This question about Bran warging into Hodor got me thinking about wargs surviving death by taking over another person.

In the prologue of A Dance with Dragons, Haggon says skinchanger are forbidden from doing three things.

  1. To eat of human meat.
  2. To mate as wolf with wolf.
  3. To seize the body of another human is the worst abomination.

In episode 9 of season 3, we saw Jon Snow kill the wildling skinchanger, Orell, with a sword. At the moment of death, Orell wargs into a bird and tries to claw out Jon's eyes. When Jon Snow was stabbed by his own men, I assume he warged into his direwolf and learned this was possible because of his experience with Orell. (Orell's death occurs at 3:30 into this video clip.)

I think Orell could have warged into Jon Snow, Tormund Giantsbane, or somebody else instead of warging into the bird.

Is there proof of any skinchangers evading death by warging into another human?

I prefer answers which gives quotes and citations from the books since I have a policy of "Quotes get Votes". I'll take book quotes over scenes from the TV series. Lastly, I will consider fan theories and well grounded speculation based on the books.

  • 3
    Take a look at Aegon's answer here for the difference between Warg's and Skin-changers.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 22:45

2 Answers 2


Varamyr Sixskins does not completely believe in Haggon and the rules of skinchangers are more like code of ethics, rather than rules.

Men may eat the flesh of beasts and beasts the flesh of men, but the man who eats the flesh of man is an abomination.

Abomination. That had always been Haggon’s favorite word. Abomination, abomination, abomination. To eat of human meat was abomination, to mate as wolf with wolf was abomination, and to seize the body of another man was the worst abomination of all. Haggon was weak, afraid of his own power. He died weeping and alone when I ripped his second life from him. Varamyr had devoured his heart himself. He taught me much and more, and the last thing I learned from him was the taste of human flesh.

A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five, Prologue

Coming back to your question, is it possible to warg into another human?

The answer is Yes, Varamyr avoided it for following reasons

“I should have taken one of them when I had the chance. One of the twins, or the big man with the scarred face, or the youth with the red hair. He had been afraid, though. One of the others might have realized what was happening. Then they would have turned on him and killed him. And Haggon’s words had haunted him, and so the chance had passed.”

A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five, Prologue

In the books, there is only one instance when a dying man tries to warg into another human, that is when Varamyr tries to warg into Thistle.

“He summoned all the strength still in him, leapt out of his own skin, and forced himself inside her.

Thistle arched her back and screamed.

Abomination. Was that her, or him, or Haggon? He never knew. His old flesh fell back into the snowdrift as her fingers loosened. The spearwife twisted violently, shrieking. His shadowcat used to fight “him wildly, and the snow bear had gone half-mad for a time, snapping at trees and rocks and empty air, but this was worse. “Get out, get out!” he heard her own mouth shouting. Her body staggered, fell, and rose again, her hands flailed, her legs jerked this way and that in some grotesque dance as his spirit and her own fought for the flesh. She sucked down a mouthful of the frigid air, and Varamyr had half a heartbeat to glory in the taste of it and the strength of this young body before her teeth snapped together and filled his mouth with blood. She raised her hands to his face. He tried to push them down again, but the hands would not obey, and she was clawing at his eyes. Abomination, he remembered, drowning in blood and pain and madness. When he tried to scream, she spat their tongue out.”

A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five, Prologue

Varmyr failed to warg into a human, he was weak and hungry but he was a strong warg.

“None of them had been as strong as Varamyr Sixskins, though, not even Haggon, tall and grim with his hands as hard as stone.”

A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five, Prologue

So in the books only Bran has managed to warg into humans, Meera (very short duration) and Hodor.



In the prologue of the fifth book, Varamyr Sixskins tries to take over his companion but fails.

An addition is that taking over someone else's body is not easy and only the best skin-changers can do it. I think the only person that we know of with this gift is Bran.

Another addition is that skin-changers do not die as humans. When they die, their soul goes to one of the animals whose skin they slip into. However, lacking a human body, they slowly forget how to become human and lose their souls in their animal. If they have more than one animal, whether they can keep changing their vessel animals and whether they can claim another human without their human body are unknown.

  • 1
    It's strongly implied by Varamyrs inner monologue that once the human body dies the spirit is stuck in whatever animal it wargs into when the body died.
    – Paul
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 4:52
  • 3
    Actually it is mentioned explicitly mentioned in the book. Here is the text "Varamyr knew the truth of that. When he claimed the eagle that had been Orell’s, he could feel the other skinchanger raging at his presence. Orell had been slain by the turncloak crow Jon Snow, and his hate for his killer had been so strong that Varamyr found himself hating the beastling boy as well.”
    – Vishvesh
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 9:14
  • 3
    skin-changers do not die as humans. When they die, their soul goes to one of the animals whose skin they slip into That is not automatic. The skinchangers have to purposefully slip into their animal's skin. Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 13:18
  • @Vishvesh Although my answer is not wrong, I do believe Vishvesh's answer is more detailed and better supported. Please refer to it as well.
    – user65648
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 16:01

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