A Game of Thrones-Chapter 57
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Sansa is in attendance for Joffrey’s first court session. First there is an announcement for the lords that are to appear to pledge fealty, including her family. Sansa is surprised that her sister is on the list. Next Janos Slynt (Commander of the City Watch of King's Landing) be raised to lord of Harrenhal and put on the Small Council. Then Ser Barristan Selmy is dismissed from the Kingsguard, which is something unheard of. He storms out of the throne room. In his place, The Hound is the made a member of the Kingsguard. Finally Sansa comes forward to ask for leniency for her father. This is granted if he admits his guilt.
She attends King Joffrey’s first court session in a Throne room that has now had all the hunting tapestries that King Robert loved taken down. When she enters there are already two of the Kingsguard in the throne room. Sansa notes that there are no small folk, and so many missing with no more than 20 lords in the gallery where there used to be 100. Of the people she knew, nobody would meet her eyes. Joffrey, and Cersei with four more of the Kingsguard enter after being announced by a herald.
Joffery stating that it is the king’s duty to punish the disloyal and reward the loyal and asks Grand Maester Pycelle to read his decree. The list of the disloyal that need to present themselves and swear fealty goes on for a long time with muttering being heard from the gallery. Finally, the names of her mother and Sansa’s siblings, including Arya Stark, are announced. The last name means that Arya must be safe in Winterfell. Then it is announced that Tywin Lannister take up as Hand of the King, Cersie Lannister be seated on the Small Council in place of Stannis Baratheon, and that Janos Slynt (Commander of the City Watch of King's Landing) be raised to lord of Harrenhal and take a seat on the Small Council. Janos Slynt then enters with an increase in angry mutterings for the lords with his two ugly sons to take a seat at the council table. Finally Pycelle states that the council considers the safety of King Joffrey of paramount importance and looks at the queen.
Cersei stands and asks Ser Barristan Selmy to stand forth and it is Janos Slynt that finally announces that he has been relieved of command of the Kingsguard. This is a stunning pronouncement since the Kingsguard is for life; Ser Barristan is stunned. Jeffrey states accusingly from the throne that he let his father die and is too old. Ser Barristan recounts how he had given up everything, including claim to the ancestral keep and a girl, to be a member of the Kingsguard, and his history as a member of the Kingsguard protecting the kings of the realm. Littlefinger notes that they are all dead. Then Cersei states that his time is done and he needs young and strong men around him, and that Jaime Lannister to take his place. Ser Barristan is flabbergasted that a man that a man that had killed the man he had sworn to protect would be the commander. Then Varys tells him that he will be granted a hall, gold, and men; Ser Barristan responds that they are giving him a hall to die in and men to bury him. He removes his removes his cloak and armor, dropping them on the floor, stating he will die a knight. Littlefinger quips “A naked knight, it would seem,” which raises laughs form the hall, including the Kingsguard. He draws his sword, which immediately draws a gasp, stating they should have no fear, but he could still cut down the other five Kingsguard. He then tells the other Kingsguard that they don’t deserve to wear the white cloaks if they are willing to serve under command of the Kingslayer. He then throws his sword at the foot of the Iron Throne, calling Jeffrey a boy as he tells him he can add it to the others. Then he tells him that perhaps Lord Stannis will sit on it when he takes your throne. He leaves taking the long way.
Joffrey is incensed at being called boy and he talked about his uncle Stannis. Jeffory orders him seized and questioned. Finally Janos Slynt announces that his Gold Cloaks will see to it. It is now announced by Cersei that the Hound will be the new member of the Kingsguard. Joffery asks Sandor what he thinks about that, and he states why not since he has no lands or wife to forsake, but he will say not knight’s vows. Ser Boros states that members of the Kingsguard are supposed to be sworn knights, and Sandor responds that is true till now.
The time has finally come for Sansa as she hears the herald ask for any further business. Sansa nerviously comes forward thinking that she must be as strong as her lady mother. She calls out, and Joffrey, seeing her first, tells her to come forward, which emboldens her. She begs for mercy for her father. The Cersei tells Sansa that she disappoints her. Varys tells the others that she is only a child and does not know what she asks. Joffrey tells the others to let her speak. The Small Council question her about Eddard’s treason, and she knows better than to deny it. Instead she tells them that others must have lied to him, and that he called him traitor because of the pain from his broken leg and the Milk of the poppy. Joffrey calls for his mother, who states that if Lord Eddard confesses his crime, then they will know he had repented. Sansa is praying that her Joffrey be as kind and noble as she believes he is. Joffrey agrees if Eddard admits his guilt and swears fealty he will be granted mercy. Sansa is sure he will.