|In 298 AC, King's Landing
A Game of Thrones
Desmond accompanies Lord Eddard's party to the trial and execution of a deserter from the Night's Watch. He and Tomard drag the man to an ironwood stump, where he is beheaded by Lord Eddard with his Valyrian steel greatsword Ice. On their way home to Winterfell, the party comes across a dead direwolf and Desmond and Jory Cassel are eventually told by Eddard to gather up its pups.
Desmond admits Maester Luwin to see Eddard in Lady Catelyn's chambers, when Luwin brings a coded letter from Lady Lysa Arryn informing her sister that Lord Jon Arryn was murdered by Queen Cersei Lannister.
Desmond is one of the Winterfell guards who goes south with Lord Eddard, when he becomes Hand of the King to Robert I Baratheon. He takes his meals in the small hall of the Tower of the Hand, where he can be seen in the company of Jory Cassel, Hullen, Harwin, and Jacks.
Desmond presents Yoren before Eddard when the Night's Watch recruiter informs him about Lady Catelyn taking Tyrion Lannister captive on her way back to Winterfell. Desmond leads Arya Stark out of the room on Eddard's command and to her chambers. Arya wishes it was Tomard who is guarding her father as she then might have been able to linger on and listen at the door, whereas Desmond is too single-minded in his duty to fall for her tricks. On the way to the chambers, Arya asks him how many guards her father has, receiving the answer that the number is fifty. She inquires whether they will make sure that her father will not be killed, to which Desmond laughs and assures her that her father is guarded day and night. When Arya points out that the Lannisters have more men, he replies that every northman is worth ten southron swords and that she can sleep easy. Arya suggests that a wizard might be sent to kill her father, but Desmond says that wizards die just as other men when one cuts off their heads, drawing his longsword for stressing his point.
When Eddard sends most of his best swords with Lord Beric Dondarrion to bring Ser Gregor Clegane to justice, Desmond stays in King's Landing. He and Cayn admit Lord Petyr Baelish to the Hand's chambers just as Eddard has finished his letter to Lord Stannis Baratheon asking him to return to King's Landing because of King Robert I Baratheon's expected death.
Desmond is killed in the Stark household purge following Lord Eddard's arrest. Arya finds his body in the stable, lying next to the body of a Lannister soldier. Arya assumes that Desmond killed only one Lannister man, which makes her remember how he assured her that no harm would befall her father and that every northman was worth ten southron swords. She kicks the body in a sudden fury and calls Desmond a liar.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Desmond.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1, Bran I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 70, Jon IX.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 22, Arya II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 32, Arya III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 50, Arya IV.