Study Guide

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3)

by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) Summary

Summary

A Storm of Swords is the third entry in George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. In Westeros, the War of the Five Kings is over, and it seems as though the Lannisters have won thanks to their alliance with the Tyrells of Highgarden. The King in the North, Robb Stark, has lost the north and his army is surrounded by enemies in the riverlands. The Greyjoys have taken the north but are willing to ally themselves with the Lannisters. Stannis Baratheon has lost all but a handful of his men and consequently has retreated to his seat, Dragonstone. The Lannisters have the most powerful army and they control the king, Joffrey Baratheon, as well. However, now that dragons have been reborn across the Narrow Sea, magical powers are returning. Stannis has his sorceress, Melisandre, at his seat in Dragonstone, and she casts spells to assassinate Stannis’ rival kings.

In the far north, the realm is protected from the wilderness by the Wall. Manned by the Night’s Watch, the Wall has protected the realm for thousands of years. However, for Jon Snow, it seems like the Wall is finally about to be defeated. The self-styled “King Beyond the Wall,” Mance Rayder, has assembled an army of wildlings and giants that ride on mammoths. Jon Snow is a member of the Night’s Watch, but he is pretending to have turned traitor in order to infiltrate Mance’s force. He breaks his vows to the Watch when he starts a relationship with Ygritte, who is considered lucky because of her red hair. Jon learns a lot, including that the true threat to the realm is the “Others,” or the undead. In fact, the wildlings only mean to attack the Wall so that they can escape the Others.

Ser Jorah Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, means to stop the wildlings and the Others with his own small army. Although the wildlings severely outnumber him, Mormont is counting on the Watch’s discipline to win the battle. However, before he can attack the wildlings, he is himself attacked by an army of Others. They overwhelm the Watch, and though Mormont leads a retreat, the Watch is severely demoralized. Soon after their retreat, members of the Watch mutiny against Mormont and kill him. Only a few brothers survive the attack and the mutiny, and they still must survive their return trek to the Wall.

Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys (Dany) Targaryen, the rightful heir to the Iron Throne of Westeros and the Mother of Dragons, is traveling by ship with her subjects. She is to return to Braavos and the merchant, Magister Illyrio. However, her most trusted advisor, Ser Jeor Mormont, advises that she stop at the slave cities to buy an army. Slavery has long been outlawed in Westeros, but Dany agrees that she must gather strength if she means to take the Iron Throne. She stops in Astapor to buy the “Unsullied,” an army of utterly obedient, castrated men. Though she is disgusted by the slavers, Dany agrees to sell all of her possessions and one of her dragons in exchange for every Unsullied in Astapor. The slavers agree. When Dany has bought the army, she conquers the city and moves on, leaving a council to rule in her absence. As she travels by land, Dany battles other slaver cities, but she slowly gains strength as she journeys west, doing her best to bring justice as well as victory.

In Westeros, it seems that justice has left for good. Arya Stark is an eight-year-old girl who anyone would take for a beggar now. Arya, younger sister to the King in the North, is on the run with two other children, a baker named Hot Pie and a blacksmith named Gendry. They have fled the service of Lord Roose Bolton and are trying to make it to Riverrun where Arya will be able to reveal herself to her mother, Catelyn, and her brother, Robb. However, they are soon taken in by outlaws led by Ser Beric Dondarrion. When the bandits learn Arya’s true identity, they decide to take her to Riverrun where they will ransom her. After all, these outlaws are loyal to neither the Starks nor the Lannisters. They are merely trying to survive the war.

Jaime Lannister, one of the finest swordsmen in the realm and brother to Queen Cersie, is trying to survive as well as he travels from Riverrun to King’s Landing. Though he was captured in battle by Robb Stark, the Lady Catelyn...

(The entire section is 1747 words.)

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) Chapter Summaries

Prologue Summary

Chett is sick of the cold. It is nearly winter and the men of the Night's Watch are encamped north of the Wall on the Fist of the First Men. Chett is tracking a bear but he should be near a fire tending to Maester Aemon. He would still be there if not for Jon Snow and Sam Tarly. Though Chett, Lark the Sisterman, and Small Paul are trying to track the bear, their dogs struggle to find a scent. Chett and Lark plan to kill the officers Lord Mormont and Blane from Shadow Tower, the guards Grubb and Aethan, the trackers Dywen and Bannen, and Sam, who tends to the ravens. Small Paul may be strong but he is not very smart. Chett and Lark convince him to mutiny by telling him he will be hunted if they desert. They must desert, Chett thinks, or they will be killed. Thoren Smallwood has returned from his scouting expedition, and he has reported that Mance Rayder and his wildling army are marching down the Milkwater, a path that will carry them right past the Fist of the First Men. Chett and the others return to camp determined to carry out their plan that night. That evening, the officers call on the men to assemble at the central fire. They announce their intention to ride north to attack the wildlings. Chett wakes up that night and discovers that it is snowing. The plan is already foiled: fresh snowfall will make escape all but impossible since they will now leave tracks. Chett's angry musings are interrupted by three blasts from the watchmen. The Others are attacking.

Chapter 1 Summary

Jaime Lannister enjoys the sunshine. Though he is still in shackles, at least he is no longer kept in a dungeon. Instead, Lady Catelyn Stark has commanded her servant, Brienne of Tarth, to take Jaime back to King's Landing, where he will be exchanged for her daughters, Sansa and Arya. Brienne of Tarth, whom Jaime calls "wench," is an unusual servant and an unusual woman. She is nobly born, built like a man, and fights with a sword. It is she, rather than Ser Cleos Frey, that rows the boat down the river. Jaime looks at his reflection in the water and discovers that he looks five years older. As they progress through the riverlands, they find signs of devastation at every turn. The war has destroyed many villages and the dead are often left unburied. Though Lady Stark has freed Jaime, she did not have the authority to do so, and it is not long before Ser Robin Ryger and his men catch up with them. They have come to return Jaime to his cell. Brienne leaves the boat and drops a boulder off a nearby cliff onto Ser Robin's boat. Jaime is a knight and a member of the Kingsguard, but he also killed the Mad King, earning him the name "Kingslayer"; slept with his sister, Queen Cersei; and once threw Brandon Stark, a child, from a tower window. He is shocked to realize that Brienne actually intends to live up to her word and deliver him safely to King's Landing.

Chapter 2 Summary

Catelyn reflects on all the time she spent in Riverrun, her father's castle. Now, she has become a traitor there. She has helped Jaime Lannister escape and she welcomes the consequences, telling the castellan Ser Desmond that she will wear shackles if necessary. He decides to confine her to a tower and Catelyn asks if she might stay in her father's tower. He agrees to this. Lord Hoster Tully is dying and her father is delirious; he babbles to a woman named Tansy, apologizing. Catelyn solves the mystery and concludes that her sister, Lysa, is Tansy. Lysa lost a child and was then offered to Lord Jon Arryn, a marriage that brought the Tullys into Robert's rebellion against the Mad King. She writes to Lysa to tell her about her...

(The entire section is 220 words.)

Chapter 3 Summary

Arya leads Gendry and Hot Pie through the woods. They are fleeing the Harrenhal and Roose Bolton's men. They are not only escaped servants; they have taken food and horses, and Arya killed one of Bolton's guards in order to escape. Arya knows that Roose Bolton will not forgive her, but she also knows that he will send others, most likely the Bloody Mummers, after them. Arya hopes to reach the Trident, a river, and follow it to Riverrun, where her brother, Robb Stark, sits. When Gendry and Hot Pie ask why they are going there, however, Arya merely tells them that they will be safe there. Though they have a map, the three children struggle to figure out where they are. Arya has been navigating by the moss on trees. They ford rivers,...

(The entire section is 204 words.)

Chapter 4 Summary

Tyrion wakes from his sickbed and finds Bronn—"Ser Bronn of the Blackwater" now—standing over him. Bronn informs Tyrion that all of the latter's strength has been taken from him. Tywin is now the Hand of the King, Tyrion's clansmen have either remained in the woods, returned to their mountains, or else have been turned away. Ser Jacelyn Bywater died in the battle and Ser Addam Marbrand commands the City Watch in his place. The Kettleblacks and the sellswords Tyrion had paid so handsomely now all serve Tywin, Cersei, or else have been dismissed. Tyrion goes to visit his father, angry at his loss of power. There, he finds Tywin writing letters. There is much to do: Robb Stark is still in the field and Margaery Tyrell is coming to...

(The entire section is 280 words.)

Chapter 5 Summary

Davos Seaworth sees a ship coming and wonders whether he should signal it. After the battle, Ser Davos tried to swim under the water beneath the ships and the wildfire. The last thing he remembers is drowning, but instead of dying Davos woke up on land. Davos was a smuggler before he served King Stannis. He smuggled onions past a blockade to Stannis to earn his knighthood and his nickname, the "Onion Knight," though the stern lord had still taken fingers as punishment. Davos would carry those fingers afterward in a thong around his neck, calling them his luck. Now, however, they are gone, as are his sons—Dale, Allard, Maric, Matthos, and Devan. The fire took everything, Davos thinks, and he remembers that they brought fire with...

(The entire section is 219 words.)

Chapter 6 Summary

Sansa worries over an invitation that she has received from Margaery Tyrell, Joffrey's new betrothed. Margaery is to replace Sansa and already the smallfolk of King's Landing love her. She recalls how they tore her from her horse as well as that she only survived thanks to the Hound. Ser Loras, now a member of the Kingsguard, escorts Sansa to his sister. He is just as beautiful as Sansa remembers, but he does not remember her. When she mentions the tourney in which he unseated Robar Royce, Ser Loras states that he killed Royce laying siege to Storm's End. Sansa expresses sadness that Margaery must feel now that Renly has died, but it is Loras who seems distraught. Margaery is attended by many women, including her grandmother, Lady...

(The entire section is 207 words.)

Chapter 7 Summary

Jon marches with the wildlings, who are led by Rattleshirt. Ygritte, a fierce wildling woman, guards Jon. The wildlings wear Quorin Halfhand's equipment and carry his weapons. Rattleshirt, meanwhile, carries the Halfhand's bones in a bag. He does not trust Jon and his direwolf, Ghost, but Ygritte defends him. When they come upon the wildling army, Jon is impressed by their numbers (and campfires) but not their discipline. The disciplined Night's Watch would do a great deal of damage here, Jon reflects. Jon is taken to see Mance Rayder, the "King-beyond-the-Wall." There are three men inside Rayder's tent and Jon first thinks that Styr, Magnar of Thenn, must be the king. He next looks to Tormund Giantsbane, but is again mistaken....

(The entire section is 252 words.)

Chapter 8 Summary

Daenerys watches as her dragons fly over the sea. Drogon especially has grown bold and enjoys the freedom of flying. Daenerys, however, moves less quickly than she would prefer aboard the Balerion. Someday, Dany thinks, she will ride her dragons across the sea. She talks to Arstan Whitebeard, who tells her a story about her brother, Rhaegar. He had been an "able" man, above all else. In his youth he read a great deal until one day he read in a scroll that he was to become a great warrior. Arstan, though old and well-spoken, is Strong Belwas's squire, and he must leave when the latter wakes. Ser Jorah Mormont does not trust Arstan. That night, he comes to Dany's cabin and suggests that Arstan and Strong Belwas might betray...

(The entire section is 211 words.)

Chapter 9 Summary

Bran is in the wolf dream. Summer is a direwolf and he is the prince of the woods. Other wolves might challenge him, but in spite of the packs that help them, they cannot match a direwolf. Summer can feel his brothers and sisters, though they are far away. Suddenly, Bran is pulled from the dream. Jojen Reed is nearby. Though Jojen is young, he is very solemn and Bran remembers how Nan used to call him "Little Grandfather." He asks Bran whether the young prince remembered to mark the trees while in the dream. Bran forgot, as usual. Jojen reminds Bran that in real life he is a prince of Winterfell. He must learn to control Summer in the dream or else. Jojen's older sister, Meera, returns with frogs for them to eat. They argue again...

(The entire section is 228 words.)

Chapter 10 Summary

Davos intends to kill Melisandre, the red priestess of Asshai. Why else did the Mother allow him to survive the battle and being drowned? When he next meets Salladhor Saan, Davos the Onion Knight declares that he will put his knife in her heart. Ser Davos argues that she sent the wildfires that destroyed the fleet. Salladhor Saan urges Davos to abandon his vengeance. He offers Davos a ship with which he will trade and become wealthy, but Davos refuses. Salladhor Saan tells Davos that he still has some sons left, and a wife. If Davos continues this course, he will be killed and it will be Salladhor Saan that takes his remains to his family. However, Davos insists that he return to Dragonstone, Stannis's seat. There, he finds...

(The entire section is 211 words.)

Chapter 11 Summary

Jaime sees the inn first. It appears to be deserted, so Jaime recommends that they stay there. Brienne agrees. However, when they open the door, they find a man with a crossbow there to welcome them. He explains that he buried the innkeeper and now runs the inn. He feeds them horse meat and explains that there are brigands about. He sells them horses and afterward, they break the shackles that hold Jaime's legs together and part ways. The innkeeper has given them advice but Jaime and Brienne do not follow it, believing that he is likely in league with brigands. Jaime and Brienne argue and she chastises him for soiling his honor. So many dream of becoming a member of the Kingsguard, but Jaime took that oath and killed Aerys...

(The entire section is 268 words.)

Chapter 12 Summary

Tyrion waits for Lord Varys, a eunuch and King's Landing's master of whisperers, in Varys's own quarters. Varys is surprised to find Tyrion, but he does not tell Tyrion to leave. Instead, he informs Tyrion on the latest developments in King's Landing. Grand Maester Pycelle has been restored to the small council. When the Conclave in Oldtown had proposed replacing Pycelle with a maester from the Tyrell family, Tywin had chosen a Lannister supporter rather than allowing another potential Tyrell supporter to join the council. Ser Boros Blount has also been returned to his position on the Kingsguard. Varys knows that Tyrion seeks information about Ser Mandon Moore, the knight that attacked Tyrion and left him horribly scarred. However,...

(The entire section is 239 words.)

Chapter 13 Summary

Arya and Hot Pie are digging for vegetables left in an untended garden when they hear the sound of men approaching. Arya sends Hot Pie away to Gendry but is determined to kill the men if they pose a threat. Her plan is ruined when their horse whinnies. The men introduce themselves. Tom Sevenstrings carries a harp, Lem Lemoncloak is a swordsman, and Anguy is an archer. They are king's men that serve King Robert. They lead Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry to a nearby inn. There, they meet the innkeeper and her husband, who complain to Tom that they did not recover the horses they sold to the odd threesome—a man, a chained man, and a maid dressed in mail—that passed by earlier. They feed Arya and her companions and offer her a slip of...

(The entire section is 213 words.)

Chapter 14 Summary

Catelyn listens to the kennels from her confinement. Robb has returned. She sees a group of knights (they look like Freys) leaving the castle, but she is primarily worried over whether her remaining son will forgive her for having freed Jaime Lannister. When she is summoned to court, Catelyn sees a new family seated with Robb. She does not recognize them. Her thoughts are interrupted by Lord Rickard Karstark, who is furious with Catelyn for freeing the Lannister two of his sons died to capture. Robb, however, forgives Catelyn, explaining that he understands how love can lead people to act rashly. Robb dismisses his lords and introduces Catelyn to his new wife, Jeyne Westerling, who is from a family sworn to the Lannisters. Catelyn...

(The entire section is 223 words.)

Chapter 15 Summary

Jon has joined Tormund's band and Ygritte has followed him there. The wildlings call themselves the "freefolk" and Jon reflects that this is true. On this day, Tormund has taken Jon to see the giants, who ride mammoths. They are led by Mag Mar Tun Doh Wed, though most refer to him as Mag the Mighty. Jon recalls the song about Joramun, who blew the Horn of Winter, when he sees them, but Ygritte and the wildlings look at them and are reminded of a song about the last of the giants. There used to be many more of them. Ygritte has become something of a problem for Jon. It is clear to all that she means to sleep with him, but Jon does not intend to break his vow of celibacy. When Mance's army discovers the Fist of the First Men, Jon is...

(The entire section is 228 words.)

Chapter 16 Summary

Sansa is surprised when a woman comes to make a dress for her. She is even more surprised to learn that Queen Cersei sent the seamstress. Sansa would have thought that Margaery had sent a seamstress to make her a dress. Sansa reflects on how close she has grown to the Tyrell family now. Though she views some of the younger members of Margaery's coterie as mere children that talk about how wonderful it would be to give a knight a favor and send him off to kill a hundred men. None of them were there to witness Stannis's attack on King's Landing, nor did they ever have to deal with the Hound. Margaery seems wiser, though she does not realize how terrible Joffrey can be. Sansa tries to warn Margaery, who acknowledges Sansa's bravery...

(The entire section is 217 words.)

Chapter 17 Summary

Arya looks at the moss on the trees and realizes that she is being taken south, away from Robb and Riverrun. She mentions as much to Gendry, who does not care. Only the two of them have decided to travel with the band of outlaws. Hot Pie stayed behind at the inn to make bread. When Arya tells the men around her that they are not going to Riverrun, they tell her that they know. However, it is their job to take her to their lord, Beric Dondarrion. They tell her how they set out from King's Landing to capture Ser Gregor Clegane, but it was actually a trap by Lord Tywin. He had intended to capture Lord Eddard Stark, but the latter had been attacked and injured by Jaime Lannister and so Lord Beric had been sent out instead. Lord Beric...

(The entire section is 224 words.)

Chapter 18 Summary

Sam sobs in exhaustion as he marches south to the Wall. He is part of a caravan of men that survived the Others' attack. Sam knows that if he stops marching, he will die. Perhaps fifty men escaped the Fist of the First Men. When he heard a man scream behind him, Sam realized that the Others were chasing them still and he managed to run briefly. He remembers the night of the attack. He had awoken to the horns blaring. Chett had been there, dagger in his hand, and he had fled in fear at the sound of the horns. The weapons had no impact until the Night's Watch used fire arrows. Still, they lost the battle and fled, Sam released all of the birds, and Sam soon runs out of strength to walk. Small Paul offers to carry Sam, explaining that...

(The entire section is 216 words.)

Chapter 19 Summary

Tyrion is well enough to return to the small council, though he finds that it has changed a great deal since Stannis's attack. Now, Mace Tyrell and his allies have seats, as does the High Septon. Pycelle, Cersei, and Littlefinger are all there as well. The council is led by Lord Tywin and his brother, Ser Kevan. Varys reports that their Lord Tarly has defeated Robett Glover and that Prince Doran and his men are traveling north from Dorne for the royal wedding. Balon Greyjoy has written, naming himself King of the Iron Isles and of the North, and he offers to ally himself with the Lannisters and the Tyrells. However, Tywin decides that Greyjoy will have to fight for the north no matter what they do, so he decides to wait....

(The entire section is 276 words.)

Chapter 20 Summary

Catelyn watches as they bring the corpses into hall. Lord Rickard Karstark and his men have killed two children, a Frey and a Lannister, in Robb's charge to exact vengeance for the death of Lord Karstark's sons in the battle of the Whispering Wood. Jaime Lannister killed them, Catelyn set Jaime free hoping to exchange him for her daughters, and so Karstark declares that Catelyn is as guilty as he is. Robb disagrees. He orders Karstark's men hanged. Privately, he shows his frustration to Catelyn, Lord Edmure of Riverrun, and to Ser Brynden. Lysa Arryn has not acknowledged his letters. Now, it is clear that he will lose the Karstarks as well. Given that he has also lost the Freys, Catelyn wonders if she is witnessing the beginning of...

(The entire section is 213 words.)

Chapter 21 Summary

Jaime spots a pond and, taunting Brienne, offers to wash her back for her. They argue until they are attacked by brigands armed with bows. Jaime and Brienne charge the bowmen, dispersing them, though not until after Ser Cleos is hit and killed. Jaime feels no sense of loss for his cousin, who is more a Frey than a Lannister, but he does take Cleos's sword. He turns and attacks Brienne, who surprises him with her strength and skill. Brienne winds up on top of Jaime, demanding that he yield. The woods around them suddenly fill with laughter, and Jaime looks up and sees the Brave Companions, a mercenary band that his father has often hired in the past. Jaime welcomes them, not realizing that they switched allegiance to Roose Bolton....

(The entire section is 216 words.)

Chapter 22 Summary

Arya watches as Lem and Tom search for Lord Beric Dondarrion. They start at a small keep, where the maester reports that Lord Beric was hanged half a year before. No, they reply: Thoros cut him down before he died. They next search for the Lady of the Leaves and find her in a hidden village that is built in the woods' canopy. She reports that the Mountain killed Lord Beric by putting out his eye, but they dismiss it as old news. They later meet an old woman who tells them about her dreams. In them, she has seen a shadow with a burning heart killing a golden stag. She sees a drowned crow with seaweed on the shoulder of a man standing on a bridge. And she sees a female wolf that becomes a fish; it dies and until she opens her eyes,...

(The entire section is 248 words.)

Chapter 23 Summary

Daenerys looks at the harpy of Ghis, a statue, in the center of the Plaza of Pride. Old Ghis was destroyed five thousand years ago, but the symbols of the empire endure, even if its language and culture are no longer dominant amongst the slave traders of Astapor. The slaver Kraznys mo Nakloz tells the slave girl that translates for him to tell Dany that the harpy is not for sale; they only sell slaves. He does not realize that Dany, like him, speaks High Valyrian. Dany communicates in the Common Tongue of Westeros as she barters for the Unsullied, though she notices that he understands what she says. The day is hot but the Unsullied do not show any sign of the heat. They are chosen young and begin training at five. Only one in...

(The entire section is 260 words.)

Chapter 24 Summary

Bran and the others continue on their journey north, avoiding the main road. They eat well most nights, thanks to Meera's and Summer's hunting, but some nights they sleep hungry. Bran always urges his party to travel by the kingsroad, but Jojen refuses to take the risk. One night, they meet a man in a cave who tells them that the Bolton bastard has men patrolling the road north. The days are long until Meera agrees to tell Bran the story of the Knight of the Laughing Tree. A crannogman who knows the magics of the Neck, such as breathing mud and turning water to earth, decides to travel to the Isle of Faces, where the green men live. He stayed on the Isle of Faces that winter, until he decided to travel once again. He returned to...

(The entire section is 332 words.)

Chapter 25 Summary

Davos finds his cell warmer than he would have expected, though there are as many rats as in any other dungeon. At first, Davos had expected to die of the cough that had bothered him since the siege on King's Landing. However, Maester Pylos gave him a broth, and at one point Davos woke up with leech marks on his arm. Before long, Davos feels better than he has in months and he has two gaolers tending him. Melisandre comes to see him and explains that she protects them just as a torch protects him from the dungeon's darkness. Davos disagrees, remembering when she gave birth to a horrible shadow beneath the Dragonstone. Melisandre assures Davos that Stannis's life-fire burns too low to make another shadow with him, but she offers to...

(The entire section is 285 words.)

Chapter 26 Summary

Jon has to bid Ghost farewell since he and the wildlings will soon cross over the Wall. He tells Ghost to journey east to Castle Black, hoping that the direwolf's arrival will serve as a warning of their attack. Jon is conflicted over his presence amongst the wildlings. He should have tried to kill Mance Rayder, even if it would have meant his death. He did not. Now he has begun sleeping with Ygritte, which he enjoys in spite of the fact that he has broken his oaths to the Night's Watch. Jon tells himself that even his father slept with another woman, and besides, Quorin Halfhand had ordered him to join the wildlings. Ygritte tells him that he stole her, which is the wildling way: a man fights the men of a woman's village to prove...

(The entire section is 239 words.)

Chapter 27 Summary

Daenerys tells the slavers that she would like to buy all of the Unsullied, even those that are still in training. They doubt her, but she announces that she will even buy the boys that have not yet killed their puppy—and she will pay full price for them, even double. They doubt that she can pay until Dany offers to give them her ships, their spoils, and one of her dragons. They accept the deal and as a token, they give her the girl that has translated for them. Back at the ships, Dany prepares for the trade. She talks to the girl, who offers her name: Missandei. Dany gives the slave girl her freedom and offers to take her into her service, though she cannot guarantee safety. "Valar Morghulis" replies Missandei. "All men...

(The entire section is 222 words.)

Chapter 28 Summary

Sansa is so happy when her new gown is ready. She looks at herself in it and realizes that she is truly beautiful. Surely Willas will fall in love with her when he sees her. The Queen's own seamstress is there and Cersei herself eventually comes to see Sansa. She announces it a shame that Sansa has to marry "that gargoyle," though Sansa does not understand until Cersei puts a maiden's cloak around her shoulders. She looks at the direwolf emblem and remembers that it is her claim that matters. Cersei tells Sansa that she will wed Tyrion whether she wants to or not. Remembering that she is a Stark, Sansa decides to be brave. Joffrey stands as her father as king of the realm. There is a dance after the wedding and Garlan Tyrell tells...

(The entire section is 274 words.)

Chapter 29 Summary

Arya has not seen a town as big as Stoney Sept since she left King's Landing. Harwin tells her that her father, Lord Eddard, once won a battle in Stoney Sept. It was during the rebellion where Robert was wounded and Lord Connington, the Hand of the King, was searching every house in the village. The village rang its bells when the battle began and Robert came out to fight. Lord Connington fled and now the battle is remembered as the Battle of the Bells. They enter the village and find men in cages, Robb's men. They were caught by the Mad Huntsman and caged as punishment for raping and pillaging. Arya brings the men water but Anguy mercifully kills the men because Lord Beric believes in a straightforward hanging. They stay at a...

(The entire section is 257 words.)

Chapter 30 Summary

Jon and the wildlings arrive at the Wall. It is massive, but it is easier to climb here. There are hills, and the forest has been allowed to creep up on the Wall. Jarl and his men break into several teams, climb a sentinel tree, and start to climb up the ice. It takes them hours. Jarl's team is the fastest until a treacherous patch of ice breaks and they drop to their death. Jon reflects that the Wall defends itself. Styr and his men burn the bodies. When the wildlings reach the top of the Wall, they send down rope but two of the Thenns still die climbing. Ygritte tells Jon that the Wall is not made of ice; it is made of blood. When she gets to the top, she tells Jon that she nearly fell. It was almost as though the cold Wall was...

(The entire section is 215 words.)

Chapter 31 Summary

Jaime's stump still feels as though it is burning from where they seared the wound after cutting off his sword hand. He suffers a fever after his hand is taken. The Brave Companions, or "Bloody Mummers," as everyone else calls them, sit Jaime and Brienne astride the same horse, sometimes facing each other. They force her to clean up after him when he soils himself in his delirium. When Rorge and the others come to rape Brienne, Jaime yells out and screams when they kick his stump, which draws Vargo Hoat to them and saves Brienne. She thanks him. When they arrive at Harrenhal, they find Freys and Roose Bolton. Jaime learns that the Freys no longer support the Starks. He also learns that the Lannisters have defeated Stannis Baratheon...

(The entire section is 200 words.)

Chapter 32 Summary

Tyrion and Bronn survey the wreckage outside King's Gate. Ser Kevan was to take care of the rebuilding, but the news of another son killed has left Lord Tywin with no one but Tyrion to rely on. The smallfolk have returned, rebuilding their hovels outside the wall, but there is otherwise nothing but mud after the battle. On their way back, Tyrion ducks into a wine sink and meets with Symon Silver Tongue. He offers him gold and suggests that he travel to the Free Cities rather than singing his songs in King's Landing. The singer plays a song about Tyrion visiting Shae. Tyrion would prefer not to hear the song again, and the singer explains that he would accept an invitation to sing at Joffrey's wedding as payment for his silence....

(The entire section is 301 words.)

Chapter 33 Summary

Sam feeds the dying Bannen broth as the latter complains of cold. They are in Craster's keep, and in the loft above a woman screams as she births a boy. Sam knows that Craster feeds his sons to the Others. Outside, the men of the Night's Watch make fun of Sam, calling him Slayer. Grenn, however, tells Sam that he earned the name when he killed the wight. The stash of obsidian blades that Jon found remains at the Fist of the First Men, but the few daggers, spearheads, and arrows that Jon made as gifts for Sam and the others have been passed amongst the watchmen. The surviving brothers are distraught at their losses and bitter about Craster's meager offerings. Although Craster explains that he has to prepare for the winter and that...

(The entire section is 309 words.)

Chapter 34 Summary

Arya and the others have finally arrived in the hollow hill. The Mad Huntsman has brought his prisoner, Sandor Clegane. Arya is surprised when she sees Thoros of Myr, who is no longer fat; nor does he shave his head now. In fact, he is skinny and his red robes have faded to pink beneath his armor. The Huntsman explains that he caught Clegane sleeping off a drunk under a tree. The Hound mocks Thoros and the others, who name themselves the knights of the hollow hill. Lord Beric Dondarrion arrives in the hall, looking like a scarecrow, and he explains that he has knighted every man in the hall. They charge Clegane with murder, which he denies. Arya, however, challenges him with Mycah the butcher boy's murder. Since there are no other...

(The entire section is 262 words.)

Chapter 35 Summary

Catelyn's father, Lord Hoster Tully, is dead. In Winterfell, the Starks are buried in their crypt, but the lord of Riverrun is put into a boat that is sent down the river. A fire arrow turns the boat into a pyre. Edmure, Catelyn's brother and now the lord of Riverrun, tries three times to hit the ship with his fire arrow but fails. Ser Brynden manages in his stead. Robb soon approaches with news that Sansa has been married to Tyrion Lannister. Catelyn is shocked given that Tyrion had sworn in court to return Sansa to them in exchange for Jaime Lannister, an exchange that Catelyn had tried to bring about through treachery. There is so little hope left, but Catelyn tries to comfort Robb, who is losing the war even though he has won...

(The entire section is 224 words.)

Chapter 36 Summary

Davos shares his dungeon cell with Ser Alester Florent. When they hear footsteps, Alester is confident that he is about to be released. However, when Ser Axell Florent arrives, he instead collects Davos, whom Stannis has summoned. As they walk to Stannis's tower, Axell explains that he needs to become the Hand of the King; he has seen it in R'hllor's fires. He commands Davos to support his appointment when the latter meets Stannis. When they reach Stannis, the king sits in his tower room, which is dominated by a massive table shaped like Westeros. Stannis tells Davos that Axell plans to attack Lord Celtigar's island because Celtigar has sworn fealty to Joffrey. Davos disagrees, arguing that Celtigar's island is easy to take only...

(The entire section is 266 words.)

Chapter 37 Summary

Jaime goes to Harrenhal's bathhouse to bathe for the first time since his arrival. Lord Roose Bolton has ordered that Jaime dine with him come evening. Jaime finds Brienne in the bathhouse and talks to her. In the hot water, he finds himself explaining how the Mad King prepared to burn King's Landing before it could fall. Jaime prevented it when he killed the king. He also recalls that Pycelle had urged the king to open his gates to Tywin, while Varys had warned against it. Jaime collapses after his story, but Qyburn gives Jaime a concoction that will wake him up. Brienne dresses Jaime and helps him reach Lord Bolton. Bolton explains why Hoat cut Jaime's hand off. When the war ends, the Brave Companions will be pardoned by neither...

(The entire section is 228 words.)

Chapter 38 Summary

Tyrion waits outside King's Landing for Prince Doran Martell and his retinue to arrive. He is accompanied by his squire, Podrick Payne, Ser Bronn, and other lords. Pod and Bronn are the first to notice that there is no litter carrying gouty Prince Doran Martell with the Dornish. In his place, Prince Doran has sent his second brother, Prince Oberyn, the Red Viper. Tyrion recalls that Oberyn gained his nickname when he fought a duel over a woman. When the duel ended, both men were cut, but Oberyn had fought with a poisoned blade and his rival died. After, he went to fight as a mercenary across the Narrow Sea. He also forged six links in a maester's chain before growing bored of the Citadel. Oberyn arrives with eight powerful Dornish...

(The entire section is 240 words.)

Chapter 39 Summary

Arya is not allowed to participate in the attack, but Gendry is not allowed either so she does not mind that much. Lord Beric and his band of outlaws kill several Brave Companions and capture Septon Utt, a man that keeps killing the "sweet boys" he takes. Afterward, Beric explains that he has been killed six times and that he can no longer remember how to find his castle in the Marches. Gendry announces that he wants to smith for the outlaws. Beric accepts him and knights him. The Hound arrives, having found them by the smoke of their fire. He explains that they took all of his money and he wants it back. Beric is unable to return the money since he has already given it to his smallfolk to buy food. The Hound calls them thieves and...

(The entire section is 245 words.)

Chapter 40 Summary

Bran soon recognizes the tower that stands in the middle of the island. It is surrounded by an abandoned village within the New Gift. When Brandon the Builder built the Wall, he gave the Night's Watch twenty-five leagues of land to the south for their sustenance. When Queen Alysanne rode her dragon Silverwing to the Wall, she doubled the the size of the Gift. Bran remembers that she stayed in the tower during that trip, and he tells Jojen and Meera that there is a causeway that will take them across the lake even though they do not have a boat. They enter the tower and find no way up but through a murder hole. Atop Hodor, Bran is able to pull it down and the four of them climb through. Bran would like to proceed to Castle Black,...

(The entire section is 244 words.)

Chapter 41 Summary

Jon and Ygritte argue when they come across the first watchtower in the Gift. Ygritte cannot believe that men would abandon such a castle. Jon explains that it is only a humble watchtower, and it was likely abandoned by men that grew tired of defending it against the wildling raiders. She tells him that the men should be ready to defend what is theirs if they mean to be free. Besides, the kings and lords are always telling people that they own the sky, the land, the apple trees when no one can own any of those things. Jon realizes that she is a wildling to the bone, though he cannot change the way he feels about her. How will he desert the wildlings to warn Castle Black, which is likely defended by few warriors if the Old Bear has...

(The entire section is 283 words.)

Chapter 42 Summary

Daenerys has arrived in Yunkai, another slave city like Astapor. The "Wise Masters" that rule the city have arrayed an army outside their walls. Their army is flanked by two mercenary companies, the Second Sons and the Stormcrows. Dany summons the mercenaries to her separately, and then she calls for the Wise Masters. She offers the mercenaries the chance to join her. She gives the Second Sons wine as a gift. She tells the Wise Masters that they have three days to let every slave leave the city with goods in hand as payment for their life of service. That night, she tells her commanders, they will strike the armies outside the walls. Before they can leave, the Stormcrows' new leader, Daario Naharis, arrives with the heads of the...

(The entire section is 244 words.)

Chapter 43 Summary

Arya and the others return to the High Heart. There, the old dwarf woman greets Lord Beric as the Lord of Corpses. She is frightened by Arya, whom she calls "wolf child." The old woman hears the old gods through the weirwood stumps at the top of the hill. She tells them that Balon Greyjoy has died and that Catelyn has left Riverrun to attend a wedding. After, Arya talks to Edric Dayne (Ned), Beric's squire and the Lord of Starfall. He tells her that Jon Snow is his milk brother and that Snow's mother is Wylla, a milk nurse. He also tells her that his aunt Ashara Dayne fell in love with Ned Stark and threw herself out of a tower when he broke her heart. Arya takes offense on her father's behalf until Harwin tells her that they might...

(The entire section is 212 words.)

Chapter 44 Summary

Jaime leaves the Harrenhal with Qyburn and Steelshanks, a soldier who is in charge of his escort. They decide to avoid the kingsroad to ensure that Jaime arrives safely in King's Landing. Along the way, Jaime recalls when he swore his oath to Aerys, the Mad King, at the Harrenhal during Lord Whent's tourney. Aerys, however, had not allowed Jaime to compete, declaring that Tywin's son and heir was now his. When the party stops for the night, Jaime dreams that he has returned to Casterly Rock. There, he sees all of his forebears and Cersei as well. They abandon him to the dangers that lurk in the depths of the caste, but Brienne arrives and stays, explaining that she swore an oath to protect him. After, he sees the faces of all the...

(The entire section is 208 words.)

Chapter 45 Summary

Catelyn notices that Robb has said farewell to his queen three times now: twice at Riverrun, where they left her, and once more when she came galloping in the rain to join him again. Robb, touched but irritated by the delay, sends her back to Riverrun. He has accepted Catelyn's advice that Lord Frey might take offense at her presence, or worse, insult her in front of Robb. She worries, however, that Robb holds the advice against her now that he is left without his bride. As they journey, it rains steadily. Robb does not improve Catelyn's mood when he announces that he intends to name Jon Snow his heir so that Sansa and her husband, Tyrion Lannister, cannot inherit Winterfell if he dies. Catelyn names his decision folly and worries...

(The entire section is 277 words.)

Chapter 46 Summary

Samwell hopes that he and Gilly have reached Whitetree. If so, he will know where they are. However, all of the wildling villages look the same. Sam decides that it does not matter where they are because the Wall is enormous, so if they continue south they will find it. They enter a hall, light a fire, and Gilly nurses her babe as the night falls. Sam sleeps next to her under his cloak. When he wakes up, Gilly is crying, explaining that they have come for the baby, which smells of life to them. Sam sees the wight: it's Small Paul, whose eyes glow like blue stars. Sam tells Gilly to leave and attacks Paul with his obsidian dagger, but it shatters on Paul's armor. Paul starts choking Sam, who desperately grabs wood from the fire and...

(The entire section is 216 words.)

Chapter 47 Summary

Arya rides with Sandor Clegane on his horse, Stranger. The horse is kind to the Hound, but it bites at Arya when she tries to steal it so that she can escape. She has tried to escape, kill the Hound, and grab at a knife. But every time, Clegane catches her and warns her that he will beat her bloody if he catches her at it again. They come upon a river, which Arya takes for the Blackwater near King's Landing, though Clegane refuses to tell her where they are. They cross the ferocious river on a ferry, and one of the men dies when a tree rushes towards them. When they cross, Clegane pays the men with a note from Lord Beric Dondarrion promising payment in the future. He explains that knights have no honor and leaves the men. After,...

(The entire section is 245 words.)

Chapter 48 Summary

Jon has rode his mare hard, and he is in less-than-good shape after escaping the wildlings. His leg starts bleeding again every time that he mounts or dismounts, and he has a fever as well. However, he perseveres and when he reaches a village, he warns of the wildling attack and commands that they give him a fresh horse. He rides to the Wall and finds Donal Noye, the one-armed smith. Jon has been seen with the wildlings, Noye explains, and Jon admits that he did ride with them—but at Quorin Halfhand's orders. They take him to Maester Aemon, who reports that only a dozen men returned from the Fist of the First Men. There is a lot of news for Jon to take in: Lord Mormont was murdered, Sam was left behind, Winterfell was burned, and...

(The entire section is 205 words.)

Chapter 49 Summary

Catelyn is surprised by the Green Fork. The river has been strengthened by the recent rains, making it all but impossible for men to cross. It also means that Robb will need Walder Frey's castle, the Twins, and the bridge within it all the more. As they approach the Twins, Robb is determined to apologize to the Freys so that he can press north. Edmure worries over his soon to be bride, Roslin. Catelyn worries over everything,  but she is especially concerned about what Lord Frey is plotting. She advises Robb to ask for food and drink as soon as they enter so that he will be protected by guest right. When they do enter, Grey Wind refuses to go with them and so Robb leaves the direwolf outside with the majority of his host. Inside,...

(The entire section is 312 words.)

Chapter 50 Summary

Arya is disguised as a farmer's boy and Sandor Clegane is dressed as a farmer. They ride on a cart pulled by two old drays. Stranger, Clegane's horse, is tied to the cart. The Hound is wearing his armor but above it he wears a hooded cloak. The Hound has taken all of the equipment and the disguise at swordpoint from a large farmer, explaining to Arya that they will have to play a game to deliver Arya to Robb; otherwise, he will likely be brought before Robb in chains. When a knight and two squires approach them, they notice only the horse, which Clegane explains has been ordered to bring to the Twins as a gift from Old Lady Whent. The men let them pass, and Clegane continues that he has beaten the knight in several tourneys, but...

(The entire section is 211 words.)

Chapter 51 Summary

Catelyn's is nearly deafened by the pounding of the drums and wailing of the pipes and flutes. Hard as she tries, she cannot make out the song they are playing. The food is not very impressive, though she notices that Robb eats it all without complaining. Robb also dances with each of Walder Frey's daughters, as the old man requests. Though the food is not very good, there is a lot of wine and ale and Robb's men and generals are drinking their fill. Roslin wears a smile, but it looks forced. Catelyn thinks it may be because she worries over the bedding, when all of the men and women in the hall will take the newly wed couple to bed, remove their clothes, and leave the couple to consummate the marriage. When the bedding begins, the...

(The entire section is 291 words.)

Chapter 52 Summary

Arya is surprised when the gates to the Twins open. She mentions it to Clegane, who looks up and pushes her aside. He pulls a sword out from beneath the seat of his cart. It is only then that Arya sees the men, armed and armored, at the portcullis. They come out, charging, and the Hound rides to meet them atop Stranger. Although he killed Mycah, Arya still feels confused as she watches him charging the attacking Freys. One of the men rides at Arya and she throws a rock at him. It hits his temple and disrupts his charge. However, he does not turn aside and just when it seems that he will kill Arya, the Hound takes down the man from behind. He is now armed with a long axe. Arya demands that they go to find Robb. The Hound tells her...

(The entire section is 223 words.)

Chapter 53 Summary

Tyrion does not enjoy supping with Sansa, whose constant apologies are interrupted only by her requests to pray in the sept and the godswoods. He learns that Sansa's family has been killed when he next sits with the small council. Frey has killed them, guest right be damned, and now they will make Roose Bolton the Warden of the North. Tywin claims that Bolton holds Arya Stark to solidify his rule. Tywin now plans to offer no retribution to any lord that comes back to them, save Vargo Hoat, who they will kill. Joffrey balks, demanding that they execute all of the rebels and explaining that a king should be bold, like his father, Robert. When he accuses Tywin of cowardice during the rebellion, Tywin has Joffrey taken away and fed...

(The entire section is 296 words.)

Chapter 54 Summary

Davos listens as Salladhor Saan tells King Stannis that Robb Stark is dead. They are calling it the "Red Wedding." Lady Catelyn's corpse was thrown naked into the river. Queen Selyse and Ser Axell Florent are quick to declare it the work of R'hllor, but Stannis thinks it more likely the work of Lord Walder Frey. Melisandre suggests that the Lord of Light chooses the tool he needs to do his work. Stannis thinks to send messengers to the Iron Islands and to the north offering pardons in return for loyalty, but Melisandre reports that she has seen in her fires that other usurpers will rise to take the place of the fallen kings. Stannis is doubtful, reminding her that sometimes she claims to see prophecy when she only sees warnings,...

(The entire section is 380 words.)

Chapter 55 Summary

Jon wakes up to the smell of Mole's Town burning, and so the men of the Night's Watch make their final preparations for battle. Jon, who can barely walk, is taken to a tower and given a bow. They pose scarecrows atop the towers as well. However, Jon knows that Castle Black is no true castle and their towers will offer little protection. The men of the Night's Watch swear to defend the realm and to take no part in politics. To prove the truth of their vows, they build their "castles" without walls facing south. Now, a wildling army approaches from the south, and so they use crates to create barricades. Jon thinks that if they had fifty mounted rangers, they could easily defeat the wildlings on an open field. Unfortunately, all they...

(The entire section is 289 words.)

Chapter 56 Summary

Bran and the Reeds have reached the Nightfort, which the Night's Watch abandoned two hundred years before. Bran has had unsettling dreams that Robb and Grey Wind are dead, though he has not told the Reeds. Jojen says that they will not in danger here, but Bran and the others remain uncomfortable. After all of their journeying, they have finally reached the end of the world. Regardless, if they are going to cross into the wild, they will have to travel beneath the Wall. However, the Night's Watch has sealed the gate and filled the tunnel with stone and ice. He wishes that they had followed Jon to Castle Black, though Jojen reminds Bran that they are only four. And Summer is still recovering from when Bran sent him to help Jon escape...

(The entire section is 262 words.)

Chapter 57 Summary

Daenerys and her army have arrived before Meereen's walls. The city is as large as Astapor and Yunkai combined. The men hide behind the city walls, though one hero strides before the walls challenging any man of Dany's army to come face him. Agoo, Jhogo, and Rakharo demand permission to face the hero, but Dany is unwilling to sacrifice her best scouts. Though Ser Jorah commends her, Arstan warns that the hero builds courage in the hearts of his men. Dany has other concerns: though her army is larger, her people will soon run out of food. She summons Strong Belwas, the man she can most easily afford to lose, to face the hero. Strong Belwas wins, though it does not solve Dany's larger problems. They consider a variety of methods of...

(The entire section is 312 words.)

Chapter 58 Summary

Tyrion looks at Sansa as she sleeps. He recalls how she hardly reacted when she learned of Robb's death. Tyrion had spared her the worst details: how the Freys dumped Catelyn's body into a river and how they sewed a crown on Grey Wind's severed head. He reflects that winter has come for the Starks while it seems to be summer for the Lannisters. For some reason, Tyrion feels uncomfortably aware that he is a Lannister around Sansa now. He leaves the room. Tyrion and his servants are no longer in Maegor's Holdfast with Cersei; they now live in a different keep. Tyrion goes to the underground tunnels that connect the different keeps. He crosses an underground hall, opens a door, and finds Shae in a room filled with dragon skulls. She...

(The entire section is 239 words.)

Chapter 59 Summary

Sansa wakes alone, looks out her window, and sees two clouds that look like castles merging into one. She calls upon her maids, who help her to prepare for Joffrey's wedding day. There is to be a feast with seventy seven courses that evening, but this morning they are summoned to eat breakfast with the queen, the Tyrells, and other nobles. When Tyrion returns home that morning, his clothing is dirty and he has already begun to drink wine. When they meet with the other nobles, everyone presents Joffrey with gifts. Tyrion gives Joffrey a history of four kings, a tome that every king should read declares Ser Kevan. Joffrey, however, is unimpressed. He is more impressed with the sword that Tywin gives him. It is made of valyrian steel....

(The entire section is 244 words.)

Chapter 60 Summary

Tyrion notes that the new High Septon's new crown, provided by Tywin Lannister, is even more ornate than his predecessor's. Otherwise, the wedding does not impress Tyrion, who spends most of it wishing that he would have pissed before leaving his quarters. He resents how regal and perfect Joffrey and Margaery look together and recalls bitterly his own farcical wedding to Sansa. He ponders how and why Joffrey tried to have Bran Stark killed. After the wedding, the nobility prepares for the wedding feast, which will have seventy seven courses to flaunt the wealth and power of the Lannisters and the Tyrells. Sansa puts up her hair in a beautiful hairnet, while Tyrion admires his handsome clothing; if only there were a handsome man to...

(The entire section is 264 words.)

Chapter 61 Summary

Sansa can hear the bell tolling in the city, which, she realizes, means Joffrey is dead. Now, she has come outside of the city to meet with Dontos. As she changes into dark clothing that she smuggled out two nights before, Sansa notices that her there is an amethyst missing from her hairnet. Dontos had given her the hairnet, and he had told her that its amethysts were magic stones from Asshai. Did he kill Joffrey? When Dontos, drunk, arrives, he denies it. He takes her away to a cliff and they climb down a ladder to the shore below. There, they find a boat and a rower, whom Dontos greets as Oswell. The rower insists that they remain silent as they cross the water. When they arrive, Dontos leads Sansa on again until they meet Petyr...

(The entire section is 254 words.)

Chapter 62 Summary

Jaime hardly feels any sadness when he learns in a village market that Joffrey is dead and that Tyrion is suspected of murdering him. Joffrey lived and died as Robert's son, not Jaime's. In fact, Brienne feels more grief over Robb Stark's death than Jaime feels for Joffrey. When they return to King's Landing, Jaime wonders what they will do with Brienne. She does not want to stay at court. When Ser Loras sees her, he accuses her of murdering Renley. Jaime has Brienne taken into custody to keep her safe, though her face reveals only feelings of betrayal. Jaime goes to Cersei, who is in a sept mourning Joffrey. They make love on the Mother's alter. Cersei tells Jaime that she wants him to kill Tyrion and to go to Tywin. Jaime,...

(The entire section is 270 words.)

Chapter 63 Summary

Davos watches Melisandre and her followers as they chant around a fire. He wonders whether there will be more of them or fewer after he finishes his business. He gathers his followers and tells them to prepare, though they worry that Melisandre will have seen their plans in her fires. Davos decides to take the risk. He goes to Maester Pylos's chamber, where Edric Storm is studying. They take the boy to the sea, put him in a boat, and send him away. Davos next goes to the Chamber of the Painted Table, where he lights a fire and waits for Stannis to return. When he does return, Melisandre is with him. Joffrey is dead, she declares, and now Stannis must give her the boy so that they can raise the stone dragons. Davos confirms that...

(The entire section is 213 words.)

Chapter 64 Summary

Jon dreams that he is in the crypt beneath Winterfell. The busts of the Starks buried there tell him to leave; he is no Stark. He wakes, thinking of Ygritte. After the wildling attack on Castle Black, he found her body and burned it, as she would have wanted. When he hears a horn blow twice, he thinks it must be the Horn of Winter, but then remembers that the wildlings never found it. He goes to the Wall and looks down. It is night and the men can see only a little until they launch fire from the trebuchets. Jon and the others see the wildling army: mammoths, giants, and thousands of fighters. The wildlings attack the gate since there is no other way to beat the Wall. The gate leads to a narrow tunnel through the Wall, and there...

(The entire section is 290 words.)

Chapter 65 Summary

Arya feels empty, and it is not just from hunger. Her brother is dead—murdered by the Freys. At night, she feels better when she dreams that she is a wolf. During the day, she and Clegane ride. The Hound is armed with only the axe with which he knocked out Arya while at the Twins. They find a soldier, dying of a mace wound. He asks for wine and the gift of mercy, and though Clegane has no wine he does offer the soldier water before mercifully stabbing him in the heart with a dagger. He eventually tells her that they are headed to the Vale in the hopes of ransoming Arya to her aunt, Lysa Arryn. Arya would prefer to return to the Twins to search for her mother until she has a dream in which she, a wolf, hauls Lady Catelyn's corpse...

(The entire section is 266 words.)

Chapter 66 Summary

Tyrion has been imprisoned and now awaits his trial. His uncle, Ser Kevan Lannister, informs him that the trial will be held in three days and that Cersei is gathering witnesses. Tyrion hopes to call on witnesses as well but cannot think of any. Sansa has fled King's Landing, and besides, she might have been the poisoner. Tyrion calls upon his squire, Podrick Payne, and commands him to find Bronn. When Bronn does show up, he explains that he will marry Lollys Stokeworth and he hopes to inherit to the Stokeworth castle and lands. He refuses to defend Tyrion in a trial by combat since Cersei has named Ser Gregor Clegane her champion. When the trial does begin, it goes badly for Tyrion, who is forced to sit silently as the lords and...

(The entire section is 256 words.)

Chapter 67 Summary

Jaime sits in White Sword Tower, the home of the Kingsguard, waiting for his brothers. He looks through the White Book, which provides a history of the members of the Kingsguard and is disappointed by the brief entries made about him. Ser Arys Oakheart is in Dorne with Princess Myrcella, but the others come into the room, announcing that King Tommen is being protected by the Kettleblacks and Ser Garlan Tyrell. Jaime confronts them over Joffrey's death, and notes that only Ser Balon Swann seems ashamed to have failed in his duty. Jaime next confronts the men individually. First is Ser Boros Blount, whom Cersei dismissed and whom Lord Tywin reinstated. Jaime announces that Ser Boros will serve as the king's food taster from now on....

(The entire section is 302 words.)

Chapter 68 Summary

Sansa is pleased when the Merling King reaches its destination as she has spent most of the journey seasick. She and Littlefinger are accompanied by Ser Lothar Brune and Oswell. Sansa is surprised that they have not returned to White Harbor in the north. Instead, Littlefinger has brought them to his ancestral home, though he is not proud of its stones and its sheep herds. His castle is unimpressive and his retainers dreary. Petyr announces that Lysa Arryn will soon arrive and take them to the Eyrie where he and Lysa will marry. He tells Sansa that she will have to play a game in which she will pretend to be Petyr's natural daughter, Alayne Stone. Sansa asks about Joffrey's death, Petyr explains that when he was...

(The entire section is 377 words.)

Chapter 69 Summary

Jon and the others are beyond exhaustion after fighting the wildlings for days. The wildlings have a massive army, and every morning they launch arrows at the men atop the Wall. Only one man has died, but Jon can tell that the others are growing increasingly tired. They have mounted strawmen and bet on which strawman will gather the most arrows to keep their spirits up. The wildlings have spent days cutting down trees and now have made a wooden "turtle" to protect them from stones and fire arrows as they attack the gate. However, Jon has filled barrels with stone and water, now frozen, which he and the others drop on the wildlings as they reach the base of the Wall. With the latest attack finished, Jon descends from the Wall to...

(The entire section is 212 words.)

Chapter 70 Summary

Tyrion must endure one last witness before he will be given the chance to present a defense. He can try to place blame on Sansa, confess and go to the Wall, or he can roll the dice and let the Red Viper try to kill Ser Gregor Clegane. When he arrives in court, the City Watch bring in Shae, who tells the court that Tyrion and Sansa plotted Joffrey's death together. She explains that she was not only Sansa's maid but that Tyrion also made her his whore and that she cried while Tyrion brutalized her. Shae breaks down in tears, explaining that she never even wanted to be a whore. Tyrion stole her from her husband and made her call him her "my giant of Lannister," which draws laughter from the court. Tyrion reflects upon how he saved...

(The entire section is 321 words.)

Chapter 71 Summary

Daenerys has conquered Meereen. Meereen's streets are filled with the dying slavers who suffer for their crimes. Dany sits atop the Meereen's greatest pyramid, but even there Dany is annoyed by the buzzing flies. She meets with her council and agrees to have the corpses removed from the city. A messenger disappoints her when he announces that Astapor, which Dany had left in the hands of a council, is now ruled by King Cleon the Great, who had been a butcher before Dany liberated the slaves. Now, Cleon's messenger proposes that they ally themselves against Yunkai, even though Dany has promised peace with the Yunkai'i so long as they free their slaves. She next speaks to a trader captain, who announces that King Cleon is a butcher...

(The entire section is 351 words.)

Chapter 72 Summary

Jaime watches as King Tommen signs the documents Ser Kevan puts in front of him. Roose Bolton is made the Warden of the North, his bastard son is made legitimate, and the Freys are given the Riverlands. Bored, Jaime leaves worried about his swordsmanship. He has practiced with Ser Addam Marbrand; word must not get out that none of his skill remains. Certainly the golden hand that Tywin has given him will not help. When he sees the northmen preparing to leave, a girl introduces herself as Arya Stark. She is to wed Roose Botlon's son. When Jaime reaches the scene of Tyrion's trial by combat, he thinks about Ser Gregor, who seems to be dying of poison. Tywin insists that Gregor live, but only so that he can be executed by the king's...

(The entire section is 402 words.)

Chapter 73 Summary

Jon is descending from the wall in a cage. Maester Aemon has outmaneuvered Janos Slynt and Ser Alliser Thorne; they are not allowed to hang Jon. Instead, they announce that they want Jon to go to Mance Rayder, but not to treat with him. Instead, Jon is to assassinate him. When Jon reaches the ground, Tormund Giantsbane meets him. Together, they drink from a horn of potent mead as they toast the dead. When Jon reaches Mance, he sees that the wildling leader is accompanied by some of his most infamous captains, including Harma Dogshead. Varamyr Sixskins is there as well, and he explains that he has joined with Orell's eagle, which means that he feels Orell's hate for Jon. Mance dismisses them and takes him into his tent, where Dalla...

(The entire section is 246 words.)

Chapter 74 Summary

Arya recognizes the inn where the Hound has taken them, and she warns him against going inside. The Hound insists that they go in because he wants wine and because they need information. Inside, however, they find Polliver and the Tickler, two of Ser Gregor's men. There also have a squire with them, who mocks Sandor for being fleeing the Battle of Blackwater. They announce that Joffrey is dead, which thrills Arya, and that Sansa and Tyrion killed him. As she watches them talking, Arya realizes that the Hound is just like Ser Gregor's men. They explain how Gregor took the Harrenhal and suggest that Clegane should come with them. When Clegane refuses, Polliver reaches behind his back for a knife. Clegane engages the men, while Arya...

(The entire section is 335 words.)

Chapter 75 Summary

Samwell visits Gilly, who now nurses her own son as well as Mance Rayder's. He reflects on all that has happened as he leaves her. Members of the Night's Watch have come from Shadow Tower and Eastwatch, though Castle Black's hall was destroyed during the fighting. The brothers now must choose their new leader. Cottor Pyke and Ser Denys Mallister have put both their names in for selection, as have Bowen Marsh and Janos Slynt. Every day, Pyke and Mallister lose votes, while Janos Slynt gains ground. Sam goes to see Jon, and he asks whether he should send Gilly and her boy to his parents with a letter claiming the child as Sam's bastard. Jon advises Sam to be cautious, though he points out that it could mean a better life for them....

(The entire section is 210 words.)

Chapter 76 Summary

Jon passes his time practicing in the yard when Melisandre summons him to King Stannis. When Jon arrives, Stannis confronts Jon about his exploits: Jon has returned the Horn of Winter, he has captured Mance Rayder and his son, and he defended the Wall against the wildlings. Jon also admits that he has a direwolf, Ghost, but does not admit to being a warg. Besides, Ghost is still in the wild. When he confronts Stannis over taking so long to aid the Night's Watch, the latter is impressed by Jon. He explains that he had insisted on his rights when he should have thought about this duties. Stannis, now satisfied, offers to legitimize Jon's birth, which would make him a Stark rather than a Snow. Next, he would have Jon reclaim...

(The entire section is 232 words.)

Chapter 77 Summary

Tyrion is in the dungeon, waiting for someone to come and kill him. He hears footsteps, but is surprised when it is Jaime that has come to see him. Jaime has not only come to visit Tyrion; he has convinced Varys to take Tyrion out of the city. Jaime explains that he owes Tyrion a debt: when Tyrion married a low born girl, Tysha, he later told Tyrion that the girl was a whore. After, Tywin had his garrison rape her, after which Tyrion did so as well, and they all paid her one coin a piece to teach both her and Tyrion a lesson. Jaime tells Tyrion that they all lied: the girl was not a whore and did marry Tyrion for love. Tyrion, furious, tells Jaime that he killed Joffrey and that Cersei has slept with Lancel and Kettleblack and who...

(The entire section is 250 words.)

Chapter 78 Summary

Samwell accompanies Maester Aemon to meet with Stannis and Melisandre. The men running for Lord Commander are there as well. Stannis tells them that he needs them to pick a leader so that they can make plans to defend the realm from the Others. He also needs to begin dealing with the wildling prisoners, and he means to take the Gift: abandoned lands south of the Wall owned by the undermanned Night's Watch. The men are proud, but they leave. Aemon asks to see Stannis's blade, Lightbringer, and though it glows, Aemon tells Sam afterward that it does not burn. Sam wonders what they can do about preventing Slynt from taking command of the Wall, and Aemon tells him that a maester cannot influence the choosing but implies that Sam could....

(The entire section is 221 words.)

Chapter 79 Summary

Jon spars with Iron Emmett, a vicious swordsman. He is about to lose when he recalls a game he once played with Robb. They would duel while pretending to be heroes and lords. Jon had wanted to be Lord of Winterfell, but Robb had told him it was impossible. Furious at the memory, Jon attacks Iron Emmett and only returns to his senses after he has defeated him. He realizes that he wants to be Lord of Winterfell, but doing so would mean facing the truth about something he has always guiltily denied himself. It would also mean feeding Winterfell's great weirwood to Melisandre's fire god. He goes walking and finds Ghost. Jon returns to Castle Black and learns that Stannis has ordered the men to choose their new Lord Commander. Until...

(The entire section is 208 words.)

Chapter 80 Summary

Sansa wakes in the middle of the night after dreaming of Winterfell and her family. She is not with them, however. She is Alayne Stone, Petyr Baelish's bastard daughter, and she is in the Eyrie, Lysa Arryn's mountain castle. Its walls are high, but the castle is small, and Lady Lysa keeps few people there as she is so jealous of her son, the sickly child, Robert. Sansa goes outside, where it is snowing and builds a snow castle of Winterfell. Petyr eventually shows up and helps her. He kisses her. Robert arrives and destroys the castle. After, Marillion, Lysa's favorite singer, comes to take Sansa to her aunt. When the three of them are alone, Lysa accuses Sansa of enticing Petyr, the man she gave her "maiden's gift" to, and drags...

(The entire section is 219 words.)

Epilogue Summary

Merrett is worried that it is already snowing in the Riverlands. The people have lost their last two harvests to war, weather, and flooding, and now an early winter threatens to take this harvest and bring famine. He wonders what will happen to him as he rides through the woods. After all, outlaws can hide unnaturally. Merrett is sober, though he wishes he was drunk. He wonders why people at the Twins blame him for his drinking when, clearly, everything he has ever had has been taken from him. Even his children are worthless. He hopes that things will be better if he manages to bring Petyr Pimple back to the Twins from the outlaws that are holding him for ransom. Merrett considers the succession at the Twins. Lord Frey is 92, and...

(The entire section is 246 words.)