Fist of the First Men

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Fist of the First Men
Ruins of an ancient ringfort on a hill
Beyond the Wall and the location of the Fist of the First Men
Beyond the Wall and the location of the Fist of the First Men
Fist of the First Men
Beyond the Wall and the location of the Fist of the First Men
Location Westeros, Beyond the Wall
Founded Dawn Age
Named for Its appearance and the First Men who built the ringfort

The Fist of the First Men is a hill found beyond the Wall in the haunted forest.[1]


The Night's Watch arrives at the Fist of the First Men. Art by Tomasz Jedruszek © Fantasy Flight Games

The Fist of the First Men is a solitary hill, located next to the Milkwater, surrounded by the haunted forest.[2] The hill was named by the free folk for its appearance, which looks like a fist punching up through the earth. Its bare earth slopes have stone "knuckles".[1]

The hill's windswept heights are visible from miles away. However, it is highly defensible, as the hill offers commanding views, and its slopes are at a dangerous angle to the north and west, and only slightly less dangerous to the east. Crowning the top of the steep, stony hill is an ancient ringfort in ruins, only the stone ringwall remaining. The ringwall's grey, chest-high stones have patches of white lichen and green moss. At the foot of the hill is a brook.[1]


The ancient ringfort on the Fist was built by the First Men during the Dawn Age. Some of its stone ringwall still remains.[1]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

The Night's Watch make their camp at the Fist of the First Men while searching for the wildling masses during the great ranging. From the Fist, they hope to stop any march on the Wall. When they arrive at the top of the hill, they have to circle some distance west before they find a gap in the ringwall large enough to admit the horses. The Watch discovers the site is in poor repair. Lord Commander Jeor Mormont has the brothers fill breaches in the low ringwall with timber, and protect them with rows of stakes. They booby-trap the slopes with caltrops.[1]

Jon Snow's direwolf, Ghost, is unnerved by the ringfort, and refuses to enter it. Jon joins Dywen, Grenn, Dolorous Edd, and Hake for dinner. Dywen states there is a smell he does not like, a smell of cold. Jon hears the howling of wolves, and then Ghost appears, seeming preoccupied and sniffing the air. Jon is alarmed, since Ghost had known when Othor and Jafer Flowers rose as wights, and Jon recalls they smelled of cold and death. Ghost starts to leave but looks back, so Jon follows, leaving the protection of the ringwall. Ghost stops at the brook, and Jon follows him, circling around the Fist. When he catches up with Ghost again, the direwolf is digging at a grave that has been dug only recently. Jon expects to find a body, but instead finds a bundle two feet across. Inside the bundle, made from a Night's Watch black cloak, Jon finds dragonglass weapons and an old, cracked warhorn.[1]

Qhorin Halfhand arrives at the Fist, leading one hundred men from the Shadow Tower.[3] Qhorin tells Jeor Mormont the wildlings plan to breach the Wall, not climb it or burrow beneath it. Qhorin says that Mance Rayder is seeking something in the high, cold places of the Frostfangs, some power or artifact. Qhorin advises the Lord Commander to send scouts into the mountains, and Mormont agrees. Jarmen Buckwell will take four men to climb the Giant's Stair, Thoren Smallwood will lead a party to probe the Milkwater, while Qhorin himself will lead a third party into the Skirling Pass. Qhorin immediately chooses Jon Snow as one of his four men.[3]

A Storm of Swords

The fight at the Fist between the Night's Watch and wights. Art by Zippo514 ©

In spite of the Watch's best efforts to mount a defense, they are attacked and easily swept by wights during the fight at the Fist.[4]

In the aftermath of the battle, Jon Snow and Mance Rayder discover the bodies of at least a hundred horses, but none of men.[5]


An old place, and strong.[1]

Chapters that take place at the Fist