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I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.
— Excerpt of the oath of the Night's Watch

The Night's Watch is a military order dedicated to defending the northern frontiers of Westeros from the "Wildlings" beyond the wall, as well as the mysterious "White Walkers", though, as of the War of the Five Kings, they had not been seen for thousands of years. According to legend, the order was first founded 8000 years prior to the War of the Five Kings, after the construction of the 700-foot tall ice wall by Northern king Bran the Builder. The Watch was tasked with maintaining the Wall and defending it from attacks by Wildlings or White Walkers. For this purpose, 18 castles were constructed along the length of the Wall, to be manned by the warriors of the Night's Watch.

The brothers of the Night's Watch, famed for their black cloaks, earning them the nicknames "crows" by the Wildlings, make a lifelong commitment to serving in the Watch and are not permitted to hold lands, inherit wealth, or marry. Members of the Watch may not leave their posts on the Wall without permission, under penalty of death.

Joining the Night's Watch also absolves the recruit of all crimes they may have committed. The Watch was initially considered a prestigious organization, and members of nobles houses who volunteered to join were considered to be selflessly sacrificing for the good of the realm. However, in time, the number of recruits dwindled with the decrease in frequency of Wildling attacks and the apparent extinction of the White Walkers.

By the time of Jon Snow joined the Watch in shortly before the War of the Five Kings, the Watch was mostly populated by criminals who were exiled to the wall, disinherited nobles ordered to leave for the Wall or die, orphans, and other social outcasts. The size of the Watch had declined to a total strength of less than 700, and only three of the original 18 castles along the wall was manned, Eastwatch by Sea, Castle Black, and the Shadow Tower.

Battle vs. Uruk-hai (by SPARTAN 119)[]

  • Uruk-Hai: 2000 + 20 Mangonels
  • Nights Watch: 500 + 20 Ballistae

Late night, The Wall

Lurtz, leader of the Saruman's Uruk-Hai, stood next to his battery of 20 mangonels, which were, along with the rest of his forces, positioned a few hundred meters from the massive Ice Wall before them. This wall stood between them and the kingdoms of men they had been sent to conquer.

As the last mangonel was loaded with one of Saruman's new weapons- charges of gunpowder, Lurtz gave the order: "Light the charges and loose!"

An Uruk armed with a torch lit the fuse the explosive projectiles with a torch, before a second orc pulled the lever on the side of the catapults. With a snapping sound, the arms of the mangonels sprung forward, before slamming into the crossbeam, sending their payloads through the air.

The explosive charges slammed into the Wall and exploded in a flash of flame and smoke, blowing cracks and craters into the Wall, but nowhere near enough to bring down the great structure of ice.

"The charges don't seem to be strong enough, my lord", One of the Uruks manning the nearest catapult.

"Fools!", Lurtz yelled furiously, "Aim for the gate".

Meanwhile, on top of the Wall, Jon Snow stood with about 250 men of the Watch, all armed with longbows or crewing ballistae.

"What was that!?", one of the Watchmen asked as the Uruk's charges exploded, "Wildfire?"

"There's now way the Wildlings would have Wildfire",

"I don't know what it is... and I don't think these are Wildlings", Jon said, "but if that stuff is anything like Wildfire, flaming arrows might be able to set it off"

A moment later, Jon set fire to an arrow for his own bow, before giving the command, "Nock your arrows..."


As he gave the command, Jon did the same with his own bow, holding it level- the sheer height of the Wall would give it the distance to strike their foes.


At once, 250 archers of the Nights watch and 15 ballistae let loose a swarm of flaming arrows and ballista bolts, which rained down own the Uruk-Hai.

700 feet below the Watchmen, most of the flaming arrows missed, extinguishing themselves in the snow ground at the foot of the Wall. A few of them went through gaps the Uruk-Hai's armor, killing or at least wounding the Uruks. When the ballista bolts hit an Uruk, they impaled the creature, passing through its armor like it wasn't there.

But it was ballista both that hit no one that did the most damage to the Uruk-Hai. One of the flaming ballista bolts impacted a stack of black powder charges. Immediately, the pile of charges exploded in flash of flame that splintered the frames of five Uruk-Hai mangonels, hurled the mangled bodies of Uruk-Hai through the air like ragdolls, and even blew down a few nearby trees.

Seconds later, several flaming arrows impacted another stack of charges with similar results. Between the two explosions, over 100 Uruk-Hai were dead. Cheers erupted up and down the wall as they saw their foe's secret weapons literally go up in flames.

What they men of the Night's Watch did not expect was for the remaining Uruk-Hai catapults to keep firing as, this time sending several gunpowder charges towards the gate to the tunnel in the wall.

Three of the explosives hit their mark, splintering the North gate to the wall. As the smoke cleared, both sides knew what had to come next.

Lurtz stood before his army and raised his rectangular bladed "scimitar" and pointed it forward, yelling "Forward Uruk-Hai, we will feast on the flesh of our enemies!"

The roar of thousands of shouting, charging Uruk-Hai filled the air as the warriors of Saruman charged forth with a thirst for blood, waving swords, axes, and spears in their hands.

As 2000 murderous, bloodthirsty orcs bore down on the Wall, the Nights Watch stood at their stations on the top. Jon Snow made his way up and down the Wall, urging on his men.

"Keep shooting!", Jon yelled, "This Wall has stood for 8000 years, It's not falling tonight!"

As the Uruk-Hai drew close, they were greeted with a storm of arrows. The Watchmen aimed not at any individual Uruk, but at the great black mass that was the orc horde. While some of the arrows landed harmlessly in the ground many an Uruk-Hai was pierced by an arrow, some instantly killing their target, others simply causing them to drop in pain. Those not killed immediately were often trampled by their charging fellows. Occasionally, a ballista bolt would strike home, running an Uruk straight through, and sometimes impaling the man behind him as well.

The Uruk-Hai lost another two hundred or so of their number to the arrow and ballista fire before they reached the gate. At that point, the Watchmen rolled a number of barrels of oil with flaming fuse off a wooden ramp.

700 feet below, the oil barrels exploded into flames, setting dozens of Uruk-Hai in the tightly packed mass alight. Some of the Uruks who were struck by the flames were put out of their misery by arrows or chunks of ice and rock dropped from the top of the wall, but most of them writhed in pain for a few seconds until they succumb to the flames or were trampled by their comrades.

Showing the fearlessness they were bred for, the Uruk-Hai charged straight through the flames, which were quickly stomped out by the charging horde. The Uruks, however, soon learned, that fearlessness was not a trait they had a monopoly on.

Twelve men of the Night's Watch, who were trapped in the tunnel, with the Uruk horde on one side and the portcullis on the other, made one final charge at the wave of Uruk-Hai. Those that had pikes charged first, the points of their spears colliding with the front Uruk ranks, punching through armor and slaying the orc that met the end of their spears.

As the Uruk-Hai moved in past the spearpoints, the Watch men drew longswords, axes, and, in one case, a greatsword. The Watchman with the greatsword cleaved through Uruk necks with his giant blade. Meanwhile, his comrades swung their axes or thrust their blades, bearded axe heads chopping through helmets, as longsword blades punched through weak points in armor and into Uruk flesh.

Several Berserker Uruk-Hai were the next to face the small group of Watchmen who stood defiant even in the face of certain death. Even the Berserkers, the strongest and deadliest close combatants of the Uruks lost three of their number, before they finally overwhelmed and cut down the Night's Watchmen in the tunnel. But each one of the defenders of the tunnel took at least three orcs with him to their deaths.

The sacrifice of the Watchmen in the tunnel was not in vain. For it had bought time for their comrades in Castle Black to gather by the portcullis, armed with bows, crossbows, and pikes. As the horde of Uruk-Hai charged through the tunnel, the Watchmen fired. Arrows and crossbow bolts struck down Uruk after Uruk. Those that were not killed instantly were trampled by their comrades in a mad dash for the Wall.

Eventually, the orc horde made it to the gate, but without seige equipment, they could not break through before they were shot down by bows and crossbows or their armor pierced by pikes thrust through the gaps in the portcullis.

After about 15 minutes of the assault, the orcs had lost hundreds of their soldiers in the choke point of the tunnel. Seeing nothing to be gained, Lurtz ordered a retreat.... but Uruk-Hai do not retreat out of fear. Lurtz had a plan, and he would be back.

For the next few hours, the Uruk-hai would retreat beyond the range of the ballistae on the wall. Lurtz put his soldiers to work reclaiming timbers from the Mangonels destroyed when the flaming arrows set off some of the charges, or else felling trees to provide new materials.

A few hours later, Jon Snow had descended from the Wall, into Castle Black. Expecting his foes to attack from the tunnel again, Jon had a ballista placed in sight of the tunnel entrance again, which was now shored up with a wooden cart, numerous barrels, and any other objects they could find to block the gate.

Jon's inspection of the defenses was cut short when he heard shouting from the other side of the wall. The enemy was back. Jon rushed along the walls of Castle Black, intending to go back up the manual elevator to the top of the wall.

That plan was changed when, suddenly, an explosion rocked the gate, destroying the portcullis and the improvised barricade. Soon after, a sound of wooden wheels could be heard, and out of the tunnel came a mangonel with timbers blocking the front and a wooden roof over the rear, mounted on additional wheels taken from carts or destroyed siege engines.

The "medieval mobile artillery" rolled through the entrance of the tunnel, followed by a number of Uruk-Hai crossbowmen. The Uruk crossbowmen fired their pump-action crossbows, cutting down a couple archers on the wall, but the Watchmen returned fire, hitting several of the archers. However, the Uruks repeating crossbows had a superior volume of fire.

Jon Snow's close friend, Samwell Tarly, peeked out of a window and raised a crossbow and fired a single shot an Uruk-Hai who lit a gunpowder charge on the mangonel. Seconds later, a ballista bolt skewered the catapult operator.

While the bowmen immediately in front of the Uruk crossbowmen were pinned down, the Watchmen in the two towers to either side of the entrance and, indeed, on top of the Wall itself were able to fire their bows and drop rocks and ice chunks on the Uruk-Hai, cutting down the catapult crew and the orc archers before they could act.

Meanwhile, the fuse of the gunpowder charge on the catapult still burned. Suddenly, the seige engine was engulfed in a flash of flames. The explosion hurled wooden fragments of the armored catapult all over the courtyard. The Watchmen were protected by the stone walls of Castle Black, but the Uruks were caught in the open, and lost dozens of soldiers, including all of their archers.

As the smoke cleared, Jon Snow drew Longclaw from its sheath and yelled, "With me, Castle Black's not falling tonight"

Jon led the charge, his direwolf companion, Ghost, not far behind as the Uruks forced their way through the wall. Jon Snow thrust Longclaw forward, the Valyrian blade punching through the armor of the lead Uruk-Hai, a Berserker, and running him through.

John pulled the sword out of the body of his foe and swing it at the exposed neck of an Uruk, severing its head. An Uruk-Hai raised his battle axe, ready to bring it down on Jon's head. Instead, the orc found itself tackled to the ground. The last thing the creature saw was a giant white wolf literally ripping its throat out.

As Jon and Ghost cut and bit through their foes, the rest of the Watchmen to closed ranks with the Uruks, blades clashing on blades as the two masses of black collided. The Uruk-Hai fought fiercely, but against both the counterattacking Watchmen and the archers, which were still firing at their rear ranks, they could not keep up the momentum of their assault. For every Watchman that fell, there were several orcs.

At the head of the assault, Lurtz raised his scimitar, and slashed open the throat of a Watchman, before making a second strike. This strike, however, was parried by the Valyrian blade of Jon Snow. Jon retaliated with a slashing attack. The Valyrian steel blade was strong, but even it could not cut through another sword. Still, it left a deep notch in Lurtz's blade.

Furiously, the Uruk-Hai leader tried to make mighty swing at Jon, but in so doing, left his hands open to attack. Jon made a quick cut with Longclaw, the Valyrian steel blade effortless slicing off both of Lurtz's hands. The Uruk leader died with a look of shock on his face as Jon thrust Longclaw through his chest.

Even with the loss of their leader, the Uruk-Hai kept coming through the tunnel, but without their commander, they quickly devolved into a disorganized rabble, easily cut down by the archers and the Watchmen defending the courtyard.

The last surviving Uruk emerged from the tunnel, only to be struck by a dozen arrows from four different directions. Standing over the remains of hundreds of orcs, the Watch gave a shout of victory, and Ghost let out a loud howl.

After the cheers died down, however, the mood instantly became more serious. "Gather the dead north of the wall and build a pyre. I don't know who they are, but I don't want them coming back to attack us again. Collect and usable weapons, armor, or supplies you can find. We'll need them for Winter is Coming", Jon said to the Watchmen.

WINNER: Night's Watch

Expert's Opinion[]

The Night's Watch won this battle in spite of their inferior numbers mainly because of their strong defensive position on top of the wall, beyond the range of Uruk-Hai seige engines. Even if the gate to the tunnel was destroyed, the tunnel itself would act as a chokepoint, making the Uruk-Hai easy targets for archers on the other end. That, along with the superior leadership of Jon Snow ensured that the Wall would not fall to the Uruk-Hai.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.