A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

The basics

Title: A Clash of Kings


Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #2

- A Game of Thrones (1996)
- A Clash of Kings (1998)
- A Storm of Swords (2000)
- A Feast for Crows (2005)
- A Dance with Dragons (2011)
- The Winds of Winter (2018?)
- A Dream of Spring (who knows)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over an age of enforced peace are dead...victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard's son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King's Landing. Robert's two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.

A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and wartime. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, brother plots against brother, and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside.

Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel.

in short

The Night’s Watch head further north beyond the Wall and chill at Craster’s Keep. Jon Snow goes off in search of Mance Rayder and meets Ygritte. Dany reaches Qarth and tries to form an alliance, which ultimately goes to shit. The Greyjoys attack the north, the Boltons double cross them and capture Theon. A creepy shadow thing that Melisandre gave birth to kills Renly Baratheon, causing Catelyn and Brienne to flee. Tyrion is now Hand of the King and starts setting up allegiances. The Tyrells and Martells team up with the Lannisters. Stannis Baratheon attacks King’s Landing, but is defeated by wildfire and the Lannister army.

what happened in A Clash of Kings?

  • The Greyjoys are a bit shit and attack the North. Robb wanted to ally with them but they aren’t having any of it.
  • Bran Stark (who is a child and also paralysed… in case you’d forgotten) is in charge of Winterfell in his brother’s absence.
  • Bran meets Jojen and Meera Reed, who are kind of creepy and kind of spiritual in some way.
  • Stannis Baratheon besieges Storm’s End to force Renly Baratheon to meet him. Catelyn Stark is with Renly.
  • A creepy shadow thing kills Renly in front of Catelyn and Brienne of Tarth, who run the hell away.
  • Melisandre gives birth to a creepy shadow thing. Davos is disgusted.
  • Tyrion arrives in King’s Landing.
  • Tyrion wants to get the Martells to join up with the Lannisters. He also wants the Tyrells now that Renly is dead and his wife, Margaery, is free to marry again.
  • Tyrion promises to make Littlefinger Lord of Harrenhal.
  • Margaery Tyrell and Joffrey Baratheon are to be married.
  • Trystane Martell and Myrcella Baratheon are also gonna get hitched.
  • Theon Greyjoy captures Winterfell. He burns the corpses of two children, pretending that they’re Bran and Rickon Stark.
  • Roose Bolton pretends to ally with Theon Greyjoy but the Boltons take him captive instead.
  • Winterfell is burnt to the ground.
  • The Boltons go back to the Dreadfort.
  • Bran and Rickon are actually alive. They split up. Rickon goes off with Osha, and Bran and the Reed siblings travel to the Wall.
  • Robb Stark and his army win a tonne of battles against the Lannisters.
  • Edmure Tully stops Tywin Lannister from coming at Robb’s army from behind.
  • The Lannister army marches south to join with the Tyrells.
  • Yoren takes Arya Stark north to the Wall. Or, at least, he plans to but then the Lannisters attack and Yoren is killed. Arya escapes the attack with Gendry, and Hot Pie. She saves Jaqen H’ghar.
  • Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie are captured by Gregor Clegane’s men and taken to Harrenhal.
  • Jaqen promises to repay Arya for saving his life. He offers to kill three men for her. He kills two with no issues, but she tells him to kill himself as the third man. He hesitates, obviously, and she gets him to help her kill a bunch of Lannister soldiers to free Robett Glover.
  • Jaqen gives Arya a coin and tells her to find him in Braavos. Then he changes his face and leaves her.
  • Roose Bolton takes over Harrenhal.
  • Arya escapes Harrenhal with Gendry and Hot Pie.
  • The Battle of Blackwater begins when Stannis Baratheon’s army reaches King’s Landing. It ends when the Lannisters use wildfire on the ships, and Tywin’s army arrives to help.
  • Catelyn, now in Riverrun, is very upset because she believes that Bran and Rickon are dead. She questions Jaime Lannister.
  • In the north, the Night’s Watch, on their way to fight Mance Rayder, stop at Craster’s Keep.
  • Jon Snow goes on a mission to figure out what Mance is currently doing.
  • Jon is told to infiltrate the wildlings and pretend to betray the Night’s Watch.
  • Jon meets Ygritte, who agrees to speak to Mance Rayder for him.
  • Meanwhile, in the east…
  • After Drogo’s death, his army leaves Daenerys. She only has about a hundred men following her now.
  • Dany crosses the desert and reaches Qarth.
  • Dany asks for help to invade the west, but no one wants to help.
  • Dany goes to the House of the Undying, hoping to form an alliance with the warlocks there, but they’re not great and Drogon (the biggest and favoured dragon) burns everything down.
  • An assassin attempts to kill Dany but is stopped by Strong Belwas and Arstan Whitebeard, who want to take her back to Pentos. Dany agrees to go back with them.

That’s what happened in A Clash of Kings! Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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