I’ve got a dick in a braizer for you
Book I am reading: A Clash of Kings
Chapters: Tyrion X, Catelyn VI, Bran VI
Booze in my flagon: Pinot grigio
Lancel, in his function as spy/Tyrion’s bitch tells Tyrion Cersei’s plans to send Tommen away to live at nearby Rosby with Lord Gyles. Even though Gyles Rosby isn’t much like Rupert Giles from Buffy, I always think of him whenever he’s mentioned. Tommen will have his hair dyed brown so he isn’t recognized. Cersei fears Tyrion will harm Tommen for some reason. Later, Tyrion sends Jacelyn Bywater to track down Tommen, oust Gyles’ men and take of Tommen himself. Tyrion thinks Gyles is too much of a wuss to protect Tommen. That’s why Gyles < Giles.
Tyrion goes to visit Shae. She’s hanging out with a singer. His name is Symon Silver Tongue. Tyrion is none too pleased to see him. Because he keeps forgetting that Shae is a sex worker and not actually his girlfriend so he has no right to be possessive. Maybe the term “girlfriend experience” hasn’t been invented in Westeros yet?
After they ditch Symon and have sex, Tyrion goes out to the garden to angst and brood (what is he Jon Snow now?) and Varys comes to visit him. He’s dressed as a begging brother and smells very bad. Not like his usual lavender scent. Tyrion doesn’t recognize him at first but Shae did. She tells him that “A whore learns to see the man, not hid garb, or she turns up dead in an alley.” I like that quote and actually think it can apply to any woman who lives in a decent sized city, not just sex workers. It’s like the whole Schrodinger’s Rapist thing.
Anywho, Varys is there to deliver bad news. He informs Tyrion of Cortnay Penrose’s death. Storm’s End has fallen to Stannis. One might question why this is information Varys needed to tell Tyrion in secret. Won’t this be discussed at the council meeting?
Tyrion takes Shae aside for a moment. He tries to convince her to leave the city so she won’t be killed when Stannis comes a calling. Instead she wants to become Tyrion’s legit lady and bear him sons. She also wants him to kill Cersei so nobody in town can stop them. He informs her that kin slayers are cursed in the sight of both gods and men. Tee hee. Foreshadowing. Instead he proposes Shae becomes a scullion (kitchen) maid. Ouch. He’s thinks she’d be safer in the Red Keep, but of course she’s pretty offended. She mocks him for being afraid of his father and he slaps her. Nice domestic violence Tyrion! Ick. He feels guilty and tells her the Tysha story. I think that’s supposed to make us feel sympathy for Tyrion, but from what I can tell, abusers tend to have some sort of sob story excusing their violence so I’m not inclined to give any fucks. Shae buys it though. She agrees to go work in the kitchens.
Tyrion goes back out to meet Varys berating himself for thinking a whore might lurve him for real. Varys agrees to help him place Shae in the kitchens. Varys warns him the kitchens are super gossipy like the downstairs portion of Downton Abbey so Shae will need to memorize a good back story. He also warns Tyrion that sexual harassment runs rampant in the kitchens, but Tyrion would Shae get fondled than stabbed. What nice choices!
Luckily for Shae, Lady Tanda Stokeworth needs a new maid for Lollys. Lollys was already developmentally disabled. Since being raped in the riots she’s regressed. That’s just horribly, horribly sad. But hey, it’s convenient for Tyrion that Lollys won’t care much about who Shae is and where she came from. Varys also reveals that there is a secret passage leading to Tyrion’s bedchamber so Shae might be able to visit.
With all the important booty call business taken care of, Tyrion is able to refocus on Penrose’s demise. According to Varys, he threw himself from a tower. Some guards witnessed it. Of course, we readers know that the second shadow baby was the culprit. Varys seems to think something fishy is going to do. Tyrion laughs it off. This prompts Varys to tell the story of how he was cut. It’s a doozy.
Varys was an orphan boy apprenticed to a mummer’s troupe. In Myr some creepy dude offered to pay Varys’ master a lot of money for him. The master was a horrible person so he agreed to this. The creepy guys made young Varys drink a potion that paralyzed him but didn’t dull his senses. He cut off both the frank and the beans. I don’t even possess those parts and that made me cringe. I can’t imagine how the penis havers felt reading this. Then Male Lorena Bobbitt threw the genitals on a brazier. The flames turned blue and Varys heard a disembodied voice speaking in another language.
After the ordeal, creepy spell casting dude had no further use for Varys and put him out on the streets. This story just keeps getting more distressing. Varys pulled himself up by his bootstraps, did whatever he needed to survive and eventually became a really good thief.
Murica! Myr! It was during this time Varys learned that secrets were more valuable than coins.
The moral of the story is, magic is evil and Varys hates it. I think if he were in modern society he would become one of those anti circ nuts that always brigades comments section. But this is Planetos and instead Varys is an anti-magic zealot. Because of this Varys wants Stannis dead. I’m filing this away as possible foreshadowing. Will Varys be involved in Stannis or Melisandre’s eventual demise? Time will tell. Hopefully not too much time.
On to more cheerful things. Oh wait, no. It’s a Cat chapter. Never mind. Edmure rides off to war. Catelyn’s not particularly thrilled with this. It leaves her in a funk and she starts reminiscing. We learn more about her background. Catelyn’s two older brothers died in infancy and then her mother died giving birth to Edmure. Cat was always both the dutiful eldest child and she had to function as lady of Riverrun. This explains why she’s always so serious. She’s always been focused on doing her duty.
Cat tells Brienne all about how difficult being separated from her children is. Brienne thinks childbirth is just as difficult and dangerous as fighting war. Which is a great point.
Riverrun also receives the news that Cortnay Penrose is dead and Storm’s End is fallen. This means Stannis has Robert’s bastard Edric Strom. This leads to Cat to thinking about bastard. She wonders how Jon’s mother felt about Ned’s death. She contrasts Ned’s protectiveness of Jon to Roose’s attitude when news of Ramsay’s death reached him. He was glad to be rid of Ramsay because “tainted blood is ever treacherous.” Damn. The Boltons are even colder than the Bushes.
Cat’s thoughts are interrupted by news of Lannisters marching across the Red Fork. They are led by one of Lord Brax’s sons. It is only a small host and supposedly Riverrun is not endangered. Cat and Brienne can sort of see and hear the ensuing battle from the tower. Edmure and his men won easily.
That night, more Lannisters show up. With it being dark Cat is less able to figure out what’s happening. However, Edmure is again victorious. The next morning word arrives of another victory to the south. Yay! Of course, Catelyn isn’t thrilled. She never really is. She sends lots of wine down to Cleos Frey so he can be drunk when she questions him later.
Once Cleos is good and sloshed she pays a visit to his cell. She threatens him into giving her information about Arya and Sansa. He has to admit that he only saw Sansa in King’s Landing. She tries not to think about the possibility that Arya is dead.
Later more word comes of several more attempts to cross the Trident. The Tully men beat them all back. Catelyn wants to be happy but can’t. She wonders why, if they are winning, is she so afraid? Because GRRM is a big meanie?
This chapter opens with Bran having a wolf dream. Summer is hearing weird clinking and scraping noises. Summer and Shaggydog are distressed and smell strange men. Unfortunately the direwolves have been locked up. Summer who is melded with Bran even tries to climb a tree to escape but can’t do it. He falls and this shakes Bran awake.
Bran is afraid. He knows that Jojen’s dream about the sea flooding Winterfell is coming true. Moments later, Theon busts in. Oh Theon, fuck you. He tells Bran he’s taken Winterfell and is now the prince. Poor Bran is still a naïve kid and doesn’t quite get it. So Theon informs him he is being taken to the great hall and had better say the right things.
Luwin later comes for Bran. He has a gash above his eye. He tells Bran that the Iron Born have scaled the walls. They killed Alebelly. Just like Jojen predicted. Luwin managed to get two ravens off with the news. One was shot down, but the raven sent to White Harbor got away. Luwin helps Bran dress and advises him to yield to protect the smallfolk.
Once downstairs, Bran sees the Reeds and Big and Little Walder. Little Walder is prickish as usual and gloats over Bran’s new status as a hostage. Shut up L. Walder. You suck and something bad will surely happen to you. The direwolves are howlin in the distance. Theon, ever the asshole, lords his victory over Bran and Rickon. Several Winterfellians are hurt and/or traumatized. One of the Iron Born brings Reek in. Oh good.
Theon tries to speak but Mikken keeps shouting. Bran tells him to be quiet after some IB beat on Mikken a little. Bran officially yields Winterfell to Theon and this is probably one of the saddest, shittiest things that happen in the whole series. The Starks have held Winterfell for thousands of years. This is just not right!
Mikken will just not shut up. He refuses to serve Theon and keeps getting more beat up. Bran desperately wants him to shut the fuck up. But he won’t. Finally one of the IB kills him by driving a spear through his neck. Poor Hodor is now extremely distressed and is Hodoring very loudly over and over. He gets beaten too. Noooo!!!
Theon tells the assembly that he’ll be as good to them as Ned Stark was. Ha! But they’ll be sorry if they ever betray him. Reek pledges him his fealty, and then Osha does too. They both want their freedom. Bran has the sads because he thought that Osha was a friend. No little boy, she was a captive. Duh. Afterwards beaten up Hodor cries and carries Bran back to his bedchamber and I just want to die.
Deaths in this recap: 3. Poor Cortnay Penrose and Alebelly didn’t even get to die on page. Mikken went down like a bad ass though.
Cumulative deaths: 57
Maybe deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative maybe deaths: 2
Betrayals in this recap: 1 I go back and forth about whether taking Winterfell constitutes a betrayal, but what the hell. Bran feels betrayed so I’m counting it.
Cumulative betrayals: 14
Incest incidents: 0
Cumulative incests: 25