Janos, by Henning Ludvigsen © Fantasy Flight Games
|In 260–279 AC, King's Landing
|In 300 AC, Castle Black
Game of Thrones:
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Janos was born the son of a butcher in King's Landing. While captain of the Iron Gate, he was raised to Commander of the City Watch of King's Landing, the so-called gold cloaks, after the death of the previous commander, Manly Stokeworth.
During his rule as commander of the gold cloaks, Janos was known for taking bribes and selling positions and promotions. By the end of his tenure, over half the officers were paying him part of their salaries. Lord Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King to Robert I Baratheon, discovered this, and had two men who were willing to come forward to testify against Janos, but both were found dead a short time later. Robert ackowledged Janos's corruption, but allowed him to remain in his position, arguing his successor might be worse. The king's brother, Lord Stannis Baratheon, felt Lord Petyr Baelish had convinced Robert to retain Janos.
A Game of Thrones
Janos is the Commander of the City Watch of King's Landing when Lord Eddard Stark becomes Hand of the King after the death of Lord Jon Arryn. Before the start of the Hand's tourney, Janos comes before the small council and reports about the disturbances caused by people flooding the city. He asks for more men to keep the peace. Eddard grants Slynt to hire fifty more men and orders the master of coin, Lord Petyr Baelish, to come up with the money to pay them. He also promises Janos twenty men of his own household guards as reinforcements for the time of the tourney.
After King Robert I Baratheon is injured while boar hunting in the kingswood, Eddard plans to proclaim Lord Stannis Baratheon as the new king once Robert has died, implying a likely confrontation with Queen Cersei Lannister, who wants to install her son, Prince Joffrey Baratheon, to the Iron Throne instead. Given the strength of the Lannister force commanded by Cersei, Eddard sees the loyalty of the City Watch as crucial to the success of his plan, so he contacts Petyr, who promises him to buy the loyalty of Janos and his men for six thousand gold pieces.
When Eddard challenges Joffrey's legitimacy in the throne room and calls on Janos to put Cersei and her children under arrest, Janos betrays him. The gold cloaks begin to murder the Stark household guards, and Janos kills Varly by slashing his throat. Musing in his cell about why his actions have failed, Eddard damns Janos as one of the people who have betrayed him and the realm, yet he ultimately blames himself the most.
Janos is raised to Lord of Harrenhal for his services to the crown, and is named a member of the small council. The appointment of a commoner to such a high position causes resentment among nobles at court. Janos chooses a bloody spear on a black field as his sigil. He adds golden scales to his black doublet, and wears a checkered cape of black and gold.
Janos laughs when Ser Barristan Selmy is dismissed and replaced as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. After recording his dismissal in the White Book and gather his possessions in the White Sword Tower, Barristan is confronted by Janos and three gold cloaks in the stables. The seasoned knight, only armed with a knife, escapes them, killing one gold cloak and riding through Janos and the other two. The commander sends men after the former Kingsguard, but Barristan the Bold overcomes the guards at the Mud Gate and kills one of his pursuers before fleeing King's Landing.
At the Great Sept of Baelor, Janos and Ser Ilyn Payne follow King Joffrey's order to execute Eddard, with Janos displaying Ned's head to the crowd. Afterward, Lord Slynt attends another court session, in which Joffrey hands out harsh sentences in matters brought before him, nodding in approval to every action of the king.
A Clash of Kings
Lord Janos sits on the small council when Tyrion Lannister arrives in King's Landing. Janos is later stripped of Harrenhal and forcibly sent to join the Night's Watch by Tyrion along with the men he has suggested as replacements for him as Commander of the City Watch. He is replaced by Ser Jacelyn Bywater, though Tyrion believes that in getting rid of Slynt for Bywater, he has merely replaced a man loyal to Petyr Baelish with one loyal to Varys.
Tyrion's action against Janos displeases his sister, Queen Cersei. Petyr cites Janos's fate when Tyrion offers him Harrenhal as a gift for his services to the Crown, pointing out that Janos had received Harrenhal for the same reason and yet wound up being forced to take the black. Tyrion replies that, while he had no use for Slynt, the same is not true for Baelish. Rumor spreads among the smallfolk that Janos was exiled because he was too bluff and honest for Tyrion.
A Storm of Swords
Not knowing that Renly Baratheon is dead, Bowen Marsh of the Night's Watch sends an appeal to the five kings at war, in which he asks them to send men to defend the Wall and the realm against an expected attack by Mance Rayder's wildlings. He also tells them about the possible death of Lord Commander Mormont during the great ranging. Lord Tywin Lannister, annoyed about the neutrality of the Night's Watch, suggests Janos become the new Lord Commander as a Lannister ally against the objections of Tyrion. Tywin orders Grand Maester Pycelle to write to Bowen in the name of King Joffrey, in which the demand for men is rejected for the time being but the "fondest regards to his faithful friend and servant Lord Janos Slynt" are also expressed. Tyrion regrets that he did not leave orders for Janos to be disposed of the way his partner in crime Allar Deem was.
Janos arrives at Castle Black and hauls Jon Snow before him on charges of treason and oathbreaking. He allies with Ser Alliser Thorne and Ser Glendon Hewett and has Rattleshirt confirm that Jon killed Qhorin Halfhand. Janos has Jon arrested and placed in an ice cell.
After being prevented by Maester Aemon from hanging Jon, Janos sends Jon to assassinate Mance Rayder, hoping that Jon will be killed in the process. Stannis Baratheon's army arrives and captures Mance, however.
Janos puts himself forth as a candidate to succeed Jeor Mormont as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, with the support of Alliser and later Bowen Marsh. Janos also tries to persuade Stannis to support him, but Stannis's personal dislike for Janos over his corruption, and his distaste for the man's sycophantic flattery, puts an end to it. Due to the rivalry between Cotter Pyke and Ser Denys Mallister, Slynt's chances improve. However, in the end, Janos is defeated by the efforts of Samwell Tarly, who persuades Cotter and Denys to support Jon Snow as a compromise candidate.
A Feast for Crows
Janos informs the Lannister court of events at the Wall, sending a letter to Grand Maester Pycelle telling of Stannis trying to make common cause with the wildlings.
A Dance With Dragons
Jon Snow, now Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, decides to give Janos command of the abandoned way castle Greyguard, in order to avoid Janos undermining his authority with his scheming and to separate him from his ally Alliser Thorne.
However, Janos refuses to follow Jon's orders, first in private, and then the next morning refusing him publicly. Jon, tired of Janos's insubordination, and knowing either imprisoning him or forcing him to go would only cause further problems, orders that Janos be taken to the top of the Wall and hanged. The arrogant Janos threatens Tywin Lannister's retribution, unaware that Tywin has died. As Janos protests, Jon changes his mind, and orders his men to fetch a chopping block so he can carry out the beheading himself, under the laws of the First Men his father had followed. Janos begs for mercy with his head on the block, but Jon quickly beheads him with Longclaw. A watching Stannis Baratheon approves of Jon's decision.
Janos's accusations toward Jon are remembered by some of the men at Castle Black, hampering the new Lord Commander's support.
Quotes by Janos
You and your threats, well, we will see. I am the king's friend, you know. We shall hear what Joffrey has to say about this. And Littlefinger and the queen, oh, yes. Janos Slynt has a good many friends. We will see who goes sailing, I promise you. Indeed we will.—Janos to Tyrion Lannister
Janos: You lie through your bastard's teeth. Well, I will not suffer it. I will not! You might have fooled this crippled blacksmith, but not Janos Slynt! Oh, no. Janos Slynt does not swallow lies so easily. Did you think my skull was stuffed with cabbage?
Jon: I don't know what your skull is stuffed with. My lord.—Janos and Jon Snow
Janos: Lies, all lies! A strong man makes enemies, Your Grace, they whisper lies behind your back. Naught was ever proven, not a man came forward...
Stannis: Two men who were prepared to come forward died suddenly on their rounds. Do not trifle with me, my lord, I saw the proofs Jon Arryn laid before the small council. If I had been king, you would have lost more than your office, I promise you that, but Robert shrugged away your little lapses. 'They all steal' I recall him saying. 'Better a thief we know than one we don't, the next man might be worse'. Lord Petyr's words in my brother's mouth, I'll warrant.—Janos and Stannis Baratheon
Jon: It is forty leagues to Greyguard. Pack up your arms and armor, say your farewells, and be ready to depart at first light on the morrow.
Janos: No. I will not go meekly off to freeze and die. No traitor's bastard gives commands to Janos Slynt! I am not without friends, I warn you. Here, and in King's Landing too. I was the Lord of Harrenhal! Give your ruin to one of the blind fools who cast a stone for you, I will not have it. Do you hear me, boy? I will not have it!—Jon Snow and Janos
Jon: You are refusing to obey my order?
Janos: You can stick your order up your bastard's arse.Jon: As you will. Please take Lord Janos to the Wall, and hang him.
—Jon Snow and Janos
If the boy thinks that he can frighten me, he is mistaken. He would not dare to hang me. Janos Slynt has friends, important friends, you'll see…—Janos, about Jon Snow
Quotes about Janos
—Renly Baratheon to Janos
Frog-faced Lord Slynt sat at the end of the council table wearing a black velvet doublet and a shiny cloth-of-gold cape, nodding with approval every time the king pronounced a sentence. Sansa stared hard at his ugly face, remembering how he had thrown down her father for Ser Ilyn to behead, wishing she could hurt him, wishing that some hero would throw him down and cut off his head.—thoughts of Sansa Stark
Whose notion was it to make this Janos Slynt a lord? The man's father was a butcher, and they grant him Harrenhal. Harrenhal, that was the seat of kings! Not that he will ever set foot inside it, if I have a say. I am told he took a bloody spear for his sigil. A bloody cleaver would have been my choice.
Tyrion: Janos Slynt is a butcher's son. You yourself told me—
All of a man's crimes were wiped away when he took the black, and all of his allegiances as well, yet he found it hard to think of Janos Slynt as a brother. There is blood between us. This man helped slay my father and did his best to have me killed as well.—Jon Snow's thoughts
Behind the Scenes
At a convention in 2008, George R.R. Martin read an early version of A Dance with Dragons, Jon II, in which Janos Slynt was actually hanged from the Wall. The rope used was one hundred feet long, and Slynt breaks his neck when he hits the end.
- See the Janos Slynt calculation.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Janos Slynt.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
- Game of Thrones: cast so far on Liftingfaces
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 8, Tyrion II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 78, Samwell V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 67, Tyrion XV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 65, Cersei II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 67, Sansa VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 32, Tyrion IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 69, Jon IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 75, Samwell IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 79, Jon XII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.
- asoiaf.westeros.org: [Pre-ADwD Spoilers] Jon 3 but actually Jon 1 (March 30, 2008)