Arlan of Pennytree
|Born||In 149–153 AC, Pennytree|
|Died||In 209 AC, the Reach, near Ashford|
A winged chalice, silver on brown|
(Tenné, a winged-chalice argent)
Ser Arlan of Pennytree was a hedge knight and the master of Dunk, the later Ser Duncan the Tall.
Arlan's coat-of-arms was a winged chalice, silver on brown. It is unknown if he had any connection with House Hersy, whose arms also feature a winged chalice.
Appearance and Character
Arlan was a small, slim man. Dunk thought the hedge knight was closer to sixty than fifty when he died.
Arlan was a kindly man generous with giving praise. He enjoyed watching sunsets. The knight spoke highly of Baelor Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone, and Leo Tyrell, Lord of Highgarden. Arlan affectionately claimed that Dunk was "thick as a castle wall and slow as an aurochs."
Arlan's weaponry included a longsword, an eight-foot ash war lance, and a dagger. His armor included a chain-mail hauberk, a dented iron halfhelm, and greaves and gorget. His battered oak shield depicted his winged chalice sigil.
At the time of his death Arlan owned a chipped garnet and three horses, which Dunk then inherited:
- Thunder, Arlan's warhorse ridden only in tourney and battle
- Chestnut, a swaybacked stot ridden by Dunk
- Sweetfoot, a female palfrey
Arlan was born in the village of Pennytree in the riverlands. When Arlan was a little boy, his grandfather took him to King's Landing, where he saw the last dragon. The dragon died a year later.
In 193 AC, Ser Arlan unhorsed Lord Stokeworth and the Bastard of Harrenhal in a melee at King's Landing. Years prior to that, he had unhorsed Ser Damon Lannister in a tourney at Lannisport. In 199 AC, Arlan was defeated by Prince Baelor Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone, in a tourney at Storm's End. Arlan later said he broke seven lances against Baelor, while Baelor remembered four lances. Arlan chose never to joust again after that prestigious showing.
Arlan's nephew, Roger of Pennytree, was his squire. During the First Blackfyre Rebellion, Arlan and Roger fought beneath Lord Hayford's banners, taking part in the Battle of the Redgrass Field, during which Roger was killed. Arlan was next to Lord Hayford when the lord was slain by Lord Gormon Peake.
At some later point Arlan met Dunk in the slums of Flea Bottom in King's Landing, and took him for his squire. The two of them remained together for years. Arlan and Ser Bennis of the Brown Shield were among knights hired by a Dornish merchant to escort him from Lannisport to the Prince's Pass. Arlan and Dunk also served at Highgarden for a time, and they also marched with a few peasant levies. Arlan once helped hang an outlaw who had been stealing rings. Arlan also served a minor lord in the stormlands in a regional dispute.
Three years before the tourney at Ashford Meadow, Arlan and Dunk served Lord Dondarrion in the battle with the Vulture King. Also three years before the Ashford tourney, Arlan spent a half year in service to Lord Florent. A drunken Arlan promised to take Dunk to a brothel, but the knight did not remember the promise once sober.
Arlan died of a chill on the road leading to Ashford Meadow in 209 AC. Dunk buried Arlan's body on the western slope of a hill, facing the sunset. Dunk continued on to the tourney. At Ashford he claimed to Plummer that Arlan had knighted him as Ser Duncan the Tall before his passing, although there were no witnesses to the ceremony. Two years later, Duncan also claimed to Lady Rohanne Webber that he had been knighted by Arlan.
Arlan had a sister whose name is not mentioned in the books. Her son, Roger, served Arlan as a squire until he was killed in the Battle of the Redgrass Field.
Quotes by Arlan
Another day done, and who knows what the morrow will bring us, eh, Dunk?
It is not every man who can boast that he broke seven lances against the finest knight in the Seven Kingdoms. I could never hope to do better, so why should I try?
Quotes about Arlan
I'd leave your sword, but it would rust in the ground. The gods will give you a new one, I guess. I wish you didn't die, ser. You were a true knight, and you never beat me when I didn't deserve it, except that one time in Maidenpool. It was the inn boy who ate the widow woman's pie, not me, I told you. It don't matter now. The gods keep you, ser.—Dunk at Arlan's grave
Duncan: He always said he meant for me to be a knight, as he was. When he was dying he called for his longsword and bade me kneel. He touched me once on my right shoulder and once on my left, and said some words, and when I got up he said I was a knight.
Plummer: Any knight can make a knight, it is true, though it is more customary to stand a vigil and be anointed by a septon before taking your vows. Were there any witnesses to your dubbing?Duncan: Only a robin, up in a thorn tree. I heard it as the old man was saying the words. He charged me to be a good knight and true, to obey the seven gods, defend the weak and innocent, serve my lord faithfully and defend the realm with all my might, and I swore that I would.—Duncan the Tall and Plummer
When you accept a lord's meat and mead, all you do reflects on him, Ser Arlan used to say. Always do more than he expects of you, never less. Never flinch at any task or hardship.—thoughts of Duncan the Tall
The old hedge knight had done service at so many different keeps and castles through the years that Dunk could not recall the half of them.—thoughts of Duncan the Tall