Davos Seaworth by Amok©
|In or before 260 AC, King's Landing
|Lady Marya Seaworth
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Davos Seaworth, commonly called the Onion Knight, and sometimes Davos Shorthand, is the head of House Seaworth. He was once a smuggler, but after Robert's Rebellion he became a landed knight and Stannis Baratheon's most honest and loyal supporter. Davos created his own house sigil, a black ship with an onion on the sails upon a grey field. Davos becomes a POV character starting with A Clash of Kings. He is played by Liam Cunningham in the television adaptation Game of Thrones.
Appearance and Character
- See also: Images of Davos Seaworth
Davos is a slight man with brown eyes and an ordinary face weathered by the elements. His beard and thinning brown hair are peppered with gray. The first joints of the fingers of his left hand are missing. Davos carries the bones in a pouch around his neck.
Instead of the expensive attire of the lords of the narrow sea, Davos wears a simple brown and green wool mantle, or alternatively a blue tunic with old boots and brown breeches. Davos owns a brown cloak and a mantle of undyed wool fastened with a wooden clasp. Leather gloves serve to hide his shortened fingers. He rarely wears mail.
Once a notorious smuggler, Davos is looked down upon by most lords. He is known for his unvarnished honesty. Davos follows the Faith of the Seven, but he is not devout. The Onion Knight is illiterate and does not speak High Valyrian.
Davos is a man of low birth, born in the wretched Flea Bottom ward of King's Landing to a life of hardship. In his youth, he found service on the Cobblecat under Roro Uhoris, a Tyroshi smuggler and pirate. Eventually, Uhoris was caught by the Night's Watch fleet from Eastwatch, where he was executed for trading weapons to wildlings. While impressed by this event, Davos did not refuse to trade with the members of the Night's Watch later.
After his time aboard the Cobblecat, Davos made his own way and secured his own small ship, becoming one of the most infamous smugglers of the Seven Kingdoms. He piloted his black-sailed ship into harbors in the dead of night, and navigated treacherous shallows. As a smuggler, he visited the Three Sisters. Davos is also known to have visited White Harbor often, the last time was in 294 AC.[N 1] Davos married a woman named Marya; together they had seven sons: Dale, Allard, Matthos, Maric, Devan, Stannis and Steffon.
During Robert's Rebellion, almost a year into the siege of Storm's End, Davos evaded the Redwyne fleet's blockade of Shipbreaker Bay to smuggle onions and salted fish into the castle, knowing the starving people would pay him the best price. The food allowed Stannis Baratheon's men to hold on until Lord Eddard Stark arrived to break the siege.
As a reward for his service, Stannis knighted Davos, giving him choice lands on Cape Wrath and allowing him to choose Seaworth as the name of his new house. However, as payment for his past crimes, Davos lost the first joint from each finger of his left hand. Davos found the ruling just, and agreed to the terms if Stannis would swing the blade himself. Davos keeps the bones of his joints in a pouch around his neck because he believes they are lucky, having bought a future for his family.
Davos now captains the Black Betha, a war galley, in service of Stannis, who was named Lord of Dragonstone by his brother, King Robert I Baratheon. Davos was in King's Landing with Stannis for the tourney on Prince Joffrey's name day in 298 AC.
A Clash of Kings
When Stannis Baratheon, Lord of Dragonstone, declares himself King of Westeros after the death of his brother Robert I, Davos supports his claim. Davos is sent as an envoy to the Lysene pirate Salladhor Saan, whose sellsail fleet he recruits to Stannis's cause. Stannis then sends Davos to the stormlands to raise the storm lords. The Onion Knight meets with Lord Gulian Swann, Lord Penrose, and Lord Selwyn Tarth, but none agree to support Stannis.
At a feast Stannis holds for his bannermen, Davos is the only one willing to make eye-contact with Maester Cressen, whom Stannis had kept from the feast on purpose. Davos makes room on the bench for Cressen, and confides in him that he feels Stannis's plans are doomed to fail. He witnesses that Cressen puts poison in his wine, and attempts to subtly stop him when Cressen asks Melisandre to share the wine with him. Cressen dies after drinking the wine, but the red priestess does not.
Davos is not a devout man, but he nonetheless dislikes Stannis's conversion to R'hllor under the guidance of Melisandre, and her burning of the wooden statues of the Seven on Dragonstone. When his elder sons openly comment on the burning of the gods, Davos warns them to be cautious, and not to question their rightful king. Davos witnesses Stannis pulling Lightbringer from the fires, but thinks it looks like a proper mess. Salladhor later informs Davos that the sword is not the true Lightbringer.
Stannis has prepared a letter declaring the bastardy of Cersei Lannister's children, including King Joffrey I Baratheon, and Stannis's claim to the Iron Throne. As he believes most lords will likely burn the letters they receive, Stannis intends for Davos to sail to Gulltown, the Fingers, the Three Sisters, and White Harbor and deliver the letters to any man who can read. The illiterate Davos requests knights who can read the letters to the illiterate smallfolk. Additionally, his sons Dale and Allard are sent south and east. When asked his opinion on the letter, Davos replies that the words are blunt and strong, but that Stannis still lacks proof. When Stannis states that Robert's acknowledged bastard son Edric Storm is proof, Davos reminds him that Edric is at Storm's End, out of their reach. Davos also counsels Stannis not to force a foreign religion upon the people of Westeros, as it will not make them love him, but Stannis ignores it, claiming that he had never been loved in the first place.
After finishing his mission, Davos joins Stannis at the siege of Storm's End. He is present among many of the other lords when Stannis parleys with the castellan, Ser Cortnay Penrose. When Cortnay refuses to surrender, Davos counsels Stannis to leave for King's Landing, but Stannis refuses to suffer a defeat at Storm's End. He orders Davos to smuggle Melisandre under Storm's End. Davos dislikes the priestess, and accuses her of having murdered Maester Cressen and Stannis's younger brother and rival, Renly Baratheon. She states that Cressen killed himself, and Davos disbelieves her denial of having killed Renly. Melisandre explains that the walls of Storm's End have spells woven in which no shadow can pass. Once they row underneath the castle, inside the walls, however, Davos witnesses Melisandre giving birth to a shadow assassin, which later kills Cortnay. Davos is horrified by the event.
With Storm's End taken, Stannis is free to march on King's Landing. Davos and four of his seven sons are part of the Stannis's royal fleet that assaults King's Landing in the Battle of the Blackwater. Davos tries to persuade the fleet commander, Ser Imry Florent, to send in scouts to test whatever new defenses the Lannisters have prepared, but Imry refuses to listen, relying on their superior numbers. Davos notes other tactical errors, such as engaging Joffrey's royal fleet in the narrow Blackwater Rush, where their numbers are of little use. Once the advance squadrons enter the rush, a huge chain is raised to close it off and trap them. Much of the fleet is destroyed by wildfire, including all three Seaworth ships. Davos's elder sons—Dale, Allard, Matthos, and Maric—die, and Davos ends up in the water. In his attempt to escape the wildfire, Davos dives deep into the water and tries to swim to freedom, but the Onion Knight eventually falls unconscious when he is unable to reach the surface for air.
A Storm of Swords
Davos is stranded on the spears of the merling king for many days, and he hallucinates that the Seven talk to him. Chance blows toward him Shayala's Dance, one of Salladhor's ships, and he is rescued by Khorane Sathmantes. The captain gives Davos a Lysene dirk. Blaming Melisandre for the disaster, Davos plans to kill the red woman.
In Aegon's Garden at Dragonstone, Davos encounters Princess Shireen Baratheon playing with Edric Storm and Stannis's fool, Patchface. Melisandre's magic gives her warning of Davos's intentions, and he is arrested by Ser Axell Florent in the garden and has the dagger confiscated.
The imprisoned Davos is visited by Melisandre, who informs him that Stannis is weak and making another shadow assassin would kill him. Davos blames her for the death of his sons, but Melisandre claims the battle would have turned out differently if she had been present. He tells Davos that Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn, and that Davos has served the Lord of Light, and will do so again. Davos is later joined in his cell by Lord Alester Florent, Stannis's Hand of the King, who has been arrested for treason.
Davos is released from the dungeon, and as he is being escorted to Stannis, Axell instructs him to suggest to the king that Axell replace his brother Alester as Hand. Davos denounces Axell's plan to slaughter the smallfolk of Claw Isle in retribution for old Lord Ardrian Celtigar bending the knee to Joffrey; for his honest counsel, Stannis names Davos as Lord of the Rainwood, Admiral of the Narrow Sea, and Hand of the King, as Alester is to be burned for treason. Davos is present when Stannis burns three leeches filled with the blood of Edric Storm, while stating the names of the three kings he considers rebels: Balon Greyjoy, Robb Stark, and Joffrey Baratheon.
Davos is present in council with Stannis, Axell, Queen Selyse Florent, and Melisandre when news arrives that Robb died in the Red Wedding and Balon fell to his death at Pyke. Two of the three opposing kings are dead, but Melisandre warns for successors taking their places. The others attempt to persuade Stannis to sacrifice Edric to wake dragons from stone, but Davos reminds him that the kinslayer is cursed. He argues that three leeches were burned, but only two kings are dead, and Stannis agrees with him. Once alone, Davos reminds Stannis of Princess Shireen Baratheon's friendship with Edric, but Stannis admits his willingness to sacrifice the boy if Joffrey were to die.
Davos has been learning how to read with lessons from Maester Pylos. To practice, Pylos gives Davos a letter which had arrived a while back, from Maester Aemon at Castle Black. Davos reads about the threat of Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall, the fight at the Fist, and Aemon's fears that Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, has been slain with all his strength. When asked, Pylos reveals that he showed the letter to Alester, but the king and Melisandre are not aware of the warning's existence. Though Davos is reminded of Melisandre speaking about the night that never ends, and a vision Stannis had seen in the flames, he agrees that neither of them needs to see the letter.
Davos and a few men he knows to be loyal only to Stannis, including Pylos, bring Edric Storm to one of Salladhor's ships in secret. Ser Andrew Estermont accompanies the boy, and they leave Dragonstone during the night. With the boy safely away, Davos goes to Stannis, informing his king that Joffrey is dead. Melisandre asks Stannis for Edric, and the king warns her that she will pay with her life if she is wrong. Melisandre is certain that Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn, and that the red comet was his herald. Davos reveals that Edric is gone, and based on Melisandre's reaction judges that she had not foreseen it in her flames. Stannis is furious, but Davos tells him that a king must protect his people, or he is no king at all. Stannis draws Lightbringer to behead Davos, allowing Davos to speak his lasts words. Davos reads to them letter that Pylos received from the Night's Watch, which convinces Stannis that his true enemy is in the north and leads him to sail his forces to the Wall.
After landing at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, Stannis leads his army west and is victorious over Mance Rayder in the battle beneath the Wall. Meanwhile, Queen Selyse, and Princess Shireen, and Stannis's fleet remain at Eastwatch.
A Feast for Crows
Queen Regent Cersei Lannister reports to the small council that Davos was sent to White Harbor to negotiate with Lord Wyman Manderly. She reveals she demanded Davos's execution in exchange for the life of Wyman's heir, Ser Wylis Manderly, a captive of the Mountain's men at Harrenhal. It is later reported that Davos has been beheaded, and Lord Manderly swears his head and hands have been mounted above the walls of White Harbor, which the Freys have confirmed.
A Dance with Dragons
Cotter Pyke, commander of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, informs Jon Snow, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, that Davos and Salladhor Saan have sailed from Eastwatch as Stannis's envoys to Wyman Manderly, Lord of White Harbor.
Salladhor's fleet of Lyseni sellsails transports Davos south toward White Harbor. After a number of storms take their toll on his fleet, however, Salladhor abandons Stannis's cause in the Bite and gives Davos the choice between coming with him to the Stepstones or leaving in a small row boat. Choosing to continue his mission for Stannis, Davos rows his boat to shore at Sweetsister.
Davos is caught when trying to buy passage of the island in the town Sisterton, and taken before Lord Godric Borrell of Breakwater. Godric informs Davos of the deaths of Lysa Arryn and Tywin Lannister, and admits that Cersei Lannister now rules King's Landing, making Davos realize that Godric has doubts about which side to join. Instead of turning him over to Lord Triston Sunderland, Godric frees Davos, allowing him to continue to White Harbor as long as he keeps silent about having been on Sweetsister. Lord Borrell warns Davos that several Freys have preceded him to White Harbor, and that Lord Manderly has made a pact with Lord Walder Frey.
Davos arrives at White Harbor on the Merry Midwife, but since Godric's information suggests the Manderlys plan to join the Freys and Boltons, he keeps his identity hidden. He sees warships in the harbor and learns that Wyman is raising soldiers. In the Lazy Eel, a winesink, he learns Robett Glover has been attempting to find support in the city, though Lord Manderly has been ignoring his pleas. Several northern houses have been fighting against the ironborn, and House Umber has joined the Boltons. The news that Ser Wylis Manderly is a hostage to the Iron Throne diminishes Davos's hopes.
Davos approaches a guard at the New Castle, insisting on seeing Wyman. Instead, he is taken captive and not allowed to leave his large, airy, and furnished chambers. After eighteen days, he is brought before Lord Manderly in the Merman's Court. Davos requests a private audience, but is refused and made to make his case in the presence of Wyman's kin, the Frey envoys, and others; most are hostile towards him. Davos calls Ser Jared Frey a liar after he claims that Robb Stark killed Wyman's younger son, Ser Wendel Manderly, during the Red Wedding. When Wyman's cousin, Ser Marlon, asks Davos about Stannis's strength, Davos's silence tells them his military force is too small. The only person supporting Davos is Wylla Manderly, Wyman's granddaughter, who insists House Manderly should support Stannis to get revenge for the Red Wedding. Lord Wyman has Davos arrested, and orders him to be taken to the Wolf's Den and have his hands and head cut off.
Instead of killing Davos, Wyman has a lookalike prisoner executed in his place. The prisoner is beheaded, his head dipped in tar and an onion stuffed in his mouth. The fingers of one of his hands are also cut off by Ser Bartimus, the gaoler of the Wolf's Den, to resemble Davos's. The head and hands are then put up on spikes on the walls of the city. With Cersei now convinced of Wyman's loyalty, she allows Wylis Manderly to return to White Harbor.
Unbeknownst to Cersei and the Freys, Davos has been kept alive in the Wolf's Den, his confinement more comfortable than expected. Bartimus tells him the history of the building, and Davos writes letters to send to his surviving family members.
During the feast held to celebrate Wylis's return to White Harbor, Lord Wyman has Robett Glover free Davos and bring him through a hidden tunnel to the New Castle, where Wyman meets with them in secret. He apologizes for the treatment Davos received, explaining that he had to fake loyalty in order to save the life of his surviving son. Davos learns that Wyman does not believe the lies and stories the Freys tell about the Red Wedding, nor the stories the Boltons spread about the sack of Winterfell. He informs Davos that Wex Pyke, who had been at Winterfell, witnessed the survival of Bran and Rickon Stark, and, importantly, knows where Rickon has gone. He tells Davos that he will swear his allegiance to Stannis if Davos travels to Skagos to retrieve Rickon and his direwolf, Shaggydog.
Quotes by Davos
—Davos to Salladhor Saan
Melisandre: Are you a good man, Davos Seaworth?
Davos: I am a man. I am kind to my wife, but I have known other women. I have tried to be a father to my sons, to help make them a place in this world. Aye, I've broken laws, but I never felt evil until tonight. I would say my parts are mixed, m'lady. Good and bad.Melisandre: If half of an onion is black with rot, it is a rotten onion. A man is good, or he is evil.
Melisandre: A grey man. Neither white nor black, but partaking of both. Is that what you are, Ser Davos?
Davos: What if I am? It seems to me that most men are grey.
—Melisandre and Davos
Seaworth had a lordly ring to it, but down deep he was still Davos of Flea Bottom, coming home to his city on its three high hills. He knew as much of ships and sails and shores as any man in the Seven Kingdoms, and had fought his share of desperate fights sword to sword on a wet deck. But to this sort of battle he came a maiden, nervous and afraid. Smugglers do not sound warhorns and raise banners. When they smell danger, they raise sail and run before the wind.—thoughts of Davos
Stannis: I know the cost! Last night, gazing into that hearth, I saw things in the flames as well. I saw a king, a crown of fire on his brows, burning ... burning, Davos. His own crown consumed his flesh and turned him into ash. Do you think I need Melisandre to tell me what that means? Or you? If Joffrey should die ... what is the life of one bastard boy against a kingdom?
Davos: Everything.—Stannis Baratheon and Davos
Kings and corpses always draw attendants.—thoughts of Davos
Jared: The Red Wedding was the Young Wolf's work. He changed into a beast before our eyes and tore out the throat of my cousin Jinglebell, a harmless simpleton. He would have slain my lord father too, if Ser Wendel had not put himself in the way.
Davos: Is it your claim that Robb Stark killed Wendel Manderly?Davos: Jared of House Frey, I name you liar.
Jared: And many more. Mine own son Tytos was amongst them, and my daughter's husband. When Stark changed into a wolf, his northmen did the same. The mark of the beast was on them all. Wargs birth other wargs with a bite, it is well-known. It was all my brothers and I could do to put them down before they slew us all.
Davos: Ser, may I have your name?
Jared: Ser Jared, of House Frey.
—Jared Frey and Davos
I was a better smuggler than a knight, he had written to his wife, a better knight than a King's Hand, a better King's Hand than a husband. I am so sorry. Marya, I have loved you. Please forgive the wrongs I did you.—Davos writing to Marya Seaworth
Quotes about Davos
—Stannis Baratheon to Davos
Orton: Send him here, that we might question him. The man might know much of value.Aurane: Stannis will need another Hand. The turnip knight, perhaps?
Qyburn: Let him die. His death will be a lesson to the north, to show them what becomes of traitors.
Cersei: I quite agree. I have instructed Lord Manderly to have his head off forthwith. That should put an end to any chance of White Harbor supporting Stannis.
Leona: An admiral without ships, a hand without fingers, in service to a king without a throne. Is this a knight who comes before us, or the answer to a child's riddle?
Wyman: He is a messenger, good-daughter, an onion of ill omen. Stannis did not like the answer his ravens brought him, so he has sent this … this smuggler.
It's not a king I need but a smuggler.—Wyman Manderly to Davos
- Davos states in 300 AC that the last time he was at White Harbor was "half a dozen years before".
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos III.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 19, Davos III.
- See the Davos Seaworth calculation.
- A Clash of Kings, Appendix.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 15, Davos II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 63, Davos VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 42, Davos II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 58, Davos III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, Davos I.
- So Spake Martin: Asshai.com Interview in Barcelona, July 28, 2012
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Cortnay Penrose.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 5, Davos I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 10, Davos II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 75, Samwell IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 29, Davos IV.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Davos Seaworth.