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A bravo is a type of young swordsman commonly found in the Free Cities who wishes to prove his martial skills.[1]


Bravos use slender swords that are edged and balanced for the thrust.[2] They dress in colorful finery and some put scented oil in their hair.[3] They often go about in pairs.[3][4][5]

Bravos swagger through Braavos looking to pick fights and prove their skills.[6] Most will fight with little cause or no cause. Anyone carrying a sword after dark in Braavos can be challenged to a duel. Simply placing a finger on the hilt of a sword while facing a bravo is akin to challenging them.[6] Bravos never bother anyone without a sword.[6] Dying bravos often find their way to the House of Black and White to hasten their ends.[3] Braavosi bravos are known to fight duels in the names of courtesans, such as the Nightingale.[6][7] Bravos prefer the cheapest seats in the fourth and highest balcony of the Gate.[8]

The greatest bravos in Braavos practice a style of sword fighting known as the water dance.[9][10] They are known to duel by the Moon Pool at night.[7]

The most skilled among the bravos of Braavos is by tradition the First Sword, the personal guard of the Sealord of Braavos.[9]

During elections for the triarchs of Volantis, bravos duel each other to the death to defend the honor of candidates.[5]


Ser Herman Rollingford, part of Lord Manfryd Mooton's diplomatic mission to Braavos, was slain in a duel by a bravo who was offended by the color of Herman's doublet.[11]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

While at Drogo's manse in Pentos, Daenerys Targaryen spots bravos from Myr, Pentos, and Tyrosh.[1]

Jon Snow has Mikken, the blacksmith of Winterfell, make a thin sword in the style of those used by bravos for Arya Stark. Arya names the blade Needle.[2]

A Feast for Crows

Samwell Tarly is confronted by two bravos, Orbelo and Terro, in Braavos, but Arya—disguised as Cat of the Canals—warns them away.[6] Bravos in striped satin are among the customers for Cat's seafood.[7]

A Dance with Dragons

Tyrion Lannister spots bravos before the doors of wineshops in Volantis.[5]

The kindly man tells Arya that bravos are swaggering and puffed up with pride.[4]

Known Bravos


Darkness was falling across the secret city, creeping through the alleys and down the canals. The good folk of Braavos would soon be shuttering their windows and sliding bars across their doors. Night belonged to the bravos and the courtesans.[6]

—thoughts of Samwell Tarly

At night the bravos swaggered through the city in their parti-colored finery, spoiling to prove their skill with those slender swords they wore.[6]

—thoughts of Samwell Tarly

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
  2. 2.0 2.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 10, Jon II.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 45, The Blind Girl.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 64, The Ugly Little Girl.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 27, Tyrion VII.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 26, Samwell III.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 34, Cat Of The Canals.
  8. The Winds of Winter, Mercy
  9. 9.0 9.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Braavos.
  10. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 22, Arya II.
  11. Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.