Maegor I Targaryen

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Maegor I Targaryen
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Maegor I by Amok©
Biographical Information
Reign 42 AC - 48 AC
Full Name Maegor Targaryen the First of His Name
Alias Maegor the Cruel
The Prince on Dragonstone
Other Titles King of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm
Hand of the King
Ser
Born in 12 AC[1], at Dragonstone[2]
Died in 48 AC[3], at King's Landing
Family
Royal House House Targaryen
Predecessor Aenys I Targaryen
Heir Jaehaerys Targaryen (disinherited)
Aerea Targaryen
Successor Jaehaerys I Targaryen
Queen Ceryse Hightower
Alys Harroway
Tyanna of the Tower
Elinor Costayne
Rhaena Targaryen
Jeyne Westerling
Issue Silver Denys (allegedly)
Father Aegon I Targaryen
Mother Visenya Targaryen
References
Books The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
The Rogue Prince (mentioned)
The Princess and the Queen (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
For other articles sharing the same title, please see this disambiguation page.

Maegor I Targaryen, also known as Maegor the Cruel, was the third Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne. He was the son of King Aegon I Targaryen and elder his sister-wife, Queen Visenya Targaryen. He had an older half-brother, Aenys I Targaryen.

The polygamous Maegor had six wives: Ceryse Hightower, Alys Harroway, Tyanna of the Tower, Elinor Costayne, Jeyne Westerling, and his niece Rhaena Targaryen, the last three of whom are known as the Black Brides.[4]

Appearance and Character

Maegor was larger than his father, King Aegon I.[5] He was bull-like, with heavy shoulders, a thick neck, and huge arms. Though he was on the heavy side, he was not fat, but more massive and square. He kept his hair short and his beard trimmed to his jawline. He had angry-looking, suspicious eyes, and a scowling mouth.[5]

Maegor was a born warrior[6] who rose to become one of the youngest knights of his time.[4] He was a hard and brutal man;[5] As a youth, he already showed cruel tendencies, and had no true friends, mostly keeping to himself;[7][8] According to history, Maegor enjoyed war and battle, but most craved violence, death, and absolute mastery over all he deemed his.[4]

Maegor wore his father's steel-and-ruby crown.[4] His armor, however, was more elaborate than Aegon's. Instead of a shirt of scale, Maegor wore a breastplate, covered by a surcoat that displays the Targaryen three-headed dragon, red on black.[5]

History

Youth

In 11 AC, Queen Visenya Targaryen announced that she was pregnant with a son. That son, Maegor, was born the next year,[8] on Dragonstone.[2] As a babe, he was a big and healthy child; twice as big as his half-brother Aenys had been.[7] Maegor and Aenys were not close as children; Maegor was raised by his mother on Dragonstone, and in time became known as the "Prince on Dragonstone".[7] He received his first sword at the age of three, and butchered a cat with it.[8] His cruelty showed again when he finished off a horse which had kicked him.[7] Maegor was a born warrior,[6] who was trained at arms by the Ser Gallen Corbray, the master-at-arms of Dragonstone.[8] His mother, Visenya, gave him her Valyrian steel sword, Dark Sister, as a nameday present when Maegor turned thirteen.[7][9] That same year, Maegor defeated hardened knights in a mêlée.[4]

Maegor's brother Aenys had married Lady Alyssa Velaryon in 22 AC,[6] and their daughter Rhaena was born the next year.[N 1] After Rhaena's birth, people suggested that Maegor would fall behind her in the line of succession. In 24 AC, Queen Visenya suggested a betrothal between the infant Rhaena and twelve-year old Maegor to settle the succession issue,[9] but the High Septon protested.[6] Instead, Maegor was betrothed to the High Septon's niece, Lady Ceryse Hightower, whom he married in 25 AC at the Starry Sept in Oldtown.[4][9] Though Maegor boasted that he had conceived a child on his wedding night,[7] the marriage remained barren.[4]

Maegor had more success in his military accomplishments. In 28 AC, he won renown a tourney by defeating three knights of the Kingsguard in the joust, and next winning the mêlée. He was knighted by his father, King Aegon I, at the age of sixteen, making his the youngest knight in the realm at the time.[4] According to a semi-canon source, Maegor shortly thereafter assisted the master of ships, Lord Aethon Velaryon and the Hand of the King, Ser Osmund Strong, in two campaigns against the pirate Sargasso Saan in the Stepstones in 29 AC and 30 AC,[9] and defeated the Giant of the Trident in 31 AC.[7]

Hand and exile

In 37 AC, Maegor's father, King Aegon I, died, and his half-brother Aenys ascended the throne as King Aenys I Targaryen. Admitting to all assembled at Aegon I's funeral pyre that he was not nearly the warrior his half-brother was, Aenys presented Maegor with Aegon's Valyrian steel blade, Blackfyre, proclaiming they would rule together.[7]

Despite the fact that there were several dragon hatchlings on Dragonstone, Maegor had not yet claimed a dragon of his own, claiming that none were worthy. After Aegon I's death, Maegor claimed his father's mount, Balerion, for his own. During the first year of Aenys's reign, several rebellions broke out. In the Vale of Arryn, Jonos Arryn rose against his brother, Lord Ronnel, imprisoning him and his family. Maegor personally crushed this rebellion, flying on Balerion to the Eyrie and hanging Jonos and his followers. As his previous Hand, Lord Alyn Stokeworth, had died, Aenys named Maegor his new Hand of the King as a reward.[6]

Although Maegor had gotten married to Ceryse Hightower in 25 AC, Maegor still had no children in 39 AC. Meanwhile, the marriage of Aenys and Alyssa had resulted in five more children. First three sons, Aegon, Viserys, and Jaehaerys, followed by two daughters, Alysanne and Vaella.[10] Aenys and Maegor had been close, until Vaella's birth in 39 AC. Although Vaella dies shortly after her birth, Maegor decides that his wife must be barren following Alyssa's newest demonstration of her fertility.[7] Maegor secretly married Lady Alys Harroway, the daughter of Lucas Harroway, the new Lord of Harrenhal, that year. Dowager Queen Visenya Targaryen led the Valyrian ceremony, after Maegor could not find a septon to perform the marriage. The marriage angered the Faith of the Seven, and Aenys felt forced to exile his brother[6] when Maegor refused to set Alys aside.[7] As such, Maegor was send to Pentos, where he was to stay for five years.[7] Septon Murmison replaced Maegor as Hand, while Aenys's eldest son, Prince Aegon, was named Prince of Dragonstone.[6]

Claiming the throne

The Faith rose in rebellion against King Aenys I in 41 AC, and when Aenys fell ill the following year, Queen Visenya took over his care. Aenys's health improved for a time, but when the king learned that his eldest daughter and son, Rhaena and Aegon, were besieged at Crakehall, he collapsed and died three days later.[6] After Aenys was burned and buried, Visenya flew to Pentos on the back of her dragon, Vhagar, to bring Maegor back to Westeros.[4]

Although Aenys's eldest son Aegon was the heir to the Iron Throne, Maegor claimed the throne upon his return. He was crowned at Dragonstone with the Valyrian steel crown of his father, King Aegon I, instead of Aenys's ornate one. Grand Maester Gawen protested Maegor's coronation, stating that by all the laws of inheritance, the crown should pass to Aenys's son, Aegon. Maegor beheaded Gawen with Blackfyre,[4] making Gawen the first of three Grand Maester's who would be executed during Maegor's reign.[11] ending protest against Maegor's ascension.[4]

Maegor took Aenys's widow, Alyssa Velaryon, as a hostage, as she had been residing at Dragonstone. Alyssa's younger children, Jaehaerys and Alysanne, were kept on the island of Dragonstone with Alyssa, while her son, Prince Viserys, was made Maegor's squire, so he could be kept close as a hostage to ensure Alyssa's good behavior.[4]

The Faith had seized the Sept of Remembrance on Rhaenys's Hill in King's Landing, so Maegor flew to the city and planted his banner on Visenya's Hill to rally men. Visenya challenged those who questioned her son's right to rule to prove themselves. Ser Damon Morrigen, the captain of the Warrior's Sons, challenged Maegor to a trial of seven. Though Maegor was the only survivor out of fourteen, he took a blow to the head and collapsed just as the last Warrior's Son died. On the twenty-eighth day of Maegor's coma, Queen Alys Harroway returned from Pentos, bringing with her Tyanna of the Tower, a courtesan who had become Maegor's lover during his exile. Tyanna took over his care, and Maegor woke from his coma on the thirtieth day.[4]

Maegor and Balerion make short work of Aegon Targaryen and Quicksilver during the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye, as depicted by Michael Komarck in The World of Ice and Fire

Maegor mounted Balerion and burned the Sept of Remembrance, while archers killed all those who attempted to flee. Although the Faith would remain Maegor's chief enemy for the duration of his reign, he faced further oppression from Aenys's heir Aegon. That rebellion came to an end in 43 AC, when Maegor slew Aegon and his dragon, Quicksilver, in the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye.[4]

Further marriages and tyranny

Maegor's forces achieved a bloody victory over the Faith Militant in the Battle of Stonebridge and later at the Great Fork of the Blackwater, where thousands of Poor Fellows, knights of the Warrior's Sons, and rebel lords of the riverlands and westerlands opposed Maegor's army. Maegor personally fought in the latter battle, burning men on Balerion's back.[4] Maegor raised a set of laws which forbade holy men from carrying arms,[12][13] and offered bounties of gold dragons for the scalps of Warrior's Sons and silver stags for the scalps of Poor Fellows.[14] He also punished lords who spoke out against the suppression of the Faith.[15]

In 44 AC, Maegor threatened to incinerate the Starry Sept at Oldtown in response to the High Septon condemnation of his polygamous marriages. Shortly after, the High Septon died suddenly, allowing Lord Martyn Hightower to open his gates before Balerion and Vhagar could burn the city.[16] The new High Septon was a more passive man, but proved was unable to halt the rebellion. In 46 AC, Maegor brought two thousand skulls from his campaign against the Faith to King's Landing, claiming they were the heads of Warrior's Sons and Poor Fellows. Many suspected they were the skulls of innocent smallfolk, however.[4]

Construction of the Red Keep, which had begun in 35 AC, continued under Maegor's reign. Leaving the administration of the kingdom to Lord Lucas Harroway, his Hand of the King and father-in-law, Maegor focussed on the construction and ordered a host of hidden tunnels and secret passageways built within the castle.[4] He also ordered four levels of dungeons constructed, and had the fourth level build specifically for torment.[17] In 45 AC, Maegor saw the Red Keep completed, and Maegor's Holdfast was subsequently named after him.[4] Maegor threw a feast for those who had taken part in the construction, but after three days of revelry he had them all put to the sword to protect the secrets of the hidden passages.[4][18][19][20] In place of the ruined Sept of Remembrance on Rhaenys's Hill, Maegor began construction of the Dragonpit for the Targaryen dragons, but as many builders and masons had fled King's Landing after the Red Keep massacre, Maegor had to use prisoners from the city's dungeons for the construction, supervised by builders from Myr and Tyrosh.[4]

Lady Ceryse Hightower, Tyanna of the Tower and Lady Alys Harroway. By Magali Villeneuve

Maegor's marriage to Alys Harroway had remained as childless as his marriage to Ceryse Hightower had been. Maegor took his lover Tyanna to wife in 42 AC, naming her to his small council as his mistress of whisperers.[4] In 44 AC,[N 2] Alys gave birth to Maegor's first child. However, the child was a monstrosity, eyeless and twisted. In his fury, Maegor had the midwives, septas and Grand Maester Desmond executed. Tyanna, however, convinced Maegor that the child had come forth from a secret affair of Alys's. Maegor ordered the executions of Alys, her father Lucas, and every other Harroway he could find.[4] With House Harroway extinct, Maegor held a melee in Lord Harroway's Town with Harrenhal the prize. Though gravely wounded, Ser Walton Towers was the victor and House Towers was granted the ruined castle.[21]

The death of Maegor's mother, Dowager Queen Visenya, in 44 AC devastated Maegor, as she had been his strongest supporter. Aenys I Targaryen's wife, Dowager Queen Alyssa Velaryon, escaped during the resulting chaos from Dragonstone with her two youngest children, Jaehaerys and Alysanne, and the Valyrian sword Dark Sister. In response, Maegor had her eldest surviving son, Prince Viserys, tortured to death by Queen Tyanna after nine days of questioning. His mutilated body was left in the courtyard for a fortnight in an unsuccessful attempt to force Alyssa to return.[4]

Maegor's first wife, Queen Ceryse Hightower, suddenly fell ill in 45 AC and died. Rumor held that she had been killed at Maegor's command.[4] In 47 AC, Maegor wed his three Black Brides, three women of proven fertility who had been widowed through Maegor's actions or wars. The youngest, Lady Elinor Costayne, birthed an eyeless child with small wings.[4] Lady Jeyne Westerling lost two children, and she died soon after the second. The last was the eldest daughter of King Aenys I Targaryen, Princess Rhaena Targaryen. Maegor named Aerea, one of Rhaena's two daughters by her deceased brother, Aegon, as his heir, disinheriting her brother, Prince Jaehaerys.[4] In 48 AC, Queen Tyanna claimed to have poisoned Maegor's other wives, causing the abominations. Maegor cut out her heart with Blackfyre and fed it to his dogs.[4]

Downfall

King Maegor was found dead on the Iron Throne

Day by day, the Seven Kingdoms turned against its king, and by 48 AC Maegor's tyranny could no longer be borne by the realm. In the riverlands, House Tully of Riverrun supported Septon Moon and Ser Joffrey Doggett, the leaders of the Poor Fellows. Maegor also found himself opposed by Lord Daemon Velaryon, the admiral of the royal fleet, and many great houses followed Velaryon's example. A new claim for the Iron Throne was put forth by Aenys I's last surviving son, Prince Jaehaerys. The prince was supported by Lord Robar Baratheon of Storm's End, whom Jaehaerys named Protector of the Realm and Hand of the King.[4][22]

Learning of her brother's claim, Queen Rhaena Targaryen fled from Maegor in the night, escaping on her dragon Dreamfyre with the Valyrian blade Blackfyre. Two of Maegor's Kingsguard also abandoned him. These series of betrayals and the loss of Visenya's guidance left Maegor a broken man. He called his banners but few answered and those who did were not enough to defeat his many foes.[4]

During the hour of the wolf, those few who remained left the throne room leaving Maegor alone to brood. He was found dead seated on the Iron Throne the next morning, his robes covered in blood, his wrists slashed. Some say he had been killed by a knight of his own Kingsguard who could no longer abide his tyranny, some say he had been killed by a builder that escaped the Red Keep slaughter and desired revenge, and some whispered that Maegor had been killed by the throne itself.[23] Perhaps the most likely explanation is that Maegor killed himself by opening his wrists on the blades of the Iron Throne.[4]

Legacy

Maegor died without issue, and was succeeded by his nephew, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, the youngest son of the late King Aenys I. The Faith Militant uprising only ended during Jaehaerys' reign.[14][13] Jaehaerys agreed to pardon all those of the Faith who would set their swords aside,[14] though he also deprived the Faith of the right to hold trials.[12] Decades later, Silver Denys claimed to be a bastard son of Maegor, but was mutilated by the dragon Sheepstealer and slain with his sons by the Cannibal when trying to claim a dragon.[24] Ser Otto Hightower believed that Prince Daemon Targaryen would be a second Maegor the Cruel if he would ever ascend to the throne,[25] and at the start of the civil war his daughter Alicent claimed that Daemon would be "as cruel and unforgiving as Maegor ever was" as king consort.[24] Daemon's wife, Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, came to be considered a grasping, cruel, vindictive woman, and was dubbed "King Maegor with teats", a curse that would become a common curse amongst kingslanders fro a hundred years thereafter.[24]

Small Council under Maegor I

During the reign of King Maegor his small council had the following known members:

Office Duration Name
Hand of the King 42 AC - 44 AC Lord Lucas Harroway
44 AC - Unknown Lord Edwell Celtigar
Grand Maester 42 AC - 42 AC Gawen
Unknown - 44 AC Desmond
Unknown Unknown
Admiral of the king's fleet Unknown - 48 AC Lord Daemon Velaryon
Mistress of whisperers 42 AC - 48 AC Tyanna of the Tower

Quotes

Maegor, the First of His Name, came to the throne after the sudden death of his brother, King Aenys, in the year 42 AC. He is better remembered as Maegor the Cruel, and it was a well-earned sobriquet, for no crueller king ever sat the Iron Throne. His reign began with blood and ended in blood as well.[4]
- Yandel in The World of Ice and Fire


What demon possessed him none could say. Even today, some give thanks that his tyranny was a short one, for who knows how many noble houses might have vanished forever simply to sate his desire.[4]
- Yandel in The World of Ice and Fire


Aegon the Conqueror had commanded it built. His son Maegor the Cruel had seen it completed. Afterward he had taken the heads of every stonemason, woodworker, and builder who had labored on it. Only the blood of the dragon would ever know the secrets of the fortress the Dragonlords had built, he vowed.[26]
- thoughts of Catelyn Stark


King Maegor wanted no rats in his own walls, if you take my meaning. He did require a means of secret egress, should he ever be trapped by his enemies, but that door does not connect with any other passages.[11]
- Varys to Tyrion Lannister


What did she care what Maegor the Cruel had decreed three hundred years ago? Instead of taking the swords out of the hands of the faithful, he should have used them for his own ends.[27]
- thoughts of Cersei Lannister

Family

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Valaena
Velaryon
 
Aerion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unknown
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Visenya
 
Aegon I
 
Rhaenys
 
 
Orys
Baratheon
 
Argella
Durrandon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ceryse
Hightower
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aenys I
 
Alyssa
Velaryon
 
 
House
Baratheon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elinor
Costayne
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alys
Harroway
 
 
Maegor I
 
Rhaena
 
Aegon
 
Viserys
 
Jaehaerys I
 
Alysanne
 
Vaella
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jeyne
Westerling
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tyanna of
the Tower
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rhalla
 
Aerea
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
House
Targaryen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Notes

  1. The World of Ice and Fire states that "[Ceryse Hightower] was advanced by her uncle, the High Septon, after he protested the betrothal of the thirteen-year-old Prince Maegor to Maegor's newborn niece, Princess Rhaena. Ceryse and Maegor were married in 25 AC." (The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I); However, it has since been stated that Maegor was eleven at the suggestion of betrothing him to the newborn Rhaena. Notes taken from a reading of The Sons of the Dragon state that Maegor had just turned twelve when the betrothal to Rhaena was suggested, placing the attempt in 24 AC
  2. Earlier prints of The World of Ice and Fire erroneously state that Alys was the first of Maegor's wives to become pregnant in 48 AC (The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I). It has been confirmed that the passage should have read 44 AC.

References

  1. See the Maegor I Targaryen calculation.
  2. 2.0 2.1 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Maegor I Targaryen.
  3. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 01, 2005)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 The Sons of the Dragon: Loncon 2014 reading - Report 1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 The Sons of the Dragon: Loncon 2014 reading - Report 2
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 The Sons of the Dragon: Loncon 2014 reading - Additional info
  10. The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
  11. 11.0 11.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 12, Tyrion II.
  12. 12.0 12.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
  13. 13.0 13.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
  15. The Sworn Sword.
  16. The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Oldtown.
  17. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 77, Tyrion XI.
  18. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
  19. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 44, Tyrion X.
  20. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 3, Cersei I.
  21. The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands: House Tully.
  22. The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Baratheon.
  23. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 The Princess and the Queen.
  25. The Rogue Prince.
  26. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
  27. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.

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