A Clash of Kings-Chapter 68
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Page||689 UK HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
The weather in the Skirling Pass has gotten worse. Qhorin sends Ebben back with the last garron to reach the Lord Commander with all haste, while the rest try to head off pursuit. Watched by the eagle, Qhorin then sends Stonesnake back as well, to take the high passes to reach the Fist of the First Men. Qhorin commands Stonesnake to tell Mormont all that Jon saw: that he faces giants and wargs and worse, and that the trees have eyes again. That night, the Halfhand asks Jon if his sword is sharp, and makes the young man recite his oath with him. Qhorin then commands Jon to yield when they are overtaken, and not to balk no matter what the wildlings ask him to do to prove himself. Jon is appalled at the suggestion, but Qhorin tells him to go among the Wildlings and learn what they plan, watch what they do, but to remember who he is and to return to Mormont when he has learned what the wildlings are searching for. Qhorin promises to tell the Lord Commander that Jon never broke his oath when he sees him again.
They are overtaken soon after by Rattleshirt and a party of wildlings, Ygritte amongst them. They have Ebben’s head, and Rattleshirt orders them killed. Jon yields, as Qhorin ordered him to, and the Halfhand says in contempt, "I was warned bastard blood is craven." Rattleshirt commands Jon to kill Qhorin to prove himself. Jon slays the big ranger only after Ghost gives him an opening by biting the man’s calf. The wildlings accept him despite Rattleshirt’s misgivings, and Ygritte tells him that the eagle was once the man he killed up in the passes when they captured her.