Tower of the Hand

Book 3, Chapter 12.
Jaime, Brienne, and Cleos stop at the Inn of the Kneeling Man, where they trade their boat for horses.
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Brienne, Ser Cleos, and Jaime stop at an inn by the riverside that is still standing. It is the Inn of the Kneeling Man, which purportedly stands on the exact spot where King Torrhen knelt to King Aegon. When Jaime opens the door, he is confronted by a boy with a crossbow.1 He lets them enter as long as they leave their swords at the door. A man comes up and offers food.2 He is not the innkeeper; he and his wife3 discovered the innkeeper and his women dead, buried them, and took over the place themselves. The boy is not theirs. He lost his two boys and the Brave Companions killed the boy's parents, so they took him in. He cooks them some dinner and asks for news. When he learns that they are heading downriver, he tells them they will never make it because two sunken ships are blocking the way and there are outlaws further down. Lord Beric and Thoros are still causing trouble as well. Jaime realizes that their best chance is to strike overland, and Brienne reluctantly agrees. They end up buying three horses from the man, a plow horse, an old gelding, and a war horse that he "acquired." He offers beds as well, and Cleos is tempted, but Brienne says they must ride on. So Jaime can ride, she strikes off his ankle chain at a smithy out back. The man tells them they will come to a burned village six miles downriver where they will come to a fork in the road. He says to avoid the south road that leads to Ser Warren's towerhouse, now in unknown hands with Ser Warren dead in the fighting, and strike south and east instead. They ride off into the night. When they reach the village, Brienne turns them south. Jaime is pleasantly surprised at her intelligence; it is clear that the man was trying to lead them straight to the outlaws.

They ride for awhile longer and then stop to rest. Brienne speaks harshly to Jaime for killing Aerys, and Jaime just says she does not understand. He then thinks back to the circumstances that led to his induction into the Kingsguard. When he and Cersei were twelve, Lord Tywin summoned Cersei to the Red Keep, hoping to eventually make a royal match for her. At about the same time, Jaime became squire to Ser Sumner Crakehall, a position he held for four years. He took part in the battle against the Kingswood Brotherhood and earned a knighthood for his actions. Stopping at King's Landing on his way back to Casterly Rock, Cersei informed him that Tywin was planning to wed him to Lysa Tully and that they only had one chance to be together. Ser Harlan Grandison of the Kingsguard had died in his sleep, and Jaime could replace him. She knew Tywin would not consent, but also realized that Aerys would not bother to ask. Once it was done, Tywin would not be able to openly object, as Aerys did not tolerate open dissent, having removed the tongue of Ilyn Payne merely for saying in public it was Tywin who really ruled the realm. Jaime hesitated at first, but Cersei won him over with a night of passion. The summons to join the Kingsguard came a month later, and while Tywin could not object openly, he was furious and resigned his position as Hand on a pretext, ironically separating Jaime and Cersei again when she was taken back to Casterly Rock. Brienne continues to press him, and he retorts by saying they are both kingslayers since Brienne killed Renly. Brienne denies the charge and says it was magic, which Jaime does not believe. She also says he soiled the gift of being a knight and a Kingsguard, causing Jaime to retort that he earned those honors, as he won a melee at thirteen as a squire and rode against the Kingswood Brotherhood and earned his knighthood on the battlefield from the hands of expedition leader Ser Arthur Dayne himself. That night, he dreams of the day he killed Aerys. He slipped into the throne room wearing his golden armor (rather than his Kingsguard white) and with blood on his sword. Aerys, hands covered in scabs because he was always cutting himself on the Iron Throne, asked if it was Tywin's blood, and Jaime responded it was the blood of Rossart, an alchemist currently serving as Hand because he shared Aerys's passion for fire, whom Jaime had just killed. Jaime then killed Aerys. Before he could leave the throne room, Ser Elys Westerling and Lord Roland Crakehall arrived, giving him no chance to vanish without being discovered. Lord Roland asked if they should proclaim a new king, and Jaime responded with indifference before sitting down on the throne to see who would come next. It was Eddard Stark.4 Brienne wakes him a few hours later, and they continue to ride.



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


1.  Prologue 29.  Sansa III 57.  Bran IV
2.  Jaime I 30.  Arya V 58.  Daenerys V
3.  Catelyn I 31.  Jon IV 59.  Tyrion VII
4.  Arya I 32.  Jaime IV 60.  Sansa IV
5.  Tyrion I 33.  Tyrion IV 61.  Tyrion VIII
6.  Davos I 34.  Samwell II 62.  Sansa V
7.  Sansa I 35.  Arya VI 63.  Jaime VII
8.  Jon I 36.  Catelyn IV 64.  Davos VI
9.  Daenerys I 37.  Davos IV 65.  Jon VIII
10.  Bran I 38.  Jaime V 66.  Arya XII
11.  Davos II 39.  Tyrion V 67.  Tyrion IX
12.  Jaime II 40.  Arya VII 68.  Jaime VIII
13.  Tyrion II 41.  Bran III 69.  Sansa VI
14.  Arya II 42.  Jon V 70.  Jon IX
15.  Catelyn II 43.  Daenerys IV 71.  Tyrion X
16.  Jon II 44.  Arya VIII 72.  Daenerys VI
17.  Sansa II 45.  Jaime VI 73.  Jaime IX
18.  Arya III 46.  Catelyn V 74.  Jon X
19.  Samwell I 47.  Samwell III 75.  Arya XIII
20.  Tyrion III 48.  Arya IX 76.  Samwell IV
21.  Catelyn III 49.  Jon VI 77.  Jon XI
22.  Jaime III 50.  Catelyn VI 78.  Tyrion XI
23.  Arya IV 51.  Arya X 79.  Samwell V
24.  Daenerys II 52.  Catelyn VII 80.  Jon XII
25.  Bran II 53.  Arya XI 81.  Sansa VII
26.  Davos III 54.  Tyrion VI 82.  Epilogue
27.  Jon III 55.  Davos V
28.  Daenerys III 56.  Jon VII