Because of their tactical prowess, The Unsullied got feared by the Dothraki. When young boys enter slavery, the strongest get handpicked to perform a rigorous training course that leads to the death of more than two-thirds of the boys. The Unsullied are among the best fighters throughout the Free Cities and Slaver’s Bay. They use tactics from the Old Empire of Ghis and fight without empathy, fear, or pain. With training that starts at dawn and ends at dusk, they are the most disciplined army unit money can buy.
Training of the Unsullied
Before a boy becomes an unsullied soldier, he undergoes a process that will rid him of every personality trait he may have. The journey of an unsullied soldier begins in the slave markets, where a young boy gets chosen for his strength, agility, and speed.
The boy will get taken to the training camp, where he meets other boys like him. The boys will get new names daily by drawing tokens from a bucket consisting of a color and vermin. Once done, the boys will begin training from morning to night, and those who fail any aspect of their training will get killed.
To further remove any human inhibitions, the boys will get castrated. Though in other cities, castrated males keep their penis, in the Unsullied, the testicles and penis get removed; this leaves the soldiers weaker than other men but more disciplined.
After a boy gets cut, he gets a puppy and lives with that puppy until after one year. Once the year is over, he gets ordered to strangle the puppy to death. If he fails to do so, he gets killed and fed to dogs. The training continues, and the boys get numerous tasks to make them lose all empathy.
In the final stages of their training, they get a coin and take it to the market to buy a newborn slave child, then they kill the child before its mother and pay the slave owners for their loss.
In the past, the Good Masters of Astapor sold the Unsullied in groups of ten, but when they began mingling with others, the masters decided to sell them by the century or thousand only.
The Unsullied are the most disciplined fighting unit in the known world. They got their moves from the Old Empire of Ghis’s lockstep legion and wielded short spears, round shields, and spiked caps. They fight fearlessly and obey every command to the last. The best tactic they use while fighting is the phalanx formation.
The Unsullied worship an unknown goddess. Though her name is kept a secret, many speculate she is called the Lady of Spears, the Bride of Battle, and the Mother of Hosts. When a boy gets cut, his private parts get burned at the temple of the Lady of Spears. To deaden their sense of pain, the soldiers drink the wine of courage; this numbs all feelings of pain gradually.
Before they gained fame in Essos, the Unsullied served as household guards and light infantry. They received recognition when the Three Thousand of Qohor held a Dothraki Khalasar of over fifty thousand men. Though only six hundred Unsullied survived, they killed over twelve thousand Dothraki. After the battle, the nomadic warriors rode out in a line, cutting their brains for the eunuch soldiers.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire
A Storm of Swords
After Magister Illyrio sends three ships to bring Daenerys Targaryen back to Pentos, Ser Jorah Mormont advises her to head to Astapor and buy the Unsullied. When Dany tells him of her unwillingness to purchase slave soldiers, Jorah tells her about the Sack of King’s Landing and how men had raped, killed, and destroyed everything in their path without empathy in Westeros.
On reaching Astapor, Daenerys meets Kraznys mo Nakloz, one of the good masters, in the Plaza of Pride. Krazyns brags about the Unsullieds’ brute strength, stating they are loyal and cannot act on their free will. He explains how they can never have an erection because of the brutal castration they undergo.
When Arstan Whitebeard remarks that not even the bravest men can stand in the face of death, Krazyns mutilates a soldier, and he does not flinch. Dany agrees to buy all the soldiers in exchange for her black dragon, Drogon. However, after the deal, she orders her dragon to kill the slaver. She commands the soldiers to sack the city.
After Astapor, Daenerys tells the Unsullied to choose a commander among their ranks, and Grey Worm gets chosen. With her new army, Dany marches on Meereen and conquers the city.
A Dance with Dragons
With Daenerys as the Queen of Meereen, some of the Unsullied begin reclaiming their old names, and some choose new ones for themselves. With the slaves in the city free, the Sons of the Harpy start killing soldiers. After marrying Hizdahr zo Loraq to curb the killings, Dany rides Drogon out of Meereen.
Appearance in Adaptation
In HBO’s Game of Thrones, the Unsullied began an integral part of Daenerys’s plan against Cersei Lannister. Her army fought the Night King and proceeded to King’s Landing, where the final battle occurred. However, when the knights in King’s Landing surrendered, Dany refused their plea and burned the city down. Later, Jon Snow killed her, and to atone, he got banished.
The Unsullied: A Brutal Life
The Unsullied are the most dehumanized people in A Song of Ice and Fire. They got castrated, beaten, killed, and made to go through survival training that was impossible to complete. Their dehumanization showed just how decadent the cities of Slaver’s Bay are.
Are The Unsullied castrated?
Before becoming a member of The Unsullied, boys got castrated as all their reproductive organs got removed, including their penis and testicles; this reduced their physical strength but gave them a deadly sense of discipline.
Did the Unsullied have no emotions?
Though they got trained to have no sympathy, soldiers of The Unsullied had a sliver of emotions; this became evident when their masters sold them in tens and discovered they started regaining their emotional sense.
Were The Unsullied the best fighters?
No. The Unsullied were physically lower ranked than knights and non-castrated warriors. However, they made up for their lesser strength by being the most disciplined and fearless warriors. They were the only soldiers known to hold their ground to the end without question.
How did Daenerys get her army?
When Illyrio Mopatis sent three ships to bring Dany to Pentos, she diverted and headed for Astapor, where she negotiated for The Unsullied for Drogon. After gaining command over The Unsullied, she ordered them to sack the city.