Tower of the Hand

Book 4, Chapter 31.
Jaime arrives at Castle Darry and learns from Lancel that he did sleep with Cersei.
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Jaime approaches Castle Darry with his host. Ser Addam had reported that the fields around the castle are being tilled once more, but everyone has fled inside the castle at his approach. The castle flies a standard quartering the Lannister lion with the Darry ploughman to represent that Lancel rules by right of marriage. Jaime has Ser Kennos sound the Horn of Herrock to announce their arrival and orders Ser Lyle to set up a fortified camp beneath the western wall of the castle. Jaime rides towards the castle with Ser Dermot carrying the royal standard and Ser Hugo carrying the standard of the Kingsguard. Ser Ronnet is no longer with the party: Jaime charged him with delivering Ser Wylis to Maidenpool to get a ship to take him back to White Harbor so that they would not have to see each other again. Behind him, Pia is saying to Josmyn that the castle looks like a toy, as she has known no other castle save Harrenhal. The castle has been burned once and sacked twice during the war, but the castle is already in the process of being repaired. The walls are patrolled by Lannister and Frey armsmen, and there are sparrows about as well. A Maester Ottomore meets Jaime at the gates and is surprised to see him, as they were not expected to come by Darry. Jaime asks if Kevan is there, but he left shortly after the wedding. Lord Lancel and Lady Amerei will hold a feast for Jaime and his chief knights that night. Jaime asks after Ser Harwyn as well, but he has ranged beyond the Trident with five knights and twenty archers to hunt outlaws. Lord Lancel is at his prayers.

As the maester leads Jaime to his quarters, Jaime comments on the bare walls. The maester explains that Lancel wants to replace them with scenes of piety and devotion. Jaime thinks back to how the walls were bare the first time he had come to Darry as well, with King Robert's party on the way to Winterfell. Tyrion had discovered the missing tapestries in a storeroom, portraits of all the Targaryen kings from Aegon I to Aerys II. Jaime is surprised to be led to the lord's apartments, and the maester explains that Lancel usually sleeps in the sept. Jaime takes a bath and dresses for dinner with the help of Josmyn, Lew, Garrett and Pia. Lady Amerei welcomes him at the feast, but Lancel is not there as he prefers to fast. The lady talks of how her first husband, Ser Pate died challenging Gregor Clegane when the Freys were still fighting for Robb, boasting that he was just the man to kill the Mountain. Jaime says he understands the sentiment, as he had wanted to kill the Smiling Knight. Amerei has never heard of him, but when Jaime explains he was an outlaw, she gets weepy. Her mother, Mariya, explains how her father, Merrett, was recently killed by outlaws. The talk turns from outlaws to wolves, and Ser Danwell states that there are more in the forest now than at anytime in memory. They have grown bold and no longer fear men; they attacked the Frey baggage train several times on its journey from the Twins and only stopped after a dozen had been killed.

Jaime looks out over his knights at the feast, including Ser Addam, Ser Steffon, Ser Kennos, Ser Dermot, and Ser Hugo, before inquiring whether Lord Beric's band killed Merrett. Lady Mariya says they believed so at first, but soon learned differently. The outlaws had scattered in several directions, Lord Lucias tracked a group as far as Fairmarket, but lost them there. Black Walder had more success in Hag's Mire, where he learned from the peasants that the outlaws had included a one-eyed man,1 a man in a yellow cloak,2 and a woman, hooded and cloaked.3 The woman supposedly has a horribly scarred face and eyes terrible to look upon and was the leader of the band. Lord Beric was apparently nowhere to be found. Black Walder was able to track them until they disappeared into the Neck. Lady Amerei implores Jaime to stay and deal with the outlaws, but he refuses. Ser Lyle says he will attend to them after they have dealt with Riverrun. He thinks it will be easy, but Ser Arwood cautions him that Beric will not stay dead and that now Sandor is with him, and slew twenty men at Saltpans.4 He explains how he, Ser Harys, and Ser Donnel rode to Saltpans with fifty men after the attack hoping to find Lord Beric's trail, but all they found was Ser Quincy locked in his tower and the whole town in ashes. Upon hearing this, Ser Lyle pledges that he will hunt down the Hound after Riverrun falls. Jaime knocks over his wine glass and takes his leave to find Lancel.

At the gate to the sept, three sparrows bar Jaime's entrance until Lancel comes out to bid him enter. He is thin and wears only a roughspun wool tunic. He has also shaved the crown of his head. Jaime asks if he has lost his mind, and he replies that he has found his faith. Ser Kevan left after they quarreled. Lancel bids Jaime to pray with him. He claims that he has had visions from the Seven. He has not eaten for some time. Jaime tells him that he should be making an heir with Amerei and that she lusts after Ser Harwyn and will sleep with him soon if she has not already. Lancel says he does not want the castle or his wife. Furthermore, the marriage was not consummated. He means to cast her aside, just as King Baelor cast aside his sister-wife Daena after he was crowned. Lancel says he has sinned, that he killed King Robert with a wineskin. He also admits that he has lain with Cersei. Jaime thinks back to how Cersei once told him that she had lied to him a thousand times. He thought he had just meant to hurt him, but now he wonders if that was the only time she ever told the truth. Lancel makes known his intent to ride to King's Landing on the morrow to pledge his sword to the Warrior's Sons. Lancel asks Jaime to pray with him once again, but Jaime says he has forgotten the words and leaves. Jaime seeks out Ser Ilyn and takes him to the godswood where they can practice in private. Jaime tells him how Cersei had wanted Arya to lose a hand after Joffrey was attacked by Nymeria, and that she argued with Robert half the night in the lord's bedchamber. After Robert had fallen into a drunken sleep, Jaime took Cersei on the bed with him only a few feet away. Cersei had cried out "I want" while they were having intercourse, and Jaime thought she wanted him, but now she thinks all she had been thinking about was taking Arya's hand. Ser Ilyn laughs at him, and Jaime angrily tells him to come kill him if he can.



Footnotes

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