- "All you lords and ladies, still think that the only thing that matters is gold. Well this makes me happier than all your gold ever could! And that makes me happier than all her sapphires, so go buy yourself a golden hand, and fuck yourself with it!"
- ―Locke explaining to Jaime Lannister why he does what he does.
Locke is a lesser lord sworn to House Bolton, and considered by Roose Bolton to be his best hunter. He is sent in pursuit of Jaime Lannister after the Kingslayer is freed from Northern captivity by Catelyn Stark.
On route to Harrenhal Locke and his men attempt to rape Brienne, but are persuaded otherwise by Jaime, who lies to the commander, convincing him that Brienne's home of Tarth - also known as the "Sapphire Isles"- is named such due to an abundance of precious gemstones, and that Selwyn Tarth would richly reward him for returning his only child intact. Emboldened by his success, Jaime attempts to barter for his release by reminding Locke of the wealth and power of his own father, Lord Tywin. This has an adverse effect, however, and Locke, angered by Jaime's arrogance and complacency mutilates him by severing his sword hand.
As Lord Bolton leaves to attend to the wedding of Edmure Tully, Locke receives a raven from Lord Selwyn Tarth offering 300 golden dragons to ransom Brienne, but Locke refuses. Locke taunts Jaime as he sets to leave for King's Landing with Qyburn and Steelshanks. He alter puts Brienne inside the Harrenhal bear pit for his amusement and that of his men, giving the warrior woman nothing but a wooden tourney sword to defend herself from the bear kept in the pit. To Locke's frustration, Jaime comes back to rescue Brienne and saves her from the pit with the aid of Steelshanks, who has no choice but to help Jaime to fulfill Lord Bolton's orders.
|Season Three appearances|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Locke is analogous to Vargo Hoat. Hoat is the leader of the Brave Companions, also called the Bloody Mummers and the Footmen, an ill-reputed sellsword company formed by dangerous men of different cultures and backgrounds, most of them from Essos. They are considered to be the worst criminal scums ever existed in both Westeros and Essos. The atrocities they have committed are far worse in their inhumane cruelty even than the savage raidings and mass-murders of the Mountain and his men.
Hoat hails from the Free City of Qohor. He's also known as "the Goat" for the banner of the Brave Companions, which shows the Black Goat of Qohor, and "the Crippler" for his habit of mutilating his victims. He is a ruthless, sadistic, and cunning villain. He is not trustworthy, and will switch sides if it suits his interests.
Vargo is described as tall, gaunt man with a long goatee. He wears a coat of arms feature the Black Goat of Qohor, a helm shaped as a goat's head and a necklace of coins from all the places where he has fought. His perpetually swollen tongue causes him to lisp and slobber when he speaks.
The known members of the Brave Companions are: Urswyck the Faithful (Hoat's second-in-command), Qyburn, Septon Utt, Shagwell the Fool, Zollo the Fat, Timeon, Pyg, Iggo, Togg Joth, Three Toes, Rorge and Biter.
The Brave Companions are hired by Tywin Lannister to pillage the villages at the Riverlands, similarly to the Mountain and Amory Lorch. After hearing news about Robb Stark's victories over the Lannisters, Hoat decides to switch sides and makes a deal with Roose Bolton. Shortly after Arya Stark and Jaqen H'ghar release the Northern prisoners held in Harrenhal, the Brave Companions overcome Lorch's soldiers and open the gates to Lord Roose. Hoat hopes that Stannis Baratheon will defeat the Lannisters, then reward Hoat for his small contribution in the Lannisters' downfall. Of course, Stannis would have never let the Brave Companions get away with their crimes, but his means of punishment would have been much kinder than what Hoat could expect from Tywin as a payback for turning his cloak.
About a dozen of the Brave Companions, led by Hoat's lieutenant Urswyck, captured Jaime and Brienne while they were fighting. Some of them said they were going to gang-rape Brienne. To foil them, Jaime told Urswyck that he would get sapphires as ransom for Brienne, and also tried to bribe him with promise of gold. Urswyck refused to bring Jaime to King's Landing for the promised ransom, but believed his lie about sapphires.
After Brienne and Jaime were brought to Hoat, Jaime tried to bribe him too with promise that Tywin would pay well for his son. Hoat answered "Oh yeth, half the gold in Cathterly Rock, I thall have. But firth I mutht thend him [Tywin] a methage". Then he had a Dothraki member of the Brave Companions, Zollo, chop off Jaime's hand with arakh. He also planned on gaining the favor of Lord Rickard Karstark, who had offered his daughter Alys to whoever brought him the Kingslayer.
While travelling to Harrenhal, the Brave Companions take delight in abusing Jaime, not only by repeated vicious beating: similarly to the show, they give him horse piss to drink instead of water, and he nearly chokes. They tie him to Brienne face-to-face horseback. Jaime manages to grab a sword, but he is too weak and fights very poorly with his left hand, that he is soon overcome. Hoat is quite amused, but warns Jaime that if he tries that again - he will lose his other hand too, or a foot.
One night on the way to Harrenhal, three of the Brave Companions (Rorge, Shagwell and Zollo) sneaked to the spot where Brienne slept, in attempt to rape her despite Hoat's orders. Jaime foiled them again by yelling "SAPPHIRES". The three thugs beat him unconscious, but Hoat heard his yell, and arrived in time to stop his men. Since then, every night Hoat put guards on his captives.
When Jaime and Brienne are brought to Harrenhal, Roose is very displeased to see that Jaime was maimed, and to hear that Brienne was nearly gang-raped.
Roose explains to Jaime at length why Hoat maimed him: it was not a simple act of sadism. Following the Battle of the Blackwater, Hoat realized he underestimated the Lannisters. He fears - correctly - that Roose Bolton might betray Robb Stark to the Lannisters, and hand over Hoat and the Brave Companions to Tywin so he could punish them for their betrayal. Thus Jaime's maiming was meant to drive a wedge between Tywin and Roose, as Tywin would presumably blame Bolton for the actions of the sellswords under his command. In order to foil Hoat's intentions, Roose decides to let Jaime continue on to King's Landing, provided that Jaime will tell his father the truth, that Roose was not responsible for his maiming at the hands of the Brave Companions. Jaime agrees, not only because it is the truth, but because otherwise Roose will let Hoat do with him as he pleases. The result of maiming Jaime is only that Tywin is even angrier at the Brave Companions than he was before, and Bolton has even less reason to protect them from Tywin's wrath.
Roose makes it clear, however, that he will not deprive Hoat of both his prizes, hence Brienne must stay at Harrenhal for Hoat's entertainments. Jaime does not argue.
Hoat sends demand of ransom to Brienne's father. Lord Selwyn offers 300 dragons for his daughter's safe return, which is a fair ransom for a knight. Unfortunately, Hoat still believes in Jaime's lie about sapphires, and thinks that Selwyn intends to cheat him.
After Jaime and Roose Bolton leave Harrenhal, Brienne remains as Hoat's captive. Jaime knows that Brienne can protect herself against rape attempts, but he fears that if she resists too much, Hoat may cut her limbs. Qyburn tells Jaime that Hoat rejected Lord Selwyn's offer of ransom. Jaime is irritated to hear that his lie, which saved Brienne twice from gang-rape, may cost her life. Yet he does not intend to go back and save her, but only after having a feverish dream about her.
Hoat tries to rape Brienne, but she resists and bites off one of his ears, leading him to throw her in the bear pit, arming her with only blunt tourney sword. Jaime and Steelshanks return to Harrenhal in time to save her. Hoat warns Jaime not to intervene unless he wants another stump. Jaime offers Hoat to pay any ransom he wants with gold, sapphires or whatever, but Hoat taunts him "You want her? Go get her".
Desperately, Jaime jumps into the pit in attempt to save Brienne (although there is not much he can do, unarmed and with only one hand). Luckily, Steelshanks orders his archers to shoot the bear. Some of the Brave Companions are enraged at Jaime for ruining their entertainment and draw their weapons, but Hoat realizes that Steelshanks' men outnumber his men 2:1, while half of the latter are too drunk to fight. He is furious for losing both his captive and the bear, but has no choice but to let Jaime and Brienne be pulled out. In attempt to cut his losses, Hoat tells Jaime "I hath chothen to be merthiful. Tell your lord father". Jaime answers "I will, my lord", but muses "Not that it will do you any good". Jaime, Brienne and Steelshanks leave safely.
In the books, "Locke" is the name of a noble house of the North, sworn to the Starks. Its role in the book events is rather minor. Their seat is Oldcastle. Only a few members of the house are mentioned very briefly throughout the books. One of the house members, Ser Donnel Locke, was slain in the Red Wedding.
- Vargo Hoat at A Wiki of Ice and Fire (MAJOR spoilers from the books)
|Lord:||Lord Roose Bolton||Heir:||Ramsay Snow|
|Seat:||The Dreadfort||Lands:||The North|
|Title(s):||Lord of the Dreadfort · Warden of the North · Lord Paramount of the North|
|Current members:||Walda Bolton|
|Household:||Locke · Reek · Steelshanks · Myranda · Violet|
|Overlord:||House Baratheon of King's Landing|