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

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Insight Brewery’s Sunken City beer

Chapters:   Daenerys II, Bran II, Davos III

 

Daenerys II

Dany is in the Plaza of Pride.  It has a fountain in the center.  It kind of sounds like something that would be in a park in a major city’s gayborhood.  But, no.  It’s nothing like.  The fountain has  giant harpy of Ghis on it.  Old Ghis was an old time slave empire from thousands of years ago that got defeated by a newer, better, more dragony slave empire.  That is, Valyria.  Now that Valyria is gone, the region of Slaver’s Bay has sort of re-formed Ghis.  Except they still speak Valyrian, the language of their conquerors.  This is only important because Dany is meeting with an Astapor slaver named Kraznys about purchasing soldiers called the Unsullied and is playing dumb and pretending she can’t speak his language.  He’s having a slave girl speak for him.  We’ll later learn her name is Missandei, so I might as well just start calling her that now.

Kraznys keeps referring to Dany as a Westrosi whore, savage, and pig and just generally being a giant asshole and Missandei keeps having to make up things to tell her that are more diplomatic.  Dany asks about how Unsullied are trained.  It’s pretty horrific.  They’re slave boys selected at the age of five for size, speed, and strength.  They train so rigorously that only one out of three boys survive.  Dany is informed that the Unsullied brought out for inspection have been standing in the blistering heat for about a day and a night without food or water and would stand there until they dropped dead if they had been ordered to.  Arstan Whitebeard, who is accompanying her is pretty disapproving of the whole thing.  This causes Kraznys to declare that he smells of piss.

Oh, and did I mention that the Unsullied are all eunuchs?  Not even just eunuchs, they take their penises too.  Because forcing children to be raised into becoming members of a slave army wasn’t cartoon villain enough, the slave masters of Astapor mutilate their slave army too.  The reasoning is supposedly that they won’t care about maiming or death because they’ve already been maimed and they can’t go start a family or anything anyway.  It makes the Night’s Watch vows seem a little more forgiving, doesn’t it?  Maybe Jon wouldn’t be quite so emotastic if he knew other organizations impose celibacy a bit more strictly.

To prove the Unsullied capacity to give no fucks about maiming, Krazynys cuts one of them across the cheek and the Unsullied does nothing more than blink.  Dany says she’s gotten the point that they’ve got the courage to withstand pain.  But I guess that wasn’t the point.  Because Kraznys moves on to the next Unsullied and cuts his nipple off and throws it on the ground.  Turns out that the Unsullied don’t feel pain.  They drink a potion made with nightshade every day and it kills their capacity to feel.  That way they’re torture proof too.  This whole thing doesn’t make sense.  There is a disorder which causes people to be unable to feel pain and because they lack self preservation skills, they are always getting injured and frequently die very young.  Such a soldier would not be an asset in real life, but oh well.  I guess if I can buy the existence of dragons, I can buy this!

Anyway, Arstan is still skeptical and says there are other ways to tempt men than with sex.  But they are so thoroughly dehumanized that they don’t care about plunder either.  They own nothing but their weapons and they don’t even names.  They just draw a different color + creepy critter name each day.  For example, Red Flea.  It’s to remind them that they are vermin.  Wow.

But we’re not done with the horror just yet!  Krazynys also tells them that part of their training is to go buy an infant and kill it before its mother’s eyes to ensure there is no weakness left in them.  They also give them a puppy as a pet for a year and are required to kill it after a year with it.  Oy.  I need a damn drink.  Hold on…

Okayy.  I’m back.  Now that the Unsullied training has been described, it’s time to get down to business.  Dany asks how many he has to sell and Kraznys says it’s eight thousand.  Dany asks for Arstan’s council and he advises her not to do it.  She asks why, primarily so Missandei will hear and relay it to Kraznys later.  He says it’s because slavery is outlawed in Westeros and has been for thousands of years.  Having a slave army will harm her cause and bring dishonor to house Targaryen.  Dany says she will need to consider it carefully.  This causes Kraznys to go off on a misogynistic diatribe he think she doesn’t understand.  He talks about how women are pampered and stupid and can therefore make no decisions.  Then he talks about how much he would like to fuck her after feeding her jellied dog brains, calamari, and puppy fetus.  I think Kraznys might be an MGTOW.   As if that wasn’t all icky enough, he offers to take her to the fighting pits.  They will take three boys, cover one in honey, one in blood and one in rotten fish, set a bear loose on them and wage over which one the bear will eat first.  For some strange reason, none of this appeals and she decides to go back to her own ships.

They journey through the city in a litter and it’s depressing as hell.  Everything is made out of red brick and there’s dust everywhere.  There’s creepy looking nobles parading around naked slaves.  It’s just a fucked up and creepy place.  Arstan continues trying to persuade Dany not to buy the Unsullied, but she feels she doesn’t have a choice.  She wonders why Jorah dislikes and distrusts him so much and decides it’s jealousy.  She thinks about how she didn’t want him or the kiss, and she makes sure to never be alone with him now, but for some reason, the kiss woke her libido up.  Yeah, I don’t know either.  Then she thinks about she was masturbating, Irri woke up and saw her and just randomly went down on her.  Wait.  How did this turn from a disturbing chapter about the horrors of slavery to an awkward soft core porn?

Back at the bay, she yells at Jorah for taking her to such a vile sty but decides that as horrible as it is, she has to find a way to buy the Unsullied.  She visits the dragons, who have been restless all day.  Jorah comes to talk to her, saying that if she’s going to take the Iron Throne, she’s going to have to spill a lot of blood and the Unsullied might be the way to go about it because they never rape and pillage the way other armies do.  She wonders why the Dothraki have never sacked Astapor, which is pretty undefended.  It’s because they don’t want to face the Unsullied and because what would be the point?  You can’t carry off people to sell into slavery if there are no slavers.   She’s still conflicted because she wants to win, but she wants to be honorable like Rhaegar.  Not a psychopathic little shit like Viserys.   The chapter ends with Jorah saying one of my favorite lines.  It just sums up the whole story so well.  “Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably.  And Rhaegar died.”

 

Bran II

On to a less depressing and horrifying chapter.  It’s time for a travelogue and perhaps story hour with Jojen.  The group is travelling in some remote mountain valley area.  There are no real roads where they are.  Just pine trees and lakes.  Bran is wondering where Osha and Rickon are.  And if you saw last week’s Game of Thrones, you too are probably like

I thought this chapter would be less sad!  But here I am, a page in and already getting depressed.

Moving on.  Meera is complaining about how she hates these mountains.  Bran points out that yesterday she was saying she loved them.  She says that is also true.  She loves and hates them.  This makes sense to Jojen, but not to Bran.  Jojen says “if ice can burn, then love and hate can mate.”  I’m not sure yet what the relevance is, but the burning ice stuff make me think of Jon Snow and his probable part Targ origins.

Bran is frustrated taking the long way and wishes they took the Kingsroad, but Jojen is determined to keep off the roads to avoid detection.  It makes sense, but the traveling is getting harder as the weather gets colder and the game is less scarce.  They never see any people and Meera wonders if anyone even lives there.  Bran says there are hill clans – once again I’m forced to try and talk about clansmen without thinking KKK – like the Wulls, Harclays, Knotts, Liddles, Norreys, and Flints.  The northern ahem, clansmen are cooler than the Vale uh, clansmen in my opinion, but that won’t really come up for another couple of books and the way my lazy ass updates this blog it’ll be a few years before we get to any further discussion.  Jojen wonders if they know they’re there and Bran assures him that they do.  He saw it while warging Summer.  The only person they met was when they sheltered from a storm in a cave and met a nice man, probably a Liddle, who fed them. The Liddle misses the days of the Starks in Winterfell and complains of squid in the Wolfswood and Flayed Men asking about strangers on the Kingsroad.  It seems likely this Liddle knew who they were and was warning them.

Back on the not-road they reminisce about Old Nan and wonder what happened to her.  They talk about Hodor and how his name is really Walder, not Hodor.  Then Bran asks Meera if she knows any stories, and boy does she.  The tale of the knight of the laughing tree.  That sounds like an Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode, right?  She talks about a crannogman who wanted to go visit the Isle of Faces at the God’s Eye lake by Harrenhal.  No men go there because it’s where the mysterious Green Men live, but this lad wanted to go meet them.  He did meet them, but that’s not the point of the story and we don’t get to hear about.  This makes me sad because I really want to know more about the Isle of Face and the Green Men.

So the crannogmen wintered on the Isle and then in the spring went to visit Harrenhal.  A tourney was going on.  The king was there and so was the prince.  As were many other nobles.  It becomes clear that this was the tourney where Rhaegar won and crowned Lyanna the queen of love and beauty and then either abducted her, or they ran off together.  Some knights attacked the crannogmen (who is clearly Howland Reed) and Lyanna kicked their asses.  One of those knights was a Frey, because of course.  The knight of the laughing tree entered the lists and beat the knights who bullied him.  But he didn’t win the whole tourney because he vanished and the prince (obviously Rhaegar) ended up winning.  Meera refuses to elaborate more on what happened with “the wolf maid” and the Reeds were a bit puzzled that Ned never told Bran any of this story before.  Gee, I wonder why?

 

Davos III

Davos is sitting in jail still.  It’s surprisingly warm in the cells under Dragonstone.  Probably cause it’s an active volcano.  You just know this subject is going to come up again sooner or later.  Poor Davos had some kind of flu when he was first imprisoned, but Maester Pylos took care of him and he got better.  So, as far as prison in Westeros goes, he’s treated all right, but is stuck in there for a long time with no one visiting and the gaolers refusing to speak to him.  They are clearly keeping him alive for some reason and that may be worse than just letting him die.

Finally, one night Melisandre comes to visit.  She’s creepy as usual.  She threatens to put out the torch lighting the place and it freaks him out because no one wants to be in a pitch black and rat infested cell.  She thinks this means he has come to love the fire and would therefore be amenable to R’hllor worship.  She compares herself to the torch, created to keep the darkness at bay.  She offers to him, maybe to create another shadow baby?  I’m not really sure.  Anyway, he wants none of that.  She preaches the word anyway, her ruby 1990’s style choker all aglow, but it doesn’t get through.  So she asks Davos why he wanted to kill her.  He says he’ll tell her if she tells her who betrayed his plans and Mel claims she actually saw his purpose in the flames.  She says the defeat on Blackwater was to teach Stannis to have faith, that it wouldn’t have happened if he brought her with to battle.  She keeps yammering on and on about how Stannis is the Lord’s chosen.  Blah blah blah.  Then she swoops off into the knight without even waiting to hear why Davos wanted to kill her.

Three days later, Davos hears the sound of a struggle and some pleading.  And the current King’s Hand, Selyse’s uncle Alester Florent is flung into the cell with him.  He’s in there for treason because he doesn’t think that Stannis can win and thought he should give up.  He very stupidly tried to send a letter with surrender terms to Tywin.  Davos knows this was idiotic and says he’d never make peace without Stannis’ leave.  I wonder if Melisandre saw this convo in the flames?

Well, some more uneventful set up chapters.  Not that they weren’t good!  But I forget sometimes how long it takes this book to turn into a dramatic emotional roller coaster!

Deaths in this recap: 0  Back to no deaths.  For now…

Cumulative deaths: 95

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  8

Betrayals in this recap: 1.  Oh, Alester Florent.  You are so, so stupid.

Cumulative betrayals: 28

Incest incidents: 0

Cumulative incests: 26

A Helping Hand

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Absolut Ruby Red and soda

Chapters:  Catelyn III, Jaime III, Arya IV

 

Catelyn III

The chapter starts with the corpses of two little boys being brought into the hall in the middle of the night.  It doesn’t specify who they are just yet.  They’re cousins.  A blonde and a brown haired one.  They remind Cat that Bran and Rickon are “dead.”

We finally find out who they are.  Tion Frey and Willem Lannister.  Is Willem the blonde one?  Because I’m just thinking of this Willam.

I think Willam from Rupaul’s Drag Race (returning in 9 days whoo hoo!) is such a Lannister.

Anyway.  Tion and Willem were Robb’s hostages and they’ve been murdered.  It was a big ol’ murdery conspiracy.  Eight men were involved.  Two killed by Robb’s more loyal men, one critically wounded and the other five were captured and dragged into hall.  The ringleader is Lord Rickard Karstark who lost his two sons in the battle of the Whispering Wood.  The one where Jaime was captured.

Robb scolds Rickard.  Rickard basically calls him a hypocritical mama’s boy for it being considered treason to kill Lannisters but not treason to free them.  I guess that’s a fair point but did he really expect Robb to execute his own mother?  Then Rickard starts taunting Robb about how he deals with treason by just scolding and then forgiving.  Oh shit.  Now it’s on!

At this point, the Blackfish comes running into the hall from out in the rain.  Robb wants to see him privately along with Edmure and Cat so he orders Greatjon Umber to keep Rickard imprisoned and hang the other seven.  Yes.  He’s going to hang men who are already dead because he doesn’t want them fouling his Lord Uncle’s rivers.  Of course, you may recall from ACOK that the Trident is so full of corpses that the water tastes like  death so I don’t know what two more dead bodies will do.  Much better to foul the air with a rotting body I guess!  One of the captives begs for mercy because he didn’t do anything but watch the murders.  So Robb orders him hung last so he can watch everyone die before him.  Awww.  Robb is all growed up!

In the private meeting, Blackfish tells them that all of Karstark’s men have fled.  Rickard promised his daughter to anyone who brings him the head of the Kingslayer so it looks like the number of people hunting Jaime has grown by quite a lot.  Three hundred men about.  Catelyn so far has been spending the chapter sort of stewing in her guilty feelings.

Edmure says that word of the deaths of the boys can’t leave Riverrun.  We find out that Willem was Kevan Lannister’s son and Tion was the son of Genna Frey, Tywin and Kevan’s sister.  Genna rules.  But we don’t get to meet her for awhile yet.  Robb channels his dad a little bit and doesn’t think that’s terribly honorable or ethical.

Talk turns about what to do with Rickard.  Robb knows he has to execute him but he’s concerned what his remaining son Harrion who is with Roose Bolton at Harrenhal will do.  Even if Harrion is secretly happy to be the new lord of Karhold, he can’t be anything but anti-Stark publicly or his men won’t forgive him.  Edmure suggests pardoning Rickard and keeping him hostage even though he killed two of his men, Delp and Elwood getting too Willem and Tion.  Catelyn is sort of on board because they are in need of allies.  The Freys haven’t responded to their back up offering of Edmure and Lysa isn’t sending aid.

Poor Robb has a bit of a frustration tantrum and we remember he’s still just a teenage boy.  He gives off a kill list that’s kind of like Arya’s.  But he does calms down again and declares that Rickard must die in order to preserve Robb and house Stark’s honor.

The execution happens the next morning.  Right in front of the corpses of his hanged co-conspirators.  Rickard will not be hung.  He will be beheaded.  I don’t know why.  For the drama, maybe?  Because the Starks and Karstarks are distant cousins, Rickard tries to tell him that if he does this he’ll be cursed as a kinslayer, but that doesn’t sway Robb at all.  It took only one blow to kill but three to take the head off and there’s blood just everywhere.  Afterwards, Blackfish rides off to see if he can round up any of the escaped Karstark men.

That evening, Jeyne comes to visit Cat.  Robb is really depressed, she doesn’t know what to do about it and she wants some advice.  She tells him just to leave him be and he’ll reach out to her eventually.  Just like Ned would.  It’s a kind of nice little bonding moment.  Until it gets awkward that is.  Cat reminds her that Robb needs and heir and Jeyne says they’ve been trying sometimes twice a day and she’s drinking some fertility brew her mom is making her.

 

Jaime III

Jaime, Brienne, and Cleos are taking a similar Riverlands tour of death and destruction we saw in the Arya chapters from the last book.  Although, predictably Jaime is being an insensitive asshole about it and singing songs and making quips.  Since Jaime is bored with them he starts thinking creepy and twincesty thoughts about Cersei and about how he couldn’t bear to be apart from her.  As children they would sneak into each other’s beds and spoon.  They started at a very young age to imitate that horses and dogs they saw mating.  One time their mother’s maid caught them and until Joanna died giving birth to Tyrion, she kept them separate at night.  Ewwwww.  He starts fantasizing about openly marrying Cersei now that the twincest cat is out of the bag.  I think Twincest Cat is my new band name now.

Jaime, ever the contrarian, also decides that he will keep his word and return Sansa when he gets to King’s Landing.  Not because it would be the right thing to do.  But because he thinks it would be funny to keep his word when everyone assumes he will break it.

The series of douchey Jaime thoughts is finally interrupted when their party starts getting attacked by arrows.  Brienne is a badass and she shrugs off the fact that she has two arrows sticking out of her.  Jaime charges the shooters and Brienne has no choice but to follow.  The shooters flee into the woods.

They go back to find Cleos.  He’s dead.  Not from the arrows themselves.  He fell off the horse and smashed his head on the ground.  Jaime gives no fucks, of course.  He wants his horse, his clothes, and his sword.  Brienne objects to the sword part.  He takes it anyway and the two of them get into a sword fight.  Jaime is shocked that she’s stronger than even though she’s – gasp! – a girl.

Their fight is finally interrupted by the Brave Companions  AKA the Bloody Mummers.  These are the mercenaries that were working for Tywin and then Roose, depending on who was holding Harrenhal.  Brienne tries to bribe them to leave them alone but it doesn’t really deter them and the Noseless guy, Rorge who you may remember from Arya’s ACOK chapters threatens to rape Brienne.  The unnamed Dornish member suggests he anally rape her so he won’t have to look at her.  Nice.

The leader of the gang, Urswyck, who looks like a corpse makes sure Jaime knows he knows who he is.  Jaime tries to win him over by pretending that Brienne would be worth a high ransom and trying to trade on the previous working relationship with Tywin.  It’s then that the Dornishman, whose name is Timeon reveals the Mummers’ leader Vargo Hoat is working for the Boltons now.

After a short fight, Jaime and Brienne who are very outnumbered are beaten up and captured.  Jaime finally experiences some empathy for her as he’s pretty sure she’s about to be gang raped by them.   But then he has to go piss on that empathy by telling her she’s going to be raped, which wouldn’t have happened if he’d been armed without his hands shackled together because then they wouldn’t have been taken.  He recommends she don’t resist so she’s not hurt as badly.  Brienne asks if that’s what he would do if he were a woman.  Jaime says no, he’d make them kill him.

Jaime tries to bribe Urswyck to take them to Casterly  Rock instead.  He also tells him that Brienne’s home island, Tarth is called the Sapphire Isle, implying that she’s very wealthy even though that’s a lie.  He even offers him a knighthood.  Urswyck appears to be considering it, but then just slaps him instead.  Nope.  To Harrenhal they go.

Once they get to the camp where Vargo is, the lie about the sapphires does save Brienne from being too badly hurt.  Jaime on the other hand (hah!) not so much.  Vargo wants to send a message to the Lannisters.  So he cuts off Jaime’s hand!  Ouch!

 

Arya IV

The BWB and Arya and Gendry are travelling along.  Every time they meet people they hear a different tale about how Beric Dondarrion was killed.  Lem keeps reassuring people that he is not really dead.  The outlaws chat about ransoming Arya at Riverrun and Arya wonders if Robb and Cat will even want her back after all she’s done and after she got that janky boy haircut.  Just a little heart wrenching moment dropped into a witty banter scene for us.

The group gets to a place called High Heart.  It’s a really high hill, sort of reminiscent of the Fist to me.  It was sacred to the Children of the Forest.  Tom O’Seven even says that some of their magic lingers there.  The smallfolk in the area shun it because they think it is haunted.  They make camp there for the night.  Arya wakes up to find that the outlaws are chilling around the campfire with this little old lady.  She’s talking about her dreams, which all reflect what did or will happen in the story.  I’m lazy to type it all out, but it can be easily found online.  She makes Tom sing her a song before she’ll use her creepy psychic powers to tell them where Beric is.  He moves around a lot to avoid capture.  Arya tells Harwin about the torture she experienced and witnessed from the Mountain and his lackeys and he says the BWB will make them answer for their crimes.  You kind of have to like the BWB, even though they kidnapped Arya.

The next night, they get to Acorn Hall.  Lady Smallwood is an ally to the BWB.  When she finds out that Arya is highborn she makes her take a bath and dress in girly clothes.  Arya wants to tell her “I’m not a Lady, I’m a wolf” but doesn’t.  Gendry laughs at her when he sees her new getup.  At dinner, during the gossip exchange.  Arya and the BWB find out about the Karstarks looking for Jaime, although they don’t know why just yet.  They did find out that Catelyn is the one who set Jaime free though.

Later on, Gendry and Arya wrastle after he mocks her again for looking like a lady.  It’s super cute.  The dress is soiled.  The chapter ends a bit anti-climatically as Lady Smallwood finally gives her some of her son’s old clothes to ride in and the gang departs.

Deaths in this recap: 6.  Rickard Karstark.  Tion Frey.  Willem Lannister.  Edmure’s men Delp and Elwood, Cleos Frey.

Cumulative deaths: 95

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  8

Betrayals in this recap: 1.  Rickard Karstark killing the prisoners against Robb’s wishes.

Cumulative betrayals: 27

Incest incidents: 1.  This was thought, and not deed, but Jaime’s thoughts were creepy enough that I’m going to have to count it.

Cumulative incests: 26

The Bachelor: Westeros

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Absolut Ruby Red and soda

Chapters:  Arya III, Samwell I, Tyrion III

Arya III

It’s been about three days of being forced to ride with the outlaws and Arya thinks they’re lost because the moss is growing the wrong way.   Gendry points out that Lem and Tom probably know where they’re going.  Arya’s annoyed with him, but Genry’s her only friend now.  It turns out that Hot Pie decided to stay behind at inn to become a baker.  This was a really unceremonious way to say goodbye to Hot Pie, who I will dearly miss.  He could have at least given Arya wolf bread or something!

Arya tells Harwin of Hullen’s death and of some of the things that happened to her since leaving King’s Landing.  She doesn’t talk about Jaqen H’ghar and the iron coin and she doesn’t tell him about the stableboy and Harrenhal guard that she killed because that would be kind of like telling her father and she couldn’t bear the thought of that.  There they are!  There are the tears I was looking for, GRRM.  Knew you’d come through!

Harwin tells Arya a little bit about happened when they were sent to deal with Ser Gregor.  It turns out it was a trap meant for Ned.  Tywin was going to have him killed.  But Jaime didn’t know about it and his impulse control issues had him attack and injure Ned so he couldn’t go.  So, the unlucky men Ned sent in his place got attacked instead.  Most of them died and others scattered.  Beric Dondarrion was gravely injured with an open chest wound.  The way Harwin tells it, he did eventually pull through after medieval anesthesia (boiling wine) and Thoros’ prayers to the Lord of Light.  After hearing later on that Robert was dead, they became outlaws.

The weather is shitty.  It’s been raining constantly.  Luckily, the Brothers Without Banners (BWB) has friends everywhere among the smallfolk and they get food and shelter for the night.  It is there they learn that Jaime has “escaped” custody at Riverrun.  They all have a good laugh about Beric hanging him.  But only after a trial, of course!  Beric always gives their enemies a trial.

The next day, the sun is finally out.  Arya can see for sure that they are in fact going south which is not the way to Riverrun.  Lem breaks the news that they are not going to Riverrun.  They are taking her to Beric, who will be the one to decide what to do with her.  So Arya does what Arya does.  She runs off on her horse to try and escape.  A chase ensues but Harwin catches up to captures her.  She says “I thought you were my father’s men.”  Harwin reminds her that Ned’s dead and he now belongs to Beric and the BWB.  And Arya grows more cynical than before.   She pretty much can’t trust anyone.  She agrees to ride peaceful and adds the “for now” in her head.

Samwell I

Here it is.  This is one of my favorite chapters.  I’ve even had nightmares based on this chapter and I don’t scare all that easily.  Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m in Minnesota and it’s very much White Walker weather outside right now.  It’s probably going to be tough to recap because it jumps around in time so much, but I’ll do my best.

Sam’s trying to walk.  It’s been snowing pretty much constantly and he’s very tired.  I can’t say I blame him.  I hate walking the couple of blocks from the bus stop to home in the winter and that’s with no ice monsters and reanimated corpses chasing me.  His weight makes walking even more uncomfortable and awkward.  His sword belt especially has to be adjusted all the time.  But at least he has a couple of knives, including the dragonglass dagger, even though he lost his sword at the fist.

By the way, can you even believe that GRRM makes us wait about 200 pages after that pants shittingly scary prologue to see what happened to the NW at The Fist and when we finally get that chapter, we have to read about how it’s hard to walk in the snow when you’re fat for a couple of pages?  That’s so George!

Anyway, he’s stumbling and crying but he can’t stop.  Because if he stops, he’ll die.  About fifty men escaped The Fist but the WW and/or their wights are still following them.  Picking them off on by one as they get separated from the pack.

He’s trying not to think about what happened, but it’s coming back to him.  As he prays for The Mother to have mercy, he remembers Maslyn crying for mercy as a wight nearly decapitated him.  The Seven have no power beyond The Wall.

Sam eventually trips on a root and falls down.  It’s enough to finally make him give up on life.  He’s about ready to just lie in the snow and freeze to death.  He starts thinking about the start of the attack.  Unlike in the show, Sam did get the ravens off with notes he had prewritten just in case.  After that, he packed up some dragonglass and that old horn that had also been buried in the NW cloak over by The Fist.  Mormont commands him to stay with the ravens while the others shoot fire arrows at the approaching wights.  Things go from bad to worse all around him as the wights, which include not just humans but a bear and a giant get inside the ringwall.

The lovely memories are interrupted by Grenn trying to get him to stand up and keep going.  One of the NW men carrying a torch advises Grenn to just leave him.  The torch bearing brothers are the ones forming a circle around the NW column.  The fire keeps the wights and the Others away.  Once the guy with the torch passes, Grenn and Sam are outside of the protective fire circle and they are very vulnerable.  But then Small Paul, who also has a torch offers to help get Sam up.

Sam starts thinking back to the attack at the Fist again.  It turns out that although he had gotten off the initial messages, he forgot to send any of the other, more detailed ones.  So kind of like the show after all.  Whomp, whomp.

From here, the memories get a little more chaotic.  The upshot is, several of the NW men, including Commander Mormont do escape, although several of the horses run away and they have to fight through hordes of wights on the slope of the fist to do it.

Back in the present, Paul is literally carrying Sam and the two of them and Grenn are starting to fall behind.  Finally, they can’t see any of the other torches except the one Grenn is carrying.  They’re all alone.

Well.  Not quite alone.  Because oh shit, here comes an Other.  On a dead horse.  The Other is pretty bad ass.  It dismounts the horse and his feet don’t even break through the snow.  His sword slim and milky white with blue glowiness and the armor ripples with the Other’s movements.  Grenn threatens it with fire, but the Other just cuts the torch apart and the flame extinguishes in the snow.  Oh, snap!

The Other stabs Paul and the weight of him causes the Other to lose his sword.  Sam takes this opportunity to stab the Other with the dragonglass and it fuck yeah!  It actually works!  There’s a sound like cracking ice and steamy blue blood is everywhere and finally it dissolved like the Wicked Witch of the West when Dorothy threw water on her.  Now they know what kills the Others and Sam is finally able to get motivated to move his ass.

Tyrion III

On a relatively lighter note, back in King’s Landing, a small council meeting is taking place.  Tywin is being all majestic and commanding.  Tyrion’s got Pycelle’s old spot and Pycelle is all meek and skinny and generally a mess.  Plus he has to sit next to Cersei.  That can’t ever be fun.  Tyrion’s starting to get back to his old sassy self and just doesn’t give a fuck about how pathetic Pycelle is.  Mace Tyrell and his bannerman Paxter Redwyne and Mathis Rowan are also there.  So basically, the Tyrells now have a lot of power in how things are run.  Rounding out the gang is Kevan Lannister and of course, Varys and Littlefinger.

Varys brings tidings from the war.  Randyll Tarly attacked Robett Glover and some other northerners and won.  Lord Helman Tallhart is reportedly dead.  Redwyne is apparently some sort of irritating suck up and loudly cheers the victory, but Littlefinger points out that Robb himself is still unbeaten on the field.  Tywin is certain that Robb will leave to go north and take it back from the Ironmen, so the plan is to gather the remaining Lannister forces and attack Riverrun.

The council discusses whether or not to accept Balon Greyjoy’s peace terms, which would include acknowledging that he is king of the Iron Islands.  They also talk about the issue of Lysa Arryn who is a threat if nothing else, because she hasn’t gotten the Vale into the war and their forces are all still alive and strong.  Tyrion wants to take some men and attack the Vale, but Tywin instead sends Littlefinger to go fuck the problem away and make Lysa his consort and the Lannister’s ally.  With LF gone, Tyrion is made Master of Coin.  It’s decided to do absolutely nothing about the Greyjoys for the moment.

At this point Tyrion realizes there’s something else at work that Tywin is not saying.  He remembers all those important letters and wonders what it is in the works.

But talk moves on to the ridiculously extravagant Kardashianesque wedding that’s being planned for Joffrey and Margaery.  Pycelle announces that three hundred Dornishmen are coming for the occasions.  Mace is not happy about this.  We learn that there’s centuries long anonymity between Dorne and the Reach and constant border wars.  Plus the Dornish prince Oberyn Martell AKA the Red Viper had crippled Mace’s son in a tourney.  But it must be accepted.  The Dornish will take a small council seat as part of the agreement to support Joffrey rather than any of the other claimants to the iron throne.

After some kind of boring business, Varys offers up some other assorted rumors.  A kraken (real one, not a Greyjoy) has been spotted off the fingers and there is news of dragons hatching.  Tywin is not interested.  They move on to discussion of the still missing Tyrek Lannister.  They also discuss what to do with the deserters from the battle of Blackwater.  Tywin wants all their knees broken.  Tyrion tries to convince him to send many of them to the Wall instead.  But Tywin sees the Wall only as something that defends the North from the Wildlings so he doesn’t want to send anyone there.

After this, Tywin sends everyone away but the Lannisters.  Tyrion doesn’t trust Littlefinger and doesn’t think Tywin should either.  Cersei has to disagree.  Tywin gets all pissy about the squabbling and of course, Kevan has to take up for Tywin.  He thinks LF is a better match for Lysa than the various Vale men who have no allegiance to the Lannisters at all.  Kevan also says that LF came to him and snitched on the Tyrell plot to marry Sansa off to Willas.  Cersei of course wants to go hulk smash.  Tywin wants to cut them off by making other marriages first.  He declares that Cersei will be married to Willas unless she can come up with a better option.

Tyrion’s too busy laughing at Cersei’s impotent rage to realize he is about to meet a similar fate.  Then it dawn on him.  It’s Sansa he will be wed to.  If they have the wedding before Joffrey’s the Tyrells can’t really do anything to stop it.  He objects on the grounds that it’s cruel to force this marriage on her, but of course Tywin does not give one single solitary fuck about Sansa’s happiness and the marriage gives them potential control of Winterfell.  Tyrion is starting to warm to the idea of having Winterfell if he can’t have Casterly Rock but there’s the little matter of Robb.  This is when a chillingly unconcerned Tywin tells him all about how Robb has married Jeyne Westerling.  So it’s settled.  Tyrion and Sansa will marry.  Marriages, marriages everywhere!  Chriss Harrison and ABC would be so proud.

Deaths in this recap: 3.  Finally!  Some blood!  There’s Maslyn, Small Paul, and Helman Tallhart.  Many other NW men perished, but the only ones named as of now are those three.

Cumulative deaths: 89

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  8

Betrayals in this recap: 1.  Harwin has showed himself to be loyal, not to his liege lord Eddard and now Robb, but to Beric and the BWB

Cumulative betrayals: 26

Incest incidents: 0 

Cumulative incests: 25

Shrinkage.

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot noir

Chapters:  Jon II,  Sansa II

 

Jon II

Jon’s now successfully infiltrated the Wildling camp and there’s motherfucking giants!  Riding mammoths!  Things are not looking so great for the NW.  They’re vastly outnumbered, who knows how many of them died in that Other/wight attack that was cruelly  cliffhung about 200 pages ago and the Wildling army has motherfucking Giants!  And Mammoths!  Hundreds of them!  The giants are about 10-14 feet tall and very hairy.  It looks like they’re wearing pelts, but they’re nude.  Just very, very furry.  They’re thick bodied and no necked.  Basically, they’re the ultimate bears.

Jon thinks of an old myth about Joramun blowing the Horn of Winter and waking giants from the earth.  I suppose this will be important later, but who knows?  The new entry into the series doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon.  So.

One of the giants is older than the rest and rides the biggest mammoth.   His name is Mag the Mighty.  Jon asks Tormund if that’s the giant’s king and Tormund makes fun of him for being a “kneeler.”  Tormund is quite jolly and full of tall (I hope) tales about things like having sex with a woman who actually turned out to be a she-bear who looked like a woman and bit off half his penis.  Maybe the whole half member thing is a cover for Tormund having a smaller peen than he claims?  It’s like the north of the Wall version of George Costanza’s shrinkage.  This story gives Tormund a good segue into making fun of Jon for not doing Ygritte even though she totally wants to get up on his jock.  Unfortunately for Ygritte, Jon is trying to stick to his NW vows and keeps friendzoning her.  Nonetheless, she’s starting to wear him down and his boner, like winter, seems to be coming.

Thanks to Jon’s self inflicted sexual frustration, it takes him several pages into the chapter to start thinking much about his actual mission that Qhorin Halfhand gave him.  He’s not terribly good at gathering intelligence.  He thinks the Wildlings have all gone to the Frostfangs to find a weapon, spell, or power to break The Wall.  Something like the Horn of Winter perhaps.

Jon doesn’t particularly want to kill the Wildlings.  He’s growing to like them.  But he’ll do it and knows he might have to.  He takes note of how completely disorganized they are and believed that Mance is the only one he needs to kill.  They’re no army at all without him leading them.

But enough with boring military type stuff.  Ygritte’s come to chat Jon up some more.  She reminds him of Arya which makes it kind of disturbing that he’s sort of into Ygritte now.  No wonder there are Jon/Arya shippers.  Incest isn’t just for the Lannisters and Targaryens!

The rom com is interrupted by an eagle attack.  Yeah.  Some eagle just came out of nowhere and started attacking him in the face.  Luckily the eagle missed the eye before it flew off.  The eagle used to be Orell’s and Jon wonders if birds can hate.

They probably can!  But the implication is that it’s due to Orell being inside the eagle living his second life.

After that bit of drama, the Wildling party finally gets over to the Fist of the First Men.  It’s gotten increasingly cold and snowy as they approach.  Uh oh.  That’s never good.  They come upon a bunch of dead and mutilated horses.  There’s a bunch of ravens flying around at the Fist but Jon doesn’t know if they’re NW ravens or if they’re wild.  The snow inside the fist is pink from all the blood.  Jon wonders where Sam is and what he is.  The Wildlings being Wildlings, they’re looting the corpses.

Jon joins up with Mance who starts questioning him.  It’s obvious from the body count that Jon lied about how many NW men there were.  He’s forced to show their hand and tell Mance that Mormont was their leader and Bowen Marsh is in charge back in Castle Black.  Mance knows Marsh sucks and feels that the war is as good as won.

Still, even Mance is unsettled about the whole Others and dead people coming back thing.  He also has the sense to worry about Jon’s motives, I guess.  He sends Jon, along with Ygritte with Jarl and Styr and a few others to breach the Wall.  He’s sent away instead of killed because Ygritte implies that she’s caused him to break his vows.  This later compels her to get all creepy and rapey and pretty much tell him he owes her sex.  That’s where the chapter ends, so we’ll have to wait and see how far she’ll push that.

 

Sansa II

Sansa’s getting a makeover.  There’s no cutesy shopping mall montage though.  Cersei is the one who’s ordered that Sansa should get a new wardrobe that looks more womanly than childish.  The seamstress tells Sansa her bosom is as lovely as the queen’s and she shouldn’t hide it so much.  This leads Sansa to think about how now that she has boobs, she’s getting dirty old men staring at her.  I guess Westeros isn’t so different from the real world.  Ick.

Anyway, Sansa is understandably suspicious of the Queen’s sudden generosity.  She’s not yet suspicious of Margaery though.    She’s been hanging out with Margaery’s cousings Elinor, Megga, and Alla a lot.  They all actually sound like normal tween girls which is sort of refreshing.  Margaery has been taking Sansa hawking and calling her sister.  It’s all very sweet.

I unfortunately think we can all feel pretty sure this happiness isn’t going to last.

Sansa tries to convince Margaery that she shouldn’t marry Joffrey.  She’s concerned for her safety.  Margaery seems completely unconcerned though.  Is this naivete or is there a plan in place on the Tyrell side?  Time will tell.

It doesn’t occur to Sansa that there’s any kind of agenda with the Tyrell family, but she does worry that Joffrey will at some point hurt Marg and Loras will become Kingslayer part two.

She tells Ser Dontos, who she’s still meeting in the Godswood that she’s planning to marry Willas.  This is very distressing news for him.  Maybe because he’s a perv for her.  Maybe for other reasons.  He does make a point to remind her to wear that hairnet to the wedding.  He’s still planning on them escaping the night of Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding.  Sansa doesn’t want to escape.  She wants to wed Willas and move to Highgarden.  Dontos suggests they only want her because of her claim.  With Bran and Rickon “dead” she is heir to Winterfell.  Sansa denies it and afterwards stops meeting him.  But she doesn’t really forget what he said.  Yet she still fantasizes about a nice marriage to Willas and kids who look like her father, brothers, and Arya.  She’s choosing to remain optimistic.

Deaths in this recap: 0  Still none.  I remember this book being a lot bloodier!

Cumulative deaths: 86

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  8

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 25

Incest incidents: 0  Jon thinking of Arya and Ygritte as being a like is creepy but it doesn’t really count.

Cumulative incests: 25

 

A Giant in a Love Dungeon

Book I am reading:  A Storm of Swords

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot noir

Chapters:  Tyrion II, Arya II, Catelyn II

 

Tyrion II

Tyrion pays a visit to Varys.  He’s wearing peach silk but smells like lemons.  There’s some fan theories about sweet smells being associated with bad things happening or about to happen, so perhaps Varys is about to lie squared?  Peach-lemon kind of sounds like a failed Boone’s Farm flavor, so I won’t be surprised if something ungood happens.

Despite Varys’ penchant for colorful silks and sweet smells, his chambers are excessively barren and small.  He asks Tyrion if he’s mad at him for abandoning him after the battle and Tyrion says “it made me think of you as one of my family.”  I guess Tyrion is feeling back to his old snarktastic self!

Tyrion also confirms with Varys that Maester Pycelle has been restored to office.  Varys says it’s not Cersei’s doing, but rather the archmaesters in The Citadel in Oldtown.  They first said only they can unmake a Grand Maester, than they decided to name Maester Gorman – formally a Tyrell – as the successor.  This caused Tywin to hurriedly restore Pycelle.  Perhaps this is an early hint that the maesters are involved in some sort of conspiracy, or at least have an agenda.  As I’ve said many times before, GRRM kind of turns us all into tinfoil hat types.   Did Tywin play the maester Conclave?  Did they play Tywin?  Did neither occur and is Varys just playing Tyrion?  Option two is my favorite because that means a big, fun conspiracy is afoot.

Tywin has also restored the Kingsguard member Boros Blount.  This segues into Varys pointedly mentioning that Bronn has been asking lots of questions about Mandon Moore and wondering if Tyrion’s visit has something to do with this.  It seems nobody really liked Mandon, but he was from the Vale.  This makes me wonder if Lysa or one of the knights of the Vale were behind the attempted murder of Tyrion.  Cersei just seems like a much too obvious suspect, plus, she never implicates herself in her later POV chapters.

Tyrion denies that Mandon was the reason for his visit though.  What he wants is one last rendezvous with Shae before he sends her away because he can’t stand being near her but not being able to be with her.  Sigh.  This won’t lead to badness at all, will it?

They discuss how Tyrion is likely being monitored by Cersei and her people all the time.  Varys confirms that the Kettleblacks are definitely hers.  But we pretty much already knew that.  Varys advises that although more gold might win them back to Tyrion’s side, it probably won’t make a difference because they want to get more and better titles and Osmund Kettleblack wants to go where no non-Lannister has gone before, if you catch my drift.

BTW, when Varys is talking about all of this, t”he tip of his tongue runs across his lower lip like a shy pink animal.”  What.  The.  Actual.  Fuck?  Not the most pleasant imagery, is it?  I guess his GRRM is just warming up us up for the impeding arrival of the fat pink mast.

Tyrion, proving that ASOIAF is basically a soap opera for nerds, wonders if he can Cersei to do more than flirt with Osmund KB so that he can arrange for Tywin to walk in on them.  He can’t think of a way to achieve to this as of yet though.

Varys can’t stop giving Tyrion good news.  We learn that Janos Slynt has sons and they want to avenge his downfall.  Also Tyrion can’t go to brothels anymore because Tywin forbid it and all the brothel owners are buddies with Littlefinger.  Varys also says that Tywin has enlisted him to spy on Tyrion, but Tyrion figures that if Varys was going to get him killed, he would have done it by now.

Tyrion brings the topic back around to one truly important thing.  His penis.  They work out that the only safe place to have sexytimes with Shae is in Varys’ chambers.  Varys agrees to this and for some reason is not at all bothered by the prospect of other people fucking in his bed.

Later that night, it’s finally time for their romantic dungeon date.  Tyrion fancies himself up in his best clothes for the occasion.   Then he realizes that would be conspicuous and changes into everyday clothing.  He takes this opportunity to feel sorry for himself about how he won’t be tall and handsome, so it doesn’t matter what he wears.  I mean, I’ve had plenty of body image issues myself, so I was initially sympathetic.  But, yawn.  Does he have to this in every damn chapter?  Poor little rich kid.  Yep.  Definitely a soap!

On the way to Varys’ dungeon o’ love, Tyrion runs into Loras.  Tyrion pressures Loras into explaining why he’s chosen to become a Kingsguard at such a young age.  He mentions that he can’t be married and what about love?  Of course, he knows damn well about his relationship with Renly.  It’s a bit mean, if you ask me.  I guess compared to all the atrocities committed in this series, teasing someone about their dead significant other is peanuts.  But still.  It does bring about one of the best lines of the series.  “When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”  Loras is of course not so pleased that he’s being mocked so Tyrion thinks of him as a prickly lad (gee, I wonder why!) and takes off.

Varys greets Tyrion at the door dressed as a woman for some reason.  Then he disappears.  Wat?  The only light in the room is a candle that smells like jasmine.  Again with the smells.  Anyway, they do it and then Shae calls him My Giant a bunch of times.  She says she thinks his missing nose scar is fierce looking, not ugly.  Sure.

Tyrion tells Shae that he thinks it’s safest to send her away and she gets all cranky and mean.  She starts making fun of Lollys for being scared she will be raped again.  Wow.  Making fun of a disabled woman’s rape trauma.  Nice.  I can see why Tyrion loves her so much!   The mean girling doesn’t bother Tyrion.  What does bother him is that she starts talking about that singer Symeon and how they’ve talking.  They have sex again anyway and she tells Tyrion that the secret passage in Varys’ chambers is under the bed.  I wonder if this will be important later?  To nobody’s great surprise, his resolve is weakened and Shae will stay in the Red Keep.

Later, Tyrion sends for Bronn and asks him to find Symeon.  Sounds foreboding.

 

Arya II

Arya is digging for some vegetables in a dead man’s garden when she and Hot Pie hear some singing.  Arya doesn’t think it’s the Bloody Mummers, but she’s still a bit freaked out so she has HP wake up Gendry.  There isn’t really anyplace to hide unfortunately. The dead man’s cottage has been burnt down.  The horses, HP and Gendry hide behind the remains of the cottage while Arya decides to hide by a tree.  She plans to kill the singer if he bothers her.

Of course, the singer turns out not to be alone.  They can tell that someone is hiding there.  One of them refers to the other as “Archer.”  The three men make some quips and loudly conclude that the hider must be an outlaw because an honest man would come out and decide to start shooting arrows.  So they have no choice but to show themselves.

After some more bantering back and forth it is determined that the three men are Anguy the Archer.  Tom of Sevenstreams AKA Tom o’ Sevens and Lemoncloak AKA Lem.  None of Arya and the party want to give up their real names.   Actually, we don’t even know Hot Pie’s real name.  Arya is Squab and Gendry is The Bull.  Arya insists that despite still wearing the Bolton sigil on her doublet, they belong to no one.  Lem says they are King Robert’s men.

Hot Pie stupidly asks them how far it is to Riverrun.  Tom says it’s a long ways upstream and offers to take them for a meal at a nearby inn.  The innkeeper Sharna is supposedly good to children.  Of course, Arya doesn’t really trust the seeming friendliness.  I can’t say I blame her.  In fact, it’s made clear it’s an offer they can’t refuse when Arya refutes the accusation she’s been stealing from the garden and Tom has Anguy take out his arrows and demonstrate that he is very, very good with them.

Tom continues to want to sing.  It’s awfully suspicious that they, despite not seeming to be powerful lords or anything, have absolutely no fear of being captured or killed by anyone.  They seem like they must be more than meets the eye.  Arya’s pretty desperate to escape, but there doesn’t really seem to be a way.

The inn features a picture of an old king on his knees.  Clearly this is the same inn where Jaime and Brienne just visited.   Sharna is extra snarky and sassy, but she does seem to be more or less friends with the three men and is willing to give hot food to Arya, Gendry, and HP.  It’s revealed that Tom, Lem, and Anguy are in fact, outlaws and Sharna’s husband did set up Brienne and Jaime.  But of course, Brienne didn’t go the way he sent her, so the outlaws never found them.

Dinner is served.  The bread is subpar and Hot Pie starts dispensing baking advice.  Tom wants to buy Arya’s horses and offers three golden dragons.  Well, not real dragons.  A parchment with an IOU on it.  Arya is not having it at all but knows they’re going to take the horses either way so she tries to trade for the boat that used to be the transport for Brienne and Jaime. Everyone just starts to laugh at her.  She wants to scream but starts to smile.  That makes me think she’s going to go all Bad Seed on them.  But Gendry interrupts them all, screaming because riders are approaching.  Did the Bloody Mummers finally track them down?

Apparently not.  Tom is unafraid.  It’s just some fellow outlaws.  But Arya has PTSD from her Harrenhal experiences still and she breaks Lem’s nose with her ale tankard and tries to make a run for it.  But it doesn’t work.  She’s restrained and one of the outlaws turns out to be Harwin from Winterfell.  She forgets her usual secretiveness and begs him to recognize her.  He finally does and reveals to them all that she is Arya Stark.

 

Catelyn II

Cat is still all penned up with her dying father.  She hears the kennels erupt into a frenzy of barking and knows that they’ve seen and/or smelled Grey Wind.  Therefore, Robb has returned.  Edmure has been giving her the silent treatment like only a bratty younger sibling can, but she figures Robb will agree to see her.

Hoster is still muttering about Tansy and asking for forgiveness and Catelyn has heard bits of pieces of arguing so she knows something is wrong other than just Jaime evading capture.  Some people, possibly some Freys rode off in a huff, trampling a Stark banner in the process.  They never came back.  It’s also been raining for four days straight.  Geez.  Catelyn’s chapters are so cheery they always make me want to curl up in a fetal position under the covers.  But I can’t type like that, so I’ll just drink more instead.

It’s probably not the first and won’t be the last time that gif makes an appearance round these parts.

Indeed, Robb summons her to the Great Hall.  Robb is surrounded by a variety of his allies, so this isn’t going to be a personal and intimate chat.  He seems older and more kingly since she saw him last.  In addition to Edmure, Blackfish and assorted Northern and Riverlands nobility, there is a strange older lady and two young women with a seashell sigil she isn’t placing.  She’s worried that Robb will hate her, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  He’s more worried that he’ll be in trouble with mommy.

Rickard Karstark on the other hand, is still hating.  Greatjon defends her by making a sexist remark about mother’s folly and women being made all stupid and weak and lady brained.

Robb on the other hand, forgives her because “we” follow our hearts.  This may not be going anywhere good.  Robb dismisses almost everyone but her, Edmure and Blackfish, and the people that Cat doesn’t know.  They turn out to be Westerlings.  They’re an old, but poor house.  Lannister bannermen.  The important ones are Lady Sybell and her daughter, Jayne.  Jayne is…

Wait for it…

Robb’s new wife!  Now, if you’ll remember, Robb pledged to marry a Frey.  This explains why a bunch of Freys flounced out of Riverrun.  She’s annoyed that he manipulated with all that love folly follow our hearts drivel.  She’s also freaked out because he crossed Lord Frey.

Poor Jayne is more than a little bit intimidated by Catelyn.  I don’t know if there’s anyone reading this who only watches the TV show and hasn’t read the books, but Jayne Westerling is very, very different than Talisa and I’m still not sure why they made such a drastic and unnecessary change, it’s probably the only thing that made me go all book purist.  *takes some deep breaths*  Okay.  Over it.  Moving on.

The Westerling party retires to their bedchambers because they’re tired and nervous and the plot necessitates that Cat is able to speak freely to Robb for a bit.  She wastes no time in bringing up that he’s lost the Freys.  I know there are a lot of Catelyn haters out there, but not me.  I am so with her on this one.  He’s traded a thousand knights and three thousand foot soldiers for fifty measly Westerling men.  Only a dozen knights.

Robb’s explanation?

“I took her castle and she took my heart.”

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

Of course, that’s kind of just a euphemism for they had sex because he was sad about his brothers “dying.”  Maybe I should give him a pass.  BUT I JUST CAN’T.

Robb is stubbornly clinging to the delusion that Lord Frey will be reasonable if only Robb makes some good matches for his daughters.  Catelyn points out that he is absolutely not reasonable, but he doesn’t seem to want to hear that.  Another troubling development is that Grey Wind is all penned up because Jayne fears him.   Grey Wind doesn’t like Lady Sybell’s brother Rolph and  constantly bares his teeth at him.  Cat is smart enough to be very worried about that.  Robb, not so much.  She still remembers Summer fiercely protecting Bran.  She tells him to send Rolph away, but he dismisses her.  Gah!  He does finally promise to do it, but it’s just to appease her.  He doesn’t agree that the direwolf instinct is all that significant.

Time for a change of topic.  Not one that will be any happier I fear.  Blackfish pretty much tells Edmure he should shut the fuck up and stop boasting about his “victory.”  Robb had been trying to lure Tywin west and Edmure bungled it all up by fighting him.  If Stannis had been drawn away from King’s Landing, Stannis would have won the battle.

Oops.

Deaths in this recap: 0  Wow.  Still?  This isn’t the GRRM we know and love!

Cumulative deaths: 86

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  8

Betrayals in this recap:  1  Robb betrayed his cause by going back on his word IMO.

Cumulative betrayals: 25

Incest incidents: 0 

Cumulative incests: 25

 

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