Chapter 37 Summary
Brienne and her party enter the riverlands and soon find men hanging from the trees. When they see blocks of salt shoved into the mouths of the dead men, they realize that the men were hanged for raiding the Saltpans. As they come to the crossroads inn, Septon Meribald explains that the inn has had many names as its owners have changed over the years. Hyle quips that owning an inn is dangerous, but Meribald explains that being a common person is dangerous when the lords play their game of thrones. The inn is now run by a ten-year-old girl, Willow, and her older sister. There is a smith at the inn, and Brienne is struck by how closely he resembles Renly. Willow and the others demand silver to stay and interrogate Brienne closely before agreeing to let her and the others stay. The sparrows have brought orphans to the inn, and many of them have crossbows. At supper, Ser Hyle suggests that he and Brienne marry. He explains that Brienne's father has no other children, so the marriage would be worth it. Brienne refuses and she leaves the supper to take food to Gendry, the smith. She realizes that he is King Robert's son and that Stannis was right: Joffrey, Tommen, and Marcella are not King Robert's children. When Brienne hears riders coming, Gendry suggests that they are his friends, but he is wrong. Their leader wears the Hound's famous helm and he attacks Brienne. She kills him and Biter tackles her. He bites her face while he strangles her. The last thing Brienne sees is his tongue, so long that it almost looks like a sword bursting from his mouth, she thinks.