Chapter 45 Summary
Eddard listens as Grand Maester Pycelle explains that the pain his leg causes is a gift from the gods: it is the pain of healing. Pycelle next shares that he has received word that Lord Tywin is angry with Ned's response to Gregor Clegane. Ned explains that if Tywin acts, he will act in defiance of Robert, and the only thing that Robert enjoys more than hunting is making war on defiant lords. Ned knows that Pycelle will take this response straight to Queen Cersei. Ned reflects on his realization that Joffrey is not Robert's child and what he must do next. This truth killed Jon Arryn. Ned tells himself that he can no longer delay in the name of his girls' safety, and yet just the night before he had dreamt of Rhaegar's children, murdered by Tywin Lannister's men and presented to Robert at the end of the rebellion. He summons a guard, Fat Tom, and asks to be escorted to the godswood. There, he asks Tom to deliver a message. The queen comes at sunset. Ned confronts her with the truth: she and her twin Jaime are lovers. Jon Arryn's dying words, "the seed is strong," had referred to King Robert's bastard children: all of whom were born with black Baratheon hair. Joffrey and his siblings all have golden Lannister hair. Ned tells Cersei that he will tell Robert of her treachery. She must leave before Robert returns if she wants to live. Cersei explains that "when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground," and leaves.