A Game of Thrones: Chapter Forty-One to Chapter Fifty Summaries
Chapter 41 - Jon
A bunch of new recruits arrive at Castle Black, so Ser Alliser decides to elevate Jon and some of the other recruits to full members of the Night’s Watch. Jon is happy, but quickly realizes that Sam would have a horrible time now that Jon wasn’t there to protect him. Jon mulls over the problem then makes a visit to Ser Jeor Mormont’s adviser, Maester Aemon. He begs the Maester to convince Commander Mormont to raise Sam to the rank of a full member, as well. When asked why, Jon says that every man has a role to play, and that while Sam might be useless as a fighter or ranger, he is intelligent, has good eyes, knows how to read and with those qualities, he’d be able to help the Maester with some of his chores. Aemon tells Jon he will think about it.
Chapter 42 – Tyrion
On their way down the Eyrie, Tyrion convinces Bronn to stay by his side with the promise that “A Lannister always pays his debts”. Tyrion has already shown that he keeps his word; before leaving the Eyrie, he gave all his gold pieces to the Arryn’s brutish gaoler. When they make camp for the night, a band of mountain clansmen sneak up upon them.
Tyrion and Bronn are hugely outnumbered. The mountain clansmen are about to kill the two interlopers, but Tyrion successful persuades them to let the both of them go by promising them steel weapons and armor, of which the Lannister have plenty of. He tells the mountain clansmen that after he’s supplied them with weapons and armor, they will then be able to take control of the Vale.
Chapter 43 – Eddard
King Robert, Prince Joffrey and Renly are out hunting, so Eddard sits on the Iron Throne, dispensing justice. A group of knights from the Riverlands pleads their case, accompanied by peasants and small folk who tell of raids against three Riverlands holdfasts. The peasants tell of the destruction done by the group of raiders, led by a man of humongous size.
Eddard and the knights realize that the leading the raiders is none other than the Mountain, Gregor Clegane. Eddard denounces and attaints Gregor, stripping him of all his titles and lands, and sentences him to death. Ser Loras Tyrell begs Eddard for the honor of leading the party against Gregor, but Eddard gives it to a young lord, Beric Dondarrion.
Chapter 44 – Sansa
Eddard informs both his daughters that they were going back to Winterfell. Arya is unhappy about this and wants her father to bring Syrio Forel along. Sansa is far more distraught, pleading with her father to let her stay on in King’s Landing. She declares her love for the Prince and says that she will give him a son with bright, golden hair, the exact same color as Prince Joffrey’s. Sansa’s words catch Eddard by surprise; he realizes her words are the last clues to mystery of Jon Arryn’s death.
Chapter 45 – Eddard
Sansa’s words made everything clearer: when Eddard checks the genealogical book, the one that Jon Arryn had gone through, he discovers that Baratheons always have black hair. The book lists several pairings of Baratheons with Lannisters, and in each and every one of the pairings, the offsprings had black hair. Jon Arryn’s words “The seed is strong” is referring to this, that all true Baratheon children have black hair. Eddard confronts the Queen privately, exposing her secret. She admits, without any shame, that yes, Prince Joffrey, Prince Tommen and Princess Myrcella are all Jaime’s children, not Robert’s. Eddard warns Cersei that he will be revealing her secret to the King and advices her to flee before the King comes back. Cersei is not afraid of Eddard’s threat, however, and she says that he should be the one fearing her wrath.
Chapter 46 – Daenerys
In Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys takes part in a religious ceremony. She finishes eating the raw heart of a stallion; the old crones declare Daenerys’ son ‘the stallion who mounts the world’. She names the child Rhaego, after her elder brother, Rhaegar Targaryen, killed by Robert Baratheon during Robert’s Rebellion.
A feast is held. Viserys makes a scene at the feast; he is drunk and insulted that Drogo placed him at the back of the tent. Viserys draws his sword, even though Jorah has told him that no blood can be spilled inside Vaes Dothrak. He threatens Daenerys, stopping only when Khal Drogo finally agrees to give Viserys a crown. Viserys smiles, but is immediately grabbed by the Khal’s guards. Drogo proceeds to ‘crown’ Viserys – with a pot of molten gold. Viserys dies, and Daenerys casually remarks that her brother was no dragon, since true dragons cannot be killed by fire.
Chapter 47 – Eddard
The King has returned from the hunt -– and he is dying. Drunk during the hunt, he had missed his thrust against the boar; the boar then gored him and ripped him to shreds. Robert, seeing death at his doorstep, has a heart-to-heart talk with Eddard; he regrets sending assassins against Daenerys, and tells Eddard to stop them if he can. He also writes a letter, one that names Eddard as Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm until his heir comes of age.
Eddard assigns one of his men to take Sansa and Arya onboard the ship he has chartered to sail his daughter back them to Winterfell. He also hands the man a letter, to be brought to Stannis Baratheon, urging the elder of Robert’s younger brother’s to sail to King’s Landing to claim the Iron Throne.
Petyr then arrives, and warns Eddard not do to this as that would surely ensure war with the Lannisters. He offers his help to Eddard, to rule as Regent until Joffrey comes of age, but Eddard says that the throne rightfully belongs to Stannis, for Joffrey and the other children are not Robert’s children. He instructs Petyr to ensure that the City Watch is on his side when he faces the Queen.
Chapter 48 – Jon
Jon, Sam and several of the recruits are raised to the Night’s Watch and assigned into different orders. To his shock and surprise, Jon is assigned to the stewards. He is angry and blames Ser Alliser for keeping him out of the rangers, an order Jon believes he will excel at due to his martial prowess.
Sam placates Jon, telling him that his assignment as the Lord Commander’s personal steward was requested by the Commander himself; the reason being that Mormont wants to groom Jon to be his successor. Jon is ashamed of his outburst. The two of them go to take their vows in a heart forest, in front of the old gods. Ghost returns to the clearing, and shocks everyone with the human hand it carries in its jaws.
Chapter 49 – Eddard
King Robert is dead. Eddard is summoned to the throne room. He brings Petyr and Janos Slynt, Commander of the City Watch, along. In the throne room, Prince Joffrey orders the small council to prepare for his coronation. Eddard reveals the letter that names his as Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm.
Cersei reads the later but then rips it to shreds. Cersei declares Joffrey the rightful King. Eddard proclaims Stannis Baratheon as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Joffrey then orders the Lannister guardsmen to kill Eddard. Eddard commands the City Watch to take the Queen and her children into custody. The City Watch turns on Eddard instead, killing his men. Eddard is betrayed by Petyr, who shoves a dagger under his chin.
Chapter 50 – Arya
Arya is training with Syrio Forel when five Lannister guards and Ser Meryn, one of the Kingsguard, confronts them; they insist on bringing Arya to her father. Syrio is instantly suspicious and tells Arya not to go with them. A fight ensues, one in which Syrio defeats all five guards, but Ser Meryn, fully-armored, manages to chop Syrio’s wooden sword in half. Arya flees the scene.
She heads to the stables, and to her horror, sees the dead bodies of Stark household guards; they had been preparing her things for the trip back to Winterfell has been killed by Lannister guardsmen. She manages to find Needle, but is forced to kill a stableboy in the process. She then flees into the castle, down the secret passageway she had discovered the other day.