Daeron I Targaryen
Daeron I by Amok©
|Full name||Daeron Targaryen the First of His Name|
|Predecessor||Aegon III Targaryen|
|Successor||Baelor I Targaryen|
|Born||In 143 AC, at King's Landing|
|Died||In 161 AC, at Dorne|
|Buried||At King's Landing|
|Father||Aegon III Targaryen|
Daeron I Targaryen, known as the Young Dragon, was the eldest son of King Aegon III Targaryen and Queen Daenaera Velaryon, and the eighth Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne. He ascended to the throne at the age of fourteen and is famous for invading Dorne, which he wrote about in his The Conquest of Dorne.
Appearance and Character
Daeron was born in 143 AC as the firstborn son and heir of King Aegon III Targaryen and Queen Daenaera Velaryon. He had a younger brother, Prince Baelor, and three younger sisters, Princesses Daena, Rhaena, and Elaena. When his father died in 157 AC, the prince was crowned King Daeron I in 157 AC at the age of fourteen. Daeron kept his uncle, Prince Viserys, as his Hand of the King, as his uncle had held the position for Aegon III as well. Viserys did not insist upon a regency for the young king.
Conquest of Dorne
Daeron had long felt that the continued independence of Dorne represented unfinished business for the Targaryens, and upon his ascension he vowed to rectify his ancestors' mistake. Viserys and other councillors objected to the young king's plans, however, reminding Daeron that Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters had failed twice in trying to conquer Dorne with dragons, and that the Iron Throne now had none. Daeron famously replied, "You have a dragon. He stands before you".
Daeron planned his conquest of Dorne with the aid of Lord Alyn Velaryon. The campaign showed great promise as Daeron went over and revised the mistakes that were made in the First Dornish War. Daeron split his army into three for the invasion and personally led the army down the Boneway. Learning from the mistakes made by Lord Orys Baratheon in the first war, Daeron used goat paths located in the pass to avoid traps and ambushes which Dornishmen usually implemented to repel invaders. A second army led by Lord Lyonel Tyrell marched down the Prince's Pass. The third army was a naval assault by Alyn Oakenfist along the Dornish coast, and the royal fleet broke the Planky Town.
After several battles, the Prince of Dorne and two score Dornish lords bent the knee in the Submission of Sunspear in 158 AC, within a year of the invasion's beginning. Daeron became the first Targaryen king to conquer Dorne and unite all Seven Kingdoms for the first time, despite the loss of ten thousand men in taking the peninsula. Daeron wrote The Conquest of Dorne about his achievement. The book was known for its style and simplicity, but in it Daeron exaggerated the numbers of his foes to make his conquest seem greater.
Daeron spent some time in Dorne to consolidate his conquest and eliminate rebels. An assassination attempt on the king was prevented by the actions of his cousin, Prince Aemon Targaryen, who threw himself in the path of a poisoned arrow meant for Daeron. Aemon the Dragonknight survived the poison, however, and was sent back to King's Landing to recover. Leaving Lord Tyrell in charge in Dorne, Daeron returned to the capital in 159 AC, bringing fourteen Dornish nobles with him as hostages. Daeron intended to wed one of his sisters to the Sealord of Braavos to seal an alliance with him, with the aim of removing the pirates that were hindering trade with Dorne. According to Grand Maester Kaeth's Lives of Four Kings, this talk of a marriage alliance with Braavos, at the time warring with Pentos and Lys, caused those other Free Cities to lend aid to the Dornish rebels.
Rebellion and Death
Although the Dornish nobility had submitted to House Targaryen, the Dornish smallfolk continued to resist. Daeron's steward in Dorne, Lord Lyonel Tyrell, attempted to stamp out rebellion, and forty or fifty thousand men are said to have died in the next three years. A clever trap at Sandstone killed Lyonel and sparked a great uprising, however, leading Daeron to return to Dorne in 160 AC.
The Young Dragon achieved victories along the Boneway while Lord Alyn Velaryon dealt with the Planky Town and the Greenblood. Thinking the Dornish were again willing to submit, Daeron met with them under a peace banner in 161 AC. However, in a betrayal, the Dornishmen attacked Daeron and his retinue. The eighteen-year-old king died with Blackfyre in his hand, surrounded by a dozen enemies. Three knights of the Kingsguard were slain while defending him — including Ser Olyvar Oakheart — one yielded, and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight was captured, though Aemon managed to slay two of the betrayers before being taken into custody.
Daeron was succeeded by his brother, Baelor I Targaryen, and the Dornish hostages in King's Landing were thrown into the dungeons by Prince Viserys, the Hand of the King. The Weeping Town received its name from the townspeople's reaction when Daeron's corpse arrived from Dorne. Although most lords were vengeful after Daeron's death, Baelor the Blessed forgave the assassins and brought about a rapprochement with the Dornish.
Jon: Daeron Targaryen was only fourteen when he conquered Dorne.
Benjen: A conquest that lasted a summer. Your Boy King lost ten thousand men taking the place, and another fifty trying to hold it. Someone should have told him that war isn't a game.
Behind the Scenes
According to George R. R. Martin, Alexander the Great is an inspiration for the character of Daeron. When asked about Daeron's sexuality in a 2008 Q&A, George R. R. Martin said that Daeron was not gay and married but did not have an issue. It seems Martin later changed his mind on Daeron's marital status as in The World of Ice and Fire, published in 2014, there is no mention of Daeron ever being married.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 5, Jon I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys IV.
- See the Daeron I Targaryen calculation.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Daeron I Targaryen.
- So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings, November 01, 2005
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron I.
- So Spake Martin: Egg and the Targaryens, November 05, 1998
- So Spake Martin: Three Maidens in the Tower, June 27, 2006
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 35, Jon VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 40, Princess In The Tower.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: The Quarrelsome Daughters: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 59, Sansa IV.
- SSM: Targaryen History (April 21, 2008)