Master-at-arms at Castle Black
|Born||In 247 AC or 248 AC|
A Game of Thrones (appears)|
A Clash of Kings (appears)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (appears)
|Played by||Owen Teale|
|TV series||Season 1 | Season 4 | Season 5 | Season 6|
Ser Alliser Thorne is a knight from House Thorne who now serves as the master-at-arms of the Night's Watch at Castle Black. While capable, he is bitter and humorless, and is particularly hated by many recruits of the Night's Watch who have been trained by him. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones he is portrayed by Owen Teale.
Appearance and Character
- See also: Images of Alliser Thorne
Alliser is a slim man of fifty years with sharp features. Jon Snow considers him spare and hard, as well as compact and sinewy. Alliser's black eyes resemble onyx, obsidian, and flint, and his black hair is streaked with grey. He can have a thin smile and a sharp voice, cold and flinty.
Prior to joining the Night's Watch, Alliser was a knight who fought on the side of House Targaryen during Robert's Rebellion. Following the Sack of King's Landing, surviving knights like Alliser and Ser Jaremy Rykker were given the choice by Lord Tywin Lannister between death or taking the black.
A Game of Thrones
As master-at-arms responsible for training new recruits, Ser Alliser gives Jon Snow the mocking nickname "Lord Snow". His disdain turns into hatred when Jon replies to one of his mockeries, provoking the hilarity of the whole common room of Castle Black. Having absolutely no humor, he takes the mockeries of Tyrion Lannister poorly when Tyrion is invited to the table of the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Jeor Mormont, during his visit to the Wall. At Winterfell, Yoren refers to Jon as "Ser Alliser's bane".
Alliser has disdain for the cowardly Samwell Tarly, who refuses to defend himself during sparring sessions. Jon Snow befriends Sam, however, and convinces other recruits not to beat Sam despite Alliser's orders.
When Jon is appointed to the stewards instead of the rangers, Alliser appears so delighted that Jon thinks he is behind it. Sam, however, explains to Jon that the appointment indicates Jon will be trained by Jeor in command.
Alliser never misses an occasion to provoke the young bastard. The evening Jon learns of the imprisonment of his father, Lord Eddard Stark, in King's Landing for treason, Alliser's jeers anger Jon, who tries to attack him with a knife, before being stopped and put under arrest.
This hostility between Alliser and Jon, and the master-at-arms' old friends who are well-placed at court, lead Lord Commander Mormont to send Alliser to the new king, Joffrey I Baratheon. Alliser is to show the severed hand of Jafer Flowers, who turned into a wight, to the court.
A Clash of Kings
Alliser sails from Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to King's Landing, where he asks for an audience. Tyrion Lannister, now the acting Hand of the King, remembering his dislike for Alliser, delays a meeting, however, and has Bronn find poor quarters in the Red Keep for the visitor.
When Alliser eventually appears before the small council in the throne room, Jafer's hand has rotted away to bones and Alliser's story of wights is mocked by Tyrion. The Hand allows for word to be put out in King's Landing that the Night's Watch is in need of men. When Tyrion dismisses Alliser from court, he asks the knight to give his regards to Lord Commander Mormont and Jon Snow.
A Storm of Swords
Alliser, Janos, Ser Glendon Hewett, and other men from Eastwatch travel to Castle Black during the battle beneath the Wall. They accuse Jon, who has been leading the defense against the wildlings of Mance Rayder, of being a turncloak and an oathbreaker, and the captive Rattleshirt verifies that Jon had killed Qhorin Halfhand.
During the choosing for a new Lord Commander after Jeor's death, Alliser comes in sixth in voting on the first day and loses votes on the second day, as many black brothers resent having been trained by him. He withdraws his name and decides to support Janos. Alliser expects Othell Yarwyck, the First Builder, to support Janos as well, but a reluctant Othell shocks Alliser by instead mentioning Jon Snow, who is soon after elected as the new Lord Commander.
A Dance with Dragons
To separate Janos Slynt and Alliser, Jon appoints Janos to command the garrison at Greyguard. When Janos refuses to obey orders, Jon personally beheads him with Longclaw. Alliser is present when the sentence is given but does not interfere, much to Jon's disappointment.
Jon later orders Alliser to accompany Dywen and another seasoned ranger in scouting beyond the Wall. Alliser is angry, but accepts the mission, not wanting to give Jon cause to execute him as well. He then states that he will return from the ranging, one way or the other.
Quotes by Alliser
They will call you men of Night's Watch now, but you are bigger fools than the Mummer's Monkey here if you believe that. You are boys still, green and stinking of summer, and when the winter comes you will die like flies.—Alliser to his recruits
Alliser: Lord Snow wants to take my place now. I’d have an easier time teaching a wolf to juggle than you will training this aurochs.
Jon: I'll take that wager, Ser Alliser. I'd love to see Ghost juggle.—Alliser and Jon Snow
Alliser: Come and make your japes with steel in your hand.
Tyrion: Why, I have steel in my hand, Ser Alliser, although it appears to be a crab fork. Shall we duel?—Alliser and Tyrion Lannister
—Alliser to Samwell Tarly
Alliser: Do you think I sailed all the way from Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to be mocked by the likes of you? This is no jape. I saw it with my own eyes. I tell you, the dead walk.
Tyrion: You should try to kill them more thoroughly.—Alliser and Tyrion Lannister
You would like me to refuse. Then you could hack off my head, same as you did for Slynt. I'll not give you that pleasure, bastard. You'd best pray that it's a wildling blade that kills me, though. The ones the Others kill don't stay dead ... and they remember. I'm coming back, Lord Snow.—Alliser to Jon Snow
Quotes about Alliser
—thoughts of Jon Snow
Jeor: You are a wicked man, to provoke our Ser Alliser so.
Tyrion: If a man paints a target on his chest, he should expect that sooner or later someone will loose an arrow at him. I have seen dead men with more humor than your Ser Alliser.Tyrion: I'll wager the lads have a few names for him as well. Chip the ice off your eyes, my good lords. Ser Alliser Thorne should be mucking out your stables, not drilling your young warriors.
Bowen: Not so. You ought to hear the droll names he gives the lads he trains.
Jeor: Ser Alliser is an anointed knight, one of the few to take the black since I have been Lord Commander. He fought bravely at King's Landing.
Jaremy: On the wrong side. I ought to know, I was there on the battlements beside him. Tywin Lannister gave us a splendid choice. Take the black, or see our heads on spikes before evenfall.
A bitter, mean-spirited man with too great a sense of his own worth.—thoughts of Tyrion Lannister
I don't believe I care to see Ser Alliser just now. Find him a snug cell where no one has changed the rushes in a year.
- See the Alliser Thorne calculation.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 75, Samwell IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 19, Jon III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 25, Tyrion VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 69, Jon IX.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 7, Jon II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 48, Jon VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 26, Jon IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 79, Jon XII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 21, Tyrion III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 10, Davos II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 28, Jon VI.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Alliser Thorne.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24, Bran IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 52, Jon VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 60, Jon VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
- A Storm of Swords, Appendix.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 8, Tyrion II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 10, Jon III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 49, Jon X.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 41, Jon V.