• Mattie Stu

Game of Thrones Lore - The Targaryen Conquest

The War of Conquest, also known as the Targaryen Conquest, was a major war that took place around 300 years before the War of the Five Kings. It caused the unification of six of the seven Kingdoms of Westeros under the invading force of House Targaryen…

Some years before the Doom of Valyria, the Targaryen family moved away from the freehold to the island stronghold of Dragonstone. Following the cataclysm, the Targaryens were the only family with dragons to survive. The Valyrian empire tore themselves apart in the decade that followed, leading to the formation of the Free Cities and the liberation of Ghiscar and the cities of Slaver’s Bay. Approximately one century afterwards, Aegon Targaryen and his sister-wives, Rhaenys and Visenya, led a small army in landing at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush. They constructed a temporary fortification which later became the city of King’s Landing. Aegon’s forces commenced war upon the ruler of the Iron Islands and Riverlands, Harren the Black of House Hoare. Helped by an uprising led by House Tully against the ironborn, Aegon eventually imprisoned Harren in his castle of Harrenhal. When he refused to surrender, Aegon had his dragon, Balerion, burn down the castle, melting and roasting Harren and the other remaining members of House Hoare alive. Consequently, Aegon raised the Tullys to become the Lords Paramount of the Trident and commanded the ironborn to elect a new ruling house. House Greyjoy of Pyke was selected, who swore fealty to Aegon and became the rulers of the Iron Islands.

Simultaneously, Aegon’s bastard half-brother, Orys Baratheon, led an army against the Storm King, Argilac the Arrogant of House Durrandon. Argilac was killed as a result, which eliminated House Durrandon. Because of this, Orys took his castle, sigil and words, and Argilac’s daughter to marry. As a reward, Aegon named him Lord of Storm’s End and allowed him to establish House Baratheon. Both Houses Lannister and Gardener joined forces and marched to meet Aegon’s army in battle. In a field in the Reach, which later became known as the Field of Fire, Aegon released his three dragons, decimating the enemy within only minutes. When House Gardener was destroyed, their stewards, the Tyrells, surrendered the Reach to Aegon and were named Lords Paramount of the Reach. In addition, the Lannisters also bent the knee and became Lords Paramount of the Westerlands. Although the Starks and Arryns prepared for war, they opted for a peaceful approach and surrendered, knowing Aegon’s forces were far superior. Much of the last resistance to the invaders ended when the High Septon declared that the Faith of the Seven would also support Aegon.

Aegon’s forces also attempted to conquer Dorne. However, the Dornish chose to fall back to the mountains and deserts, pursuing guerrilla tactics, rather than give open battle, where they would be exposed to dragonfire. The War of the Conquest ended when Aegon eventually decided to allow Dorne to retain its independence. But Dorne joined the kingdom through a political and marriage alliance around two centuries later. Unfortunately, the Targaryen rule ended when many of the Great Houses rallied against the Mad King…

Now it’s time for this week’s question: do you think the Iron Throne will one day be reclaimed by the Targaryens, i.e. Daenerys? Let me know in the comments below.

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