Tower of the Hand

Book 4, Chapter 17.
Jaime sees Tywin's funeral procession out of the city, spars with Cersei over her poor choices for the small council, and studies the history of Ser Criston Cole the Kingmaker.
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Jaime watches as Lord Tywin Lannister's funeral procession prepares to leave King's Landing through the Gate of the Gods. Lord Tywin has been laid out in a tall wagon draped with crimson banners and attended by six silent sisters. The wagon is surrounded by an honor guard of fifty knights and many of the lords of the west trail behind, including Lord Tytos Brax, Lord Antario Jast, Lord Quenten Banefort, Lord Philip Plumm, Lord Garrison Prester, and Lord Robin Moreland. Behind them come a hundred crossbowmen and three hundred men-at-arms. Jaime rides up to Ser Kevan at the head and tries to get him to make his peace with Cersei. He blames her for any trouble and refuses to do any such thing. Jaime asks if he plans to remain at Darry for awhile, and Kevan responds that he means to hunt down Sandor for the butchery at Saltpans.1 Jaime tries to convince him to stay and become Hand, and Kevan replies that Cersei knows his terms and Jaime can remind her of them next time they are in bed together. Jaime realizes that Kevan does in fact know about their incest. Jaime mocks Lancel before riding back to the Red Keep. The streets are largely empty; as the Tyrell host has departed and the men of the west have returned to their homes to plant a final harvest, save for two thousand men camped outside the walls waiting for Lord Paxter's fleet so they can sail for Dragonstone. As Jaime enters the yard of the castle, he watches a group of knights, Tallad, Lyle Crakehall, Kennos, Dermot, Lambert, Jon Bettley, Humfrey Swyft, Alyn Stackspear, Ronnet Connington, and Loras, ride against a quintain and laments that his jousting days are over. When he arrives in Cersei's solar, she is attended by Tommen, Taena, and Grand Maester Pycelle, who has just received a bird from Castle Stokeworth. Lollys has delivered a son, and Bronn has named the boy Tyrion. Cersei is drunk, and Jaime notes that she has been drinking heavily of late. She is also annoyed at the name, and Jaime thinks she means to have Bronn killed. Jaime is worried for Cersei. He thinks back to the burning of the Tower of the Hand and the ecstasy on her face as the flames consumed the tower. He remembers how Aerys II would always be aroused by a burning and go to Rhaella. After he burned Lord Qarlton, Jaime and Jon Darry escorted him to Rhaella's room, the king and queen slept apart in the last years of his reign, and stood outside as he savaged her in his passion. Jaime wanted to protect her, but Jon told him that it was not their place. The morning Rhaella left for Dragonstone, Jaime heard the maid's whisper that she looked as if some beast had savaged her, clawing her thighs and chewing her breasts. Aerys had allowed no blades in his presence by the end save the swords of the Kingsguard, and his nails had grown to nine inches long. Jaime asks for a word alone, and the others depart. He chastises her for keeping Taena near her, as she is obviously a spy for Margaery. Cersei explains that she feeds Margaery some information through Taena and that Taena tells her everything about Margaery. Jaime tries to convince her to make use of Kevan against Stannis, but Cersei says that Roose will deal with him. Jaime points out that he is trapped below the Neck by the ironmen, but Cersei says that Ramsay will remove them after which Roose will march with his own men plus two thousand Freys led by Hosteen and Aenys. Jaime says she should make Kevan Hand then, but she will not. She thinks she may make Orton Merryweather Hand to please Taena, and Jaime thinks that is a terrible idea. He says a strong Hand is needed, but Cersei thinks she is strong enough to rule herself. He asks her if it is true that she is naming Aurane Waters master of ships, and she confirms this. Jaime says Lord Paxter would be a better choice since he commands the largest fleet in Westeros, but Cersei will have no Tyrell bannermen on her small council. Jaime tries to talk her out of using Qyburn as well, but she will not listen. He tries to tell her that she is becoming paranoid and should not make an enemy of Kevan, and she snaps and throws him out. Loras finds him hunched over the White Book hours later. Jaime asks him if he has heard of several members of the Kingsguard, and Loras has only heard of a handful. Jaime says that most are forgotten, with only the heroic and the despicable remembered, as well as some who possessed both qualities like the man whose page he is staring at, Ser Criston Cole the Kingmaker.


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