Tower of the Hand

Book 2, Chapter 18.
Tyrion has Grand Maester Pycelle, Lord Petyr and Varys each convey an offer of alliance to a great house.
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Tyrion takes his breakfast with Grand Maester Pycelle. He gives Pycelle two copies of a letter for Prince Doran Martell that must go out by raven at once. While Pycelle is out sending them, Tyrion goes to the Grand Maester's collection of herbs and potions and takes a vial. After breakfast, he comes across Bronn, now the captain of his personal guard, studying some knights training below. Bronn points out a hedge knight named Tallad as the best of them, but says that he falls into a rhythm. Bronn reports that Lady Tanda is looking for him again. She has been having him over for savory dinners in an effort to get him to marry her large, soft, dim-witted daughter, Lollys, who is still a maid at age thirty-three. Others begging an audience include a moneylender from Braavos looking for repayment of a loan, a river lord asking for recompense for his slaughtered peasants, some bakers, butchers, and greengrocers asking for protection after a baker was burned alive in his own oven for charging too much for bread, and Ser Alliser Thorne with a rotted hand in a jar.1 Tyrion decides he will not see Ser Alliser and orders poor quarters found for him. Bronn departs, and Tyrion continues on his way.

As Tyrion nears the main gate, he sees Cersei preparing to ride into the city with Ser Boros; Ser Balon; Lord Gyles; Hallyne the Pyromancer, Cersei's new favorite; Lancel, who is now a knight; Vylarr; and twenty Lannister house guards. She is inspecting the progress on the city's defenses and is alarmed because she has learned that Renly is marching up the roseroad towards King's Landing. His host includes all the Tyrell bannermen save the Redwynes; Lord Paxter did not march because his sons2 are hostages in the city. Tyrion is unconcerned because Renly is taking his time, feasting at every castle he passes and holding court at every crossroads. Cersei demands that Tyrion make Tywin bring his army to the city. Tyrion says that is impossible, and Cersei declares he is useless and rides off.

When Tyrion returns to his chambers, Podrick tells him that Lord Petyr awaits. Petyr beckons Tyrion over to the window to see Joffrey, guarded by Ser Preston, using hares for target practice with a crossbow. He is not hitting all that many of them. Tyrion notices that Petyr is wearing a dagger with a dragonbone hilt and knows Petyr is doing so to taunt him.3 Tyrion has been trying to find out all he can about Petyr since he is a certainly an opponent. Lord Jon Arryn gave him a minor sinecure in customs ten years ago, and he soon brought in three times as much gold as the king's other collectors. Three years later, he was master of coin and soon increased revenues to ten times their previous level, though the debt has also grown greatly in that time. All the major treasury offices and most of the minor ones are held by men he appointed. Tyrion asks if Petyr grew close to the Tullys while he was fostered there, and he states he had both Catelyn's and Lysa's maidenheads.4 Tyrion tells Petyr that he wants him to send a message to Lysa promising Lord Jon's killer, respite from mountain clan raids that have grown more intense of late, a betrothal between Myrcella and Robert, and the naming of Robert as Warden of the East in exchange for her fealty and support against Renly and Stannis. Lord Petyr asks what is in it for him, and Tyrion says Harrenhal and overlordship of the Trident.

Soon after Petyr leaves, Galt comes in to announce that Varys has arrived. Tyrion says he has a plan, and Varys says he may already know it. Tyrion tells him to continue. Varys notes that Prince Doran has called his banners but has not moved to join any side, and posits that Tyrion wants to convince him to join the Lannister cause. Tyrion says that this is correct and that he will offer the prince a seat on the small council, his sister Elia's killers, and Tommen as a ward. Varys wonders how Tyrion plans to pry both Tommen and Myrcella away from Cersei, and Tyrion says he will do it by keeping his plans a secret. Varys then asks what happens if someone tells her before the arrangements are made, and Tyrion says that he will then know who is an informant for Cersei.


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


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