Ilyn Payne

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House Payne.png
Ilyn Payne
House Payne.png
Ilyn Payne by amoka.jpg
by Amok

Title Ser
King's Justice
Allegiance House Payne
Culture Westeros
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (appears)
A Clash of Kings (appears)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (appears)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)

Played by Wilko Johnson
TV series Season 1 | Season 2

Ser Ilyn Payne is a knight from House Payne. He serves as the King's Justice, the royal executioner, for King Robert Baratheon.[1] In the television adaptation Game of Thrones he is portrayed by Wilko Johnson.

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Ilyn Payne

Ilyn is a grim man, thin, with a beardless, pockmarked face. He has a deep set of pale, colorless eyes and hollow cheeks. He is almost completely bald. He wears iron-grey chainmail over boiled leather with a large greatsword worn over his right shoulder.[2]

It has been mentioned more than once in the story that Payne lives for nothing but killing.[3]


Ilyn Payne - by Brittmartin ©

Ser Ilyn was the commander of Lord Tywin Lannister's guard when he was Hand of the King for King Aerys II Targaryen. He was heard saying that it was Lord Tywin who truly ruled the Seven Kingdoms, rather than King Aerys. The king had Ilyn's tongue torn out with hot pincers for the comment.[4][2]

Ilyn was named as the King's Justice by King Robert Baratheon as a wedding present for Lord Tywin. It was a sinecure to compensate Payne for the tongue he lost in the service of House Lannister. Payne is an extremely skilled executioner. He has never botched an execution and seldom requires more than a single stroke to finish off his charges. Due to his appearance as well as his silence, many characters find him terrifying, a suitable trait for the King's Justice.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Ser Ilyn Payne - by Mark Evans ©

Ser Ilyn is one of the councilors who comes north to escort King Robert Baratheon back to King's Landing after his trip to the North. Sansa Stark sees Ilyn and is terrified by him.

After the death of Robert when Eddard Stark is arrested by the Lannisters, Ilyn takes Lord Stark’s ancestral Valyrian steel greatsword, Ice, for his own. He later executes Lord Stark at the Great Sept of Baelor with Eddard's own sword, which awards him a place on Arya Stark's list.

A Clash of Kings

During the Battle of the Blackwater, Queen Cersei Lannister has Ser Ilyn remain with her in the Queen's Ballroom of the Red Keep in case Stannis Baratheon wins. Cersei plans on having Ilyn kill Sansa Stark and herself if Stannis is victorious.[5]

A Storm of Swords

Lord Tywin Lannister takes Ice from Ser Ilyn and presents him with a new sword. Ilyn is present at King Joffrey Baratheon's wedding feast. Joffrey asks him for his sword so he and his new wife, Margaery Tyrell, can cut the huge dove pie. Ilyn now wields a greatsword that is six feet long and is silver bright with runes. The blade is decorated with ruby eyes on its pommel and has a chunk of dragonglass carved in the shape of a grinning skull.[6]

A Feast for Crows

Ser Jaime Lannister demanded the services of Ser Ilyn on his ride north to Riverrun - by Pojypojy ©

Ser Jaime Lannister demands the services of Ser Ilyn on his ride north to Riverrun as a condition for leading the expedition. At the stopover at Hayford, Ilyn begins practicing the sword with Jaime. Jaime chooses Ilyn as his sparring partner because Ilyn can neither talk, read nor write. As a result of this, Jaime reveals many of his darker secrets to Ilyn, knowing the mute and illiterate knight can never reveal it to anyone.[3]

Quotes about Ilyn Payne

Oft-times Ser Ilyn frightens me as well, sweet lady. He has a fearsome aspect.[2]
Barristan Selmy, to Sansa Stark

Ser Ilyn has not been feeling talkative these past fourteen years.[2]
Renly Baratheon

He does so love his work…
- Varys

References and Notes

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