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A Game of Thrones

George R. R. Martin

Chapters 50-54

Chapters 45-49

Chapters 50-54, page 2

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Summary: Chapter 50: Arya (IV)

While Syrio and Arya practice, Syrio calls out his sword strokes and Arya blocks them, until he calls left and strikes Arya from the right. Syrio explains to Arya the difference between watching and seeing, between hearing lies and seeing the truth. A knight of the Kingsguard and five Lannister men arrive to summon Arya, but Syrio stops Arya and tells her to see through the men’s words. Ned would never send Lannisters to escort his daughter. Syrio fights off the armed men using his wooden practice stick while Arya escapes. She forces herself to remain calm and returns to her room, where she retrieves clothing and her sword, Needle. When she leaves to escape, a boy discovers her in the stables. When he tries to grab her, Arya stabs him, then escapes through the dungeons of the Red Keep.

Summary: Chapter 51: Sansa (IV)

After Cersei takes Ned prisoner, Sansa is confined to her room for three days. Cersei summons her before the council and tells her that Ned has been accused of treason. Cersei also thanks Sansa for informing her that Ned secretly planned to send Sansa and Arya away to Winterfell. Sansa wishes to prove she is not a traitor like her father in order to secure her marriage to Joff. She agrees to write four letters, which will be dictated by Cersei and sent to Catelyn, Lysa, Robb, and Sansa’s grandfather, Hoster Tully. The letters say that Ned is a traitor and that Sansa’s family must come to King’s Landing and swear their loyalty to Joff. Later, Sansa realizes that she forgot to ask if Arya was safe.

Summary: Chapter 52: Jon (VII)

Jon and Sam join Commander Mormont and his men on a ranging. They find the corpse from which Ghost ripped the blackened hand. A ranger guesses the bodies have not been dead for more than a day. Sam points out that something is wrong with the corpses, since they are not bloody or rotten and their eyes have turned blue. Commander Mormont orders the bodies carried back to the Wall for inspection. That night Jon receives word of Ned’s alleged treason. Commander Mormont knows Jon will be upset. When Jon overhears Thorne call him a traitor’s bastard, Jon attacks Thorne. Commander Mormont reprimands Jon and sends him to his cell without his weapons. Later that night, Jon finds his cell door open and the guards outside dead. Jon walks up the stairs to find one of the corpses walking into Commander Mormont’s room. Jon and Ghost defend Commander Mormont from the reanimated corpse, or wight, by attacking it and burning it with flaming drapes.

Summary: Chapter 53: Bran (VI)

Robb is assembling an army at Winterfell. The Starks receive all kinds of stories about the events at King’s Landing, all rumors with varying parts truth and lies. Robb and Bran receive their letter from Sansa, which proclaims their father a traitor and makes no mention of Arya’s safety. Bran reflects that Sansa has lost her wolf, and that Starks who go south never return. Osha tells him that the old gods of the northerners have no power in the South. She warns Bran that the real trouble is to the north, beyond the Wall, where the giants and the Others roam. When Robb leaves Winterfell, he tells Bran that he is now Lord of the Winterfell until Robb or Ned returns.

Summary: Chapter 54: Daenerys (VI)

Daenerys asks Drogo if they can go to Westeros once their son is born. Drogo states that the earth ends at the sea, and the Dothraki will not cross the “poison water” of the Narrow Sea. Daenerys asks Jorah to help her make Drogo understand. Jorah tells her that though he also longs for home, she must be patient in order to avoid Viserys’s mistake. Daenerys and Jorah go to the Western Market while Drogo hunts. Daenerys is about to sample some wine when Jorah stops her. The wineseller won't drink it himself, and Jorah realizes he is an assassin. He is captured, and later Jorah shows Daenerys a letter from Illyrio to Viserys saying that there is an offer of lordship to anyone who kills the Targaryen children. When he hears about the assassin, Drogo changes his mind and agrees to make war on Westeros.


While training with Syrio, Arya develops a much better sense of sight, figuratively speaking, than Ned or Sansa has displayed. Syrio’s allegory about the fat yellow tomcat teaches Arya that people are only too willing to see what they want and believe what they are told. His swordplay, by saying left and going right, teaches her that she should not trust others’ words. Rather, she should learn to read people according to their behavior. With Syrio’s words in mind, Arya realizes that the Lannister men have not come to help her, and as a result she is able to escape them. She walks across the courtyard in broad daylight without being noticed because she realizes that, since the guards want to find a scared girl, they will not pay any attention to a calm girl. Sansa and Ned, on the other hand, continue to believe people's words. Despite the evidence to the contrary, Sansa convinces herself that Joff and Cersei are good people, and Ned believes Littlefinger when he says he'll help.

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