A Clash of Kings-Chapter 5
From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Place||An inn near God's Eye lake.|
|Page||60 UK HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
Arya Stark notices the refugees traveling south as they travel north. After a number of days of travel from dawn to dusk Yoren halts them at an Inn. Here they hear of the war further north. Six Gold Cloaks arrive looking for a boy who is wanted by the queen. Yoren refuses and there is a confrontation, but Yoren gets the upper hand, and orders the Gold Cloaks to return to King's Landing; he will not let them have either Gendry or Arya.
Yoren’s group travel dawn to dusk, and at night they eat by the light of the Red Sword, and take turns standing watch. There is more traffic on the Kingsroad every day. Refugees are heading south towards King's Landing, and Arya wonders why there are not more going north. Soon, they start hearing of the war to the north and coming upon graves at the side of the road. One night, Arya finds the night unusually quiet, and in the morning she realizes that the sellsword Praed has not been coughing; they dig a grave for him, and Yoren gives his sword to the Bull, who Yoren thinks has the arms to learn to use it.
At an inn, Yoren gives them an opportunity to bathe but Arya does not dare and thinks it a shame to drown the creatures living in her clothes that have come all the way from Flea Bottom; the Bull, Tarber, and Hot Pie take the opportunity to wash. In the inn common room they are served food and ale; Arya enjoyed ale when her father let her have some and she remembers how Sansa would make a sour face, preferring wine. Thinking of them makes her sad. When the people in the inn, who are all heading south, learn that Yoren and the boys are heading north, they scornfully protest. They are told that half of the fields are burned, the few remaining people are walled up in holdfasts, and there are wild men from the Mountains of the Moon. Yoren insists that whether it is Tully or Lannister, it does not matter to the Night's Watch. Then Arya hears them talking about the dead Hand’s son, Robb, and she listens hard to hear one man saying that the boy rides to battle on a wolf, which people do not seem to believe. Then they start talking about the large packs of wolves, which have become much bolder, killing sheep, cows, and dogs. A woman then tells of a great pack lead by a she-wolf that took a baby from a mother’s arms. Arya cannot be quiet, and shouts out that wolves do not eat babies. Yoren tries to shut her up, but she repeats that wolves do not eat babies. He has to take her by the arm, and commands her to go outside and stay there until she learns to shut her mouth when men are talking.
Outside, the youngest and handsomest of the three in the wagon with bars, whose hair is red on one side and white on the other, calls to her and asks if she can get him another beer. He also says he could use a bath, and that she could make a friend. When Arya replies she has friends, the man without a nose remarks that he can't see any. The last man hisses when he opens his mouth with only a stump of a tongue. The first man then says the other two have no courtesies, asks her forgiveness, and tells her his name, Jaqen H'ghar from Lorath. There is something about him that reminds her of Syrio Forel. He then introduces the noseless one, Rorge and Biter—Jaqen gave Biter his name because of his mouth full of pointed teeth. Rorge starts getting nasty, and orders her to get the beers. Arya tries to think what Syrio would do and draws her wooden sword. Rorge tells her to come closer and he will fuck her with it. Arya forces herself to come closer, refusing to be overcome with fear), and when Biter grabs for her, she whacks him between the eyes. Jaqen observes, noting that she has more courage than sense. Then the Bull places his hand on her shoulder. She spins around and asks what he's doing, and he reminds her that Yoren told them to stay away from those three. When Arya tells him they do not scare her, he states “then you're stupid. They scare me“.
She lets Bull lead her back to the inn. As they walk, she asks if he would fight her. He warns her he is strong, but she wants to hit something, and will not be dissuaded, telling him he does not know how quick she is. It is then that the Bull sees the six Gold Cloaks on lathered horses. Arya pulls him out of sight and tells him to be quiet. The officer asks some of the recruits outside the inn if they are the ones that are taking the black, and says that they want a certain boy. Then Yoren steps out and asks who wants the boy. The officer responds that the queen wants him, and gives Yoren a warrant. Yoren refuses, saying there are laws against this. The officer draws his blade, so Yoren does the same, but the officer points out that it is six to one. Then, several recruits come to stand beside Yoren; first Tarber, then Cutjack, Kurz, Koss, Reysen, Dobber, and finally Hot Pie. Arya, thinking they want her, tired of running, and not wanting to go down without a fight, joins the other recruits with Needle drawn. She tells the officer that she is the one they want. The officer, calling Arya a girl, points to the Bull and says he is the one he wants. Arya objects to being called a girl. The officer has taken his eyes off Yoren, who, quick as a snake, places his sword at the officer’s throat. He orders the officer to drop his sword and tells him to return to the city. When the Gold Cloaks are out of sight, Yoren asks who wants the officer’s sword, and Hot Pie claims it.
Yoren tells the Bull that the Queen wants him bad. Arya and Yoren both ask why she would want him, so Gendry reveals him name. Then, Yoren says that the Gold Cloaks cannot have either of them, and tells them to ride the two coursers and, at the first sight of a Gold Cloak, make for the wall fast. Arya points out that they now also want Yoren’s head and Yoren states that if they can take it, they can have it.
References and Notes
- Humorous review of the chapter by Jason.
- Review of the chapter in the course of the 10th reread by Slynt.
- Review and summary by Leigh Butler.