Podrick Payne is a squire who is in the service of Tyrion Lannister. He is twelve years old at the time the story begins. He is very shy and talks to people while staring at their shoes. He is terrified of his famous cousin Ser Ilyn Payne.
Podrick is from a minor branch of House Payne, bannermen to House Lannister. His father was knighted and then died in the Greyjoy Rebellion. His mother abandoned him with a cousin when she ran off with a wandering singer. Podrick grew up being treated more like a servant than a squire. When the War of the Five Kings started, Podrick was brought along to join Tywin Lannister's army as squire to Cedric Payne, but Ser Cedric was killed fighting in the Riverlands, leaving Podrick alone. He attached himself to a knight in Leo Lefford's baggage train and then he found himself on the verge of being hanged for a stolen ham that he had eaten with the knight. Ser Kevan Lannister saves him because of his name and he is made squire to Tyrion Lannister.
During the Battle of the Blackwater, Podrick follows Tyrion into the sortie against the forces of Stannis. Tyrion asks him why he has followed him into a battle field, Podrick simply replies that he is Tyrion's squire. Tyrion tells him to stay close, which in the end saves Tyrion's life. Ser Mandon Moore tries to kill Tyrion on the deck of one of the ships caught on the harbor chain. Podrick pushes Ser Mandon into the water and the weight of his armor drowns him.
When Tyrion is imprisoned for Joffrey's murder, he tells Podrick not to return without Bronn. Podrick spends three days convincing Bronn to come. He finally has to beg.
After Tyrion escapes, Podrick tries to find him by following Brienne of Tarth. She ends up taking Podrick on as her squire and begins his training in weapons. when last seen in the books, Podrick is going to be hanged by Lady Stoneheart and the band of outlaws that was once fighting with Beric Dondarrion.