Jinglebell, Ryman smells, Catelyn cut an Aegon
Book I am reading: A Storm of Swords
Booze in my flagon: Pinot grigio and pinot noir
Chapters: Arya X, Catelyn VII, Arya XI
Arya and the Hound are on the way to the Twins and they meet some outriders. A knight and two squires. Arya considers revealing her identity to them, but she doesn’t recognize the sigil – a pitchfork – and gets a sense of stranger danger. She keeps quiet while the Hound pretends to be a farmer selling salt pork for the wedding feast using supplies stolen from an actual farmer. Is salt pork Westeros talk for bacon?
Apparently the knight isn’t from house Swanson or salt pork and bacon aren’t the same thing, because pitchfork knight doesn’t seem too terribly thrilled about the pork. But they let Sandor and Arya through.
Turns out I was right. Pitchfork knight is not from house Swanson. His name is Donnel Haigh. Hound knows him from kicking his ass in a melee and taking horses off him. Arya asks Sandor why Haigh didn’t recognize him and he says it’s because he’s a fool who won’t deign to look peasants in the eye. If you act respectful and say “ser” a lot, they won’t even notice you. I feel like this might be foreshadowing for later on when she starts crossing names off her death list.
They’re getting closer. Arya feels uneasy even though she should be excited that she’s about to be reunited with her family. She’s especially nervous about Roose Bolton being there.
Even before they saw the castle, they heard the music coming from it. Arya remarks that the band is not very good.
They’re stopped by a Bolton soldier before they can get in the castle. He won’t let them through at all. He’ll only let them go to the feast tents where all the commoners are. It’s dark, everyone is drunk and Arya can’t find anyone she knew from Winterfell anywhere.
Sandor has no intentions of stopping in the feast tents. He’s still going to try and get in the castle.
If the music was bad from outside of the castle, it seems to be even worse inside. On the TV show, one of the members of Coldplay had a cameo as a musician at the wedding.
The hall is stuffed full of people and hot. Cat is sitting between a Frey – Ser Ryman – and Roose Bolton. They both stink. Ryman has boozy BO and Roose smells sickeningly sweet. Also the wedding feast sucks. It consists of things like pike poached in almond milk and jellied calf’s brains. What the fuck even is that?
Edmure, himbo that he is, seems to be the only one having a good time. Roslin is pretty so that’s good enough for him. Roslin on the other hand has a nervous phony looking smile on her face. Catelyn writes it off as nerves about the bedding. Yeah, okay.
Robb is doing his best to act all polite and kingly. Most of the other guests are super drunk. Walder Frey was stingy with the food but for some mysterious reason, is plenty generous with the wine. Normally I’d say providing an open bar for a wedding makes him my kind of guy but…
Roose Bolton’s new wife Fat Walda is there too. She’s boasting about how Walda offered Roose his bride’s weight in silver as a dowry. So that’s why she was picked. I kind of love how she gives no fucks about that. She even gloats about her prettier cousin Fair Walda is headed towards spinsterhood now. Roose himself is quiet and morose and pretty much only apeaks to passive aggressively
threaten remind Walder that two of Walder’s grandsons, also named Walder are in his bastard son’s care. Catelyn wonder’s if a wedding could be any less joyful. Oh, sweet summer child.
The northerners are getting drunker and drunker. Except for Roose who quietly excuses himself to go to the bathroom. Robb comes to sit down in his place. He asks Ryman where Olyvar Frey is as he had hoped to use him as his squire when the host continues on to the north. He say’s Olyvar is gone from the castles on some unnamed duty and doesn’t offer any other explanation. Robb is clearly not satisfied with this. Cat remembers that Olyvar had said he wanted to stay with Robb so she’s confused too.
Finally Walder calls out to Robb that’s it time they bed Edmure and Roslin. That’s when the guests carry out the bride and groom, strip off their clothes, dump them in bed and watch them do it. It’s something that nobles do to make sure the marriage is consummated and heirs are legitimate. Also, there is no internet porn in Westeros so they have to get creative.
The guests get all excited and start making dirty jokes. Poor Roslin is terrified as she’s carted off. She’s stiff and crying. Catelyn, Robb and Walder stay behind as do some of the drunker Freys. Dacey Mormont and Wendel Manderly stay behind as well. Dacey asks Edwyn Frey to dance and he turns her down really angerly and walks away. This makes Cat nervous and she follows him out of the hall. She grabs his arm and feels that there’s chainmail under his sleeve.
Finally it clicks into place. Why all the Freys that actually like the Starks are gone. Why Roslin is so freaked out.
Edwyn pushes her aside. Robb starts to rush towards them and he’s shot by an arrow. The reason the musicians suck so much, they’re actually archers. Chaos erupts. Smalljon throws a table over Robb to keep him from being shot more. Robin Flint is stabbed to death by Freys while Wendel Manderly is shot through the neck with an arrow. As Rains of Castamere plays, more northerners such as Lucas Blackwood, Donnel Locke and Owen Norrey are killed. Dacey puts up a fight but is finally axed in the belly by Ryman the stanky drunk. Smalljon Umber is beheaded.
As all this is happening, Walder Frey is watching gleefully. Cat finds a dagger on the floor and picks it up. She plans to kill him. As she’s starting towards him, Robb throws off the table and gets up. The music finally stops except one drum and Grey Wind can be heard howling in the background.
Walder snarks about how Robb’s men have been killed but he’ll just make an apology and that will make it better or something. What a petty little shit.
Catelyn tries to stop it. She says they’re even and if she lets Robb live, they’ll forget all about this. That ploy never works in any other fiction and it doesn’t work here. She has Jinglebell by the throat with her dagger but Walder doesn’t care about poor Jinglebell at all.
Then Roose steps up, says “Jaime Lannister sends his regards” and thrusts his sword through Robb’s heart and twists it.
Catelyn just looses it. She cuts Jinglebell’s throat and then starts scratching up her own face until blood runs all down her arms. Finally someone cuts her throat and that’s how the final Catelyn chapter ends.
Sorry. I didn’t know how to make that funny. Just remember that this will happen eventually and feel a little better
Don’t forget that Arya is nearbye and in danger too. She and Sandor ride up just as some of the soldiers are going out from the castle after killing Robb’s people. She can hear Grey Wind howling in the distance. She can’t make out too clearly what’s happening but has witnessed enough battle to know that’s what’s happening. She knows Rains of Castamere too because she heard Tom o’Sevens singing it. It’s playing as fire arrows rain down on the northerner’s tents.
The Hound joins in the fighting. He’s taking on three of Frey’s and/or Bolton’s (it’s not clear) men at once. As much as she’s wanted Sandor to die in the best, she tries to help him by throwing a rock at one of them but it only grazes him. The knight is about to come for her when Sandor kills him with an axe. He informs her that Robb pretty much has to be dead and tries to get her to mount Stranger with him so they can escape. She wants to go into the castle and try to find him and her mother. She tries to make a run for the castle, the Hound calls her a stupid little bitch and knocks her out by throwing his axe at her head. GRRM tries to make it look like he’s killed her but even after all that slaughter, I didn’t believe it.
When I first read this series of three chapters I was actually on a packed bus. I had to fight so hard to not have a meltdown in front of all those people. Such good memories.
Anyway, that was pretty grim. But at least I’ll have something to report on my death count and at least the next three chapters are all in different locations.
Deaths in this recap: I’m going to have to actually go back and count here. Robin Flint, Wendel Manderly, Lucas Blackwood, Donnel Locke, Owen Norrey, Dacey Mormont, Smalljon Umber, Robb Stark, Aegon “Jinglebell” Frey and Catelyn Stark. I count 10. Of course, the death toll is way higher, but going by the named characters that died in front of a POV character, it’s actually only 10.
Cumulative deaths: 126
Maybe deaths in this recap: 1. Arya.
Cumulative maybe deaths: 10
Betrayals in this recap: One really fucking big one. Actually, I’m going for two. Both Roose Bolton and Walder Frey turned their cloaks here.
Cumulative betrayals: 33
Incest incidents: 0.
Cumulative incests: 26