Hand of the King

From A Wiki of Ice and Fire

Jump to: navigation, search
Tyrion Lannister, acting as Hand of the King, wears the necklace of linked hands. © Fantasy Flight Games
© Fantasy Flight Games

The Hand of the King is the king's chief advisor and executor of his command in the Seven Kingdoms.

Contents

About

Duties of the Hand include commanding the king's armies, drafting laws, dispensing justice, and generally managing the day-to-day running of the kingdom. The Hand may act on the king's behalf when he is indisposed, and sit the Iron Throne while doing so. The Hand also sits on the small council and will run the council if the king is not present.

After the War of Conquest Orys Baratheon served as the first ever Hand of the King to Aegon I. The title of hand derives its name from Aegons description of Orys as...


...My shield, my stalwart, my strong right hand [1]

The office typically makes the Hand the second most powerful man in the kingdom next to the king, though some Hands had the reputation of ruling their kings.

It is considered by some to be a difficult and unglamorous job of great responsibility. A popular saying goes, "What the king dreams, the Hand builds," but the lowborn say, "The king eats, and the Hand takes the shit." [2] Many able men have failed in the office throughout history.

The Hand resides in a tower of the Red Keep called the Tower of the Hand. His badge of office always includes a hand, though each Hand can design his own. A necklace of hands linked into a chain is one possible badge. Servants of the Hand wear the emblem of a hand.

List of Known Hands

During the reign of King Hand of the King Period and Notes
Tommen Baratheon Mace Tyrell 300 AL.
Orton Merryweather 300 AL - 300 AL.
Harys Swyft 300 AL - 300 AL.
Tywin Lannister 2nd term 300 AL - 300 AL. Served as Hand under three different kings.
Joffrey Baratheon Tywin Lannister 2nd term 298 AL - 300 AL.
Tyrion Lannister Was acting hand during his father's Tywin Lannister 2nd term, while he was campaigning in the Riverlands.
Robert Baratheon Eddard Stark 298 AL.
Jon Arryn 283 AL - 298 AL.
Aerys II Targaryen
The Mad King
Lord Rossart 283 AL. Was Hand for less than a fortnight.
Qarlton Chelsted 283 AL. He bravely resigned his position over Aerys plan to burn King's Landing and was subsequently burned alive for it.
Jon Connington 283 AL
Owen Merryweather 282 AL (?) - 283 AL
Tywin Lannister +/- 262 AL - 282 AL (?)
Jaehaerys II Targaryen Unknown 259 AL - 262 AL.
Aegon V Targaryen Unknown 233 AL - 259 AL.
Maekar I Targaryen Unknown 221 AL - 233 AL.
Aerys I Targaryen Brynden Rivers 209 AL - 221 AL. (?) - In the end, he was stripped of office by Maekar I and sent to the wall by King Aegon V.
Daeron II Targaryen Baelor Breakspear 196 AL - 208 AL.
Lord Hayford 196 AL.
Ambrose Butterwell  ? - 196 AL.
Aegon IV Targaryen Lord Butterwell  ?
Viserys II Targaryen Unknown 171 AL - 172 AL.
Baelor I Targaryen Prince Viserys 161 AL - 171 AL.
Daeron I Targaryen Prince Viserys 157 AL - 161 AL.
Aegon III Targaryen Unknown 131 AL - 157 AL.
Aegon II Targaryen Criston Cole 130 AL
Otto Hightower 129 AL - 130 AL. Served as Hand under three different kings.
Viserys I Targaryen Otto Hightower 103-129 AL
Jaehaerys I Targaryen Otto Hightower succeeded Barth.  ? AL - 103 AL
Septon Barth Served as Hand for over Forty years.
Maegor I Targaryen Unknown 42 AL - 48 AL
Aenys I Targaryen Prince Maegor 37 AL - 42 AL
Aegon I Targaryen Orys Baratheon 1 AL - ?. First ever Hand of the King.


Hand of the king brooch, from the TV Series

Time unknown

A list of some of the worst Hands, Whose names are remembered as a warning to future generations.

Hands of Claimants to the Iron Throne

Quotes

The Hand of the King was the second-most powerful man in the Seven Kingdoms. He spoke with the king’s voice, commanded the king’s armies, drafted the king’s laws. Robert was offering him a responsibility as large as the realm itself. It was the last thing in the world he wanted.
- Ned


"I sat on his council for fifteen years, helping Jon Arryn rule his realm while Robert drank and whored, but when Jon died, did my brother name me his Hand? No, he went galloping off to his dear friend Ned Stark, and offered him the honor. And small good it did either of them." [3]
- Stannis


"A weak ruler needs a strong Hand, as Aerys needed Father. A strong ruler requires only a diligent servant to carry out his orders."
- Cersei Lannister

References and Notes

  1. Bubonicon Report, August 25, 2012 So Spake Martin
  2. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard
  3. A Clash of Kings, Prologue, p 17.
Personal tools
Namespaces
Variants
Actions
Navigation
//

Connect with Us
Notable Releases
Toolbox
In other languages