A Clash of Kings-Chapter 35
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
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Bran learns of his brother's victory, and the death of Ser Stevron Frey, and realizes that Jojen Reed's prophesy has come true. Jojen now tells him of his green dream of the sea flowing over the walls of Winterfell. Bran tries to warn others, but mostly the dream is dismissed. Ser Rodrik Cassel finally returns with a prisoner, Reek, who was involved in the forced marriage and then murder of Lady Hornwood. Jojen reveals to Bran that he had a green dream in which Reek is skinning off Bran's face.
Bran is found working the bellows for Mikken by Alebelly to tell him that there has been a bird from Robb Stark. Bran lets Alebelly carry him to Maester Luwin's turret where Rickon already waits. The maester informs them that Robb shattered a Lannister army at the Battle of Oxcross, killing its commander Ser Stafford Lannister. He has also captured several castles, and is currently at Ashemark, the stronghold of House Marbrand. Rickon asks if Robb is coming home, but Bran knows that only Lord Tywin Lannister matters, as Big Walder states, which disquiets him. Neither Big Walder nor Little Walder seem upset about their uncle Ser Stevron Frey's death, who, they note, was very old (50 or 60) and always tired. Little Walder asks if Ser Emmon Frey is now heir, and his cousin tells him the line of ascension: Ser Ryman, Edwyn, Black Walder, Petyr, then Aegon Frey and his sons. Little Walder states theat Ryman is too old, and then asks if they think he will be lord, and Big Walder responds he will be lord and does not care. The maester tells them that they should be ashamed.
Osha arrives to carry him; she is stronger than Alebelly. Bran asks if she knows the way north, and she tells him it is easy. He then asks if the children of the forest, the Others and giants are still there and she tells him she has seen giants and heard of the others. He then asks about the three-eyed crow, which she has never heard of. She sets him on the window seat of his bedchamber.
Shortly thereafter, Jojen enters the room unbidden with Meera behind him. Bran asks Jojen if he has heard about the bird; he states it was not supper, it was a letter from Robb. Jojen explains that the green dreams are not easy to understand. When Bran asks Jojen to tell him his dream, Jojen reveals that he dreamed the sea was lapping all around Winterfell. Waves crashed against the gates and towers, and the water came flowing over the walls and filled the castle. Drowned men were floating in the yard. He now recognizes these men and declares that they are Alebelly, Septon Chayle, and Mikken. Bran, confused and dismayed, replies that the sea is hundreds of leagues away, and Winterfell's walls are so high the water could not get in even if it did come. Jojen only repeats his claim, adding that he saw the dead, bloated and drowned.
Bran wants to warn the men, but Jojen tells him it will not save them, as they will not believe him. He then asks Bran to tell of his wolf dream, and Bran replies that there are different kinds. There are the wolf dreams, which are not as bad as the others, in which he runs, hunts and kills squirrels. He has other dreams where the crow comes and tells him to fly. Sometimes the tree is also calling his name in those dreams, which frightens him, but not as much as when he falls. He explains that he never used to fall while climbing, and that he used to feed the crows in the Burned Tower. Yet, he did fall eventually, and now when he sleeps he falls all the time.
Jojen tells Bran that he will be called a warg if others hear of his wolf dreams, and some will hate him in fear, as the power is strong in him. Bran is concerned since in Old Nan's stories wargs were always evil, and tells Jojen that he wants to be a knight. Jojen replies that he is a winged wolf but will never fly unless he opens the eye in his forehead, and he must search for it with his heart. When Bran states that Maester Luwin claims dreams are just that, Jojen responds they are the past, the future, and truth. With that they leave him, and Bran tries unsuccessfully to open his third eye.
On the following days, Bran tries to warn his household, but no one seems to believe him. Mikken thinks it funny, and states he always wanted to see the sea. Septon Chayle states the gods will take him when they do, and he does not think he will drown since he grew up on the banks of the White Knife. Alebelly takes heed, and refuses to bathe or go near a well until finally other guardsmen give him a bath because he stinks so badly.
Ser Rodrik Cassel returns with a man that Hayhead tells Bran is named Reek. He served the now-dead Ramsay Snow (the Bastard of Bolton). The bastard and Reek murdered Lady Hornwood. Rodrik’s men shot Snow as he attempted to ride away. He had forced Lady Hornwood to marry him and then to sign a will naming him heir. Ser Rodrik is concerned that Roose Bolton may not agree that doing this under duress would make the marriage and the will invalid. Rodrik wants to keep Reek alive for judgement when Robb returns. Meanwhile, House Manderly and House Bolton are fighting in the Hornwood forest, and Rodrik does not have the strength to stop them.
Ser Rodrik then brings up Bran commanding Alebelly not to bathe. Bran tells him about the green dream. Maester Luwin tells Rodrik that he has explained to Bran the uncertainty of prophesies, but then notes that raiders in longships have been plundering and raping along the Stony Shore, and Leobald Tallhart sent his nephew Benfred Tallhart to deal with it. After he gets more information about the green dream, Rodrik promises not to take Alebelly with him if he rides against the raiders. Bran takes some hope in this.
When Bran meets with the Reeds later that night, Meera agrees that it should be possible to change prophesies. Meera gets angry with her brother when he disagrees, claiming that what he sees always comes true. Then Meera states that Alebelly and Bran should both fight to avoid their fates. Bran asks if he drowns also and Jojen reveals another dream of his, in which Bran and Rickon lay dead at Reek's feet, and he was skinning off their faces with a long red blade. Meera states that she could go down to the dungeons and kill Reek now, but Jojen tells her she will not succeed; first the jailers would stop her, and they will never believe. Even if Bran went to Greywater Watch, he could not avoid his fate; the green dreams do not lie.
References and Notes
- Summary and analyses of the chapter in the course of a 10th reread.
- Review and summary by Leigh Butler.