Gift of mercy

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Arya Stark refused to give the Hound the gift of mercy.
Art © Mike S. Miller

The gift of mercy is the term used for the granting of a quick, humane death to a person who is ailing or mortally wounded and destined to die a painful, lingering death otherwise.

People may request the gift of mercy. For example, Osha grants the dying Maester Luwin the gift of mercy at his request.[1] Sandor Clegane does the same for a survivor of the Red Wedding, a bowman in service to Ser Marq Piper who escaped but was severely injured.[2] Arya Stark gives the gift of mercy to a squire after a brawl at the Inn at the Crossroads, but denies mercy to the critically wounded Sandor after stating that he does not deserve it.[3]

Beyond the Wall, the free folk will give children the gift of mercy if they have been afflicted by certain diseases, such as greyscale.[4]


If I had given birth to that poor child, I would have given her the gift of mercy long ago.[4]

Val, to Jon Snow