Mithras Posted January 30, 2014 Share Posted January 30, 2014 Queen Regent - Queen Cersei LannisterHand of the King - Ser Harys SwyftGrand Maester - PycelleMaster of Coin and Lord Treasurer - Lord Gyles RosbyMaster of Laws and Justiciar - Lord Orton MerryweatherMaster of Ships and Grand Admiral - Aurane WatersMaster of Whisperers - QyburnLord Commander of the Kingsguard - Ser Jaime Lannister This is Cersei's original council. In order to decipher who serves who, we must look very carefully. “He was an old done man, Your Grace.” Qyburn smiled at Pycelle. “His passing should not have surprised us. No man can ask for more than to die peacefully in his sleep, full of years.” Pycelle and Qyburn despise each other. “Might we discuss the fleet?” asked Aurane Waters. “Fewer than a dozen of our ships survived the inferno on the Blackwater. We must needs restore our strength at sea.”Merryweather nodded. “Strength at sea is most essential.”“Could we make use of the ironmen?” asked Orton Merryweather. “The enemy of our enemy? What would the Seastone Chair want of us as the price of an alliance?”“They want the north,” Grand Maester Pycelle said, “which our queen’s noble father promised to House Bolton.”“How inconvenient,” said Merryweather. “Still, the north is large. The lands could be divided. It need not be a permanent arrangement. Bolton might consent, so long as we assure him that our strength will be his once Stannis is destroyed.” Aurane Waters wants these ships for his own purposes. Orton Merryweather agrees and sugggests an alliance with the Ironmen. Such an alliance is extremely dangerous to the IT because fighting the ironborn raises your status not befriending them. Besides, this alliance will break Lannister/Bolton alliance and make sure that the IT will lose the North completely. I conclude that Orton Merryweather is certainly not working for the Lannister cause. In fact, he is trying to break it subtly. “Though large, the crown incomes are not large enough to keep abreast of Robert’s debts. Accordingly, I have decided to defer our repayment of the sums owed the Holy Faith and the Iron Bank of Braavos until war’s end.” The new High Septon would doubtless wring his holy hands, and the Braavosi would squeak and squawk at her, but what of it? “The monies saved will be used for the building of our new fleet.”“Your Grace is prudent,” said Lord Merryweather. “This is a wise measure. And needed, until the war is done. I concur.”“And I,” said Ser Harys.“Your Grace,” Pycelle said in a quavering voice, “this will cause more trouble than you know, I fear. The Iron Bank...”“...remains on Braavos, far across the sea. They shall have their gold, maester. A Lannister pays his debts.”“The Braavosi have a saying too.” Pycelle’s jeweled chain clinked softly. “The Iron Bank will have its due, they say.” Cersei stupidly decides to delay the repayments to IB. Merryweather agrees strongly. Note that this guy was exiled to the Free Cities and has a Myrish wife. He knows better than anyone there what it means to delay the repayments to the IB. As stated previously, he is trying to drive Cersei into more follies. Pycelle objects this notion of Cersei. Pycelle is the most loyal Lannister pet and he kept that until the bitter end. Harys Swyft is dumb as a stump. He has no understanding of any schemes, court intrigues etc. We can safely say that Pycelle works for Lannisters, Meryweather (a man from the Reach) works to destroy the Lannisters and Harys Swyft is a dumb Lannister man. I am thinking of the friends of the GC in the Reach, Orton's exile to the Free Cities and his Myrish wife who works as a spy. “A little spittle on Lord Walder’s tomb is not like to disturb the grave worms,” Qyburn agreed, “but it would also be useful if someone were to be punished for the Red Wedding. A few Frey heads would do much to mollify the north.” Here Qyburn offered to punish some Freys to send a message to the Realm. No one agreed to this. This seems as a good advice but all the realm know that Lannisters backed Freys in the Red Wedding. Hacking some Frey heads do not change anything in the heart of the people but it breaks the Lannister-Frey alliance. Hence, I believe Qyburn also works to destroy the Lannisters. We are not sure yet whether he and Orton are working in the same team. “Whilst we await Lord Walder’s death, there is another matter,” said Aurane Waters. “The Golden Company has broken its contract with Myr. Around the docks I’ve heard men say that Lord Stannis has hired them and is bringing them across the sea.”“What would he pay them with?” asked Merryweather. “Snow? They are called the Golden Company. How much gold does Stannis have?”“Little enough,” Cersei assured him. “Lord Qyburn has spoken to the crew of that Myrish galley in the bay. They claim the Golden Company is making for Volantis. If they mean to cross to Westeros, they are marching in the wrong direction.”“Perhaps they grew weary of fighting on the losing side,” suggested Lord Merryweather.“There is that as well,” agreed the queen. “Only a blind man could fail to see our war is all but won. Lord Tyrell has Storm’s End invested. Riverrun is besieged by the Freys and my cousin Daven, our new Warden of the West. Lord Redwyne’s ships have passed through the Straits of Tarth and are moving swiftly up the coast. Only a few fishing boats remain on Dragonstone to oppose Redwyne’s landing. The castle may hold for some time, but once we have the port we can cut the garrison off from the sea. Then only Stannis himself will remain to vex us.”“If Lord Janos can be believed, he is trying to make common cause with the wildlings,” warned Grand Maester Pycelle.“Savages in skins,” declared Lord Merryweather. “Lord Stannis must be desperate indeed, to seek such allies.”“Desperate and foolish,” the queen agreed. “The northmen hate the wildlings. Roose Bolton should have no trouble winning them to our cause. A few have already joined up with his bastard son to help him clear the wretched ironmen from Moat Cailin and clear the way for Lord Bolton to return. Umber, Ryswell... I forget the other names. Even White Harbor is on the point of joining us. Its lord has agreed to marry both his granddaughters to our friends of Frey and open his port to our ships.”“I thought we had no ships,” Ser Harys said, confused.“Wyman Manderly was a loyal bannerman to Eddard Stark,” said Grand Maester Pycelle. “Can such a man be trusted?No one can be trusted. “He’s a fat old man, and frightened. However, he is proving stubborn on one point. He insists that he will not bend the knee until his heir has been returned to him.” There are many important points here. Aurane Waters hears that GC broke contract with Myr and hired by Stannis. The first part is true and the part about Stannis is wrong. Or he is lying about that. What does he gain by provoking Cersei against Stannis? Currently Stannis holds Storm's End and Dragonstone. Does Waters desire Dragonstone for himself? Or does he desire it only to give as a gift to Dany when she returns? Because he has heard the talks about the dragons too. “One last thing, Your Grace,” said Aurane Waters, in an apologetic tone. “I hesitate to take up the council’s time with trifles, but there has been some queer talk heard along the docks of late. Sailors from the east. They speak of dragons...” OTOH, Orton Merryweather tries to make Cersei ignore Stannis by humiliating and underestimating him. And he gives a very intriguing remark about the GC. The GC (and the Blackfyres of course) are certainly grew weary of fighting on the losing side. Now they are playing a different game engineered by Varys, which is very sucessful for the time being. That gives another evidence for Orton's true allegiance. Cersei is right about one thing though. She says no one can be trusted. But the funny thing is that she trust every person in the council except Pycelle, who is the only loyal man of Lannisters (save the dumb Harys Swyft). Pycelle is right to question the loyalty of Manderlys to Starks. But Cersei does not pay attention. “Will not Lord Stannis seek to win the allegiance of White Harbor as well?” asked Grand Maester Pycelle.“Oh, he has tried. Lord Manderly has sent his letters on to us and replied with evasions. Stannis demands White Harbor’s swords and silver, for which he offers... well, nothing.” One day she must light a candle to the Stranger for carrying Renly off and leaving Stannis. If it had been the other way around, her life would have been harder. “Just this morning there was another bird. Stannis has sent his onion smuggler to treat with White Harbor on his behalf. Manderly has clapped the wretch inside a cell. He asks us what he should do with him.”“Send him here, that we might question him,” suggested Lord Merryweather. “The man might know much of value.”“Let him die,” said Qyburn. “His death will be a lesson to the north, to show them what becomes of traitors.”“I quite agree,” the queen said. “I have instructed Lord Manderly to have his head off forthwith. That should put an end to any chance of White Harbor supporting Stannis.” Merryweather suggests to summon Davos to KL and question him. This is the best thing to do for Cersei and for team fAegon too. But Qyburn opposes this idea. So if Qyburn does not work for Lannisters nor team fAegon as we have seen, who does he work for? Qyburn offers to send 100 men to the NW to show King Tommen's care for the realm but their secret duty will be to assassinate Jon. He offers to deal with all the details but I dont remember so many men coming to the Wall. Did he do nothing? Petyr had once remarked that the horn of plenty that adorned House Merryweather’s arms suited Lord Orton admirably, since he had carrot-colored hair, a nose as bulbous as a beetroot, and pease porridge for wits.Taena laughed. “My lord is more bountiful than dangerous, this is so. Yet... I hope Your Grace will not think the less of me, but I did not come a maid entire to Orton’s bed.”You are all whores in the Free Cities, aren’t you? That was good to know; one day, she might be able to make use of it. “And pray, who was this lover who was so... full of danger?”Taena’s olive skin turned even darker as she blushed. “Oh, I should not have spoken. Your Grace will keep my secret, yes?”“Men have scars, women mysteries.” Cersei kissed her cheek. I will have his name out of you soon enough. Orton is not without wits. Did Petyr take the maidenhead of Taena? Is he talking about the horns Taena gave to Orton? The Grand Maester had been especially querulous in council of late. At the last session he had complained bitterly about the men that Aurane Waters had chosen to captain her new dromonds. Waters meant to give the ships to younger men, whilst Pycelle argued for experience, insisting that the commands should go to those captains who had survived the fires of the Blackwater. “Seasoned men of proven loyalty,” he called them. Cersei called them old, and sided with Lord Waters. “The only thing these captains proved was that they know how to swim,” she’d said. “No mother should outlive her children, and no captain should outlive his ship.” Pycelle had taken the rebuke with ill grace. Pycelle looks annoying to Cersei because she is ruining everything Tywin did with her council of traitors and clearly Pycelle is aware of that. Aurane Waters objected to taking loyal survivors of Blakcwater to his ships. He clearly has it in mind to betray so he fills the ships with his own men. When she entered her solar, Cersei found Lord Qyburn reading in a window seat. “If it please Your Grace, I have reports.”“More plots and treasons?” Cersei asked. “I have had a long and tiring day. Tell me quickly.”He smiled sympathetically. “As you wish. There is talk that the Archon of Tyrosh has offered terms to Lys, to end their present trade war. It had been rumored that Myr was about to enter the war on the Tyroshi side, but without the Golden Company the Myrish did not believe they...”“What the Myrish believe does not concern me.” The Free Cities were always fighting one another. Their endless betrayals and alliances meant little and less to Westeros. “Do you have any news of more import?”“The slave revolt in Astapor has spread to Meereen, it would seem. Sailors off a dozen ships speak of dragons...”“Harpies. It is harpies in Meereen.” She remembered that from somewhere. Meereen was at the far end of the world, out east beyond Valyria. “Let the slaves revolt. Why should I care? We keep no slaves in Westeros. Is that all you have for me?”“There is some news from Dorne that Your Grace may find of more interest. Prince Doran has imprisoned Ser Daemon Sand, a bastard who once squired for the Red Viper.”“I recall him.” Ser Daemon had been amongst the Dornish knights who had accompanied Prince Oberyn to King’s Landing. “What did he do?”“He demanded that Prince Oberyn’s daughters be set free.”“More fool him.”“Also,” Lord Qyburn said, “the daughter of the Knight of Spottswood was betrothed quite unexpectedly to Lord Estermont, our friends in Dorne inform us. She was sent to Greenstone that very night, and it is said she and Estermont have already wed.”“A bastard in the belly would explain that.” Cersei toyed with a lock of her hair. “How old is the blushing bride?”“Three-and-twenty, Your Grace. Whereas Lord Estermont—”“—must be seventy. I am aware of that.”“Eldon Estermont has taken a wife fifty years his junior,” she said to Qyburn. “Why should that concern me?”He shrugged. “I do not say it should... but Daemon Sand and this Santagar girl were both close to Prince Doran’s own daughter, Arianne, or so the Dornishmen would have us believe. Perhaps it means little or less, but I thought Your Grace should know.”“Now I do.” She was losing patience. There are many truths here but only half truths which are meant to hide more than they revealed. Does Qyburn work for Doran? After Euron takes the Shield Islands, there is another council meeting. “Stannis may have had a hand in this. Balon Greyjoy offered my lord father an alliance. Perhaps his son has offered one to Stannis.”Pycelle frowned. “What would Lord Stannis gain by...”“He gains another foothold. And plunder, that as well. Stannis needs gold to pay his sellswords. By raiding in the west, he hopes he can distract us from Dragonstone and Storm’s End.”Lord Merryweather nodded. “A diversion. Stannis is more cunning than we knew. Your Grace is clever to have seen through his ploy.”“Lord Stannis is striving to win the northmen to his cause,” said Pycelle. “If he befriends the ironborn, he cannot hope...”“The northmen will not have him,” said Cersei, wondering how such a learned man could be so stupid. “Lord Manderly hacked the head and hands off the onion knight, we have that from the Freys, and half a dozen other northern lords have rallied to Lord Bolton. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Where else can Stannis turn, but to the ironmen and the wildlings, the enemies of the north? But if he thinks that I am going to walk into his trap, he is a bigger fool than you.” Pycelle tries to show Cersei the right way but she has her paranoias about Stannis. Orton Merryweather (who was throwing shits to Stannis last time) now says Stannis is cunning and praises Cersei's cleverness. Of course there is no cleverness, she is dumb as a stump. The Tyrells wants to lift the siege and summon the Redwyne Fleet and Tyrell army to defend the Reach against the ironborn. Interestingly, Aurane Waters objects to that. Aurane Waters bristled at Ser Loras’s suggestion. “If Lord Redwyne sails his ships away, how are we to supply our men on Dragonstone? Without the Arbor’s galleys, how will we maintain the siege of Storm’s End?” The big picture looks like this: Queen Regent - Queen Cersei Lannister - DumbHand of the King - Ser Harys Swyft - DumberGrand Maester - Pycelle - The one and only Lannister petMaster of Coin and Lord Treasurer - Lord Gyles Rosby - DeadMaster of Laws and Justiciar - Lord Orton Merryweather - Team fAegon (we still have friends in the Reach)Master of Ships and Grand Admiral - Aurane Waters - not in the Team fAegon nor in team Doran, he has his own mind (perhaps he is getting prepared for Dany)Master of Whisperers - Qyburn - This one is a mystery. Certainly not in Team Lannister. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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