Hand of the King
The Hand of the King is the king's chief advisor and executor of his command in the Seven Kingdoms. Duties of the Hand include commanding the king's armies, drafting laws, dispensing justice, and generally managing the day-to-day running of the kingdom. The Hand may act on the king's behalf when he is indisposed, and sit on the Iron Throne while doing so. The Hand also sits on the small council and will run the council if the king is not present.
The office typically makes the Hand the second most powerful man in the kingdom next to the king, though some Hands had the reputation of ruling their kings. It is considered by some to be a difficult and unglamorous job of great responsibility. A popular saying goes, "What the king dreams, the Hand builds," but the lowborn say, "The king eats, and the Hand takes the shit." Many able men have failed in the office throughout history.
The Hand resides in a tower of the Red Keep called the Tower of the Hand. His badge of office always includes a hand, though the each Hand can design his own. A necklace of hands linked into a chain is one possible badge. Servants of the Hand wear the emblem of a hand.
List of Known Hands
- Mace Tyrell 301 AL
- Orton Merryweather 300 AL - 300 AL
- Harys Swyft 300 AL - 300 AL
- Tywin Lannister 2nd term 298 AL - 300 AL
- Tyrion Lannister was acting hand during part of his father's 2nd term
- Eddard Stark 298 AL
- Jon Arryn 283 AL - 298 AL
- Lord Rossart 283 AL
- Qarlton Chelsted 283 AL
- Jon Connington 283 AL
- Owen Merryweather 282 AL (?) - 283 AL
- Tywin Lannister +/- 262 AL - 282 AL (?)
- Brynden Rivers 209 AL - 221 AL (?)
- Baelor Breakspear 196 AL - 208 AL
- Lord Hayford 196 AL
- Ambrose Butterwell ? - 196 AL
- Lord Butterwell, during the reign of Aegon IV.
- Prince Viserys, during the rule of Daeron I and Baelor I ; (+/-) 157 AL - 171 AL
- Septon Barth, during the rule of Jaehaerys I; between 48 AL – 103 AL
- Prince Maegor, during the rule of Aenys I; 37 AL – 42 AL
Hands of Claimants to the Iron Throne
- Lord Mace Tyrell, for Renly Baratheon
- Lord Alester Florent, for Stannis Baratheon
- Lord Davos Seaworth, for Stannis Baratheon
- Lord Commander Barristan Selmy for Daenerys Targaryen