Chapter 1 Summary

Jaime Lannister enjoys the sunshine. Though he is still in shackles, at least he is no longer kept in a dungeon. Instead, Lady Catelyn Stark has commanded her servant, Brienne of Tarth, to take Jaime back to King's Landing, where he will be exchanged for her daughters, Sansa and Arya. Brienne of Tarth, whom Jaime calls "wench," is an unusual servant and an unusual woman. She is nobly born, built like a man, and fights with a sword. It is she, rather than Ser Cleos Frey, that rows the boat down the river. Jaime looks at his reflection in the water and discovers that he looks five years older. As they progress through the riverlands, they find signs of devastation at every turn. The war has destroyed many villages and the dead are often left unburied. Though Lady Stark has freed Jaime, she did not have the authority to do so, and it is not long before Ser Robin Ryger and his men catch up with them. They have come to return Jaime to his cell. Brienne leaves the boat and drops a boulder off a nearby cliff onto Ser Robin's boat. Jaime is a knight and a member of the Kingsguard, but he also killed the Mad King, earning him the name "Kingslayer"; slept with his sister, Queen Cersei; and once threw Brandon Stark, a child, from a tower window. He is shocked to realize that Brienne actually intends to live up to her word and deliver him safely to King's Landing.