A Storm of Swords-Chapter 37

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Jaime V
A Storm of Swords chapter
AStormOfSwords.jpg
POVJaime
PlaceHarrenhal
Page416 UK HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
Jaime IV
Davos IV ← Jaime V → Tyrion V

Jaime VI

Synopsis

Jaime and Brienne are in the bathhouse in Harrenhal, washing themselves before meeting Roose Bolton. Jaime feels dizzy in the hot bath, and begins to tell Brienne his story despite his own misgivings about revealing the tale. Jaime says, "Aerys would have bathed in wildfire if he’d dared. The Targaryens were all mad for fire." After the Battle of the Bells, Aerys realized that Robert Baratheon was no mere outlaw, and that the Targaryens faced their greatest threat since the Blackfyre Pretenders. He began to disperse his Kingsguard to take command of the army, recalled Rhaegar from the south, and sent letters to Casterly Rock. But when Tywin Lannister never responded, Aerys commanded his pyromancers Rossart, Garigus and Belis “to place caches of wildfire throughout King's Landing.” Lord Chelsted, the current Hand, found out what was going on and tried to stop Aerys from continuing along his mad course, but Aerys had him killed and named the pyromancer Rossart, the man who had burned Rickard Stark alive, his Hand.

All this time, Jaime remained in the throne room guarding the king and his secrets. After the Trident, Aerys sent his wife and Prince Viserys to Dragonstone, but kept Elia and her children in the Red Keep because he thought that Prince Lewyn Martell had betrayed Rhaegar during the battle, and thus needed Elia and the children as hostages to ensure Dorne's loyalty. With the wildfire in place, Aerys told Rossart, "The traitors want my city, but I’ll give them naught but ashes. Let Robert be king over charred bones and cooked meat." Aerys may have thought that the great fire would kill everyone, but transform him into a dragon, much as Aerion Brightflame had thought. When the Lannisters appeared before King's Landing Varys advised to keep the gates closed. But on the advice of Pycelle, Aerys let in the Lannisters, who proceeded to sack King's Landing.

Jaime felt he had to act after the Mad King commanded him to bring him his father’s head. He killed Rossart, then returned to the Throne room and killed King Aerys. Days later he hunted down and killed the remaining two of Aerys’ pyromancers, Garigus and Belis, so that their secret would die with them. When Brienne asks why no one else knows this tale, Jaime tells her that the Kingsguard are sworn to protect the king’s secrets, and that Eddard would never have believed his tale. Jaime then nearly passes out from the heat, and Brienne calls out for Qyburn.

They are brought before Roose Bolton, who tells them he chose to wed Walda Frey because Lord Walder Frey offered him his bride’s weight in silver. When Brienne inquires after Arya, Bolton mysteriously states that she was lost for a time, but she has been found and is to be returned safely to the north. Bolton tells them he awarded Harrenhal to Vargo Hoat because the goat was a stranger to the Seven Kingdoms and did not know ‘the prize was poisoned’. He means the curse of Lord Tywin, for Hoat was not aware of what Tywin does to traitors such as the Tarbecks and the Reynes. Bolton explains that he has a small problem, because the goat wishes to return Jaime to Rickard Karstark to claim the Lord’s reward of his daughter’s hand in marriage. Vargo had Jaime’s hand chopped off to send as a grisly token to Lord Tywin, feeling he would be well safe in Karhold. What he doesn’t know is that Robb has beheaded Lord Karstark, and the goat is now doomed. But since Vargo is in Bolton’s employ, Tywin might feel that Bolton was responsible for the maiming as well. Jaime agrees to carry word to his father absolving Bolton of all blame. But as for Brienne, Bolton tells her, "It would be unconscionable of me to deprive Lord Vargo of both his prizes."

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