Book I am reading: A Clash of Kings
Chapters: Arya IV, Tyrion III, Bran II
Booze in my flagon: Malbec
The NW finds a corpse floating in the river. Lommy is not surprised because the water they had been drinking tasted like dead body. EWWW!!! When I was a canvasser, our van hit a dead and decomposing deer when we were driving out to turf in the exurbs. It was the summertime. The dead deer stink got all over the front of the van (is that the grill? Like Jon Snow, I know nothing when it comes to cars) and every time it stunk of deer corpse inside the van. I will never ever forget that smell, It was disgusting, I cannot even begin to manage drinking corpsified water. Ew, ew, ew! Yoren has them loot the body for valuables. It’s understandable and necessary, but it still squicks me out a bit.
The party aren’t too far from the huge lake called the God’s Eye. Harrenhal is right on the lake and they discuss seeking shelter there because Lady Whent is friendly towards the Night’s Watch. Harrenhal was built by King Harren, an Iron Born. They controlled the Riverlands at the time. He refused to surrender to Aegon and the dragons barbequed Harren inside the castle. Arya remembers that Old Nan used to tell stories about ghosts haunting Harrenhal.
The party comes across some homes, but they are all abandoned. It’s pretty suspicious. Finally they come upon an entire abandoned town and holdfast. This is how bad horror movies start out. The town is on the God’s Eye and it’s so big that they can’t see the opposite shore.
Yoren decides they will spend the night at the holdfast. Arya doesn’t want to because obviously the town is abandoned for a reason. Yoren thinks she is smart for knowing to be concerned, but it isn’t enough to convince him to move on. They do bar the doors behind them.
Later that night Arya dreams she hears wolves howling. She wakes up and knows that something is very wrong and wakes everyone else. Momentarily Kurz blows the horn. There are a couple hundred soldiers outside. It’s some Lannister troops. Yoren tells them that they are Night’s Watch but they are not believed. They think it might be Beric Dondarrion’s people. His sigil is a lightning bolt on black so it looks similar to the black of the NW. Beric has been leading a group of rebels.
The soldier’s leader, a man called Amory Lorch commands Yoren to open the door. Lorch is one of Tywin’s bannerman and he is the one who killed princess Rhaenys Targaryen, He’s a total asshole, obviously. Yoren refuses. Lorch orders his men to storm the walls and kill everyone. Of course he does.
Arya is not afraid to join the fight. She uses to needle to stab the fingers of someone trying to climb the wall. She screams “Winterfell!” She dispatches several more foes. Unfortunately they just keep coming. Dobber and Qyle are killed. Arya keeps screaming “Winterfell!” and Hot Pie adorably shouts “Hot Pie!”
Sadly, the NW are being overwhelmed and Yoren tells Arya to flee out of the trap under the barn and take as many as she can with her. She takes with her Gendry, Hot Pie, Lommy and the toddler girl they call Weasel. The barn is on fire. All their horses and donkeys are trapped and screaming. With all the death in ASOIAF, this is one of the most upsetting part to me. I guess I just like other animals more than I do humans.
Jaqen H’gar, Rorge and Biter are still locked up in their cage. I’m not sure why they haven’t passed out from smoke inhalation by now, but hey, fantasy! Arya finds an axe and gives it to them so they can bust themselves out. They all escape. They see Kurz die. It isn’t until the next chapter that it’s mentioned that Yoren is dead, but he is.
The word has spread to the small council that all the lords have received that letter from Stannis calling Joffrey a bastard. Cersei acts all indignant as if the accusation isn’t true. This is amusing to Tyrion. And me. Since the letter says “in the light of the Lord” Tyrion figure they can use Stannis’ conversion to R’hllor worship against him.
Cersei wants everyone who calls Joffrey Bieber a bastard to get their tongues cut out as punishment. Pycelle, ever the kiss ass agrees. Tyrion disagrees. He thinks that going so far as removing the ability to speak suggests that they have something to hide and the rumors might be true. Tyrion wants to let the lack of proof speak for itself. Littlefinger agrees with Tyrion. We all know they’re much smarter than Cersei and Pycelle so they win. Littlefinger suggest that they plant their own rumor, that Shireen is the result of Selyse doing sexy times with Patchface. Blech. LF knows that the smallfolk are superstitious and will believe Shireen’s greyscale face came from a union with Patchy and his creepiness.
Tyrion notes aloud that LF is quite the accomplished liar and there is some tension between them. This is the moment where they each realize the other is dangerous. Of course Cersei is too self absorbed to notice the moment. She could have used the rivalry to play them off each other and keep them both in check, but no. Cersei is just so…Cersei.
Everyone notes Varys conspicuous absence until Tyrion excuses himself to go attend to some business. He meets Bronn outside. He meets with all the best smiths in the city. He wants them to make a shit ton of chains. He orders them to make it a priority.
After the meeting he has Bronn escort him to a brothel. It is run by a madam called Chataya. She is from the Summer Islands. It’s a sex positive culture way south and east of Westeros. Everyone from there has really dark skin. I don’t really know what real world culture is supposed to be analogous to them, but I’m sure there is one. Chataya suggests that he hire her daughter Alayaya. She takes him upstairs and leads him into the wardrobe. There is a secret passage there. Instead of Narnia, Varys awaits him. Ooh, sneaky!
Varys leads Tyrion through the tunnel. Tyrion asks why a secret passage is under a brothel and Varys replies that is was built for another hand. Hmm…. guess who? We’ll get the story. Eventually. They come upon a room with horses and cloaks. They dress in the cloaks so they can go meet Shae in secret. This is so ridiculously elaborate IMO. It’s just a big set up for later revelations and in hindsight it’s way too obvious. Oh well.
Bran is having to do a bunch of boring duties in his role as prince. He doesn’t like it. Luwin and Rodrick don’t have a single nanocrap to give about that and they make him sit in on meetings and deal with visitors. The latest of which is Lord Wyman Manderly AKA Lord-too-fat-to-sit-a-horse. I keep trying to work out why he might have such a similar name to Manderley, the house in Rebecca, but I’ve got nothing. Manderly is an important person and must be feasted.
Bran has Hodor carry him down into the yars. The Frey wards, Big Walder and Little Walder are there. It is clear from the outset that they are the worst. They make fun of Hodor. Let me repeat. This time loudly. THEY MAKE FUN OF HODOR. Unacceptable.
Bran and the Walders have some words. Bran is threatening to sic Summer on them and I wish that he would. but Maester Luwin breaks it up. Luwin is also pissed and he tells the stupid ass Freys to quit being mean to Hodor.
later, at the feast Manderly expresses a desire to marry the recently widowed Lady Hornwood. He also assures Bran that he will remain loyal even though the Lannisters hold his son Wylis. Later on that night, Lady Hornwood arrives. Her land is near that of the Bolton’s and she brings the news that Bolton’s bastard is amassing men with his servant, a ceaselessly stanky man called Reek. Nothing to see here folks, move it along.
Later in this apparently never ending day, Hodor takes Bran to the pool in the godswood. There they encounter Osha who is bathing. Osha, being intelligent has developed an immediate distrust of the Walders and tells Bran that he and Hodor need to watch their backs. She asks him about his wolf dreams and he doesn’t want to say anything, but he does have a mystical dream about a weirwood tree and the three eyed crow that night.
There are some more meetings. Blah, blah, blah. Everyone wants to marry Lady Hornwood.
That night, Bran is starting to feel dread about the war. He wants a dreamless sleep, but as usual does not get it.
Deaths in this recap: 4. Qyle. Dobber, Kurz, and Yoren
Cumulative deaths: 42
Maybe deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative maybe deaths: 1
Betrayals in this recap: 0
Cumulative betrayals: 10
Incest incidents: 0
Cumulative incests: 6