"You let a halfwit escape with a cripple?"
Theon Greyjoy notes Hodor's mentality. [src]
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Wylis, stableboy in service to House Stark, originally had stable mentality, but was physiologically damaged after witnessing his future demise; eventually referred to as Hodor as his condition continued.

A lackwit is a person whose mental development is considered impaired when compared to his/her chronological age. Reasons range from birth defects to injuries sustained during childhood. A more polite term to refer to them is simple.

Lowborn lackwits often find themselves in menial positions of servitude. Meanwhile, lackwits that belong to noble houses remain under the care of their families and may be employed in marriage alliances - considered poor matches, obviously - but remain the subject of mockery and shame.

Known lackwits

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, some members of House Targaryen are born lackwits due to the generations of inbreeding among its members. The son of King Daeron the Good, Prince Rhaegel was feeble-minded, and he would have been passed over in the line of succession if he had not choked to death on a lamprey pie at a feast. The daughter of Prince Daeron Targaryen was feeble-minded and thus passed over to inherit the Iron Throne. A grandson of Walder Frey, Aegon "Jinglebell" Frey, is employed as a fool, earning his nickname of Jinglebell.

Robin Greyjoy, Balon's younger brother, is described as a "sickly idiot boy", prehaps a lackwit. According to Euron, all he could do was to mewl and excrete. He died young (actually murdered by Euron).

There is something of a grey area in who gets termed a "lackwit", as it stands for a large spectrum. Certain people such as Hodor have obvious mental handicaps, and are widely accepted to be "lackwits" or "feeble-minded". At the other end of the spectrum, some characters exhibit no major, specific functional deficits, they just aren't considered to be very intelligent. Lollys Stokeworth is called "dim-witted", but due to her few appearances in the narrative, it actually isn't very clear what specific handicap (if any) she is supposed to have. "Down syndrome" isn't a term that exists in their world. Similarly Mord, the thuggish gaoler at the Eyrie, is not very intelligent, but whether he is intended to be suffering from some sort of structural mental handicap is unclear.

Orson Lannister was invented for the TV series and does not appear in the books.

Known lackwits

See also

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