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Treason is a serious crime against a sovereign or the realm or kingdom as a whole, including rebellion, regicide, oathbreaking, and espionage. One who commits treason is called a traitor.
A queen consort who commits infidelity against the king is also considered a traitor.
The punishment for treason is death, usually by public execution. If expedient, a traitor may instead be pardoned in exchange of hostages or by agreeing to take the black and join the Night's Watch.
Like oathbreaking, the nature of treason is not an absolute one, and is subject to political machinations. It can often depend on whether said treason is successful. While a defeated rebel will be condemned and executed as a traitor, a victorious one will be in power and will merely receive the epithet "usurper".
Ser Duncan the Tall was charged with treason after striking Prince Aerion Targaryen for accosting a woman during a tournament at Ashford. Ser Duncan demanded a trial by combat, which at Aerion's insistence became a trial of seven. Ser Duncan's side was ultimately victorious, but during the combat Aerion's father Prince Maekar Targaryen fatally injured his brother Prince Baelor "Breakspear" Targaryen.
Brandon Stark, eldest son and heir of Lord Rickard Stark, was arrested for treason by King Aerys II Targaryen after protesting the kidnapping of his sister Lyanna by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. When Lord Rickard arrived at the capital to ransom his son, King Aerys arrested him for treason as well. He later had both Starks brutally executed.
The lords Robert Baratheon, Eddard Stark, Jon Arryn, Hoster Tully and later Tywin Lannister, as well as their bannermen, households, and followers, committed treason against King Aerys when they rebelled against him. However, as they were victorious in their rebellion, they have never been judged as such. Robert Baratheon, however, has become known as "The Usurper" by those who secretly remain loyal to House Targaryen.
Grand Maester Pycelle betrayed Aerys II when he counseled the Mad King to open the gates of King's Landing to Tywin Lannister when the latter presented himself before the city gates offering protection against the rebellion. Pycelle was aware Tywin did not intend to defend the city.
A Game of Thrones
Eddard Stark, acting in his authority as Hand of the King, decides to move against Prince Joffrey Baratheon and prevent his coronation by taking him prisoner, having discovered that Joffrey has no right to the throne. Petyr Baelish reminds him that such action will be considered treason only if they lose. Baelish and Janos Slynt betray Eddard, who is arrested and executed for treason against Joffrey, accused of seeking to install himself on the Iron Throne.
Renly Baratheon commits treason when he tries to take the Iron Throne despite being fourth in the line of succession, ignoring the (false) rights of his nephew Joffrey, Robert's official heir, and the true rights of his older brother Stannis.
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
Lord Rickard Karstark, furious over the death of his sons Torrhen and Eddard, killed by Jaime Lannister in the battle in the Whispering Wood, accuses Catelyn Stark of treason after she releases Jaime. Lord Rickard himself is later executed for treason against King in the North Robb Stark for murdering hostages Willem Lannister and Tion Frey.
A Dance with Dragons
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
- Fire & Blood, Aftermath - The Hour of the Wolf.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
- The Sworn Sword.
- The Hedge Knight.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 25, Tyrion VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 37, Theon III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 49, Tyrion XI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 33, Samwell II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 20, Catelyn III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 69, Jon XIII.