Chapter 56 Summary
Bran and the Reeds have reached the Nightfort, which the Night's Watch abandoned two hundred years before. Bran has had unsettling dreams that Robb and Grey Wind are dead, though he has not told the Reeds. Jojen says that they will not in danger here, but Bran and the others remain uncomfortable. After all of their journeying, they have finally reached the end of the world. Regardless, if they are going to cross into the wild, they will have to travel beneath the Wall. However, the Night's Watch has sealed the gate and filled the tunnel with stone and ice. He wishes that they had followed Jon to Castle Black, though Jojen reminds Bran that they are only four. And Summer is still recovering from when Bran sent him to help Jon escape from the wildlings. Jojen insists that they have come to the right castle; they will find a gate. They go to sleep hoping that Jojen will have a dream to show them the way. Bran wakes in the night to the sound of approaching footsteps. It turns out to be Sam Tarly, who explains that Coldhands sent him, though Coldhands cannot pass through the Wall because it has spells that keep him from doing so. He takes them to the "Black Gate," a secret passage through the Wall. It is made of weirwood and has a face built into it. When the gate asks who they are, Sam introduces himself as a man of the Night's Watch and they are allowed to pass through the weirwood face's opened mouth.