The small council is meeting to discuss matters of state. The new members on the council are Kevan Lannister, Paxter Redwyne of the Arbor, Mathis Rowan of Goldengrove and Mace Tyrell of Highgarden. There’s also a new High Septon and Grand Maester Pycelle has been reinstated by Tywin Lannister.
Varys gives some reports on the fighting between Robb’s men and the Lannisters and Kevan informs them that Balon Greyjoy is seeking to make an alliance with the crown. If the Lannisters accept the alliance, they would have to recognize Greyjoy as the King of the Iron Isles and grant him the lands north of the Neck. The talk turns to what should be done concerning another holdout from crown, Lysa Arryn. Paxter and Mace are of the opinion that Lysa will cause no trouble and should be left alone, but Tyrion remembers how he was treated in the Eyrie and advocates for vengeance:
Tyrion’s hopes are dashed, however, when his father states that “Lord Petyr may hold the key to the key to the Eyrie.” Littlefinger agrees, stating crassly:
Some doubts are expressed by Lord Rowan and Cersei, but Littlefinger touts his suitability for the task by reminding them that he is now Lord of Harrenhal, and reassures them that he can control Lysa’s son, Robert Arryn, and make sure that the boy grows up as Joffrey’s most loyal subject. Tyrion realises that all of this has already been discussed before and that it’s a done deal. Still, he objects to the plan by mentioning LF’s job as Master of coin. It is then that Tywin reveals he wants Tyrion to take over that duty. Littlefinger is given permission to head to the Eyrie and plans on leaving the next day.
After this, Tywin advocates that the crown not trouble itself with making an alliance with Balon Greyjoy. Tyrion remembers his father busy writing letters, and wonders what he has in the works that makes him so confident they can ignore the kraken’s request. Discussion of the wedding arrangements follows, with the news that Doran Martell is planning on his way to KL with 300 Dornishmen to attend the wedding. Mace Tyrell is unhappy about this, but soon has reason to be pleased when Tywin awards Highgarden with the lands and castles of Lord Alester Florent, and his son Garlan is given Bridgewater Keep, along with its lands and incomes. Tyrion notes that Garlan is now transformed into a great Lord.
Varys next mentions that there have been reports of three headed dragons in Qarth, but this is quickly dismissed as mere fantasy. When the question of what to do with the gold cloak deserters comes up, Varys recommends that they be sent to the Wall to deal with some of the troubling news coming from that region, but Lord Tywin commands that their knees be broken as a lesson to others thinking of doing the same. Remembering the concerns of Lord Mormont, Tyrion suggests a compromise, but his words are not heeded.
The meeting concludes, and only the Lannisters remain to have a private meeting. Tyrion immediately complains about his appointment as Master of coin and warns his father about trusting Littlefinger. After a brief argument between him and Cersei, Kevan Lannister reveals about LF
Tyrion is intrigued that it was Littlefinger who brought word, and not Varys, but Cersei is simply shocked, stating:
Lord Tywin, asserting that he will not have the rose and the direwolf in bed together, reveals his plan to thwart the Tyrells by marrying Cersei off to Willas. Cersei is aghast at the proposal, but Kevan and Tywin maintain that it will be the best thing to stop the rumours about the incest that Stannis has been spreading. Tywin tells her:
Tyrion is gleeful about this idea for Cersei and notes the control his father has over Cersei even though she is queen. After Cersei storms from the room, Tywin turns to Tyrion and tells him that a wife is what he needs to get over his habit of whoring. Tyrion, although outwardly dismissive of the idea, thinks to himself:
He tells his father that he knows it is Sansa he is planning to wed him to, but goes on to insist that she is only a child. Tywin replies:
Kevan weighs in with a reminder that the man who is married to Sansa can claim Winterfell in her name, and then he and Tywin discuss Lancel and other Lannister relatives as possible options for Sansa. We read:
Tywin proceeds to tell Tyrion of all the high-born women he had tried to arrange a marriage with for him, but to no avail.
Tyrion gave a shudder of dismay. “I’d sooner cut it off and feed it to the goats.”
“Then open your eyes. The Stark girl is young, nubile, tractable, of the highest birth, and still a maid. She is not uncomely. Why would you hesitate?
Why indeed? “A quirk of mine. Strange to say, I would rather a wife who wants me in her bed.”
“If you think your whores want you in their bed, you are an even greater fool than I suspected.”
Tyrion asks his father why he hasn’t proposed Balon’s daughter as a marriage option, but Tywin makes known that he is expecting the Greyjoys to outlast their welcome in the North and that Tyrion returning home with Ned Stark’s grandson would ensure him the goodwill of the Northern people. He reiterates that Tyrion will never have Casterly Rock, but that he can have Winterfell.
At this point Tyrion accepts, but mentions Robb Stark as a possible obstacle in the plan. Tywin informs him that Robb has broken his promise to the Freys and has instead married a Westerling. Tyrion is suspicious that his father doesn’t seem more perturbed about this betrayal by the Westerlings. The chapter ends with Tywin promising:
ASOS – Sansa III
It is the day that Sansa’s new gown is to be ready for her to wear and her serving girls have carefully attended to her preparation, along with Cersei’s bedmaid, who has trimmed her nails and done her hair, and even brought scent for her to wear.
Sansa chose a sharp sweet fragrance with a hint of lemon in it under the smell of flowers. The maid dabbed some on her finger and touched Sansa behind each ear, and under her chin, and then lightly on her nipples.
Cersei arrives with the seamstress and Sansa’s notes that the gown is quite mature:
And it was a woman’s gown, not a little girl’s, there was no doubt about that. The bodice was slashed in front almost to her belly, the deep vee covered over with a panel of ornate Myrish lace in dove-grey. The skirts were long and full, the waist so tight that Sansa had to hold her breath as they laced her into it. They brought her new shoes as well, slippers of soft grey doeskin that hugged her feet like lovers.
Sansa is ecstatic about her appearance and thinks that Willas must love her when he sees her and that she’ll make sure he forgets about Winterfell. The queen recommends the moonstone gems given to Sansa by Joffrey and declares:
“Yes. The gods have been kind to you, Sansa. You are a lovely girl. It seems almost obscene to squander such sweet innocence on that gargoyle."
Sansa is immediately alarmed and wonders if Cersei could have found out about Willas.
No one knew, but her and Margaery and the Queen of Thorns … oh, and Dontos, but he didn’t count.
When she sees the cloak that Cersei has called for however, she knows that something has gone wrong. It is a maiden’s cloak – the one that a girl wears on her wedding day – and Sansa begins to protest. Cersei tells her:
You are a ward of the crown. The king stands in your father’s place, since your brother is an attainted traitor. That means he has every right to dispose of your hand. You are to marry my brother Tyrion.
Sansa realises the truth of Dontos’ words that people only want her for her claim. Cersei advises that she can cry if she wants to, because if it was her she would be pulling her hair out, but that ultimately Sansa has no say in the matter and that she can choose to come quietly like a lady or be forced to the altar. Sansa tries to run, but is quickly stopped by Cersei’s handmaid. Ser Meryn and Ser Osmund Kettleback are waiting on the outside to escort her down, and when Ser Osmund tells her that wolves are supposed to be brave, she calms herself:
Brave. Sansa took a deep breath. I am a Stark, yes, I can be brave. They were looking at her, the way they had looked at her that day in the yard when Ser Boros Blount had torn her clothes off. It had been the Imp who had saved her that day, the same man who was waiting for her now. He is not so bad as the rest of them, she told herself. “I’ll go.”
Waiting for her is Joffrey and he tells her that he’s her father today and touts his power over her to make her even marry a common pig boy or Ilyn Payne.
Her heart lurched. “Please Your Grace,” she begged. “If you ever loved me even a little bit, don’t make me marry your-”
Tyrion appears at this moment and apologizes for not having been able to tell her of the plans before now. He tells her that she can say whether she would prefer him or his cousin Lancel, the latter being better looking and closer to her age. But Sansa thinks:
I don’t want any Lannister, she wanted to say. I want Willas, I want Highgarden and the puppies and the barge, and sons named Eddard and Bran and Rickon. But then she remembered what Dontos had told her in the godswood. Tyrell or Lannister, it makes no matter, it’s not me they want, only my claim.
She tells Tyrion that she will do her duty as the king commands and they proceed inside the sept. She notices that none of the Tyrells are there. Miserable throughout the entire ceremony, she wonders that no one can see she is crying, but surmises that they probably don’t care. When it comes time for the cloak exchanges, Sansa decides not to bend down in order to make it easier for Tyrion to put the Lannister cloak around her:
No one had thought to bring a stool, however, and Tyrion stood a foot shorter than his bride. As he moved behind her Sansa felt a sharp tug on her skirt. He wants me to kneel, she realized, blushing. She was mortified. It was not supposed to be this way. She had dreamed of her wedding a thousand times, and always she had pictured how her betrothed would stand over her shoulders, and tenderly kiss her cheek as he leaned forward to fasten the clasp.
This memory hardens her resolve and finally Tyrion is made to stand on the back of Dontos to pin the cloak around her, whilst everyone laughs. She notices afterwards that Tyrion is embarrassed and feels ashamed of her behaviour. But when the High Septon pronounces them man and wife, we read:
She had to bite her lip to keep from sobbing.
When they enter the Small Hall for the wedding feast, Sansa spots the Tyrells. Marg gives her a sad look, but Lady Olenna and the cousins don’t even acknowledge her.
My friends, Sansa thought bitterly.
She dreads what will happen during the bedding, something that she once thought was exciting. The dancing begins and Joffrey and Margaery lead the couples on the floor. Sansa is longing to dance despite her unhappiness and when Garlan requests her hand she is grateful. He tells her that his wife is very worried about her, and also of how Willas came to give him his nickname “Garlan the Gallant.” The dance changes partners, and Sansa finds herself with Joffrey. He kisses her, and threatens that he can have her anytime he wants just like Aegon had many whores in the past.
Not surprisingly, Joffrey is the one to suggest the bedding commences, but Tyrion adamantly shuts down such actions by promises to geld his nephew. Tywin agrees that there is no need for a bedding, and Tyrion and Sansa proceed to their room, with Tyrion making rude jests:
“Come, wife, time to smash your portcullis. I want to play come-into-the-castle.”
In the bedroom, Sansa is terrified, but asks Tyrion if he wants her to undress or if he’ll do it himself. Telling her to call him Tyrion, he begins to muse on his first marriage to Tysha. Sansa inquires about the girl:
“Lady Tysha.” His mouth twisted. “Of House Silverfist. Their arms have one gold coin and a hundred silver, upon a bloody sheet. Ours was a very short marriage … as befits a very short man, I suppose.”
He learns that Sansa will be 13 when the moon turns, and is astonished at her young age, but still commits to the bedding. Sansa undresses with fear and trepidation:
Gooseprickles covered her arms and legs. She kept her eyes on the floor, too shy to look at him, but when she was done she glanced up and found him staring. There was hunger in his green eye, it seemed to her, and fury in the black. Sansa did not know which scared her more.
“You’re a child,” he said.
She covered her breasts with her hands. “I’ve flowered.”
“A child,” he repeated, “but I want you. Does that frighten you, Sansa?”
Trying to comfort her, Tyrion tells her that he can be kind to her despite being a Lannister and that with the lights off no worse than any other man; he’s like the Knight of Flowers. Sansa realises just how afraid he is:
He is as frightened as I am, Sansa realized. Perhaps that should have made her feel more kindly towards him, but it did not. All she felt was pity, and pity was death to desire. He was looking at her, waiting for her to say something, but all her words had withered. She could only stand there trembling.
Getting into bed after her, Tyrion touches her breast, but realises that Sansa is shivering and shuddering. At this, he removes his hand and promises not to touch her until she is ready for him. When Sansa tries to see some beauty in him, all she can see is his twisted and ugly body, with even his penis appearing disgusting.
It took all the courage that was in her to look in those mismatched eyes and say, “And if I never want you to, my lord?”
Tyrion replies bitterly:
“… that is why the gods made whores for imps like me.”
Edited by brashcandy, 13 March 2012 - 07:38 AM.