Is that a horn in your tent or are you just happy to see me?

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Cab-Sauv

Chapters:  Jon X, Arya XIII, Sam IV

 

Jon X

Surprise, surprise.  The chapter opens with Jon emoing.  He’s thinking he will today and reflecting on how he’s probably failed in his life mission to prove that bastards aren’t inherently treacherous and bad.

He’s spent the last several days on ice.  Literally.  He’s been in the ice cells.  Janos Slynt and Alliser Thorne had intended on hanging him, but Aemon intervened and tattled on him to Cotter Pyke, who is in command at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.   I still think the name Eastwatch-by-the-Sea sounds more like the name of a New England bed and breakfast with a picturesque lighthouse in the vicinity, not an outpost next to grim and icy waters.

Mance Rayder wants to parlay with the Nightswatch, but because he isn’t stupid, he doesn’t want to go them.  Thorne and Slynt are sending Jon as an envoy figuring he’s all buddy-buddy with Mance and of course, hoping Mance will Jon instead.  They aren’t really sending him to make terms.  They tell him they’re sending him to kill Mance.  It’s basically a death sentence.  Even on the off chance he succeeds, the other wildlings will kill him.

Jon gets to the other side of the Wall.  He walks through the ruins of the battle.  A raven is perched on top of the head of a giant.  The raven screeches “Snow, snow” at him and flies away.  Is that a good omen or a bad one?

Tormund comes out to meet him.  He tells Jon that if he wants to switch sides again, he might as well forget it

Tormund is actually in pretty good spirits.  He always is.  Jon tells him about how a one armed blacksmith named Donal Noye was the one to slay the giant Mag the Mighty and Tormund toasts to both Noye and Mag and says that Mance will probably make a song about their fight.  They also toast to Ygritte.  This gives him a chance  to emo again about how she died bravely storming a castle and he’ll die a turncloak and a killer.

They get to the camp.   Mance is hanging out outside the tent.  He’s accompanied by Harma Dogshead and Varamyr Sixskins, the skinchanger.  Varamyr is accompanied by his shadowcat and two wolves.  Regular, not dire.  Yeah, Jon is screwed.

Harma wants to kill him and Varamyr says some told ‘ya so stuff about never liking Jon.  We get a bit of skinchanger lore.  When Orell died, he went to live inside his eagle and started fading away in there.  So Varamyr skinchanged into the eagle instead and now Orell is part of him whispering about how much he hates Jon.  Creepy!  It’s like a skinchanger Borg.

Skinchanger Borg has flown to the south side of the Wall and has seen that the Watch is in a pretty bad way.  Things are looking bad for both Jon and the Watch.  I sure hope some deus ex machina comes along and aids them…

Inside the tent Mance’s lady friend Dalla is in the early stages of labor.  Her sister Val is holding her hand.  They will stay for the meeting and that’s not at all awkward that she might give birth in front of an enemy’s envoy possibly while he’s killing the babby’s (typo and it stays) father.

Mance seems fairly unconcerned.  He has something to show Jon.  His big, giant warhorn.   No, that’s not a euphemism.  It’s an actual horn.  Eight feet long.  Black with gold runes.  A very one ringish prop.   Mance claims it is the mythical Horn of Winter.  The horn that can supposedly bring down the Wall.  Jon asks why they bothered with a battle at all.  Dalla is the one to answer.  She says sorcery is a sword without a hilt and there is no safe to grasp.  That’s…ominous.

More ominous still, the talk turns to the Others.  Mance says none of wildling races, including the giants have figured out how to defeat them.  He admits this entire war is about hiding behind the Wall.  There will be no where to hide if the Wall comes down.  Mance wants the Watch to open the gates and let them pass.  In exchange, he’ll give them the horn.   Jon asks if Mance will be able to keep his Wildlings peaceful and lawful.  Mance scoffs at that.  Jon asks what will happen if they refuse.  He knows there’s no way Thorne would agree to any of this.  Mance says Tormund will blow the horn in three days.  Jon is trying to figure out if he should try and make a move on Mance when they are interrupted by warhorns of the regular variety.

They rush outside.  Something is coming from the east.  Jon fears it’s the Others but Mance says they never come when the sun is up.  Varamyr can see via eagle what’s coming.  It’s men on horses.  Men in steel and black.  Mance and the wildlings think it must be the Watch pulling a sneak attack.  Jon is baffled because he’s not heard any such thing.

The wildlings go out to meet their enemy.  Well some of them do.  Some are fleeing.  The news comes to the camp that there’s a ton of men and they’re coming from the north too.  Mance leaves Varamyr to guard Jon.  Varamyr is still watching from the eagle.  He sees golden banners.  Then he throws his head back and screams.  Then Jon sees the eagle on fire and falling from the sky.  Varamyr is writhing on the ground.  His shadowcat flees the scene while his wolves start fighting each other.   Val comes out to find out what’s going on and says that Dalla is now giving birth.  Everything is chaos.

Jon hears trumpets.  He wonders if Robb has returned (I guess he hasn’t learned of his death yet?  Or he’s delusional?) or if King’s Landing sent help.  The battle continues all around them.  The Wildlings are mostly losing.  A lot of them are fleeing.  But the giants are doing some damage to the mystery army.  Jon still can’t tell who the yellow banners belong to.   Shortly the Wildlings break.  Jon sees that someone has killed Harma and put her head on a pole.  That’s what you get for being a dog murderer!  Finally Jon sees that it’s a Baratheon banner and hears knights chanting “Stannis, Stannis!”

 

Arya XIII

Sandor and Arya come to an inn.  Arya recognizes it as a place they had stayed on trip to King’s Landing from Winterfell.  It’s come under new management since the war.  Arya doesn’t recognize the innkeep.  She does however recognize some of the guests.  Three  Lannister soldiers.  Polliver is one of them.  He recognizes The Hound who seems unconcerned and just orders some wine.  The other two are a squire and Tickler, the main torturer at Harrenhal.

Polliver and Sandor do some tough guy posturing type of things with each other.  Polliver tells him that if he’s looking for Gregor, he’s gone to King’s Landing.  He also tells him that Joffrey is dead.  Arya is surprised that she’s not happier about this news.

Polliver tells him more news.  I’m not sure why since they were acting all bar room brawly a couple of minutes ago.  I guess it’s just a method of exposition delivery.  Arya gets to find out that Sansa was married to Tyrion and is now suspected of regicide and has disappeared.  Blackfish is under siege at Riverrun and most of the riverlands are in Lannister/Frey hands.  The only fighting is around Raventree where the Blackwoods are still staying loyal.   Then they drop the real bombshell.  They found Arya and are giving her to the Boltons.  Sandor thinks this is pretty hilarious.  Arya is just confused.

Sandor asks if there are ships at Saltpans but Polliver says he doesn’t know, he just knows that Randyll Tarly took Maidenpool and locked up it’s previous lord, Mooten.

Finally we’re done with the exposition and the smackdown begins!  Sandor is drunk and is losing the fight.  The Tickler is stabbing Sandor.  Arya stabs the squire and takes the knife that the Tickler had thrown and lodged in the wall earlier.  The Hound is just about done for, sitting in the corner bleeding.

Or so it seems.  He kicks Polliver in the shins and slices upwards, catching him in the face and practically beheading him.  The Tickler is starting to scared.  He’s ignoring Arya, so she takes the opportunity to stab him in the back!  She repeats all the questions he used to give while torturing people to death.  She keeps stabbing him past death, until Sandor pulls him off.  The squire is still alive.  Sandor says he’s as good as dead though.  He’s been stabbed in the bowels.  He makes Arya mercy kill him.

They leave the inn and make camp later that night.  Oh, and Arya has recovered Needle from Polliver!  Sandor has Arya pour hot wine into his wounds to sterilize them.  She dresses the wound.  When it comes time to sleep, her kill list is shorter.  It is then she wonders if it’s true that Sansa killed Joffrey.  She wishes she could have seen or done it herself.  Don’t we all?  She goes to sleep and has a wolf dream.

The next day, the Hound is weak and sick from his wounds.  Before night falls, they have to stop.  He’s dying and wants her to mercy kill him.   But she won’t do it.  She tells him he doesn’t deserve mercy and leaves him.

Six days later, she finds Saltpans.  There are three ships there.  She has no money so she has to sell Craven the horse.  The woman who buys him gives her only a small amount though.  She knows a pitiful and ragged girl like herself must’ve stolen or found her, so she’ll turn her in for stealing or take what she gives her.

Arya goes to the biggest of the three ships and offers the captain her purse to take her to the wall.  He’s not impressed with the amount of money she has.  The captain doesn’t want to go north as it only has ice and pirates.  He says they’re going home to Braavos.  That’s when Arya takes her iron coin the Jaqen had given her out.  She says “Valar morghulis” to him, just like Jaqen had said to do.  This prompts the captain to answer “valar dohaeris” and offer her a cabin.  Arya is taking a little trip abroad.

 

Sam IV

Gilly is nursing Dalla and Mance’s baby.  She says he sucks harder than her own baby.  Not touching that one.   I guess Dalla has died but my drunkish ass missed where it says so.Jon is watching and smiling, but in a sad and emo type of way.  This is how we learn that Sam and Gilly have arrived safe at Castle Black, shortly after Stannis ex machina arrived.

Mance is captive, a thousand of his best fighters were slain and the rest of the Wildlings have scattered.  Castle Black is chaotic because it’s all messed up from all the fighting, and it’s all full of Stannis’ men.  Castle Black has a tower, called the King’s Tower that is set aside for visiting kings.  This is the first time it’s been used in living memory.

Val wants to see Mance and let him meet his son, but the only one allowed to see him is Maester Aemon.

Jon and Sam are walking together.  Jon can tell Sam doesn’t just like Gilly, he like likes her.  Jon tells him that he cannot keep her.  Sam knows this and thinks it might be best to send Gilly to his home, Horn Hill and tell his family that her baby is his bastard.  Sam thinks his mom would like the baby and his dad would like the proof that he isn’t gay or something.

They talk about the turncloak allegations.  Sam assures him that very few actually believe it.  They talk of the upcoming Lord Commander election.  Alliser was losing so he’s backing Janos Slynt.  The other main candidates are Cotter Pyke and Denys Mallister from the Shadow Tower.  Jon emos about how no one loves him and he has no family.  Sam wants to tell him that he met Bran, but keeps his word.  Jon goes to train in the practice yard with some of the newer recruits.

They have an election choosing later.  Two thirds of the vote is needed.  Janos Slynt gets the most votes.  Why?  Who would vote for that?  I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.  If people will vote for Donald Trump, they’ll vote for anyone.  Even still, he doesn’t get his two thirds.

Later that night, Sam, Pyp and Grenn are discussing the choosing.  They’re all desperate to keep Slynt from prevailing.  Sam says they need someone else besides the current candidates that everyone could get behind.  It sounds like he’s pulling a Kristy from the Babysitter’s Club and getting a great idea!  Stay tuned to find out what that not at all painfully obvious idea is.

 

Deaths in this recap: 4.  Dalla, Harma Dogshead, Polliver, Tickler

Cumulative deaths: 147

Maybe deaths in this recap: 1, The Hound

Cumulative maybe deaths:  13

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 36

Incest incidents: 0

Cumulative incests: 28

 

 

Butcher Kings and Sad Peens

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot noir

Chapters:  Daenerys VI, Jaime VII

 

Daenerys VI

Having conquered Meereen, Dany is sitting out on the terrace garden of the great pyramid eating breakfast and looking over the city.  The battle happened off page, but Dany’s people led a slave rebellion.  She had nailed 163 slave masters to crosses, just the same as they had done to the little slave children.  The rest of the masters were spared.  She had felt righteous at first but later feels guilty.

She tells herself she did it all for the children and gets ready to go hold court.

All of her inner circle are in the throne room.  She wonders who will betray her next and thinks the other two heads of the dragon, whoever they are will be the only ones she can trust.  I see the paranoia of her father is setting in.

She complains about all the flies in the city.  Daario points out that corpses breed maggots and maggots breed flies so she orders Grey Worm to see that the corpses from the sack are removed.  You’d think for the smell alone she’d have wanted the corpses gone, but I guess not.

First visitor is a man named Ghael.  Sounds like the next trendy name for boys in the suburbs but he’s an envoy from Astapor representing the new king Cleon.  She had left a council to rule their but Ghael claims they were caught scheming to bring back slavery and Cleon executed them for it and was named king.  Missandei tells Dany he had been formerly a slave who was a butcher.  A butcher king doesn’t seem to bode well.

Ghael claims that Yunkai is plotting against her and wants to make an alliance between Astapor and Meereen.  He wants to seal this an alliance with a marriage between Cleon and Dany.  She says she’ll consider it but I think we all know that’s going to be a big NO.

The next visitor is a Qartheen ship master.  He tells a different story.  He says Astapor is a famine stricken cesspit and Cleon AKA King Cleaver is seizing young boys and attempting to make new Unsullied.  The Qartheen wants slaves.  Daario says several of the freed slaves want to sell themselves to go live in Qarth.  She says they can sell themselves but not their children or wives and Dany will get a tenth of the price from the Qartheen.

After these meetings, she has Belwas fetch Barristan and Jorah for her.  This will be the first time she’s seen them since their past dishonesty had been revealed to her.  She questions Barristan about why he bent the knee to Robert after the rebellion.    He said it’s because Viserys was a horrible little brat who was about to turn just like Aerys and wasn’t fit to rule.  Dany had been under the impression that the nickname Mad King was a lie, but Barristan tells her the truth.  He said he waited to reveal himself because he wanted to make sure she was sane.  He promises to serve her faithfully for the rest of his life and she decides to formerly swear him into service as he’s very knowledgeable about the history of Westeros and how King’s Landing works.

Jorah on the other hand, just whines a bunch and tips his fedora at her.  He admits that he had even sent a report when they were in Qarth.  Barristan rats him out about how he told Varys when she became pregnant.  He pleads for her forgiveness and says he loves her but she cannot forgive him and he is exiled.

The next day after a restless night, Dany informs her people (minus Jorah) that she planned to stay and rule Meereen rather than march.  Because how can she rule the seven kingdoms of Westeros if she can’t manage one city?  I’m sure the people of Meereen would be flattered to know they were being used for Queen practice.

 

Jaime VII

Tommen is signing a bunch of papers that Kevan is giving him during a small council meeting.  Jaime is bored and sore from trying and failing to fight with his left hand.  He’s been practicing with Addam Marbrand.  Jaime sucks at fighting left handed so he’s pretty depressed.

Most of the papers are giving land to Lannister allies and taking it away from enemies and a bunch of pardons.  Including one for the Westerlings.  Hmm…  One legitimizes Ramsay Bolton formerly Snow and makes Roose Warden of the North.

Finally he can’t take it anymore and asks for leave to go.  Outside he runs into Steelshanks.  He’s about to leave for Winterfell with “Arya Stark.”  She’s a young girl, hollow eyed and frightened.  A little too old and tall to be Arya.  So who is this mystery girl?  Jaime doesn’t know or care.

He passes the area where Gregor and Oberyn had dueled.  Gregor has indeed been poisoned by Oberyn’s spear it seems.  He’s still alive but not healing at all and he spends all night and day howling.  His veins are turning back and when Pycelle tries to leech him, the leeches die.  Do I need to post a Grumpy Cat meme here?  It seems trite in the year 2017.

Oh, what the hell

Whether it’s cliché or classic, it works.

Jaime returns to his bedchamber and finds Cersei waiting for him.  He thinks some lusty and twincestuous thoughts but Cersei is just there to complain.  She’s been kicked off the small council by Tywin and about to be sent back to Casterly Rock and she wants Jaime to convince him to let her back on so she can continue to be the second biggest helicopter parent in Westeros after Lysa.  Predictably, she’s also not thrilled about Tommen’s betrothal to Margaery.

Somehow the subject of the attempted murder of Bran comes up.  Cersei denies involvement in it and doesn’t think Joffrey was either.  FWIW, I don’t think it was Joffrey either!

She wants Jaime to offer to leave the Kingsguard in exchange for Tywin agreeing to let Cersei stay and not marry her off.  He says no but suggests she tells Tywin that they’re going to have a Targaryen style incest marriage.  She doesn’t want to do that so she tries to sex him into going along with her.  Shockingly, he turns her down as it’s not safe to do it there.  Cersei responds by asking if his manhood was hacked off in Harrenhal and says she doesn’t know why he would have the courage to protect Tommen when he didn’t avenge Joffrey.  Yeah, she’s still mad he won’t kill Tyrion for her.  Jaime still doubts Tyrion’s guilt.  He kicks her out and she insults his penis again and leaves.

Jaime sends for Loras and Brienne to ask if he’s spoken to Brienne yet.  He seems a little less certain that she’s responsible for Renly’s death.  He sends Loras way to speak with Brienne alone.  They sort of awkwardly flirt for a minute.  He tells her about faux Arya so that she wouldn’t hear that Arya was in the north and try to rescue her.

Jaime then gives her the sword made from Ice reforged.  He tells her to call it Oathkeeper and that she is too find Sansa and bring her somewhere safe.  She wonders why he’s sending her on this mission.  He thinks that Joffrey was a squirt of seed in Cersei’s cunt who deserved to die but he tells her that Sansa is his last chance at honor.  Brienne sweeps out awkwardly.

 

Deaths in this recap: 0

Cumulative deaths: 143

Maybe deaths in this recap: 0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  12

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 36

Incest incidents: 1.  Cersei and Jaime fool around a little

Cumulative incests: 28

Petyr Humbert

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot Grigio

Chapters:  Sansa VI, Jon IX, Tyrion X

 

Sansa VI

They arrive in the Fingers after a rough sea journey.  Sansa has been sea sick and traumatized the whole time.  She feels guilty that Tyrion is about to go down for murdering Joffrey even though he’s innocent.  Littlefinger tells her he gave Tysha, his first wife to his guardsman to make her feel better about that.

Big surprise, LF was misleading Sansa about going home.  He meant his home.  Not Winterfell.  His home is the Fingers for a couple of weeks, then on to the Eyrie where he’s going to marry Lysa.  Yes that’s right.  We will soon be getting another encounter with the queen of attachment parenting.  I’m pretty sure that if Lysa had been around in 21st century US or UK, she’d be one of those insufferable mommy bloggers.

Sansa is disappointed not to be going home even though the North is overrun with Iron Born and Boltons but she’s somewhat comforted because surely Lysa will be kind to her own niece.  Oh, honey.

A pathetic looking assortment of servants meet Sansa and Littlefinger’s party.  Including a fat middle aged woman named Kella who pops out bastards every couple of years and never knows who their fathers are because she doesn’t ever turn men down.

I guess patriarchal monarchy doesn’t guarantee that there will be no single mothers and sex outside of marriage after all.

Another of the servants tells them that there’s a dung fire burning.  The area is barren enough that there isn’t plentiful wood to burn so they have to use sheep dung for heat and fuel instead.  The rocks they have to step over to get to the little mini castle are full of sheep pellets.  It must smell wonderful there.

There’s a shield in the tower with a stone head with fiery eyes.  I can’t be the only one who thought of Olmec from Legends of the Hidden Temple, right?

We learn that Littlefinger’s great grandfather was a Braavosi and so the family sigil became the Titan of Braavos.  LF took the mockingbird for his own sigil I guess because he’s all devious and can mimic a decent human being when he needs to?

Once Littlefinger and Sansa are alone and he’s getting her drunk and pliable given her a cup of wine to settle her tummy, he tells her that it’s not safe to be open about who she is once they get to the Vale as Varys has informers everywhere.  He says they’ll have to tell Lysa’s people that she’s his bastard daughter.  They’ll call her Alayne after his mother.  She wants to pose as the trueborn daughter of a knight who died in his service, but he says that will invite questions.  The story will be that her mother is a Braavosi gentlewoman who willed her to the Faith after dying from childbirth but “Alayne” wanted to come live with dad because she didn’t want to be a septa.

Littlefinger asks if she likes to play games.  What is he, Jigsaw?  Actually I guess there are some similarities.  He tells her there are two sorts of people in King’s Landing; the players and pieces.  He declares that Cersei is a piece who thinks she’s a player.  Then he reveals that the Kettleblack brothers are his men and Cersei has no idea.  They’re his spies and secret weapons placed in the city.

Then comes the even bigger reveal.  That Olenna Tyrell was the poisoner of Joffrey.  She took an “amethyst” out of the hairnet when she straightened it at the wedding.  Not too big of a surprise since LF was with the Tyrells for a suspicious length of time back in the previous book.  With these books, I’ve learned that if a character is off page for a while, they must be up to something.  He didn’t suggest this plot directly though, he spread rumors in the Tyrell camps of Caligula like behavior.  He predicts that soon Margaery will be marrying Tommen.

Why does he tell her all this?  He’s grooming her to be a player or he’s grooming her to be molested by his pervy ass.  Maybe both.

Eight boring days go by.  Sansa does nothing but hang out with old blind dog.  Finally, Lysa arrives.  Sansa is all shady about how she’s less of a MILF than Catelyn was.  It is very obvious that Lysa is deeply in love with Littlefinger.  She brought a septon so they could marry right away.  When he suggests they wait to have a more lavish wedding in the Eyrie, she goes all Fatal Attraction and throws a tantrum.  She TMIs about how she’s going to scream so loud when they consummate the marriage that they’ll hear her in the Eyrie.  So it’s settled.  They marry within the hour.  They do the traditional creepy as hell Westeros bedding and then Lysa follows up with her promise to be a total screamer.  She even screams for him to make her a new baby

Lysa’s singer Marillion, who you may remember as part of Catelyn and Tyrion’s entourage headed to the Vale starts creeping on Sansa.  He’s says he’s been composing songs for her various body parts including a duet for her breasts.  Wtf?  Does he intend one part to represent the left breast and the other part to represent her right breast?  She turns him down but he continues to do what a PUA would call a “kino escalation” on her.  By that I mean he gropes her and asks if she’s wet for him.  Ew, ew, ew!  I guess it wouldn’t be a Sansa chapter if there weren’t multiple men who are the types of guys that think Lolita is an instruction manual.  Fortunately, she is saved by Lothar Brune.

The next day, Littlefinger tells Sansa that he told Lysa who she is and Lysa wants to speak with her.  Lysa informs her that she looks too much like Catelyn so she’ll have to die her hair brunette.  She also tells her that she hadn’t wanted to marry Jon Arryn anymore than Sansa wanted to marry Tyrion.  Lord Arryn was elderly and his breath always smelled like bad cheese.  She seems sweet at first but then she goes all Jekyll and grabs Sansa demands to know if she is pregnant.  Sansa assures Lysa that she’s a maiden and Lysa tells her she’ll be married to her cousin, the little breastfed Robert “Sweetrobin” Arryn.  Joy.  But not until after Tyrion is executed.  Until then, Sansa will be expected to be meek and grateful.  So, out of the frying pan and into the fire pretty much.

 

Jon IX

It’s been three days and the Wildling army is besieging the Wall. The Night’s Watch men are all ragged and exhausted as they are vastly outnumbered.  The Wildlings send up arrows every morning and it’s mostly been futile but one did catch Red Alyn on the leg and knock him down to his death.  There’s a Myrish eye on the wall which is apparently some sort of weak telescope.  Jon uses it to look at their foes.  Mance doesn’t leave his tent but Jon does see his very pregnant girlfriend Dalla and her sister Val.  The Wildlings are building a turtle.  A wooden structure covered in the hide of a mammoth so that the fighters can have shelter from the Watch’s fire arrows.  The turtle is almost done so they expect another fight today.  They are almost out of oil and arrows and the NW lost a bunch of men fighting the Weeper and his army down by the Shadow Tower.

Not long after the turtle is finished and starts for the Wall.  None of the fire arrows or catapulted rocks do any real damage.  If it makes it to the Wall, the Wildlings will be sheltered while they use picks and axes to remove the rubble that’s blocking the gates.  If that happens, they are all finished.

The Watch has been planning for this.  They filled barrels with gravel and then covered them in water and left them out to freeze overnight so the barrels won’t burst on the way down.  These battle scenes are exciting to read but boring to writing about!  Anyway, the plan is a success.  The manmade boulders destroy the turtle.

That night, Jon is roused from sleep and brought to the Lord Commander’s solar.  Maester Aemon is there as well as Alliser Thorne who has just returned from Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.  Thorne calls him a turncloak and starts accusing him of desertion.  Aemon said that he and Donal had been satisfied by Jon’s explanations but some other jowly dude is making big noises about not buying it.  Mr Jowls turns out to be one Janos Slynt.  Remember how Tyrion sent him to cool his heels up at the Wall?  Well, he’s there and has formed a fellowship of douches with Alliser Thorne.  They have Rattleshirt as a hostage and he testifies that Jon killed Qorin Halfhand and had sex with Ygritte.

Jonos Slynt continues acting like someone who’s fragile masculinity has been demolished by a dwarf.  He brags about how he can’t be fooled by Jon’s lies.  Yeah, okay Slynt.  You’re the coolest.  Alliser is egged on by this and even accuses Benjen Stark of being in some sort of nefarious conspiracy with Jon.  Slynt starts trash talking Eddard Stark as a traiter and orders Alliser to take him to the ice cells.  Jon just about kicks Alliser’s ass which he uses as further proof that he’s really a wildling.  Then the chapter abruptly ends.

 

Tyrion X

Tyrion is starting to get nervous.  He has one more witness against him and then it’s his turn to testify.  He still doesn’t know how he’s going to save himself.  He’s not convinced that he should let Oberyn be his champion and challenge Gregor.

As Pod comes to announce it’s time, Tyrion thinks that he is doomed.

The surprise witness turns out to be Shae.  Shae claims that Tyrion admitted to her that he and Sansa planned the regicide together.  He also wanted to kill Cersei and Tywin according to her.  She openly admits to having been Tyrion’s whore although she pretends to have been a nice  maiden that was trafficked into prostitution by Tyrion.  She said he forced her to call her giant and the whole room laughs at that.

Tyrion flies into a rage and says he’ll give a confession.  He says he confesses to the crime of being a dwarf and that’s what he’s really on trial for her.  He says he didn’t poison Joffrey but wishes he had.  He demands his trial by battle.  Cersei looks all pleased and smug about that.  Until Oberyn says he’ll be Tyrion’s champion.  The throne room is in an uproar.  Pandemonium!

Later in his cell, Tyrion feels a bit better.   He even sleeps well that night.  Oberyn visits him in his cell the next morning just before the battle.  They have a drink together.  Oberyn says he always drinks before a battle.  It’s kind of like me and how I bowl better with a couple of beers in me.  The stakes are a wee bit higher here though.  Oberyn is very confident that his speed and cunning will defeat the Mountain’s size.  His spear seems to be tipped with poison.  There’s something glistening and black on it.

Oberyn tells him a long story involving failed courtships and farts.  The long and short of it is, Tywin has been mad for a long time that the Martells turned down Tywin’s offer to marry Jaime to Elia so that Elia could marry Rhaegar Targaryen who Tywin had wanted for Cersei.  This goes a long way towards explaining why Tywin joined Robert’s rebellion and sent his men to kill Elia and her children.  This fight has been a long time coming.

Predictably a lot of people turn out to watch celebrity deathmatch.  Gregor is looking imposing as usual and Ellaria is scared but Oberyn is still pretty cocky.  As is Gregor.  Oberyn darts around Gregor trying to poke him with spear (no, not that way.  Mind out of the gutter!) while talking about Elia and how Gregor raped and murdered her and killed her children.  He’s demanding a confession.

This goes on for some time.  Until finally Gregor loses his temper.  He somehow accidently slices up a stableboy trying to get at Oberyn.    Gregor says all the talk is making his head hurt.  Finally Oberyn lands a blow beneath Gregor’s armor.  Gregor falls and Oberyn slams the spear into him.

Oh wait.

Oberyn can’t walk away.  He’s still demanding Gregor says Elia’s name.  Like a horror movie villain, Gregor is not done yet.  His hand rises up, he grabs Oberyn and finally confesses.  Then he pokes Oberyn’s eyes out and smashes his skull with his fist.  Ellaria screams.  Tyrion pukes.  Twyin announces that Tyrion is guilty and condemned to death.

 

Deaths in this recap:  2.  Red Alyn.  Oberyn Martell.

Cumulative deaths: 143

Maybe deaths in this recap: 0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  12

Betrayals in this recap: 1.  We get the reveal that the Tyrells, who are supposed to be the Lannister’s ally were involved in Joffrey’s death.

Cumulative betrayals: 36

Incest incidents: 0.  I thought about including the betrothal of Sansa to her cousin, but they didn’t actually do anything and I don’t think that counts as incest in Westeros anyways.

Cumulative incests: 27

 

 

Child of Rage

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot noir

Chapters:  Arya XII, Tyrion IX,  Jaime VIII

 

Arya XII

Surprise!  Arya wasn’t killed by Sandor at the Red Wedding.  He just knocked her out with the flat end of an axe.  She’s not surprisingly pretty depressed and just wants to sleep.  When she does sleep, she has a lot of wolf dreams where she’s warging Nymeria.  Nymeria has a giant pack that she’s leading.

A female alpha wolf?

Sandor however, forces Arya to wake up every morning.  We know from Bran chapters that it’s probably for the best, she would lose herself if she stayed in Nymeria all the time.  But Arya doesn’t know this and she’s not pleased.

At least Arya finally has her own horse now.  The horse had run away from the Twins during the RW and so Arya named her Craven.

Arya keeps telling herself that she’ll kill The Hound in his sleep, or take Craven and run away, but she never does.  She has nowhere to go.

They go on like this for days.  Arya sullen and The Hound full of barely contained rage.  He won’t tell her where they’re going and they avoid populated areas, so there’s no way to know.

One time, they come across an archer who’s dying from an infected mace wound.  Real shocker here, a Bolton man was the culprit.  Sandor mercy kills him and takes his dagger and coins.

They reach the foothills of the mountains and Sandor finally reveals that he’s taking her to the Eyrie to try and ransom her to Lysa.  Maybe while they’re there, they can have a nice tall refreshing glass of breast milk.   Arya is in denial that her mother is really dead and wants to go all the way back to the Twins.

That night she has a dream that she, as Nymeria finds Catelyn in the river.  There are tons of corpses there, but she sniffs Catelyn out.  She actually goes into the river and drags the body out.  She drives the other wolves away from the corpse and thinks “Rise.  Rise and eat and run with us.”  Then some men on horseback come along and the pack scatters.

The next morning, Sandor brings up her mother again, but Arya now says she knows she’s dead because she saw it in a dream.

When they get to the Vale, they find that it’s going to be about impossible to get up to the Eyrie.  There’s frost up in the mountains now and the clans are out in full force.  After being turned away from King’s Landing, they came back to wreak more havoc.

They spent days in a village.  Arya’s increasingly angry.  A little girl keeps following her around and talking about how her doll, Ser Soldier keeps her safe.  She steals the doll and rips it apart, tells the girl that now it really looks like a soldier and throws the doll in the brook.

One of my favorite nineties TV movies.  After Death of a Cheerleader, of course.

A couple of weeks later, the villagers, who know who The Hound is, make it plain that they are unwelcome.  So they leave and go back to the Riverlands.  The Hound decides that he’ll take her to Riverrun.  Arya suggests the Wall, but Sandor is not having it.  He wants to take vengeance on his brother.

 

Tyrion IX

Tyrion is talking with his uncle Kevan who informs that in the absence of a king, the trial will be led by Tywin.  Mace Tyrell and Oberyn Martell are to be co-judges.  He asks if he can request a trial by battle but Kevan advises against it because Cersei plans to name Gregor Clegane as the crown’s champion.  Tyrion requests a visit from Podrick Payne and tells Kevan that he didn’t do it.  Kevan doesn’t seem to believe him though.  When Pod comes, Tyrion tells him to send for Bronn, tell him there’s a lot of gold in it for him and not to return without Bronn.

Pod does not come back that day.  Tyrion struggles to come up with witnesses on his behalf and tries to figure out whodunit.  He thinks it’s Sansa at first, but doesn’t know where she could’ve gotten the poison without accomplices.  He doesn’t think that anyone will buy that she did it alone.  All the same, she’s the only witness he can think of.

When Kevan returns, he tells him that Ser Addam Marbrand is hunting for Sansa but the trial is to begin in three days.  Not much hope that’ll find witnesses in that time, considering that he’s locked up.

Finally, the next day, Pod returns with Bronn.  Bronn informs him that he’s about to marry Lollys Stokeworth.   She’s not the heir, but her older sister Falyse is barren and there are no males, so if Bronn gets her pregnant, he’ll get a son as an heir.  In other words, Bronn is more interested in climbing up the social ladder than helping Tyrion, and Falyse may not be long for this world.  Bronn refuses to be Tyrion’s champion.

It’s the morning of the trial and Addam Marbrand comes to escort him.  It seems to be the social event of the season.  Well, after the purple wedding anyway.  Everyone is there and everyone is dressed well.  Tywin asks Tyrion if he killed Joffrey.  Tyrion says no.  Then he is informed that he is to stay quiet while the witnesses against him testify.

Balon Swann and Meryn Trant and Boros Blount talk about all the times Tyrion was mean to Joffrey.  Including when he smacked him around a bit during the battle of Blackwater.  The Kettleblacks did the same.  Everyone glosses right over how much of an asshole Joffrey was.  At last Tyrion loses his temper and starts shouting.  He realizes right away how big of a mistake that was.  With that, the first day of the trial ends.

The second day, the Maesters testify.  They say they found no food in Joffrey’s throat, so he must have poisoned.  Pycelle tells of the time Tyrion stole poison from him.  Remember the time he gave Cersei the Hershey squirts to keep her out of the way?  He testifies that the poison used was the strangler, which we already knew.  Then a parade of nobles comes along to testify that he choked.  Lady Merryweather even says she saw Tyrion drop poison in the king’s cup.

So far this trial is kinda boring.  It reminds me of the summer of OJ Simpson’s trial.  I was annoyed because Days of Our Lives was always being preempted.  I’m not even ashamed about that.  I was 15.  The nineties were the glory days of Days.  When Marlena was possessed.

But I digress.

Another day ends.  Kevan comes back in to tell Tyrion that if he confesses, Tywin would permit him to take the black.  I admit I’d kind of hoped he would agree that because I would not hate seeing him and Jon interact again.  But he’s not having it.

The next day, Varys testifies.  He pretty much just confirms what everyone else said and that he knows because his little birds told him.  At the end of the day, Cersei says she has one final witness to speak on the morrow.

That night, there is a knock on the door.  He’s expecting Kevan, but surprise!  It’s Oberyn.  He tells Tyrion that Cersei has been working really hard to buy his vote against Tyrion.  She’s even hinting at marriage.  Oberyn tells him that by Dornish law, the throne should pass to Myrcella and of course, the Martells have Myrcella.  He hints that his brother, Prince Doran may crown her.  Tyrion says that even if Cersei would agree to that, Tywin wouldn’t allow it.  Oberyn says “your father may not live forever” in a wink wink, nudge nudge kind of way.

It is then that Oberyn reveals that he actually thinks that Tyrion is innocent.   Tyrion confirms that Gregor was the real killer of Aegon and rapist and killer of Elia, not Amory Lorch.  Then Oberyn finally gets to the point and says that he will step up as Tyrion’s champion.

 

Jaime VIII

Jaime has been emoing around the castle all Jon Snow style.  He’s been watching the trial, but just kind of hanging around at the back.  Cersei has been distant and he’s disowned, so he never hangs out with Tywin either.

He’s sitting all alone in Kingsguard HQ, the Round Room.  There’s a weirwood table with a big white book chronicling all the history of the KG.  He’s reading some of the recent entries and pouting about how Barristan Selmy had given him such a paltry entry when the other KG members come in.  It’s a super exciting Kingsguard meeting.

Jaime kind of scolds them for letting Joff die on their watch.  He asks their opinion on whether or not Tyrion is guilty.  They don’t seem to really know or care.  Oswald Kettleblack thinks it’s the High Septon.  Loras thinks it’s Sansa.  Aw.  That kind of makes me sad.  It’s bad enough when you’re a teenager and your crush isn’t into you.  How much would it suck if your crush thought you were a murderer.

Jaime changes the subject to the protection of Tommen, who will be the new king.  He decides that Boros Blount will taste everything Tommen eats or drinks to make sure it isn’t poisoned.  Boros is pretty pissed off about it but Jaime threatens him until he hawks a loogie on the ground and leaves.  It seems that even though Jaime is no longer capable of fighting, people still fear him out of habit.

Jaime scolds Meryn Trant for brutalizing Sansa on Joffrey’s orders.  He says that from now on, he’s to obey Jaime first and foremost.  One by one he questions and dismisses the KG members.  Until he is alone with Loras.  Loras is all extra cocky and Jaime realizes that he’s just like a younger version of himself.  He brings up Brienne.  Loras thinks she has to be guilty of killing Renly because how else could the death have happened if she weren’t part of it.  Jaime points out that the same could be said for Loras and the other KG present.  He convinces Loras to talk to Brienne and give her a fair hearing.

The chapter ends with Jaime thinking her has other debts to pay.  Whatever that means!

 

Deaths in this recap:  0.  Yeah, nothing really happened in these chapters.  All set up for the final chapters.

Cumulative deaths: 141

Maybe deaths in this recap: 0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  12

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 35

Incest incidents: 0

Cumulative incests: 27

Menstrual Blood is Thicker Than Water

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Absolut citron and soda

Chapters:  Jaime VII, Davos VI, Jon VIII

 

Jaime VII

Jaime and Brienne still haven’t reached King’s Landing yet, but they know of Joffrey’s demise because the whole kingdom is apparently buzzing about it.  The smallfolk are arguing about how it happened though.  A costermonger (whatever the fuck that is) said Tyrion slit his throat and drank the blood from a big cold chalice.  Wrong book, dude.  This isn’t Interview With the Vampire

The innkeep has a better handle on the situation and says it was poisoned that turned Joffrey’s face plum colored.  Then we get back into some fuckery when an archer claims that Sansa vanished from the hall in a puff of brimstone.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you that only women are gossips.

Jaime tries to be sad about his firstborn son dying but when he tries to conjure up his face, he can only think of Cersei.

They finally approach the city and Steelshanks Walton complains about how much the city stinks.  That’s actually one of my favorite things about this city.  No one usually points out how disgusting and smelly cities would have been before plumbing, sewage treatment and trash collection were a thing.

Jaime reflects more on how little he cares about Joffrey’s death.  Apparently he never even held him because Cersei thought that might give away that he was his real father.  He only resented the baby for taking up too much of Cersei’s time, love, and breasts.  So many different kinds of wrong and gross here.

Jaime rides up to Brienne and tells her that she’s fulfilled his goal.  She’s been sullen and depressed since hearing about the red wedding (haven’t we all?) but still seems to want to find Sansa and protect her.

They get to the city gates and Jaime still doesn’t reveal who he is.  He pretends to be part of Bolton’s contingent, there to swear loyalty to Tywin.  They get waved right through.  In the city, no one even seems to recognize him.  Nobody pays him any mind.

Finally at the gate to the Red Keep Ser Meryn Trant recognizes him.  Inside he sees Loras Tyrell and discovers that he is now a Kingsguard.  He gives them both some shade for failing in their duty to keep the king alive.

Then Loras spots Brienne.  He still thinks she killed Renly so he starts yelling at her and asking why she killed him.  She swears she didn’t do it but he doesn’t believe her.  They almost come to blows until Jaime puts an end to it with some casual homophobia telling Loras to “sheathe your bloody sword, or I’ll take it from you and shove it up some place even Renly never found.”  Cute.  Loras still insists on having her arrested.  To smooth things over and keep Brienne safe, Jaime orders her locked into a tower cell.  Brienne is hurt by this.

Jaime goes to sept to see Cersei who is in mourning.  Another new Kingsguard, Osmund Kettleblack tries to give him a hard time about it but Jaime tells him who he is and they aren’t to be disturbed.

Jaime and Cersei’s reunion is tearful and almost sweet.  For a minute.  Cersei soon talks of vengeance.  She wants Jaime to kill Tyrion for her.  He’s reluctant to do so.  He’s skeptical that Tyrion really did it.  He refuses and says he must hear more about what happened.  It is then that Cersei reveals that there will be a trial.

Then out of nowhere we get a twincest scene.  The first one in a while.  There’s some ambiguity as to whether or not Cersei consents but I’m not going to get into it because I don’t feel like it.  She’s on her period but he doesn’t care.  In fact he “lost himself in her flesh” which is a terminology that really grosses me out, incest and possible rapiness aside.  Then it talks about the wetness of the blood and seed joining.   Afterwards, the marble is smeared with period blood.  GRRM seems really determine to make me throw up my pricey liquor here.

Jaime wants to marry Cersei and have another son in place of Joffrey.  Cersei points out that Tommen’s claim to the throne depends on being Robert Baratheon’s son so that would be a really terrible idea.  When Cersei is the reasonable one in the conversation, you should really reflect on your life choices.

Jaime doesn’t care and says that Casterly Rock should be enough.  Then he touches her face with his stump.  This is enough to freak Cersei out.  She tells him that he’s changed.  She makes him leave.

Next stop on the homecoming parade is a visit to the Tower of the Hand to see papa Lannister.  As expected, he gets a cold welcome from Tywin who had expected him sooner.  Tywin does tell him that Gregor took Harrenhal back from Vargo Hoat.  Hoat was apparently half mad with sepsis from the bite wound on the ear that Brienne had given him.  Clegane is presently torturing him to death.

Tywin wants to know if Jaime can fight with his remaining left hand.  He can’t.  He can barely function at all.  But he pretends otherwise.  Tywin says he has a gift for him.  Jaime first wants to know Tywin’s take on Joffrey’s death.  He confirmed it was poison but doesn’t seem to care whether or not Tyrion actually did it.  He just seems glad it appears that he did because it’s an excuse to get rid of him.

Tywin badly wants Jaime to be retired from the Kingsguard and take his place as heir to Casterly Rock.  Jaime refuses and Tywin disowns him.

 

Davos VI

Another night, another nightfire with Melisandre praying to R’hllor.  Since most are preoccupied with the cult meeting, Davos uses this as an opportunity to smuggle Edric out of Dragonstone to keep him safe from Mel’s fires.  Ser Andrew Estermont is going with him to some unspecified location overseas.  Edric protests a little but Davos tells him that he’ll make Stannis mad if he refuses.  It’s a lie, but it convinces him.

Later in the chamber of the painted table, Melisandre and Stannis walk in.  She’s insisting that Joffrey is dead, she saw it in the flames.  Stannis is dubious but Davos confirms that it’s true.  Mel is very self satisfied because three burned leaches of king’s blood = three dead kings now.   The statistical rule that correlation does not imply causation doesn’t seem to have been discovered in this universe yet.

Stannis treats us all to a grim little tale about Joffrey having cut open a pregnant cat to take out the kitten fetuses.  He says that the imp served the kingdom well and now they’ll have to send for him.

Melisandre reminds Stannis that Joffrey has a brother and they will crown him.  Stannis is not too pleased to hear this.  Mel takes this opportunity to suggest again that she burn Edric Storm to awaken the stone dragons.  Stannis finally relents and then Davos steps up all like “swipe, denied!”  He tells them that he’s gone.  Stannis is threatening to punish him for treason.  Davos pleads his case by revealing that he has learned to read and has an interesting letter.  We don’t get to hear what the letter is, but maybe you remember it from the last Davos chapter.

 

Jon VIII

Jon is having a dream and surprise, surprise, he’s as emo in his dreams as he is in his waking life.  He’s back in Winterfell in the crypts and all the statues of the past King in the Norths tell him that he’s no Stark.  He hears people feasting in the great hall above and knows he’s not wanted there and blah, blah, blah.

He wakes up alone in his chilly steward’s cell.  He misses Ygritte and Ghost and still feels kind of shitty from his injury but it’s getting better.  He hears horns.  Two blasts.

It is still the dead of night and Mance has at last come.  They can’t see much except for torches.  They can hear horses and even mammoths.  When they send some burning pitch down, they see that there’s actually 100 mammoths.  That’s a lot.  I’m wondering how they were tamed because as far as I know, no humans in our universe ever did that.  But this is fantasy and we need a battle to rival Pelennor Fields from LOTR so suspend disbelief, I guess!

The wildling army is at the gate.  Usually it would be impossible to get through, but they have giants and mammoths.  So this is a risk right now.

The Nightswatch men throw down some jars of burning lamp oil and can hear screaming down below.  Donal Noye, who has been commanding the battle thus far says he needs to take some men down to defend the gate.  He gives Jon the Wall.  Jon emos about it of course, thinking he’s not up to the task but he does say “aye.”

They throw down and shoot burning stuff for like, ever and finally dawn breaks.  The NW did some damage but nowhere near enough.  There are still a shit ton of wildlings there.  Giants are riding on mammoths, ramming the gat with a tree trunk.  The NW men are starting to despair but Jon assures them that the Wall defends itself, even though he thinks they’re hollow words.  But it works and with renewed morale, they pick up the fight once more.  The wildlings are trying to shoot them with arrows, but the arrows can’t reach that high.  The NW men manage to shoot down the giants and mammoths with the ram.  The Wildlings finally break.  The Wall does defend itself after all.

They all want food and rest.  But first, Jon wants to check the gate.  Donal Noye and his men are in the tunnels.  They died defending the Wall from a giant.  The giant twisted Spotted Pate’s head off and crushed Noye’s spine.  But Noye sunk his sword into the giant’s throat, killing him.  Jon recognizes the giant as Mag the Mighty, king of the giants.

Jon says that the Wall needs to be blocked up.  Her says Ser Wynton Stout, the only knight left, will have to take command now.  Maester Aemon says that Stout is too old and senile now.   He insists that it is now Jon who must command.  Jon pretends he didn’t want to hear that, but we all now he did.

 

Deaths in this recap:  4.  Spotted Pate, Donal Noye and Mag the Mighty.  I’m also putting Vargo Hoat in there because it’s pretty clear he’s about to die and from previous reads, I don’t remember any clear confirmation forthcoming.

Cumulative deaths: 141

Maybe deaths in this recap: 0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  12

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 35

Incest incidents: 1 and it’s a doozy.  It’s been a while since the last one, so I guess GRRM had to make up for it!

Cumulative incests: 27

Purple Reign

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Insight Brewery Sunken City

Chapters:  Sansa IV, Tyrion VIII, Sansa V

 

Sansa IV

Sansa dreams of being home with her family, including Lady.  She wakes up thinking about how they are all dead.  I guess Sansa doesn’t like emo very much but she doesn’t think of Jon as a living family member at all.

The maids, Shae among them draw her a bath to get ready for the sure to be awkward wedding breakfast for the Lannisters and Tyrells.  She thinks about how Shae gives her insolent looks sometimes.

Tyrion comes in wearing rumpled clothes.  He starts drinking right away.  I won’t deny that I’ve done some day drinking before, but starting before breakfast is pretty hardcore.  Sansa judges him aloud for being a hot mess even though she’d been contemplating having a glass of wine to calm her nerves just on the previous page.  She must need to ease into the Lannister tradition of being drunk at all times.   He does go change into fresh clothes but cannot be dissuaded from the wine.

They go to the breakfast and it’s time for some food porn.  The only thing I’ll mention is the Dornish egg, cheese, onion and fiery pepper dish because that sounds delicious.

After the eating is finished, it’s time for the gifts to be presented. First Cersei presents Joff with the cloak he’s to drape around Margaery.    Joffrey stays on his best behavior for awhile until he receives Tyrion’s gift, a really nice leatherbound book about four of the Targaryen kings.  He tells Tyrion that he hasn’t knocked up Sansa yet because he spends all his time reading and then threatens to rape Sansa after he gets Margaery pregnant to show her how it’s done.

The final gift is from Tywin.  It’s the new Valyrian steel sword made from Ned’s sword, Ice.   Joffrey names it Widow’s Wail, boasts about being no stranger to Valyrian steel and chops up Tyrion’s book.

Tyrion shades him by saying he should get a matching knife with a dragonbone hilt.  This is a description of the knife that Bran’s would be killer had way back in the beginning of the series.  He doesn’t seem to get the reference though and of course Sansa doesn’t either.

Afterwards when Sansa and Tyrion are in their litter, Tyrion asks her if Joffrey quarreled with Bran while in Winterfell like he did with Robb.  She’s confused by this and just says he’s a sweet boy.  He assures her that he had nothing to do with the attempts on Bran’s life.  He points out she’s never asked about how Robb and Catelyn died and she tells him she doesn’t want to know.  That’s fair enough.  I don’t think I’d want to hear about that either.

 

Tyrion VIII

Now it’s time for the wedding ceremony.  Both Joffrey and Margaery look splendid and regal but Tyrion drank too much wine and has to pee hella bad and it’s making him think murderous thoughts about Joffrey.

If it wasn’t clear from the previous chapter, that boast about being familiar with Valyrian steel has Tyrion pretty well convinced that it was Joffrey rather than Jaime or Cersei who sent the catspaw after Bran.  Personally, I suspect Littlefinger or Varys because they both wanted to destabilize the realm and have some war.

Now it’s time for the cloak exchange.  Tyrion is still bitter about Sansa refusing to kneel when he was too short to put it on her.  Ffs, dude.  Get over it.  We’re into some serious Nice Guy™  territory here.  She was really supposed to be thinking about being accommodating when being forced to marry a member of the family that’s been killing her family off?  The aggravating thing is that there are a lot of fans who think Sansa is some sort of heinous bitch for not being pleased about being forced to marry him.  Ugh.

After the ceremony there is a procession so the smallfolk can watch and cheer.  They all like Joffrey again because they love Margaery so much.  They credit the Tyrells with saving the city from starvation because they opened up the roseroad so that supplies could come in.  They don’t remember that they were the ones who closed the road in the first place.  Basically, the people of King’s Landing are like all those working and middle class people who absorb Fox News capitalist propaganda.

Tyrion thinks about how he wants to get out of KL.  He suggests Casterly Rock and Sansa apathetically agrees.  He also thinks about going to the Free Cities instead.

They sit in awkward silence for the rest of the procession.

Tyrion finally gets to pee.  Whoo hoo!

They put on new close for the feast.  Weddings are a lot more complicated in Westeros, I guess.  Tyrion of course continues drinking while he’s getting ready.  Shae is helping Sansa and asks to serve the table at the feast.  This annoys Tyrion.  Apparently he doesn’t like it when women want nothing to do with but also doesn’t like it when women want to be heavily involved in every aspect of his life.  Did he take a red pill (the MRA kind, not the Matrix kind) with his wine today?

They make the small talk rounds with all the other guests.  Sansa is good at it.  Tyrion doesn’t give a fuck.  Lancel is there.  It’s the first time he’s gone in public since getting badly injured at the battle of Blackwater.  His hair is white and he’s scrawny as fuck.  Even more of a mess than Tyrion and his no nosed state.

Olenna Tyrell comes up to Sansa and starts fussing with her hair and her amethyst hair net.  Totally insignificant detail just there to add color I’m sure.

Finally they settle in for the seventy fucking seven course feast.  Tyrion is paranoid that he’s being stared at and judged.  Fair enough.  He probably is.

Joffrey and Margaery ride in on white horses.  Joffrey toasts Margaery with the giant chalice that Mace Tyrell had given him earlier.

Now it’s time for some serious food porn.  Forgive me if I skip over it.  Sansa is all listless and barely eating or paying attention to all the singers and musicians.  That’s all anyone needs to know.

Several courses and cups of wine later, Tyrion is drunk and Joffrey is even drunker.  He doesn’t know how to handle his booze yet.  That’s what happens when you go to your wedding feast without having first lived on a college campus, I guess.

Part of the entertainment is a fake joust by two dwarfs.  A male dwarf riding a dog and a female dwarf riding a pig.  Everyone thinks this is hilarious for some reason.  Drunk ass Joffrey tries to get Tyrion to joust on the pig.  Drunk ass Tyrion says he’ll do it if  Joffrey does, because he’s the only one in the hall he’s certain of defeating.  Everyone laughs at this and Joffrey is enraged because he’s basically Donald Trump and can dish it out but can’t take it.  Joffrey pours the wine from his chalice on Tyrion’s head.

The Tyrells try to smooth things over.  It doesn’t really work.  Joffrey forces Tyrion to be his cupbearer and in a move that will be familiar to anyone who has ever worked as a server, continuously verbally abuses Tyrion.

Finally it is time for the pie.  The equivalent of the wedding cake at our culture’s weddings.  Joffrey and Margaery cut the pie with the sword made from ice and a bunch of doves flew out.  Poor doves.  Stuck in a pie made out of their pigeon cousins.  No wonder the birds want us all dead.

Tyrion and Sansa are about to leave when Joffrey notices and commands him to stay and serve him his wine.

Joffrey is eating his pie and starts coughing.  He thinks it’s just dry and tries to wash it down with wine but the wine comes spewing back out.  His face turns bright red and it’s clear that he’s actually choking.  Tyrion realizes that Joff is going to die.  He knows he is dead when he hears Cersei scream.

Then Cersei looks up from the corpse, accuses Tyrion and Sansa of poisoning Joffrey and has the kingsguard arrest Tyrion.

 

Sansa V

It turns out that Sansa did not stick around to watch Joffrey die.  She’s in the Godswood as the bells toll.  Changing into some plain and practical clothes that she had hidden there.  It seems that Dontos had forewarned her that this day would be when she would escape King’s Landing.

As she takes off her hairnet, she notices an amethyst missing.  It fills her with dread but she isn’t sure why yet.  Apparently Dontos had told her that the hair net was magic, it would take her home and she needed to wear it tonight.  But she is either in shock or kind of slow because it takes her a minute to do the math.  But she does get there.

There’s some rustling in the trees and Dontos, like a lurking pervert appears.  She accuses him of poisoning Joff but he still insists the amethysts are just magic.  He tells her that Tyrion has been arrested and they mst leave quickly.  She wonders if Tyrion really did poison him.

Dontos is super drunk as usual but they manage to make it out of the city.  He leads her down a cliff after sloppily crying and kissing her.  Gross.  Finally they make it to the river and into a small boat.  Dontos call out his name, “Oswell” even though he wasn’t supposed to do that.  Oswell says “no names.”  They go down the river into the Blackwater bay and finally come upon a larger ship.  She and Oswell go up while Dontos remains in the smaller boat.  Who is on the ship?

Why it’s our old pal Littlefinger accompanied by Ser Lothor Brune.  Dontos says he needs to row back.  LF says he’ll first want his payment, 10,000 gold dragons.  This was clearly some kind of code because three men step up and shoot him to death with crossbows.

They sail away.  Sansa is of course upset but LF assures her that because he was such an unreliable drunk, he would’ve eventually talked and they had no choice.

Littlefinger reveals that he was behind Dontos’ offer to take her home and Joffrey’s poisoning.  He was even responsible for hiring the dwarf jousters, knowing that it would cause tensions.  So basically, he framed Tyrion.  Not to hard to do since Cersei already hates him and is suspicious of him.  LF creepily tells her that “widowhood will become you.”

Sansa wonders what his motive is.  He tells her he has no motive, it’s just best to keep your foes confused by making moves that seem to serve no purpose or move against her.  He tells her to remember that when it comes to be her turn to play the game of thrones.  I sure hope that advice backfires on him one day.

 

Deaths in this recap: 2.  Dontos and Joffrey.  The later being the best goddamn death in the whole series so far!

Cumulative deaths: 137

Maybe deaths in this recap: 0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  12

Betrayals in this recap: 1.  I’m not sure Littlefinger can really betray anyone as he has no real allegiance to anyone but himself, but he’s supposed to be a Lannister ally so I think we can count this one.

Cumulative betrayals: 35

Incest incidents: 0.

Cumulative incests: 26

 

 

R.O.U.S

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot Grigot

Chapters:  Bran IV, Daenerys V, Tyrion VII

 

Bran IV

Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor have finally reached the Wall.  More specifically, the abandoned NW castle called the Nightfort.   The Nightfort is where the legendary Night’s King had reined.  It also featured in many of the other Old Nan stories.  The most relevant one being the story of the Rat Cook who had violated guest right (hey, just like someone from a few chapters ago!) by killing the son of a visiting Andal king, cooking him in a pie and serving it to him.  Basically, the Nightfort is spooky as shit and it seems like it might be haunted.

The gate has of course long ago been sealed and they can’t find a way through.  But Jojen insists that his dreams are always and his dreams told him to go here.  Meera decides to climb the wall and see if she can figure out something.  Emo must be contagious and Bran must’ve caught it from Jon when they had that near encounter.  Because Bran starts emoing about how he should be the one climbing.

While Meera is up on the Wall, Bran, Jojen and Hodor go exploring down below.  Summer catches a rat as big as a cat.  I actually kind of like rats and other rodents, but that is just gross and scary.

There are lots of dark tunnels full of these rats below the Nightfort.  Jojen wants to explore but Bran vetoes this and I can’t say I blame him.  If this isn’t a perfect horror movie set up, I don’t know what is.

By the time Meera returns, the sun is going down and they are no closer to finding a way through the Wall.  This makes it a perfect time to tell scary stories!

We get to hear more about the Night’s King.  This is not to be confused with the show version.  He was a lord commander of the Nightswatch who fell in love with what appears to be a female white walker.  They ruled for 13 years, making sacrifices to the white walkers until a Stark and Joramun the wildling leader allied together to put an end to it.  The NW excised all records of the Night’s King so no one knew who it was.  Old Nan thought he was a Stark though.  No evidence of this is presented so it’s unknown whether she was telling the truth or just trolling Bran.

The group decided they will sleep in the kitchens.  It has a weirwood tree that has busted through the floor and a mega creepy well.  Hodor Hodors down it and the Hodors echo.  It’s the best.

Bran thinks he hears something splashing around in the well and wants to leave but the Reeds laugh him off.  Then we get some more Westeros mythology.  We learn more of the Rat King too.  After he served the Andal king that prince and bacon pie, the gods turned him into a huge white rat who could only eat his own young.  The punishment was according to Old Nan a punishment not for the murder or the non-consensual cannibalism but for the breaking of guest right.  As much is this is a scary story, it’s kind of nice because it gives the reader hope that the Freys will get theirs.  I guess we’ll see.

Bran finally drifts off to sleep but wakes up to find more noises coming from the well.  He figures that Hodor woke it up.  It’s all very mines of Moria.  He wakes Meera up and once again, Wargs Hodor.

A huge black shape lurches out of the well.  Meera catches it in her net.  The well monster is wailing and shaking.

It turns out to be Sam.  Along with Gilly and her baby.  She tells them that someone named Coldhands told them that he’d been sent to find someone and Sam wasn’t it.  Sam tells them there’s a gate down there called the Black Gate.  It’s hidden and as old as the wall itself.  Only a NW brother can open it.  Coldhands couldn’t get through the Wall because he’s dead and the spells woven into the Wall keep them from passing the Wall.

Before too long, Sam puts two and two together and realizes that Bran is Jon’s brother.  They make Sam promise not to tell him he saw them.  They update Sam on how Jon is alive and escaped the wildlings.

Sam leads them to the Black Gate and it’s actually a big weirwood with a face on it.  It asks “who are you?” and Sam recites the NW vows.  The door tells them to pass and the weirwood’s mouth opens wide enough for them to go through.

 

Daenerys V

Dany has arrived now at the third Slaver’s Bay city, Meereen.  It’s much larger and more multicolored than Astapor and Yunkai.  It’s also made of brick and full of pyramids though.  The Great Pyramid has a harpy on top of it.  That’s their symbol.

Outside the walls of the city, Meereen’s champion is riding back and forth, challenging Dany’s people.  Her bloodriders are dying to go out and fight him but she thinks they’re too young and risk taking so she forbids it.  Ser Jorah likes this decision.  Arstan thinks it’s bad PR for them to be afraid to meet him and thinks the decision not to fight can only boost Meereenese morale.

The Meereenese had harvested the crops that they could and burned the rest.  So Dany’s host has to do something soon.  Or they will starve.  They also quite gruesomely nailed a slave child to every milepost on the road from Yunkai to Meereen.  As a result, Dany is pretty pissed off and ready to take this city.

Brown Ben Plumm, the new leader of the Second Sons tells them that the champion’s name is Oznak zo Pahl.  Henceforth, I will call him Ozarks because that’s just easier.

Anyway, after about an hour of taunting from Ozarks, Dany finally decides to send Strong Belwas out to fight him.  Belwas used to fight in the slave pits and so if he wins it will be an embarrassment for Meereen.  If he loses the victory over someone perceived as low and worthless will mean little.  Also, he’s pretty expendable.

Even though Ozarks is on horse, Belwas meets him on foot.  They basically play chicken for a little while.  Finally Belwas drops to the ground to avoid Ozarks’ lance and stabs the horse in the legs.  Both the horse and Ozarks fall.  Poor horsey.  Now it’s time for a knife fight.  It’s over pretty quickly.  Ozarks manages to cut Belwas in the chest, but Belwas manages to behead Ozarks right after that.  He takes the head and throws it towards the gates.  Then Belwas squats and poops in the direction of the city.  I’m never sure if I think this is incredibly awesome or incredibly gross.

After the fight, Dany holds a war council.  They’re having trouble figuring out a way to conquer Meereen.  Jorah even wants her to head back to Westeros.  But they don’t have the food to take care of her people and she’s still mad about those slave children Meereen killed as a message.   So these hopes that we’ll finally get to see Daenerys go back to Westeros and mix it up with the other characters are dashed for now.

Ben Plumm suggests the sewers.  That’s how he escaped the city in the past.  But it sounds absolutely disgusting and there’s a limit to how many people will be able to get through.  She decides to sleep on it.  But she can’t sleep because she’s all horny for Daario even though he’s a skeezebucket.  She decides to go out riding.  She takes Arstan with her.

Most of the people in the camps are fond of her but one man comes up, drags her from her horse and tries to stab her.  It’s Mero.  From the Second Sons I think?  He and Arstan fight and Arstan wins.

They get back and Jorah tries to start talking battle.  But Dany cuts him off to read him for not warning her that Mero had escaped.  She wants Arstan knighted.  Both Jorah and Arstan say no firmly.

This is when Arstan reveals that he already is a knight.  He is in fact, Ser Barristan Selmy.  He begs her forgiveness for ever having stayed in Robert Baratheon’s service.

He also informs her of more than that.  He snitches out Jorah for being Varys’ informant all these years.  Jorah says he did it to get a pardon and go home but changed his mind when he fell in love and stopped informing.

Dany contemplates having the dragons burn both their lying asses.  But she just tells them to go.  She tries to figure out where and then settles on something.  But the chapter ends before she can tell us.

 

Tyrion VII

Tyrion is still angsting over his cold and barren marriage.  Just my personal opinion, but when you have a child spouse, you shouldn’t want it to be any other way.

When he told Sansa of the red wedding, he expected a display of grief and anger but only got stone cold silence.  He did later hear her crying behind closed doors.

He gets up in the night and dresses and goes to meet Shae in those tunnels where all the dragon skulls are.  She’s standing naked in the jaws of Balerion.  They have sex and she calls him her lion again.  He ends up feeling guilty and stupid because he knows the affair isn’t exactly safe.  He thinks he’ll marry her off to a knight named Talled because the safest course of action is getting rid of her.

No time for that now though.  Dawn is breaking and it is the day of Joffrey’s wedding.

Shortest chapter ever.

 

Deaths in this recap: 1.  Only Ozarks.

Cumulative deaths: 135

Maybe deaths in this recap: 0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  12

Betrayals in this recap: 1.  I’m going with this because I can’t remember if I counted Jorah spying for Varys earlier.  If I did, we’ll just count it as Barristan ratting out Jorah.

Cumulative betrayals: 34

Incest incidents: 0.

Cumulative incests: 26

 

 

Purple Drank

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot grigot

Chapters:  Tyrion VI, Davos V, Jon VII

 

Tyrion VI

We open on scene of wedded bliss.  Psych!  It’s a tense and WASPy dinner between Tyrion and Sansa.  At this point they don’t know that their wedding night was probably the least awful wedding in Westeros that year.  It seems the pease and mutton are overcooked and Sansa is for some reason (Stockholm syndrome?) apologetic about it even though she didn’t make the food.  But unpleasant English King’s Landing food is the least of his worries.  His family are a bunch of assholes and there are tensions between the Dornish and Highgarden people who are all in town for the next upcoming wedding of doom.  The one between Joffrey and Margaery.   There’s already been a brawl and Queen of Thorns is snarking up a storm as per usual.

But Tyrion is all repressed and sedate now so  he doesn’t bring any of that up with Sansa.  He just tells her that the pease will suffice as they are green and round.  After dinner Sansa leaves to go to the godswood.  He offers to accompany her and she adamantly refuses.  I’m not saying this detail is important of anything.  I’m just including it because.

Tyrion is doing his accountant work and a summons from Tywin arrives.  Surprisingly there’s a little family gathering in there.   Cersei, Joffrey, Kevan and Lannister toady GM Pycelle are all gathered.  Joffrey is really, really pleased to announce that Robb is dead.  Tywin is grim as ever and notes that the war is not quite won yet.  He plans to offer to spare any Riverlands castle that yields.  He expects the Blackfish won’t try anything because they have Edmure hostage.  The exception is Harrenhal.  He’s sent Gregor Clegane there to kill all the Brave Companions.  And he doesn’t even know about Jaime’s hand yet!  Predictably, Joffrey just wants everyone killed.  He even wants Robb’s head served to Sansa at his wedding feast.  But Tyrion isn’t having it and even makes a veiled death threat towards Joffrey.  Tywin actually scolds Joff for once, pointing out that no one will bother bending the knee if he punishes those who bend the knee as if they were still fighting and then he kind of compares Joff to Aerys.  Instead of acquiescing immediately, Joffrey mocks Tywin for being scared of Aerys and letting Robert do all the fighting and defiance.

Ooooohhhh!  Tywin got told!  Not really.  He just has Joffrey sent to bed and drugged with dreamwine.  What is dreamwine anyway?  It seems to be a beverage that knocks you right out.  I’m picturing this

Yep.  Westrosi were drinking lean/purple drank before it was cool.

After Joffrey has been sent to drink purple drank from a sippy cup and go nighty-night, Tywin starts in on Cersei, blaming her for Joffrey’s piss poor behavior.  She tries to pass the blame off on Robert but he doesn’t seem to be quite buying it.  He sends Cersei off to bed too.  Knowing her, she’ll just drink some regular wine now.  Not that I blame her.  Tyrion and Tywin are now alone and he wants to know how long the RW has been in the works and why he wasn’t told.  Tywin did the whole “it’s on a need to know basis and you don’t need to know” thing that’s always in military and political thrillers.  He didn’t tell Cersei either.  He says Tyrion’s tongue is too loose.

Talk turns to Oberyn and how to appease him.  Tywin doesn’t want to give him Gregor’s head so he’s going to try and blame the murder of Elia, Aegon and Rhaenys on Amory Lorch, who you may recall, died in the last book.  He’s even going to claim Amory acted on his own.  Yeah, I’m sure Oberyn will buy that.  No problem.  Tyrion says that Tywin shouldn’t have ordered them killed at all and he gets all indignant about it.  Tywin does not seem to want to take any responsibility at all for Gregor’s brutal overkill and Amory having been a rapist.  He also lays the blame at violating guest right entirely at the feet of Walder Frey.  Tywin says it’s more merciful that a dozen people die at dinner than tens of thousands on the battlefield so the Red Wedding is not so bad.  I guess in the short run that’s true, but without guest right meaning anything anymore, diplomacy is effectively impossible.

Then Twyin drops a real bombshell.  He’s given Arya to Roose to take home as a wife for Ramsay.

Did they capture Arya?  Or does Tywin have some other trick up his sleeve?  Stay tuned!

 

Davos V

The news of the Red Wedding is spreading all over.  Now it has reached Dragonstone.  Salladhor Saan is the one reporting the news and he gives some more gruesome details than Twyin did.  Not only was Catelyn thrown naked into the river, Robb’s head was cut off and Grey Wind’s head sewn onto the body.  Not okay.  Davos thinks about how the Freys are now cursed but he also remembers Melisandre’s leeches.

Queen Selyse and Ser Axell, religious zealots that they are, are not disquieted by this.  They believe it was R’hllor’s doing so they are praising him.  Stannis doesn’t buy it because it sounds so very Walder Freyish but Mel agrees and does that whole annoying God works in mysterious ways thing that people do when they don’t have any kind of rational argument.

Stannis wants to attempt an alliance with the Iron Islands and White Harbor.  But Mel tells him they will not swear fealty and instead more false kings will rise up to take the crowns of those who have died.  She saw it in the flames.  She thinks a display of power is what it will take and that she needs to burn Edric Storm to awaken some stone dragons.  Melisandre is really hyped up on burning people alive, isn’t she?  I think she’d burn something is in order to get her chosen teams into the final four.  Stannis is still reluctant to do this though.  Or at least he is when Selyse is doing the urging.  Mel is using her firecrotch power to hypnotise him into it.

Until cock blocker Davos steps in to interrupt.  Davos points out that no one is as cursed as the kinslayer in the eyes of gods and men and Edric is his nephew even though he’s only a bastard.  He buys Edric some time by pointing out that they can’t be sure the leeches worked until Joffrey dies.  Stannis dismisses everyone.  Davos lingers to further convince him not to murder Edric.  He talks about how Shireen is friends with him and it would break her heart if he was killed.  But Stannis is still conflicted because he wonders if killing Edric will save the kingdom.  In one of my favorite exchanges in the book he asks “what is one bastard boy against a kingdom?” and Davos says “Everything.”  Stannis clenches his jaw and dismisses Davos.  I wonder how many cavities Stannis has.  I’m a teeth clencher too and it wears down the enamel.  With no dentists and fluoride, it’s a wonder his teeth aren’t a huge mess.

Outside he runs into Sallador.  They discuss whether or not Stannis will burn Edric.  Davos still has faith.  Salla is a little more cynical and he’s now returning to sea to do more piracy.  Davos is still thinking about how he has no business being hand of the king because he’s too lowborn.  He is learning how to read still from Maester Pylos who is also tutoring Shireen, Edric and Davos’ youngest so Devan.  Devan is becoming quite the R’hllor follower which is a little disconcerting.  He interrupts the end of a lesson with the kids to talk to Pylos and practice reading by looking at old letters addressed to King Stannis.  He picks the one from The Wall that talks about Mance’s armies encroaching and Mormont under attack at the fist.  Alester had been hand when the letter arrived and he dismissed it.  He confirms that neither Stannis or Mel actually saw the letter.  He wonders if this was R’hllor’s adversary marshalling his power and his frightened.  But he does nothing.  Just asks for another letter.

 

Jon VII

The Castle Black residents wake up one day to see smoke from Mole’s Town.  Styr and the wildlings are getting closer.  His leg is still in pain so like Joffrey, he’s been partaking in purple drank.  Since his leg is gimpy, Donal Noye is going to have him up on the tower with a bow.  He’s of course still being emo about having to fight Ygritte.

The Castle is so sparsely manned that they have to use scarecrows in black cloaks as phony sentinels to look more imposing then they are.  Jon is up in the king’s tower with Deaf Dick Follard and a pretty young man named Satin.  And six scarecrow sentinels.

Grenn and Pyp are with some of the refugees of Mole’s Town who have fled to Castle Black in advance of the wildling attack.  Jon emos some more about how weak Castle Black is and how most of the NW men there hate him for being a turnclock.  Rast in particular has it in for him.

They wait and wait and still the wildlings do not come.  They wait all day and finally when night falls, the horns blow.  Jon manages to shoot a bunch of wildlings but so far the battle is fairly uneventful.  Every invader near him is a regular wildling.  It’s Styr an the Thenns that Jon wants to get.

At some point the common hall starts burning down.  Deaf Dick is shot and falls over the parapet.  He sees a flash of red hair and realizes that Ygritte is the one who did it.  Now the Thenns are coming up to the tower.  Jon and Satin kill the men coming up by dumping boiling oil on them.  Down on the ground, the wildlings are gaining ground.  Jon sees that young Henly is dead and old Henly dying.  I never heard of these chaps before, but condolences.  Easy got an axe to the knee and goes down.  Easy?  Was he a contestant on the VH1 reality dating show I Love New York?  Rast has taken a sword through the belly.  Dornish Dilly fell and got stabbed.

Styr Magnar and his men are on the seventh landing.  He thinks he’s the victor but there’s all sorts of flammable material there and the NW men shoot flaming arrows at them.  They die in a blaze.

It’s over.  A costly victory, but a victory.  Jon of course has to go look for Ygritte.  He finds the bodies of Quort, Stone Thumbs and Big Boil.  Then he finds Ygritte with an arrow between her breasts.  He fears it was his arrow but the feather was black, not the grey goose feather he uses on his arrows.  Ygritte is still alive so they get a Big Grand Death Scene together.   Her last words seem to be “you know nothing, Jon Snow.”

Of course.

 

Deaths in this recap: 8.  Almost as much as the RW, it’s just that they mostly aren’t important characters.  We have Old and Young Henly.  Dornish Dilly.  Quort, Stone Thumbs and Big Boil.  And of course the manic pixie wildling girl Ygritte.

Cumulative deaths: 134

Maybe deaths in this recap: 2.  Easy and Rast.  It’s not really clear on these two.

Cumulative maybe deaths:  12

Betrayals in this recap: I guess 0 although Stannis even considering burning his nephew alive might fit in here.

Cumulative betrayals: 33

Incest incidents: 0.  It’s been a while.  ASOIAF, I am disappoint.

Cumulative incests: 26

Jinglebell, Ryman smells, Catelyn cut an Aegon

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot grigio and pinot noir

Chapters: Arya X, Catelyn VII, Arya XI

 

Arya X

Arya and the Hound are on the way to the Twins and they meet some outriders.  A knight and two squires.  Arya considers revealing her identity to them, but she doesn’t recognize the sigil – a pitchfork – and gets a sense of stranger danger.  She keeps quiet while the Hound  pretends to be a farmer selling salt pork for the wedding feast using supplies stolen from an actual farmer.  Is salt pork Westeros talk for bacon?

Apparently the knight isn’t from house Swanson or salt pork and bacon aren’t the same thing, because pitchfork knight doesn’t seem too terribly thrilled about the pork.  But they let Sandor and Arya through.

Turns out I was right.  Pitchfork knight is not from house Swanson.  His name is Donnel Haigh.  Hound knows him from kicking his ass in a melee and taking horses off him.  Arya asks Sandor why Haigh didn’t recognize him and he says it’s because he’s a fool who won’t deign to look peasants in the eye.  If you act respectful and say “ser” a lot, they won’t even notice you.  I feel like this might be foreshadowing for later on when she starts crossing names off her death list.

They’re getting closer.  Arya feels uneasy even though she should be excited that she’s about to be reunited with her family.  She’s especially nervous about Roose Bolton being there.

Even before they saw the castle, they heard the music coming from it.  Arya remarks that the band is not very good.

They’re stopped by a Bolton soldier before they can get in the castle.  He won’t let them through at all.  He’ll only let them go to the feast tents where all the commoners are.  It’s dark, everyone is drunk and Arya can’t find anyone she knew from Winterfell anywhere.

Sandor has no intentions of stopping in the feast tents.  He’s still going to try and get in the castle.

 

Catelyn VII

If the music was bad from outside of the castle, it seems to be even worse inside.  On the TV show, one of the members of Coldplay had a cameo as a musician at the wedding.

Just saying.

The hall is stuffed full of people and hot.  Cat is sitting between a Frey – Ser Ryman – and Roose Bolton.  They both stink.  Ryman has boozy BO and Roose smells sickeningly sweet.  Also the wedding feast sucks.  It consists of things like pike poached in almond milk and jellied calf’s brains.  What the fuck even is that?

Edmure, himbo that he is, seems to be the only one having a good time.  Roslin is pretty so that’s good enough for him.  Roslin on the other hand has a nervous phony looking smile on her face.  Catelyn writes it off as nerves about the bedding.  Yeah, okay.

Robb is doing his best to act all polite and kingly.  Most of the other guests are super drunk.  Walder Frey was stingy with the food but for some mysterious reason, is plenty generous with the wine.  Normally I’d say providing an open bar for a wedding makes him my kind of guy but…

Roose Bolton’s new wife Fat Walda is there too.  She’s boasting about how Walda offered Roose his bride’s weight in silver as a dowry.  So that’s why she was picked.  I kind of love how she gives no fucks about that.  She even gloats about her prettier cousin Fair Walda is headed towards spinsterhood now.  Roose himself is quiet and morose and pretty much only apeaks to passive aggressively threaten remind Walder that two of Walder’s grandsons, also named Walder are in his bastard son’s care.  Catelyn wonder’s if a wedding could be any less joyful.  Oh, sweet summer child.

The northerners are getting drunker and drunker.  Except for Roose who quietly excuses himself to go to the bathroom.  Robb comes to sit down in his place.  He asks Ryman where Olyvar Frey is as he had hoped to use him as his squire when the host continues on to the north.  He say’s Olyvar is gone from the castles on some unnamed duty and doesn’t offer any other explanation.  Robb is clearly not satisfied with this.  Cat remembers that Olyvar had said he wanted to stay with Robb so she’s confused too.

Finally Walder calls out to Robb that’s it time they bed Edmure and Roslin.  That’s when the guests carry out the bride and groom, strip off their clothes, dump them in bed and watch them do it.  It’s something that nobles do to make sure the marriage is consummated and heirs are legitimate.  Also, there is no internet porn in Westeros so they have to get creative.

The guests get all excited and start making dirty jokes.  Poor Roslin is terrified as she’s carted off.  She’s stiff and crying.  Catelyn, Robb and Walder stay behind as do some of the drunker Freys.  Dacey Mormont and Wendel Manderly stay behind as well.  Dacey asks Edwyn Frey to dance and he turns her down really angerly and walks away.  This makes Cat nervous and she follows him out of the hall.  She grabs his arm and feels that there’s chainmail under his sleeve.

Finally it clicks into place.  Why all the Freys that actually like the Starks are gone.  Why Roslin is so freaked out.

Edwyn pushes her aside.  Robb starts to rush towards them and he’s shot by an arrow.  The reason the musicians suck so much, they’re actually archers.  Chaos erupts. Smalljon throws a table over Robb to keep him from being shot more.  Robin Flint is stabbed to death by Freys while Wendel Manderly is shot through the neck with an arrow.  As Rains of Castamere plays, more northerners such as Lucas Blackwood, Donnel Locke and Owen Norrey are killed.  Dacey puts up a fight but is finally axed in the belly by Ryman the stanky drunk.  Smalljon Umber is beheaded.

As all this is happening, Walder Frey is watching gleefully.  Cat finds a dagger on the floor and picks it up.  She plans to kill him.  As she’s starting towards him, Robb throws off the table and gets up.  The music finally stops except one drum and Grey Wind can be heard howling in the background.

Walder snarks about how Robb’s men have been killed but he’ll just make an apology and that will make it better or something.  What a petty little shit.

Catelyn tries to stop it.  She says they’re even and if she lets Robb live, they’ll forget all about this.  That ploy never works in any other fiction and it doesn’t work here.  She has Jinglebell by the throat with her dagger but Walder doesn’t care about poor Jinglebell at all.

Then Roose steps up, says “Jaime Lannister sends his regards” and thrusts his sword through Robb’s heart and twists it.

Catelyn just looses it.  She cuts Jinglebell’s throat and then starts scratching up her own face until blood runs all down her arms.  Finally someone cuts her throat and that’s how the final Catelyn chapter ends.

Sorry.  I didn’t know how to make that funny.  Just remember that this will happen eventually and feel a little better

heh.

 

Arya XI

Don’t forget that Arya is nearbye and in danger too.  She and Sandor ride up just as some of the soldiers are going out from the castle after killing Robb’s people.  She can hear Grey Wind howling in the distance.  She can’t make out too clearly what’s happening but has witnessed enough battle to know that’s what’s happening.  She knows Rains of Castamere too because she heard Tom o’Sevens singing it.  It’s playing as fire arrows rain down on the northerner’s tents.

The Hound joins in the fighting.  He’s taking on three of Frey’s and/or Bolton’s (it’s not clear) men at once.  As much as she’s wanted Sandor to die in the best, she tries to help him by throwing a rock at one of them but it only grazes him.  The knight is about to come for her when Sandor kills him with an axe.  He informs her that Robb pretty much has to be dead and tries to get her to mount Stranger with him so they can escape.  She wants to go into the castle and try to find him and her mother.  She tries to make a run for the castle, the Hound calls her a stupid little bitch and knocks her out by throwing his axe at her head.  GRRM tries to make it look like he’s killed her but even after all that slaughter, I didn’t believe it.

When I first read this series of three chapters I was actually on a packed bus.  I had to fight so hard to not have a meltdown in front of all those people.  Such good memories.

Anyway, that was pretty grim.  But at least I’ll have something to report on my death count and at least the next three chapters are all in different locations.

Deaths in this recap: I’m going to have to actually go back and count here.  Robin Flint, Wendel Manderly, Lucas Blackwood, Donnel Locke, Owen Norrey, Dacey Mormont, Smalljon Umber, Robb Stark, Aegon “Jinglebell” Frey and Catelyn Stark.  I count 10.  Of course, the death toll is way higher, but going by the named characters that died in front of a POV character, it’s actually only 10.

Cumulative deaths: 126

Maybe deaths in this recap: 1.  Arya.

Cumulative maybe deaths:  10

Betrayals in this recap: One really fucking big one.  Actually, I’m going for two.  Both Roose Bolton and Walder Frey turned their cloaks here.

Cumulative betrayals: 33

Incest incidents: 0.

Cumulative incests: 26

Walder Trump

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Vodka and Fresca and malbec

Chapters:  Arya IX, Jon VI, Catelyn VI

 

Arya IX

Arya and Sandor are riding through the endless rain in the Riverlands.  They come upon a flooded river that’s about a mile across.  Arya thinks it’s Blackwater rush because she still think she’s being taken to Cersei.  He won’t tell her where they are and he keeps threatening to beat her.  She keeps expecting the BWB to catch up with them, but they never do.

Finally they come upon a ferry man and the Hound threatens him into taking them across the river.  He gives his knight’s honor that he’s good for the three gold dragons.  After much drama getting across the river, including Arya stupidly contemplating jumping off the boat and into the river, the Hound, predictably stiffs the ferryman.  He tells him it’s time he learned that knights don’t have any bloody honor.

Later when they camp, Arya tells Sandor all about her misadventures meeting his brother and his cronies.  Instead of feeling any kind of sympathy, he just mocks Gregor for not knowing what he had when he caught her.  He tells Arya that he’ll be sure to mention that before he cuts his heart out.  CLEGANE BOWL CONFIRMED!!!

Because they’re bonding so well, he tells her the heart warming tale of the time he saved Sansa from rapists during that riot in King’s Landing.  Then he informs her that they were on the Trident, not the Blackwater.  He’s done with the Lannister.  They’re going to the Twins to ransom her back to her family.

It’s shaping up to be quite a party at those Twins!

Sorry, that chapter was kind of short on fun material to comment on.  But hey, on to…

 

Jon VI

Yes.  It’s a Jon chapter.  There should be some good emoing.

Both Jon and his horse are pretty spent.  His leg wound from where he’s been shot with an arrow keeps ripping.  Ick.  It’s probably all stinky.

Finally they come upon the kingsroad.  Soon he’ll have finally made his way back to the Wall.  For some reason he pictures the whole Nightswatch gang happily drinking mulled wine in the common hall together.  What kind of book series does this chap think he’s in?

Then he remembers his colleagues probably mostly died at the Fist.  Yeah.  That’s more like it.  He angsts about Ygritte and his conflicted feelings about her again.  Dude has a one track mind.  Bring on the white walkers and their wight army.  If nothing else so that he has something else to think about.

He stops at Mole Town and warns them to gather their belongs and head for Castle Black.  When he finally gets to Castle Black, it’s all desolate and decrepit looking.  He sees Donal Noye first and it turns out that Jarman Buckwell, one of the returning Brothers witnessed him with Mance’s party.  So he has a new reputation as a traitor.  Life is just too unfair to Jon Snow.   He doesn’t fit in anywhere and nobody understands him.  Noye fills him on what’s going on and what’s going on is that Bowen Marsh is playing right into Mance’s hands by spreading the NW too thin, chasing after small groups of wildlings so that Castle Black is a sitting duck.  Or sitting crow, as may be more accurate.

He explains more about what he was up to and how he totally swears that he was only with the wildlings on Qhorin Halfhand’s orders.  He didn’t at all like the freedom and Ygritte’s vajayjay.  Aemon tells him the news that Mormont has been slain.  Edd and Grenn are back at the castle and Marsh is the LC until they can have a choosing.

Now Jon is high off of milk of the poppy and I guess heroin juice causes you to confess things.  He tells Aemon and Donal all about how he broke his vow with her but HE WAS JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS AND IS NOT INTO THAT SWEET FIRECROTCH OKAY!?  Oh, and he also tells them about how Mance is searching for the horn of winter.  And now I’m wanting to make a stupid joke about how Jon is a northerner and therefore his penis is a horn of winter.

Aemon cauterizes his wound and even while he’s screaming in pain, he’s still angsting about Ygritte.  Dude.  Get a life.

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He wakes up to Pyp and Grenn at his bedside.  Grenn tells him about how he witnessed Sam kill an Other with dragonglass and holy shit does this chapter ever involve a lot of people telling other people things.  Anyway.  They don’t know where Sam is.  Is he dead?  Alive?  Astride a majestic elk?  Dunno.

To complete the info dump, Aemon tells Jon all about how Winterfell is burnt down and Bran and Rickon have been killed.  But rumor has it Theon is being flayed for his crimes.  He’s confused because he knows he saw a grey direwolf at Queenscrown but no one cares about his rantings. He’s just made to drink more heroin juice.

Then he has a dream about Ygritte.  Because of course he does.  It’s pretty gross though.  Ned is a weirwood tree watching them make out in those cave pools and then her flesh falls off into the water and it turns into a bloody hot tub.

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Hawt.

 

Catelyn VI

The party has finally reached the Twins.  The towers loom up out of the mist and the setting is all very horror movie.  This can’t be good.  Cat reminds Robb that Walder Frey is a thin skinned asshole and his sons are probably the same way.  I bet if someone called Walder a short fingered vulgarian, he’d be butthurt about it for decades.  Robb assures her that he’ll be sweet.  She wants him to make sure and eat something so they have guest right.  He scoffs at this but promises to do it.

Ryman Frey, Walder’s heir comes out to meet them.  He’s described as “fleshy, broad, and stupid” and again this family is reminding me of Donald Trump.  There’s also a Walder son called Petyr Pimple who has an “unfortunate face.”

Grey Wind does not like the Freys at all.  Once again, the red flags are waving everywhere.  But Robb controls him.

It’s Black Walder, a tempremental son who does the talking.  He’s pissed off that Grey Wind is acting up and he’s pissed off that Jeyne is not there.

Yet another Frey son, Edwyn says most of the host will stay outside in tents.  The important fancy folk are invited inside.  Grey Wind is still resisting and does not want to enter.  Listen to him, damnit!  Reading this is like watching a horror movie where you’re shouting at the characters to not open that door, go into that dark hallway or investigate that noise.

Of course they press on and go into the hall to meet Walder Frey.  He looks like a cross between a vulture and a weasel.  He has no teeth.  He’s also a molester.  His wife is a teenager.  There’s also an intellectually disabled son who has for some reason been clad in a fool’s crown with jinglebells.

Walder makes several snarky asshole remarks and then asks where Jeyne is.  They all seem so suspiciously eager to meet her.  Walder makes some passive aggressive remarks so Robb has to grovel and apologize and introduces all his unattractive daughters to Robb.  Robb apologizes to them too and it’s all very awkward.

Then Roslin comes in and she’s actually a cutie.  Edmure is most pleased.  Cat thinks she’s too small and not fertile looking enough though.  Roslin is crying and she claims it’s tears of joy.  Kay.

After yet more sniping from Walder, Cat has to pressure him into giving them food.  She thinks now they have the guest right and should be safe.

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Finally they get to retire to their guest chambers which are actually sort of nice.  Cat still wants to post their own guards though.

After a chat with Edmure about how inexplicably pretty Roslin is, Cat goes back downstairs to search for Perwyn Frey.  He had been part of her escort to Renly’s camp and is one of the few Freys who isn’t a surly asshole.  But Lame Lothar Frey says he’s away.  Huh.

She says she has cramps or something and gets sent to their master, Brenett.  He assures her that Roslin is healthy and fertile.

Then she goes to find Robb.  A bunch of lords, including Bolton are with him.  He tells them all about the other deaths at Winterfell.  Roose says his bastard Ramsay has taken the ironborn back to the Dreadfort with him.  Was this supposed to be comforting?  Cat reminds him that she knows Ramsay is a rapist and murderer and Roose admits that he does indeed have tainted bastard blood.  He assures her that Ramsay will dispatch the Ironborn and Cat is somehow not comforted.  Robb asks about Theon and Roose produces a strip of leather that Ramsay sent with a letter.  He says it’s from the finger of Theon.  He wants to offer it to Catelyn.  Neither Robb or Cat are too impressed.  They prefer Theon dead.  Bolton points out that he’s a valuable hostage and they consent to keep him alive.  After some battle news talk Robb says they’re going straight home after the wedding.

Deaths in this recap: 0

Cumulative deaths: 116

Maybe deaths in this recap: 0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  9

Betrayals in this recap: 0.  For now.

Cumulative betrayals: 31

Incest incidents: 0.

Cumulative incests: 26