10 Most Powerful Targaryens in History (Ranked)

During the entire storyline of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, the Targaryens were regarded as the most powerful people in the entire world due to the fact that they were the last remnants of Old Valyria, which was the greatest civilization in the history of the known world. And because the Targaryens were the last dragonlords in the world, they were the only ones capable of riding and commanding dragons, which were the sources of their power.

Of course, while the Targaryens are incredibly powerful due to their bloodline and ability to command dragons, there were members of House Targaryen that stand as some of the greatest and most powerful in the history of the family. So, with that said, let’s look at the most powerful Targaryens in history.

10. Daenys the Dreamer

Daenys the Dreamer, as depicted in Game of Thrones Histories & Lore

Daenys the Dreamer is the only Targaryen on this list to have been born and raised in Old Valyria. That’s because she lived during the time when House Targaryen was still just a small family of dragonlords in Old Valyria. But it is the fact that Daenys was the savior of the entire family that makes her one of the most powerful out of all of the different Targaryens to ever live.

The thing about Daenys is that she possessed the power of prophecy, and that’s why she was called the Dreamer. As King Viserys said in House of the Dragon, the power of dragons is nothing compared to the power of prophecy. Of course, the greatest prophecy that Daenys ever had was the fact that she dreamt of the Doom of Valyria. This prophecy saved House Targaryen and turned it into the most powerful family in the world, as they all fled Old Valyria and moved to Dragonstone more than a decade before the great empire of Valyria fell.

9. Aemon the Dragonknight

Prince Aemon Targaryen, the Dragonknight,
by Chillyravenart

Probably the only Targaryen prince on this list to never ride a dragon is Aemon Targaryen, who was the second son of King Viserys II and is also called the Dragonknight. He lived during the time when the dragons had gone extinct, and that was the reason why he never had a dragon (although he was given a dragon egg that never hatched). 

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The reason why Aemon is on this list is the fact that he was often considered the noblest knight in the history of the Seven Kingdoms and was even described as the greatest swordsman up to that point in time. Cregan Stark, a notable swordsman himself, said that Aemon, who wielded Dark Sister, was the greatest swordsman he had ever faced. And the only other swordsman in history to be on par with Aemon the Dragonknight is Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. 

8. Aemond Targaryen

Aemond Targaryen was the second son of King Viserys with Queen Alicent during the time of the Dance of the Dragons. He didn’t have the same kind of power over the people of the Seven Kingdoms that his brother had, but he was more powerful because he was actually someone who wanted to rule and had the skills of a capable military leader and commander.

Of course, what made Aemond powerful was the fact that he commanded Vhagar, who was the largest dragon in the world during the time of the Dance of the Dragons. On top of that, he was the most skilled swordsman and dragonrider on the side of the Greens. And he proved his abilities as a leader when he was the one ruling his brother’s place when he was named prince regent while Aegon II was too injured to rule.

7. Daemon Targaryen

Daemon Targaryen was the younger brother of King Viserys and was the husband of Princess Rhaenyra. He was known for being a rogue prince before the events of the Dance of the Dragons. Daemon was also known for his exploits during the War for the Stepstones against the Triarchy. In that regard, he was a tried and tested military commander that knew how to fight a war.

During the Dance of the Dragons, he rode Caraxes the Blood Wyrm, as he was able to showcase his might as the best dragonrider and swordsman on the side of the Blacks. The proof of his might came in the Battle Above the Gods Eye when he defeated both Aemond Targaryen and Vhagar by stabbing his nephew with Dark Sister. He did that despite the fact that he had a dragon that was only half the size of the largest dragon in the known world.

6. Rhaenyra Targaryen

Rhaenyra Targaryen was the eldest child of King Viserys and was actually the one who the king chose to succeed him as the next ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. However, it was the fact that she was a woman and that she had a younger brother that was born after she was named heir that sparked the entire Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.

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During the Dance of the Dragons, Rhaenyra was the leader of the Blacks and rode Syrax. While she was not the best dragonrider and swordsman and did not have a particularly powerful dragon, what made her powerful was that she commanded the loyalty of a lot of the different Great Houses of Westeros to her side. Had her mental health been well during her rule in King’s Landing, she might have won the Dance of the Dragons due to the power that she possessed.

5. Jon Snow

Initially regarded as Ned Stark’s bastard, Jon Snow was actually proven to be the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark when they secretly got married in Dorne before the events of Robert Baratheon’s rebellion. In that regard, he had the strongest claim to the Iron Throne amongst the Targaryens that were still alive at that time.

While Jon Snow’s status as a Targaryen and as one of the prophesized saviors of Westeros allowed him to become powerful, he also became powerful because he commanded the respect of the Wildlings and was named king of the north. On top of that, he rode Rhaegal during the events of the Long Night. If only Jon Snow wanted power, he would have actually become more powerful than any other Targaryen in history. But he was a simple man and was probably one of the few people in Game of Thrones who had no desire for money, riches, titles, and power.

4. Maegor the Cruel

Screenshot from the ‘Histories & Lore’ featurette, featured on the Game of Thrones – Season 7 Blu-ray addition

Maegor Targaryen was the eldest son of Queen Visenya Targaryen and was the third king to sit on the Iron Throne. He basically usurped the throne from his nephew, Aegon the Uncrowned, as he believed that he deserved to inherit it from his half-brother. In that regard, he began a rule that was grounded on his cruelty and strength as a ruler. And he actually bore some of the marks of legitimacy when he was able to claim Balerion the Black Dread and was the one who wielded Blackfyre.

Of course, Maegor is often regarded as the cruelest among all of the different Targaryen kings, but his iron fist and strict rule were what allowed him to stay in power for a few years. Still, his cruelty grew so much that the different Great Houses of Westeros rallied to Prince Jaehaerys’s side to rebel against Maegor. He never gave up his hold over the Iron Throne, but he mysteriously died while he was sitting on it, as it was believed that he either committed suicide or was assassinated.

3. Jaehaerys Targaryen

Jaehaerys Targaryen was the only living son of King Aenys during the rule of King Maegor, and that was what allowed him to become the only Targaryen that had a strong claim against his own uncle. In that regard, he rebelled against Maegor and became the new Lord of the Seven Kingdoms after finding his uncle mysteriously dead on the Iron Throne. Jaehaerys, who was often called the Old King, ruled for 55 years and was not only regarded as the longest-reigning Targaryen monarch but was also known as the best king as well.

Other than the fact that he rode Vermithor, who was third only to Balerion and Vhagar in size at that time, Jaehaerys was powerful because he knew how to rule a kingdom without any unnecessary violence. The fact that he was able to reconcile the realm with several of its enemies while also maintaining peace for 55 years proves his power as a king.

2. Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen was one of the central characters of Game of Thrones and was an exiled princess that had nothing. But through fire and blood and the different sacrifices she made along the way, she became the most powerful woman in the known world during the time of Game of Thrones, not only because she brought back the dragons into the world but also because she commanded respect and the admiration of different armies.

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It was through her magical properties that she was able to win the entire Dothraki horde to her cause. Meanwhile, her disdain for slavery was able to allow her to obtain a huge army of Unsullied. Of course, she also had the Second Sons, which was second only to the Golden Company in terms of their strength as a mercenary army. With all those combined with the possibility that she could also be the Prince/Princess that was Promised, Daenerys was more powerful than any person during her era.

1. Aegon the Conqueror

Aegon upon Balerion, by Jordi Gonzalez

Often mentioned as arguably the greatest figure in the history of the Seven Kingdoms, Aegon the Conqueror was the Targaryen king that united all of the Seven Kingdoms under the Targaryen banner because he dreamt of the threat that was going to come from the north. In that regard, like Daenys, he also had the power of prophecy on his side.

Still, the one power that allowed him to secure his place in the Seven Kingdoms and rule over the entire realm for nearly four decades was the power of his dragons. He and his sisters took three gigantic dragons to Westeros during his conquest, and those dragons were more than enough for him to make all of the lords and kings of the continent bow down to his rule. Wielding Blackfyre and riding Balerion only added to his strength as arguably the most powerful person in the history of George RR Martin’s Ice & Fire books.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.