Tower of the Hand

Book 2, Chapter 69.
Jon, following Qhorin's orders, yields to the wildlings when the two are captured. Jon is forced to kill Qhorin to prove his loyalty.
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Qhorin has Jon build a fire, a sign that the end has come. They are the only two left. Dalbridge was not able to hold the wildlings long, and soon after his death, the eagle spotted the others. Qhorin ordered Ebben to make for the Fist by the fastest route while the others tried to draw off the pursuers in another direction. After several days of this, Stonesnake's mare took a fall and broke a leg. Qhorin decided to send Stonesnake over the mountains to try and reach the Fist. Qhorin tells Jon that if they are taken, Jon must yield and join the wildlings to act as a spy. Qhorin says they will double back and hope the fire leads their pursuers past them. They stop in a hidden cave beyond a waterfall that Qhorin says goes all the way through the mountain. If they are not discovered, they will press on that way. When they emerge the next day, the eagle is waiting. Soon, they can hear horns in the distance. Fourteen wildlings and eight dogs approach along with the eagle. Their leader, Rattleshirt, the Lord of Bones, rides forward and Qhorin greets him. Rattleshirt shows them Ebben's head and says their fate will be the same. As the wildlings begin to taunt them, Qhorin tells Jon to remember his orders, and Jon yields. Rattleshirt does not want to take him in, but Ygritte is there and vouches for him. The eagle is furious. Ygritte explains that the mind of the man Jon killed in the Skirling Pass1 is trapped in the eagle and hates him for it. Rattleshirt orders a woman named Ragwyle to kill him anyway, but the woman says he should be allowed to prove his worth. Rattleshirt orders him to kill Qhorin, and the Halfhand leaps to the attack. They fight for a while until Ghost bites Qhorin and Jon uses the opening to kill him. Rattleshirt still wants to kill him, but the others shout him down, and he is accepted. Jon asks if they are going back to the Skirling Pass, but Ygritte tells him that Mance is already marching for the Wall.


Active Characters

  1. Qhorin - After losing the fingers on his right hand, Qhorin was forced to teach himself how to fight left-handed.
  2. Rattleshirt - Rattleshirt gets his name from the suit of armor he wears, which is made of the bones of many creatures, including men.


  1. Wildlings - Wildlings mostly arm themselves with crude weapons and armor augmented by what they can steal, as they do not mine or smelt and have few smiths.


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