A Read of A Dance with Dragons – Part 11

Chapter 10 – Jon

Melisandre puts Mance Rayer in a cage of weirwood and burns him. The burning is on the north of the Wall, in front of the stockade of captured wildlings. The weirwood is an offering of the old gods to her new god. Mance screams and pleads and denies his kingship. She also burns the Horn of Joramun. After a few minutes of burning, Jon has the Night’s Watch archers kill Mance.

The wildlings are offered the chance to go South, through the Wall and settle in the Gift. The price is that they have to kneel to King Stannis and commit a piece of weirwood to the flames. Melisandre proclaims Stannis Azor Ahai and he draws Lightbringer, which seems to Jon to be brighter than before. Most of the wildlings accept the offer but some go north into the trees.

Bowen Marsh tells Jon he should seal the three gates in the Wall so that no one can get through. He says ranging is a waste of men they can’t afford. He also says that men think he is too close to Stannis. Jon says he is trying not to take sides and points out that Stannis still has three times the men the Watch has.

Jon wants company but he has sent Aemon and Sam away. He thinks he can eat dinner with Pyp and Grenn and his other friends, but when he finds them he realises he can’t. He remembers that Mormont tells him that a Lord Commander can love his men, but can’t be their friend. He goes to speak with Maester Clydas and says that he has read the passage Aemon left for him. It was about Azor Ahai and Lightbringer, which was hot. It indicates that Aemon doubts Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn.

Jon goes to his chambers and writes orders despatching his friends to other castles along the Wall.

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Oh Jon. Sending your friends away won’t make your loneliness easier to bear.

I can’t believe Melisandre burnt the Horn of Joramun. That’s like an archaeological treasure! The woman is evil. And I didn’t mind when she burnt effigies of the Seven, but burning the weirwood is wrong. The old gods are definitely the best ones. She burnt Mance. I thought that would get dragged out a bit more, but it seems Jon sent Sam away just in time.

I don’t think the gates should be sealed up. What about keeping the treeline back? What about when things go back to normal and the Watch can go ranging again? It seems like it would be irrevocable and a big mistake. 

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