Wednesday, October 14, 2015
A Dance with Dragons- Jon III
Stannis has decided to execute Mance Rayder in spite of Jon's pleas. Jon argued that Mance could have been of use, but Stannis won't hear it. Mance comes forth bravely enough, but loses his courage when he sees the cage they mean to put him in. Melisandre then burns the Horn of Joramun, described as eight feet long, black with gold bands, and runes of the First Men carved into it.
And Joramun blew the Horn of Winter, and woke giants from the earth. Ygritte had told Jon that Mance never found the horn. She lied, or else Mance kept it secret even from his own.
After setting the horn afire she has it thrown in the pit where the flame will take care of Mance. Jon has his archers put him out of his misery, which irritates Stannis. Nice guy, that Stannis. After Mance is dead Stannis draws his magic sword Lightbringer, to put on a show for the assembled wildlings. The light is very bright and Jon thinks it impressive... but it gives off no heat, which later gets Jon thinking about the book Maester Aemon left for him. The Jade Compendium had a passage that talked of Lightbringer and said it was always warm...
After this display Stannis requires the wildlings to bend the knee if they want to cross the Wall. Most of them do so, and are given food and will be allowed to settle south of the Wall. Some few refuse and go back into the north, including four giants. One of the giants wouldn't leave his mammoth behind, so they all turn away. Jon and Bowen Marsh then discuss the wildlings- Marsh (and many others of the Watch) want to have the gate sealed, but Jon feels that they need to keep it open and send rangers out.
Jon intends to eat with his men that night, but when he gets there he decides not to. Holding himself apart is his duty as a commander, he thinks, but his friends are not happy. Jon later signs letters reassigning his friends to other posts- he sends Halder and Toad to the Shadow Tower, and Pyp and Grenn to Eastwatch.
This appears to be the end of Mance Rayder, but something doesn't feel right about it. Mance doesn't strike me as who would act like that. And Lightbringer giving off no heat- are we to take that as Stannis doesn;t have the true Lightbringer? Again it appears that Melisandre is wrong about the prophesied one. And what about the Horn of Joramun? Have we seen the end of that? Somehow I doubt it.
I also think Jon makes a mistake sending his friends away, and holding himself apart. He takes his fathers lessons to heart, but he needs allies, and Mel has already warned him that he should fear those who do not appear to be enemies. He needs his friends around him. Not a good decision, Jon.