Eustace Osgrey, art by Mike S Miller
|In 211–219 AC
|The Sworn Sword (appears)
Appearance and Character
Eustace was tall, broad, and handsome in his youth. As he grew older, he remained big-boned, broad-shouldered, and barrel-chested, with strong, sharp features. He wore a thick mustache and kept his hair close-cropped. Eustace's hair turned white as milk, but his mustache and eyebrows were ashy gray. His eyes were a paler gray color, and appeared to be full of sadness.
Eustace was a stubborn knight proud of the past glories of House Osgrey, although he grew forgetful in his old age. He treasured the broken shield of his ancestor, Ser Wilbert Osgrey. He admired valorous warriors, such as Daemon I Blackfyre and Ser Duncan the Tall, and disliked King Daeron II Targaryen and Dornishmen.
The knight wore mail and plate. Eustace's long, woolen surcoat, decorated with the chequy lion of his family, was faded yellow. A chequy lion also adorned his frayed silk cloak, and he wielded a sword. The knight rode a grey gelding.
Ser Eustace had been good friends with his neighbor, Lord Wyman Webber, before the First Blackfyre Rebellion, though not without some jealousy, as much of the House Webber lands had once belonged to House Osgrey, including the Webbers' castle Coldmoat. Eustace's youngest son, Addam, served at Coldmoat as Wyman's page and squire, and began a childhood romance with Wyman's daughter, Rohanne, who was the same age. However, when Eustace proposed that Addam marry Rohanne, Wyman courteously rejected him, though Eustace heard Wyman laughing with Ser Lucas Inchfield as he left. Eustace never returned to Coldmoat during Wyman's lifetime.
First Blackfyre Rebellion
Eustace supported the pretender king Daemon I Blackfyre during the First Blackfyre Rebellion, in hopes that he would reverse the losses House Osgrey had suffered under House Targaryen. Eustace also apparently believed the rumors about King Daeron II Targaryen being a bastard, calling him "Daeron the Falseborn" years later, and proclaiming the merit of the "rightful king", Daemon.
Aftermath of the Rebellion
Eustace was pardoned by King Daeron II Targaryen after the rebellion, although some lands of House Osgrey, including the Chequy Water, were granted to House Webber, which had remained loyal to House Targaryen. Eustace's daughter Alysanne was sent to King's Landing as a hostage. After Eustace brought home the bones of his sons and allowed Alysanne to be taken away, his wife committed suicide by throwing herself from the top of Standfast. Eustace's wife and sons were buried at Standfast by the blackberry bushes his sons had loved to pick. Rohanne Webber blamed Eustace for the death of Addam Osgrey.
Alysanne stayed in King's Landing for the rest of her life, becoming a silent sister. Ser Eustace went to visit her once, but she refused to break her vows of silence to speak with him. Alysanne died during the Great Spring Sickness (in 209 AC or 210 AC), which made Eustace the last of his line.
Conflict with Rohanne Webber
In 209 AC, Dake, a peasant of House Osgrey's villages who had served as a forager for Ser Eustace during the Blackfyre Rebellion, was accused of stealing sheep from the neighboring lands of House Webber. Rohanne Webber, Lady of Coldmoat, sent her knights across the Chequy Water to seize Dake and bring him to Coldmoat for punishment. When Eustace arrived at Coldmoat to demand Dake's release, he learned the peasant had been sewn into a sack with rocks, which was sunk in the moat of Coldmoat. Eustace then swore a holy vow that he would never return to Coldmoat again, except to take possession of it.
The aging Eustace took on hedge knights to protect his lands, first Ser Bennis of the Brown Shield after Dake's death and later Ser Duncan the Tall. In 211 AC, Bennis, Duncan, and Duncan's squire Egg, who was actually Prince Aegon Targaryen, happened upon the Chequy Water in the process of being dammed by peasants of House Webber. Believing that the men were trespassing on Osgrey lands, Bennis cut Wolmer's face in an attempt to scare them off. Eustace, fearing that Lady Webber would demand Bennis's life as she had with Dake's, ordered Bennis and Duncan to raise troops from the peasant villages of House Osgrey and prepare them for a possible war.
However, the meager amount of men of fighting age were untrained, and no match for the knights of House Webber. Seeing this, Eustace decided to pay a blood price to settle the matter, but as he had sworn to never return to Coldmoat, he sent Duncan to make the offer. However, Rohanne rejected the blood price, demanding that Bennis be brought to her to have his nose slit as a punishment, or that she would come to Standfast by the next day with fire and sword. Maester Cerrick revealed a document to Duncan, sealed by the crown, showing House Webber's possession of the Chequy Water and revealing that Eustace had been a traitorous supporter of the Blackfyres. Duncan also learned that Rohanne blamed Eustace for the death of her first love, Eustace's son Addam Osgrey.
When Duncan returned to Standfast, he confronted Eustace about his Blackfyre loyalties and about lying to him about the deaths of his sons and the status of the Chequy Water. Duncan planned to leave Standfast the next morning, but Standfast was awakened that night by a fire in Wat's Wood. Believing that Rohanne had set the fire, Eustace planned to use his peasant militia to make war on her lands and burn one of the Webber mills. However, Duncan realized that all the peasants would die in the conflict. Duncan sent home the smallfolk and told Eustace he would represent him at the confrontation with Rohanne.
At the border of their lands, the Chequy Water, Eustace accused Rohanne of setting the fire, while she denied all complicity. Duncan and Rohanne parlayed in the middle of the river. She would not accept Duncan cutting his own cheek as payment for Bennis, and instead demanded an apology for Eustace's slander about the fire. They agreed to a trial by combat between Duncan and Rohanne's champion, Ser Lucas Inchfield, the castellan of Coldmoat. Duncan prevailed, but almost drowned in the river in the process. While Eustace and Duncan were away from Standfast, Bennis tied up Eustace's servants, Sam Stoops and his wife, and stole the remaining valuables from Eustace's tower.
While Duncan was unconscious, Eustace and Rohanne reconciled, speaking about Addam and visiting his grave at Standfast. When Rohanne began to weep, Eustace comforted her. The next day, Eustace married Rohanne, as a resolution to the will of her father, Lord Wyman Webber, that she be married within two years of his death or lose her ruling rights to a Webber cousin, Ser Wendell. Egg attended Eustace, now Lord of Coldmoat, during the wedding feast. Eustace and Rohanne offered to make Ser Duncan their new captain of the guard at Coldmoat, but Duncan refused and left with Egg.
Not long after, while attending the wedding tourney at Whitewalls, Ser Duncan the Tall thought of Rohanne Webber and Eustace, and wondered if they ever thought of him. Upon encountering some other Blackfyre rebels at the tourney, he was also reminded of Eustace.
Quotes by Eustace
A great battle is a terrible thing, but in the midst of blood and carnage, there is sometimes also beauty, beauty that could break your heart.
A king's mercy is a poisoned gift. Daeron Targaryen left me life, but took my pride and dreams and honor. I should have gone with Bittersteel into exile, or died beside my sons and my sweet king. That would have been a death worthy of a chequy lion descended from so many proud lords and mighty warriors. Daeron's mercy made me smaller.
Quotes about Eustace
—thoughts of Duncan the Tall
—thoughts of Duncan the Tall