The Lysa Arryn guide to attachment parenting
Book I am reading: AGOT
Chapters: Tyrion IV, Arya III, Eddard VIII, Catelyn VI, Eddard IX
Booze in my flagon: Pinot grigio
I realized a Christmas post wasn’t going to work so here’s an early one.
With no real context we are told that Tyrion’s horse has to be butchered for food. Tyrion grumbles that he isn’t a Dothrai and therefore does not want to eat horse. Is this foreshadowing? Hmmmm. It’s actually pretty sad because this horse was a birthday gift from Jaime. Both my childhood cat and one of my current cats were birthday gifts so this one hits close to home.
Now we flash back to the moment Catelyn falsely accuses Tyrion of attempted cute precocious kidocide. He denies it but knows there isn’t much else he can do besides comply and go with her. Yoren steps aside and continues on to King’s Landing to look for recruits because the Night’s Watch doesn’t meddle in political affairs.
Catelyn announces to the whole inn that she is taking Tyrion back to Winterfell. Side note. He observes that the Freys are pretty disinterested and not too eager to flock to the side of their bannermen’s daughter. What could this mean? Tyrion tries to act like his father Tywin will miss him and send a search party. Nobody bites, but lots of guys come forward to assist Cat and Rodrick for a reward. Tyrion is tied up, blindfolded and put on horseback. When they finally take off the blindfold he notices they’re in some foothills. Psych! They’re not going to Winterfell. They’re going to the Vale, up in the mountains to visit Cat’s sister Lysa, the widow Arryn.
Tyrion is still protesting his innocence. Catelyn asks “why would Petyr lie to me?” Oh, Catelyn. You’re cute. Tyrion decides to taunt Cat by telling her that Littlefinger has been boasting about taking Cat’s virginity. Lying about banging somebody more than 15 years after the fact? CREEPY. Unfortunately, Cat thinks Tyrion is making it up.
This argument could have gone forever, but they are interrupted by clansmen. No, not klansmen. People from the outlaw clans that prowl the Vale. They’re kind of like a cross between the villains from Deliverance and biker gangs. Cat allows Tyrion to be untied. They fight and lose a few men but ultimately prevail. Tyrion has survived his battle. He bonds with the wisecracking sellsword (mercenary) Bronn. Tyrion informs Cat that he never bets against his family and therefore Littlefinger’s story of the dagger used in the attempted Branocide is some bull shit.
Arya is roaming around the Red Keep trying to catch cats. It’s part of her sword fight training. I guess to teach agility because cats are sneaky quick and hard to catch. There’s a ton of cats around but Arya has her eye on this one specific cat. He’s a big old black cat that many (book readers not characters) theorize to be Balerion, the late princess Rhaenys Targaryen’s kitten. Balerion was the name of the humongeous black dragon that Aegon I rode when he conquered Westeros. A badass name that I will give to any black cat or dog I might have in the future.
Anyway, Arya finally catches Balerion when she is distracted and loses the cat. She is distracted by the inquiries of Tommen and Myrcella
Lannister Baratheon. They don’t recognize Arya and think she is a boy. The septa who is watching the royal kids gets all pearl clutchy and summons a guard in the interest of removing the riff-raff that is Arya. She escapes and bl indly runs until she reaches a spooky pitch black cellar.
At first she is scared because she’s surrounded by giant sharp teeth. She remembers her training and calms down. She sees that she is in a chamber full of the skulls of the Targaryen dragons. The dragons have black bones which is sort of cool in a Goth Talk kind of way.
Arya presses on and enters a room that is even darker. She blindly stumbles down the dark hall until she comes across two men talking. They talk about finding bastards, the wolf and the lion will soon be at each other’s throats and they are not ready for war yet. If one hand can die, why not the second? They worry about Lysa and Stannis. Renly and Loras. Catelyn and her kidnapping of Tyrion. Yet they are most concerned about Lord Stark. This whole exchange was difficult to recap, but I’m sure anyone who might be reading this knows it’s Varys and Ilyrio talking. This is the first confirmation that we have that the two are working together but Arya has no idea who they are or what is happening.
Varys and Ilyrio have left and Arya tries to follow but she gets a bit lost. She finally gets out through a sewer and ends up in the city outside of the Red Keep. She smells like shit so she has to bathe and wash in her clothes in the Blackwater river and is so wretched that the guards don’t want to let her into the castle.
Arya is in trouble with Ned because it is the middle of the night and everyone was worried about her. However, Ned is too distracted by that genealogy book to properly listen to her explanation. Arya tries so hard to tell Ned about all the things she overheard but stupid, stupid Ned just brushes her off. He dismisses her because Yoren has arrived in KL and wants an audience with Ned. Yoren wants to tell Ned about the Catnapping. Arya is escorted out by one of Ned’s men Desmond. She seeks reassurance from Desmond that he won’t let anything happen to Ned. It’s really depressing.
Robert has discovered from an as of yet unnamed source that Daenerys is preggo. He’s upset and scared about this because he fears Dany and Viserys will invade with thousands of Dothraki screamers. He wants to put a hit out on Dany. Good old noble Ned objects because she’s just a teenaged kid still.
Now you find out that it is Jorah that has been spying on Dany for Varys. It seems that Jorah desires a pardon for his slave trading ways. Uh, oh Dany. You in danger girl.
They argue some more and Ned is the only one who is opposed to the hit except Barristan who nobody ever seems to listen too. Things are getting heated and Ned decides to quit that bitch and Robert starts singing Taylor Swift break-up songs* and it all very dramatically ends with Ned storming out.
Ned decides to prepare to sail back to the north. He’s so upset that he even starts to suspect Robert in the murder of Jon Arryn. As Ned is brooding about the days dramatic events Littlefinger pays a visit. He offers to take Ned to the brothel that Jon Arryn and Stannis had mysteriously visited.
Cat and co. have arrived at the bloody gate. The entrance to the civilized non-hill folk infested part of the Vale. There they meet Brynden Tully AKA the Blackfish. He is Cat’s father Hoster’s younger brother. An awesome contrarian bachelor. Blackfish and Hoster have always been at odds and Blackfish finally left to serve Lysa in the Vale so they wouldn’t have to be together anymore. Cat loves him though.
Both Cat and Blackfish are worried that the Lannisters will attack Riverrun, the Tully seat. He informs her that the people in the Vale suspect that Jon Arryn was murdered by the Lannisters. He also informs her that Jon Arryn’s heir Robert is a very sickly and wussy 6 year old boy and the Vale lords are all propositioning Lysa because they sense that power vacuum.
Sorry this chapter is thus far an information dump and is very difficult to properly snark. I promise that craziness is imminent.
At this point Blackfish is trying to gently break it to Cat that Lysa has changed since they last saw each other several years ago. Apparently, Lysa has had two stillbirths and some miscarriages. After Jon died, Lysa has nothing to live for but little sickly Robert. Now she is very paranoid about the Lannisters. Blackfish is weary about bringing a lion up to the Eyrie. That isn’t quite sinking in with Cat yet. But it will.
Cat, Blackfish and everyone get to the gates of the moon and meet Nestor Royce. Just thought you should know, the Royces are distantly related to the Starks. Nestor informs them that they can spend the night if they really want, but Lysa wants them immediately. The company is given a guide named Mya Stone. Mya is one of those minor characters that I just love for some reason. She’s a cute bastard tomboy who is expert at guiding mules up the mountain. Stone is the regional bastard name for the Vale like Snow is for the north. She has black hair and blue eyes like a certain family. All right. I’ll just come out and say it. She is King Robert’s bastard. The first one he made as far as we know.
Cat and Mya leave everyone behind and get on the road. After mule riding in the dark for awhile they get to the first waycastle on the mountain called Stone. They stop there for dinner. The second part of the climb is steeper and scarier. When they get to the second waycastle Snow it is pretty Spartan and small. Snow is positioned high above Stone so that defenders can rain down arrows on attackers. This is why the Eyrie is considered impregnable. The third leg of the journey is really windy and scary. They even have to cross a gulf on a stone bridge. Yikes. I’m not even afraid of heights and that freaks me out. They finally get to Sky the last waycastle. After that they have to go on foot through a tunnel in the mountain to the Eyrie. They get there after dawn.
Cat is seen to the solar where Lysa is hanging out in her PJs. It’s been five years since they’ve seen each other but younger sister Lysa now looks older, frumpier and fatter than Cat. Lysa is super pissed that Cat brought a Lannister to the Vale. It turns out she wanted Cat to avoid the Lannisters not fight them. So why didn’t she say that in the first place? Oh right, because she is crazy.
Robert Arryn the sickly 6 year old with “the shaking sickness” presumably epilepsy enters the room. Cat thinks he should hear the serious discussion they are having to prepare him for lordship but Lysa will not hear of it. The Lysa calls the trembling little boy a baby, takes her boob out and STARTS BREAST FEEDING HIM. A six year old. Sorry to yell but, GROSS! Robert expresses a desire to see Tyrion fly out the moon door, which is a door in the wall that leads to a plummet off of the cliff.
Ned and Littlefinger are in the brothel owned by Chataya. Chataya is from the Summer Islands which is the ASOIAF equivalent to Africa or the Caribbean I think. Anyway Chataya is black. The culture is very sex positive which is pretty cool because the Seven is a lot like the more prudish Catholicism. Their purpose for being there is that one of the prostitutes, a ginger, has a bastard of Robert’s. A black haired baby girl named Barra. Sensing a pattern here? Ned is being a bit slow to catch on.
Ned wants to know why Jon Arryn gave a crap about Robert’s bastards but of course Littlefinger is being abrasive.
Ned leaves the brothel and almost immediately runs into a heap o’ trouble. Jaime Lannister and his pack of red cloaked (Lannister guard) hoodlums are riding up. Jaime is pissed off about the Catnapping and since Ned is the hand no more, he doesn’t feel particularly deferential to him. Littlefinger tries to diffuse the situation but it doesn’t work. Littlefinger, ever the brave and noble soul splits promising to bring the city watch.
Jaime orders his men to kill Ned’s. And so they do. They kill them all, including poor Jory. Ned is pinned, leg broken under the body of his dead horse. Yikes.
Deaths in this recap: 1 R.I.P. Ser Hugh, we hardly knew you
Cumulative deaths: 11 The most important is Jory. We also lost Tyrion’s man Jyck and two Bracen men, Kurleket and Mohor
Betrayals in this recap: 1 Randyll Tarly. Fathers should not want to murder their sons.
Cumulative betrayals: 3
Incest incidents: 1 This is debatable, but I’m creeped out enough by Lysa breastfeeding 6 year old Robert to rank it an incest.
Cumulative incests: 3