A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 2) Chapter 20 Summary

George R. R. Martin

Chapter 20 Summary

Tyrion has dressed warmly to visit the alchemists beneath the castle. They once were a prestigious guild but now have been all but supplanted by the maesters of the Citadel. The alchemists hint at secret powers but they now only make wildfire, which they refer to as the "substance." Though Tyrion does not feel safe around so flammable a concoction, he intends to use it to defend King's Landing. When he leaves the guild, he finds Bronn, who has two messages for him. The first is from Ser Jacelyn Bywater. Ser Cleos Frey has arrived with Robb Stark's terms for peace. Though they are too much for Tyrion, he sees in them the potential to delay Robb Stark so that the Lannisters can train their second army in preparation for Renly and Stannis. The second message is a summons from Cersei. She has learned that Tyrion plans to send Myrcella to Dorne and is outraged. Tyrion convinces her that Myrcella will be safer there. Cersei is distressed and wishes that she had been born a man so that she would not have to wait on the men around her. Tyrion explains that each day that passes makes Robb Stark weaker and the Lannisters stronger. In the meantime, he knows which of the three members of the small council is Cersei's informer.