"And one day, Willem came riding back into town. And I buried an axe so deep into Willem’s skull they had to bury him with it. Willem’s horse got me to the Wall and I’ve been wearing black ever since."
―Yoren telling his story to Arya Stark.

Yoren was a former ranger turned wandering crow in the Night's Watch, and a convicted criminal in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Hard and grim, Yoren murdered his brother's killer, Willem, with an axe, forcing him to take the black of his own free volition. After a few years of service, he suffered an injury that made him unfit to be a ranger any longer, and he became a wandering crow for the Watch. Befriending Tyrion Lannister, he accompanies him on the way to King's Landing, and later reports the dwarf's kidnapping to Eddard Stark. He helps smuggle Arya Stark out of King's Landing after Lord Eddard's execution, unknowingly taking one of King Robert's bastards with him as a potential recruit. In the show, Yoren makes camp in the Gods Eye, and is killed when he leads some of his men against a squad of Lannister troops led by Ser Amory Lorch. In the books, he makes camp at a holdfast in an unnamed town in the Gods Eye, and is killed when fighting off a besieging Lannister force.