Lord Commander of the Night's Watch
Lord Commander of the Night's Watch is the title held by the most senior officer of the Night's Watch; his seat is at Castle Black. The Lord Commander is the final authority and oversees the entire organization. He is assisted by the maester of Castle Black, the First Ranger, the Lord Steward, the First Builder, and other high officers under him. The Lord Commander serves in office until the day he dies. The plural form includes "Lords Commander" and "lord commanders".
When a Lord Commander dies, any sworn man of the Night's Watch can nominate himself or be nominated by his brothers for the position. To win the election the candidates are required to receive two-thirds of the votes of the Sworn Brothers of the Night's Watch.
If no candidate receives two-thirds of the votes, the choosing is repeated on the next day, with no time limit set, in fact there was once a choosing that lasted near two years and seven hundred votes. All sworn brothers of the Night's Watch have a vote, but since it is impossible for everyone to attend, the garrison commanders of those not at Castle Black cast the vote for them.
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons
Lord Commanders during A Song of Ice and Fire
- Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander, elected in 300 AC by an overwhelming margin. Previously served as Lord Commander Jeor Mormont's personal steward.
- Jeor Mormont, 997th Lord Commander, elected in 288 AC. Called 'the Old Bear'. Killed by his own men in the mutiny at Craster's Keep during the great ranging.
Historical Lord Commanders
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- Lord Commander Qorgyle, 996th Lord Commander. He was of House Qorgyle, although his first name is never given. He died in 288 AC.
- Brynden Rivers, called 'Bloodraven', a bastard son of King Aegon IV Targaryen and Hand of the King to King Aerys I and Maekar I Targaryen. Arrested and send to the Wall by King Aegon V Targaryen after the Great Council of 233 AC. He was elected to the post of Lord Commander in 239 AC, but disappeared on a ranging in 252 AC.
- Jack Musgood, know as Sleepy Jack after 226 AC, when he was caught off guard allowing the King-beyond-the-Wall, Raymun Redbeard, to pass the Wall and was thus late for the Battle of Long Lake.
- Orbert Caswell, the Black Centaur. Held the position for nine years.
- Lord Commander Hoare. He was of House Hoare, although his first name is never given. He refused to involve the Night's Watch in a war against the invading Targaryens, even to save his House. His brother, King Harren the Black, was slain by dragons.
- Robin Hill, one of the three Lords Commander who nearly destroyed the Watch when they forgot their vows in favor of their pride and ambition.
- Tristan Mudd, one of the three Lords Commander who nearly destroyed the Watch when they forgot their vows in favor of their pride and ambition.
- Marq Rankenfell, one of the three Lords Commander who nearly destroyed the Watch when they forgot their vows in favor of their pride and ambition.
- Osric Stark, a brother or son of a King in the North. He was chosen Lord Commander when he was 10, making him the youngest Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. He served for 60 years.
- Lord Commander Crowl, who led the Watch over a thousand years ago.
- Rodrik Flint, thought to make himself King-beyond-the-Wall.
- Runcel Hightower, tried to make the position of Lord Commander hereditary and pass the position to his son.
- The Night's King, 13th Lord Commander who converted the Night's Watch into his own personal army and led it in battle against the King of Winter and Joramun, the King-Beyond-the-Wall.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 55, Jon VII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 49, Jon X.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 75, Samwell IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 48, Jon VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 13, Jon II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 33, Samwell II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 78, Samwell V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 79, Jon XII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 69, Jon XIII.
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