Tower of the Hand

Book 4, Chapter 5.
Brienne asks after Sansa in Rosby and encounters the hedge knights Ser Creighton and Ser Illifer on the road to Duskendale.
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Brienne asks several residents of Rosby if they have seen Sansa, asking after her not by name but as a maid of thirteen with blue eyes and auburn hair, but there has been no sign of her. As she prepares to leave, she notices a skinny boy atop a piebald mare, but he vanishes before she can ask after Sansa.1 She leaves the town and continues on towards Duskendale, which she thinks is the most likely place to find Sansa or her trail. The road is full of travelers, but none of them have seen Sansa either. Around dusk, she comes upon two hedge knights grilling trout at a campfire. They invite her over to share the fish and are shocked when she takes off her helm and reveals she is a woman. She asks them about Sansa as well, but they have not seen her. They once again invite her to share their food and introduce themselves as Creighton Longbough and Illifer the Penniless. Ser Creighton offers to escort her to Duskendale, and insists even after she refuses. Illifer tells Creighton to give over and says that a liar like her has no need of them. He points out her shield, which sports the black bat of Lothston, a line that was ended generations ago. The last lord of the line, Lucas Lothston, was known for his dark deeds, as was his son, Manfryd of the Black Hood. By her freakish size, Illifer recognizes her as Brienne of Tarth. He accuses her of killing Renly, which she denies. She thinks of how she fell in love with Renly when he first came to Tarth during his progress when he came of age. Brienne did not want to attend the welcome feast in his honor, sure she would be mocked because of the incident with the rose,2 but Lord Selwyn made her attend. Renly showed her every courtesy and even danced with her; from that day, Brienne wanted nothing more than to serve and protect him. She swears her innocence by the Seven, which satisfies the two hedge knights who ask her to take the first watch. She considers leaving, but does not want to leave the two men defenseless. She is relieved and falls asleep.

The next day, the three travel together. Around midday they encounter a large group of men, women, and children accompanied by a septon and some begging brothers. They are going to King's Landing with a cart full of the bones of servants of the Seven that have been killed during the war and mean to ask for the king's protection. Several of them are armed with axes, clubs, and cudgels, including one big man with the seven-pointed star carved on his breast. The septon, a spare man with a lean sharp face, a short beard grizzled grey and brown, thin hair knotted behind his head, and black gnarled feet, beseeches the hedge knights to join them.3 Ser Illifer offers to escort them to King's Landing for a price, but the septon states that sparrows need no gold. Ser Creighton asks why they call themselves sparrows, and the septon explains they are the humblest of men as the sparrow is the humblest of birds. He goes on to say that it is time for all true knights to gather and defend the Holy Faith. With no payment in the offing, Ser Illifer refuses to accompany the sparrows. Brienne asks after Sansa again, but they have not seen her.

About three hours later, they come across a merchant named Hibald traveling with his serving men and hedge knight guard. Brienne asks after Sansa without success, while Creighton and Illifer offer to travel with the merchant, who accepts. As they ride, the hedge knight drops back to ride with Brienne. He introduces himself as Ser Shadrich of the Shady Glen, also known as the Mad Mouse. He reveals that he recognized Brienne's description of Sansa and that he is also looking for her. He fought for Stannis on the Blackwater and spent all his coin ransoming himself. He means to collect the bounty placed on Sansa by Varys. The party stops for the night at an inn by a bridge called the Old Stone Bridge. Brienne offers to pay for them, as Jaime made sure she had plenty of gold along with a letter signed by Tommen calling on all loyal subjects to assist her. The innkeeper, Naggle, gives them rooms and food. Brienne retires early, drawing Oathkeeper and saying a prayer to the Crone before lying in bed. After all the other patrons have retired for the night, she sneaks out of the inn and continues her journey alone.


Active Characters

  1. Creighton Longbough - He has a big belly, yellow hair and a shaggy untrimmed beard.
  2. Illifer - He is around sixty with a narrow pinched face.
  3. Shadrich - He is short, wiry, and fox-faced with a sharp nose and a shock of orange hair.


  1. Andals - Andal warriors often used to carve the seven-pointed star on their breast as a sign of faith.


  1. Rosby - A small village of daub-and-wattle huts sits outside the castle.


Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.
  • 1 - This is Podrick, who is following Brienne in the hopes that she will lead him to Tyrion.
  • 2 - Ronnet Connington was a suitor for Brienne's hand. He came to Tarth with a rose to give her. When he beheld how ugly she was, he gave her the rose and said it was all he would ever give her.
  • 3 - By his description, this is the man who will soon be appointed High Septon.