Desmond Grell

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House Grell.svg
Desmond Grell
Night's Watch.svg

Jeff Lee Johnson Ser Desmond Grell.png
Ser Desmond Grell. © Fantasy Flight Games

Title(s) Ser
Master-at-arms at Riverrun
Castellan of Riverrun
Allegiance House Grell
Night's Watch
Culture(s) Rivermen
Born In or between 238 AC and 240 AC (roughly)[1]
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (appears)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (appears)
A Dance with Dragons (appendix)

Ser Desmond Grell is the master-at-arms at Riverrun.[2] Ser Desmond has spent the better part of his life in service to House Tully.[3]


He has a large belly.[3]


Desmond was born of House Grell, one of the minor houses of the riverlands. He entered the service of Lord Hoster Tully at a young age. Catelyn Tully says he was a squire when she was born, a knight by the time she learned to ride and the master-at arms at Riverrun before she was wed to Eddard Stark.[4] During Catelyn's bedding on her wedding night, he apologized for every bawdy joke he made about her.[5]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Ser Desmond is in charge of training new bowmen to replace those lost in the Battle of Riverrun and the Battle of the Camps.[6] During the attempt to free Ser Jaime Lannister from his cell, Ser Desmond's squire Myles is slain by Ser Jaime.[3] When Edmure Tully rides out to meet the Lannister forces at the Battle of the Fords, he leaves Ser Desmond as commander of Riverrun in his absence.[7]

A Storm of Swords

Ser Desmond is named castellan of Riverrun upon Edmure Tully's departure. Thus he has to deal with Catelyn Tully's betrayal when she lets Ser Jaime Lannister go. He imprisons her in her father's rooms while awaiting the return of her brother and son.[4] He is supposed to be one of the nobles who launch Lord Hoster Tully's funeral boat, but is asked to step aside when Lothar Frey, the envoy from the Twins, has arrived with Lord Walder Frey's response to King Robb Stark's overtures.[8]

A Feast for Crows

After the surrender of Riverrun and the exile of House Tully, Ser Desmond asks to join the Night's Watch. He is joined by Ser Robin Ryger. Both are escorted to Maidenpool by Raff the Sweetling.[9]


You say I'm free to go, but where? I'm too old and too stout to make a hedge knight. But men are always welcome at the Wall.

—Ser Desmond to Jaime Lannister on why he prefers to take the black