Merle I Gardener
|Full name||Merle of House Gardener, the First of His Name|
|Title||King of the Reach|
|Predecessor||Garth IX Gardener|
|Heir||Gwayne V Gardener|
|Successor||Gwayne V Gardener|
|Alias||Merle the Meek|
|Issue||Gwayne V Gardener|
|Father||Garth IX Gardener|
|Book||The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)|
Merle I Gardener, called Merle the Meek, was a King of the Reach and head of House Gardener. Along with his father and son, he is remembered as one of the Three Sage Kings who dealt with the Andal invasion of the Reach with a policy of accord and assimilation rather then armed resistance.
Merle was wise and cunning.
After his father had brought a septon to court and made him one of his counselors and built the first sept at Highgarden, Merle converted to the Faith of the Seven and helped fund the construction of septs, septries, and motherhouses all over the Reach.
Merle also took an Andal maiden to wife as a means of binding the bride's father to the realm, as well as other Andals into his service as knights and retainers, and bequeathed lands and wives and lordships for the more powerful of the Andal kings and other Andal adventurers descending on the Reach in exchange for pledges of fealty.
He also sought after Andal craftsmen, especially blacksmiths and stonemasons, to settle throughout the Reach, supplying his bannermen with iron instead of bronze and strengthening their castles and holdfasts with Andal masonry.