Chapter 54 Summary
Tyrion is on his way to meet Cersei for supper in her quarters when he meets Lord Varys, who arrives with the news that Brandon and Rickon Stark are dead. Tyrion offers to deliver the news to Cersei, who is not overly concerned until Tyrion tells her that it puts Jaime, who is held by Lady Catelyn Stark, at risk.
Everyone that Cersei cares about is at risk, however. Tyrion has sent her daughter, Myrcella, to Dorne. When Cersei tried to remove her youngest son, Tommen, from King's Landing, Tyrion intercepted the party and now his man, Ser Jacelyn Bywater, holds the young prince.
Now, Varys has told her that Tyrion means to separate Joffrey from Sandor Clegane. The Hound is to lead sorties in defense of the city when Stannis attacks. Joffrey is also to fight, although in less dangerous battles. Cersei, however, believes that Tyrion means to kill Joffrey so that he can rule through the more tractable Tommen. To stop him, she has captured Tyrion's whore and means to hold her as a hostage against Tyrion's good behavior.
Tyrion worries that she has found Shae, but it turns out that Cersei has found Alayaya, from whose quarters Tyrion leaves to visit Shae. Tyrion pretends to be cowed, and he warns her that "a day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you'll know the debt is paid."
He returns to his chambers, where he finds Shae waiting for him. She tells him that Varys brought her to the Tower of the Hand by way of a secret passage. Tyrion tries to find it but fails. After, he tries to make love to Shae but cannot.