Hello and welcome once again to The Three Heads of the Dragon: Kings, Pretenders, and the Ladies of Fire, the first multi-author series for Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire. In this series, SomethingLikeaLawyer, MilitantPenguin, and I will explore the Targaryen dynasty from its rise in the Conquest to its fall in Robert’s Rebellion. My pieces, the Ladies of Fire, will analyze the queens and princesses of House Targaryen, as well as those ladies who had a substantial impact on the dynasty itself.
With the death of Baelor I in 171 AC, the male line of Aegon III died out. A possibility existed, however, for the line of Aegon III to continue, as a few lords and smallfolk briefly considered Princess Daena for the vacant throne. Their arguments, however, fell on deaf ears; the wounds of the Dance were still too raw to allow a woman (especially a woman as wild as Daena) to take the crown. Instead, Aegon’s plain gold circlet was placed on the brow of his younger brother, Viserys. The realm looked set to prosper under the stable, mature prince – until Viserys’ death just a year after becoming king. The court of his son, Aegon IV, would be the polar opposite of that of Baelor: the ladies of Aegon’s court would earn favor not through stifling piety but through the embrace of immorality, with official mistresses being exalted and richly rewarded. The lascivious court would set the tone for one of the most infamous periods of Targaryen history, but its lurid exterior hid dangerous consequences. The same bastards whose mothers had been celebrated in turn in this new court would echo their mothers’ bitter rivalries, and their respective factions would nearly tear the realm apart in another brutal civil war.