Maelor was born in 127AC, the third child of his two parents. In 129AC he, along with his siblings and mother, visited his grandfather, King Viserys I Targaryen. Their grandfather told his older siblings a story, but instead Maelor opted to play with the king's pearl ring.
Maelor's father was proclaimed King by Lord Commander Criston Cole upon the death of King Viserys, despite the fact that Rhaenyra Targaryen was the preferred heir. This engaged the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. Prince Jahaerys Targaryen would die later on in the year, making Maelor the heir of King Aegon.
Two assassins named Blood and Cheese snuck into the Tower of the Hand, corning Helaena with her three children. They forced her to choose which son she would have killed and she chose Maelor, but instead the assassins killed Jahaerys, with Maelor having to live with the knowledge that his own mother would willingly sacrifice him. Helaena killed herself shortly afterwards.
Maelor was smuggled out of the city by Larys Strong when it fell to the Blacks. He assigned Ser Rickard Thorne of the Kingsguard to protect him and escort him to Oldtown. The two of them were attacked on the way to the city however, with Maelor and Rickard killed by a mob that wanted to take Maelor prisoner.