Tyrion II (SoS)
Tyrion ambushes Varys in his own chambers. He had waited until the eunuch was called to a meeting with Tywin to sneak in and wait for his return. This seems to be their first encounter since the battle. They exchange some court gossip that emphasizes how out of the loop Tyrion is now. Varys drops the hint of Mandon Moore's kin being back in the Vale if one turned over enough stones. He also tells him Boros Blount has been restored to the Kingsguard, confirms Pycelle is being restored to the Small Council though adds that it was the Conclave of maesters rather than one of his kin's influence, and lets Tyrion know the current state of Cersei and the Kettleblacks.
Tyrion asks Varys to bring Shae to him so he can say goodbye and send her away. After discussing the risks including some of the enemies Tyrion's made and who is spying on him Tyrion suggests bringing Shae to Varys's chambers. Tyrion makes a show of being casual on his way to consult with Varys. He stops to chat with Loras and watch a dog fight. He reaches Varys and finds Shae waiting. They have sex and he tries to send her away but she has other ideas. She wants her silks and jewels back, she wants to live in a manse and she wants to go to Joffery's wedding which she heard about from Symon Silver Tongue. She finally says she's content to be his whore and Tyrion agrees not to send her away. Afterwards he sends Pod to find Bronn and sends Bronn to find the singer.
Gods be good, he thought wearily as he watched the candle burn down and begin to gutter, how could I let this happen again, after Tysha? Am I as great a fool as my father thinks?
When the candle burned out, Tyrion disentangled himself and lit another.
She used to tease me about that, he remembered. I never thought to feed the fire, that had always been a servant’s task.
The eunuch was humming tunelessly to himself as he came through the door, dressed in flowing robes of peach-colored silk and smelling of lemons.
Renly's peach and the brothel the Peach come to mind. The lemons make me think of Dorne. No specific ideas though.
Varys seems to have a bit of a thing for tradition.
“Alas, I am quite dragonless. I suppose I could have dipped Pycelle in wildfire and set him ablaze. Would the Citadel have preferred that?”
“Well, it would have been more in keeping with tradition.”
“Is he? Oh dear. Still, the knights of the Kingsguard do serve for life, traditionally.
His beard was a trial to him; a tangle of yellow, white, and black hairs, patchy and coarse, it was seldom less than unsightly, but it did serve to conceal some of his face, and that was all to the good.
The good the bad and the Lannister?
He would have donned his chain of golden hands as well, if his father hadn’t stolen it while he lay dying.
If we're talking about the actual office of Hand, Tyrion is delusional. The necklace itself however was actually Tyrion's idea and Tywin did in fact take it. A preamble to Shae?
He’d sent the girl a necklace of silver and jade and a pair of matching bracelets by way of apology, but other than that…
Silver and jade equals Tysha and destruction? Why not send a book? Jewelry isn't exclusively a romantic gift but it has that connotation. His jealous reaction to Bronn sleeping with her makes me wonder. His immediate reaction was "She was learning to read" but his gift has no connection to that.
The Clothes and the Man
It doesn’t matter, he told himself as he waited for moonrise. Whatever you wear, you’re still a dwarf. You’ll never be as tall as that knight on the steps, him with his long straight legs and hard stomach and wide manly shoulders.
What does this say about all those fancy Lannister trappings? How about the whole of the society for that matter? Whatever you wear you're still just a man or a woman. This and the reference to him made me think of the Hound's sword speech.
“A knight’s a sword with a horse. The rest, the vows and the sacred oils and the lady’s favors, they’re silk ribbons tied round the sword. Maybe the sword’s prettier with ribbons hanging off it, but it will kill you just as dead. Well, bugger your ribbons, and shove your swords up your arses. I’m the same as you. The only difference is, I don’t lie about what I am. So kill me, but don’t call me a murderer while you stand there telling each other that your shit don’t stink. You hear me?”
It was strange to see the Knight of Flowers all in white when before he had always been as colorful as a rainbow.
Tyrion looked over his wardrobe, and chose a pair of tight satin breeches in Lannister crimson and his best doublet, the heavy black velvet with the lion’s head studs.
Tyrion stripped and dressed again, in simpler garb; black woolen breeches, an old white tunic, and a faded brown leather jerkin.
I looked for newborn/rebirth symbolism but what I saw was overwhelmingly adolescent insecurity. The tryst with Shae is even like teenagers sneaking out the window after the lights go out. His jealously of the knight on the stairs and Bronn seems like a significant regression from where he was last book even when compared to his choice of ugly guards for Shae. His scar and missing nose seem to have heightened his own insecurity about his body. Tywin's choice of "waddle" last chapter may play into that as well.
Tyrion wanted to travel to see the wonders of the East and was given a job instead. He got to travel and see a wonder of the West and was given a job again. Somehow though I doubt he made many political enemies in the drains at Casterly Rock. Now he seems to be back to his status as a man of leisure. We even see him reading again.
Tyrion climbed to the castle library and tried to distract himself with Beldecar’s History of the Rhoynish Wars, but he could hardly see the elephants for imagining Shae’s smile.
His status as a political outsider is clear. He can't even confirm who is going to be a member of the Small Council and needs to be informed about Boros being reinstated to the Kingsguard.
His two most significant interactions are with Varys and Shae. He seems to be seeing Varys's mask more clearly though not what's underneath. Varys has most of his typical tittering, smiling and laughing but it is now seen as slimy and his shudder is exaggerated-- or is Varys doing this intentionally? Maybe Tyrion is angry at him or feels
he's false? He sees that the chambers are too sparse
and notes the complete lack of papers. It is curious that we have no idea what Varys did during the battle and no one asks. I also would love to see how Varys reconciles to Tywin the verbatim transcripts he produces at Tyrion's trial and Tywin's ignorance of Shae until the trial if he is assigned to spy on Tyrion.
The Shae section struck me as her playing him far more than before both in previous reads and prior chapters. I think the Lollys comment may be behind it more than the text though. She really pulls out all the stops to try and go to that wedding. The focus is on what she wants not what Tyrion wants which shifts the Tyrion focus to what he fears and what he can't provide. He's powerless and not just to send her away.
After the last series of comments I can't not include the nose
Tyrion rubbed irritably at the scab. “Perhaps I should have a new one made of gold. What sort of nose would you suggest, Varys? One like yours, to smell out secrets? Or should I tell the goldsmith that I want my father’s nose?”
One possible implication is that Tyrion (and also Tywin) can't smell out secrets. The face is our identity. It is what we see in the mirror. This is almost adolescent musings on what I want to be when I grow up. He doesn't like who he is and wants to hide it behind his beard. He's missing a piece of his identity and what remains is scarred.