Secret Peen Leaches
Book I am reading: A Storm of Swords
Chapters: Arya I, Tyrion I, Davos I
Booze in my flagon: Cabernet Sauvignon
I know it’s been forever since I posted. First I was without an internet connection for a while. Then I moved and got a new job. Then my laptop started crashing constantly because it was dying. Ever since getting a new computer and finally getting around to reading the Dunk & Egg stories, my interest in doing these recaps again started to awake. Just like the White Walkers stirring again after thousands of years sleeping in the ice. But I was unmotivated because I figured nobody was reading it anyway. Then a new commenter at WHTM asked me about my blog and said some kind words and it was just what I needed to get started again. Thanks, Dave!
Arya, Gendry, and the magnificent Hot Pie are fleeing from Harrenhal. Wolves are howling in the distance and I just know that one of them is Nymeria. Because nobody can disrupt my fantasy that Arya and Nymeria and Nymeria’s wolfpack will get together and kick some serious ass someday.
Arya knows that Bolton’s men will come searching for them eventually. She’s thinking about Bolton and giving us the most beautiful mental image ever of leeches dotting Roose’s pasty flesh. I’ve got to say, I prefer the TV show’s leech imagery
Arya proves to be both smart and a smartass when she makes the decision to ride through the first stream they come to in order to throw Bolton hunting dogs off the scent. Those of you who have read ADWD will know that having Bolton dogs on your scent is not a fun thing. She also is glad that Hot Pie has become too afraid of her to question her choices because if he makes his own choices, he’s sure to do something stupid.
Arya on the other is not afraid. Even when they run into three wolves devouring a Bambi. I wonder if this foreshadows Arya killing Tommen someday since house Baratheon has a stag on their sigil and while technically not a Baratheon by blood, he does still bear the name. Or I’m reading waaay too much into things because this series has that effect on you.
The gang continues the Riverlands horror hellscape tour that they started in ACOK, riding past a burned village and a slew of hanged men who are now just bones because of rot and hungry wildlife. This causes her to say her death list prayer for the first time in this book. She adds fondling Jaqen’s coin to the ritual. I mean, who wouldn’t want to fondle Jaqen’s coin?
When day breaks, Hot Pie asks where there going over a breakfast of bread and cheese. Arya says they’re going north. She uses cheese to point north. I found that hilarious because cheese is funny. And delicious. Anyway, the actual important information in this exchange is that Arya’s plan is to get to the Trident and follow it to Riverrun and meet up with Robb. She doesn’t trust Hot Pie to keep a secret so she doesn’t say why it is they’ll be safe there. She thinks about how Gendry has a secret too, he’s just too much of a dumbass to know what it is. There are no secret Gendry peen leeches in book canon, so she must be talking about his secret Baratheon bastard blood.
Wait. Maybe the wolves devouring the fawn means that Gendry’s association with Starks will cause his ruin. I hope not!
The party continues on. This one time Arya sees a wolf pack on a distant hill. She howls at them and the biggest one howls back. NYMERIA SIGHTING! NYMERIA SIGHTING! Tell me that wasn’t a Nymeria sighting!
The boys are getting tired and cranky after only one day. They start to worry that they’re lost. They want to try and follow that river to get the Trident and argue with her for the first time. But of course Arya wins and they continue on north. Crossing non-Trident rivers as needed.
We’re starting to get into rambling travelogue territory. Just a little preview of what’s to come in the Bran chapters and the Brienne chapters in AFFC. Hopefully something happens soon.
They’re all getting cranky and tired. Arya falls asleep on her horse. Gendry finally convinces her they need to stop and sleep.
Finally some action. Arya has a dream. Not really a dream, of course. She’s warging Nymeria. She and her wolfpack hunt down some of the Bloody Mummers that are hunting Arya. Doesn’t Bloody Mummers sound like a British term for underwear that have period blood stains on them? Nymeria/Arya and the pack kill the Mummers. They’re unnamed. Unfortunately, two of the wolves are killed in the fight. But Nymeria/Arya rips the arm off of one of them and shakes it. So the chapter ends and finally we get some of the violence and bloodshed we read these books for.
Tyrion wakes up all sick and dehydrated and confused. You’d think being a Lannister, this means he has a hangover. But, no. Tyrion is a hot mess because he was almost killed in battle.
Bronn’s come to his bedside to mock his busted nose. GRRM decides to describe the cut up nose meat as “proud flesh.” That sounds more like a romance novel euphemism for penis than it does a sword wound, but okay.
Bronn reveals that Tywin has had him knighted and his now Ser Bronn of the Blackwater. His sigil is a green chain on a smoke grey field. This makes me wonder, would the sigil of a late 90s/early aughts emo kid be a silver wallet chain on a black denim field?
Bronn updates Tyrion on the battle news that we already know from having read ACOK. He does confirm that Jacelyn Bywater, who heads the gold cloaks died. Lannister loyalist Addam Marbrand has the job now. We’ve learned that all of Tyrion’s mountain clan friends have been chased off home. But Shagga has taken up residence in the Kingswood. A favorite place for Robin Hood types. Bronn also informs Tyrion that Alayaya has been released. But Cersei had her flogged in the yard first. Tyrion has promised to do to Tommen whatever Cersei did to Alayaya, but the Kettlebacks are now for sure Cersei’s and they retrieved him from Rosby and put him back in the queen’s care.
Thus this book’s arc of Tyrion and the rest of his family turning against each other completely is established.
Tyrion knows Bronn isn’t such a reliable ally anymore, but he still asks him to dig for info on Mandon Moore, the Kingsguard who tried to kill him.
Tyrion wants to go see Tywin so he has Bronn and Pod help him get out of bed and get dressed. The journey to Tywin’s is humiliating and disconcerting. Tyrion is too weak to climb stairs and has to be carried by Bronn. There are also tents everywhere because the city is overrun by Tyrell men. The Rose takeover has begun.
They run into Marbrand and he informs them that Tyrion’s cousin Tyrek who disappeared in the riots is still missing. These were in the days before Amber alerts were a thing, so they’re probably not going to find. I only bring it up because it’s discussed so often in the books. So it’s probably some sort of plot or conspiracy. Or ancient aliens.
When Tyrion enters Tywin’s lair, Tywin is even more of a cold asshole than usual and he promptly kicks Bronn and Pod out of the room. This can’t be good. Tyrion tries to play it cool and banters about the upcoming Joffrey and Margaery wedding, but Tywin isn’t playing along and wants to get straight to the point because he has important letters to write. In retrospect, we know what those letters are about. Shudder. He says the most chilling line of the series “some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens.”
Tywin moves on to giving him a hard time about his decision to participate in the fighting. Important war strategy shit is discussed. Tyrion wonders why Tywin is pretty blasé about the Stark/Tully front. But we know why. Oh we know why.
Tyrion wants some gratitude and fatherly love, but of course Tywin is withholding it and mocking him for even wanting praise. Finally Tyrion comes out and says it. He doesn’t just want praise. He wants to inherit Casterly Rock. Tywin calls it Jaime’s birth right. He’s in denial about Jaime being a Kingsguard, therefore ineligible to inherit. Tywin says he’s never gonna get it.
As if that wasn’t enough terrible parenting, Tywin reveals that he blames Tyrion for killing Joanna in childbirth and spills out a torrent of insults at him. Damn!
The chapter closes with Tywin saying that Tyrion is done with whores and the next one he finds in Tyrion’s bed will be hung. Shae. You in danger girl!
Davos is stranded on a rocky island after being washed out to sea during the battle. He starving, thirsty and has a mean case of diarrhea. He’s started to resign himself to death. But then he sees a sailboat approaching. He’s not sure he wants to flag it down and live because after the brutal death of his sons, he doesn’t know what he has to live for.
We get treated to a replay of the horrific inferno of Blackwater. Why? Because GRRM likes to traumatize I guess. To make things worse, Davvos’ luck (AKA his severed fingerbones) is gone.
So pretty much, he wants to die. But then, he remembers that Melisandre is the worst. She is, in his mind, responsible for all the deaths. Thoughts of vengeance make him want to flag down the ship.
The ship is manned by Lyseni. Davos knows they’re Salladhor Saan’s men. So when they ask who he serves, he answers “Stannis” and the crew takes him aboard.
And that was it. A short, fairly uneventful chapter. I always forget that as action packed and full of twists this book is, it starts a bit slow.
Hopefully I’ll get a new post up on Saturday. It’s good to be back!
Deaths in this recap: 1 named character. Bywater confirmed dead.
Cumulative deaths: 86
Maybe deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative maybe deaths: 8
Betrayals in this recap: 5 All in Tyrion’s chapter. Bronn is now Tywin’s, the Kettleblack triad has gone to Cersei and Tywin dramatically revealed just how much he loathes Tyrion. Ouch.
Cumulative betrayals: 24
Incest incidents: 0 It’s been awhile, right?
Cumulative incests: 25