Maegor I Targaryen
Maegor I by Amok©
|Reign||42 AC - 48 AC|
|Full Name||Maegor Targaryen the First of His Name|
|Alias||Maegor the Cruel|
|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
|Born in||12 AC|
|Died in||48 AC, at King's Landing|
|Royal House||House Targaryen|
|Predecessor||Aenys I Targaryen|
|Heir|| Jaehaerys Targaryen (disinherited)|
|Successor||Jaehaerys I Targaryen|
|Queen|| Ceryse Hightower|
Tyanna of Pentos
|Issue||Silver Denys (allegedly)|
|Father||Aegon I Targaryen|
|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 his sister-wife, Queen Visenya Targaryen. He had an older half-brother, Aenys I Targaryen.
Appearance & Character
According to a semi-canon source, Maegor was large, larger than his father, Aegon I. A warrior, he was bull-like with heavy shoulders, a thick neck and huge arms. He kept his hair short and his beard trimmed to his jawline. He wore Aegon the Conqueror's crown.
Maegor was often seen as cruel, never treating animals well and keeping to himself. He enjoyed war and battle, but it was violence he most craved, and death and absolute mastery over all he deemed his.
Maegor was considered a skilled warrior, distinguishing himself well in tournaments and melees. At the age of thirteen he competed in a mêlée, where he defeated hardened knights. At the age of 16, in the royal tourney of 28 AC at King's Landing, he unhorsed three knights of the Kingsguard in successive matches in the joust, and later went on to win the mêlée. He was a better jouster than many grown men he met in the lists. He was knighted by his father when he was only sixteen years old - the youngest knight in the realm at that time.
Upon the death of their father, Maegor's older brother Aenys assumed the throne. Admitting to all assembled that he was not nearly the warrior his half-brother was, Aenys presented Maegor with Aegon's Valyrian blade, Blackfyre, proclaiming they would rule together. It was also after his fathers death, in 37 AC, that Maegor became the rider of the dragon Balerion. Balerion was the dragon that Maegor always desired for himself, finding none other worthy enough.
In 23 AC, Princess Rhaena, the eldest child of King Aenys, was born. Dowager Queen Visenya Targaryen suggested that Maegor be betrothed to her, but a vigorous protest from the High Septon stopped that. Instead, Maegor was wed to the High Septon's own niece, Lady Ceryse Hightower, in 25 AC.
In the first year of the reign of his half-brother, several rebellions broke out. One of these rebellions took place in the Vale. There, Jonos Arryn rose against his own brother, Lord Ronnel Arryn, and had imprisoned Ronnel and his family. Maegor personally crushed this rebellion himself, flying on Balerion to the Eyrie and hanging Jonos and his followers. To reward him for this act, Aenys named Maegor his new Hand of the King.
Maegor was stripped of his office in 39 AC, when he shocked the realm by taking a second wife, Alys Harroway. This marriage angered the Faith of the Seven, so Aenys tried to placate the faith by stripping Maegor of his office and sending him into exile to Pentos. A renowned Septon known as Murmison replaced Maegor as Hand of the King.
In 41 AC, however, the Faith rose in rebellion against Aenys, and the King was unable to handle the pressure. In 42 AC, Aenys fell ill, and Dowager Queen Visenya took over his care. For a time, Aenys' health improved, but when the King learned that his eldest daughter and son, Rhaena and Aegon, were being besieged at Crakehall, he collapsed. Three days later he died. After Aenys was burned and buried, Visenya flew to Pentos on the back of her dragon, Vhagar, to bring Maegor back to Westeros.
Ahead of his brother's eldest son and heir, Maegor ascended the Iron Throne in 42 AC. He was crowned on Dragonstone, using his fathers Valyrian steel crown, instead of Aenys' ornate one. Grand Maester Gawen protested Maegor's coronation, stating that by all the laws of inheritance, the crown should pass to Aenys son Aegon. For that statement Maegor beheaded him with Blackfyre. There was no further protest against Maegor's ascension after that.
Maegor took Alyssa Velaryon, the Dowager Queen of Aenys I, and the mother of Prince Aegon, as a hostage, as she had been residing on Dragonstone. Alyssa's younger children, Jaehaerys and Alysanne, were kept on Dragonstone with Alyssa, whilst her son Prince Viserys, was made Maegor's squire, so he could be kept close as a hostage, ensuring Alyssa's good behavior.
Ravens flew, declaring a new King had been crowned and that those who defied him would suffer a traitors death. Chief among Maegor's foe were the Faith Militant. Maegor mounted Balerion and set for King's Landing, to crush the uprising. Landing on Visenya's hill he planted his standard, rallying his supporters to him. Visenya challenged those who questioned her sons right to rule to prove themselves. This challenge was accepted by the Captain of the Warrior's Sons. Ser Damon Morrigen challenged Maegor to a Trial of seven, which Maegor accepted. Ser Damon and six Warrior Sons fought against the King and his six champions. In the end, only King Maegor was left alive. The other thirteen participants were dead. Maegor took a blow to the head, however, and collapsed just as the last Warrior's Son died. He went into a coma, which lasted a month. On the twenty-eighth day of Maegor's coma, Queen Alys Harroway returned from Pentos, bringing with her Tyanna of the Tower, who had become Maegor's lover during his exile.
Tyanna took over Maegor's care, and on the thirtieth day of his coma, he awoke. He mounted Balerion and without a warning flew over the Sept of Remembrance on Rhaenys's Hill, where he unleashed the Black Dread's flames, which consumed the Sept and all within in dragon flame. Those who tried to flee were slain by archers Maegor had placed around the hill. The screams of burning and dying men were said to echo in the streets of King's Landing and for it was claimed for seven days a pall hung over the city. The High Septon remained staunchly opposed to Maegor.
At the Battle of Stonebridge, Maegor brutal methods against the Faith made the Mander run red with blood for twenty leagues. The bridge and castle that commanded it was forever known as Bitterbridge thereafter. Another fierce battle was fought at the Great fork of the Blackwater which was a decisive victory for King Maegor whose dragon left death in it's wake.
The Faith Militant uprising was not crushed, and through out Maegor's reign they remained his most bitter foes. He crushed the rebellions with ruthless and brutal methods,and instituted a new set of laws that became known as Maegor's law, forbidding Holy men from carrying arms. He put bounties on any who refused to comply offering a gold dragon for the scalp of a Warrior's Son and a silver stag for the scalp of a Poor Fellow, earning him his nickname "The Cruel".
The Faith wasn't the only opposition Maegor faced during his reign. Aenys' eldest son, Prince Aegon, launched a rebellion against Maegor, to try and win back the throne that by law should have been his. This ended in the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye in 43 AC, when Maegor, mounted on Balerion, killed Aegon, along with Aegon's dragon, Quicksilver.
Maegor's reign wasn't only filled with death and violence. Maegor's father had ordered the construction of the Red Keep, and Maegor continued it. Lacking any heirs, Maegor had thrown himself on the project, personally overseeing everything. While he left the day to day task of running the kingdom to his Hand of the King and goodfather, Lord Lucas Harroway, while he himself had a host of tunnels and secret passageways hidden under the castle build. In 45 AC, Maegor saw the Red Keep completed, and Maegor's Holdfast was subsequently named after him.
But even the great accomplishment of completing the Red Keep was turned into horror by Maegor. Upon the completion of the Red Keep Maegor threw a huge riotous feast for the builders, masons, craftsmen and all those who took part in the construction. After three days of revelry at the Kings expense, Maegor had them all put to the sword, in order to protect the secrets of the hidden passages he had constructed.
After the completion of the Red Keep, Maegor planned to have the ruins of the Sept of Remembrance cleared away from Rhaenys's Hill, and decreed that a large Dragonpit would be built on the hill for House Targaryen to stable its royal dragons. After all that had happened to the builders of the Red Keep, it should be unsurprising that Maegor had trouble finding new builders and masons to undertake the construction. As many fled the city, Maegor was forced to use prisoners from the city's dungeon's as his work force supervised by builders brought in from Myr and Tyrosh.
After Maegor wiped out House Harroway in 44 AC he decreed that only the strongest of his knights would have the castle of Harrenhal, though not all the lands. Twenty three knights fought in the blood-soaked streets of Lord Harroway's Town for the prize. Ser Walton Towers, though gravely wounded in the melee was the victor, and House Towers was granted Harrenhal, though Ser Walton died soon after from the wounds he took in gaining his prize. 
In 44 AC Maegor's mother, Dowager Queen Visenya passed away. Her death devastated Maegor, as she had been his strongest supporter. The chaos that her death left gave Dowager Queen Alyssa Velaryon an opportunity to escape with her two youngest children, Jaehaerys and Alysanne, from Dragonstone. She took the Valyrian sword Dark Sister with her and fled. In response, Maegor had her eldest surviving son, Prince Viserys, tortured to death by Tyanna of the Tower after nine days of questioning. His mutilated body was left in the courtyard for a fortnight, in an attempt to force Dowager Queen Alyssa to return to claim her sons body. Alyssa did not retrurn.
Another important death occured in 44 AC. The High Septon died mysteriously and was replaced by a more passive one, yet not even this ended the uprising. The Faith Militant refused to put down their swords, and thus in 45 AC Maegor continued his war against the Faith. In 46 AC, Maegor brought over two thousand skulls back with him to King's Landing during his campaign against the Faith, claiming they were the heads of Warrior's Sons and Poor Fellows. Many suspected they were the skulls of smallfolk who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Day by day, the Seven Kingdoms turned against its King.
By 48 AC Maegor's tyranny could no longer be borne by the realm. In the Riverlands, Septon Moon and Ser Joffrey Doggett led the Poor Fellows against Maegor and won Riverrun to their cause. Lord Daemon Velaryon, the admiral of Maegor's fleet, turned against him and many great Houses joined him. A new claim for the Iron Throne was put forth by the late king Aenys I's last surviving son, Prince Jaehaerys, who was supported by Lord Robar Baratheon of Storm's End, who Jaehaerys named Protector of the Realm and Hand of the King.
When Rhaena Targaryen learned of her brother's claim she managed to escape her forced marriage to Maegor. Stealing away in the night while her husband slept, she mounted on her dragon Dreamfyre and managed to smuggle the blade Blackfyre with her. Two of Maegors Kingsguard also abandoned him. These series of betrayals and the loss of his mothers 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.
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 slaughter and desired revenge, and some whispered that Maegor had been killed by the throne itself. Perhaps the most likely explaination however is that Maegor killed himself by opening his wrists on the blades of the Iron Throne. He died with no issue.
The Brides of Maegor
Maegor had been engaged in polygamous marriages, and had up to six wives. His first wife was Lady Ceryse Hightower, who he married at the age of thirteen in 25 AC. Maegor claimed to have consummated his marriage to Ceryse a dozen times during their wedding night, but the marriage itself proved barren. When Ceryse continued to fail to birth him an heir, Maegor started talking about other brides.
The first of those other brides married Maegor in 39 AC: Lady Alys Harroway, daughter of Lucas Harroway, the new Lord of Harrenhal. The marriage had been a secret one, and the ceremony had been led by Queen Visenya. When Maegor chose exile, Alys accompanied him.
During his three years in exile, Maegor met Tyanna, who would become the most feared of all his wives. She married Maegor in 42 AC, but this marriage was just as barren as the previous two marriages were. She served her husband as Master of Whisperers.
In 44 AC, Alys was the first of Maegor's wives to give birth to a child. 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'. Maegor, in response, had Alys, her father (and Hand of the King), and every other Harroway he could find executed.
In 45 AC, Ceryse suddenly fell ill and died. Rumor held that she had been killed at Maegor's own command. Tyanna would die in 48 AC, killed by Maegor himself, after she admitted to poisoning the other brides, causing the stillbirths. Maegor cut out her heart with Blackfyre and fed it to his dogs.
The Black Brides
Main article: Black Brides
- Lady Elinor Costayne was the youngest of the three Black Brides, who had been married to Ser Theo Bolling, and had birthed him three children. Ser Theo had been arrested by the Kingsguard, accused of conspiring with Dowager Queen Alyssa Velaryon, and executed - all on the same day. Elinor, now nineteen years of age, was summoned to marry Maegor two weeks later. Elinor became pregnant with Maegor's child, and she birthed an eyeless child with small wings. Elinor would survive Maegor's reign.
- Lady Jeyne Westerling, the widow of Lord Alyn Tarbeck, had given her first husband a son posthumous. She became pregnant of Maegor in 47 AC, but the child came three months too soon. Another stillborn monster came forth from her womb, and Jeyne would not long survive.
- Princess Rhaena Targaryen. When Tyanna found Rhaena's twin daughters by Prince Aegon, Aerea and Rhalla, Rhaena was forced to marry Maegor. Maegor named Aerea as his heir (disinheriting Prince Jaehaerys). Rhaena, upon learning that her brother had made his claim, fled King's Landing on the back of Dreamfyre, stealing Blackfyre on the way. She was the second wife to outlive Maegor.
Small Council under Maegor I
During the reign of King Maegor his small council had the following known members:
- Hand of the King - Lord Lucas Harroway
- Hand of the King - Lord Edwell Celtigar
- Master of Whisperers - Queen Tyanna of Pentos
- Grand Maester - Gawen
- Grand Maester - Desmond
|“||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.||”|
|“||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.||”|
References and Notes
- ↑ See the Maegor I Targaryen calculation.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- ↑ So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 1, 2005)
- ↑ Bubonicon 2013 Report
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
- ↑ The Sons of the Dragon, read at LonCon, Aug 15 2014
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
- ↑ Clarification
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- ↑ The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands: House Tully.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 12, Tyrion II.
- ↑ The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Baratheon.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
- ↑ The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn II.