The free folk are a race of people who live beyond the Wall. They are more commonly referred to as "wildlings" everywhere south of the Wall. There are tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of free folk split into hundreds of cultures, tribes, clans, villages and raiding parties, some reasonably cultured, others savage and hostile. The free folk refer to themselves in that way to difference themselves from the "kneelers," the people south of the Wall subject to lords and kings.
For most of history, the Freefolk have remained unchanging. Their interactions with the Night's Watch and the Starks may have different names as the centuries go by, but the story is always the same; the Freefolk remain minor nuisances until a King gathers them together, and attempts to win south of the Wall. Many such attempts have been made. All have been thrown back.
Though the Night's Watch has dwindled, both in it size and it's respectability to the southerners who live below it, the Freefolk have not forgotten the men whom they call "crows". Mortal enemies, the two have fought since the Wall was first raised, long before the longest of memories.
The Freefolk have no nations, no countries or kingdoms or realms. They are organized into clans, and tribes, and rarely loose confederations, gathering whatever sustenance they can find from the frozen lands around them. Their customs are singular, as are their gods, and though they are fierce fighters they are warriors, not soldiers, and largely untrained. They fight with weapons of stone and wood and bronze, and there are few smiths and fewer forges north of the Wall. Of all the Wildling peoples, the Thenns are the best armed and armoured, but even they are clad in bronze.
- Raymun Redbeard - Who led the Wildlings across the Wall, without notice from the Watch, and slew a Stark in battle.
- Bael the Bard - One of the greatest free folk raiders of his time, a man who outwitted the northmen and managed to impregnate Lord Brandon Stark's daughter. He was also a bard who wrote songs about his own life, which are still used to this day.
- The Horned King - Unnamed King-Beyond-The-Wall that used sorcery to bypass the Wall and attack the North.
- The brothers Gendel and Gorne - A pair of brothers who shared the title King-Beyond-The-Wall. They used tunnels to circumvent the Wall, but after Gorne was slain and the wildlings defeated in battle, Gendel was unable to lead his people back out again. Now they wander, devouring those that enter the caves in search of Gorne's Way.
- Joramun - in ancient days he blew the Horn of Winter and woke the giants from the earth. Some say he brought down the Night's King with the aid of the King in the North, Brandon the Breaker.
- Mance Rayder - Once a man of the Night's Watch before breaking his vows and abandoning his post, he managed to unite the tribes and lead them against his former brothers. He was captured during the Battle for Castle Black, and executed by Stannis Baratheon.
- The Crow King - A nameless warrior from recent years, and a member of the Night's Watch, who led an army against the Others and drove them back with his flaming sword, now lost.