Daeron was the eldest son of Aegon III, born in 143 AL. He was a warrior in his youth, winning praise for his martial abilities, and was a gifted strategist.
His father died when he was only fourteen, making him the youngest King of the Seven Kingdoms until the ascension of Joffrey I 142 years later.
Daeron, called by some the 'Boy King', named his uncle Viserys as the King's Hand, commanding him to rule at home and help finance an ambitious military campaign. Daeron I had resolved to be the king who would finally conquer Dorne and bring it into the Seven Kingdoms by military force. Some of the other houses, such as the Tyrells, enthusiastically backed this plan, and eagerly contributed troops to the cause.
Daeron led his forces into Dorne on a campaign of conquest. The traditional Dornish technique of using guerrilla tactics to harass enemy forces without engaging them head-on proved of limited value, as Daeron had studied their techniques and laid traps and ambushes which took the Dornish by surprise. His army had soon subjugated the Dornish peninsula, forcing the capitulation of Sunspear and the surrender of House Martell to his rule. Daeron returned home in triumph, being named the 'Young Dragon' for his victory.
Unfortunately, Daeron did not prove as wise in peace as he had in war, and ill-advisedly left the then-Lord of Highgarden (the traditional foe of the Martells) as his representative in Sunspear. Several weeks into the job, he was assassinated and Dorne raised the standard of rebellion. Daeron returned with more troops, but the second Dornish war did not go as well as the first. Daeron was killed and his cousin Aemon was taken prisoner. The wars ended with more than forty thousand dead and little to show for it.
Although he had married, Daeron did not have any children and was succeeded by his brother, the pious and devout Baelor.
Character and appearanceEdit
Daeron was extremely charasmatic and commanding, inspiring on the battlefield and with an easy touch with the common soldier. His troops loved him and his generals and enemies alike respected his abilities. However, having been born after the Dance of Dragons and not seen the horrors of war for himself, he was also too quick to see war as a game or puzzle to be solved, and not the misery and death it unleashed. He sometimes acted rashly, without thought for the consequence. Whilst a superior tactician and general, he was not a peacetime ruler, preferring to leave those responsibilities to his Hand, and made unwise and unpolitic decisions on occasion.
He was remembered fiercely by his descendants and the rest of Westeros for being one of the greatest warriors and battle commanders of his time, in spite of his youth. A born warrior who wielded Blackfyre, Daeron's original plan to subjugate Dorne was considered so brilliant that people legitimately believed it could be achieved, suggesting that Daeron was highly intelligent. He wasn't even put under a regency when he inherited the throne. However, Daeron possessed the key weakness of youth - inexperience. He may have been a great battle commander, but his glorious war cost over ten thousand lives to fight, and five times that many to maintain.
Daeron was extremely handsome, being clean-shaven with long hair. On campaign he wore an elaborate and distinctive suit of gold-and-black plate. He wore the Valyrian steel crown of Aegon the Conqueror. He was the most martial king since Aegon I and Maegor the Cruel, but it is unknown if, like them, he wielded the Valyrian blade Blackfyre in combat. He is listed as one of the greatest warriors of his day.
Daeron was very proud of his conquest and clearly intended to cement himself into history, as he wrote The Conquest of Dorne personally throughout his campaign - however, later generations (such as Doran Martell, the Prince of Dorne), believe that Daeron's account was vainglorious, embellishing the power of the Dornishmen to make his war seem more heroic and glorious than it truly was. Daeron also spoke rather contemptuously of the Dornish people, stating 'the arms of House Martell display the sun and spear, but of the two, the sun is the more deadly'. Daeron was not necessarily a bad king, but it is unavoidable that his war ultimately collapsed and robbed him of a long life and a potentially glorious reign.