Is Ilyn Payne Related to Podrick? The Truth Behind the King’s Justice and His Cousin

If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, you might have wondered about the relationship between Ilyn Payne, the dreaded executioner who beheaded Ned Stark, and Podrick Payne, the loyal squire who served Tyrion Lannister and Brienne of Tarth. Are they really related? How close are they? And what is the story behind Ilyn’s tongueless condition? In this article, we will explore the facts and the mysteries surrounding these two characters from the popular fantasy series.

Who is Ilyn Payne?

Ilyn Payne is a knight from House Payne, a noble house from the Westerlands that is sworn to House Lannister. He serves as the King’s Justice, the royal headsman, for King Robert Baratheon and his successors. He is a grim man, tall and thin, with a beardless, pockmarked face. He has pale, colorless eyes and hollow cheeks. He is almost completely bald, but the few wisps of hair he has are as long as a woman’s. He wears old and rusted chainmail over boiled leather, and carries a large two-handed greatsword on his back. He often stares at people with his hollow eyes, which can be unnerving. He is a skilled executioner; he has never botched an execution and seldom requires more than a single stroke to finish off his charges.

Why is Ilyn Payne Tongueless?

Ilyn Payne was once the captain of the guard for Lord Tywin Lannister when Tywin served as Hand of the King for King Aerys II Targaryen, also known as the Mad King. Ilyn was overheard saying that it was Tywin who truly ruled the Seven Kingdoms, rather than Aerys. The king was enraged by this comment and had Ilyn’s tongue torn out with hot pincers for his insolence. Since then, Ilyn can only voice a choking rattle and a clacking laugh. He cannot speak, nor read or write. He delegates to underlings, such as Rennifer Longwaters, the chief undergaoler of the Red Keep.

Podrick Payne is a squire from a cadet branch of House Payne. He is a cousin to Ilyn Payne, but it is not clear how close they are. Podrick is a shy and awkward boy, but also brave and loyal. He has curly brown hair and soft features. He wears a leather jerkin over roughspun wool. He carries a sword and a dagger at his side.

Podrick first squires for Ser Cedric Payne, a knight who dies in the Riverlands campaign during the War of the Five Kings. He then squires for Ser Lorimer, who is hanged for stealing a ham. He is then made Tyrion Lannister’s squire when Tyrion joins Lord Tywin Lannister’s army before the Battle of the Green Fork. Podrick accompanies Tyrion in his sorties outside the walls of King’s Landing during the Battle of the Blackwater. In the last jaunt, he saves Tyrion from Ser Mandon Moore of the Kingsguard, who tries to kill him on orders from Queen Cersei Lannister.

After Tyrion is accused of murdering King Joffrey Baratheon at his wedding feast, Podrick remains loyal to him and helps him escape from his cell with the aid of Jaime Lannister and Varys. Podrick follows Brienne of Tarth from King’s Landing to Maidenpool. Brienne seeks Sansa Stark, who in turn might know the whereabouts of her husband Tyrion, a fugitive after the death of his father Tywin.


Ilyn Payne and Podrick Payne are cousins from House Payne, but they have very different personalities and fates. Ilyn is a silent and terrifying executioner who serves the crown without question. Podrick is a timid and faithful squire who serves his masters with devotion. They have never interacted in the books or the show, but they share a common bond of loyalty to House Lannister.

Doms Desk

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