King's Justice

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The King's Justice is the royal executioner of the Iron Throne. The duties of the King's Justice is to kill anyone sentenced to death by order of the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms or small council. The executions are usually done publicly via beheading. Other responsibilities of the King's Justice are managing the dungeons at the Red Keep and supervising the chief gaoler, chief undergaoler, undergaolers, and turnkeys. The King's Justice answers to the master of laws in matters relating to the managing of the dungeons.

The King's Justice's chambers are located between the ground floor of the Traitor's Walk and the entrance to the dungeons.[1]


In the wake of King Maegor I Targaryen's death and the arrival of Prince Jaehaerys to the Red Keep, the King's Justice was arrested and put in the black cells.[2]

After reaching majority and beginning to rule in his own right, King Jaehaerys replaced the King's Justice, among other lesser offices.[3]

During the Dance of the Dragons, after Ser Otto Hightower was dismissed as Hand of the King and replaced with Ser Criston Cole, all the captive blacks - who had once sworn to defend the rights of Princess Rhaenyra and refused to bend the knee of Aegon II - were dragged one by one before the King's Justice at the Red Keep's yard. Each man was given one final chance to swear fealty to King Aegon II. The King's Justice beheaded Lords Hayford, Merryweather, Harte, Buckler and Caswell as well as Lady Fell and eight landed knights and twoscore servants and retainers.[4]

Ser Tyland Lannister , the Hand of the King early in the reign of Aegon III Targaryen, postponed the execution of the recently captured Orwyle, who had fled the ship that would take him to the Wall, pointing out that the office of King's Justice remained empty.[5]

Ser Ilyn Payne was named to the King's Justice when Robert I Baratheon wed Cersei Lannister. His appointment was a gift from Robert to Lord Tywin Lannister, the father of his new bride, a sinecure to compensate Ilyn for the tongue he lost while in service to House Lannister.[1] The previous king, Aerys II Targaryen, had ordered Ilyn's tongue removed for having boasted that Tywin truly ruled the Seven Kingdoms while serving as the Mad King's Hand.[6]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

King Joffrey I Baratheon orders Ser Ilyn Payne to execute Lord Eddard Stark at the Great Sept of Baelor.[7]

A Clash of Kings

Following the Battle of the Blackwater, Joffrey orders Ilyn to behead a defiant Florent bastard who refuses to renounce Stannis Baratheon and the Lord of Light.[8]

List of known King's Justices


The King's Justice must be fearsome ...[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
  2. Fire & Blood, Prince into King - The Ascension of Jaehaerys I.
  3. Fire & Blood, A Time of Testing - The Realm Remade.
  4. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
  5. Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
  6. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
  7. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
  8. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 65, Sansa VIII.
  9. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.