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Arya and Sandor - Second Sons (episode)

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

Catelyn Stark: "Spare his life. Keep him as a hostage."
Edmure Tully: "A hostage. Tell the Karstarks that as long as they remain loyal, he will not be harmed.""
Catelyn Stark and Edmure Tully 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


Rodrik Cassel: "Lord Stark raised you among his own sons!"
Theon Greyjoy: "Among them, but not one of them! I was his hostage! Taken from my home!"
Theon Greyjoy protests the circumstances that led to his becoming a "ward" of House Stark.[src]

In the booksEdit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Greatjon Umber is taken hostage by House Frey after the Red Wedding, as a political hostage as to usher House Umber 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.

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.

See alsoEdit

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