|Allegiance||House Kenning of Harlaw|
|Died||In 300 AC, at Moat Cailin|
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)|
A Dance with Dragons (appears)
A Feast for Crows
Ralf is one of the captains under the command of Victarion Greyjoy at Moat Cailin. He urges Victarion to stake a claim on the Seastone Chair. When Victarion objects that his brother Balon commanded him to hold Moat Cailin against the northmen, Ralf points out that the northmen are already beaten and that there is no sense in holding Moat Cailin while losing the Iron Isles.
After Aeron Greyjoy calls the kingsmoot, Victarion sails for Old Wyk and leaves Ralf in command at Moat Cailin, telling him to hold the castle till Victarion returns as the new king and with a force of one thousand men. Ralf is listed as one of Victarion's supporters at the kingsmoot, though he is not actually present at the event.
A Dance with Dragons
The dwindling force of ironborn left behind by Victarion Greyjoy and commanded by Ralf as castellan is still holding Moat Cailin, not knowing that Victarion was defeated at the kingsmoot and that the new king, Euron Greyjoy, has no intention of coming to their help. While standing on the parapet, Ralf is grazed with a poisoned arrow loosened by a crannogman. It is only a scratch, but the wound festers. It is treated with boiling wine but without success. His men eventually leave Ralf dying in his bed without taking care of him any longer.
When Ramsay Bolton sends Theon Greyjoy to give terms for capitulation to the ironborn during the Siege of Moat Cailin, Theon asks to speak to the commander. He is told that Ralf Kenning is in charge, but he lies dying in his chambers, might even be dead already. Theon requests to be brought to him. When he comes to Ralf's room, Theon finds him lying naked in the bed, covered with scabs and sores, one cheek grotesquely swollen, the neck engorged with blood and one arm infested by maggots. His beard is full of vomit and he has not been bathed or shaved for days. Seeing there is no hope for the man, Theon takes Ralf's sword and ends his misery.
While leading the ironmen to Ramsay's camp after they have abandoned the castle, Theon muses how exposed all of them are to arrows by the "bog devils". He hopes that the archer who might target him at least has a good aim, as he would not want to die as miserably as Ralf. However, while thinking of the torture that he has suffered at the hands of Ramsay and may suffer again, Theon begins to wonder if Ralf's fate is preferable to his.