Chapter 13 Summary
Tyrion knows the maps as well as anyone but is still surprised by how big the north is. Though they hear wolves howling at night, Jon's direwolf, Ghost, remains silent. Tyrion is accompanied by two Lannister men, while Benjen travels only with Jon until they eventually meet another man of the Night's Watch, Yoren. Yoren has returned from his recruiting expedition and has returned with two rapists who preferred life on the Wall to punishment at home. Tyrion looks at Jon and suspects that the latter has begun to realize that few men of the Night's Watch are like his uncle. Tyrion passes his evenings drinking wine and reading histories while the other men set up camp. He particularly enjoys reading about dragons. When Tyrion had first arrived in King's Landing, he had sought out the dragon skeletons and had even found the three dragons with which Aegon the Conqueror had conquered Westeros and united the Seven Kingdoms under one ruler. After eighteen nights on the road, Jon asks why Tyrion reads so much. Tyrion can only ride a horse because he designed his own saddle. He cannot fight for his house, so he must contribute by using his mind. Tyrion goes on to mock Jon for joining the Night's Watch until Ghost attacks. Jon calls off the direwolf, and the two laugh away the tension. Jon comes to accept the truth of Tyrion's words, and the dwarf explains that "most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it." Tyrion notices as they return to the camp that Jon is consumed by growing concerns about the Night's Watch.