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Human scalp

A scalped piece of skin with hair attached.

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"The Thenns will eat you! The Haragni will scalp you!"
Alliser Thorne during the Battle of Castle Black
Scalping is an ancient and taboo method of execution, usually practised by the Haragni tribes beyond the Wall. It involves cutting or tearing a part of the human scalp, with hair attached, from the head of an enemy as a trophy. Scalp-taking is considered part of the broader cultural practice of the taking and display of human body parts as trophies, and may have developed as an alternative to the taking of human heads, for scalps were easier to take, transport, and preserve for subsequent display.

History

Background

The practice of scalping is notoriously associated with the Free Folk, most commonly with the Haragni, one of the oldest of the wildling tribes. The act of scalping has been practised for centuries and is believed to have been developed sometime after the diversification of the First Men cultures.

The Haragni wear their scalped victim's heads as trophies on their shoulders, usually to inflict fear into their enemies when on the battlefield. It is also believed that the Haragni use their scalps as some sort of ritualistic or symbolic practice. The act of scalping is highly taboo south of the Wall and is rarely ever practised. Those who do practise scalping are usually arrested and convicted. The penalty for practising scalping is death.

Lord of the Hunt

Using the corpse of Mortin as a decoy, Lucius Dragen ambushes Manwell. He chases him into the woods and they engage in a bloody fight beside the shores of the White Knife. Lucius is about to kill Manwell, but stops when he notices a group of Haragni at the other side of the river. He pushes Manwell downstream into the hands of the wildlings. Ferwyn scalps and kills Manwell, but spares Lucius. Manwell's scalped body floats away downriver, with the Haragni keeping his scalp as a trophy.

Season 4

During the Battle of Castle Black, Alliser Thorne mentions the Haragni and their methods of scalping.

See also

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