|Houses of Westeros - Great Houses|
|Saturday, 19 July 2008 00:18|
Fire and Blood.
Descended from the dragonlords of the ancient Freehold of Valyria, the Targaryens escaped its apocalyptic Doom and settled on the isle of Dragonstone. Many decades later, Aegon Targaryen (later known as the Conqueror) and his sisters, Rhaenys and Visenya, invaded the mainland, raising their first fort at the site that would become King’s Landing. The kings of the Seven Kingdoms surrendered or died, one after another, for the Targaryens rode dragons: Balerion, Vhagar, and Meraxes, named after old gods of Valyria. At the end of the conquest, Aegon was king of all the lands from the Wall to the Dornish Marches, and from the narrow sea west to the Iron Islands. The only people to escape Aegon’s reach were the Dornishmen. He fashioned his seat of power, the Iron Throne, from the swords of his defeated foes.
Two hundred years after Aegon, Dorne became the last of the Seven Kingdoms to fall under the domain of the Iron Throne. Dorne was joined by marriage and treaty, however, rather than war. King Daeron II wed the Dornish Princess Myriah, while a Targaryen sister in turn married the Prince of Dorne.
For three centuries, House Targaryen birthed kings both great and weak; the last Targaryen king was likely the poorest. Aerys II, the Mad King, murdered many once-loyal lords following Rhaegar’s apparent kidnapping of Lyanna Stark. This led to the War of the Usurper (or Robert’s Rebellion) wherein Prince Rhaegar died fighting Robert Baratheon at the Trident and Aerys was murdered by one of his own Kingsguard, Ser Jaime Lannister. Rhaegar’s wife and two young children were brutally murdered, leaving only Aerys’s pregnant queen and his remaining son, Viserys, to carry on the name. Queen Rhaella died on Dragonstone, giving birth to Aerys’s last child, Daenerys. The last two Targaryen children were then spirited away to the Free Cities, where they have remained in exile.
In their pride, the Targaryens placed themselves above the laws of the gods. They styled themselves the Kings of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lords of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protectors of the Realm. They wed brother to sister following the Valyrian tradition, which led to their unnatural beauty, moments of genius, and bouts of madness.
There are those who say the gods toss a coin every time a Targaryen is born — one side of the coin is greatness, and the other madness. History seems to have borne this out. Prince Aemon the Dragonknight is accounted as the most noble of all knights, while Baelor the Blessed brought the realm to its knees with his mad, pious misrule. They are given to extremes, both of nobility and depravity; only time can tell to which side a Targaryen has been born.
Though they once ruled all of the Seven Kingdoms, with King’s Landing as the royal seat and Dragonstone as the holding of the crown prince, the exiled Targaryens hold no lands to speak of. Viserys and Daenerys live on the sufferance of others, such as Magister Illyrio Mopatis of Pentos. Viserys has arranged to trade the last of his property — his sister — for an army of Dothraki screamers. It is said, however, that there are still lords loyal to the Targaryens in Westeros, simply waiting for the return of the dragonlords.
Exiled from the Seven Kingdoms, House Targaryen is under threat of death should it ever seek to regain the Iron Throne or even return to Westeros. Only the counsel of Jon Arryn, King Robert’s Hand, kept assassins from being sent after the children following their flight from Dragonstone. No house in Westeros is likely to give them shelter or support, despite rumours to the contrary; their only hope to regain their former realm is to win support from the powerful masters of the Free Cities or the exotic people of the lands beyond, such as the Dothraki. To accomplish this, Viserys would give anything — including his sister’s hand in marriage to Khal Drogo. Daenerys is frightened to grow up, for while her past was little more than a long flight from death, her childhood contained moments of simple joy. Although she feels compelled to help her brother, her future as a horselord’s wife seems a lurid mystery.
With Viserys’s death at the hands of Khal Drogo due to his arrogance and transgression, Daenerys becomes the last living Targaryen. For a time, Dany is happy to simply be khaleesi, but when Drogo falls to a festering wound, her attempts to save him shatter the tribe. The once-mighty khalasar of which Daenerys Stormborn was khaleesi withers away with the death of her husband. She has only an exiled knight, three young bloodriders, and a few dozen women, old men, and children to rule over ... but in Drogo’s funeral pyre, she finds new resolve. Although now childless and possibly barren, the fire gives her new children — three hatchling dragons. Despite Viserys’s death and the loss of her new life, Daenerys turns her gaze again towards Westeros, willing to make sacrifices in pursuit of the Iron Throne.
Prince Viserys Targaryen, the Third of His Name, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms (called the Beggar King), and Princess Daenerys, Stormborn, are the last Targaryens.
FEATS: Animal Companion; Blood of the Dragon; Dreams; Fire And Blood; Stubborn
Note: Targaryen characters should take the Outcast Defect, giving them Social Status Rank -1 and Wealth Rank -1.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 11 June 2011 14:42|