Gawen is large Dornishman, and a grizzled ranger of the Night's Watch stationed at Castle Black.
Gawen grew up in the Boneway in Dorne, ruled by the Yronwoods. He was raised by his smallfolk mother, who struggled to raise him by herself. Those around the Boneway would talk of her sleeping with a giant during a trip to the North, and thus creating Gawen.
Gawen always tried helping his mother when he could, and ultimately ended up being sent to the Wall as a punishment after intimidating and stealing some food from a caravan when he was only 17. The loyal ranger has thought about his mother everyday since then, knowing she is well dead.
Gawen has since become accustomed to the North, his size helping him become a considerable asset to the Night's Watch. With their training, he became formidable with greatswords and daggers.
Gawen is mentioned to be returning from Whitetree, an abandoned village north of the Wall as he rides with Rhaegar II Targaryen.
Artos Harclay sends Gawen along with Balon Selmy's men in order to keep a watchful eye on their proceedings at the Shadow Tower. Geoff, Castle Black's cook, asks Gawen to look for certain ingredients in the Shadow Tower's storerooms while he is there.
"It was hard not to be noticed all of the time, considering his size. Perhaps that was why he was here in the first place, sent all those years ago. A bumbling boy at 17 back then, taller than most men thrice his age, yet thinking he was sneaky enough to get away with food." - Blood and Whispers