A Song of Ice and Fire (Series) | Study Guide

George R.R. Martin

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A Song of Ice and Fire (Series) | Characters

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Character Description
Daenerys Targaryen Daenerys Targaryen, a key figure throughout the entire series, is thought to be the last of the Targaryen dynasty of Dragonlords. She believes the Iron Throne is rightfully hers. Read More
Tyrion Lannister A dwarf despised by his sister and father, Tyrion Lannister is intelligent, clever, and surprisingly compassionate. An important point-of-view character in all but Book 4, Tyrion provides an insightful view of events around him. Read More
Jon Snow Jon Snow is thought to be Ned Stark's bastard son and later becomes Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, only to be betrayed by his own men in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons. Read More
Cersei Lannister Scheming for power throughout the series, Cersei Lannister arranges the death of her husband, King Robert Baratheon, and spends almost every waking moment scheming to gain more power for herself and her children. By the end of Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, however, Cersei becomes a victim of her own intrigues and a prisoner of the High Sparrow. Read More
Arya Stark Arya Stark, Ned Stark's youngest daughter, is strong, smart, and totally opposed to all things feminine. After her father's execution, she becomes a fugitive—she is the only point-of-view character to appear in all five books. Read More
Catelyn Stark Catelyn Stark is Ned Stark's wife, whose desire to keep her children safe leads her to make rash and sometimes disastrous decisions. She is murdered at the Red Wedding in Book 3, A Storm of Swords, but she is resurrected in later books as Lady Stoneheart. Read More
Jaime Lannister The son of Tywin Lannister and Cersei's twin and lover, Jaime Lannister is a knight of the Kingsguard, known as "the Kingslayer" for killing Mad King Aerys Targaryen. Readers first encounter him when he pushes Bran Stark from a window in Book 1, A Game of Thrones, but he appears in all five books, eventually struggling to find redemption. Read More
Robb Stark The eldest of the Stark sons, Robb Stark goes to war to protect his family and avenge his father's death. He is later named King in the North but meets his death at the Red Wedding in Book 3, A Storm of Swords. Read More
Sansa Stark Sansa Stark is thoroughly feminine and a hopeless romantic. A key point-of-view character in all but the Book 5, her ideals are eventually shattered after her betrothal to the sadistic Joffrey Baratheon. Read More
Bran Stark A point-of-view character in all but Book 4, Bran Stark is crippled after being pushed from a window by Jaime Lannister. He wakes with the gift of prophecy and eventually goes to be trained by the "three-eyed crow," whom he finally meets in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons. Read More
Lysa Arryn Wife to Jon Arryn, the murdered Hand of the King, Lysa Arryn is half-crazed and in love with Petyr Baelish. She is later revealed to have arranged her husband's murder at Petyr's urging and meets her own death at Petyr's hands in Book 3, A Storm of Swords. She is also Catelyn's sister.
Petyr Baelish Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish serves on the king's small council and is ambitious, deceitful, and a master manipulator, doing whatever is necessary to gain power and status. He is seen working behind the scenes in all but Book 5 of the series.
Joffrey Baratheon Thought to be Robert Baratheon's heir, Joffrey Baratheon is the eldest of the three children born of the incestuous relationship between Jaime and Cersei Lannister. He becomes king after Robert's death but is poisoned at his own wedding in Book 3, A Storm of Swords.
Renly Baratheon Renly Baratheon is Robert Baratheon's younger brother but names himself king after Robert's death. In Book 2, A Clash of Kings, he is slain by a demonic shadow that resembles his brother Stannis.
Robert Baratheon Robert Baratheon became king when he overthrew the Targaryen dynasty in what became known as Robert's Rebellion, but he has grown soft and ineffective over the years. His suspicious death while hunting in Book 1, A Game of Thrones, is actually orchestrated by his wife, Cersei.
Stannis Baratheon The elder of Robert Baratheon's two brothers, Stannis Baratheon believes he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. He appears in all but Book 4, doggedly determined to fight until the throne is his.
Tommen Baratheon Tommen Baratheon appears in all five books and is crowned king after his brother, Joffrey, is murdered in Book 3, A Storm of Swords. At that point, he becomes the center of a power struggle between his mother, Cersei, and his new wife, Margaery, but because Tommen is actually the son of Cersei and Jaime Lannister, he is not the true heir.
Roose Bolton Roose Bolton is Lord of the Dreadfort and head of House Bolton. At first a loyal bannerman to the Starks, he eventually betrays them at the Red Wedding in Book 3, A Storm of Swords, and later takes over Winterfell in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons.
The Brave Companions The Brave Companions, also called the Bloody Mummers, are a particularly brutal gang of mercenaries, led by Vargo Hoat. They appear throughout the first four books but have mostly disbanded by the end of Book 3, A Storm of Swords.
Brienne of Tarth Brienne of Tarth is a tall, muscular woman who has chosen to become a knight. At first a devoted supporter of Renly Baratheon, she shifts her allegiance to Catelyn Stark after Renly's death, and at Catelyn's request she begins a search for the Stark girls, a quest that continues through the rest of the series.
The Brotherhood Without Banners Originally a group of soldiers and nobles serving Eddard "Ned" Stark, the Brotherhood Without Banners is now an outlaw group whose goals are to protect the "smallfolk." They are led by a former knight, Beric Dondarrion, but by Book 4, A Feast for Crows, they are under the leadership of Lady Stoneheart, the resurrected Catelyn Stark.
Ser Rodrik Cassel Ser Rodrik Cassel is Winterfell's master-at-arms and loyal to the Starks. He attempts to kill Ramsay Snow (Bolton) in Book 2, A Clash of Kings, but falls prey to a ruse.
Sandor Clegane Sandor Clegane is a huge, brutal man with a half-burned face. Known as the Hound, he is considered one of the most dangerous fighters in Westeros and is left for dead by Arya at the end of Book 3, A Storm of Swords.
Jon Connington Jon Connington was a close friend of Crown Prince Rhaegar. Appearing only in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, and traveling under the name Griff, Jon now hides and protects Rhaegar's son, Aegon, who may be the true heir to the Iron Throne.
Beric Dondarrion A former knight, Beric Dondarrion is the head of the Brotherhood Without Banners. He has been brought back from death six times and finally gives up his life force in Book 3, A Storm of Swords, to resurrect the murdered Catelyn Stark.
Ser Dontos Ser Dontos is a knight who promises to help Sansa Stark escape King's Landing in Book 2, A Clash of Kings.
Khal Drogo Khal Drogo is a Dothraki warlord to whom Daenerys Targaryen is given by her brother in exchange for Drogo's promise to help Viserys regain the Iron Throne. Drogo and Daenerys fall deeply in love, but he is murdered by a witch at the end of Book 1, A Game of Thrones.
Walder Frey At age 90, Walder Frey is ill-tempered, proud, and still head of House Frey. He makes his power known throughout the series, but his most infamous act occurs in Book 3, A Storm of Swords, when Robb breaks his vow to marry a Frey daughter and Walder arranges for his and Catelyn's deaths in the slaughter known as the Red Wedding.
Asha Greyjoy First appearing in Book 2, A Clash of Kings, Asha Greyjoy is the only daughter of Balon Greyjoy and becomes his preferred heir over her brother, Theon. In Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, she becomes the prisoner of Stannis Baratheon.
Balon Greyjoy Lord of the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy once led an unsuccessful rebellion against King Robert Baratheon. He appears only in Book 2, A Clash of Kings, when he encounters his son, Theon. Others learn of his death in Book 3, A Storm of Swords.
Euron Greyjoy In Book 4, A Feast for Crows, Euron Greyjoy is named his brother Balon's successor during the Kingsmoot, held after Balon's unexpected death. Euron promises to bring dragons back to Westeros.
Theon Greyjoy Balon Greyjoy's son, Theon Greyjoy, appears throughout the series. He lives as a ward of the Starks for nearly 10 years but then betrays them and is later taken captive by Ramsay Snow, who calls him Reek and breaks him through prolonged torture.
Jaqen H'ghar Jaqen H'ghar is a criminal and paid assassin rescued along with two others by Arya Stark in Book 2, A Clash of Kings. He repays her by offering three deaths for the three lives she saved.
The Kindly Man The Kindly Man is a priest of the Many-Faced God in the House of Black and White. Appearing in Books 4 and 5, he becomes Arya's mentor.
Tywin Lannister Tywin Lannister is one of the most powerful lords in Westeros and father of Jaime, Cersei, and Tyrion. He is an intelligent, ruthless, and unforgiving man and is eventually murdered by his son Tyrion in Book 3, A Storm of Swords.
Hizdahr zo Loraq Hizdahr zo Loraq is an important noble in the city of Meereen. Appearing only in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, he convinces Daenerys Targaryen to marry him in exchange for bringing peace to the city.
Daario Naharis Head of a group of mercenaries called the Stormcrows, Daario Naharis appears in Book 3, A Storm of Swords, and again in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, first serving Daenerys Targaryen and then becoming her lover.
Maester Aemon Now maester of the Night's Watch, Maester Aemon was once part of the royal Targaryen family. He becomes an adviser to Jon Snow and mentor to Samwell Tarly and realizes just before his death in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, that Daenerys may be the true "prince that was promised."
Arianne Martell Arianne Martell is the daughter of Prince Doran Martell of Dorne. Disappointed by what she perceives as her father's inaction in Book 4, A Feast for Crows, she hatches her own scheme to affect the outcome of the battle for the Iron Throne.
Doran Martell Doran Martell is the Prince of Dorne, secretly planning revenge against the Lannisters, whom he blames for the murder of his sister, Elia Martell, at the Sack of King's Landing. A key player in the politics of Westeros, Doran's plans are unveiled during Book 4, A Feast for Crows, and Book 5, A Dance with Dragons.
Oberyn Martell Brother of Prince Doran and father of eight daughters known as the Sand Snakes, Oberyn Martell fights as Tyrion's champion in Book 3, A Storm of Swords, and is killed by the same man who murdered his sister, Elia—Ser Gregor Clegane.
Melisandre A red priestess of the god R'hllor, Melisandre first makes her appearance in Book 2, A Clash of Kings, as an adviser to Stannis Baratheon. As she continues to exert her influence throughout the rest of the series, many innocent people fall victim to her powerful but sometimes inaccurate prophecies.
Illyrio Mopatis Although he appears only briefly in Book 1, A Game of Thrones, and Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, Illyrio Mopatis works with Varys to orchestrate much of what happens on both Westeros and Essos. Originally the guardian for Daenerys Targaryen and her brother Viserys, he continues to keep watch over her from a distance.
Jeor Mormont Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Jeor Mormont is also the father of the disgraced knight Jorah Mormont. He becomes Jon Snow's mentor at the Wall but is eventually killed by his own men in Book 3, A Storm of Swords.
Jorah Mormont Exiled to Essos for trading slaves, Jorah Mormont becomes Daenerys's closest adviser and confidant. She exiles him in Book 3 when she learns he originally was sent from Westeros to spy on her, but he reappears in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, doggedly making his way back to her.
Osha Osha is a wildling whose life is spared by Robb Stark and Theon Greyjoy. She helps Rickon Stark.
Mance Rayder Called the "King-beyond-the-Wall" by his followers, Mance Rayder was formerly of the Night's Watch. He is eventually captured by Stannis in Book 4, A Feast for Crows, but is secretly released by Jon Snow and Melisandre and heads to Winterfell in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, under Jon's direction.
Jojen Reed A true greenseer, able to see the future, Jojen and his sister, Meera, first appear in Book 2, A Clash of Kings, sent by their father to help Bran develop his gift for prophecy. They travel with him throughout the series until arriving at the cave of the three-eyed crow in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons. House Reed is loyal to the Starks.
The Sand Snakes The bastard daughters of Oberyn Martell, the Sand Snakes appear in Books 4 and 5, bent on avenging their father's death at the hands of Gregor Clegane.
Davos Seaworth A former smuggler known as the Onion Knight, Davos Seaworth was knighted by Stannis Baratheon and has become his most honest and trusted adviser. Davos is a point-of-view character in Books 2, 3, and 5 and is the lens through whom readers gain most of their understanding of Stannis.
Barristan Selmy Barristan Selmy, also known as Barristan the Bold, is a celebrated knight unceremoniously dismissed from the Kingsguard in Book 1, A Game of Thrones, by Joffrey. He leaves for Essos, taking on the name Arstan Whitebeard, and in Book 2, A Clash of Kings, finds Daenerys and becomes her adviser.
Shae Shae is a prostitute whom Tyrion falls in love with and brings to King's Landing. She betrays him in Book 2, A Clash of Kings, and Tyrion strangles her.
Ramsay Snow The bastard son of Roose Bolton, Ramsay Snow is a sadistic monster who takes delight in torturing people. He becomes a prominent character in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, where he takes over Winterfell and begins the systematic torture of Theon Greyjoy.
Ned Stark Perhaps the most honorable man in Westeros, in Book 1, A Game of Thrones, Ned Stark becomes Hand of the King for Robert Baratheon but discovers that Robert's children are actually the result of an incestuous relationship between Robert's wife, Cersei, and her brother Jaime. After Robert's death, Ned is arrested, forced to admit to treason, and executed.
Rickon Stark The youngest son of Catelyn and Ned Stark, Rickon Stark becomes increasingly unruly as his family dissolves, and he later escapes from Winterfell after it falls in Book 2, A Clash of Kings.
Aegon Targaryen Aegon Targaryen is the son of Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and his wife, both killed in the Sack of King's Landing. He is thought to be dead as well but appears in the guise of Young Griff, preparing to take back his throne in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons.
Viserys Targaryen Viserys Targaryen believes he and his sister, Daenerys, are the last of the Targaryen bloodline and is determined to regain the Iron Throne. In Book 1, A Game of Thrones, he arranges to wed his sister to the warlord Khal Drogo in exchange for the support of his army, but instead he infuriates the Khal, who kills him with a "crown" of molten gold.
Samwell Tarly Samwell Tarly is a fat, insecure but intelligent boy, sent to the Night's Watch in Book 1, A Game of Thrones. Befriended by Jon Snow, he begins training to be a maester and eventually is instrumental in getting Jon elected Lord Commander before being sent on a journey to the Citadel in Book 5, A Dance with Dragons.
Alliser Thorne Alliser Thorne is the master-at-arms of Castle Black, in charge of new recruits for the Night's Watch.
Thoros of Myr Thoros of Myr is a red priest of R'hllor, the Lord of Light, and is also a warrior.
Edmure Tully Edmure Tully is Catelyn Stark's brother and becomes a part of the ruse used by Walder Frey to lure Robb and his family to a wedding between himself and one of the Frey daughters, which turns into the Red Wedding. Held captive after that, Edmure later surrenders to the Lannisters in Book 4, A Feast for Crows.
Margaery Tyrell As the only daughter of the politically important Mace Tyrell, Margaery Tyrell becomes the wife to three kings: Renly, Joffrey, and Tommen. She is also perceived by Cersei to be a threat and is imprisoned in Book 4, A Feast for Crows, after being framed for treason.
Varys Known as the "master of whisperers," Varys is the spymaster for the Iron Throne. He appears throughout the series and seems to be behind every subtle power strategy that comes to fruition in both Westeros and Essos.
Ygritte Ygritte is a wildling woman and fighter who becomes Jon Snow's lover before dying in battle in Book 3, A Storm of Swords.
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