He could feel the despair all around him. “There must be a hundred thousand,” Satin wailed. “How can we stop so many?” “The Wall will stop them,” Jon heard himself say. He turned and said it again, louder. “The Wall will stop them. The Wall defends itself.” Hollow words, but he needed to say them, almost as much as his brothers needed to hear them. “The chariots, the horsemen, all those fools on foot … what are they going to do to us up here? Any of you ever see a mammoth climb a wall?” He laughed, and Pyp and Owen and half a dozen more laughed with him. “They’re nothing, they’re less use than our straw brothers here, they can’t reach us, they can’t hurt us, and they don’t frighten us, do they?”“NO!” Grenn shouted.“They’re down there and we’re up here,” Jon said, “and so long as we hold the gate they cannot pass. They cannot pass!


We’re west of Castle Black, but the Nightfort’s closest to us. It was the first castle on the Wall. The Watch abandoned it during the reign of King Jaehaerys I. Too big. Impossible to maintain. Other than Castle Black itself, the Nightfort’s the perfect castle for us. It’s got a secret sally port, the Black Gate, as old as the Wall itself. No one’s used it in centuries most likely. It leads through the Wall right down into the Nightfort, if one knows how to find it, which, it just so happens, I do.