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Was Ser Waymar Royce a proper prick to Gared because he made fun of him?

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On 7/23/2019 at 3:44 PM, John Suburbs said:

The way Will described the dead bodies, there was no fight at all. The battleaxe was leaning against a tree, not shattered into a million shards like Waymar's sword. If the Others can just freeze you where you lie, then why didn't they do that to Will and Waymar. Why do they bother with swords at all?

That is the big question isn't it? Notice how Will warns Waymar to leave the sword behind and instead get a dagger, and later the "trees" try to rid Royce of his sword and cloak. Not only did they slaughter Royce with a huge number of Others (six!), but that sword was splintered into pieces, the cloak slashed several times as if they not only wanted to kill Waymar, but destroy the sword and cloak as well. And Will was left alone up in the tree, that tried to glue him to itself with its sticky sap... Only when Will comes out of the tree (at night) and PICKS up the remainder of the sword is he attacked by a wighted Waymar. (The sword was 'black steel' btw)

On 7/23/2019 at 3:44 PM, John Suburbs said:

It's not just that he ran, but that he then abandoned the NW without telling his superiors what happened. That is dereliction of duty and disputes the notion that Gared simply retreated from battle in order to tell the tale.

Why would he sneak past the Wall in order to inform the Starks but not his own Lord Commander? Gared has no connection to the Starks as far as we know, and both Jon and Ned say he was mad with fear. Understandable as that may be given what he experienced, he nevertheless failed to face his fears and do what was right. He just cut and ran. The only person in the trio to actually lives up to the ideals of the Night's Watch is Waymar, the least experienced ranger on the scene.

Well, we don't know what happened between the time that Gared was left at the tree, where he crossed, whether he had help, whether that help might have given instructions... The possibilities of what happened to Gared are too many to condemn him right out of the bat without knowing more, and become more numerous the more you learn about the Wall and allied activity north of the Wall. It's not like he was doing what the NW man did that Bran encounters in the forest later on his horseride.  

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