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CliffNotes of Ice and Fire

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A Game of Thrones - The Prologue
Before You Read
Keep an Eye Out 
1 - The amount of times an order is followed against the persons better judgment
2 - The amount of times Ser Waymar Royce belittles Gared
3 - The difference between Ser Waymar Royce's equipment and Will and Gared's
After You Read
Quick Summary
    Will, Gared, and Ser Waymary Royce are on a mission North of The Wall to track a band of wildlings. Will scouts ahead to discover that they are dead and Royce demands to see them with his own eyes. They return to the scene to discover the bodies to be gone and are discovered by The Others. Royce and one of the Others duel which ends with the death of Royce. Will goes to retrieve the sword of Royce as proof of his death, and is than strangled by a reanimated Royce. 
Event Summary
  • Will discovers the Wildlings they have been tracking to be dead
  • The group has been ranging for nine days, landing somewhere North of Craster's Keep
  • Some 
  • Gared does not respect Ser Waymar Royce, finds him to be a spoiled young lordling
  • Will recounts the events of him discovering the Wildlings
  • We learn of how Will was sent to the Night's Watch
  • Gared describes death by 'the cold"
  • Ser Waymar Royce explains why 'the cold' couldn't have killed the Wildlings, and demands to see the bodies
  • They set out for the Wildling camp
  • They stop to proceed on foot
  • Gared says that he will start a fire, Royce won't allow it and a short but tense moment occurs
  • Will and Royce approach the Wildlings camp to discover the bodies are gone. Will is terrified and Royce seems almost amused. 
  • Will is ordered to climb a tree to scout
  • An Other approaches Royce 
  • 7 other Others arrive and stand watch while Royce and the Other duels
  • Royce is injured and goes for his final strike 
  • Royce fails and he is struck down due to his sword shattering and blinding him
  • All of the Others approach and viciously kill Royce
  • Will comes down from the tree to retrieve the sword Royce's sword
  • Will is strangled by the reanimated corpse of Ser Waymar Royce 
Wildlings: The group of people who live north of The Wall
The Wall: A 700 foot high wall that stretches across the continent going East to West.   
The Night's Watch: An order of men who guard The Wall and protect Westeros from invaders - I.E. Wildlings and The Others
The Others: An ancient human like race who have not been sighted for thousands of years. They posses advanced armors and weapons and have the ability to raise and control the dead.
Character List
Ser Waymar Royce - A ranger for the Night's Watch and an anointed Night
Will - A ranger for the Night's Watch
Gared - A ranger for the Night's Watch
The Others - See Above
8 Wildlings - See Above
Jeor Mormon (M) -Lord Commander of the Night's Watch
Maester Aemon (M) - A sort of scholar/healer who has been assigned to Castle Black, the primary headquarters for the Night's Watch
Will's Mother (M)
Royce's Wet Nurse (M)
Gared's Brother (M)
(M) - Mentioned
Comprehension Questions (Optional)
1 - For what crime was Will sent to the Night's Watch for? 
2 - How did Gared describe the final moments of dying by 'the cold'. 
3 - What were Ser Waymar Royce's last words?
4 - Why did Will go to retrieve Ser Waymar Royce's sword?
Discussion Questions
1. - Why was Ser Waymar Royce, a ranger who has only been in the Night's Watch for 6 months (as opposed to Gared who has 40 years under his belt), given command of this mission?
2 - (Keep an Eye Out follow up) - Why does Royce belittle Gared so much, but not Will?  
3 -  Compare the description between Royce and Gared's sword. Royce’s sword is described as ‘a long sword… Jewels glittering in its hilt... a splendid weapon, castle forged, and newly made.’ Gared’s is described as ‘a short, ugly thing, its grip discolored by sweat, its edge nicked from hard use.’
4 - (Keen an Eye Out follow up) Throughout this chapter there are many moments where Will and Gared follow the orders of Royce against there better judgments. Neither Will or Gared have much respect for Royce - so why did they follow his orders?
5 - "Mallister freeriders had caught him red-handed in the Mallisters' own woods, skinning one of the Mallisters' own bucks, and it had been a choice of putting on the black or losing a hand." - Why are the Mallisters mentioned so frequently in Will's back story.
6 - During the duel with Royce only one of the Others steps forward to fight him while the other ones stand and watch? What is the purpose of this decision, and why during Royce's defeat did all the Others join in on the final blow?
7 -  (Keen an Eye Out follow up) We see that Royce is equipped very differently than the other two, why is this? 
8 - What were the intentions of the Others being, in general, so close to The Wall? 
9 - "One man had an axe. Heavy-looking, double-bladed, a cruel piece of iron." -  "Will’s voice abandoned him. He groped for words that did not come. It was not possible. His eyes swept back and forth over the abandoned campsite, stopped on the axe. A huge double-bladed battle-axe, still lying where he had seen it last, untouched. A valuable weapon..." - This axe is focused in on twice throughout this chapter - Why? 
Notable Quotes
1 - Never believe anything you hear at a women's tit
2 - It burns, it does. Nothing burns like the cold. They say you don't feel any pain toward the end. First you go weak and drowsy, and everything starts to fade, and then it's like sinking into a sea of warm milk. Peaceful like.
3 - He looked down at the empty clearing and laughed, "Your dead men seem to have moved camp, Will"
4 - Ser Waymar Royce met him bravely, "Dance with me."
5 - The droplets seemed red as fire
6 - My mother told me dead men sing so songs
7 - (The Others sword) it was alive with moonlight, tanslucent, a shard of crystal so thin that it seemed almost to vanish when seen edge-on. 
8 - When the blades met, there was no ring of metal on metal; only a high, thin sound at the edge of hearing, like an animal screaming in pain. 
9 - And then there was nothing to be done for it. The otder has been given, and honor bound them to obey.
10 - The Other said something in a language that Will did not know; his voice was like the cracking of ice on a winter lake and the words were mocking
Extra Reading/Theories (Spoilers!)
Body Count
8 Wildings killed most likely by The Others and their bodies reanimated.
Gared's brother - by the cold (Mentioned)
Ser Waymar Royce - killed by the sword, wielded by The Others
Will - Strangulation by Zombie Royce
Book Vs Show
This scene is portrayed in:
A Game of Thrones Season 1 Episode 1 - Winter is Coming. Scene 1 starting at 00:53 and ending at 07:59 on HBOGO
1 - The wildlings that the White Walkers killed are arranged in a specific pattern - what is the meaning of the symbol they create? Why did they do this? Arrangement
2 - In the scene where Royce encounters the White Walkers he is killed from behind and very quickly. Why did they choose to not give Royce a fighting chance?
3 - In the show we have a role reverse. In this scene Gared is killed by the White Walkers and Will is left to survive. Does it matter that the roles were reversed? If so why? 

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