A Clash of Kings-Chapter 42
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Place||Outside the walls of Storm's End|
|Page||442 UK HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
Davos has recently returned to Stannis's fleet after delivering the king’s message throughout the realm. He learns that Stannis has been having terrible nightmares, and that only Lady Melisandre can soothe him to sleep. She has been sharing his pavilion of late, and he wonders how she soothes him to sleep.
Ser Cortnay Penrose arrives to parley with Stannis, and scorns the king and all his new-found allies who were so recently sworn to Renly. He especially mocks Lord Alester Florent, for not only changing sides, but changing gods as well.
Ser Cortnay will not accept Stannis’ demands, and will not surrender Storm's End nor Robert’s bastard Edric Storm. The Castellan throws his gauntlet in King Stannis’ face, and proposes single combat to settle the issue. Stannis rejects him, stating he will take the castle by storm if he must, to which Ser Cortnay responds, "Bring on your storm - and recall, if you do, the name of this castle." Stannis dismisses all his men save Davos, seeking the former smuggler’s advice. Davos states his respect for Ser Cortnay, who kept his faith, unlike all these new lords in Stannis’ army. Stannis dislikes them as much, but he needs their strength in order to win his throne. Stannis sent Ser Parmen Crane to Bitterbridge to gather the rest of Renly’s army, but there has been no word since. He tells Davos that he grieves for his brother Renly, and dreams of a green pavilion and the manner of Renly’s death, even though he was in bed at the time of Renly’s demise. Stannis says, "…but I did love him, Davos. I know that now. I swear, I will go to my grave thinking of my brother’s peach."
Davos advises him to strike for King's Landing at once, but Stannis will not leave Storm’s End untaken in his rear, for men will consider him defeated there. Stannis then tells Davos that he must have the boy Edric Storm, as Melisandre has seen it in her flames; and she has also seen Ser Cortnay’s death, as she saw Renly’s at Dragonstone. The king commands Davos to bring Melisandre by boat under the cover of darkness beneath Storm’s End, as he did some 15 years before.
That night, Davos is sickened by what he must do for his king. He asks Melisandre if she is good or evil, and she responds, "Oh, good. I am a knight of sorts myself. A champion of light and life." Davos calls her a liar, for she means to kill a man this very night, as she killed Maester Cressen and Renly. The Red Woman responds that the maester poisoned himself, and that she had nothing to do with Renly’s death. However, she later admits that Renly was unprotected, while the walls of Storm’s End have spells woven into the stones, and that no shadow can pass from the outside. When Davos proclaims that a shadow is a thing of darkness, Melisandre rebuffs him, stating that shadows don’t exist in the dark, they are servants of light and fire, provided by her god, R'hllor.
When they arrive at a gate in a water tunnel beneath the castle, Melisandre disrobes, and Davos watches in horror as the now pregnant woman gives birth to a shadow, and Davos recognizes the man who cast it.