The day was warm and sunny. Rivulets of water trickled down the sides of the Wall, so the ice seemed to sparkle and shine.
Inside the sept, the great crystal caught the morning light as it streamed through the south-facing window and spread it in a rainbow on the altar. Pyp's mouth dropped open when he caught sight of Sam, and Toad poked Grenn in the ribs, but no one dared say a word. Septon Celladar was swinging a censer, filling the air with fragrant incense that reminded Jon of Lady Stark's little sept in Winterfell. For once the septon seemed sober.
The high officers arrived in a body; Maester Aemon leaning on Clydas, Sir Alliser cold-eyed and grim, Lord Commander Mormont resplendent in a black wool doublet with silvered bear claw fastenings. Behind them came the senior members of the three orders: red-faced Bowen Marsh the Lord Steward, First Builder Othell Yarwyck, and Sir Jaremy Rykker, who commanded the rangers in the absence of Benjen Stark.
Mormont stood before the altar, the rainbow shining on his bald head. "You came to us outlaws," he began, "poachers, rapers, debtors, killers, and thieves.