A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) Chapter 23 Summary

George R. R. Martin

Chapter 23 Summary

Daenerys looks at the harpy of Ghis, a statue, in the center of the Plaza of Pride. Old Ghis was destroyed five thousand years ago, but the symbols of the empire endure, even if its language and culture are no longer dominant amongst the slave traders of Astapor. The slaver Kraznys mo Nakloz tells the slave girl that translates for him to tell Dany that the harpy is not for sale; they only sell slaves. He does not realize that Dany, like him, speaks High Valyrian. Dany communicates in the Common Tongue of Westeros as she barters for the Unsullied, though she notices that he understands what she says. The day is hot but the Unsullied do not show any sign of the heat. They are chosen young and begin training at five. Only one in three survives the training. The slaver explains that the Unsullied may be eunuchs, but their discipline makes up for their lack of physical strength. They drink the "wine of courage" until their senses are dulled to pain. They feel no temptation, and each day they are given new names. To become Unsullied, the eunuchs are also given coin to buy an infant, which they must kill. As children, they are given puppies to care for, but after a year they must strangle them or be killed in turn. Dany returns to her ship, furious, and unsure of what to do. She chastises Ser Jorah, who explains that Westeros will not be won by loyalty and honor alone. Rhaegar had honor, but he still died.