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...
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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.
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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.
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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 father's regrets. Catelyn soon learns that Robb has taken an injury in the field. When Catelyn's brother, Edmure, returns from battle, it is two hours before he comes to see Catelyn. He tells her that Stannis has lost the battle at King's Landing. He has also written to Roose Bolton, whose sits at the Harrenhal, commanding him to capture the escaped Jaime Lannister. Catelyn is angry because if Jaime is labeled an escaped prisoner, the Lannisters in King's Landing will feel no compunction to return Catelyn's daughters, Sansa and Arya.
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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, hoping that they are going the right way. Though Arya would prefer to ride all night, she and Hot Pie are soon sleeping in their saddles. When they stop to set camp, Arya barely has the energy left to recite the names of the people that have wronged her and that she wishes dead. That night, she dreams that she is a wolf killing the Bloody Mummers with her pack.
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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 King's Landing to marry Joffrey. Joffrey and Margaery's marriage will cement the alliance between the Lannisters and the Tyrells. Tywin tells him that Princess Myrcella has arrived in Dorne, which has ostensibly earned them Dorne's allegiance as well. However, now Prince Doran Martell is sending someone to sit on the small council, and the Martells will want vengeance for the slaughter of Princess Elia's children during the rebellion. Everyone knows that Ser Gregor Clegane, one of Lord Tywin's most fearsome warriors, was responsible. Now, Tyrion demands to be acknowledged as the heir to Casterly Rock, but Lord Tywin denies him. He explains that Tyrion killed his mother coming into the world and is only recognized as a Lannister because Tywin cannot prove that Tyrion is not his son. He also commands Tyrion to stay away from whores and threatens to hang the next whore he finds in Tyrion's bed.
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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 them by supporting Melisandre, the red priestess. Davos, remembering, prays to the Mother for mercy and begs forgiveness for the reluctant and passive support he gave Melisandre, who burned the new gods in effigy and who gave birth to shadows that killed men. Now, he realizes that he still has something he must do with his life and he signals to the approaching ship. They see Davos and send a boat to collect him. He observes that they are Salladhor Saans's men, which means that they, like Davos, serve King Stannis.
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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 Olenna. Lady Olenna is sometimes called the "Queen of Thorns," and it does not take long for Sansa to realize why. Olenna speaks bluntly, referring to her son, Mace Tyrell, as the "lord oaf of Highgarden." She summons a fool, commands him to sing loudly, and then demands that Sansa tell them about Joffrey. Sansa reluctantly admits that Joffrey is a monster. They console her and suggest that Sansa come to Highgarden to marry Willas, the crippled Tyrell heir.
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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. Mance, who is playing a lute in a corner, introduces himself. He dismisses the others explains that he has seen Jon twice in his life, both times at Winterfell. The second time, he climbed over the Wall alone and went to Winterfell posing as a singer in King Robert's entourage. Mance also explains that he deserted so that he could be free to kiss women and wear whatever color cloak he wished. Jon knows that although he is protected by guest right, he must be careful when he lies to Mance Rayder. He cannot explain that he slew Quorin Halfhand so that he could spy on the wildlings while posing as one of them. Instead, he reminds Mance Rayder where the bastard sat during King Robert's royal visit. Rayder believes him.
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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 her. They were sent by Illyrio Mopatis to return her to Pentos. However, if Illyrio is indeed a friend of Dany's, then he would not mind if Dany chooses another course. Jorah suggests that they go to Slaver's Bay and buy soldiers. He recommends the Unsullied, eunuchs that are well known for their loyalty. Dany is convinced. Jorah kisses her next. Dany chastises him, but he tells her that no man well ever be "half so true to you as me."
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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 over what they should do. Though they are hiding in an old tower, Jojen urges them to walk north beyond the Wall to find the three-eyed crow that waits there. Though Jojen has "green dreams" that come true, he is no "greenseer." Bran needs a better teacher. Meera suggests that they steal horses or even try to buy them. However, the three of them and Hodor, a simple minded but very large man, would not go unnoticed. Bran decides that they will travel north, even if it means they must walk.
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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 Dragonmount smoking. It is said that no one is allowed to see Stannis but Melisandre. Together, they walk into the heat of the mountain. Davos convinces the guards at the gate to admit him. Inside, he meets Edric Storm, King Robert's bastard son. Edric is proud, and he reminds Davos of Robert and Renly. Ser Axell Florent, Stannis's Hand, arrives and calls on his men to seize Davos and take him to the dungeons. He declares that Davos means to kill Melisandre.
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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 Targaryen. Jaime remembers when he decided to join the Kingsguard. It had been Cersei's idea. Their father had taken her to court and she decided that if Jaime came to King's Landing, they could be together. However, when Jaime swore his oaths, Tywin resigned his position as Hand of the King and left King's Landing with Cersei. Jaime was alone then, as four different men tried their best to fill his father's shoes. Two were exiled, one killed, and Jaime killed the last when Robert's army laid siege to King's Landing. Jaime remembers when he killed Aerys and how he had the chance to capture Elia's child, proclaim it king, and give the Lannisters the rule of the realm while the child grew up. Instead, he had waited to see who would come to claim the throne.
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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, Tyrion would prefer Varys to find a way to bring Shae to him. Varys arranges a meeting in his own chambers. They sleep together before Shae begins asking Tyrion for favors. Shae does not enjoy working as a maid for Lollys and would prefer that Tyrion return her to her manse outside the city. The singer Symon Silver Tongue has been telling Shae about the upcoming royal wedding and she wants to attend it with Tyrion. She is angry when Tyrion refuses her requests, but when she leaves she tells Tyrion that she knows he must protect her. Symon knows about Tyrion and Shae, so Tyrion seeks out Bronn and commands the sellsword-turned-knight to find Symon before someone else does.
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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 paper promising payment for their weapons and their horse. Arya realizes that the "king's men" are just outlaws, but she nevertheless demands that they let her take their skiff. They are interrupted by the approach of horses. When Lem tries to stop Arya from fleeing, she breaks his nose with a tankard. Nevertheless, it appears they are captured until Harwin, a Winterfell man, enters. He recognizes Arya and kneels before Lord Eddard Stark's youngest daughter.
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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 realizes that she must forgive Robb as he forgave her, though there is no question that he has lost a considerable part of his army in this marriage. Robb takes her to meet with Edmure. Robb and Ser Brynden Blackfish chastise the lord of Riverrun for battling Tywin Lannister. If Edmure would have allowed Tywin to pass, they could have destroyed the latter's army. Now, they have more enemies and they will have to divide the northerners from the river lords to retake the north and hold the riverlands. But first they will have to win back the Freys.
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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 summoned to his side. Ygritte follows. The men of the Night's Watch might have killed hundreds of the wildlings if they had survived, but now they are dead and defeated. The Others attacked them. Jon did not warn Mance of the Old Bear's force, and it is only when Ygritte declares that they are together that Jon is spared. However, Mance orders Jon and Ygritte to journey south of the Wall with Styr. Dismissed, Ygritte orders Jon to keep his direwolf away that night.
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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 but also explains that Loras will protect her. Sansa looks up to Margaery and she looks forward to marrying Willas. When she next goes to the godswood, she tells Dontos that she no longer requires his rescue now that she has the Tyrells. He protests that the Tyrells mean to use her just as the Lannisters did. They are only interested in her claim to Winterfell. However, even if Willas does not marry her for love, Sansa hopes that she earn it.
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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 was injured in the attack, they explain, but Thoros, the red priest of Myr, healed him. Now, they are taking Arya to Lord Beric as their captive. When she hears the word, Arya commands her horse to run. She outpaces all of the men but Harwin, who catches up to her and stops her from escaping. He explains that he fights for the smallfolk now. Arya promises to stay with them, though in her mind she remains determined to reach her brother.
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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 Chett had promised him the Old Bear's raven but maybe Sam will give him a raven when they return to the Wall. They slow and are soon outside of the circle of fire that Lord Mormont has established to protect his men. When their torch burns out, an Other attacks. Sam stabs the Other with an obsidian dagger and is surprised when it destroys the monster. He recalls that some call obsidian "dragonglass."
(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. Littlefinger proposes to leave aboard the Merling King and woo Lysa Arryn in the Vale. Though Littlefinger is only a minor lord, he is now the Lord of the Harrenhal in name if not in power, a title that allows him to propose the match. While he is gone, they decide that Tyrion shall take over the treasury. Members of the City Watch that fled have returned to their posts and Tywin decides to break their knees rather than sending them to the Wall, arguing that they are not responsible for protecting the rebel northerners. After the meeting, Tywin and Kevan to Cersei and Tyrion privately. Tywin informs Cersei that he means for her to marry again. He also explains that he intends for Tyrion to marry Sansa Stark. Tyrion will never rule in Casterly Rock, but they might manage to give him Winterfell.
(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 Robb's defeat. The next day, Robb has Lord Rickard brought to him. He executes Karstark himself, though not until after the rebel lord announces that they are kin and that Robb will curse himself by slaying him. By the end of the execution, there is blood everywhere. Later, Robb's bride, Jeyne, comes to see Catelyn, asking counsel. Catelyn advises her to be patient: Robb will come to her when she is ready. In the meantime, Jeyne should focus on providing Robb with an heir.
(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. When Brienne tries to order them on Lady Catelyn's authority, they ignore her as well. They tie up Brienne and Jaime and take them to Vargo Hoat, their leader. Jaime manages to convince the mercenaries not to rape Brienne by explaining how rich her father is. However, he does not convince Hoat to switch allegiance again to his father. Hoat instead orders his Dothraki sellsword to approach with his arakh. They cut off Jaime's swordhand to send as part of a ransom to Lord Tywin.
(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 visions are terrifying. They ignore her. Arya wonders why Lord Beric is so hard to find and Tom explains that he moves about a lot to protect himself from Gregor and his "Tickler." Arya recalls how Polliver used to torture the villagers he found. They next make for Acorn Hall, but only find Lady Smallwood, who gives Arya a new dress of acorns. Arya soon ruins it and the next day Lady Smallwood gives Arya the clothes her son used to wear until he died at seven years old. She tells Arya that she is pretty and urges her to be brave.
(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 three survives the training. The slaver explains that the Unsullied may be eunuchs, but their discipline makes up for their lack of physical strength. They drink the "wine of courage" until their senses are dulled to pain. They feel no temptation, and each day they are given new names. To become Unsullied, the eunuchs are also given coin to buy an infant, which they must kill. As children, they are given puppies to care for, but after a year they must strangle them or be killed in turn. Dany returns to her ship, furious, and unsure of what to do. She chastises Ser Jorah, who explains that Westeros will not be won by loyalty and honor alone. Rhaegar had honor, but he still died.
(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 main land and discovered the largest castle ever built, which Bran realizes is the Harrenhal. A great tourney was being held, and the king, his Kingsguard, and his son, the dragon prince, were all there. Three young quires set upon the crannogman until a she-wolf attacked them with a tourney sword to defend her "father's man." She took him back to the camp and introduced them to a wild wolf that led them, a quiet wolf beside them, and the pup who was the youngest of the four. That night, the crannogman, who was of high birth, ate in the hall with the wolves and watched as a purple-eyed maid danced with the several lords, including the quiet wolf. They saw the squires that attacked the crannogman—a Frey and two others. As the tourney continued, the crannogman's attackers did well, but on the afternoon of the second day, a mystery knight entered the lists wearing an emblem on his shield of a laughing weirwood. He defeated the attacking squires, but the next morning the Knight of the Laughing Tree was gone. Jojen and Meera are surprised that Bran never heard the story.
(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 make one with Davos. He refuses. She tries to convince Davos that his faith in the Seven is flawed. There are only two gods, one that serves life, light, and fire while the other serves death, darkness, and ice. Davos remains skeptical. Melisandre asks why Davos plotted to kill her, explaining that she saw his plans in her flames. Davos asks why she did not prevent his sons from dying. If Stannis would have brought her to battle, Melisandre maintains, they would have won. Now, Stannis has learned his lesson, which is good since he is neither a lord nor a king. He is actually Azor Ahai reborn, meant to fight the darkness. Days later, Ser Axell brings another traitor to the dungeon, Alester Florent. He explains that he attempted to send peace terms to Lord Tywin. Davos knows that Stannis will never agree to peace when he believes his cause is just.
(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 his worth and loyalty. The raiders are commanded by Jarl, who has climbed over the Wall several times, and Styr, Magnar of the Thenns. They demand to know how many men wait upon them, and Jon can do nothing by slightly exaggerate the numbers of the Night's Watch. After, he finds Ygritte in a cave and they sleep together. She tells Jon again that he stole her and that she worried he would abandon her, returning to the Wall. Craster's father did returned to the Wall, and now Craster is cursed. Ygritte tells Jon that she never wants to leave the cave.
(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 must die," Dany translates. They return to the slavers, who accept all of Dany's possessions and Drogon. In return, they give her a scourge that signals her control over the obedient Unsullied. Dany looks at the Unsullied and declares that she has bought them. The slavers struggle to control Drogon and Dany explains that dragons are not slaves. She commands Drogon to breathe fire, and the dragon burns the slavers. Soldiers enter the square and Dany commands the Unsullied to defend her and to slay the slavers.
(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 Sansa that although she might love his brother Ser Loras, Tyrion will actually make her a better husband. There's more to the dwarf than most see. When Joffrey dances with her, he announces that he will sleep with her whenever he chooses; kings can take any woman to bed, he has learned. When it is time to take the couple to bed, Tyrion announces that he will not acquiesce and he threatens to geld Joffrey if the king commands it. Lord Tywin does his best to diffuse the situation. In the bedchamber, Tyrion and Sansa remove their clothes. Sansa is repulsed by Tyrion's ugliness. Tyrion is surprised by how young Sansa is. He offers to never touch Sansa until she is ready, but Sansa asks what he will do if she is never ready to sleep with him.
(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 brothel where a girl introduces herself to Gendry, explaining that her father was the king and that her mother was King Robert's favorite while he was in Stoney Sept. She is Bella, named for the Battle of the Bells. Arya looks at her black hair and thinks that she looks like Gendry. That night, Arya says her prayer: "Queen Cersei, King Joffrey, Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn. Dunsen, Raff, and Polliver. The Tickler, the Hound, and Ser Gregor the Mountain." She wonders if any are dead yet. The next morning, Arya learns that the Mad Huntsman has returned, and he has brought a new man to put in the cages. Arya looks at the prisoner and thinks that the gods have heard her prayers.
(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 trying to shake her off to her death. Jon sees tears in her eyes and comforts her, but she refuses his comfort explaining that she is not frightened. She is crying because the wildlings opened hundreds of graves looking for the Horn of Joramun, which is said to have the power to bring down the Wall, but they never found it. The Wall will be allowed to stand.
(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 after allying themselves with the Tyrells of Highgarden. Bolton finds Hoat's actions distasteful. He has Brienne taken to a lady's chambers and he orders them to leave Jaime alone. Jaime sees the Brave Companions' healer, Qyburn, who had been a maester until his chain was taken from him. Qyburn announces that Jaime will live, though he might have died if he had stayed in the wild another day or two.
(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. Tyrion leaves and orders Bronn to kill the singer. He returns to his quarters, when his father summons him. Lord Tywin chastises Tyrion for still not consummating his marriage. The marriage can be annulled until Tyrion takes Sansa's maidenhead. He shows Tyrion two swords, made from Ice, the Stark family's greatsword. He intends to give one to Joffrey and the other to Jaime. Tyrion explains that the crown cannot afford to rebuild the harbor and pay for Joffrey's extravagant wedding, but Tywin does not care and orders Tyrion to find the money. After, Grand Maester Pycelle enters, announcing that the Night's Watch has written requesting aid. They have sent word to all five kings. Tywin, irritated, suggests that Pycelle send a reply explaining that they cannot spare any men, that the Night's Watch choose a new Lord Commander, and that they pass on his regards to Lord Janos Slynt. Tyrion points out that the men of the Night's Watch choose their own Lord Commanders, but Tywin does not care.
(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 he is a godly man, the brothers believe he has a secret larder. Craster eventually tells Mormont that the Night's Watch must leave. That night, he offers the brothers of the Night's Watch just two loaves of bread and horse meat to see them off. The men insult Craster, and when he commands them to leave his hall, they insult him again. Craster, axe in hand, attacks them and is killed. Mormont cries out that none are so cursed as those that violate guest right, but the brothers do not listen. Instead, they attack Mormont. Sam holds the Lord Commander's head in his hands as Mormont commands him to return the Wall with word of all that has happened. The Lord Commander's dying wish is for his son take the black and join the Night's Watch. As the brothers raid the larder in the cellar and rape Craster's younger wives, the older wives come to Sam and ask him to take Gilly and her newborn son away before Craster's sons, wights now, come for them.
(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 witnesses and there is no way to tell whether Clegane is guilty or innocent, Beric offers Clegane trial by combat. Beric removes his armor and reveals the scars that have killed him so many times. Armed with a magical flaming sword, Beric meets Clegane in combat. The fire spreads to Clegane's body, but the Hound wins the duel. His sword thrusts down between Beric's neck and shoulder until it meets his breastbone. Clegane drops to the ground, rolling to put out the fire. Arya has prayed for Clegane to die hundreds of times and she grabs a dagger and rushes him. She stops when she sees his burnt arm and instead tells him to go to hell. Lord Beric, revived by Thoros, announces that the Hound is already there.
(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 every battle. Lord Frey has sent messengers with his terms for peace between his house and Robb's: Lord Edmure is to marry his daughter and Robb himself is to come to the wedding. They have no choice, and Edmure agrees to marry her. They Freys also bring word that Winterfell has been sacked by Ramsay Snow, Lord Roose Bolton's bastard son, which makes Robb all the more determined to defeat his enemies. Catelyn, however, would prefer that her son bend the knee and bring the north peace once again.
(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 because his men died defending Stannis. Axell is furious, but Stannis dismisses him. He then names Davos Lord of the Rainwood, Admiral of the Narrow Sea, and Hand of the King. Davos is shocked, given that he was born a smuggler, cannot read, and was just that morning imprisoned in the dungeon. However, both Stannis and Melisandre see in Davos his loyalty to Stannis's cause. Melisandre arrives with three leeches, filled with the blood of Edric Storm, King Robert's bastard son. Like Robert before him, Edric has charisma and inspires loyalty in others. Although Melisandre urges Davos to sacrifice Edric for the power of his king's blood, which she claims will wake a stone dragon, Stannis refuses. They instead sacrifice the three leeches, filled with royal blood, to achieve the death of Stannis's remaining rivals: Joffrey Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy, and Robb Stark.
(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 side. Their only hope lies in capturing Jaime and giving him to the Karstarks in exchange for lands in the north, far from Lord Tywin's wrath. Bolton explains that he, too, might be held responsible for what has happened to Jaime since Hoat is his man. Jaime agrees to explain that Bolton had nothing to do with his missing hand in exchange for safe passage to King's Landing. Brienne insists that she will go with Jaime to King's Landing, but Bolton refuses. In the meantime, he will have to go to King Robb's wedding at the Twins.
(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 lords as well as his paramour, Ellaria Sand, a bastard born woman. Tyrion reflects that Oberyn alone might be enough to start a war between the Lannisters, the Tyrells, and Dorne. Oberyn explains that he has come to King's Landing in search of justice. His sister, Elia, and her infant children were killed in the sack of King's Landing, and everyone knows that Ser Gregor Clegane killed her. However, the Red Viper announces that he also intends to bring justice to the man that gave Clegane the order to kill Elia and her children. Tyrion warns Oberyn that if he intends to harm Tywin, he will lose his life.
(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 leaves again. Thoros thinks that the Hound had relied upon that money because he cannot go to the Lannisters and the Starks now. When Arya goes to bed, she recites her litany of enemies, but worries that she can no longer remember the faces of Raff and Dunsen and Polliver. Even the Tickler's face is vague. The next morning, Gendry apologizes for leaving her to join Lord Beric's outlaws, but Arya tells him that it does not matter: she will go to his brother and he will eventually be hanged as an outlaw. Inside, however, she thinks that he could have become a smith at Riverrun.
(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, but Jojen explains that they will seek out one of the abandoned castles along the Wall to travel north into the wild. Through a window, they spot a group of men that set up camp. When a storm starts, Hodor starts screaming at the lightning. They worry that he will attract the attention of the men, who could betray them to their enemies. Bran reaches out to Hodor and touches the latter's mind to silence him. When they look out the window again, the men look like they may have heard Hodor. Bran slips into Summer's skin and smells the men. They smell of fear.
(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 not yet returned? They soon come upon a village next to a lake that has a watchtower on an island. Jon recognizes it as the tower where Queen Alysanne once stayed. That night, Styr summons Jon, though Ygritte follows. He has found an old man and commands Jon to kill him. Jon refuses, though Ygritte reminds him of how he slew the wildlings when he stole her. It is the same, she explains, but Jon still refuses. She slays the old man in anger. Before Styr can can do anything, a direwolf (Summer) attacks. Jon uses the distraction to make his escape. After, he notices that he has been shot with an arrow. As he pushes the arrow through his leg, he wonders if the feathers are gray like the ones that Ygritte uses. When he recovers, he continues riding to Castle Black.
(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 mercenaries' former leaders and announces that his Stormcrows will join her. Daario flirts with Dany, which irritates Jorah. Dany chastises Jorah and reminds him that she is queen. She announces that his jealousy will not change the way she feels about him. Ser Jorah and Grey Worm, the new leader of the Unsullied, lead the attack while Arstan tells her about how her brother Rhaegar won Lord Whent's tourney. It was when he crowned Lyanna Stark Queen of Love and Beauty. Jorah returns with news that they have won the battle with hardly any casualties. She goes to the city and watches as the slaves leave. They call her mother as they leave the city.
(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 have fallen in love during Lord Whent's tourney, which was before he was to marry Lady Catelyn. However, he thinks it more likely that Ashara Dayne killed herself in grief when her brother, Arthur Dayne, was killed. Thoros has a vision in the fire of Lannisters attacking Riverrun and the men worry over how they will ransom Arya. Arya, meanwhile, goes walking in the dark and is caught by Sandor Clegane.
(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 men—Lord Eddard Stark, Ser Arthur Dayne, and more—that judge him for his broken oaths. He awakens, determined to return to the Harrenhal. There, he finds Brienne fighting a bear in a pit with a dull tourney sword. Jaime leaps into the pit, unarmed. Steelshanks kills the bear with a crossbow in order to ensure that Jaime lives. When Brienne asks why he came for her, Jaime explains that he dreamt of her.
(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 again that she has angered Robb, her last remaining son. The only good tidings they receive comes with Lord Jason Mallister, of Seaguard, who brings a ship captain with news that Balon Greyjoy has died. His brothers, Victarion and Euron Crow's Eye, will now fight for the Iron Islands, which means they will have to withdraw some of their men from the north. Still, the Ironborn hold Moat Cailin, which remains the key to retaking Robb's lands. Robb announces that he will contact Howland Reed, who will give his army safe passage through the marshlands. He also announces that Catelyn will travel to Seaguard, which she interprets as a punishment. He then presents a decree for his lords naming his new heir. Robb has big plans, but first they must reach the Twins to marry Edmure Tully to Lord Frey's daughter and Robb's army to his.
(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 shoves it into the wight's mouth. Paul burns and the blue light leaves his eyes. When Sam leaves, he finds Gilly surrounded by the Others. It is hopeless until he sees a tree filled with ravens. They attack the wights. A man in black astride an elk calls to them, and Sam and Gilly rush to him. When Sam reaches the man, he notices that the man wears no gloves. His hands are black, cold, and stone hard.
(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, Clegane explains to Arya that he knew Sansa in King's Landing and that he saved her. Arya refuses to believe him, and she then surprises the Hound when she announces that she once met Sandor's older brother, Gregor. Sandor is incredulous at first, but laughs when he realizes that Gregor did not realize what he had in Arya: a gold ransom. He tells Arya that he means to kill Gregor some day. He also tells her that he is not taking her to King's Landing; the Hound is finished with Lannisters. Instead, he is taking her to the Twins for King Robb's "bloody wedding."
(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 his brothers, Bran and Rickon, are dead. Jon does not understand how his brothers could be dead given that he saw a direwolf at Queenscrown, though he wonders if one of his brothers now lives inside the direwolf. When Aemon takes his red hot knife to Jon's leg, the latter passes out. When he awakes, Grenn and Pyp are there. Jon falls asleep again, dreaming of Ygritte.
(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, Lord Walder Frey sits atop his dais with his eighth wife. His lackwit son, Jinglebell, sits at his feet dressed as a fool—and as a king. Is it a slight against Robb? Frey asks Robb to apologize to his many daughters and granddaughters, which Robb politely does. However, the rooms Frey provides them are comfortable, Roslin is beautiful, and the Freys serve bread and wine in anticipation for the coming wedding. When they enter the hall again for the feast, Catelyn and Robb meet with Lord Roose Bolton, who brings news and a strip of skin. His bastard son, Ramsay, explains Roose, has defeated the Ironmen to defend the north until they return, and he has taken Theon Greyjoy captive and is now flaying him. Catelyn asks him to put the flayed skin away. Bolton explains that most of his army was lost crossing the Trident, and now his forces are chiefly made up of his own men from the Bolton's Dreadfort. Robb thinks it will be enough for them to take back the north.
(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 knights never see the smallfolk. They approach the Twins, where the feast has begun and music is being played very loudly. They are not allowed into the castle and instead are sent to the feast outside. Arya looks for Stark men, but she does not find any. When she notices some Karstarks and Umbers, she suggests that Clegane take her to them, but he refuses. He will deliver her only to Robb.
(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 hall quickly empties and bawdy jokes fill the air. When the hall is empty, Catelyn, Robb, Lord Walder, and a few drunk Freys remain. One woman asks Edwyn, a Frey, to dance, but he turns her down stiffly; Catelyn wonders why. Suddenly, she hears the players start "The Rains of Castamere," a song written about Lord Tywin Lannister's wrath. The song has no place in the hall. She turns to Robb and sees him shot with crossbow quarrels; some of the musicians, she sees, are now armed. His shouts are nevertheless drowned by the remaining musicians' music. She rushes to Robb, finds a dagger, and grabs Walder's son, Jinglebell. She threatens to kill Jinglebell if Walder does not release her son. Walder refuses her offer, and Catelyn kills Jinglebell. Armed men fight to finish off Robb's men. A man grabs Catelyn by the scalp and she feels his knife cut deep into her throat.
(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 that both Robb and their mother, Catelyn, are dead or else they would not be killing the northmen. Now, Arya must choose whether to come with him or to die inside the Twins with her family. Arya turns around immediately, running to the castle. The portcullis, however, is now closing, and she can hear the Hound chasing her from behind, just as he must have run down Mycah. She then feels his axe on the back of her head.
(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 dreamwine. He dismisses the council, save Cersei and Tyrion. He orders Cersei to rid Joffrey of any remaining devotion to Robert, explaining that they do not need another Robert. When she leaves, Tyrion suggests that Joffrey is more likely to turn into another Mad Aerys. Tywin suggests that Tyrion help him figure out a way to keep Oberyn and his men away from the Tyrells, though there have already been skirmishes in the city. Tyrion worries what will happen when Oberyn demands the justice he was promised. Tywin explains that they will not give up Gregor Clegane. Instead, they will claim that Amory Lorch killed Princess Elia and her babies. Lorch is already dead, killed in a bear pit in the Harrenhal, so Tyrion doubts that it will appease Oberyn's need for vengeance. When Tywin reminds Tyrion to father an heir on Sansa, the latter asks when she will be most fertile: before or after he explains that her mother and brother have been murdered?
(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, but she is confident that other men will take up the crown. She urges Stannis to show the realm a sign of his power, though he has no men, no coin, and only Salladhor Saan's ships for a fleet. Davos watches as the others urge him to sacrifice Edric Storm to raise a stone dragon; only death can pay for life. Stannis considers the power a dragon might bring him until Davos interrupts, reminding Stannis that Edric is his nephew and that the gods curse kinslayers. Melisandre argues that only R'hllor can curse anyone. Davos next suggests that R'hllor, for all his greatness, has not yet killed Joffrey. Then, he tries to make Stannis say Edric Storm's name, though his persistence angers Stannis. He tells Davos that he has seen in his hearth's fire a vision of a king whose crown burns until it turns the king to ash. Stannis commands Davos to leave him before he talks himself back into the dungeon. He leaves and makes his way to Maester Pylos, who is teaching Davos to read. His sons read history, but Davos reads letters. He comes upon one from the Wall, announcing that the King Beyond the Wall is coming south and that Lord Commander Mormont is feared lost with all of his strength. Davos asks whether Stannis has read the letter, and Pylos explains that Alester Florent did not think to take it to the king. Davos remembers Melisandre's warnings that an unending night is coming.
(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 have are old men, green recruits, and a few survivors from Mole's Town to defend themselves. They have sent ravens requesting aid, though even if any lords decide to come they will not arrive in time to help. When the battle begins, Jon begins shooting. The wildlings suffer casualties but steadily advance. The battle ends when Styr climbs one of the barricades. All of the barrels are filled with oil and other flammable items and the Night's Watch shoot fire arrows at them. The conflagration kill the wildlings. After, Jon grabs a torch and goes to find Ygritte. He finds her, wounded. She asks if Castle Black is a true castle, and Jon says that it is. When she tells him that she wishes that they would have stayed in a cave in the wild, Jon tells her that he will take her there when she recovers. She tells him, dying, that he knows nothing.
(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 from the wildlings. Jojen insists that they have come to the right castle; they will find a gate. They go to sleep hoping that Jojen will have a dream to show them the way. Bran wakes in the night to the sound of approaching footsteps. It turns out to be Sam Tarly, who explains that Coldhands sent him, though Coldhands cannot pass through the Wall because it has spells that keep him from doing so. He takes them to the "Black Gate," a secret passage through the Wall. It is made of weirwood and has a face built into it. When the gate asks who they are, Sam introduces himself as a man of the Night's Watch and they are allowed to pass through the weirwood face's opened mouth.
(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 attack, but dismiss them all until Brown Ben Plumm of the Second Suns suggests that they attack through the sewers. She decides to consider the option and dismisses the men. Alone, she wonders what it would be like to sleep with Daario Naharis. Dany goes riding among her people, who greet her as "Mother," until the mercenary Mero attacks her. He is about to strike when Arstan Whitebeard arrives with his staff and dispatches him. Ser Jorah cannot believe that an old man defeated the mercenary. Dany demands that they knight Arstan, but both men refuse. Arstan explains that he is actually Barristan the Bold, the Lord Commander of King Robert's Kingsguard. He apologizes for serving King Robert and asks to serve Dany. He then tells her that someone has informed on her, though Dany cannot believe that Ser Jorah would have betrayed her. Jorah explains that he only did it before he came to know and love her; he did it so that he might be allowed to return home. Dany, furious, considers what she should do with them.
(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 takes off her clothes and blows out the candle. After they have slept together, Tyrion wonders what he will do with her. If Tywin finds out that Tyrion has brought a whore to court, Shae will be hanged. Varys has warned Tyrion that if Cersei asks about Shae, he will not lie to her. Tyrion points out that Varys has lied to Cersei before, but Varys maintains that he must share some secrets to keep Cersei from disposing of him. Tyrion wonders if he could arrange a marriage for Shae. As he leaves the room, he sees that the sun is rising. It is Joffrey's wedding day.
(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. When Joffrey begins slashing the air with his new sword, which he names Widow's Wail, he nearly injures his Kingsguard. One of the men advises Joffrey to be careful with valyrian steel. Joffrey replies that he knows just how sharp valyrian steel is, and he turns and slice through the book Tyrion has given. Joffrey then tells Tyrion that he owes the king a new present. Tyrion suggests that he might give Joffrey a valyrian steel dagger with a dragonbone hilt. Joffrey looks sharply at Tyrion. As they leave, Tyrion reflects on the message sent by Joffrey's chopping the history in two. He also asks Sansa if Joffrey ever had a grudge against Bran.
(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 wear it, he thinks. Tyrion spends the evening getting drunk, as does Joffrey. When Joffrey calls upon two dwarfs to joust on pigs, everyone but the insulted Tyrion is amused. Joffrey suggests that Tyrion enter the competition. Tyrion replies that he will if Joffrey joins him; after all, Joffrey is the only person that Tyrion could hope to beat. The court laughs. Joffrey, drunk and furious, orders Tyrion to be his cupbearer. Tyrion pours Joffrey's wine for him before he tries to leave. Joffrey, however, orders Tyrion to continue. Coughing, he drinks again, but the cough does not stop. The court slowly realizes that Joffrey is choking. He dies before their eyes. When Margaery's mother suggests that Joffrey choked on his wedding pie, Cersei declares that her son was poisoned by Tyrion. She orders the Kingsguard to arrest him.
(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 Baelish, who is supposed to be in the Vale. Dontos asks for his payment—ten thousand dragons—and Petyr signals to his men, who, armed with crossbows, shoot and kill Dontos to silence him forever. When Sansa, stuttering, tries to ask why Littlefinger has done what he has done, he says, "Why should I wish [Joffrey] dead?" He explains that he had no motive. In the game of thrones, it is important to surprise the other players so that they can never predict one's next move. He tells Sansa that he loved her mother when they were young and that if he had been born to a more powerful house, Sansa might well have been his daughter.
(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, however, is reluctant to kill his brother. He wants them to marry. Cersei is flabbergasted by the idea. Jaime, she says, has changed. When Jaime sees his father, Tywin explains that he had hoped Jaime would have returned in time for the wedding. He is angered when he sees Jaime's stump and asks if Jaime can still wield a sword. Jaime lies and says that he can. Tywin explains to Jaime that Joffrey must have been poisoned since they opened his throat and found no obstruction there. They will put Tyrion on trial. Tywin wants Jaime to leave the Kingsguard, marry Margaery Tyrell, and go to Casterly Rock. Jaime, however, insists that the knights of the Kingsguard serve for life. He wants no part of Casterly Rock. Tywin, angry, declares that Jaime is no longer his son.
(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 Joffrey has died and announces that Edric Storm is no longer within their reach. Stannis is furious and asks how Davos could be so disloyal. Davos explains that his oath was to protect the people, and protecting Edric Storm was his way of carrying out his oath. He then points out that a king should protect his people or he is no king at all. Stannis listens. Davos kneels before his king and reads him a letter.
(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 are murder holes through which the men of the Night's Watch the invaders. Donal Noye leads the fight in the tunnel and leaves Jon in command atop the Wall. They send everything they can at the wildling army. When the wildlings send a group of giants carrying a tree to ram the gate, Jon mocks the wildling army and commands the others to fire at the giants upon his command. They break the first wave and win the first battle. Jon goes to the tunnel to find Donal Noye. There, he finds Noye and his men dead at the hands of a giant, Mag the Mighty, the king of the giants. Jon decides that they will have to give the command to Ser Wynton Stout, the last knight left at the Wall. Maester Aemon tells Jon that Stout is too old to command any longer. Jon must lead them.
(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 out of a river. They reach the foothills and stop at a village where the Hound works all day in exchange for food and ale. There is word that the hill clans are more dangerous now that they have returned from King's Landing with steel weapons. The attacks, as well as the increased snowfall in the mountains, convince Clegane that they cannot carry on. He considers spending the winter in the village, but the villagers ask them to leave, explaining that although Clegane might once have been a good swordsman, everyone now knows that he fled the Battle of Blackwater. They leave, and Arya suggests that they go to the Wall. Clegane, however, suggests that they find his brother, Ser Gregor.
(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 knights of the realm disclose the many times Tyrion threatened Joffrey. Pycelle explains how Tyrion stole poisons. Varys, meanwhile, explains that he heard Tyrion plotting to supplant Joffrey with Prince Tommen. Ser Kevan advises Tyrion to confess to the crime; if he does, Lord Tywin will allow him to join the Night's Watch. Tyrion has no other option until Oberyn Martell visits him. The Red Viper explains that it is good that Cersei accused Tyrion since they would otherwise have blamed him. Under Dornish law, women can inherit, and Princess Myrcella is in Dorne. Besides, Oberyn came to King's Landing to avenge his sister's death. Everyone knows that it was Lannister men that killed her and her children. Oberyn offers to champion Tyrion.
(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. Jaime turns to Ser Osmund Kettleblack and discovers that Kettleblack is little more than a sellsword. He turns next to Ser Meryn and chastises him for abusing Sansa Stark at Joffrey's command. He commends Ser Balon for his bravery but inquires about his brother, Donnel, who has sworn his allegiance to Renly, Stannis, Joffrey, and now Tommen, and asks if he could fight his brother in battle since Jaime failed that test when he murdered King Aerys rather than fighting Lord Tywin. Alone with Ser Loras, Jaime realizes that the Knight of Flowers is every bit as arrogant as he was when he first joined the Kingsguard. Ser Loras cares little for Jaime's opinion, so Jaime asks who pretended to be Renly's ghost during the Battle of Blackwater. Loras admits that it was his brother, Ser Garlan. Jaime suggests that Ser Loras listen to Brienne's story about Renly's death before condemning her, and Ser Loras agrees. Alone, Jaime wonders over how angry Loras is about Renly's murder when Jaime himself feels almost nothing over Joffrey's death.
(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 negotiating the alliance between the Lannisters and the Tyrells, he planted the idea in Lady Olenna's mind that Joffrey was monstrous, which allowed her to figure out that although Margaery would have to marry one of Cersei's sons, she would not have to marry Joffrey to maintain the alliance. Petyr explains that in the Game of Thrones there are players and pieces. Cersei, for example, thinks herself a player, though she is rapidly losing all of the power that is derived from her beauty and though her birth and wealth are both controlled by her father. Although she thirsts for power, she has no idea of what to do with it and is utterly predictable. It is important to be unpredictable; Oswell, for example, is the father of the Kettleblacks, which means that his sons are Petyr's hidden daggers in King's Landing. When Lysa arrives, she is giddy and insists that she and Petyr marry that evening so that they can finally be together. The wedding is brief and bawdy. After, Lady Lysa's singer, Marillion, attempts to seduce Sansa until Lothar Brune steps in. The next morning, Lysa tells Sansa that she knows she is her niece. She plans to have Sansa marry her son, Robert, who is sick but very precious to her. It may not be to Sansa's liking, Lysa explains, but with Winterfell in ruins, Sansa is really little more than a beggar and so should put aside her pride in order to become Robert's obedient wife.
(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 sleep. When he wakes, there are four brothers of the Night's Watch standing over him. They are led by Ser Alliser Thorne and Lord Janos Slynt, who accuse Jon of treachery and of desertion. They interrogate him in spite of Maester Aemon's protestations that Jon has led the Night's Watch against the wildling army. They do not care and when they try to take him away, Jon strikes out at Thorne, which they declare proof of Jon's wildling heart.
(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 King's Landing from Stannis's armies. He declares that he will confess to his crime: he was born a dwarf and so has been on trial all his life. He demands trial by combat since the court will not recognize his innocence. Before the court, Oberyn Martell agrees to champion Tyrion against Ser Gregor. Before the combat begins, Oberyn explains that when he and Elia were young, they traveled to King's Landing. His mother had hoped to marry one of them to either Cersei or Jaime. Instead, Tywin refused because he wanted Cersei to marry Prince Rhaegar. Elia ultimately married Rhaegar, and Tywin's men butchered Elia's children at the end of Robert's Rebellion. The Red Viper faces Ser Gregor with a spear whose head is poisoned. He declares that he has come to avenge Elia as he circles Ser Gregor. Gregor, frustrated at his elusive prey, finally confesses that he raped Elia. Oberyn trips Gregor and pole-vaults him with his poisoned spear. However, Gregor catches Oberyn's leg and cracks his skull. Tyrion loses the trial by combat and is taken to the dungeons.
(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 who has begun to create new Unsullied using the sons of the wealthy. He next asks leave to trade his goods for slaves. Dany explains that Meereen does not have slaves, but the trader tells her that the people are begging to be made slaves for sale in the Free Cities, where they will work as tutors and scribes, eat well, and sleep in soft beds. Dany announces that the people may sell themselves into slavery but they may not sell others. She realizes that she needs Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan, though she has not seen them since she sent them into the sewers to take the city. When they arrive, she asks why they betrayed her. Barristan explains that Robert had been a good knight, whereas Viserys has seemed to be another Mad King. He goes on to explain that he did not want to swear allegiance to Dany until he could confirm that she was not another tainted Targaryen. Dany allows Barristan back into her service. Ser Jorah, however, refuses to admit the shame of his treachery. Dany banishes him. Worried, Dany takes Irri to her bed and allows the handmaiden to pleasure her, but it does no good. Dany goes out that night and looks upon the city. She decides to stay in Meereen and rule it as a queen.
(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 justice. Varys reports that Stannis has left Dragonstone. Tywin hopes that Gregor's execution will keep Dorne from joining his cause. Jaime returns to his quarters, where he meets Cersei. Cersei is being sent back to Casterly Rock without her last son, Tommen. She is angry when Jaime presses that he is not ashamed of their relationship: he is only ashamed of the things he has done to keep it secret. They discuss the man that was sent to kill Brandon Stark, and Jaime realizes that it must have been Joffrey who sent the assassin when he heard Robert suggest that it would be a mercy. Cersei tries to convince Jaime to abandon the Kingsguard in exchange for letting her stay with Tommen. Jaime refuses and when she tries to seduce him, he refuses her again. He will not sleep with her within the White Tower. When he tells Cersei that he does not think Tyrion would lie to him about killing Joffrey, she announces that she and Tyrion have both lied to Jaime a thousand times. Jaime next goes to see Ser Loras, who announces that he is starting to believe Brienne's story, especially since Stannis's other enemies have died curiously as well. Jaime gives Brienne the sword Tywin had made for him. He names it Oathkeeper and asks Brienne to search the Riverlands for Sansa Stark, explaining that it is his last chance for honor. He returns to the White Book and records his defeat, maiming, and his return to King's Landing. Looking down at the page, Jaime reflects that he can write whatever he wants now.
(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 is about to give birth. Mance delivers his terms: the Night's Watch must let the wildlings pass or else he will blow Joramun's Horn of Winter and bring down the Wall. Mance is reluctant to bring down the Wall since his attack on the Wall is primarily designed to take his men away from the Others, who even now are attacking the wildlings at night. Only the Wall can protect against them. Their conversation is interrupted by an attack, which they at first take for the men of Eastwatch. However, it is Stannis's knights that charge through the wildlings. Seeing that the wildlings are defeated, Jon goes into the tent to help Dalla give birth.
(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 throws things at them. She is soon face to face with the squire, unarmed. She draws his knife from its sheath and stabs him in the stomach. She looks up and Polliver and the Tickler seem to have corned the Hound. He attacks and kills Polliver before turning on the Tickler. Arya sneaks up behind him, stabs him, and shouts, "Is there gold in the village?" remembering how the Tickler tortured villagers. The squire is still dying, and Clegane makes Arya give him the gift of mercy. She takes back Needle from Polliver and kills the squire. The Hound decides that they will make for the Saltpans to find a ship that will take them to the Vale. When they leave, the Hound tries to clean his wounds but they soon start to fester. When he asks Arya for the gift of mercy, she refuses to give it to him because he does not deserve it. She rides alone to the Saltpans, sells her horse, and goes to the docks. There, she finds a sailor from Braavos. She remembers the coin Jaqen H'ghar gave her. She presents it to the captain, and when she says, "Valar morghulis," he offers her a cabin as they cross the Narrow Sea.
(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. Sam does not tell Jon that Bran is still alive and that he is north of the Wall in search of a three-eyed crow. Jon worries that it will only be a matter of time before Slynt becomes the new Lord Commander. When Sam next eats with his friends, he suggests that one of them talk to Pyke and Mallister about joining forces against Slynt. Pyp suggests that Sam, the son of a lord, do it.
(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 Winterfell and fight the Boltons for control of the north. Stannis suggests that they allow the wildlings, now likely led by Tormund, south of the Wall since the true enemy is the Others. He would insist upon their loyalty and would require Jon to marry Mance Rayder's sister, a wildling princess in Stannis's eyes, Val, to cement the alliance. Jon is reluctant to accept the offer since he has spent his entire life denying his desire to inherit Winterfell, not to mention that he has sworn oaths to the Watch. He asks for time to think over what Stannis has proposed.
(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 knows how many others. Tyrion leaves Jaime, finds Varys, and they journey together beneath Red Keep. When Tyrion realizes that he is beneath the Tower of the Hand, he tells Varys to wait and claims a ladder through the tower's walls. He enters the solar through the fireplace and finds Shae, naked but for the chain of the Hand of the King around her neck, and strangles her with it. He then arms himself with a crossbow and finds his father, Tywin, who is using the privy. Tyrion confronts his father about Tysha, and when Tywin tells Tyrion that Tysha went "wherever whores go," Tyrion kills him.
(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. Sam goes to Cottor Pyke and encourages him to withdraw, but Pyke refuses. He does not wish to become Lord Commander but feels that he is a better choice than Mallister. When Sam goes to Mallister, he maintains that Pyke is too crass to be Lord Commander. Sam suggests that Jon might serve, given that he was born in a castle and is brother to a king. When he returns to Pyke, Sam suggests that Jon might serve, though it is true that he is bastard born, which pleases Pyke.
(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 they do, they will not be allowed to eat. Dolorous Edd has put forward Jon's name for contention, which infuriates Janos Slynt. When a raven that looks like Mormont's raven pops out of a kettle saying "Snow!" the men overwhelmingly vote for Jon. Pyp tells Jon that it was all Sam's doing. His dreams of Winterfell behind him, Jon leaves the hall with a wineskin and prepares to face Stannis, who will no doubt be furious.
(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 her to the Moon Door, a whole in the floor that looks out over the empty sky, as Marillion sings. Petyr enters and confronts the hysterical Lysa. She explains all the things she has done for Petyr: getting him his first post, taking him to King's Landing, and even poisoning her husband, Jon Arryn. Petyr explains that he has only ever loved one woman—Catelyn—as he pushes Lysa through the Moon Door. He turns and summons the guards, explaining that Marillion has just murdered his wife.
(The entire section is 219 words.)
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 his son, Ser Stevron, a man that understood the importance of family, is dead. Stevron's son, Ser Ryman, is greedy, and Ryman's sons, Edwyn and Black Walder, are worse still. When Merrett finds the outlaws, he also discovers that they have hanged Petyr. They take the gold Merrett has brought and put a noose around his neck. They ask whether Merrett has seen the Hound, who might be traveling with a girl, but Merrett has not. They point out that the Freys murdered the Starks and Merrett accuses them of having no witness. A woman comes forward—Catelyn Stark, her throat slit—and when she nods that Merrett was there, the outlaws hang him.
(The entire section is 246 words.)