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Jaime Lannister murdered Aerys II Targaryen during the Sack of King's Landing, earning him the derogatory nickname of "Kingslayer".

"Is that what you tell yourself at night? That you're a servant of justice? That you were avenging my father when you shoved your sword in Aerys Targaryen's back?"
Eddard Stark to Jaime Lannister[src]

Regicide, also known as kingslaying, (or queenslaying) is the deliberate act of murdering a monarch and is considered one of the most serious and stigmatized crimes in the Seven Kingdoms. Whoever commits it is dubbed a kingslayer. It usually refers to the act of killing one's own king, making the act a form of oathbreaking. Killing a king in battle is generally not considered kingslaying, particularly if the dead king is a rival to one's own or an otherwise declared enemy.

Somewhat like kinslaying, incest, or violating guest right, anyone who kills a king is believed to be cursed. Because the King of the Andals and the First Men is blessed by the High Septon of the Faith of the Seven at his coronation, it is considered a heinous crime in that religion to kill the king. This applies even when the king is a reviled tyrant.

Known kingslayers

"Perhaps you should speak to me more softly then. Monsters are dangerous - and just now, kings are dying like flies."
Tyrion Lannister to King Joffrey Baratheon after the Red Wedding.[src]

Roose Bolton murders Robb Stark during the Red Wedding.

Renly Baratheon, self-proclaimed king, is killed by a shadow monster created by Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre.

Brienne of Tarth pulls out her sword Oathkeeper, minutes before killing Stannis.

Alleged and suspected kingslayers

Contemplated and would-be kingslayers

  • In 61 AC, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen and his former Hand Rogar Baratheon chased after Rogar's outlaw brother Borys. When the brothers confronted each other, Jaehaerys intervened, stating that he should fight the traitor, since he did not wish that his old friend would become a kinslayer; Borys scornfully responded "Rather name me a kingslayer than him a kinslayer!", charged at the king and was killed by him.
  • It is implied that Varys, using one of his little birds, attempted to poison Queen Daenerys Targaryen prior to the attack of King's Landing, to prevent the slaughter of innocent lives. His plot was foiled because Daenerys wouldn't eat anything, consumed by grief over the deaths of Rhaegal and Missandei.[2]
  • Arya Stark had plans to kill Queen Cersei Lannister, but was eventually dissuaded by the Hound.[2]
  • Sansa Stark was about to push King Joffrey off the ramparts of Traitor's Walk in the Red Keep, as a payback for her father's death. She was stopped by the Hound before she could do this.[12]
  • King Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre sought to kill the kings Robb, Balon and Joffrey by performing a ritual of blood magic. It is doubtful the ritual had anything to do with the deaths of the intended victims.[13]


"A man who profaned his blade with the blood of the King he had sworn to defend!"
Barristan Selmy on Jaime Lannister the Kingslayer.[src]
"Kingslayer! And what a king he was! Here's to Aerys Targaryen, the second of his name, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, and to the sword I shoved in his back!"
Jaime Lannister on his killing of Aerys II Targaryen.[src]
"The Kingslayer Brothers. You like it?"
Tyrion Lannister to his brother Jaime.[src]
Cersei Lannister: "Roose Bolton is Warden of the North by the grace of my father."
Petyr Baelish: "Indeed. His reward for stabbing his own king in the heart."
Cersei Lannister and Petyr Baelish[src]
Petyr Baelish: "I promise you..."
Olenna Tyrell: "I promise you, Lord Baelish, that our fates are joined. Together, we murdered a king."
Olenna Tyrell reminds Petyr Baelish that they are kingslayers.[src]
Jaime Lannister: "I'm sorry if this conflict has inconvenienced you, but rebelling against the Crown has consequences."
Edmure Tully: "Says the man who shoved his sword through the king's back!"
— Jaime spars with Edmure Tully.[src]
"You talk about war as if you're an expert, but the one battle I remember you fighting, you were captured by Robb Stark, the Young Wolf. But it doesn't matter. Here we are now, two kingslayers."
Walder Frey to Jaime[src]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the taboo against kingslaying is much the same.

Jaime Lannister directly states that in the eyes of gods and men, kinslaying is considered to be even worse than regicide - thus while men often think of him as honorless and call him "the Kingslayer", Jaime still has major personal reservations against kinslaying, which would make him sink even lower on the moral scale. Unlike Cersei, Jaime actually never liked Joffrey and recognized him for the sociopathic monster that he is. Having already killed one king, and been made a social pariah for it, Jaime no longer had any personal restrictions on simply killing another king. Even so, Jaime never considered killing Joffrey to remove him from the line of succession, not because he was a king, but because if nothing else, Jaime would not kill his own son.

See also