The Smiling Knight

The Smiling Knight is an unnamed knight who lived and died before Robert Baratheon’s ascension to the Iron Throne.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

The Smiling Knight was a famous outlaw and robber knight who served as a member of the Kingswood Brotherhood. Ser Jaime Lannister called him the Ser Gregor Clegane of his boyhood. Though many people believed the Smiling Knight was insane, he could best many knights in combat. However, he met his end when he fought against Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning.

The Smiling Knight was a deadly swordsman who did not know the meaning of fear. With no sense of distinguishing between cruelty and chivalry, he acted like a madman. He fought notable knights like Ser Barristan Selmy, Ser Arthur Dayne, and Jaime Lannister, who was only a squire then.

The Smiling Knight Details

  • Name: Unknown.
  • Alias: The Smiling Knight.
  • Allegiance: The Kingswood Brotherhood.
  • Titles: Ser.
  • Year of Death: 281 AC.

Appearance and Character

The Smiling Knight was a brutal warrior with no sense of morality. Apart from his ferociousness, little got mentioned of his appearance except that he was smaller than Ser Gregor. Jaime compared him to Ser Clegane, stating: “he was a madman, cruelty, and chivalry all jumbled up together, but he did not know the meaning of fear.’


During King Aerys II’s reign, a new band of outlaws came to the limelight. Calling themselves the Kingswood Brotherhood, they became a thorn in the flesh of the crown as they kidnapped many nobles and evaded capture. The Smiling Knight, one of the Brotherhood’s members, killed Ser Victor Tyrell, Lord Mace Tyrell’s cousin. The King sent the kingsguards, led by Ser Arthur Dayne, to quell the outlaws completely. 

While rescuing Lady Jeyne Swann from the outlaws, Ser Barristan Selmy of the kingsguard fought the Smiling Knight and killed Simon Toyne. Eventually, the Kingswood Brotherhood clashed with the kingsguards. Jaime Lannister faced the robber Knight and successfully held his ground during the fight. Ser Arthur Dayne ultimately met the outlaw.

In an extended exchange combat, Ser Arthur’s Dawn destroyed the Smiling Knight’s Sword, making him fetch a fresh sword. After the robber Knight said he wanted Arthur’s famous sword, Dawn, Ser Dayne said he would have it. On the second exchange, the infamous outlaw got killed.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Storm of Swords

Upon returning to King’s Landing, Jaime takes his position as the Lord Commander of the Kingsguards. As he glances through the pages of the White Book, he reads about the exploits of Ser Barristan Selmy, the former Lord Commander of the kingsguards. Jaime learns how Barristan attended the tourney at Blackhaven at age ten and how he got knighted at age sixteen.

Jaime reminisces about the fight between Ser Arthur Dayne and the Smiling Knight during the era of the Kingswood Brotherhood. He remembers his eagerness to be like Arthur but realizes he became like the robber Knight instead.

Relevance in Adaptation

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, the Smiling Knight got mentioned when King Joffrey Baratheon read about Ser Arthur Dayne. He learns of the Knight’s deeds, including his clash with the robber Knight, an outlaw who served in the Kingswood Brotherhood. Later, Brienne of Tarth, the new Lord Commander of the Kingsgaurd, comes across Ser Arthur’s story in the White Book.

The Smiling Knight: A Dreadful Warrior

The Smiling Knight existed before people like Ser Gregor Clegane came to the limelight. He was a cruel fighter, and Jaime said he was his generation’s Ser Gregor Clegane, as many people wanted to defeat him in combat. However, he met his end, as no criminal lives long.


What name did Jaime call the Smiling Knight?

Ser Jaime Lannister called the robber Knight the Mountain of my Boyhood. He called him this name because the Smiling Knight had an unquenchable thirst for fighting, and many men desired to defeat him in combat. He was a savage who loved plundering and never backed down from a challenge.

Was the Smiling Knight a great fighter?

Though ruthless and unforgiving, the robber Knight was an incredible fighter. He was strong enough to hold his ground against Ser Arthur Dayne. He eventually got killed, but not until after he changed his sword.

When did the Smiling Knight rise? 

The Smiling Knight and his fellow men arose during the time of the Kingswood Brotherhood. They kidnapped nobles and caused problems for the Iron Throne. King Aerys II Targaryen sent the kingsguard to deal with him and the Brotherhood.

What happened to the Smiling Knight?

After King Aerys sent the kingsguards to deal with the Kingswood Brotherhood, there was a clash between both factions. Ser Jaime Lannister held his ground in combat against the robber Knight for a while. Later, Ser Arthur Dayne then faced him in a duel. The battle was so intense that the Smiling Knight had to replace his sword. He eventually got killed by Arthur.

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