A Game of Thrones-Chapter 49
From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
|A Game of Thrones chapter|
|Page||437 US HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
After King Robert’s death, Ned convenes the Small Council to proclaim him Protector of the Realm but council is interrupted by a summons to the throne room. King Joffrey demands oaths of fealty from the Councilors. Cersei destroys Robert’s will and Ned declares Joffrey has no right to the Iron Throne. When Ned calls for the City Watch to seize Cersei, the Gold Cloaks instead kill Ned’s men and Littlefinger reveals his betrayal.
At breakfast, Arya is given permission for a short lesson with Syrio Forel before they leave. Sansa, who is very despondent, asks again to see Prince Joffrey before she leaves. Septa Mordane states she can escort Sansa, but Eddard insists it is not wise. Sansa continues to complain, and runs weeping from the solar. Septa Mordane rises to follow but Eddard stops her declaring that he will try to explain when they return to Winterfell.
An hour later, Grand Maester Pycelle arrives with news that King Robert is dead. Ned orders the maester to convene the Small Council. The maester objects that they can wait a day, but Ned insists. When Littlefinger arrives in the same clothes he wore the previous day, he informs Ned that the task is done. It is Varys that gives Ned the news that Lord Renly has left the city, along with Ser Loras and all their retainers. Ned is discomforted by the news.
Ned entrusts Ser Barristan to read the writ naming him Protector of the Realm until the heir comes of age. Ned thinks to himself that, as it happens, the true heir is of age. Ned plans to keep his knowledge that Joffrey is a bastard until his daughters are safe; he does not trust Varys or Pycelle, and Ser Barristan is honor bound to protect the boy he thinks is his rightful king. Ned asks the council to proclaim him Protector of the Realm as Robert wished. However, the meeting is interrupted. Fat Tom enters with the royal steward with news that the king requires the Small Council’s presence in the throne room. Ned is surprised; he has not imagined Cersei would strike so fast. Ned orders Tom to assemble an escort.
As they enter the throne room, Ned is reassured by the number of Gold Cloaks visible. The Kingsguard is also all present, except for Jamie. Behind them, Joffrey sits the Iron Throne with Cersei and his siblings below. Twenty Lannister guardsmen stand behind the throne, and Gold Cloaks line the walls, outnumbering the Lannisters five to one.
Joffrey demands that the council make arrangements for his coronation which is to be held within the fortnight. Ned has Varys deliver Robert’s will to Cersei. The Queen tears it up, saying the realm has a new King now, leading honorable Ser Barristan to exclaim that those were the king’s words. Cersei continues regardless, advising Ned that if he bends the knee and swears fealty to Joffrey he’ll be allowed to return to Winterfell. Instead Ned declares that Joffrey has no right to the throne and that Stannis is the true heir.
Cersei orders Ser Barristan to seize Ned as a traitor, but the old knight is quickly surrounded by Ned’s guardsmen. At Cersei’s command, the Lannister guardsmen draw their swords. Ned responds by ordering Janos Slynt to have his Gold Cloaks take the Queen and her children into custody. As Ned is stating he wants no bloodshed, a Gold Cloak shoves a spear through Tomard’s back. A brief fight ensues, quickly killing all of Ned’s guardsmen. As Ned’s men die around him, Littlefinger takes the dagger from Ned’s belt, holds it to his throat, and says, "I did warn you not to trust me, you know."