Chapter 54 Summary
Davos listens as Salladhor Saan tells King Stannis that Robb Stark is dead. They are calling it the "Red Wedding." Lady Catelyn's corpse was thrown naked into the river. Queen Selyse and Ser Axell Florent are quick to declare it the work of R'hllor, but Stannis thinks it more likely the work of Lord Walder Frey. Melisandre suggests that the Lord of Light chooses the tool he needs to do his work. Stannis thinks to send messengers to the Iron Islands and to the north offering pardons in return for loyalty, but Melisandre reports that she has seen in her fires that other usurpers will rise to take the place of the fallen kings. Stannis is doubtful, reminding her that sometimes she claims to see prophecy when she only sees warnings, but she is confident that other men will take up the crown. She urges Stannis to show the realm a sign of his power, though he has no men, no coin, and only Salladhor Saan's ships for a fleet. Davos watches as the others urge him to sacrifice Edric Storm to raise a stone dragon; only death can pay for life. Stannis considers the power a dragon might bring him until Davos interrupts, reminding Stannis that Edric is his nephew and that the gods curse kinslayers. Melisandre argues that only R'hllor can curse anyone. Davos next suggests that R'hllor, for all his greatness, has not yet killed Joffrey. Then, he tries to make Stannis say Edric Storm's name, though his persistence angers Stannis. He tells Davos that he has seen in his hearth's fire a vision of a king whose crown burns until it turns the king to ash. Stannis commands Davos to leave him before he talks himself back into the dungeon. He leaves and makes his way to Maester Pylos, who is teaching Davos to read. His sons read history, but Davos reads letters. He comes upon one from the Wall, announcing that the King Beyond the Wall is coming south and that Lord Commander Mormont is feared lost with all of his strength. Davos asks whether Stannis has read the letter, and Pylos explains that Alester Florent did not think to take it to the king. Davos remembers Melisandre's warnings that an unending night is coming.