Rhaegar Targaryen

Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was the Prince of Dragonstone and the heir-apparent to the Iron throne in King’s Landing before Robert’s Rebellion.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Rhaegar Targaryen was the beloved firstborn son of King Aerys II and Queen Rhaella Targaryen and the heir to the Iron Throne. He is Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen’s older brother. He got killed by Robert Baratheon after a rebellion against King Aerys. Even after his death, many people, including Cersei Lannister and Lord Jon Jonnington, loved him; this led to growing disdain for King Robert Baratheon.

Rhaegar Targaryen Personal Details

  • Name: Rhaegar Targaryen.
  • Year of Birth: 259 AC at Summerhall.
  • Year of Death: 283 AC at the Trident.
  • Allegiance: House Targaryen.
  • Parents: King Aerys II and Queen Rhaella Targaryen.
  • Wife: Princess Elia Martell.
  • Children: Rhaenys Targaryen and Aegon Targaryen.
  • Siblings: Daenerys Targaryen, Viserys Targaryen.
  • Aliases: The Silver Prince, The Dragon Prince, The Last Dragon.
  • Titles: Ser, Prince of Dragonstone.
  • Culture: Valyrian.
  • Religion: Faith of the Seven.
  • Hair Color: Silver.
  • Eye Color: Purple.

Appearance and Personality

Prince Rhaegar was immensely beautiful, with deep purple eyes and silvery-blond hair. He was elegantly tall with long fingers and a powerful aura that attracted the praise of everyone around him. He and his sister Daenerys had similar eye and hair colors. Being a skilled knight, musician, and intellect, everyone loved Rhaegar and praised his prowess as he succeeded at everything he set his mind to. 

Though he was a capable fighter, knights like Ser Jorah Mormont noted that Rhaegar loved his harp better than his lance or sword. The Prince was also gloomy, and many people attributed it to the Tragedy at Summerhall. Though he was beloved even in his death, King Robert despised Rhaegar and accused him of raping his betrothed, Lyanna Stark. Lyanna’s brother, Lord Eddard Stark, noted that the Prince was honorable and never visited brothels.

Rhaegar decorated his helm with gold, red, and orange silken streamers to look like flames. He wore a golden ringmail underneath his black plate armor that was encrusted with House Targaryen’s sigil, a three-headed dragon, and adorned with rubies.


Early Life

Prince Rhaegar was born in 259 AC at Summerhall on the same day a fire killed King Aegon V Targaryen and his eldest son Prince Duncan. After their deaths, Jaehaerys became King. His son Aerys succeeded him. Before becoming a warrior, Rhaegar was an avid reader who enjoyed books more than fighting.

At seventeen, Rhaegar got knighted and became a fine knight and swordsman. Lord Tywin Lannister, the Hand of the King, tried betrothing his daughter Cersei to Rhaegar, but Aerys mocked him and refused the proposal. After he and his sister-wife had multiple miscarriages, King Aerys sent Lord Steffon Baratheon to seek a bride of Valyrian descent for Rhaegar. However, the search was unsuccessful, and Steffon died when his ship met a storm.

As King Aerys’s madness heightened, he became paranoid about everyone around him. The problem worsened with the birth of Viserys Targaryen. When Rhaegar married Princess Elia Martell of Dorne in 280 AC, King Aerys refused to attend the wedding for fear of assassination. With his madness growing, he and the crown prince grew apart even further when Aerys remarked that Rhaenys Targaryen, Rhaegar and Elia’s son, smelled dornish.

After Elia gave birth to her second child Aegon, the maesters warned that she would die if she tried birthing another child. The Prince then exchanged letters with Maester Aemon as he believed Aegon to be the Prince Promised.

The Tourney at Harrenhal

In 280 AC, Lord Walter Whent organized a tourney at Harrenhal, and King Aerys attended the ceremony after Lord Varys advised him to do so. Rhaegar’s song at the event brought women to tears, and he later won the tournament and crowned Lady Lyanna Stark the Queen of Love and Beauty instead of Elia. A year later, he allegedly kidnapped her.

Robert’s Rebellion

When Brandon Stark learned that his sister got kidnapped, he traveled to King’s Landing and demanded to see Rhaegar, threatening him. King Aerys arrested Brandon, and when Lord Rickard Stark traveled to the capital for his son, the King ordered they should get burnt alive. Aerys ordered Lord Jon Arryn to bring Lord Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark’s heads. However, Lord Arryn refused, and a rebellion against the Iron Throne started. While the war of the usurper waged in Westeros, Rhaegar remained at the Tower of Joy with Lyanna in the Red Mountains of Dorne. 

After Lord Jon Connington’s defeat at the Battle of the Bells, Rhaegar returned to King’s Landing, leaving Lyanna with Ser Arthur Dayne, Ser Gerold Hightower, and Ser Oswell Whent. When the Prince marched to meet Robert Baratheon, he left Ser Jaime Lannister with his wife and children. At the Battle of the Trident, Robert killed Rhaegar in single combat, and the region became Ruby Ford. Lord Tywin Lannister led his army in the Sack of King’s Landing. He ordered Ser Amory Lorch and Ser Gregor Clegane to kill Elia and her children, and after the heinous murder, Robert became King.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

Upon Lord Jon Arryn’s death, King Robert travels to Winterfell and asks Lord Ned Stark to become the Hand of the King. After accepting the proposal, Ned takes his daughters, Arya Stark and Sansa Stark, to King’s Landing. On the way to the capital, Arya befriends a butcher boy Mycah, and they try searching for rubies at Ruby Ford. Daenerys Targaryen sees her brother on a black stallion in a fever dream. When she opens the narrow slit on Rhaegar’s helm, she sees her face instead.

A Clash of Kings

When Danny comes out of her husband’s funeral pyre with three dragons, she names one of them Rhaegal, honoring her brother. She travels to the House of the Undying and sees a vision of Rhaegar and his wife Elia discussing their son Aegon being the Prince Promised from the prophecy. Dany also sees her Rhaegar’s death at Ruby Ford.

A Dance with Dragons

Ser Barristan Selmy tells Daenerys about her brother and his wife, Elia. During her wedding to Hizdahr zo Loraq, Dany searches for Daario Naharis and wishes he will come and rescue her from getting married. Later, Ser Barrstan regrets saving King Aerys II from Duskendale and not winning Rhaegar at the Tourney at Harrenhal. In Westeros, Rhaegar’s long-lost son, Aegon, lands in the stormlands and begins raiding with the Golden Company.

Relevance in Adaptation

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Wilf Scolding portrayed Rhaegar Targaryen. He was the older brother of Viserys and Daenerys. Though he was the husband of Elia Martell, he fell in love with Lyanna Stark, and together they had a child whom they named Aegon. It later got discovered that Aegon was Jon Snow.

Rhaegar Targaryen: The Dragon Prince

Rhaegar Targaryen was an excellent knight and the best man for becoming King of the Seven Kingdoms. However, his actions led to the destruction o peace in Westeros. If he had not run off with Lyanna Stark, he would have become King, and his reign would have been much better than his father’s. However, he sealed his fate by not paying attention to Robert’s Rebellion.


What happened to Rhaegar Targaryen?

After the tourney at Harrenhal, Rhaegar Targaryen allegedly kidnaps Lyanna Stark; this causes Brandon Stark, her brother, to march to King’s Landing demanding justice. Brandon and his father get killed by King Aerys, and a rebellion starts when the King orders Lord Jon Arryn to bring Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark’s heads. Rhaegar later returns but gets killed at the Battle of the Trident.

Did Rhaegar kidnap Lyanna in the books?

Though King Robert Baratheon strongly believed that Lyanna got kidnapped and raped by Rhaegar, many aspects of the story show that she loved Rhaegar. First, Lyanna did not like Robert like he thought because he was a womanizer and drunk. She likely followed Rhaegar and fell in love with him.

Who killed Rhaegar Targaryen?

Rhaegar Targaryen got killed by Robert Baratheon in single combat. The Lord of Storm’s End killed the Prince with a blow from his war hammer.

What happened after Rhaegar’s death?

After Rheagar’s death, Lord Tywin Lannister marched to King’s Landing, pretending to support the King. After Aerys opened the gates, the Lannisters proceeded to sack King’s Landing, and Jaime killed the King. Raegar’s children, Aegon and Rhaenys, got killed.

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