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Hostage

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Arya and Sandor - Second Sons (episode)

Sandor 'the Hound' Clegane and his hostage, Arya Stark.

"Spare his life. Keep him as a hostage."
Catelyn Stark to Robb Stark[src]

A Hostage or Captive is a member of a noble house that is held against their will by another noble house or organization. Some hostages are imprisoned if considered dangerous or if there is risk that they may escape (with or without outside help). Others are awarded the courtesy and privileges of nobility and given relatively free run of the castles or keeps they are captive in. In the case of children, these hostages often become no different from wards to their captors.

In times of war, hostages are taken and kept alive to use later in political negotiations or in exchange for ransom. Such prisoners are usually only held until the war is over. As a high-profile hostage can be an important bargaining chip, it is considered impolitic for their captors to harm them.

In peace time, specially after the end of a war or rebellion, long-term political hostages are taken to ensure the good behavior of a captive's relative or retainers, under penalty of torment or death for the hostage.

Known hostagesEdit

In the booksEdit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Greatjon Umber, Patrek Mallister and Marq Piper are taken hostages by House Frey after the Red Wedding, as political hostages as to usher their houses to swear fealty. Contrary to the books, in the TV series Greatjon Umber is not present during the wedding and the writers have confirmed that he is therefore free somewhere in the Riverlands. Tywin comments that Catelyn was supposed to be captured alive too, but something went awry.

The naming of Ser Jaime Lannister to the Kingsguard is also held as hostage-taking on behalf of Aerys II Targaryen. By naming him as his sworn bodyguard, the Mad King was not only robbing Tywin Lannister of his prized heir, but also keeping Jaime close as he feared Tywin to be plotting against him.

As a part of the peace agreement between Daenerys and Yunkai, the Wise Masters and the commanders of the sellsword companies are invited to the celebration held in Meereen for reopening the fighting pits. To ensure their safety, she gives them seven hostages: Daario, Hero the Unsullied, captain Groleo, her bloodrider Jhogo, and three of Hizdahr's relatives. During the commotion that erupts as a result of Drogon's arrival, the commander of the Yunkai army Yurkhaz zo Yunzak falls and is crushed to death by the fleeing people. Following Daenerys's departure, the Yunkai release Hizdahr's relatives (what strengthens Ser Barristan's suspicion that Hizdahr is in league with them) but kill Groleo, allegedly as a payback for Yurkhaz 's death, although it was an accident. By the end of the fifth novel, Daario, Hero and Jhogo are still held hostages by the Yunkai, and it is unknown if they are still alive.

See alsoEdit

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