Mutiny at Craster's Keep
|Mutiny at Craster's Keep|
|Conflict||Conflict beyond the Wall|
|Date||Late 299 AC/early 300 AC|
|Result||Mutineers victory, Night's Watch retreat|
The mutiny at Craster's Keep is a rebellious engagement involving the Night's Watch at Craster's Keep. After the crushing defeat in the Battle of the Fist of the First Men, the Night's Watch are forced to retreat. The survivors are able to make it to Craster's Keep where they seek shelter.
The Night's Watch has been losing strength for years with fewer volunteers every season and so it relies more and more on the dungeons of the Seven Kingdoms to fill the ranks. Most of these disreputable individuals are selected for the Great Ranging and the forced march further into the winter beyond the Wall makes them even more disgruntled.
Chett and a few other brothers plan to betray Lord Commander Jeor Mormont and his senior commanders so they can escape the Watch, but the combination of the heavy weather and the assault from the Others at the Fist of the First Men make this plan redundant. The retreat to Craster's Keep brings their morale to an all-time low and certain brothers start being more vocal with their criticism.
The trouble starts when Ulmer asks for more bread, as Craster's wives have brought only two loaves for the starving men to eat. When Clubfoot Karl chimes in that they need more bread, the Lord Commander puts him in his place. Karl says he wants what Craster is hiding. Craster's eyes narrow and he says that he has his women to feed. Dirk infers that means he has a secret larder, to which Craster gets annoyed. Karl calls Craster a niggardly man and a liar. The men of the Night's Watch start to argue about all the food Craster must have, such as hams, sausage, oats, apples, dried berries, cabbages, pine nuts and salt mutton.
Lord Commander Mormont orders the men silent and that he will hear no more talk. Clubfoot Karl defies him and stands up. Mormont commands him to sit, eat, and be silent, leading to a standoff. Samwell Tarly thinks that Karl is about to sit, but Craster interrupts the standoff, rising with axe in hand. Craster tells Karl, Dirk, Garth of Greenaway, and Garth of Oldtown that any who disrespect him in his home must sleep outside in the cold without food.
One of the Garths calls Craster a bloody bastard, which Karl agrees with. Craster loses his temper and quickly vaults across the table with axe in hand. Garth of Greenaway and Orphan Oss draw their knives, while Karl stumbles back and trips over wounded Ser Byam Flint. One instant Craster is spitting curses, the next he is spitting blood, as Dirk grabs him by the hair, yanks his head back and opens his throat ear to ear with one long slash. Craster crashes face first across Byam and drowns in his own blood, the axe slipping from his fingers.
The furious Lord Commander Mormont stands over Craster's corpse, saying that the gods will curse them for breaking guest right. Dirk replies that there are no laws beyond the Wall and shoves a knife under the chin of one of Craster's wives, demanding that she show them where the food is or he will kill her.
The Lord Commander tells Dirk to unhand her, but Garth of Greenaway blocks his path and Ollo Lophand yanks him back, both with blades in hand. Ollo warns Mormont to hold his tongue, but instead the lord commander goes for his dagger. Despite having only one hand, Ollo avoids Mormont's grasp, shoves a knife into his belly, and yanks it out again, all red.
It seems to Samwell that everything goes mad after that.  He does not know why Garth of Greenaway kills Garth of Oldtown, but he watches Rolley break his neck after falling from the loft while chasing after Craster's wives.
Loyalist casualties included but were not limited to:
Confirmed loyalist survivors
Loyalists confirmed to have survived and later returned to the Wall:
Grenn urges Samwell Tarly to come with them but he does not move. Grenn, Dolorous Edd, Bedwyck, Dywen and other loyalists admit defeat and retreat back to Castle Black to report on the disastrous expedition. They are forced to leave Sam behind as the traitors would have killed them all. Of note, Sweet Donnel Hill was complicit in Chett's plan to betray their brothers on the Fist of the First Men, but it appears after the defeat he decided to remain loyal to the Watch.
Later, Sam is still in deep shock, sitting cross-legged on the floor, with the dying Mormont's head in his lap. The mutineers that are still alive are gorging on the food in the cellar or up in the loft raping Craster's wives. Jeor Mormont, the Old Bear, tells Sam to make for the Wall, that he must tell them
|“||All. The Fist. The wildlings. Dragonglass. This. All.||”|
Just before Jeor dies he asks Sam to tell his son Jorah that he forgives him and that his dying wish is for Jorah to take the black.
Sam and Gilly's flight
Three of Craster's wives approach Sam, one of which is Gilly holding her baby. They tell him to take Mormont's sword and cloak. They manage to usher Samwell away and get him to leave with Gilly and her child on two horses to head for someplace warm.
Fate of the Traitors
The majority of the traitors stay behind at Craster's Keep to feast on Craster's stores and rape his wives/daughters. After this is done, the betrayers wander in the Haunted Forest, planning to head south over the Wall for a warmer climate. However, the traitors are killed by Coldhands and his ravens. Summer, Bran Stark's direwolf, finds the bodies and eats parts of the meat.
References and Notes