A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5) Chapter Summaries

George R. R. Martin

Prologue Summary

Varamyr is a warg, moving in the north beyond the Wall with a pack of wolves. He smells men and when he comes upon a man, he thinks about eating its flesh. His teacher, Haggon, had always told him that to eat the flesh of man, to mate with wolf as wolf, or to enter the mind of another man was an abomination. However, Varamyr ate Haggon's heart. Haggon had also warned against joining with any creature but wolves, explaining that skinchangers take on the personality of the animal they join. Varamyr's wound has opened again and he reflects that he should have entered the mind of one of his companions before they left him. The wildlings, once unified under Mance Rayder, have now dispersed. Some have followed raiders into the distant north, some have traveled east in the hope of meeting a fleet, and others have gone their own way. Varamyr has died nine times in the minds of animals, but now he faces his true death and his second life. When his true death comes, Varamyr enters the minds of the entire forest—oaks, worms, ravens—before settling into the mind of the wolf, One Eye. He lopes with the pack until they smell something new. It is a woman Varamyr had known as Thistle, but now icicles hang from her fingers like knives and pale blue light shines in her eyes. One Eye realizes that it sees him.