The Golden Company is a company of sellswords founded by the Great Bastard, Bittersteel. They are considered the largest, most famous, and most expensive sellsword or mercenary company in the Free Cities. Despite the notorious unreliability of sellswords, the Golden Company is reputed to have never broken a contract. Their motto is “Our word is good as gold.
It was founded by Aegor Rivers, called “Bittersteel”, a legitimized bastard of King Aegon IV, after he fled Westeros with the younger sons of Daemon Blackfyre at the end of the Blackfyre Rebellion. When Aegor saw all the exiled lords and knights signing on with other sellsword companies, such as the Ragged Standard or the Maiden’s Men, and saw the support of House Blackfyre ebbing away, he created his own sellsword company.
Since then they have fought mainly in the Disputed Lands. The Golden Company is said to be made up of exiles, and the sons of exiles. The Golden Company were once headed by Maelys the Monstrous, the last of the Blackfyre Pretenders. During the War of the Ninepenny Kings Ser Barristan Selmy cut a bloody path though the Golden Company’s ranks to slay Maelys the Monstrous in single combat.