House Darklyn

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House Darklyn of Duskendale
House Darklyn.PNG
Coat of arms Fusily sable and or, upon a pale in dexter gules seven escutcheons argent
Seat The Dun Fort
Lord Extinct
Region Crownlands
Title Lord of Duskendale
Overlord House Targaryen
Cadet Branch House Darke
Founded Age of Heroes
Died out 277 AC

House Darklyn of Duskendale ruled the town of Duskendale and the surrounding lands in the crownlands for centuries. Their keep was the Dun Fort, at the top of a hill that dominates the town. The lordly Darklyns are now extinct as result of the Defiance of Duskendale, although the related Darkes, Darkwoods, Dargoods still live in the town.[1]


Early Darklyns

The Darklyns had been petty kings of the First Men during the Age of Heroes. Their closest allies were their bannermen of House Hollard, who served them loyally and provided brides three times for the Darklyn kings of old. The Darklyns claimed the mouth of the Blackwater Rush during the Hundred Kingdoms.[2] The petty kings of Duskendale were once conquered by the Storm King Monfryd the Mighty.[3]

During the Andal invasion, the Darklyns forced Togarion Bar Emmon to flee from the northern shore of the Blackwater to Massey's Hook.[4] Even after their small realm was swallowed up by larger Andal kingdoms,[1] the Darklyns' power sometimes reached as far as Crackclaw Point.[5]

Lords of Duskendale

During Aegon's Conquest, Aegon I Targaryen and his bastard half-brother Orys Baratheon defeated the Darklyns of Duskendale and the Mootons of Maidenpool in Aegon's first test. The Darklyns bent the knee to the Targaryens and served their new kings as the proud Lords of Duskendale.

During the Targaryen rule, the Darklyns were close allies to the dragonlords to the point that seven sons of Darklyn joined the Kingsguard, more than any other house, a fact which is referred to in the Darklyns' coat of arms. Ser Robin Darklyn was one of the first members of the order.[6]

Ser Steffon Darklyn was a member of the Kingsguard of King Viserys I Targaryen and became Lord Commander of the Queensguard for Rhaenyra Targaryen when the realm was divided between the blacks of Rhaenyra and the greens of her half-brother Aegon II Targaryen. Lord Darklyn attended Rhaenyra's coronation and sat on her black council; in retaliation Aegon's Hand Ser Criston Cole sacked Duskendale and had Lord Darklyn beheaded during the Dance of the Dragons. Lady Meredyth Darklyn briefly sheltered Queen Rhaenyra after she fled King's Landing.[7]

When Lord Brynden Rivers marched on Whitewalls to quash the Second Blackfyre Rebellion, among the lords who came in support was Lord Darklyn.

The Darklyns' good terms with the Iron Throne ended with the Defiance of Duskendale.[1]

The Defiance

The Defiance of Duskendale took place during the reign of King Aerys II Targaryen when, according to the smallfolk, Lord Denys Darklyn was convinced by his wife, Lady Serala of Myr, to take Aerys captive. According to semi-canon sources, the defiance was in fact caused by Lord Denys's refusal to pay taxes after Aerys denied his demands of certain rights for his citizens and a town charter for Duskendale.[8]

During the imprisonment of the king, the master-at-arms of the Dun Fort, Ser Symon Hollard, slew Ser Gwayne Gaunt of the Kingsguard. The Hand of the King, Lord Tywin Lannister, assembled an army that could easily storm the town, but Lord Denys menaced that he would kill the king as soon as the attack started. Aerys was held prisoner for half a year with Tywin's army waiting outside Duskendale.

The situation remained invariable until Ser Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard entered the Dun Fort and rescued the king. Having lost his hostage, Lord Denys had no other option than to surrender at once. He bent the knee and begged for mercy, but the king demanded his head and all his family's. Lord Denys, his brothers and his sister, uncles and cousins were beheaded. Lady Serala, called the Lace Serpent for the supposed poison of her words, was burned alive after her tongue and her female parts were torn out with which it was said that she had enslaved her lord husband.

House Hollard, which had served House Darklyn during the defiance and had a close relationship with their lords, had their lands taken, the castle torn down, and its members also executed. Only young Dontos Hollard was spared because Ser Barristan asked for mercy.[1]

The Darklyns were succeeded as Lords of Duskendale by House Rykker.

Recent Events

A Feast for Crows

The story of the Defiance of Duskendale is recounted to Brienne of Tarth when she travels to Duskendale in search of Sansa Stark.[1]

Historical members

Known Darklyns who served in the Kingsguard

The White Book records seven Darklyn sons that served in the Kingsguard, more than any other house:

Sworn Houses

House Hollard Hollard


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
  2. The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  3. The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Durrandon.
  4. The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: Andals in the Stormlands.
  5. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20, Brienne IV.
  6. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The Princess and the Queen.
  8. ConJose (San Jose, CA; August 29-September 2) report So Spake Martin
  9. The World of Ice & Fire.
  10. The Sons of the Dragon.
  11. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.