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Why be a lord when you can be a King?
~ Hugh Hammer
We need a strong man to lead us, not a boy. The throne should be mine.
~ Hugh to the Greens, after Aemond's death.

Lord Hugh Hammer (born simply as Hugh), also known as Hugh the Hammer and Hard Hugh, is a supporting character in the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series and the television adaptation House of the Dragon.

He is a blacksmith's bastard of Valyrian descent. During the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, he claimed a dragon and became one of the dragonseeds who sided with the Blacks, supporters of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. However, he later betrayed her during the First Battle of Tumbleton and defected to the Greens, as he sought to be king. His dragon mount was Vermithor.

Hugh gained a following of soldiers who believed a prophecy which spoke of a new king arising once a hammer falls on a dragon (this prophecy would be fulfilled a century and a half later, by another man, whom Hugh believed to be himself).

In the television adaptation, he will be portrayed by Kieran Bew.

Appearance[]

He was a very tall and huge man who was so powerful that he could twist steel bars with his bare hands. 

Personality[]

Hugh Hammer was a very loathsome, manipulative, power-hungry, and traitorous fallen knight, with the egotistical intention of reigning over Tumbleton alongside Ulf. He was also a sadistic man who enjoyed not only burning innocent people alive and destroying their homes, but killing unarmed men and raping women as well. He was also fond of brutal and harsh punishments, having nailed three horseshoes to Ser Roger Corne's skull because the latter disrespected him. In fact, he was so evil that a secret conspiracy between the two sides was formed for the sole purpose of eliminating him and Ulf during the war.

Biography[]

Sowing of the Seeds[]

During the Dance of the Dragons, as there are many riderless dragons on Dragonstone, Prince Jacaerys Velaryon, Rhaenyra's eldest son, promised lands, knighthood, and wealth to anyone who could master a dragon, which was a way to bring more Dragonriders to his mother's cause. This event will be remembered in history as the Sowing of the Seeds. In response to Jacaerys' offer, a score of people from Dragonstone, alongside sailors, scullions, mummers, squires, and men-at-arms, came forward, with Hugh Hammer among them. Vermithor, the dragon of the late King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, Rhaenyra's great-grandfather, accepted Hugh as his rider, making him a dragonseed.

Battle of the Gullet[]

Hugh fought at the Battle of the Gullet alongside Prince Jacaerys and other dragonseeds against the Triarchy, who support the Greens, the supporters of King Aegon II Targaryen. In the aftermath of the battle, which resulted in Jacaerys' death, Hugh and another dragonseed, Ulf White, made themselves drunk in a tavern beneath Dragonstone. There, the former drunkenly declared that they were knights, causing Ulf to amusingly insist that they should be lords instead.

Becoming a Lord[]

Later, after Rhaenyra captured King's Landing and seized the iron throne, both Hugh and Ulf were made knights and were given small holdings on Driftmark. According to a tale by court fool Mushroom, Hugh celebrated by beating one of Rhaenyra's household knights in a brothel after they got into a quarrel over the maidenhood of a young virgin.

Tumbleton[]

He and Ulf White were sent on their dragons by Queen Rhaenyra to defend the market town of Tumbleton from Ormund Hightower's host. However, during the First Battle of Tumbleton, the two dragonseeds, after the Hightower host was defeated, proceeded to betray the Blacks by setting Tumbleton ablaze, scorching the town from end to end, and killing those caught up in the conflagration. The sack of Tumbleton soon followed after landed knight Ser Roger Corne and his men opened the town's gates to the Greens. For their betrayal, Hugh Hammer and Ulf White infamously became known as the Two Betrayers. It was believed that the treachery of the two dragonseeds was out of avarice, as they both resent the lands that Rhaenyra gave them and that Hugh and Ulf, who have a lust for power and wealth, desired to become lords.

Because of their actions, this made Rhaenyra paranoid, and she came to distrust all the dragonseeds. This was mirrored by her Black council, who were also angered by the sack of Tumbleton, and they began questioning the dragonseeds' loyalty. As an insult to injury, the smallfolk became consumed with fear that the army of House Hightower would soon attack King's Landing, causing many to try and flee from the capital though the Gold Cloaks had barred the gates.

Meanwhile, back in Tumbleton, Lord Hugh Hammer, in his arrogance, desired to be king, due to various reasons; he is really strong, strong enough to twist steel bars, he is a fearsome foe in combat and wields a warhammer, and he rides the dragon of the late King Jaehaerys I Targaryen. Telling his desire to the men that had gathered around him, he reveals to them the reason of his belief; He had heard of an ancient prophecy that foretells that when the hammer shall fall upon the dragon, a new king will rise, and none will stand before him.

Both Hugh and Lord Ulf White are reluctant to aid Prince Daeron Targaryen in launching an attack on King's Landing. When word reached that the capital had rose in riot against Rhaenyra, many young lords, chief amongst them Lord Unwin Peake, Ser Jon Roxton, and Ser Roger Corne, called to immediately advance on King's Landing, but Ser Hobert Hightower advised caution and Hugh Hammer and Ulf White stubbornly refused to join in any attack until their demands are met. Tensions arose amongst the Greens when they learned of the death of Prince Aemond Targaryen. Ever since King Aegon II Targaryen had vanished from King's Landing and hadn't been seen nor heard from since the capital fell, many feared that he was secretly executed by Rhaenyra, who then concealed his corpse to avoid being condemned as a Kinslayer.

Because of this and the fact that Aemond is dead, the Greens were left without a leader and a king, and so Prince Daeron became next in the line of succession; while Unwin Peake wanted him to be proclaimed as Prince of Dragonstone, others wanted to crown him king, as they believed that Aegon II is dead. Though Hugh and Ulf felt that they need a king to lead them, they refuse to accept Daeron as their king. When Hugh ambitiously declared that they need a strong man and not a boy to lead the Greens and that the Iron Throne should be his, Ser Jon Roxton demanded on what right he has to name himself king. Hugh, full of arrogance, answered saying that his right is the same as Aegon I Targaryen: a dragon. This offended the lords and knights of Oldtown, including Prince Daeron. Sickened by Lord Hammer's insolence, he threw a cup of wine in his face, angering Hugh, who threatened to beat Prince Daeron before leaving with Ulf. The next day, Hugh Hammer wore a crown of black iron, to the anger of Prince Daeron and his loyal lords and knights.

Ser Roger Corne proceeded to knock Hugh's crown off his head, saying that "a crown does not make a man a king" before mockingly advising him that he should "wear a horseshoe on his head". Not amused by this, Hugh commands his men to hold Ser Roger down while he nailed three horseshoes to his skull, killing him. The ensuing fight that followed between Hugh's and Roger's men led to three deaths and twelve wounded. This caused several Green Commanders, known as the Caltrops, to convene a secret meeting, in which they conspire to kill the Two Betrayers, which was immediately allowed by Prince Daeron. Prior to the Second Battle of Tumbleton, while Daeron slept in his tent and Ulf the White is sleeping off a night of drinking in the Bawdy Badger Inn, Hard Hugh slept with the widow of a knight whom he killed during the First Battle of Tumbleton.

Second Battle of Tumbleton[]

A Betrayer betrayed by ertacaltinoz

It was said that Ser Jon Roxton, after killing Hugh Hammer, slipped on the Dragonseed's entrails prior to being killed by Lord Hammer's men.

The Caltrops' plans to kill Hugh Hammer and Ulf White were interrupted when Ser Addam Velaryon and the Blacks launched an attack on Tumbleton, which took the Greens by surprise. While Ulf drunkely slept throughout the entire battle, Hugh was quick to respond to the attack. While half-dressed, he called for his armor, warhammer, and a horse so he could ride out to mount Vermithor. Ser Jon Roxton, one of the Caltrops, spied on Hugh Hammer before seizing the opportunity to kill him.

Approaching Hugh, he offered the Dragonseed his condolences, and when demanded on this, Jon responded by saying that "he died in battle." before unsheathing Orphan-Maker, the Valyrian steel longsword of House Roxton.

He immediately slew Hugh Hammer by stabbing him in the belly before opening him up from the groin to the throat. Immediately, a dozen men loyal to Hugh arrived in time to see their leader die before their very eyes. In retaliation, the men slew Jon Roxton, who managed to slay three of them. It was said that just before Ser Jon died, he slipped on a coil of Hugh's own entrails, though this is believed to be too ironic to be confirmed.

House of the Dragon[]

Biography[]

While his past is unknown, Hugh is a family man who had married a woman named Kat, and they bore a daughter. As his daughter is ill, Hugh struggles to make ends meet with her.

Trivia[]

  • Hugh's followers believed in a prophecy claiming that a new king would rise after his hammer falls on a dragon, and it seems that Hugh matched the description of the new king. The identity of whoever made such prophecy is unknown, making it unclear if it came from actual sorcery, or was just something randomly made up by one of Hugh's followers. Hugh did not fulfill the prophecy.
    • However, regardless if genuine or not, this prophecy did come true a century and a half after the Dance, when Lord Robert Baratheon led a rebellion against the Targaryens and used his warhammer to kill Prince Rhaegar Targaryen at the Battle of the Trident, which was the decisive engagement that decided the final outcome Robert's Rebellion.

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