A Clash of Kings-Chapter 8
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Tyrion is having Lord Janos Slynt for a guest, and getting him drunk. Tyrion asks who should succeed him when he leaves the City Watch to take up residence at Harrenhal, and Slynt suggests Allar Deem. Tyrion mentions Ser Jacelyn Bywater, knighted at Pyke after losing his hand in the battle, but Slynt says he is too rigid and too honorable. Tyrion learns that Slynt sent Allar Deem to kill a young whore and her infant daughter Barra, a bastard of King Robert. Tyrion asks him who ordered him to kill the whore’s bastard, but Slynt will not reveal the answer, priding himself on doing a deed with never a question asked. Tyrion suggests the Night's Watch could use men like him and Allar Deem. When Tyrion questions him about Lord Eddard’s death, Slynt says even Varys was surprised by the King’s decision, and we learn Varys had helped persuade Cersei to allow Ned to take the black. Slynt calls Lord Stark a traitor for trying to buy him, to which Tyrion retorts, "Little dreaming that you had already been bought." Slynt gets angry at this, telling Tyrion he has no right to question his honor. Tyrion threatens him, saying that he should thank the gods it was Tyrion he had to deal with, and not his lord father. Tyrion tells him his children will inherit lands and his eldest son will be named Lord Slynt when he comes of age, but Janos is bound for the Wall. Slynt is enraged, and tells Tyrion he will speak to the King about this, but Ser Jacelyn Bywater takes Slynt into custody.
Tyrion tells Bywater that Slynt and six others will board ship for Eastwatch-by-the-sea, and that it would not be taken amiss if Allar Deem should get swept overboard. Varys meets Tyrion afterward, and Tyrion accuses the eunuch of not telling him that it was his sister who sent the gold cloaks after the whore’s bastard. Tyrion is upset that he hands out justice for the sorry likes of Slynt and Deem while his sister continues on her savage course. Tyrion knows he cannot touch his sister, yet. Varys tells Tyrion he could not save the baby girl, but he had taken steps to save another bastard, this one an older boy (Gendry). Tyrion again talks with Varys about Eddard’s death, aware that Slynt and Ser Ilyn Payne had carried out the King’s sentence without hesitation, almost as if they expected it. Varys then asks Tyrion about the answer to his riddle, and Tyrion says the sellsword holds the true power. Varys asks, "If it is the swordsmen who rule in truth, why pretend kings hold the power?" That day at Baelor’s Sept, neither the godly High Septon, nor the lawful Queen Regent, nor the ever-knowledgeable Varys could prevent Lord Eddard’s death. He asks who truly killed Eddard: the King who gave the command, Ser Ilyn who swung the sword, or another? Varys departs after telling Tyrion about prophets in the streets foretelling doom and causing problems. When Bronn arrives, Tyrion remarks that he probably replaced one of Littlefinger’s men with one belonging to Varys when he made Ser Jacelyn the Commander of the City Watch. He asks Bronn if he would kill an infant girl without question if he were commanded to. Bronn replies, "Without question? No. I’d ask how much."
References and Notes
- The synopsis was copied from AOL member vbkorik27 previously at .
- Analysis and review of the chapter in the course of a 10th reread of the books by Slynt.
- Humorous review of the chapter by Jason.
- Review and summary by Leigh Butler.