Book I am reading: A Clash of Kings
Chapters: Sansa VI, Tyrion XIV
Booze in my flagon: Pinot grigio. Plus the fumes of the bug spray I’ve been using to fight a recent fly infestation.
Sansa is having a tense dinner with her future mother in law. Cersei’s getting drunk which is good because we all know that drunk Cersei is the best Cersei. Cersei and I have that in common. I’m better with a wine wetted whistle too. Sadly, everyone’s buzz is harshed by Ilyn Payne lurking creepily in the back of the room.
Some scared newlywed women starts weeping uncontrollably and has to be escorted out. Cersei is of course contemptuous of this because tears are a woman’s weapon. Unlike a man’s weapon which is a sword. Sansa who is still flitting in and out of her simpleton phase of life points out that Cersei is the one who asked all these silly women to be there. Cersei explains that as queen it’s expected of her and it will make her look good if she is brave for the wives of the various lords and knights in King’s Landing should the Lannister’s win.
Then poor Sansa makes the mistake of asking what would happen if the castle falls. Cersei points out that the women, especially Sansa will be in for a bit of rape. She’s just a little too gleeful about this prospect for my taste. She then explains that she has no hope of seducing Stannis and tells the oh so scandalized Sansa that tears aren’t a woman’s only weapon. Totally appropriate thing to say to an adolescent girl.
They are interrupted by one of the Kettleblacks who reports what we already knew about Stannis’ fleet burning up. He also reports that three smallfolk tried to sneak out of the city. Cersei orders their heads put on spikes to serve as a warning to other potential traitors who commit the grievous sin of wanting to live. She subscribes to the Machiavellian school of ruling. But Sansa wants to rule with love. Awwww.
Now Cersei is really trashed. She starts talking about how she and Jaime used to dress in each other’s clothes as kids and were able to fool everyone. This both makes the twincest more creepy and reminds of Anne Rice books. Once they hit puberty it all changed and of course Jaime got all the respect. Drunk Cersei is super bitter about this.
Word comes that Stannis’ foot soldiers are rushing the castle and Tyrion will be leading the defense. Cersei reveals she knows about Sansa going to the godswood although she thinks it’s only to pray for a Stannis victory. She doesn’t seem to know about Dontos. She makes Sansa chug a glass of wine in hopes of getting some truth out of her. Once again, inappropriate! Anyway, she calls Ilyn forth. He has Ice. Cersei says he is ordered to use it on the both of them if Stannis wins. Uh oh.
First of all, let me acknowledge that Tyrion is wearing a helm. Unlike in the TV show. A bunch of tense and scary battle stuff happens. Somehow Tyrion manages to be a badass fighting Stannis’ men. I’m not sure how, but whatever. Plot armor. Pieces of exploded boat are floating in the river and make a sort of bridge. This bridge is where the battle is now taking place. Now things are getting very muddled and confused and Tyrion seems to be about to pass out from exhaustion. He sees Kingsguard member Ser Mandon Moore extending a hand to him.
Then, holy shit! Moore stabs Tyrion right in the face! Tyrion collapses and just as Moore is looming over him ready to go in for the kill, someone takes him out. It’s none other than Podrick Payne. I still want an explanation for how this happened. Wtf?
Ser Lancel comes into Maegor’s holdfast to tell them that the battle is lost and Tyrion is probably dead. Cersei orders Joffrey brought to Maegor’s and after that to pull up the drawbridge and seal them in. Poor dumb Lancel tries to protest because he knows that removing Joffrey from battle is terrible for morale. Cersei responded by slapping him in his motherfucking wound. Damn! That’s harsh!
Sansa is trying to comfort all the frightened ladies and help Lancel who’s on the floor in a bloody heap when Dontos appears out of nowhere and encourages her to go hide in her bedchamber. He says he’ll come for her when the fighting is done. She obeys.
In Sansa’s dark bedchamber a surprise is waiting for. It’s drunk and creepy Sandor who pops out of the dark and grabs her wrist. Gross. I don’t get SanSan shippers at all. Nope. Ick. He makes her look at him and tells her that he’s going and wants her go with. He even more creepily tells her that she promised him a song. She sings him the Mother’s hymn. He eventually skulks away.
When the sun rises Dontos, also drunk bursts into her room. He tells her that the Lannisters won the battle. Lord Tywin, the Tyrells and their allies saved the day.
Dany is finally fed up with Qarth’s bullshit. She refuses to wear the awkward one boob gown anymore. She changes back into Dothraki clothes. Good. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a male author write about times and places where the fashion is for women to wear a gown that only covers one boob. This makes zero sense. Most breasts need support. It really wouldn’t be a good look. Sorry dudes. It’s never going to happen.
Dany is going to the waterfront to sell some things so she can get a ship and flee. Now that she’s screwed with the warlocks they’ve put a hit out on her so she needs to get out. Xaro tries once again to her to marry him but she is not having it. She doesn’t trust him because he won’t even give her a single ship unless she gives him a dragon.
Dany and Jorah have quite a bit trouble convincing any captains to take them on. With the Dothraki and the dragons they make a pretty huge and dangerous group. As they walk, Jorah notices that they are being followed by two people. A Westrosi looking older man and a huge brown skinned guy.
Suddenly a Qartheen man steps into their path and offers Dany a pretty jeweled box. She thinks it’s a gift. However it contains a huge poisonous scarab. The old man knocks the box out of her hands and kills the scarabs. He doesn’t mean her ill after all. Probably not anyway. The old man tells her he is called Arstan aka Whitebeard and the other guy is Belwas. Jorah is all glowery and suspicious. Of course. Arstan and Belwas claim to have been sent by Magister Ilyrio. They have ships to bring her back to Pentos.
Deaths in this recap: 1 Pretty surprising considering we were covering a war but Ser Mandon Moore is the only named character to die.
Cumulative deaths: 69
Maybe deaths in this recap: 1. Tyrion. He was in a pretty bad way.
Cumulative maybe deaths: 4
Betrayals in this recap: 1. Ser Mandon Moore was supposed to be on the same side as Tyrion. What happened there?
Cumulative betrayals: 17
Incest incidents: 0
Cumulative incests: 25
Book I am reading: A Clash of Kings
Chapters: Theon V, Sansa V, Davos IV, Tyrion XIII
Booze in my flagon: Pinot Grigio
Theon is having a wolf dream. More like a wolf nightmare. Direwolves are chasing his ass and I’d say he deserves some nightmares wouldn’t you? This dream is interrupted by Reek creeping up on Theon’s bed with a candle. It’s OK, it’s consensual. Asha has arrived and Theon had previously requested he be alerted when that happens.
As Theon gets ready to receive Asha he reflects on the fact that he’s been having a lot of nightmares lately. Either he has a guilty conscience about what he’s done to the boys or there is some sort of supernatural meaning. In ASOIAF it really could be either. He even dreams about vagina dentata. Holy shit! How is that I’ve read this book three times previous to this recap adventure and I forgot about that? Is there so much what the fuckery in this series that I could forget something so important as a vagina piranha dream? Apparently so!
Anyway, after preening for what seems like forever, Theon has some guards take him downstairs. This is necessary because a lot of Theon’s men have been turning up dead. Gelmarr the Grim, Aggar, and Gynir Rednose are the names of the victims. It looks like the smallfolk of Winterfell are not taking so kindly to Theon charging in and killing Stark children. Who would’ve thunk it!?
Theon decided to judge Farlen the kennelmaster guilty of the deaths. Because why not? Theon sentenced him to death and executed him himself. Of course, Theon being Theon, the execution got bungled. It took three whole cuts to sever the head. Oops.
In typical Theon fashion, he doesn’t take any responsibility for this turn of events. He just blames Asha for it. Because she had the temerity to be Balon’s favorite. Misandry! He is even more outraged to find that Asha only brought 10 men to help him hold Winterfell.
Of course Asha is not too impressed by Theon’s “accomplishments” she calls him “Prince of Winterfell” in a mocking fashion and asks whether it was harder to kill the cripple or the babe. Tee-hee! I’m enjoying this chapter way too much aren’t I?
Asha and Theon break away from the great hall to speak in private and we learn that Roderick Cassel has at last beaten Dagmer Cleftjaw at Torrhen’s square. It looks like ol’ Rod is coming back to Winterfell and Dagmer is retreating with the surviving IB.
Theon is mad because Asha isn’t giving him enough aid. She rightfully points out that the IB are only good on the sea and Winterfell is too far inland. She knows that Theon will never hold it. She knows it was stupid as hell to commit the terrible PR move of killing Bran and Rickon.
After Asha leaves, Reek approaches Theon to offer his assistance. He asks leave to go get more men. A couple hundred of them. He lets him go. That night Theon has more nightmares. He wakes up and goes to survey Bran and Rickon’s dismembered heads. It is here in Theon’s thoughts we learn that those boys weren’t Bran and Rickon. They were the Miller’s boys. Theon only disguised them as the Stark boys. Oh snap!
After a morning of singing and praying with the other ladies in the sept, it is time to watch the guys ride out to battle. After a brief chat with Tyrion, Joffrey calls for her. Joffrey has a new sword of douchiness that he has named Hearteater. He plans to kill his uncle Stannis with it.
Because Joffrey is a stupid fucking creep he makes Sansa kiss his sword. I find the blowjob metaphor between adolescents a bit squicky but, whatever.
Sansa, who is as I always maintain, smarter than she seems tells Joffrey that her brother Robb always goes where the fighting is thickest because he’s all brave and shit. See, she’s manipulating Joffrey into going into the thick of battle and endangering himself by challenging his manliness. Good job S!
After some Sept going Sansa finally retreats to the safety of Maegor’s Holdfast. There she finds Falyse Stokeworth trying to coax poor Lollys inside. Shae is there too! I think this is the first time we learn that Lollys is pregnant from the gang rape she suffered at the riots. Horrible, sad stuff. But I’m glad it’s in here because in real life the disabled are frequently sexual abuse targets and people do forget that.
Inside the holdfast Sansa finds all the highborn ladies of King’s Landing. Ilyn Payne is there too. And he has Ned’s sword Ice. Then drunk Cersei comes in. Yes! I love drunk Cersei! Sansa asks what Payne is doing there and Cersei points out that he’s probably better than rapey conquerors. Truth? I guess?
This chapter is going to be hard to recap. I’ll admit that upfront.
Davos is on his ship the Black Betha. He is commanding with his son Matthos. There’s a lot of descriptions of the various ships in Stannis’ fleet and I’m sorry but I can’t and won’t go through it all. The only thing you need to know is that Stannis is on the land front across the Blackwater river from KL. He isn’t on the fleet. Also, Davos is feeling insecure because he’s masquerading as a lord but still feels like a smuggler from Flea Bottom deep down.
Davos is starting to get a little suspicious because he had heard that Tyrion was planning something to keep the Blackwater closed but instead the river is wide open. It’s almost like a trap Eventually all of Stannis’ fleet gets all bunched up in a small space in the river with only a small number of ships from Joff’s fleet and Davos is getting even more suspicious. I feel much forboding right now.
Archers from Joffrey’s army are firing from the city walls onto the Stannis fleet. Davos sees the signs of a chain but it hasn’t been raised yet. Still, for some reason he takes time to remember that he talked Stannis into leaving Melisandre behind on Dragonstone because she’s just the worst PR. And Davos hates her obviously.
Finally it becomes clear what is going to happen. Wildfire is being flung at Stannis’ fleet. Remember that water does not extinguish it. Stop, drop and roll doesn’t do shit. Wildfire keeps going until it burns off. If it gets you, you’re fucked. Plain and simple. Suddenly people are burning to death in terrible pain all around Davos.
Seriously, of all the horrible things that happen in the series, this is one of the worst for me. People burning alive is a nope. Do. Not. Want. Now the chain is raised. Davos’ sons have exploded and death awaits as the whole of Stannis’ fleet (except Sallador’s ship) are trapped in the river. Fuck.
Tyrion is atop the city walls watching the death and destruction wildfire is bringing Stannis’ fleet. I’m still shuddering. He thinks of it as a jade holocaust. I guess that lightens the mood a little bit. Only because Jade Holocaust sounds like a good band name.
Tyrion is still afraid that the chain/wildfire trick isn’t enough. Stannis’ ground army still outnumbers Joffrey’s army because so many of the Lannister soldiers are off fighting Robb.
Tyrion also acknowledges at this point that Joffrey’s small fleet and its men were sent out as a doomed decoy. They’re all burning to death just like Stannis’ men. Is that a war crime? I guess I see why it’s necessary but it’s really terrible and makes me uncomfortable.
Stannis’ men have brought a ram up to one of the city gates. He goes off to investigate and finds Sandor Clegane. The Hound is all freaked out by the fire, his one fear. He takes this inconvenient moment to rebel and also says this awesome thing that I feel every day
I hear you Sandor. I hear you. Who’s better? Drunk Cersei or drunk Hound? I just don’t know. We’ll see drunk Cersei in the next installment and can properly compare and contrast then.
With no Hound to lead the sortie, Tyrion has to step up and take charge. He gives a misanthropic yet inspiring speech as only Tyrion can do. It’s about how there will be no glory in this battle but winning is better because Stannis’ army will probably rape and pillage and that’s no good. Yay!?
Deaths in this recap: 7 Gelmarr, Aggar and Gynir. Dale, Matthos, Maric and Allard Seaworth. But then you have to subtract 2 because Bran and Rickon weren’t killed after all and the poor Miller’s boys have no name so they can’t technically be in the tally. They’re in my heart though. The real total is 5.
Cumulative deaths: 68
Maybe deaths in this recap: 1. Davos. What the hell happened to him? Poor Davos.
Cumulative maybe deaths: 3
Betrayals in this recap: 0
Cumulative betrayals: 16
Incest incidents: 0
Cumulative incests: 25