The Black Council and Coronation of Rhaenyra

On Dragonstone, Rhaenyra convened her council, known as the black council, which included her uncle-husband Daemon, her sons Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey, Lord Corlys Velaryon, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, and others.

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During the council, they noticed Dragonstone had more fighting dragons (nine tamed and three wild) than the Greens in King’s Landing (four). Some suggested an immediate attack, but Rhaenyra pointed out their limited number of dragonriders—only five, including her sons.

Three of those riders would be her children. Prince Daemon agreed and proposed a strategic approach. He suggested a public coronation for Rhaenyra to match Aegon’s, followed by diplomatic efforts to gather support from the realm’s great lords.

Princess Rhaenys was certain Storm’s End, supported by the deceased Lord Boremund Baratheon, would side with Rhaenyra. Daemon believed Lady Jeyne Arryn could bring the Vale’s support, and Lord Dalton Greyjoy of the Iron Islands might also be persuaded.

Messages were sent to the North, although it was considered remote. Rhaenyra’s sons, Jacaerys (fourteen) and Lucerys (thirteen), volunteered as envoys. She allowed them to go under the condition that they only served as messengers, not knights. Jacaerys flew on Vermax to the Arryns, Manderlys, and Starks, while Lucerys traveled on Arrax to Storm’s End.

While Rhaenyra stayed on Dragonstone to recover, Prince Daemon and his dragon Caraxes traveled to the riverlands, using Harrenhal as their base to rally the riverlords loyal to Rhaenyra. House Velaryon also blocked shipping from Blackwater Bay by closing off the Gullet. The black council’s careful strategies aimed to strengthen Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne.

Rhaenyra was crowned queen, wearing the same crown her father and great-grandfather had worn, thanks to Ser Steffon Darklyn who had brought it from King’s Landing. Prince Daemon personally placed the crown on Rhaenyra’s head.

He was appointed Protector of the Realm, while Jacaerys was officially declared Prince of Dragonstone and heir to the Iron Throne. Rhaenyra’s first act as queen was to declare Ser Otto Hightower and Dowager Queen Alicent traitors, yet she offered mercy to her half-siblings if they bent the knee, adhering to the belief that kinslayers were cursed.

Upon learning of his half-sister’s coronation, King Aegon II labeled Rhaenyra and Daemon traitors, demanding their execution. Grand Maester Orwyle proposed peace, backed by Alicent and Helaena. The king, influenced by his mother and sister-wife, dispatched Orwyle to Dragonstone under a peace banner, offering Rhaenyra “generous terms”.

The offer included confirming her possession of Dragonstone, passing it to Jacaerys, recognizing Lucerys as the heir to Driftmark, and employing her youngest sons in the king’s service. Pardons were also extended to other Black lords and knights.

However, Queen Rhaenyra reminded Orwyle of King Viserys’s confirmation of her as his heir and successor. Rejecting the terms, she declared Orwyle was no true Grand Master, taking his chain of office and giving it to her own maester, Gerardys. She sent Orwyle back to King’s Landing, instructing him to inform Aegon that she would claim her throne – with his head, if necessary.

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