There is an event in A Song of Ice and Fire referred to as the 'Dance of the Dragons'; what was this event and what does it mean? and what was the final outcome?

Note: Not to be confused with the book A Dance With Dragons.

  • I will be accepting my self-answer on this one, however, if you feel that you have a better answer, feel free to post it and I will gladly consider changing.
    – Möoz
    Jul 12, 2017 at 23:13

1 Answer 1


The Dance of the Dragons was the second Targaryen civil war which occurred between the years 129 and 131 AC. The event is also known as "The Greens vs The Blacks".

The war was sparked by inheritance complications between Rhaenyra Targaryen and Aegon II Targaryen after the passing of their father King Viserys I Targaryen.

Rhaenyra was the eldest child (daughter) of Viserys I through his first marriage to Aemma Arryn. She was also groomed and designated as the Heir Apparent by Viserys himself.

Aegon II was the eldest son of Viserys I, but through his second marriage to Alicent Hightower.

In the end, both claimants (as well as their respective dragons) were killed.

After this event, the Targaryens followed the Male-preference cognatic primogeniture rules of inheritance, which means that only males have the preference of inheritance - females can only inherit if their is absolutely no males left in the line.

Note: the rest of Westeros does not follow this style of inheritance; see my break-down of inheritance.

  • 2
    Perhaps you should add that the anthology Dangerous Women contains the story The Princess and the Queen which describes this event.
    – BCdotWEB
    Apr 23, 2015 at 7:04
  • 1
    It should also be noted that officially Aegon II won the war and was crowned the king of a unified Westeros, if only for a short while. Apr 23, 2015 at 8:07
  • @SystemDown Not really. Tullys and Starks refused to bow to Aegon II and moved onwards to KL to kill Aegon II and crown Rhaenyra's heir, Aegon III. They would have done so as well, if Green loyalists themselves hadn't killed Aegon II. So the throne passed legally to Aegon III and he was the King of the united Westeros.
    – Aegon
    Jun 6, 2016 at 5:57
  • War did not end with Rhaenyra's death. Blacks won the war in the end with death of Aegon II and coronation of Aegon III.
    – Aegon
    Jun 6, 2016 at 5:57
  • @Mooz good comprehensive answer. But It was not the first Targaryen civil war. It was the second. First Targ civil war was between Maegor the cruel and his nephews Princes Aegon and Jaehaerys (Later Jaehaerys I).
    – Aegon
    Jun 6, 2016 at 5:59

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