Maegor I Targaryen

Maegor I Targaryen

Born in the year 12, Maegor I Targaryen, nicknamed Maegor the Cruel, was the youngest son of Aegon I Targaryen and his sister-wife Visenya. Following the brief and troubled reign of his older half-brother, Aenys I, Maegor usurped the crown and became the third king of the Seven Crowns of the Targaryen dynasty in the year 42.

His reign was marked by continuous disputes and horrific massacres. A disgraced and disloyal king, Maegor was eventually abandoned by his own subjects in favor of his nephew, Jaehaerys I Targaryen. He died on the Iron Throne under mysterious circumstances, which gave rise to much speculation.

Married to six women, sometimes several at the same time, Maegor did not manage to produce a viable child. The scandal of these polygamous unions and the lack of an heir contributed to the weakening of his reign.

He rode his father's dragon, Balerion, the Black Terror.

Maegor I Targaryen Personality

Maegor, a hard and brutal man, enjoys violence, war, and tournaments and can't stand any challenge or questioning. He doesn't trust anyone. Shady and quarrelsome, he is easily offended and is as ruthless as he is inflexible.

Maegor is not interested in the intellectual, spiritual or artistic fields. He has many companions over the years, but no real friends. With his wives, he is known to have been lecherous and insatiable.

He has never been close to his brother, Aenys, whose personality and tastes are the opposite of his own. He also dislikes horses, dogs and other animals. A late dragon rider, he was subjected to ironic innuendos, especially from his sister-in-law, Alyssa Velaryon, who insinuated that he was afraid of dragons.

Maegor I Targaryen Physical Appearance

At birth, Maegor is a massive baby, twice the size of his older half-brother. A born warrior, he develops his martial skills early. As an adult, he is taller and more imposing than his own father. He is a muscular, imposing man with broad shoulders, a thick neck and strong arms. He has a beard and short hair.

During his reign, Maegor takes on all the symbols and attributes of power that belonged to his father: he rides the same dragon, Balerion, carries his Valyrian steel sword, Feunoyr, and as king, he wears the same crown.

Maegor I Targaryen History


Maegor was born in the year 12, the youngest son of Aegon I Targaryen and his sister-wife, Visenya Targaryen. This birth is particularly welcome, as it comes at a time when the Targaryen line has as its only heir Aenys Targaryen, his older half-brother, whose weak constitution makes one fear a forthcoming death.

Rumors of remarriage had begun to circulate the year before. This birth stabilized the Targaryen line, giving Aegon the Conqueror "an heir and a recourse.

Maegor spent his childhood with his mother, Visenya, in Peyredragon, while his father and half-brother spent their time on royal wanderings and in King's Landing. For this reason, he was given the nickname "Prince of Peyredragon".

When he reached the age of three, his mother began his martial education and entrusted him to the master of arms, Ser Gawen Corbray. When he was eight years old, he shot the horse that had just kicked him and then disfigured the stable boy who was alerted by the noise. That same year, he became a squire.

At the age of twelve, he was already able to defeat boys of seventeen or eighteen and even experienced men-at-arms. For his thirteenth birthday, his mother gave him his Valyrian steel sword, Blackfyre. That same year, he concluded his first marriage.

First marriage

His half-brother Aenys married Alyssa Velaryon, with whom he had a daughter in the year 23, Rhaena. This birth challenges the order of succession to the Iron Throne established until then: indeed, Rhaena's father, Aenys, is unanimously recognized as the legitimate heir of King Aegon I Targaryen, as the first of his sons.

However, it is not clear who is second in the line of succession: Aenys' daughter Rhaena or Aegon's youngest son Maegor? The rules for the devolution of the crown were not yet clearly established at that time, so both Maegor and Rhaena could later claim to succeed Aenys.

In order to solve the problem, Queen Visenya proposes to betroth Maegor and Rhaena, as allowed by the Valyrian tradition that the Targaryens still follow: their marriage would confuse their legitimacy and their claims to the Throne.

Rhaena's parents reject this union, and the High Septon of Villevieille is categorically opposed to it, as incestuous marriages are considered sins by the Faith of the Seven. King Aegon I finally decides to marry Maegor to the niece of the High Septon, Ceryse Hightower.

Maegor is married to Ceryse in the year 25 by the High Septon in the Starry Sept of Villevieille. Maegor claims to have consummated the marriage a dozen times that night.

In the year 28, Maegor distinguished himself during the royal tournament of Vivesaigues. During the joust, he defeated three knights of the Royal Guard, before falling before the champion.

He then won the melee. His father crowned him with his Valyrian steel sword, Feunoyr: at sixteen, Maegor was the youngest knight of all time.

Over the next two years, Maegor again distinguished himself in the Stone Degrees, alongside the King's Hand, Osmund Fort, and the Master of Ships, Aethan Velaryon, with whom he fought the pirate-king Sargoso Saan.

In the year 31, he pursues the bandit knight, called the Giant of the Trident. During all these years, he refuses all the dragons he is offered, claiming that only one dragon is made for him. He also fails to conceive an heir with his wife, while his half-brother already has several children.

During the reign of Aenys I Targaryen

In the year 37, King Aegon I Targaryen dies in Peyredragon. Maegor delivers his eulogy. His older half-brother, Aenys, is crowned and proclaimed King of the Seven Crowns. The lords, knights and septons, present at the funeral, pay tribute to him.

Maegor is one of them. Aenys raises him up, embraces him and asks him to rule at his side. He honors him by entrusting him with the Valyrian steel sword of their father, Feunoyr.

Soon after, several rebellions break out. Aenys' indecision and inability to deal with the problems forces his bannermen to act on their own: Maegor himself intervenes in the Vale of Arryn, appearing for the first time on his father's dragon, Balerion.

When they see him above the Eyrie, the rebels put their leader, Jonos Arryn, to death through the Moon Gate and surrender. Maegor shows no mercy, punishing all the rebels, even the knights and the best born, by hanging them naked along the walls of the Eyrie.

Upon his return to King's Landing, he is welcomed as a hero. The King's Hand, Lord Alyn Castelfoyer, having died at the hands of another rebel, Harren the Red, King Aenys I Targaryen entrusted the task to his half-brother, Maegor, whose toughness is probably better suited to the government of a newly unified kingdom. For two years, the two brothers governed together in good understanding.

Shortly after the birth of his niece Vaella in the year 39, Maegor announced that his wife was barren and entered into a bigamous union in Peyredragon with Alys Herpivoie. The septon of the castle having refused to officiate, it is his mother, Visenya, who presides over the ceremony, according to a Valyrian rite, not recognized by the religion of the Seven.

She proclaimed them united by blood and fire. This marriage was celebrated without Aenys being informed, which causes a quarrel between the two brothers. The Hightowers and the High Septon rise up, but Maegor defies them, claiming that the laws of the religion of the Seven should govern the conduct of ordinary men but cannot govern the blood of the Dragon.

Outraged, Aenys gives Maegor a choice: either he abandons Alys Herpivoie and returns to his lawful wife, or he must go into exile for five years. In the year 40, Maegor goes into exile, taking Alys Herpivoie and Feunoyr to Balerion, which he refuses to return to Aenys. He leaves Ceryse Hightower in King's Landing.


The years of exile of Maegor and Alys Herpivoie are not well known: they would have gone to Pentos, where they would have met the mysterious courtesan Tyanna of the Tower, who became the couple's intimate.

Meanwhile, in King's Landing, Aenys names her eldest son, Aegon Targaryen, Prince of Peyredragon and marries him to his eldest sister, Rhaena. The first decision provokes the anger of the queen dowager Visenya Targaryen, because the title of prince of Peyredragon was previously the prerogative of Maegor.

The second decision provokes the ire of the Great Septon and the followers of the religion of the Seven, who see in this incestuous marriage a new proof of the decadence and vice of the royal family. The Faith enters into open rebellion against House Targaryen, and during the following year, the War of the Faith undermines the royal authority of Aenys I Targaryen.

He died suddenly in the year 42, while being cared for by Visenya. Visenya does not participate in his funeral: she flies on her dragon Vhagar and goes to find her son in Pentos to warn him and bring him back from exile.

Accession to the Throne

Maegor returns with his mother to Peyredragon where he puts on his father's crown and proclaims himself King of the Seven Crowns. Grand Maester Gawen protests against this usurpation, arguing that the heir to the Iron Throne should be the eldest son of Aenys I, Prince Aegon, and not his younger half-brother.

Maegor silenced him by cutting off his head with his Valyrian steel sword, Feunoyr. He then goes to the painted table room followed by a maester, to whom he dictates letters to be sent to all the lords of the Seven Crowns to assert his claim to the throne.

The next day, Maegor and his mother rode on dragons to King's Landing. They landed on Visenya Hill where they summoned all loyal subjects to join them. Thousands of King's Landing citizens join them. Visenya proclaims that Maegor is now the king and challenges all those who would question his legitimacy to a legal duel.

The religious order of the Sons of the Warrior, which controls the city, responds to the challenge and a trial of the Seven is held to determine if Maegor is indeed the king recognized by the gods.

Having left the Kingsguard in Peyredragon, Maegor has no natural champion with him. He called upon the crowd of his followers, and despite initial hesitation, found six champions to fight at his side.

In the ensuing battles, all the champions on both sides died, except for Maegor: he was terribly wounded in the final duel and appeared to have died, but Queen Visenya removed his helmet and announced that he was still breathing.

Maegor has won the judicial duel: the Seven have recognized him as the rightful ruler of the Seven Crowns. As he leaves the court unconscious, even his enemies, the Sons of the Warrior, kneel.

Maegor remained in a coma for twenty-seven days, during which time the situation in King's Landing seemed uncertain: the Sons of the Warrior were unsure whether to submit to the decision of the gods or to remain loyal to the High Septon and continue the fight while Queen Visenya, with the help of the Kingsguard, coordinated the Targaryen loyalists.

On the twenty-eighth day, Visenya dismisses the priests and septons who were watching over her son and entrusts him to Tyanna of the Tower, who has just arrived in town. The next day, King Maegor is on his feet and presents himself to the cheers of the crowd, surrounded by Alys Herpivoie and Tyanna.

But the cheers quickly died down as Maegor mounted Balerion and unleashed the dragon's fire on the Sepulcher of Remembrance, the stronghold of the Sons of the Warrior. Seven hundred of them die that day, either devoured by the flames or shot by Targaryen pikemen and archers ambushed outside.

The time of battles

Maegor's reign begins in blood and contention: his nephew, Prince Aegon, a refugee in Casterly Rock, accuses him of being a usurper and claims his father's throne.

Maegor orders Lord Lyman Lannister to hand over the prince, but Lord Lyman refuses to obey, so as not to violate the rights of the host while the High Septon remains in open rebellion against the authority of House Targaryen.

Maegor pursues the war of the Faith: in order to curb the power of the High Septon, he bans the Poor Companions and the Sons of the Warrior, the two fighting orders of the Militant Faith. He ordered them to surrender their arms, under penalty of proscription.

As the edict had no effect, he ordered all loyal lords of the Seven Crowns to take up arms and disperse the armies gathered by the Militant Faith. The two battles of Stone Bridge and the Forks of Blackwater follow, breaking the power of the Faith.

Maegor participates in person in the second battle, during which he burns the ost of the Poor Companions.

He triumphantly returns to King's Landing, where he announces that he will conclude another polygamous marriage with Tyanna of the Tower. He executes Grand Maester Myros, who has publicly spoken out against this union.

At the wedding, some of the people Maegor forced to attend the festivities were in the audience: the rebel Wat the Splitter, who was kept alive on purpose, and Alyssa Velaryon, widow of Aenys I and mother of Prince Aegon, who was forced to come with all her family and pledge allegiance to the new ruler.

According to the chroniclers, the wedding night was particularly debauched, with Alys Herpivoie, the second wife, taking part in Maegor and Tyanna's lovemaking.

From 43 onwards, Maegor oversaw the construction of the Red Keep, which he redesigned entirely. On his orders, a vast network of secret passages was built into the fortress walls, allowing for discreet movement and spying on most of the buildings in the building.

He then built a second fortress within the walls, which was later called "Maegor's Citadel". This fortress is not connected to the rest of the network of secret passages, but it has a hidden exit that allows escape outside the walls of the Red Keep.

Finally, four levels of gaols are dug under the fortress, the deepest of which is supposed to serve as a torture chamber. He appointed the father of his second wife, Lord Lucas Herpivoie, as Hand of the King, but he had only a modest role in the government of the kingdom: the real power, it is said, is held by Alys Herpivoie, Tyanna of the Tower and Visenya Targaryen, whose advice Maegor followed.

Maegor's power is still contested by his nephew, who struggles to find supporters, and by the followers of the religion of the Seven, who refuse to pay homage and provide hostages as ordered.

The king let half a year pass, during which he occupied himself with the construction of his Red Keep, before retaliating against the rebels. With their dragons, he and his mother burn the homes of the rebel lords.

Vhagar unleashes his fire on the river lords, while Balerion burns the western lands. They then descend to Villevieille to finish off the Great Septon. When they arrive, the city gates are open, the banners of House Targaryen are flying on the walls and the High Septon is already dead.

A new High Septon has been elected in the meantime, thanks to the diligence of Lord Martyn Hightower.

This High Septon turns out to be much more conciliatory than the previous one: he receives Maegor in the Starry Septuagint, recognizes him as King of the Seven Crowns and blesses his reign, even if he forgets the words of the blessing due to his old age.

While his mother returns to Peyredragon, Maegor remains at the Great Tower, where he presides over the trials of the city's Warrior Sons: three-quarters of them choose to be sent to the Night's Watch, the rest are executed. Seven of them receive the privilege of being put to death by the king himself.

Only one receives a full royal pardon: Ser Morgan Hightower, Lord Martyn's younger brother. Maegor took the opportunity to reconcile with his first wife, Ceryse Hightower, and to renew ties with House Hightower.

The new High Septon officially dissolves the orders of the Militant Faith. Maegor gives the Sons of the Warrior and the Poor Companions until the end of the year to abandon their rebellion and surrender their weapons. After that date, he will put a price on their heads: a golden dragon for a Warrior's Son and a silver stag for a Poor Fellow.

As the year 43 draws to a close, Maegor learns that his nephew, Prince Aegon, is marching at the head of an army towards King's Landing, in order to assert his rights of succession. The battle under the God's Eye lake is fatal to him: Maegor's armies break his ranks and the king, mounted on Balerion, overwhelms his nephew, mounted on Quicksilver, above the God's Eye lake.

The lords who supported Aegon are tried and executed, but Queen Visenya convinces her son to spare some of the rebels, who nevertheless lose titles, lands, and must provide hostages to guarantee their future allegiance.

"Maegor the Cruel"

In the year 44, Queen Alys Herpivoie finally becomes pregnant. On the advice of Grand Maester Desmond, she is confined and Maegor orders his other wives to attend to her. After three moons, the queen begins to bleed and delivers a stillborn baby before term.

The monstrous appearance of the child leads Maegor to suspect a plot: he has the Grand Maester and all the servants who had approached Alys during the confinement period put to death.

His other wife, the mistress of the whisperers Tyanna de la Tour, ends up denouncing a much larger plot than expected: it seems that Lord Lucas Herpivoie, Alys' father, paid men of repute to sleep with his daughter on the nights when the king was away.

Maegor refuses at first to believe it, but Tyanna provides a list of names of twenty people, eighteen of whom confess their treason under torture. Maegor punishes the Herpivoie's felony: he has Lord Lucas, his two daughters, Hana and Jeyne Herpivoie, and all the members of the family present in King's Landing murdered.

Alys herself is handed over to Tyanna of the Tower, who tortures her and prolongs her agony for two weeks under Maegor's eyes. He then has her corpse cut into seven pieces, which are then planted on spikes at the seven gates of King's Landing.

Then, gathering his host, the king goes to the Conflans, where he exterminates what is left of the house Herpivoie in Harrenhal and Lord Herpivoie-Ville. He then offers the former Herpivoie possessions to the houses of Tourelles, Beurpuits and Darry.

Back in King's Landing, Maegor learns of the death of his mother, Visenya Targaryen, and the escape of her precious hostages from Peyredragon: Aenys I's widow, Alyssa Velaryon, and her children, Jaehaerys and Alysanne. Furious, Maegor orders Ser Owen Bosc of the Kingsguard to arrest Prince Viserys, Aenys and Alyssa's eldest son, whom he was holding hostage in King's Landing.

The young man is tortured by Tyanna of the Tower to make him reveal where his mother is hiding. This proves useless and he finally dies after fifteen days. Maegor leaves his body in the courtyard of the Red Keep, convinced that his mother will probably come looking for him. After waiting in vain, Maegor decides to burn his nephew's body.

In the year 45, the Red Keep is completed and Maegor rewards the masons and carpenters with a three-day feast, with wine and prostitutes. Afterwards, he has them put to death by his knights, in order to be the only one to hold the secrets of the castle's underground passages.

Shortly after, Queen Ceryse Hightower also dies, under unclear circumstances. Maegor then decided to clear Rhaenys Hill of the ruins of the Septuary of Remembrance, which had burned down three years earlier, and to build a "dragon stable".

Since he could find few volunteers to work on the project, he used prisoners, supervised by Myrian and Voluntary builders.

Later that year, Maegor leaves the government in the hands of Queen Tyanna and her new Hand Edwell Celtigar. He leads the army against the remaining forces of the Poor Fellows, led by Jeyne Poor the Wormed. He does not return until the year 46, bringing back two thousand skulls supposedly belonging to members of the Militant Faith.

"The Black Brides"

In the year 47, Maegor's advisors suggest that he should remarry, as he has not slept with Queen Tyanna of the Tower for a long time and he still has no heir. Each of them then proposes one or more candidates, who would serve their political interests.

Maegor took some advice: he decided to marry not one, but several women, to increase his chances of obtaining an heir. He chooses three widows, who have already had children. His choice is on:

- His niece, Princess Rhaena, daughter of Aenys I, wife of the late Prince Aegon, from whom she had two daughters,

- Jeyne Ouestrelin, widow of Lord Alyn Tarbeck, from whom she had a posthumous son,

- Elinor Costayne, wife of Ser Theo Boulin, of whom she had three sons. Her husband was accused of conspiracy and executed the same day on Maegor's orders. After a seven-day mourning period, Lady Elinor is summoned by the king, who announces his intention to remarry her.

These widows are nicknamed the "Black Brides". Maegor forces them to accept the marriage by holding their children hostage. There are many rumors about the wedding night.

Some claim that the three women shared the same bed, others that the king changed rooms several times during the night. Princess Rhaena claims in the following years that she tried to kill Maegor on their wedding night.

The next day, Maegor issued a series of edicts: he named Aerea Targaryen, Rhaena's daughter, as heir apparent to the Iron Throne until the gods gave him a son.

His other daughter, Rhaella, is promised to the Faith and sent to Villevieille. Jeyne Ouestrelin's son is confirmed as lord of House Tarbeck and lord of Castle Tarbeck. He is sent as a ward to his lords, the Lannisters of Casterly Rock.

Elinor Costayne's three sons are also separated from their mother: the eldest are sent to the Arryns of Eyrie and the Tyrells of Highgarden, the last one is given to a wet nurse, as Maegor considers that a queen should not breastfeed.

Half a year later, Jeyne Ouestrelin and Elinor Costayne became pregnant. The king showered them with gifts and honors, and their families received lands and titles. Three months prematurely, Jeyne Ouestrelin gives birth to a stillborn, monstrous child and dies soon after. Rumors spread that Maegor was cursed, but he had another explanation.

He sends Ser Owen Bosc and Ser Maladon Moore to seize Queen Tyanna of the Tower. She confesses her crimes without even being tortured: she admits to having poisoned Alys Herpivoie's child, Jeyne Ouestrelin's child... and she warns that Elinor Costayne's child will suffer the same fate. Maegor rips out his wife's heart with the Valyrian steel sword Feunoyr, to feed it to the dogs.

The End

In the year 48, as rumors of a curse spread, Maegor's supporters deserted his ranks, and acts of defiance multiplied. In Accalmie, Rogar Baratheon crowns Maegor's nephew, Jaehaerys Targaryen, as the rightful king of the Seven Crowns.

Jaehaerys vows to end Maegor's tyranny and they are soon joined by Rhaena Targaryen, Jaehaerys' sister and Maegor's niece-wife, who has fled King's Landing with her eldest daughter and Aegon the Conqueror's Valyrian steel sword, Feunoyr.

In retaliation, Maegor orders the Hightowers to execute their ward, Rhaena's youngest daughter, Rhaella, but Lord Hightower prefers to lock up the messenger rather than obey.

Two members of the Kingsguard flee to join Jaehaerys, the royal fleet abandons the king along with Lord Daemon Velaryon, soon followed by the Tyrells, the Hightowers, the Redwynes, the Lannisters, the Arryns, the Royces.

Maegor summons his ban to face his nephew. Only a few lesser lords of the Crown lands show up in King's Landing with their levies. He convenes them in a council of war, but soon his vassals realize they are no match for him.

Maegor has Lord Fengue beheaded for daring to suggest surrender. His head is stuck on a spike behind the Iron Throne, as a warning to all those who would desert.

The council of war continues late into the night. Finally, the lords withdraw, leaving Maegor alone on the Iron Throne. The next morning, as the sun rises, Maegor's last queen, Elinor Costayne, enters the throne room to find the king dead on the Iron Throne, his wrists scarred and his throat pierced by one of the throne swords.

Since that time, there is a legend that the Iron Throne rejects usurpers.

His nephew Jaehaerys I Targaryen succeeded him soon after, to the satisfaction of all.

Years later, during the Red Season of 129, Dionysius the Silver claimed to be descended from a bastard son of Maegor the Cruel.

Maegor I Targaryen Legacy

Maegor leaves a reputation of immense cruelty, especially towards the followers of the religion of the Seven and the Militant Faith. Septons have devoted entire treatises to the war of the Faith.

However, his edicts banning the Militant Faith, though reviled at the time, proved useful during the reign of his successors, and none of them ever repealed them.

He is remembered as a disloyal king, who murdered his own supporters to achieve his ends, such as the craftsmen of the Red Keep[9] or the knight Theo Boulin.

As a result, Maegor is regularly cited as one of the worst kings in the Targaryen line, and during his short-lived reign in King's Landing during the Dance of the Dragons, the pretender Rhaenyra Targaryen is referred to as "King Maegor with loaches."

To a lesser extent, he is also remembered for his architectural projects: Maegor completed the construction of the Red Keep, which began during his father's reign. Part of the building bears his name, Maegor's Citadel. He also undertook the construction of Dragonpit.

According to legend, Maegor was murdered by the Iron Throne itself. Since then, there has been a persistent rumor that the Throne rejects those who are not worthy to rule. Stories of kings and queens injuring themselves on the throne are common, and usually interpreted as a sign of illegitimacy.