Daeron II was born to Aegon IV and his sister-wife Naerys long before Aegon became king. King Baelor I arranged for his cousin Daeron to marry Princess Myriah Martell of Dorne as part of the peace arranged between the two kingdoms following Daeron I's invasion, and Baelor the Blessed officiated at the wedding ceremony.
Although a political marriage, Daeron appears to have fallen in love with his wife and become fascinated by Dornish ways, to the disquiet of his father. In 170 AL they had their first son, whom they named Baelor in Baelor the Blessed's honour. Three other sons followed.
Daeron was already a grown man with children of his own when his parents had their youngest daughter, Daenerys, and when Aegon IV became king. Aegon IV was a decadent and dissolute ruler, and Daeron seems to have mostly avoided his father, preferring to spend time learning from maesters and septons, being schooled on other cultures or engaged in artistic pursuits, all of which his father considered womanly and weak. Aegon instead doted on his eldest bastard son, Daemon. Daeron does not appear to have been keen on dwelling on Dragonstone as the king's heir traditionally did, and instead was permitted to found a new castle at Summerhall, where he and his family often dwelt.
Late in Aegon IV's reign, it was whispered that Aegon IV had come to believe that Daeron was not his son, but the product of an illegitiate union between Naerys and their other brother, Aemon, and was planning to disinherit Daeron in favour of Daemon. In the event this did not happen, as Aegon fell ill and died suddenly, although he did legitimise four of his bastards on his deathbed.
Daeron II's reign started with great promise, and soon he had repaired much of the damage done by his father's rule, including reforming the corrupt City Watch of King's Landing. He even paid for the wedding of Daemon and Rohanne of Tyrosh. Daeron was not a warrior, but was a skilled diplomat and peacemaker. Despite his many positive skills, there was still concern that he may not have been the legitimate son of Aegon IV, and that his far stronger and more charasmatic half-brother Daemon would have made a better king.
The Blackfyre RebellionEdit
In 195 AL, eleven years into Daeron II's reign, Daemon Blackfyre raised the standard of rebellion and claimed the Iron Throne. The reason for this is uncertain, but it is believed that it had something to do with Daeron pledging his sister Daenerys in marriage to Prince Moran Martell of Dorne in return for Dorne formally joining the Seven Kingdoms. It was said that Daemon, although married with two sons of his own, loved Daenerys and the thought of her marrying another was too much to bear. Furthermore, there was great disquiet in the realm for the growing influence of Dorne over the king, and the rumours over Daeron II's parentage had become quite well-known.
The result was a year of warfare and blood, culminating in the epic Battle of Redgrass Field. Daemon Blackfyre's army marched on King's Landing, but was intercepted by a force commanded by the newly-appointed King's Hand, Lord Hayford. In the battle that followed Daemon and his two eldest sons were killed by his half-brother Brynden Rivers, called 'Bloodraven', who had remained loyal to Daeron II. Daemon's other half-brother Aegor Rivers, called 'Bittersteel', rallied the army and may have still achieved a victory until Daeron's sons Baelor and Maekar arrived with reinforcements. Bittersteel fled over the Narrow Sea with Daemon's remaining sons and the sword Blackfyre.
Later reign and deathEdit
In later years, Daeron restored many of the rebel houses to the King's Peace in return for renewed oaths of fealty and did his best to eradicate any lingering ill-feelings for the war. Daeron's commitment to peace and diplomacy earned him the name 'Good King Daeron' or 'Daeron the Good'. After Lord Hayford's death, Daeron made his son Baelor the Hand of the King, and this proved to be an excellent choice, as Baelor ruled wisely and well.
Tragedy struck the family in the early part of the year 209 AL when Prince Baelor died in a tourney mishap at Ashford, slain accidentally by his own brother, Maekar. This stunned the family, as Baelor held the promise to be a great king, maybe one of the greatest kings of all time. Maekar was tormented by guilt over this incident.
Worse was to come. The Great Spring Sickness swept across Westeros and killed tens of thousands of people. King Daeron, Queen Myriah and Baelor's sons, Valarr and Matarys, all perished. Daeron's second son, Aerys, succeeded to the throne.
Character and appearanceEdit
Daeron was a learned man, interested in wisdom and knowledge. He was often found in philosophical or historical discussions with maesters, or religious debates with septons. He was interested by other lands and cultures, and spent a lot of time learning about Dorne from his wife and those of her people who came to court. Daeron was a diplomat and negotiator, quietly confident and resolute, willing to listen to reasoned argument but firm in his decisions.
In appearance, Daeron was unimpressive. He had thin legs and a pot belly, but was dignified, kindly and resolved. At odds with his demeanour, he wore his father's ostentatious dragon crown, possibly a reminder that he was the son of Aegon IV, no matter what the rumours said.
Daeron was a fair-minded and respectful man, treating his half-siblings decently and honourably throughout the prelude to the Blackfyre Rebellions, honouring the decision of his father to give lands and dowries to Daemon. However, Daeron was capable of ruthlessness when it suited him (or at least when necessary) and took lands, castles and hostages from the lords who fought for the Black Dragon. This incited a certain amount of hatred from some of his subjects, who saw it as unfair treatment for following whom they believed to be the true King of Westeros.
Daeron is remembered greatly and fondly after his death, considered a much better king than his father. He was loved by his family, and respected by his allies, to the extent that enough allies rallied to him against Daemon Blackfyre to defeat him. However, this is not entirely the case with some lords who loved and supported Daemon, such as Eustace Osgrey, who is left mournful and bitter from the 'mercy' that Daeron showed him - he thinks that Daeron shamed him after the war, and 'made him small', and that Daemon would have been a better king, though this rests almost solely on the fact that Daemon was a warrior, and Daeron most certainly wasn't.