Study Guide

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 1)

by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 1) Summary

Extended Summary

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin is a fantasy set in Westeros. Fourteen years before the story begins, the Targaryens ruled Westeros after having conquered the Seven Kingdoms with the power of their dragons. When the mad king, Aerys Targaryen, raped Lyanna Stark, murdered her brother, and attempted to murder their allies, the Starks, Baratheons, and Arryns rebelled and overthrew the king. Afterward, Robert Baratheon was crowned king and Jon Arryn was appointed the “Hand of the King.” Meanwhile, Ned Stark returned to Winterfell, in the north, the seat of their power and where A Game of Thrones begins.

Lord Eddard (Ned) Stark of Winterfell is a responsible man who lives up to the words of his family: “winter is coming.” He fathered a child outside of wedlock but has claimed the boy, Jon, and raises him alongside his “trueborn” children, Robb, Sansa, Bran, Arya, and Rickon. They are all “summer children”—not one of them has known “winter.” Ned is teaching his children about the importance of carrying out justice. He has sentenced a deserter to death and carries out the execution himself because “the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.” As Ned and his retainers leave, they come across a litter of direwolves. There is one for each of his children, including Jon. When Ned returns home, he learns that the king and his court are about to arrive in Winterfell.

King Robert has traveled to Winterfell from his throne in King’s Landing because the Hand of the King, Jon Arryn, has died. He wants Ned to take Jon’s place. He also proposes that Sansa marry his son and heir, Joffrey. Although Ned and Robert were childhood friends, the latter has changed a great deal. King Robert is a fat man who does not take his responsibilities seriously. Ned is quick to forgive his king but feels suspicious of the queen, Cersei Lannister. Ned has never trusted the Lannisters because they did not join the rebellion against the Targaryens until it was clear it would succeed. Also, Cercei’s twin brother, Jaime, was sworn to defend the king with his life but instead killed him and has carried the name Kingslayer ever since. Ned would rather not take on this responsibility, but he is a man of duty and accepts Robert’s appointment.

Ned is shocked to discover how much influence the Lannisters have over the kingdom. Young Bran is even more shocked when he discovers Jaime and Cersei sleeping together. To keep their secret, Jaime throws Bran out of a castle window. Bran survives the fall but is in a coma. It is with great sadness that Ned leaves Winterfell, accompanied by his daughters, Sansa and Arya. Catelyn remains behind with her sons, Robb, Bran, and Rickon, but even she leaves by ship after she prevents an assassin from murdering Bran. Jon elects to travel north to the Wall to join the Night’s Watch.

The Night’s Watch protects the realm from the monsters and wildlings beyond the Wall, though most people dismiss these “grumkins” as fairytales. Still, it is considered a noble calling to join the Watch, and the men vow to abandon politics and their family—and to never leave their duty. The queen’s dwarf brother, Tyrion (called the Imp), accompanies Jon to the Wall. Although the Starks and Lannisters dislike each other, Jon and Tyrion begin to form a friendship along their journey when Tyrion informs Jon that “most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.” In Jon’s case, the truth is that the Watch is no longer a noble calling; men only join it to avoid imprisonment and death sentences.

The journey south is also full of disillusions. Arya is determined to learn how to use a sword; she asks Mycah, a peasant child, to teach her. When Sansa and Joffrey discover them, Joffery attacks Mycah. Only Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria, saves the boy’s life. However, when the queen sees her son’s ravaged arm, she demands that the beast be killed. Ayra’s wolf is nowhere to be seen, so Cersei insists that they kill Sansa’s direwolf, Lady, instead. Robert agrees in spite of Ned’s protests. Arguing that the man who “passes the sentence should swing the sword,” Ned kills the wolf himself; Joffrey’s protector, Sandor Clegane, kills Mycah. By the time Ned arrives in King’s Landing, he already doubts his admiration for Robert and is tired of the south’s squabbling...

(The entire section is 1787 words.)

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 1) Chapter Summaries

Prologue Summary

A Game of Thrones begins north of the Wall, a colossal structure in the far north of Westeros. The Wall, and the men of the Night’s Watch who defend it, has separated the Seven Kingdoms from the wildlings that live in the far north there for centuries. Three men of the Night’s Watch are on a “ranging” beyond the Wall; they have been tasked with tracking wildlings. Will has just returned from scouting ahead. He has seen the wildling camp, and they are clearly dead. Gared, another lowborn veteran, suggests that they now turn back. Their leader, the young but nobly born Ser Waymar Royce, insists that the men continue investigating the wildlings’ death. When the men reach the camp, they discover it empty. Royce assumes that Will has lied and he orders the latter to climb a tree in order to find a fire and evidence of the wildlings’ whereabouts. Instead, Will spots an “Other,” a monster that has for centuries been considered a myth. Its eyes are blue and it engages Royce in combat. Other Others emerge from the woods, and Royce is slain. Will waits until the Others have left before he drops down from the tree. When he reaches the ground, he inspects Royce’s body. Royce rises, his eyes blue, and chokes Will with his cold hands.

Chapter 1 Summary

Brandon Stark (Bran) is the son of Lord Eddard Stark, the lord paramount of the North. It is a cool summer morning, the sort that suggests that the nine-year summer, or the “long summer,” is about to come to an end. Bran is just seven years old and has never seen a true winter. Bran’s older brothers are with him. Robb is his father’s heir, and Jon is his father’s bastard. Jon’s surname, “Snow,” indicates his status as a bastard son. They are also accompanied by Theon, the son and heir of Lord Balon Greyjoy of the Iron Isles, Lord Eddard’s hostage. Bran, Lord Stark, and his soldiers have traveled away from their castle, Winterfell, to execute a deserter of the Night’s Watch. Afterward, Lord Eddard takes Bran aside to explain why the execution happened: no one is more dangerous than a deserter. They are interrupted by Robb’s discovery: a dying direwolf and her five pups. It has been a long time since direwolves were spotted in the realm and at first Lord Eddard they should be killed. However, the sigil of the Stark house is a direwolf, and Jon convinces his father to give the pups to each of his trueborn children. As they prepare to leave, Jon discovers a sixth pup, an albino, and he keeps it for himself.

Chapter 2 Summary

Catelyn Stark is the lady of Winterfell. She is the daughter Hoster Tully, the lord paramount of the Riverlands. Although she has been married to Lord Eddard Stark for many years, she still finds the North foreign. The northerners worship the Old Gods rather than the Seven. Winterfell has a godswood, and at its center she finds her husband cleaning his Valyrian steel greatsword, Ice, beneath an ancient weirwood, a white tree with a red face carved into it. In the southern kingdoms, people of the Faith worship the Seven in septs. When Eddard (Ned) inquires about the children and their new pets, Catelyn explains that Rickon, a three year old and their youngest child, is a little afraid of his wolf, Ned replies that Rickon will have...

(The entire section is 214 words.)

Chapter 3 Summary

Daenerys Targaryen (Dany) lives in exile with her older brother, Viserys. They are the guests of Magister Illyrio, a wealthy merchant in the free city of Pentos across the Narrow Sea. Viserys and Illyrio have made an arrangement with Khal Drogo, a powerful Dothraki: Drogo will marry Dany, and in return he will help Viserys to take back the Seven Kingdoms from the Usurper, Robert Baratheon. Viserys twists Dany’s nipples painfully as he inspects her, reminding her how important it is that she please Drogo. He also warns her against angering him and “waking the dragon.” Viserys had been eight years old when the rebellion had reached the Targaryen seat at King’s Landing. They had killed Princess Elia of Dorne’s newborn child...

(The entire section is 256 words.)

Chapter 4 Summary

Eddard watches as King Robert and his entourage arrive in Winterfell. There is Ser Jaime Lannister, a member of the Kingsguard and twin brother of the queen. Sandor Clegane, a large man with a burnt face, guards golden-haired Prince Joffrey. There is also Tyrion Lannister, a dwarf and brother of the queen. It takes Ned a moment to recognize his old friend Robert; the king has grown fat during his rule. Ned assures Robert of Winterfell’s loyalty before Queen Cersei Lannister exits her carriage with her other children, Marcella and Thommen. Robert demands to be taken down to the crypt so that he can pay his respects to Ned’s sister, Lyanna. Lyanna’s tomb is beside Ned’s older brother Brandon’s. The Targaryens killed Brandon...

(The entire section is 271 words.)

Chapter 5 Summary

Jon is drunk on summerwine in the Great Hall of Winterfell. Unlike his trueborn siblings, Jon Snow does not sit at the head table and he is free to do as he pleases during the welcoming feast. He feeds his direwolf, Ghost, beneath the table as he recalls the entry of the lords and ladies. Ser Jaime Lannister is called the “Kingslayer” because he murdered the Mad King. He had been a member of Aerys’ kingsguard at the time. Though many think Jaime has no honor, Jon cannot help thinking that Jaime, golden haired, handsome and confident, looks more regal than King Robert. Jon’s thoughts are interrupted by his uncle Benjen (Ben), First Ranger of the Night’s Watch. He suggests that Jon consider joining the Night’s Watch, but...

(The entire section is 247 words.)

Chapter 6 Summary

Catelyn is in her bedchambers after the welcoming feast. It is cold in the north, even in summer, but Winterfell is built over hot springs. She and Ned have just made love and they now begin discussing Robert’s proposal that Ned become Hand of the King. Ned suggests that he refuse the king. Catelyn explains that if Ned refuses, Robert will begin to question Ned’s loyalty. Ned maintains that he and Robert are friends, but Catelyn counters that Ned grew up with the man and now Robert is a king. They are interrupted by a knock at the door. Maester Luwin has come with a message. Earlier that evening, he returned to his chambers and found a box containing a lens. Upon further inspection, the Maester found a message addressed to...

(The entire section is 241 words.)

Chapter 7 Summary

Arya, Lord Eddard’s second daughter, is not good at needlework. Her older sister, Sansa, is excellent at it, and Sept Mordane praises the elder sister. Sansa shows every indication of becoming a perfect lady, unlike Arya. Sansa and Jeyne Poole are gossiping about Prince Joffrey, who told Sansa that she was beautiful. When Septa Mordane criticizes Arya’s stitching, the latter flees the room. Everything comes naturally to Sansa. Arya is only good at horse riding and doing sums. She meets her direwolf, Nymeria, who is named for a warrior princess. Sansa’s direwolf, meanwhile, is named “Lady.” Together, Arya and Nymeria go to the practice yard to watch the boys practice their swordplay. She finds Jon, who invites her to watch...

(The entire section is 223 words.)

Chapter 8 Summary

Bran plays a stick game in Winterfell while King Robert and Lord Eddard have taken their men on a boar hunt to prepare for the final feast of the royal visit. While he plays, Bran recalls stories about Westeros’ most famous knights. And when he travels south to King’s Landing, Bran will be able to meet Ser Barristan the Bold, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Excited as he is about the journey, Bran knows that he will miss Winterfell, Old Nan and her stories, and even Hodor, the strong stableboy who never says anything but “Hodor.” He considers what he will name his direwolf. Robb has named his “Grey Wind” for his speed and Rickon has named his Shaggydog. Bran decides to go climbing and climbs to the rooftops of...

(The entire section is 271 words.)

Chapter 9 Summary

Tyrion Lannister is reading in the library when he hears one of the direwolves howling in the distance. He leaves the library to go eat breakfast and stops at the training yard where he finds Prince Joffrey and his guard, Sandor Clegane. Bran's direwolf has been howling since Bran’s fall, and Clegane suggests that he could put it down. Joffrey points out that the Starks would hardly notice the loss of one of their many direwolves, but Tyrion replies that the Starks, unlike Joffrey, can count to six. He then tells Joffrey that he must go to pay his respects to the Starks and when Joffrey replies insolently, Tyrion slaps the prince twice. Joffrey leaves, but Clegane warns Tyrion that the prince will remember such treatment when he...

(The entire section is 253 words.)

Chapter 10 Summary

Jon is preparing to leave for the Wall with his uncle Benjen. Before he leaves, Jon wants to visit his siblings to say goodbye. He starts with Bran, who lies unconscious in bed with twisted, broken legs beneath the blankets. Lady Catelyn tells Jon that he is not welcome. She threatens to call for the guards, but Jon insists on saying goodbye to his younger brother. Before Jon leaves, Catelyn explains that she had wanted Bran to stay in Winterfell with her. Jon tries to comfort her, but she tells Jon that she does not require a bastard’s absolution. She then tells Jon that it should have been him that fell. Jon leaves and finds Robb, who is ordering men as they prepare to leave for King’s Landing. Robb seems to have grown up...

(The entire section is 233 words.)

Chapter 11 Summary

Daenerys has wed Khal Drogo outside the walls of Pentos. The ceremony is held outdoors because the Dothraki believe that all important things should be done beneath the open sky. Drogo came to the wedding with his "khalasar," a community of forty thousand warriors, not to mention the women, children, and slaves. Dany sits with Illyrio and Ser Jorah Mormont, who has offered his service to Viserys. Viserys is impatient to begin the assault on the Seven Kingdoms, but Illyrio cautions him: the Khal does not see their agreement as a trade. He sees Dany as a gift, and Drogo will gift Viserys with Westeros at a time of the Khal's choosing. Dany considers what she knows of the Dothraki. She understands neither their language nor their...

(The entire section is 220 words.)

Chapter 12 Summary

Eddard is awoken and summoned to see King Robert. Robert wants to discuss state matters, but he insists that they go riding because the camp is "full of ears." Robert expresses a desire to leave the rest of the procession behind and travel the kingsroad south in search of adventure. Ned reminds the king that they are no longer boys, and Robert retorts that Ned was never a boy. The only exception was Jon's mother, Wylla. When Ned declares that he will say no more of her, Robert explains that he has heard from Lord Varys, the king's Master of Whisperers, that Daenerys Targaryen has wed Khal Drogo. Ser Jorah Mormont, who hopes to gain a royal pardon, was the source. Robert goes on to suggest that they assassinate her. Ned is not...

(The entire section is 291 words.)

Chapter 13 Summary

Tyrion knows the maps as well as anyone but is still surprised by how big the north is. Though they hear wolves howling at night, Jon's direwolf, Ghost, remains silent. Tyrion is accompanied by two Lannister men, while Benjen travels only with Jon until they eventually meet another man of the Night's Watch, Yoren. Yoren has returned from his recruiting expedition and has returned with two rapists who preferred life on the Wall to punishment at home. Tyrion looks at Jon and suspects that the latter has begun to realize that few men of the Night's Watch are like his uncle. Tyrion passes his evenings drinking wine and reading histories while the other men set up camp. He particularly enjoys reading about dragons. When Tyrion had first...

(The entire section is 270 words.)

Chapter 14 Summary

Catelyn has sat in Bran's sickroom since Ned and the girls left eight days ago. Now, Maester Luwin interrupts her, asking to review Winterfell's figures. Because Ned has taken most of the stewards, there are appointments to make. Catelyn refuses to make the appointments. Robb enters and volunteers to make the appointments himself, but he admits after Luwin leaves that he needs Catelyn's help. He has never taken on so much responsibility before. When Robb moves to open the window, Catelyn tells him that Bran needs to stay warm. Robb replies that Bran needs to hear the sound of the direwolves howling, but Catelyn hates their noise. From the window, he sees that the library is on fire and leaves. Catelyn goes to the window, but when...

(The entire section is 269 words.)

Chapter 15 Summary

Sansa feeds Lady a piece of bacon under the table at breakfast, earning her Septa Mordane's disapproval. Arya is not at breakfast but Septa Mordane tells Sansa to make sure that her younger sister dresses well; the girls have been invited to ride with the queen in the royal wheelhouse. Sansa's stomach flutters at the thought of possibly riding with her betrothed, Prince Joffrey, there. Unfortunately, when Sansa finds Arya, the latter declares that she has already made plans to look for rubies in the ford with Mycah, a butcher's boy with whom she has been exploring the Riverlands. Angry, Sansa walks to the wheelhouse. She trembles in fear when she sees Sandor Clegane's burned face until Joffrey arrives at her side. The queen is...

(The entire section is 287 words.)

Chapter 16 Summary

Eddard is informed that Arya has been found after four days, but he is only relieved when he learns that it was his men rather than a Lannister that found her. Unfortunately, the guards at the gate were Lannisters and they took Arya directly to the king. Ned leaves to join them, but he tells his man to find Sansa and bring her to the hall as well. The king's party is staying at Ser Raymun Darry's castle, south of the Trident where King Robert fought Prince Rhaegar years ago. The Darry men had fought for the Targaryens during the rebellion. When Ned arrives before the king, he demands to know why Arya was not brought before him immediately. Cersei chides Ned for his tone and goes on to explain that, according to Joffrey, Arya and...

(The entire section is 243 words.)

Chapter 17 Summary

Bran feels as though he has been falling for years. Would he die if he fell to the ground in a dream? A voice whispers from the darkness that he should fly. Bran begins to talk to the voice, and he soon realizes that it is a crow. The crow continues to suggest that Bran fly and when Bran continues to counter that he cannot, the crow argues that Bran has never tried. When Bran looks down, he realizes that he can see the whole realm as an eagle would see it. He sees his father pleading with King Robert south of the Trident. He explores to the east and sees the Free Cities, the green Dothraki sea, and even sees Asshai by the Shadow, where dragons "stir beneath the sunrise." Back in Westeros, Bran looks north to the Wall, sees Jon,...

(The entire section is 224 words.)

Chapter 18 Summary

Catelyn and Ser Rodrik are about to land in King's Landing. Her hands still hurt from her fight with Bran's assassin. She will never again have deft fingers and some no longer bend at all. Rodrik worries that they will be at risk when the land, but Catelyn intends to find Petyr Baelish. Petyr is called "Littlefinger" because he is lord of such a small piece of land. Though his lands are small, he is nevertheless Master of the Coin and sits on King Robert's small council. Catelyn knows Littlefinger from her childhood when he was a ward of her father, Lord Hoster Tully. She recalls that Littlefinger once fought and lost a duel against Brandon Stark when Catelyn was still betrothed to him; Catelyn had to intervene before Brandon could...

(The entire section is 260 words.)

Chapter 19 Summary

Jon is training in a courtyard beneath the Wall. He can defeat any one of the recruits that Ser Alliser Thorne, the master-at-arms, sends against him. Thorne mocks all of the recruits and refers to Jon as "Lord Snow." As Jon looks at the others around him, he finds that he despises the other recruits as well. No one but Tyrion Lannister told Jon the truth about life in the Night's Watch. Jon is alone. Benjen, the First Ranger, now spends his time with Lord Commander Mormont and Maester Aemon. Benjen had left on a ranging shortly after they returned to the Wall, and though Jon had asked to go with him, Benjen refused. Now he is missing. After training, Jon goes to the armory to put his armor and weapons away until Grenn and three...

(The entire section is 289 words.)

Chapter 20 Summary

Eddard has finally arrived, tired and irritable, at the Red Keep in King's Landing, and he has already been summoned to a meeting of the small council. Ned tells his steward, Vayon Poole, to settle the girls in the Tower of the Hand. Grand Maester Pycelle, Varys, Renly, and Littlefinger are waiting for Ned when he arrives. Lord Stannis, Robert's other brother, sits on the council but has left King's Landing for his seat at the Dragonstone. King Robert, and his protector Ser Barristan, also sit on the council. However, Robert does not care to govern the realm; he only sends commands. At this meeting, for example, he has ordered that the council plan a tourney in honor of Ned's appointment as Hand of the King. Ned is shocked to learn...

(The entire section is 264 words.)

Chapter 21 Summary

Tyrion is eating crab with Lord Commander Mormont and his advisers. The Old Bear admits that he wishes he could convince Tyrion to "take the black" and join the Night's Watch, but Tyrion remains intent on returning south. As the conversation continues, Thorne accuses Tyrion of mocking the Night's Watch. Tyrion begins to taunt Thorne, who suggests that they duel. Tyrion, a dwarf, begins to prod Thorne with his crab fork and the others laugh until Thorne finally leaves the room. Tyrion suggests that Thorne is not fit to train the recruits, but Mormont explains that he is one of the few knights that have taken the black since he became Lord Commander. And most of the knights that have taken the black, Ser Jaremy Rykker explains, only...

(The entire section is 260 words.)

Chapter 22 Summary

Arya can see that her father has been fighting with the small council again when he arrives to eat in the Small Hall. Jory, the head of her father's guard, mentions that he has heard that there is to be a tourney, which annoys Ned and thrills Sansa. Arya and Sansa soon begin bickering again. Irritated, Ned leaves the table. Arya starts to think of the people she has left behind, and when her thoughts turn to Mycah, she decides to leave the table as well. Back in her chamber, she takes out Needle and remembers that she was the one that asked Mycah to show her how to use a sword. Arya refuses to talk to anyone until her father asks permission to enter. When he comes in, he sees Needle and realizes that his smith, Mikken, made it....

(The entire section is 302 words.)

Chapter 23 Summary

Daenerys has finally arrived in the "Dothraki sea," a plain of endless grass. Dany finds it beautiful, but Viserys is impatient to conquer Westeros. Constant horseback riding and nightly visits from Khal Drogo were at first difficult for Dany. On the third night, however, she dreamt about a black dragon, its scales wet with her blood. It breathes fire at Dany, and she opens her arms to be cleansed. Now, Dany has begun to act like the khaleesi. She decides the day is too perfect to listen to Viserys complaint, commands her retainers to stay, and rides into the grass. Viserys follows, screaming that she cannot command him. Before he can strike her, Jhogo, one of the Khal's bloodriders, cracks a whip that coils around...

(The entire section is 326 words.)

Chapter 24 Summary

Bran watches Rickon run with the wolves from his window seat. Shaggydog is black with fiery green eyes. Summer is smallest, more wary, and has eyes that see everything. Bran thinks that he may be the smartest of the direwolves. Bran turns to Old Nan, who is sitting with him, and thinks that he cannot fly. The crow lied. Old Nan explains that all crows are liars, but she knows a story about a crow. Old Nan may be the oldest person in Westeros, Bran thinks. Sadly, her only remaining kin is Hodor, the stableboy. Bran feels just as alone as she is. Everyone has left and now Robb has become "Robb the Lord." Old Nan interrupts his thoughts, offering to tell a story about Brandon the Builder, who was said to have built Winterfell and...

(The entire section is 272 words.)

Chapter 25 Summary

Eddard has come to see Grand Maester Pycelle about Jon Arryn's death. The old man begins to discuss the long summer of his youth before he finally recalls that Ned has come for another reason: Jon Arryn's death, Ned reminds him. Pycelle explains that Jon Arryn came to him one day, very healthy, and asked for a book. Before he died, the Hand had said the name "Robert" several times, though whether he was discussing his son or his king was not clear. His last words were "the seed is strong." Pycelle does not think that Jon's death was unnatural, and he suggests that Lysa's concerns are quite likely due to grief. Ned points out that Arryn might have been poisoned, which Pycelle concedes is possible though unlikely. Besides, who would...

(The entire section is 278 words.)

Chapter 26 Summary

Jon is teaching the other recruits about swordplay when a new recruit, Samwell Tarly (Sam), arrives. He is the fattest boy that Jon has ever seen, but by his attire the others can tell that Sam is nobly born. Stumbling, Sam explains that he has come to train and to join the Night's Watch. Thorne sets to work training the new recruit, and he matches Sam with Haldor, a former quarryman. Sam yields within a minute, and Thorne sets Haldor on him again. And again. Jon finally has enough and commands Haldor to stop. Thorne sets three boys against Jon, but his new friends Grenn and Pyp step to Jon's aid. Jon attacks first and wins. Sam explains that his father is Randyll, a bannerman to the Tyrells of Highgarden in the south. He is also a...

(The entire section is 256 words.)

Chapter 27 Summary

Eddard and the council listen as Janos Slynt, the Commander of the City Watch, lists all of the crimes that have been committed in King's Landing since the Hand's Tourney was announced. Renly wonders if Janos is capable of keeping the peace, but Janos maintains that he needs more men. Ned volunteers to supplement the City Watch with his own guard and commands Littlefinger to find more coin to fund the Watch. Ned returns to his chambers, where he has been reading Grand Maester Malleon's The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms, With Descriptions of Many High Lords and Noble Ladies and Their Children. Jon Arryn had read it before he died, but Ned finds the reading slow. Why did it lead to his...

(The entire section is 241 words.)

Chapter 28 Summary

Catelyn and Ser Rodrik are traveling north through the Riverlands where Catelyn grew up. Knights and lords are riding south to King's Landing to compete in the Hand's Tourney, but while Catelyn recognizes them as her father's liegemen, they do not recognize her. She is just another mud-splattered traveler. Catelyn and Rodrik decide that they can risk staying at Masha Heddle's inn, where there will be a fire. The inn lies at a crossroads along the kingsroad. To the west lies Riverrun, her father's castle, while Catelyn's sister Lysa rules at the Eyrie, to the east. Catelyn knows this inn well since she stayed here often as a girl, but now she is just another traveler. They take the last two rooms and are told that they had better...

(The entire section is 215 words.)

Chapter 29 Summary

Sansa is attending the Hand’s tourney with Septa Mordane and Jeyne Poole, and it is even better than the songs. The knights of the Kingsguard have all entered the lists, as has Ser Gregor Clegane, nicknamed “the Mountain That Rides.” Many have come, including Thoros of Myr, who is not a knight but rather a fat warrior priest in red robes. The girls fantasize about marrying handsome Lord Beric Dondarrion. Of the northerners, Jory advances furthest, but it seems that Gregor will dominate the jousting, especially after he kills one young knight from the Vale. The boy dies right in front of Sansa, who calmly realizes that no songs will be sung about him. Jaime, the Cleganes, and Ser Loras Tyrell, the Knight of Flowers, are the...

(The entire section is 304 words.)

Chapter 30 Summary

Eddard visits the corpse of Ser Hugh, who Gregor Clegane murdered in the previous day’s jousting. Ned notes that Clegane is a bannerman of the Lannisters. Did they murder Hugh before Ned could talk to him? When Ned learns that King Robert intends to fight in the melee, he leaves immediately and finds the king already drinking beer. The king’s squires are both Lannisters. Ned convinces Robert that he cannot compete in the melee because everyone would let him win. Robert laments that he was never so happy as when he was fighting in the rebellion and never so dead as now when he rules. He fantasizes about sailing away to become a sellsword, but admits that he stays because he dreads the thought of Joffrey ruling after him. When...

(The entire section is 343 words.)

Chapter 31 Summary

Tyrion reflects that he owes the Starks yet another debt of vengeance as he watches the sellsword Chiggen butcher his horse. The work must be done quickly lest the smell of blood attract shadowcats. Another sellsword, Bronn, is pleased that the men will eat well. Even at the inn, Tyrion had known that he would have to go along with Catelyn Stark's demand that he come with her to stand trial in Winterfell. He was simply outnumbered. So he chose to announce that his father would reward any man that delivered news of Tyrion's capture to Casterly Rock, the Lannister seat of power. How frustrated he had been when he realized that Catelyn Stark was taking him east to her sister Lysa in the Vale rather than north to Winterfell. Even if...

(The entire section is 252 words.)

Chapter 32 Summary

Arya is trying to catch a black tomcat, the only one in the Red Keep that she has not yet caught. When Arya complains that the cats scratch, Syrio Forel tells her that she must be quicker or else her enemies will give her more than scratches. She catches the last tom, but drops it when she hears a voice behind her. It is Prince Tommen and Princess Myrcella, but they do not recognize her as Arya. They think she is a boy. The royal guards try to grab her, but Arya twists and runs away. Now, Arya is lost beneath the castle. She is surrounded by massive skulls with sharp fangs. She hears two men. The one explains that the Hand has already found one of the king's bastard children, and the other, who has an accent that identifies him as...

(The entire section is 368 words.)

Chapter 33 Summary

Eddard is with the Small Council and King Robert. The king has just learned that Daenerys Targaryen is pregnant and has ordered her killed. Ned tries to convince Robert that he will dishonor himself if he has the girl killed, but the members of the council, excepting Ser Barristan, agree with the king. A pregnant Targaryen poses a threat to the realm, and one assassination might prevent the deaths of thousands of men. They next begin to argue over how she should be killed (assassins are so expensive), and a disgusted Ned declares that he will not serve Robert in this. When he leaves the council, he finds his steward, Vayon Poole, and tells him that he is Hand no longer. Now they must prepare to leave for Winterfell. Vayon thinks it...

(The entire section is 232 words.)

Chapter 34 Summary

Catelyn listens as Ser Donnel Waynwood explains that she should have sent word that she was coming. He and his men have just rescued her from the latest clansmen attack, and six men have already died. He escorts her to the Bloody Gate, where Ser Brynden the Blackfish commands. He is actually Catelyn's uncle, but because he and Hoster Tully never got along, Brynden left to serve in the Vale when Lysa married Jon Arryn. Brynden warns Catelyn that Lysa is not the woman she remembers. Since they last met, Lysa has lost two children and miscarried more. Robert is sickly, and she is terrified of the Lannisters. Everyone in the Vale suspects that her husband Jon Arryn was married. Catelyn and her party reach the first of three castles...

(The entire section is 263 words.)

Chapter 35 Summary

Eddard has concluded his search at the brothel. Littlefinger is joking with a black woman, Chataya, who owns the brothel. As they leave, Littlefinger jokes that brothels are actually better investments than ships. As they leave, Ned recalls Lyanna's claim that Robert would never keep to one bed after they were married. Ned had defended Robert, though he knew that his best friend had already fathered one bastard while in the Vale. Love might be sweet, Lyanna had said, but it did not change a man's nature. It was difficult to argue with Lyanna's words now given that he has just seen another of Robert's bastard children, this one a girl named Barra. The mother asks Ned to tell the king that she is waiting for him. As they return from...

(The entire section is 219 words.)

Chapter 36 Summary

Daenerys has arrived at the Horse Gate of Vaes Dothrak, a strange city. There is a large gate, two bronze horses, but Dany sees no walls and no buildings. Ser Jorah explains that the city lies ahead, beneath the mountain. As they proceed, Dany sees the plundered gods of cities defeated and destroyed by the Dothraki. Viserys once again complains that he is impatient to have his army and points out that the Dothraki are good for nothing but killing. They build nothing. Ser Jorah reminds Viserys that one does not make demands of a khal. When Viserys moves on, Dany asks whether ten thousand Dothraki could take the Seven Kingdoms. Jorah thinks that if King Robert met the Dothraki in open battle, he would lose. If he stayed in...

(The entire section is 305 words.)

Chapter 37 Summary

Bran is riding Dancer outside of Winterfell's gates for the first time. Robb and Theon join him, as do Grey Wind and Summer; even Maester Luwin follows on a donkey. Bran is thrilled to be riding, even though he can no longer guide the horse with his legs. When they reach the edge of the Wolfswood, the direwolves disappear into it. Robb and Bran discuss how restless the direwolves seem lately. Robb admits that he suspects that the direwolves understand more than a wolf should, but he then stops, citing Bran's age. This irritates the eight-year-old. Robb relents, but instead of sharing his thoughts on the direwolves, he explains that he has received word that Jory and other northerners died in King's Landing, murdered by Jaime...

(The entire section is 237 words.)

Chapter 38 Summary

Tyrion is starving in his cell, but the last thing he wants to do is reveal his hunger to Mord, the jailor. Tyrion finds Mord irritating, but he still has to be careful. The Eyrie's jail cells have only three walls of stone. The fourth "wall" opens out to sky and a six hundred foot drop. On one wall, a previous prisoner has written "the blue is calling." It was Tyrion's sharp tongue that got him into this mess, and he reflects on his situation. Still, he could not help but taunt Lysa Arryn in front of her court when she accused him of not only crippling Bran but of murdering her husband. Tyrion considers his predicament and summons Mord, offering the turnkey Lannister gold if he delivers a message that Tyrion is ready to confess....

(The entire section is 270 words.)

Chapter 39 Summary

Eddard is dreaming an old dream. In it he recalls a time just after the rebellion when he was pursuing the three remaining members of the Targaryen Kingsguard. With him ride six northmen. Ser Gerold Hightower, the White Bull, serves as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Under him are Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, who carries the greatsword "Dawn," and Ser Oswell Whent. Ned announces that he has been looking for the three men. In fact, he has journeyed throughout the south, defeating the last of the Targaryen supporters and accepting the fealty of their knights. Hightower replies that they are not like the others; the Kingsguard swears for life. As the men charge toward each other, Ned hears Lyanna screaming. Only Ned...

(The entire section is 299 words.)

Chapter 40 Summary

Catelyn listens as Ser Rodrik tells her the latest news: Jaime Lannister is amassing a host at Casterly Rock. Her brother, Edmure, is preparing his forces at Riverrun, which lies between the Vale and Casterly Rock. If Edmure is preparing the defenses, it means that her father, Lord Hoster Tully, is very ill. Today, she must watch as her sister, Lysa, goes through with the farce of trying Tyrion by combat, which will only complicate the conflict. Though Lysa does not see it, Catelyn knows that Tyrion has manipulated Lysa since he arrived. Catelyn announces that she will ask Lysa's permission to leave for Gulltown, where she and Ser Rodrik will find a ship. Outside her chambers, Catelyn meets Ser Brynden, who complains that Lysa has...

(The entire section is 284 words.)

Chapter 41 Summary

Jon listens as Ser Alliser Thorne explains that he is only releasing eight recruits to the Lord Commander to make room for others. They are too soft. Jon and his friends, except Sam, will advance. That night, the recruits discuss their vocations. Everyone thinks that Jon will become a ranger beyond the Wall, though Jon replies angrily when it is suggested that he could become First Ranger like his uncle Benjen. Benjen is still alive, Jon maintains. Halder, meanwhile, wants to become a builder, maintaining the Wall. None of them hope to become stewards. After supper, Jon rides his horse and considers going south to Winterfell. He returns home instead, determined to find Maester Aemon. The aged maester's door is answered by Chett,...

(The entire section is 264 words.)

Chapter 42 Summary

Tyrion starts to build a fire, even though he and Bronn are on the high road. Bronn is irritated because a fire will draw the attention of the clansmen. Bronn argues that they move quickly and quietly until they clear the mountains. Tyrion points out that the clans will see them no matter what they do, so why not die comfortably? They talk and come to an arrangement: if Bronn keeps Tyrion alive, the Lannister will reward the sellsword with whatever he wants: gold, land, or women. Tyrion knows that Bronn will always follow the most profitable path, so he offers to double the offer of anyone that ever tries to buy Bronn's loyalty away from Tyrion. As they wait for the clansmen to attack, Tyrion starts to whistle "The Season of My...

(The entire section is 302 words.)

Chapter 43 Summary

Eddard can only see the red color of blood in the Red Keep's throne room. It is sunset and Ned has spent the day on the Iron Throne, which was made from the swords of Aegon the Conqueror's defeated enemies. The throne is sharp and dangerous even now. King Robert, meanwhile, is hunting. Ned and members of the small council listen as Ser Raymun Darry and other river lords report that Ser Gregor Clegane has attacked their lands. He robs the smallfolk as he burns their crops and villages. Now, the river lords ask for leave to answer with their own steel. Clegane is a bannerman of Tywin Lannister, the father of Queen Cersei, Grand Maester Pycelle tells the court. Pycelle advises that the river lords take up their concerns with Lord...

(The entire section is 297 words.)

Chapter 44 Summary

Sansa has just left the throne room wondering why her father refused to send Ser Loras after Gregor Clegane. Sending Ser Loras would have been like seeing one of Old Nan's stories come to life. She reflects that it is likely because her father's leg is so sore and that he is cross. When she says this to Septa Mordane, the latter tells Sansa that it was not her place to question her father. Lord Baelish, however, overhears the exchange and asks Sansa what she would have done. When Sansa shares her reasoning, that gallant heroes must kill monsters, Littlefinger explains that "life is not a song." At supper, Jeyne tells Sansa that Ser Ilyn, the King's Justice, should have been sent, and, besides, Lord Beric is as heroic as Ser Loras....

(The entire section is 298 words.)

Chapter 45 Summary

Eddard listens as Grand Maester Pycelle explains that the pain his leg causes is a gift from the gods: it is the pain of healing. Pycelle next shares that he has received word that Lord Tywin is angry with Ned's response to Gregor Clegane. Ned explains that if Tywin acts, he will act in defiance of Robert, and the only thing that Robert enjoys more than hunting is making war on defiant lords. Ned knows that Pycelle will take this response straight to Queen Cersei. Ned reflects on his realization that Joffrey is not Robert's child and what he must do next. This truth killed Jon Arryn. Ned tells himself that he can no longer delay in the name of his girls' safety, and yet just the night before he had dreamt of Rhaegar's children,...

(The entire section is 267 words.)

Chapter 46 Summary

Daenerys is eating the steaming heart of a wild stallion in front of Khal Drogo, his bloodriders, and the ancient crones of Vaes Dothrak. She tells herself that she is the "blood of the dragon." If she can eat the heart without choking or retching, it will be a good omen that her child will be born strong and fearless. She finishes, turns to the crones, and declares that the prince rides within her. The dosh khaleen proclaims that she has seen his face and heard the thunder of his hooves. He is the "stallion who mounts the world." Dany declares that her son will be named Rhaego. Khal Drogo leads Dany away. They walk ahead of other khals and crones until they reach a lake. Dany bathes in the "Womb of the World" in front of...

(The entire section is 365 words.)

Chapter 47 Summary

Eddard dreams that he is back in the crypts beneath Winterfell. The Kings of Winter watch as he walks by while Lyanna's statue weeps blood. Ned wakes and is summoned to attend King Robert, who has returned mortally wounded by a boar's tusks after his hunt. Robert explains that he missed his thrust because he was too drunk. Robert dismisses everyone but Ned. He tells Ned to stop the assassins he sent to kill Daenerys Targaryen and to record his last will and word. He appoints Ned the Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm until Joffrey comes of age. Ned writes "my heir" rather than "Joffrey," but does not tell Robert who Joffrey's father is. Outside the king's chamber, Ned talks to Ser Barristan, who explains that Robert had been...

(The entire section is 287 words.)

Chapter 48 Summary

Jon pretends to be surprised when Sam Tarly happily explains that he will be made a brother of the Night's Watch. Sam explains that he will help blind Maester Aemon with his ravens as well as with reading and writing. They meet with the other recruits that are about to be raised and together join the high officers of the Night's Watch in the sept. Lord Commander Mormont explains that regardless of how they came to the Wall, the past is now prologue. Now, they are all part of one house, and at the Wall they will serve the realm rather than a king or a lord. He informs the recruits that they will swear their vows when night falls. Halder will go to the Builders, while Pyp and Grenn will join the Rangers. Jon and Sam will join the...

(The entire section is 225 words.)

Chapter 49 Summary

Eddard wakes up and wonders why Cersei still has not fled King's Landing. Arya arrives and asks if she can have one last lesson with Syrio Forel. Sansa arrives, asking permission to say farewell to Joffrey. Ned grants Arya's request but denies Sansa. Later, Grand Maester Pycelle arrives to announce Robert's death. Ned summons the small council. When they arrive, Ned learns that Renly has left the city. Ned presents them with Robert's will naming Ned Regent and Protector of the Realm. The meeting is interrupted with an announcement that Joffrey has summoned the council to the throne room. Ned recalls that Joffrey is of age to rule. When they arrive, Janos Slynt, Commander of the City Watch, is there, as are his men. Ned limps into...

(The entire section is 215 words.)

Chapter 50 Summary

Arya and Syrio Forel duel using wooden swords that clack as Syrio instructs Arya. He tells the girl to move left but then strikes her from the other side. When Arya complains, he explains that words lie but the truth was there for Arya to see. Syrio explains that watching is not the same as seeing. He became first sword to the Sealord of Braavos when he showed that he could see. The Sealord had kept a menagerie of fantastic beasts; he showed applicants a fat cat. The men, thinking that the Sealord expected them to see a beast, named it a fabulous beast. Syrio had named the cat for what it was and had won his position. Arya understands and Syrio announces that it will be time to let her practice with Needle when they return to...

(The entire section is 238 words.)

Chapter 51 Summary

Sansa has been waiting in her chambers with Jeyne Poole. Jeyne is of no use to Sansa as she has spent all of her time crying since her father, Vayon Poole, was killed. Sansa had heard the killing; Jeyne was thrown into Sansa's room after seeing it. Now, Sansa demands to speak to Queen Cersei again, though her guards show no sign that they care about Sansa's demands. On the third day, Ser Boros Blount of the Kingsguard comes for Sansa, and he takes her to the queen. Cersei and the small council explain to Sansa that Lord Stark was a traitor to the throne. At first, Sansa defends her father and begs Cersei for help. Sansa recalls how she came to Cersei to tell her all of her father's plans so that she could continue to marry Joffrey....

(The entire section is 205 words.)

Chapter 52 Summary

Jon listens as Ser Jaremy Rykker identifies Othar and Jafer Flowers, two men that had been with Ben Stark during his ranging. Months have passed, but there has still been no word of Ben Stark's fate. Now, Jon, Lord Commander Mormont, Sam, and several rangers examine the dead men. They initially think that the men were killed by Mance Rayder's wildlings, but Sam points out that the wounds of the dead men indicate that they died far from the Wall. Though their wounds are terrible, there is no blood splattered on the ground. The bodies spook the men, their dogs, and the horses; only Ghost seems calm around them. The bodies are also strange because they have blue eyes, though no one remembers Othar and Flowers having blue eyes when...

(The entire section is 236 words.)

Chapter 53 Summary

Bran watches as the Karstarks and their men approach. They are the last of the northern lords to arrive in Winterfell, and Bran knows that Robb will hold a feast to welcome them. When Bran has seen enough, he tells Hodor to carry him to the godswood. Beneath the eyes of the weirwood, Bran prays to the Old Gods. He asks them to protect Robb on his journey south and to make sure that all of the Starks return home. Bran regrets that Robb has become "Robb the Lord." Osha enters the wood and tells Bran that if Robb goes south, the Old Gods will not be able to help him. The southern lords cut down their weirwoods. Hodor appears, naked after a swim, and Osha tells Bran that Hodor has giant's blood in him. South of the Wall, no one...

(The entire section is 264 words.)

Chapter 54 Summary

Daenerys and Khal Drogo have just made love. He rises, intending to hunt a white lion, but Dany tries to convince him that their son will need to cross the Narrow Sea to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Drogo disagrees. The world consists of land that horses can travel on. When their son is born, he intends to take the khalasar east. Dany drops the subject but wonders how she will convince her husband to conquer the Seven Kingdoms for her. She summons Ser Jorah Mormont and explains her dilemma. Jorah thinks Khal Drogo likely imagines the Seven Kingdoms as a few small islands. In the meantime, a caravan has arrived from the west. Jorah invites Dany to visit the Western Market. She agrees. Once there, Jorah soon leaves to find a...

(The entire section is 300 words.)

Chapter 55 Summary

Catelyn spots the Stark banner and relaxes; she is not too late. She and Ser Brynden have arrived in Moat Cailin by way of White Harbor, a port in the north where they left Ser Rodrik. Catelyn first sees Robb talking with Roose Bolton and Greatjon Umber as they examine maps. Rather than rushing to him and making him look like a child before his men, Catelyn instead compliments Robb on his new beard. Catelyn exchanges courtesies with Robb's men before asking to speak with her son privately. Alone, she reminds Robb that he is fifteen. However, now that he has come this far, he cannot turn back without losing his authority. Robb shows Catelyn a letter from Sansa, and she explains that the true writer is Cersei. The true message,...

(The entire section is 329 words.)

Chapter 56 Summary

Tyrion, Bronn, and the clans have found one of the Lannister armies. Tyrion tells the leaders of the Stone Crows, the Black Ears, the Moon Brothers, and the Burned Men that they can follow him to his father, Lord Tywin. After that, Tyrion will make good on his promises. Tyrion discovers that his father has established his headquarters in the inn where Tyrion was taken hostage. Lord Tywin is an impressive man, and he commands his men along side his brother, Ser Kevan. They inform Tyrion that they hold Edmure Tully hostage, that King Robert is dead, and that Cersei is ruling in King's Landing. Tywin next offers Tyrion the chance to command his own troops. Lord Beric's remaining men, for example, continue to harass the Lannister...

(The entire section is 233 words.)

Chapter 57 Summary

Sansa watches the first court session of Joffrey's reign. Robert's beloved hunting tapestries have been taken down, and they lie in a heap in the corner. She watches as her king, Joffrey, enters the throne room. Grand Maester Pycelle, who appears to be napping before the throne, is ordered to rise and read a list of royal decrees. They are orders for distant, powerful lords such as Stannis and Renly Baratheon to present themselves before the throne. Further, Tywin Lannister is appointed Hand of the King, Cersei is appointed to the small council, and Janos Slynt, Commander of the City Watch, is named lord of the Harrenhal and appointed to the small council. Next, Cersei dismisses Ser Barristan Selmy from the Kingsguard, an outrage...

(The entire section is 256 words.)

Chapter 58 Summary

Eddard is in a stinking dungeon. There is no light; there is not even a slop bucket. Time begins to lose meaning. Ned damns himself for a fool as he worries over the deaths of his men and the fate of his family. Soon, his aching leg becomes infected, leaving Ned feverish. Suddenly, he vividly remembers the tourney at the Harrenhal, held in the year of the false spring. His older brother Brandon had laughed, Robert had fought joyfully in the melee, and Jaime Lannister had sworn his vows to the Kingsguard. Rhaegar Targaryen won the joust and shocked everyone when he named Lyanna Stark, rather than his wife Elia Martell, the queen of beauty. Ned's thoughts wander but are interrupted when Varys arrives in disguise. Varys informs Ned...

(The entire section is 259 words.)

Chapter 59 Summary

Catelyn takes care not to reveal her feelings as she rides south along the Neck. She thinks about her ailing father, she worries over her brother, and she reminds herself that she is far from all of her children but Robb. She can do nothing for any of them but Robb, and so she tells herself to be strong like a Stark of Winterfell. Robb appears to be managing his lords, but now he will have to convince Lord Walder Frey to allow him through his castle and across the Green Fork of the Trident. Though Frey is a bannerman of Catelyn's father, she tells him that the Lord of the Crossing cannot be relied upon. Some men take their oaths more seriously than others. She explains the Walder Frey has "an old man's caution and a young man's...

(The entire section is 312 words.)

Chapter 60 Summary

Jon lies when he tells Lord Commander Mormont that he feels fine. His burned hand hurts terribly and it will likely leave a scar. Jon asks if there is any news from King's Landing about his father. Ser Barristan Selmy was removed from the Kinsguard, Mormont says, and the old knight slew two men of the City Watch before leaving King's Landing. Lord Mormont does not mention that Robb has raised his banners and marched south, though Jon has heard as much from Sam. Instead, Lord Mormont gives Jon a sword for saving his life. The blade is not quite as long as his father's greatsword, Ice, but it is longer than most swords. Consequently, men sometimes call such blades "bastard swords." In spite of its length, the sword is light because...

(The entire section is 379 words.)

Chapter 61 Summary

Daenerys rides through fields of the dead. Drogo's men are attacking and raping the remaining Lhazareen, a people that the Dothraki refer to as the "Lamb Men." The Lhazareen were initially attacked by Khal Ogo but Drogo and his khalasar attacked and defeated both. Dany asks Ser Jorah about the attack while Drogo's men rape a girl behind them. When Dany can stand it no more, she commands Jorah to stop the men from raping the Lhazareen. Jorah explains that there is an agreement between a khal and his khalasar: once the men have shed blood for him, they may claim their reward. Dany's Dothraki servants explain that the Lamb Men do not matter. Dany nevertheless claims the woman as her own slave. Jorah tells Dany that...

(The entire section is 313 words.)

Chapter 62 Summary

Tyrion is late to join Lord Tywin and the other commanders for supper. Tywin informs Tyrion that Robb's host is now perhaps a day's journey from the Lannister army. Ser Kevan suggests that Tyrion and his clansmen fight in the vanguard. Tyrion thinks that his father and uncle have decided to finally do away with him. He is too proud to refuse the command, and so Tyrion declares that he will lead the van. However, they reply that they merely intend for his troops to fight under Ser Gregor, who will lead the van. Tyrion leaves the table without eating. Feeling alone, Tyrion seeks out Bronn, who is sitting with Tyrion's new servants. Tyrion has also been given a squire, Podrick Payne, a distant cousin of Ser Ilyn Payne. There is also a...

(The entire section is 293 words.)

Chapter 63 Summary

Catelyn waits in the woods with her guard of thirty men. She recalls all of the men that have told her to wait over the years. She had waited on the battlements for her father to return from his excursions, sometimes for days. Later, Brandon Stark had bid her wait on him though it was Eddard that had returned to marry her. Ned had waited only a fortnight before riding to battle. He left her pregnant with a son but returned with another woman's son. Now she waits for Robb to return from his attack on Jaime Lannister. She recalls how her uncle, Brynden, reported on Jaime Lannister's troops. The Kingslayer had divided his army into three forces in order to lay siege to Riverrun. Each of the forces is divided by a river. An impatient...

(The entire section is 220 words.)

Chapter 64 Summary

Daenerys watches the flies that circle Khal Drogo. He is riding his horse, barely conscious. He has not followed the maegi's instructions. He removed the poultice, imbibed poppy wine and beer, and does not eat at night. When Khal Drogo falls from his horse, Dany rushes to help him. She orders that the khalasar stop. She has Drogo moved to her tent and sends for Ser Jorah. When he arrives, he explains that the khalasar will consume itself. A khal that cannot ride cannot lead, regardless of how many victories he has won. And now, Jorah explains, the khal that wins control over the majority of the riders will take Dany's child and feed it to dogs to prevent it from becoming a threat. The bloodriders will die...

(The entire section is 329 words.)

Chapter 65 Summary

Arya can smell fresh bread in the Street of Flour. She keeps her eyes focused on the pigeon in front of her. When it takes flight, she bats it back to the ground with her wooden sword. Pigeons are easy to catch compared to cats and they provide good food. Arya can take it to a place in Flea Bottom where they make "brown," a broth whose ingredients depend upon what is available on any given day. For half a pigeon, they will serve a bowl of brown and crisp the other half. However, Arya does not like the way people look at her cloak and boots when she goes there. Since leaving the Red Keep, Arya has lost all but a few of her possessions. The City Watch has closed all but four of the gates. Two allow people in; two usher people out....

(The entire section is 305 words.)

Chapter 66 Summary

Bran watches as Ser Rodrik trains new recruits as Maester Luwin studies a comet. The new recruits do not look very impressive but since Ned and Robb took all of the fighting men with them, more need to be trained. Bran tells Luwin that he has dreamt about the one-eyed crow again: he had talked to Ned in Winterfell's crypts. Now, however, Hodor refuses to go into the crypts. Bran insists that they go to the crypt to see if Ned Stark is there, so they summon Osha. Bran examines the statues of the Kings of Winter and is struck by how fierce the old kings look. When they reach the empty tomb that awaits Ned, Shaggydog springs from the dark tomb and attacks Maester Luwin until Summer comes to his rescue. Rickon comes out of the darkness...

(The entire section is 321 words.)

Chapter 67 Summary

Sansa is haunted by dreams of her father's execution. She also dreams of Ser Ilyn Payne coming to kill her. However, it is Joffrey who finally interrupts her mourning. He is attended by three of the kingsguard. He commands Sansa to come to court that afternoon. Sansa begs to return to Winterfell, swearing that she does not have the "traitor's blood." She wrote the letters and had been promised mercy. Joffrey explains that he had mercifully executed a traitor. When Sansa declares that she hates Joffrey, the king has Ser Meryn slap her. Sandor tells her to do as Joffrey pleases. That afternoon, Ser Meryn Trant arrives. As she talks to him, she realizes that Ser Meryn does not care about anything. At court, Sansa watches as Joffrey...

(The entire section is 306 words.)

Chapter 68 Summary

Daenerys has fever dreams in which she is running from one vision to the next. She dreams of Drogo, of Ser Jorah, and of Viserys. She dreams of her son: fire comes out of his mouth, burning everything, including himself. She finally dreams of her brother Rhaegar, the last dragon. When she wakes, she has little strength and falls back asleep again. She wakes again later, reaching for her dragon eggs, but again falls unconscious. When Dany does recover, she summons Mirri Maz Duur and Ser Jorah. They explain that her child was born blind and with dragon scales. The maegi explains that the price for life was death. When Dany goes to see what all of the death bought her, she finds Drogo. Though his body is alive, he is otherwise empty....

(The entire section is 283 words.)

Chapter 69 Summary

Tyrion watches as Tywin Lannister receives word that Jaime has been captured. Worse, the courier explains, the Starks have retaken Riverrun and have defeated Jaime's army. Now, Tywin's host is cut off from its base, Casterly Rock, in the west. The Arryns gather their strength in the east. Word from the south is that Renly has wed Margaery Tyrell of Highgarden. Now, Renly has declared himself king. In the storm lands, Stannis still gathers ships and swords, and even a Shadowbinder from Asshai. When one of Tywin's captains proposes that they sue for peace, Tyrion reminds them that Joffrey killed Ned Stark. There will be no peace, especially not while Robb Stark is so clearly winning the war. Tywin dismisses his captains. He tells his...

(The entire section is 215 words.)

Chapter 70 Summary

Jon almost rides down Samwell Tarly as he leaves the Wall. He intends to journey south to join his brother Robb in war against the Lannisters. Jon worries over breaking his oath, especially when he remembers the deserter his father executed. However, regardless of whether he stays or leaves, he feels that he will be betraying someone. Still, it does not feel right to leave the Night's Watch. Eventually, Jon feels that he has traveled far enough that he can eat. Having stopped, he hears men approaching. It is his brothers: Pyp, Grenn, Toad and the rest that he trained with under Ser Alliser. They surround Jon and tell him that he can either return to the Wall or kill them. Jon returns. When he serves Lord Commander Mormont...

(The entire section is 225 words.)

Chapter 71 Summary

Catelyn recalls how she carried Robb, an infant, from Riverrun to Winterfell. The journey began in a small boat, much like the one she and Robb are in now as they arrive at Riverrun. When they arrive in Riverrun, Catelyn goes immediately to see her father, Lord Hoster Tully. He is dying and complains about the pinching crabs in his belly. He inquires about Robb and asks to see him. When Catelyn tells Lord Hoster that his brother Ser Brynden has returned as well, the dying man bitterly recalls how Brynden refused to marry the woman he had arranged for her. When Catelyn leaves, she learns that Robb has already gone to the godswood to cleanse himself. He is like Ned, she thinks, not for the first time. That night, Robb listens as the...

(The entire section is 229 words.)

Chapter 72 Summary

Daenerys watches as her servants collect wood and grass from the surrounding lands. Ser Jorah, her handmaids, and Khal Drogo's remaining bloodriders—Rakharo, Aggo, and Jhago—remain. The others are the slaves from Drogo's horde, though they were too weak to leave with the other khalasars. According to Dothraki custom, Dany should burn Drogo and then travel to Vaes Dothrak to become a crone. Jorah swears his loyalty but fears that she means to burn herself in the pyre. Mirri Maz Duur, meanwhile, thinks that Dany, a child, has gone mad. However, Dany declares herself a woman and reminds Mirri Maz Duur that only death can pay for life. She has the maegi bound in the pyre, as well as the three dragon eggs. She then...

(The entire section is 212 words.)

Ed. Scott Locklear