‘A Storm of Swords’ by George R. R. Martin is a novel that shows the progressive growth of its characters towards the emotion that guides them. From vengeance to hatred, many characters develop emotionally to become the best version of themselves that can withstand the terrors of their life’s problems; this unique take on characterization makes the story human.
As a witty, stubborn girl, Arya passes through many intense moments of sadness in her life. She watches her father get sentenced to death, loses her friend, and becomes a vengeful and hate-filled girl.
After escaping from Harrenhal, she decides to reunite with her mother and brother in Riverrun. However, life gives her a crushing blow when she realizes her brother’s fighters had abandoned him.
Arya becomes a part of a band of men working for Lord Beric. When she meets the lord, she gets appalled to discover that a once handsome man has turned ugly due to the terrors of war.
As Arya navigates a life of survival and revenge, she grows hateful towards many people, and her resentment grows. With her growing hatred, she realizes how weak she is against fully grown soldiers; this infuriates her further. Arya’s hatred did not stop at the people responsible for her father and friend’s death. She also hated her sister, Sansa, for her betrayal.
Arya escapes from the band of free folk but gets captured by Sandor, who takes her to meet her brother and mother. However, reality lands a blow on her as she comes face to face with a massacre. She watches in horror as her brother’s men scream in agony and die.
With Arya witnessing the death of the people she loves, she decides to go to Braavos as her hate exponentially increases.
As the firstborn son of Tywin Lannister, Jaime Lannister gets exposed to the reality of worth. After getting released by Catelyn Stark, he begins a journey back to King’s Landing.
On his way back, Jaime gets captured by Vargo Hoat, who cuts off his sword hand. Jaime loses his self-worth as he discovers his hand is the only thing that makes him valuable. He began to resent himself for what he did to his King, Aerys II Targaryen.
Though Jamie becomes a shadow of himself, he still acts honorably by defending Brienne. He rescues her from Vargo and takes her to King’s Landing. On returning to the city, Jaime discovers that a lot has changed. He begins to realize that he needs to change for the better.
As the new commander of the King’s Guards, Jaime realizes that though he is a prodigy, he has no achievement besides being a betrayer; this forces him into reality. Gradually, he starts becoming an honorable man, and eventually, he frees Brienne to find Sansa and Arya and return them home as he swore to Catelyn.
After the Battle of Blackwater in ‘A Clash of Kings,’ Davos lands on a small island. He reminisces about the events that led to Stannis’s troops getting defeated. As he grieves, he tells himself that the woman responsible for Stannis’s defeat is Melisandre.
Davos gets rescued and brought to Dragonstone, where he gets locked up. However, things turn for good as he gets appointed as the new Hand of the King by Stannis.
With his new position, Davos tries to dissuade Stannis from listening to Melisandre. He foils her plans by sending Edric Storm, Robert Baratheon’s bastard, away.
Sansa’s story is one of sadness and reality. She watches her father die on the order of the boy she betrayed her sister to please. She gets humiliated for existing, and she watches in captivity as her family gets killed.
When Sansa realizes she will no longer marry Joffrey, she gets overjoyed, but the worst happens as instead of a handsome tyrant, she got a despised dwarf. Her world turns upside down as she becomes the wife of Tyrion Lannister.
Things change for the better as Joffrey dies. Sansa gets on a boat with Petyr to the Vale. However, at the Vale, she learns that her aunt was a jealous psychopath who killed her husband for Petyr.
After the battle of blackwater, Tyrion realizes that his efforts to save King’s Landing from corruption are a waste of time. First, his father restored the people Tyrion removed. Second, he got no praise or admiration for keeping the enemy at bay with a minuscule number of men.
When reality dawns on Tyrion, he gets furious at everyone and everything. Then, his father dishes him another reality check. He makes him marry Sansa, who Tyrion wants to be safe from the terrors of politics, which is one of the themes in ‘A Storm of Swords‘.
Though Tyrion gets every right to have Sansa, he acts honorably and refuses, facing humiliation. He becomes a laughing stock but keeps in the hatred. However, when Joffrey dies, he gets shocked to realize that Shae testified against him.
With Shae’s betrayal comes a startling realization in Tyrion. He gets furious and swears revenge on everyone that had hurt him; this leads to the death of Tywin and Shae, the woman he tried protecting from harm.
At the camp, Jon becomes entangled with Ygritte, a girl kissed by fire, and though his sense of duty makes him feel guilty, he still falls in love with her. Ultimately, he decides to act on honor and leave the wildlings.
On returning, Jon helps the Night’s Watch defeat the wildlings, but in the process, he loses the woman he loves. Though he helps defeat the wildlings, he still gets arrested for being a betrayer.
Later, Stannis arrives and allows him to become a Stark. Though Jon admits he always craved to be recognized, he declines and acts honorably by going back to his brothers; this move makes him become the commander of the Watch.
After the death of her husband and her sons, Catelyn does the unthinkable and releases Jaime in exchange for her daughters; this move will prove to be a devastating idea as it becomes the catalyst that makes Robb lose.
Though Catelyn’s made decisions with overwhelming emotions of grief, she ended up ruining her son’s plans. Soon, Robb marries Jeyne and kills Karstark. With an alliance with Walder Frey gone and Rickard Karstark dead, the men who swore loyalty to Robb turn their back on him.
In one last effort to save the alliances, Robb arranges for Edmure to marry Roslin. Catelyn tags along to attend the wedding, but at the event, everything turns bloody as Robb and his men get killed.
Catelyn’s dead body gets thrown into the river, but later, she gets resurrected by Thoros as Merrett Frey sees her right before he gets hanged.
After escaping Winterfell, Bran travels North with Jojen, Meera, Hodor, and his wolf, Summer. On their journey, he gets control over his abilities and begins dream-walking in the summer.
Bran and his friends journey through storms and snow as they travel to meet the three-eyed raven. On the way, Bran learns more about the history of Westeros before he was born. He gets wiser and embraces his new powers.
At the Night’s Watch, the lord commander, Joer Mormont, decides to take some men to the Fist of the First men to defend the wall from Others. However, things do not go according to plan as the Others kill most of the brothers of the watch.
When they retreat to Craster’s keep, Joer gets killed, and fighting erupts. Sam escapes with Gilly, Craster’s daughter and wife. On the way, they get attacked by wights and others, but miraculously, they get saved by a strange man called Coldhands. Sam also discovers that dragonglass was lethal to the wights.
Along the way, Sam meets Bran and swears to keep the secret of him being alive. Sam soon realizes that life has to be dealt with intricately, as one needs a cunning mind to survive.
When Sam arrives at Castle Black with Gilly, he realizes that Janos Slynt was sent by Tywin in hopes of him becoming the new lord. With the arrival of Stannis and Jon, Sam becomes a better political strategist as he successfully ensures that Jon becomes the new commander of the Night’s Watch.
Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys journeys to the city of Astapor at the advice of Arstan, where she seeks out an army. There she meets Krazyns, a slaver, who tells her that the Unsullied at eunuchs and feared nothing. When Daenerys realizes how brutal the Unsullied get treated, she decides to become a queen of freedom. She kills the masters at Astapor and frees everyone under slavery.
Later, she travels to Yunkai, where she meets Daario Naharis, who helps her conquer the city. Later, Daenerys learns that though she freed the cities of Yunkai and Astapor, all her work was for nothing as the city’s new leaders were reverting to the old ways of slavery.
Finally, Daenerys reaches Meeren, and with the help of Arstan and her army, she successfully takes over the city. She learns that Arstan is Barristan Selmy, the commander of her father’s King’s Guard. She also hears a bit of history about her brother and father. Upon realizing that Jorah Mormont was a spy, Daenerys gets heartbroken.
When her father returns to King’s Landing, Cersei realizes she is no longer as powerful as she thought. She becomes a shadow of her former powerful self and subservient to her strict and terrifying father. Later, her father tells her she will get married to Willas in exchange for Tyrion marrying Sansa; this greatly annoys her, but she does nothing.
When Joffrey dies, Cersei goes into a fit of mad grief and blames her brother for his death. She bribes everyone, including Shae, to testify against Tyrion, and chooses Gregor as her champion.
With Jaime back in King’s Landing, she tries to persuade him to talk to his father against making her marry Willas, but he refuses, and she begins blaming him for Bran’s accident. Cersei’s vindictive nature made her a terrible person and mother.
Margaery Tyrell is the daughter of Mace Tyrell. After the death of her husband, Renly Baratheon, Margaery gets betrothed to Joffrey Baratheon. Her grandmother, Olenna, questions Sansa about Joffrey, and Margaery learns how cruel he is.
When Sansa advises Margaery not to marry Joffrey, she tells her that she is not scared of Joffrey because her brother will be on the King’s guard to protect her. Things change as Joffrey gets poisoned on his wedding day; this makes Margaery a widow twice.
Other characters in ‘A Storm of Swords’ include Walder Frey, Brienne, Kevan Lannister, Robb Stark, Sandor Clegane, Hodor, Mance Rayder, Merrett Frey, Chett, Small Paul, Coldhands, Cleos Frey, maester Aemon, Melisandre, Gendry, Bronn, Daario Naharis, Jeyne Westerling, Petyr, Vargo Hoat, Roose Bolton, Lord Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr.
What happens to Catelyn after getting killed in A Storm of Swords?
After getting killed, Catelyn’s body gets thrown into a river. Her body gets found by Nymera, who drags it out. Later, Lord Beric brings her back to life. Though she gets resurrected, most of her wounds do not get healed, and she loses the ability to speak.
Who is a better fighter between Jaime and Brienne?
Even though Jaime is a prodigy with the sword, he admits Brienne has exceptional skills when he fights her. However, Jaime Lannister is a better fighter than Brienne.
Does dragonglass work against Wights in A Storm of Swords?
No, dragonglass does not work against the Wights. When Sam gets attacked by the reanimated corpse of Chett, he tries using dragonglass on him, but it shatters; this makes him realize that dragonglass works only against Others.
What happens to Vargo Hoat after he cuts Jaime’s hands off?
After Vargo cuts off Jaime’s hands, Roose Bolton gives Harrenhal to him. He starts getting insane as an infection ravages his ear. Later, Gregor Clegane takes over Harrenhal and cuts off Vargo’s arms and legs. He tortures him till he dies.