Chapter 76 Summary
Jon passes his time practicing in the yard when Melisandre summons him to King Stannis. When Jon arrives, Stannis confronts Jon about his exploits: Jon has returned the Horn of Winter, he has captured Mance Rayder and his son, and he defended the Wall against the wildlings. Jon also admits that he has a direwolf, Ghost, but does not admit to being a warg. Besides, Ghost is still in the wild. When he confronts Stannis over taking so long to aid the Night's Watch, the latter is impressed by Jon. He explains that he had insisted on his rights when he should have thought about this duties. Stannis, now satisfied, offers to legitimize Jon's birth, which would make him a Stark rather than a Snow. Next, he would have Jon reclaim Winterfell and fight the Boltons for control of the north. Stannis suggests that they allow the wildlings, now likely led by Tormund, south of the Wall since the true enemy is the Others. He would insist upon their loyalty and would require Jon to marry Mance Rayder's sister, a wildling princess in Stannis's eyes, Val, to cement the alliance. Jon is reluctant to accept the offer since he has spent his entire life denying his desire to inherit Winterfell, not to mention that he has sworn oaths to the Watch. He asks for time to think over what Stannis has proposed.