Qyburn was a maester of the Citadel who got stripped of his title after indulging in unethical experiments involving tearing apart the living.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Qyburn joined the Brave Companions, a sellsword company run by Vargo Hoat, and later became a trusted confidante of Queen Cersei Lannister. On getting to King’s Landing, Qyburn becomes vile as he dives deeper into the practice of using living people for experimentation. Because he got shielded by Cersei, his actions went unpunished. Later, the queen got imprisoned by the Faith Militant.

Qyburn Personal Details

  • Name: Qyburn.
  • Year of Birth: In or after 217 AC.
  • Titles: Maester, Master of Whisperers.
  • Allegiances: The Citadel of Old Town, The Brave Companions, House Lannister.
  • Aliases: Lord Qyburn, the Bloddy Maester.
  • Religion: Faith of the Seven.
  • Hair Color: Grey.
  • Eye Color: Brown.

Appearance and Personality

Qyburn is a tall slim-framed man with brown eyes. He has wrinkles around his face and appears fatherly. Because he got stripped of his maester titles, he has no maester’s chain on his neck. For his attire, he wears torn robes. However, he is an intelligently clever and loyal man with a keen desire for the mysteries of necromancy. Though kind, he lacks morals.


Though there is little information on his childhood, Qyburn traveled to the Citadel to gain knowledge. While there, he proved his genius and excelled at healing, becoming one of the best healers to come out of the Citadel.

Being as good as Embrose, the archmaester responsible for training healer maesters, Qyburn sought more knowledge. Instead of experimenting on dead bodies, he began working on living bodies to discover the secrets of death. When his actions got found, his maester’s position got taken from him, and he got stripped of his chain. Disgraced, he got exiled from Oldtown.

After leaving Oldtown, he joined the Brave Companions, a sellsword company. His bitterness remained for the Citadel, as he called all maesters, except Marwyn, grey sheep.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Clash of Kings

When the leader of the Brave Companions, Vargo Hoat, leaves Tywin Lannister’s cause, he sides with the Northmen and plans to take over Harrenhal. Qyburn follows the companions to the castle, and after Harrenhal falls to the Northmen, he becomes the maester, replacing Tothmure, who got killed by Lord Roose Bolton. While at Harrenhal, Arya learns that he lost his maester’s chain for indulging in necromancy, a forbidden act in the Citadel.

A Storm of Swords

After Catelyn Stark frees Ser Jaime, she tasks Brienne of Tarth with taking him to King’s Landing. On learning of what she did, her brother, Edmure, sends a message offering a reward to whoever returns Jaime. When Vargo Hoat learns of the prize, he hunts down Brienne and Jaime and captures them. Realizing that Lord Tywin Lannister will win the conflict, he tries to save himself by cutting Jaime’s sword hand off.

When Vargo brings Jaime to Harrenhal, Roose Bolton tasks Qyburn with treating his wounds. The disgraced maester heals Jaime’s arm. To gain favor with Jaime, Qyburn sends Pia to sleep with him. However, he refuses and sends her away.

After stating he had nothing to do with Jaime’s hand getting cut off, Lord Bolton sends him back to King’s Landing. Qyburn follows the Steelshanks Walton’s guard to monitor Jaime’s wounds. Along the way, he tells Jaime that he examined Brienne for Vargo and found her maidenhead was intact. Realizing that Vargo may try to rape Brienne, Jaime heads back to Harrenhal after dreaming of her. Along the way, the disgraced maester repeatedly tries to gain favor with Jaime, but he only irritates the knight more.

During King Joffrey Baratheon’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell, he gets poisoned, and in despair, Cersei blames Tyrion Lannister for the act. After Shae, Tyrion’s lover testifies against him, he gets angry and demands a trial by combat. After Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne learns of how his sister died, he decides to fight Cersei’s champion, Ser Gregor Clegane.

Though Oberyn injures Gregor during the fight with his spear, he gets killed by Gregor. Tyrion then gets imprisoned, and later, Jaime and Varys free him. Before leaving King’s Landing, he kills his father and Shae.

A Feast for Crows

After Cersei finds her father dead, she asks for a maester to prepare his body for the silent sisters and dispose of Shae. Qyburn, who is already in King Tommen’s court, performs the act, and due to his discreetness, she takes a liking to him. On orders from Cersei, Qyburn investigates the dungeons and learns that Rugen is missing. After discovering a gold coin encrusted with Garth XII Gardener, King of the Reach, Cersei begins suspecting the Tyrells were responsible for her brother’s escape.

Qyburn begins examining Gregor Clegane after Grand Maester Pycelle fails are helping him. He believes that Oberyn used magic to alter the manticore venom in his spear and asks Cersei to give him authority over the black cells. On learning how close Cersei is to Qyburn, Jaime becomes weary of the maester, but his sister dismisses his worries.

With Vary’s whereabouts unknown, Cersei appoints Qyburn as the new master of whisperers; this greatly angers Pycelle. As a new lord, Qyburn begins creating a network of spies. He changes his clothes and becomes Cersei’s adviser. He tells her that Jon Snow is the new Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and asks her to send one hundred men to join the Night’s Watch and assassinate Jon.

Meanwhile, Qyburn allegedly prepares Gregor’s skull to get sent to Dorne as the knight admitted killing Elia Martell and her children. As Cersei’s adviser, Qyburn begins experimenting on people. With him preferring women, Cersei gives him her handmaiden, Senelle. She also gives him lady Falyse Stokeworth after a foiled plan to kill Ser Bronn.

When Cersei plans on attacking Dragonstone, Ser Loral Tyrell volunteers and travels to the island, and with him gone, Qyburn suggests that the King’s guard may need a replacement as Loras may likely get killed. He talks of a champion no man can withstand; this makes Cersei give him the go-ahead. When she has a nightmare about Maggy the Frog, Cersei tells Qyburn about her encounter with the witch. He points out that the word Maggy is a bastardization of maegi, and when she asks if a prophecy can change, he says it can if she can kill the queen that will supplant her.

To have Margaery arrested, Cersei tells Qyburn to torture the Blue Bard. The process is so violent that the tortured man sticks to the story of sleeping with Margaery even after getting tortured by the Faith Militant. Margaery gets arrested, but after Ser Lancel confesses he and Cersei slept together, the High Sparrow has her arrested.

After getting arrested, Cersei’s small council disbands, and Qyburn gets removed. He visits Cersei and tells her of everything happening after her arrest. He also states she will need a champion for her trial by combat and says there are no free slots in the Kingsguard. With no hope, Cersei sends a letter to her brother, Jaime. However, he tosses it into the fire.

A Dance with Dragons

Lord Regent Kevan Lannister meets Cersei and fills her in on the latest events happening in the Seven Kingdoms. He informs her that Ser Arys Oakheart is dead; this makes her realize there is an empty slot in the Kingsguard. Cersei asks for Qyburn and tells him to prepare his champion.

After making the walk of atonement, Cersei enters the Red Keep. Qyburn introduces her to the newest member of the Kingsguard, Ser Robert Strong, and states he has vowed to say nothing until all of King Tommen’s enemies are dead. He then continues gathering information on the Golden Company and Nymeria Sand.

Appearance in Adaptations

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Qyburn got portrayed by Anton Lesser. He appeared in seasons 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 and starred in 22 episodes. Qyburn has laugh lines along his face that make him appear like a little girl’s favorite grandfather. Though he was an odd little man, he rose to become one of the most powerful men in the realm.

After serving an injury to his throat, Qyburn meets Robb Stark and remains with Roose Bolton at Harrenhal. He treats Jaime’s infected stump after his hand gets cut off and helps him with a prosthetic hand forged on Cersei’s orders. For his loyalty and service, Cersei makes Qyburn Hand of the Queen. Though he becomes Cersei’s Hand, Qyburn continues serving as the master of whisperers by bribing Lord Vary’s little birds. He accompanies Cersei to hold court with Euron Greyjoy.

When Cersei tells the Lords of the Reach to betray their liege lords, Lord Randyll talks about the threat of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons. However, Qyburn explains he is working on a weapon to deal with the dragons. Later, he follows Cersei to confront Ellaria Sand and Tyene, who poisoned Princess Myrcella. Later, when a captured wight gets brought to King’s Landing, Qyburn shows interest in the creature after Sandor Clegane hacks off its hands.

Qyburn: The Silent Terror

Qyburn is one of the most intricately designed minor characters in A Song of Ice and Fire. His presence in Cersei’s life completely altered her thought process and pushed her further down the dark hole of being a ruthless killer. Though he appeared calm and serene, he had a great evil within him that corrupted everyone close to him.


Who is Qyburn?

Qyburn is a disgraced maester of the Citadel. His maester’s chain got confiscated from him after he got discovered experimenting on living people. For his dealings in necromancy, he left the order and joined a sellsword company.

How good was Qyburn?

Besides maester Embrose, Qyburn was the most talented healer of all the maesters. His skill was so polished that healing became boring; this made him seek the secrets of necromancy.

How did Qyburn create Ser Robert Strong?

There is no explanation for how Qyburn created Cersei’s champion. It is possible he used dark arts and magic to achieve the feat.

Was Qyburn a terrible person?

Yes. Qyburn was a vile human who experimented on living people. He was a maniac who sought to uncover everything about death. His passion for cutting the living made him a psychopath.

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