Maelys I Blackfyre

From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
Jump to: navigation, search
House Blackfyre 2.svg Captain-general
Maelys I Blackfyre
the Monstrous
Golden Company.svg
Maelys the monstrous2 by mike hallstein-da2emc1.png
Maelys I Blackfyre killing his cousin, Daemon,
by Mike Hallstein
Personal Information
Alias Maelys the Monstrous
Died 260 AC
Race Valyrian
Culture Free Cities

Maelys I Blackfyre,[1] better known as Maelys the Monstrous, was the last of the Blackfyre Pretenders,[2] and the last known member of the male line of House Blackfyre.[3]

Appearance and Character

Maelys had a grotesquely huge torso and arms. He had a second head sprouting from his neck, no bigger than a child's fist.[1][4] He was inhumanly strong, able to kill a destrier with a single punch and tear a man's head clean off his shoulders. He was named "Maelys the Monstrous" for his grotesquely huge torso and arms, fearsome strength, and savage nature.[1]


Maelys Blackfyre fights Ser Barristan Selmy during the War of the Ninepenny Kings, as depicted by José Daniel Cabrera Peña in The World of Ice & Fire

Maelys grew up in exile in Essos, and eventually became a kinslayer deliberately, when he fought his own cousin, Daemon, for command of the Golden Company. Maelys killed Daemon's destrier, and then twisted Daemon's head until he tore it from his shoulders. Following Daemon's death, Maelys assumed command of the Golden Company.[1]

In 258 AC, Maelys gathered with eight other outlaws, exiles and sellsword captains beneath the Tree of Crowns in the Disputed Lands in Essos. There, they formed an alliance called the Band of Nine, promising to aid each other in carving out a kingdom for each member. The Band of Nine pledged to help Maelys in conquering the Seven Kingdoms.[5] While it was generally believed that the Band of Nine would founder in Essos,[5][1] they managed to sack and take Tyrosh, and seize the Stepstones, which made them a real threat to Westeros. Maelys declared himself to be King Maelys I Blackfyre.[1]

In 260 AC, King Jaehaerys II Targaryen sent an army to the Stepstones to meet the Band of Nine in battle. The war, dubbed the War of the Ninepenny Kings, was fought entirely on the Stepstones. Maelys personally killed Lord Ormund Baratheon, Jaehaerys's Hand of the King, early in the war. Towards the war's end, Maelys himself was killed by Ser Barristan Selmy, a young knight from the stormlands, who thereby ended the Blackfyre threat to the Iron Throne.[1][3][2] Maelys's death decided the war, as the other members of the Band of Nine were barely interested in Westeros, and fell back to their own domains. Their union would not last much longer.[1]

Recent Events

A Storm of Swords

Jaime Lannister reads Barristan Selmy's page in the White Book of the Kingsguard, where it is written that he slew Maelys the Monstrous, last of the Blackfyre Pretenders, in single combat during the War of the Ninepenny Kings.[2]

A Feast for Crows

Jaime recalls visiting Riverrun as a boy, ignoring Lysa Tully while begging her uncle Brynden for tales of Maelys the Monstrous and the Ebon Prince.[6]

A Dance with Dragons

In Essos, Illyrio Mopatis tells Tyrion Lannister that when Maelys died, the male line of House Blackfyre came to an end. That night, Tyrion has a nightmare where he has two heads, and fights in battle alongside Barristan Selmy and Bittersteel, slaying his father and brother while his second head weeps.[3]

At the camp of the Golden Company, Jon Connington sees that the captain-general's tent is surrounded by a ring of pikes topped with the gilded skulls of previous captain-generals. Maelys's skull is larger than the rest, grotesquely malformed, and below it is a second, fist-sized skull, that of Maelys's nameless twin brother.[4]

Barristan Selmy recalls that King Jaehaerys II Targaryen had granted him the white cloak of the Kingsguard after he slew Maelys Blackfyre during the War of the Ninepenny Kings.[7]


When Maelys the Monstrous died upon the Stepstones, it was the end of the male line of House Blackfyre.[3]


Aegon IV
Daemon I
of Tyrosh
Daemon II
Two sons
Daemon III

Behind the Scenes

Chapter drafts dating back to October 2003 and June 2004 present an alternative origin of Maelys's sobriquet "the Monstrous." In these early versions, Tyrion Lannister assists a history lesson given by Haldon Halfmaester to Young Griff in which lore about the Band of Nine and the Blackfyres is taught. Haldon explains that after killing his cousin Daemon, Maelys read in old Valyrian scrolls gifted by Samarro Saan that king's blood could wake dragons out of stone. He then sacrificed his only son, the four-year-old Maenar, in a fire ritual in order to hatch old dragon eggs. The attempt failed, however, and Maelys was thereafter known as "Maelys the Monstrous."

Those drafts were originally intended for the fourth book in the series before George R. R. Martin split it into two books: A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. In the end those drafts became part of A Dance with Dragons, Tyrion III but the information about the Blackfyres was scrapped entirely from that chapter. Tyrion does take part in one of Haldon's history lesson in the following chapter but the subject matter is the Free City of Volantis and not the Blackfyres.

The story of Maelys killing his cousin Daemon was eventually told in The World of Ice and Fire (published in 2014) and his physical appearance is the reason given for his alias. There is currently no mention of Maenar in George's published works.[8]


Preceded by Captain-general of the Golden Company
?–260 AC
Next known title holder:
Myles Toyne
Titles in pretence
Preceded by — TITULAR —
King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm

5th Blackfyre Pretender
260 AC
Reason for succession failure:
Blackfyres exiled in 196 AC
Extinction of male line