Chapter 26 Summary
Jon has to bid Ghost farewell since he and the wildlings will soon cross over the Wall. He tells Ghost to journey east to Castle Black, hoping that the direwolf's arrival will serve as a warning of their attack. Jon is conflicted over his presence amongst the wildlings. He should have tried to kill Mance Rayder, even if it would have meant his death. He did not. Now he has begun sleeping with Ygritte, which he enjoys in spite of the fact that he has broken his oaths to the Night's Watch. Jon tells himself that even his father slept with another woman, and besides, Quorin Halfhand had ordered him to join the wildlings. Ygritte tells him that he stole her, which is the wildling way: a man fights the men of a woman's village to prove his worth and loyalty. The raiders are commanded by Jarl, who has climbed over the Wall several times, and Styr, Magnar of the Thenns. They demand to know how many men wait upon them, and Jon can do nothing by slightly exaggerate the numbers of the Night's Watch. After, he finds Ygritte in a cave and they sleep together. She tells Jon again that he stole her and that she worried he would abandon her, returning to the Wall. Craster's father did returned to the Wall, and now Craster is cursed. Ygritte tells Jon that she never wants to leave the cave.