Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin

The basics

Title: Fire and Blood


Series: A Targaryen History #1

- Fire and Blood (2018)
- Blood and Fire

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

Read a full summary of Fire and Blood by George R R Martin below. If you can’t remember what happened in Fire and Blood and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place. Note: This is a very, very condensed version of events that mostly cover all the important moments of Targaryen history. The House of the Dragon TV show is based on what happens during Viserys’, Aegon II’s, and Rhaenyra’s reigns. I have captured as many events as possible without making this overwhelming.

What happened in Fire and Blood?

Aegon I Targaryen

  • Aegon was born on Dragonstone. He had two sisters called Visenya and Rhaenys. They became his sister wives. Aegon’s dragon was Balerion and the sisters had Meraxes and Vhagar.
  • Aegon decided he wanted to conquer Westeros. He turned down the offer of a third wife from the Storm King, but he offered up his friend and probable half-brother, Orys Baratheon instead. The Storm King hated this idea, and thus the war began.
  • The Lannisters, Tyrells, and Starks surrendered fairly quickly. Visenya got the Arryns to surrender, and Rhaenys attempted to win over Dorne. Dorne being Dorne, though, refused to be united with the rest of Westeros.
  • Aegon was declared King and created King’s Landing and the Iron Throne. Orys Baratheon became his Hand.
  • The First Dornish War happened about three years in. It lasted for nine years. Rhaenys died during it when her dragon was shot down. Deria Martell gave Aegon a letter, and then he agreed to peace.
  • Aegon was pretty chill after that to be fair. He loved his son with Rhaenys, Aenys, although he was a super sickly child. Visenya took a while to get pregnant but she eventually gave Aegon a second son named Maegor.
  • Maegor was not chill.
  • Aegon died 37 years after conquering Westeros.

Aenys I Targaryen

  • Like I said, he was a sickly boy but eventually he grew into a bit of a stronger man. His mother died when he was three years old, which probably had an effect.
  • Aenys married Alyssa Velaryon and had six children, three boys and three girls.
  • Pretty much as soon as Aenys became king, people started rebelling. They all went a bit wild.
  • Maegor was quite helpful during these times and Aenys named him Hand. It was all pretty great for a couple of years, until Maegor wanted a second wife because he believed his first to be barren. The High Septon didn’t like this idea. (It’s only okay when Aegon does it!!!)
  • Maegor refused to get rid of his second wife and so he went into exile for half a decade. Not good.
  • Aenys had his son and daughter, Aegon and Rhaena, marry as per Targaryen tradition. Also not good. Everyone was pretty disgusted and the Faith was against it.
  • Aegon was named Prince of Dragonstone now that Maegor wasn’t around, which angered Visenya. She left in a strop.
  • Aenys had to go and hide in Dragonstone because everyone hated him and his incestuous family. Visenya recommended he kill everyone but Aenys didn’t want to rule that way.
  • Aenys died after ruling for just five years. He was pretty young, and was possibly murdered.
  • Okay, so, Maegor!
  • He did a lot of stuff but I’m only going to talk about his rule, before which he went around breaking up fights and making friends.
  • Prince Aegon was meant to become king after Aenys I died, but Maegor and his mum weren’t having that.
  • Aegon tried his best but he was pretty young and inexperienced so Maegor killed him and his dragon </3
  • By the time Maegor had declared himself king, he had three wives and still no children. He brought one of his nephews, Viserys, with him to court.
  • Maegor’s wife Alys gave birth to a “monstrosity”, and Maegor decided she was obviously cheating on him and had her killed.
  • Maegor decided to also march on Harrenhal and kill everyone there because he didn’t like the Harroways.
  • Visenya died, which devastated Maegor. He was a mummy’s boy.
  • Alyssa, Aeny’s widow, escaped Dragonstone while all this was going on. She wasn’t able to take Viserys with her, but she took her other two boys and the sword Dark Sister.
  • Maegor had little Viserys tortured and killed by Queen Tyanna.
  • Maegor had the Dragonpit constructed, which is cool I guess.
  • Maegor’s other wife, Ceryse, was killed.
  • By this point most people hated Maegor and he still had no heir. They tried to find him a fourth wife. Instead Maegor took on three more. (I think at this point I’d just give up, jfc).
  • Most notably, Maegor married his niece Rhaena. She was Aenys’s eldest child and Little Aegon’s widow.
  • Another of Maegor’s wives gave birth to a stillborn baby and died. Queen Tyanna admitted to poisoning the pregnant mothers and was executed.
  • At this point, only one of Aenys’ sons is still alive. Prince Jaehaerys showed up and claimed the Iron Throne. Rhaena was able to escape and help with the fight. She took one of her kids with her. Maegor tried to behead her other daughter but at this point Lord Hightower was sick of him and refused.
  • All the important houses fought against Maegor and he lost the war. He was found dead on the Iron Throne with his wrists slashed. Was it an accident? Probably not, given his history.

Jaehaerys I Targaryen

  • Jaehaerys was also pretty chill, which is what Westeros needed after all of that stuff above.
  • Jaehaerys mostly grew up on Dragonstone as a hostage, and fled with his mother when Queen Visenya died.
  • Jaehaerys showed up in King’s Landing shortly after Maegor died/was killed, and claimed the throne. Lord Baratheon became his Hand, as the Baratheons fought for him previously. Lord Baratheon married Jaehaerys’ mum, which was a bit insulting.
  • Jaehaerys pardoned most people who fought on Maegor’s side, apart from those who murdered his brother. See? Chill.
  • Given the disaster that was Little Aegon and Rhaena’s betrothal, the council thought Jaehaerys should marry outside the family. I agree that this was probably a good idea.
  • Nonetheless, Princess Alysanne didn’t want to marry Orryn Baratheon, and so she and Jaehaerys married in secret. They didn’t consummate their marriage soon enough, and Lord Baratheon tried to have the children separated. The Kingsguard stopped everyone though as they served their new king and queen.
  • So Jaehaerys and Alysanne stayed married and they were best friends. Adorable.
  • Lord Baratheon and co. continued to plot against them, though. Jaehaerys had to have Orryn exiled for trying to steal Rhaella away.
  • Jaehaerys and Alysanne were able to be publicly married and they also showed off their dragons.
  • At some point in here, three dragon eggs were stolen. Princess Aerea (Little Aegon and Rhaena’s daughter) stole Balerion too, which was… not good. Aerea returned to King’s Landing about a year or so later and she was gravely ill. She died pretty quickly. Everyone figured she had been to the Valyrian islands and caught some disease there.
  • Jaehaerys and Alysanne had a bunch of children. Some of them died early on in childhood. The sons Aemon and Baelon were the most important.
  • Prince Aemon married Jocelyn Baratheon and had a daughter called Rhaenys. Prince Baelon married his sister, Alyssa, and had two boys called Viserys and Daemon. Sound familiar?
  • One of the Martells of Dorne tried to invade at some point and Aemon and Baelon had to fight them off. It’s all good.
  • Another of Jaehaerys’ children, Daella, got married and had a child. She died giving birth to Aemma Arryn.
  • Baelon’s sister wife, Alyssa, died during childbirth too.
  • Jaehaerys and Alysanne’s other daughter, Saera, was caught sleeping around and she escaped to Lys.
  • Prince Aemon was killed by pirates, and so Prince Baelon was named Prince of Dragonstone. This caused a bit of uproar because Aemon’s daughter, Rhaenys, was passed over. Alysanne in particular didn’t like this and so the king and queen separated for a second time.
  • Prince Baelon died when his appendix burst shortly after Queen Alysanne herself died. Jaehaerys started to worry at this point about the succession and so he got the Great Council together. They debated about whether Rhaenys’ son, Laenor, or Baelon’s son, Viserys should be the next king. They went with Viserys, who married Aemma his cousin Aemma.
  • Jaehaerys started to deteriorate after all of this. Otto Hightower became Hand of the King, and his daughter, Alicent Hightower, cared of Jaehaerys until he died.

Viserys I Targaryen

  • Viserys was Prince Baelon’s son. Baelon died before he got to rule, and Viserys was chosen by the Great Council to rule. Viserys married his cousin, Aemma Arryn, and had a daughter called Rhaenyra.
  • Prince Daemon, Viserys’ brother, considered himself heir. Daemon and Otto Hightower really didn’t get along. Otto didn’t want Daemon to become king so he asked Viserys to make Rhaenyra his heir. Viserys refused because he expected to have a son with Aemma.
  • Aemma died in childbirth, though. She gave birth to a son who died shortly after.
  • Rhaenyra was declared heir and Daemon left King’s Landing.
  • Viserys needed to find another wife. They tried to get him to marry Laena Velaryon, but he chose Alicent Hightower instead.
  • Alicent and Rhaenyra initially got along well.
  • Alicent gave birth to two sons named Aegon and Aemond, and a daughter called Helaena. It was shortly after this that she and Rhaenyra fell out. Viserys refused to make Aegon his heir as he was happy with Rhaenyra.
  • At this point Otto started getting on Viserys’ nerves, so he was sent away for a bit. Lyonel Strong became Hand instead.
  • Daemon returned to court briefly during a tourney (during which the Greens and Blacks divide came about). It was rumoured that Daemon took Rhaenyra’s virginity and Daemon was exiled again.
  • Alicent wished for Rhaenyra to marry her son, Aegon. Viserys thought this was stupid, and so he betrothed Rhaenyra to Laenor Velaryon instead. Rhaenyra accepted this match after Viserys threatened to remove her title.
  • Rhaenyra had her first child, Jacaerys, who looked a lot like Harwin Strong. She had two more sons called Lucerys and Joffrey, both of which had brown hair and looked like a Strong.
  • Meanwhile, Daemon married Laena Velaryon and had twin girls called Baela and Rhaena. Rhaenyra betrothed her sons to the twins.
  • Laena Velaryon died during childbirth.
  • Rhaenyra’s sons took out Aemond’s eye because he called them bastards.
  • Viserys threatened anyone who said such a thing with being punished for treason. He did send Harwin Strong away, though.
  • Harwin Strong was then killed in a fire 🙁 along with his dad, Lyonel. Everyone thinks this was Daemon, Corlys Velaryon, and/or Larys Strong.
  • Otto Highwater made a comeback.
  • Laenor Velaryon was killed in a fight.
  • Daemon and Rhaenyra got married in secret, and had their first son, Aegon the Younger. They had another son called Viserys.
  • Rhaenyra wanted her second son, Lucerys, to be named heir of Driftmark. A lot of people disagreed but Viserys overruled them.
  • Viserys died in his sleep. Alicent hid his death from the public and called together the council. They planned to get Aegon on the throne. Criston Cole gathered up the Blacks’ supporters and took them into custody.
  • Rhaenyra, now at Dragonstone and pregnant with her third child, refused to acknowledge Aegon as king.

Aegon II Targaryen, Rhaenyra Targaryen, and the Dance of Dragons

  • Alicent put together the coronation for Aegon and he was crowned by Criston Cole. Aegon is said to have refused the position at first but they insisted and said that he and his brothers would be executed if Rhaenyra became queen.
  • Rhaenyra was also crowned by Daemon over on Dragonstone with her father’s crown. She lost her unborn baby.
  • The realm was split in two. And thus began the Dance of Dragons.
  • Rhaenyra sent her second son, Lucerys, to Storm’s End. Unfortunately, Aegon II’s brother Aemond was already there, and he killed Lucerys as he attempted to leave.
  • Prince Daemon and Queen Rhaenyra were obviously angry and distraught. Daemon had two blokes called Blood and Cheese enter the Tower of the Hand. Alicent was bound and gagged. Helaena, Aegon II’s sister wife, was forced to choose which of her sons would die. Helaena chose Maelor, but Blood killed Prince Jaehaerys, the heir to Aegon II’s throne, instead.
  • Blood admitted to this under torture. Cheese was never found.
  • Helaena became very depressed after this, and her son Maelor was given to Alicent to raise.
  • Aegon II started drinking heavily. At some point after some battle losses, he decided Otto was a bit useless and made Criston Cole his Hand instead. Aegon II also had all of the Blacks’ supporters (who were previously imprisoned) executed.
  • Aegon II sent one of his Kingsguard, Ser Arryk Cargyll, to kill either Rhaenyra or Jacaerys and Joffrey. Arryk was found by his twin, Ser Erryk Cargyll, and they fought to the death.
  • Aegon II, Aemond, and Criston Cole killed Rhaenys Targaryen and her dragon, Meleys, at the Battle of Rook’s Rest. Aegon II got a little burnt though, and his armour melted into his arm. He was bedridden for months afterwards and so…
  • Prince Aemond took over as Prince Regent 🙂
  • Prince Jacaerys named Corlys Velaryon Hand of the Queen so that he didn’t switch sides after his wife, Rhaenys, was killed. Jacaerys also planned to take King’s Landing using six dragons and four unseasoned riders.
  • Princes Aegon the Younger and Viserys were sent away to safety. The ships accompanying them were sunk. Aegon the Younger rode his injured dragon back to Dragonstone, but Viserys only had a dragon egg and was captured.
  • Prince Jacaerys flew to the Battle of the Gullet, but his dragon flew too low and Jacaerys was shot in the sea.
  • The Greens thought Daemon was at Harrenhal and marched over there, but Daemon heard they were on their way and flew south. Aemond and co. found Harrenhal abandoned.
  • Having lost another son, Rhaenyra and Daemon flew to King’s Landing. Criston Cole and Aemond were still out of the way, so it was good timing. Corlys Velaryon sent his ships to Blackwater Bay. They took King’s Landing in less than a day.
  • Larys Strong and Aegon II fled, along with his two remaining children.
  • Rhaenyra took the Iron Throne.
  • Otto Hightower was beheaded. Lol.
  • Meanwhile, Aemond and Criston had some disagreements. Aemond wanted to go straight to the capital and attack. Criston instead took the army south to join with Ormund Hightower. Aemond decided to spend his time destroying the Riverlands to try to entice Rhaenyra.
  • Alicent, now imprisoned, pleaded with Rhaenyra to spare Aemond. Alicent suggested they divide the Seven Kingdoms up. Rhaenyra thought this idea was stupid.
  • As Criston and his army headed south, they were ambushed by Blacks disguised as corpses. Criston died after he was ambushed by the river lords.
  • Daemon went searching for Aemond and Vhagar but was unsuccessful.
  • Rhaenyra’s supporters killed Aegon II’s son, Maelor.
  • The Hightower army advanced on King’s Landing. Rhaenyra tried to have Addam Velaryon and Nettles arrested, but Addam was warned by Corlys Velaryon and was able to escape. Corlys was arrested instead.
  • Larys Strong smuggled Aegon II to Dragonstone. Dragonstone fell to the Greens. Baela tried to escape on her dragon but Moondancer was killed by Sunfyre and Baela was taken captive.
  • Rhaenyra ordered Nettles to be killed as she thought Nettles was sleeping with Daemon. Daemon was able to see each other before Nettles escaped.
  • Daemon announced he would be flying to Harrenhal to face Aemond. The two fought in the Battle Above the Gods Eye. They tumbled towards a lake with their dragons. Allegedly, Daemon jumped from Caraxes and stabbed Aemond through the eye with Dark Sister.
  • Caraxes crawled away from the lake and died. Vhagar died in the water, which Aemond’s body still attached. Dark Sister was found in Aemond’s skull.
  • Daemon Targaryen’s body was never found.
  • Helaena committed suicide and people in King’s Landing started to riot. Joffrey Targaryen was killed when the Dragonpit was stormed. The Dragonpit collapsed and killed everyone in it.
  • Rhaenyra, now extremely disliked by her people, fled King’s Landing along with Aegon the Younger. She was also extremely poor and had to sell her crown to Braavosi merchants. She went to Dragonstone, and Aegon II fed her to his dragon Sunfyre.
  • Yes, we’re still going…
  • Corlys advised Aegon II to marry his daughter Jaehaera to Aegon the Younger, but Aegon II wanted Aegon the Younger to join the Night’s Watch instead.
  • Aegon II tried to get the Dragonpit rebuilt and statues erected, but the army was still closing in on King’s Landing.
  • Aegon II died in his litter, presumably poisoned. It is thought that he was poisoned by his own men, as having him on the Iron Throne would lead to continued war. Corlys confessed that he was involved. Larys Strong was executed.

Aegon III Targaryen

  • Whew. That was a lot. This section should be a lot more relaxed.
  • To quickly recap Aegon the Younger’s whereabouts, though…
  • Aegon the Younger was born to Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen. He was supposed to be next in line to the throne after his mother, but his uncle, Aegon II, wanted the throne instead. Everyone went a bit wild and all the dragons were killed in a war.
  • Aegon the Younger had to watch his mother be eaten by a dragon. It was probably scarring.
  • Aegon became betrothed to his cousin, Jaehaera. When Aegon II was murdered, Aegon became King Aegon III. He was ten years old.
  • It was all meant to be very peaceful, except Dregan Stark intervened and took power in King’s Landing. He forced Aegon to make him Hand.
  • Aegon and Jaehaera married and Aegon was crowned. Aegon was very much controlled by his council. He had to watch a lot of executions, which was too much for a boy that young.
  • Queen Jaehaera committed suicide shortly after. Aegon then had to find someone else to marry. Daenaera Velaryon, a cousin to Aegon’s cousins Baela and Rhaena, was chosen for him.
  • Lord Alyn Velaryon was able to bring Aegon’s brother, Viserys, back to King’s Landing. Viserys was now married with children, and his wife gave birth to a son shortly after their arrival, so the line of succession was secured.
  • Viserys also brought along some dragon eggs. Aegon ordered them all removed from the castle as he thought them dangerous.
  • Viserys’ brothers-in-law were all a bit bankrupt and they had to flee. They were arrested, and people tried to arrest Larra too but Aegon and Viserys were having none of it.
  • Aegon had five children with Daenaera.
  • Aegon made Viserys his Hand eventually. Viserys convinced Aegon to try to get the dragon eggs to hatch with the help of mages from Essos, but nothing worked. The reign of the dragons ended here.


Aegon III died when he was only in his thirties. His two eldest sons, Daeron and Baelon, died without children, and so Viserys became King Viserys II. His own son, Aegon IV, became king after him.

Okay! So that was a recap of what happened in Fire and Blood by George R R Martin. For a more in depth summary I highly recommend reading the book (there are pretty pictures!) or the Wiki. There was too much to capture here, but I hope I covered everything that is relevant. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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