Davos sails into White Harbor aboard the Merry Midwife, a beat up old boat, and thinks how he intended to sail in on Salladhor Saan's ship, in a show of strength. Now he must smuggle himself in, more or less. He was warned at Sisterton that Manderly was allying with the Lannisters, but the northmen at Eastwatch told him would never abandon the Starks. He is here to see for himself.
Davos heads to the Lazy Eel, an old winesink to find out the latest gossip, and learns that Robett Glover is in the city trying to raise troops. Everything else he hears is bad for Stannis' cause, and he gets a little down about it, but decides it is his duty to proceed, so he presents himself to Lord Manderly's place and asks to see him. He also notes twenty three war galleys in the harbor- Manderly has been busy.
Davos is one of my favorite characters, so it's always a pleasure to read from his perspective. This chapter is primarily a tour- we see that it's a clean and well ordered city, unlike some. We also get an update on where things stand in the North. Manderly has been building ships, which he meant to do as far back as the first book when he met with Bran. But whose side will he be on? And we now know where Robett Glover is...
Xaro Xoan Dhaxos is in Meereen to visit Dany and has a fleet with him. Dany is hopeful that this will mean renewed trade, since there is none at the moment thanks to her abolishing the slave trade. They have a long conversation and Xaro entreats her to relent, to let the slave trade resume or her enemies will kill her. She has made a lot of enemies... and he posits that the slave trade is essential, that not everyone is meant to be free. When she refuses, he offers her his ships, to carry her to Westeros. All he asks is that she go, as she had disrupted the entire economy of the East.
This chapter, as far as I'm concerned, is a tease! Xaro offers her a way to go to Westeros, and she refuses. Of course he's not helping her out of the goodness of his heart, but as this storyline drags on, any thought of heading to Westeros is much appreciated! Alas, it is not to be. Barristan advises her to take the ships and go, after a successful inspection, but there is debate among her team. The seneschal says the masters will be restored when she leaves, and all of them that served her will be enslaved or killed. she decides to stay, and when Xaro is informed he threatens her. She tells him to get lost, and learns that his ships are flying banners of war.
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