Chapter 43 Summary
Jon wakes to the sound of a horn. The men wait for a second blast, signaling the attack of raiders. However, it is just the one blast, which means that riders are approaching. Quorin Halfhand has arrived, finally. Jon goes to see Lord Commander Mormont, who demands to see Quorin at once. Along the way, Jon overhears Chett and Lark the Sisterman complaining and speaking about mutiny. Jon decides they are merely afraid of the wild and continues. The Halfhand is a large man. He lost two fingers from his sword hand in battle and used the splattering blood to blind his enemy before slaying him. Quorin recognizes Jon as Ned Stark's son when he arrives and asks after Ghost, Jon's direwolf. Jon takes Quorin to the Old Bear, who asks why the men of Shadow Tower are late. They ran into Alfyn Crowkiller, one of the fiercest wildling warriors. He is dead now, and his men defeated. They questioned one of the wildlings, who claimed that Mance Rayder has wargs and mammoths in his army. Quorin informs the Lord Commander that Mance Rayder is gathering his host in the Frostfangs for a reason: he is seeking some power with which he will break the Wall. They decide to send out three parties of five to discover the truth of the matter. The Lord Commander will remain with the rest of the Night's Watch to stop or delay the wildlings should they strike south. When the Lord Commander agrees, he tells Quorin to choose his men. His first choice is Jon Snow, a descendent of the First Men.