Symon Silver Tongue

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Symon
Symon Silver Tongue.jpg
by Amok ©

Alias Symon Silver Tongue
Died In 299 AC, at King's Landing
Book(s) A Clash of Kings (appears)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)

Symon, better known as Symon Silver Tongue, is a singer.[1]

Appearance

He is short, with thin brown hair, pink cheeks and small pot belly. He uses a twelve-stringed woodharp.[1]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

When Tyrion Lannister arrives at Shae's manse one day, he hears music and then someone singing within. On his question who that is, he receives the answer that it is a "fatbelly singer". Tyrion isn't fond of singers in general, but he likes this one even less than most of his kind, even without having seen him. When he enters Shae's room, Symon immediately betrays that he recognizes Tyrion, addressing him as "My lord Hand" and stating that it is an honor to meet him. After Symon has introduced himself as "a player, a singer, a taleteller", Tyrion says that he is a fool as well, pointing out that a wiser man would at least have pretended to not recognize him, even though Tyrion would have seen through such a charade, but Symon should at least have tried. Tyrion points out that Symon knows of Shae, where she lives and that Tyrion only visits her at night and asks rhetorically what he should do with him now. The frightened singer says he will tell no one. Tyrion replies that they agree on that front. When they are alone, Shae says that Symon may never sing again, because Tyrion has scared the voice from him. Tyrion thinks that fear will help Symon in reaching his high notes. Shae wonders whether Tyrion will hurt the singer, stressing that he is cheering her up on nights Tyrion doesn't visit. Tyrion asks how well Symon sings and Shae thinks he's better than some but not as good as others. Tyrion tells her that she can keep him but that she should keep him close, he doesn't want Symon spreading tales in pot-shops. Shae replies that he won't.[2]

A Storm of Swords

He is hired by Lady Tanda Stokeworth, on Shae's advice, to calm Lollys when her baby kicks. Shae mentions this to Tyrion, also sharing that Symon is well informed about what will go on at the wedding feast for King Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell. His detailed account of the wonders planned for the feast prompt Shae to ask Tyrion for permission to attend the feast, which Tyrion objects to because it isn't safe for her. Tyrion is immediately bothered again that the "thrice-damned singer" could endanger Shae by one careless word. He later orders Bronn to find Symon before anyone else does, almost ordering Bronn to kill the man already, but Tyrion is hesitant, because Symon might have done nothing more than sing some songs and fill Shae's head with visions about the wedding feast.[3]

When Tyrion and Symon meet at a wine sink, arranged by Bronn, Symon tries to blackmail Tyrion: If Tyrion will not find a way to let him participate in the tournament of singers that will be held at the wedding feast, Symon will inform Cersei and Tywin Lannister about Shae. He even has made a song about it:

He rode through the streets of the city,
down from his hill on high,
O'er the wynds and the steps and the cobbles,
he rode to a woman's sigh.
For she was his secret treasure,
she was his shame and his bliss.
And a chain and a keep are nothing,
compared to a woman's kiss

Refrain:

For hands of gold are always cold, but a woman's hands are warm...

Tyrion tells him that he would arrange it and Bronn would contact him. He then gives instructions to Bronn to make Symon disappear, so that he will never be found. Bronn then refers to a pot shop in Flea Bottom that makes "a savory bowl of brown" with "all kinds of meat in it".[1]

Tyrion later remembers Symon's song during his trial[4] and when he kills Shae.[5]

A Dance with Dragons

While aboard the Selaesori Qhoran, Tyrion confesses to Penny he had Symon killed for writing a song about him.[6]

After joining the Second Sons, Kem mentions to Tyrion that he remembers a potshop in King's Landing that made the best bowl of brown. When he asks Tyrion whether he ever ate a bowl of brown, Tyrion answers that he did once or twice and says that he calls it "singer's stew".[7]

Quotes

Very good, my lord. I shall sing the night of King Joffrey’s wedding. Should it happen that I am called to court, why, I will want to offer the king my very best compositions, songs I have sung a thousand times that are certain to please. If I should find myself singing in some dreary winesink, though... well, that would be an apt occasion to try my new song. For hands of gold are always cold, but a woman’s hands are warm.[1]
– Symon, to Tyrion Lannister

References and Notes

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