A Storm of Swords: Chapter Twenty-One to Chapter Thirty Summaries
Chapter 21 – Jaime
On their journey down the Kingsroad to King's Landing, the trio of Brienne, Jaime and Cleos arrive at Maidenpool, the seat of House Mooton. The castle and town are deserted, and most of the homes and shops have been plundered and burned; the pool, from which the town takes its name, is filled with corpses.
They leave the ashes of Maidenpool behind and head south, taking the road to Duskendale. Further down the road, they are ambushed by outlaws in the form of a small group of bowmen hiding behind a stone wall. After the initial surprise, Jaime and Brienne manage to turn their horses around and charge at the outlaws, who quickly scatter before them, melting into the surrounding woods. Cleos, however, has not survived the ambush. During the initial volley, he was hit by an arrow, whereupon he fell from his saddle and twisted his foot in the stirrups; he had then been dragged along the ground by his horse - the repeated impact of his head on the hard ground had killed him, not the arrows.
As they stand over Cleos' body, Jaime tells Brienne that he wants his dead cousin's clothes and weapon, but Brienne flat-out refuses to arm Jaime with Cleos' sword. Having been increasingly frustrated by Brienne's constant insults and attitude towards him, Jaime, still manacled, reaches for Cleos' sword and pulls it completely from its scabbard; he then goes on the offensive against Brienne.
The two of them trade blows, and even though he is fighting with the chains around his wrists, Jaime is surprised that Brienne is able to keep up with him and even fend off his attacks. As the fight continues on, the realization that Brienne is the stronger between the two of them shocks him.
Brienne manages to gain the upper hand in the fight, disarming Jaime and tries to get him to yield, threatening to drown him in the nearby brook if he refuses. Jaime calls her bluff... and it is then that the surrounding woods rang with laughter.
Armed men are lined around both sides of the brook. Jaime recognizes them - they are not the outlaws that had fired arrows at them and killed Cleos. These armed men are sellswords, members of Vargo Hoat's sellsword company, the Bloody Mummers. Vargo Hoat is not with them; a cadaverous man by the name of Urswyck the Faithful is in command.
Jaime, knowing the Bloody Mummers to be in his father's employ, commands Urswyck to take his chains off, but the thin man only chuckles in return. Jaime senses that something is wrong, and soon enough he learns something new - the Bloody Mummers are no longer in House Lannister's employ. Vargo Hoat and his company of sellswords now fight for Robb Stark, serving Lord Bolton directly. He also learns that Vargo Hoat has now been crowned the Lord of Harrenhal.
The sellswords quickly subdue both Jaime and Brienne and bound them atop Brienne's horse. As the men lead them to an unknown destination, Jaime tries to persuade Urswyck to free him, promising the cadaverous sellsword all the gold in Casterly Rock and a knighthood as a reward. Urswyck is tempted but decides not to accept Jaime's offer. Jaime does, however, manage to convince Urswyck that because Brienne comes from Tarth, which is also known as the Sapphire Isle, her father will pay her weight in sapphires as ransom; Jaime comes up with the bluff as a way to stop the sellswords from killing or raping Brienne.
The finally arrive at a small sept, which is in the process of being sacked, by Vargo Hoat and a dozen other Bloody Mummers. Brienne tries to treat with Vargo, but Vargo gets some of the men to beat her into silence. Jaime makes one last attempt to persuade Vargo to return him to Casterly Rock and go back into Lord Tywin Lannister's service; Vargo says that he will have the ransom from Casterly Rock, but not before he sends a message to Lord Tywin.
Jaime is then knocked to the ground. One of the sellswords hops onto his back and another yanks Jaime's chained hands out in front of him. A fat Dothraki sellsword unsheathes an arakh, a scythe-sword used by the Dothraki, and then proceeds to bring the sharp blade down on Jaime's hands, cutting off his right hand.
Chapter 22 – Arya
Arya and Gendry are in the company of Harwin, Lem, Anguy, Tom and the rest of the outlaws; they are traveling through the riverlands, trying to track down their leader, the elusive Lord Beric Dondarrion. They first stop at a half-ruined keep, belonging to a Lord Lychester, an old man who has been half-mad ever since he lost all his sons during King Robert's Rebellion. Lord Lychester's maester tells them that Lord Beric is dead - the Lannisters caught him near God's Eye and hanged him. Lem tells the maester Lord Beric is not an easy man to kill, that Thoros the red priest managed to cut Lord Beric down before death could claim him. The maester suggests that they bring their questions to the Lady of the Leaves.
The outlaws take the maester's advice; they make their way through a yellow wood, and enter a village hidden in the upper branches of the towering trees. Arya discovers that the Lady of the Leaves is a white-haired lady, who tells them that Lord Beric is dead, for she has heard that he was stabbed in the eye by Ser Gregor Clegane. Lem tells her that it would take more than a dagger in the eye to kill Beric and the Lady of the Leaves seems to take hope from Lem's assurance.
Their next stop is at Sallydance, a village that has been burned to the ground. They find shelter in the vault underneath a sept; the septon in charge tells them that the sept has been recently looted, by a group of Northmen who claimed to be looking for Jaime Lannister.
The next day, the small group makes their way to High Heart, a high hill that has a ring of weirwood stumps at its peak. Tom tells Arya that this place had been a sacred place to the children of the forest, and that the locals say it is haunted by the spirits of all the children of the forest who had died after the Andal king named Erreg the Kinslayer had cut down their weirwood grove.
They make camp for the night, but Arya wakes up in the middle of the night; hearing voices, she creeps up to the campfire, where she sees Tom, Lem and some of the other outlaws talking to a tiny old woman. The old woman is telling the outlaws of her dreams: she tells them of a shadow with a burning heart butchering a golden stag. She tells them of a faceless man waiting on a swaying bridge, with a drowned crow with seaweed hanging from its wings perched atop his shoulder. She tells them of a woman in a river, a woman who was a fish, who was dead and drifted down the river, with red tears streaming down her cheeks. Lem then plays and sings a song for her, as payment for sharing her dreams with them.
The next day sees them on a long ride to Acorn Hall. On the ride, Arya asks them why they have to go about the riverlands looking for Lord Beric - since he was their leader, shouldn't they know where to find him? Tom then explains to Arya that Lord Beric moves around a lot and he rarely lets on his plans to others; in this way, should any of his men be captured and interrogated, they wouldn't be able to reveal Beric's position because they would have no idea where their leader is.
When they finally reach Acorn Hall, the seat of House Smallwood, they find that Lord Smallwood is engaged in battle elsewhere. His wife, Lady Smallwood, welcomes them into the castle, offering them shelter, baths, food and drinks. During supper, when the outlaws question her on whether she knew Lord Beric's whereabouts, Lady Smallwood reveals that Beric and Thoros had been at Acorn Hall less than a fortnight ago. She says that Beric did not reveal where he was heading next, but she suggests that they might look for him near Stoney Sept and the Threepenny Wood. She also reveals something else: that a group of northmen came to Acorn Hall, looking for Ser Jaime, but she had seen them off with a few crossbow quarrels. But what actually catches the outlaws by surprise is when she reveals that she has heard rumors that it was Lady Catelyn who had set Jaime Lannister free. The outlaws, knowing Arya's true identity, tell her that they are going to discuss matters that are not for her ears and order her to go out to the yard to play; Arya reluctantly does so.
Arya soon learns that Gendry has followed her out, and they both head on over to check out Acorn Hall's castle forge. At the forge, they talk of Thoros, and how Thoros had often visited the forge where Gendry had worked at in King's Landing, buying cheap swords that he would then set alight after dipping them into wildfire. When Gendry mentions how lady-like Arya looks now that she has had a bath and is all clean and tidy, Arya protests and the two of them get involved in a friendly wrestling match. When they return to the castle, Lady Smallwood makes Arya take another bath.
The next morning, they leave Acorn Hall.
Chapter 23- Daenerys
It has not been easy for Daenerys: the many days or riding and Drogo’s lovemaking at night has made her almost suicidal. However, one night, she dreams of being purified and cleansed by dragonfire. After experiencing this dream, she becomes stronger, both in body and mind, and begins to enjoy her new life as Drogo’s wife.
Khal Drogo’s khalasar is riding at the edge of the Dothraki Sea. She orders her party to stop, and walks into the grasses of the Dothraki Sea, admiring the beauty of the land. Viserys stomps into the clearing, furious that Ser Jorah had the temerity to tell him to leave her alone. One of Daenerys’ bodyguards stops him by coiling a whip against his neck. As Viserys lies on the ground, Daenerys looks at him with pity. She then instructs her bodyguard to let him go, but she orders his horse taken away from him, which is a great insult to a horse-loving people like the Dothraki. She and Jorah have a chat, both agreeing that Viserys would make a terrible King.
When they make camp, Daenerys notices that the petrified dragon eggs are warm to the touch. One of her three handmaidens teaches her how to better pleasure the Khal. That night, Drogo and Daenerys make love; he is surprised by her request to be on top, but their lovemaking session is more passionate than ever. When they reach the far side of the Dothraki Sea, Daenerys realizes she is pregnant.
Chapter 24- Bran
Bran and his direwolf, Summer, are traveling with Hodor and the brother-sister pair of Meera and Jojen Reed. The small group is making its way to the Wall, but they go through the mountains instead of taking the kingsroad; Jojen tells Bran that they might take longer to reach the Wall, but it is a safer path, as the tale of a crippled boy with his giant and dire wolf on the kingsroad is sure to spread if they are seen by travelers traveling along the kingsroad. As they continue on ever northwards, the small group sees no signs of the folk who are said to live high up in these mountains, except for their one encounter with a Liddle whom they share a night in a cave with while waiting out a storm.
The next day, the Liddle is gone; the storm, however, has cleared, so the small group continues on their journey north. During the climb, Bran asks Meera and Jojen whether they know any interesting stories; when they reply that they do, he asks them to share their stories with him as they walked.
Meera starts telling a tale about a young man who, like Meera and Jojen, came from the Neck. He learned the way of his people, but wanted to know more about the world so he left the Neck and headed for the Isle of Faces, in search of their guardians, the green men. He finds them and spends an entire winter on the isle. When spring comes around, the crannogman makes for the shore, whereupon he finds himself stepping into a great tournament being held in that gigantic castle, Harrenhal. The king was there, as was his son, the dragon prince, and a great many champions from all around the land who had come to contest in the tourney. The crannogman walks across the field, enjoying the festivities when suddenly he is set upon by three squires who shoved him down to the ground and proceeded to kick him, cursing him for a frog-eater from the Neck.
A young woman from House Stark arrives at the scene; with her tourney sword, she drives all three of the squires away. The maiden then brings the crannogman back to her tent where she treats his injuries, and he in turn meets her three brothers. The Stark maiden insists that the young man attend the tourney-opening feast that was to be held at Harrenhal later that evening. saying that his high birth assures him a place at the feast.
The crannogman goes to the festival later that evening, to eat and drink with Stark maiden and her three brothers; he also meets many of House Stark's sworn swords, men from Houses sworn to House Stark.
During the feast, the young man spies the three squires and the knights they served. The Stark maiden sees them as well and points out both knights and squires to her brothers. One of the brothers offers to find a horse and some armor that might fit the crannogman, so that he can ride against the three knights in the jousting tournament, to exact vengeance for the ill treatment he suffered at the hands of their squires. The young man thanks the Stark but gives no answer.
In his heart, the crannogman wants vengeance, but he knows that, like the rest of his people, he is more familiar with oars and boats rather than lances and horses. He is afraid of making a fool of himself and shaming his people. That night, before he sleeps, the young man heads to the lakeshore, looks across the water to where the Isle of Faces would be, and says a prayer to the old gods of the North and the Neck.
The next day sees the start of the jousting tourney; when the morning of the second day comes around, all three of the knights have proved victorious. But later in the afternoon, a mysterious knight suddenly appears on the list. Bran interjects at this point in the story, stating that the mystery knight must surely be the crannogman. Meera, however, says that no one knew for sure who the mystery knight was, but the knight was indeed short in stature, clad in ill-fitting armor and equipped with a shield that had a white weirwood with a laughing red face on it.
The small mystery knight challenges the three knights and all three of them fall before him. The common folk cheer and are soon calling him the Knight of the Laughing Tree. When the three defeated knights seek to ransom horse and armor, the Knight of the Laughing Tree tells them that teaching their squires honor will be ransom enough. The three knights chastise their squires and their horse and armor are returned soon thereafter.
That night, the king urges men to challenge this strange mystery knight. But when the next morning came about, the Knight of the Laughing Tree is nowhere to be seen. The king's son, the dragon prince, rides out to seek the mystery knight, but finds only the shield with the laughing weirwood on it, hanging abandoned in a tree. In the end, it is the dragon prince who wins the jousting tourney.
After Meera finishes telling the story, Bran secretly wishes that he can visit the Isle of Faces, in the hope that the green men could use their magic powers to turn him into a knight, just like they did with the crannogman in Meera's story.
Chapter 25- Davos
Davos is being held in a cell underneath Dragonstone. He had been sick when they first brought him to the cell, and he got even sicker still. However, not long after that, the Maester of Dragonstone, Maester Pylos, comes to tend to him. The young maester's treatments and remedies greatly help in Davos' recovery and the Onion Knight soon finds that his strength has returned.
There is no way to tell time in the darkness of the dungeon, so Davos marks down the passage of time by the meals his guards brought. There were two of them tending to him, and since neither of them spoke so much as a word to him, he decides to call them Porridge and Lamprey, named after the meals they brought him.
One night, Melisandre comes to visit him. She states that the dungeons are a bad place, without light, and then she mentions that she is like the torch in the wall sconce by Davos' cell - that both she and the torch are instruments of her god, R'hllor, and made with the single purpose of keeping darkness at bay. Davos, however, vehemently disagrees, calling her a mother of darkness in light of the fact that he saw her give birth to a creature of shadow and darkness under Storm's End. Melisandre scoffs then, telling him that shadows only live when birthed by light; she also mentions that because the king's life force is currently too weak, she dares not draw upon it again to create another shadow.
Melisandre then tells Davos to open his eyes and see the truth surrounding them: there is only one war out there that matters, and in that war, there are only two sides. On one side is the god Melisandre worships, R'hllor, the Lord of Light. On the other side is the Great Other whose name may not be spoken, the Lord of Darkness. Melisandre says that everyone has to choose which side to stand on; she asks Davos whether he stands in the light of R'hllor, or in darkness. Davos answers truthfully: he does not know where he truly stands. Melisandre tells him that it is good that he spoke the truth, for R'hllor gives all his priests the power to see through lies and falsehood.
Melisandre then asks Davos why he wanted to kill her. Davos says that he will tell her his reasons in return for telling him who revealed his plan to her. Melisandre laughs and tells Davos that no one betrayed him - she saw his plan in her flames. Davos argues that if she can see the future, why did Stannis lose the Battle of the Blackwater. Melisandre replies that Stannis' loss and the wildfire were not her doing, that Stannis lost because his pride was stronger than his faith and that he has since learned his lesson.
She then steers the conversation towards its end by stating that, while Davos may see Stannis as a king, she sees him as R'hllor's chosen - Azor Ahai, the warrior of fire, reborn. She mentions that there is a prophecy that points toward Stannis being the chosen one - "When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone." Melisandre then states that the red comet has already showed up in the sky and that since Dragonstone is a place of smoke and salt, then Stannis Baratheon is definitely Azor Ahai reborn. Before she leaves she makes one final statement: that even though Davos doubts the truth of R'hllor, he has served the Lord of Light all his life, and will serve him once again.
Three days later, Ser Axell Florent, the castellan of Dragonstone, throws another man into the cell with Davos. The newly-arrived prisoner protests his innocence, banging at the bars and yelling out that he is no traitor. With Ser Axell and his guards already leaving, the man shouts out to them, shouting that they can't leave him in the cell because he is the King's Hand. At the mention that the man is Stannis Baratheon's Hand, Davos realizes that he knows the man - it is Lord Alester Florent.
Lord Alester turns out to be a man who has been utterly and thoroughly crushed by Stannis' defeat in the Battle of the Blackwater; when Davos mentions that Stannis will never yield his claim to the Iron Throne, Alester says that it is pure folly for Stannis to continue fighting. Alester proceeds to cites reasons as to why Stannis cannot possibly win: many of the lords sworn to Dragonstone either died in the Battle of the Blackwater, or they were captured and bent the knee to King Joffrey. This has severely weakened Stannis' forces - he now only has the strength of House Florent to rely on, a stark contrast compared to the many noble houses fighting under King Joffrey's banners. Alester then mentions that everyone has deemed what he did an act of treason, but he defends what he did by stating that he had to do it in order to stop the war and the loss of lives.
When Davos presses further, Alester reveals the things he had done that caused him to be branded a traitor. He wrote a letter to Tywin, offering the following peace terms: Stannis will be accepted back into the king's peace and confirmed as Lord of Dragonstone and Storm's End if he gives up his claim to the Iron Throne, retracts all mention of Joffrey being the product of incest between Cersei and Jaime Lannister and wed his daughter Shireen to Joffrey's younger brother Tommen.
Davos agrees that the terms are favorable for Joffrey. He then asks Alester on what Stannis had to say about the terms; Alester replies that he never presented the terms to Stannis, on account of Stannis always being locked away with the red priestess Melisandre. Alester tries to justify his actions of sending the peace terms of Joffrey without first presenting them to Stannis by the fact that it was Stannis who appointed him as Hand and him the King's seal and that the King's Hand speaks with the king's voice.
Davos bluntly tells Alester that Stannis would never have allowed such peace terms to go through - it is against Stannis' nature to yield a claim he knows is just or to unsay words he believes to be truths. And Stannis would rather see Shireen dead then wed to a child of incest like Tommen. Although Davos, like Alester, has no wish to die in a futile war against Joffrey, he states that he is loyal to the king, and will make no peace without Stannis' leave.
Chapter 26 – Jon
Jon has been traveling south with Styr, Jarl and a small group of wildlings as part of a scouting expedition to examine the Wall's defenses. The night before they go over the Wall, Jon tells his direwolf, Ghost, that there is no way for Ghost to follow them over the Wall; he tells Ghost that they have to part for now and instructs Ghost to head for Castle Black, where the two of them can meet once more. Whether the direwolf truly understands Jon or not, it lopes away into the trees and is soon gone from sight.
Not long later, one of the Magnar's men comes to tell Jon that Styr wishes to see him. Jon returns to the cave where the small force is making camp for the night and makes his way to Styr. The Magnar of Thenn is with Jarl - the two share joint command over the small scouting force. When Styr asks Jon to tell them all he knows about the patrols on the Wall, Jon is reluctant to tell them, but he knows that Styr will have both him and Ygritte killed if he doesn't tell them what they want to know, so he reveals a significant amount of information to the Magnar and Jarl. However, when asked how many men of the Night's Watch remain in the castles along the Wall, Jon adds three hundred to the real figure. Jarl, who has gone over the Wall a dozen times, is not fooled by Jon's deception and, after a warning to Jon that he will cut out Jon's tongue if Jon is lying, Styr sends Jon away.
Jon goes to look for Ygritte, and he finds her in a small cave nearly hidden at the back of the cavern. In the cave, there is a little waterfall that falls into a wide dark pool. Ygritte tells Jon that there are hundreds of caves in these hills and that they all connect to each other. She tells him the story of Gendel, who was brother to a King-beyond-the-Wall by the name of Gorne. In her story, Gorne and Gendel brought their army of wildlings down into these caves and came out past the Wall. As soon as they came out of the tunnels, they were set upon by the men of the North. Gorne was slain, and Gendel led the surviving wildlings back into the tunnel. However, Gendel did not know the caves as Gorne had, and took a wrong turn. They descended deeper and deeper, until their torches started to fail and there was nothing but darkness. Ygritte ends the story by saying that Gendel's folk were never seen again, but sometimes, you can hear their descendants sobbing under the hills, still looking for a way up.
After telling the story, Ygritte starts taking her clothes off and implores Jon to do the same. Jon, despite already making love to Ygritte many times before, still feels guilty for having broken the vow of the Night's Watch (specifically, the vow of fathering no children), but once again, his passion overcomes his honor, and the two of them make love in the cave. After the deed, they start to get dressed, but when Ygritte stumbles into the pool, she drags Jon in with her, and the two of them are soon making love again. As they finish, Ygritte pleads with Jon to not to go back up to Styr and Jarl; she says that she just wants to stay in the cave with Jon, and never leave.
Chapter 27 – Daenerys
Daenerys is standing before the rulers of Astapor, collectively known as the Good Masters of Astapor. The eight men are all slave-masters of the highest status; Kraznys mo Naklaz is one of the eight. Daenerys notes that four of them are named Grazdan, after Grazdan the Great who founded Old Ghis; the oldest of the Grazdans is the highest ranking and thus most powerful slave-master in Astapor. While the Good Masters have their slaves to attend to them, Daenerys has brought her own band of attendants consisting of her two handmaidens, her bloodriders, Strong Belwas, Arstan Whitebeard and Ser Jorah.
Daenerys has just told the Good Masters that she wants to buy all the Unsullied. Kraznys tells her that they have eight thousand and six hundred Unsullied, and there are another four hundred in training, whom, once their training is complete, will make it nine thousand in total. Daenerys says she will take all nine thousand Unsullied. The Good Masters discuss the matter among themselves and soon come to a decision: they cannot sell the four hundred half-trained boys, since they are not yet Unsullied and would shame the Good Masters if they fail in battle - Daenerys can only have the eight thousand and six hundred Unsullied. They offer her another two thousand Unsullied if she comes back in a year's time.
Daenerys rejects the Good Masters' offer, stating that in a year's time, she would be in Westeros; she needs the Unsullied today. She then proposes a counter-offer: she will take the eight thousand and six hundred Unsullied, the four hundred still in training, and all the little boys who have yet to begin their brutal training.
The Good Masters reject her offer. Daenerys offers to pay them double, as long as she gets all the Unsullied. Some of the Good Masters drool at the offer, but one of the Grazdans informs Daenerys that their men have gone through her gold and trading goods and that she only has enough to buy one thousand Unsullied; and since Daenerys offered to pay double, she can now only afford five hundred Unsullied.
Daenerys throws in all three of the ships that were supposed to take her and her Dothraki band back to Pentos - the Good Masters tell her that, for her, all gold and trading goods and all three ships, she can get two thousand of the Unsullied.
Frustrated that she doesn't have enough to buy all the Unsullied, Daenerys does something that she's thought long and hard about, something that she truly hates doing but is forced to do so because she knows she has no other choice: she offers the Good Masters one of her three dragons.
The Good Masters are besides themselves with greed. Arstan Whitebeard starts to protest, but Daenerys quickly orders Ser Jorah to remove the old squire from her presence; she then tells the Good Masters that she awaits their answer.
The Good Masters do not take long to make their decision: they agree to the new terms. Daenerys is to get all the Unsullied in exchange for her gold, her trading goods, the three ships, and Drogon, her largest and healthiest dragon. Both Daenerys and the Good Masters agree to the trade; the Good Masters also decide to make a gift of the slave girl who has done all the translating for them, Missandei, as a token of a bargain well struck.
Daenerys and her small band begin their journey back to the ship. Daenerys tells Arstan that he is free to speak his mind to her in private, but he should never question her in public. Next, she offers Missandei her freedom, but the soft-spoken girl, without any family or place to go, makes the decision to continuing staying on as one of Daenerys' handmaids. Daenerys then starts asking Missandei questions about the Unsullied, chief among them regarding their obedience. Missandei replies that the Unsullied know only obedience, and she confirms what Daenerys wants to know: yes, should Daenerys resell any surviving Unsullied after she has conquered Westeros, those Unsullied will still attack her if commanded to do so by their new masters - the eunuchs obey without ever questioning. Therefore, in order to avoid the possibility of such a situation happening, Missandei suggests that Daenerys could instruct the Unsullied to fall upon their swords when she is done with them. The girl later confesses that she hopes that it doesn't come to that though - three of the Unsullied Daenerys is about to buy were once her brothers.
Later that night, Daenerys awakes from a dream, only to realize that there is someone in the cabin with her. She sees only the faintest outline of a shape, but the shadow speaks with a woman's voice. The woman reminds Daenerys to head for Asshai; it is then that Daenerys realizes the woman must be Quaithe of the Shadow, whom she met in Qarth and who had advised her then of the same thing. But the woman who would be Quaithe is no longer there when Daenerys springs out of bed.
The next day, Daenerys and her small band return to Astapor, and this time, they bring with the three dragons and all eighty-three of the Dothraki who have followed them thus far. The streets of the city are crowded with slaves and servants alike, all wanting to glimpse Daenerys' dragons. The Good Masters have gathered all the Unsullied at the Plaza of Punishment fronting Astapor's front gate; when Daenerys points out the racked and flayed bodies that were hanging from wooden platforms, Missandei tells her that the Good Masters placed the bodies there so new slaves can see them first thing upon entering the city.
All the Good Masters are there to greet her. Daenerys' people start to stack all her trading goods before the slavers, and while the payment is being made, Kraznys offers her a little advice: he tells her that the Unsullied she is buying are still inexperienced, so he suggests that she bloods them early by sacking a few cities between Astapor and her eventual destination of Westeros.
When the all the trade goods had been piled up in front of the Good Masters, Daenerys tells them that the rest of the trading goods were too heavy to carry and are on the ships, and of course, the Good Masters get the three ships, as well. Daenerys then passes the final payment to the Good Masters - Drogon, her black dragon.
As soon as Kraznys mentions that the Unsullied are now hers, Daenerys mounts her silver horse and gallops among the ranks of her new army. She shouts at the top of the lungs that that they have been bought and paid for and now belong to her. She then rides back to the slavers, where she sees Kraznys is having some difficulty with Drogon - the black dragon will not budge, no matter how many time he tugs its leash.
Daenerys mentions that the reason Kraznys can't get Drogon to move is because dragons are not slaves. She then sings out the command, "dracarys", and Drogon starts spewing out fire, with the first person to go up in flames being Kraznys himself.
Daenerys' handmaids release her two other dragons, Viserion and Rhaegal, and then, all three dragons are in the air, breathing fire down upon the slavers. Her bloodriders and Strong Belwas are by her side, there to deal with Astapor's city guards. One of the Good Masters, the oldest Grazdan, shouts out a command to the Unsullied, ordering them to protect all the Good Masters. The Unsullied do not so much as move, which is the thing Daenerys had hoped for - the Unsullied are now hers.
She rides out among them once again, and orders them to kill every Good Master, soldier and slaver in the city, but to harm no children and to strike off the chains off every slave they see. She shouts out the word "Dracarys" at the end of her command and repeats it several times more.
The Unsullied take up her battle cry and are soon carrying out her orders.
Chapter 28 – Sansa
Sansa is being fitted into her new gown while Cersei looks on. Sansa is enjoying herself until a maiden's cloak is fastened about her neck, but by then it is already too late - Cersei announces that that the septon and wedding guests are waiting for them, to witness Sansa's marriage to Tyrion. Sansa is in a state of shock; she had been expecting the Tyrells to bring her to Highgarden to marry Willas. Cersei has two of the Kingsguard, Ser Meryn Trant and Ser Osmund Kettleblack escort Sansa to the sept; Sansa, seeing that there is nothing she can do to stop the wedding, meekly go along with the two Kingsguard.
Upon reaching the sept, Tyrion, handsomely dressed, speaks with Sansa privately. He apologizes for the wedding being so sudden and secret; his father, Tywin, felt that it was necessary for reasons of state. He reveals that, like Sansa, he did not ask for this marriage, but that Tywin would have wed her to Lancel Lannister had Tyrion refused to marry her. In a moment of kindness, Tyrion asks Sansa whether she would prefer to marry Lancel instead, stating that Lancel is more comely and closer to Sansa's age. Sansa, meanwhile, has come to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter whether it is a Tyrell or Lannister she marries because all anyone is interested in is her claim to Winterfell. Upon hearing Tyrion's offer for her to marry Lancel instead, Sansa, resigned to her fate, says that she is a ward of the throne and as such, it is her duty to marry whoever the king commands. Tyrion mentions that he might not be the man young girls like Sansa dream of marrying, but he is also not a monster like Joffrey.
To Sansa, the wedding ceremony seems to pass by quickly, almost as if it were a dream; soon the septon proclaims Tyrion and Sansa man and wife. A small wedding feast is held, and among the fifty or so guests who attend are Margaery Tyrell and Lady Olenna; Margaery gives Sansa a look of sadness, but the Queen of Thorns does not so much as look at her.
Tyrion drinks heavily but eats little during the feast. Sansa desperately wants to seek some solace in dancing, but when she tries to get Tyrion to dance with her, he declines her invitation. Ser Garlan Tyrell comes to the rescue, however, and asks Sansa for a dance; Tyrion gives his consent and both Ser Garlan and Sansa proceed to dance and sway to the music. During their dance, Ser Garlan offers her some comfort and a word of advice: that her new husband is not a bad husband, that Tyrion is a bigger man than he seems. The dance continues and Sansa dances with a slew of partners, including Mace Tyrell, Ser Kevan Lannister, Prince Tommen and King Joffrey.
Soon, the dance is over, and Joffrey announces that the time of the bedding is upon them. The bedding is a ritual where the men at the feast would carry the newly-wed lady up to her wedding bed, undressing her along the way while making crude jokes as to the fate that awaits her; the women do the same with the newly-wed lord. Tyrion tells Joffrey that he wants to dispense with the bedding. When Joffrey insists that the bedding takes place, Tyrion threatens to geld Joffrey. Lord Tywin resolves the situation before it can escalate further, granting Tyrion permission to dispense with the bedding, and mollifying Joffrey's petulance by stating that Tyrion's threat is not to be taken seriously seeing as how Tyrion is heavily drunk. Tyrion admits that he is drunk and leaves the hall with Sansa, but not before mentioning in front of everyone that he is going to be bringing Sansa back to their wedding bed for a private bedding.
Later in the bedchamber, Tyrion tells Sansa to undress; when she does, Tyrion admires her beauty and admits that he wants to make love to her. He tries to comfort her by saying that he will treat Sansa well, but Sansa remains quiet throughout. Tyrion then tells her to get onto the bed, and then he proceeds to undress himself. However, after getting onto the bed with her, Tyrion confesses that he cannot proceed with the bedding - he says that the two of them will wait, for however long it takes for Sansa to get to know him better and to trust him, even if just a little. He promises that he will not touch her until Sansa wants him to. When Sansa then asks Tyrion what would happen should she never want him to touch her, Tyrion climbs off the bed, saying that such a situation would be the reason why the gods made whores for people like him.
Chapter 29 –Arya
Arya and Gendry, along with their traveling companions, Harwin, Lem, Anguy, Tom and the rest of the outlaws, find themselves in the town of Stony Sept. It is the biggest town Arya has seen since King's Landing, and the town looked as if it's seen some fighting recently; the town appears to be well-defended.
When the group enters Stoney Sept, they learn that the townsfolk have adequate food supplies; in fact, the town has suffered a few attacks exactly because there are those who want to steal what they have. The town also reports that, outside the town's walls, there seem to be many men who roam the countryside, scavenging, plundering and even raping. There is even talk of men searching the Riverlands for Jamie Lannister; the rumors are that he escaped from Riverrun and is making his way to King's Landing. One of the townsfolk, known by the moniker "The Huntsman" has taken his dogs to join in the hunt for the Kingslayer.
They make their way to the market square, where they see several men being held inside iron cages that hung from creaking wooden posts; three of the men are on the brink of death, but most are already dead. The townsfolk tell them that these men are northmen who committed rape and murder in one of the Riverlands towns. The men who are still clinging on to life call out for water, and Arya complies, an act of mercy for these men who hail from the North, like her. Lem says that the townsfolk should have hanged the men - Lord Beric frowns on leaving caged men to die of thirst. Anguy settles the issue by firing his arrows, killing all three northmen.
The group then make their way to an inn, the Peach, where they are greeted warmly by a red-haired female innkeeper by the name of Tansy. Tansy appears to know the men quite well; she offers them beds for the night and sends them for baths while she prepares a meal for them.
After the meal, Arya notices that there are a lot of serving girls in the inn. When evening comes around, a lot of men start to come and go at the Peach, and the men do not stay in the common room for long; instead, they would choose a girl and take her upstairs. With these two observations, Arya surmises that the Peach is actually a brothel.
During the night, Arya overhears Lem and Harwin talking to Tansy, about how Lady Catelyn Stark freed Jamie Lannister from the dungeon at Riverrun. An old man starts taking an interest in Arya, but hurriedly backs off after Gendry steps in and claims that Arya is his sister. After the old man leaves, Arya asks Gendry why he would say such a thing, since he is not her brother; Gendry angrily replies that he's too lowborn to be related to her and tells her to go away. Arya, furious at Gendry's reaction, leaves, heading straight for bed.
During her sleep, Arya dreams that she is her direwolf, Nymeria, hunting in the forest with her pack brothers and sisters.
Morning comes around, and Arya is woken up from her sleep by the barking of dogs. Gendry, Lem and Tom were also sleeping in the large bed, so Arya hops her way to the window by the bed. Outside, down in the square, she sees a tied-up prisoner surrounded by many dogs; the man's captor taunts the prisoner, telling him that they are going to put him into one of the cages, to leave him to rot.
Tom goes to the window, and when Lem asks as to what's going on down in the square, Tom says that the Huntsman has returned, with another man for the hanging cages. Arya hears the captor mention the name Lannister, but when she finally catches sight of the prisoner's face, she realizes that he is not Jaime Lannister. It is, however, one of the men whose name she has been reciting every night before she sleeps.
Chapter 30 – Jon
The small wildling raiding force, numbering some hundred and twenty men, are beginning their preparations to scale the Wall. Jarl, an experienced raider who has already gone over the Wall more than a dozen times in the past, picks a advantageous spot to scale the Wall - along the edge of a long granite ridgeline where the dense woodland not only provided substantial concealment from the eyes of any of the Watch's patrols but also allowed the raiders to get ascend the first few hundred feet via the trees instead of risking it on the icy surface of the Wall.
Jarl is one of the twelve raiders who have been chosen to go over the Wall. They divide themselves into three teams of four; Jarl leads one of the teams while the others are led by a blonde-haired raider called Grigg the Goat and a thin man named Errok. Before they start climbing, Jarl mentions that Mance has offered them a great incentive: every man in the first team to reach the top will get a sword, a weapon rarely found amongst the wildlings due their inability to forge steel weapons.
Jarl's well-chosen spot, with its strategically-placed trees, gives them a significant head-start in the race to the top. They are well-ahead till noon, whereupon they then come across a patch of bad ice and experience a set-back, allowing Grigg's team to almost draw even with them. However, after recovering from the unexpected set-back, Jarl's team is soon up ahead again, with the gap between his team and Grigg's widening.
Disaster strikes in the sixth hour: a huge chunk of ice breaks off from the Wall, tumbling down the icy surface and sweeping all before it. After he and Ygritte narrowly avoid being hit by the ice chunks, Jon looks up at the Wall again - Jarl and his team are no longer on the Wall. Jon, Ygritte, Styr and his Thenns go look for Jarl and find the young raider impaled upon a tree branch. One of Jarl's men survived the fall but broke his legs, spine and most of his ribs during the fall; one of the Thenns gives the man the gift of mercy by smashing the injured man's head with his stone mace.
Grigg and his men reach the top of the Wall, and Errok's team soon join them. Each of the climbers had brought up long coils of hemp with them, and they tie all the hemp together into a long rope and toss it down to the raiders below. The raiders tie a whopping woven hemp ladder to the climbers' rope, and the climbers haul it up again and staked it to the top. The raiders have four more ladders, so the entire process is repeated four more times.
After all the ladders have been staked, everyone below starts the long climb to the top. Two of Styr's men fall from the ladder to their deaths, but there are no further casualties during the climb. By the time Jon and Ygritte finally reach the top, it is close to midnight. Ygritte has tears in her eyes, saying that she nearly fell on three occasions during the long climb. When Jon tells her that she doesn't need to be frightened because the worst is already behind them, Ygritte tells him that she isn't crying because she was frightened during the climb, but because Mance never found the Horn of Winter in the Frostfangs. Mance and the wildlings had opened up many graves and released many of the wights in the process, but yet they did not find the fabled artifact. Ygritte mentions that if they did have the Horn of Winter with them, then they wouldn't have to waste so many hours and lose so many lives climbing the Wall - they could have just used the Horn to bring the entire Wall crashing down.