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Tyrion lapsed back into moody silence.

Sansa heard the distant clank of chains from outside; the

portcullis was being drawn up. A moment later there was a shout, and their litter swayed into
motion. Deprived of the passing scenery, she chose to stare at her folded hands, uncomfortably
aware of her husands mismatched eyes. Why is he looking at me that way?
You loved your brothers, much as I love Jaime.
Is this some Lannister trap to make me speak treason? My brothers were traitors, and they
ve gone to traitors graves. It is treason to love a traitor.
Her little husband snorted. Robb rose in arms against his rightful king. By law, that made
him a traitor. The others died too young to know what treason was. He rubbed his nose.
Sansa, do you know what happened to Bran at Winterfell?
Bran fell. He was always climbing things, and finally he fell. We always feared he would.
And Theon Greyjoy killed him, but that was later.
Theon Grey-joy. Tyrion sighed. Your lady mother once accused me . . . well, I will not
burden you with the ugly details. She accused me falsely. I never harmed your brother Bran. And I
mean no harm to you.
What does he want me to say? That is good to know, my lord. He wanted something
from her, but Sansa did not know what it was. He looks like a starving child, but I have no food to
give him. Why wont he leave me be?
Tyrion rubbed at his scarred, scabby nose yet again, an ugly habit that drew the eye to his
ugly face. You have never asked me how Robb died, or your lady mother.
I . . . would sooner not know. It would give me bad dreams.
Then I will say no more.
That . . . thats kind of you.
Oh, yes, said Tyrion. I am the very soul of kindness. And I know about bad dreams.
The new crown that his father had given the Faith stood twice as tall as the one the mob had
smashed, a glory of crystal and spun gold. Rainbow light flashed and shimmered every time the
High Septon moved his head, but Tyrion had to wonder how the man could bear the weight. And
even he had to concede that Joffrey and Margaery made a regal couple, as they stood
side-by-side between the towering gilded statues of the Father and the Mother.
The bride was lovely in ivory silk and Myrish lace, her skirts decorated with floral patterns
picked out in seed pearls. As Renlys widow, she might have worn the Baratheon colors, gold and
black, yet she came to them a Tyrell, in a maidens cloak made of a hundred cloth-of-gold roses
sewn to green velvet. He wondered if she really was a maiden. Not that Joffrey is like to know the
The king looked near as splendid as his bride, in his doublet of dusky rose, beneath a cloak
of deep crimson velvet blazoned with his stag and lion. The crown rested easily on his curls, gold
on gold. I saved that bloody crown for him. Tyrion shifted his weight uncomfortably from one foot
to the other. He could not stand still. Too much wine. He should have thought to relieve himself
before they set out from the Red Keep. The sleepless night hed spent with Shae was making
itself felt too, but most of all he wanted to strangle his bloody royal nephew.
I am no stranger to Valyrian steel, the boy had boasted. The septons were always going on
about how the Father Above judges us all. If the Father would be so good as to topple over and
crush loff like a dung beetle, I might even believe it.
He ought to have seen it long ago. Jaime would never send another man to do his killing,
and Cersei was too cunning to use a knife that could be traced back to her, but Joff, arrogant
vicious stupid little wretch that he was . . .
He remembered a cold morning when hed climbed down the steep exterior steps from
Winterfells library to find Prince Joffrey jesting with the Hound about killing wolves. Send a dog
to kill a wolf, he said. Even Joffrey was not so foolish as to command Sandor Clegane to slay a son
of Eddard Stark, however; the Hound would have gone to Cersei. Instead the boy found his
catspaw among the unsavory lot of freeriders, merchants, and camp followers whod attached
themselves to the kings party as they made their way north. Some poxy lackwit willing to risk his
life for a princes favor and a little coin. Tyrion wondered whose idea it had been to wait until
Robert left Winterfell before opening Brans throat. loffs, most like. No doubt he thought it was
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