A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 1) Chapter 40 Summary

George R. R. Martin

Chapter 40 Summary

Catelyn listens as Ser Rodrik tells her the latest news: Jaime Lannister is amassing a host at Casterly Rock. Her brother, Edmure, is preparing his forces at Riverrun, which lies between the Vale and Casterly Rock. If Edmure is preparing the defenses, it means that her father, Lord Hoster Tully, is very ill. Today, she must watch as her sister, Lysa, goes through with the farce of trying Tyrion by combat, which will only complicate the conflict. Though Lysa does not see it, Catelyn knows that Tyrion has manipulated Lysa since he arrived. Catelyn announces that she will ask Lysa's permission to leave for Gulltown, where she and Ser Rodrik will find a ship. Outside her chambers, Catelyn meets Ser Brynden, who complains that Lysa has denied him leave to take men to Riverrun. Disgusted, Brynden has resigned his post and means to leave for Riverrun. Catelyn invites him to accompany her to Winterfell; she then finds Lysa in her apartment, laughing with suitors she has no intention of marrying. There, Catelyn confronts Lysa over her plans but is ignored. Leaving, Catelyn comments that Robert will never be strong enough to rule the Vale if he remains with his coddling mother. Maester Coleman, who overhears, admits that it was Jon Arryn's intention to foster Robert at the Dragonstone. At last, Catelyn watches Tyrion's trial. Bronn circles Ser Vardis, tiring the older knight; he ultimately defeats him. Lysa orders her guards to return Tyrion's possessions to him, to outfit him for a journey to Riverrun, and to release him back to the high road. Catelyn, recalling the attacks she endured on the way to the Eyrie, realizes that it is another sort of death sentence.