Tower of the Hand

Book 2, Chapter 23.
Catelyn meets Renly at Bitterbridge. Brienne is made a member of Renly's Rainbow Guard. Renly learns that Stannis is besieging Storm's End.
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Catelyn is riding south with twenty Winterfell guards, including Hallis and Shadd, and five lordlings, including Ser Wendel, Robin, Lucas Blackwood, and Ser Perwyn Frey, as an escort. She had not wanted to be the one to treat with Renly, but Robb convinced her there was no one else. Robb was preparing to march as she took her leave. The riverlands are dangerous, but the war has not passed south of the Blackwater. As they ride, they soon encounter a scouting party led by Ser Colen of Greenpools. He tells her that Renly is camped near Bitterbridge, where the roseroad crosses the Mander, and that he will escort her there. As they get close to the Mander, the huge host becomes visible clustered around thousands of campfires. A great melee is being held next to the castle of Bitterbridge in front of a large crowd. As they ride up, a knight bearing the colors of House Tarth unhorses Red Ronnet Connington. Ser Colen tells Catelyn to have her men wait there, and he will present her to King Renly. As she approaches the dais, she notes some of his lords and ladies, including Lord Mathis Rowan, Lord Randyll Tarly, and Lady Arwyn Oakheart. At the center of them sits Renly with his new wife, Margaery. The melee is almost over now, with only four knights remaining. The Tarth knight quickly unhorses two of them, leaving the crowd favorite, Loras, as the final opponent. Loras almost finishes it, but the Tarth knight manages to turn the tide and defeat him. Catelyn asks Ser Colen who the knight is and is shocked to learn she is a woman, Brienne of Tarth, daughter of Lord Selwyn. Renly declares her champion of the field of 116 knights and says he will give her any reward she asks. She asks to join his Rainbow Guard, and he gives his assent. She is anointed Brienne the Blue. Ser Colen brings Catelyn forward. Renly says he will see justice done for Eddard. Lord Caswell has given Renly use of his castle, so he gives her use of his royal pavilion and offers her a place at the feast to be held that night.

That night, Catelyn is seated between Lord Mathis and Ser Jon Fossoway. Others at the feast include Brienne; Lord Willum and his sons, Josua and Elyas; Lord Steffon Varner; Lord Bryce Caron, Ser Robar Royce, and Ser Guyard Morrigen of the Rainbow Guard; Ser Mark Mullendore; and Ser Tanton Fossoway. Renly sits with Margaery on his left and Ser Loras on his right. Catelyn realizes that they are all so young and unblooded and labels them "the knights of summer." Renly bids her leave the hall with him. He asks if Ser Barristan had been sighted at Riverrun and is disappointed that he has disappeared.1 He had been saving Brienne's spot on the Rainbow Guard for him. He takes her to the battlements of the castle to gaze out at his army. He says he has 80,000, with 10,000 more at Highgarden commanded by Lord Mace and a strong garrison at Storm's End. He will triumph. If Robb bends the knee and joins him, he can keep his titles, even King in the North, and rule as he pleases, but he must swear fealty. Catelyn mentions Stannis's right to the throne, and Renly counters that he would make an appalling king. Renly plans to win the throne as Robert won his, through force of arms. As they talk, a rider appears and calls for the king. Renly announces himself, and the rider declares that Storm's End is besieged by Stannis.


Active Characters

  1. Brienne Tarth - She is called the Beauty as a cruel joke. She has large, blue eyes; straw-colored hair; broad, coarse features; and a flat face. Her teeth are prominent and crooked, her mouth is too wide, her lips are swollen, her nose is battered and has been broken more than once, and her face is covered in freckles. She is tall and ungainly, thick for a woman.
  2. Guyard Morrigen - He is called Guyard the Green of Renly Baratheon's Rainbow Guard.
  3. Lorent Caswell - He is a wispy young man.
  4. Margaery Tyrell - She is doe-eyed and pretty with long, curly brown hair.
  5. Randyll Tarly - He has a short, bristly grey beard.
  6. Renly Baratheon - He is tall and broad-shouldered with coal-black hair and deep blue eyes. He is twenty-one.


  1. Bitterbridge - Bitterbridge is a small stone-and-timber castle next to a bridge over the Mander.


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


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