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A stag in the Kingswood - by Juan Carlos Barquet; ©Fantasy Flight Games

Deer are hoofed ruminant mammals similar to real-life deer.

Breeds and terms

Different species of deer exist in the known world, such as: elk,[1][2] great elk,[3] moose,[4][5] red deer,[2][3] and reindeer.[6] White harts are considered rare and magical.[7]

Deer and elk can be found in great numbers in the Forest of Qohor.[8]

Depending on the species, females are called does or hinds, whereas males are refer to as bucks, harts, or stags. Their youngs are called fawns.[9][10][11]


The black crowned stag of House Baratheon.

Several Westerosi Houses use deer or deer attributes on their coat of arms; stags for the Baratheons, Bollings, Durrandons, and Wensingtons; brown deer for the Hunts, fawns for the Cafferens, antlers for the Buckwells, and harts for the Hartes.[12]

In the wild, deer are hunted by wolves[13] and direwolves.[14] In Westeros, they are hunted for sport and game by men of noble birth.[15] Smallfolk are not allowed to hunt deer in a lord's woods, however. Being sent to the Wall is a common punishment for poaching.[16][17][18][3]

Red Deer Island is an island in the Red Fork of the Trident.[19]

Silver stags are coins used in the Seven Kingdoms.[20]

Kin of the Stag is a book written by Maester Hubert.[21]

Some of the men of the Frozen Shore wear antlers on their hats.[6]


Great elk have gone extinct south of the Wall just like giants, children of the forest, and direwolves.[3]

By royal decree, Lord Wyman Webber and his descendants were granted the right to hunt red deer in the Osgrey owned wood.[3]

King Aerys II Targaryen granted the smallfolk of the Kingswood the right to hunt a few deer during the autumn.[18]

Will was sent to the Night's Watch after being caught skinning a buck in Mallister's woods.[22]

Lord Yohn Royce brought back a buck to Winterfell after a hunt in the wolfswood with Lord Eddard Stark.[15]

Lord Randyll Tarly confronted his son, Samwell, about his view on the inheritance of their house and forced him to join the Night's Watch while skinning a deer.[23]

Recent Events

Coldhands astride his great elk - Art by Zippo514 ©

A Game of Thrones

A white hart is sighted in the kingswood, so King Robert Baratheon goes to hunt it with his royal retinue. His brother Renly and Ser Barristan Selmy join him.[24] Sansa wishes that Joffrey would kill the white hart instead of Robert, noting that white harts are believed to be rare and magical.[7]

Ultimately, Robert did not find the white hart until it was too late: wolves killed and devoured it before the hunters arrived, and left behind little more than hooves and horns. Robert was infuriated, until scouts brought word that a monstrous boar was sighted deeper in the forest, and Robert went off to pursue it.[25]

After fleeing King's Landing, Arya Stark repeats to herself phrases Syrio Forel taught her, "Swift as a deer." being one of them.[26][27][28]

A Clash of Kings

Patchface wears a mock helm fashioned from an old tin bucket strapped with a rack of deer antlers.[29]

Yoren commands the former poachers, Koss and Kurz, to go hunt in the woods to feed their group marching towards the Wall. They come back with deer or quails.[17]

The lands on Cape Wrath given to Ser Davos Seaworth by Lord Stannis Baratheon include woods containing red deer.[30]

Summer and Shaggydog kill and eat a young elk in the wolfswood.[2]

The White Hart and Stag of the Sea are both destroyed by wildfire during the Battle of the Blackwater.[31]

A Storm of Swords

The roof of Mance Rayder's tent is crowned with a set of a great elk's antlers.[32]

Bran Stark hunts a deer while skingchanging Summer.[33]

Coldhands travels the lands beyond the Wall on a great elk.[34]