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Bowen Marsh

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The lord commander must pardon my bluntness, but I have no softer way to say this. What you propose is nothing less than treason. For eight thousand years the men of the Night's Watch have stood upon the Wall and fought these wildlings. Now you mean to let them pass, to shelter them in our castles, to feed them and clothe them and teach them how to fight. Lord Snow, must I remind you? You swore an oath.
~ Bowen to Jon Snow
Bowen Marsh

Bowen Marsh is the Lord Steward of the Night's Watch and a character from a A Song of Ice and Fire and its TV series adaptation Game of Thrones. During most of the series he's a supporting character, loyal and friendly, until the fifth book.

In the TV series he's portrayed by Michael Condron.


Bowen Marsh serves as the First Steward of the Night's Watch at Castle Black. He is a crannogman from the Neck and a member of House Marsh, sworn to House Reed and House Stark. As First Steward he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the Night's Watch, dealing with issues of supplies, funding, logistics and communications. He has a mind for counts and measures. Eddison Tollett calls him "the Old Pomegranate".

A Game of Thrones

Bowen is one of the guests at the dinner organized by the Lord Commander Jeor Mormont on the eve of Tyrion Lannister's departure. He's friendly to Tyrion like every other officer at the table of the Great Hall and enjoys his jokes, and watches Ser Alliser Thorne arguing with Tyrion.

When the new recruits join the Night's Watch, Maester Aemon orders Pyp to report to Bowen Marsh in the kitchens.

Bowen and other black brothers accompany the new stewards, Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly, beyond the Wall where they pronounce their vows in the weirwood circle in the haunted forest. He happily hugs Jon and Samwell and welcomes them to the Night's Watch.

A Clash of Kings

When Lord Commander Mormont goes beyond the Wall for the great ranging, the biggest ranging in living memory consisting of near a third of the Night's Watch's strength. While Ser Alliser Thorne goes to King's Landing with Othor's hand, Bowen Marsh is named castellan of Castle Black and Ser Endrew Tarth comes from the Shadow Tower to train the new recruits.

A Storm of Swords

Not knowing that Renly Baratheon is already dead, Bowen sends an appeal to the five kings, in which he asks Joffrey Baratheon, Robb Stark, Stannis Baratheon, and Balon Greyjoy to send men to defend the Wall and the realm against an expected attack by Mance Rayder's wildlings. He also tells them about the possible death of Lord Commander Mormont during the Great Ranging. When Grand Maester Pycelle informs Lord Tywin Lannister about the letter, the Hand of the King is annoyed about the neutrality the Night's Watch keeps in the War of the Five Kings and suggests that no help will be sent until a Lannister ally has been installed as new Lord Commander and brings discipline back to the Wall. Pycelle suggests Janos Slynt for the position, angering Tyrion Lannister, who reminds his father that he was against a butcher's son holding Harrenhal, but Tywin instead thinks Slynt would be a good tool for them to have an ally at the Wall. Ignoring Tyrion's protests that the black brothers chose their own commander and direct support for Slynt would thus be unwise, Tywin orders Pycelle to write a letter to Marsh in the name of King Joffrey, in which the demand for men is rejected for the time being but the "fondest regards to his faithful friend and servant Lord Janos Slynt" are also expressed.

After Jeor Mormont's death at Craster's Keep, only a small group of survivors return from great ranging. Bowen acts in command of the Night's Watch until the election of the new Lord Commander. The Wall is invaded by the wildlings and warbands are spotted at every abandoned castle at the Wall. Jarman Buckwell and his squad return from the great ranging and report that they saw Jon Snow mooving freely in one of the wildling parties.

The wildlings are attacking the Gift and thanks to Jon Snow, who left Styr's wildling party, the population of Mole's Town evacuate, with many of them running to Castle Black. Mance plans to draw away most of the warriors garrisoned at Castle Black as a bait and Bowen takes the bait when the wildling known as the Weeper is spotted near the Shadow Tower with 300 wildlings. Bowen names the extremely old Ser Wynton Stout castellan of Castle Black, and takes with him the nest warriors in the garrison and some other men, including Dolorous Edd, to help the garrison of the Shadow Tower. Wynton is old and senile, so the de facto leader of Castle Black is Donal Noye.

During the Battle of Castle Black, Mance's diversion lead Bowen to the Bridge of Skulls, where he faces the Weeper in a bloody battle during the Fight at the Bridge of Skulls. Black Brothers from Castle Black and the Shadow Tower take part in the battle, among them Bowen Marsh, Ser Denys Mallister, Ser Endrew Tarth, Jarman Buckwell, Ser Aladale Wynch, Maester Mullin, Wallace Massey, Eddison Tollett, Dywen, Bedwyck, Watt of Long Lake, and many others in a force of about 400 men.

The battle is bloody and 100 brothers are slain, including Endrew, Aladale, Jarman, and Watt. The wildling casualties are significant, but the Weeper survives and flees with the rest of his warrior band.

After the Fight at the Bridge of Skulls, Bowen Marsh is seriously wounded in the battle and has to be carried to the Shadow Tower in a litter. This delays the return of the garrison to Castle Black, which is under assault from the main wildling force commanded by Mance. Styr, Donal Noye, and Mag the Mighty die during the battles at Castle Black and without Bowen the garrison is left without a commander. Ser Alliser Thorne and Janos Slynt are sent with reinforcements from Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to support the garrison of the main castle. Thorne and Slynt take command of the surviving force at Castle Black until King Stannis Baratheon arrives at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea with his fleet and rides with his army and Cotter Pyke against Mance Rayder's wildling force. They manage to defeat them and capture many of them, including Mance, while the rest scatters back into the haunted forest.

Bowen is healed at the Shadow Tower and brought back to Castle Black by Ser Denys Mallister. They return with men of the Shadow Tower and the survivors from Castle Black, including Edd, Dywen, and Bedwyck. On the way there, they meet and join with Samwell Tarly and Gilly.

The Night's Watch is wary of Stannis and his army at Castle Black. The election of the new Lord Commander begins. Among the candidates are Janos Slynt, Denys Mallister, Bowen Marsh, Cotter Pyke, Othell Yarwyck, and Eddison Tollett. Since he receives little support, Bowen withdraws his name from the voting and backs Janos Slynt. Edd also withdraws his name as he receives only 2 votes.

King Stannis is planning to let the wildlings through the Wall and when he learns the Night's Watch still doesn't have a Lord Commander, he brings several black brothers before him to make known his anger about them taking too long to select a new leader. Bowen attempts to sway his sworn brothers and Stannis of Janos's worth, saying that a man who led the Gold Cloaks of King's Landing is the best option for leading the Watch. Stannis sees through Janos Slynt’s fawning, having known the man as a bribe-taker in King's Landing and sarcastically remarks that even the cook Hobb would make a better leader. The king makes it clear that after they finally vote in a new Lord Commander, he plans to take all the castles along the Wall, except for the three currently occupied by the Watch, to garrison his forces. He also plans to either take or be granted the Gift, stating that he intends to help the Watch guard the Wall. He commands Othell Yarwyck and his builders to deliver reports on the conditions of the abandoned castles, and informs the men gathered that nightfires will be lit before the gates of all the castles.

Janos Slynt is beating Ser Denys Mallister and Cotter Pyke. Bowen, Ser Alliser, and Ser Glendon Hewett keep supporting him along with many black brothers. Denys and Cotter dislike each other due to the history between Seagard and the ironborn, but Sam convinces them both to support Jon Snow for new Lord Commander.

Bowen and Alliser talk about how even Tywin Lannister previously sent a letter with his support for Janos, promising more men for the Night's Watch. They show the letter to Othell Yarwyck, seeking to have the First Builder withdraw and back Slynt. Jon Snow is disturbed by the possibility of Janos leading the Night's Watch, as he still thinks Jon is a traitor. Jon, torn between is duties to the Watch and Stannis's offer to become Lord of Winterfell with the Stark name, decides to put his name for Lord Commander, causing Thorne and Slynt shouting at him with disapproval. When Thorne tries to use Yarwyck to support Slynt to end the voting, the First Builder grows tired of their plotting, and withdraws his name in favor of Jon. Bowen also staunchly supports Jon. Jon wins the election and becomes 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch and has to refuse Stannis's offer, much to his anger.

A Dance with Dragons

The wights are amassing and killing wildlings beyond the Wall night. Bowen returns to his duties as Lord Steward. He's initally helpful to Lord Commander Snow. Jon refuses to give the Night's Watch lands of the Gift and the abandoned castles at the Wall to Stannis, and refuses to be intimidated despite Stannis often threatens to kill him. Jon gives Stannis one castle, the Nightfort, as a thanking for his arrival that saved the Watch. Jon forces Gilly to give up her own child and take Mance Rayder's baby with her, worried by the danger of Melisandre burning the baby, and sends Samwell to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to take a ship and travel to the Citadel to be trained as a maester replacement for Aemon. Samwell leaves with Gilly, Mance's baby, and Maester Aemon, as Jon fears for the life of the latter as well, with Melisandre around.

There's tension with Stannis's men at Castle Black, escpecially the Queen's Men. Two of them, Ser Richard Horpe and Ser Justin Massey, are seen riding south. Bowen keeps serving Jon, who plans to garrison all of the castles on the Wall, to avoid bad surprises from the wildlings, but for the time being, only Icemark and Greyguard. Partially in light of Slynt's years commanding the City Watch, but primarily to To separate Janos Slynt and Alliser Thorne and their scheming, Jon gives Janos command of Greyguard. Greyguard has largely collapsed and has been abandoned for 2,000 years, so Janos curses Jon and storms out. The next morning Jon gives Janos another chance in the common room refuses him again and mocks him in front of his men and Stannis' men, causing Bowen to think of Jon as a weak commander for a moment. But Jon orders Iron Emmett and Dolorous Edd to take Slynt to the Wall and hang him, until he suddently commands them to stop, causing Slynt to laugh and Bowen showing visible frustration at Jon's apparent weakness. But Jon instead asks for a block and beheads Janos himself, as Lord Eddard would have done, much to Stannis's approval.

Bowen watches with the other black brothers, Stannis' men, the wildlings, and the people of Mole's Town, the burning of Mance Rayder. The wildlins bend the knee to King Stannis, after he threatens to throw them back beyond the Wall, and take the Lord of Light as their god. They still keep the old gods in their hearts.

Bowen starts showing problems with Jon. He disapproves of Stannis's decision to ally with the wildlings and thinks it is wrong to let thousands of wildlings south of the Wall, and would prefer to seal the gates and let the wildlings defend the northern side. Many of the men of the Night's Watch are also muttering against the perception that Jon has taken Stannis' side in the game of thrones. Jon denies this, but says that the outcome of the struggle is unclear following the death of Tywin Lannister. Supported by most stewards and builders of the Watch, Bowen suggests sealing the gate through the Wall at Castle Black, but his advice is rejected by Jon. He tries to discourage the Lord Commander from leading some recruits to recite their vows in the haunted forest, suggesting Castle Black's sept instead.

Bowen is bothered by the decrease of the food supplies caused by Stannis's army and the wildlings. He informs Jon that there is not enough to feed the Night's Watch, the wildlings, and Stannis' men through the winter. Jon grimly orders a cut in rations, though he knows it will make him unpopular, and tells Marsh they will find a way to feed everyone.

Bowen disapproves of Jon advising Stannis for his battle against the Boltons, as well as the Queen's Men who keep taunting Jon and are annoyed by Stannis listening to his council. Stannis listens to Jon and abandons his plan to take the Dreadfort or marching immediately to Winterfell, where Lord Roose Bolton hopes to bait the king in one of those castles with the help of the Karstarks. Instead Jon tells Stannis to get the support of the Northern Mountain Clans and liberate the places who are still held by the ironborn, so he can get the support of the North to rebel against the Boltons. Bowen is worried by the reaction of the Iron Throne. Like Marsh, the Queen Dowager Cersei Lannister is angered by the Night's Watch helping Stannis and thinks Jon wants revenge for his family. In truth Stannis's priority is free the North from the Boltons so they can avoid attacks from the south and secure the support of the North for Stannis against the Others and give more food for Stannis' men and the wildlings. Stannis has ordered his garrison at Dragonstone to mine the dragonglass to bring it to the Wall and does not plan to march south after defeating the Boltons, promising instead to return to defend the Wall when Winterfell is liberated. However Bowen still thinks the neutrality of the Watch is in danger.

When Stannis departs with his host, Castle Black goes quiet and the people relieved. Only Melisandre is left with Devan Seaworth and many other Queen's Men to guard her. The rest of Stannis's army and fleet remains at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, while Lord Davos Seaworth and Salladhor Saan are out for a secret mission to rally the northmen for Stannis. Against Bowen Marsh's wishes, Jon accompanies a line of wagons under armed escort to deliver food to the wildlings who have taken refuge underground at Mole's Town. The Night's Watch and the Free Folk still hate each other and Jon promises the wildings adequate food, shelter, and weapons if they help the Night's Watch defend the Wall, informing them that they have the choice: work with the Watch, or face the Others alone. In spite of their misgivings, many wildlings agree to join, children, spearwives, and fighters alike, including Halleck, the brother of Harma Dogshead. However, Sigorn and the rest of the Thenns refuse the offer. Jon returns to Castle Black with 63 wildlings with him.

Jon sends beyond the Wall Ser Alliser, Dywen, and one other man with ranging parties to find the wildlings and check the situtation in the wilds. Then he sends two other rangins led by First Ranger Jack Bulwer and Kedge Whiteye. The Night's Watch learns that Ramsay Bolton is going to marry Arya Stark and Melisandre sends her agents to Winterfell to save her.

Ser Denys Mallister keeps ends regular ravens to Castle Black requesting additional men for the Shadow Tower. Lord Commander Jon Snow re-assigns Halder and Todder to meet his demands, as well as 10 untrained men from Mole's Town. He also sends Grenn and Pyp to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.

The Night's Watch finds the heads of Black Jack Bulwer, Hairy Hal and Garth Greyfeather, impaled on spears with no eyes. They were found by the Weeper and his wildlings and killed. 

The wildlings Leather and Jax join the Night's Watch and take their vows. To avoid troubles with the men at Castle Black, the girls and women took residence at Hardin's Tower. Without Stannis keeping order and force authority, the presence of females makes the men of the Watch uneasy and there are already incidents between the men and the wildling spearwives. Three men had to be locked in ice cells. Also there are tension and fights between the male wildlings and the black brothes, troubles caused especially by Halleck and the Thenns.

Jon starts to garrison the abandoned castles at the Wall with few men and builders to repair them: Deep Lake and Sable Hall are occupied by few men, and Long Barrow is garrisoned with sperawives under command Iron Emmett with Dolorous Edd as his chief steward. Emmett starts having sex with the wildling women and the castle earns the nickname "Whore's Barrow".

The Night's Watch finds a small group of wildlings, including a child and his mother, a Thenn, a Hornfoot and Wun Wun the giant in the haunted forest and the rangers and Leathers convince the group to follow them at Castle Black. The rangers also find two wildling corpses and Jon has them locked into the ice cells, much to the shock of Septon Cellador, who's angered by the unholy presence of possible wights at the Wall. Stannis sends a letter in which he informs the Night's Watch that he has liberated Deepwood Motte, took Asha Greyjoy captive, won the support of many northern houses, and he's marching to Winterfell to save Arya Stark and defeat the Boltons.

Bowen starts to become disillusioned with Jon and he's angered by him making a boy-whore lad, Satin, the Lord Commander's new steward, appointing the wildling Leathers as the new master-at-arms at Castle Black, and allowing wildlings to join the Watch and diminish the food supply. Bowen, Yarwyck, and Septon Cellador makes various complaints to Jon about their situation and they are especially angered by Jon's decision to negotiate with Tormund and allow him and his wildlings through the Wall. Val is sent beyond the Wall to find Tormund's host.

Bowen, Yarwyck, and Cellador are also nervous about the fact Jon is keeping two corpses in the ice cells, and react with outrage and horror when Jon reveals he is waiting for them to rise, ignoring Jon's argument that the Watch knows next to nothing about the wights or their masters, and need to learn more if they are to defeat them. Overlooking their protests, Jon tells them of a large group of wildlings making for Hardhome at the east coast north of the Wall, following the witch Mother Mole who claims they will find ships there to bring them across the Narrow Sea. Jon fears they will die there, but when he gets only indifference from Bowen and the others at the prospect of thousands of dead wildlings, Jon finally loses patience. Angrily asking if they don't realise the truth or are just ignoring it, Jon points out that if they do nothing, the wildlings at Hardhome will die in their thousands, and when they are dead, in time they will rise up again with blue eyes and cold hands, and the Others will have thousands more wights under their control to send at the Wall. Most of the Night's Watch remains bothered by the situation, and Bowen and many men are infuriated by Jon.

Bowen accuses Jon of treason towards the Watch and loses any hope for him. Ser Alliser and the rest of the rangers have not yet returned from their mission beyond the Wall. However Jon starts to get new enemies even without Thorne's presence.

Disliking Eastwatch-by-the-Sea and the poor treatment received by the commander Cotter Pyke, Stannis's wife, Queen Selyse Florent, arrives at Castle Black with Princess Shireen Baratheon, the fool Patchface, Ser Axell Florent, and many other Stannis' men to guard them. They are accompanied by Tycho Nestoris, an emissary of the Iron Bank of Braavos who seeks for an alliance with King Stannis after the Iron Throne refused to honor their debt with the Iron Bank and the Faith. The Nightfort is still uninhabitable and Othell Yarwyck and his builders are still repairing it, so Selyse and her group remain at Castle Black. Tycho has no news of Samwell, Gilly, and Maester Aemon, but he informs the Watch about rumors of dragons in Essos and strikes a deal with Jon. With the deal three ships are added to the Eastwatch fleet, the Night's Watch now have 11ships. Jon hopes to bring the wildlings down from Hardhome around the Wall in order to save them and not have them become more wights in thrall to The Others. However the deal causes more trouble for the Watch, uncertain if they will ever be able to repay the Iron Bank and thus avoid consequences.

Jon sends Yarwyck with his Builders to restore the Nightfort. Tension increases with the arrival of Selyse and her group, with Ser Axell already planning to marry the wildling princess, Val. A girl on a dying horse arrives at the Wall. The girl is Lady Alys Karstark and she warns Jon not to let Cregan Karstark take her back with him when he arrives, as he and his father Arnolf Karstark intend to force her into marrying Cregan. Harrion Karstark has been a captive for more than a year and Arnolf only declared Karhold for Stannis in the hope it would provoke the Lannisters to execute Harrion. If that happened, Alys would be heir to Karhold, at which point Cregan would marry her, get a child from her and then get rid of her. Jon offers to write to Stannis about the matter on her behalf but Alys reveals that the Karstarks are playing Stannis false; they have long been in league with Roose Bolton and are only waiting for his word to betray Stannis.

Bowen remains unhappy about Jon helping the wildlings and Stannis, and the new debt with the Iron Bank of Braavos. He and starts thinking he might going to destroy the Night's Watch with his actions. Cregan Karstark and his men were met by Jon before he could reach Castle Black and were imprisoned in the ice cells. Jon sends a message informing Stannis about the Karstarks treachery through Tycho Nestoris, who lives Castle Black to find Stannis. Alys Karstark is married to Sigorn. The marriage ceremony is conducted by Melisandre and is attended by the Night's Watch, the wildlings, Selyse with Shireen and Stannis' men, Mole's Town people, and the northern mountain clansmen, who's armies are supporting Stannis in the March on Winterfell. The first wildling house of the North is founded: House Thenn.

A raven brings message that the relief fleet for Hardhome, delayed due to the bad weather, has now left Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Cotter Pyke is commanding the fleet and he left behind Glendon Hewett in charge of Eastwatch. The Night's Watch horn interrupts the wedding feast, announcing the arrival of Tormund and Val. Jon and Tormund strike a bargain to allow 4,000 wildlings past the Wall, including the giants with their mammoths. The wildlings must leave one hundred boys as hostages at Castle Black, and yield all valuables to pay for food. Jon and Val inform Queen Selyse, who controls the castle in Stannis' name, about the bargain. Selyse is excited and tells that her husband will be proud, all the wildlings have to do is swear fealty to the king and convert to R'hllor. But Jon tells her that this was not part of the bargain, and Val adds that the free folk do no kneel, causing the queen to get upset.

Bowen is not the only one who's unhappy with the wildlings coming through the Wall. Torghen Flint of the first Flints and Brandon Norrey, the Norrey clan chief are not happy about it because of past conflicts. Jon tells them that they must forgive crimes of the past if they are to live together. They are worried about their lands on the Northern Mountains, but Jon tells them the wildlings are to remain on the wall in the abandoned castles.

Bowen sees this agreement as a betrayal of Jon's vows to the Night's Watch and his angered by the fact that Jon is allowing the wildlings to live in the lands of the Gift, the very lands they've been raiding for thousands of years, destroying villages and farms and causing most of the lands to remain deserted. However, Jon says that he is sworn to defend the realms of men and asks him whether the people beyond the wall don't count as men. Thus it is his intent to use all available resources to defend the realm of men against the Others.

Tormund and his 4,000 wildlings pass the Wall at Castle Black, while the giants bring their mammoths through Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. The wildlings yield all valuables so that they can be sold for food, as well as one hundred boys as hostages. Initially, two girls are included in the one hundred hostages, although Jon spots them and they are replaced by two new boys. Tormund voluntarily includes his own son as a hostage as a sign of good faith. Jon decides to take him on as his own squire.

Yarwyck returns to Castle Black to report the situation of the restoration of the Nightfort for Stannis and Selyse. Bowen and Yarwyck are visibly discontent and look at Jon with anger. Yarwyck claims the wildlings are more trouble than they’re worth, sloppy, careless and lazy, and while there are some good woodworkers among them, they won’t do as they are told. Marsh and Yarwyck also object to Jon's decision to man the abandoned forts with the wildlings. In fact Jon has more abandoned castles to be re-garrisoned by the Night's Watch and the wildlings: Sentinel Stand and Torches are occupied by small companies of men of the Watch; Greyguard's garrison is commanded by a steward from the Shadow Tower; Icemark is given to Bedwyck and re-garrisoned with 30 men, comprised of 20 from the Night's Watch and 10 of Stannis Baratheon's men. Jon gives other castles to be garrisoned by wildlings present at Castle Black to hear his commands: Stonedoor goes under command of Soren Shieldbreaker and his own people, with the warg Borroq to join them; Queensgate is given to Morna White Mask and her own people; Oakenshield is given to Tormund and his people; Greenguard is given to Devyn Sealskinner and his people. Jon also means to re-garrison the remaining castles Westwatch-by-the-Bridge, Hoarfrost Hill, and Woodswatch-by-the-Pool, but does not yet name the commanders. Dolorous Edd and other men arrive at Castle Black to report the situation on Deep Lake, Sable Hall, and Long Barrow.

Later, Jon receives a letter from Cotter Pyke, saying that he is stranded at Hardhome, and calls for help. He also reveals that the Braavosi captains on loan from Tycho would only allow wildling women and children aboard their ships, and that the Woods Witch has taken to calling them slavers. He also says there are dead things both in the woods and the water, lending a great deal of urgency to his message. At Braavos, Arya Stark sees one the slavers' ships seized a long with the wildlings, as slavery is illegal in Braavos. The other ships is on its way to Qarth or Slaver's Bay. Reports from Ser Denys Mallister inform Jon that the Shadow Tower sees many fires outside and Denys thinks the Weeper and his warriors are amassing at the Bridge of Skulls once more to take the castle.

Jon means to lead men to Hardhome to rescue the wildlings and men of the Night's Watch trapped there. Queen Selyse, Bowen Marsh, Othell Yarwyck, Melisandre, and most of the Night's Watch discourage him, and want to leave them to their fate. Yarwyck states that Hardhome is a cursed place, even Benjen Stark used to say that. However, Jon is determined to not abandon Cotter and the others and lead a rescue mission. Yarwyck advises Jon to send Tormund to lead the mission, as considers the idea of the Lord Commander leaving the Wall a reckless thing at the current situation and with the Others attacking the lands beyond the Wall.

While Jon is planning the mission to Hardhome with Tormund, a letter arrives. The person who wrote it claims to be Ramsay Bolton. The letter claims that King Stannis is dead after a seven day battle, that he captured Mance Rayder and flayed his spearwives, and accuses Jon and Stannis of being liars, as they told the world they killed Mance, instead they send him to steal his bride. Ramsay wants his bride back, along with Theon Greyjoy, Melisandre, Val, Mance's presumed son, and Queen Selyse and her daughter. If Jon won't give them to him, Ramsay will destroy the Night's Watch.

The pink letter causes a change of plans. Jon is provoked by the letter and is taken by personal feelings since the Boltons are partially responsible for the destruction of his family and are also threatening is current family, the Night's Watch. Jon decides to send the bulk of the Night's Watch to Hardhome with Tormund in command, while he will go to Winterfell himself and make Ramsay answer for his words. Jon knows that doing so will break his vow to not interfere in the wars of the Seven Kingdoms, so he is prepared to go alone. He asks if anyone will ride with him and he gets an overwhelming roar of support from most of the wildlings, though not from his Black Brothers, who feel. betrayed by their own Lord Commander.

This is the final straw for Bowen Marsh. Infuriated, he leaves the common room with Othell Yarwyck and their men. Jon unwisely disregards this. Bowen and his group agree that Jon is going to destroy the Night's Watch. He threatening the neutrality of the Watch by going against the Boltons and this might cause the wrath of the Iron Throne and the Lannisters. Bowen, Yarwyck and the group decide to mutiny against Jon.

Ser Axell is bringing the letter to Queen Selyse. When Jon is on his way to inform Selyse, he hears the giant Wun Wun roar and a man scream. When he arrives, a bleeding Wun Wun is smashing dead Ser Patrek of King's Mountain, a knight serving Stannis, against a tower wall. Jon tries to calm the people who come running, when Wick Wittlestick slashes at Jon's throat with a dagger, just barely grazing him. While Jon is still trying to understand, Bowen Marsh and others surround him and plant daggers in him, all of them saying with tears in their eyes, "For the Watch." By the time the fourth dagger slashes him, Jon passes out.

Game of Thrones

Bowen Marsh is mentioned in season 1, when Maester Aemon assignes Pyp to reports in the kitchen.

During season 4 Bowen is unseen in the Battle of Castle Black. It's unknown if he went to the Shadow Tower like in the books. During the assault at the Wall, the wildlings sends a survivor boy from a destroyed village named Olly to tell the garrison of Castle Black about their raids, as an attempt of baiting them out of the castle.

Bowen is present when King Stannis Baratheon burns Mance Rayder alive for refusing to bend the knee.

Marsh participates in the Choosing of the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. He stands among Alliser Thorne's supporters, and fails to applaud or cheer when Jon Snow is elected.

At a later meeting in the Night's Watch, Marsh sits alongside Jon, Thorne and Othell Yarwyck and openly opposes Jon's proposal to allow the wildlings access through the Wall to settle in the Seven Kingdoms or even join the Watch itself. Samwell Tarly cites The Gift as a good place for the wildlings to settle because much of the farmland there is deserted, but Marsh reminds him that this is because the wildlings frequently targeted the lands of the Gift in their raids of the North, citing Olly's village as an example.

When Lord Commander Snow returns to Castle Black and allows thousands of wildlings through the Wall, Bowen looks at him with disgusts, along with Thorne, Yarwyck, and Olly.

Bowen joins Ser Alliser's group of black brothers who feel that Jon has forsaken the Night's Watch for the wildlings. After tricking Jon into being trapped in a corner, Thorne, Yarwyck, Marsh, and several other men of the Night's Watch, including Olly, brutally stab Jon Snow and leave him to die after he let the wildlings go through the other side of the Wall to make them live in the lands of The Gift, the lands that have been raided by the wildlings for thousands of years, causing them to remain mostly abandoned. Bowen is the third person to stab Jon, after Thorne and Yarwyck.

Alliser, Marsh, Yarwyck, Olly, and the rest of the officers try to convince Davos Seaworth to leave the Wall and the Night's Watchmen loyal to Jon Snow to surrender. Thorne promises he won't kill Ghost and will set him free in the lands beyond the Wall, with the other wolves and direwolves living there. Because of Thorne's lack of popularity and previous actions, Dolorous Edd doesn't trust the knight so Davos asks for time to consider the offer. Thorne manages to calm down the infuriated black brothers in the Great Hall, telling them that Jon was going to destroy the Night's Watch and he saved it. Marsh and Yarwyck don't seem very convinced anymore about their role in Jon's death, along with many other men. However the confused brothers decide to wait and see what happens with Davos and the loyalists. Only the steward boy from a ruined village of the Gift, Olly, shows loyalty to Thorne.

After Edd leaves secretely Castle Black and ride to seek support from the wildlings, Thorne and the officers return and order Davos to open the door of  the Lord Commander's Tower. Davos and the loyalists refuse, so Thorne and his men prepare to fight. The massacre is avoided when the giant Wun Wun and a wildling warband storms into the castle, led by Tormund. Only two men of the Watch are killed, and the mutineers, having not much loyalty for Thorne's cause, immediately surrender, including Marsh and Yarwyck. Only Olly, disgusted by the wildlings living in the lands of his people and angered by the deaths of his family and friends at the hands of the wildlings, remains loyal to Thorne and attacks Tormund, reminding how he commanded the raid on his village along with Styr. Thorne and Olly are both overpowered and Dolorous Edd orders the mutineers to be taken to the Ice Cells.

After Jon Snow is brought back to life and reclaims his role as Lord Commander, he orders Thorne, Olly, Marsh and Yarwyck to be executed by hanging for the mutiny. Jon asks the mutineers for their final words; Bowen is disturbed by Jon being alive again and says it's not right, which Jon replies that neither it was killing him. Bowen does not objects his execution and, along with Yarwyck, he remains silent and does not look proud for what he did, while Ser Alliser remains loyal to his convintions and Olly remains hateful. Eventually, Jon cuts the rope holding the trapdoor in place, killing Thorne and the remaining conspirators simultaneously.

Unlike the book version, Stannis really died fighting the Boltons and his role is given to Jon Snow. After Bowen's death, Jon Snow remains traumatized by his death experience and becomes scared of his brothers of the Night's Watch, so he decides to leave them to head south. This causes Edd's anger, who reminds Jon that they dealt with the leaders of the mutiny, chastises him for leaving when the White Walkers are coming, and considers Jon a deserter, but Jon believes there's nothing he can do about it anymore. After reuniting with Sansa Stark, Jon receives a letter from Ramsay Bolton who informs him that he has Rickon Stark and also threatens to attack the Night's Watch, so Jon and Sansa decide to rally the northern houses against the Boltons and march south, along with Davos, Melisandre, Tormund, Brienne, Podrick, and other men. Dolorous Edd is acting in command of the Night's Watch. 


  • In the books, Marsh is still alive, although his death in the TV series implies that he will die in the next novel, The Winds of Winter.


A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Villains


Beyond the Wall
Craster | Mance Rayder | The Others | Rattleshirt | Night King | Styr | The Weeper | Tormund Giantsbane | White Walker Commander | Wights

The North
Arnolf Karstark | Arthor Karstark | Bowen Marsh | Cregan Karstark | Harald Karstark | Locke | Myranda | Night's King | Olly | Ramsay Bolton | Reek | Rickard Karstark | Roose Bolton | Smalljon Umber

The Vale of Arryn
Mord | Petyr Baelish | Rast

Aenys Frey | Benfrey Frey | Big Walder Frey | Black Walder Frey | Edwyn Frey | Emmon Frey | Garse Goodbrook | Harys Haigh | Hosteen Frey | Jared Frey | Lady Stoneheart | Leslyn Haigh | Little Walder Frey | Lothar Frey | Lysa Arryn | Merrett Frey | Raymund Frey | Rhaegar Frey | Ryman Frey | Symond Frey | Walder Frey | Walder Rivers | Whalen Frey

Iron Islands
Balon Greyjoy | Dagmer Cleftjaw | Euron Greyjoy | Harren Hoare | Theon Greyjoy

Amory Lorch | Cersei Lannister | Gregor Clegane | Ilyn Payne | Jaime Lannister | Polliver | Rafford | Sandor Clegane | Tyrion Lannister | Tywin Lannister

Aegon II Targaryen | Aegon IV Targaryen | Aemond Targaryen | Aerys II Targaryen | Aerion Targaryen | Alliser Thorne | Baelor I Targaryen | Biter | Catspaw | Clayton Suggs | Daemon Targaryen | High Sparrow | Hugh Hammer | Joffrey Baratheon | Karl Tanner | Mad Targaryens | Maegor I Targaryen | Rhaenyra Targaryen | Rorge | Smiling Knight | Ulf the White | Viserys Targaryen

Meryn Trant | Renly Baratheon | Robert I Baratheon | Shadow Assassins | Smiling Knight | Stannis Baratheon

The Reach
Axell Florent | Mace Tyrell | Pycelle | Qyburn | Randyll Tarly | Selyse Florent

Ellaria Sand | Gerold Dayne

Westerosi Groups & Houses
Brave Companions | Brotherhood without Banners | Faith Militant | House Baratheon of Dragonstone | House Bolton | House Frey | Mountain's Men | Sand Snakes |


Free Cities
Doreah | Illyrio Mopatis | Vargo Hoat | Varys | Waif

Dothraki Sea

Mirri Maz Duur

Slaver's Bay
Kraznys mo Nakloz | Malko | Sons of the Harpy

Pyat Pree | Xaro Xhoan Daxos

Far East Essos

Asshai and Shadow Lands
Melisandre | Shadow Assassins

Video Games
Asher Forrester | Andros | Britt Warrick | Damien | Dezhor zo Raza | Gared Tuttle | Gryff Whitehill | Harys | Ludd Whitehill | Rickard Morgryn | Tazal

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