A Game of Thrones-Chapter 27
From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
|A Game of Thrones chapter|
|Page||227 (US bantam HC) US HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
The Small Council hears from the City Watch commander about policing problems caused by the tourney. After the meeting, Jory reports to Ned on interviews with Jon Arryn’s remaining household. The report includes mention of visits by Arryn and Stannis Baratheon to a brothel and an armourer. Ned orders Jory to identify the brothel, and goes to visit the armourer himself. There he discovers an apprentice, Gendry, who looks astonishingly like King Robert.
Ned and the Small Council hear City Watch Commander Slynt’s report about the significant increase in crime caused by the influx of people arriving for the upcoming tourney. Slynt requests more men. Ned agrees to hire fifty new watchmen, setting Littlefinger to arrange monetary details. When Littlefinger objects, Ned insists that since he found 40,000 gold dragons for the champion’s purse, he should be able to scrape together a few coppers to keep the King’s peace. Ned also loans Slynt twenty of his own household guard.
Ned complains again about the tourney, still irritated that it is to be called the Tourney of the Hand despite his distaste; King Robert still insists that Ned should feel honoured. Grand Maester Pycelle states that a tourney is good for the realm because it brings the great an opportunity for glory and the lowly a respite from their woes. Littlefinger adds that it brings in lots of money, and particularly points out that the whores are walking bowlegged. Lord Renly laughs, telling how his brother Stannis once proposed outlawing brothels, prompting King Robert to ask if he wanted to outlaw eating, shitting and breathing as well. Renly goes on to wonder how Stannis ever got that daughter of his because he goes to his marriage bed like he is marching to a battlefield to do his duty. Everyone laughs except Ned, who is preoccupied by thoughts of when Stannis will return and assume his duties on the council.
After the council adjourns, Ned returns to the Tower of the Hand and orders Jory attend him. As he waits for his horse to be saddled, Ned peruses the book that Jon Arryn had been reading prior to his death: Lineages of the Great Houses by Grand Maester Malleon. Its reading has proven to be extremely tedious, but Ned is sure that there was a reason that Jon Arryn had been reading it.
Jory is soon there, and informs Ned of his progress on interviews with those members of Jon Arryn’s household still remaining in King's Landing. The serving girl could only says that Jon Arryn had been reading too much, and was concerned about his son’s frailty and gruff with his wife. Meanwhile, the pot boy was able to provide lots of kitchen gossip, including that Lord Stannis Baratheon had accompanied Lord Arryn to meet an armourer. He also stated that Lord Arryn was strong as a man half his age and often went riding with Lord Stannis. This Ned finds strange; as far as he knew, Jon and Stannis were never friendly. Then Jory continues that the pot boy also told him that Stannis and the lord visited a brothel. Unfortunately the boy does not know which brothel. Only the guards that escorted them would know, and they were taken to the Eyrie with Lady Lysa.
That Stannis would visit a brothel is also very strange because he is so stern and humorless. That Stannis’ name keeps coming up and that Stannis has left the city with no word about when he will return is also vexing. Ned wonders why Stannis would leave and decides that something must have frightened him. Yet Ned cannot imagine what could have frightened Stannis, who withstood a year-long siege of Storm's End surviving on rats and boot leather. Both Ned and Jory find it is frustrating that that everyone that might know the truth about the death of Jon Arryn is a thousand leagues away. When Jory asks if Ned will call Stannis back from Dragonstone, he tells him not yet.
Ned tells Jory that he will wear his doublet with the direwolf sigil so the armourer will know who he is. As Jory dresses him, Ned wonders why Renly was not invited on the rides. Ned does not know what to make of Renly with his easy ways and friendly smiles. A few days back Renly showed a locket to Ned with a picture of Margaery Tyrell. He asked Ned if she resembles Lyanna. To Renly's disappointment Ned tells him she doesn't. Ned finds it queer that Renly, who looked so much like Robert, would be obsessed with a lady that he thought looked like Lyanna.
Then Ned tells Jory that it would be good if Stannis returned for the tourney, but Jory’s response makes Ned more certain that Stannis will not return. He also wonders why Lord Arryn would be interested in showy armor when he had always considered armor something for protection, not ornament. Ned then tells Jory that he better start visiting brothels, which Jory jokingly calls a hard duty.
Ned leaves to visit the armourer that Jon Arryn and Stannis visited. Finally Ned and his guardsmen Varly and Jacks, make it through the crowd to the Mud Gate where Lord Beric Dondarrion is arriving with his retinue to participate in the Tourney of the Hand. At the top of the Street of Steel they find the huge house of the armourer. After shouldering his way in, a serving girl notices his sigil and badge of office, and Tobho Mott quickly appears, offering wine. Mott immediately tells Ned that if he is in need of new arms, that his prices are not cheap, but he will not find craftsmanship equal to his anywhere in the Seven Kingdoms. He continues by telling Ned that the Knight of Flowers buys all his armor from him and that he can work Valyrian steel.
Ned lets the armourer go on for a while before he asks if Jon Arryn bought a falcon helm from him. Mott says that Lord Arryn bought nothing, only wanting to see the apprentice boy, Gendry. Any hint of friendliness leaves Mott when Ned asks to see the boy as well. In the hot stone barn that contains the forges, the armourer introduces Ned to Gendry and is shown a helmet that the boy has crafted. Ned notes that, although still unfinished, it is expertly shaped, and offers to buy the helmet. Gendry immediately grabs the helmet back, telling Ned it is not for sale. Mott rushes to offer apologies for Gendry’s behavior, but Ned states there is nothing to forgive.
Ned asks Gendry what he and Jon Arryn talked about. Gendry explains that Lord Arryn asked about his age, if he was well treated, and about is mother. Ned asks about the boy’s mother as well, and is told that she is dead, but that she was a alehouse wench with blonde hair. Ned examines Gendry and notices a remarkable resemblance to a younger King Robert.
Ned asks Mott who paid the boy’s apprentice fee. Mott tells Ned that he took him on for free since he was such a strong boy. Ned does not believe this for a moment. Mott admits that an unknown lord had visited and paid twice the normal apprentice fee for Gendry and told him that the extra money was for his silence. Ned decides he likes Tobho Mott. Before he leaves, Ned tells Mott to send Gendry to him if the day comes that he wants to wield a sword instead of forge one. He quips to that if he ever wants a helm to frighten children, this will be the first place he comes.
Ned still doesn’t understand what Jon wanted with a king’s bastard and why it led to his death.
References and Notes
- The synopsis was copied from AoL member vbkorik27 previously at .