Tower of the Hand

Book 1, Chapter 21.
Eddard arrives in King's Landing and is shocked to learn that the king wants a tournament held in his honor. Littlefinger takes Eddard to see Catelyn.
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Eddard arrives at King's Landing and is informed by the king's steward that the small council is meeting and would like him to make an appearance. After leaving instructions with Vayon, he changes and goes to the council chamber, where Lords Renly, Petyr, and Varys and Grand Maester Pycelle are waiting for him. Eddard asks after the other members and is informed that Lord Stannis has left for Dragonstone and that Ser Barristan is guarding Robert. When Eddard suggests waiting for Robert, he is informed that Robert rarely sits in on council meetings. Renly presents a command from Robert stating that he will hold a tournament in Eddard's honor in which the winner receives forty thousand gold dragons, second place receives twenty thousand, the victor of the melee receives another twenty thousand, and the victor of the archery competition receives ten thousand. When Pycelle asks Petyr how this is to be paid for, he says that they will have to borrow from Lord Tywin because the treasury is empty. The crown is over six million gold pieces in debt, with the largest part owed to Lord Tywin and the rest owed to Lord Tyrell, the Iron Bank of Braavos, several Tyroshi trading cartels, and even the Faith. Eddard is stunned, as Aerys II had left a treasury flowing with gold, and cannot believe that Lord Jon would have let Robert beggar the realm. Pycelle says that Robert often disregarded Jon's advice. Eddard means to convince the king to call the tournament off, but the other counselors tell him it will be a futile gesture. Eddard angrily calls a halt to the meeting, saying he is tired from the journey, and leaves.

Eddard watches the king's party make its way into the castle. Eddard stayed at the head of the column after the incident on the Trident, while Robert confined himself to the wheelhouse and stayed perpetually drunk. Sansa blames Arya for what happened to Lady, while Arya has brooded silently since the death of Mycah. Petyr approaches Eddard as he is heading back to his rooms and bids him follow in another direction. When Eddard asks where they are going, Petyr only tells him that his wife is waiting for him. They go out the castle and climb down a hidden ladder carved into the cliff. At the bottom, they mount horses and ride to a brothel that Petyr owns, and Petyr tells Eddard that his wife is within. Eddard is angered when he realizes they have come to a brothel and insults Petyr, but Ser Rodrik appears and assures him that Petyr is telling the truth.

They go inside and meet Catelyn, and she explains all she knows about Bran and the dagger. Eddard wants to accuse Cersei, but Petyr says there is not enough proof and they best be rid of the dagger.1 Catelyn has also told Petyr about their suspicions over the death of Lord Jon, and he has agreed to help in the search for the killer. Catelyn fears Varys, but Petyr says he has him in check. After all is told, Eddard orders Catelyn and Ser Rodrik to ride back to Winterfell. He tells Catelyn to order Helman Tallhart and Galbart Glover to each post two hundred bowmen at Moat Cailin to hold the Neck and for Lord Wyman Manderly to fortify White Harbor. Furthermore, he orders Theon closely watched, as they may need House Greyjoy's fleet. He feels there will not be war, but he must not show weakness. When he has all the evidence he needs, he plans to go to Robert and expose the Lannister treachery.


Active Characters

  1. Pycelle - He is very old with a few wisps of hair on a broad bald head and a kindly face.
  2. Renly Baratheon - He was eight when Robert fought on the Trident, making him twenty-two now.


  1. The Red Keep - The small council chamber in the Red Keep is adorned with Myrish carpets, tapestries from Norvos, Qohor, and Lys, painted screens from the Summer Isles, and two Valyrian sphinxes.


Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.
  • 1 - This footnote contains details from a later book (ACOK 56). Click to show.


1.  Prologue 26.  Eddard V 51.  Arya IV
2.  Bran I 27.  Jon IV 52.  Sansa IV
3.  Catelyn I 28.  Eddard VI 53.  Jon VII
4.  Daenerys I 29.  Catelyn V 54.  Bran VI
5.  Eddard I 30.  Sansa II 55.  Daenerys VI
6.  Jon I 31.  Eddard VII 56.  Catelyn VIII
7.  Catelyn II 32.  Tyrion IV 57.  Tyrion VII
8.  Arya I 33.  Arya III 58.  Sansa V
9.  Bran II 34.  Eddard VIII 59.  Eddard XV
10.  Tyrion I 35.  Catelyn VI 60.  Catelyn IX
11.  Jon II 36.  Eddard IX 61.  Jon VIII
12.  Daenerys II 37.  Daenerys IV 62.  Daenerys VII
13.  Eddard II 38.  Bran V 63.  Tyrion VIII
14.  Tyrion II 39.  Tyrion V 64.  Catelyn X
15.  Catelyn III 40.  Eddard X 65.  Daenerys VIII
16.  Sansa I 41.  Catelyn VII 66.  Arya V
17.  Eddard III 42.  Jon V 67.  Bran VII
18.  Bran III 43.  Tyrion VI 68.  Sansa VI
19.  Catelyn IV 44.  Eddard XI 69.  Daenerys IX
20.  Jon III 45.  Sansa III 70.  Tyrion IX
21.  Eddard IV 46.  Eddard XII 71.  Jon IX
22.  Tyrion III 47.  Daenerys V 72.  Catelyn XI
23.  Arya II 48.  Eddard XIII 73.  Daenerys X
24.  Daenerys III 49.  Jon VI
25.  Bran IV 50.  Eddard XIV