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A Clash of Kings

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The name is also used for the first expansion to the Game of Thrones board game. It formed the basis for the second season of the TV adaption of the books.

Plot summaryEdit

ACoK UK Current

Current UK cover, art by Larry Rostant

A Clash of Kings picks up the story where A Game of Thrones left off. The Seven Kingdoms are plagued by civil war, the Night's Watch mounts a h by Yoren as a new recruit for the Night's Watch. However, they are attacked by Lannister freeriders led by Ser Amory Lorch and Yoren is killed on the shores of Gods Eye. Arya escapes, along with Gendry, Hot Pie, and Lommy Greenhands, and in the process saves the lives of Jaqen H'ghar, Rorge, and Biter, three criminals Yoren was bringing to the wall, who run off on their own. Shortly after, Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie are captured by men under the command of Gregor Clegane; Lommy, who was wounded, is killed. They are taken to Harrenhal and put to work as servants in the undermanned castle.

Whilst Arya serves as a servant at Harrenhall, going by the name 'Weasel', H'ghar, Rorge, and Biter reappear as members of the Brave Companions. For saving his life during the attack, H'ghar promises to repay Arya by killing three men of her choice. For her three choices, Arya selects Chiswyck, a soldier in Gregor Clegane's forces, Weese, her servant overseer, and Jaqen H'ghar himself. The first two murders he carries out without question; in lieu of the third choice, Arya leverages H'ghar to help her slay the guards of Robbett Glover, who had been taken prisoner by the Brave Companions. After Glover is freed, the Brave Companions turn their cloaks and join with the North. Control of Harrenhal is ceded to Roose Bolton when he arrives with more troops, and Arya becomes his cupbearer.

H'ghar gives Arya a mysterious iron coin and tells her to find him in Braavos if she should ever desire to learn his secrets. He then adopts a new identity and leaves. Bolton executes Lorch in the castle's bear pit and orders the Stark foot army to advance on Duskendale to threaten King's Landing from the north, informing them that the orders come directly from Robb Stark. Arya kills a guard and escapes Harrenhal with Gendry and Hot Pie.

Stannis Baratheon's army reaches King's Landing and a combined assault is launched by both land and sea. Tyrion traps the Baratheon fleet in the mouth of the Blackwater Rush with a huge chain and detonates barrels of wildfire on nearby ships, resulting in the loss of most of Stannis' ships. Despite heavy losses, some of Stannis' men establish a foothold on the north shore until a brave sally personally led by Tyrion dislodges them. Tyrion is nearly killed when he is betrayed by one of the Kingsguard, Ser Mandon Moore, but is saved by his squire, Podrick Payne. The battle ends when Stannis is unexpectedly flanked by the Tyrells and the newly-arriving Lannister forces and barely manages to escape with a few thousand soldiers and a handful of ships. Also Lord Alek Nocher originally sent by Joffrey to make war on Highgarden joins up with the Lannister/Tyrell army and slays the young and zealous Stannis loyalist Ser Emmon Plumm

In Riverrun, Catelyn's grieves over the supposed death of her sons, Rickon and Bran. While questioning the captive Jaime Lannister, she is seized by a desire for restitution, reaches for a sword.

On the WallEdit

The Night's Watch advances northwards from the Wall into the Haunted Forest. They stop at Craster's Keep, where a wildling man named Craster serves as an informant for the Watch. They continue north and make camp at a ruined, ancient First Man fortress known as the Fist of the First Men, which serves as a strong defensive position near the Frostfangs, a major mountain range. Concerned about the whereabouts and activities of the King-beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont sends Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand, one of his most experienced trackers, on a reconnaissance mission through the Skirling Pass.

In the pass, Snow and Halfhand discover signs of substantial wildling activity. However, they are cornered by pursuers and Halfhand commands Snow to infiltrate the wildlings by pretending to betray the Watch. In order to convince the wildlings, Snow is forced to kill Halfhand in front of them. A wildling girl named Ygritte agrees to speak on Jon's behalf to Mance Rayder, who is advancing on the Wall with an army in the tens of thousands.

In the EastEdit

ACoK Meisha Merlin

Meisha Merlin 2005 edition, art by John Howe

Following the hatching of her three infant dragons, Daenerys Targaryen's followers have been much reduced. The vast Dothraki army formerly commanded by her husband, Khal Drogo, has broken into individual factions and she is left with only her bloodriders, Ser Jorah Mormont and a hundred or so retainers. Nevertheless, they proclaim her the 'Mother-of-Dragons' and 'the Unburnt' and swear to follow her.

Daenerys strikes east across the forbidding Red Waste and loses many of her followers to the harsh conditions before stumbling upon the ancient, abandoned city of Vaes Tolorro, the city of bones. They find clean water and fruit and enjoy a much needed respite. Daenerys' bloodriders scout the surrounding region and find a safe route south and eastwards to the great trading city of Qarth on the Jade Sea. The Qartheen are awed by Daenerys and her dragons, but her attempts to secure aid claiming the throne of Westeros do not succeed. She goes to the House of the Undying to form an alliance with its powerful warlocks, but instead she is shown confusing and disturbing images, including one of her brother Rhaegar proclaiming that his then-infant son was the possessor of the Song of Ice and Fire and that the dragon needs 'three heads'. When the warlocks try to kill Daenerys, her dragon Drogon burns down the House of the Undying, sparking the enmity of the Qartheen and encouraging Daenerys to leave the city. An assassin hired by the warlocks attempts to kill Daenerys in the city's harbor, but it is thwarted by the arrival of two strangers: a fat warrior named Strong Belwas and his squire, an old but hale warrior named Arstan Whitebeard. They claim to be agents of Ilyrio Mopatis, come to take Daenerys back to Pentos. Daenerys agrees to accompany them back to the Free Cities.

Viewpoint charactersEdit

ACoK US 2002

US 2002 paperback

The tale is told through the eyes of 9 POV characters and a one-off prologue POV:

EditionsEdit

ACoK US Original Paperback

US 2000 paperback, art by Stephen Youll

BritishEdit

A Clash of Kings was published by Voyager, the SF imprint of HarperCollins, in November 1998, ahead of its American publication. The cover art was by Jim Burns. A mass-market paperback followed in 1999 with the same cover. A new cover, this time depicting a crown and drawn by Larry Rostant, was added in 2003 and is the current British edition.

AmericanEdit

The novel was first published by Bantam Books in hardcover in February 1999 with a cover by Stephen Youll. The mass-market paperback edition was released in September 2000. The American editions were reissued in 2005 with a new cover depicting a stylised representation of a crown.

In May 2005 Meisha Merlin released a much-delayed limited edition of the book fully illustrated throughout by noted Tolkien artist John Howe.

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