A Game of Thrones-Chapter 35
|A Game of Thrones chapter|
|Page||317 (US bantam HC) US HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
Littlefinger leads Eddard to the brothel that Jon Arryn had visitied. He talks with girl with a daughter that has the look of King Robert. As they are returning to the Red Keep, they are intercepted by Jaime Lannister and about 20 of his men. Jaime asks about his brother, Tyrion. Eddard’s answer angers Jaime, but his threat of Eddard’s death causing his brother to be killed prevents him from killing Eddard. He has his men kill Eddard’s three men. Eddard’s leg is broken during the fight, and he looses conciousness.
Eddard finds Littlefinger in the brothel’s common room talking with an elegant woman with ink black skin, Heward is gambling removal of cloths with a wench with Jory Cassel watching. He tells them his business is done, and Littlefinger comes over asks if it his is businsess or the King’s, and continues by asking if, as the Hand of the King (who supposedly dreams the King’s dreams, speaks the king’s voice, …), he if he fucked… Eddard states he has had enough of his mockery and is no longer the King’s Hand. Outside it is raining as they mount up. As they ride the deserted streets, Littlefinger tells Eddard that he is considering buying the brothel, being much sounder investments than ships since they do not sink, and pirates pay good coin like everyone else. After a while Littlefinger quiets and they continue in silence.
Eddard remembers Lyanna telling him that Robert would never keep to one bed on the night when their father promised her to Robert. Eddard, who had held his bastard daughter, had assured her that he was a good man who would love her with all his heart. She had responded that you cannot change a man’s nature. Eddard had met the prostitute with Robert’s bastard daughter named Barra. The child resembles Robert, the girl telling him she had her nose and hair, which Eddard agrees; Eddard remembers that Robert’s first born had had the same hair, and this mother has light red hair. The girl asks that Eddard tell Robert how beautiful the daughter is, that she has not been with anyone else, and tell him she is waiting. Eddard vows that she and the child will be well cared for; Robert could swear undying love and forget it by evening. It is Eddard’s curse that he always kept his vows.
Eddard thinks about Jon Snow and wonders why if the gods frown on bastards, they give men such lust. Eddard then asks Littlefinger about Robert’s bastards. Littlefinger does not know exactly how many. There is Edric Storm, a boy he fathered and had to recognize because his mother was a Florent, cousin to the Lady Selyse, Lord Stannis’ wife. When the boy was born on Dragonstone, Stannis shipped the boy to Renly, and was currently in the care of Renly’s Castellan. There are also rumors that a servant maid at Casterly Rock had a pair of twins, which Cersei had killed. Eddard is surprised that Robert would have stood by and let it happen, the Robert he had known would not have, but this Robert seems good at shutting his eyes at what he did not want to see. Eddard then asks why Jon Arryn would suddenly take such an interest in Robert’s bastards. Littlefinger thinks that maybe Robert asked him to, then Littlefinger states that maybe Lord Arryn had to be silenced that for discovering Robert had bastards. Eddard thinks of Rhaegar Targaryen for the first time in years, and wonders if the Prince had frequented brothels; somehow he thought not.
Jory calls out, and immediately they are at least 10 Lannister guardsmen in front of them. He hears Wyl call and he can see more behind them. Littlefinger walks his horse forward and asks the meaning of this: Eddard is the Hand of the King. The Lannister line parts and Jaime Lannister rides through. Jaime states he is looking for his brother, asks Eddard if remembers Tyrion, and then mentioning that he apparently had some trouble on the road. Eddard tells him that Catelyn took Tyrion prisoner to answer for his crimes. This statement causes Littlefinger to groan in dismay. Jaime moves his horse forward and draws his sword, asking Eddard to show his steel, telling him he would butcher him, but would prefer a sword in his hand. He then tells Littlefinger he should leave if he did not want blood on his expensive cloths. Littlefinger leaves, promising he will bring the City Watch. The three Stark guardsmen have drawn swords, but it is 3 against 20, so Eddard states that if he dies, Catelyn will have Tyrion killed. Ser Jaime doesn’t want to chance it, and tells his men not to harm Ned, but in order to chasten him: kill his men. Eddard and his men battle the Lannister men as Jaime leaves. When Jory is back among the Lannisters, swinging his sword, Eddard screams for him to leave, Eddard’s horse slips, and falls. There is a blinding pain, from a broken leg.
When he opens his eyes again, Eddard drags himself forward. Littlefinger and Gold Cloaks find Eddard unconscious, cradling Jory’s dead body in his arms. He is returned in horrid pain to the Tower of the Hand, where Grand Maester Pycelle attends to his injury.