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

 

My Lovely Lannister Stumps

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Vodka and Fresca

Chapters:  Jaime VI, Catelyn V, Samwell III

 

Whoa.  It’s been a while.  I blame election depression.  But I’m temporarily (hopefully) out of work so I have more time and energy to write.  Yay?

On with the show!

 

Jaime VI

Jaime seems to have gotten an infection from his non-medically safe non-consensual amputation.  He’s been ill for a while but Qyburn the creepy failed Maester has treated him and the stump is starting to heal.

Anyone else think of the Lindsay Lohan cinematic masterpiece I Know Who Killed Me when there’s a lot of stump talk?

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Just me?  Ok, then.

Jaime is finally well enough to travel back to King’s Landing and since apparently Qyburn is too creepy even for Roose Bolton’s tastes, he’s going to travel with Jaime.  He’s also going to be travelling with a soldier name Steelshanks Walton.  That name just makes me think of robot sex in the Appalachians.

On the same day that Jaime is leaving, Roose is leaving Harrenhal too.  Jaime tells him to give his regards to Robb Stark.  An inane little nicety that I’m sure is not foreshadowing and will not be followed up on.  Yawn.

Steelshanks does not want to take the kingsroad for safety reasons and they end up on some roads that Jaime has been on before.  Back in the days shortly before Robert’s Rebellion when Aerys made Jaime a Kingsguard and made it clear that he did so to deprive Tywin of his heir.  He’s still pretty bitter over this.   But mostly he wants to be on the kingsroad instead of memory lane so that he can get home and bang his twin sister a little faster.

Talk turns to Brienne.  She is unfortunately still being held at Harrenhal.  Qyburn says that Vargo turned down the ransom offer that Lord Selwyn made.  He’s still holding out for those thappires.  Jaime thinks that now those rapes she avoided before are going to happen  now.  He’s infuriatingly cavalier about the whole thing but he does at least hope she snaps Vargo Hoat’s neck fighting him off.  The creepy and rapey guy talk that makes me think Donald Trump would love Westeros dies off.  Because it wouldn’t be a House Lannister chapter without some daddy issues, Jaime thinks about how much Tywin is going to hate having a cripple as well as a dwarf as his sons.

That night Jaime sleeps using a weirwood stump as a pillow and he has a doozy of a dream.  He’s naked and in the damp caverns below Casterly Rock.  A bunch of Lannister ancestral ghosts are there as well as Tywin and Cersei and Joffrey.  They tell him that his is his place and his darkness, give him a sword and leave.  The sword catches fire.  He hears a splash and turns around to see Brienne.  She’s naked and in chains.  Kinky.  Brienne’s sword catches fire too and Cersei says as she’s leaving that when the flames die, he’ll die too.  Brienne wants to know what lives down there and he tells her it’s doom.  Then the ghosts of Aerys’ Kingsguard appear, just like Ned’s dream back in AGOT.  Except this dream also has ghost Rhaegar.  They give him shit about the whole Kingslayer business.  Then his sword fire starts going out and he wakes up.  Dream sequences are hard to recap, let alone snark because they’re so damn weird.  But they do have meaning in these books.  I think he was sent that dream by Bloodraven or Bran in the future to save Brienne because she’s meant to deliver Ice/Oathkeeper back to the Starks.

This dream prompts Jaime to order Steelshanks to lead them back to Harrenhal.  Steelshanks doesn’t want to do it but the threat + bribe combo special does the trick.  When they get back, the black goat flag of Vargo is now hanging up.  They’re let back in and it’s discovered that they have Brienne in the bear pit.  She’s in that embarrassing pink dress a d has no armor.  She’s already got a bear scratch on her arm.  She tries to fight the bear but her sword is only a tourney sword.  Jaime awkwardly tries to jump in the pit and save her but he pretty much sucks now that his sword hand is gone.  Hulk fights bears way better.

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Luckily Steelshanks and his archers save the day and shoot the poor bear.  The Bloody Mummers are most upset about it.  But Jaime promises to pay the ransom and they escape.  Brienne asks Jaime why he came back for her and it what passes for a romantic moment in Westeros he says “I dreamed of you.”

Awwwwww.

 

Catelyn V

With a heavy heart I must report that it’s time for the Stark party to head to the Twins for Edmure’s wedding.  Robb bids Jeyne farewell three times.  As if they’re never going to see each other again.  God, this shit is foreshadowed heavily.

Jeyne even rides up well after the party has left to beg to be taken along.  Level five clinger alert!  Grey Wind is growling at the rain and Robb is annoyed and sends her back to Riverrun.  Although he actually initially did want to bring her.  Cat figured it would be an insult to Lord Walder though.  The Blackfish is also in Riverrun to run things while they’re away.

All in all, thiry five hundred people  are going to the twins.  Most people just have a plus one.

It’s raining all day every day.  So everyone is kind of sullen and quiet.  Cat bonds with Maege Mormont and her daughter Dacey.  They are the only ones in good spirits.  Jon Snow has the reputation for emoing, but I’m pretty sure Cat has him beat in this book.  She even gets in a tiff with Edmure because he’s worried that his bride will be fugly.  Pretty legit worry!  This causes her to reminisce about how she was disappointed that Ned wasn’t a hottie like his brother Brandon was, but then he grew on her.  She hopes it’ll be the same for Edmure and Roslin.

More emoing as they ride through the ruins of the Riverlands and Cat wonders whatever even happened to Ned’s bones.  Blah blah blah.

Eight days of rain later (the fuck!?) and they still haven’t reached the twins.  They’re camped at some ruins called Oldstone.  We get some Westeros history.  There’s a song about a Jenny of Oldstones and her dragonfly prince but this goes unexplained.  There is also the grave of Tristifer IV of House Mudd whose loser son Tristifer V lost him the Riverlands to the Andals thousands of years ago.  Now it is Robb’s turn to emo as it seems he’s been trying and failing to knock Jeyne up and there is no heir right now.  Robb notes that if he dies, Sansa is the heir and that means Tyrion and therefore the Lannisters have the North and the Riverlands.

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They discuss naming an alternate heir.  Robb wants Jon Snow but Cat is not having it.  Robb does not listen to her and flounces off.

Days pass.  How fucking long does it take to get to the Twins from the Riverland?  Geez!  The party meets up with Tully bannerman Jason Mallister who brings the news that Balon Greyjoy is dead.  I think this is the first we’ve heard of it and it seems so unceremonious, but hey.  It’s pretty good news anyway.  Apparently the bridge over Pyke snapped in the wind and he fell to his death.  In less good news, this death magically coincides with the return of Balon’s brother Euron.  They call him the Crow’s Eye and his ship is the silence.  He’s been on a long trip to Asshai and back and is now in the Seastone Chair ruling over the Iron Islands until they can have a King’s Moot.  Robb is worried about this development so he has Jason send Galbert Glover and Maege Mormont in ships to find Greywater Watch and find Howland Reed.  He orders Cat sent to Seagard, the Mallister castle after the wedding to keep her from being a meddling mommy anymore.  This is what happens when teenage boys become king.

 

Samwell III

Sam and Gilly have come to one of those abandoned willing village.  Sam hopes it is Whitetree because he knows where that is, but he can’t tell.  Gilly makes a fire in the longhall while Sam explores.  There was nothing there but rats and Sam thinks the weirwood heart tree is not big enough to indicate that t hey are at Whitetree.  He kneels before the heart tree and prays to the old gods.  Back at the longhall Sam tells Gilly all about how warm Castle Black is and promises her she can stand by the fire with the baby as long as she likes.  It’s all very sad and pathetic.  He tells her all about the people who will be there and then sings her a lullabye about the Seven.  It only has six verses because no one sings about the Stranger.  Gilly brings this up but it makes Sam feel uncomfortable.

Later that night, Sam and Gilly wake up.  The fire is about out and it’s gotten extremely cold.  There’s a sense of forboding in the air and we all know what this means.

Sure enough, there is a wight in the longhall.  It’s Small Paul.  He has a raven on his shoulder -Mormont’s talkative raven- munching on his dead flesh.  Just casually.  Like you do.  Gilly thinks he’s come for the baby.  Sam pisses himself.  Because of course he does.  Oh, Sam.  For some reason Sam tries to talk to and reason with wight Paul.  I don’t know what that’s supposed to accomplish.  It’s almost like he never saw a zombie movie before.

Sam stabs him with the dragonglass dagger.  Sam hilariously screams “you’re dead!” a bunch of times at him while he’s stabbing him.  Well, yeah.  Isn’t that kind of the whole problem?

Sadly this does not work.  The dragonglass shatters and Small is unaffected.  Sam and the wight wrestle for a bit.  He manages to hit him with the embered firewood and that finally does the trick.  He runs outside to boast to Gilly about how he killed the wight and finds she’s been cornered by a dozen more wights.  They’ve already killed their horse 😦

Sam literally says “it’s not fair.”  It’s kind of nice to read a fantasy story that has a character that would be as useless and whiny during adventures as me.  The raven repeats “fair!” and then there’s some rustling from the weirwood tree.  There’s a whole swarm of ravens.  They peck the wights up and Mormont’s raven tells Sam to “Go, go, go.”  Sam and Gilly run and all of a sudden a Nightswatch  man riding a mother fucking elk comes rolling up and pulls them up to ride away.  The hooded savior offers his hand to pull Sam up and he notices the hand is black and cold.  Oh, shit!

Deaths in this recap:  1.  Balon Greyjoy.

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

 

 

 

 

EMO

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Grapefruit vodka and soda

Chapters:  Jon V, Daenerys IV, Arya VIII

 

Jon V

Jon and his wildling pals arrive at the same village where Bran is.  Ygritte is very impressed with the tower, but Jon, despite his bastard status is still a little rich kid who grew up in a castle so he scoffs and tells her that tower ain’t shit.  Jon entertains fantasies of showing Ygritte Winterfell, but Winterfell is not his to show because BASTARD.  So he emos a bit.  Ygritte’s ambitions are a bit more modest, she just wants to move to this tower with Jon after the war.  Then they have a spat about whether or not the former residents of this village were wusses for letting constant wildling raids drive them off.  Then they have a monarchy vs. left libertarianism debate. Then he points out that Mance won’t win because the wildlings aren’t disciplined and slips up saying that “you’ll all die.  She reminds him that he’s not a crow anymore and it should be “all of us.”  Then they make out up against a tree.  What a whacky pair!

Jon is starting to get desperate to escape.  The Magnar keeps questioning him about the Watch’s defenses and he keeps having to hide how defenseless Castle Black really is.  They must be warned if they’re to have any shot at all.  However, he’s becoming conflicted as he gets in deeper with Ygritte and becomes friends with the other Wildlings.  He knows if he escapes and Castle Black is prepared, they’ll all die.  Needless to say, there’s lots of emo material here.

The Thenns capture the old man who was sheltering in the village inn.  Jon knows he’s going to be put to death so her goes to brood but Styr has him brought over and commands him to be the one to kill the old man.  He finds himself unable to do it even though he knows that if he doesn’t kill him, the Thenns will.  Jon refuses to do it and Styr calls him a crow and Ygritte a crow wife.  This pisses Ygritte so much that she slits the old man’s throat.

Then lightning strikes and an animal of some sort comes out of nowhere and kills some Thenns and other Wildlings including Del, one of those Jon is friendly with.  At first he thinks it’s Ghost, but it’s grey.  It’s Summer, if that wasn’t obvious.

Jon takes the opportunity in all the chaos to take the old man’s horse and ride away.  He has to kill Bodger, another of the Wildlings who tried to stop him escaping.  A few hours later he comes out of his shock and realizes that there’s an arrow embedded in his leg.  He manages to pull it out and dress the wound.  He wonders if it’s Ygritte that shot him with the arrow and rides on toward Castle Black.

 

Daenerys IV

Dany and her party are near Yunkai.  A host of 5,000 which includes the sellsword companies the Second Sons and the Stormcrows meet them outside the city.  The Yunkish army itself is a slave army but nowhere near as good as the Unsullied as Yunkai is more about trading sex slaves than warrior slaves.  Lovely.

Jorah believes they can defeat this army but Dany wants some other option than a battle because she doesn’t want to lose any of her men.  The slavers wish to meet with her and she tells Jorah to send word that she will do it.  She also wants to meet with the heads of the sellsword companies.

Since Astapor was liberated, Dany has abolished the custom of giving the Unsullied a new name each day.  Most of them changed their names but Grey Worm, who they elected their captain, kept his slave name because he considers the name he had the day he was set free to be lucky.  Aww.  Grey Worm is itching for a fight and she reminds him that if it comes to that, any slave who surrenders is to be spared.  In addition to the Unsullied, tens of thousands of Astapori civilians have joined her.  They aren’t of any use to her, but she doesn’t want to abandon them.

Dany heads to her pavilion and has Missandei tell her what she knows about the Yunkish.  The masters call themselves the Wise Masters and they speak Valyrian in a different but similar dialect to the Astapori.

A little while later, Jorah arrives with the captains of the Stormcrows in tow.  They are Prendahl ne Ghezn, a Ghiscari.  Sallor the Bald, a Qartheen.  And Daario Naharis, a Tyroshi.  Daario has a blue three pronged bear and a painted gold mustache.  Apparently, the Tyroshi style is to look like a cross between a court jester and a club kid.  Prendahl is the one to speak for the Stormcrows and he and Dany trash talk and threaten each other for awhile.  Prendahl has no interest in joining them, but as they leave, Daario gives her a friendly farewell nod.

Later, it is time for Mero, the lone captain of the Second Sons to meet.  He is a Braavosi and his nickname is the Titan’s Bastard.  He’s a big perv and tries to get her to exchange sex for his swords.  She threatens to geld him.  I’ll have to try that next time I get harassed on the bus!  She gives him some wine and sends him off.  He doesn’t seem so keen on joining her cause either.  After he leaves, Arstan and Jorah, in agreement for a change, tell her he’s evil and rapey and is making the once honorable Second Sons into a Bloody Mummer like company.

Finally, the Yunkish Wise Masters come for their meeting.  Their leader, Grazdan mo Eraz rides in on a huge camel.  Grazdan threatens to sex traffic Dany if she loses the battle but tells her he won’t stop her if she just passes them by and leaves them alone.  He even offers her a chest of gold to go.  She’s not having it.  She just says she’ll let the city go unplundered if he frees all the slaves.  Of course, he does not accept so Dany says my favorite word “Dracarys” and the dragons spit fire at Grazdan.  His tokar gets burned, but not his body.  She gives him three days to surrender.  He calls her a whore, because whether it’s the real world or a fantasy universe, that’s the typical response to a woman they fin threatening.

Turns out, Dany was lying about the three days.  She wants to make plans to attack tonight.  Before they can move, the Unsullied catch Daario entering her camp, claiming to be bearing gifts.  Jorah brings him to her tent and she compares their looks.  Despite Daario’s clownish appearance, she thinks he’s hot.  Way hotter than Jorah the Fedora.  Oh god, he has a gold tooth.  A gold fucking tooth.  Why?  To make matters worse, his weapons have naked ladies on the hilts.

Anyway, he tells her that the Stormcrows are hers.  His gifts are the heads of Prendahl and Sallor.  That’s sweet!  It’s like when your cat brings you a dead mouse or bird.  He takes his T&A arakh and pledges his service to her as the dragons roast and eat the heads of his former companions.

She sends Daario away to prepare the Stormcrows to join the attack.  Predictably, Jorah is jealous and disapproving and doesn’t trust him at all.  She’s tired of his shit and sends him off too.

Now it is time to wait.  Arstan stays behind with Dany and she asks him to tell her more about Rhaegar.  Viserys told her that he won many tourneys, but Arstan tells her that even though he was pretty good, he didn’t enter too many tourneys.  He just didn’t like fighting all that much.  He was pretty emo.  Just like Jon.  Fancy that.

Story time is interrupted by news of victory.  Mero fled and Grazdan surrendered.  The newly freed people pour out of the city chanting “Mhysa!” which means mother.  And no lie, as I type this, the movie I have on in the background is playing the song Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves.

 

Arya VIII

Arya and the BWB are now back on that creepy ass hill; High Heart.  Thoros is staring into the fire, trying to get a vision.  But it’s not happening right now.  Thoros tells a little bit of his backstory. He was never particularly religiously devout.  He got sold to the red temple because he was the youngest of eight and his family couldn’t or wouldn’t care for him.  Since King Aerys loved fire, he was sent off to try and convert him.  That didn’t work, but Robert liked him because he was a good drinking buddy.

The Ghost of High Heart comes to join them by the fire.  She calls Beric the Lord of Corpses and sexually harasses Lem.  She brings the news that one of the kings is dead.  The Kraken.  She saw Balon Greyjoy die in a vision and now she is saying, it happened.  Then she notices and summons Arya.  She tells her that she also smells of death and cries “Begone from here, dark heart!”  Ouch.

Lord Beric says not to worry, they are taking her with them to Riverrun tomorrow.  But the Ghost of High Heart tells them that Catelyn is actually headed to the Twins for a wedding.

Arya, Edric “Ned” Dayne and Gendry all talk about bastards and honor and their families.    Ned claims that his aunt Ashara Dayne and Ned Stark were in love and she killed herself in heartbreak.  There’s lots of fan theories about this whole part.  Eh, look it up yourself.

The next night, Thoros sees in the flames that Riverrun will come under attack and be taken over by Lannisters.  He says he didn’t even see Robb and Catelyn in the flames at all.  That can’t be good.  Arya runs off into the night.  Just to continue the emo trend of this recap section.  After running about for a bit, she gets seized.  She thinks it’s by one of the BWB but no.  It’s the Hound.

 

Deaths in this recap:  4.  Del, Bodger, Prendahl, and Sallor

Cumulative deaths: 115

Maybe deaths in this recap: 0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  9

Betrayals in this recap: 1.  Jon finally turns on the wildlings/Ygritte

Cumulative betrayals: 31

Incest incidents: 0.

Cumulative incests: 26

Tyrion Twister

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Sauvignon Blanc that I bought only because it had a kitty on the bottle

Chapters:  Tyrion V, Arya VII, Bran III

 

Tyrion V

It’s finally time for the Martells of Dorne to enter the story.  Prince Doran is arriving to attend the wedding and Joffrey can’t be trusted to do the meet and greet with the Martell party because he’s picked up some of the shit talking and insulting jokes from the Tyrell camp.  As you may recall, the Tyrells and Martells hate each other.  So Tyrion has to do it.

The Martell party is huge and many of the Dornish lords seem to be represented, judging by the banners.  Bronn counts nine.  Tyrion has Pod name all the houses that correspond to the banners. He’s surprisingly knowledgeable and we learn for sure that Pod is not stupid, just socially awkward but I think GRRM just likes heraldry a lot and will come up with any excuse to describe it.   My favorite one is House Blackmont.  Their sigil is a vulture with a baby in its talons.  What?  Why!?

Anyway, the houses that represent the Martell contingent are all pretty major.  There is a clear message to the Lannisters and Tyrells to not fuck with them.  This makes Tyrion uneasy.  Even  more unnerving is that there’s no litter.  Doran always travels with a litter because he’s all gouty and can’t really walk or ride.  I’m not too sure why someone royal has the gout because I thought it usually caused by not enough meat and seafood in the diet but maybe there are other causes too.

Tyrion is getting increasingly anxious and sick of waiting so he goes out to meet the party.  The Martells are – DUN DUN DUN – different in appearance to most Westrosi people.  Some of them are brown because of the Rhoynish blood.  They wear scarves and flowing clothes to ward off the heat.

The leader of the Martells is way too young, healthy looking, and bold to me Doran Martell.  It his younger brother, Oberyn.  Tyrion worries this will mean war but is polite and diplomatic with him.  Oberyn has brought along his paramour (fantasy novel fancy talk for girlfriend) Ellaria Sand.  This spells even more trouble because Cersei will not want a bastard woman treated as an honored guest but disallowing her from the VIP areas of the wedding celebration will piss of Oberyn and the rest of team Dorne.

Now we get the background on Oberyn “Red Viper” Martell.  He’s the Prince Harry to Doran’s Prince William.  He likes the ladies (and unlike Prince Hot Ginge, far as I know he likes the dudes too) and he’s not married.  He’s the fun brother!  He’s also rumored to poison the tips of the spears he fights with, he spent some time at the Citadel getting Maester training and has maybe even studied sorcery in Essos.  He’s got more bastard kids than a Maury guest all girls.  He’s also the one who crippled the heir to Highgarden, Willas Tyrell.  He’s a rebel without a cause all right, and his appearance means trouble.

Oberyn starts off his stay in King’s Landing by mocking Tyrion a little bit.  He tells the story of the time he visited Casterly Rock when Tyrion was a baby.  Cersei and Jaime were 8 or 9.  It seems Oberyn was disappointed Tyrion wasn’t as monstrous looking as the rumors made him out to be.  The talk was either that Tyrion was a curse on Tywin for being too arrogant and thinking himself above the king.  That or a plain old omen of doom.  So Oberyn was expecting big things!  But he was just a baby with dwarfism.  Yawn.  Cersei did give him a penis version of a titty twister (is there a name for that?) and nonchalantly say he’d probably die soon though.  Cersei has always been an asshole it would seem.

Oberyn continues to be not the one to mince words and he outright asks when justice will be done.  Oberyn is there to see Gregor Clegane punished for the murders of his sister Elia and the prince and princess Aegon and Rhaenys.  Tyrion tries to weasel out of committing to anything and pretends it’s an unsolved mystery.  I used to love that show!  Not sure if the image will imbed properly because Wordpress is being a butthole.

Anyway, Oberyn  calls that shit right out and says he knows it was Gregor Clegane and he will hear Clegane admit it and say where he got his orders.  He informs Tyrion that he’s a bloodthirsty man.  Goody!  Tyrion points out that he’s still outnumbered and takes his leave.

 

Arya VII

The BWB have come to a sept where the Bloody Mummers have taken over to rumble with them.  Arya’s just chilling on her horse atop a hill watching although she wishes she could join in because of course she does.  She muses about how she wants to learn archery as she watches Anguy kill with arrows.  “Kill them all” she thinks.  Arya’s getting scary!  The BWB seem to be winning but the Mummers do manage to kill a couple of them; Watty and Kyle.  One of the Mummers that the BWB caught was Utt who was now calling himself Septon Utt.  This one Arya remembers for her time with them.  He would commit atrocities, implied to be the rape and murder of boys and then pray for forgiveness afterwards.  He gets all Jim Baker weepy during his trial too.  But he was convicted and hung anyway.  Along with many other Mummers.

Later, at dinner Arya is recounting the past days or weeks she’s spent with the BWB.  Apparently Beric never eats or sleeps.  Creepy!  He’s obviously not exactly human anymore.  He can barely remember his life before death.  Kind of like Randall Flagg in The Stand losing his pre-plague memories.  Thoros has now resurrected him a whopping six times and is concerned he’s growing too cavalier.

Arya asks Thoros if he can bring back a man without a head and he lets her down gently.  Beric says he knows Ned Stark was a good man and he’d forgo her ransom if they didn’t need the money so badly.  In one of the more heartbreaking moments of the series, Arya worries Robb won’t even want to get her back because of the things she’s done and how unkempt and dirty she is.  Then later on, Gendry offers to smith for the BWB rather than staying at Riverrun and Arya is sad because he’s leaving her too.   Beric knights Gendry and he’s officially a member.  But there will be no celebrations because suddenly The Hound bursts into the inn where they are.  Clegane wants the gold they took from him back.  There is much trash talking between Hound and BWB.  This time Arya gets in on the action threatening to kill him.  After some more words, he abruptly flounces off into the night.  The next day, she and Gendry part as he will be staying on.  She’s pretty snippy with him.  And thus the chapter ends.  Also abruptly.

 

Bran III

Bran and company have finally left the foothills and for the first time since leaving them have come across a village.  It’s  abandoned and in ruins.  The cool and/or spooky thing about it is that it contains a lake and the lake has an island and on the island is a tower.  The land is owned by the Night’s Watch.  It’s part of a swath of land called the gift.  Bran the Builder, a Stark ancestor who I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned here gifted the Watch the land 25 leagues south of the Wall.  Some time later, one of the Targaryen queens; Alysanne gifted an additional 25 to them.  The land was eventually abandoned because the Wildlings constantly raided those parts.

Jojen declares that they need to shelter here because a bad storm is coming.  None of the buildings in the village have a proper roof anymore so they decide to go to the island holdfast.  Bran just so happens to know about a causeway hidden under the water because Old Nan once told him about this place.  Its minor claim to fame being that Queen Alysanne once slept there.  The stones zig zag a lot but they do make it to the tower eventually.

Once they make it to the top of the tower, they finally get around to discussing what they will do when they make it to the Wall.  They still haven’t dealt with how they’ll get through.  Jojen thinks some of the abandoned Night’s Watch castles will be their best bet.  There are nineteen castles and only three are currently manned.  Bran points out that when the NW abandons a castle, they seal the gates with ice and stone.  Bran wants to go to Castle Black and ask them to grant passage, but Jojen vetoes the idea as unsafe.  Bran is going to argue further because he really wants to see Jon again but Jojen spies a man on a horse approaching the village.

It starts to rain and the horseman has taken shelter in the ruined inn.  After they eat dinner it starts to thunder and lightning and Hodor goes into complete meltdown mode.  Every time it thunders, he shouts “Hodor!”  They try to calm him down but can’t.  To make matters worse, there are now more men in the village so they really can’t be discovered.  In a panic, Bran ACTUALLY FUCKING WARGS HODOR!  Just for a second, but that’s a pretty big deal.  Usually wargs cannot warg humans.  Then he wargs Summer and senses that Summer is very afraid…

 

Deaths in this recap: 3.  Watty, Kyle and Pedobear Utt

Cumulative deaths: 111

Maybe deaths in this recap: 0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  9

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 30

Incest incidents: 0.

Cumulative incests: 26

 

Westrosi Uncle Joey

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot Grigio

Chapters:  Catelyn IV, Davos IV, Jaime V

 

Catelyn IV

Oh good.  Another ASOS Cat chapter.  These are always cheerful!  This chapter opens on the funeral of Hoster Tully.  So far, I think this is the first natural death in the entire series.  So, congrats Hoster for not getting executed or dying in war.

The Tullys have Viking funerals for some reason.  I guess because they live by a river and it’s more convenient to send the body down the river in a boat and make it the problem of the people living downriver than building a crypt would be.  At least they burn the body first so it’s not a festering maggoty corpse that the downriver people have to see and smell coming towards them.

Just in case we forgot that the Starks and Tullys have pissed the Freys off, we learn that Walder Sr. sent Lame Lothar Frey who is crippled and Walder Rivers, one of his bastards to represent the Freys at the funeral while the other lords in the Riverlands came themselves.  This was an obvious insult and the ever thoughtful and mature Edmure is pretty peeved about it but Robb  handles it all classy like.

Edmure, being the new Lord Tully has the task of shooting the flaming arrow at the funeral boat to burn the corpse.  But Edmure is the Westeros version of Joey from Full House and he’s too incompetent to successfully hit his target.  After three embarrassing failures he has to let Blackfish do it.  The Blackfish makes it on the first try of course.  None of this bodes to well for Edmure’s future tenure as Lord Tully.  Poor Ed is rather too fragile for this story.  It seems the night before he had been crying about being off at war during his father’s last days.  To comfort him, Cat had to lie and tell him that Hoster’s last word was “Edmure” but it was actually “tansy.”  Why tansy?  I guess we’ll see.  That’s actually a pretty normal and healthy amount of a grief for a dying parent, but there’s a shit ton of toxic masculinity going on in Westeros and boys don’t cry.  Lysa on the other hand, didn’t even reply to the letter Catelyn sent her, let alone show up.  I guess the paranoia is still a’brewin in the Eyrie.

After the funeral, Lothar takes Robb aside and asks if he will grant him an audience later that night.  Catelyn is a little dubious and so am I.  Robb and Catelyn go for a walk alone and he’s slightly more hopeful about winning the Freys back but not that hopeful.  He’s actually in a pretty depressed mood.  Robb informs Catelyn that he has to tell her something about Sansa.  She fears that she is dead at first, but it’s Sansa’s marriage he tells her of.  She wonders why they would marry Tyrion to her but Robb knows that it’s for Winterfell.  With Bran and Rickon “gone” she’s the heir if Robb dies before having kids.  Cat freaks out a bit and says that Robb can’t die because he’s all she has left.  She even tries to convince Robb to surrender but he will not do it.  They have a little tiff and Robb kind of accuses her of forgetting that the Lannisters were responsible for Ned’s death.

After dinner, Lothar reveals his business.  He tells them about how Winterfell was burned, saying that Theon put it to the torch when he saw that he had lost it.  He also informs them of Rodrik Cassel’s death.  Old news for us, but not for them.  He claims not to know what happened to Theon.  In ostensibly happier news, he informs tham that Walder Frey agrees to the new marriage alliance proposed.  Edmure will marry a Frey girl, Roslin, the daughter of his sixth wife.   If Robb apologizes face to face for breaking the original vow.  Another condition is that the wedding take place at once.  Again, Catelyn is not comfortable.  Edmure is not too pleased either.  But ultimately, they have no choice but to agree.

 

Davos IV

Davos is still sharing his cell with Alester Florent.  They hear voices coming towards them.  It’s Axell Florent and some guards.  Alester thinks he’s being free but it’s Davos that they’re there for.  Axell calls Alester a traitor and Alester starts whining.  The Florents are almost as uncool as the Freys.  Just to be extra dickish, Axell orders Davos to take the one torch and leave Alester in the pitch black.

Axell says that Stannis has sent for him, although Melisandre will be there too.  He won’t tell Davos whether or not he’s going to be burned.  After climbing many flights of stairs they emerge outside and cross a bridge.  On the ground below is a huge fire with men singing to R’hllor.  Axell, still a gigantic douchebag tells Davos that if it were up to him, he’d burn both Davos and his brother Alester.  He claims to also be able to see in the flames.  He says to have seen that Davos will betray Stannis, so Stannis had better name him hand in place of Alester.  What an asshole.  He’d probably be a child molesting Evangelical fundamentalist megachurch preacher in our universe.  He even orders Davos to tell Stannis to make Axell hand.  Seriously.  What a toolshed.  It takes a lot to make the Freys look good, but I think Axell is managing.  It seems that Axell is all pissy because Selyse can’t convince Stannis to appoint him as hand.  He threatens Davos with a little accident.

They meet up with Stannis in the Chamber of the Painted Table.  It’s a cool table in the shape of Westeros with the map painted on it.  This is an artifact from Aegon I’s time.  Davos is shocked by how much of a haggard mess Stannis looks.  But he does emote as much as Stannis ever does when he sees Davos.  He gives a faint smile.  Of course, Stannis ruins this touching reunion by pointedly asking him what the penalty for treason is.  Oh, Stannis.  Davos is a bit shaken but has to answer true.  He says the penalty is death.  Stannis adds that this has always been the case.  It’s law.  Not cruelty.  He seems to not want to execute Alester and he laments how Robert was able to charm enemies and turn them into friends but he lacks that gift.  As someone whose social awkwardness gets mistaken for coldness, stuff like this always endears Stannis to me.

Talk moves again to the war.  Axell is itching to go back to battle and he has a plan. Stannis wants Davos’ advice on it.  The plan is to loot this island called Claw Isle.  Claw Isle belongs to house Celtigar.  Lord Celtigar has bent the knee to Joffrey after being captured at Blackwater and is in King’s Landing still.  Supposedly Claw Isle is full of treasure, including a horn that call up sea monsters.  Is that a Chekov’s gun or nah?  After looting, Axell wants to burn down the castle and kill everyone there.

Davos speaks honestly about this plan.  He calls it cowardice and folly.  I love Davos.  He says that people didn’t have much of a choice but  to go along with their lord.  Stannis is unswayed.  He says they should have been loyal to their king, no matter what their lord does.  But Davos points out that Stannis did not remain loyal to King Aerys when Robert rebelled.  Boom!  Of course, Axell is pissed and cries treason.  That’s about all he knows how to do.  But Stannis just sends Axell away to go fetch Melisandre.  Bye, Florenticia!

Stannis is not super pleased with Davos pointing out the hypocrisy but as always, he ultimately respects the honesty.  He talks about how it was actually no an easy choice to follow Robert and he talks about how he doesn’t want the throne, but is going after merely because the law says he’s Robert’s heir.  He expresses his intentions to scour the court clean of corruption, which means bye-bye to Cersei, Varys, and Jaime.  He then asks Davos why he wanted to kill Melisandre.  He simply says it’s because she gave four of his sons to the flames.  He also says that Mel killed Renly.  Stannis tries to deny that.  He also says that Melisandre is the one who had Davos released and that Edric Storm is sick.  But that he’ll recover and that Mel says he has king’s blood and there’s power in king’s blood.  Uh oh.

Boy is this chapter full of exposition!  Anyway, Stannis abruptly says that he agrees with Davos about Claw Isle and names him a lord and Hand of the King.

Davos doesn’t think he’s fit, but Stannis will hear none of it.  I don’t think Axell will be happy.  Hahahaha!

Then Melisandre comes in.  She says it’s not the political stuff they should be concerned with.  She’s seen in the flames that the Long Night part two is coming.  Stannis says he saw the same thing, Mel showed him.  They saw a hill in a forest, men in black, and shapes in the snow.  Melisandre has apparently been trying to convince Stannis that in order to gain the power need to fight this great evil, that Edric with his king’s blood must be burned.  Because only king’s blood can awaken the stone dragon.  Whatever that is.  But Stannis is thankfully still saying no and that leaching Edric will have to do.  Melisandre reveals that she has three leaches full of his blood in her hand.  Stannis throws them in the fire and names them for Joffrey, Balon and Robb.

 

Jaime V

Jaime enters the Harrenhal bathhouse (no, not that kind of bathhouse) as Brienne is also bathing.  He is to eat dinner with Roose Bolton and it’s probably best that he’s not full of fleas and stinking like piss and shit.  Jaime orders the servants out of the bathhouse so that he and Brienne are alone.  The tubs are huge so he gets into the one Brienne is in.  She’s not entirely pleased with that, but he tells her that he was no desire to sexually harass her.  All the same, when his trash talking pisses her off and she stands up so he sees her body, he starts to get wood.  He’s troubled by this because he’s only used to incest erections.  You’d think he’d pleased to have a sexual attraction that isn’t sick and disgusting, but I guess not.

Brienne gives him shit for being the Kingslayer.  Jaime’s recent traumas have made him so tired and vulnerable that he finds himself telling the story of how he became The Kingslayer.  Once Aerys started losing some battles he grew paranoid.  It only grew when Rhaegar convinced Aerys to seek help from Tywin and didn’t get a reply.  It didn’t help when Varys was Wormtonguing him, feeding the paranoia and making him see traitors everywhere.  Aerys secretly had wildfire caches placed all over King’s Landing.  When his current hand, Chelsted grew suspicios, he had him killed.  Aerys kept Jaime close all the time, mostly so Varys could keep an eye on him.  So Jaime saw and heard everything and Aerys’ increasing fondness for the wildfire disturbed him.  After Rhaegar died, Aerys really lost it and decided to burn down KL rather than let Robert have it.  Meanwhile, Pycelle had Tywin, who had by this time thrown in with Robert let into the city.  Jaime tried to convince Aerys to make terms, but Aerys demanded Tywin’s head as proof of loyalty.  Jaime ended up having to kill Aerys and Rossart, the pyromancer who was getting the wildfire ready to go.  He needed to do it to save the lives of everyone in King’s Landing.

This revelation kind of dumbfounds Brienne.  She’s still kind of in the mindset that you’re either honorable or you’re not and this is much more of a gray area.  She asks Jaime why she never told anyone else this.  He seems to think he’d have been judged harshly no matter what.  In fact, he’s so riled up even at the thought of Ned Stark passing judgement on them that he knocks his stump on the edge of the tub and passes out.  That’s one way to end this somewhat awkward converstation!

He comes to and Qyburn’s creepy ass is there.  He helps Jaime get dressed up for dinner with Roose.  He also gives Brienne a pink satin gown.  It’s the only women’s garment in all of Harrenhal large enough to fit her, although it’s still too small.  I can always relate to Brienne so much regarding this.  I’m average height, but I have huge boobs and I too would probably have trouble finding cute and stylish outfits that fit me in Harrenhal.  She looks so ridiculous in an ill fitting pink dress that Jaime decides for once not to neg her.

Jaime and Brienne go to the dinner with Roose who is as unsettlingly quiet and creepy as ever.  Brienne is a teetotaler and rejects his offer of wine.  This is where I stop relating to her.

Roose reminds Jaime that there’s a big bounty for his capture.  Just to troll him, I think.  Then he tells him that he just recently wed Fat Walda Frey because Walder promised his brides weight in silver for a dowry.  Therefore, Fat Walda is the sensible price.  He also informs Jaime about Edmures impending nuptials and says that his presence at the wedding is required.  So he’s about to leave Harrenhal with Vargo Hoat for good.  Yikes.

Then something strange happens.  Roose says that Arya Stark has been found and he means to return her to the north.  This does not match with the last Arya chapter, so something is not right here.  Roose Trollton trolls some more and says Lannisters lie, then when Jaime is about to try to kick his ass, he reminds him that guest right is still sacred.

Oh, Roose.  Bad Roose.

At this point, Brienne is getting het up too so Roose admits that he actually plans to free Jaime and send him on.  If he’ll tell Tywin that Jaime’s maiming was only Hoat’s fault, Bolton’s.  Brienne says she will deliver Sansa back to Cat like she said she would.  That’s when Roose informs them of Sansa and Tyrion’s wedding. He also breaks it to Brienne that she will remain in Harrenhal as Vargo Hoat’s prisoner.

 

Deaths in this recap: 1.  Hoster Tully.  I don’t think Jaime’s recounting of Aerys’ demise counts here.

Cumulative deaths: 108

Maybe deaths in this recap: 0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  9

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 30

Incest incidents: 0. 

Cumulative incests: 26

Sweeney Tyrion’s

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot Grigio

Chapters:  Tyrion IV, Samwell II, Arya VI

 

Tyrion IV

Tyrion is taking a little stroll in the burnt out mess that lies beyond the city walls.  He’s evidently still unpopular with the smallfolk as they give him the stick eye.  It’s no wonder.  The price of food is still inflated even though the Tyrells inundated the city with food supplies.  Nobody tries to mess with though because Bronn is there.  It’s illegal to live or trade there and Bronn offers to kill them all but Tyrion says no.  I guess we know now why there’s never going to be a thriving food truck industry in Westeros.  Too bad.  I’d kind of like to read GRRM’s version of a hipstery artisan pigeon pie.

The reason they’re by wall is to check progress on the rebuilding of the gates to the city.  It was supposed to be Kevan’s job but he’s a little down because word reached him of Willem’s death, and other sons are either prisoners of Robb (Martyn) or in critical condition with a festering wound (Lancel).  It’s understandably stressing Tyrion out to have to both deal with the logistics of rebuilding the city and the costs now that he’s Master of Coin.  He’s also a smidge cranky because the whole castle has heard that Sansa won’t do him.  His sexual frustration at not being able to consummate his marriage with his child bride has caused him to get horny for Shae again.    Even though Shae didn’t express any real jealousy that he was getting married, I still think this is a healthier relationship than a statutory rape based marriage would be.  So I approve of them getting back together.

Okay, the Tyrion-Shae relationship is still damn toxic.  The next thing Tyrion and Bronn do is go to some dive bar where Symon Silver Tongue is hanging out and drinking.  Remember Symon?  He’s the singer that Tyrion is really jealous of because Shae flirts with and possible sleeps with him.  Tyrion is there to try and bribe him to leave the country and go to the Free Cities.  Symon is feeling sassy and chooses to play hardball.  The thirty gold dragons he planned to offer will not be enough.  He wants an invitation to sing at Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding.  He’s also giving Tyrion a whole lot of lip.  He keeps singing a song about hands of gold being cold and a woman’s hands being warm.  Tyrion promises that he’ll try to get him a spot on Westrosi Idol.  But when he leaves he actually orders Bronn to kill Symon and make sure his body is never found.  Bronn says he’ll give the Symon meat to a pot shop that makes bowls of brown with mystery meat in it.  Ew.  If the food truck business does take off in Westeros, there’s probably going to be a cannibalism themed truck or two.  Maybe one could be called Sweeney Tyrion’s.

Tyrion’s day continues to be busy and fun filled.  As soon as he gets home, Pod tells him that Tywin wants to see him.  Tywin wants to show him Joffrey’s wedding present.  It’s a longsword.  It soon becomes clear the sword is Valyrian steel.  Valyrian steel is very rare and expensive.  To carry on with the food theme in this post, they’re like the white truffles of Westeros.  It’s such a status symbol to have a Valyrian steel sword that Tywin tried multiple times to buy them off of impoverished houses only to be turned down.  The Lannisters used to have one called Brightroar, but an ancestor took it on a quest to Valyria and never came back.  Tywin’s youngest brother Gery also went on a quest to Valyria to try and find it and also never came back.  Either something terrible happens to everyone who tries to go into the smoking ruins of Valyria or maybe there’s secretly a utopia in there.  It’s like Oz if you’re a lefty or like Galt’s Gulch if you’re a righty.  It’s probably the former.

Naturally Tyrion wonders how Tywin got a brand spanking new Valyrian sword.  There are a few armorers who can reforge old ones but the secret to making a new Valyrian sword was lost in the Doom.  The sword is also a strange color.  It’s part black – or close to black – and part red.  But not Lannister crimson.  More like Targaryen red.  There’s also a second, even larger sword.  It’s for Jaime.

Now it’s on to more topics like money.  Tywin doesn’t have any helpful advice as to how to pay to rebuild the city and throw a wedding of Kim and Kanye extravegence.  He just says to find it.  Tyrion suggests that Casterly Rock forgive the Crown’s debt to them, but Tywin shoots it down.  Tywin also gives him a hard time about him not bedding Sansa and basically tells him to rape and impregnate her.  Lovely.

Next comes to the news that Mace Tyrell has refused Tywin’s offer to marry Cersei to Willas.  He suspects Olenna talked him out of it.  Tywin warns Tyrion not to tell Cersei she was rejected.  Then Pycelle comes in with a letter that just arrived from Castle Black warning that the Wildlings were about to invade and asking for help again.  It also says that no word has come from the party that went ranging and  LC Mormont is feared dead.  Pycelle suggests they attempt to install Janos Slynt as the new Lord Commander.  They talk about threatening to never send more men unless the Nightswatch votes they want in the next choosing.  Tywin instructs Pycelle to send a raven back with a letter implying this.  Tyrion wishes he had killed Janos after all and thinks about how he at least learned his lesson by just dispensing with Symon.

 

Samwell II

Sam and the surviving Nightswatch men have arrived at Craster’s keep.  Craster has taken them in again.  Maybe to gloat or something?  I don’t know.  A NW man named Bannen is dying and simultaneously, Sam can hear on of the daughterwives in  labor upstairs in the loft.  Craster thinks Bannen is as good as dead and it would be kinder to just kill him now.  Assholish as he is, he has a point.  A NW man named Bedwyck AKA Giant bickers with Craster for a bit.  There are other NW men in a bad way and they need more food but Craster isn’t giving up anything but some broth and bread.  They’ve been their for days and their resentment over not having enough to eat is really growing.

Now it’s confirmed that it is actually Gilly giving birth.  Craster yells up at them to shut her up or he’ll come beat her.   Sam is pretty miserable that he can’t help her and thinks disapprovingly of the NW tradition of overlooking the gross misogyny, rape, and domestic violence in the Koresh Craster compound.  It all causes Sam to have to go outside and angst just like his buddy Jon.  He thinks about how there have been no attacks by the Others or their wights since arriving at Craster’s.  Craster says there won’t be because he’s a godly man and they need to right with gods when the white cold comes.  Presumably those gods are the Others.

Sam hears a commotion and goes out to find some of the more robust NW members doing target practice with arrows on a straw man.  It’s basically a stereotypical boys locker room situation.  Lots of dick measuring contests related to bow and arrow prowess.  They see Sam and mock him, calling him Slayer sarcastically because they apparently don’t believe that he slew an Other for real.  Sam runs away and encounters Grenn who calls him Slayer unironically.  This causes Sam to throw a tantrum that makes him sound like a little kid.  But Grenn assures him that he’s not the only one who gets scared and it’s pretty sweet.  He also points out that nickname coming from friends is a whole different context than a nickname coming from people who don’t care about you.  Grenn is not stupid like people think he is!

Aww.  I love Grenn.  Time for a Grenn appreciation gif.

Anyway, they discuss the wights and wonder if they will come back.  I guess they don’t believe Craster about being godly and having a get out of zombie apocalypse free card.   They aren’t worried at this moment because it’s not cold enough.  Sam wonders if the cold brings the wights or if the wights bring the cold.  I think this is a crucial question but no one else seems too interested.

Sam has some more self pitying thoughts.  He wonders why he isn’t the one who died and blah, blah, blah.  Geez, Sam.  Get it together.  His angst is interrupted by Mormont’s Raven who says “snow’ a bunch of times.  Sam overhears Mormont talking with some of the other more senior members of the Watch.  Apparently, Craster is kicking them out.

Mormont takes Sam aside to talk about the dragonglass.  He’s wondering why they never knew about dragonglass.  He thinks the NW has forgotten its true purpose.  That is protecting the realms of men, not fighting wildlings.  Mormont asks if dragonglass was literally made by dragons but Sam tells him it’s made in volcanos.  They’re worried because they don’t know where to find more dragonglass.  I think I know!  Dragonstone!

Craster interrupts their chat to announce that the new baby is a boy and to reiterate that the NW don’t have to go home but they can’t stay here.    Sam offers to take the newborn boy with them and Craster gets super pissed.  Mormont escorts Sam inside and yells at him and orders him to go back to attending Bannen.

Bannen however, has died.  The other NW men are still stewing in rage and debating whether or not Craster has enough food and just deliberately starved them.  They later burn his corpse and Sam is disturbed because it smells like pork and makes him all the hungrier.  Clearly Sweeney Tyrion’s would also do well if it expanded up north.

Sam has to leave to go puke.  Dolorous Edd follows him out and  makes a crack about Bannen smelling good, so we know it’s not just Sam who is so hungry that a fallen comrade smells like dinner.  Edd informs him that they will be riding at first light.

Now that it’s confirmed they’ll be leaving, Craster finally gives the NW men a decent supper.  They eat the meat from the NW horses that died on the march there 😦

But trouble starts when a NW brother name Clubfoot Karl complains that there isn’t enough bread.  Mormont tells him to shut the fuck up and be grateful for what they have, but Karl is not having it.  Some of the NW men openly accuse Craster of hiding food and he kind of admits.  Mormont tries to diffuse the situation but to now avail.  Someone called Craster a bastard and that’s when shit really hits the fan.  Craster hates being called a bastard.   He charges the NW men and one of them, named Dirk slits his throat.

Mormont is furious.  He points out that the gods curse those who break guest right.  Dirk takes one of the daughterwives at knifepoint and orders her to take them to the food.  Mormont says he’ll have his head.  One of the brothers, Ollo Lophand stabs Mormont.  Chaos ensues but we don’t get to read about it because Sam seems to have fugue states when there is a lot of violence.  We do know Garth of Greenaway killed Garth of Oldtown.  We know Rolley of Sisterton fell or was thrown out of the loft and broke his neck after trying to rape Craster’s daughterwives.  Ser Byam somehow died because Craster crashed into him as he was dying.  Grenn and Edd tried to get Sam to flee with them but he wouldn’t so they left without the.  Ollo is now raping a woman across the table while Sam is cradling the dying Mormont.  Mormont tells him to make for the Wall and tell those still there about everything that happened.  He also wants him to forgive Jorah for him.  Gilly and some other Craster wives confront Sam and talk him into taking Gilly and the baby and fleeing.  They tell him that the white gold’s rising and “they” will soon come to take the baby.

 

Arya VI

Arya and Gendry being carted around with a hood over her face so she can’t see.  When Harwin finally takes the hood off, it’s revealed that they’re in a giganomous cave with a huge fire pit in it.  Lem says it’s old secret place where neither wolves nor lions come prowling.  Thoros of Myr is there.  Arya remembers him from King’s Landing as being fat but now he’s super skinny.  The BWB have a captive that they found sleeping off some drunkenness under a willow tree.  The captive is also unhooded and revealed to be The Hound, Sandor Clegane.  Sandor is predictably not impressed my Thoros’ newfound religiosity and he’s not impressed with the rest of the BWB.  They trade some insults for  awhile and someone makes a speech about how the BWB are comprised of men from all different backgrounds who found their purpose after experiencing the horrors of war.  They still claim to serve Robert even though he’s dead.  Sandor is also quite unimpressed with that.  The man who made the speech turns out to be Beric Dondarrion.  He used to be handsome but now, not so much.

The BWB is charging Sandor with all manner of Lannister crimes and also blaming him for his brother Gregor’s actions.  Naturally this does not sit well with Sandor.  He tells them not to blame him for the murders committed by others.  He does have a point, but then Arya yells at him for killing Mycah.  The butcher’s boy.  The one who fell afoul of Joffrey.  This does have the side effect of causing Sandor to realize who she is.  Everyone in King’s Landing thinks she’s dead and that’s probably for the best.

Beric says it’s not for him to judge and sentences him to a trial by battle so the Lord of Light can decide.  Apparently using gods as an excuse to dual is found in all cultures.  The Hound mocks Beric who doesn’t look very strong.  That’s when Beric takes off his shirt and shows them all the scars.  He has one on his front and back showing that a lance went right through him. He shouldn’t be alive.  But he his.

The BWB all pray to the Lord of Light and say that the night is dark and full of terrors.  Sandor is still not impressed or afraid.  They fight. Dondarrion has a flaming sword like Stannis does.  He’s certainly not afraid of the Hound.  He even seems to be beating him.  Especially since Sandor fears fire.  But in the end, The Hound prevails despite having a burn that seems to have triggered some sort of PTSD and made him cry.  He stabs Beric in the neck, killing him.  They start attending to Sandor’s burn and Arya charges him and tries to kill him.  She’s held back so she shouts at him to go to hell.  She hears a voice behind her say “he has” and what do you know.  It’s Beric.  Alive again.

 

Deaths in this recap: 6.  This was a good one.  We have NW brothers Bannen, Ser Byam, Rolley, and Garth of Oldtown, Craster and Jeor Mormont.

Cumulative deaths: 107

Maybe deaths in this recap:  1.  It seems likely that Bronn follows through with killing Symon, but we don’t see it so it’s not confirmed.

Cumulative maybe deaths:  9

Betrayals in this recap: 1 big one.  The NW mutiny against Jeor Mormont.

Cumulative betrayals: 30

Incest incidents: 0. 

Cumulative incests: 26

Actually, it’s about ethics in mercanery violence

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Absolut Orient Apple & soda

Chapters:  Arya V, Jon IV, Jaime IV

 

Arya V

Arya and the BWB are in a town called Stoney Sept.  It’s the site of a Robert’s Rebellion battle that Ned had won.  Although the name reminds me of Stoneybrook, the town in which the Babysitter’s Club takes place.

And for the rest of this recap, the Brotherhood Without Banners will be referred to by me as the BSC.  Because, why not?  I think you could call them the babysitters of the Riverlands.  Beric is totally the Kristy.

Harwin, who is probably the Mallory in this BSC/BWB crossover due to his affinity with horses explains the battle.  It’s perhaps the first mention of Jon Connington, hand of the king to Aerys.  He’ll factor in to the story later and is probably why the battle is mentioned.  Some septons rang bells warning smallfolk to lock themselves indoors, so it’s called Battle of the Bells.  The BSC and Arya hear the gossip in town.  That Hoster is dead and the Kingslayer is still loose.  The town is a burnt out mess where all the townsfolk hide.  Just more demonstration of how war hurts the common folk most.  Pretty depressing.  Not as depressing as the town square though.  It features some tiny little cages with Northerners stuffed in them.  They were looking in a different town for Jaime, didn’t find him, and decided they might as well stick around to do some raping and murdering.  The descriptions of the dead and dying men are vivid and involve maggoty crotches.  Yikes.  Anguy mercy kills the men who are still living.  Since he’s from a warm deserty place, he’s the Dawn.

The BSC take their charges Arya and Gendry to an inn.  The serving wenches hit on Gendry, but Gendry is not ready for that yet and just blushes.  They also forcibly bathe Arya and make her dress all girly again.  Haha!  Arya starts to notice the weird number of girls working there and finally figures out that this is actually a brothel.  One of them, Bella claims to be Robert’s bastard and she probably is because she has the same hair.  Bella really his on Gendry hard but he rejects her and another incest incident is narrowly averted.

That night Arya has a wolf warging dream.  Perhaps Nymeria is close.  She wakes up to hear the barking of several regular dogs.  A Lannister man has been delivered to the cages.  Arya hopes it is the Kingslayer and the chapter leaves us on that cliffhanger.

 

Jon IV

When the Wildlings and Jon emerge from the cave, Ghost is gone.  Jon wonders if he really did understand the order to go back to Castle Black.  It is time for Jon and Ygritte, led by Jarl to climb the Wall with the other Wildlings.  Jarl chose a spot to climb that backs up against a stone ridge so that there will be more hill and less ice shear to climb.  The Thenns in the group get apprehensive.  They live so far north, they’ve never seen the Wall before.

Jon is getting apprehensive as well and unshockingly, ever more angsty.  He’s worried that if he ditches Ygritte, she’ll get killed by the other Wildlings for associating with him.  But he knows he can’t bring her back to Castle Black either.  Or anywhere else in Westeros.

Unlike the Thenns, Jarl and his men are unfazed by the Wall.    Although they are young, they are apparently experienced raiders.  Jarl divides his posse into teams and promises the first team to reach the top would get rewarded by Mance with fancy new swords.  Jarl sounds like he’d be an excellent corporate middle manager.  Jon regards them grumpily.  He’d be a good Office Space protagonist.

Jarl’s climbers are making slow but steady progress.  Styr Magnar is getting impatient, fearing that Crows would find them.  Styr doesn’t seem to grasp the danger.  Jarl is ahead for most of the climb, until his group hits a bad patch of ice and has a little fall.  But they do recover.

Four hours later, a loud crack is heard.  An avalanche of Wall falls down and when the dust, or ice as it were, settles, Jarl and his team are just gone.  Jarl was impaled on a tree in the fall.  Two of the other men were dead and broken with the fourth man still alive despite a shattered spine.  A Thenn gives him mercy by smashing his head in with a rock.  This metaphor for corporate America is looking more and more apt…

By the time the dead were burned in a pyre, the other two teams made it up to the top and lowered hemp ropes down for the rest of the party.  The raiders still down below attached rope ladders to the ropes.  Two Thenns fell from the ladders on the way up, but everyone else makes it to the top of the wall safely.  Ygritte is super freaked out and crying.  Jon tries to comfort her and tell her not to be scared but that just makes her hit him.  She’s actually crying because they didn’t find the Horn of Joramun to bring “this cold thing down.”

 

Jaime IV

Jaime is in severe phantom pain from having his hand chopped off.  His tears make the Mummers laugh at him and now he feels like he knows how Tyrion feels when he’s always being mocked.  I rather doubt that.  It just reminds me of white/male tears memes.  This one seems appropriate

At one point, they tie Jaime and Brienne face to face on a horse and then make fun of them for being lovers.  What is this, third grade?  Does Brienne have girl cooties now?  They tied Jaime’s hand on a cord around his neck and it slaps Brienne’s boobs while they ride.  I don’t even know what to say about that.

They further torture Jaime by giving him horse piss to drink.  He finally snaps and tries to fight them but is too weak and it just results in further humiliation.  He finally gives up and wants to die until Brienne calls him craven.  This strengthens his resolve to live for Cersei, Tyrion, and the killing of his enemies.

Finally one night, some of the Mummers come to rape Brienne.  She plans to fight them but Jaime advises her to let them do it and “go away inside.”  This triggers a memory of him having to numb himself to deal with the side of the Mad King Aerys Rickard Stark in his armor while Brandon Stark choked himself trying to save him.

Of course the Mummers are telling her that she’s too ugly to rape, but they’ll rape her anyway.  Apparently the Bloody Mummers are the Westeros equivalent to 4chan trolls and/or gamergaters making threats on twitter.  Actually, it’s about ethics in mercenary violence.  Jaime, in a last ditch effort to save her, shouts something about SAPPHIRES! because Tarth, where Brienne is from is called the Sapphire Isle.  Jaime gets kicked in the stump by Rorge but Vargo Hoat is convinced to keep his men from raping Brienne.  Hoat as a speech impediment, so it’s entertaining to Jaime to hear him say “THAPPHIRETH!”

Hoat the Goat wants Jaime paraded into Harrenhal so he and Brienne are dragged in on foot.  Jaime is more resolved than ever to live and take vengeance.  Brienne doesn’t seem too worried because Roose Bolton is running the place and he’s a Stark bannermen but Jaime remembers about how the Boltons have their enemies flayed.  He’s less optimistic.

Hoat proclaims about how he’s brought the “Kingthlayer” and there’s a distressing number of Freys in attendance.  Everyone starts arguing over what to do with Jaime until Roose makes his quiet and creepy presence known.  He even scares Jaime, who finds him a thousand times more threatening than Vargo Hoat. Bolton gives the news of the Lannister victory of Blackwater and tells them that it is now Margaery who will be marrying Joffrey.  Brienne tells Roose Bolton about how the Mummers tried to rape her and Roose expresses displeasure about both that and the loss of Jaime’s hand.

Roose sets them up with rooms and has the former maester Qyburn attend to Jaime’s stump.  He wants to amputate Jaime’s whole arm because it’s all gangreneous and nasty, but Jaime will not hear of it.  Instead Qyburn cuts away the corrupted flesh only, which is also very painful.  Qyburn tells Jaime a little more of the Battle of Blackwater and then they discuss Roose’s extremely disturbing affinity for leeches.  Then the chapter just kind of ends.

 

Deaths in this recap: 1.  There are many, but Jarl is the only named character who dies.

Cumulative deaths: 101

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  8

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 29

Incest incidents: 0.  Almost with Gendry and Bella, but not quite!

Cumulative incests: 26

Melting Eyeballs and Not a Rapist Cookies

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Absolut Mandarin and Cabernet.  Not mixed together or anything.  I just switched drinks in the midst of writing this.

Chapters:  Jon III, Daenerys III, Sansa III

I just finally noticed that I forgot to title the last post.  Oops!

 

Jon III

Jon is near the mouth of a cave looking at the stars and reflecting on how Westrosi and Wildlings have different names for the stars.  Because of course he and Ygritte stargaze together.  The kind of interesting thing about this is that one of the “stars” is a red wanderer that sounds a lot like Mars.  So, is Planetos actually Earth?  Because there’s some fan speculation that due to the wacky seasons, it’s a different planet.  But this makes it seem like Westeros, Essos, and Southyros are actually in an alternate version of Earth.

Anyway, after some angsting about having no family, Jon locates Ghost on a hill.  I seems the Wildlings and Jon will finally be reaching and going over the wall the next day.  This means that he and Ghost will have to part.  Jon tells him to go to Castle Black, but he’s a shitty warg, so he’s not sure that Ghost will understand.  Ghost responds by running off into the night.  Harsh.  Are we sure that Ghost isn’t secretly a cat?

Some more angsting and reflection happens.  He thinks about how he thought about trying to kill Mance just before he parted with Styr, Magnar of Thenn to go climb over the wall.  But he didn’t do it.  He keeps thinking about sneaking off to ride for Castle Black.  He keeps on not doing it.  He just likes the ginger poon too much, I guess.  Oh yeah, did I mention they’ve been doing it?  He tells himself he has no choice because turning her down all the time would look too suspicious.  Riiight.

Jon is being made to tell Styr about the patrols on the wall.  They have men riding on top of the wall on mules and sometimes they look at the base for signs of tunneling.  It leads them to recall the story of a wildling named Arson Iceaxe.  He was halfway through tunneling through the wall and the Nightswatch just sealed him in.  I don’t know how important this anecdote is.  I mostly bring it up just because being buried alive is pretty much my worst nightmare and because Arson Iceaxe is such a total badass name.  Anyway, Jon bullshits Styr about how many men are manning the various outposts of the wall and Styr, not buying it threatens to kill him.

The Thenns aren’t cannibals like on the TV show, but they’re still the asshole faction of the Wildlings.  They’re also the only group that has any kind of organized society.  It slightly resembles Westeros culture, even.  So they’re a formidable foe.

After getting threatened by Styr, Jon goes exploring in the caves and finds Ygritte.  Long story short, they do it again but this time he goes down on her and she calls it a Lord’s kiss.  Which is sort of cute, but I found it hard to believe that Wildlings have never discovered oral sex.  I mean, really?

 

Daenerys III

Daenerys is back meeting with the slavers to negotiate the sale of the Unsullied.  She tells Missandei to tell the Good Masters that she will take them all.  Missandei is in disbelief.  The Masters argue among themselves.  Some of them want to have some Unsullied left for future buyers.  Others figure that guaranteed gold now is better than potential gold in the future.  Dany listens to the whole thing while she drinks wine.  Remember, she knows Valyrian but they don’t know she knows Valyrian.

Their major concern is her ability to pay.  They’ve already inventoried her money and goods and she only has enough to buy one thousand Unsullied.  She offers her ships as well.  But that’s still only enough for two thousand.  But Dany needs them all.  She has no choice but to offer a dragon.

Oh shit!!!  Dany, no!  You can’t give up one of your babies, can you?  Whitebeard is aghast and tries to talk back, so Jorah escorts him away.  Of course this works.  Valyria defeated Old Ghis many times because they were the ones with Dragons.  These Masters know how valuable a dragon is.  And of course, they want Drogon because he’s the biggest.  They strike the bargain.  It’s official.  Since the Unsullied don’t know the common tongue, they give her Missandei as a gift.

With the bargain being struck, they go back to the ships to get everything ready.  She tells Whitebeard he is free to disagree with her in private, but to not defy her in public anymore.  He still disapproves and tells that a dragon is worth more than an army, as the original Aegon, who conquered Westeros with dragons despite not having a huge army proved.

Dany reveals to Missandei that she actually knows Valyrian and frees her.  She offers her a handmaid job (that sounds … wrong) and assures her she’s free to leave.  Missandei decides to stay because she doesn’t really have anywhere else to go.  They have some girl talk.  In this case, girl talk consists of real talk about the Unsullied.  She confirms that they are what they’re advertised to be.  It also comes out that three of Missandei’s brothers are now Unsullieds.

That night, Dany has a dream that she is Rhaegar, but mounted on a dragon, not a horse.  Also, Robert’s host is made of ice and she melts them with dragonfire.  Hmm.

Dany wakes up from her dream and finds Quaithe creepily standing over her.  Quaithe is that shadowbinder lady she encountered once in Qarth.  Quaithe says “Remember.  To go north, you must journey south.  To reach the west, you must go east.  To go forward, you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.”  Then she disappears.  All this cryptic stuff must mean Dany is going down a path that is very right.  Or very wrong.  I guess we’ll see.

The next day, Dany takes her whole group, including the assorted Dothraki followers to make the exchange.  It’s all very dramatic.  They meet near the gates where flayed rebellious slaves are crucified as a warning to newly captured slaves.  Ramsay would be proud.  They make the exchange.  Drogon is on a chain and he is really not pleased about it.  She hands him Drogon and he hands her the slave whip.  She confirms that it’s done and then she bellows to the Unsullied that they are now hers.  She does this in Valyrian but only a single Great Master, one of the four masters named Grazdan actually notices this.  Everyone else is watching Kraznys struggling to control Drogon.

She informs Kraznys that a dragon is no slave and whips him across the face.  She says “Drogon, Dracarys.”  That means dragon fire.  Drogon spits fire at Kraznys and it’s very graphically described.  His eyeballs melt and run down his cheeks.  Ow, ow, ow!  I can’t say it doesn’t give me some satisfaction though!  There’s a reason I named my calico cat Dracarys.  Chaos erupts.  Irri and Jhiqui unchain Viserion and Rhaegal and they join in one the roast.  The Dothraki and the Unsullied join the fight and start killing slavers left and right.  They kill only the slavers and the soldiers and are ordered to strike the chains from all the slaves.  The slavers all die brutally and everyone else lives happily ever after.   Okay, not so much.  But it’s still pretty cool!  In one fell swoop, Dany goes from fugitive to conqueror.

 

Sansa III

Sansa is getting a new haute couture gown.  Cersei, apparently back to pretending that she’s Sansa’s friend sees to the preparations.  Her gown is a woman’s gown with a sexy bodice.  Not like the juniors section stuff she’d been wearing before.  She’s all excited about how pretty she looks and Cersei reflects that it’s a shame her beauty will be wasted on “that gargoyle.”  Sansa’s confused because apparently, these asshole Lannisters haven’t told her that they’re making her marry Tyrion yet.  That’s when she’s given her wedding cloak and Cersei tells her what’s happening.

She realizes that Dontos was right.  Improbable, but true.  All these people care about is her claim to Winterfell.  Sansa tries to refuse, but Cersei tells her that there’s nothing she can do about it, it’s going to happen, so might as well be dignified about it.  She tries to run, but when that doesn’t work, she decides to submit.

Joffrey is going to be the one to give her away.  Of course, he’s a total dick about it and taunts her about it.  Tyrion interrupts to take Sansa aside and speak with her.  He apologizes for the way this is going down and finally they go to the altar.  Most of the King’s Landing notable are there, but the Tyrells are conspicuously absent.  They must be pretty pissed.   There’s an awkward moment as Tyrion is too short to pin the cloak on her and she refuses to kneel.  Good for her!  In the end, Tyrion is forced to use Dontos as a stool while the whole audience laughs.  She winds up feeling a bit guilty when she sees how humiliated Tyrion is.

The reception isn’t too lavish.  There are only about fifty guests.  Among them are the Tyrells.  They have the right idea.  Wedding ceremonies are very boring.  Best to skip straight to the reception and get some food and booze.  They all give her the cold shoulder now that they can’t get their greedy little thorns on Winterfell.  Although Margaery does give her a sad, sympathetic look.  The feast isn’t very fun, but Sansa dreads the bedding more.  The bedding is a Westrosi tradition in which the guests tear the clothes off the newlyweds and then listen to them consummate the marriage while shouting dirty stuff outside the door.  Yikes.

Tyrion, also miserable, is not willing to dance with her.  Instead, Joffrey and Margaery kick off the dance portion.  Finally, Garlan Tyrell, one of Margaery and Loras’ older brothers asks her to dance.  Garlan is very sweet and tries to reassure her.  He tells her Tyrion will make a better husband than Loras, but doesn’t mention the gay stuff.

Later on, Joffrey dances with Sansa and he continues to be the absolute worst.  He threatens to rape her, talking about how kings can be with anyone they want.  Of course, in true rapist fashion, he doesn’t use the word.

Soon after, Joff announces that it’s time for the bedding.  But Tyrion says it isn’t going to happen.  Joffrey starts to tantrum about it and Tyrion, who is pretty drunk at this point threatens to geld him.  Glorious!  Tywin steps in to smooth things over and says they can dispense with the bedding if Tyrion admits he was totally just kidding about Lorena Bobbitting his nephew.  After some more embarrassing family antics, they go off to the bedchamber, just the two of them.

In an absolutely excruciating passage, they both get undressed.  Tyrion gets a boner but he ultimately decides he can’t have sex with a thirteen year old who is terrified and only doing it out of duty.  According to the incredibly low bar set by Westrosi men, I guess he deserves a not a rapist cookie.

Deaths in this recap: I’ll go with five.  Most of the Great Masters aren’t named.  There’s Kraznys and four named Grazdan.

Cumulative deaths: 100.  I feel like there should be something to commemorate this milestone.  Imagine a fireworks display?

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  8

Betrayals in this recap: 1.  Jon violates his NW vows by doing Ygritte.

Cumulative betrayals: 29

Incest incidents: 0

Cumulative incests: 26