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Ygritte is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones.

Ygritte
A Song of Ice and Fire character
Game of Thrones
character
Ygritte-Rose Leslie.jpg
Rose Leslie as Ygritte
First appearance
Last appearance
Created byGeorge R. R. Martin
Portrayed byRose Leslie
Information
GenderFemale
Significant otherJon Snow (lover)
NationalityWildling

Introduced in 1998's A Clash of Kings, she subsequently appeared in Martin's A Storm of Swords. She is a wildling from the lands beyond the great Wall on the continent Westeros. Her kind are called "Wildlings" because they are outside the feudal order of the Seven Kingdoms south of the Wall; she calls them "Free Folk".

Ygritte is portrayed by the Scottish actress Rose Leslie in the HBO television adaptation.[1][2][3][4]

Character descriptionEdit

Ygritte is a wildling woman known for her red hair. She is fierce and headstrong. In wildling culture she is known as a spearwife: a woman who is also a warrior.

Ygritte is not a point of view character in the novels, so her actions are witnessed and interpreted through the eyes of other people, such as Jon Snow.[5]

Novel storylinesEdit

Ygritte first encounters Jon in A Clash of Kings, when she and her band of wildlings are surprised by a group of rangers led by Qhorin Halfhand. Most of her band is killed, but Jon refrains from killing Ygritte because of her gender and later lets her go free.[6] She rejoins the wildlings, and is present when Rattleshirt traps Qhorin and Jon. Ygritte speaks up for Jon when he, following Qhorin's orders, changes sides,[7] and again when Mance Rayder doubts Jon's loyalty since he did not inform the wildlings of Lord Commander Mormont's ranging.

Jon and Ygritte begin a sexual relationship and cross the Wall with Styr together, on Mance's orders to attack Castle Black from the rear. Ygritte continues to defend Jon, but when Jon changes sides again to return to the Night's Watch, she shoots Jon in the calf with an arrow. Ygritte later attacks Castle Black together with Styr's band, and is killed in the ensuing battle.[8]

TV adaptationEdit

 
The costumes of Ygritte, Jon Snow, and Tormund Giantsbane in the show

Ygritte is portrayed by Scottish actress Rose Leslie in the television adaption of the book series.[9] Leslie said about her final scene as Ygritte, "I feel like she could have killed him – she could have shot Jon in the heart in one fell swoop. But when it finally came to that moment, she couldn't actually kill him. Even when she's expected to. Even when she wants to."[10] She is a wildling girl with red hair ("kissed by fire", a sign of luck among the wildlings) and a follower of Mance Rayder's.

Season 2Edit

Ygritte first appears when she is captured in the Skirling Pass by Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand during a skirmish, when her fellow wildings are killed by the Night's Watch. She manages to escape but is recaptured by Jon, whose pursuit of her separates him from his brothers. Later she leads him into Rattleshirt's ambush, and Jon is captured by the wildings.

Season 3Edit

The wildings lead Jon to Mance Rayder's wildling camp, where Jon pretends to defect to the wildlings to discover their plans. Ygritte seduces him and later travels with Jon and the wildings to the Wall. However, when confronted with killing an innocent horse farmer, Jon escapes the angry wildlings' clutches and rides towards the Wall on horseback. Ygritte manages to catch up with Jon at his first rest stop. He confesses his love for her and points out she loves him, too, but he must leave her, so, although blinded by tears, Ygritte shoots Jon with three arrows as he, bound by duty, gallops away back to the Wall.

Season 4Edit

Ygritte starts raiding villages south of the wall with her group, clearly thirsting for vengeance against Jon, although Tormund, who knows Ygritte is an expert archer, suspects she let Jon go.

When the wildlings attack Mole's Town, Ygritte slaughters all the women present, but notices Gilly hiding with her baby son and spares their lives. When the wildlings finally reach Castle Black and attack, Ygritte kills many Night's Watch brothers with her archery skills, among them Pyp. When she encounters Jon, however, she hesitates to shoot him and is shot in the back by Olly, a boy whose father Ygritte previously killed. Ygritte subsequently dies in Jon's arms, and he later burns her body himself, north of the Wall.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Game of Thrones Cast and Crew: Ygritte played by Rose Leslie". HBO. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  2. ^ "The Official Website for the HBO Series Game of Thrones – Season 4". HBO.
  3. ^ "From HBO". July 16, 2010.
  4. ^ "Rose Leslie on Game of Thrones Season 5". Esquire.
  5. ^ "Game of Thrones Viewer's Guide". HBO.
  6. ^ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 51, Jon VI
  7. ^ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 68, Jon VIII
  8. ^ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 55, Jon VII.
  9. ^ "Rose Leslie On Game of Thrones Season 5". Esquire.
  10. ^ "Game of Thrones' Rose Leslie, Ygritte, Was "Crying" After Filming Watchers on the Wall Episode". Us Weekly. June 9, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2017.