Major houses in A Song of Ice and Fire


Major houses in A Song of Ice and Fire

The following is a list of the notable characters in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of epic fantasy novels, belonging to one of the major aristocratic houses of fictional Westeros, and explains in detail what happens to these characters. Female characters who married into another house are listed with their ancestral house. Other notable characters in the series are listed in Characters in A Song of Ice and Fire, and a comprehensive list of characters can be found at List of characters in A Song of Ice and Fire.

Contents

House Arryn

Coat of arms of House Arryn

House Arryn is the principal noble house in the Vale; many lesser houses are sworn to them. Their main seat is at the Eyrie, but they have many other holdings. Their sigil is a white moon-and-falcon on a sky-blue field, and their words are "As High as Honor." Their line dates back to the old Andal nation that invaded Westeros. Usually marrying other Andal nobles, House Arryn to this day has the purest line of Andal nobility.

Robert Arryn

The only son of Jon Arryn and his wife, Lysa Tully. He is a sickly, whiny child of eight, now Lord of the Eyrie and Defender of the Vale. Robert is afflicted with a disease that causes frequent seizures. His mother, Lady Lysa, rules the Vale as regent in his name. He is intellectually and physically stunted, and is not even weaned from his mother's breast.

Upon the death of Robert's mother, Petyr Baelish assumed the position of Lord Protector of the Vale, and claimed the rule of the Vale and the guardianship of Lord Robert through his brief marriage to Lady Lysa. Several of the more prominent nobles of the Vale signed a declaration to oust Petyr from the Eyrie and assume the rearing and training of Robert Arryn, calling themselves the 'Lords Declarant.' Robert has become even more emotional and unstable after his mother's death, and has become highly attached to his cousin, Sansa Stark, in her guise of Alayne Stone, who has taken on a surrogate maternal role with regard to him.

Jon Arryn

Lord of the Eyrie and Defender of the Vale, Jon was Warden of the East and Hand of the King during Robert Baratheon's reign. Jon Arryn was one of the principal leaders of Robert's Rebellion, raising his banners to protect his wards Robert and Eddard Stark. To secure the support of Lord Hoster Tully in the rebellion, Jon married Lysa Tully. After Robert took the Iron Throne, he named Jon the Hand of the King. Over Robert's fifteen year reign, Jon was left with much of the responsibility of running the Seven Kingdoms. He was a close friend and father figure to both King Robert and Lord Eddard through most of their lives.

Before his death, Jon worked with Stannis Baratheon to discover that Queen Cersei Lannister's children were fathered not by Robert but by Jaime Lannister. Before he could reveal this information, he was poisoned by his wife Lysa on the instigation of Petyr Baelish.

House Baratheon

Coat of arms of House Baratheon

House Baratheon is the principal house in the Stormlands, to whom the lesser storm lords are sworn. Its seat is Storm's End. Its sigil is a crowned black stag on a field of gold, and its words are "Ours is the Fury." After Robert's Rebellion, the house claimed the Iron Throne in King's Landing and the Isle of Dragonstone, with the support of House Stark, House Tully, House Arryn, and, eventually, House Lannister, making them the new royal family.

Robert Baratheon

At the beginning of the novels Robert Baratheon has been king of Westeros for 15 years. During his youth he was a formidable warrior, but now he is described as a bearded fat man, fond of hunting, wenching, and drinking.

Robert was fostered at the Eyrie along with Eddard Stark of the North. The two became close to each other and also to their foster father Lord Jon Arryn. Robert later became betrothed to Ned's sister Lyanna Stark, whom he loved deeply although from a distance.

Hearing that Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped Lyanna, Robert was outraged. Brandon Stark, Lyanna's brother, rode to King's Landing to rescue her, but he was captured and executed by King Aerys. Eventually Aerys ordered Jon Arryn to give him the heads of Robert and Eddard Stark. Jon Arryn instead rose in rebellion against Aerys thereby beginning Robert's Rebellion/ War of the Usurper. Though Robert won his war and killed Rhaegar personally on the Trident, Robert did not get Lyanna back, as she died under unknown circumstances. Robert was thereafter haunted by her memory, and bore a deep hatred against Targaryens in general and Rhaegar in particular.

In the aftermath of the war, Robert assumed the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. He married Cersei Lannister to cement her family's loyalty to his rule. He named Jon Arryn his Hand of the King and left much of the governance of the realm in Arryn's hands. Fond of feasts, celebrations, and tourneys, Robert squandered the vast treasury left by King Aerys, eventually leaving the crown heavily in debt. He was killed by a wild boar while hunting, leaving the realm divided. His squire, Lancel Lannister, contributed to his death by fortifying his wine to make it more potent so he was more drunk than usual when he squared off against the boar. This led to the War of the Five Kings, during which most of the novels take place.

Robert Baratheon is played by Mark Addy in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Joffrey Baratheon

Joffrey Baratheon is the eldest of the three royal Baratheon children, and Robert's heir. He is 12 years old at the beginning of the series. Joffrey is a strong-willed child and has a vicious temper and an unchecked sadistic streak. As a Lannister, he is tall, blonde, and handsome. Raised as Robert's son, he was actually fathered by Jaime Lannister. Robert never questioned Joffrey's parentage, but he was never fond of or close to the child.

Along with the rest of the royal family, Joffrey made the trip to Winterfell after Jon Arryn's death. He began to court Sansa Stark, Eddard's daughter to whom he was betrothed. After an incident with the fiery young Arya Stark, his true personality showed through his polished manners, which earned him Arya's hatred.

As the new Hand of the King, Eddard Stark discovered that Joffrey and his siblings were actually born of incest between Cersei and her brother Jaime. To protect this secret Cersei arranged for Robert's death and then arrested Eddard. Young Joffrey took the Iron Throne as Robert's heir. Sansa pleaded with Joffrey, who promised banishment for Eddard, but instead ordered his public beheading before Sansa's own eyes. This act was the major trigger that plunged Westeros into the War of the Five Kings. Joffrey ruled with whim and caprice, overriding his advisors. He frequently had his guards beat Sansa for his amusement. As his Hand, only Tyrion stood up to Joffrey's orders. His cruelty made him unpopular, and he was nearly killed in a public riot.

Joffrey took part in the Battle of the Blackwater, serving as the figurehead for the loyalist army against the invading naval force of Stannis Baratheon. Though his army under the command of Tyrion were able to show harsh resistance, including dousing the Blackwater with Wildfire to keep the invaders at bay, the tide eventually began to turn against King Joffrey. At this point, Joffrey was recalled to the safety of the Red Keep by his mother, an act that further damaged the morale of the loyalist army. Even Joffrey's favoured bodyguard, Sandor Clegane, fled the scene. In the waning moments of the battle, Joffrey's grandfather Tywin Lannister arrived with much-needed reinforcements. With the backing of the Tyrells, the royalist forces dealt Stannis a shattering blow to his vanguard, the likes of which resulted in many of his fair-weather allies switching sides. Stannis and what little remained of his fleet retreated, and King Joffrey's forces were proclaimed the victors.

In the wake of Joffrey's close call with deposition, Tywin officially took his place as Joffrey's Hand. Joffrey's betrothal to Sansa was ended, and Joffrey was instead promised to the widowed bride of Renly, Margaery Tyrell. He also inducted her brother, Ser Loras, into his Kingsguard. Despite this, Joffrey continued to hound Sansa, and made several allusions to his desire to keep her as a mistress. Joffrey's long-standing animosity with Tyrion came to a head during his wedding to Margaery, where Joffrey made several efforts to humiliate Tyrion in front of the gathered host.

During his wedding feast, Joffrey was poisoned during a heated argument with Tyrion; his last act a desperate glance directed towards his mother as he clawed his throat apart in a frenzy. Tyrion was blamed for Joffrey's death, and stood trial for it before fleeing with the help of his elder brother, Jaime.

The truth of Joffrey's death, however, lay with certain members of House Tyrell and Littlefinger, who had originally orchestrated the Lannister-Tyrell alliance. Particularly, Olenna Redwyne is noted to have taken an active part in Joffrey's downfall, though it is also hinted that Margaery herself knew of the plot. Joffrey was succeeded by his younger brother, King Tommen.

Joffrey Baratheon is played by Jack Gleeson in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Myrcella Baratheon

The second oldest of the royal Baratheon children, Myrcella Baratheon is delicate, beautiful and courteous. For her age, she displays courage, a strong will, and high intelligence. She is eight at the beginning of the series.

Myrcella was sent to Dorne as part of an agreement with House Martell to ensure their support of Joffrey during the War of Five Kings. She is betrothed to marry Prince Trystane when they come of age, and by all reports the two get along well. Arianne Martell schemed to make Myrcella queen after Joffrey's death, as befit the laws of Dorne, but the plan went awry. During the chaos, Ser Gerold Dayne attempted to kill Myrcella, slashing her across the face. She survived, but lost an ear and received a hideous facial scar.

Tommen Baratheon

The youngest of the royal Baratheon children, Tommen, is seven years old at the beginning of the series. His plumpness, sweet disposition, and weak will are all marked contrasts to his sociopathic older brother Joffrey. Tommen was crowned after Joffrey's death, and married Joffrey's young widow Margaery. A submissive child, he did everything Cersei bade him, being more interested in his kittens and games than in the realm. Tommen's pliability worked both ways, however, and he was soon influenced by Margaery to resist his mother's commands. After Cersei was arrested, Tommen continues to sign everything his advisors set in front of him.

Renly Baratheon

The younger of Robert's brothers, the Lord of Storm's End, and Master of Laws on Robert's Small Council. He is a handsome and charismatic man, winning friends easily, but also strikes some people as frivolous.

King Robert gave the Baratheon seat of Storm's End to Renly despite his elder brother Stannis' better claim. The lands of Storm's End are considerably larger and richer than those of Stannis's Dragonstone, giving Renly more power than his older brother. Eventually, however, Renly was called to King's Landing to be a member of Robert's court.

While Robert lay dying, Renly approached Eddard Stark and suggested they seize control of the Iron Throne before Cersei Lannister could strike. Eddard honorably refused, and Renly left the city. After Robert's death, Renly declared himself king. Through his charisma and familiarity with the Baratheon bannermen, he managed to win support from many houses, despite his older brother Stannis' better claim. Renly also won the support of the Tyrells through a marriage to Margaery.

He spent a great deal of time moving slowly through the south, gaining support and men while waiting for the right moment to strike. He hosted tournaments for his men while the Lannisters and Starks wore each other down. This plan went awry, however, when his brother Stannis marched against him. He met Stannis' much-smaller force and refused to back down from his claim. While preparing for battle with his brother's forces, Renly was mysteriously slain by an animated shadow resembling Stannis.

Renly Baratheon is played by Gethin Anthony in the HBO adaptation of the books. The television series makes it clear that Renly is in love with Ser Loras Tyrell, and that they have a physical relationship, which is only strongly hinted at in the books.

Stannis Baratheon

The elder of Robert's brothers, Stannis is Lord of Dragonstone and Master of Ships on Robert's Small Council. A brooding, humorless man known for a harsh and unyielding sense of justice, he is obsessed with slights real and imagined. His stubbornness and determination are legendary. He is also a capable naval commander. His wife is Lady Selyse of House Florent, a mighty noble house sworn to Highgarden and House Tyrell.

After learning of Cersei's incest and the death of Jon Arryn, Stannis left the king's council and returned to Dragonstone. There he gathered what strength he could, while also falling under the sway of Melisandre, sorceress and priestess of R'hllor. She proclaimed Stannis to be the Azor Ahai reborn, a messianic figure of the R'hllor faith. When Robert died, Stannis claimed the Iron Throne as Robert's heir, however most of the Baratheon bannermen followed his more charismatic brother Renly. Melisandre used magic to give birth to a mysterious shadow, which assassinated Renly.

After this event Stannis recruited most of his brother's troops into his own army, although House Tyrell declined, eventually allying with the Lannisters. After a brief consolidation Stannis launched an amphibious assault on King's Landing, where his forces were defeated, Stannis returned to Dragonstone. There, Melisandre urged him to sacrifice a royal bastard, Edric Storm, to complete a magical ritual for power, but his counselor Davos Seaworth smuggled the boy away and urged Stannis to take his remaining forces north to defend the Wall. Stannis agreed, and arrived at the Wall just in time to crush a wildling assault at the battle of Castle Black. He stayed at the Wall to negotiate a settlement compromise with the wildlings. Jon Snow was subsequently selected as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Stannis continued to seek support in the North for another attempt at the throne. However, in his attempt to capture Winterfell, he was allegedly killed along with most of his army as tauntingly reported to Jon Snow by Ramsay Bolton. His last known location is in a snowed in village 3 days west of Winterfell.

Stannis' true fate remains dubious, seeing as several individuals that Ramsay ordered Jon to turn over (notably, Theon Greyjoy) were prisoners of Stannis shortly after their escape from Bolton's grasp.

He will be played by Stephen Dillane in the HBO adaptation of the books.[1]

House Greyjoy

COA of House Greyjoy

House Greyjoy is the principal noble house on the Iron Islands; many lesser Ironborn houses are sworn to them. Their seat is at Pyke. Their sigil is a golden kraken on a black field, and their words are "We Do Not Sow."

The House descends from the legendary Grey King in the Age of Heroes. The Greyjoys became Lords Paramount of the Iron Isles after the Targaryen conquest, when Aegon I allowed the Ironborn to choose who would have primacy over them. They chose Vickon Greyjoy and his line.

Balon Greyjoy

Lord of the Iron Islands, King of Salt and Rock, Son of the Sea Wind, Lord Reaper of Pyke, captain of the Great Kraken. A harsh and fierce man, devoted in most respects to Ironborn custom, he nonetheless sees his daughter Asha as his successor. He led a rebellion against King Robert Baratheon, which failed. Balon's youngest son Theon was taken hostage by Lord Stark.

After Robert Baratheon's death, Balon spurned Robb Stark's offer of an alliance and declared himself King of the Iron Islands and the North, taking the Neck and ravaging the coastline of the Stark-held North.

Balon died in a fall while crossing a weak bridge during a storm. Some portents and the timely return of his brother Euron lead characters to speculate that Balon may have been murdered by an assassin at Euron's command.

Aeron Greyjoy

The youngest of Balon's brothers and a POV character, Aeron was a ribald drunk in his youth. After a near-drowning, he dedicated himself to the Ironborn religion of The Drowned God. He is now a hard, humorless ascetic, wearing a roughspun robe and living as a hermit on the beach. He weaves seaweed into his uncut hair, earning him the name "Damphair". Fellow holy men, called Drowned Men, do his bidding without question, and he is greatly respected by the Ironborn in general.

After Balon's death and Euron's return, Aeron used his influence as a high priest of the Drowned God to bring about a Kingsmoot for the selection of Balon's replacement. He had hoped to crown his brother Victarion, who he knew would continue Balon's traditional and conservative ways. The plan went awry, however, and Euron was able to claim the throne. Aeron announced plans to try to rouse the people against the "godless" Euron, and disappeared the next day. His fate is unknown.

Asha Greyjoy

Balon Greyjoy's only daughter and oldest living child, Asha is a POV character as of A Feast for Crows. Asha was Balon's only remaining child after Eddard Stark took Theon hostage, and she has been raised as his putative heir. She is fierce and proud, and defies traditional Ironborn gender roles by commanding her own ship and leading men into battle. Upon Theon's return he made sexual advances towards her believing they were not related due to Theon's absence being Eddard Starks ward. After Theon took control of Winterfell, Asha urged him to abandon the indefensible fort and travel with her south. However, her brother does not heed her; opting to remain behind with several of Asha's men. She takes her leave, and is not present to witness the sacking of Winterfell by Theon's duplicitous ally Ramsay Bolton. She returned to the isles after Balon's death to claim his throne. With the proposal to make peace with the mainland in exchange for land, she did better than many expected at the Kingsmoot, but was passed over in favor of Euron.

Like Aeron, Asha rejects the notion of Crow's Eye becoming their new king; taking her men and her ship away from his domain. After a series of battles that end with her capture at the hands of Stannis Baratheon's forces, Asha is finally reunited by with her tortured and mangled brother en route to liberate a Bolton-controlled Winterfell.

Asha Greyjoy is played by Gemma Whelan in the HBO adaptation of the books, where the character's name has been changed to "Yara" to prevent confusion with the Wildling Osha.

Euron Greyjoy

A younger brother of Balon and captain of the Silence, a ship crewed entirely by mutes whose tongues Euron ripped out. Euron is a wildly unpredictable man, known for his delight in playing vicious mind games and waging psychological warfare on anyone around him. He is hated by all his brothers for this reason. He wears a patch over his left eye, and is nicknamed "Crow's Eye", though it is unclear what he hides beneath the patch. He was banished from the isles and warned never to return while Balon was alive.

Euron returned to the isles the day after Balon's death. At the Kingsmoot called by Aeron, he promised to conquer all Westeros for the ironborn using dragons, which he claimed he could bind to his will with a magic horn. He was elected king, and began raids upon the Reach. These raids were wildly successful, and Euron weakened possible rivals by giving lands and titles to key followers of theirs. However, he failed to move the ironborn beyond raiding and to continue their quest for the dragons. Instead, he sent Victarion to find Daenerys Targaryen, court her in his name, and bring her and her dragons to Westeros.

Theon Greyjoy

Theon Greyjoy, a POV character, is the son and heir apparent of Balon Greyjoy. He was taken hostage and raised as a ward by Eddard Stark at Winterfell for ten years. He is caught between the Stark and Greyjoy worlds, belonging to neither in full.

Theon was raised with the Stark children and tutored along with them in all disciplines. He became close friends with Robb Stark, and supported him in several battles after Eddard's death. Robb sent him to the Ironborn's islands to seek a Stark/Greyjoy alliance. His Greyjoy family criticized Theon's mainland ways and rejected Robb's proposal. Balon sent him to raid the northern shores, but he ignored those orders and captured Winterfell in an attempt to win his family's esteem. Bran and Rickon Stark escaped. After a fruitless search, Theon killed two peasant boys, deceiving both Winterfell and the rest of Westeros into believing the corpses belonged to Bran and Rickon, consolidating his victory. Theon held Winterfell for a short time, but was ultimately captured after his multiple requests for aid were mostly ignored and denied by his family and, most notably, his sister. He was taken to Roose Bolton's Dreadfort. He remains there as prisoner. Some of the Ironborn, including his sister Asha, believe him dead. As a result of torture, he has lost fingers on both hands along with some toes, has been traumatized psychologically and is hinted to have suffered castration.

Theon has been taken prisoner by his duplicitous former ally, Ramsay Bolton. Tortured, flayed and mutilated repeatedly, Theon is forced to take on the identity of Ramsay's slain serving man, "Reek." Disallowed to bathe, and covered in filth and excrement from head-to-toe, Theon constantly tries to reaffirm his "new" identity to please his abusive new master. Ramsay (and his father, Roose) put Theon to work in a number of their schemes, beginning with the liberation of Moat Cailin. After Theon succeeds in offering the occupying Ironborn men peace terms, Ramsay has them all flayed alive and hangs their bodies along the countryside. Roose later takes Theon off Ramsay's hands for a time, installing him as an essential member at Ramsay's wedding to (the false) Arya Stark, whose identity (unknown to the masses) is actually Jeyne Poole. After the wedding at Winterfell, Theon is forced to degrade "Arya" while Ramsay looks on. Theon spends the majority of his time at Winterfell wandering around in something of a remorseful daze, and eventually collapses before the heart tree. His desperate pleas for help are granted when the wedding bard and his serving women (actually Mance Rayder and his spearwives, who were sent to rescue "Arya" from Ramsay's grasp) assist him in escaping; being caught themselves in the process while Theon and Jeyne are able to flee the castle.

Theon is found by the Braavosi banker, and brought before Stannis Baratheon's forces. He also reunites with his stunned sister, also a captive of Stannis.

Theon Greyjoy is played by Alfie Allen in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Victarion Greyjoy

Brother to Balon, Lord Commander of the Iron Fleet, and a POV character. Victarion loves battle and the open sea. He is a very capable commander and a fierce warrior in battle, but has a calm demeanor outside of it, thinking of enemies with great respect and deploring Euron's tendency to humiliate captives. He is a religious man and wears full plate armor while sailing because he has no fear of drowning. Years ago Victarion killed his dishonored wife. He has not remarried.

A claimant to the throne of the isles after Balon's death, Victarion appeared to be the leading contender for the throne, but was eventually passed over in favor of Euron. Despite his hatred for Euron, Victarion's dutiful nature kept him following Euron's orders. He led the attack on the shield islands defeating the young Lord Serry in single combat, though taking a wound to his hand in return. He perceived the political games Euron played with the other Ironborn, but was powerless to stop him. Though Euron has asked him to court Daenerys Targaryen in Euron's name, he secretly plans to marry her for himself to spite Euron for his earlier betrayals.

Victarion's iron fleet of over ninety ships split into three squadrons and set sail towards Meereen. Currently, Victarion has lost nearly half his ships, though he has also gained some ships back due to the Ironborn capturing and seizing several trading vessels and their cargo. Victarion's wounded hand continued to trouble him and he suspected the maester Euron made accompany him was poisoning him. During the voyage, a Red Priest of R'hllor named Moqorro was discovered clinging to wreckage out to sea. His entire body is burned pure black. The crew wanted him killed, but Moqorro managed to cure Victarion's wounded hand with magic and had Victarion kill the maester to bring the ship good winds. Moqorro, like Melisandre, can see the future in the flames and is using the magic to aid Victarion in his quest. Victarion's crew live in great fear of the man and call him "Black Flame". Victarion now makes offerings to both the Drowned God and R'hllor. Moqorro also alerted Victarion that he has seen Daenerys married in the flames, but Victarion is unconcerned by this as he has stated "she would not be the first woman I made a widow".

House Lannister

Coat of Arms of House Lannister.

House Lannister is the principal house of the Westerlands. Their principal seat is Casterly Rock. Their sigil is a golden lion on a field of crimson. Their official house words are "Hear me roar!" However their unofficial motto, equally well known, is "A Lannister always pays his debts."

The Lannisters reigned as Kings of the Rock until the Targaryen conquest. The Lannisters surrendered and were allowed to remain the paramount lords of the Westerlands at Casterly Rock. The House had fallen on hard times but was restored to its former glory by Tywin Lannister. The Lannisters are the richest family in the Seven Kingdoms, due in large part to the many gold mines under their control, despite by no means being the largest kingdom and being rather mountainous.

Tywin Lannister

Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport and Warden of the West, Tywin is a calculating, ruthless, and controlling man in his mid-fifties. His wife Joanna Lannister died in childbirth while delivering his dwarf son Tyrion, and he took no other wife. He loves his children Jaime and Cersei, but despises Tyrion for being deformed and causing his beloved wife Joanna's death.

During his youth, Tywin managed to single-handedly restore his family's honor and fortune, and dedicated himself to reinforcing Lannister prestige. Though ruthless Tywin was still an able and shrewd ruler who brought great prosperity during his two tenures as Hand of the King. However, King Aerys' increasing paranoia and jealousy drove the two into bitter disagreement. Tywin resigned as Hand and returned to his own lands when Aerys named his son Jaime to the Kingsguard robbing Tywin of his heir. During Robert's Rebellion Tywin remained at Casterly Rock, taking no side until after Robert's decisive victory at the Battle of the Trident. Tywin then gathered his forces and rode for King's Landing. Aerys was convinced that Tywin had returned to aid him and opened the gates of the city. Tywin's forces promptly sacked the city, Jaime murdered Aerys, and Rhaegar's wife and children were slain by Lannister knights under Tywin's orders.

After Robert Baratheon's death, Tywin became Hand of the King again, this time for King Joffrey, his grandson. For much of the next year he led his troops against House Stark and appointed his son Tyrion to serve as Hand while he was away. As Hand, Tyrion displayed a pragmatic talent for intrigue and ingenuity. During the War of the Five Kings, Stannis Baratheon became a serious threat to the Lannisters, besieging King's Landing at the Battle of the Blackwater. Tywin Lannister delivered a strike that decimated Stannis' army. Many of Stannis' men switched sides. This was the final blow that ended the siege once and for all.

Tywin arranged the betrothal of Margaery Tyrell to Joffrey to secure an alliance between the Lannisters and the Tyrells. An elaborate wedding was planned. Joffrey died from poison at the wedding feast, and Tyrion was blamed. Tywin presided at his trial. Tyrion chose trial by combat. Tyrion's champion was slain and Tyrion imprisoned to await execution. However, Tyrion was soon secretly freed by Jaime and Varys in the middle of the night. Tyrion used the secret tunnels of the Red Keep to make his way to the Tower of the Hand's bedchamber where Tywin slept. There, Tyrion killed Tywin with a crossbow bolt as Tywin was seated on a privy.

Tywin is played by Charles Dance in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Cersei Lannister

Older than Jaime by mere moments, Cersei (a POV character) is the twin sister of Jaime Lannister with golden hair and bright green eyes. Though beautiful, Cersei is self-serving, greedy and cruelly uses others to gain her own ends. After Robert's Rebellion she married the new King, Robert Baratheon, and became Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. A willful and ambitious woman, Cersei resents the restrictions put on her for her sex. She is always concerned for the safety of her children, Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen. She neither loves nor respects her husband, King Robert.

Cersei's three children were all fathered by her brother Jaime, rather than her husband. This secret was discovered by Jon Arryn, Eddard Stark and Stannis Baratheon. Being an honorable man, Eddard offered Cersei an opportunity to flee before he broke the news to King Robert. Cersei, however, had no intention of leaving; ultimately, this led to Eddard's downfall.

Cersei has since climbed the ladder of power. She arranged for the death of her husband, King Robert. After that, she put her 13-year-old son Joffrey on the throne, ruling as Queen Regent. However, when leaving for battle, as Hand of the King, her non-twin brother Tyrion curtailed much of Cersei's policy. Several characters in the series state that Cersei wants power but does not wield it well.

When both her eldest son and father Tywin were murdered in quick succession Cersei believed that Tyrion was guilty of both. In fact, Tyrion was guilty of only the latter; however henceforth Cersei is obsessed with the notion that Tyrion is behind many of the bad deeds that befall her. (Later it is revealed that part of Cersei's treatment of Tyrion stems from a visit to a fortune teller when she was a child, who warned young Cersei that she would die at the hand of her "little brother", amongst some other prophecies which time proved to be true.)

Cersei resumed her regency over her younger son, the eight-year-old newly crowned King Tommen. As Tywin's eldest child, she was also acknowledged as the Lady of Casterly Rock. Thus empowered and unrestricted, Cersei began her regime by filling Tommen's Small Council with her own supporters and agents, disregarding previous arrangements. The changes she made to the Small Council along with some of the men she choose to fill it were not held in high regard by many of the lords and smallfolk.

Cersei grew to suspect that her powerful Tyrell allies, now relatives through Tommen's marriage to Margaery Tyrell, were trying to seize control of the kingdom. This suspicion grew from a Tyrell coin found in the dungeon where Tyrion was being held before his escape, since the reader knows the Tyrells had nothing to do with Tyrions escape the coin was likely planted by someone else (Varys being the most likely suspect) in hopes of causing friction in the Lannister/Tyrell alliance. If so the ploy seemed to have worked as Cersei began a campaign to remove the Tyrells in King's Landing from positions of influence and authority, including her son's wife Margaery, and Loras, a member of the Kingsguard.

This alienated Jaime, who had begun drifting away from his family, even further and he abandoned her to her own political paranoia. Another potentially ill-fated decision was her refusal to honor the debts of the Crown, angering powerful institutions such as the Iron Bank of Braavos and the Faith. As a result the Faith refused to bless King Tommen and the Iron Bank of Braavos refused any new loans to Westeros but called in all the debts from their previous loans which caused economic chaos. In addition the Iron Bank (unknown to Cersei) has started to send gold to Stannis to help him with his rebellion, knowing that if Stannis wins the throne he will honor the crowns debts.

A plan to have Margaery Tyrell seduced failed as Margaery did not respond to seduction. Her henchman (Osney Kettleblack) confessed to the High Septon the complete and actual truth (Osney had slept with Cersei and smothered the previous High Septon with a pillow at Cersei's command). Cersei was arrested and detained to await trial in a tower cell at the Great Sept of Baelor. Her ministers abandoned her and seized control of the government while she was imprisoned. Accused of capital crimes, her only hope lay in a Kingsguard champion to stand for her in a trial by combat. She sent Jaime a letter begging for his help but Jaime burned it.

To try and gain access to visitors Cersei decided to confess to the High Septon that she did have relations with her cousin Lancel and all three of the Kettleblack brothers (knowing that such sins would not earn her an execution) but still denied having ordered Osney to kill the previous High Septon or her involvement in Robert's death. The High Septon agreed to allow her one visitor a day. Cersei then learned about Myrcella's injury but more importantly she learned of Arys Oakheart's death (thus leaving a vacancy in the Kingsguard). Cersei then said "Go to Lord Qyburn on my behalf with a white cloak, and tell him that the time has come".

Before her trial, the faith had Cersei do a penance walk from the Sept of Baelor to the Red Keep. Cersei was shaved of hair from her head and entire body, then stripped naked, an escort of warrior Sons and poor fellows along with several septas escorted her from the leering and jeering crowds who had flocked to see her shame to the Red Keep. Near the end the ordeal proved much for Cersei who broke down in tears, before entering the Keep. Upon entering Qyburn had her covered. On a later visit to Cersei's new and more stately cell, her uncle Ser Kevan Lannister believes his niece appears meeker after the shame of her penance walk.

Cersei was carried into the castle by a silent eight foot tall Knight covered head to heel in thick enamelled white plate, with a great helm concealing his face. Qyburn introduced Cersei to the newest member of the Kingsguard "Ser Robert Strong" her "Champion".

Cersei Lannister is played by Lena Headey in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Jaime Lannister

Younger twin to Cersei, and son of Tywin and Joanna, Jaime Lannister (a POV character) is one of the most famous knights in all of Westeros. He became a knight and ascended to the Kingsguard at a young age. Two years after his induction, he murdered the mad king during the sack of King's Landing, earning him the epithet "Kingslayer". He shares his sister's arrogance, amorality, and striking good looks. In A Storm of Swords he becomes a point-of-view character.

Jaime was an immensely talented warrior from his youth. He gained honors for valor in the field during the suppression of the Kingswood Brotherhood and was invited to join the Kingsguard at the age of 15, becoming its youngest member ever. It was a great honor; however, his true reason for accepting was to be closer to his lover, his own twin sister Cersei. The honor was tarnished when he realized that his appointment was a way for King Aerys to deprive the powerful Lord Lannister of his eldest son and heir, since knights of the Kingsguard renounce their lands and titles and are sworn not to marry or have children. Seeing Aerys's true purpose, Tywin resigned as Hand, and returned with Cersei to Casterly Rock. With his sister gone, and tasked with guarding a king he now realized to be insane and cruel, Jaime became increasingly disenchanted with his role.

During Robert's Rebellion, Aerys kept Jaime out of the fighting to secure the continued loyalty of the Lannisters; however, after the Battle of the Trident, Jaime discovered that Aerys planned to burn King's Landing and all of its inhabitants rather than let Robert Baratheon take them. When Tywin Lannister tricked Aerys into letting his troops into King's Landing and began to sack the city, King Aerys attempted to put this plan into action. Jaime responded by killing the king, earning him the epithet "Kingslayer" and a reputation as an evil and dishonorable man. Jaime later reflected that he is often reviled for what he considers to be his finest act.

Jaime is initially portrayed as arrogant, impulsive and amoral. He attempted to protect the secret of his incestuous relationship with Cersei by throwing the eight year old Bran Stark from a high window at Winterfell. He was captured by Robb Stark and spent much of the War of the Five Kings imprisoned at the Tully stronghold of Riverrun. He was freed by Catelyn Stark in exchange for the freedom of her daughters Sansa and Arya and his oath to never take arms against the Starks or Tullys again.

During his journey back to King's Landing, Jaime's sword hand was cut off by his father's former sell-swords. Having lost his identity-defining martial prowess and with the example of the honorable Brienne of Tarth, Jaime began to re-evaluate his life.

After returning to King's Landing, Jaime officially takes up his postion as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, despite the handicap of his missing sword hand. He and Cersei begin their highly sexual relationship once more (even making love in front of Joffrey's corpse), though Jaime, changed by his experiences, begins to alienate himself from his family and comes into several conflicts with his father. Jaime's brother Tyrion stands accused of Joffrey's murder, and after both a tribunal and a trial by combat end in failure, sentenced to die. However, Jaime refuses to abandon Tyrion, and forces Varys to free him. The two brothers rekindle their relationship somewhat in the dungeons below the castle, though in a moment of remorse, Jaime reveals the truth of Tysha, Tyrion's one-time wife whom Tywin had forced Jaime to lie about. Tyrion is stunned by the revelation that she truly did love him, and hits Jaime. Tyrion (falsely) admits to the murder of Joffrey in order to spite him, and reveals the truth of their sister's promiscuity. Jaime, who had only ever been faithful to Cersei, is shocked by this, and further wounded by Tyrion's murder of Tywin during his escape from the dungeons.

Jaime stands vigil over the body of his father, and is urged by Cersei to take up his position as Tommen's Hand. However, he declines, and Cersei angrily ends their relationship - stating that she was a fool for ever having loved him. Jaime continues to struggle with his feelings for Cersei, though is removed from King's Landing on her orders to battle the Tully holdouts in the riverlands. Jaime succeeds in defeating the much-reduced Tully forces, and uses threats and diplomacy to end the battle decisively without taking up arms against them; attempting to keep his oath to Catelyn in the process. He takes Edmure as a hostage, promising him safety at Casterly Rock. Since leaving King's Landing, Jaime has also been training with Ser Ilyn Payne. While he hopes to eventually learn to fight left-handed, his progress has been very slow.

In his absence from King's Landing, Cersei's increasingly dire regency led to her being imprisoned by the Faith on grounds of adultery, regicide and incest. She makes a desperate plea to Jaime via letter, stating that she loves him and she needs him as never before, instructing him to come at once and defend her in a Trial by Combat. However, Jaime has the letter burned after reading it; abandoning Cersei to her fate.

Jaime is later approached by the gaunt figure of Brienne, who had apparently located Sansa Stark. Brienne informs him that Sansa is held captive by the Hound (a fabrication), and that she will die unless he comes alone. Jaime leaves with Brienne, and has not been seen or heard of since.

Jaime Lannister is played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Kevan Lannister

Kevan is Tywin's younger brother and most trusted captain, known for his reliability and loyalty. Kevan recognized the superiority of his brother at an early age and is comfortable doing his duty to realize his brother's wishes, though this means perpetually living in his shadow. It is said that Kevan never had a thought that Tywin hadn't had first.

After Tywin's death, Cersei offered him the position of Hand of the King. However he did not trust Cersei's leadership and said he would only take the position if she returned to Casterly Rock and gave him the regency. After her refusal he refused the position of Hand and accused Cersei of being a poor leader and mother and hinted knowledge of her incestuous relationship with her brother Jamie and her children's real parentage. He quickly became alienated to his immediate family and returned to the West. After Cersei's imprisonment, the Small Council named him Regent. Kevan accepted the role as Lord Regent to King Tommen and set about trying to fix the mess Cersei made.

To placate House Tyrell, Kevan made Mace Tyrell Hand of the King and raised two of Tyrell's bannerman to the small council. Paxter Redwyne was made the Lord Admiral and Lord Randyll Tarly the justiciar (master of laws). He has also visited the imprisoned Cersei, confronted her about her affair with his son Lancel and has stated to her that regardless of the outcome of her trial her rule is now at an end. Ser Kevan when calling upon Pycelle (Kevan was told by a servant the Grandmaester was seeking him), found Pycelle dead in the rookery where Varys appeared suddenly and shot Kevan in the chest with a crossbow. Varys apologised to Kevan as he lay dying, stating that he bore Kevan no ill will - that "he was just a good man fighting for the wrong cause" but Varys could not allow him to undo Cersei's work. Varys stated he did it for the realm and for "the children".

Kevan Lannister is played by Ian Gelder in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Lancel Lannister

Lancel is the oldest son of Ser Kevan. At King's Landing, he served as squire to King Robert. He is described as sandy-haired, with a wisp of a mustache and emerald green eyes, looking much like a younger Jaime.

Lancel idolized his cousin Jaime to the point that he participated in Cersei's plans to kill Robert so that he too could become a Kingslayer. After Robert's death, Lancel was knighted. Cersei took him as a lover while Jaime went to war, due to his resemblance to her brother. He guarded Joffrey until Cersei ordered Joffrey to be taken away during the Battle of the Blackwater. Lancel took a serious wound in the fighting and later chastised Cersei for the damage her action caused to morale.

Lancel lingered near death for a long time and he never fully recovered from his wound. During his recovery, Lancel experienced a spiritual reawakening, spending most of his time in the sept doing penance for his sins. His behavior angered his father greatly. When word reached Lancel of the resurgence of the Warrior Sons, an order of holy knights, he renounced his castle, lands and wife and traveled to King's Landing to join them.

Lancel Lannister is played by Eugene Simon in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Tyrion Lannister

Coat of Arms of Tyrion Lannister.

Tyrion Lannister, (a POV character from the start of the series) is Tywin's third child, a highly intelligent dwarf mockingly nicknamed "The Imp" and "Halfman". Though Tyrion shares his father's talent for political maneuvering, he receives little respect from Tywin because of his deformity, sharp tongue, penchant for whoring, and the death of his mother during his birth. He is capable of cruelty to his enemies, but also has great sympathy for fellow outcasts and the mistreated.

A Dance with Dragons provides some of Tyrion's biography. He was ten years old when the Mad King was killed. He had a love of tumbling and other gymnastics, which did not sit well with his father, and was forbidden from taking a tour of the Nine Free Cities when he became a man at sixteen, though his uncles Gerion and Tygett had done the same. Instead he was given charge of all the cisterns and drains at Casterly Rock.

When Tyrion was thirteen, he and his brother rescued a girl, Tysha, on the road from a band of attempted rapers. Jaime pursued the scoundrels while Tyrion took the girl to a nearby inn. In the books Tysha was a crofter's daughter, in the television series a wheelwright's orphan, but either way Tyrion was smitten by the girl and they married soon after with a drunken septon performing the marriage. They lived as man and wife for a fortnight, until the septon sobered and told Tywin Lannister. Tywin commanded Jaime to tell Tyrion the truth: the girl was a whore, and Jaime arranged the whole thing (road, rapists, etc.) so Tyrion would have his first woman. Tywin then had Tysha brought to Casterly Rock where Tywin gave her to the garrison having each man pay her silver after they took her. He forced Tyrion to go last, paying her with gold "because I was a Lannister, and worth more." The event traumatised Tyrion, but made him unendingly grateful to Jaime for his kindness in allowing Tyrion to taste love, even if only briefly.

Tyrion joined the royal family on their fateful trip to Winterfell, after which he visited The Wall. Jon Snow and Tyrion came to be unlikely friends during this time, brought together by their common lot in life as outcasts.

On Tyrion's return south, Catelyn Stark arrested him as the attempted murderer of her son Bran Stark and brought him to the Eyrie, seat of the deceased Jon Arryn and his widow, Lysa, Catelyn's sister. There Lysa Arryn put him on trial for that crime, as well as the murder of her late husband Jon Arryn. Tyrion escaped punishment with the victory of his champion, the sellsword Bronn, in a trial by combat. After leaving the Eyrie, he recruited the fierce and undisciplined mountain clans of the Vale with promise of steel and glory. Back at court in King's Landing, Tyrion suspected that he would need protectors against his family members, including possible assassination attempts from his sister, Cersei.

Tywin made Tyrion his temporary replacement as Hand of the King. Tyrion entered a bitter power struggle with Cersei, and consistently outplotted her. He also arranged for wildfire-filled ships and a massive chain boom that eventually devastated Stannis Baratheon's fleet during the Battle of the Blackwater, contributing greatly to the victory against Stannis. Stannis' men attempted to breach a major city gate. Tyrion alone seemed to appreciate the gravity of the situation and led a sortie beyond the walls to secure the gate area. Riding a horse and wielding an appropriately sized battle-axe, Tyrion led his men, unexpectedly experiencing the adrenaline-fueled high of "battle fever". He then took a severe facial wound (the loss of most of his nose) in an assassination attempt during the fighting perpetrated by Ser Mandon Moore, a white knight of the Kingsguard. During recovery, Tyrion suspected (correctly) that Cersei was to blame.

Forced into a political marriage with Sansa Stark, Tyrion took pity on his unwilling bride and did not force consummation. The two were wrongfully accused of the murder of King Joffrey; however, Sansa fled, and only Tyrion stood trial. Cersei's champion was the formidable Gregor Clegane. The notoriously skilled duelist Prince Oberyn Martell volunteered to champion Tyrion. Gregor Clegane managed to kill Oberyn, and Tyrion was condemned to death; however, he was secretly freed from his prison cell by his brother Jaime and a reluctant Varys. During the escape Jaime confessed to Tyrion that he had lied about lying about Tysha: she was not a whore but a girl chance met on the road. All was as it had seemed: Tysha had genuinely loved Tyrion, but Lord Tywin had made Jaime speak the lie when he found out.

Tyrion was outraged by this especially the fact of the fate his father inflicted on Tysha; he took his leave of Jaime, after angrily revealing Cersei's infidelity (knowing about the two's affair) and falsely claiming responsibility for Joffrey's murder, calling his nephew "a worse king than Aerys ever was". Before leaving the castle, Tyrion visited his father's room via the secret tunnels, where he discovered his own whore Shae asleep in his father's bed wearing only the necklace of the Hand of the King. Enraged by this final betrayal, Tyrion strangled her by tightening the necklace around her neck until her face turned black. After, he took down a crossbow from the wall, confronted his father in the privy and killed him there.

Tyrion fled across to narrow sea in a ship and passage arranged by Varys and arrived at the manse of Illyrio Mopatis. Illyrio made Tyrion aware of Daenarys Targaryen and her three dragons and sent Tyrion with other retainers (Jon Connington, Aegon VI) to meet up with Daenarys to strengthen her cause. However, while visiting a brothel in Volantis, Tyrion was recognised and captured by Ser Jorah Mormont. Ser Jorah wanted to bring Tyrion to Daenerys, hoping that handing her over the Kingslayer's brother would earn the queen's forgiveness. During the journey a dwarf woman named Penny accompanies the pair as well and eventually strikes a friendship with Tyrion. Tyrion, Penny and Mormont were captured however by a Yunkai'i Slaver and sold. When their new master died of a disease known as "The Pale Mare" the trio used the opportunity to escape and Tyrion managed to get all three to join the Sellsword Company "the Second Sons" under the command of Brown Ben Plumm. Tyrion wrote notes promising the company great wealth when he becomes Lord of Casterly Rock.

Tyrion is played by Peter Dinklage (the top choice of many of the fans and the series author George R. R. Martin as well)[2] in the HBO adaptation of the books.[3]

House Martell

House Martell is the ruling house of the kingdom of Dorne. Their seat is at Sunspear. Their sigil is a gold spear piercing a red sun, and their words are "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken."

House Martell was one of the ruling Houses of Dorne, originally a coalition of states and petty kingdoms. Lord Mors Martell married the legendary warrior queen of the Rhoyne, Nymeria. The two united all of Dorne under their rule and House Martell has reigned for the last thousand years. The House follows several Rhoynar customs, using equal primogeniture to determine inheritance and styling their rulers as 'Prince' rather than 'King.'

Dorne is a very warm land with a large central desert. The Dornishmen bitterly resisted Targaryen attempts to make them submit to their rule by force, and therefore have distinct traditions and culture compared to the other kingdoms. They only ultimately submitted to Targaryen rule through marriage between the two houses. Since then, the Martells have ruled Dorne in the name of the King on the Iron Throne, while keeping the title Prince of Dorne.

Doran Martell

The Prince of Dorne and Lord of Sunspear, Doran Martell is in his fifties and badly afflicted with gout, barely able to walk and is usually confined to a wheeled chair. He spends a great deal of time at the Water Gardens, the summer home of the Martells, watching children play. He avoids the commoners and only sees his trusted courtiers and advisors to hide his weakness from his enemies. Unlike most of his kin, Prince Doran is a cautious, pensive man who does not wear his emotions on his sleeve. For this, he is considered by the other great Lords of Westeros to be very dangerous, and by his own kin to be weak.

Doran originally refused to swear allegiance to King Joffrey Baratheon and considered supporting Renly Baratheon. However, Tyrion Lannister was able to gain his allegiance by sending him Myrcella Baratheon and betrothing her to his son Trystane, offering justice for his murdered sister Elia, and giving him a seat on the King's Small Council. Doran sent his brother Oberyn to claim both the seat and justice. When Oberyn died in King's Landing, Doran refused all suggestion of going to war for vengeance, returning to Sunspear to show his people that he still held power. Oberyn's warlike daughters "the Sand Snakes" were imprisoned to maintain the peace. Doran revealed that he had been planning the downfall of Lord Tywin Lannister since his sister Elia's death and he intends to ally with House Targaryen.

Arianne Martell

The eldest child of Doran and Mellario, Arianne is the heiress to Sunspear and the rule of Dorne through Rhoynar law. She is beautiful, with olive skin, large dark eyes, and hair that is a spill of glossy black ringlets. Despite her beauty and high station, Arianne is still unmarried at the age of 23. She is calculating, adventurous and fierce. She is also close with her cousins, the Sand Snakes.

Arianne appears as a POV character in A Feast For Crows. She has long been dissatisfied with her father and his style of rule, thinking him weak and vacillating. As heiress to Sunspear, she was permitted to hold the titular governance of Dorne when her father was absent at the Water Gardens. Doran's apparently humble marriage plans for her brought Arianne to the conclusion that her father intended to pass over her in his succession.

Arianne schemed to crown Myrcella Baratheon following Joffrey Baratheon's death, knowing that would precipitate a war. The plan was foiled, and Myrcella badly scarred. She confronted her father with her belief that he intended to deny her inheritance, but he revealed that he had planned in secret for her to wed Viserys Targaryen, the legal Targaryen heir, as part of his overarching scheme to wreak vengeance on House Lannister.

Oberyn Martell

Oberyn is Doran's hot-headed younger brother. He has been called "the Red Viper" because of rumors that he poisons his weapons. He is a forceful, lusty man with a quick wit and barbed tongue. Oberyn has traveled the world, founded his own mercenary company, and even studied at the Citadel. He has eight bastard daughters, called the Sand Snakes, four of them with his current paramour Ellaria Sand. He was extremely close to his sister Elia growing up and attempted to pledge Dorne for Viserys after her murder by Lannister forces during the sack of Kings Landing and has desired revenge ever since.

Oberyn went to King's Landing to take his brother's seat on the Small Council, and to obtain justice for his sister's murder as promised by Tyrion Lannister. Upon being denied this justice, when Tyrion was accused of Joffrey's murder, Oberyn surprised everyone by volunteering to champion him in his trial by combat, knowing that his opponent would be his sister's killer, Gregor Clegane. Even more so to everyone's surprise, during the combat trial, a revenge obsessed Martell managed to wear Gregor down and eventually spear him to the ground (a feat unheard of against the Mountain). Unfortunately, believing Clegane to be incapacitated beyond respite, the Dornish prince allowed himself to get too close to the Mountain, which ultimately proved to be a fatal mistake. While standing on top of Gregor, and demanding he confess to the murder of his sister and her children, Clegane managed to trip and then kill Oberyn as he made the confession that he killed them the same way he was about to kill him.

However, Oberyn achieved posthumous vengeance since he had coated his spear in thickened manticore venom, which left Ser Gregor to die slowly, and in extreme agony. Furthermore, the fact that Ser Gregor admitted to killing Elia and her children in front of the entire court gave Tywin Lannister no choice but sentence him to face the King’s Justice by beheading, provided he managed to somehow survive Oberyn’s poison.

Quentyn Martell

Quentyn Martell is the elder son and second child of Doran Martell, but not his heir owing to Dornish law. Quentyn, while not a handsome man, is intelligent and dutiful to his family. Though Doran has put out various misleading rumors as to where Quentyn has gone and why, he confessed to Arianne that Quentyn's true mission is to court Daenerys, or as Doran describes it, to bring back their "heart's desire": "vengeance", "justice" and "fire and blood." In Volantis, Quentyn and his companions have trouble securing a ship willing to carry them on to Meereen, and must adopt false names and sign on to the Tattered Prince's sellsword company, which has been hired by Yunkai to attack the city. However, on reaching Meereen and revealing himself to Daenerys, Quentyn learns that she is about to marry another. She tries to reassure him not to lose hope for Dorne, reminding him that "the dragon has three heads." The day after her marriage, her missing dragon appears and terrorizes a crowd of spectators. Daenerys orders the dragon to stop, then mounts him and is carried off. Afterwards, it is discovered that she had been offered poisoned food, and Quentyn is set up to take the blame by Daenerys's husband, the real poisoner. Not wanting to return to Dorne empty-handed, he offers the Tattered Prince the city of Pentos in exchange for his support in stealing the remaining two dragons so Quentyn can take them back to aid his father's army. While freeing the dragons, he dies of severe burns.

The Sand Snakes

Oberyn's eight bastard daughters are collectively called the Sand Snakes in reflection of their father, the Red Viper. The oldest Sand Snakes are companions and confidantes of their cousin, Arianne. Despite the variances in their birthmothers and appearances, they are all said to have their father's eyes.

After the death of their father, the oldest of the Sand Snakes, Obara, Nymeria and Tyene, began to pressure Prince Doran to declare war in retribution, and became involved in various plots to agitate the Dornish populace. Prince Doran had the oldest ones confined to tower cells in Sunspear castle, with the exception of Sarella, who is elsewhere. The youngest four, however, were isolated in the Water Gardens with their mother, to prevent them from being used in the plots of others.

Elia Martell

Doran's murdered sister, Elia, was very close to her brother Oberyn. She married Rhaegar Targaryen, the Prince of Dragonstone and heir to the Iron Throne, and bore him two children: a daughter, Rhaenys and a son, Aegon.

During Robert's Rebellion, Elia and her children were confined in the Red Keep as hostages to ensure the obedience of Dorne. When King's Landing was sacked, and the Red Keep captured, Gregor Clegane killed the infant Aegon in front of Elia, then raped and murdered her. Her daughter Rhaenys was dragged screaming from beneath her father Rhaegar's bed and stabbed to death by Amory Lorch. Lorch and Clegane, Lannister bannermen, supposedly killed the royal children on the order of Tywin Lannister. In reality, the youngest child had been replaced with a servant and prince Aegon is currently living.

House Stark

Coat of Arms of House Stark.

Several of the main point of view characters of the series are members of House Stark. House Stark is the principal noble house in the North. Their seat is Winterfell. Their sigil is a grey direwolf on a field of ice-white, their colours are grey trimmed with white, and their house motto, referred to in-universe as their words, is "Winter Is Coming." At the beginning of the story, Eddard Stark finds a dead direwolf with six pups and gives them to his children.

The Starks are descended from Brandon the Builder, a legendary figure from the Age of Heroes thousands of years in the past, who built Winterfell and the Wall. They were Kings of Winter in the North until Torrhen Stark submitted to Aegon the Conqueror at the end of the War of Conquest. Since that time the Starks have held the North for the kings of Westeros as Lords of Winterfell and Wardens of the North.

Eddard Stark

Eddard Stark, informally called "Ned", is Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North. He is a POV character and the protagonist of the first book of series A Game of Thrones. He and Catelyn Tully Stark have five children, and he claims a bastard son, Jon Snow. Eddard is known for his sense of honor and justice; he dislikes deceit, intrigue, and secrecy. Though his family finds him kind, some consider his reserved personality a sign of coldness and disdain. Ned is also a devout follower of the Old Gods, the gods of the First Men. These gods are also said to be the gods of the children of the forest, original inhabitants of Westeros.

Ned was fostered by Jon Arryn at the Eyrie, alongside Robert Baratheon. Ned befriended Robert, and came to consider Lord Arryn a second father. King Aerys II demanded that Arryn send him the heads of the two wards (having already had Ned's father and brother murdered on charges of treason). Arryn refused, launching a rebellion in which Ned and Robert joined as lords of their houses and chief commanders. Shortly before the final battles of the rebellion, Ned married Catelyn Tully, who had been betrothed to Ned's brother Brandon before his death. Ned was present, along with Howland Reed, at a tower on the Dornish border known as the "Tower of Joy" when his sister Lyanna died there, an incident that haunted Ned ever after.

Once the conflict had ended and Robert had taken the throne, Ned returned home, bringing with him a bastard son, Jon, about whose origins he refused to speak. He spent the next fifteen years as Lord of Winterfell. He rarely left his lands, and did not involve himself in the complex intrigues of the southern courts.

King Robert travelled to Winterfell to ask Eddard to replace Arryn as Hand of the King, the monarch's closest advisor. Ned wanted to decline, but went south at his wife's urging to investigate Arryn's death. He discovered that Robert's children were actually sired by Cersei's brother, Jaime Lannister. Pursuing his usual forthright, honorable approach, he confronted Cersei, giving her the opportunity to flee in disgrace. Instead, Cersei used her time to orchestrate Robert's assassination. Cersei imprisoned Ned for treason and her council arranged banishment for a plea bargain. However, Joffrey capriciously had him publicly beheaded, against Cersei and her council's wishes.

Eddard Stark is played by Sean Bean in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Robb Stark

Robb is Eddard Stark's eldest legitimate child, and the heir to Winterfell. He is the only major Stark that is not a POV character. He bears great responsibility with scant complaint, and shares his father's devotion to honor and justice. He is very close to his bastard half-brother Jon Snow, and uncomfortably aware of his mother Catelyn's antipathy toward Jon. His appearance favors his Tully side, with a stocky build, blue eyes, and thick auburn hair. His companion direwolf is named Grey Wind.

When Eddard became the King's Hand, Robb remained at Winterfell to rule in his father's stead. Upon Eddard's execution, Robb was declared King in the North by his father's bannermen, who rallied to his cause. Robb won many great battles against the Lannister armies, which led him to be known as the "Young Wolf", but he believed that he botched the non-martial aspects of the war.

His downfall was triggered by failure to fulfill one of his mother's pacts that cemented his shaky alliances. As part of an agreement with House Frey, she pledged to Lord Walder Frey that Robb would marry a Frey woman. Instead, Robb married Jeyne Westerling, daughter of a minor House serving House Lannister. Full of conflicting emotions over deflowering her after she tended his battle wound, Robb quietly wed Jeyne, naming her his queen. The controversial marriage incited the rage of House Frey; Robb offered an apology to Lord Frey for breaking his pledge, and believed the matter resolved.

Lord Frey's apparent forgiveness was proved false when Robb attended his uncle's wedding to a Frey: Robb, his wolf Grey Wind, his mother, and many of his men were murdered by Frey soldiers. Roose Bolton personally slew the young king, and his body was defiled. Because of the bloodshed, this event became known as the Red Wedding. The incident outraged Robb Stark's surviving loyal bannermen, and sullied the honor of House Frey, which had violated one of the oldest traditions of the Seven Kingdoms: that of the safety of guests who have been given food and shelter.

Shortly before Robb was murdered, he may have designated an heir, believing his brothers and his sister Arya to be dead. Robb and his mother agreed that his sister Sansa, as the sole remaining lawful child of Eddard Stark, should be specifically disinherited to forestall her prospective children by Tyrion Lannister from having claim to Winterfell. He suggested despite his mother's protest on Jon Snow as the most plausible heir to Winterfell, as a son of Eddard Stark, though whether or not this was made official is never explicitly revealed. Many lords that knew the identity of Robb's chosen heir were slain at the Red Wedding, yet others still live that know who it is.

Although young, Robb was a brilliant military tactician and strategist. He demonstrated this brilliance on several occasions, such as when he outmaneuvered Lord Tywin Lannister and rescued Riverrun, subsequently capturing Jaime Lannister. It is also revealed that he planned to assail the impregnable Moat Cailin from three directions and his commanders were confident the plan would work; however, he never had the chance to put the plan in action. Much like his father Ned, Robb was short-sighted of the political games being played throughout the war, a flaw that cost him the alliance of the Freys, the Karstarks, the Boltons and ultimately, his life.

Robb Stark is played by Richard Madden in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Sansa Stark

Catelyn and Eddard's elder daughter, Sansa (a POV character) has traditional feminine graces and is a strong believer in the world of chivalry portrayed in stories and songs. She is traditionally beautiful, with high cheekbones, vivid blue eyes, thick red hair and, as she grows up, a tall and graceful figure. She excels at many female leisure activities, including singing, dancing, fashion, and social graces. She has a strained relationship with her sister Arya, whose interests are opposite in many respects and bewildering to Sansa. Her direwolf companion was named Lady.

When her father Eddard became the Hand of the King, eleven-year old Sansa was delighted at the prospect of life at court in King's Landing, and thrilled to be betrothed to the handsome Prince Joffrey. She adored Joffrey in spite of his violent mood swings. Still trusting those at the royal court to be noble, she unknowingly aided the queen's plot against Eddard. It was only when her father was beheaded at Joffrey's command that Sansa saw Joffrey for what he really was.

No longer certain whom she could trust, she remained courteous to everyone she met, including Joffrey's scarred personal bodyguard Sandor Clegane, who was by turns brusque and gentle with her. During this time she also learned to lie, or at least to say things that could be misinterpreted to her advantage.

Sansa was forced to marry the king's uncle, the sardonic dwarf Tyrion Lannister. Dismayed by her new husband's hideous appearance and horrified by the deaths of her siblings and parents, a now thirteen-year old Sansa hid her feelings and tried to present a genteel facade though repelled at the thought of sex with her misshapen husband. Tyrion never forced her to consummate the marriage.

Sansa escaped King's Landing on the day of Joffrey's wedding during the chaos caused by Joffrey's poisoning and death. She was yet again disillusioned when she learned that her gallant rescuer was paid by Petyr Baelish. Baelish took her to the Eyrie, incognito as Baelish's bastard daughter. Baelish married Sansa's aunt, Lysa Arryn, whom Baelish later killed. Sansa became the mistress of the Eyrie and learned something of courtly intrigues from Baelish. Baelish planned for her marriage to Harrold Hardyng, the heir to House Arryn, followed by the eventual revelation of her true identity and the reclaiming of Winterfell in her name.

Sansa Stark is played by Sophie Turner in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Arya Stark

Arya (a POV character) is a spirited tomboy with an interest in fighting and exploring. Her character contrasts with her elegant sister Sansa, whom she often describes as "stupid". Arya displays great resourcefulness, cunning, and an unflinching ability to accept hard necessity. She is skinny, athletic, and often mistaken for a boy. She has strong Stark family features, with a long face and brown hair. She is said to take after her fiery aunt Lyanna in temperament and appearance. Her direwolf companion was named Nymeria. Arya is the only character to have a P.O.V in all five completed novels.

Arya was forced to abandon her direwolf Nymeria to protect the animal's life after it bit Prince Joffrey to defend her; since then she carried a grudge for the crown prince and the queen. While at court, she trained under Syrio Forel, a celebrated Braavosi swordsman. Under his strict but creative tutelage, Arya learned to fence in the Braavosi style. During the purge of Starks from the Red Keep, Syrio held off Arya's attackers, and she lived on the streets until the day of her father's public execution. Yoren, a recruiter from the Night's Watch, smuggled her out of the city.

With no family or home, and being hunted for a highborn prisoner, Arya traveled with several groups under different names. She and her chance companions were captured and recaptured numerous times. During one skirmish, Arya saved the lives of a Braavosi assassin called Jaqen H'ghar and two others. At Harrenhall, she worked as a servant girl. Jaqen recognized Arya on arriving at the castle, and offered her three murders to repay the God of Death for the lives she saved. She named two choices. For the last death, she chose Jaqen himself. In an effort to make her unsay his name he helped her free the imprisoned northmen, her father's men; before they parted, Jaqen gave her an ancient coin, which would ensure free passage on any Braavosi ship. Arya escaped once more, and was captured again.

Sandor Clegane then stole her away to return her to her brother Robb and collect a rich reward. Clegane and Arya reached the Frey castle just as Arya's brother and mother were slaughtered. Clegane decided that the only place left to take her was to the Vale of Arryn, which was ruled by Arya's aunt, the Lady Lysa. On the way, Clegane took a seemingly mortal wound, and Arya retrieved her stolen sword Needle from a corpse. Clegane's wound deteriorated, and Arya left him to die. Arya then caught a ship to Braavos at the nearby town of Saltpans. Upon arrival at Braavos she became an acolyte of the Faceless Men, the elite and terrifying company of professional assassins to which Jaqen H'ghar belonged. Arya's training included abandoning all personal identity. As part of her training, she spent time in the city of Braavos under the new identity of "Cat." During this time she encountered Samwell Tarly and Dareon from the Night's Watch. Upon discovering Dareon was deserting his oath, Arya murdered him. Upon returning to the Faceless Men and admitting the death was at her hands, she was given milk with a "bitter aftertaste" and awoke blind the next morning.

It is later revealed in A Dance with Dragons that it was only a stage in her training that all novices pass through. Her sight is later restored when she learns to sharpen her other four senses as well. Before being offered her first assignment, an insurance seller on the docks, she is asked once again if she wishes to leave, but chooses to stay. She receives her first face, the "ugly girl", and disguised like this she steals one of the banker's client's coins. The kindly man chides her that they should not steal, but give the gifts of 'He of Many Faces'. When Arya says that she left another coin in it's stead, he answers "Ah, one of ours." Previously, it was disclosed that her assassination target bit all gold coins to verify their authenticity. It is suggested that Arya planted a coin with poison in the insurance seller's possession to complete her task.

Arya Stark is played by Maisie Williams in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Bran Stark

Catelyn and Eddard's second son, Bran (a POV character) is a boy who enjoys climbing and exploring Winterfell. He is adventurous and tough-minded, "almost a man grown" at seven years old. He is named for his deceased uncle Brandon, elder brother of Eddard. He dreams of one day being a great knight. His direwolf companion is (eventually) named Summer.

King Robert visits Winterfell to convince Eddard Stark to serve as his Hand. Many of the party go hunting in Winterfell's woods, but Bran is deemed too young and stays behind. He climbs numerous castle walls, and sees a curious thing: Queen Cersei and her twin brother Jaime Lannister in an intimate situation. Jaime pushes Bran from the window to preserve their secret. Bran survives, although comatose with a broken back. Catelyn is hysterical with grief. Eddard, Arya, and Sansa had already left for King's Landing and Jon Snow left for the Wall—of the immediate Stark family, just Catelyn, Robb, and Rickon are left behind with Bran. A would-be assassin is dismayed to find Catelyn in Bran's room. Catelyn successfully defends their lives. As they struggle, Bran's fiercely protective direwolf enters and tears out the assassin's throat. Catelyn leaves Winterfell for King's Landing to confront the assassin's boss.

Bran has visions of himself falling again, and dreams of a three-eyed crow flying by his side. He experiences a number of seemingly prophetic visions. He awakens from his coma, and is immediately greeted by his direwolf, Bran names the wolf "Summer". Bran is paralyzed from the waist down. He has also repressed the events immediately before his fall. Bran slowly realizes that he has gained the ability to assume Summer's wolf consciousness. The rare individuals in Westeros who are able do this are referred to as wargs.

After Robb is crowned King in the North, Bran, as Robb's heir, became the Prince of Winterfell and ruled the castle while his brother is at war with the Lannisters (the War of the Five Kings). Meera and Jojen Reed of Greywater Watch stay at Winterfell to help him. They are the children of Eddard Stark's trusted comrade, Howland Reed, come to pledge the fealty of House Reed, Jojen Reed recognizes Bran's ability as a warg and instructs him on how to use this skill properly. Jojen claims that if Bran goes north beyond the Wall, he could find his three-eyed crow. When Theon Greyjoy betrays the Starks and captures Winterfell, Bran and his companions Meera and Jojen head north. They eventually end up at the Nightfort, an abandoned castle at the Wall. Inside, they meet Samwell Tarly, who, at the behest of Coldhands, takes them through "The Black Gate", a hidden gate at the bottom of a well. Journeying north beyond the wall, Bran eventually reaches a refuge used by the Children of the Forest, where he meets the "three-eyed crow". This person, a greenseer, is immensely old and has largely been swallowed up into the roots of a weirwood tree. He begins to expand Bran's ability to enter into other creatures, and begins to instruct him on seeing through the weirwood trees.

Bran is played by Isaac Hempstead-Wright in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Rickon Stark

Eddard's youngest child, only three years old when the series begins. Rickon is a naturally aggressive and strong-willed child. However, his youth makes it difficult for him to cope with the terrible changes that are brought upon his life and family by war. His direwolf companion is named Shaggydog.

Shortly after Eddard's death, both Bran and Rickon shared a vision of their father's spirit in the family crypts. Alone with his crippled brother Bran at Winterfell, Rickon developed an unruly, often violent temper. His fear and rage were reflected in his direwolf, Shaggydog, who turned largely feral and savage, attacking several people before being restrained. Several times Bran's direwolf Summer forced Shaggydog into submission. Rickon hid with Bran in the crypts during Theon Greyjoy's brief reign at Winterfell. When Winterfell was sacked and burned, the brothers were separated for their own safety. The wildling woman Osha took Rickon and Shaggydog to parts unknown. Once Lord Wyman Manderly of White Harbor learns that Rickon has survived, he enlisted the help of Davos Seaworth to retrieve him. Rickon is played by Art Parkinson in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Jon Snow

Jon Snow is a POV character and the supposed bastard son of Eddard, by an unknown woman. It has been speculated that his mother was a wet nurse named Wylla, serving in House Dayne, but this is not for certain since Ned was executed before he could tell Jon who his mother was. In Davos Seaworth's POV of the fifth book, the Lord of Sweet Sister tells Stannis' Hand that Ned Stark is rumoured to have fathered a child named Jon Snow (named after Jon Arryn and the bastard surname of the North) with the daughter of the fisherman who helped him flee the wrath of the Mad King. In the beginning of A Game of Thrones, when Jon and Robb Stark find the direwolves, they originally find five direwolves for the five legitimate Stark children. However, as they are leaving, Jon finds the runt of the litter, a small albino pup separate from the other five. This pup becomes Jon's direwolf companion, Ghost.

Jon is of an age with Robb. Ned brought him to Winterfell after the Battle of the Tower of Joy, which only Ned and Howland Reed survived. Despite his wife Catelyn's objections, Ned insisted on taking responsibility for the boy, and he grew up side-by-side with the trueborn Starks. He has a long face, grey eyes and lean build, with strong Stark coloring, looking more like Lord Eddard than any of Lady Stark's legitimate children, save for Arya. Jon's life at Winterfell is made arduous due to issues of his illegitimacy and Catelyn's antipathy toward him.

Jon's illegitimacy as a source of discontent to Catelyn increases. Upon Ned's acceptance of the position of Hand, Catelyn ensures that Jon cannot remain at Winterfell. Jon's uncle Benjen Stark, takes Jon up on a drunken enthusiasm (from a celebratory feast) to join the Night's Watch, over Ned's early concerns. Night Watch membership devoids those invested of traditional rights to lands and titles. This allays issues over possible conflict over succession to the Stark titles.

Jon soon learns the harsh truth of Night Watch membership from Tyrion Lannister (accompanying the Night Watch new recruits) that the Night's Watch is now comprised mostly of society's rejects, criminals and exiles. Initial contempt for his lowborn colleagues of the Watch gives way to comradeship as Jon puts aside his prejudices and unites the recruits against the sadistic master-at-arms, especially for cowardly but good-natured Samwell Tarly. Jon becomes steward to the Lord Commander. Shorlty afterwards Jon joins a scouting expedition to investigate the disappearances of several rangers. On the orders of veteran ranger Qhorin Halfhand, Jon infiltrates the Wilding army led by the self-styled "King Beyond the Wall" Mance Rayder, and learns his plans to cross into the Seven Kingdoms. During this time, Jon falls in love with a Wildling warrior named Ygritte. Jon manages to separate from the Wildlings and make his way back to Castle Black, which the Wildings subsequently attack. During this assault, Jon takes command of the men left defending the Wall. Despite overwhelming odds, Jon successfully fends off the opposing forces until the timely arrival of Stannis Baratheon's army. Soon after this, "Lord Snow" is voted the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.

Jon is offered the Lordship of Winterfell by Stannis, legitimizing his bastardy by Royal decree. Jon refuses this offer and remain in situ as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. An uneasy truce is kept between the two. Stannis leaves to defeat the Ironmen and Bolton/Frey armies camped in the North. Soon after this, Jon receives a letter from Ramsay Bolton, which states that Stannis was defeated at Winterfell, threatens Jon, and demands his bride, Jon's sister Arya (actually Jeyne Poole who has been kidnapped) back. Jon convinces many of those Wildings housed at Castle Black to march south on Ramsay Bolton, but is stabbed at least four times by brothers of the Night's Watch at the close of A Dance With Dragons.

Jon has no idea who his mother might be. Several different characters discuss at different points who the mother of Ned Stark's bastard might be. In A Game of Thrones, it is supposed that Ned Stark "dishonoured" his marriage to Catelyn with a wet nurse named Wylla who was employed at Starfall; Catelyn speculates that the mother was Ashara Dayne, also of Starfall, Ned refuses to be drawn on the subject. This speculation is repeated by others in other books. In A Dance With Dragons, Lord Godric of Sisterton contends that Jon is the son of a fisherman's daughter, whose father perished to send Ned Stark across the Bite during Robert's Rebellion.

Jon Snow is played by Kit Harington in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Lyanna Stark

Eddard's only sister, Lyanna died at the end of Robert's Rebellion.

Lyanna was betrothed to Robert Baratheon, who was infatuated with her. Lyanna was not as ardent in her love for Robert, and was aware of his philandering ways. However, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen crowned her Queen of Love and Beauty after winning the Harrenhal tourney, passing over his wife, the Dornish princess Elia. Shortly thereafter Lyanna and Rhaegar disappeared together, which her fiancé Robert and older brother Brandon treated as a non-consensual abduction. Their anger over the event led to Brandon's execution by King Aerys and Robert's Rebellion. Eddard and six companions went to rescue Lyanna from the "Tower of Joy". They fought three Kingsguard knights; who slew all but Eddard and Howland Reed. Eddard found Lyanna dying. Her last words to Ned Stark were, "Promise me, Ned". She was buried in the ancestral crypts of Winterfell.

Lyanna was described by those who knew her as a spirited young woman, and more than a little wild. She was said to exhibit the typical Stark colorings, and was regarded as beautiful. Comparisons are made between her and Arya, both in appearance and temperament (a shock to Arya, who does not consider herself attractive).

House Targaryen

Coat of Arms of House Targaryen

House Targaryen ruled as the principal house of all the seven kingdoms of Westeros for nearly 300 years. All the major houses are sworn to them. Their seats were the capital city of King's Landing and the island fortress of Dragonstone. Their device is a three-headed dragon breathing flames, red on black, and their words are "Fire and Blood."

The Targaryen family hails from the fabled city of Valyria on the eastern continent of Essos. Before the Doom of Valyria, the cataclysmic event that destroyed the ancient civilization, the Targaryens departed for the island citadel of Dragonstone off the Westerosi shore, the westernmost outpost in Valyria's vast empire. A century after the Doom, Aegon I, styled the Conqueror, began his conquest of mainland Westeros, landing with dragons and an army (at what would later be called King's Landing). Six of the seven Westerosi kingdoms fell before him (the seventh, Dorne, later joined through a political marriage). The Targaryen dragons, which were the last known to exist, went extinct over a century after Aegon's conquest.

Unique among noble Westerosi families, the Targaryens follow the Valyrian practice of line marriage, wedding brother to sister. The phrase "blood of the dragon" refers to a number of typical Targaryen features: silvery-gold (or platinum) hair and violet eyes.

House Targaryen was deposed by Robert Baratheon in the War of the Usurper, fifteen years before the events of A Game of Thrones, killing most of the family in the process. Surviving heirs Viserys and Daenerys fled into exile across the narrow sea.

Family tree of House Targaryen

Viserys Targaryen

Second son of Aerys II, Viserys fled Westeros along with his sister Daenerys, and spent the next fifteen years wandering the Free Cities. He is a cruel, ambitious man, blunt of speech and given to violent mood swings. He hopes to return to Westeros and reclaim his father's throne. He is often mocked as the Beggar King since he must rely on the generosity of those sympathetic to his cause.

Viserys arranged the marriage of Daenerys to Khal Drogo, hoping to buy Drogo's armies with her, and to use them to reclaim the Seven Kingdoms. Viserys, while ambitious, was blind to reality; he saw himself as a rightful ruler of the people of Westeros due instant respect, awe and admiration, never noticing that even his sister and his sworn knight Jorah Mormont scorned his petty, vindictive nature. Despite a constant loss of dignity and standing among Drogo's khalasar for his outrageous behavior, he continued to demand Drogo's aid and verbally abused his sister. The final straw was when he drew a sword in the sacred city and threatened the life of his sister and Drogo's unborn baby unless he received the crown Drogo promised. Drogo responded by "crowning" him with molten gold, killing him.

Viserys Targaryen is played by Harry Lloyd in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen aka Daenerys Stormborn or Dany is a POV character. She is a beautiful girl with silver hair and violet eyes, and one of the last members of the ancient Targaryen Dynasty, the former royal family of Westeros.

Daenerys' pregnant mother and her brother Viserys Targaryen fled to the island fortress of Dragonstone, where her mother died in labor during a monstrous storm. Shortly thereafter, Dragonstone fell to the rebel forces and Daenerys and Viserys were smuggled away to the Free City of Braavos.

In the years that followed, she and Viserys wandered among the nine Free Cities looking for aid to retake the Iron Throne. Daenarys at the beginning of the series was a very beautiful but shy and meek young woman who was terrified of her brother Viserys' temper. In the Free City of Pentos, the Targaryens were the guests of Illyrio Mopatis, a rich and powerful magister. Illyrio and Viserys arranged to marry the thirteen-year-old Daenerys to Khal Drogo, a warlord of nomadic Dothraki. Viserys hoped to gain Drogo's army to conquer Westeros. At her wedding, she received a set of three petrified dragon eggs from Illyrio. Although she was frightened by Drogo at first, the fierce warlord proved to be gentle and considerate toward his young bride, and she grew to love him. The freedom and power of her new role as khaleesi (queen) helped Daenerys blossom into a strong and confident young woman, even beginning to stand up to Viserys.

Daenerys, her brother, and the khalasar traveled east to Vaes Dothrak, where Daenerys was presented to the crones, who prophesied that her child would be a long-prophesied Dothraki conqueror. Viserys grew increasingly impatient, demanding that Drogo help him retake his crown. This led Khal Drogo to "crown" him by dumping a pot of molten gold over his head, killing him.

Daenerys took pity on a slave, a maegi and wise woman, from a village newly conquered by Drogo's khalasar. Drogo was wounded in battle. Daenerys ordered the wise woman to heal him. Later on, the infection of Drogo's wound brought him to the verge of death and Daenerys asked the maegi to save him. A blood magic ritual went horribly wrong, ending with Dany's unborn child being slain in her womb by the magical forces, resulting in Drogo being left in a catatonic state - a chain of events set in motion by the maegi for revenge. Daenerys ended Drogo's life herself, and entered the flames of his funeral pyre with her dragon eggs, along with tying the maegi to the pyre in revenge for her betrayal. This hatched the eggs, birthing the first three dragons in the known world for centuries. Daenerys herself remained unburned, and she became the first female Dothraki leader, a khal in her own right.

Daenerys sent out scouts in all directions. One returned with three emissaries from Qarth. Daenerys accompanied them to Qarth, hoping for aid in conquering Westeros, but the merchants of Qarth were only interested in obtaining her dragons. A warlock invited her to visit his leaders, the Undying Ones. Daenerys realized that the warlocks were plotting against her. Daenerys considered the suggestion of the third emissary, a masked woman from Asshai, that she must go further east to conquer the west.

In Qarth an assassin tried to kill Dany, but an old man (actually Barristan Selmy in disguise) intervened. He and a eunuch revealed themselves as agents of magister Illyrio. Illyrio had sent three merchant ships to transport Dany and her people to Pentos. Daenerys claimed the three ships and their cargo for her own, and continued to the east.

Daenerys next traveled to Slaver's Bay, a region whose cities thrived on the sale and labor of slaves. In Astapor, she purchased an army of elite eunuch slave soldiers called The Unsullied. She used them to conquer the city and then freed them, but they decided to follow her. She set out for the city of Yunkai. Daenerys convinced the Yunkai forces to switch sides. The entire Yunkish army was slain, captured, or put to flight and Yunkai surrendered a few days later.

Near Meereen, Daenerys was nearly killed, but Arstan Whitebeard slew the assassin and revealed himself as Barristan Selmy. He claimed he had sought her out as the true heir to the Seven Kingdoms. Selmy also revealed that Daenerys's trusted sworn knight had been sending reports on her actions to King's Landing, hoping for a pardon from King Robert. Daenerys felt betrayed by each of them, though both fervently wished to atone for their actions. The city was won with minimal blood. Having captured Meereen, Dany turned her eyes toward Westeros, but learned that there was much she did not know about ruling.

During A Dance with Dragons she stays in Meereen trying to learn to rule. One day, after listening to the Meereenese's problems one lone farmer stands up and shows her the charred bones of a little girl as presumed proof that her dragons killed her. As a result Daenerys chains Viserion and Rhaegal in pits, but Drogon escapes. At the same time, "The Sons of the Harpy", supposed to be composed of disgruntled noblemen, keep killing her people. She promises to marry one of her suitors, Hizdahr zo Loraq, in exchange for his promise to stop the killings for 90 days. She also a sexual desire for sellsword Daario Naharis, and sleeps with him on her last two days before the wedding, knowing that she could never take him for a husband due to his low birth and uncontrollable temper. She sends him later to the Yunkai'i in a hostage exchange so as not to deal with his temper and jealousy.

On her wedding day she opens the fighting pits, giving in to her husband's request, on the condition that all the fighters must accept to enter while knowing what they'll face. She finds out that her husband wants to loose lions on Tyrion Lannister and Penny, who are fighting at that point, and forbids it, though she doesn't know about Tyrion. She turns to leave in the middle of the event, when she couldn't stand it anymore, and is stopped when Drogon makes an appearance, eating a boar and a fighter. When she realizes that the people are trying to kill her dragon she breaks into a run and climbs onto his neck as he takes off.

During the next chapter we find out that Drogon took her to his lair which she calls Dragonstone, as a reminder of the citadel where she'd been born. She starts following a stream, knowing it's bound to get to the Skahazadhan river and Slaver's Bay. As she walks she has an epiphany and her menstruation finally starts. She understands that she has tried to ignore who she is, starting from the moment she settled in Meereen, for peace, and when she'd chained her other two dragons in pits. She walks into the river, without realizing it, and has another hallucination, this time with Jorah Mormont's voice. As she walks a Dothraki scout is about to find her but she's concealed by the grass. Drogon lands again and they took off. After killing a horse, as they stay, eating together, they are discovered by Khal Jhaqo.

In the HBO adaptation of the books, Tamzin Merchant was initially cast in the role of Daenerys, but was later replaced with Emilia Clarke.[4]

Maester Aemon

Third son of King Maekar I Targaryen, Aemon was sent to the Citadel according to the wishes of his grandfather, King Daeron II Targaryen. At this time, King Daeron II had four grown sons, three with sons of their own, and so felt that having too many potential Targaryen heirs was as dangerous as having too few. He earned the academic title of Maester. Aemon was summoned to court in the year of the Great Council. He was offered the crown, quietly, but refused, ceding rule to his younger brother, Aegon. He then decided to serve as a black brother of the Night's Watch for fear that he may be used in a plot to usurp his brother.

Maester Aemon stayed at Castle Black during the wildling and Other conflicts, providing guidance to Jon Snow and the rest of the men of the Wall. During Stannis's occupation of the Wall, Jon Snow sent Aemon to Oldtown, fearing that Melisandre would burn him in one of her rituals. However, the sea voyage was too hard for the old man. He died of a chill at the age of one hundred and two.

Maester Aemon is played by Peter Vaughan in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Aegon V Targaryen

The fourth son of a fourth son, Aegon, a strong and handsome man, was called "the Unlikely," and became king only after a Great Council had bypassed a number of candidates higher in the line of succession, including his elder brother Aemon, who had refused the throne. Friendly and approachable, Aegon ruled Westeros well as king for over a quarter of a century. Aegon perished in a fire at Summerhall, the Targaryen summer home.

A young Aegon is featured in Martin's Dunk and Egg short stories.

Aerys II Targaryen

Aerys Targaryen (also called "Aerys the Mad," "the Mad King," and "King Scab") ruled from 262 to 283 AL and was the last member of House Targaryen to sit on the Iron Throne before the "War of the Usurper" or "Robert's Rebellion."

He showed great promise at the start of his reign, which began in 262 AL, when he was 19. Following ancient Targaryen practice, Aerys had married his sister Rhaella. They had three children: sons Rhaegar and Viserys, and daughter Daenerys, who was born during the last stage of the War of the Usurper. Supported by his able councillors, foremost among them the King's Hand, Tywin Lannister, Aerys gave the realm many years of peace and prosperity, and "left the treasury flowing with gold.”

However, he grew increasingly erratic. Aerys was pleasant to his friends, but very harsh to those he thought his enemies. He was always a bit insane, but could be charming and generous, so his early lapses into madness were forgiven and overlooked. Over time though (especially after the Defiance of Duskendale) the lapses grew more and more frequent. He cut himself so often on the Iron Throne that men took to calling him King Scab.

Like many Targaryens, Aerys was obsessed with fire, notably the magical and highly flammable substance called wildfire. He took a great interest in the work of the Alchemists' Guild and had an inordinate amount of wildfire made during his reign. He had many enemies burned alive, including Lord Rickard Stark, father of Eddard Stark, and even his Hand, Lord Qarlton Chelsted.

His behavior led some of the noble houses to revolt against the Targaryen dynasty. This revolt led to the death of Aerys and most of House Targaryen. After the rebel victory at the Battle of the Bells, Aerys had his pyromancers create a huge reserve of wildfire and store it in secret around the city of King's Landing, planning to destroy the entire city to deny it to Robert Baratheon and take its half million inhabitants with him. However, before those orders could be carried out, he was assassinated by Jaime Lannister.

Rhaegar Targaryen

Eldest son of Aerys II, Rhaegar was the Prince of Dragonstone, the heir-apparent to the Iron Throne. As a character who has been deceased since before the beginning of the books, all information on Rhaegar comes second-hand, through the thoughts, recollections and tales of other characters.

He is described as an intelligent, handsome, brooding man, and a skilled fighter. He was popular with the people, but had few real friends. He was champion at the tourney at Harrenhal, where he shocked those present by selecting Lyanna Stark as Queen of Love and Beauty instead of his own wife, Elia. Rhaegar later disappeared with Lyanna, an act that many people, including Lyanna's family and her betrothed Robert Baratheon, viewed as a kidnapping. While the exact nature of their relationship is not currently known, outrage over the act triggered the War of the Usurper, in which Rhaegar was killed by Robert at the Battle of the Trident.

Rhaegar's wife, Elia Martell, bore him two children: a girl named Rhaenys and an infant son, Aegon. During the Sack of King's Landing, Princess Rhaenys was found hiding under her father's bed by Ser Amory Lorch; she fought back screaming, triggering a homicidal Lorch to stab her "half a hundred times". Elia was found in the nursery a floor below by Gregor Clegane who killed the baby present then proceeded to rape and kill Elia with the babe's blood and brain still on his hands. The children were murdered at the orders of Tywin Lannister, though it is later revealed Rhaegar's son, Aegon Targaryen VI, is still alive.

Though Robert vilifies Rhaegar throughout A Game of Thrones, most other characters express admiration for him. Barristan Selmy, a man known for his honour, stated that Rhaegar was still remembered in Westeros with great love.

Aegon Targaryen VI

The only son of Rhaegar and Elia, Aegon was believed to have been killed by Gregor Clegane along with his mother Elia. However, it was revealed Varys switched baby Aegon with a babe born from a peasant, thus Robert and the realm falsely believed all of Rhaegar's children were dead.

Aegon spent his life in exile under the name young Griff and was raised by Rhaegar's friend Jon Connington (also believed dead by many in Westeros due to a false story Varys concocted). Aegon has been trained in matters of arms, faith, history and languages. To better conceal his identity he dyed his silver Targaryen hair blue (which also made his violet eyes appear blue) using the false story that his mother was a Tyroshi who dyed her hair blue and he did it to honor her memory. Aegon and his companions were on way to Volantis thinking to meet his aunt Daenarys Targaryen there when she marched from Meeren (it was unknown to them that Daenerys had decided to stay in Meeren). Aegon when learning this decided instead to go straight to Westeros (an idea suggested to him by Tyrion Lannister) with the Golden Company (a sellsword company over ten thousand strong). His reasoning was when Daenarys learns of him she will head straight to Westeros to aid him and they will first meet as equals (instead of him appearing like a beggar before his powerful aunt in Slaver's Bay). The Company has already landed in Westeros taking several castles in surprise assaults including Griffin's Roost (Jon Connington's ancestral home). Aegon next plans to take Storm's End.

House Tully

Coat of arms of House Tully

House Tully is the principal house in the riverlands; many lesser houses are sworn to them. Their seat is at Riverrun. Their device is a silver trout leaping on a blue and red striped field, and their words are "Family, Duty, Honor."

House Tully rose to prominence during the Targaryen conquest. When Aegon the Conqueror attacked, Edmyn Tully was the first to rebel against King Harren of the Isles and support the invading Targaryen army. Afterwards, Aegon made House Tully lords paramount of the Trident.

Hoster Tully

Lord of Riverrun and Lord paramount of the Trident, Hoster Tully is an old, sick man. As a younger man he was tall and broad, and grew portly in age, but now is shrunken by his illness. He traveled the Riverlands extensively and was fond of gazing at his rivers.

Years ago, Hoster forced his daughter Lysa to terminate her illegitimate pregnancy. He used her pregnancy as proof that she was fertile when arranging her marriage to the heirless widower Jon Arryn, in exchange for House Tully's support in the rebellion. On his deathbed, Hoster made delirious references to "tansy" and expressed regret, a puzzle Catelyn came to piece together though she was unable to repair the rift between father and sister. He died of his illness before regaining lucidity and was given a funeral on the river according to family custom.

Catelyn Tully

Catelyn Tully Stark (a POV character) is Hoster's eldest child and once his heir until the birth of her brother. She is the wife of Eddard Stark of Winterfell and mother of their five children, Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. Catelyn is seen as honorable and upright by acquaintances, holding duty over desire as a governing principle of behavior. She has a deep love for family and a strong faith in the Seven. However, she regards Jon Snow as an outsider to her family, and has never forgiven Eddard for bringing him into her household. She has a strong and stately beauty, with auburn hair, blue eyes, and long fingers.

After Bran was attacked by an assassin, Catelyn traveled to King's Landing to inform Eddard. There, Petyr Baelish told her that the dagger used in the attack belonged to Tyrion Lannister. Attempting to return home unseen in order to prepare for possible war, she encountered and arrested Tyrion, taking him to the Vale of Arryn for trial, where he escaped execution. This arrest was a casus belli of the war that followed.

Catelyn met her son Robb and aided him in leading his rebellion against King Joffrey. She traveled to Bitterbridge in an attempt to broker an alliance with surviving Baratheon brothers Stannis and Renly, but was unsuccessful. She witnessed Renly's murder and took Brienne of Tarth into her service as an armswoman. The two returned to Riverrun, and Catelyn attempted to persuade her brother Edmure out of his shortsighted plans to attack Tywin Lannister's men at Stone Mill, again to no avail. Upon hearing of her younger sons' murder at the hand of Theon Greyjoy, she freed prized Stark war hostage Jaime Lannister in a covert attempt to exchange him for her daughters, captives at King's Landing.

Robb placed Catelyn under house arrest at Riverrun, but allowed her to attend Edmure's wedding at the Twins. Despite her wariness throughout the ceremony, she, Robb, and many of Robb's men were murdered by members of House Frey, an act of treachery that earned it the name "The Red Wedding". Three days later she was resurrected by Beric Dondarrion, who gave his life for hers. Her face remains mutilated, her throat is still slit, leaving her limited ability to speak, and she is now able to go without sleep. She became consumed with the desire for vengeance over her family's betrayal and murder. She took the name "Lady Stoneheart" and assumed command of Dondarrion's outlaw band the Brotherhood Without Banners. She led the Brotherhood to mercilessly pursuing and executing everyone she perceived to be a traitor.

Catelyn Stark is played by Michelle Fairley in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Lysa Tully

Lysa was secretly in love with her father's ward Petyr Baelish, who had deflowered and impregnated her when they were young. Hoster Tully was enraged when he learned of it and sent Baelish back to his own desolate home. He had Lysa's child aborted, though he later used its existence as proof of Lysa's fertility when wedding her to Jon Arryn, a man older than Hoster himself. As the Lady Regent of the Vale, Lysa's sanity begins to fail her, and she tries to isolate the Vale and her family from the rest of the events in the kingdom. She maintained a strict neutrality in the War of the Five Kings, failing to call her banners and send aid to her sister's son, Robb Stark, and her father, Hoster Tully, though her posture rankled many of her vassals; she also was unresponsive to the threat posed by the increasingly active and hostile tribes of mountain men. It was her decision to try Tyrion Lannister, and allow him a trial by combat via a chosen champion that allowed Tyrion to escape Catelyn Stark's custody. Near the conclusion of the War of the Five Kings, Petyr Baelish was dispatched to woo and wed Lady Lysa as a means to assuring the compliance of the Vale with the regime of King Joffrey, and return it to the king's peace. Lysa ecstatically accepted his courtship and married him, but he murdered her shortly thereafter by defenestration. After her murder, Baelish used the minstrel Marillion as a scapegoat. Lysa divulged in a drunken hysterical episode that she had murdered Jon Arryn at Baelish's behest and instruction.

Lysa Arryn is played by Kate Dickie in the HBO adaptation of the books.

Edmure Tully

Hoster's third child, only son, and heir, Edmure is a dutiful but rash young man, known more for his large heart than his sound head. He wishes to earn the respect of his father and protect his smallfolk. He is stocky and tall, with shaggy auburn hair and a fiery beard.

Rescued by Stark forces following the battle of the Whispering Wood, Edmure swore fealty to his nephew Robb upon his coronation and took part in his battle plans. He defended the Red Fork of the Trident against Tywin Lannister's forces, winning a battle at the Stone Mill, but in so doing he unwittingly ruined Robb's plan to draw Tywin out into a battle of Robb's own choosing. As amends Edmure agreed to marry Roslin Frey, a match needed to repair a shaky alliance with the tactically critical House Frey. His father's death shortly thereafter made him the Lord of Riverrun. His wedding became the site of a slaughter perpetrated by Bolton and Frey men in league with the Lannisters. This betrayal became known as the Red Wedding. Despite the bloodshed, he was still able to impregnate his wife during the wedding. Edmure was captured and imprisoned by the Freys, while many other guests were killed, and the crown took Riverrun away from the Tullys. Jaime Lannister spared him from execution and threatened the life of his unborn child unless he surrendered Riverrun to the crown. Edmure yielded, and is presently a prisoner en route to Casterly Rock, where his family is to undergo a life of service to House Lannister.

Brynden Tully

Ser Brynden Tully, also known as Ser Brynden the Blackfish, is a member of House Tully and younger brother by five years to Lord Hoster and the uncle of Catelyn, Lysa and Edmure.. His personal coat of arms consists of the traditional Tully colors, but with a black fish.

He quarreled with his brother constantly. During one of their arguments, Hoster called him the 'black goat' of the family as he refused to marry a woman chosen for him. He pointed out that their sigil was a fish, so he took the name 'Blackfish' from then on. Ser Brynden earned acclaim during the War of the Ninepenny Kings. Eventually, he accompanied Lysa Tully to the Vale of Arryn when she married Lord Jon Arryn. He was named Knight of the Gate by Lord Jon.

Upon meeting his niece Catelyn, who was travelling to the Eyrie with a captured Tyrion Lannister, he became disenchanted with the Vale's neutrality in the growing hostilities throughout the realm and resigned his post and decided to travel with her to Moat Cailin to meet his grand-nephew Robb Stark and his bannermen.

He quickly became an invaluable asset to the Robb's campaign. He was appointed as head of the outriders and would be a crucial member of Northmen's war council. Thanks to his riders efforts, Robb's army was able to sneak up on Lannister forces in the Riverlands and the Westerlands which ensured a successful campaign. When they returned to Riverrun, he was named Castellan and Warden of the South Marches whilst Robb and his forces headed back North to deal with the Ironmen and to also regain the support of House Frey by having Edmure marry Roslin Frey.

After the Red Wedding, he later defended Riverrun against the siege of forces loyal to King Tommen and House Lannister. When Edmure Tully surrendered Riverrun to Jaime Lannister, he helped Brynden slip out and escape. His whereabouts are unknown.

He currently does not appear in HBO's TV adaptation.

House Tyrell

Coat of arms of House Tyrell

House Tyrell is the principal noble house in the Reach; many lesser houses are sworn to them. Their seat is at Highgarden, a castle near the river Mander. Their sigil is a golden rose on a green field, and their words are "Growing Strong."

Mace Tyrell

Lord Mace Tyrell is Lord of Highgarden, Defender of the Marches, High Marshal of the Reach, and Warden of the South. Mace Tyrell is a prematurely old and rather tedious man lacking in political savvy. His sole military accomplishment is the Siege of Storm's End. Though he has tried to use the Battle of Ashford as evidence of strategic brilliance, he actually had little to do with the fighting. He now serves only as the figurehead of his powerful house for his more intelligent family members.

Mace has always dreamed of his daughter being a Queen, thus when Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell presented the plan to crown Renly and have him wed Margaery Tyrell, they had his full support. However, King Renly’s rule did not last long enough for him to consummate the marriage as he was slain at Storm's End. When word of this reached Mace, he marched some ten thousand men to Bitterbridge to plan his next move with his sons. They were joined by Petyr Baelish with an offer from King Joffrey Baratheon. Forming an alliance with House Lannister he was soon joined by Tywin's army to march on and defeat Stannis at the Battle of the Blackwater. His reward was a seat on the small council.

After the Battle of the Blackwater, the great lords met to divide up the spoils of war. Lord Mace demanded and received the lands of House Florent. He was made Master of Ships on the small council of King Joffrey I. After the death of Lord Tywin, Mace became covetous of the office of Hand of the King, but was instead charged with the capture of Storm’s End. When news arrived that Margaery had been imprisoned by the Faith on charges of high treason and adultery, he abandoned his siege and returned his his army to King's Landing. Margaery was eventually released to his care until her trial, since the evidence against her is circumstantial.

As of the epilogue of A Dance with Dragons, Kevan Lannister, in his position as Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, has named Tyrell his Hand, at least partially to placate him and shore up the Lannister/Tyrell alliance. Kevan, the chapter's narrator, has come to agree with his niece Cersei's opinion that Mace is not especially suited for the office.

Willas Tyrell

Willas Tyrell is the eldest son and heir of Lord Mace Tyrell and Lady Alerie Hightower. Willas had his leg twisted as a child when he jousted against Oberyn Martell and since then had to walk with a cane, though Willas himself holds no grudge against Oberyn. While not a warrior Willas is an able leader, intelligent, gentle and courtly with a reputation for breeding the finest horses and hounds in the seven kingdoms.

Garlan Tyrell

Lord Garlan Tyrell, better known as Garlan the Gallant, is the second son of Lord Mace Tyrell and Lady Alerie Hightower. He was given the name the Gallant by his brother Willas, who did it to protect him when he was a fat child. He was raised to Lord of Brightwater Keep after the Battle of the Blackwater. He usually trains against three or four swordsmen, in anticipation of actual battle, and his brother Loras Tyrell, a knight of the Kingsguard, has acknowledged that Garlan is his superior at swordwork.

Ser Garlan took part in the Battle of the Blackwater, playing the part of Renly Baratheon by dressing in his armor, to scare the ignorant men-at-arms among Stannis Baratheon's army. He was raised to Lord of Brightwater Keep after the battle. Ser Garlan said kind words to Tyrion Lannister during the wedding of Margaery Tyrell and King Joffrey I, attending the nuptials with his wife, Leonette Fossoway. While the Kingsguard met in the White Sword Tower, Garlan guarded Tommen I. At present Garlan is gathering men and ships in order to retake the Shield Isles from the Ironborn.

Loras Tyrell

Third and favorite son of Lord Mace Tyrell, nicknamed the Knight of Flowers, Loras is a young but highly skilled knight and jouster. He is described as slender and handsome and is beloved by the crowds. Early on in the story, during a tourney he handed a red rose to Sansa Stark, who, like countless other Westerosi girls, became infatuated with him. However, the novels imply, and the HBO series makes clear, that he actually had a sexual relationship with Renly Baratheon. When Renly proclaimed himself king, Loras and the rest of House Tyrell backed him and married Loras' sister Margaery to Renly. Renly made Loras the head of his personal guard and the two remained inseparable even after Renly's wedding.

After Renly's assassination, Loras became enraged with grief and slew three of Renlys guards who were present at the time of his king's death. Loras would have killed Brienne of Tarth and Catelyn Stark, had they been present. However, after questioning Brienne at King's Landing, he no longer suspected her. Upon the wedding of his little sister Margaery to Joffrey Baratheon, Loras joined the Kingsguard and quickly reasserted his popularity with the citizens of King's Landing.

Upon news of the ironborn taking the Shield Isles, Tyrell volunteered to travel to Dragonstone and complete its siege, thus freeing Paxter Redwyne's fleet from that task and allowing them to defend the Reach. His decisive action brought a quick end to the siege, but by all reports he was horribly injured during the attack, including being doused in boiling oil. As of the epilogue of A Dance with Dragons, he has not yet succumbed to his injuries and his prognosis upgraded from "too badly burned" for medical attention to "gravely wounded."

Loras Tyrell is played by Finn Jones in HBO's TV adaptation of the books.

Margaery Tyrell

The only daughter of Mace Tyrell, Margaery is an intelligent and shrewd young woman, and the protégé of her cunning grandmother, Olenna Redwyne. She is described as pretty, with softly curling brown hair, brown eyes and a slender yet shapely figure. She is sixteen years old.

Margaery was first married to King Renly Baratheon, as a pledge of loyalty from the Tyrell family. When he was killed, the Tyrells allied with the Lannisters, wedding Margaery to King Joffrey. After Joffrey was poisoned at their wedding feast, Margaery was wed yet again, this time to Joffrey's younger brother Tommen, a little boy who was then crowned king. In the months after their marriage, Cersei Lannister schemed to dispose of Margaery and the Tyrells, taking advantage of Margaery's claim to still be a maid despite her marriage to Renly. This claim may or may not be true; Margaery's maidenhead was confirmed to have been ruptured by a Septa who inspected her, but Cersei noted that highborn girls often have their maidenheads broken by horseback-riding.

While Tommen's queen, Margaery did much to gain favor with the populace. She visited local markets to buy fresh fruits, breads and fish, ordered dresses from many local seamstresses, and made great public shows of charity. Margaery suggested several activities for Tommen in an effort to shape him into a successful ruler, such as riding in sight of his subjects and observing sessions of the small council. Cersei forbade all of Margaery's suggestions. Later, Margaery recognized the military threat created by the Ironborn invasion of the Shield Islands, and was incredulous at Cersei's lack of understanding.

Cersei accused Margaery of adultery and treason, lining up an impressive but untrue, array of conspirators and evidence. Margaery was arrested and imprisoned to await trial by the Faith at the Great Sept of Baelor. While in custody, she confronted Cersei, revealing that she knew that Cersei was behind the accusations and wanted to remove her from a position of influence, perhaps by arranging for her death. Later, one of Cersei's key witnesses revealed her plots under torture, and Cersei soon found herself sharing Margaery's plight. Since the evidence against Margaery however is very weak she was released to Randyl Tarly (after Tarly swore a holy oath before the altar of the Seven to return her back to the sept for trial). She currently resides in the Red Keep till the day of her trial.

Margaery Tyrell is played by Natalie Dormer in HBO's TV adaptation of the books.[5]

Olenna Redwyne

Olenna Redwyne is the mother of Lord Mace Tyrell and described as a wizened, cunning old woman with a wicked wit and a sharp tongue, nicknamed "the Queen of Thorns." Olenna was introduced in A Storm of Swords, sharply questioning Sansa Stark on Joffrey's nature. After getting Sansa to speak about Joffrey's cruelty and the beatings he gave her, Olenna suggested taking Sansa away to Highgarden and marrying her to Willas. She also played a role in the poisoning of Joffrey at his wedding, but the details remain unclear in the story.

References


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