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A Storm Of Swords

Chapter 2: Catelyn

Ser Desmond Grell had served House Tully all his life. He had been a squire when Catelyn was born, a knight when she learned to walk and ride and swim, master-at-arms by the day that she was wed. He had seen Lord Hoster’s little Cat become a young woman, a great lord’s lady, mother to a king. And now he has seen me become a traitor as well.

Her brother Edmure had named Ser Desmond castellan of Riverrun when he rode off to battle, so it fell to him to deal with her crime. To ease his discomfort he brought her father’s steward with him, dour Utherydes Wayn. The two men stood and looked at her; Ser Desmond stout, redfaced, embarrassed, Utherydes grave, gaunt, melancholy. Each waited for the other to speak. They have given their lives to my father’s service, and I have repaid them with disgrace, Catelyn thought wearily.

 “Your sons, Ser Desmond said at last. “Maester Vyman told us. The poor lads. Terrible. Terrible. But...  “We share your grief, my lady, said Utherydes Wayn. “All Riverrun mourns with you, but...  “The news must have driven you mad, Ser Desmond broke in, “a madness of grief, a mother’s madness, men will understand. You did not know...  “I did, Catelyn said firmly. “I understood what I was doing and knew it was treasonous. If you fail to punish me, men will believe that we connived together to free Jaime Lannister. It was mine own act and mine alone, and I alone must answer for it. Put me in the Kingslayer’s empty irons, and I will wear them proudly, if that is how it must be.  “Fetters? The very word seemed to shock poor Ser Desmond. “For the king’s mother, my lord’s own daughter? Impossible.  “Mayhaps, said the steward Utherydes Wayn, “my lady would consent to be confined to her chambers until Ser Edmure returns. A time alone, to pray for her murdered sons?  “Confined, aye, Ser Desmond said. “Confined to a tower cell, that would serve.  “If I am to be confined, let it be in my father’s chambers, so I might comfort him in his last days. Ser Desmond considered a moment. “Very well. You shall lack no comfort nor courtesy, but freedom of the castle is denied you. Visit the sept as you need, but elsewise remain in Lord Hoster’s chambers until Lord Edmure returns.  “As you wish. Her brother was no lord while their father lived, but Catelyn did not correct him.

“Set a guard on me if you must, but I give you my pledge that I shall attempt no escape.  Ser Desmond nodded, plainly glad to be done with his distasteful task, but sad-eyed Utherydes Wayn lingered a moment after the castellan took his leave. “It was a grave thing you did, my lady, but for naught. Ser Desmond has sent Ser Robin Ryger after them, to bring back the Kingslayer... or failing that, his head. Catelyn had expected no less. May the Warrior give strength to your sword arm, Brienne, she prayed. She had done all she could; nothing remained but to hope.

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