He took the long way out, his steps ringing loud against the floor and echoing off the bare stone walls. Lords and ladies parted to let him pass. Not until the pages had closed the great oak-and-bronze doors behind him did Sansa hear sounds again: soft voices, uneasy stirrings, the shuffle of papers from the council table. "He called me boy," Joffrey said peevishly, sounding younger than his years. "He talked about my uncle Stannis too."
Idle talk, said Varys the eunuch. "Without meaning... "
He could be making plots with my uncles. I want him seized and questioned. No one moved. Joffrey raised his voice. "I said, I want him seized!"
Janos Slynt rose from the council table. "My gold cloaks will see to it, Your Grace."
Good, said King Joffrey. Lord Janos strode from the hall, his ugly sons double-stepping to keep up as they lugged the great metal shield with the arms of House Slynt.
Your Grace, Littlefinger reminded the king. "If we might resume, the seven are now six. We find ourselves in need of a new sword for your Kingsguard."
Joffrey smiled. "Tell them, Mother."
The king and council have determined that no man in the Seven Kingdoms is more fit to guard and protect His Grace than his sworn shield, Sandor Clegane.