Grenn is a ranger of the Night’s Watch, a friend to Jon Snow, Sam, and Pyp. He rises to become one of the best fighters at Castle Black.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Upon getting to Castle Black as a recruit, Grenn got mocked by the master-at-arms Ser Alliser Thorne, the castle’s master-at-arms. He got nicknamed Aurochs, and when he got pitted against Jon, he got defeated. Later, Jon offered to help him become a better swordsman, and they became friends. During the Great Ranging, he arrived at Craster’s Keep with Lord Mormoont. Later, he headed to the Fist of the First Men with the Lord Commander, but after the black brothers of the Night’s Watch got defeated by wights, they fell back.

Grenn Personal Details

  • Name: Grenn.
  • Year of Birth: 281 or 282 AC.
  • Alias: Aurochs.

Appearance and Personality

Grenn is a tall and clumsy boy with a thick neck. After getting into the Night’s Watch, he got mocked for his large size, unattractiveness, and slow-wittedness. Though not particularly great at anything, he becomes a great friend to Jon and later helps him defend Sam

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

After Jon enters the Night’s Watch, he meets Grenn, a fellow recruit. While at Castle Black, Grenn fights Jon in combat. During the brawl, Jon injures him, and two other boys are sent against him.

After the training, Grenn confronts Jon with Todder and two other recruits in the armory, and a brawl begins. Donal Noye ends it and tells Jon he should pay more attention to the people he fought as they were soon to be his fellow brothers and that he would not want them to hate him already. Later, Jon learns that Bran Stark, his brother, is awake. He reconciles with Grenn and offers to teach him how to fight with a sword.

Samwell Tarly, a plum boy, arrives at Castle Black. Because of how cowardly he acts, Alliser nicknames Sam Ser Piggy and tells other recruits like Albett, Rast, and Halder to fight him and not hold back. Following Jon’s plan, Grenn, Pypar, and Jon confront Rast in his cell and threaten to hurt him with Ghost, Jon’s direwolf, if he continues to hurt Sam.

Grenn and his friends get chosen to say the Night’s Watch oath after their training at Castle Black. He gets chosen to become a ranger, but when Jon gets chosen to join the stewards, he gets angry but gets convinced by Sam that Lord Mormont chose him as a steward because he wanted him to take over as Lord Commander of the Watch. He and Sam then say their oaths under a weirwood tree.

When Lord Eddard Stark gets arrested, Alliser makes fun of Jon, calling him a traitor’s bastard; this makes him lunge at Alliser with a knife. When two rangers’ bodies get discovered, they get taken to Castle Black. At the castle, the bodies reanimate and turn into wights.

Jon saves Lord Mormont, and in gratitude, he gets Longclaw. Grenn asks to see the Valyrian steel sword. After the death of Eddard Stark, Jon decides to leave the Watch to support his brother Robb Stark. However, Grenn, Pyp, and Sam ride to meet Jon and convince him to stay, as deserting is a crime punishable by death.

A Clash of Kings

After seeing the wights and learning of Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-the-Wall’s plans to breach the Wall, Lord Mormont decides to go on a Great Range. Before going, Grenn follows other brothers to Mole’s Town, where they drink.

During the Great Ranging, Grenn and Dywen get paired as outsiders. With Dywen mentoring Grenn, he advises him on how to serve as a ranger. Lord Mormont and the Black Brothers reach Craster’s Keep. Grenn learns Craster is the son of a ranger and a wildling woman. When the brothers get to the Fist of the First Men, Jon’s direwolf finds a cache of weapons made from dragonglass. Jon makes a dragonglass dagger and gives the rest to his friends and Lord Mormont.

A Storm of Swords

When Chett tries to kill Sam and Lord Mormont, three horn sounds, and Sam realizes the signal is to alert the members of the Night’s Watch of the presence of wights. The black brothers get killed when a battle ensues, but the rest of the survivors head back to Craster’s Keep.

A mutiny occurs with the remaining survivors at the Keep, and Lord Mormont gets killed. The mutineers escape, and Grenn and the remaining loyal brothers return to Castle Black. When Mance Rayder tries to attack the Watch, the battle beneath the Wall ensues. Grenn attacks wildlings by rolling barrels of oil and crushed stone against them. During the conflict, he commands the fighters on the Wall. Later, Jon becomes the Lord Commander.

A Feast for Crows

With Jon, the new Lord Commander, Grenn notices he has changed. He meets him and complains he is no longer the same person he knew.

A Dance with Dragons

After Jon becomes Lord Commander, he tries to make the Free Folk join Westeros. When Grenn and others invite him to join them, he turns down their offer. Later, Jon assigns him to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.

Appearance in Adaptation

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Grenn got portrayed by Mark Stanley. He appeared in seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 and starred in 22 episodes. His father abandoned him by leaving him outside a farmhouse. He later developed feelings for a neighboring farmer’s daughter.

During his Night’s Watch training, Ser Alliser Throne tests Jon Snow’s skills by making Grenn fight him. Annoyed by Jon’s superior attitude, he fights him but fails. After Grenn’s nose gets broken, he attacks Jon but gets stopped by Tyrion. He, Jon, and Pyp become friends, with the latter teasing Grenn about his slow speed. Later, Samwell Tarly, a new recruit, arrives, and Jon tells everyone to go easy on him. After the completion of his training, Grenn becomes a ranger.

Lord Mormont decides to go on the Great Ranging to fight the wildlings. When the men reach Craster’s Keep for shelter, Edd warns his companions to avoid Craster’s wives, and Grenn wonders why Craster does not like anyone talking to them. At Craster’s Keep, Sam sees one of Craster’s wives, Gilly passing with rabbits and tells his friend there is nothing better than a woman walking away.

Grenn later narrated how he had a childhood friend Violet. As he and Edd peel potatoes outside Craster’s Keep, the latter tells the story of how his mother died.

The Black Brothers head to the Fist of the First Men. Upon reaching the fortified summit of the Fist, the men prepare for camping. Jon pauses when he hears a single blast of a horn sound. However, it turns out to be the signal for rangers. Later, Jon leaves with Qhorin to learn about Mance Rayder’s plans. While digging latrines, Grenn finds a stone tablet with weapons beneath, and Sam realizes they got made from dragonglass. He later uses animal droppings for a fire that one should not leave in a barren cold place. 

At the Fist, White Walkers attack the brothers of the Watch, and they try to fight them off. After the fight, Samwell collapses from fatigue. Upon heading back to Craster’s Keep, the casualties get counted. While shoveling pig shit, Rast voices out his distrust of Craster. Lord Mormont holds a vigil for the rangers who died, and Grenn says he never knew one could die of a broken foot. When a mutiny occurs, he attacks Karl, the leader of the mutineers and a former top-paid cutthroat in Flea Bottom. Lord Mormont gets killed. 

After counting four mutineers, Locke’s dead body gets found, making the betrayers five. Grenn and his fellow black brothers then head back to Castle Black. Alliser Thorne questions him on what happened, and he explains everything. When Jon returns, he teaches everyone the wildling strategy of fighting.

Grenn expresses his fears of fighting a foe that outnumbers the Night’s Watch 1000 to 1. He is on top of the Wall when the wildling attack begins. During the wildling raid, he drops a barrel of oil while loading the ramps by mistake, and Alliser Throne drills him for being sloppy. A horn blows below Castle Black, warning of Tormund and his men at the castle’s southern entrance. Alliser Thorne hands over the command to Janos Slynt and heads down. 

When Grenn sees Slynt’s incompetence in commanding, he lies that Alliser commanded Janos to head down. Jon then orders him and five men to defend the inner gate. On getting to the gate, Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg appears. The giant rams the inner gate, but the men defeat him, dying in the process. The tunnel gets protected, and the Night’s Watch wins the battle, protecting the realm of men.

Grenn: The Loyal Ranger

Grenn is one of the most loyal characters in A Song of Ice and Fire. Though he and Jon got off the wrong foot, he gave up his malice and willingly learned to be a better fighter. After becoming friends with Jon, he stayed loyal to the Watch and his brothers.


Does Grenn get killed in the books?

No. In the books, Grenn is alive. After the Battle Beneath the Wall, Jon became the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Though he tries to relate with his friend as they did, Jon becomes distant and sends him to Easytwatch-by-the-Sea.

Does Grenn have any talent?

Unlike his friend Pypar, Grenn has no skill. When he arrived at the Watch, he got mocked for being dull and slow-witted.

Who is Grenn in a Game of Thrones?

Grenn is a man of the night’s Watch. He joined the order with the recruit Samwell Tarly and Pypar. He became a ranger and accompanied Lord Commander Mormont to the Fist of the First Men during the Great Range.

Was Grenn a better fighter than Jon?

Grenn was a skilled ranger but was not as good a fighter as Jon Snow. As Jon had combat training since he was little, he was one of the most skilled fighters at Castle black.

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