[Re-Read] A Clash of Kings – Tyrion VII


Summary:

a-clash-of-kings

Podrick wakes up Tyrion and informs him that Lancel is waiting to see him. Lancel is there on behalf of Cersei to demand the release of Grand Maester Pycelle. Ser Jacelyn has already refused her, and she wants him removed from his post. Lancel acts defiant until Tyrion brings up his part in Robert’s death and the fact that Cersei is bedding him, a tidbit recently learned from Varys. Tyrion threatens to tell Joffrey that Lancel killed his father to bed his mother, and a terrified Lancel begs for mercy. Tyrion tells him to continue staying close to Cersei but to report to him everything she does. Lancel promises he will. Tyrion also warns him not to get the queen with child, and he reveals that he spills his seed on her belly. Tyrion promises to release Pycelle, but states that his days on the small council are over. As to Ser Jacelyn, he tells Lancel to convince Cersei that he can win over the commander with time, so as to forestall a move by her. Deciding he will not be able to sleep again, Tyrion summons Bronn and rides to Chataya’s brothel. Alayaya is occupied at the moment, so he waits while Chataya summons her. As he waits, another whore, Dancy, tries to entice him, but he rebuffs her. Alayaya leads him to the turret room so he can go to see Shae, while explaining that Dancy has a fortnight to get Tyrion to choose her or she will lose a bet with another whore, Marei. When he arrives at the manse, Tyrion goes to Shae’s chambers and pleasures her. He realizes he loves her.

Source

Commentary:

This is a fairly short and uneventful chapter. Tyrion bullies Lancel into changing loyalties and Lancel being the beacon and bastion of courage that he is, wilts in less than five minutes flat and caves. Tyrion then goes to Shae and falls deeper in love and seals his own fate all the tighter for it. Still, there are couple of niggling points that we could talk about.

“Have you given any thought to what Joffrey will do when I tell him you murdered his father to bed his mother?”

Wouldn’t that be a fun little conversation? I wonder if Cersei would be spared Joffrey’s anger; in the novels their conflicts are not open knowledge, nor do we get to see them first-hand but if the show is any indication, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cersei is treated rather harshly for her ‘crime’. Having said that though, is it a crime under Westeros’ archaic laws for a widow to have sex with someone? Sure it would be a little awkward if Cersei suddenly got pregnant with a bastard but is it a crime per se? Not that it would matter in that case – Joffrey would make it a crime soon enough, I think.

“Cersei can keep him as a pet or send him to the Wall, I don’t care which, but I won’t have him on the council.”

I think Cersei would be as happy as Tyrion to have Pycelle off the counsel. Pycelle’s advice isn’t always useless but it’s just that it’s not worth having to endure Pycelle himself. Still, this whole chapter does raise a question of just how much authority Tyrion himself has and who ranks higher between Cersei and Tyrion. Common sense would indicate that Cersei, as queen regent has more authority, but between her being a woman, Joffrey being alive and well and Tyrion being Hand (which is almost on the same level as a regent, I would think, perhaps a short rung lower), I would say that it’s a closer contest than it would be in more stable eras.

“With King Robert dead, it would be most embarrassing should his grieving widow suddenly grow great with child.”

This is interesting on two counts. First, it foreshadows the possibility of Cersei’s pregnancy (it’s just a theory, but one that we’ll consider when we get to AFFC) and the furore that follows when the Kettleblacks confess to having sex with the queen (I guess that answers my previous question of the legality of having consensual sex with the queen). It only reminded me of the whole Margaery adultery plotline which reeked of stupidity then and continues to do so.

Tyrion had wanted no handsome young guardsmen loitering about Shae day after day.

Wow, he really trusts her, doesn’t he? As you might know, I hate the Tyrion-Shae relationship from the bottom of my heart. It’s painful, it ruins my favourite character but it is also very, very real. Tyrion’s jealousy here is a more subtle indication (although, we’re well past subtle indications at this point) that he is falling for her, if he hasn’t already. In fact, based on a few of his lines in this chapter, I’m beginning to suspect that he’s letting it all get to his head and has lost sight of how fickle the power he holds is. Well, regardless, his fun times as Hand won’t last very long; soon things are going to get out of hand.

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