It brings to light secondary characters and shows how their decisions affect the delicate political balance between various regions of Westeros. The story goes further and explores the continent of Essos through the eyes of some primary characters; this adds more depth to the relationship between both continents.
After the death of Tywin, Robb, Catelyn, Joffrey, and Balon Greyjoy, the political atmosphere of Westeros changes completely. With King’s Landing in Cersei’s hands, the political balance of Westeros begins to crumble. A new enemy rises in the Iron Islands, and the political tension heightens. ‘A Feast for Crows’ by George R. R. Martin explores elusive elements hinted at the beginning of the series.
‘Spoiler-Free’ Summary of A Feast for Crows
‘A Feast for Crows’ begins in Oldtown. Pate, a student of the Citadel, dreams of marrying the girl he so cherishes. However, he realizes he does not have enough coins for her and makes a deal with an alchemist who promises to exchange iron for gold if he steals something from his master. Pate agrees and steals the iron object, but after handing it to the alchemist, he loses his life.
Back at the Iron Islands, Aeron gets word of Balon’s death and meets with Gorold Goodbrother to discuss the future of the Iron Islands. Aeron casts support for his brother Victarion. In Dorne, Obara, the daughter of Oberyn, meets with Prince Doran to discuss the death of their father. Her sister also proposes a plan to destroy the Lannisters.
In King’s Landing, Cersei gets the news of her father’s demise and realizes that Tyrion has disappeared from his prison cell. Brienne begins her journey to find Sansa and her sister, and on the way, she realizes that a young boy is following her. She learns from a knight that a search is on the way for Sansa.
Back on the Wall, Sam embarks on a journey with Gilly and maester Aemon. Arya reaches Braavos and travels to a temple, where she meets a man who explains where she is. Back at King’s Landing, Jaime and Cersei mourn the passing of their father, and in a bid to save the delicate political nature of Tywin’s death, Cersei agrees for her son to marry Margaery Tyrell.
Brienne arrives at Duskendale, where she meets the young boy who has been following her. She gets some information about a man in Maidenpool talking about transporting two young girls; this makes her travel there. At the ten towers, Asha talks to her uncle, who vehemently advises her to give up the claim to the throne.
In Dorne, Myrcella’s guard agrees to Princess Arianne’s plan involving Princess Myrcella. Meanwhile, Brienne has taken the young boy into her service and later learns of Lysa Arryn’s demise. As Sam and Gilly travel to the Citadel, Sam realizes that Gilly is sad and finds out about Jon’s plan.
Fueled by overconfidence, Cersei starts making radical changes to the small council. She decides to make a plan against Margaery as her jealousy and paranoia flare up. In the Iron Islands, Victarion garners the support of most of the crowd, but things do not go according to plan, and Euron overtakes him.
As Brienne travels in the company of the young boy and an informant, she gets attacked by some outlaws. After the encounter, she returns to Maidenpool with a knight sent to watch her.
In Dorne, Arianne and Arys begin the plan to move Myrcella to a planned destination. However, things go south, and a fight breaks out, with Arys losing his life and Arianne getting captured.
At the temple in Braavos, Arya learns the ways of a new god and gets tasked to forget her old life. At the Vale, Sansa takes a new identity and starts learning about politics. Meanwhile, Brienne travels back to Maidenpool and gets information about Sandor and Arya. Sam arrives at Braavos and stays there for a while. However, one of his brothers abandons his vows. When Sam confronts him, he almost gets killed.
In King’s Landing, Cersei’s growing paranoia makes her send Jaime away to ensure that peace gets restored to the Riverlands. She makes a terrible decision to reawaken a faith banned for centuries. She later learns of the threat awakening in the Iron Islands and sends Margaery’s brother to help get some troops. In Braavos, Arya begins training to master a new identity. However, she encounters Sam’s brother and gets angry at the crime he had committed. She acts out of her mind and pays the price for her actions.
As Sam and Gilly travel to Oldtown, they sleep with each other. Word reaches Cersei that Loras was successful, but she continues conspiring against Margaery. On their way to find Sansa, Brienne gets into a fight with some people and loses consciousness.
At King’s Landing, Cersei’s plan comes to fruition as she learns that Margaery is not innocent as stipulated by law. Meanwhile, in Dorne, Arianne talks to her father, who tells her he will get revenge at the right time.
Brienne’s injuries make her fall in and out of consciousness, but she finally meets Thoros and Lady Stoneheart. Brienne gets shocked at the sight of the Lady as she recognizes her. She asks her to kill Jaime, but when Brienne refuses, the Lady gives an order that shocks her to the core.
In King’s Landing, Cersei’s plan backfires on her, and she gets arrested by the Faith Militant. In one last effort to get help, she sends a letter to Jaime. Sam finally reaches the Citadel and begins studying the properties of dragonglass.
A Feast for Crows Plot Summary
Spoiler alert: important details of the novel are revealed below
‘A Feast for Crows’ begins with Pate, a student of the Citadel, who believes he will never become a maester. With him giving up hope on ever becoming a maester, he turns his attention to the girl he cherishes with all his heart, Rosey.
Pate begins dreaming of being with the girl he loves, but he realizes he will never have enough for her as her mother placed a price of a gold dragon on her daughter’s maidenhead. Knowing he will never have enough, Pate agrees with an alchemist who promises to give him gold if he steals from his master. While contemplating on whether to steal or not,
Pate learns of the existence of three dragons and a Targaryen girl. He ultimately decides to steal the iron object and brings it to the alchemist. However, Pate falls to the ground dead after handing the iron object to the alchemist.
In the Iron Islands, Aeron Greyjoy, the prophet of the Drowned God, learns about the death of his brother, Balon Greyjoy. He meets Gorold Goodbrother and discusses the future of the Iron Islands with him. Knowing that his older brothers Euron and Victarion will try to claim the throne, he casts his support for Victarion, claiming that he is holier than his brother.
In Dorne, Obara Sand, Oberyn’s daughter, meets Price Doran Martell and requests vengeance on behalf of her father. Doran tells her that Oberyn died in a trial by combat, and his hands were full. However, Obara objects and states she should kill Myrcella. Doran refuses Obara’s request and later meets her sister, Tyrene, who suggests that Myrcella get crowned queen to lure in and kill the Lannisters.
In King’s Landing, Cersei wakes up from a nightmare of Tyrion mocking her to the news of her father’s death. She gets taken to her father’s body and asks Qyburn to take care of it for the silent sisters. She refuses to believe that Tywin is sleeping with Shae. Later, she gets news of Tyrion’s escape. She breaks down, and as Jaime tries to comfort her, she tells him to take over as the Hand of the King, but he rejects her offer.
At Castle Black, Sam tries to study about the Others but realizes there is little information in the library. Jon sends him, maester Aemon, and Gilly to the Citadel so that he can become a maester.
Arya arrives in Braavos and gets taken to a temple. She enters and sees a man drinking from a fountain. Upon drinking, the man dies. Later, she meets a man with a covered face. He tells her that she is in the temple of the many-faced god and asks her name. He tries to dissuade her from staying, but Arya does not budge. He then tells her to kiss his face and reveals a hideous decaying face. Arya sees past the illusion, and the man’s face appears.
At the funeral of Tywin Lannister, Cersei meets many people who give her their condolences and try to garner some political favor. She meets Mace Tyrell, who tells her he is sending one of his people to take over as master of coin, but Cersei rejects his idea because she does not want any Tyrells on the small council. Later, Kevan Lannister rebukes her for the action she took and tells her to give one of Mace Tyrell’s bannermen Hand of the King. Cersei calls Kevan a traitor, but he rebukes her telling her he knows of the illegitimacy of her children.
As Brienne reaches Duskendale, she finds the gates closed for the night. She later enters the city and meets a castellan who tells her that many people have come in search of Sansa. Her shield gets rebranded, and she sees a boy following her. Later, she gets word of a man, Nimble Dick, who fooled someone by seeking the passage of three people. She later meets the boy following her. It turns out to be Podrick Payne.
In the Vale, Marillion sings every day, making Sansa unable to sleep. She meets Petyr, who tells her that Marillion has confessed to Lysa’s murder. He tells Sansa what to say to Lord Nestor Royce, who had come to investigate Lysa’s murder.
At the Ten Towers, Asha Greyjoy waits for her supporters to arrive. Her uncle, Rodrick Harlow, begs her not to claim the throne as she is endangering her life. He offers to give her the Ten Towers, but Asha rejects his proposal.
Tommen weds Margaery bringing Cersei dismay. Her jealousy of the young queen makes her lose her mental stability. She learns that Sandor Clegane is in the company of Beric Dondarrion and orders his capture.
In Dorne, Ser Arys, Myrcella’s bodyguard, meets Arianne, Prince Doran’s daughter. After sleeping with her, Arys gets overwhelmed with guilt, but Arianne asks him to support her cause of making Myrcella the queen. She tells Arys that Tommen was in the council of evil people and that Myrcella should be queen instead. After much persuasion, Arys agrees to defend Myrcella as the queen.
Brienne reaches Maidenpool, where she meets Randyll Tarly. She learns that Lysa Arryn is dead and meets Nimble Dick, who decides to take her to meet the people he tried to take across the Narrow Sea.
As Sam, Gilly, and Aemon ail for the Citadel, Sam notices how sad Gilly is. He discovers that Jon had replaced her baby for Mance Rayder’s to protect him from Melisandre. Meanwhile, in King’s Landing, Cersei refuses to put any Tyrell on the small council as her paranoia grows. She becomes fond of Qyburn, the disgraced maester, and Jaime questions her choice of association.
Cersei makes Qyburn the new master of whisperers, and he helps her prepare a head for Prince Doran, although the head does not belong to Gregor. She selects new members for the small council. Cersei tries to rebuild the fleet of the crown against the advice of Pycelle, as Westeros was indebted to the Iron Bank. She sends the emissary of the bank away after he requests payment for the kingdom’s debt. Cersei learns that Jon is the new commander of the Night’s Watch and makes a plan to use Ser Osney to seduce the young queen and kill Jon Snow.
In Iron Island, the kingsmoot assembles to vote for the next ruler. Victarion garners the support of the crowd, but Euron shows up. Later, Victarion reveals that Euron got banished for sleeping with his wife. Other men come forward to claim the throne, but Euron brings a war horn he claims to have gotten in Valyria. He boasts that he has sailed further than any man, and the people begin chanting him as king.
As Brienne, Nimble Dick, and Podrick travel, they get attacked by Shagwell and the Bloody Mummers. A fight ensues, and Nimble Dick gets killed. Brienne realizes she has been followed from Maidenpool by Ser Hyle Hunt. She then decides to return to the city.
Arianne and her men wait for Arys as he brings Myrcella to her. Though Arianne suspects Gerold Dayne, she still pushes forward with her plan to crown Myrcella. However, the plan fails, and Areo Hotah, Prince Doran’s guard, kills Arys. As the fight ensues, Dayne tries to kill Myrcella but injures her.
Back at the temple in Braavos, Arya works as a servant with the priest and a waif. The man keeps asking Arya who she is, and she says no one. He tells her she lies. Arya decides to let go of her belongings but hides Needle away. The man also tells Arya the history of the faceless men. He tells her that they trace their roots to the Valyrian Freehold in the mines of the Fourteen Fires. He later instructs her to find a fishmonger named Brusco and work for him without revealing her identity.
At the Vale, Sansa has taken the identity of Alayne Stone, the daughter of Petyr. She also begins learning politics from him. In King’s Landing, Cersei continues ruling terribly. Her jealousy increases as she reminisces about how close she is to marrying Rhaegar Targaryen. Back in Maidenpool, Brienne learns that Sandor had Arya and is no longer in the company of Beric.
As Sam continues his journey to Oldtown, he arrives at Braavos, where he stops to take care of Aemon, whose health deteriorates terribly. Aemon tells Sam to inquire about rumors of dragons, and when he goes out with his sword, he gets apprehended by two Braavosi men but gets rescued by Cat of the Canals, who was Arya. One of the brothers of the Watch, Dareon, decides to leave his vows and marry a girl. Sam confronts him but gets punched and almost drowns.
Back at King’s Landing, Cersei sends Jaime away to Harrenhal to get Wylis Manderly and tasks him with maintaining the peace of the Riverlands. She travels to Baelor Sept and allows the Faith Militant to get formed.
In the Iron Islands, Victarion agrees to go to Slaver’s Bay to retrieve Daenerys. He plans to get the queen and take her for himself. Jaime travels to Castle Darry, where he meets his cousin, Lancel. Lancel confesses how he had a hand in killing Robert Baratheon and how he slept with Cersei.
Brienne travels to the Quiet Isle, where she meets Elder Brother. He tells her that Sandor is dead and that he buried him himself. Back in King’s Landing, Cersei learns that Euron Greyjoy’s attacked Shield Islands. She gets advised to withdraw the fleet from Dragonstone, but she refuses. However, Loras Tyrell offers to hand Dragonstone to her, and she accepts his proposal hoping he will die.
Jaime meets his cousin Devan, the Warden of the West. They talk about the events happening in the Riverlands, and later, Jaime meets his father’s sister, who tells him about her opinion on Cersei rearming the Faith.
Arya gets familiar with the lifestyle of being Cate. She performs the tasks asked of her and meets the waif to learn Braavosi and lying. The kindly man teaches Arya about the many-faced god. Later, she meets Dareon and realizes he abandoned his vows. She goes back to the temple, where she admits to killing Dareon. The kindly man tells the waif to give Arya some warm milk. Arya goes to bed and wakes up to realize she is blind.
Maester Aemon dies, and Sam leads the prayer for him. Later, he and Gilly sleep with each other. Sam begins feeling guilty, but Kojja threatens him to continue sleeping with her. Word reaches Cersei that Loras has conquered Dragonstone but is badly injured. She gets happy that Loras will die. She later has a nightmare about when she was a child.
Brienne arrives at the Inn of the Crossroads, where she meets Gendry. Later, a fight breaks out. Brienne gets injured by the leader of the men, Biter, as he bites out her face.
Jaime meets with Bryden Tulley and asks him to surrender Riverrun, but he does not agree to the terms of surrender. In King’s Landing, Cersei accuses Pycelle of letting Gyles Rosby die. She interrogates the maester and learns he has been giving Margaery Moon tea, a drink that prevented pregnancies. Cersei realizes she has what she needs to kill Margaery. She tells Ser Osney to state that he has been sleeping with Margaery. She allows him to sleep with her.
In Dorne, Arianne remains imprisoned and talks to her father. He tells her that she did not think her plan through. She tells him that she knew about his plans to make Quentyn his heir, but she learns her father wanted her to marry Prince Viserys Targaryen. He swears to her that Dorne is hers, and he plans on exerting revenge for his brother and sister’s death.
In the Vale, Alayne learns that Jon Snow is the new commander of the Night’s Watch and that Riverrun got conquered by Jaime, who made Edmure hand it over. Petyr then tells her of her arranged marriage to Harry the Heir, who was the next in line should case young Robert die.
Brienne, still injured, slips in and out of unconsciousness. She gets taken to meet Throros, who tells her that Beric gave up his life for Lady Stoneheart, their new leader. When Brienne meets Lady Stoneheart, she gets shocked to see Catelyn. Lady Stoneheart tasks Brienne with killing Jaimie Lannister, and she refuses. She then orders her, Podrick, and Hyle Hunt to get hanged. As Brienne gets hanged, she screams a word.
In King’s Landing, Margaery and her girls get arrested on charges of fornication. Believing that the young queen will get killed, Cersei travels to the sept to meet her. In a twist of events, the High Septon tells her that Osney recanted his confession and sta he slept with Cersei instead. She tries to flee but gets arrested. Knowing that her fate lies in a trial by combat, she sends a letter to Jaime begging him to fight on her behalf.
In Riverrun, Bryden escapes capture, and Jaime takes over the castle. He receives Cersei’s letter begging for help and burns it.
Sam and Gilly finally reach the Citadel in Oldtown. He gets forced to wait a while before he speaks with the Seneschal. He meets Marwyn, who tells him about the properties of dragonglass. Sam tells the maester about Aemon’s conviction that Daenerys is the promised one of prophecy. Marwyn tells Sam of his plans to travel to Slavers Bay and departs for the city.
What happens to Brienne at the ending of A Feast for Crows?
After Brienne and Hyle begin their journey to find Thoros, they reach the Inn of the Crossroads, where Brienne meets Gendry. Later, some men arrive, and though Gendry tells her they are friendlies, a fight breaks out, and Biter bites off a chunk of her face. Brienne passes out and later wakes up to meet Thoros. He tells her that Beric is dead, and in his stead is Lady Stoneheart. Brienne gets shocked to see that Lady Stoneheart is Catelyn Stark. Lady Stoneheart then orders Brienne to kill Jaime, but she says no. She sentences Brienne to hang, and as Brienne notices her life fade, she screams a word.
Does Arya meet Samwell in A Feast for Crows?
Yes, Arya meets Samwell in Braavos as Cat of the Canals. In Braavos, he gets apprehended by some men. However, Cat of the Canals comes to his rescue and helps him out of the situation.
What happens to Cersei in the ending of A Feast for Crows?
When Gyles dies, Cersei scares maester Pycelle into revealing that he gives Margaery Moon Tea. With the discovery, Cersei has her arrested and sends Ser Osney to confess that he seduced the little queen. However, when she visits Margaery, the High Septon reveals to Cersei that Ser Osney changed his confession. Cersei tries to flee, but he arrests her.
Is the Pate at the ending of A Feast for Crows the same as the one in the beginning?
No the Pate in the prologue of ‘A Feast for Crows’ is different from the Pate at the end. The first Pate died after giving an iron-like object to an alchemist.