The true knight is a concept that embodies all that a knight should aspire to be - exemplifying all the qualities of what knighthood stands for. He is a shining example to all and held in the very highest esteem. Very few knights are considered true knights, as achieving and maintaining such high and noble ideals is a hard duty.
There are Westerosi songs and stories, particularly those depicting honorable knights and chivalry, that are very popular amongst all strata of society. In particular, Sansa Stark is captivated by the concept of the true knight.
A true knight must fully embrace the oath of knighthood:
True knights are supposed to:
- Be brave and just.
- Defend the young and innocent, especially women who can not defend themselves.
- Be cleanly as well as godly.
- Act with military courtesy: in combat when nobles and knights are taken prisoner, their lives are spared and are often held for ransom.
Alleged True Knights
- Serwyn of the Mirror Shield
- Ser Ryam Redwyne
- Prince Aemon Targaryen, the Dragonknight
- Ser Arryk Cargyll
- Ser Erryk Cargyll
- Ser Gerold Hightower, the White Bull
- Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning
- Ser Barristan Selmy, the Bold
- Ser Duncan the Tall
- Ser Galladon of Morne, the Perfect Knight
- Brienne of Tarth, not a knight, being a woman, but lives by knightly virtues
This man protected the weak, as every true knight must.
Knights are sworn to defend the weak, protect women, and fight for the right, but none of them did a thing. Only Ser Dontos had tried to help, and he was no longer a knight. No more than the Imp was, nor the Hound … the Hound hated knights … I hate them too. They are no true knights, not one of them.
Sansa: True knights protect the weak.
Sandor: There are no true knights, no more than there are gods. If you can't protect yourself, die and get out of the way of those who can. Sharp steel and strong arms rule this world, don't ever believe any different.
A true knight must defend the gentler sex.
You are a true knight, Ser Lyle, to help a lady in distress.
Old or young, a true knight is sworn to protect those who are weaker than himself, or die in the attempt.—thoughts of Brienne of Tarth
It is chivalry which makes a true knight, not a sword. Without honor, a knight is no more than a common killer. It is better to die with honor than to live without it.—Barristan Selmy to his squires
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- The Hedge Knight.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 32, Sansa III.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 30, Jaime IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 31, Brienne VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 52, Sansa IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.