"I bedded a fishmaid once who told me the lowborn have a choicer way to put it. The King eats, they say, and the Hand takes the shit."
Robert Baratheon in response to Ned Stark's notions of what makes a Hand
The Hand of the King (or Hand of the Queen, in cases of a female monarch), also known as simply the King's Hand, is the chief advisor to the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and is the executor of the king's commands across the Seven Kingdoms. It is the most powerful appointed position in the kingdoms, second only to the King himself in absolute authority. The Hand provides the King with counsel, while also managing the Small Council and other tasks that the King would otherwise neglect or forget about. It is considered an extreme honor to be appointed to this position, and brings great renown to whatever house the Hand ascends from.