A Game of Thrones-Chapter 58
|A Game of Thrones chapter|
|Page||524 US HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
Ned has been imprisoned for quite some time, and is starving and feverish from his leg injury. Ned remembers when he was 18 at the Tourney at Harrenhal, when Rhaegar won the tourney. Ned remembers ‘the moment when all the smiles died’, as Rhaegar rode past his own wife and bestowed the queen of beauty’s laurel on Lyanna. It was a crown of winter roses. Varys finally comes to Ned in the guise he wore when Arya saw him beneath the Red Keep with Illyrio. Varys tells him that Arya escaped and that Tyrion is no longer a captive of Catelyn’s. When Ned tells Varys to slit his throat, the Spider replies that is the last thing he wants. Varys admits he serves the realm and was desperate to keep King Robert alive.
Varys also informs Ned that Lancel gave Robert the wine before he took on the boar, but it was Ned confronting Cersei that doomed Robert. Varys tells Ned that for all the enemies ranged against her,including his own son, the foe Cersei fears most is Stannis and that while her father battles the Starks and their allies, Stannis will descend on King's Landing, kill her and her children and proclaim himself king. Knowing that 'a tame wolf is more useful than a dead one' Cersei, according to Varys, is willing to make Ned a deal; if he bends the knee and admits his guilt, names Joffrey the true heir and commands Robb to lay down his arms, he will be allowed to take the black. Ned considers the thought of going to the Wall and being with Jon Snow, and ‘the thought of Jon filled Ned with a sense of shame, and a sorrow too deep for words’. Ned asks Varys if he is in league with Littlefinger, but Varys reveals that he feeds Baelish choice whispers so that he thinks Varys is his, just as he allows Cersei to believe he is hers. Ned is initially dismissive of the offer, not viewing his life worth sacrificing his honour for, but Varys warns Ned that if he does not admit his guilt to Cersei, his daughter’s life is at stake as much as his own.
- Summary and analyses of the chapter by Leigh Butler.
References and Notes
- The synopsis was copied from AOL member vbkorik27 previously at .