The Dance of the Dragons; Prelude

King Viserys I Targaryen had three children with his first queen, Aemma Arryn, but only Princess Rhaenyra survived into adulthood. With no son to inherit the throne, Viserys decided to groom Rhaenyra as his heir. She actively participated in state affairs and small council meetings, gaining support from many nobles. After Viserys’s first wife passed away, he remarried Alicent Hightower and had four more children: Aegon, Helaena, Aemond, and Daeron.

Back to Main Article: The Dance of Dragons Explained

In 111 AC, a grand tourney was held in King’s Landing to celebrate Viserys’s fifth wedding anniversary. Queen Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra wore different colors, leading to the factions being called “greens” and “blacks” respectively. During the tourney, Ser Criston Cole, wearing Rhaenyra’s favor, defeated all of Alicent’s champions.

To secure Rhaenyra’s position, Viserys arranged her marriage to Ser Laenor Velaryon, a man with Targaryen blood. This caused tension between Rhaenyra and Ser Criston. Rhaenyra bore three sons during her marriage: Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey Velaryon, although rumors circulated that they might be fathered by someone else.

After Laenor’s murder in 120 AC, Rhaenyra married her uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen. She had two sons with him: Aegon the Younger and Viserys. Rhaenyra and Alicent’s rivalry intensified, creating animosity between their respective children. Alicent’s father, Ser Otto Hightower, also disliked Rhaenyra’s second husband, Prince Daemon, from the beginning of Viserys’s reign.

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