|In 135 AC, King's Landing
|Tom Tanglebeard's sister
Some people consider Marston to have been a simple, honest knight who remained true to his vows and honor but was deceived by those less scrupulous. Others, however, maintain that Marston was more conniving. Most scholars believe that Marston was not a great knight or a good man.
Marston was the bastard son of a knight and a common woman of whom he took the maidenhead. He had kin on Dragonstone: his uncle, Tom Tanglebeard, an aged fisherman and his cousin, Tom Tangletongue.
During the exil of King Aegon II Targaryen, the Two Toms claimed Aegon and Marston were their cousins rendered homeless after the sack of Spicetown during the Battle of the Gullet. This was a cover story as Aegon did not have any blood relation to the Two Toms and did not hailed from Driftmark. In the case of Marston who was related to them, however, it is unknown if the connection to Spicetown was real or invented. His cousins being from Dragonstone and his bastard surname of "Waters" indicates that Marston hailed from the crownlands but it is impossible to pin-point where exactly.
Dance of the Dragons
When Rhaenyra Targaryen's dragons first appeared in the skies above King's Landing, Lord Larys Strong spirited King Aegon and his children out of the city. He concealed the fugitive king on a fishing skiff and put him in the care of Marston, choosing the bastard knight because he had kin on Dragonstone.
Aegon stayed hidden on the island after Marston smuggled him to Dragonstone. The wounded Sunfyre eventually returned from Rook's Rest to Dragonstone and fought and killed the Grey Ghost. After his return Ser Marston and his "cousins"—Tom Tanglebeard, his son Tom Tangletongue, and the disguised Aegon—set sail to look for the Grey Ghost's killer, which they suspected was Sunfyre. Aegon and his dragon were reunited and began to heal. The Two Toms and Marston returned to the other side of the island to seek out men willing to help them take the castle of Dragonstone.
During the fall of Dragonstone, Ser Alfred Broome's men opened a postern gate to Marston, Tom Tangletongue, and their men. Marston captured Grand Maester Gerardys in the rookery, preventing him from sending a raven. Lady Baela Targaryen managed to elude the schemers, locate her dragon Moondancer, and rise up on her to challenge Aegon and Sunfyre as they made their descent. After hitting the ground she dragged herself away from her dying dragon, Ser Alfred Broome drew his sword to slay her but Marston wrenched the blade from his hand, saving her life. For his valor King Aegon named Marston to his Kingsguard. Marston, along with the other knights and lords present, did not object when Aegon fed Rhaenyra, his half-sister, to Sunfyre after her flight to Dragonstone.
Aegon and his retinue returned to King's Landing aboard Mouse at the end of 130 AC. With the Moon of the Three Kings having been ended by Lord Borros Baratheon, Aegon allowed Marston to grant knighthood to Trystane Fyre, before the boy's execution by Alfred.
Aegon sent Ser Tyland Lannister, Ser Julian Wormwood, and Marston across the narrow sea to hire sellswords in Pentos, Tyrosh, and Myr. Marston was unsuccessful, however, as the Triarchy was descending into civil war and hiring mercenaries for the upcoming Daughters' War. Marston could not match the wages the Free Cities offered, so he departed empty handed. By the time he returned from Lys, King Aegon II was dead.
Reign of Aegon III
The pardoned Ser Marston kept his position as a knight of the Kingsguard under the new boy king, Aegon III Targaryen as the regents wanted to show reconciliation between the greens and the blacks. Marston and Ser Willis Fell, both greens, were allowed to retain their positions, with Willis being named Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and Marston being his second. Aegon III never forgot how Marston did nothing when his mother Rhaenyra had died, however.
Willis and the Hand of the King, Ser Tyland Lannister, died of Winter Fever in 133 AC. Aegon named Ser Robin Massey and Ser Robert Darklyn to the Kingsguard, passing over Marston as Lord Commander in favor of Robin. Lord Unwin Peake, the new Hand, undid Aegon's appointments and named Marston as the new Lord Commander.
Marston knighted Lord Alyn Velaryon when he was honored at a lavish ceremony before the court. During the Maiden's Day Ball, Marston attempted to block the twins Baela and Rhaena Targaryen from entering the hall on their chargers, only for Baela to slash his cheek with her riding crop.
It was said that Prince Viserys Targaryen's wife, Larra of Lys, and her kin from House Rogare were part of a plot to overthrow King Aegon. After the fall of the Rogare Bank in 135 AC during the Lysene Spring, Marston arrested Lord Roggerio Rogare at the Mermaid. Marston became Hand of the King after Lord Thaddeus Rowan was arrested. Marston ordered Larra's arrest, but Viserys and King Aegon III Targaryen refused to give her up. When Ser Amaury Peake attempted to enter Maegor's Holdfast, Aegon denied having appointed Marston as Hand. The family locked themselves within Maegor's Holdfast and remained there for eighteen days in what would become known as the secret siege.
Ser Marston refused to storm the keep, as he did not wish to dishonor the white cloak by ordering an attack on the king he had sworn to protect. After the false confession of Lord Rowan, Marston recalled his duty and claimed he had honestly believed that Thaddeus and the Rogares were traitors. The Lord Commander fulfilled his king's command to arrest those who had falsely implicated Thaddeus and the Rogares. Marston was stabbed with a dagger while trying to apprehend his own sworn brother, Ser Mervyn Flowers, who was then beaten to death by others. Grand Maester Munkun attempted to treat Marston's wounds and gave him milk of the poppy, but the Lord Commander died that night. Marston had held the office of King's Hand for less than a moon's turn.
When Lord George Graceford was questioned about those involved in the plot, he claimed Marston was involved from the start as a "bloody turncloak". Tessario the Tiger also mentioned Marston's name while being tortured.
Some historians suspect Marston might have been no more than a catspaw deceived by a more cunning man. Marston, Mervyn, and Amaury were replaced in the Kingsguard by Ser Edmund Warrick, Ser Dennis Whitfield, and Ser Agramore Cobb, with Ser Raynard Ruskyn becoming Lord Commander.
Quotes by Marston
Your Grace does us wrong to think we mean him harm. We acted only to protect Your Grace from false friends and traitors.—Marston to Aegon III Targaryen
—Marston and Mervyn Flowers
Quotes about Marston
—Baela Targaryen to Marston
- Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Voyage of Alyn Oakenfist.