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BRAN
It seemed as though he had been falling for years.

Fly, a voice whispered in the darkness, but Bran did not know how to fly, so all he could do wasfall.

Maester Luwin made a little boy of clay, baked him till he was hard and brittle1, dressed him inBran’s clothes, and flung him off a roof. Bran remembered the way he shattered. “But I never fall,” hesaid, falling.

The ground was so far below him he could barely make it out through the grey mists that whirledaround him, but he could feel how fast he was falling, and he knew what was waiting for him downthere. Even in dreams, you could not fall forever. He would wake up in the instant before he hit theground, he knew. You always woke up in the instant before you hit the ground.

And if you don’t? the voice asked.

The ground was closer now, still far far away, a thousand miles away, but closer than it had been. Itwas cold here in the darkness. There was no sun, no stars, only the ground below coming up to smashhim, and the grey mists, and the whispering voice. He wanted to cry.

Not cry. Fly.

“I can’t fly,” Bran said. “I can’t, I can’t …”

How do you know? Have you ever tried?

The voice was high and thin. Bran looked around to see where it was coming from. A crow wasspiraling down with him, just out of reach, following him as he fell. “Help me,” he said.

I’m trying, the crow replied. Say, got any corn?

Bran reached into his pocket as the darkness spun2 dizzily around him. When he pulled his hand out,golden kernels3 slid from between his fingers into the air. They fell with him.

The crow landed on his hand and began to eat.

“Are you really a crow?” Bran asked.

Are you really falling? the crow asked back.

“It’s just a dream,” Bran said.

Is it? asked the crow.

“I’ll wake up when I hit the ground,” Bran told the bird.

You’ll die when you hit the ground, the crow said. It went back to eating corn.

Bran looked down. He could see mountains now, their peaks white with snow, and the silver threadof rivers in dark woods. He closed his eyes and began to cry.

That won’t do any good, the crow said. I told you, the answer is flying, not crying. How hard can itbe. I’m doing it. The crow took to the air and flapped around Bran’s hand.

“You have wings,” Bran pointed4 out.

Maybe you do too.

Bran felt along his shoulders, groping for feathers.

There are different kinds of wings, the crow said.

Bran was staring at his arms, his legs. He was so skinny, just skin stretched taut5 over bones. Had healways been so thin? He tried to remember. A face swam up at him out of the grey mist, shining withlight, golden. “The things I do for love,” it said.

Bran screamed.

The crow took to the air, cawing. Not that, it shrieked6 at him. Forget that, you do not need it now,put it aside, put it away. It landed on Bran’s shoulder, and pecked at him, and the shining golden facewas gone.

put it aside, put it away. It landed on Bran’s shoulder, and pecked at him, and the shining golden facewas gone.

Bran was falling faster than ever. The grey mists howled around him as he plunged7 toward theearth below. “What are you doing to me?” he asked the crow, tearful.

Teaching you how to fly.

“I can’t fly!”

You’re flying right now.

“I’m falling!”

Every flight begins with a fall, the crow said. Look down.

“I’m afraid …”

LOOK DOWN!

Bran looked down, and felt his insides turn to water. The ground was rushing up at him now. Thewhole world was spread out below him, a tapestry8 of white and brown and green. He could seeeverything so clearly that for a moment he forgot to be afraid. He could see the whole realm, andeveryone in it.

He saw Winterfell as the eagles see it, the tall towers looking squat9 and stubby from above, thecastle walls just lines in the dirt. He saw Maester Luwin on his balcony, studying the sky through apolished bronze tube and frowning as he made notes in a book. He saw his brother Robb, taller andstronger than he remembered him, practicing swordplay in the yard with real steel in his hand. He sawHodor, the simple giant from the stables, carrying an anvil10 to Mikken’s forge, hefting it onto hisshoulder as easily as another man might heft a bale of hay. At the heart of the godswood, the greatwhite weirwood brooded over its reflection in the black pool, its leaves rustling11 in a chill wind. Whenit felt Bran watching, it lifted its eyes from the still waters and stared back at him knowingly.

He looked east, and saw a galley12 racing13 across the waters of the Bite. He saw his mother sittingalone in a cabin, looking at a bloodstained knife on a table in front of her, as the rowers pulled at theiroars and Ser Rodrik leaned across a rail, shaking and heaving. A storm was gathering14 ahead of them,a vast dark roaring lashed15 by lightning, but somehow they could not see it.

He looked south, and saw the great blue-green rush of the Trident. He saw his father pleading withthe king, his face etched with grief. He saw Sansa crying herself to sleep at night, and he saw Aryawatching in silence and holding her secrets hard in her heart. There were shadows all around them.

One shadow was dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound. Another was armored like the sun,golden and beautiful. Over them both loomed16 a giant in armor made of stone, but when he opened hisvisor, there was nothing inside but darkness and thick black blood.

He lifted his eyes and saw clear across the narrow sea, to the Free Cities and the green Dothraki seaand beyond, to Vaes Dothrak under its mountain, to the fabled17 lands of the Jade18 Sea, to Asshai by theShadow, where dragons stirred beneath the sunrise.

Finally he looked north. He saw the Wall shining like blue crystal, and his bastard19 brother Jonsleeping alone in a cold bed, his skin growing pale and hard as the memory of all warmth fled fromhim. And he looked past the Wall, past endless forests cloaked in snow, past the frozen shore and thegreat blue-white rivers of ice and the dead plains where nothing grew or lived. North and north andnorth he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. Helooked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned onhis cheeks.

Now you know, the crow whispered as it sat on his shoulder. Now you know why you must live.

“Why?” Bran said, not understanding, falling, falling.

Because winter is coming.

Bran looked at the crow on his shoulder, and the crow looked back. It had three eyes, and the thirdeye was full of a terrible knowledge. Bran looked down. There was nothing below him now but snowand cold and death, a frozen wasteland where jagged blue-white spires20 of ice waited to embrace him.

They flew up at him like spears. He saw the bones of a thousand other dreamers impaled21 upon theirpoints. He was desperately22 afraid.

“Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?” he heard his own voice saying, small and far away.

And his father’s voice replied to him. “That is the only time a man can be brave.”

Now, Bran, the crow urged. Choose. Fly or die.

Death reached for him, screaming.

Bran spread his arms and flew.

Wings unseen drank the wind and filled and pulled him upward. The terrible needles of ice recededbelow him. The sky opened up above. Bran soared. It was better than climbing. It was better thananything. The world grew small beneath him.

“I’m flying!” he cried out in delight.

I’ve noticed, said the three-eyed crow. It took to the air, flapping its wings in his face, slowing him,blinding him. He faltered23 in the air as its pinions24 beat against his cheeks. Its beak25 stabbed at himfiercely, and Bran felt a sudden blinding pain in the middle of his forehead, between his eyes.

“What are you doing?” he shrieked.

The crow opened its beak and cawed at him, a shrill26 scream of fear, and the grey mists shudderedand swirled27 around him and ripped away like a veil, and he saw that the crow was really a woman, aserving woman with long black hair, and he knew her from somewhere, from Winterfell, yes, that wasit, he remembered her now, and then he realized that he was in Winterfell, in a bed high in somechilly tower room, and the black-haired woman dropped a basin of water to shatter on the floor andran down the steps, shouting, “He’s awake, he’s awake, he’s awake.”

Bran touched his forehead, between his eyes. The place where the crow had pecked him was stillburning, but there was nothing there, no blood, no wound. He felt weak and dizzy. He tried to get outof bed, but nothing happened.

And then there was movement beside the bed, and something landed lightly on his legs. He feltnothing. A pair of yellow eyes looked into his own, shining like the sun. The window was open and itwas cold in the room, but the warmth that came off the wolf enfolded him like a hot bath. His pup,Bran realized … or was it? He was so big now. He reached out to pet him, his hand trembling like aleaf.

When his brother Robb burst into the room, breathless from his dash up the tower steps, thedirewolf was licking Bran’s face. Bran looked up calmly. “His name is Summer,” he said.

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 brittle IWizN     
adj.易碎的;脆弱的;冷淡的;(声音)尖利的
参考例句:
  • The pond was covered in a brittle layer of ice.池塘覆盖了一层易碎的冰。
  • She gave a brittle laugh.她冷淡地笑了笑。
2 spun kvjwT     
v.纺,杜撰,急转身
参考例句:
  • His grandmother spun him a yarn at the fire.他奶奶在火炉边给他讲故事。
  • Her skilful fingers spun the wool out to a fine thread.她那灵巧的手指把羊毛纺成了细毛线。
3 kernels d01b84fda507090bbbb626ee421da586     
谷粒( kernel的名词复数 ); 仁; 核; 要点
参考例句:
  • These stones contain kernels. 这些核中有仁。
  • Resolving kernels and standard errors can also be computed for each block. 还可以计算每个块体的分辨核和标准误差。
4 pointed Il8zB4     
adj.尖的,直截了当的
参考例句:
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
5 taut iUazb     
adj.拉紧的,绷紧的,紧张的
参考例句:
  • The bowstring is stretched taut.弓弦绷得很紧。
  • Scarlett's taut nerves almost cracked as a sudden noise sounded in the underbrush near them. 思嘉紧张的神经几乎一下绷裂了,因为她听见附近灌木丛中突然冒出的一个声音。
6 shrieked dc12d0d25b0f5d980f524cd70c1de8fe     
v.尖叫( shriek的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • She shrieked in fright. 她吓得尖叫起来。
  • Li Mei-t'ing gave a shout, and Lu Tzu-hsiao shrieked, "Tell what? 李梅亭大声叫,陆子潇尖声叫:“告诉什么? 来自汉英文学 - 围城
7 plunged 06a599a54b33c9d941718dccc7739582     
v.颠簸( plunge的过去式和过去分词 );暴跌;骤降;突降
参考例句:
  • The train derailed and plunged into the river. 火车脱轨栽进了河里。
  • She lost her balance and plunged 100 feet to her death. 她没有站稳,从100英尺的高处跌下摔死了。
8 tapestry 7qRy8     
n.挂毯,丰富多采的画面
参考例句:
  • How about this artistic tapestry and this cloisonne vase?这件艺术挂毯和这个景泰蓝花瓶怎么样?
  • The wall of my living room was hung with a tapestry.我的起居室的墙上挂着一块壁毯。
9 squat 2GRzp     
v.蹲坐,蹲下;n.蹲下;adj.矮胖的,粗矮的
参考例句:
  • For this exercise you need to get into a squat.在这次练习中你需要蹲下来。
  • He is a squat man.他是一个矮胖的男人。
10 anvil HVxzH     
n.铁钻
参考例句:
  • The blacksmith shaped a horseshoe on his anvil.铁匠在他的铁砧上打出一个马蹄形。
  • The anvil onto which the staples are pressed was not assemble correctly.订书机上的铁砧安装错位。
11 rustling c6f5c8086fbaf68296f60e8adb292798     
n. 瑟瑟声,沙沙声 adj. 发沙沙声的
参考例句:
  • the sound of the trees rustling in the breeze 树木在微风中发出的沙沙声
  • the soft rustling of leaves 树叶柔和的沙沙声
12 galley rhwxE     
n.(飞机或船上的)厨房单层甲板大帆船;军舰舰长用的大划艇;
参考例句:
  • The stewardess will get you some water from the galley.空姐会从厨房给你拿些水来。
  • Visitors can also go through the large galley where crew members got their meals.游客还可以穿过船员们用餐的厨房。
13 racing 1ksz3w     
n.竞赛,赛马;adj.竞赛用的,赛马用的
参考例句:
  • I was watching the racing on television last night.昨晚我在电视上看赛马。
  • The two racing drivers fenced for a chance to gain the lead.两个赛车手伺机竞相领先。
14 gathering ChmxZ     
n.集会,聚会,聚集
参考例句:
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
15 lashed 4385e23a53a7428fb973b929eed1bce6     
adj.具睫毛的v.鞭打( lash的过去式和过去分词 );煽动;紧系;怒斥
参考例句:
  • The rain lashed at the windows. 雨点猛烈地打在窗户上。
  • The cleverly designed speech lashed the audience into a frenzy. 这篇精心设计的演说煽动听众使他们发狂。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 loomed 9423e616fe6b658c9a341ebc71833279     
v.隐约出现,阴森地逼近( loom的过去式和过去分词 );隐约出现,阴森地逼近
参考例句:
  • A dark shape loomed up ahead of us. 一个黑糊糊的影子隐隐出现在我们的前面。
  • The prospect of war loomed large in everyone's mind. 战事将起的庞大阴影占据每个人的心。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 fabled wt7zCV     
adj.寓言中的,虚构的
参考例句:
  • For the first week he never actually saw the fabled Jack. 第一周他实际上从没见到传说中的杰克。
  • Aphrodite, the Greek goddness of love, is fabled to have been born of the foam of the sea. 希腊爱神阿美罗狄蒂据说是诞生于海浪泡沫之中。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
18 jade i3Pxo     
n.玉石;碧玉;翡翠
参考例句:
  • The statue was carved out of jade.这座塑像是玉雕的。
  • He presented us with a couple of jade lions.他送给我们一对玉狮子。
19 bastard MuSzK     
n.坏蛋,混蛋;私生子
参考例句:
  • He was never concerned about being born a bastard.他从不介意自己是私生子。
  • There was supposed to be no way to get at the bastard.据说没有办法买通那个混蛋。
20 spires 89c7a5b33df162052a427ff0c7ab3cc6     
n.(教堂的) 塔尖,尖顶( spire的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Her masts leveled with the spires of churches. 船的桅杆和教堂的塔尖一样高。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • White church spires lift above green valleys. 教堂的白色尖顶耸立在绿色山谷中。 来自《简明英汉词典》
21 impaled 448a5e4f96c325988b1ac8ae08453c0e     
钉在尖桩上( impale的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • She impaled a lump of meat on her fork. 她用叉子戳起一块肉。
  • He fell out of the window and was impaled on the iron railings. 他从窗口跌下去,身体被铁栏杆刺穿了。
22 desperately cu7znp     
adv.极度渴望地,绝望地,孤注一掷地
参考例句:
  • He was desperately seeking a way to see her again.他正拼命想办法再见她一面。
  • He longed desperately to be back at home.他非常渴望回家。
23 faltered d034d50ce5a8004ff403ab402f79ec8d     
(嗓音)颤抖( falter的过去式和过去分词 ); 支吾其词; 蹒跚; 摇晃
参考例句:
  • He faltered out a few words. 他支吾地说出了几句。
  • "Er - but he has such a longhead!" the man faltered. 他不好意思似的嚅嗫着:“这孩子脑袋真长。”
24 pinions 2704c69a4cf75de0d5c6017c37660a53     
v.抓住[捆住](双臂)( pinion的第三人称单数 )
参考例句:
  • These four pinions act as bridges between the side gears. 这四组小齿轮起到连接侧方齿轮组的桥梁作用。 来自互联网
  • Tough the sword hidden among pinions may wound you. 虽然那藏在羽翼中间的剑刃也许会伤毁你们。 来自互联网
25 beak 8y1zGA     
n.鸟嘴,茶壶嘴,钩形鼻
参考例句:
  • The bird had a worm in its beak.鸟儿嘴里叼着一条虫。
  • This bird employs its beak as a weapon.这种鸟用嘴作武器。
26 shrill EEize     
adj.尖声的;刺耳的;v尖叫
参考例句:
  • Whistles began to shrill outside the barn.哨声开始在谷仓外面尖叫。
  • The shrill ringing of a bell broke up the card game on the cutter.刺耳的铃声打散了小汽艇的牌局。
27 swirled eb40fca2632f9acaecc78417fd6adc53     
v.旋转,打旋( swirl的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The waves swirled and eddied around the rocks. 波浪翻滚着在岩石周围打旋。
  • The water swirled down the drain. 水打着旋流进了下水道。


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