Maelys I Blackfyre
|Maelys the Monstrous
|In 260 AC, at Stepstones
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. 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.
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.
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. While it was generally believed that the Band of Nine would founder in Essos, 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.
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. 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.
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.
A Feast for Crows
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.
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.
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.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 55, The Queensguard.
- Reddit: Secrets of the Cushing Library: The Grand Finale by u/gsteff