Varamyr riding his snow bear - by Alex Aparin, © FFG
|a village beyond the Wall
|In 300 AC, a village beyond the Wall
|At least one son
Varamyr, better known as Varamyr Sixskins, is a member of the free folk, and a skinchanger who controls three wolves, a snow bear, a shadowcat, and an eagle. He was known as Lump until he took the name Varamyr.
The man who would eventually call himself Varamyr was born the second child of a wildling family beyond the Wall, and nicknamed "Lump" by his older sister Meha per wildling tradition. As he was born a month premature, and often ill, his mother waited until he was four to name him properly, by which time it was too late and everyone in his village only called him Lump. When Lump was six, he was jealous of his two-year-old brother Bump, who was much more vigorous and healthy, and skinchanged into one of his family's dogs (Loptail, Sniff, or Growler) to kill him. When Lump's father came upon Bump's body, the dogs were sniffing around it. Not knowing which dog had killed his son, he put down all three, killing them with an axe. Right before he split Loptail's skull, Lump slipped inside the dog's skin and felt his death. His reaction, a scream, informed Lump's parents that he was a warg.
Lump's father dragged him through the woods until he came to Haggon, an elderly warg who informed Lump that he belonged with his own kind. Haggon taught him how to skinchange properly and the rules of the ability, and introduced him to other skinchangers. He also instructed him on the strengths and weaknesses of different animals, and gave him rudimentary survival skills. Haggon often traded with the Night's Watch, and it was on one of those trips where Lump began to dream of living south of the Wall. He named himself Varamyr when he was ten years old.
When Haggon lay dying, Varamyr, resentful, stole his wolf, Greyskin, who Haggon had intended as his second life. At that point Varamyr was calling himself Varamyr Threeskins, and then Fourskins after taking Greyskin. Over the years, Varamyr died eight more times while wearing the skins of other creatures. However, his power grew and he was known to ride into battle on the back of a 13-foot tall female snow bear. He had a hall of moss, mud, and hewn logs, which had been Haggon's before he died. He became a lord, with a dozen villages paying him homage. When he wanted to have sex with a woman from the villages, he would send his shadowcat to stalk her until she came to him, whether she wanted to or not. A few of the women had relatives who would try to save them by slaying the warg; Varamyr killed them, but claimed not to harm the women, only taking a hank of hair from each. Some of the women became pregnant, but all of Varamyr's children were small and weak, and none had the ability to skinchange. Eventually Mance Rayder sought an alliance with Varamyr. Varamyr agreed and was a part of Mance's host beneath the Wall.
A Storm of Swords
After the death of the skinchanger Orell, Varamyr takes control of his eagle, which still has a remnant of Orell's consciousness inside of it. Varamyr encounters Jon Snow in Mance Rayder's camp, and the part of Orell inside him hates the man who had killed him, so much that Varamyr hates Jon as well. He also instantly recognizes Jon as another warg the moment he sees the direwolf Ghost by his side. Jon finds that he bristles at the mere sight of Varamyr, just as Ghost bristles at the sight of Varamyr's snow bear and shadowcat. It is learned later that Varamyr had wanted to take Ghost from Jon Snow, believing that a second life in the direwolf would have been worthy of a king, but Mance had refused him.
Varamyr uses Orell's eagle to scout Castle Black during the battle beneath the Wall. He takes early notice of Stannis Baratheon's arrival at the Wall thanks to the eagle. Melisandre burns the eagle with her magic, causing Varamyr to briefly go insane and lose control of all his animals. The beasts then rampage through the camp and flee.
A Dance with Dragons
After the defeat of the wildlings at the battle beneath the Wall, Varamyr has lost all his possessions in his madness from experiencing the eagle's death; he has also lost control of his snow bear and shadowcat, but his wolves remain. Varamyr flees together with a small group, hiding his real identity from them and calling himself Haggon. One by one they leave, until only the spearwife Thistle stays with him. Varamyr is stabbed by a boy when he attempts to take a squirrel-skin cloak off the dead body of the boy's mother, and while Thistle treats his wound, he knows he is dying. He considers skinchanging into another human, taking over their body, but worries he does not have the strength. When Thistle comes to warn him that an army of Others and wights is near and they have to leave, Varamyr tries to take over her body. However, she reacts madly, screaming, tearing out her eyes and biting her own tongue off, expelling him from her mind. Varamyr's body dies, but his mind lives on in his wolf One Eye. From a distance away, he sees that Thistle has become a wight.
A rat-faced son of Varamyr is made a hostage of the Night's Watch.
Quotes by Varamyr
Once a horse is broken to the saddle, any man can mount him. Once a beast’s been joined to a man, any skinchanger can slip inside and ride him. Orell was withering inside his feathers, so I took the eagle for my own. But the joining works both ways, warg. Orell lives inside me now, whispering how much he hates you. And I can soar above the Wall, and see with eagle eyes.
Quotes about Varamyr
A vicious little runt.