This is a listing of the people of the Free Cities that appear in A Song of Ice and Fire.
For the main character index, see here
For the main Essos entry, see here
The Free Cities of Essos
The nine Free Cities of Essos occupy the western region of Essos and have the most contact and trade with the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Each city is independent of the other and have their own unique culture, but they do share some cultural similarities due to their shared Valyrian origins. The nine cities are Braavos, Lorath, Lys, Myr, Norvos, Qohor, Pentos, Tyrosh, and Volantis.
- The Alliance: During wars they tend to from alliances towards other Free Cities. Particularly Qohor and Norvos vs. Volantis as well as Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh vs. Volantis during the Century of Blood.
- One of the most notable of this was the union of Myr, Lys and Tyrosh during the reign of Jaehaerys I as the Triarchy, or the Kingdom of the Three Daughters.
- Catch Phrase: "Just so" is a common Verbal Tic used by many characters from the Free Cities.
- Cult Colony: How Lorath, Norvos and Qohor got founded.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Loosely based on the medieval Italian city-states (including Italian-sounding names) and some elements of Ancient Greek culture. With the exception of Braavos, they are former colonies of the destroyed Valyrian Empire. They even speak different dialects descended from High Valyrian (the equivalent of Latin) that, according to Tyrion, are on their way to becoming separate languages.
- Comparisons to the United States of America are common, since Essos is a cultural melting pot full of immigrants that is separated by an ocean from Westeros (the European equivalent of the series.)
- Braavos being a City of Canals like Venice. The Titan of Braavos is a statue based on both the Colossus of Rhodes (a statue whose legs form the entrance to the port) and the legendary Colossi of Memnon in Egypt (a statue that "sings" on sunrise.) As a city founded by slaves, exiles and boasting a multi-cultural, multi-lingual culture, it can be seen as one for New York City as well with the Titan being the medieval Lady Liberty. The number of playhouses make it sound like Elizabethan era London.
- Volantis is that to Constantinople—a former colony of an empire whose capital (Valyria/Rome) is in ruins, considering itself an heir to the fallen empire. Volantis also has an oligarchical form of democracy like a Greek city-state.
- Pentos is a Merchant City that has a form of government reminiscent of Venice (a prince elected by a council of magisters.)
- Merchant City: All of them.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg:
- The main series doesn't specify why the city of Mantarys is not considered a "Free City", but in The World of Ice & Fire it's revealed it's because Mantarys never ruled itself until the Doom, instead having a governor appointed by the Freehold.
- Another "Zoidberg" was the city of Gogossos, a former penal colony of Valyria turned slavery market, which was dubbed "the Tenth Free City". It was wiped out by an epidemic, though.
- Finally, there's Essaria, a former Free City that stood east of Qohor and traded primarily with the former Kingdom of Sarnor to the north. It was overrun by Dothraki in the Century of Blood following the Doom, and its ruins are now known as Vaes Khadokh "the City of Corpses."
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: With the exception of Braavos, and Pentos de jure, all Free Cities practice and depend on chattel slavery. Braavos being a city founded via a slave rebellion explicitly forbids slavery of all forms inside its domain, and constantly goes to war with other cities to curb its practice.
- The Remnant: Of the Valyrian Freehold, except for Braavos, which was not a colony but a city founded by runaway slaves.
- Tyrion's description of Volantis also matches.
See the Braavos character page
Situated on the largest island in a group of islands in Lorath Bay, Lorath is the most isolated, smallest, poorest, and least populated of the Free Cities. The main sources of trade on the island come from fishing and whaling. The main city is built on a maze crafted by the previous inhabitants of the islands. After several civilizations on the islands were wiped out in various conflicts, modern Lorath was founded by worshippers of Boash the Blind God, who took control of the settlements that grew around their temples, but were eventually overthrown and massacred. Now Lorath is ruled over by a council of magisters.
- Corrupt Church: The priesthood of Boash the Blind God established Lorath as a theocracy, but they later became decadent and corrupt. The Lorathi people finally overthrew them, with the last members retreating to their Temple, where they slowly died out over a century.
- Cult Colony: It was founded as one by the eunuch Blind Priests of Boash the Blind God, who wore eyeless hoods and simple cloathing, believing that only in darkness could their third eye open. As they gained power over the settlers who came to Lorath, the priests grew corrupt and were eventually killed by the citizens of Lorath.
- Perpetual Poverty: It's the poorest of the Free Cities and its isolationist policies don't exactly help its economy.
- Precursors: The islands that Lorath is on were home to a mysterious race of men known as the mazemakers, who built large and complex mazes throughout the region. Their bones imply that they were somewhere between men and giants in size, making some speculate they were the result of interbreeding between the two species. According to Lorathi myths, the mazemakers were destroyed by either merlings, selkies, or walrus-men.
- Strange-Syntax Speaker: As part of their doctrine of denial of the self, the followers of Boash would refer to themselves and others with indefinite pronouns - "a man" or "a woman" instead of "I", "me", or any personal name. Though the faith of the Blind God has died out, these speech habits persist in the city; particularly among the noble class, speaking of oneself directly is considered vulgar even in the modern era.
- The Theocracy: During the rule of the priests of Boash.
Qarlon the Great
King of All AndalsAn Andal King from Lorath who desired to unite all Andals in Essos under his rule. His seat was a large wooden keep at Lorassyon. After warring for twenty years, his domain extended from the Shivering Sea all the way to the Axe and the northern river Rhoyne, unfortunately this put him in conflict with the Valyrian city of Norvos. The dragon lords defended their colony and burned him and his host outside of Norvos. Apparently nobody survived the Scouring of Lorath.
- All for Nothing: Spent two decades fighting against the petty Andal kings to unite them under his rule, only for the Valyrians to burn it all to ash.
- The Conqueror: How he styled himself. In practice he fell completely short.
- Kill It with Fire: Got the same treatment as the Rhoynar host, to burn alongside his army.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: A hundred dragon riders were sent to destroy him. A bit excessive, perhaps?
- Too Dumb to Live: Sure, attack a city belonging to an empire that controls fire-breathing monsters by the hundreds, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Lys the Lovely
Located on an island off the southern coast of Essos, Lys is well known for two things: its famous pleasure houses which cater to all tastes, and the deadly and exotic poisons mixed by its alchemists.
- Civil War: The city descended into a bloody power struggle in the aftermath of the collapse of the Rogare bank, with magisters murdering rivals and their families left and right.
- Love Goddess: The native love goddess of Lys appears on their coinage.
- Master Poisoner: The alchemists of Lys are this.
- Mystical White Hair: The blood of Old Valyria still runs strong in the Lyseni, with their silver-gold hair and purple eyes.
- Perfect Poison: The "Tears of Lys", which causes an apparently natural death via a sickness of the stomach and bowels.
- Regal Ringlets: The people of Lys are known to curl and perfume their hair.
- The Remnant: The blood of Old Valyria still runs strong in Lys. Pure Lyseni still have platinum blond hair as well as blue or lilac-colored eyes.
- Sex Slave: Lys purchases comely boys and girls to serve as this in the city's pleasure houses.
- Vice City: It was founded as a "pleasure colony." It is still known for its pleasure houses, and its main import is comely girls and boys to be made pleasure slaves.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Applied to a population rather than a single person, but the people of Lys are known to be very beautiful and comely.
- Alliterative Name: Salladhor Saan.
- A Man Of Wealth And Taste: He enjoys the finer things in life, as his clothing reflects.
- Badass Beard: Has a beard to befit his badassery.
- I Have Many Names: Prince of the Narrow Sea, and later made Lord of Blackwater Bay by Alester Florent, Stannis' Hand of the King.
- The Lancer: To Davos.
- Loophole Abuse: Sort of. After being made Lord of Blackwater Bay he sets to intercept any trade ship crossing the bay to "tax them" on their cargo.
- Lovable Rogue: While he may be a pirate, he is good friends with Davos and would never betray him. He often comments on how he should blame him for him being involved with Stannis, but never acts on his threats. Even when he leaves Stannis' service, Salladhor makes sure to drop Davos off safely before departing.
- Pirate: He is a renowned pirate leader, and in fact comes from a long line of illustrious pirates.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He abandons Stannis' cause after loosing several of his ships to storms while taking Davos to White Harbor because he grows tired of waiting for payment and returns to the Stepstones to engage in piracy. Ironically, after abandoning Stannis, the latter is finally able to pay him thanks to a loan from the Iron Bank of Braavos.
Tregar OrmollenA powerful Lyseni merchant prince who takes Lynesse Hightower as a concubine from her husband Ser Jorah Mormont.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: When he took Lynesse, it's said that he didn't expect her to be as influential to him as his own wife.
- The Ghost: He has never appeared in the story.
- Harem Seeker: He has several concubines, but none as influential as Lynesse.
- Henpecked Husband: Brought it upon himself when he took a concubine that is not a pushover.
- Informed Ability: He's rich enough to have political and military influence not only in Lys but also in Essos in general.
- Jerkass: He had Jorah give up Lynesse for the debt she accumulated while living lavishly in Lys under the threat of enslaving him. According to Jorah, she didn't give much of a fight. Unsurprisingly, Jorah took to the road while his wife went to live with Ormollen.
- Your Cheating Heart: Lynesse abandoned her husband Jorah to be with Ormollen.
VarysThe Master of Whisperers who served on the Small Council of the kings Aerys II, Robert I and Joffrey I. A (purportedly) Lyseni eunuch with enigmatic origins and motives.
See the Royal Court section of the House Baratheon of King's Landing character page.
Sargosso SaanA pirate-lord from the Stepstones that operated during the reign of Aegon I Targaryen.
Admiral Sharako LoharThe Triarchy's admiral, who led their fleet during the Battle of the Gullet.
- Colonel Badass: Led the Three Daughters' fleet against the Velaryon fleet during the bloodiest naval battle in recorded Westerosi history.
- Plot-Triggering Death: His murder led to the collapse of the alliance of the Three daughters, since Myr and Tyrosh blamed him for their losses at the Battle of the Gullet.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Is not specified if he survived the battle in the Gullet or was burned by dragonfire, but of the ninety ships that marched into battle, only twenty eight managed to limp home.
- Fire and Blood revealed he did survive, but was later murdered by a rival for the affections of Johanna Swann.
Serenei of Lys
For the court of King Aegon IV Targaryen, see the House Targaryen Ancestors character page.
- Alpha Bitch: She's described as acting cold and haughty towards others.
- Death by Childbirth: Died giving birth to Shiera Seastar.
- Fish out of Water: Other than her appearance, Serenei never did fit in the Royal Court. Her behavior and demeanor were said to be unbecoming of an aristocrat (even an impoverished one).
- Hidden Depths: She sought Aegon IV when he was already fat and decadent. This implies that she wasn't just looking for a fun rump in bed. If one were naive, she found the love of her life right then and there, but things are never quite so simple, are they?
- Hot Witch: Reputed to be a sorceress.
- Impoverished Patrician
- The Mistress: The 9th recorded mistress of Aegon IV
- Like Mother, Like Daughter: Her daughter is reported to have also resorted to the dark arts to keep herself young and beautiful; other than that, Shiera Seastar is not said to have been as feisty as her mother.
- Magical Girlfriend
- Older Than She Looks: It was also said she was much older than the king and used the dark arts to maintain her youth and beauty.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Though she was only The Mistress. By this time Aegon IV was already obese.
- The Vamp: She was the most beautiful of Aegon IV's mistresses and his personal favorite; nevertheless, she is said to have been several years older than him, but certainly didn't look like it; people and historians give credence that there was a supernatural and sorcerous resource that she used to keep herself young.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: She was the predecessor of her own daughter in that aspect.
See the Band of Nine page.
Lysandro Rogare, First Magister for Life
The MagnificentThe head of House Rogare and the Rogare Bank, who at its peak competed in power and influence with Braavos' Iron Bank. He was the father of Lysaro, Larra and Moredo Rogare.
- The Magnificent: It's his freaking nickname!
- Massive Numbered Siblings: He had nine trueborn children, Lysaro, Larra, Moredo, Lotho, Roggerio, Lysara, Drako, Fredo and Marra Rogare. He also had at least sixteen bastards.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Of Lorenzo di Medici, who was also known as "il Magnifico".
- The Patriarch: Of the Rogare family.
- Plot-Triggering Death: His death and the one of his brother Drazenko began the downfall of the family, both in Westeros and in Lys.
Lysaro RogareThe eldest child and heir of Lysandro Rogare. Although Lysaro was eventually killed by scourging at the Temple of Trade, his siblings escaped execution.
- Inadequate Inheritor: He had twice his father's ambition, but he was not even half as intelligent or clever, and ran the Rogare Bank into the ground and caused the ruin of his entire family.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: During his trial, when asked what he did with all the gold he embezzled, Lysaro started pointing to various magisters in attendance and saying he had bribed them.
- Smug Snake: Not even half as smart as he liked to think.
- Stealing from the Till: When he ran out of his own money to bribe his fellow magisters in his quest for power, Lysaro started embezzling gold from the Rogare Bank.
Lady Larra Rogare
- All of the Other Reindeer: Larra never felt truly a part of court, which might have motivated her to return to Lys even if it meant leaving her husband and children.
- All There in the Manual: Only mentioned in The World of Ice and Fire.
- Bus Crash: It's not known what happened to her after she went back to Lys, only that she died six years later.
- Hot Consort: Subverted. She was very beautiful, but left court and died long before Viserys became king, so she was never his queen consort.
- Missing Mom: Aegon, Aemon, and Naerys were still very young when she left them.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Returned home to Lys not long after giving birth to her third child, Naerys.
- Wrongfully Accused: In one incident, her brothers were arrested by those who mistrusted the Rogare family. Lord Thaddeus Rowan, Aegon III's Hand who was thought to be the Rogares' ally, was arrested as well, though he was also tortured for information. Ser Marston Waters, Lord Rowan's replacement, then attempted to arrest Larra, but Aegon and Viserys wouldn't allow it. Ser Marston besieged Maegor's Holdfast for eighteen days before acknowledging his error and arresting those who had implicated Larra and her family.
Moredo RogareThe third son of Lysandro Rogare, younger brother of Lysaro and Larra. A soldier that carried the Valyrian steel sword Truth.
- Cool Sword: He carried the Valyrian steel sword Truth.
- Turncoat: Later in his life, Moredo led an army against Lys.
- Wrongfully Accused: During the regency of Aegon III, he and his brothers Lotho and Roggerio were arrested by their rivals in the King's landing court. Lord Thaddeus Rowan, Aegon III's Hand who was thought to be the Rogares' ally, was arrested as well, though he was also tortured for information. Ser Marston Waters, Lord Rowan's replacement, then attempted to arrest Larra, but Aegon and Viserys wouldn't allow it. Ser Marston besieged Maegor's Holdfast for eighteen days before acknowledging his error and arresting those who had implicated Larra and her family.
Sandoq the Shadow
A former pit fighter at the service of Larra Rogare. When a coup against the Rogare family was launched by supporters of Unwin Peake, he held off the attackers until they were called off.
- Cool Sword: Wielded a great curved sword of Valyrian steel with a dragonbone hilt, as well as a tall black shield of nightwood, boiled hide, and iron.
- Covered in Scars: His body was covered in several thin white scars.
- Hidden Depths: He had a talent for music, playing a stringed instrument of goldenheart and ebony.
- Never Learned to Read: He was illiterate.
- One-Man Army: In a world that normally runs on Reality Ensues, he stands out. When Ser Amaury Peake of the Kingsguard came with a dozen men-at-arms to arrest Prince Viserys's wife, Larra Rogare, Sandoq met them alone. And slaughtered them with, quite literally, contemptuous ease according to the account of a purported eyewitness, "betwixt every fresh wound he dealt Ser Amaury, he would kill one of his remaining minions".
- Scary Black Man: He was seven feet tall, dark skinned and dark haired. That and all the scars and disfigurements must have made him very intimidating, not to mention his skill at fighting.
- Tongue Trauma: His lips and tongue were removed. He usually hid it with a black silk veil.
- You Shall Not Pass!: Held off Amaury Peake and his goons at the gates of Maegor's Holdfast when they came to arrest Larra Rogare. And none made it past the drawbridge.
MyrSituated on the shore of the Sea of Myrth, the Free City of Myr is renowned for its expert craftsmen. The city produces some of the finest lace, glass, and crossbows in the known world, among many other fine items. Ruled by a group of magisters, the people of Myr are often dark-haired and dark-eyed.
- Ambiguously Brown: The origins of the native Myrmen are unclear. Due to their olive skin, dark eyes, and dark hair, some believe they might be related to the Rhoynar.
- True Craftsman: Myr is famous for its skilled artisans and Myrish goods, such as glass and lace, are among the most highly prized in the world.
Admiral Craghas Dahar
CrabfeederA Myrish prince-admiral.
- Greed: After driving out the pirates of the Stepstones, Dahar and his fellow admirals grew so greedy that they raised the tolls of ships passing through the Stepstones until they became worse than the pirates. This led Corlys Velaryon to join Daemon Targaryen and make war against the Triarchy to drive them from the Stepstones.
- In-Series Nickname: "Crabfeeder", for the hundreds of pirates staked out on beaches of the Stepstones to drown in the rising tide.
- Off with His Head!: Decapitated by Daemon Targaryen with the Valyrian sword Dark Sister.
A Myrish mummer turned sellsword who fought for the Blacks during the Dance of Dragons.
- Carry a Big Stick: He claimed to have killed Prince Daeron Targaryen, Aegon II's younger brother, by smashing his skull with a mace.
- Chekhov's Gun: His old skills as a mummer proved useful for springing a trap on Criston Cole.
- Dead Guy on Display: Trombo weaponised this, leaving dioramas made of corpses from the Fishfeed in the path of Criston Cole's army. After passing several of these every few miles, Cole and his men ignored them...at which point one of the displays turned out to be a large number of Trombo's men waiting in ambush.
- Hero Killer: If his claims of killing Prince Daeron the Daring are true.
- Hired Guns: He and his men were hired by Lord Hugo Vance to fight for Addam Velaryon.
- Unreliable Narrator: Given there are several conflicting accounts of how Prince Daeron died at the Second Battle of Tumbleton, Trombo's claim of being the prince's killer couldn't be verified.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His fate after the Second Battle of Tumbleton is unknown.
Great NorvosLocated in the the Hills of Norvos along the banks of Noyne, Norvos was founded by religious dissidents from Valyria who wished to have a city made up only of true believers. Although nominally ruled by a High Magister and a council, the Bearded Priests have true control over the city.
- An Axe to Grind: What Norvos is known for.
- Bald Women: Norvoshi women shave their entire bodies, though noblewomen don wigs, specially when in company of foreigners.
- Church Militant: The Bearded Priests buy and train unwanted boys as household guards and soldiers.
- Cult Colony: Originally founded as such.
- Implied Trope: The theocracy in Norvos bears a semblance of what the Faith of the Seven intended to do in Westeros with the Andal Invasion, which is to enforce a theocratic government; though they became the foremost church in Westeros, the ingrained religions of the First Men and the Ironborn, plus the institution of Kingship practiced all over Westeros prevented the Faith from exerting the influence that they intended to have.
- Odd Friendship: With Qohor. Despite the fact that the Bearded Priests view Qohor's patron god as a demon, the two cities have historically been allies more often than enemies.
- The Theocracy: The Bearded Priests are the true rulers of Norvos: the High Magister and the council of religious protectors are chosen by them.
Lady Mellario of Norvos
- "What sort of father uses his own flesh and blood to pay his debts?"—Mellario
For the main House Martell entry, see here.
- Amicably Divorced: Mellario and Doran remain in contact.
- Culture Clash: She never adapted to the customs of Westeros, chiefly among them the practice of sending one's children to be fostered by other families as part of the political game.
- Fourth Date Marriage: They met, they fell for each other, and got married.
- The Ghost: Arianne, Quentyn, and Areo mention her in their POV chapters, but she hasn't been seen in person.
- Mama Bear: Downplayed. She was not pleased when Doran sent Quentyn away to the Yronwoods, and she let him know it. However, there was little she could really do about it: when Doran tried the same with Arianne and sent her to Tyrosh to serve as cupbearer, Mellario threatened to harm herself which made him back down. The issues turned too hard to solve which led to her leave Doran and her other children. How she felt about leaving Arianne and Trystane isn't mentioned in the books themselves, but Martin's comments below state she wasn't too happy about it.
- Marry for Love: Doran and Mellario married out of attraction and not to cement a political alliance.
- Missing Mom: Though she's still alive, she hasn't lived with her husband and children for many years.
- Only One Name: Her family name is not known.
- The Resenter: Despite the fact that they separated on good terms, Word OF GRRM states she's somewhat resentful at Doran for getting to keep their children with him.
See the House Martell character page.
PentosA large port city on the western coast of Essos, Pentos is ruled over by a council of wealthy Magisters who elect one of their own as Prince of Pentos. Originally built as a trading outpost of the Valyrians, the initial settlers of Pentos interbreed with the Andal natives of the region freely, making the blood of Old Valyria run weak in its inhabitants.
- Human Sacrifice: Should a war be lost or a crop wither, the Magisters cut the throat of the Prince of Pentos and choose another until the crisis is over.
- Loophole Abuse: Since Indentured Servitude is not forbidden in Pentos, the wealthy Magisters keep bronze-collared "servants" that are slaves in all but name.
- Puppet King: The Princes of Pentos.
Magister Illyrio Mopatis
- "Illyrio believes in no cause but Illyrio. Gluttons are greedy men as a rule, and magisters are devious. Illyrio Mopatis is both."—Ser Jorah
- Acrofatic: A clue to his past as a Water Dancer is the way he still walks lightly on the balls of his feet.
- Affably Evil: He's jolly, complimentary and completely amoral.
- Ambition Is Evil: He's so ambitious, he's willing to play with the lives of people on two continents to get what he wants. Very willing.
- Beard of Evil: He even strokes it obscenely.
- Big Eater: He gorges himself constantly while traveling with Tyrion. Tyrion notes that he takes very frequent pee breaks, indicating that he may be pre-diabetic.
- The Caper: What he and Varys might well have cooked up between them is a take on a two-man fencing con. This one, however, is on a global scale, rather than the simple caper you'd expect to see off any given High Street alleyway. We've a long way to go to the full reveal to judge the actual nature of this, though. But... it looks like they might be "returning" the Crown of the Seven Kingdoms to the Targaryens or Blackfyres — for a price. When they seem to have had their fingers all over how the Targaryens lost it to begin with.
- The Chessmaster: He clearly attempts to be this as he manipulates events and people to his advantage, but unforeseen circumstances, such as Viserys' untimely death and Daenerys' rebelliousness, constantly cause him to reevaluate his plans.
- Didn't See That Coming: A lot of his plans and ideas never quite pan out. He tells Tyrion that he had expected Daenerys to die on the Dothraki Sea but she ended up with three dragons and several levels of badass instead, while Viserys ended up dead. The Golden Company's captain, Tristan Rivers, sums up Illyrio's poor record in terms of plans coming to fruition and why they should go their own way instead:Tristan Rivers: Which plan? ... The fat mans plan? The one that changes every time the moon turns? First Viserys Targaryen was to join us with fifty thousand Dothraki screamers at his back. Then the Beggar King was dead, and it was to be his sister, a pliable young child queen who was on her way to Pentos with three new-hatched dragons. Instead the girl turns up on Slaver's Bay and leaves a string of burning cities in her wake, and the fat man decides we should meet her by Volantis. Now that plan is in ruins as well. I have had enough of Illyrios plans. Robert Baratheon won the Iron Throne without the benefit of dragons. We can do the same.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He's had two wives. While his feelings towards his first wife aren't clearly established, his second wife, pillow house worker Serra, who died of a plague (likely greyscale), he says he dearly loved. He still keeps a locket with her picture in it to always remember her... and also her preserved hands.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He seems to have a strong aversion to unnecessary violence.
- Exact Words: What he said about noble Westeros families still loyal to the Targaryens is true but they are mostly petty lords. The most powerful potential ally, House Martell, are secretly in league with a different Targaryen.
- Fat Bastard: Oh, so very much. In an avuncular kind of way, though. When you're a guest in his manse, he'll treat you to a luxurious supper, discuss plans with you over bowls of lamb and mushrooms, and if you'll bring him more profit dead than alive, he'll have you packed into a wine cask by dusk.
- Formerly Fit: He used to be a slender, handsome young sellsword. As his wealth ballooned, so did his weight, apparently.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: While he suggests that he was helping Viserys to eventually be made Master of Coin of Westeros, his plots with Varys hint at ulterior motives.
- I Was Quite a Looker: No one would ever guess it now, but he used to be a handsome, muscular sellsword. Tyrion's thrown for a loop when he sees the statue carved of the much younger Illyrio.
- In-Series Nickname: Tyrion quickly starts referring to him as "the Cheesemonger". Within a few days of hanging out with Haldon and Duck, they start to do it intermittently as well.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: He lives in a luxurious manse in Pentos and flaunts his wealth by wearing rings with beautiful jewels.
- Minor Major Character: Gave Daenerys her dragon eggs, arranged her marriage to Khal Drogo, sent Barristan Selmy to serve her, and has been plotting with Varys to destabilize Westeros but he's only appeared personally in two books.
- Mysterious Backer: First for Viserys, then for Daenerys and also acts as this for Aegon Targaryen.
- Retargeted Lust: Was quite turned on by Daenerys, but unlike her brother was smart enough to work out his passion on a bedslave.
- Self-Made Man: Once a simple sellsword and bravo, by teaming up with Varys in his youth, Illyrio managed to become successful enough to marry a daughter of the Prince of Pentos' cousin, and eventually gained enough wealth and prestige to become a Magister of the city.
- Smug Snake: He's a fairly competent schemer, but as his entry for Didn't See That Coming implies, he seems to think of himself as better at it than he actually is.
- Tongue Trauma: With the exception of a single bedslave, none of his servants speak, implying they're "little mice" who've grown too old for the work. As with Varys' "little birds", they would presumably have their tongues removed to prevent idle gossip.
- Villainous Friendship: Seems to have one with Varys.
A beautiful and seemingly cheerful young servant woman who works in Illyrio's manse.
- The Bus Came Back: In A Feast for Crows, she returns, serving Tyrion while he's a guest at Illyrio's home.
- Chatty Hairdresser: And a medieval one, at that. While brushing Daenerys' hair and preparing her to be presented to Khal Drogo, the girl goes on and on about how rich and powerful Drogo is, how many men ride in his khalasar, how his manse has two hundred doors of solid silver, and how even his slaves wear golden collars. Daenerys is frightened by that last part when she herself is made to wear a heavy golden torc emblazoned with Valyrian glyphs.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She has beautiful blonde hair and is very cheerful.
- Happiness in Slavery: As the favorite servant of the richest magister in Pentos, she has it made compared to most of the peasants in Westeros.
- No Name Given: She never says her name.
Rego Draz, Master of Coin
The Lord of Air
A Pentoshi merchant, trader and money-changer who rose from nothing to become the richest man in Pentos. He was Jaehaerys I Targaryens Master of Coin.
- Actually Pretty Funny: He found the Lord of the Air moniker hilarious.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: While going from his mansion to the Red Keep, he was attacked by drunken bigoted criminals in Flea Bottom. He was pulled from his palanquin, beaten and then had his head smashed with a cobblestone until only a mass of bone, blood and brains remained. Afterwards they ripped his fine clothes and cut off his fingers to take his rings.
- Due to the Dead: When Jaehaerys learned what had happened to Rego, he personally went to recover his friend's body, then threatened the occupants of Flea Bottom that he would have all their tongues cut out unless Rego's killers were handed over to him. When Jaehaerys finally got his hands on the men responsible for Rego's murder, he had them disembowelled and hung from the walls of the Red Keep, refusing their desperate pleas to escape execution by joining the Night's Watch.
- Every Man Has His Price: His suggestion to insure the election of an accommodating High Septon is to spread bribes among the Most Devout.
- In-Series Nickname: After he was made a lord by Jaehaerys to put him on equal footing with the rest of his council, some smartass dubbed him the Lord of the Air because he had no lands, sworn men or a castle. Draz replied that if he could tax air, he'd be a lord indeed.
- No Respect Guy: While in Pentos he was shunned by his countrymen and denied a place in the magisters council because of his low birth. After moving to Westeros to become Master of Coin, he had to put up with being despised by the smallfolk and blamed for everything just because he was a foreigner and didnt worship the Seven.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: Using rhetorical questions around him was a great mistake, as he was prone to answering them.(After receiving news of a great fire in the Disputed Lands)Ser Myles Smallwood: A dragon. What else could it be?Rego Draz: A lightning strike. A cook-fire. A drunk with a torch looking for a whore.
- Self-Made Man: He climbed his way from nothing to untold wealth and power.
- Spanner in the Works: Rego was one for Androw Farmen during his killing spree on Dragonstone; Rego realised the deaths were not being caused by a mystery plague but by someone using the Tears of Lys to poison people, and Androw's wife, Rhaena Targaryen quickly figured out her husband was the culprit.
The City of SorcerersThe easternmost of the Free Cities, Qohor sits on the banks of the Qhoyne and is near the great forest of Qohor. Founded by religious dissidents, Qohor worships the Black Goat. The city has a dark reputation, with many claiming that its inhabitants practice human sacrifice, necromancy, and blood magic.
- Badass Army: Qohor's city guard is comprised entirely of Unsullied, in recognition of their defence of the city from the Dothraki khalazar of Khal Temmo.
- The Blacksmith: Qohor has the best. They are the only ones who know how to work Valyrian Steel and produce other blades of extremely fine quality. However, Maester Pol claims that while in the city he discovered that the blacksmiths used human sacrifice, including infant slaves, to increase the quality of their weapons. This raises the question of what the Valyrians themselves were doing to create their own blades.
- Cult Colony: Founded for the worship of the Black Goat.
- Hollywood Satanism: They are the satanists to the Norvoshi faith.
- Human Sacrifice: Practiced in Qohor in holy days—in which criminals are sacrificed—and in times of crisis, in which the nobles offer their own children to the Black Goat.
- Secret Keeper: The blacksmiths of Qohor are some of the only people in the world who know how to reforge Valyrian steel.
- Too Dumb to Live: The Qohorik hired the Golden Company, at that time a relatively new sellsword company, to carry out a task for them, then tried to cheat the sellswords of their pay. To drive home the point they weren't going to be messed around by future employers, the Golden Company sacked Qohor.
TyroshA large harbor city situated on an island off the west coast of Essos, Tyrosh is ruled over by an Archon chosen from amongst the most powerful families of the city. Initially founded as a military outpost of Valyria, Tyrosh has a history of attempted conquest and expansion. One of their more colorful cultural traditions is the use of unique sea snails only found in the vicinity of the city to dye their hair numerous unnatural colors. These dyes remain one of their most important exports.
The Blind BastardA smuggler and pirate Davos Seaworth once operated with.
- The Mentor: Was one to Davos.
- The Nose Knows: A non superpowered example. He claimed that he could tell one port from another just by the way they smelled. Cities were like women, he insisted; each one had its own unique scent. Oldtown was as flowery as a perfumed dowager. Lannisport was a milkmaid, fresh and earthy, with woodsmoke in her hair. King's Landing reeked like some unwashed whore. White Harbor was sharp, salty, and a little fishy like a mermaid should.
- Non-Indicative Name: Neither blind nor a bastard.
- Posthumous Character: He was executed by the Night's Watch for trading with Wildlings.
- See the Band of Nine character page
- See the House Blackfyre character page
A devious Tyroshi captain-general who declared himself King of the Narrow Sea during the Regency of Aegon III Targaryen.
- Agent Peacock: Like most Tyroshi, he dyed his hair to bright colors. He also enjoyed sweet scents, bathing himself in lavender or rosewater and sometimes dressed as a woman and pretended to be a whore. He was still a force to be reckoned with.
- Alliterative Name: Racallio Ryndoon
- Big Eater: Described as gluttonous and a drunkard.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He was famous for his eccentricities, and many would even call him mad. Nonetheless he was widely feared and inspired Undying Loyalty in his men.
- Dual Wielding: He was ambidextrous and could swing a sword in either hand, sometimes both.
- In-Series Nickname: "Queen Racallio" due his habit of crossdressing.
- Mood-Swinger: He clearly suffered from mood swings. He feasted and was very friendly to Alyn Velaryon one day, and the next one he accused him of being a spy for Tyrosh, forcing him to fight for his freedom.
- Mud Wrestling: One time he and Alyn Velaryon wrestled in a mud pit before hundreds of pirates.
- Mysterious Past: Little is known about his past. It's possible he was originally from Braavos due to his fondness for the color purple. His hatred of slavery suggests he was once enslaved.
- Nice to the Waiter: Known to be open-handed, freely giving his men plunder or coins to beggars.
- Omniglot: Spoke dozens of dialects of High Valyrian.
- Pet the Dog: He had a strangely selective choice of petting. He liked kittens but disliked cats and liked pregnant women but didn't like children. However, he also bought slave girls just to free them and threw gold coins to beggars.
- Purple Is Powerful: He dyed his hair and beard purple, and he was a headache and a legend among the Free Cities.
- Royal Harem: Had a dozen wives. He never beat them, but sometimes he let them beat him. It's mentioned that he sometimes gave wives away. Once, he offered to let Alyn Velaryon sleep with and impregnate two of his wives, though its unknown of Alyn ever took him up on this offer.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: He was also known to be quite foul-mouthed.
Old Volantis, The First DaughterThe eldest daughter of the Valyrian Freehold, Volantis boasts a large harbour, said to be able to house Braavos comfortably within it. As the oldest Valyrian colony, it saw itself as the inheritor of its hegemony and waged war against the other Free Cities in the "Century of Blood" after the Doom of Valyria. As such, they have several smaller cities across Essos under their control after several periods of aggressive expansion under Tiger rulers.
- Board Games: The chess-like game cyvasse originated in Volantis.
- Fictional Political Party: Two big parties compete for one of the three ruling chairs (Triarchs) of the city. The "Tiger" party pulls for military expansionism, while "Elephants" are mostly moneylenders who want to build trade relationships. The latter has been consistently more popular for quite some time, as the Tigers have never elected more than one of their members as Triarchs for nearly 300 years.
- In-Series Nickname: Old Volantis or the First Daughter, since it is the first of the Free Cities to be founded.
- More specifically, Old Volantis refers to the oldest part of the city, which is inhabited by the pure-blooded Valyrian-descended elite and surrounded by a massive wall. Outsiders may enter this district by invitation only.
- The Republic: The people of Volantis elect three leaders, called the Triarchy. The triarchs rule jointly for one year, then get replaced or re-elected. Even women have the right to vote and run for office (though in practice a woman hasn't been elected triarch in 300 years). It's actually a pretty stable and respected democratic system - the one time a triarchy tried to get elected to a life term, they had him pulled apart by elephants - but of course, only the free population can vote, not slaves, and there are five slaves in the city for each free man.
- The Remnant: Since they consider themselves the heirs of the Valyrian Freehold, the Volantene are the ones who follow its traditions closest. Only those with the purest Valyrian blood are permitted to be triarchs or to freely enter the district of Old Volantis.
- Slave Brand: Volantene slaves are all given tattoos indicating their jobs: tears for pleasure slaves, flames for slaves of R'hllor, tiger stripes for the city watch, flies for slaves who sweep dung, checkered squares for fools and jesters, and wheels for hathay (cart) drivers. Other tattoos with unknown meanings include leopard spots, green turtles, lightning bolts, blue feathers, and coins.
- Too Important to Walk: Noble-born Volantenes prefer to travel by palanquin or hathay. Walking afoot can make a person look lowborn in Volantis.
- Trademark Favorite Food: They're fond of putting beets in many of their dishes, with a particular favorite being a cold beet soup, said to be as thick and rich as purple honey.
- War Hawk: The Tiger faction, a political party that favors going to war to gain more power and influence. The Tigers are opposed by the Elephants, who propose peaceful trade and alliances. Until recently, the Tigers have never been able to elect more than one of their own as a triarch in the annual elections, meaning that the elephants have consistently controlled a majority of the triarchs for the past 300 years.
- Several characters note that most citizens are currently in favor of going to war. As of A Dance with Dragons, Volantis has launched its fleet against Daenerys Targaryen in retaliation for destroying the slave trade.
Triarch Nyessos VhassarNyessos Vhassar is one of the Triarchs of Volantis. He's a member of the Elephant party, the faction of merchants and moneylenders, advocating trade over war. Not only he's on Illyrio Mopatis' payroll, it is also said in Volantis that he has been bought by Yunkai in order to get Volantis to wage war against Daenerys.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Lends his supports to the cause of ending Daenerys' antislavery crusade.
- Corrupt Politician: He takes money from foreign individuals and governments to influence his nation's policies.
- Playing Both Sides: He has taken money from both Illyrio and Yunkai, who have diametrically opposed agendas as far as Daenerys is concerned.
Widow of the Waterfront
Vogarro's WhoreA pleasure slave purchased by a Triarch of Volantis named Vogarro, who fell in love with her, freed her, and married her. After his death, she became a wealthy and influential businesswoman by taking over his businesses.
- Cool Old Lady: Tyrion realizes this and charmingly tells her:Tyrion: If I were Volantene, and free, and had the blood, you'd have my vote for triarch, my lady.
- Information Broker: One of the services she offers.
- In-Universe Nickname: The old blood of Volantis refers to her as "Vogarro's whore", but never to her face.
- It Was a Gift: Petitioners must bring her something valuable in exchange for advice or assistance, such as a silver goblet, a jade fan, or a bronze dagger. Jorah Mormont, a poor exile, can only afford a simple pair of leather gloves for her, but she accepts them anyway.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She is abrasive and suspicious, and she has to be, but she's also kind. She had Penny given a room and proper food after her breakdown.
- Made a Slave: She was a former pleasure slave before being bought and freed by Vogarro.
- No Name Given: Everyone refers to her as either "the widow" or "Vogarro's whore". Her real name is never mentioned.
- Sherlock Scan: She quickly figures out that Tyrion is no ordinary dwarf, but the most wanted man in Westeros.
- Slave Brand: Has scars on both cheeks from where she had hers cut off after being freed.
- Slave Liberation: She yearns for this; she tells Jorah and Tyrion to tell Daenerys that all of Volantis awaits her arrival.The Widow: Tell her we are waiting. Tell her to come soon.
- Widow Woman: She's actually made a career out of being this.
PennyA dwarf entertainer from the Free Cities who teams up with her brother Oppo in a fake jousting show riding on a pig and dog. After her brother is mistaken for being Tyrion Lannister and murdered, she has a chance encounter with Tyrion in Volantis and gets dragged along with him on his journey to Meereen.
- Abhorrent Admirer: She pursues Tyrion despite his notorious reputation and inadvertent role in her brother's death, but as Tyrion prefers Hot Consorts he tries to discourage her. There is also the aspect of Penny being very childish and thus mentally unfit for him, and on one occasion he realizes that she does not really want him and her advances come from being "scared" (ie. she probably sees getting close to Tyrion as some sort of protection, though fans also have other theories for that).
- Ascended Extra: Goes from being unnamed and having a minuscule part in A Storm of Swords to playing a significant part in A Dance With Dragons.
- Birds of a Feather: She seems to perceive Tyrion and herself as this, based on them both being dwarfs. Needles to say, it annoys Tyrion to no end.
- Break the Cutie: First her brother gets killed, and then she gets enslaved and winds up in the siege lines around Meereen with a dying master. Then she gets to spend quality time with the Second Sons, none of whom have much time for a none-combat trained dwarf girl. It all rather starts to get her down.
- BrotherSister Team: A performing one with her brother Oppo and their carefully trained pigs, one of which was called "Pretty".
- Foil: To Tyrion, as Penny gives insight to how life for a dwarf among the smallfolk is like, which is to say not very good. Penny has spent her life believing that the most she could ever be was a clown and an entertainer and tries to make the best of things while Tyrion grew up having more privileges and opportunities than most of the lords in the Seven Kingdoms and is constantly bitter about how people treat him.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Tyrion has to do this to her a few times.
- Happiness in Slavery: She very quickly adapts. Mind you, it's not like being a slave was all that much unlike being under first her father's then her brother's thumbs.
- Morality Pet: For Tyrion, stopping him from dropping into Then Let Me Be Evil.
- Older Than They Look: She is at the very least seventeen years old, but she behaves like a much younger person. This is one of the reasons Tyrion tries to keep a healthy distance from her, as not to take advantage of a person he considers a child; granted, she doesn't make it easy for him.
- Our Dwarves Are Different: She has nothing in common with Tyrion other than being a dwarf, and often calls him on his reckless and antagonistic behavior towards the "big people" despite no longer having Lannister power and privilege.Tyrion: I see I have a lot to learn about being a dwarf.
- Plucky Girl: She is insanely optimistic and naïve about a lot of things. Tyrion can never quite bring himself to shatter all of her idealist notions, although he does destroy some of them.
- The Pollyanna: Well, as much as anyone can be when you live in a Crapsack World. Even though every horror she faces, she still finds a way to smile.
- Skewed Priorities: After she and Tyrion escape their enslavement by Yezzan, Penny is depressed because they had to leave her performing animals behind. Tyrion thinks she should just be glad they're not: A) enslaved anymore, B) dead, or C) "mounting the pale mare"note .
- Street Performer: A very specialist one. Without either her brother or both of the pigs, she's at quite a loss what to do when she runs into Tyrion. The pig-jousting was their whole shtick.
- Stepford Smiler: It's heavily suggested that part of her immature personality is due to being taught from an early age that the best way for a dwarf to survive is to constantly play the fool.
- Unwitting Pawn: She and her brother were hired by Littlefinger for Joffrey's wedding in order to provoke a confrontation between him and Tyrion, adding further evidence to point at Tyrion as Joffrey's killer.
- You Remind Me of X: Her innocence and naivete reminds Tyrion of his former bride, Sansa Stark.
The Tiger CloaksThe city guard of Volantis, named after the Tiger Party—the more military minded of two factions of Volantene politics. They are slaves.
Sunset girlA prostitute from the Volantene town of Selhorys.
- Despair Event Horizon: Being made a Sex Slave has turned her into an Empty Shell of a person. And unlike Jeyne Poole, nobody's coming to save her.Tyrion's thoughts: This girl is as good as dead. I have just fucked a corpse. Even her eyes looked dead. She does not even have the strength to loathe me.
- Empty Eyes: Tyrion notices that her eyes look completely dead.
- Foil: Unlike the whores Arya meets in Braavos, who are cheerful souls and happy with their trade, the sunset girl has been completely broken by a lifetime of sexual slavery.
- Gilded Cage: Tyrion notes that her room, though small, has a featherbed and a Myrish carpet, both luxury items. She's still a Sex Slave and an Empty Shell.
- Made a Slave: She has been enslaved, made a prostitute, and forced to work in a brothel.
- Morality Pet: Inverted—Tyrion feels even worse after he has sex with her, realizing the lows he has sunk to.
- Mysterious Past: She appears to be Westerosi, but does not speak or understand the Common Tongue. Tyrion guesses that she was enslaved as a child.
- No Name Given: Her real name is unknown. The brothel's proprietor calls her "sunset girl" because she appears to be from the Sunset Kingdoms, the Essosi name for Westeros.
- Slave Brand: Like all Volantene prostitutes, she has tears tattooed beneath one of her eyes.
- A Taste of the Lash: Her back is covered with scars from being whipped.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: A small one, but after Tyrion throws up on the carpet in her room from drinking too much wine, he tells the brothel's proprietor that it wasn't her fault and pays for it, to spare her any punishment.
Triarch BelichoA member of the Tigers whose unbroken succession of conquests and triumphs ended rather abruptly when he was eaten by giants.
- "Just So" Story: We don't know exactly when he lived or were did he found giants, but they ate him and that's all that matters.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Named as a Take That! towards Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots. The Patriots went undefeated in the 2007 regular season, but lost to the New York Giants, Martin's favorite team, in Super Bowl XLII.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: Being eaten by giants certainly seems sudden.
Triarch HoronnoA Triarch during the Century of Blood. He was much beloved, and reelected time and time again, causing him to rule as one of the three Volantene triarchs for forty years. Eventually, Horonno tired of elections, and named himself triarch for life. The Volantenes, angered by Horonno's attempt to usurp the ancient customs and laws of Volantis, overthrew him. Horonno was tied between two elephants and ripped in half.
- Broken Pedestal: For the people of Volantis, who loved him until he tried to usurp one of their most ancient laws.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Ripped in half by two elephants.
- Rule of Symbolism: He was ripped in half by two elephants and his death began the loss of influence for his party, who are currently surpassed by the Elephants two to one.
Triarch TriannaA Triarch who lived 300 years prior. She was one of the elephant party that brought down tiger rule, ending the old wars of the Century of Blood.
The Tiger, the ThumbA sellsword from Volantis at the service of Lord Unwin Peake, serving as captain of his personal guard the Fingers. When his involvement in the coup against House Rogare and Thaddeus Rowan was exposed, he was captured and tortured to death.
- Body Motifs: Because he was the right-hand man of the Hand of the King, Mushroom nicknamed him Tessario the Thumb. And the guard he led were named the Fingers.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: On the receiving end. He was arrested and tortured until he revealed more names of conspirators, although he did not name Unwin Peake.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He killed Robin Massey over a dispute for a horse they both wanted to purchase.
- Evil Virtues: Loyalty. Even under torture and on the verge of death, he would not reveal who had promised him Roggerio Rogare's brothel, meaning Unwin Peake was never directly implicated in the conspiracy.
- Facial Markings: He had tiger stripes tattooed on his face and back, indicating he was most likely a former Tiger Cloak.
- Would Hurt a Child: He was considered the most likely suspect for the death of young Queen Jaehaera.