Thursday, 6 April 2017

The last dragon prince

Lancelot, Siegfried, Romeo, Paris, Orpheus and Tristan. These men are the lovers in famous stories. The tragic love stories of myth and legends.Those men, heroic and adored by women, and the stories are the most powerfully told in history. Fictional, mythological and sometimes real.

To me, one of the most heroic men in modern day fantasy literature is Rhaegar Targaryen. Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, tall, strong, warrior and minstrel, long flowing silver-blond hair, violet eyes. He wore beautiful black metal armour with rubies set in the form of a dragon. The oldest brother to the spiteful Viserys and beautiful dragon princess Daenerys Stormborn. Rhaegar is son of the "mad king" Aerys II Targaryen and Rhaella.

Prince Rhaegar was loved by people across the kingdoms. Among his many admirers was a girl called Cersei (and I mentioned Cersei in a previous post called "My list of 5 evil queens"). Rhaegar visited the ruins of Summerhall with his harp and his lovely music made women cry. He was a fighter and skilled with the lance. He was extremely handsome and women loved him everywhere. Rhaegar married a princess named Elia of House Martell. She was Dornish and Rhaegar was Valyrian and king Aerys II didn't like her. Rhaegar and Elia had two children, but more was to come and tragedy would happen.

There was a Tourney at Harrenhal (a great tournament event in the charred ruined city-castle that was destroyed by dragons many years before). Rhaegar attended this grand event, and won many times. He became a champion, and each champion gives a crown of blue winter roses to the "queen of love and beauty". He was holding the crown of blue winter roses but ignored his wife, and gave them to a wolf princess named Lyanna Stark. This created a huge scandal, because not only did he pass his wife, but chose Lyanna to be the "queen of love and beauty" who was already bethrothed to another man, king Robert I of Baratheon!

This followed with Robert's Rebellion (a great war), after Rhaegar "kidnapped" (or rescued?) Lyanna. Many have said Rhaegar "raped" Lyanna but others said he loved her. Lyanna was missing. Robert killed Rhaegar with a hammer during the Battle of the Tridant, breaking the rubies from Rhaegar's armour, and as he was dying, he called for Lyanna Stark. This followed with the tragic ending of Rhaegar's wife and children being slaughtered by the vicious knight Gregor. Then Jaime Lannister (brother of Cersei) killed Rhaegar's father. 

Lyanna's brother eventually discovered her dying among a bed of sweet smelling rose petals and blood. The scent of blood and roses filled the room.... 
Rhaegar's character in the kingdoms is legend. He's spoken of years after his death, and many come up with new theories about him still being alive or that a boy called Jon Snow is the secret son of Rhaegar and Lyanna. This beloved warrior prince, who played music that touched women, and loved by many became the "last dragon".   

You can read more in details of this epic series "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. R. Martin. The TV series "Game of Thrones" is based on the books.

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