Melissa Blackwood, by Magali Villeneuve, as depicted in The World of Ice & Fire
|In 156–161 AC
|King Aegon IV Targaryen
Appearance and Character
Melissa became the sixth mistress of King Aegon IV Targaryen early in the King's reign, in 172 AC, replacing Lady Barba Bracken, who had been sent from court in disgrace. Even though she was Aegon's mistress, Melissa's kind heart and generosity led her to be befriended by Aegon's sister-wife Queen Naerys, her brother Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, and her son Prince Daeron.
Melissa was slender of frame, but Barba had been buxom. When Barba was heard to joke that Melissa was flat as a boy, King Aegon, who previously had renamed the hills known as the Mother's Teats after Barba ("Barba's Teats"), named the mountains for Melissa instead and granted them to House Blackwood. Members of House Bracken still refer to the hills as "Barba's Teats", while members of House Blackwood still call them "Missy's Teats".
Melissa was King Aegon's mistress for five years, during which she gave birth to three children: two daughters, Mya and Gwenys, and a son, Brynden Rivers. Brynden would later be able to maintain close relations at court, due to the fact that his mother had been well loved during her time there, even after her dismissal.
Lord Bracken, with the help of his daughter Barba, groomed his younger daughter Lady Bethany to replace Melissa. In 177 AC, King Aegon visited Stone Hedge to see his bastard son by Barba, Aegor Rivers, and Bethany caught his eye and returned with him to King's Landing.
A Dance with Dragons
Hoster Blackwood tells Ser Jaime Lannister that the godswood of Raventree Hall contains a statue of Lady Melissa, whom Hoster claims was much more beautiful than Barba Bracken. Hoster also tells Jaime the story of why the Brackens and Blackwoods call the Teats different names.