Ah, The Wall. Remember that time Jon Snow grabbed an oil lamp so he could burn Zombie Othor? Turns out he burned his hand. If you like, you can come up with some elaborate theory about how that parallels what's happening to Ned (the Hand of the King). I'd do it myself, but I'm kind of sleepy. Lord Commander Mormont wants to reward Snow's hard work, so he gives him a sword. The pommel has a wolf, but it used to be a bear. It's a very important sword, which we know because Snow immediately comments on the Valyrian steel. They mention Valyrian steel a lot, but they've never really gone into what's so great about it. I can only assume it's incredibly rare, although this is like the sixth weapon made out of it that we've seen. This particular sword belonged to Lord Commander Mormont's father, and his father before him. It was supposed to go to his son (Jorah), but he ran off to be in the Daenerys plot and left the sword behind. Snow is honored and tries not to take it, but Mormont apparently feels some degree of gratitude about Snow saving his life last night. Also, Snow isn't confined to quarters anymore, although Mormont doesn't approve of what he describes as "this nonsense" between him and Ser Alliser Thorne. And in a related story, Mormont has sent Thorne down to King's Landing to show King Joffrey that severed hand that Ghost brought back. The idea is that this will show how much The Wall needs more men and also get some distance between Thorne and Snow. With all that out of the way, Mormont says to go put the sword away and bring some supper already.
Snow goes into the mess hall, where everyone already knows about his sword. They all want to play with it! He lets them, because obviously he wanted to show off his new toy, right? If he wanted to keep it a secret, he could have taken it to his quarters first instead of trotting it through the most populated place on The Wall. He does hold back long enough to justify a chant of "Sword! Sword! Sword!" Which is kind of fun. Sam is sitting glumly at a table, and Snow can somehow tell the difference between this and the usual Sam-glumness. Sam has news that he got from a raven sent to Maester Aemon. He's not supposed to say, but he does anyway: Robb is marching south to war. Naturally, Snow feels that he should be with him.
Catelyn rides back up to the Stark tents so she can report her results to Robb. She was basically successful, because Lord Walder will not only allow the Stark Army to cross, he will donate his men to the cause. Except for 400 of them, which have to stay behind to guard the home front. However, he has some requirements: first, Robb will take some kid as his squire and then knight him later on. Also, Arya will have to marry a particular Frey son, which seems to assume they'll even be able to find her. Oh, and Robb himself will have to marry one of Walder's daughters: " Whichever you prefer. He has a number he thinks will be suitable." Robb asks if Catelyn got a look at the available choices. Theon sniggers. Catelyn allows as how there was one daughter he might find acceptable. And since Robb can't really refuse, he consents. Theon laughs at him. Then a lot of men on horseback cross the river.