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Knight is a Member


A knight is a member of a warrior tradition that is heavily interwoven in the feudal culture of the Seven Kingdoms and the Faith of the Seven. Knights occupy a social standing between that of lords and smallfolk. Contrary to the nobility, this rank is not
   A knight is a member of a warrior tradition that is heavily interwoven in the feudal culture of the Seven Kingdoms and the Faith of the Seven. Knights occupy a social standing between that of lords and smallfolk. Contrary to the nobility, this rank is not hereditary and it is possible for the baseborn to become knights.

Knighthood has its roots in Andal culture and was brought to Westeros during the Andal Invasion. The military success of the Andals' mounted knights and their steel armament proved vital to the Andals' conquest of Westeros. The influence of the Andals on the culture of Westeros has made knights the backbone of warfare in the Seven Kingdoms. However, knighthood holds less cultural significance in areas of Westeros that are less assimilated to Andal culture, such as the North, the Iron Islands, and Dorne.

Knights are supposed to be brave, courageous, honorable, true to their word, and loyal to their feudal overlord, and to defend their faith. In practice, most knights fall short of sustaining such high and noble ideals. Many don't even try particularly hard, and seek knighthood mainly for the prestige and opportunities.
To a degree, that is understandable and perhaps unavoidable; for bastards and smallfolk, knighthood is one of the very few paths for improving their social standing and monetary prospects that does not involve seriously restrictive vows such as celibacy or abstaining from marrying, having children or owning lands of their own. On the downside, knighthood by itself brings few advantages and significant expenses and risks. But it opens the doors for significant opportunities as well.
In reality, skill at arms is the most important aspect of knighthood. Knights are expected to fight whenever there is a need for them. They traditionally fight as heavy cavalry, wearing plate armor and fighting from horseback with lance, sword and shield. Some knights choose to fight with other weapons such as axes, hammers, and spears as well. They own at least one horse, and typically own two: a fierce warhorse and a milder horse for daily riding. According to Ser Jaime Lannister three hundred dragons is a fair ransom for a knight

Knights display a coat-of-arms on their shield and surcoat to identify themselves. They generally wear their family arms. Those who do not have family arms, or do not wish to use them, can create their own. These personal arms often portray the manner in which the man achieved knighthood or have some other personal significance. Many knights wear large crests on their helms that embellish the theme of their arms. Wealthy knights often seek to further distinguish themselves by wearing ornate weapons and armor. Lacquered or jeweled armor and capes of exotic materials are some ways that knights can flaunt their status.
Becoming a knight

The traditional process to becoming a knight has three stages.

Page, A boy that becomes a page is attached to a knight, who becomes the boy's master. The sons of many knights and lords are sent to foster with relatives or allies, while other pages serve their own fathers. The page performs simple errands for the knight, who in turn begins to train the boy in vital skills, such as jousting and swordsmanship. Typical training involves sparring with blunted weapons and tilting at rings.

Squire, When a boy reaches adolescence, he graduates to being a squire. Squires learn how to properly care for and use weapons, armor, and horses as well as learning about Chivalry. In time of war Squires join their masters in war, assisting them with their equipment and fighting by their side in battles. Some squires choose to never become a full knight, and live the rest of their lives as squires. This may be because the individual does not have the inclination to live a knight's martial lifestyle, or does not have the funds to properly equip himself. According to GRRM,

“ We tend to think of squires as teenaged boys, knights in training, but that is only part of the truth. Historically, there were many men who spent their entire lives as squires, and never became knights.It was quite common to have thirty- and forty-year-old squires, even some in their fifties. Such men perhaps did not have the wealth to become knights (knights had to pay for their own equipment), or perhaps did not have the inclination. They were the medieval counterparts of the career army sergeant who has no desire to be promoted to lieutenant. Let alone general. ”
Knighthood, Any knight can proclaim another man a knight for whatever reason he chooses. This usually happens when a squire reaches adulthood and his master judges him worthy of accepting the responsibilities of a knight. A man who has not been raised in the knightly tradition can also be made a knight as a reward for service. This is often granted to soldiers or other smallfolk who have shown bravery or performed a great feat. Knighthood is considered valuable to smallfolk, as it raises a commoner's social standing. Knighthood is seen as primarily a martial position, so even the sons of powerful lords are not necessarily knighted if they are incapable of fulfilling the requirements. Doing otherwise would lose honor rather than gain it, and would make a lord and his family be held up to ridicule, this social pressure generally prevents knights from giving out knighthoods for petty or selfish reasons

The Knighting Ceremony

The ceremony to create a knight can be simple or complex, however, it always involves the man kneeling before a knight and being tapped on the shoulders with a sword. Ceremonies usually have religious overtones involving the Faith of the Seven. When knighted, men are often charged in the name of the Seven to be just and honorable. More elaborate knighthood ceremonies involve the prospective knight sitting a night's vigil at a sept, before the figure of the Warrior, he may lay his sword before or upon the figure, and their armour piled at its base. Followed by walking barefoot from the sept to the knighting place to prove their humble hearts. They wear shifts of undyed wool to receive their knighthood, which is marked by the putting on of the swordbelt after dubbing.Newly-knighted men are also sometimes anointed with seven oils by a septon. It is considered a great honor for the recipient when individuals of high status or fame perform the ceremony.
Part of the knighting ceremony, starts with person name and House(if he has one), then:
“ a touch on the right shoulder with the blade. "In the name of the Warrior I charge you to be brave."
The sword moves from right shoulder to left. "In the name of the Father I charge you to be just."
Right shoulder. "In the name of the Mother I charge you to defend the young and innocent."
The left. "In the name of the Maid I charge you to protect all women.... ”

Hedge knight, A hedge knight is a wandering knight without a master. Hedge knights are so named because most of their worldly wealth is in their arms and horses and they generally must sleep outdoors, under a hedge. Most hedge knights travel in search of employment and often attend jousts to make money and display their prowess in hopes of being hired. Less scrupulous hedge knights put their martial training to use by resorting to banditry. For this reason, hedge knights are often mistrusted and considered disreputable. The term "hedge knight" itself is considered disparaging.

Sworn sword, Some landless knights become sworn swords to other men, taking them as their master. They act as retainers for their master, taking food, shelter, and money in exchange for their services in war, should they be needed. During a campaign, lords often hire a large number of sworn swords on a temporary basis. After the campaign ends and the lord has no further need for so many knights, they are released and become hedge knights once again.

Landed knight, A landed knight is a knight that takes residence in a keep with accompanying land. They have their own peasants and men-at-arms, and may even take sworn swords. Landed knights are sworn to fight for the lord who holds dominion over their land. While the wealthiest knights manage more land than the poorest lords, landed knights do not have the authority to deliver justice in their land. Rather, they must appeal to their liege lord.

Northern cavalry, Because few Northerners worship the Seven, they rarely choose to become knights. However, the warrior tradition of the North is very similar to that of knighthood. Heavy cavalrymen in the North serve a nearly identical function to knights in the South, and are considered knights in all but name.

True Knight, A knight who embodies all that a knight should be, that is, a perfect knight exemplifying all the qualities of what knighthood stands for and fully follows oath of knighthood.

Colors, Arms and Symbol Meanings

The Colors Signify Qualities in a Person

First of all the different tinctures (or colors) that are used on a coat of arms can mean different things about who they represent.

The “fur” is a tincture consisting of a color set with a pattern of shapes.

Colors of Coat of Arms

  • Argent (Silver or white) – Peace and sincerity
  • Azure (Blue) –  Truth and loyalty
  • Furs (Ermine, ermines, erminois, vair, counter vair, pean, potent, counter potent) – Dignity
  • Gules (Red) – Warrior or martyr; Military strength and magnanimity
  • Or (Gold or Yellow) – Generosity and elevation of the mind
  • Pupure (Purple) – Royal majesty, sovereignty, and justice
  • Sable (Black) – Constancy or grief
  • Sanguine or Murray (Maroon) – Patient in battle and yet victorious
  • Tawny or Tenne (Orange) – Worthy ambition
  • Vert (Green) –  Hope, joy, and loyalty in love

The colors may also be formed in a number of different patterns. These usually take the form of a sash, a band running through an existing color.


The Arms Represent the Four Elements

The arms on a coat of arms here consists of shaped lines. They represent the four elements air, earth or land, fire, and water.

They can be found in the shield of the coat of arms.

Arms of Coat of Arms

  • Dancette – Water
  • Embattled – Walls of a fortress or town (also fire)
  • Engrailed – Earth or land
  • Indented – Fire
  • Invected – Earth or land
  • Nebuly – Clouds or air
  • Raguly – Difficulties that have been encountered
  • Wavy – Sea or water

Symbols Represent Each of the Father’s Sons

Symbols that are found within the shield of a coat of arms will signify the relationship to the original grantee, or father.

They are known as differences of marks of cadency. These can help you identify a particular branch of a family tree.

Symbols on Coat of Arms

  • Label – Eldest son
  • Crescent – Second son
  • Mullet (star) – Third son
  • Martlet (bird) – Fourth son
  • Annulet (ring) – Fifth son
  • Fleur-de-lis – Sixth son
  • Rose – Seventh son
  • Cross moline – Eighth son
  • Double quatrefoil (or octofoil) – Ninth son


Animals were also to be found on a coat of arms. They could be on the shield, on top of the helmet (the crest), or either side of the coat of arms (the supporters).

Animals on Coat of Arms

Fierce and ferocious animals were particularly chosen and were positioned in combat postures.

They tended to represent positive traits such as loyalty, resourcefulness or wisdom.

  • Ant – Great labor, wisdom and providence in one’s affairs
  • Ass – Patience and humility
  • Bear – Strength, cunning, ferocity in the protection for family and friends
  • Beaver – Industry and perseverance
  • Boar or Boar’s head – Bravery and fights to the death. The head symbolizes hospitality
  • Buck – Someone who will not fight unless provoked; peace and harmony
  • Bull or Bull’s horns – Valor, bravery and generosity. The head symbolizes strength and fortitude
  • Butterfly – Soul
  • Camel – Docility, patience and perseverance
  • Cat – Liberty, vigilance, forecast and courage
  • Chough – Strategist in battle; watchful for friends
  • Cock – Courage and perseverance; hero; able in politics
  • Crane – Close parental bond; vigilance if holding a rock
  • Cygnet – Where gorged with a crown around its neck this will signify dignity
  • Deer (same as Stag) – Someone who will not fight unless provoked; peace and harmony
  • Dolphin – Swiftness, diligence, salvation, charity and love
  • Dove – Loving constancy and peace; the Holy Spirit; with an olive branch in its bill it signifies a harbinger of good tidings
  • Duck – Resourcefulness
  • Eagle – Person of noble nature, strength, bravery and alertness; or one who is high-spirited, ingenious, quick-witted, and judicious.
  • Eagle displayed with wings spread – Protection
  • Eagle (two headed) – Symbolizes conjoining forces
  • Elephant – Great strength, wit, longevity, happiness, royalty, good luck and ambition
  • Escallop (sea shell) – Traveller to far places or victorious naval commander
  • Fish – A true, generous mind; virtuous for himself and not because of his heritage; also unity with Christ, spiritual nourishment
  • Fox – Someone who will use all of their wisdom and wit in their own defence
  • Gannet – Someone who has to subsist by virtue and merit
  • Goat – Political ability
  • Goose – Resourcefulness
  • Grasshopper – Noble and home-bred
  • Greyhound – Courage, vigilance and loyalty
  • Hare – Someone who enjoys a peaceable and retired life
  • Hawk or Falcon – Someone who does not rest until they have achieved their goal or objective
  • Hedgehog – Provident provider
  • Horse – Readiness for all employments for king and country
  • Lamb – Gentleness and patience under suffering. A lamb carrying a staff or banner with a cross is a paschal lamb which represents faith, innocence, bravery, gentleness, purity and a resolute spirit
  • Leopard – Valiant and hardy warrior who enterprises hazardous things by force and courage
  • Lion – Dauntless courage
  • Mule – Often borne by abbots and abbesses who have pastoral jurisdiction, but not real jurisdiction
  • Mullet – Divine quality from above; mark of third son
  • Ostrich – Willing obedience and serenity
  • Otter – Someone who lives life to the fullest
  • Ox – Valor and generosity
  • Panther – Fierce but tender and loving to children and will defend her children with her life
  • Peacock – Beauty, power and knowledge
  • Pelican – Self-sacrifice and charitable nature
  • Rabbit – Peaceable and retired life
  • Ram – Authority
  • Raven – Divine providence
  • Rhinoceros – Ferocious when aroused
  • Salamander – Protection
  • Serpent or Snake – Wisdom
  • Snail – Deliberation and perseverance
  • Spider – Wisdom, labor and prudence
  • Squirrel – Lover of the woods
  • Stag – Someone who will not fight unless provoked
  • Stag’s antlers – The antlers symbolize peace and harmony; strength and fortitude
  • Stork – Filial duty; close parental bond; holding a rock; vigilance
  • Swallow – Someone who is prompt and ready in doing business; also bringer of good news
  • Swan – Poetic harmony and learning or lover thereof; signifies light, love, grace, sincerity and perfection
  • Tiger – Fierceness and valour; resentment; dangerous if aroused
  • Tortoise – Invulnerability to attack
  • Wolf – Reward from perseverance in long sieges and/or hard industry

Celestial Beings and Crosses

Any form of cross that is found on the crest may indicate some Christian experience or sentiment.

There may also appear an angel or some other similar celestial being which will represent dignity, glory and honor.

Crosses on Coat of Arms

  • Angel or Cherub – Dignity, glory and honour; missionary; bearer of joyful news
  • Cross – Faith; service in the Crusades
  • Cross (Celtic) – Unity of heaven and earth
  • Cross Crosslet (crossed at each end) – Signifies the fourfold mystery of the cross
  • Cross Fitchée (cross pointed at base) – A combination of cross and sword; unshakeable faith
  • Cross Flory (cross flowered at each end) – Someone who has conquered
  • Cross Maltese (cross with eight points) – Blessings; badge of Knights Hospitaller
  • Cross Moline – The mutual converse of human society (said to represent a millstone)
  • Cross Pattée or cross formée (cross which has arms narrow at the centre) – Military honour
  • Cross Raguly – Difficulties encountered
  • Seraphim (angel with three pairs of wings) – Dignity, glory and honour; missionary; bearer of joyful news

Flowers and Fruit

Any flower that is found on a coat of arms will represent hope and joy. The appearance of fruit meanwhile will represent felicity and peace.

Certain flora will have a more specific meaning.

Flowers on Coat of Arms

  • Acacia branch or leaves – Eternal and affectionate remembrance
  • Apple – Liberality, felicity and peace
  • Bay leaves – Poet or victor’s laurel
  • Berries – Liberality, felicity and peace
  • Carnation – Admiration
  • Civic Wreath (of oak leaves and acorns) – Someone who saved a fellow citizen’s life or shown patriotism in defence of someone’s native land
  • Cypress – Death and eternal life thereafter
  • Grapes – Liberality, felicity and peace; also associated with wine-making
  • Holly – Truth
  • Ivy – Strong and lasting friendship
  • Laurel leaves – Peace and/or triumph
  • Lily – Purity
  • Marigold – Devotion and piety
  • Oak tree, leaves or bush – Great age and strength
  • Olive branch or leaves – Peace and concordance
  • Pears – Felicity and peace
  • Pine – Death and eternal life thereafter
  • Pine cone – Life
  • Pomegranate – Fertility and abundance
  • Rose – Mark of cadency of seventh son
  • Rose Red – Grace and beauty
  • Rose White – Love and faith
  • Shamrock – Perpetuity ; flower of Ireland

Mythological Creatures

Occasionally mythological creatures did appear on a coat of arms and the crests. These held particular significance in heraldry.

Creatures on Coat of Arms

  • Centaur – Eminence in the field of battle
  • Cockatrice – Terror to all beholders
  • Dragon/wyvern (dragon with only two legs) – Valiant defender of treasure; valour and protection
  • Griffin (head, wings, and talons of an eagle with the body of a lion) – Valor and death-defying bravery; vigilance
  • Harpy (virgin’s face, neck and breast with the body of a lion) – Ferocity under provocation
  • Hydra (dragon with seven heads) – Conquest of a very powerful enemy
  • Mermaid – Eloquence
  • Pegasus – Poetic genius and inspiration; messenger of God
  • Phoenix – Symbol of resurrection
  • Sphinx – Omniscience and secrecy
  • Unicorn – Extreme courage; virtue and strength


Objects may have also featured anywhere on the coat of arms. They had many different meanings which added more uniqueness to the arms as well as identifying the person or family.

Objects on Coat of Arms

  • Agricultural tools – Laboring in the earth and depending upon providence
  • Anchor – Hope; religious steadfastness
  • Anvil – Honor
  • Arrow – Readiness for battle; if depicted with a cross this represents an affliction
  • Axe (or Battle Axe) – Execution of military duty
  • Banners – Special action in which bearer was captured, or a reward for valiant service
  • Bar, Barry or Barrulet – Someone who sets the bar of conscience, religion and honor against angry passions and evil temptations
  • Baton – Authority
  • Bells – Power to disperse evil spirits. A hawk’s bells denotes one who was not afraid of signalling his approach in peace or war
  • Bones – Mortality
  • Book – Open – manifestation; closed – counsel
  • Bow – Readiness for battle
  • Bridge – Governor or magistrate
  • Broom – Humilty
  • Buckle – Victorious fidelity in authority
  • Cannon and Cannon Balls – Someone who has dared the terror of such a weapon in battle
  • Chains – Reward for acceptable and weighty service. With crowns and collars, this suggests the bearer bore the chain of obligation or obliged others because of services done
  • Column – Fortitude and constancy; with serpent coiled around it this means wisdom with fortitude
  • Cup (covered) – Office of the king’s butler
  • Drum – Ready for war
  • Feathers – Obedience and serenity
  • Fleur-de-lis – Purity; light; floral badge of France; represents sixth son as mark of difference
  • Flint – Readiness for zealous service
  • Fountain – Water or a spring
  • Grenade – Someone who has dared the terror of such a weapon in battle
  • Hand/red hand – Pledge of faith, sincerity, and justice; two right hands conjoined represent union and alliance/mark of a baronet
  • Harp – Well-composed person of tempered judgment; contemplation; mystical bridge between heaven and earth
  • Horns – Strength and fortitude
  • Horseshoe – Good luck and safeguard against evil spirits
  • Hourglass – Flight of time; mortality
  • Hunting Horn – Someone who is fond of the chase; of high spirits
  • Keys – Guardianship and dominion
  • Letters – May represent great battles or tournaments beginning with that letter
  • Pen – Art of writing and educated employment
  • Pipes – Festivity and rejoicing
  • Plume of feathers – Sign of willing obedience and serenity of mind
  • Portcullis – Protection in an emergency
  • Rock – Safety and protection; refuge
  • Saddle – Preparedness for active service
  • Scallop shell – Traveller to far places or victorious naval commander
  • Scythe – The hope of a fruitful harvest
  • Ship – Sea voyages
  • Skull – Mortality
  • Sphere – Geographical or scientific reference
  • Stirrup – Readiness for active service
  • Sword/dagger/dart – Justice and military honour
  • Table – Hospitality
  • Tent – Readiness for battle
  • Torch – Life; zealousness; engaging in signal service; truth and intelligence
  • Trumpet – Ready for war
  • Wheel – Fortune
  • Wheel (Catherine) – Torture
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