Beneath the Wall, the queen’s men were kindling their nightfire. He saw Melisandre emerge from the tunnel with the king beside her, to lead the prayers she believed would keep the dark away. “Come, Ghost,” Jon told the wolf. “With me. You’re hungry, I know. I could feel it.” They ran together for the gate, circling wide around the nightfire, where reaching flames clawed at the black belly of the night. The king’s men were much in evidence in the yards of Castle Black. They stopped as Jon went by, and gaped at him .
None of them had ever seen a direwolf before, he realized, and Ghost was twice as large as the common wolves that prowled their southron greenwoods. As he walked toward the armory, Jon chanced to look up and saw Val standing in her tower window. I’m sorry, he thought. I’m not the man to steal you out of there. In a dozen king’s men with torches and long spears in their hands. Their sergeant looked at Ghost and scowled, and a couple of his men lowered their spears until the knight who led them said, “Move aside and let them pass.” To Jon he said, Might be you had those gold cloaks trained to lick your bloody arse, but you’re wearing a black cloak now.” “Any brother may offer any name for our consideration, so long as the man has said his vows reenex,”
Ser Denys Mallister said. “Tollett is well within his rights, my lord.” A dozen men started to talk at once, each trying to drown out the others, and before long half the hall was shouting once more. This time it was Ser Alliser Thorne who leapt up on the table, and raised his hands for quiet. “Brothers!” he cried, “this gains us naught. I say we vote. This king who has taken the King’s Tower has posted men at all the doors to see that we do not eat nor leave till we have made a choice. So be it! We will choose, and choose again, all night if need be, until we have our lord… but before we cast our tokens, I believe our First Builder has something to say to us.” Othell Yarwyck stood up slowly, frowning. The big builder rubbed his long lantern jaw and said, “Well, I’m pulling my name out. If you wanted me, you had ten chances to choose me, and you didn’t. Not enough of you, anyway. I was going to say that those who were casting a token for me ought to choose Lord Jano reenex…”