What Will "The Winds of Winter" Bring for Tormund Giantsbane
Warning: Spoilers Lie Ahead
The Winds of Winter is the sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. This article will take a look back at the previous five installments as well as make predictions on the next chapter in the series. The reader has been warned that spoilers lie ahead.
Tormund and His Hundred Surnames
Har!! Meet Tormund Giantsbane, my favorite of all the Wildlings. He is impossible to dislike because all he does is boast about himself and then back it up. The television show version of Tormund has dulled down his comic side and made him seem much more vicious but how can you not like a guy with a raging red fire beard.
Tormund is a Wildling war commander and tells tales of himself constantly, calling himself Tormund Giantsbane, Hornblower, Husband to Bears and Mead King of Ruddy Hall. The man likes to drink, fight and be intimate with Wildling women and doesn't apologize for any of it.
When Tormund is introduced in the series the reader is basically bombarded with Wildling characters we have never seen and only heard about on a whole as a group of people who follow the ex-brother of the Night's Watch, Mance Rayder. Mance abandoned the Night's Watch some years back and has taken up the previously unthinkable task of uniting all of the different tribes of Wildlings and using their massive force to attack the 800 foot high monstrosity known as The Wall which keeps the Wildlings penned north of The Wall. An ancient force called the White Walkers has awaken and the Wildlings know they need to get south of The Wall as quick as possible.
We are introduced to the Wildling upper command through the eyes of Jon Snow, member of the Night's Watch who has recently said he is defecting and wants to join the Wildling army. Jon had killed his superior commander and has been brought to Mance Rayder's encampment with Wildling warrior, Rattleshirt (called this because his armor is made from the bones of men he has killed), and fellow Wildling woman, Ygritte, who Jon Snow had allowed to escape.
Jon enters Mance's tent without knowing who the man is and sees two women, a man playing a flute and a giant man/warrior with a beard eating and immediately assumes this is Mance Rayder, King North of The Wall. In reality, this is Tormund Giantsbane who decides to have a little fun with the smaller boy he calls a "crow" and pretends to be Mance for the moment. Throughout the series he seems to have a playful tone with Jon Snow that is also made of suspicion into the boys actions and later turns to respect. Eventually, Jon is made aware that Mance was actually the flute player and Tormund scoffs his bellowing "Har!" at him which can be heard throughout the series.
The book version of Tormund is older and shorter, he has a massive white beard and carries war hammers. He wears golden bracelets with symbols from the First Men and is a very imposing force.
After Mance tries to fetter out Jon's intentions, Jon Snow is assigned to Tormund as the begin their march to The Wall. Tormund shows Jon the Wildling camp including the giants that are marching with them and boasts of how he can fight and defeat giants. He is also present throughout the journey when they find Jon Snow's Night's Watch brothers slain at the Fist of the First Men. He continually makes fun of Jon Snow but also seems to want to impress the boy through his feats.
As the approach the Wall Jon Snow is sent with another Wildling, Styr, to scale the Wall and attack Castle Black from the south as Mance's forces attack from the north. This is where we leave Tormund until the attack because he is seen through Jon Snow's eyes. Tormund however, pops back up once the battle ensues.
The attack from the south is unsuccessful as Jon Snow escapes the Wildlings and warns his borthers at Castle Black with Ygritte and the rest of the Wildlings killed in the process. Jon Snow is then sent to treat with Mance for the Night's Watch before the battle begins. Tormund greets him as an equal and tells him he never trusted him but stands for the boy when questioned on his credentials in treating with Mance.
The battle at The Wall begins and Tormund's forces are flanked when Stannis Baratheon appears out of nowhere and helps attack the Wildlings, helping the Night's Watch win the battle. Tormund is not captured and retreats with the remainder of the Wildling army. Mance is taken captive after the battle making Tormund the highest in command of the Wildling army.
Jon Snow is named Lord Commander of the Night's Watch after the battle and sends a Wildling woman, Val, to meet with Tormund and his forces and offer a peace treaty on his behalf. There is a very deeply rooted respect between Tormund and Jon Snow after having travelled together previously and see what the other man was capable of.
The White Walkers are moving south and decimating Tormund's forces so this coupled with his peoples' starvation and suffering lead Tormund to consenting to Jon Snow's offer although his people don't like the terms.
Jon Snow asks each of the Wildling chiefs to give up their wealth as well as one of their sons as hostage in return they will allow them to move south of The Wall. Tormund is the very first Wildling to assent and gives Jon his golden bracelets because he will not be the only one of his people not to give up their belongings.
The pact has some of the Wildlings sent to the abandoned forts along the Wall to defend against the White Walkers while some are allowed to settle into The Gift and begin new lives. Tormund is assigned the abandoned fort known as Oakenshield.
Near the end of the most recent book, Jon Snow is given a letter by one of his men from a man he sent to a Wildling stronghold known as Hardhome. He is sent there by sea to bring back thousands of Wildlings who settled there after the battle but are being killed and need saving. Jon Snow decides to march to Hardhome but changes his plans last minute when he realizes he has to save his sister.
Tormund does not want any more of his people dying so tells Jon Snow he will lead the ranging to Hardhome hoping to save his suffering people and this is where is character is left.
What Will the Winds Bring?
I may be biased as Tormund is easily my favorite Wildling character just based off his pure awesomeness but I think he is destined to help out in the ultimate end of the story. I believe Tormund will take his people and head to Hardhome where through his eyes we will see much more of the White Walkers than previously before. George R. R. Martin has said the last two books will go farther north than previously so I think on Tormund's journey he will get some type of information into the Wildlings and decide to go even farther north. I am hoping along the journey he stops at Hardhome and somehow meets up with Ser Davos and his ships and can help deliver his people some form of safety. I think he will venture into the White Walkers home and learn of someway to defeat them which he will try to bring south and will probably die along the way. All I can hope is he finds a way to get this information to Jon Snow and goes out on a high note hopefully killing multiple White Walkers as they try to stop him. Har!