Tower of the Hand

Book 1, Chapter 59.
Varys comes to Eddard in the dungeons and tells him that if he confesses his "crimes" he will be allowed to join the Night's Watch.
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Eddard lies in the dungeon for days, delirious with pain and infection. He thinks of events past and present and ponders the future and his own foolishness. Eventually, his mind wanders to the year of the false spring when he was eighteen and down from the Eyrie for the great tournament at Harrenhal. He remembers Brandon, Robert going wild in the melee, and Jaime Lannister kneeling in front of the king's pavilion and taking the vows of the Kingsguard with all six of his new brothers in attendance.1 Prince Rhaegar Targaryen owned the field that day, unhorsing all comers, including Brandon, Yohn Royce, and Arthur Dayne. Eddard remembers the moment when all the smiles died as Rhaegar rode past his own wife, Elia, to name Lyanna queen of love and beauty and give her a crown of winter roses. Thoughts of Lyanna once again make Eddard consider the promise he made her as she lay dying.

After many days, Varys comes down to see him disguised as a gaoler. He informs Eddard that Cersei will come down to see him the next day and ask him to confess his crimes and order his son to lay down his arms. If Eddard does so, he will be permitted to join the Night's Watch rather than be executed. Eddard at first refuses, but Varys lets him know that Sansa may pay the price in that case. Eddard realizes he has no choice.


  1. Appearing: Eddard Stark, Varys

Active Characters

  1. Varys - He was an actor in a mummer's troupe before he became a eunuch.


Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.


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