Secondary Character: Barristan Selmy
Titles: Lord Commander of the Kingsguard
Epithet: Barristan the Bold
The Kingsguard are the King’s elite bodyguards, seven knights who have vowed to serve and protect both the King and the royal family from harm – and they serve for life. The current roster of the Kingsguard leaves much to be desired, with the appointment of the current members appearing to be more about forging political ties rather than about selecting the very best knights in the Seven Kingdoms.
There was a time when the Kingsguard was exactly that – 7 knights chosen for their courage and skill-at-arms; these men were said to be the best warriors in all the lands, their legendary fighting prowess winning admiration from the small folk and nobles alike as well as instilling fear in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Barristan Selmy came from such a time. He and Jaime Lannister are the only remaining Kingsguard that had served under King Aerys II; Barristan, severely wounded during Robert’s Rebellion, was pardoned by Robert Baratheon and made Commander of the Kingsguard. Although he respects Jaime Lannister’s bravery and skill, he is contemptuous of his fellow Kingsguard for killing the King he was supposed to protect. Even though he is currently in his advanced years, he is still a hale and hearty man, having lost none of his fearsome fighting abilities – he regularly takes part in tournaments with men who are far younger and almost always ends up at the top of the list.