Chapter 30 Summary
Eddard visits the corpse of Ser Hugh, who Gregor Clegane murdered in the previous day’s jousting. Ned notes that Clegane is a bannerman of the Lannisters. Did they murder Hugh before Ned could talk to him? When Ned learns that King Robert intends to fight in the melee, he leaves immediately and finds the king already drinking beer. The king’s squires are both Lannisters. Ned convinces Robert that he cannot compete in the melee because everyone would let him win. Robert laments that he was never so happy as when he was fighting in the rebellion and never so dead as now when he rules. He fantasizes about sailing away to become a sellsword, but admits that he stays because he dreads the thought of Joffrey ruling after him. When Robert’s mood changes and he starts telling old stories, Ned recognizes the old Robert. If he can convince this Robert of Cersei’s crimes, they could defeat the Lannisters. They make their way to the jousting field, where Sandor defeats Jaime. Next comes Gregor, who, Ned recalls, is said to have killed the infant Aegon Targaryen and raped Princess Elia when the Lannisters took King’s Landing. Ser Loras arrives astride a mare in heat, which makes Gregor’s already irritable stallion all but uncontrollable. Ser Loras wins. However, as the Knight of Flowers celebrates, Clegane rises, kills his horse, and attacks Ser Loras. Only Sandor stands up to him, and they fight until King Robert commands that they stop. Ser Loras yields the purse to the Hound. Thoros of Myr, meanwhile, wins the melee. That evening, a disguised Lord Varys visits Ned and informs him that the queen and others had hoped to convince Robert to fight in the melee in order to kill him, just as they used the tourney to kill Ser Hugh. He explains that Ser Hugh murdered Jon Arryn by feeding him the tears of Lys, a rare poison that leaves no trace. Varys proposes that he and Ned join forces to protect the realm.