coin, his uncle Lord Daemon Velaryon as Master of Ships, Lord Prentys Tully as Master of Laws, and Lord Qarl Corbray as Commander of the Kings Landing Watch.

In the year 49, as King's Landing welcomed thousands of guests to the Golden Wedding, the young king granted private audiences to lords and knights who requested them. The young king made a good overall impression on them. The tournament held on this occasion allows Jaehaerys to complete his Royal Guard, in the event known as the War of the White Cloaks.

In the year 49, the queen regent, the King's Hand and the royal advisors searched for a bride for Jaehaerys, but could not agree on a name. Instead, they decide to marry his sister Alysanne to Orryn Baratheon.

However, she herself wants to marry Jaehaerys. Alysanne and Jaehaerys are told of the wedding plans for them and decide to flee the capital on the back of a dragon and take refuge in Peyredragon, where they are married in secret.

The queen regent, the Hand and the royal advisors want to separate the couple, but they run up against the Royal Guard and the Peyredragon garrison, who choose to defend their king. Cautiously, the newlyweds decide to live in Peyredragon under the protection of the Kingsguard until Jaehaerys comes of age.

Together, the two young men assiduously attend the lessons of the masters and septons, mingle with the people, fly on the back of dragons, and receive the lords of the area. Their mother sends Alysanne ladies-in-waiting, the Wise Ones, who are to make her understand that incest is a sin.

Lord Rogar Baratheon is also said to have tried to undo their marriage by placing the young Coryanne Wylde among these Wise Men to seduce Jaehaerys. Neither of these schemes succeeded.

Once Jaehaerys came of age, he left Peyredragon for King's Landing, where he officially assumed power. Alysanne stays on Peyredragon for another six months, as Jaehaerys does not want to expose her.


At the age of sixteen, having reached his majority, Jaehaerys reorganizes his small council: as Master of Laws, Lord Prentys Tully is replaced by Lord Albin Massey; as Grand Argentier, the unpopular Lord Edwell Celtigar is replaced by Pentoshi Rego Draz; Lord Manfryd Redwyne is appointed Master of Ships; finally, Jaehaerys dismisses septon Mattheus, and replaces him with septon Oswyck, septa Ysabel, and, later, the young septon Barth.

The other highlight of this early reign is the pardon given to Lord Rogar Baratheon, his former Hand, who had tried to betray him: he also arranged for him to reconcile with his wife, Alyssa Velaryon.

Jaehaerys married his sister, Alysanne, a second time, this time publicly. Close to each other, the king involves his queen in his advice and decisions. The latter quickly became very appreciated by the people for whom she was very charitable.

She pushed him to abolish the tradition of the "first night". She was also involved in the promulgation of the Widow's Law and the transformation of King's Landing.

Throughout his reign, Jaehaerys frequently travels the Seven Crowns on the back of a dragon with his wife. He travels to Winterfell in particular.

It was there that his queen, moved by the plight of the Night's Watch, urged her husband to grant them an extension of the Gift, which was to become Neufdon, despite the opposition of the Starks. The royal couple also went to Villevieille where they influenced the election of the Grand Septon. At some unspecified time, the king travels to Castle Black without his wife, but with his dragon.

Jaehaerys associates another exceptional personality with his reign. In the library of the Red Keep, he discovered young Barth, the son of a blacksmith, whose intelligence led him to appoint him to the position of Hand of the King. Septon Barth fulfilled his office with wisdom and diligence for nearly forty years. In particular, he helped with the transformation of King's Landing and the standardization of laws[6].

In the year 92, the king and his wife quarreled for two years after the death of their heir son, Aemon, when the king chose their youngest son, Baelon, as his heir over Aemon's only daughter, Rhaenys, as the queen considered that a daughter had as much right as a son.

This episode is known as the Second Quarrel. However, the king did not take this decision lightly, following the advice of his small council. Baelon's age, his bravery, his experience, the fact that he already had two sons and was adored by the people weighed in the balance.

In the year 98, to celebrate Jaehaerys' fifty years of reign, a great tournament is organized in King's Landing: his numerous children, grandchildren and descendants, as well as their dragons, gather in the capital, which delights Queen Alysanne. During the joust, the assault between Ser Ryam Redwyne and Ser Clement Crabbe is declared the finest joust ever seen in Westeros.

In the year 99, septon Barth died. Some time later, Queen Alysanne Targaryen dies of grief after the death of her last daughter, the young princess Gael, found drowned in the Blackwater. These successive losses greatly affected the old king, who mourned until the end of his reign.

In the year 101, the crown prince Baelon died in his turn, which caused the king another great sorrow. In addition, this death raises again the question of the succession of the king. This event leads the king to convene a Great Council in Harrenhal in 101, in order to choose the new heir. At the end of the council, his grandson Viserys was chosen by a large majority.

The king chose Ser Otto Hightower, a prominent member of House Hightower of Villevieille, to take over the office of Hand of the King, which had previously been held by Baelon Targaryen.

Ser Otto came to court with his family, including his daughter, the young Alicent, who quickly became very close to the aging king, reading to him, bringing him meals, and tending to his toilet.

Jaehaerys I Targaryen died peacefully at the age of sixty-nine, in the year 103, while Lady Alicent was reading him The Supernatural History, written by his friend septon Barth.

Because of the exceptional length of his reign (fifty-five years) he was succeeded by his grandson Viserys. He left a peaceful and prosperous kingdom. His mortal remains are cremated in Fossedragon, and his ashes mixed with those of his queen Alysanne are buried in Peyredragon.

The entire kingdom mourned his death, and even in Dorne, it is said that men wept and women tore their clothes.

Jaehaerys I Targaryen Legacy

Jaehaerys was the first king to organize his decision-making around a small council, consisting only of the most important officers of the crown.

Jaehaerys' reign is distinguished by its long duration and by the numerous reforms he carried out with the help of the septon Barth to unify the kingdom: the standardization of laws throughout the kingdom, the beautification of King's Landing, the construction of roads that crisscross the kingdom (notably the Royal Road), but above all the peace he obtained with the Great Septon, which put an end to the War of the Faiths

Under the influence of his sister-wife, Alysanne Targaryen, Jaehaerys will also forbid the lordly right of the first night and force the Stark to give up lands to the Night's Watch.