Chapter 69 Summary
Bran is in the wolf dream, and he watches as ashes fall like snow. He smells men and fire. The direwolves prowl through the night until the men leave. Then, they approach. Crows eat the dead. When Bran wakes, he closes his third eye and opens the "blind two." He hears Hodor saying "Hodor" to himself. Bran explains to Meera, Jojen, Osha, Hodor, and Rickon that Winterfell is burning and the people within are dead. They decide to leave the crypts beneath Winterfell to see what has happened. They arm themselves using swords from the crypts. At first, they assume that Theon set fire to the castle, until they see the dead Ironmen. When the direwolves howl from the godswood, the party finds Maester Luwin, who tells them that he knew Theon had not killed Bran because the corpse he brought back from his search did not have Bran's legs. Bran explains that they doubled back and hid in the crypts the entire time. Luwin tells Osha to separate the princes to protect them. There are few places of safety left, but he suggests they go to White Harbor or to the Umbers. He comments on the folly of fighting when winter is coming and asks Osha to do him one last boon. Meera and Jojen take the boys away and Osha joins them soon after. Osha offers to take Rickon, while the Reeds, Hodor, and Bran will go elsewhere. When Bran asks where they should go, Jojen announces that their path leads north. Bran looks at the walls of Winterfell, which still seem strong and reflects that so long as the Starks lie beneath the castle, Winterfell will remain. The castle, like Bran, may be broken, but it is not dead.