Warning: Our Game of Madness articles will include content from the five currently released A Song of Ice and Fire books and seasons 1-5 of HBO’s adaptation Game of Thrones. Some material from A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons has not been covered in the show yet, but may be in season 6. If you aren’t caught up with the books and/or show, read on with care.
Game of Madness Final Fight
Cutting a field of 48 warriors down to two was a daunting task to say the least but the toughest decision of them all faces us today. Barristan Selmy takes on Arthur Dayne in our championship match, two of the most impressive and decorated fighters in the world of ice and fire. Before finding out who wins our Game of Madness, take a look back at the first four rounds of action:
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Before we get into this matchup and declare our champion, let’s start the final dance off with a refresher on what these two warriors have accomplished throughout the series.
The Sword of the Morning
- Became the Sword of the Morning, a legendary title that can only be bestowed upon a knight from house Dayne that is deemed worthy. Arthur is only the third man to have the title and carry the Dayne ancestral greatsword Dawn, one of the most famed blades in the seven kingdoms. A blade said to be forged from metals found in the heart of a fallen star.
- Defeated the fearsome Smiling Knight with ease. After being disarmed, the mad man was allowed by Dayne to fetch another sword to continue the fight. He told Dayne he wanted the legendary Dawn to which Arthur simply responded, “Then you shall have it, ser.” And have it the Smiling Knight most certainly did.
- Viewed as the deadliest of the seven members of the Mad King Aerys Targaryen’s Kingsguard. Notable because that Kingsguard included Barristan Selmy, Jaime Lannister, and Gerold Hightower. That’s three other fighters from our contest, two of which lost to Arthur. The third is his opponent in this championship match.
- Outlasted his sworn brothers, Gerold Hightower and Oswell Whent, at the Tower of Joy, a fight that saw them outnumbered 7 to 3. While the circumstances of Arthur’s death remain unclear, it is probable that he wasn’t defeated in single combat by either Ned Stark or Howland Reed and that a cheap shot, poison, or magic finally brought him down.
Barry the Bold
- At the age of 16, he earned his knighthood by competing as a mystery knight in the winter tourney at King’s Landing, defeating the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Duncan the Tall.
- Defeated Maelys the Monstrous in single combat, ending the final Blackfyre rebellion known as the War of the Ninepenny Kings.
- During the Defiance of Duskendale, in which Aerys Targaryen was being held captive, Barristan single handedly breached the town’s walls, freed the King, and escaped with him despite taking an arrow to the chest.
- Defeated Simon Toyne of the Kingswood Brotherhood with a counter-riposte, which Jaime Lannister referred to as the best move he ever saw.
- Became Lord Commander of the Kingsguard under Robert Baratheon.
- Escaped King’s Landing with just a dagger in hand after being dismissed by Joffrey Baratheon and abandoning his own sword.
- Literally challenged a dragon to one on one combat.
It’s easy to see why these two men have outlasted the other 46 fighters in our contest. While they have earned both their famed reputations and their spots in this matchup, only one can leave as champion of our Game of Madness.