A Feast for Crows-Chapter 23

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Alayne I
A Feast for Crows chapter
AFeastForCrows.jpg
POVSansa Stark
Placethe Eyrie
Page328 UK HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
Sansa I
Arya II ← Alayne I → Cersei V

Alayne II

Synopsis

Sansa is now completely in the role of Alayne Stone, and she has considerable influence in the Eyrie. On the balcony of her rooms in the Maiden's Tower, she surveys the armies of the Lords Declarant camped outside the Gates of the Moon. Lord Gilwood Hunter arrived first, and immediately blockaded supplies from reaching the Eyrie. Though they are not yet under siege, the situation looks dire from her standpoint. Lord Robert, even more irritable than normal because there are no eggs or bacon, tells Alayne that he still hears Marillion singing every night. Alayne assures him that the bard is dead, although she has not seen the body, but she herself no longer hears singing. When Littlefinger arrives, he informs them that the Lords Declarant are on their way up to the Eyrie for a parley. He tells Alayne that there will be eight of them, but he is only concerned about Lyn Corbray. We learn that Lyn fought against Jon Arryn at Gulltown at the onset of Robert's Rebellion, but later fought alongside him at the Trident, where he slew Prince Lewyn Martell of the Kingsguard and broke the Dornish line. While his elder brother supports Petyr's position as Lord Protector of the Vale, Ser Lyn has taken up with the Lords Declarant. Bearing the Valyrian sword Lady Forlorn, Ser Lyn is a dangerous and unpredictable man, quick to demand a duel.

The Lords Declarant seek to defend Lord Robert and the Vale, but do not acknowledge the Lord Protector, naming him a false counselor who has been misruling the Vale. After Robert has another fit, Littlefinger suggests that Maester Colemon try giving him sweetsleep, although the maester seems reticent to do so. Alayne tells her "father" that Yohn Royce will recognize her, having met her at Winterfell when Waymar Royce took the black, but Petyr explains that "men see what they expect to see." She also asks him why he doesn't leave the Vale to take up his position as Lord of Harrenhal. Littlefinger is convinced the place is cursed, especially after what happened to Tywin Lannister, Gregor Clegane, and Vargo Hoat. Lady Shella Whent recently died without any heirs, claiming yet another family that once ruled at Black Harren's nightmare castle. When Alayne recommends that he give Harrenhal to Lord Walder Frey, Petyr smiles and tells her he might, but he would really like to give it to Cersei, although he might have to "remove her from the game" sooner than planned, unless she removes herself first.

Alayne leads the Lords Declarant up to Petyr's solar, where he confounds them by saying that he would like to sign their declaration to weed out the false counselors. But Yohn Royce tells him they did not come to obtain his signature; they are here to remove Littlefinger and take Lord Robert to foster at Runestone. Petyr informs them that he plans to foster the sons of other lords here so that Robert will have boys his own age around. He also asks Lady Anya Waynwood to send Harrold Hardyng to the Eyrie as his ward, but the Lords scoff at this request. Littlefinger refuses their demand that he leave the Vale and turn over Robert, and after he calls their bluffs of violence, Lyn Corbray draws Lady Forlorn, but this enrages the other Lords Declarant, and Bronze Yohn tells the knight to up his steel, reminding him that they are guests. Corbray stalks off, but this has worked to Littlefinger's advantage, as he now turns hostile toward the Lords. Demanding that they lift their encampment and give him one year to set the Vale to rights or else he will willingly step down as Lord Protector, all the Lords except Yohn Royce agree, and Petyr emerges victorious in the parley.

Later that night, after the Lords have departed, Alayne asks Petyr what he plans for the next year. Littlefinger continues his tutelage of Alayne in playing the game of thrones. He states that one or two of the older Lords may die over the course of the year, and Lord Gilwood Hunter may well be killed by his younger brother Harlan, who arranged old Lord Eon's death.[1] Petyr admits that he will never be able to sway Bronze Yohn, but when Alayne inquires about Ser Lyn,[2] he tells her that he can be bought "with gold and boys and promises."

References and Notes

  1. Petyr's certainty is a strong indicator that he has spies in the Vale's other Houses, and may well have influenced Harlan previously. We learned in A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80 that rumor has it that it was Gilwood who arranged his father Eon's death.
  2. Her specific wording reveals that she deduced that Lyn Corbray is in Petyr's service, something that the Lords Declarant are not aware of.

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