|Alias(es)||The mace-and-dagger Hand|
Master of coin
Hand of the King
|Died||In 283 AC, at King's Landing|
The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)|
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
Ser Jaime Lannister considered Qarlton to be a craven, with the exception of the day he confronted King Aerys II Targaryen. Because of the sigil of House Chelsted, Jaime thought of Qarlton as "the mace-and-dagger Hand".
Tourney at Harrenhal
Lord Qarlton was the master of coin late in the reign of King Aerys II Targaryen, and he was a firm supporter of Aerys over the king's eldest son, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. When the tourney at Harrenhal was announced, based on the notion that Rhaegar was secretly funding the tourney as a way to call a Great Council to discuss Aerys's rule, Qarlton unsuccessfully suggested to Aerys to forbid the tournament.
Qarlton and Aerys eventually attended the tourney, and when Prince Rhaegar won the final joust, Qarlton and Lord Symond Staunton inflamed the king's suspicions by declaring that Rhaegar had taken part of the tourney only to win the favor of the smallfolk and remind the lords present that he was a true heir to King Aegon I Targaryen. Qarlton later took Rhaegar's crowning of Lyanna Stark as queen of love and beauty at the end of the tourney as further proof of the prince's perfidy.
During Robert's Rebellion, Qarlton succeeded to the position of Hand of the King after his predecessor, Lord Jon Connington, had been sent into exile by Aerys following his defeat in the Battle of the Bells. Qarlton was present during the king's systematic build up and placement of wildfire throughout King's Landing, and the suspicious Hand noticed the coming and going of Belis, Garigus, and Rossart of the Alchemists' Guild.
Discovering Aerys's wildfire plot to turn King's Landing to ashes should the rebels try to take the city, Qarlton attempted to prevent its execution. Lord Chelsted protested, pleaded with Aerys not to do this, and eventually resigned the position of Hand when the king refused. Aerys had him dipped in wildfire and burned alive. According to a historic account written by Maester Yandel, Qarlton was "burned alive for bad counsel during the war". Qarlton was succeeded as Hand by the pyromancer Rossart, and Aerys raped his queen, Rhaella Targaryen, later that day.
A Storm of Swords
In Harrenhal's bathhouse Ser Jaime Lannister tells Brienne of Tarth about King Aerys II Targaryen's court during Robert's Rebellion, including how Qarlton had been executed after he resigned his office as Hand of the King.
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons
Ser Kevan Lannister remembers he had expected Aerys to recall Lord Tywin Lannister after Lord Jon Connington's defeat in the Battle of the Bells, but instead the king had turned to Lords Chelsted and Rossart.
I'd thought the man craven, but the day he confronted Aerys he found some courage somewhere. He did all he could to dissuade him. He reasoned, he jested, he threatened, and finally he begged. When that failed he took off his chain of office and flung it down on the floor. Aerys burnt him alive for that, and hung his chain about the neck of Rossart, his favorite pyromancer.
Cersei thought of all the King's Hands that she had known through the years: Owen Merryweather, Jon Connington, Qarlton Chelsted, Jon Arryn, Eddard Stark, her brother Tyrion. And her father, Lord Tywin Lannister, her father most of all. All of them are burning now, she told herself, savoring the thought. They are dead and burning, every one, with all their plots and schemes and betrayals.—thoughts of Cersei Lannister
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The End.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.