I've watched the recent episode of Game of Thrones (S4 E9, ‘The Watchers on the Wall’), and without too many spoilers, it shows

Jon going away from Castle Black. And before he left, he gave Sam his sword.

Why didn't he take Ghost with him?

  • @Shevliaskovic: I phrased that title in a way which will be less... spoily to those who haven't seen the episode. But I thank you for the edit anyway.
    – user24620
    Jun 9, 2014 at 14:41
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    I know, but this title doesn't give away anything either. It could mean a lot of things Jun 9, 2014 at 14:42
  • You're probably right.
    – user24620
    Jun 9, 2014 at 14:43
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    @KharoBangdo - The whole thing with Jon going beyond the Wall to deal with Mance personally is a show only event. Jun 10, 2014 at 6:54
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    @KharoBangdo: But in the show Ghost was explicitly used in the episode to fend off the wildlings attacking from the south. So Ghost is definitely within the area of Castle Black. Since no one left through the gates (it was closed all that time, sans the few minutes that giant got inside) this means that Ghost is south of the wall, if not within the Castle.
    – user24620
    Jun 10, 2014 at 19:57

3 Answers 3


Because Ghost is a 'beast'. Jon can't fully control him.

As you saw in the episode, Jon said he would try to kill Mance. But he didn't even take his sword with him. If the wildlings saw that he was armed, they might have tried to kill him.

Ghost himself is a pretty fierce weapon. So, Jon most likely didn't take Ghost with him because the wildlings would have felt that he was a menace. Jon wants to trick Mance and Ghost would not help him in that.

  • That makes sense. Thanks.
    – user24620
    Jun 9, 2014 at 14:42
  • Good answer, as always. Might want to point out that in the books he did take Longclaw (the sword).
    – Möoz
    Jun 9, 2014 at 23:28
  • Also, there might be more wargs with the wildlings. So it could be a precaution for not letting Ghost be controlled by one of them. Jun 10, 2014 at 8:03
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    @Paul: Surely there's something similar to "valar morghulis" which means "All direwolves must die". :-)
    – user24620
    Jun 20, 2014 at 1:42
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    @LordSnow: ah yes, I think you’re right. I believe it goes like this: “Ruff ruff rrrruff ruff rruffff ruff ruff.” Jun 20, 2014 at 8:59

Shevliaskovic's answer is correct, based on the tv-show.

As an aside: I know that you have asked the question in regards to the tv-show; but I will offer some further insight from the books.

[A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows spoilers]

Jon Snow is sent by Ser Alliser Thorne and Janos Slynt to "treaty" with Mance. This is after a prolonged tortuous stay in a cold room. And a 'cold room' at The Wall is actually a freezing-cold room.

They see Jon as a threat to their leadership as well as a thorn [pun intended] in their sides; so they send him, in hopes that Jon will be able to get deep into their lairs and slay Mance or die trying, on a suicide mission.
Note that it was Mance who requested someone to treaty with, as he had an important message ('let us in, we don't want to kill you, we just want to hide behind your wall'); but Slynt and Thorne take the opportunity and use it to their advantage.

In the books, Jon does take Longclaw (his sword) in order to do this.

Jon does not rejoin with Ghost until later (after Stannis' arrival and Mance's capture), hence why they are not together at this scence!

So, essentially, in the books, Jon was not with Ghost, therefore in the tv-show, they must have come up with an idea to keep that part of the story consistent [IMO].

  • Thanks! I haven't read the books, and I know that I should. But I'm still enjoying bits and spoils all around anyway! :-)
    – user24620
    Jun 20, 2014 at 1:12
  • Books are definitely good for getting some further insights, such as what is going on in the POV charachters' heads :)
    – Möoz
    Jun 20, 2014 at 1:52

All of the wildlings that Jon went south of the wall with are dead. If Jon returns to Mance just as he left then Mance won't know that Jon switched sides (or didn't switch sides in the first place).

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    This doesn't make much sense. Mance gave him wildling cloths, and he comes back dressed as a crow? I think he's smart enough to know what happened.
    – user24620
    Jun 10, 2014 at 19:54
  • @LordSnow - Good point, considering there were plenty of Wildling clothes to be had around Castle Black. I just thought he must have some advantage before trying to walk into Mance's camp.
    – uncle brad
    Jun 10, 2014 at 23:41
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    I don't know why anyone would want to get naked in the wilderness of beyond the wall. It might be fine in a cave with Ygritte, or in a tent, but not outside; and he had plenty of dead wildlings to use that for in Castle Black.
    – user24620
    Jun 11, 2014 at 19:20
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    I called it! :-)
    – user24620
    Jun 16, 2014 at 14:00

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