Tower of the Hand

Book 3, Chapter 34.
The Night's Watch survivors are now at Craster's Keep. A large mutiny leaves Craster and Lord Commander Mormont dead. Two of Craster's wives give Sam horses and tell him to take Gilly south.
Questions? Corrections?
Contact Us! Contact Us

Sam listens to Gilly giving birth above him and Bannen dying next to him. The survivors of the Fist are now at Craster's Keep. Sam is trying to feed Bannen broth. Craster says he is as good as dead already, which angers Giant. Without a maester, many of the survivors are not doing well. Kedge had taken off Bannen's foot nine days ago, but the infection had already spread too far. Some in the hall are even worse. Fornio has been delirious for days, and Ser Byam Flint has a shoulder oozing pus. They had some medicines when they began the trip, but the man in charge of them, Brown Bernarr, died on the Fist, and they were abandoned in the chaos of the retreat. Hake had also known some herblore, but he is dead now too. The men are getting restless and angry over the lack of food from Craster. Clubfoot Karl and Garth of Oldtown have been grumbling that he must have a hidden larder somewhere. Some of the men are also angry at how he treats his wives, including Garth of Greenaway, Black Bernarr, and Alan of Rosby. Sam goes out for some air. He sees Ollo Lophand and Tim Stone tending to the few garrons remaining. Sam hears a ragged shout and goes to investigate. He comes upon an archery competition between Sweet Donnel and Ulmer. Ulmer wins. He was a member of the Kingswood Brotherhood and loves to tell stories about some of its more legendary members such as Simon Toyne, the Smiling Knight, Oswyn Longneck, Wenda the White Fawn, Fletcher Dick, and Big Belly Ben. When they see Sam, Donnel, Alan, and some of the others begin to mock him. Sam finds Grenn, who greets him as Slayer. Everyone is calling him that for killing the Other, but most are just mocking him with it. Dirk, Black Bernarr, Garth of Oldtown, Garth of Greenaway, Garth Greyfeather, and Rolley of Sisterton, among others, do not believe it happened, but Dywen and Dolorous Edd believed him and made him speak to Lord Commander Mormont. Mormont took the dragonglass dagger for himself and divided up the few dragonglass arrows between his best archers: Muttering Bill, Garth Greyfeather, Ronnel Harclay, Sweet Donnel, Alan, and Ulmer.

Lord Commander Mormont rides into the compound with Dywen and Ronnel, who is now acting first ranger. Lord Commander Mormont calls for Sam to join him. He laments how the Watch has forgotten its true purpose and does not know things it should such as the effects of dragonglass on the Others. Craster comes out of his hall and announces he has a son. He further tells the Lord Commander that it is past time his men left. He barely has enough food for himself and now has another mouth to feed. Sam says they could take the boy, causing Craster and Mormont to both become angry. Mormont sends him off to tend to Bannen, but the man is dead when he arrives. Dirk states angrily that Bannen died because he was not fed properly and blames Craster. Lord Commander Mormont presides over a service for him that evening, and the body is burned. Sam is horrified that the burning body smells like pork and runs off to retch. Edd comes up to him afterwards and informs him they are leaving at first light the next day. When Craster learns they are leaving, he decides to send them off with a small feast.

At the feast, Craster sits at the head of the table with Lord Jeor beside him. Sam finds a place between Grenn and Orphan Oss. Only two loaves of bread are available, making some of the men angry. Karl and Dirk challenge Craster about holding out despite Lord Commander Mormont's anger, and Garth of Greenaway, Garth of Oldtown, and Ollo soon join in. The Lord Commander is able to finally silence them, but an angry Craster tries to dismiss the men from his table and his keep. One of them calls him a bastard, which Karl seconds. Suddenly, Craster lunges at Karl, but Dirk grabs him and slits his throat. He then grabs one of Craster's wives and tells her to lead them to the food or die. Lord Commander Mormont tries to intervene, but Garth of Greenaway and Ollo block him, and then Dirk stabs him in the belly. Sam does not remember much of what happened next. Garth of Greenaway killed Garth of Oldtown, while Rolley fell out of the loft while trying to get at Craster's wives and broke his neck. Grenn had tried to rouse him and then left with Edd, Giant and a few of the others.1 Craster is sprawled on top of Ser Byam who is no longer making any sound and will be dead shortly if he is not already. Ollo rapes one of Craster's wives on a table while four black brothers are eating horsemeat.2 Sam just sits on the floor with Mormont's head in his lap. The Lord Commander tells him to return to the Wall and tell the others all that happened. He also gives his dying wish that Jorah join the Watch. Sam is terrified into inaction, but then Gilly appears between two more of Craster's wives, Dyah and Ferny. They tell him to take Gilly south. Sam says he cannot leave Mormont, but they point out that he has died while they were talking. He asks where he should go, and they just tell him to go someplace warm. They feel the cold rising and say Craster's sons will be there soon.


Active Characters

  1. Ollo Lophand - He has only one hand.
  2. Ulmer - He is stooped and grey-bearded.


Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.
  • 1 - This includes Dywen, Ulmer, Sweet Donnel Hill, Tim Stone, Goady, Garth Greyfeather, Black Bernarr, Left Hand Lew and Kedge Whiteye. It is interesting to note that Donnel was complicit with Chett's plan in the ASOS Prologue but he must have had a change of heart after all their misfortune.
  • 2 - The traitors are Ollo Lophand, Clubfoot Karl, Orphan Oss, Dirk, Garth Greenaway, Alan of Rosby, Muttering Bill and about a dozen others. Garth of Oldtown and Rolley of Sisterton were also among them but they were dead by the time Sam came back to his senses. Although they are not mentioned in this chapter, Grubbs and Mawney also joined the traitors and remained at Craster's Keep.


1.  Prologue 29.  Sansa III 57.  Bran IV
2.  Jaime I 30.  Arya V 58.  Daenerys V
3.  Catelyn I 31.  Jon IV 59.  Tyrion VII
4.  Arya I 32.  Jaime IV 60.  Sansa IV
5.  Tyrion I 33.  Tyrion IV 61.  Tyrion VIII
6.  Davos I 34.  Samwell II 62.  Sansa V
7.  Sansa I 35.  Arya VI 63.  Jaime VII
8.  Jon I 36.  Catelyn IV 64.  Davos VI
9.  Daenerys I 37.  Davos IV 65.  Jon VIII
10.  Bran I 38.  Jaime V 66.  Arya XII
11.  Davos II 39.  Tyrion V 67.  Tyrion IX
12.  Jaime II 40.  Arya VII 68.  Jaime VIII
13.  Tyrion II 41.  Bran III 69.  Sansa VI
14.  Arya II 42.  Jon V 70.  Jon IX
15.  Catelyn II 43.  Daenerys IV 71.  Tyrion X
16.  Jon II 44.  Arya VIII 72.  Daenerys VI
17.  Sansa II 45.  Jaime VI 73.  Jaime IX
18.  Arya III 46.  Catelyn V 74.  Jon X
19.  Samwell I 47.  Samwell III 75.  Arya XIII
20.  Tyrion III 48.  Arya IX 76.  Samwell IV
21.  Catelyn III 49.  Jon VI 77.  Jon XI
22.  Jaime III 50.  Catelyn VI 78.  Tyrion XI
23.  Arya IV 51.  Arya X 79.  Samwell V
24.  Daenerys II 52.  Catelyn VII 80.  Jon XII
25.  Bran II 53.  Arya XI 81.  Sansa VII
26.  Davos III 54.  Tyrion VI 82.  Epilogue
27.  Jon III 55.  Davos V
28.  Daenerys III 56.  Jon VII