A Clash of Kings-Chapter 11
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Place||Aboard the Myraham - Lordsport - Pyke|
|Page||121 UK HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
Theon Greyjoy arrives at Lordsport with none of the fanfare he expected. His pious uncle Aeron escorts him to Pyke, where his father Lord Balon Greyjoy greets him coldly and derides his clothing. After reading the proposed alliance with Robb Stark, Balon throws it in the fire and insists he will pay the iron price and carve out a kingdom of his own.
There is no safe anchorage at Pyke, but Theon Greyjoy insists the Myraham pass by so he can watch his home rise just as it dwindled when he was taken away as a ward of Eddard Stark. Theon cannot make out the banner above the Sea Tower, but he knows it is the golden kraken of House Greyjoy. In the sky beyond the castle, the red comet is still visible. Theon decides it is his comet, sliding a hand to the letter from Robb Stark that he considers as good as a crown.
The captain's daughter, Theon's lover during the voyage, asks if the castle is as he remembers it. Theon confesses it looks smaller, and explains the hard life of the Iron Islanders to her. The girl asks to come ashore with him, but Theon rebuffs her, explaining that the days are gone when the ironborn could take salt wives they captured on raids. She insists that she could be his salt wife, but Theon says her place is on the Myraham.
In the harbor of Lordsport, Theon notices at least fifty or sixty longships including those of Houses Goodbrother, Wynch, and Harlaw. He cannot see his uncle Euron's Silence, but he does spy his father's Great Kraken. It is obvious the longships are hosting, and Theon wonders if his father anticipated his message and called his banners.
There is no honor guard to escort Theon, and the waiting merchants are unimpressed when the captain announces him. He orders a horse from an innkeeper, who does not recognize his importance. The transaction is interrupted by a priest of the Drowned God, who says he will escort his nephew. Theon does not recognize the grim, bearded priest until he remembers his father writing that his uncle Aeron Greyjoy sank in a storm and turning holy when he washed up.
Hurrying after his uncle, Theon finds that the priest's cold manner is totally unlike the amiable man Theon remembers. Abruptly, Aeron asks if Theon prays to the Stark gods now, and Theon (who seldom prays at all) says no. Aeron commands Theon to kneel in the mud. Deciding he may need his uncle's help later, Theon acquiesces. Aeron drenches his head with seawater from a waterskin, reconsecrating him to the Drowned God.
Aeron informs Theon that his mother now lives on Harlaw because of her health and his sister Asha has taken Black Wind to Great Wyk with a message. Theon asks why his father has assembled his forces, but Aeron insists Balon commanded secrecy.
They reach Pyke at sunset, and Theon climbs to the solar where his father waits. Lord Balon is smaller, gaunter, and greyer than Theon remembers him. Balon asks what Theon is now, and Theon replies he is a man and Balon's heir. Balon only says they will see.
Balon accuses Theon of dressing like a woman in velvets and silks, and asks if the gold chain around his neck was bought with iron or gold. Theon only then remembers that the Old Way stipulates a warrior may only wear jewelry taken from enemies he has slain. Theon blushes and his father yanks the chain off, declaring that his daughter has taken an axe for a lover, and he will not have his son dressed like a whore. Balon decides the Starks have made Theon theirs.
The letter fails to impress Balon; he summarizes it as being given a crown for destroying Robb's enemies. Theon attempts to explain, but his father insists that what is meant is what is said, and what is given can be taken away. Balon throws the letter into the fire and backhands Theon when he protests. He declares no man gives him a crown, and he will pay the iron price and take his crown by conquest as Urron Redhand did 5,000 years ago.