The Stone Men lived in an area known as the sorrows and got avoided as the disease they harbor is transmittable by touch. When greyscale eats the flesh and mind of a person, they get taken to the Bridge of Dream in the Sorrows, where they congregate with others infected with the disease. Though passive if left undisturbed, the Stone Men were feared by voyagers following the Bridge of Dream. With rumors of them having a leader called the Shrouded Lord, the Triarchs of Volantis sent a galley yearly with provisions and people infected with the disease. When Tyrion Lannister journeys aboard the Shy Maid, the ship gets attacked by a group of Stone Men.
Stone Men Details
Though there is little information on the origination of greyscale, it is a type of virulent disease that leaves the flesh stiff and dead and gives the skin a mottled black and grey appearance that is stone-like; this is how those infected with the disease got to be known as Stone Men. If left untreated, the disease eats the mind of its host, leaving them in a zombie-like state.
State of Mind
Though people infected with greyscale became violent and animalistic, the Stone Men are harmless. They are witless, clumsy, and feeble creatures who indulge in lumbering.
There were rumors of the Stone Men having a leader called the Shrouded Lord. Many believe he was once Prince Garin, who led an army against the Valyrian Freehold. Many believe that the Shrouded Lord was once a statue at first and got kissed to life by a grey woman. He spreads the virulent infection through the grey kiss.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire
As Tyrion Lannister and the crew of the Shy Maid sail to Volantis, they reach the Bridge of Dreams and pass with no hassles. Unexpectedly, Tyrion notices the same bridge in the distance again. The Shy Maid crosses the bridge once more, and out of nowhere, three Stone Men jump unto the boat.
One of the Stone Men mutters an unknown phrase to Tyrion, and the other gets thrown into the water by Duck, a knight in service of Young Griff. Griff eventually succeeds in falling the Stone Man that talked to Tyrion. However, the third tries reaching for Young Griff, and Tyrion hits the lad to prevent physical contact with the Stone Man. In trying to push him overboard, Tyrion gets thrown into the waters and almost drowns before getting rescued. Later, Griff, Jon Connington, hides his greyscale infection, which he had gotten from the encounter with the Stone Men.
Appearance in Adaptations
In HBO’s Game of Thrones, the Stone Men affected characters like Jorah Mormont. To prevent the spread of greyscale, the Stone Men got rejected from societies in Essos and Westeros, and though red priestesses and septons said prayer helps their misery, there is no fail-proof method of saving them. After meeting Shireen Baratheon, Gilly reveals her sisters got infected with greyscale. The wildling woman narrates to the young girl how she watched her sisters turn into wild creatures because of greyscale.
Stannis Baratheon then narrates to his daughter, Shireen, how he got advised by many people to send her to the ruins of Valyria, the home of the Stone Men, but refused. Meanwhile, Jorah captures Tyrion Lannister and decides to take him to Daenerys Targaryen. On the way, they get distracted by the sight of Drogon, Daenerys’s dragon, and fail to realize an ambush by some men of stone. A fight breaks out, and Tyrion gets thrown into the water. Jorah rushes in to save him. However, he gets infected in the process.
Determined to see Daenerys again, Jorah Mormont travels to the Citadel to meet Archmaester Ebrose and Samwell Tarly. The archmaester tells Jorah his infection is incurable as it has spread to his chest and gives him a day to live before getting sent to live with the Stone Men. However, Sam uses an illegal operation and successfully treats Jorah’s infection.
Stone Men: The Outcasts
Rejected from society and abandoned by everyone, the Stone Men symbolize the people neglected for their situation. Throughout human history, there have been many times when diseases have led to the segregation of people. The Stone Men are a group of people that show such a reflection. To the rest of the world, their existence was a chore.
Who are the Stone Men?
The Stone Men are those in the final stages of the virulent infection called greyscale. Their bodies are malformed from the crusty appearance of the disease, and they isolate from human settlements.
Are the Stone Men dangerous?
Though greyscale makes people violent, many people infected by the disease are harmless. However, if close to non-infected people, those infected are hazardous as they can transfer the disease by touch.
Why did Jon Connington not reveal he got infected?
Jon did not want to reveal he got infected by greyscale because he did not want to feel like a failure. He blamed himself for Rhaegar Targaryen’s death, and leaving young Aegon because of disease was something he could not do.
Did Tyrion get infected by the Stone Men?
No. Though one of the Stone Men that attacked the Shy Maid pushed Tyrion into the water, he did not get infected.