Roose Bolton

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Roose Bolton
Roose Bolton by Amoka©
Roose Bolton by Amoka©

Alias The Leech Lord

Lord of the Dreadfort Lord Paramount of the North

Warden of the North
Allegiance House Bolton
Culture Northmen
Spouse Unknown 1st
Bethany Ryswell 2nd
"Fat" Walda Frey 3rd
Book(s) A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons
The Winds of Winter

Roose Bolton is the current Lord of the Dreadfort. Though mild-mannered, he is cold, calculating, and capable of great cruelty. He speaks softly, never raising his voice, forcing those to listen to do so intently.[1] He receives regular leechings, which he believes to improve his health, prompting some to call him the "Leech Lord".

Character and Appearance

Roose is patient with a cold cunning, possessing a skill for strategy and a calculating nature. His body is "soft hairless".[2] He is of average size and appearance, with his only noticeable feature being his eerie, pale eyes.[3] His skin is pasty white, most likely due to the leechings.[1]


Lord Roose fought at the Battle of the Trident during Robert's Rebellion. When Ser Barristan Selmy, seriously wounded, was brought before Robert Baratheon, he counseled that they should kill him. Robert ignored Roose and spared Ser Barristan's life, sending his own maester to tend to his wounds.[4]

Just before the War of the Five Kings, Roose's trueborn son Domeric Bolton died of a "bad belly." Roose then brought his bastard son Ramsay Snow to the Dreadfort and made him his unofficial heir because Roose had no other children.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Bolton answers his liege's call when Robb Stark summons his banners to aid his grandfather Hoster Tully and father. Due to his skills, Bolton was given command of the infrantry of the northern host, designed to distract Lord Tywin from the Riverlands. He marched through the night and launched a surprise attack in the early morning, but was defeated by Tywin Lannister.[5] However, he was able to retreat in good order, reforming his relatively unscathed army on the causeway before Moat Cailin.[6]

A Clash of Kings

During the war he marries his second wife, Walda Frey, granddaughter of Lord Walder Frey, who has allied his house to Robb's. In an effort to limit Lord Tywin Lannister's options, who marched from Harrenhal in an attempt to meet Robb Stark in the Westerlands, Ser Edmure Tully commands Roose to join up with Ser Helman Tallhart coming down from the Twins and to retake Harrenhal.[7]

In an effort to take Harrenhal without weakening his army, Roose made a deal with Vargo Hoat, leader of the Brave Companions, who were in the employment of Lord Tywin. The Companions pretended to take a group of Bolton's men as prisoner that then seized the castle, taking out the small Lannister garrison left behind and opening the gates to the rest of Bolton's men. While at Harrenhal, Roose takes Arya Stark as his cupbearer, mistaking her for a commoner.[3] Relations between Vargo Hoat and Roose are strained as Vargo suspects that Roose would turn on Robb Stark to support the Lannisters.

A Storm of Swords

After the Brave Companions take Jaime Lannister hostage, Vargo has Jaime's sword-hand cut off to drive a wedge between Roose and Tywin. The ploy did not work however, as Roose receives Jaime's assurance that Roose would not be held responsible for Jaime's injury. Before leaving, Jaime tells Roose to give his regards to Robb Stark.[8]

Robb summons Roose to aid in retaking the North from the Ironborn. However, after Tywin's great victory on the Blackwater, Bolton decides that House Stark's cause is lost and plots with Tywin, Walder Frey, and his bastard son Ramsay to bring them down. He sends the Northern infantry (which contained none of his own troops) to attack Duskendale, knowing they would be massacred by the joint Lannister/Tyrell forces.

During the Red Wedding, Roose mumbles an excuse to get out of the hall. The bedding and playing of "The Rains of Castamere" is the signal for the Freys to attack their guests. Roose returns into the hall dressed in mail armor. Robb has already been wounded by arrows. Roose approaches him and kills him while saying:

"Jaime Lannister sends his regards." [9]

Roose Bolton by Wouter Bruneel.

Outside the castle, the Frey and Bolton soldiers attack the Northern/Riverland forces and annihilate them. For this service, Tywin gives Roose the title of Warden of the North. This raises House Bolton's status to Lords Paramount of the North and to one of the ruling families of Westeros. Roose also receives a royal decree of legitimization for his bastard son and heir Ramsay.

A Feast for Crows

Lord Roose marches north with his own forces from the Twins, augmented by two thousand Freys under the command of Ser Aenys and Ser Hosteen Frey.[10]

A Dance with Dragons

After Moat Cailin surrenders to Ramsay, Roose meets his son and introduces him to his bride "Arya Stark" (actually Jeyne Poole). Roose is greatly displeased by his son's actions, stating as much to Theon Greyjoy. Roose thinks that Ramsay is too loud and obnoxious.[11]

At Ramsay's wedding feast, Roose does not eat any of the food or drink served to him unless he sees Wyman Manderly, who brought the food, eat of the same dish. Lady Barbrey Ryswell describes Roose to Theon Greyjoy;

"Roose has no feelings, you see. Those leeches that he loves so well sucked all the passions out of him years ago. He does not love, he does not hate, he does not grieve. This is a game to him, mildly diverting. Some men hunt, some hawk, some tumble dice. Roose plays with men. You and me, these Freys, Lord Manderly, his plump new wife, even his bastard, we are but his playthings." [12]

Roose, Ramsay and his army remain at Winterfell awaiting the attack of Stannis Baratheon's host. Several Bolton men are murdered during the wait, and suspicion is cast on several of the present Stark bannerman.[13] In truth, however, Mance Rayder and several wildling spearwives on a mission to free Arya Stark perform the murders.[14]

The murders caused the Freys to attack the Manderlys, after Lord Wyman insults one of the dead Freys, that left several men at arms dead.

The Winds of Winter

After learning that Stannis' army is three days march from Winterfell, Roose sends out the Freys and Manderlys, as well as Ramsay and his men, but keeps much of his own strength behind in Winterfell. According to Theon Greyjoy, Roose is keeping his own men back as a reserve, as he once did in the Riverlands, to weaken potential rivals.[15]


first wife
"Fat" Walda
Miller's wife
"Arya Stark"

References and Notes

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at House Bolton. The list of authors can be seen in the page history of House Bolton. As with A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.