House Swann

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House Swann of Stonehelm
House Swann.svg
Coat of arms Battling swans black and white, beaks and feet golden, on per pale white and black field
(Per pale argent and sable, two swans combatant counterchanged, beaked and membered or)
Seat Stonehelm
Head Lord Gulian Swann[1]
Region Stormlands
Title Lord of Stonehelm[2]
Heir Ser Donnel Swann[1]
Overlord House Baratheon

House Swann of Stonehelm is one of the primary noble houses of the stormlands.[3] They are marcher lords ruling from Stonehelm over the lands surrounding the Red Watch on Cape Wrath in the eastern Dornish Marches.[1][4] They blazon their arms with argent and sable a swan counter charged.[5]


House Swann is an old noble house, regarded as proud, powerful and cautious.[1] They have governed their lands for as long as any can remember. From Stonehelm they control the Slayne, a major river route inland to the stormlands, gaining them much wealth and power. They are probably the second most powerful and influential family in the stormlands, after the Baratheons.[6] The Swanns and Carons both claim to be the oldest of the marcher lords.[7]

Some time after driving away the pirate presence on the Stepstones in 96 AC, the Lysene captains of the Triarchy began claiming passengers on board passing ships as a toll for passage. One such captive was the niece of the current Lord Swann, Johanna Swann. When her infamously niggardly uncle refused to pay the ransom, she was sold to a pillow house. Johanna became a celebrated courtesan known as the Black Swan, the eventual ruler of Lys in all but name.[8]

During the Dance of the Dragons, Ser Byron Swann was killed by Syrax or Vhagar.[4]

Lord Gawen Swann's fool was the one who named Matarys Targaryen "the even younger Prince". Gawen competed in the tourney at Ashford Meadow as an old man, losing to Prince Valarr Targaryen. Gawen ignored Dunk's direct request to join him in the trial of seven.[9]

Ser Eustace Osgrey boasted that in the past members of important families married Osgreys, citing the Swanns as one of the examples.[10]

Ser Barristan Selmy squired for Lord Manfred Swann as a boy. Barristan later rescued Lady Jeyne Swann and her septa from the Kingswood Brotherhood.[11]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Ser Balon Swann, the second son of Lord Gulian, is one of the outstanding knights in the Hand's tourney, defeating Alyn of Winterfell but later being unhorsed by Ser Gregor Clegane.[12] He is among the three finalists at the archery competition of the tourney, losing to a commoner from the Dornish Marches named Anguy.[13] Balon is among the party that accompanies King Robert Baratheon to hunt,[14] but he returns to King's Landing before Robert's hunting accident with the boar in the kingswood.[15]

A Clash of Kings

Lord Gulian is one of the few storm lords that agrees to receive Davos Seaworth, and even breaks bread with him. He does not respond to Stannis Baratheon's demands, however.[16] In the War of the Five Kings, Gulian pleads illness and takes no part. Having participated in Robert's Rebellion, Gulian has no intention to committing more lives to future wars.[6] His sons represent Stonehelm in several causes, however.[1]

The heir to the house, Ser Donnel, is first with Renly Baratheon and then with Stannis, and is wounded in the Battle of the Blackwater.[1] He yields to Ser Elwood Harte and is ransomed afterward, before swearing fealty to King Joffrey I Baratheon.[11]

After the downfall of Lord Eddard Stark, Sansa Stark sees Ser Balon whispering some words to drunken Ser Dontos Hollard, possibly recommending him to refrain from hailing her.[17] Balon defends the royal party in the riot of King's Landing.[18] After the riot, Balon is named to the Kingsguard to replace Ser Preston Greenfield.[1] In this capacity, Balon fights on Joffrey's side at the Blackwater.[19]

A Storm of Swords

Ser Balon is the first to appear at Tyrion's trial after the death of King Joffrey. He states Tyrion is a brave man and that he cannot believe Tyrion could have poisoned Joffrey.[20]

A Dance with Dragons

Ser Balon Swann is sent by Queen Cersei Lannister to Dorne to deliver Gregor Clegane's head.[21] Prince Doran Martell orders his bannermen to delay Balon's arrival with lavish feasts.[22] When Balon arrives in Sunspear, the Martells disguise Arianne's abortive attempt to crown Princess Myrcella Baratheon.[23] Balon, under orders from Cersei, invites the Martells to the capital to lure them into an ambush for which Cersei can frame Tyrion. Doran fails to take the bait, instead claiming Balon's sworn brother, Ser Arys Oakheart, was killed by Ser Gerold Dayne, known as Darkstar.[23] Obara Sand joins Balon in the hunt for Darkstar.[23]

Clifford Swann is listed as Lord of Stonehelm.[2] It is unknown if this is a mistake, if George R. R. Martin has changed Gulian's name, or if Clifford has succeeded Gulian even though Donnel had been described as Gulian's son and heir.

House Swann at the end of the third century

The known Swanns during the timespan of the events described in A Song of Ice and Fire are:

With unspecified familiar relationship to the main branch there are also:

Stevron Frey

Historical Members