Hedge knights are so named because most of their worldly wealth is in their arms and horses and they generally must sleep outdoors, often under a hedge. Contrary to landed knights, hedge knights own no land. Most hedge knights travel in search of employment and often attend tourneys to earn money and display their prowess in hopes of being hired and making a name for themselves. Hedge knights often join the hosts of lords and the royal processions of kings. Most hedge knights are younger men.
Although many strive to be chivalrous true knights, hedge knights are often mistrusted and considered disreputable. The term "hedge knight" is considered disparaging. Some warriors can be described as upjumped hedge knights. Less scrupulous hedge knights put their martial training to use by resorting to banditry, becoming robber knights.
The hedge knight Ser Arlan of Pennytree never ventured to the north with his squire, Dunk, as he thought that there were no hedges there, and all the woods full of wolves. Dunk, who became a hedge knight himself, took Prince Aegon Targaryen as his squire at the tourney at Ashford Meadow. At the Great Council following the death of King Maekar I Targaryen, some lords considered Aegon "half a peasant" because of his travels with Ser Duncan.
A Game of Thrones
Known hedge knights
- Ser Arlan of Pennytree
- Ser Bennis of the Brown Shield
- Ser Bramm of Blackhull
- Ser Byron the Beautiful
- Ser Clayton Suggs
- Ser Creighton Longbough
- Ser Dermot of the Rainwood
- Ser Duncan the Tall
- Ser Galtry the Green
- Ser Glendon Flowers
- Ser Guyle the Cunning
- Ser Horys Hill
- Ser Humfrey the Mummer
- Ser Illifer the Penniless
- Ser John the Fiddler
- Ser Kyle the Cat of Misty Moor
- Ser Lorimer the Belly
- Ser Morgarth the Merry
- Ser Humfrey the Mummer
- Ser Osmund Kettleblack
- Ser Pate of the Blue Fork
- Ser Perkin the Flea
- Ser Samgood of Sour Hill
- Ser Shadrich the Mad Mouse
- Ser Tallad the Tall
- Ser Will the Stork
Other knights serve the lords who keep them, of from whom they hold their lands, but we serve where we will, for men whose causes we believe in.—Ser Arlan of Pennytree
—thoughts of Brienne Tarth
Hedge knights, she thought, old and vain and plump and nearsighted, yet decent men for all that. It cheered her to know that there were still decent men in the world.—thoughts of Brienne Tarth
There are many fine hedges in the riverlands. The old ones are the best. There's nothing beats a hundred-year-old hedge. Inside one of those a man can sleep as snug as at an inn, and with less fear of fleas.
Viserys told her tales of knights so poor that they had to sleep beneath the ancient hedges that grew along the byways of the Seven Kingdoms. Dany would have given much and more for a nice thick hedge. Preferably one without an anthill.—thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen
- The Hedge Knight.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 71, Daenerys X.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn X.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 7, Jon I.
- A Storm of Swords, Epilogue.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
- Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
- The Sworn Sword.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 25, Brienne V.