A Game of Thrones – Chapter Nineteen: Jon

Reminders:

  1. Page numbers based off Kindle edition.
  2. No spoiling me; I will edit/delete any.
  3. I don’t avoid spoilers.
  4. My citation format is not necessarily accurate, but it works for me.

I appreciate that some people may be turned off by this constant ‘pre-blog’ notification. I choose to respect that some people may not have read these books before, like I hadn’t and so make the effort to not spoil them unless they go to the post page. I figure if you really want to be here, reading, you’ll ignore it.

Jon is quite handy with a sword. I like how he just dismantled his opponent.

Ser Alliser Thorne is an ass. I seem to say that about a LOT of people in this world. If I was an all powerful being in this world, I would deliver such a smackdown to so many people.

Aw, Jon… *cuddles him* Things will work out, surely. I mean, there are THEORIES about you. So you must have SOME future.

So they try to attack Jon, but he beats them soundly. I’m glad that Donal Noye stops Jon from killing Toad, but at the same time, even if Jon wins no honour killing him, might he not earn reprieve? If he has killed Toad, then it could follow that they leave him alone because they do not want to give him a chance to kill again. Assuming, of course, he’s not executed for it.

Noye… seems rough. But at least in this lecture, not an asshole like Thorne. Yes, what he has to tell Jon isn’t nice, but it’s what he needs to hear. Whether his bearing and actions were intentional or not… this place requires a much different outlook. And good of Noye to tell him so.

If the Wall is seven hundred feet high, and wide enough for a dozen armoured knights to ride abreast… am I to take that as a simple measurement? Surely it must be no more than a measurement, for if it had any literalness in it, it begs the question of how you get said knights and horses up there without the Others, for example, also coming onto the Wall, since I’m guessing the Wall is there to stop the Others (and who knows what else).

So, if it is no more than a simple measurement of the width and it has never been done and cannot be done, why use it? It seems a stupid way to measure it if it cannot be done. I assume that there are internal staircases or pulleys, since it can be walked on, but that’s different to getting a horse up there.

Tyrion is your friend, of sorts, Jon. Listen to him at the least, if you must remain wary of him.

Royce… from the prologue. Oooh. He became an Other, or so I guessed.

…oh, lord, I have a sickening feeling Jon really should have read the rest of that letter. Oh well; what will be, will be.

“I’d have an easier time teaching a wolf to juggle than you will training this aurochs.”
“I’ll take that wager, Ser Alliser,” Jon said. “I’d love to see Ghost juggle.”1

Might have been a grievous error to accept the wager, make the comment, or both, but one I think Jon had to make. We’ll see.

1. Martin, George R. R. (2010-12-23). A Game of Thrones, page 183. HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Comments

6 Responses to “A Game of Thrones – Chapter Nineteen: Jon”

  1. Anna says:

    Oh hey – more ASOIAF-babble! 😀

    Alliser Thorne IS an ass, and I wrote him off as a one-dimensional bully for a quite a while – but let’s just say he grows a bit as the story goes on. He doesn’t turn into a cuddly, friendly guy, but at least he gains some personality beyond “Grar, I hate Jon Snow!”.

    Killing Toad would most DEFINITELY have netted Jon an execution – even though he’s not yet a fully sworn brother of the Night’s Watch, he and Toad are still technically brothers, and killing one of your own is one of the Watch’s big no-nos. And even if he’d killed Toad and gotten away with it, a doubt it would have done Jon any good; he would then be known as the man who kills his brothers. If you think he had it bad after beating people in the yard, imagine what it would be like once it got out that he killed people for their trouble.

    He’d wake up dead, is what. (And yes, I know this somewhat contradicts what I said about Jon earning an execution; I just mean he’d be offed by someone who knew how to get away with it).

    Donal Noye! <3 Totally one of my favourites, for many reasons, and this lecture he delivers is one of them. He calls it like he sees it, and isn't afraid of anyone. Seriously – Donal Noye. Best blacksmith in all the lands.

    And I'd say the measurement of the width of the Wall is based in practical experience; they mention at some point rangers riding out on missions along the top of the Wall. There are external stairs on the south side of the Wall, as well as a sort of pulley-rigged elevator system. On the north side, of course, there are no stairs or elevators – the only way to get up on top of it from where is to climb a wall of ice; there are no trees close enough, or tall enough, to get you to the top.

    The Wall is… one of GRRM's more interesting inventions. There is more to it than just 700 feet of ice and snow.

    (Also, you asked me about making a banner for this blog – things have been/are kind of chaotic on my end, and I am pretty busy with projects, as you probably already know. When I get back to being able to do this kind of work, I'll let you know!)

    • Dianna says:

      I love how enthusiastic you are about getting to babble. 😀

      I hope Jon has made some sort of progress with his brothers; even if Thorne is currently a one dimensional bully.

      Well… I should have thought about that regarding the Wall. Of course their side is safe for Wall scaling.

      (No hurry my end; I don’t expect to have any problems paying you for the work, beyond a matter of timing–you might tell me “I can work on it now”, and I’ll reply, “great, I can pay you for it in two weeks because I had to pay bills!”)

  2. Siri Paulson says:

    Ooh, Jon’s made it to the Wall! He’s clearly not going to have an easy time of it, what with people still not liking him (and yeah, Thorne is an ass), but given that he’s literally on the edge of the wilderness, there’s lots of scope for adventure….

    To get up to the top, there are staircases and also a rudimentary elevator (big cage, winch, pulley system) Both are on the south side only, but there are tunnels through the ice to get to the north side. I don’t recall them sending horses up, just men and weapons and supplies. So the horses riding abreast is just a measurement (my take is that it’s a handy way to guesstimate width in a world where everybody’s familiar with how much space a horse takes up, even if it’s not literal here). I think the height is supposed to be literal. Which is pretty scary when you think that somebody decided they *needed* a wall that high. >_>

    But it’s also pretty amazing to contemplate. I love how the places in GRRM’s fantasy worldbuilding are cooler and sometimes larger than life — it really makes the series feel otherworldly even when there isn’t much magic. You haven’t gotten to my favourites yet, though. 😉

    • Dianna says:

      …maybe I skipped over the staircases and the elevator. I’ll give it a check. But I don’t think I did, because I would have then been able to equate an elevator with getting a horse up there, therefore the measurement would make sense to me. That kind of measurement being used in this world makes sense; you’ve likely got the right of it.

      It’s just my brain: a measurement in units (feet, cubits, miles) is understandable. A measurement in what can be fit within it (twelve armoured knights riding horses) makes sense ONLY if you can actually get those things within it.

      Having not really seen any proof otherwise, I like to think that the Wall was built in stages: first they built it fifty feet high. The Others scaled that. Then someone said, “OH GENIUS, MAKE IT HIGHER THAN THE TREES”, so it became two hundred feet. The Others scaled that.

      Then they cut the trees within fifty feet down, and made it four hundred feet… and so on until it reached seven hundred feet.

      • Anna says:

        They don’t mention the stairs/elevator in this chapter, AFAIK – that comes later, when Jon actually pays more attention to the Wall itself, and less to his own miserable mood.

        As for how the Wall was constructed – it’s never explained in detail. All you get his a legend about the ancient king who constructed it (who, I want to say, was named Bran the Builder, though I might be confusing him with the ancient king who built a lot of boats – there are a lot of legendary Brans, is what I’m saying. And they’re all some manner of Stark.), and some mumbo-jumbo about how old it is, and its fantastic defense against not just the wildlings but also the spooky Others.

        Let’s just say that when it comes to the Wall, there are Theories with a capital T.

  3. Siri Paulson says:

    The staircases and elevator (and tunnel) might not have been mentioned yet. It does get explained eventually.

    The Night’s Watch is interesting because they’re mostly criminals, supposedly the scum of society (or at least the ones who got caught)…but they still have to learn to take orders and work together and, as Anna points out, regard each other as brothers. It’s not what I was expecting from the initial description before Jon got there.

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