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Dragonstone 14

Hands of Gold is the song sung by Lannister soldiers that Arya Stark comes across while traveling through the Riverlands. According to the soldiers, it is a new song as Arya has not heard it before.

History

Season 7

The song is first heard in "Dragonstone", when Arya comes across Lannister soldiers singing the song, who were sent to keep the peace in the Riverlands, after Arya executes members of House Frey.

Lyrics

He rode through the streets of the city,

Down from his hill on high.

O'er the wynds and the steps and the cobbles,

He rode to a woman's sigh.

For she was his secret treasure,

She was his shame and his bliss.

And a chain and a keep are nothing,

Compared to a woman's kiss.

For hands of gold are always cold,

But a woman's hands are warm!

For hands of gold are always cold,

But a woman's hands are warm!

Behind the scenes

The song was sung by famous English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who appeared in a cameo in the Season 7 premiere episode "Dragonstone" as a Lannister soldier. His appearance on show was organized as a surprise for Maisie Williams, who is a big fan of the singer.

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the song is made by a singer named Symon Silver Tongue about Tyrion and Shae. He finds out they are lovers, and attempts to blackmail Tyrion, threatening to tell that to Cersei or Tywin. Tyrion is willing to pay Symon a large sum of money to keep his mouth shut, but Symon demands more and more. Finally, Tyrion runs out of patience, and orders Bronn to kill Symon.

At the prison cell, the night before the duel, Tyrion recites the song. He muses that song is not so bad, compared to the ones that would be written about him henceforth. He is sorry he's had Symon killed before learning all the words of that song.

Later, as he strangles Shae with the chain she wears, Tyrion recites the line "Hands of gold are always cold, but a woman's hands are warm".

On the fifth novel, Tyrion recalls the song whenever he thinks about Shae. He finds it strange how quick the words come back to him.

Other interpretations

While in the books the song explicitly refers to the Shae -Tyrion romance, it can be interpretated in other non-canon ways:

  1. It can refer to the love story between Jaime and Cersei, whereas the meaning of hands of gold would be literal, referring to Jaime's golden hand and "secret treasure" would illustrate their incestuous relationship.
  2. It can also illustrate the rape of Tysha, Tyrion's first love. She was, indeed, satirically paid after Tywin ordered his guards to rape her. Tyrion said "By the end, she had so much silver that the coins were slipping from her fingers and rolling onto the floor", hence the hands of gold reference whereas the other lyrics would symbolize her relationship with Tyrion (who was also ironically the temporary master of coins under Joffrey's reign).