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Alias Patches[1]
Allegiance House Baratheon of Dragonstone
Born In 262275 AC[2]
Book(s) A Clash of Kings (appears)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (appears)

Patchface, called Patches by Shireen Baratheon, is Stannis Baratheon's court fool and jester at Dragonstone. His face is tattooed in motley, earning his name.[1]

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Patchface

Patchface takes his name for the tattoos covering his broad face and bald head, marked in a pattern of green and red squares.[3] This is the fashion in the Free City of Volantis for slaves and servants. In his youth, he was a clever boy with astonishing wit; after his accident, however, his mind and body are broken. After his survival from the shipwreck he is described as soft and obese, subject to twitches and trembles and has a weird sideways walk.[1]


Patchface - by Amok ©

Patchface was a jester slave in Volantis. He was a clever boy with astonishing wit. His freedom was bought by Lord Steffon Baratheon, who was impressed with him and intended to bring him back to Storm's End from his trip to the Free Cities:

The king — the old king, Aerys II Targaryen, who had not been quite so mad in those days, had sent his lordship to seek a bride for Prince Rhaegar, who had no sisters to wed. “We have found the most splendid fool,” he wrote Cressen, a fortnight before he was to return home from his fruitless mission. “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.[1]

Maester Cressen regrets that Patchface never did teach Stannis to laugh.[1]

Lord Steffon Baratheon's ship, Windproud, broke up in Shipbreaker Bay within sight of Storm's End while his sons Stannis Baratheon and Robert Baratheon watched. Everyone aboard ship was killed including the lord, his lady, and over 100 soldiers and sailors. Patchface washed up three days later, his naked skin white, wrinkled, and, the man that found him, Jommy, swears to his dying day that the fool's skin was clammy cold. They had taken him for dead, but then he coughed up water, albeit broken in mind and body; the ordeal had taken his memories, and half his wit. Now he is subject to twitches and trembles and mostly incoherent. What happened to him during the two days is unknown, but the fisher folk like to say "a mermaid had taught him to breathe water in return for his seed." It was suggested by Ser Harbert, the castellan of Storm’s End, that it would be kindest for Maester Cressen to let the mad boy die, but he had refused, and he now wonders at that decision.[1]

Patchface is employed as court fool and jester at Dragonstone. He spends most of his time with Shireen Baratheon, Stannis's daughter, who calls him Patches. He offers her strange insights and stranger songs, sometimes touching upon what may have really happened to the boy at the bottom of the bay.[1]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Patchface accompanies Princess Shireen Baratheon when she visits Maester Cressen in his chamber to see the white raven. Later the fool is at the feast where Cressen attempts to kill Melisandre with poisoned wine, but the poison does not affect her. Cressen drinks what is left, and dies.[1]

Patchface is in attendance when Stannis Baratheon burns the statues of the Seven on Dragonstone's beach.[4]

Petyr Baelish alleges that Shireen is the daughter of Patchface and Selyse Florent.[5]

A Storm of Swords

When Davos Seaworth returns to Dragonstone, he finds Patches playing with Shireen and Edric Storm.[6]

A Dance with Dragons

Patches accompanies Shireen and Selyse to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea and Castle Black.[7] Melisandre tells Jon Snow that she has glimpsed the fool in her flames and considers him dangerous.[8]


Some of Patchface's rhymes seem to be of prophetic nature, though none of his listeners understand them; see Patchface/Theories.

Quotes by Patchface

The shadows come to dance, my lord, dance my lord, dance my lord. The shadows come to stay, my lord, stay my lord, stay my lord.[1]

—Patchface to Cressen and Shireen Baratheon

Under the sea, smoke rises in bubbles, and flames burn green and blue and black. I know, I know, oh, oh, oh.[4]

—Patchface during the burning of the Seven on Dragonstone

Fool's blood. King's blood, blood on the maiden's thigh, but chains for the guests and chains for the bridegroom, aye, aye, aye.[6]

—Patchface to Davos Seaworth

Under the sea the old fish eat the young fish. Up here the young fish teach the old fish.[3]

—Patchface to Davos Seaworth

In the dark the dead are dancing. I know, I know, oh oh oh.[7]

—Patchface at Castle Black

Under the sea the mermen feast on starfish soup, and all the serving men are crabs.[8]

—Patchface at Castle Black

The crow, the crow. Under the sea the crows are white as snow, I know, I know, oh, oh, oh.[9]

—Patchface to Jon Snow

Malegorn: Lord Snow, who will lead this ranging?

Jon: Are you offering yourself, ser?
Malegorn: Do I look so foolish?

Patchface: I will lead it! We will march into the sea and out again. Under the waves we will ride seahorses, and mermaids will blow seashells to announce our coming, oh, oh, oh.[10]

Malegorn, Jon Snow, and Patchface

Quotes about Patchface

That creature is dangerous. Many a time I have glimpsed him in my flames. Sometimes there are skulls about him, and his lips are red with blood.[8]