Chapter 7 Summary

Jon marches with the wildlings, who are led by Rattleshirt. Ygritte, a fierce wildling woman, guards Jon. The wildlings wear Quorin Halfhand's equipment and carry his weapons. Rattleshirt, meanwhile, carries the Halfhand's bones in a bag. He does not trust Jon and his direwolf, Ghost, but Ygritte defends him. When they come upon the wildling army, Jon is impressed by their numbers (and campfires) but not their discipline. The disciplined Night's Watch would do a great deal of damage here, Jon reflects. Jon is taken to see Mance Rayder, the "King-beyond-the-Wall." There are three men inside Rayder's tent and Jon first thinks that Styr, Magnar of Thenn, must be the king. He next looks to Tormund Giantsbane, but is again mistaken. Mance, who is playing a lute in a corner, introduces himself. He dismisses the others explains that he has seen Jon twice in his life, both times at Winterfell. The second time, he climbed over the Wall alone and went to Winterfell posing as a singer in King Robert's entourage. Mance also explains that he deserted so that he could be free to kiss women and wear whatever color cloak he wished. Jon knows that although he is protected by guest right, he must be careful when he lies to Mance Rayder. He cannot explain that he slew Quorin Halfhand so that he could spy on the wildlings while posing as one of them. Instead, he reminds Mance Rayder where the bastard sat during King Robert's royal visit. Rayder believes him.