Drawings inspired by the A Song of Ice and Fire book series

Moments from the life of ser Barristan Selmy, Kingsguard Knight in Queen Daenerys Targaryen service

From A Storm of Swords the Daenerys V chapter 57; ser Barristan, under the identity of Arstan Whitebeard, armed only with a wooden staff, defends queen Daenerys from the attack of Mero, former commander of the Seconds Sons.

Ser Barristan Selmy, as Arstan Whitebeard, armed only with a wooden staff, defends queen Daenerys from Mero attacking her with a sword.
Ser Barristan Selmy, as Arstan Whitebeard, armed only with a wooden staff, defends queen Daenerys from Mero attacking her with a sword. “Whitebeard put Dany behind him. Mero slashed at his face. The old man jerked back, cat-quick. The staff thumped Mero’s ribs, sending him reeling.”

Reference excerpt from the book: Daenerys V; A Storm of Swords

Dany had stopped to speak to a pregnant woman who wanted the Mother of Dragons to name her baby when someone reached up and grabbed her left wrist. Turning, she glimpsed a tall ragged man with a shaved head and a sunburnt face. “Not so hard,” she started to say, but before she could finish he’d yanked her bodily from the saddle. The ground came up and knocked the breath from her, as her silver whinnied and backed away. Stunned, Dany rolled to her side and pushed herself onto one elbow…

… and then she saw the sword.

“There’s the treacherous sow,” he said. “I knew you’d come to get your feet kissed one day.” His head was bald as a melon, his nose red and peeling, but she knew that voice and those pale green eyes. “I’m going to start by cutting off your teats.” Dany was dimly aware of Missandei shouting for help. A freedman edged forward, but only a step. One quick slash, and he was on his knees, blood running down his face. Mero wiped his sword on his breeches. “Who’s next?”

“I am.” Arstan Whitebeard leapt from his horse and stood over her, the salt wind riffling through his snowy hair, both hands on his tall hardwood staff.
“Grandfather,” Mero said, “run off before I break your stick in two and bugger you with-”

The old man feinted with one end of the staff, pulled it back, and whipped the other end about faster than Dany would have believed. The Titan’s Bastard staggered back into the surf, spitting blood and broken teeth from the ruin of his mouth. Whitebeard put Dany behind him. Mero slashed at his face. The old man jerked back, cat-quick. The staff thumped Mero’s ribs, sending him reeling. Arstan splashed sideways, parried a looping cut, danced away from a second, checked a third mid-swing. The moves were so fast she could hardly follow. Missandei was pulling Dany to her feet when she heard a crack. She thought Arstan’s staff had snapped until she saw the jagged bone jutting from Mero’s calf. As he fell, the Titan’s Bastard twisted and lunged, sending his point straight at the old man’s chest. Whitebeard swept the blade aside almost contemptuously and smashed the other end of his staff against the big man’s temple. Mero went sprawling, blood bubbling from his mouth as the waves washed over him. A moment later the freedmen washed over him too, knives and stones and angry fists rising and falling in a frenzy.

Ser Barristan in single combat with Khrazz the pit fighter
Ser Barristan in single combat with Khrazz the pit fighter

Ser Barristan Selmy accuses king Hizdar Zo Loraq of attemptiong to assasinate queen Daenerys Targaryen via the poisoned locusts, he is about to arrest him, but finds the pit fighter Khrazz, personal guard to the king, on his way.

Reference excerpt from the book: The Kingbreaker; A Dance with Dragons


Selmy blocked the cuts at his head and let his armor stop the rest, whilst his own blade opened the pit fighter’s cheek from ear to mouth, then traced a raw red gash across his chest. Blood welled from Khrazz’s wounds.

That only seemed to make him wilder. He seized the brazier with his off hand and flipped it, scattering embers and hot coals at Selmy’s feet.

Ser Barristan leapt over them. Khrazz slashed at his arm and caught him, but the arakh could only chip the hard enamel before it met the steel below.

“In the pit that would have taken your arm off, old man.”

“We are not in the pit.”

“Take off that armor!”

“It is not too late to throw down your steel. Yield.”

“Die,” spat Khrazz … but as he lifted his arakh, its tip grazed one of the wall hangings and hung.

That was all the chance Ser Barristan required.

He slashed open the pit fighter’s belly, parried the arakh as it wrenched free, then finished Khrazz with a quick thrust to the heart as the pit fighter’s entrails came sliding out like a nest of greasy eels.

From A Dance with Dragons the Kingbreaker chapter; ser Barristan in his small and spartan room, getting dressed in white after a bath, preparing himself for capturing king Hizdar.
Thoghts of dead kings in his mind.

Ser Barristan Selmy in his room in the Great Pyramid of Meereen
Ser Barristan Selmy in his room in the Great Pyramid of Meereen dressing himself in the Kingsguard white

Reference excerpt from the book: The Kingbreaker; A Dance with Dragons

When the last light had faded in the west, behind the sails of the prowling ships on Slaver’s Bay, Ser Barristan went back inside, summoned a pair of serving men, and told them to heat some water for a bath. Sparring with his squires in the afternoon heat had left him feeling soiled and sweaty.

The water, when it came, was only lukewarm, but Selmy lingered in the bath until it had grown cold and scrubbed his skin till it was raw. Clean as he had ever been, he rose, dried himself, and clad himself in whites. Stockings, smallclothes, silken tunic, padded jerkin, all fresh-washed and bleached. Over that he donned the armor that the queen had given him as a token of her esteem. The mail was gilded, finely wrought, the links as supple as good leather, the plate enameled, hard as ice and bright as new-fallen snow. His dagger went on one hip, his long-sword on the other, hung from a white leather belt with golden buckles. Last of all he took down his long white cloak and fastened it about his shoulders.

The helm he left upon its hook. The narrow eye slit limited his vision, and he needed to be able to see for what was to come. The halls of the pyramid were dark at night, and foes could come at you from either side. Besides, though the ornate dragon’s wings that adorned the helm were splendid to look upon, they could too easily catch a sword or axe. He would leave them for his next tourney if the Seven should grant him one.

Armed and armored, the old knight waited, sitting in the gloom of his small chamber adjoining the queen’s apartments. The faces of all the kings that he had served and failed floated before him in the darkness, and the faces of the brothers who had served beside him in the Kingsguard as well. He wondered how many of them would have done what he was about to do. Some, surely. But not all. Some would not have hesitated to strike down the Shavepate as a traitor. Outside the pyramid, it began to rain. Ser Barristan sat along in the dark, listening. It sounds like tears, he thought. It sounds like dead kings, weeping.

From The Winds of Winter Barristan Selmy I Preview Chapter here’s ser Barristan on Dany’s silver moments before sounding the attack on the Yunkaii and sellsword forces assembled outside Meereen city walls.

ser Barristan Selmy on Daenerys Targaryen silver horse
Ser Barristan the Bold on Dany’s silver horse

Reference excerpt from the book: Barristan Selmy I; The Winds of Winter

He wheeled his silver mare about. “Gather round me, men.”

When they edged their horses closer, he said, “I know what you are feeling. I have felt the same myself, a hundred times. Your breath is coming faster than it should. In your belly a knot of fear coils like a cold black worm. You feel as though you need to empty your bladder, maybe move your bowels. Your mouth is dry as the sands of Dorne. What if you shame yourself out there, you wonder? What if you forget all your training? You yearn to be a hero, but deep down inside you fear you might be craven.”

“Every boy feels the same way on the eve of battle. Aye, and grown men as well. Those Stormcrows over there are feeling the same thing. So are the Dothraki. There is no shame in fear, unless you let it master you. We all taste terror in our time.”

“I am not afraid.” The Red Lamb’s voice was loud, almost to the point of shouting. “Should I die, I will go before the Great Shepherd of Lhazar, break his crook across my knee, and say to him, ‘Why did you make your people lambs, when the world is full of wolves?’ Then I will spit into his eye.”
Ser Barristan smiled. “Well said … but take care that you do not seek death out there, or you will surely find it. The Stranger comes for all of us, but we need not rush into his arms.”

“Whatever might befall us on the battlefield, remember, it has happened before, and to better men than you. I am an old man, an old knight, and I have seen more battles than most of you have years. Nothing is more terrible upon this earth, nothing more glorious, nothing more absurd. You may retch. You will not be the first. You may drop your sword, your shield, your lance. Others have done the same. Pick it up and go on fighting. You may foul your breeches. I did, in my first battle. No one will care. All battlefields smell of shit. You may cry out for your mother, pray to gods you thought you had forgotten, howl obscenities that you never dreamed could pass your lips. All this has happened too.
“Some men die in every battle. More survive. East or west, in every inn and wine sink, you will find greybeards endlessly refighting the wars of their youth. They survived their battles. So may you. This you can be certain of: the foe you see before you is just another man, and like as not he is as frightened as you. Hate him if you must, love him if you can, but lift your sword and bring it down, then ride on. Above all else, keep moving. We are too few to win the battle. We ride to make chaos, to buy the Unsullied time enough to make their spear wall, we—”

“Ser?” Larraq pointed with the Kingsguard banner, even as a wordless murmur went up from a thousand pairs of lips.

Far across the city, where the shadowed steps of Meereen’s Great Pyramid shouldered eight hundred feet into a starless sky, a fire had awoken where once the harpy stood. A yellow spark at the apex of the pyramid, it glimmered and was gone again, and for half a heartbeat Ser Barristan was afraid the wind had blown it out. Then it returned, brighter, fiercer, the flames swirling, now yellow, now red, now orange, reaching up, clawing at the dark.

Away to the east, dawn was breaking behind the hills. Another thousand voices were exclaiming now. Another thousand men were looking, pointing, donning their helms, reaching for their swords and axes. Ser Barristan heard the rattle of chains. That was the portcullis coming up. Next would come the groan of the gate’s huge iron hinges. It was time.

The Red Lamb handed him his winged helm. Barristan Selmy slipped it down over his head, fastened it to his gorget, pulled up his shield, slipped his arm inside the straps. The air tasted strangely sweet. There was nothing like the prospect of death to make a man feel alive.

“May the Warrior protect us all,” he told his lads.

“Sound the attack.”

Thanks to angry GOT fan website for the text.

Again, from A Dance with Dragons in the Kingbreaker chapter, Ser Barristan desires to knight his squires and at the same time he is worried to dishonor them if his plan to capture king Hizdar will go awry. It is then implied that he knighted Tumco Lho, Larraq the Lash and the Red Lamb; the best of the boys he was teaching to.

Tumco Lho and ser Barristan Selmy
Ser Barristan Selmy just after having kinghted Tumco Lho, the best natural swordman he’s seen since Jaime Lannister

Reference excerpt from the book: The Kingbreaker; A Dance with Dragons

Tumco Lho. Black as maester’s ink he was, but fast and strong, the best natural swordsman Selmy had seen since Jaime Lannister. Larraq as well. The Lash. Ser Barristan did not approve of his fighting style, but there was no doubting his skills. Larraq had years of work ahead of him before he mastered proper knightly weapons, sword and lance and mace, but he was deadly with his whip and trident. The old knight had warned him that the whip would be useless against an armored foe … until he saw how Larraq used it, snapping it around the legs of his opponents to yank them off their feet. No knight as yet, but a fierce fighter.
Larraq and Tumco were his best. After them the Lhazarene, the one the other boys called Red Lamb, though as yet that one was all ferocity and no technique. Perhaps the brothers too, three lowborn Ghiscari enslaved to pay their father’s debts.
As he watched them at their drills, Ser Barristan pondered raising Tumco and Larraq to knighthood then and there, and mayhaps the Red Lamb too. It required a knight to make a knight, and if something should go awry tonight, dawn might find him dead or in a dungeon. Who would dub his squires then? On the other hand, a young knight’s repute derived at least in part from the honor of the man who conferred knighthood on him. It would do his lads no good at all if it was known that they were given their spurs by a traitor, and might well land them in the dungeon next to him. They deserve better, Ser Barristan decided. Better a long life as a squire than a short one as a soiled knight.
As the afternoon melted into evening, he bid his charges to lay down their swords and shields and gather round. He spoke to them about what it meant to be a knight. “It is chivalry that makes a true knight, not a sword,” he said. “Without honor, a knight is no more than a common killer. It is better to die with honor than to live without it.” The boys looked at him strangely, he thought, but one day they would understand.

Again from The Winds of Winter Barristan Selmy I Preview Chapter as ser Barristan is on Dany’s silver giving his speech Tumco Lho and Larraq the Lash are ahorse to, bearing respectively the Targaryen and Kinsguard standards.
Atop the Great Pyramid the fire signal starts burning and they get ready to sound the attack.

Tumco Lho and Larraq the Lash
Tumco Lho and Larraq the Lash atop their horses bearing the Targaryen and Kingsguard standards

Reference excerpt from the book: Barristan Selmy I; The Winds of Winter

With him rode three of his lads. Tumco Lho carried the three-headed dragon banner of House Targaryen, red on black. Larraq the Lash bore the white forked standard of the Kingsguard: seven silver swords encircling a golden crown.

These pictures are part of a drawing series inspired by the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series by George R.R. Martin.
The objective for this drawing series is to present each illustration accompanied by the relative quote from the books.
To present characters and scenes as described in the books.
The Novels are considered Canon, the HBO show, though being amazing, is not object of interest for this drawing series.

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Ser Barristan Selmy drawings. by Winter Design is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://www.winterdesign.it/.

Ser Barristan Selmy Drawing Series from the Meereen Story Arc