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Qyburn by Morgan King

Alias The Bloody Maester
Lord Qyburn
Title Master of whisperers
Allegiance House Lannister
Brave Companions (formerly)
Born In 217AC or after[1]
Book(s) A Clash of Kings (Appears)
A Storm of Swords (Appears)
A Feast for Crows (Appears)
A Dance with Dragons (Appears)

Played by Anton Lesser
TV series Season 3 | Season 4 | Season 5 | Season 6 | Season 7

Qyburn is a former maester who has joined the Brave Companions. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones he is portrayed by Anton Lesser.

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Qyburn

Qyburn is tall, slightly stooped with crinkles around his blue eyes[2] (or warm, brown eyes[3]). He has grey hair, a lean frame, and looks fatherly.[3] According to Cersei Lannister, he looks like some little girl's favorite grandfather.[4] Qyburn is highly intelligent and capable, but also amoral.

As the new master of whisperers, Qyburn garbs himself in something very like maester's robes, but white instead of grey, immaculate as the cloaks of the Kingsguard. Whorls of gold decorate his hem sleeves and stiff high collar, and a golden sash is tied about his waist.[5] While performing his experiments and torture in the dungeons, Qyburn wears roughspun wool and a blacksmith's leather apron.[6]


Qyburn studied at the Citadel, and was as skilled a healer as Archmaester Ebrose. However, Qyburn sought to surpass him, and instead of opening the bodies of the dead to discover the secrets of the living as the Citadel has done for centuries, Qyburn instead opened the bodies of the living to discover the secrets of death. When the unethical experiments he performed on living humans and his studies of necromancy were discovered, Qyburn was stripped of his chain and his position as a maester. Nevertheless, he claims to understand the nature of life and death better than any man in Oldtown.[4]

Qyburn joined the Brave Companions as a means to survive. Qyburn has respect for Archmaester Marwyn of the Citadel, who was the only one who liked his way of thinking about the residue of souls after death,[7] but he calls the other archmaesters "grey sheep".[4]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

When the Brave Companions turn cloak and take Harrenhal for Lord Roose Bolton, Qyburn takes over the duties of Harrenhal's maester Tothmure, who is killed for dispatching ravens to King's Landing. It is mentioned by Gendry that Qyburn is said to have practice black magic. It is also whispered he lost his maester chain for dabbling in necromancy.[8]

A Storm of Swords

When Ser Jaime Lannister is captured by the Brave Companions and brought to Harrenhal, Roose orders Jaime to be brought to Qyburn, to deal with his injuries, especially the result of the severing of his hand on the orders of Vargo Hoat. Qyburn uses his exceptional healing abilities to prevent the infection on Jaime's wrist from spreading, so that Jaime does not lose his arm as well.[3] In Harrenhal, Qyburn sends Pia to Jaime's bed, hoping to ingratiate himself with the Lannisters; Jaime, however, sends the girl away.[7]

Qyburn accompanies Jaime on his way to King's Landing when Roose Bolton decides to send him back to his father, Lord Tywin Lannister. On the road, Qyburn tells Jaime that in his work for Vargo Hoat, he often examines women that Hoat wishes to have sex with, to make sure they have no venereal diseases. He says that he has examined Brienne of Tarth and has found her maidenhead is intact; Jaime asks if this is due to the ransom Hoat demanded from her father Lord Selwyn Tarth. Qyburn replies that Selwyn's offer for Brienne's safe return is much lower than Hoat believes he can get from him (due to Jaime's lies about the sapphires of Tarth), and implies that Vargo Hoat will soon rape her. When Jaime decides to return to Harrenhal to rescue Brienne after dreaming of her, Qyburn and Bolton's men accompany him.[7]

As Jaime and company continue back to King's Landing, Qyburn continues to try to ingratiate himself with Jaime, which irritates him.[9]

A Feast for Crows

Qyburn joins the court at King's Landing, and when Queen Regent Cersei Lannister calls for a maester to deal with the discovery of her father Tywin's body, he is brought to her.[2] His intelligence and discretion pleases her, and she has him investigate the escape of Tyrion Lannister from the dungeons. Qyburn researches the missing gaoler Rugen, who also disappeared that night, and discovers a gold coin from the reign of House Gardener of the Reach buried below Rugen's chamberpot. This leads Cersei to suspect the involvement of House Tyrell in Tyrion's escape.[4]

On Cersei's command, Qyburn also examines the dying Ser Gregor Clegane, who Grand Maester Pycelle has been unable to heal. He tells her that he believes Prince Oberyn Martell used magic to affect the manticore venom on his poisoned spear, to prolong Clegane's death. Qyburn convinces Cersei to allow him to move Gregor to the black cells and experiment on him there, to gain knowledge of the magical poison that Oberyn used. She orders that Qyburn be given gold for his equipment and to buy new clothing.[4]

Jaime Lannister is disturbed by how close Cersei has become with the disgraced former maester, but she dismisses his concerns.[10] Cersei appoints Qyburn as master of whisperers, to replace Varys after his disappearance. Qyburn also takes Varys's place on the small council, as well as the same honorary title of "Lord", to the disgust of Grand Maester Pycelle.[5] On the council, Qyburn suggests that the crown deal with the new Night's Watch Lord Commander Jon Snow by sending one hundred men to the Wall, ostensibly to take the black, but in actuality to assassinate him.[5]

After Gregor Clegane reportedly dies, Qyburn prepares his skull to be sent to Dorne.[5] Nevertheless, Qyburn is still experimenting on something in the black cells. Cersei allows Qyburn to use various prisoners for his experiments, which typically prove fatal to the subject. As Qyburn prefers women for his studies, the prisoners include Cersei's former handmaiden Senelle, and some female puppeteers that had been arrested for performing a treasonous play. When Qyburn requests the puppeteers for his uses, Cersei recalls how Senelle had come with her to the black cells, unknowing of her fate until Qyburn manacled her. She also recalls hearing a "foul thing screaming in the darkness".[11]

When Lady Falyse Stokeworth comes to Cersei in despair after the failure of their plans to kill Bronn, who had married Falyse's sister Lollys, Cersei tells Qyburn to take her for his experiments, to make her disappear.[12] Later, Cersei asks if Falyse is still alive, and Qyburn replies that she is, but "not entirely comfortable", and no longer capable of ruling Stokeworth or even feeding herself. He also says he has learned much from her.[13]

After Ser Loras Tyrell leaves for the Siege of Dragonstone, Qyburn suggests to Cersei that the Kingsguard may need a replacement in case Loras dies. He says he has a champion in mind, who will be utterly devoted to Cersei, kill her enemies, keep her secrets, and no man will be able to withstand him. Qyburn orders a massive suit of armor for his champion, though it is supposedly far too huge and heavy to be worn by any man.[12]

Cersei has a nightmare about Maggy the Frog's prophecy of her future, and the next morning asks Qyburn about it. He identifies the name "Maggy" as a corruption of maegi, and says that her blood magic is the darkest and most powerful kind of sorcery. Cersei asks if the prophecy can be forestalled, and Qyburn intimates it can be, if she kills the younger queen who would supplant her.[13]

Cersei has Qyburn torture the Blue Bard in the black cells, to convince him to give evidence against Queen Margaery Tyrell.[6] The torture so breaks his mind that even after the Blue Bard is taken by the Faith Militant and tortured by them, he persists in the story that Cersei and Qyburn had taught him.[14] Other men are also falsely accused of being Margaery's lovers, and given into Qyburn's care in the dungeons, where he helps them "remember" the details of their fornications.[14]

After Cersei is arrested by the Faith, Qyburn is allowed to visit her in her cell and inform her of all that has happened since her arrest. He tells her that he has been dismissed from the small council, though he is still allowed to work with Varys's whisperers. He also says he has her champion ready to defend her, but Cersei informs him that she can only be represented in a trial by combat by a knight of the Kingsguard, and there are no open positions available. Cersei has Qyburn write a letter to her brother Jaime, begging for his help.[14]

A Dance with Dragons

Lord Regent Kevan Lannister visits Cersei in her cell, and tells her that Qyburn is still in charge of the dungeons where most of the accused lovers of Margaery Tyrell are held. Cersei is pleased to hear this, as Qyburn can do wonders and horrors with his torture. Kevan also informs her that Ser Arys Oakheart has been killed in Dorne, and Cersei immediately realizes that leaves an empty place in the Kingsguard. She asks Kevan to tell Qyburn that the time has come for his champion.[15]

Qyburn is present at the Red Keep when Cersei completes her penance walk through King's Landing, and introduces Cersei to her champion and the newest member of the Kingsguard, Ser Robert Strong. Qyburn tells her that Ser Robert has taken a vow of silence, swearing not to speak until all of King Tommen Baratheon's enemies are dead and evil has been driven from the realm.[16]

Qyburn continues to work with the whisperers, reporting information on the Golden Company and Nymeria Sand to the small council and Kevan Lannister.[17]

Quotes about Qyburn

Qyburn does black magic.[8]

- Gendry

Gods be good, Cersei, he rode with Vargo Hoat. The Citadel stripped him of his chain![10]

- Jaime Lannister

Quotes by Qyburn

The Citadel took my chain, but they could not take my knowledge.[2]
This poison... it would be useful to know more about it, would it not? Send a knight to slay a knight and an archer to kill an archer, the smallfolk often say. To combat the black arts...[4]
Jaime Lannister:Do you believe in ghosts, Maester?

Qyburn: Once, at the Citadel, I came into an empty room and saw an empty chair. Yet I knew a woman had been there, only a moment before. The cushion was dented where she'd sat, the cloth was still warm, and her scent lingered in the air. If we leave our smells behind us when we leave a room, surely something of our souls must remain when we leave this life?[7]

References and Notes

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Characters from A Song of Ice and Fire.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Characters from A Song of Ice and Fire.
As with the A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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