This article, Balerion I Targaryen, was written by OriginalOldOne. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.
- "In the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. If you are not prepared to die then do not start playing."
- ―Balerion to his uncle Daeron before killing him.
King Balerion I Targaryen was the seventh Lord of the Seven Kingdoms to sit the Iron Throne. He succeeded his mother Queen Rhaenyra after her death.
He was officially fathered by his mother's first husband Laenor Velaryon, but his real father is Prince Daemon Targaryen. After King Viserys I's death, Balerion was named Prince of Dragonstone and was one of his mother's chief generals during the Dance of Dragons.
He is married to Rhaena Targaryen, the daughter of Laena Velaryon and his biological father Prince Daemon Targaryen. Together, they have three children - Maegor, Jaehaerys and Visenya.
He is the rider of the dragon Vhagar.
- 1 Appearance and Personality
- 2 History
- 2.1 Early life
- 2.2 Dance of Dragons
- 2.3 Rhaenyra's reign
- 2.4 As king
- 2.5 Death
- 3 Quotes
- 3.1 Quotes by Balerion
- 3.2 Quotes about Balerion
Appearance and Personality
Balerion possessed the classical Valyrian features of silver hair and purple eyes. His eyes are noted to be dark purple and glowing. When enraged, it was noted that his face can contort in such a way that he resembles his namesake (aka Balerion the Black Dread). He is physically much stronger than he appears.
At age 14, he was described as tall and strong for a boy his age.
Balerion is a psychopath, who is capable of slaughtering his enemies without remorse. He has no qualms about kinslaying as he was gleeful at the prospect of slaughtering his uncles Aegon and Aemond. Nevertheless, he loves his mother and siblings and is very protective of them. Despite what many of his detractors claim, Balerion can be very calculating, with Corlys Velaryon commenting that Balerion's deadliest weapon is his mind.
Balerion is quick to threaten someone whenever insulted.
He follows the Gods of Old Valyria and practices sorcery. His favorite skill is pyromancy.
Balerion is a fierce combatant who has fierce swordsmanship which he combines with his sorcery.
On the night of their wedding, Laenor Velaryon was not able to perform and did not bed Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, his bride. In her frustration, a drunken Rhaenyra bedded her uncle Daemon and conceived Balerion. In the week after, Laenor's father Corlys Velaryon forced his son to bed her. Nine months later, a boy was born, which Rhaenyra named after her father's late mount and gave the Targaryen name.
Balerion's birth was much welcomed by the realm as it provided for yet another heir to the throne, this time of the Blacks. The child was doted on by its mother and father, both his official and biological one. Prince Daemon knew that the child was his and was delighted by the prospect of having a "pure Valyrian" child. Balerion's birth also dulled the rumors that his younger brothers were the progeny of Ser Harwin Strong, Rhaenyra's lover.
Balerion was an unusual child. He was remarkably intelligent - he spoke his first words within the first six months and began forming sentences within the year of his birth. Nevertheless, as he grew his curiosity began to take a darker turn. He began delving into the secrets of Dragonstone, researched ancient Valyrian magics and preferred to worship the Gods of Old Valyria rather than "Andal folktales".
When he was 6 years old, his aunt Laena Velaryon died and her dragon, Vhagar, the largest one alive and the last one from the Conquest, was riderless. He snuck out in the night, when he was brought by his parents for her funeral at Driftmark at the same time as his uncle Aemond, who was four years older, and with the same purpose. The two boys scuffled and Balerion managed to use magic for the first time, burning the left side of Aemond's face. While the other boy screamed in pain, Balerion forged a bond with Vhagar. In the aftermath, the mothers of the two children began fighting over the incident. Queen Alicent argued the boy should be punished, while Rhaenyra claimed it self-defense. When questioned, Balerion replied that Aemond "was in the way". Despite his frustrations at his grandson's actions, King Viserys merely forbade Balerion to ride Vhagar for six years and to go to Dragonstone and not leave the island for that time. Aemond's skin was healed, but remained reddish, while he lost the use of his left eye.
On Dragonstone, Balerion continued reading about Valyria and its sorceries, while also practicing with the sword. Rumors began to spread that Rhaenyra's children by Laenor Velaryon were not his but Ser Harwin Strong's. King Viserys threatened to take the tongues of anyone who repeated them and reminded everyone that Balerion was 'obviously a scion of the Valyrians', on account of his obviously Valyrian looks. Nevertheless, the rumors, at least in regards to Balerion's siblings, persisted. In 120 AC, Laenor Velaryon died and his mother married his biological father, Prince Daemon Targaryen.
When he was fourteen, it was feared that his 'grandfather' Lord Velaryon would die and his mother asked him to name as his successor either Jacaerys or Lucerys. Lord Corlys' cousins Daemion and Daeron repeated the rumors of their bastardy and made a claim to Driftmark. Balerion was at court when it happened and demanded they answer if they were ready to defend such words with their lives, challenging them to single combat. Viserys reluctantly allowed it and Balerion dueled Daemion. Surprising the man with both his proficiency with the sword as well as his sorcery, Balerion viciously slew Daemion Velaryon and afterwards King Viserys executed Daeron Velaryon as well.
At one point, during a feast, his uncle Aemond japed about "the Strong boys", aka Balerion and his siblings, whom he thus subtly named bastards and repeated the slander against his mother. While making a mock toast to them, Balerion threw a cutlery knife right into Aemond's raised hand, severing a finger.
Before the Dance, he marries Daemon Targaryen and Laena Velaryon's daughter Rhaena.
Dance of Dragons
Balerion became Prince of Dragonstone when his mother named herself queen in the aftermath of King Viserys's death. Balerion flew to Storm's End on her command to secure the support of the Stormlands, where he encountered his uncle Aemond haggling over dowries with Lord Borros Baratheon, who had apparently sided with the Greens. Balerion was furious at Borros but restrained himself, while goading his uncle to attack him.
Having threatened everyone at the castle, Balerion had scared Aemond and his uncle ran to leave on Greenfyre, Aemond's young dragon. Instead of pursuing him, Balerion cut his palm and used sorcery to create a massive fireball, which he launched at the young dragon, which was just taking flight. The dragon was not really injured, since fire did not hurt dragons, but Aemon was thrown off his back and burnt to death.
Balerion then returned to Storm's End's great hall and threatened the visibly terrified Lord Baratheon into submission, warning him that should he choose not to back him mother he would be judged accordingly. Feeling a flight of politicking, he tells him that his younger brothers are yet unwed and that may change should his service be distinguishable. Borros begrudgingly swears for Rhaenyra.
Next, Balerion rides on Vhagar west - to Highgarden. There, he convinces the mother of the infant Lord Tyrell to declare for the Blacks, promising his youngest sister Visenya's hand for the young lord. Next, Balerion unites many lords in the Reach and storms Oldtown. There, he slew his other uncle Daeron, then just a squire for Lord Ormund Hightower. The young dragon Tessarion is injured but, just like Greenfyre, Balerion refuses to spill 'true dragon blood'. He burns the Oldtown fleet and tears down the gates of the city, allowing the Blacks Reachmen to occupy the city. Balerion personally executed Lord Hightower. At Oldtown, he discovers is kept a quarter of the royal treasury.
Upon hearing of the taking of King's Landing, Balerion flew north to the capital. While angry at his last uncle's escape, Balerion congratulated his mother on her coronation and she in turn named him before the court as the Prince of Dragonstone and Heir to the Iron Throne. Rhaenyra was not pleased that he had promised two betrothals of his siblings without permission but agreed that it was a splendid idea. He further suggested that Oldtown should be given to one of his siblings since the city was too important to be given to any house other than theirs.
Unable to extract from Tyland Lannister the location of the remaining gold from the Royal treasury, Balerion offers to 'talk to him' himself. Using sorcery to break the Lannister, Balerion finds the location of the royal gold. A quarter for bribes, a quarter sent to Casterly Rock and the rest in the Iron Bank for safekeeping. After they had taken all useful information, Balerion carved Tyland into pieces and send him to his brother at the Rock, along with a demand to bend the knee or suffer the consequences.
Balerion flew to Braavos to recover it. There, after a lot of haggling and threats from Balerion, the Bank agreed to return the Targaryen gold.
The Dance of Dragons came to a head during the Battle for the Crown, so called since it involved both contenders to the throne and was the final battle of the Dance. During his flight from King's Landing, Aegon had lost both of his sons to the mobs of smallfolk. This had driven his sister-wife Halaena mad with grief, while having also learnt of the death of his brothers had left Aegon depressed. At the urging of Lord Jason though, he mustered a great host of Greens army and marched on the capital in a last ditch desperate fight. He was joined by Halaena on Dreamfyre. He was met near Riverrun by the armies of Rhaenyra, led by her, Daemon and Balerion. The five dragon-riders clashed in an epic battle above their fighting armies. The blacks won the day and the war, but at a cost - Daemon Targaryen, the infamous rogue prince, died in the fighting.
With the war won, the realm was brought to peace. The greens suffered losses in territory and as promised many of them were dispossessed of their lands and titles. The greatest losers were the Hightowers, whom the queen blamed for the war in the first place. She attainted the entire house and named her son Jacaerys Velaryon as the new Lord of Oldtown. Lord Jason Lannister was killed in battle and a more amenable cousin of his, Lord Damon Lannister was installed in Casterly Rock. Jace was betrothed to Cassandra Baratheon as promised to Lord Borros and Visenya Targaryen, daughter of Rhaenyra, was betrothed to the infant Lord of Highgarden.
Rhaenyra's reign was largely peaceful after the conclusion of the war. Apart from Sunfyre and Dreamfyre, no dragons were killed in the war. Aegon's last surviving child Jaehaera was betrothed to his namesake, Aegon the Younger as a way to prevent her from being used by anyone else, but the girl died
Balerion had children by Rhaena - Maegor, Jaehaerys and Visenya. He made a scandal by naming his own heir after Maegor the Cruel but Balerion cared little, arguing that it was just a name and in the end of the day, Maegor had been a strong ruler.
Balerion helped his brother suppress a revolt in Oldtown, orchestrated by the remnants of House Hightower.
Upon the death of Lord Dalton Greyjoy, the Red Kraken, Balerion personally flew to Pyke in order to deal with the bloody succession dispute which arose from the lord's death. He led a force of Westermen in removing the Ironborn from their conquered lands in the West and installed Toron Greyjoy, the young salt son of Dalton, to the Salt throne.
Rhaenyra's reign lasted for fifteen years until she died of illness at the age of 48 in 145 AC. Balerion succeeded her to the throne with virtually no opposition to his authority.
Contrary to his time as a prince, his kingship was peaceful. According to Grand Maester Munkun, one of the king's closest friends, Balerion was tamed by the crown on his head and was no longer as rash as he had been as a prince.
Despite his private worship of the Gods of Valyria, he paid lip service to the Faith out of convenience. He freely practiced his sorcery however and taught his children as well.
One of the most important acts of his reign was to hammer out the succession laws of House Targaryen and the Iron Throne and have the Great Lords of Westeros sign off on the document on behalf of their houses. It follows normal male-preference primogeniture, but also adds that all children from the first marriage inherit before any children born from a second marriage. The latter part of the document is widely believed to have been added in order to further legitimize his mother's reign.
King Balerion I Targaryen died in 172 AC at the age of 58, having ruled for a total of 27 years. He was succeeded by his eldest son, who took the throne as King Maegor II Targaryen.
Quotes by Balerion
Balerion: "WELL? ANYONE ELSE WANNA HAVE A GO? I've barely broken a sweat. Who else wants to name me bastard and my mother a whore? Either come out now or forever hold your tongues."
Balerion (to Alicent): "If one day you have to bury your children, you will only have yourself to blame."
Balerion (to Borros Baratheon): "I would be very careful if I were you, Lord Baratheon. Negotiating with this cur is treason. And treason if punished severely."
Borros Baratheon: "No man is as accursed as the kinslayer." Balerion: "Good thing then I care little for the gods."
Balerion: "Kinslaying? This is a war, mother. A war between siblings. There is going to be plenty of kinslaying before all is said and done. Fear not, I shall leave my last uncle to you."
Balerion (to the court of King's Landing): "Your true monarch now sits her rightful throne. All those who deny this will suffer the consequences. All hail, Queen Rhaenyra, the First of Her name!"
Quotes about Balerion
Queen Alicent Hightower: "This child is evil!"
Kermit Tully: "As a squire to the Prince of Dragonstone, I learned one thing. To go against him is to court death. You chose foolishly, Kingmaker. Count yourself fortunate that you can surrender to us rather than the prince."
Ser Otto Hightower: "Daemon isn't the biggest threat. Nor is Rhaenyra. It is the boy. That boy atop Vhagar, armed with steel and sorcery, who views us all as little more than insects. The boy will happily kill you, daughter, and me and feed all of your children and their children to that dragon of his."
Daemon Targaryen: "The boy is not afraid of kinslaying. Or the gods. Or anything really."
Rhaenyra I Targaryen: "Balerion tried to haggle with those bankers of Braavos but my boy knows little of that language. He is quite the poet when it comes to threats though. He has recovered the gold and is on his way back."
Grand Maester Munkun: "A strange man to be sure. If he were to be compared to his predecessors, I would say he is a rare mix of Visenya, Maegor and the Conqueror. A most fascinating king."
Grand Maester Aemon: "Balerion the Dragonheart, they called him. His heart, just like a dragon's, knew no mercy. His reign was peaceful and yet, who would have dared challenge this sorcerer-king, who slew two of his uncles without bathing an eyelid while fighting to enthrone his mother."