A Game of Thrones: Chapter Fifty-One to Chapter Sixty Summaries
Chapter 51 – Sansa
It is revealed that Sansa told the Queen of her father’s plans, in the hope that the Queen would stop them, which would result in Sansa not needing to return to Winterfell; she does this because she loves Joffrey. After several days, Sansa is taken to meet the Queen, who informs her that her father is a traitor who wanted the Iron Throne for himself. The Queen then convinces Sansa to write letters to her mother and her elder brother, Robb Stark, telling them to come to King’s Landing to swear fealty to Joffrey.
Chapter 52 – Jon
The men at Castle Black have discovered two corpses; one has a hand missing (the hand that Ghost found previously). The corpses are identified: they are members of the Night’s Watch. Sam notices that the bodies are not decomposing, even though it appears that men have been dead for quite some time. The men also note another eerie detail: both of the dead men have blues eyes, but both men were not blue-eyed when they had been alive.
The news that the King is dead has reached Castle Black. Mormont informs Jon that his father has been arrested and charged with treason. Everyone seems to know this, as well. Ser Alliser taunts Jon, and Jon attacks, but is restrained by his friends. Mormont is disappointed in Jon and sends him to the cells.
Jon wakes up and hears Ghost scrabbling at his door. The guard is dead. Heading over to the Lord Commander’s chambers, he is horrified to discover one of the corpses inside – walking upright. Jon engages the wight in battle. The wight appears to be unstoppable; even dismemberment doesn’t seem to stop it. Ghost attacks the wight, taking its attention off Jon. When Mormont comes out from his room with a lantern, Jon grabs the lantern, burning his hand in the process, and throws it at the drapes. He then throws the burning drapes on top of the corpse.
Chapter 53- Bran
The Stark’s bannermen arrive at Winterfell, to answer Robb’s call. Some of them think he is not ready, some try to flatter him with gifts. One, Greatjon Umber, even draws his weapon in front of Robb, but Robb’s direwolf, Grey Wind, swiftly deals with the big man, biting two of his fingers off. After that incident, Greatjon becomes Robb’s staunchest supporter.
Bran goes to the godswood to pray. He notes that the youngest Stark child, Rickon, has been acting strangely of late, going into the Stark family crypts with his direwolf, Shaggydog. Osha, the wildling survivor, now working as a kitchen staff at Winterfell, chances upon Bran in the godswood. She tells him that she been trying to warn Robb that he was going in the wrong direction; that instead of heading South, he should be marching North to face the others. But Robb did not listen.
Robb, Theon and the Stark bannermen head south two days later.
Chapter 54 – Daenerys
Daenerys tries to convince Drogo to conquer the Seven Kingdom, but he states that he has no interest in doing so at the moment. To take her mind off this, Ser Jorah suggests that Daenerys and her party go to visit the markets, as a great caravan just arrived. She does, and after arriving at the market, Jorah splits from the group, to see whether he has received any letters from Illyrio.
A wine merchant tries to sell his wares to Daenerys. When he learns her true identity, he offers her a special cask of wine, the very best from the Arbor. Jorah rejoins the party. He is suspicious of the wine merchant and demands that the merchant drink from the special cask, in front of them. The wine merchant pretends to do so but then tries to run away. He doesn’t get far as Daenerys’ bodyguards catch him before he can flee.
Jorah then tells Daenerys that Illyrio sent him a letter, informing him that King Robert Baratheon has offered a lordship to any man who kills Daenerys and her son. When they return to camp, Daenerys thrusts her dragon eggs into a burning brazier, but nothing happens. When Drogo hears of the assassination attempt, he becomes incensed and promises to conquer the Seven Kingdoms for his son.
Chapter 55 –Catelyn
Catelyn has now left the Vale, and on her way back to Winterfell, she chances upon Robb’s army at Moat Cailin. Robb shows her the letter from Sansa; Catelyn reads the letter and tells him the letter is a threat from Cersei.
Robb updates her on the situation: Jamie Lannister and his army are laying siege to Riverrun, while Tywin Lannister is leading another army on the opposite side of the river, catching Beric Dondarrion’s group (the one in charge of executing Gregor Clegane) by surprise, and killing everyone in the group, although there have been rumors that Beric managed to escape.
Robb then tells her his plan: to send his foot soldiers to meet Tywin, while his cavalry forces will ride hard and fast down the other side of the river in order to free Riverrun from Jaime Lannister’s siege. Robb wants his mother to go back to Winterfell, but Catelyn tells him she fears for her brother and father in Riverrun so she will go with him.
Chapter 56 –Tyrion
Tyrion come across his father’s army; it is at the very inn where Tyrion had been taken prisoner by Catelyn. He learns all that has happened so far, how Jamie was successful in surprising Riverrun and how Tywin managed to destroy almost all of Beric Dondarrion’s forces, although Beric himself escaped. The clansmen, led by Bronn, burst into the meeting; Tyrion introduces them to his father. A messenger comes in with news that Robb Stark’s army is riding down the causeway, towards Tywin’s army. Tywin invites the clansmen to join in the attack. They agree, but only if Tyrion rides with them.
Chapter 57 – Sansa
Joffrey is now King. He has Grand Maester Pycelle read off a list of nobles who must come to King’s Landing to swear fealty to him. Among these are Stannis and Renly Baratheon, the Tyrells, Lord Frey, Catelyn Stark and all of the Stark children (except Sansa). Joffrey then names his grandfather, Tywin Lannister, as the new Hand of the King. Janos Slynt, the Commander of the City Watch, is given a lordship and Harrenhal for siding with the Lannisters instead of Eddard Stark.
Ser Barristan Selmy is stripped of his title as Commander of the Kingsguard; he is replaced by Jaime Lannister. Upon hearing this, Barristan is filled with anger and contempt, rejecting Cersei’s offer of a nice piece of land, and throws his sword at the King’s feet before leaving.
Sansa then pleads to Joffrey to show mercy to her father. Joffrey looks on and tells her that he will, if Eddard will confess to plotting against him. Sansa is relieved because she knows her father will do exactly that.
Chapter 58 – Eddard
Eddard is in the dungeons, his injured leg giving him much pain. He flits between wakefulness and sleep. When he sleeps, he dreams of his younger years, of Robert’s Rebellion.
After days have passed, a gaoler enters Eddard’s cell; he is surprised to see that it is Lord Varys in disguise. Varys tells Eddard that Cersei will be down to see him the next day, and advices Eddard to confess his crimes, order Robb to lay down his arms, and proclaim Joffrey as the true King. Eddard refuses to do so, but Varys warns him that Sansa might pay the price for his decision.
Chapter 59 – Catelyn
Robb Stark and his army need to cross the Twins. The Twins are controlled by House Frey, and the bridge is the only available option if they want to cross the Green Fork of the Trident. Doing so will mean they can race ahead to deal with Jamie Lannister, without needing to go through Tywin Lannister. They have been killing spies and ravens, to avoid Tywin catching wind of their plans.
Catelyn enters the Twin to speak to Lord Walder Frey and ask his permission to cross the Twins. Walder is rude to her, but she persists, and they eventually come to an agreement: Robb and his army can cross, as long as Robb takes on one of Walder’s sons as a squire and marries one of Walder’s daughters. Catelyn relays this to Robb who is not keen on the idea, but agrees to it anyway. Robb and most of his men cross the bridge, leaving Lord Roose Bolton to lead a small detachment to continue south to keep Tywin’s army occupied.
Chapter 60 - Jon
Jon Snow’s right arm is been badly burned due to throwing the fiery drapes down upon the wight, but it is slowly beginning to heal. Lord Commander Mormont rewards Jon with the Mormont’s ancestral sword, Longclaw, a bastard sword made from Valyrian steel. Mormont tells Jon that Barristan has been declared a traitor and has since left King’s Landing. He does not tell Jon about his brother Robb’s army, but Jon already knows that from Sam, who is in charge of reading Maester Aemon’s letters.
Later, Jon is summoned by Maester Aemon. The blind Maester tells him that all men eventually come to a difficult decision: to choose between love, or honor. He tells Jon that he himself had to make that choice, a long time ago. Jon listens to the Maester’s tales, and soon come to the startling realization: Master Aemon is a Targaryen.