- This article is about the region. For the television episode, see "The Gift".
The Gift, consisting of Brandon's Gift and the New Gift, is the area in the north stretching fifty leagues south from the Wall, land given to the Night's Watch in perpetuity to support and aid the Watch. It is under the protection of both the Watch and Winterfell. The eastern lands of the Gift consist of large rolling plans that reach the Shivering Sea, while the western regions, which end at the Bay of Ice, are increasingly forested and mountainous.
A Brandon Stark, usually mentioned as Bran the Builder but sometimes another Brandon, gave the land up to twenty-five leagues south of the Wall to the Night's Watch for their sustenance and support. Brandon's Gift was farmed for thousands of years, but nature reclaimed many buildings and orchards as the Night's Watch decreased in number.
During the reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, thousands of years later, Good Queen Alysanne visited the Wall with her dragon, Silverwing. She held the Night's Watch in great esteem and convinced her husband Jaehaerys to double the land, extending it a further twenty-five leagues south. The new territory was named the New Gift. The Starks of Winterfell were angered at being forced to surrender the territory, as they believed the Night's Watch would focus their attention beyond the Wall and would neglect the New Gift. Lord Stark's brother sought legal guidance from the maesters of the Citadel to avoid the forced donation to no avail. This resentment might have contributed to Lord Ellard Stark supporting Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen in 101 AC's Great Council.
The villages that exist in the New Gift pay their taxes in goods and labor to the Night's Watch, helping feed and provide food for the brothers. The New Gift contains many holdfasts, such as Queenscrown. Of the northern mountain clans, the Norreys live closest to the New Gift.
The wildlings or free folk often enter the Gift to raid, steal, and carry off women of the north. Because of the frequency of raids, many people have fled south into the mountains or the lands of House Umber east of the kingsroad, leaving the villages and holdfasts abandoned.
Lord Eddard Stark considered having new lords settled in the Gift to protect against the raids. He believed the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch would have approved the idea if the new lords paid taxes to Castle Black instead of Winterfell, but the plan had to wait until after winter.
A Game of Thrones
A Storm of Swords
During their journey to find the three-eyed crow, Bran Stark and his companions seek refuge at Queenscrown in the New Gift, which Jojen Reed observes as having good land. While they are hiding in the tower, they witness a fight between Jon Snow and Styr's Thenns.
After the Battle of Castle Black, Stannis Baratheon informs Jon that he intends to settle wildlings in the Gift, if they swear fealty. The officers of the Watch react negatively when Stannis makes his request.
A Dance with Dragons
References and Notes
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 40, Bran III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 41, Jon V.
- The Lands of Ice and Fire.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Lords of Winterfell.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 13, Tyrion II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 76, Jon XI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 78, Samwell V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 53, Jon XI.