In the Citadel, Orwyle rose through the ranks and became Grand Maester. His time as a servant was between the reigns of Viserys I and Aegon II Targaryen. Kurt Egyiawan plays Orwyle in the TV version of House of the Dragon.
How Maester Orwyle Looks Like and His Character
Orwyle came from a wealthy family. With a beard, he was an older man during the reign of King Aegon III Targaryen.
Grand Maester Munkun got ideas for his book The Dance of the Dragons, A True Telling from Orwyle’s other works on the subject. But Orwyle’s stories were written while he was in jail, waiting to be put to death, and Archmaester Gyldayn says they were written in a way that made Orwyle look as good as possible. Gyldayn says that this means Munkun’s True Telling talks too highly of Orwyle.
Maester Orwyle in the Dance of the Dragons
Oldtown people picked Archmaester Orwyle as the new Grand Maester when Mellos died in 127 AC. King Viserys I Targaryen got some of his old strength back while Orwyle took care of him.
When King Viserys I died in 129 AD, a fight called the “Dance of the Dragons” began over who would take over the Iron Throne. Right after Viserys died, Orwyle was called to Queen Alicent Hightower‘s rooms for a small council meeting. Munkun’s True Telling says that Orwyle spoke out against Ser Otto Hightower‘s plans to crown their new king, but other stories say that Lord Lyman Beesbury spoke out against it.
After hearing about Rhaenyra Targaryen‘s coronation, Orwyle begged King Aegon II Targaryen to send him to Dragonstone with peace terms. Dowager Queen Alicent and Aegon’s wife, Queen Helaena Targaryen, agreed with his plan to give peaceful terms.
Aegon agreed to make Rhaenyra an offer: if she recognized him as king and bowed before the Iron Throne, she would stay as lady of Dragonstone, her son Jacaerys would inherit the castle and island after she died, her son Lucerys would inherit Driftmark, her son Aegon the Younger would become his squire, and her son Viserys would become his cupbearer. All knights and lords who worked together to help Rhaenyra would also be forgiven.
Rhaenyra was on Dragonstone when he gave her the terms. He told her King Viserys I had chosen her, not Aegon II, as his successor. Munkun says Orwyle gave a long and thorough answer when Rhaenyra asked him why he served Aegon instead of her.
The Testimony of Mushroom, on the other hand, says that Orwyle only stuttered and lost control of his bowels. Rhaenyra took Orwyle’s office chain off and gave it to Maester Gerardys. Then she told Orwyle and the other envoys to leave the island.
When Prince Aemond Targaryen, who was in charge of Aegon II’s armies after the king was severely hurt at Rook’s Rest, chose to go to Prince Daemon Targaryen, who lived at Harrenhal, and fight him, Orwyle thought that Storm’s End should be asked for help.
It didn’t matter what other people said or thought; Aemond didn’t listen to them. During Rhaenyra’s attack on King’s Landing, Alicent told Orwyle to send birds out to ask for help, but when he got to his room, four gold cloaks stopped him. After that, he was led to the black rooms.
Ser Perkin the Flea freed Orwyle from the dungeons after Rhaenyra left the city after the Storming of the Dragonpit. Perkin had taken the Red Keep to make his squire, Trystane Truefyre, king on the Iron Throne.
When the army of Lord Borros Baratheon got to the Blackwater Rush, Orwyle and Queen Alicent went with Lord Larys Strong to make peace with him. Orwyle stayed in his job as Grand Maester after Aegon II was put back on the Iron Throne until the king died.
His Imprisonment and Execution
One of the people on the small council that met in the Red Keep to greet the Lads and their host was Orwyle. Some people were caught and sent to the dungeons by Lord Cregan Stark during the Hour of the Wolf on the charge that they helped kill Aegon II Targaryen. Orwyle was one of those people. In that place, Orwyle began to write his confessions.
He told Lord Larys Strong that he gave the poison that killed the king while he was being tortured. Even though Orwyle said he didn’t know what the poison was for, Cregan found him guilty of killing the king and gave him the death penalty. On the morning of the killings, Ser Perkin the Flea told Orwyle that he wanted to join the Night’s Watch, so Orwyle did the same.
Before he was supposed to take the ship to the Wall, Orwyle paid a guard and then ran away while wearing beggar’s clothes. The guard who let him go was told to take his place. The name “Old Wyl” was given to Orwyle after he shaved off his beard and hair. He first worked as Old Wyl in a brothel on the Street of Silk called Mother’s.
To keep the girls in the brothel from getting pregnant, he swept and scrubbed the floors, checked customers for pox, and made birth control for them with moon tea and tansy and pennyroyal herbs. People found out about him after he taught some girls how to read. When one of these girls showed a serjeant from the City Watch of King’s Landing her new skill, he became suspicious and asked Old Wyl about it. When Orwyle’s real name was found out, he was arrested again.
The small council thought Orwyle broke his word and gave him the death penalty. But the Hand of the King, Ser Tyland Lannister, who was blind, argued that the execution should be put off because the position of King’s Justice had not yet been filled, and he was not fit to do the execution. He instead locked Orwyle up in a big, airy, cozy tower cell and wouldn’t let him out for two years. Even ink and paper were given to him so he could keep writing his confessions.
Back in 133 AC, the disease Winter Fever killed many Maesters in the city. Orwyle was freed from prison during this time. And Orwyle worked nonstop to help people who were sick.
When the disease killed Tyland, the young King Aegon III Targaryen told Orwyle to send a raven to Goldengrove and call Lord Thaddeus Rowan to become Hand of the King. Orwyle quickly did what he said, maybe looking for a royal pardon. After that, he was taken by the men of Lord Unwin Peake, who was one of Aegon III’s regents and made himself the new King’s Hand.
Orwyle was sent back to his cell to wait to be put to death. Orwyle was finally put to death as a spy and deserter of the Night’s Watch after Ser Victor Risley was named the King’s Justice. Old, well-bred, and having served for a long time, he was given the honor of dying by the sword.