The Day Is Dark And Full Of Questions


Chapter 041





Lord Tywin banged the message onto the table. What on earth was this Bonifer Hasty thinking!? The old Lion hissed. He should have known it. A representative of the Faith, even if it was a knight capable enough of fighting, was useless at best.

What had the man focused on? Ha! Since when was the Lion known to be a spectator of romantic mummers' shows!?

“To King Joffrey, First of His Name, and his Hand, Lord Lannister of Casterly Rock –

Report from Harrenhal –

Lord and Lady Clegane have fallen in love, surprising as it may sound. Until now, there has not been the slightest trace that Lord Clegane's loyalty could be doubted. Quite the contrary, he and his wife have started to take innumerable measures to improve the situation in Harrenhal and to rule over the people justly; apart from that, they show their mutual affection openly. Even though Lord Clegane unfortunately does not support the Faith he tolerates it and allows his wife and all of us to worship the Seven properly. Lord Clegane's blindness is certainly most unfortunate, and to some extent, it is an obstacle, but the lord holds himself in a way that can only be termed as admirable. Lady Sansa plays an important part in this. She supports him in a way no-one who was present at their wedding in the throne room would have deemed possible. Her strength is admirable. From my point of view things at Harrenhal could not develop in a better way.

I remain the Realm's humble servant, Ser Bonifer Hasty, Castellan of Harrenhal.”

Lord Tywin hissed. The damned knight had not written about the truly important things, only waffled about religion and romantic mush. No words about forces and movements in the region, no information about the soldiers he had left in the fortress, Ser Armory Lorch, for example, no word about the northern prisoners he had heard of, nor about the situation with the Bloody Mummers.

Just nondescript blabbering instead. What did he care about whether the Hound tolerated the Seven; it was nothing more than a halfway interesting detail!

And love? Between the burned ruffian named Sandor Clegane and the delicate, noble Lady Sansa Stark? Pah!

Lord Tywin had lived through enough wars and upheavals to know that sometimes hostages formed a bond with their warders, and that was nothing more than a survival technique.

The Old Lion tapped his fingers in his desk.

Come to think of it – even if these relationships were not normal, at times they could be surprisingly intense and lasting. Perhaps Lady Sansa could be exploited in a way that wouldn't have been possible in King's Landing. After all, one always had to see the positive aspects that might even be found in a misguided policy. Though what Joffrey was doing didn't even deserve the term 'policy'. And for his incapable grandson he had prepared according measures. Joffrey was on his best way to ruin his family and kingship, the last weeks had shown that more and more clearly; so extraordinary solutions were necessary. But that was another chapter altogether.

Still, it was indeed surprising that the younger Clegane and the girl had found together, for whatever reasons. Lord Tywin couldn't picture the Hound with a woman, even less with such a young, beautiful, innocent, rather stupid one as Lady Sansa was reported to be. The Old Lion knew her mother Lady Catelyn, and if the girl had inherited only ten per cent from her the combination of her and Sandor Clegane was nothing less than inconceivable.

Lord Tywin rubbed his face with his hand in an annoyed way. Bah! He was getting weak and sentimental himself! He hadn't had a woman for too long. It was a good thing that he had ordered a whore for the night. He didn't allow himself this foible often, but when he had been in King's Landing over the last years from time to time he had had a woman brought from Alayaya's through a secret tunnel.

It was unnerving – someone his age shouldn't be so virile, but he couldn't help it. He had always been someone with a fierce temper and with a vitality even younger men lacked. So from time to time he needed a woman to let off some steam, unwelcome as it was.

Ah, anyway, he had had enough for today, Lord Tywin thought – and it was the truth. He had been working for no less than twelve hours already. So he bundled his papers on the desk and made for his bedroom.

When he woke the next morning the whore was still there with him, snoring softly. They had simply fallen asleep. In his bed. Around any other woman he would have thought that she had done it on purpose to get a nice tip, or some other kind of favour. But he had booked this woman occasionally over a longer period of time, and she had never asked him anything; it wasn't any different now.

Swiftly, he put on a tunic and some simple breeches and walked over to the adjoining room where his breakfast was already waiting for him. When the harlot appeared in the doorframe he felt obliged to offer her a snack, which she declined, called for his squire next and sent her away.

The Lion's thoughts returned to the message he had received from Harrenhal, and strangely enough, he was more understanding than the evening before. Even so, these specific news from the Riverlands wouldn't change his plans for the future.