Maelor Targaryen, by riotarttherite ©
|Born||In 127 AC, King's Landing|
|Died||In 130 AC, Bitterbridge|
|Father||Aegon II Targaryen|
Prince Maelor Targaryen was the second son and third child of King Aegon II Targaryen and his sister-wife and Queen Helaena Targaryen. Maelor had older twin siblings, brother Jaehaerys, and sister Jaehaera.
Maelor was born in 127 AC, the third child of his parents, Prince Aegon and Princess Helaena Targaryen. In 129 AC, on the third day of the third moon, Maelor, his two elder siblings, and his mother, went to visit their grandfather, King Viserys I Targaryen. While Viserys told Maelor's siblings a fictional tale[N 1] about their great-great-grandsire, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, Maelor himself was given a pearl ring from Viserys's finger to play with. That night, King Viserys died in his sleep.
The Dance of the Dragons
At the time of the death of King Viserys I Targaryen, Maelor was two years old. His father, Aegon II Targaryen, was crowned king by the greens in King's Landing, but Aegon's older half-sister, Rhaenyra Targaryen, who had been Viserys's proclaimed heir, was crowned queen by the blacks on Dragonstone. This provoked a civil war that became known as the Dance of the Dragons. With his father now king, the two-year-old prince became second in line to the Iron Throne.
At the start of the war, Maelor's uncle, Prince Aemond Targaryen, killed Prince Lucerys Velaryon, the second son of Queen Rhaenyra. Her husband Prince Daemon Targaryen declared vengeance, writing that there would be "An eye for an eye, a son for a son". Sometime thereafter, two men, remembered as Blood and Cheese, snuck into the chambers of Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower in the Tower of the Hand. As was her custom, Queen Helaena Targaryen took her three children to visit their grandmother at dusk, before they went to bed. Once Helaena entered the chambers with Jaehaerys, Jaehaera, and Maelor, Blood barred the door and slew Helaena's guardsman, while Cheese snatched Maelor. Cheese told Helaena that they were two "debt collectors", and asked which one of her sons she wanted to lose. The queen offered herself but the two killers refused, telling her that it had to be a son, a boy. As the queen agonized over the decision, Cheese warned her to make a choice soon, before Blood grew bored and raped Jaehaera. The weeping Helaena eventually named her youngest child, two-year-old Maelor, who she deemed to be too young to understand what was happening. Cheese told Maelor his mother wanted him dead, then grinned at Blood, who slew Prince Jaehaerys instead, striking off the boy's head with a single blow from his sword. The two men did no further harm to Helaena, Jaehaera, or Maelor, fleeing with Jaehaerys's head in hand while Helaena screamed.
After Jaehaerys's death, Queen Helaena became deeply depressed and slowly sank into madness, and refused to eat, bathe, or leave her chambers. She couldn't stand to be in the presence of Maelor, having named him to die. Thus, King Aegon II took Maelor from her and gave him to Queen Alicent to raise as if he were her own. With the death of his older brother, Maelor became the king's heir, and the de facto Prince of Dragonstone. The deaths of both Prince Lucerys and Prince Jaehaerys set the civil war ablaze, with both sides calling for vengeance and unwilling to show any mercy.
In 130 AC, during the Fall of King's Landing, when Rhaenyra Targaryen's dragons first appeared in the skies above the city, the master of whisperers Lord Larys Strong spirited Maelor out of the city along with his father, King Aegon II, and older sister, Jaehaera. Larys led them out through a secret passage of Maegor's Holdfast, of which only he had knowledge. Maelor was put in the charge of Ser Rickard Thorne of the Kingsguard, who swore to bring him safely to Oldtown, while the Kingsguard Willis Fell was charged to bring Jaehaera to Storm's End. After the escape, Rhaenyra posted huge rewards for information leading to the capture of Aegon, Jaehaera, Maelor, Willis Fell, Rickard Thorne, and Larys Strong. When that failed to produce anything, Rhaenyra sent out hunting parties of "knights inquisitor" to seek out the escapees, and punish anyone who helped them.
At the blacks-held Bitterbridge, while traveling incognito and claiming Maelor was his son, Rickard Thorne attempted to stay at the Hogs Head, a disreputable inn, but there were no rooms left. Rickard showed a silver stag to the innkeep, Ben Buttercakes, and Ben allowed him to stay in the stables, if he cleaned them first. Once Rickard did so, Ben offered him a drink, as a pretext for his stableboy to search for more money in Rickard's belongings. Sly did not find any coins, but he did find Maelor's dragon egg, wrapped in Rickard's white cloak. When Sly informed the inn's common room of his discovery, Rickard fled the inn with Maelor, slaying Ben on his way out and stealing a horse from the stables, while a mob of people followed. Not long after, Rickard was killed by crossbowmen on the city's stone bridge, though the Kingsguard clung to his charge until the end. A washerwoman, Willow Pound-Stone, had to tear a crying Maelor from his arms.
However, once the mob killed Rickard and seized Maelor, they did not know what to do with him. They debated whether to bring him to far away King's Landing for Rhaenyra's reward, or take him to nearby Longtable and the camp of the green Lord Ormund Hightower, who might pay more for Maelor. A fight broke out between Sly the stableboy, the crossbowman who had killed Rickard, and Willow Pound-Stone, who said no one was going to hurt her new son. It is disputed what happened next: Mushroom claims Willow Pound-Stone accidentally crushed Maelor to death, Eustace says he was chopped into six pieces by a butcher so everyone might have a piece, and Munkun writes that Maelor was torn apart by the mob. All that is known for sure is that by the time Lady Caswell and her knights arrived, Maelor was dead.
Lady Caswell, after hanging those responsible for the prince's death, had Ser Rickard's corpse and Maelor's head sent to Queen Rhaenyra at King's Landing. She also sent Maelor's dragon egg to Lord Ormund Hightower at Longtable, in hope that it might appease his fury. Mushroom says that Rhaenyra cried when presented with Maelor's head, whereas Eustace says she smiled, and ordered that the head be cremated per Targaryen funeral customs. However, false rumors spread through King's Landing, perhaps spread by Larys Strong, that Rhaenyra had Maelor's head delivered to his mother, Queen Helaena, in a chamberpot.
When the green army commanded by Lord Ormund Hightower arrived at Bitterbridge, Lady Caswell tried to yield in exchange for a safe conduct for her and her family. However, Prince Daeron Targaryen was furious about the death of his nephew, and granted no mercy. Bitterbridge was sacked and burned, while the population was executed or pushed into the Mander to drown. The Hogs Head was the first buiding put to the torch. Lady Caswell begged Lord Ormund to spare her children, before she publicly hanged herself from her castle's gatehouse.
—Cheese, to Maelor
The gods will curse us all for this.—Lady Caswell, in response to Maelor's death
You shall receive the same terms you gave my nephew Maelor.
- Elio Garcia has stated that George R. R. Martin confirmed to him that this story was made up by Viserys to entertain his grandchildren.
- Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
- The Princess and the Queen.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son.