It was not wine that killed the king. It was your mercy."
Ned had feared as much. "Gods forgive me."
If there are gods, Varys said, "I expect they will. The queen would not have waited long in any case. Robert was becoming unruly, and she needed to be rid of him to free her hands to deal with his brothers. They are quite a pair, Stannis and Renly. The iron gauntlet and the silk glove." He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "You have been foolish, my lord. You ought to have heeded Littlefinger when he urged you to support Joffrey's succession."
How... how could you know of that?
Varys smiled. "I know, that's all that need concern you. I also know that on the morrow the queen will pay you a visit."
Slowly Ned raised his eyes. "Why?"
Cersei is frightened of you, my lord... but she has other enemies she fears even more. Her beloved Jaime is fighting the river lords even now. Lysa Arryn sits in the Eyrie, ringed in stone and steel, and there is no love lost between her and the queen.