Davos is in chains. He has been captured on Sweetsister, a tiny island north of the Vale of Arryn. He is brought before its Lord who is wondering what to do with him.
Davos left the Wall with Salladhor Saan’s Lysene fleet to go to White Harbour and get Lord Manderly to swear allegiance to Stannis. Most of the fleet was smashed on the journey south and Saan feels that Stannis has beggared him. He was promised gold and never been paid. It appears that he has landed Davos on Sweetsister and gone on somewhere else.
The Lord of Sweetsister is Godric Borrell, technically sworn to Lord Sunderland, a bannerman of the Arryns. He suggests Borrell gives him over to Lysa Arryn and learns she is dead and Littlefinger rules the Vale now. He offers Davos a seat and some food. Davos knows he is safe for the night. He learns that Tywin Lannister is dead. Borrell asks why he should help Stannis and Davos doesn’t know what to say, despite being able to see that Borrell has doubts about who to support. With Tywin dead and Tyrion fled, who will fight the Lannister cause now?
Davos explains he wants to go to White Harbour and learns that Manderly has made peace with the Freys by way of a marriage. Then Godric tells him that Eddard Stark was on Sweetsister at the start of Robert’s rebellion. He was brought their by a fisherman’s daughter and left her with a bastard that she named Jon Snow.
Hmmm. I don’t believe that for a second. A fisherman’s daughter in the Three Sisters, a maid in Dorne? Just doesn’t sound much like Eddard Stark. Personally, I’m liking the Lyanna-Rhaegar theory of Jon Snow’s parentage. It fits Eddard’s character better.
Frankly, I’m surprised Salladhor Saan stuck with Stannis as long as he did. It’s not stated explicitly that Saan has abandoned Stannis’ cause, but the implication is there. Although, maybe it’s a fake out. It’s not like that never happens in these books. But, taking it at face value, that’s what happens when you buy someone’s loyalty instead of winning it. Doesn’t look good for Stannis right now. His fleet is good and White Harbour has declared for King’s Landing. All these little lords are looking for their advantage and what does Stannis have except personal strength and justice? How far’s that going to get you when even the Lord of the island eats plain fish stew and bread without butter?