Alliser Thorne

Ser Alliser Thorne is the master-at-arms of Castle Black and a former knight of House Thorne. He comes from House Thorne, a noble house from the Crownlands. Coming from a family sworn to the Targaryens, he fought on the side of House Targaryen during Robert’s Rebellion.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

After the sack of King’s Landing, Alliser Thorne got made to choose between getting executed or becoming a brother of the Night’s Watch. After becoming one of the men of the Watch, Alliser rose to become the master-at-arms of the Night’s Watch and began training recruits for the Watch. He became bitter that the recruits sent by Iron Throne were petty thieves and criminals with no knowledge of fighting.

Alliser is a shrewd humorless man hated by almost all the brothers of the Night’s Watch. His inability to detect humor makes him prickly during conversations. As a cold and emotionless person, Alliser has almost no friends at the Watch and keeps to himself a lot. His meanness makes him a terrible instructor, as most of his students hated him for how he trained them. After Jon Snow arrives at the Night’s Watch, Alliser becomes one of his worse companions. He taunts and insults Jon, giving him the mocking nickname Lord Snow. However, Jon quickly rises in the ranks and becomes the new lord Commander of the Watch after Joer Mormont, to the dismay of Alliser.

Alliser Thorne Profile

  • Character Name: Ser Alliser Thorne.
  • Date of Birth: 247 or 248 AC in the Crownlands.
  • Allegiance: House Targaryen, House Thorne, Night’s Watch.
  • Titles: Ser, Master-at-arms at Castle Black, First Ranger.
  • Culture: Andal.
  • Hair Color: Black and Grey.
  • Eye Color: Black.
  • Friends: Janos Slynt.
  • Enemies: Jon Snow.
  • Weapon Used: Sword.

Appearance and Brief History

Alliser is a middle-aged man with a slim body frame, a thin smile, black hair, and black onyx eyes. He is bitter and mean-spirited and cannot discern humor. As a knight for the House of Thorne, he fought alongside the Targaryens during Robert’s Rebellion and got sent to the night’s Watch by Lord Tywin Lannister after the Targaryens got dethroned. Alliser’s villainous nature earned him a spot as one of the most hated people at Castle Black. Though he became the master-at-arms for the Night’s Watch, he took no pride in the job because he believed that the recruits of the Night’s Watch were nothing but petty thieves incapable of getting trained to become skilled fighters.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

After Jon arrives at Castle Black, he and Alliser become enemies. Irritated by Jon, Alliser mocks him with the title of Lord Snow. He also mocks others, including Grenn, whom he calls The Aurochs; Rast, called Rat; Pypar, called Mummer’s Monkey; Albett, called Pimple and Halder, called Stone Head.

Alliser tries to keep mocking Jon, but when he gets embarrassed by Jon, who makes fun of him to the hilarity of the whole room of Castle Black, his hatred for him increases. When Tyrion travels to the Watch, he gets invited to the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch’s table and meets Alliser. He mocks him for his disdain for Jon and calls the young boy Ser Alliser’s Bane. The mockeries of Tyrion Lannister make Alliser hate him as he does not understand humor.

After Tyrion leaves Castle Black, a new set of people join the Night’s Watch, and among them is Samwell Tarly. On reaching the castle, Samwell and Alliser do not get along as he is deemed too weak. Alliser nicknames Sam Ser Piggy, Lady Piggy, and Lord of Ham and orders that he gets beaten during training. However, Jon comes to Samwell’s rescue and convinces Grenn and the other boys to spare him; this only makes Alliser angry at him even more.

After some time passes at the Watch, the ceremony for making the boys become men of the Night’s Watch gets held. Jon gets assigned to the stewards instead of the rangers. He gets angry as he had always wanted to become a ranger and seek out his uncle, Benjen Stark, a seasoned ranger who got lost while out on a range. Alliser gets happy that Jon got sent to the stables, but Sam explains to Jon that he got put to be the steward of Lord Jeor Mormont so that he can take over as the next lord commander.

When Jon learns that his father, Lord Eddard Stark, has been arrested in King’s Landing for treason, Alliser’s jeers anger Jon, who tries to attack him with a knife. Jon gets restrained and gets placed under arrest. Bearing their feud in mind, Lord Mormont sends Alliser on a mission to King’s Landing court to meet Joffrey I Baratheon, the new king, and show him the corpse of Jafer Flowers, who turned into a wight.

A Clash of Kings

Alliser reaches King’s Landing and asks for an audience with the new king. Tyrion, the acting Hand of the King, delays an audience, and Bronn finds him poor quarters to sleep in the Red Keep. When he appears before the small council, Tyrion mocks Alliser’s claims as the hand he carried got rotted to bones. He also tells him that the crown will send more men to the Watch as Alliser put in word from Lord Commander Mormont, stating that the Watch needed men. Alliser leaves King’s Landing and heads to Eastwatch.

A Storm of Swords

After becoming the master-at-arms of Eastwatch-by-the-sea, Ser Endrew Tarth takes Alliser’s place at Castle Black. He meets Janos Slynt, exiled by Tyrion, and they become companions. After the death of Lord Mormont and the attack beneath the Wall by the wildlings, Alliser and Janos arrive with reinforcements and accuse Jon of killing Qhorin Halfhand. They lay claims against the young lord of being an oathbreaker and turn cloak, saying he slept with a wildling whore. They then task him with meeting Mance Rayder. However, Stannis Baratheon attacks the King-beyond-the-Wall, and he gets captured.

With Mance imprisoned and Lord Mormont dead, the brothers of the Watch hold an election to determine the next commander of the Watch. Alliser puts his name as one of the contenders, but after receiving almost no support on the first day, he withdraws his name on the second day and begins supporting Lord Janos Slynt. Sam convinces Ser Denys Mallister and Cotter Pyke to back Jon as the new commander, and when they do, he gets voted as the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.

A Dance with Dragons

Alliser claims that Maester Aemon and Sam are responsible for Jon’svictory. After Jon orders Janos to command the garrison at Greyguard, he refuses. To curb his disobedience, Jon orders his men to hold Janos still, and he beheads him. To Jon’s disappointment, Alliser does not interfere in the beheading.

When he allows the wildlings to pass through the Wall, Alliser opposes Jon’s decision vehemently but does nothing to stop it. He gets orders to go scouting beyond the Wall and obeys, not wanting to give Jon cause to kill him. He states that he will find a means to return. Jon later realizes that Ser Glendon Hewett commands Eastwatch as Cotter Pyke leaves on a mission.

Appearance in Adaptation

In Game of Thrones, Alliser Thorne’s character got portrayed by Osen Teale. Though he did not die in the novels, he died in the show after getting hanged by Jon for treason.

Alliser: The Cold and Uninteresting Character

Alliser’s character is an uninteresting and cold one. He is mean and hated by everyone for his coarseness. Though his character got designed to be hated, it got designed excellently. Alliser is a supporting antagonist in A Song of Ice and Fire. Though his antagonization has little effect on the outcome of Jon’s victory as the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, it was a driving force that led to the event of Jon getting stabbed by Bowen Marsh and the other men of the Watch.


Why did Alliser dislike Jon so much?

Alliser hated Jon because of his father, Eddard Stark. During Robert’s Rebellion, he fought for the Targaryens, but they lost, and he got sent to the Wall. Realizing that Eddard’s young bastard wanted to be a man of the Night’s Watch, Alliser decided to make his life difficult as punishment for what his father did.

Who is Ser Jaremy Rykker?

Ser Jaremy Rykker is a brother of the Night’s Watch and a former loyalist to House Targaryen. He fought for King Aerys II Targaryen during Robert’s rebellion, and after Aerys died, he got an offer of either getting killed or joining the Watch; he chose the latter.

Was Ser Alliser named a ranger of the Night’s Watch?

Yes, before becoming the master-at-arms at Castle Black, Ser Alliser was a ranger. After arriving at the Watch, he worked his way up for many years and eventually became the master-at-arms.

Does Ser Alliser die in the novels?

Unlike the TV show, Ser Alliser is not dead in A Song of Ice and Fire. He got sent on a scouting mission beyond the Wall and promised to find a means to return.

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