King Rhaegar I Targaryen is the firstborn son of King Aerys II Targaryen and his sister-wife, Queen Dowager Rhaella Targaryen. As heir-apparent, he was the Prince of Dragonstone and crown prince for the Iron Throne, until he became the King.
He is the older brother of Prince Viserys Targaryen and Princess Daenerys Targaryen. He is married to both Queen Elia Martell and Queen Lyanna Stark, he has two children with Elia Martell, his oldest child and only daughter, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, his oldest son and heir, the Crown Prince Aegon Targaryen and one son with Lyanna Stark, his second son, Prince Jaehaerys Targaryen.
Appearance and Character:
Rhaegar owned night-black plate armor, with the three-headed dragon of House Targaryen decorated in rubies on its breastplate, and underneath the plate he wore golden ringmail. Rhaegar decorated his helm with gold, orange, and red silken streamers resembling flames.
Rhaegar was an intelligent young man, who excelled at anything to which he put his mind, and grew to be a great knight and a skilled musician. The latter, however, held his preference; men said Rhaegar loved his silver-stringed harp more than he loved his lance.
The King was said to have been uninterested in the play of other children as a boy, but bookish "to a fault". He learned to read at such an early age that people jested that his mother Rhaella had swallowed some books and a candle during her pregnancy.
Later in life, however, Rhaegar did acquire several trusted and loyal companions, Rhaegar's closest and oldest friend, however, was Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. Rhaegar was deeply affected by "the shadow of Summerhall", because he was "born in grief" and was considered melancholic at times. At the same time, Summerhall was also Rhaegar's favorite place.
Rhaegar was the firstborn son of King Aerys II Targaryen and Queen Rhaella. He was born at Summerhall in, on the same day as the great tragedy there. As a child he read obsessively, to the point that jests were made about his habits. He became a noted warrior later in life, although he did not initially seem inclined to martial habits. However, apparently by something he had read, Rhaegar became motivated to become a warrior.
At the age of seventeen, Rhaegar was knighted, and from all reports grew into a highly skilled and capable fighter, always distinguishing himself well at tournaments, although he seldom entered the lists - he never loved the song of swords the way that men like Robert Baratheon or Jaime Lannister did.
Rhaegar was born at a time when the Targaryen's had declined, and once he came of age, there was no sister, or anyone else of their bloodline, available for him to marry. King Aerys sent his first cousin, Lord Steffon Baratheon, to seek a bride for Rhaegar. Despite Valyrian blood still being present in Essos, Steffon could not find appropriate females of noble-enough birth for Rhaegar to wed.
Rhaegar was formally betrothed to the Dornish princess, Elia Martell, the younger sister of Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne. They married the following, a lavish ceremony was held at the Great Sept of Baelor. His father did not attend the wedding as he was paranoid about an assassination attempt and nor did he permit the young Prince Viserys to attend. Rhaegar and his father's relationship was straining at this point, and he and his new bride took up residence on Dragonstone instead of King's Landing. Rhaegar and Elia had their first child, a girl named Rhaenys, When the babe was presented at court, Rhaegar's mother, Queen Rhaella, embraced her grandchild warmly while King Aerys remarked: "she smells Dornish". The relationship between Aerys and Rhaegar became more and more estranged.
Elia and Rhaegar had a son they named Aegon. Elia, due to her delicate health, was bed-ridden for half a year after giving birth to Rhaenys and nearly died giving birth to Aegon, after which the maesters told Rhaegar she would be unable to have any more children.
Tourney at Harrenhal:
Lord Walter Whent announced a tourney would be held at Harrenhal to rival any previous tournament. It is believed by some that the tourney was secretly arranged and financed by Prince Rhaegar, as a pretext, so Rhaegar could meet up with the great lords of the realm to discuss arranging a Great Council and the removal of his father. The tournament was announced by Walter shortly after his brother, Ser Oswell of the Kingsguard, visited his older brother. When Lord Varys alerted Aerys II to this possibility, the king decided to attend the tourney.
During the great tourney at Harrenhal, Rhaegar seemed unstoppable and defeated even Ser Arthur Dayne. Taking the winter rose crown for the queen of love and beauty, he revealed his interest in Lyanna Stark by passing over his wife, Princess Elia of Dorne, and setting it in Lyanna's lap. Eddard Stark later recalled that moment as "when all the smiles died". The next year, Rhaegar seemingly kidnapped Lyanna, for reasons unknown. This act ultimately triggered Robert's Rebellion.
Roberts Rebellion and The End of The Mad King:
While most of the realm seemed to assume that Rhaegar had kidnaped Lyanna Stark, only a few knew the real truth, that Rhaegar and Lyanna had fallen in love and married. Rhaegar was surprised with how well Elia Martell took the news, she was fine to stay married to Rhaegar and for him to marry Lyanna Stark.
When Lord Rickard Stark and his, Brandon Stark, came to King's Landing to ask for the King's justice. Believing that they intended to kill his son, Aerys had both of them murdered. In response, House Stark, House Baratheon, House Arryn and House Tully rose their banners in rebellion.
Robert Baratheon was furious with Rhaegar, he was betrothed to Lyanna Stark, even though she had no interest in marrying him, he used this slight on him to try and take the throne from House Targaryen. Rhaegar knew that unlike Elia Martell most of Dorne was angered with him so doubted he would have any support from them and his father had insulted House Lannister, he knew House Targaryen had little support and if he was going to win the war he had to stop it before it really began.
Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark met with Eddard Stark, Jon Arryn and Robert Baratheon, they managed to persuade Eddard Stark and Jon Arryn, that Rhaegar didn't kidnap Lyanna that they were in love and had married, he promised Eddard Stark that Lyanna Stark would be safe in the capital with him, that Elia Martell knew and approved of the marriage. He also offered Eddard Stark justice for the death of his father and brother that he knew The Mad King had gone to far, that he was to dangerous to be left as King. House Arryn, House Stark and House Tully, took their banners home, much too the anger of Robert Baratheon, he was still angered at Rhaegar but took his banners home knowing his allies had left him.
On the march to King's Landing Lyanna Stark realised she was pregnant, fearing for her safety, Rhaegar sent the three Kingsguard he had with him, Ser Arthur Dayne, Ser Oswell Whent and the Lord Commander Ser Gerold Hightower, to accompany her to the Tower of Joy, so she could give birth in secret in a safe place.
By the time Rhaegar had got to King's Landing and made his to The Red Keep, he walked into The Throne Room to see Jamie Lannister sat on the steps of the Iron Throne, after killing King Aerys II Targaryen. He informed Rhaegar that Aerys had planned to set the city of King's Landing ablaze with Wildfire, as Rhaegar entered the city, Jamie said he knew he broke his oath, but he couldn't be responsible for letting so many people die, Rhaegar thanked him for what he did.
While in King's Landing, he met with Prince Oberyn Martell and his wife Elia Martell, she described to her brother that she was fine with Rhaegar marrying Lyanna Stark, which satisfied Prince Oberyn, but he stated his brother Prince Doran Martell and the rest of Dorne would be unlikely to convince as they were angry at Rhaegar.
When Lyanna Stark first entered King's Landing it was accompanied by the three Kingsguard plus a score of Royal Guards, and the brand new son of Rhaegar, Prince Jaehaerys Targaryen. It wasn't long after the two Northern Targaryen's arrived that Rhaegar was crowned as the new King, King Rhaegar I Targaryen. Any fear Rhaegar had that his family had of any split between the Queen's and their children was lifted very quickly, he was very happy to see they were all one family.