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Wiki of Westeros
Wiki of Westeros
House of the Dragon
Game of Thrones
This page is about the royal guard. For other uses, see: The Kingsguard

"I swear to ward the king with all my strength, and give my blood for his. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall guard his secrets, obey his commands, ride at his side, and defend his name and honor."
―Oath of the Kingsguard[src]

The Kingsguard[1] or Queensguard,[a] in cases of a ruling female monarch, is an elite group of seven knights, supposedly the greatest and most skilled warriors in all of Westeros, who serve as the royal bodyguard of the King of the Andals and the First Men. Their duty is to protect the king and the royal family from harm at all times. The Kingsguard swear the most holy of vows to fulfill their sacred duty, and - in theory - are meant to be the living exemplars of the pinnacle of knightly virtues. Like the brothers of the Night's Watch, members of the Kingsguard are sworn for life and are forbidden from owning land, taking wives, or fathering children.

The Kingsguard wear signature all-white cloaks, and gold armor with extensive white enameling. For this reason they are sometimes colloquially called the "White Cloaks", or the "White Swords". During the reign of Aerys II Targaryen, the Kingsguard, like Ser Arthur Dayne and Gerold Hightower, wore special Targaryen armor.[2]

The Kingsguard was created 300 years ago by the first Targaryen king, Aegon the Conqueror, when he united the Seven Kingdoms under a single monarchy and established the Iron Throne.

The deeds of every knight who has ever served in the Kingsguard is kept in a large book called the Book of Brothers. The book is stored in White Sword Tower, and it is the responsibility of the current Lord Commander to keep all entries updated.[3]

The Kingsguard is led by the Lord Commander, currently Brienne of Tarth.[4] The Lord Commander appears to have no marks on his armor to distinguish him from other members.[5] Under normal circumstances, the Lord Commander sits on the Small Council as the King's advisor in military matters. However, Barristan Selmy did not sit on King Robert's Small Council due to Ser Barristan's previous allegiance to the Targaryen dynasty.[6]

Known past members

Under Aenys I Targaryen

Under Jaehaerys I Targaryen

Under Viserys I Targaryen

  • Ser {Ryam Redwyne}, Lord Commander, died in peace in his sleep from a long illness.

Under Aegon II Targaryen

Under Rhaenyra Targaryen

  • Ser Steffon Darklyn, Lord Commander.
    • Ser {Erryk Cargyll}. Killed himself shortly after killing Arryk in a duel on Dragonstone.
    • Ser Lorent Marbrand

Under Aegon IV Targaryen

  • Prince {Aemon Targaryen}, Lord Commander and brother to the King, widely regarded as the greatest knight who ever lived. He gave his own life to defend his brother and king from assassins.
    • Ser {Terrence Toyne}, executed by Aegon IV for sleeping with one of his mistresses.

Under Daeron II Targaryen

Under Aegon V Targaryen

Targ Kingsguard

Ser Arthur Dayne and Gerold Hightower, both kingsguard to Aerys II Targaryen.

Under Aerys II Targaryen

Under Robert I Baratheon

Under Joffrey I Baratheon

Under Tommen I Baratheon

Under Cersei I Lannister

  • Following Jaime Lannister's dismissal, his replacement is not named.[e]
    • Ser {Boros Blount}, cut down by Sandor Clegane or crushed by debris while escorting Cersei to Maegor's Holdfast.
    • Ser {Preston Greenfield}, cut down by Sandor Clegane or crushed by debris while escorting Cersei to Maegor's Holdfast.
    • Ser {Arys Oakheart} (presumably),[b] cut down by Sandor Clegane or crushed by debris while escorting Cersei to Maegor's Holdfast.
    • Ser {Balon Swann} (presumably),[c] cut down by Sandor Clegane or crushed by debris while escorting Cersei to Maegor's Holdfast.
    • Ser {Osmund Kettleblack} (presumably),[d] cut down by Sandor Clegane or crushed by debris while escorting Cersei to Maegor's Holdfast.
    • Ser {Gregor Clegane}, thrown into fire during the Battle of King's Landing by Sandor Clegane.
    • {Unknown knight}[f] cut down by Sandor Clegane or crushed by debris while escorting Cersei to Maegor's Holdfast.[7]

Current members

The members of the Kingsguard under Bran I the Broken:

Rival Kingsguards

Due to the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings and multiple claimants to the throne, different contenders for the throne have formed their own Kingsguards.

Since the tradition of knighthood holds little sway in the North, where the worship of the Old Gods is still strong and knighthood was introduced by the coming of the Andals, Robb Stark doesn't form his own Kingsguard when he is declared King in the North. Nevertheless, a number of young warriors and knights become his sworn swords. Similarly, when Balon Greyjoy declares himself king of the Iron Islands, he also doesn't form his own Kingsguard, because the ironborn follow the religion of the Drowned God which does not include the tradition of knighthood. For that matter, there has been no mention of Renly's stern older brother Stannis Baratheon forming his own Kingsguard, probably because in contrast to Renly, he is a pragmatic man who does not bother with pomp and ceremony.

Renly Baratheon's Kingsguard

Renly's Kingsguard with Brienne Loras and heraldry

King Renly I's Kingsguard, with Lord Commander Loras Tyrell and Brienne of Tarth.

The members of Renly Baratheon's Kingsguard:

Members of Renly's Kingsguard wore plate armor, with matching cloaks and helmets crowned with miniature stag heads, as well as green surcoats, thus mirroring the altered Baratheon sigil Renly chose (the "Rainbow Guard" of the books is not represented in the show). It is likely that Renly's Kingsguard did not retain the typical requirement for members of the Kingsguard to give up their inheritances and lands; it did not appear to be an issue that Lord Mace Tyrell's only son was in Renly's Kingsguard, nor Lord Selwyn Tarth's only surviving child.

Renly's Kingsguard dissolved after his assassination. Ser Loras, along with his powerful family, subsequently sided with the Lannisters, knowing that Stannis would never forgive them for supporting his younger brother. Loras led House Tyrell's armies alongside the main Lannister host led by Tywin Lannister which smashed Stannis' army during the Battle of the Blackwater and resided in King's Landing for several years as the brother of Queen Margaery Tyrell until his death during the destruction of the Sept of Baelor. Brienne of Tarth fled with Catelyn Stark, and ended up swearing personal allegiance to Catelyn (though not the Starks in general). When Catelyn freed Jaime Lannister at Riverrun, she tasked Brienne with ensuring that he arrived safely at King's Landing as part of a prisoner exchange with her two daughters (though unknown to Catelyn, the Lannisters lied about having both girls and actually only held Sansa). Despite Jaime losing a hand to Locke along the way, they both managed to reach King's Landing. Brienne arrived in the city not long after the destruction of the Stark faction at the Red Wedding, though left the city to find the Stark girls shortly after the Purple Wedding and Sansa's subsequent escape. Though Brienne did find Arya Stark with Sandor Clegane, Arya rejected Brienne's protection, with Brienne instead seeking out Sansa at the Inn at the Crossroads. Rejected once more, Brienne nevertheless headed to the North and became Sansa's sworn shield after the battle in the ice. Heading to the Riverlands to secure the support of Ser Brynden Tully against House Bolton, Brienne fails her mission as Riverrun is retaken by Lannister forces. She returns to Winterfell after Sansa becomes the castle's lady, being sent to represent Sansa at the Dragonpit Summit before heading north again to fight in the Great War. Knighted by Ser Jaime Lannister before the Battle of Winterfell, Brienne becomes the first female knight in the known history of Westeros.

Daenerys Targaryen's Queensguard

Dany jorah selmy 3x03

Daenerys Targaryen flanked by her Queensguard in Astapor.

Far away from the Seven Kingdoms, in exile far across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen claims the title of Queen of the Andals and the First Men after the death of her brother Viserys, and after successfully hatching three dragons, the first live dragons the world has seen in over a century. Daenerys then forms her own Queensguard from her personal bodyguards. It is an ad hoc group, not necessarily composed of knights, as its original members were mostly Daenerys's Dothraki bloodriders. Also, her loosely organized Queensguard does not strictly possess seven members, having had fewer than seven men for long stretches of time. However, Daenerys's Queensguard gains a major boost in legitimacy when it is joined by the legendary knight Ser Barristan Selmy, former Lord Commander of Robert Baratheon's Kingsguard and a Kingsguard to her own father, King Aerys.

After conquering Meereen, Daenerys later banished Ser Jorah when she discovered that he had been spying on her for King Robert's agents.

The members of Daenerys Targaryen's Queensguard before her ascension to the throne were:

  • Ser {Jorah Mormont}, exiled Lord of Bear Island. Ordered by Daenerys Targaryen to find a cure for his greyscale, then return to her and was previously serving her. He was killed, by wights, whilst defending her during the Battle of Winterfell.
  • Kovarro, a Dothraki bloodrider.
  • Aggo, a Dothraki bloodrider, whereabouts unknown.
  • {Rakharo}, a Dothraki bloodrider. Slain by a rival Dothraki khalasar.
  • Ser {Barristan Selmy}, former Kingsguard to Daenerys's father, King Aerys II, and Lord Commander of the Kingsguard under Robert Baratheon. Slain fighting the Sons of the Harpy in Meereen.

Behind the scenes

The symbol of the Kingsguard was altered in Season 4: instead of a three-pointed crown, it featured three swords intertwined with stag's antlers to form a crown. The original symbol from previous seasons can be seen on an armor in the background in "Oathkeeper", during the scene where Jaime gives Brienne her new sword and armor, suggesting that the new armor is indeed new and not a retcon.

After King Tommen Baratheon converts to the Faith of the Seven in Season 5, the symbol changes again to a crown inside a seven-pointed star. In Season 7, the Queensguard armors bear an image of Queen Cersei Lannister's crown and the coloration of her dress’s black with silver accessories. They have notably abandoned their white cloaks, and indeed, cloaks altogether.

When Bran is elected King, the Kingsguard armor changes once again: it converts back to the same shade of gold as was seen during the reign of the Baratheon Dynasty. Instead of a crown being imprinted on the chestplate, a three eyed raven symbol is bore.

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Kingsguard, also called the White Swords or White Cloaks, were founded by King Aegon the Conqueror after his conquest of Westeros. Over the three centuries since then, many famous and legendary knights have joined its ranks, including members of the Great Houses. The head of the Kingsguard is known as the Lord Commander.

The Kingsguard's history of the past three hundred years is recorded in the White Book, officially known as The Book of the Brothers. It is two feet tall and a foot and a half wide and a thousand pages thick, stored in the Round Room of the White Sword Tower, a four-story tower built into one of the seaward walls of the Red Keep of King's Landing. In the White Book, each member of the Kingsguard is given one page on which his personal history and a record of his deeds are written. The top of the page contains the shield and sigil the knight had before joining the Kingsguard, the bottom of the page contains the white shield of the Kingsguard. In between the shields are the exploits of the individual. The drawings are done by septons from the Great Sept of Baelor three times a year. It is the responsibility of the current Lord Commander to update the entries in the book.

The Kingsguard members are forbidden of getting married, but there is no mention in the novels that they are required to take a vow of celibacy; due to their status, however, are expected to act respectably, namely to refrain from whoring and sexual affairs. At least four of the Kingsguard occasionally engage in sex - Jaime, Preston Greenfield, Arys Oakheart and Boros Blount.

Because of its status as the royal bodyguard and the many remarkable figures who have been its members, the Kingsguard has been involved in many major historical events in Westeros.

The Kingsguard of King Aerys II is particularly famed for its renowned and formidable knights. Its members were:

  • Lord Commander Ser {Gerold Hightower}, also called "the White Bull". Killed at the Tower of Joy.
  • Ser {Arthur Dayne}, the Sword of the Morning. Killed at the Tower of Joy.
  • Ser {Oswell Whent}, known for his dark humor. Killed at the Tower of Joy.
  • Ser {Jonothor Darry}, killed at the Battle of the Trident.
  • Prince {Lewyn Martell}, killed by Ser Lyn Corbray at the Battle of the Trident. Lewyn was the uncle of Doran, Elia, and Oberyn Martell.
  • Ser Barristan Selmy, called "Barristan the Bold". Survived the Battle of the Trident and was pardoned by Robert Baratheon after the rebellion's victory.
  • Ser Jaime Lannister, replacing Ser {Harlan Grandison}, who had died in his sleep.

Five of King Aerys' Kingsguard were killed during Robert's Rebellion, all except for Ser Barristan Selmy - who survived the Battle of the Trident - and Jaime Lannister. Rarely if ever have so many vacancies occurred at once in the Kingsguard. Many of the replacements were the result of political appointments made to appease other Houses rather than being selected for either valor or skill at arms. As a result, Robert's Kingsguard was considered to be one of the worst in its history, with many regarding Barristan as the only true remaining knight of the Kingsguard. While Ser Jaime Lannister was considered to certainly be one of the most formidable swordsmen in all of the Seven Kingdoms, his retention in the group after his murder of King Aerys during the civil war was particularly controversial.

Also, in the books, Renly Baratheon forms his own rival Kingsguard which he calls the "Rainbow Guard", enjoying the opportunity to play with the pageantry of forming a new knightly order. The number seven is holy in the Faith of the Seven, and rainbows are one of its symbols. The name "Rainbow Guard" was a reference to this, with each of the seven members standing for a color of the rainbow, such as "Brienne the Blue". The Lord Commander of the Rainbow Guard was Ser Loras Tyrell. Loras didn't stand for a color the way the other six members did, and thus no one represented Indigo.

The members of Renly's Rainbow Guard are:

  • Ser Loras Tyrell, Lord Commander
  • Brienne of Tarth, the Blue
  • Lord {Bryce Caron}, the Orange. Switched allegiance to Stannis after Renly's death. Killed at the Battle of the Blackwater.
  • Ser {Emmon Cuy}, the Yellow. Killed by Loras for the mistaken belief that he played a part in Renly's murder.
  • Ser {Guyard Morrigen}, the Green. Switched allegiance to Stannis after Renly's death. Killed at the Battle of the Blackwater.
  • Ser Parmen Crane, the Purple. Switched allegiance to Stannis after Renly's death. Captured by Loras at Bitterbridge, and held captive at Highgarden.
  • Ser {Robar Royce}, the Red. Killed by Loras for the mistaken belief that he played a part in Renly's murder.

As the concept of knighthood originates from and is closely tied to the Faith of the Seven, neither Robb Stark nor Balon Greyjoy form their own Kingsguards, as they do not claim the Iron Throne. Likewise, Stannis Baratheon, while claiming the Iron Throne, doesn't appoint his own Kingsguard. Nevertheless, many sworn knights in the Riverlands do serve under Robb Stark, and knights both loyal to the Faith of the Seven and converted to the Lord of Light continue to serve Stannis.

Robb Stark does maintain a personal guard of about thirty warriors; however, they are not an official order with any sworn vows, but an informal group of Robb's closest battle companions. Among them are:

  • {Smalljon Umber}. Slain by the Boltons at the Red Wedding.
  • Ser {Wendel Manderly}. Slain by a crossbowman at the Red Wedding.
  • Patrek Mallister. Captured at the Red Wedding.
  • {Robin Flint}. Slain by Freys at the Red Wedding.
  • {Dacey Mormont}, the only woman of the group. Slain by Ryman Frey at the Red Wedding.
  • {Owen Norrey}. Slain at the Red Wedding.
  • Ser {Raynald Westerling}, Robb's banner-bearer. Joined Robb's cause when his sister Jeyne married him. Shot with Frey arrows at the Red Wedding, presumed dead.
  • Ser Perwyn Frey. Sent away from the Twins before the Red Wedding, being judged as too loyal to Robb's cause.
  • Olyvar Frey, Robb's squire. Sent away from the Twins before the Red Wedding, being judged as too loyal to Robb's cause.
  • {Torrhen Karstark}. Slain by Jaime Lannister at the battle in the Whispering Wood.
  • {Eddard Karstark}. Slain by Jaime Lannister at the battle in the Whispering Wood.
  • {Daryn Hornwood}. Slain by Jaime Lannister at the battle in the Whispering Wood.
  • Theon Greyjoy. The only of Robb's guard who betrayed him.

Most were young men, but some were mature and trusted warriors (such as Wendel Manderly, who is present in the TV series), and Dacey Mormont (eldest daughter and heir of Maege Mormont) was a woman. After it became clear to Jaime Lannister during the battle in the Whispering Wood that his army was lost, he tried to carve his way through Robb's personal guards to kill him in single combat. Jaime managed to kill three of Robb's personal guards, but was subdued and captured alive before he could kill Robb. Of the three that Jaime killed, two were sons of Rickard Karstark. The TV series moved their names around a bit to avoid confusion, and changed it so that while one son did die in combat, Jaime killed the other in an escape attempt during Season 2 (to make the death more prominent, instead of making it an off-screen event in Season 1). Theon Greyjoy was a member of Robb's personal guard but later betrayed Robb when he followed his father's orders to invade the North. Of Robb's personal guard of thirty warriors, almost all were killed during the slaughter at the Red Wedding. Patrek Mallister was captured alive because as the heir of House Mallister, he is a valuable political hostage. The two Frey members of the guard also survived, Perwyn and Olyvar Frey. Olyvar is mentioned within the TV series, as Walder demanded that Robb give him the honor of making Olyvar his own squire. The other Freys were actually worried that they were too loyal to Robb to be trusted, so they sent them away from the Twins just before the massacre. Perwyn is subsequently seen grudgingly following his family, but Olyvar's reaction to the Red Wedding is as yet unknown. With the subsequent loyalty of the two Frey members ambiguous, and Theon a traitor and captive of the Boltons, this makes the captive Patrek Mallister the only surviving member of Robb's personal guard whose allegiance never faltered (see: Robb's Personal Guard at A Wiki of Ice and Fire).

Daenerys Targaryen, however, forms her own "Queensguard" in anticipation of one day retaking the Seven Kingdoms in the name of House Targaryen, originally composed of her Dothraki bloodriders and Ser Jorah Mormont. Apparently, "Queensguard" is the proper term used when there is a female monarch on the Iron Throne - but there had previously never been a ruling Queen in three centuries of Targaryen rule. The closest there ever came to being a ruling Queen was 170 years ago, during the great Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons: Aegon II Targaryen was crowned king ahead of his older half-sister Rhaenyra Targaryen, who their father Viserys I had publicly and repeatedly named as his legal heir. Viserys I's Kingsguard divided between the two rival claimants, with some supporting Aegon II and others Rhaenyra. Lord Commander Criston Cole infamously sided with Aegon II and personally crowned him, leading to Cole being known as "the Kingmaker". Three others joined Ser Criston in supporting Aegon II, but three others sided with Rhaenyra. Each side then added new knights to their guards to bring their numbers back up to seven. Rhaenyra's seven bodyguards, however, were known as her "Queensguard", so this would seem to be the correct legal term when there is a female monarch - not simply a named invented by Daenerys. Rhaenyra died during the Dance of the Dragons, however, and subsequent history discounts her as a rival claimant (despite the fact that her own son Aegon III ultimately succeeded Aegon II), thus Rhaenyra's Queensguard is not considered an "official" historical iteration of the Kingsguard.

In "A Dance with Dragons", soon after the presumed-dead Aegon Targaryen, the son of Rhaegar and Elia, and Jon Connington arrive at Westeros, the prince appoints a knight in his service - Ser Rolly "Duck" Duckfield - as a member in his new Kingsguard. Connington thinks Duck is a solid and true man, but not worthy of the Kingsguard. Connington believes the honor should best be held in reserve for warriors of greater renown whose fealty would add luster to their cause, and the younger sons of great lords whose support they would need in the coming struggle, but Aegon is too stubborn. He states that Duck is loyal to him, and that's all he needs from his Kingsguard; besides, the Kingsguard member who killed his grandfather was both warrior of great renown, and the son of a great lord. Connington cannot refute Aegon's arguments, so he convinces the youth to leave the other six slots open.

In the books, Kingsguard members wear stunning all-white uniforms, composed of white-enameled armor, white cloaks, and all-white gear, highlighted only with a few fasteners which are made of silver. They have no symbol, displaying only a pure white banner for their heraldry, the opposite of how a knight with no allegiance will use solid black heraldry. Indeed, only members of the Kingsguard legally have the right to carry shields and banners emblazoned with all-white heraldry. Jaime Lannister flouted this tradition by instead wearing a full suit of gold-plated armor, the color of his House, along with a helm shaped like a lion's head and the heraldic lion of House Lannister emblazoned on his shield. The costumes used in the TV series are similar, but they have white enameling on gold plate, as opposed to completely white armor. The helms employed in the series also lack face-concealing visors like the ones mentioned in the novels. In "Barristan I" sample chapter of The Winds of Winter, however, it is stated that the Kingsguard actually do have a banner, featuring seven silver swords encircling a golden crown (it is possible that this is the battle flag of the Kingsguard as an organization, but individual Kingsguard members only use plain white banners for personal use, such as when they enter tournaments).




  1. Conjecture based on information from A Song of Ice and Fire; may be subject to change.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The seventh member is never named in the TV series. In the books, his name is Ser Arys Oakheart.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 In "The Bear and the Maiden Fair," four Kingsguard are present in the throne room. Balon Swann has been mentioned as existing in TV continuity, though he hasn't been explicitly mentioned as a Kingsguard.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 In "Sons of the Harpy," Tommen is seen guarded by five Kingsguard. While the new member of the brotherhood hasn't been named in the show (just like the sixth member this wiki considers Balon Swann), in the books the next minor character to be named is Osmund Kettleblack, a lesser knight of ill repute in service of Queen Cersei.
  5. Though no replacement is named in the TV series, there must have been a new Lord Commander during Cersei's reign as the Book of Brothers states that Jaime served under Tommen after Joffrey was murdered by Tyrion. Only the Lord Commander updates the entries in the book and Jaime did not believe that Tyrion was responsible for Joffrey's murder.
  6. In "The Winds of Winter," seven Kingsguard are seen in the Iron Throne room.

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