|Born||In or before 211 AC|
Margaret John (Season 1)|
Annette Tierney (Season 6)
|TV series||Game of Thrones: Season 1 | Season 6|
Nan, generally referred to as Old Nan, is a servant woman at Winterfell. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, she is portrayed by Margaret John, and in a Season 6 flashback by Annette Tierney.
Appearance and Character
Nan is an ugly old woman. She is toothless, shrunken and wrinkled. Almost blind, she is too weak to climb stairs and has only a small amount of hair left to cover her head.
Old Nan is fond of needlework and telling stories. According to her, the Wall marks the end of the world. She occasionally gives her great-grandson, Hodor, swats in the head when annoyed with him.
Old Nan is the oldest person at Winterfell. She came to the castle to nurse a Brandon Stark; which one is unknown, only that his mother had died birthing him. This Brandon Stark is believed to be either the brother of Lord Rickard Stark or a brother of his father. Nan lost both of her sons during Robert's Rebellion, her grandson at the siege of Pyke during Greyjoy's Rebellion, and her daughters moved away and died. Her only living relative is her great-grandson, Hodor.
When Eddard Stark was young, Old Nan taught him the proverb "dark wings, dark words". Old Nan sometimes eats at the table of Lord Eddard. The elderly servant tells various stories to Eddard's children, and she sometimes confuses Bran Stark with other people she has known named Brandon. Theon Greyjoy once earned himself a thrashing by accidentally knocking Old Nan to the ground while carelessly leaping down Winterfell's Great Keep's stairs.
A Game of Thrones
Old Nan helps treat Lady Catelyn Stark after she is attacked by a catspaw. Nan also cares for Bran Stark as he recovers from his fall from the First Keep, and her great-grandson, Hodor, carries around the crippled boy.
A Clash of Kings
Bran, curious about the sudden appearance of the red comet in the sky, asks Old Nan what she believes it signifies. She replies that the comet means one thing: dragons. She also claims to be able to smell them. Bran sends sweets to Nan and Hodor during the harvest feast, and the old woman picks at a hot pie. Nan begins calling Jojen Reed "little grandfather".
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
Old Nan is among the captives held at the Dreadfort.
A Dance with Dragons
Some of Old Nan's tales include:
- Wildlings consorting with giants, ghouls, and Others
- Ghosts in the Red Keep, which has steps leading to hell
- A boy struck by lightning while climbing
- Brandon the Builder
- The long night
- The last hero
- The Dreadfort
- Stowaways on ships going on adventures
- Starks entombed in the crypt of Winterfell
- Children of the forest
- Florian the Fool
- Starks having "wolf blood"
- "The Prince Who Thought He Was a Dragon"
- Harrenhal and Harren the Black
- A man escaping giants only to be killed by Others
- Crowfood Umber
- Wildlings invading the Seven Kingdoms
- Evil skinchangers and wargs
- Morning mists being ghosts returning to the grave
- Dagmer Cleftjaw
- Knights and ladies sleeping with a sword between them
- Green men
- The Nightfort
- Night's King
- The Rat Cook
- Seventy-nine sentinels
- Danny Flint
- The thing that came in the night
- Symeon Star-Eyes
- Mad Axe
- The Titan of Braavos
- Old northmen "going hunting" during terrible winter storms
- The ice dragon
Quotes by Old Nan
Bran: I hate your stupid stories.
Old Nan: My stories? No, my little lord, not mine. The stories are, before me and after me, before you too.Old Nan: I know a story about a boy who hated stories.
Bran: I don't care whose stories they are, I hate them.
—Bran Stark and Old Nan
Bran: My favorites were the scary ones.
Old Nan: Oh, my sweet summer child, what do you know of fear?—Bran Stark and Old Nan
Stories wait, my little lord, and when you come back to them, why, there they are. Visitors are not so patient, and ofttimes they bring stories of their own.—Old Nan to Bran Stark
Quotes about Old Nan
—thoughts of Bran Stark
Jojen: Some people hurt others just because they can.Meera: And it wasn't Theon who did the killing at Winterfell. Too many of the dead were ironmen. Remember Old Nan's stories, Bran. Remember the way she told them, the sound of her voice. So long as you do that, part of her will always be alive in you.
Sometimes Old Nan would tell the same story she'd told before, but we never minded, if it was a good story. Old stories are like old friends, she used to say. You have to visit them from time to time.
- See the Old Nan calculation.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24, Bran IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 56, Bran IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 22, Arya II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 52, Jon VII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 51, Theon I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1, Bran I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 14, Catelyn III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53, Bran VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 4, Bran I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 21, Bran III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 28, Bran IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 46, Bran VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 50, Theon IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 56, Theon V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 47, Arya IX.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 66, Theon VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35, Catelyn IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
- A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 6, Arya I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 22, Arya II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 8, Bran II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 32, Arya III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 34, Bran III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 70, Jon IX.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 14, Arya IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 26, Arya VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 9, Arya III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 16, Bran II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 23, Jon III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 35, Bran V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 53, Jon VII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 15, Jon II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 39, Arya VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 40, Bran III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 41, Jon V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 61, Sansa V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 35, Jon VII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 49, Jon X.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 45, The Blind Girl.