Ged was born in Ten Alders on Gont. His mother died when he was one year old, naming him Duny. His father was a bronze-smith and his only close family member. He had six much older brothers. One day at the age of seven, he saw his aunt, who was a witch, using spells, and he tried them out, but some goats chased him. His aunt saw him and decided to teach him more spells till he was twelve. Also the local weather wizard taught him. One day, Kargish forces attacked Gont, but Ged used magic to cloud the village in mist, which helped to defeat the invaders. This led the mage Ogion to come and name him and take Ged as his apprentice when he was 13 years old. While living with Ogion in Re Albi, a mysterious girl wanted to see Ged's magic, and after he showed her some, Ged looked in Ogion's spellbooks for the spell she asked for. This spell nearly released a gebbeth, or shadow of evil.
The School for Wizards
Ogion caught him and gave him two choices, to go to the School for Wizards on Roke Island, or continue to be hisa apprentice. Ged travelled to Roke on a ship called Shadow (which was going south to Hort Town). At the school, he acquired a friendship with another student called Vetch and a competitive, pride-driven rivalry with Jasper. He also gained a pet otak by using its true name, Hoeg, in the Old Speech. One day, Ged was bragging to Jasper about his great magical power and told him of his power to bring back the dead. Jasper didn't believe him and told him to prove his ability. Out of his own foolish arrogance, he accepted. To show them he was not lying, Ged resurrected the lady Elfarran. When he had brought her back though, he had also released a shadow that then attacked him. The power of Archmage Nemmerle sent it away temporarily. The large power use eventually killed the archmage.
Searching for the shadow
Ged was sent to Low Torning by Archmage Gensher, to deal with the possible threat of young dragons that had made their home on the nearby island of Pendor. In Low Torning he befriended a boat maker called Pechvarry. Ged tried to save his dying son one night, but failed. During this event he realised the shadow was now searching for him and he grew apprehensive of it finding him and putting the locals in danger. Ged resolved to deal with the dragons and then leave. On Pendor, he met the dragon Yevaud after slaying six of his young sons and guessed his true name based on his studies on Roke. Ged used the name against him and in doing so, persuaded him to leave the people of Low Torning alone.
Unsure of where else to go next, Ged then attempted to return to Roke, but realised that protective spells around the island would not allow his return while the shadow pursued him. Learning of the stone of Terrenon, Ged traveled to Osskill but was lured into the wilderness by the shadow in gebbeth-form, he fled and was nearly caught by the shadow before he found his way to the Court of Terrenon. There a woman named Serret, lady of the castle, tempted Ged to use the stone of Terrenon to gain limitless knowledge and power, enough to name and defeat the shadow. Ged recognised that trapped within the stone was an Old Power of the world, a powerful, ancient, dangerous being. Ged escaped the castle with Serret, pursued by the stone's minions. Serret trasformed into a seagull but was caught and killed, while Ged transformed into a falcon and flew all the way to Gont.
Ogion found Ged in falcon-form and helped him transform back into a man. He advised Ged to turn and face his shadow, rather than flee from it. Ged agreed and decided to hunt the shadow. He acquired a boat and headed out to meet the shadow at sea, the shadow then fled from him and he gave chase, but ended up stranded on a sand spit in open sea. After rebuilding his boat with spells, Ged continued his pursuit.
After reuniting with Vetch on the island of Iffish, Ged sailed with his friend far out into open ocean. Vetch feared they would sail off the edge of the world, but instead Ged arrived in death's kingdom. There he at last met and merged with the shadow, recognising it as part of himself and giving it his own name. Ged then rejoiced with Vetch, realsing he had become whole again.
Ged met Tenar, the high priestess of the tombs of Atuan. They escaped with the magical object known as the Ring of Erreth Akbe. Many years later, Ged was also made Archmage of Roke Island. Five years after this, Ged noticed that magic was losing its power. Together, he and Arren, a prince of Enlad, traveled to see what was causing it. Ged spent his powers during the attack, and went to live with Tenar on Gont.
Despite being dark skinned, the 2004 television adaptation of A Wizard of Earthsea and Tombs of Atuan cast Shawn Ashmore, a white actor, as Ged.
The 2006 Studio Ghibli film Tales from Earthsea, Ged is played by Bunta Sugawara in the original Japanese and Timothy Dalton in the English dub.