Mammoths are a species related to elephants.
Mammoths are large, elephant-like animals, with great tusks. They are large enough to be ridden by giants, or to carry tall wooden towers with people inside upon their backs. They leave huge footprints, and although they have an awesome strength, their huge size makes them an easy target in battle.
In 129 AC, shortly before his death, King Viserys I Targaryen told his grandchildren, Jaehaerys and Jaehaera, a tale about their great-great-grandfather, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, and great-great-grandmother, Queen Alysanne Targaryen, battling giants, mammoths, and wildlings beyond the Wall.
A Game of Thrones
Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, tells Tyrion Lannister that mammoths still live in the woods north of the Wall. He later tells Jon Snow that Cotter Pyke has written of mammoths heading south and east, towards the sea.
A Clash of Kings
A wildling taken captive by Qhorin Halfhand swears that the free folk have wargs and mammoths. As a skinchanger, Jon later enters his direwolf, Ghost, and sees giants riding mammoths. When Jon later encounters Rattleshirt and his mount, he sees that both man and mount are armored in bones, and recognizes mammoth bones among them.
A Storm of Swords
After having joined the host of the King-beyond-the-Wall, Mance Rayder, Jon sees giants and their mammoths. The stink coming off of them is choking, but Jon is unable to tell if the smell comes from the giants, or their mammoths.
When the host of Mance arrives at the Wall, Jon identifies the sound of a mammoth and thinks there are a hundred. While fighting the wildlings during the night, the defenders of Castle Black can hear mammoths trumpet. While one mammoth lies dying at the bottom of the Wall, the defenders can see another mammoth run through the woods, afire, trampling men and trees in its agony. At dawn, the burned carcass is seen covered by crows.
The wildlings continue the fight by having the giants bring up a ram. Mammoths are used to center the wildling line, a hundred or more, with giants upon their backs. The black brothers shoot arrows at the giants, and several mammoths are injured in the process. One of the injured beasts crashes into another, spilling giants over the ground, while another wounded mammoth goes berserk, smashing wildlings with his trunk and crushing archers underfoot. When the line of wildlings, giants and mammoths reaches the gate, the Night's Watch pushes an oil barrel down, which is set aflame. The remaining mammoths flee in terror, and the center breaks. During the next night, the wildlings skin one of the dead mammoths, and use its hide to cover the roof of the wooden turtle which covers a new ram.
When the southron knights of Stannis Baratheon attack the wildling camp, the mammoths begin to wander west. They manage to shatter the center column of knights, and when the wildling hosts starts to break, only the giants upon their mammoths are able to hold. Eventually, however, the battle beneath the Wall is lost, and a few giants and mammoths are taken captive. The others flee.
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons
Stannis and Melisandre urge the wildling captives to join them by embracing the Lord of Light. Out of the forty captives that refuse, four are giants. One of them refuses to leave his mammoth behind, and the other giants refuse to leave their fellow giant. The captives are allowed to go, and the giants with their mammoth are the last to leave. Two of them ride the mammoth, while the other two walk.
Tormund's host contains more than eighty mammoths. As they are too big to pass the gate of Castle Black, they go the long way around, passing the Wall at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. His people are required to give up their wealth while passing the gate, and among the items they give up is a toy mammoth made of actual mammoth hair.
The giants swayed slowly atop the mammoths as they rode past two by two. Jon's garron shied, frightened by such strangeness, but whether it was the mammoths or their riders that scared him it was hard to say. Even Ghost backed off a step, baring his teeth in a silent snarl. The direwolf was big, but the mammoths were a deal bigger, and there were many and more of them.Jon Snow's thoughts
And Joramun blew the Horn of Winter, and woke giants from the earth. Is that where they had come from, them and their mammoths? Had Mance Rayder found the Horn of Joramun, and given it to Tormund Thunderfist to blow?—Jon Snow's thoughts
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 15, Jon II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 69, Jon IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 64, Jon VIII.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Coming of the First Men.
- Not a Blog: A FIRE & BLOOD Excerpt just for YOU! (27 September, 2018)
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 13, Tyrion II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: Ib.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 21, Tyrion III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 34, Bran III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 48, Jon VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 43, Jon V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 53, Jon VII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 68, Jon VIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion X.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 10, Jon III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 75, Samwell IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 53, Jon XI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 58, Jon XII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 1, Tyrion I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 66, Tyrion XII.