Ghost of High Heart

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Ghost of High Heart
Ghost of High Heart1.jpg
Fan art by Paul Phillips©.

Alias The woods witch
Culture Rivermen
Born Westeros[1]

The ghost of High Heart[2] is an old, stooped, very short woman who has visions of the future and the past. She lives at High Heart in the riverlands.


See also: Images of the Ghost of High Heart

The ghost of High Heart walks with a gnarled black cane. She has white hair so long it almost touches the ground. Her flesh is very pale, and she has red eyes.[3] She is no more than three feet tall.[4]


When Jenny of Oldstones came to court after marrying Prince Duncan Targaryen, she was accompanied by her friend, a dwarfish, albino woman who was reputed to be a woods witch in the riverlands. Lady Jenny claimed that she was a child of the forest, although this was not true. After hearing the woods witch's prophecy that the prince that was promised would come from the line of Aerys and Rhaella Targaryen, their father Prince Jaehaerys insisted that they marry.[5][6] The woods witch was present at the tragic destruction of Summerhall in 259 AC, and was believed to have died there.[6] However, she somehow survived and returned to the riverlands,[3] where she mourns for her friend Jenny.[4]

Recent Events

A Storm of Swords

Arya Stark and the brotherhood without banners camp overnight at High Heart, to meet with the ghost of High Heart to hear her tell the future, and to learn the whereabouts of Lord Beric Dondarrion.[3] She relates her prophetic dreams about the deaths of Lord Renly Baratheon[7] and King Balon Greyjoy,[8][9] in wording that suggests that Balon is killed by a Faceless Man contracted by someone among the ironborn, likely Euron Greyjoy. She also talks of the death[10][11] and resurrection[12] of Catelyn Stark.[3]

Later, the outlaws return to High Heart, and the dwarf woman tells them of new dreams she has had. She relates that Balon Greyjoy has died per her prophecy, and that Vargo Hoat waits in Harrenhal where Gregor Clegane will soon arrive to deal with him. She also speaks of the Red Wedding and King Joffrey's wedding, and prophecies related to Sansa Stark. When she notices Arya, she becomes distressed, insinuating the girl is associated with death, and saying she has enough grief from Summerhall.[4]

The old woman requests that Tom of Sevenstreams play Jenny's song for her as payment for her prophecies. As she listens to the music, she murmurs the words and cries.[4]

A Feast for Crows

Cersei Lannister receives a report that "Tyrion had become a hermit in the riverlands, living on some haunted hill."[13]

A Dance with Dragons

Barristan Selmy reveals to Daenerys that her grandsire, King Jaehaerys II Targaryen, arranged the marriage between her parents, Prince Aerys II and Princess Rhaella. Jaehaerys did this after hearing a prophecy from a woods witch that the prince that was promised would be born from their line. While most people believed the woods witch to be a dwarf, her friend, Jenny of Oldstones, claimed she was one of the children of the forest. While Barristan believes the woods witch died at the Tragedy of Summerhall, the description fits the ghost of High Heart.[6]

While aboard the Selaesori Qhoran, Tyrion Lannister recalls what he considers to be a less reliable tale that had reached his ears, that of a dwarf witch who haunts a hill in the riverlands.[14]

Quotes by the ghost of High Heart

The old gods stir and will not let me sleep. I dreamt I saw a shadow with a burning heart butchering a golden stag, aye. I dreamt of a man without a face, waiting on a bridge that swayed and swung. On his shoulder perched a drowned crow with seaweed hanging from his wings. I dreamt of a roaring river and a woman that was a fish. Dead she drifted, with red tears on her cheeks, but when her eyes did open, oh, I woke from terror. All this I dreamt, and more.[3]

—the ghost of High Heart, to Tom, Lem, and Greenbeard

I dreamt a wolf howling in the rain, but no one heard his grief. I dreamt such a clangor I thought my head might burst, drums and horns and pipes and screams, but the saddest sound was the little bells. I dreamt of a maid at a feast with purple serpents in her hair, venom dripping from their fangs. And later I dreamt that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow.[4]

—the ghost of High Heart, to Beric Dondarrion, Lem, and Thoros of Myr

I see you. I see you, wolf child. Blood child. I thought it was the lord who smelled of death ... You are cruel to come to my hill, cruel. I gorged on grief at Summerhall, I need none of yours. Begone from here, dark heart. Begone![4]

—the ghost of High Heart, to Arya Stark

Quotes about the ghost of High Heart

... she has her own ways of knowing things, that one. The weirwoods whisper in her ear when she sleeps.[4]

Behind the Scenes

In an early draft of A Storm of Swords, the ghost of High Heart does not exist and there is no similar character.[15]