- "You need sour cherries to make it right, and the secret is you dry the stones, and then you break them with a mallet. That's where the real flavor is. You crush 'em up real fine and then, when you're finished, sprinkle them over the pie crust..."
- ―Hot Pie demonstrates his fine knowledge of the bakery arts.
Hot Pie is an orphan and baker's apprentice who was part of the batch of Night's Watch recruits that left King's Landing with the disguised Arya Stark. They were later attacked and captured by Lannister soldiers and taken to Harrenhal, until the only three survivors - Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry - managed to escape. After his time spent accompanying Arya while a fugitive from the Lannisters, he parted ways to take up the safer life of a new job as a baker for the Inn at the Crossroads.
Hot Pie and Lommy Greenhands are recruited to join the Night's Watch. They bully "Arry" when she joins their group and demand she give up her sword, Needle. Hot Pie claims that he killed a boy once by kicking him to death. When Arya refuses and threatens to kill him like she has with other "fat boys", he backpedals and bumps into Gendry, who scares him off.
Hot Pie is travelling north on the Kingsroad with Yoren’s recruits. Gold Cloaks from King's Landing come upon them looking for Gendry. Yoren intimidates them into leaving but they promise to return with more men. Later, Arya, Hot Pie and Lommy Greenhands wash cook pots in the stream while Gendry fills a pail with water. Lommy says that they should yield if the gold cloaks return, not wanting to be caught in a battle. Hot Pie claims that he is unafraid of battle and Arya questions his courage. Hot Pie claims to have seen lots of battles and Arya calls him a liar. Hot Pie insists that he saw a man stabbed in the neck outside a tavern in Flea Bottom. Lommy tells Hot Pie that two men fighting is not a battle. Hot Pie says that they had armor on. Arya questions the relevance of this and Hot Pie says that if the combatants wear armor, it is automatically a battle. Lommy refutes the assertion and Hot Pie wonders what a dyer's apprentice would know about battle. As Gendry returns to refill the pail, Arya tell Hot Pie that Gendry is an armorer's apprentice. She instructs Hot Pie to relay his definition of a battle to Gendry. Gendry asks who told Hot Pie that. Hot Pie claims that he heard it from a knight. Gendry asks how Hot Pie knew he was a knight and Hot Pie again cites armor as deciding the issue. Gendry explains that anyone can buy armor. Hot Pie asks how Gendry knows and Gendry reminds him that he sold armor.
The group is resting in a barn when they are roused to arms by Yoren and told they are being attacked. Hot Pie and Lommy arm themselves and Lommy picks up Gendry's helm before they rush outside. They are encountered by Ser Amory Lorch and a force of men loyal to House Lannister. Lorch points out the Gold Cloaks with him and says that they have come for Gendry, a royal bastard. Lorch orders Yoren and the recruits to drop their weapons. Yoren remains defiant and Lorch orders him shot. Yoren fights on, but is eventually overwhelmed.
Seeing their leader killed, Gendry and many of the other recruits join the fight while Hot Pie hides in the bushes. The recruits are quickly defeated and the survivors are taken prisoner. Lorch orders the prisoners taken to Harrenhal. Hot Pie is found in the bushes and is quick to yield. Lommy calls for help from the ground, a crossbow bolt in his left leg. Polliver approaches and asks him if he can walk. Lommy says they will have to carry him. Polliver offers him a hand and then stabs him through the throat, killing him. He tells his companions that Lommy wanted to be carried, drawing a laugh. Lorch pushes over Yoren's corpse and demands that the survivors identify Gendry. Arya says that they have already killed him pointing out the bulls head helm lying next to Lommy.
Hot Pie, Gendry and Arya arrive at the ruined castle Harrenhal with a column of other Lannister prisoners. Gendry sees the decimated towers and asks what kind of fire can melt stone. Arya tells him that it was dragon fire and Hot Pie asks if there are dragons there. Gendry says that dragons are extinct and Hot Pie wonders what he can smell. Arya says that it is the smell of dead people. Polliver orders them to walk on into the midst of the ruin.
They are chained in a stockade with many other prisoners. They can hear the sounds of a man being tortured nearby. The screams end and an old woman says that the victim is dead. She is expressionless and reports in a monotone that her captors have tortured her sister, husband and now her son to death. Gendry realizes that they select a new victim each day. Arya asks if anyone survives the torture and the woman does not answer.
Hot Pie and the prisoners are awoken by Ser Amory Lorch and his men. Ser Gregor Clegane approaches the stockade. Hot Pie says that he is the one who chooses the prisoners and Arya recognizes him. Hot Pie stares at him as he approaches and Arya asks what he is doing. Hot Pie says that another prisoner told him that he always stares at the mountain and is never chosen. Hot Pie and his new friend stare at Gregor as he surveys the captives. Gregor selects the staring prisoner. Hot Pie wets himself in fear. The prisoner is strapped to a chair by Weasel as the Tickler questions him. He is asked about hidden valuables in his village and the whereabouts of the Brotherhood. A rat is placed in a bucket and strapped to his chest. Weasel heats the bucket to provoke the rat into burrowing through his chest. The Tickler asks who aided the Brotherhood and the prisoner implicates Ganes the butcher and his son. He begs them to stop and the Tickler says that he has been very helpful but continues with the torture regardless. Hot Pie and the other prisoners watch, helpless to stop them.
The head of the tortured prisoner is hammered onto a spike above the stockade. Gendry is chosen by Gregor and his questioning begins despite him not being from the village. Tywin Lannister arrives and halts the torture. He orders the prisoners put to work and recognizes that Arya is a girl. Tywin says that she will be his new cup bearer. While working in the castle Hot Pie comes across the corpse of the Tickler, apparently having been murdered in broad daylight.
Hot Pie is talking to Gendry about recipes, when Arya comes by looking for Jaqen, but he doesn't know where Jaqen is. Tywin leaves Harrenhal under Gregor's command. Arya arranges to escape with assistance from Jaqen H'ghar. Hot Pie steals food from the kitchens for their journey and goes along despite his fear. They are to walk out of the gate at midnight, but guards are posted there. It isn't until they begin walking to the gate that they realize that the guards are dead and nailed to their posts. After escaping Harrenhal, they see Jaqen H'ghar standing on a small cliff above them, and Arya leaves the others to go to talk to him.
Hot Pie and Gendry criticize Arya for not asking Jaqen H'ghar to kill the contenders for the Iron Throne and ending the war. They are all captured by the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood takes them to the Inn at the Crossroads and feeds them but before they can depart, the Hound is brought in as a prisoner and unexpectedly identifies Arya. As they get ready to leave, Hot Pie explains that he isn't going with them: he baked some bread for the innkeeper, as he was a baker's apprentice when he lived in King's Landing. The innkeeper thought it was the best bread they'd ever had and offered him a job.
He notes that this life of fighting and traveling isn't really for him, plus Thoros formally made a deal with the inn to give them Hot Pie's services to pay for all of the meals the Brotherhood had there. He also points out that his brother is no king and he is no Stark of "Winterhell", earning a harsh correction of the name from Arya. Before they go, he gives Arya a present he made for her: a loaf of bread shaped like a direwolf, though Arya implies the tail looks like a head. Arya is a bit brusque but the three wish each other well as they depart. As they are riding away, Arya starts eating the wolf-bread and turns back to shout to Hot Pie that it is very good.
Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne stop at the inn to dine and Hot Pie serves them a kidney pie he made. Hot Pie tells them at length the process in finding the right ingredients for the kidney pie, despite their obvious lack of interest. He asks if Brienne is a knight as she is wearing armor and then asks of Brienne's business. When she tells him they are looking for the Stark sisters, Hot Pie leaves abruptly after claiming he heard the Starks were all traitors.
He tells them he was with Arya traveling north to join the Night's Watch, before being captured by the Lannisters, and then being captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners. He explains that the last time he saw Arya was when the Brotherhood departed the inn, along with their prisoner, the Hound, and that they intended to ransom her back to her family at Riverrun. Brienne and Podrick deduce anyone trying to ransom her would now head to her next closest surviving relative with money and power: her maternal aunt Lysa Arryn, ruler of the Vale. They depart for the Eyrie, but not before Hot Pie hands Brienne an improved variant of the direwolf-shaped loaf.
Hot Pie meets up with Arya again when she arrives at the inn, where he informs her of recent events in Westeros, notably the Destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor. He goes on to remark that Arya must be going to Winterfell. When Arya asks why she would go to Winterfell when it is held by the Boltons, he tells her House Bolton was defeated by Jon Snow and his "wildling army" in the Battle of the Bastards, and that Jon is now King in the North.
This changes Arya's travel plans, as she originally intended to go to King's Landing to kill Cersei but now she chooses to go home to her family instead of seeking revenge. She then tries to pay Hot Pie, but he rejects it, saying that friends don't need to pay for the ale and the pie. He then remarks on his stupidity for not realizing she was a girl - and a pretty one. Before she leaves, Arya tells her friend to not get killed, and Hot Pie assures her that, like her, he's a survivor.
|Game of Thrones Season 1 appearances|
|Winter Is Coming||The Kingsroad||Lord Snow||Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things||The Wolf and the Lion|
|A Golden Crown||You Win or You Die||The Pointy End||Baelor||Fire and Blood|
|Game of Thrones Season 2 appearances|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What Is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis|
|Game of Thrones Season 3 appearances|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch Is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
|Game of Thrones Season 4 appearances|
|Two Swords||The Lion and the Rose||Breaker of Chains||Oathkeeper||First of His Name|
|The Laws of Gods and Men||Mockingbird||The Mountain and the Viper||The Watchers on the Wall||The Children|
|Game of Thrones Season 7 appearances|
|Dragonstone||Stormborn||The Queen's Justice||The Spoils of War|
|Eastwatch||Beyond the Wall||The Dragon and the Wolf|
- Brienne of Tarth: "The kidney pie is wonderful."
- Hot Pie: "Thanks. I do my best. A good kidney pie is all about the ingredients. Flour, lard, water, eggs, milk - easy enough. But the meat? Peacetime or not, getting your hands on a good bottom round steak and calves' kidneys is not easy. I mean, some people settle for plain old beef kidneys. Got no right to cook anything, them. Oh, and the gravy! Don't get me started on the gravy. Very difficult to get right. See, a lot of people give up on the gravy. You cannot give up on the gravy. No gravy, no pie. Simple as that."
- — Hot Pie extols on how to make a proper kidney pie[src]
- Brienne of Tarth: "No one's seen Arya Stark since her father was beheaded. She's presumed dead."
- Hot Pie: "She weren't when I last spoke to her...heading up north with the Night's Watch. She was all dressed up as a boy...going by the name Arry. "
- Brienne of Tarth: "So what happened to her? The quick version."
- Hot Pie: "The Lannisters took us prisoner. We escaped. The Brotherhood took us prisoner. They 'sold' me to the innkeep. They were gonna sell Arya to her mother at Riverrun, along with another prisoner: big ugly fellow, foul mouth and a face like a half-burnt ham. Not friendly."
- — Hot Pie summarizes Arya Stark's entire storyline since the end of Season 1.[src]
Behind the scenes
Despite being a low-ranking commoner, and officially not a member of the "Starring Cast", Hot Pie is one of only eighteen recurring characters from Season 1 who are still alive as of the end of Season 7. Eighteen characters have recurred since then, played by their original cast members: beyond those, Gregor Clegane is an odd case in that he might be basically "undead" at this point, and was recast twice since Season 1. As for recurring animal characters, the dragons don't have actor-animals, and while two direwolf characters survived through Season 7, different stunt-wolves performed in the roles over the years as they matured.
Of the eighteen recurring characters who survived from Season 1 to the end of Season 7, only three were not "Starring" cast members: Sweetrobin Arryn, Ilyn Payne, and Hot Pie. Sweetrobin and Ser Ilyn are members of noble Houses (Sweetrobin is in fact the nominal ruler of the Vale), while Hot Pie is just a commoner, a random baker's apprentice. While even Starring cast members can be killed in the story, it was never certain if Hot Pie would survive from one season to the next (particularly after his material surpassed the books starting in Season 4). Hot Pie's dialogue with Arya Stark in Season 7 appears to be a wry joke at his ability to randomly stay alive throughout all the bloodshed in the TV series, when he insists that he's "a survivor" just like Arya.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Hot Pie is a young recruit for the Night's Watch that Yoren meets in King's Landing. He was a baker's apprentice. He does not appear until the second novel A Clash of Kings.
The first encounter between Hot Pie and Arya is much more violent than in the show: Hot Pie threatens Arya and tries to take Needle by force, while Lommy encourages him to. Gendry tells them to leave Arya alone, but they do not listen. Arya does not want to fight and offers Hot Pie her wooden sword, but he demands Needle and tries to take it from her. Using the wooden sword, Arya whacks Hot Pie's donkey, causing him to fall off of it, then when Hot Pie is on the ground Arya breaks his nose. When she turns her attention to Lommy who backs off in fear, Hot Pie attacks her from behind with a jagged rock. Gendry warns Arya of his approach (but he does not intervene in the brawl otherwise). Arya evades the rock and beats Hot Pie so badly that he soils his pants and is forced to spend a short while riding on the back of a wagon due to his injuries. For this, Yoren thrashes Arya to the extent of her being too sore to sit for a short while.
After substantial time as prisoners of the Lannisters at Harrenhal, and their subsequent escape together, Arya starts to think of both Gendry and Hot Pie as her "pack". Just before they meet the Brotherhood Without Banners, Arya notes to herself that Hot Pie is only slowing them down as she tries to make her way to Riverrun, but she won't leave him behind because a wolf pack protects its members.
Hot Pie ends up making bread for a different inn named the Inn of the Kneeling Man. He decides to stay there because he is tired of traveling dangerous roads, exposed to the rain, suffering of saddle sores and constantly frightened. He asks Arya to come back when the war was over, and she promises to, though she has no idea if the war would ever be done. Although Arya thinks Hot Pie is stupid and cowardly, she misses him a lot.