How not to keep a hostage
Book I am reading: A Clash of Kings
Chapters: Arya II, Jon I, Catelyn I
Booze in my flagon: Malbec
This might be a short post because I’ve been sick and I don’t know if I’m up for five whole chapters. We’ll see.
The Night’s Watch recruits keeps moving north along the king’s road. All the other travelers they see are going south. That can’t be a good sign. One woman even tells them that they are fools and will be killed. Eventually they start seeing a shit ton of fresh graves. They stop at an inn. Arya doesn’t dare take a bath and reveal her peenless state even though she is super stanky. The innkeeper tells Yoren that it’s a bad idea to go north. The fields are burnt, the villages are destroyed and it isn’t safe.
I know this blog is meant to be on the lighthearted snarky side, but I’d like to say that I really appreciate that GRRM does not shy away from how terrible war is. Usually stories focus on the glories and defeats of the higher ups. That’s also true in the media depictions of real life wars. Rarely does anyone talk about how devastating war is for the little people. It usually gets glossed over in fantasy. The realistic portrayal of how horrific war actually is, is one of the major reasons why I love this series.
Arya listens to gossip about the various factions. Also there are a pack of (literal not Stark) wolves roaming around the Riverlands eating all the livestock and not fearing men. There are hundreds of them. The implication is that these wolves are led by Nymeria. One man alleges that Nymeria went into a village and stole a baby. Arya gets pissed about this and protests. Yoren makes her leave.
Outside, the cage of three manacled creepers start calling out to her. The hot one with the red and white striped hair merely wants beer and a bath. The noseless one acts creepy and the one with filed teeth hisses at her. The hottie disavows them as not his chosen companions. His name is Jaqen H’ghar of the free city of Lorath. He says the noseless creeper is named Rorge and the hisser is named Biter. Rorge threatens to sodomize Arya with a stick because he’s such an awesome person. Briter tries to attack and she pops him between the eyes!
Gendry interrupts them and makes her get away from the cage o evil mutants. Of course, Arya being Arya gets all defensive and wants to fight him. Then they see the gold cloaks of the city watch coming up the road. Arya has them duck down behind a hedge. She tells him they are after her.
The officer wants the boy and Yoren is refusing. The gold cloak says he will take their boy by force, but he only has five back up soldiers and all the NW recruits step up to protect their fellow recruits. Even Hot Pie. Arya jumps up to join the defense and so does Gendry. Then it is revealed that Gendry is the one they are after. The GC realize they’re outnumbered and ride back to King’s Landing.
Yoren knows they’ll return in greater numbers so he urges everyone to get ready to flee. Arya and Gendry are suspicious of each other because they don’t realize why the other one would be sought after. Actually, poor dumb Gendry doesn’t even know why he’s wanted.
Jon wakes up Sam who’s been studying in the NW library. He was sent to find maps of beyond the Wall. They discuss the ranging they have to on. Sam is pants pissing scared and Jon tries to comfort him, but he’s scared too.
Jon reflects on the news that Robb is now a king. He tries to pretend he’s not jelly, but he is. Jon goes to see Mormont and the new first ranger (by his own estimation) Thoren (named after the dwarf in The Hobbit?) Smallwood is there. He is trying to convince LC Mormont that the LC’s place is at Castle Black not a ranging. Mormont doesn’t give any craps and informs Thoren that he isn’t the boss and opinion doesn’t matter. Mormont says that Benjen is still first ranger until he’s proven dead. Mormont tells Jon the story of how Aemon was offered the crown and refused to take it. Take that how you will.
Mormont’s raven keeps saying “king” and Jon thinks it means Mormont is meant to be crowned a king. Oh, Jon. You silly! Mormont points out that both Jon and Aemon have a king for a brother in common, Hm. He calls Jon out on wanting to have the same prestige as Robb, but Jon vows to keep his oath.
Hoster’s blacksmith has just finished Robb’s crown. It’s bronze and iron with no gems and frippery. Robb is brought acaptive. It’s Cleos Frey. He’s on team Lannister because his mother Genna is Tywin’s sister. They want him to carry a message to Cersei declaring their peace terms. Robb makes Cleos swear to return and he will be sending an escort to make sure he keeps that vow.
Robb’s terms are that he will release the Lannister boys but keep Jaime hostage. Cersei will release Arya (ha!) and Sansa and Tywin has to release his hostages. Robb also demands northern independence. Lord Karstark is lurking in the back and stalks out all pissed off. Robb knows some of his bannermen won’t like any truce arrangement.
Cat points out that Cersei won’t agree to a hostage trade unless it included Jaime. Robb knows he can’t give him up even though emotionally speaking he and Cat both want Sansa and Arya back. They’re only girls after all. Blech.
Robb wants Cat to go to the Twins to pick out his wife, but she doesn’t want to. He is also planning on sending Theon back home to the Iron Islands to negotiate with his father Balon. She points out that Theon is a hostage and sending him would be effectively releasing him. Robb trust Theon however. Dumbass.
Catelyn and Blackfish are talking war things. Blackfish says that Amory Lorch who murdered Rhaenys Targaryen is now afoot along with Gregor Clegane. Also, Tywin as hired the Bloody Mummers, some sociopathic mercenaries led by Vargo Hoat. They need help. Catelyn decides she must go negotiate with Renly.
Deaths in this recap: 1. I’m not sure I mentioned it, but Praed the NW recruit dies on the road.
Cumulative deaths: 37
Maybe deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative maybe deaths: 1
Betrayals in this recap: 0
Cumulative betrayals: 10
Incest incidents: 0
Cumulative incests: 6