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"He is a noble man. A man with a lot of mysteries."
Jon Snow on Jaran[src]

Jaran Dragen is a recurring character in the first, second, third and returning as a major character in the fourth, fifth and sixth seasons. Ser Jaran is Lord Harkon Dragen's firstborn son and former heir to House Dragen. After he joined the Night's Watch, his brother, Garth Dragen, took the position as heir. He is the secret biological father of Ser Ardrew Ashes.

Background

Biography

Jaran Dragen is the eldest son of Lord Harkon Dragen. Harkon was the head of House Dragen and Lord of Helgen.

Jaran is the older brother of Garth and Ethan. After Lord Harkon's death, Jaran was supposed to inherit the title of Lord of Helgen but he suddenly left Helgen and joined up with the Night's Watch, leaving Garth to lead House Dragen.

Before joining the Watch, Jaran was noted as one of the greatest military generals of the North. His many battle and war victories earned him the rank of knighthood and in addition, granted him a small keep a few miles away from Helgen. His strategic intellect was shown again during the Battle of Castle Black, in which Jaran singlehandedly commanded a small group of men and guided them towards victory against the wildlings. Supposedly, thanks to Jaran's strategic insights, his group had the least number of casualties.

Jaran eventually took the black shortly before the birth of his bastard son, Ardrew Ashes, in fear of his father's wrath if he were to find out about Ardrew's parentage. So far he has declined to share his story with anyone, although it is safe to assume that Jaran's brother, Garth Dragen, and possibly his nephew, Lucius Dragen, know about his mysterious past.

Season 1

Jaran greets Jon Snow as he enters Castle Black. He gives him some advice on how life on the Wall is like. He keeps his real identity a secret, as he introduces himself simply as "Jaran".

Jaran trains with Jon on the field and is present when Samwell Tarly arrives at Castle Black. Like Jon, he does not express hatred towards Sam and does not ridicule or bully him, unlike the rest do. Jaran commands the recruits pestering Sam to stand down. When Alliser Thorne comes to investigate Sam, he dismisses Jaran.

After Benjen Stark goes missing beyond the Wall, Jaran is named acting First Ranger. After Lord Commander Mormont hands out assignments to the recruits, he takes the new rangers with him. He is later present when Jon Snow and the others take their vows at the weirwood tree north of the Wall.

Season 2

Jaran joins Jeor Mormont's Great Ranging in hopes to find the missing Benjen Stark. Commander Mormont's party takes refuge at Craster's Keep. Jaran is visibly disgusted and disturbed by Craster's many daughter-wives, but does not utter a word inside the keep.

Mormont's party leaves the Keep and set out further north. The group stops at the Fist of the First Men where they are reunited with Qhorin Halfhand and his men. Qhorin and Jon Snow set out to Skirling Pass to scout the area for wildlings. Jaran, however, stays with the rest of the group at the Fist, alongside Samwell Tarly, Grenn, Pyp, Konrad and Edd.

When the wights arrive at the Fist, Jaran grabs Sam and orders him to run. Sam, however, falls and the two lose contact. Jaran disappears into the mist, and is not seen since.

Season 3

Jaran reappears before Jeor Mormont arrives at Craster's Keep. Jaran tells on how it took him days to reach Mormont's party and how he barely survived the bloody aftermath of the assault at the Fist of the First Men. Jaran is eager to know where Jon is, but, unfortunately for him, no one does. Rast suggests that Jon has joined forces with Mance Rayder and betrayed the Watch. Although Jaran initially refuses to believe this theory, he later takes it in consideration.

When the Mutiny at Craster's Keep takes place, Jaran fights off the mutineers but is unable to save Lord Commander Jeor Mormont. As he idly watches as Jeor is betrayed and literally stabbed in the back, Jaran ascends on his horse and with the other survivors, rides to Castle Black.

Season 4

When Jon Snow returns to Castle Black, Jaran stays by his side and tends to his wounds. He says that he is aware of Jon's apparent betrayal by espying the Free Folk, and that he forgives him.

Jaran fights in the Battle of Castle Black and commands a handful of men. He is successful in driving away the remaining wildling troops into the forest by meeting them in open battle beyond the Wall.

Season 5

During Jon Snow's is election as the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Jaran also votes for him. He is visibly excited and glad to see that Jon was elected.

Shortly after his election, Jon prepares his men for the journey to Hardhome. Before they leave, Jaran and Jon talk privately for a moment where Jaran explains his true identity. He reveals that he is actually a member of House Dragen, bannermen and ancient allies of House Stark. He also reveals that he is the older brother of the late Garth Dragen, the Lord of Helgen and that he was also his father's former heir apparent. His reasons for abandoning his home and joining the Night's Watch are still kept private and are known only to him. Jon is glad that Jaran reveals the truth and after their conversation, they leave for Hardhome.

Once at Hardhome, Jon tries to convince the wildlings to fight at their side when the White Walkers come. However, when the wights appear, the Watch battle them, including Jaran. He charges towards one of the Walkers for an attack and as he tries to swing his sword against one of them, it is shattered by the Walker's touch. He is grabbed by the throat and thrown into a wildling cabin. Jaran throws some of the wildling's spears towards the Walker which seems to have disoriented it. As Jaran makes his escape, he is grabbed and saved by the other Brothers. Shortly after, the Night's King appears. He gives a stern look at Jon and with a mere raise of his arms, he raises the dead around Hardhome. Jon and the Watch quickly leave and return to Castle Black.

Once at Castle Black, Jon has declared to his brothers that he will give refuge and save passage to one of the surviving wildlings after the Massacre at Hardhome. Most Watch members seem to disagree with Jon's decision, Jaran as well. He advises Jon not to help the wildlings, not because he doesn't trust them, but for the safety of Jon. He seems to suspect a mutiny if Jon proceeds with his plans. Jon, however, ignores his advice.

Jon is summoned by Olly who claims that one of the wildlings that Jon saved spotted his uncle Benjen and that he is indeed alive. Jon rushes to the castle's courtyard to meet with the supposed wildling. Once there, however, he notices a sign that reads "traitor" and as he turns around, Alliser Thorne sticks a dagger in his stomach and says the words: "For the Watch". Konrad, who is out in the courtyard for unknown reasons, tries to stop the mutiny, but is restrained by two other black brothers and can only watch in horror. Following him are other Watch members who do the same. Jaran also attacks Jon and whispers "For the Watch", while holding back tears. After Olly deals the killing blow to the Lord Commander, Jaran still stands by Jon's corpse and breaks down.

Season 6

Jaran, who initially was one of the mutineers betraying Jon, later joins Davos, Konrad, Edd, and the other loyalists in fighting off the remaining mutineers, and he even helps carry Jon's body to safety. Konrad, who is still hostile and suspicious towards Jaran (he initially tries to kill Jaran in a fit of grief and rage), also helps him. Jaran later reveals that he wanted no part in the mutiny, but Thorne forced him to, with the alternative being that he'd kill, not just him, but all of Jon's loyalists as well, including Konrad and Edd.

Jaran is present when Melisandre performs the ritual that would, apparently, resurrect Jon. When it is apparent that the ritual did not work, Jaran scoffs and frustratingly says that the "witchcraft did not do shit". However, after Jaran and the rest leave the room, Jon gasps and returns from the dead.

Appearances

Season One appearances
Winter is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood
Season Two appearances
The North Remembers The Night Lands What is Dead May Never Die Garden of Bones The Ghost of Harrenhal
The Old Gods and the New A Man Without Honor The Prince of Winterfell Blackwater Valar Morghulis
Season Three appearances
Valar Dohaeris Dark Wings, Dark Words Walk of Punishment And Now His Watch is Ended Kissed by Fire
The Climb The Bear and the Maiden Fair Second Sons The Rains of Castamere Mhysa
Season Four appearances
Two Swords The Lion and the Rose Breaker of Chains Oathkeeper First of His Name
The Laws of Gods and Men Mockingbird The Mountain and the Viper The Watchers on the Wall The Children
Season Five appearances
The Wars to Come The House of Black and White High Sparrow Sons of the Harpy Kill the Boy
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken The Gift Hardhome The Dance of Dragons Mother’s Mercy
Season Six appearances
The Red Woman Home Oathbreaker Book of the Stranger The Door
Blood of My Blood The Broken Man No One Battle of the Bastards The Winds of Winter

Personality

Jaran is a benevolent and wise man, and a seasoned warrior. He almost constantly gives off an aura of serenity and composure, rarely displaying intense emotions of anger or fear. He speaks in a calm, collected voice, being reasonable and kind, but firm.

Jaran is highly perceptive and emotionally intelligent; his knowledge of people's true personality went beyond being simply a good judge of character. Even though he didn't know immediately that he was a bastard, Jaran did quickly uncover that Jon Snow had Stark blood, he noticed this simply by observing his face, which had, according to him, typical Stark facial features.

Quotes

Spoken by Jaran

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"You know, you keep calling me the traitor. But I'm not the one who defended a madman that burned women and children alive for fun."
―Jaran to Alliser Thorne, defending Jon Snow.[src]
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"Alliser was once a proud knight. But when it came to the war, he chose to fight for the Targaryens. Which costed him dearly. Tywin Lannister drove him into exile and forced him to join the Watch. There is a reason he hates you, Jon. After all, your father is the reason he is stuck here."
―Jaran about Alliser Thorne's past
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"Run, Tarly! Now, dammit!"
―Jaran to Sam, after encountering the large wight army
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Jaran Dragen: "I came here when I was just a lad. I come from a noble family from the North, who were once loyal to House Stark. My father's name was Harkon Dragen. My younger brother's Garth Dragen. And my bastard little brother, is Ethan Snow."
Jon Snow: "You're a Dragen?!"
Jaran Dragen: "I was the former heir of House Dragen. When my father dies, I would've inherited him and be named the Lord of Helgen. But I chose a different path. That path led me here, and I betrayed my family. I was disowned, and branded a traitor."
— Jaran Dragen reveals his true story to Jon Snow
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"Oi, fuck-face! Here!"
―Jaran, trying to draw the White Walker's attention during the Massacre at Hardhome.
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"Jon, think this through. Your brothers will hate you for what you are doing."
―Jaran, trying to persuade Jon not to help the wildlings
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"I've betrayed my family, I've betrayed my men. Fuck, I even betrayed my own Lord Commander. All my life, I've only wanted one thing. Redemption. If that means I have to betray another family, so be it."
―Jaran, hinting on his mysterious past.
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"If you ever fucking leave me again, I'll cut your throat myself. (Proceeds to hug Jon). Don't do this shit to us ever again."
―Jaran Dragen, upon seeing a resurrected Jon Snow

Spoken about Jaran

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Vahaelor: "What about your brother? He has risen high in the ranks of the Night's Watch, he holds great influence there. I know what you think about him. But he is still loyal to your house, and to you."
Garth: "Do not speak to me about Jaran. He is a traitor, and he belongs at the Wall. I would die rather to call him for help. "
— Vahaelor and Garth, about Jaran.
v  d  e
Lord: Lord Ethan Dragen Heir: Warron Dragen
Dragen banner icon
Seat: Helgen Lands: The North
Title(s): Lord of Helgen · Lord Defender of the North · Blooded King (pre-War of Conquest)
Ancestors:Evan Dragen · Darron Dragen · Melina I Dragen · Jon Dragen · Veron Dragen · Tregar Dragen · Anthor Dragen
Current members:Alise Dragen · Mira Dragen · Domeric Dragen · Larinna Dragen · Anaya Dragen · Jaran Dragen · Kenden Dragen · Arrena Storm · Merei Whitesnow · Melina Dragen ·
Deceased members:Garth Dragen · Harkon Dragen · Erik Dragen · Lucius Dragen
Household:Duncan Catell · Maester Vahaelor · Coren Brewlan · {Josmus Snow} · Rylen Mollen (hostage) · Grond · Noro · Drayro Tollo · Maut · Ontley
Overlord:House Stark

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