Sworn shield

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A sworn shield or sworn sword is a knight or similar warrior who makes an oath to serve an individual[1] without necessarily a long-term commitment,[2] often as a bodyguard,[3] soldier,[4][5] or champion.[6]


Many lords and lordlings keep a retinue of knights and sworn swords in their service, including at court.[7] Sworn swords can fight in their lord's host during wartime.[4][5]

The Kingsguard are a specialized and most prestigious type of sworn shield, sworn to the King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men.[8] However, an individual Kingsguard may be appointed the sworn shield of another member of the royal family,[9][10][11] and a non-Kingsguard may also serve as the king's sworn shield.[12]


Ser Duncan the Tall and Ser Bennis of the Brown Shield were hedge knights who swore their service to Ser Eustace Osgrey during the landed knight's quarrel with Lady Rohanne Webber.[1]

Some sworn shields and swords


A hedge knight could ride bare naked if he chose; he had no one to shame but himself. It was different when your sword was sworn. When you accept a lord's meat and mead, all you do reflects on him, Ser Arlan used to say. Always do more than he expects of you, never less. Never flinch at any task or hardship. And above all, never shame the lord you serve.[1]

—thoughts of Duncan the Tall

Ser Tommard, this man is the prince's sworn shield. He'll kill you![14]

You ought to have gone with him, to keep him safe. You are his sworn sword.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Sworn Sword.
  2. A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 46, Daenerys V.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn X.
  5. 5.0 5.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Fire & Blood, The Year of the Three Brides - 49 AC.
  7. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
  8. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 8, Bran II.
  9. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 20, Tyrion V.
  10. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
  12. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
  13. The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Baratheon.
  14. The Mystery Knight.