A Clash of Kings-Chapter 27
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Page||310 UK HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
There is a great celebration in Qarth for the arrival of Daenerys’ khalasar. Xaro Xhoan Daxos provides her an entire wing of his palace. After a bath, Ser Jorah Mormont arrives with a ship captain with news that King Robert Baratheon is dead and there is civil war in the Seven Kingdoms.
There is a large celebration for their arrival at Qarth apparent as Daenerys’ khalasar approaches the city and a column of camelry rides from the city to provide her an honor guard. The warlock Pyat Pree told Daenerys that Qarth is the greatest city, a crossroads, and ancient. Upon seeing the city, Daenerys has to admit the city is magnificent. It has three thick walls: the first is 30 feet high and made of red sandstone carved with animals, the second 40 feet high and made of granite carved with scenes of war, and the third 50 feet high, made of black marble carved with scenes of sex. Qartheen line the streets and balconies to watch them pass, black Drogon on her shoulder. The women are in gowns that bare one breast, and the men wear beaded silk shirts while the children wear only sandals and paint. Daenerys thinks how the Dothraki call these people “Milk Men" for their skin and how Khal Drogo dreamed sacking the great city.
The merchant prince Xaro Xhoan Daxos rides up on his camel, which the Dothraki horses shy away from. He tells Daenerys that if she desires anything she sees it is hers. Pyat Pree sings from her other side “Qarth itself is hers, she has no need of baubles,” and she should come to the House of the Undying to drink wisdom and truth. Daenerys tells them both that she only wants the Red Keep in King's Landing and if they want to give her gifts, to give her ships and swords. Pyat states that it will be as she commands and the other complements her on her wisdom. Xaro Xhoan Daxos warns her that warlocks are not to be trusted. The two continue to bicker until Ser Jorah Mormont mutters in the common tongue “The crow calls the raven black,” that she should avoid both men, and that it would be best to not linger here. Daenerys, however, wants their help in winning her throne.
Daenerys expected something grand when Xaro Xhoan Daxos offered the hospitality of his home, but not a palace larger than a market town, with an entire wing given over to her. He tells her that there will be a feast the next day with delicacies and music, and the Thirteen will come to do her honor. Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Pyat depart. The last of the three seekers, the shadowbinder Quaithe gives Daenerys a warning to beware of everyone, for they all lust for the power of her dragons, and then departs.
After Quaithe leaves, Ser Jorah states she is right, but he also does not trust her. Daenerys admits that she does not understand Quaithe. While the others shower her in promises, she has only cryptic words. It also concerns her that she has not seen her face. Then Daenerys declares that they will keep their own watch, and will keep a sharp eye on the dragons. After Aggo confirms it will be done, she tells Rakharo to use good men and women to explore the rest of Qarth since they have only seen the parts that the seekers wanted them to see. She then asks Ser Jorah to go to the docks to get news of the Seven Kingdoms, and maybe find a ship to carry them home. Ser Jorah tells her the usurper will kill her and wants to stay with her but she tells him that Jhogo can guard her, and he has the languages and more experience with the sea.
After they leave, her handmaidens strip her of her travel stained silks and she bathes in a marble pool with golden fish. She wonders if the Red Keep has a pool like this with fragrant gardens, remembering Viserys saying that the Seven Kingdoms are the most beautiful place in the world. She also thinks she no longer has Drogo’s khalasar behind her, only her four fierce bloodriders, and that the Dothraki plundered but do not know how to govern. She ponders Ser Jorah’s words: "The Usurper will kill you." She then thinks about Robert Baratheon, strong as a bull, fearless in battle and loving war, who killed her brother Rhaegar Targaryen, and his dogs: Eddard Stark, Tywin Lannister and Jaime Lannister. How will she overthrow them? Even her dragons might not be enough. Viserys, who was a fool, believed the realm would rise for their rightful king. She then decides that the Bleeding Star has led her to Qarth for a purpose, and if the gods intend for her to conquer they will send a sign.
Near eveningfall, Irri brings word that Ser Jorah has returned. He enters with Quhuru Mo, captain of the Cinnamon Wind out of Tall Trees Town. Daenerys has her dragons all around her. He has the news that Robert Baratheon is dead, reported in Oldtown, Dorne and Lys. There are tales that the queen, his brother (Stannis Baratheon or Renly Baratheon, or Eddard Stark betrayed him. Joffrey Baratheon sits on the throne with House Lannister ruling, Robert’s brothers have fled, and the Hand of the King has been seized for treason. Jorah does not think it likely that Eddard is a traitor, saying the long summer will come again before he besmirches his honor. Daenerys wonders if her brother would have been wiser had he known that vengeance was so close at hand. When asked, the captain replies he is not returning to Westeros for a year or more since his ship will sail east from Qarth, making the trader’s circle around the Jade Sea. When Daenerys states he has brought her a precious gift, he tells her that he has been amply repaid by being allowed to see dragons. She aks him to come to her one day in King's Landing.
After the trader leaves, Ser Jorah warns Daenerys of speaking so freely. Daenerys replies that the Seven Kingdoms are flying to pieces like the khalasar did after Khal Drogo died. Ser Jorah tells her that she will still need gold, armies, and ships. Daenerys responds that she knows this, but she is the blood of the dragon. Jorah goes on to say that King Robert killed a dragon with a warhammer. To this she replies that dragons die, but so do dragon slayers.
References and Notes
- Analyses and summary of the chapter in the course of a 10th reread by Slynt.
- Review and summary by Leigh Butler.