OK, so things take a few interesting turns in my next chunk of the novel....
Chapter 17 (Bran III): Bran wakes up. But I found his dream to be far more interesting. Apparently Bran has some psychic visions while he is sleeping. He accurately sees his mother and Ser Rodrik on a ship, complete with Ser Rodrik retching his guts out. He sees the events surrounding Ned, Sansa, and Arya dealing with the stuff from the previous two chapters. He sees some men in armor. The first one is obviously the Hound. The second has shiny golden armor and might be Jaime. I can't recall for sure seeing any description of his armor earlier in the book but this rings a definite bell. The third one, a hulking figure in armor made of stone... I have no clue who the hell this could be. Armor made from stone... seriously? Most likely this is someone I haven't met at this point in the book. At the end Bran names his wolf Summer. I think it's a good name.
Chapter 18 (Catelyn IV): The plot thickens. Catelyn apparently has an ally in an old flame (or at least that's how he thinks of himself). Varys certainly has a lot of informed sources. You'd almost think bugs had been invented a few hundred years early. And the dagger used in the attack on Bran belongs to Tyrion. Curiouser and curiouser. This meshes well with my earlier Tyrion ruminations. But... and this is a significant but... was the dagger still owned by Tyrion when it was given to Bran's attacker? Petyr reveals he owned it, and lost it in a wager to Tyrion. We have no knowledge - yet - of what has happened to the dagger in the intervening time. It's possible Tyrion lost it in another bet, and has no connection whatever to this plot. It's even possible the true plotter knows of the dislike between Lannisters and Starks and either sees a convenient person to frame, or wants to play the two houses against each other.
Chapter 19 (Jon III): Jon is still learning that life in the Watch isn't so glamorous as he had thought. He's getting no sympathy or special treatment from anyone, including his uncle. (Realisitically, he's better off without it, since with it, he'd just be hated as a commander's pet. His best bet is to prove himself worthy.) He is showing himself a better fighter than any of the other boys, and they hate him for it. Tyrion once again shows himself to be Jon's friend. The two outcasts, from houses that don't care for each other, get along splendidly. It's like a bromance version of Romeo and Juliet. Tyrion's advice helps Jon win over the other boys, but he's now made a serious enemy of Ser Alliser Throne in the process. One thing that could come back to cause trouble is Jon crows about Bran's waking up directly to Tyrion... one chapter after Tyrion is implicated in the plot to kill Bran. Uh-oh.
Chapter 20 (Eddard IV): Robert is really quite clueless as King. Fifteen years ago, he overthrew a cruel despot in the war against the Targaryens. Now Robert has been showing his failings as King are just the opposite; he is too nice. Every time we see him, he either has no guts to enforce his will (he eventually caves in to Cersei over killing one of the direwolves) or he seems to be looking at things through magical rose-colored glasses. Now we find out that he inherited a vast treasury from the Targaryens, and not only squandered it all but currently has Westeros six million in the hole. And to top it all off, he wants to blow another hundred grand on a tournament honoring Ned, which if he knew Ned as well as an old friend should, he'd know Ned would prefer to not have this honor. Ned seems not to have had much luck persuading Robert of anything so far in the book. Somehow, I don't think that if he went to his King and said "Your Grace, are you barking mad?" it would go over well. But that's certainly going through Ned's mind.