Aemon, as part of his highly ambivalent advice to Jon (at times it almost seems like he wants Jon to desert, or wishes he had deserted himself):
Love is the bane of honor, the death of duty.
Is this true? There have been cases where romantic love did trump honor: Jaime, Rhaegar, and ADwD-stage Daenerys, for example. Familial love has arguably helped lead people like Catelyn and Cersei astray. But characters like Arya and Davos seem to have been strengthened by familial love. And it’s not clear how far we should stretch the concept of love here.
Aemon also asks whether Jon’s purported father would choose love over honor. We know he eventually does (falsely confessing to treason in the belief that doing so will save Sansa and Arya). But it’s hard to see that as a “dishonorable” decision under any reasonable system of morality: under the circumstances his refusal to confess could do nothing to correct the wrong of Joffrey’s inheritance, so why not confess in order to save innocent lives?
Elsewhere in this chapter:
- “Jon did not understand … what [his dream of burning a Wight Eddard] might mean.” You and me both, brother.
- Jon’s new master-at-arms is a relative of Brienne’s!
- They sell garnets is Mole’s Town? Makes it sound like a rather bigger, fancier place than I’d have thought.