A Clash of Kings-Chapter 25
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Tyrion enters Cersei’s chambers to tell her that Stannis has landed, but is besieging Storm's End and will soon battle his brother Renly. Cersei is overjoyed by the news, and even hugs Tyrion. Tyrion proposes a toast and slips some powder into her glass. The next day, the Queen is sick, and Tyrion is able to treat with Ser Cleos and take care of court business without her interference. As Tyrion presides as Hand in the courtroom, we learn for the first time that Tyrion’s cousin Tyrek has wed the infant Lady Ermesande, and is being mocked as "Wet Nurse". Tyrion’s counter-terms put forth to his cousin Ser Cleos are equally absurd as Robb’s were, and Tyrion does not reveal to Ser Cleos that they do not have Arya captive, as the northeners seem to think. He does send Eddard’s bones back to Catelyn and Robb however. Tyrion then commands Vylarr to accompany Ser Cleos to Riverrun as an honor guard, getting rid of one of his sister’s men. As court is about to be adjourned, Ser Alliser comes forth, but the severed hand of Jafer Flowers has rotted away, and he is mocked. Still, Tyrion hears a ring of truth in Thorne’s word of wights, and allows him the pick of the city dungeons.
Littlefinger then confronts Tyrion, angry he had been lied to about Myrcella being promised to Robert Arryn, when she is instead to be sent off to wed Trystane Martell. Littlefinger warns Tyrion, "Leave me out of your next deception", and Tyrion thinks to himself, only if you’ll do the same for me. Varys then speaks to Tyrion, aware of the Hand’s planned attempt to free his brother by sending four thieves with Ser Cleos’ party.
At midnight, Tyrion invades Grand Maester Pycelle’s solar with Timett and Shagga. They find a young serving girl in the Grand Maester’s bed, and send her away. Pycelle pleads with Tyrion that he never deceived him, that he is a true servant. He tries to place the blame on Varys, and then Littlefinger, but Tyrion reveals that his ruse was designed to expose one of them as a traitor, and it was Pycelle who told Cersei his plan to send Myrcella to Prince Doran. Tyrion has Shagga chop off Pycelle’s beard, and threatens to unman him. Pycelle reveals it was he who advised King Aerys to open the gates for Lord Tywin’s army, and how he had hoped Tywin would become king.
Tyrion then asks him how many he has betrayed: Aerys, Eddard Stark, himself, King Robert, Jon Arryn, Prince Rhaegar? Pycelle pleads that Robert was a wretched king, that Renly was plotting to bring Mace Tyrell’s daughter to court and have Cersei supplanted as Queen. Tyrion asks what Lord Arryn had been plotting, and Pycelle explains that Jon Arryn knew of Cersei’s incest. Pycelle also knew that Lord Jon planned to send his wife back to the Eyrie, his son to foster on Dragonstone, and that he meant to act on his knowledge. Under duress, Pycelle finally leaks that the Queen needed Jon Arryn dead, although she had not said as much because Varys is always listening. But Pycelle swears he did not administer the poison, that he had only prevented Maester Colemon from healing Lord Arryn. The Grand Maester believes Ser Hugh gave Jon Arryn the poison, and that Cersei and Varys can confirm that. When Tyrion tells Shagga to bring the maester to the black cells and imprison him, Pycelle pleads that all he’s done has been for the Lannisters. Tyrion is concerned, because he had hoped to trust Pycelle, for Varys and Littlefinger were far less loyal and far, far more dangerous in their subtlety. He wonders whether his father’s way would have been better: to summon Ilyn Payne, mount all three of their heads above the gates, and have done with it.