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Aerion Targaryen was the second son of prince Maekar Targaryen and the elder brother of prince Aemon and prince Aegon Targaryen. Aerion is best remembered by the Westerosi population for being a great example of the latent folly that could hit House Targaryen. Known for his cruelty and his sadistic personalty, Aerion liked to style himself as Aerion Brightflame, but is best remembered as Aerion the Monstrous or as The Prince Who Thought He Was a Dragon after drinking a cup of wildfire.

Character and AppearanceEdit

Aerion in his youth was a slim man and of average height. Having his family's Valyrian looks, he had curly silver-gold hair, sharp cheekbones, violet eyes, and pale skin.[5]

Aerion was a prime example of the Targaryen insanity. Aerion's sadistic and arrogant nature, however, overshadows his handsome features. Aerion's relationship with his younger brother prince Aegon was terrible, and the boy has loathed his elder brother from an early age. Aerion had once thrown Aegon's pet cat in a well and even once come into bedroom in the night and held a knife to Aegon's genitals joking about turning him into a girl and marrying him.[5] Aerion proved early-on to be both mad, cruel, narcissistic and dangerous, both personally and politically: he completely disrespected other lords whom he believed to be beneath him - he was dismissive of all smallfolk and did not love the people that he would have come to rule. His brother Daeron called him "quite a monster".[5]

Aerion was an intensely cruel man, winning a tournament by spearing a horse deliberately through the neck, and even violently punishing a puppet show on the basis that, in the show, a dragon lost. Aerion was obsessed with his own blood and the implications of it, particularly that he was a dragon incarnated.[5][1] This factor stayed with him his whole life, to the point that he drank wildfire in the belief that it would transform him into a dragon.

HistoryEdit

Early lifeEdit

Aerion was born the second son to Prince Maekar Targaryen and his wife, Lady Dyanna Dayne. He had one older brother, Daeron, two younger brothers, Aemon and Aegon, and two younger sisters, Daella and Rhae.[6]

Aerion owned a dragon egg that was gold and silver.[7]

Tales of Dunk and EggEdit

The Hedge KnightEdit

Aerion breaking Tanselle's fingers

Aerion breaks Tanselle's fingers, as depicted in The Hedge Knight graphic novel.

In the year 208 AC, Lord Ashford held a Tourney to celebrate his daughter's thirteenth name day. Prince Maekar had sent his two eldest sons, prince Daeron and prince Aerion, to the tourney at Ashford, in an effort to outshine his brother's son, Prince Valarr, who was competing in the tourney as well. In the jousting competition, the tourney had per-chosen five champions to represent Lord Ashford's young daughter. Prince Aerion partook in the jousting tourney against Ser Humfrey Hardying, one of the champions defending Lady Ashford. In the joust, Aerion charges his lance upwards to Ser Humfrey's warhorse and impales it. The horse dies falling on Ser Humfrey's leg, breaking it.[5] Prince Baelor witnessing this awards Ser Humfrey by giving him Aerion's horse and declaring the injured knight the victor. That night, prince Aerion attacks a puppeteer's booth and assaults the puppeteer, Tanselle. Aerion is in fury because of the puppeteer's display of a puppet show, showing a dragon dying in battle. Aerion proclaims to her that she is a traitor and tells her that "the dragon ought to never lose". In his anger, Aerion breaks one of the puppeteer's fingers, Ser Duncan witnessing prince Aerion's cruelty assaults him and in the process knocks several of his teeth out.[5]

Dunk fighting Aerion

Duncan the Tall fighting Aerion.

Aerion's men seize Dunk and have him arrested for striking the prince, though prince Aegon who too had witnessed at Aerion's attack of the puppeteer, asks Aerion to unhand Ser Dunk. Ser Dunk is later forced to compete in a Trial of Seven, that was demanded by Aerion. Aerion and his elder brother Daeron accuse Dunk of stealing Aegon. Since a Trial of Seven hadn't been invoked in one hundred years, Ser Dunk had to find seven combatants against the word of prince. Prince Aerion has the kingsguard and his father Maekar to fight with, against Ser Dunk and his six combatants. In the joust against Ser Dunk, Aerion tilts Dunk, but is grappled into submission by Ser Dunk. Aerion recants his accusation against Dunk, thus ending the Trial. After the end of the tourney, Prince Maekar has son exiled to Lys, in an effort to appease the masses. Prince Maekar later apologizes to Ser Dunk on his son's behalf.

Aerion yields to Dunk

Aerion yields to Duncan.

After the conclusion of the tournament, Maekar sent Aerion to Lys.[5]

Exile and later lifeEdit

While in exile, Aerion served in the with Second Sons for a few years and was even rumored to have fathered some children in Lys. [3]

Aerion returned to Westeros at some point and fought in the Third Blackfyre Rebellion. He performed some actions there that are "known well". After Aegor Rivers was captured, Aerion and the Hand of the King, Lord Brynden Rivers, urged King Aerys I Targaryen to put Aegor to death, but the king decided to send Bittersteel to the Night's Watch instead.[8]

Aerion was married to his cousin, Daenora Targaryen.[6] Together, they had one child, a son ominously named Maegor, born in 232 AC.[4] The same year as his son's birth, Aerion died screaming after drinking a cup of wildfire, believing it would transform him into a dragon.

After returning to Westeros, one night, whilst drunk, Prince Aerion drank wildfire, after telling friends that this would transform him into a dragon. Instead, it resulted in his immediate death. The story of the "Prince Who Thought He Was a Dragon" is still told to children many decades later. After his death, his son, Maegor, was passed by the Great Council as a choice for the Iron Throne, in fear that his son had the same madness as Aerion.[4][1]

ReferencesEdit

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