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{{Dialogue a-b|Lysa Arryn|You demanded a trial by combat.|Tyrion Lannister|And I demand a champion. I have that right, same as you.|Tyrion and Lysa Arryn at [[the Eyrie]]|A Golden Crown}}
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{{Quote|A trial by combat, deciding a man's guilt or innocence in the eyes of the gods by having two other men hack each other to pieces. Tells you something about the gods.|Tyrion Lannister|The Mountain and the Viper}}
   
A '''trial by combat''' is a means by which a party can prove their innocence when accused of a crime in the [[Seven Kingdoms]]. In lieu of a standard trial where a lord hears testimony from the involved parties and makes a ruling, one or all parties may choose the option of a trial by combat.
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A '''trial by combat''' is a means by which a party can prove their innocence when accused of a crime in the [[Seven Kingdoms]]. In lieu of a standard trial where a lord - or a council of them - hears testimony from the involved parties and makes a ruling, one or all parties may choose the option of a trial by combat.
   
In a trial by combat the accused may represent themselves in combat or, if unable (such as if they are female, injured, crippled, or otherwise incapacitated), may ask for a champion to represent them. The victorious party is held to have had his or her case judged fairly by the [[Faith of the Seven|Seven]] (or other faiths such as the Red God) and has proven their innocence in the eyes of the gods. Hence, they are cleared of all charges.
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In a trial by combat the accused may represent themselves in combat or, if unable (such as if they are female, injured, crippled, a [[Dwarfs|dwarf]], or otherwise incapacitated), may ask for a champion to represent them. The victorious party is held to have had his or her case judged fairly by the gods (be it [[the Seven]], the [[Old Gods]] or the [[R'hllor|Lord of Light]]) and has proven their truthfulness in the eyes of the gods. Hence, if the accused party is victorious, they are cleared of all charges. If the accused or their champion is defeated, however, then they are considered guilty and condemned to death.
   
 
==History==
 
==History==
 
===[[Season 1]]===
 
===[[Season 1]]===
Refusing to have his fate judged by the obviously partial and under-aged Lord [[Robin Arryn]], [[Tyrion Lannister]] demands a trial by combat. As Robin is underaged and his mother [[Lysa Arryn]] cannot fight, Lysa names Ser [[Vardis Egen]], the captain of her guards, to fight as her champion. Tyrion also demands the right to name a champion to fight on his behalf. Ser Vardis agrees that because Tyrion is a dwarf half his size and thus not martially skilled, it would be shameful to kill him and call it justice, and he gladly accepts to fight Tyrion's champion. Tyrion initially tries to name his brother, the feared master swordsman Ser [[Jaime Lannister]], but Lysa refuses and insists that the combat must take place that day. Tyrion asks for volunteers from the court but is only jeered at, however just as Lysa is about to condemn him, the common [[Mercenary|sellsword]] [[Bronn]] steps forward and says that he will stand for the dwarf.
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Refusing to have his fate judged by Lord [[Robin Arryn]], [[Tyrion Lannister]] demands a [[First Trial of Tyrion Lannister|trial by combat]] when charged with the murder of[[Jon Arryn| Jon Arryn]]. As Robin is underage and his mother [[Lysa Arryn]] cannot fight, she names Ser [[Vardis Egen]], the [[Captain of the Guards]] of [[the Eyrie]], as her champion. Tyrion also demands the right to name a champion to fight and chooses his brother, Ser [[Jaime Lannister]], but Lysa refuses because Jaime is not present; she insists that the combat must take place that day. Tyrion asks for volunteers from the court but is only jeered at. However, just as Lysa is about to condemn him, the [[Mercenary|sellsword]] [[Bronn]] steps forward and offers to fight for the dwarf.
   
Ser Vardis readies for the combat by donning full armor and a heavy shield. In contrast, Bronn eschews offers to be lent armor or a shield, preferring to maintain his maneuverability at the risk of making himself more vulnerable. The pair engage in a fierce running duel throughout [[the Eyrie]]'s throneroom. Ser Vardis nearly forces Bronn out the Moon Door to fall to his death at one point, but Bronn breaks off from the attack. Bronn uses underhanded tactics such as knocking objects onto the floor, jumping over railings, and running behind stone pillars. This forces Ser Vardis to chase after him while still in his heavy armor, tiring him out. When Bronn sees that Vardis is tiring he seizes the opportunity to land a quick stabbing blow to his side. The wounded Vardis fights even slower, until ultimately Bronn quickly sidesteps him and slashes him deeply across the back with his sword. Bronn then disarms the badly wounded Vardis and having won the combat, finishes off Vardis by stabbing him in the neck with a sword, then throwing his body out the Moon Door in the floor. Lysa Arryn angrily shouts that Bronn does not fight with honor, to which Bronn matter-of-factly agrees, then indicats the Moon Door he had just thrown Vardis' body into, and points out that he fought with honor and died. Tyrion is then released as per the results of the trial by combat.<ref>"[[A Golden Crown]]"</ref>
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[[File:Bronn_defeats_Vardis.jpg|right|thumb|250px|Bronn defeats Ser Vardis Egen in trial by combat.]]
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Ser Vardis dons full armor and a heavy shield while Bronn eschews offers to be lent armor or a shield, preferring to maintain his maneuverability at the risk of making himself more vulnerable. The pair engage in a fierce running duel throughout [[the Eyrie]]'s throne room. Ser Vardis nearly forces Bronn out the Moon Door at one point, but Bronn breaks off from the attack. Bronn uses underhanded tactics such as knocking objects onto the floor, jumping over railings, and running behind stone pillars. Ser Vardis, forced to chase after Bronn, grows increasingly tired. Bronn manages to land a quick stabbing blow to his side. The wounded Vardis fights even slower, until ultimately Bronn sidesteps him and slashes him deeply across the back. The sellsword then disarms the badly wounded knight and finishes him off by driving his sword through the knight's neck, then throwing his body out the Moon Door. Lysa Arryn shouts that Bronn did not fight with honor. He matter-of-factly agrees, and indicates that Ser Vardis did. Thus acquitted, Tyrion is then released.<ref>"[[A Golden Crown]]"</ref>
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===[[Season 3]]===
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[[File:Beric_vs._Clegane_s3e5.jpg|250px|right|thumb|Lord Beric Dondarrion and Sandor Clegane in trial by combat.]]
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During her captivity with the [[Brotherhood Without Banners]], [[Arya Stark]] accuses [[Sandor Clegane]] for the death of her friend [[Mycah]]. As the Hound argues he was following the orders of Prince [[Joffrey Baratheon]] and there are no other witnesses, Lord [[Beric Dondarrion]] sentences the deserter [[Kingsguard]] to trial by combat.<ref>"[[And Now His Watch is Ended]]"</ref>
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Lord Beric uses his own blood to ignite his sword during his duel with the Hound. Clegane is initially at a disadvantage due to his fear of fire, and is disturbed by the flaming sword and the torches inside [[Hollow Hill]]. Dondarrion manages to set the Hound's shield on fire, but Clegane eventually overpowers the outlaw lord and kills him. Even though [[Thoros]] resurrects his fallen comrade, the Hound is found innocent before the eyes of the [[Lord of Light]] and allowed to go.<ref>"[[Kissed by Fire]]"</ref>
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===[[Season 4]]===
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[[File:The_Viper_vs_the_Mountain4.jpg|thumb|250px|Prince Oberyn Martell and Gregor Clegane in trial by combat.]]
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Considering his [[Court trial of Tyrion Lannister|trial]] for the [[Purple Wedding|murder]] of [[Joffrey Baratheon]] to be a farce, and refusing to go along with his [[Tywin Lannister|father's]] plans, Tyrion Lannister demands a trial by combat to defend his innocence.<ref>"[[The Laws of Gods and Men]]"</ref> Queen [[Cersei]] chooses Ser [[Gregor Clegane]] as her champion. Tyrion has difficulty finding a champion; his brother Jaime cannot fight well enough with his left hand, while Bronn is unwilling to face Clegane. However, [[Oberyn Martell]] then volunteers to stand as champion for Tyrion to get a chance to kill the Mountain as revenge for the rape and murder of his sister Elia and her children during the [[Sack of King's Landing]].<ref>"[[Mockingbird]]"</ref>
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During the [[Second Trial by Combat of Tyrion Lannister|trial]], Oberyn Martell fights with a spear and little armor while Gregor Clegane is covered in heavy plate armor and wields a greatsword. Oberyn uses his speed and the long reach of his spear to gain the upper hand against Gregor. He wounds Clegane and knocks him on his back. However, Oberyn is obsessed with extracting a confession from Gregor and he lets his guard down, and is tripped by Gregor. Gregor roars for all to hear that he raped and killed Elia as he smashes out Oberyn's teeth and gouges his eyes out, before crushing Oberyn's skull between his fists and collapsing next to his dead opponent. Thus, Tyrion is found guilty and sentenced to death<ref>"[[The Mountain and the Viper]]"</ref>, although he manages to escape King's Landing for Essos before his execution.
   
 
==In the books==
 
==In the books==
In the ''[[A Song of Ice and Fire]]'' novels, trials by combat are risky gambits only invoked when there is little other choice. In historical times there were more variations of the trial, such as a trial of seven when the two sides would pick seven champions who would fight until one side yielded or the plaintiff withdrew their charge. This was held to be a more holy contest, but the practical difficulties have made such trials rare. Ser [[Duncan the Tall]] first came to the attention of legend by holding a trial of seven against his accuser, Prince Aerion Targaryen, and defeating him and his seven.
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In the ''[[A Song of Ice and Fire]]'' novels, trials by combat are risky gambits only invoked when there is little other choice. In historical times there were more variations of the trial, such as a trial of seven when the two sides would pick seven champions who would fight until one side yielded or the plaintiff withdrew their charge. This was held to be a more holy contest, but the practical difficulties have made such trials rare. Ser [[Duncan the Tall]] first came to the attention of legend by holding a trial of seven against his accuser, Prince [[Aerion Targaryen]], and defeating him and his other six.
   
 
For trials by combat involving the royal family, they must be defended by a [[knighthood|knight]] of the [[Kingsguard]].
 
For trials by combat involving the royal family, they must be defended by a [[knighthood|knight]] of the [[Kingsguard]].
   
 
==See Also==
 
==See Also==
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*{{AWOIAF}} (MAJOR spoilers from the books)
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_by_combat Trial by combat] on Wikipedia.org.
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* {{WP}}
   
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
[[Category:Culture]]
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[[de:Urteil durch Kampf]]
 
[[Category:Religion]]
 
[[Category:Religion]]
 
[[Category:Faith of the Seven]]
 
[[Category:Faith of the Seven]]
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[[Category:Culture & Society]]

Latest revision as of 22:55, October 10, 2014

"A trial by combat, deciding a man's guilt or innocence in the eyes of the gods by having two other men hack each other to pieces. Tells you something about the gods."
―Tyrion Lannister[src]

A trial by combat is a means by which a party can prove their innocence when accused of a crime in the Seven Kingdoms. In lieu of a standard trial where a lord - or a council of them - hears testimony from the involved parties and makes a ruling, one or all parties may choose the option of a trial by combat.

In a trial by combat the accused may represent themselves in combat or, if unable (such as if they are female, injured, crippled, a dwarf, or otherwise incapacitated), may ask for a champion to represent them. The victorious party is held to have had his or her case judged fairly by the gods (be it the Seven, the Old Gods or the Lord of Light) and has proven their truthfulness in the eyes of the gods. Hence, if the accused party is victorious, they are cleared of all charges. If the accused or their champion is defeated, however, then they are considered guilty and condemned to death.

HistoryEdit

Season 1Edit

Refusing to have his fate judged by Lord Robin Arryn, Tyrion Lannister demands a trial by combat when charged with the murder of Jon Arryn. As Robin is underage and his mother Lysa Arryn cannot fight, she names Ser Vardis Egen, the Captain of the Guards of the Eyrie, as her champion. Tyrion also demands the right to name a champion to fight and chooses his brother, Ser Jaime Lannister, but Lysa refuses because Jaime is not present; she insists that the combat must take place that day. Tyrion asks for volunteers from the court but is only jeered at. However, just as Lysa is about to condemn him, the sellsword Bronn steps forward and offers to fight for the dwarf.

Bronn defeats Vardis

Bronn defeats Ser Vardis Egen in trial by combat.

Ser Vardis dons full armor and a heavy shield while Bronn eschews offers to be lent armor or a shield, preferring to maintain his maneuverability at the risk of making himself more vulnerable. The pair engage in a fierce running duel throughout the Eyrie's throne room. Ser Vardis nearly forces Bronn out the Moon Door at one point, but Bronn breaks off from the attack. Bronn uses underhanded tactics such as knocking objects onto the floor, jumping over railings, and running behind stone pillars. Ser Vardis, forced to chase after Bronn, grows increasingly tired. Bronn manages to land a quick stabbing blow to his side. The wounded Vardis fights even slower, until ultimately Bronn sidesteps him and slashes him deeply across the back. The sellsword then disarms the badly wounded knight and finishes him off by driving his sword through the knight's neck, then throwing his body out the Moon Door. Lysa Arryn shouts that Bronn did not fight with honor. He matter-of-factly agrees, and indicates that Ser Vardis did. Thus acquitted, Tyrion is then released.[1]

Season 3Edit

Beric vs. Clegane s3e5

Lord Beric Dondarrion and Sandor Clegane in trial by combat.

During her captivity with the Brotherhood Without Banners, Arya Stark accuses Sandor Clegane for the death of her friend Mycah. As the Hound argues he was following the orders of Prince Joffrey Baratheon and there are no other witnesses, Lord Beric Dondarrion sentences the deserter Kingsguard to trial by combat.[2]

Lord Beric uses his own blood to ignite his sword during his duel with the Hound. Clegane is initially at a disadvantage due to his fear of fire, and is disturbed by the flaming sword and the torches inside Hollow Hill. Dondarrion manages to set the Hound's shield on fire, but Clegane eventually overpowers the outlaw lord and kills him. Even though Thoros resurrects his fallen comrade, the Hound is found innocent before the eyes of the Lord of Light and allowed to go.[3]

Season 4Edit

The Viper vs the Mountain4

Prince Oberyn Martell and Gregor Clegane in trial by combat.

Considering his trial for the murder of Joffrey Baratheon to be a farce, and refusing to go along with his father's plans, Tyrion Lannister demands a trial by combat to defend his innocence.[4] Queen Cersei chooses Ser Gregor Clegane as her champion. Tyrion has difficulty finding a champion; his brother Jaime cannot fight well enough with his left hand, while Bronn is unwilling to face Clegane. However, Oberyn Martell then volunteers to stand as champion for Tyrion to get a chance to kill the Mountain as revenge for the rape and murder of his sister Elia and her children during the Sack of King's Landing.[5]

During the trial, Oberyn Martell fights with a spear and little armor while Gregor Clegane is covered in heavy plate armor and wields a greatsword. Oberyn uses his speed and the long reach of his spear to gain the upper hand against Gregor. He wounds Clegane and knocks him on his back. However, Oberyn is obsessed with extracting a confession from Gregor and he lets his guard down, and is tripped by Gregor. Gregor roars for all to hear that he raped and killed Elia as he smashes out Oberyn's teeth and gouges his eyes out, before crushing Oberyn's skull between his fists and collapsing next to his dead opponent. Thus, Tyrion is found guilty and sentenced to death[6], although he manages to escape King's Landing for Essos before his execution.

In the booksEdit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, trials by combat are risky gambits only invoked when there is little other choice. In historical times there were more variations of the trial, such as a trial of seven when the two sides would pick seven champions who would fight until one side yielded or the plaintiff withdrew their charge. This was held to be a more holy contest, but the practical difficulties have made such trials rare. Ser Duncan the Tall first came to the attention of legend by holding a trial of seven against his accuser, Prince Aerion Targaryen, and defeating him and his other six.

For trials by combat involving the royal family, they must be defended by a knight of the Kingsguard.

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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