This has been irking me for a while now. There is a brief over-view of tourney rules gathered from A song of ice and fire, The Princess and the Queen, The Dunk & Egg series. I know there are following formats of Tourneys in Westeros by my research:


Basically last man standing! A group of knights beat each other bloody with blunted swords, axes and other weapons. Alliances are formed, broken, reformed. The last man standing wins. (There is archery as well but lets just skip that)


Here knights have a go at each other with wooden lances. The one who falls or gets disqualified for cheating or concedes defeat, loses.The loser forfeits his horse and armor to victor and must either give it up or ransom it back. There are two main types of Jousting.

  1. Knights are paired against each other and gradually move on like a Football tournament. Victor of the final tilt wins the champion's laurel. Example would be Robert Baratheon's Tourney of the hand at King's landing.

  2. Knights fight to defend the honor of a named "Queen of love and beauty". A certain number are declared as Champions while others must challenge them. If Champions win, they retain their place. If Challengers win, they take the fallen champion's position as a champion. At the end the Champion decides to either keep the reigning Queen of love and beauty or choose a new one. Examples would be tourney of Harrenhal and Ashford.

My questions is:

In jousting format number 2, how do Champions decide who should be Queen of Crown and beauty? With five original champions of course choice would be simple as the nominated girl (original queen) would most likely be their sister, niece or cousin. But what happens when different Challengers become champions? Do the Champions then tilt amongst themselves to choose one final champion?

Rephrasing the above question with an example, In Jousting format 2, How can one champion decide who is to be QOLAB? Rhaegar single handedly decided that Lyanna shall be QOLAB at Harrenhal. How did he manage to convince other champions? Or did he have to defeat them too?

I know it appears too broad but I have tried to limit the scope by providing as much help with answers as I could.

This question has been split up into two to narrow down the scope as per community suggestions. Please follow this link to view the second part of the question.

  • The queen of love and beauty is named after the champion wins. There's only one QoLaB, and she remains so until "next year". – Möoz Apr 27 '16 at 14:11
  • @Mooz but who is that champion when multiple champions are defending the reigning queen's honor? Is he chosen after defeating his co-champions? Also, Do you have any reference for the time-period of one year? I have ever seen any thing suggesting the tenure of QoLaB's reign. – Aegon Apr 27 '16 at 14:24

Self answering after waiting for two months, From Tourney of Harrenhal, It appears that a Champion has to defeat his co-champions in order to win the right to crown the Queen of Love and beauty.

Total Number of Champions

From Tourney at Ashford Meadow and Tourney at Harrenhal we can establish that there are five champions who defend the honor of the QoLaB.

At Tourney of Ashford Meadow following five were the original Champions:

  1. Ser Androw Ashford
  2. Ser Robert Ashford
  3. Lord Leo "Longthorn" Tyrell
  4. Ser Humfrey Hardyng
  5. Prince Valarr Targaryen

At Tourney of Harrenhal, following five were the original champions:

  1. Four unnamed sons of Lord Walter Whent
  2. Ser Oswell Whent, A knight of the Kingsguard and brother to Lord of Harrenhal, Walter Whent.

So it is established that total number of champions is five.

The right of crowning the Queen of Love and Beauty

We will use Tourney at Harrenhal to prove the hypothesis here.

Of the existing five Champions, Four were sons of Lord Walter Whent and one was his brother and a Knight of Kingsguard.

Over the course of jousting, Four sons of Lord Walter were defeated by unnamed challengers. Which means, those four victors now took place of Lord Walter's sons as Champions.

According to World of Ice and fire Chapter, "The Year of False Spring", it is stated that Rhaegar defeated four kingsguard. Three of the KG who are known to be participants in the tourney are:

  1. Ser Arthur Dayne
  2. Ser Barristan Selmy
  3. Ser Oswell Whent

The fourth one may have been either one of Prince Lewyn Martell, Ser Jonothor Darry and Lord Commander, Ser Georld Hightower. Jaime couldn't have been there because he was ordered to go back to Red Keep.

From TWOIAF Chapter "The Year of False Spring":

Prince Rhaegar emerged as the ultimate victor at the end of the competition. The crown prince, who did not normally compete in tourneys, surprised all by donning his armor and defeating every foe he faced, including four knights of the Kingsguard. In the final tilt, he unhorsed Ser Barristan Selmy, generally regarded as the finest lance in all the Seven Kingdoms, to win the champion’s laurels.

There are five Champions in total.

Rhaegar defeated four KG and many others. It is logical that some of those may have been Champions at the end. Barristan Selmy and Rhaegar were both champions simultaneously, that much is for sure.

In any case, the transcript refers to final tilt between Barristan Selmy and Rhaegar Targaryen. If this was the final tilt, it means the champions at the end had tilts among themselves, from which Rhaegar and Barristan emerged as the best. In the final title Barristan Selmy lost and Rhaegar Won the Champion's laurels and right to crown the QoLaB.

It is however not clear when do Champions start jousting among themselves. Most logical assumption here would be that they start doing that once all the Challengers have had their day in the field and no one else is left to challenge the final five champions.

  • excellent answer! But do we know any other tourney with a mention of qolab? Or do we know any tourney other than Hand's Tourney as Type 1 tourney? – user65648 Jul 6 '16 at 21:52
  • @C.Koca Off the tp of my head we know three tourneys with QoLaB, Harrenhal, Ashford and Lannisport. For the Type 1 Tourney, The wedding tourney at White Walls would be an example other than Hand's Tourney of KL – Aegon Jul 7 '16 at 9:28

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