Ralf Kenning is an Ironborn captain and member of House Kenning of Harlaw.
A Feast for Crows Edit
Ralf is one of the men that helps Victarion Greyjoy take the castle of Moat Cailin. He urges for Victarion to press his claim on the Seastone Chair after the death of King Balon Greyjoy. When Victarion protests that Balon asked him to hold Moat Cailin against the Northmen, it is Ralf that points out the Northmen have been defeated and there is no sense in holding Moat Cailin and losing the Iron Islands.
Ralf is left as castellan of Moat Cailin when Victarion sails for Old Wyk to press his claim. Victarion promises that he will return to Ralf as king, with a thousand men. Ralf is listed as one of the supporters of Victarion at the Kingsmoot, though he is not present for the event.
A Dance with Dragons Edit
Ralf continues to hold the castle, not knowing that Victarion has been defeated and that their new king, Euron Greyjoy, has no intention of saving them. Whilst standing on the parapet, Ralf is grazed by one of the crannogmen's poisoned arrows. The scratch festers, and is initially treated with boiling wine, but with no success. Ralf's men eventually abandon him to die in his bed, seen as there is nothing they could do to save him.
When Ramsay Bolton sends Theon Greyjoy to give terms of capitulation to the defending Ironborn during the Siege of Moat Cailin, Theon asks to speak with their commander. He is told that Ralf Kenning is in charge, though he lies dying in his chambers, and may even be dead already. Theon finds Ralf lyimg naked in the bed, covered in scabs and sores, one cheek swollen, the neck engorged in blood, and one arm infested by maggots. His beard is full of vomit and he had not been shaved or bathed in days. Theon mercy kills Ralf with his own sword.
Theon later contemplates Ralf's fate, and wonders whether Ralf suffered more than he did, and whether Ralf's fate was preferable to his own.