Fight at the Bridge of Skulls

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Fight at the Bridge of Skulls
Conflict Conflict Beyond the Wall
Date +/- 300 AC
Place Bridge of Skulls and the Gorge
Result Night's Watch victory
Night's Watch.svg Night's Watch Free folk
Night's Watch.svg Ser Denys Mallister
Night's Watch.svg Lord Steward Bowen Marsh
The Weeper
Over 390, up to 490[1] 300
Ser Endrew Tarth
Ser Aladale Wynch
Watt of Long Lake

The Fight at the Bridge of Skulls[2] is a costly victory for the Night's Watch over wildlings. It is fought on the Bridge of Skulls and near the Gorge.


King-beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder leads the gathered free folk south, hoping to lead them through the gates at Castle Black after having learned that the bulk of the fighting force of the Night's Watch has been wiped out in the fight at the Fist by the Others. In order to do so, he first plans to weaken the strength of the brothers of the Night's Watch who still remain at the castle.[3][4] He sends out several smaller raiding parties, which prompts Lord Steward Bowen Marsh to march, taking most of the fighting men still remaining at Castle Black with him, leaving only the old, the green, and the sickly behind to defend Castle Black.[3]

Bowen Marsh chases the wildlings to the Shadow Tower and beyond, into the Gorge.[5]

As Castle Black prepares for the attack from the south by Styr and his men, Donal Noye sends riders after Marsh to fetch them back.[6]


Bowen Marsh corners the Weeper and three hundred of the free folk on the Bridge of Skulls. It is a bloody battle, with a hundred brothers of the Night's Watch slain in the engagement, among them Ser Endrew Tarth and Ser Aladale Wynch, while Bowen Marsh himself is severely wounded.[5]


Bowen Marsh is seriously wounded in the battle and has to be carried to the Shadow Tower in a litter. Ser Denys Mallister sends a raven to Castle Black, to inform the garrison that it will take some time before Marsh is fit enough to return to Castle Black. This new arrives at Castle Black as the garrison is under assault from the main wildling force.[5]

Known Participants


We bled to stop the wildlings at the Gorge. Good men were slain there, friends and brothers.[7]


  1. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 48, Jon VI, Bowen Marsh takes all but 40 of the roughly 430 post-ranging brothers at Castle Black, plus help sent from the 100 at the Shadow Tower.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 75, Samwell IV.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 48, Jon VI.
  4. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 69, Jon IX.
  6. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 55, Jon VII.
  7. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 10, Jon III.