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Which knight in Westeros history incarnated the best the ideals of chivalry ?


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The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros have given birth and seen grow, live and die countless men who took the oath of chivalry and became knights.

Over its very long history, and in all of its kingdoms, Westeros has seen all kind of knights: people who were idealistic, more cynical individuals, men interested above all by the fame and prestige given by their rank, others by money, nobles, people coming from the bottom of society, individuals with outstanding skills with the sword and/or the spear, weaklings, cheaters, outright monsters such as Gregor Clegane or Ser Armory Loch, etc...

But who amongst these many many knights really incarnated the values of honor, justice, strength and loyalty all at the same time that the stories, tales and the code of chivalry describe ? Who is the best knight that Westeros has ever known, who lived by these ideals and never betrayed them under any circumstance ?

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Ser Duncan the Tall obv

Ser Arthur Dayne, Sword of the Morning (finest knight Ned ever saw, tho I'm waiting till everything is clear on Rhaegar)

Ser Jon Snow 998th LC of the NW

Ser Beric Dondarrion

Ser Barristan Selmy the Bold 

Ser Brienne of Tarth (humph) and the one from her childhood tale (if we incl legends then Symeon Star eyes too)

Ser Davos Onion Seaworth

Ser Rodrik Cassel 

Ser Gendry Baratheon

Ser Bonifer Hasty (before he became a heartbroken man turned to religion?)

 

Dragonknight, Breakspear, Morrigen, Garlan Gallant, W Darry etc if you like

Numerous Kings guard too

Edited by TheLastWolf
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26 minutes ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

Really? He's not even a real knight and he's passing himself off as one. That's quite an unchivalrous deception

And he still the best one by far. He even raised one of the very few decent Targeryan Kings in Egg.

Dragonkight, might or might not have cucked his king...

Arthur Dayne died fighting a lost civil war trying to stop a brother to see his dying sister.

Barristan is the next close thing to a good knight, but the sad thing is that he served the wrong king...twice.

Daemon Blackfyre tried to usurp the crow.

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Pate the pig boy. He's the only believable one. 

Quote

"So many vows . . . they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It's too much. No matter what you do, you're forsaking one vow or the other."

Unbelievable! Let's take a close look

Quote

He charged me to be a good knight and true, to obey the seven gods, defend the weak and innocent, serve my lord faithfully and defend the realm with all my might, and I swore that I would."

Defending weak and innocent, I think that may be a big one. I see lots of Arthur Dayne, let's take a look at how contemporaries behaved

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The day he burned his mace-and-dagger Hand, Jaime and Jon Darry had stood at guard outside her bedchamber whilst the king took his pleasure. "You're hurting me," they had heard Rhaella cry through the oaken door. "You're hurting me." In some queer way, that had been worse than Lord Chelsted's screaming. "We are sworn to protect her as well," Jaime had finally been driven to say. "We are," Darry allowed, "but not from him."

And this is where honor dies. A knight may want to be chivalrous, but his lord will never let him. Davos may want to fight for the gods but he's dancing to Rhllors tune and even the idealic Dunk sells out his hedge for a cloak.

I like that one knight, but not a knight, and probably gonna sell out to Catelyn because an oath given is honor betrayed.

Quote

"Slowly now," she told the boy. "They may take us for outlaws. Say no more than you must and be courteous."

"I will, ser. Be courteous. My lady."

 

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If we want to limit this to knights who actually appear on the pages, as opposed to just being described or remembered by other characters, then the ones who stand out for me are Barristan, Davos, and Duncan. They all try to keep their oaths and stand by their principles, no matter how difficult or morally ambiguous the situation may be.

I especially like the chapter where Davos has to give some bad news to Stannis, and Stannis gets angry and says, "I should have your tongue out," and Davos replies, "it's your tongue; do with it what you will." Now that's commitment!  And of course Stannis calms down at once, realizing what a good servant Davos is.

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15 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

And he still the best one by far. He even raised one of the very few decent Targeryan Kings in Egg.

Doesn't Egg wipe out nearly his whole family trying to bring back dragons?  Egg's whole midlife perspective that he needs dragons to enforce his will over his lords is tyrannical and the only thing that saved him from being remembered as Aegon the Cook was the fact that his plans didn't work. If had his way he would have put himself on a path that Maegor the Cruel would have admired. Cute kid though, I really like the D&E stories (but I think the last one is going to be a bit of a painful read).

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46 minutes ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

Doesn't Egg wipe out nearly his whole family trying to bring back dragons?  Egg's whole midlife perspective that he needs dragons to enforce his will over his lords is tyrannical and the only thing that saved him from being remembered as Aegon the Cook was the fact that his plans didn't work. If had his way he would have put himself on a path that Maegor the Cruel would have admired. Cute kid though, I really like the D&E stories (but I think the last one is going to be a bit of a painful read).

But he was doing it for the peasants, wasn't he? Unlike Maegor who was just out for himself, it seems.

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