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Execution of a deserter

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1 - Winter is Coming 2 - The Kingsroad 3 - Lord Snow 4 - Cripples, Bastards & Broken Things 5 - The Wolf and the Lion 6 - A Golden Crown 7 - You Win or You Die 8 - The Pointy End 9 - Baelor 10 - Fire and Blood

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Official Synopsis – On a hillside outside the castle walls, the ranger Will stands before Ned, understanding that his sentence is death but swearing that he saw White Walkers. Ned draws his family’s ancient blade, called Ice, and metes out the punishment as his sons – even young Bran – look on. Afterward, he tells his the boy: “Our way is the old way. The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.” When Bran asks his father if the deserter really saw the White Walkers, Ned assures him that they’ve been gone for thousands of years. (Source: HBO)
White Walker Story Arc
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NA Prologue Execution of a deserter Wildings, white walkers & whatnot Old Nan tells of the Long Night


Before the execution


FLASHBACK:  Ranger Will had earlier seen a White Walker cut off Gared’s head. Here is the scene where the White Walker is about to toss Gared’s head Will’s way.

Scene shifts, and we see a large tree limb that serves as a block in the foreground on which Will’s head will be placed. In the background, Will is being led to it by two of Winterfell’s guards. Several Winterfell bannermen are  holding white banners with the face of a direwolf on it, the house sigil.

Lord Ned Stark stands just on the other side of the block as Will is led to it by the two guards. 

WILL (muttering): White Walkers. I saw the White Walkers. White Walkers. The White Walkers, I saw them.

He and NED face each other. We see a closeup of Will’s face. He has a bloody lip. 

WILL: I know I broke my oath. And I know I’m a deserter. I should have gone back to the Wall and warned them. But I saw what I saw. I saw the White Walkers. People need to know.

Also within earshot are Rodrik Cassel (to Ned’s left), and  Cory Cassel (right). Theon Greyjoy is positioned behind the guards who are just behind Will, as he speaks to Ned before his head is to be placed in the block.  

WILL:  If you can get word to my family, tell them I’m no coward. Tell them I’m sorry.

NED nods yes, and WILL’s head is positioned on the block. NED draws Ice, a very large sword, from a scabbard held by Theon.

The execution

WILL (whispering): Forgive me, lord.

NED bows his head over ICE.

NED: In the name of Robert of the House Baratheon, first of his name …

As Ned continues with the ceremony, Bran, Lord Stark’s youngest son, and Jon Snow, are watching from a distance.   

JON (to BRAN): Don’t look away.

NED: … King of the Andals and the First Men …

JON: Father will know if you do.

NED: … Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and protector of the realm, I, Eddard of the House Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, sentence you to die.

Momentarily, birds can be heard chirping in the distance. NED then swings ICE and beheads WILL.  BRAN does not look away, as the sounds of crows cawing in the distance are heard. 

After the execution

JON: You did well.

4567887As Jon walks away, ROBB turns and puts his arm around BRAN and they go to their horses together. A few moments later, NED approaches BRAN who is tightening the strap of his saddle. 

NED: You understand why I did it?

BRAN: Jon said he was a deserter.

NED: But do you understand why I had to kill him?

BRAN: Our way is the old way?

Ned shakes his head yes. 

NED: The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.

Bran now gives his dad his undivided attention and looks directly at him. 

BRAN: Is it true he saw the White Walkers?

NED: The White Walkers have been gone for thousands of years.

BRAN: So he was lying?

NED: A madman sees what he sees.

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Winterfell is the seat of the ruler of the North and the traditional home of House Stark. It is a very large castle located at the center of the North, from where the head of House Stark rules over his people.

The castle is located alongside the Kingsroad as it makes its way from the Wall to the capital at King's Landing, more than a thousand miles to the south.


History & Lore

Violence & Gore



Ned Stark

Robb Stark

Bran Stark

Jon Snow

Jory Cassel

Rodrik Cassel

Theon Greyjoy


REFERENCES: Information and material on this page has been obtained and/or adapted from the following websites:


Game of Thrones Wikia

Game of Thrones Viewers Guide

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