This article is about the novels. For the main characters of the TV series, see List of Game of Thrones characters.
George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels feature a sizable cast of characters. The series follows three interwoven plotlines: a dynastic war for control of Westeros by several families; the rising threat of the superhuman Others beyond Westeros's northern border; and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled heir of the previous ruling dynasty.
Each chapter is narrated in the third person limited point of view through the eyes of a single character. Beginning with nine POV characters in A Game of Thrones (1996), the number grows to thirty-one by A Dance with Dragons (2011).
House Stark Coat of arms of House Stark
House Stark is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and the principal house of the North. Its seat is at Winterfell, one of the oldest castles in the Seven Kingdoms. Its coat of arms displays a grey direwolf running on a white field, and its words are Winter is Coming. House Stark had ruled as the Kings in the North for thousands of years until House Targaryen conquered Westeros, whereafter the Starks are the Lords of Winterfell and Wardens of the North. For prizing honor and devotion to duty, House Stark is the closest of the noble houses to heroism.
Over the course of the novels, the Starks are scattered by the War of the Five Kings, and the fate of the House remains uncertain, as most characters believe that all the legitimate Stark sons are dead.
Main article: Ned Stark
Eddard "Ned" Stark is the Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, and briefly serves as Hand of the King to Robert Baratheon.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Sean Bean. Robert Aramayo and Sebastian Croft have both played younger versions of the character in flashbacks.
Main article: Catelyn Stark
Catelyn Stark is the wife of Ned Stark, and mother to his children Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. She is the daughter of Lord Hoster Tully of Riverrun; sister to Lysa Arryn of the Vale; and sister to Edmure Tully.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Michelle Fairley.
Main article: Robb Stark
Robb Stark is the oldest child of Eddard and Catelyn Stark, and the heir to Winterfell. He is not a POV character, but features in the POV chapters of his family members in the first three novels in the series.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Richard Madden.
Main article: Sansa Stark
Sansa Stark is the second child and elder daughter of Eddard and Catelyn Stark. She serves as a POV character for twenty-four chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows. Sansa is introduced as beautiful and demure.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Sophie Turner.
Main article: Arya Stark
Arya Stark is the third child and younger daughter of Eddard and Catelyn Stark. She serves as a POV character for thirty-three chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons. So far she is the only narrator to appear in all 5 books as a POV character.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Maisie Williams.
Main article: Bran Stark
Brandon "Bran" Stark is the second son and fourth child of Eddard and Catelyn Stark. He serves as the third-person narrator of twenty-one chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Dance with Dragons. In A Game of Thrones, he sees Queen Cersei and her brother Jaime Lannister committing incest, and Jaime pushes Bran from the window to keep the relationship secret. Bran survives, but loses the use of his legs. While comatose, Bran dreams of a three-eyed raven. Slowly, he develops the ability to assume his wolf Summer's consciousness, making him a warg or skinchanger. After his older brother Robb is crowned King in the North, Bran becomes Robb's heir and the acting Lord of Winterfell. In A Clash of Kings, Jojen Reed teaches Bran how to correctly use his telepathy, and directs him beyond the Wall. In A Dance with Dragons, Bran meets the Three-Eyed-Raven: an alias of the last trained clairvoyant.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Isaac Hempstead Wright.[S 1][S 2]
Main article: Rickon Stark
Rickon Stark is Ned Stark's youngest child and is three years old in A Game of Thrones. When Theon Greyjoy captures Winterfell in A Clash of Kings, Rickon hides in the crypts. After Winterfell is sacked, he and the wildling woman Osha travel through the North. In A Dance with Dragons, he is said to be on an island of cannibals, presumably Skagos.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Art Parkinson.[S 1][S 3]
Main article: Jon Snow
Jon Snow was raised as Ned Stark's illegitimate son and serves as the third-person narrator of forty-two chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Dance with Dragons. He shares the same Stark family values of honour, and tries to stay morally correct and honest, even when forced otherwise.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Kit Harington.
Benjen Stark is the younger brother of Ned Stark and serves as First Ranger in the Night's Watch. He appears briefly at the start of A Game of Thrones first in Winterfell and then later at Castle Black on the Wall where he travels with his bastard nephew Jon Snow. He is sent on a mission into the lands beyond the Wall to search for a missing ranging party, but he and his men also disappear. The bodies of two of his men are later found and brought back to Castle Black, only to reanimate as undead wights and kill several men before they are destroyed, but no trace of Benjen has yet been found.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Joseph Mawle.
Lyanna Stark is Eddard Stark's younger and only sister, and has been deceased for 14 years at the beginning of A Game of Thrones, but is mentioned in every published book in the series. She died at the young age of sixteen, is said to be beautiful by all who knew her as "a child-woman of surpassing loveliness", headstrong and "had a touch of" the fabled Starks "wolf blood", and was one of the best horse-riders in the North. She was betrothed to Robert Baratheon, who is deeply in love with her, though she was not impressed by Robert's reputation of infidelity. Her life's tales are mainly told through the words of Eddard Stark and Meera Reed (via Bran Stark's viewpoint chapter), with some passing commentaries from other people such as Barristan Selmy, Cersei Lannister, Roose Bolton and Kevan Lannister.
During the Tourney at Harrenhal, the greatest tourney in Westerosi history, Lyanna was chosen by the eventual champion of jousting, Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, as the tourney's "Queen of Love and Beauty". Because Rhaegar was already a married man and Lyanna was a maiden betrothed to Robert Baratheon, his wooing of her was considered an outrageous scandal at the time. One year later, she was said to be abducted and raped by Rhaegar, triggering a civil war that resulted in the overthrow of House Targaryen. At the end of the war, Eddard and six of his companions found Lyanna inside a tower within Dorne, guarded by three of the most prominent Kingsguard knights. After a fierce skirmish that killed everyone except Eddard and his close friend Howland Reed, Eddard entered the tower and found Lyanna dying in a bed of blood. Before she died, she asked Eddard to make a promise. Eddard later returns her body to be buried at Winterfell's crypt, with a stone statue built in front of her coffin. Robert was persuaded by Jon Arryn to marry Cersei Lannister instead, though he greatly mourns Lyanna for over a decade, causing great strain in his marriage with Cersei.
In the HBO television adaptation, Lyanna is portrayed by Cordelia Hill in childhood, and Aisling Franciosi at the time of her death.
Main article: Roose Bolton
Lord Roose Bolton is a significant vassal of Lord Eddard Stark. His seat is the Dreadfort and his sigil is a flayed human, a homage to the ancient Bolton tradition of flaying enemies. He is nicknamed "the Leech Lord" for regular leechings meant to improve his health.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Michael McElhatton.[S 4]
Ramsay Bolton 
Main article: Ramsay Bolton
Ramsay Snow is the bastard son of Lord Roose Bolton, later legitimized as Ramsay Bolton. He is known as the Bastard of Bolton or the Bastard of the Dreadfort. Ramsay is vicious, ruthless, psychopathic, sadistic, opportunistic, unpredictable, and fearless. He takes great pleasure and pride in torturing others and enthusiastically practices the Bolton custom of flaying their enemies. Roose suspects that Ramsay murdered Roose's legitimate heir and expects that Ramsay will kill all of Roose's future children. He is described as ugly, with blotchy skin and dry, dark hair.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Iwan Rheon.
Rickard KarstarkBanner of arms of House Karstark
Rickard Karstark is the Lord of Karhold and one of the main Stark vassals. During the Battle of the Whispering Wood Jaime Lannister kills two of his sons, who were guarding Robb Stark. Rickard's surviving son Harrion Karstark is later captured by the Lannisters. When Catelyn helps Jaime escape in an attempt to recover her daughters, Rickard murders two of Jaime's cousins and has his army desert Robb to search the Riverlands for Jaime, offering his daughter Alys Karstark to whoever brings him the Kingslayer. Due to this Robb executes Rickard personally.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by John Stahl.
Alys Karstark is the only daughter and youngest child of Lord Rickard Karstark. She is betrothed to Daryn Hornwood, heir to the Hornwood, but he is killed by Jaime Lannister alongside two of her brothers. Her father offers her to whoever captures Jaime Lannister, meaning the sadistic sellsword Vargo Hoat captures Jaime in the hope of becoming Lord of Karhold. However, after Rickard's death his uncle Arnolf Karstark plots to take control of Karhold. He declares for Stannis when he comes North in the hope this will mean the Lannisters execute his great-nephew Harrion Karstark, meaning Karhold will pass to Alys, whom Arnolf intends to force into marriage with his son Cregan Karstark. Arnolf also intends to betray Stannis when the Boltons attack. However Alys flees to the Wall for help from Jon Snow, pursued by Cregan, and reveals her uncles' plans. To protect her Jon imprisons Cregan and arranges for Alys to marry the Wildling leader Sigorn, Magnar of Thenn, in a ceremony performed by Melisandre, which will aid Wildling integration into the North. If Harrion dies childless, Karhold will pass to the newly formed House Thenn.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Megan Parkinson.
Wyman Manderly is the Lord of White Harbor, the only city in the North, and the wealthiest of the Stark Vassals. He is an enormously fat man, with two sons, Ser Wylis and Ser Wendel Manderly. During the War of the Five Kings the Manderlys and Boltons begin a private war over the Hornwood lands after Ramsay kidnaps the widowed Lady Donella Hornwood, Wyman's cousin, forces her to marry him and then starves her to death. Wyman's heir Wylis is captured when Roose Bolton treacherously sends a large Northern force to be wiped out by Randyll Tarly. Wyman's younger son Wendel is murdered at the Red Wedding by the Freys. Due to his heir being held captive Wyman cannot openly defy the Lannisters. Three Freys come to his city with Wendel's bones and a peace is apparently made, in which Wyman's granddaughters Wynafryd and Wylla will marry one of these Freys, Rhaegar Frey, and another of Walder Frey's grandsons "Little" Walder Frey. When Davos Seaworth arrives in White Harbor to treat with Wyman to support Stannis, Davos denounces the Freys present for their treachery. Wyman apparently has him executed but secretly executes a criminal in his place, leading to Cersei returning his heir. Wyman reveals to Davos he knows where Rickon Stark is hiding and will support Stannis if Davos returns him. Wyman is implied to have murdered the White Harbor Freys when their stay was over (thus keeping to guest right), then put them in pies which he serves to the Freys and Boltons when he attends Ramsay's wedding, even eating some himself. The Freys suspect him of murdering their kin, and when Little Walder is murdered (possibly by his cousin Big Walder Frey) their uncle Hosteen Frey attacks Wyman. It is unclear if he survives.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Sean Blowers.
Hodor is a simple-minded stable-boy at Winterfell. He is popularly known as Hodor because that is the only word he is capable of saying. He is over seven feet tall, and it is hinted that he may have giant ancestry. He has a friendly, childlike disposition and possesses great strength, though he is reluctant to use it against others. After Bran Stark is crippled in A Game of Thrones, Hodor is employed to carry him in a sling on his back. Old Nan (Hodor's great-grandmother) reveals to Bran that Hodor's real name is Walder. When Winterfell is destroyed, Hodor escapes to the north with Bran, Jojen, Meera, Rickon, and Osha.
In the HBO television adaptation (in which Hodor's real name has been changed to Wylis, ostensibly to avoid confusion with another character, Walder Frey), he is portrayed by Kristian Nairn as an adult and Sam Coleman as a child.
Osha (/ˈoʊʃə/) is a wildling woman who sneaks south of the Wall to escape the Others. When she and her fellow refugees try to kidnap Bran Stark in A Game of Thrones, she is captured by Robb Stark and taken back to Winterfell and eventually employed as a scullery maid and is given limited freedom for her good behavior. She becomes close to Bran Stark and often gives him advice about the incoming winter. When Theon Greyjoy captures Winterfell, she accompanies Bran and his brother Rickon hiding in Winterfell's crypt after faking escape. She later parted way with Bran and is entrusted to take care of Rickon through the North in their escape, and by A Dance with Dragons, they are reported to have landed on the island of Skagos, supposedly inhabited by cannibals.
In the HBO television adaptation, Osha is portrayed by English actress Natalia Tena.[S 1]
Jeyne Poole is the daughter of Vayon Poole, the steward of Winterfell, and Sansa Stark's best friend. She has brown eyes and dark hair and is described as being very pretty. Following the arrest of Eddard Stark in A Game of Thrones, the members and servants of his household are killed. Jeyne reappears in A Dance with Dragons, having survived the massacre but being sent to Petyr Baelish's brothels. The Lannisters use her as a stand-in for Sansa's younger sister Arya and send her north to marry Ramsay Bolton at Winterfell. Theon Greyjoy recognizes that she is a fake, and that the Boltons are aware of the ruse. It is implied that Ramsay Bolton tortures her and forces her to perform sexual acts on dogs.
Jon Snow, Arya's half-brother, believes Jeyne to be the real Arya and sends Mance Rayder to rescue her. The group enlists Theon's help, but their cover is blown and Theon and Jeyne barely escape.
In the first season of the television adaptation, an unidentified extra appeared briefly as Jeyne in the pilot episode. In season five, her storyline was partially blended into Sansa Stark's.
Jojen and Meera Reed 
Jojen and Meera are the children of Howland Reed, the Lord of Greywater Watch and a loyal Stark bannerman. They first appear in A Clash of Kings, where they are sent to attend the harvest festival in place of their father to renew House Reed's pledge to House Stark and support the children of the late Eddard Stark. They become fast friends with Bran Stark and his baby brother Rickon, and are narrated completely through Bran's point of view chapters.
The older sister Meera is sixteen years old when introduced in A Clash of Kings. As typical of crannogmen, Meera is short, slim and flat-chested, has long brown hair and green eyes, and is described as having a cheerful disposition. She is intensely loyal and protective of her "prince" as well as her own brother, with Bran commenting that the only thing that ever makes her angry or upset is her brother Jojen. Although she is never described as being particularly beautiful, both Theon Greyjoy and Bran Stark seems to consider her attractive. She is a skilled huntress, and fights with a small fishing net and a three-pronged frog spear (similar in style to a retiarius), able to defeat Bran's direwolf Summer in mock combat by entangling the direwolf with her net. The legacy of Bran's late aunt Lyanna Stark is also largely narrated through her story-telling.
The younger brother Jojen is thirteen when he first appears, but his sullen seriousness and maturity make him seem older. He is short and slim with unusually deep green eyes, wearing green-colored clothing. He claims to have "greensight" and the power of prophetic "green dreams", from where he knows a number of arcane things, including the day of his death. In Winterfell, Jojen recognizes Bran Stark as a skinchanger who is able to enter the mind of an animal and control it, and mentors Bran to gain control of his abilities. When Theon Greyjoy captures Winterfell, Jojen and Meera accompany Bran and Rickon in hiding inside Winterfell's crypt after faking escape, and later escort Bran's journey north in search of the three-eyed raven after Ramsay Snow sacks and burns Winterfell. At the end of A Storm of Swords, they travel beyond the Wall and Jojen becomes very weak. In A Dance with Dragons, Meera struggles to keep the group's spirits up, but implies that Jojen's future is bleak.
In the HBO television adaptation, Jojen and Meera Reed are portrayed by English actors Thomas Sangster and Ellie Kendrick respectively.[S 5][S 6]
Jeyne Westerling is the daughter of a family sworn to House Lannister. She meets Robb Stark when he is wounded, and falls in love with him during his convalescence. He marries her the next day to preserve her honour, in doing so breaking a marriage contract with House Frey. After Robb's departure for the Twins, Jeyne remains in Riverrun and does not witness the massacre. After the Red Wedding, she is granted a royal pardon. In A Feast for Crows, she is openly mourning and last appears riding to Casterly Rock as a political prisoner.
During the 2014 San Diego Comic Con, George R. R. Martin announced that Jeyne Westerling will appear in the prologue of the sixth book, The Winds of Winter, but did not reveal whether she would be the prologue POV character.
In the television adaptation, the character was adapted into Talisa Maegyr, a highborn healer from Volantis who falls in love with Robb. The two marry, and she becomes pregnant with his child; unlike in the books, she is present at the Red Wedding, and is killed alongside Robb. She is played by Oona Chaplin.[S 7]
House Targaryen Coat of arms of House Targaryen
House Targaryen was the ruling house of the Seven Kingdoms for nearly 300 years, holding royal court in King's Landing. Its coat of arms shows a red, three-headed dragon breathing fire on a black field, and its words are Fire and Blood.
The Targaryens originally came from Valyria on the continent of Essos. Before Valyria was destroyed, the Targaryens left for Dragonstone. A century after the Valyrian "Doom", Aegon I Targaryen conquered six of the Seven Kingdoms with his dragons, and his descendants won the seventh through a political marriage. The Targaryen dragons were the last known to exist and died out long before the events of A Game of Thrones. People of Targaryen ancestry, referred to as "blood of the dragon", tend to have silvery-gold or platinum hair and purple eyes ranging from lilac to violet.
Fifteen years before the events of the series, the Targaryens were deposed in Robert's Rebellion, with the children Viserys and Daenerys fleeing to Essos.
Aegon V Targaryen
Aegon Targaryen, nicknamed "Egg" in his youth, is one of the two main characters in the Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas. As a child, his father Prince Maekar reluctantly permitted him to serve as squire to the knight errant Ser Duncan the Tall, in the hopes that the lessons learned through humble service and hard experience would help him avoid the excesses and shortcomings of his royal brothers. He was later crowned as King Aegon V when a Great Council bypassed those before him in the line of succession and his older brother Aemon chose to abdicate by joining the Night's Watch. He was called "Aegon the Unlikely" because he was previously way down the line of succession and therefore considered unlikely to inherit the Iron Throne.
Aegon V's reign lasted more than twenty-five years, during which he tried to push policies more favorable to the interests of common people, and frequently clashed with noble lords as a result. He later perished in a huge fire at Summerhall, the Targaryen summer palace, along with his son Prince Duncan and close friend Ser Duncan the Tall. After he died, his son Jaehaerys inherited the throne. When Jaehaerys died three years later, the Iron Throne was passed to his son Aerys.
In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, Aegon is the father of Aerys the Mad King, rather than his grandfather.
Aerys II Targaryen 
Aerys Targaryen, also called The Mad King, ruled the Seven Kingdoms as the last Targaryen king. While his rule started out well, he slowly descended into madness. He was married to his sister Rhaella, who bore him eight children, but only three survived into adulthood: sons Rhaegar and Viserys, and daughter Daenerys. After Rhaegar absconded with Lyanna Stark, Aerys had Ned Stark's father and brother executed, beginning Robert's Rebellion. When Aerys planned to burn King's Landing rather than let Robert rule, he was assassinated by a member of his own Kingsguard, Jaime Lannister.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by David Rintoul.
Rhaegar Targaryen, the 'Last Dragon', was the eldest son of King Aerys II and the heir apparent to the Iron Throne, and the older brother to Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen. He was dead for 14 years before the events of A Game of Thrones, and his life's tales are mainly narrated through the words of Jaime Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Barristan Selmy and Daenerys Targaryen (via visions of sorcery), as well as commentaries by Eddard Stark, Aemon Targaryen, Jorah Mormont, Meera Reed, Jon Connington and Gilly.
Rhaegar married the Dornish princess Elia Martell of Sunspear, and had fathered with her a daughter named Rhaenys and son named Aegon (Aegon VI). After winning the Tourney at Harrenhal, the greatest tourney in Westerosi history, he surprised everyone by passing over his wife Elia and crowning Lyanna Stark as the tourney's "Queen of Love and Beauty". One year later, he and Lyanna both disappeared, with rumors that he abducted and raped Lyanna. Enraged, Lyanna's oldest brother Brandon went to King's Landing to confront Rhaegar, which resulted in both him and his father Lord Rickard being sadistically executed by King Aerys. Lyanna's other older brother Eddard, her betrothed Robert Baratheon, their foster father Jon Arryn and Brandon's father-in-law-to-be Hoster Tully then started a rebellion against Aerys, with Robert personally killing Rhaegar in single combat at the Battle of the Trident, and ultimately overthrowing House Targaryen. Though Robert continues to vilify Rhaegar throughout A Game of Thrones, many other characters express admiration for him.
Rhaegar is also the namesake of Daenerys' stillborn son Rhaego, and of her dragon Rhaegal.
In the HBO television adaption, he is portrayed by Wilf Scolding.
Main article: Viserys Targaryen
Viserys Targaryen is the second born son of Aerys II Targaryen. Thirteen years before the events of the series, he and his sister Daenerys fled Westeros to escape death at the hands of rebel Robert Baratheon. Viserys is an arrogant, cruel and ambitious man given to violent mood swings. Daenerys named one of her dragons as Viserion, in respect of her brother.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Harry Lloyd.[S 1][S 2]
Main article: Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys Targaryen, the 'Mother of Dragons', is the daughter of King Aerys II Targaryen and is one of the last surviving members of House Targaryen. She serves as the third-person narrator for thirty-one chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Dance with Dragons.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Emilia Clarke.
Aegon Targaryen is the only known son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell. Fifteen years before the events of the series, the infant Aegon was reported to have been killed with his mother and sister by Gregor Clegane. In A Dance with Dragons, Varys claims to have switched Aegon with another infant and smuggled Aegon out of King's Landing. Tyrion meets Aegon, who intends to marry Daenerys and unite their claims, and persuades him to attack Westeros now rather than going to Daenerys in Slaver's Bay. In A Dance with Dragons, he and his army land in the Stormlands and capture several castles, and plans to lay siege to the Baratheon seat of Storm's End. His fate is unknown.
Lord Jon Connington is the exiled Lord of Griffin's Roost and was a close friend of Rhaegar Targaryen. Jon serves as a third-person narrator for two chapters in A Dance with Dragons. Fifteen years before the events of the series, King Aerys II made Jon his Hand of the King. However, Jon also failed to contain the rebellion. Aerys stripped him of his lands and titles, giving them to Jon's cousin Ronald Connington, and exiled him. Biding his time in Essos, Jon and Aegon eventually decide to attack Westeros while it is embroiled in civil war. During the return trip, Connington contracts Greyscale Plague when saving Tyrion. The group lands in the Stormlands and captures several castles, including Griffin's Roost. Aegon plans to lead the attack on Storm's End, the next target.
Jorah MormontCoat of arms of House Mormont
Main article: Jorah Mormont
Ser Jorah Mormont is the exiled Lord of Bear Island in the North, which he inherited after his father Jeor Mormont joined the Night's Watch to pass on the title. After winning a tourney joust, Jorah had been allowed to marry a noblewoman, but went into debt trying to support her lavish lifestyle.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Iain Glen.[S 1][S 2]
Brynden Rivers, better known as "Lord Bloodraven", is a legitimized bastard son of King Aegon IV Targaryen (called Aegon the Unworthy) and Melissa Blackwood. He is one of only three characters (the others being Aemon Targaryen and Walder Frey) to have appeared in both the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and the Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas. He is an albino, with white skin, long white hair, and red eyes. He has a red birthmark on his left cheek, said to be in the shape of a raven, and thus the source of his nickname "Bloodraven".
Bloodraven remained loyal to his half-brother King Daeron II Targaryen (called Daeron the Good) throughout the Blackfyre Rebellions against another of Aegon's legitimized bastards, Daemon Blackfyre, and their descendants, but was later thrown in prison by his great-nephew King Aegon V Targaryen (called Aegon the Unlikely) for ordering the execution of Aenys Blackfyre despite promising safe passage. He was sent to the Wall as the punishment and later elected the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, and served in that capacity for many years before disappearing during a ranging beyond the Wall. In A Dance with Dragons, Bloodraven is shown to have become the last greenseer and is fused to the root of a weirwood tree. He begins training Bran Stark in clairvoyance.
In the HBO television adaptation, the character is only known as "The Three-eyed Raven", and his backstory regarding the Targaryens and the Night Watch is never mentioned. He was briefly portrayed by Struan Rodger in the fourth season finale "The Children", and more extensively by Max von Sydow in the sixth season. In a 2017 interview, Isaac Hempstead Wright (who portrays Bran) hinted that in the television series the Three-Eyed Raven had been "sitting in a cave looking through time" for "thousands of years".
Main article: Missandei
Missandei is a slave interpreter for Kraznys mo Nakloz when Daenerys Targaryen comes to inspect the Unsullied in Astapor. After Daenerys strikes a bargain with the Good Masters of Astapor concerning payment for the Unsullied, Kraznys gives Missandei to Daenerys as an interpreter to give them commands. Afterwards, she becomes a trusted confidante and handmaiden to Daenerys.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Nathalie Emmanuel.[S 8]
Main article: Daario Naharis
Daario Naharis is a leader in the Stormcrows mercenary company. Daario is won over by Daenerys and brings the Stormcrows over to her side. He becomes romantically involved with her, eventually becoming one of her advisors.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Ed Skrein in season three, and by Michiel Huisman from season four onwards.[S 9]
"Grey worm" redirects here. For the species of earthworm, see Aporrectodea caliginosa.
Grey Worm is an Unsullied purchased by and sworn to Daenerys Targaryen. He is the commander of Daenerys's Unsullied and one of her trusted advisors. After Daenerys flees Mereen, Grey Worm becomes a member of the ruling council of the city.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Jacob Anderson.[S 10]
Maekar I Targaryen
Maekar is a character in The Tales of Dunk and Egg. He is the fourth and youngest son of Daeron II Targaryen. Maekar married Dyanna Dayne and had six children, four sons, Daeron, Aerion, Aemon and Aegon, and two daughters. He was made Prince of Summerhall, a summer castle built in the Stormlands by his father. Maekar is resentful that his achievements are often overlooked, especially in favor of his eldest brother Baelor "Breakspear". He was angry when his father Daeron ordered that his third son Aemon be sent to the Citadel. At the Tourney at Ashford, Maekar sends his other three sons, and is angered when Dunk attacks the cruel Aerion to defend Tanselle, a Puppeteer. When Aerion asks for a Trial by Seven Maekar takes his son's side. However Baelor takes Dunk's side. In the fight Dunk forces Aerion to withdraw his accusation, but Maekar while trying to reach his son is stopped by Baelor and accidentally strikes them a blow to the head that kills them. He allows Dunk to take Aegon as his squire when Dunk points out how Daeron and Aerion turned out. Maekar would eventually become King but died 12 years later at the Peake Uprising, when a stone thrown from the Peake's castle Starpike crushed his head.
House Blackfyre 
House Blackfyre is a semi-extinct cadet house of House Targaryen. Their sigil is a three headed black dragon on a red field, the reverse of House Targaryen. House Blackfyre was founded when Aegon IV "the Unworthy" (reigned AL 172-184) legitimized all his bastard children on his death bed. Aegon gave "Blackfyre", the sword of the first Targaryen king to his bastard Daemon, seeming to signify his favour for Daemon over the heir apparent: his true born son Daeron. When Aegon IV died, Daemon I Blackfyre contested Daeron II Targaryen's right to the Iron Throne. This challenge set off conflicts between AL 184-260 where a series of Blackfyre pretenders vied for the Iron Throne
House Lannister 
House Lannister is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and the principal house of the Westerlands. Its seat is at Casterly Rock. Its coat of arms displays a golden lion rampant on a crimson field, and its words are Hear Me Roar! More famous than its official motto is the House's unofficial one: A Lannister always pays his debts. Bastards born in The Westerlands are given the surname "Hill". The Lannisters ruled as Kings of the Rock until House Targaryen invaded Westeros. They are the richest family in the Seven Kingdoms because of the gold mines located in their lands.
Main article: Tywin Lannister
Tywin Lannister is Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport, and Warden of the West. He is a calculating, ruthless, and controlling man. In his youth, he witnessed his father grow old and weak. Eventually several nobles revolted against Lannister rule. Disgusted with his father's inaction, Tywin personally led the Lannister army and utterly destroyed the rebellious vassals, placing the bodies of their entire families on display at Casterly Rock. Impressed with his decisive actions in putting down the rebellion, Aerys II Targaryen appointed the young Tywin Hand of the King. Tywin proved himself a ruthless but capable leader and his tenure was marked by peace and prosperity.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Charles Dance.[S 1][S 11]
Main article: Cersei Lannister
Cersei Lannister is the older twin sister of Jaime, and the only daughter of Tywin Lannister. She became queen by marrying Robert Baratheon. She has three children (all of whom are in actuality fathered by her twin brother) and two of whom eventually become king after Robert's death.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Lena Headey.[S 1][S 2]
Main article: Jaime Lannister
Jaime Lannister is the twin brother of Cersei and the first son of Tywin Lannister. He serves as the third-person narrator of seventeen chapters throughout A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons. He was widely considered one of the best swordsmen in all the Seven Kingdoms before having his right hand chopped off by Vargo Hoat.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.[S 1][S 2]
Main article: Tyrion Lannister
Tyrion Lannister is the younger brother of Cersei and Jaime Lannister and serves as a third-person narrator for 47 chapters in A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Dance With Dragons. He is the narrator with the most chapters in the books.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Peter Dinklage.
Main article: Joffrey BaratheonJoffrey Baratheon's personal coat of arms
Joffrey is the eldest of Queen Cersei Lannister's children. Though a Baratheon in name, Joffrey is actually a product of incest between Cersei and Jaime Lannister, but unaware of his true parentage. He is described as a strong-willed child with a vicious temper and a sadistic streak.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Jack Gleeson.
Main article: Myrcella Baratheon
Princess Myrcella Baratheon is the second oldest child and only daughter of Queen Cersei Lannister. Like her brothers, she is also fathered by Cersei's brother Jaime Lannister, but she is ostensibly unaware of this. She is described as delicate, beautiful and courteous and is said to have all her mother's beauty but none of her cruel nature. To ensure that House Martell will support Joffrey, Myrcella is betrothed to marry Prince Trystane Martell when they come of age and is sent to Dorne in A Clash of Kings. After Joffrey's death in A Storm of Swords, Princess Arianne Martell schemes to kidnap Myrcella and crown her queen of Westeros. The plan goes awry, however, and Myrcella is severely injured in the kidnapping.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Aimee Richardson in seasons one and two, and Nell Tiger Free in season five and six.[S 1] Her fate is changed from the novels—in this version, Myrcella is poisoned by Ellaria Sand as revenge against the Lannisters for the death of Oberyn Martell. She dies in Jaime's arms moments after acknowledging him as her father.
Main article: Tommen Baratheon
Prince Tommen Baratheon is the younger brother of Prince Joffrey and Princess Myrcella and is second in line for the throne. Tommen is Queen Cersei Lannister's youngest child and, like his siblings, he is also the son of Cersei's brother Jaime Lannister, but he is unaware of this, as he believes Robert Baratheon to be his father. Like his sister, he shares none of his mother's ruthlessness, and is in fact, mild-mannered, courteous, and kind-hearted.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Callum Wharry in seasons one and two, and Dean-Charles Chapman from season four onwards.[S 1]
Ser Kevan Lannister is Tywin Lannister's younger brother and most trusted captain, known for his reliability and loyalty. He serves as the third-person narrator for the epilogue of A Dance with Dragons. He is comfortable with carrying out Tywin's wishes and resigned himself to perpetually living in his brother's shadow. In A Storm of Swords, he is appointed Master of Laws to his great-nephew King Joffrey Baratheon, and after Tywin's death, he is offered the position Hand of the King in A Feast for Crows but refuses to serve under Cersei. After Cersei's imprisonment, the council appoints him Lord Regent to King Tommen Baratheon, and he tries to solve the problems Cersei created. Because his efforts to stabilize the kingdom threaten Aegon Targaryen's plans to take the throne, Varys murders Kevan.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Ian Gelder.[S 12]
Lancel Lannister is the oldest son of Kevan Lannister and serves as squire to King Robert Baratheon at King's Landing in A Game of Thrones. He helps Jaime's sister Queen Cersei kill Robert. In A Clash of Kings, Cersei knights him for his part in Robert's death. After Cersei takes him as a lover, Tyrion discovers the affair and blackmails Lancel into spying for him. During an attack on King's Landing, Lancel guards Cersei's son King Joffrey Baratheon and takes a serious wound in the fighting. During recovery in A Storm of Swords, he experiences a spiritual awakening and spends much of his time atoning for his sins. When the Faith Militant, the military order of the Faith, is reinstated, he renounces his wife and lands and joins the organization.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Eugene Simon.[S 1][S 2]
Main article: Bronn (character)
Bronn is a skilled sellsword of low birth. He is described as having a sardonic sense of humor and a pragmatic, amoral philosophy. He helps Catelyn take Tyrion to the Eyrie, where he befriends Tyrion. Bronn offers to champion for Tyrion in trial by combat, winning the duel.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Jerome Flynn.[S 1][S 2]
Main article: Gregor CleganeCoat of arms of House Clegane
Ser Gregor Clegane, known as the Mountain That Rides, or simply the Mountain, is the older brother of Sandor Clegane and is a vassal to Tywin Lannister. His size and strength make him a fearsome warrior, and he has earned a reputation for brutality.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Conan Stevens in season one, by Ian Whyte in season two, and by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson in seasons four, five, and six.[S 2][S 11]
Main article: Sandor Clegane
Sandor Clegane, known as the Hound, is a retainer to House Lannister and the younger brother of Gregor Clegane. He is regarded as one of the most dangerous and skilled fighters in Westeros. His face is distinguished by gruesome burn scars, which he received as a child when his brother pushed his head into a brazier.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Rory McCann.[S 1][S 2]
Podrick PayneCoat of arms of House Payne
Podrick Payne, Pod for short, is a squire to Tyrion Lannister toward the end of A Game of Thrones. Despite being painfully shy and insecure, he proves himself to be a loyal and capable squire. In A Clash of Kings, he rescues Tyrion from an assassination attempt. He continues his duties through A Storm of Swords until Tyrion vanishes in A Feast for Crows. He follows Brienne of Tarth, knowing that she was searching for Tyrion's wife Sansa Stark. He becomes Brienne's squire and serves her as faithfully as he did Tyrion. He and Brienne are captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners, and Podrick is sentenced to be hanged for serving as Tyrion's squire. His ultimate fate is unknown.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Daniel Portman.[S 13]
House Baratheon Coat of arms of House Baratheon
House Baratheon is the youngest of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and the principal house of the Stormlands. It was founded by the bastard brother of the first Targaryen King, Orys Baratheon. The main seat of House Baratheon is at Storm's End under Renly, with a royal branch at King's Landing under Robert, and a cadet branch at Dragonstone under Stannis. The Baratheon coat of arms displays a black stag on a field of gold; a crown was added after Robert Baratheon took the Iron Throne. The house motto is Ours is the Fury. Bastards born in the Stormlands are generally given the surname "Storm".
Main article: Robert Baratheon
Robert Baratheon is King of the Seven Kingdoms at the beginning of A Game of Thrones. He was the ward of Jon Arryn and was raised at the Eyrie alongside Eddard Stark. Fifteen years before the novels, Robert was betrothed to Ned's sister Lyanna, and after Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen disappeared, Robert killed Rhaegar and seized the throne.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Mark Addy.[S 1][S 2]
Main article: Stannis BaratheonPersonal coat of arms of Stannis Baratheon
Stannis Baratheon is the younger brother of King Robert and older brother of Renly. He is portrayed as a brooding and humorless man with a harsh sense of justice and an obsession with slights both real and imagined. He is regarded as a skilled but overcautious military commander.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Stephen Dillane.[S 14][S 1]
Selyse Baratheon is the wife of Stannis, and was a Florent before her marriage. She is described as being fairly unattractive with extremely prominent ears and a hint of a mustache on her upper lip. Selyse has a cold relationship with her husband Stannis. She is the first of her family to be converted to the religion of the Red God by Melisandre.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Tara Fitzgerald.
Main article: Renly Baratheon
Renly Baratheon is the youngest of the Baratheon brothers and Lord of Storm's End. He is described as handsome and charismatic, winning friends easily. Renly serves on Robert's council as Master of Laws.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Gethin Anthony.[S 1] The adaptation openly depicts Renly and Ser Loras Tyrell as lovers, an interaction obliquely addressed in the novels.[S 15][S 16]
Shireen Baratheon is the only living child of Stannis Baratheon and Selyse Florent. She contracted the lethal greyscale disease as a child, disfiguring her by leaving the left side of her cheek and most of her neck covered by grey, cracked, and stone-like skin.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Kerry Ingram.
Main article: Melisandre
Melisandre of Asshai is a priestess of R'hllor in service to Stannis Baratheon. She is introduced in A Clash of Kings and serves as the third-person narrator for one chapter of A Dance with Dragons. She is described as a beautiful woman with red eyes, always dressing in red and rarely sleeping or eating.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Carice van Houten.[S 1][S 14]
Davos SeaworthCoat of arms of Davos Seaworth
Main article: Davos Seaworth
Ser Davos Seaworth, called the Onion Knight, is the common-born head of the newly founded House Seaworth and was formerly known as an elusive smuggler. He is introduced in A Clash of Kings and is the third-person narrator for thirteen chapters throughout A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Dance with Dragons. During the Siege of Storm's End, Davos smuggled food to the starving Stannis Baratheon, earning him a knighthood and choice lands. Before knighting him, Stannis removed the last joints from four fingers on Davos' left hand as punishment for years of smuggling.
In A Clash of Kings, he supports Stannis' claim to the throne, making him Stannis' most trusted adviser, but Davos is a follower of the Faith of the Seven and opposes Melisandre. During the Battle of the Blackwater, his ship is destroyed but Davos survives while losing four sons. He blames Melisandre for the deaths of his sons and plans to kill her, but she receives word of the plot and he is jailed. Stannis eventually pardons Davos and names him his Hand of the King. As Hand, Davos convinces Stannis to help the Watch against the wildling army.
After Stannis sails to the Wall, he tasks Davos with enlisting the support of House Manderly, but Davos is taken prisoner. After staging Davos' death, Manderly asks Davos to rescue Rickon Stark from Skagos. His fate is unknown.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Liam Cunningham.[S 17][S 1]
Brienne of Tarth
Main article: Brienne of Tarth
Brienne, the Maid of Tarth, called Brienne of Tarth, serves as a POV narrator for 8 chapters in the fourth book of the series, A Feast for Crows. A tall and imposing but extremely plain woman, she is mocked by many as "Brienne the Beauty." She is a maiden on a quest.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Gwendoline Christie.[S 18]
Beric Dondarrion is a gallant knight with great fighting skill. In A Game of Thrones, Eddard Stark sends him to arrest Gregor Clegane and bring peace to the Riverlands. He is ambushed and killed by Lannister forces. Thoros of Myr accidentally revives him with magic during the funeral service. By A Storm of Swords, he and his men have formed an outlaw band called the Brotherhood Without Banners. The Brotherhood starts a guerrilla war against raiders in the Riverlands. The success of these ambushes earns him the nickname the Lightning Lord, also reference to his coat of arms. In the third book, he and his men find the corpse of Catelyn Stark. He resurrects her with the last of his life force and dies for the final time.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by David Michael Scott in season one, and by Richard Dormer in seasons three, six and seven.[S 5][S 6]
Main article: Gendry
Gendry is one of Robert Baratheon's many bastard children. He lives in King's Landing as an armorer's apprentice and is unaware of his true parentage. Gendry later joins the Brotherhood without Banners.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Joe Dempsie.
Edric Storm is Robert Baratheon's only acknowledged bastard. He was conceived on Stannis and Selyse's wedding night, when Robert seduced one of Selyse's cousins, Delena Florent, in Stannis' marriage bed. Edric was sent by Stannis to be fostered by his other uncle Renly Baratheon. Edric was raised under the guardianship of Storm's End Castellan Ser Cortnay Penrose. After Renly dies Cortnay refuses to surrender Storm's End, fearing Stannis' intentions for Edric, as a result of which he is assassinated by Melisandre. Stannis then sends Edric to Dragonstone. Melisandre and Selyse tell Stannis to sacrifice Edric, claiming his king's blood will enable them to raise a dragon. To prevent this, Davos sends Edric to Lys under the guardianship of one of Robert's cousins, Andrew Estermont.
In the HBO television adaptation Edric's storyline is combined with Gendry.
House Arryn Coat of arms of House Arryn
House Arryn is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and is the principal house in the Vale. It is descended from Kings of Mountain and Vale. Its main seat is at the Eyrie, a small castle located at the top of a mountain and reputed to be impregnable. Its coat of arms displays a white moon-and-falcon on a sky blue field, and its words are As High as Honor. Bastards born in the Vale are generally given the surname "Stone".
Jon Arryn was the head of the Arryn family until he was poisoned shortly before A Game of Thrones. His only child, Robert "Robin" Arryn, became Lord of the Vale with Lysa Tully acting as regent.
Jon Arryn was the Lord of the Eyrie, Defender of the Vale, Warden of the East, and Hand to King Robert Baratheon before the events of A Game of Thrones. He took Robert and Eddard Stark as wards and became a father figure to both. When King Aerys II Targaryen commanded him to hand over his wards for execution, Jon rose up in rebellion. To earn the support of House Tully in the rebellion, Jon married the much younger Lysa Tully. Throughout Robert's reign, Jon was left with most of the responsibility of the Seven Kingdoms. When Stannis Baratheon had doubts about the parentage of Queen Cersei Lannister's children, he brought his suspicions to Jon, who confirmed that Cersei's children were not fathered by Robert, but by her brother Jaime. Before he could reveal this publicly, Lysa poisoned him on Littlefinger's orders to stop him from sending their son Robin Arryn away as a ward.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by John Standing.[S 2]
Lysa Arryn 
Lysa Arryn, formerly of House Tully, is the second child and youngest daughter of Lord Hoster Tully. Enamored of Petyr Baelish, Lysa resented her older sister Catelyn Tully when he fell in love with her. Prior to the series, while Baelish was her father's ward, Lysa was impregnated by him after Catelyn spurned him. Learning of this, Hoster sent Baelish home and tricked Lysa into drinking an abortifacient potion, using her unborn child as proof of her fertility while marrying her off to Jon Arryn. Lysa has become a paranoid and an unstable, mercurial woman.
Shortly before A Game of Thrones, Baelish convinced Lysa to poison her husband and write a letter to Catelyn to name House Lannister responsible for the act. Fearing for herself and her son, Lysa returns to the Eyrie and becomes Lady Regent of the Vale. At the Eyrie, Lysa refuses House Stark's plea for assistance and commits the Vale to a strict policy of neutrality in the war. Lysa later accepts a marriage proposal from Baelish in A Storm of Swords. After finding Baelish kissing Sansa Stark, Lysa attempts to throw her to her death, but Baelish saves Sansa by murdering Lysa.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Kate Dickie.[S 1][S 19]
Robert Arryn, sometimes called 'Sweetrobin', is the only child of Jon Arryn and Lysa Tully. He suffers from frequent seizure-like episodes called a 'shaking illness', and is depicted as intellectually and physically stunted. At the start of the series, he is Lord of the Eyrie and Defender of the Vale though his mother rules as regent. After Lysa's marriage to Petyr Baelish and her subsequent death in A Storm of Swords, Baelish claims the rule of the Vale and guardianship of Robert. In the absence of his mother, he becomes attached to his cousin Sansa Stark in her disguise of Alayne Stone.
In the television adaptation of the novels, the character is renamed 'Robin Arryn' to prevent confusion with Robert Baratheon. He is portrayed by Lino Facioli.[S 1][S 19]
Yohn Royce (sometimes called 'Bronze Yohn') is Lord of Runestone and head of House Royce. After the death of Lysa Arryn, Lord Yohn forms the Lords Declarant in opposition to Petyr Baelish's rule of the Vale.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Rupert Vansittart.
Lady Waynwood is the lady of Ironoaks, and the head of House Waynwood, a powerful vassal to House Arryn of the Vale. Lady Anya is part of the Lords Declarant, who oppose Baelish's rule of the Vale.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Paola Dionisotti
Nestor is a cousin of Yohn Royce, from a lesser branch of House Royce. He ruled the Eyrie as High Steward of the Vale during Jon Arryn's absence and acted as Keeper of the Gates of the Moon and feels he is owed for his years of service. Littlefinger later makes him the hereditary Lord of the Gates of the Moon to keep him loyal, signing the paper declaring this so Nestor holding the Gates depends on Baelish' power.
House Greyjoy Coat of arms of House Greyjoy
House Greyjoy is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and is the principal noble house on the Iron Islands, home to the Ironborn. Its seat is on Pyke. Its coat of arms displays a golden kraken on a black field, and its words are We Do Not Sow. Bastards born in the Iron Islands are given the surname "Pyke". The Greyjoys became Lords Paramount of the Iron Islands after House Targaryen conquered the Seven Kingdoms and allowed the Ironborn to choose who would have primacy over them. Balon Greyjoy is the current Lord of the Iron Islands. He has two surviving children, his only daughter, Asha, and Theon.
Balon Greyjoy is the Lord of the Iron Islands, King of Salt and Rock, Son of the Sea Wind, and Lord Reaper of Pyke. He is a harsh and fierce man. Ten years before A Song of Ice and Fire, he led a rebellion against King Robert Baratheon. The rebellion failed and his youngest son Theon Greyjoy was taken as a hostage and raised in Winterfell by Lord Eddard Stark. After Robert's death, Balon spurns Robb Stark's offer of an alliance in a Clash of Kings and declares himself King of the Iron Islands and the North. He captures the Neck and ravages the coastline of the Stark-held North. He dies in A Storm of Swords after falling off a bridge during a storm. The timely return of Balon's banished brother Euron leads many characters to believe that Euron played a part in Balon's death. Euron later admits to Aeron he was responsible for Balon's death, though not in person.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Patrick Malahide.[S 20]
Asha Greyjoy 
Asha Greyjoy is Balon Greyjoy's only daughter and oldest living child. She serves as the third-person narrator for four chapters throughout A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. Asha was raised as Balon's heir despite a custom forbidding female rule, and has otherwise defied traditional gender roles by captaining her own ship and leading men into battle. When Balon orders an invasion of the North in A Clash of Kings, she captures Deepwood Motte. She returns to the Islands in A Feast For Crows after her father's death and claims her father's throne, which she loses in favor of her uncle Euron. In A Dance with Dragons, she returns to Deepwood Motte and learns that Euron has married her off by proxy. She is eventually captured by Stannis Baratheon and travels with his army toward Winterfell, where she is reunited with her brother Theon.
In the HBO television adaptation, the character is renamed Yara Greyjoy to avoid confusion with the character Osha. Yara is portrayed by Gemma Whelan.[S 21][S 22] Whelan speculated in an interview that in the TV series Yara is bisexual, though Martin confirmed that she is not in the novels.
Main article: Theon Greyjoy
Theon Greyjoy is the only living son, and heir apparent of Balon Greyjoy. He is the third-person narrator for thirteen chapters throughout A Clash of Kings and A Dance with Dragons. He is arrogant, cocky, and proud. Ten years before the events of the series, he was taken hostage by Ned Stark to be executed if Balon displeased the king. Theon was raised at Winterfell with the Stark children and became a close friend to Robb Stark in particular.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Alfie Allen.[S 1][S 2]
Euron Greyjoy is the younger brother of Balon and is hated by all his brothers. He wears a patch over his left eye, for which he is nicknamed Crow's Eye and is more ruthless and sadistic than his brothers. Before the events of the series, he was banished from the Iron Islands. During his exile, he lived as a pirate and became extremely wealthy and became involved in dark magic, culminating in his gaining ownership of a horn that can control dragons. In A Feast for Crows, Euron's return from exile coincides with Balon's death, thus encouraging speculation that he played a role in his brother's demise. After becoming King of the Iron Islands at a Kingsmoot by telling the Ironborn he knows where there are dragons and that he intends to conquer Westeros, he begins successful raids along the Reach. He sends his brother Victarion away to court Daenerys Targaryen in his name and bring her and her dragons to Westeros.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Pilou Asbæk.[S 23] The television version of Euron is more of a Viking pirate/warlord, with no magic abilities nor missing an eye. As the character Victarion Greyjoy was omitted from the TV adaptation of the series, Euron himself seeks marriage from Daenerys Targaryen, though once his niece and nephew Yara and Theon Greyjoy form an alliance with Daenerys, Euron enters into an alliance with Cersei Lannister, culminating in her promising to marry Euron after the defeat of the Dragon Queen.
Victarion Greyjoy is the second youngest of Balon's surviving brothers and is Lord Commander of the Iron Fleet. He first appears in A Clash of Kings and is present as his brother, King Balon Greyjoy, reveals his plans to invade the north; Victarion is given overall command of the invasion. He appears next in A Feast for Crows and serves as the third-person narrator for four chapters throughout A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. Victarion is a devout follower of the Drowned God. Years before the events of the series, he killed his wife after he learned of her affair with Euron and has not remarried. After failing to become King of the Iron Islands, he is sent away to court Daenerys Targaryen in Euron's name, but he plans to marry her himself to spite Euron for earlier betrayals. After weathering a savage storm, the remains of his fleet reach Meereen. Victarion orders his fleet to assault the forces besieging the city. His fate is unknown.
Aeron Greyjoy is the youngest of Balon's surviving brothers. He is introduced in A Clash of Kings and serves as a third-person narrator for two chapters of A Feast for Crows. In his youth, he was a drunk and was scorned by Balon, thus later known as Aeron Damphair. After nearly drowning, he dedicated himself to the Drowned God, and became a high priest. After Balon's mysterious death, and crowning of his brother Euron, he becomes a bitter opponent of Euron and his schemes, calling a Kingsmoot to make Victarion King instead of Euron. This fails, and Aeron goes into hiding. A preview chapter from The Winds of Winter reveals that Euron had his men capture Aeron, leaving him imprisoned in Euron's ship for several months before being tied to the ship's prow. It is also revealed that Euron had repeatedly molested Aeron in their youth, leading to Aeron's hatred of Euron.
In the HBO television adaption, he is portrayed by Michael Feast.
Rodrik Harlaw is the Lord of Harlaw, the most populated of the Iron Islands. He is the richest man in the Iron Islands and the maternal uncle of Asha Greyjoy, one of his sisters being Balon's wife. Rodrik is known as "The Reader" because of his love of reading. He has so many books that they have filled one of the Towers in his castle of Ten Towers. As both Rodrik's sons died in the First Greyjoy Rebellion his various relatives are vying to become his heir. Rodrik has nominated his cousin Ser Harras Harlaw as heir to Harlaw. After Balon's death Rodrik agrees to support Asha at the Kingsmoot, but worries she won't get enough support and offers to make her heir to the Ten Towers. After Euron wins the Kingsmoot, Rodrik advises Asha to flee the Iron Islands, fearing Euron will kill her to prevent his rule being challenged. After capturing the Shield Islands, Euron makes Harras Lord of Greyshield to weaken Rodrik's power. Rodrik questions Euron's intent to conquer Westeros and claim to have sailed to Valyria, infuriating Euron.
House Martell Coat of arms of House Martell
House Martell is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and is the ruling house of the kingdom of Dorne. Its seat is the castle of Sunspear. Its coat of arms displays a gold spear piercing a red sun on an orange field, and its words are Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. Bastards born in Dorne are generally given the surname "Sand". Dorne, along with House Martell, is culturally, ethnically, and politically distinct from the rest of the kingdoms. The rulers of Dorne are styled Prince or Princess because Dorne resisted direct conquest and joined the rest of the Seven Kingdoms through marriage.
Doran Martell is the Prince of Dorne and the Lord of Sunspear. He is the father of Arianne, Quentyn, and Trystane. By A Game of Thrones, he is in his fifties, and his gout leaves him barely able to walk and dependent on a wheeled chair. He is a cautious, pensive man who does not display his emotions. He swears loyalty to Joffrey only after Myrcella Baratheon is betrothed to Trystane by Tyrion Lannister, sending her off to Dorne. Tyrion also gives him a position on Joffrey's council. In A Storm of Swords, Doran sends his brother Oberyn to claim the position. After Oberyn's death, Doran refuses to start a war and returns to Sunspear to reassume control of his principality. He imprisons Oberyn's vengeful daughters, called the Sand Snakes (who have been calling for war for the death of their father), to maintain peace. After foiling his daughter Arianne's attempt to crown Myrcella the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, he reveals that he has long been planning the downfall of Tywin Lannister to avenge Elia and intends to ally Dorne with House Targaryen.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Alexander Siddig.[S 24]
Arianne Martell is the eldest child of Prince Doran Martell of Dorne and heir to the Sunspear. She serves as the third-person narrator for two chapters in A Feast for Crows, and will be the narrator for at least two chapters in The Winds of Winter.[S 25] She is cunning and beautiful and is also close with her cousins, the Sand Snakes. By A Feast for Crows, she is dissatisfied with her father, believing him to be weak. She plans to name Myrcella Baratheon the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, as by Dornish law Myrcella inherits the title over her brother. Arianne seduces Arys Oakheart to win his support of Myrcella's claim. The plot is foiled and Myrcella is wounded in the kidnapping attempt. As Arianne confronts Doran after he foils her plans, her father reveals that he has been plotting revenge on Tywin Lannister for many years and was waiting for the perfect time to strike. After the Golden Company invades Westeros, Doran sends Arianne to find out the truth about Aegon Targaryen. Her fate is unknown.
Ser Quentyn Martell is the second child and oldest son of Doran Martell. He serves as the third-person narrator for four chapters in A Dance with Dragons. He is described as intelligent, serious, and dutiful, though not particularly handsome. In A Dance with Dragons it is revealed that Doran Martell sent Quentyn to marry Daenerys Targaryen and bring her to Dorne. On the way most of Quentyn's companions die. He and his remaining two friends, Archibald Yronwood and Gerris Drinkwater, are forced to become sellswords to reach Slaver's Bay. Daenerys politely refuses the offer. Not wanting to leave empty-handed, Quentyn tries to take one of Daenerys's dragons as a mount to impress her, but is killed by her dragons in front of his guards.
Trystane Martell is the youngest child of Doran Martell. To ensure House Martell loyalty to the throne it is arranged that he will marry Myrcella Baratheon when they come of age.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Toby Sebastian.[S 26]
Elia Martell was the younger sister of Prince Doran Martell of Dorne and was very close to her younger brother Oberyn. She married Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, and bore him two children: a daughter Rhaenys and a son Aegon. Fifteen years before the events of the series, Rhaegar was killed in battle during Robert's rebellion. When the capital city was sacked by House Lannister, she was raped and murdered by Gregor Clegane. Elia's brother Oberyn, however, believed Tywin had Elia murdered to avenge the slight to his honor when Aerys had his son and heir married to Elia instead of Tywin's daughter, Cersei.
Main article: Oberyn Martell
Oberyn Martell is the younger brother of Doran Martell. He is a hot-headed, forceful, and lustful man with a quick wit and a barbed tongue. He is a formidable fighter and is called the Red Viper because it is rumored he poisons his weapons.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Pedro Pascal.[S 27]
Main article: Ellaria Sand
Ellaria Sand is the paramour of Prince Oberyn Martell, and the mother of the four youngest "Sand Snakes". She accompanies Oberyn to King's Landing when Oberyn takes the seat on the small council. After returning to Dorne, she is distraught when she hears Obara's statement on how the Mountain's death "is a start", as she sees the futility of it, and is worried about her own daughters' safety.
In the HBO television adaptation, she is portrayed by Indira Varma.[S 27]
The Sand Snakes
The Sand Snakes are Prince Oberyn Martell's eight illegitimate daughters: Obara, Nymeria, Tyene, Sarella, Elia, Obella, Dorea and Loreza, the latter youngest four were born to Oberyn's paramour Ellaria Sand. The older four however were born to different women: Obara from an Oldtown prostitute; Nymeria (also known as Lady Nym) from a noblewoman in Volantis; Tyene from a septa; and Sarella from the captain of the Summer Isles trading ship Feathered Kiss. They are collectively called the "Sand Snakes" in reference to their father's nickname "the Red Viper" and the regional norm of giving Dornish highborn illegitimate children the bastard surname "Sand".
In A Feast for Crows, Obara, Nymeria and Tyene wish revenge for their father's death and pressure their uncle Doran to declare war. When they are implicated in various plots to agitate the Dornish populace, Prince Doran catch hold of their plans and imprisons the Sand Snakes to prevent them from drawing Dorne into war.
In A Dance with Dragons, Doran releases the Sand Snakes and sends them on individual missions in his covert plot to bring down House Lannister in revenge for Elia Martell's murder during the Sack of King's Landing. Obara is sent to accompany the visiting Kingsguard knight Ser Balon Swann to High Hermitage so he can hunt down and kill the rogue knight Gerold Dayne for the mutilating attack on Princess Myrcella. Nymeria is sent to King's Landing to take the vacant Dornish seat on the small council in her late father's place (and serve as an agent from the inside). Tyene is sent to accompany her sister Nymeria to King's Landing disguised as a septa and gain the confidence of the High Sparrow. Sarella's status is unknown though according to Prince Doran she is said to be playing some sort of "game" in Oldtown, and there are fan speculations that she is actually disguised as a male Citadel acolyte named Alleras ("Sarella" spelt backwards) with the nickname "the Sphinx", who helps and is tasked to care for Samwell Tarly when he arrives at the Citadel in the ending chapter of A Feast for Crows.
In two of pre-released chapters from the yet unfinished The Winds of Winter, the fifth Sand Snake Elia, nicknamed "Lady Lance ", accompanies her cousin Princess Arianne Martell on her journey to meet with Jon Connington.
In the HBO television adaptation, Obara Sand is portrayed by Keisha Castle-Hughes, Nymeria Sand by Jessica Henwick, and Tyene Sand by Rosabell Laurenti Sellers;[S 28] the other Sand Snakes do not appear in the series.
Areo Hotah is the captain of Prince Doran Martell's guards. He serves as the third-person narrator for two chapters throughout A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. He was born as the youngest of a large family in Norvos. Areo is steadfastly loyal to Doran. He helps foil Arianne Martell's plot to name Myrcella Baratheon the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, killing Arys Oakheart in the process.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by DeObia Oparei.[S 28]
House Tully Coat of arms of House Tully
House Tully is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and is the principal house in the Riverlands. Its seat is at Riverrun. Its coat of arms displays a leaping silver trout on a field of rippling blue and red stripes, and its words are Family, Duty, Honor. Bastards born in the Riverlands are generally given the surname "Rivers". When House Targaryen invaded Westeros, Lord Tully was among the first to welcome the invaders. In return, the Targaryens made House Tully the principal House of the Riverlands.
Hoster Tully is the Lord of Riverrun and Lord Paramount of the Trident. He is the father of Catelyn Stark, Lysa Arryn, and Edmure Tully. He often quarrels with his brother Brynden because Brynden refuses to be married. Years before the events of the series, he agreed to foster Petyr Baelish at Riverrun as a ward. When he discovered that Lysa was pregnant with Petyr's child, he sent Petyr away and tricked Lysa into drinking an abortifacient potion. Hoster supported Robert Baratheon, House Stark, and House Arryn in rebellion against House Targaryen on the condition that Catelyn and Lysa be wed into the Stark and Arryn families, respectively. His health deteriorates rapidly over the novels; he eventually dies and is laid to rest in the river following the Tully tradition.
In the HBO television adaption, he is portrayed by Chris Newman.
Edmure Tully is the third child, only son, and heir of Lord Hoster Tully. He is dutiful and wishes to earn his father's respect and protect the common people of the Riverlands. However, he is also said to have a large heart and his decisions are often rash and emotional. He takes command of the Riverlands in A Game of Thrones because of his father's illness and is taken captive by Jaime Lannister. He is rescued by his nephew Robb Stark, and upon hearing of Eddard Stark's death he leads the Riverland lords in proclaiming Robb the King in the North. He defeats Tywin in battle and unwittingly ruins Robb's plan to destroy Tywin's army. As amends for thwarting Robb's plan, he agrees to marry Roslin Frey and repair the alliance with House Frey. However, the wedding is a trap and the Stark-Tully army is massacred, breaching ancient guest right customs. Edmure is taken to Casterly Rock, where he and the remaining members of House Tully are to spend the rest of their lives as prisoners to House Lannister. Roslin is to remain at the Twins, and the pair is promised to be reunited after the birth of their child.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Tobias Menzies.[S 5][S 6]
Brynden TullyPersonal coat of arms of Brynden Tully
Ser Brynden Tully, called the Blackfish, is the younger brother of Hoster Tully and the uncle of Catelyn Stark, Lysa Arryn, and Edmure Tully. He constantly quarreled with his brother, usually over Brynden's refusal to marry. During one encounter Hoster called him the black goat of House Tully. Brynden mused that since their sigil was fish, he was the "Blackfish" of the family. He accompanied Lysa to the Vale. In A Game of Thrones, he is upset over the Vale's neutrality in the ongoing war. He resigns from his position and joins Robb Stark and his bannermen. He is appointed head of Robb's outriders and is a crucial member of the war council. His efforts win Robb several battles throughout A Clash of Kings. He is named Warden of the Southern Marches in A Storm of Swords and remains at Riverrun while Robb goes to the Twins to attend Edmure's wedding. After Robb's death, Brynden holds Riverrun in Robb's name, but he is besieged by House Lannister and House Frey. In A Feast for Crows, Brynden surrenders the Tully seat of Riverrun to spare further bloodshed, but he himself escapes capture. His whereabouts are unknown.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by Clive Russell.[S 29]
Walder FreyCoat of arms of House Frey
Walder Frey is Lord of the Twins, and a vassal to House Tully. He is called the Lord of the Crossing as the placement of his castle allows him to control who crosses the river, giving Walder Frey considerable strategic importance. He is known for having over a hundred descendants and taking eight total wives. He emphasizes family loyalty and believes in taking care of relations, including those who disappoint him. Although he is a bannerman of House Tully, he does not immediately go to Riverrun when Edmure Tully summons his vassals to support Robb Stark in A Game of Thrones.
Since crossing the Twins is a necessity for Robb, Walder is able to negotiate marriage contracts between his house and House Stark. But when Robb marries Jeyne Westerling in A Clash of Kings, Frey is outraged and withdraws his support from Robb to conspire with Tywin Lannister and Roose Bolton to enact his revenge. In A Storm of Swords, Walder pretends to make amends with Robb and agrees to marry his daughter Roslin to Edmure. The wedding is a trap, with Robb, his key supporters, and most of his army massacred during the feast, a direct violation of ancient guest right customs. He then openly swears loyalty to House Lannister and his second son Emmon Frey receives Riverrun, the seat of House Tully, as a reward, with advantageous marriages for other descendants of his. However, the people of the Riverlands refuse to support his rule, and a shadowy guerrilla war erupts that Walder Frey struggles to control. House Frey is so large and factional that many of the Freys hate each other, aspiring to become Lord of the Crossing themselves.
In the HBO television adaptation, he is portrayed by David Bradley.[S 30]
House Tyrell Coat of arms of House Tyrell
House Tyrell is one of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms and is the principal noble house in the Reach. Its seat is at Highgarden. Its coat of arms displays a golden rose on a green field, and its words are Growing Strong. Bastards born in the Reach are generally given the surname "Flowers". The Tyrells became liege lords of the Reach after the king of the Reach, House Gardner, was killed and the ruling House Targaryen raised the Tyrells from stewards of Highgarden to Lords of Highgarden. Because House Florent had a better claim to Highgarden, the Tyrells are often seen as "upjumped stewards" by the lords of the Reach and other Great Houses; however, the women of the Tyrell household are noted for being shrewd and clever leaders.