Beyond the Wall and the location of Whitetree
|Location||Westeros, Beyond the Wall|
|Population||0, currently abandoned|
|Named for||The giant heart tree in its midst|
The village of Whitetree is named on one of Castle Black's old maps. There are other villages south of Whitetree, at least three of them. To the north lies water, possibly a lake, and to the west some small hills.
The village consists of four tumbledown one-room houses, which surround a sheepfold and a well. The houses are constructed of unmortared stone, and are roofed with sod. They have windows shuttered with pieces of hide, low doors, packed dirt floors, and a smoke hole in the roof.
Above the village towers a very old, enormous weirwood tree. The trunk is nearly eight feet wide, the branches spreading so far that the entire village is shaded beneath their canopy. The carved face of the tree is a rather disturbing sight. The mouth is a jagged hollow, large enough to swallow a sheep. Inside the mouth, there are ashes, and bones of deceased wildlings. The wood inside the hollow of the tree is colored red with dried sap, and blackened by fire.
A Clash of Kings
The Night's Watch comes to Whitetree during the great ranging, and find the village abandoned by its inhabitants, the sheepfold empty. The men are unnerved by the enormous size and disturbing appearance of the village's weirwood tree, and Jon Snow notes it is the biggest tree he has ever seen. Jon discovers burnt human bones in the hollow of the tree's mouth, and brings a skull to Lord Commander Jeor Mormont.
Several brothers of the Night's Watch are commanded to search through the houses, Jon Snow amongst them. Jon notes that except for the remaining ashes beneath the smoke hole, the houses show no sign of having been lived in for quite some time. All the furnishing is gone, and all that is left is dry straw bedding in a corner. Despite the vanished wildlings and their possessions, Whitetree shows no signs of having been attacked.
Jeor Mormont decides that the Night's Watch will not camp at Whitetree for the night, and will press on. Before they leave, he has Samwell Tarly send a raven back to Castle Black, notifying Maester Aemon of their location, and that Whitetree is the fourth village the Night's Watch has passed, all empty.
|“||The wildlings burn their dead. We’ve always known that. Now I wished I'd asked them why, when there were still a few to around to ask. Would that bones could talk. This fellow could tell us much. How he died. Who burned him, and why. Where the wildlings have gone.||”|