Game of Thrones Wiki


Game of Thrones Wiki
Game of Thrones Wiki
"He marries his daughters, and they give him more daughters, and on and on it goes."
Eddison Tollett explains where Craster gets his many wives.[src]

Craster's wives are a group of about a dozen women married to the wildling Craster and who dwell with him in his homestead in the Haunted Forest. Some (if not all) of Craster's wives are also his own daughters, whom he "marries" once they have flowered. Boys born from these couplings are sacrificed by Craster to the White Walkers, while daughters are kept to serve him and marry him once they are of age - to produce more daughters to marry.

This extreme incest is abhorrent to the Night's Watch as well as other wildlings, and is not remotely tolerable in wildling culture. Still, because he is one of the few homesteaders willing to give news and shelter to scouts of the Night's Watch, they begrudgingly endure his behavior.

Known wives

Behind the scenes

To prepare Hannah Murray for her role as Gilly, executive producers Benioff and Weiss advised her to read up on the case of Austrian Josef Fritzl, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2009 after keeping his daughter captive for 24 years, during which time he fathered seven children with her.[1]

Morag was conceived of as the "prime wife" of Craster, the first of his daughters who became his wife, and this angle affected how the character was written.[2] This information wasn't set in stone on screen, however, and there is no indication in the books which wives are senior or in charge.

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, "Craster's wives" is the collective name for the nineteen wives of Craster. Some of his wives are also his daughters. Any sons he has with his wives are sacrificed after they are born, the daughters he keeps and marries once they have their menstrual cycle.

When Gilly asks for help, Jeor Mormont points out to Jon that Craster's wives could have ganged up and killed him in his sleep years ago (at any point when he was deeply drunk): Craster has psychologically abused and terrorized them for so long that they have become mentally incapable of fighting back against him. It is the only world they know, not even allowed to mix with other wildlings outside of the Keep.

The men of the Night's Watch are warned beforehand not to talk to Craster’s wives. After the mutiny, the betrayers take over Craster's Keep and rape some of the younger wives, but the narrative does not revisit Craster's Keep to show whatever became of them.

Craster's known wives are:

  • Gilly
  • Dyah
  • Ferny
  • Nella

Ferny was an older daughter-wife and might have been Gilly's mother, given that she referred to Gilly as "my girl".

Gilly, who escapes with Samwell Tarly during the brawl, is the only known survivor of Craster's wives. Since the Raid on Craster's Keep does not occur in the books, the fate of the remaining eighteen wives is unknown.

There is no mentioning in the novels that any of Craster's wives contracted Greyscale.

See also