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A Game of Thrones-Chapter 20

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Eddard IV
A Game of Thrones chapter
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Chapter chronology (All)
Eddard III
Jon III ← Eddard IV → Tyrion III

Eddard V

Synopsis

Ned has just arrived at King's Landing, and is told that the Small Council is having an urgent meeting. Ned looks at the members of the small council, and remembers Robert Baratheon saying how he is surrounded by flatterers and fools, and sees the truth in the statement. Robert is not present himself. Ned wants to wait for him and Ser Barristan but the others point out that Robert rarely busies himself with affairs of the state and that he will not come.

The King did send an order that a tourney and feast would be held in honour of Ned’s appointment as Hand. Ned wants nothing of it, but has no say. He learns that over the last fourteen years, the King and his council have beggared the realm, with the crown in debt some six million gold, most of it owed to the Lannisters. Ned cannot believe that Jon Arryn allowed this to happen, but Littlefinger claims it was Robert's own doing. Ned leaves to return to the Tower of the Hand, but is intercepted by Littlefinger, who takes him on a long journey through the castle and into the city in an effort to mislead anyone who might be watching them.

Baelish takes Ned to a brothel that he owns and tells him his wife is waiting inside. Ned takes this for an insult and pushes him up against the wall. He reminds Baelish of his brother, who fought with Littlefinger for the hand of Catelyn and injured him, saying that he (Brandon) was too kind to Littlefinger. Then he hears Ser Rodrik’s voice and sees that Catelyn and Ser Rodrik are really in the brothel. Cat tells Ned about the attempt on Bran. Ned feels that he should take his case, and the dagger, to the King but Littlefinger discourages him because there is no proof. Littlefinger says he will try to help him and then leaves.

Ned gives Catelyn instructions for his bannermen to fortify Moat Cailin and to keep a careful watch over Theon Greyjoy in case his father’s fleets are needed. He hopes it will not come to war and that Robert will believe him when he finds out what happened.

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