Appearance and Character Edit
Rhaegar had silver-gold hair, but dark lilac eyes, he was considered to be tall and handsome. Cersei Lannister who was infatuated with him, remembers Rhaegar as the most beautiful man she'd ever seen. Rhaegar was very bookish in his youth, such that people jested that the Queen swallowed some books and a candle while he was in her womb. As a boy he was able to impress the maesters with his wit. Rhaegar was also considered to be a talented musician and skilled knight, but was also viewed as a bit melancholy by Ser Barristan and others. He would often visit the ruins of Summerhal with his harp and while returning he'd always play a sad song of such beauty that it reduced women to tears.
Rhaegar was Aerys's II and Rhaella's first born son, and was born on 259 AL, on the very same day when the Tragedy at Summerhall took place. As a young child, Rhaegar was extremely studious, but considered to be very quiet and awkward, showing no interest in playing with other children his own age, except for his harp or reading. People in his father's court even jest sourly that he was the coming of Baelor the Blessed again. But one day, as Rhaegar was reading some old scrolls, he found something that changed his mind. Though the scroll that he had read is unknown, the next day he went to the Master-at-Arms, Ser Willem Darry, and said " I will require sword and armor. It seems I must be a warrior." Rhaegar would eventually become a capable fighter, distinguishing himself at tournaments and becoming knighted at seventeen years. He was later arranged by his father King Aerys II Targaryen to marry a girl with Valyrian blood, but failed to find any. Aerys, having no daughter at the time, was offered by Tywin Lannister, then Hand for Aerys, his daughter Cersei to Rhaegar. Aerys refused, infuriating Tywin and causing him to resign his post as Hand. Rhaegar later married the Dornish Princess Elia Martell. Elia, while sickly, managed to give her husband two children: a daughter, Rhaenys, and a son, Aegon. Rhaegar believed in his younger years that he was the Prince Who Was Promised, but later he believed, with many others, that his son Aegon was the fabled Prince.
Rhaegar emerged victorious from the Tourny at Harrenhal, where he surprised everyone by crowning Lyanna Stark the Queen of Love and Beauty. After winning another tourney a year later, she and Rhaegar disappeared together, the Starks and Baratheons believing Rhaegar to have abducted Lyanna. This spurred Robert's Rebellion, and Rhaegar's death at Robert Baratheon's hands during the Battle of the Trident. After Rhaegar's death, King's Landing was sacked and his daugther Rhaenys was stabbed to death by Ser Amory Lorch and son Aegon was slammed against a wall. Ser Gregor Clegane later raped and killed Princess Elia, causing enormous resentment among the Dornish aristocracy.
Rhaegar, though mentioned in the series only appears once, in Daenerys vision in the House of the Undying. He's seen talking to his wife Elia discussing what he'll name his son and his destiny. The conversation is as follows:
The man had her brother's hair, but he was taller, and his eyes were a dark indigo rather than lilac. "Aegon," he said to a woman nursing a newborn babe in a great wooden bed. "What better name for a king?"
"Will you make a song for him?" the woman asked.
"He has a song," the man replied. "He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire." He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany's, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. "There must be one more," he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. "The dragon has three heads."
Notes and References Edit
Many fans believe that Rhaegar did not kidnap Lyanna Stark, but rather that they were in love and together had a child that fans believe to be Jon Snow.
There is much to be said for this R(haegar) + L(yanna) = J(ohn) prophecy. "His is the song of Ice & Fire." The "fire" coming from Rhaegar, and the "ice" coming from Lyanna Stark, most likely has to do with the prophecy of Azor Ahai, who will save the world from the long night (white walkers). We know the Starks of old were the Kings of Winter, but there has to be some sort of connection between the Starks and the white walkers or the Starks and the Children of the Forest that gives them some sort of magic relating to ice such as the Targaryens have with fire and dragons. Although many people in westeros may say Rhaegar abducted Lyanna, or that he kidnapped her and raped her, there are some such as Ser Barristan Selmy who tells Dany that Rhaegar was a kind man, and this is also shown through other rememberances of Rhaegar.