Tower of the Hand

Book 3, Chapter 38.
Jaime tells Brienne the full story of why he killed Aerys. Lord Roose promises to send Jaime home and decides to give Brienne to Vargo Hoat.
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Jaime comes to the bathhouse to bathe, as Lord Roose has invited him to dinner. Brienne is there as well. They verbally spar awhile, until Jaime apologizes and says he is sick of fighting; he wants a truce. Brienne counters that truces are based on trust. Jaime does not know why he does it; probably due to his injuries, but he tells the full story of the death of Aerys.

Lord Jon was exiled after losing the Battle of the Bells and replaced as Hand by Lord Qarlton Chelsted. Aerys finally realized that Robert was a serious threat. He reminded Prince Lewyn that he held Elia and sent him south to take command of ten thousand Dornishmen heading north. Ser Jon and Ser Barristan were sent to Stoney Sept to take command of the remnants of the army there. Prince Rhaegar returned from the south and told Aerys to summon Lord Tywin, but the ravens to Casterly Rock went unanswered. Aerys saw traitors everywhere, and Varys was always ready to point out any he missed. In his fear, Aerys commanded three leading alchemists, Rossart, Belis, and Garigus, to place caches of wildfire all over King's Landing. Lord Qarlton figured out what was happening and tried to dissuade Aerys through reason, jest, threats, and outright begging. When he failed, he threw down his chain of office, so Aerys had him burned alive and made Rossart, his favorite pyromancer and the one who roasted Lord Rickard alive, his new Hand. Jaime saw everything because he was the only member of the Kingsguard left in the city,1 for he was Tywin's son, and Aerys did not trust him to be away from his side. After Rhaegar's defeat at the Trident, Aerys sent Rhaella and Viserys to Dragonstone. Elia would have gone as well, but Aerys believed that Prince Lewyn must have betrayed Rhaegar and thought that the only hope of keeping Dorne loyal was to keep her and her children close to him. Aerys planned to burn the whole city with wildfire rather than let Robert have it. When Lord Tywin reached King's Landing, Pycelle convinced Aerys he was there to help, and Aerys opened the gates. When Tywin began to sack the city, Jaime was charged with holding the Red Keep, but knew that all was lost. He sent a messenger to ask for permission to make terms, but Aerys responded that he should bring him Tywin's head if he is not a traitor. The messenger also said that Rossart was present, and Jaime knew what he had to do. He slew Rossart, then Aerys. In the following days, he tracked down Belis and Garigus and killed them as well. Brienne asks why he never told that to anyone, and he says that the Kingsguard are sworn to keep the king's secrets, and Eddard would not have been interested in explanations anyway.

Jaime tries to get out of the bath, but gets dizzy and smashes his stump against the side of the tub. Brienne catches him before he can fall and has the guards fetch Qyburn. Qyburn tends to him, and then Brienne finishes cleaning him. Qyburn returns with clothes for both of them and a potion to strengthen Jaime. A half-hour later, Jaime is strong enough to stand, and supported by Brienne, he goes to dinner. Lord Roose waits in the center of the great hall, with only Elmar attending him. Roose explains the situation to them. He reports on Robb's marriage and Edmure's impending marriage. He also reports that Arya has been found, and he means to see her safely back north.2 Brienne continues to speak of her mission to see Jaime exchanged for Arya and Sansa, but Roose does not seem to care. He does, however, plan to send Jaime on to King's Landing, but he has a small problem. Vargo took Jaime's hand for a reason. Vargo knows that he is a doomed man now and wants to turn Jaime over to the Karstarks so he may wed Alys and gain sanctuary in the North. He did not have the strength to see him there by himself, however, and therefore had to bring him to Harrenhal. He took the hand so that Lord Roose would be implicated in the act and could not send him back to Tywin. Jaime promises to speak of how Lord Roose saved him, and the matter is settled. Roose then turns to Brienne and says it would be unconscionable to deprive Vargo of both his prizes. His guards take her away.



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