The riders gave them queer looks as they went by, and once Bran heard someone guffaw. He refused to let it trouble him. "Men will look at you," Maester Luwin had warned him the first time they had strapped the wicker basket around Hodor's chest. "They will look, and they will talk, and some will mock you." Let them mock, Bran thought. No one mocked him in his bedchamber, but he would not live his life in bed.
As they passed beneath the gatehouse portcullis, Bran put two fingers into his mouth and whistled. Summer came loping across the yard. Suddenly the Karstark lancers were fighting for control, as their horses rolled their eyes and whickered in dismay. One stallion reared, screaming, his rider cursing and hanging on desperately. The scent of the direwolves sent horses into a frenzy of fear if they were not accustomed to it, but they'd quiet soon enough once Summer was gone. "The godswood," Bran reminded Hodor.
Even Winterfell itself was crowded. The yard rang to the sound of sword and axe, the rumble of wagons, and the barking of dogs. The armory doors were open, and Bran glimpsed Mikken at his forge, his hammer ringing as sweat dripped off his bare chest. Bran had never seen as many strangers in all his years, not even when King Robert had come to visit Father.