A Storm of Swords: Chapter Eleven to Chapter Twenty Summaries
Chapter 11 – Jaime
Brienne, Jaime and Ser Cleos Frey are sailing south down the river when Jaime spots an inn further downstream. As soon as they disembark, Jaime rushes to the door of the inn and shoves it open - only to find a 15-year-old boy behind it, pointing a loaded crossbow straight at him. The boy tells them that there is food for them in the inn, as long as they leave their swordbelts at the door - Brienne and Ser Cleos Frey are the only ones carrying weapons and they comply with boy's request. An older man appears and tells them that he can prepare a meal for them if they have the money for it; Brienne tosses him a silver coin. The man mentions that he and his wife had found the body of the innkeeper, and they had then buried the dead man and taken over the inn.
After the man cooks and serves them their meal, he asks them about their journey and where they plan on heading to next. When Brienne tells him that they intend to sail further downriver, the man warns them that going that way will prove fruitless and. Jaime suggests that the wisest course of action would be to take the overland route to King's Landing instead; Brienne reluctantly agrees and proceeds to buy all three of the man's horses. She also agrees to strike off Jaime's ankle chain so that he will be able to ride one of the horses; she doesn't strike off his wrist chain, though.
The man tries to convince them to stay the night at the inn, but Brienne insists that they must ride off now.
They make camp soon thereafter. Jaime starts conversing with Brienne, but his jibes against her sex irritates her, and in turn, her replies to Jaime are harsh - she claims that he has broken his knightly vows because he has harmed those he has sworn to protect, especially King Aerys II, the King that he had sworn to protect but whom he killed instead. He tells Brienne that she should not judge him because she does not understand what led him to slay Aerys. Jaime's thoughts then flash back to the only reason he wanted to join Aerys' Kingsguard - to be close to his sister, Cersei, in King's Landing.
Jaime tries to get some sleep, but that night, he dreams of Aerys II Targaryen; he remembers how easy it was to slay the Mad King. He remembers climbing to the Iron Throne and sitting there with his sword across his knees, waiting to see who would come to claim the kingdom.
It had been Eddard Stark.
Hours later, Brienne wakes Jaime with a hard boot in the ribs, and they continue on their journey to King's Landing.
Chapter 12 – Tyrion
Varys enters his chambers and is surprised to find Tyrion seated by the hearth. Tyrion is there for information: he wants to know whether his father, Lord Tywin Lannister, has reinstated Grand Maester Pycelle to the King's small council. Varys tells him that Lord Tywin has done just that. The news annoys Tyrion as Maester Pycelle has always been working for his sister, Cersei. Varys reveals that Tywin only reinstated Pycelle to the council because if he had not done so, the archmaesters of Old Town would have assigned a Maester from House Tyrell to the council, and that would have given more power and control to the Tyrells.
Tyrion then cuts to the main reason why he has come to see Varys: he wants Varys to bring Shae to him, one last time, before he sends her away from King's Landing. Tywin has threatened to hang any whores Tyrion sleeps with, so sending her away from the city will be for her own good.
Tyrion tells Varys to bring Shae into Tyrion's chambers via the secret passageways in the walls, as he has done for Tyrion before. Varys says that he can't do that, because there are no secret tunnels to Tyrion's chambers. Tyrion then suggest that Shae be brought to Varys' bed chambers instead; Varys smiles and says that it can be arranged.
Later that night, Tyrion makes his way to Varys' bed chambers, but he makes no rush, for he knows he is being watched. When he finally makes his way to Varys bedchambers, he discovers the eunuch has disguised himself as a woman; Varys leaves soon thereafter.
During the love-making that follows, Tyrion tries to impart upon Shae the importance of leaving the city, but Shae doesn't seem to be paying her full attention, caught up as it is by the wonderful image of the king's wedding feast, painted in her mind by the songs and words of a singer whom Tyrion had once come across entertaining Shae: Symon Silver Tongue.
Tyrion remains steadfast in his refusal to let Shae go to the king's wedding feast; as a result, Shae grows sullen. Tyrion, against his better judgment, allows Shae to continue staying on at King's Landing.
After he returns to his own chambers, he tells Podrick to fetch Bronn. When newly-knighted sellsword arrives, Tyrion orders him to find Symon Silver Tongue before anyone else does, because besides Varys and Bronn, the singer is the only other person to know of Tyrion's relationship with Shae.
Chapter 13 – Arya
Arya and Hot Pie are picking vegetables in a dead man's garden, located on the banks of the Trident. Suddenly, Arya and Hot Pie hear the sound of men singing coming from up the river road. Arya tells Hot Pie to wake Gendry, then adds that both boys are to take all three of their horses and hide behind the burned cottage; Arya hides behind a tree.
However, after one of their horses whinnies out loud, the singing from up the river stops. The men who are approaching start bantering out loud, loud enough for Arya, Hot Pie and Gendry to hear. They speak in a jocular manner, but the message behind the men's banter is clear - they know that someone is hiding behind the burned cottage, and if these hiders don't come out from behind the wall and show their faces, one of the men, an archer, will let loose a handful of shafts over the wall.
Arya reacts to the warning by immediately coming out from behind the tree and telling them not to shoot.
She finds herself face-to-face with three men: a small middle-aged singer by the name of Tom Sevenstrings, a tall and big man called Lem, and a young red-haired archer by the name of Anguy. Gendry and Hot Pie come out from behind the cottage, as well. Hot Pie gives them his name, but Arya and Gendry go by the name of Squab and The Bull respectively. When the men ask them which side of the war they're on, Arya replies that they are on no one's side. She returns the question to the men, who tell her that they are king's men, loyal to the late Robert Baratheon. When Hot Pie inadvertently blurts out that he, Arya and Gendry are heading for Riverrun, Tom Sevenstrings suggest that they all go to a nearby inn, run by a woman named Sharna.
The three children agree to go.
Upon reaching the inn, Gendry volunteers to stand guard over the children's three horses. The rest of them enter the inn, and Arya and Hotpie meet Sharna; she runs the inn with the help of her husband and an older boy. Sharna and her husband go and prepare a meal while the boy serves all of them a round of ale. The husband mentions that Lem and the other men were supposed to ambush the party and bring back the three horses, but Lem states that he and his men had caught no sight of the three-men party coming down the south-by-east fork. When Lem says that the husband and the boy could have taken the party of three's horses by themselves, the husband replied that the three visitors had seemed formidable, especially the large woman who dressed like a man and the disheveled man who had been in chains.
As they eat bread, Tom approaches Arya, and offers to buy her three horses in exchange for a piece of parchment that promises she will be paid with gold after the war is over. Arya declines the offer, saying that she has no use for paper, but offers to exchange their three horses for the skiff instead.
Before Tom can reply, Gendry comes bursting in and warns them that soldiers were coming down the read and heading straight for the inn. Arya and Hot Pie immediately get to their feet, but the men and Sharna were unperturbed. Arya tries desperately to escape, fearing that if the soldiers catch her, it will be like having been captured by Ser Gregor Clegane's men all over again. Lem steps in to prevent her escape, but Arya manages to break his nose with a tankard. As Gendry steps in to help fend Lem off, the soldiers enter the inn.
To Arya's eyes, the men that entered were a ragged band, more outlaws and mercenaries than soldiers. But to her surprise, she recognizes one of the men - it is Harwin, one of the guardsmen from Winterfell. She calls out to him, and she is so overjoyed to see one of her late father's men that tears come to her eyes.
Chapter 14 – Catelyn
Catelyn has remained holed up in her father's chambers all this while. And during that time, there has been only two incidents of note.
The first one was when Ser Robin Ryger and his men had returned, empty-handed; since they had been tasked to capture and return Jaime Lannister back to Riverrun, it means they had failed in their mission, which goes some way to uplifting Catelyn's spirits.
The second incident was when she spied Ser Perwyn Frey and Martyn Rivers, both from House Frey, leading a group of forty men out of the castle's main gates, trampling one of Robb's banners in the process; the men never came back.
But now, Robb has returned to Riverrun; Catelyn is silently hoping that he will forgive her for freeing Jaime Lannister. When she is finally summoned to the Great Hall, Catelyn enters to a crowded hall and sees Robb praising Edmure's victory at the Stone Mill. A small group of six people stand together with Robb on top of the dais; she is not able to identify any of the six. Robb then addresses Catelyn, who decides to get straight to the point by confessing that she did free Jaime, and she did it in the hopes that returning Jaime to King's Landing will persuade the Lannisters to free her daughters, Sansa and Arya. Lord Rickard Karstark, who lost two sons to Jaime in the Battle of the Whispering Wood, is furious at Catelyn for freeing Jaime, saying that she has denied him his vengeance; he even goes so far to call her actions treason. Robb makes an end to the argument by forgiving Catelyn for her actions. This does not sit well with Lord Rickard. Robb says that he needs to speak to Catelyn, and his uncles alone about certain matters and then proceeds to dismiss the court. It is at this point that Catelyn realizes that Robb's direwolf, Grey Wind, is not at his side.
Once all the other nobles have left, only Robb, Catelyn, Brynden, Edmure and the six strangers remain. They are from House Westerling and serve Lord Gawen Westerling of the Crag. The younger son is now Robb's squire. Catelyn is wondering whether Robb has won the Westerling's allegiance during his attack on the Crag when the elder daughter steps forward and Robb introduces her as Lady Jeyne Westerling, his wife.
Catelyn is caught totally off guard; her first reactions are that of shock, disbelief and horror for Robb has previously promised to marry one of Lord Walder Frey's daughter as payment for being allowed to use The Twins in his battle plans, and by marrying Jeyne, he has insulted Lord Walder himself. She manages to compose herself, however, and welcomes the frightened girl to the Stark family. Citing exhaustion, The Westerlings retire to their chambers.
Robb then proceeds to tell Catelyn of how he had come to wed Jeyne. When the news reached Robb, that both Bran and Rickon had been killed by Theon Greyjoy, Jeyne comforted him and they ended up making love. Robb consequently took Jeyne as his wife the next day.
Catelyn gently reproaches Robb for marrying Jeyne - by doing so, he has lost the allegiance of the Freys, and that means he has lost near 4,000 men-at-arms, a number that significantly weakens his host. Catelyn tells him that Lord Walder Frey will not be reasonable about the issue and adds that Robb insulted him by marrying a woman from a smaller, less powerful House.
Robb, Catelyn, Brynden and Edmure then move the discussion to Lord Hoster's private audience chamber. Edmure is still boasting of his victory at the Stone Mill, but Brynden quickly cuts him off, saying that Robb only praised Edmure in front of the other river lords so as not to shame him in front of his own people. Edmure responds with anger, telling them many men had given their lives in the battle at Stone Mill, but Brynden points out that Robb's orders to Edmure were to hold Riverrun, and no more - by skirmishing with Tywin Lannister's forces, Edmure had gone against Robb's orders.
Robb had actually gone West in order to lure Tywin Lannister's army in that direction; Tywin's army would have moved slower than Robb's because it consisted mainly of foot soldiers, and Robb would have used his advantage in speed to slip behind Tywin's army and then attack the Lannister army from ground that would be favorable in his favor.
If Tywin Lannister had not chased after Robb's host, then he would have remained trapped in the west, far away from where he needed to be. And that would have allowed Stannis Baratheon to launch his attack on King's Landing without having to worry about being attacked by Tywin's army.
As it were, when Edmure engaged with Tywin on the Red Fork, he delayed Tywin's host just long enough for two riders out of Bitterbridge to reach him with word of Renly Baratheon's death. Lord Tywin immediately turned his army around and joined forces with those of Renly's bannermen who had wanted to play no part in Stannis' host - which includes Randyll Tarly and Mace Tyrell - and proceeded to take Stannis from the rear during the Battle of Blackwater.
Edmure, horrified that he had a hand to play in Lord Tywin's triumph, apologizes profusely, and volunteers to lead the vanguard in the next battle as amends. Catelyn interjects and states that as King in the North, Robb has to win back Winterfell from Theon Greyjoy. Edmure points out that winning the north back from the Greyjoys might prove a near-impossible challenge, as the Greyjoys hold Moat Cailin, the only way to reach the north from the south, and no army attacking from the south has ever taken Moat Cailin. There is also the matter of House Frey - the Freys, who have been insulted by Robb taking Jeyne as his wife, will be at their backs. Robb agrees that they need to win back the Freys to his cause, because without them, he sees no hope in reclaiming the North.
Chapter 15- Jon
Jon, Ghost and Tormund are watching the giants ride by atop their mammoths. As they ride, Tormund asks Jon why he has not yet slept with Ygritte, considering that Ygritte is clearly attracted to him. Jon blushes and says that he does not wish to father any bastards. Tormund does not quite understand Jon's answer because he cannot see what is so wrong about a bastard child.
They ride on, and Jon starts thinking about the wildling army that he was now a part of. The wildings have no laws, honor or even decency - in Jon's mind, it is no small wonder that the people of the Seven Kingdoms consider the wildlings scarcely human. Since he joined the wildling army, Jon has seen no signs of any artifact or power that the wildlings are said to have been searching for up in the Frostfangs, as told to him by the late Qhorin Halfhand, information which Qhorin himself had gathered from a captive wildling.
Jon also knows that the wildling army will soon pass by the Fist of the First Men and that Jeor Mormont will surely attack Mance's army, even if the Black Brothers are hugely outnumbered. But Jon thinks that the Lord Commander and his men need not kill a thousand or more wildlings to be successful; they only need to kill the one man that held the immense army together - and that man is Mance Rayder.
When Jon and Tormund finally catch up with Tormund's band, they are greeted by Ygritte and Longspear Ryk. Ygritte asks Jon whether he believes in giants now that he has seen them, and without waiting for his reply, starts singing 'The Last of the Giants'; the entire band soon starts singing along.
Just as the song ends, Jon is attacked by the eagle that had been belonged to Orell, the wildling he had earlier killed during a surprise attack when he had been in Qhorin's scouting party. The eagle, whom many of the wildlings believe still holds Orell's malevolent spirit, attacks Jon's face, tearing the skin around it but missing his eye. The eagle flies off, and Jon hears Rattleshirt issuing out an order: Mance Rayder wants to see Jon immediately.
Ygritte decides to go as well, so she and Jon follow Rattleshirt to meet up with Mance. As they ride on, Jon realizes that they are riding towards the Fist of the First Men. When they reach the base of the hill, Jon sees many dead horses, and the carnage is even worse the further up the hill they go. From the position of the dead horses, Jon surmises that Lord Commander Mormont and his men had been trying to escape from the Fist, from some enemy.
When they reach the top, they come face-to-face with Mance. Styr and Jarl are with Mance, along with two other wildlings, Harma the Dogshead and the shapechanger known as Varamyr Sixskins.
Mance is grim and cold towards Jon; previously, Jon had told Mance that he and Qhorin had been part of a ranging party to find out the reason behind the empty wildling villages, but now Mance has discovered that there were a lot more of the Night's Watch, all of them holding up at the Fist of the First Men, hoping to launch a surprise attack against the wildlings. He warns Jon to tell the truth and follows this warning with a question: how many of the Night's Watch had there been at the Fist? Jon tells Mance the truth, that three hundred men had awaited him.
Jon mentions that Mormont had fortified the Fist in order to prepare for Mance's army. Mance mentions that Mormont might have made done that, but fortifications meant little against the wights. Mance then gives orders to the wildlings: he wants scouting parties to ensure that the wights do not catch their own army unawares, and he also wants all the patrols doubled in size, and each men on duty equipped with torch and flint.
Rattleshirt then says that he still wants to kill Jon but Ygritte intervenes, saying that Jon is now loyal to Mance, having even killed Qhorin to join Mance. She also boldly states that she has been sleeping with Jon. Jarl and Harma are amused at that, and Mance asks Jon whether that is the truth of the matter. Jon says that it is.
In response, Mance tells Jon and Ygritte that the both of them shall go over the Wall tomorrow, with Jarl and Styr. Mance says that if the wildling army reaches the Wall before Lord Commander Mormont and the remnants of his 300-strong expedition do, then the wildlings will win.
Jon and Ygritte descend the Fist and make their way back to the camp. Jon confronts Ygritte, saying that she shouldn't have lied for him. Ygritte tells him that she didn't lie, she just never told Mance, and the rest when the two of them had started sleeping together; she tells Jon that deeds speak truer than words and thus they should do the deed later that night.
Chapter 16- Sansa
Sansa is being measured for a new gown; she learns from the seamstress that it was Queen Cersei herself who had commanded that the new gown be made for her. She is puzzled as to why Cersei would want her to have a new gown; after thinking about it for a while, she surmises that Cersei must want her to look good for Joffrey's wedding.
Joffrey's new bride, Margaery Tyrell, has been unfailingly kind to her - much of Sansa's free time is spent in the company of Margaery and her ladies.
When Sansa warns Margaery that Joffrey is a cruel King, Margaery says that she knows, but tells Sansa not to worry, because her elder brother Ser Loras Tyrell was now a member of the Kingsguard and that Ser Loras would be able to protect her from Joffrey's cruelties.
Sansa has also told Dontos of her pending marriage to Willas Tyrell of Highgarden but was surprised when Dontos expressed only horror and shock at the news. Dontos goes on to say that Sansa should not go to Highgarden to marry Willas, but instead, follow him and his plans, for he has finally found a ship to return Sansa all the way back home to Winterfell.
Sansa has not visited the godswood to meet-up with Dontos since, but she still wonders whether what the once-knight has said is true, that she is valuable to the Tyrells due to her claim to Winterfell.
As the seamstress takes the last of her measurements, Sansa realizes that she can't wait to wear the new gown - she wants to bring it to Highgarden to look beautiful for her husband-to-be, Willas Tyrell.
Chapter 17 - Arya
Arya and Gendry are now riding with the outlaws. Hot Pie is no longer with them - he has decided to stay at the inn with Sharna and her husband, to help them in making their bread.
Harwin shares his story with Arya. He had been one of the twenty Winterfell men that her father sent out with Beric Dondarrion to capture Gregor Clegane and bring him to justice for his crimes of raiding across the Riverlands. However, Gregor Clegane's raiding activity was a trap devised by Lord Tywin - he wanted to draw out Lord Eddard from King's Landing and would have either killed Eddard or captured him in order to trade him for Tyrion, who was that time being held captive by Catelyn Stark.
However, Jaime Lannister did not know about his father's plans, and attacked Lord Eddard Stark in King's Landing as soon as he caught wind of Tyrion's capture. Eddard's leg was broken in the ensuing fight, and as a result, he did not go after Gregor Clegane himself.
Beric and the men were ambushed by Gregor and his raiders. They managed to escape but suffered a heavy loss: they had sixty men before, but after the attack, only twenty remained.
Beric told all the surviving men that they would avenge their loss to Gregor and that they would eventually join up with King Robert's forces when it rode west to crush Lord Tywin's host. However, they soon came to learn that King Robert and Eddard Stark were dead and that Joffrey Baratheon, Cersei Lannister's son, now sat on the Iron Throne.
And that meant that Beric and his men were now the outlaws. Some wanted to give up, but Beric said they would continue fighting and harrying Lord Tywin's host, in the name of King Robert, even if they all died in the process. However, they soon discovered that more and more people were joining their cause, men from all sorts of walks in life, and women, as well.
That night, they make camp at a burned, abandoned village. Or at least it appears that way to Arya until a great number of men and women crawl out of the ruins and start preparing a feast - these were the villagers, and they have fallen in with the outlaws and their cause.
The next morning, as they continue on their journey, Arya notices the position of the sun in the sky and suddenly comes to the realization that the outlaws have not been riding towards Riverrun for the last couple of days - they have been heading further and further south. When she confronts the outlaws about this, they confirm that they never had any intention of bringing her to Riverrun. No - they are bringing her to meet Lord Beric himself.
Arya, feeling like she was now a captive, just as she had been at Harrenhal, decides to make a run for it and sends her horse galloping past the surprised outlaws. The outlaws quickly get over their surprise and four of them ride out to bring her back. Arya is a skillful rider and manages to outpace three of the four outlaws, but when she decides to send her horse into the woods, she is finally caught by the one outlaw who has been riding horses his entire life and whose father was the master of horses at Winterfell - Harwin.
When Arya accuses him of no longer being her father's man, Harwin tells her that he no longer belongs to either Eddard or Robb Stark - he is now Beric Dondarrion's man. Harwin then gives her a choice of whether she wants to return to the outlaw group willingly or be brought back forcefully. Arya chooses to go peacefully, at least for the moment.
Chapter 18 – Samwell
Sam is trudging through the heavy snow; he is cold, tired and miserable. Other men walk with him, his brothers from the Night's Watch, all of them survivors from the battle with the Others at the Fist of the First Men. Lord Commander Mormont made it out of the Fist as well, and he is leading this band of survivors back to the Wall. Fifty men escaped the Fist, but their numbers have gone down since then due to some of the men succumbing to wounds, some wandering off and never returning and some being killed by a fell creature that seemed to be following the ragged band, continually killing men in the rear guard.
As he sits there, unable to do much except for looking upwards at the sky, Sam's mind starts to wander back to the Fist of the First men, on the night of the attack.
Sam had been sleeping when the horns were blown; the first blast woke him, and the only one he saw nearby was Chett, Maester Aemon's previous steward. When the horns gave a third blast, Chett sped away, leaving Sam to send the ravens off by himself.
He sent off two ravens, one to Castle Black and one to the Shadow Tower, each attached with messages that he had written ahead of time, telling of an attack on the Fist. Sam then strapped on his sword and armor and tried to find some of the men. He met up with a group of black brothers from the Shadow Tower, who proceeded to fire a hail of arrows at their undead attackers. The arrows had no effect on the wights, who kept on coming forward.
Lord Commander Mormont then appeared before the men, astride on his horse, and tells them to use fire arrows instead. Mormont then orders Sam to go back to the ravens, in case he required a message to be sent. Sam returns to the ravens and starts writing messages, based on what he could hear of the battle from where he sat. He writes of how spears and swords don't stop the wights and that only fire stops them. He writes of how dead wildlings and something large, either a giant or bear, was upon them. He writes of how the wights have finally come over the ringwall. And he writes of how the men of the Night's Watch have lost the battle.
It is at this point, the memories of the battle still running in his mind, that Sam is rudely awakened by Grenn, one of his closest friends in the Night's Watch. Grenn tells Sam to get up and continue walking, that either the cold or the Others will claim his life if he doesn't. Sam tells Grenn to go on ahead first, and that he will catch up to Grenn later.
However, another man of the Night's Watch, by the name of Small Paul, soon comes up to the two, and offers to carry Sam. Small Paul is said to be the strongest man in the Night's Watch, and he manages to lift and carry Sam. And they continue moving forward, Grenn now carrying the torch that Small Paul had been carrying, and Small Paul carrying Sam.
As they move forward, Sam's mind once again drifts back to the night of the battle.
Sam had heard the warhorns sound once more: two short blasts and a long one, which was the signal for all the men to mount up. And the only reason for mounting up was because the Night's Watch had lost the battle and were now trying to escape from the Fist. Sam set the ravens free, but realized too late that he had attached none of the message he had written onto the birds.
Seeing the wights coming over the ringwall, he runs as fast as he can until he bumps into a group of men who were all mounting up. Sam finds himself a horse amidst the turmoil. He then hears Lord Commander Mormont giving the command to form a wedge and prepare to charge through the wights. One of the wights then appeared - it was an undead bear. One of the senior rangers, Thoren Smallwood, charges the bear and dies in the attempt.
Sam doesn't remember much after that moment. All he remembers is that there were miles from the Fist, and the provisions from the five packhorses that they managed to flee with were redistributed amongst the survivors. Lord Commander Mormont redistributed the horses as well, taking the horses from the healthy men and giving them to the wounded. Then he ordered them to make their way back to the Wall.
At this point, Sam returns from reliving his memories and realizes that he, Grenn and Small Paul were being passed by many survivors, from wounded men on their horses to the men who, like Small Paul, had been assigned to be torch bearers.
After a while, Grenn realizes that they are alone that all the other men have passed them. Small Paul has reached the limits of his strength and endurance, and he is forced to lay Sam on the ground. Sam studies Grenn's torch, thinking that the torch will burn out soon, leaving them alone in the forest, without food or fire.
An Other and its undead horse appear out of the surrounding darkness.
Grenn thrusts the torch out towards the Other, hoping that the flame will keep it back. The Other responds by slashing at the torch; the head of the torch falls onto the snow, snuffing out the fire. Sam is deathly afraid and reaches for the only weapon he has on hand - the dragonglass dagger Jon Snow had given him.
Small Paul charges in with his axe, but the Other dodges it and skewers the big man with its crystal sword. The wound is fatal, but Small Paul's weight means that the Other's crystal sword is torn away from its grasp as Small Paul falls to the ground.
Seeing the opening, Sam calls forth every ounce of courage he has and rushes towards the Other, holding out the dragonglass dagger in front of him. His eyes are closed, and he shoves the dagger blindly; when he opens his eyes, he sees that the black dagger is in the Others' throat. The wound proves to be fatal for the Other, and the creature starts dissolving, first its flesh, then even its bones. Soon, nothing else remained except the dagger.
Grenn picks up the dagger - it is cold to the touch. He then points to the pink light filtering in through the trees, stating that the light comes from the dawning sun, which means that going that way will lead them east, and thus back to Mormont and the rest of the men.
Chapter 19 – Tyrion
The King's small council convenes, with the Hand of the King, Lord Tywin Lannister, sitting in the king's place at the head of the table. Tyrion notes that there are a lot of new faces at the council meeting, including that of Lord Mace Tyrell. Maester Pycelle is also there, having been reinstated into the council by Lord Tywin.
First to speak is Varys, who reports that Lord Randyll has scored a victory for their side, against Robett Glover, who fights on Robb Stark's side. The battle was fought outside Duskendale; Robett and the rest of the survivors are now fleeing towards Harrenhal, where, unbeknownst to them, Ser Gregor Clegane awaits them.
Although the battle is a victory for King Joffrey's side, Littlefinger astutely points out the fact that Robb Stark played no part in the battle and thus, the King in the North still remains undefeated on the battlefield. Lord Tywin reports that Robb Stark has returned to Riverrun, abandoning the castles he took in the Westerlands. Two smaller Lannister forces are gathering men, one at Lannisport and the other at the Golden Tooth. When Robb Stark heads north, these two forces will join up and descend upon Riverrun.
Mace Tyrell adds that Robb Stark will have to go north, to take back Winterfell from the Greyjoys, otherwise he would be would be a king without kingdom.
The council next brings up the issue of Lord Balon Greyjoy. The head of House Greyjoy now styles himself King of the Isles and the North - he holds control of Winterfell, Deepwood Motte, Moat Caitlin, the Neck and most of the Stony Shore. Balon seeks an alliance with Joffrey: in exchange for men and ships, he wants Joffrey to recognize his kingship and grant him everything north of the Neck.
Most of the other council members agree that Balon's request is reasonable since they consider the lands north of the Neck to be of little value in terms of resources.
Lord Tywin, on the other hand, is silent on the issue, and proceeds to move on to the matter of Lysa Arryn. Although House Arryn and the Vale have not taken part in the war, she has not come to King's Landing to swear fealty to Joffrey. Tyrion offers to lead an army to the Vale sort out Lysa Arryn, but Tywin tells Tyrion that he is needed else and that Littlefinger is the better person to send to the Eyrie.
Littlefinger then tells the council that he intends to travel to the Vale and woo Lysa Arryn, and eventually marry her, and thus winning the Vale for King Joffrey without bloodshed. When questioned about whether Lysa Arryn would want to marry him, Littlefinger tells them that Lysa Arryn might have not been able to marry him previously, due to his much lower position, but now that he was the Lord of Harrenhal, he would have no problems getting her to agree.
The council agrees that Littlefinger's plan makes for a great way to keep the Vale away from the war. Tyrion is the only one who protests, stating that if Littlefinger leaves for the Vale, the council will be without a Master of Coin. Tywin then interjects, stating that Tyrion has been chosen to be the new Master of Coin. Tywin then asks Littlefinger for his date of departure, and Littlefinger replies that he intends to find a berth aboard a ship the following day, even though it means missing the king's wedding.
The council then returns to the issue of the proposed Greyjoy alliance. Although most of the council members have mentioned that they are in favor of the alliance, Tywin does not commit himself to the issue, saying they should do nothing and simply wait, for now. He states that since the Greyjoys are already in battle against the Starks, he sees no reason why Joffrey has to give up half the kingdom to ally with the Greyjoys for something the ironmen has already given to them for free.
Although Tywin's reasoning makes sense, Tyrion secretly suspects that the real reason his father hasn't warmed up to the idea of an alliance with the Greyjoys is that he has already been hatching plans with another House.
The council then moves on to Joffrey's wedding feast. Pycelle states that he has received news from House Martell in Dorne that three hundred Dornishmen will be coming to the feast. Mace Tyrell is not too pleased with the news: House Tyrell and House Martell have been feuding for centuries.
Tywin then moves the council on to the more pleasant task of rewarding everyone for their part in the Battle of Blackwater. Tyrion notes that Mace Tyrell receives the lion's share of the rewards.
Varys then moves on to the last issue of the day: men from the City Watch who had fled during the battle but who now return, hoping to take up their posts once again. Tywin decides to teach the deserters a lesson and orders that these men have their knees broken. Tyrion protests, saying that these deserters should be sent to the Night's Watch; Tyrion's visit to the Wall has shown him just how badly in need of men the Night's Watch is. Tywin rejects the idea, saying that if the Wall falls, the wildlings will flood the north and make war on the Starks and Greyjoys - since the Starks and Greyjoys want dominion of the North, Tywin suggest to let those two Houses handle the wildlings, without help from the Iron Throne.
Lord Tywin then calls the council meeting to an end, and states that he would like to have private words with his children and his brother. After the other have left, Tywin is left with Tyrion, Cersei and his younger brother, Ser Kevan Lannister.
Tyrion is the first to speak, voicing his distrust of Littlefinger's plans to marry Lysa Arryn. Ser Kevan mentions that Littlefinger has proven his loyalty to Joffrey - it was Littlefinger who brought them the news of a Tyrell plot which involved spiriting Sansa Stark off to Highgarden, under the pretense of a visit but with the intention of wedding Sansa to Mace Tyrell's elder son, Willas.
Tywin points out that if Mace Tyrell asks for their leave to bring Sansa to Highgarden, they would have to grant it; not doing so would be tantamount to declaring that they do not trust him. Therefore, Tywin intends to forestall Mace Tyrell's plan by marrying Cersei to Willas. Cersei is furious at her father's plan for she does not intend to marry ever again. Tywin is adamant that she will have to marry - it is just a matter of whether she wants to be compliant, in which she will be granted a chance to voice her opinion over her choice of husband, or not, in which she will not. Frustrated, Cersei leaves.
After Cersei has left, Tywin reveals that he intends to wed Tyrion to Sansa. Tywin's plan is that once Tyrion and Sansa have a son, Tyrion can bring the boy back to reclaim Winterfell from the Greyjoys; the smallfolk will rise up and welcome the grandson of Eddard Stark.
Tyrion is not too pleased with having Sansa Stark as a wife, as he already has Shae, and feels that forcing Sansa into the marriage would be an incredibly cruel move, especially since the Lannisters were involved in her father's execution. However, he is slightly intrigued with the possibility of being the Lord Protector of Winterfell. But he makes the argument to his father that even if Sansa does give him a son, Robb Stark and his Frey wife can do the same thing, and any heir of Robb's will be the ones who inherit Winterfell.
Tywin tells Tyrion that Robb will father no heirs on his Frey wife. He tells Tyrion that there is something that both he and Kevan know that they haven't shared with anyone as of yet: Robb Stark has taken Jeyne Westerling to wife.
Tyrion is shocked by Robb's foolish mistake - to take Jeyne Westerling as his wife means that he has reneged on his promise to Lord Walder Frey, and that means Robb has just made an enemy of the Freys.
As the council meeting finally comes to an end, Tywin once again repeats what he had said earlier, that Tyrion is to wed Sansa Stark. And soon.
Chapter 20 – Catelyn
Robb sits on the high seat, with Catelyn to his left, Edmure to his right. The rest of his bannermen are in the hall as well, including his new allies, the Westerlings, all except Jeyne Westerling; Robb has seen fit to spare his queen from the grisly sight that lies before them in the hall: the bodies of Tion Frey and Willem Lannister. Both of the young boys had been squires in Jaime Lannister's army, and both had been taken prisoner in the Battle of the Whispering Woods, the same battle that saw Robb and his men capture Jaime Lannister.
The two boys were murdered by Lord Rickard Karstark and his men, who had broken into the boys' cells in the middle of the night and taken both of the unarmed prisoners by surprise. Robb is furious at Lord Rickard, but the head of House Karstark replies that since Catelyn released Jaime Lannister, who killed two of Rickard's sons during the Battle of the Whispering Woods, he had to exact vengeance upon the two squires instead. When Robb states that what Rickard has done amounts to treason, Rickard replies that Robb should look at the actions of Catelyn, whose act of freeing Jaime Lannister should have been considered treason, but who was only given a scolding.
Just then, Ser Brynden Tully enters the hall. Robb sees that Ser Brynden has news for him, to be shared privately, so he orders for all of the men who assisted Lord Rickard to be hanged - Lord Rickard is to be kept in the hall till Robb returns.
Robb, Brynden, Edmure and Catelyn then adjourn to the audience chamber. Brynden reveals the dire news: the Karstark contingent of nearly three hundred riders have left Riverrun. The Karstark men have scattered across the countryside, hunting for Jaime Lannister; Lord Rickard has promised to marry his only daughter, Alys Karstark, to the man who brings him the Kingslayer's head.
Edmure is quick to suggest that they must not leak any word of Tion and Willem's death outside of Riverrun, for the Lannisters and Freys are sure to seek retribution for the murder of both squires. Brynden scoffs at the suggestion, stating that news of the two boys' death has already left Riverrun along with the Karstark contingent.
Robb then arrives at a decision - Lord Rickard has to be executed for the treason he committed. Edmure urges Robb to change his mind, to imprison Rickard instead of executing him: doing so could ensure that Rickard's son, Harrion Karstark, remains loyal to Robb. Robb, however, remains steadfast in his decision, saying that Rickard killed more than two squires - he killed Robb's honor, as well.
When dawn finally arrives, Robb and all the men who fight under his banner head for the godswood. He passes the death sentence over Lord Rickard and takes up the executioner's poleaxe himself, exactly as his late father, Eddard Stark, did in the past when sentencing men to their deaths. Just as the final blow strikes, Rickard curses Robb for a kinslayer, for the Karstarks can trace their lineage all the way back to a Stark by the name of Karlon Stark, and he declares that Robb is no king of his. Executing Lord Rickard leaves Robb visibly shaken; that is the last Catelyn sees of her son that day. She, in turn, retreats into her father's solar.
Later in the day, Robb's new queen, Jeyne Westerling, enters Lord Hoster's solar in the hopes of seeking advice from Catelyn. It is regarding Robb - he has withdrawn into himself after Lord Rickard's execution and won't take his meals or change out of his clothes. Jeyne does not know how to help Robb and asks Catelyn for advice on what she should do to comfort Robb. Catelyn replies that there is nothing Jeyne can do at the moment but to be there for Robb when he eventually comes back to her.
Jeyne thanks Catelyn for her advice but before she can leave the solar, Catelyn tells her that Robb is in need of something else besides her love and comfort - he needs an heir. Jeyne tells Catelyn that her mother says the same thing and has been making Jeyne a posset of herbs, milk and ale to drink every morning, in order to increase her fertility. She adds that she and Robb have been trying to conceive a child on a daily basis, and she is quite confident that she will soon be with child.