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Are All Targaryen King Destined To Grow Insane?

By Rishabh Shandilya
September 7,2022

There is a genetic attraction towards madness in the Targaryen family. Many of the health issues especially behavioral illness, may be traced back to centuries of extensive inbreeding, during which time brothers and sisters were married whenever feasible to preserve the purity of the lineage.

Let The Mad King Be an Example

Aerys II

Aerys II aka The Mad King

The final Targaryen ruler, Aerys II notoriously recognized as the “the Mad King” as a perfect manifestation of the Targaryen lunacy. In his childhood, Aerys was first viewed as pleasant and bright, but as time progressed, Aerys struggled with certain types of psychiatric problems. He was plagued by phantom whispers that instructed him to sacrifice innocents to the flames since they were all conspiring against him.

Many other Targaryens had quite strange characteristics, albeit they weren’t clinically crazy. Several of them had violent, psychopathic tendencies, but they didn’t have visions or overhear whispers. Aerion Brightflame, the elder brother of Aemon as well as King Aegon V, was not the result of an incestuous relationship, although he did believe, incorrectly, believing that consuming wildfire will turn him into a dragon.



Thank God! I Never really Drank Bat Soup!!

The Gods Flip a Coin to Decide a Targaryen’s Fate

The impacts become more severe as the marriages among siblings started to take a toll. After generations of Targaryen dominance, there was a common saying that whenever a baby Targaryen was conceived, the heavens will toss a coin to determine whether the child would grow up to be a great politician, King, Warrior, or Hand or completely mad.

Daenerys Targaryen’s older brother Rhaegar was admired by everybody, while Maester Aemon rose to prominence as a respected counselor to the Night’s Watch over the course of many years ( Though nobody really knew he was a Targaryen except John Snow), proving that not every Targaryens were bound to insanity.

Maester Aemon

Maester Aemon in Game of Thrones

In the event, that a Queen bore more than one child and the eldest of them is deemed psychologically unfit, the next in line would be usually given priority in the race of succession.

So, early Targaryen monarchs were less likely to suffer from mental illness since no king would ever let his morally disturbed son take his place. It was always a possibility that a Targaryen son might become psychologically unbalanced and ascend to the crown, but in the final decade of their reign, the insanity spread and grew more pervasive.

Aerys II Wasn’t The Only King Who Cracked!

Prince Viserys Targaryen

Prince Viserys Targaryen Death By Melted Gold

The dynasty is flooded with Mad rulers, some are mad with whispers, and hallucinations, and some believed that sitting on the Iron Throne meant being equivalent to Gods. The first ruler of the Targaryen dynasty to exhibit the notorious lunacy was King Baelor the Blessed. He was so dedicated to his ideals of holiness that he fasted himself to death since he considered nutrition to be a wicked product of this realm.

The successor of Aerys II, Prince Viserys Targaryen, was obsessed with his own glory and prone to violent outbreaks of envious rage at his sister, Daenerys. Because of his reckless threats against Daenerys and their expectant child, Khal Drogo, Daenerys’s spouse, was so enraged that he poured molten gold over Viserys’s head giving him the crown he always wished for!! Well Not Technically! but who’s counting?

The Mother of Dragon Grew Mad as Well

Jogn Snow and Daenerys

John Killing Daenerys in Game of Thrones

Daenerys became very vindictive and vile in her latter years, and she spared no one who dared to cross her for disobedience or treachery. He sentenced Lord Varys to be burned alive for betraying him and torched hundreds of soldiers who refused to bend the knee to her.

Tyrion hoped to escape death by convincing Jon that he needed to kill Daenerys to protect himself, his family, and Sansa, who had ambitions of her own to become Queen of the North. In spite of his feelings for her, Jon was unable to accept the concept.


Drogon burning the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones

Apparently motivated by Tyrion’s remarks and wanting to prevent more harm, particularly to his people, Snow afterward killed Dany by driving a dagger through her chest the heart, assuring her swift, and painless departure. As time went on, he told Tyrion that he really didn’t think it was fair.

Do You Think it was Fair?