Tower of the Hand

Book 3, Chapter 56.
The Watch repulses Styr's men. Ygritte dies in Jon's arms.
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Jon watches Mole's Town burn. Styr will be at Castle Black soon. Jon can barely walk, but Donal agreed they need every man, so he is on the roof of the King's Tower leaning on a crutch and wielding a longbow. Jon shares the roof with Deaf Dick Follard, Satin, and six scarecrows dressed as brothers. The scarecrows were Maester Aemon's idea to make their numbers appear greater. The tower is not a very defensible position, but it will serve. Jon thinks back to when he first arrived at Castle Black and how Benjen explained to him why there are no proper defenses facing south. Lord Commander Runcel Hightower had tried to bequeath the Watch to his bastard son; Lord Commander Rodrik Flint sought to become King-beyond-the-Wall; Lord Commanders Tristan Mudd, Mad Marq Rankenfell, and Robin Hill all betrayed their vows, and the commanders of Snowgate1 and the Nightfort once went to war against each other. Each time the crisis was averted because Castle Black could not be defended, and the Watch continues to survive because it is not seen as a threat.

Donal had everything of value moved to the top of the Wall around the gate, where the Watch will make its stand. Grenn and Pyp are helping the last residents of Mole's Town evacuate. The defenders are mostly the old and infirm and trainees, including Mully, Kegs, Spare Boot, Easy, Dornish Dilly, Red Alyn, Young Henly, Old Henly, Hairy Hal, Spotted Pate, and Rast. Two whores from Mole's Town, Sky Blue Su and Meliana, are also part of the defense. The wildlings have not come by midday, when Owen the Oaf brings Jon and the others some food. Clydas and Maester Aemon relocate to the top of the Wall as Septon Cellador leads some of the brothers in prayer. Come evening, the wildlings have still not attacked.

The wildlings come at dark. Jon takes down several wildlings with arrows, and recognizes Big Boil hacking at the door to Hardin's Tower until taking an arrow in the leg. The great hall begins burning, and Deaf Dick points out wildlings on top of the armory. Suddenly, he is felled by an archer from below. Jon realizes it is Ygritte and cannot bring himself to fire before she vanishes. An assault force of fifty Thenns moves on the gate. Jon goes for more arrows and sees that a group of Thenns have breached the King's Tower and are getting on the roof. He and Satin kill the first two who try to make it through and pour boiling oil on the rest. Jon looks back to the barricade before the gate and sees that the Thenns are breaking through. He sees Rast, Old Henly, Young Henly, Easy, and Dornish Dilly go down. Kegs is almost caught too, but Satin saves him with a well-placed bolt. The Thenns advance towards the gate drunk on victory right into Donal's trap. He has placed oil and other flammables under the wooden steps and drenched them in oil as well. Jon, Satin, and other archers begin launching fire arrows at the steps. Nearly all the Thenns are killed in the ensuing conflagration, and Jon watches Styr disappear as a portion of the Wall collapses. When it is over, Jon descends to look for Ygritte, hoping she escaped. He finds Quort dead, Stone Thumbs nearly so, and Big Boil weak but alive. Finally he finds Ygritte with an arrow between her breasts. She stirs at his approach. He tells her she will be all right now that the battle is over. She merely tells him that he knows nothing and dies.


Active Characters

  1. Satin - He has dark eyes, soft skin, and black hair in ringlets.


  1. The Night's Watch - Through Lord Commander Mormont, the Watch has had nine hundred ninety-seven Lords Commander.


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


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