Perkin the Flea

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City Watch.svg
Perkin
Night's Watch.svg
Alias Perkin the Flea
Title Ser
Commander of the City Watch
Allegiance King Trystane Truefyre
Greens
City Watch of King's Landing
Night's Watch
Book(s) The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)
Fire & Blood (mentioned)
The Princess and the Queen (mentioned)

Ser Perkin the Flea was a hedge knight who lived during the Dance of the Dragons.[1]

Character

Perkin was cunning[2] but disreputable.[3]

History

During the riots in King's Landing during the Dance of the Dragons, Perkin the Flea crowned his squire, Trystane, declaring him a natural son of the late King Viserys I Targaryen. Perkin knighted anyone who pledged to his cause, and thereby gathered hundreds under his command.[1]

When Ser Torrhen Manderly led one hundred White Harbor men down the Hook, they found Fishmonger's Square and River Row filled with Perkin's gutter knights.[4]

The so-called "Mudfoot" garrison joined Perkin, and Trystane's banner flew above the River Gate.[1] Perkin's men overwhelmed the garrison of gold cloaks at the Gate of the Gods.[1]

Less than half a day after Rhaenyra Targaryen abandoned King's Landing, Perkin and his gutter knights, which outnumbered the castle garrison, appeared before gates of the Red Keep demanding its surrender. Ser Garth the Harelip opened the gates, trusting to the mercy of the Flea. Ser Perkin, however, executed Ser Garth along with twenty other knights still loyal to Rhaenyra, including Harmon of the Reeds. He also had Lady Mysaria whipped naked through the city, promising that if she made it alive from the Red Keep to the Gate of the Gods she would be spared and allowed to leave, which she failed to accomplish.[4]

Ser Perkin spared Septon Eustace, possilby to avoid provoking the enmity of the Faith of the Seven. He also freed all prisoners from the castle dungeons, including Grand Maester Orwyle, Lord Corlys Velaryon and Queen Alicent Hightower, who bore witness when Trystane mounted the Iron Throne. Ser Perkin's men also found the mutilated former master of coin, Ser Tyland Lannister. The Flea also welcomed Larys Strong, the Clubfoot, greeting him warmly after the master of whisperers emerged from hiding to take a place of honor at the side of the new "king", who styled himself Trystane Truefyre.[4]

While Trystane issued edicts and divided the coin of the royal treasury among his followers, Ser Perkin recruited scores of surviving gold cloaks, taking control of the Dragon Gate, the King's Gate and the Lion Gate. In total he had four of the seven gates of the capital and more than half of the towers along its walls.[4]

After the death of Rhaenyra, the army of Lord Borros Baratheon reached the Blackwater Rush and wa spied from the battlements of the Red Keep by King Trystane, Larys Clubfoot and Ser Perkin. The Clubfoot convinced Trystane to send him to parley. Along Grand Maester Orwyle and Dowager Queen Alicent, the Clubfoot met with the Lord of Storm's End and reached an accord: Ser Perkin and his gutter knights would join the stormlanders in restoring King Aegon II to the throne in exchange for a full pardon for all, except the pretender Trystane. "Taken and in chains", announced Ser Perkin when Lord Borros reached the Red Keep and asked about the pretender.[5]

Ser Perkin and his gutter knights then joined Lord Borros in arresting the Shepherd. While the stormlanders rode up Rhaenys' Hill from the west, Ser Perkin and his followers climbed the steeper southern slope of the hill from Flea Bottom. Later, Ser Perkin was placed in command of the City Watch to enforce a curfew decreed by Queen Alicent.[5]

Following the defeat of Lord Borros and his army in the Battle of the Kingsroad, Ser Perkin joined the conspiracy to eliminate the king and his loyalists. Ser Perkin and six of his gutter knights barred the way into Maegor's Holdfast. When Ser Alfred Broome tried to enter to carry out the king's order to remove an ear from Prince Aegon the Younger, Ser Perkin shoved Ser Alfred off the drawbridges into the spikes below.[5]

During the Hour of the Wolf, Ser Perkin was among those arrested at the command of Lord Cregan Stark for the murder of Aegon II and sent to the dungeons. During the Judgment of the Wolf, Lord Cregan rejected the pardons given to him and sentenced him to death not only for the death of Aegon II but also for rebelling against Rhaenyra, raising Trystane and then abandoning him to save himself. The Flea swore he had acted under the orders of Larys Clubfoot.[6] Ser Perkin was the first of the condemned taken before Lord Stark during the morning of the executions, having drawn lots with the rest of the condemned to see who would be the first to die. After being asked by Cregan if he had any final words, Ser Perkin declared he wished to take the black, with most of the condemned following his lead. Thus, he was spared.[2][6]

Behind the Scenes

Perkin and his squire, Trystane Truefyre, may be homages by George R. R. Martin to Perkin Warbeck, who claimed to be Richard of Shrewsbury, son of King Edward IV of England.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Princess and the Queen.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  3. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Fire & Blood, Aftermath - The Hour of the Wolf.