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Varys: "I would have smuggled you out earlier, my lord, but while the spider spins his web, a scorpion awaits his attention."
Tyrion Lannister: "Calvin Dondarrion?"
Varys: "Quite, my lord. I had tried to erase him before, and I could have done it myself, but...he understands suspicion better than most."
Tyrion Lannister: "Does a man as straightforward as Calvin Dondarrion scare you so much, my friend? You have lived in a city populated by people like my sister, Littlefinger, that chainless maester, my vile nephew...and you are scared of him."
Varys: "You do not understand, my lord. The Lord of Blackhaven did not just elude me, my lord. He stung me back, he hurt somebody who was in my protection. He set a strand of my web on fire. And he did it all while uttering one simple truth - 'I serve the king'."
— Varys describes Calvin to Tyrion Lannister[src]

Lord Calvin Dondarrion is a major character in the second, third, fourth and fifth seasons, and a recurring character in the first. He is portrayed by starring cast member Marc Warren and debuts in "Winter is Coming" (Though his speaking role begins in "Lord Snow"). He is the older cousin of Beric Dondarrion, and, as of Season 2, the Master of Laws on the Small Council of King Joffrey Baratheon, later his brother Tommen. He becomes Lord Paramount of the Stormlands after his defeat of Queen Skylar Redmyre.

Born to Lord Tybalt Dondarrion, who earned mass recognition for his successes during the War of the Ninepenny Kings, Calvin's younger cousin Beric Dondarrion would become the Lord of Blackhaven, but it was often remarked that Calvin was starkly different from the Lightning Lord: Calvin was cynical, highly intelligent and a master of negotiation and politics. He grew up and prospered differently from Beric, becoming eventually responsible for many of House Dondarrion's successes and future promises - he fought during the War of the Usurper where he saved Lord Jon Arryn's life during the Battle of the Trident, after having saved his life previously when he was younger. For this, he was made Lord Calvin Dondarrion and eventually recommended him as a member of the Small Council, but a position was not decided immediately for him.

After King Robert Baratheon's death, Calvin was raised to Master of Laws in King's Landing, in light of Renly Baratheon's defection and becoming a rebel, with the suggestion that Calvin's ascension to that post would strengthen their hold on the Stormlands even with two Baratheons against them. Effective, strong and extremely hard-working on the outside, Calvin showed himself to be a calculating and manipulative, obsessed with the progress and development of his house, even more so in light of his cousin Beric's death at the hands of Ser Gregor Clegane. Calvin's deeds during the War of the Five Kings lead to him being appointed Lord of Storm's End, a shocking ascension in power for a man like him. 


Early life

"I had to fight with Robert, my lord. Not because I wanted to be a hero - yes, I was eighteen and green to battle, but my father had been killed and my uncle was no more a commander than Aerys was a pacifist. I could have fought for Aerys, but Rhaegar hadn't appeared and I would be forsaking my liege lord forever; and the Mad King had a horrible habit of burning men loyal to him. I had to fight for Robert; my father insisted, and we wouldn't have made it to King's Landing or Dorne even, if we'd refused to fight with the rebels. My father died because of this decision, so I fought in his stead - I left scars on the Red Viper and on Randyll Tarly, yes, but better to leave scars that spell your wrath to survivors than corpses that fan their flames against you. It was a logical and necessary move; nothing more."
―Calvin recounts his actions during Robert's Rebellion to Varys

Lord Calvin Dondarrion was the son of Lord Tybalt Dondarrion, the brother of Lord Simon Dondarrion of Blackhaven, and was born during a brutal rainstorm. He was the eldest of his father's children. When he was young, Calvin witnessed the birth of his cousin Beric Dondarrion, with whom he would form a strong friendship. Calvin was trained to fight, but he found the Westerosi method of combat impractical to his preferences, thinking that exhausting oneself for the sake of frightening your opponent was completely unwise - for this, his influential uncle summoned a Braavosi water dancer to Blackhaven, who trained him in water dancing. After less than ten years of training, Calvin became a master swordsman and carried a rapier with him at all times. There were rumours that he was better than both his father and uncle in combat. It was revealed at some point that the water dancer's name was Herrego Forel, the father of Syrio Forel.

When Calvin was a young man, he would continuously visit other castles in the Stormlands, but his personal favourite was the island of Tarth, which he considered the most beautiful place in that kingdom. At some point when he was in his twenties, he met a young Brienne of Tarth, who witnessed him battling and later defeating both her father and the master-at-arms Ser Willem Morrigen, simultaneously. Calvin also travelled to the Vale at one point, where Jon Arryn took a liking to him and offered to make him the master-at-arms of the Eyrie. However, Calvin declined in favour of Yohn Royce taking up such a post. Eventually, however, Calvin would impress Jon Arryn when they were travelling back to the Stormlands so that Jon could meet his father - they were set upon by the Stone Crows and the Black Ears, and Calvin protected the Lord of the Vale, shattering the numbers of the mountain clans. Calvin suffered no injuries during the battle, but his performance in the ambush was so frightening that the tribesmen eventually fled and Calvin Dondarrion collapsed from exhaustion into Jon's arms. He carried the young man back to Blackhaven, where he then knighted him at the age of seventeen and would later be given command of the Dondarrion armies, much to the envy of his brothers.

When Calvin attended the Tourney of Harrenhal as an attendant of Robert Baratheon, he asked to dance with Ashara Dayne but he was rejected. He later danced with his betrothed Katrina Connington, and the two of them fell in love. Loyal to Lord Steffon Baratheon of Storm's End, House Dondarrion sided with his son Lord Robert when the latter rebelled against King Aerys Targaryen. During Robert's Rebellion, the Mad King commanded the Dornish to launch a siege against Blackhaven, seeing Lord Tybalt as a military threat and Lord Simon as a political threat and wanting to keep them at bay. The siege lasted for several days, until Calvin skilfully organised a party to enter the catacombs underneath Blackhaven, where they took the Dornish by surprise and beat them away from Blackhaven. However, when he re-entered Blackhaven after the battle, he found his father dead from seven arrows, surrounded by the corpses of the Dornishmen he'd personally killed in the combat. Calvin proceeded to fight during the Rebellion alongside Jon Arryn and Robert Baratheon, proving himself to be dangerously intelligent and a prolific strategist with profound talent for organisation and misdirection - in later years, Ned Stark would speak to his children of Calvin's ruthless intellect and nigh-unparalleled tactical mind. At Summerhall, Calvin was unhorsed violently, and his arm was broken by the fall, but he kept fighting, until he was pulled from the charge to be healed.

Later, at Ashford, he was wounded again in the midst of a terrifying swordfight with Randyll Tarly, but Calvin quickly managed to deal an even fiercer blow that almost crippled him in one leg. They both survived the duel, but many who witnessed the altercation between a Dondarrion rapier and a Tarly greatsword spoke in awe that one of them didn't kill the other. When Robert Baratheon was wounded in that battle, Calvin defied his uncle and formed a sortie of his own men, orchestrating a highly clandestine operation to protect Robert Baratheon from the royalists who were searching for him under Jon Connington. When the rebels arrived and started the Battle of the Bells, Calvin's army emerged from the shadows like wraiths and killed several of the royalist soldiers, holding many of them hostage to negotiate surrenders out of the smaller houses by Calvin's command. This subjugated the entirety of the Stormlands, for which Eddard Stark credited Calvin. Calvin fought alongside Arthur Baratheon during the Battle of the Prince's Pass, earning considerable recognition from the White Stag.

At the climactic Battle of the Trident, Calvin rode beside Robert Baratheon at the first charge, leading his own vanguard of House Dondarrion, Tarth, Swann and Wylde against the Dornishmen. Cutting off the Dornish from the royalist army and thus preventing them from guarding Prince Rhaegar from the wrathful Lord Robert, Calvin's forces wrapped around the Martells and, vengeful from the siege that had killed his father, Calvin cleansed the Trident of the majority of their warriors and fought Oberyn Martell to an inconsistent stalemate. Knowing that Oberyn fought with a spear and, later, a sword that was probably poisoned, Calvin fought warily and survived the duel, unhorsing the Red Viper. His horse was killed when the Red Viper struck with his broken spear, and Calvin continued the duel on foot and scarred the man three times, before Calvin was struck by two arrows and separated from the Red Viper. When Jon Arryn's army swarmed into the Trident, the Red Viper stole a horse and attacked Jon, disarming him. Seeing the Lord of the Vale under attack, Calvin threw his sword into the Red Viper's horse, wounding the Red Viper and saving Jon. For this, Jon Arryn made the eighteen-year old knight a lord, and for a time he was called the Young Storm for going from knighthood to lordship so quickly.

With the deaths of both Rhaegar, Aerys, Elia Martell and her children, as well as the majority of the Kingsguard, the Targaryen dynasty was smashed to pieces. In light of this, Calvin was made the official captain of his uncle's guard, tasked with training the soldiers and orchestrating military activity. Calvin contributed substantially to helping raise Beric Dondarrion, the future Lord of Blackhaven, considering that Beric decided to devote himself entirely to the prospering of his house. When Beric was old enough, Calvin trained him to fight with a Westerosi sword even though the style displeased him, and drilled into Beric that a man's duty is a man's sword. He also made political advancements for his family, arranging for Beric's two sisters Silena and Freya to be married to vassals of House Swann, and continuing to organise several other marriages in his family to make sure that his house was made stronger than most vassal houses in the Stormlands.

This earned him respect from many other lords, including Lord Petyr Baelish and Jon Arryn, who eventually called him to court where Beric would participate in several tournaments when he was older. Adding to what was already an impressive reputation, Calvin married Lady Katrina Connington, the daughter of Jon Connington, securing an alliance with a minor but loyal house that he had only a few years ago been warring with during the Battle of the Bells. The animosity between the two houses during the Rebellion didn't impact at all on the relationship between them. He had three children by Katrina: Twins Cedric and Simon, and Jeyne Dondarrion two years later. With these children, he planned to further secure alliances with other houses when they came of age, though he decided to wait for prospective suitors to be presented to him.

Seven years after Robert's Rebellion, the Greyjoys of the Iron Islands mounted their own invasion of Westeros and Robert Baratheon called the banners against them. In the ensuing battles, Calvin led his house and the supporters that his supreme efforts had gained against the ironborn. At the battles in Seagard, Fair Isle and Harlaw, Calvin helped overpower the Greyjoy forces, and then joined Lord Stannis Baratheon in the Siege of Great Wyk, where he memorably broke Aeron Greyjoy's defences and came close to fighting the man himself, but he was preoccupied when Euron Greyjoy set his ship afire. Later on, in the immense Siege of Pyke, Calvin was faced by Maron Greyjoy and five of his guardsmen. The arrogant ironman sneered that he looked forward to seeing Calvin 'dance his way out of this situation' (Referring to Calvin's skills at water-dancing), to which Calvin dared Maron to face him one-to-one. Still impetuous, Maron ordered his men to attack ahead of him. In the ensuing altercation, Calvin broke the guardsmen and killed Maron.

Calvin had unintentionally left his house in a precarious position by the end of both rebellions: he had wounded Randyll Tarly, thwarted the Red Viper and killed the son of Lord Balon Greyjoy. The latter of these factors was rapidly diminished when Balon Greyjoy bent the knee to King Robert, so Calvin personally journeyed to Horn Hill and Sunspear and settled his scores with both men peacefully, securing peaceful relationships between these two houses, though Randyll still remained extremely bitter about the wounds that Calvin dealt him - Oberyn let the altercation between the two of them at the Trident pass, knowing that the one grudge he should maintain was with the Lannisters for killing Elia Martell.

Season 1

After the unexpected death of Jon Arryn, Calvin is one of the people who had gathered to mourn him. He had attempted to comfort Jon's grieving widow, Lysa Tully, but she rebuked him apparently. While Cersei and Jaime speak over Jon Arryn's death, Calvin is seen with several other attendees observing Jon Arryn's body.[1]

He meets with Lord Eddard Stark shortly after a stressful Small Council meeting, and he watches Joffrey Baratheon walking in the gardens. Upon seeing Ned, Calvin embraces him as an old friend, and Ned notices that he has improved since he was delivered wounded from the Trident. The two of them speak and Calvin notes the scars on Joffrey's arm, noting that they were from a beast. He knows that it was from a direwolf, having heard from Varys about the incident that ocurred between Arya, Sansa, Mycah and Joffrey.[2]

Calvin learns from his son Cedric that they have received a marriage proposal between him and Lady Cyanna Tarth. He writes that he wants to hear personally from Lord Selwyn Tarth before he comes to any decision regarding such a marriage, and takes note that the proposal wasn't with Lord Selwyn's daughter Lady Brienne of Tarth - Selwyn evidently doesn't want to shame Brienne further than she has already been shamed, so he offers the marriage to his niece instead. Calvin is later approached by Renly Baratheon, with whom he shares a very close friendship - it is revealed that the only reason that Calvin was not made Master of Laws was that Robert felt obligated to give it to his younger brother, though they both agree it was to stop Renly from nagging about it. Renly notes that Robert tolerates Renly, but he admires Calvin - Calvin counters that Renly has admirable qualities, then leaves.[3]

Receiving a raven from Tarth, Calvin reads how Selwyn has offered Cyanna because the alternative would be marrying her off to Ramsay Snow, which Calvin admittedly finds distasteful. He agrees to the proposal, on the condition that the wedding be held at Blackhaven. He visits Lord Stark in his chambers and remembers the Battle of Ashford where he was dealt a wound of his own by Randyll Tarly, noting that being wounded by a great man is one thing, by a common soldier who stabbed you in the back was another. Ned asks Calvin about Jaime Lannister's behaviour at court, and Calvin remarks that he and Robert were never close, and Robert never did anything to repair that - he hated Jaime, even though Jaime had majorly helped him win the Iron Throne.

Calvin Dondarrion meets Lord Eddard Stark

Calvin laments how Robert is considered the hero of the Rebellion for killing Rhaegar - Rhaegar was a great man, whereas Aerys was a megalomaniac, and Calvin finds the distinctions between Robert's killing and Jaime's to be rather ironic. Ned tells Calvin that his cousin, Lord Beric Dondarrion, has been sent to confront Ser Gregor Clegane, which visibly causes concern to Calvin. He asks why Gregor Clegane reeived such attention, and learns that he had attacked the Riverlands: Calvin approves of Lord Stark's actions in enforcing King Robert's justice. [4]

When Cersei summons Calvin to her chambers, Cersei demands reports about her brother Ser Jaime, who has fled the Capital after fighting with Eddard Stark. Calvin explains that he has turned to Casterly Rock, where he and Lord Tywin Lannister are about to mount an assault on the Riverlands in order to extort the return of Tyrion Lannister from Catelyn Stark. Cersei laments about the last time the Lannisters and Tullys came close to fighting during the Mad King's reign - Calvin assures her that it will be different, and that she will soon be with both of her brothers. Cersei tries to charm Calvin, but he proves immune to her and asks what she wants - Cersei asks her who the Dondarrions would fight for if it came to battle. Calvin stoically answers 'I serve the King'. When Eddard enters the throne room, Calvin is being awarded the title of Master of Laws in the absence of Renly Baratheon, who has fled the city. Calvin and his men are among those who turn on the Starks when Eddard moves against Joffrey - Calvin is seen standing beside Littlefinger as he subdues Lord Stark.[5]

Calvin commands his men in the massacre of the Stark soldiers, watching over the bloodbath. When two soldiers make their way through the Dondarrion soldiers, Calvin bares steel and easily dispatches them with three precise strokes. He Calvin is among those who advises the survival of Eddard Stark as a hostage of the Iron Throne, to try and negotiate a peace with the North and Riverlands. He takes pity on Sansa when she begs for her father's life.[6]

In the black cells, Calvin visits Eddard Stark, where the northerner furiously calls Calvin a traitor; Calvin answers that he never swore allegiance to House Stark in his life, and he never once considered himself loyal to Ned or any of his family. Calvin explains that it was Jon Arryn who knighted him and made him a lord, and when Jon died, Calvin was left with a drunken Robert and an envious Cersei to give his loyalty. Calvin states that he has never had anything against the Starks, but his sole priority is the prominence of his house.

Ned confronts Calvin with the fact that Jon Arryn's death was steadily orchestrated because he would have revealed an incestuous relationship between Cersei and Jaime Lannister. This surprises Calvin, but he states that it doesn't matter - honour is irrelevant to him when there are greater stakes, since both Renly and Stannis are inevitably about to quarrel over the throne, thus the last thing that he needs is the rumour that the current king is not the rightful king. This shocks Ned, who states that this doesn't benefit Calvin greatly, since Beric Dondarrion is still Lord of Blackhaven. Calvin counters that he doesn't want to be Lord of Blackhaven - just to ensure that its future is ripe as possible. He leaves Ned Stark alone, stating that he has a duty to his house, and that he will not allow any man prevent him from carrying it out.

Calvin is confronted by Cersei for his loyalty

Calvin stands at the Sept of Baelor when Ned Stark confesses, and is shocked when Joffrey orders his execution - he stares silently at Ned Stark's body for several moments, before looking over at Joffrey Baratheon and realising what the boy king has allowed to come to pass.[7]

Calvin is visited by a little bird (Who is noted to be seventeen years old). Calvin is revealed to have moulded him into one of his own followers - the girl tells him that Stannis Baratheon has called the banners of the Stormlands, including House Dondarrion. Calvin also learns that his cousin, Beric Dondarrion is dead and, him leaving no brothers or sisters, Calvin has become the Lord of Blackhaven - Calvin's first act is to declare that House Dondarrion serves the Iron Throne - this is a more political move by Calvin, since he has risen to a particular position in court and supporting either Renly or Stannis will smash that position to pieces. As the little bird leaves, Cersei approaches him and states that a Small Council meeting has been called. En route, Cersei suggests to Calvin that he stay in the Capital, since they require him there. Calvin states that, as Master of Laws, he has a responsibility to the crown - he will not be leaving quite yet.[8]

Season 2

Considering that House Dondarrion is under Calvin's dominion now, Calvin begins to set about reorganising several aspects of its reputation - he has the blacksmiths forging armour for horses and men, and summons dozens of other blacksmiths to Blackhaven to do so. At the Small Council meeting, Cersei tries to pressure Calvin into further progress, but Calvin assures her that the very limits of his progress are being overpowered as they speak. When they hear of overflowing refugees entering King's Landing, Calvin decides to harden the probabilities that the smallfolk would fear justice by issuing imprisonments to the instigation of any attacks on the City Watch, the king's blacksmiths and bannermen and breaking the curfews that Calvin has issued. Cersei is satisfied by this outcome, but Calvin notes that this can only support their situation for a short while. When Tyrion appears, Calvin almost laughs at seeing Cersei and her brother trade barbs, but he leaves when she demands that she be left alone with Tyrion.

Calvin acts as Master of Laws in King's Landing

After the Small Council meeting, Calvin receives a visit from his son Simon, who says that Blackhaven's blacksmiths have already produced surprising amounts of armour and Calvin immediately demands that they be sent to Tywin Lannister, since the Lord of Casterly Rock has demanded a supply. Calvin also hears that Renly Baratheon has called the banners of Blackhaven a second time, and that Simon took the liberty of sending a rejection - Calvin's appearance has been demanded, but Calvin rejects this and instead invites Renly to come to King's Landing to treat wtih him instead. Calvin knows that Renly will do no such thing because he doesn't trust Calvin. Varys then meets with Calvin, who suggests that he go to Harrenhal and meet with Tywin Lannister there - Tywin expects him to appear and assist with the war effort.[9]

Learning of the citywide massacre of Robert Baratheon's bastards, Calvin approaches Cersei about the business and she claims that she had nothing to do with it, but she pities the children for their fate. Calvin then implores that Calvin go to her father at Harrenhal, to which Calvin states that he requires a personal guard of his own to add to Blackhaven's forces, and that he will return very soon to King's Landing in time for Stannis Baratheon's attack. Both Grand Maester Pycelle, Varys and even Tyrion object to Cersei sending him away, considering that there is no guarantee that he will return in time for the battle.[10]

Calvin leaves King's Landing with his personal armed escort. In private, Varys and Tyrion realise that Calvin is proving himself invaluable to Cersei by going to meet with her father - if he does return and he is late for the Baratheon's attack, Cersei cannot risk blaming him without the chance of losing face for sending him away.[11]

Arya Stark notices Calvin arrive with nearly four hundred and fifty men at his back. When he rides into Harrenhal, Calvin goes straight to Harrenhal after arguing heatedly with a squire of Ser Gregor Clegane over his right to intervene with a war council meeting. As Arya leaves the war council meeting, Calvin arrives and addresses Lord Tywin, asking for a private audience with him. Kevan decides to remain there, which Calvin accepts because he requires only the attention of two capable Lannisters - Calvin states that Tywin summoned him, to which Tywin explains that he has received several ravens from Storm's End demanding that Calvin be commissioned to Renly's camp to answer for his treason to 'King Renly Baratheon First of His Name'. Calvin states that he had prematurely declared to the Iron Throne and intends to carry out his loyalty to the best of his extremities.

Calvin meets Tywin Lannister in Harrenhal

Tywin explains that he required an audience with Calvin because he needed personal assurances - he states that he needs Calvin to command the banners of the Stormlands after Renly and Stannis have killed each other. Calvin weighs the odds of this - Renly is a green young man with a huge army, and Stannis is a prolific commander with a small army. Tywin explains that he intends to give only two thousand men to Calvin for him to use as he will, and that with it Calvin must subjugate as much of the Stormlands as he can, before or after the battle. Calvin stoically accepts this offer, but notes that Tywin requires these men against the Young Wolf - Tywin retorts by stating that the safety of the king is paramount. He also gives Calvin one of his nephews, Waymar Lannister, as his squire, as a token of his confidence.[12]

With his new squire, Calvin leaves Harrenhal, but instead sends scouts across the Stormlands, Riverlands and Reach, telling them to scout the respective armies and give news of their positions to Harrenhal and to King's Landing - thus, both Tywin Lannister and King Joffrey will have at least some information as to the locations of Stannis's army, and the Tyrells. Riding back to King's Landing, Calvin is waylaid when he meets the army of Mace Tyrell. The two of them, on horseback, parley with one another under the impression that one of them wants to attack, and Calvin resolves with Mace Tyrell that they have forsaken the Baratheons of Dragonstone and Storm's End now that Renly Baratheon is dead. Calvin suggests to him that Renly being dead is one advantage to Stannis - the idea that Renly Baratheon has returned will be an unpleasant shock for them. He then asks if they still have Renly's armour, and once he learns this he suggests that it be put to use. He then rides off.[13]

Along the way, Calvin receives news from his scouts and learns that Stannis Baratheon has brought 200 ships past Tarth. Using the statistical number of ships owned by the royal fleet, Calvin deduces that Stannis has the superior numbers, and speeds his men further along. While riding, Calvin debates with Waymar as to what must be done as a squire, and learns that the boy is surprisingly effective for his age and knows the duties of his post very well. He surprises the boy, though, by demanding that he keeps his secrets from everyone, unless Calvin gives him leave. After re-entering the Crownlands, they take an abrupt detour and go to Blackhaven, where Calvin inspects on how Simon is running the castle. There, Calvin takes precisely half of the present warriors of Blackhaven, surprising Simon, and Calvin explains that he plans to marshal his armies against Stannis when he arrives at the Blackwater.[14]

Stannis Baratheon leads an enormous assault on King's Landing and commences the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Despite the best efforts of Tyrion Lannister, Sandor Clegane and Bronn, Stannis proves to have a far superior army and weaponry and comes close to breaking the gate. Stannis sends Lord Jason Florent to attack the King's Gate. Jason arrives, only to suddenly see a charging cavalry as Lord Calvin Dondarrion charges at the head of a huge Dondarrion army. Calvin rides straight into Jason, slicing him down with his sword and screaming 'To the King!'. The Dondarrions take Stannis's army by surprise, which is paired when the enormous Lannister-Tyrell army explodes into King's Landing, shattering Stannis's army. Calvin rides beside Tywin Lannister as they enter the Red Keep and Tywin announces the battle won.[15]

Calvin faces Varys after the Battle of Blackwater Bay

In the aftermath of the Battle of Blackwater Bay, Calvin nurses a scar that he received on his arm from a stray arrow, and Varys arrives, noting that he is treating it himself even though he should have servants to do so. Calvin delivers a memorised report that Stannis Baratheon's fleet has been broken in half and he will not be in strength enough to mount an assault on King's Landing - he would have been if he'd allied with his brother and they'd joined forces with House Stark or Tully. Calvin surmises that the combined efforts of the Tyrells, Lannisters and Dondarrions, as well as House Baratheon of King's Landing (Which, he knows, is truly 'House Lannister of King's Landing'). When Varys warns Calvin that such a statement as this is treason, Calvin suggests Varys report him to Cersei for it - Varys further warns Calvin that 'spiders are too small for lighting to strike', Calvin retorts that 'lightning brings rain, and spiders can drown just as easy as men'. In doing so, Calvin warns Varys how dangerous he is, and Varys is visibly, but calmly, speechless at this threat.

Calvin is present when Lord Tywin Lannister is made the Hand of the King. He is seen to approve of the match between Margaery Tyrell and King Joffrey Baratheon. Waymar approaches him and asks what he will have of him - Calvin asks him to bring Mace Tyrell to his chambers on a matter of great urgency. Calvin retires to said chambers nad pours a cup of wine. However, he suddenly begins to hallucinate and his vision distorts horribly. He tries to stand, but collapses over his desk and starts rasping. He calls out for the guards and realises the black streak in his wine glass, indicating that he has been poisoned. As Calvin sprawls on the floor against his upturned desk, the last thing that he sees is the door flying open and Waymar Lannister charging in.[16]

Season 3

A suspicious Calvin survives his attempted assassination

Cedric travels to King's Landing and seeks an audience with Calvin. He visits his father's chambers and, upon entering, Calvin appears to have recovered from his assassination attempt - narrowly, judging from the slightly stretched nature of his skin and the fact that his eyes are slightly, but noticeably bloodshot. Simon sits and explains that Blackhaven has suffered small losses in soldiers in the Battle of Blackwater Bay, but it is widely considered that they played a commendable part - he congratulates his father, who waves aside the congratulations because he knows Cedric wants something. Cedric explains that, as acting Lord of Blackhaven in Calvin's stead, he has taken it upon himself to arrange a marriage between his sister Jeyne, and Ser Adrian Marbrand, and she has accepted. Calvin applauds his son for what he has contributed to the family, and then Cedric explains that both he and Simon wish that they had fought beside him during the charge against Stannis.

Calvin stands and observes the view of the gardens outside. He reminisces that, while he was recovering, the only thing he could see through the windows was the smouldering ruins of the ships that Tyrion Lannister had obliterated during the bloodbath - it reminded him that the men on those ships had families of their own: Sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers...all of them valued by one another. He was reminded, time and again as Grand Maester Pycelle treated him for when someone tried to poison him, how much family ought to be valued - he needed a Dondarrion at Blackhaven, and it was a spur-of-the-moment decision not to bring his children to battle just yet. He acknowledges that, one day, Cedric and his brother will see battle, and there is the possibility that even Jeyne would see battle also, but he couldn't allow it to happen when he couldn't fully control it. He asks if Cedric brought Jeyne with him, and Cedric admits that she wanted to see him so she came. He allows Cedric to leave, and assures him that he will have his taste of battle when it comes.[17]

Calvin attends a Small Council meeting near the Tower of the Hand, where he reports that the movements of the Brave Companions have escalated since the departure of Tywin from Harrenhal. He calculates the statistics of the armies that they collectively possess, and also the amount of overflowalls that have occurred since the royal wedding between Joffrey and Margaery was announced. He then meets afterwards with Ser Bronn of the Blackwater, the new Commander of the City Watch, and the two of them discuss the movements of the gold cloaks, during which Calvin establishes that Bronn ought to run his command more effectively than Janos Slynt ever did, first by lengthening the hours of each watchman and increasing their numbers around the Red Keep and Blackwater Bay, considering that the bay is now a feeding ground for thieves and con artists trying to trade armour and weapons for themselves. Calvin leaves Bronn when he approaches his City Watchmen.[18]

Even though Calvin has survived being poisoned, he has become determined to discover who administered the poison in his wine. He commands that every single drink that is provided for him afterwards must first be drunk, in front of him, by Waymar. Otherwise, Calvin appears to get on with his squire, and tests his swordsmanship. He proves critical of the boy's prowess, but he notes that his spirit is extremely impressive. Waymar asks if he ever squired for anyone, and Calvin explains that he squired briefly for his father before the man's death, and was knighted at the end of the Rebellion. Afterwards, he visits Ser Loras Tyrell, and after speaking with him during their walk through the Red Keep Calvin verbally remarks that the man has the potential to be a great knight - it is curious that he hasn't been given to the Kingsguard already.

Calvin comforts his daughter Jeyne

Calvin speaks with his daughter Jeyne, during which the two of them exchange stories about one another's ordeals up to this point - Calvin stops and assures her that he will not approve of this marriage unless she is undeniably happy with it. When Jeyne expresses that she wants the same as him, to further the family line and better the status of House Dondarrion, Calvin remembers that Beric Dondarrion said the exact same to him when he was younger - he said that he wanted to be the greatest lord that House Dondarrion had ever produced in its existence; Calvin points out that Beric spent the rest of his days in tourneys and duels and gambling showdowns, until Eddard Stark sent him to his death fighting Ser Gregor Clegane. He points out the moments in Jeyne's life where she impressed him with her keen intelligence and her ambition, and states that such ambition belongs at the vanguard of House Dondarrion's future. Jeyne is stunned by her father's admiration of her, and expresses that Cedric is the heir to Blackhaven - Calvin answers that a head needs a body to support it. He convinces Jeyne that she can do more than just marry if she wants to support her family.[19]

Calvin gives standing command of his house's armies to his sons, and gives Simon control over the cavalry in the knowledge that the boy is more skilled with cavalry warfare and management than any Dondarrion. Robb Stark's armies in the Riverlands meet with the Dondarrion armies. In a pitched stalemate between the two armies, a large amount of the Northerners are trapped near Stone Hedge, where the Dondarrions exact a great blockade, penning them up there for several days and depriving them of provisions, before feigning defeat by making it look like they are retreating and have themselves lost provisions. In reality, thanks to the brothers' combined tactical genius, they have barely lost any men in battle and their provisions, safe back in the Crownlands, are plentiful. An enraged Robb Stark realises that Calvin had played him for a fool and that the battle hadn't been meant to be won, but to exhaust the Northerners of their supplies and demoralise their men. Hearing of his sons' victory, Calvin allows himself a triumphant smile and reports this to Tywin Lannister, who commends both of Calvin's children for their victory. [20]

Even though Calvin has won them a considerable victory, Jeyne points out that the Blockade will have caused them a greater enemy than they anticipated - the Riverlands are now entirely against House Dondarrion for humiliating Robb Stark in battle, and people believe him to be a coward - Calvin roots out of her that the people who believe him to be a coward are the prisoners taken in battle, and Calvin explains to her that they may consider him to be a dastardly snake but it doesn't alter the fact that he had outfoxed Robb Stark so easily.

When Waymar arrives and brings him Cersei Lannister, Calvin remarks to Cersei how the war is going indsescribably well for them now that the Blackwater is won. Cersei notices that he is beginning to physically recover from his poisoning, which surprises Calvin because he was told that it would take longer to physically recover from the attack. Calvin and Cersei debate the parameters of the war, and Cersei remarks that, in the last war, the Seven Kingdoms were divided - now they are simply halved between the North and the South. Calvin points out that House Baratheon of Dragonstone is still active, and Stannis is still alive so they still have two enemies. Cersei retorts that Stannis was broken at the Blackwater and cannot retaliate, but Calvin remarks that Robert was broken at the Ashford, and when he returned he killed Rhaegar Targaryen and broke his army at the Trident. Cersei and Calvin both agree that they could have had a worse king - but a much better king could have also been achieved.[21]

Calvin learns about an attempted infiltration of his army, to which he commands that the infiltrators from House Bolton be hanged - this surprises Tyrion, who is used to seeing Calvin in a less ruthless light. News of this also reaches House Stark, and Robb knows that they are defenceless against the Lannisters even though they have tried to destabalise Calvin's men. Calvin visits Margaery Tyrell, and the two of them watch Joffrey speak with his mother. Calvin remembers what he heard about Joffrey and Sansa, and is surprised at how easily Margaery has gained Joffery's adoration - Margaery is modest, but Calvin warns her that Joffrey has little to no inhibitions about cruelty, but Margaery admits she would rather hear it from someone who knows Joffrey himself. Calvin asks her if she has been at court before, and when she says she hasn't he states that it is starkly different from Highgarden - they are standing in a wasp's nest and it is impossible not to get stung once in a while. He learns about Rickard Karstark's execution later on and remarks how Robb Stark is effectively sawing his own head off in ridding himself of allies. Learning that Willem and Martyn Lannister are cousins of Waymar's, he offers condolences, but Waymar doesn't accept them because he didn't kill them.[22]

Calvin sends an envoy to Blackhaven in the hopes of receiving daily reports on the progress made by his people in his castle, but as the envoy leaves Varys approaches him and offers a hand of friendship, which Calvin proves reluctant to do because he doesn't trust him. Varys asks him what he plans to achieve for himself in the event that the War of the Five Kings is won. Calvin admits that he does have ulterior motives, but he refuses to specify whether they surround himself or his house, or someone else, leaving Varys ever-curious. Varys points out that he could prove a useful ally, but Calvin remarks at the possibility that Varys offered Eddard Stark the exact same friendship before he took his head - Varys defends that Ned Stark's execution was an unpredictable result at Joffrey's hand, which Calvin uses to point out the unpredictability that comes with being friends with Varys. The Spider warns Calvin that he knows who poisoned him, but Calvin answers that he also knows, but he requires to know how they poisoned him.[23]

Calvin argues with Mace Tyrell

At the wedding of Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark, Calvin is found attending, dressed rarely in a purple tunic adorned with red lightning bolts. Loras Tyrell points this out to Margaery, laughing, but Olenna shoots him down by sarcastically hoping that Calvin doesn't electrocute him if Loras repeated himself too loudly. Calvin speaks with Lord Mace Tyrell and the Lord of Highgarden proves extremely respectful of Calvin's work - he compares Calvin's blockade to his triumph at Ashford. Calvin sees this as a vicious insult to Randyll Tarly, who was truly responsible for their victory there, and when Mace Tyrell asks what convinces him of Tarly's supremacy in the battle, Calvin traces his right hand across the scar that Tarly left during their terrifying duel. Sensing tension between the two lords, Calvin smiles when Loras Tyrell splits up the two of them and attracts his father to the food available on the far end of the room. He leaves the feast and goes out into the open air, where he sees a man on a horse riding up to the Red Keep, hailing him. He calmly walks down to meet the rider, who hands him a letter detailing that his sons have won another victory after the armies of House Glover in battle at the Blue Fork. He remarks that Robb Stark's situation is worsening with every time his army is met in battle.[24]

After the Red Wedding, Calvin Dondarrion enforces an immense manhunt for anyone who escapes the Twins - his hunt is extremely successful, since it brings in nearly thirty escapees from the Twins, and Calvin, upon having these emaciated, exhausted and bloodied prisoners brought to him on the Kingsroad, calmly orders that they all be executed since they are traitors to the crown and Tywin Lannister will have had the Mountain do far worse to them if he had caught them. He watches as his soldiers pull swords on the prisoners and he doesn't even blink as they cry and beg, and when one of the captains arrives and brings news of several other prisoners fleeing south, Calvin orders that anyone flying a Tully, Stark, Karstark or Umber banner outside of the North is to be shot on sight.

Calvin sends Waymar Lannister to the black cells

This act of ruthlessness causes him to gain the respect of Tywin Lannister, who remarks to Tyrion that Calvin is a quicker hidden dagger than Walder Frey would have been - while Walder Frey is a peevish, arrogant hypocrite who prefers to sit and drink while greater men act, Calvin is one great man who will do any dirty work he has to. Meanwhile, Waymar Lannister leaves Calvin's chambers and suddenly the Dondarrion soldiers appear and restrain him. Calvin Dondarrion approaches and produces a small bag of black pills, and then crushes one of them before dropping it in a cup of wine - the way it reacts shows that it was the poison used on Calvin. Calvin reveals that he knows Waymar tried to poison him, and though Waymar begs for his life, Calvin coldly cuts him off and says that he had been working with Varys the whole time. Calvin produces a royal warrant for Waymar's arrest and accosts Waymar for betraying him. He then orders his guards to send the boy to the black cells. Waymar sends a letter to Varys, which Varys reads 'Little lions may roar, but lightning roasts them all the same', and he stares at the letter in horror at realising what Calvin has done.[25]

Season 4

Calvin is the first person to welcome Queen Skylar Redmyre to King's Landing. When Skylar rides in, the two of them acknowledge that it is the first time that they have ever met, although they fought as allies on the Trident and Calvin remembers marvelling at her commands. He guides Skylar towards the Red Keep, and along the way Skylar asks to be told how the war is going and Calvin gives reports about the Battle of Blackwater Bay, and once he gets to the Red Wedding Skylar emphasises on it. Calvin acknowledges that the Red Wedding was a terrible thing, but they had to end the war as quickly as possible and Robb Stark was a dangerous enough enemy simply because his people were behind him. They come to the Red Keep and Skylar suddenly deepens the conversation by saying how she met Catelyn Stark and she was a great woman in her own right. Calvin points out that great people die all the time, giving Rhaegar Targaryen, Eddard Stark and Arthur Dayne as an example. Skylar asks if he has stepped onto the battlefield since the Blackwater, and Calvin remarks that he has stepped onto every battlefield he fights on, at every given opportunity. Skylar applauds his dedication to his house, to which Calvin states 'I may fight for my house, but I serve the King'.

Calvin in King's Landing

Calvin passes Varys, and takes subtle satisfaction in how Varys stares incredulously at him as they pass, since Varys believes that Waymar is suffering at Calvin's hands. Varys approaches Tywin Lannister and demands that Tywin beware of Calvin, trying to emphasise that Calvin is too dangerous to be kept near. Tywin retorts that Calvin had done him an enormous favour in sending the boy to the black cells, since Tywin was in the right mind to send Waymar to Gregor Clegane once he'd heard about the betrayal. Tywin explains to Varys that the two lords have an agreement in place regarding Calvin's behaviour - Tywin will give him jurisdiction to arrest any opponent, participate in any battle and orchestrate any event that he so wishes, in exchange for similar benefits being afforded to House Lannister. Tywin orchestrated the Red Wedding, and Calvin hunted down the survivors, for example, and the only reason that Calvin didn't take them prisoner was because Tywin left no orders regarding their preservation. They are interrupted when Calvin walks into the Tower of the Hand and asks to speak alone with Tywin, and Varys leaves warily. Calvin reveals the presence of the Redmyres and remarks - there are bats, lions, vipers and roses in the capital now, and that it has become a wilderness. The rest of their conversation is not shown.[26]

Calvin is present at the wedding, and is displeased at Joffrey's savage behaviour, especially after he demolishes the book that Tyrion has given him. At the feast, Calvin meets Oberyn Martell for the first time in years since they fought as enemies at the Trident. Calvin asks about Oberyn's brother Doran, and Oberyn exclaims that Calvin has been brave enough to take up the post of Master of Laws in King's Landing, of all places, though Calvin remains icily modest. The Red Viper also comments on the number of titles that Calvin has obtained since they last met, and Calvin also expresses his alarm about it. The two of them speak pleasantly and Oberyn hints at the scars that Calvin has left him with, and realises that Calvin still walks under strain from the arrows he took at the pinnacle of their duel. When Ellaria Sand arrives and Oberyn introduces Calvin as one of the most ruthless warriors he has ever encountered, Calvin corrects them that he can't be the most ruthless because he hasn't killed them yet, which elicits laughter from both Oberyn and his paramour. They walk together until Calvin is joined by his daughter Jeyne and Oberyn is alarmed by how similar they are.

Calvin Dondarrion witnesses Joffrey's death

They are watched closely by Varys, and Calvin catches his eye and raises a goblet of wine to Varys, smiling sarcastically. Varys approaches one of his little birds and states that they keep a close eye on him, and try to find out where Waymar Lannister is being kept in the black cells. Calvin later meets Brienne of Tarth and she recognises him from the time he visited Tarth as a young man and defeated her father and the master-at-arms in a single duel, to which Calvin states that the last time he visited Tarth he saw Brienne defeat every Morrigen that came near her in a challenge that had been set for her; Brienne and Calvin toast to her father, and to the hope of peace returning to the Stormlands. When the jousting dwarves attend Joffrey's wedding entertainment, Calvin remains unmoved by the childish display, even though both his daughter and Simon are visibly horrified by the performance. He sits by Skylar Redmyre and is visibly disheartened when he sees Joffrey humiliate his uncle Tyrion. He reacts with serene alarm when he sees Joffrey collapse and die of poisoning.[27]

After seeing Joffrey Baratheon's death, Calvin Dondarrion is commanded by Tywin Lannister to patrol the Capital with his men and find Sansa Stark. After a citywide hunt for Sansa through the Crownlands, in which they only manage to retrieve the body of Ser Dontos Hollard, Calvin's men return empty-handed and he looks about to throw a rage, which is very uncharacteristic of him. Calvin returns to Tywin, and brings him the news that Sansa has disappeared. Tywin realises that Calvin would have the motivation to murder Joffrey because he is a stormlord and the stormlords serve House Baratheon - or, in this case, are bound to serve Stannis. Calvin politely answers that he has tired of being suspected of such things, when he has proven publicly that he swore a vow to the Iron Throne. Tywin explains that he is giving Calvin a greater number of men, in the knowledge that he is completely capable of utilising such forces, and he wants Calvin to continue commanding the hunt from King's Landing. Calvin volunteers to go out himself to hunt Sansa, but Tywin explains that he requires Calvin to remain in King's Landing as Master of Laws, considering that Joffrey's death will likely inspire all kinds of repercussions in the smallfolk.[28]

Calvin storms into his chambers, where he demands to see Skylar Redmyre at once. Skylar arrives and Calvin quietly interrogates her in the seemingly harmless conversation that follows. Skylar repels Calvin easily by suggesting that House Redmyre would gain nothing by killing Joffrey except for dissent and violence, and they are already at war with the Riverlands after the Freys attacked. Calvin doesn't tell her that the Lannisters were behind it, but Skylar clearly suspects it. Calvin asks Skylar how long she will remain in the Capital and Skylar answers that she intends to leave following the coronation of Tommen Baratheon, who will inevitably succeed Joffrey. Calvin tells her that he wants to know that the Pridemen will cause no trouble in the Capital, and Skylar answers that they will not, because they have nothing to gain and everything to lose if they do cause trouble, to which Calvin points out that the Redmyre army is almost equivalent to the Lannister army that eroded through King's Landing back when the Mad King was murdered; Skylar asks Calvin if he believes that Tommen is anything like the Mad King, to which Calvin declines. Skylar tells Calvin that she will not be the first person to strike if there was a confrontation between the crown and the Pride Islands.

Calvin goes to meet Cersei

Calvin continues to take milk of the poppy to treat the anguish that he suffers as a result of the poison, which has reportedly worsened over time. He is visited by Cedric and later Jeyne, and asks for their testimony as to what they saw happen in the wedding, and they both report to seeing Tyrion pick up the goblet. Calvin deduces the possibility that Tyrion is innocent, considering the fact that Tyrion, while having a deep-rooted hatred from Joffrey, would have been cleverer than to poison him at his own wedding; he realises also that the only reason that Tyrion was arrested was because Cersei had hysterically demanded it. He brings this to Cersei, and Cersei becomes extremely violent when he brings up the possibility that Joffrey was murdered by Tyrion - Calvin takes insult after insult from Cersei when he continues to press the possibility, and eventually argues back with the fact that Cersei pounced to an immediate conclusion and went from despair over the death of her son to rage at the conception that her brother had murdered him. He challenges her with the fact that she reportedly hated Tyrion all of his life, so much that she even considered mutilating him on occasion at Casterly Rock - he has collected such information from Waymar Lannister in the black cells. The argument is cut short when Jaime enters the room and Calvin quietly reaches for his sword, having become so inflamed by the argument that he anticipates violence. The moment Jaime enters, Cersei and Calvin quiet down and pretend that they weren't arguing about anything. Calvin leaves, and gives Cersei his condolences for her tragic loss, which Cersei icily accepts.[29]

Calvin is brought before King Tommen Baratheon, the First of His Name, and the new king accepts an oath of fealty from him, before explaining that he wants Calvin to stand as judge against Tyrion Lannister, considering that he is the Master of Laws. Knowing that his suspicion of Tyrion's innocence will complicate the whole affair, Calvin refuses and recommends Mace Tyrell, who becomes hugely embarassed by the recommendation - however, the Lord of Highgarden heartily (if pompously) accepts the offer. Tommen asks to speak privately with Calvin, and he asks Calvin if he believes that Tyrion is innocent, to which Calvin explains that no man knows all, to which Tommen remembers his father saying something extremely similar, only he meant that no man knows everything about hunting, which Calvin is quick to point out. Calvon explains that, as Master of Laws, he is better suited to working on the matters of the realm's governance as opposed to a trial that is better suited to matters of royalty. Tommen is flattered by this, but remembers the extent to which Tyrion was in his life, and how much Tommen liked him. Calvin counters with how much of his life consisted of raising Beric Dondarrion, and that one must eventually let things go, even though it will be truly excruciating to do so. He expresses that he serves the king - he served Robert, then Joffrey, now Tommen himself, and states that he intends to extend is resources in that capacity. Calvin leaves Tommen, reminding him that he is in a city of liars, and not all of them will be exposed - but the death of one great liar is at least something. Calvin witnesses the trial of Tyrion Lannister, and is stunned when the man declares a trial by combat.[30]

Calvin, after learning he may be replaced as Master of Laws

Calvin is considered by Tyrion to be his champion, but Jaime points out that Calvin will never nengage in a trial by combat because the status of his house is in no danger unless he accepted, and Cersei is too scared of him to confront him on the matter. Tywin Lannister and Skylar Redmyre meet Tommen at the foot of the Iron Throne, and Tommen summons Calvin Dondarrion to appear at his side, announcing that Calvin is in danger of being replaced as Master of Laws by Skylar, which Tywin expresses total disagreement with. Calvin, to his credit, doesn't show emotion to this news, and asks calmly why Skylar has been selected, with Tywin announcing that no woman other than Cersei ought to be able to sit on the council, since Cersei is Queen Regent and has appointed herself a place already. Tommen announces that the other options were Mace Tyrell, who ought not to be made Master of Ships alongside Master of Laws; Oberyn Martell, whom Tywin and Oberyn both agree ought not to be made in charge of the laws of the Seven Kingdoms; Randyll Tarly, who wouldn't be welcomed by Oberyn Martell for having two Reachmen on the council. Furthermore, Skylar's place on the council will harden an alliance with the Pride Islands.

Tywin and Calvin are both noticeably impressed by Tommen's cleverness, but Tywin points out that there are irregularities to this plan. As if on cue, Skylar objects, stating that she was born to rule her people, not to sit on a council of men and be away from home. Calvin assures Skylar that she is capable in the offered position, but alternatively asks what Tommen plans to do with this alliance, since Calvin's place on the council means that the Stormlands are rightfully in Tommen's pocket. Tommen plans to name Calvin the Commander of the City Watch. This is interpreted by Tywin to be an extremely risky move, because Skylar Redmyre is considered the greatest warrior of the Pride Islands and thus command of the City Watch would be better suited to her, whereas Calvin Dondarrion is a better politician than he is a leader of men. Calvin offers to accept command of the City Watch, but only if there is a unanimous agreement from the rest of the council and he remains on the council afterwards; Tywin realises that Calvin has placed an ace in the hole, since Cersei would contrast with her own son on the matter if this was brought forward. Tommen offers to consider this, and Calvin leaves with Skylar, leaving Tywin to speak as Hand with Tommen alone.[31]

Realising that his position in King's Landing is in jeopardy, Calvin is confronted by Varys, who informs him that at least two members of the Small Council are against him - Calvin realises openly that Varys influenced Tommen into suggesting that Skylar replace him, and that therefore Varys has further plans for the Queen of Bats. He accuses Varys of manipulating the king, but Varys explains to him that there are no manipulations involved and he merely made a series of suggestions to Tommen, who independently chose a particular one. Varys vies for the release of Waymar Lannister in exchange for Calvin remaining in his post, but Calvin refuses on the grounds that Varys can do nothing to persuade him - if Waymar is released, he will tell Tywin Lannister lies about Calvin and Varys for the sake of being kept away from the pair of them. Varys realises that Calvin has overpowered him and warns him that, between crossing Varys and crossing Skylar Redmyre would be an incredibly dangerous path to take. Calvin asks Varys why he cares so much about a Lannister, and Calvin asks why he cares so much about Tommen; they both realise that they have only one resource remaining. Calvin itches to bring out his rapier, until he sees little birds hidden in the shadows and tells Varys that he hopes they never cross words like this again. Varys agrees, and leaves the room. Calvin witnesses the duel between Gregor Clegane and Oberyn Martell.[32]

Calvin sends a letter to Tarth

Calvin meets with Simon and Jeyne, explaining to them that they are at risk of making enemies of House Redmyre, considering the fact that Skylar and Calvin are at risk of competing for a particular position on the Small Council. He announces that Simon will be assigned to Skylar as an attendant to her brother Raymond. Simon knows that his father is asking him to spy on the Pridemen for him, and asks Calvin what exactly he is supposed to be looking for, and Calvin explains that Skylar Redmyre will not put a foot wrong if she has Simon Dondarrion under his wing, because that would invoke an insult to the crown. Jeyne asks what she is supposed to do, and Calvin explains that he is only telling her because another person ought to know and he trusts her - that, and her brother Cedric should prioritise running Blackhaven in his name.

Jeyne asks to go back to Blackhaven, feeling that since the king's death she would rather be at Blackhaven, and Calvin acknowledges it. He announces that the marriage to House Tarth has been revoked and instead she is about to be sent to marry into House Redmyre instead. Jeyne and Simon suddenly realise that their father is doing them a favour of placing them in a better position than if they were running loose around the court without anything but him to be tied to. They leave, but Jeyne asks if Calvin is expecting something to actually happen between them and Skylar. Calvin doesn't answer.

Calvin in the aftermath of his duel with Waymar Lannister

Calvin sends ravens to Tarth in rejection of the marriage between them, and later to Blackhaven to announce to Simon what is happening to his siblings, and later one to the Vale of Arryn for an unknown purpose. At the same time, a troupe of little birds travel to the black cells and elude the guards, releasing Waymar Lannister and giving him a sword, telling him to wait in Varys' chambers to be sent to Essos with Varys. Waymar accepts, but at the halfway point, Waymar goes to Calvin's chambers with the sword and attempts to kill him. Calvin wakes up within seconds of Waymar about to stab him, and knocks the young man back - his timing is bad, and Waymar's blade scars his eye and Calvin is forced to dodge Waymar's attacks while cradling his eye. However, Calvin retrieves his rapier and, after exchanging brutal dialogue with Waymar, Calvin battles the Lannister boy and seems to be struggling, giving Waymar the impression that he can beat Calvin. However, Calvin exchanges his blade to his other hand, revealing he has been toying with his former squire, and after effortlessly deflecting Waymar's strikes, Calvin disarms him. Waymar retrieves a knife from the table next to him and charges, and Calvin awaits him, driving the blade of his sword all the way through his neck up through the back of his head, killing him.

Calvin realises that Waymar has lightly stabbed him. Horrified, Calvin kicks the boy's corpse to the ground and starts kicking him repeatedly, screaming with rage and cursing him. Only after having battered the boy's body, Calvin collapses against a chair and screams for help. Varys reveals later that he had originally opened the door for Tyrion, expecting to see Waymar instead, but Calvin has killed him.[33]

Season 5

Cersei enters the Great Sept of Baelor after receiving news of Tywin's death, and is greeted by Calvin, who briefly alarms her by wearing a black eyepatch over one eye after his injuries fighting Waymar Lannister. Calvin gives his condolences to Cersei over Tywin's death, stating that he was a fine man, but Cersei ignores him. Calvin watches her go and tells one of his household guards to go and fetch Qyburn. In private, Qyburn treats Calvin's eye, but not before Calvin asks what has been done with Waymar's body, to which Qyburn states that he has commenced his experiments on what was left of him. Calvin knows that Varys sent him, and has appealed to Cersei to put a price on his head, or to allow Calvin himself to split the eunuch in two if ever he were discovered. Qyburn asks Calvin what he intends to do to appeal to Cersei after killing one of her own kin, to which Calvin answers that he intends to simply serve the king. They are interrupted when Grand Maester Pycelle arrives and furiously dismisses Qyburn, only for Calvin to defy the old man and insist that Qyburn stays. Pycelle leaves in a violent tirade about Qyburn's deplorable nature.

Calvin attends the wake of Tywin Lannister and joins Kevan in dismissing the Sparrows, but he becomes increasingly curious as to Lancel Lannister's nature. Lancel approaches Calvin about Waymar, and Calvin is even shocked when the young man dismisses Waymar as a delusional boy who was led the wrong way. Calvin asks Lancel's opinion on the Seven, since he has taken such an intense interest in them, and Lancel simply states that the Seven are the true gods, no more and no less. Calvin is clearly disturbed by Lancel's strikingly calm and reserved behaviour. In private, Qyburn continues to attend on Calvin, noticing several battle scars from Robert's Rebellion, and wonders aloud how Calvin survived against the Red Viper at the Trident - Calvin points out that he never survived unscathed, since nobody ever did against Oberyn, the living proof of which (Gregor Clegane) is another one of Qyburn's patients. Calvin remembers Tywin Lannister in life as a great and strong man, one of the few men that Calvin could say he truly respected - listing Jon Arryn, Eddard Stark, Robert and Arthur Baratheon as others - before stating that he has outlived them all. He is unaware that Arthur is still alive.[34]

Calvin sits on the Small Council as Master of Laws alongside Skylar Redmyre, who both assert their mutual acceptance of one another in spite of their brief, averted quarrel earlier. Cersei states that Calvin ought to be maintained as Master of Laws, and that Skylar's position, while undecided, will be revealed to her in due time, which everyone criticises - Calvin recognises that this is another one of Cersei's tricks to try and keep the Pridewoman at arm's length. He also proves sceptical at the concept of Master of War, since Cersei has invented it specifically for Kevan. Kevan recommends Skylar for Hand of the King if she will not be Commander of the City Watch, which Calvin agrees with, but Cersei states that the king will decide on her position in due course. Calvin seems to approve of Qyburn being Master of Whisperers. He seems indignant at the concept that Cersei is stacking the Small Council with sycophants, even though Kevan is clearly addressing Qyburn as one of them, and tries to defuse the tension by reasoning with Kevan, but the Lannister is inconsolable in his decision and defies Cersei.[35]

Under Cersei's orders, Calvin begins to inflict crueller and more decisive actions in King's Landing as Master of Laws, carrying out a series of executions throughout the city and the Crownlands in general as more people begin to insult Cersei and Tommen's power in Westeros - they believe that Tywin's death is the death of all stability for the Iron Throne, which Calvin knows will insult Cersei deeply. Such actions provoke a violent riot near Duskendale, which Calvin easily crushes and brings the ringleaders to King's Landing, where they are executed publicly by Calvin himself. In private, Calvin is debated by Margaery and Tommen to have become increasingly more ruthless and violent since his fight with Waymar, but Tommen is too afraid to dismiss him because Calvin, for all his ruthlessness, is a decisive symbol of action in the city and is actually proving effective - he also knows that if Calvin is dismissed, then Cersei would be incensed since he would be replaced by someone like Randyll Tarly. Calvin's ruthless action, on the other hand, is admired by the likes of Pycelle, who believes that true loyalty to Cersei or Tommen in a time like this would mean potential brutality anyway.

Calvin is visited by Cersei, who insists that Skylar Redmyre is plotting against her, considering the fact that Skylar wouldn't stay in King's Landing if she didn't want something more than she is getting - Calvin knows that Cersei is wrong, but she doesn't seem to realise that Skylar is simply trying to cooperate with the king. He asks what she wants done with Skylar, and Cersei demands that an investigation of the City Watch be inflicted upon the Pridemen still in the capital. The resulting investigation leads to a brutal skirmish outside the city gates, which the Pridemen win. Skylar is incensed by this investigation and demands an explanation from Cersei, who attaints the queen for openly confronting the queen on a matter of which she is innocent. Realising what Cersei is about to do, Calvin objects but Cersei dismisses Skylar from the city altogether and Skylar leaves, declaring that she will have retribution for this outrage. Deciding to act in support of the Iron Throne as per usual, Calvin orders that Skylar be put under guard, but Skylar draws Midnight and, as the City Watch pursue her, she and her Pridemen slaughter several of them before escaping the city. Calvin comes to the conclusion that Cersei has worsened the situation entirely, and knows that he would have to be especially careful around her from now on since she has started to go out of control in the absence of her domineering father.[36]

At the Small Council, Calvin is enforced from the capital to fight Skylar and the Pridemen, since they have openly declared war upon the Iron Throne. Calvin leaves, and immediately summons the available soldiers from Blackhaven, Harvest Hall and other vassal houses of the Stormlands and Crownlands, before leaving King's Landing and pursuing the Redmyres. Their fleet has retreated into the Riverlands, and Calvin knows that they won't retreat to their homeland because they do not leave insults without repairing them. The Freys begin to assault the Redmyres, who easily defeat them near the Trident, but not before being driven closer to King's Landing, where Calvin sets up a blockade, planning to bar them from the capital for as long as possible until he can think of a way to reason with Skylar. The Queen of Bats outsmarts him, however, and retreats into the Westerlands. Calvin makes battle plans with Cedric and Simon, who have all joined him in combat with Skylar. They decide that they ought to make alliances with other houses to unite against their enemy, but Calvin knows that the abruptness of this conflict when peace is supposed to have been enforced on Westeros after Robb Stark's death will cause other houses to lose faith in the power that Tommen has as king. He knows that, to show their strength, they will have to defeat the Pridemen in open battle, since the Pridemen are frightening warriors and will not bow down so easily.[37]

Calvin convinces his sons to lead individual factions of their armies and cut the Redmyres off from the Reach and from any port in the Riverlands, separating them from their fleet. However, they are outsmarted again and the fleet, which has been manned by a reserve army, assaults Maidenpool and drives all Lannister and Frey soldiers from that area, causing the people of such areas to begin to support them. Calvin argues with several Frey representatives, stating he doesn't care at all about their losses and pleads for more soldiers, since they need such soldiers in order to properly man their blockade. The Redmyres prove uncontrollable to the Freys, since their fleet is 'terrorising' their lands and their foot soldiers prove superior in numbers and arms to theirs. Calvin realises that he ought to move quicker in his defeat or lose support and morale altogether, since an army on foot cannot properly maintain such a strong blockade for long. Meanwhile, Simon sends a pleas to House Bolton for their support, but Ramsay secretly rejects it in defiance of his father.

Furthermore, several of Calvin's own bannermen continue to defy him, until one of them, Ser Talbart Morrigen, insults Calvin and declares that he is taking his men home with him before they lose all of their power entirely. Calvin responds by slashing Talbart's heart with a single, fluid motion of his sword, killing him, and everyone stands alarmed by Calvin's reaction. Calvin announces that if anyone else dares to defy him, then they will be reported to Cersei for defiance of royal orders. Cedric begins to realise that their father is slowly losing his mind, since he has never acted like this before. In private, Calvin carefully nurses his eye, before Cedric confronts Calvin over what happened between him and Ser Talbart. Calvin explains that he is acting on the orders of Cersei and Tommen, but they both know that Tommen was not involved in the decision. Cedric asks what Calvin hopes to achieve by defeating Skylar in the field, but Calvin answers that the Starks were never defeated on the open field because their armies were still substantially strong, and people still hate the Lannisters and Freys for breaking guest right at the Red Wedding - if they were defeated in the field, then they would more likely be seen as heroes by the smallfolk, since the Redmyres, in their desparation, would become more violent and brutal. Cedric coldly points out that Calvin is becoming almost as violent and brutal anyway, since his injuries have changed him somewhat. He leaves before Calvin can retort, but Calvin is clearly angry at this remark.[38]

After a pyrrhic victory for Calvin at High Heart that causes a chaotic riot against his men by the common people surrounding it. Calvin actually sees Skylar in the ensuing battle and tries to chase her down, but is outnumbered and forced to retreat, only for several of his own men to be personally killed by Skylar when they try and rush her themselves. Skylar retreats further north and hides at Last Hearth, and Skylar receives a scathing letter from Kevan Lannister, demanding that he end the combat quickly because they have another, entirely different threat to worry about with the High Sparrow. Calvin decides that they will win the war in a more decisive way than the open field, and with a minimal amount of men. Calvin starts making plans with his sons, and allows nobody else to enter the tent while the plan is made. Calvin is plagued by the constant, spontaneous bleeding through his eye patch and it is clear to Cedric that this is affecting his usually serene approach to strategy. Calvin tells Cedric that he is entrusting him with an especially vital facet to the plan.[39]

At Last Hearth, Smalljon Umber harbours Skylar and her entourage, but sends a letter to the Boltons and later to Calvin himself, alerting him to their location. Calvin initiates the plan and, while Skylar and the rest of her warriors are dining with the Umbers, the Greatjon suffers a savage heart attack in front of Skylar while they are toasting an alliance against Cersei. While everyone is distracted by the Greatjon's heart attack, Calvin sends his men in to cover the exits and entrances and calls for the Umbers to stand down, all without alerting the Redmyres. However, Raymond Redmyre recognises Cedric and attacks him. While Cedric duels with the Prideman and loses to him, Calvin launches a brutal attack on the Redmyres, during which Smalljon Umber turns on his father's men and overpowers anyone who stands against Calvin's followers. The Redmyres overpower Calvin's men from the outside, but those inside manage to elude them. Cedric flees from Raymond, who proves too wild to overcome alone, and wreaks havoc in the stables, causing a stampede through Last Hearth that drives back Skylar's warriors. Meanwhile, Calvin leads thirty men into Last Hearth from the northern entrance and plans on cutting off Skylar's escape.

When Calvin enters, he finds the halls to be littered with corpses already, including several of his own men who have been slashed almost in half with a sword. He knows that Skylar has reacted prematurely to their attack. Calvin gives an order that all Pridemen except for Skylar and her brother are to be killed, and Last Hearth is to be completely enclosed from the inside so that no reinforcements that have been spread across the Greatjon's lands. Calvin then sends twenty of his men down to find Skylar in the lower recesses, but Skylar eludes them all. Calvin sees her and pursues her through Last Hearth, before Calvin's men finally corner her and she manages to redirect Calvin with a force of her own men, some of whom are killed by the Smalljon and his men. Calvin finally reaches Skylar to see that she has singlehandedly killed all twenty of his men. Unfazed, Calvin declares Skylar to be his prisoner, and an enemy of the crown who has rebelled against the Iron Throne.

In Tommen's name, Calvin also declares House Redmyre attainted by her arrest. Skylar retorts that he would have to imprison her first. Calvin moves towards her and engages her in single combat. Long into the duel, which takes them out into the grounds of the castle, and Calvin begins to realise that, in spite of her age, Skylar is a murderously lethal opponent and, though Calvin is a narrow equal to the woman, her having a Valyrian steel sword gives her a major advantage and she will eventually wear him down. Cedric tries to enter the showdown and second in for his father, but Skylar effortlessly overwhelms and impales him in the back. Calvin is incensed by his son's death and attacks again, being more unpredictable and savage this time, and manages to narrowly outmanoeuvre her by fully embracing the style of a Water Dancer, managing to hold her at the point of his sword. He declares her under arrest a second time, and forces her to drop Midnight.[40]

The Pridemen have been driven completely from the North and have made for the Vale of Arryn, breaking through any barrier that had been made by Calvin's men - his focus on Last Hearth cost him the numbers. However, Calvin has managed a strategic victory in defeating House Redmyre and has taken Queen Skylar prisoner. He plans to send Skylar as far away from the Vale and the North as is possible, and to potentially move her to King's Landing because Cersei will want a personal confrontation with her defiant enemy. He burns his son's body in recognition of how brave he had been in fighting Skylar and in helping to ensure the victory of House Dondarrion by creating a commotion from the stables. Calvin gives Skylar her own carriage, but orders that she be applied with several chains so that she doesn't escape, and they make for King's Landing. On the way, Calvin orders for a pause at Acorn Hall, at which point he personally visits Skylar. He cites her status as royalty to be the reason for her being given a carriage, while her imprisoned brother has been made to walk the way. Skylar marvels at his skill in being able to match her, and later his son's bravery, which incenses Calvin into demanding a private conversation with her.

Skylar cites the rage and vengeance of the Pridemen to be more terrible than anything Cersei could ever do to her, which impresses Calvin because of his lack of the usual conservative view of women. He tells her that he admires women like her, citing examples to be Catelyn Stark, Olenna Tyrell and especially Queen Margaery, who was able to endure Joffrey so convincingly. Skylar asks him what he wants from Cersei, and Calvin confesses that he doesn't legitimately want something other than a prominent family and a peaceful land, both of which were jeopardised by Skylar's actions. Skylar recognises Calvin's hidden sense of ambition and derides his moniker 'I serve the king', believing that it ought to be the true words of House Dondarrion. Calvin tells Skylar that the only reason she is still alive is because, killed while enclosed in a battle at Last Hearth would be an inappropriate way to send a message, especially because she is a traitor to the realm - Skylar asks if Robb Stark was offered the same courtesy, to which Calvin doesn't answer. He asks her what she hoped to achieve, and Skylar stated that she wanted to alert the realm to the fact that the Pride Islands will not stand alongside the Iron Throne if they are threatened by Cersei - Cersei provoked Skylar's rage, and thus chaos reigned in the Seven Kingdoms after a war they were supposed to have conclusively won. Calvin explains to Skylar that she will pay for killing Cedric, but first she will be made example of at the capital in order to satisfy Cersei. Skylar's only response is the promise that, the next time he tastes Valyrian steel, he will choke on it. Calvin leaves, and orders that they are to accelerate their approach to King's Landing before the Redmyres get any further towards them.[41]

Calvin arrives in King's Landing and demands to see Queen Cersei, but it is revealed to him the situation that she has faced as a result of her miscalculated alliance with the High Sparrow. He later demands an audience with the king and is met by the new Hand of the King, Ser Kevan Lannister, who explains to him that Cersei has been arrested by the Faith Militant - Calvin is shocked to learn that the Faith Militant even exists again after the previous instance of its power. Tommen, learning of Skylar's defeat, graciously affords an audience with Calvin, who presents Skylar in chains before him. Tommen asks for her to be taken to private chambers, under arrest. She will be brought to Hoskagon soon enough as a bargaining chip for amnesty. Calvin objects to this, believing that the Pride Islands should be completely attainted for Skylar's crimes, but Tommen shocks everyone present, including Ser Kevan, when he appoints Calvin as the new Lord of Storm's End and Lord Paramount of the Stormlands in recognition for his triumph. Calvin is speechless at this reward, and slowly bows to Tommen.

Calvin witnesses Cersei's walk of atonement through King's Landing, and is there when she finally returns to the Red Keep. Later on, Kevan approaches him and gives him command of a fleet that will move on the Pride Islands to subjugate them. Calvin is then left in incredulity to the amount of power he has obtained.[42]

Season 6

Riding up to Storm's End, Calvin's entourage encounters violent resistance from the forces left by Stannis Baratheon at his ancestral seat. Calvin's army slaughters the cavalry and Calvin confronts the captains himself, dismounting from his horse to face them eye-to-eye. Citing his authority as the new Lord Paramount of the Stormlands, Calvin demands that the men stand down. When they do not, and they attack him, Calvin (clearly annoyed) draws his sword and kills them all with a single slice across their throats. Ordering that their corpses are thrown into the sea, Calvin enters Storm's End and starts marshalling all the power of the Stormlands to his new home.[43]

Appearance and Personality

Lord Calvin Dondarrion was straight and towering, easily more physically impressive than his cousin: muscular, broad-shouldered and with an almost triangular jaw. With long fair hair and a beard, Calvin wore his forty-five years with elegance and pride, and his soft blue eyes masked an indestructible sense of respect - Calvin respected many people, and many appeared to respect him more. Calvin has the ghosts of several scars along his body, which are no longer showing blood but do linger in his flesh. After a violent fight with Waymar Lannister, Calvin is permanently blinded in one eye and takes to wearing an eye-patch. There is the shadow of a scar behind his left ear where a flaming arrow almost caught him. He dressed with pristine formality, favouring crocodile-grey coats that had high collars and open-necked white shirts, but a necklace around his neck with several grey-blue stones linked in silver. He is left-handed, but can write and fight with his right hand also.

In battle, Calvin wore light armour, including a helmet, greaves, a chestplate and vambraces that do not restrict her wrist movement. He always wears his steel rapier at his belt. Like a master water dancer, Calvin doesn't wear armour that limits dexterity or joint movement, but lightly defies tradition and wears armour anyway. He is an athletic, agile and fast warrior who, despite his age, is in extremely good condition - even into his forties, Calvin was able to match Skylar Redmyre blow-for-blow, even after Skylar had cut down at least twenty of her men on her own and killed his son Cedric in front of him. Calvin is extremely dedicated to any goal he encounters, both military and political alike. He is completely determined to better the situation of House Dondarrion, having gone to great lengths to better the future of his children and his nieces and nephews. A fearsome negotiator and politician, Calvin is known for having a very cynical wit and providing logical traps for his opponents. Unnaturally calm, Calvin has the potential for a ferocious temper, but this is very rare.

Aside from being a dedicated person, Calvin is a politically cunning man in his own right - when he leaves King's Landing before the Battle of Blackwater Bay to meet with Tywin Lannister, he is testing his own value to Cersei in that her reaction if he doesn't arrive in time for the battle, her confronting him about it would discredit her. Calvin's frequent phrase 'I serve the King' is a justification for his actions because he seems genuinely loyal to whomever sits upon the Iron Throne - loyalty to who sits on the Iron Throne, regardless of them being rightful or not, will open opportunities for Calvin's house with Calvin as the figurehead. In this sense, Calvin is similar to Tywin Lannister because he uses his ambition and political savvy to ensure the solidification of his house's future. Because of this, Calvin has earned immense respect from many other lords. The difference between them is that Calvin is, by all accounts, a dedicated and loving father who cares about his children, whereas Tywin values them for as long as their attributes can be used to better his house. Calvin's proficient organisation of his house's political position shows how much of a hard-working person he is. Calvin even went so far as to teach his cousin Beric in Westerosi swordsmanship - a style he was personally disdainful for - because Beric had to learn skill at arms.

Extremely intelligent to a fault, Calvin is classed by Petyr Baelish and even Tywin Lannister as one of the most intelligent people in all of the Seven Kingdoms - Petyr puts him alongside himself, Varys, Tywin, Roose Bolton and Tyrion Lannister. Calvin is a brilliant man and even Robb Stark is horrified to realise how, even though they have never met, Calvin could play him for a fool during the Blockade of Stone Hedge, and Varys remarked that one of the biggest examples of Calvin's intellect is the fact that Calvin knew how to care for his children and to encourage them to wield their strengths to better House Dondarrion's status - this, again, sets him apart from men like Tywin, considering that Tywin simply uses their strengths for the better of House Lannister, whereas Calvin encourages them to use their strengths in their own way and always has an alternative if they failed. Apart from his genius, Calvin's most noticeable quality is the fact that he loved his family - he mourned for his cousin Beric upon the latter's apparent death, and expressed that he would allow Jeyne to decide whether or not she would marry someone he chose. Here, Calvin is using honest feelings and opinions to do honest work, making it unclear to others whether or not he is using his unscrupulous and cunning side.

Calvin, as a result of being a warrior, strategist, politician and recent patriarch of his house, has developed a recognition for other people's strengths and weaknesses, all of which he expresses in people he knows - he realises that Simon is superior in cavalry tactics than Cedric, who is skilled in infantry management and a superior warrior. He acknowledges that, out of the three of them, Jeyne is the most intelligent of them and has political savvy similar to him. He also has a profound recognition for his enemy's strengths and weaknesses - he famously baited Robb Stark into a war of attrition at the Stone Hedge, knowing that Robb would be eager to try and regain supremacy over the royal army. However, with strangers, Calvin knows to test their loyalty and to understand their attributes and traits before he places trust on them, as he does with Waymar Lannister. However, Calvin is also aware that he has several limitations as far as what he is capable of planning - when he was poisoned, he admitted that he did not precisely know who could have suspected it, and he knows there are too many probable suspects anyway; moving against either one of them could be the alternative plan of the other. Also, he understands perfectly that cutting off any access with his family would give his enemies potential utility against them. When Calvin fought in Robert's Rebellion, he showed surgically precise strategic savvy, ending the Battle of the Bells by killing several major lords in battle and collecting multiple hostages so that they could negotiate with their liege lords for their conditional release - as a result, he played an enormous part in subjugating the Stormlands for Robert Baratheon.

By far, the best relationship he has with anyone is with his own children - he works tirelessly for their welfare and prominence, and it is remarked that he vies always for his house's prominence. Even Tywin Lannister will not begrudge him for his devotion to his children, and believes it is one of the few healthy parental relationships he has ever encountered.

Despite his love for his family, Calvin can be incredibly ruthless and vengeful when he is pushed to it by betrayal or insult. When he realises that it was Waymar Lannister who poisoned him after the Battle of Blackwater, and that the boy had been working for Lord Varys the whole time, Calvin showed cold, savage serenity when he had the boy arrested and sent to the black cells - the only thing that stopped Calvin from killing him was the possibility that it would jeopardise his carefully-arranged pact with House Lannister. By the time of the Purple Wedding, Calvin has shown himself to be both dangerous, pitiless and terrible to his enemies, but at the same time potentially paranoid and fearful of his own position - when it becomes apparent that Skylar Redmyre could replace him as Master of Laws on the Small Council, he rearranges his original plans to have his daughter married to a Redmyre and to offer his second son as an attendant to Skylar herself. When Waymar Lannister confronts him for the final time, Calvin shows himself to be almost playfully sadistic, making Waymar believe he can beat him by fighting right-handed before overpowering him left-handed. Calvin paid for his hubris here by running the risk of being stabbed by Waymar in the process. He also shows capacity for savage mood swings, battering Waymar's corpse after killing him out of rage of being wounded.

He has become so ruthless that he sees fit to publicly execute his defiant allies in order to accentuate what would happen if any more of them displeased him.


Season One appearances
Winter is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood
Season Two appearances
The North Remembers The Night Lands What is Dead May Never Die Garden of Bones The Ghost of Harrenhal
The Old Gods and the New A Man Without Honor The Prince of Winterfell Blackwater Valar Morghulis
Season Three appearances
Valar Dohaeris Dark Wings, Dark Words Walk of Punishment And Now His Watch is Ended Kissed by Fire
The Climb The Bear and the Maiden Fair Second Sons The Rains of Castamere Mhysa
Season Four appearances
Two Swords The Lion and the Rose Breaker of Chains Oathkeeper First of His Name
The Laws of Gods and Men Mockingbird The Mountain and the Viper The Watchers on the Wall The Children


Quotes by Calvin

"Calvin Dondarrion: Lord has been far too long.
Eddard Stark: I'm aware. I trust you are well.
Calvin Dondarrion: Well enough.
Eddard Stark: Your wounds have healed well since the Trident.
Calvin Dondarrion: Wounds are like doors, Lord Stark - they may close, but they stay put.
Eddard Stark: I never knew you for a poet, Lord Calvin.
Calvin Dondarrion: My father. He had a talent for words.
―Calvin Dondarrion to Eddard Stark[src]
"I find it unfortunate, you know. I met Rhaegar once, at court...he was a good man. No, a great man. A very great man. He wasn't his father - he didn't want to burn lords in their own armour while their son killed himself trying to save him, nor massacre millions of innocents because he wielded the power to do so. I keep hearing how Robert is the hero of the Trident, because he struck the blow that ended the Last Dragon. The Kingslayer struck Aerys down - struck down a man who had sought the deaths of thousands of people in his reign, and would have done a thousand more if he'd had the chance - and everyone hates him. Robert struck down Rhaegar Targaryen, a man with such's strange, how controversial one's observations can become. You rid the world of a madman, you are hated; you rid the world of a hero, you are revered. Curious, isn't it?"
―Calvin Dondarrion to Eddard Stark[src]
"Cersei Lannister: I hope you understand, Lord Calvin...Stannis and Renly are both Baratheons, and House Dondarrion is sworn to House Baratheon...
Calvin Dondarrion: House Baratheon of King's Landing, my lady.
Cersei Lannister: Both of them will call the banners. I need to know whose side you are on.
Calvin Dondarrion: Is there any doubt of my loyalty, Lady Cersei?
Cersei Lannister: No, but all the same...the confirmation would prove helpful.
Calvin Dondarrion: I serve the King.
―Calvin Dondarrion voices his loyalty to the Iron Throne[src]
"Simon Dondarrion: Father - our castle's blacksmiths...they have worked overnight for weeks now and produced heaps of armour.
Calvin Dondarrion: Very well...send it to Harrenhal, to await Tywin Lannister. He requires it the most,he is fighting this war.
Simon Dondarrion: Cersei will not be pleased - she would insist it be sent to
her and her army to defend the city.
Calvin Dondarrion: If Cersei were to tread outside of her desires she would realise that armour from external sources sent to King's Landing would be more heavily monitored than if we sent it to such a place as Harrenhal. Besides, Lord Tywin has demanded and he is the Hand of the King.
Simon Dondarrion: Lord Tyrion is Hand of the King, father.
Calvin Dondarrion: Aye, but in his father's stead. Tyrion is clever, efficient, noble and the hidden dagger of the Red Keep...but Tywin is the greatsword.
―Calvin speaks with his son over the armour production of Blackhaven[src]
"Calvin Dondarrion: You summoned me, my lord Tywin.
Tywin Lannister: We received several ravens from Storm's End, demanding we relinquish you to...
King Renly.
Calvin Dondarrion: A king is he? Where be his throne, may I ask?
Tywin Lannister: Your wit is inspired, Lord Calvin, but Renly names you a traitor - he wishes for you to come and answer for your treason to your liege lord...
Calvin Dondarrion: Renly is my liege lord? I seem to remember declaring for the Iron Throne after Aerys was struck down by your son. I am a man of my word, Lord Tywin, and I shall lend my sword to the Iron Throne if need be.
―Tywin Lannister confronts Calvin about his loyalty to Renly[src]
"Calvin Dondarrion: You understand what a squire's duties entail, boy?
Waymar Lannister: I polish your armour. I deliver your messages. I represent you in battle, I sharpen your swords.
Calvin Dondarrion: Yes, it is all very straightforward. But do you know what the singular duty of a squire is, Waymar?
Waymar Lannister: Serve the lord, or knight, that I am sworn to.
Calvin Dondarrion: Precisely! You will also keep his privacy, his secrets. You will deliver those messages, but you will not disclose them to any other man in the Seven Kingdoms but the recipient.
Waymar Lannister: My lord?
Calvin Dondarrion: Sharpening my sword is easy enough, boy; cleaning my armour, I tend to wear light armour anyway so that shall be easier. Delivering my messages, though. You will keep my secrets, Waymar Lannister. Unless I give you leave, you are not to disclose the information that I discuss with any other. Understood?
―Calvin Dondarrion breaks in Waymar Lannister[src]
"Guards! Guards! Come quickly!"
―Calvin Dondarrion is poisoned[src]
"Calvin Dondarrion:I remember when my cousin, Lord Beric, may the Seven give him rest, said the exact same thing. Beric was young, and wanted to be the best lord produced by Blackhaven. He wanted to be the Rhaegar Targaryen of the Stormlands. He was a good man, I shall not deny; I watched him grow up and taught him to fight - and he wielded my teachings in tourneys and duels, and in one bet after another, until Ned Stark sent him to his death against the Mountain. You, on the other hand, impressed me more than he ever did - you learned to read quicker than the others, you saddled your own horse earlier, you knew every Targaryen king, queen and usurper in history before you were nine. Such ambition belongs at the vanguard of our house's future
Jeyne Dondarrion: But...I can't possibly...Cedric is the heir to Blackhaven.
Calvin Dondarrion: And a head needs a body to support it, does it not? You can do more than just parrot the words of some septon, or pleasure a man to the high heavens in his chambers. If you wish to support your family, you must use the truest extremes of your talents. That is how you support your family.
―Calvin consoles his daughter by remarking her intelligence[src]
"Calvin Dondarrion: I know you did this, Lannister. I know you tried to kill me - don't deny it! When Lord Tywin Lannister gave you to me as a squire, on the condition of our military union, I believed that I could trust you. Tywin couldn't afford giving me a turncloak, it would have jeopardised our alliance. When I lay in my bed, dying, from that poison, I thought of so many names that could have been my assailant - Baelish, Cersei, Janos Slynt...but I forgot entirely about Varys. Enlighten me, boy: since when did the lion cub bow to the Spider?
Waymar Lannister: He promised me, my lord! A knighthood, a place in court. My
life, I feared he would say. I didn't know what he would ask of me, or what those pills would do...
Calvin Dondarrion: Thought they would make me breathe fire, did you? Or make me sing to the seven heavens? You
Waymar Lannister: My lord, I didn't...
Calvin Dondarrion: Did I give you the impression that this is a conversation? It's not.
[Produces a scroll from his pocket and places it before Waymar] It didn't take much to get this warrant off of Joffrey. You have betrayed me, Lannister. But, because of our pact with the Lannisters, I can't kill you. Guards, take him down to the black cells. Get him out of my sight."
―Calvin Dondarrion arrests Waymar Lannister[src]
"A dedicated man is a good man. But a good man is a foolish man, if he is dedicated to more than one goal. I may fight for my house...but I serve the King."
―Lord Calvin Dondarrion[src]
"Oberyn Martell: Lord Calvin. How many years has it been?
Calvin Dondarrion: Too many, my prince Oberyn. How fares your brother? I hear that he has never left Sunspear since the Rebellion.
Oberyn Martell: He fares better than I could have ever predicted. I didn't know you were raised to Master of this place? I would offer my congratulations, but I fear it is too late for that.
Calvin Dondarrion: I want no congratulations, Prince Oberyn. I didn't accept the post on the Small Council so that I could have a medal placed around my neck.
Oberyn Martell: A knight at eighteen, a lord a few days later, captain of the guard, Lord of Blackhaven and now Master of collect a lot of titles, my lord.
Calvin Dondarrion: I have a knack for it.
―Lord Calvin Dondarrion reunites with Prince Oberyn Martell[src]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Lord Calvin Dondarrion is the son of Tybalt Dondarrion and Beric Dondarrion's elder cousin. He is a manipulative, charismatic, stoic and serious man and a prodigious battle commander who specialises in military strategy, feared as one of the cleverest commanders in the Seven Kingdoms. Calvin has served in the capital since Robert's Rebellion.

He has four siblings - Lucas, Douglas, Theon and Jocelyn. He has barely seen any of his siblings since Robert's Rebellion, but it is implied that he was extremely close with them before the war - they relied on him considerably, and he placed them into marriages with powerful houses (Only once he'd had their explicit consent), but the only consequence of this is that he has barely had contact with them other than by raven. Calvin's father Tybalt was the master at arms at Blackhaven, and Calvin learned swordplay from him, until he asked to be trained in Water Dancing, which he identified with a great deal more. Since childhood, Calvin was a methodical person and easily the cleverest man in the family at the time. The one time Calvin went to court with Aerys, the Mad King compared him unfavourably with a younger Tywin Lannister and japed 'since when did lions look so like sparkling clouds'. Calvin would remember this remark for the rest of his life, but he and Tywin never once spoke of the insult that Aerys had thrown at him, even when pressed by present company (Though people rarely dared to press Tywin).

Calvin is described to be far more impressive in terms of stature than his Beric - he is taller, fitter and more sophisticated in manner than his cousin. His hair is a different colour to the TV series, as red-gold instead of fair, though it is noted to be lighter than Beric's, and is described to almost be like Jaime's hair as to how he wears it. Extremely intelligent and absolutely fixated on the perfection and advancement of his house, Calvin was knighted after saving Jon Arryn from an ambush by the mountain clans. Jon Arryn would later reminisce to Robert Baratheon of how he witnessed Calvin fight - casually slaughtering the tribesmen who came near him, disarming them first before leaving small but fatal cuts and stabs in their bodies. He would later earn fame by liberating Blackhaven from the royalist attack during the War of the Usurper, a feat which was phenomenal in the eyes of his peers. Calvin served alongside Arthur Baratheon during the Battle of the Prince's Pass; Calvin was often considered the most dangerous vassal to House Baratheon. He was made a lord after the Battle of the Trident, after saving Jon Arryn from Oberyn Martell. Differently from the books, Calvin did not kill Oberyn's horse by throwing his sword, but rather unbalanced the horse into upturning Oberyn. His defeat of Oberyn Martell at the Trident has been subject to debate, since Oberyn had already been wounded at the Prince's Pass by Arthur Baratheon - Tyrion Lannister catches Oberyn playfully arguing with Calvin over this factor.

Gaining a reputation as the ultimate servant to his uncle's house, Calvin became the shining example of dedication in the Stormlands and earned massive respect in King's Landing. It is mentioned by several people throughout the series that Calvin is one of the few powerful lords in Westeros who will not resort to kinslaying in order to achieve his goals, even if it were his only option - he stated he would rather be cooked alive in his own armour like Rickard Stark had been, than kill a man, woman or child in his family. It was even japed by stormlords in their cups that Calvin was a younger version of Tywin Lannister - Varys himself states that Calvin is much like Tywin, with the major differences being that Calvin is much younger and that he loved his father.

Throughout his life, Calvin worked effortlessly to bettering the standing of his family - he enforced the taxes in Blackhaven and its territories and the minor houses in its service. He arranged betrothals and marriages throughout the Stormlands with his cousins and siblings, and never once resorted to using the Iron Bank as a resource because he knew the dangers of doing so could destabilise House Dondarrion. Calvin was like a second father to Beric Dondarrion, whom he trained to fight in the hopes that he would become a warrior as well as a prospective Lord of Blackhaven, but he is visibly displeased when Beric 'wastes' these teachings in tourneys and duels. Calvin himself never participates in tournaments, since he has seen real battle and wishes to save his skills for such eventualities. This is interesting because Calvin is a master swordsman, described to be unstoppable through his sheer speed, agility and precision, with Randyll Tarly lamenting to Renly Baratheon that Calvin would have been a useful asset if they'd managed to persuade him to join them. When he was a young man, he travelled to Tarth and Brienne saw him effortlessly defeat both her father and Ser Willem Morrigen, repeatedly sending their weapons flying out of their reach, all while holding one arm behind his back and barely changing his position at all.

Calvin is depicted, though, as far more ruthless and dangerous in the books than in the TV series, mainly because the writers intended that Calvin's unveiling as a cunning mastermind to be more of a surprise to the viewers. George RR Martin himself spoke of Calvin "He is a family man - in the sense that the family's future is the ultimate priority for him. There's nothing else, not even his own ascension through the ranks in King's Landing. He never wanted to be Lord of Blackhaven, but fate puts him there. He never intends to be Hand of the King, since that would improve his standing, not his family's. He's seen war, he's seen suffering, and he knows that in order to endure such things one must make themselves strong and fearsome, and that's what he wants for House Dondarrion. To be strong, and fearsome'. In the books, Calvin seriously considers sending Waymar Lannister to the lowest dungeons to be tortured (At one point, he thinks of doing it himself), and is far more intense in speculating that this would damage his alliance with Tywin Lannister. He is seen to have been made more aggressive at times after his poisoning, coming dangerously close to losing his temper several times, which differs from his calm and reasoned demeanour in the previous books. Calvin is extremely careful to a fault normally, being able to reign in his ferocious streak almost expertly, so much that people who cross him only ever get an indication of his rage. Wymar Lannister is the only person to truly face Calvin in his genuine rage.

According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Calvin Dondarrion" is pronounced "CAL-vin Dun-DAAR-i-on", as opposed to "Cale-veen", etc.



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Lord: Calvin Dondarrion Heir: Cedric Dondarrion House-Dondarrion-Main-Shield.PNG
Seat: Blackhaven Lands: The Stormlands
Title(s): Lord of Blackhaven
Current members: Beric Dondarrion · Cedric Dondarrion · Simon II Dondarrion · Jeyne Dondarrion · Lucas Dondarrion · Douglas Dondarrion · Theon Dondarrion · Jocelyn Dondarrion
Deceased members: Tybalt Dondarrion · Simon I Dondarrion
Overlord: House Baratheon of Storm's End (formerly)
House Baratheon of King's Landing