Daeron the Good, by Amok
Daeron the Good is held up as one of the best Targaryen monarchs in the 300-year dynasty by in-universe actors and the fandom alike. His commitment to just rule undoing the corruption of his father Aegon the Unworthy and ability to peacefully incorporate Dorne into the Seven Kingdoms hold him both in-universe and out as a great man, and a great king. Free from the warmongering of his more martial counterparts, Daeron the Good improved the lot of the people under his wing, and the Great Spring Sickness would cut down a king on the cusp of building a golden age the equal of Jaehaerys the Wise. Or so the conventional wisdom would teach us.
Yet under Daeron the Good, Westeros faced the largest civil war of its time. While the Dance of the Dragons was arguably more destructive, no Westerosi war would involve as many houses as the First Blackfyre Rebellion, and five generations would see the Black Dragon pitted against the Red. What caused the Blackfyre Rebellion? What part did Daeron have in its creation? Was he truly as good as the fandom believes?
Welcome to the next installment of the Three Heads of the Dragons essay series, the first multi-author essay series for the Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire site. This series looks at the kings, pretenders, and famous ladies of the storied Targaryen dynasty from fiery beginnings to bloody end. For my part, I examine who history defines as the true kings of the Targaryen dynasty, the men who wore the crown and sat the Iron Throne. There are only 100 years left in the Targaryen dynasty, and twenty-five of them belong to Daeron II.