Highly Trained ‘Watchers’ Positioned At Ancient English Forts Prepare For Game Of Thrones Invasion

Highly Trained ‘Watchers’ Positioned At Ancient English Forts Prepare For Game Of Thrones Invasion

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English Heritage attempts to distinguish ‘facts from fantasy’ at Hadrian’s Wall as increasing numbers of Game Of Thrones fans visit ‘The Wall’.

Hadrian's Wall is a vast defensive fortification built at the beginning of the second century in the ‘Roman province of Britannia’ (Britain). Stretching 73 miles across northern Britain, from sea to sea, it stands at a height of 4.5 meters. Marking the northern limit of the Roman Empire, and bordering the lands of the northern Ancient Britons which the Roman's termed ‘barbarians’, Hadrian’s Wall inspired author George RR Martin’s giant ice wall in the hit TV series.

In reality, according to the English Heritage website, “Hadrian’s Wall is a myriad of 16 forts, 80 milecastles and 160 turrets and was permanently manned by thousands of soldiers”, to quell uprisings from the north. George R. R. Martin's 'The Wall' is a colossal ice wall running along the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms, designed to keep out Wildings and White Walkers and protected by the Night's Watch (a group of men sworn to defend it).

An imposing real life ice wall. ( Mario Hoppmann / Adobe Stock)

In Martin’s fantasy world, the great ice wall is defended by the ‘Night’s Watch guardsmen’ and based on these fictional warriors English Heritage has appointed its own ‘Watchers’ at Roman forts along the course of Hadrian’s Wall. The English Heritage website shows the Watchers dressed in black cloaks and shields and announces that they “will be on hand to answer questions about the series and sort the bloody fact from the even bloodier fiction”.

The Daily Mail quoted Frances McIntosh, English Heritage’s curator of Hadrian’s Wall, as saying:

“Today it may not be supersized like George RR Martin’s colossal ice wall, but when it was built nearly 2,000 years ago, Hadrian’s Wall would have been a huge, hulking sign of Roman imperial strength, and standing on the precipice looking north, you can tell why Martin was inspired by this ancient monument .”

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Hadrian’s Wall, ( stocksolutions / Adobe Stock)

Game of Thrones Locations

Understanding that Ancient Origins readers are of a highly inquisitive nature, but that you are situated all over the world meaning not everyone can hop in their car and visit Hadrian’s Wall, you might want to follow these research threads for a fully immersive online behind the scenes Game of Thrones adventure, from your armchair!

For those who want an insight into the real-world ancient historical characters , loves, losses and political struggles that inspired RR Martin while writing Game of Thrones , this Ancient Origins article is for you.

But for the hardcore digital explorers among you, try Google Street View’s Game of Thrones collection which offers full emersion into film locations such as the real city which plays King’s Landing and the ravine where Brienne of Tarth faced The Hound.

Being linked to Google Maps you can explore locations by zooming in and out and because this is ‘Street View’ you can walk around and explore the places where Game of Thrones was filmed. A Forbes.com article about this Google collection suggests following “Cersei’s walk of shame through the streets of Dubrovnik in Croatia, or fleeing down the road near Stranocum in Northern Ireland with Arya as she fled King’s Landing.”

Watching pro-camera work married with state-of-the-art CGI at real-world locations is an eye opener, but be warned, seeing how the real life places differ from their Game of Thrones stylized versions utterly destroys the televisual illusion.

English Heritage's Watchers on the Wall are now on hand at four Roman forts along Hadrian’s wall. ( English Heritage )

The Game Returns To Its TV Throne

After a near two-year wait Game of Thrones fans are braced for the final series of the epic television fantasy drama set to air next month on Sky Atlantic. English Heritage’s ‘Watchers on the Wall’ will be situated at the charity’s main four Roman fort sites; Birdoswald Roman Fort in Cumbria and Corbridge Roman Town, Housesteads Roman Fort and Chesters Roman Fort in Northumberland. The Watchers will begin their duty this week and will ‘serve at the wall’ until the final series ends later in in 2019.

Lines In The Final Game Of Thrones Season That Mean More Than You Realize

Game of Thrones is one of the densest and most complicated shows on television, with enough mythology to make any viewer's head spin and so much background information that it requires charts and graphs to keep everything straight. On top of that, creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss make sure that each script is layered with meaning, letting fans watch and re-watch episodes so that they can keep finding clues in every line and moment.

With so much ground to cover, the show's final season is sure to follow in this tradition, with plenty of lines leading up to the long-awaited conclusion — so to help you stay on top of it all, here's a look at the most important lines from the final season of Thrones. Each of these lines carries more meaning than most might realize, so remember to pay close attention to the dialogue as the show moves toward its epic conclusion — even the shortest sentences might have more meaning than you think.


House Stark is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and the principal house of the North. Its seat is at Winterfell, one of the oldest castles in the Seven Kingdoms. Its coat of arms displays a grey direwolf running on a white field, and its words are Winter is Coming. Bastards born in the North are given the surname "Snow". House Stark had ruled as the Kings in the North for thousands of years until House Targaryen conquered Westeros, whereafter the Starks were known as the Lords of Winterfell and Wardens of the North. For prizing honor and devotion to duty, House Stark is the closest of the noble houses to heroism.

Over the course of the novels, the Starks are scattered by the War of the Five Kings, and the fate of the House remains uncertain, as most characters believe that all the legitimate Stark sons are dead.

Family Edit

Eddard Stark Edit

Eddard "Ned" Stark is the Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, and briefly serves as Hand of the King to Robert Baratheon. He is executed, by Joffrey's order, on the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Sean Bean. Robert Aramayo and Sebastian Croft have both played younger versions of the character in flashbacks.

Catelyn Stark Edit

Catelyn Stark is the Lady of Winterfell, wife of Lord Eddard Stark, and mother to his children Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. She is the daughter of Lord Hoster Tully of Riverrun niece to Ser Brynden Tully (also known as the legendary "Blackfish") and sister to Lysa Arryn of the Vale and to Edmure Tully.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Michelle Fairley.

Robb Stark Edit

Robb Stark is the oldest child of Eddard and Catelyn Stark, and the heir to Winterfell. He is not a POV character, but features in the POV chapters of his family members in the first three novels in the series.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Richard Madden.

Sansa Stark Edit

Sansa Stark is the second child and elder daughter of Eddard and Catelyn Stark. She serves as a POV character for 24 chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows. Sansa is introduced as beautiful and demure.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Sophie Turner.

Arya Stark Edit

Arya Stark is the third child and younger daughter of Eddard and Catelyn Stark. She serves as a POV character for 33 chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons. So far she is the only character to appear in all 5 books as a POV character.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Maisie Williams.

Bran Stark Edit

Brandon "Bran" Stark is the second son and fourth child of Eddard and Catelyn Stark. He serves as the third-person narrator of twenty-one chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Dance with Dragons. In A Game of Thrones, he sees Queen Cersei and her brother Jaime Lannister committing incest, and Jaime pushes Bran from the window to keep the relationship secret. Bran survives, but loses the use of his legs. While comatose, Bran dreams of a three-eyed raven. Slowly, he develops the ability to assume his wolf Summer's consciousness, making him a warg or skinchanger. After his older brother Robb is crowned King in the North, Bran becomes Robb's heir and the acting Lord of Winterfell. In A Clash of Kings, Jojen Reed teaches Bran how to correctly use his telepathy, and directs him beyond the Wall. In A Dance with Dragons, Bran meets the Three-Eyed-Raven: an alias of the last trained clairvoyant.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Isaac Hempstead Wright. [S 1] [S 2]

Rickon Stark Edit

Rickon Stark is Ned Stark's youngest child and is three years old in A Game of Thrones. [1] When Theon Greyjoy captures Winterfell in A Clash of Kings, Rickon hides in the crypts. After Winterfell is sacked, he and the wildling woman Osha travel through the North. [2] In A Dance with Dragons, he is said to be on an island of cannibals, presumably Skagos. [3]

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Art Parkinson. [S 1] [S 3]

Jon Snow Edit

Jon Snow was raised as Ned Stark's illegitimate son and serves as the point of view character in 42 chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Dance with Dragons. He shares the Stark family values of honour, and tries to stay morally correct and honest, even when forced to act otherwise. He is theorized to be the son of Lyanna Stark, Ned Stark's sister, and Rhaegar Targaryen.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Kit Harington.

Benjen Stark Edit

Benjen Stark is Ned Stark's younger brother and a First Ranger in the Night's Watch. He appears briefly at the start of A Game of Thrones, first in Winterfell and then later on the Wall at Castle Black, where he travels with his bastard nephew Jon Snow. Benjen is sent on a mission into the lands beyond the Wall to search for a missing ranging party, but he and his men also disappear. The bodies of two of his men are later found and brought back to Castle Black they reanimate as undead wights and kill several men before they are destroyed, but no trace of Benjen has yet been found.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Joseph Mawle.

Lyanna Stark Edit

Lyanna Stark was Eddard Stark's younger and only sister, [4] and has been deceased for 14 years at the beginning of A Game of Thrones, but is mentioned in every published book in the series. She died at the young age of 16, was said to have been beautiful by all who knew her as "a child-woman of surpassing loveliness", [5] headstrong and "had a touch of" the fabled Starks' "wolf blood", and was one of the best horse-riders in the North. She was betrothed to Robert Baratheon, who was deeply in love with her, [5] although she was unimpressed by Robert's reputation for infidelity. Her life's tales are mainly told through the words of Eddard Stark and Meera Reed (via Bran Stark's viewpoint chapter), with some passing commentaries from other people such as Barristan Selmy, Cersei Lannister, Roose Bolton, and Kevan Lannister.

During the Tourney at Harrenhal, the greatest tourney in Westerosi history, Lyanna was chosen by the eventual jousting champion, Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, as the tourney's "Queen of Love and Beauty". Because Rhaegar was already married, and Lyanna was a maiden betrothed to Robert Baratheon, Rhaegar's wooing of Lyanna was considered an outrageous scandal at the time. One year later, she was said to have been abducted and raped by Rhaegar, triggering a civil war that resulted in the overthrow of House Targaryen. At the end of the war, Eddard and six of his companions ventured to the Tower of Joy within Dorne, where Lyanna was located and guarded by three of the most prominent Kingsguard knights — the "Sword of the Morning" Ser Arthur Dayne, Ser Oswell Whent, and the "White Bull" Ser Gerold Hightower (lord commander of the Kingsguard). After a fierce skirmish that killed everyone except Eddard and his close friend Howland Reed, Eddard entered the tower and found Lyanna dying in a bed of blood. Before she died, she asked her brother Eddard to make a promise, something that Eddard regarded as a price he paid that haunted him days and nights for 14 years. Eddard later takes her body home, to be entombed in Winterfell's crypt, and installs a stone statue in her likeness in front of her sarcophagus. When he returns, he also brings back a newborn boy named Jon Snow, whom he claims is his own bastard by a woman named Wylla. Although Jon Arryn persuaded Robert to marry Cersei Lannister, Robert greatly mourns Lyanna for over a decade, causing great strain in his marriage with Cersei.

In the HBO television adaptation, Lyanna is portrayed by Cordelia Hill in childhood and Aisling Franciosi during her late teens.

Jeyne Westerling Edit

Jeyne Westerling is the older daughter of Lord Gawen Westerling of the Crag, a Westerlands bannerman of House Lannister. She meets Robb Stark when he is wounded, and falls in love with him during his convalescence. He marries her the next day to preserve her honour, in doing so breaking a marriage contract with House Frey. After Robb's departure for the Twins, Jeyne remains in Riverrun and does not witness the massacre. After the Red Wedding, she is granted a royal pardon. In A Feast for Crows, she is openly mourning and last appears riding to Casterly Rock as a political prisoner.

During the 2014 San Diego Comic Con, George R. R. Martin stated that Jeyne Westerling will appear in the prologue of the sixth book, The Winds of Winter, but did not reveal whether she would be the prologue POV character.

In the television adaptation, the character was adapted into Talisa Maegyr, a highborn healer from Volantis who falls in love with Robb. The two marry and she becomes pregnant with his child unlike in the books, she is present at the Red Wedding and is killed alongside Robb. She is played by Oona Chaplin. [S 4]

Servants and Vassals Edit

Roose Bolton Edit

Lord Roose Bolton is a significant vassal of Lord Eddard Stark. His seat is the Dreadfort and his sigil is a flayed human, a homage to the ancient Bolton tradition of flaying enemies. He is nicknamed "the Leech Lord" for regular leechings meant to improve his health.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Michael McElhatton. [S 5]

Ramsay Bolton Edit

Ramsay Snow is the bastard son of Lord Roose Bolton, later legitimized as Ramsay Bolton. He is known as the Bastard of Bolton or the Bastard of the Dreadfort. Ramsay is vicious, ruthless, psychopathic, sadistic, opportunistic, unpredictable, and fearless. He takes great pleasure and pride in torturing others and enthusiastically practices the Bolton custom of flaying their enemies. Roose suspects that Ramsay murdered Roose's legitimate heir and expects that Ramsay will kill all of Roose's future children. He is described as ugly, with blotchy skin and dry, dark hair.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Iwan Rheon.

Rickard Karstark Edit

Rickard Karstark is the Lord of Karhold and one of the main Stark vassals. During the Battle of the Whispering Wood Jaime Lannister kills two of his sons, who were guarding Robb Stark. Rickard's surviving son Harrion Karstark is later killed by the Lannisters. When Catelyn helps Jaime escape in an attempt to recover her daughters, Rickard murders two of Jaime's cousins and has his army desert Robb to search the Riverlands for Jaime, offering his daughter Alys Karstark to whoever brings him the Kingslayer. Due to this Robb executes Rickard personally.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by John Stahl.

Alys Karstark Edit

Alys Karstark is the only daughter and youngest child of Lord Rickard Karstark. She is betrothed to Daryn Hornwood, heir to the Hornwood, but Jaime Lannister kills him alongside two of her brothers. Her father offers her to whomever captures Jaime Lannister, so the sadistic sellsword Vargo Hoat captures Jaime in the hope of becoming Lord of Karhold. However, after Rickard's death his uncle Arnolf Karstark plots to take control of Karhold. He declares for Stannis when he comes North in the hope this will mean the Lannisters execute his great-nephew Harrion Karstark, so Karhold will pass to Alys, whom Arnolf intends to force into marriage with his son Cregan Karstark. Arnolf also intends to betray Stannis when the Boltons attack. However, Alys (pursued by Cregan) flees to the Wall seeking Jon Snow's help and reveals her uncles' plans. To protect her Jon imprisons Cregan and arranges for Alys to marry the Wildling leader Sigorn, Magnar of Thenn, in a ceremony performed by Melisandre, which will aid Wildling integration into the North. If Harrion dies childless, Karhold will pass to the newly formed House Thenn.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Megan Parkinson.

Wyman Manderly Edit

Wyman Manderly is the Lord of White Harbor, the only city in the North, and the wealthiest of the Stark vassals. He is an enormously fat man, with two sons, Ser Wylis and Ser Wendel Manderly. During the War of the Five Kings the Manderlys and Boltons begin a private war over the Hornwood lands after Ramsay kidnaps the widowed Lady Donella Hornwood, Wyman's cousin, forces her to marry him and then starves her to death. Wyman's heir Wylis is captured when Roose Bolton treacherously sends a large Northern force to be wiped out by Randyll Tarly. Wyman's younger son Wendel is murdered at the Red Wedding by the Freys. Due to his heir being held captive Wyman cannot openly defy the Lannisters. Three Freys come to his city with Wendel's bones and a peace is apparently made, in which Wyman's granddaughters Wynafryd and Wylla will marry one of these Freys, Rhaegar Frey, and another of Walder Frey's grandsons, "Little" Walder Frey. When Davos Seaworth arrives in White Harbor to treat with Wyman to support Stannis, Davos denounces the Freys present for their treachery. Wyman apparently has him executed but secretly executes a criminal in his place, leading to Cersei returning his heir. Wyman reveals to Davos he knows where Rickon Stark is hiding and will support Stannis if Davos returns him. Wyman is implied to have murdered the White Harbor Freys when their stay was over (thus keeping to guest right), then put them in pies which he serves to the Freys and Boltons when he attends Ramsay's wedding, even eating some himself. The Freys suspect him of murdering their kin, and when Little Walder is murdered (possibly by his cousin Big Walder Frey) their uncle Hosteen Frey attacks Wyman and cuts him in the neck. It is unclear if he survives.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Sean Blowers.

Hodor Edit

Hodor / ˈ h oʊ d ɔː r / is Old Nan's great grandson and a slow-witted stable-boy at Winterfell. Although his real name is Walder, [6] he is commonly called "Hodor" because that is the only word he is capable of saying. He is over seven feet tall, and hinted to possibly have giant ancestry. He has a friendly, childlike disposition and possesses great physical strength, though he is too tamed and gentle to use it against others. After Bran Stark is crippled in A Game of Thrones, Hodor is tasked to carry him around in a sling on his back. When Winterfell is sacked and burnt, Hodor escapes north with Bran, Jojen, Meera, Rickon and Osha.

In the HBO television adaptation (in which Hodor's real name has been changed to Wylis, ostensibly to avoid confusion with another character, Walder Frey), he is portrayed by Kristian Nairn as an adult and Sam Coleman as a child.

Osha Edit

Osha ( / ˈ oʊ ʃ ə / ) is a wildling woman who sneaks south of the Wall to escape the Others. When she and her fellow refugees try to kidnap Bran Stark in A Game of Thrones, she is captured by Robb Stark and taken back to Winterfell and eventually employed as a scullery maid and is given limited freedom for her good behavior. [7] [8] She becomes close to Bran Stark and often gives him advice about the oncoming winter. [8] [9] When Theon Greyjoy captures Winterfell, Osha chose to protect Bran and Rickon over her freedom. She joins Bran and Rickon hiding in Winterfell's crypt after faking escape. [2] She later parts ways with Bran and is entrusted to take care of Rickon through the North in their escape, and by A Dance with Dragons, they are reported to have landed on the island of Skagos, supposedly inhabited by cannibals. [2] [3]

In the HBO television adaptation, Osha is portrayed by Natalia Tena. [S 1]

Jeyne Poole Edit

Jeyne Poole is the daughter of Vayon Poole, the steward of Winterfell, and Sansa Stark's best friend. [10] She has brown eyes and dark hair and is described as being very pretty. [11] Following the arrest of Eddard Stark in A Game of Thrones, the members and servants of his household are killed. Jeyne reappears in A Dance with Dragons, having survived the massacre but being sent to Petyr Baelish's brothels. The Lannisters use her as a stand-in for Sansa's younger sister Arya and send her north to marry Ramsay Bolton at Winterfell. Theon Greyjoy recognizes that she is a fake, and that the Boltons are aware of the ruse. [12] [13] It is implied that Ramsay Bolton tortures her and forces her to perform sexual acts on dogs.

Jon Snow, Arya's half-brother, believes Jeyne to be the real Arya and sends Mance Rayder to rescue her. [14] The group enlists Theon's help, but their cover is blown and Theon and Jeyne barely escape. [15]

In the first season of the television adaptation, an unidentified extra appeared briefly as Jeyne in the pilot episode. In season five, her storyline was partially blended into Sansa Stark's.

Jojen and Meera Reed Edit

Jojen and Meera are the children of Howland Reed, the Lord of Greywater Watch and a loyal Stark bannerman. They first appear in A Clash of Kings, when their father sends them in his place, to attend the harvest festival and renew House Reed's pledge to House Stark and support the children of the late Eddard Stark. They become fast friends with Bran Stark and his baby brother, Rickon, and are shown solely from Bran's point of view.

The older sister, Meera, is sixteen years old when introduced in A Clash of Kings. As is typical of crannogmen, Meera is short, slim, and flat-chested with long brown hair and green eyes, and is described as having a cheerful disposition. She is intensely loyal and protective of her "prince" as well as of her own brother, with Bran commenting that the only one who ever angers or upsets her is her brother, Jojen. Though she is never described as being particularly beautiful, both Theon Greyjoy and Bran Stark seem to consider her attractive. She is a skilled huntress and fights with a small fishing net and a three-pronged frog spear (similar in style to a retiarius) she is able to defeat Bran's direwolf, Summer, in mock combat by entangling the direwolf in her net. The legacy of Bran's late aunt Lyanna Stark is also largely narrated through her storytelling.

The younger brother, Jojen, is thirteen when he first appears, but his sullen seriousness and maturity make him seem older. He is short and slim with unusually deep green eyes, and he wears green-colored clothing. He claims to have "greensight" and the power of prophetic "green dreams", from which he knows various arcane facts, including the day of his death. In Winterfell, Jojen recognizes Bran Stark as a skinchanger who is able to enter the mind of an animal and control it, and he mentors Bran to help him gain control of his abilities. When Theon Greyjoy captures Winterfell, Jojen and Meera hide with Bran and Rickon in Winterfell's crypt after feigning escape, and they join Bran in his journey north in search of the three-eyed raven after Ramsay Snow sacks and burns Winterfell. At the end of A Storm of Swords, they travel beyond the Wall and Jojen becomes very weak. In A Dance with Dragons, Meera struggles to keep the group's spirits up but implies that Jojen's future is bleak.

In the HBO television adaptation, Jojen and Meera Reed are portrayed by English actors Thomas Sangster and Ellie Kendrick respectively. [S 6] [S 7]

House Targaryen was the ruling house of the Seven Kingdoms for nearly 300 years, holding royal court in King's Landing. Its coat of arms shows a red, three-headed dragon breathing fire on a black field, and its words are Fire and Blood.

The Targaryens originally came from Valyria on the continent of Essos. Before Valyria was destroyed, the Targaryens left for Dragonstone. A century after the Valyrian "Doom", Aegon I Targaryen conquered six of the Seven Kingdoms with his dragons, and his descendants won the seventh through a political marriage. The Targaryen dragons were the last known to exist and died out long before the events of A Game of Thrones. People of Targaryen ancestry, referred to as "blood of the dragon", tend to have silvery-gold or platinum hair and purple eyes ranging from lilac to violet. [16]

Fifteen years before the events of the series, the Targaryens were deposed in Robert's Rebellion, with the children Viserys and Daenerys fleeing to Essos.

Family Edit

Aegon V Targaryen Edit

Aegon Targaryen, nicknamed "Egg" in his youth, is one of the two main characters in the Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas. As a child, his father Prince Maekar reluctantly permitted him to serve as squire to the knight errant Ser Duncan the Tall, in the hopes that the lessons learned through humble service and hard experience would help him avoid the excesses and shortcomings of his royal brothers. He was later crowned as King Aegon V when a Great Council bypassed those before him in the line of succession and his older brother Aemon chose to abdicate by joining the Night's Watch. He was called "Aegon the Unlikely" because as the fourth son of a fourth son, he was placed very low down the line of succession and therefore considered unlikely to inherit the Iron Throne.

Aegon V's reign lasted more than twenty-five years, during which he tried to push policies more favorable to the interests of common people, and frequently clashed with noble lords as a result. He later perished in the 'Tragedy of Summerhall', a huge fire at the Targaryen summer palace, along with his son Prince Duncan and close friend Ser Duncan the Tall. After he died, his son Jaehaerys inherited the throne. When Jaehaerys died three years later, the Iron Throne was passed to his son Aerys.

In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, Aegon is the father of Aerys the Mad King, rather than his grandfather.

Aerys II Targaryen Edit

Aerys Targaryen the Second, also called The Mad King, is the last Targaryen king to rule the Seven Kingdoms. While his rule started out well, he slowly descended into madness. His sister-wife Rhaella bore him eight children, but only three survived into adulthood: sons Rhaegar and Viserys, and daughter Daenerys, who was not yet born when the Targaryen dynasty fell. After Rhaegar absconded with Lyanna Stark, Aerys had Ned Stark's father and brother executed, beginning Robert's Rebellion. When Aerys planned to burn King's Landing rather than let Robert rule, he was assassinated by a member of his own Kingsguard, Jaime Lannister.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by David Rintoul.

Rhaegar Targaryen Edit

Rhaegar Targaryen, the 'Last Dragon', was the eldest son of King Aerys II and the heir apparent to the Iron Throne, and the older brother to Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen. He died 14 years before the events of A Game of Thrones, and his life's tales are mainly narrated through the words of Jaime Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Barristan Selmy and Daenerys (via visions of sorcery), as well as commentaries by Eddard Stark, Aemon Targaryen, Jorah Mormont, Meera Reed, Jon Connington and Gilly.

Rhaegar married the Dornish princess Elia Martell of Sunspear, and fathered with her a daughter named Rhaenys and son named Aegon (Aegon VI). After winning the Tourney at Harrenhal, the greatest tourney in Westerosi history, he surprised everyone by passing over his wife Elia and crowning Lyanna Stark as the tourney's "Queen of Love and Beauty". One year later, he and Lyanna both disappeared, with rumors that he abducted and raped Lyanna. Enraged, Lyanna's oldest brother Brandon went to King's Landing to confront Rhaegar, which resulted in both him and his father Lord Rickard being brutally executed by King Aerys. Lyanna's other older brother Eddard, her betrothed Robert Baratheon, their foster father Jon Arryn and Brandon's father-in-law-to-be Hoster Tully then started a rebellion against Aerys, with Robert personally killing Rhaegar in single combat at the Battle of the Trident, and ultimately overthrowing House Targaryen. Though Robert continues to vilify Rhaegar throughout A Game of Thrones, many other characters express admiration for him.

Daenerys's stillborn son Rhaego and her dragon Rhaegal are named after Rhaegar. [17]

In the HBO television adaption, he is portrayed by Wilf Scolding. Appearing in flashbacks, he is depicted as Jon Snow's biological father. [18]

Viserys Targaryen Edit

Viserys Targaryen is the second-born son of Aerys II Targaryen. [1] Thirteen years before the events of the series, he and his sister Daenerys fled Westeros to escape death at the hands of rebel Robert Baratheon. [16] Viserys is an arrogant, cruel and ambitious man given to violent mood swings. He is widely nicknamed the "Beggar King" across both Essos and Westeros. [16] [19] Hoping to win the Dothraki's favor to conquer Westeros, Viserys arranges for Daenerys to wed Khal Drogo to form an alliance with them. Travelling with the horde until he gets his "golden crown", Viserys grows restless and impatient with Drogo's refusal to march towards the Seven Kingdoms. He also loses influence over Daenerys, who gradually stands up to his abusive behavior. [20] [21] After his scheme to steal her dragon eggs is thwarted by Jorah Mormont, Viserys drunkenly threatens his sister and her unborn child on the Dothraki's sacred city of Vaes Dothrak. Having finally angered Drogo, he naively agrees to his offer of a "golden crown all men will fear" and is killed when the Khal pours molten gold over his head. [22] Daenerys names one of her dragons Viserion in his memory, though only for keeping her alive for years. [23]

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Harry Lloyd. [S 1] [S 2]

Daenerys Targaryen Edit

Daenerys Targaryen, referred to sometimes as 'Daenerys Stormborn', 'Khaleesi', the 'Mother of Dragons', is the daughter and youngest child of King Aerys II Targaryen and is one of the last surviving members of House Targaryen. [16] [1] She serves as the point of view character in thirty-one chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Dance with Dragons.

Aegon VI Targaryen Edit

Aegon VI Targaryen, also known as Young Griff, is the only known son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell. Fifteen years before the events of the series, the infant Aegon was reported to have been killed along with his mother and sister by Gregor Clegane.

In A Dance with Dragons, Varys claims to have switched Aegon with another, lowborn infant (known as the "Pisswater prince") and smuggled Aegon out of King's Landing prior to the capital's fall. During his exile in Essos, Tyrion Lannister (under the alias Hugor Hill) meets Young Griff, a well-trained teenage boy endorsed by Varys's associate Illyrio Mopatis, who claims to be the surviving Aegon and is under the guardianship of Rhaegar's close friend Jon Connington (under alias of Griff). He is to be used by Varys and Illyrio as a puppet king. Young Griff intends to travel to Slaver's Bay to visit Daenerys Targaryen and propose marriage, but Tyrion provokes him during a cyvasse game and convinces him to abandon the proposal and independently attack Westeros. Revealing himself as Aegon, Griff persuades the Golden Company into supporting his invasion, landing his army in the Stormlands and capture several castles, and plans to lay siege to the Baratheon seat of Storm's End. In the upcoming sixth book, The Winds of Winter, according to news received by Arianne Martell, Aegon's forces have successfully captured Storm's End. Many fans believe that Young Griff is not actually Aegon, but rather a Blackfyre from his matrilineal side with Illyrio as his biological father posed by Varys and Illyrio as a Targaryen .

Brynden Rivers Edit

Brynden Rivers, better known as "Lord Bloodraven", is a legitimized bastard son of King Aegon IV Targaryen (called Aegon the Unworthy) and Melissa Blackwood. He is one of the only three characters (the others being Aemon Targaryen and Walder Frey) to have appeared in both the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and the Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas. He is an albino, with white skin, long white hair, and red eyes. He has a red birthmark on his left cheek, said to be in the shape of a raven, and thus the source of his nickname "Bloodraven".

Bloodraven remained loyal to his half-brother King Daeron II Targaryen (called Daeron the Good) throughout the Blackfyre Rebellions against another of Aegon's legitimized bastards, Daemon Blackfyre, and their descendants, but was later thrown in prison by his great-nephew King Aegon V Targaryen (called Aegon the Unlikely) for ordering the execution of Aenys Blackfyre despite promising safe passage. He was sent to the Wall as the punishment and later elected the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, and served in that capacity for many years before disappearing during a ranging beyond the Wall. In A Dance with Dragons, Bloodraven is shown to have become the last greenseer and is fused to the root of a weirwood tree. He begins training Bran Stark in clairvoyance.

In the HBO television adaptation, the character is only known as "The Three-eyed Raven", and his backstory regarding the Targaryens and the Night Watch is never mentioned. He was briefly portrayed by Struan Rodger in the fourth season finale "The Children", and more extensively by Max von Sydow in the sixth season. In a 2017 interview, Isaac Hempstead Wright (who portrays Bran) hinted that in the television series the Three-Eyed Raven had been "sitting in a cave looking through time" for "thousands of years". [24]

Maekar I Targaryen Edit

Maekar is a character in The Tales of Dunk and Egg. He is the fourth and youngest son of Daeron II Targaryen. Maekar married Dyanna Dayne and had six children, four sons, Daeron, Aerion, Aemon and Aegon, and two daughters. He was made Prince of Summerhall, a summer castle built in the Stormlands by his father. Maekar is resentful that his achievements are often overlooked, especially in favor of his eldest brother Baelor "Breakspear". He was angry when his father Daeron ordered that his third son Aemon be sent to the Citadel. At the Tourney at Ashford, Maekar sends his other three sons, and is angered when Dunk attacks the cruel Aerion to defend Tanselle, a Puppeteer. When Aerion asks for a Trial by Seven, Maekar takes his son's side, however, Baelor takes Dunk's side. In the fight, Dunk forces Aerion to withdraw his accusation, but Maekar while trying to reach his son is stopped by Baelor and accidentally strikes him a blow to the head that kills him. He allows Dunk to take Aegon as his squire when Dunk points out how Daeron and Aerion turned out. Maekar would eventually become King but died 12 years later at the Peake Uprising, when a stone thrown from the Peake's castle Starpike crushed his head.

House Blackfyre Edit

House Blackfyre is a semi-extinct cadet house of House Targaryen. Their sigil is a three-headed black dragon on a red field, the reverse of House Targaryen. House Blackfyre was founded when Aegon IV "the Unworthy" (reigned AL 172–184) legitimized all his bastard children on his deathbed. Aegon gave "Blackfyre", the sword of the first Targaryen king, to his bastard Daemon, seeming to signify his favour for Daemon over the heir apparent: his true-born son Daeron. When Aegon IV died, Daemon I Blackfyre contested Daeron II Targaryen's right to the Iron Throne. This challenge set off conflicts between AL 184–260 where a series of Blackfyre pretenders vied for the Iron Throne. [25]

Servants and Vassals Edit

Jon Connington Edit

Lord Jon Connington is the exiled Lord of Griffin's Roost and was a close friend of Rhaegar Targaryen. Jon serves as a third-person narrator for two chapters in A Dance with Dragons. Fifteen years before the events of the series, King Aerys II made Jon his Hand of the King. However, Jon also failed to contain the rebellion. Aerys stripped him of his lands and titles, giving them to Jon's cousin Ronald Connington, and exiled him. Biding his time in Essos, he raises Young Griff, supposedly Rhaegar's son Aegon. Jon and Aegon eventually decide to attack Westeros while it is embroiled in civil war. During the return trip, Connington contracts Greyscale Plague when saving Tyrion. The group lands in the Stormlands and captures several castles, including Griffin's Roost. Aegon plans to lead the attack on Storm's End, the next target.

Connington is excised in the HBO adaptation Game of Thrones, though his journey with Tyrion and greyscale infection are combined into Jorah Mormont.

Jorah Mormont Edit

Ser Jorah Mormont is the exiled Lord of Bear Island in the North, which he inherited after his father Jeor Mormont joined the Night's Watch. His wife's lavish lifestyle led to debts, which led Jorah to engage in selling slaves. Escaping justice, he fled to Essos and eventually joined the service of Daenerys Targaryen, becoming one of her chief advisors.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Iain Glen. [S 1] [S 2]

Missandei Edit

Missandei is a slave interpreter for Kraznys mo Nakloz when Daenerys Targaryen comes to inspect the Unsullied in Astapor. After Daenerys strikes a bargain with the Good Masters of Astapor concerning payment for the Unsullied, Kraznys gives Missandei to Daenerys as an interpreter to give them commands. Afterwards, she becomes a trusted confidante and handmaiden to Daenerys.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Nathalie Emmanuel. [S 8]

Daario Naharis Edit

Daario Naharis is a leader in the Stormcrows mercenary company. Daario is won over by Daenerys and brings the Stormcrows over to her side. He becomes romantically involved with her, eventually becoming one of her advisors.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Ed Skrein in season three, and by Michiel Huisman from season four to season six. [S 9]

Grey Worm Edit

Grey Worm, ("Torgo Nudho" in High Valyrian), is an Unsullied purchased by and sworn to Daenerys Targaryen. He is the commander of Daenerys's Unsullied and one of her trusted advisors. After Daenerys flees Mereen, Grey Worm becomes a member of the ruling council of the city.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Jacob Anderson. [S 10]

House Lannister is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and the principal house of the Westerlands. Its seat is at Casterly Rock and they are also given the title Wardens of the West. Its coat of arms displays a golden lion rampant on a crimson field, and its words are "Hear Me Roar!" More famous than its official motto is the House's unofficial one: "A Lannister always pays his debts." Bastards born in The Westerlands are given the surname "Hill". The Lannisters ruled as Kings of the Rock until House Targaryen invaded Westeros. They are the richest family in the Seven Kingdoms because of the gold mines located in their lands.

Family Edit

Tywin Lannister Edit

Tywin Lannister is Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport, and Warden of the West. He is a calculating, ruthless, and controlling man. In his youth, he witnessed his father grow old and weak. Eventually several nobles revolted against Lannister rule. Disgusted with his father's inaction, Tywin personally led the Lannister army and utterly destroyed the rebellious vassals, placing the bodies of their entire families on display at Casterly Rock. Impressed with his decisive actions in putting down the rebellion, Aerys II Targaryen appointed the young Tywin Hand of the King. Tywin proved himself a ruthless but capable leader and his tenure was marked by peace and prosperity.

Cersei Lannister Edit

Cersei Lannister is the twin sister of Jaime, (the elder of the two), and the only daughter of Tywin Lannister. She serves as the third-person narrator of twelve chapters in A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. She became queen by marrying Robert Baratheon. She has three children (all of whom are in actuality fathered by her twin brother) and two of whom eventually become king after Robert's death.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Lena Headey. [S 1] [S 2]

Jaime Lannister Edit

Jaime Lannister is the twin brother of Cersei and the first son of Tywin Lannister. He serves as the third-person narrator of seventeen chapters throughout A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons. He was widely considered one of the best swordsmen in all the Seven Kingdoms before having his right hand chopped off by Vargo Hoat.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. [S 1] [S 2]

Tyrion Lannister Edit

Tyrion Lannister is the younger brother of Cersei and Jaime Lannister, and serves as a third-person narrator for 47 chapters in A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Dance With Dragons. He is the narrator with the most chapters in the books.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Peter Dinklage.

Joffrey Baratheon Edit

Joffrey is the eldest of Queen Cersei Lannister's children. Though a Baratheon in name, Joffrey is actually a product of incest between Cersei and Jaime Lannister, but unaware of his true parentage. He is described as a strong-willed child with a vicious temper and a sadistic streak.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Jack Gleeson.

Myrcella Baratheon Edit

Princess Myrcella Baratheon is the second oldest child and only daughter of Queen Cersei Lannister. Like her brothers, she was fathered by Cersei's brother Jaime Lannister, but she is ostensibly unaware of this. She is described as delicate, beautiful and courteous, and is said to have all her mother's beauty but none of her cruel nature. To ensure that House Martell will support Joffrey, Myrcella is betrothed to marry Prince Trystane Martell when they come of age and is sent to Dorne in A Clash of Kings. After Joffrey's death in A Storm of Swords, Princess Arianne Martell schemes to kidnap Myrcella and crown her queen of Westeros. The plan goes awry, however, and Myrcella is severely injured in the kidnapping.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Aimee Richardson in seasons one and two, and Nell Tiger Free in seasons five and six. [S 1] Her fate is changed from that in the novels—in the television version, Myrcella is poisoned by Ellaria Sand as revenge against the Lannisters for the death of Oberyn Martell. Myrcella dies in Jaime's arms moments after acknowledging him as her father.

Tommen Baratheon Edit

Prince Tommen Baratheon is the younger brother of Prince Joffrey and Princess Myrcella and is second in line for the throne. Tommen is Queen Cersei Lannister's youngest child and, like his siblings, he is also the son of Cersei's brother Jaime Lannister, but he is unaware of this, as he believes Robert Baratheon to be his father. Like his sister, he shares none of his mother's ruthlessness, and is in fact, mild-mannered, courteous, and kind-hearted.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Callum Wharry in seasons one and two, and Dean-Charles Chapman from season four onwards. [S 1]

Kevan Lannister Edit

Ser Kevan Lannister is Tywin Lannister's younger brother and most trusted captain, known for his reliability and loyalty. He serves as the third-person narrator for the epilogue of A Dance with Dragons. He is comfortable with carrying out Tywin's wishes and resigned himself to perpetually living in his brother's shadow. In A Storm of Swords, he is appointed Master of Laws to his great-nephew King Joffrey Baratheon, and after Tywin's death, he is offered the position of Hand of the King in A Feast for Crows but refuses to serve under Cersei. After Cersei's imprisonment, the council appoints him Lord Regent to King Tommen Baratheon, and he tries to solve the problems Cersei created. Because his efforts to stabilize the kingdom threaten Aegon VI Targaryen's plans to take the throne, Varys murders Kevan.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Ian Gelder. [S 12]

Lancel Lannister Edit

Lancel Lannister is the oldest son of Kevan Lannister and serves as squire to King Robert Baratheon at King's Landing, in A Game of Thrones. He helps Queen Cersei kill Robert. In A Clash of Kings, Cersei knights him for his part in Robert's death. After Cersei takes Lancel as a lover, Tyrion discovers the affair and blackmails Lancel into spying for him. During an attack on King's Landing, Lancel guards Cersei's son King Joffrey Baratheon and is seriously wounded in the fighting. During his recovery in A Storm of Swords, he experiences a spiritual awakening and spends much of his time atoning for his sins. When the Faith Militant, the military order of the Faith, is reinstated, Lancel renounces his wife and lands, and joins the organization.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Eugene Simon. [S 1] [S 2]

Servants and Vassals Edit

Bronn Edit

Bronn is a skilled sellsword of low birth. He is described as having a sardonic sense of humor and a pragmatic, amoral philosophy. He helps Catelyn take Tyrion to the Eyrie, where he befriends Tyrion. [26] [27] Recognizing he will gain more helping House Lannister, Bronn offers to champion for Tyrion in a trial by combat and wins the duel, serving as his bodyguard in Tywin's host and later King's Landing. After fighting in the Battle of Blackwater, he is knighted and takes a burning green chain as his sigil, [28] though continues serving Tyrion. During his trial for murdering Joffrey, Bronn refuses to champion for him again, instead taking an offer from Cersei to be married to the pregnant Lollys Stokeworth. [29] When his wife gives birth, he names his stepson Tyrion in dubious honor of his former employer. Shortly afterwards, Bronn becomes the head of House Stokeworth after all members ahead of Lollys die under mysterious circumstances. Cersei also worries that he is still in league with Tyrion. [30]

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Jerome Flynn. [S 1] [S 2] Later on, after the fall of House Tyrell, he takes the Highgarden for himself, now being the Warden of the Reach in the process.

Gregor Clegane Edit

Ser Gregor Clegane, known as the Mountain That Rides, or simply the Mountain, is the older brother of Sandor Clegane and is a vassal to Tywin Lannister. [1] His size and strength make him a fearsome warrior, and he has earned a reputation for brutality.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Conan Stevens in season one, by Ian Whyte in season two, and by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson in season four onwards. [S 2] [S 11]

Sandor Clegane Edit

Sandor Clegane, known as the Hound, is a retainer to House Lannister and the younger brother of Gregor Clegane. He is regarded as one of the most dangerous and skilled fighters in Westeros. His face is distinguished by gruesome burn scars, which he received as a child when his brother pushed his head into a brazier.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Rory McCann. [S 1] [S 2]

Podrick Payne Edit

Podrick Payne, Pod for short, is a squire to Tyrion Lannister toward the end of A Game of Thrones. [31] Despite being painfully shy and insecure, he proves himself to be a loyal and capable squire. In A Clash of Kings, he rescues Tyrion from an assassination attempt. [32] He continues his duties through A Storm of Swords until Tyrion vanishes in A Feast for Crows. [33] [34] He follows Brienne of Tarth, knowing that she was searching for Tyrion's wife Sansa Stark. He becomes Brienne's squire and serves her as faithfully as he did Tyrion. [35] [36] He and Brienne are captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners, and Podrick is sentenced to be hanged for serving as Tyrion's squire. His fate is currently unknown.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Daniel Portman. [S 13]

Shae Edit

Shae is a Lannister camp follower who sleeps with Tyrion Lannister before the battle on the Green Fork. [37] She accompanies him to King's Landing, against Tywin's orders, and serves as his mistress. To prevent discovery, Shae is set up as a handmaiden by Tyrion and Varys, serving Lollys Stokeworth and later Sansa Stark. [38] [39] During the trial accusing Tyrion for the murdering Joffrey, Shae gives evidence testimony against him, flaunting their relationship to the court, in exchange for being wed to a knight. [40] [41] She is later found in Tywin's bed by Tyrion and strangled to death with the Hand's Chain. [42]

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Sibel Kekilli. [S 1]

House Baratheon is the youngest of the great houses of the Seven Kingdoms and the principal house of the Stormlands. It was founded by Orys, the bastard half-brother of the first Targaryen king. Under Robert, House Baratheon occupies the Iron Throne at King's Landing, with his younger brothers Stannis and Renly ruling Dragonstone and the ancestral seat Storm's End respectively. The Baratheon coat of arms displays a black stag on a field of gold a crown was added after Robert Baratheon took the Iron Throne. The house motto is Ours is the Fury. [1] Bastards born in the Stormlands are generally given the surname "Storm".

Family Edit

Robert Baratheon Edit

Robert Baratheon is King of the Seven Kingdoms at the beginning of A Game of Thrones. He was the ward of Jon Arryn and was raised at the Eyrie alongside Eddard Stark. Fifteen years before the novels, Robert was betrothed to Ned's sister Lyanna, and after Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen disappeared, Robert killed Rhaegar and seized the throne.

Stannis Baratheon Edit

Stannis Baratheon is the younger brother of King Robert and older brother of Renly. [1] He is portrayed as a brooding and humorless man with a harsh sense of justice and an obsession with slights both real and imagined. He is regarded as a skilled but overcautious military commander.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Stephen Dillane. [S 14] [S 1]

Renly Baratheon Edit

Renly Baratheon is the youngest of the Baratheon brothers and Lord of Storm's End. He is described as handsome and charismatic, winning friends easily. Renly serves on Robert's council as Master of Laws.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Gethin Anthony. [S 1] The adaptation openly depicts Renly and Ser Loras Tyrell as lovers, an interaction obliquely addressed in the novels. [S 15] [S 16]

Selyse Baratheon Edit

Selyse Baratheon (née Florent) is the wife of Stannis and mother of Shireen. She is described as being fairly unattractive with extremely prominent ears and a hint of a mustache on her upper lip. Selyse has a cold relationship with her husband. She is the first of her family to be converted to the religion of the Red God by Melisandre.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Tara Fitzgerald.

Shireen Baratheon Edit

Shireen Baratheon is the only living child of Stannis Baratheon and Selyse Florent. She contracted the lethal greyscale disease as a child, disfiguring her by leaving the left side of her cheek and most of her neck covered by grey, cracked, and stone-like skin.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Kerry Ingram.

Gendry Edit

Gendry is one of Robert Baratheon's many bastard children. He lives in King's Landing as an armorer's apprentice and is unaware of his true parentage. Gendry later joins the Brotherhood without Banners.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Joe Dempsie.

Edric Storm Edit

Edric Storm is Robert Baratheon's only acknowledged bastard. He was conceived on Stannis and Selyse's wedding night, when Robert seduced and deflowered Delena Florent, one of Selyse's cousins, in Stannis' marriage bed. Edric was sent by Stannis to be fostered by his other uncle Renly Baratheon. Edric was raised under the guardianship of Storm's End Castellan Ser Cortnay Penrose. After Renly dies, Cortnay refuses to surrender Storm's End, fearing Stannis' intentions for Edric as a result, he is assassinated by Melisandre. Stannis then sends Edric to Dragonstone. Melisandre and Selyse tell Stannis to sacrifice Edric, claiming his king's blood will enable them to raise a dragon. To prevent this, Davos sends Edric to Lys under the guardianship of one of Robert's cousins, Andrew Estermont.

In the HBO television adaptation Edric's storyline is combined with Gendry's.

Servants and Vassals Edit

Melisandre Edit

Melisandre of Asshai is a priestess of R'hllor in service to Stannis Baratheon. She is introduced in A Clash of Kings and serves as the third-person narrator for one chapter of A Dance with Dragons. She is described as a beautiful woman with red eyes, always dressing in red and rarely sleeping or eating.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Carice van Houten. [S 1] [S 14]

Davos Seaworth Edit

Ser Davos Seaworth, called the Onion Knight after smuggling onions and salted fish into Storms End during Robert's Rebellion, is the common-born head of the newly founded House Seaworth and was formerly known as an elusive smuggler. He is introduced in A Clash of Kings and is the third-person narrator for thirteen chapters throughout A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Dance with Dragons. During the Siege of Storm's End, Davos smuggled food to the starving Stannis Baratheon, earning him a knighthood and choice lands. Before knighting him, Stannis removed the last joints from four fingers on Davos' left hand as punishment for years of smuggling.

In A Clash of Kings, he supports Stannis' claim to the throne, making him Stannis' most trusted adviser, [43] but Davos is a follower of the Faith of the Seven and opposes Melisandre. During the Battle of the Blackwater, his ship is destroyed but Davos survives while losing four sons. [44] He blames Melisandre for the deaths of his sons and plans to kill her, but she receives word of the plot and he is jailed. [45] [46] Stannis eventually pardons Davos and names him his Hand of the King. [47] As Hand, Davos convinces Stannis to help the Watch against the wildling army. [47] [48]

After Stannis sails to the Wall, he tasks Davos with enlisting the support of House Manderly, but Davos is taken prisoner. After staging Davos' death, Manderly asks Davos to rescue Rickon Stark from Skagos. [49] [50] His fate is unknown.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Liam Cunningham. [S 17] [S 1]

Brienne of Tarth Edit

Brienne, the Maid of Tarth, serves as a POV narrator for eight chapters in the fourth book of the series, A Feast for Crows. A tall and imposing but extremely plain woman, she is mocked by many as "Brienne the Beauty". She is a maiden on a quest.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Gwendoline Christie. [S 18]

Beric Dondarrion Edit

Beric Dondarrion is a gallant knight with great fighting skill. In A Game of Thrones, Eddard Stark sends him to arrest Gregor Clegane and bring peace to the Riverlands. He is ambushed and killed by Lannister forces. Thoros of Myr accidentally revives him with magic during the funeral service. By A Storm of Swords, he and his men have formed an outlaw band called the Brotherhood Without Banners. The Brotherhood starts a guerrilla war against raiders in the Riverlands. The success of these ambushes earns him the nickname the Lightning Lord, also reference to his coat of arms. He will be killed several other times, only to be repeatedly brought back to life. These continuous resurrections lead him to lose part of the memories related to his previous life every time. In the third book, he and his men find the corpse of Catelyn Stark. He resurrects her with the last of his life force and dies for the final time.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by David Michael Scott in season one, and by Richard Dormer in seasons three, six, seven and eight. [S 6] [S 7] [51]

House Arryn is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and is the principal house in the Vale. It is descended from Kings of Mountain and Vale. Its main seat is at the Eyrie, a small castle located at the top of a mountain and reputed to be impregnable, where they are the Wardens of the East. Its coat of arms displays a white moon-and-falcon on a sky blue field, and its words are As High as Honor. [1] Bastards born in the Vale are generally given the surname "Stone".

Jon Arryn was the head of the Arryn family until he was poisoned shortly before A Game of Thrones. His only child, Robert "Sweetrobin" Arryn, became Lord of the Vale with Lysa Tully acting as regent.

Family Edit

Jon Arryn Edit

Jon Arryn was the Lord of the Eyrie, Defender of the Vale, Warden of the East, and Hand to King Robert Baratheon before the events of A Game of Thrones. [1] He took Robert and Eddard Stark as wards and became a father figure to both. When King Aerys II Targaryen commanded him to hand over his wards for execution, Jon rose up in rebellion. [52] To earn the support of House Tully in the rebellion, Jon married the much younger Lysa Tully. [53] Throughout Robert's reign, Jon was left with most of the responsibility of the Seven Kingdoms. [54] When Stannis Baratheon had doubts about the parentage of Queen Cersei Lannister's children, he brought his suspicions to Jon, who confirmed that Cersei's children were not fathered by Robert, but by her brother Jaime. [55] Before he could reveal this publicly, Lysa poisoned him on Littlefinger's orders to stop him from sending their son Robin Arryn away as a ward. [56]

Lysa Arryn Edit

Lysa Arryn, formerly of House Tully, is the second child and youngest daughter of Lord Hoster Tully. Enamored of Petyr Baelish, Lysa resented her older sister Catelyn Tully when he fell in love with her. Prior to the series, while Baelish was her father's ward, Lysa was impregnated by him after Catelyn spurned him. Learning of this, Hoster sent Baelish home and tricked Lysa into drinking an abortifacient potion, using her unborn child as proof of her fertility while marrying her off to Jon Arryn. Lysa has become a paranoid and an unstable, mercurial woman. [27]

Shortly before A Game of Thrones, Baelish convinced Lysa to poison her husband and write a letter to Catelyn to name House Lannister responsible for the act. Lysa, fearing her husband was sending her child to be fostered in a far off land, agrees. Fearing for herself and her son's safety, Lysa returns to the Eyrie and becomes Lady Regent of the Vale. At the Eyrie, Lysa becomes involved in Catelyn's kidnapping of Tyrion Lannister, then refuses House Stark's plea for assistance and commits the Vale to a strict policy of neutrality in the war. Lysa later accepts a marriage proposal from Baelish in A Storm of Swords. After finding Baelish kissing Sansa Stark, Lysa attempts to throw her to her death, but Baelish saves Sansa by murdering Lysa. [56]

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Kate Dickie. [S 1] [S 19]

Robert Arryn Edit

Robert Arryn, sometimes called 'Sweetrobin', is the only child of Jon Arryn and Lysa Tully. [1] He suffers from frequent seizure-like episodes called a 'shaking illness', and is depicted as intellectually and physically stunted. [27] At the start of the series, he is Lord of the Eyrie and Defender of the Vale though his mother rules as regent. [1] After Lysa's marriage to Petyr Baelish and her subsequent death in A Storm of Swords, Baelish claims the rule of the Vale and guardianship of Robert. In the absence of his mother, he becomes attached to his cousin Sansa Stark in her disguise of Alayne Stone. [57]

In the television adaptation of the novels, the character is renamed 'Robin Arryn' to prevent confusion with Robert Baratheon. He is portrayed by Lino Facioli. [S 1] [S 19]

Vassals Edit

Yohn Royce Edit

Yohn Royce (sometimes called 'Bronze Yohn') is Lord of Runestone and head of House Royce. After the death of Lysa Arryn, Lord Yohn forms the Lords Declarant in opposition to Petyr Baelish's rule of the Vale.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Rupert Vansittart.

Anya Waynwood Edit

Lady Waynwood is the lady of Ironoaks, and the head of House Waynwood, a powerful vassal to House Arryn of the Vale. Lady Anya is part of the Lords Declarant, who oppose Baelish's rule of the Vale.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Paola Dionisotti

Nestor Royce Edit

Nestor is a cousin of Yohn Royce, from a lesser branch of House Royce. He ruled the Eyrie as High Steward of the Vale during Jon Arryn's absence and acted as Keeper of the Gates of the Moon and feels he is owed for his years of service. Littlefinger later makes him the hereditary Lord of the Gates of the Moon to keep him loyal, signing the paper declaring this so Nestor holding the Gates depends on Baelish' power.

House Greyjoy is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and is the principal noble house on the Iron Islands, home to the Ironborn. Its seat is on Pyke. Its coat of arms displays a golden kraken on a black field, and its words are We Do Not Sow. Bastards born in the Iron Islands are given the surname "Pyke". The Greyjoys became Lords Paramount of the Iron Islands after House Targaryen conquered the Seven Kingdoms and allowed the Ironborn to choose who would have primacy over them. Balon Greyjoy is the current Lord of the Iron Islands. He has two surviving children, his only daughter, Asha, and Theon.

Family Edit

Balon Greyjoy Edit

Balon Greyjoy is the Lord of the Iron Islands, King of Salt and Rock, Son of the Sea Wind, and Lord Reaper of Pyke. [1] He is a harsh and fierce man. Ten years before A Song of Ice and Fire, he led a rebellion against King Robert Baratheon. The rebellion failed and his youngest son Theon Greyjoy was taken as a hostage and raised in Winterfell by Lord Eddard Stark. After Robert's death, Balon spurns Robb Stark's offer of an alliance in A Clash of Kings and declares himself King of the Iron Islands and the North. [58] He captures the Neck and ravages the coastline of the Stark-held North. He dies in A Storm of Swords after falling off a bridge during a storm. [59] The timely return of Balon's banished brother Euron leads many characters to believe that Euron played a part in Balon's death. Euron later admits to Aeron he was responsible for Balon's death, though not in person.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Patrick Malahide. [S 20]

Asha Greyjoy Edit

Asha Greyjoy is Balon Greyjoy's only daughter and oldest living child. She serves as the third-person narrator for four chapters throughout A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. Asha was raised as Balon's heir despite a custom forbidding female rule, and has otherwise defied traditional gender roles by captaining her own ship and leading men into battle. When Balon orders an invasion of the North in A Clash of Kings, she captures Deepwood Motte. She returns to the Islands in A Feast For Crows after her father's death and claims her father's throne, which she loses in favor of her uncle Euron. In A Dance with Dragons, she returns to Deepwood Motte and learns that Euron has married her off by proxy. [60] She is eventually captured by Stannis Baratheon and travels with his army toward Winterfell, where she is reunited with her brother Theon.

In the HBO television adaptation, the character is renamed Yara Greyjoy to avoid confusion with the character Osha. Yara is portrayed by Gemma Whelan. [S 21] [S 22] Whelan speculated in an interview that in the TV series Yara is bisexual, [61] though Martin confirmed that she is not in the novels. [62]

Theon Greyjoy Edit

Theon Greyjoy is the only living son, and heir apparent of Balon Greyjoy. He is the third-person narrator for thirteen chapters throughout A Clash of Kings and A Dance with Dragons. He is arrogant, cocky, and proud. Ten years before the events of the series, he was taken hostage by Ned Stark to be executed if Balon displeased the king. Theon was raised at Winterfell with the Stark children and became a close friend to Robb Stark in particular.

Euron Greyjoy Edit

Euron Greyjoy is the younger brother of Balon and is hated by all his brothers. He wears a patch over his left eye, for which he is nicknamed "Crow's Eye", and is more ruthless and sadistic than his brothers. Before the events of the series, he was banished from the Iron Islands. During his exile, he lived as a pirate and became extremely wealthy and became involved in dark magic, culminating in his gaining ownership of a horn that can control dragons. In A Feast for Crows, Euron's return from exile coincides with Balon's death, encouraging speculation that he played a role in his brother's demise. After becoming King of the Iron Islands at a Kingsmoot by telling the Ironborn he knows where there are dragons and that he intends to conquer Westeros, he begins successful raids along the Reach. He sends his brother Victarion away to court Daenerys Targaryen in his name and bring her and her dragons to Westeros.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Pilou Asbæk. [S 23]

Victarion Greyjoy Edit

Victarion Greyjoy is the second youngest of Balon's surviving brothers and is Lord Commander of the Iron Fleet. He first appears in A Clash of Kings and is present as his brother, King Balon Greyjoy, reveals his plans to invade the north Victarion is given overall command of the invasion. He appears next in A Feast for Crows and serves as the third-person narrator for four chapters throughout A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. Victarion is a devout follower of the Drowned God. Years before the events of the series, he killed his wife after he learned of her affair with Euron and has not remarried. After failing to become King of the Iron Islands, he is sent away to court Daenerys Targaryen in Euron's name, but he plans to marry her himself to spite Euron for earlier betrayals. After weathering a savage storm, the remains of his fleet reach Meereen. Victarion orders his fleet to assault the forces besieging the city. His fate is unknown.

Aeron Greyjoy Edit

Aeron Greyjoy is the youngest of Balon's surviving brothers. [63] He is introduced in A Clash of Kings and serves as a third-person narrator for two chapters of A Feast for Crows. In his youth, he was a drunk and was scorned by Balon, thus later known as Aeron Damphair. After nearly drowning, he dedicated himself to the Drowned God, and became a high priest. [64] After Balon's mysterious death, and crowning of his brother Euron, he becomes a bitter opponent of Euron and his schemes, calling a Kingsmoot to make Victarion King instead of Euron. This fails, and Aeron goes into hiding. A preview chapter from The Winds of Winter reveals that Euron had his men capture Aeron, leaving him imprisoned in Euron's ship for several months before being tied to the ship's prow. It is also revealed that Euron had repeatedly molested Aeron in their youth, leading to Aeron's hatred of Euron.

Vassals Edit

Rodrik Harlaw Edit

Rodrik Harlaw is the Lord of Harlaw, the most populated of the Iron Islands. He is the richest man in the Iron Islands and the maternal uncle of Asha Greyjoy, one of his sisters being Balon's wife. Rodrik is known as "The Reader" because of his love of reading. He has so many books that they have filled one of the Towers in his castle of Ten Towers. As both Rodrik's sons died in the First Greyjoy Rebellion his various relatives are vying to become his heir. Rodrik has nominated his cousin Ser Harras Harlaw as heir to Harlaw. After Balon's death Rodrik agrees to support Asha at the Kingsmoot, but worries she won't get enough support and offers to make her heir to the Ten Towers. After Euron wins the Kingsmoot, Rodrik advises Asha to flee the Iron Islands, fearing Euron will kill her to prevent his rule being challenged. After capturing the Shield Islands, Euron makes Harras Lord of Greyshield to weaken Rodrik's power. Rodrik questions Euron's intent to conquer Westeros and claim to have sailed to Valyria, infuriating Euron.

House Martell is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and is the ruling house of the kingdom of Dorne. Its seat is the castle of Sunspear. Its coat of arms displays a gold spear piercing a red sun on an orange field, and its words are Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. Bastards born in Dorne are generally given the surname "Sand". Dorne, along with House Martell, is culturally, ethnically, and politically distinct from the rest of the kingdoms. The rulers of Dorne are styled Prince or Princess because Dorne resisted direct conquest and joined the rest of the Seven Kingdoms through marriage.

Family Edit

Doran Martell Edit

Doran Martell is the Prince of Dorne and the Lord of Sunspear. He is the father of Arianne, Quentyn, and Trystane. By A Game of Thrones, he is in his fifties, and his gout leaves him barely able to walk and dependent on a wheeled chair. He is a cautious, pensive man who does not display his emotions. He swears loyalty to Joffrey only after Myrcella Baratheon is betrothed to Trystane by Tyrion Lannister, sending her off to Dorne. Tyrion also gives him a position on Joffrey's council. In A Storm of Swords, Doran sends his brother Oberyn to claim the position. After Oberyn's death, Doran refuses to start a war and returns to Sunspear to reassume control of his principality. He imprisons Oberyn's vengeful daughters, called the Sand Snakes (who have been calling for war for the death of their father), to maintain peace. After foiling his daughter Arianne's attempt to crown Myrcella the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, he reveals that he has long been planning the downfall of Tywin Lannister to avenge Elia and intends to ally Dorne with House Targaryen.

Arianne Martell Edit

Arianne Martell is the eldest child of Prince Doran Martell of Dorne and heir to the Sunspear. She serves as the third-person narrator for two chapters in A Feast for Crows, and will be the narrator for at least two chapters in The Winds of Winter. [S 25] She is cunning and beautiful and is also close with her cousins, the Sand Snakes. By A Feast for Crows, she is dissatisfied with her father, believing him to be weak. She plans to name Myrcella Baratheon the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, as by Dornish law Myrcella inherits the title over her brother. Arianne seduces Arys Oakheart to win his support of Myrcella's claim. The plot is foiled and Myrcella is wounded in the kidnapping attempt. As Arianne confronts Doran after he foils her plans, her father reveals that he has been plotting revenge on Tywin Lannister for many years and was waiting for the perfect time to strike. After the Golden Company invades Westeros, Doran sends Arianne to find out the truth about Aegon Targaryen. Her fate is unknown.

Quentyn Martell Edit

Ser Quentyn Martell is the second child and oldest son of Doran Martell. [1] He serves as the third-person narrator for four chapters in A Dance with Dragons. He is described as intelligent, serious, and dutiful, [65] though not particularly handsome. In A Dance with Dragons it is revealed that Doran Martell sent Quentyn to marry Daenerys Targaryen and bring her to Dorne. On the way most of Quentyn's companions die. He and his remaining two friends, Archibald Yronwood and Gerris Drinkwater, are forced to become sellswords to reach Slaver's Bay. Daenerys politely refuses the offer. [66] Not wanting to leave empty-handed, Quentyn tries to take one of Daenerys's dragons as a mount to impress her, but is killed by her dragons in front of his guards. [67] [68]

Trystane Martell Edit

Trystane Martell is the youngest child of Doran Martell. To ensure House Martell loyalty to the throne it is arranged that he will marry Myrcella Baratheon when they come of age.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Toby Sebastian. [S 26]

Elia Martell Edit

Elia Martell was the younger sister of Prince Doran Martell of Dorne and was very close to her younger brother Oberyn. She married Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, and bore him two children: a daughter Rhaenys and a son Aegon. Fifteen years before the events of the series, Rhaegar was killed in battle during Robert's rebellion. When the capital city was sacked by House Lannister, she was raped and murdered by Gregor Clegane. Elia's brother Oberyn, however, believed Tywin had Elia murdered to avenge the slight to his honor when Aerys had his son and heir married to Elia instead of Tywin's daughter, Cersei.

Oberyn Martell Edit

Oberyn Martell is the younger brother of Doran Martell. He is a hot-headed, forceful, and lustful man with a quick wit and a barbed tongue. He is a formidable fighter and is called the "Red Viper" because it is rumored he poisons his weapons. In A Storm of Swords, he leads a Dornish envoy to King's Landing to claim the seat on the small council on his brother, Prince Doran Martell's, behalf and obtain justice for his sister Elia Martell's murder.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Pedro Pascal. [S 27]

Ellaria Sand Edit

Ellaria Sand is the paramour of Prince Oberyn Martell, and the mother of the four youngest "Sand Snakes". She accompanies Oberyn to King's Landing when Oberyn takes the seat on the small council. After returning to Dorne, she is distraught when she hears Obara's statement on how the Mountain's death "is a start", as she sees the futility of it, and is worried about her own daughters' safety.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Indira Varma. [S 27]

The Sand Snakes Edit

The name "Sand Snakes" refers to Prince Oberyn Martell's eight illegitimate daughters: Obara, Nymeria, Tyene, Sarella, Elia, Obella, Dorea and Loreza, the latter youngest four were born to Oberyn's paramour Ellaria Sand. The older four however were born to different women: Obara from an Oldtown prostitute Nymeria (also known as Lady Nym) from a noblewoman in Volantis Tyene from a septa serving the Faith of the Seven and Sarella from the female captain of the Summer Isles trading ship Feathered Kiss. They are collectively called "Sand Snakes" in reference to their father's nickname "Red Viper" and the regional norm of giving Dornish highborn illegitimate children the bastard surname "Sand".

In A Feast for Crows, Obara, Nymeria and Tyene Sand wish revenge for their father's death and pressure their uncle Prince Doran Martell to declare war. When they are implicated in various plots to agitate the Dornish populace, Prince Doran catches hold of their plans and orders Areo Hotah to arrest the three Sand Snakes to prevent them from drawing Dorne into war.

In A Dance with Dragons, Doran releases the three imprisoned Sand Snakes and sends them on individual missions in his covert plot to bring down House Lannister in revenge for the murder of Elia Martell and her children during the Sack of King's Landing. Obara is sent to accompany the visiting Kingsguard knight Ser Balon Swann to High Hermitage so he can hunt down and kill the rogue knight Gerold Dayne for the mutilating attack on Princess Myrcella. Nymeria is sent to King's Landing to take the vacant Dornish seat on the small council in her late father's place (and serve as an agent from the inside). Tyene is sent to accompany her sister Nymeria to King's Landing disguised as a septa and gain the confidence of the High Sparrow.

The status of the fourth Sand Snake, Sarella Sand, is unknown, though according to Prince Doran she is said to be playing some sort of "game" in Oldtown. Sarella is famous for her insatiable academic curiosities, and there are fan speculations that she is actually disguised as a male Citadel acolyte named Alleras ("Sarella" spelt backwards) with the nickname "the Sphinx", who debuts in the prologue of A Feast for Crows and helps Samwell Tarly when he arrives at the Citadel. In the ending chapter of A Feast for Crows, Alleras is tasked by the departing Archmaester Marvyn to take good care of Samwell as the latter starts his maester training.

In two of pre-released chapters from the yet unfinished The Winds of Winter, the fifth Sand Snake, Elia Sand, nicknamed "Lady Lance", accompanies her cousin, Princess Arianne Martell, on the diplomatic journey to meet with Jon Connington and the allegedly survived Aegon VI Targaryen.

In the HBO television adaptation, only the oldest three Sand Snakes exist. Obara Sand is portrayed by New Zealand actress Keisha Castle-Hughes, Nymeria Sand by English actress Jessica Henwick, and Tyene Sand by Italian-American actress Rosabell Laurenti Sellers [S 28] the other Sand Snakes do not appear in the series. [69]

Servants Edit

Areo Hotah Edit

Areo Hotah is the captain of Prince Doran Martell's guards. He serves as the third-person narrator for two chapters throughout A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. He was born as the youngest of a large family in Norvos. Areo is steadfastly loyal to Doran. He helps foil Arianne Martell's plot to name Myrcella Baratheon the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, killing Arys Oakheart in the process.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by DeObia Oparei. [S 28]

House Tully is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and is the principal house in the Riverlands. Its seat is at Riverrun. Its coat of arms displays a leaping silver trout on a field of rippling blue and red stripes, and its words are Family, Duty, Honor. Bastards born in the Riverlands are generally given the surname "Rivers". When House Targaryen invaded Westeros, Lord Tully was among the first to welcome the invaders. In return, the Targaryens made House Tully the principal House of the Riverlands.

Family Edit

Hoster Tully Edit

Hoster Tully is the Lord of Riverrun and Lord Paramount of the Trident. He is the father of Catelyn Stark, Lysa Arryn, and Edmure Tully. He often quarrels with his brother Brynden because Brynden refuses to be married. Years before the events of the series, he agreed to foster Petyr Baelish at Riverrun as a ward. When he discovered that Lysa was pregnant with Petyr's child, he sent Petyr away and tricked Lysa into drinking an abortifacient potion. Hoster supported Robert Baratheon, House Stark, and House Arryn in rebellion against House Targaryen on the condition that Catelyn and Lysa be wed into the Stark and Arryn families, respectively. His health deteriorates rapidly over the novels he eventually dies and is laid to rest in the river following the Tully tradition.

In the HBO television adaption, he is portrayed by Chris Newman.

Edmure Tully Edit

Edmure Tully is the third child, only son, and heir of Lord Hoster Tully. He is dutiful and wishes to earn his father's respect and protect the common people of the Riverlands. However, he is also said to have a large heart and his decisions are often rash and emotional. He takes command of the Riverlands in A Game of Thrones because of his father's illness and is taken captive by Jaime Lannister. He is rescued by his nephew Robb Stark, and upon hearing of Eddard Stark's death he leads the Riverland lords in proclaiming Robb the King in the North. He defeats Tywin Lannister in battle and unwittingly ruins Robb's plan to destroy Tywin's army. As amends for thwarting Robb's plan, he agrees to marry Roslin Frey and repair the alliance with House Frey. However, the wedding is a trap and the Stark-Tully army is massacred, breaching ancient guest right customs. Edmure is taken to Casterly Rock, where he and the remaining members of House Tully are to spend the rest of their lives as prisoners to House Lannister. Roslin is to remain at the Twins, and the pair is promised to be reunited after the birth of their child.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Tobias Menzies. [S 6] [S 7]

Brynden Tully Edit

Ser Brynden Tully, called the Blackfish, is the younger brother of Hoster Tully and the uncle of Catelyn Stark, Lysa Arryn, and Edmure Tully. He constantly quarreled with his brother, usually over Brynden's refusal to marry. During one encounter Hoster called him the black goat of House Tully. Brynden mused that since their sigil was fish, he was the "Blackfish" of the family. He accompanied Lysa to the Vale. In A Game of Thrones, he is upset over the Vale's neutrality in the ongoing war. He resigns from his position and joins Robb Stark and his bannermen. He is appointed head of Robb's outriders and is a crucial member of the war council. His efforts win Robb several battles throughout A Clash of Kings. He is named Warden of the Southern Marches in A Storm of Swords and remains at Riverrun while Robb goes to the Twins to attend Edmure's wedding. After Robb's death, Brynden holds Riverrun in Robb's name, but he is besieged by House Lannister and House Frey. In A Feast for Crows, Brynden surrenders the Tully seat of Riverrun to spare further bloodshed, but he himself escapes capture. His whereabouts are unknown.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Clive Russell. [S 29]

Vassals Edit

Walder Frey Edit

Walder Frey is Lord of the Twins, and a vassal to House Tully. He is called the Lord of the Crossing as the placement of his castle allows him to control who crosses the river, giving Walder Frey considerable strategic importance. He is known for having over a hundred descendants from his eight wives. He emphasizes family loyalty and believes in taking care of relations, including those who disappoint him. Although he is a bannerman of House Tully, he does not immediately go to Riverrun when Edmure Tully summons his vassals to support Robb Stark in A Game of Thrones.

Since crossing the Twins is a necessity for Robb, Walder is able to negotiate marriage contracts between his house and House Stark. When Robb marries Jeyne Westerling in A Clash of Kings, Frey is outraged and withdraws his support from Robb to conspire with Tywin Lannister and Roose Bolton to exact revenge. In A Storm of Swords, Walder pretends to make amends with Robb and agrees to marry his daughter Roslin to Edmure. The wedding is a trap, with Robb, his key supporters and most of his army massacred during the feast, a direct violation of ancient guest right customs. He then swears loyalty to House Lannister and his second son Emmon Frey receives Riverrun, the seat of House Tully, as a reward, with advantageous marriages for other descendants. The people of the Riverlands refuse to support his rule and a shadowy guerrilla war erupts that Walder Frey struggles to control. House Frey is so large and factional that many of the Freys hate each other, aspiring to become Lord of the Crossing.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by David Bradley. [S 30]

House Tyrell is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and is the principal noble house in the Reach. Its seat is at Highgarden where they reside as the Wardens of the South. Its coat of arms displays a golden rose on a green field, and its words are Growing Strong. Bastards born in the Reach are generally given the surname "Flowers". When the former rulers of the Reach, House Gardener, were killed in battle against House Targaryen, the Targaryens raised the Tyrells from stewards of Highgarden to Lords of Highgarden. Because House Florent had a better claim to Highgarden, the Tyrells are often seen as "upjumped stewards" by the lords of the Reach and other Great Houses however, the women of the Tyrell household are noted for being shrewd and clever leaders.

Family Edit

Mace Tyrell Edit

Lord Mace Tyrell is the Lord of Highgarden, Defender of the Marches, High Marshal of the Reach, and Warden of the South. He has three sons—Willas, Garlan, and Loras—and one daughter, Margaery. He is described as a prematurely old and tedious man who lacks in political savvy and is thought to serve as the figurehead to his mother, Olenna Redwyne. In A Clash of Kings, he supports the marriage between Margaery and Renly Baratheon, who plans to usurp the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. When Renly dies, Mace accepts an offer to marry Margaery to Joffrey Baratheon, the current king. After his and Tywin's armies defeat Stannis Baratheon, Mace is given a seat on the King's council. After Cersei's downfall, Kevan Lannister, Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, names Mace his Hand, mostly to repair the relationship between their houses. Mace then tries to fill the Small Council with his vassals, greedy for more power.

Loras Tyrell Edit

Ser Loras Tyrell, nicknamed the Knight of Flowers, is the third son of Mace Tyrell. He is a young, but highly skilled knight and jouster. He is beloved by the crowds, and many young girls are infatuated with him. When Renly Baratheon, Loras' lover, claims himself king of the Seven Kingdoms in A Clash of Kings, Loras supports him and is made head of Renly's personal guard. After Renly's assassination, Loras is enraged with grief, blaming Brienne of Tarth and Catelyn Stark for Renly's death. In A Storm of Swords, he questions Brienne and finally decides that she is not the killer. When his sister Margaery is married to Joffrey Baratheon, he joins the Kingsguard. He volunteers to lead the assault on Dragonstone in A Feast for Crows so Cersei Lannister will send military assistance to defend his native Highgarden from the Greyjoys. He successfully captures Dragonstone but is badly wounded and near death. By the end of A Dance with Dragons, he barely clings to life. His fate is unknown.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Finn Jones. The character is a composite of the three Tyrell sons. The adaptation openly depicts Loras and Renly Baratheon as lovers, an interaction only obliquely addressed within the novels. [S 15] [S 16]

Margaery Tyrell Edit

Margaery Tyrell / ˈ m ɑːr dʒ ər i t ɪ ˈ r ɛ l / is the youngest child and only daughter of Mace Tyrell. She is an intelligent, beautiful, and shrewd young woman, and despite being only sixteen, she is manipulative and adept at political intrigue. She is also quite moral, and has some kindness in her heart.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Natalie Dormer. [S 31]

Olenna Tyrell Edit

Olenna Tyrell, also known as the Queen of Thorns, was born into House Redwyne and is the mother of Mace Tyrell and widow of the late Luthor Tyrell. She is described as a wizened and cunning old woman with a wicked wit and a sharp tongue, and is known for openly stating her opinion.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Diana Rigg.

Vassals Edit

Randyll Tarly Edit

Randyll Tarly is the head of House Tarly, bannerman of House Tyrell, and considered to be one of the finest military commanders in Westeros. He is also the father of Samwell Tarly. When word of the imprisonment of Margaery Tyrell reaches Randyll, he marches his army to King's Landing where Kevan Lannister makes him the new master of laws.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by James Faulkner. [S 32]

Night's Watch Edit

The Night's Watch is a sworn brotherhood of men who patrol the Wall. The individual members or "Brothers of the Watch" (called "Crows" by the Wildlings) [70] [71] reject land and titles, practice celibacy, cut ties to their families, assume neutrality in politics, and never desert their assignments, [72] [73] on pain of death. [74] Joining the Watch is still considered an honor because any man can rise through the ranks regardless of illegitimacy or criminal past, but in the first book, [75] [76] the Watch is severely undermanned. [77] The Watch is based at Castle Black, where the Lord Commander of the Watch resides and new recruits are trained. [78]

Jeor Mormont Edit

Jeor Mormont, called the Old Bear, is the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. He was the Lord of Bear Island in the North but joined the Watch to pass the title to his son Jorah Mormont. Mormont is considered a strong, resolute leader and commands respect. He keeps a raven capable of speaking simple phrases as a pet. In A Game of Thrones, he chooses Jon Snow as his steward and potential successor. [72] Soon afterwards, a wight (a dead body reanimated by the Others) attempts to kill him but Jon kills the wight. [79] In gratitude, Mormont gives Jon his ancestral sword, Longclaw and changes its pommel to a wolf's head, in accordance with the House Stark sigil. [73] To investigate the return of wights, the disappearance of several Rangers and rumors of a wildling army, Jeor leads an expedition beyond the Wall in A Clash of Kings, but his force is annihilated by Others and an army of wights in A Storm of Swords. He leads the survivors to Craster's Keep, where he is killed in a mutiny. [80] In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by James Cosmo. [S 1]

Maester Aemon Edit

Aemon Targaryen is the older brother of Aegon V Targaryen, the third son of Maekar I Targaryen, and a member of the Night's Watch. Decades before the events of A Game of Thrones, he was sent to the Citadel in Oldtown on the orders of his grandfather Daeron II, who felt there were too many Targaryens, and became a Maester (one of an order of scholars and healers). He was later offered the throne of the Seven Kingdoms after the death of his father Maekar, but ceded the rule to Aegon and joined the Night's Watch. By A Game of Thrones, he is elderly and blind, but provides guidance to the men at Castle Black, and is greatly respected within the Night's Watch. In A Feast for Crows, Jon Snow sends him to the Citadel by sea, but Maester Aemon catches a fever during a storm and dies on the voyage between Braavos and Oldtown.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Peter Vaughan. [S 1] [S 2]

Yoren Edit

Yoren is a recruiter of the Night's Watch. In A Game of Thrones Yoren travels with Tyrion Lannister from the Wall to King's Landing, and is present when Tyrion is arrested by Catelyn Stark. He then races to King's Landing to inform Eddard Stark. During Lord Eddard's execution, he finds Arya Stark and shields her from seeing her father's death. In A Clash of Kings he disguises Arya as a boy recruit to smuggle her to Winterfell, but is killed by Lannister soldiers.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Francis Magee. [S 2] [S 33]

Samwell Tarly Edit

Samwell Tarly, called 'Sam', is the elder son of Lord Randyll Tarly of Horn Hill. Ten chapters throughout A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows are told from his point of view. In spite of his self-professed cowardice, Sam is highly intelligent, resourceful, and loyal. Sam's lack of martial abilities and his interest in scholarly pursuits convinces his father that he is an unworthy heir and he is forced to join the Night's Watch.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by John Bradley. [S 1] [S 2]

Janos Slynt Edit

Janos Slynt was a former Commander of the City Watch in King's Landing and a brother in the Night's Watch. He first appears in A Game of Thrones as commander of the City Watch. Slynt is known for his corruption, but Robert was persuaded not to remove him on the grounds the next commander might be worse. After Robert's death, when Ned intends to depose Joffrey, Slynt orders his men to arrest Ned. For this, Janos Slynt was made a lord and given Harrenhal.

In A Clash of Kings, Tyrion Lannister exiles Slynt to the Night's Watch as he cannot be trusted. In A Storm of Swords, Slynt attempts to be elected as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, but loses to Jon Snow. After Slynt repeatedly refuses Jon's orders, Jon publicly executes him.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Dominic Carter. [S 1] [S 2]

Alliser Thorne Edit

Alliser Thorne is the Master of Arms at Castle Black, a warrior charged with training the Watch's recruits. Thorne was originally a Targaryen loyalist who, after the fall of House Targaryen at the hands of Ned and Robert, was forced to join the Night's Watch. He harbors deep resentment at House Stark for this fate. When Jon arrives at Castle Black, Thorne personally torments, humiliates, and provokes Jon whenever possible.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Owen Teale. [S 1] [S 2]

Bowen Marsh Edit

Bowen Marsh is the First Steward of the Night's Watch, based at Castle Black. He is in charge of the day-to-day running of the Night's Watch, dealing with issues of supplies, funding, logistics and communications. During A Dance with Dragons, Bowen becomes disillusioned by the decisions made by Jon Snow as Lord Commander. Fearing for the future safety of the Night's Watch, Bowen and several of his followers stab Jon.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Michael Condron.

Eddison Tollett Edit

Eddison Tollett, also known as "Dolorous Edd" for his melancholy temperament, sarcastic wit and pessimistic dry humor, is a squire from House Tollett and a steward of the Night's Watch. He is one of Jon Snow's closest friends at Castle Black. Edd survives the battle with the wights at the Fist of the First Men, and is among the survivors to make it back to Craster's Keep. In A Dance with Dragons Edd carries on his duties as the Lord Commander's steward. He is one of the men brought along as muscle to assist Lord Commander Jon Snow in escorting Janos Slynt for his execution.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Ben Crompton. [S 34]

Waymar Royce Edit

Waymar Royce is a young Night's Watch ranger who leads two other rangers, the equally young Will and Gared, a man in his 50s, after a group of wildings in the prologue scene of the first novel, A Game of Thrones. Although Will, the scout, reports that he discovered the wildings lying dead near a stream past a ridge, Royce refuses to return to Castle Black, despite Gared's concerns about the worsening weather and Will's intuition that sinister is occurring around them, because he wants to confirm that the wildings were not merely sleeping. He is killed by a White Walker, and turned into a wight, after which he kills Will, making him the first character whose death is explicitly depicted in the series.

He is played in the television adaptation by Rob Ostlere, giving Ostlere the distinction of being the first actor to be killed off on the show. On this, Ostlere comments, "To be honest, when you do those smaller parts, you're just happy to see yourself up there because sometimes those things can get cut". [81]

Free Folk Edit

Wildlings, also called Free Folk, are people who live beyond the Wall. [78] [82] They live in independent villages and have no central government. [83] Bands of wildlings often cross the Wall for plunder. [84] In A Storm of Swords, the wildlings unite under Mance Rayder, the self-styled 'King-beyond-the-Wall', and invade the Seven Kingdoms to escape the return of The Others. [83] With the help of Jon and Stannis Baratheon, they settle in the North. Many move into the abandoned castles to defend the Wall. [85]

Mance Rayder Edit

Mance Rayder is a former member of the Night's Watch who later deserted. Since then, he has become known as "King-beyond-the-Wall". [74] [86] In A Storm of Swords, he unites all the wildlings under his command and leads them to attack the Wall from the south trying to guide his people to safety from the advancing White Walkers. His vanguard is defeated by Jon Snow at the Wall. [87] During a parlay with Jon, Stannis Baratheon and his army rout the wildlings, and Mance is taken prisoner. [88] Stannis orders Mance to be burned alive in A Dance with Dragons, but Jon later discovers that the priestess Melisandre used magic to disguise Rayder as the wildling who was burned in his place, escaping execution. Jon orders Mance to rescue Arya Stark, not knowing the girl is actually Jeyne Poole. [14] [13] In Winterfell, the party secretly kills off several of Roose Bolton's men, creating tension in Winterfell, and enlists the help of Theon Greyjoy to smuggle Jeyne out of the castle, but Mance is forced to stay behind. Ramsay Bolton later sends a letter to Jon claiming that he has captured Mance and is holding him prisoner.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Ciarán Hinds. In the show, Mance Rayder is not saved by Melisandre and his execution is genuine.

Ygritte Edit

Ygritte is a wildling spearwife renowned for her fierce and headstrong nature, and is considered by many wildlings to be beautiful due to her exceptionally red hair, although Jon Snow considers her to be rather plain-looking. Ygritte first encounters Jon in A Clash of Kings, when she and her band of three wildling scouts are surprise-attacked by a group of Night's Watch rangers led by the famed Qhorin Halfhand, among whom is a young recruit Jon Snow. Most of her band is killed and she is personally captured by Jon, but Jon refuses the order to execute Ygritte because of her gender and later releases her in secret. [89] She rejoins the wildlings, and is present when Rattleshirt traps Qhorin and Jon in a cave, resulting in Jon feigning surrender by killing Qhorin. Ygritte speaks up for Jon when other wildlings raises suspicion towards Jon, [90] and again when Mance Rayder doubts Jon's sincerity since he did not inform the wildlings of Lord Commander Mormont's ranging. Ygritte voluntarily transfers to Tormund Giantsbane's group in order to stay with Jon, and they begin a sexual relationship as the wildling raiders attached to Thenn leader Styr are sent to scale over the Wall on Mance's orders aiming to attack Castle Black from the rear. Ygritte continues to defend Jon, but when Jon defects at Queenscrown to return to the Night's Watch, she shoots Jon in the calf with an arrow on the run. Ygritte later participates in Styr's attack on Castle Black, and is fatally shot in the chest by an arrow in the ensuing battle, later dying in Jon's arms. [91]

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Scottish actress Rose Leslie, [S 35] Leslie and Kit Harington, the actor who portrayed Jon Snow, married in 2018.

Craster Edit

Craster is a wildling who lives north of the Wall in a fortified homestead called Craster's Keep. According to Ygritte, he was fathered by a member of the Night's Watch with a wilding from Whitetree. [92] A regrettable ally of the Night's Watch, Craster has nineteen wives. When his daughters are old enough, he marries them and incestuously fathers new children. It is heavily implied that he sacrifices his sons to the Others. Whilst searching for Benjen Stark and his missing party, Jeor Mormont's expedition party stays a night at Craster's Keep, under strict conditions not to get involved with his wives. [93] When they return after being attacked by the Others, an argument ensures when Craster denies members of the Night's Watch access to his food. This leads to a mutiny, resulting in his and Mormont's deaths. [80]

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Robert Pugh.

Gilly Edit

Gilly is a wildling girl, daughter and wife of Craster. After the Night's Watch regroups at Craster's Keep, Gilly gives birth to a son. Craster is killed before he can sacrifice the child, and in the confusion Gilly flees south with Samwell.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Hannah Murray. [S 36]

Val Edit

Val is the sister of Mance Rayder's wife, Dalla. After the failed Wildling incursion, she is kept prisoner at the wall. She is described as an attractive woman. In A Dance with Dragons, Jon Snow sends her alone to bring a Wildling warlord, Tormund, and his people to the Wall. The mission is successful. She does not appear in the show.

Lord of Bones Edit

The Lord of Bones (also mocked as "Rattleshirt") is a wildling leader under Mance Rayder, known for his vileness and cowardice. In A Dance with Dragons, he is executed, believed to be Mance since Melisandre glamoured him to take the appearance of the condemned.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Edward Dogliani in seasons two and three, and Ross O'Hennessy in season five. [S 37]

Tormund Giantsbane Edit

Tormund, better known as "Tormund Giantsbane" or "Tormund Thunderfist", is a famous wildling raider.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Kristofer Hivju.

Varamyr Sixskins Edit

Varamyr is an infamous Wildling skinchanger, nicknamed due to his controlling of five other animals (three wolves, a shadowcat and a snow bear). He is the POV character of the prologue chapter of A Dance With Dragons. Due to his skinchanging power, he maintains control over multiple Wildling villages via terror, and even aspired to be King-Beyond-the-Wall before joining Mance Rayder. After another skinchanger, Orell, is killed, he also assumes control of the eagle Orell leaves behind. When Stannis attacks the Wildlings army, Melisandre uses her magic to burn Varamyr's eagle, causing him to lose control of his remaining animals. When the Wildling army is routed, Varamyr flees north together with a small group, hiding his real identity from them. The group eventually deserts until only the spearwife named Thistle stays. Varamyr is stabbed by a boy when he attempts to take a squirrel-skin cloak off the dead body of the boy's mother. While Thistle treats his wound, knowing that he is dying, he attempts to take over her body. However, her mind fights back hard against him, and subsequent hysteria inflicted on Thistle's body attracts wights to their position to kill them both. Before Varamyr dies, his mind wargs into his wolf One Eye.

The Royal Court at King's Landing is mostly composed of the King's Small Council and his Kingsguard, the seven knights sworn to protect the king and his family. All members of the Small Council, except for the Grand Maester, are appointed and dismissed by the king or The Hand.

Small Council Edit

Petyr Baelish Edit

Lord Petyr Baelish, called Littlefinger, held power as the Master of Coin, the treasurer of the Seven Kingdoms. Petyr names himself Lord Protector of the Vale following the death of his wife, Lysa Arryn.

Varys Edit

Varys, called the Spider, is a eunuch who serves as Master of Whisperers, the spymaster for the king of the Seven Kingdoms. [94] He is feared by nobles and common people alike. He is described as bald and fat, and he usually affects a fawning, effeminate manner. He knows all of the secret passages in the royal castle and his spies are found everywhere.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Conleth Hill. [S 1] [S 2]

Pycelle Edit

Pycelle is an elderly Maester, who for decades has served many kings as Grand Maester, the personal healer and scholar of the king. Although he is intelligent and highly educated, his effectiveness as an officer of the court has been dulled by his age. He is secretly an agent of influence for House Lannister: he convinced King Aerys II Targaryen to open the gates for Tywin Lannister during Robert's rebellion, he allowed Jon Arryn to die to keep the true parentage of Cersei Lannister's children secret, and would have killed King Robert Baratheon upon Cersei's command. Upon learning this, Tyrion Lannister has Pycelle removed from office and imprisoned. In A Storm of Swords, he is restored to his position. He objects to Queen Regent Cersei's decisions throughout A Feast for Crows, and she considers replacing him. When Cersei is arrested, Pycelle seizes control of the king's council and offers Kevan Lannister the regency. Together, they begin restoring order to the Seven Kingdoms. Pycelle is killed by Varys, who believes that he and Kevan's competent leadership threaten a Targaryen restoration. [95]

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Julian Glover. [S 1]

Qyburn Edit

Qyburn is a former Maester who lost his chain for unethical experiments. He is also rumored to dabble in necromancy. In A Clash of Kings, he is a member of the Brave Companions mercenary company. He later leaves the company in A Feast for Crows and joins the court at King's Landing. Queen Cersei Lannister allows him to experiment on the mortally wounded Gregor Clegane, presumably transforming Clegane into the monstrous Kingsguard knight, Ser Robert Strong.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Anton Lesser. [S 6] [S 7] He improves Cersei's military capabilities via highly explosive 'wildfire' (deployed to destroy the Great Sept of Baelor), and anti-dragon scorpio ballistas, which are deployed around the walls of King's Landing, and on the bows of Euron Greyjoy's Iron Fleet. He is killed by Gregor Clegane as they attempt to flee the Red Keep.

Kingsguard Edit

Barristan Selmy Edit

Ser Barristan Selmy, called Barristan the Bold, is hailed as a hero throughout Westeros and is the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. He serves as the third-person narrator for four chapters in A Dance with Dragons. Although he is over sixty years old at the start of the series, he remains a remarkable fighter and is the most celebrated and respected living knight. He has been a member of the Kingsguard for most of his life and served three kings. He remained loyal to House Targaryen during Robert Baratheon's rebellion, but he later accepted Robert's pardon and held his position as commander. He is dismissed by Cersei upon Joffrey's succession to the throne. In A Clash of Kings, he begins serving the exiled princess Daenerys Targaryen. He exposes Ser Jorah Mormont, Daenerys's most trusted adviser, as a former spy for King Robert. When Daenerys disappears in A Dance with Dragons, he becomes a POV narrator and launches a coup against her husband. He then reluctantly rules Meereen in her stead under the title the Queen's Hand until she returns. [68]

In the HBO television adaptation, in which he is portrayed by Ian McElhinney, [S 1] [S 2] he is mortally wounded in a battle with the Sons of the Harpy in the fifth-season episode "Sons of the Harpy". When asked about the manner in which he was notified of his character's death, McElhinney commented, "It proves you should probably not read the books." [96]

Arys Oakheart Edit

Ser Arys Oakheart is a knight of King Robert Baratheon's Kingsguard, and for Robert's subsequent heirs. [94] He serves as the third-person narrator for one chapter in A Feast for Crows. Arys accompanies Myrcella Baratheon to Dorne, where he is seduced by Arianne Martell. [97] Together, they plot to place Myrcella on the throne. After the plot is foiled, Arys is killed. [98]

Meryn Trant Edit

Ser Meryn Trant is a member of the kingsguard under King Robert Baratheon, King Joffrey Baratheon and King Tommen Baratheon.

When Joffrey tells Sansa of his plan to behead Robb Stark, she defies him by wishing to see his own head mounted there, for which Joffrey has Trant slap her. Along with the City Watch, he also murders King Robert's illegitimate children. When the Lannisters send their guards to capture Arya Stark, Trant kills Syrio Forel, her fencing instructor, who protects Arya despite only being armed with a wooden training sword, [99] [S 38] as a result Trant is one of the names on Arya Stark's "list".

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Ian Beattie.

Balon Swann Edit

Ser Balon Swann is the second son of Lord Gulian Swann. He is said to be skilled with the lance, Morningstar, and bow and arrow. He is made a Kingsguard after the death of Ser Preston Greenfield, which Tyrion Lannister approves of. During the Battle of the Blackwater, he fights valiantly against the forces of Stannis Baratheon. In A Feast For Crows, Cersei Lannister sends him to Dorne with the skull of Gregor Clegane, which he gives to Doran Martell. Doran later informs the Sand Snakes and Arianne Martell of Balon's involvement in a plan by Cersei to kill Trystane Martell and frame Tyrion. After learning of the attempted murder of Princess Myrcella Baratheon, Balon leaves to chase Darkstar, the man who made the attempt on Myrcella's life.

Ser Balon does not appear in the HBO television adaptation.

Others Edit

Ilyn Payne Edit

Ser Ilyn Payne is the King's Justice, the royal executioner. Before the events of the series, King Aerys II Targaryen ordered his tongue cut out. He is a skilled headsman, seldom requiring a second stroke to finish his charges. Ilyn executes Lord Stark after his downfall. He serves as Jaime's sparring partner in A Feast for Crows.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Wilko Johnson. [S 39]

The High Sparrow Edit

The High Sparrow is a prominent member of the "sparrows", a religious movement formed during the War of the Five Kings and is a member of the Faith of the Seven.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Jonathan Pryce.

Westeros Edit

Syrio Forel Edit

Syrio Forel is the bald, former First Sword of Braavos and a master of the Braavosi fighting style known as Water Dancing. [100] He instructs Arya in the ways of fencing. When the Lannisters send their guards to capture Arya, Syrio is killed by Meryn Trant, but not before Syrio dispatches all of the Lannister soldiers with no more than a wooden teaching sword, shattering knee caps and stabbing out eyes, so that Arya can escape. [99] [S 38]

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Miltos Yerolemou.

Thoros of Myr Edit

Thoros is a red priest of R'hllor from the city of Myr. Before the events of the series, he was sent to King's Landing to convert King Aerys II Targaryen into a follower of R'hllor. He was unsuccessful and began to question his faith. When Robert Baratheon became king, Thoros became a frequent drinking companion of Robert's. He is a formidable fighter known for using a flaming sword. In A Game of Thrones, he is sent with Beric Dondarrion to arrest Gregor Clegane. When Dondarrion is killed, Thoros inadvertently resurrects him during the funeral service. By A Storm of Swords, the two had founded a band of outlaws called the Brotherhood Without Banners to stop the raiders ravaging the Riverlands. Thoros is continually able to resurrect Dondarrion whenever he is killed. When Lady Stoneheart takes leadership of the Brotherhood in A Feast for Crows, he does not dispute her, although he disapproves of her motives and methods.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Paul Kaye. [S 6] [S 7]

Ser Duncan the Tall Edit

Ser Duncan the Tall is a legendary knight and the subject of several popular songs and stories. He is one of the main characters of the Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas. Originally the squire of an itinerant 'hedge knight', he later befriended Prince Maekar Targaryen's son Aegon (nicknamed 'Egg'), with whom he traveled before Aegon ascended to the Iron Throne as King Aegon V Targaryen. Ser Duncan was appointed to his Kingsguard, and eventually became its Lord Commander. He perished alongside his king in 'The Tragedy of Summerhall', a huge fire at the Targaryen summer home, in which it is suggested he selflessly fought to save as many of the King's family as possible.

Meribald Edit

Meribald is a septon of the Riverlands. He guides Brienne of Tarth to the Quiet Isle to meet the Elder Brother.

In the HBO television adaptation, the character is renamed Brother Ray and is portrayed by Ian McShane.

Septa Unella Edit

Septa Unella is a member of the Most Devout, the ruling council of the Faith of the Seven. Unella is the septa who forces Cersei Lannister to admit her crimes to her in A Feast for Crows.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Hannah Waddingham.

Essos Edit

Khal Drogo Edit

Drogo is a powerful khal, or warlord, of the Dothraki people, a tribal nation of horse riders in the steppes beyond the Free Cities. He is an accomplished warrior and has never been defeated in battle. Hoping to gain his support to invade Westeros, Viserys Targaryen and Illyrio Mopatis arrange for Drogo to marry Daenerys Targaryen. [16] After a tense wedding night, her growing sexual prowess and self-esteem ultimately results in him falling in love with her, proving himself as a kind husband. [101] [20] Drogo also does not support his Viserys' scheme to march on Westeros, eventually executing him after he threatens to kill Daenerys and their unborn child. [22] After a failed attempt on her life by one of Robert Baratheon's spies, Drogo decides to lead his horde to conquer Westeros. However, during a battle, he receives an injury that eventually develops into sepsis. [102] In a desperate attempt to save his life, Daenerys asks one of their captured slaves to revive him with blood magic, unwittingly sacrificing their unborn child during the ritual. However, Drogo is left in a catatonic state, unable to move, speak or lead their horde to Westeros. Heartbroken, Daenerys smothers Drogo and uses his funeral pyre to awaken her dragons. [103] [104] She names her favorite one Drogon in his namesake. [23]

Jaqen H'ghar Edit

Jaqen H'ghar is an alias used by a member of the Faceless Men, a society of assassins who follow a personification of death known as the Many-Faced God. In A Clash of Kings, this Faceless Man is posing as a Lorathi criminal from the black cells of the Red Keep given to Yoren's convoy to join the Night's Watch. During the journey, he was locked in a wagon cage along with two other criminals, called Rorge and Biter. He later meets Arya Stark, who frees him and the two others when the group is attacked by Lannister forces commanded by Amory Lorch. In gratitude, he promises to kill for Arya any three people she names. After Arya extorts him by naming him as the third name, Jaqen reluctantly agrees to help her stage a prison riot in Harrenhal that overwhelms the Lannister garrison and frees the northern prisoners. After that, Jaqen magically changes his face in front of Arya and offers to take her with him to Braavos. When she demurs, he gives her a Braavosi iron coin and instructs her to say "valar morghulis" to any Braavosi people should she need help finding him.

Later in A Feast for Crows, an alchemist with features identical to Jaqen's after the face change appears in Oldtown and bribes a Citadel novice named Pate to steal Archmaester Walgrave's keys (which can gain access to any door in Citadel). After Pate completes the trade, he dies of poison. Pate (with a completely different personality) later appears to greet Samwell Tarly when he meets Archmaester Marvyn.

In the HBO television adaptation, Jaqen is portrayed by German actor Tom Wlaschiha. [S 40]

Illyrio Mopatis Edit

Illyrio Mopatis is a wealthy and powerful Magister in Pentos. He is overweight, although in his youth he was a strong mercenary. [105] He is a close friend of Varys', and the pair engineer a plot to place House Targaryen back on the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. [106] Before the events of the series, he welcomed the exiled Viserys Targaryen and his sister Daenerys into his home as guests. [105] In A Game of Thrones, Illyrio brokers a marriage between Daenerys and Khal Drogo to buy Drogo's army of warriors. [107] His plan to create an army to invade Westeros is ruined upon the deaths of Drogo and Viserys. He aids Daenerys in A Clash of Kings by sending her three ships and a disguised Barristan Selmy. He also smuggles Tyrion Lannister out of Westeros in A Dance with Dragons and sends him to accompany Aegon on his journey to aid Daenerys. [108] [106]

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Roger Allam. [S 1]

Hizdahr zo Loraq Edit

Hizdahr zo Loraq is a Ghiscari noble of the city of Meereen. With the Sons of the Harpy continuing to cause trouble in the streets, the Green Grace advises Daenerys to take a husband of Ghiscari blood to placate the Meereenese and recommends Hizdahr. After keeping the peace, Hizdahr marries Daenerys as her second husband. Hizdahr tries to gain control of Meereen after the disappearance of Daenerys, but Grey Worm and his Unsullied refuse to obey him.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Joel Fry. [S 41]

Penny Edit

Penny is a dwarf performer. Alongside her brother Oppo, she performed a jousting act, with them riding a dog, Crunch, and a pig, Pretty Pig. [109] They were hired by Petyr Baelish to perform at Joffrey Baratheon's wedding to force a confrontation between him and his uncle, Tyrion Lannister. [110] After the "Purple Wedding", Penny and Oppo flee to Volantis to avoid the consequences. However, sailors mistake Oppo for Tyrion Lannister and murder him, hoping to claim Cersei's offer of a lordship for her brother. Whilst grieving, Penny recognizes Tyrion whilst he and Jorah Morment visit Volantis, initially attacking him. To prevent her from breaking news of his presence, the two take her with them to Meereen, during which she bonds with Lannister. [111] [109] Penny is captured and sold alongside Tyrion and Jorah, where they are used as entertainment in the reopened fighting pits in Meereen. [112] After their owner dies of the Pale Mare, Penny joins their escape and, though not allowed to join the Second Sons, is allowed to remain in the camp. Whilst there, Tyrion suspects that she may have contracted the disease from their former master. [113]

Penny is excised in the HBO television adaptation.

Yezzan zo Qaggaz Edit

Yezzan zo Qaggaz is a slave-trader from the city of Yunkai, on the coast of Slaver's Bay, and one of the Wise Masters, the ruling elite of the city. He bought Tyrion Lannister, Penny, and Jorah Mormont from the slavers, and gives them to the charge of his henchman, Nurse. Yezzan was one of the few Yunkai lords who wished to honor the peace between Yunkai and Meereen. He later died of the pale mare that was spreading throughout the Yunkish siege lines, and several of his slaves used the opportunity to escape.

In the HBO television adaptation, a character named Yezzan, who takes on aspects of Yezzan zo Qaggaz, is portrayed by Enzo Cilenti.

Tycho Nestoris Edit

Tycho Nestoris is a representative of the Iron Bank of Braavos. Tycho is sent to the Wall to negotiate payment of the debt of the Iron Throne with King Stannis Baratheon. Jon Snow negotiates with him for the use of his ships for a voyage and a loan to purchase food for the winter while the Night's Watch provides him guides to reach Stannis, who has left Castle Black.

In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Mark Gatiss. [S 42]

The Waif Edit

The Waif is a priestess of the Many-Faced God in the House of Black and White in Braavos. The waif is assigned to teach Arya the tongue of Braavos and then how to detect lies.

In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Faye Marsay.

Animals Edit

Direwolves Edit

Direwolves are a canine species closely related to wolves but are much larger and stronger. Fully grown direwolves are described as being as large as ponies, with longer leg and larger heads. [7] They are described to be highly intelligent, even fully capable of understanding human speech. Direwolves are thought extinct south of the Wall. However, at the start of the series, Robb Stark and Jon Snow discover six orphaned direwolf pups, whom each of the Stark children adopt. [114] It is heavily implied that the wolves cause each of their owners to develop skinchanging abilities, provided they survive. [115] [86] [116] By A Dance with Dragons, only four of the original six remain: Ghost, Nymeria, Summer and Shaggydog (each owned by Jon, Arya, Bran and Rickon, respectively).

Has 'Game Of Thrones' Bagged Richard E. Grant For Regular Role?

The massively popular HBO series appeared on the 'Withnail + I' star's agency CV briefly.

Interesting news for ‘Game Of Thrones’ fans as British acting veteran Richard E. Grant appears to have joined the cast for the upcoming sixth season.

The potential news was spotted as an unspecified role on Grant’s agency CV on Tuesday (September 8th) by entertainment website Watchers On The Wall, though the entry in question has since been deleted. However, no official announcement has yet been made, and the actor himself hasn’t made any mention of it on his Twitter feed.

Richard E. Grant could be heading for 'Game of Thrones'

The Swazi-born actor has made a name for himself over the years for playing rogue-ish, debonair and witty characters – who could forget his turn in Withnail + I, where he plays “a trained actor, reduced to the status of a bum!” – so we imagine he’d be perfect for the HBO show’s ‘high society’ characters.

Early speculation from fans has it that Grant could be a contender for Aeron Greyjoy, Randyll Tarly, Lord Karstark, Ser Meribald or an Elder Brother. ‘GoT’ still has lots of roles that have not yet been filled for next season, including Randyll, Aeron, Karstark and Smalljon Umber.

58 year old Grant would seem to ideal for the show’s casting call that went out recently: “Grand Theatre Actor/Manager (55 – 70) The larger-than-life leader of a troupe of actors. He specialises in portraying drunken aristocrats. He is a huge presence on stage and rather nasty to his company when off-stage.”

Grant has also enjoyed a recurring guest role on ITV’s runaway success ‘Downton Abbey’, where he played a rather obnoxious art historian with designs on the Earl of Grantham’s wife. He’s arguably most famous for his part as Dr. Jack Seward in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Relationships with Other Characters

Jon Arryn was Lord of the Eyrie, Lord Paramount of the Vale, Warden of the East and first Hand of the King to Daveth's father Robert Baratheon. During his tenure as Hand, Jon was one of Daveth's mentors and educated him on what it means to govern. According to Grand Maester Pycelle, the two were suggested to be very close Daveth fondly thought of Jon as a surrogate grandfather and Jon―who at the time had no children of his own before the birth of his son―in turn thought of Daveth as a surrogate grandson.

Ser Barristan Selmy was a knight of the Kingsguard for almost 40 years and is arguably considered by many to be one of the best swordsmen and most honorable men in the entire Seven Kingdoms. Barristan searched for and rescued Daveth from the ironborn during the Greyjoy Rebellion, an act in which Daveth felt grateful, indebted to Barristan and became his squire before eventually being knighted himself.

Sansa Stark is the second child and eldest daughter of Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell and Lady Catelyn Tully of Riverrun. She became Daveth's wife through an arranged marriage to cement the Baratheon-Stark alliance.

What do we know about the ending?

Emilia Clarke has teased her final scene, saying of the experience: “It fucked me up. Knowing that is going to be a lasting flavour in someone’s mouth of what Daenerys is…”

Clarke confirmed some widely theorised directions for her character as she spoke of “shooting for the first time with several of the show’s top stars, including Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark)”, as well as mysteriously teasing Daenerys “doing all this weird shit – you’ll know what I mean when you see it.”

Kit Harington has also hinted at an “emotional” finale. Speaking to BBC Radio 2, he said he was glad that the pressure is now off his shoulders but that he has “always enjoyed” the massive success of the show.

“I’ve actually just wrapped on Thursday last week,” he continued. “And it’s just been this amazing journey. I kinda said to them on my wrap speech that it’s always been more than a job. They were a family and it was my life. I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve been quite emotional all last week thinking about having finished it.”

In July 2018, Natalie Dormer revealed that she knows how Game of Thrones will end. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Dormer – who played Margaery Tyrell on the show – said: “I’m excited to see the next season. I’m on the edge of my seat like everybody else.

“I know A to B,” she said about her knowledge of how the show will finally end. “I know what B is, but I don’t know how they get B. But I do know B.”

Meanwhile, Sophie Turner’s new tattoo could also hint at what lies in store for her character’s future. Turner recently got a new tattoo of a dire wolf and the words: “The pack survives.” Tattoo artist Lauren Winzer shared an image of her handiwork on the star’s body on Instagram, which you can see below.

While we don’t know the firm details yet, some of the show’s stars have hinted at how the final episode might leave fans feeling. Sophie Turner is the latest, suggesting it could be a divisive finale.

“To be able to act out the way that it all ends, it was really satisfying for us,” she told IGN. “Who knows if it will be satisfying for the fans? I think a lot of fans will be disappointed and a lot of fans will be over the moon.”

She continued: “It will be really interesting to see people’s reactions, but for me reading the script, it was just heartbreaking to read. At the very final page of the script, it just says, ‘End of Game of Thrones‘ [and] that was really emotional.”

Speaking to EntertainmentWeekly, Turner also discussed the emotional toll of concluding filming on the show. “I still don’t accept that it’s done,” she said. “It’s basically been the majority of my life. I’m still very much processing it.”

Turner also said she was joined by fellow cast members on her final day, while showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss provided a handwritten note for her alongside a storyboard of their favourite Sansa Stark moment.

Unsurprisingly, filming proved a very secretive process. “We have a whole different name for it when we’re shooting it. I think this season it was like The Tree of Life or something”, Turner explained to Vulture.

They also use a specialised device that kills any drones flying over the set. “I don’t know how it does it. It creates like this field around and the drones just drop,” she said. “Also, we shoot fake scenes. We got into costume in Croatia because we know the paparazzi lurk around there, so we would spend like half a day doing nothing.”

Executive producer Bryan Cogman has teased what will happen in the final episodes of Game of Thrones, saying that they will honour George R.R Martin’s original intentions. He said: “[Season 8] is all about all of these disparate characters coming together to face a common enemy, dealing with their own past, and defining the person they want to be in the face of certain death. It’s an incredibly emotional, haunting, bittersweet final season, and I think it honours very much what George set out to do – which is flipping this kind of story on its head.”

Meanwhile, Martin has delivered a new clue about the ending via his new book and an interview with news.com.au., seemingly suggesting that Daenerys might not end up on the throne. He said: “I have tried to make it explicit in the novels that the dragons are destructive forces, and Dany (Daenerys Targaryen) has found that out as she tried to rule the city of Meereen and be queen there.”

“She has the power to destroy, she can wipe out entire cities, and we certainly see that in ‘Fire and Blood,’ we see the dragons wiping out entire armies, wiping out towns and cities, destroying them, but that doesn’t necessarily enable you to rule — it just enables you to destroy.”

The author also hinted that his latest book might foreshadow some of the events in Game of Thrones.

George R. R. Martin

David Nutter, Game of Thrones director who has worked on three of the final Season 8 episodes has spoken to The Huffington Post about the level of security required to keep the ending a secret from fans.

“Well, sometimes there were paparazzi in amazing places ― on construction cranes and all kinds of crazy places, to try to get a point of view of things… They were all over, everywhere, trying to get in on what was happening. But it was definitely a situation where there was no paper on the set…

“[The production team] wanted to make sure nobody knew what was happening, and they went to the nth degree, like they do on the show in general. They basically take it to the point where it’s like the Gestapo. It’s tough to get answers.”

Speaking about the last episode, Nutter gave little away but did say that he thinks most fans will enjoy the ending. “All I know is that David and Dan spent a lot of time to tell the story in a proper fashion, and the audience will be completely satisfied. Not everybody will be satisfied, but I feel the audience will be satisfied with the direction the series goes. It lives up to all the building it’s coming to, I promise you that.”

Meanwhile, Kit Harington has said he is “fearful” that the “awful” Game of Thrones pilot will be released once the show comes to an end next year. Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Harington said “I didn’t know what I was doing” when asked about the pilot, adding: “I was like, ‘Oh, this is fun. I’m in a TV show.’ I had no idea whether it was going to be big a success or anything…and apparently it was a disaster.”

Whilst Harington hasn’t seen the pilot, he added: “They blackmail me every now and then threatening they’ll release bits on YouTube because apparently, it was terrible, and I had this awful wig.”

Harington also spoke about filming his final scene on Game of Thrones, revealing that he “burst into tears” when it ended. He added: “You know, it’s a weird thing. I’m not sad about it ending. I just feel very joyous about it ending and having completed it…but it doesn’t make it any less emotional.”

Meanwhile, Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie has said that fans will “need therapy” after watching the finale of the show in 2019. Christie told E! News: “I think just the show ending is going to send all of the world into professional help.”

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth and Maisie Williams as Arya Stark

Christie also added that cast members – as well as herself – are feeling emotional as the show comes to an end. She said: “I think it’s going to make me incredibly emotional…We’re all emotional about the fact that this is the end, and this is the end of something incredibly significant for all of us, and it’s been a truly incredible thing to be a part of.”

Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden has meanwhile offered up his own thoughts on how he thinks the next season will end. As reported on Winter is Coming, Madden told The Hollywood Reporter: “I kind of think it’s just going to be three dragons flying around and everyone else is dead…it’s a possibility!”

Richard Madden

Meanwhile, Iain Glen who played Ser Jorah Mormon tin the show has revealed how security measures put in place to protect the final scenes being leaked by “paranoid” producers caused “problems” for the actors.

In a new interview with Radio 5 Live, Glen said: “They’re absolutely paranoid now about anyone finding out anything about the series and spoiling it…We weren’t allowed a written word on a page.”

He added: “Everything was accessed through iPads with different security you had to get through to access it. Which caused a problem for the actors, I have to say.”

Glen also described the final season as “absolutely phenomenal”. “This season was the first ever that we sat and read the entire arc of the story from beginning to end right through over the course of a day,” he said.

“Kit [Harington – who plays Jon Snow], if he wasn’t lying, had not read it, so he was reading it on that day for the first time.”

He continued: “Honestly, these six episodes are absolutely phenomenal. The writers really, really came up trumps. The way they pulled it all together was a real writing task.

“There were a lot of tears that day… and it’s been a season of that because it’s been a season of farewells and finishes.”

Meanwhile, Harington has told The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show that he’s “maybe not happy, but very satisfied” with how things end in Game of Thrones. He said: “I’m so excited for people to see it…I think it’s going to be extraordinary, hopefully it’ll change TV again like it did originally, and break boundaries. I think it might.”

The Anatomy of a Medieval Castle: Part 2 – Towers and Gates

England’s Windsor Castle was built after William the Conqueror’s invasion in the 11th century. Since then, it’s been a residence for the royal family to this day. Even if modern British monarchs just use this place for a weekend getaway. And yes, you’d almost mistake this gatehouse as the castle itself.

So we’re off to a great start. Some of the other distinguishing castle features are towers and the gates. When you look at any castle picture, you might come across an imposing entrance with the impressive gatehouse containing a drawbridge and that sliding iron wrought door of spikes. Yet, since an unsecure entrance made a castle uniquely vulnerable, the gateway was usually the first structure built in stone. A gatehouse contained a series of defenses to make a direct assault more difficult than battering down a simple gate. Yet, you’d probably wouldn’t know this in movies where vast armies storm the castle with no problem. In reality, trying to storm a castle head was a stupid way to lose an army. Another prominent castle feature are the towers, which were used for look outs and shooting arrows along with storage and imprisonment. They could be built in various locations like the walls and the gatehouse as well as come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Though early towers were mostly square shape which were said to be quite easy to topple through burrowing at the foundations. While round towers were not.

The Welsh Harlech Castle was built by English King Edward I Longshanks in the 1280s. It was involved in several wars and was used as a residence and military headquarters by Welsh hero Owain Glyndwr in the early 1400s. Later, it was held by the Lancastrians during the 1460s until the Yorkist forces took it during the Wars of the Roses. And served as a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War in the 1640s. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site as one of “the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe.” Nonetheless, seeing this imposing gatehouse, you wouldn’t want to storm this castle.

Barbican- a stone outpost protecting the castle’s gate usually built in front of the main entrance. Construed in the form of a tower or gateway where guards could stand watch. Some may include a narrow passage allowing for a limited number of attackers forced into a confined area for defenders to shoot at them like fish in a barrel through murder holes from the ceiling. Early barbicans were built from earthworks and wooden palisades designed to add complexity to the entrance’s layout and confuse attackers. Usually acted as the outermost defense of a castle. Due to limited space, was only defended by a small number of men.

Breastwork- a heavy parapet slung between 2 gate towers. A defensive work usually situated over the portcullis.

Drawbridge- wooden bridge in front of the main gate to span the moat or ditch. In early castles, it was moved horizontally to the ground by hand or destroyed and replaced. In later castles, it was built so it can raise up in a hinged fashion thanks to pulleys, ropes, chains, and winches. Can be raised or withdrawn making crossing impossible and prevent siege weaponry being pushed toward the castle’s walls and gates.

Gatehouse- a complex of towers, bridges, and barriers built to protect the castle’s main entrance. Often had a guard house and living quarters. Usually consisted of 2 very large stone towers joined above the main gate guarded by a bridge, gates, portcullis, or a combination. But can range from a simple structure to a 2-3 story building with an impressive façade to impress royal visitors. Above the entrance were rooms to house the constable and some men to defend the building who were stationed on the first floor. While the top floor contained murder holes and storage space for weapons. Traditionally the most vulnerable part of the castle, it became one of the most secure and with an excellent defensive position. Contains a passage with all kinds of obstacles, traps, and murder holes in the vaulted ceilings. So perhaps you want to think twice before storming a castle. Usually the first part of the castle to be completed. Though a larger and circular wall castle could have more than one.

Murder Holes- holes left in the floor on a gatehouse’s upper level, used to thrust pole weapons down, or shoot down flaming arrows at attackers trapped between the inner and outer gates. Also used for dropping heavy rocks, hot tar, boiling water, and other nasty things.

Neck or Death Trap- a narrow walled passage between a barbican and the castle walls which trapped invading enemies.

Portcullis- a heavy, sliding metal or wood grate with sharp spikes that was vertically dropped just inside the castle’s main gate through ropes and pulleys. Designed to block passage and make using rams against the main gate less effective. Think about that before trying to break down a door with a battering ram. Can also be dropped on an enemy and injure multiple people. Was always in a state of readiness and the guards can drop it from its suspended position at any time. Some gatehouses could had more than one, depending on the castle’s size and number of entrances.

Turning Bridge- drawbridge pivoted in the middle and worked like a see-saw. Had a counterweight attached to the end near the gateway.

Wicket- a person-sized door set into the main gate door.

Wing-Wall- a motte’s wall downslope to protect stairway.

Yett- a portcullis of lattice wrought iron bars used for defensive purposes.

Originally built in the early 1100s, the Alcazar of Segovia started out as a fortress, but has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery college, and a military academy. Today it’s a military archives building, museum, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yet, you have to admit how its towers give the place a unique look.

Bastion Tower- tower projecting from a wall face that functions as a bastion.

Bastle House- a small tower house with a living room over a cowshed.

Corner or Archer Tower- tower located on curtain wall corners used for firing arrows from slits.

Drum Tower- a large, round, low, squat tower built into a wall, usually connecting stretches of curtain wall.

Flanking or Mural Tower- tower located on the castle walls that provided effective flanking fire.

Gate Tower- tower constructed at the main entrance. May be part of the gate house.

Tower- fortification used to provide stability and additional defensive capabilities to the curtain wall. Used for firing upon enemies, lookout, storage, and keeping prisoners. Provided access to lookout points, wall walks, and sleeping points. Can be constructed in various shapes, sizes, and at various locations.

Sanitary Towers- a tower in the inner or outer walls used as a toilet. The wastes would drop into a cesspool in a pit.

Wall Tower- tower on wall that archers used for showering arrows on invading armies.

Watchtower or Look Out- a freestanding structure used to alert the castle in an enemy attack, spot returning soldiers and visitors in the distance, check whether the coast was clear before anyone left the castle, and send messages to distant people using recognized symbols. Had to be so high that areas around the castle could be watched for an impending attack or siege. Usually had a 360-degree view as well as employed a guard or watchman to see for many miles around.

Belgium’s 14th century Cleydael Castle seems straight out of a fairy tale on the water. However, the turrets on that one tower are quite unique.

Bartizan or Crow’s Nest- a small turret at the corner of a tower or wall. Usually at the top but not always. Usually located at one of the highest points of the castle and used as a lookout.

Belvedere- a raised turret or pavilion.

Squinch Arch- arched support for an angle turret that doesn’t reach the ground.

Turret- a small tower rising above and resting on the walls or the edge of the castle’s main towers, usually used as a lookout point. Allowed defenders to provide sheltering fire to the adjacent wall in attacks. Can contain a staircase if higher than the main tower or an extension of a tower room.

A shocking character is returning to Game of Thrones season 7 and it might just confirm the huge plot leak!

SPOILER ALERT! This post contains Game of Thrones Season 7 spoilers! Consider yourself warned!

Game of Thrones has had a fantastic cast over the years, with a lot of experienced actors starring in the series, as well as newcomers shooting to stardom because of their roles in the series. Season 6 had a lot of bloodshed, with quite a few important characters dying, which naturally meant that we wouldn’t be seeing the actors who played them return for Season 7. Now we have learned that one of those actors is about to return for the next season. Read on!

Popular Game of Thrones news portal, Watchers on the Wall, said in a report that David Bradley, who played Walder Frey in Game of Thrones, will return for Season 7. This news stems from the fact that the actor’s résumé on the website of United Artists agency, states that he will star in Season 7 of Game of Thrones. The actor has previously appeared in seasons 1, 3, and 6.

Now, from what we remember of David Bradley’s character, Walder Frey, we know that he was responsible for the bloodshed of the Starks at the Red Wedding, and at the end of Season 6, Arya Stark got him back, slicing his throat while feeding him a ‘Frey pie’ cooked from the meat of his sons. How could he still be in the series?

Well, there are a few possibilities. Firstly, having been trained by the Faceless Men, Arya could be impersonating Walder Frey. The reason behind us rallying after this possibility is that the massive Season 7 plot leak from reddit which happened last year, indicated that Arya would be putting on the face of Walder Frey to kill more of his sons. Now, we could ignore the story leak, but a few other bits from the leak have been coming together, piece by piece, as filming details leaked, and now we’re afraid that the whole leak could actually be true.

The other, less likely possibility is that David Bradley will play Frey in a flashback, or in one of Bran Stark‘s visions. However, we’ll still stick to the former one. Watch out for more Frey pies!

Why do you think David Bradley could be returning to Game of Thrones for season 7? Tell us in the comments, below!

Melisandre at the Wall, with or without Jon Snow, is going to get interesting.

Even if we assume Jon will not return, Melisandre will be an interesting player to watch in season six. Melisandre had been operating under the assumption Stannis Baratheon was a prophesized hero called Azor Ahai, marked by the Lord of Light as special.

But Stannis turned out to be a mere mortal, vulnerable and unprotected by any god, and he was killed by Brienne of Tarth in the finale. Fans speculated Stannis' death was a fake-out in the finale, but the director of the episode stated clearly that Stannis was killed. There has been no evidence to the contrary, unlike with Jon Snow.

So Melisandre is without a leader to serve, and she recently burned a beloved young girl alive in front of thousands of men in the name of her Lord of Light. She is at the Wall with Davos Seaworth, Stannis' loyal follower and one of the most moral men in Westeros.

Will season six bring a showdown between these two? Can Melisandre's fire-magic be used in the war against the Others?

But Melisandre's biggest role may have to do with the Jon Snow speculation, as noted earlier.

In an interview with The New Daily after the season five finale aired, Carice Van Houten, the actress who plays Melisandre, said that "you feel that [Melisandre] is concentrating more and more towards Jon Snow … there are slight hints that something's going to happen."

Van Houten also hinted that something "quite spectacular" was coming next season.

Why World of Warcraft has remained at the top of gaming for nearly 14 years

Gaming is an ever-changing and ever-adapting world. Some games are a flash-in-the-pan and fizzle out before really reaching their full potential and others live in the hearts of gamers as classics. Yet there has never been a more successful video game to keep its players engaged like Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft.

World of Warcraft has left such an impact on the world of gaming that it’s transcended the requirement to become a classic while simultaneously giving constant updates and evolving. Back in 2004, there already were several games in the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing game (MMORPG) genre. Everquest and EVE Online predate Warcraft by a few years and at around the time of its release there were many more MMOs alongside it. Every MMO to come out after it is still community-labeled as “the next WoW killer.”

It’s lonely on the throne at the top of the world. (Blizzard Entertainment)

The game providers did what very few things in the fantasy genre can claim — they made fantasy easy enough for everyone to join in and cool enough to draw non-nerds in. World of Warcraft never played like the standard fantasy game where you need to be heavily invested in fantasy to get what’s going on. World of Warcraft makes the game simple enough that a kid could grasp the concept and challenging enough to engage mature players, whereas other games just simply toss the player in and hope for the best.

There are many draws to World of Warcraft but one of the key selling-points is the enticing story. Even when you start out as a low-level paladin, your character feels like they’re now apart of this massive ever-changing world. Each quest your character takes on along the way feels like the stakes have organically risen from the days of killing boars in the forest. Before you know it, it will truly feel like you’ve earned being the world-saving paladin.

The awesome loot just adds to it. (Blizzard Entertainment)

The previous games in the franchise, Warcraft, Warcraft II, and Warcraft III, all place an equal standing for the two opposing factions — the Alliance and the Horde. The moment a new player comes in and picks a side, they’re unknowingly drawn into a massive player base that sees themselves as the good guys and other players as their enemy, despite both being just regular players. Other MMOs either put every player on the side of good or they clumsily made a war that didn’t feel grand enough.

This feeds into the player’s identity that is felt throughout their time playing. Feeling like you’re actually this great Dwarven Paladin or fierce Undead Warlock keeps you hooked into staying into the game. While many players have multiple characters to choose from, they feel an attachment to their main character far more because of the first time they played through the storyline.

It’s not uncommon to see players with the same character from they’ve played since the launch in 2004. (Blizzard Entertainment)

Each expansion pack released after launch has managed to carefully take on a threat just slightly more intimidating than the last. The stories always continue and give you a sense of “this is the bad guy — fear them” before you eventually take them down with your friends. Generally, new major pieces of content are added to the game every other month or so (with content admittedly winding down just before the next expansion) so there’s always plenty of gameplay.

Not only are players able to take on the actual story, but each other. Players are able to skirmish each other at every opportunity they come across. If you feel like attacking a lowly player of the other side, go for it. If you want to band together with scores of other players of your faction to attack the enemy capital city, go for it. The player-versus-player is fun and rewarding. But if you didn’t want to fight other players and just enjoy yourself, that’s fine too.

There’s even an entire system in the game based on just fishing. Which is one of the many things you could do to pass time before a raid. (Blizzard Entertainment)

Another aspect that keeps many fans coming back is the sense of community. Players can form parties to clear dungeons with their friends and guilds to clear raids on the previously mentioned baddies. The guilds form a close knit bond that eventually becomes year-long friendships with people you’ve never met before.

World of Warcraft is coming on its fourteenth year since the servers went live and the next expansion based on the faction war is about to be released in early August. As long as Blizzard keeps up the good work, players may be around for another 14 years.



A trip to Iceland on a Game of Thrones filming expedition wouldn’t be complete without visiting Iceland’s most famous waterfall, Skogafoss. This breathtaking cascade of water is a national icon, a representation of just how picturesque and powerful the Icelandic landscape can be. As dramatic as the series, Skogafoss spews an enormous amount of water into the depths below. The waterfall features in the first episode of season eight where Daenerys and Jon Snow ride the dragons and perch next to a series of ice-covered waterfalls.

What other location in the world could play the part of The Wall as perfectly as Iceland? Large glaciers in Snæfellsjökull, Svinafellsjökull and the hills of Höfðabrekkuheiði have been used to depict the Fist of the First Men and the Frostfang Mountains. Visit Dimmuborgir, a lava field with interestingly shaped rocks and great significance in Icelandic folklore, and find yourself in the spot where Jon Snow and the Wildlings set up camp. Thingvellir National Park was also used for many of the exterior scenes beyond The Wall, and, during the warmer months, for Arya and The Hound’s travels in season four.

On your trip north of The Wall be sure to visit Hengilssvæðið to truly experience the rugged and confronting terrain that Iceland provided in the making of the series. Located a 30-minute drive from the capital (Reykjavik), the Hengill area was the filming location for the face-off between Brienne of Tarr and the Hound in season four, episode 10.

Moving further east of Reykjavik, the Þjórsárdalur Valley is a must see on every Game of Thrones diehard wishlist. It is here where the ransacking and destruction of Olly’s village in season four episode three takes place. Olly is left as the lone survivor, leaving everyone and everything in his village dead and destroyed behind.

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