Book I am reading: A Clash of Kings
Chapters: Arya IX, Daenerys IV, Tyrion XI
Booze in my flagon: Pinot grigio
Arya goes to visit Hot Pie in the kitchen. He is making tarts for Amory Lorch and Arya wants to spit on them. She’d make a perfect service sector employee! I don’t even mean that sarcastically. A lot of customers deserve that shit. Arya’s new boss Pinkeye is an alcoholic and passes out every night so she’s feeling a little bolder than she did under Weese. She proposes escaping but Hot Pie doesn’t actually want to escape because living in the forest and eating bugs kind of sucks. Arya hears a horn that indicates the gates are being opened and so she steals a tart and goes to see what’s happening.
It’s the Bloody Mummers returning. They’ve brought a big black bear with them. They also have a bunch of prisoners. The prisoners are all bearing northern sigils. The prisoners include two nobles, a Glover and a Frey. There’s a little bit of tension because Amory Lorch and Vargo Hoat hate each other. I guess there’s only room for one complete and utter sociopathic douchebag per zip code?
Pinkeye comes down to see the commotion so Arya runs off to escape notice. She goes past the armory and has a headlong into puberty moment when she sees Gendry doing his metal work and being all muscley and sexy. She asks him to help her free the Northern/Riverlands prisoners but he isn’t anymore into it than Hot Pie was.
Finally, Arya realizes that she’s going to have to resort to getting her last name from Jaqen. She’s been a little afraid of him ever since he Cesar Millaned that dog into killing Weese. She realizes he’s more of a sorcerer than just a really bad ass assassin.
But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Arya prays to the weirwood tree in Harrenhal’s godswood to get the northerners out and then remembers the Old Gods (OGs?) didn’t do jack shit to help her dad so she starts yelling at them. Jaqen sneaks up behind her and says “Gods are not mocked, girl.” Clearly he has never seen any George Carlin standup. He’s creepy and hot as usual and reveals that he knows she is Arya Stark even though Gendry didn’t spill the beans.
However, Jaqen won’t help her. She needs two guards to die to get the Northmen out and she only has one name left. She makes him swear that he would kill anyone she named no matter what. She whispers in his name “It’s Jaqen H’ghar.” Oh snap!
The ploy works. He agrees to help her if she takes back his name. Smart girl! Jaqen tells her to go to the kitchens to help make a broth and wait for him there.
Jaqen finally comes to fetch Arya. Unfortunately he brings those fucks Rorge and Biter with him. Arya is not too pleased about that. They all carry a bunch of soup pots into the dungeon. Jaqen tells Arya to stay out of the way. Jaqen, Rorge and Biter all threw the soup in the guard’s eyes allowing them to kill them all and let Robett Glover, Aenys Frey and the rest out. This allows the Northmen to outnumber the small garrison holding Harrenhal. They took it over.
Jaqen and Arya agree that his debt is paid and she unsays his name. Then some freaky shit happens. He declares Jaqen dead, rubs his hand across his face and becomes an entire new person. Whoa!
The Artist Formerly Known as Jaqen H’ghar tells Arya that if she comes across the Narrow Sea with him she can learn how to take a new face and name too. She tells him no because she wants to get home so he gives her an iron coin. He tells her to give it to any man from Braavos and say “valar morghulis” to find him again. He leaves in a mysterious swirl of darkness and awesomeness.
Overnight, the Bloody Mummers turned cloak and joined the northerners, killing Amory Lorch’s men. The incident becomes known around the castle as dying of hot Weasel Soup.
That evening the new master of Harrenhal arrives. It’s Roose Bolton. Rorge and Biter out Arya as the one responsible for Weasel Soup. Roose is somewhat impressed so he makes her his cup bearer. The Bloody Mummers give Amory Lorch to the bear to be torn apart. Oh well.
Dany expects the House of the Undying to be extra opulent. But it isn’t. It’s a crumbling ruin. By the way, this chapter would be best if I was on hallucinogens rather than alcohol, but I’ll do my best.
The building looks like a serpent and is surrounded by trees whose plants make the Shade of the Evening which is the magic drink the warlocks take. Jhogo thinks it looks evil and Aggo agrees. Xaro and Jorah tell her the Warlocks are worthless and won’t do anything for her. Dany does not heed the warnings and even when Pyat Pree tells her she has to go alone she’ s still desperate enough to agree to those terms.
Pyat tells Dany the Undying Ones are dangerous and if she values her soul she’ll to always take the rightward door and climb up never down. He tells her not to enter any room until she gets to the audience chamber. A dwarf gives her a glass of evening shade and Pyat tells her she has to take it. This is sounding sketchier by the moment. At least she has Drogon with her!
Dany sees many creepy things, A naked woman being eaten by little rat men, a bunch of corpses killed at a feast while a dead man with a wolf head presides, her old house with the lemon tree and Willem Darry, a Targ (Rhaegar) on the iron throne with baby Aegon saying there must be one more because the dragon must have three heads.
Dany reaches a dead end. There are only stairs going down and there are no doors on the right. Drogon is freaking out. Then it occurs to her that the first door on the right = the last door on the left. Yay!
Finally she bursts out into the courtyard to find Pyat standing there telling her she’s only been gone a few minutes. Dafuq? That’s like the end of Contact (movie version). He tries to guide her away but she decides to take the next rightward door anyway. This causes him to cry and yell. She turns out to have made the good choice. She gets to an ebony and weirwood door and beyond it are wizards that seem like they must be the Undying.
Drogon freaks out and bites at the ebony and weirwood door. She runs away and into a room with a big stone table. Above the table floats a big blue throbbing heart. Huh? Around the table are blue shadows. Maybe these are the real undying? Maybe Dany is just high as fuck? All the creepy Undying people are blue and withered and don’t breathe or move. They just whisper. Ick.
They tell her “three heads has the dragon…three fires must you light…one for life and one for death and one to love…three mounts must you ride …one to bed and one to dread and one to love…three treasons will you know…once for blood and once for gold and once for love.” So many ellipses! So many…so many…
They call her “mother of dragons, daughter of death” and show her Viserys dying, a man with silver hair and copper skin before a fiery stallion banner, Rhaegar dying with his rubies, a red sword in the hand of a blue eyed king who casts no shadow (Stannis prolly) and a mummer’s cloth dragon.
Fuck me this chapter is cool to read but a pain to write up. Is it over yet? No? Ok…
A stone beast flies from a burning tower and the phantoms say “mother of dragons, slayer of lies…” and then she sees a corpse on ship and the phantoms say “mother of dragons, bride of fire…” More ellipses! So many!
Then the visions come to fast to process, the phantoms start grasping her and then Drogon comes to the rescue. He burns them and burns the whole damn building. Dany escapes and Pyat is pissed. Now I think I’m tripping by proxy 😦
It’s the eve of battle with Stannis. Tyrion sends Shagga and the Stone Crows to hunt down his scouts. Sending the clansmen away leaves Tyrion feel vulnerable because he doesn’t trust Bronn’s sellswords. Can’t imagine why
Tyrion also doesn’t trust the Gold Cloaks. Neither does their leader Jacelyn Bywater. He thinks they’ll desert if the battle starts turning against the Lannisters. It’s looking bad. So bad. Especially since the smallfolk are still hungry and pissed off. Who can blame them?
Tyrion reflects on the loss of Harrenhal for the Lannisters and the loss of Winterfell for the Starks. Tyrion finds himself empathetic to the Starks but pushes that thought of the way. Don’t try to hide it Tyrion. You know you’re as much of a Stark fan as most of the readers! Especially since no one likes Theon.
Later Tyrion goes to the swearing in ceremony for the new King’s Guard. He approves of Balon Swann. He doesn’t approve of Osmund Kettleblack. Kettleblack is shady. We know this is true because of literary shorthand/stereotyping. He’s low born with a hook nose and a spade shaped beard. Like the devil. Oh noes!
Later Tyrion meets with Pyromancer (pie romancer!) Hallyne. Hallyne claims to have 13,000 jars of wildfire. Tyrion is skeptical but Hallyne claims that in addition to finding an old cache, the spells to make new “substance” are working better than usual. We are to infer that it’s because of the dragons. Hallyne even asks if there are dragons about. Tyrion is skeptical of course but Hallyne remembers that magic died out with the last dragon so it is all kinds of suspicious.
Later on Varys arrives with the news that some people think Stannis will win and are on his side. They call themselves the Antler Men. Tyrion orders them arrested.
Deaths in this recap: 2. Amory Lorch of course. I’m also counting Jaqen.
Cumulative deaths: 59
Maybe deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative maybe deaths: 2
Betrayals in this recap: 1 I’m counting Arya saying Jaqen’s name. I understand it, but it was still kind of shitty.
Cumulative betrayals: 15
Incest incidents: 0
Cumulative incests: 25