Characters: A Song Of Ice And Fire Daenerys Targaryen And Her Court
This is a listing of members of Daenerys Targaryen's Court that appear in the Fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. Visit here for the main character index.
For the main House Targaryen entry, see here.
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Queen Daenerys Targaryen, the First of Her Name; r. 298
The Stormborn, The Unburnt, The Mother of Dragons, The Breaker of Chains, The Dragon Queen, The Silver Queen
"I want to make my kingdom beautiful, to fill it with fat men and pretty maids and laughing children. I want my people to smile when they see me ride by, the way Viserys said they smiled for my father."
The last scion of House Targaryen, who was born-in-exile after Ser Jaime killed her father and Robert Baratheon took the Iron Throne. Impoverished and hiding in the Free Cities in the East, she is initially an abused little girl living under the whims of her bullying older brother Viserys. While initially meek and frail, Dany grows stronger in every book and her destiny is far, far beyond what she ever imagined.
- The Ace: She's a fluent or semi-fluent polyglot and a very quick study of things political, martial and magical (although not without some mishaps). Sees for herself she needs more than the theory when it comes to ruling, and takes steps to try her hand at the practical as a practice run. It... throws up a few weaknesses she needs to work on. Points for noticing, though.
- A Child Shall Lead Them
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Her relationships with Drogo and Daario definitely fit this trope. Barristan laments that while Dany is clever and wise beyond her years, she still has a young woman's taste in men. He notes that if Quentyn Martell had been Archibald Yronwood or Gerris Drinkwater instead of shy, timid, Quentyn, than Daenerys might have been more willing to spurn Hizdahr.
- Anti-Heroine: She started the series as a Classical Anti-Heroine but slowly worked her way down to being a Pragmatic Anti-Heroine.
- Arc Number / Rule of Three
- Arranged Marriage: to Khal Drogo. It works out.
- Again in A Dance With Dragons, to Hizdhar zo Loraq as part of her plan to bring stability to Meereen. It didn't work out so well
- Because Destiny Says So: Daenerys is believed to be the prophesied Prince Who Was Promised.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Is gentle and kind-hearted (some might argue too kind-hearted for a ruler) but you do not want to arouse her anger.
- Bi the Way: Dany sleeps with her handmaidens, though there's a degree of Situational Sexuality involved.
- Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: At the end of her final chapter in ADWD, and the final one before the epilogue. Dany, lost on the Dothraki Sea, calls out for Drogon, and he comes. She rides him, and he attacks a herd of horses and riders. The riders flee but Drogon kills a horse and settles down to eat it (desperately hungry, Dany shares his kill). Then Khal Jhaqo and fifty of his outriders appear out of the grass. End chapter.
- Blue Blood
- Broken Pedestal: When Barristan Selmy tells her of her father's madness.
- Catch Phrase: She has three:
- When playing innocent or being mocking:
- When asserting her rights:
Dany: I am the blood of the dragon.
- When worrying about the decisions she has made:
- The Chessmaster: She tries, bless her heart.
- Child by Rape: Very likely, given the nature of her parent's relationship as Jaime Lannister remembers it.
- The Chosen One: See above.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: To the frustration of her advisors, many of the locals, Dany cannot be persuaded to leave Essos to its own problems and move on to her goals in Westeros. Lampshaded by Tyrion, who's never even met her but correctly assesses her actions in Slaver's Bay as being that of a rescuer who simply will not let others suffer while she selfishly gathers power.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: As dark as a sun-tanned Dothrak.
- Death by Irony: Invoked by her on the Great Masters of Meereen, who left 163 slave children nailed to posts by the road, each with an arm pointing towards the city. When she takes control of the city, she nails 163 of the Great Masters to posts in the central square, with their arms pointed at one another. It turns out that doing this and then leaving the rest of their families in positions of power and wealth was a really bad idea.
- Dragon Rider: she's been looking forward to it ever since she had dragons. Finally happens in the fifth book.
- Egg McGuffin: The dragon eggs she receives from Illyrio are more than just a wedding gift.
- Fatal Flaw: This become much more obvious once she stays at Meereen to learn how to rule. She's very idealistic and feels a personal debt to all the people she rules, thinking of them as "her children". In any other series this would make her a great ruler, but in the Crapsack World of Westeros and Essos it makes her awfully unpragmatic and easy to manipulate.
- Fish out of Water: At first she's very unfamiliar with the cultures of Essos, beginning with the Dothraki. She learns quickly however.
- Foil: Like Robert Baratheon, she is great at leading people, galvanizing them to fight for her and acquiring power, but an awful ruler.
- A Dance with Dragons sets Jon Snow as one for her. Both are experimenting The Chains of Commanding and start to the queeny/kingly mask and never do the quite right thing. They also are heavily implied by Epileptic Trees to be related and most of all the major candidates for the role of The Chosen One.
- Her journey also reflects that of Sansa and Arya Stark, as they each start off as fairly naive young girls with rosy/idealistic views on life and each quickly learn of the hard truths their environments have to offer, forcing them to survive the dangerous world they live in with whatever means at their disposal. The difference is Daenerys grew up impoverished and is just now gaining power, while Sansa and Arya grew up peacefully as nobles but have now fallen on extremely hard times. They are also all, technically, Badass Princesses.
- Going Native: Quickly adapts to Dothraki culture unlike her brother.
- Guile Hero: Is rapidly becoming one, though not without growing pains.
- Hello, Nurse!: Several men have offered to marry her, and not just for her dragons.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Thanks to the many tales told about her, and then by the envoy of the Wise Masters to Volantis. She's believed to be as crazy as her father, to have made Drogo kill Viserys, to have killed Drogo himself to take his khalasar. She's also believed to feed her Dragons on the flesh of newborn babies, to impales anyone who defies her on spikes to die, takes a different lover every night - and geld them is they don't please her - and to bathe in blood of maidens to retain her youth.
- However this reputation is only that of the slaver and merchant class. The slaves across Essos are rooting for her and fully waiting for her to come and liberate them.
- The High Queen: She's trying to be this. As of recent events, it's clear that she must claw her way up to this status.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: What quite a few people see her as. It's pretty hard to be The High Queen when your subjects hate your guts, bloody flux rampages through your cities and even your own dragons do not always take you seriously.
- How Do I Shot Web?: How do I teach my dragons not to eat children?
- Also, how do I be a queen? She knows how to lead her khalasar, but she specifically decides to stay in Meereen at the end of A Storm of Swords in order to learn how to rule. Turns out it's damn hard, especially when most of the populace hates you, and numerous people are plotting your overthrow. Then again that's what happens when you're conquering city-states that were once part of an empire that was destroyed by the Valyrian Freehold, which the Targaryens were a part of.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: She's described as small even for her age (14), whereas her husband Khal Drogo is a giant of a man.
- Hypocrite: She condemns Robert as The Usurper for taking the Iron Throne by force, conveniently forgetting that Aegon the Conqueror made the Iron Throne via force and her claim is no less rooted in violence than Joffery's.
- I Have Many Names: Daenerys Stormborn, the Unburnt, Mother of Dragons, The Last Targaryen, Mother, the Queen Across the Water, and her titles are: Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Shackles/Chains.
- Try to Fit That on a Business Card: "I am Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the Unburnt, Mother of Dragons, khaleesi to Drogo's riders, and queen of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros."
- I Just Want to Be Normal: She just wants to go back to that house with the red door and the lemon tree outside...
- Ideal Hero
- Important Haircut: Not necessarily cut but her hair has now twice burned off. The first time symbolizing that she Took a Level in Badass, the second as a sign of Break the Haughty.
- Impoverished Patrician: She and Viserys.
- In the Blood: Daenerys has the Targaryen greatness in full measure, though it takes a bit of adversity to bring it out. "I am the blood of the dragon" indeed.
- She's also proved that she's got the Royalty Superpower in buckets more than even some of the early Targaryens probably did. "Mother of Dragons".
- Kill It with Fire: "Dracarys."
- Lady of War: Not initially, but she grows into one.
- Last Of Her Kind: She and Viserys were believed to be the last surviving members of House Targaryen. (Keep reading to find out if it was true.)
- Living Legend: The Mother of Dragons, the Conqueror of Slaver's Bay and the Breaker of Chains is already one by the time she rules over Meereen, with her legend spreading across Essos all the way to Volantis and beyond, and several people coveting her favour, love or dragons. Tyrion is rather impressed at narrating her reputation:
"She has crossed the grasslands and the red waste, survived assassins and conspiracies and fell sorceries, grieved for a brother and a husband a son, trod the cities of the slavers to dust beneath her dainty sandaled feet."
- Lonely at the Top: Dany becomes more paranoid, afraid that she will be betrayed by someone she is close to.
- Lust Object: Jorah Mormont, Illyrio Mopatis, Viserys Targaryen, Mero the Titan's Bastard and Daario Naharis are specifically mentioned as lusting after Daenerys. Daario appears to have gone over to her side mostly out of a desire to bed her.
- Malicious Slander: She's the subject of this outside of Meereen.
- Mama Bear: She put up with Viserys' crap for pretty much all of her life, until he threatened to cut her unborn child from her womb. And when Drogo was preparing to kill Viserys, she let him see her standing there and watching, so he would know that even if she could have prevented his death, she was choosing not to. Then, the woman who caused her to lose her husband and unborn child ended up burned alive for her trouble. She is also very protective of her dragons, which are (to anyone's knowledge) the only three living ones in the world.
- The Madness Place: Some of her greatest leaps of brilliance (both magical and mundane) are preceded by some very weird reliance on visions and the accompanying dream-logic: the thing is, she makes it work for her more often than not. She often displays states close to tracing, lucid dreaming or self-hypnosis using mantras and sayings, as well, to spur herself on.
- Maternal Death? Blame the Child: Viserys never quite forgives Dany for their mother Rhaella dying giving birth to her.
- The McCoy: When she sees someone in pain, she feels compelled to alleviate it, with little regard for practicality or long-term ramifications. Barristan tries to play the role of The Spock to balance her out, but he's too fettered by his oaths of obedience and his distaste for politics. Luckily, Tyrion, who cares about the greater good but is also calculating and pragmatic, seems poised to join them.
- Mercy Kill: She does this to Drogo when it becomes apparent he can't be healed.
- Messianic Archetype: For the liberated slaves of Slaver's Bay and the still enslaved of Volantis and other Free Cities and especially the Red Priests Moqorro and Benerro, Daenerys is their savior, Azor Ahai and Maester Aemon believes, courtesy of an error in translation that Daenerys is "The Prince Who Was Promised". She is at the least one of many contenders.
- Mighty Whitey / White Man's Burden: Played with her slight savior complex. Her intentions are definitely good and it's not like the conditions in the slaver cities were squeaky-clean, but she doesn't know the best way to go around handling them, which earns her more than a few enemies. The locals also don't want her there, except she can't leave Essos alone and move on to Westeros because of these tropes.
- She also never quite gets the grasp on Ghiscari culture and cant stop from being either disgusted or appalled by it, which only alienates her more from the people she's trying to rule.
- Moral Myopia: An understandable case, but she never really considers the possibility of her relatives having made grievous errors. She tries to shift the blame for the whole "Lyanna" fiasco to Elia being a bad wife instead of Rhaegar being in the wrong, and condemns everyone who took part in Robert's Rebellion, ignoring the very good reasons some of them had for fighting the Mad King. The one time Ser Barristan starts to bring up some of Aerys' flaws she tells him to wait until she's in a better mood.
- Mystical Pregnancy: Mirri Maz Dur complicates her pregnancy with Blood Magic and leads her to birth a horrific reptilian baby that may have damaged her womb and rendered her incapable of bearing children forever. Maybe.
- Mystical White Hair: Like her entire family. Still, nothing says mystical like being able to hatch dragons!
- Not Quite The Right Thing: She makes many of these types of decisions.
- No Pronunciation Guide: Word of God is that people should be allowed to interpret names however they want. Having said that, here is an interview with GRRM calling her "den-air-iss tar-gair-ee-yen". (Curiously, the one time we hear her nickname, it's pronounced "Danny".) Drogo, when learning the Common Tongue of Westeros, calls her "Dan Ares".
- Out of the Inferno: When Dany "gives birth" to her dragons on the funeral pyre, in the end of A Game of Thrones.
- Parental Substitute: Dany's father died before she was born, so his faithful retainer Ser Willem Darry took on this role for her, and she now seems to regard Ser Barristan the same way. Dany describes Jorah Mormont as the kind and protective big brother she never had in Viserys. Unfortunately for Jorah, not in the usual Targaryen way.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: She's fond of this approach, as the slavemasters of Astapor and Meereen learn.
- Pride: As Tyrion points out, it's all she's got to hold on to.
- Princess Classic: Subverted almost point-for-point; the sole exception is her unusual beauty.
- Purple Eyes: An indicator of Valyrian ancestry in the Song of Ice and Fire universe.
- Put on a Bus: She's one of the characters who disappears during A Feast For Crows.
- Happens again after she flies off on Drogon after he attacks Daznak's Pit, but she gets one final chapter before the epilogue.
- Rightful Queen Returns: Working on it. It's played with, though, as even if the Targaryens believe their rule will unite the people and bring peace to Westeros, there's really no correlation between bloodline and capability to rule. note
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
- Silk Hiding Steel: A beautiful, demure 15-year-old girl, who has so far sacked three cities and is bent on reclaiming the Iron Throne.
- Spanner in the Works:
- To the long-term plans of Illyrio Mopatis and Varys, masterminds for a Targaryen restoration. Illyrio stated that when he brokered the marriage between Daenerys and Khal Drogo, he did not expect her to survive, much less hatch three dragon eggs for the first time in more than a hundred years, later she conquers Slaver's Bay rather than return to Pentos by boat, upsetting the plans of the Golden Company who expected her and her dragons to submit to their long-term plans of restoring Aegon VI on the Iron Throne, with Tristan Rivers expecting her to be a "pliable child".
- Also Doran Martell, who sent his son Quentyn Martell to bring Daenerys and her dragons home, offering support, army and a marital alliance. Daenerys is regretful of the poor timing, at the time she is engaged in a diplomatic marital alliance to Hizdahr so as to protect and preserve Meereen's peace.
- Survival Mantra: "If I look back I am lost." Used at two points in the story, when she starts to feel hopelessness creep up on her: after learning that her son was a stillborn monster and Drogo is a Soulless Shell in A Game Of Thrones, and when she's lost on the Dothraki Sea in A Dance With Dragons.
- Take a Third Option: A specialty of hers, best demonstrated by how she dealt with the Astapori slavers.
- Tell Me About My Father: When she asks if the rumors about her father being batshit insane are true, she changes her mind upon seeing the uneasy reaction to her question and decides that she doesn't want to hear of it at that time.
- Took a Level in Badass: She's taken several of these as well over the course of her adventures.
- Try to Fit That on a Business Card: In addition to the titles above, there is also "Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of Great Grass Sea"
- Villain Protagonist: At first, when her plan for retaking Westeros involved unleashing a barbarian horde that would rape and enslave its way across the continent.
- Vorpal Pillow: How she puts Drogo out of his misery.
- White Stallion: Receives a silver mare as a wedding gift from Drogo.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: She grows into this. Exemplified by her attraction to Daario Naharis; she's keenly aware of the girl's wants versus the queen's needs.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: The final chapter of A Dance with Dragons is a long internal vision quest where Daenerys imagines several people she knew in her life urging her to a realization:
"You are the blood of the dragon ... Dragons plant no trees. Remember that. Remember who you are, what you were made to be. Remember your words...Fire and Blood."
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: According to several of her followers and the rumors traveling about her from Essos to Westeros.
Daenerys's unborn son with Drogo.
- Barbarian Hero: Or would have been had he lived.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Dany has a vision of what he would've looked like. He was described as copper-skinned like Drogo and white-haired like Dany.
- Dead Guy Junior: The "Rhae" prefix, while common in Targaryens, specifically comes from his uncle Rhaegar.
- The Chosen One: Supposedly, he would have grown up to be the Stallion That Mounts The World. Prophecies in this series being what they are, however, we don't know for sure.
- Large and in Charge: He was described as tall in Danny's vision at the house of the Undying.
Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion
"...and for the first time in hundreds of years, the night came alive with the music of dragons."
Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion, Daenerys's three dragons, hatched at the end of A Game of Thrones
and growing up over the course of the series.
- All Animals Are Dogs: Averted. They generally obey Daenerys and are less threatening to those she's close to, but they are very fierce and aren't truly under her control.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: After Quentyn releases the dragons into Meereen, Viserion makes his lair in the Pyramid of Uhlez while Rhaegal does the same with the Pyramid of Yherizan. Some of the former inhabitants take exception to this and try to take it back.
- Animalistic Abomination: They need fire and Blood Magic (or some other form of sacrifice) to hatch from eggs which can still be viable after looking fossilized for hundreds of years. They are described as "fire made flesh", and, given their rather magical incubation and hatching methods, this could be rather more than just hyperbole. They are strongly linked to Valyrian genealogies for some reason and can form strong bonds with preferred individuals from them. And, they think, learn and puzzle-solve rather less like lizards and more like social apes: heaven help the poor idiot who underestimates their intelligence or ferocity.
- Bratty Half-Pint: At the moment, they're the draconic version of this. Although they're no longer tiny, they're also far from as large as they'll likely get. Or, you know, they're just being rather literal examples of Teens Are Monsters. It's a bit hard to say which. What is easy to say is... they're acting up. Big time.
- The Dreaded: Drogon becomes this for the people of Meereen and the surrounding regions.
- Here There Were Dragons/The Dragons Come Back: They are the first dragons born in over a century. As a result, magic is coming back into the world.
- Kill It with Fire: Their go-to solution to annoying, meaty problems. Or "lunch". Whichever.
- Licked by the Dog: One of the few people they display affection for is Brown Ben Plumm.
- A Lizard Named Liz: Drogon the dragon; worth noting though that he was named for Daenerys's husband Drogo.
- Meaningful Name: Drogon is the biggest and strongest, a very assertive leader, quick to action and has arguably the closest bond with Dany, as befits who it was named after. Rhaegal is lithe, usually vocal (you need to be careful when it goes quiet, though) and a cunning strategist who is more deadly than you'd expect. And, looks very like the epitome of a classic Medieval dragon to match the classic knight who is its namesake, too. And, Viserion... well... is useful if you want a distraction: not the brightest of the bunch and with no outstanding qualities beyond being gold-speckled, let's put it that way. Remind you of anybody?
- Mighty Roar: Rhaegal in particular is said to have a roar that would send lions running.
- Mundane Utility: Their fearsome Breath Weapon is initially used to barbecue their lunch. There's a saying in-universe that only men and dragons prefer cooked meat.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They need to eat seared or cooked food and won't accept outright raw. They can survive on human breast milk upon hatching (although, those teeth probably mean there's a very limited shelf-life on that). They only have four limbs including the wings. And, they actually like the people they form emotional bonds with as something closer to family rather than snacks... but, you'd never call them "pets", as they're more independent than even cats, for all they can be trained to, probably, a much greater degree than people usually realise. Nettles showed that when she snagged her Sheepstealer using positive reinforcement, patience and common sense, as it's not clear if she even had Targaryen blood to win that one over with. It's just a pity Daenerys hasn't had any decent grounding in developmental psychology, thanks to her screwed-up childhood.
- Predators Are Mean: Invoked in-universe, once the dragons begin to steal sheep and... other things.
- Shoulder-Sized Dragon: Initially. They've started to grow, however.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Rhaegal's deadly speciality is popping up from (or down from or from behind) unlikely places even after having grown to a size you'd think impossible to hide. Isn't that right, Quentyn?
- Stronger with Age: The older they get, the bigger they get, and as long as they are not caged up, they don't stop growing.
- Trigger Phrase: When they hear the word 'Dracarys', it's feeding time.
- Weapons Of Mass Destruction: When they're a bit bigger, they will be this. Not that they're all that bad at being destructive right now. The whole city of Meereen would probably back that statement up.
- We Named the Monkey Jack: Dany names her three 'children' after her dead husband Drogo and her dead brothers Rhaegar and Viserys.
Ser Jorah Mormont
Ser Jorah Mormont
"In the world as I have seen it, no man grows rich by kindness."
Ser Jorah Mormont is an exiled knight who was once the head of House Mormont and Lord of Bear Island. He fled Westeros to escape execution for trading in slaves, and entered the service of the last Targaryens. He becomes one of the most trusted companions of Daenerys Targaryen. Generally a reasonable and decent man driven to doing foolish things by love.
- Analogy Backfire: When Tyrion is caught by Jorah, he promises to drown him in gold if he lets him loose. Jorah is not impressed.
Jorah: I saw a man drowned in gold once. It was not a pretty sight.
- Animal Motif: Mormont, just like the rest of his family, is constantly associated with the bear.
- Bald of Awesome: See Badass.
- Badass: He won his knighthood by being the second man through the breach at Pyke during Greyjoy's Rebellion (Thoros of Myr was the first). His fight with Qotho also showcases his badassery.
- Berserk Button: After Khal Drogo's death, Qotho attempts to kill Daenerys. Jorah, who up to this point has never so much as drawn his sword (on screen), goads the much younger man into a fight to protect her.
Jorah: Horselord! Try me!
- Bodyguard Crush: With Daenerys. Doesn't end well.
- Call It Karma: In the past, he sold poachers into slavery when short on funds. In A Dance With Dragons, Jorah is Made a Slave.
- Carpet of Virility: Adding to his bear-like appearance.
- Courtly Love: A Deconstructed Trope
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Jorah gets jealous of any man who offers Daenerys help and constantly advises her to push them away in the hopes that she'll become dependent on him alone instead. Daenerys catches on and eventually calls him on this when she's had enough.
- Deadpan Snarker: Actually supplies the current page quote for the trope in the Literature section.
- Enemy Mine: With Tyrion, who he initially takes prisoner and intends to give to Daenerys to gain back her favor, fully expecting she'll execute him. After the two of them are taken as slaves, and especially after they both escape and join the Second Sons, they seem to have accepted each other as partners in the mutual enterprise of escaping a very bad situation.
- The Exile: After selling poachers into slavery, he fled Westeros and goes into self-imposed exile rather than be executed by Eddard Stark. Getting a pardon to go home is the reason he originally acted as The Mole against Dany before becoming genuinely loyal. Unfortunately when she discovers this, she exiles him from her kingdom.
- Failure Knight: He fell for a noblewoman, Lynesse Hightower, who took him for everything he had. Soon he begins to fall for Daenerys though it's still up in the air whether his devotion to Dany is because she simply resembles Lynesse or is genuinely everything he thought Lynesse to be.
- Genius Bruiser: A capable and intelligent knight. Unfortunately, see Love Makes You Dumb...
- Gold Digger: Lynesse Hightower, Jorah's second wife, who dumped him for a Lyseni merchant prince after the money ran out.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Jorah and Daenerys.
- I Choose to Stay: Whilst he initially hoped to earn a pardon by spying on Daenerys, he eventually became genuinely loyal to her.
- I Dub Thee Ser Knight: Earned his knighthood at the Siege of Pyke.
- The Ladys Favor: Jorah Mormont wore the favour of Lynesse Hightower and won a tourney, defeating all opponents and even gaining her hand in marriage.
- The Lancer: To Daenerys until his exile in A Storm of Swords.
- Love at First Sight: Deconstructed with glory-drunk Jorah and Gold Digger Lynesse Hightower, from a wealthy family in the Reach. Unused to the comparatively hard life on Bear Island, she quickly grew miserable. In order to support the lavish lifestyle Lynesse was used to, Jorah drove himself into debt and eventually entered the slave trade.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Generally a knowledgeable, reasonable, and insightful person, it all goes out the window in his desperation to make Lynesse (later, Daenerys) love him.
- Made a Slave: In A Dance With Dragons.
- Meal Ticket: To his second wife, Lynesse Hightower.
- Mr. Exposition: He seems to know a lot about every strange culture Daenerys encounters, and takes the time to educate her (and the reader). In-universe this isn't unreasonable, as he left the Seven Kingdoms years prior and has lived all over the place as a sell-sword.
- The Mole: Jorah Mormont was actually spying on Daenerys in the hopes of earning a royal pardon. He later develops genuine loyalty to her.
- Never My Fault: A problem with him. He's at heart a decent man led astray by poor decisions in love and life but his inability to acknowledge these errors or see it as such prevents him from learning from them.
- The One That Got Away: Lynesse Hightower for Jorah.
- The Power of Love: Normally, he's a competent but unexceptional warrior. Driven by love, he was able to win the Tourney at Lannisport and with it the hand of Lynesse Hightower.
- Private Military Contractors: He becomes a sellsword after losing his small fortune and his second wife.
- Reality Ensues: A brave knight wins the heart of a fair maiden with his valiance on the tourney field. This romance lasts until they arrive home and she sees just how poor and isolated his home is.
- Replacement Goldfish: Fandom is divided on whether he is thinking of Daenerys as a replacement for Lynesse, or whether all along he wanted a woman like Daenerys and mistook Lynesse as his ideal woman. Definitely done with a beautiful silver-haired whore, whom Jorah has sex with after being banished by Dany and falling into despair.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: He believes Eddard Stark wants him dead because he's a cold executioner desiring to behead anyone who breaks the law, caring little for why they did it. In reality Ned takes no pleasure in that duty, even taking time to hear their last words, but still very much wants to see Jorah dead. It seems engaging in slavery really struck a nerve with the Lord of Winterfell, making Jorah one of the few people Ned Stark would gladly execute.
Eddard Stark: "So the slaver has become a spy. I would rather he become a corpse."
- Slave Brand: Tyrion notes Jorah got one - a demon marking him as an unruly slave - on his right cheek in A Dance With Dragons after he is first enslaved. He notes it makes his face frightening.
- Title Drop: "It is no matter to [the people] if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."
- Undying Loyalty: To Daenerys even after she's exiled him, his goal is to find a way to get back into her good graces.
- You Can't Go Home Again: He is a fugitive from justice after fleeing a beheading. He joins the Targaryens in the hope of earning a pardon.
Ser Barristan Selmy*
Ser Barristan Selmy / Arstan Whitebeard
Barristan the Bold, Ser Grandfather
"I am a knight...I shall die a knight."
Known as "The Bold" after sneaking into a tournament and winning a joust against the Prince of Dragonflies whilst all of ten years old, Barristan Selmy is one of the most renowned knights in the Seven Kingdoms. At the start of the series, he is the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard before being unceremoniously retired by King Joffrey. Ser Barristan traveled to the Free Cities and, after a prolonged charade as "Whitebeard", is now in the service of Daenerys Targaryen as her Hand of the Queen.
- All Love Is Unrequited: For Dornish noblewoman Ashara Dayne. Because Barristan was quite a few years older than she and had taken an oath of celibacy, he never confessed his feelings.
- Badass Grandpa: So badass, he makes other, much younger, knights and guards visibly wilt when he reaches for his sword... only to drop it on the ground. That this is out of sheer relief he wasn't going to slaughter them is painfully obvious. See also One-Man Army below. It is worth noting that Jaime considers him to be somebody he'd not happily choose to tangle with, even considering their differences... both philosophical and age-related. He'd quite happily enjoy trying to beat sense into Jaime's head by contrast, however... if he thought for a minute it'd stick.
- Celibate Hero: Despite temptation to do otherwise, he has taken this part of the Oath as seriously as any other. Part of what makes him a straight-up Knight in Shining Armor.
- Cool Old Guy: How old? He was knighted by Egg when Egg was king, and named to the Kingsguard by Egg's younger son Jaehaerys.
- Defector from Decadence: Played with. Fought for Mad Aerys during the war, but was pardoned by Robert.
- Played more straight after he's dismissed from the Kingsguard and declares he is going to seek the true ruler of Westeros. All of the claimants to the Throne hope that he means them, but instead he goes to find Daenerys, whom none of them are even factoring into the situation.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Robert Baratheon spared him despite remaining loyal to the Mad King.
- Dogged Nice Guy: To Ashara Dayne.
- Foil: He and Jaime Lannister are both considered the finest knights alive. They also both start questioning their past decisions.
- His chapters in A Dance with Dragons echo those of Eddard Stark's, showing how a similar honor-bound character ultimately plays the game of thrones, siding with a morally dubious schemer like Shavepate and initiate a palace coup that Ned Stark balked at.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: After throwing his sword at Joffrey's feet, he refuses to touch a sword (using a quarterstaff instead) until Daenerys hands him one so he can swear allegiance to her.
- Hidden Depths: For most of the series, he is portrayed as brave, wise and coolheaded. Until his POV chapters in ADWD, no one knew that he is privately doubting his abilities due to his old age and that he is plagued with regret over his past failures, which he remembers much more clearly than the rest of the world.
- Honor Before Reason: He is a knight of the Kingsguard. In his mind, his vow to the King took precedence over everything else, to the point that he carries a major grudge against Jaime for murdering Aerys, even though they both witnessed Aerys' depravities firsthand; they had sworn to protect him and therefore Jaime betrayed his oath. Later he does, however, subvert this when the fate of Meereen rests in his hands. He's served three kings and one queen and, in doing so, has seen the tragedies that clinging to one's honor creates, so he takes a more pragmatic route.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: At the beginning of the series, he has seen three kings come and go, and this weighs on his mind.
- It's hinted, but not yet confirmed by the books, that Barristan blames himself for the death of Ashara Dayne by indirection as well. Time will tell if he was right.
- In-Series Nickname: Barristan the Bold, and more mocking ones like Ser Grandfather and Barristan the Old.
- Irony: Openly criticized Jaime Lannister for killing King Aerys, it is later revealed, that as of late, he has been pondering if maybe Jaime was right all along. The irony is not lost on him either.
- He also admitted that had he been present when the bodies of Princess Elia and her children were presented to Robert, he would've killed the King had he smiled.
- It's All My Fault: Downplayed, but he notes in his narration that had he defeated Rhaegar in the tourney at Harrenhal (stopping him from crowning Lyanna Queen of Love and Beauty), the whole Rebellion might have been avoided.
- Kingmaker Scenario: He'd rather thoroughly defy this trope in true Kingsguard fashion: or, at least, not touch it with a barge pole. Unfortunately, the fact that every faction with an ounce of sense tries to keep tabs on where he'll wind up after being expelled from Court confirms that he always had power in tipping the scales by sheer authenticity alone — in other people's eyes, at least. He even (very grudgingly) comes to terms with it, in a way, in Meereen. Oh, to be a fly on the wall should he and Jaime meet up, again.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Played straight, a rarity in this series.
- Failure Knight: What he fears he might actually be. It's probably how he's always kept his shininess nicely buffed, as it feels ingrained to his character. It's making a lot of his present moves be a bit more proactive than he's been in the past (even though gaining the name "the Bold" tells you he's never been a slouch — whatever he thinks).
- The Lancer: To Daenerys after Ser Jorah is exiled.
- Living Legend: His role in the War of the Ninepenny Kings, the Defiance of Duskendale, and several other major events has made Barristan one of the most famous men alive in Westeros, and he is beloved by many of the smallfolk (and even other nobles).
- The Magnificent: Got his nickname when he entered a tourney as a mystery knight at age 10. He failed miserably, but Prince Duncan was impressed with his spirit nonetheless: "A boy... a bold boy."
- Master Swordsman: Even though he's over 60.
- Mister Exposition: About Targaryen history. This is what attracts Daenerys to him in the first place.
- My Greatest Failure: Aside from surviving three kings he swore to protect, he actually starts to doubt whether he did the right thing by saving Aerys when he was a prisoner in Duskendale, ponders whether Jaime was right in killing Aerys, but most importantly, he regrets losing to Rhaegar in a jousting tournament, which kick-started the events that led to Robert's Rebellion.
- My Greatest Second Chance: Daenerys is his final throw of the dice: his regrets at not being able to keep the Targaryens in power combine with a wish to renew the Kingsguard (not to mention King's Landing) to what it should be after the depreciation it's gone through under both Aerys' and the Baratheon-Lannister leadership. After all, that's partly what training up a new set of knights to serve under a new Queen is for him.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: His mentality in serving Aerys and then Robert.
- Dany, too, to the point where he refuses to contradict her in conversation unless ordered. The only time he's done it without being asked is when Dany started disparaging Ned Stark, and even then, he did it gently.
- No Respect Guy: Even people who like him (i.e. Dany and Renly) tend to think of or refer to him in gentle mockery as an old man, and his enemies do likewise. This tends to lead to the latter Underestimating Badassery and Bullying a Dragon.
- Old Master: In ADWD, he has found some promising students.
- Older Sidekick: He's one to Strong Belwas while under the guise of Arstan Whitebeard.
- One-Man Army: In ADWD he details his escape from King's Landing, summed up by but not limited to this little gem:
Ser Barristan: The commander of the City Watch confronted me, emboldened by my empty scabbard, but he had only three men with him and I still had my knife.
- The One That Got Away: Ashara Dayne was this to him.
- Please Spare Him, My Liege!: He pleaded to Aerys to spare the life of the young Dontos Hollard.
- Reluctant Retiree: Cersei and the small council attempt to make him retire him after Robert's death, promote Jaime to Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and have Sandor Clegane fill the empty spot on the roster. They offer him land, gold, a keep and servants as a reward for years of service. Ser Barristan is beyond insulted.
Ser Barristan: A hall to die in, and servants to bury me. I thank you, my lords... but I spit on your pity.
- Simple Staff: Proves to be pretty deadly with a quarterstaff too, as the Titan's Bastard discovers.
- Stealth-Based Mission: One of his claims to fame is ending the Defiance of Duskendale by sneaking into town, freeing King Aerys from imprisonment, and getting out again.
- Token Good Teammate: To the present Kingsguard in A Game of Thrones.
Varys: Ser Boros and Ser Meryn
are the Queen's creatures for certain and I have my doubts about the rest. Only Ser Barristan is made of the true steel, but he's old
- You Remind Me of X: Barristan sees aspects of a younger Ashara Dayne in Daenerys, presumably regarding her as the daughter they never had.
Ser Barristan's squires
Larraq, Tumco Lho, The Red Lamb
Former slaves taken as squires by Ser Barristan to provide Daenerys with knights.
- The Ace: Of all his trainees, Ser Barristan considers Tumco the one with the most talent, comparing him to Master Swordsman Jaime Lannister.
- An Axe to Grind: Tumco Lho was already an expert with the axe before beginning training under Barristan.
- Honor Before Reason: Ser Barristan tries to drill this into their minds, but they don't quite understand the concept of choosing a honorable death over surviving dishonorably.
- Known Only by Their Nickname: The Red Lamb.
- Meaningful Name: The Red Lamb, who averts the Actual Pacifist stereotype of the Lhazareen.
- The Squire
- Token Minority: Tumco Lho, a Summer Islander, of which there are very few in Slavers' Bay.
- Whip It Good: Larraq, who manages to impress Ser Barristan with his skill at bringing down opponents despite his disdain for non-knightly weapons.
Irri, Jhiqui, and Doreah
Dany's handmaidens. Irri and Jhiqui are Dothraki, but Doreah is a former Lysene bedslave.
- Beauty, Brains and Brawn: What they teach Dany. Doreah taught her the art of love (Beauty), Jhiqui taught her to speak Dothraki (Brains) and Irri taught her to ride (Brawn).
- Catch Phrase: "It is known."
- Character Death: Doreah dies in the Red Waste due to a combination of exhaustion and illness.
- Sex Slave: Doreah was trained as a sex slave in the pleasure houses of Lys before being bought by Magister Illyrio and given to Dany as a handmaiden.
- Situational Sexuality: Danys sleeps with Doreah in order to learn the arts of pleasure, then Irri when she starts feeling the need for a man but can't trust the men she's with. Both handmaidens sleep with her out of duty rather than attraction.
- Those Two Girls: After Doreah's death in book two.
- Undying Loyalty
Aggo, Jhogo, and Rakharo
Daenerys bloodriders, who command portions of her army.
- Badass Mustache: Rakharo.
- Badass in Distress: Jhogo is given to the Yunkish as a hostage as part of the peace between Daenerys and Yunkai.
- Colonel Badass: All three serve as commanders in Daenerys army, often leading scouting missions.
- Demoted to Extra: Arguably. They were minor characters to begin with, and even though they were the first to swear fealty to her along with Jorah, their influence is less and less as Daenerys gains power and her court increases in size.
- He's All Grown Up: Rakharo.
- Praetorian Guard: They were originally assigned to guard Daenerys as her khas.
- Undying Loyalty: They will do anything for Daenerys, even when they are confused by her orders or it contradicts Drothraki culture.
- Weapon of Choice: Each one has their own unique style of fighting and preferred weapon, each given to them by Daenerys when she asks them to become her bloodriders:
An old jaqqa rhan
(which translates as "Mercy Men" - they behead the dead and dying after every battle).
An Unsullied warrior elected by his comrades to lead them after being freed by Daenerys.
One of the Unsullied purchased by and sworn to Daenerys.
One of the Unsullied that chose to take back his birth name. Chosen as commander of the Mother's Men, a company of freedmen loyal to Daenerys. He's one of Missandei's brothers.
One of the Unsullied purchased by and sworn to Daenerys.
Other followers and commanders
"Find liver and onions, Whitebeard. Not for now, for after. Killing makes Strong Belwas hungry."
Originally a pit fighter in the slave pits of Meereen, Strong Belwas is a warrior sent by Illyrio Mopatis to serve and protect Daenerys in her trials.
Dany's translator with whom she shares an intimate friendship. She and her brothers were taken from their home on Naath by slavers and sold to Astapor, where she became a translator until freed by Daenerys.
- Child Prodigy: Has a remarkable gift to easily learn new languages and proves very smart, perceptive, and cunning in several other areas as well.
- Completely Unnecessary Translator: Translated for Kraznys mo Nakloz when he was negotiating with Daenarys, but neither she nor Kraznys knew Dany spoke Valyrian. She also doesn't have to use her translation skills much after joining Dany.
- Cunning Linguist: Says she has the gift of easily learning languages. At the age of ten, she's been shown to speak the Common Tongue, High Valyrian, and bastard Valyrian, as well as a bit of Ghiscari.
- Hidden Depths: She has Dangerously Genre Savvy Manipulative Bastard qualities Ser Barristan likens to Littlefinger and Varys.
- Made a Slave: She was kidnapped alongsider her brothers and sold into slavery in Astapor.
- Omniglot: Justified, due to her being very gifted and learning multiple languages as a child.
- Only One Name
- Outnumbered Sibling: Had three Unsullied brothers, but one was killed during training.
- Tag Along Kid: Justified because she has nowhere to go and would rather risk death with Daenerys.
- The Smart Gal: To Daenerys' The Hero.
- Third-Person Person: Similar to all slaves, Missandei refers to herself as "this one" before Dany tells her not to.
- Verbal Tic: Referring to herself as "this one" instead of "Me" or "I".
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Strong-willed and intelligent past her ten/eleven years, as Dany and Barristan note.
"I count no day as lived unless I have loved a woman, slain a foeman, and eaten a fine meal."
A Tyroshi sellsword in command of the Stormcrows who pledges himself and his mercenaries to Dany out of love.
- Agent Peacock: Dyes his hair and nails blue and dresses in garb of yellow and gold, and acts even more flamboyant than its typical for a Tyroshi.
- Badass: He took over the Stormcrows by killing his two fellow commanders, both dangerous warriors in their own right. When Meereen is besieged, Daario leads most of the sorties against the enemy and kills many of them while losing only a few of his forces.
- Badass in Distress: After he is given to the forces of Yunkai along with several other hostages during peace talks. He is still their captive when hostilities break out again.
- Blood Knight: The only thing he likes more than sex and gold is killing.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The way he betrays and murders his mercenary partners and casually presents their heads to Daenerys, one might think it isn't the first time he's done this. Then there's his suggestion to Dany to let him kill the Wise Masters during her wedding to Hizdahr. There are many fans who speculate that he either is or will betray her in the future.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: He has shades of this in the eyes of Jorah and Ser Barristan. But of course, Daenerys wants him close to her.
- Gold Tooth: Has one.
- The Hedonist: Summed up in his quote above.
- Klingon Promotion: He killed his two partners, Sallor the Bald and Prendahl na Ghezen, and usurped their positions as leader of their mercenary group, getting the rest of the Stormcrows to follow him.
- Loveable Rogue
- Pride: And vanity.
- Private Military Contractors
- Sacred Hospitality: Similar to the Red Wedding, he offers to Daenerys to have the Yunkish Wise Masters slain during her wedding to Hizdahr, an act she outright rejects.
- Second Love: Daenerys'. Well, perhaps "Second Lust" would be more accurate, given that both of them seem to be in it mostly for the sex.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair
A captain who commanded the ships sent by Illyrio Mopatis to bring Daenerys back to Pentos. He instead enters her service and joins her campaign in the Slaver's Bay.
A former slave in Astapor. Chosen as commander of the Free Brothers, a company of freedmen loyal to Daenerys.
Mollono Yos Dob
Mollono Yos Dob
A freedman that is named commander of the Stalwart Shields, a company of freedmen loyal to Daenerys. He later succumbs to the Pale Mare
A freedman from the Summer Isles that joins the Stalwart Shields, a company of freedmen loyal to Daenerys. He becomes their commander after Mollono Yos Dob succumbs to the Pale Mare