Shadow Tower

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The north and the location of the Shadow Tower
The north and the location of the Shadow Tower
Shadow Tower
The north and the location of the Shadow Tower
The castles of the Wall © HBO

The Shadow Tower is one of three castles along the Wall that are still inhabited by the Night's Watch. It is located next to the northern mountains at the western end of the Wall.[1] It lies west of Sentinel Stand and east of Westwatch-by-the-Bridge,[2] both abandoned castles.

The commander of the Shadow Tower is Ser Denys Mallister, and its maester is Mullin. Two hundred men of the Watch are stationed at the Shadow Tower.[3] Most wear leather and fur, although some are armored with bronze or steel.[4] Some are armed with longaxes and eight-foot spears.[5] Free folk sometimes descend into the Gorge to bypass the Shadow Tower.[6]


Redwyn, a ranger who lived during the reign of King Dorren Stark, wrote an account of a ranging from the Shadow Tower to Lorn Point on the Frozen Shore. During that ranging, they fought giants and traded with the children of the forest.[7][8]

Ser Denys Mallister has commanded the Shadow Tower since 267 AC.[9] Mance Rayder served at the Shadow Tower before he abandoned the Night's Watch. Mance's black cloak was torn when he was attacked by shadowcat during a ranging beyond the Wall, so a free folk woman mended it with red silk. When Denys ordered Mance to wear an all-black cloak once the ranger returned to the Shadow Tower, Mance deserted the next morning.[10]

Lord Commander Qorgyle sent patrols from Castle Black to the Shadow Tower every second day.[11]

A cook at the Shadow Tower raped dozens of septas before he was caught and sent to the Night's Watch for his crimes. He burned a seven-pointed star into his flesh for each one. His left arm is stars from wrist to elbow, and stars mark his calves as well.[12]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

The Shadow Tower, by Franz Miklis © Fantasy Flight Games

Ser Denys Mallister writes that increasing numbers of wildlings are slipping past the Shadow Tower,[3] and his rangers find abandoned villages beyond the Wall.[13]

Qhorin Halfhand ventures forth from the castle in search of Benjen Stark, but is unable to find the First Ranger.[14] Ser Endrew Tarth travels from the Shadow Tower to become the new master-at-arms at Castle Black, after Ser Alliser Thorne leaves for King's Landing.[15]

A Clash of Kings

Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, considers re-garrisoning Stonedoor using men from the Shadow Tower.[4]

One hundred men from the Shadow Tower—including lead rangers Qhorin Halfhand, Ebben, Dalbridge, and Stonesnake—arrive at the Fist of the First Men to augment the main force from Castle Black.[4]

A Storm of Swords

The Shadow Tower, by Juan Carlos Barquet © Fantasy Flight Games

Qhorin's second-in-command, Blane, commands the Shadow Tower men in his absence during the fight at the Fist.[16]

Maester Aemon sends ravens to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea and the Shadow Tower to warn of Thenns.[17] Men from the Shadow Tower make up the bulk of the Night's Watch who fight at the Bridge of Skulls.[18] Maester Mullin treats Bowen Marsh after the battle.[18]

Denys, Bowen, and other men from the Shadow Tower ride toward Castle Black, picking up Samwell Tarly and Gilly en route.[19]

After the battle beneath the Wall, Shadow Tower men are housed in Castle Black's Lance tower.[9]

A Dance with Dragons

The Weeper is said to be gathering free folk to cross the Bridge of Skulls and threaten the Shadow Tower.[20]

A grizzled steward from the Shadow Tower is re-assigned as commander of the newly-formed garrison at Greyguard.[21]

Denys sends regular ravens to Castle Black requesting additional men for the Shadow Tower.[22] Lord Commander Jon Snow re-assigns Halder and Toad to meet his demands, as well as ten untrained men from Mole's Town.[21][23]

The garrison of the Shadow Tower spot multiple fires in the night north of the Gorge. Denys believes wildlings are amassing to force the Bridge of Skulls once more.[24] When free folk are allowed to cross the Wall at Castle Black, sixty hostages are sent to the Shadow Tower and Eastwatch.[25]


It was not long until the first of the brothers from the Shadow Tower began wending their way up the slope. All in leather and fur they were, with here and there a bit of steel or bronze; heavy beards covered hard lean faces, and made them look as shaggy as their garrons.[4]

—thoughts of Jon Snow