A Clash of Kings-Chapter 15
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Page||168 UK HC (Other versions)|
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The Queen is furious upon learning that Stannis is circulating letters accusing her of incest. She does not want this reaching her son or her father (though Tyrion knows is to be true), but there may be nothing to stop that; given that they have received word of this from minor lords, Tyrion surmises that Stannis has likely sent the letters to every castle in Westeros, including Casterly Rock and Harrenhal. Tyrion advises that they let people talk, as without proof no one will believe it, thinking it merely Stannis trying to justify his rebellion, rather than giving the rumour credence by trying to stamp it out; Littlefinger goes further by suggesting they circulate their own vile rumor- that Shireen is really the daughter of Selyse and the lackwit fool Patchface. While the other counselors wonder where Varys is, Tyrion takes his leave. He meets with many of the city’s smiths in his great hall, and asks them to stop forging armor and begin creating a giant chain. Several armorers complain, but Tyrion warns them that they will either forge a chain or wear one, the choice is theirs.
Tyrion then departs for Chataya's brothel, and there learns that in the Summer Isles, being a whore is considered an honor. Tyrion follows Alayaya upstairs, and she shows him a secret staircase in the back of her wardrobe. Tyrion follows it down a tunnel and meets Varys, who is in disguise. Tyrion will take a horse to the mansion where he is keeping Shae safe, but first he and Varys talk. Varys makes it known that some of the Queen’s spies are really his. Tyrion asks how Stannis learned of the Queen’s incest, and the Spider responds that perhaps he read a book or looked at bastards’ hair, as Lord Eddard and Jon Arryn had; or perhaps someone whispered it to him. Tyrion asks Varys if it was he, but Varys denies it, and when Tyrion names Littlefinger, the eunuch tells him, "I named no name." When Tyrion remarks he sometimes considers Varys his best friend, but at other times his worst enemy, the Spider tells him he feels much the same way about him.