The Lord of Bones, also known as Rattleshirt, is a recurring character in the second, third, and fifth seasons. He was first played by Edward Dogliani, and later by Ross O'Hennessy for season five. The Lord of Bones is a notorious leader among the Free Folk and a fearsome raider.
The Lord of Bones is an infamous wildling raider. He is known for wearing a giant's skull instead of a helmet and armor made of bones, which he wears to intimidate his enemies. His real name is unknown.
Ygritte takes Jon Snow to the rest of the warparty and introduces him, to the Lord of Bones, as "a present". The wildling commander is dismissive of Ygritte's arguments to keep him alive, as he already has Qhorin Halfhand as prisoner. He relents, however, after Ygritte's insistence and the reminder that Mance Rayder would want to decide for himself whether the bastard son of Eddard Stark lives or dies. However, he threatens Ygritte to castrate Jon should he try to escape. As the warband and their prisoners march to Mance Rayder's camp in Skirling Pass, Qhorin attacks Jon, blaming him for the deaths of Stonesnake, Borba and Harker. The Lord of Bones warns Qhorin not to strike his captive again.
When Halfhand attacks Jon once again, as part of his plan to have Jon infiltrate Mance Rayder's host, the Lord of Bones orders his men to let the two fight. After Jon kills Qhorin, the Lord of Bones cuts the ropes binding his hands together and orders his men to burn the Halfhand's corpse. He turns to Jon and taunts him that he would not want Qhorin's corpse coming back for him.
The Lord of Bones successfully brings Jon to the King-Beyond-the-Wall's camp and to Mance Rayder's tent. Removing his helmet, he is commended by Mance and then asked to leave with his group, including Ygritte, so that Mance may speak to Jon in private to which he obliges.
Jon Snow and Tormund visit Hardhome to rally the wildling forces to fight the undead army. The Lord of Bones meets with Tormund, and speaks about the events which led Jon and Tormund to work together. The Lord of Bones accuses Tormund of being a traitor and makes an insulting remark about Tormund sucking Jon's cock. Before he can finish the insult, Tormund grabs his staff and beats him to death with it in front of the other wildlings.
If his corpse was not burned while the parlay was taking place, it is likely that in the aftermath of the massacre at Hardhome, the Lord of Bones was reanimated as a wight by the Night King alongside all the other dead Wildlings and brothers of the Night's Watch.
|Season Two appearances|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis|
|Season Three appearances|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
|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||Mother’s Mercy|
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Lord of Bones is one of a number of formerly fiercely independent wildling warrior leaders who has been recruited by Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-the-Wall, to join his forces. He is a fierce enemy of the Night's Watch. Though he refers to himself as the Lord of Bones, the Night's Watch dubbed him "Rattleshirt" as a mockery of the rattle sound produced by his armor. His true name is unknown.
It is not Tormund but the Lord of Bones who is captured by the Watch during the Battle of Castle Black. Tormund never goes to Hardhome and thus never kills him there, as he did in the TV show. Instead, Melisandre has him burned alive, but switches his appearance with that of Mance Rayder to make it look as if Mance is the one being burned, and Mance masquerades as the Lord of Bones for a while before revealing himself.