Wiki of Westeros

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Wiki of Westeros
Wiki of Westeros
Order of Maesters
Order of Maesters

Jaime: "You're no maester. Where's your chain?"
Qyburn: "The Citadel stripped me of it. They found some of my... experiments... too bold."
— Jaime Lannister and Qyburn[src]

Qyburn was an unethical former maester who was thrown out of the Citadel for conducting illegal human experimentation. After coming into Cersei Lannister's service, he became Varys's replacement as Master of Whisperers on the Small Council. Through the course of his time Cersei's service, he became one of her most loyal and best-known lieutenants; in spite or perhaps because of this, he sometimes butted heads with his compatriots on the Small Council. Following the Destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor, and the death of King Tommen Baratheon, Qyburn was granted the title of Hand of the Queen upon Cersei's ascension. One of his chief "experiments," Ser Gregor Clegane, backfired when Gregor turned on his master, killing him during the Battle of King's Landing.



Qyburn expulsion

Qyburn is expelled from the Citadel.

Qyburn is a former maester of the Citadel. He was stripped of his chain by the archmaesters for engaging in forbidden human experimentation: it was discovered that he had been vivisecting men in his pursuit of medical knowledge. Qyburn held to the belief that the death of a few men was justifiable if it would lead to medical breakthroughs that would save the lives of many more.[citation needed]

While his unethical experiments have led to him being reviled by many, they also made him arguably one of the most talented healers in all of Westeros.[citation needed]

Game of Thrones: Season 3[]

For unknown reasons, Qyburn ended up among the Northern and Riverlander prisoners at Harrenhal when Ser Gregor Clegane abandons the castle and has all captives put to the sword. Qyburn, however, survives the injury at his throat and awakens when the castle is taken by the Northern army. After he wakes, he identifies himself to Robb Stark while Talisa tends to his wound.[1]

After Robb leaves Harrenhal, Qyburn stays behind, serving under Lord Roose Bolton. He tends to Ser Jaime Lannister's badly infected stump, the result of Locke chopping off his right hand. During this time, Jaime notices that Qyburn is not a maester because he isn't wearing a maester's chain of office. Qyburn acknowledges this, explaining that he was stripped of his chain by the Citadel and thrown out of the Order of Maesters for conducting experiments which they felt were too "bold". Qyburn initially intends to amputate part of Jaime's arm, but Jaime begs him not to, even threatening to kill him. Qyburn agrees to instead resort to removing the infected flesh, warning that the process will be painful and likely require milk of the poppy, but Jaime, worrying that Qyburn may still amputate his arm, refuses. Qyburn straps Jaime's arm to the chair and starts the painful procedure.[2]

Jaime Harrenal Bear and Maiden Fair

Qyburn readies to leave Harrenhal with Jaime.

Qyburn volunteers to join the party escorting Jaime back to King's Landing. Lord Bolton theorizes that the former maester is doing so in the hopes that Tywin Lannister will force the Citadel to restore his chain, though Jaime shoots it down by sarcastically quipping that Tywin will make Qyburn Grand Maester if he grows Jaime a new hand. After leaving Harrenhal, when Qyburn checks on Jaime's healing stump, Jaime notes that Qyburn's work is far superior to that of Grand Maester Pycelle and asks why the Citadel removed his chain.[3]

Qyburn tells him that it was for performing experiments on living humans in order to learn more about their anatomy and justifies his actions by noting that he used the information he gleaned from them to save lives. Jaime briefly mocks Qyburn, who shoots back at Jaime for the countless lives he's taken, though Jaime notes that he saved the population of King's Landing from the Mad King. When Jaime then asks Qyburn about Brienne, he states that her father offered Locke a fair ransom of three hundred gold dragons, which Locke refused to accept due to a previous lie of Jaime's that Brienne came from a wealthier family than she really did. Qyburn tells Jaime that she will most likely serve as entertainment for Locke and his men that night, and be killed thereafter. Qyburn then accompanies Jaime and Steelshanks back to Harrenhal when Jaime blackmails Steelshanks into helping him rescue Brienne.[3]

Qyburn is still with Jaime and Brienne when they finally reach King's Landing. As they enter the city, Qyburn is visibly awestruck by its splendor.[4]

Game of Thrones: Season 4[]


Qyburn tends to Jaime's stump.

Cersei has a gilded prosthetic hand forged for Jaime, and Qyburn personally fits it on him. Cersei voices her gratitude to Qyburn, who then ingratiates himself with the queen by aiding her in other matters.[5]

After Gregor Clegane is seriously wounded during his fight against Oberyn Martell, Qyburn and Pycelle theorize that Oberyn had coated his spear in manticore venom, causing Clegane's wounds to fester and leave him in agony. Pycelle tells Cersei that Clegane is likely doomed, but Qyburn states that he may be able to save him using more unorthodox means, even though Clegane once nearly killed him at Harrenhal. Pycelle snorts that Qyburn is not even a maester and reminds Cersei that he was expelled from the Citadel for conducting "dangerous" and "unnatural" experiments.[6]

Gregor and qyburn

Qyburn begins working on Gregor.

Cersei, remembering Qyburn's success with Jaime's stump, responds by dismissing Pycelle from his duties - and his laboratory. Cersei then gives Qyburn permission to do anything he can to save Clegane and to come to her should he need anything. Qyburn warns the queen that the process he intends to put Ser Gregor through may "change him", but when she is satisfied that it will not affect his strength, she instructs Qyburn to carry on.[6]

Game of Thrones: Season 5[]

Qyburn is at Cersei's side when she confirms that a head brought to her by two bounty hunters does not belong to her brother Tyrion. Qyburn asks for the head for use in his research. Later on, at a meeting of the Small Council, Cersei appoints Qyburn as the new Master of Whisperers to replace Varys. Grand Maester Pycelle protests vehemently given Qyburn's outcast status, and Kevan Lannister denounces Qyburn as a sycophant and Cersei as a power-grabber.[7]

Qyburn (S05E03)

Qyburn writes to Littlefinger, at Cersei's request.

Qyburn is present at a Small Council meeting when the High Septon demands the execution of the High Sparrow after his followers attack him. Qyburn informs the council that the High Septon had been at Littlefinger's brothel. Later, Qyburn kills a rat as part of an experiment when Cersei enters his laboratory, giving him a message that she wants sent to Petyr Baelish. She also asks him about the state of his work, while glancing at Gregor Clegane's covered body, and Qyburn assures her it is going very well, though there is still a way to go. Soon after Cersei leaves, as Qyburn writes, Gregor begins shaking under the blanket, but Qyburn shushes him calmly.[8]

Qyburn is at the meeting of the Small Council when Mace Tyrell departs to negotiate the crown's debt with the Iron Bank of Braavos.[9] Qyburn visits Cersei while she is held prisoner by the High Sparrow, informing her of the charges being brought against her - fornication, treason, incest, regicide - and that Grand Maester Pycelle has sent for Kevan Lannister to serve as Hand of the King. He also informs her that King Tommen has become despondent following Cersei's arrest, and that he refuses to eat or see anyone. He suggests that she can simply confess to the charges and plead for mercy, subtly warning her that if there is a trial, the Faith will not wait for physical evidence to reach a verdict, only what they simply believe to be true, but she initially refuses. Finally, just before leaving her, he informs her that "the work continues," referring to his experiments on Ser Gregor Clegane.[10]

Eventually, Cersei confesses to her relationship with her cousin Lancel to the High Sparrow, who agrees to set her free on the condition that she perform a walk of atonement. After Cersei enters the Red Keep following her walk, Qyburn hastily rushes to her side and throws a cloak over her naked body. He then speaks to Cersei softly and reassuringly as he embraces her, attempting to soothe her. Pycelle looks upon the scene with disgust. Qyburn remarks upon her poor state and bleeding feet. Qyburn then introduces the "newest member of the Kingsguard," the 7-foot tall abomination he has been working on. At his behest, the golden knight picks her up and they walk away together, further into the Red Keep so Qyburn can clean her up and treat her wounds.[11]

Game of Thrones: Season 6[]

Oathbreaker 01

Qyburn tempts the Little Birds.

In his laboratory, Qyburn continues to serve as Master of Whisperers by bribing a group of Varys's little birds into his service with boxes of sweets. When Jaime and Cersei arrive accompanied by Gregor Clegane, the children are unnerved by the Mountain, though Qyburn promises them Clegane is a friend. As part of her revenge, Cersei asks Qyburn to bribe more of Varys's spies stationed in the other kingdoms, and he agrees to do so.[12]

Qyburn enters Cersei's chamber to inform her that the Faith Militant have entered the Red Keep. Accompanied by Qyburn and the Mountain, Cersei confronts the group. Lancel says she must be taken to the High Sparrow, however Cersei disregards what her cousin is saying. Qyburn then watches as Gregor kills one of the sparrows.[13]

No One 12

Qyburn accompanies Cersei to Tommen's announcement.

Later, Cersei, Qyburn, and Ser Gregor enter the throne room to find a large crowd gathered for a royal announcement, King Tommen then announces that Cersei and Loras Tyrell's trial will be held in the sept of Baelor on the first day of the Festival of the Mother, and then declares that trial by combat is now forbidden. After the announcement Qyburn tells a shocked Cersei, who had been planning on calling a trial by combat with Gregor as her champion, that his little birds have been investigating an old rumor that she had told him about, and that the rumor was found to be much more than a rumor.[13]

The rumor turns out to be the wildfire plot, in which King Aerys II stored caches of wildfire across the city, including underneath the Great Sept of Baelor. Qyburn has his spies create leaks in the barrels containing the wildfire, then has them place candles in the middle of the resulting puddles, which slowly burn towards the wildfire.[14]

Qyburn and Pycelle

Qyburn aids Cersei in killing Maester Pycelle.

The wildfire ignites and destroys the Sept of Baelor, killing the High Sparrow, Mace Tyrell, Queen Margaery, Loras Tyrell, Kevan Lannister, and many others. Qyburn also has Pycelle assassinated by his spies so as to consolidate Cersei's power. After Tommen's suicide, Qyburn is present when Cersei comes to view her son's body, even gently trying to persuade Cersei she doesn't need to look on the corpse, only to be rebuffed. After showing Cersei, Qyburn gingerly asks if Cersei has any wishes regarding Tommen's funeral, only to be brusquely told to cremate the King's body and scatter his ashes at the Sept of Baelor's ruins. For his service and loyalty, Qyburn is made Cersei's Hand, and later crowns her as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.[14]

Game of Thrones: Season 7[]

Cersei Qyburn Machine

Qyburn shows Cersei the scorpion.

Qyburn is present when Cersei holds court with Euron Greyjoy.[15] Qyburn also attends court with Cersei when she addresses the lords of the Reach, sworn to House Tyrell, to convince them to betray Lady Olenna for Cersei. When Lord Randyll Tarly asks about how Cersei is going to deal with Daenerys Targaryen's dragons, Qyburn tells the lords that he has been working on a solution. He later takes Cersei down beneath the Red Keep to show her his new modified scorpion to kill one of Daenerys's dragons, inviting her to test it on the skull of Balerion, the dragon Aegon the Conqueror used to unite the Seven Kingdoms, and forge the Iron Throne.[16]

Qyburn Cersei Euron Great Hall

Qyburn watches as Cersei announces their small victory against Daenerys.

Qyburn and Ser Gregor are present in the dungeons when Cersei confronts Ellaria Sand and her daughter Tyene Sand, who had murdered her daughter Myrcella Baratheon. Cersei tells Ellaria and Tyene that Qyburn managed to ascertain that they had poisoned her daughter with the long farewell. Cersei kisses Tyene with the long farewell and Qyburn gives Cersei the antidote. Cersei confers with Qyburn, who assures her the poison will mean certain death for Tyene, but how long the poison will take to kill depends largely on the strength of the victim's constitution. Qyburn and the others then leave a distraught Ellaria to mourn with her dying daughter.[17]

Qyburn's scorpion is used in Battle of the Goldroad, when Bronn fires it into Drogon's shoulder. It succeeds at injuring Drogon enough to make him land. Angered, the dragon destroys the weapon with dragonfire shortly after.[18]

Upon Jaime's return to King's Landing and his secret meeting with Tyrion, Qyburn reveals to Cersei that she is pregnant. She dismisses Qyburn after Jaime walks into the room, allowing Cersei to reveal the good news to her brother in private.[19]

707 Qyburn Hand

Qyburn examines the wight's severed hand.

Qyburn is present at the meeting at the dragonpit, which he helped Cersei organize. He comes forward after Sandor Clegane begins cutting up the captured wight presented to Cersei, reaching for the wight's severed arm, and examining it with genuine curiosity, although even he seems somewhat unnerved by it. Qyburn gives the hand to Jon Snow, who then burns the wight's hand to reveal one of its weaknesses.[20]

Game of Thrones: Season 8[]

Qyburn remains Cersei's Hand of the Queen. As she watches the Iron Fleet returning to King's Landing with the Golden Company, Qyburn informs her that he has received word the Night King's undead army has breached the Wall and invaded the North. Cersei's response is a dismissive "Good". Qyburn is also present during Cersei's audience with both Euron Greyjoy and the Golden Company's commander, Harry Strickland.[21]

On Cersei's orders, Qyburn tracks down Ser Bronn of the Blackwater, finding him in the middle of a foursome with three prostitutes in a King's Landing brothel. After briefly unsettling Bronn by informing him one of his female companions will be dead of pox within the year, Qyburn explains that Cersei wishes to hire Bronn and is willing to grant him the castle, lordship, and highborn bride Jaime and Tyrion both promised him (asserting that the original deal involving his marriage to Lollys Stokeworth was scrapped by Jaime, not Cersei when Bronn protests), as well as offering an advance payment in the form of a wagon full of gold for his service. Bronn initially refuses, guessing that Cersei wants him as an assassin to kill Daenerys, but Qyburn instead tells him he is being hired to assassinate Jaime and Tyrion (despite Bronn's previous service to both) for their betrayal of Cersei in the event they survive the undead invasion of the North; Qyburn presents him with Joffrey's crossbow for the task, leaving him speechless, though he is clearly given pause when Qyburn reminds Bronn Cersei doesn't stint in rewarding loyal service, citing his own elevation to the position of Cersei's Hand as proof.[21]

Qyburn informs Cersei that thousands of people have accepted the offer of refuge in the Red Keep against the invading Daenerys Targaryen. He later negotiates with Tyrion outside the gates of King's Landing, unsuccessfully requesting the unconditional surrender of Daenerys's army.[22]

Clegane Battle S8 Ep5

Qyburn lies dead after being thrown by Gregor.

When Drogon starts ravaging King's Landing, Qyburn convinces Cersei to flee Red Keep as it is unsafe and are saved by Gregor from the falling debris while fleeing. They are confronted by the Hound who slays all the surviving Queensguard and wants to fight Gregor, who also wishes the same. Qyburn orders him to obey his Queen, when she demands that Gregor continues to protect her, but Gregor simply picks him up and smashes him into a crumbled wall, cracking his skull and spurting blood, before throwing him head-first into sharp debris that destroys the back of his head, killing Qyburn. He lay there dead while Cersei walked past him and the Cleganes commenced their battle.[23]


Although never confirmed, several Grand Maesters have alleged, including Pycelle, that Qyburn is a dark magician who studies and practices black magic. Despite this, he is shown to have a great talent for healing, such as being able to clean the highly infected stump of Jaime Lannister without having to amputate his entire arm. Qyburn also has an exceptional knowledge of the human body, owing to his years of experimenting on living people at the Citadel.


It seems as though Qyburn possessed the magical ability to raise and manipulate those from the dead. It is heavily implied his successful reanimation of Gregor Clegane involved dark magic, and he also showed interest in the hand of the captured wight.


Externally, Qyburn appears to be an extremely harmless, polite and serene old man - he behaves calmly and patiently around everyone he meets, even if they do not have a good impression of him. Jaime viewed him as an "odd little man" and didn't entirely trust him, even when Qyburn operated on the wound left by his severed hand. Qyburn is proven to be highly intelligent, well-educated, and very resourceful, as demonstrated by his successful salvaging of Ser Gregor Clegane from his poisoned death at the hands of Oberyn Martell, which had been deemed impossible by the Grand Maester and by his invention of the (effective though fragile) anti-dragon Scorpions. He shows little pride or smugness at these accomplishments, presenting them as simple derivations of fact that he happens to understand rather than personal genius. He is naturally highly curious, as shown by his history of extreme experimentation and by his reaction to the sight of the wight brought to the Dragonpit. Qyburn is, at the same time, secretive, closely guarding what methods he used to save the Mountain and showing clear aptitude for Whispers after succeeding Varys; he also does not disseminate his knowledge lightly.

Despite his gentle exterior, Qyburn is ruthless and unethical, which makes him potentially very dangerous. The Citadel deemed his experimentation unnatural and unacceptable and therefore expelled him and revoked his maester's chain; Qyburn characterized this as 'foolish' and 'their loss'.[24] Even when attacking those who have previously given him offense, such as assassinating Grand Maester Pycelle (who loudly expressed disgust at his elevation by Cersei), he shows little enjoyment, only cold satisfaction, and claims that it's a necessity that he regrets having to carry out. His reactions to the pain he inflicts on Gregor Clegane (who tried to kill him at Harrenhal) while operating on him, and to seeing his reanimated Gregor Clegane brutally kill Sparrows who came to attack him, are similar. From the time he began to serve and ally with Cersei Lannister his loyalty appears firm and consistent; while he indulges his own curiosity and interests, he does not betray or undermine his queen's interests to do so, acting resourcefully, efficiently, and ruthlessly to forward her goals, both for good and for ill. It is not clear whether this is a deeply felt sense of loyalty or merely seeing her support as worth more than he could get by betrayal; there is some suggestion he is being deliberately manipulative via flattery and personal obsequiosity, but this may instead be honest personal ties. Overall, he appears mildly sociopathic but not sadistic, emotionally blunted or stunted but not cruel. He is probably not a true sociopath, as sociopathy characteristically comes with egotism and vindictiveness, both of which Qyburn avoids even in private.


Spoken by Qyburn[]

"The only way to treat disease is to understand disease."
Pycelle: "This man is not even a maester, let alone Grand Maester."
Qyburn: "That's for the best. No maester knows how to save him."
Pycelle: "That is exactly the sort of arrogance that had him expelled from the Citadel, Your Grace. His curiosity was deemed dangerous and unnatural. Rightly so, in my opinion."
— Grand Maester Pycelle and Qyburn.[src]
Qyburn: "You should know the process may change him...somewhat."
Cersei Lannister: "Will it weaken him?"
Qyburn: "Oh no."
— Qyburn on saving Gregor Clegane.[src]
"Belief is so often the death of reason."
―Qyburn to Cersei Lannister.[src]
"This pains me, my lord. Whatever your faults you do not deserve to die alone in such a cold, dark place. But sometimes before we can usher in the new, the old must be put to rest."
―Qyburn's final words to Pycelle.[src]
"When the Citadel expelled me, I thought I would die poor and alone, but in exchange for my service, Queen Cersei made me her Hand. What would she do for the man who rids her of her treasonous brothers?"
―Qyburn to Bronn.[src]
"Obey your Queen, Ser Gregor!"
―Qyburn's last words.[src]

Spoken about Qyburn[]

Roose Bolton: "Qyburn hopes your father will force the Citadel to restore his chain."
Jaime Lannister: "I think my father will make him Grand Maester if he grows me a new hand."
Roose Bolton and Jaime Lannister about Qyburn.[src]
Jaime Lannister: "Odd little man."
Cersei Lannister: "I've grown rather fond of him. He's quite talented, you know?"
— Jaime and Cersei.[src]
"Qyburn here is the cleverest man I know. Clever enough to find out which poison you used to murder my daughter."
―Cersei to Ellaria Sand.[src]

Behind the scenes[]

  • Anton Lesser, who portrays Qyburn, originally auditioned to play Maester Luwin.
  • Lesser played a similar character, Dr. Karl Crabbe - an apparently benevolent healer secretly engaged in sadistic experimentation - in BBC's Ripper Street, co-starring Jerome Flynn.

In the books[]

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Qyburn is a former maester who acts as a healer in the Brave Companions sellsword company. Qyburn never met Robb Stark, nor was he imprisoned while staying at Harrenhal, and he never met Gregor Clegane until after the latter's fight with Oberyn Martell. Qyburn is rumored to practice black sorcery and necromancy. Despite his horrific experiments, Qyburn has a very kindly, fatherly appearance - Cersei thinks he looks like some little girl's image of her favorite grandfather.

Qyburn fell in with the Brave Companions at some point, who had been hired by the Lannisters and were based around Harrenhal. When Roose Bolton leads the eastern half of the Northern army to advance on Harrenhal, they betrayed the Lannisters to side with Bolton, and remain at Harrenhal. This entire subplot was extensively condensed, so that Robb's entire army goes to the Westerlands, then to Harrenhal, instead of splitting into two groups (one commanded by Robb Stark, the other by Roose Bolton). The Brave Companions were also condensed from being a sellsword company to just a particularly vicious group of Bolton soldiers. Thus Qyburn simply appears in the TV series without further explanation as a refugee/prisoner that just happened to turn up at Harrenhal. In the novels, the Brave Companions are fond of cutting off the hands and feet of their prisoners so Qyburn has become quite skilled at treating such injuries.

Qyburn treats Jaime's festering stump as in the TV series. The chapter is told from Jaime's POV, which explains that the main reason he refuses to take milk of the poppy is because he fears that if he allows Qyburn to render him unconscious for the surgery, Qyburn will break his word and amputate the rest of Jaime's right arm instead of just the gangrenous parts. Qyburn's treatment works quite well and he manages to save Jaime's right arm from the gangrene, and then travels to King's Landing with him.

In the beginning of the fourth novel, Qyburn is introduced to Cersei (he offers to prepare Tywin's corpse, in the wake of his murder by Tyrion, for the Silent Sisters in the absence of Pycelle). He tells her openly why he was expelled from the Citadel, and she is quite pleased to hear he has fewer moral restraints than Pycelle. She promises to finance his research and provide him with human subjects for his inhuman experiments, but warns him that he must be discreet - otherwise, he shall be granted a painful death. Later she gives Qyburn a title of lord upon elevating him to the Small Council as Master of Whisperers, despite Pycelle's objections that a maester cannot hold a title - let alone a disgraced maester. Cersei points out that as Qyburn was stripped of his chain by the Citadel, he is not beholden to a maester's vows, and in any event, the title is nothing more than a courtesy, similar to the title of lord that Varys enjoyed.

When treating Gregor Clegane, Qyburn theorizes that Oberyn had adulterated the manticore venom on his spear with sorcery; thickening it in order to slow its progress through the veins towards the heart, dragging out Gregor's agony.

After Qyburn is made Master of Whisperers, he soon takes over Varys's network of spies. Cersei gives him control over the dungeons, allowing him use of the prisoners in his experiments. She starts disposing of enemies or unwanted persons (among them maids she thinks are spying on her for Margaery Tyrell, and people who just annoy her) by sending them off to Qyburn - other than a few screams emanating from his dungeon, they are never heard from again.

With time, Cersei grows to trust Qyburn more, and he becomes her confidant: at one point, when Cersei muses that she cannot have Jon Snow killed, since he was elected the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Qyburn advises that she send assassins posing as recruits. She even reveals to him Maggy's prophecy, asking him if it can be forestalled. Qyburn answers positively and adds "I think Your Grace knows how".

Qyburn proves to be much more cunning and devious than the other members of the Small Council, to Cersei's satisfaction. For instance, when she informs the council that Jon Snow assists Stannis, Pycelle, Orton Merryweather, Harys Swyft and Aurane Waters suggest to impose sanctions on the Night's Watch; Qyburn says "For years now, the Night’s Watch has begged for men. Lord Stannis has answered their plea. Can King Tommen do less? His Grace should send the Wall a hundred men. To take the black, ostensibly, but in truth...". Cersei immediately understands what Qyburn has in mind - to remove Jon from the command. She intends to send Osney Kettleblack with a hundred men to the Wall for that purpose, but as things turn to be, that scheme is not executed. He also proposes that someone in House Frey be made a scapegoat for the Red Wedding to assauge the growing anger at the massacre amongst the North, Riverlands and the Sparrows in the capital (and also divert attention from House Lannister's involvement in planning the slaughter). Pycelle protests that Walder Frey will never sacrifice his own, but Cersei agrees with Qyburn's idea, musing that whoever succeeds the elderly, soon likely to die Walder might welcome the opportunity to eliminate rival claimants to lordship of the Twins by pointing the finger of blame at them.

When Cersei plots Margaery's downfall by framing her for a serial adulterer (which Cersei ironically is herself), she uses Qyburn to torture suspects into submission, driving them half mad. Cersei is present when Qyburn personally tortures one of those people (a singer who calls himself the Blue Bard), mercilessly cutting off one of his nipples with a razor. Eventually, the singer and the other prisoners tell the story Cersei wants them to tell. After Margaery is arrested, she gives some of these suspects to the High Sparrow to further build up the false case against Margaery, and the rest (what is left of them) are left for Qyburn's experiences.

However, Cersei forgets an important fact: she is not the only one who can extract confessions by torture. One of her henchmen, Osney Kettleblack, is tortured at the High Sparrow's command, and the truth comes out including about the murder of the previous High Septon. After Cersei herself is imprisoned and the High Sparrow learns of her plot against Margaery, the suspects continue to admit their guilt, but the High Sparrow is not impressed, as he can see they are clearly half mad. However, the High Sparrow still means to try Margaery, though the case against her is weak, primarily because of the unreliability of the suspects.

After Cersei is imprisoned, most of her henchmen flee, and Kevan takes steps to remove the rest from their offices. He dismisses Qyburn from the Small Council, though he is allowed to continue his work with Varys’s whisperers. Qyburn visits Cersei and updates her with the latest news. Cersei is in despair to hear all her supporters either abandoned her or are stripped of power. Qyburn is the only one who remains loyal to her; he consoles her by revealing that her new champion stands ready, and there is no man in all the Seven Kingdoms who can hope to stand against him.

Throughout his experiments, Qyburn manages to reanimate Gregor Clegane as Ser Robert Strong. Unlike in the show, no one except Cersei and Qyburn knows the truth about Ser Robert, although people find it strange that Gregor disappeared and that a new mysterious knight, who has similar size, appeared from nowhere.

Qyburn is not involved in the murders of Pycelle and Kevan, both committed by Varys and his little birds.

Qyburn is still alive by the point the novels reached.




  1. Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 1: "Valar Dohaeris" (2013).
  2. Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 5: "Kissed by Fire" (2013).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 7: "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" (2013).
  4. Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 10: "Mhysa" (2013).
  5. Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 1: "Two Swords" (2014).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 10: "The Children" (2014).
  7. Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 2: "The House of Black and White" (2015).
  8. Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 3: "High Sparrow" (2015).
  9. Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 4: "Sons of the Harpy" (2015).
  10. Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 8: "Hardhome" (2015).
  11. Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 10: "Mother's Mercy" (2015).
  12. Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 3: "Oathbreaker" (2016).
  13. 13.0 13.1 Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 8: "No One" (2016).
  14. 14.0 14.1 Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 10: "The Winds of Winter" (2016).
  15. Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 1: "Dragonstone" (2017).
  16. Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 2: "Stormborn" (2017).
  17. Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 3: "The Queen's Justice" (2017).
  18. Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 4: "The Spoils of War" (2017).
  19. Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 5: "Eastwatch" (2017).
  20. Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 7: "The Dragon and the Wolf" (2017).
  21. 21.0 21.1 Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 1: "Winterfell" (2019).
  22. Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 4: "The Last of the Starks" (2019).
  23. Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 5: "The Bells" (2019).
  24. Histories & Lore: Season 4, Short 13: "The Maester's Chain" (2015).


  1. In "Winter Is Coming," which takes place in 298 AC, Sansa Stark tells Cersei Lannister that she is 13 years old and Bran Stark tells Jaime Lannister that he is 10 years old. Arya Stark was born between Sansa and Bran, making her either 11 or 12 in Season 1. The rest of the Stark children have been aged up by 2 years from their book ages, so it can be assumed that she is 11 in Season 1. Arya is 18 in Season 8 according to HBO, which means at least 7 years occur in the span of the series; therefore, each season of Game of Thrones must roughly correspond to a year in-universe, placing the events of Season 8 in 305 AC.

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