For the main character index, see here
- "Other knights serve the lords who keep them, of from whom they hold their lands, but we serve where we will, for men whose causes we believe in."—Ser Arlan
A hedge knight is a wandering knight without a master, many are quite poor. Hedge knights travel the length and breadth of Westeros looking for gainful employment.
Hedge Knights present in A Song of Ice and Fire
Ser Hugh of the Vale
Former squire of Jon Arryn, Ser Hugh was knighted after the death of his lord. He remained in King's Landing to win fame and fortune in tourneys instead of returning to the Vale.
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: Refused to speak with Jory Cassel on account of him being just a guard captain and tells him that if Lord Eddard Stark wants questions asked of him that then Ned would have to come do it himself. Never mind the fact that Jory is both older and more experienced than him (and a minor noble to boot) while Hugh was just made a knight because his lord died.
- Armor Is Useless: He finds out the hard way that even serviceable, well-made Bling of War means nothing if your opponent has become very good at killing people wearing plate like it over years, regardless. And, since you're not even using it properly, sonny, he can exploit that dangerous vulnerability to look credibly accidental with little trouble, to boot.
- The Con Within a Con: Invoked. Ned Stark suspects foul play when it's pointed out to him that Jon Arryn's squire was knighted upon the lord's death, so he intends to interrogate the young knight. Ser Hugh is surreptitiously killed by Gregor Clegane at the Hand's Tourney, making Ned suspect that the Lannisters killed him to keep him quiet. Later, Tyrion learns upon interrogating Pycelle that Ser Hugh might have slipped the poison to Lord Jon. It's finally revealed that Lysa Arryn poisoned her husband Lord Jon, opening the question as to whether Ser Hugh was indeed killed intentionally or Clegane just felt like killing him that day and the loose gorget gave him an excuse.
- Due to the Dead: Ser Barristan Selmy decides to stand vigil over Hugh's body after his death because there is nobody else in King's Landing to do so.
- Good All Along: Turns out he's totally innocent of Jon Arryn's murder.
- Knighting: He was knighted by King Robert in Jon Arryn's memory.
- Promoted to Scapegoat: He wasn't knighted because of his merits, rather than just paying tribute to his late lord, apparently. This, and the fact that he did not accompany Lady Arryn back to the Eyrie makes Ned Stark suspect that he was knighted because of some foul play by the Lannisters involving the untimely death of Jon Arryn; Tyrion, Pycelle and Varys also subscribe to this idea.
- Red Herring: Varys suggestion that Hugh could have had something to do with Jon's poisoning is false. It was all Lysa Arryn at the behest of Littlefinger. Hugh could still have been ordered killed by Cersei due to her worry over Jon's knowledge of her and Jaime's incest, but his death could easily also have been simply down to the bad luck of facing Ser Gregor on a particularly bloodthirsty (or bored) day while his still-very-novel armor was improperly fastened.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Seems to think that being a newly-made knight makes him more important than the guard captain of the Hand of the King.
- It also killed him: his shiny new armour to go with his shiny new knighthood meant he didn't stop to think twice about heading towards the lists when his opponent was the vastly more experienced Gregor Clegane. The smarter noob move would have been to eat crow and suffer an "asthma attack", "cholicy horse" or something when spotting who he was up against.
- The Squire: Served as Jon's squire for several years, making him privy to much information about the realm and Jon's personal life. Ned thinks that Hugh was killed to prevent him from questioning the knight about what Jon was investigating before he died.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He is talked about a bit before being first seen jousting Ser Gregor, which did not go well for him.
Ser Creighton Longbough
- "I have the honour to be Ser Creighton, of whom the singers sing you will have heard of my deeds on the Blackwater, mayhaps."
A hedge knight who travels with Ser Illifer the Penniless. He encounters Brienne of Tarth during her search for Sansa Stark. His coat of arms is a green field with a brown chief.
- Knight Errant: It's not much of a pension plan, but it's the result of years being in the game and the vagaries of life.
- Miles Gloriosus: He is quite happy to tell you about how he slew Ser Herbert Bolling and fought valiantly against the "Knight of the Red Chicken" at the Battle of the Blackwater, but never provides actual proof of his deeds. Nobody recognizes who the seven hells these people are, either; most likely, other hedge knights.
- Nice Guy: Despite his boasting, he is a rather pleasant individual.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Played for Laughs.
- Those Two Guys: With Ser Illifer. They're of an age and know each other well. It shows.
Ser Illifer the Penniless
A hedge knight who travels with Ser Creighton Longbough. His coat-of-arms is a gold and ermine gyronny pattern.
The Knight of the Laughing Tree was a mystery knight who fought at the Tourney at Harrenhal. He defended the honor of Howland Reed by challenging and defeating three knights whose squires had bullied him, demanding that they chastise the squires in order to ransom back their horses and armor.
The Knight of the Laughing Tree is so-called because of the blazon on his shield, a smiling heart tree. His true identity remains unknown.
- Badass Baritone: His voice is described as "booming" and is responsible for unhorsing three knights at the Tourney at Harrenhal.
- Bit Character: In the greater scheme of things, the Knight's exploit goes unremembered by most Westerosi.
- Bully Hunter: Competed just to teach not to mess with a crannogman. This supports the theory that the knight would be either Howland Reed or one of the Starks, as no one else is mentioned knowing about the bullying Howland received from the squires.
- But Now I Must Go: Was never seen or heard from again.
- The Faceless: The Knight's identity had never been revealed.
- Glass Slipper: The knight mysteriously disappears as the king declares him his enemy and sends the Dragon Prince (aka Rhaegar Targaryen) to find him. He could find only his shield. Though it's possible that the prince covered up "his" identity and lied...
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Described as below-average in height and unhorsed three knights at the tourney.
- Samus Is a Girl: If it really was Lyanna Stark.
- Shrouded in Myth: Possibly the Knight was Howland Reed or one of the Starks.
- The Spook: There is almost nothing known about this mystery knight, but there are many theories circulating around his identity.
Hedge Knights present in Tales of Dunk and Egg
Ser Duncan the Tall, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard
- "Dunk the lunk. Thick as a castle wall"
A seven-foot-tall hedge knight who lived many years before the events of A Game of Thrones, eventually becoming Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Ser Duncan is the POV character of the Tales of Dunk and Egg.
- Brains and Brawn: His relationship with Egg (Dunk being the brawn and Egg the brains).
- Catch Phrase: Threatening to give Egg a clout on the ear.
- Cannot Talk to Women: He's incredibly awkward around women, as shown by his interactions with Tanselle Too-Tall and Rohanne Webber.
- Character Shield: Whatever GRRM has in store for Duncan in his Tales of Dunk and Egg we already know he'll survive to become Lord Commander of the Kingsguard... and eventually die along with Aegon V at the Tragedy at Summerhall.
- Celibate Hero: Less by choice and more by circumstance. Most noble ladies would never deem to lower themselves to being with a Hedge Knight, and by the time he's of a high enough status as a member of the Kingsguard, he is sworn to celibacy — and unlike other knights of the Kingsguard, Duncan is the sort to rigidly stick to his oath. Word of God states that he did leave descendants and at least one of them has appeared in the book series already, claiming he'd given "a pretty strong hint" as to who it was. Later Martin flat out confirmed that Brienne of Tarth is descended from Duncan.
- Combat Pragmatist: During his trial of seven against Prince Aerion he realizes that in a tourney "Ser Duncan the Tall" wouldn't stand a chance. In fact his skills with a lance and sword nearly get him killed. But it's the Prince who doesn't stand a chance against Dunk when things degrade into a brawl. "Dunk of Flea Bottom", a man who'd spent his childhood fighting just to survive another day, unceremoniously hands Aerion his ass.
- Determinator: When Dunk gets a bee in his bonnet, he doesn't stop doing what he's doing for anything short of major catastrophe. And, even then, it's iffy. Egg occasionally wishes to strangle him for this trait thanks to being rather more pragmatic with aspects of his morality (not that Egg is always one to talk about being bull-headed).
- Did Not Get the Girl: Applies to The Sworn Sword but also his later life.
- Dumb Is Good: Duncan is not actually dumb. He is, however, completely uneducated and a simple sort when compared to the majority of those around him (mostly educated nobles). He's also one of the most moral characters in the series. He's a Fish out of Water most of the time. But, because of that, he can trip even the most sophisticated Manipulative Bastard up with his rather different moral perspective.
- The Fool: In his three stories (at the time of this writing), he somewhat stumbles into important events and, chiefly thanks to good luck, sheer audacity and coming from unexpected angles, comes out of them relatively successfully (at least, by Martin standards — expect some degree of Bitter Sweet Ending to hit).
- Foregone Conclusion: Duncan eventually becomes Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and one of the most legendary knights of the realm. He also dies tragically during an attempt to hatch dragons.
- Gentle Giant: He was quite a vicious little shit as a child, but serving as a squire to Arlan of Pennytree curbed his nasty side.
- Healing Factor: Downplayed. He's definitely not Wolverine, because he can take days or weeks to recover from major beatdowns, and collects scars as he goes. Yet, at the same time, he has this habit of bouncing back from things that'd easily permanently cripple most ordinary Joes. And, he lasts until Summerhall with this... quirk. Nobody is ever likely to pull a Good Thing You Can Heal on him, but it's not escaped some.
- Hero of Another Story: His adventures in Tales of Dunk and Egg
- Honor Before Reason: Several instances have Dunk putting himself in harm's way because he believes it's the right thing to do. A notable example is when he came to the rescue of a puppeteer woman being assaulted by Prince Aerion Targaryen, breaking one of his teeth in the process. Whilst it was his duty as a knight, this action is essentially suicidal. At best he'd lose the hand that struck royalty (and a foot since he kicked him too) and at worst simply be executed. Fortunately Egg is able to help save him from this fate. It also helps that that the prince he struck wasn't particularly loved by the rest of the royal family.
- Humble Hero: Very much. Dunk actively ducks praise, given the chance to. Or, just won't believe he got it when he does. One is left having to imagine the epic tussle it must have taken Aegon to get him to finally accept the fact he was really being made the actual Lord Commander of the godsdamned Kingsguard.
- Knight Errant: Hedge knight: roads, hedges, trees, ditches... and taverns (when/if he can afford them) are his thing — particularly at the start of his career. Good deeds done and damsels rescued? Occasionally happened, yes. But, not entirely thanks to going out to do any of it (and, often by total accident and against his better judgement and sense of self-preservation).
- Knight in Shining Armor: One of the few in the series (although they were a bit more common in his era as opposed to the novels set in "the present").
- Large and in Charge: He was around seven feet tall and eventually became Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
- Made of Iron: Oh, he can (and does) get seriously hurt. But, he continually makes his opponents reconsider the wisdom in fighting him simply by how long he can keep going with obvious, multiple injuries that'd have them curling into balls if their roles were reversed.
- Never Learned to Read: Unsurprising, given his background.
- Odd Friendship: The Hedge Knight originally from Flea Bottom and the Targaryen Princeling — you can't really get an odder relationship. They might occasionally exasperate each other to the point of steam jutting out of various ears (particularly Dunk's), but they really do rub along and complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. As Egg points out, they are both from King's Landing... In the rest of the Kingdom, that's actually something in common.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Interesting variation. Egg assumes that Dunk is short for Duncan but Dunk himself considers this and notes that he's been called Dunk for so long he's not sure if it was a shorter version of an older, more elegant name. Nonetheless he decides to style himself "Ser Duncan the Tall" when he enters his name in the Ashford Tourney and the rest is history.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: His sobriquet is seen as humorous in one story because it comes across as one of these. Typically, knights have sobriquets that indicate a personal quality (i.e. Barristan the Bold, Garlan the Gallant), and so Dunk's chosen one implies that his height is the most notable thing about him.
- Posthumous Character: In A Song of Ice and Fire.
- Self-Proclaimed Knight: While he had the virtues a knight is supposed to have, ironically (appropriately?), Dunk is heavily implied to have never been knighted by his mentor, Ser Arlan; a fact indicated by the fact that Dunk acts in conspiciously nervous ways or uses double talk whenever the issue of his knighthood comes up.
- Together in Death: In a platonic version of the trope, he and King Aegon V (a.k.a. his former squire "Egg") perish together in the Tragedy at Summerhall.
- Took a Level in Badass: Goes from the bumbling brute we know in The Hedge Knight who has to resort to a good old fashion beatdown to win to the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard who personally kills the Blackfyre pretender Daemon III and defeats the goddamn Laughing Storm in single combat
- What the Hell, Hero?: He tries this on Ser Eustace Osgrey during The Sworn Sword after he finds out he's a traitor. Dunk gets an earful about the transitory nature of treason and the all-too subjective nature of history.
- Working-Class Hero: One of the straighter examples of this trope in this series. He was a street kid at Flea Bottom who became a hedge knight and eventually rose to the become Lord Commander of Aegon V's Kingsguard.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: A rather heartwarming example. Ser Duncan is surprised so many people showed up to watch him die at Prince Aerion's hands during the trial of seven. Thinking himself an upstart that the mob wants to see get his just desserts, he soon discovers to his shock that the crowds have come to cheer him on. He's actually the heroic underdog. When he asks why ("What am I to them?") he's informed that he's a knight who remembered his vows.
Ser Arlan of Pennytree
- "Another day done, and who knows what the morrow will bring us, eh, Dunk?"
Ser Arlan of Pennytree was a hedge knight born in the village of Pennytree in the riverlands. He was the master of Dunk, the later Ser Duncan the Tall
Arlan's coat-of-arms was a winged chalice, silver on brown.
- Hero of Another Story: He was proud to have broken lances against Baelor Breakspear in the Storm's End tourney. He also fought at Redgrass Field.
- Humble Hero: He was content with his life as a common hedge knight and taught Dunk to be the same.
- Parental Substitute: Since Dunk's mother and father both died when he was young, Arlan was the closest thing he had to a parent. After Arlan's death, Dunk still remembers the lessons he taught him about proper behavior and being a true knight.
- Plot-Triggering Death: Arlan's death causes Dunk to take his place at the Ashford tourney.
- Posthumous Character: He died of a chill on the road leading to the tourney at Ashford Meadow.
- Walking the Earth: Arlan would work for one lord for a short time, then another. Dunk can't even remember half the keeps and castles he's lived in while being Arlan's squire.
Ser Bennis of the Brown Shield
A hedge knight in service to House Osgrey.
- Color-Coded Eyes: His green eyes represent the untrustworthy aspect of this eye color.
- Even Evil Has Standards: When ransacking the tower, he only ties up Sam Stoops rather than kill him.
- Jerkass: A greedy, untrustworthy man.
- Karma Houdini: He doesn't get any comeuppance for betraying and abandoning Ser Eustace, as far as we can tell as of The Sworn Sword, since he's never mentioned again afterwards.
- The Oathbreaker: Deserts Lord Eustace and robs his tower.
- Only in It for the Money: And he breaks his oath to Lord Eustace because of it.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The moment he is left alone at Standfast he loots the tower and flees.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Despite Dunk and Lord Eustance standing by him against Lady Webber, he abandons and robs them.
Ser Glendon Flowers
The Knight of Pussywillows
Supposed bastard son of Ser Quentyn Ball and a camp follower. He became a knight to follow in his father's footsteps. He meets Ser Duncan the Tall and Egg at the Whitewalls Tourney in 212 AC.
- Broken Pedestal: He was still loyal to the Blackfyres, but the events of the Whitewalls Tourney turned him against them.Ser Glendon: My father died for him. I would have been his man, and gladly. I would have fought for him, killed for him, died for him, but I could not lose for him.
- Embarrassing Nickname: He is mocked as the "Knight of the Pussywillows" after the brothel he grew up at and since he got his knighthood from Ser Morgan Dunstable in exchange for his sister's virginity.
- Fingore: He loses three fingernails to Black Tom Heddle's torture.
- Heroic Bastard: Was treated like crap by those he was loyal to partly because of his status as a bastard, yet refused to turn on them or give up on his own integrity. Comes across as far more principled than many a legitimate knight, as a result.
- Honor Before Reason: He refuses to throw his joust against Ser John the Fiddler, despite being offered a place in Lord Gormon Peake's garrison and then being threatened.
- Knight in Shining Armor: He can be a little on the sullen side, but Ser Glendon does uphold the principals of chivalry and honor a knight is supposed to.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: The story of him being Quentyn Ball's son circulated only after his mother died.
- Son of a Whore: Brought up in a brothel, actually.
- The Tooth Hurts: He loses a few teeth and several more are cracked when Black Tom "questions" him about the stolen dragon egg.
Ser Uthor Underleaf
- "I follow tourneys from afar as faithfully as the maesters follow stars."
Ser Uthor Underleaf, sometimes called the Snail for his personal emblem, was a tourney knight during the reign of Aerys I Targaryen.
- Always Second Best: He exploits this. He preferred not to become a tourney champion, as he did not want to become famous, but was satisfied with the prize granted to the knight who came second.
- Animal Motif: Like his sigil, the snail, Uthor "hid in his shell", enjoying comfort while keeping a low profile.
- Combat Pragmatist: Uthor would bribe the master of the games so that he would face the opponents he preferred — big men, older champions past their prime, and "village heroes" — where the odds would be appear to be against him.
- Consummate Professional: A touring, jobbing tourney knight by trade, nothing more nor less. A consistently good one, at that. Yet, his very competency as "nothing more" than a tourney jobber gets him looked-down upon by politically-minded knights of a supposedly higher (and, in many ways, riskier) social standing. In many cases, those sneering knights/ petty nobleman probably have a smaller net annual income than he does, too.
- Everyone Has Standards: Despite his nature of going for the easy pay-off, Uthor is actually a pro-athlete more than a warrior or killer. He refuses to accept money to kill Dunk partly because the money is given by a Blackfyre supporter, but mainly because it'd wreck his hard-earned tourney rep as a Jobber if he was suspected of becoming something much worse than a Heel: a paid killer.
Historical Hedge Knights
Ser Willam Stafford
The Drunken Knight, the Keg o' Ale
A knight who lived during the reign of Jaehaerys I Targaryen. He was one of the many participants of the so-called War for the White Cloaks, a massive tournament to fill in the vacancies at the Kingsguard. While he failed to obtain a spot, he became very popular among the smallfolk.
- The Alcoholic: He always appeared wasted.
- Drunken Master: He was so drunk he could barely stand, much less fight, but he somehow did.
- Stout Strength: Described as stout and big bellied, and he must have been decent enough to defeat sober opponents.
- Working-Class Hero: A favorite among the smallfolk.
Ser Tom the Strummer
The Bard of Flea Button
A knight and bard who lived during the reign of Jaehaerys I Targaryen. He participated in the War for the White Cloaks, the massive tournament to fill the vacancies of the Kingsguard. While he failed to win a white cloak, he became popular among the smallfolk for taunting his opponents with ribald songs. When Jaehaerys came of age, he had the City Watch of King's Landing comb Flea Bottom to find the Strummer, so the king could make him the court singer.
Ser Qarl Correy
Ser Qarl Correy was a household knight in service to House Velaryon at High Tide.
- Ambiguously Gay: Qarl was rumored to have been a lover of Laenor Velaryon.
- Karma Houdini: He was never caught. Of course, it's equally likely that his throat was slashed and he was dumped overboard after killing Laenor.
Ser Perkin the Flea
A hedge knight living in King's Landing during the Dance of the Dragons. During the riots against Rhaenyra's rule, he crowned his squire Trystane Truefyre. He occupied the Red Keep after Rhaenyra fled King's Landing. He joined the court of Aegon II when he returned to the capital, but later helped the conspiracy to poison the King.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Probably his only good action was killing Alfred Broome.
- The Man Behind the Man: After installing Trystane, he began to issue edicts on his behalf.
- Opportunistic Bastard: Used the King's Landing riots to become king of the capital in all but name, and then turned on his squire Trystane by leading his men in arresting him on behalf of Lord Borros Baratheon when he arrived to secure the capital for Aegon II.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: When Alfred Broome approached Maegor's Holdfast and demanded him to step aside in the name of the king, Perkin calmly placed a hand on his shoulder before saying "We have a new king now", and then shoved Broome to his death in the spikes below.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: After Lord Cregan Stark arrested the conspirators in the murder of Aegon II, many of the accused chose to take the black and join the Night's Watch, led by Ser Perkin.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Was on the receiving end of this; when Cregan Stark tore into him for betraying Aegon, Rhaenyra and his own squire Trystane and Perkin insisted he'd been pardoned for his crimes, Stark coldly replied "Not by me".
- Turncoat: He switched sides often during the end stages of the Dance, going from the power behind "King" Trystane Truefyre, to a ally of Aegon II who removed Trystane from power and secured King's Landing for Aegon II. Then he helped the conspiracy to overthrow Aegon II and end the Dance of the Dragons by murdering Ser Alfred Broome before he could cut Aegon III's ear.
Ser Trystane Truefyre
The squire of Ser Perkin the Flea, he was briefly installed as king in the Red Keep in chaos following Rhaenyra fleeing King's Landing. Ser Perkin claimed Trystane was the natural son of King Viserys I.
- Alliterative Name: Trystane Truefyre
- Face Death with Dignity: While at first he was defiant, when he realized Perkin had sold him out, he calmly accepted his death and only asked to be knighted before dying.
- Pet the Dog: Before being put to death, he had one request: to be knighted. Aegon II granted this request before having Trystane executed.
Ser Gareth Long
Ser Gareth Long was a household knight in service to House Peake, serving as Starpike's master at arms, having a reputation of being a harsh but effective taskmaster. During Lord Unwin Peake's tenure as Hand of the King, he was appointed as the Red Keep's master at arms, where he quickly earned the young Aegon III's hatred for his brutal training methods. Gareth remained in King's Landing even after Peake was dismissed as Hand, until he was caught being involved in a conspiracy to depose Aegon, after which he joined the Night's Watch to avoid execution.
- Defiant to the End: When arrested for his part in the conspiracy against Aegon III and his Lyseni in-laws, Gareth never denied his involvement, calling Aegon a weakling unfit to sit on the Iron Throne.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: He was cruel and abusive to the boys he trained, making him universally hated in the Red Keep.
- I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Since he wasn't allowed to harm Aegon when the young king refused to obey his instructions, Gareth convinced Unwin Peake to make Gaemon Palehair, a bastard boy who was one of the few friends Aegon had at court, the king's whipping boy to make Aegon more compliant.
- Nepotism: His appointment as the Red Keep's master at arms was almost certainly only due to his connection to Unwin Peake.
- Not Afraid of You Anymore: During the standoff known as the "secret siege", where Aegon and Viserys barricaded themselves in Maegor's Holdfast to protect Viserys's Lyseni wife Larra Rogare from being arrested on false charges, Gareth was one of those who tried to get Aegon to surrender. Aegon, who'd long hated the cruel and abusive master at arms, retorted to Long's entreaty by pointing out the knight could no longer coerce the boy king into behaving by threatening Gaemon Palehair, who was long dead by that time.Aegon III: And if I will not, who will you threaten, ser? You may beat poor Gaemon's bones, but you will get no more blood from him.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Gareth chose to take the black rather than be executed for his involvement in the conspiracy against Aegon III.
- Trial by Combat: After his arrest for treason, Gareth implicated Ser Victor Risley, the King's Justice, as another conspirator against Aegon III. Risley demanded trial by combat against his accuser to prove his innocence, only to be slain by Gareth before he was shipped off to Castle Black.