Ygritte

Ygritte is a spearwife and a woman of the free folk. She becomes Jon Snow’s lover when he enters the camp of the wildlings as a spy.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Known as a woman kissed by fire, Ygritte gets attached to Jon, and they fall deep for each other. However, he leaves her for the Night’s Watch. After getting spared by Jon, she saves him when he tries to join the Free Folk. She tells everyone he is her lover and falls in love with him.

Ygritte Personal Details

  • Name: Ygritte.
  • Year of Birth: 280 AC beyond the Wall.
  • Culture: Free Folk.
  • Year of Death: 299 AC at Castle Black.
  • Hair Color: Red.
  • Titles: Spearwife.


Appearance and Personality

Though she does not possess the flawless features of noblewomen in the Southern courts of Westeros, Ygritte is a beautiful woman. She has a round face and blue-grey eyes that light up her face. Though pretty, she has crooked teeth and skinny but muscular legs. She is considered a great beauty kissed by fire as she has a distinctive feature, curled, moppy, and bright red hair. She is short, and when she meets Jon, he notices her eyes are slightly farther apart.

Ygritte is a wild and strong-willed girl with a beautiful warm smile. She has a low husky voice and is a good singer. For her clothes, she wears a doeskin shirt and sheepskin helm made of many layers of wool and fur. She uses a bow made from animal horn and weirwood and wields a bone dagger and axe as secondary weapons. Ygritte’s arrows are fletched with grey-colored goose feathers.

Biography

Ygritte was born to a Free Folk woman from the same village as Longspear Ryk. At a young age, her mother taught her the song of Bael the Bard. When she was about 15, she lost her maidenhead to an unnamed red-haired man, and when he returned, he got sent away by Longspear.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Clash of Kings

Ygritte joins a band of Free Folk led by Rattleshirt, the Lord of Bones, in the Skirling Pass. Qhorin Halfhand gets chosen to be the leader of a scouting party of the Night’s Watch to learn about the threat from Mance Rayder. When Qhorin and his men see her party, they plan an ambush, and her companions get killed. As Jon turns to kill the person he is onto, he discovers it is a woman and spares her. She yields to Qhorin’s party and gives small information on Mance Rayder’s plans. 

Jon reveals he is Lord Eddard Stark’s son, and Ygritte tells him the tale of Bael the Bard, a song that states House Stark has wildling blood. He shrugs off her story, but she explains the Northmen and Free Folks are descendants of the First Men. Later, she gets brought before Qhorin.

Jon refuses to kill Ygritte after Qhorin places her fate in his hands. He then lets her escape. Later, Jon’s direwolf Ghost gets attacked by Orell’s eagle from a Free Folk band. Realizing the wildlings are unto them, Qhorin suggests they retreat, but Dalbridge, Stonesnake, and Ebben get killed. Qhorin and Jon get captured, and she convinces Rattleshirt not to kill them.

A Storm of Swords

Ygritte takes the hooded cloak of Qhorin Halfhand after Jon kills him. Longspear gives her Qhorin’s helm. Jon enters Mance Rayder’s camp to meet the King Beyond the Wall.

Mance tells Jon he respects Qhorin because he is an honorable man. After she lies on his behalf, Mance gets convinced he has turned cloak and orders Jon to ride with Tormund Giantsbane.

Ygritte follows Jon to Tormund’s company and begins sleeping in the same bed. When Jon tries to stay away from her, he learns that according to Free Folk culture, he has stolen her for himself.

When the men of the Night’s Watch fight with wights at the Fist of the First Men, Mance learns of the aftermath and summons Jon. Believing he knew of Night’s Watch at the Fist, Jon’s cover almost gets blown. However, Ygritte lies to him by saying they are together.

Jon joins Styr’s band to climb the Wall and attack Castle Black from the South. He later climbs the Wall after almost dying during the dangerous climb.

After scaling the Wall, Styr’s party travel through the Gift and arrive at Queenscrow. The Free Folk capture an old man. Styr tells Jon to prove his loyalty to the Free Folk by killing the man.

When he refuses, Ygritte slits the man’s throat. Styr realizes Jon is still a crow, but before he can kill him, a thunder strikes, and Summer, Bran’s direwolf, appears from thin air. During the confusion, Jon escapes, but not before getting hit by Ygritte’s arrow.

Ygritte continues the journey to Castle Black but unknown to her, Jon informed the Watch of Styr’s attack. The Battle of Castle Black starts when the Free Folk reach the Castle. After the battle, Jon discovers that she got killed by an arrow.

Janos Slynt and Alliser Thorne accuse Jon of breaking his vows. To show he still was a brother of the Watch, he gets sent beyond the Wall to parley with Mance Rayder. However, during the meeting, the arrival of Stannis Baratheon leads to chaos, and Mance Rayder’s army gets defeated. He is then captured and imprisoned.

Appearance in Adaptation

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Ygritte’s character got portrayed by Rose Leslie. She appeared in seasons 2, 3, and 4 and starred in 17 episodes of the tv series. As a prestigious member of Mance Rayder’s army, Ygritte was skilled in using arrows.

When Qhorin Halfhand leads a scouting party to learn about Mance Rayder’s plans, they come across a group of wildlings. Qhorin sends his men to kill the wildling, but when Jon, portrayed by Kit Harington, realizes one of them is a woman, he refuses to kill her. 

Qhorin lets Jon make a choice, telling him to catch up when he has killed Ygritte. Jon later learns from Ygritte that she lost her virginity at a young age. When he tries to kill her, he hesitates, making her escape. He recaptures her, and with night approaching, she makes sexual advances to him on a cold night. She escapes after catching him off guard and leads him into a wildling ambush. 

When Jon gets brought before Rattleshirt, Ygritte protests to spare Jon as he is a Stark. Qhorin gets captured, and he tells Jon to do whatever it takes to meet Mance Rayder.

They later get pitted to fight against each other, and Qhorin’s outward rage towards Jon for the deaths of his men convinces Rattleshirt and the rest of the band that he has a grudge against Jon. Later, he gets killed. The aftermath of the fight with Qhorin grants Jon the privilege to enter Mance Rayder’s tent. He sees the giants Mance has. 

Tormund gets sent to climb the Wall, and Jon follows. Ygritte enters a cave with Jon and finds hot springs. Then she strips to make sure Jon Snow has abandoned his vows, and though he tries to resist, he succumbs to the attraction and sleeps with her. A very surprised Ygritte experiences cunnilingus. Jon and Ygritte lay naked. She tells him they can run away together, but they do not. 

Tormund decides to climb the Wall, but on the ascent, the weight of Jon and Ygritte’s bodies makes one of Tormund’s men try to cut the rope. However, they survive and reach the top of the Wall.

After scaling the Wall, Ygritte tells Jon she knows he is still loyal to the Night’s Watch but states he has obligations to her. Tormund and his party raid a house, but Jon prevents them, and his loyalty gets questioned. When Tormund orders Jon to kill a man, he refuses and gets tagged a crow. He defeats Tormund’s men and heads Castle Black leaving her in tears.

Tormund realizes Ygritte prevented herself from killing Jon even after his betrayal, as he knew Ygritte’s skill made her a dead-on shooter. She later travels to Mole’s Town, where she gets ambushed by a whore.

Later, Ygritte and Tormund reach Castle Black, and a battle begins. She eventually gets killed. After her death, Jon and Tormund share mead in her honor. Later, Jon tries explaining his experience with Ygritte to Sam but fails. Davos tells Jon that her body got taken beyond the Wall.

Ygritte: The Girl Kissed by Fire

Ygritte is a character that influences Jon Snow’s character development. As a young boy, Jon knew little to nothing of the outside world, but on meeting Ygritte, he realized that vows are strong, but love is mightier. Though he later abandons her, Ygritte does not let herself get consumed by the desire for revenge; this makes her an exceptional character.

FAQs

Who killed Ygritte in the books?

Her killer was unknown. When she and the wildling band invaded Castle Black, they faced resistance from the Night’s Watch. During the chaos, she got shot by an arrow and later died.

Was Ygritte in love with Jon in the books?

Yes, Ygritte was in love with Jon. After she saved him from getting killed for being a traitor, Jon had to sleep with her, and they eventually fell in love. Though their love was intense, he felt out of place as he maintained his loyalty to the Watch; this made him leave.

How do I pronounce Ygritte?

The word ‘Ygritte’ gets pronounced as ‘Ee-Grit.’ The Y is silent, and the second syllable gets dragged to create a coarse pronunciation.

Was Ygritte a beautiful woman?

Though she had crooked teeth, Ygritte had a comely smile and was beautiful. Her red hair gave more color to her facial features, and even Jon Snow admitted she was pretty.

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