A Dance with Dragons-Chapter 7

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A Dance with Dragons chapter
Page {{{page}}} UK HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
The Merchant's Man  ← {{{current}}} →  Tyrion III


This chapter covers the events of Chapter 5 of A Feast for Crows, but from Jon's perspective rather than Samwell Tarly's.

Jon summons Gilly and, despite his own misgivings, forces her to give up her own child and take Mance Rayder's baby away with her disguised as her own. Gilly is distraught but Jon tells her that Melisandre will burn the child for the purposes of a spell, as Mance was King-Beyond-The-Wall and the blood of kings has sorcerous power. Jon promises her that if Mance's son is burned her own will die as well. She leaves wordlessly.

Soon after Sam arrives. 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. Sam leaves him distraught, while Jon remembers something Aemon told him when he became Lord Commander of the Night's Watch: "You will have little joy of your command, but I think you have the strength in you to do the things that must be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born." He hears a report from Dywen and Kedge Whiteye that two of the Queen's Men, Ser Richard Horpe and Ser Justin Massey, were seen riding off to the south.

The next morning, Jon sees off Aemon, Sam and Gilly before meeting with Bedwyck, known as Giant. He tells him that he is putting him in command at Icemark of a mixed garrison of Night's Watch and Stannis' men. Much later, Janos Slynt also reports to him. Jon tells him that he is giving him command of Greyguard, but Slynt curses him and storms out. The next morning he approaches Slynt as he is breaking his fast in the common room. He gives him one last chance to obey his order and saddle a horse to Greyguard. After Slynt refuses and mocks him in front of both Stannis' men and the men of the Night's Watch, Jon orders him hanged atop the wall. As Slynt is being dragged into the winch cage, Jon changes his mind ... and decides to behead Slynt with Longclaw himself. Watching from the steps of the King's Tower, Stannis' eyes meet Jon's, and he nods briefly in approval.