Chapter 48 Summary
Jon has rode his mare hard, and he is in less-than-good shape after escaping the wildlings. His leg starts bleeding again every time that he mounts or dismounts, and he has a fever as well. However, he perseveres and when he reaches a village, he warns of the wildling attack and commands that they give him a fresh horse. He rides to the Wall and finds Donal Noye, the one-armed smith. Jon has been seen with the wildlings, Noye explains, and Jon admits that he did ride with them—but at Quorin Halfhand's orders. They take him to Maester Aemon, who reports that only a dozen men returned from the Fist of the First Men. There is a lot of news for Jon to take in: Lord Mormont was murdered, Sam was left behind, Winterfell was burned, and his brothers, Bran and Rickon, are dead. Jon does not understand how his brothers could be dead given that he saw a direwolf at Queenscrown, though he wonders if one of his brothers now lives inside the direwolf. When Aemon takes his red hot knife to Jon's leg, the latter passes out. When he awakes, Grenn and Pyp are there. Jon falls asleep again, dreaming of Ygritte.