Tower of the Hand

Book 1, Chapter 48.
Robert returns from his hunt mortally wounded and dictates his will, naming Eddard as Protector of the Realm. Eddard refuses Renly's offer to secure the royal children. Eddard writes a letter urging Stannis to take the Iron Throne.
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Eddard is woken from sleep by Tomard and Cayn, who have brought the King's steward with a summons to see Robert, who has returned from his hunt. Eddard passes Ser Boros, Ser Preston, and Ser Barristan on his way to the king's chambers and knows something is wrong when he sees Barristan's face. When he enters the king's chambers, he sees Pycelle, Renly, and Cersei all hovering around Robert, who is mortally wounded. He had drunk too much wine and missed a thrust against a boar, which tore him from groin to nipple. Robert orders everyone to leave so he can speak to Eddard alone. He repents for sending assassins after Daenerys and tells Eddard to get paper and ink. He dictates his will, naming Eddard Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm until Joffrey comes of age. Eddard starts to tell him the truth about Joffrey, but cannot bring himself to hurt Robert more. Instead, he just writes "my heir" in the will instead of "Joffrey." Robert also tells Eddard to let Daenerys live. They call Renly and Pycelle back in to witness the sealing of the will and then Pycelle gives Robert milk of the poppy so he will sleep.

As Eddard exits the king's chamber, Varys comes up to him and Ser Barristan and asks how Robert came to be so drunk. Barristan replies that the king's squire, Lancel, provided him with a steady supply of wine,1 and Eddard realizes that the Lannisters killed the king. Eddard orders Varys to cancel any arrangements he made to kill Daenerys. As he walks back to his own quarters, Renly approaches him and offers to give him one hundred swords to seize Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella so that the small council will confirm Eddard as Lord Protector and ward of Joffrey. Eddard refuses the offer and Renly stalks away.

When Eddard returns to his quarters, he tells Cayn to find Petyr, then tells Tomard to personally escort his daughters to the Wind Witch the next evening with twenty men and to stop by Dragonstone on the way back to Winterfell to deliver a letter to Stannis. Afterwards, he writes the letter to Stannis, which urges him to sail to King's Landing with all his strength to claim the throne. As he finishes the letter, Cayn and Desmond arrive with Lord Petyr. Eddard tells him about Cersei and the children, which does not seem to surprise him, and Petyr advises Eddard not to deal with Stannis, claiming that it will mean war as the Lannisters will fight and the Tyrells, Greyjoys and others whom Robert pardoned will also rise for fear of punishment from the far more taciturn Stannis. Petyr offers to aid Eddard in ruling as regent for a modest price, but Eddard refuses and says it must be Stannis. He wants Petyr to insure the loyalty of the City Watch, and Petyr says he will pay them six thousand gold pieces so they will join Eddard in overcoming Cersei's soldiers when the time comes.


Active Characters

  1. Lancel Lannister - He is fifteen.


  1. The Red Keep - At the heart of the Red Keep is Maegor's Holdfast, a fortress within the larger castle with walls twelve feet thick and guarded by a dry moat lined with iron spikes.


Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.
  • 1 - This footnote contains details from a later book (ACOK 4). 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