Book I am reading: A Storm of Swords
Booze in my flagon: Sauvignon Blanc that I bought only because it had a kitty on the bottle
Chapters: Tyrion V, Arya VII, Bran III
It’s finally time for the Martells of Dorne to enter the story. Prince Doran is arriving to attend the wedding and Joffrey can’t be trusted to do the meet and greet with the Martell party because he’s picked up some of the shit talking and insulting jokes from the Tyrell camp. As you may recall, the Tyrells and Martells hate each other. So Tyrion has to do it.
The Martell party is huge and many of the Dornish lords seem to be represented, judging by the banners. Bronn counts nine. Tyrion has Pod name all the houses that correspond to the banners. He’s surprisingly knowledgeable and we learn for sure that Pod is not stupid, just socially awkward but I think GRRM just likes heraldry a lot and will come up with any excuse to describe it. My favorite one is House Blackmont. Their sigil is a vulture with a baby in its talons. What? Why!?
Anyway, the houses that represent the Martell contingent are all pretty major. There is a clear message to the Lannisters and Tyrells to not fuck with them. This makes Tyrion uneasy. Even more unnerving is that there’s no litter. Doran always travels with a litter because he’s all gouty and can’t really walk or ride. I’m not too sure why someone royal has the gout because I thought it usually caused by not enough meat and seafood in the diet but maybe there are other causes too.
Tyrion is getting increasingly anxious and sick of waiting so he goes out to meet the party. The Martells are – DUN DUN DUN – different in appearance to most Westrosi people. Some of them are brown because of the Rhoynish blood. They wear scarves and flowing clothes to ward off the heat.
The leader of the Martells is way too young, healthy looking, and bold to me Doran Martell. It his younger brother, Oberyn. Tyrion worries this will mean war but is polite and diplomatic with him. Oberyn has brought along his paramour (fantasy novel fancy talk for girlfriend) Ellaria Sand. This spells even more trouble because Cersei will not want a bastard woman treated as an honored guest but disallowing her from the VIP areas of the wedding celebration will piss of Oberyn and the rest of team Dorne.
Now we get the background on Oberyn “Red Viper” Martell. He’s the Prince Harry to Doran’s Prince William. He likes the ladies (and unlike Prince Hot Ginge, far as I know he likes the dudes too) and he’s not married. He’s the fun brother! He’s also rumored to poison the tips of the spears he fights with, he spent some time at the Citadel getting Maester training and has maybe even studied sorcery in Essos. He’s got more bastard kids than a Maury guest all girls. He’s also the one who crippled the heir to Highgarden, Willas Tyrell. He’s a rebel with
out a cause all right, and his appearance means trouble.
Oberyn starts off his stay in King’s Landing by mocking Tyrion a little bit. He tells the story of the time he visited Casterly Rock when Tyrion was a baby. Cersei and Jaime were 8 or 9. It seems Oberyn was disappointed Tyrion wasn’t as monstrous looking as the rumors made him out to be. The talk was either that Tyrion was a curse on Tywin for being too arrogant and thinking himself above the king. That or a plain old omen of doom. So Oberyn was expecting big things! But he was just a baby with dwarfism. Yawn. Cersei did give him a penis version of a titty twister (is there a name for that?) and nonchalantly say he’d probably die soon though. Cersei has always been an asshole it would seem.
Oberyn continues to be not the one to mince words and he outright asks when justice will be done. Oberyn is there to see Gregor Clegane punished for the murders of his sister Elia and the prince and princess Aegon and Rhaenys. Tyrion tries to weasel out of committing to anything and pretends it’s an unsolved mystery. I used to love that show! Not sure if the image will imbed properly because Wordpress is being a butthole.
Anyway, Oberyn calls that shit right out and says he knows it was Gregor Clegane and he will hear Clegane admit it and say where he got his orders. He informs Tyrion that he’s a bloodthirsty man. Goody! Tyrion points out that he’s still outnumbered and takes his leave.
The BWB have come to a sept where the Bloody Mummers have taken over to rumble with them. Arya’s just chilling on her horse atop a hill watching although she wishes she could join in because of course she does. She muses about how she wants to learn archery as she watches Anguy kill with arrows. “Kill them all” she thinks. Arya’s getting scary! The BWB seem to be winning but the Mummers do manage to kill a couple of them; Watty and Kyle. One of the Mummers that the BWB caught was Utt who was now calling himself Septon Utt. This one Arya remembers for her time with them. He would commit atrocities, implied to be the rape and murder of boys and then pray for forgiveness afterwards. He gets all Jim Baker weepy during his trial too. But he was convicted and hung anyway. Along with many other Mummers.
Later, at dinner Arya is recounting the past days or weeks she’s spent with the BWB. Apparently Beric never eats or sleeps. Creepy! He’s obviously not exactly human anymore. He can barely remember his life before death. Kind of like Randall Flagg in The Stand losing his pre-plague memories. Thoros has now resurrected him a whopping six times and is concerned he’s growing too cavalier.
Arya asks Thoros if he can bring back a man without a head and he lets her down gently. Beric says he knows Ned Stark was a good man and he’d forgo her ransom if they didn’t need the money so badly. In one of the more heartbreaking moments of the series, Arya worries Robb won’t even want to get her back because of the things she’s done and how unkempt and dirty she is. Then later on, Gendry offers to smith for the BWB rather than staying at Riverrun and Arya is sad because he’s leaving her too. Beric knights Gendry and he’s officially a member. But there will be no celebrations because suddenly The Hound bursts into the inn where they are. Clegane wants the gold they took from him back. There is much trash talking between Hound and BWB. This time Arya gets in on the action threatening to kill him. After some more words, he abruptly flounces off into the night. The next day, she and Gendry part as he will be staying on. She’s pretty snippy with him. And thus the chapter ends. Also abruptly.
Bran and company have finally left the foothills and for the first time since leaving them have come across a village. It’s abandoned and in ruins. The cool and/or spooky thing about it is that it contains a lake and the lake has an island and on the island is a tower. The land is owned by the Night’s Watch. It’s part of a swath of land called the gift. Bran the Builder, a Stark ancestor who I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned here gifted the Watch the land 25 leagues south of the Wall. Some time later, one of the Targaryen queens; Alysanne gifted an additional 25 to them. The land was eventually abandoned because the Wildlings constantly raided those parts.
Jojen declares that they need to shelter here because a bad storm is coming. None of the buildings in the village have a proper roof anymore so they decide to go to the island holdfast. Bran just so happens to know about a causeway hidden under the water because Old Nan once told him about this place. Its minor claim to fame being that Queen Alysanne once slept there. The stones zig zag a lot but they do make it to the tower eventually.
Once they make it to the top of the tower, they finally get around to discussing what they will do when they make it to the Wall. They still haven’t dealt with how they’ll get through. Jojen thinks some of the abandoned Night’s Watch castles will be their best bet. There are nineteen castles and only three are currently manned. Bran points out that when the NW abandons a castle, they seal the gates with ice and stone. Bran wants to go to Castle Black and ask them to grant passage, but Jojen vetoes the idea as unsafe. Bran is going to argue further because he really wants to see Jon again but Jojen spies a man on a horse approaching the village.
It starts to rain and the horseman has taken shelter in the ruined inn. After they eat dinner it starts to thunder and lightning and Hodor goes into complete meltdown mode. Every time it thunders, he shouts “Hodor!” They try to calm him down but can’t. To make matters worse, there are now more men in the village so they really can’t be discovered. In a panic, Bran ACTUALLY FUCKING WARGS HODOR! Just for a second, but that’s a pretty big deal. Usually wargs cannot warg humans. Then he wargs Summer and senses that Summer is very afraid…
Deaths in this recap: 3. Watty, Kyle and Pedobear Utt
Cumulative deaths: 111
Maybe deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative maybe deaths: 9
Betrayals in this recap: 0
Cumulative betrayals: 30
Incest incidents: 0.
Cumulative incests: 26