Poison

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Demon's Dance. © Fantasy Flight Games
The alchemist's shop. © Fantasy Flight Games
Citadel Politics. © Fantasy Flight Games
A poisoned well in Dorne. © Fantasy Flight Games

Many poisons are used throughout the Seven Kingdoms and in the East. Although the Maesters of the Citadel study the histories and qualities of various poisons in addition to their healing arts, their use seems to be more widespread in the free cities and the assassins guilds. Poisons are also used further east, such as in Meereen and Qarth where the Pureborn are notorious for offering poisoned wine to those they consider dangerous. [1]

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See also: Images of Poison

Poisons are regarded with fear and loathing by knights and high lords alike in the feudal society of the Seven Kingdoms. Many regard them as vile weapons used only by the debauched sots of the Free Cities. It is also seen as a weapon of bastards and women. Of course, much of this is posturing.

Common poisons

Common poisons include nightshade and powdered greycap, derived from a plant and a variety of toadstool respectively. Animal and insect venoms such as basilisk and manticore venom are also known to be used, though they are harder to gather. Manticore venom is particularly vicious and can be treated to make it work more slowly, causing its victim to die in slow agony.

Rare poisons

Rare poisons include the Strangler which is made from a plant found only in the Jade Sea. It kills by closing the windpipe and therefore suffocating it's victims. It is a poison that has been used in the past to kill kings, a reason many kings now employ food-tasters. The tears of Lys is an odorless and colorless poison, killing by attacking the stomach and bowels.

Ambiguous poisons

There are also ambiguous poisons. Moon tea aborts pregnancies which makes some maesters reluctant to call it a medicine. Sweetsleep brings deep sleep in small doses, but larger doses can kill. Large enough doses of most medicines can be fatal; the difference with sweetsleep is that the fatal dose is still quite small relative to other medicines. A maester must therefore be very careful when administering it.[2]

Administering poisons

Poisons are commonly administered to victims in food or drink which can also serve to mask their taste and odor. Because of this noble kitchens are often guarded and food tasters are employed to protect their masters’ lives with their own. Even still clever poisoners manage to slip past the safeguards from time to time and at least as many nobles deaths are caused by a poisoned cup or dish as a bloodied blade, if not more so. Poison may also be delivered by coating a weapon or even through the skin.

List of known poisons

Poison may also be delivered by coating a weapon - by Felicia Cano. © Fantasy Flight Games

Characters known to use poison

Characters known to have been poisoned

Melisandre drinks from the poisoned wine... © Fantasy Flight Games


Characters suspected to have been poisoned


Survivors of attempted poisonings

Quotes

Schemes of the Scholar - by Mike Capprotti. © Fantasy Flight Games
The poisoner is beneath contempt.
Aethelmure


Poison was for cravens, women, and Dornishmen.[3]
Victarion Greyjoy


Poison is a foul and filthy way to kill.[4]
Balon Swann, to Tyene Sand


You told me to put the tears in Jon's wine, and I did.[5]
Lysa Tully, to Petyr Baelish


I begged Lord Arryn to use a taster, in this very room I begged him, but he would not hear of it. Only one who was less than a man would even think of such a thing, he told me.[6]
Varys, to Eddard Stark


No true man killed with poison.[7]
Victarion Greyjoy


Poisoners invariably choose the choicest dishes.[8]
– The Tattered Prince

References and Notes

  1. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 40, Daenerys.
  2. bloodandfire wikispace - Maesters Medicine and Poisons
  3. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 56, The Iron Suitor (Victarion 0), p 749.
  4. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 38, The Watcher (Areo I).
  5. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa.
  6. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard.
  7. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 56, The Iron Suitor (Victarion 0).
  8. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 60, The Spurned Suitor (Quentyn III).
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