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Wiki of Westeros
Wiki of Westeros

"The History of the Night's Watch - House Stark"[3] is the fifth short of the first season of Histories & Lore. It is the fifth short of the series overall. It was released on March 6, 2012 in Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season. It was narrated by Donald Sumpter as Luwin and written by Bryan Cogman.


Maester Luwin explains the historic purpose of the Night's Watch, and how its immense task is made difficult by dwindling resources and support from the people whom it protects.[3]


Luwin: Joining the Night's Watch, or "taking the black," is a singular honor for any northerner. For it was in the North, some 8,000 years ago, that the First Men drove back the White Walkers, erected the Wall, and established the sworn brotherhood that would guard the realm and its people from the dangers beyond.

Regrettably, the Night's Watch no longer commands the widespread respect and admiration it once did. While House Stark and other houses in the northern regions continue to recognize its vital importance to the safety and stability of the realm, this view is not shared by the powerful houses of the southern kingdoms, or their subjects. Most regard the Watch as a misguided, obsolete order made up of useless outcasts.

Admittedly, the current Night's Watch is a shadow of its former glory. Their numbers have dwindled to less than a thousand. Of the nineteen castles along the Wall, only three are functional: the Shadow Tower, Castle Black, and Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. And the Watch's mandate of adding to the Wall has been abandoned entirely. There are barely enough resources to maintain it.

Recruiting officers—known as wandering crows—scour the dungeons and slums of the realm in hope of finding men to fill the ranks. While there is still the occasional highborn volunteer, the newest recruits are almost entirely made up of lowly criminals—thieves, rapists, and murderers—sentenced to the Wall as punishment for their crimes.

The decline of this once-fabled order is troubling, as the danger it guards against is all too real. While the White Walkers haven't been seen or heard from in ages, and may very well be the stuff of myth, barbarian tribes that dwell beyond the Wall—known as "wildlings"—have been a menace to the North and its people for generations.

At certain points in history, the disparate wildling tribes have united behind a single leader—a King-Beyond-the-Wall—and attempted large-scale attacks against the realm. But, thanks to the resourceful and courageous men of the Night's Watch, these so-called kings were soundly defeated.

While many have lost faith in the Night's Watch, the people of the North are steadfast in their belief that the black brothers will answer the call of duty. But with winter coming, diminished numbers, and a lack of widespread support, will they be ready?









Behind the scenes[]

  • This is the second of three shorts on the history of the Night's Watch.


  1. Jacob Klein (March 4, 2012). Game of Thrones DVD & Blu-Ray Available 3/6!. HBO Watch. Retrieved December 15, 2023.
  2. Histories & Lore: Season 1, Short 5: "The History of the Night's Watch - House Stark" (2012).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season (2012).
  4. Dan Selcke (September 20, 2017). Bryan Cogman is developing a fifth Game of Thrones prequel series for HBO. Winter is Coming. Retrieved December 14, 2023.