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Who Is Princess Rhaenys Targaryen AKA “The Queen Who Never Was”

By Rishabh Shandilya
August 25,2022

Targaryen custom states that no woman may govern Westeros, hence Prince Viserys Targaryen was selected instead of Rhaenys Targaryen. The world of Game of Thrones takes place in an era when both Cersei Lannister, as well as Daenerys Targaryen, have ruled atop the Iron Throne, although for short periods.

House of the Dragon transports readers to a time nearly centuries prior to the events of Game of Thrones, when the Targaryen bloodline ruled supreme over the Seven Kingdoms but was on the precipice of a catastrophic downfall at the hands of its blonde dragon riders.

House of the Dragons

We’ll focus today on Princess Rhaenys Targaryen aka ” The Queen Who Never War”, and discuss why she lost her race to the claim of the Iron Throne to her brother Viserys.

Who’s Princess Rhaenys Targaryen

Rhaenys Velaryon, is the spouse of Lord Corlys Velaryon as well as a member of the Targaryen household. She is a skilled dragon rider, and Meleys, the Red Queen, serves as her ride. Corlys Velaryon, commander of the Targaryen ships, and the richest gentleman in Westeros right now wedded Rhaenys.

Velaryon amassed his fortune via a series of trade missions to the far east. Rhaenys and Corlys are parents to a girl, Laena Velaryon, and a boy, Laenor Velaryon.

Why Rhaenys Targaryen Wasn’t Made Queen

House of the Dragons

Men would sooner put the realm to the torch than see a woman ascend the Iron Throne.

The Great Council in 101 A.C. marks the beginning of the House of the Dragon. After nearly sixty years of tranquil rule, King Jaehaerys realized that the issue of inheritance may cause strife among the Targaryen dynasty. To discuss the future and the 14 potential heirs to the Iron Throne, Jaeherys convened a Great Council of Westerosi lords.

Both Prince Viserys, as well as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen’s arguments, were given equal weight, but only one could win. Viserys was the oldest child of Baelon Targaryen, making him a descendant of King Jaehaerys. After Baelon’s death, the issue of who would succeed him as head of the Targaryen blood became crucial. Similarly, Rhaenys staked her right on  Aemon Targaryen, the king’s third child, and Rhaenys’s own father.

House of the Dragons

The Great Council ultimately decided on Viserys, as seen in the first episode of the miniseries. Targaryen men have always been valued above Targaryen girls, hence this choice was grounded in the misogynistic culture of Westeros. As a result, Aegon I, unlike his elder sister Visenya, who captured the Seven Kingdoms, was crowned the first Ruler of Westeros.

Viserys’s entire Targaryen pedigree was considered superior to Rhaenys’s part Baratheon heritage because of their respective mothers, although Rhaenys was indeed a Targaryen through both of her parents. After Jaehaerys’ demise in 103 A.C., his son Viserys became monarch, and Rhaenys became known as “the Queen Who Never Was.”

The Dance of the Dragons

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Spoiler Warning!!!!

Princess Rhaenys was a member of Rhaenyra Targaryen‘s dark council. The dark council had planned for Rhaenys to soar above while the Velaryon navy blocked the Gullet, steaming out through Dragonstone and Driftmark to prevent any vessels from entering Blackwater Bay, in order to prevent their enemies from assaulting their vessels with dragons. Lord Staunton sent out an assistance request, and nine days later, the dragon Meleys emerged atop Rook’s Rest. Rhaenys Targaryen, clad head to toe in armor that glinted in the sunlight, mounted upon her ride.

King Aegon II riding on Sunfyre, as well as Aemond Targaryen, atop Vhagar, emerged in the sky as Rhaenys fought Ser Criston Cole’s troops. Rhaenys fell for Criston’s ambush and was successfully caught.

House of the Dragons

Rhaenys did not try to escape, instead directing Meleys’ attention to the threat. Although Meleys had a fair shot fighting Vhagar on her alone, she was doomed up facing two dragons. At around 1000 feet up in the air, the three dragons collided with such force that all three of them fell whirling to the land.

Only Vhagar managed to pull himself up from the dust of the battle unscathed. Later, near the dead dragon, a corpse was discovered that was thought to be that of Rhaenys Targaryen, although it was so badly burned that nobody could be certain.