Donal Noye

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Donal Noye
Donal Noye by Amoka©
Donal Noye by Amoka©

Allegiance House Baratheon
Night's Watch
Died In 300 AL, at The Wall, near Castle Black
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (Appears)
A Clash of Kings (Appears)
A Storm of Swords (Appears)
A Feast for Crows (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (Mentioned)

Donal Noye is an armorer, smith, and steward of the Night's Watch.[1] He used to be a smith and a soldier for the Baratheons.


Donal Noye has a big belly and a pinned-up sleeve. His jaws bristle with black stubble.[2][3] He is muscular and very strong, even with one hand missing. His nose is broad and flat.[4]


Before he joined the the Night's Watch, Donal was a Baratheon man. He had worked as a smith at Storm's End and made Robert's warhammer as well as Stannis's first sword.[5]

Noye had left to join the Night's Watch as a smith, after losing his arm during the Siege of Storm's End.[6]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Donal Noye sees Jon Snow easily beating his fellow Night's Watch recruits in training. He lectures Jon that the youth does not fight fair. Jon has experience from capable trainers, such as Ser Rodrik Cassel, while the other recruits have little, if any practice. Furthermore, Jon humiliates them by showing how easily he can beat them, making the recruits fear and despise him.[4]

Jon is initially angered by what Donal says, but he befriends the other recruits and begins training them. He also becomes on friendly terms with the smith. Jon begins to help Donal in the armory.[7]

A Clash of Kings

Donal wishes Jon well when the youth joins the Great Ranging beyond the Wall.[2]

A Storm of Swords

Donal Noye – by Brittmartin ©

Donal Noye is one of the few people to remain at Castle Black. When Jon escapes Styr's wildlings and runs to Castle Black to warn of the coming assault, Donal is concerned that Jon had deserted. However, he ends up trusting the boy and brings him to Maester Aemon for treatment of his wounds and to begin preparing for the defense of the Wall. Despite having only one arm, Donal carries Jon without difficulty up the stairs and holds Jon down when Aemon cuts out the arrow piercing him.[3]

The remaining men of the Night's Watch at Castle Black retreat to the King's Tower, because the other buildings are not defensible. Donal, taking command, sends warning to Mole's Town and offers the villagers refuge in the King's Tower if they help defend it.[8] During the fight the wildlings manage to claim the stairs despite severe losses and the remaining men of the Night's Watch flee to the Wall. Noye, having prepared for this by drenching the last landings with oil, has burning arrows fired. The attacking Thenns perish to a man.[8]

Although the Night's Watch had defended the Wall against Styr's company of wildlings who had climbed the Wall, there is still the vast army under command of Mance Rayder north of the Wall to deal with. Donal again leads the defense. The wildlings have no ladders to climb the wall, so they attack the gate. When the giant Mag the Mighty begins to break it, Noye leaves with a few men to save it. Before he leaves Donal gives Jon Snow command of the Wall. Noye succeeds in stopping the wildlings at the gate, at the cost of his life and of the men who went with him.[9] Jon finds that Mag had crushed Donal's spine and that Donal had impaled his sword in the giant's throat.

When the Night's Watch is on the brink of defeat, Stannis Baratheon appears with his army and defeats the wildlings in the Battle of Castle Black. According to Stannis, if the wildlings had already taken the Wall this may not have been possible.[5]

A Dance with Dragons

Because Stannis is residing in the King's Tower, Jon Snow, now Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, moves into Donal's modest room with a narrow bed behind Castle Black's armory. The smith's possessions include a silver drinking cup, six pennies and a copper star, a niello brooch with a broken clasp, and a musty brocade doublet with the stag of House Baratheon.[10] Jon later thinks that the Night's Watch needs leaders with the compassion of Donal Noye.[11]

Quotes by Donal

Robert was the true steel. Stannis is pure iron, black and hard and strong, yes, but brittle, the way iron gets. He'll break before he bends. And Renly, that one, he's copper, bright and shiny, pretty to look at but not worth all that much at the end of the day.[2]

- Donal Noye's opinion on the three Baratheon brothers.

Quotes about Donal

A one-armed smith slew Mag the Mighty? Har! That must o' been a fight to see. Mance will make a song of it, see if he don't ... To Donal Noye, and Mag the Mighty.[12]

- Tormund drinking with Jon Snow in honor of Donal Noye and Mag the Mighty

His treasures were his tools, and the swords and knives he made. His life was at the forge.[10]

- Jon Snow thinking about Donal's personal effects

Noye made my first sword for me, and Robert’s warhammer as well. Had the god seen fit to spare him, he would have made a better Lord Commander for your order than any of these fools who are squabbling over it now. [5]

- Stannis

References and Notes