Tower of the Hand

Book 1, Chapter 61.
Maester Aemon tells Jon about his past as Jon grapples with the decision of whether or not to desert to help his father.
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Lord Commander Mormont checks on Jon, whose hand was seriously burned in the fire from killing the wight, and learns it will scar, but should heal well. Another ranging has returned, performed by Dywen and Hake, and once again found no sign of Benjen. A message arrived the night before stating that Ser Barristan had been removed from the Kingsguard and charged with treason. He slew two gold cloaks that came for him and left King's Landing. A message arrived before that telling of Robb's march to war, but Mormont did not tell Jon about that; Sam did. Jon is having a hard time dealing with that news and feels a coward for not going south to help despite his vows to the Watch.

The Lord Commander presents Jon with a gift for saving his life, his ancestral blade, Longclaw. It had passed to Jorah when Jeor took the black, but Jorah left it behind when he went into exile and Jeor put it away and largely forgot about it until he rediscovered it after the fire. The hilt had burned in the fire, but the Valyrian steel blade survived and a new hilt was crafted with a stone wolf replacing the original silver bear. Mormont has sent Ser Alliser to King's Landing with the hand of the wight Jafer Flowers to plead the case of the Night's Watch for more men. Ser Endrew Tarth will come from the Shadow Tower to replace him as master-at-arms. Mormont sends Jon for wine.

As Jon leaves the tower, Pyp, Todder, Grenn, Halder, and Matthar, surround him to see the sword, which they know about because Halder helped Pate carve the pommel, Sam bought the garnets for the hilt in Mole's Town, and Rudge helped Donal Noye reform the sword in the forge. As his friends jest, Jon thinks of the other wight, Jafer, who killed five men including Ser Jaremy before it was hacked to pieces. Ser Jaremy had cut off his head, but the headless corpse responded by killing him. Jon is melancholy because of his injury and the fighting in the riverlands and soon takes leave of his friends. He goes back to his room and shows Longclaw to Ghost. Sam comes to tell Jon that Maester Aemon wants to see him. Sam told the maester about telling Jon about Robb.

Jon finds the maester feeding the ravens with the help of Clydas, whom the maester sends away. Aemon talks of the vows of the Night's Watch and how important it is to place honor before love. When Aegon the Conqueror slew King Harren and conquered his kingdom, the Lord Commander of the Watch was his brother. Although Lord Commander Hoare had ten thousand swords, he did not march. When the Seven Kingdoms actually were seven and there was hardly a time three or four were not at war, the Watch did not take part. When the Andals came across the sea to destroy the kingdoms of the First Men, the Watch remained neutral. He tells Jon that he knows how he feels and how hard it is to keep the vows when tested, but Jon does not believe this, so Aemon tells his story. He was tested three times, but he chose his vows. Maesters give up their house names when they don the collar, but he was once Aemon Targaryen.


Active Characters

  1. Jeor Mormont - His beard was singed by the fire that killed the wight, and he shaved it off and started regrowing it from scratch.


  1. The Night's Watch - When Aegon I conquered Westeros, the Night's Watch had a strength of ten thousand men.
  2. The Night's Watch - The wildlings call the members of the Watch crows.


  1. Longclaw - The ancestral sword of House Mormont. It is made of Valyrian steel. It has been in the Mormont family for five hundred years. The original hilt, capped by a worn silver bear's head pommel, was destroyed in the fire that killed the wight, but Jeor had a new hilt made with a stone direwolf pommel.


1.  Prologue 26.  Eddard V 51.  Arya IV
2.  Bran I 27.  Jon IV 52.  Sansa IV
3.  Catelyn I 28.  Eddard VI 53.  Jon VII
4.  Daenerys I 29.  Catelyn V 54.  Bran VI
5.  Eddard I 30.  Sansa II 55.  Daenerys VI
6.  Jon I 31.  Eddard VII 56.  Catelyn VIII
7.  Catelyn II 32.  Tyrion IV 57.  Tyrion VII
8.  Arya I 33.  Arya III 58.  Sansa V
9.  Bran II 34.  Eddard VIII 59.  Eddard XV
10.  Tyrion I 35.  Catelyn VI 60.  Catelyn IX
11.  Jon II 36.  Eddard IX 61.  Jon VIII
12.  Daenerys II 37.  Daenerys IV 62.  Daenerys VII
13.  Eddard II 38.  Bran V 63.  Tyrion VIII
14.  Tyrion II 39.  Tyrion V 64.  Catelyn X
15.  Catelyn III 40.  Eddard X 65.  Daenerys VIII
16.  Sansa I 41.  Catelyn VII 66.  Arya V
17.  Eddard III 42.  Jon V 67.  Bran VII
18.  Bran III 43.  Tyrion VI 68.  Sansa VI
19.  Catelyn IV 44.  Eddard XI 69.  Daenerys IX
20.  Jon III 45.  Sansa III 70.  Tyrion IX
21.  Eddard IV 46.  Eddard XII 71.  Jon IX
22.  Tyrion III 47.  Daenerys V 72.  Catelyn XI
23.  Arya II 48.  Eddard XIII 73.  Daenerys X
24.  Daenerys III 49.  Jon VI
25.  Bran IV 50.  Eddard XIV