Chapter 13 Summary
Jon and the men of the Night's Watch have just found Whitetree, one of the villages on the old maps, abandoned. Though it is called a village, it is actually just four sod roofed hovels. Inside, there is nothing but straw for beds. At the center of Whitetree lies a weirwood, the largest Jon has ever seen. A face has been carved into it, and inside its massive mouth are human bones. The wildlings burn their dead, though until recently the Night's Watch never understood why. The Night's Watch has now found four empty villages, and they intend to press on. The men are becoming more unsettled by the emptiness of the haunted forest. However, when Jon goes to see cowardly Sam, he learns that the latter is the only person in the column that feels less scared as they continue. Each day Sam wakes up, still alive, he feels safer. When Jon returns to Lord Commander Mormont, the Old Bear states that if Jon's uncle, Benjen, had come this far and found nothing, he would have pressed on until he had found answers. They will do the same. Jon thinks but does not say that they can continue until they find something or until something finds them.