|Season(s)||1, 4, 5|
|First seen||"Lord Snow"|
|Appeared in||14 episodes (see below)|
Master-at-Arms at Castle Black
|Allegiance||The Night's Watch
House Thorne (by birth)
|Portrayed by||Owen Teale|
- "Do you know what leadership means, Lord Snow? It means that the person in charge gets second guessed by every clever little twat with a mouth. But if he starts second guessing himself, that’s the end. For him, for the clever little twats, for everyone. This is not the end. Not for us. Not if you lot do your duty for however long it takes to beat them back. And then you get to go on hating me, and I get to go on wishing your wildling whore had finished the job."
- ―Ser Alliser Thorne to Jon Snow
Alliser Thorne is a recurring character in the first, fourth, and fifth seasons. He is played by guest star Owen Teale and debuts in "Lord Snow." He was originally announced as being played by Derek Halligan, but Halligan withdrew from the role before production began. Ser Alliser Thorne is the Master-at-Arms at Castle Black and is responsible for training new recruits to the Night's Watch.
Ser Alliser becomes acting Lord Commander of the Night's Watch after Jeor Mormont's death and initially leads the defense of Castle Black against Mance Rayder's army before being wounded. A candidate to succeed Mormont as Lord Commander, Thorne is narrowly defeated by Jon Snow, with whom he has a conflicted relationship. Snow appoints Ser Alliser as the new First Ranger after his election, to pacify his supporters and to make use of his experience as a ranger.
Ser Alliser Thorne is a member of the Night's Watch. He is from House Thorne, a noble house of the Crownlands sworn to the Iron Throne. During the time of the rebellion he protected and fought for House Targaryen but was eventually defeated. Tywin Lannister gave him the choice between death or the Night's Watch. Having no choice over the matter, Ser Alliser joined the Night's Watch leaving everything he had behind. After joining the Watch, he became a ranger. During the last winter, Thorne and his ranger companions were trapped in a massive winter storm and had to resort to cannibalism to survive. Later, Thorne became the master-of-arms at Castle Black and responsible for training the new recruits.
Thorne sets Jon Snow against his fellow recruits Rast, Pypar and Grenn, and mockingly refers to Jon as "Lord Snow". Jon beats the other recruits easily, due to his previous training at Winterfell, but is unaware that Thorne, who despises Eddard Stark for the part he played in Robert's Rebellion, is making him unpopular by emphasizing his superiority. Tyrion Lannister advises Jon to take into account the less privileged upbringing of the other recruits and suggests that Jon could befriend them by sharing his skills.
Later, Thorne is disgusted by the obesity and softness of new recruit Samwell Tarly, nicknaming him "Lord Piggy". He has Rast beat Sam when he will not fight back. Jon convinces the others to refuse to hurt Sam, but when they do, Thorne sees through the ruse and berates Jon. Thorne later confronts Jon and Sam, revealing that he once had to cannibalize the frozen remains of his comrades to avoid starvation during a ranging beyond the Wall in a particularly cold winter. He berates Jon and Sam for their softness, and warns Jon that his "protection" of Sam from the harsh training that he needs will eventually get him killed.
Thorne is pleased when Jon is made a steward after he takes the oath of loyalty, since Jon had hoped to become a ranger like his uncle Benjen Stark. Lord Commander Jeor Mormont takes Jon as his personal steward. Jon believes that Thorne played a hand in him becoming a steward as revenge for defying him, but Sam convinces Jon that this means that Jon will be privy to the inner workings of the Night's Watch command structure, and that the Lord Commander may actually want to groom Jon for a high position within the Watch.
After Eddard is (falsely) arrested as a traitor, Thorne taunts Jon and calls him "not only a bastard, but a traitor's bastard". Jon draws a knife and attempts to strike Thorne but is restrained and punished by being restricted to his quarters. Later, the Lord Commander sends Thorne to King's Landing with the frozen hand of one of the wights to warn King Joffrey Baratheon and the royal court of the return of the White Walkers. He notes that part of his decision was to keep Jon and Thorne separated for a time.
Upon his return to the Wall, Thorne has been declared the Acting Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. He is one of the five black brothers to "judge" Jon for his actions during his time with the wildlings. Jon hides nothing of his actions, neither his murder of Qhorin nor his affair with Ygritte. Thorne disbelieves Jon's claim that the Halfhand wanted to die, but Jon counters that if Thorne was as close to Qhorin as he claims, he would know the fallen brother would have done anything to protect the Wall. Maester Aemon defends Jon on the other charge, pointing out that he isn't the first to have broken his vow of celibacy. Thorne points out that Jon hasn't simply visited the whorehouse in Mole's Town: he has quite literally slept with the enemy. Jon counters with all the information that he had learned while among the wildlings, such as Mance Rayder's strategy of attacking the Wall from the North and the South, and demands that they either kill him or let him go. Aemon tells him that they have no intention of executing him and Jon leaves. Thorne reprimands Aemon for having overruled him but Aemon wryly replies that he can tell who is lying to him, since he grew up in King's Landing.
Thorne is present when a young boy, Olly, tells the Night's Watch how a wildling raiding party massacred his village. Most black brothers want to seek revenge and send the wildlings a message, but Jon and Thorne know better: that is exactly what the wildlings want, to draw them out of Castle Black and fight them in the open. The black brothers are interrupted by two rangers returning, Grenn and Eddison Tollett, who have escaped the mutineers holed up at Craster's Keep. Upon learning that the mutineers are still at Craster's Keep, Jon claims that they must be captured or killed. Thorne initially refuses, but Jon claims that it is to stop the mutineers from revealing the truth of the Night's Watch's defenses to Mance Rayder's army if they are attacked, since Jon has previously exaggerated to Mance. Thorne has also given Sam a new derogatory nickname: "Sam the Slayer", disbelieving his claim that he killed a White Walker with a dragonglass dagger.
Thorne later berates Jon when he sees him helping Grenn train recruits because he is a steward, and not a ranger. Janos Slynt warns Thorne that since Jon is popular amongst the Night's Watch, this will give him an edge over him when a new Lord Commander is elected. Slynt suggests sanctioning Jon's expedition to Craster's Keep so the mutineers may kill Jon, although Thorne merely walks off after Slynt's suggestion. Later on, Thorne sanctions Jon's mission to Craster's Keep, but tells him that he can only take volunteers with him. However, after an impassioned speech by Jon, a number of black brothers volunteer to go and deal with the mutineers.
Jon survives the mission and returns to Castle Black unharmed, to Thorne and Slynt's disappointment. When Thorne catches sight of Jon's direwolf, Ghost, he orders Jon to lock up his 'wild beast' or Ghost will become food for the Watch. Later at the meeting, Jon warns the Night's Watch about the impending attack of Mance's army and suggests the tunnel to be sealed to prevent giants from bringing it down and exposing the wall. However, Thorne rubbishes the claim and asks the First Builder, Othell Yarwyck, for his opinion. Yarwyck agrees with Thorne, though he has obviously been intimidated by Thorne's tone of voice. He also sends Jon and Sam to keep a watch in the night to look out for Mance's army.
When the wildling army arrives, Thorne watches from atop the Wall with Jon, noting "the biggest fire the North has ever seen" and the presence of giants and mammoths. He ruefully admits they should have sealed the tunnel as Jon advised. In a moment of compassion, Thorne goes on to explain the pressures and responsibilities of leadership to Jon, but promises him that if they fight as hard as they can, they will survive the night.
After ordering the first volley of arrow attacks against the main wildling army, Thorne is called to bring reinforcements below to Castle Black, where the smaller wildling force south of the Wall is attacking the lightly-defended fortress. Thorne leaves command atop the Wall to the inexperienced Slynt (who is promptly tricked into going below as well, leaving command on the Wall to Jon) and returns to the castle. As the wildlings begin to breach Castle Black's walls, Thorne gives an inspiring speech, promising that Castle Black and the Night's Watch will still stand at daybreak, and rallies his men, personally leading the counter-charge. Thorne manages to kill several wildlings before he confronts Tormund Giantsbane on the catwalks. They duel evenly for a time, but Tormund finally manages to wound Thorne, who escapes by rolling off the catwalk and falling onto a hay-bale below. The wounded Thorne is then carried to safety by two members of the Night's Watch, while screaming at the remaining men fighting to hold the gate at any cost.
Alliser Thorne has recovered from the wounds he sustained during the Battle of Castle Black and continues to observe the new recruits. As Thorne walks through the courtyard, he gives Gilly a look of contempt due to his hatred of the wildlings. Later, Thorne is present when Mance Rayder is executed by Stannis Baratheon for refusing to bend the knee.
During the choosing of the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Alliser Thorne runs against Denys Mallister and Jon Snow. While Thorne acknowledges Jon's accomplishments, he also reminds the black brothers of Jon's sympathy towards the wildlings. However, Thorne loses by a single vote - that of Maester Aemon - and Jon is chosen as the new Lord Commander.
Stannis later advises Jon to send Alliser away to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, but Jon prefers to keep him around in order to learn if he is plotting against him. At a meeting, Jon prepares to assign a black brother to oversee the digging of a new latrine pit. Alliser believes that Jon will use this as an opportunity to humiliate him, but is surprised and somewhat elated when Jon acknowledges his skills and names him First Ranger. When Janos Slynt subsequently defies Jon's order of reassignment, Ser Alliser initially blocks the black brothers coming to seize Janos, but ultimately steps aside. He watches with the rest of the Watch as Janos is beheaded by Jon for refusing to follow orders.
Thorne is later present when Jon departs Castle Black with Tormund for Hardhome to persuade the remaining wildlings to surrender, denouncing the mission as reckless and an insult to all the black brothers who were killed by the wildlings. He also quips to Sam that he is losing his friends, and by extension, his protection. It is possible that Thorne was in fact warning Sam about potential attacks on him and Gilly in his own, gruff way.
|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|
|Season Four appearances|
|Two Swords||The Lion and the Rose||Breaker of Chains||Oathkeeper||First of His Name|
|The Laws of Gods and Men||Mockingbird||The Mountain and the Viper||The Watchers on the Wall||The Children|
|Season Five appearances|
|The Wars to Come||The House of Black and White||High Sparrow||Sons of the Harpy||Kill the Boy|
|Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken||The Gift||Hardhome||The Dance of Dragons||TBA|
- "Well, Lord Snow, it appears you're the least useless person here."
- ―Alliser Thorne to Jon Snow
- "Now there's a rare sight. Not only a bastard, but a traitor's bastard. Blood talks. You'll hang for this, bastard."
- ―Alliser Thorne to Jon Snow on Ned Stark's arrest for alleged treason.
- "Do you know what leadership means Lord Snow? It means that the person in charge gets second-guessed by every clever little twat with a mouth. But if he starts second-guessing himself, that's the end. For him, for the clever little twats, for everyone. This is not the end."
- ―Alliser Thorne to Jon Snow
- "Tonight we fight! And when the sun rises, I promise you, Castle Black will stand! The Night's Watch will stand!"
- ―Alliser Thorne during the Battle for Castle Black
- "Hold that fucking gate!! HOLD IT!!"
- ―Alliser Thorne's last words during the Battle for Castle Black
- "These men need a firm hand. They always have. They're poachers and thieves, not soldiers."
- ―Alliser Thorne on the new recruits.
- "Crowded. You'd think they were serving venison stew."
- ―Alliser Thorne
- "Who does Jon Snow want to command? The Night's Watch or the wildlings? Everyone knows he loved a wildling girl. He spoke with Mance Rayder many times. What would have happened in that tent between those two old friends if Stannis's army hadn't come along? We all saw him put the King-Beyond-the-Wall out of his misery. Do you want to choose a man who's been fighting the wildlings all his life? Or a man who makes love to them?"
- ―Alliser Thorne attempts to dissuade the others from electing Jon Snow as the new Lord Commander.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Alliser Thorne is respected for his service to House Targaryen. During the Sack of King's Landing he fought on the walls of the city against the Lannister forces. After being defeated, he took the black and joined the Night's Watch, being given the choice of this or death; this is most likely the cause of Ser Alliser's animosity towards Jon Snow, as Jon's father Lord Eddard was a prominent leader in Robert's Rebellion which forced Thorne into exile at the Wall. In a notable change, in the TV series Thorne is an experienced ranger who has been beyond the Wall on several occasions while in the books he rarely leaves Castle Black. He's described as having eyes as black as onyx and black hair ridged with white.
It is Donal Noye the Blacksmith that tells Jon not to use his superior fighting skills to embarrass his fellow recruits. Jeor Mormont sends Ser Alliser to King's Landing with the severed hand of the animated corpse (it was still jumping and twitching), and he was ordered to lay it at Joffrey's feet. He thought that as a knight with old political allies in King's Landing Ser Alliser Thorne would be more respected and listened to, and they would see the danger the Night Watch was in and send aid. However, when he arrived and asked for an audience it was Tyrion Lannister who was in charge. Tyrion asked if the one waiting was Yoren, who had become his friend. Remembering Ser Alliser, he told them to give him a room where the rushes hadn't been changed in a while. It was weeks before he got an audience and by then the hand had rotted away. After his fruitless return, he is sent to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea rather than back to Castle Black.
Thorne, with Janos Slynt, returns to Castle Black much later than in the show, during the Battle of Castle Black. Their presence proves to be a hindrance rather than assistance: they seize command on the castle and interrogate Jon roughly. They accuse him of oathbreaking, cowardice, and desertion. Maester Aemon assures them that Jon has already explained his deeds to him and Donal Noye, but they either don't believe or don't care. Jon repeats what he told before, that he was acting at Qhorin's orders, but his explanations are rejected. Thorne, who always loathed Jon, accuses him of murdering Qhorin, suggesting that he is in league with those who murdered Mormont, and that Benjen Stark may have a hand in all of that. Slynt teases Jon by claiming that Eddard Stark died a traitor. Hearing the lies about his father, Jon's patience runs out. When Thorne grabs his arm, he yanks free and grabs Thorne by the throat with such ferocity that he lifts him off the floor. The Eastwatch men pulls Jon off Thorne and he is locked in an ice cell. Four days later, he is released. Thorne and Slynt order Jon to go to the wildling camp to parley with Mance Rayder, but actually his mission is to kill Mance. Jon knows well that the wildlings will probably kill him on the spot, but he has no other choice but to do as is told, knowing that a refusal will confirm the false accusations against him and give Thorne and Slynt an excuse to kill him.
After the battle is over, Thorne continues naming Jon a turncloak. He claims that Jon failed to kill Mance Rayder because he was in league with him, but few believe that.
- Alliser Thorne on A Wiki of Ice and Fire (MAJOR spoilers from the books)
- Donal Noye on A Wiki of Ice and Fire (MAJOR spoilers from the books)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"
- ↑ "Lord Snow"
- ↑ "You Win or You Die"
- ↑ "The Pointy End"
- ↑ "Baelor"
- ↑ "Two Swords"
- ↑ "Breaker of Chains"
- ↑ "Oathkeeper"
- ↑ "Mockingbird"
- ↑ "The Watchers on the Wall"
- ↑ "The Wars to Come"
- ↑ "The House of Black and White"
- ↑ "High Sparrow (episode)"
- ↑ "The Gift (episode)"
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