Viserys II Targaryen

Viserys 2 Targaryen

Born in the year 122, King Viserys II Targaryen was the brother of Aegon III Targaryen and therefore the second son of Rhaenyra Targaryen and her uncle-husband Daemon Targaryen.

Viserys II Targaryen Youth

He was named after his royal grandfather, King Viserys I. The dragon's egg that, according to Targaryen tradition, was placed in his crib, never hatched. As the fifth son of Rhaenyra Targaryen, Viserys was not destined to rule.

At the beginning of the Dance of the Dragons, which pitted his parents against his uncle Aegon II, Prince Viserys remained safe in Peyredragon because of his young age.

Eventually, his older half-brother Jacaerys Velaryon decides to send him to Pentos with his brother Aegon, and the two children set sail on the ship named the Mad Abandon. Unfortunately, the war fleet of the Triarchy is on its way, and falls on the ship of the two princes.

While Aegon manages to escape on his young dragon Storm Cloud, his little brother cannot escape the enemies: he disappears and is presumed dead. But, in the year 134, Lord Alyn Velaryon found him in Lys, where merchant princes had taken him prisoner, hoping to obtain a large ransom.

Once the ransom was paid, the prince was brought back to his brother's court with his new Lysian wife, Larra Rogare. He quickly becomes the only person in whom his elder brother really trusts.

The regency of his brother is a troubled and confused period during which many factions, including the regents themselves, try to have the ascendancy on the young king.

In the year 135, Prince Viserys was involved in intrigues to discredit his wife's powerful family, who were accused of plotting against the Iron Throne.

The king and his brother refuse to hand over Larra Rogare and are forced to take refuge in Maegor's Citadel, which is besieged for eighteen days by Ser Marston Waters, now the Hand of the King, before the king regains control of the situation.

The Hand of the Kings

At the end of Aegon's reign, Viserys became his Hand of the King, counterbalancing the rigidity of his brother. Realizing the value of having dragons, the king and his brother tried several times to hatch a brood but to no avail and the last Targaryen dragon died in the year 153.

When Aegon III died in 157, Viserys retained his position as Hand of the King during the reigns of his nephews, Daeron I Targaryen and Baelor I Targaryen. He governed the kingdom wisely while Daeron conquered the Dornian principality, and then during the enlightened reign of Baelor.

Although much of the prosperity of his nephews' reigns can be attributed to him, popular opinion seems to make him a schemer.

For example, he is suspected of having poisoned the first Great Septon appointed by Baelor, a simple stonemason whose craft caused wonder, but who was unable to read or recite prayers.

When King Baelor the Blessed died without issue in 171, Viserys dismissed his niece Daena and her sisters from the succession in accordance with the male preference in the succession of Targaryen kings. Viserys thus becomes the new king of the Seven Crowns.

At this date, he is already a great-grandfather, although he is not yet fifty years old, which seems to represent a record in the history of the Targaryen dynasty.

Viserys II Targaryen Reign

Viserys reigned for only one year, and when he died, his eldest son took over as Aegon IV Targaryen. It is possible, even probable, that the latter poisoned his own father.

Viserys II Targaryen Legacy

Viserys II is generally suspected to have poisoned his nephew Baelor the Blessed to win the Iron Throne and to have done nothing with it once acquired, his reign lasting only one year from 171 to 172.

However, he did rule the realm effectively as Hand of the King for some twenty years while Daeron waged his military campaigns against Dorne and Baelor I Targaryen slumped in prayer, which suggests that he was not as bad a ruler as tradition claims.

However, Maester Kaeth in his Lives of Four Kings completely obscures the reign of Viserys and goes directly from the reign of Baelor to that of Aegon the Unworthy. All the Targaryen kings reigning thereafter are therefore descendants of Viserys II and not of his brother Aegon III.