Westrosi Uncle Joey
Book I am reading: A Storm of Swords
Booze in my flagon: Pinot Grigio
Chapters: Catelyn IV, Davos IV, Jaime V
Oh good. Another ASOS Cat chapter. These are always cheerful! This chapter opens on the funeral of Hoster Tully. So far, I think this is the first natural death in the entire series. So, congrats Hoster for not getting executed or dying in war.
The Tullys have Viking funerals for some reason. I guess because they live by a river and it’s more convenient to send the body down the river in a boat and make it the problem of the people living downriver than building a crypt would be. At least they burn the body first so it’s not a festering maggoty corpse that the downriver people have to see and smell coming towards them.
Just in case we forgot that the Starks and Tullys have pissed the Freys off, we learn that Walder Sr. sent Lame Lothar Frey who is crippled and Walder Rivers, one of his bastards to represent the Freys at the funeral while the other lords in the Riverlands came themselves. This was an obvious insult and the ever thoughtful and mature Edmure is pretty peeved about it but Robb handles it all classy like.
Edmure, being the new Lord Tully has the task of shooting the flaming arrow at the funeral boat to burn the corpse. But Edmure is the Westeros version of Joey from Full House and he’s too incompetent to successfully hit his target. After three embarrassing failures he has to let Blackfish do it. The Blackfish makes it on the first try of course. None of this bodes to well for Edmure’s future tenure as Lord Tully. Poor Ed is rather too fragile for this story. It seems the night before he had been crying about being off at war during his father’s last days. To comfort him, Cat had to lie and tell him that Hoster’s last word was “Edmure” but it was actually “tansy.” Why tansy? I guess we’ll see. That’s actually a pretty normal and healthy amount of a grief for a dying parent, but there’s a shit ton of toxic masculinity going on in Westeros and boys don’t cry. Lysa on the other hand, didn’t even reply to the letter Catelyn sent her, let alone show up. I guess the paranoia is still a’brewin in the Eyrie.
After the funeral, Lothar takes Robb aside and asks if he will grant him an audience later that night. Catelyn is a little dubious and so am I. Robb and Catelyn go for a walk alone and he’s slightly more hopeful about winning the Freys back but not that hopeful. He’s actually in a pretty depressed mood. Robb informs Catelyn that he has to tell her something about Sansa. She fears that she is dead at first, but it’s Sansa’s marriage he tells her of. She wonders why they would marry Tyrion to her but Robb knows that it’s for Winterfell. With Bran and Rickon “gone” she’s the heir if Robb dies before having kids. Cat freaks out a bit and says that Robb can’t die because he’s all she has left. She even tries to convince Robb to surrender but he will not do it. They have a little tiff and Robb kind of accuses her of forgetting that the Lannisters were responsible for Ned’s death.
After dinner, Lothar reveals his business. He tells them about how Winterfell was burned, saying that Theon put it to the torch when he saw that he had lost it. He also informs them of Rodrik Cassel’s death. Old news for us, but not for them. He claims not to know what happened to Theon. In ostensibly happier news, he informs tham that Walder Frey agrees to the new marriage alliance proposed. Edmure will marry a Frey girl, Roslin, the daughter of his sixth wife. If Robb apologizes face to face for breaking the original vow. Another condition is that the wedding take place at once. Again, Catelyn is not comfortable. Edmure is not too pleased either. But ultimately, they have no choice but to agree.
Davos is still sharing his cell with Alester Florent. They hear voices coming towards them. It’s Axell Florent and some guards. Alester thinks he’s being free but it’s Davos that they’re there for. Axell calls Alester a traitor and Alester starts whining. The Florents are almost as uncool as the Freys. Just to be extra dickish, Axell orders Davos to take the one torch and leave Alester in the pitch black.
Axell says that Stannis has sent for him, although Melisandre will be there too. He won’t tell Davos whether or not he’s going to be burned. After climbing many flights of stairs they emerge outside and cross a bridge. On the ground below is a huge fire with men singing to R’hllor. Axell, still a gigantic douchebag tells Davos that if it were up to him, he’d burn both Davos and his brother Alester. He claims to also be able to see in the flames. He says to have seen that Davos will betray Stannis, so Stannis had better name him hand in place of Alester. What an asshole. He’d probably be a child molesting Evangelical fundamentalist megachurch preacher in our universe. He even orders Davos to tell Stannis to make Axell hand. Seriously. What a toolshed. It takes a lot to make the Freys look good, but I think Axell is managing. It seems that Axell is all pissy because Selyse can’t convince Stannis to appoint him as hand. He threatens Davos with a little accident.
They meet up with Stannis in the Chamber of the Painted Table. It’s a cool table in the shape of Westeros with the map painted on it. This is an artifact from Aegon I’s time. Davos is shocked by how much of a haggard mess Stannis looks. But he does emote as much as Stannis ever does when he sees Davos. He gives a faint smile. Of course, Stannis ruins this touching reunion by pointedly asking him what the penalty for treason is. Oh, Stannis. Davos is a bit shaken but has to answer true. He says the penalty is death. Stannis adds that this has always been the case. It’s law. Not cruelty. He seems to not want to execute Alester and he laments how Robert was able to charm enemies and turn them into friends but he lacks that gift. As someone whose social awkwardness gets mistaken for coldness, stuff like this always endears Stannis to me.
Talk moves again to the war. Axell is itching to go back to battle and he has a plan. Stannis wants Davos’ advice on it. The plan is to loot this island called Claw Isle. Claw Isle belongs to house Celtigar. Lord Celtigar has bent the knee to Joffrey after being captured at Blackwater and is in King’s Landing still. Supposedly Claw Isle is full of treasure, including a horn that call up sea monsters. Is that a Chekov’s gun or nah? After looting, Axell wants to burn down the castle and kill everyone there.
Davos speaks honestly about this plan. He calls it cowardice and folly. I love Davos. He says that people didn’t have much of a choice but to go along with their lord. Stannis is unswayed. He says they should have been loyal to their king, no matter what their lord does. But Davos points out that Stannis did not remain loyal to King Aerys when Robert rebelled. Boom! Of course, Axell is pissed and cries treason. That’s about all he knows how to do. But Stannis just sends Axell away to go fetch Melisandre. Bye, Florenticia!
Stannis is not super pleased with Davos pointing out the hypocrisy but as always, he ultimately respects the honesty. He talks about how it was actually no an easy choice to follow Robert and he talks about how he doesn’t want the throne, but is going after merely because the law says he’s Robert’s heir. He expresses his intentions to scour the court clean of corruption, which means bye-bye to Cersei, Varys, and Jaime. He then asks Davos why he wanted to kill Melisandre. He simply says it’s because she gave four of his sons to the flames. He also says that Mel killed Renly. Stannis tries to deny that. He also says that Melisandre is the one who had Davos released and that Edric Storm is sick. But that he’ll recover and that Mel says he has king’s blood and there’s power in king’s blood. Uh oh.
Boy is this chapter full of exposition! Anyway, Stannis abruptly says that he agrees with Davos about Claw Isle and names him a lord and Hand of the King.
Davos doesn’t think he’s fit, but Stannis will hear none of it. I don’t think Axell will be happy. Hahahaha!
Then Melisandre comes in. She says it’s not the political stuff they should be concerned with. She’s seen in the flames that the Long Night part two is coming. Stannis says he saw the same thing, Mel showed him. They saw a hill in a forest, men in black, and shapes in the snow. Melisandre has apparently been trying to convince Stannis that in order to gain the power need to fight this great evil, that Edric with his king’s blood must be burned. Because only king’s blood can awaken the stone dragon. Whatever that is. But Stannis is thankfully still saying no and that leaching Edric will have to do. Melisandre reveals that she has three leaches full of his blood in her hand. Stannis throws them in the fire and names them for Joffrey, Balon and Robb.
Jaime enters the Harrenhal bathhouse (no, not that kind of bathhouse) as Brienne is also bathing. He is to eat dinner with Roose Bolton and it’s probably best that he’s not full of fleas and stinking like piss and shit. Jaime orders the servants out of the bathhouse so that he and Brienne are alone. The tubs are huge so he gets into the one Brienne is in. She’s not entirely pleased with that, but he tells her that he was no desire to sexually harass her. All the same, when his trash talking pisses her off and she stands up so he sees her body, he starts to get wood. He’s troubled by this because he’s only used to incest erections. You’d think he’d pleased to have a sexual attraction that isn’t sick and disgusting, but I guess not.
Brienne gives him shit for being the Kingslayer. Jaime’s recent traumas have made him so tired and vulnerable that he finds himself telling the story of how he became The Kingslayer. Once Aerys started losing some battles he grew paranoid. It only grew when Rhaegar convinced Aerys to seek help from Tywin and didn’t get a reply. It didn’t help when Varys was Wormtonguing him, feeding the paranoia and making him see traitors everywhere. Aerys secretly had wildfire caches placed all over King’s Landing. When his current hand, Chelsted grew suspicios, he had him killed. Aerys kept Jaime close all the time, mostly so Varys could keep an eye on him. So Jaime saw and heard everything and Aerys’ increasing fondness for the wildfire disturbed him. After Rhaegar died, Aerys really lost it and decided to burn down KL rather than let Robert have it. Meanwhile, Pycelle had Tywin, who had by this time thrown in with Robert let into the city. Jaime tried to convince Aerys to make terms, but Aerys demanded Tywin’s head as proof of loyalty. Jaime ended up having to kill Aerys and Rossart, the pyromancer who was getting the wildfire ready to go. He needed to do it to save the lives of everyone in King’s Landing.
This revelation kind of dumbfounds Brienne. She’s still kind of in the mindset that you’re either honorable or you’re not and this is much more of a gray area. She asks Jaime why she never told anyone else this. He seems to think he’d have been judged harshly no matter what. In fact, he’s so riled up even at the thought of Ned Stark passing judgement on them that he knocks his stump on the edge of the tub and passes out. That’s one way to end this somewhat awkward converstation!
He comes to and Qyburn’s creepy ass is there. He helps Jaime get dressed up for dinner with Roose. He also gives Brienne a pink satin gown. It’s the only women’s garment in all of Harrenhal large enough to fit her, although it’s still too small. I can always relate to Brienne so much regarding this. I’m average height, but I have huge boobs and I too would probably have trouble finding cute and stylish outfits that fit me in Harrenhal. She looks so ridiculous in an ill fitting pink dress that Jaime decides for once not to neg her.
Jaime and Brienne go to the dinner with Roose who is as unsettlingly quiet and creepy as ever. Brienne is a teetotaler and rejects his offer of wine. This is where I stop relating to her.
Roose reminds Jaime that there’s a big bounty for his capture. Just to troll him, I think. Then he tells him that he just recently wed Fat Walda Frey because Walder promised his brides weight in silver for a dowry. Therefore, Fat Walda is the sensible price. He also informs Jaime about Edmures impending nuptials and says that his presence at the wedding is required. So he’s about to leave Harrenhal with Vargo Hoat for good. Yikes.
Then something strange happens. Roose says that Arya Stark has been found and he means to return her to the north. This does not match with the last Arya chapter, so something is not right here. Roose Trollton trolls some more and says Lannisters lie, then when Jaime is about to try to kick his ass, he reminds him that guest right is still sacred.
Oh, Roose. Bad Roose.
At this point, Brienne is getting het up too so Roose admits that he actually plans to free Jaime and send him on. If he’ll tell Tywin that Jaime’s maiming was only Hoat’s fault, Bolton’s. Brienne says she will deliver Sansa back to Cat like she said she would. That’s when Roose informs them of Sansa and Tyrion’s wedding. He also breaks it to Brienne that she will remain in Harrenhal as Vargo Hoat’s prisoner.
Deaths in this recap: 1. Hoster Tully. I don’t think Jaime’s recounting of Aerys’ demise counts here.
Cumulative deaths: 108
Maybe deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative maybe deaths: 9
Betrayals in this recap: 0
Cumulative betrayals: 30
Incest incidents: 0.
Cumulative incests: 26