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Sam escaping with Gilly and newborn baby through the forest. Isabel aka Guad©

Alias the little monster
the abomination
Culture Free Folk
Born In 299 AC[1], at Craster's Keep[1]
Book(s) A Storm of Swords (Appears)
A Feast for Crows (Appears)
A Dance with Dragons (Appears)

The wildling infant son of Gilly and her father-husband Craster has not received a given name yet. Some members of the Night's Watch have called him the abomination,[2][3] as he is a product of incest. Val thinks of him as a sweet little monster and the monster, using it as a milk name.[4] Jon Snow then thinks of the infant as Monster.[5]


The free folk consider that naming a child too early brings bad luck, since infant mortality is widespread. The children receive proper names when they reach the age of two. Gilly follows the same rule.[6][7] Temporary "milk names" can be assigned prior to the official naming. Val chooses the name monster for the boy.[4][8]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

During the Great Ranging when the Night's Watch stops at Craster's Keep, Gilly encounters and befriends Samwell Tarly. She is pregnant with Craster's child, and fears that if she gives birth to a son, Craster will sacrifice him to the Others. She beseeches Samwell to help her, and Samwell agrees, sending her to Jon Snow, to the annoyance of the latter.[9] Gilly appeals to Jon, but he refuses to help her.

A Storm of Swords

After the Battle of the Fist of the First Men, as the Night's Watch pauses to regroup at Craster's Keep, Gilly gives birth to a son. Craster is killed before he can sacrifice the child, and in the confusion Gilly and two of Craster's other wives approach Samwell Tarly to convince him to take Gilly and the babe. Shortly thereafter Sam, Gilly and her newborn son flee south. After arriving at the Wall, she serves as a wet nurse to Mance Rayder's son after his wife, Dalla, dies in childbirth.

A Feast For Crows

Gilly is sent south aboard a ship to Oldtown (via Braavos) with Samwell Tarly, Dareon, and Maester Aemon, ostensibly with her child; in truth Lord Commander Jon Snow swapped her child with that of Mance Rayder's, to spare the innocent child from Melisandre's flames on account of his king's blood, leaving Gilly’s son at the Wall.

For much of the journey Gilly is overcome with grief at being separated from her child, but after Aemon's death aboard the Cinnamon Wind and becoming a lover to Samwell, she recovers. Upon their arrival at Oldtown, Gilly is sent to Samwell's old home at Horn Hill with the story that her child is a bastard fathered by Samwell – when in truth the child is the child of Mance and Dalla and Gilly's real son is still at the Wall.

A Dance with Dragons

It is revealed that Jon Snow managed to secretly switch the infants in order to prevent Melisandre from burning Mance and Dalla's son. He tells King Stannis Baratheon that Gilly is just another mouth to feed and he wants her gone. Jon's lie to Stannis works because it is based on Gilly's child being more robust, when in fact Gilly's child is the weaker of the two infants. This confuses Stannis and when Jon explains to him that Gilly's father was also her husband Stannis is shocked. He tells Jon that he will not suffer such an abomination at the Wall. Jon tells Gilly her son will not burn as Melisandre can gain nothing by giving him to the fire and Stannis will not burn an innocent without good cause:

See also

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 33, Samwell II.
  2. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 15, Samwell II.
  3. A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 39, Jon VIII.
  5. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 49, Jon X.
  6. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 46, Samwell III.
  7. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 75, Samwell IV.
  8. The custom of assigning temporary milk names does exist in Chinese culture. These names are typically either abandoned following the official naming, or survive as familial nicknames. These pet names are known and used only among closely related family members.
  9. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 23, Jon III.

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