The Lord Commander listens to you, Jon told him. And the wounded and the sick of the Night's Watch are in your charge.
And is your friend Samwell wounded or sick?
He will be, Jon promised, unless you help.
He told them all of it, even the part where he'd set Ghost at Rast's throat.
Maester Aemon listened silently, blind eyes fixed on the fire, but Chett's face darkened with each word.
Without us to keep him safe, Sam will have no chance, Jon finished. He's hopeless with a sword.
My sister Arya could tear him apart, and she's not yet ten.
If Ser Alliser makes him fight, it's only a matter of time before he's hurt or killed.
Chett could stand no more. I've seen this fat boy in the common hall, he said.
He is a pig, and a hopeless craven as well, if what you say is true.
Maybe it is so, Maester Aemon said. Tell me, Chett, what would you have us do with such a boy?
Leave him where he is, Chett said. The Wall is no place for the weak. Let him train until he is ready, no matter how many years that takes.
Ser Alliser shall make a man of him or kill him, as the gods will.
That's stupid, Jon said. He took a deep breath to gather his thoughts.
I remember once I asked Maester Luwin why he wore a chain around his throat.
Maester Aemon touched his own collar lightly, his bony, wrinkled finger stroking the heavy metal links. Go on.