Shepherd

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Star of the Faith.svg
The Shepherd
Poor Fellows.svg
Alias The Shepherd
The Dead Shepherd
Allegiance Faith of the Seven
Poor Fellows (unconfirmed)
Died In 130 AC, at King's Landing
Book(s) Fire & Blood (mentioned)
The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)
The Princess and the Queen (mentioned)

The Shepherd was a prophet and begging brother who lived in King's Landing during the Dance of the Dragons. He was a follower of the Faith, although his name has been lost to history.[1]

Appearance and Character

The Shepherd was an itinerant brother of the Faith of the Seven, one-handed, religious and insane. Mushroom called him "the Dead Shepherd" because he resembled a corpse.[1]

The thin man wore a hair shirt and roughspun breeches, and he hung a begging bowl about his neck.[1]

History

Origin

Munkun suggests the Shephard was one of the outlawed Poor Fellows. Gyldayn believes the Shepherd lost a hand for thievery.[1]

Dance of the Dragons

During the Dance of the Dragons, the Shepherd began to preach against Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen in Cobbler's Square in King's Landing, saying that dragons were demons, the spawn of godless Valyria, and the doom of men.[1][2] Munkun believes that the Shepherd spread the story that Rhaenyra sent Ser Luthor Largent to murder Queen Helaena Targaryen.[3]

During the riots in King's Landing the Shepherd led a mob in the Storming of the Dragonpit, where three of the blacks' dragons and one of the greens' dragons dwelled. A tale oft repeated in King's Landing names the Shepherd as the slayer of the dragon Syrax, Rhaenyra's mount. The Shepherd allegedly stood alone against the dragon, calling upon the Seven for succor, until the Warrior manifested and beheaded Syrax.[3]

Moon of the Three Kings

After the Storming of the Dragonpit and Rhaenyra's flight, the Shepherd and his mob ruled much of the city from the ruins of the Dragonpit. This period was dubbed the Moon of the Three Kings by maesters even though the Shepherd never claimed kingship, styling himself a simple son of the Seven. He preached every night among the heads of the five slain dragons, which were set up on posts by his followers.[3]

The Shepherd preached against lords, knights, and rich men, commanding his followers to cast off fine attire and walk barefoot with roughspun robes. Although thousands obeyed, his crowds grew smaller with each passing night. Other factions of rioters seized control of other parts of the city, particularly Trystane Truefyre at the Red Keep on Aegon's Hill and Gaemon Palehair on Visenya's Hill.[3]

Arrest and Death

When Lord Borros Baratheon's army neared King's Landing, the Shepherd ordered his flock to keep him from crossing the Blackwater Rush, but few obeyed from his dwindling mob. Forewarned by the fate of Gaemon Palehair, the Shepherd called upon his "barefoot army" to assemble around the Dragonpit to defend the Hill of Rhaenys. Less than three hundred answered his call, however, and they were easily defeated by Borros and Ser Perkin the Flea. Cursing Borros, the captured Shepherd was carried to the Red Keep in chains and put in a dungeon alongside the other two false kings to await the return of Aegon II Targaryen and his judgment.[4]

The Shepherd refused to repent when brought before Aegon, cursing the crippled king instead. Aegon ordered the Shepherd's tongue torn out with hot pincers and condemned him and his followers to death by fire. On the last day of 130 AC, two hundred forty-one of the Shepherd's most dedicated followers were covered with pitch and chained to poles on both sides of Hill Street, which ran from Cobbler's Square to the Dragonpit. As septs rang bells in celebration, Aegon's knights set each captive ablaze as the king traveled to the Dragonpit. With the aid of two Kingsguard, Aegon set aflame the Shepherd, who was chained amongst the heads of the five slain dragons.[4]

Legacy

Following the burning of the Shepherd and his followers, Hill Street became known as Shepherd's Way.[4] Lord Borros Baratheon was killed in the Battle of the Kingsroad, and King Aegon II Targaryen was murdered by poison.[4]

During the Hour of the Wolf a two-handed man claiming to be the Shepherd reborn rose and called for the death of the northmen in Lord Cregan Stark's army, as they believed in the old gods instead of the Seven. Hundreds flocked to hear him,[5] but gold cloaks removed his tongue.[6] Another false Shepherd claiming to be the "Shepherd Reborn" was executed by Ser Victor Risley by order of Lord Unwin Peake in 133 AC.[7]

Quotes

We shall meet in hell before this year is done.[4]

—The Shepherd to Borros Baratheon and Aegon II Targaryen

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
  2. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
  5. Fire & Blood, Aftermath - The Hour of the Wolf.
  6. Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
  7. Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.