Tower of the Hand

Book 2, Chapter 45.
Tyrion orders Ser Jacelyn to seize Tommen, who is to be taken to Rosby. He learns that Stannis has taken Storm's End and makes plans to hide Shae in the Red Keep.
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Tyrion meets with Lancel in the sept and is informed that Cersei is having Lord Gyles take Tommen to Rosby in disguise to keep him away from the mob and Tyrion. After the meeting, Tyrion gives Bronn a letter for Ser Jacelyn telling him to take fifty men to scout the roseroad. It is a cover; he tells Bronn the real orders, which are to lie in wait for Lord Gyles's party, seize Tommen, and take him on to Rosby so he will be safe and in Tyrion's control. Tyrion rides with Bronn part of the way and then on toward Chataya's. The streets are empty due to a new extended curfew, of which the punishment for violation is death. While the curfew has helped keep the mobs in check and cut down on murders, the people hate Tyrion for it. He becomes impatient and decides to go directly to Shae's manse. When he arrives, he hears singing. As he enters, the singer introduces himself as Symon Silver Tongue. He recognizes Tyrion, and Tyrion threatens him so he will not tell anyone of Shae. He goes upstairs with Shae and says she may keep the singer, but he must be kept under close watch. They have sex and Tyrion goes outside.

Varys, dressed as a filthy beggar, comes to see Tyrion. Shae is able to recognize him, which shocks both the eunuch and Tyrion. Varys reports that Cortnay Penrose is dead and Storm's End now belongs to Stannis. Tyrion tells Varys he will ride back to the castle with him. He tells Shae that he wants to move her there too, disguised as a scullion, but Shae does not like that idea one bit. Tyrion is fearful for her safety and does his best to convince her, even telling her about his previous marriage to Tysha, and she finally accepts. On the way back to the castle, Tyrion tells Varys about his plan for Shae, but Varys thinks there would be too many questions and suggests an alternative. Lollys's servant has been filching her jewels; if Varys were to tell Lady Tanda that would create an opening for Shae, conveniently close should Tyrion have need of her. Tyrion replies that she would not be able to visit him at the Tower of the Hand unseen, and Varys reveals that there is a secret access to Tyrion's chambers. The conversation returns to Ser Cortnay. It is reported that he threw himself off a tower, but Varys does not think that makes any sense. He tells Tyrion he believes it was magic.1 Tyrion scoffs at the idea, so Varys tells him about his childhood.

Varys had been an orphan boy with a traveling folly that performed in all the Free Cities and also in King's Landing and Oldtown. One time when the troupe was in Myr, a man made an offer for Varys that his master could not refuse. The man cut off Varys's manly parts and used them as part of a spell. Varys, drugged and in pain, heard a vocal answer from whatever the man had conjured. He has hated magic and all those who practice it ever since. Afterwards, he was thrown out on the street and became a thief, eventually one of the best in Myr. Varys warns that Lord Tywin may be trapped between enemies. Oakheart and Rowan forces have been spotted north of the Mander, while Randyll Tarly has taken Renly's stores at Bitterbridge and put many to the sword, mostly Florents. Lord Caswell has locked himself in his castle. Tyrion relishes the irony that he is the only one standing between Stannis and chaos.



Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.
  • 1 - As indeed it was. Melisandre birthed a shadow that killed him (ACOK 43).


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