I have no place, Jon wanted to say, I'm a bastard, I have no rights, no name, no mother, and now not even a father. The words would not come. "I don't know."
I do, said Lord Commander Mormont. "The cold winds are rising, Snow. Beyond the Wall, the shadows lengthen. Cotter Pyke writes of vast herds of elk, streaming south and east toward the sea, and mammoths as well. He says one of his men discovered huge, misshapen footprints not three leagues from Eastwatch. Rangers from the Shadow Tower have found whole villages abandoned, and at night Sir Denys says they see fires in the mountains, huge blazes that burn from dusk till dawn. Quorin Halfhand took a captive in the depths of the Gorge, and the man swears that Mance Rayder is massing all his people in some new, secret stronghold he's found, to what end the gods only know. Do you think your uncle Benjen was the only ranger we've lost this past year?"
Ben Jen, the raven squawked, bobbing its head, bits of egg dribbling from its beak. "Ben Jen. Ben Jen."
No, Jon said. There had been others. Too many.