Book I am reading: A Storm of Swords
Chapters: Prologue, Jaime I, Catelyn I
Booze in my flagon: malbec
I was sick last weekend so didn’t feel up to blogging. But now I will finally get to start recapping ASOS. I’m already wondering how the hell I’m going to cover the RW…
Our latest soon to be dead narrator is Chett. He’s the worst. You might remember as the zit covered Night’s Watch man who used to be Aemon’s steward before Jon got them to give Sam the job. He really resents them now.
Chett’s new job is taking care of the dogs. It’s really cold up near the fist lately and the dogs are uneasy. They refuse to hunt. Chett’s friend Lark the Sisterman is with him as is a big guy named Small Paul who seems to be developmentally disabled. It is revealed that they plan to kill Lord Commander Mormont and run away somewhere south. Chett doesn’t want to be killed by wildlings who are according to Thoren Smallwood’s rangings on the move and coming towards them. He means to live. I think we all know that means he’s about to die. But how?
We learn a little about Chett’s backstory now. His father caught and sold leeches in Hag’s Mire which is part of Walder Frey’s domain. He stabbed a girl for turning him down for sex and got sent to the Wall for his crime. See? I told you he was the worst. He doesn’t even think he did anything wrong. Now he plans to go kill Craster and take over his creep. Such delusion. He’s basically the Elliot Rodger of Westeros.
Finally Chett and his friends return back to the Fist. They encounter a bunch of men doing archery practice. Including Sam. Chett goes into a rage at the sight of him. He really, really hates having had his job stolen.
The temperatures are falling even more. The creepy feeling from the prologue of AGOT is starting to set in. As the night falls, Dywen is commenting on how the forest is too quiet. No frogs, owls or wolves to be seen or heard.
All of a sudden, Mormont calls for an assembly of all the NW brothers. Mormont has been convinced by Smallwood to march on the wildlings. The wildlings outnumber them but are ill trained and armed so Mormont seems to think a sneak attack will work. Of course, what they don’t know is that Orell lives on his eagle and is spying all the time. The whole group shouts out their vows together. As their voices die down it gets creepy again. The wind whistles and Mormont’s raven says “die.”
Later that night as Chett is waiting for the time to attack Mormont, Same and the rest to come it starts snowing. The snow will ruin the plan but Chett just thinks fuck it, might as well murder Sam anyway. Then even that plan is foiled as the sound of the horn rings out. At first he thinks maybe Halfhand and Jon are back. A single blast means brothers returning. But then a second blast comes. Two blasts means wildlings.
Then comes a third and final blast. The ravens start going nuts. Three blasts haven’t sounded in thousands of years. Three blasts mean the Others are there. Chett pisses himself and on that note the chapter ends and we don’t get to find out what happens for a good long while.
Jaime is pretty damn happy to be out of the dungeon. In fact, “an east wind blew through his tangled hair, as soft and fragrant as Cersei’s finger.” Ewwww. Brienne is in a much more serious mood though. Jaime is about as much of a jerk as you expected him to be before he became a POV character and he keeps thinking about how big and ugly Brienne is. He even compares her to a cow. Sigh.
He barely remembers his escape from Riverrun. He was super drunk and Brienne, Catelyn and Cleos Frey had to do all the work. He eventually passed out. The deal is, Jaime has to find Arya and Sansa and bring them back safely to Catelyn and he also had to swear not to take up arms against the Starks/Tullys anymore.
Jaime is asking to have his chains off but Brienne is not having it. He calls her wench which she doesn’t like. They banter for awhile and Cleos tries and fails to get Jaime to be nice. Cleos is the son of Genna Frey nee Lannister who as we’ll see later is awesome and Emmon Frey who is a big loser. He’s very weak willed and afraid of Tywin. That’s why Cleos, despite being a Frey is team Lannister.
Now Jaime is remembering that wacky time he defenestrated Bran. He kind of regrets it. Not because of empathy or anything. Because it’s caused him a lot of trouble. Even Cersei wasn’t pleased about it. This is why Jaime doesn’t think that Cersei could have been the one to send that catspaw after him. He also thinks she would have sent Jaime if he wanted the boy dead. So who did send him? Maybe we’ll find out later.
Jaime has Cleos shave off his hair in hopes that he won’t be recognized. I’m glad they didn’t do that in the show because bald, bearded Jaime would have looked a bit Walter White for my taste. He also has a bunch of louses that have to be picked out. Ew. Jaime sees his reflection and thinks Cersei will hate the fact that he doesn’t look as much like her now that he’s bald and looks a gaunt mess. That. Is. So. Fucked up.
They are sailing down the river and the countryside is all deserted and sad. Usually the Trident is bustling. One of my favorite things about ASOIAF is that GRRM makes sure to include the toll that war takes on the common people. That’s usually glossed over in fantasy. Or any other fiction in which there is a war.
Eventually they spot a fire. They see a ruined building and a slew of female corpses hanging from a tree. Jaime wants to move on but Brienne insists that they should get a proper burial. A sign hung around one woman’s neck that said “they lay with lions.” Lesson learned. The Stark side isn’t 100% pure either. At this point Cleos tells them that Bolton has Harrenhal. That makes their trip even more dangerous.
The grave digging work is cut short when Brienne spots a sail in the distance. It’s Tully colored. Apparently it didn’t take long for the Tully men to discover Cat’s misbehavior. The boat eventually gets close enough for Robin Ryger, the Tully captain at arms and Jaime to exchange taunts. It seems like they’re pretty screwed but Brienne eventually manages to leave the boat, climb up a nearbye cliff and throw huge boulders down at Ryger’s ship. This slowed them down and Brienne and Jaime manage to escape.
Cat is in some trouble. The castellan, Desmond Grell and Hoster’s steward Utherydes Wayn feel bad for her because of the (supposed) deaths of Bran and Rickon but they really have no choice but to punish her. They let her off easy and confine her in Hoster’s chambers even though she offers to take Jaime’s fetters.
At this point, Hoster is dying and delirious and doesn’t know who anyone even is. He keeps calling her “Tansy” Catelyn doesn’t know who that is. He keeps saying “forgive me” as well. He also speaks of dead babies.
Later, a raven arrives. Catelyn learns that Robb was injured storming the Crag, one of the Lannister’s holdings. He should be OK but is temporarily laid up. Hoster is at his ramblings again and she wonders if Tansy is some pet name for Lysa. Lysa had several miscarriages which devastated her.
The next day, Edmure comes home. And he is pissed. He sent a raven to Harrenhal offering money for Jaime’s recapture. Uh oh.
Deaths in this recap: 0 We all know a whole bunch of NW men are about to die though
Cumulative deaths: 85.
Maybe deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative maybe deaths: 8
Betrayals in this recap: 0
Cumulative betrayals: 19
Incest incidents: 0
Cumulative incests: 25
Book I am reading: A Clash of Kings. Last chapters!
Chapters: Tyrion XV, Jon VIII, Bran VII
Booze in my flagon: Pinot noir
Tyrion is not dead after all. Did anyone think he was? He has all kinds of dreams. Including one in black and white with ravens and everyone dead. Including wolves, lions and stags. He feels guilty about killing them all. Hmm. This must be a foreshadowing but fuck if I know what it is foreshadowing.
He spends an unspecified amount of time in a milk of the poppy induced half awake and half asleep state. Finally he awakes for reals and Podrick is there with a new maester. Oh no wait. He got tricked into drinking more roofie juice and goes back to dreamland. This time it’s a nice dream in which he’s being feasted as a hero.
Finally Tyrion wakes again and sort of gets up. He realizes he’s been taken out of his bedchamber and is in some little dank cold room somewhere. Gratitude: King’s Landing style.
Argh! Now he’s dreaming again. I’m getting sick of this. Especially since he’s dreaming of Tysha and I’m given the painful reminder that a couple of books from now I’m going to have to read the phrase “where do whores go?” so many times. Ugh. The memories are all romantical but he knows she’s really a whore so it’s fake. Blah, blah, blah.
Now he’s awake again and he convinces the maester to stop drugging him by choking him with his maester’s chain. Lovely. He makes the maester take off his face bandages. Except this isn’t the Twilight Zone. There’s no beautiful face underneath.
Nope. Motherfucker is practically noseless now. Ouch.
He finds out the maester’s name is Ballabar. He’s in Maegor’s holdfast and of course Tywin has taken over as hand. Poor Tyrion is now powerless and friendless except for Pod. Good old Pod.
Jon and Qhorin have given up hope and are basically waiting for death so they’re like “fuck it, might as well make a fire.” I’ve got to commend them for holding out all this time. I’d have given in to the campfire urge ages ago. Of course, they have no s’mores so that makes it a little less tempting. The two of them are the only ones of the five left. Ebben was sent to find Mormont. Dalbridge is presumed dead because they heard a horn or something.
Jon, Qhorin and Stonesnake tried to sneak away but that stupid skinchanged eagle is following them. I just realize now the GRRM was pretty prophetic. This is pretty much the Westeros version of a drone but drones weren’t a thing back in the 90s when this was written. Eventually Stonesnake’s horse broke a leg and had to be killed so he got left behind to try to make it back to the Fist on foot. He’s also presumed about to be dead.
So here they are, sitting round a fire waiting for the wildlings to come. Qhorin makes Jon say the Night’s Watch vows with him. He then commands Jon to yield and join up with the wildlings. He tells Jon to do whatever they ask to prove his loyalty. He instructs him to bide his time and watch. Find out what they’re up to. He says “if the Wall should ever fall, all the fires will go out.” Nice and ominous.
They backtrack in hopes of tricking the wildlings and hide in a gorgeous sounding waterfall that’s nestled in some cliffs. Jon starts to have some hope that this will work and he won’t have to deal with the wildlings. Sadly, when they emerge in the morning the eagle drone is perched on the rocks waiting for them. They stay in the crack (teehee) to wait and make a stand. Ghost included.
Eventually, 14 wildlings approach. They are led by a creepy guy Qhorin calls Rattleshirt. He and his horse are armored in bones. Both animal and human. I’m not really sure how this would work, but whatever. It’s cool and scary so it doesn’t really matter. The two of them are old enemies so they have some typical action movie style witty banter. Also, one of the wildlings produces Ebben’s decapitated head.
Then Jon and Qhorin finally put their plan into action. Qhorin pretends to be pissed off that Jon is yielding and calls him a coward. Rattleshirt thins he is a craven and wants to just kill him but Ygritte is there and insists he’s worth taking. So Rattleshirt agrees to take him. If he’ll kill Qhorin Halfhand. Qhorin is such a good fighter that he almost wins. Even when he is fighting half assed. Ghost has to step in and help out by biting him in the calf. At last Jon manages to cut Qhorin’s throat and kill him. It is then that poor naïve Jon finally realizes that Qhorin knew all along that Jon would have to kill him.
Finally! We know for sure that Bran is alive. Yay! It turns out that he and the crew doubled back to Winterfell and have been hiding in the crypts this whole time. Bran has been taking refuge in his wolf dreams and each time it is getting harder to bring him back. Because of the warging, Bran knows what went down in Winterfell. This last time he was gone inside Summer for three whole days. Jojen and Meera are growing concerned. They inform that eating as a wolf will not do anything to feed the boy. He’ll starve if he keeps staying in Summer for so long.
Because of what Bran saw, they decide it’s finally time to venture upstairs again. They leave with Meera stealing Lord Rickard’s sword. The door is blocked by debris so Hodor has to push through. Almost immediately Summer and Shaggydog find them. They forage for food and fin a bunch of corpses. Including Poxy Tym. At first Bran assumes the Ironborn did it but Osha points out that they are amongst the corpses. Including Black Lorren.
They go to the godswood and there they find maester Luwin injured and dying. Ack! I hate this part. It always kills me. He’s still able to talk a little bit and he reveals that he had suspected all along that the miller’s boys weren’t really Bran and Rickon. He tells them what happened at Winterfell and councils the group to split up so the two princes aren’t together. He asks Osha to put him out of his misery. 😦
Afterwards they decide that Osha will take Rickon and Bran will go with Hodor, Jojen and Meera. After Osha and Rickon depart, Bran asks if they will go to Greywater Watch. But Jojen declares that they have to go north.
That concludes A Clash of Kings. Next week we start A Storm of Swords.
Deaths in this recap: 5. Luwin (sob!), Black Lorren, Poxy Tym, Ebben and Qhorin (double sob)!
Cumulative deaths: 85. This is a lot of deaths for two books. Especially considering these are just the named characters.
Maybe deaths in this recap: 2. Squire Dalbridge and Stonesnake.
Cumulative maybe deaths: 8
Betrayals in this recap: 1. Instead of gratitude from Tywin, Tyrion gets demoted and put in a shitty little cell.
Cumulative betrayals: 19
Incest incidents: 0 It’s been awhile.
Cumulative incests: 25
Going to Harrenhal, gonna bathe in a lot of leeches (to the tune of the song Peaches by the Presidents of the United States)
Book I am reading: A Clash of Kings
Chapters: Arya X, Sansa VIII, Theon VI
Booze in my flagon: Cabernet-sauvignon
Arya, morbid little creature she is spends her time looking at the tar dipped heads of the Lannister men killed after the Weasel Soup thing happened. There are lots of corvids constantly circling around the heads and eating at them. Mostly crows but sometimes the maester’s ravens join in the fun. Arya likes to imagine that one of the heads belongs to Joffrey and I can’t say I blame her.
Bolton’s men killed many people at Harrenhal. Including servants like Harra the goodwife, Tothmure the maester and Lucan the armorer. That’s pretty fucked up because they were just trying to survive and didn’t have much choice other than going with the flow. The women who slept with any Lannister men were stripped and shaved and left out for the use of any man who wanted to be with them. That’s MEGAAAAAAAAA fucked up. Ew, ew, ew! Clearly being a northerner does not make one a good guy.
Arya runs into Gendry and he’s a little pissed off at her for destroying the peace. Plus, the Bloody Mummers are now in Roose Bolton’s service and they are even more terrible than they were before.
Later while doing errands, Arya runs into Elmar Frey. He’s Roose’s squire. I think by now we’ve all learned to preemptively headdesk every time a Frey enters the picture. This kid doesn’t seem all that bad though. Just a run of the mill brat. What’s funny about the encounter is that unbeknownst to Arya, he was the Frey that Catelyn and Robb betrothed her to. He has a history of bragging to Arya that he’s supposed to marry a princess. It never once occurs to Arya that he’s talking about her. I also find it kind of implausible that he never mentions her name, but whatever.
Arya, who is now Roose’s cupbearer goes to attend him as he’s bathing in leeches. Bathing in leeches. Bathing in leeches. Huh? Why would you do this voluntarily?
Gross! Anyway, this gives Arya an opportunity to listen in on his plans. The Freys are worried that they’ll be besieged and starve but Roose intends no such thing. He doesn’t seem concerned at all. The Freys have lost confidence in Robb because he lost Winterfell and Bran and Rickon are dead. Sadly, this is how Arya learns of what happened at Winterfell. From a fucking Frey. Another thing Arya overhears is that there is a pack of wolves roaming the Riverlands and attacking men. This will probably be important later because they are probably led by Nymeria. She also finds a map of the Riverlands when she’s alone and cleaning Roose’s chambers.
Later on when Arya is practicing her swordplay and reciting her prayer/kill list she witnesses a raven delivering a message. She wonders what it is. Probably nothing good. Dark wings, dark words and all that. Later when she’s attending to Roose before bed she asks if he’ll take her with when he leaves Harrenhal. He intimidatingly scolds her for questioning him, threatens to have her tongue cut out and never answers her. Yikes. And I thought people who don’t tip are bad.
As Arya leaves Roose’s to go off to bed she runs into Elmar Frey again. He’s crying. He doesn’t get to marry a princess anymore he says it’s because the Freys have been dishonored. He doesn’t elaborate and we don’t get to find out what the hell that means. Arya tells Elmar she hopes his princess dies. Um…
Arya goes to pray in the godswood and hears a wolf howl. She seems to gather strength from that and starts remembering her identity as a Stark. She sneaks into the room where Gendry sleeps and asks him to meet her later and bring swords and Hot Pie. She sneaks into Roose’s chamber and steals the map and his dagger. She then goes to the stables and tells the groom that Roose needs three horses. Luckily, Gendry and Hot Pie came to meet her. She kills the guard, whispers “valar morghulis” and they escape into the night.
Joffrey is holding a smug and celebratory court session. Blech. Tywin rode in on his warhorse. The horse pooped right in front of the throne. Go horse! All the Tyrells are there and they’re all rich and impressive looking. Garlan asks Joffrey to marry his sister Margaery. Joff pretends to protest because he had made a vow but the high septon decides to allow it. This is of course all a dog and (pooping?) pony show. Cersei had informed her in advance about what was going to happen. Sansa is pretty happy to be released from her engagement although she has to try not to show it.
Then the war heroes are honored. We learn that Lord Bryce Caron and Jon, Bryan and Edwyd Fossoway are amongst Stannis’ men who’ve been killed. They are given rewards for this. Littlefinger is given Harrenhal and made Lord Paramount of the Trident, a title that had been Hoster Tully’s. A bunch of captives are brought forth to pledge their allegiance to Joffrey and be freed. However a couple of Stannis Stans resist this and are killed. This causes Joffrey to have a hilarious toddler style tantrum and he has to be taken away. Bless.
Later Sansa goes back to godswood and Dontos is there. He informs her that she is to escape the night of Joffrey’s wedding. He gives her an amethyst hairnet to wear to the festivities. Why? I guess we’ll see.
Rodrik Cassel and the remaining northern men are outside of Winterfell, surrounding it. Maester Luwin is trying to get him to yield but Theon ain’t having it. Because the Ironborn are stubborn and stupid. Theon would rather die than yield. He tries to give an inspiring speech to his men but they are unimpressed. Only 17 agree to stay and fight. The rest leave to go back to the Iron Islands.
Theon goes out to treat with Rodrik who of course shames him for fucking up Winterfell and the Starks when Eddard had been pretty good to him. Rodrik demand Theon turn over the castle and himself. But Theon refuses. Because he has Rodrik’s daughter Beth as his hostage. He gives Rodrik until dawn to get his army out of there.
Theon retires to drink whine (typo and it stays) and wallow in self pity. Boo fucking hoo. Geez. He really is quite an ass in this book isn’t he? Luwin interrupts all the annoying angsting to once again plead that Theon leave and take the black. Of course Theon doesn’t love that idea because they aren’t allowed to get their dicks wet and it would be awkward to have to be around Jon Snow all the time. He starts to consider it anyway though.
Suddenly there’s a commotion outside and a servant comes over to inform Theon that some other northmen came over and are fighting Rodrik and co. Looks like the stanky servant Reek has delivered. Reek’s men win the fight and deliver the corpses of Rodrik, Leobald Tallhart and Cley Cerwyn to Theon. Luwin can’t even hide his dismay. Poor Luwin.
Theon opens the gates of Winterfell for Reek and his friends and notices that Reek is suddenly wearing all this fine armor. Weird. This is when we get a super villain speech and we learn that Reek was actually Ramsay Snow, Roose’s bastard all along. Holy shit! It’s like a soap. I can’t help but love secret identities. It’s a big part of why I love these books. Loads of secret identities. Ramsay’s men promptly start burning and killing everything. Starting with Ulf. Also Luwin got stabbed in the back 😦 Then Theon blacks out.
Deaths in this recap: 11. Now we’re talking. Most of these deaths happened off page and to minor characters though.
Cumulative deaths: 80
Maybe deaths in this recap: 2. Luwin who go stabbed and Theon who got his arse kicked.
Cumulative maybe deaths: 6
Betrayals in this recap: 1. Reek. Need I say more?
Cumulative betrayals: 18
Incest incidents: 0
Cumulative incests: 25