the guardians' oath

anonymous asked:

How do sworn shields work? Would Catelyn, for example, have normally had a sworn shield if she was in the South? Are sworn shields only for royalty? Would Margaery Tyrell have one, would Arianne Martell, I don't know, would Genna Lannister have one? Is there a line for how exalted you have to be to get one?

Thanks for the question, Anon.

A sworn shield is a warrior (probably largely knightly, though there may be some northern sworn shields who have not been knighted) assigned as a special bodyguard to an individual of noble birth (a little more on this below). That warrior pledges an oath vowing lasting protection to the individual, who then (either himself/herself or, in the case of children, probably the parents/guardian) returns an oath swearing the just terms of service, as Brienne did to Catelyn:

The tall girl knelt awkwardly, unsheathed Renly’s longsword, and laid it at her feet. “Then I am yours, my lady. Your liege man, or … whatever you would have me be. I will shield your back and keep your counsel and give my life for yours, if need be. I swear it by the old gods and the new.”

“And I vow that you shall always have a place by my hearth and meat and mead at my table, and pledge to ask no service of you that might bring you into dishonor. I swear it by the old gods and the new. Arise.”

A sworn shield can be named to a person of any age, gender, or (theoretically) noble rank, but we’ve only seen sworn shields among the royalty and what we might call the “high nobility” (that is, paramount lords). A sworn shield, after all, is a sort of one-man Kingsguard, by the side of his (or her) charge, ready at any moment to defend and, if need be, die for him or her. The larger a household of knights a family has, the more likely it may be that one could be given that task, going wherever the charge goes and remaining with the charge if the household went to war. 

People that have had sworn shields include King Gwayne V Gardener:

Amongst those so honored was an Andal knight named Ser Alester Tyrell, whose prowess at arms was such that he was made the king’s champion and sworn shield under Gwayne V. Ser Alester’s descendants in time became the hereditary stewards of Highgarden under the Gardeners.

Aegon I Targaryen:

Even before the Conquest, [Orys Baratheon] served as Aegon’s champion and sworn shield, and his defeat of King Argilac only added further luster to his name.

Princess Rhaenyra (who had three over her lifetime):

Black-haired, green-eyed, and comely, he proved a delight to the ladies of the court—and to Princess Rhaenyra most of all. She took a childish fancy to him, naming him “my white knight” and begging her father to make him her sworn shield, which he did.

Ser Erryk Cargyll remained at Dragonstone as Rhaenyra’s sworn shield, taking the place of Ser Harwin Strong, who returned to Harrenhal.


“It’s not the same,” Sansa said. “The Hound is Joffrey’s sworn shield. Your butcher’s boy attacked the prince.”

It might be noted that Sandor was originally Cersei’s sworn shield:

Sansa hesitated. “If you like,” she said uncertainly. “I suppose I could tie Lady up.” She did not quite understand, though. “I didn’t know you had a dog …”

Joffrey laughed. “He’s my mother’s dog, in truth. She has set him to guard me, and so he does.”


“An honored guest,” Tyrion insisted, “and I suspect Martell will treat Myrcella more kindly than Joffrey has treated Sansa Stark. I had in mind to send Ser Arys Oakheart with her. With a knight of the Kingsguard as her sworn shield, no one is like to forget who or what she is.”


“I must confess, I am running short of patience with dear Osney. It is past time he broke in that little filly. I named him Tommen’s sworn shield so he could spend part of every day in Margaery’s company. He should have plucked the rose by now. Is the little queen blind to his charms?”

Trystane Martell:

Myrcella had her maids and Septa Eglantine as well, and Prince Trystane was attended by his sworn shield, Ser Gascoyne of the Greenblood. No one will trouble her, he told himself, and in a fortnight we shall be safely away.

And Arianne Martell:

A small party travels more swiftly than a large one, but the heir to Dorne does not ride alone. From Godsgrace came Ser Daemon Sand, the bastard; once Prince Oberyn’s squire, now Arianne’s sworn shield.

It seems to also be the case that an individual can have multiple sworn shields. Take this passage from “The Princess and the Queen”:

Lords Piper and Deddings, seated together atop a low rise, burned with their squires, servants, and sworn shields when the Bronze Fury chanced to take note of them. An instant later, Seasmoke fell upon him.

Or this one from A Dance with Dragons:

Queen Selyse’s protectors stood along the walls, shining knights all in a row: Ser Malegorn, Ser Benethon, Ser Narbert, Ser Patrek, Ser Dorden, Ser Brus. With so many bloodthirsty wildlings infesting Castle Black, Selyse kept her sworn shields about her night and day.

Quentyn also refers to Gerris Drinkwater and Archibald Yronwood as “his sworn shields” to Daenerys. 

As for when someone gets a sworn shield … well, perhaps this is an obvious point, but it seems from the above examples that most sworn shields are named when their charges need special protection. Catelyn ruefully tells Brienne that she, Brienne, must keep her safe since her ordinary protectors - the men of her House and her lord husband - cannot. Myrcella’s sworn shield was named when she was going to formerly hostile Dorne, Arianne’s when she was going to the war-torn Stormlands. Of course, Trystane has a sworn shield safe at home in Sunspear, though we don’t know when Ser Gascoyne was named. Depending on the person (and the indulgence of the parent/guardian figure), a sworn shield can be named for purely personal reasons: we see this with Rhaenyra, who wanted Criston Cole, and Tommen’s sworn shield Osney Kettleblack, whom Cersei wanted to use to compromise Margaery (and perhaps Joffrey, if he demanded Sandor as his guard).

As for someone like Margaery or Genna … maybe they would have at home. Margaery isn’t noted to have a sworn shield at court (doubtless because Loras is there - what better shield than her celebrated knightly brother and Kingsguard?). The Lannisters are certainly wealthy enough a household for Genna to have a dedicated sworn shield, though again, there’s no mention of it.

The Queen Regent (NFriel)


Some of my favorite atmospheric black metal releases.

Summoning - Oath Bound

Arcturus - Aspera Hiems Symfonia

Caladan Brood - Echoes Of Battle

Elderwind - Волшебство природы (The Magic of Nature)

Moongates Guardian - Darkness Above Middle Earth

Ulver - Bergtatt

Winter Heart - Demo


MYTHOLOGY MEME  | {3/10} ten titans.

HELIOS [ˈhiːli.ɒs] was the titan of the sun. He was also the guardian of oaths and the god of gift of sight. He is described as the son of Hyperion and Theia, and as a brother of Selene and Eos. Helios dwelt in a golden palace located in the River Okeanos at the eastern ends of the earth. From there he emerged each dawn driving a chariot drawn by four, fiery winged steeds and crowned with the aureole of the sun. When he reached the the land of the Hesperides (Evenings) in the West he descended into a golden cup which carried him around the northern streams of Okeanos back to his rising place in the East. Once his son Phaethon attempted to drive the chariot of the sun, but losing control, set the earth on fire. Zeus then struck him down with a thunderbolt.

greek titans

aries: menoetius, titan of violent anger, rash action, and human morality

taurus: aura, titaness of the breeze and the fresh cool air of the morning

gemini: clymene, titan of renown, fame, and infamy

cancer: rhea, titaness fertility, motherhood, and mountain wilds

leo: helios, titan of the sun and guardian of oaths 

virgo:  mnemosyne, titaness of memory and remembrance 

libra: themis, titaness of divine law and order

scorpio: styx, titaness of the underworld river styx and the personification of hatred

sagittarius:  eos, titaness of the dawn 

capricorn:  metis, titaness of good counsel, advice, and planning

aquarius: prometheus, titan of forethought and crafty counsel; creator of mankind

pisces: oceanus, titan of the all-encircling river oceans around the earth


Hoseok // Helios

Titan god of the sun, a guardian of oaths, and the god of sight. Often referred to as the personification of the sun. He drove a chariot across the sky, creating the day cycle. Helios was depicted as a handsome, usually beardless, man clothed in purple robes and crowned with the shining aureole of the sun. His sun-chariot was drawn by four, sometimes winged, steeds.

“[Helios the Sun] rides his chariot, he shines upon men and deathless gods, and piercingly he gazes with his eyes from his golden helmet. Bright rays beam dazzlingly from him, and his bright locks streaming from the temples of his head gracefully enclose his far-seen face: a rich, fine-spun garment glows upon his body and flutters in the wind : and stallions carry him. Then, when he has stayed his golden-yoked chariot and horses, he rests there upon the highest point of heaven, until he marvellously drives them down again through heaven to Okeanos (Oceanus).”


A Close Reading of Nightfall in Middle-earth by Blind Guardian

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23* | 24* | 25* 

“I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic to the level of romantic fairy-story… The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama.” (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Blind Guardian was not the first heavy metal artist to write songs about the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, but Nightfall in Middle-earth remains one of the longest sustained attempts in the genre. Olbrich and Kürsch went a bit further than Page and Plant mentioning Gollum in Ramble On, or Rush naming a single track “Rivendell.” Not only did they use The Silmarillion, a text too nerdy for rockstars as it is, they also demonstrate basic familiarity with the History of Middle-earth series–and where else do they demonstrate this but in the original (“fanfiction”) prose material included in the album leaflet? (This is why, if you have downloaded Nightfall in Middle-earth, I really recommend you be old-fashioned and go out to buy the actual CD! It’s worth it!)

Whether you consider NIME an “homage” or a “fanwork” (or, if you’re like me, you consider such distinctions to be worthless), the band does more than retell or even dramatize–they interpret. This study seeks to understand The Silmarillion as André Olbrich and Hansi Kürsch did in 1998, track by track. [below the cut]

Keep reading

A Quick #MarvelEvent Reading List!

“Captain America: Civil War” (May 6, 2016)
Read Civil War

“Doctor Strange” (Nov. 4, 2016)
Read Doctor Strange: Year One, Doctor Strange: The Oath

“Guardians of the Galaxy 2” (May 5, 2017)
Read Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning

“Thor: Ragnarok” (July 27, 2017)
Read Thor #337 and continue until you pass out

“Black Panther” (Nov. 3, 2017)
Read Black Panther: Who Is Black Panther, New Avengers vol. 1

“Marvel’s The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1” (May 4, 2018)
Read Infinity Gauntlet

“Captain Marvel” (July 6, 2018)
Read Captain Marvel vol. 1: In Pursuit of Flight

“Inhumans” (Nov. 2, 2018)
Read Inhumans

“Marvel’s The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2” (May 3, 2019)
Read Infinity War

Did I miss anything huge?