Prince Rhaegar was King Aerys and Queen Rhaella's first son, born on the same day as the tragedy at Summerhall. As a child, he read obsessively, but he became a noted warrior later in his life. He was knighted at the age of 17, and distinguished himself at tournaments, but he rarely entered the lists. He was deeply affected by Summerhall and would often visit the ruins with only his harp.
Although Rhaegar was dour, bookish, and private, he was beloved by the commoners, who often cheered loudly for him. Many believed he would have been a good king. His closest friends with Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, and Lord Jon Connington. He had no sisters to marry, so Rhaegar was wed to the Dornish princess, Elia Martell. He had two children with her: a daughter named Rhaenys, and a son named Aegon, both named after his ancestors.
At the tourney of Harrenhal, Rhaegar defeated all other competition and was crowned champion. He then gave the crown of love and beauty to Lyanna Stark, over his wife Elia, revealing his interest in her. A year later, he apparently kidnapped Lyanna, and the two fled to the Tower of Joy in Dorne. This was the beginning of Robert's Rebellion. Rhaegar eventually met Robert at the Trident, where the two dueled fiercely, but Rhaegar lost, and was crushed to death by Robert's warhammer. The rubies from his armor were said to have flowed down the river, later referred to as the Ruby Ford. Rhaegar's wife and children were later killed by Gregor Clegane.