‘A Storm of Swords’ by George R. R. Martin begins after Stannis’s defeat at the Battle of Blackwater in ‘A Clash of Kings.’ With Robb and Joffrey being the primary contenders left, the War of the Five Kings gradually ends. As the war ends, calamities that will change the war’s outcome begin happening.
‘Spoiler-Free’ Summary of A Storm of Swords
‘A Storm of Swords’ begins with Chett, the former steward of maester Aemon, planning to kill the Lord Commander and desert with about 14 men. He and his men plan everything, and Chett dreams about killing Samwell, the boy who stole his position. However, a weather change foils Chett’s pan and the Night’s Watch alarm sounds thrice, indicating the presence of Others.
After Jaime’s secrecy gets released by Catelyn, Brienne gets tasked with taking him back to King’s Landing in exchange for Arya and Sansa.
As Arya travels toward Catelyn, she dreams that she is walking in the body of an animal. At King’s Landing, the Battle of Blackwater has ended, and Tyrion recovers from his wounds. He meets with his father, who gets angry at his request for Casterly Rock.
After Stannis’s defeat, Ser Davos lands on an island. He stays there for some time, and overwhelming grief takes over him. He begins to think back at the events leading to the churning of his men by wildfire. However, luck smiles at him as a boat comes to his rescue.
In King’s Landing, Sansa meets the next queen of Westeros, Margaery Tyrell, and her grandmother, Olenna. She reveals to the woman Joffrey’s behavior towards her, and Olenna asks her to marry Willas, her grandson.
Jon meets with the leader of the wildlings, and he tells Jon how familiar he is with the traditions of the Night’s Watch and Westeros. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys takes a ship back to Pentos, but Arstan tells her she would need an army. She finally agrees to head to a city to gather an army.
While in the Tumbledown Tower, Bran gains control over his abilities, and Jojen warns him to take it calmly as he could hurt himself. They decide to go further north in search of the three-eyed crow.
After Davos’s rescue, he swears to exact revenge on the woman he blamed for Stannis’s. Meanwhile, Brienne and Jaime reach an inn but learn that Lord Beric is active in the area. They decide to take a secret passage to King’s Landing. In King’s Landing, Tyrion gets shocked to see that his father is destroying the work he fought and almost died for; this infuriates him.
Later, Arya reveals her secret to some men, and they head for Riverrun. In Riverrun, Catelyn realizes that Robb has married a woman called Jeyne. Beyond the wall, Ygritte saves Jon’s life by claiming him. On their way to Riverrun, Arya learns a shocking truth about the men that promised to help her.
In Night’s Watch, the men go to battle but lose terribly. However, Samwell makes a startling realization. In King’s Landing, Tywin learns of Tyrells plot to get Sansa and decides to change everything. His change causes Tyrion to get angry.
On their way to King’s Landing, Jaime and Brienne encounter the men of Vargo, and though Jaime tries to fight with a bound hand, he and Brienne get to take to Vargo. On reaching Vargo, Jaime gets shocked as Vargo decides to do the unthinkable to him.
In Astaphor, Daenerys meets Krazyns, one of the masters of the city. She decides to buy his army, but Arstan strongly advises her against it. She learns a bit about her brother and how the Trident war happened.
When Davos reaches Dragonstone, he gets locked up. Melisandre takes him to Stannis, who makes him his new adviser. Beyond the wall, Jon develops feeling for Ygritte. In King’s Landing, Sansa faces the shock of her life as she discovers she will no longer marry Willas.
Meanwhile, Arya meets Lord Beric. When Jaime and Brienne reach Roose Bolton, the lord of Harrenhal, gets shocked that Vargo had the mind to injure Jaime. Back at the Night’s Watch, the lord commander gets attacked, and Sam runs away with Gilly.
In Riverrun, Edumure, Catelyn’s brother, gets tasked to marry Roslin Frey as an apology to Walder Frey. At Dragonstone, Stannis performs a ritual with Melisandre. In King’s Landing, Tyrion welcomes the envoy of the Martells but meets Oberyn, Elia’s sister.
Jon and some men climb the wall, but when Jon gets asked to kill a man, he refuses, and Ygritte does it instead. A fight ensues, and Jon escapes with a wound.
Daenerys arrives at Yunkai and tells the masters to join her. Some laugh at her, but Daario Naharis joins, and the city gets sacked. In Harrenhal, Roose sends Jaime home, but he returns to help Brienne.
Catelyn and Robb travel to Walder Frey with Edmure as the marriage between him and Roslin commences. However, Robb gets betrayed. After the fight of the Night’s Watch brothers, Same meets a stranger who helps him and Gilly. He then meets Bran before leaving for the Watch.
Arya escapes from Sandor’s captivity and takes a boat leaving Westeros. News of Robb’s betrayal reaches Tyrion, and Tywin arranges an alliance with the Freys and Bolton. In Dragonstone, Davos receives a letter from the Night’s Watch and realizes Stannis knew little.
In King’s Landing, Joffrey gets married to Margaery, but he gets poisoned, and Tyrion gets imprisoned. Oberyn decides to fight for him but loses. Later, Jaime returns to the city and frees his brother. Tyrion visits his father for the last time before leaving the city. Sansa gets rescued by Petyr, who takes her to the Vale.
Stannis comes to the rescue of the Night’s Watch and decides to pardon the wildlings. He gives Jon an offer, but he refuses and sticks to the Watch. Across the sea, Daenerys learns the truth about Arstan and takes over Meeren. She decides to be its queen.
In the Vale, Petyr confesses his feeling for Sansa, and when Robert, Lysa’s son, sees them, he gets a seizure. Sansa gets brought before Lysa, who tries to kill her but fails as Petyr comes to her aid.
A Storm of Swords Plot Summary
Spoiler alert: important details of the novel are revealed below.
‘A Storm of Swords’ begins with Chett, the former steward of maester Aemon. Pained by how he got dumped for Samwell, Chet devises a plan to kill Lord Mormont and some key figures in the Night’s Watch.
With his plan set, Chett and his men wait patiently for the night. However, snow starts falling, and Chett realizes his plan has failed. In one last attempt, he decides to kill Samwell, and as he is almost about to do so, a horn gets sounded, signifying enemies. Samwell wakes up, and when the horn sounds two more times. He realizes that the alarm was for the presence of others.
After Catelyn frees Jaime, she hands him to Brienne and tells her to take him to King’s Landing and secure a deal for Arya and Sansa. On their way, they meet Ser Robin, who got instructed by Edmure to recapture Jaime. Brienne, Jaime, and Cleos escape from him after sinking his boat.
Later, Jaime, Brienne, and Cleos stop at an inn and discover that Lord Beric is close. They decide to take a secret route to avoid getting captured. Jaime reminisces on how he became a King’s guard and how he had killed the Mad King.
The group continues their journey, but they get attacked by archers. Cleos dies, and Jaime recognizes the men as the Brave Companions. After a quick fight, Jaime gets captured by Vargo Hoat. He lies about Brienne being rich to save her from getting raped. Vargo decides to do the unthinkable and cut Jaime’s sword hand.
After getting his hand cut off, Jaime gets brought before Roose Bolton, who gets angry at Vargo’s action. He tells Jaime he will reward Vargo by giving him Harrenhal, though he does not know that the castle will be overtaken again by Tywin. Before sending him to King’s Landing, Jaime tells Brienne how the Mad King had decided to burn everything to the ground should he be defeated.
On reaching King’s Landing, Jaime discovers that his sister, Cersei, is in mourning over Joffrey’s death. He becomes the new commander of the King’s Guard and selects new knights to defend the new King, Tommen.
In one last attempt to keep his word, Jaime sends for Brienne and gives her a sword given to him by his father. He tells her to find Sansa and Arya and take them back to Winterfell.
After Arya, Gendry, and Hotpie escape from Harrenhal, Arya decides to return to Riverrun, where her mother was. However, they get lost, and Arya becomes sleepy. She dreams that she is a wolf and meets three men who identify themselves as Robb’s men. The three men take Arya and her friends to an inn. She meets Harwin, who recognizes her as the King’s sister.
Arya and Hotpie part ways as he decides to stay at the inn. On their way, Harwin explains how he had ridden out searching for Gregor Clegane but got ambushed. Later, she discovers that Harwin no longer worked for her brother, as she gets taken to meet Lord Beric and Thoros of Myr instead.
Arya finally meets Thoros and Lord Beric. She learns about Rhllor, the lord of light, and later sees a dwarf woman who tells her she scents blood. Later, Harwin gives Arya a little history of her father’s Battle of the Bells. He tells her how Lord Eddard defeated Lord Connington, the Mad King’s Hand.
When Arya reaches Hollow Hill, she meets Sandor Clegane and accuses him of killing Mycah, her friend. Sandor gets judged by Lord Beric, who gets killed. Miraculously, Beric appears again alive. Gendry decides to join the outlaws. Arya leaves the camp but gets captured by Sandor, who tries to ransom her to her mother.
Sandor decides he will join Robb’s army. Arya and Sandor reach the Twins and realize her brother and mother had headed off to attend Edmure’s wedding. He decides to take her to the wedding but meets the grueling scene of Robb’s men getting killed by Walder Frey’s men.
When Arya realizes what is going on, she tries running into the castle, but Sandor hits her with his ax, and she blacks out. Later, Sandor comes into an inn where Arya meets Polliver and Tickler, the two men who had her sword. A fight ensues, and Arya kills Polliver and Tickler and gets her sword, Needle, back. She later abandons an injured Sandor and heads for a ship going to Braavos. She shows the captain the coin Jaqen gave her, and he lets her in.
After the battle at Black Water, Tyrion wakes up and realizes his father has taken back his position. He requests gratitude from his father for saving the city, but his father acts cold. Later, Tyrion asks Casterly Rock, but his father calls him a disgrace. He learns that his father plans to restore Pycelle as the grand maester, destroying all he planned hard to achieve.
The small council meets, and Tywin explains how Petyr had told him about the Tyrells’ plan to marry Sansa to Willas Tyrell. Tywin then arranges for Cersei to marry Willas while Tyrion marries Sansa to secure the north. Tyrion gets angry at the plan and tries to save Sansa by claiming his marriage to her is worthless, but he ultimately marries her and swears not to touch her. He later visits Symon Silvertongue and orders Bronn to kill him.
Pycelle gets word of Lord Mormont’s death, and Tywin writes to the Watch stating that he hoped for Janos to become the new commander. Later, Tyrion gets sent to meet the Martells. He meets Oberyn, who hated the Tyrells, and Gregor Clegane.
A letter arrives stating that Catelyn and her son are dead. When Joffrey marries Margaery Tyrell, he makes fun of Tyrion and orders him to pour him a drink. Joffrey falls to the ground as his poisoned. As he dies, Cersei blames Tyrion, and he gets arrested.
Tyrion gets tried, and Shae stands as a witness against him as she humiliates him. He requests a trial by combat, and Oberyn decides to be his champion. However, he gets killed by Gregor, Cersei’s champion, and Tyrion realizes he gets condemned. Later, his brother, who had returned to King’s Landing, frees him and tells him about how Tywin forced him to lie about his first wife, Tysha. As Tyrion escapes, he visits his father one last time and meets Shae on his bed. He strangles her to death and later kills Tywin.
Back at Riverrun, Catelyn gets confined to her father’s chambers. She meets her son, Robb, and realizes he has a new wife. Though she realizes Robb’s marriage will betray the trust of Walder Frey, she tries to seek a solution. Finally, it gets decided that Edmure will marry Roslin Frey. Robb tells Catelyn that he wants to legitimize Jon Snow should anything happen to him.
Catelyn, Robb, Edmure, and Robb’s men travel to meet Walder Frey for the wedding. Everything goes on smoothly as Roose Bolton appears. Suddenly, Catelyn notices that the musicians are archers. Robb gets shot, and the wedding turns bloody as his men get killed.
In a fit of madness, Catelyn gets a hold of Walder Frey’s grandson and requests a trade. However, Robb gets killed, and she also kills Walder’s grandson. She then gets killed and thrown into the river.
On her way back to Pentos, Daenerys decides to visit Astaphor at the persuasion of Arstan. She gets to the city where Krazyns shows her 8000 unsullied soldiers. She requests all of them and offers Drogon, her dragon, and her ships in exchange. When she gets control of the Unsullied, she conquers Astaphor.
Daenerys then travels to Yunkai, where she tells the masters of the city to join her. Daario Naharis pledges his support to her by killing his co-captains, and together with the second sons, Daenerys sacks the city of Yunkai and frees the people. She then reaches Meeren and gets attacked by Mero. Arstan saves her, and Jorah later realizes that Arstan is Barristan Selmy.
Barristan reveals to Daenerys that Jorah worked for the small council of Westeros. He swears his loyalty to her, but Jorah gets angry and she sends him away.
After becoming one of the wildlings, Jon begins gathering information on Mance Rayder’s army. Mance tells Jon that he was once a brother of the Night’s Watch but left because of love. He also tells Jon he saw him twice as he snuck into Winterfell when Robert Baratheon visited.
While trying to gather information on Mance’s army, Jon gets questioned, but Ygritte saves him by saying they were sleeping together. Mance decides to send Jon and some men to climb the wall. Before leaving, he sends Ghost away and climbs the Wall with Styr. Ygritte finds a cave and tells Jon they could stay there forever and never leave.
After climbing the wall, Jon and the others arrive at a village. He gets asked to prove his loyalty by killing a man, but he refuses. Ygritte kills the man, and a fight ensues. Summer, Bran’s wolf, helps Jon out as he escapes back to the Night’s Watch. After reaching Castle Black, Jon tells the brothers of the people coming to attack, and they fortify themselves. During a battle with the wildlings, Ygritte gets killed.
Another attack by Mance Rader gets foiled, and Jon gets arrested for being a turn cloak. To prove his loyalty to the brotherhood, he gets sent to kill Mance Rayder. However, when he joins the wildlings, Stannis attacks. Jon returns to Castle Black with Mace’s wife’s child. He gets a presence with Stannis, who tells him he plans to legitimize him to become a Stark.
Jon refuses the offer and later gets chosen by his brothers to become the new Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.
After the Battle of Blackwater, Davos gets stranded on an island. On the brink of death, he gets rescued and taken back to Dragonstone, where he gets locked up. He meets Allister and learns he tried to send a letter to Joffrey stating Stannis will bend the Knee.
Later, Melisandre brings Davos before Stannis, and he becomes the new Hand of the King. Stannis performs a ritual using Edric Storm’s blood. He calls the names of the three Kings, Joffrey, Robb, and Balon.
Later, word of Robb and Balon’s death reaches Stannis, and though Melisandre gets credit, he tells the King that Robb got killed by Walder Frey and Balon fell. Melisandre asks to kill Edric Storme as a sacrifice, but Davos saves him by sending him away.
Before Stannis kills Davos, he reads the letter from the Night’s Watch, and Stannis moves north to help the Night’s Watch.
As Bran, Jojen, and Meera travel, they hide at Tumbledown Tower. Bran gains the full capability of seeing through Summer, his direwolf, and Jojen states that they must travel further north to see the three-eyed raven.
On their way, Meera tells Bran the story of the Knight of the Laughing tree. Later, they meet Sam and Gilly, who had reached Nightfort with the help of a strange man called Coldhands. Bran makes Samwell swear to tell no one that they were alive.
At the Fist of the First Men, Sam and his brothers face off wights. Most of them get killed, but 44 escape to Craster’s Keep. Sam realizes that dragon glass killed wights. At Craster’s Keep, Lord Mormont gets killed, and Sam escapes with Gilly. The corpse of one of Sam’s friends, Small Paul, comes after him, but ravens come to the rescue, and a strange man helps him and Gilly to Nightfort, where they meet Bran.
Sam returns to Castle Black, and a vote for the next lord commander ensues. He convinces two contestants, Cotter Pyke and Ser Denys, to cast their support for Jon, who becomes the Lord Commander.
During the chaos that ensues when Joffrey gets poisoned, Sansa escapes with Dontos to a boat. She realizes that it was Petyr who used Dontos. She gets taken to the Vale by Petyr, and Lysa gets jealous of her.
Later, Petyr confesses his feelings to Sansa, and when Robert, Lysa’s son, sees them, he gets a seizure. Lysa summons Sansa and drags her toward the Moon Door to throw her to her death. Petyr comes in. Lysa also reveals that she had poisoned her husband and written a letter to Catelyn stating that the Lannisters were responsible for Jon Arryn’s death.
Petyr makes Lysa calm down and then throws her to her death. He accuses Marillion, who was also present.
How does A Storm of Swords end?
‘A Storm of Swords’ ends on different fronts. First, Robb and his mother, Catelyn, get killed after getting betrayed by Walder Frey and Roose Bolton. In the Night’s Watch, Jon becomes the 998th commander of the Watch. After Arya gets captured by Sandor Clegane, she gets taken to the Twins but witnesses the death of her brother and mother. She later leaves Sandor to die and takes a boat to Braavos. Sansa gets taken to the Vale, where Petyr confesses his feelings for her. Lysa gets jealous and tries to kill Sansa, but Petyr throws her through the Moon Door, and she dies.
What happens to Daenerys in A Storm of Swords?
When Daenerys arrives in Astapor, she meets Krazyns, who shows her the army of the Unsullied. She realizes they are enslaved and decides to free them. She gives Krazyns Drogon and her ships in exchange for 8000 troops. After getting the Unsullied, Daenerys frees the enslaved and takes over. She later travels to Yunkai, where she meets Dario Naharis, who helps her take over the city. Daenerys finally arrives at Meeren, and after taking over, she decides to rule as queen.
Which main characters die in A Storm of Swords?
Catelyn and her son, Robb, get killed after Walder Frey and Roose Bolton conspire against them. At the Night’s Watch, Jon watches in pain as Ygritte dies from an arrow in her chest. Lysa gets killed by Petyr. In King’s Landing, Joffrey dies from wine poisoning, and Tyrion gets accused of his death. Later, Jaime frees Tyrion. In anger, he kills his father, Tywin, and Shae.
What happens to Brienne at the end of A Storm of Swords?
After getting to King’s Landing, Brienne gets imprisoned for the murder of Renly Baratheon. Jaime frees her and gives her his sword. He asks her to find Arya and Sansa and take them home safely.