Wiki of Westeros

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Wiki of Westeros
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Wiki of Westeros
House Westerling
Kingsguard

"I am Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. I recognize no authority but the king's, and until there is one, I have no place here."
―Harrold resigns from his post[src]

Ser Harrold Westerling is a knight of House Westerling. He was the Lord Commander of Viserys I Targaryen's Kingsguard following the death of Ser Ryam Redwyne.

Biography[]

Background[]

Harrold is one of the longest-serving members of the Kingsguard. He was once a powerful knight with a successful military background. He was named to the Kingsguard during the reign of Jaehaerys I. King Viserys has assigned him to Rhaenyra Targaryen as a sworn shield.[5]

House of the Dragon: Season 1[]

At the Dragonpit Harrold welcomes back Princess Rhaenyra, who has just returned from a ride on her dragon Syrax. When Rhaenyra asks him not to look so relieved, he responds that he is relieved every time her golden dragon brings her back unharmed as it saves his head from a spike. He escorts the carriage the princess and Alicent Hightower travel in back to the Red Keep.[2]

Harrold tells Rhaenyra that her uncle Prince Daemon has secretly returned to the Red Keep. Leading the princess into the throne room, he is shocked to find Daemon sitting on the Iron Throne, with Rhaenyra reassuring him that it is alright.[2]

Harrold guards the princess in the royal box during the Heir's Tournament. He informs Rhaenyra about Ser Criston Cole, stating that he only knows that he is the common-born son of Lord Dondarrion's steward and that he just unhorsed both Baratheon challengers in the tournament.[2]

Harrold is present with his Kingsguard brothers at the funeral of Queen Aemma and Prince Baelon as they are cremated by Syrax's flames.[2]

Harrold protects King Viserys in the throne room when he confronts his brother Daemon about dubbing Baelon the "Heir for a Day." He draws his sword and moves to block Daemon's path when he tries to step toward the king seated on the Iron Throne.[2]

Harrold is present with his Kingsguard brothers at the ceremony naming Rhaenyra as Princess of Dragonstone and heir to the Iron Throne.[2]

After Ser Ryam Redwyne's death, Harrold is appointed Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.[4]

During the funeral of Laena Velaryon, Harrold gently corrects Viserys when he mistakenly refers to Alicent as "Aemma." He later breaks up the fight between the royal children, declaring his horror at Prince Aemond's maiming. While Viserys attempts to learn the truth of what happened, Harrold remains silently on guard, only breaking to glare at Criston when he snickers at a comment by Queen Alicent regarding Laenor Velaryon. As Alicent moves to attack Prince Lucerys, Harrold attempts to keep order, ordering the Kingsguard back, and ordering Criston to be restrained when he attempts to assist the queen.[6]

Six years after the events on Driftmark, Harrold arranges a welcome for Rhaenyra and Daemon.[7]

After the death of King Viserys, Harrold and Criston stand guard at the small council as they discuss what is to happen next. When Criston kills Lyman Beesbury, Harrold draws his sword and demands he stand down and remove his cloak. Criston defiantly draws his sword in response and only backs down when Alicent commands him to. Harrold continues to stand guard in disbelief until Otto commands him to go to Dragonstone to assassinate Rhaenyra, causing Harrold to remove his cloak and resign from his post.[1]

Personality[]

Harrold is chivalrous and honorable.[8] He is loyal to King Viserys and Princess Rhaenyra.[3]

Behind the scenes[]

Harrold Westerling was revealed to be a recurring character in House of the Dragon on December 8, 2020. On September 24, 2021, HBO announced that Graham McTavish had been cast in the role for the series. His character description reads as follows:

"[Harrold] has served in the Kingsguard since the days of King Jaehaerys; he is a paragon of chivalry and honor."[9]

In the episode "The Green Council," Harrold's confrontation with Criston Cole originally included a moment in which he would have told Criston: "The rats in the Red Keep have more honor than you." According to McTavish, he was disappointed that the line hadn't made the final cut but understood the likely reasoning that someone as ill-tempered as Criston Cole would have likely reacted more violently to such an insult, thus affecting the plot significantly.[10]

In the books[]

Harrold is only briefly mentioned in one sentence of Fire & Blood, and he hasn't been mentioned in the main A Song of Ice and Fire novels.

It is unclear how Harrold is related to Johanna Westerling, who marries Lord Jason Lannister to become Lady of Casterly Rock and a fairly prominent recurring character.

In 112 AC, Harrold Westerling actually died of old age in the middle of Viserys's reign, two years before the wedding of Rhaenyra and Laenor. Thus the TV-version of Harrold seems to have been condensed together with aspects of one or two of the other Kingsguard members in this time period.

Coincidentally, in the books both Harrold Westerling and Grand Maester Runciter died within months of each other, after which Mellos was appointed to replace Runciter - and thus Harrold never met Mellos. Teaser trailers have revealed that the TV version merged Runciter and Mellos into one character named "Mellos", who is therefore Grand Maester at the beginning of Viserys's reign. The result is that "TV-Mellos" has been expanded to appear earlier than he did in the books, while "TV-Harrold" has been expanded to appear later than he did in the books, and they now overlap with each other.

Appearances[]

References[]

Notes[]

  1. Harrold Westerling is stated to be in his 50s in the script for "The Heirs of the Dragon;" therefore, he was born between 53 and 62 AC.
  2. In "A Son for a Son," Daemon Targaryen and Otto Hightower mention that days have passed since Viserys Targaryen and Lucerys Velaryon's deaths. Unlike the first season, no major time jumps are expected; therefore, House of the Dragon: Season 2 takes place in 132 AC.

External links[]

Preceded by Lord Commander of the Kingsguard
112 - 132 AC
Succeeded by


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