Queen of love and beauty

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Champion's Favour, by Kelley Harris © Fantasy Flight Games

The queen of love and beauty[1][2] or Queen of Love and Beauty,[3] also simply called queen of beauty,[4] is an honor which tourney champions bestow on a lady of their choosing.

Culture

In the Seven Kingdoms, tradition holds that the victor of a tourney may select any woman present and name her the queen of love and beauty, crowning her with a wreath of flowers and dedicating his victory to her.[4] The victor's laurel[4] can also be called the crown of Love and Beauty.[3] The victor often chooses a woman he loves or intends to court, and it can be a source of scandal if the victor crowns a woman already bound to another man, or if a married man crowns someone other than his wife.[4]

A queen of love and beauty can also be named at the start of a tourney, with champions appointed to defend the reigning queen of beauty's honor during the ensuing competition.[3][2]

History

Rhaegar Targaryen honoring Lyanna Stark at the tourney of Harrenhal, by M.Luisa Giliberti ©

Princess Daenerys Targaryen was named queen of love and beauty by Ser Simon Dondarrion in the tourney celebrating the completion of the Dragonpit in 55 AC, earning the love of the smallfolk and Queen Alysanne Targaryen.[5] Alysanne herself was honored by Ser Ryam Redwyne in the tenth anniversary tourney honoring King Jaehaerys I Targaryen in 58 AC. [5]

At the tourney for King Viserys I's accession at Maidenpool in 104 AC, Ser Criston Cole gave the victor's laurel to young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen after defeating her uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen.[6]

Queen Naerys Targaryen was named by Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, who was disguised as a mystery knight known as the Knight of Tears at a tourney.[2]

The unnamed daughter of Lord Ashford reigned as Queen of Love and Beauty at the opening of the tourney at Ashford Meadow in 209 AC, with five champions appointed to defend her honor while wearing her favor. This tourney's rules decreed that by the games' end, five eventual victors of the competition would decide if she would retain the honor or if a new recipient would be named. The tourney was interrupted by a trial of seven, however.[3]

Ser Bonifer Hasty, infatuated with Princess Rhaella Targaryen,[7] wore her favor in a tourney and named her queen of love and beauty. The promising knight put aside his tourney lance when the princess married her brother, Aerys Targaryen,[8] dedicating his life instead to the Faith of the Seven.[9]

The daughter of Lord Walter Whent and Lady Shella Whent reigned as queen at the opening of the tourney at Harrenhal in 281 AC, with her four brothers and her uncle, Ser Oswell Whent of the Kingsguard, serving as her champions.[2] The tourney's victor, Rhaegar Targaryen, Prince of Dragonstone, shocked the attendees by naming Lyanna Stark as queen of love and beauty instead of his wife, Elia Martell, giving Lyanna a crown of blue winter roses.[4][2][10]

Lynesse Hightower was honored by Ser Jorah Mormont at the tourney at Lannisport following Greyjoy's Rebellion.[1]

Quotes

At tourneys, fair maidens and high ladies vied for the honor of being named the queen of love and beauty, but such reigns lasted only for a night.[11]

—writings of Gyldayn

Ned remembered the moment when all the smiles died, when Prince Rhaegar Targaryen urged his horse past his own wife, the Dornish princess Elia Martell, to lay the queen of beauty's laurel in Lyanna's lap. He could see it still: a crown of winter roses, blue as frost.[4]

—thoughts of Eddard Stark

Rhaegar had chosen Lyanna Stark of Winterfell. Barristan Selmy would have made a different choice. Not the queen, who was not present. Nor Elia of Dorne, though she was good and gentle; had she been chosen, much war and woe might have been avoided. His choice would have been a young maiden not long at court, one of Elia's companions ... [10]

—thoughts of Barristan Selmy

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Hedge Knight.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
  6. Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon: A Question of Succession.
  7. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Bonifer Hasty.
  8. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 43, Daenerys VII.
  9. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
  10. 10.0 10.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
  11. Fire & Blood, Under the Regents: War and Peace and Cattle Shows.