The imp slap heard round the world
Book I am reading: A Game Of Thrones
Chapters: Catelyn II, Arya I, Bran II, Tyrion I, Jon II, Daenerys II, Eddard II
Booze in my flagon: Cabernet-sauvignon
Catelyn and Ned have sex and luckily it isn’t described in any detail because for some reason it would be kind of like reading about my own parents do it. Ned wants to turn Robert down for the hand job (ha ha!), but Catelyn tells him he pretty much has to go ahead and take it. She thinks Robert would get suspicious of Ned if he wasn’t willing to serve his massive kingly ego or something like that. She also likes the idea of Sansa becoming queen someday. *Sad trumpet sound.*
Maester Luwin comes to the door with some urgent news. Maesters are the learned men of Westeros. Every noble family worth anything at all has a maester serving them. They act like doctors, advisors, and tutors for the kids.
It seems that a mysterious rider came to Winterfell with a wooden box. The box has a false bottom that conceals a message. I am reminded of the puzzle box in Hellraiser. The message unleashes a sequence of events that is as bad as anything the Cenobites ever do. The note is from Lysa. It says that Jon Arryn was murdered by the Lannisters, more specifically Cersei. Ned, in an unusual moment of character judgment think Lysa is probably just crazy from grief. Catelyn however, trusts her. No she is sure that Ned must go south. Catelyn’s decisions throughout this book are rational given the information she has, but they still kind of make one facepalm. Ned angsts and finally decides he does indeed have to take the hand job.
Maester Luwin asks about what will become of Jon Snow. This is a sore spot of Catelyn’s lets just say. Jon is about the same age as Robb so that means Ned cheated right after they first got married and then had the audacity to bring the bastard back home from the war with him. Ouch. We learn that Ned refuses to answer any questions about Jon. We can only imagine how awkward Ned’s homecoming was. She wants Jon to go south with Ned. Ned thinks that would be cruel because people would mock his bastardy. I’m not entirely sure that’s true because later on Aurane Waters does just fine, but whatever. They almost fight, but Luwin saves the day by mentioning that Jon wants to go to the Night’s Watch. Crisis averted. Ned says something to the effect of “Jon is about to become a man.” Heartwarming.
Arya sucks at needlepoint. Sansa is awesome at it. It’s clear that Arya is the Rhoada and Sansa is the Mary. Sansa is gossiping about dreamy prince Joffrey is with her friends Jeyne Poole and Beth Cassel. Speaking of facepalms… Septa Mordane is not pleased with Arya’s needlework (a septa is like a nun). This makes Arya storm off.
Arya and her direwolf Nymeria join Jon in watching Robb, Bran, Joffrey and Tommen practice fighting swords. We learn that Arya and Jon, the only two siblings to take after the Starks are very close. Also, Arya would much rather learn sword fighting than needlepoint. Can’t blame her there. Bran beats Tommen. Joffrey wants to spar with real swords. Robb doesn’t want to look insufficiently manly so he agrees and they start trash talking each other. The Hound brags to Robb about how he killed a man when he was twelve and fourteen year old Robb feels bad about himself because he never killed anybody. Jon, proxying for the readers thinks Joff is a little shit. Arya goes back to her rooms to find Septa Mordane and her mother waiting. Oh shit!
Bran is feeling antsy because all the men went hunting without him. He is excited and afraid to go to King’s Landing. I guess going to court is the equivalent of going to summer camp for highborn children in Westeros. Bran wants to be a knight when he grows up and they don’t have a lot of knights in the north. He really wants to be a kingsguard someday. We also discover that Robb named his wolf Grey Wind, Sansa’s is Lady and Rickon’s is Shaggydog. Bran can’t decide on a name.
Bran starts climbing up trees so he can get on the roofs and walls of Winterfell. His wolf is displeased and starts howling. Listen to your wolf Bran. It’s established that Bran has always loved to climb even though Cat is afraid he’d fall and hurt himself. This chapter can only end well.
Bran is climbing in the old abandoned part of Winterfell and he hears a man and woman talking in one of the towers. It is Cersei and Jaime talking about they are worried that Ned is going to be the hand and start asking questions like Jon Arryn did. Then the noises of sexy times start happening. Bran finally manages to peep in the window and catches the Lannister twins boning. Ew. Cersei sees Bran and screams. Bran “the things I do for love” and pushes poor little Bran out the window.
Winterfall is gloomy. The direwolves are constantly howling. Bran is in a coma. The Hound is being an asshole and wishing Bran would hurry up and die. Joffrey is being an asshole and wishing that the direwolves would shut up and that the Hound should kill one of the wolves. Joffrey is the worst. Tyrion wants Joffrey to pay his respects to the Stark. Joffrey says he has no fucks to give. Tyrion bitch slaps Joffrey twice. It is glorious. The first real fist pump moment in ASOIAF. Joffrey wants to tell his mommy on Tyrion but Tyrion has no fucks to give either so Joffery can’t do anything but run away because he sucks at life.
Tyrion struts off to impose himself on the breakfast Jaime is having with Cersei and the royal offspring. I truly love and miss Tyrion of old. Tyrion has heard that Bran will probably live. Tommen and Myrcella are happy about that because miraculously they have consciences. Jaime and Cersei look all shifty and Tyrion picks up on that, but doesn’t say anything. Cersei expresses her dislike of the direwolves and is pissed that Nymeria and Lady will be going with them. Oh, good.
Tyrion will be joining Benjen and Jon on the journey to the wall. He will not however, be joining the NW because Tyrion singlehandedly keeps the prostituting business alive in Westeros and the NW have to be celibate. It’s a bit like my contribution to Kraft Cheese’s revenue. Tyrion snarkily expresses his love for the Lannister family and the chapter ends.
Jon goes to visit Bran. Catelyn is there. She has not left Bran’s side since the “accident.” Catelyn is a huge bitch to Jon and doesn’t want Jon to even say goodbye. She tells him to away but Jon is feeling extra manly because he’s about to become a NW brother so he tells her to step off. Jon says a heartfelt goodbye. Catelyn lurks in the background and then starts talking about she feels guilty because she didn’t want Bran to go south. She prayed for him to stay and the gods answered her prayers in the bitchiness way possible. Jon awkwardly tries to comfort her but she just says “it should have been you.” Oh, Catelyn. All you had to do was keep your mouth shut for a couple of minutes and you could have avoided becoming one of the least popular characters. Now your only friend is Skylar White.
Jon goes downstairs and the yard is abuzz with preparations for the trip south. Robb informs Jon that Benjen is looking for him. Jon and Robb hug goodbye and then get uncomfortable because bros don’t hug. Jon sneaks off to Arya’s room and they have a sweet non-awkward hug. Arya has to repack because she was all sloppy before. Jon gives Arya a sword he had Mikken the armorer forge in secret. Jon tells Arya that the first lesson in sword fighting is “stick them with the pointy end.” I’m sure this lesson will never be applied. They somehow both decide at the same time that the sword will be called needle. It’s a super cute moment and it makes me verklempt (sp?). Talk amongst yourselves.
The chapter opens thusly; “Daenerys Targaryen wed Khal Drogo with fear and barbaric splendor…” Wow. Should I ever marry, I hope for barbaric splendor to be a part of the wedding. Viserys wants to get to the conquering of Westeros. Ilyrio breaks to him that Drogo has to take Daenerys to the Dothraki home base of Vaes Dothrak to show her off. I’m sure Viserys will remain on his best behavior through the journey.
The Dothraki wedding ceremonies are “deemed a dull affair” if fewer than three people die. Yikes. All these Dothraki men fight each other to the death to win the opportunity to sex some dancing Dothraki women. It’s graphic. Dany understandably wonders what the hell she married into.
Now it’s time for presents! Ilyrio gives Dany three servant girls but lets Viserys put his name on the card because Viserys is lame and broke. They are two Dothraki named Irri and Jiqui and a Lysene named Doreah. Everyone from Lys has blonde hair and blue eyes for some reason. Ilyrio also gives Dany three huge dragon eggs. The eons have turned them to stone so there is no possible way they will ever hatch, right? Drogo gives her a beautiful silver horse. She takes the horse for a test drive and it charms Drogo.
The wedding is over and it’s time to head to Vaes Dothrak. The procession of Dothraki + Dany, Viserys, and Jorah ride for many hours. Then it’s time for creepy and awkward wedding night sex. They can’t communicate because she doesn’t know Dothraki and he only knows the word “no” in the common tongue. I don’t want to talk about it.
The trip down the king’s road has begun. One morning Robert has Ned woken up in the pre dawn hour for some private time. No, not that kind of private time. They gossip about sexual conquests past. Ned says Jon’s mother is Wylla. Sure it is. Ned shuts down the conversation and Robert mocks his prudery because Ned is now monogamous. Robert on the other hand, is a huge slut.
Robert pulls out a message from Varys. Varys is a eunuch from Essos who serves as master of whisperers. I guess this makes him like the head of the CIA or KGB. Ned doesn’t really trust Varys because he also served Aerys. It turns out Varys is keeping touch with Jorah Mormont to keep tabs on Daenerys in hopes of getting a pardon. Varys relays the news that Dany married Khal Drogo. It should be noted that Dany’s timeline is a bit ahead of the Westeros timeline.
Robert has a huge hate boner for the Targaryens because he blames Rhaegar for Lyannas death. I guess I can’t blame him. Rhaegar did run off with her while she was engaged his Robert. Now Robert wants to have Dany assassinated but Ned is against it because she’s only a 13 year old girl. Robert worries that the Dothraki will cross the narrow sea and come to Westeros. Ned is not worried because the Dothraki are afraid of boat travel.
Ned is also cranky because Robert wants to name Jaime Lannister warden of the east instead of Robert Arryn. Ned doesn’t think they are trustworthy. Robert points out that Jaime is the one who slew Aerys and opened the city gates, thus allowing Robert to win. Ned thinks it was dishonorable. Ned certainly isn’t wrong about the Lannisters being untrustworthy. Still, the self righteous tone Ned takes pisses me off. Aerys killed Ned’s father and brother, you’d think he’d be cool with Jaime’s king slaying. Robert shares my irritation. They never really resolve anything and the chapter ends on (surprise!) some Ned angst.
I’m about out of wine, so this concludes tonight’s recap. Here are the stats:
Deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative deaths: 4
Betrayals in this recap: 0
Cumulative betrayals: 0
Incest incidents: 1
Cumulative incests: 2