I think it’s really easy to be on Jon’s side and see the Night’s Watch through his eyes at the beginning of this chapter. But when Donal Noye shows Jon where he errs, it makes perfect sense to the reader too. We also come to realize that Jon’s had a very privileged life — less than his siblings, but so, so, so much more than baseborn boys who have had extremely unfair lives.
The Night’s Watch is a strangely democratic place. It has its problems, but everyone is meant to come into it equal (not that that always happens), and then Jon is quickly shamed for not being aware of his own privilege. Plus there’s the whole voting-for-the-lord-commander thing.
I remember reading (or watching) an interview with GRRM, and he mentioned how the evil people normally wear black in stories, so he made the Night’s Watch, who are protectors, wear black. And they really are strangely good, even with all their problems, especially when you see how they deal with the inequalities that plague the rest of Westeros. They’re unique up there. I wonder if the differences have to do with their being northern and absorbing northern culture (even though there are distinctions drawn — Benjen tells Jon that this is no Winterfell; he’ll have to earn his place here, meaning Jon didn’t have to at Winterfell) or if the Night’s Watch is just it’s own roughly egalitarian place.
It’s strange how Tyrion comforts Jon when news comes of Bran. I watched GoT before reading the book, and I always felt very confident that it wasn’t Tyrion that sent the assassin. Yet GRRM seems to want the reader to at least consider it — why else would Tyrion assume Bran’s dead? Of course, it’s not unusual that Tyrion would assume bad news. Still, it makes you wonder.