A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) Chapter 55 Summary

George R. R. Martin

Chapter 55 Summary

Jon wakes up to the smell of Mole's Town burning, and so the men of the Night's Watch make their final preparations for battle. Jon, who can barely walk, is taken to a tower and given a bow. They pose scarecrows atop the towers as well. However, Jon knows that Castle Black is no true castle and their towers will offer little protection. The men of the Night's Watch swear to defend the realm and to take no part in politics. To prove the truth of their vows, they build their "castles" without walls facing south. Now, a wildling army approaches from the south, and so they use crates to create barricades. Jon thinks that if they had fifty mounted rangers, they could easily defeat the wildlings on an open field. Unfortunately, all they have are old men, green recruits, and a few survivors from Mole's Town to defend themselves. They have sent ravens requesting aid, though even if any lords decide to come they will not arrive in time to help. When the battle begins, Jon begins shooting. The wildlings suffer casualties but steadily advance. The battle ends when Styr climbs one of the barricades. All of the barrels are filled with oil and other flammable items and the Night's Watch shoot fire arrows at them. The conflagration kill the wildlings. After, Jon grabs a torch and goes to find Ygritte. He finds her, wounded. She asks if Castle Black is a true castle, and Jon says that it is. When she tells him that she wishes that they would have stayed in a cave in the wild, Jon tells her that he will take her there when she recovers. She tells him, dying, that he knows nothing.