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