Chapter 36 Summary
Davos shares his dungeon cell with Ser Alester Florent. When they hear footsteps, Alester is confident that he is about to be released. However, when Ser Axell Florent arrives, he instead collects Davos, whom Stannis has summoned. As they walk to Stannis's tower, Axell explains that he needs to become the Hand of the King; he has seen it in R'hllor's fires. He commands Davos to support his appointment when the latter meets Stannis. When they reach Stannis, the king sits in his tower room, which is dominated by a massive table shaped like Westeros. Stannis tells Davos that Axell plans to attack Lord Celtigar's island because Celtigar has sworn fealty to Joffrey. Davos disagrees, arguing that Celtigar's island is easy to take only because his men died defending Stannis. Axell is furious, but Stannis dismisses him. He then names Davos Lord of the Rainwood, Admiral of the Narrow Sea, and Hand of the King. Davos is shocked, given that he was born a smuggler, cannot read, and was just that morning imprisoned in the dungeon. However, both Stannis and Melisandre see in Davos his loyalty to Stannis's cause. Melisandre arrives with three leeches, filled with the blood of Edric Storm, King Robert's bastard son. Like Robert before him, Edric has charisma and inspires loyalty in others. Although Melisandre urges Davos to sacrifice Edric for the power of his king's blood, which she claims will wake a stone dragon, Stannis refuses. They instead sacrifice the three leeches, filled with royal blood, to achieve the death of Stannis's remaining rivals: Joffrey Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy, and Robb Stark.