Sport of Thrones: 10 Actual Historic Variations Of The Kingsguard

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As Residence of the Dragon nears its HBO premiere, its narrative will embody an early mannequin of the Recreation of Thrones Kingsguard, elite warriors assigned to protect the King/Queen of the Seven Kingdoms: the fabled Kingsguard is a fictional unit nonetheless its sort and efficiency parallels many historic regiments of royal bodyguards (When Cersei Lannister took the throne, the unit was renamed the “Queensguard.”)

Theoretically consisting of the seven greatest knights in Westeros, the Kingsguard often placed on white cloaks and gold armor with white enameling. Ending up the ruler’s wants with out question, the ethics of the Kingsguard are inclined to reflect these of the occupant of the Iron Throne. Effectively-known members of this unit embody formidable characters along with Arthur Dayne, Barristan Selmy, Jaime Lannister, Gregor Clegane (the Mountain), and Brienne of Tarth, matching them up favorably with the true royal guards of historic previous.


10 The Persian Immortals (Achemenid Empire)

The Persian Immortals have been a unit of 10,000 elite warriors dedicated to the safety of the King and his entourage along with forming the expert backbone of the Persian Navy (550-330 BCE). Throughout the time of the Greek historian Herodotus, the Immortals serving as Xerxes I’s Imperial bodyguard have been led by the extremely efficient commander Hydarnes the Youthful.

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The establish “Immortals” was given to the unit because of it was on a regular basis saved at an influence of exactly 10,000 males, with all casualties being modified immediately. As veteran heavy infantry identical to the Kingsguard, the Navy contingent of the Immortals fought in plenty of battles, most notably at Thermopylae in the direction of the Spartan 300 all through the Greco-Persian Battle. Although data of the Immortals are sparse, their closeness to the royal gear, identical to the Kingsguard, makes it most likely they’ve been involved in political intrigues, notably as a result of the Persian Empire slowly collapsed.

9 The Praetorian Guard (Historic Rome)

Possibly most likely probably the most well-known personal guard in historic previous, the Praetorian Guard (Latin: Cohortēs praetōriae) was created to protect the Emperor of Historic Rome and his senior officers. Created in 27 BC, Emperor Caesar Augustus handpicked the unit from Navy veterans as Rome shifted from a Republic to Empire. Beginning as a loyal strain of devoted and formidable Roman troopers, the Praetorian Guard deteriorated over the centuries, finally becoming a dangerous vitality participant in Roman politics.

By the late Empire, the Praetorians often assassinated Emperors who displeased them and adjusted them with new Emperors beholden to the Praetorians’ wants. One may even see the likes of Meryn Trant taking such a job in events of political turmoil, if the Recreation of Thrones villain wasn’t so incompetent.

8 The Varangian Guard (Byzantine Empire)

As considered one of many oddest and most fascinating navy fashions in historic previous, the Varangian Guard of the Byzantine Empire served as a result of the King’s elite bodyguard from tenth to the 14th centuries. First normal by King Basil II in 988, the Guard was composed of Norse and Scandinavian mercenaries who had prolonged hair, pink rubies glowing of their left ears and dragons sewn into their chainmail armor. Though the considered hiring abroad mercenaries to protect a King seems counterintuitive at first, the comply with was adopted by fairly just a few completely different worldwide areas as properly.

Since Byzantine guardsmen had a bloody file of turning into involved in palace intrigues, Basil II found additional security in a loyal strain of well-paid mercenaries who had no stake inside the vitality hierarchies of the empire. Had Recreation of Thrones‘ “Mad King” of Westeros, Aerys II, employed a politically apathetic mercenary guard identical to the Varangians, the “Kingslayer” gained’t have been in place to kill him.

7 The Kheshig (Mongols)

The Kheshig served as a result of the Imperial Guard for Genghis Khan and the ruling class all through the Mongol Empire. Organized into two groups, the “Day Guard” and the “Night Guard,” the Kheshig’s solely purpose was to protect the administration they usually didn’t battle on the battlefield. Given extreme honors, rank, privileges and extreme pay, the Kheshig had every objective to remain loyal to the Khan.

Like Recreation of Thrones, the early Mongolian political scene was embroiled in struggles for vitality resulting in conspiracies, betrayals and assassinations, along with the poisoning of Genghis Khan’s father. Royalty was vulnerable, notably because of the nomadic Mongols slept in tents which have been merely breached. With partitions like that, the Mongols wished bodyguards as honorable as Recreation of Thrones‘ characters Brienne of Tarth and Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard.

6 The Imperial Guard (Napoleonic France)

Initially a small strain of veteran troopers chosen by Napoleon himself to operate his bodyguard, the famed Imperial Guard shortly grew in dimension with fashions serving as elite tactical reserves on the battlefield.

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Napoleon’s Imperial Guard superior from the Consular Guard, a thousand-man-strong bodyguard for the leaders of the French Republic. Identical to the Kingsguard, this unit was considered the best of the best, acquired greater pay, quarters, and rations than the widespread soldier, and it was talked about that its members might even grumble inside the presence of their Emperor. Totally different French troopers often referred to the Outdated Guard as “The Immortals.”

5 The Huskarl (Medieval Scandinavia, England)

The huskarls (also “Housecarl”) have been veteran warriors who served as household bodyguards in medieval northern Europe. Though originating among the many many Norsemen, the operate was later taken up by the Anglo-Saxons of England. Early Scandinavian huskarls developed into the hird, the acquainted cadre of armed males who accompanied the king (or extremely efficient lord) and his family and generally have been part of his courtroom docket.

Though not courtiers, the Kingsguard was crucial to royal security at all times, and identical to the Huskarl, it was a grievous offense for anyone to take the lifetime of actually considered one of these males.

4 The Somatophylakes (Alexander the Good)

The Somatophylakes have been the elite bodyguards of kings in historic Greece and Macedonia, most likely probably the most well-known fashions having equipped security for Philip II of Macedon and his son, Alexander the Good. The Somatophylakes of every Philip and Alexander consisted of seven wonderful members of the king’s elite cavalry unit of nobles, known as the “Companions.”

The Somatophylakes, identical to the Companions, bought the best horses, armor and weaponry, an identical to the fictional Kingsguard, who numbered seven as properly. And, identical to the Kingsguard, the Somatophylakes weren’t good: Philip was assassinated, and Alexander was more than likely murdered as properly, by poison. These tragic histories are mirrored in Recreation of Thrones, the place few characters survive to the highest.

3 The Forbidden Troops (China)

The Forbidden Troops have been the respect guard of the Imperial Tang Dynasty of China, initially manned by loyal elite troopers and possibly probably the most succesful sons of distinguished households. The Forbidden Troops served as a result of the King’s royal bodyguard and as well as had regiments serving Imperial capitols and forts all through the empire.

Their bloodline was very important, for membership was solely obtainable to males who might trace their family line once more to ancestors who served inside the Tang dynasty founder Li Yuan’s first Imperial Guard. As time went on and the fabled unit fell proper right into a dishonored state, it took half in political coups very just like the Roman Praetorians because of like in Recreation of Thrones, everybody deserves the throne.

2 The Haras (Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates)

Working in various varieties over the centuries, perhaps most likely probably the most formal unit of the Haras was raised all through the reign of Muawiyah (r. 661-680) after an assassination strive.

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Serving because the personal bodyguards of the caliph for over 6oo years, the Haras have been talked about to protect the caliph as he slept, attended to prayers on the mosque and sat in on private conferences, on a regular basis guarding the royalty as does the Kingsguard. Identical to the Varangians, the 300 members of the Hara have been chosen from mawali (non-Arabs) inside the notion that guardsmen with out tribal allegiances have been a lot much less extra more likely to work together in conspiracies in the direction of the caliph.

1 The Medjay (Historic Egypt)

Historic Egypt had many Pharaohs, and sure there have been many unrecorded bodyguards there to protected the royals all by the centuries. Most likely probably the most well-known recognized guard fashions consisted of a bunch of nomads known as the Medjay. The Medjay have been initially a nomadic clan of Nubians who possessed wonderful stopping and scouting skills.

Recruited into the Egyptian Navy, the Medjay have been immediately acknowledged as elite, and solely the best Egyptian troopers could also be part of their ranks, as solely the best might serve inside the Recreation of Thrones‘ Kingsguard. Curiously, the Medjay have been used to patrol the farthest areas of the Pharaoh’s realm and to operate his intimate household bodyguard. The Medjay moreover served as a result of the royal household agency, securing all royal palaces and sacred tomb complexes.

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