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