Bowen Marsh is the First Steward of the Night's Watch, based at Castle Black. He is in charge of the day-to-day running of the Night's Watch, dealing with issues of supplies, funding, logistics and communications. He hails from House Marsh, a noble crannogmen family of the Neck sworn to House Reed.
Behind the scenesEdit
During Season 1 it was believed that Brian Fortune was playing Marsh, and Dennis McKeever was playing Othell Yarwyck, based on comments by Brian Fortune and McKeever's character delivering a line said by Yarwyck in the books. Neither of them were absolutely confirmed to be playing these characters, however, as their names were never stated in on-screen dialogue or in the credits. McKeever reappeared in Seasons 2 and 3 in a background role in the Great Ranging, in which Yarwyck didn't partake. In Season 4, Fortune's character was directly identified in on-screen dialogue as Yarwyck, and Michael Condron was subsequently cast as Marsh for Season 5. This establishes that Fortune's character should always be considered to have been Yarwyck, while McKeever was simply playing an unnamed Night's Watch officer. While this might technically be a retcon, Season 1 never absolutely confirmed which characters these actors were playing, so it introduced no internal continuity errors.
In the booksEdit
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Marsh, nicknamed "the Old Pomegranate," is an important and senior figure in the Watch, reporting directly to Lord Commander Jeor Mormont and is just below him in the command hierarchy of the Watch. When Mormont and the rest of the Night's Watch ride out to investigate the wildling menace in the so-called "Great Ranging", he remains in command at Castle Black. Though not explicitly stated, Bowen Marsh hails from House Marsh, a noble house from the Neck sworn to House Reed.
As the Wildlings advance to Castle Black, Mance Rayder sends raiding parties the to attack several areas of the Wall, in order to draw attention away from the main host and to draw away the defenders. Unfortunately, Marsh falls for the trick and takes most of the garrison from Castle Black. When Jon Snow returns, he finds that only forty-one men are left in the castle, most of them old, cripple and inexperienced.
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