Follow TV Tropes


Characters / A Song of Ice and Fire - The Kingsguard

Go To

This is a listing member of the Kingsguard that appear in A Song of Ice and Fire.

For the main character index, see here

The Kingsguard
Top: The Kingsguard's unemblazoned shield; Bottom: Sigil

"Once a man puts on that cloak, it changes him."

An institution from Westeros, the Kingsguard exists to guard the king, and anyone close to him. They were founded by Aegon the Conqueror (at Queen Visenya's insistence) and consists of seven knights who swear themselves to bachelorhood, celibacy and duty, serve for life, and wear pure white when on-duty. Members of the Kingsguard, by virtue of being members, are considered the de facto finest knights in the realm, and all of them are at least Master Swordsmen; whether they are Knights In Shining Armor is another question. Although started by the Targaryen dynasty, it has since become seen as an essential part of Westerosi culture, and the rebel Baratheon dynasty retained it after deposing the Targaryens; Likewise, several rival claimants for the Iron Throne, most notably Renly Baratheon and Daenerys Targaryen, have established their own versions of the Kingsguard as a way of building legitimacy.


Since the Kingsguard represents the summit of achievement for any aspiring knight, and since knighthood is essentially a meritocracy, the Kingsguard has included sons of some of the oldest and most respected families of the realm, elbow to elbow with mere landed knights, landless hedge knights and even bastards. Beyond guarding the King and the Royal Family, the Kingsguard serve as key military advisers and often take the field during wartime, commanding and fighting in battle. During peacetime, they play a role in putting down local rebellions. Upon taking the White Cloak, a member of the Kingsguard is sworn to protect the King and keep all his secrets.

For the Kingsguard members before the Baratheon Kings, see here.

    open/close all folders 

    Kingsguard tropes 
  • Badass Crew: Ideally, the members of the Kingsguard are the absolute best knights in all of Westeros, both martially and morally. In practice, this hasn't been true nearly as often as many kings wished it were.
  • Badass Decay: Invoked. Aerys II's Kingsguard were thought of as one of the greatest Kingsguards ever (three of them took on seven men and killed five when Ned tried to rescue his sister at the Tower of Joy, and were also confident that had they been at the Trident with Rhaegar, Robert would have been defeated) but nowadays most of them are thugs and mediocre fighters that are only on the Kingsguard for political reasons.
    • The marring of the office was caused by several reasons, namely the continuation of Jaime "The Kingslayer" Lannister's membership, Barristan Selmy's lack of influence in either the Small Council or the King's policies note , ostensibly avoiding any semblance of a screening before the candidates are sworn into office, and the kingsguard being used for political dealings and even being sold off to cover the crown's debts.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Jaime Lannister, Mandon Moore and Mervyn Flowers are the best known.
  • Captain Ersatz: There are (at least) two of them in-universe. The first is Daenerys's Queensguard, while the second was Renly Baratheon's Rainbow Guard. Both orders were modeled after the original Kingsguard and fulfill a similar role to it. Another is the Kingsguard of Aegon VI.
    • Daenerys's and Aegon's only have one member each so far, however.
  • Celibate Hero: Or, at least, they're supposed to be. Characters in the series know All Men Are Perverts, and there are knights who got away with it because it didn't get in the way of their duty. Historically, Kingsguard who tried to defy this trope met bad fates; though this was, of course, because they happen to be known to history to have done so.
    • Kingsguard of the Dornish persuasion are given quite a lot of leeway on this section of their oath. Sure, they generally don't marry, but paramours? Of either gender? <waggle hand>
  • Closest Thing We Got: Word of God once explained that while the Kingsguard is supposed to be made up of the greatest knights in Westeros, the greatest knights rarely jump at the chance to take the strict vows that come with the white cloak, especially if they come from nobility. This means that the majority of Kingsguard members are whatever above average fighters that are willing to take the oath rather than the greatest heroes of the realm.
  • Conflicting Loyalties: King vs Country vs Family (yours and/or the Royal one) vs common human decency vs personal status... vs common sense. Something in there's going to get messed up along the way.
  • The Dead Have Names: The White Book is filled with entries of hundreds of knights who served the Kingsguard, but only very few live on in song and memory. The ones who merely did their duty only exist in the pages of a book that only a select will read.
    Ser Jaime Lannister: "A lot of brave men have worn the white cloak. Most have been forgotten."
    Ser Jaime Lannister: "The best and the worst. And a few who were a bit of both."
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: These men are supposed to embody the Knight in Shining Armor ideals, but only rarely truly manage to do that. The rest of the time, they are often forced to be glorified thugs, and even the shiniest ones have broken a few of their vows with the very best of intentions.
    • Even the function of the Kingsguard has caveats. Oh, it's packaged as being the best of the best knights of the realm being chosen to serve the king (and by extension, the kingdom) as both bodyguards and loyal advisors with vows that reflect those of the Night's Watch... But, this hides an often ugly truth in plain sight beyond the usually politely glossed-over issues reality vs ideals throws into the ring: seven knights, ones usually picked from the Great Houses (or other important factions) get bonded to the throne by vows supposed to be more binding than those of most knights. Not unlike, say, those of marriage. Targaryens may not have married outsiders as often as they, perhaps, should have, but using vows sworn on the Seven this way is still a form Altar Diplomacy (for men!). With all the politics, bargaining and threats that entails.
  • Foil:
    • With the Brotherhood of the Night's Watch. Members of both forswear lands, titles and family, and consider themselves to be brothers in a family. Their respective sigils are pure white and pure black. One wears white and are protecting the King and located at the center; the other wears black and defends an outpost far away from the capital, from threats that are distant and invisible. As per The World of Ice & Fire, Queen Visenya modeled their oaths and commitment on the Night's Watch. Whereas the Kingsguard defends a single individual/office/institution, the Night's Watch are sworn to defend the Realms of Men. This is quite by Martin's design; he wanted the men in black to be criminal scum but doing noble work, while the knights in shining white armor were, while still knights, complicit if not participating in a brutal dictatorship. Possibly continuing the color theming, the Maesters of the Citadel are another sworn brotherhood who give up lands, titles, and family (at least in theory), and serve not a specific family but are assigned to a specific castle. They dress in grey.
    • Also, to the City Watch in King's Landing. Whereas the Kingsguard is the Secret Service, the City Watch would be the police/traffic wardens. The City Watch is a lower office than the Kingsguard, but they have strength in numbers where the Kingsguard don't. Members of both are also identified by the distinctively-colored cloaks they wear: White for the Kingsguard, gold for the City Watch. During the reigns of Kings Robert and Joffrey, the Kingsguard slowly became more susceptible to the political rifts and corruption that characterize the City Watch.
  • Frontline General: When the Kingsguard take command in battle, they become this.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The White Book or the Book of Brothers, contains an entry chronicling the deeds and achievements of every knight to ever take the white cloak.
  • High Turnover Rate: From AGOT-ADWD, three knights have died in service, with a fourth (Lord Commander Ser Barristan) being unprecedentedly dismissed from service and office.
  • Honor Before Reason: Their whole selling point.
  • I Gave My Word: Some are better at keeping it (either the letter or the spirit) than others. All hit problems related to it at some point.
  • In It for Life: Much like the Night's Watch, once you don the white cloak, you're expected to die in it.
  • Just Following Orders: A problem and conflict for all Kingsguard with a shred of conscience.
  • Kingmaker Scenario: The very thing the Oath to serve the King above all (followed by the rest of the royal family) is supposed to prevent. But... it's deconstructed to hell and gone: protecting the rest of the royal family from a mad ruler (and the consequences of his mismanagement) by backing the son and heir in a bid to replace him a lot earlier might have saved the Targaryens from being usurped in the first place — and, ultimately, might have lived up to the spirit of the Oath much better than sticking to the words. The problem is that, while generally charged to protect all of the King's blood, the Kingsguard are ultimately charged specifically to protect not the best interests of the ruling dynasty, but the King himself, no matter what. By doing nothing but protecting the Mad King from the consequences of his follies, the Kingsguard ended up "choosing" the usurping King Robert over the now-exiled royal family in a bid to keep the Kingdom somewhat stable after the change over—something Ser Barristan is forced to acknowledge rather too late. And a repeat is something Jaime is currently trying to prevent by stopping the Kingsguard from blindly following the orders of boy kings who need to be taught how to be kings before they get obeyed.
    • Aerys' downfall was not the only time: the Dance of the Dragons saw the Kingsguard split and jockey for position, then there was the dog's breakfast that was the end of the rule of Maegar I (those who survived buggered off to find Jaehaerys for a host of reasons — not least "wanting to not get killed by their own king"). Wherever most Kingsguard wound up by the end of a dispute, that side won. So, they've helped "choose" the king/queen a few times.
  • Master Swordsman: Has featured several, such as Arthur Dayne, Barristan Selmy, and Jaime Lannister.
  • The Missing Faction: Of the mentioned Kingsguard in the books, none have been from the North. Considering that the institution of knighthood is not widely practiced by the North (save from a handful of individuals) for religious reasons (knighthood is strongly linked with the Faith of the Seven), and the fact that jousting and tourneys are also not ingrained in their culture, the North does not contribute greatly to one of the most influential groups of individuals in the eyes of the crown. The Northmen instead contribute to the Night's Watch by custom, association, and proximity.
    • By contrast, the Kingsguard, in spite of being a group of the most noticeable and skilled warriors from all over the Seven Kingdoms, is a Southron institution governed by the respective customs of the region.
    • Likewise, the Iron Islands aren't represented in the Kingsguard mostly because of their disdain of the mainland's customs and their own secessionist ideals. (Like the north, they also have no truck with knighthood for religious reasons, following the Drowned God instead of the Seven—and then of course knights, who are first and foremost mounted warriors, aren't very much use on raiding longships.)
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: The Kingsguard are sworn to live this trope, no matter how terrible their monarch might be. This is seen in full effect under Joffrey, and horror stories of what the Kingsguard either participated in or enabled under Aerys Targaryen have become the stuff of legend. Jaime Lannister, Barristan Selmy, and Sandor Clegane are notable for being the only three members of the order in recent history to say "fuck that noise" to this trope, and only Jaime could really be said to have done so out of a sense of morality (Selmy being unwillingly retired giving him a wakeup call, and Sandor, who suffers from pyrophobia, refusing to fight in a burning city and deserting).
    • Subverted with Arys Oakheart, who's commanded by Joffrey to beat Sansa (like the rest of his brothers who do it without question and are pretty terrible about it). He objects to hitting her but gives in... and only hits her as lightly as possible.
  • Not So Different:
    • The main difference between a legendary Kingsguard and a bad one are his skill, otherwise they are willing to bend chivalry when their king rapes his wife or stand there when people die horribly because of their politic allegiance.
    • Despite being foils to the Night's Watch, both have fallen far from the paragons of honor they once were. In the present day, the Night's Watch is an Army of Thieves and Whores, while most of the Kingsguard are competent fighters but severely lacking in loyalty, chivalry, or anything else that makes a Knight in Shining Armor.
  • The Oathbreaker: The Kingsguard has had its share.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Under terrible rulers, the Kingsguard sometimes act like this.
  • Old Master: Inevitably, as they age. At the start of the series, Ser Barristan Selmy qualifies.
    • Jaime gets promoted after a previous member died in his sleep of old age. (The series gets a pun from it by mentioning he was a member of House Grandison, whose sigil is a sleeping lion. Wouldn't Aerys prefer a roaring one instead?)
    • Gerold Hightower served as a Kingsguard for almost a quarter of a century before he fell to Eddard Stark and Howland Reednote . Even if he wasn't an old man, he was still a seasoned veteran of the order.
  • Praetorian Guard: Defend the King, defend the Royal Family, defend the Crown, don't pick other sides in politics, don't have kids to favour... and, whatever you do, don't screw up or, at least, get caught turning Kingmaker and taking sides. Or else.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Often, under terrible kings.
  • Replacement Mooks: Thanks to the War of the Five Kings, Robert's Rebellion, and even a dash of Greyjoy's Rebellion, the Kingsguard has been bled of its most competent knights. When Jaime finally returns to King's Landing near the end of A Storm of Swords to assume his new role as Lord Commander of the order, he's shocked beyond words to discover it's now comprised of second- and third-string knights, Lannister cronies and up-jumped commoners of dubious backgrounds and credentials. The only members that Jaime approves of are Loras Tyrell (supposedly everything a knight should be, aside from a little too much arrogance) and Balon Swann (well-known for his gallantry, honesty, and skill at arms).
  • Secret Keeper: In addition to protecting the King, a Knight of the Kingsguard has to keep all of the King's secrets, private indiscretions included. This is the main reason why Jaime never tells anybody else of Aerys' wildfire plot; having broken one oath, he did not want to break another.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Every single one of them has to struggle with this at some point. Although... "Good" might be stretching it in this series: more like "Lawful Or Kitchen Sink, Orange-Violent".
  • Worthy Opponent: The most skilled Kingsguard tend to become this to their foes.
    • Aemon the Dragonknight to Cregan Stark.
    • Gwayne Corbray to Daemon Blackfyre.
    • Barristan Selmy to Robert Baratheon.
    • Arthur Dayne to Eddard Stark.

The Baratheon Kingsguard

Retained from King Aerys II

    Ser Jaime Lannister 

Lord Commander Jaime Lannister

    Ser Barristan Selmy 

Inducted under King Robert I

    Ser Arys Oakheart* 

Ser Arys Oakheart
"There have always been men who found it easier to speak vows than to keep them."

The youngest son of Lady Arwyn Oakheart, head of House Oakheart. He is a sworn knight of the Kingsguard and was sent to Dorne to protect Princess Myrcella Baratheon. Serves as a POV character in A Feast for Crows. Gets killed by Areo Hotah when he and the other conspirators who plan to put Myrcella on the throne are discovered.

  • The Bus Came Back: When some of the focus shifts to Dorne in a A Feast for Crows, Arys becomes a POV character and plays a key role in the events that occur there.
  • Celibate Hero: His words strongly imply that he didn't have much in the way of sexual experiences before taking the white, and he remained celibate for at least ten years thereafter. But upon meeting Princess Arianne Martell, that changed quickly (though he constantly feels guilty about breaking his oath).
  • Decoy Protagonist: Prologue characters aside, this is the first time in the series a POV character fails to get even two chapters before being killed off (discounting the prologues).
  • Famous Last Words: Towards Aero Hotah after being ordered to surrender.
    Ser Arys: You will not take her whilst I still draw breath.
  • Fish out of Water: Being a Reachman in Dorne isn't easy. He is not used to the food or the weather, and has to deal with the enmity between his culture and theirs.
  • Foil: Arys and Samwell Tarly are the only POV characters from the Reach. They both joined groups that require lifetime service and both broke their oath of celibacy.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: He at least tries to be one, being courteous and polite while attempting to uphold his knightly vows. Unfortunately for him, he serves a cruel king whom he cannot disobey and has trouble keeping to his vow of celibacy after meeting Arianne.
  • Lady and Knight: He is the White Knight (or at tries to) for two different princesses simultaneously:
    • To Myrcella Baratheon, whom he is charged to protect while she is in Dorne. Its a purely platonic example since Arys views her as a surrogate daughter and throws his life to protect her.
    • To Arianne Martell, whom he pledges to assist in her plot to crown Myrcella. Though Arianne is a Femme Fatale that uses seduction as weapon to get what she wants, she doesn't truly qualify as an evil example of this trope since she means well and expresses genuine concern for him.
  • Like a Son to Me: He sees Myrcella as a daughter, since as a member of the Kingsguard he will never be able to have children.
  • Nice Guy: The only member of the Kingsguard to object to Joffrey's orders to beat Sansa (Joffrey never asked Sandor to do it, for reasons not known), and while he does do it, he hits her as lightly as he can. He is also extremely loyal to Myrcella.
  • The Nondescript: He's a bit handsome, but not stunningly so (good-looking enough for Arianne to take into her bed, at least). His face is described as "not unpleasant to look upon".
  • The Oath-Breaker: Breaks his vow to not have sex after being seduced by Arianne Martell. He is terrified of people finding out and becoming listed in the White Book as someone who broke their vows.
  • Off with His Head!: It hurts to read it happen — it was like the decapitation of a heart-sick little puppy who knew it had messed up.
  • Put on a Bus: When sent to Dorne to guard Myrcella in A Clash of Kings.
  • Replacement Goldfish: He was named to the Kingsguard to replace an as-yet unidentified predecessor.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Charges into a fight against Areo Hotah and his forces once it becomes apparent the jig is up, and is promptly shot by several crossbowmen and beheaded. His action not only gets him killed, it also proves to be utterly pointless, as even Arianne points out.
  • Spanner in the Works: In a way no one could have foreseen or predicted. His death as a result of Arianne's failed plot to crown Myrcella indirectly played into Cersei's hands. Under trial and investigation by the Faith of the Seven on several serious charges, Cersei needed a powerful knight to protect her. As a queen, she had to choose someone from the Kingsguard, who are always comprised of seven members, and the four remaining in the capital are useless. News of his death allows Cersei to nominate Ser Robert Strong into the Kingsguard as her protector and champion.
  • Suicide by Cop: Arianne wonders if Arys' death was a form of this, so he won't live with the shame of breaking his vows any longer.
  • Tragic Hero: He is a good man who tries to navigate between his vows, desire to keep Myrcella safe, love for Arianne, and knowledge that he serves a bad regime in order to do some good. Unfortunately for Arys, good intentions do not count for much in Westeros.
  • Token Good Teammate: After Ser Barristan is removed from the Kingsguard, Arys is the only even half-decent person in it until Ser Balon Swann joins.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: For all his protests and guilt, Arys still beats Sansa Stark whenever Joffrey orders him to.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Played like a fiddle by Arianne into joining her plot to crown Myrcella as Queen of Westeros, which ends up getting him killed.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Against his will, yes. He would "chastise" Sansa Stark at Joffrey's command, but unlike Ser Mandon, Ser Meryn or Ser Boros, Arys would only hit her as lightly as he could without making it obvious that he was doing it. Being one of the only more-or-less decent people in Joffrey's court, he still felt horribly guilty about doing it (since he was a grown man and she was basically a child), and literally thanked The Warrior when Tyrion assigned him to accompany Myrcella to Dorne.

    Ser Meryn Trant 

Ser Meryn Trant
"I did as His Grace commanded me. We are sworn to obey."

A member of House Trant and sworn knight of the Kingsguard.

  • Badass Cape: Played With. For all the other times he's been a coward, Jaime considers him an adequate fighter albeit not to the standards of the old Kingsguard. He does beat Syrio Forel though who is dangerous even with just a wooden sword. But Cersei, Taena and Margaery all believe that Osmund Kettleblack would slice him to ribbons in a trial-by-combat.
  • Beard of Evil: Has a red beard.
  • Blind Obedience: He will carry out any order given to him by the King or Queen Regent, without much thought to its moral merits. Sansa realizes that he simply does not care or have any personal feelings about what he is ordered to do, be it good or evil.
    Sansa: I shall do whatever His Grace commands.
    Ser Meryn: As I do.
    Sansa: Yes... but you are no true knight, Ser Meryn.
    Sansa's thoughts: Sandor Clegane would have laughed at that, Sansa knew. Other men might have cursed her, warned her to keep silent, even begged for her forgiveness. Ser Meryn Trant did none of those. Ser Meryn Trant simply did not care.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Wears the bright white armor and cape of the Kingsguard but is totally willing to follow orders to abuse and kill defenseless people.
  • Dumb Muscle: He isn't particularly smart, and seems to react without thinking (which, while useful in a fight, is not always the best trait). Case-in-point: he begins to draw his sword in a massive crowd of Sparrows after one insults the King, with only one other knight there to assist him. Cersei has to order him to stop before he sparks a riot and gets them killed.
  • Just Following Orders: His excuse to Jaime when asked why he beat Sansa at Joffrey's command. Jaime tells him that they also have a duty to protect the King from bad decisions, and to only carry out reasonable commands from Tommen and come to him if he ever orders something cruel.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He never does anything cruel without being ordered to do so.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Alongside Ser Boros Blount, as Cersei and Joffrey's lackeys. He's less evil than Ser Boros though, as he does not take pleasure in what he does—though that might be said to be worse.
  • Villain Respect: Compliments Syrio Forel on his quickness and skill before killing him.
  • Would Hit a Girl/Would Hurt a Child: On Joffrey's orders.
  • Yes-Man: Will not say or do anything against those paying his salary.

    Ser Mandon Moore 

Ser Mandon Moore

A member of House Moore and sworn knight of the Kingsguard. He was recruited to by Lord Jon Arryn.

  • Alliterative Name: Mandon Moore.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: With Balon Swann during the Battle of the Blackwater.
  • Badass Cape: His white Kingsguard cloak. He's also one of the more lethal members of the Kingsguard, according to Jaime Lannister.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Pulls one on Tyrion during the Battle of the Blackwater for unknown reasons, but Tyrion suspects that he had been ordered by Cersei to kill him. Epileptic Trees hold that he had been acting on behalf of Joffrey or even Littlefinger.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Wears the bright white armor and cape of the Kingsguard but serves as a brutal killer for the Lannister regime.
  • Character Death: He drowns when Podrick Payne pushes him into Blackwater Bay after Mandon attempts to kill Tyrion. The weight of his armor causes him to sink to the bottom of the bay.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: Many characters take note of his grey eyes, remarking how cold, dull, and lifeless they seem, and Bronn remarks that they make him seem like he has the eyes of a fish.
  • Empty Eyes: His eyes are described as "oddly flat and lifeless".
  • I Work Alone: Had virtually nothing in the way of friends and family, and never even socialized with other members of the Kingsguard.
  • Ideal Hero: Deconstructed thoroughly by Varys.
    Varys: Lord Arryn brought him to King's Landing and Robert gave him his white cloak, but neither loved him much, I fear. Nor was he the sort the smallfolk cheer in tourneys, despite his undoubted prowess. Why, even his brothers in the Kingsguard never warmed to him. Ser Barristan was once heard to say the man had no friend but his sword and no life but duty... but do you know, I do not think Selmy meant it altogether as praise. Which is queer when you consider it, is it not? Those are the very qualities we seek in our Kingsguard, it could be said—men who live not for themselves, but for their king. By those lights, our brave Ser Mandon was the perfect white knight. And he died as a knight of the Kingsguard ought, with sword in hand, defending one of the king's own blood.
  • Mysterious Past: Has no family or friends in King's Landing, hampering Tyrion's efforts to find out who ordered Moore to kill him. Moore being from the Vale casts Littlefinger as a suspect, but as yet no connection has been revealed.
  • The Stoic: Throughout the second book Tyrion continually makes note of how neither he nor anyone else (including Jaime, based on recollected conversations) can tell what the man is thinking at any given moment since his face and voice never betray an ounce of emotion. In Jaime's opinion, this ability to disguise his intent makes Moore the most dangerous member of the Kingsguard apart from Jaime himself.

    Ser Boros Blount 

Ser Boros Blount

Boros the Belly
"Ser Boros was the worst of the Kingsguard, an ugly man with a foul temper, all scowls and jowls."
Sansa Stark's thoughts

A member of House Blount and knight of the Kingsguard. He is widely disliked due to his cruelty and cowardice.

  • Alliterative Name: Boros Blount.
  • Bald of Evil: His lack of hair matches his total lack of morality.
  • Beard of Evil: Has a grey beard.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Wears the bright white armor and cape of the Kingsguard but is a slimy and cowardly Jerkass who gleefully abuses anyone he can.
  • Dirty Coward: During the riot in King's Landing, he refuses to go find Sansa and bring her to safety, making a lame excuse that his white cloak might enrage the mob. Later, he is ordered to guard Prince Tommen by Cersei but immediately gives the boy up to Tyrion's forces when they ambush his own. He is temporarily stripped of rank, before being reinstated eventually. The only reason he probably isn't executed was that Tyrion would never hurt his nephew, and the Kingsguard needed a new member after the desertion of Sandor Clegane. Jaime eventually makes him Tommen's food taster to repay the man for his disgrace.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Osmund Kettleblack at one point refers to him as "Boros the Belly".
  • Fat Bastard: Very much. To the point he actually comes across as sickly (possibly diabetic?). As well as annoying.
  • Formerly Fit: Jaime's comment that he has "grown stout in recent years" implies that he might have been a better fighter, as well as in better shape, when he was a younger knight. Just as well; he would never have been appointed to the Kingsguard in his current condition.
  • Humiliation Conga: The whole series is this for him, as he repeatedly gets embarrassed, insulted, defeated, and looked down upon by everyone who meets him. And he deserves all of it.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Possibly the most obvious example of how far the Kingsguard have fallen. Described by turns as "a growly bag of air", "never more than adequate", and worse.
  • Jerkass: Even Jaime gets an itch to smack him in the mouth.
  • The Load: He is so totally useless as a knight that he is eventually reduced to testing King Tommen's food for poison, spending most of his spare time leaning against the Red Keep's walls, exhausted by age and the weight of his armor.
  • The Oathbreaker: He violates his vow of celibacy frequently, often visiting whorehouses on the Street of Silk.
  • Riddle for the Ages: It is a wonder how someone as useless, cowardly, and unpleasant as him get into the Kingsguard in the first place.
  • Spiteful Spit: Spits at Jaime's feet when he makes him Tommen's food taster and states that Boros is good for nothing else.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Alongside Ser Meryn Trant for Cersei and Joffrey.
  • Unwitting Pawn: One of many to Cersei.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Beat Sansa Stark on Joffrey's orders, and enjoyed doing so.

    Ser Preston Greenfield 

Ser Preston Greenfield

Member of House Greenfield and sworn knight of the Kingsguard. Got his head smashed in by a rock during the riot in King's Landing.

  • Bright Is Not Good: Wears the bright white armor and cape of the Kingsguard, but is a vile jackass.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Stabbed and hacked to death so violently that his corpse is "red-brown from head to heel".
  • Groin Attack: Joffrey nearly hits him in the crotch with a crossbow bolt while indulging in shooting hares.
  • Jerkass: Laughs when Ser Barristan is expelled from the Kingsguard. He also treats Sansa with open disdain when he was ordered to beat her.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The one good thing he does is try to save the High Septon from the mobs during the riot in King's Landing. He gets killed for it.
  • The Oathbreaker: Arys remembers that Ser Preston used to break his vow of celibacy by visiting a draper's wife whenever her husband was away from King's Landing.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Very small, but noticeably strong.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He doesn't do anything particularly evil of his own volition.
  • Red Shirt: He doesn't last long.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Ser Preston died whilst trying to save the High Septon, apparently acting on his own initiative; certainly the Kingsguard have no vows to protect the Faith. It was a Senseless Sacrifice since the High Septon is nevertheless killed.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Beats and abuses Sansa under orders from Joffrey and shows zero remorse about it.

Inducted under King Joffrey I

    Sandor Clegane 

    Ser Balon Swann 

Ser Balon Swann

The second son of Lord Gulian Swann and sworn knight of the Kingsguard, joining after Ser Preston Greenfield was killed.

  • The Ace: Considered one of the best knights in Westeros at the moment, he is also known for his courtly manners and valor. When reflecting on Ser Balon's skills after he is appointed, Tyrion Lannister notes that he is "good with a lance, better with a morningstar, superb with a bow."
  • Badass Cape: His Kingsguard cloak.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: With Mandon Moore during the Battle of the Blackwater.
  • Celibate Hero: Well, all Kingsguard are supposed to be celibate. But unlike some of his more easily tempted brothers-in-arms, Balon doesn't even bat an eyelid when Arianne Martell tries to seduce him.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While he admits to Nymeria Sand that Ser Gregor Clegane was a monster and vile person, Ser Balon dislikes that he died from a poisoned weapon, believing that an anointed knight deserved a better end and that poison "is a foul and filthy way to kill".
  • Fish out of Water: After arriving in Dorne. He isn't used to the heat or the food, and it is only made worse by his internal struggle with his orders to kill Prince Trystane.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Unlike Ser Arys, Ser Balon doesn't reciprocate to Arianne Martell's flirting, at least not at first.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: By reputation, although being in the Kingsguard has begun to sully him a bit due to his orders.
    • He's also one of the only people in Kings Landing to think highly of Tyrion, and even defends him and praises his valor on the witness stand at Tyrion's trial.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Enforced. Ser Balon has a brother, Donnel, who sided with first Stannis, then Renly, and now serves House Lannister. Tyrion, noting this at an unrelated time, is impressed with House Swann's pragmatism, but Jaime sees only potential holes in the Kingsguard.
    Jaime: "What will you do if brave Ser Donnel gives his sword to yet another usurper, and one day comes storming in the throne room? And there you stand all in white, between your king and your blood. What will you do?"
    Balon: "I... My lord, that will never happen."
    Jaime: "It happened to me." Beat "You have no answer?"
    Balon: "My lord, on my sword, on my honor, on my father's name, I swear... I shall not do as you did."
    • For good or ill, Ser Balon appears to be taking this seriously. In A Dance With Dragons he's under orders by Cersei to stage an ambush while bringing Myrcella back to King's Landing which would end in Prince Trystane Martell's death and Tyrion being framed for the deed. Doran Martell notes that though Ser Balon obviously hates the orders, he plans to obey.
  • Token Good Teammate: A fact which is actually exploited by Cersei at one point: during Tyrion's trial for killing Joffrey, Balon is the first witness called. He states his belief that Tyrion is innocent, but is forced to admit the instances in which he saw Tyrion humiliate Joffrey and the tension between them, including when Tyrion slapped Joffrey after the riot in King's Landing. Balon's honesty is so well known that no one doubts this testimony, which is then built upon by lies of the subsequent witnesses.

    Ser Osmund Kettleblack 

Ser Osmund Kettleblack

"That white cloak does things to a man, I find. Even a man like him."
Littlefinger about Ser Osmund.

First son of Oswell and an ex-sellsword. Becomes a member of the Kingsguard after the Battle of the Blackwater.

  • Accidental Misnaming: Done twice by the author, calling him "Oswald". A Development Gag in A Dance With Dragons has Penny make the same error.
  • Beard of Evil: Has a triangular brown beard.
  • Better the Devil You Know: Tyrion considers his appointment to the Kingsguard this, noting that given Osmund is on his payroll, it can't hurt to have another person of his close to Joffrey and Cersei, and notes Kettleblack can't be any worse than his predecessor Boros Blount.
  • Bright Is Not Good: As other less-than-wholesome Kingsguards.
  • Co-Dragons: With his brothers to Cersei, although he is also on Littlefinger's payroll. However, Littlefinger notes he has become more untrustworthy since becoming a member of the Kingsguard.
  • Dumb Muscle: Cersei occasionally gets frustrated with him since he is often a little slow on the uptake.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Every major player in King's Landing is paying him (along with his brothers) off for something, and most of them think they're his "real" employer.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias: In A Storm of Swords, Jaime questions Osmund on who knighted him, and Osmund responds "Ser Robert... Stone". Jaime wonders to himself if this was a real person (presumably a bastard of the Vale turned sellsword who made good) or whether Osmund made him up, combining the name of the deceased king with a glance at the castle wall.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Is promoted to the Kingsguard after the Battle of Blackwater, only nobody saw the Kettlebacks do any fighting. He is a former sellsword however, so should be an experienced fighter.
  • The Mole: For Littlefinger, though he worries that Osmund might end up Becoming the Mask, noting that being in the Kingsguard does strange things to a man.
  • Pet the Dog: Speaks kindly to Sansa when taking her to marry Tyrion, reminding her that wolves are supposed to be brave. It's possible this was an early hint of his association with Littlefinger.
  • Self-Proclaimed Knight: Jaime Lannister suspects he is this, due to the Line-of-Sight Alias incident.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Has a prominent hooked nose.
  • Smug Snake: Always has a self-confident grin on his face.

    Ser Loras Tyrell 

Ser Loras Tyrell

The Knight of Flowers
"Ser Loras is so Tyrell he pisses rosewater."
Cersei Lannister

Third son of Mace and Alerie. At the onset of the first book, Loras is already a celebrity in Westeros due to his good looks and exceptional skill at swordsmanship and jousting. While he is courteous, other characters note that Loras is a bit of a Glory Hound. He met Renly while being fostered at Storm's End, and is one of his most passionate supporters. He joins the Kingsguard in the third novel.

For the House Tyrell character page, see here.

  • 100% Heroism Rating: He is idolized and adored by the smallfolk. While talking to the Knight of Flowers, Tyrion muses that Loras is "Seventeen, and beautiful, and already a legend. Half the girls in the Seven Kingdoms want to bed him, and all the boys want to be him."
  • The Ace: One of his many parallels to Jaime; he's seen as both one of the top swordsmen of his generation and as an idolized Knight in Shining Armor.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Loras is extremely prideful of his skills and tends to dismiss other opinions. This causes him to butt heads with Jaime upon the latter's return to King's Landing. Jaime doesn't take this well, although he also realizes Loras is basically exactly how he was at the same age.
    Jaime: I am the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, you arrogant pup. Your commander, so long as you wear that white cloak. Now sheathe your bloody sword, or I'll take it from you and shove it up some place even Renly never found.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Stunningly handsome Loras gets into many battles, but is continuously described as beautiful. Possibly subverted... if he survives the burns he's reported to have gotten from the siege of Dragonstone.
  • Big Brother Instinct: It's strongly hinted that he joined the Kingsguard for two main reasons: firstly, he thinks he'll never love again, and secondly, he wants to protect his sister Margaery, not the king. This is remarked upon by Littlefinger when talking about Joffrey's death.
    Littlefinger: ... Underneath all his flowers and finery, Ser Loras is as hot-tempered as Jaime Lannister. Put Loras, Margaery and Joffrey in a pot, and you've got the makings for Kingslayer stew.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Loras helps train his brother-in-law Tommen, who looks up to him, in martial pursuits. Cersei is very annoyed by the influence he has over her son.
  • Bodyguard Crush: While Loras was part of Renly's Rainbow Guard. It's an unusual reciprocal version of the trope because it involves two men.
  • Campy Combat: Downplayed. He's a long-haired, effeminate man considered to be more beautiful than most women and in a secret homosexual relationship with Renly Baratheon. Despite being one of the best knights in Westeros, he goes into battle looking very flamboyant, wearing ornate, caped armor adorned with roses, the sigil of his family, and riding on a white horse. According to official illustrations, even the lance he fights with has rose designs.
  • Chick Magnet: Loras is a charismatic knight, dueler and swordsman, handsome, rich, radiant and stylish. He is beyond a measure of a doubt an item for the ladies; too bad he bats for the other team.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When facing Ser Gregor Clegane in a joust, Loras knows that Gregor favors large, bad-tempered stallions, so Loras comes to the joust riding a mare in heat. Gregor's stallion did all the work for him, although Gregor attempts to kill Loras for this, so perhaps ticking off an eight foot psychotic knight isn't very pragmatic.
  • Dramatic Irony: As Littlefinger speculates, by keeping Tommen away from Loras as a figure to follow, Cersei is only increasing the possibility that Loras has little qualms in offing Tommen should anything happen to Margaery. Another Kingslayer in the works indeed.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: He's considered to be prettier than his sister!
  • Due to the Dead: He tells Jaime in A Storm of Swords: "I buried him [Renly] with mine own hands, in a place he showed me once when I was a squire at Storm's End. No one shall ever find him there to disturb his rest."
  • Even the Guys Want Him: That's how pretty he is.
  • Failure Knight: To Renly.
  • Foil: For Renly. They are the youngest, handsomest, most well-loved sons of their respective great houses. They are idolized by highborn and lowborn alike. Both are proud, arrogant, and ready to prove themselves. Both wear expensive, ornate armor and have very glamorous, eye-catching fashion senses. They also are both secretly gay and in love. And neither are as cool or nice as they present themselves to the world. But Loras is a lot more reckless and impulsive than Renly, who is smoother and more tactful. Renly only has pretensions of being a warrior, whereas Loras is indeed one of the deadliest knights in Westeros. Yet Loras's fighting skills often lead him to make grievous errors in judgement as opposed to the careful PR skills and political savvy that Renly uses to get ahead. And while Renly comes from a broken family he has no real love for, Loras comes from a family he loves and that looks out for him.
  • Glory Hound: He loves being The Ace.
  • Hot-Blooded: Of him and Margaery, Loras is noticeably more impulsive and somewhat melodramatic. Though brimming in gallantry, whatever measure of foresight and logic reasoning slides to his sister's side. Upon Brienne of Tarth's arrival to King's Landing, Loras would have killed her on sight in revenge for Renly if it were not for Jaime's intervention. After hearing her side, Loras was more lenient of the lady knight. Then there's the bit where he charged face first to break the siege of Dragonstone, taking the castle but getting scalded with boiling oil.
  • Informed Attribute: Loras is reputed to be one of the most skilled and dangerous knights of the age, but this is mostly left unseen. During his first appearance, he is helpless in defending himself against Gregor Clegane after the latter responds badly to Loras beating him in a joust using underhanded tactics. The scene reintroducing him in the next book has him suffer a bitter defeat to Brienne of Tarth, a woman who tackles him to the ground and forces him to yield in Renly's melee. He kills Robar Royce and Emmon Cuy in a rage for failing to protect Renly, but they were likely not expecting it. Finally, he tries to prove himself by taking Dragonstone from Stannis, but is reported to have nearly died from several grievous wounds in the process.
    • However, if we read his fight with Brienne closely, it's clear that Loras is the superior warrior. He was raining blows on Brienne that she could not thwart at all, and she could not get any hits on him in turn throughout the whole battle. It was only by slamming her horse onto his, pulling him from the saddle and falling on top of him did she win, something which would not be expected in a normal melee. Jaime also praises his performance at the Battle of Blackwater.
  • Jousting Lance: Is an expert at using this weapon. Loras has beaten notable knights such as Jaime Lannister and Gregor Clegane in jousting competitions, and is widely regarded to be the finest jouster in the Seven Kingdoms.
  • Junior Counterpart: Jaime notes that Loras is pretty much himself in his earlier years: extremely attractive, a combat prodigy, obsessed with glory, and utterly full of himself. Incidentally, they both have a secret lover society would never approve - Cersei for Jaime, Renly for Loras.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: By reputation; he's handsome and a very skilled fighter.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: He requests that Ned put him in charge of the task force Eddard is sending to apprehend Gregor for his crimes (this is denied), and as a Kingsguard insists on leading a force over the wall of Dragonstone, and is horribly scalded by boiling oil (but succeeds in taking the castle). Exploited Trope, as Cersei expected him to do so and hoped he would endanger himself in the process. This has led to some Epileptic Trees on the part of fans that the Tyrells have spread false rumors of Loras' injuries in order to remove him from the running as Cersei's champion in her upcoming trial by combat.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: He completely loses his mind after he discovers that his lover Renly had been murdered.
    Varys: It's said the Knight of Flowers went mad when he saw his king's body, and slew three of Renly's guards in his wrath, among them Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce.
  • Lover and Beloved: When Loras was Lord Renly's squire, Renly had the role of Lover and Loras was his Beloved. They presumably developed romantic feelings for each other while Loras was still under Renly's care because by the time A Game of Thrones begins, the two characters are already in a long-term relationship.The Squick which is normally associated with this trope is downplayed because Lord Renly is only 4 years older than Loras, and therefore would've been a brotherly (and not fatherly) figure to his squire.
    • Though it's also possible Loras was a knight when their relationship began, as he stayed in King's Landing after he was knighted, according to Littlefinger's testimony.
  • Moody Mount: Loras exploits this trope when facing Gregor Clegane in a joust - he rides a mare in heat when he knows Gregor will be riding a stallion.
  • The Mourning After: He firmly believes that he'll never fall in love again after Renly is slain.
    Loras: When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.
  • Not So Above It All: Loras never quite got past Renly's demise and it shows.
  • Open Secret: Several nobles at court are aware of Loras' sexuality.
  • Pet the Dog: Concedes victory in the Hand's Tourney to the Hound as a reward for saving his life.
  • Pretty Boy: Well known as the "Knight of Flowers". Fans discussing "The movie cast of your dreams" inevitably nominated Orlando Bloom for this role. In the TV Series, he's portrayed by Finn Jones, who definitely qualifies.
  • Rasputinian Death: During the siege of Dragonstone, he takes a crossbow bolt to the thigh and another to the shoulder. Still fighting, he received a blow from a mace, which cracked a few ribs, and then when he still managed to beat back the enemy, he wound up getting doused in boiling oil. He's not dead yet, but he's not far from it, and most people are convinced he won't survive. Or so Cersei is told...
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Loras decks himself in fine clothing embellished with roses, the sigil of his house.
  • Secret Relationship: With Renly, which they can't reveal due to prejudices against it. Several characters are hinted at knowing about it.
  • The Squire: He squired at Storm's End, which is where he met Renly and their relationship began.
  • Undying Loyalty: Although he assures Jaime that he will be a dutiful Kingsguard, Renly will always come first in his heart.
    Loras: I will defend King Tommen with all my strength, I swear it. I will give my life for his if need be. But I will never betray Renly, by word or deed. He was the king that should have been. He was the best of them.
  • You Remind Me of X: After Loras keeps snarking him during their first official meeting, Jaime belatedly realises Loras is just the same as he was when he first joined the Kingsguard, "... all arrogance and empty chivalry. This is what it means to be too good too young." He's not the only person who notices the similarities; the fear that Loras would become another Kingslayer if King Joffrey hurt Margaery Tyrell gives an added incentive to the plot to murder Joffrey.

Inducted under King Tommen I

    Ser Robert Strong 

Ser Robert Strong

A knight acquainted to Qyburn, named by Tommen to replace the late Ser Arys Oakheart.

  • Back from the Dead: It is heavily hinted that he is an undead Ser Gregor Clegane, who employed in Qyburn's experiments to create an undefeatable champion for Cersei. Ser Robert is eight feet tall and has conveniently taken a vow of silence until all of King Tommen's enemies are dead.
  • The Champion: To Cersei in her upcoming trial-by-combat for the charges of treason.
  • The Dragon: Intended to serve as this to Cersei.
  • Everybody Knew Already/Open Secret: Kevan Lannister, Mace Tyrell, and Randyll Tarly all suspect that Ser Robert is actually an undead Gregor Clegane but keep their suspicions to themselves. Kevan makes clear to the small council that it is in both Lannister and Tyrell interests that Strong's identity not be questioned.
  • The Faceless: His greathelm, conveniently, covers his face which he may not even have, since Gregor's head is said to have been sent elsewhere.
  • Forgets to Eat: Ser Meryn reports Ser Robert takes neither food nor water. Probably justified as he's undead and/or Only Mostly Dead, thus he doesn't need to eat and/or can't eat.
  • Giant Mook: Eight feet tall with legs as thick as trees, a chest worthy of a plow horse and shoulders that would not disgrace an ox.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Qyburn tells Cersei that no one can defeat his creation.
  • Mr. Smith: "Robert" is the name of the previous king, so quite common. House Strong was effectively destroyed many years before.
  • Nobody Poops: According to Ser Boros, Ser Robert has never used "the privy".
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Gregor's head was supposedly sent to Dorne. So... exactly what's under his helm, then?
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Heavily played with. The disguise in question is an unbelievably thick suit of armour, for starters. It's heavier than even the now-deceased Gregor Clegane's infamously cumbersome rig was... on a man just as massive. Who doesn't talk. Or remove his helmet. Ever. Hmmm. That's OK for most people, though — it can't possibly be him, since that guy died horribly enough for the whole keep to hear. As far as King's Landing is concerned, dead that can walk is still very much just a myth.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: The Seven, in this case. His armor is designed to evoke this: he wears seven silken plumes in the rainbow colors of the Faith on the crest of his helm, and a pair of golden seven-pointed stars clasp his white cloak to his shoulders.
  • Scary Impractical Armor: A special suit of armor is made for Strong that's so thick the armorer informs Cersei that no man should be able to walk in it.
  • The Undead: Heavily implied to be this.
  • The Voiceless: Qyburn claims Ser Robert has made a vow of silence, until "all of [King Tommen's] enemies are dead and evil has been driven from the realm."

Alternative Title(s): A Song Of Ice And Fire The Baratheon Kingsguard


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: