The Old Bear's no fool, Dareon observed.
You're certain to be a builder, and Jon's certain to be a ranger.
He's the best sword and the best rider among us, and his uncle was the First before he...
His voice trailed off awkwardly as he realized what he had almost said.
Benjen Stark is still First Ranger, Jon Snow told him, toying with his bowl of blueberries.
The rest might have given up all hope of his uncle's safe return, but not him.
He pushed away the berries, scarcely touched, and rose from the bench.
Aren't you going to eat those? Toad asked.
They're yours. Jon had hardly tasted Hobb's great feast.
I could not eat another bite. He took his cloak from its hook near the door and shouldered his way out.
Pyp followed him. Jon, what is it?
Sam, he admitted. He was not at table tonight.
It's not like him to miss a meal, Pyp said thoughtfully. Do you suppose he's taken ill?
He's frightened. We're leaving him.
He remembered the day he had left Winterfell, all the bittersweet farewells; Bran lying broken, Robb with snow in his hair, Arya raining kisses on him after he'd given her Needle.
Once we say our words, we'll all have duties to attend to.
Some of us may be sent away, to Eastwatch or the Shadow Tower.