A Storm of Swords-Chapter 74

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A Storm of Swords chapter
POV Arya
Page 843 UK HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
Arya XII
Jon X  ← Arya XIII →  Samwell IV


Arya Stubbing the Tickler
by Tribemun©

Sandor and Arya come at the Inn at the Crossroads. To her dismay she recognizes Polliver and the Tickler and a squire. The squire tries to bait Sandor with insults about fleeing King's Landing and the room is very tense. The Hound demands wine, which the innkeeper brings and Sandor gulps down. Sandor warns the innkeeper that Polliver and the Tickler will kill him instead of paying for their drinks, and the innkeeper and the other people in the room leave.

The Tickler tells Sandor what has happened in the realm, including Tyrion's marriage, Joffrey's death and Tyrion's imprisonment. He relates that Sansa's sister had been found and is to marry Roose Bolton, Harrenhal is taken by Gregor, Riverrun is under siege by the Lannisters and Randyll Tarly has taken Saltpans. He says only the Blackwoods are still holding out, and the Brackens are fighting them around Raventree Hall.

The Tickler says Gregor would prefer that Sandor comes back with them to Harrenhal and when Sandor refuses, the Tickler throws a knife at him. Sandor, the Tickler and Polliver all draw swords and begin to fight. The squire tries to join in but Arya throws a cup at him and knocks him down. Sandor is not fighting his best and Arya realizes he drank his wine too fast and is drunk. During the fight Arya stabs the squire in the belly and then sneaks up behind the Tickler and stabs him over and over again in a rage until Sandor stops her. The squire is still alive but was mortally wounded and asks for mercy. Sandor tells Arya to give him mercy, and asks if she remembers where the heart is. She does. She recovers Needle, which was carried by Polliver, and kills the squire.

Sandor, seriously wounded, says Gregor must hold the ford and that they will make for Saltpans and find a ship to the Vale. They leave the inn to travel on but the Hound is so wounded that he needs tending and they stop. The next day he is so weak that he falls out of his saddle. While in a fevered sleep. Arya thinks about killing him. He wakes up and sees what she was contemplating and urges her to do it - to give him mercy - but Arya leaves him and continues to Saltpans.

She tries to find a boat that goes to the North but only finds a trading ship Titan's Daughter with Braavos as destination. She doesn't have enough money to get on board but then she shows the captain the coin she got from Jaqen H'ghar and tells him "Valar Morghulis" he gives her both a cabin and passage.