A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5) Chapter 39 Summary

George R. R. Martin

Chapter 39 Summary

Jon sends Val beyond the Wall. She promises to return, though Jon worries that she will die in her mission. His other rangers have still not returned, however, and so Jon sends Val, a wildling, to find Tormund Giantsbane with an offer to move his people south of the Wall. Sending Val is risky because Stannis commanded him to keep the "wildling princess" close. It also alarms some of his men. When Jon finishes eating supper, Lord Steward Bowen Marsh, Septon Cellador, and First Builder Othell Yarwyck come to voice their concerns. Jon is sending Iron Emmett away, but he has put Leathers, a wildling, in charge of training new recruits. Jon explains that Leathers has sworn his vows and that he is a very dangerous opponent. They also object to Jon taking Satin, the son of a whore, as his squire, rather than a knight or a nobleman's son. Jon is keeping dead men beneath the Wall in hopes of studying the Others, but they again object to his strategy of learning more about the enemy. They are most concerned about Jon's intention to bring the wildlings, their enemy, south of the Wall. Jon explains that the wildlings have followed Mother Mole to Hardhome, a cursed and unholy place by all accounts. However, Mother Mole claims to have had a vision that the wildlings will find their salvation there. Jon does not believe in Mother Mole's vision, but he explains to the men that when the wildlings die, they will turn into wights and Others. The wildlings are not their enemy; the dead are. The men leave, dismissed from Jon's presence.