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"Maegor agreed to marry the High Septon's niece to unite the Faith and the crown, but then secretly wed a second wife in a Valyrian ceremony artfully combining bigamy and heresy."
Petyr Baelish[src]

Lady Ceryse Hightower was a wife of Maegor Targaryen. Their marriage was arranged by her uncle, the High Septon, to create unity between the crown and the Faith of the Seven. However, Maegor married Alys Harroway in a secret Valyrian ceremony while he was still married to Ceryse. King Aenys Targaryen discovered this and exiled Maegor and named Septon Murmison as Hand of the King.[1]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Ceryse was the daughter of Lord Martyn Hightower of Oldtown.

Queen Visenya Targaryen had intended that her son Maegor Targaryen be married to Princess Rhaena Targaryen, but the High Septon suggested his niece instead. Ceryse married Maegor in the Starry Sept in 25 AC, with her uncle performing the rites. She was older than her husband by a decade, being twenty-three while he was only thirteen. Despite Maegor's claim that they had consummated their marriage a dozen times during their bedding, their marriage produced no children. Believing Ceryse to be barren, Maegor married Alys Harroway in a secret ceremony. Once the secret marriage was discovered, Maegor chose exile in Pentos and left Ceryse behind in Westeros. Septon Murmison failed in his attempts to make Ceryse fertile and she eventually returned to her father in Oldtown.

Maegor returned to Westeros following King Aenys Targaryen's death in 42 AC and claimed the Iron Throne. He announced his intention to marry his paramour Tyanna of the Tower, though Grand Maester Myres reminded him that his "one true wife" awaited him in the Hightower. Ceryse insisted that she was Maegor's only lawful queen.

The following year, Maegor and Visenya arrived in Oldtown and threatened to burn the Starry Sept in response to the High Septon's condemnation of his polygamous marriages. The High Septon died shortly after their arrival and Maegor remained in Oldtown for the next six months to provide over the trials of the Warrior's Sons, during which he and Ceryse reconciled. She accepted his other wives and in return he promised to restore her rights, incomes and privileges as his lawful queen. They celebrated this with a great feast and a second consummation, after which they returned to King's Landing.

Ceryse died of a sudden illness shortly after the completion of the Red Keep in 45 AC. It was rumored that she had said something to offend Maegor and he ordered Ser Owen Bush of the Kingsguard to cut out her tongue as punishment, with her struggling causing the knife to slip and accidentally slash her throat, though historians dispute this to be a story created by Maegor's enemies to slander him.

See also

References

v  d  e
Lord: Uncertain Heir: Uncertain
House-Hightower-Main-Shield
Seat: The Hightower, Oldtown Lands: The Reach
Title(s): Lord of the Hightower · Voice of Oldtown
Ancestors:Urrigon Hightower · Peremore Hightower · Lymond Hightower · Dorian Hightower · Runcel Hightower · Manfred Hightower
Current members:Leyton Hightower · Lynesse Hightower
Deceased members:Otto Hightower · Alicent Hightower · Gerold Hightower · Alerie Hightower
Overlord:Lord Bronn of the Blackwater
v  d  e
Lord: None Heir: None
House-Targaryen-Main-Shield
Seat: Dragonstone Lands: Dragonstone
Title(s): Queen of Meereen · Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea · Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men (claimant) · Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms (claimant) · Protector of the Realm (claimant)
Ancestors:Aenar · Daenys · Aegon I, the Conqueror · Visenya · Rhaenys · Aenys I · Maegor I, the Cruel · Rhaena · Aegon · Jaehaerys I, the Concilliator · Alysanne Targaryen · Viserys I · Rhaenys · Daemon · Aemma Arryn · Rhaenyra · Alicent Hightower · Aegon II, the Usurper · Helaena Targaryen · Aemond · Aegon III · Viserys II Targaryen · Jaehaera · Jaehaerys · Maelor · Daeron I, the Young Dragon · Baelor I, the Blessed · Aegon IV, the Unworthy · Naerys · Aemon the Dragonknight · Daena the Defiant · Rhaena · Elaena · Daeron II, the Good · Daenerys of Sunspear · Myriah Martell · Daemon Blackfyre · Brynden Rivers · Aegor Rivers · Shiera Seastar · Baelor Breakspear · Aerys I · Aelinor · Rhaegel · Maekar I · Dyanna Dayne · Aerion Brightflame · Aegon V, the Unlikely · Duncan the Small · Daeron
Deceased members:Aerys II, the Mad · Rhaella Targaryen · Rhaegar Targaryen · Elia Martell · Rhaenys Targaryen · Aegon Targaryen · Lyanna Stark · Viserys Targaryen · Drogo · Rhaego · Aemon Targaryen · Daenerys Targaryen
Household:{Ser Jorah Mormont} · {Ser Barristan Selmy} · {Rakharo} · Kovarro · Aggo · {Qhono} · {Irri} · {Doreah} · Jhiqui · Malakho · {Missandei} · Grey Worm · Daario Naharis · {Mossador}
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