Tower of the Hand

Book 1, Chapter 67.
Maester Luwin tells Bran and Rickon about the children of the forest. A raven arrives announcing Eddard's death.
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Bran, Summer, and Maester Luwin watch Ser Rodrik train new recruits. Bran says that if he were trained to use a poleaxe, he could fight using Hodor as his legs. Luwin replies that a man's arms, legs, and thoughts must be one in battle. Bran brings up Symeon Star-Eyes, a knight who supposedly fought blind and replaced his eyes with sapphires, but Luwin says that Symeon, like Florian the Fool and countless others, is merely a legend from the Age of Heroes. Bran tells the maester that he had the crow dream again, in which he went down to the crypts and talked to Eddard. Eddard seemed sad; it had something to do with Jon. Bran tried to go down to the crypts when he awoke, but Hodor would not enter. Maester Luwin summons Osha to carry Bran and goes down to the crypts with him.

As they proceed through the crypts, Maester Luwin has Bran tell Osha about the people whose graves they pass. Jon Stark defeated the sea raiders when they landed in the east and built the castle at White Harbor. His son, Rickard, took the Neck from the Marsh King and married the king's daughter. Theon Stark was called the Hungry Wolf because he was always at war. Brandon the Shipwright loved the sea and was lost sailing far to the west. His son, Brandon the Burner, burnt all his father's ships in his grief. Rodrik Stark won Bear Island in a wrestling match and granted it to House Mormont. Torrhen Stark is known as the King Who Knelt for yielding to Aegon the Conqueror. Cregan Stark was considered a fine swordsman and once fought Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. Lord Rickard Stark was executed by King Aerys II. Brandon and Lyanna also have statues, even though by tradition only the kings and lords get them, because Eddard loved them so much. They finally arrive at Eddard's grave, and Shaggydog suddenly leaps at Maester Luwin and savages his arm before Summer intervenes and Rickon calls him off. Rickon is here because he had the same dream as Bran. They convince him to come back to Maester Luwin's tower with them, where Osha bandages the maester's wound.

Osha brings up the children of the forest and Maester Luwin brings out a jar of dragonglass arrowheads to show Bran and Rickon. He says that the children worked no metal and wore clothes made of leaves and bark and wielded weapons made of dragonglass. Bran asks the maester to tell him all about the children. Maester Luwin says no one knows how long they lived in Westeros, but their domination ended with the arrival of the First Men twelve thousand years ago, who began to clear away the trees for fields. After years of war, a pact was forged on the Isle of Faces in which the First Men agreed to chop down no more trees and live in peace. This is considered the end of the Dawn Age and the beginning of the Age of Heroes. The pact endured through the Age of Heroes, the Long Night, and the founding of the Seven Kingdoms until the Andals arrived in Westeros four thousand years later. Before Maester Luwin can finish the story, he is interrupted by Summer howling. A raven arrives at the window with a message reporting Eddard's death.



Active Houses

  1. House Mormont of Bear Island - House Mormont gained hegemony over Bear Island when King Rodrik Stark granted the island to them after supposedly winning it in a wrestling match.


  1. Andals - The Andals crossed over to Westeros by sea thousands of years ago and conquered the six southern kingdoms in the name of the Seven. They cut down weirwoods and drove the children of the forest and the First Men north.
  2. Children of the Forest - The children were small, dark and beautiful. They wore clothes of leaves and bark, hunted with weirwood bows, and used blades and arrowheads made of dragonglass. Their wise men were called greenseers, and they carved faces into the weirwoods to keep watch over the forest. Their gods were the nameless gods of nature that are now called the old gods. They are the oldest known inhabitants of Westeros. When the First Men crossed the Arm of Dorne and began to settle the land, they chopped down the weirwoods, which led to open war. The children used magic to shatter the Arm, but they could not prevail against the invaders. Finally, the two peoples came to a peace agreement in a meeting on the Isle of Faces, in which the children retained the forests and the First Men agreed to halt the cutting down of weirwoods. This peace lasted for four thousand years until the Andals came and began chopping down the trees again. Under persecution, the children retreated to the far north, where some claim they still live today.
  3. The First Men - The First Men came to Westeros twelve thousand years ago, according to their own traditions, by crossing over the Arm of Dorne. They began carving out settlements, but soon came into conflict with the children of the forest when they cut down weirwoods. The First Men, with their bronze swords, large leather shields, and horses, soon gained the upper hand despite the children's shattering of the Arm, preventing reinforcements from arriving. Eventually, the First Men made peace with the children and agreed to leave them the forests and not cut down any more weirwoods. Over the next four thousand years they lived in peace with the children, adopted the old gods as their own, and established hundreds of kingdoms that eventually consolidated into seven. The subsequent invasion by the Andals drove the First Men out of the southern lands, leaving them only the north.


  1. Dragonglass - This is the common name of the volcanic rock obsidian. The children of the forest used it to make weapons.


  1. The Broken Arm - The First Men crossed over into Westeros using the Arm. After the war against the children of the forest began, the children used their magic to shatter it.


  1. The War of Conquest - The conquest of the north was accomplished without bloodshed when King Torrhen Stark swore fealty to Aegon the Conqueror rather than fight him after he learned of Aegon's victories in the south. In return, Aegon allowed Torrhen to continue as lord paramount of the north.


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