A Dance with Dragons-Chapter 21

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Jon V
A Dance with Dragons chapter
POV Jon Snow
Place Castle Black
Page 267 UK HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
Jon IV
Reek II  ← Jon V →  Tyrion VI

Jon VI


Following the departure of Stannis's host, Castle Black is in a quiescent state, with the exception of the training yard. Although Stannis has vacated Mormont's former chambers in King's Tower, Jon does not move in, knowing that others may misconstrue the move as a sign that he does not expect Stannis to return.

Against Bowen Marsh's wishes, Jon accompanies a line of wagons under armed escort to deliver food to the wildlings who have taken refuge underground at Mole's Town. As they notice several faces carved into various trees along the road, he comes to realize that the wildlings may have bent the knee to Stannis and feigned to embrace the Lord of Light, but in their hearts they will never abandon the old gods.

A riot nearly breaks out as Jon's men deliver rations to the wildlings, with many complaining about the small amount of food they receive. Jon promises the wildings adequate food, shelter, and weapons if they help the Night's Watch defend the Wall, informing them that they have the choice: work with the Watch, or face the Others alone. In spite of their misgivings, many wildlings agree to join, children, spearwives, and fighters alike, including Halleck, the brother of Harma Dogshead. However, Sigorn and the rest of the Thenns refuse the offer. When the rations are all distributed, the wagons are loaded with 63 wildings heading back to the Wall. Jon remembers something Mance Rayder told him, that the wildlings do not follow names or sigils. They follow strength.

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References and Notes