Small council

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King Robert Baratheon's small council - by Thomas Denmark. © FFG
The small council chamber flanked by a pair of Valyrian sphinxes. © FFG

The small council is a small group of advisers which advises the King of the Seven Kingdoms on matters of policy and their areas of expertise. Aegon I Targaryen relied on councillors after being crowned, but it was not until the reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen that the small council was formalized.[1]

The council is headed by the king, the only one who can make the council's decisions into law. In his absence the role falls to the Hand of the King or the regent if the king is too young.

The council members are appointed and dismissed by the king as he wills, a right freely used during times of war and strife. However, it seems that traditionally the council consists of seven permanent members, after the Andal traditions and the Faith of the Seven, with reserved positions for:

Small council headed by Eddard Stark (Game of Thrones)

Although a council seems to always have these seven members, it may include additional members as advisors.

Small council members

Under Aegon I Targaryen

During the reign of King Aegon I Targaryen.

Under Aenys I Targaryen

During the reign of King Aenys I Targaryen

  • Hand of the King - Alyn Stokeworth, succeeded by Prince Maegor who was later succeeded by Septon Murmison.
  • Grand Maester - Gawen
  • Master of coin - Unknown
  • Master of laws - Unknown
  • Master of ships - Unknown
  • Master of whisperers - Unknown
  • Lord Commander of the Kingsguard - Unknown

Under Maegor I Targaryen

During the reign of King Maegor I Targaryen

Under Jaehaerys I Targaryen

During the reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen

Under Viserys I Targaryen

During the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen. Viserys also often had his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, attend the council meetings to groom her as his heir.

Under Aegon II Targaryen

During the reign of King Aegon II Targaryen (called the "green council" in opposition to the black council of Rhaenyra's)

  • Hand of the King - Otto Hightower, succeeded by Criston Cole
  • Grand Maester - Orwyle
  • Master of coin - Tyland Lannister
  • Master of laws - Jasper Wylde
  • Master of whisperers - Larys Strong
  • Lord Commander of the Kingsguard - Criston Cole

Under Aegon IV Targaryen

During the reign of King Aegon IV Targaryen known as Aegon the Unworthy

Under Aerys II Targaryen

During the reign of Aerys II Targaryen, the Mad King. The council composition was:

Under Robert I Baratheon

During the reign of King Robert I Baratheon. Robert often does not attend the meetings and passes the responsibility to his Hand. Toward the end of his reign, the council composition is:

Under Joffrey I Baratheon

After Robert I Baratheon's death and ascension to the throne of Joffrey I Baratheon, Queen Cersei Lannister assumes regency over her son and Tywin Lannister is named Hand of the King. He sends Tyrion Lannister to serve in his stead while he is campaigning in the riverlands. The council composition is:

  • Note that Tyrion removes Janos Slynt and Grand Maester Pycelle from the council.


After the Battle of the Blackwater, Tywin Lannister re-assumes his duties as the Hand, reinstates Pycelle and dismisses his daughter Cersei from the council. The council composition is:

Under Tommen I Baratheon

After the death of Tywin, Cersei re-assumes regency over her younger son, King Tommen Baratheon, and reorganizes the council with Lannister loyalists.[3] Also called the "smallest council" due to the low prestige of its members. The council composition is:

  • Queen Regent - Queen Cersei Lannister
  • Hand of the King - Ser Harys Swyft, the Knight of Cornfield, though he is later demoted and replaced by Orton Merryweather.
  • Grand Maester - Pycelle
  • Master of laws and justiciar - Lord Orton Merryweather, until promoted to Hand of the King
  • Master of coin and lord treasurer - Lord Gyles Rosby, until his death, then Harys Swyft
  • Master of ships and grand admiral - Aurane Waters
  • Master of whisperers - Varys, until Tyrion's escape, then Qyburn
  • Lord Commander of the Kingsguard - Ser Jaime Lannister

After the arrest of Cersei, several of Cersei's councillors flee King's Landing, Ser Kevan Lannister assumes the regency. The council composition is:

  • Lord Regent - Ser Kevan Lannister, Protector of the Realm
  • Hand of the King - Lord Mace Tyrell
  • Grand Maester - Pycelle
  • Master of laws and justiciar - Lord Randyll Tarly
  • Master of coin and lord treasurer - Ser Harys Swyft
  • Master of ships and grand admiral - Lord Paxter Redwyne
  • Lord Commander of the Kingsguard - Ser Jaime Lannister
  • Advisor - Nymeria Sand (acting in place of Doran Martell)

References and Notes

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