A Clash of Kings-Chapter 44
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Page||464 UK HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
Later, Tyrion has Bronn deliver word to Ser Jacelyn Bywater, commanding him to take fifty men and capture Lord Gyles' party, and to expel the garrison and keep Tommen safe at Rosby. He does not want Lord Rosby hurt, nor any killing done in front of Tommen. For this, Ser Jacelyn will earn a lordship. Bronn offers to do the job instead if there's a lordship in it for him, but Tyrion refuses, privately noting that Bywater's men will defend Tommen whereas Bronn's are more likely to sell Tommen to the crown's enemies if the coming battle goes against them.
Tyrion then sets out for Chataya's brothel, but then abandons his patience and rides directly to the manse near the Iron Gate. He finds Shae listening to a singer, and has the man expelled and sworn to silence. When one of the begging brothers appears, Shae recognizes him as Lord Varys. The Spider informs Tyrion that Storm's End has fallen and that Stannis will soon be marching on King's Landing. Tyrion bids Varys to wait at the stables while he talks to Shae.
Once alone, Shae asks Tyrion to make her his lady in court, and even suggests he kill Cersei, but Tyrion tells her, "The man who kills his own blood is cursed forever in the sight of gods and men." When Tyrion proposes to take her to the Red Keep and hide her in the kitchens, Shae balks, and mocks him for being afraid of his father. Tyrion slaps her in the face, telling her never to mock him again. Feeling remorseful, he tells her the story of Tysha and his father’s wrath. He departs to meet Varys at the stables, and the eunuch suggests that Shae be placed as a maidservant to Lady Tanda’s daughter Lollys. Shae would then be able to access the Tower of the Hand through a secret passage, which Tyrion is surprised to learn exists.
Varys then attempts to tell Tyrion how Ser Cortnay died, and when he suggests it was magic, Tyrion disbelieves him. Varys recounts the story of how he came to be a eunuch: that he was a member of a mummers troupe, and that one day in Myr a certain man bought Varys from his master. The sorcerer castrated Varys, and burned the parts, creating a blue flame from which a voice spoke in a language he didn’t comprehend. Varys claims he has hated magic since that day, and means to see Stannis dead if the man practiced magic.
Tyrion is somewhat skeptical, believing it more likely that Stannis has hired a skilled assassin from the Free Cities, musing on how he used to dream of being rich enough one day to hire a Faceless Man to kill his sister. Tyrion's greater concern is that Stannis is now bringing his army to bear against King's Landing, and he is the only one standing in the way of Stannis's victory. With the city's people's hatred for House Lannister and himself in particular at its highest, defeating Stannis seems unlikely.