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Strong Belwas by Amok.jpg
Strong Belwas, by Roman Papusev ©

  • Strong Belwas
  • Belwas the Strong
Culture Meereenese

Belwas, commonly known as Strong Belwas, is a eunuch former pit fighter[1] and slave.[2] His nickname comes from the fighting pits of Meereen, where he used to fight.[1] Belwas claims he has never lost a fight. He allows his opponents to cut him once before they die, so his scars can be counted to see how many he has slain.[1]

Appearance and Character

Belwas is a huge man, with nut-brown skin. He has gap in his teeth, a gleaming bald head, the smooth cheeks of a eunuch, a huge chest, a massive belly, and Daenerys Targaryen compares his arms to tree-trunks. Belwas is three times the size of Daenerys;[1] she originally estimates Belwas to weigh twenty stone,[1] and later fifteen stone.[3]

Belwas wears baggy pants, a yellow silk bellyband, and a tiny leather vest with iron studs.[3] This leaves his upper torso mostly bare, making visible pale old scars in his arms, chest, and belly. He is armed with a curved arakh and a small shield the size of a pie plate, which he holds with his hand rather than strapped to his forearm like a knight.[3]

Belwas is loud and boisterous. He can be childlike.[3] He often slaps his belly.[4] The former slave greatly enjoys eating,[3][5] especially horsemeat[6] and onions with liver[7][4] or plums.[8] He does not care for riding horses.[6]

Strong Belwas claims to have never lost a fight. His signature move is to allow each opponent to cut him once, then to go on the offensive and kill them. He is proud of his scars, telling Daenerys that she can count them to find out how many opponents he has slain.[1][7] He finds Dothraki "horse boys" to be amusing opponents.[1]


Strong Belwas by David Sondered © Fantasy Flight Games

Belwas was a slave bred and trained in Meereen.[3] He is a veteran pit fighter who earned a reputation in the fighting pits of Meereen. He clams to have killed many Dothraki in the fighting pits, and that their bells jingle when they die.[1]

Belwas was eventually sold from Meereen to Qohor, and from there to Pentos. His latest owner is Illyrio Mopatis, whom he describes as a "fat man with sweet stink in his hair".[1]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Magister Illyrio Mopatis sends Belwas, accompanied by his aged squire Arstan, to protect Queen Daenerys Targaryen and bring her back to Pentos. On their voyage to Qarth, Belwas names Arstan "Whitebeard". In Qarth, Daenerys and Ser Jorah Mormont are seeking a ship captain who is willing to take her, her dragons, and her khalasar to Westeros, when Jorah warns her that they are being followed along the docks. Using a merchant's brass platter as a mirror, Daenerys sees a fat brown man and an old man with a staff. When Daenerys is given a box containing a manticore by a Sorrowful Man assassin, Arstan knocks it out of her hands and kills the manticore with his staff, while Jorah hits Belwas over the head with the platter. After the chaos is over, Arstan introduces himself and Belwas to Daenerys. Belwas tells Daenerys that Illyrio has sent her three ships for her to travel in.[1]

A Storm of Swords

Belwas, now one of Daenerys's Queensguard,[2] travels with the queen on the ship Balerion, during which he is served by Arstan. On the ship all he does is eat. Belwas informs Daenerys and Ser Jorah Mormont that Illyrio wept when news reached him of the death of Viserys Targaryen. Jorah wonders if Illyrio wept for Daenerys's brother, or because the death canceled certain plans involving the claimant king.[3]

Strong Belwas is one of Daenerys's bodyguards when she goes to purchase the Unsullied from the Good Masters of Astapor at the Plaza of Punishment. During the fall of Astapor to Daenerys, Belwas uses his arakh to slay the masters.[9]

Belwas is with Daenerys when she treats with the commanders of the sellsword companies before Yunkai. When Prendahl na Ghezn, one of the three captains of the Stormcrows, insults Daenerys, Strong Belwas offers to cut out his tongue. Daenerys refuses, saying that he has her safe conduct.[10]

Strong Belwas defiles Oznak zo Pahl's corpse at the siege of Meereen. Art by Sir-Heartsalot ©

When Daenerys besieges Meereen, Oznak zo Pahl rides out of the city on a white charger with a fourteen foot lance, challenging the besiegers to send forth a champion. Daenerys decides that Belwas is perfect since she can easily spare him, his death as an ex-slave would not give Oznak prestige, and a defeat to an ex-slave would be an insult. Belwas wounds Oznak's horse in the duel, leading to a sword fight. Belwas allows himself to be sliced on his chest before he kills Oznak, severs his head, and holds it up high for those in Meereen to see. The defenders of the city fire arrows, but Belwas is too far away. He squats to defecate towards the city, wipes himself on Oznak's cloak, loots the corpse, and kills the horse. Because Daenerys had lost her husband, Khal Drogo, to a similar apparently minor wound, she forces the reluctant Belwas to be treated by a Yunkish freeman known for his healing skills when he returns to camp.[7] Arstan, Belwas's squire, reveals to Daenerys that he is actually Ser Barristan Selmy, once a member of the Kingsguard of her father, King Aerys II Targaryen.[7]

Later in the siege, Strong Belwas, Barristan, Jorah, and twenty other men enter Meereen though the sewers to take the city. Some of the freedmen in the group are afraid of the huge sewer rats, until Belwas bites one of them in two. When they enter the city, Belwas leads the group to the nearest of the fighting pits, where they raise the enslaved pit fighters to revolt, enabling Daenerys to take the city. Later, when Daenerys dismisses Jorah from her service and banishes him for treason, Belwas drags the knight out of her throne room.[11]

A Dance with Dragons

Belwas and Daenerys Targaryen, by Mark Evans © Fantasy Flight Games

Belwas serves as a member of Daenerys's protectors, standing at her side when she holds court. A young Meereenese noble wants Daenerys to punish slaves who rose up and killed his family, but the queen has already pardoned all crimes committed during the siege of Meereen. Belwas stops the youth from attacking Daenerys.[12] When Ghael, an envoy from Astapor, spits in Daenerys's face after she refuses to aid his city, Belwas slams Ghael to the ground, cracking his teeth.[13]

As a former pit fighter, Belwas is among those in favor of reopening the fighting pits of Meereen.[14] When the pits are finally reopened, Belwas attends the competition at Daznak's Pit and provides commentary on the pit fighters to Daenerys. Belwas becomes ill after eating honeyed locusts offered to Daenerys by Hizdahr zo Loraq.[6][15] Daenerys disappears from the arena with Drogon.[6]

Belwas survives the poison due to his huge bulk,[16] although his strength and weight are somewhat sapped by the experience.[4] He is made part of the ruling council of Meereen instituted by Ser Barristan. As the city is surrounded by Daenerys's enemies, Barristan holds a war council wherein Belwas volunteers himself for a duel between champions. The other attendees favor a more traditional battle.[4]

Quotes by Belwas

Strong Belwas they name me in the fighting pits of Meereen. Never did I lose. I let each man cut me once, before I kill him. Count the cuts and you will know how many Strong Belwas has slain.[1]

—Belwas to Daenerys Targaryen

Jhiqui: We would braid your hair and hang a bell in it, Strong Belwas, but you have no hair to braid.
Belwas: Strong Belwas needs no tinkly bells. Strong Belwas needs liver and onions.[7]

Jhiqui and Belwas

Bad fighting, good dying. Strong Belwas hates it when they scream.[6]

—Belwas to Daenerys Targaryen after the Spotted Cat kills his opponent

Quotes about Belwas

Strong Belwas could not scheme his way to breakfast.[3]

He had once crossed the world with Strong Belwas, and he knew he could rely on him, should all this come to swords.[4]

—thoughts of Barristan Selmy