Fight at the Bridge of Skulls

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Fight at the Bridge of Skulls
Conflict Conflict Beyond the Wall
Date +/- 300 AC
Place Bridge of Skulls and the Gorge
Result Night's Watch victory
Night's Watch Free folk
Bowen Marsh The Weeper
Over 390, up to 490[1] 300
Ser Endrew Tarth
Ser Aladale Wynch

The Fight at the Bridge of Skulls[2] is a costly victory for the Night's Watch over wildlings. It is fought on the Bridge of Skulls and near the Gorge.


Mance Rayder leads the gathered free folk south to attack the Wall. In order to draw away the defenders from Castle Black, Mance sends raiding parties to attack several areas of the Wall to draw attention away from the main host. First Steward Bowen Marsh, the castellan of Castle Black, takes the bait and, with the majority of the men at Castle Black, sets off after the raiding party that is attacking the Shadow Tower.

While the main strength is away from Castle Black, the gate beneath the Wall is lightly defended which would allow Mance to assault the gate and try to break through the Wall.


Bowen Marsh corners the Weeper and three hundred wildlings on the Bridge of Skulls. It is a bloody battle, with a hundred brothers of the Night's Watch slain in the engagement. It is unknown what the wildling casualties are.[3]


Bowen Marsh is seriously wounded in the battle and has to be carried to the Shadow Tower in a litter. Ser Endrew Tarth and Ser Aladale Wynch are slain in the battle. This delays the return of the garrison to Castle Black, which is under assault from the main wildling force.[3]

Known Participants


We bled to stop the wildlings at the Gorge. Good men were slain there, friends and brothers.[4]

- Bowen Marsh to Jon Snow

References and Notes

  1. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 48, Jon VI, Bowen Marsh takes all but 40 of of the roughly 430 post-ranging brothers at Castle Black, plus help sent from the 100 at the Shadow Tower.
  2. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 75, Samwell IV.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 69, Jon IX.
  4. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 10, Jon III.