The Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, simply referred to as the Lord Commander, is the senior-most military and commanding officer of the Night's Watch. Seated at Castle Black, the headquarters of the Watch, the Lord Commander, by virtue of office, is functionally the ruler of the Wall and the castles along it, as well as the sparsely populated lands of the Gift located to the immediate south of the Wall, which are meant to support the Watch. Originally based at the Nightfort, the Lord Commander moved his headquarters to Castle Black during the reign of Jaehaerys I, when dwindling resources forced the Watch to abandon it. Also, in a tradition strangely out of place in Westeros, Lord Commanders are not hereditary positions gained through birthright or a line of succession, and are democratically elected to their post. There have been 998 full Lord Commanders (not counting interim commanders) since the Night's Watch was first founded.


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