For many years I worked night shift as a peace officer in a rural jurisdiction. Sometimes it was scary and exciting. Much more often, it was quiet and boring.
Your mind wanders and you think deep and varied thoughts. I often wondered what I was doing out there – while most other people were home sleeping. I began to envision myself, like my medieval counterparts, as “the watchman on the wall.”
I mentioned this, at one point, to my children. One of them said it was like the game of thrones. I had no idea what he was talking about, so he shared this.
“Hear my words and bear witness to my vow. Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.” – Oath of the Night’s Watch
It’s mostly hogwash, of course, but it is a job someone has to do.