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A eunuch is a man who has been castrated or emasculated, either prior to puberty or afterwards. Most people would not volunteer their young sons to become eunuchs and most men would not choose to be castrated or emasculated. Therefore, most eunuchs are slaves who have had no choice in the matter. The most famous eunuchs are the Unsullied.

Eunuchs in Essos

Eunuchs are far more common in Essos than Westeros, where they make popular slaves. In Yunkai, slaves are made into eunuchs by cutting only the testicles off. [1] The Yunkai'i also geld boys in order to produce castrati slaves. Yurkhaz zo Yunzak owns a group of Yunkish castrati slaves who sing songs in the ancient tongues of the Old Empire. Their voices are high and sweet and impossibly pure.[2] The Dothraki dosh khaleen are served by eunuchs.[3] In the Seven Kingdoms poison is seen as a weapon of eunuchs.[4]

The Unsullied are eunuch slave soldiers, trained from a young age in Astapor. They are fully castrated - penis and testicles cut - and their manhoods burned at the altar of the Lady of Spears.[5]

In Bayasabhad, Kayakayanaya and Shamyriana 99 of 100 boys, the sons of the Great Fathers, are gelded when they reach the age of manhood and live out their lives as eunuchs, serving their cities as scribes, priests, scholars, servants, cooks, farmers, and craftsmen. Only the most promising males, the largest, strongest, and most comely, are permitted to mature, breed, and become Great Fathers in their turn.[6]

The Nine Eunuchs were members of the dynasty of the pearl-white emperors who gave the Golden Empire of Yi Ti 130 years of peace and prosperity.

The priests of the Blind God, a deity that was once worshiped in the Valyrian Freehold, were eunuchs who wore eyeless hoods in honor of the god, for only in darkness, they believed, would their third eye open.

Eunuchs in Westeros

In Westeros castration appears to serve more as a severe punishment and deterrent. [7] Varys is a known eunuch who has risen to the influential and powerful position of Master of Whisperers. However, he was made a eunuch in Myr, not Westeros.

Known eunuchs


A eunuch has no honor, and a spider does not enjoy the luxury of scruples, my lord.[10]

- Varys to Eddard Stark

I've never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they're only men with the useful bits cut off.[11]

- the Queen of Thorns

Even those who lack a man’s parts may still have a man’s heart, Your Grace.[12]

- Grey Worm, to Daenerys Targaryen

“Have you ever heard such singing , my love?” Hizdahr asked her. “They have the voices of gods, do they not?” “Yes,” she said, “though I wonder if they might not have preferred to have the fruits of men.”

- Daenerys Targaryen, discussing the Yunkish castrati with Hizdahr zo Loqar

What does a eunuch know of a man's honor?[13]

- Jon Connington, thinking of Varys

References and Notes

  1. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 23, Daenerys II.
  2. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 60, The Spurned Suitor.
  3. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 46, Daenerys V.
  4. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard V.
  5. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 36, Daenerys VI.
  6. The World of Ice & Fire, The Grasslands.
  7. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight
  8. The World of Ice & Fire, The Red Kraken.
  9. Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.
  10. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
  11. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
  12. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
  13. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.