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"Ah, a knight. They strut around like roosters down here. Even the ones who have never seen an arrow coming their way."
Eddard Stark on Hugh's lack of manners[src]

Hugh, called Ser Hugh of the Vale, was a freshly made knight. He was killed by a splintered lance while jousting with Ser Gregor Clegane.



Hugh served as Lord Jon Arryn's squire for four years before the latter's death. After Arryn's death, Hugh was knighted for his loyal service by King Robert Baratheon. When Lysa Arryn returned to the Eyrie with her son, Ser Hugh elected to remain in King's Landing in the King's service.

Season 1

Eddard Stark sends Jory Cassel to quiz Ser Hugh about Jon Arryn's death. Ser Hugh refuses to talk to Jory since he isn't a knight.

Ser Hugh takes part in the tournament to celebrate Eddard's arrival and is killed by a splintered lance during a joust with Gregor Clegane.[1]

Hugh's body is prepared for burial.

Barristan Selmy stands the knight's vigil for Ser Hugh overnight. Eddard ponders how Hugh could afford arms and armor so soon after being knighted. While Selmy theorizes that maybe Lord Arryn left him some money, Ned suspects that Hugh was involved in Lord Arryn's death. Varys later agrees that this is the most likely explanation, and that the Lannisters ordered him killed to prevent him talking (Ser Gregor is in the Lannisters' service).[2]

Season 4

Lysa's revelation about Jon Arryn's death refutes Eddard and Varys's assumption.[3]


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

* Only appears as a corpse.


Petyr Baelish: "Do you know Ser Hugh of the Vale? Not surprising. Until recently he was only a squire – Jon Arryn's squire. He was knighted almost immediately after his master's untimely death."
Eddard Stark: "Knighted for what?"
— Eddard Stark's unanswered question.[src]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Ser Hugh is a reasonably effective warrior but is newly-proud and slightly drunk on his achievement of becoming a knight.

Littlefinger tells Ned about Hugh and three other people, who belonged to Jon Arryn's household, and remained in King's Landing after his death. Ned assigns Jory to question all the four, and he does. The conversation between Jory and Hugh is about the same as in the show, but occurs off-screen, because they are not POV characters.

Jeyne Poole cries hysterically at Hugh's death, but Sansa just watches the scene with a strange fascination. She thinks she should cry too, but does not. She finds it sad that the young knight will be soon forgotten, and no songs will be sung for him.

Following Hugh's death, Barristan Selmy tells Ned that he apparently had a mother in the Vale. Ned orders that Hugh's armor will be sent to his mother.

The Hound tells Sansa that Hugh was a fool, and should have never participated the tourney, since he had no money, no squire, no one to help him with the armor; his gorget wasn't fastened properly, and Gregor noticed that. The Hound states that Hugh's death was not an accident, but does not explicitly say whether Gregor meant to silence Hugh, or it was simply due to his murderous nature.

When Pycelle is accused by Tyrion of Jon Arryn's death, he claims Hugh did it, and that Varys and Cersei will concur with Pycelle about Hugh's guilt.

Upon being knighted, Hugh's sigil is a blue field bordered in crescent moons.

In view of the revelation about Jon Arryn's death in A Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin was asked who ordered Hugh's death - Cersei or Littlefinger. He answered ambiguously "It could very well have been either of the two, that's for you to decide. But, it could also just have been a Gregor thing. He's a murderous brute, and really needs no reason to kill someone".[4]

See also