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...
(The entire section is 1787 words.)
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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.
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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.
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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 to face his fears because “winter is coming,” the Stark family's words. However, her real purpose in coming to the godswood is to share a message: Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, is dead. Arryn had been a second father to Ned as well as to King Robert Baratheon. Together, the three men had led a rebellion against the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen fourteen years before. Now, King Robert rides north to Winterfell. Ned smiles at the news as Robert was his best friend.
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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 but the princess herself, pregnant, had escaped. Elia died months later giving birth to Daenerys in a terrible storm. Since then, the two remaining Targaryens have traveled from one place to another in flight from the Usurper’s assassins, a condition that has earned Viserys the name, “the beggar king.” For years, Dany had expected to marry her brother, as the Targaryens have always done in order to keep their bloodline pure, but now she is to be married to Drogo. When Drogo comes to see Dany, he is accompanied by an exiled Westerosi knight, Ser Jorah Mormont. Jorah is a big burly man, whereas Drogo is fierce. Dany is scared of her would-be husband, but Viserys insists that she stand up straight to earn the approval of the Dothraki warlord.
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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 and were responsible for Lyanna's death as well. At the time, Catelyn had been betrothed to Brandon and Robert to Lyanna. Standing in the crypt, Ned recalls that it was in response to the king’s murders that Robert and Ned led the rebellion. Now, Ned asks about how Jon Arryn died, and Robert explains that he took ill and died quickly. His wife, Lysa, who is Catelyn’s sister, has since retreated to the Vale, a kingdom in the east. With Jon Arryn dead, Robert needs new men around him to help rule the kingdom, and he asks Ned to succeed Arryn as the Hand of the King. He further proposes that Ned’s daughter, Sansa, wed Prince Joffrey. Ned agrees to consider these offers, though he is unsettled by the idea of leaving the Winterfell, especially now that winter is coming.
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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 when Jon responds enthusiastically Ben admonishes him to live a little before taking the oath. The men of the Night’s Watch swear never to hold land, never to take a wife, and never to father children. Jon swears loudly that he will never father a bastard, and he leaves the Great Hall in embarrassment as the other men stare at him. Outside, he meets Tyrion Lannister, who advises Jon to never show any sensitivity to his bastard birth, unless he wants his enemies to use it against him. Jon is not in the mood to take this advice either, but Tyrion concludes that “all dwarfs may be bastards, yet not all bastards need be dwarfs.”
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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 Catelyn. It is from Lysa, Catelyn’s sister and Arryn’s widow. She claims that her husband was murdered by the Lannisters. Ned must agree to become the Hand of the King if he is to find Arryn’s murderer. In the meantime, Catelyn will remain in Winterfell to teach her fourteen year old son Robb how to rule. Rickon will stay as well, but the others will travel south with him. Though Ned would prefer Jon to stay with Robb, Catelyn refuses to allow Ned’s bastard to stay in Winterfell. Luwin points out that Jon is thinking of joining the Night’s Watch, solving the problem.
(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 Bran beat Prince Tommen with a wooden practice sword. Ser Rodrick asks whether Robb and Joffrey would like to duel again and Robb agrees. Joffrey expresses disdain for practice swords and suggests they use “live steel.” The Lannisters and their men mock Robb, but Ser Rodrick will not allow the two boys to fight with real swords. The Lannisters leave the practice grounds and Jon suggests that Arya return to her needlework as well. When Arya claims that it is not fair that she spend her time stitching rather than training with a sword, Jon replies that nothing is fair.
(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 Winterfell, his second home. Though Catelyn worries about him, Bran never falls. He decides to go to a secret place, the Broken Tower. When he arrives, he overhears a conversation. A woman is explaining to a man that he should become the Hand of the King and that Ned’s appointment will pose a threat to them. They begin to discuss Lysa Arryn and her suspicions that they killed her husband, Jon. The man finds the talk boring and tells the woman to come to him, and Bran soon realizes that they are kissing. When Bran looks in the window, he sees the woman: it is the queen. Bran observes that she is with her brother just as the woman sees him. Jaime offers Bran his hand, but when Bran takes it, Jaime tosses the boy into the air.
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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 is older. Tyrion leaves to join his brother and sister for breakfast. Tommen and Myrcella are there as well. Tyrion looks at his siblings and announces that Bran remains unconscious but is expected to live. Cersei and Jaime look wary. Tyrion next announces that he intends to journey to the Wall before he returns to King’s Landing. After Cersei and her children leave, Jaime declares that if Bran were his son, he would kill the boy rather than let him live as a cripple. Tyrion identifies with Bran and says he would prefer to live. Besides, it would be interesting to hear what Bran has to say, he suggests. At this, Jaime jokes that sometimes he cannot tell whose side Tyrion is on.
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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 since Bran’s fall. They say farewell and Jon finally goes to see Arya, who is packing her things with Nymeria. Jon has brought her a present, a sword. It is small and thin, like Arya. The first lesson is to “stick them with the pointy end,” and of course, he reminds her, she cannot tell Sansa about it. Everyone knows that the best swords have names. Lord Eddard’s sword, for example, is “Ice.” This sword, jokes Jon, shall be named in honor of Arya’s favorite activity. Arya guesses as Jon names the sword, "Needle."
(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 customs. During the wedding, men coupled with women in the open, and Jorah explains that sex and sin are not understood by the Dothraki in the way that they are in Westeros. After the wedding, Dany is showered in gifts. Illyrio gives her three dragon eggs that have turned to stone over the eons. Viserys gives her three handmaids: Irri, Jhiqui, and Doreah. Dany finds Drogo terrifying, but she loves his gift to her: a silver mare. She and Drogo ride off on their horses. Later, they sleep together for the first time.
(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 surprised. He still recalls when Tywin Lannister had presented them with the corpses of Rhaegar's wife and children. What Ned had seen as murder, Robert had dismissed as war. Still, Ned insists, Daenerys is no threat to the realm, nor are the Dothraki, who refuses to travel over salt water. Their talk turns to who should become the Warden of the East now that Jon Arryn has died, but Robert has already promised the position to Jaime Lannister. Jaime's father, Tywin, is already the Warden of the West, which means that Jaime could inherit a great deal of power. Ned further suggests that Jaime cannot be trusted. He recalls when the rebellion reached King's Landing. The Lannisters had already taken the Red Keep and were flying their flag, not Robert's, on the ramparts. Inside, Ned had found Jaime, a member of the Kingsguard who had slain the king, sitting on the Iron Throne, but Robert does not care.
(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 arrived in King's Landing, he had sought out the dragon skeletons and had even found the three dragons with which Aegon the Conqueror had conquered Westeros and united the Seven Kingdoms under one ruler. After eighteen nights on the road, Jon asks why Tyrion reads so much. Tyrion can only ride a horse because he designed his own saddle. He cannot fight for his house, so he must contribute by using his mind. Tyrion goes on to mock Jon for joining the Night's Watch until Ghost attacks. Jon calls off the direwolf, and the two laugh away the tension. Jon comes to accept the truth of Tyrion's words, and the dwarf explains that "most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it." Tyrion notices as they return to the camp that Jon is consumed by growing concerns about the Night's Watch.
(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 she turns around she sees a man has entered. He states that she should not be there and then attacks her with a knife. He overpowers her, but is then tackled and killed by Bran's direwolf. Catelyn's hands are cut in the exchange and Luwin tends to her. She sleeps for four days and she awakes determined to act. She, Robb, Theon, Luwin, and Ser Rodrik Cassel, Winterfell's Master-at-Arms, reason that Bran was attacked so that he could not speak. Catelyn further reasons that Jaime Lannister, who did not participate in the hunt on the day of Bran's fall, must have thrown him. The intruder used a Valyrian steel blade, and Catelyn decides to travel south to inform Ned. Arguing that she can travel faster and more covertly in a small party, she and Ser Rodrik leave to travel to King's Landing.
(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 there as well, as are Ser Barristan Selmy, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Renly Baratheon, Lord of Storms End and councilor to the king, and Ser Ilyn Payne, the King's Justice and executioner. Payne has not spoken since the Mad King ripped out his tongue. The queen explains that the arrival of these knights must take priority over Sansa's day with Myrcella, but perhaps Joffrey could entertain her instead. He takes them riding alone, declaring that he will protect them with his sword "Lion's Tooth." Their magical day is interrupted by the sound of wooden clattering. They investigate and discover Arya and Mycah dueling with wooden swords. Joffrey declares that he will defend Arya. Drawing Lion's Tooth, Joffrey attacks Mycah, who refuses to fight back. Arya intervenes with her wooden sword before Joffrey can hurt Mycah. Joffrey disarms her, but Nymeria attacks before he can hurt her. Arya and Mycah leave, and Sansa goes to Joffrey who spits that she should leave.
(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 Mycah beat Joffrey with clubs while Nymeria sat on him. Arya tells her story, though Joffrey continues to lie. When Sansa arrives, she claims not to remember. Though Cersei demands punishment, Robert decides that he will discipline Joffrey and recommends that Ned do the same with Arya. Cersei goes on to ask about the direwolf and demands that it be killed. Nymeria has been missing, so Cersei suggests that they kill Lady instead. If Robert wants to kill the direwolf, Ned argues, he do it himself. Robert refuses and Ned carries out the execution. Outside, he meets the Hound, Sandor Clegane, who has returned with Mycah's corpse.
(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, and continues to explore until he sees the heart of winter. When Bran sees it, the crow explains that now he realizes why he must live: winter is coming. Bran looks at the crow and sees that it has three eyes. Bran spreads his arms and flies. The crow proceeds to peck at Bran's forehead between his eyes. When he wakes up, he sees a serving woman as he grabs at his forehead. Bran also sees his direwolf, whom he names Summer.
(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 kill Littlefinger. Though Catelyn and Rodrik take care not to be seen, Catelyn has barely inspected her room at an inn before she is interrupted by the men of the City Watch. Littlefinger sent them, they explain, and they take her away to meet him. Littlefinger explains that Lord Varys, who is officially titled the Master of Whispers but called by Catelyn the "King's Spider," found her. Littlefinger wants to know why Catelyn has come to King's Landing, and though Catelyn claims that it is just to see her husband and children, Littlefinger recites the Tully family's words, "Family, Duty, Honor," and points out that all of them required her to stay in Winterfell. Catelyn decides to trust Littlefinger and Varys with the story of what happened to Bran.
(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 other recruits interrupt and attack him. They only stop when Donal Noye, the Wall's one-armed blacksmith, arrives. Noye dismisses the boys and explains to Jon that the others hate him because he acts like he is better than they are. Jon, the only recruit who has been trained by a knight to fight with a sword, bullies them in the yard. Jon leaves the armory in a reflective mood and runs into Tyrion Lannister. They go to the common room to eat, but when he arrives he is told that the Lord Commander has asked after him. Jon goes to see the Lord Commander, the "Old Bear," Jeor Mormont, who passes Jon a message delivered by raven: Bran has woken up. Jon returns to the common room, ecstatic that his brother will live. When he sees another of the recruits, Grenn, Jon offers to show him how to defend himself with a sword.
(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 that the realm, which was rich under the Targaryens, is now three million dragons in debt to the Lannisters, not to mention another three million to other lenders. Ned promises to talk Robert out of his madness. After the meeting ends, Littlefinger takes Ned to see Catelyn. Littlefinger has hidden her in one of his brothels. Inside, Catelyn explains what she has learned about Bran's fall. Ned decides that she should return home and command the lords of the north to begin preparing for a possible Lannister led invasion from the south. In the meantime, Ned will do his best to find proof that the Lannisters murdered Jon Arryn. Hopefully, when he takes his case before Robert, the king will act like the man he was rather than the man he has become.
(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 did so because they fought for the Targaryens during the rebellion. When Mormont offers Tyrion an escort south to Winterfell, Tyrion realizes that the Old Bear wants something from him. Mormont explains that he would have Tyrion use his influence to gather more men for the Night's Watch, whose numbers are declining. Worse, the long summer is now ending, meaning that a long and terrible winter is approaching. There is word from Eastwatch that the white walkers have been spotted. Tyrion dismisses the white walkers as superstition and leaves. He decides to look over the Wall and enters a cage that will be pulled up. There, he finds Jon and Ghost. Jon asks Tyrion to help Bran as best as he can. Though Tyrion is leaving, they decide that they are friends.
(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. Arya refuses to tell him who gave it to her. Ned reflects that it is the "wolf blood" that makes Arya so difficult to manage, and he points out that it was in both his brother Brandon and his sister Lyanna. It brought them both to an early death. Arya confesses that she feels it was her fault that Mycah died, and she explains that she and Jory had to throw rocks at Nymeria to make the direwolf go away, safe from the queen. Ned comforts Arya and tells her that their house's sigil is the direwolf. In the pack, each wolf protects the others. Here in King's Landing, the Starks will have to act like a pack to survive. Ned lets Arya keep Needle. Three days later, she is taken to meet Syrio Forel, her new dancing master. He explains that he was first sword to the Sealord of Braavos for nine years and begins to teach her the "water dance."
(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 Viserys' throat. Dany commands Jhogo not to harm him. Ser Jorah joins them and when Viserys commands him to kill the Dothraki and beat Dany, the exiled knight sides with the khaleesi. Viserys is left to walk behind the khalasar. When Dany confides in Jorah that she is worried over her actions, he asks her whether she thinks Viserys would make a good king. Dany does not, but surely, she argues, the people of Westeros are waiting for his return. Jorah explains that the common people only pray for "rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends ... It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace ... They never are." That night, Dany returns to her tent and talks to her handmaids about dragons. They explain that dragons have not been seen in centuries. Dany knows that magic died in the west when the "Doom fell on Valyria," but what about the lands in the east? When Drogo comes to Dany's tent, she takes him outside and mounts him. By the time they have crossed the Dothraki sea, Dany, who has just turned fourteen, is visibly pregnant.
(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 maybe the Wall as well, but Bran prefers scary stories. She tells him a story about the first time the Others attacked the realm when the First Men took Westeros from the children of the forest. The last hero of the First Men set out to find the children, hoping that their magic could win back the realm. The story is interrupted when Hodor comes into the room with Maester Luwin. They take Bran to the hall, where Robb is coldly welcoming Tyrion Lannister. When Tyrion sees Bran, he presents him with a gift: a design for a special saddle that will allow Bran to ride. Tyrion leaves to sleep in a whorehouse, but the men of the Night's Watch remain. Robb is angry when they inform him that his uncle Benjen is almost certainly dead.
(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 have wanted to kill Jon Arryn? When Ned points out that poison is traditionally thought a woman's weapon, the Grand Maester responds that it is also associated with eunuchs, like Lord Varys. Before Ned leaves, he asks if he could see the book that Jon Arryn was looking for. Pycelle promises to send one. When Ned returns to his chamber, Littlefinger is waiting for him. He explains that some of Jon Arryn's servants remained in King's Landing, including his squire, Ser Hugh. When Ned agrees to send for Ser Hugh, Littlefinger takes Ned to the window and points out to him several people that inform on Ned's actions to Lord Varys, to the queen, and even to Littlefinger. Ned agrees to send one of his men more confidentially and thanks the Master of the Coin. Littlefinger replies that the wisest thing Ned could do is distrust him.
(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 coward. Later, Jon decides to talk to Sam rather than leaving him alone. Sam explains that he is afraid of nearly everything. His father, seeing weakness in his eldest son, ordered Sam to join the Night's Watch or he would die in a "hunting accident" to clear the line of succession for his younger brother, Dickon. Jon returns to the common room and tells the other recruits not to hurt Sam during practice. Only Rast refuses, until Jon, Grenn, Pyp, and Ghost sneak into Rast's room later that night and threaten him. After the next practice, Sam thanks Jon, explaining that he has never had a friend before. Jon responds that the men of the Night's Watch are brothers.
(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 death? He summons Jory, and the northern captain reports on his latest investigations. Littlefinger passed on four leads for Jory to pursue, but none seem promising. Would would Stannis, King Robert's stern brother, visit a brothel with Jon Arryn? Neither man has ever been associated with such things. Ned instructs Jory to investigate the brothel, while he goes to the Street of Steel to see what else Arryn and Stannis were looking into. There, he discovers that they wanted to see Tobho Mott's apprentice, Gendry, who Ned can tell is King Robert's bastard son. Why would such a discovery lead to Arryn's death and cause Stannis to flee to his castle, Dragonstone?
(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 make it to supper on time if they want to eat. At supper, they meet Marillion, a singer on his way to King's Landing. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Tyrion Lannister, who recognizes Catelyn. With no other alternative at hand, Catelyn announces her identity. Next, she identifies swordsmen that should be loyal to her father and when they rise, Catelyn announces that Tyrion conspired to murder her son. At Winterfell, Catelyn declares, Tyrion will pay for his crimes. The men draw their swords.
(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 final four, and they will compete again the next day. At the feast, Sansa finds herself drunk on the magic of the evening, and she hopes that Ser Loras, who has given her a red rose and compliments on her beauty, will win the tourney. Joffrey serves Sansa himself. When Sansa admits that she would appreciate an escort back to the castle, Joffrey summons Sandor Clegane to take her away. As they walk, Sansa compliments Sandor on his gallantry, but the Hound, drunk, dismisses them and calls her a talking bird. He tells her that Gregor killed the knight from the Vale on purpose and then forces her to look at the burn scars on his face. When Sansa finds no pretty words to describe the scars, Clegane tells her that it was Ser Gregor that burned him when they were children after Sandor played with one of his older brother’s toys. Sansa declares Gregor “no true knight.” Sandor tells Sansa that he will kill her if she ever tells anyone how he was burned.
(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 Robert’s mood changes and he starts telling old stories, Ned recognizes the old Robert. If he can convince this Robert of Cersei’s crimes, they could defeat the Lannisters. They make their way to the jousting field, where Sandor defeats Jaime. Next comes Gregor, who, Ned recalls, is said to have killed the infant Aegon Targaryen and raped Princess Elia when the Lannisters took King’s Landing. Ser Loras arrives astride a mare in heat, which makes Gregor’s already irritable stallion all but uncontrollable. Ser Loras wins. However, as the Knight of Flowers celebrates, Clegane rises, kills his horse, and attacks Ser Loras. Only Sandor stands up to him, and they fight until King Robert commands that they stop. Ser Loras yields the purse to the Hound. Thoros of Myr, meanwhile, wins the melee. That evening, a disguised Lord Varys visits Ned and informs him that the queen and others had hoped to convince Robert to fight in the melee in order to kill him, just as they used the tourney to kill Ser Hugh. He explains that Ser Hugh murdered Jon Arryn by feeding him the tears of Lys, a rare poison that leaves no trace. Varys proposes that he and Ned join forces to protect the realm.
(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 his father could send men to rescue him, Tyrion would be nowhere near them. Now, they have been riding along the highroad, a rough road that winds through the mountains, beyond which lies the Vale. The horses are dying, and when they are attacked by mountain clansmen, Lady Stark allows the men to arm Tyrion so that he can defend himself. During the fight, Tyrion even helps defend Lady Catelyn against their attackers. After, Tyrion finds that he has begun to earn the respect of Bronn, and Lady Catelyn allows him to keep his weapons. As they ride off, Tyrion tells Catelyn that the story Littlefinger told her about the dagger is a lie. Tyrion never bets against his brother.
(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 being from the Free Cities, wants to know what will happen next. Clearly the wolf and lion will soon be at war. The other replies that it is too soon for war; if necessary, kill the Hand to delay war. Now, Arya can tell that the man from the Free Cities has a forked beard, heavily ringed hands, and is fat. He goes on to say that the princess is pregnant and that the khal will not attack until after the child is born. The other explains that he has learned that Stannis and Lysa Arryn are gathering their swords, Catelyn Stark has abducted Tyrion Lannister, and Loras Tyrell and Lord Renly intend to replace Cersei with Ser Loras's younger sister. The men leave. Arya follows a passage until she comes to the mouth of a sewer outside the Red Keep. When she returns, the guards do not recognize her, nor do they believe that she is Arya Stark until Arya commands them to find Jory or Vayon Poole if they doubt her. She rushes to her father to tell him what she has heard. Ned does not believe her, and they are interrupted by the arrival of Yoren of the Night's Watch before she can explain further. Yoren explains that he has brought news, and that the same news has likely already reached Tywin Lannister.
(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 will take two weeks to prepare for the journey, so Ned decides that he will go ahead with the girls and a few guards. Perhaps, Ned thinks, he should travel by ship and visit Stannis along the way. Stannis most likely knows why Jon Arryn was killed. Ned reflects that he came close to solving the murder, but not close enough. He gives the order to prepare to depart for Winterfell. Littlefinger arrives before Ned can do anything else, and he offers to take Ned to the brothel that Jory has been searching for if he stays one more night.
(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 that guard the way to the Eyrie, a mountain castle whose precipices lie above the clouds. The men are allowed to stay behind, but Lysa sends word that Catelyn must journey along the mountain path at night. The way is dangerous, but Catelyn is accompanied by Mya Stone, a girl whose mules know the path well. When Catelyn arrives, Lysa initially welcomes her. However, when they are alone, Lysa's mood turns angry. Catelyn tries to explain that action is needed, not to mention that it was Lysa that first sent them word about the Lannisters' treachery. When Robert, who has the shaking sickness, enters, Lysa commands Catelyn to be silent. She opens her robe and breastfeeds Robert as she considers what to do with Tyrion Lannister. Robert suggests that they "make him fly."
(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 Red Keep, Ned's three guards are surrounded by Lannisters. Jaime reveals himself, announcing that they are looking for Tyrion. Ned announces that if Jaime kills him, Catelyn will kill Tyrion. Jaime tells his men to let Ned live but to kill his men. Ned's horse falls, breaking his leg. Ned watches as the Lannisters kill his men. Jory fights well but is finally pulled down from his horse and killed. When Ned wakes, Grand Maester Pycelle is giving him milk of the poppy to ease the pain.
(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 his castle, he would win easily. When they do encounter buildings, Jorah confirms that the Dothraki do not build them. Instead, the halls are built by slaves. And only the dosh khaleen actually live in Vaes Dothrak. Otherwise, the hordes merely pass through, and while there, they uphold the law that no blood will be spilled in the sacred city. The Dothraki remove their weapons as they return to the Mother of the Mountains. Drogo leaves to go see the Mother, and so Dany decides to rest. She has a bath prepared and sends for Viserys. When he arrives, she has prepared gifts to give him as well as dinner. However, when he arrives, Viserys is furious at being summoned by one of Dany's handmaids. When he threatens her, Dany swings one of her gifts, a chain of medallions, into his face and warns that Khal Drogo will kill Viserys for threatening her. He leaves, and Dany goes to her dragon eggs and holds them to her. She feels her child move toward the egg.
(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 Lannister, the Kingslayer. Now, Theon advises that Robb call his banners, but Bran counsels Robb to listen to Maester Luwin's more cautious advice. They go further into the woods and Robb eventually rides ahead to find Summer and Grey Wind. Bran is left alone until a group of ragged strangers approach him. They advance upon Bran, noticing the silver he wears. Bran realizes that they must be deserters. Their robbery is stopped when Robb returns and attacks with the direwolves. At last, a woman, Osha, and a man remain. The man holds Bran hostage until Theon shoots him with his bow and arrow. Osha surrenders and returns to Winterfell with them.
(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 plan works, and when Tyrion is summoned, he is brought before the entire court. There, Tyrion confesses to a variety of crimes, such as lechery and taunting nobles at court, but he concludes that he cannot confess to murder. The court laughs. Tyrion then demands a trial. Lysa Arryn reveals the "moon door," through which the guilty are dropped to their death. Realizing that Lord Robert, Lysa's frail son, will find him guilty just so that he can watch Tyrion "fly," Tyrion chooses instead to be tried by combat. Lysa agrees and names her champion, thinking that he will fight Tyrion. However, Tyrion names his brother Jaime his champion. Lysa refuses to wait for Jaime to arrive, and so Tyrion, desperate, calls out for a champion at the Eyrie. The sellsword Bronn volunteers.
(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 and Howland Reed, a crannogman from the Neck, would survive the battle. Ned wakes up in the Tower of the Hand. Jory's successor, Alyn, reports that Jaime Lannister has left the city. King Robert comes to see Ned; they are then joined by Queen Cersei. Ned attempts to explain that he commanded Catelyn to take Tyrion prisoner, but Robert commands Ned to let go of his feud with the Lannisters. When Cersei charges that Ned was returning drunk from a brothel, Ned announces that he went to see one of Robert's bastard children. Now, Ned demands that he be given leave to bring Jaime to justice, but again Robert denies him. When Cersei mocks Robert for not being more authoritative with a rebel like Ned, he backhands her, which Cersei declares she will wear as a badge of honor. Robert has her escorted out. Robert commands Ned to continue as Hand of the King, threatening that he will otherwise give the office to Jaime Lannister. Tomorrow, Robert then declares, he will go hunting.
(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 denied him leave to take men to Riverrun. Disgusted, Brynden has resigned his post and means to leave for Riverrun. Catelyn invites him to accompany her to Winterfell; she then finds Lysa in her apartment, laughing with suitors she has no intention of marrying. There, Catelyn confronts Lysa over her plans but is ignored. Leaving, Catelyn comments that Robert will never be strong enough to rule the Vale if he remains with his coddling mother. Maester Coleman, who overhears, admits that it was Jon Arryn's intention to foster Robert at the Dragonstone. At last, Catelyn watches Tyrion's trial. Bronn circles Ser Vardis, tiring the older knight; he ultimately defeats him. Lysa orders her guards to return Tyrion's possessions to him, to outfit him for a journey to Riverrun, and to release him back to the high road. Catelyn, recalling the attacks she endured on the way to the Eyrie, realizes that it is another sort of death sentence.
(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, who tells Jon to leave because Aemon is abed. Jon insists, and meets Aemon. He asks that Sam be accepted as a brother of the Night's Watch. Jon explains that Aemon is charged with caring for the wounded, which Sam will be if he is left with Ser Alliser. Chett objects, arguing that Sam is too weak for the Watch, but Jon argues that he Watch is like a maester's chain, which is made up of many links, and every link a different metal. The chain is meant to represent the realm, which is made up of many different sorts. The Watch also can find a use for every sort. Jon proposes that Sam become a steward. Though he cannot hunt or farm, like the other Stewards, he could help Aemon better than anyone else. Aemon offers to consider Jon's arguments.
(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 Love," a song he learned from the first woman he slept with. He and Jaime had rescued her from would-be rapists, Tyrion explains. She was lowborn but beautiful. They retreated to an inn, slept together, and married soon after. They "played at being man and wife" for a fortnight, until Lord Tywin learned what Tyrion had done. Then Tywin made Jaime tell Tyrion that the former had set up the entire episode. He even paid for the girl. It had simply been time for Tyrion to sleep with a woman. After, Tywin gave Tyrion's wife to his guards, who each paid her one silver. Tyrion went last, but was told to pay a gold piece since he was a Lannister. The clansmen arrive soon after the story ends. Tyrion offers them a deal similar to the one he offered Bronn. Should the clansmen escort Tyrion from their lands, Tyrion's family will provide them with superior arms. With these weapons, they will be able to take the Vale of Arryn.
(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 Tywin rather than bringing the matter before the court. Ned responds that it is "all the king's justice." He orders that word be taken to the king. In the meantime, though the realm cannot restore to the people what was taken, it can offer some measure of justice. Ned stands, painfully, and explains that cannot pursue justice himself as he is still recovering from his attack. Ser Loras Tyrell asks permission to lead the search for Clegane. Instead, Ned sends Lord Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, and several others to gather men. They shall bring Gregor Clegane to justice. Further, Ned announces that Clegane shall be stripped of his lands and title. As Ned and the small council leave, Varys suggests that Ser Loras Tyrell would have been a better choice than Lord Beric. By setting the Tyrells against the Lannisters, Ned would gain the southerners as allies. Beyond that, Ser Ilyn Payne is the King's Justice, and he should have been sent after Clegane.
(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. Sansa finds Jeyne's crush silly; Jeyne is too far beneath Lord Beric. The next morning, Sansa tells Arya about her day at court. Arya wonders why Clegane will face justice when Jaime Lannister does not. And what about the Hound, who killed Mycah? Sansa airily explains that Sandor Clegane protects Joffrey, so it is an entirely different situation. Arya throws an orange at Sansa, and the girls are sent to their rooms. Ned summons Sansa and Arya to tell them that he is going to send them back to Winterfell. The girls are angry. Arya wants to continue her "dancing lessons" and Sansa wants to marry Joffrey. The girls argue about Joffrey and when Arya calls Joffry a "stag, not a lion," Sansa replies that Joffrey is nothing like King Robert. Ned sits up in realization and tells the girls that he will send them away tomorrow. In the meantime, they must keep their plans a secret. Sansa bursts into tears and flees to her bedchamber.
(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, murdered by Tywin Lannister's men and presented to Robert at the end of the rebellion. He summons a guard, Fat Tom, and asks to be escorted to the godswood. There, he asks Tom to deliver a message. The queen comes at sunset. Ned confronts her with the truth: she and her twin Jaime are lovers. Jon Arryn's dying words, "the seed is strong," had referred to King Robert's bastard children: all of whom were born with black Baratheon hair. Joffrey and his siblings all have golden Lannister hair. Ned tells Cersei that he will tell Robert of her treachery. She must leave before Robert returns if she wants to live. Cersei explains that "when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground," and leaves.
(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 Dothraki. Then, they sleep together. At last, Dany is allowed to wear sandsilk. They proceed to Drogo's hall, where there is a feast. Dany finds Ser Jorah, who explains that Viserys has gone to the market to buy wine and perhaps sellswords. Dany worries. No blood is to be shed in Vaes Dothrak, and yet people are still murdered, albeit bloodlessly. Jorah tells her that Viserys will be safe if he does not try to steal anything. He had tried to steal Dany's dragon eggs but Jorah had stopped him. Dany is surprised and explains that she would gladly give him the dragon eggs if he wanted them; after all, Viserys is her king. Jorah suggests that Dany is now the khaleesi and the "stallion who mounts the world" is an ancient prophecy about a khal who will unite the Dothraki and lead them around the world, conquering everything. Viserys arrives drunk and, in defiance of Dothraki custom, wearing a sword. When Dany approaches her brother, he draws his sword and levels it at her belly. Drogo announces that Viserys shall "wear a golden crown" and his bloodriders seize Viserys. They melt gold in a pot above a cook fire. Once melted, they empty the molten gold on Viserys' skull. He dies, albeit bloodlessly. Dany reflects that Viserys was "no dragon" because "fire cannot kill a dragon."
(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 very drunk before he faced the bear. Ned inquires and learns that Lancel Lannister, Robert's squire, had served Robert. Varys arrives and when Ned tells him to call off the assassins, Varys says it is too late. Ned next meets Renly, who tells him that he has thirty men with whom they could take control of King's Landing and the realm if they could wrest Joffrey from Cersei's control. Ned refuses and returns to his chamber to summons Littlefinger. Waiting, Ned writes a letter to Stannis, Robert's true heir, requesting his help in the coming conflict with the Lannisters. When Littlefinger arrives, he advises Ned to ensure that Joffrey succeeds Robert. Stannis's rise will mean war, whereas Joffrey's rise will mean peace. Remembering the people that the Lannisters have killed, Ned refuses. He and Littlefinger agree that the City Watch, who are paid by the Master of Coin, will help Ned take control of the realm.
(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 Stewards, which irritates Jon until Sam explains that it means Jon will serve Lord Commander Mormont. Jon is being groomed for command. Although the other recruits will swear their vows in the sept, Jon and Sam will swear their oaths before the Old Gods. The weirwood grove lies beyond the Wall in the haunted forest. That night, Jon and Sam swear their oath. They take Ghost with them, but when they prepare to return to the Wall, Ghost arrives with a hand in his jaw.
(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 room with Littlefinger's support. Joffrey demands to be crowned within a fortnight. When Ned presents Robert's will, Cersei tears it up. She advises Ned to bend his knee before Joffrey. Ned refuses and names Stannis the true heir. Cersei calls this treason and swords are drawn. Ned tells Janos Slynt to take the queen into custody, but the City Watch attack Ned's men. Littlefinger, meanwhile, draws the Valyrian steel dagger that was used in the attack against Bran from Ned's waist. He holds it to Ned's throat.
(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 Winterfell. They are interrupted by the arrival of several soldiers. There is a knight of the Kingsguard, Ser Meryn, and several Lannister guardsmen. Syrio engages the Lannisters with his wooden sword and defeats them. Arya now realizes that he had only toyed with her when they dueled. Arya runs away as Syrio attacks the armored knight of the Kingsguard. She returns to the Tower of the Hand, retrieves her sword, and kills a man that comes to collect her. She then flees beneath the castle, sees the monsters and realizes that they are dragons. She continues running into the dark.
(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. Now, the council considers whether they should still allow Sansa to marry Joffrey. They have already made their decision, though Sansa does not realize it. Sansa promises to be loyal, and they decide to allow her to continue her engagement. They first ask Sansa to write to her mother and brother explaining how her father betrayed the king. They will even tell her what to write.
(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 they left. Mormont orders that the bodies be returned to the Wall for further inspection. Once there, they learn that King Robert has died and that Lord Eddard Stark is being held prisoner on charges of treason. When Alliser Thorne mocks Jon about Ned being a traitor, Jon attacks. Jon is stopped, taken away, and imprisoned with only Ghost for company. That night, Jon wakes and discovers that his guard has been killed. Othar, though dead, is animated and attacking. Ghost fights off the wight and Jon manages to save Lord Commander Mormont by lighting a drape on fire and throwing it at the dead man.
(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 believes in giants, but Osha tells Bran that they are real and they are not the worst thing that walks there. Bran promises Osha that he will pass on her message when he next sees Robb, but neither Robb nor Maester Luwin care for talk about magic, magical creatures, or the children of the forest. Instead, Maester Luwin encourages Bran to become a maester like himself, a "knight of the mind," but Bran next thinks about the three-eyed crow's instruction to fly. Maester Luwin reminds Bran that he cannot spend more time dreaming. When Robb travels south with his host, Bran remains behind; he is now the lord in Winterfell. Bran watches Robb leave and notes that he is going the wrong way.
(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 captain that should be delivering a letter to him. Dany offers to join him, but Jorah refuses. Assuming that Jorah is visiting a brothel, she continues until she makes her way to a wine merchant. When he learns who Dany is, he offers her a cask of wine. Jorah returns and insists that the merchant drink it himself. The merchant tries to refuse, then tries to escape, and finally is captured. Jorah explains that he had just received word that King Robert is offering land and wealth to anyone that assassinates Dany and her child. They return to camp and tell Drogo, who has returned, wounded, from his hunt. When he learns what has happened, Drogo swears that he will conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Dany returns to her tent and puts her dragon eggs into a fire, but nothing happens. As the khalasar prepares to leave, Dany notices the wine merchant, who will walk behind the horses. Nothing will happen to him, so long as he can keep up.
(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, meanwhile, lies in what is not said: Sansa is a hostage. Unfortunately, Catelyn cannot offer more help because Lysa has robbed her of her hostage, Tyrion Lannister. She has also refused to send knights outside the Vale. Robb wonders what he should do next. Catelyn lays out his options: swear fealty in King's Landing and never leave, retreat to Winterfell and lose the respect of his lords, or defeat the Lannisters in the field. The key will be holding enough power that Ned and Sansa will remain valuable hostages. If they can capture Tywin or Jaime, they will perhaps be able to exchange hostages. In the south, Jaime Lannister has already defeated Edmure Tully's knights in battle. Meanwhile, Tywin Lannister brings another host to Riverrun. Robb means to travel south to meet them, even if it means abandoning the defensive strength of Moat Cailin. Robb intends to divide his army in two, cross the river Trident at the Twins, and surprise Lord Tywin. He will give Roose Bolton, his most cunning bannerman, command of the second army. Catelyn is impressed and she announces that she will join Robb so that she can help both him and her brother.
(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 supply lines and need to be dealt with. Otherwise, the war seems to be all but won. The Arryns will not leave the Vale, the River lords appear weak, and the Starks are led by a boy. When Tywin receives word that Robb Stark is descending upon them, Tywin orders his men to prepare to ride to meet the northerners. Although they have built a strong defense, Tywin worries that the young Stark will run away from such strength. When Tywin meets the clansmen, he convinces them to join the fight against Robb Stark. The only condition the clans impose is that Tyrion must lead them.
(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 given that the knights of the Kingsguard serve for life. She dismisses his concerns and names Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer, the new Lord Commander. Ser Barristan is disgusted. They offer him a tract of land, gold, and men, but the old knight refuses it. He leaves, full of contempt for the other members of the Kingsguard who will agree to serve an oathbreaker like Jaime. Joffrey orders his men to seize Ser Barristan. Littlefinger suggests they move on. Sandor Clegane is named to the Kingsguard, though he refuses to become a knight. Finally, they call for other business, and at this point Sansa comes forward to ask mercy for her father. After some discussion, Joffrey announces that Lord Eddard will be granted mercy if he confesses his crimes and names Joffrey king.
(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 that Arya escaped and has disappeared. Sansa, meanwhile, remains betrothed to Joffrey. Varys's goal, he claims, is peace in the land. He asks why Ned warned the queen that he knew about Joffrey's parentage, and Ned replies that it was mercy. Varys returns that Ned's incarceration is the consequence of honor and mercy, as is the coming war. Now, he explains, Cersei will soon come to visit Ned. When she does, she will propose a deal that would end Robb's attack, which would in turn free the Lannister armies to defend King's Landing and Joffrey from Stannis Baratheon, a proven battle leader. Varys explains that in return Ned will serve the realm by bringing peace, saving his daughter, Sansa, and thus be allowed to live and join the Night's Watch.
(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 ambition, and has never lacked for cunning." His castle is the only way to cross the river, and Catelyn points out that it gives Frey the advantage. When Ser Brynden arrives and announces that Edmure has been taken hostage, it only adds to Robb's need to cross the river. They arrive and find the Twins well armed and ready to defend against a siege. Ser Stevron Frey, who is at sixty years old Lord Walder's heir, arrives to welcome them. He invites Robb inside, but the men refuse. Catelyn volunteers, enters the castle and negotiates with Walder Frey, an old man who has twenty sons, thirty-six grandsons, and nineteen great-grandsons. Catelyn does not count the daughters, granddaughters, and bastards. The old man looks like a weasel as he turns the conversation toward negotiation. When Catelyn leaves the castle, she informs Robb that she will take two Freys as her wards, Robb will take Freys as his squires, and, finally, Robb will marry one of Frey's daughters or granddaughters. They then cross the river.
(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 it is Valyrian steel. Lord Mormont family has guarded this sword, Longclaw, for generations. Jon is honored, but he does not tell Lord Mormont that he dreams of wielding Ice. Lord Mormont knows Jon will need Longclaw since more dead men will attack the Wall this winter. Meanwhile, the Long Night has come again. Jon leaves and the men, appreciative of Robb saving the Lord Commander, congratulate him on his new sword. When Jon finds Sam, the latter tells him that Maester Aemon wishes to see him. The old, blind Maester talks to Jon about love and duty, explaining that the former is the death of the latter. Jon would like to believe that his father would never dishonor himself for love, though his bastard birth proves otherwise. Still, when he speaks, he defends his father. Aemon does not challenge him and replies that few are as strong as Eddard Stark. Aemon explains that when Aegon the Conqueror slew Black Harren, his brother was Lord Commander on the Wall; he did not march. The honorable choice is easy until the day it is not. Jon sees Aemon's point, but what does Aemon know of such decisions? The blind Maester explains that his brother was the King Aegon V; when Robert Baratheon rebelled against Aerys the Mad King, Aemon had to stand by as his House was ruined and disgraced. Now, Jon must make his choice, and he must live with it for the rest of his life.
(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 she is like Rhaegar before he leaves to save the girl. Dany enters the town and stops every rape she encounters. She finds Drogo, wounded. When he hears what Dany has done, he allows Dany to keep the women that she has claimed, even when his bloodrider, Qotho, objects. When Drogo tries to rise, Dany sees that he is in pain. Drogo dismissed the healers so that they could serve his men, but now Dany calls them back. One of the women Dany claimed offers to heal Drogo. She introduces herself as Mirri Maz Duur, a godswife of the temple. One of Drogo's men declares her a maegi. She explains that she was trained in Asshai by the Shadow in the far east by a man, Marwyn, who wore a chain of many metals around his neck. When Jorah realizes Marwyn is a maester, she is allowed to proceed. She withdraws the arrow, applies a poultice, and instructs Drogo to allow the poultice to do its work. Drogo responds that he will do as he likes. Dany asks the maegi to help her deliver Drogo's child.
(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 young woman, Shae. Tyrion takes her into his tent and they negotiate terms before sleeping together. After, Tyrion finds Bronn, who explains that he took Shae from a knight. Tyrion explains Bronn's next task: keep him alive during the coming battle. Tyrion returns to his tent, sleeps with Shae again, and wakes up to the sound of trumpets. Bronn explains that the Starks have arrived sooner than expected. Tyrion dons his armor and commands Shae to weep for him if he is killed. Tyrion and Bronn proceed to the van where they are commanded to hold the left along the river. Tyrion commands his clansmen, who shout "Halfman" as they prepare for battle. Tyrion fights well and even takes a knight hostage. Afterward, he confronts his father, who confirms Tyrion's suspicions that they were meant to lose the left. Ser Addam Marbrand arrives, announcing that Robb Stark was not in the battle. He and his horse instead travelled to Riverrun.
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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 man, Lannister rides out with his men to attack every raid. It was in this way that Robb's forces were able to draw him into their trap. When Robb returns from the ambush, Catelyn learns that Lord Karstark lost both of his sons, who died defending Robb from the Kingslayer. Now, Theon is thrilled with victory. Catelyn cautions the men to remember that the war will not be over until they defeat Lord Tywin. Although they have Jaime Lannister, his forces still surround Riverrun.
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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 with Drogo and Daenerys will be taken to Vaes Dothrak to join the crones. Dany refuses to leave Drogo. When Mirri Maz Duur arrives, she announces that the wound has festered. When Drogo's bloodriders attack the maegi, Dany commands them to stop. Jorah backs up her command with his sword. She commands Jorah to put on his armor. Mirri Maz Duur explains that Drogo cannot be saved, but explains that there is a magic way to save him. It will require a price however; only death can pay for life. A stallion is slaughtered as the maegi chants. Dany commands the men to burn the carcass after she and the others leave the tent. When Jorah arrives, he is dismayed by what he finds. Inside the tent, she sees Mirri Maz Duur dancing with shadows. Qotho returns and tries to enter the tent but Ser Jorah confronts him and draws. Dany's water breaks as Qotho's sword lodges itself in Jorah's leg. The knight slays the bloodrider, but other Dothraki arrive, now attacking for control of the horde. Jorah summons midwives, but none will come because Dany is cursed. Jorah carries Dany, despite her protestations, into the tent to Mirri Maz Duur.
(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. All who pass through the gates are searched. Arya decides to see if she can find a way out of the city and hears a summoning bell. The smallfolk gather around the Great Sept of Baelor, where they see Eddard Stark, King Joffrey, and members of the Kingsguard and small council. Arya watches as her father declares himself a traitor. The High Septon announces that the gods are just but also merciful. Joffrey smiles as he announces that although his mother advised him that Eddard be allowed to join the Night's Watch, treason will never go unpunished during his reign. He summons Ser Ilyn Payne, the King's Justice. Arya draws Needle and tries to reach her father. She is grabbed from behind by Yorne of the Night's Watch. He calls her "boy," commands her not to watch what happens to her father, and draws a knife, which he places against the back of her neck. She feels her scalp tearing.
(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 and tells Shaggy to stop. Rickon also dreamt of Ned's return. Bran decides that they should all go to the Maester's tower. There, Osha explains that the children of the forest still exist beyond the Wall. Luwin does not believe her. He explains to Bran that the children existed during the Dawn Age, before kings came. They fought with obsidian swords and arrowheads and their wise men were called greenseers. They carved faces into weirwoods to keep watch on the woods. When the First Men appeared with their bronze swords, they cut down the forests. They fought the children until the First Men and the children made a pact: the deep woods were to remain forever the children's, and no more weirwoods would be cut down. The Pact ended the Dawn Age and began the Age of Heroes. Then the Andals crossed the seas, brought the new gods, and conquered the southern six kingdoms. Only in the North did the First Men remain. The children fled. The history ends when Summer begins howling: a raven arrives bearing the news of Ned Stark's death.
(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 makes his proclamations. Most cases do not amuse him, but he has a thief's hand cut off, he announces that two knights shall fight to the death over a piece of land, and he has a woman carried to the dungeons when she asks for the head of a traitor. Sansa realizes that, in life, the monsters win. After, Joffrey takes Sansa to the parapet and commands that she look at her father's head. During their walk, Joffrey explains that he will impregnate her as soon as she is ready. He worries that Sansa will bear children as stupid as she is; however, if that proves to be true, he will execute her and marry a smarter woman. After his name day, he will raise a host and march off to kill Robb. When Sansa replies that perhaps Robb will defeat Joffrey, the king has Ser Meryn strike her again. Sansa considers jumping off the parapet, but Sandor Clegane steps in front of her and wipes the blood from her face. Always the proper lady, Sansa thanks him.
(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. Dany turns to the maegi and asks how she could have cheated her after Dany had saved her life. Mirri Maz Duur explains that three men had already raped her when Dany saved her. The Dothraki had already destroyed her god's temple. Now that Dany's child has died, the world will not be conquered by him. She refers to Drogo and asks what life is worth when everything else is gone. Mirri Maz Duur tells her that Drogo will return "when the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again and you bear a living child." Dany has the maegi taken away. That night, she takes Drogo away and tries to remind him of their first night together. When he does not respond, she uses a cushion to smother him.
(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 brother, Ser Kevan, to prepare the army for a march to the Harrenhal. After, he commands Tyrion to travel to King's Landing. Cersei and the Small Council have clearly failed to control Joffrey, so Tyrion will rule instead. Tyrion realizes that Tywin has given Jaime up for dead. Though he is angry, Tyrion says nothing. Tywin does command Tyrion to rule, but he also forbids Tyrion from taking Shae to court. When Tyrion returns to his tent, he finds Shae and tells her that they are going to King's Landing.
(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 breakfast, the old man admits that he and Aemon knew Jon would leave. Honor made him leave, but the honor of his brothers brought him back. Now, Mormont explains, Jon will have to make his choice. Beyond the Wall, the dead are rising. Villages that once housed wildlings now stand empty. Mance Rayder, the self-styled King Beyond the Wall, is gathering troops. It seems that he aims to attack the Wall. Mormont announces that he will not wait. He intends to lead his remaining men beyond the Wall. Jon swears that he will not run again.
(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 lords of the north and the riverlands argue over what to do next. Some advise that they merely wait and let the Lannisters battle against Renly. Others propose that they swear allegiance to Renly. However, Robb refuses to acknowledge Renly's claim. Joffrey is the rightful heir, and Tommen after him. Catelyn suggests that they return to the north and trade their hostages for Sansa and Arya, but the men ignore her. The Greatjon Umber concludes the argument when he declares Robb the King in the North. The call is taken up by the other lords.
(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 waits for the first star of the night to appear, which according to tradition will shine for the deceased Khal. She spots a comet in the sky and takes it as a good omen. The fire is lit, and Dany walks into it. Three cracks are heard. When the fires die down, Dany remains, naked, as do three dragons. Rakharo, Aggo, and Jhago declare their devotion, as do the other witnesses. For the first time in centuries, "the night came alive with the music of dragons."
(The entire section is 212 words.)