Vargo Hoat

Though Vargo Hoat is a minor character in the overall story of A Song of Ice and Fire, he impacted the events that happened in the Riverlands.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Vargo Hoat is a sellsword and the leader of the Brave Companions, a sellsword company. He is from Qohor, one of the nine free cities of Essos. He arrives at Westeros after getting brought to the continent by Lord Tywin Lannister. Though he looked haggard, he was clever and eventually switched sides during the War of the Five Kings. However, his switch spelled doom for him when he captured Jaime Lannister.

Personal Details about Vargo

  • Name: Vargo Hoat.
  • Titles Held: Commander of the Brave Companions, Lord of Harrenhal.
  • Culture: Qohorik.
  • Year of Death: 300 AC at Harrenhal.
  • Aliases: The Qohorik, The Crippler, The Goat, The Goat-helm, The Goat of Harrenhal, The Goat.

Appearance and Personality

Vargo has an unremarkable appearance. He is tall, haggard-looking, and has a black goatee that is two feet long. His large tongue causes him to lisp and slobber while speaking, and his goatee hands from a pointed chin. He wears a chain made with links of different pieces of objects he obtained across his many adventures. As synonymous with members of the Brave companions, Vargo rides a Zorse, striped black and white horse from Essos.

Though he has a bleak appearance, Vargo is a cunning and calculating monster. However, he also indulges in crazy hobbies, including raping women and chopping people’s hands and feet; this made him get a nickname: The Crippler. He also sends the women he plans on raping to Qyburn so they can get checked before he rapes them. Vargo wears a coat of arms that features the Black Goat of Qohor.

Relevance A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

When Catelyn Stark captures Tyrion, his father, Tywin, orders his brother, Ser Kevan Lannister, to instruct Ser Amory Lorch, Ser Gregor Clegane, and Vargo Hoat to raid the Riverlands. Giving three hundred men to each, Vargo goes on a rampage in the Riverlands. Tywin offers the members of the Vale Mountain Clan, but he refuses.

A Clash of Kings

With King Robert Baratheon dead and Eddard beheaded, the seven kingdoms enter a full-scale civil war. The War of the Five Kings begins, and Vargo raids the lands near Harrenhal and God’s Eye. However, tension grows between the Brave Companions and the Lannister forces, and frequent fights happen. Though Vargo and his men claim to kill Lord Beric Dondarrion, leader of the Brotherhood without Banners, he is reportedly seen alive; this causes the Lannisters to mock Vargo’s men. Tywin Lannister takes over Harrenhal, and unknown to him, Arya Stark gets brought into the castle.

Tywin marches into the Westerlands to tackle Robb Stark, who has invaded the region. He leaves Ser Amory Lorch behind but due to the feudality between Amory and Vargo, the Goat turns cloak and joins Robb Stark’s cause. He meets with Lord Roose Bolton and plans to deliver Harrenhal to Roose by placing alleged northern prisoners, led by Robett Glover and Aenys Frey, in Harrenhal.

Before his plan succeeds, Arya, Jaqen H’gar, Biter, and Rorge successfully release the captives. Harrenhal falls to the north, and Amory gets killed. After Roose takes over, he promises to make Vargo Lord of Harrrenhal. The Brave Companions begin foraging for Lord Bolton. When Arya learns that Roose plans on giving Herrenhal to Vargo, she flees the castle with her friends, Gendry and Hot Pie.

A Storm of Swords

After learning of Tywin Lannister’s victory at the Battle of Blackwater, Vargo gets scared that Tywin Lannister will kill him when he learns of his betrayal and returns to retake Harrenhal. Upon receiving a message that Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth are traveling to King’s Landing, he steals an opportunity and captures them near Maidenpool. Vargo cuts off Jaime’s hand to frame Roose and sends his hand to Tywin. He also plans to return Jaime and Brienne to Lord Rickard Karstark to marry his daughter, Alys Karstark.

After refusing to give Brienne back to her father, Vargo tries to rape her, but when she bites his ear, he throws her into the bear pit. As Jaime travels back to King’s Landing, he turns back and returns to Harrenhal, where he saves Brienne. Roose Bolton travels to the Twins, where Edmure’s wedding to Roslin holds, and during the event, Robb and his mother get killed, and the event gets called the Red Wedding.

A Feast for Crows

On her way to find Arya and her sister, Sansa, Brienne comes across Timeon at the Whispers. He reveals to her that her bite had caused Vargo’s ear to get infected, giving him an intense fever. Timeon reveals that though Vargo got advised by Urswyck and Rorge to leave Harrenhal, he refused.

When Jaime returns to Harrenhal during the siege of Riverrun, he asks to see Vargo’s head. Jaime learns from Raff and Shitmouth that when Gregor Clagane retook the castle, Vargo was in the Hall of a Hundred Hearths. Gregor fed Vargo pieces of himself as the roast goat. After receiving Vargo’s head, Jaime learns he longer wants revenge and tells his squire, Peck, to throw the head into God’s Eye.

Vargo Hoat: The Senseless Goat

Though Vargo was a cunning man, he took very foolish steps that led to his brutal death. As the leader of the Bloody Mummers, he was in a situation where he could have freed himself from the political tension between the Lannisters and Starks. However, his greed made him switch sides.

Vargo decided to mess up his life by cutting Jaime’s hand and collecting the supposedly cursed Harrenhal from Roose. Even after collecting the castle, he could still escape after learning of Robb’s death. Instead, he somehow foolishly waited with a sick infection till Gregor arrived and killed him in the most humiliating and brutal way possible; this made him one of the most senseless characters in A Song of Ice and Fire.


How did Vargo Hoat die?

After Brienne bit his ear, Vargo got an infection and became delusional. He remained at Harrenhal until Gregor Clegane arrived and retook the sparsely defended castle. Gregor slowly kills Vargo by feeding him parts of himself.

Who is Vargo Hoat?

Also known as The Goat, Vargo Hoat is a Qohorik sellsword and the leader of the Brave Companions, a sellsword company. He was brought to Westeros by Tywin Lannister.

Who cuts off Jaime’s hand?

Vargo Hoat cuts off Jaime’s hand. Upon realizing switching sides meant disaster, he tried framing Roose Bolton by cutting Jaime’s hand and sending it to Lord Tywin Lannister in King’s Landing. However, his plan backfired as Roose told Jaime everything.

Was Vargo Hoat added in Game of Thrones?

No, Vargo Hoat got omitted from HBO’s Game of Thrones. However, Locke replaced his character and was more sadistic than The Goat.

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