Jon Snow's Night's Watch recruitment group

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Training at the Wall, by Mark Evans © Fantasy Flight Games

Jon Snow's Night Watch recruitment class was a group of nearly 20 young men who joined the Night's Watch at the same time as Jon Snow and trained with him under Alliser Thorne, Castle Black's master-at arms.

Jon noted that there were almost twenty in the group he trained with, most of them two or three years older than him. None of them were half the fighters that he or his brother Robb Stark were before arriving at the Wall, because they were all common-born and had no prior martial training (with the exception of Samwell, though despite being highborn he was a terrible fighter).

Only eleven of the trainees including Jon have been named. When a new set of recruits came in, Thorne decided that eight of them had reached a decent enough level to take their vows as men of the Watch: Jon Snow, Grenn, Pypar, Halder, Matthar, Todder, Dareon, and Albett. This was increased to nine when Samwell Tarly was lumped in, as despite his lack of martial skill he was not only literate but well-educated and it was felt he'd make a good assistant to Maester Aemon. Two others in the initial group who were held back for more training were Jeren and Rast. When Jon considered deserting the Watch after the execution of his father to join his brother Robb Stark in the War of the Five Kings, it was Grenn, Pypar, Halder, Matthar, Todder, and Samwell who convinced him to remain.

After Jon Snow was elected Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, he decided to heed Maester Aemon's advice to distance himself from his former friends now that he was in a position of authority, so he sent all of his old friends on assignments away from Castle Black.

Jon and his core friends

  • Jon Snow - Bastard son of Ned Stark, named to the Stewards so he could be groomed for command as the personal attendant of Lord Commander Jeor Mormont. Survived the Great Ranging beyond the Wall, rallied the Night's Watch during the Battle of Castle Black, and was later elected Lord Commander of the Night's Watch after Mormont's death.
  • Samwell Tarly - Spurned eldest son of Randyll Tarly, named to the Stewards to serve as Maester Aemon's assistant. Survived the Great Ranging and Battle of Castle Black, and sent south by Jon on a mission to Oldtown.
  • Grenn - Called "Aurochs" for his large size and strength but low intelligence. Named to the Rangers. Survived the Great Ranging and the Battle of Castle Black. Subsequently sent by Jon Snow to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.
  • Pypar - Part of a mummer's troupe that wandered the kingdoms. Named to the Rangers, but stayed at Castle Black during the Great Ranging. Sent by Jon to Eastwatch with Grenn.
  • Halder - Son of a quarryman and an apprentice stonemason, so named to the Builders. Did not participate in the Great Ranging. After the Battle of Castle Black, Jon Snow sent him to the Shadow Tower.
  • Todder - Called "Toad" for his squat appearance and sour disposition. Son of a winesink owner. Named to the Rangers, but stayed behind at Castle Black during the Great Ranging. After the Battle of Castle Black, Jon sent him to the Shadow Tower with Halder.
  • Matthar - Named to the Rangers. Apparently didn't participate in the Great Ranging, but survived the Battle of Castle Black. If Jon subsequently sent him to a different castle it hasn't been mentioned.

Other members

  • Albett - Named to the Builders, and stayed behind at Castle Black during the Great Ranging. Not mentioned since.
  • {Dareon} - An apprentice singer from the Reach, sent to the Wall for attempted rape, though he maintains that Lord Rowan's daughter came to him willingly and her father's accusation was false. Due to his experience with highborns he was named to the Stewards and sent away to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to help Cotter Pyke treat with sea merchants. Later sent to accompany Samwell Tarly and Maester Aemon on their mission to Oldtown. Despite being one of the nine members of Jon's "graduating class", Dareon deserted his mission and the Watch in Braavos. A short time later the disguised Arya Stark killed him for breaking his vows.
  • Jeren - Bastard son of a septon, friendly but considered weak as a girl. Held behind in training when Jon and his friends took their vows. He was eventually named to the Stewards and apparently survived the Battle of Castle Black.
  • {Rast} - Sentenced to the Wall for rape, held behind in training when Jon and his friends took their vows. Killed during the Battle of Castle Black when a Thenn speared him in the throat.

Quotes

There were almost twenty in the group he trained with, yet not one he could call a friend. Most were two or three years his senior, yet not one was half the fighter Robb had been at fourteen. Dareon was quick but afraid of being hit. Pyp used his sword like a dagger, Jeren was weak as a girl, Grenn slow and clumsy. Halder's blows were brutally hard but he ran right into your attacks. The more time he spent with them, the more Jon despised them. [1]

"Halder, to the builders," he began. Halder gave a stiff nod of approval. "Grenn, to the rangers. Albett, to the builders. Pypar, to the rangers," Pyp looked over at Jon and wiggled his ears. "Samwell, to the stewards," Sam sagged with relief, mopping at his brow with a scrap of silk. "Matthar, to the rangers. Dareon, to the stewards. Todder, to the rangers. Jon, to the stewards."[2]

References