A Game of Thrones: Prologue to Chapter Ten Summaries
Three rangers from the Night’s Watch are chasing after wilding raiders in the Haunted Forest. One of them scouts ahead and discovers a clearing, where he comes across an eerie scene: the wildling raiders appear to have been killed in their sleep, but there is no sign of blood anywhere. He returns to the other two and leads them back to the wildling’s campsite, but when they arrive, the bodies are gone.
They inspect further, but during their inspections, strange, milky, translucent and alien creatures, called Others by the Night’s Watch, enter the clearing, and proceed to slay the rangers. One ranger is killed in battle while another one is killed while trying to escape; the third ranger managers to flee.
Chapter 1 - Bran
Lord Eddard Stark and his household guards, along with his eldest son (Robb Stark) middle son (Bran Stark), bastard (Jon Snow) and ward (Theon Greyjoy) ride to one of the nearby holdfast near Winterfell, to execute a man for deserting the Night’s Watch (the ranger who manages to escape in the Prologue).
Lord Eddard Stark dispenses justice, beheading the deserter with his greatsword, Ice, forged from Valyrian steel. On their way back to Winterfell, they discover a dead direwolf, killed by a stag’s antlers, a bad omen since the direwolf is the sigil of Great House Stark, while the Stag is the sigil of Great House Baratheon, the King’s House. They discover 6 direwolf pups, and Eddard allows his kids to have it. One of the direwolf pup is an albino and given to Jon Snow.
Chapter 2 - Catelyn
Catelyn visits the godswood, a forest in the middle of the Winterfell, where there is one heart tree. The First Men worshipped the old gods, and it is said that the blood of the First Men flow in the Starks and the Northmen. Catelyn is uncomfortable with the godswood, because she worships the Seven, like most of those from the South. She finds Eddard Stark cleaning Ice at the heart tree. Eddard tells her of the deserter, and that his brother Benjen Stark, First Ranger of the Night’s Watch, has been telling him that the order has seen more deserters of late.
Catelyn tells Eddard that she has received a letter from King Robert Baratheon, revealing that the Hand of the King, Jon Arryn, has died of a sudden mysterious illness. Eddard is sad because he and Robert were fostered in the Vale under Jon Arryn. Catelyn informs Eddard that the King will be coming to Winterfell, along with his whole entourage, which includes the Queen, Cersei Lannister, and their children. Ned is uneasy, as he always felt that the Lannisters rallied around Robert’s Rebellion a little too late.
Chapter 3 - Daenerys
Viserys gifts Daenerys with a fine silk dress, telling her that it was the gift from Illyrio Mopatis, their host in Pentos. Viserys tells Daenerys that he will be presenting her to Khal Drogo, a horselord who has the largest khalasar (host of horse-warriors), and who is renowned for never having been defeated in battle.
Daenerys, Viserys and Illyrio head over to Khal Drogo’s manse, a huge structure with nine towers. In the party, they spot Ser Jorah Mormont, an anointed knight who fled the Seven Kingdoms due to selling some poachers to slave traders, an illegal act in the Seven Kingdoms. Illyrio eventually brings Khal Drogo over to meet Daenerys.
Chapter 4 - Eddard
King Robert Baratheon and his 300-strong entourage arrive. Eddard almost does not recognize the King because the last time he saw Robert was over nine years ago, and Robert has gotten fat. The Queen and her children are also introduced to the Starks. Robert and Eddard then descend into the Stark family crypt.
Down in the crypt, the King and Eddard head over to pay respects to Eddard’s father and older brother, both killed by the last Targaryen king, Aerys II. They also pay their respects to the Eddard’s sister, Lyanna Stark, who died during Robert’s Rebellion; she had been betrothed to Robert Baratheon at the time.
Robert then shares with Eddard the sudden death of Jon Arryn, and how Jon Arryn’s wife, Lysa, has fled to the Vale with her son. Robert then requests that Eddard be the new Hand of the King; he also requests that Eddard’s eldest daughter, Sansa Stark, be wed to his own son, Prince Joffrey. Eddard does not want the position, but Robert insists; Eddard mentions that he’ll have to think about it.
Chapter 5 – Jon
The welcome feast for the King is a merry affair, with all the Stark children in attendance. The Stark children sit with their parents, in the high seats, while Jon Snow sits in the common area. He is surprised and happy to meet his uncle, Benjen Stark, Lord Eddard Stark’s brother and First Ranger of the Night’s Watch.
Benjen wonders aloud why his brother appears to be in a somber mood tonight. Jon states that it might have something to do with Lord Eddard bringing King Robert to the Stark family crypts, which he had noted, angered the Queen. Benjen praises Jon’s powers of observation and states that the Night’s Watch could use men with Jon’s skills at the Wall. Jon, having drunk quite a lot, asks Benjen to take him to the Wall when the feast is over. Benjen states that Jon might be still too young for the Wall. Jon does not take kindly to this and leaves, going outside whereupon he meets Tyrion Lannister. The two exchange words and Tyrion even gives Jon some advice on how to avoid being hurt by insults.
Chapter 6 – Catelyn
Catelyn and Eddard are in bed, discussing Robert’s offer. Eddard states his reluctance to take the King up on his offer, but Catelyn tells him he must, lest the King query his loyalty. During their discussion, Maester Luwin, advisor to the Stark house, comes in with a letter, written in code.
Catelyn recognizes the code – it is a code created by her and Lysa, her sister and the late Jon Arryn’s widow, when they were young girls. In the letter, Lysa tells Catelyn that her late husband was murdered by the Lannisters, with this being the reason why she has left King’s Landing and fled to the safety of the Vale. Catelyn implores Eddard to take up the King’s offer, because as the new Hand of the King, he can unravel the mystery behind Jon Arryn’s death. Eddard agrees, and tells Catelyn he will bring Sansa, Arya and Brandon to King’s Landing. Robb will remain at Winterfell, while Maester Luwin tells Eddard that Jon will be heading to the Wall to join the Night’s Watch.
Chapter 7 – Arya
Arya is doing needlework along with Sansa and Princess Myrcella, under the watchful eye of Septa Mordane. Septa Mordane criticizes Arya’s needlework in front of everyone, and feeling frustrated at the thought of never being as beautiful or as skilled in the feminine arts as Sansa, Arya flees to the courtyard instead, where she sees her brother, Bran, sparring with the King’s youngest son, Prince Tommen.
There she also meets up and chat with Jon Snow – the two are very close, and the only they possess the dark hair and long facial features of their father (as opposed to the other children, who, with their red hair and pale skin, take after Catelyn). A verbal spat takes place between the Lannisters and the Starks when the master-at-arms of Winterfell, Rodrik Cassell, refuses Prince Joffrey’s request to duel with Robb Stark using real swords. The Lannisters then leave, with Joffrey taunting Robb as he leaves.
Chapter 8 - Bran
Bran is happy that his father has decided to take him to the capital, King’s Landing. While the King and most of the men from the castle are off for their final hunt, Bran decides to go around the castle to bid farewell to everyone. However, he finds the whole thing unbearably sad, so he takes to his favorite activity: climbing the castle walls. Bran has always been a good climber--he has never fallen.
While climbing an old abandoned tower, he overhears a man and a woman having sex through one of the windows. He climbs closer and hears the woman worrying about Eddard Stark going south with them to King’s Landing; she is afraid that Eddard is plotting against the Lannisters as he has never shown any interest in going south. The man seems calm about it, stating that he’d rather face an honorable man like Eddard Stark rather than the King’s brothers, Renly and Stannis. The woman screams when she sees Bran at the window. Bran realizes that it is the Queen, Cersei Lannister, and the man is Jaime “Kingslayer” Lannister, the Queen’s brother. Jaime pushes Bran off the window ledge.
Chapter 9 - Tyrion
Tyrion spends most of the night reading, unable to go to sleep due to the constant howling of a direwolf (Bran’s) in the Stark castle. He decides to go have breakfast and encounters Prince Joffrey with his personal bodyguard, Sandor Clegane, also known as “The Hound” due to his helmet resembling a snarling dog’s head.
Tyrion tells Prince Joffrey to pay his respects to Lord Eddard, adding that the Prince’s absence has been noted. Prince Joffrey initially refuses, but after several hard-fisted slaps from Tyrion, scampers off to do Tyrion’s bidding. Tyrion then goes for breakfast, where he meets his sister, Cersei, and his brother, Jaime. Cersei has never liked Tyrion, but Jaime has always treated his brother kindly.
Tyrion tells them that Maester Luwin thinks Bran Stark is going to live, at which point Cersei and Jaime exchange a quick look. Tyrion notices this but mentions nothing. He tells his siblings that he is going to the Wall, and that he very much hopes Bran will eventually awaken.
Chapter 10 - Jon
Jon visits Bran, who has fallen into a coma, to wish his final farewells. Catelyn Stark is in the room; she has never left Bran’s side since the fall. It is revealed that Catelyn hates Jon due to the fact that he is Eddard’s bastard and the fact that Eddard brought Jon back to Winterfell to grow up with their trueborn children.
Jon then leaves to say goodbye to Robb and Arya. He surprises Arya with a sword forged by Mikken, the Stark’s smith and armorer. The sword’s blade is a bravos’ sword: thin, slender, and pointed – not so good for slashing, but great for piercing. Both Jon and Arya agree that the sword’s name is Needle.