Barristan Selmy

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Barristan Selmy
Mike Capprotti Ser Barristan.jpg
Barristan Selmy, art by Mike Capprotti ©.

Alias Barristan the Bold
Arstan Whitebeard
Ser Grandfather
Barristan the Old
Old Ser
Title Ser
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard (former)
Hand of the Queen
Allegiance House Selmy
House Targaryen
Kingsguard (formerly)
Culture Marcher[1]
Born In 236 AC or 237 AC[2]
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.[3] 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.[4]

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Barristan Selmy

Barristan is tall and has blue eyes which some consider to be sad.[5][6] He is an older man, with white hair and lined features. Some consider him handsome, at least for his age. Despite his advanced age, he looks strong and graceful and every bit the skilled knight he was in his youth. Like other members of the Kingsguard, his armor, cloak, and shield are all in white. His enameled scales have silver chasings and clasps.[7]

In 300 AC, Barristan becomes the Lord Commander of the Queensguard of Queen Daenerys Targaryen in Meereen. As a token of her esteem, Daenerys gifts Barristan with armor. 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. He wears a long white cloak about his shoulders. The helm has a narrow eye slit and ornate dragon's wings, which are splendid to look upon.[8]

Barristan is considered one of the most skilled and respected knights in the Seven Kingdoms,[9][10] considered to be made of the true steel that marks a Kingsguard knight.[11] Bran Stark believes him to be the greatest living knight.[9] However, according to Illyrio Mopatis, Barristan cannot be considered to be cunning.[10]


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.[12][13] 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 Selmy when no one else would and it was Duncan who gave Barristan his epithet.[14][13][15]

Barristan received his knighthood at the age of sixteen from King Aegon V Targaryen after unhorsing Prince Duncan Targaryen and Lord Commander Duncan the Tall of the Kingsguard at a tourney in King's Landing.[13] An eminently successful tourney knight throughout his career, he 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. Selmy had to cut a bloody path through the Golden Company just to reach him.[13][10][8][16] 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 of the Ninepenny Kings gained him undying fame and his name was well known throughout the Seven Kingdoms afterwards.[10][16]

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.[1][17] 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.[18][13]

In the Kingsguard

Barristan continued to serve in the Kingsguard when King 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 Duskendale for half a year. Lord Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King, was planning to storm the town, but Barristan offered to personally attempt to retrieve the captive King Aerys himself. Tywin gave him a day.[19][1][20][13][8]

Many songs were later made about Selmy's daring infiltration.[19] Selmy disguised as a hooded beggar climbed the walls of Duskendale in the dead of night, walking through the town streets cloaked and hooded he approached the Walls of Dunfort, scaling the walls of the castle, and slaying a sentry before the man could raise the alarm. Selmy through stealth and courage found his way to the dungeons and freed Aerys 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. He and the King rushed to the stables, Selmy slaying all those who tried to intervene as the alarm was being raised. Selmy and King Aerys mounted on stolen horses charged out the Dunfort gates before they could be barred and raced through the streets of Duskendale to the town's walls eventually escaping.[19][13] Selmy, took an arrow to the chest during the rescue.[21] After the defiance Ser Barristan pleaded for the life of the child Dontos Hollard as a boon, when House Hollard was destroyed for siding with the Darklyns in the Defiance, to which King Aerys acquiesced.[20]

In the later years of King Aerys's reign, the band of outlaws known as the Kingswood Brotherhood caused problems, and the King send his Kingsguard on campaign. Barristan fought in the battles of this campaign, rescuing Lady Jeyne Swann and her septa, and killing the bandits' leader, Ser Simon Toyne, in single combat.[13]

During a tourney at Storm's End, Barristan defeated Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen in the final joust, and won the tourney.[21]

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. 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.[8][22][23]

During Robert's Rebellion, after the defeat of Lord Jon Connington at the Battle of the Bells, Ser Barristan, with fellow Kingsguard knight Ser Jonothor Darry, was sent to rally the remnants of Connington's army.[24] He fought in Battle of the Trident and was severely wounded. Lord Roose Bolton counseled that Barristan's throat should be cut, but Robert Baratheon instead called for his own maester to attend Barristan.[25][8] Because he had been wounded so badly, Barristan was not present in King's Landing when the bodies of Princess Rhaenys and Prince Aegon were presented to Robert.[8]

The Targaryen dynasty came to an end with the Rebellion's conclusion, and while Barristan had fought bravely for the old dynasty, he later took King Robert I Baratheon's pardon, and was named Lord Commander of Robert's Kingsguard.[25] Having had reservations about Jaime Lannister even before he earned the epithet "Kingslayer" due to Lannister's age and inexperience, Barristan did not approve of allowing Jaime to be allowed to continue his service after killing King Aerys II Targaryen, and was known to say that Jaime's white cloak should be traded for a black one.[26]

Barristan had moral reservations about serving the new king, Robert I Baratheon, but served loyally nonetheless. He does feel 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 him from killing Robert.[8]

During Greyjoy's Rebellion, Barristan led the attack on Old Wyk.[13] 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,[27] and unhorsing men thirty and forty years his junior in the Tourney of the Hand in 298 AC.[28]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Ser Barristan Selmy - © Fantasy Flight Games.

As the Lord Commander of King Robert I Baratheon's 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 Robert and his new Hand of the King, Lord Eddard Stark, on their way back to King's Landing from Winterfell.[7] He later accompanies the King during his travels through the city.[29] During the Hand's tourney, Barristan is only defeated by Ser Jaime Lannister after three tilts, having defeated men ten and twenty years younger in his first two contests.[28] 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.[11]

As the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, 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.[25] He accompanies Robert on his ill-fated boar hunt in the kingswood which leads to the death of the king.[30]

In an unprecedented move, as per Lord Varys's suggestion, Barristan is dismissed from the Kingsguard and the small council by the new king, Joffrey I Baratheon, 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 Cersei Lannister to place her brother Jaime as the new Lord Commander with a seat on the small council. Outraged by his removal, Ser Barristan throws down his sword and leaves the throne room. After Selmy leaves the room the king orders him seized and questioned for a perceived threat uttered in the heat of his dismissal. Selmy enters the White Sword Tower to edit his White Book entry, dutifully recording his own dismissal.[13] Upon leaving the Red Keep, Janos Slynt orders his men to seize Barristan. Though he does not have his sword, Selmy kills the gold cloaks sent after him and flees the castle.[18][31][32]

While his kin at Harvest Hall would have welcomed Barristan back home without a doubt, Barristan did not want to inflict Joffrey's displeasure on them. Instead, once outside of the city, Barristan sells his horse and disguises himself as a commoner, cloaked in his old age. He returns to King's Landing along with the stream of smallfolk fleeing the war, pretending to be fleeing from the war himself. He is later present in the crowd when Lord Eddard Stark is executed before the Great Sept of Baelor. Following Lord Eddard'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.[32]

Lord Tywin Lannister considers Ser 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.[33][31]

A Clash of Kings

Barristan as Arstan Whitebeard, by Amok ©.

Renly Baratheon declares himself king and hopes that Ser 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 Ser Barristan might have gone to Riverrun to support Robb Stark as king.[34] 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 if it comes to a battle with Stannis.[35]

Following his decision to find his true king, Viserys Targaryen, Barristan crosses the narrow sea and travels to Pentos.[32] Barristan eventually ends up in contact with Magister Illyrio Mopatis, and learns of Viserys's death in Vaes Dothrak. Magister Illyrio sends Barristan, disguised as the old squire Arstan Whitebeard, alongside the huge eunuch Belwas to Qarth, with three ships, to bring Queen Daenerys Targaryen back to Pentos.[36]

They arrive in Qarth and follow Daenerys Targaryen and Ser Jorah Mormont, when they are walking through the docks, trying to find passage on the ships docked there. Mormont notices them, and becomes suspicious. However, 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.[36]

Barristan introduces himself as Arstan Whitebeard, and together with Belwas tell Dany that Magister Illyrio Mopatis 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.[36]

A Storm of Swords

Arstan Whitebeard kneels at Daenerys Targaryen's feet - © FFG.

Rather than sail to Pentos, Daenerys chooses to sail to Astapor to buy Unsullied. Barristan, still keeping his true identity a secret, discusses dragons, Daenerys's father King Aerys II, and her brother, Prince Rhaegar with her. Ser Jorah Mormont distrusts Barristan and Belwas, pointing out that Barristan speaks out too brazenly for a mere squire.[5]

Barristan is with Daenerys in the Plaza of Pride when they meet with the slaver 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.[37] 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,[38] after which she frees them from slavery.

When Daenerys announces her plan to take Yunkai, Barristan agrees with Ser Jorah that she is Rhaegar Targaryen's sister, adding that she is also a queen. While waiting for the results of the battle against the Yunkai'i, Barristan and Daenerys discuss Rhaegar, the tourney at Harrenhal, and Summerhall.[21]

When Daenerys 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. Barristan tells Daenerys that this challenge must be met, after which Daenerys decides that Belwas is the best choice.[21]

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 is able to easily dispatch him. He falls into the water and the freemen fall on his body.[12] Daenerys wishes that Baristan be knighted in gratitude, but both Barristan and Ser Jorah Mormont refuse this at the same time. Mormont, 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".[12]

Barristan reveals to Daenerys that, while he never really lied, he did withhold truths from her, and begs her forgiveness. Jorah Mormont recognizes Barristan, and informs Daenerys that Barristan had betrayed her family to serve Robert I Baratheon. When Daenerys asks if Barristan is hers or Robert's man, Barristan tells her that he is hers, if she will have him. He also tells how he took Robert's pardon and served with men not worthy of a place in the Kingsguard, and that, when Joffrey Baratheon had dismissed him aside and sent men to kill him, he had realized that he had to find his true king. He then tells her that he had to keep his identity a secret because he wanted to prevent the Lannisters from learning he had joined her. When he informs her that there had been a spy by her side who has been informing on her ever since she wed Khal Drogo, Daenerys realizes to her horror that he means Jorah, who affirms the accusation is true.[12] Barristan later admits that this is only part of the reason why he kept his identity hidden, informing Daenerys that he first wanted to observe her for a while, to be certain that she did not have the taint of madness like her father had.[39]

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 is forthright, telling her that her brother 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 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.[39]

Daenerys realizes that Barristan had personally known her grandfather, and could tell her more about where she came from. After he has been pardoned, Barristan goes to her on the terrace, and tells her that her father Aerys's secrets, which he had overheard as a Kingsguard knight, now by rights belong to Daenerys. He informs Daenerys that her father had not been mad initially, but that his lapses became worse over time, while her mother 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, rule and be a queen in Meereen.[39]

A Dance with Dragons

Mbox notice.png
Note This section requires a rewrite, and additional sourcing
[citation needed].

Barristan continues his service of Daenerys Targaryen, and has been named Lord Commander of her Queensguard. As such, he attempts 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.

Barristan also begins training knights. His squires are Tumco Lho, Larraq, the Red Lamb, and the Boys, who are 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.[15]

Barristan 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.[1] Selmy leads with honor and refuses Skahaz's council on killing the Ghiscari child 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'i will kill the remaining hostages Daario, Jhogo and Hero just as they killed Captain Groleo. Skahaz states it would be better for Daenerys in the long run if they killed Daario.

Despite his personal feeling about Daario, however, Barristan goes to the Tattered Prince and enlists his help.[40] He promises to reward the Tattered Prince if he frees the three hostages from the Yunkai camp. Selmy then goes to capture Hizdahr.[8] 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. During a meeting between Ser Barristan and the Green Grace, Skahaz notifies Barristan that the Yunkish catapults are flinging corpses infected with the pale mare into the city.[40]

The Winds of Winter

The Yunkish threat 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."[41]

Quotes by 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.[18]

– Barristan's declaration upon being removed from the Kingsguard

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.[18]

– 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...[12]

– Barristan to Daenerys Targaryen

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.[1]

– Barristan reflecting on the history of the Kingsguard

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.[8]

– 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.[41]

– Barristan addressing his men before going to war

Quotes about Barristan

Eddard: Ser Barristan is as valiant and honorable as any man in King's Landing.
Petyr: And as tiresome.[42]

Eddard Stark and Petyr Baelish

Of these seven, only Ser Barristan Selmy is made of the true steel.[11]

Varys to Eddard Stark regarding Robert I Baratheon's Kingsguard

...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.[33]

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.[31]

Tyrion Lannister to Cersei Lannister

He has a good face, and great strength to him.[37]

– 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.[12]

Jorah Mormont to Daenerys Targaryen

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.[13]

Jaime Lannister to Loras Tyrell, Osmund Kettleblack, Balon Swann, Meryn Trant, and Boros Blount

Ser Barristan is a valiant knight and true; but none, I think, has ever called him cunning.[43]

Illyrio Mopatis to Tyrion Lannister

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.[13]

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


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 55, The Queensguard.
  2. See the Barristan Selmy calculation.
  3. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  4. HBO: Game of Thrones: cast and crew
  5. 5.0 5.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 8, Daenerys I.
  6. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 30, Daenerys V.
  7. 7.0 7.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
  9. 9.0 9.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 8, Bran II.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 57, Daenerys V.
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
  14. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
  15. 15.0 15.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 59, The Discarded Knight.
  16. 16.0 16.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys II.
  17. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime I.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
  20. 20.0 20.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys IV.
  22. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
  23. The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
  24. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 33, Eddard VIII.
  26. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 57, Tyrion XI.
  27. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard V.
  28. 28.0 28.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
  29. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
  30. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
  33. 33.0 33.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  34. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
  35. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 64, Arya X.
  37. 37.0 37.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 23, Daenerys II.
  38. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 27, Daenerys III.
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys VI.
  40. 40.0 40.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 70, The Queen's Hand.
  41. 41.0 41.1 The Winds of Winter, Barristan
  42. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
  43. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 14, Tyrion IV.