Ser Alliser Thorne became acting Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch after the murder of Lord Commander Mormont. Prior to this, he was master-at-arms, responsible for training the brother’s of the Night’s Watch. Before joining the Night’s Watch, Ser Alliser was a knight of House Thorne, a house that sided with the Targaryens during Robert’s Rebellion and fought to defend King’s Landing against the rebels. After the Mad King was defeated and King’s Landing fell to the rebels, Lord Tywin gave Ser Alliser two options: death or to join the Night’s Watch. He chose the latter and has been a bitter and vengeful man ever since.
Jeor Mormont was the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, before being murdered by several of the brothers of the Night’s Watch that had planned a mutiny. He was considered to be a great commander and had been seriously concerned about the depleting resources of the Night’s Watch. Before his death, he trained Jon Snow and offered his wisdom and experience.
Prior to joining the Night’s Watch, Jeor Mormont was lord of Bear Island, a remote island of the North. During Robert’s Rebellion, Jeor fought loyally alongside Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon and helped to win the Rebellion. Within a few years after, he abdicated his seat as Lord of Bear Island, so that his son, Jorah, could become Lord of Bear Island. Jeor, joined the Night’s Watch and within a few years, he rose to the position of Lord Commander.
Petyr Baelish, otherwise known as Littlefinger, was born to a lowly house of the Fingers, a region of the Vale. His family had little money or power, and after his father fought with Hoster Tully and became close friends, Petyr was sent as a boy to be raised at Riverrun. There, he developed the nickname Littlefinger, in reference to the little lands his family possessed in the region know as the Fingers. As a young age, Petyr fell in love with Catelyn Tully, but she never loved him back the same way, though her sister, Lysa, loved him very much.
Lord Baelish has spent most of his life trying to transcend his lowborn status and his intelligence is only rivaled by his ambition. In particular, he developed a strong mind for finances and accounting, and after several dealings, ended up in King’s Landing as Master of Coin to King Robert. At the same time, he opened up many brothels around the city and not only grew his personal wealth, but also power and influence within the city. Despite his love for Catelyn, it was Lord Baelish who betrayed Ned Stark, after Ned approached him with the truth about the incest surrounding King Joffrey and the illegitimacy of his claim to the throne. Littlefinger promised to help Ned secure the Kingsguard after Ned made these claims public, but instead, Littlefinger went back to the Lannisters and informed them of Ned’s intent. And so, when Ned proclaimed the truth, he had no backing, and the Kingsguard of the Lannisters turned on him, arrested him, and this led to his eventual death.
Meera Reed is the older sister of Jojen Reed. She is intensely protective of her younger brother, and like him, is intent on helping Bran on his journey north to find Jon Snow.
Jojen Reed is a young boy who possesses the ability of greensight, the power of prophetic visions. At a younge age, Jojen almost died from sickness; it was at this time that Jojen had a dream of a three-eyed crow that granted him the power of greensight. After gaining this ability, Jojen set journey to Winterfell with his sister Meera, to find Bran. After Bran escaped Winterfell with Rickon, Osha and Hodor, they were intercepted by Jojen and Meera, and they have been traveling together ever since in pursuit of finding Jon Snow beyond the Wall. Jojen has been helping to guide Bran, who also appears to possess the power of greensight.
Beric Dondarrion, also known as the Lightning Lord, arrives at King’s Landing when Ned Stark is appointed as Hand of the King. After the capture of Tyrion Lannister, Gregor Clegane raids the Riverlands looking for Tyrion. Ned Stark appoints Beric as captain of a small party set out to arrest The Mountain. In battle, Beric is killed by The Mountain, though Thoros of Myr is able to bring him back to life. Beric and Thoros form the Brotherhood without Banners and fight for the justice, namely against the Lannisters. They raid many Lannister camps, though all the while, Beric is thought to be dead. During their battles, Beric is killed several more times, but each time resurrected by Thoros. Though, each time resurrected, Beric loses more of his memory and comes back a weaker man. The Brotherhood without Banners later encounter Arya Stark, who witnesses Beric’s death at the hands of the Hound, during trial by combat. But, once again, Thoros prays to the Lord of Light and resurrects the Lightning Lord.
Thoros of Myr is a Red Priest from the city of Myr, located on Easteros. Like Melisandre, Thoros was given to the Red Priests at a young age and studied to become a Red Priest himself. In an attempt to spread the religion and make others aware of the threat presented by the Great Other, Thoros was sent to King’s Landing to try an convert the Mad King Aerys, but to no avail. He ended up becoming companions with Robert Baratheon, and a member of his court after Robert took the Iron Throne. After meeting Beric Dondarrion, Thoros and Beric formed the Brotherhood without Banners, an outlaw group that swore fealty to no king or lord and fought for justice in the name of the Lord of Light. Thoros began to develop powers that he never before had. In addition to being able to see visions in the flames, he resurrected Beric Dondarrion back to life several times.
Melisandre is follower of R’hllor and otherwise known as the Red Priestess. Melisandre is from Asshai, which is part of the Shadow Lands, a mysterious mountainous region of Easteros where very old magic is practiced. (It is from the Shadow Lands that Daenarys’ three dragon eggs came). As a young age, Melisandre was sold into slavery, where she developed her faith for the Lord of Light. Melisandre has dedicated her life to service of R’hllor and displays a total faith. Several times, Melisandre has demonstrated her power of magic, generally guided by the Lord of Light. She possesses the ability to look into the Lord of Light’s fire and interpret visions of the future. She is also a shadowbinder, one who can control shadows to do her work. She gave birth to a shadow and used this shadow to murder Renly Baratheon. Today, she has joined Stannis Baratheon and is his closest advisor. She appears to believe he is the reincarnate of Azor Ahai, who is destined to once again lead the fight against the darkness of the Great Other.
Bronn Stokeworth is a low-born sell-sword, somebody who offers their sword of protection to anybody willing to pay for it, rather than fighting for a specific house. In an interesting chain of events, Bronn comes into the service of Tyrion Lannister and the two develop a close bond. Suspicious that Tyrion was responsible for the attempted murder of her son, Catelyn Stark went into the nearest inn and asked the men to help her arrest Tyrion, after she intercepted him on her way back to Winterfell. Bronn assists in arresting Tyrion and they bring him to the Eyrie for holding. After Tyrion chooses trial by combat, Bronn offers to champion Tyrion in battle and defeats the man he fights, saving Tyrion’s life and earning him his freedom. From that day forth, Bronn came into service of Tyrion.
Ser Davos Seaworth was born to a family of peasants in King’s Landing. He pursued a life on the sea and soon became an expert smuggler. During Robert’s Rebellion, Stannis and his men were trapped inside Storm’s End by the forces of House Tyrell which had lent their support to the Mad King. Ser Davos was able to smuggle a load of onions into Storm’s End, enough food to hold over Stannis’ forces until the Rebellion was won. Ser Davos was henceforth known as the Onion Knight. He was taken by Stannis and his closest advisor, though as punishment for his past crimes, Stannis passed down the punishment of cutting off the tips of Ser Davos’ fingers. Ser Davos serves Stannis loyally, though he grows very uneasy over the intentions of Melisandre.