A Clash of Kings-Chapter 4
From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Page||52 UK HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
Bran is continuing to have the wolf dreams and resent his life, especially now that he is not able to be with Summer, and cannot ride to the Wolfswood. The direwolves are howling, and Bran wonders at the reason. After he starts howling, himself, Maester Luwin gives him a sleeping potion that is supposed to stop the dreams. Before he drops off to sleep, Osha tells him to stop fighting back and listen. When he sleeps he dreams again.
Bran prefers sitting on the window seat, where he can see outside, to his bed. Although he would prefer being active, this is better than having the walls and ceiling all around him. He has often been dreaming of wolves, and they are talking to him; when they howl he can almost understand them. The two Walder wards are scared of them, but Old Nan said the Starks have wolf blood, stronger in some than in others. Summer’s howls are full of grief and longing while Shaggydog’s are savage. Bran has asked many others why the direwolves howl, and the answers differed. When he repeated what Maester Luwin had said, Osha told him the wolves have more wit than his maester and know truths that he has forgotten.
When Bran asks Osha what the Red Comet means, she explains, "Blood and fire, boy, and nothing sweet.” Septon Chayle thinks it is the sword that slays the season, which seems to make sense to Bran since a White raven has brought word of autumn. Old Nan tells him the comet foretells of dragons. She cannot see the comet, being blind, but claims she can smell it.
Ser Rodrik has confined the direwolves in the Godswood after Shaggydog bit Little Walder. Now the direwolves howl, the guards on the wall mutter curses, the hounds bark, the Walders shiver by the fire, and Maester Luwin has sleepless nights. Bran thinks the direwolves howl for some reason: they howled when he fell and was comatose in bed, and when, somehow, they knew of Eddard Stark’s death. Bran wonders what the direwolves are howling for now: his brother Robb, his mother, his sisters? Or is their howling something else, as Maester Luwin and Old Nan seem to think? Bran starts to howl, and the direwolves respond. The guard Hayhead, hearing Bran, looks in, and when Bran howls at him, Hayhead brings Maester Luwin, who asks if he needs help into his bed. Bran tells him that he can get to the bed himself with the iron bars Mikken has installed, and, anyway, he does not have to sleep. When the maester states that all men have to sleep, Bran tells him when he dreams he turns into a wolf. Thinking of his dead father he first asks if the dead dream, and the maester says some think so but the dead are silent. Then he asks if trees dream. Luwin says no, but Bran tells him they do, because he sometimes dreams of a weirwood, and it calls to him.
The maester states he wishes Bran would spend time with the other children, but Bran, who hates the Frey boys, has ordered the two away. However, they are wards of his mother, so they cannot be sent away. Bran resents them because Summer has been confined to the Godswood even though he has not bitten anyone. The maester reminds him that Summer tore out a man's throat. Then Bran complains that even though he is a prince, he is not heeded about wanting to ride in the Wolfswood. He is told it is too dangerous, and might be kidnapped. Bran thinks Summer would save him, and princes should be allowed to have adventures. When the maester tells him one day, maybe, but he is now only an 8 year old boy, Bran states he would rather be a wolf who could have adventures, and starts howling again. The maester leaves in pity and disgust, and the howling loses its savor.
When the Freys arrived, Rickon wanted them gone, crying for mother, father and Robb. Bran had to soothe him and make the Freys, both named Walder, welcome. Then they played the Lord of the crossing game in a pool in the Godswood. The lord of the crossing was the only one that could use a stick to push the other players off a log into the water. Soon Bran, who could not play, was forgotten, and the other children of the castle joined the game. Then Rickon came. He ordered Shaggydog to stay with Bran, but when Little Frey caught Rickon hard in the stomach with his stick, Shaggydog attacked. After that, Rickon decided that he liked the Walders, and played with them all the time.
When Luwin returns with Osha and a potion to help Bran sleep without dreams, Osha, lingering behind, asks him if it is the wolf dreams again. She tells him, "You should not fight so hard. Might be the gods are trying to talk back." Sleep takes Bran, and he still has the wolf dream. In the Godswood, through Summer’s eyes he sees the dead man-rock, cold iron, and splintery wood that closes them away from freedom: “Beyond its sky-tall man-cliffs the true world was calling, and he knew he must answer or die.”