Tower of the Hand

Book 3, Chapter 25.
Meera tells Bran the story of the tournament at Harrenhal in the Year of the False Spring.
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Bran, Hodor, Meera, Jojen, and Summer make their way through the mountains towards the Wall. Bran laments that they would make better time on the kingsroad, but Jojen says it would not be safe. They see no people on their trek, save for one night when they shared a cave with a Liddle to wait out a storm. The next day as they are walking the talk turns to stories, and Bran asks if the Reeds know any. Meera mentions the Knight of the Laughing Tree. She begins the story of a young and inquisitive crannogman1 who wanted to see the world and left the swamps for the Isle of Faces. He stayed there all winter, and when spring broke crossed the river to Harrenhal. A great tournament was about to begin, and most of the finest knights of the land were in attendance. The king was there,2 as were the White Swords,3 who welcomed a new brother.4 The storm lord5 was there and the rose lord,6 while the great lion of the rock7 was absent due to a quarrel with the king.2 The daughter of the castle reigned as the queen of love and beauty, and her four brothers and her uncle of the Kingsguard were there to defend her.8 The dragon prince9 and his wife10 were there as well. The crannogman1 was accosted by three squires who beat him until the she-wolf drove them off.11 She took him back to her tent, where her pack brothers, the wild wolf,12 the quiet wolf,13 and the pup14 were staying as well. She convinced him to attend the feast that night, and he ate and drank with the wolves and their sworn swords, including barrowtown men, moose, bears, and mermen.15 At the feast, the dragon prince9 sang a song that made the she-wolf11 weep, while the storm lord5 won a drinking contest with the knight of skulls and kisses.16 A maid with laughing purple eyes17 danced with a white sword,18 a red snake,19 the lord of griffins,20 and finally the quiet wolf13 after the wild wolf12 said a word on his behalf. The crannogman1 recognized the squires who accosted him. They served a pitchfork knight,21 a porcupine knight,22 and a knight of two towers.23 The she-wolf11 pointed them out to her brothers and the pup14 offered the crannogman1 a horse and armor. Though he wanted to avenge his honor, the crannogman1 realized he was too small. He shared a tent with the quiet wolf13 that night, but prayed to the old gods first. The champions were all defeated on the first day, and the pitchfork,21 porcupine,22 and two towers23 were among the victors. At the end of the second day, a mystery knight entered the lists. Mystery knights are not unknown in Westeros, with more notable examples including Ser Barristan Selmy entering two tournaments as a youth, one of them when he was ten, and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight entering a tournament as the Knight of Tears so he could name Queen Naerys queen of love and beauty. This particular mystery knight was small of stature and clad in ill fitting armor, and the knight's device was a weirwood with a laughing red face.24 The knight challenged the pitchfork,21 porcupine,22 and two towers23 knights, and defeated each in turn. When they came to ransom their armor, the knight only told them to teach their squires honor. That night, the storm lord5 and the knight of skulls and kisses16 both swore they would unmask the Knight of the Laughing Tree.24 The next day, however, the knight failed to appear. The king2 sent the dragon prince9 to find the knight, but all he found was the shield.24 Bran likes the story, but wishes the she-wolf11 had been named queen of love and beauty. Meera says that she was, but that is a sadder story.25

Characters


Houses

Active Houses

  1. House Harclay - A mountain clan of the North. The head of the clan is considered a lord further south, but is just known as "the Harclay" to his own people.
  2. House Knott - A mountain clan of the North. The head of the clan is considered a lord further south, but is just known as "the Knott" to his own people.
  3. House Liddle - A mountain clan of the North. The head of the clan is considered a lord further south, but is just known as "the Liddle" to his own people.
  4. House Norrey - A mountain clan of the North. The head of the clan is considered a lord further south, but is just known as "the Norrey" to his own people.
  5. House Wull - A mountain clan of the North. The head of the clan is considered a lord further south, but is just known as "the Wull" to his own people.

Footnotes

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

ASOS List

1.  Prologue 29.  Sansa III 57.  Bran IV
2.  Jaime I 30.  Arya V 58.  Daenerys V
3.  Catelyn I 31.  Jon IV 59.  Tyrion VII
4.  Arya I 32.  Jaime IV 60.  Sansa IV
5.  Tyrion I 33.  Tyrion IV 61.  Tyrion VIII
6.  Davos I 34.  Samwell II 62.  Sansa V
7.  Sansa I 35.  Arya VI 63.  Jaime VII
8.  Jon I 36.  Catelyn IV 64.  Davos VI
9.  Daenerys I 37.  Davos IV 65.  Jon VIII
10.  Bran I 38.  Jaime V 66.  Arya XII
11.  Davos II 39.  Tyrion V 67.  Tyrion IX
12.  Jaime II 40.  Arya VII 68.  Jaime VIII
13.  Tyrion II 41.  Bran III 69.  Sansa VI
14.  Arya II 42.  Jon V 70.  Jon IX
15.  Catelyn II 43.  Daenerys IV 71.  Tyrion X
16.  Jon II 44.  Arya VIII 72.  Daenerys VI
17.  Sansa II 45.  Jaime VI 73.  Jaime IX
18.  Arya III 46.  Catelyn V 74.  Jon X
19.  Samwell I 47.  Samwell III 75.  Arya XIII
20.  Tyrion III 48.  Arya IX 76.  Samwell IV
21.  Catelyn III 49.  Jon VI 77.  Jon XI
22.  Jaime III 50.  Catelyn VI 78.  Tyrion XI
23.  Arya IV 51.  Arya X 79.  Samwell V
24.  Daenerys II 52.  Catelyn VII 80.  Jon XII
25.  Bran II 53.  Arya XI 81.  Sansa VII
26.  Davos III 54.  Tyrion VI 82.  Epilogue
27.  Jon III 55.  Davos V
28.  Daenerys III 56.  Jon VII