A Feast for Crows-Chapter 5

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Samwell I
A Feast for Crows chapter
POV Samwell Tarly
Place Castle Black
Page 71 UK HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
Samwell V
A Storm of Swords
Brienne I  ← Samwell I →  Arya I

Samwell II

The events of this chapter are later revisited in Chapter 7 of A Dance with Dragons, but from Jon's perspective rather than Samwell Tarly's.


Samwell Tarly reading - Illustrated by Colin Boyer. © Fantasy Flight Games.

Down in the library beneath Castle Black, Sam is trying to dig up any information on the Others for his Lord Commander, Jon Snow. Returning to the surface, Sam considers how hard Jon has been working the men of the Watch. He meets Dolorous Edd, Pyp, and Grenn, and they mention how much Jon has changed, acting different and barely spending any time with his friends; although he never misses a day practising his sword work. We learn that Stannis has plans for Val, Dalla's sister, seeking to use her in order to forge an alliance between the wildlings and the northmen. Thus far only the Karstarks, who have no other choice, have agreed to ally with Stannis.

Sam arrives at Jon's solar, and Jon shows him a letter he plans to send to King Tommen which declares that Stannis is aiding them in their battle, but the Night's Watch is not sworn to his cause. They discuss how Melisandre means to sacrifice Mance Rayder for his king's blood, Jon states, "Mance's blood is no more royal than mine own". He reveals to Sam that he is sending Gilly and "the boy" far away from the Wall. Sam tells Jon that he has uncovered little on the Others, but one book mentioned dragonsteel swords as being effective against them. However, neither is sure if dragonsteel and Valyrian steel are the same thing.

Jon breaks the news that he is sending Sam to the Citadel so he can train to become a maester and replace Aemon. Sam will travel by sea from Eastwatch, along with Gilly, the baby, and Maester Aemon. The thought of becoming a maester frightens Sam, bringing back memories of his father's wrath when he had mentioned training at the Citadel to him when he was a boy. His father had chained him by the neck in a cell and left him there for 3 days, telling him "no son of House Tarly will ever wear a chain". Lastly, Jon commands Sam to never call himself craven again.

The next morning, as the party prepares to set off for Eastwatch where they will join up with Dareon, Gilly begs Jon to find a good wetnurse for the other baby.

References and Notes