Tower of the Hand

Book 4, Chapter 20.
The kingsmoot is held and Euron Greyjoy is declared King of the ironborn.
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Aeron walks from the sea to Nagga's bones to preside over the kingsmoot just before dawn. Some time later, Rus and his other drowned man arrive, and he tells them to summon the captains and kings for the choosing. Aeron recognizes several as they arrive, Sigfry Stonetree, Andrik the Unsmiling, Ser Harras Harlaw, Lord Baelor Blacktyde, the Stonehouse, and Victarion. Aeron asks who will come forward to claim the throne, and Lord Gylbert Farwynd makes a claim. He comes forward with his champions, his sons Gyles, Ygon, and Yohn. Gylbert, apparently mad, speaks of a paradise beyond the Sunset Sea where he would lead them and offers gifts of little value. Not even all his own family takes up the cry for him. The next to rise is Erik Ironmaker, championed by his grandsons, Urek, Thormor, and Dagon. A few men take up the chant for him, until Asha comes forward and tells him to stand up to claim his crown. He is unable to rise, and is carried off in shame. The next to come forward is Dunstan Drumm, carrying his Valyrian steel blade, Red Rain, and championed by his sons, Denys and Donnel, and Andrik. He begins be reminding the crowd that while Vickon Greyjoy was chosen to rule the ironmen after the death of Harren that he was chosen to rule as lord, not king. He then regales the crowd with tails of his illustrious ancestors such as Dale the Dread, Roryn the Reaver, Gormund Drumm the Oldfather and his one hundred sons, and Hilmar Drumm the Cunning, who took Red Rain from a knight, supposedly using only his wits and a wooden cudgel. The crowd is interested, until he reveals his treasures, which are poor and mostly bronze.

At this crucial stage, Aeron catches Victarion's attention, and he comes forward to make his claim. He rises with his champions, Ralf the Limper, Red Ralf Stonehouse, and Nute the Barber, speaks of his prowess, and gives the crowd of wealth of gold and gems and plunder. Nearly all assembled take up the cry in his name, until Asha whistles to cut through the noise. She comes forward and begins to speak, mocking her uncle and sparring with several others, including the Red Oarsman, and Lucas Codd. After a time her champions come forward, Qarl the Maid, Tristifer Botley, and Ser Harras Harlaw. She tells the assembled that they cannot win the war they are currently waging and says they have gained nothing from the victories they have already won. She opens three chests to show the riches of the north, the pebbles of the Stony Shore, the pine cones of Deepwood, and the turnips of Winterfell. She turns to Harmund Sharp and tells him that his son, Harrag, died at Winterfell for these turnips and asks if he would lose more sons. He asks what she will give them, and she answers peace, enough land for every son to build a hall, and friendship with the northmen. Lord Rodrik takes up the cry for her, and others follow, including Lord Meldred Merlyn. Victarion's supporters began to shout back. Just as a riot is about to begin, a horn blast pierces the air. All turn to look at one of Euron's crew1 sounding a shiny black horn banded with red gold and dark steel and incised with ancient Valyrian glyphs. The glyphs begin to glow as the sound goes on and on, until the man finally runs out of breath and the noise subsides. Orkwood has to catch the man and hold him up, and Aeron sees that he has blood blisters on his lips and is bleeding from his chest. Euron climbs the steps to the Grey King's hall and addresses the captains and kings. He tells them that he will bring them victory and all of Westeros. He found the horn in the smoking ruins of Valyria and says that it can bind dragons to his will. Asha points out there are no more dragons, but Euron says he knows where to find three. Lucas and the Red Oarsman begin the cry as Euron unloads his treasures for the assembled. Soon Hotho Harlaw joins in, then Gorold Goodbrother, then Erik Ironmaker until everyone is shouting Euron's name.


Characters

Active Characters

  1. Erik Ironmaker - He is eighty-eight years old. His form is immense, and he can no longer bear his own weight. His hair and beard are white, and his beard comes down to his thighs.
  2. Euron Greyjoy - His lips are blue.
  3. Gylbert Farwynd - His eyes seem to shift between blue and grey.

Creatures

  1. Nagga - Nagga was, according to legend, a great sea dragon that would feast on krakens and leviathans and drown whole islands. It was supposedly slain by the Grey King, after which the Drowned God turned its bones to stone and the ribs became the beams and pillars of the Grey King's longhall.


Footnotes

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