- "So this is the famous "Book of Brothers"... all the great deeds of all the great Kingsguard."
- ―King Joffrey Baratheon
The book is kept in the Red Keep in the White Sword Tower, where the knights of the Kingsguard have their sleeping cells. The book is in the uppermost floor of the tower in the room where the seven meet. It is the responsibility of the current Lord Commander of the Kingsguard to update the entries in the book.
Each knight who has been made a member of the Kingsguard since the reign of King Aegon I Targaryen has a page within the book detailing his deeds. On the top left-hand corner of the page his personal or family arms are drawn while at the bottom right-hand corner are the arms of the Kingsguard.
- Prince Aemon Targaryen
- Ser Duncan the Tall
- Ser Gwayne Gaunt
- Ser Gerold Hightower
- Ser Arthur Dayne
- Ser Barristan Selmy
- Ser Jaime Lannister
Joffrey Baratheon passingly reads through some entries in the Book of Brothers, particularly those of Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Duncan the Tall. When he comes to his uncle Jaime Lannister's rather brief entry, Joffrey sarcastically remarks that someone has forgotten to record all of Jaime's great deeds. Joffrey is surprised that Ser Duncan has four entire pages devoted to his exploits, much more than is usual, and says he must have been quite a man. Jaime agrees that everyone says he was.
Jaime is alone again in the White Sword Tower quietly reading over his short entry, when Cersei arrives. Having just told off her father Tywin by threatening to publicly admit that the rumors are true that she has been having an incestuous relationship with Jaime, she is filled with self-confidence and begins to seduce Jaime. They have sex on the chamber's main table.
Following the Battle of King's Landing and the deaths of all members of Cersei Lannister's Queensguard, Ser Brienne is named Lord Commander of the Kingsguard for King Brandon I Stark. Brienne tearfully completes the entry of her deceased former lover Jaime, recording all of his deeds since the beginning of the War of Five Kings up to his death "defending his queen."
Aemon the Dragonknight's entry
Called the Dragonknight after his noble heritage. Second son to Viserys II Targaryen and brother to King Aegon IV and Queen Naerys Targaryen. Raised to the Kingsguard in his seventeenth year and after rose to Lord Commander. Wielded the Valyrian blade Dark Sister, previously the sword of Visenya Targaryen, sister and wife to Aegon I. Rescued from a snakepit by his cousin Baelor I the Blessed, whom the vipers refused to bite. Fought Cregan Stark, barely defeating him. Won the tourney of Riverrun in his 21st year, unseating Ser Terrence Toyne in the final joust. (...)
Duncan the Tall's entry
(...) Blackfyre Rebellion. Raised to Lord Commander of the Kingsguard by King Aegon V, his former squire. Led the honor guard that escorted Maester Aemon, formerly of House Targaryen and the King's uncle, to the Wall. Defeated all challengers at the tourney of Pennytree, which Aegon V held in his honor and named a commoner as the Queen of Love and Beauty. Rescued the daughter of Lord Damon Lannister from Pyke, after her ship was taken by Greyjoy raiders. Perished in the mysterious fire of Summerhall with King Aegon and Prince Duncan.
Note: When the entry refers to Aemon "and the King's uncle" (the King being Aemon's father Maekar) joining the Night's Watch at the Wall, the punctuation makes the meaning confusing: Aemon was Aegon V's brother, not his uncle. Aemon was, however, accompanied to the Wall by Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers, who was King Maekar's uncle (specifically, he was the bastard half-brother of Maekar's father Daeron II). A more explicit punctuation would be "...that escorted Maester Aemon, formerly of House Targaryen, (as well as) the King (Maekar)'s uncle (Brynden) to the Wall". Another point of confusion is that the entry begins by referring to Aegon V as the current king, then without signalling shifts tense to refer to Aegon V's father Maekar as "the King".
The text shown in the episode "The Iron Throne" is:
Born in Flea Bottom. Family name unknown. Squire to Ser Arthur of Pennytree who knighted him in his sixteenth year. Defended a Dornish woman from Prince Aerion Targaryen at the tourney at Ashford and was judged in a trial of seven.
Bested Baelor Breakspear with the aid of Aerion Targaryen, who was mentally (…) Took Prince Aegon V Targaryen to squire. But he remained a hedge knight. Served Eustace Osgrey (…) his defence against the Red Widow of Coldmoat. Defeated Ser Lucas Longinch in single combat (…) suffering grievous wounds. Uncovered a (…) of Lords to put Daemon II Blackfyre on the (…), and defended Prince Aegon from (…)
Note: "Arlan of Pennytree" is misspelled as "Arthur of Pennytree". The circumstances surrounding the death of Baelor Breakspear are wrong, with the book claiming Duncan bested him. In "Justice of the Seven Kingdoms", it is mentioned that Baelor died fighting for Duncan at his trial by seven.
Gerold Hightower's entry
(...) while defending the honor and property of the Dornish princess, Elia Martell. Handed command to Ser Arthur Dayne due to sustained injuries the same year. Broke three lances against Oswell Whent at the tourney at Harrenhal and fought with great distinction in the mêlée. Dispatched by King Aerys to locate the crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen in the wake of Robert Baratheon's Rebellion. Died in the Red Mountains of Dorne alongside his sworn brothers Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Oswell Whent after refusing to bend the knee to the new king Robert Baratheon. All were defeated by a small force led by Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell.
Arthur Dayne's entry
Second Son [of] Beric Dayne of the House [at] Starfall. Named 'Sword of the Morning' and wielder of the great white blade 'Dawn' forged from a fallen star. Won many tourneys and broke twelve lances against Rhaegar Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone, at the Tourney of Storm's End. In the Year of the False Spring, at the Great Tourney at Harrenhal, he stood against all but the prince once more.
Beloved by the people, he acted as their voice in the reign of Aerys II, gathering their concerns and bringing them before the king. Brought in laws for the royal forces to repay the smallfolk for their goods and turned the tide of support against the criminal scourge of the Kingswood Brotherhood. Led the Kingsguard to victory (...)
Note: The version in the episode The Iron Throne is different. It contains a contradiction as to his lineage, referring to him as a member of House Gaunt rather than House Dayne. However, later it corrects itself to say he was the son of Beric Dayne. It is different in the content structure. It also commits a mistake while mentioning Robert Baratheon's surname:
Thirdborn son of Lord Symon of House Gaunt. Unseated all challengers at tourney of Brightwater Keep, and crowned Lady Alys Reyne as Queen of Love and Beauty. Unmasked the Mystery Knight of (…)bridge as Ser Harlan Grandison of the Kingsguard. Appointed to the Kingsuard by King Aerys II Targaryen in his 20th year. Taunted and killed the Bandits' Lords of the Marshes, freeing Lady and Lord Dondarrion from the Diamond Cave. Broke the siege of White Harbour by the Sea Kings and saved Lord Rickard Stark from drowning. Defended the honour of Lady (...) against the advances of Lord Steffon Baratheon, but spared him on account of drunkenness.
Beloved by the people, he acted as their voice in the reign of Aerys II, gathering their concerns and bringing them before the king. Brought in laws for the royal forces to repay the smallfolk for their goods and turned the tide of support against the criminal scourge of the Kingswood Brotherhood: Led the Kingsguard to victory and destroyed the Brotherhood by killing the Smiling Knight in single combat. He allowed said Knight to call for a second blade after the first one was sheared in two, then brought death upon him by delivering the Knight's greatest wish - the Dawn Blade.
Knighted Ser Jaime on the field of battle; in his fifteenth year.
Killed at the conclusion of Robert Bara's [sic] rebellion, alongside his sworn brothers in the Red Mountains of Dorne, presumably by Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell. Second son of Beric Dayne of the House Starfall. Named Sword of the Morning and wielder of the great white blade Dawn, forged from a fallen star. Won many battles and broke many [-] twelve lances against Rhaegar Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone, at the Tourney of Storm's End. In the Year of the False Spring, at the Great Tourney at Harrenhal, he stood against all but the prince once more.
Beloved by the people, he acted as their voice in the reign of Aerys II, gathering their concerns and bringing them before the king. Brought in laws for the royal forces to repay the smallfolk for their goods and turned the tide of support against the criminal scourge of the Kingswood Brotherhood.
Barristan Selmy's entry
Firstborn son of Ser Lyonel Selmy of Harvest Hall: Named "the Bold" in his 15th tourney, where he was defeated and unmasked by Duncan, Prince of Dragonflies. Knighted in his 17th year by King Aegon V Targaryen after performing feats of prowess as a mystery knight in the Winter Tounrey at King's Landing, defeating Ser Duncan the Tall, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Slew Maelys the Monstrous, last of the Blackfyre Pretenders, in single combat during the War of the Ninepenny Kings. Defeated Lormelle Long Lance and Cedric Storm, the Bastard of Bronzegate. Named to the Kingsguard in his 23rd year (…)
Jaime Lannister's entry
Squired for Barristan Selmy against the Kingswood Outlaws. Knighted and named to the Kingsguard in his sixteenth year for valor in the field: At the Sack of King's Landing murdered his king, Aerys the second, at the foot of the Iron Throne:
Pardoned by King Robert Baratheon:
Thereafter known as the Kingslayer:
Captured in the field at the Whispering Wood:
Set free by Lady Catelyn Stark in return for an oath to find and (...)rd her two daughters. Lost his hand (...)
Outwitted the Targaryen forces to seize Highgarden. Fought at the Battle of the Goldroad bravely, narrowly escaping death by dragonfire. Pledged himself to the forces of men and rode north to join them at Winterfell, alone. Faced the army of the dead, and defended the castle against impossible odds until the defeat of the Night King. Escaped imprisonment and rode south in an attempt to save the capital from destruction.
Died protecting his queen.
Note: At other points in the TV series it has been said that Jaime was named to the Kingsguard when he was seventeen, not sixteen. The entry on Arthur Dayne in "The Iron Throne" makes another contradiction, claiming he was knighted at fifteen.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the White Book is described as being two feet tall, a foot and a half wide, and a thousand pages thick. In the TV series it is considerably smaller.
The novels reveal the contents of only two of the entries, of Barristan Selmy and Jaime Lannister.
Barristan Selmy's entry
Ser Barristan of House Selmy. Firstborn son of Ser Lyonel Selmy of Harvest Hall. Served as squire to Ser Manfred Swann. Named "the Bold" in his 10th year, when he donned borrowed armor to appear as a mystery knight in the tourney at Blackhaven, where he was defeated and unmasked by Duncan, Prince of Dragonflies. Knighted in his 16th year by King Aegon V Targaryen, after performing great feats of prowess as a mystery knight in the winter tourney at King's Landing, defeating Prince Duncan the Small and Ser Duncan the Tall, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Slew Maelys the Monstrous, last of the Blackfyre Pretenders, in single combat during the War of the Ninepenny Kings. Defeated Lormelle Long Lance and Cedrik Storm, the Bastard of Bronzegate. Named to the Kingsguard in his 23rd year, by Lord Commander Ser Gerold Hightower. Defended the passage against all challengers in the tourney of the Silver Bridge. Victor in the mêlée at Maidenpool. Brought King Aerys II to safety during the Defiance of Duskendale, despite an arrow wound in the chest. Avenged the murder of his Sworn Brother, Ser Gwayne Gaunt. Rescued Lady Jeyne Swann and her septa from the Kingswood Brotherhood, defeating Simon Toyne and the Smiling Knight, and slaying the former. In the Oldtown tourney, defeated and unmasked the mystery knight Blackshield, revealing him as the Bastard of Uplands. Sole champion of Lord Steffon's tourney at Storm's End, whereat he unhorsed Lord Robert Baratheon, Prince Oberyn Martell, Lord Leyton Hightower, Lord Jon Connington, Lord Jason Mallister, and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Wounded by arrow, spear, and sword at the Battle of the Trident while fighting beside his Sworn Brothers and Rhaegar Prince of Dragonstone. Pardoned, and named Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, by King Robert I Baratheon. Served in the honor guard that brought Lady Cersei of House Lannister to King's Landing to wed King Robert. Led the attack on Old Wyk during Balon Greyjoy's Rebellion. Champion of the tourney at King's Landing, in his 57th year. Dismissed from service by King Joffrey I Baratheon in his 61st year, for reasons of advanced age.
The earlier part of Selmy's career had been entered by the former Lord Commander Gerold Hightower in a big forceful hand. Selmy's own smaller and more elegant writing took over with the account of his wounding on the Trident. He returned to the White Sword Tower after his dismissal by Joffrey to write his final entry in the book.
Jaime Lannister's entry
Jaime's entry was written by the former Lord Commanders of the Kingsguard, Gerold Hightower and Barristan Selmy. It is slightly different than in the show:
Ser Jaime of House Lannister. Firstborn son of Lord Tywin and Lady Joanna of Casterly Rock. Served against the Kingswood Brotherhood as squire to Lord Sumner Crakehall. Knighted in his 15th year by Ser Arthur Dayne of the Kingsguard, for valor in the field. Chosen for the Kingsguard in his 15th year by King Aerys II Targaryen. During the Sack of King's Landing, slew King Aerys II at the foot of the Iron Throne. Thereafter known as the "Kingslayer". Pardoned for his crime by King Robert I Baratheon. Served in the honor guard that brought his sister the Lady Cersei Lannister to King's Landing to wed King Robert. Champion in the tourney held at King's Landing on the occasion of their wedding.
Jaime is disappointed to see how scant his entry is in comparison to Selmy's. He muses that Barristan could have recorded a few of his other tourney victories, and Ser Gerold might have written a few more words about the deeds he had performed when Ser Arthur Dayne broke the Kingswood Brotherhood. Later, he adds the following lines to his entry:
Defeated in the Whispering Wood by the Young Wolf Robb Stark during the War of the Five Kings. Held captive at Riverrun and ransomed for a promise unfulfilled. Captured again by the Brave Companions, and maimed at the word of Vargo Hoat their captain, losing his sword hand to the blade of Zollo the Fat. Returned safely to King's Landing by Brienne, the Maid of Tarth.
After adding the above paragraph, Jaime muses that more than three-quarters of his page still remains to be filled. Ser Gerold Hightower had begun his history, and Ser Barristan Selmy had continued it, but the rest Jaime needs to write for himself. He can write whatever he chooses, henceforth.