|Alias||Hugh of the Vale|
|Died||In 298 ᴀᴄ, at King's Landing|
A Game of Thrones (appears)|
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
- See also: Images of Hugh
A Game of Thrones
When Lord Eddard Stark complains to Lord Petyr Baelish that his investigation into Jon Arryn's death is hindered by the fact that Lysa Arryn took most of her household back to the Vale, Petyr tells him that, among others, Jon's squire is still in King's Landing, a newly-knighted boy called Ser Hugh of the Vale. Warning that Eddard is watched by spies of Lord Varys and Queen Cersei Lannister, Petyr advises the new Hand of the King to send someone he trusts to question Hugh, rather than go himself. Hugh is brusque and unhelpful to the more experienced Jory Cassel, captain of Ned's guard, and the arrogant knight insists he will only speak with the Hand.
Hugh takes part in the Hand's tourney, wearing armor that he has had forged for the occasion, and he tilts against Ser Gregor Clegane in the Mountain's second joust. Gregor's lance rides up and drives through Hugh's throat, killing him instantly and causing Jeyne Poole to weep hysterically.
Ser Barristan Selmy stands vigil for Hugh in lack of any others being close to the youth. Barristan tells Eddard that, as a squire, Hugh desperately wanted to be knighted, but was probably not ready for it. The death by the hand of a Lannister bannerman makes Eddard wonder whether Hugh has died because of his attempt to question him, but he doubts that he will ever find out the truth. Eddard orders that the armor be sent with Hugh's remains to the mother in the Vale, and Eddard announces he will make sure the armor's smith has been paid.
In a conversation with Eddard, Varys mentions Hugh as a possible suspect for poisoning Jon. Varys points out that, although he owed everything to Lord Arryn, Hugh did not return to the Vale when Lysa fled with her household, instead remaining in King's Landing and rising to knighthood.
A Clash of Kings
When Tyrion Lannister questions Grand Maester Pycelle about his role in the death of Lord Arryn, Pycelle denies it was he who poisoned the Hand of the King. Pycelle admits he withheld care from Jon, as he knew Queen Cersei wanted Jon dead. Pycelle believes Varys's version that it was Hugh who slipped the poison to Jon and suspects that he acted on Cersei's orders.
This was needless. War should not be a game.
Lord Arryn was a kindly, trusting man. There was one boy. All he was, he owed Jon Arryn, but when the widow fled to the Eyrie with her household, he stayed in King's Landing and prospered. It always gladdens my heart to see the young rise in the world. He must have cut a gallant figure in the tourney, him in his bright new armor, with those crescent moons on his cloak. A pity he died so untimely, before you could talk to him …