Menstrual Blood is Thicker Than Water
Book I am reading: A Storm of Swords
Booze in my flagon: Absolut citron and soda
Chapters: Jaime VII, Davos VI, Jon VIII
Jaime and Brienne still haven’t reached King’s Landing yet, but they know of Joffrey’s demise because the whole kingdom is apparently buzzing about it. The smallfolk are arguing about how it happened though. A costermonger (whatever the fuck that is) said Tyrion slit his throat and drank the blood from a big cold chalice. Wrong book, dude. This isn’t Interview With the Vampire
The innkeep has a better handle on the situation and says it was poisoned that turned Joffrey’s face plum colored. Then we get back into some fuckery when an archer claims that Sansa vanished from the hall in a puff of brimstone. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that only women are gossips.
Jaime tries to be sad about his firstborn son dying but when he tries to conjure up his face, he can only think of Cersei.
They finally approach the city and Steelshanks Walton complains about how much the city stinks. That’s actually one of my favorite things about this city. No one usually points out how disgusting and smelly cities would have been before plumbing, sewage treatment and trash collection were a thing.
Jaime reflects more on how little he cares about Joffrey’s death. Apparently he never even held him because Cersei thought that might give away that he was his real father. He only resented the baby for taking up too much of Cersei’s time, love, and breasts. So many different kinds of wrong and gross here.
Jaime rides up to Brienne and tells her that she’s fulfilled his goal. She’s been sullen and depressed since hearing about the red wedding (haven’t we all?) but still seems to want to find Sansa and protect her.
They get to the city gates and Jaime still doesn’t reveal who he is. He pretends to be part of Bolton’s contingent, there to swear loyalty to Tywin. They get waved right through. In the city, no one even seems to recognize him. Nobody pays him any mind.
Finally at the gate to the Red Keep Ser Meryn Trant recognizes him. Inside he sees Loras Tyrell and discovers that he is now a Kingsguard. He gives them both some shade for failing in their duty to keep the king alive.
Then Loras spots Brienne. He still thinks she killed Renly so he starts yelling at her and asking why she killed him. She swears she didn’t do it but he doesn’t believe her. They almost come to blows until Jaime puts an end to it with some casual homophobia telling Loras to “sheathe your bloody sword, or I’ll take it from you and shove it up some place even Renly never found.” Cute. Loras still insists on having her arrested. To smooth things over and keep Brienne safe, Jaime orders her locked into a tower cell. Brienne is hurt by this.
Jaime goes to sept to see Cersei who is in mourning. Another new Kingsguard, Osmund Kettleblack tries to give him a hard time about it but Jaime tells him who he is and they aren’t to be disturbed.
Jaime and Cersei’s reunion is tearful and almost sweet. For a minute. Cersei soon talks of vengeance. She wants Jaime to kill Tyrion for her. He’s reluctant to do so. He’s skeptical that Tyrion really did it. He refuses and says he must hear more about what happened. It is then that Cersei reveals that there will be a trial.
Then out of nowhere we get a twincest scene. The first one in a while. There’s some ambiguity as to whether or not Cersei consents but I’m not going to get into it because I don’t feel like it. She’s on her period but he doesn’t care. In fact he “lost himself in her flesh” which is a terminology that really grosses me out, incest and possible rapiness aside. Then it talks about the wetness of the blood and seed joining. Afterwards, the marble is smeared with period blood. GRRM seems really determine to make me throw up my pricey liquor here.
Jaime wants to marry Cersei and have another son in place of Joffrey. Cersei points out that Tommen’s claim to the throne depends on being Robert Baratheon’s son so that would be a really terrible idea. When Cersei is the reasonable one in the conversation, you should really reflect on your life choices.
Jaime doesn’t care and says that Casterly Rock should be enough. Then he touches her face with his stump. This is enough to freak Cersei out. She tells him that he’s changed. She makes him leave.
Next stop on the homecoming parade is a visit to the Tower of the Hand to see papa Lannister. As expected, he gets a cold welcome from Tywin who had expected him sooner. Tywin does tell him that Gregor took Harrenhal back from Vargo Hoat. Hoat was apparently half mad with sepsis from the bite wound on the ear that Brienne had given him. Clegane is presently torturing him to death.
Tywin wants to know if Jaime can fight with his remaining left hand. He can’t. He can barely function at all. But he pretends otherwise. Tywin says he has a gift for him. Jaime first wants to know Tywin’s take on Joffrey’s death. He confirmed it was poison but doesn’t seem to care whether or not Tyrion actually did it. He just seems glad it appears that he did because it’s an excuse to get rid of him.
Tywin badly wants Jaime to be retired from the Kingsguard and take his place as heir to Casterly Rock. Jaime refuses and Tywin disowns him.
Another night, another nightfire with Melisandre praying to R’hllor. Since most are preoccupied with the cult meeting, Davos uses this as an opportunity to smuggle Edric out of Dragonstone to keep him safe from Mel’s fires. Ser Andrew Estermont is going with him to some unspecified location overseas. Edric protests a little but Davos tells him that he’ll make Stannis mad if he refuses. It’s a lie, but it convinces him.
Later in the chamber of the painted table, Melisandre and Stannis walk in. She’s insisting that Joffrey is dead, she saw it in the flames. Stannis is dubious but Davos confirms that it’s true. Mel is very self satisfied because three burned leaches of king’s blood = three dead kings now. The statistical rule that correlation does not imply causation doesn’t seem to have been discovered in this universe yet.
Stannis treats us all to a grim little tale about Joffrey having cut open a pregnant cat to take out the kitten fetuses. He says that the imp served the kingdom well and now they’ll have to send for him.
Melisandre reminds Stannis that Joffrey has a brother and they will crown him. Stannis is not too pleased to hear this. Mel takes this opportunity to suggest again that she burn Edric Storm to awaken the stone dragons. Stannis finally relents and then Davos steps up all like “swipe, denied!” He tells them that he’s gone. Stannis is threatening to punish him for treason. Davos pleads his case by revealing that he has learned to read and has an interesting letter. We don’t get to hear what the letter is, but maybe you remember it from the last Davos chapter.
Jon is having a dream and surprise, surprise, he’s as emo in his dreams as he is in his waking life. He’s back in Winterfell in the crypts and all the statues of the past King in the Norths tell him that he’s no Stark. He hears people feasting in the great hall above and knows he’s not wanted there and blah, blah, blah.
He wakes up alone in his chilly steward’s cell. He misses Ygritte and Ghost and still feels kind of shitty from his injury but it’s getting better. He hears horns. Two blasts.
It is still the dead of night and Mance has at last come. They can’t see much except for torches. They can hear horses and even mammoths. When they send some burning pitch down, they see that there’s actually 100 mammoths. That’s a lot. I’m wondering how they were tamed because as far as I know, no humans in our universe ever did that. But this is fantasy and we need a battle to rival Pelennor Fields from LOTR so suspend disbelief, I guess!
The wildling army is at the gate. Usually it would be impossible to get through, but they have giants and mammoths. So this is a risk right now.
The Nightswatch men throw down some jars of burning lamp oil and can hear screaming down below. Donal Noye, who has been commanding the battle thus far says he needs to take some men down to defend the gate. He gives Jon the Wall. Jon emos about it of course, thinking he’s not up to the task but he does say “aye.”
They throw down and shoot burning stuff for like, ever and finally dawn breaks. The NW did some damage but nowhere near enough. There are still a shit ton of wildlings there. Giants are riding on mammoths, ramming the gat with a tree trunk. The NW men are starting to despair but Jon assures them that the Wall defends itself, even though he thinks they’re hollow words. But it works and with renewed morale, they pick up the fight once more. The wildlings are trying to shoot them with arrows, but the arrows can’t reach that high. The NW men manage to shoot down the giants and mammoths with the ram. The Wildlings finally break. The Wall does defend itself after all.
They all want food and rest. But first, Jon wants to check the gate. Donal Noye and his men are in the tunnels. They died defending the Wall from a giant. The giant twisted Spotted Pate’s head off and crushed Noye’s spine. But Noye sunk his sword into the giant’s throat, killing him. Jon recognizes the giant as Mag the Mighty, king of the giants.
Jon says that the Wall needs to be blocked up. Her says Ser Wynton Stout, the only knight left, will have to take command now. Maester Aemon says that Stout is too old and senile now. He insists that it is now Jon who must command. Jon pretends he didn’t want to hear that, but we all now he did.
Deaths in this recap: 4. Spotted Pate, Donal Noye and Mag the Mighty. I’m also putting Vargo Hoat in there because it’s pretty clear he’s about to die and from previous reads, I don’t remember any clear confirmation forthcoming.
Cumulative deaths: 141
Maybe deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative maybe deaths: 12
Betrayals in this recap: 0
Cumulative betrayals: 35
Incest incidents: 1 and it’s a doozy. It’s been a while since the last one, so I guess GRRM had to make up for it!
Cumulative incests: 27