Characters: Game Of Thrones Nights Watch
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The Night's Watch
"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come."
An order of volunteers and convicted criminals that defends the northern frontier of the Seven Kingdoms. This is marked by The Wall, the biggest man-made structure in the world.
- Army of Thieves and Whores: Specially in the latest decades, in which only few nobles join the Night's Watch on their own choice. Most of the Watch members are criminals such as rapists, murderers, or thieves, or knights who fought on the side of the Mad King during Robert's Rebellion and were exiled to the Wall to keep their heads.
- Ancient Tradition: They are by far the oldest institution of Westeros.
- Arch-Enemy: The Night's Watch and the Wildlings have been locking horns for generations.
- Badass Decay: In-universe; they used to be a highly regarded order, attractive to the Westerosi elite and capable of operating nineteen border fortifications and castles during their heyday. In the present day they can hardly man three outposts and noble, quality volunteers are a rarity.
- Action Survivor: That being said, any member of the watch who lasts through their first tour North of the wall is no doubt a badass. Bronn, Jon Snow, and even Sam are varied examples of that.
- Celibate Hero: What they are supposed to be as they are sworn to take no wife and father no child. It is, however, an Open Secret within the order that some higher ranking members visits whorehouses when they are out on errands.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: All Nightswatchmen are required to wear black clothing and armor.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Even though their uniform is all-black, they are sworn to protect the northern border of the realm from the danger and horrors that lie beyond. In a more traditional fantasy story this would usually make them the Big Bad's minions, but George R. R. Martin deliberately wanted to turn the trope on it's head.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Defenders of the realm for generations, but their importance is dismissed even by reasonable Southerners.
Tyrion: ...ah, yes yes, against grumpkins and snarks, and all the other monsters your wet nurse warned you about.
- Due to the Dead: A fallen comrade deserves a proper ceremony even if the unit is knee-deep in hostile territory in the far end of the world.
"And now his watch is ended."
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Word of God is that The Wall is based on Hadrian's Wall and the Night's Watch was inspired by the author wondering how the life of a Roman legionary deployed there would be like. However, the Night's Watch self-rule, imposed celibacy and penitence shtick likens it more to a crusader order, especially when the Medieval European Fantasy setting of the show is considered.
- A Fate Worse Than Death: Toyed with. Criminals may choose the Wall to keep from being executed, castrated, or mutilated.
- A House Divided: Internal struggle arises in the middle of the most crucial events the order has faced in centuries.
- Ignored Expert: Their alarming concerns are dismissed as antiquated fairy tales at first and diluted by the Westerosi civil war later. Eventually Gondor Calls for Aid, and Stannis answers.
- In-Series Nickname: The crows, used derogatorily by the Wildlings because of their black uniforms.
- Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: Even many of the members who don't have a criminal past are fleeing from a life wherein they were considered unsuitable by their own kin.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: How most people in Westeros view joining the Night's Watch.
- That Man Is Dead: The plus side of joining the Night's Watch is that all crimes, no matter how heinous, are washed away. Any man can rise high in the Watch, regardless of origin.
Lord Commander Jeor Mormont
"You want to lead one day? Then learn how to follow."
"A man of the Night's Watch lives his life for the realm."
997th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Killed by one of his own men during a coup.
- Badass Beard
- Badass Grandpa
- Lord Commander Badass: Has a reputation as a great warrior, which he backs up by personally leading a massive force of the Night's Watch beyond the Wall at the end of Season 1.
- Blood from the Mouth
- Dying Moment of Awesome/Defiant to the End: Even after he's stabbed in the back, he tries to choke Rast to death. One-handed.
- A Father to His Men: As much as one can be when the men in question are an Army of Thieves and Whores.
Mormont: Tarly, I forbid you to die.
- Godzilla Threshold: As of Series 3, with the massive army of White Walkers marching on the unprepared and undermanned Wall, he definitely believes that it's been reached.
Mormont: We need to get back to The Wall. It's a long march, we know what's out there. But we have to make it! We have to warn them! Or before Winter's end, everyone you've ever known will be dead!
- I Have No Son: Effectively disowned his son, Ser Jorah, for selling slaves and fleeing the King's justice.
- In the Back: Rast stabs him in the back during the mutiny at Craster's Keep.
- Like a Son to Me: He doesn't say the words, but gives Jon his family's sword (which was previously given to Jorah) and he's apparently grooming him to be his successor.
- Moral Event Horizon: In-universe, Jon presents the fact that Mormont knows that Craster kills his sons (and implies that he also knows that it is an offering to the White Walkers) when he is brought before Mance Rayder to pass himself as an oathbreaker and gain Rayder's trust.
- Passing the Torch: Gives Jon Snow the Mormont ancestral sword, Longclaw, in thanks for saving his life and partly because he could not pass it on to his dishonored son.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Takes his position as Lord Commander very seriously (see the above quote) and wants the Night's Watch to be better prepared for the future. He also takes the opportunity to send Thorne away on business to ease tensions at the Wall.
Maester Aemon Targaryen
"Oh, it hurts, boy. Oh, yes. I know."
"I am the Maester of the Citadel, bound in service to Castle Black and the Nights' Watch. I will not tell you to stay or go. You must make that choice yourself, and live with it for the rest of your days - As I have."
Maester serving as a member of the Night's Watch. Extremely old, blind, and awesome.
- Conflicting Loyalty: He knows far better than Jon Snow the problems of conflicting loyalties.
- Cool Old Guy: The oldest man in Westeros, in fact.
- Deadpan Snarker: Can't resist a tiny bit of snark at the end of Season 3 when Sam brings a woman and a baby to Castle Black.
- For Want of a Nail: He mentions that he refused his birthright to become King, so the crown passed to his younger brother instead. Who then passed it to his son, who became the Mad King and inspired Robert's Rebellion. It boggles the mind how differently everything might have turned out if Aemon had taken the job.
- Hidden Depths
- Honor Before Reason: Informs Jon that an oath is simple to keep in easy times but the true test comes when a person has every good reason to break it. Overlaps with a bit of What You Are in the Dark.
Aemon: We all do our duty when there's no cost to it. Honor comes easy then. But sooner or later, in every man's life, there comes a day when it is not easy. A day when he must choose.
- Nice Guy: Acts with kindness and patience towards pretty much everyone he meets and interacts with including Tyrion, gives an especially Angsty Jon Snow some important life lessons in season 1, and in season 3 he happily welcomes Gilly and her baby to stay at Castle Black.
- Not So Different: Tells Jon that he knows what its like to have Conflicting Loyalty to the Night's Watch and the desire to save your family. The Targaryen's were entirely slaughtered, even the children, while he was powerless to stop them, being too old and blind by then to desert his post and fight at their side.
- Offered the Crown: He's the Mad King's uncle and turned down the crown in favor of his younger brother.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: In the series Aemon identifies Mad King Aerys II as his nephew, while in the books he is his great-nephew, thereby cutting one generation from the Targaryen family tree and making him Daenerys great-uncle. While the timeline does make sense in the books (Aemon is 100 years old at that point - exceptional, but not unrealistic), this was probably changed to avoid viewers being puzzled on how it is possible that Daenerys' (who also got an Age Lift) great-great-uncle is still alive.
- Prophet Eyes: Of the 'just blind, not psychic' variety. As far as we know.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Takes heed to Sam and quickly sends word of the white walker situation to every corner of the kingdoms.
- The Reveal: He has been serving at the Wall so long, his lineage has been largely forgotten by most of Westeros.
Jon: Who are you?
Aemon: My father was Maekar, first of his name. My brother Aegon, reigned after him, when I had refused the throne. And he was followed by his son, Aerys... who they called "the Mad King"
Jon: You're Aemon Targaryen?!
"I'm the First Ranger, the job is out there. There have been disturbing reports."
"The wildlings are no different from us. A little rougher, maybe. But they're made of meat and bone. I know how to track 'em and I know how to kill 'em. It's not the wildlings giving me sleepless nights."
Eddard Stark's younger brother and First Ranger of the Night's Watch.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Benjen had to earn the position of First Ranger at the Night's Watch.
- Badass: By default, being a member of the Night's Watch. Being First Ranger isn't a job for the average man, either.
- Brutal Honesty: Tells Jon in no uncertain terms he is no better than anyone at the Wall; they are all brothers now.
- Cool Uncle: Jon simply adores him.
- Never Found the Body: His horse returned riderless and two of his comrades corpses are found—reanimated by White Walkers. While he is officially only missing in action, his comrades-in-arms are not optimistic.
- Ranger: First ranger, in fact.
"I want to fight on the side that fights for the living."
Jon: "I never met my mother. My father wouldn't even tell me her name. I don't know if she's living or dead. I don't know if she's a noblewoman or a fisherman's wife... or a whore. So I sat there in the brothel as Ros took off her clothes. But I couldn't do it. Because all I could think was what if I got her pregnant and she had a child, another bastard named Snow? It's not a good life for a child."
The bastard son of Eddard Stark, he decides to join the Night's Watch and protect the realm from whatever lives on the other side of the Wall.
- Angst Dissonance: In-universe. He thinks that being a bastard is terrible, his life sucks, and people treat him unfairly. He often needs to be reminded that even if he is a bastard, he still has a family that (with the sole exception of Catelyn) loves him — plus, he grew up in a castle, making him one of the most privileged Sworn Brothers of the Night's Watch. Which essentially boils down to stating that his complaints are usually totally bollocks. Part of his problem is that he's well into the top 10% of Westerosi society, but he was raised in a family where everyone else was in the top 1-2%, so he has difficulty keeping this in perspective until he meets some of the other 90% when he goes to the wall.
- The Apprentice: According to Sam, he's being groomed to become the next Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
- Badass: Knows his way around a fight and shares his expertise with his Night's Watch brethren after Tyrion calls his attention to the fact that none of them have had the benefit of his training.
- Battle Butler: He's appointed a steward instead of a ranger, which doesn't sit well with him. Gets his fair share of asskicking anyway.
- Becoming the Mask: He's edging towards this with the Wildlings, becoming very torn about what he truly wants. At the very least, he's come to genuinely love Ygritte. Ygritte, however, notices that he is still at heart loyal to the Night's Watch, and although she tells him she is willing to ignore that, things soon comes to a head between the two...
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Ygritte, which is made worse due to his adherence to his vows.
- Berserk Button: Insulting his family.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's probably one of the nicest people in this entire screwed up world.
- Big Brother Instinct: Jon towards Samwell, as well as his actual younger siblings.
- Break the Haughty: So far, his time at the Wall seems to be one long object lesson in not taking himself too seriously.
- Bully Hunter: He insists on fighting back against the Night's Watch recruits who harass Samwell.
- Bullying a Dragon: He is a kind-hearted man, but you do NOT want to piss him off.
- Celibate Hero: Ygritte gets him out of this.
- Compassionate Critic: Has a superior martial training and doesn't shy away from pointing out the flaws of his companions, because he cares for them and incidentally for himself too, as he will be in the same boat should trouble arise.
- Conflicting Loyalty: He wants to go and help his brother but he also doesn't want to leave the Watch after swearing to serve.
- Also between the Watch and Ygritte, and his understanding of the needs of the Watch versus the depravity of Craster. Also between the Watch's purpose and protecting the soft and unreliable Sam. Jon's very conflicted.
- Cool Big Bro: The younger Starks adore him, and Arya gets Needle, her first sword, as a gift from Jon.
- Cool Pet: His albino dire wolf, Ghost.
- Cool Sword: Longclaw. A gift from the Lord Commander, Jeor Mormont, who felt the sword's name suited a wolf as much as a bear. Its functional coolness comes from the fact that it's Valyrian steel, able to hold an incredibly keen edge.
- Stealth Pun: Longclaw is a hand-and-a-half sword, sometimes called a bastard sword.
- Fake Defector: As of the Season 2 finale, he has managed to convince the Wildlings that he's a bona fide defector. Killing Quorin Halfhand, along with his admission that he was unhappy with Mormont's decision to ally with Craster, went some ways to convincing them of his sincerity.
- Most Definitely Not A Spy: That being said, subtlety is definitely not Jon's strong suit, since both Orell and Ygritte immediately pick up on the fact that he's working as The Mole.
- The Fettered: A Stark in all but name, he won't hurt an innocent in cold blood. This blows his cover when the Wildings force Jon to kill an old man to test his allegiance.
- Genre Savvy: Unlike his companions, he has received an advanced military education. Like all children in the North, he grew up hearing the names, dates and locations of previous failed Wildling invasions. It remains to be seen if his review on the Wildling holds true for the seventh invasion:
I know your people are brave, no one denies that. Six times in the last thousand years, a King-beyond-the-Wall has attacked the kingdoms. Six times they failed. You don't have the discipline. You don't have the training. Your army is no army. You don't know how to fight together.
- Good Is Not Nice: No one hurts Sam.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Goodish ones, which he receives toward the end of season 3. Notably, he gets them from a somewhat anti-heroic moment wherein he literally and figuratively twists the knife when killing the Wilding Warg Orrell, whose eagle proceeds to claw and peck Jon's face and attempts (but fails) to take an eye).
- Heroes Want Redheads: He has been attracted to both Ros and Ygritte.
- Heroic Bastard: Tyrion lampshades this trope in The Kingsroad:
Tyrion: A bastard boy with nothing to inherit, off to join the ancient order of the Night's Watch, alongside his valiant brothers-in-arms.
Jon: The Night's Watch protects the realm from-
Tyrion: Ah yes, yes! Against grumpkins and snarks and all the other monsters your wetnurse warned you about. You're a smart boy. You don't believe that nonsense.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Sam.
- Honor Before Reason: With regard to his refusal to kill anyone who isn't directly attacking him at that very moment in time. Seems to be his Fatal Flaw just as much as it is for the rest of his family, as his refusal to kill an old man who was going to be killed one way or the other blows his cover, turns his lover against him, gets him shot full of arrows and renders Qhorin Halfhand's sacrifice all but meaningless.
- Jumped at the Call: Jon is overly eager to join the Night's Watch, despite his uncle Benjen's advice to wait a while. Later, he volunteers himself to join Qhorin Halfhand's ranging party. Mance Rayder picks up on this trait very quickly, saying that he believes that the thing Jon wants, most of all, is to be a hero.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted. Even though he is provided with a local prostitute Ros, he is unmanned by the thought of inflicting some poor kid with the problems his own bastardy has brought him. He eventually loses his virginity to Ygritte, because he has to convince her he has forsaken his vows to the Night's Watch.
- Missing Mom: Jon knows nothing about his mother. During Robert's rebellion, Lord Stark had an affair with a woman called Wylla and Ned promises Jon they will talk about his mother some day when they reunite, but they never see each other again.
- NaÔve Newcomer: To the North side of the Wall, where he knows nothing.
- Nice Guy: One of the nicest and most moral guys on the Crapsack World that is Westeros.
- The Oath-Breaker:
- Subverted. Jon's brothers in the Night's Watch convince him to return to the wall after he leaves to avenge the death of his father.
- Played straight with the celibacy part of the oath.
- Phrase Catcher: "You must be Ned Stark's bastard". Uttered by nearly every single person who meets him for the first time.
- To the point where it wouldn't be surprising if they revealed that "Ned Stark's the most honorable man in Westeros, just ask his bastard!" was secretly one of more popular jokes in Westeros, since it would explain why everyone seems to immediately recognize him?!
- You know nothing, Jon Snow.
- Pretty Boy: Craster snarks that Jon is prettier than half his daughters. Orell claims his looks are the only reason Ygritte likes him.
- Pride: Seems to be his major character flaw. His confidence in the superiority of his abilities often causes him to lose sight of the bigger picture and complain about the unfairness of his life. Good thing he has Sam and friends to put things in perspective for him.
- Shoot Your Mate: Kills Qhorin Halfhand to convince the Wildlings he's defecting to their side.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Ygritte. Jon is a man of the Night's Watch and Ygritte a Wildling, meaning that they can't be together no matter how much they love one another.
- The Unfavorite: Played straight regarding Catelyn as he's a constant reminder of the one time Ned's honor faltered; as far as she's concerned, his joining the Night's Watch is a much-needed Reassignment To Antarctica . Subverted in that his father, siblings and uncle all clearly love him.
- Also the only brother Theon doesn't give a toss about, probably because they're both not real Starks, but Ned actually acknowledges Jon.
- Wicked Stepmother: Lady Stark is unable to hide her contempt for Ned's bastard. She eventually reveals that she blames herself for the misfortunes of her family, rationalizing that it's all a punishment from the gods because she was unable to fulfill a promise about raising Jon Snow like her own son, a bargain made when he was very ill as a baby.
- Wild Mass Guessing: The subject of a disproportionately huge amount of this, both in-universe and out. Ned refuses to discuss his mother with anyone, and the topic of just what woman could induce the honorable Ned Stark to forget his vows draws a lot of attention. From the books...
- Would Not Shoot a Civilian
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Not kill one, at least. That's quite much by the standards of the show.
Samwell "Sam" Tarly
Gilly: "You're like...a wizard."
A new trainee at the Wall, and the rejected scion of the noble Tarly family. He is assigned to the Stewards after completing training.
- Abusive Parents: Hoo boy.
- Adorkable: Particularly towards Gilly.
- Badass: Believe it or not. Killing a White Walker definitely makes you a badass.
- Big Fun: Albeit in a lower key kind of way.
- Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: Season 2's finale ends with Sam surrounded by an army of wights led by the White Walkers.
- Unexplained Recovery: He survives, luckily, but we are cheated out of a scene showing how in the process.
- Bookworm: Wanted to be a wizard, and freely admits he much prefers being a steward to being a ranger. "I read it in a book" is his fitting answer to many questions about his knowledge.
- Butt Monkey: He is one to the other trainees and to Alliser Thorne, until Jon puts a stop to it.
- The Champion: To Gilly.
- Cowardly Lion: When he has to defend Gilly, he gets fierce.
- Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Owns a dragonglass dagger which he uses to slay a White Walker.
- Crazy-Prepared: "Mhysa" reveals that he collected all the dragonglass daggers and arrowheads from the Fist of the First Men, because of their historical significance and because he thought they might prove useful. And boy, was he was right!
- Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help: Sam's reason for wanting to help Gilly, one of Craster's daughters. He points out to Jon that the Night's Watch is supposed to be protecting people and aiding those in need of help, which Gilly clearly is. From the books...
- Expy: For Samwise Gamgee. GRR Martin admits there was some influence, plus John Bradley's portrayal is clearly based on the film version of Samwise.
- Fluffy Tamer: In "The Night Lands" Sam appears to be the only person besides Jon that Ghost will listen to.
- Friendless Background: Until he met Jon.
- The Funny Guy
- Genre Savvy: The time he spent reading a book about the White Walkers and their ways does pay off. To general surprise, he's knowledgeable on the subject.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Jon.
- Hunting Accident: What would have happened to him if he hadn't taken the black.
- Kirk Summation: Gives Maester Aemon a reminder of their cause when he's accused of forgetting his oath by choosing to help Gilly.
Sam: "Night gathers and my watch begins. I am the shield that protects the realms of men". The realms of men; that means her, as well as us! We didn't build five hundred miles of ice wall, seven hundred feet high to keep out men! The Night is gathering, Maester Aemon, I've seen it. It's coming for all of us!
- Lovable Coward: Scared of absolutely everything.
- Lyrical Dissonance: In a manner of speaking. While the nursery rhyme he sings about the Seven Gods to Gilly's baby is incredibly sweet, the dissonance comes when one considers the first verse describes the goodness of the Father to his children, compared to Gilly and Sam's relationship with their own respective fathers.
- Non-Action Guy
- Papa Wolf: When defending Gilly and her baby from a White Walker.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Probably the best fit for this among any of the characters.
- Protectorate: Jon Snow seems to have adopted him as this within seconds of meeting. He beats up anyone who tries to lay a finger on the new recruit, convinces all the other boys to leave him alone, and when one refuses to go along with it, sneaks into his room in the middle of the night and threatens him with his pet direwolf. Basically, hurting him is currently the quickest and most dangerous way to piss Jon off.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After Lord Commander Mormont is attacked by Rast, and all hell breaks loose, he runs to take Gilly away, forgetting about Edd and Grenn.
- Shrinking Violet: Which is why his father made him join the Night's Watch.
- The Smart Guy: Makes some astute observations in "The Pointy End" when bodies are brought back from the other side of the Wall.
Commander Mormont: You may be a coward, Tarly, but you're not stupid.
- Took a Level in Badass: First introduced as a completely hopeless fighter and a coward. By season 3, he's able to lead Gilly and her baby all the way back to the Wall on his own, killing a White Walker along the way.
- Undying Loyalty: To Jon. Its notable that despite being a self-admitted coward, he still chooses to go with Jon beyond the Wall in order to take his vows, despite the fact that he wasn't even raised to believe in the Old Gods.
- The Unfavorite: He's at the Wall because his father threatened to murder him if he didn't "voluntarily" remove himself from the line of inheritance. Ouch. From the books...
- You Shall Not Pass: Invokes this towards the White Walker who tried to take Gilly's baby.
Eddison "Dolorous Edd" Tollett
Played By: Ben Crompton
"If the Gods wanted us to have dignity, they wouldn't make us fart when we died."
Part of the group Commander Mormont leads beyond the Wall, who has a cynical wisecrack for any situation.
- Brutal Honesty: To Sam, after he collapses in the second episode of Season 3.
- Deadpan Snarker: What he's widely known for."I always imagined I would end up doing much worse."
- The Eeyore: He has a cynical, deadpan demeanour coated with some nice misery.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: "I was born in a place like this (Craster's Keep). Then I fell on hard times."
- OOC Is Serious Business: He drops his uncaring pessimist act on the third blast.
- He also fights in Mormont's defense after he is attacked, even though his previous scene had Edd jocking about the deceased in a fellow nightswatchman's funeral.
- Remember the New Guy: He's suddenly a member of the team in season 2, after never being seen in season 1 and with the scene from the book where he joins them cut.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Owing to the fact that the season is over and we don't see any more of him after the mutiny, we have no idea if he's alive or dead.
Pypar a.k.a. Pyp
Played By: Josef Altin
A recruit at the Wall; one of Jon's friends. He is assigned to the Stewards after completing training.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Fragile Speedster: According to Jon, he'd fight better if he didn't move so much.
- Justified Criminal: Subverted. He claimed that he was caught stealing cheese for his starving sister, but the real reason for being sent to the Wall involved a noble grabbing his cock, which he was too embarrassed to confess to strangers.
- Put on a Bus: Though a more apt metaphor would be that he's the only one who didn't get on the bus. Pypar isn't among the party Mormont leads north of the Wall at the end of season one, so he's offscreen for nearly all of the next two seasons.
- The Bus Came Back: But, when Jon returns to Castle Black near the very end of season three, Pyp's there to meet him along with Sam.
- Those Two Guys: With Grenn.
Played By: Burn Gorman
A survivor of the Battle of the Fist of the First Men.
Played By: Mark Stanley
A recruit at the Wall and also in Jon's friend group. He is assigned to the Rangers after completing training.
"If we want to live, we'll have to look after ourselves."
"Run fast, Piggy! And sleep well! I'll be cutting your throat one of these nights."
Another recruit at the Wall. Unlike Pyp and Grenn, he's not one of Jon's friends. He is assigned to the Rangers after completing training.
- Adaptational Villainy: While he's a jerkass rapist in the books, in the show he betrays and murders the Lord Commander.
- Ascended Extra: In Season 3 he is revealed to have been part of the ranging party Beyond the Wall all this time, despite not appearing even once in Season 2. In the books he remains at Castle Black instead and quickly becomes a footnote.
- Beard of Evil
- The Bully: Against Samwell. It takes Jon's threats (as well as Ghost's intervention) to get him to lay off Sam.
- With Jon away, he's back on bully mode. It takes Mormont's threat to get him to lay off again.
- Composite Character: Shares some traits with Chett in Season 3. Takes the place of Ollo Lophand killing Lord Commander Mormont.
- Dirty Coward: Has no problem bullying Sam, but gets put in his place when others step in, especially Jon and Mormont.
- Has no problem stabbing Mormont in the back, but practically shits himself when Mormont turns around to start choking him
- Early-Bird Cameo: He is among the rapists taken by Benjen to the Wall when Jon joins.
- Evil Is Petty: After killing Mormont, he walks out of Craster's Keep and swears to hunt Sam down and kill him... who had just run away. While Craster's jerkassery contributed a lot, Rast's decission to betray the Watch and kill Mormont apparently grew out of his hatred of Sam and being told to lay it off by others.
- Jerkass: Particularly to Sam.
- Kick the Dog: He continues stabbing Mormont's corpse even after he's already dead.
- Knife Nut
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: One of many rapists that chose the Wall before castration.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: His motivation to mutiny.
- Token Evil Teammate: It comes back to bite the Watch in the ass in Season 3.
Lord Janos Slynt
"Joffrey is my king. The rest doesn't matter."
: Dominic Carter
Tyrion: "I'm not questioning your honor, Lord Janos. I'm denying its existence."
The former commander of the City Watch in King's Landing. He was named Lord of Harrenhal and became the founder of House Slynt for his service to King Joffrey Baratheon and the betrayal and arrest of Ned Stark. He was exiled to the Night's Watch by the acting Hand of the King, Tyrion Lannister, for his part in the massacre of King Robert Baratheon's bastard children.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the books its not him who kills baby Barra but a subordinate. He was, however, fully complicit in the atrocity so he was still very much a villain. His love for his children is also Adapted Out.
- Bald of Evil
- Beard of Evil
- Bodyguard Betrayal: To Ned Stark.
- The Brute: To King Joffrey's Big Bad.
- Call It Karma: In "The Night Lands" Tyrion, acting as Hand of the King, considers the way he killed a baby without question the last straw, and has him replaced, arrested and sent to the Wall.
- Dirty Goldcloak: A reason Tyrion gets rid of him.
- Humiliation Conga: Stripped of lands and titles, of command over the City Watch, and sent to the Wall.
- Just Following Orders: His reason for carrying out the purge of Robert's bastards.
- A Man Of Wealth And Taste: Fancies himself one after his elevation to Lord.
- Nouveau Riche: Created Lord of Harrenhal and leading House Slynt for betraying Ned Stark and helping Joffrey secure the throne.
- Only in It for the Money: According to Littlefinger, Slynt and the Goldcloaks will serve whoever pays them.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Tyrion exiles him to Castle Black at the Wall, partly for crossing the line when he murdered a baby, and partly because he can't trust Janos not to betray him in turn after he already betrayed Eddard Stark, the previous Hand of the King.
- Sent to the Wall
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Invokes this in "The Night Lands". He's wrong.
- Smug Smiler: Look at his expression when Littlefinger ridicules Ser Barristan.
- Would Hurt a Child: After one of his men refuses to kill a baby bastard daughter of Robert Baratheon, he steps up and does it himself right in front of the screaming mother.
Played By: Simon Armstrong
"I've been called a lot of things, but that's probably my first 'Lord Qhorin.'"
"We are at war. We've always been at war. It's never going to end 'cause we're not fighting an enemy. We're fighting the North and it's not going anywhere."
A legendary ranger of the Night's Watch, based at the Shadow Tower.
Played By: N/A
A ranger under Qhorin Halfhand's command.
- Bus Crash: A victim of one, along with the rest of Qhorin's rangers. They leave Jon alone to kill Ygritte; when Jon meets again Qhorin, he politely informs Jon and the audience that Stonesnake and the rest were killed in the meantime.
- Demoted to Extra: Literally. He has a bigger role in the books - with actual lines - and even a Heroic Sacrifice moment.
Ser Alliser Thorne
"You don't know cold. Neither of you do."
"When you're out there, beyond the Wall with the sun going down, do you want a man at your back? Or a sniveling boy?"
The Master-at-Arms of Castle Black, tasked with the training of the new recruits.
- Blonde Guys Are Evil
- The Bully: He delights in his position as Master-at-Arms and the power he wields over the new recruits. He belittles them constantly and his cruelty goes beyond the call of duty training the new recruits. He purposefully makes Jon unpopular among the recruits by emphasizing his superiority and mockingly calling him 'Lord Snow'.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Thorne pushes the recruits hard with harsh training and constant insults, although it could be said he wants them to toughen up so they can face what's beyond the Wall. However, he does take overly sadistic pleasure in bullying Jon and Samwell, nor does he ever show pleasure at his recruits becoming more skilled.
- Hidden Depths: In a scene present only in the series, Thorne details to Jon and Sam the horrors that one may face in their duty. Though he doesn't say he was talking about himself, one can easily see how he came to become so bitter.
- Icy Blue Eyes
- Kick the Dog: Really enjoys rubbing Jon's face in the fact he's not only a bastard but also the bastard son of a traitor.
- No Party Like a Donner Party: Being stranded beyond the Wall during the last winter left its mark on Ser Alliser.
- Perma Stubble Of Evil
- Put on a Bus: An in-universe example—Commander Mormont sends him as an envoy to King's Landing, mostly to put the majority of Westeros between him and Jon Snow.
- Becomes Chuck Cunningham Syndrome in Season 2 in which his scene with Tyrion is replaced with "a raven from Castle Black".
- The Bus Came Back: The character is returning in Season 4, as confirmed by the actor Owen Teale.
- Smug Snake
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ser Alliser makes it clear that both Jon and Sam, along with the rest of their company, are not men and certainly not yet full men of the Night's Watch, and that them coddling Sam will only ensure that they do not have the best trained men at their side when needed.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Season one — Thorne is sent to King's Landing to meet with the Small Council and drum up support for the Night's Watch. Season two — a raven arrives from Castle Black asking for support for the Night's Watch, filling in for the scene in the books in which Thorne arrives and asks for help. Where the heck did he go?
"Come on, you sorry sons of whores! Itís a thousand leagues to the wall, and winter is coming!"
: Francis Magee
Tyrion Lannister: "So... you roam the Seven Kingdoms collaring pickpockets and horse thieves and bring them here as eager recruits."
Yoren: "Aye. Well, it's not all of 'em's done bad things. Some of 'em's just poor lads looking for steady feed. Some of 'em's highborn lads looking for glory."
Tyrion Lannister: "Better chance of finding feed than glory."
A sworn brother of the Night's Watch, in which he serves as a recruiter.
Jon's direwolf, the litter's runt. He is albino and is found last, having separated from its mother's corpse and siblings.