At the start of the second episode titled ‘The Rogue Prince’ of HOTD, it is announced that Ser Ryam, the Lord Commander of Kingsguard has passed in his sleep due to a long illness. Thereafter, a “number of fine candidates” for the post are called to King Viserys’s court. Viserys later asks Rhaenyra to choose the best candidate among them and she chooses Ser Criston Cole in the Kingsguard. But who are the other candidates including Ser Cole in the court? Since not all the Knights are mentioned by their names, we will be looking at the houses that they hailed from as their house flags are clearly visible.
Let’s look into them one by one.
The House Crakehall of Crakehall is one of the primary noble houses from the Westerlands. It was founded by the legendary Crake the Boarkiller. Mainly known for their robustness, their seat – Crakehall is located along the Ocean Road, at the south of the Westerlands between the Sunset Sea and a large forest. The Crakehalls are a house of First Men origin who claim descent from Crake the Boarkiller from the Age of Heroes. Most of the Crakehall men are knights. One of the Kingsguard candidates is from House Crakehall. Their Sigil is a black and white brindled boar on brown background. Their house words are – “None So Fierce”.
The House Mallister of Seagard is one of the noblest houses from Riverlands. Seagard is a fortress built to defend the coast against the reavers from the Iron Islands and dates from before Aegon’s Conquest. The Mallisters distrust the Ironborn. Their sigil is a silver eagle over a purple field background. Their house words are “Above the Rest.” During the Targaryen era, House Mallister aided House Targaryen during Aegon’s Conquest and rebelled against King Harren the Black of Harrenhal. Ser Rymun Mallister, son of Lord Lymond Mallister of Seagard is one of the Kingsgard candidates at the court. One of the Kingsguard candidates is from House Mallister.
One of the Kingsguard candidates is from House Corbray of Heart’s Home, which is a vassal house holding its fealty to the House Arryn of Eyre. They descend from the Andals, and are proud to hold one of the purest Andal bloodlines in Westeros. It is an old but poor house, however, they have been notable warriors and fighters throughout history. This house was founded by Ser Corwyn Corbray and their ancestral weapon is a Valyrian steel longsword known as Lady Forlorn. Their Sigil is three black ravens in flight, each holding three red hearts, on a white field. Their words do not appear in the books nor is mentioned in both (GOT and HOTD) the TV series.
The House Tarly of Horn Hill is located on the foothills of the Red Mountains. They are one of the strongest sworn to House Tyrell. They are renowned as being the House that produces the very finest of soldiers in the Reach. Herndon of the Horn and Harlon the Hunter, legendary twins sons of Garth Greenhand, are considered to be the founders of the House Tarly during the Age of Heroes. One of the Kingsguard candidates is from House Tarly too. Their ancestral weapon is Heartsbane. House Tarly’s sigil is a red-striding huntsman on a green background. Their house words are “First in Battle”.
The House Cole is one of the noble houses from the Stormlands. They blazoned their arms with ten black pellets (in a sequence 4,3,2,1 from top to bottom) on a scarlet backdrop. House Dandarrion is their overlord. Ser Criston Cole, son of the steward of the Lord of Blackhaven, is also one of the Kingsguard candidates at King Viserys’s court. On learning about his combat skills, the princess Rhaenyra Targaryen chooses him to be Lord Commander of the Kingsguard under Viserys I Targaryen. He later obtains the name of The Kingmaker, because Criston placed Aegon II Targaryen on the Iron Throne instead of Rhaenyra Targaryen. This led to the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.