Chapter 5 Summary

Samwell Tarly has spent the night in the Wall's library researching the Others. He leaves the library to find Jon Snow, the bastard son of Lord Eddard Stark and now the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Along the way, Sam meets his friends, Pyp and Grenn, who chide him for missing archery practice. Jon has ordered the men to study the bow, arguing that the Wall has focused too much on training with swords. They call him Sam the Slayer, though Sam hates that name. The days when knights made up the majority of the men on the Wall are long past. When he reaches Jon, Sam explains what they know of the Others: they can be killed by obsidian, fire, and, possibly, Valyrian steel. The dead will rise as their thralls unless burnt. Sam learns that he is to travel to the the Citadel in Oldtown. Jon intends for Sam to train and become a maester for the Night's Watch. Jon knows that Stannis and Melisandre seek to sacrifice a man with king's blood to raise their magical dragon, and so he is sending Maester Aemon away as well. Jon worries that Aemon will die on the journey, but agrees that it would be better than being burnt in Melisandre's fires. Gilly, the wildling daughter and wife of Craster, and her son are sent as well.