Tower of the Hand

Book 2, Chapter 44.
Qhorin Halfhand arrives at the Fist of the First Men. Jon will accompany him on a scouting mission into the mountains.
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Jon is awakened by the blowing of a horn. He attends Lord Commander Mormont, who says Qhorin must have finally arrived and tells Jon to meet with him and send him to the Lord Commander's tent. Qhorin had been expected days ago, and his failure to arrive had caused some dissension among the leadership. Ser Ottyn wanted to return to Castle Black, while Ser Mallador thought they should head towards the Shadow Tower and find Qhorin's trail. Thoren wanted to attack Mance, arguing that the professionals of the Watch would roll right over the rabble despite the disparity in numbers, though others pointed out that Mance has several competent commanders, including Rattleshirt, Alfyn Crowkiller, and Harma Dogshead. Despite hours of argument, no decision was reached and it was decided to keep waiting a few more days. Jon gets Dolorous Edd and Hake started on preparing food for the new arrivals and then goes to find Qhorin. He runs into Sam on the way and tells him what is happening. As the men from the Shadow Tower ride in, Jon can tell they had trouble on the way.

Jon meets Qhorin and takes him to the Lord Commander. Qhorin reports that he encountered Alfyn Crowkiller, whom Mance had sent to scout the Wall. Alfyn was killed along with most of his men, but some escaped. Qhorin lost four men and a dozen were wounded. Lord Commander Mormont and Qhorin go into the Lord Commander's tent to talk. Jon is worried about morale. Last night, he chanced upon several black brothers, including Chett and Lark, talking. They do not want to fight the wildlings, and Chett hinted that they may act if Mormont tries to make them fight.1 He left quickly after being noticed, fingering his new dragonglass dagger. He had made three daggers from the cache of dragonglass discovered by Ghost, giving the other two to Grenn and the Lord Commander. The old horn in the cache he gave to Sam. Jon attends the Lord Commander as he and Qhorin contemplate what to do next. Qhorin reports that Mance's host is large, with Rattleshirt, the Weeper, and all the other chiefs great and small assembled in an army including wargs and mammoths. They discuss manning some of the abandoned castles along the Wall such as Greyguard, Long Barrow, and Stonedoor and increasing patrols. Qhorin reports that his man Ebben interrogated a captive that told him Mance is in the Frostfangs looking for some magic that will breach the Wall.2 Qhorin says they must find out what it is. He proposes three patrols to go into the mountains, led by Jarmen, Thoren, and himself. Mormont agrees. Qhorin says he wants Jon to be part of his group, and the Lord Commander gives his assent.


Active Characters

  1. Qhorin - He is tall and clean-shaven with a long braid. He lost all the fingers on one hand, save the thumb and forefinger, to a wildling axe.


  1. The Night's Watch - At its height, the Watch held seventeen castles along the Wall.


  1. Greyguard - Greyguard has largely collapsed.


Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.


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