Chapter 60 Summary
Jon lies when he tells Lord Commander Mormont that he feels fine. His burned hand hurts terribly and it will likely leave a scar. Jon asks if there is any news from King's Landing about his father. Ser Barristan Selmy was removed from the Kinsguard, Mormont says, and the old knight slew two men of the City Watch before leaving King's Landing. Lord Mormont does not mention that Robb has raised his banners and marched south, though Jon has heard as much from Sam. Instead, Lord Mormont gives Jon a sword for saving his life. The blade is not quite as long as his father's greatsword, Ice, but it is longer than most swords. Consequently, men sometimes call such blades "bastard swords." In spite of its length, the sword is light because it is Valyrian steel. Lord Mormont family has guarded this sword, Longclaw, for generations. Jon is honored, but he does not tell Lord Mormont that he dreams of wielding Ice. Lord Mormont knows Jon will need Longclaw since more dead men will attack the Wall this winter. Meanwhile, the Long Night has come again. Jon leaves and the men, appreciative of Robb saving the Lord Commander, congratulate him on his new sword. When Jon finds Sam, the latter tells him that Maester Aemon wishes to see him. The old, blind Maester talks to Jon about love and duty, explaining that the former is the death of the latter. Jon would like to believe that his father would never dishonor himself for love, though his bastard birth proves otherwise. Still, when he speaks, he defends his father. Aemon does not challenge him and replies that few are as strong as Eddard Stark. Aemon explains that when Aegon the Conqueror slew Black Harren, his brother was Lord Commander on the Wall; he did not march. The honorable choice is easy until the day it is not. Jon sees Aemon's point, but what does Aemon know of such decisions? The blind Maester explains that his brother was the King Aegon V; when Robert Baratheon rebelled against Aerys the Mad King, Aemon had to stand by as his House was ruined and disgraced. Now, Jon must make his choice, and he must live with it for the rest of his life.