Beyond the Wall the haunted forest stands as it stood in the Dawn Age, long before the Andals brought the Seven across the narrow sea. You will find a grove of weirwoods half a league from this spot, and mayhap your gods as well."
My lord. The voice made Jon glance back in surprise. Samwell Tarly was on his feet. The fat boy wiped his sweaty palms against his tunic. "Might I ... might I go as well? To say my words at this heart tree?"
Does House Tarly keep the old gods too? Mormont asked.
No, my lord, Sam replied in a thin, nervous voice. The high officers frightened him, Jon knew, the Old Bear most of all. "I was named in the light of the Seven at the sept on Horn Hill, as my father was, and his father, and all the Tarlys for a thousand years."
Why would you forsake the gods of your father and your House? wondered Sir Jaremy Rykker.
The Night's Watch is my House now, Sam said. "The Seven have never answered my prayers. Perhaps the old gods will."
As you wish, boy, Mormont said. Sam took his seat again, as did Jon. "We have placed each of you in an order, as befits our need and your own strengths and skills." Bowen Marsh stepped forward and handed him a paper.