Chapter 4 Summary

Eddard watches as King Robert and his entourage arrive in Winterfell. There is Ser Jaime Lannister, a member of the Kingsguard and twin brother of the queen. Sandor Clegane, a large man with a burnt face, guards golden-haired Prince Joffrey. There is also Tyrion Lannister, a dwarf and brother of the queen. It takes Ned a moment to recognize his old friend Robert; the king has grown fat during his rule. Ned assures Robert of Winterfell’s loyalty before Queen Cersei Lannister exits her carriage with her other children, Marcella and Thommen. Robert demands to be taken down to the crypt so that he can pay his respects to Ned’s sister, Lyanna. Lyanna’s tomb is beside Ned’s older brother Brandon’s. The Targaryens killed Brandon and were responsible for Lyanna's death as well. At the time, Catelyn had been betrothed to Brandon and Robert to Lyanna. Standing in the crypt, Ned recalls that it was in response to the king’s murders that Robert and Ned led the rebellion. Now, Ned asks about how Jon Arryn died, and Robert explains that he took ill and died quickly. His wife, Lysa, who is Catelyn’s sister, has since retreated to the Vale, a kingdom in the east. With Jon Arryn dead, Robert needs new men around him to help rule the kingdom, and he asks Ned to succeed Arryn as the Hand of the King. He further proposes that Ned’s daughter, Sansa, wed Prince Joffrey. Ned agrees to consider these offers, though he is unsettled by the idea of leaving the Winterfell, especially now that winter is coming.