The King's Peace, or king's peace, is a concept and law devised by Aegon I Targaryen for of all subjects of the Iron Throne, including nobles, prohibiting violence and war for the settling of disputes.[N 1]
Before the Conquest, wars between the realms of Westeros were common. Even at kingdoms said to be at peace, neighboring lords would often settle disputes violently. Following Aegon's Conquest, during which he unified six of the seven kingdoms under Targaryen rule, he devised the King's Peace, ending this practice.
Under the King's Peace, liege lords are to adjudicate disputes of their vassal petty lords or landed knight, while those between the great houses of the realm are to be settled by the Iron Throne. Those nobles who go to war without the leave of the King are to be considered rebels and traitors to the Crown. The City Watch of King's Landing is tasked with keeping the king's peace within the city walls.
The concept remained under use during the Targaryen and Baratheon dynasties, referring to the protection all loyal subjects enjoyed for their loyalty to the monarchy.
A Game of Thrones
Ser Raymun Darry reluctantly hosts the royal party on their way back to the capital to uphold the king's peace despite having no love for King Robert I Baratheon.
With the increase of crime in King's Landing due to the influx of travelers for the upcoming Tourney of the Hand, Lord Renly Baratheon, master of laws, threatens to remove Janos Slynt from his post as Commander of the City Watch for his failure to uphold the king's peace.
Lord Eddard Stark reminds Queen Cersei Lannister that as Hand of the King, he is charged to keep the king's peace and enforce the king's justice.
The Lannisters break the king's peace by invading the riverlands and attacking settlement such as Sherrer.
A Clash of Kings
In the aftermath of the Battle of Blackwater Bay, King Joffrey I Baratheon welcomes back into the king's peace those who fought for Stannis Baratheon if they beg his forgiveness for their treasons.
A Storm of Swords
Lord Petyr Baelish is sent by the small council to the Eyrie to marry Lady Lysa Arryn and convince her to pay homage to King Joffrey, thus returning the Vale of Arryn into the king's peace.
In the aftermath of the Red Wedding, most of the riverlords bent the knee to the Iron Throne and are welcomed back to the king's peace with royal pardons signed by the new king, Tommen I Baratheon.
The first law of the land shall be the King's Peace and any lord who goes to war without my leave shall be considered a rebel and an enemy to the Iron Throne.
- ↑ George R. R. Martin was probably inspired by the principle of Anglo-Saxon law, which designates the legal protection granted by the judicial system, the head of state and the government to all the people who live on their territory.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Fire & Blood, Three Heads Had the Dragon - Governance Under King Aegon I.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 16, Eddard III.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 39, Eddard X.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 65, Sansa VIII.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.