This is a listing of members of the Golden Company in A Song of Ice and Fire.
For the main character index, see here
For the main sellsword companies entry, see here
- "Our word is good as gold."—Motto of the Golden Company
A famous sellsword company made up of mostly exiled Westerosi and their descendants, the Golden Company is one of the largest and most skilled mercenary companies in Essos. They are famous for having never once broken a contract or changing sides during a battle. They were founded by Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers, a legitimized bastard of King Aegon IV, who fled Westeros at the end of the Blackfyre Rebellion. Upon seeing all the exiled Westerosi joining sellsword companies, he formed the Golden Company to give them all a home and a purpose: to one day return to Westeros and reclaim what was rightfully theirs. Their descendants have been joined by other Westerosi exiles and unwanted bastards through the decades, along with exiles from other lands. Recently, rumor has it that Golden Company broke its contract with the city of Myr for unknown reasons. Only a few know the truth: they have sworn themselves to Aegon Targaryen VI and sailed for Westeros under the command of Aegon VI and Lord Jon Connington, where they have begun a campaign in the Stormlands to take the throne back for the Targaryens and claim their rightful places in Westeros.
Members of the Golden Company do not carry sigils or blazons, limiting their symbols to solid gold banners and shields; however, their most representative symbol is the lance carrying the gold-dipped skulls of their former commanders who followed Bittersteel, who decreed that upon his death his skull be boiled and dipped in gold to be put in the lance, and his successors followed suit in the tradition.
- The Ace: Widely regarded as the greatest sellsword company in Essos due to their discipline, training, and relative honour for Private Military Contractors.
- Ambiguous Allegiance: To Aegon Targaryen in ADWD and what it implies concerning his status; considering the fact that they spent a great deal of time trying to undermine the Targaryens to crown the Blackfyres in their stead casts a large enough shadow of a doubt as of the legitimacy of Aegon himself. Their allegiance to him can't help but carry strong overtones of him actually being a Blackfyre brand of Dragon in disguise.
- Badass Army: Not only due to their discipline and experience, but because they're a proper "combined arms" company with infantry, archers and crossbowmen, fully equipped and horses knights, scouts, miners and siege engineers as well as mounted elephant elements all trained to fight as a single strategic whole — and, all have training to work with navy when available (see their various campaigns with pirates/ Ironborn elements). This avoids the Crippling Over Specialization of other Badass Armies like the Unsullied or a Dothraki khalasar.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Though it's comprised of exiles from different wars in Westerosi history, most of the early Golden Company was composed of people that Bloodraven forced to flee. The more effective Bloodraven became in his office, the more exiled lords and knights joined the ranks of Bittersteel's sellsword company, earning the Targaryens and Westeros five decades of wars.
- Bling of War: The members of the company, particularly the officers, keep their worldly wealth upon their person: jeweled swords, inlaid armour, heavy torcs, and fine silks. Officers also wear golden arm rings, one for each year of service. By Westerosi standards, this is exceptionally blingy for battle, although useful in ID-ing veterans either in combat or afterwards: wearing your potential ransom also speeds things up and ensures either a quick death for looting purposes or good treatment as a temporary prisoner rather than than that afforded an automatic new slave. By Essossi standards, the company aesthetic leans more towards "tastefully restrained and downright practical for all occasions". Which says an awful lot about Essos.
- Badass Creed: Their war cry "Beneath the gold, the bitter steel", in reference to Bittersteel, their founder.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Totally averted. The Golden Company is regarded as The Ace of all Sellsword Companies in Essos because they have never broken a contract. In series, their sudden cutting off their contract to Myr is treated as a Wham Episode in King's Landing with several characters wondering if Stannis Baratheon has convinced them to take his cause; they are actually sworn to return King Aegon VI to the Iron Throne and gain back the lands of their forefathers.
- Colonel Badass: Some of the squad commanders like Laswell Peake, Marq Mandrake, and Tristan Rivers qualify given their commands number several hundred men each.
- Consummate Professional: Their professionalism in both (relatively) ethical business practice and organisational structure basically makes them the consummate professionals of the whole sellsword business model. Successful ones, too: they're not lacking in resources which are constantly funneled into technical upgrades, training and tweaks, not just overt bling and living expenses. Heck, part of the secret to their success is having more of a handle on logistics than the bulk of other companies do. They are the professional army by which others on two continents (be they standing, conscripted, or mercenary) are measured. And, those others are often found wanting.
- Decapitation Presentation: Bittersteel's dying command that his skull should be stripped of flesh and dipped in gold to be taken back to Westeros eventually was followed by each of the company's Captain-Generals.
- Dragon with an Agenda: There is a faction of the Golden Company that wants to marry Aegon to Daenerys and invade Westeros as they originally intended because, first, he would be thought to be just a pretender otherwise; second, he might be a Blackfyre pretender and they are trying to hide this; and third, he is almost entirely unknown in Westeros and an alliance with Daenerys might bring some notoriety to his cause. Of course, the other faction is sick and tired of waiting for Daenerys and Ilyrio, so they start the invasion, regardless.
- The Exile: Most of them were composed of Blackfyre Loyalists who lost lands and titles; their descendants still fight for the company in Essos, dreaming of returning home and regaining what their ancestors lost.
- Fighting for a Homeland: The ultimate goal of many of them. One of the counterpoints to the "Blackfyre theory" of Aegon VI's origins, though admittedly a weak one, is that at this point they'll support any claimant that will let them go home to Westeros again, regardless of their colors or legitimacy.
- Foil: To the Orphans of the Greenblood, who are descendants of the Rhoynish. They both were stormed out of their native land, they staunchly refuse to give up their ancestral customs and they long to return once again. Whereas the Golden Company has a martial approach to their return, the Orphans had to adapt to the river Greenblood while avoiding assimilation... and have been at it for a millennium.
- Jerkass: Viserys once held a feast for the captains of the Golden Company in the hopes of winning their support in taking back the Iron Throne. Not only did they refuse his request, they laughed at him over it, something even Daenerys found incredibly cruel. Neither Viserys or Daenerys were aware that the company were planning to put Aegon VI on the throne, although this might come back to bite them since it's another one of the many reasons why Daenerys wouldn't support Aegon's claim.
- Honesty Is the Best Policy: They tend towards this, and it certainly hasn't hurt their reputation. They're upfront with what they can and can't do, rarely accept contracts that they don't have a shot at completing, will give painfully honest advice about strategy and tactics if they see a screw-up coming, will accept fault (and the fines) if it was truly their mistake, and won't sell their previous employers' secrets out, even. They will stay bought and only turn to ransack former employers if the contract was broken on that end: warnings are given (and, gods help you if you try setting them up to fail just to get out of paying them). They're even open about the one time they'll drop anything: if they can follow a Blackfyre home. This turns out to be "will follow any vaguely-Dragon-shaped-exile-we-can-stomach who promises to bring us home", but... still open about it. Not their fault others assumed "no more known Blackfyres" meant that the discretionary clause was now simply an historical oddity.
- Honor Before Reason: The Golden Company is reputed to have never broken a contract. Their motto is "Our word is good as gold." As such, when word breaks that the Golden Company have broken faith with Volantis, everyone gets concerned, particularly everyone in Westeros.
- Kingmaker Scenario: They were originally sworn to raise and crown a Blackfyre king. They are now sworn to make Aegon Targaryen king. Of course, those two may turn out to be one and the same.
- Military Brat: Many members of the Golden Company are the sons of previous members, going back to founding members of the company who fled into exile after the First Blackfyre Rebellion.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: To the White Company, an actual Italian mercenary organization (composed of former English Knights, Longbowmen as well as Italian and German mercenaries with combined arms and specialized operations) celebrated by Arthur Conan Doyle in his eponymous book.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Due to their custom of never ever breaking a contract, the whole world is shocked when they seemingly break their contract with Myr out of nowhere, and then grow wary speculating as to the reasons. They might, technically, not have broken their contract, either: that is, if Aegon is, indeed, a Blackfyre. Or, if they just believe that he is one. They do have that well-known exit clause they still put in the agreements they draw up.
- Regal Ringlets: Gorys Edoryen, the replacement paymaster for Harry Strickland, styles his hair into corkscrew curls and is noted to play with them.
- The Remnant: The Golden Company is composed mostly of descendants of losers of the Blackfyre Rebellion.
- Spanner in the Works: Their raison d'etre is to find spanners to aim at any plans they can mess with which belong to any other factions sitting on the Iron Throne. Any dispute that flares up? Wise Small Councils check for their involvement in there, somewhere!
- Funnily enough, Daenerys has been a walking spanner to quite a few of their current plans, without her even knowing they're plotting! Hatching her dragons was just the largest issue she's given them. It's a little harder to sideline a fully functioning Dragon Lord in the succession, according to likely still existing family rules.
- The Squire: Watkyn serves as one for Harry Strickland. Rolly Duckfield also used to squire for Strickland.
- Soldiers at the Rear: Gorys remains in the company's camp to guard Prince Aegon during the assault on Griffin's Roost.
- War Elephants: They have a unit of them.
Captain-General Harry Strickland
Homeless Harry Strickland
- "You will pardon me if I do not rise. Our march was wearisome, and my toes are prone to blisters. It is a curse."
A fourth generation exile raised by his father to be part of the Golden Company, Harry was the Company Paymaster before being elected Captain-General after the death of Myles Toyne.
- Armchair Military: He stays well back from the actual fighting, overseeing the Golden Company's operations but doing little to actually win the battles. His skills seem to reside in organization and keeping discipline up.
- Authority in Name Only: Once Jon Connington and Aegon arrive and the Golden Company honors their agreement to reclaim the Iron Throne for them, it quickly becomes clear that Harry's role as commander of the Company will be taken by Jon, who is a far more experienced warrior and battle-commander, even if Harry does keep the title.
- Dirty Coward: Jon is astounded that he was elected to be Captain-General of the company, being reluctant to take any risks and engage in battle, an assessment that Aegon agrees with. However, that may just be both of their own desire for immediate action overruling Harry's more cautious nature.
- Dumbass Has a Point: He makes a good argument about why they need Daenerys' support for Aegon to prove his legitimacy:Harry: Has the sun curdled your brains, Flowers? We need the girl. We need the marriage. If Daenerys accepts our princeling and takes him for her consort, the Seven Kingdoms will do the same. Without her, the lords will only mock his claim and brand him a fraud and a pretender.
- Everyone Has Standards: Refuses to even consider the idea of feigning acceptance of the Yunkai'i contract to fight Daenerys in order to gain transport to Meereen, noting that one broken contract was enough of a blight on their reputation and that lying would only further damage their honor.
- The Exile: House Strickland was one of the major houses of the Reach that rose in support of Daemon Blackfyre. After the Battle of Redgrass Field, the remnants of the house fled to Essos and helped found the Golden Company. Harry likes to boast that he has "gold for four generations".
- Four-Star Badass: Subverted: his subordinates win the battles, not him.
- Hypocrite: He derides Prince Doran Martell as a coward scared of his own shadow, causing Jon to think that description fits Harry more than the Prince, who he thinks of as cautious, not cowardly.
- Non-Action Guy: He is not a warrior, and does not even look the part for appearances sake, being rather portly and averse to travel. He notes to Jon Connnington that he dislikes even just marching because his feet get blisters so easily.
- Sketchy Successor: Only the Gods know why the Golden Company thought Harry would make a good Captain-General, considering his cowardice and general aversion to risk and battle.
Lord Jon ConningtonSee the House Connington page.
- "A book can be as dangerous as a sword in the right hands."
A former novice at the Citadel who did not earn enough links to become a Maester. Instead, he became attached to the Golden Company as a tutor for Young Griff, aka Aegon Targaryen.
For the Order of the Maesters character entry see here.
- Bookworm: Comes with the turf.
- Deadpan Snarker: Quite comfortable competing with Tyrion verbally, not just with gaming pieces. Loses horribly, although points for making the attempt.
- The Good Chancellor: Again, part of the whole (half-)Maester package.
- In-Series Nickname: Haldon Halfmaester, due to never forging a maester's chain but having a lot of their knowledge.
- The Medic: Serves as a healer as well as a tutor for the Golden Company.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Played with in that a fully acknowledged, qualified maester might attract unwelcome attention to the pupil he's tutoring.
- The Smart Guy: He is rather well-rounded in his education for somebody who, reportedly, left the Citadel early.
- Smart People Play Chess: He's not bad. But, Tyrion plays people better.
- "The Mother and the Father made us in their image, Hugor. We should glory in our bodies, for they are the work of gods."
A mysterious, beautiful Septa who is Young Griff's spiritual tutor.
For the main Faith of the Seven entry, see here.
- The Chick: By design.
- Deadpan Snarker: Part of what makes her attractive to Tyrion besides her looks is her dry and saucy tongue.
- Meaningful Name: Her name sounds like "l'amour", which is saying "the love" or "love" on French; fitting for a naughty, flirty septa.
- Mysterious Past: Tyrion notes she does not act like a Septa, and that she has stretch marks on her stomach that indicate she had a child at some point. This has led to Epileptic Trees by fans that she might be a previously mentioned historical character such as a Not Quite Dead Ashara Dayne. Even though Ashara Dayne had the classic lilac eyes of Daynes. Another (and more likely) candidate is that she's the mother of Tyene Sand, who was a septa. An even more remote, off-the-wall possibility is that she might be Lyanna Stark herself.
- Naughty Nuns: Bathes naked in the river every morning and isn't put out in the slightest by the lustful interest of a Depraved Dwarf.
- Nun Too Holy: She is notoriously flirty for a Septa.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Although, given she is likely hiding who she is for whatever reason, it could be a case of Dye or Die like with "Young Griff". If so, Tyrion didn't pick up on it, given he was focusing on other things at the time.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: For a Septa, she is oddly open to letting people see her naked.
- Statuesque Stunner: Receiving praise from Tyrion in this respect does imply that she's quite the woman; Tyrion, having a knack for beautiful women.
Ser Rolly Duckfield
The son of a blacksmith in Bitterbridge, Rolly dreamed of knighthood. He had to flee Westeros after breaking the arms and ribs of Lorent Caswell, who had attempted to steal the sword Rolly's father forged for him. He joined the Golden Company where he became a loyal friend of Young Griff and was knighted by Griff.
- Badass Beard: He has a shaggy beard.
- The Big Guy: For Young Griff aka Aegon Targaryen.
- The Blacksmith: Picked up on some of his father's trade and smithed for the Golden Company for a few years before Griff took him as a squire.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's a cheery fellow who doesn't mind the more rough and ready joys in life.
- The Exile: Fled to the Free Cities after bashing Lorent Caswell's arms and ribs with a hammer.
- Damned by Faint Praise: Griff has faint praise for him, noting that while a loyal friend and solid enough fighter, he is unworthy of the White Cloak of a Kingsguard and fears that Young Griff will soon have six other men as his Kingsguard, "each more blindingly adequate than the last."
- Deadpan Snarker: May not have erudite wit, but he can dish the dry.
- History Repeats: Really subtle, his nickname is Duck, he's an up-jumped hedge knight and serves as Kingsguard to a Prince Aegon. A tale of Duck and Egg.
- Line-of-Sight Name: He got the surname "Duckfield" due to being knighted in a field with some ducks in it.
- Praetorian Guard: He is the first member of Aegon's Kingsguard.
- The Squire: Formerly to Harry Strickland, until Griff knighted him.
- Undying Loyalty: To Aegon. It's what gets him a job as the first member of Aegon's Kingsguard over the objections of Connington, who would prefer that positions be left open for political deals with noble families.
- "In cyvasse, it is true, the dragon is mightier than the elephant. On the battlefield, give me elephants I can see and touch and send against my foes, not dragons made of words and wishes."
The Lyseni spymaster of the Golden Company. Like most Lyseni, he has the classic Valyrian looks of platinum blond hair and lilac eyes.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Griff thinks Lysono Maar is a woman for a moment when first meeting him, due to his lilac eyes, white gold hair, and pouty lips. He also has purple painted nails and wears amethysts and pearls on his ears.
- The Spymaster: He gathers information for the Golden Company, and even does his own spying by going disguised into nearby cities to gather information personally.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Arianne Martell notes that while his white hair and looks make him quite pretty and he acts polite, she notes there is something about him that makes her skin crawl and that he has cold eyes. This is fitting for a spymaster of a ruthless sellsword company.
Ser Franklyn Flowers
The Bastard of Cider Hall, the Brown Apple
- "So long as I can kill some Fossoways I'm for it."
A twelve-year veteran and captain of the Golden Company. Franklyn claims his mother was a servant raped by a member of House Fossoway, giving him a hatred of his house.
- Alliterative Name: Franklyn Flowers.
- Bastard Angst: If the tale of his birth is true, one can scarcely blame him for his hatred of his family and desire to kill them.
- Child by Rape: By repute, at least.
- Covered with Scars: Life really has not been kind to this possible Apple. His face is crisscrossed with old scars, and then there is the damage to his ears.
- Ear Ache: His right ear appears to have been chewed on by a dog, and his left one is gone entirely.
- The Exile: Given his claimed origins, he obviously would not be welcomed at Cider Hall or want to be there.
- In-Series Nickname: The Bastard of Cider Hall, the Brown Apple.
- While this implies that Flowers was born a bastard of the Red Apples (Cider Hall's Fossoways), it's not actually known whether this is the actual case, as he's the only person claiming that his mother was a washerwoman raped by the lords of said keep; it's fair to say that the Red Apples do have a history of skewed morals, as shown in the Dunk & Egg stories.
- My Nayme Is: Franklyn instead of Franklin.
- Revenge: One of his primary motivations in supporting the immediate invasion of Westeros instead of joining with Daenerys is so that he can get to killing Fossoways quicker.
A bastard from the Riverlands.
- Colonel Badass: He's given command of nearly a quarter of the Golden Company's forces that arrive to Cape Wrath and sent to take Crow's Nest from House Morrigen, which he succeeds in doing.
- The Exile: An exile from the Riverlands. One who desperately wants to get back home.
- Outlaw: He's mentioned to be not only an exile but also an outlaw.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one regarding Illyrio Mopatis that actually becomes a Rousing Speech.
- Rousing Speech: His oratory rallies the Golden Company to go their own way, with even the cautious Griff admitting that "I'm sick of prudence":Tristan: 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.
Ser Laswell, Torman and Pykewood Peake
Exiles from a branch of House Peake.
Another Westerosi exile.
- Alliterative Name: Marq Mandrake.
- Colonel Badass: He leads a force of five hundred members of the company and seizes Estermont with them.
- Covered in Scars: His face is covered in several pox-scars. Also bears a mark where his slave-tattoo was burned away.
- Made a Slave: Before joining the Golden Company.
- The Remnant: House Mandrake was once a powerful family in the Seven Kingdoms.
A Summer Islander sellsword in command of the Golden Company's archers.
- Archer Archetype: In addition to commanding the Golden Company's archers, he is a skilled one himself, wielding a goldenheart bow.
- Badass Cape: Wears a green and orange feathered cloak.
- Punch-Packing Pistol: It's not the ultra-rare and sought-after dragonbone, but his goldenheart bow is the next best thing for that wow-factor — even weirwood doesn't make bows as powerful. Yes, they're rare; but, only away from home.
Young John MuddJohn Mudd, also called Young John Mudd, is a sellsword in service to the Golden Company. He holds the rank of serjeant.
- Color Motif: He is brown skinned and wears brown clothes, like mud.
- Everybody Has Standards: Insists that the Golden Company doesn't rape with enough force that it seems, at the very worst, he's convincing himself.
- Jerkass: Seems to be enjoying bossing Lady Mertyns around a little too much.
- The Remnant: Of House Mudd.
- Self-Proclaimed Knight: He claims he is a knight.
Ser Aegor Rivers
- "He died defeated and alone. What is he smiling for?"—Jon Connington while looking at Bittersteel's gilded skull
One of Aegon IV's "Great Bastards", his son by his fifth mistress Barba Bracken. In the Blackfyre Rebellion, he sided with his half-brother Daemon Blackfyre. A marriage to Daemon's oldest daughter, Calla, was subsequently arranged. Bittersteel fled Westeros at the end of the rebellion to the free city of Tyrosh, with Daemon's remaining sons and the Targaryen sword Blackfyre. He rode with the Second Sons and went on to create the Golden Company to support the Blackfyre pretenders.
Bittersteel died in battle in 241 AC. On his deathbed, he commanded that his flesh be boiled from his skull, and to have it dipped in gold and carried before them when they cross the sea to retake Westeros.
To display his heritage, Bittersteel combined the Blackfyre and Bracken sigils, with his coat of arms being the red stallion of Bracken with the black wings of a Blackfyre dragon.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Aegor loved his half-sister Shiera, but she chose Bloodraven over him. He wound up marrying a niece rather than the half-sister he would have preferred.
- All There in the Manual: Many details of his life (his marriage, his year and manner of death, among others) are revealed in The World of Ice & Fire.
- Arch-Enemy: His half-brother Bloodraven. The latter's mother replaced Bittersteel's as king's favourite, and Bloodraven was Shiera's lover. Didn't help that their respective mothers came from the infamous Feuding Families the Brackens and Blackwoods.
- Arranged Marriage: As per The World of Ice & Fire, Daemon arranged the marriage between his oldest daughter Calla and Bittersteel.
- Badass Beard: How he's depicted according to Word of God.
- Badass Normal: Bloodraven was a greenseer and sorceror with "A thousand eyes, and one"; Bittersteel had no magical capabilities other than his tenacity, his strength and skill with arms.
- Brains and Brawn: He and Bloodraven form the Cain and Abel, half-sibling version of this trope. He was damn good on the battlefield as a hardy warrior and melee-minded, tactically sound knight. Bloodraven excelled as a more strategically-minded archer and in other, more stealthy, forms of battle. Had they ever managed to work together, they'd've complimented each other nicely. As it was, it never had a chance to happen.
- Determinator: Half-Targaryen, half-Bracken, all-legitimized-bastard-Warrior Prince and, therefore, thrice stubborn. Came back hitting after every licking, and even had his skull plated and preserved to keep trying to be vindicated via the Golden Company post-mortem. Deconstructed, though: this well-known trait was actively used against him. Family fights between stubborn bastards who don't know how to quit = nobody fully gets what they want. And everybody suffers.
- The Dragon: To his half-brother Daemon Blackfyre. He might have had shades of Dragon with an Agenda, the agenda basically being "prove Bracken beats Blackwood" rather than "prove that Might Makes Right".
- Dragon-in-Chief: To Daemon's surviving sons. The three Blackfyre Rebellions between Daemon I's and Maelys the Monstrous's were instigated by him, with his Golden Company usually providing the muscle.
- Expy: Of Conan the Barbarian. Fittingly, his hated half-brother, Bloodraven, is an Expy of Elric, who was created to be the exact opposite of Conan.
- Oh, boy! ... To Bloodraven, his polar opposite and arch-enemy. Both the legitimized bastards of a Targaryen King; one from a mother from an Seven-worshipping house and one from a Old Gods-worshipping house (both houses which have been at each other's throats for what could be millennia); one a master warrior while the other a master longbowman, spy, strategist and given to wars of attrition; one loyal to their Targaryen brother king, while the other loyal to the Blackfyre rebel; one preferred by the woman that they both loved while the other one is scorned; one getting increasingly more powerful while the other slowly withers away; one is still alive while the other has been long deceased. In every case, Bittersteel had a disadvantage to Bloodraven.
- You can compare him to Lord Beric, the leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners. Both of them suffered defeats and had to rally The Remnant of their former supporters to a new cause. Bittersteel created the Golden Company, a mercenary outfit in Essos of the highest calibre founded with the hope of eventually returning to Westeros, claim vengeance and reclaim lost lands. Beric created the Brotherhood, an outlaw organization that actually carries out the King's Justice (bringing war criminals and rapists to justice, providing relief and care to the smallfolk) with all its members forsaking their lands, titles and stations so as to serve as La Résistance in the Riverlands until justice is done.
- To Ser Criston Cole of the Kingsguard. They took part in instigating the two greatest civil wars the Targaryen Kings had to suffer and their lives ended in a rather pathetic manner.
- During the same period, to Prince Aemond Targaryen, who served as co-Dragon with Ser Criston to Aegon II. Both angry people and lifetime jerks, Aemond differed from Bittersteel in the fact that he did not fight out of pretensions or with a set goal, but rather to wreak havoc; he even sat on the Iron Throne himself but surrendered to Aegon without any qualms.
- Heteronormative Crusader: Many historians believe that the reason he didn't support the Second Blackfyre Rebellion was because Daemon II was gay.
- Incest Is Relative: His wife, Calla, was also his niece. Shiera was his half-sister. If you ever doubted his Targaryen blood, let it end now.
- Jerkass: Comes across this way, yes. It's hardly Nice Guy behaviour to continue to sacrifice your own relatives by the handful, when other options were available to make a living after the first losses should have made it clear how uphill a straight-up fight actually was.
- Kingmaker Scenario: He swore to crown a Blackfyre king and tried four times to do so. It wasn't as much a situation where he had reverence for the office, but rather he was driven to one-up Bloodraven.
- Love Ruins the Realm: About the only trait he shared with his father was the ability to get into serious trouble with this trope, what with that Love Triangle between him, Shiera, and Bloodraven. It's possible that he may have supported Daemon as a bid to get revenge on Bloodraven, not just because he appreciated the thought of a warrior over a scholar as king. Had he just been able to let it go, things could have turned out rather differently.
- Meaningful Name: Bittersteel was a quite... bitter. Also, handy with a sword. And, wound up not getting what he wanted when he used might.
- Our Founder: See the oath of the Golden Company.
- Perpetual Frowner: By repute, he could have given Tywin Lannister decent competition in the flat-face department. Ironically, after having his skull dipped in gold, his expression is a permanent smile leading Jon Connington to make the folder quote about why Bittersteel is smiling.
- Poisonous Friend: It is rumoured both he and Ser Quentyn Ball convinced Daemon to claim the throne. And, more than just that one Blackfyre rose against the Iron Throne with his encouragement. Most died as a result."Bitter his steel may have been, but worse was his tongue."
- Posthumous Character: In the main series.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: The only success he ever had in his life was to create the Golden Company. Contrast with Bloodraven, who came out more successful in every encounter they had. Interestingly, both men ended up being exiled from home.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After each failed rebellion, he somehow managed to escape captivity and return to plotting.
- Villainous Underdog: Bloodraven was a powerful mystic with status, power, and all the wealth of the Seven Kingdoms behind him. Bittersteel was an angry man with a sword and an unconquerable will.
- Villainous Valor: At the Redgrass Field where he rallied the beaten Blackfyre troops and drove them straight through Bloodraven's forces and to freedom.
- Warrior Prince: Was legitimised by his father, so became a prince after learning to be a warrior. Which... didn't exactly help matters.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: So, he (a legitimized, exiled Targaryen prince even without the surname, lest we forget) and Calla Blackfyre (exiled, rebel princess... ditto) were married decades before he died. Were they happy? Any kids? Grandkids? Great-grandkids? Boys? Dunno. Could prove to be somewhat important, though... If anybody in Westeros wants to doubt Aegon "VI"'s identity and/or legitimacy, the mere possibility of him coming from Bittersteel's line of maybe-Blackfyre Dragons is certainly a very specific place they can point to to cast aspersions from, particularly as he does have both the Golden Company behind him and the classic Targaryen looks a little more incidental inbreeding and/or some Lyseni or Volantine mixing could certainly produce.
Captain-General Myles Toyne
BlackheartNicknamed Blackheart, Myles is descended from Ser Terrence Toyne, who had been executed for sleeping with a mistress of Aegon IV. He conspired with his friend Jon Connington to hid the survival of Aegon Targaryen and pledge the loyalty of the Golden Company to him when the time came to reclaim the Iron Throne.
- Four-Star Badass: When he was in command of the Golden Company.
- Ironic Nickname: He was jokingly nicknamed "Blackheart" by his troops, in reference to the image on his coat-of-arms. Toyne liked the nickname because it led people to be wary of him, but he's described by the rather stern Griff/Jon Connington as being warm and generous and A Father to His Men, and at the very least seems to have been a Sergeant Rock type.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He's not wrong when he counters Connington's insistence that he did all he could to catch Robert by pointing out Tywin would have just burned Stony Sept (where Robert had gone to ground after his defeat at Ashford) to the ground to end Robert's Rebellion at a stroke.
- Last of His Kind: No more Toynes thanks to him.
- My Nayme Is: Myles instead of Miles.
- Odd Friendship: The warm and friendly Toyne was friends with the cold and stern Griff.
- Posthumous Character: Known to us only through others.
- When He Smiles: He lights up the room, regardless of what his name says he should do.