A Game of Thrones-Chapter 65
|A Game of Thrones chapter|
|Page||599 US HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
Arya is surviving on the streets of King's Landing by hunting pigeons. Most of what she owned had been stolen the first night, but she still has the cloths on her back and both her practice sword and Needle. After hears the summoning bells, she follows the crowd to watch her father confess treason, and then hear Joffrey demand his head. She attempts to go fight to him but first the crowd, and then a man from the Night's Watch stop her. He tells her that she is coming with him.
Arya is hungry, and has found that hunting pigeons is much easier than hunting cats, using her practice sword to knock them out of the air; since learning to kill the pigeons with her stick sword she had not gone hungry much. After taking the pigeon, she walks by a cart with tarts, and Arya asks for one, and is told 3 coppers—she has not one—and then declines to trade the pigeon for a tart. She uses the seeing taught by Syrio Forel and believes she could steal one and get away, but the seller tells her he will call the [City Watch of King's Landing|Gold Cloaks]] and she sees that there are two are standing a distance behind her. The sight of the Gold Cloaks ties her stomach in knots. At the castle, which she avoided, the head rotted on spikes. There are all sorts of stories about Lord Renly Baratheon had killed the King and fled, that the King had died from eating too much boar, that the King had been killed by a boar, but they agree that the King is dead. She wants to leave the King's Landing, but the seven city gates are either closed, open only to those entering, or closely guarded by Lannister guards and Gold Cloaks, who search everything. The river is dangerous to swim, and has no coin for a ferryman or a ship.
There were pot shops in Flea Bottom where she could get her birds cooked, or exchange them for some bread or stew, but the people in them seemed dangerous; she had been chased a couple times when leaving, probably wanting her boots or cloak, but they could not catch her. She often goes hungry because she does not want to see the stares of the people at the pot shops. The first night she had lost a silver bracelet, and a bundle of good cloths when sleeping; all she had left were the cloths she was wearing, the cloak she had been wrapped in, and both the practice sword and her sword Needle, which she had been sleeping on top of. She thinks that if she escapes, in the country she can dig for roots, find orchards, and pick berries
She decides to go by the river front on her way to the Mud Gate to see if she might be able to stow away on a ship. The wharfs are too quite. On a pier she see guards in the Winterfell colors in front a ship she learns from a longshoreman is the Wind Witch out of Myr that her father had contracted for passage. As she goes approaches the ship she suddenly remembers Syrio’s words about looking, and realizes she does not know the guards. They call to her and she approaches, knowing better than to run, playing a boy trying to sell them the pigeon. The ploy works, and she is told to leave, which she does.
Somehow she finds her way back to Flea Bottom, maybe it’s the smell, and discovers she lost her bird, and she wants to cry. Then she hears the bells again and wonders what they mean this time. From one of the people in the area she hears it is a summoning bell. From a running boy she learns that the Gold Cloaks are carrying the Hand for the Sept. She then falls, bloodying herself, and then follows. She hears from the people in the crowd she hears that some think they are going to execute her father, and rumors about his treason. She moves through the crowd and finds herself next to the statue of Baelor, and climbs so she can see. From this vantage point she sees her father supported by two Gold Cloaks in a rich velvet doublet and a grey cloak, his face drawn with pain and thinner than she had ever seen him. The cast on his leg is gray and rotten. With on the pulpit is the High Septon, and in front of the pulpit are Joffrey, the queen, the hound, four other Kingsguard, Varys, the man that had fought a duel for mother, and Sansa; Arya wonders why Sansa is there and why she is looking so happy.
Then Eddard makes the speech where he confesses that he betrayed the trust of King Robert. A stone from the crowd strikes Eddard, causing a gash on his face, and then more stones follow. Now the High Septon asks Joffery for his verdict, and tells him that that Blessed Baelor taught mercy along with justice. Joffrey states that his mother has requested that Eddard be allowed to take the black to join the Night's Watch, but then states that while he is king treason shall never go unpunished, and calls for Ser Ilyn Payne to bring him his head. This causes an uproar around Joffery as the High Septon, the queen and Varys all try to convince Joffery to grant Eddard his life.
Arya jumps to the ground, drawing Needle, but is slamsed in her back and then bodies close around her. She sees Ilyn raise Ice—he has Ice!—and hears Sansa scream as Arya’s tears fall. She continues to fight the crowd using Needle to slash. Next thing she knows she is grabbed so hard she cannot escape, dropping the sword. She is told not to look by an old man who calls her boy; she recognizes him as Yoren from the Night's Watch who talked with her father. He tells her to keep her mouth shut and that she is coming with him. He shakes her hard when she tries to speak. When it is done, he hands her back her sword, telling her he hopes she can use it. He keeps calling her a boy and does not give her an opportunity to deny it, instructing her that she is trying to tell him she is not a smart boy. He shoves her inside a doorway and a blade flashes at her face; she wrenches her head back, but cannot escape because he has such a strong grip on her hair.