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Interlude – Tyrion Lannister

Lord’s Solar, Casterly Rock, Westerlands

Tyrion Lannister

His mismatched eyes roved over the set of paperwork laid out on the massive desk before him. He had already gone through the various taxes owed to him by the lords who owed him fealty, and now Tyrion was reading through the reports on grain shipments.

As expected, the export from the coastal regions of the Westerlands had barely amounted to enough food to feed a few thousand men, and the spoils of war his lords had gotten in the aftermath of the atrocities committed in the Riverlands had been returned to their rightful owners.

Tyrion stifled the urge to curse.

With the spoils of war returned, Tyrion now had to figure out how to feed his men.

While there was enough to sustain everyone in the Westerlands for a few years still, Tyrion did not want to take any chances. 

Especially when yet another secret has been revealed to me. He thought, staring at a few ledgers to the right. Something I had never considered, not even in my wildest dreams.

He hadn’t noticed it the first time he had gone through the records, but he’d chanced a look upon the papers again, feeling that there was something not quite right.

And that’s when he saw it. It wasn’t drastic in any way, but Tyrion noted the steady downturn of output from the mines with every bimonthly delivery. This made Tyrion go through additional records from previous years, and he saw the trend for what it was.

Their mines were drying out.

It wouldn’t happen for a few years yet, and the Lannister family was still the wealthiest in the Seven Kingdoms by far, but Tyrion felt the icy grip around his heart, regardless.

Cersei’s insane attempt at grabbing power had also caused their coffers to take significant hits; it would truly hurt their family far more than anything his father ever could have imagined. A single Faceless Man is worth a small fortune. Several?

Tyrion did not wish to go over the exact cost of this madness, again; and yet, that’s exactly what he needed to do.

It’ll be even worse than I fear. He thought, his lips curling in anger at his predicament. With Stannis Baratheon in King’s Landing, he has begun campaigning to get control over the Crownlands, while maintaining his grip over the Stormlands. As ‘King’, he has defaulted on the debt by declaring it null and void. I suppose I would have done the same, were I in his position. Only a fool would continue to make payments to his enemies.

With all of that said, there wouldn’t be any gold coming from those regions; that much was obvious.

Still, Tyrion’s gaze moved to the first stack of letters he’d received this very morning, consisting of reports on the various movements of enemy and neutral soldiers, reports on the different leaders, and so on.

He sighed, wishing he was drowning his sorrows at the bottom of a bottle of wine at the moment, but needs must.

He had a duty now— the one he’d always coveted for as long as he could remember— and he would see it through.

Tyrion continued sorting through the papers before he found the one he was looking for.

It was a written letter sent by a messenger from the Reach, requesting an audience with Tyrion on a mutual, neutral ground between the two Kingdoms.

Tyrion knew why the letter had been sent, of course. It was obvious to anyone who wasn’t a half-wit.

Stannis was still busy trying to keep the Crownlanders in check, since his rise to power had only just been recent.

Tyrion imagined it would take the man perhaps a few moons’ turns for him to solidify his hold on the region in question.

When that time came, Tyrion already knew who his first target would be. The Reach.

The Riverlands could be a possible target for the man, but the battles which have raged across their lands had hardened their warriors.

The Rivermen were well-equipped, well-funded and their forces were bolstered by the Northmen— valiant fighters themselves.

All of that was ignoring the fact that many of their weapons and armor had been enchanted by the illustrious Blackscale.

Tyrion wondered for a moment just what his friend, Harry, was doing, at this moment. The last he’d heard, Lord Potter had stormed through Qohor and the Dothraki Sea, armies following almost reverently in his wake.

His target? Daenerys Targaryen.

The last Targaryen alive had, according to testimony given by no less than a few dozen sailors at Lannisport, hatched dragons. Similar stories were coming out of the other port towns, too many to discount— not that Tyrion would have.

Having seen his friend’s dragon up close, Tyrion could easily believe that a Targaryen had hatched dragons, once again. It filled him with the sort of thrill he hadn’t felt since he was a child.


He shook off such thoughts and took a deep breath, centering himself so that he could think on the matter at hand; Stannis’ possible strategies.

The Riverlords would present themselves as difficult foes with no obvious gains to be had. By that same measure, Dorne cannot be his target, either. Tyrion thought. Their lands present no particular advantage to his rule.

More than that; the Dornish had not shown Stannis— or anyone, for that matter— any antagonism.

Their ruler, Prince Doran Martell, had adopted a neutral stance for the time being, much like the Vale had. The man was shrewd, that much he was sure of.

Tyrion didn’t know what his play was, but Doran’s patience was legendary, indeed.

That the Dornish hadn’t rebelled against the man’s inaction was something incredible to Tyrion. He must command the utmost respect— or fear, I suppose. This, however, leaves only one target. The Reach.

Tyrion scoffed, realizing that this the answer was obvious.

“It was only ever going to be the Reach.” Tyrion concluded out loud. “If not for the thriving farm lands, then because Stannis cannot be seen forgiving the Reach Lords for supporting Renly.”

Speaking of the younger brother, Renly Baratheon had been found dead in his own bed, alongside— unsurprisingly— Loras Tyrell. This happened roughly around the same time that Robb Stark was attacked by mysterious, fell creatures made of the shadows, themselves.

The timing of it all was very convenient.

If it had succeeded, Stannis Baratheon would have eliminated two of his rivals in a single stroke, thus paving the way for his victory as the various lords underneath both deceased men competed and scrambled to snatch whatever dregs of power remained after their armies broke from infighting.

Stannis did in fact succeed in this when it concerned Renly, causing the Stormlords to break away from the Tyrells and giving them no choice but swear their allegiance to him— and then Stannis swept through King’s Landing from both sea and land, netting him a decisive victory and cementing his position among his men.

Unlike his younger brother, Stannis had not wasted time with elaborate speeches and celebrations. He stated his intentions, made his declarations, and then he struck at his foes with decisive purpose.

Tyrion shook his head, staring off into the general direction of the East, towards where King’s Landing would be. Once again he wished he had some wine nearby, but he couldn’t afford to be at anything but his best, at the moment.

Still, to sink into the depths of a bottle would soothe the sheer grief Tyrion felt over what happened to his family at King’s Landing. Oh, there was no love lost between himself and Cersei or her vile monster of a firstborn, Joffrey.

The boy was a vicious cunt just like his mother, though Tyrion did grieve for the extremely rare moments his sister had almost treated him with some modicum of respect.

However, the majority of his grief was reserved for poor Myrcella and Tommen, who did not deserve such fates. He did not want to imagine what must have happened, so full of rage he would become.

Can’t afford to lose myself to anger, either. Tyrion thought, though his fist clenched with anger despite his best efforts.

Seeing no way of calming himself down, he decided to channel the feelings into his task. Stannis will soon target the Reach Houses, putting them to the sword. 

And Tyrion knew that, soon enough, when Stannis was through burning the Reach Houses to the ground, he would then set his eyes on the Westerlands. On Jaime and myself. He will give us the same mercy he gave the children— none.

Tyrion’s eyes stared through the papers for a few moments longer before he heard a knock on the door. He took a breath, welcoming the change.

“Enter.” Tyrion called out, doing his best to keep the anger out of his voice.

The door opened slowly, revealing a young boy of twelve— a stableboy by the name of Patrek who he’d taken a shine to. “Yes, Patrek?”

“M-Milord, riders approach the c-castle. At least thirty m-men.” Patrek said with a noticeable stutter.

He might have a terrible impediment, but he’s certainly got a mind for the letters. That was what had endeared the boy to Tyrion; he always liked those who were drawn to the peace and quiet of books.

“Riders?” Tyrion said, feeling his anger abate over time. “And what banners were they sporting, Patrek?”

Patrek nodded quickly, looking embarrassed at not having started with that. “They bear y-your House banner, as well as the b-banner of House Crakehall, milord.”

Tyrion’s eyebrows rose as his interest was piqued. “I hadn’t expected news from Lord Rolland for some time.”

A moment passed in silence before Tyrion nodded. “Very well. You may go.”

“Yes, m-milord.” The boy gave a jittery nod before he moved to the door.

“And go and fetch Rupert, would you, Patrek?”

Patrek stopped and turned before giving him a quick bow. “Of course, milord.”

Tyrion took a moment to compose himself as his servant exited the room. Tyrion imagined the wait would be long, but a knock came at his door within a few short minutes.


“My Lord.” Rupert’s voice came from the other side.

“Rupert.” Tyrion said, raising his voice. “Come in!”

The door opened, revealing an older man with a balding head and a fierce gaze. He stopped before Tyrion and gave him a bow before speaking. “You have need of me, my Lord?”

“Yes, of course.” Tyrion said, nodding and gesturing for Rupert to come in. “You arrived here quickly.”

“I was actually already on my way here, my Lord.” Rupert explained and approached, not taking a seat until Tyrion made the offer. “As I’m sure young Patrek has made you aware, we have visitors.”

“That much he has told me.” Tyrion said, nodding. “Bearing my House’s banner, as well as the Crakehalls. I assume that it is indeed who I believe it to be?”

Rupert opened his mouth, unsure of what to say. Tyrion supposed that he couldn’t blame the hesitation; his father, Tywin, was an intimidating man, and his shadow still hung over this place like a bad habit.

“Be at ease, Rupert.” Tyrion made sure to say. “Must I remind you that I am not my father?”

“At least once more, Lord Tyrion.” Rupert said, and Tyrion almost smiled.

So he does have an inkling of a sense of humor. Tyrion thought. Barely much of one, but it’s something that I can work with, I suppose.

“It is as you assume, my Lord.” Rupert continued, unaware of his Lord’s thoughts. “Your brother, Ser Jaime, has returned. Alongside him is the Lord Crakehall and the Lord Swyft.”

Tyrion frowned at the latter name. House Swyft was here, as well? His eyes moved towards the ledgers detailing the state of the grain imports before going to Rupert’s face. “And what did they say when they were questioned as to why they had not displayed their banners?”

“Ser Jaime informed us that it was a matter to be relayed to you, and you alone, my Lord.” Rupert said, swallowing. “I did not presume to pry any further.”

“Intriguing.” Tyrion murmured before looking at the man, once again. “Very well. Have them fed, bathed and clothed, and then send them to the main hall. I will speak to them, then.”

“It has already been done, my Lord.”

Tyrion smiled. “You have done very well. I’m gladdened to see I was right about your new appointment.”

Rupert dipped his head. “I thank you, again, my Lord. To be named as Captain; I cannot thank you enough, my Lord.”

Tyrion waved it away. “You have earned it. Now, is there anything else?”

“Yes.” Rupert said, nodding. “The new batch of men being trained as guards—”

And then he stopped. Tyrion resisted the urge to sigh. “Not good?”

“Some are acceptable, but two of the recruits are a little on the young side.” Rupert said.

“You believe that they will not be up to the task?” Tyrion said and saw the man shake his head.

“Oh, on the contrary, my Lord.” Rupert said. “They have been applying themselves to the tasks I set for them— better than I ever expected. It may simply take longer than expected to get them at the level required, due to their age.”

Tyrion nodded, having expected something like this. “With our forces depleted, this does not surprise me. Just make sure that they are indeed quality fighters.”

Rupert nodded, and Tyrion took a breath. “Is that everything?”

“Yes, my Lord.”

“Very well.” Tyrion said. “You may go.”

Rupert stood, bowed and left the room. Tyrion watched the door close and leaned back in his chair for a few moments before hopping off.

He couldn’t stay in this seat any longer. Knowing that Jaime was here filled Tyrion with a nervous energy. What kind of message did he bring?

Tyrion had his suspicions, of course. The arrival of the Lord Swyft of Cornfield was most likely not a coincidence. It couldn’t be. Unless…

Tyrion shook his head and began to pace around the office, his mind scattered in all directions, flitting from one thought to the next.

He adjusted his doublet and exited the solar. The two guards at the door stood up to attention before silently following in his wake.

Tyrion made his way through the halls at a very sedate pace, going down several flights of stairs as. Should I seek Jaime out immediately?

He decided that he shouldn’t; better to let the man rest after such a journey. Tyrion would know the details soon enough. He decided, instead, to enjoy what few hours he had left of daylight by having a long walk. There was another reason he wanted to avoid his brother for the time being, but he dared not entertain the thought.

Tyrion walked through the castle in a bit of a daze, passing through the kitchens for some quick food before losing himself in a haze of non-thought again. Eventually, however, Tyrion realized that his feet had carried him to the west wing of the castle, and that he started going up the stairs.

What am I doing? Tyrion wondered. He knew where this particular path would lead him, but he couldn’t stop himself.

There is no point in doing this. Tyrion thought, but here he was, doing it anyway.

Reaching the topmost floor of the west wing’s tower, Tyrion turned his head, stopping the guards with a glance before proceeding ahead.

Tyrion moved to the two guards— trustworthy men handpicked by himself— by the bars and dismissed them as well before he looked around the expansive room, finding the man he both hated and respected in equal measures standing on the balcony, seemingly enjoying the breeze.

Tywin Lannister tilted his head down for a moment before turning and locking gazes with his son; pale green eyes flecked with gold met green and black.

He looks the same as ever. Tyrion thought; he’d assumed that the solitude would have worn the man down, but Tywin Lannister was made of sterner stuff than that. 

The two stayed quiet for a long moment before Tyrion’s father spoke.

“So, you have come.” Tywin said, his voice still as strong as Tyrion remembered. He stepped back inside and moved towards the cell doors.

“Father.” Tyrion said by way of greeting.

“Why are you here?” Tywin said, not waiting for his son to answer. “Have you come to gloat about your victory against me?”

“No.” Tyrion said, shaking his head with a frown. Part of him had wanted to do just that, and both of them knew it.

“What, then?” Tywin said.

“I don’t know.” Tyrion said, continuing to stare. “My feet brought me here of their own accord.”

Tywin’s eyes narrowed in disgust. “Of their own accord?”

He shook his head before speaking again. “Still partaking of the drink… I should have known. Have you already turned our family home into your whorehouse?”

Tyrion felt his ire soar at the statement. “You’d be wrong about that, Father. You were wrong about a lot of things.”

Tywin opened his mouth to answer, but Tyrion kept talking.

“And now I have this mess to clean up.” Tyrion said. “Your mess.”

My mess!” Tywin’s anger broke through as well as he raised his voice. “Stark’s pet wizard razes my army to cinders and you bow to his will like a kitten, instead of a Lion of Lannister.”

Tyrion shook his head. “Loren the Last bent the knee to the Dragons. The Starks bent the knee to the Dragons. To save their people from the fate that befell Harren the Black. This is much the same.”

“Is that what you think you’re doing?” Tywin said, a note of scorn entering his voice as he mastered himself somewhat. “Saving the Westerlands? You?”

Tyrion looked down for a moment before raising his eyes again. “Yes. You have always hated me, Father. This, I have known from the moment I understood why my mother was gone.”

“Do not mention her again.” Tywin said, face turning ugly at that.

“Or, you’ll what?” Tyrion challenged, eyes flashing with hatred of his own. “You’ll force another humiliation upon me like you have in the past? No.”

Tyrion shook his head. “Father. You were wrong. I care about our family as much as you do. I always have.”

You care about the family name?” Tywin repeated the words, lacing them with his disdain. “You, who brings shame upon the name Lannister at every turn? Drinking and whoring…”

Tyrion’s face twisted into something horrible, but he mastered himself. “You never gave me a chance— a chance to prove my worth to our family.”

Tywin didn’t bother giving an answer, angering Tyrion further. “You always spoke of how we, as Lannisters, must ensure our legacy, but those words were never true. You are a liar. You’re the one who will have ruined the Lannister name.”

“A liar, am I?” Tywin spoke again and came closer to the bars, incensed by his son’s attitude. “What would you know of sacrifice, hm? You have lived your entire life behind the safety of stout walls and able guards. What do you know of war— of pitting your life against that of those who wish you dead and winning?”

Tyrion did not respond for a long moment. “I know nothing of that, but that is also your fault.”

“Do you presume to blame me for your every failing?” Tywin said, and Tyrion felt his rage simmer down and begin to turn into a cold fury as he understood the implications of his father’s statement. “You—”

“Who was it that forbade me from visiting the Free Cities?” Tyrion cut through the man’s words with quiet anger. “Who was it that forbade me to go on a journey with Uncle Gerion to Old Valyria?”

Tywin didn’t answer.

“What was it you said, then?” Tyrion continued and imitated his father’s voice. “‘I will not hear of it. Your lack of responsibility has brought shame upon this house’. Do you remember?”

“I remember what I said.”

“And do you remember…” Tyrion said, eyes narrowing again. “What irresponsibility you were referring to, so long ago?”

“What of it?”

Tyrion opened his mouth before closing it.

This had been one of the very first things Tyrion had done as soon as he had attained the Lordship of Casterly Rock. As soon as he’d been able, Tyrion began his investigation.

Though that day was so long ago, Tyrion still remembered every moment as if it were only yesterday. He remembered every guard’s name, and what each one of them had done.

He’d tracked them down and had each one recall the events of that day— And then I killed each one, myself.

The things he had learned…

“It was a lie.” Tyrion whispered, unable to cope with his thoughts any longer. “It was all a lie, wasn’t it?”

Tyrion had to take a moment to calm himself again.

“Tysha wasn’t a whore.” Tyrion said. “Was she?”

Still, Tywin kept his silence.

Tyrion shook his head before fixing his fierce gaze onto his father. “I was in love. I married her.”

“You’re a Lannister.” Tywin finally spoke. “I could not have you marry a commoner. It would have brought shame to our House.”

Tyrion opened his mouth and closed it. He’d never expected his father to confess so easily.

“You speak of loving the family name as much as I.” Tywin said, his head tilting towards the banner of House Lannister proudly displayed over his bed. “And yet you wished to besmirch it with a commoner’s blood, instead of a girl from a noble House. I was able to reverse the damage before it was too late.”

Reverse the damage?” Tyrion replied, his voice rising before he controlled himself. “You could have had the marriage annulled and sent her on her way. You could have spoken to me beforehand. There were many things you could have done to reverse the damage. Instead…”

Tyrion stopped again.

“Instead.” He growled before calming himself and looking down. “Well… you did that.”

A deafening silence gripped both men, with one unwilling to speak and the other feeling too numb to utter a single word.

“I killed them, you know.” Tyrion broke out of his fugue and spoke.

“Who?” Tywin said.

“The guards from that day.” Tyrion said, looking back up at his father as he unsheathed the dagger he always carried with him now. “I killed every last one… with this. After I got what I wanted, of course.”

“And you’re here to kill me, now.” Tywin said.

“Oh, no.” Tyrion shook his head.

He smiled, not feeling happy in the slightest. “Death for you would be a relief. I imagine being locked away in here is anathema to a man like you. And so, here you will sit, until the end of your days. Goodbye, father.”

Tyrion moved to leave.

“Don’t blame your brother.” Tywin said as Tyrion walked away. “I commanded him to do what he did.”

Tyrion paused at the end of the hall and gave his father one last look before shaking his own head and leaving.

He had hoped to clear his head before his meeting with Jaime and the lords with him, but it seemed that he would find no respite, on this day.

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