Chapter 55 (Daenerys)
Deanerys and her army arrive at the city of Meereen. A single warrior named Oznak zo Pahl leaves the city and invites a challenger to single combat. Deanerys knows that someone must fight Oznak, so she selects a former gladiator named Strong Belwas. Although Oznak rides a horse and Belwas is on foot, Belwas defeats Oznak and cuts off his head. Still, Daenerys is uncertain how to attack such a fortified city. After some strategizing, she learns that there is a sewer system that runs beneath the walls. Daenerys ponders her options and ventures into her own camp. An assassin appears, and Daenerys recognizes him as Mero, the sellsword commander from Yunkai. Whitebeard slays Mero in single combat and saves Daenerys’ life. When Ser Jorah returns from a scouting mission, Daenerys is angry that he did not inform her that Mero had escaped the last battle. When Deanerys insists on knighting Whitebeard, he confesses that he is already a knight, and that his real name is Barristan Selmy. When pressed, Whitebeard also reveals that he once served Daenerys’ father, but he betrayed him. He adds that Ser Jorah has spied on Daenerys for the Iron Throne, and Jorah reluctantly confesses. Enraged and confused, Daenerys sends them both away.
Chapter 56 (Tyrion)
Tyrion delivers the news of the Red Wedding to Sansa, but Sansa does not reveal her emotions to Tyrion. One night, Tyrion sneaks away from their bedchamber and has a tryst with Shae. He fears for her life and is disappointed by what little he can offer Shae. He resolves to marry her to Ser Tallad, another knight at King’s Landing, who is known for his height.
Chapter 57 (Sansa)
On the day of Joffrey’s opulent wedding, Sansa feels numb and sad, believing that her entire family is extinct. She and Tyrion attend Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell. After the ceremony, Joffrey opens wedding gifts, but when he receives a valuable history book from Tyrion, he scorns it. Joffrey also receives a sword of Valyrian steel from Tywin and names it Widow’s Wail. He then uses the sword to chop Tyrion’s book to pieces. When Tyrion and Sansa enter a litter, Tyrion tries to engage Sansa in conversation about their families, but she replies neutrally. When Tyrion offers details about the Red Wedding, Sansa declines to learn how Robb and Catelyn perished.
Chapter 58 (Tyrion)
Tyrion witnesses the wedding ceremony with disinterest, and he drinks copious amounts of wine. Tyrion offers to take Sansa away to Casterly Rock, so they can escape the claustrophobic House of Lannister, but Sansa is ambivalent. Tyrion and Sansa retire to dress in their chambers, where Shae requests to serve at the feast. Sansa declines the request. When they join the feast, Tyrion silently begrudges the extravagance of the meal, which includes 77 courses of food. After a variety of entertainments, Joffrey calls for a jousting show. The two jousters are dwarves, who ride a pig and a dog. This show infuriates Tyrion, and Joffrey and Tyrion parley with insults. Joffrey finally flings wine in Tyrion’s face. Joffrey bullies Tyrion by forcing him to refill the cup. The moment is interrupted when Tywin asks Joffrey to cut the wedding pie, which is full of live doves. Joffrey asks Ser Ilyn Payne for his sword so he can cut the pie, and Sansa realizes that Payne’s sword used to be Ice, her father’s sword. It was reforged into its current shape. Tyrion tries to leave with Sansa, but Joffrey mockingly demands they stay. Joffrey starts to eat the pie and suddenly begins to choke. In horror and clutching at his throat, Joffrey collapses and dies. Cersei screams that Joffrey has been poisoned, and the palace guards arrest Tyrion.
Chapter 59 (Sansa)
Sansa flees the feast when Joffrey begins choking. Inwardly, she rejoices that the king has died. She examines her hairnet and notices that an amethyst stone is missing. She recalls that Ser Dontos told her the hairnet was magical and would bring her home, and Sansa suspects foul play. Dontos appears and smuggles her through the castle, and then they descend a secret staircase on the outer wall. They board a boat, where Sansa recognizes Petyr Baelish. When Dontos asks for payment for delivering Sansa, Petyr has Dontos killed with crossbow bolts. Petyr explains that Dontos was a selfish drunk and would reveal their plot. He also reveals that the idea for the jousting dwarfs was his. He assures Sansa that she is now safe with him.
Daenerys learns startling new information about Whitebeard and Ser Jorah that causes her to distrust them, and the loss to her could be a significant one since they’ve become two of her most trusted advisors. Daenerys already feels herself to be vulnerable. Even though she’s the “mother of dragons” and now the commander of an army, she’s still a foreigner unfamiliar with the land she’s in, a woman in the midst of a patriarchal culture, and is yet quite young. For these reasons she routinely looks to Ser Jorah and Whitebeard for their counsel, even if she doesn’t always follow it. Now she realizes, however, that Whitebeard isn’t who he says he is, and Ser Jorah was selling information about her to her enemies in Westeros. Neither seems to be actively trying to sabotage her, but the sense of betrayal Daenerys feels means she will have a great deal of difficulty trusting either again.