Chapter 32 Summary
Arya is trying to catch a black tomcat, the only one in the Red Keep that she has not yet caught. When Arya complains that the cats scratch, Syrio Forel tells her that she must be quicker or else her enemies will give her more than scratches. She catches the last tom, but drops it when she hears a voice behind her. It is Prince Tommen and Princess Myrcella, but they do not recognize her as Arya. They think she is a boy. The royal guards try to grab her, but Arya twists and runs away. Now, Arya is lost beneath the castle. She is surrounded by massive skulls with sharp fangs. She hears two men. The one explains that the Hand has already found one of the king's bastard children, and the other, who has an accent that identifies him as being from the Free Cities, wants to know what will happen next. Clearly the wolf and lion will soon be at war. The other replies that it is too soon for war; if necessary, kill the Hand to delay war. Now, Arya can tell that the man from the Free Cities has a forked beard, heavily ringed hands, and is fat. He goes on to say that the princess is pregnant and that the khal will not attack until after the child is born. The other explains that he has learned that Stannis and Lysa Arryn are gathering their swords, Catelyn Stark has abducted Tyrion Lannister, and Loras Tyrell and Lord Renly intend to replace Cersei with Ser Loras's younger sister. The men leave. Arya follows a passage until she comes to the mouth of a sewer outside the Red Keep. When she returns, the guards do not recognize her, nor do they believe that she is Arya Stark until Arya commands them to find Jory or Vayon Poole if they doubt her. She rushes to her father to tell him what she has heard. Ned does not believe her, and they are interrupted by the arrival of Yoren of the Night's Watch before she can explain further. Yoren explains that he has brought news, and that the same news has likely already reached Tywin Lannister.