Chapter 49 Summary
Tyrion prepares for Stannis's attack on King's Landing. He sends the last of his clansmen out of the city to harass Stannis's lines. Now he only has the City Watch and Bronn's sellswords. He tells Bronn that the sellswords might earn a knighthood if they acquit themselves well. The men will kill for a knighthood, but Bronn warns that they will not die for it. The City Watch is just as unreliable; if the battle goes badly, they will break. As Tyrion disperses his strength, Cersei gathers more to her. She has appointed two men to the Kingsguard: Ser Balon Swann and Ser Osmund Kettleblack. Tyrion approves of Swann, the son of an old house, but Kettleblack is a only a step removed from a hedge knight. Still, they can hardly do worse than Ser Boros Blount, who has been stripped of his whitecloak and now resides in the dungeons after losing control of Prince Tommen (to Tyrion's men) without a fight. Fortunately, Tyrion has already been paying the Kettleblacks to report on his sister. He also placed the new High Septon, who Tyrion commands to warn the smallfolk of the danger Stannis poses to their gods. The pyromancers have progressed in their production of wildfire, and they explain that the spells they use to make the substance seem to work better than they used to. Hallyne speculates that if dragons have been born into the world again, it would explain why magic seems to be returning. Tyrion has no time for magic and turns his attention to his correspondence. Balon Greyjoy, who styles himself King of the Isles and the North, proposes that Joffrey send envoys to treat with him. Varys, meanwhile, reports that many of the wealthy men in the city have formed a group known as the "Antler Men," and they plan to open the city's gates for Stannis. Tyrion has arranged for Shae to be brought into the castle as a handmaid, but she is not happy to abandon her jewels and silks in order to become a servant girl.