Chapter 68 Summary
Sansa is pleased when the Merling King reaches its destination as she has spent most of the journey seasick. She and Littlefinger are accompanied by Ser Lothar Brune and Oswell. Sansa is surprised that they have not returned to White Harbor in the north. Instead, Littlefinger has brought them to his ancestral home, though he is not proud of its stones and its sheep herds. His castle is unimpressive and his retainers dreary. Petyr announces that Lysa Arryn will soon arrive and take them to the Eyrie where he and Lysa will marry. He tells Sansa that she will have to play a game in which she will pretend to be Petyr's natural daughter, Alayne Stone. Sansa asks about Joffrey's death, Petyr explains that when he was negotiating the alliance between the Lannisters and the Tyrells, he planted the idea in Lady Olenna's mind that Joffrey was monstrous, which allowed her to figure out that although Margaery would have to marry one of Cersei's sons, she would not have to marry Joffrey to maintain the alliance. Petyr explains that in the Game of Thrones there are players and pieces. Cersei, for example, thinks herself a player, though she is rapidly losing all of the power that is derived from her beauty and though her birth and wealth are both controlled by her father. Although she thirsts for power, she has no idea of what to do with it and is utterly predictable. It is important to be unpredictable; Oswell, for example, is the father of the Kettleblacks, which means that his sons are Petyr's hidden daggers in King's Landing. When Lysa arrives, she is giddy and insists that she and Petyr marry that evening so that they can finally be together. The wedding is brief and bawdy. After, Lady Lysa's singer, Marillion, attempts to seduce Sansa until Lothar Brune steps in. The next morning, Lysa tells Sansa that she knows she is her niece. She plans to have Sansa marry her son, Robert, who is sick but very precious to her. It may not be to Sansa's liking, Lysa explains, but with Winterfell in ruins, Sansa is really little more than a beggar and so should put aside her pride in order to become Robert's obedient wife.