Introduced back in season 2 of Game of Thrones, Davos Seaworth is one of the longest lasting supporting characters on the show. Having first served on Team Dragonstone with undying loyalty to Stannis Baratheon, Davos has moved on in recent seasons to serve Jon Snow in the North.
He’s also a point-of-view character in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, making Davos a character that’s important on both page and screen.
If Davos Seaworth is one of the longest lasting side characters, he’s certainly one of the most loved by fans as well. Davos often acts as the voice of reason that cuts through the chaos of Westerosi politics (as well as Melisandre’s manipulations), earning him a strong base of fan support throughout the HBO series.
He’s a character that’s closely aligned with the audience, reacting honestly to the show’s events with appropriate bewilderment and passion, just as viewers are at home.
Fans share his wariness over Melisandre, cried right along with him over the fate of Shireen, and are just as big of fans of Lady Mormont as he is.
However, there’s a lot more to Davos than what viewers see on screen. Here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Game Of Thrones’ Davos Seaworth.
15. He Has Seven Sons
Davos’ relationship to his son Matthos Seaworth was a major plot point back in season 2 and helped emphasize the devastation of the Battle of the Blackwater when Matthos died due to Tyrion’s wildfire trick.
However, the show cut out a significant side to Davos’ character: he has six other sons in the books, with four of them perishing at the Battle of the Blackwater, making the battle even more traumatic for Davos.
Besides Matthos, Davos has sons named Dale, Deyon, Maric, Allard, Devan, Stannis, and Steffon. The oldest five are in service to House Baratheon on Dragonstone alongside their father, and Devan is squire to Stannis Baratheon himself.
The show chose to cut most of Davos’ sons from its storyline in order to lean down Team Dragonstone. Instead, writers condensed them all into Matthos.
14. He Had Ulterior Motives When He Brought Stannis Food
The foundation of Stannis and Davos’ relationship traces back to Robert’s Rebellion, when Davos, then an infamous smuggler, brought onions and salted fish to Stannis and his men at Storm’s End (hence his nickname “the Onion Knight”).
While many attribute this act to Davos’ kindness of heart, the smuggler had other ideas in mind when he set off to rescue Stannis and his men from starvation.
When a fan once asked George R.R. Martin what prompted a simple smuggler to become involved in Robert’s Rebellion, the author had one answer: money.
Martin said that Davos was sniffing out the best possible profit when he landed on the idea of getting food to Stannis, knowing that if he brought the onions to King’s Landing he would merely be paid the price of onions – but if he brought food to the besieged Storm’s End, the trapped and starving men would pay significantly more.
13. He Didn’t Lead Stannis’ Blackwater Fleet in the Books
One of the most significant moments in the relationship between Stannis and Davos in the Game of Thrones television series is when Stannis entrusts Davos to lead his fleet in the Battle of the Blackwater in season 2.
Not only does it show viewers how much Stannis trusts Davos, but it makes the tension between the two men that much greater when Stannis suffers his harsh loss at the Blackwater.
However, in the books, Stannis gives his brother-in-law Imry Florent the command of his Blackwater fleet. Imry proves to be largely incompetent at the job, with Davos attempting to give him tactical advice that goes ignored. Imry’s choice to ignore Davos’ key advice of sending scouts ahead of Stannis’ ships condemns the Baratheon fleet to failure.
Imry Florent has a brief appearance on the show during the Battle of the Blackwater (he can be seen telling Stannis that hundreds of his men will die). However, this is yet another aspect to Davos’ storyline in the books that is altered by the show in order to streamline Team Dragonstone and complicate the Davos/Stannis relationship.
12. Stannis Took the Fingers Off of His Non-Dominant Hand
One of the most well known facts behind the relationship between Davos and Stannis is how Stannis cut off the tops from four of Davos’ fingers after Robert’s Rebellion as punishment for Davos’ illegal smuggling.
Stannis only removed a portion of the fingers (as opposed to the typical sentence of the removal of the whole hand) because Davos’ smuggling did help the men at Storm’s End.
One of the lesser-known facts behind this story is that Stannis even went so far as to purposefully take the fingers off of Davos’ left hand, with the knowledge that it was his non-dominant side, in order to further soften the sentence.
The television version of Davos has this switched: his right hand has his fingers removed, as actor Liam Cunningham is left-handed.
Cunningham has said that Game of Thrones uses a combination of CGI and practical effects (a sewn up glove that Cunningham has to hide his bent fingers in) to make it appear as though Davos has fingers missing on the show.
11. He Wasn’t Stannis’ First Choice for Hand of the King
Similar to how the show wrote Stannis as choosing Davos to lead his fleet into the Battle of the Blackwater, writers also had Stannis immediately choose Davos for his Hand of the King. Again, this was a choice by the showrunners to reflect how much Stannis trusted Davos as an advisor and friend.
However, this was different in the books. In A Storm of Swords, Davos returns to Dragonstone after the events at the Blackwater and learns that Stannis has named Alester Florent, head of his wife’s House Florent, as his Hand of the King.
His stint as Hand is brief, however– Alester is later imprisoned by Stannis for treason after attempting to secretly negotiate with the Lannisters.
While the show makes it blatant that Stannis trusts Davos, it’s portrayed in a subtler manner in the books. Though Davos isn’t Stannis’ first choice for Hand, Stannis asks his thoughts about the situation with Alester. When Davos gives honest advice, Stannis promotes him to Hand.
10. George R.R. Martin Created Davos to Shed Light on Stannis
It’s a noted trend of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels that author George R.R. Martin typically avoids awarding point of view chapters to kings.
Robb Stark, Robert Baratheon, Geoffrey Baratheon, and Stannis are all denied the ability to narrate events in the books.
Martin has said that the creation of Davos originates back to when he was planning out A Clash of Kings and realized he didn’t want to give Stannis Baratheon his own POV chapters.
Instead, he decided to create Davos to allow readers insight into the actions of Team Dragonstone without hearing from Stannis himself.
That being said, Martin still believes Davos to be an important character in his own right. The author has said that he tries to avoid POV characters from “just being a pair of eyes” and prioritizes that character’s story above all else.
9. Davos and Stannis’ Actors Are Close in Real Life
Davos and Stannis share a close and complicated relationship in both the books and television show. However, there’s another layer to the relationship viewers see on screen, too: Liam Cunningham and Stephen Dillane, who plays Stannis, are also friends in real life.
Cunningham has explained that he has missed Dillane’s company on set in the seasons after Stannis’ death.
“I shall hugely, hugely miss the scenes that I’ve had with him because he’s a master of the truth,” Cunningham once said. “He’s an extraordinary actor. I miss him. I miss him hugely.”
The two first bonded on set over their similar approaches to scripts and scenes, which come from Cunningham and Dillane’s history as theater actors in the UK.
While Dillane has said he isn’t a huge fan of Game of Thrones itself due to its brutal nature, the actor has described his favorite memories on set as being the ones with Cunningham and Carice van Houten (Melisandre). The three even had a farewell dinner together before Dillane left the show.
8. Liam Cunningham Doesn’t Know What Davos is Like in the Books
There are two camps within the Game of Thrones cast: those who have read the books and those who haven’t. Davos’ actor Liam Cunningham happens to be in the latter group, despite the fact that Seaworth is a POV character in the novels.
Cunningham has explained that, when he took on the role, he consulted showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss on whether or not they recommended he read the books before playing Davos.
Benioff and Weiss apparently told Cunningham that he might want to avoid reading the book version of Davos due to the fact that reading his character’s internal thoughts on the page might complicate his efforts to portray Davos through a visual medium.
7. He Isn’t as Close To Shireen in the Books
One of the most tragic deaths in the Game of Thrones television series was that of Shireen Baratheon. When season 6 aired, one of the biggest questions was how and when Davos would find out that Stannis and Melisandre burned Shireen at the stake, and how he would react.
The confrontation scene between Melisandre and Davos during the season 6 finale was one of the show’s most memorable moments, with Davos tearfully forcing the truth out of Melisandre before Jon Snow.
In the show, Seaworth and Shireen grow close after the Baratheon princess learns that he is illiterate and devotes her time to teaching him how to read.
Though these scenes between Davos and Shireen are touching, none of them occur in the books, with the novels placing a far greater distance between the Princess Shireen and the Onion Knight.
Shireen never visits Davos in his cell, nor do they have their touching moment where Shireen proclaims Davos as her friend, traitor or not.
6. Some Fans Think He’s Azor Ahai
Although the majority of fans think Azor Ahai – the prophesied hero who “shall be born again amidst smoke and salt” and defeat the White Walkers — is Jon Snow (or maybe even Daenerys Targaryen), there is a running fan theory that Davos himself might be the future savior.
The theory originated on Reddit by user FollowTheBeard, who outlined why Seaworth is a possible candidate for the prophecy. FollowTheBeard wrote that Davos was “born again” after his survival of the Battle of the Blackwater.
A different part of the prophecy says that Azor Ahai will wake dragons out of stone, and the fan theory has an answer for this part, too.
In season 6, when Melisandre fails to bring Jon Snow back to life right away, she and everybody else leaves the room in disappointment – all except Davos, who stays behind and eventually sees Jon gasp back to life.
5. He’s the Game of Thrones Version of The Godfather’s Tom Hagen
Davos has to be one of the best political advisors in the whole of Game of Thrones. Let’s be honest: who else could give Jon Snow his iconic King in the North introduction before Daenerys Targaryen?
Davos has proven himself to be a strong fighter by surviving season 6’s Battle of the Bastards, but he’s somebody you’d want in your corner because of his sharp mind and honesty, not his battle skills.
According to Liam Cunningham, Davos is the Westerosi equivalent of Tom Hagen, Don Corleone’s consigliere (counselor) in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather.
Cunningham has said that Davos “isn’t one of the boys” because he’s not big on fighting, but “commands respect because of his loyalty and his decency and his lateral thinking, and because he’s not fearful of his own demise. He tells hard truths.”
4. He’s Been to Eastwatch Before
The premiere of Game of Thrones season 7 showed Jon Snow anxious over The Wall’s Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, since he knows that it’s the castle closest to Hardhome, the latest territory that the White Walkers took over back in season 5. As a result, Snow sends Tormund and the wildings to go help man the castle and provide a proper defense.
Season 7’s episode 5 is in fact titled “Eastwatch”, foreshadowing that the Night’s Watch castle will have a serious role to play this season. Coincidentally enough, the character of Davos has his own ties to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.
In the books, Stannis sails for The Wall at Davos’ advice in response to Maester Aemon’s call for aid. Stannis, Davos, and the rest of the Baratheon camp reside at Eastwatch for a time before Stannis brings his forces north of The Wall to defeat Mance Rayder and the wildlings.
3. Melisandre Might Have His Finger Bones
After Davos suffered his painful finger removal punishment by Stannis, the ex-smuggler famously hung his finger bones in a pouch hanging around his neck to serve as a constant reminder of where he came from. In the books, Davos notably loses this pouch during the Battle of the Blackwater.
One of the running fan theories surrounding Davos in A Song of Ice and Fire is that the mysterious priestess Melisandre actually stole these finger bones at some point.
Compelling evidence for this theory comes from Martin’s A Dance with Dragons, in a scene where Melisandre is explaining how she conjures up glamors– or magical illusions to disguise someone or something as another being or thing entirely.
As Melisandre is explaining how this is possible, she says the strongest glamors are built out of bones, even going on to explicitly say a bag of finger bones would work. Due to the tension between Melisandre and Davos, some fans think she purposefully stole his finger bones to form a glamor of Davos for future use.
2. Liam Cunningham Originally Auditioned for a Different Character
Cunningham plays Davos Seaworth so well that it’s hard to imagine him as anybody else. As it turns out, the Irish actor initially auditioned for another role during the casting process for season 1.
However, Liam Cunningham couldn’t get his schedule to work for the shooting schedule of season 1, so he had to take a pass on Game of Thrones at that time.
David Benioff and Dan Weiss liked Cunningham so much, though, that they insisted he come back the next year to read for a character in season 2. Benioff and Weiss thought that Cunningham’s audition was “incredible,” and the rest is history.
Cunningham hasn’t revealed which character he first auditioned for, but he has said that he would have loved to play Tywin Lannister.
Could Cunningham have originally auditioned for the part of the formidable head of House Lannister?
1. Cunningham Needed UFC Training to Prep for Davos in Season 7
Up to this point in Game of Thrones, we haven’t seen too much combat from Davos. Even in the season 6 “Battle of the Bastards” episode, Davos didn’t have any of his own fight scenes, unlike some of the other main characters in the battle, such as Jon and Tormund.
However, Liam Cunningham’s latest preparation process for Game of Thrones suggests this is going to change some time in season 7.
Last summer, UFC coach John Kavanagh posted on his Twitter and Instagram account, showing both himself and Liam Cunningham sparring in the training ring. This not only foreshadows more combat scenes with Davos, but also suggests that fans might even see him fight without his sword.
Davos might have the chance to use his new UFC skills against the White Walkers by the end of season 7, but the thought of fighting in hand-to-hand combat against the undead is truly terrifying. Could this be where Davos meets his end?
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Game of Thrones‘ Davos Seaworth? Tell us in the comments.
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