Sansa then begs for Joffrey to spare her father's life. Of course, had Sansa not been an idiot and divulged Eddard's plans to the Lannisters, Joffrey would be the one begging for mercy. Eddard will have to confess to the crime, something I doubt he'll do because of his rigid adherence to honor and duty. What a mess. Is Martin trying to make us hate women? Because Catelyn arrests the wrong guy, Cersei is a gigantic bitch, Sansa is a vapid traitor, and Lysa is literally insane. The only two likeable female characters are a trophy wife for The Rock and a preteen wild child who is basically a boy.
Eddard is not having a fun time in the dungeons of King's Landing. He blames himself for failing Robert and for the horrible situation he's in. He lost to Cersei in a battle of wits. That's like losing to Sam in swordfighting or GREGOR in chess. It should have been like taking candy from a baby. Eddard becomes delusional, talking to himself and dreaming about the good old days, when he wasn't locked up in a windowless room for being a traitor to his best friend. He remembered the time Jaime was inducted into the Kingsguard (lol bad decision, Aerys) and when Pimp Rhaegar dissed his own wife for Lyanna.
Varys comes in and tells Eddard about all the mistakes he made: his decision to warn Cersei, his refusal of Renly's offer, and not listening to Littlefinger's advice. Varys tells Eddard what he should do: swallow his pride, confess to treason, and be granted mercy by the Lannisters. If Eddard can do that, he'll be sent to the wall. Not a great fate, because we all know Eddard loves his whores and property rights, but it's still better than being dead. What's Vary's stake in all this? Why, he's just serving the realm... and trying to save his own ass. If Eddard can't do it for himself, then he should do it for his daughter. Varys then offers Eddard a choice -- does he want the next visitor to bring him milk of poppy for the pain, or bring him his daughter's head?
To me, neither of those two choices sound so bad. Of course, I'm kidding. I don't actually want Sansa dead. Not because she had good intentions, or that she didn't know any better, or that a largely innocent young girl doesn't deserve such a fate. I don't want Sansa dead because living out her days as Joffrey's wife and Cersei's daughter-in-law is a far worse fate than death.