Tower of the Hand

Called Barristan the Bold. A knight of Jaehaerys II Targaryen and Aerys II Targaryen's Kingsguard and Lord Commander of Robert Baratheon's Kingsguard.
Barristan Selmy
Barristan Selmy ~ Amok
Questions? Corrections?
Contact Us! Contact Us

Note: This character appeared as Arstan in A Clash of Kings. See that character page for appearance and reference information for Barristan in that book.

Called Barristan the Bold. A knight of Jaehaerys II Targaryen and Aerys II Targaryen's Kingsguard and Lord Commander of Robert Baratheon's Kingsguard. He is considered by many to be the greatest living knight.

The firstborn son of Ser Lyonel Selmy, Barristan squired for Ser Manfred Swann and was named "the Bold" in his tenth year when he competed as a mystery knight at Blackhaven and was unmasked by Prince Duncan Targaryen. He was knighted by Aegon V Targaryen in his sixteenth year after entering another tournament as a mystery knight and unhorsing both Prince Duncan and Ser Duncan the Tall. (ASOS 68) During the War of the Ninepenny Kings, he slew Maelys the Monstrous, the last of the illegitimate Blackfyre descendants of Aegon IV Targaryen, ending five generations of dynastic strife. (ASOS 46)

Ser Barristan became a member of the Kingsguard in his twenty-third year during the reign of King Jaehaerys II Targaryen. (AGOT 58) He rode against the Kingswood Brotherhood, rescuing Lady Jeyne Swann and her septa fom the outlaws and slaying Ser Simon Toyne. (ASOS 68) He continued to serve King Aerys II Targaryen and rescued the king during the Defiance of Duskendale despite taking an arrow wound to the chest. (ASOS 68) After Targaryen forces under Lord Jon Connington suffered defeat at the Battle of the Bells during Robert's Rebellion, King Aerys dispatched Ser Barristan to Stoney Sept to take control of the remains of Lord Jon's army. (ASOS 38) He fought alongside Rhaegar Targaryen at the Battle of the Trident during Robert's Rebellion until too wounded to continue, personally killing over a dozen men. He was subsequently pardoned by Robert, who named him Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. (AGOT 34, AGOT 58)

During Greyjoy's Rebellion, Ser Barristan commanded the forces that stormed Old Wyk. (ASOS 68) He continued to serve as Lord Commander until dismissed by Joffrey soon after Robert's death. (AGOT 58) He departed King's Landing for parts unnamed. On his way out of the city, he was accosted by members of the city watch, but he was able to win his way free despite having no sword. Deciding against returning to the family seat of Harvest Hall to spare his family Joffrey's wrath, he reentered the city disguised as a refugee. After witnessing Lord Eddard Stark's execution, he decided that his service to House Baratheon had been a mistake and took ship for Pentos to serve House Targaryen once more. (ADWD 12)

After leaving King's Landing, Ser Barristan made his way to Illyrio Mopatis, who funneled him to Daenerys Targaryen in Qarth masquerading as squire to a man named Belwas under the name Arstan. In Qarth, he saved Daenerys's life and then convinced her to return with him to Pentos and Illyrio's care. (ACOK 64) He continued to follow Daenerys when she went to Astapor to buy Unsullied and then took her army on a campaign against the cities of Slaver's Bay. (ASOS 24, ASOS 28, ASOS 43) After saving her from an assassination attempt outside the city of Meereen, Arstan revealed his true identity to Daenerys. (ASOS 58) Furious at the deception, Daenerys ordered him to lead a group of men into Meereen through its sewers to instigate a slave revolt while her main army attacked the gates, partially hoping he would die in the attempt. Instead, the plan was a success, and the city fell. Afterwards, she forgave Barristan and took him into her service. (ASOS 72)

Ser Barristan spent the next few months serving as Lord Commander of Daenerys's Queensguard while she attempted to rule the city of Meereen. He also began training some of the slave boys as knights in the Westerosi fashion. (ADWD 3) After Daenerys rode off on Drogon, Ser Barristan was sidelined by Hizdahr zo Loraq, though he continued to be in charge of the city's defenses. He was soon approached by the Shavepate, who revealed that Hizdahr attempted to have Daenerys poisoned and planned to open Meereen to her enemies when the Volantene fleet arrived to join the siege. Barristan reluctantly decided to ally with the Shavepate to prevent this from happening. (ADWD 56) After preparations were made, Ser Barristan personally arrested Hizdahr at the same moment Prince Quentyn Martell tried and failed to capture Daenerys's dragons. (ADWD 68, ADWD 69) The release of the dragons brought chaos to the city and ended the peace forged by Hizdahr. With an attack upon the city imminent, Ser Barristan charged Quentyn's companions, Ser Gerris Drinkwater and Ser Archibald Yronwood, to reach the Tattered Prince in the Yunkai'i camp and offer him Pentos in return for freeing Hero, Jhogo, and Daario, who were there as hostages. (ADWD 71)

Physical Description: As Arstan he has long white hair and a silky white beard. He has blue eyes.

Family Tree

Click a tree icon Tree to view an expanded family tree.


Warning: Discussions are not subject to scope. That is, commenters can and often do discuss events from the most recent book. We recommend avoiding these discussions until you're caught up.