A Storm of Swords-Chapter 73

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Jon X
A Storm of Swords chapter
Place Castle Black
Page 830 UK HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
Jon IX
Jaime IX  ← Jon X →  Arya XIII

Jon XI


Jon is taken out of his ice cell and brought once again before Janos Slynt, and told that only Maester Aemon is preventing Janos from hanging Jon. Janos reveals that he will give Jon one last chance to prove his innocence, sending him to meet Mance Rayder as an envoy, but Jon must kill the wildling king. Beyond the Wall, Jon meets Tormund who treats him with respect, almost as a friend. Jon is brought before Mance, and the king reveals that he is aware that the Night's Watch is nearly out of provisions and cannot hold out much longer.

Rayder then brings him to see the Horn of Winter, which Mance claims they found back in the Frostfangs, but only he and his trusted lieutenants knew about it. However, Mance does not wish to use the Horn, for if the songs can be believed, it will cause the Wall to collapse. The wildlings have come south not to conquer, but to escape the Others. Without the Wall, Mance’s people would find no safe haven, even in the south, and that is something he does not wish to happen. Mance offers Jon the Horn of Winter if the Night’s Watch will let his people pass the Wall and settle the lands to the south, although he will not abide the laws or taxes of the Seven Kingdoms. If the Watch refuses, Tormund Giantsbane will sound the Horn of Joramun in three days time.

However, the parley is interrupted, as the wildlings have come under attack from the east by rangers from Eastwatch. Mance believes that it must be Cotter Pyke, but a scout and Varamyr, who is skinchanged inside Orell's eagle, tell Mance there are more iron-clad attackers coming from the north and east. When Orell's eagle bursts into flames, Varamyr runs screaming from the fray. Harma Dogshead's raiders charge through the rangers, but they are overwhelmed by knights on heavy horse. Amongst their banners, Jon sees a seahorse, a field of birds, and a ring of flowers. Mance is surrounded and captured, and Harma's head is waved on a pole. After hearing the knights shout "Stannis!", Jon enters Mance’s tent where Dalla is giving birth with the assistance of Val.

Character List appearing/mentioned

Places and terms mentioned

References and Notes