A Game of Thrones: Chapter Twenty-One to Chapter Thirty Summaries
Chapter 21 – Tyrion
After dinner, Tyrion and Jeor Mormont have drinks together. Mormont begs Tyrion, who is heading off to King’s Landing, to help him find more men for the Night’s Watch. Mormont knows that Tyrion’s father, Lord Tywin Lannister, is one of the most powerful men in the realm, one with a very large army. Mormont recounts the reports he has heard from the other two castles on the Wall (Eastwatch and the Shadow Tower), of strange things happening North of the Wall. Tyrion is embarrassed that the Commander has asked for his help, but he promises to help the Night’s Watch cause.
Tyrion then walks up to the top of the Wall, for one last look. He meets Jon and Ghost there. Jon tells him that he’s starting to make friends with the other recruits. Tyrion states that he will be stopping at Winterfell on his way to King’s Landing. Jon pleads with Tyrion, hoping that Tyrion can help Bran. Tyrion says he’ll try to help Bran the best he can. The two part way as friends.
Chapter 22 – Arya
Eddard has dinner with his daughters and tells them of the tournament being held in his name. Sansa is delighted at the idea of attending a tournament, but Arya is still despondent about the death of Lady and Mycah. Arya eventually leaves dinner, angry that no one so much as mentions Mycah and runs to her room. Her father eventually comes, and they have a heart-to-heart talk. He sees her holding Needle, and asks about the sword.
Arya reveals that Jon gave it to her. She then reveals that she feels guilty about Mycah’s death, but Eddard tells her that it is not her fault. He also states that there must be no dissension among the Starks because being in King’s Landing, they are now amongst many enemies. He allows her to keep the sword. The next day, she meets Syrio Forel, a very skilled Braavos swordsman; Eddard has hired Syrio to teach Arya how to handle a sword.
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
The nanny, or “Nan”, is reading stories to Bran when Maester Luwin comes in with news that Tyrion Lannister has arrived in Winterfell. Nan’s great-grandson, Hodor, a man nearly seven-feet in height, carries Bran to the great hall. In the hall, Robb sits as head of House Stark. Tyrion asks whether Bran remembers anything about the fall but Bran says he doesn’t.
Tyrion then hands over a special gift to Bran: the design of a custom-made saddle that would allow Bran to ride a horse. Robb apologizes for his earlier rudeness and offers Tyrion and his men a place to stay for the night at Winterfell, but Tyrion refuses, choosing instead to stay at a nearby brothel. Yoren, a member of the Night’s Watch that is accompanying Tyrion to King’s Landing, accepts the invitation. During dinner, Yoren tells Robb of Benjen Stark’s disappearance. After the dinner, Robb meets Bran in his room, and they both commiserate over the unfortunate state of affairs they now find themselves in.
Chapter 25- Eddard
Lord Eddard meets with Grand Maester Pycelle. Eddard learns from Pycelle that Jon Arryn had come to Pycelle, looking for a book; Jon falls ill the very next day. Eddard suspects Jon Arryn could have been killed by poison, but Pycelle is not convinced since in the Seven Kingdoms, poison is thought to be the weapon of cowards and women. Pycelle also tells Eddard that before his death, Jon Arryn whispered something to the King: “The seed is strong.”
Lord Eddard then questions Pycelle on the Queen’s whereabouts during Jon’s illness and eventual death; Pycelle tells him that the Queen was journeying to Casterly Rock, the ancestral stronghold of House Lannister, to escort her father to King’s Landing. Eddard leaves with the book: it is an old tome, about the genealogies of the various Houses of the Seven Kingdoms.
Littlefinger visits Eddard’s chambers. He informs Eddard that he has discovered that four members of Jon Arryn’s household still remain in King’s Landing. One of them is Ser Hugh of the Vale, Jon’s squire, knighted after Jon’s death. Eddard is interested in speaking to this newly-knighted squire, but Littlefinger advices Eddard to send a man from his household instead, a man he trusts. Littlefinger explains that this is because spies are everywhere in King’s Landing and from the window, he points out several of the Queen’s and Lord Varys’ spies, seemingly going about that their work, but at the same time keeping an eye out for all that transpired around them.
Chapter 26 – Jon
Jon is getting along with most of the new recruits. There is a new recruit to the Night’s Watch: a fat boy by the name of Samwell Tarly. Ser Alliser mocks Sam, and the new boy gets beaten up in a mock fight. Jon jumps to his protection, however. After the fight, Jon and his new friends ask why Sam refused to fight: Sam reveals that he is a coward.
Sam eventually shares his story with Jon: he was his father’s eldest son and heir, but his father considered him unsuitable to take over as head of House Tarly. His father wanted to get rid of Sam so that he could instead appoint Sam’s younger brother as his rightful heir. Sam was given a choice: Join the Night’s Watch, or be “accidentally killed” in a hunt.
Jon tells the other recruits not to hurt Sam in training. Everyone agrees except a recruit named Rast. Jon uses Ghost to wake up a sleeping Rast, a threat that elicits an agreement. From that day on, none of the recruits go after the new boy, and Sam eventually falls in with them.
Chapter 27 – Eddard
Eddard’s men go out to find and question the four members of Jon Arryn’s household still in King’s Landing. The newly-knighted squire, Ser Hugh, refuses to answer any questions. The rest gave them two clues: before his death, Jon and Stannis Baratheon had been seen together, visiting a brothel and an armorer’s shop. Eddard sends some of his men to search for the brothel while he heads out to the armorer’s shop.
Upon arriving at the shop, he discovers that Jon and Stannis had been inquiring about an apprentice armorer. Within several minutes of talking with the young, sturdy boy, who had blue eyes and thick black hair, Eddard realizes that he is talking to one of King Robert’s bastards. He leaves the shop wondering why Jon and Stannis had been doing the exact same thing.
Chapter 28 – Catelyn
Catelyn and Rodrik, on their way back to Winterfell, stop at an inn for the night. Catelyn wonders what to do next. She mulls a bit and comes up with two choices. One is to travel to Riverrun to warn her father of the dangers of a possible war. The other is to travel to the Vale, to confer with her sister, Lysa Arryn, about the truth behind Jon’s death. She eventually decides that heading back to Winterfell would be a safer choice.
By a stroke of coincidence, Tyrion pops into the same inn, accompanied by his two servants and the Black brother, Yoren. Acting on impulse, Catelyn, with the help of the other patrons of the Inn who turn out to be loyal to her father and House Tully, takes Tyrion captive. She announces that she will be bringing Tyrion back to Winterfell to await the King’s justice.
Chapter 29 –Sansa
Sansa is enjoying the tournament. Only four riders remain in the joust: Sandor Clegane, Gregor Clegane, Jaime Lannister and Ser Loras Tyrell. Gregor Clegane actually killed one of the knights he rode against, the tip of the lance spearing the knight in the neck. The winner will be decided the next day.
There is a feast that night, and Prince Joffrey finally talks to her again; he had remained withdrawn after the incident with Arya and Mycah. At the end of the feast, he asks Sandor to escort her back to her chambers. The Hound is drunk and mocks Sansa’s love for knights and romantic fairy tales. He shares the story behind the ugly burns on his face: when they were children, Gregor punished Sandor for stealing a favorite toy by pushing his face against a brazier. He then warns her not to repeat the story to anyone else, threatening to kill her if she does so.
Chapter 30 – Eddard
Eddard and Ser Barristan converse over the body of the dead knight, killed the day previously by Gregor Clegane in the joust – it is Ser Hugh of the Vale, Jon Arryn’s recently knighted squire. Eddard then goes into the King’s tent and convinces Robert not to join the melee competition, stating that no men would want to hit the King.
The joust continues: Jaime Lannister loses to Sandor Clegane. In the joust between Gregor and Loras Tyrell, Gregor’s stallion starts to become unruly and wild. Gregor is unhorsed by Loras. Furious at his loss, Gregor kills his stallion and proceeds to attack Loras until he is stopped by his brother, Sandor. The two Cleganes fight until the King orders them to stop. Petyr Baelish explains to Sansa the reason Gregor’s stallion was distracted: Loras’s mare was on heat.
Back in Eddard’s chambers, Lord Varys meets with Eddard. He reveals that the Queen had intended for Robert to die in the melee. Varys allies himself with Eddard and reveals that Jon Arryn was indeed killed by poison, the untraceable Tears of Lys. When Eddard inquires to the reason behind Jon’s murder, Varys replies that it was because Jon had been asking questions.