doom of valyria

A History on Targaryens Part 1: The Rise and Fall of an Empire

So I’ve decided to post my Targaryen obsessions here. 😀 I’ve done crazy/weird research on their history and decided that it was too awesome not to share. Part 1 will feature the great empire they came from and how they became dragonlords.

*Feel free to email me or post a comment if there are any details I missed 🙂

Rise of the Valyrian Freehold

Around the same time as the invasion of the Andals, five thousand years ago, peaceful shepherds from a remote peninsula discovered dragons living in the Fourteen Fires, a great range of volcanoes that stretched across Valyria. These people learned that through discipline and sorcery, they could control the dragons and use them for battle.

During five tragic wars, they ruined the Ghiscari empire and eventually conquered all the lands in Slaver’s Bay. This ignited the start of the Valyrian Freehold which rapidly grew in strength and power. The empire had no king to rule over them, but a council of Lord Freeholders who came from the most noble and powerful families.

For four millenia, the Valyrian Freehold expanded in all directions. They protected the land from the primitive tribesfolk of the Great Grass Sea and established enormous cities across the Valyrian hinterland, also known as the Lands of the Long Summer. They conquered all the lands of Ghis and expanded across the western coastline, eventually coming to a place called Rhoyne where they built a great city called Volantis.

In a few centuries, Valyrians had expanded into most of the western regions of the eastern continent of Essos.

The Doom of Valyria

One of the early dragonlords were the Targaryens, a noble family of ancient Valyria. The patriarch, Lord Aenar Targaryen had a daughter named Daenys with the gift of prophecy. She had a powerful prophetic dream that Valyria would soon be destroyed. Aenar heeded this warning and removed his entire family and their five dragons to Dragonstone. He made it their base of operations and established trade routes with the Seven Kingdoms. Their allies, the Velaryons and Celtigars, settled on other islands near Dragonstone.

A century after they colonised Dragonstone, the great Valyrian Freehold was destroyed in a single night. Massive volcanic eruptions and great earthquakes destroyed an entire empire in one stroke.

doom of valyria

After this apocalypse followed what was known as the Century of Blood, also known as the Bleeding Years. All the colonies of Valyria broke away into chaos. The Nine Free Cities were formed but only to succumb to war with one another.

The last remaining dragonlords, the Targaryens, chose not to intervene and instead decided to horde their strength and number on their stronghold, Dragonstone. Out of their five dragons, four had died, leaving only Balerion the Black Dread. Two more eggs hatched and were named Vhagar and Meraxes, named after the Valyrian gods of old.

The Targaryen Lords of this time were:

  • Aenar the Exile, who led the Targaryen exodus
  • Gaemon the Glorious, son of Aenar and brother-husband to Daenys the Dreamer
  • Aegon and Elaena, children of Gaemon and Daenys
  • Maegon, son of Aegon and Elaena
  • Aelix, Baelon, and Daemon, sons of Maegon
  • Aerion, son of Daemon and married to Lady Velena from House Velaryon

It is from this lineage that the greatest ruler and conqueror of Westeros is born, Aegon the Conqueror.

The next part of this history series will feature the conquest and subjugation of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms… I’ll keep you guys posted 😀

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4 thoughts on “A History on Targaryens Part 1: The Rise and Fall of an Empire

  1. I’ve always been interested in the story of Ancient Valyria. Let’s hope GRRM will do a prequel-saga like The Silmarillion for LOTR 🙂

    1. Yes! I’d love to read about the Dance of Dragons or the ‘abduction’ of Lyanna Stark 😀 We all know the prevailing theory: R + L = J. I’d like to read more clues about that..

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