A fool or jester is a comic entertainer of nobles and their guests at court.
Jesters use storytelling, japes, juggling, music, acrobatics, and other skills to entertain their audiences. Fools often wear brightly colored motley and fanciful head-wear. Slave jesters in Volantis have their faces tattooed in motley.
Fools are often considered lackwits and simpletons, but many are quite witty. Nobles often overlook fools and speak freely in their company.
The Fool's Gate is one of the gates of Maidenpool, a town connected with the legendary Florian the Fool. A fool is depicted in the arms of House Falwell. The iron figurehead of Joso's Prank is a laughing jester's face.
Florian the Fool was a legendary fool and knight associated with Jonquil and Maidenpool.
Lord Rupert Falwell, a famed member of the Faith Militant, was known as the Fighting Fool.
The Goodwife was the first fool to serve at the Red Keep.
Prince Baelon Targaryen called himself the Silver Fool while disguised as mystery knight in a tourney at Old Oak.
Forrest Frey was mocked as "Fool Frey" after boldly asking for the hand of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.
Mushroom was a fool who served Rhaenyra during the Dance of the Dragons. Because he was considered a lackwit by many, nobles often spoke freely around him. The Testimony of Mushroom details his recollections of the court.
Lord Steffon Baratheon purchased Patchface in Volantis and freed him from slavery, but the talented boy became a lackwit after nearly drowning in Shipbreaker Bay.
When Gerion Lannister sailed for Valyria in search of Brightroar, Lord Tywin Lannister referred to it as a "fool's quest".
The fool of Lord Renly Baratheon made japes about the singing of Brienne of Tarth. Lord Paxter Redwyne's fool made fun of Samwell Tarly when the youth visited the Arbor.
A Game of Thrones
Ser Brynden Tully refers to the vain court of his niece, Lady Lysa Arryn, at the Eyrie as a "fool's festival".
A Clash of Kings
King Joffrey I Baratheon strips knighthood from Ser Dontos Hollard and proclaims him a fool lower than Moon Boy. Dontos comes to believe that Moon Boy is secretly employed by Lord Varys.
During Renly Baratheon's feast at Bitterbridge, a plump fool chases a dwarf to entertain the guests.
To distract nobles during the Battle of the Blackwater, Moon Boy walks on stilts and Dontos rides a broomstick horse.
A Storm of Swords
Butterbumps juggles and sings when Sansa Stark has supper with Olenna Tyrell and her granddaughter, Margaery.
During the Red Wedding, Catelyn Stark kills Jinglebell, the fool at the Twins.
A Feast for Crows
Brienne of Tarth searches for Dontos and Sansa, since the two disappeared from King's Landing after Joffrey's death; Brienne does not know that Dontos was killed in Blackwater Bay. A pious dwarf tells her of a motley fool he had seen at Maidenpool, and Dick Crabb escorts her to Crackclaw Point in search of this fool. When they arrive at the Whispers, Brienne learns she has been tracking the murderous Shagwell, one of the Brave Companions.
A Dance with Dragons
A handmaid of Betharios of Braavos sleeps with the fool of Lord Wyman Manderly to gather information for Symond Frey.
Fools at the end of the third century
- Renly Baratheon's fool.
- Benjicot, the fool and jester at the Gates of the Moon.
- A plump fool and a dwarf at Bitterbridge, possibly in service to Lord Lorent Caswell or Renly.
- Butterbumps, the fool and jester of House Tyrell.
- Aegon Frey, known as Jinglebell, the son of Ser Stevron Frey. A lackwit fool at the Twins.
- Ser Dontos Hollard, a drunken knight made fool.
- Wyman Manderly's fool.
- Moon Boy, the royal fool of the court at King's Landing.
- Patchface, a lackwit fool and former slave from Volantis, now serving at Dragonstone.
- Paxter Redwyne's fool.
- Shagwell, a psychotic jester and member of the Brave Companions.
- Florian the Fool, a legendary great fool and knight.
- A dwarf jester serving House Fowler of Skyreach.
- The Goodwife, the first fool at the Red Keep.
- Rodrik Greyjoy, a salt son of Lord Dalton Greyjoy, later fool at Casterly Rock.
- Lord Monkeyface, Queen Visenya Targaryen's fool.
- Lord Toad, a hunchbacked fool at Casterly Rock during the time of Lord Gerold Lannister.
- Theomore Manderly's fool.
- Mushroom, a dwarf fool at the courts of Viserys I, Rhaenyra, Aegon II, and Aegon III Targaryen.
- Gawen Swann's fool.
- Tom Turnip, a fool during the late reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen.
Fools are meant to be laughed at, where is the harm in that?
Only I could lighten Her Grace's heart. In this dark hour, I became the queen's counselor, setting aside my fool's sceptre and pointed hat to lend her all my wisdom and compassion. Unbeknownst to all, it was the jester who ruled them now, an invisible king in motley.
—Duncan the Tall and Tanselle
We have found the most splendid fool. Only a boy, yet nimble as a monkey and witty as a dozen courtiers. He juggles and riddles and does magic, and he can sing prettily in four tongues. We have bought his freedom and hope to bring him home with us. Robert will be delighted with him, and perhaps in time he will even teach Stannis how to laugh.—Steffon Baratheon writing to Cressen
I hear all sorts of things as a fool that I never heard when I was a knight. They talk as though I am not there.
All men are fools, if truth be told, but the ones in motley are more amusing than the ones with crowns.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn VI.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 21, Jaime III.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 49, Catelyn VI.
- ↑ The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Volantis.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 15, Samwell II.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 52, Sansa IV.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 25, Brienne V.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 71, Daenerys VI.
- ↑ Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Fire & Blood, A Time of Testing - The Realm Remade.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
- ↑ Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 33, Tyrion VIII.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 2, Sansa I.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 18, Sansa II.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 60, Sansa VI.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 61, Sansa V.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20, Brienne IV.
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 29, Davos IV.
- ↑ The Winds of Winter, Alayne I
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Appendix.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 47, Arya IX.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran VII.
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.
- ↑ Fire & Blood, Three Heads had the Dragon - Governance under Aegon I.
- ↑ The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister under the Dragons.
- ↑ Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
- ↑ Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
- ↑ 41.0 41.1 The Hedge Knight.