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Night's-Watch-Main-Shield
"I know I broke my oath. I know I'm a deserter. I should have gone back to the Wall and warned them, but... I saw what I saw... I saw the White Walkers."
―Will to Eddard Stark[src]

Will was a ranger in the Night's Watch. After an encounter with the White Walkers beyond the Wall, Will deserted the Watch, and was eventually captured and later executed by Eddard Stark.

Biography

Background

Will was a ranger of the Night's Watch. He was not of noble birth, but was posthumously described by Benjen Stark as a reliable soldier, a "true ranger".

Season 1

Waymar Royce, Gared & Will

Rangers Gared, Ser Waymar Royce and Will depart Castle Black on a ranging beyond the Wall.

Will, along with Ser Waymar Royce and Gared, departs from the Wall to investigate reports of wildlings in the Haunted Forest which lies beyond the Wall. He discovers a number of wildling corpses dismembered and arranged in a strange, ritualistic fashion on the ground. Nearby, he also finds a dead wildling girl pinned to a tree. Will reports to his companions and leads them back to the scene but the corpses have vanished. Gared sends Will to find the bodies.

While Will searches for the wildling corpses, he notices the wildling girl who now is a wight and stalks him through the trees. Terrified, he runs away from the Wight but arrives to the horrid scene to witness a White Walker brutally beheading Gared. The White Walker tosses the severed head at Will's feet.

Will is later found south of the Wall near Winterfell, apparently having gone renegade. He is apprehended and brought before Lord Eddard Stark for justice. Will claims that his companions have been brutally killed by the White Walkers and he fled in terror. Eddard does not believe the story and executes Will as a deserter, beheading him with his Valyrian steel sword, Ice.

Later, at the feast welcoming King Robert Baratheon to Winterfell, Eddard asks his brother, Benjen Stark, if he knew the deserter Eddard executed. Benjen responded that the young member of the Night’s Watch was just a lad and he was tough, a true ranger.[1]

Lord commander Jeor Mormont tells Tyrion about Will's execution and that he swore he had seen a white walker killing his companions.[2]

Appearances

Season One appearances
Winter Is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood

Image gallery

Quotes

Spoken about Will
Eddard Stark: "The boy I beheaded... Did you know him?"
Benjen Stark: "Of course I did. Just a lad. But he was tough, Ned. A true Ranger."
Benjen and Ned talk about Will.[src]

Behind the scenes

  • After playing the role in the unaired original pilot, it appeared that Webb would be unavailable to reprise the character for re-shoots and would have to be recast. However, it was later confirmed that Webb would indeed be returning to the role.

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Will is famed for his skills as a tracker and a hunter, a result of his previous career as a poacher. Nobody can move more silent through the forest than Will. After being caught killing a Mallister buck by Lord Jason Mallister's woodsmen, he chose to take the black over losing a hand. He has been at the Wall for four years when the events of the books begin.

In the TV series, some of Will and Gared's story roles have been switched around from the books.

See also

References

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