Aemond Targaryen, as depicted in The Rise of the Dragon by Shen Fei.
|Born||In 110 AC|
|Died||In 22nd day of the 5th moon of 130 AC, the Gods Eye|
|Father||Viserys I Targaryen|
|Spouse||Alys Rivers (allegedly)|
Leo Ashton (young)
|TV series||House of the Dragon: 1 | 2|
Prince Aemond Targaryen, also known as Aemond One-Eye and later as Aemond the Kinslayer, was a member of House Targaryen. He was the second son of King Viserys I Targaryen by his second wife, Queen Alicent Hightower, and the younger brother of King Aegon II Targaryen. Like his siblings, Aemond was a dragonrider, and rode the dragon Vhagar.
Appearance and Character
At birth, Aemond was said to be half the size his older brother, Aegon, had been, though he was twice as fierce. At the age of ten, Aemond lost his right eye during a fight with his nephew Lucerys Velaryon. Subsequently Aemond took to putting a sapphire in place of the missing eye. Aemond was also known to wear an eye patch over his sapphire eye at times, apparently when he was in open court and did not want to frighten noble ladies with his scars (such as when he was in the Round Hall of Storm's End with Borros Baratheon's wife and daughters).
Aemond was born in 110 AC to King Viserys I Targaryen and his second wife, Queen Alicent Hightower. He had two older sisters, Rhaenyra, Viserys's daughter by his first wife, and Helaena, and an older brother, Aegon. Aemond would later also have a younger brother, Daeron.
The births of Aemond and his older brother Aegon were the cause of some strife at the court of Viserys I. The king had named Rhaenyra, his only surviving child by his first marriage, his official heir in 105 AC, but refused to change the order of succession after the birth of two healthy sons. This eventually led to the rise of the "queen's party" at the royal court, as opposed to the "party of the princess". Additionally, Prince Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother of King Viserys and Aemond's uncle, was said to be notably cool towards Aemond and Aegon, as their births had pushed him back even further in the line of succession as well.
The enmity between Aemond's mother, Alicent, and older half-sister, Rhaenyra, was passed on to their children. Aemond and his siblings became bitter rivals to Rhaenyra's three sons, Princes Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey Velaryon, resenting them for stealing their birthright, the Iron Throne. The time the six boys were forced to spend together (e.g. attending feasts, sometimes training together at arms or studying under the same maester) only caused to increase this dislike.
In 120 AC, when Aemond was ten years old, his brother-in-law, Ser Laenor Velaryon, died. Aemond accompanied his parents and siblings to Driftmark to attend Laenor's funeral. King Viserys had suggested traveling to Dragonstone after the funeral, and informed Aemond, who out of all his siblings was the only one yet without a dragon of his own, that he could claim a dragon egg or hatchling on Dragonstone for his own, if he was "bold enough". Annoyed by his father's comment, Aemond resolved to claim Vhagar, the eldest of the dragons, who had recently become riderless with the death of Laena Velaryon. Vhagar was present on Driftmark, and Aemond, who knew that his parents would not allow him near the dragon, went to make his attempt in secret.
Aemond was caught by his three-year-old nephew, Prince Joffrey. In an attempt to keep him quiet, Aemond slapped and threatened the younger boy, before shoving him into a pile of dragon droppings. When Joffrey began to yell, Aemond climbed on top of Vhagar's back. The dragon broke free of her chains, and Aemond flew two circles before landing. Joffrey, however, had alarmed his two older siblings, Jacaerys and Lucerys Velaryon. The four boys fought with wooden training swords, until Aemond called his nephews "Strongs". Jacaerys, old enough to understand the insult, attacked Aemond again. When Aemond gained the upper hand and began to beat Jacaerys savagely, Lucerys drew his dagger and slashed at Aemond's face, taking out his right eye. After the incident, Queen Alicent called for Lucerys to lose an eye as penance, which King Viserys refused, while Princess Rhaenyra demanded that Aemond was questioned, "sharply", until he revealed where he heard her sons being described as "Strongs"—as naming them such was suggesting they were bastards, and therefore that Rhaenyra was guilty of high treason by sleeping with Ser Harwin Strong. Forced by his father, Aemond eventually admitted hearing the name from his brother, Prince Aegon.
While he was an unforgiving person, Aemond would later say that he considered losing an eye to be a fair trade in exchange for obtaining Vhagar. Despite the loss of his eye, Aemond developed into a dangerous swordsman under the guidance of Ser Criston Cole, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
On the first day of 127 AC, King Viserys held a feast to celebrate the return of his health. After the king had left the feast, Aemond toasted his three Velaryon nephews, speaking of their appearance, mocking them as "three strong boys".
The Dance of the Dragons
In 129 AC, when Aemond was nineteen years old, his father, King Viserys I Targaryen died. Aemond's older brother was crowned King Aegon II Targaryen, despite their older sister Rhaenyra having been Viserys's chosen heir, starting the war of succession known as the Dance of the Dragons. Aegon's supporters realized that Rhaenyra would likely resist Aegon's coronation. As the previous Lord of Storm's End, Boremund Baratheon, had been a supporter of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, Rhaenyra's mother-in-law and one of her supporters, the greens feared that Lord Borros Baratheon, the new lord, might side with Rhaenyra as well. Aemond was sent to Storm's End to convince Lord Borros to support Aegon by promising to marry one of his daughters.
While Aemond was at Storm's End, Lord Borros received a visit from Prince Lucerys Velaryon, who had come to speak on behalf of Rhaenyra. Aemond attempted to provoke Lucerys, who ignored his uncle. When Aemond threatened Lucerys, stating he owed him an eye, Borros refused to allow them to fight under his roof. Borros's men restrained Aemond, allowing Lucerys to leave the hall and take off on his dragon, Arrax. When Borros's daughter Maris taunted Aemond, asking him if Lucerys had removed his balls as well as his eye, Aemond became enraged. When he asked Borros' leave, Borros told Aemond that he had no say about what Aemond did while not underneath Borros's roof, and allowed him to depart the Round Hall. Aemond mounted Vhagar and pursued his nephew, avenging the loss of his eye by killing Lucerys and Arrax. Mushroom claims Aemond located the boy's corpse and removed both of his eyes to present them to Lady Maris on a bed of seaweed. Aemond was known thereafter as a kinslayer among his enemies. Though his mother and grandfather despaired when they had learned of his actions, his elder brother, King Aegon II, was pleased and threw a great feast in Aemond's honor.
Prince Daemon Targaryen swore to avenge Lucerys, promising his wife Rhaenyra "a son for a son". Contacting Mysaria, Daemon arranged for Blood and Cheese to kill Aegon II's son Jaehaerys, which drove the child's mother Helaena slowly mad, eliminating her as a dragonrider.
Aemond joined his brother and Ser Criston Cole in the battle at Rook's Rest, where the two brothers slew Princess Rhaenys Targaryen and her dragon, Meleys. While Aemond and Vhagar remained unhurt, Aegon was severely wounded. Aemond ruled in his stead as Prince Regent and Protector of the Realm for a year while Aegon recovered. He took up the iron and ruby crown of Aegon the Conqueror, and was said to have stated that it looked better on himself than it ever did on Aegon.
As Prince Regent, Aemond gathered an army together with Ser Criston Cole, the Hand of the King. They marched against Prince Daemon at Harrenhal, but during their march King's Landing fell to Rhaenyra and Daemon. After recapturing Harrenhal, Aemond ordered the deaths of Ser Simon Strong and his kin. Alys Rivers was spared, however, and became Aemond's bedmate. Alys prevented Aemond from strangling the squire who informed Harrenhal of the greens' defeat in the Battle by the Lakeshore. Aemond and Criston Cole split up, with Aemond taking Vhagar to burn numerous black-aligned settlements throughout the riverlands. Lady Sabitha Frey seized Harrenhal and Alys, but Aemond eventually returned to rescue his lover.
Prince Daemon and the dragonseed Nettles searched for Aemond and Vhagar throughout the riverlands, but were unable to find them. Eventually, Daemon travelled to Harrenhal with Caraxes, challenged Aemond, and waited for thirteen days until the sunset of the twenty-second day of the fifth month of 130 AC, when Aemond arrived at Harrenhal with a pregnant Alys. Aemond and Daemon talked briefly, and Aemond passionately kissed Alys goodbye, before the two men mounted their dragons, Aemond carefully fastening his saddle chains but Daemon leaving his dangling. The Battle Above the Gods Eye was was said to be a sight to see, as the dragonfire was so bright that smallfolk feared the clouds were aflame. The dragons' shrieks and roars could be heard from a dozen miles away. The duel ended when Caraxes came from Aemond's blind side and slammed into Vhagar, locking his teeth onto her neck. Both dragons were grappling, locked together as they fell from the sky towards the Gods Eye lake below. Caraxes's jaws continued to tighten around Vhagar's neck, biting deeper even while Vhagar's own teeth ripped away Caraxes's wing and her claws opened his belly. At the last, Prince Daemon leapt from his dragon to the other, tore off Aemond's helm and drove his Valyrian steel sword, Dark Sister, through his nephew's blind eye. A moment later, both dragons crashed into the lake, the collision sending up a gout of water as high as the Kingspyre Tower at Harrenhal. Neither man could have survived.
Aemond's body and Vhagar's skull were recovered from the bottom of the Gods Eye years later. Prince Aemond's armored bones were found still chained to Vhagar's saddle, with Dark Sister thrust hilt-deep through his eye socket.
During the regency of Aegon III, Aemond's bedmate Alys Rivers ruled Harrenhal as a "witch queen". When Ser Regis Groves and Ser Damon Darry demanded her submission, Alys claimed that she was Aemond's widow and presented a young boy as their trueborn son and the rightful king.
Quotes by Aemond
Aemond: You were a fool to come alone.
Daemon: Were I not alone, you would not have come.Daemon: On that much we agree.
Aemond: Yet you are, and here I am. You have lived too long, nuncle.
—Aemond and Daemon Targaryen
Quotes about Aemond
You only lost one eye, how could you be so blind?—Otto Hightower to Aemond
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
- Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion III.
- HBO.com: House of the Dragon Cast & Characters
- WarnerMedia Pressroom: House of the Dragon | Character Descriptions
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Baratheon.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.