Appearance and Character
Aegon II had a strong similarity in appearance to his father, but was not as fat, nor did he have his father's sense of humour. He did not wear a beard and his moustache was wispy and weak-looking. Although he wore armour and wielded swords during the war, he was not a natural warrior. He wore the simple circlet of Valyrian steel as worn by his namesake Aegon I. It is said the King cried when his precious dragon, Sunfyre, perished after 9 days of agony. It is not known if he mourned when his wife killed herself.
The differences with his predecessors are quite striking: Jaehaerys was wise and brilliant, and loved his people, able to repair the realm after a catastrophic rule by his uncle Maegor; Viserys was generous and loved by his people; in comparison, Aegon was cruel, promiscuous and arrogant, easily resorting to kinslaying and being found bedding his paramour on the day his father died as opposed to comforting his family. Lacking the maturity of both his predecessors, he tended towards petulance and sullenesss, usually disagreeing with his small council desired quick action over careful decisiveness. Lacking in his great-grandfather's wisdom or his father's generosity, Aegon didn't even want to be king at the start, and only truly persisted in this regard when Criston Cole pointed out that Rhaenyra would exchange Aegon's loyalty by beheading him, his wife and children.
Aegon's cruelty was best expressed towards the end of his life: at the climax of the Dance of the Dragons, after Aegon took Dragonstone and lured Rhaenyra into a trap, he proceeded to take her prisoner and persuade his dragon Sunfyre to burn her and then eat her alive in front of her son. Aegon also added a biting insult to this execution, stating that Rhaenyra's remaining supporters would find her if they searched the seven hells.
The actions of Aegon II Targaryen left deep scars in Westeros, some of which haven't even healed yet. Aegon traumatised his nephew and successor into brooding, decimated cities and populations, damaged the reputation of his supporters and opponents both, and left himself with a terrible reputation after his death. Aegon is not remembered well at all, considered selfish and grasping, even a pawn of his mother Alicent. His actions were fruitless, as Rhaenyra's descendants prevailed over his either way and his own line died with his daughter.
Aegon II was the eldest son of King Viserys I Targaryen, but not the eldest child. His half-sister Rhaenyra, born to Viserys' first wife, was ten years senior to him. It was expected that Rhaenyra would succeed Viserys to become the first ruling Queen of Westeros, but by the laws of male primogeniture, then practised everywhere in Westeros but Dorne, the crown should have instead passed to Aegon. His Dragon, Sunfyre, was considered the most beautiful dragon that ever flew in Westeros, but the dragon received serious injuries during the war.
When Viserys I died, Ser Criston Cole of the Kingsguard took the crown of Aegon the Conqueror and placed it on Aegon's head, naming him Aegon II, King of Westeros and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. Rhaenyra, outraged and furious, claimed the throne herself, taking her father's crown and declaring herself Queen.
Aegon II's reign was spent fighting the Dance of Dragons, the bitter civil war between himself and Rhaenyra for the Iron Throne. This was a war fought with armies and with dragons, with the Seven Kingdoms divided down the middle between the two claimants.
Early in the war, Aegon's heir Prince Jaehaerys was murdered in the Red Keep by Blood and Cheese, agents of Prince Daemon's go-between. His sister-wife Helaena quickly began to sink into depression and madness.
Because of his grandfather's delays in waging war, Aegon stripped Ser Otto of the Handship and awarded it to Criston the Kingmaker. Ser Criston immediately took to the offensive. Aegon himself took the field in a trap set by Cole at Rook's Rest, where he and his brother Aemond One-Eye fought and killed Rhaenys Targaryen, the Queen Who Never Was. Aegon and his dragon Sunfyre were badly maimed, he suffering burns and broken bones. It took him a full year to recover, while his younger brother Aemond ruled in his stead.
When his half sister Rhaenyra took King's Landing and the Iron Throne in 130AC Larys Strong secreted him away. Disguised as one of the dragonseed smallfolk, Aegon hid on Dragonstone and convinced several blacks to defect and help him take the island. During the coup, he fought Baela Targaryen, both mounted on dragons. He shattered his legs in a fall during the fight. He carried great pain with him for the rest of his life, but refused milk of the poppy because of his experience with it during the recovery from Rook's Rest. Meanwhile, his wife Queen Helaena had ended her grief by suicide in the capital. In 130AC, Rhaenyra chose to flee to Dragonstone where she was captured, judged a traitor, and eaten by Aegon's dragon Sunfyre as he and Aegon III watched.
Despite his victory, Aegon II did not live long to enjoy it. He was poisoned by his own men after only six months and was succeeded by Rhaenyra's eldest son, who was named Aegon III Targaryen. Aegon II had children of his own, but his eldest son Jaehaerys, was murdered at the beginning of the war, and his younger son Maelor was ripped to pieces by a mob at Bitterbridge, so his only daughter Jaehaera married her cousin Aegon to end the feud between the branches, and Jaehaera herself dying a few years later, ending Aegon's lineage.