I was not surprised when Martin killed off the Royce. He was arrogant in a very annoying way, and committed the cardinal sin of ignoring the wise old guy. Always heed the wise old guy (unless you're six and he's asking you to get in his van). However, I was surprised when Will died too. We were following along through his point of view, so his death set quite an ominous tone for the rest of the book. As for Gared, I presume he peaced out with the horses as soon as he heard the fight.
What exactly is a wildling? I went on Wikipedia and shut the window instantly, because it seemed packed with spoilers. I still don't know for sure. I'm going to assume that it's a wild person or outlaw, just like I assume "Ser" actually means "Sir" and "Maester" means "Master". That or Dr. Aemon is actually Korean.
After Will's untimely death at the hands of zombie Waymar, we come to the first official chapter, written from the point of view of Bran Stark, son of a Lord. I assume that executee is Gared from the prologue, because there can't be that many earless deserters running around. After the execution, upon discovering the wolf, why was the party so scared of the antler? A giant wolf just gave birth while dead and the antler is what makes them uneasy? Also, this chapter confirmed that Waymar's "for Robert!" was actually a tribute to his king and not, as I presumed, one last shout out to his gay lover back home at Royce Manor.
Things I've learned about the Starks: they name their swords, live in a place where it snows during the summer, and attend their first executions at age seven. I get it George, they are total badasses. When I was seven my parents wouldn't let me cross the street, let alone keep a giant wolf as a pet. Other things I've learned: Theon is an asshole, Jon the bastard has superhuman hearing, and Lord Stark has no executioner on the payroll.
Great chapters so far. I'm very intrigued and I want to read more.