A Clash of Kings-Chapter 22
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Page||245 UK HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
At the request of Robb Stark, Catelyn is riding south with twenty Winterfell guards as an escort, to treat with king Renly Baratheon. She remembers Robb telling her she would be best suited to treat with the king, that an alliance could turn the war, especially since all his messages to his aunt Lysa have been ignored and the Eyrie will not stir and that he had to make preparation to march.
As they are nearing Renly’s camp, they encounter a scouting party led by Ser Colen of Greenpools, who informs her that he will escort her to the king's encampment near Bitterbridge, where the roseroad crosses the Mander. As they get close to the Mander, the huge host becomes visible clustered around thousands of campfires. an army that must be near a hundred thousand strong.
At the encampment near Bitterbridge a tourney is being held, and Catelyn watches the folly until the victor is declared. The last two standing are Loras and Brienne, with Brienne the victor. She asks to be made a member of the Rainbow Guard, and Renly grants her request. The crowd mocks her as "the Beauty", as Brienne is quite ugly. She is even taller than Renly, yet obviously a fierce warrior. Catelyn is disturbed that Renly is holding a tourney when he should be marching on King's Landing.
Renly greets her with courtesy and is very cordial, promising her Cersei's head when his army takes King's Landing. Catelyn is invited to the feast after the tourney, and then walks alone with Renly at the King’s behest. The pair talk for a time on various matters-among other things, Renly asks if Barristan Selmy has turned up at Riverrun since his dismissal from the Kingsguard, explaining the cloak he gave Brienne was the one he'd hoped to give Selmy. He also relates how he offered 100 men to Ned during Robert’s last hours, and how Ned turned him down. He reveals that Mace Tyrell has another 10,000 men at Highgarden, and that he expects the Dornishmen to join him. Renly asserts that he must have Robb’s loyalty, and that Robb must bend the knee to him; in exchange, Renly will allow Robb to keep his title 'King in the North' and the rule of Winterfell. As they converse, a rider comes to the gates with word that Storm's End is besieged by King Stannis.