Hear my words, and bear witness to my vow.
asoiaf challenge [x] ⇉ favorite house motto ⇉ the night’s watch
Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.
First off, I’m aware that The Night’s Watch isn’t a house, nor is the oath their motto. BUT, if you really think about it, The Night’s Watch does serve as a house. You no longer serve your old families nor yourself. Only the oath of The Wall. You make new “brothers” who are in the same boat, your new family. Old houses, social ladders are swept clean (well, supposedly they are, but there have been complaints that Lords receive the higher ranks over the average folk).
As a brother of The Night’s Watch blood and birth doesn’t matter.
This is the main reason why I love The Night’s Watch (and why I love Jon Snow/Samwell Tarly POV chapters). In the Westeros family honor and blood is what matters. But up at The Wall, blood and birth is nothing. It’s you as a person, you as a being that counts. Any man can be Lord Commander, and any man can choose who’s Lord Commander.
Jon Snow, the bastard son of Eddard Stark of Winterfell, who was forced to sit separately from his siblings during special feasts, forced to let Robb Stark win at scrimmages, can finally stand out, achieve something and take what he deserves. Samwell Tarly had spent his life dishonoring his family by being nothing but a disappointment to his father. At the Wall his love for reading and other “softer” abilities are needed and used and overall appreciated.
It’s genius really. GRRM creates a very firm world flooded with family honor and duty, and then he places The Night’s Watch, this final defense against the unknown beyond the wall, everything that goes against the social structure of the Seven Kingdoms.
And I love that. I truly love that.