The struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. Lord Eddard Stark Warden of the North counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at a court where a true man does what he will not what the must and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty. There is treachery at the court Stark’s family is split and the old gods have no power in the south. Worse the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has emerged from exile in the Free Cities and he claims the Iron Throne.