A Clash of Kings-Chapter 18
From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
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|Chapter chronology (All)|
Sansa finds a note under her pillow telling her to come to the godswood if she wants to go home. That night she hears a ruckus that takes the guard from the drawbridge. She uses this as an opportunity to sneak to the godswood, where she is disappointed to find Dontos Hollard instead of some dashing knight. However, he tells her that he is working on a plan to get her out of the castle and onto a ship for Winterfell. On the way back she runs into a drunk Sandor Clegane, who escorts her back to her chambers.
Sansa has found a note under her pillow telling her to come to the godswood that night if she wants to go home. She still has the remnants of a bruise from when she exclaimed pleasure on hearing that Janos Slynt had been sent to the wall by Tyrion Lannister, a gift from Ser Meryn Trant. She decides she has to be more careful about letting her feelings show. She has prayed hard, and hopes it is a knight come to save her. However, she fears it is a trap and that she would find Ser Ilyn Payne with Ice waiting for her.
She is disturbed by a bedmaid coming in, asking if she wants a bath. She hurriedly hides the note, but is worried. The queen has her servants changed every fortnight to ensure Sansa does not befriend one, and she is sure they spy on her. She orders the maid to make a fire, then tells her to leave. She burns the note.
Out of her window she can see Ser Preston Greenfield at the drawbridge; she has been given the run of the castle, but he would want to know where she is going. She wants someone like Septa Mordane, or Jeyne Poole to discuss what to do. Once in a while she even misses her sister Arya, who she is sure is back in Winterfell by now.
She hears shouting and looks out to see men running to the wall, and then notices that the knight is gone with the drawbridge down. She dresses, making sure to hide a meat knife under her cloak. She sees Joffrey being helped into his armor by three of the Kingsguard, including Ser Preston. Fortunately, Joffrey does not see her.
She rushes towards the godswood, never daring to look back for fear of seeing Joffrey. She prefers her mother’s gods to the old gods, with the statues, pictures, incense, and ceremonies, but cannot deny the power in the godswood. As she walks through the godswood, she fears she is too late. She is surprised by the voice of Dontos Hollard telling her he feared she would not come. She initially threatens him with her knife, and asks if he is drunk; he has had a cup to give him courage. Dontos sewars he came on his own, on his honor as a knight—which, by the king’s decree, he is no longer. She tells him that she prayed for a knight to save her, but not a drunken old fool. Dontos accepts the rebut, telling her that he may find a way to be a knight again. This reassures Sansa, and she is willing to listen to him.
He explains that the hardest part of her escape will be getting her from the castle, and then a ship will take her home, but he needs to find coin and make arrangements without raising suspicion. The king's men watch him as well. He reminds Sansa that there was another fool that was the greatest knight of all, Florian, whose story is one of her favorites. Dontos thanks her for saving him even though he did not raise a hand to save her lord father. He has been no hero like Ryam Redwyne or Barristan the Bold, nor won any tourneys, but he swears to the old gods that he will send her home. She asks if he will send another note, and he tells her it is too dangerous, and she must make trips to the godswood as often as she can since nowhere else is safe; the stones have ears. She kisses him on the cheek and calls him My Florian, sure that the gods have heard her.
She flies back to her room thinking of the songs about Florian and Jonquil, when she caroms into the hound as he lurches out of a hidden doorway. He catches her before she falls and asks her if she wants to kill them both on the serpentine steps, and then what she is doing out so late. She tells him she was praying in the godswood for her father and the king, and he replies that he's not so drunk that he believes the story.
He then looks her over and tells her she almost looks like a woman, but she is a stupid little bird, and to sing a song for him. She is scared and asks if he wants a song about true knights. He mockingly replies true knights, and that he is not a lord or a knight, and then almost falls when he releases her. He states he has had too much wine and will take her back to her chambers. He gently pushes her and follows her down the steps.
They find Ser Boros Blount at the bridge. Sansa is fearful for a good reason, as Boros asks where she was, but the Hound shuts him up quickly. He still asks why she is not in her chambers at that hour, and the lie about the godswood sounds more convincing this time. The Hound adds that she should not have been expected to be able to sleep with the noise.
The Hound asks about what is causing the ruckus and is told that some wretches have heard about a feast in preparation of Tyrek Lannister’s wedding and thought they should feast also. Joffrey led a sortie that sent them scurrying. Clegane states “A brave boy.”
After being escorted across the drawbridge, Sansa asks the Hound why he lets them call him a dog and not a knight. He states he likes dogs better than knights. He then tells her how his grandfather was a kennelmaster at Casterly Rock and saved Tytos Lannister from a lion with his dogs, losing a leg and three dogs in the process.
His grandfather was given lands and a towerhouse for saving Lord Tytos. He tells Sansa A hound will die for you and never lie to you. More than little birds can do. He states he never got his song and Sansa asks if he knows the song about Florian and Jonquil, and he calls it the song about a fool and his cunt, and to spare him. He leaves her with “Pretty thing, and such a bad liar. A dog can smell a lie, you know. Look around you, and take a good whiff. They’re all liars here…and every one better than you.”