Chapter 25 Summary
Eddard has come to see Grand Maester Pycelle about Jon Arryn's death. The old man begins to discuss the long summer of his youth before he finally recalls that Ned has come for another reason: Jon Arryn's death, Ned reminds him. Pycelle explains that Jon Arryn came to him one day, very healthy, and asked for a book. Before he died, the Hand had said the name "Robert" several times, though whether he was discussing his son or his king was not clear. His last words were "the seed is strong." Pycelle does not think that Jon's death was unnatural, and he suggests that Lysa's concerns are quite likely due to grief. Ned points out that Arryn might have been poisoned, which Pycelle concedes is possible though unlikely. Besides, who would have wanted to kill Jon Arryn? When Ned points out that poison is traditionally thought a woman's weapon, the Grand Maester responds that it is also associated with eunuchs, like Lord Varys. Before Ned leaves, he asks if he could see the book that Jon Arryn was looking for. Pycelle promises to send one. When Ned returns to his chamber, Littlefinger is waiting for him. He explains that some of Jon Arryn's servants remained in King's Landing, including his squire, Ser Hugh. When Ned agrees to send for Ser Hugh, Littlefinger takes Ned to the window and points out to him several people that inform on Ned's actions to Lord Varys, to the queen, and even to Littlefinger. Ned agrees to send one of his men more confidentially and thanks the Master of the Coin. Littlefinger replies that the wisest thing Ned could do is distrust him.