In the Song of Fire and Ice books, there are many references to the idea that nothing offends the gods more than killing a relative ("kin-slaying") or killing a guest of yours who has eaten bread and salt under your roof ("guest-right").

But, far from people who do these things suffering or being ill-fated, as claimed in legends like the Rat Cook, they seem to tend to do rather well - if anything, they seem almost blessed with good luck.

Here's every example I can think of:


  • Tyrion (in the books) dodges two plagues which hit people around him, survives a shipwrecking and escapes slavery, execution and castration many times
  • Ramsay goes from being an unwanted bastard to the legitimised heir of the whole of the North
  • In the Knight of the Seven Kingdoms:

  • Maekar is one of the few Targaryens to escape the Spring Sickness unscathed; as do his sons. He becomes king and his heirs continue the line of kings, despite being fourth in line
  • Brynden Rivers becomes the most powerful man in the Kingdom, then lives for an unnatural amount of time influencing events across the kingdom from under a tree


  • Walder Frey takes over his ex-boss's lands and becomes arguably the most powerful lord in the riverlands
  • Craster's mutineers don't last very long, but I seem to remember they lasted longer after taking over Craster's Keep than most of the non-mutineers did

  • Are there any examples of such people actually suffering ill fate, bad luck or anything similar?

    • 2
      In Game of Thrones GRRM and HBO tend to use the superstition as much or more than the supernatural. So I would guess that no, this is just a general superstition, and thus untrue, rather than some supernatural effect. Mar 14, 2016 at 1:13
    • 1
      Other then R'hllor, when have any of the gods done anything in this world? I'd agree with Mark, this is most likely just a superstition
      – kuhl
      Mar 14, 2016 at 4:38
    • Related: Does Trial by Combat actually work?
      – Möoz
      Mar 14, 2016 at 22:11

    1 Answer 1


    Accursed by whom? The books present several kinds of religions and superstitions, but it is always the characters themselves that decide each other's fate, even if it is not always intentional. In this case, the Freys are accursed from the point of view of just about everyone in Westeros, and this leads to very real repercussions.

    Wyman Manderly is clear about how he and the northern lords allied with the Starks feel about Frey's breaking of guest rights:

    My son Wendel came to the the Twins a guest. He ate Lord Walder's bread and salt, and hung his sword upon the wall to feast with friends. And they murdered him. Murdered, I say, and may the Freys choke upon their fables. I drink with Jared, jape with Symond, promise Rhaegar the hand of my own beloved granddaughter ... but never think that means I have forgotten. The north remembers, Lord Davos. The north remembers, and the mummer's farce is almost done. My son is home.

    By the end of the 5th book this is already causing problems for the Freys, between Manderly and his allies stirring up trouble in Winterfell, and the Brotherhood without Banners killing Freys in the Riverlands.

    • 2
      Agreed. I think that the way this works is essentially introduced with Ned's death. You keep thinking, oh, he's a good guy, he'll be all right. Nope. Basically, as Cersei tells him, in the game of thrones you play or you die. And really, much of the story so far seems to be about subverting the readers' literature-conditioned expectations that there is some form of justice outside of the characters themselves. That's is partly why I'm interested in the way it'll end. People try to figure out how justice might win. Maybe it won't quite. George seems to be having a lot of fun with this.
      – Misha R
      Mar 14, 2016 at 17:18
    • +1. You might want to throw the Manderly quote in a spoiler, it does spoil book 5 and potentially the show if the Manderly's are included. Particularly the last 3 sentences
      – kuhl
      Mar 14, 2016 at 19:24
    • Good point, and I suppose this goes for all of them: all of the kinslayers I listed either have terrible reputations or are subjected to hostile whispering, and apparently (though I don't remember this) Craster's mutineers are given some vigilante justice by everyone's favourite dead man on an elk. Mar 15, 2016 at 9:32

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