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Lord Commander

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Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch at the beginning of the TV series.

The Lord Commander is a rank found in several of the Seven Kingdoms' institutions. It is a combination of "Lord", meaning that the person holding the title is of noble birth, or at the very least knighted, and "Commander", indicating a position of authority and leadership. The term may refer to:

In contrast, the leader of the Kingsguard is always called "Lord Commander", though this might simply be because most knights tend to be noble-born. Even if a commoner is knighted for bravery on the battelfield but was not born noble - as was the case with Ser Duncan the Tall, who was born in the slums of Flea Bottom but later became Lord Commander - being knighted technically promotes a commoner into a "noble". Members of the Kingsguard are supposed to exclusively be knights, and thus even a common-born member such as Ser Duncan would be called "Lord" Commander on the grounds that he is at least a knight. The City Watch only runs into this difference because unlike the Kingsguard, non-knights and commoners can join it and rise to command positions.

Sandor Clegane's appointment to the Kingsguard was considered controversial because he wasn't even a knight, which was explicitly against the rules of the order. The Lannisters did offer to knight Sandor, but he simply refused, because he always considered allegedly honorable knights to be hypocrites. Ultimately, Sandor abandoned the Lannisters and the Kingsguard during the Battle of the Blackwater.

Ser Loras Tyrell briefly served as Lord Commander of Renly Baratheon's Kingsguard until the group's disbandment following Renly's assassination.

It is apparently no accident that the leader of both the Night's Watch and the Kingsguard hold the title "Lord Commander": when Visenya Targaryen organized the first Kingsguard for Aegon I Targaryen, she consciously modeled its vows on those of the Night's Watch, such as abandoning all previous political allegiances and swearing to hold no lands and father no children. Because Visenya was directly inspired by the Night's Watch, it seems that she directly took the title "Lord Commander" from the Watch as well.

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