As the youngest child and the fourth son of King Daeron II, Maekar was not expected to inherit the throne. As many younger sons did, he trained as a knight and seems to have been an effective warrior, although slightly unusual for favouring a mace over the sword in combat. Maekar was already a grown man when the Blackfyre Rebellion erupted and led troops in the Battle of Redgrass Field against the forces of the usurper, Daemon Blackfyre. Although the late arrival of Maekar's forces, along with those of his brother Baelor, at the battle did mean more deaths, it also meant that Daemon's forces were fully committed and unable to withdraw effectively. Maekar and Baelor's troops routed the rebels, ending the conflict, although some held that the earlier arrival of the Raven's Teeth under Brynden 'Bloodraven' Rivers had also been of critical value.
In 209 Maekar attended the great tourney at Ashford, along with three of his sons, his brother Baelor and his two sons. Maekar was unimpressed when his eldest son, Daeron, absconded to visit a tavern and his youngest, Aegon, temporarily disappeared. His second son, Aerion, entered the lists, challenging Ser Humphrey Harding. Ser Humphrey was credited with the victory and given Aerion's destrier as recompense for his own horse, which was slain, most believe deliberately, by Aerion in the joust. Angered, Aerion later attacked a Dornish puppeteer, Tanselle Too Tall, for depicting a fight between knights and a dragon in which the dragon was killed, claiming it was an insult against House Targaryen. When a hedge knight named Ser Duncan the Tall intervened and injured the prince, the result was a call for single combat. Aerion called for a Trial of Seven, claiming his brother Daeron also had a dispute with Ser Duncan and this would allow both or them to receive justice. Maekar joined with his sons and ordered three members of the Kings' Guard to do so as well. To Maekar's astonishment and fury, his brother Baelor took Duncan's side, and fought as one of his seven. During the fight that followed Maekar's mace damaged Baelor's helmet, but Maekar was nevertheless overcome and Duncan's team proved victorious. When the battle was over and the fighters' armour was removed, Baelor was revealed to have suffered catastrophic head wounds, and died almost immediately.
Maekar felt sickened and shamed by the accidental killing of his brother. Aware of Aerion's deficiencies, he sent him to the Free Cities for 'seasoning'. His youngest son, Aegon, had served as Ser Duncan's squire before and during the Trial of Seven and refused to squire for any other knight. Maekar was astounded when Ser Duncan rejected his offer of service at Summerhall and agreed to accept Aegon (Egg) only if he could take him on the road. Given the failings of his two oldest sons, Maekar did acceed to Ser Duncan's terms in the hope that doing without royal privileges would make his youngest son a better man.
When the Great Spring Sickness killed his father, Maekar's brother Aerys took the throne. Maekar fully expected to be named the King's Hand and was instead shocked when Bloodraven was awarded the honour instead. Maekar went and 'sulked' at the Targaryen summer palace of Summerhall for most of the next ten years.
Reign and DeathEdit
When Aerys I died without issue, Maekar became king. He disliked Bloodraven and did not permit him to carry on as Hand. Maekar never wanted the throne, according to Maester Aemon.
Maekar's reign was effective but ridden by disappointments and failings. Maekar's eldest son Daeron died of a pox caught from a whore, whilst the increasingly mad Aerion tried to turn himself into a Dragons by drinking wildfire and instead died. Maekar's third son Aemon had become a maester of the Citadel, thus removing himself from the succession. Maekar himself died in 233 whilst fighting an outlaw lord. He was succeeded by his youngest son Aegon.
Maekar's death left a void on the throne, and for the first and last time during the reign of the Targaryens, a Great Council was convened to find a successor. Daeron's feeble-witted daughter and Aerion's infant son were dismissed due to concerns about incompetence and potential madness respectively. The crown was offered to Aemon, but he turned it down and not only retained his role as a maester but removed himself to the Wall and joined the Night's Watch, effectively preventing him from taking the crown twice over. Finally, Maekar's youngest son Aegon took the crown, becoming Aegon V Targaryen.
Character and appearanceEdit
Maekar was a strong warrior. He was highly skilled at arms, but spent his life somewhat in the shadow of his eldest brother Baelor, who was strong and more accomplished at arms. He was handsome, with an impressive beard and moustache and the trademark purple eyes and silver-gold hair of the Targaryens. Maekar preferred to use a spiked mace in combat and typically wore black armour emblazoned with his personal crest (the Targaryen triple-headed dragon repeated four times, two above and two below). Maekar wore a new crown, black iron and red gold, sharply pointed.
Maekar was not as well loved as his older brother Baelor, in whose shadow he seemed irreparably dwarfed: the prince was often perceived as cold, bitter and harsh, whilst Baelor was noble, even-tempered and very popular. A stern and critical man and a hard father, Maekar lacked the easy charisma of Prince Baelor, and after he mortally wounded his brother in single combat he was haunted by the concept that he had effectively killed him until the end of his days - a fact which he acknowledged early on, but nevertheless it made him more merciless and cold.
However, Maekar has his own sense of honour and did not begrudge Ser Duncan the Tall for his major involvement in what led up to Baelor's death, and allowed for his youngest son Aegon to be the man's squire, though he expressed shock and awe at the idea of a prince of the realm serving a hedge knight until Duncan pointed out both Aerion and Daeron's shortcomings. He also saw fit to send Aerion, who had ultimately started the whole incident, to the Free Cities after the trial. He was a courageous man who survived many battles and fought on the front line even when he became king.
Maekar was haunted for the rest of his life by Baelor's death, with his son Aemon describing how he felt that the Iron Throne was 'punishment for the blow that slew his brother'.
Appearances in the seriesEdit
Maekar appears in The Hedge Knight, which depicts the tourney where his brother died.