- This article is about the special feature. For the title, see: Lord Commander
Acting Lord Commander Alliser Thorne talks about the purpose of the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, how he is chosen, and recalls some of the more noteworthy Lord Commanders, who made history through their folly.
Alliser Thorne: Each brother of the Night's Watch swears a sacred oath to protect the realms of men.
That doesn't mean pissing about, waiting for the cold to finally put an end to you. It means bleeding. It means fighting. It means going beyond the Wall and hunting down those who mean harm to the realm.
So how do you get a thousand rapists and thieves to fight together, to bleed together?
Each Lord Commander is chosen from and by his fellow brothers, and he serves for life.
All the same, the brothers are allowed to name whomever they think worthy of the title. Then, we vote until one man receives a majority, however long it takes.
Some elections have lasted an hour; some have lasted weeks. One even lasted two years.
Back then, we had true soldiers, men of honor and strength. Now, look who mans the wall. Bastards, peasants who stole a sheep to bugger, and fat little nobles who weren't worthy of their lord father's land.
But the Lord Commander must find a place for them all, and turn these walking piles of horse dung into soldiers of the Night's Watch.
Though, we haven't always been so lucky to have such men lead us. We've had cowards and fools as well, our tyrants and our madmen.
Runcel Hightower tried to bequeath the Watch to his bastard. Rodrik Flint thought to make himself King-Beyond-the-Wall. Tristan Mudd, Mad Marq Rankenfell, Robin Hill, each nearly destroyed us with their foolishness.
Six hundred years ago, the commanders at Snowgate and the Nightfort even went to war against each other. The simpering Lord Commander asked them politely to lay aside their quarrel, and incredibly, they did because they joined forces to murder him.
We need a new leader, a man respected enough to hold the Watch together in this dark hour. A leader strong enough to make sure the Night's Watch survives the coming winter, no matter the cost.
- Maester Aemon (mentioned)
- Lord Commander Osric Stark (mentioned)
- Samwell Tarly (unnamed)
- Lord Commander Runcel Hightower
- Lord Commander Rodrik Flint
- Lord Commander Tristan Mudd
- Lord Commander Marq Rankenfell (mentioned)
- Lord Commander Robin Hill (mentioned)
- King Stannis Baratheon (indirectly mentioned)
- The Wall
In the books
- The segment is adapted from the following chapter of A Storm of Swords:
- Chapter 55, Jon VII: An officer of the Night's Watch speaks disdainfully about the previous Lord Commanders who broke their vows and nearly got the Watch destroyed.