Visenya Targaryen

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Visenya Targaryen
House Targaryen.svg
Visenya by Amok©

Title Queen
Dowager Queen
Allegiance House Targaryen
Race Valyrian
Culture crownlands
Born In 28BC or 29BC[1], at Dragonstone
Died In 44 AC
Spouse Aegon I Targaryen
Book(s) The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)

Queen Visenya Targaryen was the older of King Aegon I Targaryen's sisters. She was also one of his two wives, the other being her sister Rhaenys. A dragonrider, Visenya rode Vhagar during Aegon's Conquest and the First Dornish War.

Appearance and Character

Aegon the Conqueror's eldest sister was a passionate, temperamental woman. Visenya was both stern and sensual, more voluptuous than her sister Rhaenys, more passionate, but with a dark and unforgiving side. Even those who loved her best found her stern, serious and unforgiving.[2] Visenya was described as having a "harsh beauty" and was reputed to have dabbled in sorcery. While Rhaenys was the flirt, Visenya was the seductress. Although they shared their brother Aegon between them, they competed for him each in their own way. It is said that Aegon spent ten nights with Rhaenys for every one with Visenya.[3]

Visenya is the more likely than Rhaenys to garb herself as a warrior, and when so garbed, she would wield the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister, whose slender blade is designed for a woman's hand. She often braided her hair or bound it up in rings, while Rhaenys wore hers loose and flowing. The sisters likely wore jewels and clothing that reflected dragon and fire motifs.[4]


The Conquest

Visenya accompanied the Targaryen fleet to Gulltown on her dragon. After the Arryn fleet defeated Aegon's royal fleet in a battle in the waters off Gulltown, she had Vhagar burn the Arryn ships.

After the death of Harren the Black in the burning of Harrenhal, Visenya was sent by Aegon I to demand the submission of the lords of Crackclaw Point. The lords understood that they had no chance, so they laid their swords at her feet. Visenya took them as her own men and they would owe no fealty but to the Iron Throne.[5]

She along with her siblings Rhaenys and Aegon secured the victory on the Field of Fire when all three dragons were unleashed together for the first and only time in the war. She was the only one of the three siblings to sustain an injury, taking an arrow to the shoulder.

Visenya Targaryen riding Vhagar into battle.

After the Field of Fire she was charged with subduing the Vale while Rhaenys was charged with conquering Dorne. House Arryn sent an army to the Bloody Gate but Visenya simply flew on Vhagar to the courtyard of the Eyrie to obtain the surrender of the Vale of Arryn. She succeeded and the Vale was taken bloodlessly.[3]

First Dornish War

Visenya Targaryen by Feliche©

In 4 AC Visenya took part in the First Dornish War. When her sister Rhaenys Targaryen was killed a few years later during that war, the wrath of Aegon and Visenya was boundless. Their dragons consumed the abandoned Dornish castles in dragonflame and placed bounties on the heads of Dornish lords, and in turn the Dornishmen put bounties on the price of the Targaryens. Aegon and Visenya were assaulted on the streets of King's Landing, and if not for Visenya's Dark Sister they would have been killed. This attack led to the forming of the elite royal bodyguard known as the Kingsguard in 10 AC. Visenya chose the men herself.[6]

The Dornish war ended with peace terms due to a mysterious letter given to Aegon by the Dornish.

Later Life

Visenya largely oversaw the construction and planning of the city of King's Landing while Aegon was on Dragonstone. She was the mother of Maegor I Targaryen, her first and only child.[7] After Aenys I's accession to the Iron Throne she proposed her son Maegor wed Aenys's eldest daughter Rhaena, but the High Septon put up a vigorous protest and Maegor was forced to wed the High Septon's niece, Ceryse Hightower. In 39 AC Prince Maegor shocked the realm when he took a second wife and wed Alys Harroway in which Visenya officiated the wedding for lack of a septon, and Maegor went into exile.[8]

During the Faith Militant uprising Aenys abandoned the city with his family and fled to the safety of Dragonstone, where Visenya counseled him to bring fire and blood to the Starry Sept in Oldtown and Sept of Remembrance in King's Landing. Aenys, incapable of making a firm decision, instead fell ill and chose not to heed her counsel. Visenya took over his care and for a time his health improved. Aenys suffered a collapse when he learned his son Aegon and daughter Rhaena were besieged in Crakehall, and he died three days later. Visenya then mounted Vhagar and flew to Pentos to retrieve her son Maegor.[9]

Due to Visenya's actions, the Iron Throne passed to Maegor instead of Aenys's eldest son, Aegon. After the coronation of Maegor I, Visenya held Aenys's widow, Alyssa Velaryon, and children as hostages on Dragonstone and challenged those who questioned her son's right to rule to prove themselves. The captain of the Warrior's Sons, Ser Damon Morrigen, challenged Maegor to a trial of seven when Maegor went to King's Landing. Maegor was victorious but lay in a coma for a month before recovering. Once her son was back on his feet Visenya returned to Dragonstone where she remained until her death in 44 AC.[9]

After Visenya died many began to whisper that her nephew Aenys's sudden demise had been her own doing and some named her a king- and kinslayer.[8] However, she is mainly remembered and respected as a strong, capable warrior, something few women are acknowledged as in Westerosi history.


Aegon I
Aenys I
Maegor I
Jaehaerys I
Tyanna of
the Tower

References and Notes

  1. See the Visenya Targaryen calculation.
  2. So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings, November 01, 2005
  3. 3.0 3.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  4. So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings, November 01, 2005
  5. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20, Brienne IV.
  6. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
  7. Westeros Forum. Bubonicon 45, Mar 28 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
  9. 9.0 9.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.

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