During the opening episode of House of the Dragon, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) tells his daughter Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) that their ancestor Aegon the Conqueror had an important vision. Despite the fact that no woman has ever ascended the Iron Throne, Viserys decides to formally appoint Rhaenyra as his successor, and it is only then that he reveals the dream’s meaning to the world. Here you will read who is mad king?
Daenerys the Dreamer, a Targaryen matriarch, predicted her family’s destruction of Valyria many years ago. It now appears that Aegon, too, experienced foreboding dragon dreams.
According to Viserys, Aegon had a dream in which a menace came down from the north and attacked King’s Landing, inspiring Viserys to write his famous prophecy, A Song of Ice and Fire.
Who Is Mad King?
In the years between 262 and 283, Aerys II Targaryen, also known as the Mad King and King Scab, ruled as the seventeenth and final member of the Targaryen dynasty on the Iron Throne. Rhaegar, Viserys, and Daenerys Targaryen were his surviving offspring from his sister-wife, Rhaella.
At first, Aerys’s reign was promising; he brought peace and prosperity to the Seven Kingdoms. However, he later descended into insanity due to a number of factors, including the miscarriages and stillbirths of multiple wives, the deaths of three sons, and a brief uprising known as the Defiance of Duskendale, during which he was held prisoner by a rebellious lord for half a year.
The extent of his paranoia and ruthlessness became unmanageable. At the time of Robert’s Rebellion, he was killed by one of his own Kingsguard, Ser Jaime Lannister. David Rintoul portrays Aerys in a flashback scene in the television adaptation of Game of Thrones.
Aerys was a dashing young man, with silvery-gold hair and violet eyes. His appearance deteriorated later in life as his insanity worsened, particularly following his confinement during the Defiance of Duskendale. As a result of his newfound aversion to physical contact, he stopped taking showers and also refused to get his hair or beard cut or his fingernails trimmed.
His hair extended down to his waist, his beard became knotted, and his fingernails grew to be about a foot long, yellow talons. Aerys’s fear of poison caused him to lose weight and become haggard, making him look much older than he actually was. As his reign came to a close, Aerys frequently injured himself on the Iron Throne’s sharp edges.
Because of the constant scabs and half-healed cuts on his arms and legs from sitting on the Iron Throne, he earned the nickname “King Scab.” Crowned with dragon’s heads set with ruby eyes, Aerys donned the same crown that had been worn by his ancestors, Aegon IV and Daeron II Targaryen.
The second son of King Aegon V, Prince Jaehaerys, and his sister-wife, Princess Shaera, had a son they named Aerys. Aerys married his sister Rhaella while they were both teenagers, continuing a long-standing dynastic incest tradition in their family. Although Aerys’s grandfather, King Aegon V Targaryen, disapproved of the incestuous marriage, Jaehaerys was given the authority to make the arrangements.
The marriage was prompted by a prophecy from a woods witch, which Jaehaerys took to signify that the promised prince would be descended from Aerys and Rhaella. Ser Barristan Selmy, who was also in attendance at the wedding, claims that the two siblings do not get along.
Aerys became fast friends with Tywin Lannister, a page at the royal court and the future heir to Casterly Rock, while they were both young. Aerys also became close with his cousin Steffon Baratheon, who was the rightful heir to Storm’s End. These three started spending almost no time apart at all.
In 259 A.C., during the catastrophe of Summerhall that claimed the lives of King Aegon V, his eldest son Prince Duncan, and many others, Rhaella gave birth to their firstborn son and heir, Prince Rhaegar. Aerys’s father, Jaehaerys, gained the Iron Throne following this catastrophe. Legend has it that on the night of Jaehaerys’s coronation, Aerys slept with Lady Joanna Lannister, who had arrived at court for the festivities.
False Spring Year
After the unexpected death of Ser Harlan Grandison, Aerys appointed Lord Tywin Lannister’s eldest (and only able-bodied) son Ser Jaime as the youngest knight in the order’s history. After some time had passed, Tywin and his son Jaime grew to feel that Aerys had meant this not as a compliment but as an insult to House Lannister, with the goal of robbing Tywin of his heir and giving Aerys an opportunity to use Jaime as a hostage in exchange for his father’s fealty.
Tywin didn’t realize that his daughter Cersei had come up with the plan to have Jaime join the order in the first place; she did so because she wanted to stop her father, Tywin, from betrothing him to Lysa Tully, something he and Lord Hoster Tully had been contemplating.
Twelve thousand westerners under the command of Tywin Lannister arrived in King’s Landing and swore allegiance to King Aerys hours before the leading edge of Lord Eddard Stark’s rebel troop arrived. Varys counseled the king not to permit them to the city, but Grand Maester Pycelle argued that the Lannisters should be trusted.
As a result of listening to Pycelle, Aerys made the ultimate decision to let the enemy into the city. The Lannister army, in the name of King Robert, immediately commenced a full-scale siege on the city.
Aerys, realizing it was all over, called for Lord Rossart and Ser Jaime Lannister, the last remaining knight in the Kingsguard.
Although House Lannister had been neutral up until that moment, Aerys had kept Jaime in the war to assure Tywin’s loyalty. Eventually, Jaime would remark on the hypocrisy of the Mad King’s conviction that he was safe so long as Jaime was by his side. After ordering Jaime to kill his father, Aerys finally gave Rossart the go-ahead to set off the wildfire stockpiles and destroy the city.
Who Killed Mad King?
The Mad King was roughly 37 years old when Jaime killed him in the show, as the event occurred in 281AC (though it is unknown if his birth year is the same, as the show altered Aerys’ father from Jaehaerys II to Aegon V, thus it is conceivable he is older).
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