- "Why would an Unsullied go to a brothel?"
- ―Missandei on White Rat's death
White Rat was a member of the Unsullied, slave soldiers trained by the Good Masters of Astapor. Like all Unsullied, his birth name was cast aside and he was given a new, dehumanizing name as part of the Good Masters' training to shed all sense of self-worth and individuality from their chattel.
Along with thousands of his 'brothers', White Rat was purchased and liberated by Daenerys Targaryen and chose to fight for her as a free man. Like many Unsullied he chose to keep his slave name after his liberation.
White Rat was among the Unsullied who oversaw the removal of the large bronze harpy from the top of the Great Pyramid. Like many Unsullied, he regularly visits a brothel and pays a prostitute to lay with him, holding and caressing him, and humming a song in the meantime. During one of his visits, he approaches Vala, a Meereenese prostitute whose company he frequently enjoys. He pays the prostitute, then keeps her from disrobing and removing his trousers - as a eunuch he is unable to have intercourse. However, Vala is in league with the Sons of the Harpy and, as White Rat is laying distracted, one of the Sons of the Harpy enters the room and slits his throat. Vala and the murderer watch as White Rat quickly bleeds to death. After learning of his death, Queen Daenerys orders him to be given a funeral at the Temple of the Graces with all honors.
|Season Five appearances|
|The Wars To Come||The House of Black and White||High Sparrow||Sons of the Harpy||Kill the Boy|
|Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken||The Gift||Hardhome||The Dance of Dragons||Mother's Mercy|
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, an Unsullied by the name of Stalwart Shield takes the role of White Rat. Whereas Grey Worm and others chose to keep his demeaning Unsullied name to defiantly reappropriate it from the Good Masters, some of the other Unsullied, however - those who were born into slavery and don't remember their original names - do take up the suggestion to make new dignified names for themselves, such as "Stalwart Shield".
The TV series may have thought this would take too long to explain, so they renamed the character "White Rat" to keep with the previously established thematic naming of the Unsullied ("Grey Worm", "Red Flea", etc.)
Stalwart Shield is the first (and not the last, as Ser Barristan warned) of Daenerys's soldiers who is killed by the Sons of the Harpy. Till then, they limited their attacks to unarmed freedmen.
Like in the show, Stalwart Shield was attacked at a brothel, but was killed in a different manner: he was stabbed multiple times, then the killers filled his throat with goat genitals (Grey Worm removed them before the body was brought to Daenerys). As always, the killers left their mark in the crime scene - a harpy drawn in the blood of their victim. From the look of Stalwart Shield's wounds, Ser Barristan Selmy estimated that there were at least six attackers, and since his scabbard was empty - that he might have injured some of his murderers. Daenerys ordered her servants to conduct an investigation, but the murderers were not caught.
When his body was brought before Daenerys, she asked Grey Worm why he was in a brothel. Grey Worm answered: "Even those who lack a man's parts may still have a man's heart." In the series, it is Missandei who pursues this line of questioning, and it is framed in the context of her feelings for him.
In honor of Stalwart Shield's memory, a company of Meereenese freedmen is named after him "Stalwart Shields".