Jon is sending Val north to find Tormund Giantsbane and make him an offer. He sees her past the Wall and she promises to return but won’t promise to bring Tormund back with her.
Jon returns to eat. Bowen Marsh, Septon Cellador and Othell Yarwyck want to see him. Jon asks how restoring the Nightfort is going. Yarwyck says it is going slowly so Jon offers him the help of the giant that came back with him from the woods north of the Wall. Yarwyck won’t accept. Then the three ask why there are corpses in the cells. Jon says they need to know their enemy and this is an opportunity.
Marsh, Cellador and Yarwyck complain that Iron Emmett and Dolorous Edd are being sent away and complain more about the people Jon is replacing them with – a wildling, Leathers, as master-at-arms and Satin, a boy-whore. They say these are positions traditionally given to the high born. Jon replies that he needs skills and what a man was before doesn’t matter once they’ve said their words.
Then he says they can talk about Val. They say he shouldn’t be making offers to the wildlings. Jon points out, rather forcefully, that every wildling left to die north of the Wall becomes an ice zombie that will attack them.
And I thought Jon was just being compassionate, but no, he’s trying to reduce his enemies forces. Clever boy. And he handled the whiners nicely. Bowen Marsh is really beginning to annoy me.
Maybe Jon shouldn’t be sending his friends away though.