List of A Song of Ice and Fire characters
George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels feature a massive cast of characters. The series follows three interwoven plotlines: a dynastic war for control of Westeros by several families; the rising threat of the superhuman Others beyond Westeros's northern border; and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled heir of the previous ruling dynasty.
Each chapter is narrated in the third person limited point of view through the eyes of a single character. Beginning with nine POV characters in A Game of Thrones (1996), the number grows to thirty-one in A Dance with Dragons (2011).
- 1 House Stark
- 1.1 Eddard Stark
- 1.2 Catelyn Tully
- 1.3 Robb Stark
- 1.4 Sansa Stark
- 1.5 Arya Stark
- 1.6 Bran Stark
- 1.7 Rickon Stark
- 1.8 Jon Snow
- 1.9 Benjen Stark
- 1.10 Lyanna Stark
- 1.11 Theon Greyjoy
- 1.12 Roose Bolton
- 1.13 Ramsay Bolton
- 1.14 Hodor
- 1.15 Osha
- 1.16 Jeyne Poole
- 1.17 Jojen and Meera Reed
- 1.18 Jeyne Westerling
- 2 House Targaryen
- 3 House Arryn
- 4 House Lannister
- 5 House Baratheon
- 6 House Greyjoy
- 7 House Martell
- 8 House Tully
- 9 House Tyrell
- 10 Night's Watch and wildlings
- 11 Royal court and officials
- 12 Other characters
- 13 References
- 14 External links
House Stark 
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, Winter is Coming. Bastards born to Northmen 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 are 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 tree of Rickard Stark|
Eddard "Ned" Stark is the Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, and briefly serves as Hand of the King to Robert Baratheon.
Catelyn Stark, formerly of House Tully, is the wife of Lord Eddard Stark (Ned); mother to Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon Stark; daughter of Lord Hoster Tully of Riverrun and sister to Lysa Arryn of the Vale.
Robb Stark is the oldest child of Eddard and Catelyn Stark. While he does not have any POV chapters of his own, he is mentioned frequently by the Stark POVs in A Game of Thrones and regularly appears in his mother's POV chapters in the second and third books. Robb's tame direwolf is named "Grey Wind". As the first legitimate child of Ned and fifteen years in age, he was already prepared to rule Winterfell upon his father's death. He is very close to his half-brother Jon Snow, and to his father's ward Theon Greyjoy.
Sansa Stark is the second child and elder daughter of Eddard and Catelyn Stark. She serves as a POV character for twenty-four 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.
Arya Stark is the third child and younger daughter of Eddard and Catelyn Stark. She serves as a POV character for thirty-three chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons.
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.
Rickon Stark is Ned Stark's youngest child and is three years old in A Game of Thrones. He is naturally aggressive, strong-willed, and violent: traits reflected in his direwolf companion 'Shaggydog'. 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. In A Dance with Dragons, he is said to be on an island of cannibals, called Skagos.
Jon Snow is Ned Stark's bastard and serves as the third-person narrator of forty-two chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Dance with Dragons. He shares his father's devotion to honor and tries to stay morally correct and honest, even when forced otherwise.
Benjen Stark is the younger brother of Ned Stark and serves as First Ranger in the Night's Watch. He appears briefly at the start of A Game of Thrones first in Winterfell and then later at Castle Black on the Wall where he travels with his bastard nephew Jon Snow. He 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. He is presumed dead.
Lyanna Stark was Ned Stark's younger and only sister.  She was betrothed to Robert Baratheon, but before they were to be married, she was abducted by Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, leading to a civil war that resulted in the overthrow of House Targaryen. Ned attempted to rescue Lyanna, but he found her dying. In her dying last breath she whispered "Promise me, Ned." 
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 Eddard 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.
Lord Roose Bolton is a significant vassal of Lord Eddard Stark. His seat is the Dreadfort and his sigil is a flayed human, an homage to the ancient Bolton tradition of flaying enemies. He is nicknamed "the Leech Lord" for regular leechings meant to improve his health. When Robb Stark summons his vassals in A Game of Thrones, Bolton's intelligence and caution earn him a prominent command in the Northern Army. However, a succession of disasters befall Robb Stark, convincing Bolton that the Northern cause is lost. Bolton then enters secret negotiations with Tywin Lannister and Walder Frey. In A Storm of Swords, he and his men-at-arms play a critical role in the massacre of Stark bannermen and soldiers, in which Robb Stark, his mother, and many of the Starks' most loyal supporters are slain. For this service, Tywin names Bolton Warden of the North. Because every noble Northern household lost at least one son at the massacre, resentment spreads because of this appointment. When Stannis invades the North at the Wall, most of Bolton's vassals provide paltry levies.
Ramsay Bolton 
Ramsay Snow is the bastard son of Lord Roose Bolton. He is known as the Bastard of Bolton or the Bastard of the Dreadfort. Ramsay is vicious, sadistic, unpredictable, and fearless. He takes great pleasure in torturing others and enthusiatically 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.
Hodor is a simple-minded stable-boy at Winterfell. His real name is Walder, but he is popularly known as Hodor because that is the only word he is capable of saying. He is over seven feet tall, and it is hinted that he may have giant ancestry. He has a friendly, childlike disposition and possesses great strength, though he is reluctant to use it against others. After Bran Stark is crippled in A Game of Thrones, Hodor carries him in a sling on his back. When Winterfell is destroyed, Hodor escapes the north with Bran, Jojen, Meera, Rickon, and Osha.
Osha is a wildling woman who travels south of the Wall to escape the Others. She is captured by House Stark in A Game of Thrones and taken back to Winterfell. She is eventually employed as a scullery maid and is given limited freedom. She becomes close to Bran Stark and often gives him advice. When Theon Greyjoy captures Winterfell she helps Bran and his brother Rickon escape. She travels with Rickon through the North, and by A Dance of Dragons, they have landed on an island supposedly inhabited by cannibals.
Jeyne Poole is the daughter of Vayon Poole, the steward of Winterfell, and Sansa Stark's best friend. She has brown eyes and dark hair and is described as being very pretty. 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 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. It is implied that Ramsay Bolton tortures her and forces her to perform sexual acts on dogs.
In the first season of the television adaptation, an unidentified extra appeared briefly as Jeyne.
Jojen and Meera Reed 
Jojen and Meera are the children of Stark bannerman, Howland Reed, Lord of Greywater Watch. They first appear in A Clash of Kings, where they are sent to renew House Reed's pledge to the Starks in place of their father and are asked to befriend and support the late Eddard Stark's children. Meera is a skilled huntress, preferring to use a small net and a trident. Jojen is thirteen when he first appears, but his seriousness and maturity make him seem older. In Winterfell, Jojen recognizes that Bran Stark is a skinchanger, able to enter the mind of an animal and control its actions, and helps him gain control of his abilities. When Theon Greyjoy captures Winterfell, Jojen and Meera accompany Bran's escape. 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.
Jeyne Westerling is the daughter of a family sworn to House Lannister. She meets Robb Stark when he is wounded in the fighting, and falls in love. Robb marries her the next day in an attempt to preserve her honor and breaks 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 prisoner.
In 2011, it was announced that Oona Chaplin would play Jeyne in the television adaptation of the novels.[S 7] However, when the series was released, Jeyne's character had been replaced by Talisa Maegyr (played by Chaplin), a healer from Volantis, whose story, apart from her marriage to Robb, was completely different.
House Targaryen 
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.
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 tree of Maekar Targaryen|
Daenerys Targaryen, the 'Mother of Dragons', is the daughter of King Aerys II Targaryen and is one of the last surviving members of House Targaryen. She serves as the third-person narrator for thirty-one chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Dance with Dragons.
Viserys Targaryen is the second born son of Aerys II Targaryen. 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. Viserys is an arrogant, cruel and ambitious man given to violent mood swings. In A Game of Thrones, he sells his sister as a wife to the Dothraki Khal Drogo, as a means to secure the allegiance of Drogo's army toward his goal of reclaiming the throne. Frustrated with Drogo, Viserys demands a crown and threatens Daenerys and her unborn child; Drogo kills him by pouring a pot of molten gold over his head.
Rhaegar Targaryen was the oldest son of Aerys II. Years before the events of A Game of Thrones, Rhaegar was the heir apparent to the Iron Throne, had married Elia Martell, and had fathered two children with her, a girl named Rhaenys and son named Aegon. After winning a tourney, he had crowned Lyanna Stark Queen of Love and Beauty, passing over Elia; he and Lyanna later disappeared. Enraged, Robert Baratheon started a rebellion to rescue her, killing Rhaegar and ultimately deposing House Targaryen. Though Robert vilifies Rhaegar throughout A Game of Thrones, many characters express admiration for him. He is the namesake of Daenerys' son, Rhaego, and of her green dragon Rhaegal.
Aegon V Targaryen
Aegon Targaryen, nicknamed "Egg" in his youth, was called Aegon the Unlikely because he was unlikely to inherit the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. As a child his father reluctantly permitted him to serve as squire to the knight errant, 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. Aegon V was later named king when a council bypassed those before him in the line of succession. His reign lasted more than twenty-five years. He perished in a fire at Summerhall, the Targaryen summer home, along with Ser Duncan. A young Aegon is one of the main characters in the Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas.
In the television adaptation, Aegon is the father of Aerys the Mad King, rather than his grandfather and was called "Aegon the Unworthy" instead of "Aegon the Unlikely".
Aerys II Targaryen
Aerys Targaryen, also called The Mad King, ruled the Seven Kingdoms as the last Targaryen king. While his rule started out well, he slowly descended into madness. He was married to his sister Rhaella, who bore him three children: Rhaegar, Viserys, and Daenerys. After Rhaegar absconds with Lyanna Stark, Aerys has Ned Stark's father and brother executed, beginning Robert's Rebellion. When Aerys plans to burn King's Landing rather than let Robert rule, he is himself assassinated by a member of his Kingsguard, Jaime Lannister.
Aegon VI Targaryen 
Aegon VI Targaryen is the only son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell. Fifteen years before the events of the series, the infant Aegon was reported to have been killed with his mother and sister by Gregor Clegane. In A Dance with Dragons, Varys claims to have switched Aegon with another infant and smuggled Aegon out of King's Landing. In A Dance with Dragons, he and his army land in Westeros and capture several castles, and plans to lay siege to the Baratheon seat of Storm's End. His fate is unknown.
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 and exiled him. Biding his time in Essos, Jon and Aegon eventually decide to attack Westeros while it is embroiled in civil war. During the return trip, Connington contracts Greyscale Plague. 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.
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 to pass on the title. After winning a tourney joust, Jorah had been allowed to marry a noblewoman, but went into debt trying to support her lavish lifestyle.
Brynden Rivers, better known as "Bloodraven", is a bastard Targaryen. He is one of the only two characters to appear 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 remained loyal to the crown throughout the Blackfyre Rebellions, but was thrown in prison for ordering the execution of Aenys Blackfyre. He was elected Lord Commander of the Night's Watch and served in that capacity for many years before disappearing beyond the Wall. In A Dance with Dragons he begins training Bran Stark in clairvoyance.
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.
Daario Naharis 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.
Grey Worm 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.
House Arryn 
House Arryn is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and is the principal house in the Vale. It is descended from the 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. Its coat of arms displays a white moon-and-falcon on a sky blue field, and its words are As High as Honor. 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 Arryn, became Lord of the Vale with Lysa Tully acting as regent.
|Family tree of House Arryn|
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. 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. To earn the support of House Tully in the rebellion, Jon married the much younger Lysa Tully. Throughout Robert's reign, Jon was left with most of the responsibility of the Seven Kingdoms. 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 fathered not by Robert, but by her brother Jaime. Before he could reveal this publicly, Lysa poisoned him to stop him from sending their son Robert Arryn away as a ward.
Lysa Arryn 
Lysa Arryn 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.
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. Fearing for herself and her son, Lysa returns to the Eyrie and becomes Lady Regent of the Vale. At the Eyrie, Lysa 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.
Robert Arryn, sometimes called 'Sweetrobin', is the only child of Jon Arryn and Lysa Tully. He suffers from frequent seizure-like episodes called a 'shaking illness', and is depicted as intellectually and physically stunted.  At the start of the series, he is Lord of the Eyrie and Defender of the Vale though his mother rules as regent. 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.
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.
House Lannister 
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. 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. 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 tree of Tytos Lannister|
|References and notes:
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. Despite his ruthlessness, Tywin proved himself a capable leader and his tenure was marked by peace and prosperity.
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.
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.
Princess Myrcella Baratheon is the second oldest child and only daughter of Queen Cersei Lannister. Like her brothers, she is also fathered by Cersei's brother Jaime Lannister, but she is 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 the first and second seasons of the television adaptation of the novels.[S 1] In Season 5 of the HBO show, she was recast and is portrayed by Nell Tiger Free.[S 1]
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.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Callum Wharry in the first and second season and was then recast with Dean-Charles Chapman[S 1] for the fourth season onwards in the television adaptation of the novels.
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 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 Targaryen's plans to take the throne, Varys murders Kevan.
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 Jaime's sister Queen Cersei kill Robert. In A Clash of Kings, Cersei knights him for his part in Robert's death. After Cersei takes him 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 takes a serious wound in the fighting. During 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, he renounces his wife and lands and joins the organization.
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. Bronn offers to champion for Tyrion in trial by combat, winning the duel.
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. His size and strength make him a fearsome warrior, and he has earned a reputation for brutality. When they were children, Gregor shoved Sandor's face into a brazier, gruesomely scarring him. Over the course of his service to House Lannister, he has committed numerous war crimes, but he is most infamous for the rape and murder of the Targaryen royal family. In A Game of Thrones, Tywin Lannister sends him to raid the Riverlands in retaliation for Catelyn Stark's abduction of Tyrion. Beric Dondarrion is sent to arrest Gregor, but Gregor ambushes and kills him. He and his men continue raiding the Riverlands throughout A Clash of Kings. When Tyrion Lannister demands a trial by combat, the accuser Cersei Lannister chooses Gregor as her champion. Elia's brother Oberyn Martell is named Tyrion's champion. Oberyn wounds him with a poisoned spear, but The Mountain is ultimately victorious. Gregor admits that he killed Elia and Aegon before crushing Oberyn's skull. His body is given to Qyburn for experimentation, and he is reported to be dead.
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.
Podrick Payne, Pod for short, is a squire to Tyrion Lannister toward the end of A Game of Thrones. 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. He continues his duties through A Storm of Swords until Tyrion vanishes in A Feast for Crows. 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. He and Brienne are captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners, and Podrick is sentenced to be hanged for serving as Tyrion's squire. His ultimate fate is unknown.
House Baratheon 
House Baratheon is the youngest of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and the principal house of the Stormlands. It was founded by the bastard brother of the first Targaryen King, Orys Baratheon. The main seat of House Baratheon is at Storm's End under Renly, with a royal branch at King's Landing under Robert, and a cadet branch at Dragonstone under Stannis. 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. Bastards born in the Stormlands are generally given the surname "Storm".
|Family tree of House Baratheon|
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 is the younger brother of King Robert and older brother of Renly. 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.
Selyse Baratheon is the wife of Stannis, and was a Florent before her marriage. 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 Stannis. She is the first of her family to be converted to the religion of the Red God by Melisandre.
Shireen Baratheon is the only living child of Stannis with his wife Selyse Florent, having been disfigured while she suffered the usually lethal greyscale disease as an infant.
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.
Ser Davos Seaworth, called the Onion Knight, 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, 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. 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. Stannis eventually pardons Davos and names him his Hand of the King. As Hand, Davos convinces Stannis to help the Watch against the wildling army.
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. His fate is unknown.
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. After Robert dies, Renly declares himself King of the Seven Kingdoms in A Clash of Kings, wins the support of the Baratheon and Tyrell bannermen, and seals an alliance with House Tyrell by marrying Margaery Tyrell. Before he can march on the capital though, he is assassinated by his brother Stannis.
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 18][S 19]
Brienne of Tarth
Brienne Tarth, called Brienne of Tarth, a prominent character in the fourth book of the series, A Feast for Crows. A tall and imposing woman, she is mocked by many as "Brienne the Beauty."
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. 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.
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. In A Clash of Kings Gendry joins the Night's Watch recruits, meeting Arya along the way. When their party is ambushed, he is taken prisoner along with Arya to Harrenhal. After escaping Harrenhal, Gendry and Arya cross paths with The Brotherhood without Banners and Gendry agrees to serve as their blacksmith. His fate is unknown.
House Greyjoy 
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 tree of House Greyjoy|
Balon Greyjoy is the Lord of the Iron Islands, King of Salt and Rock, Son of the Sea Wind, and Lord Reaper of Pyke. 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. 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. The timely return of Balon's banished brother Euron leads many characters to believe that Euron played a part in Balon's death.
Asha Greyjoy 
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 Storm of Swords 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. She is eventually captured by Stannis Baratheon and travels with his army toward Winterfell, where she is reunited with her brother Theon.
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. 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. In A Feast for Crows, Euron's return from exile coincides with Balon's death, thus 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.
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 is the youngest of Balon's surviving brothers. 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. 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.
House Martell 
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 tree of House Martell|
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 Tyrion Lannister betrothes Myrcella Baratheon to Trystane, 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 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 26] 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.
Ser Quentyn Martell is the second child and oldest son of Doran Martell. He serves as the third-person narrator for four chapters in A Dance with Dragons. He is described as intelligent, serious, and dutiful, 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. Daenerys politely refuses the offer. 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.
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 is the youngest 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.
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.
The Sand Snakes
The Sand Snakes are Oberyn Martell's eight illegitimate daughters: Obara, Nymeria, Tyene, Sarella, Elia, Obella, Dorea, and Loreza. They are called the Sand Snakes in reference to their father's nickname of the Red Viper and the Dornish custom of giving aristocratic illegitimate children the surname "Sand." In A Feast for Crows, Obara, Nymeria and Tyene wish revenge for their father's death and pressure their uncle Doran to declare war. When they are implicated in various plots to agitate the Dornish populace, Prince Doran imprisons the Sand Snakes to prevent them from drawing Dorne into war. In A Dance with Dragons, Doran releases them and sends them on individual missions in his plot to bring down House Lannister in revenge for Elia Martell's murder during the Sack of King's Landing.
In the HBO television adaptation, Obara Sand is portrayed by Keisha Castle-Hughes, Nymeria Sand by Jessica Henwick, and Tyene Sand by Rosabell Laurenti Sellers; the other Sand Snakes do not appear in the series.[S 29]
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.
House Tully 
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 tree of House Tully|
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.
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 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.
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 be married. 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.
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 and taking eight total 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. But 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 enact his 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 openly swears loyalty to House Lannister and his family receives Riverrun, the seat of House Tully, as a reward. However, the people of the Riverlands refuse to support his rule, and a shadowy guerrilla war erupts that Walder Frey struggles to control.
House Tyrell 
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. 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". The Tyrells became liege lords of the Reach after the king of the Reach, House Gardner, was killed and the ruling House Targaryen 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 tree of House Tyrell|
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. He serves only as the figurehead to his mother, Olenna Redwyne. In A Clash of Kings, he fully supports the marriage between Margaery and Renly Baratheon, who plans to take the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. When Renly dies, Mace accepts an offer to marry Margaery to Joffrey Baratheon, the current king. After Tywin defeats 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.
Ser Loras Tyrell, nicknamed the Knight of Flowers, is the third son of Mace Tyrell. He is a young but highly skilled tourney knight and jouster. He is beloved by the crowds, and many young girls are infatuated with him. When Renly Baratheon 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 18][S 19]
Margaery Tyrell / / is the youngest child and only daughter of Mace Tyrell. She is an intelligent and shrewd young woman, and despite being only sixteen, she is manipulative and adept at political intrigue.
Olenna Tyrell 
Olenna Tyrell, also known as the Queen of Thorns, is a former Redwyne and the mother of Mace 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 A Storm of Swords, she plots to have Sansa taken to Highgarden to marry her grandson Willas. This plan is foiled by the Lannisters, who force Sansa to marry Tyrion Lannister. It is revealed by Littlefinger later in A Storm of Swords that, in order to shield Margaery from King Joffrey's cruelty, Olenna had actually been the one who murdered Joffrey at his wedding.
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.
Night's Watch and wildlings 
The Night's Watch is a sworn brotherhood of men who patrol the Wall. The individual members or 'Brothers of the Watch' reject land and titles, practice celibacy, cut ties to their families, assume neutrality in politics, and never desert their assignments, on pain of death. 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, the Watch is severely undermanned. The Watch is based at Castle Black, where the Lord Commander of the Watch resides and new recruits are trained.
Wildlings, or Free Folk, are people who live beyond the Wall. They live in independent villages and have no central government. Bands of wildlings often cross the Wall for plunder. 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. With the help of Jon and Stannis Baratheon, they settle in the North. Many move into the abandoned castles to defend the Wall.
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. He 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 personal steward and potential successor. Soon after, a wight (a dead body reanimated by the Others) attempts to kill him, but Jon kills the wight. As thanks, Mormont gives Jon his ancestral sword, Longclaw, and changes its pommel to suit that of Jon's father, Eddard Stark. 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 a wildling keep, where he is killed by mutiny.
Aemon Targaryen is the older brother of Aegon V Targaryen and a member of the Night's Watch. Decades before the start of the series, he was sent to the Citadel in Oldtown and became a Maester (one of an order of scholars and healers). He was later offered the throne of the Seven Kingdoms, 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 of the Watch. In A Feast for Crows, Jon Snow sends him to the Citadel by sea, but Maester Aemon dies on the voyage between Braavos and Oldtown.
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.
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 complete lack of martial abilities and his interest in scholarly pursuits convince his father that he is not a worthy heir and he is forced to join the Night's Watch.
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. Later, 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. 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.
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.
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". 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. During a parlay with Jon, Stannis Baratheon and his army rout the wildlings, and Mance is taken prisoner. 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 a wildling, escaping execution. Jon orders Mance to rescue Arya Stark, not knowing the girl is actually Jeyne Poole. 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. Mance stays behind and is seemingly captured in the attempt. His fate is unknown.
Ygritte is a wildling woman known for her red hair. She is fierce and headstrong. In wildling culture she is known as a spearwife: a woman who is also a warrior. Because wildlings practice marriage by capture, she is considered Jon's wife because he takes her captive upon their first meeting in A Clash of Kings. The two soon begin a sexual relationship, but he ultimately leaves her to return to the Night's Watch. Ygritte is later killed in the Battle at the Wall.
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 A Feast for Crows she is sent South aboard a ship to Oldtown with Samwell, ostensibly with her child; in truth Jon Snow swapped her child with that of Mance Rayder, to spare the innocent child from Melisandre's flames on account of his king's blood.
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 and his people to the Wall. The mission is successful.
Lord of Bones
The 'Lord of Bones (also mocked as "Rattleshirt") is a wildling leader under Mance Rayder. In A Dance with Dragons, he is executed, believed to be Mance since Melisandre glamoured him to take the appearance of the condemned.
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.
Eddison Tollett (also known as Dolorous Edd) is a squire from House Tollett and a steward of the Night's Watch. Edd survives the fight with the wights at the Fist of the First Men. He 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.
Royal court and officials
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.
Petyr Baelish 
Lord Petyr Baelish, called Littlefinger, is the Master of Coin, the Treasurer of the Seven Kingdoms.
Varys, called the Spider, is a eunuch who serves as Master of Whisperers, the spymaster for the king of the Seven Kingdoms. 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.
Pycelle is an elderly Maester, and for decades he 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 a 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. He is killed by Varys, who believes that Pycelle's and Kevan's competent leadership threatens Aegon VI Targaryen's chance at the throne.
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 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 Robert. When Daenerys disappears in A Dance with Dragons, he launches a coup against her husband. He then reluctantly rules Meereen in her stead under the title the Queen's Hand until she returns.
Ser Arys Oakheart is a knight of King Robert Baratheon's Kingsguard, and for Robert's subsequent heirs. 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. Together, they plot to place Myrcella on the throne. When the plot is foiled, Arys is killed.
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.
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. He convinces Queen Cersei Lannister to allow him to experiment on the dying Gregor Clegane. He creates Cersei an unbeatable champion dubbed Ser Robert Strong, who is made a knight of the Kingsguard.
The High Sparrow
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. After becoming the High Septon in A Feast for Crows he arrests both Margaery Tyrell and Cersei Lannister on charges of adultery.
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. In A Game of Thrones, Viserys Targaryen and Illyrio Mopatis marry Daenerys Targaryen to Khal Drogo to get his support and warriors for the invasion of Westeros. He proves a kind, sensitive, and loving husband. After a failed attempt on Daenerys's life, he vows to invade Westeros, but is wounded in a subsequent battle. Daenerys unwittingly sacrifices their unborn son to save him with blood magic. While he is left alive, he is in a catatonic state. Daenerys euthanizes him with a pillow. At his funeral pyre, she walks with her dragon eggs into the flames and emerges unscathed with three baby dragons. He is the namesake of her favorite dragon, Drogon.
Syrio Forel is the former First Sword of Braavos and a master of the Braavosi fighting style known as Water Dancing. He instructs Arya in the ways of fencing. When the Lannisters send their guards to capture Arya, Syrio fights them off while she escapes.[S 41]
Jaqen H'ghar is a name 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, he is taken from the dungeons to join the Night's Watch. On the journey, he meets Arya Stark, who frees him and two others when the group is attacked by Lannisters. In return, he promises to kill any three people she names. After Arya names Jaqen himself, he agrees to help her free the northern prisoners in Harrenhal in exchange for his own life. They escape, and he gives Arya an iron coin, instructing her to give it to any Braavosi and say "valar morghulis" should she need more help. He then leaves her.
Illyrio Mopatis is a wealthy and powerful Magister in Pentos. He is a larger man, though in his youth he was a strong mercenary. 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. Before the events of the series, he welcomed the exiled Viserys Targaryen and his sister Daenerys into his home as guests. In A Game of Thrones, Illyrio brokers a marriage between Daenerys and Khal Drogo to buy Drogo's army of warriors. 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.
Thoros of Myr
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 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.
Ser Duncan the Tall
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. Duncan was appointed to his Kingsguard, and eventually became its Lord Commander. He perished alongside his king in a fire at Summerhall, the Targaryen summer home.
Hizdahr zo Loraq
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. Hizdahr tries to gain control of Meereen after the disappearance of Daenerys but Grey Worm and his Unsullied refuse to obey him.
Yezzan zo Qaggaz
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.
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.
The Waif is a priestess of the Many-Faced God in the House of Black and White. She appears to be a young girl, however she is 36 years old. The waif is assigned to teach Arya the tongue of Braavos and then how to detect lies. The waif gets Arya the warm milk the kindly man requests for her.
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- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 28: Bran IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 69: Bran VII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 29: Davos IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Arya II, p. 221.
- A Game of Thrones, Eddard I, pp. 42–44.
- A Game of Thrones, Eddard I, pp. 424–427.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 37: Bran V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53: Bran VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 16: Bran II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 7: Arya I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 37: The Prince of Winterfell.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72: Jaime IX.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 20: Reek II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 31: Melisandre I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 51: Theon I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3: Daenerys I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2: Catelyn I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 2: Catelyn I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4: Eddard I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45: Eddard XII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80: Sansa VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40: Catelyn VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 10: Sansa I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34: Catelyn VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43: Eddard XI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 62: Tyrion VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 61: Tyrion XIV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38: Tyrion V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 66: Tyrion IX.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14: Brienne III.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20: Brienne IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 5: Davos I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 10: Davos II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25: Davos III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36: Davos IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 63: Davos VI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9: Davos I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 19: Davos III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 11: Theon I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45: Catelyn V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 26: The Wayward Bride.
- A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1: The Prophet.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 59: The Discarded Knight.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 43: Daenerys VII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 68: The Dragontamer.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 70: The Queen's Hand.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 68: Sansa VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 48: Jon VI, pp.434–436.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 60: Jon VIII, pp.547–553.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1: Bran I, p.11-13.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4: Eddard I, p.37.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6: Catelyn II, p.56.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 13: Tyrion II, p.104.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 19: Jon III, pp.148–157.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53: Bran VI, p.483-484.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 15: Jon II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 41: Jon V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17: Jon IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 52: Jon VII, pp.473–474.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 33: Samwell III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 53: Jon VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 69: Jon IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73: Jon X.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix: House Baratheon, pp.676–677.
- A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41: IX.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21: The Queenmaker.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 22: Arya II, p.188-189.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 50: Arya IV, pp.445–447.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3: Daenerys I, p.23-27.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5: Tyrion II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3: Daenerys I, p.31.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 1: Tyrion I.
- Martin, George R. R. (September 1996). A Game of Thrones. A Song of Ice and Fire (US hardcover ed.). Bantam Spectra. ISBN 978-0-553-10354-0.
- Martin, George R. R. (March 1999). A Clash of Kings. A Song of Ice and Fire (US hardcover ed.). Bantam Spectra. ISBN 978-0-553-10803-3.
- Martin, George R. R. (November 2000). A Storm of Swords. A Song of Ice and Fire (US hardcover ed.). Bantam Spectra. ISBN 978-0-553-10663-3.
- Martin, George R. R. (November 2005). A Feast for Crows. A Song of Ice and Fire (US hardcover ed.). Bantam Spectra. ISBN 978-0-553-80150-7.
- Martin, George R. R. (July 2011). A Dance with Dragons. A Song of Ice and Fire (US hardcover ed.). Bantam Spectra. ISBN 978-0-553-80147-7.
- A sourced list of GRRM's pronunciations, hosted at Westeros.org
- HBO's official pronunciation guide for Game of Thrones characters