Tower of the Hand

Book 3, Chapter 67.
Tyrion is put on trial. Oberyn offers to serve as his champion in a trial by combat.
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Tyrion discusses his upcoming trial with Ser Kevan. Kevan reveals that Tywin will sit in judgment, but due to his personal connection to the case he will have Lord Mace and Prince Oberyn sit with him. Tyrion asks if he will be allowed trial by combat, and Kevan replies that he will but that Ser Gregor would serve as Cersei's champion. Tyrion asks about finding witnesses, and Kevan replies that he will attempt to produce anyone that Tyrion names, but that he cannot leave his cell save for the trial itself. Tyrion asks for Podrick, and Kevan goes to get him. Tyrion tells his uncle he did not poison Joffrey, but Kevan does not believe him. As he tries to think of witnesses in his support, Podrick arrives. Tyrion tells his squire to bring Bronn and tell him there is more gold in it for the sellsword than he could possibly imagine. Podrick does not return that day, and Tyrion finally thinks of his only witness, Sansa. Kevan returns and tells him the trial will start in three days. He also says that he will bring Sansa to share Tyrion's cell if she can be found, but neither Ser Addam or Varys have had any success locating her. Podrick finally returns with Bronn the next morning, but Bronn is not in a helpful mood. Cersei has arranged for him to marry Lollys Stokeworth, and the wedding is in two days. Bronn gives Tyrion a chance to offer a better price, but Tyrion cannot do so. Bronn leaves.

On the morning of the trial, Ser Addam and a dozen goldcloaks come to escort him to the throne room. Hundreds are there to see the trial, including Margaery, flanked by Lady Alerie and Lady Olenna. Lord Tyrell, Prince Oberyn, and Lord Tywin sit at the foot of the dais. After the High Septon says a prayer to the Father to guide them to justice, the trial begins. Lord Tywin begins by asking Tyrion if he killed Joffrey, to which Tyrion responds in the negative. The prosecutions witnesses then begin to testify. Ser Balon is the first to come forward, who proclaims disbelief of Tyrion's guilt but describes the moment after the riot when Tyrion struck Joffrey.1 Ser Meryn testifies next to the same incident and also to the time Tyrion stopped Joffrey from beating Sansa.2 Ser Boros testifies to this event as well. Tyrion wants to tell the crowd what Joffrey was doing to Sansa at the time, but he is ordered to stay silent. Osney and Osfryd come next one after the other to describe Tyrion's threats towards Cersei the night she arrested Alayaya,3 though the whore is not mentioned. Ser Osmund follows and tells a lie of how Joffrey confided to him on the day he was raised to the Kingsguard that Tyrion meant to kill him and rule in his place. Tyrion lashes out at this, and Tywin threatens to chain him like a common brigand if he does not stay silent. The trial ends for the day. That night, Tyrion asks Ser Kevan to bring Varys, hoping the eunuch will speak for him.

The next day, Maester Ballabar and Maester Frenken open the testimony by recounting how they opened Joffrey's throat and found nothing obstructing the airway. Grand Maester Pycelle follows. Pycelle shows the assembled various poisons Tyrion took from his room while he was imprisoned. Tyrion points out that none of those could have done the deed, and Pycelle says it was the strangler and that Tyrion must have used it all. Tyrion gives another outburst, and Tywin threatens to gag him if he speaks again. A progression of witnesses follow, including, Lord Paxter, Lord Ardrian, Ser Flement, Lord Gyles, Ser Hobber, Lord Philip, Lady Taena, Lord Estermont, Josmyn Peckledon, Galyeon, Morros, and Jothos, who all testify to various acts at the wedding feast itself.

That night when Kevan comes, Tyrion realizes that his manner has changed because he now believes Tyrion guilty. Tyrion asks after Sansa and Varys, but the former has not been found and the latter is to testify against him the next day. Ser Kevan urges him to confess and says that Tywin will let him take the black if he does. Tyrion is disdainful and distrustful of the offer, but Ser Keven gives an impassioned plea for Tyrion to trust Tywin. He knows Tywin is a hard man, but claims there were good reasons for it. Tywin's own father, Lord Tytos, was amiable and week. His bannermen mocked him and openly defied him, while debts to the house went unpaid. His mistress even stole his wife's jewels. Tywin restored House Lannister to its proper place and became Hand of the King at age twenty. He gave the realm twenty years of peace and plenty as Hand, but the only thanks he received were numerous slights to his honor from an envious Aerys II. Tyrion realizes that Ser Kevan loves Tywin greatly and promises to think over the offer.

Varys testifies the whole next day, confirming most of the previous testimony with documents. At the end of the day, Cersei says she will call one final witness on the morrow.4 That night, Tyrion receives a surprise visit from Prince Oberyn. Oberyn tells him that Cersei has hinted at marriage if he will condemn Tyrion. He has no desire to wed Cersei. He is pleased Tyrion stands accused of the crime; otherwise it might have been him. He knows poisons, has reason to keep House Tyrell away from the throne, and Myrcella, who as the next-eldest child would inherit by Dornish law, is betrothed to his nephew. Oberyn turns the talk to justice. He believes that Tyrion is innocent and wants a chance to avenge Elia both by killing Ser Gregor and Tywin. He says he will serve as Tyrion's champion in a trial by combat.


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