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Dagmer Cleftjaw
Rafal Hrynkiewicz dagmarcleftjaw.jpg
Dagmer Cleftjaw, by Rafal Hrynkiewicz © Fantasy Flight Games.

Allegiance House Greyjoy
Culture Ironborn
Born Iron Islands[3]

Played by Ralph Ineson
TV series Game of Thrones: Season 2

Dagmer, known as Cleftjaw[2] and Dagmer Cleftjaw,[1] is the ironborn captain of the longship Foamdrinker and the master-at-arms for House Greyjoy of Pyke.[3] In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, he is portrayed by Ralph Ineson.

Appearance and Character

Dagmer has a hideous scar on his mouth where it was cut with a longaxe. His front teeth are smashed, and both lips are split in two. Dagmer has snow white hair, and a shaggy beard, but the hair does not grow where the scar is. His remaining teeth are rotten.[4]

Dagmer wears many rings, gold and silver and bronze, set with sapphires and garnets and dragonglass, all of which he won by the iron price.[4]

Dagmer is proud but not prickly. He often smiles to show approval.[4] Dagmer enjoys reaving songs when he drinks, and he is fond of a song written about how his jaw was cracked.[4]


Dagmer is the descendant of a House Greyjoy bastard from four or five generations ago. When Dagmer was a boy, a longaxe blow nearly killed him, splintering his jaw, smashing his front teeth, and leaving him four lips instead of two.[4] Dagmer once spent a summer reaving in the Stepstones with a young Balon Greyjoy.[5] He was one of the most skilled warriors of the ironborn when he was younger.[4]

Dagmer trained Lord Balon's son, Theon, in arms, riding, and sailing.[4] Theon gets on well with the old raider,[1] whom he calls "Uncle".[4]

Dagmer Cleftjaw is the subject of stories that Old Nan told the Stark children. In her stories, Dagmer could not be killed. According to Old Nan, a foe had cut Dagmer's head in two with an axe, but Dagmer was so fierce that he simply pushed the two halves back together and held them in place until they healed.[6]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Dagmer Cleftjaw leading a large crew of House Greyjoy warriors, by Tomasz Jedruszek © Fantasy Flight Games

Lord Balon Greyjoy sends Dagmer to Old Wyk to raise the Stonehouses and the Drumms.[1][7] He is then ordered to accompany Balon's surviving son, Theon, and Balon's brother, Aeron, during the harrying of the Stony Shore.[7] When Theon attacks a northern village, Dagmer laughs and obeys when Theon orders him to stay behind and defend the eight longships.[4]

When Theon returns after fighting Benfred Tallhart and his Wild Hares, he convinces Dagmer to follow his plan to take Winterfell, playing on the old reaver's lust for glory. Aeron will take six ships, excepting Theon's Sea Bitch and Dagmer's Foamdrinker, and continue raiding the western coast of the north.[4] Dagmer is to attack Torrhen's Square and draw out the garrison from Winterfell when its castellan, Ser Rodrik Cassel, learns of the fearsome ironborn warrior.[6] Dagmer objects that sieges are not the Old Way, and he would have not enough men to storm Torrhen's Square or defeat Rodrik's garrison, but Theon says he intends to slip in and take the under-manned Winterfell while the garrison is away.[4]

Dagmer loses the fight at Torrhen's Square and leads the survivors back to the Stony Shore,[8] but his distraction of Rodrik allows Theon to seize Winterfell.[8]

A Storm of Swords

At some point after Rodrik and Leobald Tallhart, the castellan of Torrhen's Square, depart to retake Winterfell, Dagmer returns to Torrhen's Square, and his ironmen take the sparsely defended keep.[9]

A Dance with Dragons

Dagmer continues to hold Torrhen's Square with his force of ironborn.[10] Some of Asha Greyjoy's men consider leaving Deepwood Motte to aid Dagmer, but before they can do so, they are attacked by Stannis Baratheon in the fight by Deepwood Motte.[11] After Asha is captured by Stannis, she offers to help him recover Torrhen's Square from Dagmer's ironmen, but Stannis is focused on the more important Winterfell.[12]

Quotes by Dagmer

Dagmer by Jason Jenicke © Fantasy Flight Games

The day is won, and yet you do not smile, boy. The living should smile, for the dead cannot.[4]

—Dagmer to Theon Greyjoy

These old knights are more cunning than you think, or they would never have lived to see their first grey hair.[4]

—Dagmer to Theon Greyjoy

Quotes about Dagmer

He gave me more smiles than my father and Eddard Stark together.[4]

Theon Greyjoy's thoughts

His hair is white and his teeth are rotten, but he still has a taste for glory.[4]

Theon Greyjoy's thoughts

If I had a man like you in my service, I should not waste him on this child's business of harrying and burning. This is no work for Lord Balon's best man...[4]

Theon Greyjoy to Dagmer

Old Nan said he couldn't be killed, that once a foe had cut his head in two with an axe, but Dagmer was so fierce he'd just pushed the two halves back together and held them until they healed up.[6]

—thoughts of Bran Stark


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