Small council

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King Robert Baratheon's small council - by Thomas Denmark. © FFG
The small council chamber flanked by a pair of Valyrian sphinxes. © FFG

The small council is a small group of advisers which advises the King of the Seven Kingdoms on matters of policy and their areas of expertise. Aegon I Targaryen relied on councillors after being crowned, but it was not until the reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen that the small council was formalized.[1]

The council is headed by the king, the only one who can make the council's decisions into law. In his absence the role falls to the Hand of the King or the regent if the king is too young.

Some council members are called "lords" even if not members of nobility.[2] They are appointed and dismissed by the king as he wills, a right freely used during times of war and strife. However, it seems that traditionally the council consists of seven permanent members, after the Andal traditions and the Faith of the Seven, with reserved positions for:

Small council headed by Eddard Stark (Game of Thrones)

Although a council seems to always have these seven members, it may include additional members as advisors.

Small council members

Under Aegon I Targaryen

Although the official small council would only be formed during the reign of Aegon's grandson Jaehaerys I, Aegon had established his councillors early on. The following men are known to have filled the various offices:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 1 AC - 7 AC[3][4] Lord Orys Baratheon  
7 AC - 9 AC[5] Lord Edmyn Tully  
Unknown - 34 AC[6] Ser Osmund Strong Although the start of his office as Hand is unknown, Ser Osmund is known to have been Aegon's Hand when Aegon ordered the construction of the walls around King’s Landing in 19 AC.[1]
34 AC/35 AC37 AC[6] Lord Alyn Stokeworth Ser Osmund Strong died in 34 AC,[6] but it is currently unknown whether Alyn succeeded him in the office of Hand the same year, or the next. By 35 AC, however, he is known to have been Hand.[6]
Grand Maester Unknown - 37 AC Gawen Although the date of Gawen taking office as Grand Maester is unknown, it is known that Gawen was already Grand Maester when Aegon ordered the construction of the walls around King’s Landing in 19 AC.[1] Additionally, it is known that Gawen was still the Grand Maester during Aenys I's reign.[7]
Master of coin 1 AC - Unknown Lord Crispian Celtigar[3]  
Master of laws 1 AC - Unknown Lord Triston Massey[3]  
Lord admiral and master of ships Aegon's Conquest Lord Daemon Velaryon[3]  
Unknown Aethan Velaryon Although it is unknown when exactly Aethan served in the office, he is known to have been Aegon’s master of ships by 22 AC,[6] when his daughter married Aenys.[7] He held the office at least until 30 AC.[6]
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard 10 AC - Unknown Ser Corlys Velaryon[1]  

Under Aenys I Targaryen

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 37 AC - 37 AC[7][6] Lord Alyn Stokeworth  
37 AC - 39 AC[7][6] Prince Maegor Targaryen  
39 AC - 41 AC Septon Murmison  
Grand Maester 37 AC - 42 AC Gawen  
Master of coin      
Master of laws      
Master of ships      
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard      

Under Maegor I Targaryen

King Maegor I Targaryen is the first Targaryen monarch to have been known to have a spymistress in his employment.

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 43 AC - 44 AC[6][N 1] Lord Lucas Harroway  
44 AC - 48 AC[6] Lord Edwell Celtigar Lord Edwell resigned in 48 AC, shortly before the end of Maegor's reign.[6]
Grand Maester 42 AC - 42 AC Gawen Personally executed by Maegor.[6][8]
42 AC - 42 AC Myres Personally executed by Maegor.[6]
42 AC - 44 AC Desmond Personally executed by Maegor.[6]
Unknown - 48 AC Benifer Known to have been in office by 47 AC.[6]
Admiral of the king's fleet Unknown - 48 AC[8] Lord Daemon Velaryon  
Mistress of whisperers 42 AC - 48 AC[6][N 2] Tyanna of the Tower  
Master of coin Unknown - 48 AC Alton Butterwell Known to have been in office by 47 AC.[6]
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard   Unknown  

Under Jaehaerys I Targaryen

King Jaehaerys I Targaryen officially established the small council. Lord Lyman Beesbury is known to have served in the small council of Jaehaerys I,[9] although it is unknown what office he held and during which period he served.

Office Duration Name Notes
Regent 48 AC - 50 AC Dowager Queen Alyssa Velaryon[4]  
Hand of the King 48 AC - Unknown Lord Robar Baratheon[4]  
59 AC - 99 AC Septon Barth[10][11]  
99 AC - 100 AC Ser Ryam Redwyne[11]  
100 AC - 101 AC Prince Baelon Targaryen[11]  
101 AC - 103 AC Ser Otto Hightower[12]  
Master of coin      
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Unknown - 103 AC Ser Ryam Redwyne[11]  

Under Viserys I Targaryen

The small council of King Viserys I Targaryen had the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 103 AC - 109 AC Ser Otto Hightower  
109 AC - 120 AC Lord Lyonel Strong  
120 AC - 129 AC Ser Otto Hightower  
Grand Maester Unknown - 112 AC[11] Runciter Although it is unknown when Runciter started in the office, he is known to have been in office by 105 AC.[11]
112 AC - 127 AC[11][13] Mellos  
127 AC - 129 AC[11][13] Orwyle  
Master of coin 103 AC - 104 AC[11] Prince Daemon Targaryen  
Unknown - 129 AC Lord Lyman Beesbury Lord Lyman Beesbury had served on the small council under King Jaehaerys I Targaryen for an unknown period of time, and the entire reign of King Viserys I Targaryen.[9] It is unknown which office Lord Lyman held prior to becoming master of coin, or when he first sat in the office.
Master of laws 104 AC - 104 AC Prince Daemon Targaryen  
105 AC - 109 AC Lord Lyonel Strong  
Unknown - 129 AC Lord Jasper Wylde  
Master of ships Unknown - 129 AC Ser Tyland Lannister  
Master of whisperers Unknown - 129 AC Lord Larys Strong  
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard 103 AC - 105 AC Ser Ryam Redwyne  
105 AC - 112 AC Ser Harrold Westerling  
112 AC - 129 AC Ser Criston Cole  

Under Aegon II Targaryen

During the reign of King Aegon II Targaryen (called the "green council" in opposition to Rhaenyra Targaryen's black council), the small council held the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 129 AC - 129 AC Ser Otto Hightower  
129 AC - 130 AC Ser Criston Cole Ser Criston Cole held the office of Lord Commander of the Kingsguard at the same time.[9]
Grand Maester 129 AC - Unknown Orwyle Orwyle was arrested by Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen's forces when she took King's Landing in 130 AC and placed in the black cells.[9] It is unknown when Orwyle was executed.
Master of coin 129 AC - 131 AC Ser Tyland Lannister  
Master of laws 129 AC - 130 AC Lord Jasper Wylde  
Master of whisperers 129 AC - 131 AC Lord Larys Strong  
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard 129 AC - 130 AC Ser Criston Cole  

Under Aegon III Targaryen

During the reign of King Aegon III Targaryen the small council held the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 131 AC - 131 AC Lord Cregan Stark[14] Only held position for a day.[14]
131 AC - 133 AC Ser Tyland Lannister[14] Died of a winter chill.
133 AC - 134 AC Lord Unwin Peake[14]  
134 AC - Unknown Lord Thaddeus Rowan[14]  
Unknown - Unknown Ser Marston Waters[14]  
Unknown Grand Maester Munkun[14]  
Unknown - 136 AC. Lord Torrhen Manderly[14] Dismissed from the office by King Aegon III when the king came of age.
Unknown - 157 AC Prince Viserys Targaryen[14]  
Grand Maester 131 AC[14] - Unknown Munkun Munkun served Aegon III both as Grand Maester and regent until 136 AC.[14] Although Munkun is known to have served Aegon's son King Baelor I Targaryen as grand maester as well,[15] and only the Citadel can name a grand maester, in 153 AC Grand Maester Alford held the office,[16] suggesting Munkun was removed from his office at some point.
Unknown - Unknown Alford In 153 AC, Alford held the office of Grand Maester.[16]

In addition to his small council, King Aegon III had a council of regents during his minority, who ruled the Seven Kingdoms in his stead:

The Regents of Aegon III
Name Duration Notes
Lady Jeyne Arryn 131 AC - 134 AC Died of illness in Gulltown.
Lord Corlys Velaryon 131 AC - 132 AC Died of old age in 132 AC
Lord Roland Westerling 131 AC - 133 AC Died of the Winter Fever in 133 AC
Lord Royce Caron 131 AC - 132 AC Resigned in 132 AC.
Lord Manfryd Mooton 131 AC - 134 AC Died due to old age and illness in 134 AC
Ser Torrhen Manderly 131 AC - 132 AC Resigned in 132 AC
Grand Maester Munkun 131 AC - 136 AC  
Lord Unwin Peake 132 AC - 134 AC Resigned.
Lord Thaddeus Rowan 133 AC - 136 AC  
Ser Corwyn Corbray. 134 AC - 134 AC Killed by a crossbowman at Runestone.
Willam Stackspear 136 AC - 136 AC Chosen by lot in the Great Council of 136 AC.
Marq Merryweather 136 AC - 136 AC Chosen by lot in the Great Council of 136 AC.
Lorent Grandison 136 AC - 136 AC Chosen by lot in the Great Council of 136 AC.

Under Daeron I Targaryen

During the reign of King Daeron I Targaryen the small council held the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 157 AC - 161 AC Prince Viserys Targaryen[17]  
Master of ships 157 AC - 161 AC Lord Alyn Velaryon  

Under Baelor I Targaryen

During the reign of King Baelor I Targaryen the small council held the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 161 AC - 171 AC Prince Viserys Targaryen[15]  
Grand Maester Unknown - 171 AC[15] Munkun  

Under Aegon IV Targaryen

During the reign of King Aegon VI Targaryen the small council held the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 172 AC - Unknown. Lord Bracken[16]  
Unknown - Unknown Lord Butterwell[16][18]  
178 AC - 178 AC Lord Lucas Lothston[16]  
Unknown - Unknown Lord Jon Hightower[16]  
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Unknown - 178 AC[16] Prince Aemon Targaryen  

Under Daeron II Targaryen

During the reign of King Daeron II Targaryen the small coucil held the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King Unknown - 196 AC Lord Ambrose Butterwell[19][20] Removed from the office by King Daeron II for failing to contain the First Blackfyre Rebellion.
196 AC Lord Hayford[19][20] Died at the Battle of the Redgrass Field.
196 AC - 209 AC Prince Baelor Targaryen[21][22] Died after a blow to the head suffered in the trial of seven during the Tourney at Ashford Meadow.[21]
209 AC (Possibly) Prince Valarr Targaryen[19] It is currently unknown whether "...sweet Matarys and Valarr, the Hand."[19] indicates that Valarr was the Hand in 209 AC, or that Valarr and an unnamed Hand are separate individuals.
Master of coin Unknown Ronnel Penrose Although Ronnel officially held the office of master of coin, it was widely known that his wife, Princess Elaena Targaryen, the king's cousin, was the one performing the duties of the office.[15]

Under Aerys I Targaryen

During the reign of King Aerys I Targaryen the small council held the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 209 AC - 221 AC Ser Brynden Rivers[19][18][20]  

Under Maekar I Targaryen

During the reign of King Maekar I Targaryen the small council held the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 221 AC - 233 AC Ser Brynden Rivers[23]  

Under Aegon V Targaryen

During the reign of King Aegon V Targaryen the small council held the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Grand Maester 257 AC/258 AC Kaeth Named Grand Maester at the age of eighty, Kaeth died within a year of taking the office.[24]
258 AC/259 AC Ellendor Nigh on ninety when he was elected, he died within a year of taking office.[24]
259 AC Merion Elected at the age of sixty-six, Ellendor died on the road to King's Landing.[24]
259 AC Pycelle Served King Aegon V Targaryen for a few short months, until the king died.[25]
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Unknown - 259 AC Ser Duncan the Tall  

Under Jaehaerys II Targaryen

During the reign of King Jaehaerys II Targaryen the small council held the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 259 AC - 260 AC Lord Ormund Baratheon[26]  
Unknown - 262 AC Edgar Sloane[27]  

Under Aerys II Targaryen

During the reign of King Aerys II Targaryen the small council held the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 262 AC - 281 AC Lord Tywin Lannister[27] Resigned his post for Aerys's slights against him.
281 AC - 282 AC Lord Owen Merryweather[27][28] Removed from office and exiled for failing to contain Robert's Rebellion.
282 AC - 283 AC Lord Jon Connington[29][28] Removed from his office and exiled after losing the Battle of the Bells.
283 AC - 283 AC Lord Qarlton Chelsted[30][28] He bravely resigned his position over Aerys's plan to burn King's Landing and was subsequently burned alive for it.[28]
283 AC - 283 AC Wisdom Rossart[30][28] Was Hand for only a fortnight.[28] Named to the office after the Battle of the Trident.[30]
Grand Maester 262 AC - 283 AC Pycelle  
Master of coin Unknown Lord Qarlton Chelsted Known to have been in the office during the false spring in 281 AC.[31]
Master of laws Unknown Symond Staunton Known to have been in the office during the false spring in 281 AC.[31]
Master of ships Unknown Lucerys Velaryon Known to have been in the office during the false spring in 281 AC.[31]
Master of whisperers ~278 AC - 283 AC[27] Varys
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard 262 AC - 283 AC Ser Gerold Hightower  

Under Robert I Baratheon

During the reign of King Robert I Baratheon the small council held the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Hand of the King 283 AC - 298 AC Lord Jon Arryn  
298 AC - 298 AC Lord Eddard Stark  
Grand Maester 283 AC - 298 AC Pycelle  
Master of coin 289 AC - 298 AC Lord Petyr Baelish  
Master of laws Unknown - 298 AC Lord Renly Baratheon  
Master of ships Unknown - 298 AC Lord Stannis Baratheon  
Master of whisperers 283 AC - 298 AC Varys  
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard 283 AC - 298 AC Ser Barristan Selmy  

Under Joffrey I Baratheon

During the reign of King Joffrey I Baratheon the small council holds the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Queen Regent 298 AC - 300 AC Cersei Lannister  
Hand of the King 298 AC - 300 AC Lord Tywin Lannister During the first year of him holding the office, Tywin has his younger son Tyrion Lannister serve on the council as acting Hand of the King.
Grand Maester 298 AC - 300 AC Pycelle Temporarily removed from his office in 299 AC by acting Hand Tyrion Lannister, and re-instated by Tywin Lannister.
Master of coin 298 AC - 299 AC Lord Petyr Baelish  
299 AC - 300 AC Tyrion Lannister Named master of coin after being relieved from his duties at acting Hand.
Master of laws 299 AC - 300 AC Ser Kevan Lannister  
Master of ships 299 AC - 300 AC Lord Mace Tyrell  
Master of whisperers 298 AC - 300 AC Varys  
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard 298 AC - 298 AC Ser Barristan Selmy  
298 AC - 300 AC Ser Jaime Lannister Due to his imprisonment during the War of the Five Kings, Jaime is absent from King's Landing during the entire reign of King Joffrey I, and thus does not fulfill his role on the small council.
Officeless seat 299 AC Lord Janos Slynt Within a few short months removed from the office and sent to the Wall.
Advisor 299 AC - 300 AC Lord Mathis Rowan  
Lord Paxter Redwyne  
Prince Doran Martell Not wanting to travel to King's Landing due to his health, Doran sends his younger brother, Prince Oberyn Martell, to sit on his council seat in his place.
High Septon[32]  

Under Tommen I Baratheon

During the reign of King Tommen I Baratheon the small council holds the following members:

Office Duration Name Notes
Regent 300 AC Queen Cersei Lannister  
300 AC Ser Kevan Lannister  
Hand of the King 300 AC Lord Tywin Lannister  
300 AC Ser Harys Swyft  
300 AC Orton Merryweather  
300 AC Lord Mace Tyrell  
Grand Maester 300 AC Pycelle  
Master of laws and justiciar 300 AC Lord Orton Merryweather  
300 AC - Present Lord Randyll Tarly  
Master of coin and lord treasurer 300 AC Lord Gyles Rosby  
300 AC - Present Ser Harys Swyft  
Master of ships and grand admiral 300 AC Aurane Waters  
300 AC - Present Lord Paxter Redwyne  
Master of whisperers 300 AC Varys  
300 AC - Present Qyburn  
Lord Commander of the Kingsguard 300 AC - Present Ser Jaime Lannister  
Advisor 300 AC - Present Nymeria Sand (acting in place of Doran Martell) Still on her way to King's Landing

Notes

  1. Earlier prints of The World of Ice & Fire erroneously state that Lucas died in 48 AC, which has been corrected in later prints to 44 AC
  2. Tyanna was executed after the death of Jeyne Westerling in childbirth. Jeyne was married to Maegor in 47 AC; Her pregnancy was announced six months after the wedding, very early on in the pregnancy itself (her belly had not yet begun to swell). She went into labor after six months of pregnancy, placing about a year between Tyanna's death and the wedding.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
  2. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Baratheon.
  5. The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands: House Tully.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 The Sons of the Dragon.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
  8. 8.0 8.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 The Princess and the Queen.
  10. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 The Rogue Prince.
  12. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
  13. 13.0 13.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
  17. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron I.
  18. 18.0 18.1 The Mystery Knight.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 The Sworn Sword.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys I.
  21. 21.0 21.1 The Hedge Knight.
  22. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron II.
  23. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 36, Cersei VIII.
  25. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard V.
  26. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys II.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
  29. The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: Robert's Rebellion.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The End.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
  32. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.

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