Book I am reading: A Storm of Swords
Chapters: Sansa I, Jon I, Daenerys I
Booze in my flagon: Pinot Noir
After much hype, Margaery Tyrell has finally arrived in King’s Landing and she has sent Sansa a dinner invite. She’s pretty nervous because she wonders why the future queen would want to break bread with a traitor’s daughter. She dreams up every bad thing that could possibly happen and then actually wishes the Hound was there. That’s how I know she must really be traumatized. You know KL is shit when a pervy guy with a burned off face and anger management issues is looking good.
The night of the dinner, Loras comes to pick her up. Oh is she excited about that! She tells him he looks lovely. We learn from him the Lady Olenna Tyrell AKA the Queen of Thrones will be at the supper. Yaaasss! It’s a damn shame it took three whole books to meet her for the first time.
But before we meet Olenna, we get some more of Sansa prattling on about how pretty and well dressed Loras is. She talks about the tourney where he gave her a red rose and he doesn’t so much remember. Sansa is clueless and is maybe the only one in Westeros who doesn’t know about him and Renly so of course she talks about Renly. That doesn’t go over too well, let’s just say.
Things get a little less tense when they arrive at the Tyrell quarters. There are a whole bunch of other women and girls there, but the only one that counts is Olenna of course. She’s very sweet to Sansa but does mock men a lot. In fact I saw a thread over on the Westeros forums that was seriously posing the question of whether or not she is a misandrist. That’ how I know she’s cool. She makes fun of Renly for thinking that knowing how to dress makes him a viable king, says the Baratheons have queer notions (no, not that kind of queer) and blames it on their bit of Targaryen blood. She makes fun of Loras saying that being able to knock men off a horse with a stick doesn’t make him wise and calls her son Mace the lord oaf of Highgarden. All truths.
Then the Tyrell’s fool Butterbumps is summoned. Butterbumps looks exactly as he imagine he might. While he’s doing tricks involving juggling and chicks to distract everyone else, Olenna decides to have some real talk. She tells Sansa that Mace is stupid for getting involved with the Lannisters and asks her to tell the truth about Joffrey.
Of course Sansa, not being as stupid as people think she is knows better than to be honest about it. She just says a bunch of platitudes about how brave and comely he is. Lady Olenna can tell she’s not exactly being forthright. She demands cheese from the servant and the truth from Sansa.
I love her.
Anyway, Sansa’s kind of starting to slip and spill the tea on Joffrey, She pleads to them not to make her tell. So Olenna makes Butterbumps sing The Bear and the Maiden Fair because in the Red Keep, the walls have ears and this way they can speak freely. She finally tells them Joffrey is a monster. Of course, they don’t seem too terribly surprised about that. Olenna offers to let her stay at Highgarden and get married. Poor Sansa with her utter lack of gaydar thinks that means she’s going to marry Loras.
Cue the sad trumpet noise.
They actually want to marry her to Willas. Which doesn’t sound too bad. He’s the heir to Highgarder and supposedly a nice and not at all oafish person. He has a bum leg, but other than that seems to be a catch. Could things finally be looking up for Sansa?
It’s ASOIAF. So probably not.
When we meet up again with Jon for the first time this book, he’s arrived a the wildling encampment on the Milkwater. Rattleshirt hasn’t exactly warmed up to him yet. He warns him that Mance will know he’s a big fake and kill him and Ghost. I guess Rattleshirt is the ASOIAF answer to the Wicked Witch of the West.
A notorious raider called The Weeper due to permanently watery eyes and some other wildlings greet the party. They all walk through the encampment and Jon notices how disorganized and vulnerable it is. He remembers Ned always telling him that nine times out of ten, discipline beats numbers.
The finally go into Mance’s tent. There’s six people inside and nobody tells Jon which one is Mance. It makes Jon feel a bit awkward. There are two men who are clearly great warriors, so he presumes it to be one of them. The earless warrior dude starts questioning Rattleshirt and asks Jon for his name. Jon, more awkward than ever introduces himself and calls Earless “Your Grace.”
Everybody laughs at him. It turns out the innocuous gray haired dude playing the lute is really Mance Rayder and he already knows Jon to be Ned Stark’s bastard. It turns out Earless is Styr, the Magnar of Thenn. The other warrior, a big bearded guy covered in chicken grease is Tormund Giantsbane. There is a pregnant woman named Dalla who is Mance’s lady friend, her sister Val who looks like a Swedish supermodel or something, and Val’s fuckbuddy Jarl.
Mance gets rid of everybody so he can question Jon in peace. He tells Jon how he recognized him. He had been to Winterfell twice. Once when he was still in the Nightswatch still when Jon was a kid. The other time was during Robert’s visit. He had joined Robert’s procession as a lute player in order to gain entry and check things out. Cheeky.
Mance mentions guest right. How it’s as old as the First Men and sacred as a heart tree. Hmm…
Anyway, the point is, Jon, having eaten his food is safe under guest right at least for the night. Like Lady Olenna in the last chapter, he wants the truth. He wants to know why he’s in his tent. To appease and flatter Mance and buy some time, he says he’ll tell why he turned his cloak if Mance tells why he turned his. Mance tells some story about a red cloak made of silk from Asshai, but in a nutshell, he left because the NW hates him for his freedoms. So Jon told Mance he was bitter about being a bastard and not being treated as well for it. He knew an anti-establishment reason would sound good to Mance and it worked. Jon is now in.
Daenerys has somehow managed to herd the nervous Dothraki and their nervous horses into a ship and they’ve sailed from Quarth and are headed to Pentos. Dany’s in a better mood than we’ve seen for awhile. She likes the sea and likes watching her growing dragons fly and hunt. They’re still pretty small though. The size of small dogs. She asks Jorah how big dragons can get. Kind of sad that he knows more dragon lore than she does. He says they can live many times as long as a man but Targaryen dragons were bred for war and died in wars a lot.
Whitebeard/Arstan comes up and tells that Balerion died at two hundred, was big enough to swallow an aurochs whole, and that dragons never stop growing throughout their lives (kind of like my hips and stomach). Well they never stop growing as long as they have freedom. If dragons are penned up, they don’t get quite as big. I wonder why this Arstan guy knows so much about Targaryen dragons. It seems like there’s some important info here.
Jorah doesn’t believe him because humans don’t have their growth stunted by walls. I think the issue is more just that Jorah the fedora doesn’t like anyone else talking to his woman.
Daenerys asks Arstan if he knew her father and he said that he in fact did. She asks about Aerys and also Rhaegar. Arstan tries to be diplomatic about them when discussing Aerys’ ahem, volatile nature and Rhaegar being Arthur Dayne’s peer when it comes to sword fighting. In what has become a recurring them lately, she asks for the truth.
He tells her that Rhaegar was actually a big old nerdy bookworm as a kid. Until he found something in the scrolls he was reading that changed him. What that was is a mystery, but it caused him to want to learn to fight. He tells Willem Darry “It seems I must be a warrior.” Rhaegar did become a competent fighter but it was not something he necessarily had a natural gift for.
Of course, Jorah the fedora is all jealous and pissy that Dany is listening to someone else. He warns her that he probably isn’t who he says he is and is not to be trusted.
Later that night, Jorah visits her in the middle of the night. She sleeps in the nude so has to wear her blanket to cover herself. She was in the middle of feeding her dragons by charring meat over the fire and giving them the command “Dracarys” so they’ll spit fire at it and eat it. This is where we learn that Dracarys means dragonfire in high Valyrian. That’s probably a notable fact only to me because I named my cat Dracarys.
Jorah asks to speak with her in private. I feel a creepin’ coming on! She sends Irri and Jhiqui away. Predictably, Jorah the fedora just wants to grouse about Arstan, Strong Belwas and Ilyrio Mopatis again. He proposes a new plan. He wants to go to Slaver’s Bay and obtain an army of Unsullied. The Unsullied are slave warriors who have a reputation for being absolutely unshakeable.
Dany ends up liking this plan. A lot. She gets all excited by it and is getting dressed to go tell the ship’s captain Groleo to change course. Then it happens. He kisses her. She tells him he shouldn’t have done that and he pretty much awkwardly proposes that they get married and become a dragonrider.
Deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative deaths: 86
Maybe deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative maybe deaths: 8
Betrayals in this recap: 0
Cumulative betrayals: 24
Incest incidents: 0
Cumulative incests: 25
By the numbers, these charters weren’t terribly eventful. They were heavy on backstory and foreshadowing though.