The Citadel

The Archive of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Lore


2.4.1. Knighthood
  • Knighthood is a religious matter open only to those who profess to follow the Seven, involving anointing. Being anointed by the High Septon is a great honor (I: 30. SSM: 1)
  • Ser is the title given to knights (I: 30, etc.)
  • A knight may be as young as 15 or 16 (I: 249. II: 292.)
  • To be a knight one customarily stands vigil in a sept and is anointed with the seven oils by a septon before taking the vows, although any knight can make a knight (I: 476. HK: 472, 473)
  • Hedge knights spend their lives riding from keep to keep, taking service with different lords and eating in their halls until the lords saw no more need for them and sent them off (THK: 458)
  • Some hedge knights turn robber in lean times (THK: 458)
  • Most hedge knights tie up most of their worldly wealth in their arms and horses (THK: 458, 459)
  • True knights are supposed to be cleanly as well as godly, but some take cleanly to mean a bath once every few weeks (THK: 464)
  • Merchants are notoriously mistrustful of hedge knights (THK: 467)
  • Part of becoming a knight is a dubbing with a sword, the blade touching each shoulder in turn as words are spoken (THK: 472)
  • Knights practice their jousting against quintains (THK: 478)
  • Wealthier knights wear gilded spurs (THK: 492)
  • Knights may carry badges that have no connection to their house's arms (THK: 493)
  • Part of the knighting ceremony: "<Person and House, if he has one>," a touch on the right shoulder with the blade. "In the name of the Warrior I charge you to be brave." The sword moves from right shoulder to left. "In the name of the Father I charge you to be just." Right shoulder. "In the name of the Mother I charge you to defend the young and innocent." The left. "In the name of the Maid I charge you to protect all women...." (THK: 518)
  • A more formal knighting ceremony involves a night's vigil, followed by walking barefoot from the sept to the knighting place to prove their humble hearts. They wear shifts of undyed wool to receive their knighthood, which is marked by the putting on of the swordbelt after dubbing (II: 667)
  • Three hundred dragons is a fair ransom for a knight (III: 503)
  • Pages and squires might practice by riding at rings (III: 493)
  • Barristan Selmy was 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 (III: 752)
  • Some knights never name their horses, so as to lessen the grief when they die in battle (TSS: 93)
  • Once, one in every ten members of the Night's Watch had been a knight, but now the figure is more like one in every hundred (IV: 74)
  • The vigil prior to receiving the vows of knighthood are carried out before the figure of the Warrior. The squire might lay his sword before or upon the figure, and their armor may be piled at its base (IV: 124)
  • There are knights who refuse to name their horses, for fear of feeling attached to them when they are likely to be killed in battle or in mishap (IV: 394)
  • In a duel, it seems the challenger may be able to determine the weapons used (IV: 482)
  • Hedge knights are nearer to common servants than noble knights in the eyes of most lords, and are rarely invited to ride beside them (TMK: 656)
  • It's claimed that Glendon Ball, the Knight of Pussywillows, bargained for his knighthood. Ser Morgan Dunstable knighted him in return for a night with Ball's maiden sister (TMK: 704)
  • There are tales of knights winning their knighthoods with favors, threats, and coin (TMK: 704)
  • Social pressure keeps knighthood from being exploited by unscrupulous knights who might give the accolade for money (SSM: 1)
  • Knighthood is seen as primarily a martial position, so even the sons of powerful lords are not necessarily knighted if they are incapable of fulfilling the requirements. Doing otherwise would lose honor rather than gain it, and would make a lord and his family be held up to ridicule (SSM: 1)
  • Any man can be knighted, even a bastard (SSM: 1)
  • Squires can be men of any age, even into their 40's. They are men who either had too little money and thus were unable to keep themselves equipped, or they were men who didn't have the inclination to become knights for any number of reasons (SSM: 1)
  • The difference between a landed knight and a small lord is the title. A lord has greater powers over his domain than a landed knight, and the title is seen as more prestigious than knighthood. On the other hand, a knight is a fighting man and the title has its own martial and religious meanings with its own special prestige. Not all lords are knights, and it is concievable that a landed knight would have more lands and wealth than a small lord (SSM: 1)
  • Some knightly families have strong castles, extensive lands, and great wealth -- lords in all but name, and often much more powerful than lesser lords or petty lords. They lack only in certain privileges that only lords hold in the Seven Kingdoms, such as the rights of pit and gallows (SSM: 1)