Tyrion and Bronn attempt to sneak by all the mountain clansmen that harassed them on their way into the Vale. From their banter you can tell there’s no genuine love between these two, who travel beside one another for necessity and mutual benefit. Tyrion lets Bronn know that the Lannisters are a bottomless pit of gold, and will always match the price of anyone trying out-bid them. This also explains the reason why Tyrion paid Mord even though he hated him: to show Bronn that Lannisters are good for whatever debt is owed. Tyrion doesn’t want Bronn to have any doubts about getting paid when they reach wherever they are going.
However, despite the quid-pro-quo atmosphere, the two do bond a little. Tyrion tells Bronn about his first love, a story that puts Sam Tarly’s childhood to shame. His father Lord Tywin had a whore pretend to fall for Tyrion to teach him a lesson, and makes him watch as an entire barracks of soldiers screw her. Tywin then makes Tyrion do her one last time, which gains his son closure, newfound wisdom, and a dozen STDs. It was a good deal for his fake whore wife though, as she probably made out like a bandit. Martin can check off "gang bangs" and "virgin dwarf sex" in his list of deviant sexual practices that appear in this series. I am half scared and half curious as to what’s next on that list.
Tyrion decides not to hide from the mountain clans, lighting up a fire and openly roasting a goat. Sure enough, the mountain clansmen arrive and seem ready to kill them. But Tyrion makes an offer to their Scandinavian chief Gunthor: allow them safe passage, and Tyrion will give them the Vale of Arryn. I wonder how he plans to do that, given the imPREGnable defenses. Maybe Tyrion will buy it from Lysa?
Eddard sits on the throne, listening to the village folk’s tales of brutal attacks by well-equipped brigands. They identify GREGOR as the leader, ordered by the Lannisters to terrorize the Riverlands villagers. A bunch of Lords and Sers that I do not recognize are pissed about this, and Eddard appeases them by sending an army of knights to deal with it. What can they really do though? Can’t GREGOR just demand trial by combat? Who would fight him? Loras tries to be a badass by volunteering for the job, but Eddard denies him, probably for his own good. Eddard really should have sent Loras, because you never know when a jousting tournament or a trial-by-jousting could break out.
This chapter is disappointing because nothing really happens. All the men of action like King Bob and Jaime are out of the city, leaving wet blanket Eddard to sit on the throne. Boring!