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Ser Barristan Selmy, also called Barristan the Bold, is a knight from House Selmy and a member of the Kingsguard.

He is considered by many to be one of the best swordsmen and most honorable men in all The Seven Kingdoms.

Appearance and Character:[]

Barristan is tall and has pale blue eyes which some consider to be sad. He is an older man, with white hair and lined features. When he was young, he had blond hair. Despite his advanced age, Barristan looks strong and graceful and every bit the skilled knight he was in his youth.

Barristan is considered one of the most skilled and respected knights in The Seven Kingdoms, considered to be made of the true steel that marks a Kingsguard knight. Bran Stark believes him to be the greatest living knight, he is comparable in skill to the acclaimed Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning.

A dutiful and gallant man, Barristan dislikes tricks and scheming. Some do not consider him cunning. Barristan can speak some of the High Valyrian of the Free Cities.


Barristan was born the first son of Ser Lyonel Selmy, the Knight of Harvest Hall. He squired for Lord Manfred Swann in his youth.

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. 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.

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. 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.

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. 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.

Barristan continued to serve in the Kingsguard after Jaehaerys died and Aerys II Targaryen ascended the throne. 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.

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. 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. Many songs have since been sung of Barristan's deeds at Duskendale.

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. During a tourney at Storm's End, Barristan defeated Aerys's heir, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, in the final joust, winning the tourney.

Barristan had greater difficulty keeping his vows in the later years of Aerys's reign, as the king became madder and crueller. 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. The crown prince then crowned Lyanna Stark, setting off a chain of events that led to Robert's Rebellion. 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.

During Robert's Rebellion, Barristan and Ser Jonothor Darry of the Kingsguard were sent to rally the remnants of the loyalist army. The two allies were rallying the armies of The Reach, led by Lord Randyll Tarly and then meeting Prince Oberyn Martell on the march past The Stormlands and where in The Crownlands, when news of the end of the rebellion and the death of King Aerys reached them.

As a member of King Rhaegar's Kingsguard, Ser Barristan mainly guards Princess Daenerys, but also quite often guards other members of the royal family and trains Prince Aegon and Prince Jaehaerys.