Book II : Clash of Kings by George R.R.Martin Summary

 

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 5.45.37 PMA Clash of Kings of 1999 is the second novel in the series by George R.R.Martin – “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Here is the summary for all you wanted to know about the second book. This has also been adapted into the Game of Thrones HBO series and translates directly to the Game of Thrones Seasons. If you are looking for the summary of the first book – Click here.

Of the 7 book series, this is the second one and the HBO series is famous by its name. The others are

Sr No. Title Release
1 A Game of Thrones August 1996
2 A Clash of Kings February 1999
3 A Storm of Swords November 2000
4 A Feast for Crows November 2005
5 A Dance with Dragons July 2011
6 The Winds of Winter Unreleased
7 A Dream of Spring Unreleased

Game of Thrones, starts with 3 simultaneous storylines, as follows

  1. In the Seven Kingdoms
  2. On the Wall
  3. In the East

In the Seven Kingdoms

The civil war to claim the Iron Throne becomes more complex. Three kings had declared their claims in A Game of Thrones: Joffrey Baratheon, Renly Baratheon, and Stannis Baratheon. Robb Stark declares himself King in the North while Balon Greyjoy declares himself king of the Iron Islands, launching a massive assault along the west coast of the North, and becoming the fifth of the war’s kings. At the Stark stronghold of Winterfell, Robb’s younger brother Bran Stark is in command. He finds two new friends when Jojen and Meera Reed arrive from Greywater Watch and take an interest in his strange dreams.

Stannis Baratheon declares himself King of Westeros, encouraged by Melisandre of Asshai, a red priestess of R’hllor, a god popular in the East, but relatively unheard of in Westeros, who believes Stannis to be the reincarnation of Azor Ahai, a messianic figure of her faith. The war is dubbed the War of the Five Kings. Stannis’s younger brother, Renly, has also laid claim to the throne. As the elder brother, Stannis has the better claim; but Renly will not back down, since he has the larger army and believes he would make a better king than his brother. Catelyn Stark joins a meeting between Renly and Stannis to discuss a possible Stark-Baratheon alliance against their mutual foe, the Lannisters. The meeting fails, and a mysterious shadow kills Renly in his tent whilst Catelyn and the warrior-maid Brienne of Tarth are present. The two women are implicated in Renly’s murder, and they flee. As a result of the murder, most of Renly’s supporters shift their loyalty to Stannis, although the Tyrells do not. Renly’s stronghold at Storm’s End also falls when Melisandre uses her sorcery to give birth to another shadow to kill the castle’s defiant castellan.

Tyrion Lannister arrives at King’s Landing to serve as Hand of the King, the closest adviser to the monarch, his young nephew Joffrey. Whilst intriguing against his sister Cersei, widow of the late King Robert Baratheon and mother of Joffrey, Tyrion works to improve the defenses of the city against possible attack and enters negotiations with the lords of the other noble houses to strengthen his nephew’s hold on the throne. He sends the devious Littlefinger to negotiate with the Tyrells, gaining that house’s support when Lord Mace Tyrell agrees to wed his daughter Margaery to Joffrey, despite Margaery’s earlier unconsummated marriage to the deceased Renly and despite Joffrey’s earlier pledge to wed Sansa Stark. Tyrion also forges an alliance with House Martell when he arranges for Joffrey’s sister Princess Myrcella to wed Trystane Martell.

In an attempt to use Winterfell as a base from which to conquer the North and to impress his father Balon, Theon Greyjoy, a former ward of the Starks and close friend of Robb, captures Winterfell with just thirty men, taking the young Stark children Bran and Rickon captive. Bran and Rickon disappear in the night and Theon is unable to trace them. Rather than look foolish, Theon murders two anonymous peasant boys and mutilates their faces to pass them off as Bran and Rickon. Believing that their princes have been murdered, Stark supporters besiege the castle joined by a force from House Bolton. Yet Theon had previously conspired with Bolton’s bastard, Ramsay Snow, and the Bolton soldiers turn on the besiegers as planned. Theon opens the gates to the victorious Boltons, but they betray him as well and raze Winterfell. Theon’s whereabouts are currently unknown. Bran and Rickon emerge from hiding after the sack of the castle. To protect the heirs to Winterfell, a dying Maester Luwin convinces the boys to take separate courses: Osha, a captured wildling turned castle servant, agrees to take Rickon to safety, while Bran, accompanied by Meera, Jojen, and his simple manservant Hodor, travels north to the Wall.

Robb Stark leads his army into the Westerlands and wins several victories against the Lannisters in their home territory. Tywin Lannister advances against him, but receiving news that King’s Landing is threatened, rapidly withdraws south.

Arya Stark, posing as a boy named Arry to protect her identity as a daughter of Eddard Stark who was previously executed on charges of treason, travels north along with new recruits for the Night’s Watch. The group is captured and taken to Lannister-held Harrenhal, where Arya poses as a peasant serving girl. A mysterious man, Jaqen H’ghar, offers to repay Arya for saving the lives of him and his two companions by killing three men of her choice. Arya selects two minor, but evil Lannister bannermen as her first two choices before realizing she had wasted her opportunity. Instead of choosing a third man, Arya cunningly enlists Jaqen’s help to release a band of Stark supporters who quickly take over Harrenhal. His debt repaid, Jaqen gives Arya a coin and a strange phrase, “Valar Morghulis”, to be used if she ever encounters a man of Braavos and requires aid. Lord Roose Bolton soon arrives to occupy Harrenhal. Arya becomes his cup bearer, but soon escapes.

Stannis Baratheon’s army reaches King’s Landing and launches assaults by both land and sea. Under Tyrion’s command, Joffrey’s forces throw back Stannis’s forces through cunning use of “wildfire” (a Greek Fire-like substance) to set fire to the river while raising a chain across it to prevent Stannis’ fleet from retreating, essentially trapping them in the fiery bay. Stannis’ attack ultimately fails when Tywin Lannister leads his army and the remaining forces of Highgarden under Loras Tyrell to the aid of King’s Landing. Stannis’ fate is left uncertain, with some saying he retreated while others claim he was killed. Tyrion is seriously injured during the battle as a result of a treacherous attack by one of Joffrey’s guards working as an agent of Cersei; however, he is saved by his squire, Podrick Payne.

On the Wall

A scouting party from the Night’s Watch advances northwards from the Wall. At Craster’s Keep they learn that the normally anarchic wildlings are uniting under a single figure, King-beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder. The Watch continues north to a ruined fortress formerly known as the Fist of the First Men. Lord Commander Jeor Mormont sends Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand on an advanced reconnaissance of the Skirling Pass.

In the pass, Snow and Halfhand find themselves being hunted by wildling warriors. Facing certain defeat, Halfhand commands Snow to act as an oathbreaker to infiltrate the wildlings and learn their plans. To create proof he has truly turned, Halfhand forces Jon to fight him, and Jon kills him with the aid of his direwolf Ghost. Jon learns that Rayder is already advancing on the Wall with tens of thousands of fighters.

In the East
Daenerys Targaryen strikes east across the forbidding red waste, accompanied by the knight Jorah Mormont, her remaining few loyal followers, and three newborn dragons. Scouts find a safe route to the great trading city of Qarth. Daenerys is the wonder of the city for her dragons. One merchant in particular seems especially interested in her, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, who is the leader of the Thirteen, a prominent group of traders in Qarth. He initially acts as a great host, but ultimately Daenerys cannot secure commitment from the merchants for aid in claiming the throne of Westeros because she refuses to give away one of her dragons. As a last resort, Daenerys seeks council from the warlocks of Qarth, but in the House of the Undying, the warlocks show Daenerys many confusing images and her life is threatened. Daenerys’ dragon, Drogon, burns down the House of the Undying, sparking the enmity of the Qartheen. An attempt to assassinate Daenerys at the city’s harbor is thwarted by the arrival of two strangers, a fat warrior named Strong Belwas and his squire, and an aged warrior named Arstan Whitebeard. They are agents of Daenerys’s ally Illyrio Mopatis, come to escort her back to Pentos.

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