House Darklyn

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House Darklyn of Duskendale
House Darklyn.svg
Coat of arms Fusily black and gold, 7 white escutcheons upon a red tierce
(Fusily sable and or, upon a tierce gules seven escutcheons argent)
Seat Dun Fort in Duskendale
Head Extinct
Region Crownlands
Overlord House Targaryen
Vassal House Hollard.svg House Hollard[1]
Cadet branches
Founded Age of Heroes
Died out 277 AC

House Darklyn of Duskendale is an extinct noble house which 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 a result of the Defiance of Duskendale, although the related Darkes, Darkwoods, Dargoods still live in the town.[1]

The Darklyns blazoned their arms with fusily black and gold, seven white shields upon a red tierce.[2] The seven white shields are for the seven Darklyns who were knights of the Kingsguard.[1][3]


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.[4] The petty kings of Duskendale were once conquered by the Storm King Monfryd the Mighty.[5]

During the Andal invasion, the Darklyns forced Togarion Bar Emmon to flee from the northern shore of the Blackwater to Massey's Hook.[6] Even after their small realm was swallowed up by larger Andal kingdoms,[1] the Darklyns' power sometimes reached as far as Crackclaw Point.[7]

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 Lords of Duskendale. Ser Robin Darklyn, called Darkrobin, was among the first seven knights of the Kingsguard.[8] Seven Darklyns eventually joined the Kingsguard, more than any other house.[1]

When Prince Aegon Targaryen warred against King Maegor I Targaryen, Ser Davos Darklyn of the Kingsguard led five thousand men from King's Landing in support of the king during the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye. Davos was slain during the battle by Lord Qarl Corbray. Davos's aged father was slain when Ser Joffrey Doggett ordered Warrior's Sons to hunt Maegor's loyalists. When the realm began to turn against Maegor for Prince Jaehaerys Targaryen, Lord Darklyn was among the score of lesser lords who gathered at his command.[9] Along with Lords Towers and Staunton, Lord Darklyn yielded the Red Keep to Jaehaerys, Princess Rhaena, and Princess Alysanne Targaryen. The three lords were sent to the black cells, but were eventually pardoned by King Jaehaerys I after surrendering some of their land.[10]

Jonquil Darke, the bastard daughter of Lord Darklyn, became the sworn shield of Queen Alysanne Targaryen in 51 AC.[11]

Ser Steffon Darklyn was a member of the Kingsguard of King Viserys I Targaryen. When the Dance of the Dragons began, pitting the blacks of Rhaenyra Targaryen against the greens of her half-brother Aegon II Targaryen, Steffon became Lord Commander of Rhaenyra's Queensguard. However, Steffon died attempting to tame Seasmoke during the Sowing of the Seeds. Lord Gunthor Darklyn attended Rhaenyra's coronation and sat on her black council; in retaliation Aegon's Hand, Ser Criston Cole, beheaded Gunthor after the sack of Duskendale.[12] Lady Meredyth Darklyn briefly sheltered Queen Rhaenyra after she fled King's Landing.[13] Lord Darklyn was forced to pay a heavy ransom after Aegon II regained the throne, and Duskendale's knights betrayed Lord Borros Baratheon during the Battle of the Kingsroad.[14] King Aegon III Targaryen named Ser Robert Darklyn to the Kingsguard, but the decision was reversed by his regent, Lord Unwin Peake.[15]

When Lord Brynden Rivers marched on Whitewalls to quash the Second Blackfyre Rebellion, Lord Darklyn was among the lords who came in support.[16]

The Defiance

The Darklyns' good terms with the Iron Throne ended with the Defiance of Duskendale.[1] Lord Denys Darklyn desired a charter granting Duskendale greater autonomy, but the request was denied by Lord Tywin Lannister, the Hand of the King to Aerys II Targaryen. According to smallfolk, Denys was convinced by his wife, Lady Serala of Myr, to take the king captive in 277 AC. Aerys was held prisoner for half a year with Tywin's army waiting outside Duskendale.[17] The situation remained at an impasse until Ser Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard secretly entered the Dun Fort and rescued the king.[1]

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. 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. 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 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. Five of whom have been described in the books so far, they are:

Sworn Houses

House Hollard.svg House Hollard[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
  2. The Citadel. Heraldry: In the Crownlands
  3. The Citadel. Heraldry: House Darklyn
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Durrandon.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: Andals in the Stormlands.
  7. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20, Brienne IV.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  10. Fire & Blood, Prince into King - The Ascension of Jaehaerys I.
  11. Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
  13. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
  14. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.
  16. 16.0 16.1 The Mystery Knight.
  17. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 The Sons of the Dragon.
  19. Fire & Blood, Birth, Death and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
  20. Fire & Blood, The Year of the Three Brides - 49 AC.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny and Pain.
  22. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
  24. 24.0 24.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.