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.
The order of rangers ventures beyond the Wall and battles the free folk when necessary. 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, and their is the preferred order among most recruits. Some qualities expected of rangers are skill in fighting and riding.
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. 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, and they carry an especially strong dislike for the rangers. 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. During rangings, rangers ride garrons.
Rangers ride mules 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. 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.
A Game of Thrones
During a ranging beyond the Wall, rangers Gared, Will, and Ser Waymar Royce encounter Others. Will and Waymar Royce are slain, while Gared manages to escape south of the Wall, where he is eventually beheaded as punishment for desertion.
A great number of rangers have gone missing. Benjen Stark, the First Ranger, goes out to search for Waymar with six rangers, but does not return. Other rangers are sent to find Benjen, but they return empty-handed. Upon the absence of Benjen, Ser Jaremy Rykker takes over command of the rangers.
A Clash of Kings
- Ser Aladale Wynch
- Alan of Rosby
- Ser Alliser Thorne, a senior ranger who serves as the master-at-arms of Castle Black. He is later relieved of this duty, and assumes the duties of a ranger.
- Bearded Ben
- Bedwyck, also known as Giant
- Benjen Stark, First Ranger during the command of Jeor Mormont.
- Black Bernarr
- Blane, a ranger from the Shadow Tower.
- Brown Bernarr
- Dalbridge, a veteran ranger
- Dick Follard
- Duncan Liddle, known as Big Liddle
- Ebben, also mistakenly called "Eggen", a veteran ranger
- Emmett, also known as Iron Emmett, Ser Alliser Thorne's successor as master-at-arms at Castle Black
- Garrett Greenspear
- Garth Greyfeather
- Garth of Greenaway
- Garth of Oldtown
- Geoff, also called the Squirrel
- Grenn, also known as Aurochs
- Hairy Hal
- Jack Bulwer, also known as Black Jack Bulwer, First Ranger during command of Jon Snow.
- Jafer Flowers
- Jarman Buckwell, also spelled as "Jarmen Buckwell", a senior ranger.
- Jax, a wildling
- Ser Jaremy Rykker, who takes over the duties of the First Ranger after Benjen Stark goes missing.
- Kedge Whiteye
- Lark, also known as the Sisterman.
- Leathers, a wildling
- Luke of Longtown
- Mance Rayder, an ex-ranger, now "King-Beyond-the-Wall".
- Ollo Lophand
- Ser Ottyn Wythers
- Pypar, also known as Pyp
- Qhorin Halfhand, a senior ranger from the Shadow Tower
- Ronnel Harclay
- Stonesnake, a veteran ranger
- Thoren Smallwood, a senior ranger
- Tim Stone
- Tom Barleycorn
- Ser Waymar Royce
- Ser Wynton Stout
- An unknown member of House Stane, who briefly served as the First Ranger a thousand years ago.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 48, Jon VI.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Wall and Beyond: The Night's Watch.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 41, Jon V.
- A Game of Thrones, Prologue.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 19, Jon III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 68, Jon VIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 7, Jon I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 28, Bran IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 13, Jon II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 26, Jon III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 30, Jon IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 52, Jon VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Prologue.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1, Bran I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 26, Jon IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
- A Clash of Kings, Appendix.
- A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
- A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 28, Jon VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 33, Samwell II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 18, Samwell I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 43, Jon V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 60, Jon VIII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 35, Jon VII.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Stoneborn of Skagos.