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Old Nan

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Stark mini shield
Old Nan
First seen
Appeared in
2 episodes (see below)
Mentioned in
Also known as
Old Nan
Date of birth
Hodor - great-grandson
Portrayed by


Old Nan: "I know a story about a crow."
Bran Stark: "I hate your stories."
Old Nan: "I know a story about a boy who hated stories."
— Old Nan's storytelling[src]

Old Nan is a recurring character in the first season. She was played by Margaret John and debuts in "Lord Snow." Margaret John passed away on 2 February 2011, after the completion of filming for the first season. According to the writers the character passed away between the first and second season.[1] Old Nan is an elderly servant at Winterfell, known for her storytelling.



Old Nan is an elderly woman living in Winterfell. She is a retired servant of House Stark known for her tale-telling abilities. She has entertained the children of Eddard and Catelyn with stories throughout their childhoods. Her great grandson Hodor is a stable hand at the castle.

Season 1Edit

Old Nan sits by Bran’s bedside to watch him after his mother leaves for King’s Landing. She suggests the story of Duncan the Tall and Bran replies that he hates her stories but prefers the scary ones. She tells him about the Long Night and the winter that lasted a generation, when the white walkers ventured south.[2] Theon Greyjoy interrupts another story and says that he would go mad if he was left alone with Old Nan.[3]


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

Behind the scenesEdit

Actress Margaret John, who played Old Nan in Season 1, passed away only two months before Season 1 began to air, though all of her scenes had already been completed. The character does appear during the second book, however, in the show canon she's considered by the writers to have passed away between seasons.

Image galleryEdit

In the booksEdit

In A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Old Nan is the oldest person living at Winterfell. She came to Winterfell to act as wetnurse for a Brandon Stark, which one is unsure, only that his mother had died birthing him. This Brandon Stark is believed to be either the brother of Lord Rickard Stark or a brother of his father. She's retired but tells stories and legends to the Stark children. She lost two sons in Robert's Rebellion and her grandson during the Greyjoy Rebellion, while her daughters moved away and died. Her only surviving family is her great-grandson, the gentle, slow-witted Hodor.

"Nan" might be short for "Nymeria". When Arya Stark is on the run after escaping from King's Landing, one of the aliases she uses is "Nymeria", but she says to call her "Nan" for short.

Among the stories she used to tell the Stark boys are:

Following the Sack of Winterfell, Old Nan is brought to the Dreadfort. Her fate is unknown.

See alsoEdit


v  d  e
Lord: Prince Bran Stark Heir: Prince Rickon Stark
Seat: Winterfell (formerly) Lands: The North
Title(s): King in the North · Lord Paramount of the North · Lord of Winterfell
Ancestors:Brandon the Builder · Brandon the Breaker · Rodrik Stark · Karlon Stark · Torrhen Stark · Cregan Stark
Current members:Sansa Stark · Arya Stark · Benjen Stark · Jon Snow
Deceased members:Rickard Stark · Brandon Stark · Lyanna Stark · Eddard Stark · King Robb Stark · Talisa Stark · Catelyn Stark
Household:{Ser Rodrik Cassel} · {Maester Luwin} · {Jory Cassel} · {Vayon Poole} · {Septa Mordane} · Jeyne Poole · Osha · Hodor · Farlen · {Old Nan} · Mikken · Varly · Heward · Wyl · Tomard · Tommy · Jacks

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