Chapter 53 Summary
Bran watches as the Karstarks and their men approach. They are the last of the northern lords to arrive in Winterfell, and Bran knows that Robb will hold a feast to welcome them. When Bran has seen enough, he tells Hodor to carry him to the godswood. Beneath the eyes of the weirwood, Bran prays to the Old Gods. He asks them to protect Robb on his journey south and to make sure that all of the Starks return home. Bran regrets that Robb has become "Robb the Lord." Osha enters the wood and tells Bran that if Robb goes south, the Old Gods will not be able to help him. The southern lords cut down their weirwoods. Hodor appears, naked after a swim, and Osha tells Bran that Hodor has giant's blood in him. South of the Wall, no one believes in giants, but Osha tells Bran that they are real and they are not the worst thing that walks there. Bran promises Osha that he will pass on her message when he next sees Robb, but neither Robb nor Maester Luwin care for talk about magic, magical creatures, or the children of the forest. Instead, Maester Luwin encourages Bran to become a maester like himself, a "knight of the mind," but Bran next thinks about the three-eyed crow's instruction to fly. Maester Luwin reminds Bran that he cannot spend more time dreaming. When Robb travels south with his host, Bran remains behind; he is now the lord in Winterfell. Bran watches Robb leave and notes that he is going the wrong way.