Tower of the Hand

Book 1, Chapter 51.
Ser Meryn comes to take Arya into custody while she is practicing with Syrio, who sacrifices himself so Arya can escape.
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Syrio gives Arya a lesson. He calls out where he will strike so that Arya can counter, but he lies on the final thrust and gets through her defense. Arya is upset, but Syrio points out that his whole body showed the point of attack and only his words were lies. He then tells her a story about the importance of seeing what is really there rather than what someone says is there. When Syrio's predecessor as first sword died, the Sealord of Braavos began conducting interviews with bravos from the city one at a time. When Syrio was brought before him, the Sealord had a beast on his lap he said was brought from a faraway land. Syrio recognized it as an immensely fat yet otherwise ordinary cat and was given the job. All the other candidates had seen an exotic beast because the Sealord said it was exotic, but Syrio saw through the lie. The lesson learned, Syrio tells Arya he is pleased with her progress and believes he might let her use Needle when they get to Winterfell. Suddenly, Ser Meryn bursts into the room with five Lannister guards. He says that Arya's father wants to see her, but Syrio sees through the ruse, and Ser Meryn orders Arya taken. Syrio intercedes to give her time to escape, and Ser Meryn orders him killed. Syrio takes on and defeats all five guards, killing some of them, but cannot do much against the fully armored Ser Meryn. He tells Arya to run and closes with his foe and almost certain death.

Arya runs into an underground storeroom and then crawls out a window. She sees the Tower of the Hand, with the doors bashed in and one of her father's guards dead at the door. She hears the sounds of fighting from within. She realizes she cannot go that way and heads to the stables instead. She sees Hullen at the entrance; he has been stabbed many times. Hullen tells her to warn her father and dies. Inside, there are more dead men: a groom, three Stark guards, including Desmond, and one dead Lannister guard. She sees her chest and searches through it for Needle. A stableboy sees her and tries to turn her in, but she stabs and kills him. She realizes the gates will be shut, but remembers the passage where she had seen the strange men.1 It takes her a while, but she finds her way down and walks towards freedom.



  1. Braavos - Braavos is a major maritime trading power, and its ships travel to many distant lands. There is a menagerie in the city containing animals from all over the world. Braavos is ruled by the Sealord.


Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.


1.  Prologue 26.  Eddard V 51.  Arya IV
2.  Bran I 27.  Jon IV 52.  Sansa IV
3.  Catelyn I 28.  Eddard VI 53.  Jon VII
4.  Daenerys I 29.  Catelyn V 54.  Bran VI
5.  Eddard I 30.  Sansa II 55.  Daenerys VI
6.  Jon I 31.  Eddard VII 56.  Catelyn VIII
7.  Catelyn II 32.  Tyrion IV 57.  Tyrion VII
8.  Arya I 33.  Arya III 58.  Sansa V
9.  Bran II 34.  Eddard VIII 59.  Eddard XV
10.  Tyrion I 35.  Catelyn VI 60.  Catelyn IX
11.  Jon II 36.  Eddard IX 61.  Jon VIII
12.  Daenerys II 37.  Daenerys IV 62.  Daenerys VII
13.  Eddard II 38.  Bran V 63.  Tyrion VIII
14.  Tyrion II 39.  Tyrion V 64.  Catelyn X
15.  Catelyn III 40.  Eddard X 65.  Daenerys VIII
16.  Sansa I 41.  Catelyn VII 66.  Arya V
17.  Eddard III 42.  Jon V 67.  Bran VII
18.  Bran III 43.  Tyrion VI 68.  Sansa VI
19.  Catelyn IV 44.  Eddard XI 69.  Daenerys IX
20.  Jon III 45.  Sansa III 70.  Tyrion IX
21.  Eddard IV 46.  Eddard XII 71.  Jon IX
22.  Tyrion III 47.  Daenerys V 72.  Catelyn XI
23.  Arya II 48.  Eddard XIII 73.  Daenerys X
24.  Daenerys III 49.  Jon VI
25.  Bran IV 50.  Eddard XIV