Art by Roman Papsuev
The Rat Cook was an infamous member of the Night's Watch.
According to legend, the man who would later be known as the Rat Cook was a simple cook at the Nightfort. He became infamous when he served an Andal king (identified either as King Tywell II of the Rock or King Oswell I of the Vale) a pie that was made of bacon and, unknown to the king, the king's son. The cook killed the prince in revenge for a wrong the king supposedly did to him. The king was unaware of this, however, as he ate and praised the taste and asked for a second piece. The gods were angered — not because the cook had committed murder, nor because he had made the king a cannibal — but because the cook had slain a guest beneath his roof. They cursed the cook and transformed him into a massive rat who was doomed to be unable to eat anything but his own young.
According to the story, the Rat Cook is an enormous white rat who still lives in the Nightfort today, and all the other rats that inhabit the Nightfort are his descendants.
Such is the infamy of the tale that there is a song about the Rat Cook that is still sung in the Seven Kingdoms, despite the fact that this incident was supposed to have happened hundreds of years before Aegon's Landing. The song is used to represent the repercussions to those who violate guest right, the sacred laws of hospitality.
A Storm of Swords
While in the Nightfort, Bran Stark remembers the tale of the Rat Cook, told to him by Old Nan.
A Dance with Dragons
At the wedding of Ramsay Bolton to the fake Arya Stark, Lord Wyman Manderly asks Abel the Bard to sing about the Rat Cook after he serves three large pork pies.
It was not for murder that the gods cursed him, nor for serving the Andal king his son in a pie. A man has a right to vengeance. But he slew a guest beneath his roof, and that the gods cannot forgive.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 56, Bran IV.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The North.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 37, The Prince of Winterfell.