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Othell Yarwyck

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Othell Yarwyck
Season(s) 1, 4, 5
First seen "You Win or You Die"
Appeared in 9 episodes (see below)
Titles First Builder
Status Alive
Allegiance The Night's Watch
House Yarwyck (by birth)
Portrayed by Brian Fortune
"We need to teach 'em a lesson about they way we deal with their kind! Three dozen bodies with slit throats tossed off the top of the Wall! Seems like that'd be a good lesson!"
―Othell Yarwyck[src]

Othell Yarwyck is a recurring character in the first, fourth and fifth seasons. He is played by guest star Brian Fortune[1]. He debuts in "You Win or You Die." Othell Yarwyck is the First Builder; a senior position within the Night's Watch.



Othell Yarwyck is First Builder of the Night's Watch and a member of House Yarwyck, a noble house of the Westerlands sworn to Casterly Rock. He is based at Castle Black and is tasked with organizing the builders in maintaining the Wall and the castles belonging to the Watch.

Season 1Edit

Othell Yarwyck is present for the induction of the new recruits at Castle Black. He accompanies Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly into the Haunted Forest to witness them saying their oaths of loyalty to the Watch in front of a heart tree. He is among the first to congratulate them on entering the Watch, and is also present when Ghost returns with a corpse's hand in his mouth.[2] The party discover the corpses of Othor and Jafer Flowers and return them to Castle Black. He confirms Sam's discovery that the corpses do not smell, which is odd since they appear to have been dead for weeks.[3]

Season 4Edit

Othell Yarwyck is one of the five black brothers to "judge" Jon Snow for his actions during his time with the wildlings. After Maester Aemon dimisses Jon, Yarwyck helps Aemon to his feet and to leave the hall.[4]

A young boy, Olly, arrives at Castle Black and tells the Night's Watch how a wildling raiding party massacred his village. Othell angrily proposes that they should send a message to the wildlings by killing the raiders and throwing their bodies off the top of the Wall. Many black brothers agree with him, but Ser Alliser Thorne argues that striking back is exactly what the wildlings want.[5]

Othell is present when ​Jon Snow proposes to seal Castle Black's tunnel due to the imminent attack by Mance Rayder's army. Alliser Thorne reminds Jon that the builders are responsible for maintaining the tunnel, and not the stewards. Alliser asks for Othell's opinion on Jon's proposal to seal the tunnel. Othell reluctantly sides with Alliser.[6]

Season 5 Edit

Othell participates in the Choosing of the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. He counts the votes and informs Maester Aemon that there is a tie between Jon Snow and Alliser Thorne, which the Maester breaks by voting for Jon.[7] Later, when the newly chosen Lord Commander Snow gives Janos Slynt the command of Greyguard and he refuses it, as it is in ruins, Jon tells Janos that Yarwyck can spare ten of his builders to help him rebuild the fort, and Yarwyck himself agrees. However, Janos repeatedly refuses the command and insults Jon, so he executes Lord Janos.[8]


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

Behind the scenesEdit

During Season 1 it was believed that Fortune was playing Bowen Marsh, and Dennis McKeever was playing Yarwyck, based on comments by 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, Yarwyck is not present when Jon Snow is taken before Alliser Thorne and Janos Slynt.

See alsoEdit


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