the targaryen dynasty - the queens of old
“they live within you, daenerys stormborn. the warriors, the history-makers, the beloved, the sad and unfulfilled, the ones designed for greatness, the scarred ones who did their duty. you have queens blood in you.”
A century after the Doom of Valyria, and three hundred years
before the present day, the Targaryen host landed upon Westeros,
with Aegon the Conqueror, his sisters Visenya and Rhaenys, and
their dragons at its head. The dragons were named for the old
gods of Valyria—Balerion the Black Dread, whose teeth were long
as swords, and his sisters Meraxes and Vhagar.
Visenya’s dragon was Vhagar, Rhaenys had Meraxes, and Aegon rode Balerion, the Black Dread. It was said that Vhagar’s breath was so hot that it could melt a knight’s armor and cook the man inside, that Meraxes swallowed horses whole, and Balerion … his fire was as black as his scales, his wings so vast that whole towns were swallowed up in their shadow when he passed overhead.
∟ Rhaenys Targaryen, Aegon the Conqueror’s sister-wife, the mother of Aenys I.
Aegon begins calling them his queens long before he ever decides to sail west. Both she and her sister had always laughed it off, taking it for a compliment and an unnecessary, but appreciated, attempt at seduction. It isn’t until he commisions the table and turns away the Volantenes that she realizes his sweet words are meant seriously.
She never feels like a queen, not when she covers herself in silks and jewels and commands the awe of what troops her brother can gather. She doesn’t feel like a queen when she leaves Rhaenys behind and becomes ‘your grace’ and rarely anything else. She doesn’t feel like a queen when Aegon places a crown upon her head and carves out a place for her beside him, instead of behind him. She never feels like a queen because she has no idea what a queen should feel like.
She watches from the back of her dragon as the men of the Reach and the West die screaming, their sounds mingling with the roar of the flames and the cries of the dragons. There is blood under her nails, her own, from where she grips the reins too tight. Her silks and jewels and crowns are long gone. Her names and titles are left behind as well; here she is no one, only a dragon, beautiful and terrible at once. She makes a final pass over the field, relishing the feeling of heat between her legs as Meraxes ignites the horizon, and the screams grow louder. Her fists clench and her palms bleed, but she looks down upon the suffering, rides high over death, and smiles.
This is what it means to be queen.