Harding Grim is a Named Man, and a masterful archer, well known for hardly saying anything. He's part of Logen Ninefingers's original crew, along with Dogman, Tul Duru Thunderhead, Black Dow, Forley the Weakest and Rudd Threetrees.
Appearance and Personality Edit
Grim is well known for rarely speaking, which is how he gets his Name; two words is a full day’s talk for him. Dogman remarks that when Grim does speak, it's usually to say something that's obvious to all. Curiously, Grim knows The Union tongue in addition to Northern.
He is the best archer that Dogman has ever known.
Harding Grim was one of the champions that Logen Ninefingers fought in single combat for Bethod. Grim lost, despite putting a spear straight through Ninefingers' stomach. But Logen let him live and join his crew.
Shortly before the start of the series, bad blood developed between Logen and the King of the Northmen. Logen and his crew, including the Grim, were imprisoned in Carleon. Expecting death, Bethod inexplicitly allows them to go into exile.
The Blade Itself Edit
With Logen presumed dead after his fall from a cliff during a Shanka attack, Dow and the crew argue about who should be the new chief. Eventually, Dow sees that everyone is against him and relents, with Threetrees becoming the new chief of the crew. He decided they will go south.
On the way, they learn that The North is now at war with The Union. Considering their options, they fear with Bethod army heading south, The North will be undefended from the Shanka. Forley the Weakest proposes warning the only person they can, Bethod himself. Bethod fears all the others in the crew, so the Forley should be the one to do it. Although, they fear for Forley’s safety, it’s the best idea they have.
Forley entered Carleon on alone to deliver the warning. Harding Grim and the crew hide away, while Rudd Threetrees stand alone on a bridge waiting for the answer. It comes in the form of some of Bethod’s Carls, who throw Forley’s head in a sack at Threetrees feet. At the sight of their dead friend, the crew attack and butcher all of Bethod’s men without mercy.
Threetrees says the words over Forley's grave honouring his self-sacrifice. Afterwards, Threetrees makes an announcement; the enemy of my enemy is my friend; he will join with the Union to fight Bethod in the First Northern War. Who’s coming with him?
Before They Are Hanged Edit
Crossing the river Whiteflow into Angland, Harding Grim and the rest of the crew are turned away at Ostenhorm, when they try to offer their services to The Union. To convince them, they ambush Lord Marshal Burr and Colonel West. Grateful to be alive, the Lord Marshal agrees, assigning them to Prince Ladisla's division, under West's command.
Colonel West sends Rudd Threetrees' crew scouting north of the river Cumnur. The crew soon find one of Bethod's scouting parties. After disposing of them, they follow their tracks and discover the King of the Northmen's whole damn army, ten thousand men not five days march away from Ladisla's division. However, when Threetrees and West inform the Prince, he insists on meeting the Northmen in battle without delay. Threetrees declares them all fools. His crew won’t fight with The Union, too blind to see they have no chance of defeating Bethod’s host.
However, the crew follows the Union Army safe in the forest, and witnesses the massacre of Ladisla's division. Amidst the chaos, Dogman finds West, Ladisla, Pike and Cathil, and brings them back to the rest of his crew. Harding Grim shocks them all, when the stoic man proves to speak the common tongue. Threetrees and the others keep following Bethod's army, surprised to find they are now going north, ignoring the easypickings further south. Eventually, the crew make it safely to the main Union Army near Dunbrec, to warn them of Bethod’s movements, though Ladisla dies on the way. More rebel Northmen soon start to join Threetrees crew against Bethod, including Caul Shivers.
As Bethod and The Union prepare for battle near Dunbrec, Threetrees' crew are assigned to General Poulder's division tasked with flanking the enemy, while Kroy diverts their attention. However, Bethod lays on some surprises, first the Shanka attack, and then Fenris the Feared. During the mêlée, Threetrees finds himself facing the Feared alone. The old warrior gives it his best, but the Feared crunches him to the turf, mortally wounded. Eventually, the Feared is routed, leaving behind him a devastated crew, its leader dead.
The crew bury Threetrees. Overcome with emotion, Dogman cannot speak for Threetrees. Nor can Tul or Dow who seem lessened with their chief’s death. To the surprise of all, Harding Grim steps forward to speak the words. Afterwards, Tul and Dow agree that neither one can be leader, so the crew names the Dogman as their new chief.
Last Argument of Kings Edit
Harding Grim and the Dogman's growing crew seize the town of Uffrith with as little bloodshed as possible, to allow The Union to use the city as a port for supplies.
Later, when Dogman is holding a war council, Logen Ninefingers returns from his journey, to the amazement of all his old crew. All except Grim, who hands him a mug and look back to his arrows, just as though Logen had been gone for a few minutes.
Soon they encounter the hillman Crummock-i-Phail, and come up with a plan to lure Bethod into a trap in the High Places, using his hatred of Logen, Crummock, and the men around them. Grim fights in Dogman's crew of archers in the tower. After seven days of bloody siege, The Union finally arrive and rout Bethod's forces.
Bethod himself escapes the rout and takes refuge in Carleon, surrounded by the Union. To end the siege, Logen agrees to a duel with Fenris the Feared. Meanwhile, Grim, Dogman, and Dow infiltrate the city to kill the sorceress Caurib, who is using her powers to fill the Feared with strength. Grim and Dogman enter Caurib’s lair, while Dow sneaks around the back. As Grim and Dogman approach her, she takes them under her control with a word. However, Black Dow saves the day, leaping from the shadows and splitting Caurib’s head with his axe.
After Bethod's defeat, Harding Grim and Dogman accompany new King Logen south to help The Union repel the Gurkish invasion of Midderland in the Battle of Adua. Many of the Northmen go reluctantly, considering it not their fight, however Grim just grunts, giving no clue whether he thought it was a good or a bad idea. The Northmen attack the city from the northeast, and make their way towards the Inner City. As they enter the Agriont, Grim with Logen, and Dogman faced off against an Eater. The Eater charges into Grim with an armoured elbow, who crashed into a tree ten strides away. Overwhelmed by numbers, the Eater is eventually killed by Logen.
Grim dies in the Dogman’s arms, saying he has no regrets, saying that he should’ve died long ago fighting Ninefingers, and the rest was all a gift. Dogman speaks the words at his grave.
|“||Harding Grim. I never saw a better man with a bow. Not ever. Can’t count the number o’ times he saved my life, and never expected thanks for it. Except maybe that I’d do the same for him. Guess I couldn’t, this time. Guess none of us could.||”|
–Dogman over Harding Grim's grave