TreebeardBran

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:  Jon VII, Tyrion XII, Catelyn VII

Booze in my flagon:  Cabernet

A quick note:  Since GRRM is forgoing writing a script for season 5 of the TV show to finish TWOW, I’m really hoping that by the time I recap the entirety of the first 5 books, TWOW will be out.  I know.  I’m a sweet summer child.

Jon VII

  Jon, Qhorin, Squire Dalbridge and Ebben are sneaking through the Skirling Pass.  Jon has one of his many heart to heart with a series of mentors so he can someday be a great leader with Qhorin.  Did that sentence make any kind of sense?  I don’t know because wine.  They talk about Mance Rayder who was a Black Brother before deserting to live among the wildlings.  Mance was born as a wildling and captured by the NW as a kid.  Qhorin explains that the wildlings are no better or worse than anyone but they have no discipline because they do not like to defer to any leadership.  I WONDER IF THIS INFORMATION WILL BECOME RELEVANT LATER? 

  The heartfeltiness of the heartfelt talk prompts Jon to confess that he let Ygritte go.  Qhorin is not surprised and he doesn’t really think they necessarily needed her dead.  He was just testing Jon to see what kind of man he is.  So crafty!

  Now it’s time for bed, and with it some weird dreams.  At first Jon has a wolf dream starring ghost.  Then a weirwood tree that sounds and looks like Bran calls out to him.  The tree smells like death but WeirBran tells JonGhost not to be afraid and to open his third eye.  The tree touches Jon and gives him a vision.  The vision is of Mance’s camp.  It is huge.  Not only does it have pretty much all the wildlings, they have mammoths.  Mammoths!  Wow!

  Then an eagle attacks JonGhost and Jon wakes up screaming.  Ebben is mad so Jon has to describe his dream.  The rest of the party seems to realize that Jon is a warg and the eagle attack was a wildling skinchanger.  Ghost is missing and Jon is very worried that the he is hurt or dead.  The fear gets worse after they see an eagle watching them walk.  They eventually found Ghost very hurt but able to walk.  Qhorin decides they must flee. 

  When they get to the spot where they encountered Ygritte and her friends Squire Dalbridge offers to stay behind to shoot arrows at the approaching wildlings and, Jon realizes, to sacrifice his life.

  The next day they hear the wildlings horn in the distance and no they are screwed.

Tyrion XII

  Varys has some news for Tyrion.  News from the north.  Uh oh.  The news is that Bran and Rickon have been killed.  Really GRRM?  That’s how you’re going to deliver the news?  A piece of parchment delivered by the spider?  Troll.

  Cersei isn’t sad at the news when Tyrion tells her.  Obviously.  Because she’s awful (and kind of awesome).  She is a little defensive about it though.  She is pissed that people might blame her for it.  That’s her only worry though.

  Cersei and Tyrion have dinner.  Their dinner is a swan.  A fucking swan.  Why?  She’s in a bad mood because of the Starks, Littlefinger being MIA and Tyrion sending his hill tribesman away because they aren’t disciplined enough to be soldiers.

  Tyrion has to convince Cersei that she needs to allow Joffrey to participate in the fast approaching battle.  It would be the worst PR if he doesn’t.  Sadly, Cersei is a bit of a helicopter parent (GRRM is apparently good at predicting trends) and he really has to work hard to convince her.

  Then Cersei springs one of her very special Cersei surprises on him.  She doesn’t like that Tyrion thinks with the “worm between his legs” so she’s captured his whore.  Tyrion is quite upset!  Cersei is ranting about how he wants Joff dead so he can rule through Tommen.  Cersei says that she will kill her terribly if any harm comes to Joff or Tommen.  This could be really horrifying and sad for Tyrion (that’s all that matters is Tyrion’s feels, right?) but unfortunately for Cersei, she took the wrong whore!  Sad trombone for Cersei.

  Cersei has mistakenly taken Alayaya.  Tyrion declares that whatever happens to her will happen to Tommen too.  Then he tells Cersei that he’ll get her one day and make sure her joy turns to ashes in her mouth.  I’m sure that will never backfire on him at all.  Right?

  When Tyrion gets back to his bedchamber, Shae is there.  Funny!  Varys led her through some secret tunnel to his bedchamber.  She was made to wear a hood so she couldn’t see.  Tyrion, try as he might can’t figure out where the passage is.  This isn’t important information either.  Shhh.

Catelyn VII

  Catelyn and Brienne are eating a morose dinner by themselves while outside the smallfolk are loudly singing and drinking to Edmure’s military victories.  Sadly, Cat has learned the news of Bran and Rickon’s deaths.  This is the point in which her chapters get depressing and contain lines like “I am a creature of grief and dust and bitter longings.”

  Because the dinner is so awkward, she finally tells Brienne about what happened.  We get more details than in the previous chapter and they are gruesome.  Theon mounted their heads on the walls of Winterfell after capturing them at the mill.  What an asshole.  I wonder if he’ll get his comeuppance? :D

  Catelyn wishes death on Theon, Cersei, Jaime and even Tyrion.  Foreshadowing?  We’ll just have to see.

  She tells Brienne that she sent Jaime a shit ton of wine in hopes of getting him wasted and talking.  It worked on Cleos Frey before so why not?  They arrange to meet at midnight to go interrogate him.

  Catelyn passes the time until then by going up to Hoster’s room and angsting at him.  He probably doesn’t understand what she’s saying.

  Finally midnight comes.  When she gets to the dungeon she finds that Jaime has not taken the bait and drunk the wine.  He is still a hot mess though.  The light hurts his eyes because he’s been in the dark like one of the crawlers from The Descent.  There’s shit all over the place, his clothes are soiled and his beard his ungroomed.  Catelyn still notices that he’s pretty hot and after watching seasons 2 and 3 of the TV show, I must concur.

  The two of them make a deal to answer each others questions truthfully.  First, he admits to being Joffrey’s father.  No big shock there.

  Jaime wants to know if his family still lives and when he finds out that Stafford is the only one dead thus far he gives zero fucks.

  Now the kicker.  Catelyn asks him what happened to Bran.  She wonders if he’ll be able to even answer but he has no shame at all and matter of factly tells her that he did in face defenestrate him.  He does however, deny sending the catspaw.  Hmm….

  All this time Jaime has finally been drinking the wine and by now he is quite drunk.  He tells Cat the terrible tale of how Rickard and Brandon Stark died.  Rickard was cooked inside his own armor by Aerys.  Ouch!  Brandon was tied up with a cord around his neck and his sword just out of reach.  He ended up strangling himself.

  This is all told as Jaime’s defense against the kingslaying.  We begin to get an understanding of why he did it and he becomes a character that is no longer a one dimensional villain.  This is one of my favorite parts of the books and I can’t even snark right now even though I’m a bit drunk.

  Anyway, Cat is fairly unmoved because she knows that Jaime did not slay Aerys to avenge the Starks. Also, Jaime starts mocking the fact that Ned had a bastard an we all know that’s a sore subject with Cat.  Finally she calls for Brienne and asks for her sword.

  Whaaa…..?

Deaths in this recap:  2.  Bran and Rickon.  Nooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cumulative deaths: 63

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  2

Betrayals in this recap: 1  Cersei kidnaps who she thinks is Tyrion’s whore

Cumulative betrayals: 16

Incest incidents: 0

Cumulative incests: 25

Creepers Abound

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:  Theon IV, Jon VI, Sansa IV

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot grigio because when it’s 82 degrees and humid at 10:30 PM and you don’t have an air conditioner; red wine is not the way to go.

 

Theon IV

  Some noise or instinct has awaken Douchelord Prince Theon in the night.   Kyra, one of the barmaids in Winter’s Town is asleep beside him because they totally did it earlier.  Of course, Theon seems more turned on by the fact that he had sex with a commoner in Ned’s bed than he is by Kyra.  Because he’s the worst.

  Slowly it dawns on Theon that it’s the quite that has woken him up.  The direwolves had been constantly howling since he took Winterfell.  Now that noise is gone.  He has someone named Urzen go check on the wolves and his main servant Wex check on Bran and Rickon.

  Of course the wolves and boys have escaped.  Good for them!   Theon is pissed.  Not just because his hostages are missing.  He’s upset because he thinks he’s treated the people of Winterfell so well and it’s just so unfair of them to be upset about the takeover.  Jesus H Christ Theon.  I know you come from a long line of assholes and don’t know how to think like a normal person, but still, shut up!

  It is discovered that the escape happened out of the hunter’s gate.  The two guards, Squint and Drennan have been brutally slain.  Drennan is a rapist so, I’ve got to admit I’m glad to see that.  Clearly, the boys didn’t get out of Winterfell alone.  They were killed before they even had time to alert the other guards.  Later it is revealed that the Reeds, Osha and Hodor are missing too.  No horses are missing so Theon is confident that Bran and co. will soon be found.

  Theon takes his butthurt out on the Winterfell smallfolk.  He whines some more about how good he had been to them.  What is wrong with this moron?  Reek, Ramsay Snow’s captured servant wants Theon to retaliate for this grave injustice by flaying everyone.  I guess he was influenced by his servitude to House Bolton.  They used to flay their enemies until the Starks put an end to it about a thousand years ago.  Luckily Theon is able to find some shred of decency and vetoes the plan.

  Dawn approaches so Theon forms a hunting party and makes Maester Luwin and Farlen the kennelmaster join it.  One of the mini Walder Freys wants to go too.  They follow the trail through the forest for a long time.  Maester Luwin takes the opportunity to try and convince Theon to show mercy when they are inevitably captured.  Theon starts thinking about how much easier it would be to hold Winterfell if he could’ve married one of the Stark girls, particularly Sansa because she is pretty.  Ew.  Poor Sansa attracts every creeper in Westeros.

  Finally, the party comes upon a river.  In the muddy banks are paw prints from Summer and Shaggy.  But there are no human footprints.  They’ve only been following the wolves for who knows how long.  Haha!  Still, Theon thinks the humans must be somewhat near.  The party splits up.  No luck.  Neither wolves or Stark boys are found.

  When dusk falls it is time to give up.  But, wait no, Reek wants to save the day.  He has a feeling the boys are at a nearby mill.  Theon thinks that Reek’s lips look like two worms fucking which is just hilarious.  Reek has a wolf’s head pin in a sack and in my semi drunk state I’m not sure why that means that Bran and Rickon are hiding at the mill.  But Theon is certain of it and he goes to get them.  Uh oh.

 

Jon VI

  Qhorin, Jon and the rest of their party are in the frostfangs.  They can see up in the Skirling pass that some wildings are there because they have lit a fire.  Qhorin decides two men must climb the mountain in the dark to sneak up on the wildlings and kill them before they can sound a horn to warn any other wildling parties.  An excellent climber named Stonesnake and Jon both volunteer.

  The climb is cold and scary.  It doesn’t translate well in recap form but trust me, it was very tense!  Finally, they get just above where the wildlings are camped.  There are three of them.  One of the wildlings is sleeping so Stonesnake and Jon divide the two remaining ones between them.  They each kill their wildling.  Aww, Jon has his first kill.  He’s a real man now!

  Then, the sleeping wildling starts fighting Jon.  Jon gets the better of the wildling and is about to slice his throat when he realizes that he is … wait for it… a she!  Stonesnake wants Jon to kill her but he can’t do it. 

  He decides to take this wildling, her name is Ygritte, captive.  She repays his mercy by telling him that Snow is an evil name.  She wants them to burn the wildling corpses.  Stonesnake won’t do it though.  He throws their bodies off the cliff instead.  Soon they hear shadowcats devouring the bodies.  Jon tries to interrogate Ygritte but she won’t tell him anything except a legend about a wildling named Bael the Bard kidnapping the daughter and only child of a Stark and making a baby with her so that all Starks, according to wildling legend are part wildling. 

  In the morning, Qhorin finds them.  He’s pissed off that Jon took a hostage instead of killing all the wildlings as planned.  He tells Jon to do what needs to be done with her and leaves them alone.  He still can’t kill her and lets her escape. I’m sure that won’t have any consequences whatsoever.

Sansa IV

  Dontos and Sansa are meeting in the godswood.  The air is thick with smoke because Stannis’ men have been burning the kingswood and Tyrion is burning everything outside of the city walls so that things will be too inhospitable for a siege.

  Sansa is getting a bit cranky because Dontos is not making good on his promise to help her escape.  He tells her that the time still isn’t right.  The city is too heavily guarded.   Neither Stannis himself or his naval forces have arrived yet.  So everyone is waiting and afraid.  Before Sansa and Dontos part, he wants a kiss from her.  She kisses him but luckily only on the cheek.  Ew.  Just, ew.  Does no one but me get intensely creeped out reading Sansa chapters?  An adult man acts inappropriately towards her in pretty much every one.  I’m glad I don’t have a teenage daughter.  I don’t think I can handle it considering how overprotective and anxious I am of a fictional teenaged girl.

  When Sansa is crossing the bridge across the moat to get back to Maegor’s Holdfast she is accosted by the Hound.  Oh great, more creepers.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME GRRM!?  Seriously.  Why all the molesters?  Things like this must be in her mind at all times

 

  Anyways, Sansa is too nice and tries to convince the Hound that she doesn’t find him scary, but he sees through it and feels the tell her so while gripping onto her.  Sigh.  She still tries to thank him for being brave and saving her during the riot.  He just scoffs and tells her that it’s no big deal because he likes to kill people and her father probably did too.  Oh, Sandor.   He tells her that knights are only there to kill and that she should go away because he’s sick of looking at her. 

  Sansa flees and goes to bed.  She has a PTSD dream about the riot.  In the dream she’s being beaten bloody by a bunch of people and then stabbed in the belly.  When she wakes up, she finds she’s gotten her first period.  Are you there God?  It’s me, Sansa.

  This part is just ridiculous to me.  In the span of a few hours she bleeds so much that her nightgown, bedclothes and mattress are all completely soiled.  Are you kidding me GRRM?  I’m here to tell all you male readers, we don’t actually bleed that much.  The average amount of blood lost during menstruation is 1/8th of a cup (IIRC).  That’s during the entire period.  Not per hour or anything.

  Anyway, Sansa freaks out.  That is understandable because now she is eligible to marry Joffrey and nobody wants that.  She tries to burn all the evidence.  Not a great idea.  The fire draws a maid who summons others to stop her from burning everything.  Of course, she’s all blood covered as they pull her away from the fire.  Geez!  How much do men think we bleed?  A period would send us to the hospital for blood transfusions if it was as bad as men think it is.

  Of course, this means that Cersei finds out about the flowering.  Sansa is forced to go eat breakfast with her.  Cersei, ever kind and gentle just can’t wait to tell her that giving birth is even worse.  She also informs her that although she will likely love Joffrey’s brat kids, love is a poison that will kill you.

  As Tobias Funke says, now that’s an act break!

Deaths in this recap:  2. Squint and Drennan.  Didn’t know you, don’t care.

Cumulative deaths: 61

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  2

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 15

Incest incidents: 0

Cumulative incests: 25

 

Weasel soup

Book I am reading: A Clash of Kings

Chapters: Arya IX, Daenerys IV, Tyrion XI

Booze in my flagon: Pinot grigio

 

Arya IX

  Arya goes to visit Hot Pie in the kitchen.  He is making tarts for Amory Lorch and Arya wants to spit on them.  She’d make a perfect service sector employee!  I don’t even mean that sarcastically.  A lot of customers deserve that shit.  Arya’s new boss Pinkeye is an alcoholic and passes out every night so she’s feeling a little bolder than she did under Weese.  She proposes escaping but Hot Pie doesn’t actually want to escape because living in the forest and eating bugs kind of sucks.  Arya hears a horn that indicates the gates are being opened and so she steals a tart and goes to see what’s happening.

  It’s the Bloody Mummers returning.  They’ve brought a big black bear with them.  They also have a bunch of prisoners.  The prisoners are all bearing northern sigils.  The prisoners include two nobles, a Glover and a Frey.  There’s a little bit of tension because Amory Lorch and Vargo Hoat hate each other.  I guess there’s only room for one complete and utter sociopathic douchebag per zip code?

  Pinkeye comes down to see the commotion so Arya runs off to escape notice.  She goes past the armory and has a headlong into puberty moment when she sees Gendry doing his metal work and being all muscley and sexy.  She asks him to help her free the Northern/Riverlands prisoners but he isn’t anymore into it than Hot Pie was.

  Finally, Arya realizes that she’s going to have to resort to getting her last name from Jaqen.  She’s been a little afraid of him ever since he Cesar Millaned that dog into killing Weese.  She realizes he’s more of a sorcerer than just a really bad ass assassin.

But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Arya prays to the weirwood tree in Harrenhal’s godswood to get the northerners out and then remembers the Old Gods (OGs?) didn’t do jack shit to help her dad so she starts yelling at them.  Jaqen sneaks up behind her and says “Gods are not mocked, girl.”  Clearly he has never seen any George Carlin standup.  He’s creepy and hot as usual and reveals that he knows she is Arya Stark even though Gendry didn’t spill the beans.

  However, Jaqen won’t help her.  She needs two guards to die to get the Northmen out and she only has one name left.  She makes him swear that he would kill anyone she named no matter what.  She whispers in his name “It’s Jaqen H’ghar.”  Oh snap!

  The ploy works.  He agrees to help her if she takes back his name.  Smart girl!  Jaqen tells her to go to the kitchens to help make a broth and wait for him there.

  Jaqen finally comes to fetch Arya.  Unfortunately he brings those fucks Rorge and Biter with him.  Arya is not too pleased about that.  They all carry a bunch of soup pots into the dungeon.  Jaqen tells Arya to stay out of the way.  Jaqen, Rorge and Biter all threw the soup in the guard’s eyes allowing them to kill them all and let Robett Glover, Aenys Frey and the rest out.  This allows the Northmen to outnumber the small garrison holding Harrenhal.  They took it over.

  Jaqen and Arya agree that his debt is paid and she unsays his name.  Then some freaky shit happens.  He declares Jaqen dead, rubs his hand across his face and becomes an entire new person.  Whoa!

The Artist Formerly Known as Jaqen H’ghar tells Arya that if she comes across the Narrow Sea with him she can learn how to take a new face and name too.  She tells him no because she wants to get home so he gives her an iron coin.  He tells her to give it to any man from Braavos and say “valar morghulis” to find him again.  He leaves in a mysterious swirl of darkness and awesomeness.

  Overnight, the Bloody Mummers turned cloak and joined the northerners, killing Amory Lorch’s men.  The incident becomes known around the castle as dying of hot Weasel Soup.

  That evening the new master of Harrenhal arrives.  It’s Roose Bolton.  Rorge and Biter out Arya as the one responsible for Weasel Soup.  Roose is somewhat impressed so he makes her his cup bearer.  The Bloody Mummers give Amory Lorch to the bear to be torn apart.  Oh well.

 

Daenerys IV

  Dany expects the House of the Undying to be extra opulent.  But it isn’t.  It’s a crumbling ruin.  By the way, this chapter would be best if I was on hallucinogens rather than alcohol, but I’ll do my best.

  The building looks like a serpent and is surrounded by trees whose plants make the Shade of the Evening which is the magic drink the warlocks take.  Jhogo thinks it looks evil and Aggo agrees.  Xaro and Jorah tell her the Warlocks are worthless and won’t do anything for her.  Dany does not heed the warnings and even when Pyat Pree tells her she has to go alone she’ s still desperate enough to agree to those terms.

  Pyat tells Dany the Undying Ones are dangerous and if she values her soul she’ll to always take the rightward door and climb up never down.  He tells her not to enter any room until she gets to the audience chamber.  A dwarf gives her a glass of evening shade and Pyat tells her she has to take it.  This is sounding sketchier by the moment.  At least she has Drogon with her!

  Dany sees many creepy things, A naked woman being eaten by little rat men, a bunch of corpses killed at a feast while a dead man with a wolf head presides, her old house with the lemon tree and Willem Darry, a Targ (Rhaegar) on the iron throne with baby Aegon saying there must be one more because the dragon must have three heads.

  Dany reaches a dead end.  There are only stairs going down and there are no doors on the right.  Drogon is freaking out.  Then it occurs to her that the first door on the right = the last door on the left.  Yay!

  Finally she bursts out into the courtyard to find Pyat standing there telling her she’s only been gone a few minutes.  Dafuq?  That’s like the end of Contact (movie version).  He tries to guide her away but she decides to take the next rightward door anyway.  This causes him to cry and yell.  She turns out to have made the good choice.  She gets to an ebony and weirwood door and beyond it are wizards that seem like they must be the Undying. 

  Drogon freaks out and bites at the ebony and weirwood door.  She runs away and into a room with a big stone table.  Above the table floats a big blue throbbing heart.  Huh?  Around the table are blue shadows.  Maybe these are the real undying?  Maybe Dany is just high as fuck?  All the creepy Undying people are blue and withered and don’t breathe or move.  They just whisper.  Ick.

  They tell her “three heads has the dragon…three fires must you light…one for life and one for death and one to love…three mounts must you ride …one to bed and one to dread and one to love…three treasons will you know…once for blood and once for gold and once for love.”  So many ellipses!  So many…so many…

  They call her “mother of dragons, daughter of death” and show her Viserys dying, a man with silver hair and copper skin before a fiery stallion banner, Rhaegar dying with his rubies, a red sword in the hand of a blue eyed king who casts no shadow (Stannis prolly) and a mummer’s cloth dragon.

 Fuck me this chapter is cool to read but a pain to write up.  Is it over yet?  No?  Ok…

  A stone beast flies from a burning tower and the phantoms say “mother of dragons, slayer of lies…” and then she sees a corpse on ship and the phantoms say “mother of dragons, bride of fire…”  More ellipses!  So many!

  Then the visions come to fast to process, the phantoms start grasping her and then Drogon comes to the rescue.  He burns them and burns the whole damn building.  Dany escapes and Pyat is pissed.  Now I think I’m tripping by proxy :(

 

Tyrion XI

  It’s the eve of battle with Stannis.  Tyrion sends Shagga and the Stone Crows to hunt down his scouts.  Sending the clansmen away leaves Tyrion feel vulnerable because he doesn’t trust Bronn’s sellswords.  Can’t imagine why :/

  Tyrion also doesn’t trust the Gold Cloaks.  Neither does their leader Jacelyn Bywater.  He thinks they’ll desert if the battle starts turning against the Lannisters.  It’s looking bad.  So bad.  Especially since the smallfolk are still hungry and pissed off.  Who can blame them? 

  Tyrion reflects on the loss of Harrenhal for the Lannisters and the loss of Winterfell for the Starks.  Tyrion finds himself empathetic to the Starks but pushes that thought of the way.  Don’t try to hide it Tyrion.  You know you’re as much of a Stark fan as most of the readers!  Especially since no one likes Theon.

  Later Tyrion goes to the swearing in ceremony for the new King’s Guard.  He approves of Balon Swann.  He doesn’t approve of Osmund Kettleblack.  Kettleblack is shady.  We know this is true because of literary shorthand/stereotyping.  He’s low born with a hook nose and a spade shaped beard.  Like the devil.  Oh noes!

  Later Tyrion meets with Pyromancer (pie romancer!) Hallyne.  Hallyne claims to have 13,000 jars of wildfire.  Tyrion is skeptical but Hallyne claims that in addition to finding an old cache, the spells to make new “substance” are working better than usual.  We are to infer that it’s because of the dragons.  Hallyne even asks if there are dragons about.  Tyrion is skeptical of course but Hallyne remembers that magic died out with the last dragon so it is all kinds of suspicious.

  Later on Varys arrives with the news that some people think Stannis will win and are on his side.  They call themselves the Antler Men.  Tyrion orders them arrested.

 

Deaths in this recap:  2.  Amory Lorch of course.  I’m also counting Jaqen.

Cumulative deaths: 59

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  2

Betrayals in this recap: 1  I’m counting Arya saying Jaqen’s name.  I understand it, but it was still kind of shitty.

Cumulative betrayals: 15

Incest incidents: 0

Cumulative incests: 25

 

I’ve got a dick in a braizer for you

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:  Tyrion X, Catelyn VI, Bran VI

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot grigio

 

Tyrion X

  Lancel, in his function as spy/Tyrion’s bitch tells Tyrion Cersei’s plans to send Tommen away to live at nearby Rosby with Lord Gyles.  Even though Gyles Rosby isn’t much like Rupert Giles from Buffy, I always think of him whenever he’s mentioned.  Tommen will have his hair dyed brown so he isn’t recognized.  Cersei fears Tyrion will harm Tommen for some reason.  Later, Tyrion sends Jacelyn Bywater to track down Tommen, oust Gyles’ men and take of Tommen himself.  Tyrion thinks Gyles is too much of a wuss to protect Tommen.  That’s why Gyles < Giles.

personal animated GIF

  Tyrion goes to visit Shae.  She’s hanging out with a singer.  His name is Symon Silver Tongue.  Tyrion is none too pleased to see him.  Because he keeps forgetting that Shae is a sex worker and not actually his girlfriend so he has no right to be possessive. Maybe the term “girlfriend experience” hasn’t been invented in Westeros yet?

  After they ditch Symon and have sex, Tyrion goes out to the garden to angst and brood (what is he Jon Snow now?) and Varys comes to visit him.  He’s dressed as a begging brother and smells very bad.  Not like his usual lavender scent.  Tyrion doesn’t recognize him at first but Shae did.  She tells him that “A whore learns to see the man, not hid garb, or she turns up dead in an alley.”  I like that quote and actually think it can apply to any woman who lives in a decent sized city, not just sex workers.  It’s like the whole Schrodinger’s Rapist thing.

  Anywho, Varys is there to deliver bad news.  He informs Tyrion of Cortnay Penrose’s death.  Storm’s End has fallen to Stannis.  One might question why this is information Varys needed to tell Tyrion in secret.  Won’t this be discussed at the council meeting?

  Tyrion takes Shae aside for a moment.  He tries to convince her to leave the city so she won’t be killed when Stannis comes a calling.  Instead she wants to become Tyrion’s legit lady and bear him sons.  She also wants him to kill Cersei so nobody in town can stop them.  He informs her that kin slayers are cursed in the sight of both gods and men.  Tee hee.  Foreshadowing.  Instead he proposes Shae becomes a scullion (kitchen) maid.  Ouch.  He’s thinks she’d be safer in the Red Keep, but of course she’s pretty offended.  She mocks him for being afraid of his father and he slaps her.  Nice domestic violence Tyrion!  Ick.  He feels guilty and tells her the Tysha story.  I think that’s supposed to make us feel sympathy for Tyrion, but from what I can tell, abusers tend to have some sort of sob story excusing their violence so I’m not inclined to give any fucks.  Shae buys it though.  She agrees to go work in the kitchens.

  Tyrion goes back out to meet Varys berating himself for thinking a whore might lurve him for real. Varys agrees to help him place Shae in the kitchens.  Varys warns him the kitchens are super gossipy like the downstairs portion of Downton Abbey so Shae will need to memorize a good back story.  He also warns Tyrion that sexual harassment runs rampant in the kitchens, but Tyrion would Shae get fondled than stabbed.  What nice choices!

  Luckily for Shae, Lady Tanda Stokeworth needs a new maid for Lollys.  Lollys was already developmentally disabled.  Since being raped in the riots she’s regressed.  That’s just horribly, horribly sad.  But hey, it’s convenient for Tyrion that Lollys won’t care much about who Shae is and where she came from.  Varys also reveals that there is a secret passage leading to Tyrion’s bedchamber so Shae might be able to visit.

  With all the important booty call business taken care of, Tyrion is able to refocus on Penrose’s demise.  According to Varys, he threw himself from a tower.  Some guards witnessed it.  Of course, we readers know that the second shadow baby was the culprit.  Varys seems to think something fishy is going to do.  Tyrion laughs it off.  This prompts Varys to tell the story of how he was cut.  It’s a doozy.

  Varys was an orphan boy apprenticed to a mummer’s troupe.  In Myr some creepy dude offered to pay Varys’ master a lot of money for him.  The master was a horrible person so he agreed to this.  The creepy guys made young Varys drink a potion that paralyzed him but didn’t dull his senses.  He cut off both the frank and the beans.  I don’t even possess those parts and that made me cringe.  I can’t imagine how the penis havers felt reading this.  Then Male Lorena Bobbitt threw the genitals on a brazier.  The flames turned blue and Varys heard a disembodied voice speaking in another language.

  After the ordeal, creepy spell casting dude had no further use for Varys and put him out on the streets.  This story just keeps getting more distressing.  Varys pulled himself up by his bootstraps, did whatever he needed to survive and eventually became a really good thief.  Murica!  Myr!  It was during this time Varys learned that secrets were more valuable than coins. 

  The moral of the story is, magic is evil and Varys hates it.  I think if he were in modern society he would become one of those anti circ nuts that always brigades comments section.  But this is Planetos and instead Varys is an anti-magic zealot.  Because of this Varys wants Stannis dead.  I’m filing this away as possible foreshadowing.  Will Varys be involved in Stannis or Melisandre’s eventual demise?  Time will tell.  Hopefully not too much time.

 

Catelyn VI

  On to more cheerful things.  Oh wait, no.  It’s a Cat chapter.  Never mind.  Edmure rides off to war.  Catelyn’s not particularly thrilled with this.  It leaves her in a funk and she starts reminiscing.  We learn more about her background.  Catelyn’s two older brothers died in infancy and then her mother died giving birth to Edmure.  Cat was always both the dutiful eldest child and she had to function as lady of Riverrun.  This explains why she’s always so serious.  She’s always been focused on doing her duty.

  Cat tells Brienne all about how difficult being separated from her children is.  Brienne thinks childbirth is just as difficult and dangerous as fighting war.  Which is a great point.

  Riverrun also receives the news that Cortnay Penrose is dead and Storm’s End is fallen.  This means Stannis has Robert’s bastard Edric Strom.  This leads to Cat to thinking about bastard.  She wonders how Jon’s mother felt about Ned’s death.  She contrasts Ned’s protectiveness of Jon to Roose’s attitude when news of Ramsay’s death reached him.  He was glad to be rid of Ramsay because “tainted blood is ever treacherous.”  Damn.  The Boltons are even colder than the Bushes.

  Cat’s thoughts are interrupted by news of Lannisters marching across the Red Fork.  They are led by one of Lord Brax’s sons.  It is only a small host and supposedly Riverrun is not endangered.  Cat and Brienne can sort of see and hear the ensuing battle from the tower.  Edmure and his men won easily.

  That night, more Lannisters show up.  With it being dark Cat is less able to figure out what’s happening.  However, Edmure is again victorious.  The next morning word arrives of another victory to the south.  Yay!  Of course, Catelyn isn’t thrilled.  She never really is.  She sends lots of wine down to Cleos Frey so he can be drunk when she questions him later. 

  Once Cleos is good and sloshed she pays a visit to his cell.  She threatens him into giving her information about Arya and Sansa.  He has to admit that he only saw Sansa in King’s Landing.  She tries not to think about the possibility that Arya is dead.

  Later more word comes of several more attempts to cross the Trident.  The Tully men beat them all back.  Catelyn wants to be happy but can’t.  She wonders why, if they are winning, is she so afraid?  Because GRRM is a big meanie?

 

Bran VI

  This chapter opens with Bran having a wolf dream.  Summer is hearing weird clinking and scraping noises.  Summer and Shaggydog are distressed and smell strange men.  Unfortunately the direwolves have been locked up.  Summer who is melded with Bran even tries to climb a tree to escape but can’t do it.  He falls and this shakes Bran awake.

  Bran is afraid.  He knows that Jojen’s dream about the sea flooding Winterfell is coming true.  Moments later, Theon busts in.  Oh Theon, fuck you.  He tells Bran he’s taken Winterfell and is now the prince.  Poor Bran is still a naïve kid and doesn’t quite get it.  So Theon informs him he is being taken to the great hall and had better say the right things.

  Luwin later comes for Bran.  He has a gash above his eye.  He tells Bran that the Iron Born have scaled the walls.  They killed Alebelly.  Just like Jojen predicted.  Luwin managed to get two ravens off with the news.  One was shot down, but the raven sent to White Harbor got away.  Luwin helps Bran dress and advises him to yield to protect the smallfolk.

  Once downstairs, Bran sees the Reeds and Big and Little Walder.  Little Walder is prickish as usual and gloats over Bran’s new status as a hostage.  Shut up L. Walder.  You suck and something bad will surely happen to you.  The direwolves are howlin in the distance.  Theon, ever the asshole, lords his victory over Bran and Rickon.  Several Winterfellians are hurt and/or traumatized.  One of the Iron Born brings Reek in.  Oh good.

  Theon tries to speak but Mikken keeps shouting.  Bran tells him to be quiet after some IB beat on Mikken a little.  Bran officially yields Winterfell to Theon and this is probably one of the saddest, shittiest things that happen in the whole series.  The Starks have held Winterfell for thousands of years.  This is just not right!

  Mikken will just not shut up.  He refuses to serve Theon and keeps getting more beat up.  Bran desperately wants him to shut the fuck up.  But he won’t.  Finally one of the IB kills him by driving a spear through his neck.  Poor Hodor is now extremely distressed and is Hodoring very loudly over and over.  He gets beaten too.  Noooo!!!

  Theon tells the assembly that he’ll be as good to them as Ned Stark was.  Ha!  But they’ll be sorry if they ever betray him.  Reek pledges him his fealty, and then Osha does too.  They both want their freedom.  Bran has the sads because he thought that Osha was a friend.  No little boy, she was a captive.  Duh.  Afterwards beaten up Hodor cries and carries Bran back to his bedchamber and I just want to die.

Deaths in this recap:  3.  Poor Cortnay Penrose and Alebelly didn’t even get to die on page.  Mikken went down like a bad ass though.

Cumulative deaths: 57

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  2

Betrayals in this recap: 1  I go back and forth about whether taking Winterfell constitutes a betrayal, but what the hell.  Bran feels betrayed so I’m counting it.

Cumulative betrayals: 14

Incest incidents: 0

Cumulative incests: 25

There’s a shadow baby in my soup!

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:  Tyrion IX, Davos II, Jon V

Booze in my flagon:  Orange vodka/soda

 

Tyrion IX

  It is time for Myrcella to be sent to Dorne to ensure the alliance with the Martells.  It is made into a big lavish production.  The obese High Septon blesses Myrcella who is being sent with a kingsquard, Arys Oakheart.   The smallfolk are out in droves to watch the whole thing and Tyrion can sense their hatred.

  Myrcella never cries as she is sailing away but Tommen does.  So of course, Joffrey just has to be a dick about it.  Sansa tries to stand up for Tommen but Joffrey threatens to kill her.  Nice.

  As he watches the fleet sail away, Tyrion reflects on how he trusts Varys too much.  Yeah, that’s probably not a great idea.  We also learn that Littlefinger has been gone for a suspiciously long time.  Many people think he’s dead but Tyrion figures he isn’t.  It seems like he’s probably up to no good.  Just a thought.

  When it’s time to leave, the royal family and their people must navigate their horses through a crush of people.  All the peasants, who are starving because no food is coming into the city are staring at them with resentment.  When they are halfway back to the Red Keep a woman runs out in front of the column.  She’s carrying the corpse of a dead baby.  Part of me wants to go look up some of those tasteless dead baby jokes people used to tell in middle school, but I won’t.  I don’t need to because the most amazing thing happens next.

  After Cersei tells the woman that there’s nothing more anyone can do for the baby, the woman flips right the fuck out.  She calls Cersei a “Kingslayer’s whore” and “Brotherfucker!”  Beautiful.  Then someone in the crowd throws dung and it hits Joffrey in the face.  Beautifullest.

  Joffrey freaks out and promises 100 golden dragons to whoever gives him up.  He wants to behead the culprit and sends the Hound into the crowd.  This is starting to cause a mosh pit like atmosphere.  Tyrion advises they get out but Joffrey is stupid and is still insisting on finding the poo flinger.  Now the crowd is calling Joffrey “bastard” and “monster” and Tyrion “freak” and “halfman.”  They’re also demanding bread and cheering for the other king claimants.

  Chaos ensues.  Kingsguard member Aron Santagar is pulled off his horse and killed.  They got back inside and Lord Gyles reports seeing the High Septon pulled off his litter and killed.  Sansa, the Hound, Preston Greenfield of the kingsguard, Lollys Stokeworth and Tyrek Lannister, Tyrions teen cousin are all missing.  In a rage, Tyrion slaps Joffrey.  It’s glorious.  Of course, Joffrey is a complete piece of shit and doesn’t learn any lesson.  Tyrion orders KG members Boros Blount and Mandon Moore to go look for Sansa and Boros isn’t pleased about it.  They are close to coming to blows, but then, The Hound returns carrying Sansa.  She is bleeding from a gash on her forehead and very traumatized, but physically more or less OK.  Rioting and fires take place in the city for the rest of the night.  Later, Preston Greenfield’s body was found and Lollys was sadly gang raped but still alive.  Tyrek Lannister remains missing.

 

Davos II

  Team Stannis are camped outside of Storm’s End.  Ser Cortnay Penrose, its garrison will not give up Storm’s End or Robert’s bastard Edric Storm.  Stannis has gotten tired and haggard looking.  Like something drained the life from him.  Melisandre is by him constantly.  Creepy.  Stannis’ bannermen want to take up Penrose’s offer of single combat to settle things. 

  Davos and Stannis shoot the shit talking about treacherous his formerly Renly supporting bannermen are.  They talk about how Davos keeps his amputated fingers in a pouch around his neck to remind him where he came from.  Predictably, Stannis emos about how everyone likes Robert and Renly better.  He tells Davos that he dreamed of Renly’s death at the time it happened.  It gives Davos the heebie-jeebies.

  Later at dinner, Davos advises Stannis to abandon Storm’s End and strike for King’s Landing.  Stannis nixes that plan.  He knows that no one loves him and he needs people to fear him to keep his people in line.  He informs Davos that Melisandre has seen Penrose’s death in the flames.  It will occur within the day.  Once again Davos is well and good heebie-jeebied.  He wants Davos to secretly land a boat beneath the castle that night.  He is to take Mel with him.

  While going into the drainage tunnels Davos and Melisandre discuss the nature of good and evil.  Davos believes in shades of grey.  Mel believes in only good and evil but thinks that everything done in the service of R’hllor is inherently good.  There’s a lot of talk of rotten onions.  Once beneath the walls of Storm’s End Mel takes off her cloak to reveal … a giant ass pregnant belly!  She gives birth to the same Stannis looking shadow creature that killed Renly.  The shadow slips between the bars and enters Storm’s End.

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  In the middle of the night Qhorin Halfhand and company finally arrive to the fist to meet up with Mormont and company.  Qhorin is the mostest fiercest warrior the Night’s Watch has.  Qhorin knows who Jon is right away because he has the Stark look.  They were late getting to the Fist because they were attacked by wildlings.

  Qhorin has found out why Mance and all the wildlings are in the Frostfangs.  He’s a power that will take the Wall down.  He and Mormont decide to send scouts back into the mountains to find out what’s going on.  Qhorin will lead them.  Mormont will keep the bulk of the NW.  Qhorin is allowed to choose what men he wants to take.  He chooses Jon Snow.

Deaths in this recap:  3.  The High Septon, Aron Santagar, and Preston Greenfield in the riots.

Cumulative deaths: 54

Maybe deaths in this recap:  1.  Tyrek Lannister, missing.

Cumulative maybe deaths:  2

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 13

Incest incidents: 21

Cumulative incests: 25

Fiery Bush

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:   Arya VIII, Catelyn V, Daenerys III

Booze in my flagon:  Today I’m going hipster c. 2005 and drinking PBR

 

Arya VIII

  Harrenhal is in chaos because Tywin is finally marching.  Arya has been running a whole lot of messages back and forth and Weese is being an insufferable asshole.  He tells Arya if she runs away he’ll give her to Vargo Hoat who likes to chop off limbs (ooh foreshadowing).  She’s been desperately looking for Jaqen H’ghar because she Tywin is taking the Mountain, Dunsen, Polliver, and Raff with him.

  Arya is sent to deliver a message to the armory.  There she sees Gendry and can’t help but notice his naked sweaty chest.  I feel you, girl.

Gendry is kind of a humorless dolt and doesn’t realize he’s a cover of a romance novel so all he wants to is scold Arya for yelling “Winterfell!” while fighting back at the holdfast, thus possibly giving away her identity.  It seems Hot Pie ratted her out.  Bad Hot Pie! In penance you shall make lots of wolf bread.  Oh right, that’s only in the show.

  On the way back to Weese, Arya overhears people gossiping about Robb.  They are discussing rumors that he is a warg with giants in his army.  For a minute she feels her Stark feels coming back to her but Weese comes up and interrupts her being an asshole as usual.  He even slaps her hard enough to make her taste blood.  Now she hates him.  Watch yourself Weese.

  While delivering yet another message she runs into Rorge who of course harasses in a most icky way.  Luckily he doesn’t do anything because she asks about Jaqen and he seems afraid of him.  He tells her Jaqen is in the bathhouse.  He’s lounging in the bath and despite how much her life sucks right now at least she gets plenty of eye candy today.  She whispers “Weese” in his here.  Gah!  This might be the only point in the series that I get mad at Arya.  She had a chance to take out Tywin!  Noooo!

  I guess it’s well deserved though.  At dinner time he catches her staring at him and smacks her, shoves her, and threatens to gouge out her eyes.  Classy.  Unfortunately, Jaqen doesn’t get him that night and he’s still terrorizing her in the morning.  As she watches Tywin and company march off she finally regrets her strategic blunder.  She runs off to find Jaqen to see if she can reverse her choice.  As she’s running she hears a loud shriek.  It’s Weese who had taken a fall and died.  Jaqen is leaning against the wall looking all sly.  She only has one kill left.

 

Catelyn V

  Two days ride from Riverrun Cat and Brienne run into a scout for the Freys.  Um, good?  She finds out the Blackfish has gone west with Robb so she has to settle for a visit to the camp of Martyn Rivers, one of Walder’s bastards.  Rivers tells her that he has orders to bring her back to Riverrun because with Tywin on the move it is not safe to be out roaming around.  This is troubling news.  Thanks Obama Arya! 

  The battle at Oxcross is recounted for the third.  Blah, blah, blah.  I guess I’m a stereotypical girl in a few ways because battle talk does not interest me at all.  It’s second only to poems and songs (looking at you Tolkien) in things I skim while reading fantasy.  Anyway, Cat is not pleased with the nasty rumor that Robb cut out Stafford Lannister’s heart and fed it to Grey Wind.  I would be quite pleased with that rumor actually, scaring your enemy has to be a good thing.

  That night, Brienne approaches Cat to ask her if she can be released.  She’s been quiet and socially awkward so far, not bonding with anyone so it isn’t a huge surprise.  Brienne wants to go back to Storm’s End.  To vengeance kill Stannis.  Cat convinces her not to by commiserating about her grief over Ned and convincing her to live in the now and all that Lifetime movie stuff.  Erm, sorry.  I’m bad with sentiment.  She wants Brienne to serve Robb and fight for him, but she would rather serve Catelyn.   She only asks that she not her back if she gets the opportunity to kill Stannis.  Catelyn agrees and Brienne pledges to serve her.

  When they get near Riverrun the next day Cat notices that camps are set up again.  It looks like Edmure is intending to fight Tywin there at the Red Fork.  This makes Cat nervous for some reason.  Probably because Edmure is kind of an idiot.  The walls of Riverrun are full of decomposing hanged Lannister men.  Yet another thing that makes Cat uneasy.  It seems like everything makes her uneasy.  She’s a little afraid that Jaime is one of those bodies.

  I just have to stop here and note that the book describes Edmure’s beard as a fiery bush.  Hahaha!  That sounds a whole lot like fire crotch to me.  Maybe I’m just gross.  Especially since fire crotch always conjures up images of a fire ant colony residing on someone’s crotch.

  Anyway…

  It turns out the hanged men were Cleos’ envoys.  They broke out Jaime who was retaken, but with some casualties.  This happened while Edmure was out whoring so this news puts Cat in, you guessed it, a bad mood.  Robb wanted her to go off to the Twins but she refuses because she wants to be with her dying father and does not want to have to pick Robb’s bride for him.  She also tells him she disapproves of his plan to fight Tywin.  Edmure’s all embarrassed to have s girl tell him what do.  Of course he is not swayed away from his bad ideas.

  She goes to visit Hoster.  Sadly, Hoster has dementia or something and thinks she is Lysa about to be married to Jon Arryn.  He speaks of some “wretched stripling” that Lysa wanted to be with, but Catelyn isn’t sure who that is.  In other depressing news, when she gets back to her bed chamber she finds that Ned’s bones have been delivered.  Sans ice.

 

Daenerys III

  Dany has been going about Qarth begging for ships and money and she keeps striking out.  IIRC this chapter has a lot of stuff of about the ins and outs of Quartheen society and politics.  It’s OK to read but I don’t feel the need to recap it because it isn’t all that important.  This might be a short one.  Basically, everything is fancy and the people are pale, cold and unempathetic.  Think of it as the ASOIAF version of one of those neighborhoods with a lot of huge McMansions and tacky cars.  The main thing to glean from this is that they have a guild of assassins called the Sorrowful Men who apologize before they kill you.  So you can’t fuck with any of the wealthy people in Qarth.  She hates being a beggar like Viserys but is grateful for the dragons.  And did I mention she’s wearing the fashionable dress of Qartheen ladies?  It’s a dress that lets one boob hang out.  I’d hate to see what one of those would like on me.

  Xaro has been nice housing Dany and her people but he won’t give her anything either.  Not unless she marries him.  He tries to claim he is into her, but he is obviously gay.  They stop to watch a firemage who is doing all sorts of neat fire tricks.  Quaithe creepily pops out of nowhere.  She tells Dany that this firemage used to have no fire game at all but all of a sudden he has power.  Quaithe claim it’s because of her and her waking of the dragons.  She also counsels Dany to get out of Qarth and go to Asshai instead.

  Later, back at Xaro’s manse Dany is talking to Jorah.  He has found out why Xaro wants to marry her.  The Qartheen have a wedding custom that allows each spouse to ask the other for one gift.  That gift can not be refused.  He’s trying to trick her into giving him a dragon.  She decides to leave town.  But first she will go to Pyat Pree and the warlocks

Deaths in this recap:  1.  Weese.  I won’t miss you, child beater.

Cumulative deaths: 51

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  1

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 13

Incest incidents: 21

Cumulative incests: 25

.

So many bad ideas, so few nope llamas

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:  Bran V, Tyrion VIII, Theon III

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot grigio

 

Bran V

  A raven arrives at Winterfell with news of Robb’s big victory against the Lannisters at Oxcross.  However, Bran is disappointed that Tywin is not yet defeated and Robb will not be coming home.  Maester Luwin also tells Big and Little Walder that their uncle Stevron Frey is dead.  Those two little shits have zero fucks to give and just LOL at how old Stevron is.  Bran realizes this situation is proof that Jojen’s greendreams are prophetic.  The Freys got the bad dish but liked the taste of it better.  In real life I would put this all down to confirmation bias, but hey, fantasy!

  Later Jojen barges into Bran’s bed chamber with Meera ready to tell Bran about the dream of disaster at Winterfell he had.  He dreamt that the sea comes to Winterfell and drowns many of its residents including Mikken, Alebelly, and Septon Chayle.  I’m not sure what need they have for a Septon now that Catelyn’s gone anyway.  Is that callous?  Winterfell is many leagues away from the sea so it’s all cryptic but Bran seems to be a believer now.  He wants to warn the people that Jojen saw dead to save them.  Jojen is all fatalistic about the whole thing and declares that it will not help.

  Instead, Jojen wants to hear about Bran’s dreams.  Bran describes his wolf dreams.  Jojen calls Bran a warg.  In the book the word ‘warg’ appears in italics so you know it’s extra dramatic.  The ever comforting Jojen warns Bran that even his own people will want to hurt or even kill him if they hear about his wargtastic state of being.  The perfect thing to tell a nine year old.  He tells Bran that they aren’t mere dreams and they can’t be changed so he might as well shut up about becoming a knight.

  Bran ignores Jojen’s opinion that he can’t change the foreseen deaths and decides to try and warn them.  Predictably it doesn’t do much.  Mikken makes fun of him, Chayle doesn’t really care and figures he’ll die when the gods see fit and Alebelly does pay heed but his solution is to stop bathing so he gets so extra stinky that his buddies force him to bathe.

  A few days later, Rodrick comes back to Winterfell with a prisoner.  He is called Reek.  He has long greasy hair, wormy looking lips and smells like literal shit.  In other words, he is exactly what you imagine an internet troll to be.  Reek was a servant to Roose Bolton’s bastard Ramsay.  Ramsay was killed and Reek captured while they were in the middle of committing rapes on Hornwood lands.  It turns out that with Reek’s aid, Ramsay forcibly married Lady Hornwood, locked her in a tower and left her to starve to death.  She was found with her fingers chewed off.  I get why that imagery was used because it’s horrifically gruesome, but wouldn’t she die of dehydration long before she got that hungry?  Oh well.  That’s kind of nitpicky I guess.  In any case; I think this calls for a nope llama.

  Rodrick and Maester Luwin worry that this will create a difficult political situation with Roose Bolton because Lady Hornwood signed a will naming Ramsay as heir, but it was signed under duress.  They are not sure if Roose will press his claim on the Hornwood’s lands.  Bolton men and Manderly men are fighting each other in the Hornwood forests.  It’s a hot mess.  They decide to keep Reek alive until Robb returns because he is a witness.  Um, that might, just might be a bad idea guys?

  Bran tells Luwin about Jojen’s dream.  Of course, he is skeptical but he has to admit to Bran that the Ironborn are raiding the Stony Shore.  Later, Jojen tells Bran he had a dream about Reek in which he was skinning the faces off of Bran and Rickon.  He saw Bran and Rickon down in the crypts.  Again, these are not appropriate things to tell a child about!  The chapter dramatically ends with Jojen reminding Bran that the greendreams cannot be changed. 

 

Tyrion VIII

  Varys is villainously warming his hands above the brazier and informing the small council of Renly’s demise.  Varys has heard many theories about who did it but either isn’t sure which is correct or is pretending not to be sure.  Cersei, with her usual pissiness is angry at him for not being sure.  In any case, Tyrion is thinking Stannis was behind it.  The sudden death is not good news for team Lannister because they were counting on Stannis and Renly’s armies decimating each other so the winner was too weakened to be a threat.  Most of Renly’s forces have gone over to Stannis..

  However, the Tyrells, Tarlys and Rowans haven’t gone over and are free agents now.  Also, Storm’s End hasn’t yielded under the watch of the castellan Cortnay Penrose.  Word is Loras was so upset he killed Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce for not saving Renly.  They see an opportunity to win the Tyrells by voiding Joffrey’s betrothal to Sansa and promising him to Margaery instead.  The prospect makes Cersei mad for no reason I can see.  I’m pretty sure she automatically hates everything that wasn’t her own idea.  She finally does reluctantly agree and she and Tyrion try to talk each other into being the one to go to Bitterbridge to treat with the Tyrells.  In a surprise twist Littlefinger agrees to step on go.  That’s not suspicious at all.  Tyrion doesn’t trust it but he has no choice to agree.  Slobber Redwyne will go with to be returned to Lord Paxter Redwyne in hopes of winning him over to the Lannisters side too.  Horror will be left in KL as insurance.

  After the meeting is over, Cersei suddenly starts buttering Tyrion up.  She thanks him for his awesome performance as the Hand and kisses him on the cheek.  Obviously she is up to something.

 

Theon III

  We join Theon on his raiding mission on the Stony Shore.  He has captured Benfred Tallheart.  Aeron Damphair wants him killed, Theon wants Benfred questioned but Benfred is belligerent.  He says he will not answer questions and swears Theon will die for his fuckery.  This makes Theon decide to kill him.  Aeron wants him given to the Drowned God and he wants Theon to be the one to drown him.  Theon however, unlike Ned cannot stomach executing his own prisoner and refuses to do it.  Oh Theon!  For all his bragging about almost cutting down Jaime at Whispering Wood he sure is chickenshit with his prisoner.

  After Benfred is dead and the looting complete Theon seeks out Dagmer Cleftjaw.  Dagmer has a hideous scar down his face.  He was sort of a surrogate father to Theon.  Theon whines about Balon not really trusting him and outlines his wishes to do something more than just harry the shore.  Dagmer admits that Theon is untrusted because he is too close to Robb.  Poor Theon.  Nobody likes him.  A lot of that is because he is a douche, but still.  It’s kind of sad.

  Anyway, Theon’s dastardly plan is to have Dagmer lay siege to Torrhen’s Square home of the Tallhearts.  This will draw Rodrick and Winterfell’s garrison leaving Winterfell undefended.  Uh oh.

 

Deaths in this recap:  4.  Poor Lady Hornwood, Benfred Emmon, and Robar didn’t even get the courtesy of dying on page.

Cumulative deaths: 50

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  1

Betrayals in this recap: 1.  I can’t remember if I already counted Theon betraying Robb, but I think it’s worth mentioning again.  Bad Theon.

Cumulative betrayals: 13

Incest incidents: 21

Cumulative incests: 25

 

The first (men) fisting

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:  Sansa III, Catelyn IV, Jon IV

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot Noir

 

Sansa III

  The Hound has come to fetch Sansa and bring her to a meeting with Joffrey.  That always goes well.  Sansa’s dress is getting tight across her chest because she’s getting boobies.  The Hound tells her Robb has done something to piss Joffrey off.  When they get to Joffrey he has a crossbow and there’s a dying cat with a crossbow in it lying on the ground.  Somehow I managed to block that part out the first three times I read it.  Now it’s burned in my brain and I am not at all pleased.

  Robb’s treason was staging a sneak attack on Ser Stafford Lannister, Tywin’s brother and killing him along with thousands of Lannister men.  Joffrey via that lickspittle Lancel claimed that Robb attacked with an army of wargs and they all feasted on the flesh of the Lannister soldiers.  I’m pretty sure that’s bullshit though.  Joffrey says he wants to kill Sansa but his mommy won’t let him so he’ll only punish her.

  He has Ser Boros Blount beat her.  But not in the face because Joffrey likes her pretty.  Ugh.  Not enough nopes in the realm for this.  The Hound implores Joffrey to put a stop to it but obviously that doesn’t work.  Of course, it gets even worse as Boros rips her damn dress off.

  Luckily the proceedings are interrupted by Tyrion.  He tells Joffrey off, threatens to have Boros killed if he won’t shut his stupid mouth, and most humiliating of all, he threatens to send for Joffrey’s mommy.

  Tyrion has Sansa escorted back to the tower of the hand with him so she can be a little safer.  She realizes she’s been placed in Arya’s old bedchamber.  He informs her that not only Stafford Lannister, but several Westerland lords have been killed or captured.  That’s why Joffrey was throwing his Beiberesque tantrum.  He promises to put an end to the betrothal between she and Joffrey.

  Sansa wants to get back to her old bedchamber so she can get out and find Dontos in the godswood.  She lies and tell Tyrion that being in the tower of the hand would give her nightmares.  This works.  Suck it Sansa haters.  She isn’t stupid at all!

 

Catelyn IV

   Catelyn goes to a sept in a little village to pray and angst and guilt.  While praying to the Mother she feels a bit of empathy with Cersei of all people.  She realizes that she might kill to protect her own children.  Hmm.  Foreshadowing?

  She heads back to Renly’s camp and enters his tent.  Brienne is helping to prepare him for battle and Lords Rowan and Tarly are there to talk strategy.  They are confident Renly will win because he outnumbers Stannis’ men but they also know he will never yield.  Catelyn wants a word with Renly so he sends the lords away.

  She tells Renly she suspects the incest story is true and Bran caught them in flagrante delicto and that’s why he was defenestrated.  She wants Renly to join with Stannis and Robb and set aside their crowns to convene a great council and expose the incest to the realm.  This is actually a great idea, but we all this is going to get shot down because it would interfere with the Baratheon egos.  Nice try Cat.

  Catelyn is starting to beg when some spooky breezes and shadows enter the tent.  She notices that the shadow is moving independently of Renly and doesn’t belong to him.  It also gets cold in the tent.  There’s a very Ghost Adventures vibe.

Of course, Zak and the others shit their pants every time a draft goes through the creaky old buildings they “investigate” so I don’t think they could deal with what’s coming.

  The shadow takes its shadow sword and straight up slits Renly in the throat.  Brienne goes to catch him and he dies in her arms.  Brienne screamed which attracted the attention of his guards Robar Royce and Emmon Cuy who come rushing in.  They accuse Brienne of murdering Renly.  Cat tries to stop them and explain but they don’t listen and rush Brienne.  Luckily, Brienne is a BAMF and she manages to fight off and kill an unnamed guardsmen and knock over Cuy.  Cat finally convinces Robar that Brienne is innocent and he lets them escape.

  Catelyn believes the shadow was Stannis.  Brienne is on board with theory and vows to kill him.  They sneak out in the chaos with the rest of the northerners.  She realizes that all or most of Renly’s men belong to Stannis now and she remembers Stannis’ threat that Robb’s day will come as well.

 

Jon IV

  The Night’s Watch arrives at the Fist of the First Men.  It’s a big hill in the middle of the forest.  I always picture something similar to the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.  Ghost refuses to climb to the top of the fist.  Apparently, Jon has not watched many horror movies or he would know you should always trust canine instincts.  They make camp and plan to wait there for Qhorin Halfhand, a really good fighter/ranger from the Shadow Tower to the west of Castle Black.

  The Fist was a fort of the First Men during the Dawn Age thousands of years ago and their are henges or cairns or something placed all around.  Thoren Smallwood notes that it is an old place and Mormont’s raven agrees and echoes the word old which is always kind of ominous.

  Jon goes back down the hill to fid Ghost and he appears right away.  He still won’t let Jon take him back up.  Hint, hint Jon!  Could it be any clearer?  He does get creeped out but tells himself to put on his big boy panties and ignore those instincts in favor of manly stoicism.

  Later Jon prepares spiced wine for Mormont and his advisors and listens to their strategies.  They do not want to go in the freezing cold Frostfang mountains and figure that Mance and the wildlings will be driven down by the inhospitable weather and will thus be seen by the NW.  The NW are going to be in a holding pattern for a while.

  After Mormont goes to bed, Jon goes out to the cookfire to get supper.  Dywen who is the cook is uneasy too.  He smells a cold smell and doesn’t like it.  The others are laughing Dywen off, but Jon smells it too and it reminds him of the smell the night the wights attacked at Castle Black.

  Later that night, Ghost finally goes up to the camp, but only to get Jon to follow him elsewhere.  Ghost leads him down the hill and partially around the base of the fist.  Ghost finds a mound and starts digging.  He has dug up a cache of weapons, knives, arrowheads and spearheads wrapped in an old NW cloak.  The weapons are made of obsidian AKA dragonglass.  There is also an ancient and janky warhorn made of auroch horn and bronze.  Very spooky and mysterious.  See Jon, trust the canine instincts.  Always.

 

Deaths in this recap:  1.  Poor dumb Renly.  He never knew what hit him.

Cumulative deaths: 46

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  1

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 12

Incest incidents: 21

Cumulative incests: 25

Kissin’ Cousins

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:  Tyrion VII, Arya VII, Catelyn

Booze in my flagon:  Malbec

 

Tyrion VII

  Cersei has Tyrion awakened by cousin Lancel in the middle of night.  Tyrion figures she thinks his wits might be slower, but he’s an insomniac so it he’s used to thinking while tired.  Not that it takes much to outwit Cersei.  Everyone but Ned can do it.  Lancel via Cersei wants Tyrion to release Pycelle.  Lancel tries to be intimidating but it doesn’t really work and Tyrion accuses him of having an affair with Cersei.  Lancel is a giant wuss.  He folds and admits to participating in the death of Robert and doing Cersei.

Pretty soon, Lancel is begging for mercy and pledges to spy for Tyrion.  Tyrion tells him he’ll release and advises Lancel not to knock Cersei up.

  Feeling drunk on awesomeness, Tyrion has Bronn take to see Shae.  Her guard is an ugly man with a hare lip and a lazy eye because Tyrion doesn’t want any hotties hanging around Shae.  He wakes up Shae with oral sex and thinks about great his life going and how powerful he is.  I’m sure that will last. 

 

Arya VII

  Arya has settled in to life as a serving girl in Harrenhal.  Compared to hanging out with The Mountain it doesn’t seem to bad.  Hot Pie gets to work in the kitchens because fatty love cake amirite?!  Gendry was sent to the forge.  Tywin is there but she never gets anywhere near him.  Her boss, Weese is a huge asshole who has his dog maul servants that piss him off.  This earns him a place in Arya’s prayers.

  A couple weeks later a group of mercenaries called the Bloody Mummers by others and the Brave Companions by themselves arrives at Harrenhal.  They’re a variety of nationalities and they’re led by Vargo Hoat.  He has a lisp.  They’re a troublesome lot and fights break out between them and the Lannisters their very first night.  Luckily, they soon leave but not before Arya hears them speak about Robb being at Riverrun.  Now she knows he’s close.

  There are also hostages from the north who have freedom of the castle.  One of them is Lord Cerwyn.  She doesn’t know the other two. She thinks Cerwyn might remember and help her, but he was injured and dies before she can talk to him.

  On yet another day, she sees Amory Lorch.  Rorge, Biter and Jaqen H’ghar are working for him.  That pisses her off and she starts to wish she let them die.  That night, Arya is having a wolf dream when Jaqen wakes her up.  He leads her into the cellar.  Hopefully this won’t turn into a Lifetime movie about sexual predators…

  Nope!  He just wants to tell Arya that he owes her a debt.  Since she saved three lives he will kill three people of her choosing.  Only death pays for life.  You would think it would be appropriate for him to save three lives at her behest, but hey, this is Westeros.  Even help is dark and nefarious.  She thinks it over and decides it might be more practical to get someone in the vicinity than someone in King’s Landing.

  The next morning, Weese threatens to cut out Arya’s tongue and then he twists her ear.  Bad move buddy!  Her resentment is building but she remembers her fathers policy of killing those that wrong him himself and Arya decides it isn’t right to have someone else kill people for her.  Arya would make a terrible politician.

  Weese has Arya serve some of the Mountain’s men.  She hears Chiswyck tell an oh so hilarious story about gang raping a brewer’s thirteen year old daughter.  Ew.  That was too much for her ethics so she whispered “Chiswyck” in Jaqen’s ear.  Three days later he is dead.  Supposedly from a fall.

 

Catelyn III

  Catelyn is headed to a spot near Stannis’ camp just outside of Storm’s End.  Renly is on his way as way as well.  Cat is going to attempt to negotiate a peace deal between the two feuding brothers.  Stannis arrives first bearing his new standard, the Baratheon stag inside the firey heart of R’hllor.  With him is Melisandre.  He promises justice for Ned’s death, but not before complaining about he should have been hand instead.  Seems like a blessing not to have been the hand since they tend to get murdered, but OK.  He tells her that he will return her daughters once he takes King’s Landing, but he needs Renly’s men to be on his side first.

  Renly soon arrives.  He is jaunty and flip and teases Stannis about how nobody wants to be king.  Catelyn scolds them for squabbling instead of uniting to fight the Lannisters, but they have zero fucks to give about Baratheon unity.  She points out that they are both traitors to the crown, so what difference does it make who the older brother is.  Stannis fills her in about Joffrey’s bastardy.  This is the first she’s heard of it.  Renly doesn’t seem to believe Joffrey is a bastard, or he pretends not to.

  Stannis ground his teeth.

  Renly took out a peach and started eating it.

  Maturity abounds.

  Things get even more heated and they almost come to blows.  Stannis gives Renly the night to change his mind and surrender.  Renly laughs him off because he has the bigger army.  They agree to meet at sunrise.

 

Deaths in this recap:  2.  Cerwyn who I didn’t know and Chiswyck who I didn’t like.

Cumulative deaths: 45

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  1

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 12

Incest incidents: 21

Cumulative incests: 25

Ducksauce vs. Fedora Man: A battle for the ages

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters: Arya VI, Daenerys II, Bran IV

Booze in my flagon: Cabernet-sauvignon

 

Arya VI

  Arya is trapped in the storeroom for eight days with Genry, Hot Pie and the villagers.  The Mountain would pick a new prisoner each day to torture and question.  The main questioner/torturer is named the Tickler.  He’s good at his job.  The prisoners were always asked about whether there was gold and silver in the village and they were always asked about Beric Dondarrion, the guy Ned sent after the mountain who Sansa’s friend Jeyne Poole had a crush on.  I don’t know why the detail about Jeyne Poole was important to add.  It’s just cute and it reminds me of the hopeless crush I had on a student teacher when I was in high school.  Onto more gruesome and important things, nobody ever survives the questioning.

  The prisoners aren’t even allowed to speak.  A three year old boy and his mother were even killed because he wouldn’t stop crying.  It’s really, really horrible. Arya’s chapters in these books might be the darkest in the series.   Arya is becoming increasingly angry towards the Lannisters and one can hardly blame her.

  After the eight days in the storehouse, the remaining prisoners were forced to march to Harrenhal where Tywin Lannister and his gilded mutton chops await.  The march is depressing too.  Those too weak to keep up were killed and the women were routinely raped by the Mountain and his men.  Arya keeps looking longingly at Needle who is kept by Polliver.  She thinks that’s it’s a good thing she doesn’t have it because she’d have tried to use it against Gregor and gotten herself killed by now.  I should be disturbed by this, but to be honest, I’ve had similar thoughts whilst on an annoyingly crowded and noisy bus/airplane so…

  It’s at this point that dark Arya is creeping and she starts her pre bedtime death list prayer.  Dunsen, Polliver, Chyswyck, Raff the Sweetling, The Tickler and the Hound, Ser Amory, Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, King Joffrey, Queen Cersei.  I’m guessing they’re all dead before the end of the series, but GRRM loves to fuck with his readers so who knows?

  On to fun ooky horror stuff.  Arya recalls the stories Old Nan told her about Harrenhal.  It was built by one of Iron Born former rulers of the Riverlands, Harren the Black.  He supposedly mixed human blood in the mortar.  Soon after the giant monstrosity that is Harrenhal was built, Aegon came along and roasted Harren within the walls.  Oops.

  Sure enough, Harrenhal’s towers are all creepy and melty.  Think of the sand castles you make with wet goopy sand.  Hot Pie doesn’t want to go in because he’s heard it’s haunted.  Obviously he has no choice.  The prisoners are showered and inspected.  Arya gets assigned to serve as a butter churner because she has callouses on her hands from “Needle work.”  She tells the overseers that her name is Weasel.  Arya says she’d rather tend horses.  For impudence she is instead assigned to assigned to some fugly psycho named Weese.  Thus ends a chapter too bleak to properly snark.

 

Daenerys II

  Daenerys and her party approach the walls of Qarth.  A column of camels and riders are sent to escort them to the gates.  They’re all garish and fancy.  A warlock named Pyat Pree rides alongside Dany and boasts about Qarth being the “greatest city that ever was or ever will be.”  Such arrogance.  I think Qarth people are to the ASOIAF fire universe what New Yorkers are to our universe.  You know how they think they’re really important and are the only city with culture but no one else gives two shits about them?  The Qartheen seem to be the same way.

  The city also proves to be rather loud and garish, at least for my taste.  There’s lots of colors and ornate fountains and architecture.  Everyone is tall and pale and the women wear silk gowns that expose one boob.  Um, why?  I hope that trend never takes off here in real world.  Some of us need bras!

  A merchant prince named Xaro Xhoan Daxos (henceforth he will be called ducksauce) and starts having a passive aggressive argument with Pyat Pree about who should host Dany and her khalasar.  She has soured on the concept of sorcery since her experience with Mirri Maz Duur so she chooses Ducksauce.  He tells her not to trust the warlocks because they are ludicrous liars.

  Of course, Jorah the fedora’d wonder takes issue with Dany having a new manfriend.  He doesn’t want her to trust Ducksauce either.  Dany is more pragmatic and realizes she needs to suck up to rich people.  She’d make a good senator.

Ser Fedorah

I have a feeling I’ll be using this picture often.  Thanks Nice Guys of Westeros tumblr!

  Ducksauce’s estate is staggeringly vast.  Dany gets her own huge section of it.  Before the Qartheen party departs, a mysterious shadowbinder in a red lacquer mask (da fuck?) named Quaithe tells her to beware of everyone and everything in Qarth.  She insinuates that they only like her for her dragons and that’s the only reason she gets to be the new popular kid.

  Dany sends out some of her men to scope out the city.  Jorah brings back a ship captain from the summer islands named Quhuru Mo.  Another fucking Q name?  Geez.  Mo brings Dany some great news.  Robert Baratheon is dead.  But you already knew that.  Jorah is cautious, but Dany is given a new sense of hope and purpose.

 

Bran IV

  Bran has become friends with Meera and Jojen Reed.  Meera and Summer are play fighting.  He knocks her over, but she is awesome with a net and managed to ensnare Summer.  Bran asks if a master-at-arms taught her to fight with a net.  She says no.  Her father, Ned’s friend Howland taught her.  The Crannogmen hardly have a typical home.  Meera says their home, Greywater Watch moves around. So, it’s Howland’s moving castle?  It means no one, even ravens can find it.  Bran asks if he would be welcome there and Meera says yes.  Bran thinks he will ask Rodrick about it.  Rodrick is not home right now.  He’s sorting out some trouble.  Lord Roose Bolton’s bastard son kidnapped the recently widowed Lady Hornwood and forcibly married her so he might get her lands.  This has pissed off all the other Northern lords who also want to marry her and take her land.  Lord Wyman Manderly took her castle to “protect” it.  It’s a whole big thing, but I’m sure it will have no further bearing on the story :/

  Jojen, in his creepy solemn way tells Bran that he needs to peace out of Winterfell ASAP.  Jojen has prophetic dreams.  The Reeds call the greendreams.  The crow from Bran’s dream also appears to Jojen and it’s telling him they need to go north.  He says Bran needs to open his third eye so he can see beyond the physical plane or whatever.  Bran is in denial for now.  I guess that means he’s third eye blind?

  The more Jojen presses Bran to tell him of his dreams, the crankier Bran gets.  He tells Bran that he and Summer are a part of each other.  That’s why Summer is getting pissy too.  He’s being all Cujotastic and menacing the Reeds.  His rage brings Shaggydog over too.  Shit is getting serious.  The Reeds climb up a tree.  Bran calls Hodor over and Hodor calms the wolves down by chasing them and Hodoring.

  Bran has Hodor bring him to the Maester’s tower to visit Luwin.  He asks Luwin about the Children of the Forest, who supposedly had the greensight.  Just like Jojen and apparently, Bran.  He wants to know where the magic came from.  Luwin doesn’t know and he claims that all the magic is gone from the world.  He does know that the Children could supposedly see through the eyes of Weirwood trees and that’s why the First Men cut them down.  Meera later tells Bran that Luwin is full of shit and magic still exists.  Jojen had a recent dream that Bran was given delicious meat while the Walders were given gross rotten meat, but the Walders liked their meal more.  She said he’ll understand the dream later.  When the dinner that night is uneventful, Bran is able to keep in denial about his burgeoning creepy kid powers.  For now anyway.

 

Deaths in this recap:  0.  That’s 9 chapters in a row with no deaths! George, I am disappoint.

Cumulative deaths: 43

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  1

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 12

Incest incidents: 20. 

Cumulative incests: 26

 

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