Difference between revisions of "Barristan Selmy"

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{{Hatnote|"Arstan" and "Arstan Whitebeard" redirect here. For the Lord of Harvest Hall, see [[Arstan Selmy]].}}
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{{Infobox character
 
{{Infobox character
| Character_name = [[File:Selmy.png|50px|left]] '''Barristan Selmy''' [[File:Kingsguard.PNG|50px|right]]
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| Character_name = [[File:House Selmy.svg|50px|left]] Barristan Selmy [[File:Kingsguard.svg|50px|right]]
| image         = [[Image:Selmy as Arstan Whitebeard.jpg|250px|]]
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| image = [[File:Mike Capprotti Ser Barristan.jpg|300px]]
| image_caption = Ser Barristan as Arstan Whitebeard, by Amoka©
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| image_caption = Barristan Selmy, art by Mike Capprotti ©.
| Alias         = Barristan the Bold<br>Arstan Whitebeard<br>Ser Grandfather<br>Barristan the Old<br>Old Ser
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| Alias = Barristan the Bold{{Ref|AGOT|8}}<br>Barristan the Old{{Ref|ASOS|15}}<br>Arstan Whitebeard{{Ref|ACOK|63}}<br>Ser Grandfather{{Ref|ADWD|36}}<br>Old Ser{{Ref|ADWD|67}}<br>Lord Hand{{Ref|ADWD|70}}
| Title         = [[Knight|Ser]]<br>[[Lord Commander of the Kingsguard|Lord Commander]] (former)<br>[[Daenerys Targaryen|Queen's]] Hand
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| Title = [[Knight|Ser]]<br>[[Lord Commander of the Kingsguard]] (former)<br>[[Hand of the King|Hand of the Queen]]
| Allegiance     = [[Kingsguard]]<br>[[Queensguard]]<br>[[House Selmy]]  
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| Allegiance = [[House Selmy]]<br>[[House Baratheon of King's Landing|House Baratheon]] (formerly)<br>[[Kingsguard]] (formerly)<br>[[House Targaryen]]<br>[[Queensguard]]
| Race           =
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| Race =
| Culture       = [[Westeros]]
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| Culture = [[Dornish Marches|Marcher]]{{Ref|ADWD|55}}
| Spouse         =
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| Spouse =
 
| Place_of_Birth =
 
| Place_of_Birth =
| Date_of_Birth = {{Date|237}}
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| Date_of_Birth = {{Date|236}} or {{Date|237}}<ref>''See the [[Years after Aegon's Conquest/Calculations Ages#Barristan Selmy|Barristan Selmy]] calculation.''</ref>
 
| Place_of_Death =
 
| Place_of_Death =
| Date_of_Death =
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| Date_of_Death =
| Books         = [[A Game of Thrones]] (Appears)<br>[[A Clash of Kings]] (Appears)<br>[[A Storm of Swords]] (Appears)<br>[[A Feast for Crows]] (Mentioned)<br>[[A Dance with Dragons]] (POV)<br>[[The Winds of Winter]] (POV)
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| Books = ''[[The World of Ice & Fire]]'' (mentioned)<br>''[[A Game of Thrones]]'' (appears)<br>''[[A Clash of Kings]]'' (appears)<br>''[[A Storm of Swords]]'' (appears)<br>''[[A Feast for Crows]]'' (mentioned)<br>''[[A Dance with Dragons]]'' (POV)<br>''[[The Winds of Winter]]'' (POV)
| coat-of-arms   =
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| Coat-of-arms =
| Played_by     = Ian McElhinney  
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| Played_by = [[w:Ian McElhinney|Ian McElhinney]]
| TV_series     = [[Game of Thrones - Season 1|Season 1]] {{!}} [[Game of Thrones - Season 3|Season 3]]
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| TV_series = [[Game of Thrones - Season 1|Season 1]] {{!}} [[Game of Thrones - Season 3|Season 3]] {{!}} [[Game of Thrones - Season 4|Season 4]] {{!}} [[Game of Thrones - Season 5|Season 5]]
}}  
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}}
  
Ser '''Barristan Selmy''', called "'''Barristan the Bold'''," is a celebrated hero and [[knight]] of the [[Kingsguard]], serving throughout a time when the Kingsguard were considered to be the greatest knights of the realm. In the [[Game of Thrones|TV series]], he is played by Ian McElhinney.<ref>[http://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/index.html#/game-of-thrones/cast-and-crew.html/eNrjcmbOYC5kzlfPz0lxzEvMqSzJTA5ITE-1S8xN1SzLTEnNh4k65+eVpFaUsEknlpbkF+QkVtqWFJWmcjIysgEhAGCyFzg= HBO: Game of Thrones: cast and crew]</ref>  
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Ser '''Barristan Selmy''', also called '''Barristan the Bold''', is a [[knight]] from [[House Selmy]] and the [[Lord Commander of the Kingsguard]] of [[Robert I Baratheon]].{{Ref|AGOT|appendix}} A celebrated hero, he has served in the [[Kingsguard]] since a time when these knights were still considered to be the greatest of the [[Seven Kingdoms]]. Barristan becomes a [[POV character]] in ''[[A Dance with Dragons]]''. In the television adaptation ''[[Game of Thrones]]'', he is played by [[w:Ian McElhinney|Ian McElhinney]].<ref>[http://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/index.html#/game-of-thrones/cast-and-crew.html/eNrjcmbOYC5kzlfPz0lxzEvMqSzJTA5ITE-1S8xN1SzLTEnNh4k65+eVpFaUsEknlpbkF+QkVtqWFJWmcjIysgEhAGCyFzg= HBO: Game of Thrones: cast and crew]</ref>
  
==Character and Appearance==
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==Appearance and Character==
Selmy is one of the most skilled and respected [[knight]]s in the [[Seven Kingdoms]].
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{{See also|:Category:Images of Barristan Selmy|l1=Images of Barristan Selmy}}
  
Selmy is tall and has blue eyes. [[Daenerys]] considers them sad.{{Ref|aSoS|8}} He is an older man (sixty at the series' beginning), with long white hair and lined features. Daenerys considers him handsome at least for an older man. Despite advanced age, he looks strong and graceful and every bit the skilled [[knight]] he was in his youth. During his time in the Kingsguard, like all other members, he wore white, from his suit of enameled scale armor to his shield.{{Ref|aGoT|15}} When in the Kingsguard in [[King's Landing]] he was clean shaven, but he grew a long white beard when he went to find Daenerys. See also [[:Category:Images of Barristan Selmy|this collection of images]].
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Barristan is tall and has pale blue eyes which some consider to be sad.{{Ref|ASOS|8}}{{Ref|ADWD|30}} He is an older man, with white hair and lined features. When he was young, he had blond hair.{{Ref|ADWD|55}} Some consider him handsome, at least for his age.{{Ref|ADWD|43}}{{Ref|ADWD|52}} Despite his advanced age, Barristan looks strong and graceful and every bit the skilled [[knight]] he was in his youth.{{Ref|AGOT|15}} He is taller than Ser [[Jorah Mormont]] but less muscular.{{Ref|ASOS|8}}
  
'''[[Queensguard]] armour''':  
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Barristan is considered one of the most skilled and respected knights in the [[Seven Kingdoms]],{{Ref|AGOT|8}}{{Ref|ADWD|5}} considered to be made of the true steel that marks a [[Kingsguard]] knight.{{Ref|AGOT|30}} [[Bran Stark]] believes him to be the greatest living knight.{{Ref|AGOT|8}} According to a semi-canon source, he is comparable in skill to the acclaimed Ser [[Arthur Dayne]], the [[Sword of the Morning]].<ref>[[So Spake Martin]]: [http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/The_Sword_of_the_Morning_vs._Barristan_the_Bold The Sword of the Morning vs. Barristan the Bold], September 02, 2011</ref>
  
In [[Meereen]], as a token of her esteem, [[Daenerys Targaryen]] gifts Ser Barristan Selmy, her Lord Commander, with armour.
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A dutiful{{Ref|AGOT|45}} and gallant{{Ref|ADWD|11}} man, Barristan dislikes tricks{{Ref|AGOT|30}} and scheming.{{Ref|ADWD|55}}{{Ref|ADWD|67}}{{Ref|ADWD|70}} Some do not consider him cunning.{{Ref|ADWD|5}} Barristan can speak some of the [[High Valyrian]] of the [[Free Cities]]{{Ref|ACOK|63}}{{Ref|ASOS|22}} and the mongrel [[Ghiscari]] of [[Slaver's Bay]].{{Ref|ADWD|59}}
  
The mail is gilded, finely wrought, the links as supple as good leather, the plate enameled, hard as ice and bright as new fallen snow.  A dagger goes on one hip, his longsword on the other; it hangs from a white leather belt with golden buckles.  Last of all he fastens a long white cloak about his shoulders.  
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Like other members of the Kingsguard, Barristan's plate armor, cloak, and shield are all in white.{{Ref|AGOT|57}} His enameled scales have silver chasings and clasps.{{Ref|AGOT|15}} He wields a [[longsword]]{{Ref|ADWD|67}} and a dagger.{{Ref|ADWD|55}}
 
 
The helm has a narrow eye slit and ornate dragon’s wings which are splendid to look upon. He leaves the helm on its hook for his confrontation with [[Hizdahr zo Loraq]]. Selmy leaves it for his next [[tourney]], if the Seven should grant him one.
 
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
===Early Life===
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===Early life===
Barristan was born the first son of Ser [[Lyonel Selmy]], the Knight of [[Harvest Hall]]. He squired for Lord [[Manfred Swann]] in his youth.{{Ref|aSoS|57}}{{Ref|aSoS|67}} At the age of ten, Barristan donned the armor of a [[mystery knight]] and entered a tourney at [[Blackhaven]]. [[Duncan Targaryen|Prince Duncan]] took pity on the small mystery knight while others laughed. Duncan jousted Selmy when no one else would and it was Prince Duncan who gave Barristan his epithet.  
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[[File:Ninepenny.png|400px|thumb|right|A young Barristan slaying [[Maelys I Blackfyre]] during the [[War of the Ninepenny Kings]], as depicted by Jose Daniel Cabrera Pena in ''[[The World of Ice & Fire]]''.]]
  
He received his knighthood at the age of sixteen from [[Aegon V|King Aegon V]] after unhorsing Prince Duncan and Lord Commander [[Dunk|Duncan the Tall]] of the [[Kingsguard]] at a tourney in [[King's Landing]].{{Ref|aDwD|55}} An eminently successful [[History_of_Tourneys_in_Westeros|tourney]] knight throughout his career, he also proved his worth on the battlefield, killing [[Maelys Blackfyre|Maelys the Monstrous]] in single combat in the [[War of the Ninepenny Kings]], ending the line of the [[House Blackfyre|Blackfyre]] pretenders after cutting a bloody swath through the [[Golden Company]] to get to him.{{Ref|aDwD|5}}  
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Barristan was born the first son of Ser [[Lyonel Selmy]], the Knight of [[Harvest Hall]]. He squired for Lord [[Manfred Swann]] in his youth.{{Ref|aSoS|57}}{{Ref|aSoS|67}} At the age of ten, Barristan donned the armor of a [[mystery knight]] and entered a [[tourney]] at [[Blackhaven]]. Prince [[Duncan Targaryen]] took pity on the small mystery knight while others laughed. Duncan jousted Barristan when no one else would and it was Duncan who gave Barristan his epithet.{{Ref|asos|24}}{{Ref|asos|67}}{{Ref|adwd|59}} Barristan received his [[knight]]hood at the age of sixteen from King [[Aegon V Targaryen]] after unhorsing Prince Duncan and Ser [[Duncan the Tall]], the [[Lord Commander of the Kingsguard]], at a tourney in [[King's Landing]].{{Ref|ASOS|67}}{{Ref|ADWD|55}}
  
He was named to the [[Kingsguard]] at the age of twenty-three and swore his vows before Ser [[Gerold Hightower]], during the reign of [[Jaehaerys II]].{{Ref|aDwD|55}} In joining the Kingsguard, he gave up the claim to his family seat, and the girl he was to wed was married to his cousin instead.{{Ref|aGoT|57}}{{Ref|aSoS|67}}  
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An eminently successful tourney knight throughout his career, Barristan also proved his worth on the battlefield. During the [[War of the Ninepenny Kings]] Barristan slew [[Maelys I Blackfyre]] in single combat, ending the male line of the [[Blackfyre Pretenders]]. Barristan cut a bloody path through the [[Golden Company]] to reach Maelys.{{Ref|ASOS|67}}{{Ref|ADWD|5}}{{Ref|ADWD|67}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys II}} The remaining members of the [[Band of Nine]] had little to no interest in conquering [[Westeros]], and soon returned to their own domains. Barristan's deeds during the war gained him undying fame and his name was well known throughout the [[Seven Kingdoms]] afterwards.{{Ref|aDwD|5}}{{Ref|twoiaf| The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys II}}
  
===In the Kingsguard===
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Barristan was named to the [[Kingsguard]] at the age of twenty-three and swore his vows before Ser [[Gerold Hightower]], while King [[Jaehaerys II Targaryen]] bestowed the white cloak on him.{{Ref|aDwD|55}}{{Ref|ADWD|48}} In joining the Kingsguard, he gave up the claim to his family seat, and the girl he was to wed was married to his cousin instead.{{Ref|aGoT|57}}{{Ref|aSoS|67}}
During the [[Defiance of Duskendale]], Lord Hand [[Tywin Lannister]] sent Selmy to rescue the captive King [[Aerys II]]. Ser Barristan slew Ser [[Symon Hollard]], avenging the death of his sworn brother Ser [[Gwayne Gaunt]] and freeing the king. In the aftermath of the Defiance, he pleaded for the life of the child [[Dontos Hollard]], to which King Aerys acquiesced.{{Ref|aFfC|9}} Later in Aerys's reign, during the Kingsguard's campaign against the outlaw [[Kingswood Brotherhood]], Barristan rescued Lady [[Jeyne Swann]] and her septa, and killed the bandits' leader Ser [[Simon Toyne]] in single combat. He defeated Prince [[Rhaegar Targaryen]] in the final joust to win the tourney held at [[Storm's End]].{{Ref|aSoS|42}}  
 
  
Like his other sworn brothers of the [[Kingsguard]], he was present at the [[tourney at Harrenhal]]. He was infatuated by the beautiful Lady [[Ashara Dayne]], though he knew nothing could come of his desire for her. He planned on naming her [[Queen of Love and Beauty]] if he won the tournament, but was unhorsed by [[Rhaegar Targaryen]]. Rhaegar then crowned [[Lyanna Stark]], setting off a chain of events that led to [[Robert's Rebellion]]. Selmy wonders if he could have averted the war if he had defeated Rhaegar in the tournament. He  also fantasizes that, if he had won the tourney and crowned Ashara, perhaps she would have turned to him "instead of Stark."  He thinks of the consequences of his unspoken love for Ashara as one of his many failures.{{Ref|aDwD|67}}
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===Aerys II===
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Barristan continued to serve in the [[Kingsguard]] after Jaehaerys died and [[Aerys II Targaryen]] ascended the throne. In {{Date|277}}, during the [[Defiance of Duskendale]], King Aerys had been held hostage inside of the town for half a year. Lord [[Tywin Lannister]], [[Hand of the King]], was planning to storm [[Duskendale]], but Barristan offered to personally attempt to retrieve the captive Aerys himself. Tywin gave him a day.{{Ref|twoiaf| The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II}}{{Ref|ADWD|55}}{{Ref|AFFC|9}}{{Ref|ASOS|67}}{{Ref|ADWD|67}}
  
During the [[Robert's Rebellion|War of the Usurper]], after the defeat of Lord [[Jon Connington]] at the [[Battle of the Bells]], Ser Barristan, with Ser [[Jonothor Darry]] was sent to rally the remnants of Connington's army.{{Ref|aSoS|37}} He was severely wounded at the [[Battle of the Trident]]. Lord [[Roose Bolton]] counseled that his throat should be cut, but [[Robert Baratheon|Robert]] instead called for [[maester]]s to attend him.  
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Disguised as a hooded beggar in the dead of night, Barristan climbed the walls of Duskendale, scaled the walls of the [[Dun Fort]], and slew a sentry before the man could raise the alarm. Barristan freed Aerys from the dungeon and led him to the upper levels. During the escape attempt, Barristan slew two guards and Ser [[Symon Hollard]], avenging the death of his sworn brother, Ser [[Gwayne Gaunt]], who had been killed by Symon. Barristan and Aerys rushed to the stables, with the knight fending off those who tried to intervene. Mounted on stolen horses, the pair charged out the Dun Fort's gate and escaped through the streets of Duskendale.{{Ref|twoiaf| The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II}}{{Ref|ASOS|67}} Barristan took an arrow to the chest during the rescue.{{Ref|aSoS|42}} Houses [[House Darklyn|Darklyn]] and [[House Hollard|Hollard]] were destroyed by Aerys afterward, but the king acquiesced to Barristan's plea to spare the life of the child [[Dontos Hollard]].{{Ref|aFfC|9}} Many songs have since been sung of Barristan's deeds at Duskendale.{{Ref|twoiaf| The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II}}
  
Though he fought bravely for the [[House Targaryen|Targaryens]] during the rebellion which overthrew them, Barristan later took the new king's pardon and became the Lord Commander of Robert's Kingsguard.{{Ref|aGoT|33}} Having had reservations about the Kingslayer even before he earned his epithet, Ser Barristan did not approve of [[Jaime Lannister]] being allowed to continue his service. After Jaime slew Aerys he was quoted by [[Tyrion Lannister]] as saying Ser Jaime's white cloak should be traded for a black one, agreeing with [[Eddard Stark|Ned Stark]] that Jaime should be exiled to [[the Wall]] {{Ref|aDwD|57}}.
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When the band of outlaws known as the [[Kingswood Brotherhood]] caused problems, the king sent his Kingsguard on campaign in the [[kingswood]]. Barristan rescued Lady [[Jeyne Swann]] and her septa, and he killed the bandits' leader, Ser [[Simon Toyne]], in single combat.{{Ref|ASOS|67}} During a [[tourney at Storm's End]], Barristan defeated Aerys's heir, Prince [[Rhaegar Targaryen]], in the final joust, winning the tourney.{{Ref|aSoS|42}}  
  
Selmy had moral reservations about serving the Usurper, but served loyally nonetheless. Selmy recalled, however, that if he had seen Robert smile when [[Tywin Lannister]] presented him with the bloody bodies of Rhaegar's children, he would never have served Robert and nothing on earth would have stopped Selmy from killing him. Selmy loathes seeing the deaths of children, as illustrated by his asking that the babe Dontos Hollard be spared when [[House Hollard]] was destroyed after the Defiance of Duskendale.  
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Barristan had greater difficulty keeping his vows in the later years of Aerys's reign, as the king became madder and crueler.{{Ref|ADWD|55}} Like his other sworn brothers of the Kingsguard, Barristan was present at the [[tourney at Harrenhal]]. He was infatuated by the beautiful Lady [[Ashara Dayne]], though he knew nothing could come of his desire for her. Barristan planned on naming her [[queen of love and beauty]] if he won the tournament, but the knight was unhorsed by Rhaegar.{{Ref|aDwD|67}} The crown prince then crowned [[Lyanna Stark]], setting off a chain of events that led to [[Robert's Rebellion]].{{Ref|AGOT|58}} Barristan wonders if he could have averted the war if he had defeated Rhaegar in the tournament. He also fantasizes that, if he had won the tourney and crowned Ashara, perhaps she would have turned to him "instead of Stark." He thinks of the consequences of his unspoken love for Ashara as one of his many failures.{{Ref|aDwD|67}}
  
During the [[Greyjoy Rebellion]], Selmy led the attack on [[Old Wyk]].  Ser Barristan is a living legend and the [[smallfolk]] talk of him in the same way they talk of other legendary knight such as [[Serwyn]] of the Mirror Shield and [[Prince Aemon the Dragonknight]]. {{Ref|aCoK|3}}  
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===Robert's Rebellion===
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During [[Robert's Rebellion]], after the defeat of Lord [[Jon Connington]] at the [[Battle of the Bells]], Barristan and Ser [[Jonothor Darry]] of the Kingsguard were sent to rally the remnants of the loyalist army.{{Ref|aSoS|37}}  
  
==Recent Events==
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Barristan fought in the [[Battle of the Trident]], during which he was wounded by arrow, spear, and sword{{Ref|ASOS|67}} while slaying a dozen friends of Lords [[Robert I Baratheon|Robert Baratheon]] and [[Eddard Stark]].{{Ref|AGOT|33}} Prince [[Rhaegar Targaryen]] was killed by Robert in single combat in the [[ruby ford]].{{Ref|AGOT|4}} After the battle, Lord [[Roose Bolton]] counseled that Barristan's throat should be cut, but Robert instead called for his own [[maester]] to attend the knight.{{Ref|AGOT|33}}{{Ref|ADWD|67}}
===A Game of Thrones===
 
Barristan is a formidable fighter even in his advanced years, having won the championship of a tourney at King's Landing at the age of 57, and unhorsing [[Sandor Clegane]] in a tilt just a year prior to the outbreak of the [[War of the Five Kings]].{{Ref|aGoT|25}} He serves loyally as [[Lord Commander of the Kingsguard|Lord Commander]] of [[Robert Baratheon|Robert]]'s [[Kingsguard]]. During the [[Tourney of the Hand]], he is only defeated by Ser [[Jaime Lannister]] after three tilts, having defeated men ten and twenty years younger in his first two contests.{{Ref|aGoT|29}} When Ser [[Hugh|Hugh of the Vale]] is killed in the tournament by Ser [[Gregor Clegane]], Selmy stands vigil over the young knight himself as the boy had no one else.{{Ref|aGoT|30}}  
 
  
He is present on the [[small council]] when [[Robert Baratheon]] orders the death of the pregnant [[Daenerys Targaryen]]. He and [[Eddard Stark]] are the only council members who protest the move.{{Ref|aGoT|33}} He accompanies King Robert on his ill-fated boar hunt which led to the death of the king.{{Ref|aGoT|47}} In an unprecedented move, he is dismissed from the Kingsguard and the small council by [[Joffrey Baratheon]] on grounds of old age. The real reasons, however, are to allow Joffrey to give a white cloak to his "dog," [[Sandor Clegane]], and so [[Cersei Lannister]] could place [[Jaime Lannister]] as the new Lord Commander.
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Because he had been wounded so badly, Barristan was not present in [[King's Landing]] when the bodies of Prince [[Rhaegar Targaryen]]'s children, Princess [[Rhaenys Targaryen (daughter of Rhaegar)|Rhaenys]] and Prince [[Aegon Targaryen (son of Rhaegar)|Aegon]]—slain during [[Sack of King's Landing|the Sack]]—were presented to Robert by Lord [[Tywin Lannister]]. Barristan later felt that if he had been present and Robert had smiled at the bodies, nothing would have stopped him from killing the man.{{Ref|ADWD|67}}
  
When the king orders him seized and questioned for a perceived threat uttered in the heat of his dismissal, Selmy kills the [[Gold Cloaks]] sent after him and flees the city.{{Ref|aGoT|57}} He could have returned to [[Harvest Hall]], where his kin would doubtless welcome him, but Selmy did not wish to inflict Joffrey's displeasure on them. Instead Selmy sells his horse and disguises himself as a commoner. He returned to the city along with the stream of [[smallfolk]] fleeing the war, making their way to King's Landing.  He enters through the [[Gate of the Gods]] with dirt on his face, stubble on his cheeks and no weapon but a wooden staff. In roughspun clothes and mud-caked boots, he was just one more old man fleeing the war. He lost himself among the refugees and slept in septs and alleys and pot shops.  He lets his beard grow out and cloaks himself in age. 
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===Robert I===
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Barristan considered seeking out Prince [[Viserys Targaryen]], but the exile was too young to rule on his own and had already begun showing signs of [[Targaryen madness]].{{Ref|ASOS|71}} Because the lives of Barristan and many others had chivalrously been spared during the war by the new king, [[Robert I Baratheon]],{{Ref|ASOS|71}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Fall of the Dragons: Robert's Rebellion}} Barristan instead took Robert's pardon and was named [[Lord Commander of the Kingsguard]].{{Ref|aGoT|33}}
  
He is present in the crowd when Lord [[Eddard Stark]] is executed. Afterwards he goes to the [[Great Sept of Baelor]] to pray for Eddard's soul and thanks the gods he himself had only been dismissed. These events force Barristan to reevaluate his years of service in [[Robert Baratheon|Robert]]'s [[Kingsguard]] alongside the likes of the [[Jaime Lannister|Kingslayer]], and others whom he considers near as bad. He comes to the conclusion that his service to Robert was inexcusable. He thinks that Robert had been a good [[knight]], but a poor king, and that Selmy must find his true king and die in his service. This leads Selmy to book passage across the [[narrow sea]] to [[Pentos]]. {{Ref|aDwD|11}}
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Having already had reservations about Ser [[Jaime Lannister]] due to the youth's age and inexperience, Barristan did not approve of Robert allowing Jaime to continue his service after having killed King [[Aerys II Targaryen]] in the [[Sack of King's Landing]]. Barristan was known to say that the Kingslayer's white cloak should be traded for a [[Night's Watch|black one]].{{Ref|aDwD|57}}
  
===A Clash of Kings===
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[[Jeor Mormont]], [[Lord Commander of the Night's Watch]], knew Barristan when he was younger.{{Ref|AGOT|52}} During [[Greyjoy's Rebellion]], Barristan led the attack on [[Old Wyk]].{{Ref|aSoS|67}} He has remained a formidable fighter even in his advanced years, winning the championship of a tourney at King's Landing at the age of fifty-seven, and unhorsing [[Sandor Clegane]] in a tilt in the [[tourney on Prince Joffrey's name day]] in {{Date|297}}.{{Ref|aGoT|25}}
[[File:Barristan Selmy.png|thumb|right|Ian McElhinney as Baristan Selmy]]
 
  
While [[Daenerys Targaryen]] is walking through the docks of [[Qarth]] visiting ships to to find passage, [[Jorah|Ser Jorah]] notices that they are being followed by two men, a fat brown man (15 [[stone]] weight and covered  in scars) and an older man (appears to be from Westeros) with a white beard and a staff. He stops Dany and uses a large brass platter in a ship to let her see the men without revealing they have been discovered. Jorah and Dany head back to escape the men. The brass merchant from the shop chases them trying to get Dany to buy the massive platter, and finally with the price down, Dany instructs Jorah to buy it just to get rid of the man. Just then, as Dany is distracted, the Qartheen thrusts a beautiful carved wood case in her face indicating it is a gift for the mother of dragons. She opens the box and sees a beautiful, obviously valuable, scarab. As she reaches for it, the scarab unfolds with a hiss. Before the [[manticore]] can sting her, Whitebeard uses his staff to send the box flying away, and then smashes the creature with the butt of his staff. Before Daenerys' guards can kill the two, she puts herself between her [[Bloodrider|bloodriders]] and the two men, telling them that the old man had knocked a manticore out of her hands. Before Dany can direct her [[Bloodrider|bloodriders]] to the perpetrator, a [[Sorrowful Men|Sorrowful Man]], he has disappeared.
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==Recent Events==
 
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===''A Game of Thrones''===
Dany questions Whitebeard who tells her is name. [[Belwas|Strong Belwas]], the large man, a eunuch, tells Dany that he has never lost in the fighting pits, letting each opponent cut him before he kills them. He continues to tell her that Magister [[Illyrio Mopatis]] sent him from across the sea with Whitebeard to serve her since he cannot travel. She is further informed by Whitebeard that he is now a squire for Belwas. When asked about his age, he tells them that he is not too old to squire, and has seen [[Jorah|Ser Jorah]], who is among Dany’s guard, fighting in a tourney. Belwas tells Dany that Illyrio would have the dragons and Dany. Whitebeard tells her that it is the truth and that they are to bring her back to [[Pentos]]; there are 4 kings in Westeros, and no justice. Belwas tells her that they have three ships for her to travel. Dany then tells them that the ships must have new names.{{Ref|aCoK|64}}
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[[File:Romain Leguay ser Barristan Selmy.jpg|thumb|350px|right|Barristan by Romain Leguay © Fantasy Flight Games.]]
 
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[[File: Ryan Valle Defiance.jpg|thumb|350px|right|Ser Barristan defies his dismissal from the [[Kingsguard]] by Ryan Valle© Fantasy Flight Games.]]
===A Storm of Swords===
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As the [[Lord Commander of the Kingsguard]], Barristan travels together with Lord [[Renly Baratheon]] and Ser [[Ilyn Payne]] to the [[inn at the crossroads]], to serve as an honor guard to the procession led by King [[Robert I Baratheon]] and his new [[Hand of the King]], Lord [[Eddard Stark]], on their way back to [[King's Landing]] from [[Winterfell]].{{Ref|AGOT|15}} He later accompanies the king during his travels through the city.{{Ref|agot|20}}
While becalmed during the voyage to [[Pentos]] to join up with Magister [[Illyrio Mopatis]] (the destination is changed to the [[Astapor]] to buy [[Unsullied]]) with [[Daenerys Targaryen]], Whitebeard breaks into the discussion between [[Daenerys Targaryen|Dany]] and [[Jorah|Ser Jorah]] about dragons. He adds to the information that Ser Jorah told Dany; he tells them about the domed castle built by the Targaryens (now in ruins) and that dragons raised in the pit were never as large as their ancestors—The Maesters had a theory that being enclosed limited their size.
 
 
 
Ser Jorah attempts to counter the information by noting that men do not change size because of where they are raised (it is pointed out that Ser [[Jorah]] does not like Whitebeard). Then Dany asks about her father. From his comments Dany can tell that Whitebeard did not think much of him. Then Dany asks about her brother [[Rhaegar Targaryen|Rhaegar]]. Whitebeard tells them about Rhaegar’s companions. As a jibe, Ser Jorah states that Whitebeard will next claim he squired for Rhaegar. Dany’s then asks about Rhaegar being a peerless warrior; Whitebeard will not confirm this, only stating that anyone can lose in a tourney for various reasons.
 
 
 
Dany then asks what Rhaegar was like, and he provides a number of positive adjectives. Then he tells that Rhaegar was very much into books and how later Rhaegar started training as a warrior after reading something in a scroll.  Whitebeard leaves them after [[Belwas|Strong Belwas]] comes on deck, and Whitebeard leaves to get food for the man he served. Afterwards Ser Jorah warns Dany against the two. Dany tells Jorah that Belwas could not scheme and she can see no lies that Whitebeard has told her. Jorah points out that Whitebeard speaks out too brazenly for a mere squire.{{Ref|aSoS|8}}
 
 
 
Whitebeard is with Dany in the Plaza of Pride when they meet with the slaver selling [[Unsullied]]. Whitebeard has made it obvious he neither approved of sailing to [[Astapor]], nor buying the Unsullied. After the slaver tells them that the 1000 Unsullied before them have been standing there for a day and night without food and would continue stand until they died, Whitebeard exclaims that it is madness, not courage. The slaver responds that it is discipline. Whitebeard replies that sheep are obedient. The slaver replies that they are more dogs than sheep. When told the Unsullied have no fear, Whitebeard object that even bravest men fear death and maiming. The slaver then whips one eunuch, and cuts a nipple off another Unsullied. Neither move during the experience. Finally, when Dany has no more questions for the slaver, she asks Whitebeard for his opinion in front of the slave girl that is serving as interpreter so the response will get back to the slaver. He says no because there have been no [[slave]]s in [[Westeros]] in thousands of years; slavery is held to be an abomination, and for this many good men would not support her. It would also do great dishonor to her house.  When she asks about how she is win Westeros without an army, Whitebeard replies half of Westeros would support her because of Rhaegar. When she further asks about her father, he has little positive to say. He advises Dany that she should send envoys, and even those that opposed her father might support her.
 
 
 
As they travel from the meeting, Dany hears Whitebeard say “Bricks and Blood built Astapor.” When Dany questions him about the statement he says it is an old rhyme that he had heard. Begging her to purchase sell swords, he continues to argue against the purchase of the Unsullied. When he says that it is better to be a beggar than a slaver, she responds with a temper.{{Ref|aSoS|23}}
 
 
 
Whitebeard is one of those that escort Dany to the slavers when she negotiates for all the Unsullied including those in training (which includes those with their puppies). The slavers only agree to sell 2000 Unsullied for all Dany’s trade good and ships, but Dany believes she needs them all, and, with distress, offers one of the dragons. Whitebeard immediately objects, telling her to win her throne with [[dragon]]s not [[slave]]s. She responds to Whitebeard that he should not presume to instruct her and orders Ser Jorah to remove him. When Dany leaves, Whitebeard follows wordlessly, but Dany can hear the hardwood staff taping. Dany did not blame him for her fury since the thought made her ill. In the plaza she turns to Whitebeard and tells him that she wants his council, but never questions her in front of strangers. He agrees but tells her she was cheated; Aegon proved that a Dragon is worth more than an army. Dany replies that she will prove a few things of her own.{{Ref|aSoS|28}}
 
  
When Dany’s host arrives at [[Yunkai]], there are slave soldiers and a couple of mercenary companies defending the city. Dany asks that the sell swords give their answers to her offer the next day. Afterwards Dany announces to her advisors her plan to attack that night, expecting the [[Stormcrows]] to be busy debating the offer and the [[Second Sons]] drunk on the wine she provided. She announces that the Unsullied will attack from right and left while her horse will attack the center (slave soldiers will not stand against mounted men). She then asks her advisor’s opinion, and Whitebeard agrees with Ser [[Jorah]] that she is [[Rhaegar Targaryen]]’s sister, adding that she is also a queen.{{Ref|aSoS|42}}
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During the [[Hand's tourney]], Barristan is defeated by Ser [[Jaime Lannister]] after three tilts, having defeated men thirty and forty years younger in his first two contests.{{Ref|aGoT|29}} When Ser [[Hugh|Hugh of the Vale]] is killed in the tournament by Ser [[Gregor Clegane]], Barristan stands vigil over the young knight himself, as the boy had no one else.{{Ref|aGoT|30}} Barristan and Eddard advise Robert against participating in the melee.{{Ref|AGOT|30}}
  
While waiting for the results of the battle against the Yunkai, she asks for Whitebeard. When he arrives she tells him to tell her more about Rhaegar to fill the time while others are dying for her. She asks specifically about Viserys statement that Rhaegar won many tourneys. Whitebeard tells her that he was not one for entering tourneys. He did win the greatest tourney of all time at [[Harrenhal]]. Dany states that this was at this tourney that Rhaegar crowned [[Lyanna Stark]] as [[Queen of Love and Beauty]] even though his wife was there, and that he later stole her away from her fiancé. Whitebeard could not explain Rhaegar’s actions. Then Dany tells how Viserys claimed this was her fault for not being born earlier; if Rhaegar had married her, maybe he would not have been unhappy in his marriage. Whitebeard responds that he was born in grief. He continues by telling her about how he would go [[Summerhall]] alone with his harp, and return with a sad song. When asked about the songs Robert liked, Whitebeard responded that Robert liked rowdy songs when he was drunk. It is then that Ser Jorah arrives with news of the victory with no more than a dozen losses.{{Ref|aSoS|42}}
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As Lord Commander, Barristan is present at the [[small council]] meeting when King Robert orders the death of the pregnant [[Daenerys Targaryen]], daughter to the late King [[Aerys II Targaryen]]. He and Eddard are the only council members who protest the move.{{Ref|aGoT|33}} Barristan accompanies Robert on his hunt for a white hart in the [[kingswood]].{{Ref|AGOT|43}} The king is mortally wounded by a boar during the hunt,{{Ref|aGoT|47}} however, and Robert is succeeded by his eldest son, King [[Joffrey Baratheon|Joffrey I Baratheon]].{{Ref|AGOT|49}}
  
When Daenerys Targaryen besieges [[Meereen]], [[Oznak zo Pahl]] rides out of Meereen on a white charger with a fourteen foot lance, challenging the besiegers to send forth a champion. Initially her [[Bloodrider|bloodriders]] wanted to accept his challenge, but Daenerys did not feel she could not afford to lose them, and he is irrelevant. Ser Jorah agrees, but Whitebeard disagrees that stating that wars are not won by swords alone--this knight is building courage in the hearts of his men, and doubt in Daenerys’ men. Ser Jorah replies that it would be damaging to their moral if their man loses. Whitebeard replies that someone that fears battle will not win victory. Ser Jorah points out that if the knight defeats their champion that would have a bad effect on their moral. Dany quiets them since she is more worried about other issues. After the pink and white hero pisses at her camp Whitebeard tells Dany that this challenge must be met. Daenerys tells him it will be, and sends Strong Belwas because she can easily spare his loss, and his death as an ex-slave would not give the knight any prestige.{{Ref|aSoS|42}}
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In an unprecedented move, as per Lord [[Varys]]'s suggestion, Barristan is dismissed from the Kingsguard and the small council on grounds of old age, the implied accusation being that he did not keep King Robert safe. The [[House Lannister|Lannisters']] motivations, however, are to allow Joffrey to give a white cloak to his "dog," [[Sandor Clegane]], and to allow Queen [[Cersei Lannister]] to place her brother Jaime as the new Lord Commander with a seat on the small council. Outraged by his removal, Barristan throws down his sword and leaves the throne room. Joffrey orders the knight seized and questioned for a perceived threat uttered in the heat of his dismissal. Barristan enters the [[Red Keep#White Sword Tower|White Sword Tower]] to edit his [[White Book]] entry, dutifully recording his own dismissal.{{Ref|aSoS|67}} [[Janos Slynt]] and three [[gold cloaks]] attempt to seize Barristan in the stables. Though he does not have his sword, Barristan kills two guards and flees the castle.{{Ref|aGoT|57}}{{Ref|aCoK|3}}{{Ref|aDwD|11}}
  
Dany decides she will ride to her people with only a limited guard, which included Whitebeard. She is touching her people and letting them touch her. She had stopped to speak to a pregnant woman when a ragged man with a shaved head yanks her from her saddle. He threatens her with his sword as he talks to her telling her that he will start by cutting off her breasts. She recognizes the voice as the Titan's Bastard's. A freeman tries to come to her aid, but the Titan's Bastard cuts him in the face. Whitebeard leaps from his horse over her with his hardwood staff. Whitebeard is able to easily dispatch the Bastard and eventually hits him in the temple. He falls into the water and the freemen fall on his body. Whitebeard apologies for not coming to her aid sooner, but he did not recognize the Bastard.{{Ref|aSoS|57}}
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While his kin at [[Harvest Hall]] would welcome Barristan back home, Barristan does not want to inflict Joffrey's displeasure on them. Instead, once outside of King's landing, Barristan sells his horse and disguises himself as a commoner, cloaked in his old age. He returns to the city in a stream of [[smallfolk]], pretending to be fleeing from the war. Having grown a long white beard, Barristan is present in the crowd when Eddard Stark is executed before the [[Great Sept of Baelor]]. Following Lord Stark's death, Barristan goes to the sept to pray for Eddard's soul and thank the gods that he himself had only been dismissed. Reevaluating his years of service in Robert's Kingsguard, he admits that Robert had been a good [[knight]], but a poor king. Barristan decides that he must find his true king and die in his service.{{Ref|ADWD|11}}
  
They return to her tent, and later Ser Jorah arrives, and Dany admonishes him for not telling her that the Bastard had escaped, and that Whitebeard had killed him.  She then asks that Whitebeard be knighted and both Whitebeard and Ser Jorah say “No” at the same time. When Ser Jorah, impressed that squire could kill the Bastard, asks Whitebeard who he was, and Whitebeard responds that he is a better [[knight]] than him.  
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Lord [[Tywin Lannister]] considers Barristan's dismissal a folly. While Barristan is old, he still commands enough respect to make him a threat in case he chooses to back [[Stannis Baratheon]] or [[Robb Stark]], and he cites it as one reason why he sends his son [[Tyrion Lannister|Tyrion]] as acting Hand to King's Landing to keep Joffrey better in check than Queen Cersei is capable of.{{Ref|aGoT|69}}{{Ref|aCoK|3}}
  
Whitebeard then tells Dany that he really did not lie, but did withhold truths, and can only beg forgiveness. Ser Jorah now recognizes Whitebeard as Barristan the Bold, tells Dany that this is the man that betrayed her family to serve the usurper. When she asks if Whitebeard is hers or the usurpers’ man, he tells her he is hers if she will have him. He then tells how he served with the Kingslayer and others as bad, and that afterwards the boy king had cast him aside and sent men to kill him, Selmy realized he had to find his true king. He then tells her that he had to keep his presence secret because there is a spy who has been informing on her since she wed [[Khal Drogo]]. Dany then recognizes that it must be Ser Jorah, and Ser Jorah affirms it is true; he had been promised he could go home for this task. Dany tells them both to go away forever. When asked where they should go, she then figures out where they should go.{{Ref|aSoS|57}}
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===''A Clash of Kings''===
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[[Image:Selmy as Arstan Whitebeard.jpg|300px|right|thumb|Barristan as Arstan Whitebeard, by Amok ©.]]
  
Dany has captured [[Meereen]] when she commands that Strong Belwas bring Ser Jorah and Barristan to her in the audience chamber of [[The Great Pyramid]]. He arrives with a meaty hand wrapped around each man’s arm. Ser Barristan, with his beard shaved and looking 10 years younger, stands with his head held high while Ser Jorah, looking older, stares at the floor as they approach. Ser Jorah speaks but Dany tells him she will tell them when to speak. She tells them that she was hoping they would die in the assault through the sewers. During diversionary attacks on Meereen, Strong Belwas, Ser Jorah, Ser Barristan and twenty men and Unsullied had swam through the sewers. Strong Belwas lead them to the closest fighting pit where they overcame the guards and freed the slaves that helped win the city for Dany. Ser Barristan is forthright, telling her that Viserys had more of a taint of her father, the mad king. [[Rhaegar Targaryen]] did not, and he sees no taint in her. He further tells her that he will do whatever she asks, and if she will not have him (including serving as a cook), he would continue to serve Strong Belwas.  
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Tyrion Lannister compares Ser Barristan's reputation among [[smallfolk]] to that of [[Serwyn of the Mirror Shield]] and Prince [[Aemon the Dragonknight]], and warns Cersei that Robb Stark or Stannis Baratheon will benefit if Barristan publicly supports him.{{ref|ACOK|3}} Their rival [[Renly Baratheon]] hopes that Barristan's announcement that he is going to serve the true king refers to him. Renly keeps a cloak in his [[Rainbow Guard]] ready for Barristan in case the old knight offers him his sword. When he concludes that his hopes have been futile, Renly gives Barristan's spot on his Kingsguard to [[Brienne of Tarth]], believing that the knight may support the Starks.{{Ref|aCoK|22}} However, Lady [[Catelyn Stark]] informs him that Barristan is not with Robb. Renly concludes that Barristan must have decided to support his brother Stannis, and he orders his knights to spare Barristan's life.{{Ref|aCoK|33}}
  
Dany tells Brown Ben to give Ser Barristan his sword, but Ser Barristan tells her that he had not wielded a sword since throwing his at the boy king’s feet, and would only take a sword from her. She gives him the sword.  
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Following his decision to find his true king, [[Viserys Targaryen]], Barristan crosses the [[narrow sea]] and travels to [[Pentos]].{{Ref|aDwD|11}} Barristan eventually ends up in contact with Magister [[Illyrio Mopatis]], and he learns of Viserys's death in [[Vaes Dothrak]]. Illyrio sends Barristan, disguised as the old squire Arstan Whitebeard, alongside the huge eunuch [[Belwas]] to [[Qarth]] to bring Queen [[Daenerys Targaryen]] back to Pentos.{{Ref|ACOK|64}}
  
Ser Jorah is belligerent, telling her that he had warned her about others. This only angers her, and she tells him he never warned her about him. When questioned he tells her the last time he made a report from [[Qarth]], which is later than she hoped.  She realizes that Ser Jorah had informed that she was pregnant. Ser Barristan confirms that Robert’s council had gotten the report about her child. Then she asks about the poisoner who was to kill her child, and he has to admit he knew, but that he also saved her. She then tells him that she cannot forgive him, and she banishes him. She tells him that he has till dawn to leave the city, and if he is found she will have Strong Belwas twist his neck. Strong Belwas drags Ser Jorah out.  
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Barristan and Strong Belwas sail east on the three ships of Captain [[Groleo]], which visit [[New Ghis]] before arriving at Qarth.{{ref|TLOIAF| Journeys}} They follow Daenerys and Ser [[Jorah Mormont]], who are trying to find passage on the ships docked at the [[port of Qarth]]. Jorah notices them and becomes suspicious. When a [[Sorrowful Men|Sorrowful Man]] attempts to assassinate Daenerys by presenting her with a box containing a [[manticore]], Barristan knocks the manticore from her hands and kills it.{{Ref|aCoK|64}} Barristan introduces himself as Arstan Whitebeard, and together with Belwas tell Daenerys that Illyrio had sent them to serve her, and bring her back to Pentos, as there were four kings in Westeros when they left Pentos, and no justice.{{Ref|aCoK|64}}
  
Ser Barristan interrupts her when she on the terrace where she can see her dragons. She tells him that she had spared him, and to give her some peace. He tells her that he can answer her questions. Her first question is whether her father was truly mad, and he tells her that he was not initially, but lapses became worse.  [[Dany]] decides she can hear no more, but Ser Barristan tells her later he can tell her more. {{Ref|aSoS|71}}
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===''A Storm of Swords''===
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[[File:Sara K. Diesel Daenerys's Favor.png|thumb|400px|Arstan Whitebeard kneels at [[Daenerys Targaryen]]'s feet, by Sara K. Diesel © Fantasy Flight Games.]]
  
Ser Barristan is among her advisors present when she announces that she is going to remain in [[Meereen]]. When she asks the group if she is a [[dragon]] or a harpy, Ser Barristan announces that she is a dragon. She then asks how she can rule the Seven Kingdoms if she cannot rule a single city. Ser Barristan has no answer. Then she tells them she will not leave but stay, rule and be a queen.{{Ref|aSoS|71}}
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Rather than sail to [[Pentos]], Daenerys chooses to sail on Groleo's ships to [[Astapor]] to buy [[Unsullied]]. Barristan, still keeping his true identity a secret, discusses with Daenerys her [[dragon]]s, her father, King [[Aerys II Targaryen|Aerys II]], and her brother, Prince [[Rhaegar Targaryen|Rhaegar]]. Ser [[Jorah Mormont]] distrusts Barristan and Belwas, pointing out that Barristan speaks out too brazenly for a mere squire.{{Ref|aSoS|8}}
  
===A Dance with Dragons===
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Barristan is with Daenerys in the [[Plaza of Pride]] when they meet with [[Kraznys mo Nakloz]], the [[Good Master]] selling Unsullied. Barristan disapproves of buying [[slaves]], and when Daenerys asks how she is to win [[Westeros]] without an army, he replies that half of Westeros would support her because of Rhaegar. When she asks about her father, however, Barristan has little positive to say. He advises Daenerys that she should send envoys, and that even those that opposed her father might support her.{{Ref|aSoS|23}} He also objects to Daenerys's plan to pay for the Unsullied with one of her dragons, but she [[fall of Astapor|conquers Astapor]] by ordering her new Unsullied to attack the slavers,{{Ref|aSoS|27}} after which she frees them from slavery.
[[File: Sir_Heartsalot_barristan.jpg‎|Ser Barristan - by Sir-Heartsalot ©|thumb|230px|right]]
 
Ser Barristan continues his service of [[Daenerys Targaryen]] as Lord Commander of her [[Queensguard]], attempting to lead her down an honorable path towards the safety of [[Meereen]]. Barristan opposes Daenerys's relationship with her paramour [[Daario Naharis]], and even her marriage to [[Hizdahr zo Loraq]], which ensures temporary peace within Meereen.
 
  
He also begins training knights. His squires are [[Tumco Lho]], [[Larraq]], the [[The Red Lamb]], and the Boys (three Ghiscari brothers). After Daenerys's departure on [[Drogon]]'s back, Barristan assumes the title of Hand of the Queen within Meereen. He is present when [[Bloodbeard]] presents the court with the head of [[Groleo]]. Barristan is enraged and wants to kill Bloodbeard, but stops because the act would break his queen's peace.{{Ref|aDwD|59}}
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When Daenerys announces her plan to take [[Yunkai]], Barristan agrees with Jorah that she is Rhaegar's sister, adding that she is also a queen. While waiting for the results of the [[battle near Yunkai]], Barristan and Daenerys discuss Rhaegar, the [[tourney at Harrenhal]], and [[Summerhall]].{{Ref|aSoS|42}}
  
He finally decides to work with [[Skahaz mo Kandaq]], despite his loathing of the man and his own inhibitions about making decisions of state in the absence of his queen.{{Ref|aDwD|55}} Selmy leads with honor and refuses [[Skahaz mo Kandaq]]'s council on killing the [[Ghis|Ghiscari]] child [[Cupbearers of Daenerys Targaryen|cupbearers]] who are the sons and daughters of powerful Meereenese nobles. He also enlists [[Grey Worm]], and they plan to take King Hizdahr hostage. Selmy fears that if he harms Hizdahr the [[Yunkai]] will kill the remaining hostages [[Daario Naharis|Daario]], [[Jhogo]] and [[Hero]] just as they killed Captain [[Groleo]]. Skahaz however states it would be better for Daenerys in the long run if they killed Daario.
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During the [[siege of Meereen]], [[Oznak zo Pahl]] rides out of the city on a white charger with a fourteen-foot lance, challenging the besiegers to send forth a champion. Barristan tells Daenerys that this challenge must be met, after which Daenerys decides that [[Belwas]] is the best choice.{{Ref|aSoS|42}}
  
Despite his personal feeling about Daario, however, Selmy goes to the [[Tattered Prince]] and enlists his help.{{Ref|aDwD|70}} He promises to reward the Tattered Prince if he frees the three hostages from the Yunkai camp. Selmy then goes to capture Hizdahr.{{Ref|aDwD|67}} In doing so, he slays Hizdahr's protector, the formidable pit fighter [[Khrazz]]. Barristan longs for the return of Daenerys, but prepares for battle with the Yunkai, using a beacon system to call the attack should the fragile peace between the sides be broken.
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Daenerys later decides that she will ride out amongst her people with only a limited guard. She is attacked by [[Mero]], the former commander of the [[Second Sons]], but Barristan easily dispatches him. The sellsword falls into the water and the freemen fall on his body.{{Ref|aSoS|57}} Daenerys wishes that Baristan be knighted in gratitude, but both Barristan and Jorah Mormont refuse this at the same time. Jorah, highly suspicious, questions how an old squire with a stick could have been capable of killing Mero, the Titan's Bastard, and asks Barristan who he is, to which Barristan replies "a better [[knight]] than you, ser".{{Ref|ASOS|57}}
  
===The Winds of Winter===
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Barristan begs forgiveness from Daenerys for withholding truths from her. Jorah recognizes Barristan and informs Daenerys that Barristan had betrayed [[House Targaryen]] to serve [[Robert I Baratheon]]. Barristan tells her that he is hers, if she will have him. He also explains he took Robert's pardon and served with men not worthy of a place in the Kingsguard, and that, when [[Joffrey Baratheon]] dismissed him aside and sent men to kill him, he realized that he had to find his true king. Barristan tells Daenerys he kept his identity a secret because he wanted to prevent the Lannisters from learning he had joined her. When Barristan insinuates that Jorah has been spying on Daenerys for [[Varys]] since her wedding to [[Drogo]], Jorah affirms the accusation is true.{{Ref|aSoS|57}}
  
====Ser Barristan I====
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Daenerys captures Meereen by having Barristan, Jorah, and Belwas infiltrate the city through the sewers and release slaves. Afterward, Barristan shaves his beard and looks ten years younger. Daenerys reveals she had hoped that they would die in the sewers. Barristan admits he had kept his identity hidden to be certain that she did not have the [[Targaryen madness|taint of madness]] like her father had. Barristan tells the queen that her brother, [[Viserys Targaryen|Viserys]], had more of the taint of her father, the Mad King. Rhaegar did not, and he sees no taint in her. He further tells her that he will do whatever she asks, and if she will not have him he would continue to serve Belwas. Daenerys accepts him in her service, and Barristan receives a sword from her, refusing to take one from anyone else. In contrast, Jorah is exiled from Meereen.{{Ref|aSoS|71}}
  
The chapter begins with a gory description of the bodies of plague victims being thrown into the city by the trebuchets. Only the northern districts across the river are far enough away to avoid being hit.
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Daenerys realizes that Barristan had personally known her grandfather, King [[Jaehaerys II Targaryen|Jaehaerys II]], and he could tell her more about where she came from. After he has been pardoned, Barristan tells Daenerys that her father's secrets, which he had overheard as a Kingsguard knight, now by rights belong to her. He explains that Aerys had not been mad initially, but that his lapses became worse over time, while her mother, Queen [[Rhaella Targaryen|Rhaella]], did her best to shield Viserys from his father's insanity. Daenerys decides she does not want to hear it at that moment, but that he should tell her more some other time. Barristan is among her advisors when she states she will not leave but stay and rule as a queen in Meereen.{{Ref|aSoS|71}}
  
Barristan rides into the large market by the western gate wearing his new Queensguard armor and riding the silver horse that Drogo gave to Dany. He feels that this is presumptuous, but thinks that even while the queen is missing it is important to have some symbol of her around to improve morale. Three of his lads ride with him: Tumco Lho, Larraq, and the Red Lamb.
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===''A Dance with Dragons''===
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Daenerys names Barristan the Lord Commander of her [[Queensguard]]{{Ref|ADWD|2}} and gives him new gold-and-silver armor.{{Ref|ADWD|43}} The mail is gilded and finely wrought, with supple links and hard enamel plates. His longsword hangs from a white leather belt with golden buckles, and he also wields a dagger.{{Ref|ADWD|67}} Barristan wears a long white cloak about his shoulders and carries a white shield.{{Ref|ADWD|52}} His helm has a narrow eye slit and ornate dragon's wings.{{Ref|ADWD|67}} His horse is a dapple grey.{{Ref|ADWD|43}}
  
In the marketplace (featuring landmarks like the statue of the chainmaker and the spire of skulls), at the “hour of the wolf,” the main forces that will participate in the attack gather. There are five thousand unsullied, the Storm Crows, a ragged band of about twenty dothraki and the pitfighters. The Shavepate’s beasts are manning the city walls in place of the unsullied. They will serve as the city’s last line of protection if Barristan’s attack fails and Dany has not returned.
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Barristan attempts to lead his queen down an honorable path towards the safety of [[Meereen]]. Barristan distrusts Daenerys's paramour, [[Daario Naharis]], and he unsuccessfully suggests holding a [[tourney]].{{Ref|ADWD|11}} [[Groleo]] and Barristan inspect the ships brought to Meereen by [[Xaro Xhoan Daxos]]. Daenerys rejects Barristan's advice to leave Meereen for [[Westeros]].{{Ref|ADWD|16}}
  
The attack will leave from three gates (north, south, and west), but Barristan will lead the charge against the main Yunkai’i forces directly to the west. Barristan thinks that the attack is against all of his instincts, as the basic numbers are against them and success hinges on trusting sellswords -- in particular, trusting the in the Tattered Prince’s greed.
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Barristan instructs [[Grazhar zo Galare]] and other [[Cupbearers of Daenerys Targaryen|noble boys]] in western chivalry.{{Ref|ADWD|23}} The Lord Commander also begins training more than sixty freed [[slaves]], with thirty of them persevering.{{Ref|ADWD|55}} The most promising of them become Barristan's squires, including [[Tumco Lho]], [[Larraq]], the [[Red Lamb]], and three [[Ghiscari]] brothers.{{Ref|ADWD|67}}{{Ref|ADWD|Appendix}}
  
He meets with his commanders (including the Widower, Jokin, Grey Worm, and some of the pitfighters). Their plan is to lead with the horse and flank the defending legions, taking out the trebuchets and burning the pavilions. The pitfighters will advance after the horse and focus on intimidation and slaughter. Finally, the unsullied will line up outside the gate, which should be successful if the Yunkai’i don’t mount an immediate counterattack.
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When [[Yunkai]] marches on Meereen, [[Skahaz mo Kandaq]] advises Daenerys to remain within Meereen's strong walls while Barristan suggests defeating the Yunkai'i in the field. Selmy objects to allowing into Meereen refugees from [[Astapor]], because of the danger of the [[bloody flux]],{{Ref|ADWD|30}} and the knight also objects when Daenerys meets the refugees outside of the walls.{{Ref|ADWD|36}} The Lord Commander does not approve of Daenerys wedding [[Hizdahr zo Loraq]], since the man would not be accepted in the [[Seven Kingdoms]].{{Ref|ADWD|23}} Barristan is supportive of [[Quentyn Martell]] when the prince informs Daenerys of the [[secret marriage pact]], but Daenerys weds Hizdahr instead of Quentyn to ensure temporary peace within Meereen.{{Ref|ADWD|43}}
  
Barristan reminds the commanders that they must retreat or advance when they hear the Red Lamb blow the horn. The Windower asks what to do if there is no horn blast -- that is, if Barristan and his lads are all dead. Barristan knows that this is likely, as he intends to be first through the lines of the Yunkai’i, so he just says that in that case, the Widower will be second in command. Barristan then remembers that Lord Commander Hightower had once told him to never speak of defeat before a battle, since the gods might be listening.
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When [[Drogon]] begins attacking people in [[Daznak's Pit]], Barristan tries to protect Daenerys by drawing the [[dragon]]'s attention to himself. The queen ends up fleeing Meereen atop Drogon.{{Ref|ADWD|52}}
  
It will be dawn soon. Someone says “A red dawn,” and Barristan thinks “A dragon dawn.” Previously, he had prayed to each of the seven for various things, ending with a plea to the stranger for mercy. Though he knows all men must die eventually, Barristan would like to live through the day.
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[[File:UrukkiSaki SerBS&BB.jpg|thumb|400px|Barristan and the [[Brazen Beasts]] by Urukki Saki ©.]]
  
More bodies fall from the sky. Barristan notices Tumco Lho’s reaction and sees that the lad fears the pale more more than the foes outside the gates. Barristan then gives a stirring pep talk about how every man fears every battle. At first, the Red Lamb is defiant, saying that doesn’t fear death because at that point he’ll get to meet the Great Shepherd -- when he plans to break his shepherd’s crook in two and castigate the shepherd for creating such a peaceful people in such a violent world.
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After Daenerys's departure, Hizdahr replaces the royal advisors, but Barristan meets with Skahaz and [[Grey Worm]].{{Ref|ADWD|55}} He is present when [[Bloodbeard]] presents the court with the head of Groleo, who was slain in response to the death of [[Yurkhaz zo Yunzak]]. Barristan is enraged and wants to kill Bloodbeard, but stops because the act would break his queen's peace. Barristan advises Quentyn and his companions to leave Meereen for their own safety,{{Ref|aDwD|59}} but the [[Dornishmen]] remain in the city.{{Ref|ADWD|60}}
  
Barristan continues his lecture, saying that there is “nothing more terrible, nothing more glorious, nothing more absurd” than war. Even Barristan admits that he shat his pants in his first battle. He is interrupted by a murmur among the soldiers -- a fire is lit at the harpy on top of one of the pyramids, presumably to signal the men at each gate to begin the attack. The gate opens and Barristan sounds the call to attack.
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Convinced that Hizdahr had attempted to assassinate Daenerys with [[poisoned locusts]],{{Ref|ADWD|59}} Barristan decides to work with Grey Worm and Skahaz, despite his loathing of the latter and his own inhibitions about making decisions of state in the absence of his queen.{{Ref|aDwD|55}} Barristan leads with honor and refuses Skahaz's suggestion to kill the Ghiscari [[Cupbearers of Daenerys Targaryen|cupbearers]], the children of powerful Meereenese nobles. Barristan and the [[Brazen Beasts]] plan to take King Hizdahr hostage, but he fears that if Hizdahr is harmed the Yunkai'i will kill their remaining hostages—Daario, [[Jhogo]] and [[Hero]]—just as they killed Groleo. When Barristan goes to capture Hizdahr, he slays the king's protector, the formidable pit fighter [[Khrazz]].{{Ref|ADWD|67}} Meanwhile, Quentyn attempts to tame one of dragons, but [[Rhaegal]] and [[Viserion]] break free from their imprisonment and Quentyn is mortally wounded by [[dragonflame]].{{Ref|ADWD|68}}{{Ref|ADWD|70}}
  
[At this point, GRRM says there will be a Victarion and Tyrion chapter (perhaps the ones he has already read), in some order, at which point we return to...]
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Barristan assumes the title of [[Hand of the King|Hand]], sending a reluctant [[Galazza Galare]] an envoy to the Yunkai'i and preventing Skahaz from executing hostages. Barristan refuses to hold court, instead holding a council session which plans for battle with Yunkai. A beacon system will be used to call the attack should the fragile peace between the sides be broken.{{Ref|ADWD|70}} Barristan discretely meets with Ser [[Gerris Drinkwater]] and Ser [[Archibald Yronwood]], the late Quentyn's companions. Tasking them with speaking on his behalf with the [[Tattered Prince]], Barristan offers to grant [[Pentos]] to the sellsword captain if he protects the remaining hostages in the Yunkish camp.{{Ref|ADWD|70}} During a meeting between Barristan and Galazza after she returns, Skahaz notifies Barristan that the [[six sisters|Yunkish catapults]] are flinging corpses infected with the [[pale mare]] into the city.{{Ref|aDwD|70}}
  
====Ser Barristan II====
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===''The Winds of Winter''===
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{{Warning/twow}}
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The Yunkish threat in the [[second siege of Meereen]] has been augmented by the presence of the [[bloody flux]]. Ser Barristan notes that under normal circumstances, he would defend Meereen from behind its strong walls. However, because the Yunkish introduced the pale mare into Meereen by catapulting infected corpses over the walls, he resolves to ride out and meet his enemy on the field rather than watch the impending outbreak annihilate Meereen. On the eve of the offensive, he gives a pep talk to his newly anointed knights and soldiers. When his talk is interrupted by the arrival of dawn, Barristan orders the [[Red Lamb]] to "sound the attack".<ref name=winds>''[[The Winds of Winter]]'', [[Barristan I (The Winds of Winter)|Barristan I]]</ref>
  
His gut feels twisted from nervousness as he rides through the gates. He knows that the feeling will go away when time slows down in the chaos of battle. Dany’s horse is easily outpacing the lads and the rest of the cavalry; Barristan is pleased because he intends to outrun the Widower and strike the first blow. The Yunkai’i are totally unprepared and Barristan closes in on the Harridan, the largest of the trebuchets. The stormcrows take up the cry, “Daario!” and “Stormcrows, fly!” Barristan thinks that he will never again doubt the valor of sellswords.
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==Quotes by Barristan==
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[[File:Barristan Selmy.png|thumb|[[w:Ian McElhinney|Ian McElhinney]] as Barristan in ''[[Game of Thrones]]''.]]
  
There are only thirty yards between the horse and the Yunkai’i legions by the time any defense is mounted. The air fills with arrows. A squire for the stormcrows is killed, and a bolt pierces Barristan’s shield. There are three horn blasts and the pitfighters emerge from the gate behind them.
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{{Quote|'''Varys:''' We are not unmindful of your service, good ser. Lord [[Tywin Lannister]] has generously agreed to grant you a handsome tract of land north of [[Lannisport]], beside [[Sunset Sea|the sea]], with gold and men sufficient to build you a stout keep, and servants to see to your every need.<br>'''Barristan:''' A hall to die in, and men to bury me. I thank you, my lords, but I spit on your pity ... I am a [[knight]]. I shall die a knight.{{Ref|aGoT|57}}|[[Varys]] and Barristan}}
  
Barristan glances back to see the pitfighters. There are about two hundred of them, but they make enough noise for two thousand. One woman stands out, wearing nothing but greaves, sandals, a chainmail skirt, and a python. Barristan is a bit shocked and, watching her breasts bouncing around, thinks that this day is sure to be her last. The pitfighters are mostly shouting “Loraq!” and “Hizdar!” but some do call out “Danaerys!” Larraq is hit in the chest with an arrow, bringing Barristan’s attention forward, but the squire keeps the banners held high and shakes it off.
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{{Quote|Have no fear, sers, your king is safe... no thanks to you. Even now, I could cut through the five of you as easy as a dagger cuts cheese. If you would serve under the [[Kingslayer]], not a one of you is fit to wear the white. Here, [[Joffrey Baratheon|boy]]. Melt it down and [[Iron Throne|add it to the others]], if you like. It will do you more good than the swords in the hands of these five. Perhaps Lord [[Stannis Baratheon|Stannis]] will chance to sit on it when he takes your throne.{{Ref|aGoT|57}}|Barristan denouncing his former [[Kingsguard|sworn brothers]]}}
  
Barristan has reached the Harridan, but a Ghiscari legion six thousand strong has lined up to protect the huge trebuchet. They are six ranks deep -- the first rank kneels and holds their spears pointing out and up, the second rank stands and holds their spears out at waist height, and and the third rank holds the spears out on their shoulders. The rest have small throwing spears and are ready to step forward when their comrades fall.
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{{Quote|I took [[Robert I Baratheon|Robert's]] pardon, aye. I served him in [[Kingsguard]] and [[small council|council]]. Served with the [[Kingslayer]] and others near as bad, who soiled the white cloak I wore. Nothing will excuse that. I might be serving in [[King's Landing]] still if the [[Joffrey Baratheon|vile boy]] upon the [[Iron Throne]] had not cast me aside, it shames me to admit. But when he took the cloak the [[Gerold Hightower|White Bull]] had draped about my shoulders, and sent men to kill me that selfsame day, it was as though he'd ripped a caul off my eyes. That was when I knew I must find my true king, and die in his service...{{Ref|aSoS|57}}|Barristan to [[Daenerys Targaryen]]}}
  
Barristan knows that a maester’s chain is only as strong as his weakest link, and identifies the companies of the Yunkish lords as the weakest of his immediate foes, certainly weaker than the slave legions. In particular, Barristan targets the Little Pigeon and his herons. The slaves chosen to be herons were freakishly tall before they were put on stilts, and wear pink scales and feathers and steel beaks. But Barristan sees that they will be blind because of the dawn rising over the city, and like to break ranks easily, so Barristan turns away from the legion guarding the trebuchet at the last minute and heads for the herons.
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{{Quote|'''Daenerys:''' Can we win [[second siege of Meereen|this fight]]?<br>'''Barristan:''' Men can always fight, Your Grace. Ask rather if we can win. Dying is easy, but victory comes hard.{{Ref|aDwD|30}}|[[Daenerys Targaryen]] and Barristan}}
  
He cuts the head off of one of the herons and his lads join the fray. Dany’s horse knocks a heron into three others and they all fall over. In a moment, the herons are scattering and running away, led by the Little Pigeon himself. Unfortunately for the Little Pigeon, he trips over the fringes of his bird armor and gets caught by the Red Lamb. The Little Pigeon begs for mercy, saying that he will fetch a large ransom. The Red Lamb just says “I came for blood, not gold” and knocks in the Little Pigeon’s head with his mace, splattering blood all over Barristan and Dany’s silver horse.
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{{Quote|[[Defiance of Duskendale|Duskendale]] had been his finest hour, yet the memory tasted bitter on his tongue. It was his failures that haunted him at night, though. [[Jaehaerys II Targaryen|Jaehaerys]], [[Aerys II Targaryen|Aerys]], [[Robert I Baratheon|Robert]]. Three dead kings. [[Rhaegar Targaryen|Rhaegar]], who would have been a finer king than any of them. Princess [[Elia Martell|Elia]] and the children. [[Aegon Targaryen (son of Rhaegar)|Aegon]] just a babe, [[Rhaenys Targaryen (daughter of Rhaegar)|Rhaenys]] with [[Balerion (cat)|her kitten]]. Dead, every one, yet he still lived, who had sworn to protect them.{{Ref|ADWD|55}}|thoughts of Barristan}}
  
The unsullied begin marching through the gates, and Barristan sees that the Yunkai’i have missed their chance to effectively launch a counterattack. As he watches more of the slave legions get slaughtered, mostly those who were chained together and could not retreat, he wonders where the sellsword companies like the treacherous Second Sons have gone. The unsullied finish lining up outside the gates, implacable even when one of their own number falls with a crossbow bolt to the neck.
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{{Quote|Prince [[Rhaegar Targaryen|Rhaegar]] loved his Lady [[Lyanna Stark|Lyanna]] and [[Robert's Rebellion|thousands died for it]]. [[Daemon I Blackfyre|Daemon Blackfyre]] loved the [[Daenerys Targaryen (daughter of Aegon IV)|first Daenerys]], and rose in [[First Blackfyre Rebellion|rebellion]] when denied her. [[Aegor Rivers|Bittersteel]] and [[Brynden Rivers|Bloodraven]] both loved [[Shiera Seastar]] and the [[Seven Kingdoms]] bled. The [[Duncan Targaryen|Prince of Dragonflies]] loved [[Jenny of Oldstones]] so much he cast aside a crown, and [[Westeros]] paid the bride price in corpses. All three of the sons of the [[Aegon V Targaryen|fifth Aegon]] had wed for love in defiance of their father's wishes. And because that unlikely monarch had followed his heart when he chose [[Betha Blackwood|his queen]], he allowed his sons to have their way, making bitter enemies when he might have made fast friends. Treason and turmoil followed, as night follows day, ending at [[Summerhall]] in [[Tragedy at Summerhall|sorcery, fire and grief]].{{Ref|aDwD|67}}|thoughts of Barristan}}
  
Tumco draws Barristan’s attention to the bay, asking “Why are there so many ships?” Barristan remembers that yesterday there were twenty, but now there are thrice that many. His heart sinks when he reasons that the ships from Volantis must have arrived, but then sees that some of the ships are crashing together.
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{{Quote|I am no [[Hand of the King|Hand]], a part of him wanted to cry out. I am only a simple [[knight]], [[Daenerys Targaryen|the queen's]] protector. I never wanted this. But with the queen gone and [[Hizdahr zo Loraq|the king]] in chains, someone had to rule, and Ser Barristan did not trust the [[Skahaz mo Kandaq|Shavepate]].{{Ref|aDwD|70}}|thoughts of Barristan}}
  
He asks Tumco, whose young eyes can see more clearly, to identify the banners. Tumco says “Squids, big squids. Like in the Basilisk Isles, where sometimes they drag whole ships down.” Barristan replies, “Where I’m from, we call them krakens.
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{{Quote|I am an old man, an old [[knight]], and I have seen more battles than most of you have years. Nothing is more terrible upon this earth, nothing more glorious, nothing more absurd. You may retch. You will not be the first. You may drop your sword, your shield, your lance. Others have done the same. Pick it up and go on fighting. You may foul your breeches. I did, in my first battle. No one will care. All battlefields smell of shit. You may cry out for your mother, pray to gods you thought you had forgotten, howl obscenities that you never dreamed could pass your lips. All this has happened too.<ref name=winds/>|Barristan addressing his men in the [[second siege of Meereen]]}}
  
Realizing that the Greyjoys have arrived, his first thought is “Has Balon joined with Joffrey, or the Starks?” But he realizes that he’s heard that Balon is dead, and wonders if this has something to do with the Balon’s son, the boy who was a ward of the Starks. He sees that ironmen are coming ashore, fighting the Yunkish, and says, surprised, “They are on our side!” The sellswords did not come to meet his charge because they were already preoccupied with the ironborn!
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==Quotes about Barristan==
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{{Quote|'''Sansa:''' Even in the far [[north]], the singers praise the deeds of Barristan the Bold.<br>'''Renly:''' Barristan the Old, you mean. Don't flatter him too sweetly, child, he thinks overmuch of himself already.{{Ref|aGoT|15}}|[[Sansa Stark]] and [[Renly Baratheon]]}}
  
Barristan is almost gleeful. “It’s like Baelor Breakspear and Prince Maekar, the hammer and the anvil. We have them! We have them!”
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{{Quote|'''Eddard:''' Ser Barristan is as valiant and honorable as any man in [[King's Landing]].<br>'''Petyr:''' And as tiresome.{{Ref|aGoT|27}}|[[Eddard Stark]] and [[Petyr Baelish]]}}
  
==Relationships==
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{{Quote|Of these seven, only Ser Barristan Selmy is made of the true steel.{{Ref|aGoT|30}}|[[Varys]] to [[Eddard Stark]] regarding [[Robert I Baratheon]]'s [[Kingsguard]]}}
  
===Daenerys===
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{{Quote|And dismissing Selmy, where was the sense in that? Yes, the man was old, but the name of Barristan the Bold still has meaning in [[Seven Kingdoms|the realm]]. He lent honor to any man he served. Can anyone say the same of the [[Sandor Clegane|Hound]]{{Ref|aGoT|69}}|[[Tywin Lannister]] to [[Tyrion Lannister]] after learning of Barristan's dismissal from the [[Kingsguard]]}}
Ser Barristan's loyalty to Daenerys is unquestionable, and he regards her as the true sister of Rhaegar Targaryen in deference to her charisma and cunning. However, he disapproves of several of her decisions while she rules Meereen, specifically those surrounding her romantic relationships. He disapproves of her relationship with Daario and her marriage to Hizdahr. When she rejects Quentyn Martell's marriage proposal and consquently, the allegiance of Dorne in Westeros, Ser Barristan compares her to a little girl, as she spurned him partially due to his unimpressive physical stature.
 
  
===Robert Baratheon===
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{{Quote|The [[smallfolk]] talk of him the same way they talk of [[Serwyn of the Mirror Shield]] and Prince [[Aemon Targaryen (son of Viserys II)|Aemon the Dragonknight]].{{Ref|aCoK|3}}|[[Tyrion Lannister]] to [[Cersei Lannister]]}}
Ser Barristan adheres to his vows as one of Robert Baratheon's Kingsguard, having been pardoned by Robert after after Barristan served the Targaryen's during Robert's Rebellion. However, his vows to serve the current dynasty are extremely fragile, as he breaks them after being dismissed by Joffrey. It is implied that he is tempted to break his vows to Robert when Robert sanctions the assassination of Daenerys, who at this point is still a young girl. In addition, when Lord Tywin presented Robert with the mutilated infant bodies of Rhaenys and Aegon Targaryen, Ser Barristan swore that if he saw Robert smile at the corpses, he would have broken his vows and killed Robert
 
  
===Ned Stark===
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{{Quote|He has a good face, and great strength to him.{{Ref|aSoS|23}}|thoughts of [[Daenerys Targaryen]]}}
Ser Barristan admires and identifies with Ned's puritanical adherence to his own code of honor. Accordingly, when Robert ordered Daenerys's death, Ned and Barristan were the only figures on the small council to oppose the decision. In fact, when Robert spurned Ned's advice to spare her, he resigned from his post as Robert's Hand. When Daenerys Targaryen speaks of Ned as an enemy of her family (since Ned was Robert's best friend), Ser Barristan quickly interjects and states that Ned was one of the few people in Westeros who valued her life and well-being.
 
  
===Jaime Lannister===
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{{Quote|I saw him perhaps a dozen times ... from afar, most often, standing with his brothers or riding in some [[tourney]]. But every man in the [[Seven Kingdoms]] knows Barristan the Bold ... Khaleesi, before you kneels Ser Barristan Selmy, [[Lord Commander of the Kingsguard]], who betrayed [[House Targaryen|your House]] to serve the [[Usurper]] [[Robert I Baratheon|Robert Baratheon]].{{Ref|aSoS|57}}|[[Jorah Mormont]] to [[Daenerys Targaryen]]}}
When the Lannisters unwittingly dismiss Barristan from the Kingsguard, Barristan somewhat hypocritically scoffs at the other members of the Kingsguard for having chosen to serve alongside a Kingsguard as dishonorable as Jaime, who infamously broke his vows when he assassinated the Mad King. However, Barristan is unaware of Jaime's true honorable intentions for assassinating the Mad King, who planned to annihilate the entirety of King's Landing's population in wildfire when the Lannister's clandestinely laid siege to the city. However, even if Barristan knew Jaime's true cause for breaking his vows, Barristan's perception of Jaime would still be colored by the fact that Jaime tried to kill Bran Stark, a young innocent boy. 
 
  
==Quotes==
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{{Quote|I learned from the [[Gerold Hightower|White Bull]] and Barristan the Bold. I learned from Ser [[Arthur Dayne]], the [[Sword of the Morning]], who could have slain all five of you with his left hand while he was taking a piss with the right. I learned from Prince [[Lewyn Martell|Lewyn of Dorne]] and Ser [[Oswell Whent]] and Ser [[Jonothor Darry]], good men every one.{{Ref|aSoS|67}}|[[Jaime Lannister]] to [[Loras Tyrell]], [[Osmund Kettleblack]], [[Balon Swann]], [[Meryn Trant]], and [[Boros Blount]]}}
  
{{Quote|''"A hall to die in, and men to bury me. I thank you, my lords...but I spit on your pity...I am a knight...I shall die a knight"''{{Ref|aGoT|57}}}}  
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{{Quote|Ser Barristan is a [[True knight|valiant knight and true]]; but none, I think, has ever called him cunning.{{Ref|aDwD|14}}|[[Illyrio Mopatis]] to [[Tyrion Lannister]]}}
  
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{{Quote|We should be heeding Selmy. When Barristan the Bold tells you to run, a wise man laces up his boots.{{Ref|aDwD|60}}|[[Gerris Drinkwater]] to [[Quentyn Martell]]}}
  
{{Quote|''"Have no fear, sers, [[Joffrey Baratheon|your king]] is safe...no thanks to you. Even now, I could cut through the five of you as easy as a dagger carves cheese. If you would serve under [[Jaime Lannister|the Kingslayer]], then not a one of you is fit to wear [[Kingsguard|the white]]"''{{Ref|aGoT|57}}}}- Ser Barristan denouncing his former Sworn Brothers
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{{Quote|[[Hand of the King|Queen's Hand]]. An old woman's hand, I am thinking, wrinkled and feeble.{{Ref|aDwD|70}}|[[Skahaz mo Kandaq]] to Barristan}}
  
{{Quote|''"Some had been heroes, some weaklings, knaves, or cravens. Most were only men-quicker and stronger than most, more skilled with sword and shield, but still prey to pride, ambition, lust, love, anger, jealousy, greed for gold, hunger for power, and all the other failings that afflicted lesser mortals. The best of them overcame their flaws, did their duty, and died with their swords in their hands. The worst...The worst were those who played the game of thrones"''{{Ref|aDwD|55}}}}- Ser Barristan reflecting on the history of the Kingsguard
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==Entry in the White Book==
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{{Quote|Ser Barristan of [[House Selmy]]. Firstborn son of Ser [[Lyonel Selmy]] of [[Harvest Hall]]. Served as squire to Ser [[Manfred Swann]]. Named "the Bold" in his 10th year, when he donned borrowed armor to appear as a [[mystery knight]] in the [[tourney]] of [[Blackhaven]], where he was defeated and unmasked by [[Duncan Targaryen|Duncan, Prince of Dragonflies]]. [[Knight]]ed in his 16th year by King [[Aegon V Targaryen]], after performing great feats of prowess as a mystery knight in the winter tourney at [[King's Landing]], defeating Prince Duncan the small and Ser [[Duncan the Tall]], [[Lord Commander of the Kingsguard]]. Slew [[Maelys I Blackfyre|Maelys the Monstrous]], last of the [[Blackfyre Pretenders]], in single combat during the [[War of the Ninepenny Kings]]. Defeated [[Lormelle Long Lance]] and [[Cedrik Storm]], the Bastard of [[Bronzegate]]. Named to the [[Kingsguard]] in his 23rd year, by Lord Commander Ser [[Gerold Hightower]]. Defended the passage against all challengers in the tourney of the [[Silver Bridge]]. Victor in the mêlée at [[Maidenpool]]. Brought King [[Aerys II Targaryen|Aerys II]] to safety during the [[Defiance of Duskendale]] despite an arrow wound in the chest. Avenged the murder of his Sworn Brother, Ser [[Gwayne Gaunt]]. Rescued Lady [[Jeyne Swann]] and her [[septa]] from the [[Kingswood Brotherhood]], defeating [[Simon Toyne]] and the [[Smiling Knight]], slaying the former. In the [[Oldtown]] tourney, defeated and unmasked the mystery knight, [[Blackshield]] revealing him to be the Bastard of [[Uplands]]. Sole champion of Lord [[Steffon Baratheon|Steffon's]] [[tourney at Storm's End]], whereat he unhorsed Lord [[Robert I Baratheon|Robert Baratheon]], Prince [[Oberyn Martell]], Lord [[Leyton Hightower]], Lord [[Jon Connington]], Lord [[Jason Mallister]], and Prince [[Rhaegar Targaryen]]. Wounded by arrow, spear, and sword at the [[Battle of the Trident]] whilst fighting beside his Sworn Brothers and Rhaegar [[Prince of Dragonstone]]. Pardoned, and named Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, by King Robert I Baratheon. Served in the honor guard that brought Lady [[Cersei Lannister|Cersei]] of [[House Lannister]] to King's Landing to wed King Robert. Led the attack on [[Old Wyk]] during [[Greyjoy's Rebellion|Balon Greyjoy's Rebellion]]. Champion of the tourney at King's Landing, in his 57th year. Dismissed by King [[Joffrey Baratheon|Joffrey I Baratheon]] in his 61st year, for reasons of advanced age.{{Ref|ASOS|67}}|the achievements of Barristan as recorded in the [[White Book]] by [[Gerold Hightower]] and Barristan himself}}
  
{{Quote|''"[[Rhaegar Targaryen|Prince Rhaegar]] loved his [[Lyanna Stark|Lady Lyanna]] and [[Robert's Rebellion|thousands died for it]]. [[Daemon Blackfyre]] loved the [[Daenerys, daughter of Aegon IV|first Daenerys]], and rose in [[Blackfyre Rebellion|rebellion]] when denied her. [[Bittersteel]] and [[Bloodraven]] both loved [[Shiera Seastar]] and the Seven Kingdoms bled. The [[Duncan Targaryen|Prince of Dragonflies]] loved [[Jenny (Oldstones)|Jenny of Oldstones]] so much he cast aside a crown, and Westeros paid the bride price in corpses. All three of the sons of the [[Aegon V Targaryen|fifth Aegon]] had wed for love in defiance of their father's wishes. And because that unlikely monarch had followed his heart when he chose his queen, he allowed his sons to have their way, making bitter enemies when he might have made fast friends. Treason and turmoil followed, as night follows day, ending at [[Summerhall]] in sorcery, fire and grief"'' {{Ref|aDwD|67}}}}- Ser Barristan reflecting on the [[House Targaryen|Targaryen]] propensity to choose poorly in romantic matters.
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==References==
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{{References|2}}
  
==References and Notes==
 
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[[Category:Knights|Selmy, Barristan]]
 
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Latest revision as of 10:21, 23 August 2019

House Selmy.svg
Barristan Selmy
Kingsguard.svg
Mike Capprotti Ser Barristan.jpg
Barristan Selmy, art by Mike Capprotti ©.

Alias Barristan the Bold[1]
Barristan the Old[2]
Arstan Whitebeard[3]
Ser Grandfather[4]
Old Ser[5]
Lord Hand[6]
Title Ser
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard (former)
Hand of the Queen
Allegiance House Selmy
House Baratheon (formerly)
Kingsguard (formerly)
House Targaryen
Queensguard
Culture Marcher[7]
Born In 236 AC or 237 AC[8]
Book(s) The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (appears)
A Clash of Kings (appears)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (POV)
The Winds of Winter (POV)

Played by Ian McElhinney
TV series Season 1 | Season 3 | Season 4 | Season 5

Ser Barristan Selmy, also called Barristan the Bold, is a knight from House Selmy and the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard of Robert I Baratheon.[9] A celebrated hero, he has served in the Kingsguard since a time when these knights were still considered to be the greatest of the Seven Kingdoms. Barristan becomes a POV character in A Dance with Dragons. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, he is played by Ian McElhinney.[10]

Appearance and Character

Barristan is tall and has pale blue eyes which some consider to be sad.[11][12] He is an older man, with white hair and lined features. When he was young, he had blond hair.[7] Some consider him handsome, at least for his age.[13][14] Despite his advanced age, Barristan looks strong and graceful and every bit the skilled knight he was in his youth.[15] He is taller than Ser Jorah Mormont but less muscular.[11]

Barristan is considered one of the most skilled and respected knights in the Seven Kingdoms,[1][16] considered to be made of the true steel that marks a Kingsguard knight.[17] Bran Stark believes him to be the greatest living knight.[1] According to a semi-canon source, he is comparable in skill to the acclaimed Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning.[18]

A dutiful[19] and gallant[20] man, Barristan dislikes tricks[17] and scheming.[7][5][6] Some do not consider him cunning.[16] Barristan can speak some of the High Valyrian of the Free Cities[3][21] and the mongrel Ghiscari of Slaver's Bay.[22]

Like other members of the Kingsguard, Barristan's plate armor, cloak, and shield are all in white.[23] His enameled scales have silver chasings and clasps.[15] He wields a longsword[5] and a dagger.[7]

History

Early life

A young Barristan slaying Maelys I Blackfyre during the War of the Ninepenny Kings, as depicted by Jose Daniel Cabrera Pena in The World of Ice & Fire.

Barristan was born the first son of Ser Lyonel Selmy, the Knight of Harvest Hall. He squired for Lord Manfred Swann in his youth.[24][25] At the age of ten, Barristan donned the armor of a mystery knight and entered a tourney at Blackhaven. Prince Duncan Targaryen took pity on the small mystery knight while others laughed. Duncan jousted Barristan when no one else would and it was Duncan who gave Barristan his epithet.[26][25][22] Barristan received his knighthood at the age of sixteen from King Aegon V Targaryen after unhorsing Prince Duncan and Ser Duncan the Tall, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, at a tourney in King's Landing.[25][7]

An eminently successful tourney knight throughout his career, Barristan also proved his worth on the battlefield. During the War of the Ninepenny Kings Barristan slew Maelys I Blackfyre in single combat, ending the male line of the Blackfyre Pretenders. Barristan cut a bloody path through the Golden Company to reach Maelys.[25][16][5][27] The remaining members of the Band of Nine had little to no interest in conquering Westeros, and soon returned to their own domains. Barristan's deeds during the war gained him undying fame and his name was well known throughout the Seven Kingdoms afterwards.[16][27]

Barristan was named to the Kingsguard at the age of twenty-three and swore his vows before Ser Gerold Hightower, while King Jaehaerys II Targaryen bestowed the white cloak on him.[7][28] In joining the Kingsguard, he gave up the claim to his family seat, and the girl he was to wed was married to his cousin instead.[23][25]

Aerys II

Barristan continued to serve in the Kingsguard after Jaehaerys died and Aerys II Targaryen ascended the throne. In 277 AC, during the Defiance of Duskendale, King Aerys had been held hostage inside of the town for half a year. Lord Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King, was planning to storm Duskendale, but Barristan offered to personally attempt to retrieve the captive Aerys himself. Tywin gave him a day.[29][7][30][25][5]

Disguised as a hooded beggar in the dead of night, Barristan climbed the walls of Duskendale, scaled the walls of the Dun Fort, and slew a sentry before the man could raise the alarm. Barristan freed Aerys from the dungeon and led him to the upper levels. During the escape attempt, Barristan slew two guards and Ser Symon Hollard, avenging the death of his sworn brother, Ser Gwayne Gaunt, who had been killed by Symon. Barristan and Aerys rushed to the stables, with the knight fending off those who tried to intervene. Mounted on stolen horses, the pair charged out the Dun Fort's gate and escaped through the streets of Duskendale.[29][25] Barristan took an arrow to the chest during the rescue.[31] Houses Darklyn and Hollard were destroyed by Aerys afterward, but the king acquiesced to Barristan's plea to spare the life of the child Dontos Hollard.[30] Many songs have since been sung of Barristan's deeds at Duskendale.[29]

When the band of outlaws known as the Kingswood Brotherhood caused problems, the king sent his Kingsguard on campaign in the kingswood. Barristan rescued Lady Jeyne Swann and her septa, and he killed the bandits' leader, Ser Simon Toyne, in single combat.[25] During a tourney at Storm's End, Barristan defeated Aerys's heir, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, in the final joust, winning the tourney.[31]

Barristan had greater difficulty keeping his vows in the later years of Aerys's reign, as the king became madder and crueler.[7] Like his other sworn brothers of the Kingsguard, Barristan was present at the tourney at Harrenhal. He was infatuated by the beautiful Lady Ashara Dayne, though he knew nothing could come of his desire for her. Barristan planned on naming her queen of love and beauty if he won the tournament, but the knight was unhorsed by Rhaegar.[5] The crown prince then crowned Lyanna Stark, setting off a chain of events that led to Robert's Rebellion.[32] Barristan wonders if he could have averted the war if he had defeated Rhaegar in the tournament. He also fantasizes that, if he had won the tourney and crowned Ashara, perhaps she would have turned to him "instead of Stark." He thinks of the consequences of his unspoken love for Ashara as one of his many failures.[5]

Robert's Rebellion

During Robert's Rebellion, after the defeat of Lord Jon Connington at the Battle of the Bells, Barristan and Ser Jonothor Darry of the Kingsguard were sent to rally the remnants of the loyalist army.[33]

Barristan fought in the Battle of the Trident, during which he was wounded by arrow, spear, and sword[25] while slaying a dozen friends of Lords Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark.[34] Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was killed by Robert in single combat in the ruby ford.[35] After the battle, Lord Roose Bolton counseled that Barristan's throat should be cut, but Robert instead called for his own maester to attend the knight.[34][5]

Because he had been wounded so badly, Barristan was not present in King's Landing when the bodies of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen's children, Princess Rhaenys and Prince Aegon—slain during the Sack—were presented to Robert by Lord Tywin Lannister. Barristan later felt that if he had been present and Robert had smiled at the bodies, nothing would have stopped him from killing the man.[5]

Robert I

Barristan considered seeking out Prince Viserys Targaryen, but the exile was too young to rule on his own and had already begun showing signs of Targaryen madness.[36] Because the lives of Barristan and many others had chivalrously been spared during the war by the new king, Robert I Baratheon,[36][37] Barristan instead took Robert's pardon and was named Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.[34]

Having already had reservations about Ser Jaime Lannister due to the youth's age and inexperience, Barristan did not approve of Robert allowing Jaime to continue his service after having killed King Aerys II Targaryen in the Sack of King's Landing. Barristan was known to say that the Kingslayer's white cloak should be traded for a black one.[38]

Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, knew Barristan when he was younger.[39] During Greyjoy's Rebellion, Barristan led the attack on Old Wyk.[25] He has remained a formidable fighter even in his advanced years, winning the championship of a tourney at King's Landing at the age of fifty-seven, and unhorsing Sandor Clegane in a tilt in the tourney on Prince Joffrey's name day in 297 AC.[40]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Barristan by Romain Leguay © Fantasy Flight Games.
Ser Barristan defies his dismissal from the Kingsguard by Ryan Valle© Fantasy Flight Games.

As the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Barristan travels together with Lord Renly Baratheon and Ser Ilyn Payne to the inn at the crossroads, to serve as an honor guard to the procession led by King Robert I Baratheon and his new Hand of the King, Lord Eddard Stark, on their way back to King's Landing from Winterfell.[15] He later accompanies the king during his travels through the city.[41]

During the Hand's tourney, Barristan is defeated by Ser Jaime Lannister after three tilts, having defeated men thirty and forty years younger in his first two contests.[42] When Ser Hugh of the Vale is killed in the tournament by Ser Gregor Clegane, Barristan stands vigil over the young knight himself, as the boy had no one else.[17] Barristan and Eddard advise Robert against participating in the melee.[17]

As Lord Commander, Barristan is present at the small council meeting when King Robert orders the death of the pregnant Daenerys Targaryen, daughter to the late King Aerys II Targaryen. He and Eddard are the only council members who protest the move.[34] Barristan accompanies Robert on his hunt for a white hart in the kingswood.[43] The king is mortally wounded by a boar during the hunt,[44] however, and Robert is succeeded by his eldest son, King Joffrey I Baratheon.[45]

In an unprecedented move, as per Lord Varys's suggestion, Barristan is dismissed from the Kingsguard and the small council on grounds of old age, the implied accusation being that he did not keep King Robert safe. The Lannisters' motivations, however, are to allow Joffrey to give a white cloak to his "dog," Sandor Clegane, and to allow Queen Cersei Lannister to place her brother Jaime as the new Lord Commander with a seat on the small council. Outraged by his removal, Barristan throws down his sword and leaves the throne room. Joffrey orders the knight seized and questioned for a perceived threat uttered in the heat of his dismissal. Barristan enters the White Sword Tower to edit his White Book entry, dutifully recording his own dismissal.[25] Janos Slynt and three gold cloaks attempt to seize Barristan in the stables. Though he does not have his sword, Barristan kills two guards and flees the castle.[23][46][20]

While his kin at Harvest Hall would welcome Barristan back home, Barristan does not want to inflict Joffrey's displeasure on them. Instead, once outside of King's landing, Barristan sells his horse and disguises himself as a commoner, cloaked in his old age. He returns to the city in a stream of smallfolk, pretending to be fleeing from the war. Having grown a long white beard, Barristan is present in the crowd when Eddard Stark is executed before the Great Sept of Baelor. Following Lord Stark's death, Barristan goes to the sept to pray for Eddard's soul and thank the gods that he himself had only been dismissed. Reevaluating his years of service in Robert's Kingsguard, he admits that Robert had been a good knight, but a poor king. Barristan decides that he must find his true king and die in his service.[20]

Lord Tywin Lannister considers Barristan's dismissal a folly. While Barristan is old, he still commands enough respect to make him a threat in case he chooses to back Stannis Baratheon or Robb Stark, and he cites it as one reason why he sends his son Tyrion as acting Hand to King's Landing to keep Joffrey better in check than Queen Cersei is capable of.[47][46]

A Clash of Kings

Barristan as Arstan Whitebeard, by Amok ©.

Tyrion Lannister compares Ser Barristan's reputation among smallfolk to that of Serwyn of the Mirror Shield and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, and warns Cersei that Robb Stark or Stannis Baratheon will benefit if Barristan publicly supports him.[46] Their rival Renly Baratheon hopes that Barristan's announcement that he is going to serve the true king refers to him. Renly keeps a cloak in his Rainbow Guard ready for Barristan in case the old knight offers him his sword. When he concludes that his hopes have been futile, Renly gives Barristan's spot on his Kingsguard to Brienne of Tarth, believing that the knight may support the Starks.[48] However, Lady Catelyn Stark informs him that Barristan is not with Robb. Renly concludes that Barristan must have decided to support his brother Stannis, and he orders his knights to spare Barristan's life.[49]

Following his decision to find his true king, Viserys Targaryen, Barristan crosses the narrow sea and travels to Pentos.[20] Barristan eventually ends up in contact with Magister Illyrio Mopatis, and he learns of Viserys's death in Vaes Dothrak. Illyrio sends Barristan, disguised as the old squire Arstan Whitebeard, alongside the huge eunuch Belwas to Qarth to bring Queen Daenerys Targaryen back to Pentos.[50]

Barristan and Strong Belwas sail east on the three ships of Captain Groleo, which visit New Ghis before arriving at Qarth.[51] They follow Daenerys and Ser Jorah Mormont, who are trying to find passage on the ships docked at the port of Qarth. Jorah notices them and becomes suspicious. When a Sorrowful Man attempts to assassinate Daenerys by presenting her with a box containing a manticore, Barristan knocks the manticore from her hands and kills it.[50] Barristan introduces himself as Arstan Whitebeard, and together with Belwas tell Daenerys that Illyrio had sent them to serve her, and bring her back to Pentos, as there were four kings in Westeros when they left Pentos, and no justice.[50]

A Storm of Swords

Arstan Whitebeard kneels at Daenerys Targaryen's feet, by Sara K. Diesel © Fantasy Flight Games.

Rather than sail to Pentos, Daenerys chooses to sail on Groleo's ships to Astapor to buy Unsullied. Barristan, still keeping his true identity a secret, discusses with Daenerys her dragons, her father, King Aerys II, and her brother, Prince Rhaegar. Ser Jorah Mormont distrusts Barristan and Belwas, pointing out that Barristan speaks out too brazenly for a mere squire.[11]

Barristan is with Daenerys in the Plaza of Pride when they meet with Kraznys mo Nakloz, the Good Master selling Unsullied. Barristan disapproves of buying slaves, and when Daenerys asks how she is to win Westeros without an army, he replies that half of Westeros would support her because of Rhaegar. When she asks about her father, however, Barristan has little positive to say. He advises Daenerys that she should send envoys, and that even those that opposed her father might support her.[52] He also objects to Daenerys's plan to pay for the Unsullied with one of her dragons, but she conquers Astapor by ordering her new Unsullied to attack the slavers,[53] after which she frees them from slavery.

When Daenerys announces her plan to take Yunkai, Barristan agrees with Jorah that she is Rhaegar's sister, adding that she is also a queen. While waiting for the results of the battle near Yunkai, Barristan and Daenerys discuss Rhaegar, the tourney at Harrenhal, and Summerhall.[31]

During the siege of Meereen, Oznak zo Pahl rides out of the city on a white charger with a fourteen-foot lance, challenging the besiegers to send forth a champion. Barristan tells Daenerys that this challenge must be met, after which Daenerys decides that Belwas is the best choice.[31]

Daenerys later decides that she will ride out amongst her people with only a limited guard. She is attacked by Mero, the former commander of the Second Sons, but Barristan easily dispatches him. The sellsword falls into the water and the freemen fall on his body.[24] Daenerys wishes that Baristan be knighted in gratitude, but both Barristan and Jorah Mormont refuse this at the same time. Jorah, highly suspicious, questions how an old squire with a stick could have been capable of killing Mero, the Titan's Bastard, and asks Barristan who he is, to which Barristan replies "a better knight than you, ser".[24]

Barristan begs forgiveness from Daenerys for withholding truths from her. Jorah recognizes Barristan and informs Daenerys that Barristan had betrayed House Targaryen to serve Robert I Baratheon. Barristan tells her that he is hers, if she will have him. He also explains he took Robert's pardon and served with men not worthy of a place in the Kingsguard, and that, when Joffrey Baratheon dismissed him aside and sent men to kill him, he realized that he had to find his true king. Barristan tells Daenerys he kept his identity a secret because he wanted to prevent the Lannisters from learning he had joined her. When Barristan insinuates that Jorah has been spying on Daenerys for Varys since her wedding to Drogo, Jorah affirms the accusation is true.[24]

Daenerys captures Meereen by having Barristan, Jorah, and Belwas infiltrate the city through the sewers and release slaves. Afterward, Barristan shaves his beard and looks ten years younger. Daenerys reveals she had hoped that they would die in the sewers. Barristan admits he had kept his identity hidden to be certain that she did not have the taint of madness like her father had. Barristan tells the queen that her brother, Viserys, had more of the taint of her father, the Mad King. Rhaegar did not, and he sees no taint in her. He further tells her that he will do whatever she asks, and if she will not have him he would continue to serve Belwas. Daenerys accepts him in her service, and Barristan receives a sword from her, refusing to take one from anyone else. In contrast, Jorah is exiled from Meereen.[36]

Daenerys realizes that Barristan had personally known her grandfather, King Jaehaerys II, and he could tell her more about where she came from. After he has been pardoned, Barristan tells Daenerys that her father's secrets, which he had overheard as a Kingsguard knight, now by rights belong to her. He explains that Aerys had not been mad initially, but that his lapses became worse over time, while her mother, Queen Rhaella, did her best to shield Viserys from his father's insanity. Daenerys decides she does not want to hear it at that moment, but that he should tell her more some other time. Barristan is among her advisors when she states she will not leave but stay and rule as a queen in Meereen.[36]

A Dance with Dragons

Daenerys names Barristan the Lord Commander of her Queensguard[54] and gives him new gold-and-silver armor.[13] The mail is gilded and finely wrought, with supple links and hard enamel plates. His longsword hangs from a white leather belt with golden buckles, and he also wields a dagger.[5] Barristan wears a long white cloak about his shoulders and carries a white shield.[14] His helm has a narrow eye slit and ornate dragon's wings.[5] His horse is a dapple grey.[13]

Barristan attempts to lead his queen down an honorable path towards the safety of Meereen. Barristan distrusts Daenerys's paramour, Daario Naharis, and he unsuccessfully suggests holding a tourney.[20] Groleo and Barristan inspect the ships brought to Meereen by Xaro Xhoan Daxos. Daenerys rejects Barristan's advice to leave Meereen for Westeros.[55]

Barristan instructs Grazhar zo Galare and other noble boys in western chivalry.[56] The Lord Commander also begins training more than sixty freed slaves, with thirty of them persevering.[7] The most promising of them become Barristan's squires, including Tumco Lho, Larraq, the Red Lamb, and three Ghiscari brothers.[5][57]

When Yunkai marches on Meereen, Skahaz mo Kandaq advises Daenerys to remain within Meereen's strong walls while Barristan suggests defeating the Yunkai'i in the field. Selmy objects to allowing into Meereen refugees from Astapor, because of the danger of the bloody flux,[12] and the knight also objects when Daenerys meets the refugees outside of the walls.[4] The Lord Commander does not approve of Daenerys wedding Hizdahr zo Loraq, since the man would not be accepted in the Seven Kingdoms.[56] Barristan is supportive of Quentyn Martell when the prince informs Daenerys of the secret marriage pact, but Daenerys weds Hizdahr instead of Quentyn to ensure temporary peace within Meereen.[13]

When Drogon begins attacking people in Daznak's Pit, Barristan tries to protect Daenerys by drawing the dragon's attention to himself. The queen ends up fleeing Meereen atop Drogon.[14]

Barristan and the Brazen Beasts by Urukki Saki ©.

After Daenerys's departure, Hizdahr replaces the royal advisors, but Barristan meets with Skahaz and Grey Worm.[7] He is present when Bloodbeard presents the court with the head of Groleo, who was slain in response to the death of Yurkhaz zo Yunzak. Barristan is enraged and wants to kill Bloodbeard, but stops because the act would break his queen's peace. Barristan advises Quentyn and his companions to leave Meereen for their own safety,[22] but the Dornishmen remain in the city.[58]

Convinced that Hizdahr had attempted to assassinate Daenerys with poisoned locusts,[22] Barristan decides to work with Grey Worm and Skahaz, despite his loathing of the latter and his own inhibitions about making decisions of state in the absence of his queen.[7] Barristan leads with honor and refuses Skahaz's suggestion to kill the Ghiscari cupbearers, the children of powerful Meereenese nobles. Barristan and the Brazen Beasts plan to take King Hizdahr hostage, but he fears that if Hizdahr is harmed the Yunkai'i will kill their remaining hostages—Daario, Jhogo and Hero—just as they killed Groleo. When Barristan goes to capture Hizdahr, he slays the king's protector, the formidable pit fighter Khrazz.[5] Meanwhile, Quentyn attempts to tame one of dragons, but Rhaegal and Viserion break free from their imprisonment and Quentyn is mortally wounded by dragonflame.[59][6]

Barristan assumes the title of Hand, sending a reluctant Galazza Galare an envoy to the Yunkai'i and preventing Skahaz from executing hostages. Barristan refuses to hold court, instead holding a council session which plans for battle with Yunkai. A beacon system will be used to call the attack should the fragile peace between the sides be broken.[6] Barristan discretely meets with Ser Gerris Drinkwater and Ser Archibald Yronwood, the late Quentyn's companions. Tasking them with speaking on his behalf with the Tattered Prince, Barristan offers to grant Pentos to the sellsword captain if he protects the remaining hostages in the Yunkish camp.[6] During a meeting between Barristan and Galazza after she returns, Skahaz notifies Barristan that the Yunkish catapults are flinging corpses infected with the pale mare into the city.[6]

The Winds of Winter

Content.png
Warning
This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.

The Yunkish threat in the second siege of Meereen has been augmented by the presence of the bloody flux. Ser Barristan notes that under normal circumstances, he would defend Meereen from behind its strong walls. However, because the Yunkish introduced the pale mare into Meereen by catapulting infected corpses over the walls, he resolves to ride out and meet his enemy on the field rather than watch the impending outbreak annihilate Meereen. On the eve of the offensive, he gives a pep talk to his newly anointed knights and soldiers. When his talk is interrupted by the arrival of dawn, Barristan orders the Red Lamb to "sound the attack".[60]

Quotes by Barristan

Varys: We are not unmindful of your service, good ser. Lord Tywin Lannister has generously agreed to grant you a handsome tract of land north of Lannisport, beside the sea, with gold and men sufficient to build you a stout keep, and servants to see to your every need.
Barristan: A hall to die in, and men to bury me. I thank you, my lords, but I spit on your pity ... I am a knight. I shall die a knight.[23]

Varys and Barristan

Have no fear, sers, your king is safe... no thanks to you. Even now, I could cut through the five of you as easy as a dagger cuts cheese. If you would serve under the Kingslayer, not a one of you is fit to wear the white. Here, boy. Melt it down and add it to the others, if you like. It will do you more good than the swords in the hands of these five. Perhaps Lord Stannis will chance to sit on it when he takes your throne.[23]

—Barristan denouncing his former sworn brothers

I took Robert's pardon, aye. I served him in Kingsguard and council. Served with the Kingslayer and others near as bad, who soiled the white cloak I wore. Nothing will excuse that. I might be serving in King's Landing still if the vile boy upon the Iron Throne had not cast me aside, it shames me to admit. But when he took the cloak the White Bull had draped about my shoulders, and sent men to kill me that selfsame day, it was as though he'd ripped a caul off my eyes. That was when I knew I must find my true king, and die in his service...[24]

—Barristan to Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys: Can we win this fight?
Barristan: Men can always fight, Your Grace. Ask rather if we can win. Dying is easy, but victory comes hard.[12]

Daenerys Targaryen and Barristan

Duskendale had been his finest hour, yet the memory tasted bitter on his tongue. It was his failures that haunted him at night, though. Jaehaerys, Aerys, Robert. Three dead kings. Rhaegar, who would have been a finer king than any of them. Princess Elia and the children. Aegon just a babe, Rhaenys with her kitten. Dead, every one, yet he still lived, who had sworn to protect them.[7]

—thoughts of Barristan

Prince Rhaegar loved his Lady Lyanna and thousands died for it. Daemon Blackfyre loved the first Daenerys, and rose in rebellion when denied her. Bittersteel and Bloodraven both loved Shiera Seastar and the Seven Kingdoms bled. The Prince of Dragonflies loved Jenny of Oldstones so much he cast aside a crown, and Westeros paid the bride price in corpses. All three of the sons of the fifth Aegon had wed for love in defiance of their father's wishes. And because that unlikely monarch had followed his heart when he chose his queen, he allowed his sons to have their way, making bitter enemies when he might have made fast friends. Treason and turmoil followed, as night follows day, ending at Summerhall in sorcery, fire and grief.[5]

—thoughts of Barristan

I am no Hand, a part of him wanted to cry out. I am only a simple knight, the queen's protector. I never wanted this. But with the queen gone and the king in chains, someone had to rule, and Ser Barristan did not trust the Shavepate.[6]

—thoughts of Barristan

I am an old man, an old knight, and I have seen more battles than most of you have years. Nothing is more terrible upon this earth, nothing more glorious, nothing more absurd. You may retch. You will not be the first. You may drop your sword, your shield, your lance. Others have done the same. Pick it up and go on fighting. You may foul your breeches. I did, in my first battle. No one will care. All battlefields smell of shit. You may cry out for your mother, pray to gods you thought you had forgotten, howl obscenities that you never dreamed could pass your lips. All this has happened too.[60]

—Barristan addressing his men in the second siege of Meereen

Quotes about Barristan

Sansa: Even in the far north, the singers praise the deeds of Barristan the Bold.
Renly: Barristan the Old, you mean. Don't flatter him too sweetly, child, he thinks overmuch of himself already.[15]

Eddard: Ser Barristan is as valiant and honorable as any man in King's Landing.
Petyr: And as tiresome.[61]

Of these seven, only Ser Barristan Selmy is made of the true steel.[17]

And dismissing Selmy, where was the sense in that? Yes, the man was old, but the name of Barristan the Bold still has meaning in the realm. He lent honor to any man he served. Can anyone say the same of the Hound[47]

Tywin Lannister to Tyrion Lannister after learning of Barristan's dismissal from the Kingsguard

The smallfolk talk of him the same way they talk of Serwyn of the Mirror Shield and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight.[46]

He has a good face, and great strength to him.[52]

—thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen

I saw him perhaps a dozen times ... from afar, most often, standing with his brothers or riding in some tourney. But every man in the Seven Kingdoms knows Barristan the Bold ... Khaleesi, before you kneels Ser Barristan Selmy, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, who betrayed your House to serve the Usurper Robert Baratheon.[24]

I learned from the White Bull and Barristan the Bold. I learned from Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, who could have slain all five of you with his left hand while he was taking a piss with the right. I learned from Prince Lewyn of Dorne and Ser Oswell Whent and Ser Jonothor Darry, good men every one.[25]

Ser Barristan is a valiant knight and true; but none, I think, has ever called him cunning.[62]

We should be heeding Selmy. When Barristan the Bold tells you to run, a wise man laces up his boots.[58]

Queen's Hand. An old woman's hand, I am thinking, wrinkled and feeble.[6]

Skahaz mo Kandaq to Barristan

Entry in the White Book

Ser Barristan of House Selmy. Firstborn son of Ser Lyonel Selmy of Harvest Hall. Served as squire to Ser Manfred Swann. Named "the Bold" in his 10th year, when he donned borrowed armor to appear as a mystery knight in the tourney of Blackhaven, where he was defeated and unmasked by Duncan, Prince of Dragonflies. Knighted in his 16th year by King Aegon V Targaryen, after performing great feats of prowess as a mystery knight in the winter tourney at King's Landing, defeating Prince Duncan the small and Ser Duncan the Tall, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Slew Maelys the Monstrous, last of the Blackfyre Pretenders, in single combat during the War of the Ninepenny Kings. Defeated Lormelle Long Lance and Cedrik Storm, the Bastard of Bronzegate. Named to the Kingsguard in his 23rd year, by Lord Commander Ser Gerold Hightower. Defended the passage against all challengers in the tourney of the Silver Bridge. Victor in the mêlée at Maidenpool. Brought King Aerys II to safety during the Defiance of Duskendale despite an arrow wound in the chest. Avenged the murder of his Sworn Brother, Ser Gwayne Gaunt. Rescued Lady Jeyne Swann and her septa from the Kingswood Brotherhood, defeating Simon Toyne and the Smiling Knight, slaying the former. In the Oldtown tourney, defeated and unmasked the mystery knight, Blackshield revealing him to be the Bastard of Uplands. Sole champion of Lord Steffon's tourney at Storm's End, whereat he unhorsed Lord Robert Baratheon, Prince Oberyn Martell, Lord Leyton Hightower, Lord Jon Connington, Lord Jason Mallister, and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Wounded by arrow, spear, and sword at the Battle of the Trident whilst fighting beside his Sworn Brothers and Rhaegar Prince of Dragonstone. Pardoned, and named Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, by King Robert I Baratheon. Served in the honor guard that brought Lady Cersei of House Lannister to King's Landing to wed King Robert. Led the attack on Old Wyk during Balon Greyjoy's Rebellion. Champion of the tourney at King's Landing, in his 57th year. Dismissed by King Joffrey I Baratheon in his 61st year, for reasons of advanced age.[25]

—the achievements of Barristan as recorded in the White Book by Gerold Hightower and Barristan himself

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 8, Bran II.
  2. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 15, Jon II.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 63, Daenerys V.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 36, Daenerys VI.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 70, The Queen's Hand.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 55, The Queensguard.
  8. See the Barristan Selmy calculation.
  9. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  10. HBO: Game of Thrones: cast and crew
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 8, Daenerys I.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 30, Daenerys V.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 43, Daenerys VII.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 52, Daenerys IX.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
  18. So Spake Martin: The Sword of the Morning vs. Barristan the Bold, September 02, 2011
  19. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
  21. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 22, Arya IV.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 59, The Discarded Knight.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 57, Daenerys V.
  25. 25.00 25.01 25.02 25.03 25.04 25.05 25.06 25.07 25.08 25.09 25.10 25.11 25.12 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
  26. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
  27. 27.0 27.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys II.
  28. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime I.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
  30. 30.0 30.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys IV.
  32. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
  33. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 33, Eddard VIII.
  35. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys VI.
  37. The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: Robert's Rebellion.
  38. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 57, Tyrion XI.
  39. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 52, Jon VII.
  40. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard V.
  41. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
  42. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
  43. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
  44. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
  45. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 46.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
  47. 47.0 47.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  48. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
  49. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 64, Arya X.
  51. The Lands of Ice and Fire, Journeys.
  52. 52.0 52.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 23, Daenerys II.
  53. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 27, Daenerys III.
  54. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 2, Daenerys I.
  55. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 16, Daenerys III.
  56. 56.0 56.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 23, Daenerys IV.
  57. A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.
  58. 58.0 58.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 60, The Spurned Suitor.
  59. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 68, The Dragontamer.
  60. 60.0 60.1 The Winds of Winter, Barristan I
  61. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
  62. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 14, Tyrion IV.