"The Kingsguard" is part of the Histories & Lore, a special feature from Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season. It is narrated by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister and Jerome Flynn as Bronn.


Jaime Lannister

Jaime Lannister details the heroes and storied triumphs of the Kingsguard believed to be the most honorable knights in the realm.


Bronn sheds some light on the unfavorable moments from the Kingsguard's history, including their blind loyalty for less-than-honorable kings.

Jaime Lannister's perspective

Jaime Lannister: All boys dream of becoming knights. The boys with talent dream of becoming Kingsguard. The boys without talent, well, I would not know.

I remember the day the Lord Commander wrote my name down in the White Book, the official record of the Kingsguard. At sixteen, the youngest member ever to join, knighted by Ser Arthur and Ser Barristan for valor against the Kingswood Brotherhood.

An outlaw had decided to try his luck against a lowly squire. He was not using his head, so I took it off him. Shortly afterwards, King Aerys the Second, who hadn't yet earned the title of the Mad King, took me into his service.

If I have ever been happy, it was that day.

For centuries, the Kingsguard have been the glory of the realm. Aegon the Conqueror had established the order as his personal guardians after uniting Westeros with fire and blood. He knew that some of his subjects wouldn't take to conquest, and his dragons were no use against knives in the dark.

No doubt surrounding himself with the greatest knights in Westeros made his rule more palatable and less foreign as well.

Everyone in his kingdoms soon knew the names and some of the songs of the Kingsguard. I certainly did from earliest days.

Lord Commander Gerold Hightower, the White Bull; Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning; Barristan Selmy, the Bold; Prince Lewyn Martell; Oswell Whent; Jonothor Darry. And, soon enough, the boy prodigy. Me.

We protected the king and his family. We killed his enemies and led his armies. We gave him counsel when asked and kept his secrets when not. We swore to hold no lands, take no wives, and father no children. Like the Night's Watch, except with a real job to do.

Was I awed to see my name inscribed in the same book as my heroes? Of course not. I was sixteen and brilliant. I knew I belonged there.

Beside the name of Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, who wielded the Valyrian sword Dark Sister. He died defending King Aegon the Unworthy from assassins, though the king had insulted Aemon throughout his reign and had well earned his fate because Prince Aemon had sworn our oath.

Beside the name of Ser Gwayne Corbray, who dueled the Targaryen bastard Daemon Blackfyre for an hour during the Battle of Redgrass Field though outmatched and grievously wounded, because Ser Gwayne had sworn our oath.

Beside the name of Ser Duncan the Tall, who, as a hedge knight, broke several of Prince Aerion Targaryen's teeth while defending a Dornish woman. He later rose to Lord Commander and burned beside his King at Summerhall, because Ser Duncan had sworn our oath.

And now, below the name of Jaime Lannister. You know how it reads. What I did, even though I had sworn our oath. That was years, and a hand ago.

When I joined the Kingsguard, I fought beside legends in the flesh. Their kind is dust now. And the men who have taken their place?

Mud. Ser Boros Blount, the Fat. Ser Meryn Trant, the Forgettable. Sandor Clegane, the Dog Who Tucked Tail and Ran. Like mud, their names have soiled the White Book, almost as much as mine.


  • Jaime says here that he was inducted into the Kingsguard when he was sixteen years old. In the novels, Jaime was fifteen when he was named to the Kingsguard. The TV series has been inconsistent with the ages of several of the Lannisters. In Season 2, Tyrion stated that Jaime was seventeen when he was named to the Kingsguard. Tyrion has also stated that Cersei was nineteen years old when the rebellion ended (two years later), and as Jaime's twin she would be the same age. The prop of The Book of Brothers seen in Season 4, however, for Jaime's entry clearly reads that he was sixteen when he was named to the Kingsguard. Thus the TV continuity keeps vacillating over whether Jaime was sixteen or seventeen when he joined the Kingsguard.
  • Ser Duncan the Tall is shown riding alongside the boy Egg, who will later grown up to become King Aegon V Targaryen. However, Duncan is shown wearing Kingsguard armor, despite the fact that he did not join the Kingsguard until Aegon rose to the throne at the age of thirty-three. A possible explanation is that it may be an in-universe interpretation of the artist.



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Bronn's perspective

Bronn: Most boys dream of becoming a Kingsguard. Rich boys from good families get the chance. Smart boys stay at home and sing songs about them instead, opening purses and thighs, because the Kingsguard isn't really good for much else.

There was one Kingsguard (I forgot the bastard's name) who swore an oath to his dying Targaryen king to crown his daughter after him. The very night that king died, this Kingsguard crowned the king's son instead.

When an old man on the Small Council dared to protest, this honorable knight opened his throat. The bastard died in the very civil war he started along with the old king's son, daughter, and most of their dragons.

And the Kingsguard? All that duty and honor and not enough brains to figure out which Targaryen to give it to. Twin brothers even ended up on opposite sides, died with tears on their cheeks as they cut each other down.

I suppose I should think that's tragic, but stupid men do stupid things every day and nobody cries over them.

Prince Aemon the Dragonknight may be the most famous Kingsguard who ever lived. How did he die? Defending Aegon the Unworthy from the brothers of a man whom Aegon fed to his dogs.

The man's crime? Sleeping with one of the many mistresses Aegon wasn't using, and the man was one of Aegon's own Kingsguard.

Arthur Dayne, Gerold Hightower. Sure, if half the stories about them are true, they could swing a sword better than most. Makes their lives even more of a waste. Bodyguards to the maddest king the Seven Kingdoms ever saw.

Watching their king burn men alive. Standing guard as their king raped his queen. Hiding the Stark girl that Prince Rhaegar stole away, causing a war that toppled their king. And all this without any gold or women to show for it.

Stupid buggers! The only one with any sense was Jaime Lannister. When his father stormed the city, he put a sword through the Mad King's back rather than die gloriously at his post. He's still here. They are not.

Even if the Kingsguard are the greatest knights in the realm, knights are just arses in armor. Riding whatever horse their daddies gave 'em. Putting on a white cloak does not make a man smarter of bolder.

It's just a pretty little curtain. Behind it is the same pile of shit.



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