#gameofthrones #tyrionlannister #shae #bronn
#gameofthrones #tyrionlannister #shae #bronn
On a hill overlooking the kingsroad, a table had been erected and covered with a golden cloth. There, Lord Tywin took his evening meal, his great crimson-and-gold standard waving overhead from a lofty pike. Tyrion arrived late, all too aware of how amusing he must look as he waddled up to ...
On a hill overlooking the kingsroad, a table had been erected and covered with a golden cloth. There, Lord Tywin took his evening meal, his great crimson-and-gold standard waving overhead from a lofty pike.
Tyrion arrived late, all too aware of how amusing he must look as he waddled up to his father. It was twilight, and the air was alive with drifting fireflies.
The cooks were serving the meat course: suckling pigs, skin seared and crackling, a different fruit in every mouth. "My pardons," he began, taking his place on the bench beside his uncle.
"Perhaps I'd best charge you with burying our dead, Tyrion," Lord Tywin said. "If you are as late to battle as you are to table, the fighting will all be done by the time you arrive."
"Oh, surely you can save me a peasant or two, Father. Not too many, I wouldn't want to be greedy." He watched a serving man carve into the pig. The crisp skin crackled and hot juice ran from the meat. It was the loveliest sight Tyrion had seen in ages.
"Ser Addam's outriders say the Stark host has moved south from the Twins," his father reported as his trencher was filled with slices of pork. "Lord Frey's levies have joined them. They are likely no more than a day's march north of us."
"Please, Father, I'm about to eat."
"Does the thought of facing the Stark boy unman you, Tyrion? Your brother Jaime would be eager to come to grips with him."
"I'd sooner come to grips with that pig. Robb Stark is not half so tender, and he never smelled as good."
Lord Lefford, who had charge of their stores and supplies, leaned forward. "I hope your savages do not share your reluctance, else we've wasted our good steel on them."
"My savages will put your steel to excellent use, my lord." When he had told Lefford he needed to equip the three hundred men Ulf had fetched down out of the foothills, you would have thought he'd asked the man to turn his virgin daughters over to their pleasure.
"I saw that great hairy one today, the one who insisted that he must have two battle-axes."
"Shagga likes to kill with either hand."
"He still had that wood-axe of his strapped to his back."
"Shagga is of the opinion that three axes are even better than two."
The sun was high and pitiless. Heat shimmered in waves off the stony outcrops of low hills. The only sounds were the steady clop of their horses' hooves and the rhythmic tingle of the bells in Drogo's hair. His eyes were fixed on distant brown hills, the reins loose in his hands. Beneath his ...
The sun was high and pitiless. Heat shimmered in waves off the stony outcrops of low hills. The only sounds were the steady clop of their horses' hooves and the rhythmic tingle of the bells in Drogo's hair.
His eyes were fixed on distant brown hills, the reins loose in his hands. Beneath his painted vest, a plaster of fig leaves and caked blue mud covered the wound on his breast. The herbwomen made it for him. Mirri Maz Duur's poultice itched and burned, and he had torn it off, cursing her for a maegi.
Yet he scarcely touched his food, and he thrashed and groaned in the night. Dany could see how drawn his face had become. Every morning found fresh lines of pain on his face. Since they had mounted up at dawn, he had said not a word.
Khal Drogo swayed in the saddle as his stallion kept onward at a steady walking pace.
Dany pressed her heels into her silver and rode closer. "My lord," she said softly. "Drogo. My sun-and-stars." He did not seem to hear. Dany gasped, "Drogo." Clumsily she reached over and touched his arm.
Khal Drogo reeled in the saddle, tilted slowly, and fell heavily from his horse. "No," Dany said, reining up.
Drogo cried out in pain as Dany knelt beside him. His breath rattled in his throat, and he looked at her without recognition. "My horse," he gasped.
She heard Haggo shout as they galloped up. Cohollo vaulted from his horse. "Blood of my blood," he said as he dropped to his knees. "He fell from his horse," Haggo said. His broad face was impassive, but his voice was leaden. "You must not say that. We have ridden far enough today. We will camp here." "Here?" The land was brown and inhospitable. "This is no camping ground." "It is not for a woman to bid us halt," said Qotho, "not even a khaleesi." "We camp here. Haggo, tell them Khal Drogo commanded the halt. Qotho, find Mirri Maz Duur." Qotho glared at her, his eyes hard as flint. "The maegi. This I will not do." "You will or when Drogo wakes, he will hear why you defied me." Furious, Qotho wheeled his stallion around and galloped off but Dany knew he would return with Mirri Maz Duur.
A Game of Thrones, Chapter 64, Daenerys' POV
#gameofthrones #daenerystargaryen #khaldrogo
He found Maester Aemon up in the rookery, feeding the ravens. "Sam said you wanted me?" "I did indeed. Toss the meat into the cages. The birds will do the rest. " The ravens began to scream noisily and fly at the bars. He filled his fist and tossed the raw red morsels into the cage, and the squawking ...
He found Maester Aemon up in the rookery, feeding the ravens. "Sam said you wanted me?"
"I did indeed. Toss the meat into the cages. The birds will do the rest. "
The ravens began to scream noisily and fly at the bars. He filled his fist and tossed the raw red morsels into the cage, and the squawking and squabbling grew hotter. "Lord Mormont's raven likes fruit and corn."
"He is a rare bird. Most ravens will eat grain, but they prefer flesh. In that they are like men... and like men, not all ravens are alike."
Jon had nothing to say to that. He threw meat, wondering why he'd been summoned. No doubt the old man would tell him, in his own good time. Maester Aemon was not a man to be hurried. "Doves and pigeons can also be trained to carry messages, though the raven is a stronger flyer, larger, bolder, far more clever, yet ravens are black, and they eat the dead, so some godly men abhor them. Baelor the Blessed tried to replace all the ravens with doves, did you know?"
Jon wished he understood what they were talking about. If the old man had something to say to him, why couldn't he just say it? "Jon, did you ever wonder why the men of the Night's Watch take no wives and father no children?"
Jon shrugged. "No."
"So they will not love, for love is the bane of honour, the death of duty."
That did not sound right to Jon, yet he said nothing. The maester was a hundred years old, and a high officer of the Night's Watch; it was not his place to contradict him.
"Tell me, Jon, if the day should ever come when your lord father must needs choose between honour on the one hand and those he loves on the other, what would he do?"
Jon hesitated. He wanted to say that Lord Eddard would never dishonour himself, not even for love, yet inside a small sly voice whispered, He fathered a bastard, where was the honour in that? And your mother, what of his duty to her, he will not even say her name. "He would do whatever was right. No matter what."
"Then Lord Eddard is a man in ten thousand. Most of us are not so strong. What is honour compared to a woman's love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms... or the memory of a brother's smile? Wind and words."
A swollen red sun hung low against the western hills when the gates of the castle opened. Lady Catelyn Stark rode forth to rejoin her son and his lords bannermen. Robb galloped out to meet her, with Grey Wind racing beside his stallion. "Lord Walder will grant you your crossing. His swords ...
A swollen red sun hung low against the western hills when the gates of the castle opened. Lady Catelyn Stark rode forth to rejoin her son and his lords bannermen.
Robb galloped out to meet her, with Grey Wind racing beside his stallion. "Lord Walder will grant you your crossing. His swords are yours as well, less four hundred he means to keep back to hold the Twins. I suggest that you leave four hundred of your own but make certain you give the command to a man you can trust."
"As you say, Mother. What... what did he want of us?"
"If you can spare a few of your swords, I need some men to escort two of Lord Frey's grandsons to Winterfell. I have agreed to take them as wards. It would seem they are both named Walder. Your brother Bran will welcome the companionship of lads near his own age, I should think."
"Is that all? Two fosterlings? That's a small enough price to-"
"Lord Frey's son Olyvar will be coming with us. He is to serve as your personal squire. His father would like to see him knighted, in good time."
"A squire. Fine, that's fine, if he's-"
"Also, if Arya is returned to us safely, it is agreed that she will marry Lord Walder's youngest son, Elmar, when the two of them come of age."
Robb looked nonplussed. "Arya won't like that one bit."
"And you are to wed one of his daughters, once the fighting is done. His lordship has graciously consented to allow you to choose whichever girl you prefer. He has a number he thinks might be suitable."
To his credit, Robb did not flinch. "I see."
"Do you consent?"
"Can I refuse?"
"Not if you wish to cross."
"I consent," Robb said solemnly. He had never seemed more manly to her than he did in that moment. Boys might play with swords, but it took a lord to make a marriage pact, knowing what it meant.
They crossed at evenfall as a horned moon floated upon the river. The larger part of the northern host remained upon the east bank under the command of Roose Bolton. Robb had commanded him to confront the Lannister army under Lord Tywin.
For good or ill, her son had thrown the dice.
A Game of Thrones, Chapter 59, Catelyn's POV
#gameofthrones #catelynstark #robbstark #theongreyjoy
The guards smiled at him from their niches as he wound his way down the turret stair, carrying the sword in his good hand. "Sweet steel," one man said. "You earned that, Snow." Jon made himself smile back at them, but his heart was not in it. He knew he should be pleased, yet he did not feel it. His ...
The guards smiled at him from their niches as he wound his way down the turret stair, carrying the sword in his good hand. "Sweet steel," one man said. "You earned that, Snow." Jon made himself smile back at them, but his heart was not in it. He knew he should be pleased, yet he did not feel it. His hand ached, and the taste of anger was in his mouth, though he could not have said who he was angry with or why.
A half dozen of his friends were lurking outside when he left the King's Tower, where Lord Commander Mormont now made his residence. No sooner did he emerge than Pyp called out, "Well, come about, let's have a look."
"At what?" Jon said.
Toad sidled close. "Your rosy butt cheeks, what else?"
"The sword," Grenn stated. "We want to see the sword."
Jon raked them with an accusing look. "You knew."
Pyp grinned. "We're not all as dumb as Grenn."
"You are so," insisted Grenn. "You're dumber."
Halder gave an apologetic shrug. "I helped Pate carve the stone for the pommel and your friend Sam bought the garnets in Mole's Town.
Jon unsheathed Longclaw, turning it this way and that so they could admire it. The bastard blade glittered in the pale sunlight, dark and deadly. "Valyrian steel," he declared solemnly, trying to sound as pleased and proud as he ought to have felt.
"I heard of a man who had a razor made of Valyrian steel," declared Toad. "He cut his head off trying to shave."
Pyp grinned. "The Night's Watch is thousands of years old, but I'll wager Lord Snow's the first brother ever honored for burning down the Lord Commander's Tower."
"I need to see Hobb about the Old Bear's supper," he announced brusquely, sliding Longclaw back into its scabbard. His friends meant well, but they did not understand. It was not their fault, truly; they had not had to face Othor, they had not seen the pale glow of those dead blue eyes, had not felt the cold of those dead black fingers. Nor did they know of the fighting in the riverlands. How could they hope to comprehend? He turned away from them abruptly and strode off, sullen. Pyp called after him, but Jon paid him no mind.
"Are you well, Snow?" Lord Mormont asked. "I am, my lord," Jon lied loudly, as if that could make it true. "And you?" "A dead man tried to kill me. How well could I be? How is your hand?" "Healing. The maester says I'll have scars, but otherwise the hand should be as good as it was before." "A ...
"Are you well, Snow?" Lord Mormont asked.
"I am, my lord," Jon lied loudly, as if that could make it true. "And you?"
"A dead man tried to kill me. How well could I be? How is your hand?"
"Healing. The maester says I'll have scars, but otherwise the hand should be as good as it was before."
"A scarred hand is nothing. On the Wall, you'll be wearing gloves often as not."
At first it had felt as if his hand were still aflame. Only plunging it into basins of snow and shaved ice gave any relief at all. Jon thanked the gods that no one but Ghost saw him writhing on his bed, whimpering from the pain.
"It would seem there were only the two of those creatures. There will be more, though. I can feel it in these old bones of mine, and Maester Aemon agrees. The cold winds are rising. Summer is at an end, and a winter is coming such as this world has never seen."
Winter is coming. The Stark words had never sounded so grim or ominous to Jon as they did now. "My lord, it's said there was a bird last night... I had hoped for some word of my father."
"If there was news of Lord Eddard, don't you think I would have sent for you? Bastard or no, you're still his blood. The message concerned Ser Barristan Selmy. It seems he's been removed from the Kingsguard. We have white shadows in the woods and unquiet dead stalking our halls, and a boy sits the Iron Throne."
Ser Barristan had been the Old Bear's best hope; if he had fallen, what chance was there that Mormont's letter would be heeded? "I fear we count for less than nothing in King's Landing. They tell us what they want us to know, and that's little enough."
And you tell me what you want me to know, and that's less, Jon thought resentfully. His brother Robb had called the banners and ridden south to war, yet no word of that had been breathed to him, save by Samwell Tarly, who'd read the letter to Maester Aemon and whispered its contents to Jon that night, all the time saying how he shouldn't. Doubtless they thought his brother's war was none of his concern.
"Snow, how soon does Maester Aemon say you'll have use of that hand back?"
"Soon," Jon replied.
Lord Walder was ninety with a bald spotted head. His newest wife was a pale frail girl of sixteen years. "It is a great pleasure to see you again after so many years, my lord." The old man squinted at her suspiciously. "Is it? I doubt that. Why are you here?" "To ask you to open your gates. My son and ...
Lord Walder was ninety with a bald spotted head. His newest wife was a pale frail girl of sixteen years. "It is a great pleasure to see you again after so many years, my lord." The old man squinted at her suspiciously. "Is it? I doubt that. Why are you here?" "To ask you to open your gates. My son and his lords bannermen are most anxious to be on their way to Riverrun. Where I might have expected to find you." "I called my swords, here they are, you saw them on the walls. Is it my fault that your fool brother lost his battle? Why should my boys hurry south to die?" Catelyn would gladly have spitted the querulous old man and roasted him over a fire. "Where can we go to talk, my lord?" "What are you all looking at? Get out of here. Lady Stark wants to speak to me in private. They're all waiting for me to die. Stevron's been waiting for forty years, but I keep disappointing him." "I have every hope that you will live to be a hundred." "That would boil them, to be sure. Now, what do you want to say?" "We want to cross." "Why should I let you? What do you have that I should fear? That son of yours? I'll match you son for son, and I'll still have eighteen when yours are dead. Lord Tywin. What's he got to be so puffed up about anyway? Only two sons, and one of them's a twisted little monster. I'll match him son for son, and I'll still have nineteen and a half left when his are dead! Your lord father calls me the Late Lord Frey. Does he think I'm dead? And your sister, she's full as bad. I proposed that Lord Arryn foster two of my grandsons at court, and offered to take their own son to ward here. She frosted up as if I'd suggested selling her boy to a mummer's show, and Lord Arryn said the child was going to foster with Stannis Baratheon." "I had understood that Lysa's boy was to be fostered with Lord Tywin at Casterly Rock." "No, it was Lord Stannis. Do you think I can't tell Lord Stannis from Lord Tywin? They're both bungholes who think they're too noble to shit. You say you want to cross the river? Well, you can't! Not unless I allow it, and why should I?"
A Game of Thrones, Chapter 59, Catelyn's POV
#gameofthrones #catelynstark #walderfrey
As the host trooped down the causeway through the black bogs of the Neck, Catelyn's apprehensions grew. She masked her fears behind a face kept still and stern. She feared for her lord father, and wondered at his ominous silence. She feared for Edmure, and prayed that the gods would watch ...
As the host trooped down the causeway through the black bogs of the Neck, Catelyn's apprehensions grew. She masked her fears behind a face kept still and stern.
She feared for her lord father, and wondered at his ominous silence. She feared for Edmure, and prayed that the gods would watch over him if he must face the Kingslayer in battle. She feared for Ned and her girls, and for the sweet sons she had left behind at Winterfell. And yet there was nothing she could do, and so she put all thought of them aside. You must save your strength for Robb, she told herself. He is the only one you can help. You must be as fierce and hard as the north, Catelyn Tully. You must be a Stark for true now, like your son.
Robb rode at the front of the column. Each day he would ask one of his lords to join him, so they might confer as they marched; he honoured every man in turn, showing no favourites, listening as his lord father listened, weighing the words of one against the other. He has learned so much from Ned, but has he learned enough?
The reports Ser Brynden's riders brought back did little to reassure her. Walder Frey, Lord of the Crossing, had assembled a force of near four thousand men at his castles on the Green Fork.
"Late again," Catelyn murmured. It was the Trident all over, damn the man. Edmure had called the banners; by rights, Lord Frey should have gone to join the Tully host, yet here he sat.
"Four thousand men," Robb repeated, more perplexed than angry. "Lord Frey cannot hope to fight the Lannisters by himself. Surely he means to join his power to ours."
"Lord Walder was always friendlier with Casterly Rock than my father would have liked."
"Do you think he means to betray us to the Lannisters, my lady?" Robett Glover asked gravely.
"I doubt even Lord Frey knows what Lord Frey intends to do. He has an old man's caution and a young man's ambition, and has never lacked for cunning."
"We must have the Twins, Mother," Robb said heatedly. "There is no other way across the river. You know that."
"Yes. And so does Walder Frey, you can be sure of that."
A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Catelyn's POV
#gameofthrones #robbstark #catelynstark #theongreyjoy
"The king's brothers are the ones giving Cersei sleepless nights. So here is Cersei's nightmare: while her father and brother battle Starks and Tullys, Lord Stannis will land, proclaim himself king, and lop off her son's curly blond head... and her own, though I truly believe she cares more ...
"The king's brothers are the ones giving Cersei sleepless nights. So here is Cersei's nightmare: while her father and brother battle Starks and Tullys, Lord Stannis will land, proclaim himself king, and lop off her son's curly blond head... and her own, though I truly believe she cares more about the boy." "I would welcome his ascent." "Cersei will not want to hear that. Stannis may win the throne, but only your rotting head will remain to cheer unless you guard that tongue of yours." "Is this your own scheme, or are you in league with Littlefinger?" "I would sooner wed the Black Goat of Qohor. Oh, I feed him choice whispers so that he thinks I am his... just as I allow Cersei to believe I am hers." "And just as you let me believe that you were mine. Tell me, who do you truly serve?" "Why, the realm, how ever could you doubt that? Give me your word that you'll tell the queen what she wants to hear." "My word would be as hollow as an empty suit of armour. My life is not so precious to me as that." "Pity. And your daughter's life? How precious is that?" A chill pierced Ned's heart. "My daughter..." "Surely you did not think I'd forgotten about your sweet innocent?" "No," Ned pleaded, his voice cracking. "Varys, gods have mercy, do as you like with me, but leave my daughter out of your schemes. Sansa's no more than a child." "Rhaenys was a child too. She had a small black kitten she called Balerion but I imagine the Lannisters taught her the difference between a kitten and a dragon quick enough, the day they broke down her door." Varys gave the sigh of a man who carried all the sadness of the world upon his shoulders. "The High Septon once told me that as we sin, so do we suffer. If that's true, why is it always the innocents who suffer most, when you high lords play your game of thrones? The next visitor could bring you bread and cheese... or he could bring you Sansa's head. The choice, my dear Hand, is entirely yours."
A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Ned's POV
#gameofthrones #nedstark #varys
Ser Boros and Ser Meryn moved forward to confront him, but Ser Barristan froze them in place with a look that dripped contempt. "Have no fear, sers, your king is safe... no thanks to you." He flung his sword at the foot of the Iron Throne. "Here, boy. Melt it down and add it to the others. It will ...
Ser Boros and Ser Meryn moved forward to confront him, but Ser Barristan froze them in place with a look that dripped contempt. "Have no fear, sers, your king is safe... no thanks to you." He flung his sword at the foot of the Iron Throne. "Here, boy. Melt it down and add it to the others. It will do you more good than the swords in the hands of these five. Perhaps Lord Stannis will chance to sit on it when he takes your throne."
Not until the pages had closed the great oak-and-bronze doors behind him did Sansa hear sounds again. "He called me boy," Joffrey said peevishly, sounding younger than his years. "He talked about my uncle Stannis too."
"Idle talk," said Varys. "Without meaning..."
"He could be making plots with my uncles. I want him seized and questioned."
"Your Grace," Littlefinger reminded the king. "If we might resume, the seven are now six. We find ourselves in need of a new sword for your Kingsguard."
Joffrey smiled. "Tell them, Mother."
"The king and council have determined that no man in the Seven Kingdoms is more fit to guard and protect His Grace than his sworn shield, Sandor Clegane."
"How do you like that, dog?" King Joffrey asked.
The Hound's scarred face was hard to read. He took a long moment to consider. "Why not? I have no lands nor wife to forsake, and who'd care if I did? But I warn you, I'll say no knight's vows."
"The Sworn Brothers of the Kingsguard have always been knights," Ser Boros said firmly.
"Until now," the Hound said in his deep rasp, and Ser Boros fell silent.
When the king's herald moved forward, Sansa realised the moment was almost at hand. She smoothed down the cloth of her skirt nervously. She was dressed in mourning, as a sign of respect for the dead king, but she had taken special care to make herself beautiful. Her gown was the ivory silk that the queen had given her, the one Arya had ruined, but she'd had them dye it black and you couldn't see the stain at all. She had fretted over her jewelry for hours and finally decided upon the elegant simplicity of a plain silver chain.
The walls of the throne room had been stripped bare, the hunting tapestries that King Robert loved taken down and stacked in the corner in an untidy heap. Sansa hovered by the door, for once unguarded. The queen had given her freedom of the castle as a reward for being good, yet even so, she was ...
The walls of the throne room had been stripped bare, the hunting tapestries that King Robert loved taken down and stacked in the corner in an untidy heap.
Sansa hovered by the door, for once unguarded. The queen had given her freedom of the castle as a reward for being good, yet even so, she was escorted everywhere she went. "Honour guards for my daughter-to-be," the queen called them, but they did not make Sansa feel honoured.
"Freedom of the castle" meant that she could go wherever she chose within the Red Keep so long as she promised not to go beyond the walls, a promise Sansa had been more than willing to give. It was enough that she could walk in the yard, pick flowers in Myrcella's garden, and visit the sept to pray for her father.
This was the first court session of Joffrey's reign, so Sansa looked about nervously. Sansa slipped in, murmuring greetings as she worked her way toward the front... only none of them seemed to recognise her. Or if they did, they shied away as if she had the grey plague. Vainly, she searched for friendly faces. Not one of them would meet her eyes. It was as if she had become a ghost, dead before her time.
Butterflies fluttered nervously in Sansa's stomach. I shouldn't be afraid, she told herself. I have nothing to be afraid of, it will all come out well, Joff loves me and the queen does too, she said so.
Her prince- no, her king now!- took the steps of the Iron Throne two at a time, while his mother was seated with the council.
When Joffrey turned to look out over the hall, his eye caught Sansa's. He smiled, seated himself, and spoke. "It is a king's duty to punish the disloyal and reward those who are true. Grand Maester Pycelle, I command you to read my decrees."
Pycelle pushed himself to his feet. From a drooping sleeve, he drew parchment, unrolled it, and began to read a long list of names, commanding each in the name of king and council to present themselves and swear their fealty to Joffrey. Failing that, they would be adjudged traitors, their lands and titles forfeit to the throne.