A Clash of Kings is the sequel to George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novel, A Game of Thrones. The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros have been united under one ruler for centuries. However, after Robert Baratheon dies, the lords of Westeros are quick to seize power for themselves. Robert’s two brothers, Stannis and Renly, both declare themselves king. In the north, Robb Stark declares himself “king in the north.” At King’s Landing, a port city and the capitol of Westeros, the child Joffrey Baratheon sits on the Iron Throne, but how long can he and his advisors hold it?
Tyrion Lannister is the second son of one of the most powerful families in the realm. However, although he is very intelligent, Tyrion is reviled, even by his family, because he is a dwarf. Nevertheless, Tyrion has been sent to King’s Landing to control the king, to subdue Queen Cersei Lannister, and to defend the city against invasion. Tyrion takes action immediately. He begins by cowing his political rivals, especially his sister the queen. He seeks out “pyromancers” and has them increase production of “wildfire,” an extremely volatile liquid. He also sets every forge in the city to work building a chain, though he refuses to explain why. Finally, he begins sending letters seeking political alliance, offering Cersei’s daughter and son as hostages or potential matches in marriage. However, although Tyrion relishes the power he wields, he has surrounded himself with mercenaries whose loyalties can easily be bought from him. Tyrion is doing everything in his power to save the city, which is slowly beginning to starve as the war continues, but the common people blame Tyrion for their hardships.
The greatest threats to Tyrion may be his family, but the greatest threats to King’s Landing are surely Stannis and Renly Baratheon and their armies. As Robert’s oldest living brother, Stannis has the stronger claim to the Iron Throne, particularly since Joffrey is actually born of incest, but the lords of the south have rallied behind Renly, who is much more likeable than stern Stannis. Stannis, however, has a “shadowbinder” at his disposal, one that soon begins using magic to assassinate Stannis’ rivals. The first victim of her dark magic is Renly. When Renly dies, the majority of his bannermen switch allegiance to Stannis, who quickly prepares to attack King’s...
(The entire section is 1567 words.)
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Cressen is the aged maester of Dragonstone, a place where Stannis Baratheon has recently declared himself King of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and now prepares for war. Cressen watches a comet that streaks across the sky and wonders what it means. The Citadel in Old Town has sent a white raven to him, declaring the end of summer and the coming of winter. Maester Pylos, a younger man who is to take Cressen's place, announces that Stannis's daughter and Patchface, a fool that survived drowning, would like to see it. Cressen is happy to see them, particularly since he feels guilty for not protecting Shireen from greyscale when she was young. Pylos also informs him that Ser Davos Seaworth has returned. Normally, Stannis would have summoned the old maester, but now he must go and present himself. Stannis rules from the top of a tower, inside of which is a table shaped like Westeros. Cressen climbs up the stairs and meets Ser Davos, who is descending. Ser Davos admits that no lords are interested in joining Stannis's cause. They have all joined Stannis's younger brother, Renly. When Cressen finally makes his way to Stannis, the maester tries to encourage him to find allies in the Arryns or the Starks. Stannis refuses to seek allegiance among the lords that should rightfully kneel before his claim to the Iron Throne. Instead, Stannis has placed his faith in Melisandre, priestess to R'hllor, the Lord of Light, the Heart of Fire, the God of Flame and Shadow. She is a shadowbinder from Asshai. Cressen decides to poison her so that she cannot spread her ways. However, when he arrives at supper that evening, Cressen finds that Pylos has been given his seat, already thwarting his plan. Cressen improvises and proposes a toast to Melisandre's god. They both drink from the same cup, but Melisandre's magic protects her from the poison. Cressen dies.
(The entire section is 319 words.)
Chapter 1 Summary
Arya has escaped King's Landing, thanks to Yoren, a brother of the Night's Watch. He explains to her that she will pose as a boy as they travel along the kingsroad. The most difficult part will be urinating, he predicts. Still, it is best that she goes unnoticed. Yoren has thirty men and boys with him, three of whom are so dangerous that they are still in shackles. Though Arya tries to remain silent, two boys notice her sword, Needle, and try to take it from her. Lommy Greenhands, who had been an inker's apprentice, encourages Hot Pie, whose mother had been a baker, to steal it. Hot Pie approaches Arya, and she offers him her wooden practice sword. When Hot Pie comes closer, she attacks him with it and beats him raw until Yoren stops her. He takes her to the woods and switches her. After, he tells her that her father, Lord Eddard Stark, was supposed to have been allowed to join the Night's Watch. Instead, Joffrey ruined the plan. Now, Arya walks along the column, too sore to ride a donkey, with Bull, an older boy. Bull thinks the comet looks like a red sword, but Arya sees the sword that was used to kill her father, turned red with her father's blood. At night, Arya dreams of returning to Winterfell.
(The entire section is 224 words.)
Chapter 2 Summary
Sansa gossips with Ser Arys Oakheart of the Kingsguard. Though Ser Arys will strike Sansa when commanded to, he protests and does so with less force than the others. Sansa and Ser Arys consider the meaning of the comet in the sky—glory to Joffrey—and discuss who will win the tourney in honor of Joffrey's name day. Ser Arys is confident that he will win, though he points out that the competition is not very impressive. The jousting is poor indeed and Joffrey soon loses his temper. When Ser Dontos arrives, drunk, Joffrey prepares to have the knight killed. Sansa intervenes, suggesting that it would be bad luck for Joffrey to kill a man on his name day. Joffrey, rightly, suspects that Sansa is making this up as she goes, until Sandor speaks in support of Sansa's claim. Sansa proposes that they make Dontos a fool instead, and Joffrey agrees. The tourney is called off, though Tommen is still allowed to joust against a straw man. Watching the kind hearted boy, Sansa thinks that she would not mind marrying Tommen. The day ends when Tyrion Lannister arrives with Bronn and a group of wild clansmen. Though Prince Tommen and Princess Myrcella are happy to see Tyrion, Joffrey and Sandor are not. Tyrion treats Sansa kindly, though she finds the dwarf ugly and repulsive. Also, she reminds herself, Queen Cersei treated her well before she killed her father. So Tyrion is not to be trusted.
(The entire section is 245 words.)
Chapter 3 Summary
Tyrion approaches the small council with Bronn and Timett son of Timett. Ser Mandon Moore of the Kingsguard initially refuses to allow Tyrion through until Tyrion threatens to have him killed. It is his first victory as the Hand of the King. He enters the small council and presents a letter from his father. The members of the small council welcome Tyrion but Cersei does not. Tyrion requests a private audience, and once alone he confronts his sister, the queen regent. Joffrey's reign has been a disaster. Cersei explains that Joffrey is willful and expects to command rather than be commanded. Tyrion proposes that he will better control Joffrey and that he will find a way to free Jaime. Cersei agrees, though she insists that Tyrion remember that although he serves as Hand of the King, she is in charge. Tyrion, lying, agrees. He leaves and considers the city: corpses lie on the street and rats are sold as fresh meat. Still, the city is swelling as the smallfolk come to King's Landing in order to avoid the war. When Tyrion returns to the inn in which he left Shae, he finds Lord Varys, the Master of Whisperers. Varys subtly explains that he was aware of Tyrion's arrival in the city and was able to find Shae effortlessly. He threatens her safety, though only Tyrion is able to understand Varys's meaning. Once he is alone with Shae, Tyrion explains that as the Hand of the King he will will attempt to do justice, which will be utterly unexpected.
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Chapter 4 Summary
Bran is unhappy when he lies in bed. The walls press in on him even though the world outside calls. He can hear the direwolves howling from the godswood. Some people at Winterfell think that the direwolves are hungry, which explains why they howl all day long. Maester Luwin thinks they howl at the comet in the sky, mistaking it for the moon. Osha thinks that the comet means blood and fire is coming. Old Nan cannot see the comet but claims that she can smell it, and she thinks that it means dragons. Regardless, Bran misses Summer. Both of the direwolves have been locked in the godswood since Shaggydog attacked the Walders, his mother's wards. Maester Luwin, who also has been attacked by Shaggy, explains that the direwolves are dangerous. Bran points out that Summer has never hurt anyone, but no one listens to him even though he is a prince now that Robb is the King in the North. Bran does not like the Walders. Big Walder is older than Little Walder, though the latter is actually bigger. They are both able to name exactly where they sit in the line of succession at the Twins, though neither is very likely to ever inherit the seat since Lord Walder has so many children and grandchildren. At night, Bran dreams that he is Summer and Osha tells him that he should not fight it. In the dream, Bran watches Shaggy as the direwolf snarls at the walls and the gates around him. Summer knows that it is impossible to escape but he also knows that the outside world is calling and that he "must answer or die."
(The entire section is 278 words.)
Chapter 5 Summary
Arya sees freshly dug graves along the kingsroad, and soon notices that Yoren and his recruits are the only ones traveling north. Everyone warns of war. When Yoren reaches an inn and allows his recruits to wash, though not sleep, Arya stays behind so that no one will realize she, "Arry," is a girl. That night, however, she is allowed to have a beer with the other recruits when the owner of the inn gives them a round on the house because his brother was sent to the Wall for stealing a pinch of pepper. The men and women at the inn tell Yoren that he will not be able to travel north much longer because of the war. Yoren disagrees. They also talk about a gigantic wolfpack that has attacked farmers. Arya thinks that it might be Nymeria leading the pack and she tries to defend the wolves. Yoren sends her outside so that she cannot reveal her identity, and there she encounters the three men from the black dungeons. Jaqen H'ghar, who has red and white hair, introduces himself to Arya and apologizes for the aggressiveness of his companions, Rorge, who has no nose, and Biter, who cannot speak and whose teeth are filed to sharp points. Arya confronts Biter and smacks him with her wooden sword. Bull arrives and tells Arya to stay away from the prisoners. They prepare to duel each other, in practice, when a group of men from the City Watch arrive. They are looking for someone that fled King's Landing with the Night's Watch. Arya thinks that they are looking for her, and identifies herself as the one they are looking for, but they claim to be looking for Bull. Yoren confronts the City Watch and argues that the Night's Watch takes no part in the politics of the realm. He wins the exchange, but the commander tells Yoren that he will return later with more men. Ayra asks Bull who he is, but the latter can only share his name: Gendry.
(The entire section is 339 words.)
Chapter 6 Summary
Jon Snow goes into the depths of Castle Black, beneath the Wall in search of his friend Samwell Tarly. The tunnels are not often used in summer, but when winter comes, the Night's Watch will rely on them to move from one castle to another. Sam is Jon's friend, and though he may be a coward, he is enthusiastic about books and learning. Sam tells Jon that there are ancient books about rangings beyond the Wall where men met giants and the children of the forest. Jon reminds Sam that his first purpose was to find maps for Lord Commander Mormont, the Old Bear, who is planning to lead an army of the Night's Watch beyond the Wall. He has lost Benjen Stark, Jon's uncle and the First Ranger, as well as the man that went after Benjen Stark. The dead are rising and the wildlings have joined together under Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall. Jon and Sam take the maps to Lord Mormont, who complains of their age. When Lord Mormont dismisses Sam, he tells Jon that Maester Aemon could have been king once, but he chose not to because he felt that he was called on to serve. Now, Jon's half-brother Robb Stark has been declared King in the North. Jon says that he intends to obey his vows and serve the Night's Watch.
(The entire section is 228 words.)
Chapter 7 Summary
Catelyn watches as her fifteen-year-old son, Robb, the King in the North, delivers his terms to Ser Cleos Frey. Although the Freys have allied themselves with the Starks and the Tullys, Ser Cleos married a Lannister and so fought beside them. Now, Robb offers to return his hostages, save Jaime Lannister, in exchange for his sisters, Sansa and Arya. He also demands that his father's remains and his greatsword, Ice, be returned. He demands that the north and the riverlands be considered a separate kingdom, ruled by him. The terms are not very generous, Catelyn thinks, and they are unlikely to lead to the return of her daughters, Sansa and Arya. Her son has other concerns now. He means to send Theon Greyjoy to treat with his father, Lord Balon of the Iron Islands, which Catelyn thinks a mistake. She also knows that Robb wants her to leave so that he will no longer have a mother around. She goes to see her father, Lord Hoster Tully, who is dying. There, she finds her uncle, Ser Brynden the Blackfish, who commands Robb's outriders. He reports that Lord Tywin has moved his troops to the Harrenhal, a monstrous castle that was the seat of King Harren until he was defeated by Aegon the Conqueror's dragons. Ser Brynden explains that Tywin wants Robb to attack him. To the west, the Lannisters are raising another host. Finally, Robb will need to move soon unless he intends to lose his lords, who want to return to their castles. Catelyn suggests that they send a messenger to Renly Baratheon, who claims the Iron Throne and who is traveling north from Highgarden.
(The entire section is 276 words.)
Chapter 8 Summary
Tyrion is feasting Ser Janos Slynt, Commander of the City Watch, in the Small Hall. When Slynt sided with the Lannisters rather than Eddard Stark, they rewarded him with the Harrenhal and a seat on the small council. Now, the two of them are alone and Janos is very drunk. Tyrion has spent the evening trying to charm Slynt and he asks about some of Slynt's recent actions. He is particularly interested in confirming that Cersei is behind some of the more brutal commands. Slynt explains that when he leaves to occupy the Harrenhal, Tyrion would do well to promote Allar Deem, the man who killed the last of King Robert's bastard children, babes included, in King's Landing. Now, Tyrion explains to his guest, Ser Janos would do well to join the Night's Watch. He has Slynt taken away and promotes Ser Jacelyn Bywater to command. Varys arrives soon after and begins reporting to Tyrion the things his spies in the city have learned. Tyrion finds himself liking Varys, though he does not trust him. When he returns to his quarters, he finds Bronn, who explains that he would kill a babe for the right price. Tyrion reflects that he has no need of Allar Deem as he already has access to a hundred men just like him.
(The entire section is 218 words.)
Chapter 9 Summary
Arya is happy that they no longer meet as many people as they used to on the road, but she is frustrated by their lack of progress. The road is little more than two muddy ruts and the carts get stuck a dozen times every day. Two of the men Yoren is taking north were found guilty of poaching, and Yoren sends them out foraging for food. Sometimes they return with a deer, and Arya even managed to bring home a rabbit once. At night, they set sentries, but Arya can sneak past them easily. She thinks about traveling alone, but who would watch her back while she sleeps? She decides it is safer to stay. Still, there are dangers. Yoren has them leave the road to avoid Lannister and Stark men. Although the Night's Watch takes no part, they do have resources that everyone would like to take. At night, Arya goes into the woods to make water, and she is confronted by wolves. She returns to camp and tells Yoren. He responds that they need to worry about the human wolves that are destroying villages. He wonders if it would have been wiser to take a ship from King's Landing. Arya goes to bed, but she hears a whisper on the wind and thinks it might be screams.
(The entire section is 220 words.)
Chapter 10 Summary
Ser Davos Seaworth watches as Melisandre, Queen Selyse, and their followers burn the Seven in effigy. Representations of the Mother, the Maid, the Crone, the Smith, the Father, the Warrior, and the Stranger all burn. Afterward, Melisandre explains that years ago, Azor Ahai, beloved of the fire god, R'hllor, fought the darkness with a fiery sword, Lightbringer. Now, Stannis, clad in leather, walks into the fire and withdraws the sword. As he puts out a fire on his pants, Melisandre declares him Azor Ahai come again. Davos is disturbed by the ritual, but he thinks of all that he has received from Stannis. Though his newly proclaimed king took his fingers as punishment for his days as a smuggler, he also knighted him, made him a lord, and gave him land. Now, Davos's oldest sons are knights while the others will be in time. They are leaders aboard their own ships rather than smugglers like Davos used to be. Davos leaves the smoking gods and travels to an inn where he meets Salladhor Saan, a pirate Stannis has hired. The pirate urges Davos to convince Stannis to attack King's Landing, though this is because the pirate hopes to be paid for his service. He also explains that Azor Ahai's magic sword was forged over the course of a hundred days. It was quenched in the heart of his lover. Davos goes to Stannis and listens to the proclamation that Stannis means to send to every lord in Westeros. It declares that Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen are born of incest and that Stannis is the rightful king of Westeros. Davos will take the message along the coast and read it to the smallfolk. When Davos expresses disapproval of Melisandre, Stannis explains that she seems to have real power. He means to test it and use it.
(The entire section is 305 words.)
Chapter 11 Summary
Theon is returning to Pyke, where his father, Balon Greyjoy, rules the Iron Islands. Long ago, the men of the Iron Islands were reavers, a tradition that was ended by Aegon the Conqueror. When Theon was a boy, his father had led a rebellion, not just to become a king but also to restore the Old Way. The words of the Greyjoys are "we do not sow," and their sigil is a gold kraken on a field of black. When King Robert and Lord Eddard Stark defeated Balon, Theon was taken to Winterfell as a hostage. Now, he brings word that Robb Stark would name Balon a king again. When he lands, Theon meets his uncle, Aeron Damphair, a priest of the Drowned God. Aeron tells Theon that little has changed, people live their lives and die. Still, much has changed: Theon does not recognize anyone when he returns to his father's grim castle. When he meets his father, Balon wonders whether Theon has returned to him a Stark or a Greyjoy. Theon is wearing a chain around his neck, and Balon asks whether Theon paid the gold price or the iron price for it. Theon admits that he paid the former, but presses on that they can take Lannisport and Casterly Rock—feats that have never been done. Balon tells Theon he will not be given a crown; he will take it. There is other fruit ripe for the taking in the north.
(The entire section is 244 words.)
Chapter 12 Summary
Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, leads her followers along the path of the comet, which the Dothraki call shierak qiya. She decides that since the comet arrived on the same nights her dragons did, it is her guide. Besides, every other direction will lead them to a khalasar, led by men that will kill her and her followers. They travel into the red waste, where her followers begin slowly dying. As the people die, however, the dragons grow. Dany names them Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion. The journey ends when they reach an abandoned city. There, they find water and dates. Dany asks Ser Jorah about his past and he tells her that he married twice. His first wife died in childbirth. He met his second wife after he won a tourney. She was beautiful but when he took her home to Bear Island, she was disappointed in it. He beggared himself and his honor trying to please her but still lost her. When Dany asks what she looked like, Ser Jorah says that she looked a little like her. Dany realizes that Ser Jorah loves her, but she does not love him. Besides, she knows that she is barren, so perhaps no man will ever love her again. She sends her riders out before her but the first two return without having found a new destination. Finally, Jhogo returns with three followers from Qarth. The first is a warlock, Pyatt Pree, the second a merchant, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, and the third is Quaithe of the Shadow. They have come to see dragons.
(The entire section is 263 words.)
Chapter 13 Summary
Jon and the men of the Night's Watch have just found Whitetree, one of the villages on the old maps, abandoned. Though it is called a village, it is actually just four sod roofed hovels. Inside, there is nothing but straw for beds. At the center of Whitetree lies a weirwood, the largest Jon has ever seen. A face has been carved into it, and inside its massive mouth are human bones. The wildlings burn their dead, though until recently the Night's Watch never understood why. The Night's Watch has now found four empty villages, and they intend to press on. The men are becoming more unsettled by the emptiness of the haunted forest. However, when Jon goes to see cowardly Sam, he learns that the latter is the only person in the column that feels less scared as they continue. Each day Sam wakes up, still alive, he feels safer. When Jon returns to Lord Commander Mormont, the Old Bear states that if Jon's uncle, Benjen, had come this far and found nothing, he would have pressed on until he had found answers. They will do the same. Jon thinks but does not say that they can continue until they find something or until something finds them.
(The entire section is 208 words.)
Chapter 14 Summary
Arya and the others reach a river. It seems like a peaceful day until they find a dead man floating in the reeds. Yoren gathers them together and explains that they cannot cross the river so they will proceed to a holdfast and try to find boats to take across the God's Eye, a lake. However, when they get there, they find that the holdfast has been abandoned. Still, they decide to stay the night. That night, Arya wakes from a wolf dream and rouses the others. Trouble is coming. Moments later, the watchman sounds his horn and troops approach. The commander, Ser Amory Lorch, demands that they reveal themselves in the name of King Joffrey, but Yoren refuses. Arya looks closer and realizes that they do not care whether Yoren is a member of the Night's Watch. They only want to destroy whoever is in the holdfast. After a brief battle, Yoren finds Arya and tells her that they have lost. She gathers the other boys, Hot Pie, Lommy and Gendry, and leads them to a hole near the barn. She also finds an axe and tosses it into the cage holding Jaqen H'ghar, Rorge, and Biter. She hears them breaking out as she leaves the holdfast.
(The entire section is 208 words.)
Chapter 15 Summary
Tyrion listens with the small council as Cersei reads Stannis's letter. She is outraged that Stannis would name her children as the product of incest. Tyrion knows that Stannis has not lied, but he is impressed by Cersei's incensed performance. She demands that anyone who spreads the tale be punished severely. Tyrion proposes that they do nothing and let the story die off. Littlefinger, meanwhile, suggests that they spread a story that Stannis's child is actually the daughter of Patchface, the fool. It is a good idea, but it makes Tyrion realize that Littlefinger is dangerous. He leaves to meet with the city's blacksmiths and sets them to work making a giant chain, though he does not tell them its purpose. After, he goes to an expensive brothel run by Chataya, a woman from the Summer Isles. Inside, he goes to a room with the whore Alayaya and finds a secret passage. At the end of it waits Lord Varys, who is disguised. He leads Tyrion to a stable, and from there Tyrion is free to travel to Shae. The trip is indirect but it protects Shae from Cersei's informants. Tyrion tells Varys that he cannot tell whether the spymaster is his best friend or his worst enemy. Varys replies that he feels the same way about Tyrion.
(The entire section is 218 words.)
Chapter 16 Summary
Bran must do his best to be the Stark in Winterfell now that a harvest feast has been called. It is not easy and he stops in the yard to watch the swordplay. When Big Walder and Little Walder tease Hodor, Bran defends the gentle, simple-minded giant. Maester Luwin chastises the Walders for picking on the helpless. He takes Bran to the hall where they receive Lord Manderly. He is interested in marrying the Lady Hornwood, a widow with no heirs, and in building ships. Maester Luwin and Ser Rodrik promise to bring the matter before Robb. The Umbers also arrive, asking after the widow and defending their shores from raiding wildlings. When Lady Hornwood arrives, she worries over Roose Bolton's bastard, who rules in the Dreadfort. He is said to be cruel and cunning, and is accompanied by a man named Reek. The other lords send ravens announcing that they cannot attend. After receiving the lords, Bran spends time with Summer, but he dreads sleep. The crow continues to haunt him in his dreams. When Cley Cerwyn arrives with news of Stannis's letter, Bran is shocked. That night, the three-eyed crow that appears in Bran's dreams pecks through his head and Bran sees Jaime Lannister throwing him out of the tower window.
(The entire section is 213 words.)
Chapter 17 Summary
Tyrion is eating breakfast with Grand Maester Pycelle. When Pycelle's young serving girl is sent away, Tyrion instructs the old man to send a message to Prince Doran Martell, the lord of the Dorne, which is in the deep south of Westeros. Tyrion is careful not say aloud what is in the message. When Pycelle leaves, Tyrion inspects the maester's potions and takes one bottle. When he finishes, he meets Littlefinger. He suggests that Littlefinger travel to the Vale of Arryn to convince Lysa Arryn to send her bannermen to help the Lannisters fight King Renly. Littlefinger then should offer to marry Myrcella to Robert Arryn, Lysa's sickly child. Finally, Tyrion meets Varys that evening. Thanks to his informants, Varys already knows that he has met with Grand Maester Pycelle and Littlefinger. He can infer a great deal of what Tyrion might have offered Doran Martell, a man that has hated the Lannisters since Ser Gregor Clegane raped and murdered Princess Elia after killing her children during the rebellion. The most important part of the offer, since Myrcella is already promised to Lysa Arryn, must be Prince Tommen. The plan has potential, but Varys points out that Cersei could disrupt it. Tyrion replies that any man who reveals his plans would reveal himself as an enemy.
(The entire section is 216 words.)
Chapter 18 Summary
Sansa has received a note that instructs her to go to the godswood if she wants to return home. She wonders if it might be a trap to test her loyalty to Joffrey. Sansa is given new maids every two weeks so that they cannot befriend her. She knows that Varys and the queen both watch her. She requests a fire and burns the note. That night, she goes to the godswood. There she finds Ser Dontos, who claims to have had only one cup of wine for courage. Sansa is disappointed that he is the one the gods have sent until he reminds her of the stories about Florian the Fool, the greatest knight of them all. Florian saved Jonquil, Sansa recalls. Excited by the similarity, she accepts Ser Dontos and kisses him on the cheek. In her rush back to Maegor's Holdfast, she runs into Sandor Clegane, the Hound. He is drunk and explains that his grandfather saved Tytos Lannister from a lion's attack thanks to his hounds, which is why the sigil of the Cleganes is three dogs. For this, the kennelmaster was rewarded. Dogs are better than knights, Sandor explains, because they do not lie. Everyone in the castle is a liar, and all of them lie better than Sansa.
(The entire section is 214 words.)
Chapter 19 Summary
Arya and the others are struggling to survive in the middle of the war torn riverlands. Three of the men survived the attack, but one has died of his wounds and the other two decide to abandon the orphan boys and Arya shortly after. Now, she and Gendry try to lead Hot Pie and an injured Lommy, who has to be dragged in his litter. They have also saved a crying girl, though now she no longer cries. They call her "Weasel." Lommy is angry at Yoren, and he believes that they should have yielded. When they reach a village, Arya and Gendry walk closer to investigate. They split up, and Arya watches as Gendry is caught. Arya leaves to retrieve Hot Pie. They return and Arya plans for each of them to attack one of Gendry's guards. When Hot Pie sees the men, he immediately "yields." They take Hot Pie and Arya captive. When they find Lommy, he yields as well. He points out that he cannot walk so they will have to carry him. The men laugh and simply kill the orphan boy. Arya realizes that Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain that Rides, has captured her. He is looking for Lord Beric Dondarrion, who has been attacking the Lannisters.
(The entire section is 211 words.)
Chapter 20 Summary
Tyrion has dressed warmly to visit the alchemists beneath the castle. They once were a prestigious guild but now have been all but supplanted by the maesters of the Citadel. The alchemists hint at secret powers but they now only make wildfire, which they refer to as the "substance." Though Tyrion does not feel safe around so flammable a concoction, he intends to use it to defend King's Landing. When he leaves the guild, he finds Bronn, who has two messages for him. The first is from Ser Jacelyn Bywater. Ser Cleos Frey has arrived with Robb Stark's terms for peace. Though they are too much for Tyrion, he sees in them the potential to delay Robb Stark so that the Lannisters can train their second army in preparation for Renly and Stannis. The second message is a summons from Cersei. She has learned that Tyrion plans to send Myrcella to Dorne and is outraged. Tyrion convinces her that Myrcella will be safer there. Cersei is distressed and wishes that she had been born a man so that she would not have to wait on the men around her. Tyrion explains that each day that passes makes Robb Stark weaker and the Lannisters stronger. In the meantime, he knows which of the three members of the small council is Cersei's informer.
(The entire section is 221 words.)
Chapter 21 Summary
Bran welcomes everyone to the harvest feast. The last time so many had been gathered in Winterfell's hall was when his father hosted King Robert. Now, every member of his family but Rickon has gone or else has died. Bran is offered the first portion of every course in the meal, but before long he is full and he sends choice portions to others around him. To the Walders, he sends beets and turnips. The feast stops, momentarily, when Meera and Jojen Reed arrive. They are the children of Howland Reed, who was one of Eddard Stark's most dependable companions during the rebellion. Meera is armed with a spear and a net, while Jojen is dressed all in green. Even his eyes are a deep mossy green. Bran leaves the hall when the feast ends and people begin to dance. That night, he dreams the wolf dream. He is Summer in the godswood and he watches as Jojen and Meera Reed approach. Though Meera warns her brother to be careful, Jojen comes closer still to Summer, claiming that this is not the day that he will die. When Jojen Reed touches Summer, it is Bran that spins and falls inside of his dream.
(The entire section is 203 words.)
Chapter 22 Summary
Catelyn wakes from a dream in which Ned is alive, Robb is not at war, Sansa and Arya hold hands, Bran is not crippled, and Rickon is still a babe. She is tired of being strong. Now, she and an escort of men travel south to meet with King Renly Baratheon. She recalls how Robb maneuvered her into leaving by threatening to send the Greatjon Umber to Renly. And she worries what Robb will do next; he has declared that his forces will march again, though not on the Harrenhal. Renly has made camp outside a castle, and Catelyn arrives at the end of a tourney. A knight in blue defeats all comers, including Ser Loras Tyrell, the Knight of Flowers, but the crowd does not love him. Catelyn is surprised to learn that the knight is a woman, Brienne of Tarth. Brienne requests to be the last member of Renly's Kingsguard. Looking at them, Catelyn pities Renly's army, which is mostly made up of children. She calls them the knights of summer but knows that winter will come for all of them just like it came for her. She talks to Renly after the feast and he explains that his vast army is his claim to the Iron Throne. He also offers to allow Robb to call himself the King in the North so long as he pays Renly homage. Their conversation is interrupted by news that Stannis is attacking Storm's End.
(The entire section is 243 words.)
Chapter 23 Summary
Jon and the men of the Night's Watch have journeyed in the rain for six days when they arrive at Craster's keep. Though Jon had not expected a grand castle, he is still surprised by it: a long hovel with a sod roof. The Old Bear and his officers go inside to ask Craster where the wildlings have gone. He tells them that Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall, is gathering the wildlings to him. Jon is sent to find Sam, who will draw a map for them. There, he meets Gilly, one of Craster's "daughters," though his daughters grow up to become his wives. The next morning, she comes to Jon and asks to come with him. She is pregnant and is convinced that she will have a son. Craster gives his sons to the gods, she explains. Jon knows that she means the Others. When he finds Lord Commander Mormont, he tells the commander what Gilly has said. The Old Bear explains that it is not their job to save Craster's wives, though perhaps they would find the strength to end his life themselves. Now, the Night's Watch will journey to the Frostfangs, where Mance Rayder is building his host. Mormont and Jon agree that Rayder means to strike south, attacking the Wall. Mormont points out that there is no army in Winterfell to stop him should they fail.
(The entire section is 232 words.)
Chapter 24 Summary
Theon visits the shore and inspects his newly made longship. He looks around at the other longships, which have come in by the dozen. His father will strike at the north very soon. He sees a woman and decides to pursue her. She introduces herself as Esgred, the shipwright's wife and says that she is newly with child. Undaunted, Theon flirts with her and finds that she has a fast wit. He names his ship in her honor, the Sea Bitch, and he offers to take her back to his father's castle. She agrees. As they travel back to the inn where his horse, Smiler, is stabled, Esgred greets the men she sees, explaining that all of the rowers love the shipwright's wife. They gather Theon's squire, Wex, and travel back to Pyke. There, Theon learns that Esgred is actually Lady Asha, his older sister. Theon is humiliated and returns to his room. He is drunk by the time he goes to the feast, where Asha humiliates him in front of the men. His father summons his uncles and Asha to his room to share his plans for war. Theon will lead eight ships to harry the coast while Asha will take Deepwood Motte. Theon's uncle, Victarion, will lead the main attack. Though Theon has planned on becoming King of the Iron Islands, it seems that his father intends for Asha to rule in Theon's stead.
(The entire section is 236 words.)
Chapter 25 Summary
Tyrion goes to Cersei's chambers and hears someone singing inside. He enters and finds Ser Lancel, Jaime's cousin. Tyrion requests a word in private and once alone he tells Cersei that Stannis has laid siege to Storm's End, Renly's seat. In her glee, Cersei does not notice Tyrion poisoning her wine. The next day, Cersei is unable to leave her chambers and Tyrion holds court while Joffrey plays with his new crossbow. He announces his peace terms to Ser Cleos before the court. They are not generous, though he does offer to return Eddard's remains. He also proposes to send the Lannister garrison, Cersei's last remaining troops, with Ser Cleos. Among them will be four men who will try to free Jaime. Afterward, Ser Alliser Thorne presents himself and declares that the dead are rising in the far north. The court laughs, but Tyrion proposes that Alliser announce in the city, whose people are beginning to starve while the men of the Night's Watch eat regular meals. Lord Varys compliments Tyrion on how he deftly achieved his goals in court and Littlefinger is angered. Tyrion agrees to send Myrcella to Dorne, revealing that he was lying to Littlefinger about sending her to the Arryns. That night, Tyrion and Shagga lead a raid on Pycelle's quarters. Pycelle is sleeping with his serving girl when they arrive and begin to question him. He reveals all he ever did for House Lannister, including murdering Jon Arryn and even telling the Mad King to open his gates before Lord Tywin. He had hoped that Tywin would become king instead of Robert. Regardless, Tyrion has the Grand Maester sent to the black dungeons.
(The entire section is 278 words.)
Chapter 26 Summary
Arya used to tell herself that "fear cuts deeper than swords," but now when she says the phrase, she cowers. Arya and Hot Pie have been taken captive by Ser Gregor Clegane, who is searching for Beric Dondarrion. Arya thinks that they are sheep now. Each day, one of the captives is taken and tortured by the Tickler, one of Ser Gregor's men. The answers they give vary, but they die at the end of every day. At night, women are raped. Each evening, Arya says a prayer: a list of the people she wishes were dead. In addition to Ser Gregor and the Tickler, she hates Polliver, who took Needle, and Raff the Sweetling, who killed Lommy. She also hates Dunsen and Chiswyck, two of Ser Gregor's men. Additionally, she hates Ser Amory Lorch, who killed Yoren, Ser Meryn Trant, who killed Syrio Forel, and Ser Ilyn Payne, who killed her father. The Hound, King Joffrey, and Queen Cersei end the list. Ser Gregor takes his surviving captives to the Harrenhal, where they are bathed in scalding water and sorted. Arya, who had traveled as "Arry" in Yoren's company, takes the name "Weasal" now. She is sent to Weese, an understeward in the Wailing Tower. He tells his new servants that the only thing he wants to smell on them is fear of him.
(The entire section is 225 words.)
Chapter 27 Summary
Daenerys arrives in Qarth, a spectacular city in the East. The warlock Pyatt Pree tells Dany that it is the greatest city in the world, and it does seem to be the richest. The city is surrounded by three walls, each of which is heavily ornamented. There are water fountains in every square. Children stream flowers in Dany’s path as a welcome. Xaro Xhoan Daxos, the merchant, takes Dany back to his palace and gives her tiny khalasar one wing to themselves. Dany is amazed by its wealth. Before she leaves, Quaithe tells Dany to beware of the lust men will have for her dragons and Ser Jorah agrees. He wishes to protect Dany like a child and he lusts after her as a women, but he does not see her as his queen. She wishes she could love him more, but she cannot. She sends her men out to inspect the city. Ser Jorah returns with a captain who tells her that Robert Baratheon is dead and that the great houses are warring with each other now. Dany feels that this changes everything, though she knows that she cannot simply ride into the Seven Kingdoms and expect the people to rally to her cause. She tells herself that the gods have led her to Qarth, and that she will have to survive its traps and find what she is looking for if she is to conquer Westeros.
(The entire section is 239 words.)
Chapter 28 Summary
Bran watches as Meera circles Summer with her spear and net. Though he lunges at her, she manages to catch him in her snare. Everyone has left after the harvest feast except the Reeds. Ser Rodrik has left to fight the bastard of Bolton, who has forced Lady Hornwood to marry him. Here in Winterfell, Jojen claims to have greensight. Sometimes he has green dreams, and when he does, they always come true. When he dreamt of a winged wolf, he and Meera came to Winterfell. Jojen explains that when he touched Summer after the harvest feast, he felt Bran inside the wolf. Every night, Jojen thinks, Bran falls in his dreams, though the three-eyed crow that haunts Bran in his dreams tells him to “fly or die.” The Reeds have come to teach Bran to fly, but Bran does not want to hear this and Summer even attacks Jojen and Meera at one point. Bran asks Maester Luwin about Jojen’s greensight. The maester shows Bran the chain all maesters wear. It has a Varlyrian link, which means that he has studied magic. He explains that the First Men felt that the children of the forest had the ability to see through the eyes carved into the weirwoods. At one point in time, magic might have existed, but now it does not. It died with Old Valyria and there are not even dragons left. Bran tells his to Meera and she advises Bran to listen to Maester Luwin but decide for himself. She tells Bran about one of Jojen’s dreams: at supper, Bran will be served a choice cut of meat while the Walders will be served old gray meat. Yet the Walders will prefer their cut more than Bran does. That night, nothing happens at supper, and Bran convinces himself that magic does not exist and that he will never become a knight.
(The entire section is 316 words.)
Chapter 29 Summary
Tyrion is up late reading reports from Varys and accounts from Littlefinger when his squire, Podrick Payne, enters. Lancel has come with a message from Cersei. Tyrion rises, though slowly, and goes to see the young knight. Ser Lancel gives Tyrion a royal decree from Queen Regent Cersei; it calls for Grand Maester Pycelle’s release. When Lancel threatens Tyrion, Tyrion explains that he knows the role Lancel played in murdering King Robert. Lancel had given Robert strongwine so that he would fail to kill the boar. Now, Tyrion guesses aloud, Lancel is sleeping with the queen as well. He can see in Lancel's eyes that he has guessed correctly. Tyrion threatens to tell Joffrey that Lancel has killed his father and is sleeping with his mother, and Lancel breaks. Tyrion agrees to release Pycelle, but he expects Lancel’s loyalty from now on, which means that Lancel will report to Tyrion on Cersei. Tyrion now knows that he has Lancel. Afterward, Tyrion travels to Chataya’s and then through the secret passage to Shae. They sleep together and Tyrion reflects on how much he loves the power he now controls. He also loves Shae, with whom he can forget about Tysha, his first love.
(The entire section is 205 words.)
Chapter 30 Summary
Arya thinks she has become a mouse as she scrubs the floors and does other jobs for Weese. Weese is a cruel master, and it does not take long before Arya adds Weese’s name to her daily prayer of people she wants dead. Hot Pie ends up in the kitchens and Gendry is sent to the forge, where they work well and live more comfortably. The servants often gossip about the lords that ride in and out from Harrenhal now that Lord Tywin has moved in. When Lady Whent had ruled in Harrenhal for Lord Tully, she had only maintained the lower floors of the gigantic castle. Now, Lord Tywin orders that they all be restored, and the servants worry over the ghosts they will find in the haunted castle. There is word that Beric Dondarrion has been killed, again, but everyone thinks he will return again. Ser Gregor has left the Harrenhal, but Vargo Hoat and his Brave Companions, known as the Bloody Mummers to everyone else, enter the castle. Ser Amory Lorch also returns. Arya wonders how many monsters Lord Tywin commands until she notices Rorge, Biter, and Jaqen H’ghar with them. That night, Jaqen wakes Arya in her sleep and tells her that he owes her three lives as only death can pay for life and Arya took three lives from the red god when she saved them. Arya at first believes that she must look a man in the face before killing him, as her father always said to do. However, when Ser Gregor returns with his men, Weese sends her to them to ask if their clothes need repair. She listens as Chiswyck tells a story about when Ser Gregor raped an innkeeper’s daughter. After, all of the other men raped her as well. Chiswyck and the others burst out laughing. The next time she sees Jaqen, she whispers Chiswyck’s name. Three days later, the list of people Arya prays will die becomes one name shorter. She thinks of herself as the ghost of Harrenhal.
(The entire section is 344 words.)
Chapter 31 Summary
Catelyn is the first to arrive at the meeting place. Stannis Baratheon arrives next. He is accompanied by the shadowbinder Melisandre, who bears his banner, a stag within a burning heart. Catelyn does not recognize it. Stannis expresses his condolences for Catelyn’s losses, though he quickly points out that Eddard Stark was never his friend. Catelyn suggests that Robb and Stannis can be friends, but Stannis maintains that kings can only have enemies and subjects. One day, he will come for Robb. Renly arrives last with Brienne at his side. Renly and Stannis immediately begin bickering over who has the best claim. Renly argues that his army gives him the right to be king and he threatens to destroy Stannis. Stannis returns that Renly was just a year ago plotting to replace Cersei with Margaery, but now he has married her—and she is likely to stay a maid in Stannis’s bed, he taunts. Renly returns that Stannis has no male heir. Catelyn tries to make the Baratheon brothers see reason, reminding them that Cersei is laughing at them and that Joffrey is the rightful king. Stannis tells her that Joffrey was born of incest. Stannis gives Renly until dawn to pledge fealty or else he will be destroyed. Renly, who has the much, much larger army, is undaunted. He and Catelyn return to Renly’s army (he has separated the horse from his supply lines to rush to Storm’s End), and they make plans to attack the next day. Catelyn asks permission to return to Riverrun, but Renly insists that she wait to witness the power of his army. Catelyn instead asks leave to pray nearby.
(The entire section is 280 words.)
Chapter 32 Summary
Sansa worries when she sees the look on Sandor Clegane’s face. It is clear that she is in trouble, and she wonders if they have learned about her arrangement with Dontos. She does her best to make herself pretty and wears a gown that she knows Joffrey likes. She sees a dead cat, killed by a crossbow quarrel, when they reach Joffrey. Dontos, dressed as a fool astride a broom that doubles as his horse and armed with a mace with a melon on its end, quietly wishes her luck. When Sansa presents herself before Joffrey, he declares that Robb has attacked and defeated Ser Stafford’s army near Lannisport. It was a battle won by sorcery and wargs. He commands his Kingsguard to beat Sansa in front of the court, and Dontos tries to make Joffrey laugh by beating her with his melon. Joffrey does not laugh, has Dontos removed, and Sansa stripped as they beat her. No one in the court helps her until Tyrion arrives. Backed by Bronn and his clansmen, Tyrion warns Joffrey against acting so brutally before he leaves with Sansa to the Tower of the Hand. After, Tyrion informs Sansa that Robb did defeat Ser Stafford’s newly formed army, but it remains unlikely that he will defeat Lord Tywin. Although Sansa maintains that she loves Joffrey, Tyrion tells her that he intends to return her to Winterfell when the war is over. There is no reconciling the Starks and the Lannisters at this point. Sansa asks to be returned to Maegor’s Holdfast since she is afraid of staying in the tower where they killed her father. In truth, she wants to return to her old guards, who will allow her to pray in the godswood, where she meets Dontos.
(The entire section is 298 words.)
Chapter 33 Summary
Catelyn prays to the Seven. She sits first with the Mother and thinks about how Cersei is a mother as well. She looks at the Warrior and sees her husband, her son, and even Arya. She remembers her mother, who died trying to give Lord Hoster Tully a second son. In the maid, she sees Sansa. She prays to the Crone, who is often depicted with a lantern signaling her wisdom, for guidance. When her guards declare that it is time to return, Catelyn leaves the sept. She goes to Renly, who is preparing to attack. He does want to leave early as it might not be considered chivalrous. Although they are marching into the dawn, he remains confident in his numbers and hopes not to have Stannis’s body mutilated after the battle. Renly knows that Stannis will not yield, recalling how Stannis defended Storm’s End during a siege, even when it came to the point that he might have to eat dead men. When Renly’s captains leave, Catelyn tells him that she believes that Joffrey was born of incest and that her son, Bran, saw Cersei and Jaime together. Stannis is the rightful king, and they should call a council together so that all of the lords of the Seven Kingdoms can decide upon who will be the next king. Renly answers that the strongest army—his army—will win the crown. Suddenly, a shadow enters the room and it pierces Renly’s throat. He falls on Brienne and dies. Renly’s guards enter and Brienne fights her way out. She and Catelyn leave the camp. Catelyn knows that Stannis sent the shadow—she felt him in it—and she remembers Stannis’s promise to attack Robb some day. Now, Catelyn knows, the southern lords will pledge fealty to Stannis, since they have nowhere else to go.
(The entire section is 311 words.)
Chapter 34 Summary
Jon notices that Lord Commander Mormont is feeling his age. Still, the Old Bear continues to give orders and his latest is that the men of the Night's Watch will set up camp on the Fist of the First Men. It is a ring fort atop a hill, a place that everyone agrees is strong. They will fortify the hill and wait there for Qhorin Halfhand and his men from Shadow Tower. They will also wait for Mance Rayder to come down from the Frostfangs. If he truly does have a large army, he will need to follow the Milkwater River and pass the hill. Lord Commander Mormont refuses to allow Thoren to send out his rangers, arguing that he will not lose more men. That night, Jon joins the other men and listens as one ranger complains of the smell of the haunted forest. It smells "cold." Jon recalls when the dead men attacked him and wonders what is lurking at the base of the hill. Later than evening, Jon's direwolf, Ghost, finds Jon. Jon follows the direwolf outside the camp and into the forest. He digs a bundle of obsidian daggers, sometimes called "dragonglass," out of the bundle. There is also a horn full of arrowheads. Beneath it all, Jon finds a scrap of black cloak. It belonged to a man of the Night's Watch, and it was buried recently.
(The entire section is 232 words.)
Chapter 35 Summary
Bran is summoned to Maester's Luwin's turret. There, he learns that Robb has won a great victory over Ser Stafford Lannister. However, Bran agrees when the Walders declare that Tywin is the true threat. Ser Stevron Frey, Lord Frey's heir, died in the battle, but the Walders do not care. They instead discuss succession. Maester Luwin chides them, but Bran finds himself recalling Jojen's green dream. He goes to the Reeds a believer. Jojen tells Bran that he has seen salt water drowning Winterfell in one of his dreams. Bran confesses that he dreams as well. Sometimes, he is a wolf, eating squirrels. Sometimes, a three-eyed crow and a great tree ask him to open his third eye. Jojen identifies Bran as a "warg" or shapechanger, and he tells Bran that he must learn to open his third eye when he is awake. Ser Rodrik returns with Reek after killing Roose Bolton's bastard. The situation is difficult since the Bastard of Bolton appears to have married Lady Hornwood and consummated the marriage. Though such matters done under threat are not legally valid, Roose Bolton might still demand the lands as his own. Now, the Boltons and the Manderlys are fighting over the land and Ser Rodrik does not have the power to stop them. Bran tells them of his dream and Maester Luwin points out that there are raids along the shore and they will be careful. When Bran tells Jojen, the greenseer is unimpressed. Once he has a green dream, it comes true. He tells Bran that he once dreamt of Reek killing Bran and Rickon. Nothing can be done to stop it.
(The entire section is 274 words.)
Chapter 36 Summary
Tyrion sits with the small council, which consists only of himself, Cersei, Varys, and Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) now that Tyrion has removed Grand Maester Pycelle and Janos Slynt. They have received word that Renly is dead, though no one can say exactly who murdered him. Tyrion decides that Stannis must be behind Renly's death since he is the one who has gained the most from it. Most of Renly's lords have joined Stannis, though not all of them. The Tyrells, for example, have returned to Highgarden. Tyrion proposes that they wed Joffrey to Margaery Tyrell in order to forge an alliance. Cersei thinks that her son will object, but Tyrion points out that Margaery is attractive and "beddable." When Cersei states that her son does not care about such things, Tyrion wonders aloud why Joffrey had Sansa stripped naked. Cersei suggests that they send one of Tyrion's people south: Ser Jacelyn Bywater or Tyrion himself. Tyrion returns that Cersei should go. Littlefinger volunteers to go, and he asks for men, provisions, and a letter granting him the authority to make the match. They decide to let him go, though Tyrion cannot figure out what Littlefinger's scheme is. Afterward, Cersei compliments Tyrion and even kisses his brow. Tyrion is shocked, and he realizes that Cersei must be planning some scheme.
(The entire section is 219 words.)
Chapter 37 Summary
Theon has begun to raid the north. They have just finished their latest raid and the Ironmen are busy looting. Theon would like to question Benfred Tallheart, but the latter insults Theon and the Drowned God. Aeron Damphair, Theon's uncle and priest of the Drowned God, insists that they kill Tallheart for insulting them. When Tallheart continues his insults, Theon agrees to have him killed. Damphair insists on killing him in the "old way," by drowning and as a gift to the Drowned God. Theon relents, but he refuses to drown Tallheart himself. Theon finds neither the joy or exultation in these victories that he felt when he was fighting alongside Robb. Rather than dwelling on this feeling, he seeks out Dagmer Cleftjaw. Cleftjaw is an old man now, but he had once been considered the greatest warrior in the Iron Islands. He raised Theon, and so Theon calls him "uncle." Theon suggests that they leave the reaving of the coast to Damphair. Meanwhile, Dagmer will strike further into the north and lay siege, or at least give the appearance of laying siege, to Torrhen's Square. When they send to Winterfell for help, Ser Rodrik Cassel will come south. Theon, meanwhile, will strike north.
(The entire section is 204 words.)
Chapter 38 Summary
Arya is sent to and fro delivering messages from Weese to the other stewards now that Lord Tywin is preparing to leave. Weese does not realize that Arya can read, so he does not conceal his messages from her. There is nothing of value in them, unfortunately, though she does deliver one to a knight who owes Weese money. When he claims that he cannot read, Arya takes a silver goblet from him and delivers it to Weese. He promises to share a capon with her that evening. She delivers a message to the forge and Gendry informs Arya that during the fighting, she yelled "Winterfell!" Hot Pie has remembered, though Gendry told Hot Pie that Arya was yelling "go to hell!" She watches men leaving the castle and wonders whether she could sneak out amongst them until she remembers that Weese will beat her bloody if she is caught. Weese treats her like a mouse, but when word of Robb's great victory over Ser Stafford reaches the Harrenhal, Arya remembers that she is a mouse. Weese sees her transformation and slaps her. She finds Jaqen H'ghar and whispers Weese's name in his ear. That night, Arya watches as Weese eats his capon. He sees her and calls her over, but instead of giving her a bite as promised, he slaps her again. The next day, Arya watches at Tywin leaves the caste and realizes that Chiswyck and Weese do not matter. She should have whispered "Tywin." She rushes off to find Jaqen and discovers Weese, dead. His throat is slashed open and bloody, and his dog is chewing at it. Everyone knows that the dog loved Weese; they blame the incident on Harrenhal being cursed. Arya looks up to Jaqen, who holds two fingers to his throat.
(The entire section is 298 words.)
Chapter 39 Summary
Catelyn returns to Riverrun. Brienne is still with her but she is eager to return south to confront Stannis Baratheon. Catelyn convinces Brienne instead to enter her service, though she promises not to hold Brienne back when the time comes. At Riverrun, they find bodies hanging outside. They were Lannisters. Four of them were sent by Tyrion to free Jaime Lannister, and they almost succeeded. In the end, they failed and now Jaime is held in the dungeons. She also learns that Roose Bolton has married one of the Freys. Catelyn finds her brother, Edmure, who commands in Riverrun now. They have received word that Lord Tywin is marching west to battle Robb Stark in the Lannister lands. However, should they cross near Riverrun, Edmure means to bleed them. Catelyn points out that Edmure has neither the men nor the experience to battle Tywin Lannister, but her brother is determined to fight. She goes to see her father, Lord Hoster, who is near death. He mistakes Catelyn for Lysa and apologizes for making her marry Jon Arryn, though he remains opposed to the man she wishes to marry. After, Catelyn sees the silent sisters, who have returned with Ned Stark's body, though only bones remain now. Catelyn spends the night with Ned's body. It will be sent on to Winterfell.
(The entire section is 220 words.)
Chapter 40 Summary
Daenerys is leaving the Hall of a Thousand Thrones with Xaro Xhoan Daxos, but she is not happy. At the Hall, the Pureborn listened to Dany's plea for help but they nevertheless denied her, even after all of her bribes. As they travel back to Xaro's manse, he professes his love for her, though Dany sees no passion in the merchant's eyes. The litter stops in the street and Dany exits to watch a firemage at work. In the crowd, cutpurses rob the watchers while the mage walks up a ladder of fire. Quaithe tells Dany that the mage could not do such magic a year before. Now that the dragons have returned, magic has too. Dany must leave or else Qarth will force her to stay. When asked for her counsel, Quaithe declares that "to go north, you must journey south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow." Dany realizes that Quaithe is telling her to go to Asshai. When she returns to the manse, Ser Jorah arrives to give her counsel. He tells her that Xaro only asks Dany to marry him because the Qartheen have a custom in which the bride and groom can ask of each other a gift, and that request cannot be denied. Although he does not want to go to Asshai, he does believe that Dany must continue east or else she will die: she must leave Qarth or else she will not be allowed to leave. Further, if she stays and word of her dragons reaches Westeros, assassins will be sent to kill her. Dany recalls that the comet brought her to Qarth for a reason and decides that if the Pureborn will not give her an army, she must seek wisdom from the warlock Pyatt Pree.
(The entire section is 314 words.)
Chapter 41 Summary
Tyrion watches as Princess Myrcella leaves King's Landing. She will board Seaswift and make for Braavos. From there, she and Ser Arys will travel south to Dorne. In return, Prince Doran Martell will move his troops north, possibly convincing a few of Stannis's lords to stay south rather than joining his attack on King's Landing. Myrcella is a true princess, Tyrion reflects, and she does not cry. Tommen, however, does. Stannis looks at his winch towers, which will be complete in two weeks. It is better than listening to the fat High Septon's prayers, which seem unending. Finally, Tyrion and the rest of the royal family return to the Red Keep. The smallfolk are starving now, and one man throws dung at Joffrey. The young king calls for the man's head, and the crowd turns violent. Tyrion commands that everyone return to the Red Keep. There, an enraged Tyrion chastises and beats Joffrey. Ser Meryn and Ser Boros are scared to go back into the crowds in search of Sansa, but the Hound returns with her. The High Septon, it seems, was ripped to shreds, and Lady Tanda's daughter, Lollys, was gang raped. That night, Ser Jacelyn Bywater tells Tyrion that he is not sure how much longer the City Watch can hold King's Landing. There is little love for the Lannisters, who sacked King's Landing in the rebellion against Aerys. People talk openly of their admiration for Stannis, Robb Stark, and even Renly. They especially hate Tyrion, which he finds frustrating since he is the only person in the Red Keep trying to protect the city rather than his interests.
(The entire section is 271 words.)
Chapter 42 Summary
Ser Davos watches as Stannis treats with Ser Cortnay Penrose, the castellan of Storm's End. Ser Cortnay tells Stannis that he will not yield Edric Storm, Robert's bastard, to him. Instead, he challenges Stannis to single combat. Otherwise, they can lay siege to Storm's End, one of the most powerful castles in Westeros. In fact, during Robert's rebellion against Aerys, Stannis had held Storm's End for a full year, and had only survived because Davos smuggled onions in the black of night to the garrison. For his smuggling, Davos lost the ends of his fingers, and for his heroism, he was knighted and taken into Stannis's service. Most of the lords that surround Stannis used to support Renly and now look down on Ser Davos, but Stannis talks to the Onion Knight privately after the parlay. Stannis looks haggard and he informs Ser Davos that he was sleeping when Renly was killed. Melisandre is with them, and Ser Davos mistrusts her. Now, she sleeps in Stannis's tent, so Davos keeps his thoughts to himself. Davos advises Stannis to abandon Storm's End and march on King's Landing. Stannis refuses because he will not have it said that Ser Cortnay defeated him. Melisandre has seen in her fires that Storm's End will fall. He asks Ser Davos to smuggle Melisandre beneath the castle's walls that night. He does. The red priestess tells Davos that the walls are protected by magic and so they must sail beneath them. When they arrive, she gives birth to a shadow, and Davos recognizes the shape of the man who cast the shadow.
(The entire section is 266 words.)
Chapter 43 Summary
Jon wakes to the sound of a horn. The men wait for a second blast, signaling the attack of raiders. However, it is just the one blast, which means that riders are approaching. Quorin Halfhand has arrived, finally. Jon goes to see Lord Commander Mormont, who demands to see Quorin at once. Along the way, Jon overhears Chett and Lark the Sisterman complaining and speaking about mutiny. Jon decides they are merely afraid of the wild and continues. The Halfhand is a large man. He lost two fingers from his sword hand in battle and used the splattering blood to blind his enemy before slaying him. Quorin recognizes Jon as Ned Stark's son when he arrives and asks after Ghost, Jon's direwolf. Jon takes Quorin to the Old Bear, who asks why the men of Shadow Tower are late. They ran into Alfyn Crowkiller, one of the fiercest wildling warriors. He is dead now, and his men defeated. They questioned one of the wildlings, who claimed that Mance Rayder has wargs and mammoths in his army. Quorin informs the Lord Commander that Mance Rayder is gathering his host in the Frostfangs for a reason: he is seeking some power with which he will break the Wall. They decide to send out three parties of five to discover the truth of the matter. The Lord Commander will remain with the rest of the Night's Watch to stop or delay the wildlings should they strike south. When the Lord Commander agrees, he tells Quorin to choose his men. His first choice is Jon Snow, a descendent of the First Men.
(The entire section is 268 words.)
Chapter 44 Summary
Tyrion listens as Lancel reports on Cersei's latest scheme. She is sending Tommen out of the city, disguised as a page to stay in Lord Gyles Rosby's castle. Tyrion dismisses Lancel and summons Bronn. He gives the sellsword a letter ordering Ser Jacelyn Bywater to capture Tommen's party but to continue on to the castle, take over the garrison, and keep the lands as Lord Bywater. After, Tyrion travels to Shae, where he finds a singer named Symon Silvertongue. Tyrion sleeps with Shae. After, Varys arrives with news that Stannis has taken Storm's End. Ser Cortnay Penrose is dead. When Varys leaves to prepare their horses, Tyrion tells Shae that he will try to sneak her into the Red Keep to keep her safe. She would prefer to enter the castle as Tyrion's bedwarmer, but Tyrion cannot do that. He tells her about how he married a girl named Tysha, who turned out to be a whore his brother had bought for him. After, his father had given Tysha to his garrison. Tyrion does not tell her that he had her last. He leaves with Varys, who suggests that Shae become a servant for Lollys. They discuss Penrose's death. Varys suggests that it may have been magic and he tells of how he became a eunuch. When young, Varys was a mummer in a traveling troop. A man bought Varys, took him home, and cut him "root and stem." He threw Varys's manhood into a blue fire and spoke with a voice that came from within it. After, Varys became a thief and learned that secrets are sometimes worth more than the gold men carry. Tyrion does not believe him but laughs when he realizes that he, the dwarf everyone hates, is all that stands between King's Landing and Stannis's army.
(The entire section is 301 words.)
Chapter 45 Summary
Catelyn watches as her brother Edmure rides off to battle. She is full of doubts about him and about her life. She has always done her duty, and now she wonders what it has brought her. She married Ned at her father's request and he left her, rode to war, and brought home a bastard. It is curious, thinks Catelyn, how men fight for bastards. Ned had fought for Jon, Ser Cortnay fought for Edric Storm, and yet, Roose Bolton claimed not to care about the death of his bastard son, Ramsay. In his latest letters, Roose remained determined to take the Harrenhal for King Robb. When word arrives that Ser Cortnay Penrose is dead, Catelyn has word sent to her son, who is still in the field. Lord Tywin begins probing the river around Riverrun to find a weakness. Edmure's forces defy his every attack. Catelyn summons Ser Cleos Frey and asks about the Lannisters' peace terms. They will trade her daughters for Jaime Lannister. She is not surprised to learn that Tyrion rules in King's Landing, but she concludes that he cannot be trusted. The battles outside Riverrun continue until word arrives that Lord Tywin has turned southeast. They have won every battle, and yet Catelyn is full of fear.
(The entire section is 212 words.)
Chapter 46 Summary
Bran is Summer in the wolf dream. He senses men scaling the walls of Winterfell. Summer tries to climb a tree to escape the godswood, but he falls and hurts his shoulder. When Bran wakes, his shoulder hurts, but he dismisses the pain as he realizes Jojen's green dream about the sea drowning Winterfell has arrived. Bran summons his guards and then remembers that all of them have left with Ser Rodrik to defeat Dagmer Cleftjaw. The Ironman might be old, but even Nan agrees that he is a mighty warrior. An Ironman enters, followed by Theon. Bran is relieved and asks after Robb, alongside whom Theon had fought, until Theon tells Bran that he will have to yield Winterfell to him. Maester Luwin, shaken by what has happened and ashamed that he did not realize the danger they were in, arrives to dress Brann. They go to the hall together. There, Bran tells the smallfolk that they should obey Theon. Mikken, the blacksmith, refuses, and he is summarily killed. Hodor starts saying "Hodor" and Theon has his men beat Hodor. Over the sound of the beating, Theon tells everyone that should they serve him well, they will find him a gentle master. Reek introduces himself and pledges fealty to Theon, as does Osha.
(The entire section is 214 words.)
Chapter 47 Summary
Arya has more freedom now that Lord Tywin has left the castle and that Weese is dead. There are fewer guards and the ones that remain often do not know what to do. Weese's successor, meanwhile, is a drunkard that sleeps through every night. Arya goes out at night to see Hot Pie in the kitchen. She practices her swordplay and balance in treetops. She goes to see Gendry, who, like Hot Pie, feels no urge to escape the Harrenhal. He hopes to become a master smith. The northern prisoners that Vargo Hoat brings to the castle might hope to escape, but Ser Amory Lorch, the castellan left in charge of the Harrenhal, puts them in the dungeon. Arya finds Jaqen and tricks him into helping her free the northerners. They take hot soup to the dungeons, which they throw on the guards before killing them. When Robett Glover is freed, he is surprised that he does not recognize them from the Brave Companions that met with Roose Bolton before he was brought into the castle. Having helped her to free the northerners, Jaqen calls his debt to Arya paid. Then, he declares that it is time for Jaqen to die. He passes a hand over his face and it changes. Where Jaqen had red hair and white, this new man has black curls. He also now has a hook nose and a scar on his cheek. Arya says she wishes she could change like he does. Jaqen tells her that if she would learn, she must come with him to Braavos. Arya, however, means to return to Winterfell. He gives her a coin and tells her to remember the phrase "valar morghulis" and then leaves. After, when people ask what the guards died of, they say "hot weasal soup." When Roose Bolton arrives, Harrenhal's fool presents Arya. Arya introduces herself as Nymeria, Nan for short, and he makes her his cupbearer. Ser Amory Lorch, meanwhile, is dropped naked into a bear pit. Arya notices that the bear is all in black like Yoren had been.
(The entire section is 346 words.)
Chapter 48 Summary
Daenerys is surprised to see that the House of the Undying is an old ruin without windows. Although Ser Jorah and her bloodriders tell her not to enter, Dany remembers that Mirri Maz Duur had knowledge. Pyatt Pree tells Dany to always enter the first door on the right and to always climb stairs. Dany drinks a flute of shade of the evening and enters the House of the Undying with Drogon on her shoulder. Inside, she veers right again and again. She sees visions, including a man with the head of a wolf eating at a feast of corpses. She then sees a man who names his son Aegon for a king. When his wife asks whether he will write a song for the child, he replies that the child has a song of "ice and fire." He also says that another is still needed since the dragon has three heads. Dany proceeds and meets the undying, who look beautiful, but when she enters the next room, the undying appear dead. In the center of a room is a heart full of corruption. The undying tell Dany that she must light three fires: "one for life and one for death and one for love." She must ride three mounts: "one to bed and one to dread and one to love." She will know three treasons: "once for blood and once for gold and once for love." Then the undying attack Dany until Drogon eats the heart and breathes fire on the Undying. She leaves the room and when she leaves the House of the Undying, it is burning. Pyatt Pree dances toward her with a knife, but Drogon and Dany's bloodriders attack him instead.
(The entire section is 285 words.)
Chapter 49 Summary
Tyrion prepares for Stannis's attack on King's Landing. He sends the last of his clansmen out of the city to harass Stannis's lines. Now he only has the City Watch and Bronn's sellswords. He tells Bronn that the sellswords might earn a knighthood if they acquit themselves well. The men will kill for a knighthood, but Bronn warns that they will not die for it. The City Watch is just as unreliable; if the battle goes badly, they will break. As Tyrion disperses his strength, Cersei gathers more to her. She has appointed two men to the Kingsguard: Ser Balon Swann and Ser Osmund Kettleblack. Tyrion approves of Swann, the son of an old house, but Kettleblack is a only a step removed from a hedge knight. Still, they can hardly do worse than Ser Boros Blount, who has been stripped of his whitecloak and now resides in the dungeons after losing control of Prince Tommen (to Tyrion's men) without a fight. Fortunately, Tyrion has already been paying the Kettleblacks to report on his sister. He also placed the new High Septon, who Tyrion commands to warn the smallfolk of the danger Stannis poses to their gods. The pyromancers have progressed in their production of wildfire, and they explain that the spells they use to make the substance seem to work better than they used to. Hallyne speculates that if dragons have been born into the world again, it would explain why magic seems to be returning. Tyrion has no time for magic and turns his attention to his correspondence. Balon Greyjoy, who styles himself King of the Isles and the North, proposes that Joffrey send envoys to treat with him. Varys, meanwhile, reports that many of the wealthy men in the city have formed a group known as the "Antler Men," and they plan to open the city's gates for Stannis. Tyrion has arranged for Shae to be brought into the castle as a handmaid, but she is not happy to abandon her jewels and silks in order to become a servant girl.
(The entire section is 344 words.)
Chapter 50 Summary
Theon wakes in the middle of the night. Kyra lies naked beside him and Wex sleeps at the foot of the bed. Theon wonders why he feels unsettled and realizes that he can no longer hear the direwolves howling. He goes to his men and commands them to search Winterfell. They find two dead men. When the northerners are summoned, Theon recalls all he did with them while he lived in Winterfell and he wonders why they hate him so much now. After all, he punished the men that raped their women and he only murdered the septon as a sacrifice to the Drowned God. Now, he sees that Bran, Rickon, the direwolves, and the Reeds are missing, as are Osha and Hodor. Theon worries over what will happen if Asha arrives with more men and discovers that he has lost the Starks. Reek suggests that Theon flay the northerners to see if they have any information. The Boltons used to do exactly this, even to their enemies, the Starks, until the Dreadfort bent the knee to Winterfell. Theon assembles a party to search for the escapees at first light, but although they track the party to a stream, they cannot tell where the Starks went afterward. Theon spends the day searching and finds nothing. Reek suggests that they are hiding in an old mill. Theon does not understand until Reek shows Theon a bag with Stark clothes and a wolf brooch inside. Theon understands what pale-eyed Reek intends, sends his men back to Winterfell, and proceeds to the mill.
(The entire section is 260 words.)
Chapter 51 Summary
Jon and the others in Quorin's party spot a watchfire half a mile ahead and two thousand feet up. They know that the wildlings have posted a guard in the mountain. If the wildlings waiting by the fire blow their horn, Quorin's party will not long survive the warriors that come into the Skirling Pass to find them. Stonesnake, the best climber, first volunteers to climb to the watchers, and Jon joins him. They climb the mountain, carefully, until they are above the watchers. There are three of them, but Jon and Stonesnake defeat the first two wildlings. Jon has his knife at the throat of the third wildling when he discovers that the watcher is a woman. He asks her to yield to him and learns her name: Ygritte. As they return to Quorin, Ygritte tells Jon the story of Bael the Bard, a King Beyond the Wall that once journeyed south to Winterfell and slept with the Lord Stark's daughter. She bore his son and grew up to become the next Stark in Winterfell. When Bael led the free folk south, he could not fight his son and was slain. The Stark was cursed as a kinslayer, and his mother threw herself out of a tower for grief. Later, one of his lords even skinned him and wore the Stark's skin as a cloak. Jon refuses to believe the story. When they return to Quorin, he orders Jon to do what needs to be done to Ygritte, and he leaves Jon to do it alone. Instead of killing her, Jon sends Ygritte away.
(The entire section is 265 words.)
Chapter 52 Summary
Sansa is still haunted by the day Princess Myrcella left King's Landing and she was attacked by the mob. In the godswood, she now encourages Ser Dontos to take her away while everyone is focused on Stannis. Though Stannis is not yet at the gates of King's Landing, his vanguard has arrived. Stannis and his army, meanwhile, are setting fire to the woods around King's Landing in order to destroy Tyrion's clansmen. Ser Dontos tells Sansa that although the Red Keep is less well defended, the city remains locked up tight. There are no ships on which they can even leave. Ser Dontos is full of news because no one guards their words around a fool. He also reports to Varys in exchange for gold. Sansa encounters the Hound, Sandor Clegane, on her way home. He explains to her that there are no gods and that strength rules the world. Sansa flees, horrified by the thought that all of the songs might be false. The next morning, she wakes and discovers her bedsheets red with her menstrual blood. She tries to burn the sheets, but fails. When she next sees Cersei, the queen tells her that Sansa will never love Joffrey but she will love his children. The queen thinks Sansa stupid for even believing in love. She explains that love is a poison that will kill her.
(The entire section is 228 words.)
Chapter 53 Summary
Jon and the others do not march during the day, hoping that they will go unnoticed if they march in the shadows. Quorin commands the men to sleep, but he talks to Jon. Jon tells Quorin about Ygritte and her tale of Bael the Bard. Quorin knows the tale from Mance Rayder, who used to sing it when he was still a brother of the Night's Watch. Jon wonders why Rayder left. Quorin explains that Mance was a wildling child, though he was raised by the Watch. He would have been their best ranger except that he never learned to obey others. The wildlings are as courageous and as clever as anyone else, Quorin tells Jon, but they lack discipline. Jon admits that he also struggles with orders and tells Quorin that he let Ygritte go, which does not surprise him. The Halfhand explains that he needs to know the men he commands. Stonesnake is a climber, Squire Dalbridge may be the best bowman in the Watch, Ebben can make men give up their secrets, and now Quorin knows more about Jon than he did before. That night, Jon has a wolfdream. In it, he talks to Bran, whose face is shown in a three-eyed weirwood. After, he sees the wildling army with Ghost's eyes. It is huge, but it is more a village than an army. He sees giants riding mammoths. The dream ends when an eagle strikes from above, slashing at Ghost's neck. Quorin commands Jon to tell him of the dream. When they find Ghost with his neck slashed, Quorin commands the party to turn around. They leave Squire Dalbridge behind to defend the pass when they return to the place that Jon met Ygritte. Jon realizes that they have left him to die. Jon hears Squire Dalbridge blow his horn in warning, and Quorin announces that the wildlings are coming for them.
(The entire section is 316 words.)
Chapter 54 Summary
Tyrion is on his way to meet Cersei for supper in her quarters when he meets Lord Varys, who arrives with the news that Brandon and Rickon Stark are dead. Tyrion offers to deliver the news to Cersei, who is not overly concerned until Tyrion tells her that it puts Jaime, who is held by Lady Catelyn Stark, at risk.
Everyone that Cersei cares about is at risk, however. Tyrion has sent her daughter, Myrcella, to Dorne. When Cersei tried to remove her youngest son, Tommen, from King's Landing, Tyrion intercepted the party and now his man, Ser Jacelyn Bywater, holds the young prince.
Now, Varys has told her that Tyrion means to separate Joffrey from Sandor Clegane. The Hound is to lead sorties in defense of the city when Stannis attacks. Joffrey is also to fight, although in less dangerous battles. Cersei, however, believes that Tyrion means to kill Joffrey so that he can rule through the more tractable Tommen. To stop him, she has captured Tyrion's whore and means to hold her as a hostage against Tyrion's good behavior.
Tyrion worries that she has found Shae, but it turns out that Cersei has found Alayaya, from whose quarters Tyrion leaves to visit Shae. Tyrion pretends to be cowed, and he warns her that "a day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you'll know the debt is paid."
He returns to his chambers, where he finds Shae waiting for him. She tells him that Varys brought her to the Tower of the Hand by way of a secret passage. Tyrion tries to find it but fails. After, he tries to make love to Shae but cannot.
(The entire section is 292 words.)
Chapter 55 Summary
Catelyn thinks that she has become a sour woman as she sits eating supper with Brienne. Though the food is good, Catelyn does not care. Everyone in Riverrun but Catelyn celebrates Edmund's great victory over Tywin Lannister. Catelyn instead mourns after receiving news that her sons, Bran and Rickon, have been murdered by Theon Greyjoy. She remembers that she left Winterfell before Bran had woken from his sleep; she had believed the boys would be safe, like Robb, so long as their direwolves were with them. Her girls, she reflects, have lost their direwolves. Arya must be dead too, she thinks. She wishes aloud that Theon Greyjoy and the Lannisters were dead. Catelyn tells Brienne that she has sent Jaime Lannister wine and asks to find her at midnight. Until then, Catelyn spends the time with her ailing father, Lord Hoster. At midnight, she goes to see Jaime Lannister and they trade secrets. He tells her how King Aerys burned men alive and that he does not regret betraying his oath as a member of the Kingsguard. He then tells Catelyn that he threw Bran out of a window, but did not send anyone to kill the boy. Finally, he admits that he always loved Cersei and that he never slept with any woman but his sister. So, Jaime reflects, he was more faithful to his sister than Ned was to Catelyn. Catelyn steps back and summons Brienne, telling her to bring her sword.
(The entire section is 244 words.)
Chapter 56 Summary
Theon is having a nightmare in which he cries for mercy as direwolves chase him through the snow. He wakes, reaching for his dagger, and sees Reek and Wex standing over him. Theon's sister, Asha Greyjoy, has finally arrived. As Theon prepares to see her and her men, who wait in the Great Hall, he thinks about his dreams. They have been cold and horrible and they continuously return to the corpses he dressed at the mill. He remembers to don his poorly made crown (Mikken's replacement is not a very talented blacksmith, unfortunately) before he leaves. He reflects on the killings that have happened and how he executed Farlen, "as likely a suspect as any," in order to give the appearance of solving the situation. The killings have fortunately stopped. He arrives and discovers that Asha has only brought twenty men to help Theon hold Winterfell. She mocks him and his achievements and leaves him ten men to hold Winterfell against the enmity of the northmen. When she leaves, Reek proposes that Theon send him with money to hire men. If Reek returns with two hundred, Theon will let him have Palla, a woman Theon has already "had." Theon continues to sleep poorly. When he goes outside again, he looks at the two heads that sit, tarred on pikes, on the walls of Winterfell and wonders again at how easily people believed that they were Bran and Rickon.
(The entire section is 239 words.)
Chapter 57 Summary
Sansa listens as the people sing their prayers in the septs. Stannis's ships have been spotted on the horizon and King's Landing prepares for war. The women pray to the Mother and the men on the walls to the Warrior. Sansa recalls how the septons taught her that the seven are merely aspects of one god, but now she wonders whose prayers the one god hears. She goes to the yard, where the men are preparing for battle. The highborn women have gone to the Queen's Ballroom in Maegor's Holdfast, but Joffrey has summoned Sansa. He demands that she kiss his new sword, Hearteater and she complies. He tells her that she will kiss it again when he returns; it will be red with his uncle's blood. Sansa thinks him more a child than ever. When she passes the sept, she hears the people praying for Joffrey and she prays for his defeat. When she arrives in the Queen's Ballroom, she espies Osfryd Kettleblack, a member of the Queen's newly formed red cloak guard. Ser Ilyn Payne, the executioner, is also present. Queen Cersei arrives, dressed all in white. She explains to Sansa that Ser Ilyn is a knight and he is there to keep the sellswords that make up her red cloak guard loyal. She goes on to mock Sansa's innocence. Sansa has no idea what happens when a city is sacked, and Cersei, mocking, tells Sansa to wait for Symeon Star-Eyes and other heroes from the songs to come to her rescue.
(The entire section is 254 words.)
Chapter 58 Summary
Davos sails into Blackwater Bay aboard Black Betha. His two oldest sons command in their ships, the Wraith and Lady Marya, alongside him. When he commands the oarsmen to man their oars, it is Davos's son, Matthos, who relays the commands. Stannis, meanwhile, is with his army, so Ser Imry Florent leads the fleet aboard the Fury. Davos worries that he and his sons are on the starboard wing of the fleet, which Davos well knows is a dangerous place for them. Imry has ordered his ships to sail headlong into the Blackwater, though Davos does not approve of the decision. He would send ships to probe the bay in search of traps. Because Stannis has four times as many ships as Joffrey, Imry finds it easy to dismiss Davos's concerns. He recalls how the fleet had overtaken and captured fishing skiffs two days before. When questioned, the fishermen admitted that Tyrion Lannister was constructing some sort of boom that would close the Blackwater against Stannis's ships. None of the fishermen knew whether construction finished, but Davos finds himself hoping that the boom is complete. There is a tingling in his missing fingers. When the attack begins, he sees two towers and between them a chain boom, curiously, still beneath the water. The attack begins in the water and Davos can see the fighting outside King's Landing as well. Davos leads his men as they overtake a ship. Victorious, he spots a ship with a green substance—wildfire—leaking from its hull. Behind him, the chain boom has been raised. The wildfire is lit and the Blackwater turns into the "mouth of hell."
(The entire section is 273 words.)
Chapter 59 Summary
Tyrion watches the battle for King's Landing from atop the walls of the city, where he sits still as a gargoyle. Joffrey's fleet is lost to the wildfire, but so is Stannis's fleet. The Blackwater itself seems afire. Tyrion sends commands to Ser Jacelyn Bywater by messenger until Joffrey arrives, pouting at the loss of his fleet. He wants to command the "Whores," trebuchets. Joffrey has rounded up the trecherous Antler Men and intends to launch them over the city walls so that they can welcome Stannis. Tyrion sends the king away to his fun, though he commands Osney to make sure that Joffrey stays there, out of the way and safe. When word arrives that Stannis's men are attacking the King's Gate with a ram, Tyrion, his squire, Pod, and Ser Mandon Moore of the Kingsguard go. There, they find the men assigned to the gate. Tyrion commands them to go out and disperse the men. However, the Hound, who commands the King's Gate, refuses to go out. Tyrion realizes that the Hound is afraid of the fire. Although Ser Mandon is a talented swordsman, he recalls Jaime's assessment of the man: dangerous, yes, but not a man others will follow. Tyrion realizes that he will have to lead the sortie. He rallies the men, yelling that they need to defend their city against Stannis.
(The entire section is 226 words.)
Chapter 60 Summary
Sansa notices that although the torches shine against the walls, there is darkness in the faces of everyone around her. Cersei has been drinking wine, but it seems to make her even more beautiful. Her eyes are bright green, like wildfire, Sansa thinks. Cersei sees women crying and recalls how her mother once taught her that tears are a woman's weapon. She tells Sansa that they have another weapon between their legs, though it will not work on Stannis. Growing up, Cersei and Jaime had done everything together until the day they gave him a sword. Then, Jaime began to be groomed for power and glory while she was raised to smile and be sold to a stranger who would ride her at his whim until he traded her in. Cersei wishes that she could fight. She only hosts the supper for the women so that they will go to their husbands afterward and tell of how Cersei was so brave for them. If Sansa means to be queen, she will have to learn these things. The Kettleblacks come to the Queen's Ballroom to report on the battle. Tyrion is leading men outside the King's Gate. When Cersei hears that Tyrion is leading men into battle, she knows that things must be going badly. She tells Sansa that after the battle, men will want flesh rather than gold. Women will be raped, even if they are "gently born." She informs Sansa that she is well aware that Sansa has been praying for Joffrey's defeat in the godswood, but those prayers might change if Sansa had realized the real reason for Ser Ilyn's presence: he is to kill them both if the battle goes badly.
(The entire section is 284 words.)
Chapter 61 Summary
Tyrion leads the men to defend the King's Gate. They finish Stannis's men and when Tyrion sees fighting in the distance, he commands his men to follow him. The men ride after him shouting "Halfman!" When they arrive, they join Ser Balon Swann and his men. Tyrion realizes that he has battle fever. When Tyrion and Ser Balon have defeated the attackers, they eye Stannis's men crossing the Blackwater by marching over the decks of the jammed ships. Tyrion, Ser Balon, Ser Mandon, Podrick, and what remains of their men ride to fight. Soon, Tyrion finds himself fighting with the two men of the Kingsguard. When he loses his horse, the world turns to madness. He finds himself on a boat, spinning over the position of the armies. It looks wrong, but Tyrion has no time to consider what he is seeing. He looks down and realizes that he is sailing away from shore. At one point, Ser Mandon Moore offers Tyrion his hand. Tyrion leaps for it until he realizes that Ser Mandon is extending his left hand. He is not even sure if he sees Ser Mandon's sword, but it does not kill Tyrion. It does, however, cut his face. Ser Mandon stands over Tyrion, prepared to kill him. However, Ser Mandon suddenly falls to one side. Tyrion's squire, Podrick Payne, has saved him.
(The entire section is 226 words.)
Chapter 62 Summary
Sansa is dismayed when both Ser Lancel and Osney Kettleblack report that the battle is over. Stannis's men are at the gates of the city. Lancel can barely contain his fury as he tells Cersei that her commands to remove King Joffrey from the gates caused the men to break. Now, Joffrey commands a group of archers and Cersei commands them to bring him to her in Maegor's Holdfast. Lancel grows even angrier and points out that Joffrey will die if they lose the city. It would be better for him to remain visible so that they men will continue to fight. Cersei commands Osney to bring Joffrey; then she pushes past Lancel and leaves. Sansa helps the disillusioned Lancel up, even though he is a Lannister. When the women demand to know what is going on, Sansa does her best to comfort them. Dontos tells her to go to her bedchamber until the fighting is over. Along the way, she sees the Hound, who is drunk and furious. He tells her that his time in King's Landing is over now and he wishes that he had killed Tyrion a long time ago. He holds a blade to Sansa's throat and commands her to sing for him. She sings a hymn and when she finishes, the Hound has tears on his cheeks. She returns to her bedchamber and looks out at the ruin of war. Dontos enters the chamber and tells her that against all odds, Stannis has been defeated. It is said that a force led by Renly himself attacked Stannis from behind. The host was led by Tywin Lannister, Mace Tyrell, and Randyll Tarly, but when men saw Renly, many knelt before him as they abandoned Stannis.
(The entire section is 289 words.)
Chapter 63 Summary
Daenerys decides to dress for the day as the Dothraki do, and she now wears a bell in her hair to signal her victory over the warlocks. Qarth has turned against Dany now that they realize how dangerous her dragons are. Xaro Xhoan Daxos is increasingly hostile to Dany now that she has told him she will not marry him. He has ordered her to return his gifts and to leave Qarth, warning also that the warlocks, whose magic seems to grow stronger every day, are planning to kill her. Dany does not know where to go. She reflects on the visions she saw in the House of the Undying and wonders about the meaning of the three-headed dragon. The sigil of the Targaryens is a three-headed dragon, which represents Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys. Regardless of where she goes, Dany must leave and she goes to the docks in search of a ship. They find none. Instead, Ser Jorah notices two men that are following her: a fat brown man and a taller white haired man carrying a staff. In the market along the docks, a man offers Dany a ornate box. He is a sorrowful man and apologizes when she opens it and unleashes the manticore within. The white-haired man kills the manticore with his staff and introduces himself and his companion, the pit fighter Strong Belwas. He is called Arstan, though Belwas calls him Whitebeard. Magister Illyrio has sent them to bring her back to Pentos and they have brought three ships with them. Dany commands them to rename the ships after Aegon the Conqueror's three dragons: Vhagar, Meraxes, and Balerion.
(The entire section is 278 words.)
Chapter 64 Summary
Arya walks past the tarred heads of the Lannister supporters as she carries out her duties for Roose Bolton. The women that slept with the Lannister men now are kept naked in the stocks, free for any man to use. Goodwife Amabel sees Arya and tells her that Arya will be put in the stocks when Tywin Lannister takes the castle back. Everyone looks at Arya differently now, though Roose Bolton hardly sees her at all when she serves him wine or removes leeches from his body. She only knows that it is best to keep him waiting. The Freys with Lord Bolton worry over what to do next. The Harrenhal is too big to hold without supplies, and there are none to be had. Robb Stark may have won every battle, but he has lost Winterfell and his brothers are dead. If Tywin Lannister attacks, they will be defeated. Roose Bolton assures them that they have a great deal of time before the Lannisters and the Tyrells move north from King's Landing. One evening, Arya dares to ask Lord Bolton whether he will take her with him when he leaves. He will leave her and the castle behind for Vargo Hoat. Arya goes to the godswood, wondering whether she will be Nan the cupbearer for the rest of her life. She hears her father's voice telling her she is a Stark of Winterfell. She resolves to leave; she finds Gendry and Hot Pie, and tells them to come with her—and to bring supplies. She goes to the gate, where she murders the guard. She looks at the blood on her hands and thinks that the rain will wash it away.
(The entire section is 282 words.)
Chapter 65 Summary
Sansa looks at the victorious court. Lord Tywin Lannister enters the throne room astride a magnificent horse. Everyone pretends not to notice when it defecates. King Joffrey names his grandfather the Hand of the King and the Savior of the City. Next enter the Tyrells, Mace and his two sons, Garlan and Ser Loras. Mace is named to the small council, Loras is named the Kingsguard, and Garlan asks Joffrey to marry his sister, Margaery. Though she was married to Renly, the marriage was never consummated due to the war. Joffrey expresses reluctance to break his vow to marry Sansa, but the small council and the High Septon all agree that he can marry her. Sansa knows that it is all a show, and Cersei has warned Sansa not to look pleased. Lord Petyr Baelish is declared the Lord Paramount of the Riverlands and is given the Harrenhal. Sansa does not understand his happiness since both are empty honors until the Lannisters take back the Riverlands. Ser Lancel, meanwhile, is declared the Lord of Darry, though he, like Tyrion Lannister, is too injured to attend court. Men are given lands and knighted afterward. Next come the traitors, and when one man declares Joffrey an abomination born of incest, Joffrey orders the man killed on the spot. Joffrey slams his hand in the throne, which, being made of swords, cuts Joffrey deeply. Joffrey leaves the room, Stannis's supporter is impaled, and Lord Tywin takes over. Sansa is thrilled until she next goes to the godswood. Dontos warns her that she is too valuable a hostage to be let go. He plans to remove her from King's Landing on the night of the wedding and gives her a hairnet of amethysts.
(The entire section is 289 words.)
Chapter 66 Summary
Theon does not like Maester Luwin's cousel. The maester advises Theon to yield Winterfell to Ser Rodrik, who has returned with two thousand men. Theon has just seventeen men left, but he also has a plan. When he goes to treat with Ser Rodrik, he has his men present Rodrik's daughter, Beth, at the walls. She is not only Rodrik's last child but also the only remaining member of his house besides himself. Theon tells Rodrik that the girl will hang unless Rodrik leaves by sundown. He returns to the castle and waits, knowing that he will have to kill the girl if they do not leave. And if he does hang the girl, Rodrik will attack. Maester Luwin approaches again, this time advising Theon to join the Night's Watch. Theon considers it until word comes that Rodrik is being attacked by an army bearing the Boltons' banners. Theon goes below and finds Reek, or, rather, the man he thought was Reek. Reek reveals that he is actually Ramsay, Roose Bolton's bastard son. When Rodrik's men came to kill him for marrying Lady Hornwood by force, he put on Reek's clothes to escape certain death. Theon does not realize that Ramsay has gained control until the latter backhands Theon. When Theon looks up, he witnesses the death of Maester Luwin and hears Ramsay telling his men to burn Winterfell to the ground. Only the Freys will be spared, he commands.
(The entire section is 240 words.)
Chapter 67 Summary
Tyrion lies in bed, seriously wounded and dreaming. He sees all of the people that died at his order. He remembers Tysha, the first woman he ever loved. He married her and was later told that Jaime hired her for him. He dreams that he sees his father and Cersei standing over him, though Tyrion dismisses this as a dream because Lord Tywin must still be in the field. When Tyrion next wakes up, there is a plaster on his face and he struggles to breathe. A maester comes, asks if he is thirsty, and when Tyrion nods, the maester feeds him milk of the poppy. Tyrion dreams again. When he next wakes, he grabs the chain around the maester's throat and twists it. The cowed maester removes Tyrion's plaster and brings him a mirror. Tyrion looks at his face in the mirror. A scar crosses his face, and his nose is all but gone. The maester informs Tyrion that Lord Tywin has returned, and that he has taken Tyrion's chambers in the Tower of the Hand. Tyrion has the maester bring Podrick Payne. When Tyrion's squire arrives, Tyrion tells him to forget about killing Ser Mandon Moore. Now, Pod must go and get Tyrion dreamwine—and Bronn.
(The entire section is 208 words.)
Chapter 68 Summary
Jon follows Quorin Halfhand back through the pass toward Lord Commander Mormont. The wildlings are on their trail. An eagle watches over them constantly and the men know that the skinchanger within it is spying on them for the wildlings. They know that Squire Dalbridge has been killed. Ebben is now sent to carry a message to Lord Mormont. Later, Stonesnake is told to climb over the mountain in the hope of returning to the rest of the Night's Watch. Only Jon and Quorin are left; Quorin asks Jon whether his blade is sharp and tells him to yield to the wildlings if they are captured. They build a bright fire and then double back. They leave the trail, pass beneath a waterfall, and hide in a cave. Quorin explains that if the wildlings do not find them, they will navigate a path beneath the mountain. However, the wildlings do find them. Quorin reminds Jon of his orders and the latter yields. The wildling commander, Rattleshirt, commands Jon to prove his loyalty by killing Quorin. Quorin attacks Jon, but Jon and Ghost defeat the Halfhand. Even still, Rattleshirt would prefer to kill Jon. Ygritte reveals herself and defends Jon. Jon's goal now is to return to Mance Rayder with the wildlings to learn what Mance Rayder is planning.
(The entire section is 218 words.)
Chapter 69 Summary
Bran is in the wolf dream, and he watches as ashes fall like snow. He smells men and fire. The direwolves prowl through the night until the men leave. Then, they approach. Crows eat the dead. When Bran wakes, he closes his third eye and opens the "blind two." He hears Hodor saying "Hodor" to himself. Bran explains to Meera, Jojen, Osha, Hodor, and Rickon that Winterfell is burning and the people within are dead. They decide to leave the crypts beneath Winterfell to see what has happened. They arm themselves using swords from the crypts. At first, they assume that Theon set fire to the castle, until they see the dead Ironmen. When the direwolves howl from the godswood, the party finds Maester Luwin, who tells them that he knew Theon had not killed Bran because the corpse he brought back from his search did not have Bran's legs. Bran explains that they doubled back and hid in the crypts the entire time. Luwin tells Osha to separate the princes to protect them. There are few places of safety left, but he suggests they go to White Harbor or to the Umbers. He comments on the folly of fighting when winter is coming and asks Osha to do him one last boon. Meera and Jojen take the boys away and Osha joins them soon after. Osha offers to take Rickon, while the Reeds, Hodor, and Bran will go elsewhere. When Bran asks where they should go, Jojen announces that their path leads north. Bran looks at the walls of Winterfell, which still seem strong and reflects that so long as the Starks lie beneath the castle, Winterfell will remain. The castle, like Bran, may be broken, but it is not dead.
(The entire section is 292 words.)