Bowen Marsh

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House Marsh.svg Lord Steward
Bowen Marsh
the Old Pomegranate
Night's Watch.svg
BowenMarsh AaronRiley.jpg
Bowen Marsh, by Aaron Riley © Fantasy Flight Games

Alias The Old Pomegranate[1][2]
Culture Northmen
Born North[4]

Played by Michael Condron
TV series Game of Thrones:
Season 5 | 6

Bowen Marsh, also known as the Old Pomegranate, is the Lord Steward of the Night's Watch.[3] In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, he is portrayed by Michael Condron.

Appearance and Character

Bowen is round and red as a pomegranate,[3] with plump hands,[5] round cheeks,[6] and a red face.[5][1] The Lord Steward has a mind for counts and measures.[7] He wears a bearskin[7] and carries a dagger.[8]

As Lord Commander Jeor Mormont is known as the "Old Bear", Edd Tollett refers to Bowen as the "Old Pomegranate".[9] Although he is a northman, Bowen appears to follow the Faith of the Seven.[10] Jeor does not feel that Bowen would make a suitable replacement as Lord Commander.[3]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Bowen Marsh, by TheMico ©

Bowen is one of the guests at the dinner organized by Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, on the eve of Tyrion Lannister's departure.[3]

The Lord Steward accompanies Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly, who have been assigned as stewards, when they pronounce their vows in the weirwood circle found beyond the Wall in the haunted forest.[5]

A Storm of Swords

Bowen is assigned as castellan of Castle Black by Lord Commander Mormont while the great ranging takes place. He sends letters to King's Landing, requesting assistance for the Night's Watch.[11]

After Jeor Mormont's death at Craster's Keep, Bowen temporarily takes command of the Night's Watch until the election of a new Lord Commander. Mance Rayder, King-Beyond-the-Wall, sends groups of wildlings to attack along the Wall, feints to distract the Watch. When Bowen obliges by leading a force west to deal with the wildlings, he appoints the ancient Ser Wynton Stout to command Castle Black in his absence.[2]

The Lord Steward chases wildlings to the Shadow Tower and into the Gorge. He defeats the Weeper in a fight at the Bridge of Skulls, but the Night's Watch suffers heavy losses.[12] Bowen suffers a head wound[13] and is treated by Maester Mullin at the Shadow Tower.[12]

Bowen and the survivors from the Bridge of Skulls are brought back to Castle Black by Ser Denys Mallister. While riding east, they meet and join with Sam Tarly and Gilly.[13]

Bowen is a candidate in the election of a new Lord Commander. The Lord Steward withdraws his name by the third day as his vote totals dwindle, however, and he instead begins supporting Janos Slynt,[13] who is favored by Lord Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King.[14] The castellan objects to King Stannis Baratheon's desire to take castles along the Wall and land in the Gift from the Watch, and he is wary of Stannis's and Melisandre's intention for nightfires to be lit at each castle.[14] Bowen attempts to sway his sworn brothers and Stannis of Janos's worth,[14] but Jon Snow is eventually chosen instead.[15]

A Feast for Crows

Bowen returns to his duties as Lord Steward.[16]

A Dance with Dragons

Bowen has lost weight and part of an ear after his battle at the Bridge of Skulls,[17] occasionally rubbing at his scar,[8] and he has become more cautious.[18] Bowen is at first helpful to Jon, but he becomes increasingly angry with his decisions. These include appointing a baseborn lad, Satin, as the Lord Commander's new steward,[6] appointing the wildling Leathers as the new master-at-arms at Castle Black,[6] and allowing wildlings to join the Watch and diminish the food supply.[17][7] Bowen is shocked when Jon executes Janos for disobedience.[10]

Supported by most stewards and builders of the Watch,[19] Bowen suggests sealing the gate through the Wall at Castle Black, but his advice is rejected by Jon.[17] 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.[20] Bowen refuses to attend the wedding of Alys Karstark and Sigorn.[21]

Jon tasks Bowen with collecting tolls from wildlings passing through the Wall and sending the riches to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.[7][22]

The final straw for Bowen is when Jon reads aloud a letter sent by Ramsay Bolton and states his intention to march on House Bolton at Winterfell, threatening the neutrality of the Night's Watch. A crying Bowen and fellow conspirators stab Jon several times in the mutiny at Castle Black.[8]

Quotes by Bowen

Brothers and friends, I am asking that my name be withdrawn from this choosing. My wound still troubles me, and the task is too large for me, I fear ... but not for Lord Janos here, who commanded the gold cloaks of King's Landing for many years. Let us all give him our support.[13]

—Bowen to the Night's Watch

We need to conserve what strength remains us. Every death diminishes us, and we are stretched so thin ... Take the high ground and win the battle, my uncle used to say. No ground is higher than the Wall, Lord Commander.[17]

—Bowen to Jon Snow

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.[7]

—Bowen to Jon Snow

For the Watch.[8]

—Bowen during the mutiny at Castle Black

Quotes about Bowen

Mance: Then who commands at Castle Black?

Jon: Bowen Marsh.

Mance: If so, our war is won. Bowen knows a deal more about counting swords than he's ever known about using them.[23]

He's the man you want in front when the foes are in the field. He'll count them right up for you. A regular demon for counting, that one.[9]

Samwell: W-what if there was someone else? Could you s-support someone else?
Cotter: Who? Bowen Marsh? The man counts spoons.[14]

So long as the Night's Watch remains in good hands, I am content. But Bowen Marsh is not equal to the task, no more than Othell Yarwyck.[14]

Bowen was a good man in his way, but the wound he had taken at the Bridge of Skulls had hardened his attitudes, and the only song he ever sang now was his familiar refrain about sealing the gates.[18]

—thoughts of Jon Snow

Behind the Scenes

Bowen's name is once misspelled as "Bower" in A Dance with Dragons.[6]


Unknown Castellan of Castle Black
299 AC
Succeeded by