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Queen Rhaella Targaryen is the daughter of King Jaehaerys II Targaryen and his sister-wife, Queen Shaera Targaryen. She was forcibly wed to her elder brother, King Aerys II Targaryen to fulfill a prophecy her father believed in about the coming of the Prince That Was Promised. This proved miserable for her as Aerys habitually raped and tortured Rhaella, though she refused to allow anyone to see it.

Rhaella gave birth to her first child at Summerhall, where then Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was born amidst the burning palace as the majority of House Targaryen was killed including her grandfather the king. After Rhaegar, though, Rhaella had a string of miscarriages until, in 269 AC, she gave birth to her son Daeron Targaryen. More miscarriages and stillbirths followed until she had her son Viserys Targaryen. As a result of these miscarriages and only two boys, Aerys blamed Rhaella for needing to Marry Rhaegar to another family rather than wedding brother and sister as they did.

When Rhaegar annulled his marriage to Elia Martell in favor of Lyanna Stark, Rhaella attended the wedding and welcomed the girl into her family. She also arranged for her niece, Rebekah Velaryon, to accompany Rhaegar and Lyanna as they left for the Tower of Joy.

During the Rebellion, Rhaella fell pregnant and spent most of the war on Dragonstone. Toward the end of the war, she gave birth to her daughter, Daenerys Targaryen, and promptly fled Dragonstone with her two youngest children soon after.

Her years in exile were freeing as she was finally away from her abusive husband. Rhaella came into her own as head of the family, and she raised her daughter well. To her shame, however, there was much of Aerys in Viserys.

When Viserys attempted to arrange a marriage between Daenerys and Khal Drogo, Rhaella put a stop to it. Unfortunately, this offended the Khal so much he attempted to murder them, and they were forced to flee again.