A Game of Thrones-Chapter 25

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Eddard V
A Game of Thrones chapter
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POV Eddard
Page US HC (Other versions)
Chapter chronology (All)
Eddard IV
Bran IV  ← Eddard V →  Jon IV

Eddard VI

Ned is informed by with Grand Maester Pycelle that Lord Jon Arryn had shown interest in a book just before he became ill and died suddenly. Lord Arryn’s last words to Lysa Arryn and King Robert were "The seed is strong." On his way back heArya on the steps of the Tower of the Hand standing on one foot in her training to be a Water Dancer. Later he is visited by Littlefinger who tells him that four of Lord Arryn’s household are still in King's Landing.

Synopsis

Ned has met with Grand Maester Pycelle in the maester’s solar in the stifling heat that has covered the city. Pycelle talks about how the small folk claim that the last year of summer is the hottest. He does not believe this, but notes that the King Maker’s Summer was hotter than this summer, and many thought that it was the summer that never ends. In the seventh year, summer broke and there a short autumn and a terrible long winter. Then Pycelle talks about being a young man then, forging his maester’s chain during the reign of King Maekar. Then finally Pycelle states that Ned asked about Jon Arryn, and proceeds to tell Eddard that Jon Arryn was melancholy but healthy, and then suddenly became ill. He had asked Pycelle about a book, and Pycelle noted something was troubling. Then next day he was twisted over in pain, unable to get out of bed. Eddard notes that he had heard that Pycelle sent away Lord Arryn’s maester. Pycelle states that this was because he felt Maester Colemon didn’t understand the older body. The Eddard asks if Lord Arryn say anything on his deathbed. Pycelle responds Jon Arryn called out Robert’s name several times, but did not know if he was talking about the king or his son. His last words were whispered to Lysa Arryn and King Robert: "The seed is strong." Next Ned asks if there was anything unnatural about the death, and follows asking if he had seen anything like this illness. Pycelle states that he has seen more of illness than he would like to remember every illness is different and every illness is alike; Pycelle finally states that Arryn’s death was not stranger than any other. Then Eddard mentions that Lysa thinks otherwise, but Pycelle states that she is sister to his wife, and that grief can derange minds—Lysa mind was not the best, her seeing enemies in every corner. Eddard tells Pycelle that his death could be due to poisen. Grand Maester rebuffs him, asking who would do such a thing? Ned replies that he heard poison was a woman’s weapon. Pycelle replies that poison is the preferred weapon of women, cravens and eunuchs. He continues by telling Eddard that Varys was born a slave in Lys, and that Ned shouldn’t trust him; Eddard had already had a bad feeling about Varys. Eddard excuses himself and the maester then tells that he will perform any other service he required. Eddard uses this opportunity to ask for the Book, which the maester says is a ponderous tomb that Eddard would find boring. Eddard states he still would like to see the book, and the maester promises he will send it to him once he finds it. On the way out, Eddard also learns that the Queen was not in King's Landing when Jon Arryn died. Pycelle’s parting words are “I am here to serve,” and Eddard’s thought is “Yes, but whom.”

On his returns he finds Arya on the steps of the Tower of the Hand, standing on one foot and her feet scuffed. He asks what she is doing and she tells him that Syrio says that a Water Dancer can stand on one toe for hours. Eddard expresses his concern about her falling down the steps and Arya states a Water Dancer never falls. Then Arya asks if Bran will come to live with them, and gets the response that he has to grow stronger. Then she asks what Bran will do when he grows up, but Eddard tells her they will have to wait; for now be grateful he will live. Eddard had taken the girls to the castle Godswood when the crow had arrived to offer their thanks. The girls had gone to sleep and dreamed of Bran. While balancing on her leg, Arya asks about Bran’s plans to be a knight of the Kingsguard, and Eddard tells her not, but there other opportunities. While Arya had asked if she will do any of the great things Eddard stated that Bran might do, Eddard tells her that she might be the wife of a great king with many children. Arya replies that that is Sansa.

Later, Eddard gets notified that Littlefinger has arrived, and Ned meets with him in his solar. Littlefinger, who is watching the Kingsguard practicing below the window, starts with small talk who might win the tourney. This does not interest Eddard at all, and so he asks Littlefinger to come to the point of his visit; Eddard cannot find it in himself to trust Littlefinger. Littlefinger tells him that four of Arryn’s household were still in the city, which surprises Eddard who thought that all had gone back to the Eyrie with Lysa. Lord Baelish reveals the names, which include the squire to Jon Arryn, Ser Hugh of the Vale. He also reveals that Ser Hugh was knighted by the king after Lord Arryn died. Eddard states that he will send for them. Littlefinger does not think this is a good idea and asks Eddard to come to the window. Littlefinger identifies some of the spies among those outside his window: one is Varys’s, the other is the Queen’s. He tells Eddard that there are others, and some even he does not know. He cautions Ned to send one of his men, who he trusts completely, to question these people, rather than doing it himself. This would be better because even Varys cannot watch every man in his service every hour of the day. As Petyr departs Eddard tells him that he is grateful, and that probably he was wrong to distrust him. Petyr replies that distrusting him was the wisest thing he has done.

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