Heroes of Lore and Legend: Aemon the Dragonknight (ASOIAF)

Heroes of Lore and Legend: Aemon the Dragonknight (ASOIAF)


Born in 136 AC, Aemon Targaryen was the second
child of King Viserys II and Larra Rogare of Lys, who grew to be so great a swordsman,
he was granted the honor of wielding Dark Sister, one of the Valyrian steel blades held
by the royal family. Nicknamed the Dragonknight, he once duelled
Cregan Stark of Winterfell, remarking that the Northern Lord was the finest swordsmen
he ever faced. Stories say Aemon and his sister Naerys came
to love each other deeply, but she was married to their elder brother Aegon in 153 AC and
was crying during the bedding ceremony. Distraught over his lost love, 17 year old
Aemon joined the Kingsguard, serving under his uncle Aegon III who passed away in 157
AC, succeeded by his son Daeron I, who in the same year began his ambitious conquest
of Dorne. The Dragonknight followed his king to war
and saved his life by jumping in front of a poisoned arrow, but as a result was sent
back to the capital to recover. Nevertheless, as soon as possible he returned
to the fighting and famously defeated a Dornish champion in battle. Although the young dragon was initially successful
in defeating the nobility of the realm, he soon faced a rebellion from the small folk,
resulting in the peace talks of 161 AC where the king was betrayed and killed alongside
3 of his kingsguard, while a fourth yielded to the Dornishmen. Aemon, the final member of the kingsguard
present, immediately attacked and killed two of the enemy but was quickly overwhelmed and
captured. The Dornish Lord Wyl of Wyl, then left the
dragonknight naked in a crow’s cage suspended above a pit of vipers while in King’s Landing,
Daeron I was succeeded by his brother Baelor the Blessed, a man so determined to end the
war he walked barefoot to Dorne and negotiated peace, before walking through a nest of vipers
to free his cousin. Although the Dragonknight told the King leave
him behind and not risk his life, Baelor refused and successfully rescued Aemon, but suffered
a number of snake bites and collapsed unconscious. Making their way home, Aemon carried the king
to a nearby village where a septon gave them a mule, and then reached Blackhaven castle,
where they found a Maester. In total, Aemon the Dragonknight served under
five Targaryen Kings, beginning with Aegon III, followed by Daeron I, Baelor The Blessed,
Viserys II and finally his elder brother Aegon IV. However his relationship with Aegon was poor
throughout their lives, due in some part to the dragonknight’s affection for Queen Naerys,
and because the vain, greedy, gluttonous king was envious of the love and respect people
showed for his gallant younger brother. During the reign of the Aegon the Unworthy,
a rumor was circulated by Ser Morgil Hastwyck, accusing the Queen of adultery and treason,
but some believed that it was King himself who allowed these rumors to spread, in order
to discredit his son and heir Daeron, with whom he was quarrelling. However the Dragonknight would not allow anyone
to insult the name of his beloved sister and so fought and killed Ser Morgil in a trial
by combat. Nevertheless, the rumors of the queen’s
infidelity persisted, and later contributed to the outbreak of civil war, when many chose
to recognize Aegon’s bastard son Daemon Blackfyre as true heir to the Iron throne. The king had so little affection for his wife,
that on one occasion he forbid his brother from participating in a tournament, so he
could arrange for the champion to dedicate his victory to his mistress instead of his
wife. Yet Aemon again would not permit his sister
to be mocked, and so entered as a mystery knight called the Knight of Tears, and won
the event, naming Naerys as Queen of Love and Beauty. Although he no doubt hated his brother, Aemon
was loyal until the very end, dying in the defense of his king when two brothers from
house Toyne attempted his assassination. Stories say Naerys was heartbroken when she
learned of Aemon’s death and died a year later in childbirth. Forever bitter and hostile towards his siblings,
Aegon IV did little to honor their memory, and even attempted to smear their names, circulating
rumors that Aemon had an affair with Queen Naerys. Yet despite the king’s efforts to taint
the man’s reputation, Aemon the Draonknight was remembered as one of the finest and most
honourable warriors in Westerosi history, with his great love for the queen inspiring
singers for years to come.

24 thoughts on “Heroes of Lore and Legend: Aemon the Dragonknight (ASOIAF)

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  2. I wonder what is Prince Aemon the Dragonknights inspiration for his character: was it sir Lancelot or William Marshall a Knight who served King Henry the second and four other kings of England. Which is Aemon the Dragonknight is based?

  3. Happy holidays! Thanks for this lore video, please do more House Targaryen lore videos and specific character lore videos in the future!

  4. My grandfather named me for Aemon the Dragonknight who was his uncle, or his father depending on which tale you believe. Aemon he called me – Maester Aemon

  5. I really hope king Daeron the Good or his sister Daenerys (later married to the Dornish prince and bringing Dorne into the 7 kingdoms by marriage) were Aemon's children by Queen Naerys and not Aegon's. Their father Viserys II forced Aegon and Naerys to marry, for unknown reasons, making all of his 3 children miserable. Aegon cheated on her and mistreated her, impregnating her repeatedly against the maesters' advice untill she finally died in childbirth. If poor Naerys and Aemon cheated, I won't hold it against them, as they died because of their brother. Jaime and Cersei are the toxic contemporary version of kingsguard valliant brother-beautiful Queen sister lovers.

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