A Game of Thrones-Chapter 24

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Bran IV
A Game of Thrones chapter
AGameOfThrones.jpg
POV Bran
Page US HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
Bran III
Daenerys III  ← Bran IV →  Eddard V

Bran V

Bran is depressed about being a cripple. Bran is called to the Great Hall when Tyrion Lannister arrives at Winterfell. Tyron had come to see Bran and Robb is rude to him. Tyrion has drawn up plans for a saddle that will let Bran ride.

Synopsis

Bran is watching Rickon play with the wolves from his window. Shaggydog’s fur had darkened to all black his eyes were green fire. Summer’s fur is silver and smoke and eyes of yellow-gold, smaller than Grey Wind and wearier. Bran thinks he is the smartest. Bran finds he is crying, wanting to be down there, and thinking that the crow lied about being able to fly. Old Nan is trying to tell Bran a story about a crow, but Bran tells her that he hates her story, and thinks she is a very ugly old woman. He remembers that Eddard had said she was called Old Nan when he was a child. She had lost both her sons and her grandson and daughters had moved away and died. Her only remaining relative was Hodor. Next Nan offers to tell him a story about a boy who hated stories while her knitting needles go click, click.

Bran thinks about how his father had told him he would ride a real horse, but that would not happen now. Nothing had been heard from Eddard, or Cat, or Jon, crows being sent out, but none had returned. He thinks about all that had left Winterfell, with only Robb and Rickon were left. Robb was changed now, so serious and is so busy as the lord of Winterfell. Below he can see something has happened, but cannot tell what since the window is facing in the wrong direction.

When Nan starts to tell Bran a story about the Others coming in the darkness of winter for the first time, he listens intently. Thousands and thousands of years ago, a winter fell like no other, and there came a night that lasted a generation. They were cold things, dead things, that hated fire, iron, the touch of the sun, and every creature with warm blood. They overran holdfasts and cities and all the swords of men could not stop their advance. Women and children were not spared, and they ate the flesh of children. This was before the Andals had come, and before the women of Rhoynar, when the First Men lived in the lands they had taken from the Children of the Forest. The last hero of the First Men set out to find the Children. He left with his sword, a dog, his horse and twelve companions to search out the Children of the Forest. All the hero’s companions and even his dog dies and he was left, in despair of ever finding the Children, the Others closed in.

But Old Nan’s story is interrupted by Maester Luwin telling Bran that his presence is needed in the Great Hall to greet Tyrion Lannister and some men of the Night’s Watch, down from the Wall—They have a message from his brother Jon. Bran wants to hear the rest of the story, and complains, but Nan tells him that stories can wait. The 7-foot tall Hodor carries Bran down to Great Hall with Maester Luwin following.

Robb, sitting in his father’s high seat in armor and unsheathed sword in his lap (even Bran knows what it means to meet a guest with an unsheathed sword). There is a hostile feeling to the room. Robb makes a point to only offer the Night’s Watch is welcome. The meaning is not lost of Tyrion, who notes that meaning is that he is not welcome, and calls Robb a boy. Robb seethes saying he is a lord. Tyrion responds that he needs to show a lord’s courtesy. Tyrion see Bran, and notes that it is true that Bran lives, and says that the Starks are hard to kill. Robb now lifts Bran into the high seat. Tyrion now asks how he happened to fall. Bran was about to state that he never falls, but the maester cuts in saying that Bran does not remember. Tyrion states that this is curious, and then asks if Bran likes to ride. Immediately, the maester states that he has lost the use of his legs, so cannot ride. Tyrion responds that with the ride saddle and horse even a cripple can ride. Bran immediately responds that he is not a cripple and Tyrion states that then he is not a dwarf. Tyrion lets the maester take a paper that Tyrion offers containing plans he had drawn up for a saddle for Bran. The maester states that it will work and he should have thought of it. Tyrion responds that it is similar to his saddle. Robb is suspicious of Tyrion’s motive, to which Tyrion replies Jon had asked it of him, and he has a weak spot for bastards, cripples and dwarfs.

Rickon comes in from outside with the three direwolves, who immediately start growling and surround Tyrion. Theon comments "The wolves do not like your smell, Lannister". Tyrion states it is probably time he took his leave, but the wolves assault him before he can move more than a step. They are called off in time by the boys. Tyrion finds the hostility of the wolves to be interesting, and states nothing is harmed save his dignity. Robb is shaken and states he does not know why the wolves attack. Before Tyrion can leave the maester goes to confer with Robb. Robb then offers the hospitality of Winterfell. Tyrion declines the invitation saying it is false courtesy and do not want him here; he will stay in the inn he saw outside the wall.

Robb then tells the Night’s Watch they have rooms prepared, and invite them for dinner. Bran can tell it is only words to Robb, not from the heart. Bran is looking forward to feasting that night with the Night’s Watch. In his room, Bran expresses his excitement of being able to ride again to Summer. Bran dreams of climbing, and sees the shapes of twisted and grotesque Gargoyles, and then he hears them whispering. The Gargoyles pull themselves free and climb towards Bran. Bran starts to scream he did not hear. He wakes to find Hodor above him. Hodor cleans and dresses him and carries down to the Great Hall.

That evening, Robb and Bran host Night’s Watch for dinner. The black brother brings dire tidings of Benjen Stark. Yoren states that Benjen is probably dead. Robb vehemently replies that his uncle is not dead. One of the brothers states the Benjen knows the haunted forest better than anyone else, and will find his way back. Bran thinks of Old Nan’s stories and blurts out that uncle Benjen will be saved by the Children of the Forest. Maester Luwin tells him the Children have been dead for thousands of years, but Yoren disagrees, saying that in the north, beyond the Wall, who’s to say what lives?

That night Robb carries Bran up to his bed himself. Robb sits by Bran for a long time, and tells Bran that they will find a horse for him. Bran asks if they will be coming back. Robb says yes with much hope in his voice. Robb then tell Bran that he can meet his mother from a horse and later they can visit the Wall together.

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