A Game of Thrones-Chapter 5
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A feast is held in Winterfell in honor of King Robert and the royal guests. Jon decides he is thankful that due to his bastardy he was sent to sit at the end of the table with the younger squires instead of the king's family, as this means he can drink as much as he wants. He had seen the king and his family when they came in. He saw through Cersei's false smile, saw that Myrcella seemed smitten with Robb, and wasn't impressed with fat King Robert or Prince Joffrey. He thought Jaime Lannister looked like a proper king, and Tyrion was grotesquely fascinating.
Jon feeds his direwolf Ghost, who was sitting under the table and watches the pup silently face down another dog three times his size. He was allowed to bring his wolf to the feast when his brothers and sisters were not. He is joined by his uncle Benjen, He asks Jon how much he's had to drink, and says Jon is older than he was when he first got truly drunk. Benjen asks why he is not at the main table, and Jon says flatly that Catelyn thought seating a bastard with the King might give offense.
Benjen comments that Eddard does not seem festive, and Jon adds that the queen is not, either, probably because of Robert's visit to the crypts. Benjen commends Jon's keen skills of observation and remarks that he could use a man like him on the Wall. Jon asks if he can return to the Wall with Benjen. Benjen says it's a hard place for someone so young, and Jon counters that it's said bastards grow up faster than purebloods. Benjen says that he should know a woman first, to know what he will be giving up, father a bastard or two. Jon says angrily that he would never father a bastard, and storms off, Ghost at his heels.
The yard is deserted, but as Jon is leaving, Tyrion Lannister speaks to him from a ledge where he is sitting. He asks about Jon's wolf, and if he can take a look. Jon offers to help him down, but Tyrion jumps down, acrobatically landing on his hands and vaulting to his feet. Ghost is uncertain about Tyrion, but he submits to the examination under Jon's command. Tyrion introduces himself and asks if Jon is Eddard's bastard. Jon bridles, but Tyrion says that as a dwarf he can usually speak as he pleases, as fools can. He says that Jon seems to have more of the north in him than his half-siblings. He encourages Jon to remember his strengths, and goes back in to the feast.
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