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Night's Watch.svg
Night's Watch.svg

Alias Aurochs
Allegiance Night's Watch
Culture Westeros
Born In 281 AC or 282 AC[1]
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (Appears)
A Clash of Kings (Appears)
A Storm of Swords (Appears)
A Feast for Crows (Appears)
A Dance with Dragons (Appears)

Played by Mark Stanley
TV series Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4

Grenn is a member of the Night's Watch. He was given the nickname Aurochs by Ser Alliser Thorne.[2] He is named to the rangers when he swears his vows.[3] In the TV series he is played by Mark Stanley.

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Grenn

Grenn is thick of neck.[2] He is a head taller than Jon, at the age of sixteen.[2]

Jon Snow's original impression of him is that he is slow and clumsy.[2] Even his friends in the Night's Watch often mock him for his looks and for not being the smartest.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Grenn is one of the novices when Jon Snow comes to join the Night's Watch. They are trained together by Ser Alliser Thorne and both suffer verbal abuse by him, with Ser Alliser deriding Jon as "Lord Snow" and Grenn as "Aurochs". One day, while training with blunted swords, Jon defeats Grenn and causes an injury at his hand. Grenn, Todder and two other novices, all of them older than Jon, fed up with being beaten by him in practice, later confront him and accuse him of making them look bad before Ser Alliser. Jon has a very low opinion of all of them and is defiant. The situation evolves into a physical altercation but is stopped by Donal Noye in time. Noye afterwards advises Jon about how much advantage he has over the other men because of his upbringing and that he'll end up getting his throat slit at night, if he doesn't chage his attitude towards his equals. Jon later finds Grenn sitting in the common hall of Castle Black, laughing and cursing with other men, and decides to stay away from them. However, after he has received news that his brother Bran has woken from his coma, he is conciliatory towards Grenn, offering to teach him how to defend against the move that has caused his injury. This leads to an exchange with Ser Alliser, who resents Jon posing as instructor and predicts that nobody is going to teach an inept recruit like Grenn anything. Jon counters him with a comment that makes everyone laugh, earning him a new enemy in Ser Alliser and a new friend in Grenn.[2]

Grenn trains with Jon Snow and his sword fighting soon improves. He is able to hold his own against a more adept novice such as Halder now, as Jon explains to Tyrion Lannister. As a result, Pypar also asks Jon for help.[4]

Ser Alliser picks on Samwell Tarly when he arrives at the Wall and wants Halder to hurt the inept novice even after he has been defeated. Jon Snow, again defying Ser Alliser, interferes and calls on Halder to stop hurting an opponent who has yielded. Ser Alliser commands Rast and Albett to join Halder's attack on Sam and his shield Jon, but Grenn and Pyp come to Jon's help. In the ensuing fight, Grenn stands his ground against Albett and Jon's group prevails, to Ser Alliser's disgust. Grenn joins Jon and Pyp as they introduce themselves to Sam. He asks Sam why he didn't counter the attack and is shocked when Sam describes himself as a coward. When Sam has left, he says he wishes he wouldn't have helped Sam, as nobody likes cravens. After Jon has heard Sam's story on how his father made him join the Night's Watch, he convinces other novices to not hurt Sam during practice, no matter what Ser Alliser says. Grenn is first anxious about Jon's suggestion but then assents. However, Rast declares that if Ser Alliser sends him against Sam, he will have no qualms hurting "Lady Piggy". Grenn, Jon and Pyp later pay Rast a visit in his cell and use Jon's direwolf Ghost as threat to make him relent on the issue. The novices all treat Sam lightly during practice afterwards, no matter how much Ser Alliser rages. On Jon's invitation, Sam joins the group consisting of Grenn, Jon, Pyp and Halder during meals and eventually even shares in their jests.[5]

When a new group of recruits is announced, Ser Alliser names eight novices ready to join the Night's Watch, Grenn, Jon Snow, Pyp and Halder among them. They celebrate together, drinking some wine. When they later talk about what positions they will be assigned to, Grenn says he hopes he'll be named a ranger, but is told that everyone wants to be that.[6]

Grenn and Toad are surprised to see Sam in the sept among those who are about to give their vows, not knowing that Jon Snow has asked Maester Aemon to request Sam as his steward. When Lord Commander Mormont says that he expects Jon to make his vow in front of a weirwood rather than in the sept, Grenn is suprised, as he has never seen a godswood in Castle Black. Grenn is assigned to the rangers, which makes him very happy. He doesn't even notice that Jon has been assigned to the stewards.[3]

Following the arrest of Lord Eddard Stark as a traitor, Grenn is among those who lend support to Jon Snow, telling him that the accusation is a lie. He and others stop Jon from attacking Ser Alliser with a knife when Ser Alliser calls him "not only a bastard, but a traitor's bastard".[7]

Jon Snow saves the life of Lord Commander Mormont when he is attacked by a wight. Out of gratitude, the Old Bear gives Jon his family sword Longclaw as a gift. Afterwards, Grenn joins others who ask Jon to show them the sword, explaining that they knew about the present before he did.[8]

He is among the group of friends that stop Jon Snow from abandoning the Wall and forswearing himself following the execution of his father. When Jon declares he needs to be with his brother Robb, Grenn says that those of the Night's Watch are his brothers now. He goes on explaining that, while everyone is sorry about Lord Eddard's fate, Jon cannot go back once he has made the vow.[9]

A Clash of Kings

Grenn beyond the Wall - by Amok ©

Grenn participates in the Great Ranging led by Lord Commander Mormont. Before it starts, he joins other brothers who go to Mole's Town for drinking and whoring.[10]

During the ranging, Grenn serves as an outrider and is usually paired with Dywen. The gnarled, veteran ranger takes on a mentor role; clouting Grenn on the ear and advising the young Ranger. When the group approaches Craster's Keep, Dywen tells Grenn that Craster was born of a wildling woman and a ranger. Dywen later warns Jon Snow and others to not look after Craster's wives. When Grenn asks how many wives Craster does have, Dywen answers that it's more than Grenn will ever have, hinting that Craster breeds his own wives. Grenn later challenges the truth of Dywen's boast that he slept with three of Craster's daughters during the night, explaining that he would have noticed that.[11]

The men reach the Fist of the First Men. Dywen declares there is a strange smell around the place. Grenn asks him to elaborate and Dywen says that it smells cold.[12]

Jon Snow makes daggers from the stash of dragonglass he has found at the Fist, keeping one for himself and giving the other two to Grenn and Lord Commander Mormont.[13]

When Jon Snow kills Qhorin Halfhand on his command to prove that he has foresaken the Night's Watch so that he can infiltrate the camp of Mance Rayder, Jon wonders for a moment whether he has lost all his friends now, thinking in this context of Grenn, among others.[14]

A Storm of Swords

Grenn survives the Fist of the First Men, where the Night's Watch is attacked by wights. During the march south, an Other comes upon him, Samwell Tarly and Small Paul. Small Paul is killed, but Samwell manages to kill the Other with a dragonglass dagger. Grenn is among those who make it back to Craster's Keep. During the mutiny, Grenn flees with others after the death of Lord Commander Jeor Mormont.

A Feast for Crows

Grenn complains that Jon has not been the same since being made Lord Commander.

A Dance with Dragons

Grenn is seen sitting with Pyp and the rest in the common room. They invite Jon to sit with them, and as much as Jon would like to, he has to refuse.


Sometimes I think everyone is just pretending to be brave, and none of us really are. [15]

References and Notes

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