Chapter 24 Summary
Bran and the others continue on their journey north, avoiding the main road. They eat well most nights, thanks to Meera's and Summer's hunting, but some nights they sleep hungry. Bran always urges his party to travel by the kingsroad, but Jojen refuses to take the risk. One night, they meet a man in a cave who tells them that the Bolton bastard has men patrolling the road north. The days are long until Meera agrees to tell Bran the story of the Knight of the Laughing Tree. A crannogman who knows the magics of the Neck, such as breathing mud and turning water to earth, decides to travel to the Isle of Faces, where the green men live. He stayed on the Isle of Faces that winter, until he decided to travel once again. He returned to the main land and discovered the largest castle ever built, which Bran realizes is the Harrenhal. A great tourney was being held, and the king, his Kingsguard, and his son, the dragon prince, were all there. Three young quires set upon the crannogman until a she-wolf attacked them with a tourney sword to defend her "father's man." She took him back to the camp and introduced them to a wild wolf that led them, a quiet wolf beside them, and the pup who was the youngest of the four. That night, the crannogman, who was of high birth, ate in the hall with the wolves and watched as a purple-eyed maid danced with the several lords, including the quiet wolf. They saw the squires that attacked the crannogman—a Frey and two others. As the tourney continued, the crannogman's attackers did well, but on the afternoon of the second day, a mystery knight entered the lists wearing an emblem on his shield of a laughing weirwood. He defeated the attacking squires, but the next morning the Knight of the Laughing Tree was gone. Jojen and Meera are surprised that Bran never heard the story.