A Storm of Swords-Chapter 24

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Bran II
A Storm of Swords chapter
POV Bran
Place Northern mountains
Page 274 UK HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
Bran I
Daenerys II  ← Bran II →  Davos III

Bran III

Bran Stark travels through the northern mountains and learns about the Knight of the Laughing Tree.


Hearing north to the Wall, Bran and his companions slowly travel through the northern mountains. Bran tells his friends about the clans who live in the mountains and hills.

To avoid freezing rain, the travelers shelter with a a Liddle in a shallow cave. Sharing his food with them, the man warns that squids are in the wolfswood and that the Bastard's boys are hunting along the kingsroad. The man indicates that the Bastard of Bolton is offering gold for wolfskins and for word on the walking dead, and he looks knowingly at Bran and Summer. The Liddle also tells them about the Old Bear leading the Night's Watch into the haunted forest. The man leaves them sausage and oatcakes and departs before they wake.

Later, Meera tells the story of the Knight of the Laughing Tree during the year of the false spring; the story names no names, but from their references, we know who they are. A crannogman (Howland Reed) had left Greywater Watch and visited the green men on the Isle of Faces. Returning home, he stopped at Harrenhal for the great tourney. Three squires accosted him and mocked him for his short stature, knocking him to the ground until he was rescued by a she-wolf (Lyanna Stark).

A knight (Jaime Lannister) was named to the Kingsguard, although his father was absent (Tywin Lannister had recently resigned as Hand). During the feast, the wild wolf (Brandon Stark) asked a maid with laughing purple eyes (Ashara Dayne) to dance with his shy brother (Eddard Stark). A pup (Benjen Stark) offered the crannogman some armor so that he could take his vengeance on the squires during the tourney, but the little man turned him down. The crannogmen prayed to the old gods, and the next day at the tourney, a mystery knight called the Knight of the Laughing Tree defeated the knights whose squires had wronged the crannogman. Instead of collecting a ransom from the three defeated knights, the mystery knight asked them to teach their squires honor. The Knight of the Laughing Tree disappeared before he could be unmasked, despite the fury of the king (Aerys II Targaryen).

The tourney was won by the dragon prince (Rhaegar Targaryen), but Meera ends the story by saying that what happened next is a sadder tale that deserves its own telling. Bran has never heard this story before, and both Reeds are surprised that Lord Eddard never related it to him.

Character List appearing/mentioned

Places and terms mentioned

References and Notes