- "Plenty of little men tried to put their swords through my heart. And there's plenty of little skeletons buried in the woods."
- ―Tormund to Jon Snow
Tormund, often called Tormund Giantsbane, is a major character in the fourth season. He initially appeared as a recurring character in season 3. He is a renowned leader and raider among the Free Folk and second in command behind Mance Rayder. He is played by Kristofer Hivju.
Tormund is a trusted leader in his own right of a large warband of wildlings. He has joined his forces to those of King-Beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder, and now functions as one of Mance's most trusted lieutenants.
Tormund accompanies Mance, along with Orell, Ygritte and Jon Snow, to the Fist of the First Men, where they see the mutilated horse corpses left behind by the White Walkers after their attack against the Night's Watch. Mance commands Tormund to climb the Wall along with twenty raiders, and Jon Snow as well, and wait for his signal to attack Castle Black from behind.
As Tormund's party comes closer to the Wall, Tormund questions Jon about the "crows" patrolling the top of the Wall spotted by Orell's eagle. Jon explains that the patrols are two Builders and two Rangers. Orell then questions Jon about the castles still manned by the Watch and the number of men in the garrison of Castle Black, disbelieving Jon's claim that a thousand men defend it. When Orell and Ygritte, who defends Jon, are about to start a fight, Tormund puts a stop to it throwing Orell away. Tormund tells Jon he likes him but will kill him nonetheless if he's lying. Jon remains adamant on his lie, but Tormund remains doubtful.
Tormund's party camps at a patch of the Haunted Forest that has been left unchecked and grown close to the Wall. Tormund comments to Jon that, once, crows would cut down any the trees within a mile of the Wall. When Jon asks Ygritte if she's ever climbed the Wall she confesses she hasn't, but Tormund has done it many times. After a few minutes, Tormund approaches Jon again and gives him a climbing pick. He advises Jon to sink it deep into the ice of the Wall and make sure it holds before taking the next step. He then jokes that if he falls, he better not scream because he wouldn't want that be the last thing Ygritte remembers about him.
Tormund's party breaks into four smaller groups to climb the Wall. Tormund leads one of them, with Orell, Yrgitte, and Jon sharing the same rope. Tormund's pick breaks a piece of ice that causes Jon to briefly lose his footing. The Wildling leader jokes that he wanted to see if he could take a hit. The raiding party climb further, but a portion of the Wall breaks down, taking one of the groups to their deaths. The ice keeps breaking and Tormund nails his pick hard to prevent from falling, but Ygritte and Jon do drop, ending up dangling in the air. Tormund holds the rope with one hand but Orell begins cutting the rope to prevent Jon and Ygritte from bringing them down. Jon reaches the ice just as Orell cuts Ygritte loose. Later, the group reaches an abandoned watchpost of the Night's Watch. Ygrite and Jon reach the top as Tormund gathers his rope.
Tormund and the raiding party climb down from the Wall and begin their march to take Castle Black unaware. Some time later, the party encamps in a forest area of the Gift. Tormund jokingly gives Jon some advice on how to properly have sex with a woman before ordering the group to begin the march again.
Some time afterward, Tormund's party reach the hut of a man who breeds horses for the Night's Watch. Orell advises attacking the man and killing him for his horses and gold. Tormund muses he may have good steel. Jon argues to spare the man and just take the horses, as the Watch will send less men to track down thieves than for a murderer. Tormund hopes for more men as it will be easier to kill them in the open than in Castle Black. Tormund orders his men to spread out to attack the hut. The man escapes after his horses react to a noise made by Jon to warn him.
Tormund and his men capture the man at an abandoned mill. Orell manages to hear noise inside the mill - it's Bran and Rickon Stark, along with their companions - but Tormund dismisses it as thunder from the rain that is just beginning. Tormund then questions the man about where he was riding. The man refuses to answer because he'll die anyway, and Tormund admits he's right. Tormund bares his sword to kill the man, who asks to die standing up, but Orell intervenes and demands that Jon kill the man. Tormund orders Jon to do it, but Jon hesitates. Ygritte carries out the execution after Jon is unable to. Orell goads Tormund into killing Jon to prevent him from betraying them and Tormund relents, ordering his men to kill Jon. Tormund restrains Ygritte when she tries to interfere to protect her lover. As Ygritte rages, he tells her not to die for a crow. Several members of Tormund's party, among them Orell, are killed by Jon as well as Summer and Shaggydog.
Tormund has his raiding party encamped in a stone ravine south of the Wall. Tormund chides Ygritte for failing to finish off Jon Snow. Suddenly their scouts signal that someone is approaching. Styr and a band of Thenn approach them through the ravine. Out of earshot, Tormund comments about how much he hates Thenns. Styr says his party raided a village south of the ravine and gathered meat. He says the meat tastes so much better south of The Wall, and chides Tormund for losing their warg as well as Jon. He reminds Tormund how the Night's Watch are feasting and getting fat at Castle Black. Styr suggests that Tormund taste crow meat before he dies, as a human arm roasts over a fire.
Tormund and Styr lead a raid on a village south of the Wall. When one villager attempts to attack Tormund from behind, Ygritte shoots him before he can strike and Tormund finishes him off. Styr sends a lone boy to Castle Black as a message to the brothers of the Night's Watch.
|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 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|
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Tormund Giantsbane, also known as Tormund Thunderfist, is a wildling chieftain following Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-the-Wall. He serves alongside the Lord of Bones, Styr the Magnar of Thenn and several other chieftains as an advisor and lieutenant to "the Mance". He is a charismatic, hearty, good-humored man (unlike his TV portrayal) and, by wildling standards, has a rough sense of honor. He styles himself Tall-talker, Horn-blower, Breaker of Ice, Husband to Bears, Mead-King of Ruddy Hall, Speaker to Gods and Father of Hosts. He has four sons (Toregg, Torwynd, Dryn, and Dormund) and a daughter (Munda). Tormund is older in the books than in the TV series: he is described as having a white beard so he is not a young man, but he is also described as large, broad, and still very strong. He wears thick gold bands graven with runes on his massive arms, and a heavy shirt of black ringmail that could only have come from a dead ranger. Tormund likes to brag about his deeds, but he is not arrogant.
While Jon travels with the wildlings, he and Tormund become friends despite Jon's effort to keep his distance from the wildlings. Jon is rather amused to hear Tormund's stories. Tormund approves of the growing romance between Jon and Ygritte, and encourages Jon to have sex with her. When the Lord of Bones acts hostilely and suspiciously toward Jon, Tormund supports Jon.
In the books it is not Tormund but Styr that leads the wildling party to scale the Wall.