Gift

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This article is about the region. For the television episode, see "The Gift".

The Gift, consisting of Brandon's Gift and the New Gift, is the area in the north stretching fifty leagues south from the Wall, land given to the Night's Watch in perpetuity to support and aid the Watch.[1] It is under the protection of both the Watch and Winterfell.[2] The eastern lands of the Gift consist of large rolling plans that reach the Shivering Sea, while the western regions, which end at the Bay of Ice, are increasingly forested and mountainous.[3]

History

Brandon's Gift

A Brandon Stark, usually mentioned as Bran the Builder but sometimes another Brandon, gave the land up to twenty-five leagues south of the Wall to the Night's Watch for their sustenance and support.[1] Brandon's Gift was farmed for thousands of years, but nature reclaimed many buildings and orchards as the Night's Watch decreased in number.[2]

New Gift

During the reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen thousands of years later, Good Queen Alysanne visited the Wall with her dragon, Silverwing. She held the Night's Watch in great esteem and convinced her husband Jaehaerys to double the land, extending it a further twenty-five leagues south. The new territory was named the New Gift.[1] The Starks of Winterfell were angered at being forced to surrender the territory, as they believed the Night's Watch would focus their attention beyond the Wall and would neglect the New Gift. Lord Stark's brother sought legal guidance from the maesters of the Citadel to no avail. This resentment might have contributed to Lord Ellard Stark supporting Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen in 101 AC's Great Council.[4]

The villages that exist in the New Gift pay their taxes in goods and labor to the Night's Watch, helping feed and provide food for the brothers. The New Gift contains many holdfasts, such as Queenscrown.[1][2] Of the northern mountain clans, the Norreys live closest to the New Gift.[5]

Wildings

The wildlings or free folk often enter the Gift to raid, steal, and carry off women of the north. Because of the frequency of raids, many people have fled south into the mountains or the lands of House Umber east of the kingsroad, leaving the villages and holdfasts abandoned.[1]

Lord Eddard Stark considers having new lords settled in the Gift to protect against the raids. Eddard believes the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch will approve the idea if the new lords pay taxes to Castle Black instead of Winterfell, but the plan will have to wait until after winter.[2]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

The kingsroad through the Gift is used by Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow.[6]

A Storm of Swords

During their journey to find the three-eyed crow, Bran Stark and his companions seek refuge at Queenscrown in the New Gift, which Jojen Reed observes as having good land. While they are hiding in the tower, they witness a fight between Jon Snow and Styr's Thenns.[1][2]

After the Battle of Castle Black, Stannis Baratheon informs Jon that he intends to settle wildlings in the Gift, if they swear fealty.[7] The officers of the Watch react negatively when Stannis makes his request.[8]

A Dance with Dragons

Jon Snow, the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, agrees to allow Stannis to settle free folk on the Gift,[9] but the northern mountain clans are wary of the decision.[10]

References and Notes


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