Tower of the Hand

Book 1, Chapter 28.
Eddard's investigation leads him to Gendry, a boy apprenticed to an armorer. Jon Arryn and Stannis Baratheon had previously visited the boy, who, as Eddard discovers, is an unwitting bastard of King Robert.
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Janos Slynt, Commander of the City Watch, makes a report to the small council on the state of the city. With all the knights coming to take part in the tournament, the city is full of crime and unrest. He specifically mentions a woman's head found in the rainbow pool at the Great Sept, causing Varys to shudder. Eddard orders the hiring of fifty new watchmen and loans the watch twenty of his own men. After Janos takes his leave, Eddard once again vents his disgust at the tournament. Pycelle replies that the realm benefits by giving the great a chance for glory and the lowborn a respite from their woes. Petyr adds that the inns and whorehouses also prosper, causing Renly to bring up the time Stannis tried to outlaw brothels. He further wonders how Stannis ever conceived his ugly daughter,1 as he approaches his marriage bed as if he were going into battle.

After the meeting, Eddard returns to his chambers and tells Harwin to fetch Jory. As he waits, he peruses the tome that Jon was reading when he died, The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms by Grand Maester Malleon. The book is over a century old, and Eddard has trouble seeing how it can be important. He turns to the section on House Lannister, which traces its lineage back to Lann the Clever, a legendary trickster from the Age of Heroes who supposedly tricked House Casterly into giving him Casterly Rock and stole gold from the sun to brighten his curly hair. When Jory arrives, Eddard tells him to pick the men for the city watch and give Alyn the command. Jory has been questioning Jon's servants that are still in the city. Ser Hugh was arrogant and refused to answer questions for a captain of the guard, the serving girl said nothing of interest, the potboy mentioned that Jon had gone to see an armorer with Stannis, and the stableboy talked of Jon and Stannis visiting a brothel together. Eddard is curious as to why Jon and Stannis spent so much time together, as they were not friends. He also wonders why Stannis remains at Dragonstone and what could frighten a man who once held Storm's End for a year against the might of House Tyrell and House Redwyne while forced to subsist on rats and shoe leather. Eddard is also uneasy about Renly. Several days before, Renly showed him a picture of Margaery Tyrell and asked if she looked like Lyanna. He seemed disappointed when Eddard said no.2

Eddard has decided to visit the armorer that Jon and Stannis visited, as he had never known Jon to be interested in fancy armor. He has Jory begin searching brothels to discover which one Jon and Stannis visited. He rides with Varly and Jacks. Earlier that morning, he had sent Desmond and Tomard to scout his route and make sure he is not followed. As they pass the River Gate, they see Lord Beric Dondarrion arriving to take part in the tournament. They arrive at the house of the armorer, Tobho Mott, and Eddard proceeds to question him about Jon's visit. He learns that Jon and Stannis came to see a boy, and he asks to see him as well. The boy is named Gendry. Gendry is carrying a bull's head helmet that Eddard offers to buy, but he says he made it for himself and it is not for sale. Tobho prepares to punish him for insolence, but Eddard moves on, asking what he talked about with Jon. Jon asked about his mother, a worker in an alehouse. Stannis watched everything, but said nothing. Eddard dismisses Gendry and then asks Mott who paid Gendry's apprentice fee. Mott at first tries to deny that anyone did, but finally admits it was a short, stout lord with a brown beard that kept his face hidden.3 Eddard takes his leave, wondering why Jon had taken an interest in one of the king's bastards.


Active Characters

  1. Beric Dondarrion - He is young with red-gold hair.
  2. Gendry - He is well-muscled with blue eyes and thick black hair.
  3. Janos Slynt - He is stout, bald, and jowly.
  4. Tobho Mott - Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor.


  1. King's Landing - The Street of Steel, named for the armorers that have set up shop along the route, begins at the River Gate, more commonly called the Mud Gate, and winds its way up one of the city's hills, with the more prosperous merchants situated ever higher as the street climbs to the summit.


Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.
  • 1 - Shireen suffers from a disfigurement caused by greyscale fever.
  • 2 - This footnote contains details from a later chapter (AGOT 33). Click to show.
  • 3 - This person's identity is not known, but is probably Varys in disguise.


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