Chapter 39 Summary
Eddard is dreaming an old dream. In it he recalls a time just after the rebellion when he was pursuing the three remaining members of the Targaryen Kingsguard. With him ride six northmen. Ser Gerold Hightower, the White Bull, serves as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Under him are Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, who carries the greatsword "Dawn," and Ser Oswell Whent. Ned announces that he has been looking for the three men. In fact, he has journeyed throughout the south, defeating the last of the Targaryen supporters and accepting the fealty of their knights. Hightower replies that they are not like the others; the Kingsguard swears for life. As the men charge toward each other, Ned hears Lyanna screaming. Only Ned and Howland Reed, a crannogman from the Neck, would survive the battle. Ned wakes up in the Tower of the Hand. Jory's successor, Alyn, reports that Jaime Lannister has left the city. King Robert comes to see Ned; they are then joined by Queen Cersei. Ned attempts to explain that he commanded Catelyn to take Tyrion prisoner, but Robert commands Ned to let go of his feud with the Lannisters. When Cersei charges that Ned was returning drunk from a brothel, Ned announces that he went to see one of Robert's bastard children. Now, Ned demands that he be given leave to bring Jaime to justice, but again Robert denies him. When Cersei mocks Robert for not being more authoritative with a rebel like Ned, he backhands her, which Cersei declares she will wear as a badge of honor. Robert has her escorted out. Robert commands Ned to continue as Hand of the King, threatening that he will otherwise give the office to Jaime Lannister. Tomorrow, Robert then declares, he will go hunting.