Maekar I Targaryen
Maekar I Targaryen was Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and the fourteenth Targaryen king to sit the Iron Throne. He was the fourth son of King Daeron II Targaryen, and was given the Targaryen seat of Summerhall, and was thus known as the Prince of Summerhall. Maekar was a capable army commander who served in two of the Blackfyre Rebellions. After a number of unexpected deaths in the royal family, he came to the throne in 221 AC.
Appearance and Character
Maekar was powerfully built and wore a beard. His eyes were violet, and his hair was such a pale blond that it was almost white. He had straight hair and a square-cut beard, both being the color of silver with a hint of gold. He was thickly-built and powerful-looking. Pox scars marred his cheeks.
Maekar was a harsh man, quick to judge and to condemn. Unlike his brother Baelor, he was not charismatic and could not make friends and allies easily. After Baelor's accidental death by his hands, Maekar became even more stern and unforgiving.
Maekar was the fourth son of King Daeron II Targaryen and Queen Mariah Martell. He had three older brothers: Baelor, Aerys, and Rhaegel. While King Daeron was no warrior, it was noted that two of his sons - Baelor and Maekar - appeared to be "all that could be wished in a knight, lord, or heir." Baelor was a tourney champion at seventeen, and Maekar seemed likely to show similar skills.
As a fourth son, Maekar was not expected to rule. He married young, to Lady Dyanna Dayne, and had four sons and two daughters, Daeron, Aerion, Aemon, Daella, Aegon, and Rhae. Maekar was given the Targaryen summer residence of Summerhall for his own seat.
During the First Blackfyre Rebellion in 196 AC, Maekar served as one of the Targaryen commanders. It was his shield wall that held against the "mad" attack of his uncle Bittersteel in the Battle of the Redgrass Field. While his brother Baelor Breakspear attacked the rebel army from the rear with a host of stormlords and Dornishmen, Maekar rallied what remained of Lord Donnel Arryn's vanguard and made an unyielding anvil against which the rebels were hammered and destroyed, and the battle was won. Later, a song about "the hammer and the anvil" was made about the battle, with Baelor as the hammer and Maekar the anvil.
Nevertheless, Maekar felt unappreciated. The victory was more attributed to his brother and the errors of Daemon Blackfyre, than to his efforts. In other things he also stood in the shadow of his brothers, wounding his pride. Raymun Fossoway said of him: "Not as bold as Prince Baelor, nor as clever as Prince Aerys nor as gentle as Prince Rhaegel, and now he must suffer seeing his own sons overshadowed by his brother's."
Some time around 207 AC or 208 AC, King Daeron II had four grown sons, three with sons of their own. He felt that having too many potential Targaryen heirs was dangerous, and sent Maekar's third son Aemon to the Citadel to become a maester, despite his father's objections. Maekar's wife Dyanna Dayne died some time before 209 AC.
Tourney at Ashford
In 209 AC, a tourney was held in Ashford. Maekar attended to see his sons Daeron and Aerion compete, and his fourth son Aegon was to squire for Daeron. Unfortunately, the tourney at Ashford Meadow proved disastrous for Maekar and his sons. Daeron drank himself into a stupor before reaching the tournament, Aegon joined the service of the hedge knight Duncan the Tall in disguise as "Egg", and Aerion shamed himself during the joust by deliberately killing his opponent's horse. When Dunk attacked Aerion to defend an innocent puppeteer and Aerion demanded a trial by combat, Maekar supported Aerion's call for vengeance as well as Daeron's accusation that Dunk had kidnapped Aegon.
During the trial of seven, Maekar came to blows with his brother Baelor, who fought for Dunk, and delivered a lethal mace blow to Baelor's head. Baelor survived the trial, but died soon after taking off his helmet. Maekar suspected that he would thereafter be held in suspicion as a kinslayer. Dealing with the problems of his sons, Maekar banished Aerion to the Free Cities and offered Dunk a position in his personal guard to serve as a role model for Aegon. After Dunk refused, Maekar allowed Aegon to accompany Dunk as his squire. Maekar made Aegon promise to keep his hair shaved or dyed, to remain incognito, and also gave him a signet ring with his personal seal for his protection in case of emergencies.
In the Great Spring Sickness of 209 AC, King Daeron and the sons of Maekar's brother Baelor died. Maekar's brother succeeded to the throne as Aerys I Targaryen and appointed their bastard uncle Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers as Hand of the King. Maekar had expected to be appointed Hand and could not get along with Lord Bloodraven, so he withdrew from court to his residence at Summerhall.
After the accidental deaths of Daeron's third son Rhaegel in 215 AC and Rhaegel's son Aelor in 217 AC, the childless king Aerys recognized his sole surviving brother Maekar as his heir, and Maekar became Prince of Dragonstone.
During the Third Blackfyre Rebellion in 219 AC, Maekar was recognized for his leadership. Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers was captured in battle, and Maekar's son Aerion and uncle Bloodraven urged that he be executed. But King Aerys was merciful, and allowed Bittersteel to join the Night's Watch, a fate he managed to escape. Maekar's opinion on Bittersteel's punishment is unknown.
After Aerys's death in 221 AC, Maekar took the Iron Throne. Such was Maekar's desire to split from the past, that upon his coronation he had a new crown forged, more warlike than previous crowns, since the crown of Aegon the Conqueror had been lost in Dorne upon Daeron the Young Dragon's death. Nevertheless, Maekar's reign, coming between two Blackfyre Rebellions, is generally regarded as peaceful. And despite his previous strife with Bloodraven, Maekar kept his uncle as Hand of the King.
Maekar summoned his third son Aemon, who had earned the chain of a maester in 217 AC, to court to serve the Iron Throne. Not wanting to sit on the small council as he felt that would displace the Grand Maester, Aemon chose instead to serve his eldest brother, Daeron, Prince of Dragonstone. This lasted until Daeron died, reputedly from a pox he caught from a whore. In 232 AC, Maekar's second son Aerion also predeceased his father, after drinking a cup of wildfire in the belief that it would turn him into a dragon.
During Maekar's reign, Mad Danelle Lothston, Lady of Harrenhal, reportedly turned to the black arts, causing the downfall of House Lothston. The crown gave the lordship of Harrenhal to House Whent as a reward for their service in bringing the Lothstons down.
In 233 AC, Maekar fell in battle fighting a rebellious lord on the Dornish Marches during the Peake Uprising. According to a semi-canon source, he was crushed to death by a rock hurled from the battlements of Starpike during the storming of the castle. Maekar was succeeded by his fourth son, Aegon V Targaryen, after a Great Council was convened to resolve the political chaos.
Quotes by Maekar I
Quotes about Maekar I
Prince Maekar was a hard man, proud and full of scorn.—Duncan the Tall's thoughts about Maekar
And my father...he never thought the throne would pass to him, and yet it did. He used to say that was his punishment for the blow that slew his brother. I pray he found the peace in death that he never knew in life.
- See the Maekar I Targaryen calculation.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- The Hedge Knight.
- The Sworn Sword.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
- So Spake Martin: Targaryen Kings (November 1, 2005)
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys I.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Aemon.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 26, Jon IV.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands: The Lords of Harrenhal.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons.
- The World of Ice & Fire: georgerrmartin.com The Westerlands (unabridged)
- The Mystery Knight.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 26, Samwell III.
- Kiera of Tyrosh was widowed when Valarr Targaryen died from the Great Spring Sickness; some time later she married his cousin Daeron.