Robert’s Rebellion: It’s the war in Game Of Thrones talked about so much; a battle that took place before the series started but had a lasting impact on all of the characters. And when you hear about it, you know exactly why. The Rebellion set up all the relationships we know today, and the things that happened during that war are truly unspeakably awful. It’s also the war that ended the Targaryen’s reign on the Iron Throne and sparked the war happening right now for it. But, as always, the book packs in a lot of details that the show just couldn’t manage to.
10 Jaime Lannister Sat On The Iron Throne Briefly
Jaime had the chance to take the Iron Throne for himself. In the show, we hear of how Ned found him with Aerys’ body, but in the books, a more detailed picture is painted. Jaime actually sat on the Iron Throne and that’s where Ned found him; contemplating whether to name his father king.
He also even considered Viserys before deciding against it in case he was as mad as his father.
But in the end, he named no one and stepped off the throne when Ned arrived. Jaime has never really craved political power, so that makes total sense.
9 He Also Did Not Stab Aerys In The Back
This isn’t so much left out as it is changed entirely, but Jaime did not stab Aerys in the back. Not according to the books, anyway.
The show probably changed it to make the execution seem more dishonorable, but honestly? It’s way cooler in the books.
Jaime murders the pyromancer tasked with burning down King’s Landing and when Aerys sees him, he asks whose blood is on his sword. He expects Jaime to say Twyin, his father’s, but instead, Jaime calmly says, “Rossart.”
Aerys immediately tries to run, and Jaime grabs him and slits his throat on the steps of the Iron Throne while Aerys is screaming.
8 Aerys’ Descent Into Madness Had A Reason…
He was known as the Mad King because he was pretty much the most insane man in Westeros and had far too much power for it to be safe. But the origins of his madness are never really explained in the show, dismissed as Targaryen madness.
The truth is, Aerys was actually abducted in a war before Robert’s Rebellion and was held captive for half a year. What happened to him during that time is never truly detailed, but it’s assumed he went through a hard time and after he emerged, he was very paranoid and stopped trusting those around him.
It’s almost understandable when you know that happened to him, although any sympathy is negated by his cruelty…
7 At The Beginning, He Demanded Robert And Ned’s Heads From Jon Arryn
Although Robert wanted to go to war over Lyanna and used Aerys’ madness as a thin excuse, Jon Arryn raised his banners against Aerys for another reason. When Robert began to rebel and his friend Ned Stark was willing to join him out of loyalty, Aerys sent word to Jon that he wanted the heads of the two men, as they were wards of the Eyrie.
Jon was incensed, as he had grown very fond of the two boys and loved them like his own family. Thus, part of the start of the war was him raising his banners in response and being willing to rebel himself.
6 Aegon Targaryen Survived… Maybe
In the books, we see a man in Essos with blue hair who claims to be Aegon Targaryen.
Is it true? Maybe not. Aegon was supposedly murdered by the Mountain as a baby, along with his sister Rhaenys and mother Elia. But it’s also highly possible that George R.R. Martin has set up yet another contender for the throne by having him alive. After all, he would be a man where Daenerys is not, older than Jon Snow; so he’d be the true heir to the Iron Throne. That is if you decide to disregard the usurper Robert’s line.
Aegon has not been mentioned in the show at all, so whether he’s unimportant to the book series too remains to be seen. But he may just have survived.
5 Rhaegar Was Involved In A Third Love Story
It’s been confirmed now that Rhaegar had two wives. There was Elia Martell, who he married first and had two children with, and then Lyanna who he married after he ran off with her in secret. But what isn’t mentioned in the show is his friend Jon Connington.
Jon was Hand of the King for a time, and one of Rhaegar’s closest friends. But he was also deeply in love with the man.
It’s implied that the love was unrequited, and Jon isn’t mentioned in the show at all so we don’t have many details on this. But there was definitely a romantic love from his side.
4 He Was Planning To Force Aerys To Abdicate
The tourney at Harrenhal was more than a big deal. It was where Jaime Lannister rose to the Kingsguard and where Rhaegar Targaryen met Lyanna Stark, a love that would kickstart Robert’s Rebellion and, therefore, all the wars to come. But it was almost even bigger than that.
There was a rumor flowing that Rhaegar planned to gather all the high lords at the tourney and force Aerys to abdicate. This didn’t end up happening, for whatever reason; probably because Aerys was super paranoid and never let his son out of his sight — but at least we know Rhaegar might have been a better king.
3 Doran Martell Had A Big Part To Play
The Martells were closely tied to the Targaryens through Elia and Rhaegar but when Aerys initially demanded soldiers from Doran to fight in the war, Doran said no. He was angered by Elia’s ill treatment, with Aerys treating the Dornish residents of the Red Keep horribly and Rhaegar having run off with Lyanna.
However, when Rhaegar later asked for soldiers, Doran complied.
This suggests Doran is either pretty weak-willed or he liked Rhaegar a lot more than he did Aerys. Probably both, from what we know. Rhaegar was a heck of a lot more likable than his father.
2 The Knight Of The Laughing Tree
The Knight of the Laughing Tree was a mystery knight who fought in the tourney at Harrenhal. "He" wore mismatched armor and became very popular when he beat some knights who weren’t particularly well-liked.
Aerys became convinced that this knight was Jaime Lannister, who he had ordered to leave the previous day, and ordered his men to unmask the knight. This knight, however, had disappeared. They only found his shield.
1 Everyone Was So Young To Go Through So Much
They use pretty old actors for the characters in the show, which means it’s easy to forget how young they all were when Robert’s Rebellion actually occurred. When Jaime Lannister made the decision to commit regicide and kill his king, he was only 17.
Robert and Ned were around the same age when they raised their rebellion. Daenerys and Viserys were small children. Everyone was so young, which somehow makes the whole war seem so much worse and the damage seems so much more lasting. Even Rhaegar Targaryen was only in his early twenties when he died.
Game Of Thrones really puts its characters through so much.