Chapter 1 Summary
Brandon Stark (Bran) is the son of Lord Eddard Stark, the lord paramount of the North. It is a cool summer morning, the sort that suggests that the nine-year summer, or the “long summer,” is about to come to an end. Bran is just seven years old and has never seen a true winter. Bran’s older brothers are with him. Robb is his father’s heir, and Jon is his father’s bastard. Jon’s surname, “Snow,” indicates his status as a bastard son. They are also accompanied by Theon, the son and heir of Lord Balon Greyjoy of the Iron Isles, Lord Eddard’s hostage. Bran, Lord Stark, and his soldiers have traveled away from their castle, Winterfell, to execute a deserter of the Night’s Watch. Afterward, Lord Eddard takes Bran aside to explain why the execution happened: no one is more dangerous than a deserter. They are interrupted by Robb’s discovery: a dying direwolf and her five pups. It has been a long time since direwolves were spotted in the realm and at first Lord Eddard they should be killed. However, the sigil of the Stark house is a direwolf, and Jon convinces his father to give the pups to each of his trueborn children. As they prepare to leave, Jon discovers a sixth pup, an albino, and he keeps it for himself.