Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Game of Thrones Battle: The War of Conquest

The War of Conquest
The War of Conquest, otherwise known as the Targaryen Conquest, was a major war that resulted in the unification of six of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, under the invading forces of House Targaryen. The War took place approximately 300 years before the start of the series.
Aegon I and his sister-wives Rhaenys and Visenya 
The Targaryen family moved to Dragonstone from Valyria a number of years before the Doom (The Doom was when Valyria was destroyed by a massive volcanic catastrophe which wiped out almost all the dragons and created the much feared smoking sea). The Targaryen's were the only family with dragons to survive the Doom because they were living on Dragonstone.

About 100 years after the Doom, Aegon Targaryen and his sister-wives, Rhaenys and Visenya led a small army and landed at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush (also called the River Blackwater). They established a system of forts that eventually became the city of Kings Landing.

Aegon's forces made war against Harren the Black, the ruler of the Islands and the Riverlands. He was aided by a popular uprising against the Ironborn led by House Tully. Aegon eventually cornered Harren in his castle of Harrenhal. Harren refused to surrender so Aegon's dragon, Balerion, burned the castle. It burned with such ferocity that the towers melted like candles and Harren was burned alive. Afterwards Aegon raised the Tully's to become Lords Paramount of the Trident and commanded the Ironborn to elect a new ruling house. They chose House Greyjoy of Pyke, who swore fealty to Aegon.

During this time, Aegon's bastard brother, Orys Baratheon, led an army against the Storm King, Argilac the Arrogant. Orys defeated him in the field of battle and took his castle of Storm's End, his sigil and words, and Argilac's daughter Argalia, as his wife. He was rewarded by Aegon by being named Lord of Storm's End and was allowed to found House Baratheon. 

House Targaryen, beginning with Aegon I, link to larger picture is here
House Lannister and House Gardener combined their forces to march against Aegon. They were met in the field of battle by Aegon and his 3 dragons. The enemy host was decimated by the dragons within minutes in a battle that was known as the Field of Fire. House Gardener were destroyed. Their stewards, the Tyrells, surrendered the Reach to Aegon. The remaining Lannisters also bent the knee.

The Starks and Arryn's prepared for war, but through diplomacy and the demonstration of Aegon's superior forces they both eventually chose the path of peace and surrendered peacefully. The High Septon also declared that the Faith of the Seven would also support Aegon. This ended much of the last resistance to the invaders.

The War of Conquest was ended when Aegon made an abortive attempt to conquer Dorne. The Dornish decided to pursue guerrilla tactics rather than give open battle, where they would be vulnerable to dragonfire. Aegon eventually decided to allow Dorne to retain its independence. 

Aegon then triumphantly entered Oldtown and was proclaimed King of Westeros, ending the War of Conquest after two years.

Present Day

The Targaryen's ruled in Westeros for 283 years. During this time they survived civil wars, plague, and an attempted foreign invasion. They were eventually brought down when King Aerys II's, The Mad King, insanity became too dangerous to be ignored. He was replaced by Robert Baratheon. The remaining Targaryen's fled to Dragonstone and then went into exile in the Free Cities of Essos. 

Currently in the Series there are only 2 remaining Targaryen's. Aemon Targaryen is Maester on the Wall and Daenerys is in Qarth trying to gather an army, and along with her dragons, sail to Westeros and take back the Iron Throne. 

Daenerys and her Dragons, Drogon, Rhaegal, Viserion
Dragons were thought to have been extinct for over a century until Daenerys hatches 3 Dragon eggs she received as a wedding gift. Any dragon eggs that remain in the world were thought to be turned to stone or petrified but Daenerys believed she could hatch her's, and did. 

Targaryen is pronounced Tar-gair-ee-in rather than Tar-gar-yen.

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