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The term bastard refers to anyone born out of wedlock. Bastards are not allowed to inherit their father's lands or titles, and have no claims to the privileges of their father's house. It is up to their father on how to raise or treat them: at worst they are unacknowledged and ignored. At best, a lord will acknowledge his bastard children, but send them away to one of his distant castles to be raised away from his lawful family. For bastard children to be raised by their father in his own castle alongside his trueborn children is considered extremely unusual.

It is possible for the king to legitimize a lord's bastard children, though this special dispensation is difficult to acquire and infrequently happens. It will usually only be granted if a lord has no other legitimate children to carry on the name of his house.


All bastards born to a Great House in Westeros have to identify themselves through a specific surname which varies by region:

See Also

Highborn Bastard (Background)


Game of Thrones Bastards of Westeros (HBO)

Game of Thrones Bastards of Westeros (HBO)

George R. R. Martin on Bastards of Westeros

Pages in category "Bastards"