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Westeros - Byound the wall.jpg
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Location Westeros, Beyond the Wall
Named for The giant weirwood in its midst
The Night's Watch inspecting the Heart tree at the deserted wildling village Whitetree during The Great Ranging - by Matt Olson ©

Whitetree is a small free folk village beyond the Wall. Its name comes from the giant weirwood that is in its midst. Jon Snow notes that the village is named on one of Sam’s old maps. There are other villages south of Whitetree, at least three of them, to the north lies a lake and to the west some small hills.[1]

The village consists of four tumbledown one-room houses surrounded by an empty sheepfold and a well. [1] The houses are constructed of unmortared stone, roofed with sod and empty windows shuttered with pieces of hide.

Above all of those buildings towers an enormous weirwood, its limbs pale and its face having a hole large enough to place a sheep within for a mouth. It is the biggest tree that Jon Snow has ever seen. The trunk is nearly eight feet wide, the branches spreading so far that the entire village is shaded beneath their canopy.

The size of the tree does not disturb Jon so much as the face … the mouth especially; it is not a simple carved slash, but a jagged hollow large enough to swallow a sheep. Jon notes that the bones inside the mouth of the tree are not sheep bones, nor is that a sheep’s skull in the ashes.

Astride his horse Lord Mormont notes that it is an old tree, his raven agrees, repeating Old, Old,Old,Old. Jon replies

and powerful.[1]
He can feel its power.

Jon knelt and reached a gloved hand into the maw of the tree. The inside of the hollow is red with dried sap and blackened by fire. Beneath the skull he sees another, smaller, the jaw bone is broken off. He takes the skull to Mormont who lifts it with both hands and stares into the eye sockets. He says

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.

Giant goes to the top of the tree to have a look at their surroundings. The hounds are sent to range through the village. Jon and Dolorous Edd and other brothers go through the houses. Jon has to stoop to pass through the low door. Within he finds a packed dirt floor. There are no furnishings, no sign that people had lived there but for some ashes. Jon proclaims what a dismal place to live. Edd replies that he was born in a house much like this one, adding:

Those were my enchanted years. Later I fell on hard times.

There is a nest of dry straw bedding filling one corner of the room, there is a faint smell of dung. The house feels as though it has been empty for some time. They search to see if anything has been concealed but there’s nothing there.

Nothing is what Jon expects, Whitetree is the fourth village the Night’s Watch had passed, and it was the same for all of them. There people are gone, vanished with their scant possessions and whatever animals they may have had. None of the villages had showed singns of being attacked … they are simple empty.

Once outside Jon hears Thoren Smallwood remark that there were wildlings at Whitetree only a year ago. Jon hears rustling from the red leaves above and sees Giant in the fork of the tree. He says he can see water to the north, perhaps a lake and a few low flint hills rising to the west.

With three more hours of daylight remaining the Lord Commander decides that they must press north and the command is soon given to move out again.[1]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

During the great ranging the Night's Watch men find the village abandoned by its inhabitants.[1]

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