A Clash of Kings: Chapter Thirty-One to Chapter Forty Summaries
Chapter 31 – Catelyn
Catelyn, Stannis and Renly meet some distance away from Storm's End. Stannis brings Melisandre along with him, while Renly chooses Brienne to carry his banner. Stannis and Renly are there to parley while Catelyn hopes to forge a peace between the two brothers. However, the brothers exchange taunts and threats as soon as they meet each other. When Stannis proclaims himself the rightful king and Renly an usurper, Catelyn then says that since Robert Baratheon left two sons, Stannis would be an usurper as well. Renly then laughs, and tells Stannis that Catelyn hasn't seen Stannis' letter, the one claiming that all of Robert's three children are actually the result of incest between Cersei and Jaime Lannister. Renly is skeptical about Stannis' claim of Cersei and Jaime's incest as Stannis has no proof. He then offers Storm's End to Stannis, as a gift. Stannis refuses, saying that Storm's End is his by birthright, and not Renly's to give. Renly then proceeds to taunt Stannis, at which point Stannis draws his sword, Lightbringer. He then offers Renly one night to rethink of his claim to the Iron Throne, otherwise he will spill Renly's blood with Lightbringer. Renly issues his own threat: he has a much bigger army than Stannis. The parley then ends, and both brothers ride away to their own camps, with Catelyn following Renly to his war council.
Renly's council urges him to take the fight to Stannis; Renly agrees. Seeing that she has failed to forge peace and alliance between the two brothers, Catelyn requests permission to leave. Renly does not give it, for he wants her to give Robb a firsthand report of what awaits those who go up against him. Renly then gives Ser Loras Tyrell the honor of leading the vanguard, with Brienne riding alongside the Knight of Flowers to carry Renly's banner.
When Catelyn returns to her corner of the camp, the man sent by Robb Stark to protect her ask her whether they should fight or flee for the upcoming battle between Renly and Stannis. Catelyn tells them to pray.
Chapter 32- Sansa
Sansa is brought before the King; Joffrey wishes to punish her for her brother's recent victory. He tells her that Robb somehow managed to catch Ser Stafford Lannister's army by surprise, winning a resounding victory. Joffrey then orders Sandor Clegane to hit her, but before Sandor can comply, Dontos tries to rush to Sansa's rescue by beating her with a melon instead. Joffrey is not amused by the fool's actions and orders Ser Meryn and Ser Boros of the Kingsguard to punish Sansa. Ser Meryn throws Dontos away while Ser Boros administers several blows to Sansa's body. Joffrey then orders Boros to strip her naked and Boros is halfway done before Tyrion arrives at the scene and puts a stop to things. With Bronn and one of his wildling men by his side, Tyrion asks for someone to give Sansa something to cover herself with - Sandor Clegane throws Sansa his white Kingsguard cloak. Tyrion then brings her back to the Tower of the Hand, where her injuries are treated and she is given dreamwine to sleep and rest.
When she wakes up, Tyrion comes to her room a short time thereafter. He tells her a little more about the battle between Robb and his uncle, Ser Stafford, and states that though men might say that Robb had wargs or sorcery on his side, those are the excuses used by people who were ill-prepared for battle. He does wonder how Robb managed to get pass the Lannister stronghold at the Golden Tooth without being spotted. Tyrion, not unkindly, tells Sansa that he doesn't intend to ever wed Sansa to Joffrey: no marriage could possibly reconcile the Starks and the Lannisters now. He also tells Sansa that he hopes to send her home once Robb bends the knee to the King's peace.
As Tyrion leaves, he tells her that she can sleep in the Tower of the Hand tonight. Sansa is aghast at his offer, for she fears that Dontos will never spirit her away from King's Landing if she is being guarded in the Tower. So she blurts out a lie to Tyrion, telling him that she will get nightmares if she sleeps in the tower, for this was the very tower where her father's men had been slain, and their ghosts would give her terrible dreams.
Tyrion relents, and offers to escort Sansa back to her own room.
Chapter 33 – Catelyn
Before the battle between Renly and Stannis, Catelyn visits a nearby sept to pray to the Seven. As she prays, she ponders on Stannis' accusation that Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella are Jaime and Cersei's children. She concludes that if Robert Baratheon had known, he would have both Jaime and Cersei killed. She is also sure that Jon Arryn and Eddard must have known as well, and that was why Cersei had them both killed. And then, to her horror, she realizes that Bran must have seen or heard something, and that was the reason why they had sent a hired man to kill him while he lay in bed. Ser Wender and Ser Robar, one of Renly's Rainbow Guard, then escort her back to Renly's pavilion.
Inside, Brienne is helping Renly don his armor while he finalizes battle plans with his war council. Once Renly gives the orders, the lords depart, leaving Renly alone with Catelyn and Brienne. Catelyn is pleading to Renly not to battle his brother; instead she proposes that they reveal Cersei and Jaime for the true usurpers that they are, and to let the people of the Seven Kingdoms choose who shall rule them. Renly laughs at this and Catelyn is about to plead further when a sudden gust of wind open the door to the pavilion. She sees something out of the corner of her eyes only to realize that it is just Renly's shadow. But then she realizes that the King's shadow is raising its sword, but yet Renly's sword is in his scabbard....
The deathly shadow kills Renly by slicing his throat, with the shadow sword cutting through Renly's gorget easily. Brienne screams and clutches the dying Renly in her arm. Seconds later, Ser Robar and Ser Emmon, two of Renly's men, rush into the pavilion. Upon seeing Brienne drenched in Renly's blood, Ser Emmon immediately attacks her. Ser Robar hangs back and Catelyn tries to tell him what happened, swearing that it was Stannis who had killed Renly, though she did not know exactly how. When he seems uncertain, she swears on Eddard's grave and her honor as a Stark. This finally convinces Ser Robar, who advices Catelyn to get both herself and Brienne away, and then leaves the pavilion to hold off the rest of Renly's lords. Catelyn hits Ser Emmon on the head with a brazier; she and Brienne then make good their escape from the pavilion.
Catelyn leads Brienne back to the group of men that escorted her to Renly's camp and then commands the whole party to depart immediately, telling Brienne that they had be well away before Renly's men think to look for them. As they ride off, Catelyn looks out onto Renly's huge army, and realizes that they will now belong to Stannis.
Chapter 34 – Jon
Jon rides with Mormont and the other officers up the Fist of the First Men, a high hill jutting above a tangle of dense forest. Jon's direwolf, Ghost, is reluctant to join Jon as they climb, and he eventually gives up looking for Ghost due to Mormont wanting to make the top of hill by dusk. Once they reach the top, Jon called for Ghost, but once again the direwolf is reluctant to enter the ring of stones where the men make camp. Jon gives up and Ghost leaves to hunt.
Jon attends to Mormont in his tent. The Lord Commander has made a decision to wait at the Fist until the wildlings come down from the Frostfangs, where Craster said they would be. The wildlings would eventually have to descend and the only route they can take is along the Milkwater, and to go south they will then have to pass by the Fist first. When Qhorin eventually joins them, they will be three hundred strong.
Later that night, Ghost shows up again and beckons Jon to following him. Jon follows and Ghost leads him down the hill and around a spot in the underbrush. Ghost points out the spot to Jon by digging the ground around it, and Jon kneels down and investigates further. He discovers a cache of arrowheads, spearheads and dagger blades made from dragonglass, or what maesters call obsidian. And a hunting horn. By the condition of the cloth that these were bundled in, he estimated that they couldn't have been buried there for long. Then Jon realizes that the cloth he holds in his hand is black - it is the cloak of a sworn brother of the Night's Watch.
Chapter 35 – Bran
Maester Luwin has received news of Robb's victory against Ser Stafford and relays the news to Bran, Rickon and the Frey foster boys. Bran is happy to hear of his brother's victory, but disquieted; when his elder brother was leaving Winterfell to head south, the wildling woman, Osha, told Bran that Robb was going the wrong way.
Later, Bran meets with Jojen and Meera. He is beginning to trust the both of them and decides to ask Jojen what he had dreamed about the other day, about the bad thing that is going to happen to Winterfell and why the two of them were tasked to free him. Jojen replies that he dreamt of the sea coming to Winterfell, and of the bodies of drowned men floating in the yard. Jojen then asks Bran to tell him about his dreams. Bran mentions that there's the wolf dreams, where he's inside Summer, and then there are dreams where he meets the three-eyed crow who wants him to fly. But he says that the worst dreams are those where he is falling. Jojen then names Bran a warg, also known as a shapechanger or beastling; he also adds that the power is strong in Bran. Bran becomes even more muddled when Jojen tells him that he has to open his third eye.
Over the next few days, Bran tries to warn several of the men at Winterfell that of their drowning, as in Jojen's dreams, but no one heeds his warning except for a guard who decides to stop bathing.
Ser Rodrik returns to Winterfell with news: Roose Bolton's bastard is dead, but they caught his henchman, the man known as Reek. To make matters worse, the bastard had legitimately married Lady Hornwood, who was found dead of hunger in her tower. When Bran tells Rodrik about Jojen's dreams of Winterfell being flooded by seawater, Maester Luwin mentions that there is some news that might relate to the Reed boy's dream, in the form of longships plundering fishing villages along the Stony Shore. Rodrik reassures Bran by telling him that if he were to go against the raiders, he won't be taking those who had drowned in Jojen's dream.
Later, when Bran tells Jojen this, Jojen claims that green dreams such as his can't be changed. He later reveals that he also dreamed of the man Reek, and in his dreams, Reek was skinning off Bran and Rickon's faces. He had also seen Bran and Rickon in the Stark crypts. Bran then talks about departing Winterfell, of going somewhere far away, in order to escape their fate, but Jojen tells him doing that won't change things, for green dreams never lie.
Chapter 36 – Tyrion
Tyrion and Cersei are having a meeting with the remaining members of the King's council, Petyr and Varys. Varys brings news of Renly's death, but there are so many rumors coming in as to the cause of death that he cannot ascertain which rumors are lies and which the truth. He reports that most of the lords who supported Renly have now gone over to Stannis. Varys also reports that Ser Loras Tyrell did not bend the knee to Stannis, which leaves the question mark of which side he and his men will now take. Tyrion suggests that they win Loras over to their cause, which would in turn win House Tyrell over as well. He proposes marrying Joffrey to Renly's young queen, Margaery Tyrell, Loras' sister. Cersei points out that Joffrey is betrothed to Sansa Stark, but Tyrion tells her that marriage contracts can be broken and that Joffrey had nothing to be gained by marrying Sansa; if he married Margaery instead, he would get soldiers and wealth. Cersei reluctantly agrees.
When deciding on who to send as an envoy to Highgarden, Petyr offers himself. Tyrion does not trust Petyr, but he realizes that among the King's small council, Petyr is the best choice. Petyr requests for a list of things, like an escort of three hundred city guardsmen and twenty knights, to ensure that Mace Tyrell takes the offer seriously. Tyrion agrees and Petyr promises to leave before dawn.
The meeting ends and Tyrion is alone with Cersei. When his sister thanks him for all he's done so far as Hand of the King and then proceeds to kiss him on the brow, Tyrion becomes suspicious and promptly orders Bronn to find out what plan his sister is hatching.
Chapter 37 – Theon
Theon's raids and pillaging of the fishing villages along the Stony Shore are going well, but he remains frustrated with the small role he plays in his father's plans. He is especially envious of Asha and her attack on Deepwood Motte. Desiring more glory than the reavers' work they have been assigned to, Theon speaks to his father's master-at-arms, Dagmer Cleftjaw. Although Balon gave the command over to Theon, he is of the opinion that his father sent Dagmer along with him to oversee that everything goes smoothly. But Theon decides that Dagmer must love the looting and pillaging no more than he does, and so he decides to propose that Dagmer join him in a scheme that he has hatched out. When Dagmer takes the bait and asks for specifics, Theon tells Dagmer that all he needs to do is to lay siege to Torrhen's Square; once he does that, the men at Torrhen's Square will send a raven to Winterfell for help, and Ser Rodrik will come with his men to aid in their defense. Dagmer states that no matter how many men Rodrik brings with him, it will be more men than he has and thus there is no way that they can take Torrhen's Square. Theon smiles, and replies that it is not Torrhen's Square that interests him.
Chapter 38 – Ayra
Harrenhal is busy - Lord Tywin has finally decided to march. Weese has Arya running messages from dawn to dusk. During one of her tasks, she stops to talk to Gendry. He tells her that Hot Pie remembers her yelling Winterfell back at the holdfast; he warns her to be careful. Weese later beats Arya for finishing the task late. It is then that Arya decides to look for Jaqen to have him deal with Weese. On the way, she gets stopped by Rorge; he threatens her but stops when she tells him she is looking for Jaqen. He tells her that Jaqen is in the bathhouse then quickly leaves. In the bathhouse, Arya whisper's Weese's name into Jaqen's ear.
When she sees Lord Tywin Lannister and Ser Gregor Clegane leaving Harrenhal the next day, Arya realizes that getting Jaqen to kill Chiswyck and Weese was a terrible mistake; unlike Tywin and Gregor, those two men did not matter in the big scheme of things. She is about to find Jaqen to amend her choice, when Arya comes across a dozen people or so staring in horror at Weese's body, his throat completely ruined and his dog lapping up the blood pulsing out from his neck.
Chapter 39 – Catelyn
Catelyn, Brienne and the rest of their small party have been riding through the heart of the war. When they come within two days of Riverrun, they are greeted by Robb's outriders, now under Martyn Rivers' command after Robb headed west. Catelyn also learns that it is her brother, Ser Edmure, who now holds Riverrun. Martyn tells Catelyn that he has orders to escort her back to Riverrun, for Lord Tywin marches west, in their direction. As they march, the outriders tell them that about Robb's victory over Ser Stafford Lannister at Oxcross. They learn that Robb managed to bypass the Golden Tooth by taking the goat path in the mountains Grey Wind had sniffed out. Later that night, Brienne tells Catelyn that she wishes to leave, to kill Stannis for what he did to Renly, but Catelyn convinces her that she should fight for those still living, not for those who are dead. Hearing this, Brienne offers her services to Catelyn, who in turn accepts Brienne's oath of fealty.
When they reach Riverrun, Catelyn spots dead men hanging from the battlements. Upon meeting Edmure, he tells Catelyn the news from Storm's End: the castellan of Storm's End is surrounded by Stannis' army, by land and sea. Stannis has promised no harm on the garrison at Storm's End, but they must hand over the boy known as Edric Storm, one of Robert Baratheon's bastards, to him. The castellan, Ser Cortnay Penrose refuses to do so.
Catelyn then asks about the dead men they've hanged and Edmure tells her that those men were part of Ser Cleos' envoy, to keep him safe in order to bring the Queen's reply to Robb's peace offer. Using their strange talents, they had tried to free Jaime Lannister, but were unsuccessful in doing so. The men were hanged and Jaime thrown into the dungeons.
Catelyn and Edmure then talk privately about his battle plans. Edmure wants to attack Lord Tywin's army as it marches west. Catelyn has misgivings about Edmure's plans, but she tells him that she hopes his plan will work.
She later pays a visit to her father, Lord Hoster Tully, who lies sick in bed. He does not recognize her, mistaking her for her sister, Lysa Arryn. The Tully's maester comes and gives some medicine to Lord Hoster, and tells Catelyn that her father doesn't have much time left in the world.
Catelyn then returns to her chambers, where the silent sisters show her Eddard's bones. When asked where Eddard's sword is, she is told that Ser Cleos' party only brought back her husband's bones, not his sword. She orders for Eddard's bones to be taken back to Winterfell.
Chapter 40 – Daenerys
Daenerys meets with the Pureborn of Qarth, descendants of the ancient kings and queens of Qarth, to ask them for galleys and soldiers to help her in her plans to retake the Iron Throne. The Pureborn listen, but refuse to lend their aid to her cause. Daenerys ponders her huge predicament - with the help of Xaro Xhoan Davos, she had amassed a huge amount of gold and treasure, for Xaro made sure all who came to see the Mother of Dragons paid a small token for the privilege to see her dragons. But most of that has been sold to ensure that Daenerys had enough wealth to make an offering to the Pureborn in exchange for an audience with them. With most of her wealth squandered on the Pureborn, Daenerys realized that all the begging for men and ships her brother Viserys had done must surely have been the reason why he always seemed so angry and bitter. Daenerys then tries to convince Xaro to lend her his many ships, but he refuses to offer his help.
On the fringes of the bazaar, Daenerys witnesses a firemage conjuring a ladder of fire in the air, which he subsequently climbs and then disappears, taking the ladder with him. Quaithe of the Shadow steps out from the crowd and tells Daenerys that half a year ago, the firemage could only perform simple magical spells. Quaithe attributes the firemage's growing power to Daenerys' presence in the city. She then advices Daenerys to leave the city as soon as possible and head east to Asshai.
Later, while feeding her dragons, Daenerys realizes that they have grown quite large since they arrived at Qarth. She then has a private meeting with Ser Jorah, who advices her to go east, with the reason being that the longer she stays in Qarth, the easier it is for her enemies to find her. Daenerys replies by saying that the red comet in the sky had led her to Qarth for a reason. She had been hoping to find men for her army here, but since it appears that might not be possible, Daenerys decides to explore all avenues open to her: she decides that she must now seek help from Pyat Pree the warlock.