A Feast for Crows-Chapter 45

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Samwell V
A Feast for Crows chapter
POV Samwell Tarly
Place Oldtown
Page UK HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
Samwell IV
Jaime VII  ← Samwell V →  Appendix


The Cinnamon Wind passes through the Redwyne Straits on her way to Oldtown. Twice they evade and once drive off longships of the ironmen, before they reach their destination and undergo customs inspections. The ironborn now control many of the outlying towns and fortifications surrounding the Arbor and along the Mander nearly to Oldtown, having sacked Ryamsport and taken Vinetown and Starfish Harbor. They have also been raiding ships in the area. Sam learns that even Oldtown is at risk until Lord Paxter Redwyne can bring his fleet back from Dragonstone. Meanwhile, Lord Leyton Hightower has not left his tower in years, while his sons struggle to protect the great city. His youngest son, Ser Humfrey, has sailed to the Free Cities to hire sellsails or persuade his half-sister Lynesse to loan him some of the Archon of Lys' ships. As Sam prepares to disembark for the Citadel, he considers whether it will be safe for Gilly at Horn Hill, since it will only have a small regiment of guards left. Fortunately, Sam knows that Gilly will be safe aboard the Cinnamon Wind, at least until he can learn more of the situation in Oldtown.

Upon reaching the Seneschal's Court, Sam is forced to wait a long while before he will be admitted to speak with the Seneschal. His patience running thin at the delay, Sam is approached by Alleras, who informs him that it will take a penny to get past the acolyte. But when Alleras introduces himself, Sam is taken aback when he learns that the boy is called "the Sphinx". Samwell then tells Alleras the story of how he reached Oldtown, leaving out only the secrets he has sworn to keep. After hearing all that has transpired, especially Maester Aemon's plea that the Citadel learn of Daenerys, Alleras tells him to forget the Seneschal. The archmaesters will believe little of what Sam has to say, but there is one who will: Archmaester Marwyn. At the Isle of Ravens, Sam recognizes Leo Tyrell, but before many words can be exchanged, Marwyn the Mage appears and ushers Sam and Alleras into his chambers.

Marwyn first describes how the Valyrians used dragonglass for various magical means, noticing Sam's interest in the Obsidian candle. Sam then repeats what he told Alleras, stating that Maester Aemon was convinced that Daenerys was the promised one in the prophecy, not Prince Rhaegar or Stannis. To this, Archmaester Marwyn reveals how fickle and treacherous prophecy can be, but he is still intrigued. He makes it clear to Sam that Maester Aemon may have been killed by the archmaesters had he spoken his mind to them. When Sam inquires why, Marwyn replies, "Who do you think killed all the dragons the last time around? The world the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons. Ask yourself why Aemon Targaryen was allowed to waste his life upon the Wall, when by rights he should have been raised to archmaester. His blood was why. He could not be trusted. No more than I can."

Commanding Alleras to look after Sam, Marwyn makes known his plan to travel to Slaver's Bay, as Maester Aemon had intended. He intends to take the Cinnamon Wind, hoping to reach Daenerys prior to the "grey sheep", as he calls the other archmaesters. He advises Sam to work rapidly toward his chain, and to never mention anything of prophecies, dragons, or Daenerys to anyone in the Citadel. Marwyn quickly departs, and Alleras reveals to Sam that their meeting was not happenstance. The Mage knew Sam was coming, supposedly from the dragonglass candle. The novice in the room the whole time shows Sam to his quarters, finally divulging his name, "I'm Pate, like the pig boy."[1]

Character List

Places and terms mentioned

References and Notes

  1. It is implied that this Pate is in fact the Alchemist, having taken Pate's identity after the events of the Prologue. The true Pate is believed dead.