Chapter 5 Summary

Jon is drunk on summerwine in the Great Hall of Winterfell. Unlike his trueborn siblings, Jon Snow does not sit at the head table and he is free to do as he pleases during the welcoming feast. He feeds his direwolf, Ghost, beneath the table as he recalls the entry of the lords and ladies. Ser Jaime Lannister is called the “Kingslayer” because he murdered the Mad King. He had been a member of Aerys’ kingsguard at the time. Though many think Jaime has no honor, Jon cannot help thinking that Jaime, golden haired, handsome and confident, looks more regal than King Robert. Jon’s thoughts are interrupted by his uncle Benjen (Ben), First Ranger of the Night’s Watch. He suggests that Jon consider joining the Night’s Watch, but when Jon responds enthusiastically Ben admonishes him to live a little before taking the oath. The men of the Night’s Watch swear never to hold land, never to take a wife, and never to father children. Jon swears loudly that he will never father a bastard, and he leaves the Great Hall in embarrassment as the other men stare at him. Outside, he meets Tyrion Lannister, who advises Jon to never show any sensitivity to his bastard birth, unless he wants his enemies to use it against him. Jon is not in the mood to take this advice either, but Tyrion concludes that “all dwarfs may be bastards, yet not all bastards need be dwarfs.”