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Order of rangers
Nights Watch Rangers.jpg
Rangers defend against wildlings and Others (from Game of Thrones Blu-ray)
Type Order
Region Wall
Allegiance Night's Watch
Current Leader None
Founded Age of Heroes

The order of rangers is one of the three orders that comprise the Night's Watch. Their main duty is to defend and protect the Wall and the castles of the Night's Watch. Theirs can be considered the more dangerous tasks compared to those of the builders or stewards, as rangers are more likely to encounter wildlings and other threats north of the Wall. A senior officer, known as the First Ranger, leads the order.[1]


Rangers riding from a tunnel in the Wall, by Tomasz Jedruszek © Fantasy Flight Games

The order of rangers ventures beyond the Wall and battles the free folk when necessary.[2] While every man at the Night's Watch is expected to take up arms upon a threat, the rangers are considered the fighting heart of the Night's Watch,[3] and their is the preferred order among most recruits.[3] Some qualities expected of rangers are skill in fighting and riding.[3]

The rangers of the Night's Watch patrol and range beyond the Wall, which could mean they are away from the castle they had been stationed at for multiple days or weeks.[4][5] On occasion, rangers encounter free folk during their rangings, in which case battle might ensue. Free folk are known to sometimes wear armor taken from rangers they have killed,[6] and they carry an especially strong dislike for the rangers.[7] Nonetheless, the rangers of the Night's Watch can also be on friendly terms with free folk. For example, while they dislike the man, the rangers frequently visit Craster in his keep in the haunted forest. Craster's hospitality towards the brothers has been the difference between life and death on several occasions.[8] During rangings, rangers ride garrons.[4][5][9]

Rangers ride mules[10] to patrol the Wall, during which they search for signs of their foes. Rangers do not often encounter climbers, and occasionally they see the corpse of a wildling who failed in an attempt to climb the Wall.[11] In addition to patrolling the Wall, rangers also frequently patrol the haunted forest near Castle Black. However, due to the low numbers of rangers in the Night's Watch, the preferred number of patrols cannot be made.[12]

One blast of a sentry's horn represents returning rangers.[12][13]


Ranger of the Night's Watch, by Erich Schreiner © Fantasy Flight Games

Redwyn wrote about his rangings during the reign of Dorren Stark, King in the North.[14]

When King Jaehaerys I Targaryen and his sister-wife, Queen Alysanne Targaryen, visited the north in 58 AC, Lord Commander Lothor Burley and a hundred rangers escorted Alysanne during a visit to the haunted forest.[15]

A hundred rangers helped hunt down the raiders of Sylas the Grim in 133 AC.[16]

Mance Rayder was attacked by a shadowcat while ranging north of the Shadow Tower.[7]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

A ranger beyond the Wall, by Carlo Bocchio © Fantasy Flight Games

During a ranging beyond the Wall, rangers Gared, Will, and Ser Waymar Royce encounter Others. Will and Waymar Royce are slain,[4] while Gared manages to escape south of the Wall, where he is eventually beheaded as punishment for desertion.[17][18]

A great number of rangers have gone missing.[5][14] Benjen Stark, the First Ranger, goes out to search for Waymar with six rangers,[5] but does not return. Other rangers are sent to find Benjen, but they return empty-handed.[19] Upon the absence of Benjen, Ser Jaremy Rykker takes over command of the rangers.[1]

A Clash of Kings

Out of the two hundred brothers Lord Commander Jeor Mormont leads from Castle Black for the great ranging, some hundred and fifty are rangers.[14]

A Dance with Dragons

After the battle beneath the Wall, Jon Snow, the new Lord Commander, sends three parties led by Dywen, Black Jack Bulwer, and Kedge Whiteye to range beyond the Wall.[20] Black Jack's party is eventually slain by the Weeper.[21]

Known Rangers

Current Rangers

Historical Rangers


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 48, Jon VI.
  2. The World of Ice & Fire, The Wall and Beyond: The Night's Watch.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 41, Jon V.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 A Game of Thrones, Prologue.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 19, Jon III.
  6. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 68, Jon VIII.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 7, Jon I.
  8. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 28, Bran IV.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 13, Jon II.
  10. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 26, Jon III.
  11. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 30, Jon IV.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 52, Jon VII.
  13. A Storm of Swords, Prologue.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
  16. Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.
  17. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1, Bran I.
  18. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  19. 19.0 19.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 26, Jon IV.
  20. 20.0 20.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 28, Jon VI.
  21. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 53, Jon XI.
  22. 22.00 22.01 22.02 22.03 22.04 22.05 22.06 22.07 22.08 22.09 22.10 22.11 22.12 22.13 22.14 22.15 22.16 22.17 22.18 22.19 22.20 22.21 22.22 22.23 22.24 22.25 22.26 22.27 22.28 22.29 22.30 22.31 22.32 22.33 22.34 22.35 22.36 22.37 22.38 A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
  23. 23.00 23.01 23.02 23.03 23.04 23.05 23.06 23.07 23.08 23.09 23.10 23.11 23.12 A Clash of Kings, Appendix.
  24. 24.00 24.01 24.02 24.03 24.04 24.05 24.06 24.07 24.08 24.09 24.10 24.11 24.12 24.13 24.14 24.15 24.16 24.17 24.18 24.19 24.20 24.21 24.22 24.23 24.24 A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
  25. 25.00 25.01 25.02 25.03 25.04 25.05 25.06 25.07 25.08 25.09 25.10 25.11 25.12 25.13 25.14 25.15 25.16 25.17 25.18 25.19 25.20 25.21 25.22 25.23 25.24 25.25 25.26 25.27 25.28 A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.
  26. 26.0 26.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 33, Samwell II.
  27. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 18, Samwell I.
  28. 28.0 28.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 43, Jon V.
  29. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
  30. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
  31. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 60, Jon VIII.
  32. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 35, Jon VII.
  33. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Stoneborn of Skagos.