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Order of Maesters
Order of Maesters

"The leechings have always brought His Grace relief."

Mellos was the Grand Maester on the Small Council of King Viserys I Targaryen.



Mellos studied at the Citadel to become a member of the Order of Maesters.[2] Although he serves House Targaryen, he is loyal to Otto Hightower and tends to support him in council.[3]

House of the Dragon: Season 1[]

In 112 AC,[d] nine years into the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen, Mellos attends a meeting of the Small Council in the Red Keep. When the discussion turns to the topic of the upcoming Heir's Tournament the king asks him if his predictions of Queen Aemma's due date will be correct. Mellos responds that he has been over the moon charts and the estimation is as accurate as it can be. Viserys is also adamant that the child is to be a son, but Mellos advises caution as there is no way of knowing for certain the sex of the baby in the womb. Later that night, Mellos is attending to an infected wound, that is not healing, on the king's back in his private chambers with the assistance of Maester Mickon. Mellos suggests leeches be applied but Mickon recommends cauterization instead, which he concurs with. He is instructed by Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, to keep the affliction a secret. Mellos attends a Small Council meeting at which Prince Daemon's actions with the City Watch and the criminals of King's Landing is discussed.[2]

During the Heir's Tournament Mellos summons the king to Queen Aemma's chambers as she is having difficulties in labor. He apprises Viserys that the child is in breech and attempts to turn it have failed. The king demands Mellos do something for the pain but he has already given the queen as much milk of the poppy as he can without harming the unborn infant. He later advises Viserys that he must choose to save one or lose both and that they have to act now or leave it to the gods, with the king giving his consent to save the baby. Mellos then performs the procedure on Aemma cutting the child free from her womb, killing the queen from blood loss. He announces to Viserys that the child is a boy and asks if he and the queen had chosen a name, to which the king replies Baelon. Mellos then notices the child beginning to choke in his arms.[2]

Mellos attends the funeral of Queen Aemma and Prince Baelon. At the Small Council meeting discussing the succession, Mellos supporting Otto's arguments, stating that Daemon being the uncontested heir could destabilize the realm. After Viserys dismisses Otto's point of removing the prince from power, Mellos allows that he should keep his place at court but insinuates that Daemon could be willing to murder him to seize the Iron Throne, which the king angrily rebuffs. Mellos then offers that it may be wise for Viserys to name a successor, enabling Otto to suggest Rhaenyra. When Lord Lyonel Strong objects that no woman has sat the throne in one hundred years, Mellos responds that it is only by tradition and precedent. The king refuses the notion of choosing between his brother and his daughter, and the discussion ends with a furious Viserys berating his Small Council for behaving like crows squabbling over corpses while he is still mourning his wife and son.[2]

At the Tower of the Hand Mellos is ordered to promptly dispatch a message by raven to Oldtown by Otto. Mellos later attends a Small Council meeting, during which Daemon is reported to have held a celebratory party at a pleasure house on the Street of Silk and is claimed to have dubbed Baelon the "Heir for a Day." Mellos is in attendance at the ceremony naming Rhaenyra as Princess of Dragonstone and heir to the Iron Throne.[2]

At the Small Council meeting following the death of Lord Commander Ryam Redwyne, Mellos informs the king that Ser Ryam died peacefully in his sleep, and that the new Lord Commander, Ser Harrold Westerling, wishes to find his replacement on the Kingsguard. When King Viserys's finger becomes infected, Mellos provides maggots to eat away at the dead flesh and stop the advance of the rot. When Viserys mentions Lord Corlys Velaryon's proposal that he marry his daughter Laena, Mellos advises him to accept, on the basis that it would help mend the rift between their houses suffered at the Great Council at Harrenhal. In response to Viserys's doubts that Rhaenyra would approve, Mellos says that her approval does not matter, as it is Viserys's duty to remarry and continue to propagate the royal line.[4]

The Small Council is informed by a Dragonkeeper Elder that Prince Daemon has stolen a dragon egg. Mellos reads out a letter to the rest of the council, declaring Daemon's intention to take a second wife, Mysaria, and to place the stolen egg in the cradle of his unborn child by Mysaria. Mellos also informs Viserys that he has been invited to Daemon's wedding. Mellos accompanies Otto Hightower to Dragonstone, to retrieve the egg from Daemon. He witnesses the confrontation between Otto and Daemon, and the arrival of Princess Rhaenyra, who successfully persuades Daemon to return the egg without bloodshed.[4]

Mellos attends the Small Council meeting where King Viserys announces, to the shock of everyone present, that he intends to marry Lady Alicent Hightower.[4]

In 116 AC,[e] Mellos attends the Small Council meeting where the council discuss the Stepstones and Lord Corlys. When King Viserys is confused about the continued hostility of House Velaryon, Mellos explains that Lord Corlys has a wounded pride and that it must be salved. Late at night, Mellos arrives at Rhaenyra's bedchamber. He presents her with a round sealed jar containing a liquid, informing Rhaenyra that he took great care in brewing it, because if not, the liquid might be ineffective or induce negative side effects. When Rhaenrya inquiries about the liquid, Mellos informs her it is a tea, send by order of the King and will rid Rhaenyra of "any unwanted consequences." Mellos bows and leaves the chamber.[5]

After King Viserys returns from High Tide, he collapses in the Red Keep's courtyard and is brought to a bathtub to be attended by his Grand Maester Mellos and Mellos' new younger aid Orwyle. Mellos remains seates and Mellos on yet another round of leechings, but Maester Orwyle suggests that a new mixture of medicines in a poultice might be more effective. Mellos scoffs at this newer treatment and reminds Orwyle that his leechings always improved the king's condition. The ailing Mellos stuggles to stand up however, concerning Orwyle. He and Orwyle leave, once Lord Lyonel Strong enters the chamber to speak with the king. Mellos attends the Wedding of Laenor Velaryon to Princess Rhaenyra, he is seated next to Lyman Beesbury. Mellos stands and claps for the future royal couple and later panics and flees once Ser Criston Cole beats Ser Joffrey Lonmouth to death.[6]

By 126 AC,[c] Mellos has passed away and has been replaced by Grand Maester Orwyle.[1]


Mellos is a stalwart scholar and healer, and a voice of reason on the king's Small Council.[7] He is dismissive of conventional medicine, mostly relying on leechings.[2][6]

Behind the scenes[]

On September 24, 2021, HBO announced that David Horovitch had been cast in the role of Mellos for House of the Dragon. His character description reads as follows:

"A voice of reason and trusted advisor to King Viserys."[8]

In the books[]

In Fire & Blood, there were two Grand Maesters during most of Viserys I's reign: Runciter and then Mellos. The TV series condensed both into one character.

Runciter was appointed as Grand Maester in 101 AC at the very end of King Jaehaerys's reign, mere months before the death of his second son Baelon sparked the need for the Great Council at Harrenhal. Jaehaerys died only two years later and Viserys succeeded him, while Runciter continued to serve as Grand Maester until his own death in 112 AC. His chronicles of this first decade are curt and impartial, trying not to show bias.

The Conclave of archmaesters appointed Mellos as Runciter's replacement. He was considered a moderating voice on the Small Council, urging compromise between the increasingly divided factions forming at the royal court. Mellos was politically neutral and his only goal was to ensure the stability of the realm. On the one hand, this made him frequently counsel King Viserys to forgive his rogue brother Daemon's frequent indiscretions. On the other hand, Mellos was so dedicated to ensuring stability that he urged forcing Viserys's daughter Rhaenyra into a loveless political marriage to further unify the realm.

Mellos was a wise political counselor but perhaps not the best physician in the realm: he was a bit old-minded when it came to medicine and preferred treating many ailments with frequent leechings, while younger maesters achieved more success with medicinal potions and chemical tinctures.

Coincidentally, in the books both Grand Maester Runciter and Ser Harrold Westerling of the Kingsguard died within months of each other in the year 112 AC, two years before Rhaenyra's marriage. In the TV series, the role of Mellos was extended backward in time to merge with the role of Runciter at the beginning of Viserys's realm; conversely, Harrold's role has been expanded forward in time, apparently merging him with aspects of other Kingsguard characters, so that he is still alive late in the reign of Viserys I. Both TV versions are condensation characters: in the books, Mellos and Harrold Westerling never met each other.




  1. Mellos is stated to be in his 70s in the script for "The Heirs of the Dragon;" therefore, he was born between 33 and 42 AC.
  2. "We Light the Way" picks up directly after the events of "King of the Narrow Sea," which takes place in 116 AC.
  3. 3.0 3.1 In "The Princess and the Queen," Laenor Velaryon states that it has been ten years since his wedding to Rhaenyra Targaryen, which occurred in 116 AC; therefore, "The Princess and the Queen" takes place in 126 AC.
  4. House of the Dragon starts in the year 112 AC according to the reference book Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon: Inside the Creation of a Targaryen Dynasty.
  5. "King of the Narrow Sea" takes place a year after "Second of His Name," which takes place in 115 AC, as Aegon II Targaryen is said to be three years old and Daemon Targaryen states that he has been gone from King's Landing for four years.

External links[]

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