Salladhor Saan is a sellsail Lyseni pirate lord known for smuggling, illegal trading, and backing. Having a fleet of more than twelve ships, he becomes a crucial player in Stannis Baratheon’s claim to the Iron Throne. He later meets Ser Davos Seaworth, a fellow smuggler, and they become friends. Though a pirate, Salladhor prides himself in his job because of his family’s pirate-lords legacy. Besides piracy, he is a trader and banker and deals with many merchants throughout Essos.
Salladhor Saan Personal Details
- Name: Salladhor Saan.
- Allegiances: The Saan Family, House Baratheon of Dragonstone.
- Titles: Prince of the Narrow Sea, Lord of Blackwater Bay.
- Alias: Salla.
- Culture: Lyseni.
- Race: Valyrian.
- Hair Color: White.
Appearance and Personality
Salladhor is a sleek man with white hair, many concubines, and a friendly demeanor. He is slim-framed and has a sense of humor with tiny traces of dark humor embedded within him, like Mad Prendos.
Salladhor loves dressing in flashy outfits, and according to many, his flamboyance was a tale on both sides of the Narrow Sea. His most prominent attire is a cloth of silver with baggy pointed sleeves flowing to the floor. The buttons of his dress are made from jade and carved like monkeys, and he wears a blithe cap adorned with peacock feathers. Besides his usual attire, Salla also wears a tunic with high boots of bleached white leather.
Salladhor was born into the Saan family, a house with a distinguished history of pirate lords spanning as far back as three generations. With the legacy of his family rooted in piracy, Salladhor became a pirate lord and trader who smuggled cargo throughout Essos. He became the captain of the Valyrian, a great galleas with three hundred oars. Besides his gigantic ship, he also commanded about two dozen stripped galleys. The Saan’s history went as far back as the reign of Aegon Targaryen as Samarro Saan was a member of the Band of Nine and fought in the War of the Ninepenny Kings.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire
After King Robert Baratheon dies, Stannis receives a letter from Eddard Stark and declares himself the rightful King of the Seven Kingdoms. Ser Davos Seaworth, a smuggler knighted by Stannis, travels to Lys and recruits Salladhor, a notorious pirate, to aid Stannis.
With his allegiance sworn to House Baratheon of Dragonstone, Salladhor begins gathering information from King’s Landing. When the red priestess of R’hllor, Melisandre, hands Stannis Lightbringer, the famed blade of the Azor Azai, Salladhor tells Davos the sword is a fake and tells him about the legend of the sword.
After conquering Storm’s End, Stannis takes his fleet and heads for King’s Landing. During the Battle of the Blackwater, Salladhor’s fleet stays in Blackwater Rush and looks out for hidden fleets that may want to take Stannis by surprise. The battle favors the Lannisters and Tyrells, and Stannis’s army gets crushed. Realizing the battle is lost, Salladhor orders his ships to take the survivors and remnants from the war along the shore and heads back to Dragonstone.
After the Battle of the Blackwater, Lord Alester Florent, Stannis’s Hand of the King, makes Salladhor Lord of Black Water Bay. After becoming Lord, Salla begins intercepting trade ships passing the region and taxing them. Meanwhile, Davos washes up on a lone island and begins hallucinating the events that led to Stannis’s defeat. After claiming Melisandre was responsible, he decides to kill her should he see her.
One of Salladhor’s galleys, Shayala’s Dance, rescues Davos from the island. Upon getting rescued, Davos tells Salla his plans to kill Melisandre and gets advised against it. However, he discards the advice. Realizing there is little hope for Stannis winning, Lord Alester Florent sends one of Salladhor’s men with a letter to Lord Tywin Lannister.
When Alester’s plot gets discovered, he gets imprisoned, and Davos becomes the new Hand of the King. Later Salladhor and Ser Axell Floent learn that Lord Ardrian Celtigar knelt to Joffrey; this makes them state their intentions of attacking Claw Isle. However, Davos stops them from doing so.
When Davos gets a message from maester Aemon at Castle Black, he begins learning how to read. He later discovers that Stannis plans to kill Edric Storm. To save the boy, Davos uses one of Salladhor’s ships to smuggle him to Lys. When Davos shows Stannis the letter from the Night’s Watch, he sails on Salladhor’s fleet to the Wall.
After reaching Castle Black, Salladhor remains at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. He feasts with Stannis’s wife, Selyse Florent. When Davos meets Lord Wyman Manderly, Salladhor sails for White Harbor with twenty-nine ships, and along the way, many storms destroy his ships. When Salla reaches the Three Sisters, he abandons Stannis’s cause and sails to the Stepstones, leaving Davos on a rowboat in Sweetsister.
Appearance in Adaptation
In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Salladhor got portrayed by Lucian Msamati. He appeared in seasons 2, 3, and 4 and starred in 3 episodes. In the tv series, Salladhor joined Stannis after getting promised riches and fame. When Stannis gets defeated, Salladhor sails back to Braavos. While with whores in a bathhouse, Davos tells him about sailing to Castle Black. Though he tries refusing, the knight throws him a package of gold, telling him there is more to come.
Salladhor Saan: The Flambouyant Pirate
Salladhor is a character whose crime became crucial to Stannis’s claim to the throne. His presence in Dragonstone showed the irony of Stannis, a man who worshiped rules and law. Salladhor’s presence showed that though people may be strict and believe in one truth, desperate times can force even the greatest of men to stoop low.
Was Salladhor a mercenary?
Yes. Salladhor was a pirate and one of the mercenaries to pledge allegiance to Stannis Baratheon. However, he did not do so out of loyalty. He only wanted riches.
What happened to Salladhor?
After joining Stannis’s cause, Salladhor watches as the Tyrells and Lannisters defeat Stannis. He rescues him and later takes him and his army to the Wall. After Stannis leaves for Castle Black, Salladhor uses an envoy to transport Ser Davos to White Harbor. However, a storm destroys most of his ships, and he abandons Stannis’s cause.
Who is a better pirate, Salladhor Saan or Euron Greyjoy?
Though Salladhor came from a family of pirates, he technically was not a better pirate than Euron Greyjoy. Euron was an ironborn; this meant he was more acquainted with the seas than Salla.
Is Salladhor dead in the books?
No. In A Song of Ice and Fire, Salladhor abandons Stannis after most of his ships get destroyed in a storm.