Jump to content

Maegor the Cruel: Absolute Evil, or Misrepresented Monarch?


KingEuronGreyjoy
 Share

Recommended Posts

I find it odd that Maegor is one of, if not the only Targaryen King that seeimingly has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Even Aegon IV can be said to at least have loved his children(some of them). And the fact that the Faith was still massively influential post Maegor, during the reign of the monarch that overthrew him. And the fact is, his death is pretty mysterious in that is seems like a suicide, despite in universe people chalking it up to murder or the throne “rejecting him”. Do you think Maegor is as bad as sources said he was, or is he misunderstood, misrepresented by Faith and Jaeharys propaganda?

 

edit: I’m of the opinion that Maegor was probably a ruthless warrior king, but some of the events and acts of his life & reign were exaggerated in the history books to make him look worse, and to paint Jaeharys and the Faith in a more heroic light.

Edited by KingEuronGreyjoy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, he was cruel and a ruthless killer. 

I don't think many things about his life and reign were exagerated. His reign was so traumatic for the realm that it is just constantly reminded in both knowledge and "song", among the smallfolk. 

There ARE some weird things about him but I think those things were planted by the author and those were footholds for fans to theorize. For example, what the duck was that with the 30 days coma, then some sorcerer lady intervention, then he comes back to life and starting to kick the sh!t out of everyone? Doesn't it sound like mind control? Things like this.

But Maegor was a cruel monarch. And he was also a mass murderer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maegor was as ruthless as he needed to be.  A sensitive monarch like Egg would have failed to hold the kingdom together and worst of all, failed to protect the great Targaryen Dynasty.  The dominant religion, the church of the seven, had its own military arm and they were in the act of rebellion.  Maegor counterattacked and did enough damage as to protect House Targaryen.  He can be likened to Theon the Hungry Wolf.  Brutal but effective.  A weak, soft man like Egg would have folded and caved in to the church.  We have to also give credit to brave Visenya.  They saved the Targaryen Dynasty. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't find it all that odd for him to be as cruel as history makes him out to be, there's obviously argument for some things to be exaggerated because no matter how arcuate people try to be, even eye witnesses could have easily misunderstood situations and events. There's also quite a few good theories for why he might've been so cruel, one of which is what you mentioned about the 30 day coma and Tyanna of the Tower being a sorcerer and possibly doing things that drove him to be more cruel than he had originally been. There's another theory that he wasn't actually truly human but rather a baby made of dark magic by Visenya because she wasn't getting pregnant by Aegon the conqueror, and at first neither was Rhaenys and they needed an heir. I kind of like the dark magic theory best because I feel like it ties them closer to Old Valyria - which while I know they themselves weren't in Valyria before the doom, even after like what 6 generations being on dragonstone, someone might've still known some kind of magic stuff that could lead to her having an evil magic baby. 

That being said, inevitably with a monarchy you are going to have someone who is either straight up a bad egg or had something force their hand. Someone who gets a taste of power and is driven mad by that power, or someone driven by greed. Potentially it could have been something like with Aerys where something happened (I believe for Aerys it was being held captive and the death/stillbirth of his one baby) and he was traumatized or it caused a psychotic break. Something like that could have easily happened and no one is with the King absolutely 24/7, so no one may have known about it. Could have been a personality disorder, maybe he got secretly poisoned and it damaged his brain leading to hyper aggression. Maybe he got Westerosi rabies.   Could also just be GRRM needing an obvious example for the 'madness' that Targs could possibly suffer from. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

Maegor was as ruthless as he needed to be.  A sensitive monarch like Egg would have failed to hold the kingdom together and worst of all, failed to protect the great Targaryen Dynasty.  The dominant religion, the church of the seven, had its own military arm and they were in the act of rebellion.  Maegor counterattacked and did enough damage as to protect House Targaryen.  He can be likened to Theon the Hungry Wolf.  Brutal but effective.  A weak, soft man like Egg would have folded and caved in to the church.  We have to also give credit to brave Visenya.  They saved the Targaryen Dynasty. 

Maegor was right to destroy and outlaw the faith militant , that's one of his positives 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/4/2022 at 1:31 PM, KingEuronGreyjoy said:

I find it odd that Maegor is one of, if not the only Targaryen King that seeimingly has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Even Aegon IV can be said to at least have loved his children(some of them). And the fact that the Faith was still massively influential post Maegor, during the reign of the monarch that overthrew him. And the fact is, his death is pretty mysterious in that is seems like a suicide, despite in universe people chalking it up to murder or the throne “rejecting him”. Do you think Maegor is as bad as sources said he was, or is he misunderstood, misrepresented by Faith and Jaeharys propaganda?

 

edit: I’m of the opinion that Maegor was probably a ruthless warrior king, but some of the events and acts of his life & reign were exaggerated in the history books to make him look worse, and to paint Jaeharys and the Faith in a more heroic light.

Lords Randyll, Tywin, Stannis, and Hoster would have done to the Faith much worse if they were threatening their family.  The Faith should mind its own business.  Maegor could have exterminated those bugs and should have.  I may be alone in this opinion but I am not an admirer of Jaeherys and Barth.  He gave the Faith and that Barth too much input in the operations of his kingdom.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I take Maegor more or less at face value as a villainous person who does vile things.

I'm not too interested in the question of whether he had no redeeming qualities whatsoever or whether he was worse than Aegon IV.  That to my mind sets a rather low standard for non-villainy.  I am somewhat intrigued, though, by the related idea that he became even more monstrous after being magically healed by Tyanna.  Especially as I suspect that mirrors some themes that we see in the main series.

This thread is starting to get a distinct "Nero wasn't all bad; at least he slaughtered the Christians" vibe to it.  Maybe tone it down a bit with the extermination rhetoric.  Some of us bugs are listening.  Nor do I think GRRM is 100% on your side.  He has said that when he reads history he tends to side with the Catholics.  And I do think that he tends to portray the Faith of the Seven, for all its warts, as on balance a force for good within the Seven Kingdoms.

Edited by Gilbert Green
Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, Gilbert Green said:

I take Maegor more or less at face value as a villainous person who does vile things.

I'm not too interested in the question of whether he had no redeeming qualities whatsoever or whether he was worse than Aegon IV.  That to my mind sets a rather low standard for non-villainy.  I am somewhat intrigued, though, by the related idea that he became even more monstrous after being magically healed by Tyanna.  Especially as I suspect that mirrors some themes that we see in the main series.

This thread is starting to get a distinct "Nero wasn't all bad; at least he slaughtered the Christians" vibe to it.  Maybe tone it down a bit with the extermination rhetoric.  Some of us bugs are listening.  Nor do I think GRRM is 100% on your side.  He has said that when he reads history he tends to side with the Catholics.  And I do think that he tends to portray the Faith of the Seven, for all its warts, as on balance a force for good within the Seven Kingdoms.

Very few people are 100% evil (Caligaula loved his wife, daughter and horse, he may have had a point about his horse being smarter than some of the senators but it still can't talk)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Rondo said:

The Faith should mind its own business.

The Targaryens should mind their own business and not invade Westeros.

7 hours ago, Rondo said:

Maegor could have exterminated those bugs and should have. 

You do realise the Faith is the religious majority of the continent?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think its pretty likely that the history of his atrocities was exaggerated by the Faith and Citadel, since they are meant to paralel the Catholic Church and the Academic Stabilishment of our own world, and those are well known for forging history for centuries to serve their own ends, hell, some portions of history are still being forged and altered as we speak so really it isn't anything other-wordly, and they have all the reason to do that, Maegor was an enemy of the Faith and Oldtown, where the Citadel and their main benefactor the hightowers reside, of course they would exaggerate his atrocities.

But if we remove the veneer of exaggeration from him, you probably end up with a ruthless king who could either be cruel by his own nature or cruel by the enviroment he was in, because we can say whatever we want about how he killed people and disbanded the faith militant by force and killed all those builders, but we must not forget that this is a middle ages-like setting, where people actually do this unprovoked against you sometimes and you need to react on the same coin if you want to live. 

He was pretty early on the line of Targaryen kings, so he had to consolidate his rule by the quickest route probably, as the Targaryens where alien to the culture, religion and people of Westeros, so it only makes sense that he would lash out with violence. Am i saying this is good or smt? Nope, all i'm saying is that he was consolidating power like any other person would, and thus calling him "absolute evil" really isn't warranted as if you did that you would have to call everyone who consolidates power by force absolute evil.

But it also could be that he simply had a knack for violence and just happened to have an excuse to unleash it, thats something we probably will never know since only someone who lived close to him or the man himself could give us a glimpse of what went inside his head. 

Personally, i think he probably had a sadistic and cruel nature by himself, becuase he's a Targaryen, i think people forget many times that the Targaryens are the last remnants of the sadistic slaving genocidal maniacal culture that was Valyria, so really a non-evil Valyrian/Targ should be the exception rather than the norm. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

The Targaryens should mind their own business and not invade Westeros.

11 hours ago, Rondo said:

Andal savages who violently spread their Filth of the Seven should mind their own business and not invade Westeros.

3 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

You do realise the Faith is the religious majority of the continent?

You do realize it was through genocide and forceful conversions, right?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Andal savages who violently spread their Filth of the Seven should mind their own business and not invade Westeros.

That depends on which version of the story you believe. Andals migrating/invading Westeros to avoid slaving Valyrians is different to Valyrians invading Westeros just because they can.

26 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

You do realize it was through genocide and forceful conversions, right?

There's no evidence of a 'genocide'. Some conversions would have been forceful, likely in the Vale which was the only place the Andals fully conquered. In other places the Faith was spread through marriage. If there had been a genocide it would have been mentioned e.g. by the Vale Clansmen, who would also be unlikely to exist if the Andals had wiped out all the First Men in the one place they had complete control over.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

That depends on which version of the story you believe. Andals migrating/invading Westeros to avoid slaving Valyrians is different to Valyrians invading Westeros just because they can.

There's no evidence of a 'genocide'. Some conversions would have been forceful, likely in the Vale which was the only place the Andals fully conquered. In other places the Faith was spread through marriage. If there had been a genocide it would have been mentioned e.g. by the Vale Clansmen, who would also be unlikely to exist if the Andals had wiped out all the First Men in the one place they had complete control over.

And they massacred the Children to near extinction, and tried to invade the North to forcefully convert the North. The Hungry Wolf woke and made them suffer for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...