Yoren is a recruiter for the Night’s Watch, a sacred military order sword to protect The Wall. The Wall is the giant structure made of ice that creates a border in the north between the Seven Kingdoms and everything beyond. Yoren did not join the Watch by choice, and was forced to do so after he killed the person who killed his brother with an ax. He was given the choice of joining the Watch rather than facing serious punishments for his crime. Now he travels the Seven Kingdoms finding other criminals, or simply people wishing to serve, to join the Night’s Watch and defend The Wall. Yoren is played by Francis Magee.
Yoren’s lifestyle of travel and danger has given him a particularly haggard and sinister appearance. He’s got long greasy black hair and a beard, as well as teeth that are constantly stained from the sourleaf that he chews. Yoren’s shoulder is also twisted, making his appearance particularly asymmetrical. The shoulder injury keeps him from being able to fight, which is why he was instead relegated to duty as a recruiter. Though unsavory in manners and rough in appearance, Yoren has many years of experience travelling the Seven Kingdoms and is incredibly pragmatic. Any friend of his gains unyielding loyalty, and he’s entirely dedicated to the mission of the Night’s Watch. He’s also frustrated that the Night’s Watch is not treated with the same respect that it once was.
At a party hosted at Castle Black Yoren is befriended by Tyrion Lannister and Benjen Stark. Yoren and Tyrion form a particularly strong bond, and Yoren is convinced to travel some distance with Tyrion. When Tyrion is arrested along the way by Catelyn Stark, Yoren goes to her husband Eddard looking for help. Eddard Stark takes responsibility for his wife’s actions, and later faces charges of treason for gaining his throne through illegitimate reasons. He is sentenced to death, and at his execution Yoren is able to befriend Eddard’s daughter Arya and keep her from having to witness her father’s beheading. He hides Arya as a boy amongst a group of Night Watch recruits to bring her to safety.
During their travels, Yoren is forced to protect the group of Night’s Watch recruits from two Gold Cloaks claiming to have a royal arrest warrant for one of his men. He threatens one of the Gold Cloaks with death, and eventually they leave the group alone.
Later on, Yoren and Arya have a conversation about her father’s execution and the boy who killed Yoren’s brother. At the end of the conversation they hear alarm horns, and return to camp to discover that Ser Amory Lorch and other men loyal to House Lannister have attacked camp with another arrest warrant. Yoren remains defiant and attempts to fight the men off, but is killed when Lorch drives a sword through his neck.