He is described as tall and gaunt, with a goatee that stretches two feet from a pointed chin. One of his notable features is the chain of coins that he wears around his neck. Each coin is taken from a different location that Vargo has fought, and many display bizarre creatures and locations. His coat of arms bears the black goat of Qohor, and he wears a helmet with the horns of a goat. He often rides a zorse into battle.
Vargo has a perpetually swollen tongue that causes him to lisp and slobber when he speaks, a fact frequently noted by those that encounter him. Despite this appearance he is both shrewd and cunning, as evidenced by the fact that he has managed to stay as the commander of the Brave Companions.
A Clash of KingsEdit
Vargo and the Brave Companions are hired by Lord Tywin Lannister after the outbreak of the War of the Five Kings. He is tasked with reaving and ravaging through The Riverlands, along with Ser Gregor Clegane and Ser Amory Lorch. Tywin hopes that the damage they cause will draw King Robb Stark out into the open, although this doesn't succeed. Arya Stark sees Vargo Hoat and thinks that he is just another of Tywin's monsters.
Vargo's men have altercations with the Lannister men whilst at Harrenhal. During one specific fight the squire of Ser Harys Swyft is killed, and two Companions are executed as a result, as well as the archer that started the fight by taunting the Companions about their failure to catch Beric Dondarrion. Ser Harys is forced to kiss Vargo Hoat as part of the reconciliation.
Lord Tywin eventually leaves Harrenhal, with Ser Amory Lorch left behind as castellan. Amory and Vargo despise each other and Vargo decides to become a turncloak, agreeing a deal with Lord Roose Bolton that will see him named Lord of Harrenhal after the end of the war. Vargo smuggle Northmen into the castle disguised as prisoners, but has them released by Rorge. Biter and Jaqen H'ghar and the Lannister garrison is massacred. Afterwards, Ser Amory was paraded through the streets of Harrentown naked, and he is then forced to fight a bear to the death.
A Storm of SwordsEdit
Vargo and his men manage to capture Ser Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth shortly after the death of Ser Cleos Frey. He stops Shagwell the Fool, Rorge and Timeon from raping Brienne, as he believes that her father will pay him her weight in sapphires for her safe return. He does, however, chop Jaime's sword hand off to try to put a wedge between Roose and Tywin. He also hopes that he can secure a marriage with Alys Karstark by bringing Lord Rickard Karstark the Kingslayer.
Roose lets Jaime leave, sending him back to King's Landing as a show of good faith to Tywin. After his departure Vargo tries to force himself upon Brienne, but she bites his ear and instead he throws her into the bear pit. Jaime arrives to save her, and Steelshanks Walton helps him. Vargo starts to go insane after his ear gets infected. Ser Gregor is commanded to retake Harrenhal. After he takes it he chops off Vargo's hands and feet, as a way of mocking how he usually treats his prisoners.