A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 1) Chapter 21 Summary

George R. R. Martin

Chapter 21 Summary

Tyrion is eating crab with Lord Commander Mormont and his advisers. The Old Bear admits that he wishes he could convince Tyrion to "take the black" and join the Night's Watch, but Tyrion remains intent on returning south. As the conversation continues, Thorne accuses Tyrion of mocking the Night's Watch. Tyrion begins to taunt Thorne, who suggests that they duel. Tyrion, a dwarf, begins to prod Thorne with his crab fork and the others laugh until Thorne finally leaves the room. Tyrion suggests that Thorne is not fit to train the recruits, but Mormont explains that he is one of the few knights that have taken the black since he became Lord Commander. And most of the knights that have taken the black, Ser Jaremy Rykker explains, only did so because they fought for the Targaryens during the rebellion. When Mormont offers Tyrion an escort south to Winterfell, Tyrion realizes that the Old Bear wants something from him. Mormont explains that he would have Tyrion use his influence to gather more men for the Night's Watch, whose numbers are declining. Worse, the long summer is now ending, meaning that a long and terrible winter is approaching. There is word from Eastwatch that the white walkers have been spotted. Tyrion dismisses the white walkers as superstition and leaves. He decides to look over the Wall and enters a cage that will be pulled up. There, he finds Jon and Ghost. Jon asks Tyrion to help Bran as best as he can. Though Tyrion is leaving, they decide that they are friends.