The entire history of Westeros is one that is long and full of conflict. In fact, the events of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon don’t even scratch the history of this continent. Nevertheless, it was only when the Targaryens came to Westeros and used their dragons to intimidate the different lords and kings of the Seven Kingdoms that the entire continent was united under the Targaryen banner. Since then, the Seven Kingdoms has had a lot of kings.
Of course, trouble and turmoil continued to plague Westeros even after the Targaryen kings constructed the Iron Throne and started sitting on it. That’s because there were kings that only ruled for a few years. However, there were some that enjoyed long and peaceful reigns that lasted decades. That said, let’s look at the longest-reigning monarchs in the history of the Seven Kingdoms.
10. Aegon IV Targaryen
Reigned: 172 – 184 AC
Widely known as Aegon the Unworthy, Aegon IV Targaryen was simply an unworthy king that was said to have risen to the Iron Throne after poisoning his father, Viserys II. There have been a lot of crazy and cruel kings in the history of the Seven Kingdoms, but Aegon IV is often regarded as the worst king of all time because he was never a good king in every aspect of the word. Meanwhile, all of the other bad things were capable of keeping the peace through their cruelty and strength.
On the other hand, Aegon IV wasn’t good at any particular aspect except for making bad decisions. The worst decisions he made involved his children, as he fathered plenty of bastards throughout his time. What made matters worse was the fact that he actually legitimized all of his bastards before his death, and that was what led to the Blackfyre Rebellions that plunged the Seven Kingdoms into war. It’s a wonder how he got to reign for 12 years.
9. Aerys I Targaryen
Reigned: 209 – 221 AC
After ascending to the Iron Throne after King Daeron’s death, Aerys didn’t have any particular interest in ruling the entire realm because he was more interested in prophecies and magic during his time as king. That was the reason why he left the duties of ruling the Seven Kingdoms to his Hand.
Of course, Aerys I also had a wife in the form of Aelinor Penrose, but they never had any children because the king was rumored to have never consummated their marriage. As such, his reign was largely unimportant as there were no major events that happened and because he didn’t really see his role as the king as an important one. This also makes us wonder how he was able to reach 12 years as the king of the entire realm.
8. Robert I Baratheon
Reigned: 283 – 298 AC
While he is the only non-Targaryen on this list, let’s not forget that Robert Baratheon could trace his roots to Aegon V. So, while he did hate the Targaryens, he was still a few parts Targaryen. Of course, Robert ascended to the Iron Throne when he rebelled against the Mad King after Rhaegar Targaryen reportedly kidnapped Lyanna Stark, who was supposedly his betrothed. And he successfully ousted the Targaryens when almost all of the other houses joined his cause against the cruelty of Aerys II.
Robert Baratheon reigned for 15 years, but he was never a good king. He left the duties of ruling the Seven Kingdoms to his Hand as he mostly spent his days drinking, whoring, and hunting. It was during Robert’s reign that his queen, Cersei Lannister, had bastard children with her own twin brother, Jaime Lannister. As such, Robert’s line as king ended upon his death when a wild boar killed him during a hunting accident.
7. Aerys II Targaryen
Reigned: 262 – 283 AC
Aerys II Targaryen is often called the Mad King because he was simply one of the cruelest and craziest kings the Seven Kingdoms has ever seen. It was during the time of his wife’s miscarriages that he steadily descended into madness as he thought that his wife had miscarriages on purpose. As such, it took a while for him to have another child that followed Rhaegar, who was his first son and heir.
The Mad King reigned for 21 long years and did a lot of cruel things during that time. This included burning Ned Stark’s father and brother alive after they protested Rhaegar’s rumored kidnapping of Lyanna Stark. It was his cruelty that eventually led the entire realm to rebel against him. However, it was when he ordered Jaime Lannister to kill his own father, Tywin Lannister, that he was killed by the knight that eventually became the Kingslayer.
6. Daeron II Targaryen
Reigned: 184 – 209
Daeron II Targaryen is often considered one of the greatest kings in the history of the Seven Kingdoms, and that explains why he was able to have 25 successful years as the ruler of the realm. Of course, people loved him because he made the realm great again after Aegon IV, who is often called the worst king the continent has ever seen. But Daeron II also had his own fair share of achievements.
During his time, he was able to peacefully bring Dorne into the Seven Kingdoms through a political marriage, and that was when the Seven Kingdoms became the Seven Kingdoms in both name and in fact. He was also able to quell the rebellions launched by his bastard Blackfyre brothers, as this was another great achievement on his part.
5. Aegon V Targaryen
Reigned: 233 – 259 AC
Aegon V Targaryen was called the Unlikely because he was unlikely to become king during his time. As such, when he was young, he spent his days traveling the entire continent with Ser Duncan the Tall. Their travels were chronicled by George RR Martin in the Dunk and Egg short stories. Of course, he was able to freely travel the continent as a squire because he was unlikely to become the next king.
However, because all of the other people who had a better claim to the Iron Throne either died or refused the crown, Aegon V became the king. It was during his time that he made it a point that brothers and sisters should not be forced to marry each other, as he took Betha Blackwood as his wife. It was also during his time that he sent Brynden Rivers, known as the Bloodraven, to the Wall, as he eventually became the Three-Eyed Raven after his journey north of the Wall.
4. Aegon III Targaryen
Reigned: 131 – 157 AC
Aegon III Targaryen is the firstborn son of Princess Rhaenyra and Prince Daemon during their marriage. He was called Aegon the Younger before he became king, as his childhood was one that was never great due to the fact that he was in the middle of everything that happened during the Dance of the Dragons. In fact, after Aegon II killed Rhaenyra in front of his eyes, he was taken as a prisoner by the Greens and was used as a bargaining chip against the Black forces that were still marching on King’s Landing.
After Aegon II’s death, Aegon III became king as a young boy that went through a regency period. It took a while for him to truly assume his post as the king as the regents waited for him to come of age. During his time, the dragons steadily went extinct as he never cared about them due to his tragic experiences with the dragons during the Targaryen civil war that took the lives of every member of his family, except for his younger brother Viserys II.
3. Viserys I Targaryen
Reigned: 103 – 129 AC
Called Viserys the Peaceful during the events of House of the Dragon, Viserys I Targaryen enjoyed a reign that lasted 26 years as there were no major wars that were fought during his time because he always wanted everyone to get along. More importantly, he named Princess Rhaenyra as his heir during a time when he was yet to produce a male heir. But it was the fact that he was able to produce a male heir with Queen Alicent Hightower that led to the Dance of the Dragons, as Aegon II also wanted to be the king.
Viserys was known to be a good king that did all that he could to keep the peace within his realm. However, he was not an assertive king and was often seen as a weak one. On top of that, Viserys also seemed to be obsessed with being a Dragon Dreamer, as he believed that being a dreamer was more important than the power of the dragons themselves.
2. Aegon I Targaryen
Reigned: 1 – 37 AC
The man that started it all was Aegon I Targaryen, who is often known as Aegon the Conqueror. He was the one responsible for bringing three large dragons to Westeros to conquer the entire continent and place every kingdom (except Dorne) in the Seven Kingdoms under the Targaryen banner. And he did all that because he knew that the realm needed to be united against a common threat from the north.
Often considered the most legendary Targaryen of all time, Aegon I flew on the back of Balerion the Black Dread, who is the largest known dragon in the history of Westeros. He also wielded Blackfyre and was known to be a great dragonrider, swordsman, and leader. The Conqueror was also responsible for constructing King’s Landing, which became the capital of the Seven Kingdoms.
1. Jaehaerys I Targaryen
Reigned: 48 – 103 AC
Jaehaerys I Targaryen, also known as the Old King, ascended to the Iron Throne when he rebelled against his uncle Maegor, who ended up dying in a mysterious manner. Nevertheless, after Maegor the Cruel’s death, Jaehaerys ascended to the Iron Throne and was able to enjoy 55 long years of peace because he was always a just king that wanted everyone to get along.
During his time, he was known as a pacifier that was able to reconcile the relationships between the different houses in the Seven Kingdoms. He was also called the Wise because he was known to make the best decisions for the sake of his kingdom. However, he ended up losing most of his heirs before they could even sit on the Iron Throne, and this led to a Great Council where the lords and ladies of the Seven Kingdoms chose who they believed was supposed to be Jaehaerys’s heir. That king was Viserys I, who ascended to the throne two years later.