War of succession
|Rezultat||Aegon III's ascension to the throne.|
The Taniec Smoków was a civil war during Targaryen rule. A war of succession between Aegon II and his half-sister Rhaenyra over their father Viserys I's throne, the war was fought from 129AC to 131AC. It saw the deaths of both rival monarchs, and the crowning of Rhaenyra's son Aegon III.
King Viserys I had three children by his first queen of Ród Arrynów, but only one, Princess Rhaenyra, survived to adulthood. Lacking a son to succeed him, Viserys began to train Princess Rhaenyra to be his heir. Young Rhaenyra was included in discussions of the affairs of state, and was allowed to participate in meetings of the Mała Rada. Many of the nobles took note, and Rhaenyra soon acquired a clique of adherents and supporters. However, after his queen died, the king remarried, this time to a Hightower and had four more children, including three sons, the eldest son named Aegon II. Nonetheless, Rhaenyra's place in the succession seemed undisturbed; this was confirmed by proclamation and the will of Viserys.
Upon Viserys' death in 129AC, the Lord Commander of the Gwardia Królewska, Ser Criston Cole, later called "the Kingmaker", defied the king's will, and crowned Prince Aegon as Aegon II. Ser Criston's motivations for doing so are unclear, but it was reputed that he and Rhaenyra were lovers, and their affair ended badly, adding a personal dimension to the conflict. He may simply have wished to uphold Andalowie tradition. In any event, many of the lords of the realm were aware of Viserys' wish to have Rhaenyra succeed him as Westeros's first queen regnant, and threw their support behind the princess. Doubtless, many of them were also the same supporters who has spent years currying favor with the presumptive future queen. Rhaenyra disputed Aegon's claim, resulting in a bloody civil war. The realm was split in half. Even the Gwardia Królewska chose sides, exemplified when the brothers Ser Arryk and Ser Erryk killed each other.  Targaryen fought Targaryen and smok fought smok, with many lesser branches of Ród Targaryenów and most of the Targaryen smoks being killed in the war.
In unknown circumstances, Rhaenyra came to be put to death as a traitor at the hands of her brother Aegon II, who had her eaten by his smok as her son Aegon watched. However, her followers carried on under the banner of her son, calling him Aegon III. The bloody conflict ended in 131AC with the death of Aegon II and the ascension of his nephew Aegon III to the throne, presumably because he had no children of his own and/or some compromise between the supporters of the two factions.
Since the Dance, Ród Targaryenów has practiced a highly modified version of agnatic primogeniture, placing female claimants in the line of succession behind all possible male ones, even collateral relations. (See also Daena Targaryen, Daeron I Targaryen). The war is the subject of the song "The Taniec Smoków".
References and Notes
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