Trial by combat

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Oberyn Martell vs Gregor Clegane - by Zippo514 ©

Trial by combat or trial by battle is a method to settle accusations in which two parties in dispute fight in single combat, possibly to the death. A variation is the trial of seven.[1]



Trial by battle - by Nicole Cardiff ©

A trial by combat:


Due to several unfortunate circumstances, the Ashford Tourney became the arena of a trial of seven, with tragic results.[1]

Prior to the start of Robert's Rebellion, Lord Rickard Stark, demanded a trial by combat when called to answer for his son Brandon Stark's alleged crimes. King Aerys II Targaryen declared that the Targaryen champion was fire and to prove his innocence, all Rickard had to do was not burn.[3]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

When accused by Lady Lysa Arryn of the murder of Lord Jon Arryn and the attempted murder of Bran Stark, Tyrion Lannister requests trial by combat at the Eyrie. Bronn champions for Tyrion Lannister and Ser Vardis Egen, captain of the Arryn guard, champions for Lady Lysa’s.[2] Bronn wins and Tyrion is released.[4]

A Clash of Kings

King Joffrey Baratheon often rules that disputes should be resolved by trial by combat, usually to the death.[5][6][7]

A Storm of Swords

Sandor Clegane is accused of murdering Mycah. Ser Beric Dondarrion decides to judge him by combat and loses,[8] therefore decreeing Sandor innocent of that crime.

When Tyrion Lannister is accused in the murder of King Joffrey Baratheon, Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne offers to be his champion in trial by combat. His opponent, representing the accuser Cersei Lannister, is Ser Gregor Clegane.[9]

A Feast for Crows

The accusations directed towards Margaery Tyrell and Cersei Lannister make both consider demanding trial by combat. Their status as queens makes it necessary for both to choose from the Kingsguard members, at a time when their ranks are seriously depleted. Cersei writes a letter to Ser Jaime Lannister asking him to be her champion.[10]

A Dance with Dragons

After learning of Jaime's disappearance, Cersei must choose a new champion from the Kingsguard for her trial by combat.[11] Ser Robert Strong is the eventual choice.[12][13]


The gods know the truth of my innocence. I will have their verdict, not the judgment of men. I demand trial by combat.[2]
Tyrion Lannister

The gods have seen fit to proclaim him innocent, child. We have no choice but to free him.[4]
- Lysa Tully to Robert Arryn regarding Tyrion Lannister

I am innocent, but I will get no justice here. You leave me no choice but to appeal to the gods. I demand trial by battle.[9]
- Tyrion Lannister to the throne room

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