Ser Barristan Selmy, also known as Barristan the Bold or Arstan Whitebeard, is an anointed knight of House Selmy. He served as a member of the Kingsguard to Kings Jaehaerys II and Aerys II Targaryen. He was named Lord Commander under King Robert I Baratheon. He was dismissed from the order by King Joffrey I Baratheon. He later served as Lord Commander of the Queensguard to Queen Daenerys I Targaryen.
Barristan Selmy is the son of Ser Lyonel Selmy of Harvest Hall. He served as squire to Lord Manfred Swann of Stonehelm. He was named "the Bold" at the age of 10 when he wore borrowed armor to appear as a mystery knight in a tourney held at Blackhaven. At this tourney, he was defeated and unmasked by Prince Duncan Targaryen.
He was knighted at the age of 16 by Aegon V after his impressive display of martial prowess while competing as a mystery knight in a tourney held at King's Landing. Barristan defeated Prince Duncan Targaryen and Ser Duncan the Tall, then Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
It has been said that Ser Barristan was the finest swordsman in the Seven Kingdoms during his youth. During the War of the Ninepenny Kings, Ser Barristan slew the last of the Blackfyre Pretenders, Maelys Blackfyre, in single combat, ending the final Blackfyre Rebellion.
At age 23, Ser Barristan was named to the Kingsguard by Lord Commander Gerold Hightower.
During the Defiance of Duskendale, Ser Barristan rescued the imprisoned Aerys II Targaryen, bringing him to safety despite being wounded in the chest by an arrow. During the course of the rescue, Ser Barristan slew Ser Symon Hollard in single combat, thus avenging the murder of Ser Gwayne Gaunt of the Kingsguard.
Ser Barristan fought on the side of the royalist forces during the War of the Usurper. At the Battle of the Trident, he was said to have cut down a dozen men. Grievously wounded and near death, Robert Baratheon had Ser Barristan treated by his own maester. Ser Barristan spent the rest of the conflict recuperating from his wounds.
Impressed by his immense courage, skill and loyalty, Robert Baratheon pardoned Ser Barristan. He elected to remain in the Kingsguard, and was named Lord Commander. He led the attack on Old Wyk during the Greyjoy Rebellion. At age 57, Ser Barristan was the champion of a tourney at King's Landing.
A Game of ThronesEdit
Ser Barristan rides out with Ser Ilyn Payne and Lord Renly Baratheon to escort King Robert and Queen Cersei Lannister along the Kingsroad to King's Landing. Here he meets Sansa Stark. He is present when Arya Stark is brought before Robert, and has a grave look on his face. He is asked to escort Renly from the room when the king's brother can't restrain his laughter.