Chapter 41 Summary
Jon listens as Ser Alliser Thorne explains that he is only releasing eight recruits to the Lord Commander to make room for others. They are too soft. Jon and his friends, except Sam, will advance. That night, the recruits discuss their vocations. Everyone thinks that Jon will become a ranger beyond the Wall, though Jon replies angrily when it is suggested that he could become First Ranger like his uncle Benjen. Benjen is still alive, Jon maintains. Halder, meanwhile, wants to become a builder, maintaining the Wall. None of them hope to become stewards. After supper, Jon rides his horse and considers going south to Winterfell. He returns home instead, determined to find Maester Aemon. The aged maester's door is answered by Chett, who tells Jon to leave because Aemon is abed. Jon insists, and meets Aemon. He asks that Sam be accepted as a brother of the Night's Watch. Jon explains that Aemon is charged with caring for the wounded, which Sam will be if he is left with Ser Alliser. Chett objects, arguing that Sam is too weak for the Watch, but Jon argues that he Watch is like a maester's chain, which is made up of many links, and every link a different metal. The chain is meant to represent the realm, which is made up of many different sorts. The Watch also can find a use for every sort. Jon proposes that Sam become a steward. Though he cannot hunt or farm, like the other Stewards, he could help Aemon better than anyone else. Aemon offers to consider Jon's arguments.