Bronn: Justice is a funny thing. For the poor, it's what keeps them alive - and starving; Depending on how the local lord feels about his woods, his streams, his crops. For the rich, justice is what you get if you are not careful enough - or rich enough. Usually how it works is: you commit a crime and the local lord sends his guards after you; or your victim's family kills you and the guards go after them instead. Or you do nothing, and the guards come after you anyway. Either way, someone is brought before the lord and he decides what's to be done. Could be a fine, if you are rich enough to pay. Otherwise it's the dungeons, the chopping block or the Wall.
You'd think that most folks would choose the Wall. The North is nasty, dark and cold - but so are most dungeons - and every man knows how the Night's Watch earned their name: all they can do is watch. I don't blame the men who choose a quick chop rather than life without one of it's few joys. If you are in the capital, it's the King's Justice who takes your head. Elsewhere in the south, the headsman of the local lord. But in the North, it's the lord himself. "The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword", they say up there. Sounds noble, but given some of the Northern lords I've met, they just don't want anyone else spoiling their fun.
If you're so unlucky to be in the Vale when you are caught, you might never make it to sentencing thanks to their sky cells. Open on one side to a long fall, with the floor sloping down towards it like a woman's thighs. After a few days, they say the sky starts calling to you. Men jump with smiles on their faces, expecting the wind to lift them into the sky; it doesn't. To think Lord Tyrion was one tit-shaped cloud away from death. Lucky for him, he was highborn. If your family honor goes back hundreds of years to a time when your ancestors hit other men harder than they were hit, you had another option: trial by combat. You either fight your accuser, or you both pick champions to fight on your behalf, and the gods will favor the righteous man... as long as he's also the strongest, the quickest or the luckiest.
Once in a long while, you may get two real highborn shits having a go at each other; and one of them might be fool enough to demand a trial by seven. Exactly how it sounds: seven men against seven men. Makes for a good show,I guess. But any man who's been in battle knows that the more men involved, the less skill needed, the more chance of accidents. Just ask that Targaryen prince who got his head staved in by his brother all those years ago. And all for some hedge knight.
If you ever find yourself arrested in the Seven Kingdoms, just remember that justice is up to the judge. Beg him for forgiveness, or pay him for it, or ask to be allowed to take the black; but remember that he doesn't have to let you. There are plenty of lords out there who think hands and heads are great decorations for their spikes. The septons claim that justice is of the gods. Nice of them to keep it up there to themselves.
- A member of House Beesbury is shown fighting in the trial of seven of Duncan the Tall. In The Hedge Knight, the brothers Ser Raymun Beesbury and Ser Humfrey Beesbury both fought in the trial of seven on opposite sides, but it is unclear which of them it is supposed to be.
- Tyrion Lannister
- Ser Humfrey Beesbury
- Ser Lyonel Baratheon
- Ser Duncan the Tall
- Ser Willem Wylde
- Prince Maekar Targaryen
- Prince Baelor Targaryen, "Breakspear"