They were tens of thousands, divided in hundreds of tribes and clans. They always despised the ways of the people South of the Wall, slaves of laws and lords, without the freedom that in the North is a banner.
Among the many clans, the Ice-River Spears is held as the most proud. The cold climate and the absence of protection have made them aggressive and warlike. What they have, they have obtained it by raiding, North or South of the Wall. Only Mance Rayder has been able to ease their rivalry with the Frozen Shore Clan, or the despised Thenn.
Many of the clans have accepted the alliance with the Crows, but as many have stayed in the North. The Ice-River Spears were unbent, they stayed beyond the Wall, in the north where the Free Folk belong. But WInter is coming, relentless, and it belongs to the Others. Some of the proud men and women of the north are now tormented by doubt, strengthened by the white threat getting closer: would it be better to find an easier life, or keep on with their traditions?
See also the Setting chapter for Beyond the Wall
See also the Costume guide for the Free Folk