Tag Archive | Bran

Noseless chaps

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings.  Last chapters!

Chapters:  Tyrion XV, Jon VIII, Bran VII

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot noir

 

Tyrion XV

  Tyrion is not dead after all.  Did anyone think he was?  He has all kinds of dreams.  Including one in black and white with ravens and everyone dead.  Including wolves, lions and stags.  He feels guilty about killing them all.  Hmm.  This must be a foreshadowing but fuck if I know what it is foreshadowing.

  He spends an unspecified amount of time in a milk of the poppy induced half awake and half asleep state.  Finally he awakes for reals and Podrick is there with a new maester.   Oh no wait.  He got tricked into drinking more roofie juice and goes back to dreamland.  This time it’s a nice dream in which he’s being feasted as a hero.

  Finally Tyrion wakes again and sort of gets up.  He realizes he’s been taken out of his bedchamber and is in some little dank cold room somewhere.  Gratitude:  King’s Landing style.

  Argh!  Now he’s dreaming again.  I’m getting sick of this.  Especially since he’s dreaming of Tysha and I’m given the painful reminder that a couple of books from now I’m going to have to read the phrase “where do whores go?” so many times.  Ugh.  The memories are all romantical but he knows she’s really a whore so it’s fake.  Blah, blah, blah.

  Now he’s awake again and he convinces the maester to stop drugging him by choking him with his maester’s chain.  Lovely.  He makes the maester take off his face bandages.  Except this isn’t the Twilight Zone.  There’s no beautiful face underneath.

Nope.  Motherfucker is practically noseless now.  Ouch.

  He finds out the maester’s name is Ballabar.  He’s in Maegor’s holdfast and of course Tywin has taken over as hand.  Poor Tyrion is now powerless and friendless except for Pod.  Good old Pod.

 

Jon VIII

  Jon and Qhorin have given up hope and are basically waiting for death so they’re like “fuck it, might as well make a fire.”  I’ve got to commend them for holding out all this time.  I’d have given in to the campfire urge ages ago.  Of course, they have no s’mores so that makes it a little less tempting.  The two of them are the only ones of the five left.  Ebben was sent to find Mormont.  Dalbridge is presumed dead because they heard a horn or something.

  Jon, Qhorin and Stonesnake tried to sneak away but that stupid skinchanged eagle is following them.  I just realize now the GRRM was pretty prophetic.  This is pretty much the Westeros version of a drone but drones weren’t a thing back in the 90s when this was written.  Eventually Stonesnake’s horse broke a leg and had to be killed so he got left behind to try to make it back to the Fist on foot.  He’s also presumed about to be dead.

  So here they are, sitting round a fire waiting for the wildlings to come.  Qhorin makes Jon say the Night’s Watch vows with him.  He then commands Jon to yield and join up with the wildlings.  He tells Jon to do whatever they ask to prove his loyalty.  He instructs him to bide his time and watch.  Find out what they’re up to.  He says “if the Wall should ever fall, all the fires will go out.”  Nice and ominous.

  They backtrack in hopes of tricking the wildlings and hide in a gorgeous sounding waterfall that’s nestled in some cliffs.  Jon starts to have some hope that this will work and he won’t have to deal with the wildlings.  Sadly, when they emerge in the morning the eagle drone is perched on the rocks waiting for them.  They stay in the crack (teehee) to wait and make a stand.  Ghost included.

  Eventually, 14 wildlings approach.  They are led by a creepy guy Qhorin calls Rattleshirt.  He and his horse are armored in bones.  Both animal and human.  I’m not really sure how this would work, but whatever.  It’s cool and scary so it doesn’t really matter.  The two of them are old enemies so they have some typical action movie style witty banter.  Also, one of the wildlings produces Ebben’s decapitated head.

  Then Jon and Qhorin finally put their plan into action.  Qhorin pretends to be pissed off that Jon is yielding and calls him a coward.  Rattleshirt thins he is a craven and wants to just kill him but Ygritte is there and insists he’s worth taking.  So Rattleshirt agrees to take him.  If he’ll kill Qhorin Halfhand.  Qhorin is such a good fighter that he almost wins.  Even when he is fighting half assed.  Ghost has to step in and help out by biting him in the calf.  At last Jon manages to cut Qhorin’s throat and kill him.  It is then that poor naïve Jon finally realizes that Qhorin knew all along that Jon would have to kill him.

 

Bran VII

  Finally!  We know for sure that Bran is alive.  Yay!  It turns out that he and the crew doubled back to Winterfell and have been hiding in the crypts this whole time.  Bran has been taking refuge in his wolf dreams and each time it is getting harder to bring him back.  Because of the warging, Bran knows what went down in Winterfell.  This last time he was gone inside Summer for three whole days.  Jojen and Meera are growing concerned.  They inform that eating as a wolf will not do anything to feed the boy.  He’ll starve if he keeps staying in Summer for so long.

  Because of what Bran saw, they decide it’s finally time to venture upstairs again.  They leave with Meera stealing Lord Rickard’s sword.  The door is blocked by debris so Hodor has to push through.  Almost immediately Summer and Shaggydog find them.  They forage for food and fin a bunch of corpses.  Including Poxy Tym.  At first Bran assumes the Ironborn did it but Osha points out that they are amongst the corpses.  Including Black Lorren.

  They go to the godswood and there they find maester Luwin injured and dying.  Ack!  I hate this part.  It always kills me.  He’s still able to talk a little bit and he reveals that he had suspected all along that the miller’s boys weren’t really Bran and Rickon.  He tells them what happened at Winterfell and councils the group to split up so the two princes aren’t together.  He asks Osha to put him out of his misery.  😦

  Afterwards they decide that Osha will take Rickon and Bran will go with Hodor, Jojen and Meera.  After Osha and Rickon depart, Bran asks if they will go to Greywater Watch.  But Jojen declares that they have to go north.

 

  That concludes A Clash of Kings.  Next week we start A Storm of Swords.

 

Deaths in this recap: 5.  Luwin (sob!), Black Lorren, Poxy Tym, Ebben and Qhorin (double sob)!

Cumulative deaths: 85.  This is a lot of deaths for two books.  Especially considering these are just the named characters.

Maybe deaths in this recap:  2. Squire Dalbridge and Stonesnake.

Cumulative maybe deaths:  8

Betrayals in this recap:  1.  Instead of gratitude from Tywin, Tyrion gets demoted and put in a shitty little cell.

Cumulative betrayals: 19

Incest incidents: 0  It’s been awhile.

Cumulative incests: 25

 

I’ve got a dick in a braizer for you

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:  Tyrion X, Catelyn VI, Bran VI

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot grigio

 

Tyrion X

  Lancel, in his function as spy/Tyrion’s bitch tells Tyrion Cersei’s plans to send Tommen away to live at nearby Rosby with Lord Gyles.  Even though Gyles Rosby isn’t much like Rupert Giles from Buffy, I always think of him whenever he’s mentioned.  Tommen will have his hair dyed brown so he isn’t recognized.  Cersei fears Tyrion will harm Tommen for some reason.  Later, Tyrion sends Jacelyn Bywater to track down Tommen, oust Gyles’ men and take of Tommen himself.  Tyrion thinks Gyles is too much of a wuss to protect Tommen.  That’s why Gyles < Giles.

personal animated GIF

  Tyrion goes to visit Shae.  She’s hanging out with a singer.  His name is Symon Silver Tongue.  Tyrion is none too pleased to see him.  Because he keeps forgetting that Shae is a sex worker and not actually his girlfriend so he has no right to be possessive. Maybe the term “girlfriend experience” hasn’t been invented in Westeros yet?

  After they ditch Symon and have sex, Tyrion goes out to the garden to angst and brood (what is he Jon Snow now?) and Varys comes to visit him.  He’s dressed as a begging brother and smells very bad.  Not like his usual lavender scent.  Tyrion doesn’t recognize him at first but Shae did.  She tells him that “A whore learns to see the man, not hid garb, or she turns up dead in an alley.”  I like that quote and actually think it can apply to any woman who lives in a decent sized city, not just sex workers.  It’s like the whole Schrodinger’s Rapist thing.

  Anywho, Varys is there to deliver bad news.  He informs Tyrion of Cortnay Penrose’s death.  Storm’s End has fallen to Stannis.  One might question why this is information Varys needed to tell Tyrion in secret.  Won’t this be discussed at the council meeting?

  Tyrion takes Shae aside for a moment.  He tries to convince her to leave the city so she won’t be killed when Stannis comes a calling.  Instead she wants to become Tyrion’s legit lady and bear him sons.  She also wants him to kill Cersei so nobody in town can stop them.  He informs her that kin slayers are cursed in the sight of both gods and men.  Tee hee.  Foreshadowing.  Instead he proposes Shae becomes a scullion (kitchen) maid.  Ouch.  He’s thinks she’d be safer in the Red Keep, but of course she’s pretty offended.  She mocks him for being afraid of his father and he slaps her.  Nice domestic violence Tyrion!  Ick.  He feels guilty and tells her the Tysha story.  I think that’s supposed to make us feel sympathy for Tyrion, but from what I can tell, abusers tend to have some sort of sob story excusing their violence so I’m not inclined to give any fucks.  Shae buys it though.  She agrees to go work in the kitchens.

  Tyrion goes back out to meet Varys berating himself for thinking a whore might lurve him for real. Varys agrees to help him place Shae in the kitchens.  Varys warns him the kitchens are super gossipy like the downstairs portion of Downton Abbey so Shae will need to memorize a good back story.  He also warns Tyrion that sexual harassment runs rampant in the kitchens, but Tyrion would Shae get fondled than stabbed.  What nice choices!

  Luckily for Shae, Lady Tanda Stokeworth needs a new maid for Lollys.  Lollys was already developmentally disabled.  Since being raped in the riots she’s regressed.  That’s just horribly, horribly sad.  But hey, it’s convenient for Tyrion that Lollys won’t care much about who Shae is and where she came from.  Varys also reveals that there is a secret passage leading to Tyrion’s bedchamber so Shae might be able to visit.

  With all the important booty call business taken care of, Tyrion is able to refocus on Penrose’s demise.  According to Varys, he threw himself from a tower.  Some guards witnessed it.  Of course, we readers know that the second shadow baby was the culprit.  Varys seems to think something fishy is going to do.  Tyrion laughs it off.  This prompts Varys to tell the story of how he was cut.  It’s a doozy.

  Varys was an orphan boy apprenticed to a mummer’s troupe.  In Myr some creepy dude offered to pay Varys’ master a lot of money for him.  The master was a horrible person so he agreed to this.  The creepy guys made young Varys drink a potion that paralyzed him but didn’t dull his senses.  He cut off both the frank and the beans.  I don’t even possess those parts and that made me cringe.  I can’t imagine how the penis havers felt reading this.  Then Male Lorena Bobbitt threw the genitals on a brazier.  The flames turned blue and Varys heard a disembodied voice speaking in another language.

  After the ordeal, creepy spell casting dude had no further use for Varys and put him out on the streets.  This story just keeps getting more distressing.  Varys pulled himself up by his bootstraps, did whatever he needed to survive and eventually became a really good thief.  Murica!  Myr!  It was during this time Varys learned that secrets were more valuable than coins. 

  The moral of the story is, magic is evil and Varys hates it.  I think if he were in modern society he would become one of those anti circ nuts that always brigades comments section.  But this is Planetos and instead Varys is an anti-magic zealot.  Because of this Varys wants Stannis dead.  I’m filing this away as possible foreshadowing.  Will Varys be involved in Stannis or Melisandre’s eventual demise?  Time will tell.  Hopefully not too much time.

 

Catelyn VI

  On to more cheerful things.  Oh wait, no.  It’s a Cat chapter.  Never mind.  Edmure rides off to war.  Catelyn’s not particularly thrilled with this.  It leaves her in a funk and she starts reminiscing.  We learn more about her background.  Catelyn’s two older brothers died in infancy and then her mother died giving birth to Edmure.  Cat was always both the dutiful eldest child and she had to function as lady of Riverrun.  This explains why she’s always so serious.  She’s always been focused on doing her duty.

  Cat tells Brienne all about how difficult being separated from her children is.  Brienne thinks childbirth is just as difficult and dangerous as fighting war.  Which is a great point.

  Riverrun also receives the news that Cortnay Penrose is dead and Storm’s End is fallen.  This means Stannis has Robert’s bastard Edric Strom.  This leads to Cat to thinking about bastard.  She wonders how Jon’s mother felt about Ned’s death.  She contrasts Ned’s protectiveness of Jon to Roose’s attitude when news of Ramsay’s death reached him.  He was glad to be rid of Ramsay because “tainted blood is ever treacherous.”  Damn.  The Boltons are even colder than the Bushes.

  Cat’s thoughts are interrupted by news of Lannisters marching across the Red Fork.  They are led by one of Lord Brax’s sons.  It is only a small host and supposedly Riverrun is not endangered.  Cat and Brienne can sort of see and hear the ensuing battle from the tower.  Edmure and his men won easily.

  That night, more Lannisters show up.  With it being dark Cat is less able to figure out what’s happening.  However, Edmure is again victorious.  The next morning word arrives of another victory to the south.  Yay!  Of course, Catelyn isn’t thrilled.  She never really is.  She sends lots of wine down to Cleos Frey so he can be drunk when she questions him later. 

  Once Cleos is good and sloshed she pays a visit to his cell.  She threatens him into giving her information about Arya and Sansa.  He has to admit that he only saw Sansa in King’s Landing.  She tries not to think about the possibility that Arya is dead.

  Later more word comes of several more attempts to cross the Trident.  The Tully men beat them all back.  Catelyn wants to be happy but can’t.  She wonders why, if they are winning, is she so afraid?  Because GRRM is a big meanie?

 

Bran VI

  This chapter opens with Bran having a wolf dream.  Summer is hearing weird clinking and scraping noises.  Summer and Shaggydog are distressed and smell strange men.  Unfortunately the direwolves have been locked up.  Summer who is melded with Bran even tries to climb a tree to escape but can’t do it.  He falls and this shakes Bran awake.

  Bran is afraid.  He knows that Jojen’s dream about the sea flooding Winterfell is coming true.  Moments later, Theon busts in.  Oh Theon, fuck you.  He tells Bran he’s taken Winterfell and is now the prince.  Poor Bran is still a naïve kid and doesn’t quite get it.  So Theon informs him he is being taken to the great hall and had better say the right things.

  Luwin later comes for Bran.  He has a gash above his eye.  He tells Bran that the Iron Born have scaled the walls.  They killed Alebelly.  Just like Jojen predicted.  Luwin managed to get two ravens off with the news.  One was shot down, but the raven sent to White Harbor got away.  Luwin helps Bran dress and advises him to yield to protect the smallfolk.

  Once downstairs, Bran sees the Reeds and Big and Little Walder.  Little Walder is prickish as usual and gloats over Bran’s new status as a hostage.  Shut up L. Walder.  You suck and something bad will surely happen to you.  The direwolves are howlin in the distance.  Theon, ever the asshole, lords his victory over Bran and Rickon.  Several Winterfellians are hurt and/or traumatized.  One of the Iron Born brings Reek in.  Oh good.

  Theon tries to speak but Mikken keeps shouting.  Bran tells him to be quiet after some IB beat on Mikken a little.  Bran officially yields Winterfell to Theon and this is probably one of the saddest, shittiest things that happen in the whole series.  The Starks have held Winterfell for thousands of years.  This is just not right!

  Mikken will just not shut up.  He refuses to serve Theon and keeps getting more beat up.  Bran desperately wants him to shut the fuck up.  But he won’t.  Finally one of the IB kills him by driving a spear through his neck.  Poor Hodor is now extremely distressed and is Hodoring very loudly over and over.  He gets beaten too.  Noooo!!!

  Theon tells the assembly that he’ll be as good to them as Ned Stark was.  Ha!  But they’ll be sorry if they ever betray him.  Reek pledges him his fealty, and then Osha does too.  They both want their freedom.  Bran has the sads because he thought that Osha was a friend.  No little boy, she was a captive.  Duh.  Afterwards beaten up Hodor cries and carries Bran back to his bedchamber and I just want to die.

Deaths in this recap:  3.  Poor Cortnay Penrose and Alebelly didn’t even get to die on page.  Mikken went down like a bad ass though.

Cumulative deaths: 57

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  2

Betrayals in this recap: 1  I go back and forth about whether taking Winterfell constitutes a betrayal, but what the hell.  Bran feels betrayed so I’m counting it.

Cumulative betrayals: 14

Incest incidents: 0

Cumulative incests: 25

So many bad ideas, so few nope llamas

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:  Bran V, Tyrion VIII, Theon III

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot grigio

 

Bran V

  A raven arrives at Winterfell with news of Robb’s big victory against the Lannisters at Oxcross.  However, Bran is disappointed that Tywin is not yet defeated and Robb will not be coming home.  Maester Luwin also tells Big and Little Walder that their uncle Stevron Frey is dead.  Those two little shits have zero fucks to give and just LOL at how old Stevron is.  Bran realizes this situation is proof that Jojen’s greendreams are prophetic.  The Freys got the bad dish but liked the taste of it better.  In real life I would put this all down to confirmation bias, but hey, fantasy!

  Later Jojen barges into Bran’s bed chamber with Meera ready to tell Bran about the dream of disaster at Winterfell he had.  He dreamt that the sea comes to Winterfell and drowns many of its residents including Mikken, Alebelly, and Septon Chayle.  I’m not sure what need they have for a Septon now that Catelyn’s gone anyway.  Is that callous?  Winterfell is many leagues away from the sea so it’s all cryptic but Bran seems to be a believer now.  He wants to warn the people that Jojen saw dead to save them.  Jojen is all fatalistic about the whole thing and declares that it will not help.

  Instead, Jojen wants to hear about Bran’s dreams.  Bran describes his wolf dreams.  Jojen calls Bran a warg.  In the book the word ‘warg’ appears in italics so you know it’s extra dramatic.  The ever comforting Jojen warns Bran that even his own people will want to hurt or even kill him if they hear about his wargtastic state of being.  The perfect thing to tell a nine year old.  He tells Bran that they aren’t mere dreams and they can’t be changed so he might as well shut up about becoming a knight.

  Bran ignores Jojen’s opinion that he can’t change the foreseen deaths and decides to try and warn them.  Predictably it doesn’t do much.  Mikken makes fun of him, Chayle doesn’t really care and figures he’ll die when the gods see fit and Alebelly does pay heed but his solution is to stop bathing so he gets so extra stinky that his buddies force him to bathe.

  A few days later, Rodrick comes back to Winterfell with a prisoner.  He is called Reek.  He has long greasy hair, wormy looking lips and smells like literal shit.  In other words, he is exactly what you imagine an internet troll to be.  Reek was a servant to Roose Bolton’s bastard Ramsay.  Ramsay was killed and Reek captured while they were in the middle of committing rapes on Hornwood lands.  It turns out that with Reek’s aid, Ramsay forcibly married Lady Hornwood, locked her in a tower and left her to starve to death.  She was found with her fingers chewed off.  I get why that imagery was used because it’s horrifically gruesome, but wouldn’t she die of dehydration long before she got that hungry?  Oh well.  That’s kind of nitpicky I guess.  In any case; I think this calls for a nope llama.

  Rodrick and Maester Luwin worry that this will create a difficult political situation with Roose Bolton because Lady Hornwood signed a will naming Ramsay as heir, but it was signed under duress.  They are not sure if Roose will press his claim on the Hornwood’s lands.  Bolton men and Manderly men are fighting each other in the Hornwood forests.  It’s a hot mess.  They decide to keep Reek alive until Robb returns because he is a witness.  Um, that might, just might be a bad idea guys?

  Bran tells Luwin about Jojen’s dream.  Of course, he is skeptical but he has to admit to Bran that the Ironborn are raiding the Stony Shore.  Later, Jojen tells Bran he had a dream about Reek in which he was skinning the faces off of Bran and Rickon.  He saw Bran and Rickon down in the crypts.  Again, these are not appropriate things to tell a child about!  The chapter dramatically ends with Jojen reminding Bran that the greendreams cannot be changed. 

 

Tyrion VIII

  Varys is villainously warming his hands above the brazier and informing the small council of Renly’s demise.  Varys has heard many theories about who did it but either isn’t sure which is correct or is pretending not to be sure.  Cersei, with her usual pissiness is angry at him for not being sure.  In any case, Tyrion is thinking Stannis was behind it.  The sudden death is not good news for team Lannister because they were counting on Stannis and Renly’s armies decimating each other so the winner was too weakened to be a threat.  Most of Renly’s forces have gone over to Stannis..

  However, the Tyrells, Tarlys and Rowans haven’t gone over and are free agents now.  Also, Storm’s End hasn’t yielded under the watch of the castellan Cortnay Penrose.  Word is Loras was so upset he killed Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce for not saving Renly.  They see an opportunity to win the Tyrells by voiding Joffrey’s betrothal to Sansa and promising him to Margaery instead.  The prospect makes Cersei mad for no reason I can see.  I’m pretty sure she automatically hates everything that wasn’t her own idea.  She finally does reluctantly agree and she and Tyrion try to talk each other into being the one to go to Bitterbridge to treat with the Tyrells.  In a surprise twist Littlefinger agrees to step on go.  That’s not suspicious at all.  Tyrion doesn’t trust it but he has no choice to agree.  Slobber Redwyne will go with to be returned to Lord Paxter Redwyne in hopes of winning him over to the Lannisters side too.  Horror will be left in KL as insurance.

  After the meeting is over, Cersei suddenly starts buttering Tyrion up.  She thanks him for his awesome performance as the Hand and kisses him on the cheek.  Obviously she is up to something.

 

Theon III

  We join Theon on his raiding mission on the Stony Shore.  He has captured Benfred Tallheart.  Aeron Damphair wants him killed, Theon wants Benfred questioned but Benfred is belligerent.  He says he will not answer questions and swears Theon will die for his fuckery.  This makes Theon decide to kill him.  Aeron wants him given to the Drowned God and he wants Theon to be the one to drown him.  Theon however, unlike Ned cannot stomach executing his own prisoner and refuses to do it.  Oh Theon!  For all his bragging about almost cutting down Jaime at Whispering Wood he sure is chickenshit with his prisoner.

  After Benfred is dead and the looting complete Theon seeks out Dagmer Cleftjaw.  Dagmer has a hideous scar down his face.  He was sort of a surrogate father to Theon.  Theon whines about Balon not really trusting him and outlines his wishes to do something more than just harry the shore.  Dagmer admits that Theon is untrusted because he is too close to Robb.  Poor Theon.  Nobody likes him.  A lot of that is because he is a douche, but still.  It’s kind of sad.

  Anyway, Theon’s dastardly plan is to have Dagmer lay siege to Torrhen’s Square home of the Tallhearts.  This will draw Rodrick and Winterfell’s garrison leaving Winterfell undefended.  Uh oh.

 

Deaths in this recap:  4.  Poor Lady Hornwood, Benfred Emmon, and Robar didn’t even get the courtesy of dying on page.

Cumulative deaths: 50

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  1

Betrayals in this recap: 1.  I can’t remember if I already counted Theon betraying Robb, but I think it’s worth mentioning again.  Bad Theon.

Cumulative betrayals: 13

Incest incidents: 21

Cumulative incests: 25

 

Ducksauce vs. Fedora Man: A battle for the ages

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters: Arya VI, Daenerys II, Bran IV

Booze in my flagon: Cabernet-sauvignon

 

Arya VI

  Arya is trapped in the storeroom for eight days with Genry, Hot Pie and the villagers.  The Mountain would pick a new prisoner each day to torture and question.  The main questioner/torturer is named the Tickler.  He’s good at his job.  The prisoners were always asked about whether there was gold and silver in the village and they were always asked about Beric Dondarrion, the guy Ned sent after the mountain who Sansa’s friend Jeyne Poole had a crush on.  I don’t know why the detail about Jeyne Poole was important to add.  It’s just cute and it reminds me of the hopeless crush I had on a student teacher when I was in high school.  Onto more gruesome and important things, nobody ever survives the questioning.

  The prisoners aren’t even allowed to speak.  A three year old boy and his mother were even killed because he wouldn’t stop crying.  It’s really, really horrible. Arya’s chapters in these books might be the darkest in the series.   Arya is becoming increasingly angry towards the Lannisters and one can hardly blame her.

  After the eight days in the storehouse, the remaining prisoners were forced to march to Harrenhal where Tywin Lannister and his gilded mutton chops await.  The march is depressing too.  Those too weak to keep up were killed and the women were routinely raped by the Mountain and his men.  Arya keeps looking longingly at Needle who is kept by Polliver.  She thinks that’s it’s a good thing she doesn’t have it because she’d have tried to use it against Gregor and gotten herself killed by now.  I should be disturbed by this, but to be honest, I’ve had similar thoughts whilst on an annoyingly crowded and noisy bus/airplane so…

  It’s at this point that dark Arya is creeping and she starts her pre bedtime death list prayer.  Dunsen, Polliver, Chyswyck, Raff the Sweetling, The Tickler and the Hound, Ser Amory, Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, King Joffrey, Queen Cersei.  I’m guessing they’re all dead before the end of the series, but GRRM loves to fuck with his readers so who knows?

  On to fun ooky horror stuff.  Arya recalls the stories Old Nan told her about Harrenhal.  It was built by one of Iron Born former rulers of the Riverlands, Harren the Black.  He supposedly mixed human blood in the mortar.  Soon after the giant monstrosity that is Harrenhal was built, Aegon came along and roasted Harren within the walls.  Oops.

  Sure enough, Harrenhal’s towers are all creepy and melty.  Think of the sand castles you make with wet goopy sand.  Hot Pie doesn’t want to go in because he’s heard it’s haunted.  Obviously he has no choice.  The prisoners are showered and inspected.  Arya gets assigned to serve as a butter churner because she has callouses on her hands from “Needle work.”  She tells the overseers that her name is Weasel.  Arya says she’d rather tend horses.  For impudence she is instead assigned to assigned to some fugly psycho named Weese.  Thus ends a chapter too bleak to properly snark.

 

Daenerys II

  Daenerys and her party approach the walls of Qarth.  A column of camels and riders are sent to escort them to the gates.  They’re all garish and fancy.  A warlock named Pyat Pree rides alongside Dany and boasts about Qarth being the “greatest city that ever was or ever will be.”  Such arrogance.  I think Qarth people are to the ASOIAF fire universe what New Yorkers are to our universe.  You know how they think they’re really important and are the only city with culture but no one else gives two shits about them?  The Qartheen seem to be the same way.

  The city also proves to be rather loud and garish, at least for my taste.  There’s lots of colors and ornate fountains and architecture.  Everyone is tall and pale and the women wear silk gowns that expose one boob.  Um, why?  I hope that trend never takes off here in real world.  Some of us need bras!

  A merchant prince named Xaro Xhoan Daxos (henceforth he will be called ducksauce) and starts having a passive aggressive argument with Pyat Pree about who should host Dany and her khalasar.  She has soured on the concept of sorcery since her experience with Mirri Maz Duur so she chooses Ducksauce.  He tells her not to trust the warlocks because they are ludicrous liars.

  Of course, Jorah the fedora’d wonder takes issue with Dany having a new manfriend.  He doesn’t want her to trust Ducksauce either.  Dany is more pragmatic and realizes she needs to suck up to rich people.  She’d make a good senator.

Ser Fedorah

I have a feeling I’ll be using this picture often.  Thanks Nice Guys of Westeros tumblr!

  Ducksauce’s estate is staggeringly vast.  Dany gets her own huge section of it.  Before the Qartheen party departs, a mysterious shadowbinder in a red lacquer mask (da fuck?) named Quaithe tells her to beware of everyone and everything in Qarth.  She insinuates that they only like her for her dragons and that’s the only reason she gets to be the new popular kid.

  Dany sends out some of her men to scope out the city.  Jorah brings back a ship captain from the summer islands named Quhuru Mo.  Another fucking Q name?  Geez.  Mo brings Dany some great news.  Robert Baratheon is dead.  But you already knew that.  Jorah is cautious, but Dany is given a new sense of hope and purpose.

 

Bran IV

  Bran has become friends with Meera and Jojen Reed.  Meera and Summer are play fighting.  He knocks her over, but she is awesome with a net and managed to ensnare Summer.  Bran asks if a master-at-arms taught her to fight with a net.  She says no.  Her father, Ned’s friend Howland taught her.  The Crannogmen hardly have a typical home.  Meera says their home, Greywater Watch moves around. So, it’s Howland’s moving castle?  It means no one, even ravens can find it.  Bran asks if he would be welcome there and Meera says yes.  Bran thinks he will ask Rodrick about it.  Rodrick is not home right now.  He’s sorting out some trouble.  Lord Roose Bolton’s bastard son kidnapped the recently widowed Lady Hornwood and forcibly married her so he might get her lands.  This has pissed off all the other Northern lords who also want to marry her and take her land.  Lord Wyman Manderly took her castle to “protect” it.  It’s a whole big thing, but I’m sure it will have no further bearing on the story :/

  Jojen, in his creepy solemn way tells Bran that he needs to peace out of Winterfell ASAP.  Jojen has prophetic dreams.  The Reeds call the greendreams.  The crow from Bran’s dream also appears to Jojen and it’s telling him they need to go north.  He says Bran needs to open his third eye so he can see beyond the physical plane or whatever.  Bran is in denial for now.  I guess that means he’s third eye blind?

  The more Jojen presses Bran to tell him of his dreams, the crankier Bran gets.  He tells Bran that he and Summer are a part of each other.  That’s why Summer is getting pissy too.  He’s being all Cujotastic and menacing the Reeds.  His rage brings Shaggydog over too.  Shit is getting serious.  The Reeds climb up a tree.  Bran calls Hodor over and Hodor calms the wolves down by chasing them and Hodoring.

  Bran has Hodor bring him to the Maester’s tower to visit Luwin.  He asks Luwin about the Children of the Forest, who supposedly had the greensight.  Just like Jojen and apparently, Bran.  He wants to know where the magic came from.  Luwin doesn’t know and he claims that all the magic is gone from the world.  He does know that the Children could supposedly see through the eyes of Weirwood trees and that’s why the First Men cut them down.  Meera later tells Bran that Luwin is full of shit and magic still exists.  Jojen had a recent dream that Bran was given delicious meat while the Walders were given gross rotten meat, but the Walders liked their meal more.  She said he’ll understand the dream later.  When the dinner that night is uneventful, Bran is able to keep in denial about his burgeoning creepy kid powers.  For now anyway.

 

Deaths in this recap:  0.  That’s 9 chapters in a row with no deaths! George, I am disappoint.

Cumulative deaths: 43

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  1

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 12

Incest incidents: 20. 

Cumulative incests: 26

 

Pie Romancer

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:  Tyrion V, Bran III, Catelyn II

Booze in my flagon:  Malbec

 

Tyrion V

  Tyrion goes to visit Hallyne the Pyromancer at the Guildhall of the Alchemists.  The alchemists used to be the go to guys for medicine and advice, but the maesters were the Cady Herron to the alchemists Regina George and replaced them.  However, there are still alchemists left and they know the spells it takes to make a weapon called wildfire.  It’s a highly flammable substance that produces green flames that can’t be put out with water or stop, drop and rolling.  You just have to wait for it to burn itself out.  It’s a deadly weapon, but obviously hard to control.

  Tyrion orders 10,000 pots of wildfire and 3,000 empty pots for the soldiers to use for practice.  Then he leaves with his escort of Timett and a bunch of Burned Men.  There’s been lots of unrest in King’s Landing.  A hungry mob recently descended upon the Red Keep.  Bronn is also there and he has summons from Jacelyn Bywater of the Gold Cloaks and Cersei,

  Tyrion goes to Jacelyn first because he prefers to meet with Cersei when she’s pissed off as it makes her kind of stupid and impulsive.  Jacelyn has Cleos Frey with the peace terms from Robb.  He tells Tyrion that the Riverlands are a hellish wartorn shithole and that Catelyn was the one interested in peace, not Robb.  He tells him to wait until he consult with Cersei to draw up their own peace terms.

  When Tyrion gets back to the Tower of the Hand, Cersei is waiting for him predictably pissed off.  She’s mostly upset about the deal to send Myrcella to Dorne.  That means Pycelle has been tattling.  She gets worked up enough to smack him upside the head.  When Tyrion tries to convince her that Myrcella would be safer there, Cersei starts crying.  This is a confusing turn of events because until now she seemed to lack feelings.  Still, she won’t let Tyrion comfort her.  It’s not a hug and cry and learn and grow moment (I stole that phrase from Faith).

He manages to calm her down with the letter from Robb and knows he’ll get his way concerning Myrcella.

 

Bran III

  Bran is starting to enjoy playing lord of Winterfell.  He likes getting cheered by the smallfolk and holding feasts.  Two new guests arrive.  Meera and Jojen Reed from Greywater Watch.  The children of Ned’s good friend Howland.  Meera is the elder.  She is dressed like a boy.  Jojen is younger and very frail.  They reswear the oath their house made to the Starks thousands of years ago.

  Bran has a wolf dream later that night.  In this dream Jojen and Meera are there.  Jojen knows it isn’t the day he will die and is not afraid of a direwolf attack.  Clearly Jojen has a creepy horror movie kid thing going on.

 

Catelyn II

  Cat is angsting about wanting to reunite with her children. She and her escort are on the way to treat with Renly.  That afternoon the party is met by Renly’s outriders and they are taken to his camp.  His camp is huge and so is his army.  As they approach Renly’s tent they see that a melee is in progress.  Cat thinks it unseemly that a for fun party fight is going on when there is a real war to fight.

  Renly is watching the fight.  He looks really fabulous and not at all gay.  We now get our first introduction to his new wife Margaery of house Tyrell.  She is pretty, but since she has brown hair and eyes she obviously isn’t too pretty.  Loras is fighting really well and almost wins, but he ends up getting beaten by a mysterious blue clad knight.

  Surprise!  The blue knight is not a man.  It is Brienne of house Tarth.  She’s super big and tall and regarding as kind of a manbeast.  She has a plain face and is socially awkward, so of course nobody really likes her.  All Brienne wants as her prize is to be a member of Renly’s Rainbow Guard (really George?) which is his version of the Kingsguard.

  After Renly agrees to that, he is introduced to Catelyn.  Renly declares that he will avenge Ned’s death by presenting her Cersei’s head.  Cat tells him the news that Jaime is a prisoner at Riverrun.  He tells Cat he will speak to her later when she rests and refreshes herself.  She is assigned a fancy schmancy tent.

  Later, she goes to his pavilion for dinner.  Renly keeps things classy, but she thinks his bannermen are fools who aren’t taking this war business seriously enough.  She has to be a buzzkill and note that they are the knights of summer and winter is coming, and they won’t be so carefree for long.  It’s kind of annoying, but she has a point.

  Renly invites Cat for a walk after dinner.  He boasts about the strength of his army.  Catelyn points out that Stannis technically has the better claim but Renly doesn’t have any fucks to spare about that.  Renly points out that Robert had no right to take the throne either.  The right of conquest is what matters.  Fair enough?

  He tells Cat that he will only form an alliance with Robb if he drops the bid for northern independence.  Then they are interrupted by a messager  Stannis has besieged Storm’s End.

 

Deaths in this recap:  0.  An uneventful triad!

Cumulative deaths: 43

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  1

Betrayals in this recap: 1.  Pycelles rats out Tyrion

Cumulative betrayals: 12

Incest incidents: 0 

Cumulative incests: 6

Hot Pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:  Arya IV, Tyrion III, Bran II

Booze in my flagon:  Malbec

 

Arya IV

  The NW finds a corpse floating in the river.  Lommy is not surprised because the water they had been drinking tasted like dead body.  EWWW!!!  When I was a canvasser, our van hit a dead and decomposing deer when we were driving out to turf in the exurbs.  It was the summertime.  The dead deer stink got all over the front of the van (is that the grill?  Like Jon Snow, I know nothing when it comes to cars) and every time it stunk of deer corpse inside the van.  I will never ever forget that smell,  It was disgusting,  I cannot even begin to manage drinking corpsified water.  Ew, ew, ew!  Yoren has them loot the body for valuables.  It’s understandable and necessary, but it still squicks me out a bit.

  The party aren’t too far from the huge lake called the God’s Eye.  Harrenhal is right on the lake and they discuss seeking shelter there because Lady Whent is friendly towards the Night’s Watch.  Harrenhal was built by King Harren, an Iron Born.  They controlled the Riverlands at the time.  He refused to surrender to Aegon and the dragons barbequed Harren inside the castle.  Arya remembers that Old Nan used to tell stories about ghosts haunting Harrenhal.

  The party comes across some homes, but they are all abandoned.  It’s pretty suspicious.  Finally they come upon an entire abandoned town and holdfast.  This is how bad horror movies start out.  The town is on the God’s Eye and it’s so big that they can’t see the opposite shore.

  Yoren decides they will spend the night at the holdfast.  Arya doesn’t want to because obviously the town is abandoned for a reason.  Yoren thinks she is smart for knowing to be concerned, but it isn’t enough to convince him to move on.  They do bar the doors behind them.

  Later that night Arya dreams she hears wolves howling.  She wakes up and knows that something is very wrong and wakes everyone else.  Momentarily Kurz blows the horn.  There are a couple hundred soldiers outside.  It’s some Lannister troops.  Yoren tells them that they are Night’s Watch but they are not believed.  They think it might be Beric Dondarrion’s people.  His sigil is a lightning bolt on black so it looks similar to the black of the NW.  Beric has been leading a group of rebels.

  The soldier’s leader, a man called Amory Lorch commands Yoren to open the door.  Lorch is one of Tywin’s bannerman and he is the one who killed princess Rhaenys Targaryen,  He’s a total asshole, obviously.  Yoren refuses.  Lorch orders his men to storm the walls and kill everyone.  Of course he does.

  Arya is not afraid to join the fight.  She uses to needle to stab the fingers of someone trying to climb the wall.  She screams “Winterfell!”  She dispatches several more foes.  Unfortunately they just keep coming.  Dobber and Qyle are killed.  Arya keeps screaming “Winterfell!” and Hot Pie adorably shouts “Hot Pie!”

  Sadly, the NW are being overwhelmed and Yoren tells Arya to flee out of the trap under the barn and take as many as she can with her.  She takes with her Gendry, Hot Pie, Lommy and the toddler girl they call Weasel.  The barn is on fire.  All their horses and donkeys are trapped and screaming.  With all the death in ASOIAF, this is one of the most upsetting part to me.  I guess I just like other animals more than I do humans.

  Jaqen H’gar, Rorge and Biter are still locked up in their cage.  I’m not sure why they haven’t passed out from smoke inhalation by now, but hey, fantasy!  Arya finds an axe and gives it to them so they can bust themselves out.  They all escape.  They see Kurz die.  It isn’t until the next chapter that it’s mentioned that Yoren is dead, but he is.

 

Tyrion III

  The word has spread to the small council that all the lords have received that letter from Stannis calling Joffrey a bastard.  Cersei acts all indignant as if the accusation isn’t true.  This is amusing to Tyrion.  And me.  Since the letter says “in the light of the Lord” Tyrion figure they can use Stannis’ conversion to R’hllor worship against him. 

  Cersei wants everyone who calls Joffrey Bieber a bastard to get their tongues cut out as punishment.  Pycelle, ever the kiss ass agrees.  Tyrion disagrees.  He thinks that going so far as removing the ability to speak suggests that they have something to hide and the rumors might be true.  Tyrion wants to let the lack of proof speak for itself.  Littlefinger agrees with Tyrion.  We all know they’re much smarter than Cersei and Pycelle so they win.  Littlefinger suggest that they plant their own rumor, that Shireen is the result of Selyse doing sexy times with Patchface.  Blech.  LF knows that the smallfolk are superstitious and will believe Shireen’s greyscale face came from a union with Patchy and his creepiness.

  Tyrion notes aloud that LF is quite the accomplished liar and there is some tension between them.  This is the moment where they each realize the other is dangerous.  Of course Cersei is too self absorbed to notice the moment.  She could have used the rivalry to play them off each other and keep them both in check, but no.  Cersei is just so…Cersei.

  Everyone notes Varys conspicuous absence until Tyrion excuses himself to go attend to some business.  He meets Bronn outside.  He meets with all the  best smiths in the city.  He wants them to make a shit ton of chains.  He orders them to make it a priority.

  After the meeting he has Bronn escort him to a brothel.  It is run by a madam called Chataya.  She is from the Summer Islands.  It’s a sex positive culture way south and east of Westeros.  Everyone from there has really dark skin.  I don’t really know what real world culture is supposed to be analogous to them, but I’m sure there is one.  Chataya suggests that he hire her daughter Alayaya.  She takes him upstairs and leads him into the wardrobe.  There is a secret passage there.  Instead of Narnia, Varys awaits him.  Ooh, sneaky!

  Varys leads Tyrion through the tunnel.  Tyrion asks why a secret passage is under a brothel and Varys replies that is was built for another hand.  Hmm…. guess who?  We’ll get the story.  Eventually.  They come upon a room with horses and cloaks.  They dress in the cloaks so they can go meet Shae in secret.  This is so ridiculously elaborate IMO.  It’s just a big set up for later revelations and in hindsight it’s way too obvious.  Oh well.

 

Bran II

  Bran is having to do a bunch of boring duties in his role as prince.  He doesn’t like it.  Luwin and Rodrick don’t have a single nanocrap to give about that and they make him sit in on meetings and deal with visitors.  The latest of which is Lord Wyman Manderly AKA Lord-too-fat-to-sit-a-horse.  I keep trying to work out why he might have such a similar name to Manderley, the house in Rebecca, but I’ve got nothing.  Manderly is an important person and must be feasted.

  Bran has Hodor carry him down into the yars.  The Frey wards, Big Walder and Little Walder are there.  It is clear from the outset that they are the worst.  They make fun of Hodor.  Let me repeat.  This time loudly.  THEY MAKE FUN OF HODOR.  Unacceptable.

Inconceivable! (The Princess Bride)

  Bran and the Walders have some words.  Bran is threatening to sic Summer on them and I wish that he would. but Maester Luwin breaks it up.  Luwin is also pissed and he tells the stupid ass Freys to quit being mean to Hodor.

  later, at the feast Manderly expresses a desire to marry the recently widowed Lady Hornwood.  He also assures Bran that he will remain loyal even though the Lannisters hold his son Wylis.  Later on that night, Lady Hornwood arrives.  Her land is near that of the Bolton’s and she brings the news that Bolton’s bastard is amassing men with his servant, a ceaselessly stanky man called Reek.  Nothing to see here folks, move it along.

  Later in this apparently never ending day, Hodor takes Bran to the pool in the godswood.  There they encounter Osha who is bathing.  Osha, being intelligent has developed an immediate distrust of the Walders and tells Bran that he and Hodor need to watch their backs.  She asks him about his wolf dreams and he doesn’t want to say anything, but he does have a mystical dream about a weirwood tree and the three eyed crow that night.

  There are some more meetings.  Blah, blah, blah.  Everyone wants to marry Lady Hornwood.

  That night, Bran is starting to feel dread about the war.  He wants a dreamless sleep, but as usual does not get it.

 

Deaths in this recap:  4.  Qyle. Dobber, Kurz, and Yoren

Cumulative deaths: 42

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  1

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 10

Incest incidents: 0 

Cumulative incests: 6

 

 

 

 

 

Always wear pants to the tourney

Book I am reading:  A Clash of Kings

Chapters:  Prologue, Arya I, Sansa I, Tyrion I, Bran I

Booze in my flagon:  Malbec

 

Prologue

  The comet that Daenerys saw at the end of AGOT can also be seen in Westeros.  Maester Cressen is watching it from a balcony at Dragonstone.  The bright red and intense look of the comet is making him feel superstitious.  He hates that because maesters are trained to be rational and (relative to the time and place) scientific.  I hear ya, Cressen.  I’m an atheist and skeptic.  Yet, a dark bathroom scares the crap out of me.  What if I look at the mirror and there is a ghost right behind me?  Gaah!

  In addition to the comet, steam is coming out of the presumed volcano Dragonmont and a white raven arrived from the citadel where the maester headquarters is.  Albino ravens herald the change in seasons.  It is no longer summer.  Fall is here.  That means what?  You know what!  Winter is coming.

  Pylos, a younger maester who is fairly new to Dragonstone interrupts Cressen’s musings.  He tells him that Princess Shireen wants to see the white raven and she brought Patchface, Dragonstone’s fool with her.  Shireen is Stannis Baratheon’s only child with his wife Selyse nee Florent.  She is 10 years old, shy and awkward with her father’s jutting jaw and her mother’s Obama ears.  Half of her face is covered with greyscale.  Greyscale is a disease that is deadly to adults but survivable among children.  She got the disease as a baby and her face is still grey, scaly and hard.  I think it’s a combination of Leprosy and Scleroderma.

  Apparently, Shireen is awake at this time because she had her recurring nightmare about dragon eating her.  Uh, oh.  Cressen tries to comfort her by saying that the stone dragons at the castle just look realistic because the Valyrians had magical techniques to shape stone.  However, Shireen has heard from the red woman (more on her in a minute) said that the comet portended dragons coming back to life.  of course, Cressen doesn’t know any better and tells her that this just can’t be true.  These maesters just can’t seem to grasp that they are in a fantasy tale can they?

  Then they start talking about the changing seasons and Patchface interrupts with some creepy nonsense jingles.  He wears a bucket with antlers and bells.  Stannis’ parents had found Patchy in Essos.  He was a very talented entertainer.  When they were near Dragonstone they got shipwrecked.  Steffon Baratheon and his wife drowned.  Three days later, Patchy washed up somehow he was still alive.  Except he had some sort of brain damage that makes him all extra creepity.

  Pylos returns to tell Cressen that Davos Seaworth has returned.  Davos is a former smuggler who was raised to knighthood because he smuggled food onto Dragonstone during Robert’s rebellion when Stannis was holding it and it was besieged by Lord Mace Tyrell.  The island was starving.  Davos’ nickname is the Onion Knight because that was what he smuggled in.  However, smuggling is a crime and Stannis is really into upholding the letter of the law at all times so he also hacked off some of his fingers.  Davos wears those bones in a pouch around his neck.  Davos is now a trusted friend and ally to Stannis.  He just returned from canvassing various other lords for support.  He had no luck.  Davos tells Cressen that he advised against going to war with Joffrey, but Stannis will not heed that advice.  He believes his claim to be true and that’s that.

  Cressen goes to see Stannis.  Stannis is skinny and he has a permaclenched jaw.  He grinds his teeth all the time and doesn’t smile much.  Usually only women are called out for having bitchy resting face, but it definitely applies to Stannis.  He is pissed right off that the Storm Lords have declared for Renly.  The seat of the Storm Lands is the Baratheon’s ancestoral home Storm’s End.  Robert gave SE to Renly after he won the crown, an action that Stannis is still not over because Renly is younger than Stannis.  Stannis thinks of Renly as a shallow douche undeserving of his good fortune.  Fair point.  He will not compromise with Renly or accept Robb’s new status as King in the North.  Also, he is pretty bitter at Ned because Robert loved him so much more than he loved Stannis.

  Selyse comes in and interrupts them.  She is unattractive and mustached.  You know how it is in fiction ugly woman = THE WORST!!!  Selyse is no exception.  She is even more dour than Stannis is.  She agrees that Stannis is the rightful king and should never compromise.  She believes R’hllor wants him to be king.  R’hllor AKA the Lord of Light is a god imported from the east.  Selyse converted to the worship of LoL when the priestess Melisandre of Asshai (where Mirri Maz Durr studied !) got a vision that Stannis is the king and arrived on Dragonstone.  The mission of the LoL is to fight against the Great Other who is all about darkness.

  Stanis is still skeptical about his wife’s new religion.  I can’t say I blame him.  New converts are annoying whether it’s religion, the paleo diet or crossfit.  Selyse informs Stannis that Melisandre had a vision of Renly dead.  Cressen is appalled at this fratricidal talk and dislikes this religion.  He is a follower of the Seven.  Stannis isn’t trying to hear that and he dismisses Cressen.

  Cressen goes up to his room and decides that Melisandre is a big danger to Stannis.  He must be rid of her.  he decides to poison her with an amethyst colored substance nicknamed the strangler because it makes its victims choke to death and turn purple.  It can be disguised as choking on food.

  Cressen naps and when he wakes up realizes that he’s late to dinner with Stannis, Selyse, Mel and Stannis’ bannermen. We meet Melisandre for the first time.  She is tall, red haired, red eyed and beautiful with an imposing confidant personality. She wears a choker with a ruby on it that sometimes glows.  Confession time, I usually hat religious zealots.  But Mel is a fucking fabulous badass.  I love her!

  Patchy crashes into Cressen and knocks him over.  Mel mocks him for it and makes him wear Patchy’s bucket antler bell thing.  Stannis adds further insult to injury by informing Cressen that he was not invited to dinner because he’s a yammering old man and not needed.  He takes the opportunity to play fake nice with Mel and invite her to share a cup of (poisoned) wine.

  They both drink from the cup.  Cressen is killed.  Mel is unaffected.  She attributes this to R’hllor, bolstering her claim that God wants Stannis to be king.

  Holy shneikes that was a long info dump of a chapter.  I’ll try and make the rest of this post a bit more fun.

 

Arya I

  Arya has been posing as a boy commoner who is being recruited for the Night’s Watch.  Yoren cut her hair off before they left so she would look masculine.  The procession is full of rowdy orphan boys, rapers, thieves, poachers and a cage with three hardened criminals in it.  Their names are Jaquen H’gar, Rorge and Biter.  Rorge has a cut off nose and Biter has teeth that are filed into points.

  Arya, who is going by ‘Arry’ is the smallest and youngest of the lot.  Two of the orphan boys called Hot Pie and Lommy pick on her for this.  They call her lumpy head.  They make fun of Needle and accuse her of stealing it.  This enrages her.  An older boy steps in to defend Arya.  He has a bull helm.  Spoiler alert!  It’s Gendry, Robert’s bastard.

  Hot Pie tries to steal Needle, but Arya kicks his fat ass.  HP is sprawled on the ground crying until Yoren comes along and breaks it up.  After that, the boys are afraid of her.  That night Arya dreams of Winterfell and wishes to reunite with Jon.  Awww.

 

Sansa I

  It’s Joffrey’s name day.  The spin around the court is that the comet is there to portend glory for Joffrey.  Yeah, OK.  Sansa dresses to attend Joff’s birthday tourney.  She wears long sleeves to hide the bruises there from the beating she got when he heard Robb was claiming KitN.  Oh, ish!  That’s some depraved shit.

  This tourney is a piece of crap compared to the tourney from AGOT.  All the best knights are away at war.  Cersei won’t even be there because she will be in council meetings.  Myrcella and Tommen however, are there.  They’re still super cute. 

  When Sansa takes her seat next to Joff, he informs her that Viserys is dead and declares that he will kill Robb too.  Sure you will.  The Hound is guarding because this tourney is beneath him.  After a few jousts it is the turn of Lothar Brune, a servant of Littlefinger and Ser Dontos Hollard.  Dontos is wasted.  Like, he would be on Cops after a bar fight wasted.  He staggers out to the field pantsless with his peen flopping about.

  Joffrey is displeased because isn’t he always?  You’d think he’d enjoy the entertainment that drunken hot messes bring.  But, no.  He’s about to kill Dontos by making him drink himself to death shotgunning a cask of wine.  Sansa protests.  She cleverly makes up some crap about it being bad luck to kill someone on your birthday.  The Hound is nice enough to agree.  Joffrey buys it.  Sansa convinces him to make him a fool instead of killing him the next day.

  Shortly after there is a commotion.  It is Tyrion and his hill folk.  Tommen and Myrcella are delighted to see him.  Joffrey not so much.  He leaves and Sansa has some awkward conversation with Tyrion.  She tries to fake loyalty to the Lannisters, but you know he sees through it.  Even though he’s nice, Sansa has vowed to never trust another Lannister.

 

Tyrion I

  Tyrion decides to crash the small council meeting.  Hee hee.  Cersei is super bitchy.  Not pleased to see him at all.  He presents the letter from Tywin that gives him Hand proxy powers.  Cersei is incensed at losing the power to a sibling that she isn’t fucking.  The other council members Slynt, Pycelle, Varys and Littlefinger are more welcoming although LF makes sure to seem all smarmy about it.

  Tyrion sends everyone away to talk to Cersei privately.  She is really not taking his hand job (tee-hee) well and threatens to send him to the dungeons and declare the letter a forgery.  Tyrion negs her by pointing out her failures and offering to help make it all better.  They come to an uneasy truce.  But not before Tyrion makes it clear that he’s aware of the twincest.

I have plenty of criticisms for Tyrion in later books, but he fucking rules in this one.  He also implies that he knows she killed Robert and strongly suggests she keep Sansa alive.  Good.  Sansa’s previous chapter is when I really started to like her.

  Tyrion leaves and goes outside to order that all the gross festering heads on spikes be taken down.  He rides around the city to appraise thing and realizes that King’s Landing has gone to shit.  There’s chaos everywhere and the Tyrell’s who control the food supply and the road into KL have cut them off.  The poors are hungry.  This can only end well.

  Tyrion goes to the inn where Shae is staying to visit her.  Varys is already there because he’s a shifty eunuch and knows everything.  This is Varys’ message that Tyrion and shit and Varys has his number.  He tells Tyrion a riddle about how power is an illusion.  it lies where people think it does.  Hmm…

  Varys leaves and Tyrion and Shae get it on.

 

Bran I

  Bran has been having a lot of wolf dreams lately.  Summer and Shaggydog have been restless and constantly howling lately.  They know when shit is going down.  The comet is visible in Winterfell too.  Old Nan thinks it means dragons.  ON is a damn genius.  I’m not even snarking right now.  She knows all.  For maybe the only time in the series Bran acts his age and imitates the wolves by howling at the comet.  Luwin chastises Bran and doesn’t think the wolf dreams are very significant.  Oh, Luwin.

  The wolves have been trapped in a pen because Shaggy lunged at the Frey wards Big Walder and Little Walder.  They were annoying and played a game called ‘Lord of the Crossing’ that involves knocking people over that try to cross a log over water.  It was Rickon getting hit with a stick that caused Shaggy to attack.

  Bran has some more spooky wolf dreams.  They foreshadow of course.  The end.

 

Deaths in this recap:  1.  Cressen.

Cumulative deaths: 36

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  1

Betrayals in this recap: 0

Cumulative betrayals: 10

Incest incidents: 0 

Cumulative incests: 6

Get out of my dreams and into my crypt

Book I am reading:  AGOT

Chapters:  Bran VII, Sansa VI, Daenerys IX, Tyrion IX

Booze in my flagon: Vodka with sparkling water

 

Bran VII

  Bran is watching Rodrick, who has returned to Winterfell train boys in sword fighting.  No.  That’s not what it sounds like.  All the men have marched off with Robb so the young guys need to be trained to guard Winterfell.

  Bran is telling Maester Luwin about the dream he had last night.  The Three Eyed Crow told Bran to go down in the crypts with him.  Ned was there and he was sad but he doesn’t remember what they talked about.  Something to do with Jon.  When he woke up, he tried to get Hodor to take him down there, but Hodor wouldn’t go.  He wants Luwin to take him down to the crypts, but he thinks Bran is being silly and Ned won’t be dead for years.  Oh, Luwin.

  Osha pops up and offers to take him to the crypts.  Summer follows and Luwin goes with them after all.  There’s a cold and spooky feeling in the air.  Bran thinks he hears something and Luwin, of course thinks it’s his imagination.  Then Bran has been proven right.  Something jumps out at them.  It’s Shaggydog.  Rickon’s wolf.  SD is acting like Cujo and bites Luwin so Summer starts fighting him.  It doesn’t stop until Rickon emerges from the shadows and calls SD off.

  Rickon, in a remarkable vocabulary feat for a four year old explains that he dreamed about Ned, who told him he’s coming home.  Luwin looks a little uncertain of his previous skepticism.  They go to Luwin’s tower to dress his wounds.  Luwin is still trying to rationalize the boys psychic dreams away.  Osha is more open minded.

  They wind up talking about the Children of the Forest.  They were the creatures that lived in Westeros before the First Men came.  The COTF and the First Men went to war when the FM came over from Essos.  Eventually they made a truce and became friends.  The First Men eventually took up the Children’s gods.  The Old Gods that they still worship today.  Luwin believes the COTF are all dead, killed when the Andals (southerners) invaded.  Osha says they still live beyond the Wall.

  All of a sudden Summer and Shaggydog start howling.  Maybe they want snausages?  Probably not.  Bran has a feeling that something is very wrong.  Rickon starts crying.  Just then a raven arrives with the news of Ned’s death.

 

Sansa VI

  Sansa has been staying in bed crying and sleeping.  She considers suicide by jumping out the window.  She doesn’t do it.  Probably for the best.  She might have ended up like Bran.  Eventually Joffrey makes her get up and join him at court.  Finally, finally Sansa hates him as much as everybody else.  He claims it was mercy to kill him cleanly and she still has to marry him.  She tells Joffrey that she hates him and he has Kingsguard member Meryn Trant hit her.  Classy.

  At court, Joffrey makes all his rulings in the fashion of Kim Jong family members.  Or insert whatever dictator you don’t like in the previous sentence.  After court Joffrey makes Sansa take a walk with him.  He calls her stupid and says Cersei thinks she’s stupid too.  Now Sansa knows Cersei was just being phony to her all along. 

  Joffrey makes her go up to the battlements to looks at the severed heads on spikes of her father and the rest of the Stark household.  He also has empty spikes for Stannis and Renly.  He tells her that he’ll kill Robb and give her his head.  Sansa says that maybe Robb will give her his head.

Ooh Burn

  I will continue to post teen movie gifs as a way to deal with the sad and angry feelings these books give me.

Joffrey has Meryn hit her again.  She contemplates throwing herself and Joffrey off the wall, but the Hound stops her.

 

Daenerys IX

  Dany is having crazy fever dreams.  I don’t feel like describing them.  Suffice to say there is a major dragon theme.  She finally wakes up and is very dizzy and weak.  She drifts in and out of sleep.  Mizzi keeps feeding her some sort of roofied wine.  At one point she requests her dragon eggs come over for a cuddle.

  At last she wakes up for realsies and learns that Rhaego is dead and Drogo is still alive.  Nobody seems very happy about that though. Also, the baby looked like a hideous monster.  Mizzi seems kind of gleeful about that.  Dany decides to go see Drogo.  Outside of the tent there are only about a hundred people.  It turns out that a lot of Dothraki took this opportunity to make themselves Khals and everyone else followed them and left.

  Drogo is basically comatose.  It seems that Mizzi cheated her.  She admits that it was revenge for what Drogo and his khalasar did to her people.  She has Mirri carried off.  Later, just before dawn she suffocates Drogo with a pillow.

 

Tyrion IX

  Tywin is despondent because Robb has captured Jaime.  Tyrion and Tywin’s bannermen argue over what to do next.  Finally, Tywin kicks everyone but Tyrion and Kevan out.  Tywin informs them that Renly has married Margaery Tyrell and has all of the Reach on his side.  They decide that the most immediate priority is to take out the Starks before Stannis or Renly can do anything.  Tywin declares they will go to Harrenhal.

  Tyrion however, will not be going with them.  Tywin is sending him to King’s Landing to go to court and act as acting Hand of the King.  He forbids Tyrion from bringing Shae to court.

Deaths in this recap:  1.  Drogo.

Cumulative deaths: 34

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  1

Betrayals in this recap: 1.  Mirri Maz Durr pretended to be on Dany’s side and wasn’t. 

Cumulative betrayals: 9

Incest incidents: 0 

Cumulative incests: 6

 

Sweet Jeyne is approximately screwed

Book I am reading:  AGOT

Chapters:  Sansa IV, Jon VIII, Bran VI, Daenerys VI, Catelyn VIII

Booze in my flagon:  Pinot grigio

 

Sansa IV

  Sansa has been trapped in her bedroom with Jeyne for three days.  Sansa has heard, but not seen all the carnage below.  That was on the first day.  On the second day they hear the bells clanging and Sansa figures this means Robert died.  On the third day, they bring her to have a little chat with Cersei.

  In Maegor’s holdfast Cersei is waiting with Littlefinger, Pycelle and Varys.  That can only be a good thing.  Cersei is working Sansa and being nice to her.  She hopes that Sansa has been treated nicely.  Sansa mentions that Jeyne is with her in the tower.  Uh, oh.  Lf offers to take her somewhere and keep her.  Boros Blount, the Kingsguard is sent to escort her away.  Poor Jeyne.  We won’t be hearing from her again any time soon.  Cersei tells Sansa that she is sending Jeyne away because Jeyne is clearly too upsetting for Sansa.  Cersei’s pretty good at manipulating people.  Well, naïve kids anyway.  And Ned.

  Cersei continues buttering up Sansa by telling her that she and Joffrey love her soooo much.  This pleases Sansa.  Then Cersei hits her with the news that Ned has been charged with treason.  Cersei passive aggressively wonders how she can allow a traitor’s daughter to marry her son.  Sansa protests that she loves Joffrey.  Cersei knows this.  Why else would Sansa have come to her if not for love?

  Now we travel back in time three days and learn how Sansa came to be escorted into the tower in the first place.  Sansa was still upset that she was being sent back to Winterfell and not staying to marry Joffrey.  She didn’t quite grasp why, so she went to Cersei to ask her to intervene.  Facepalm.  This is what alerted Cersei that she had to move quickly to capture and kill everyone in Ned’s household.  This is one of the most controversial parts of the series.  I’m going to just gloss over it a little.  Sansa made a mistake, she didn’t know what was happening, there was no malice.  That is all.

    Back to the present.  They all manipulate Sansa into proclaiming her loyalty to Joffrey.  They have her write out a letter to Robb proclaiming that Ned is a traitor and he needs to go to King’s Landing to declare fealty to Joffrey.  In exchange for writing the letters she thinks she gets to marry Joffrey and keep her family safe. 

 

Jon VIII

  Jon, Sam and everyone learn that the corpses ghost found belonged to Othor and Jafer Flowers.  Men that had gone with Benjen on his ranging.  Not a good sign for old Benji.  The creepy atmosphere is still abounding even though it’s warm out and not white walker weather at all.

  Sam is afraid to look at the corpses, but Jon tells him to stop being such a wimp and do his job as Aemon’s eyes.  Meanwhile LC Mormont is scolding the ranger Ser Jaremy Rykker for letting two men get slaughtered so close to the Wall without anyone noticing.  They speculate it was Mance Rayder and that Benjen is slain as well.  They put the time of death as a day ago.

  Sam however, begs to differ.  He has noticed that the stump of his wrist where ghost tore the hand off hasn’t bled.  This means the corpses are old.  It’s mysterious (and gross) though, because they don’t smell of rot, they don’t have maggots and no animals have eaten at them.  Chett, who has been reassigned to the kennels is ordered to bring the dogs closer.  The dogs won’t go anywhere near the corpses.

  Creepier and creepier.  They notice there isn’t blood everywhere, so they must have been killed somewhere else.  They also notice that they have blue eyes.  They didn’t when they were alive.  Some of the rangers want the corpses burned.  Mormont wants them investigated and orders them brought back to the Wall.  The horses won’t accept the corpses on their backs.  OK NW,  If the dogs and the horses won’t get anywhere these corpses, maybe it’s a bad sign.  Right?  No?  They fashion slings from branches and drag the corpses back to the wall. 

  Later on, a raven arrives at the Wall with a message.  Everybody is looking at Jon funny.  Finally Pyp tells Jon that the king is dead.  Poor Jon thinks this means Ned will be returning to Winterfell and he can visit and find out who his mother is.  He goes to Mormont’s solar and Mormont asks him to pour glasses of wine for each of them.  They need to talk.  That’s bad enough to hear in real life.  In Westeros, that’s a really bad thing to hear.  You’ll see.

  Mormont breaks it to Jon that Ned is charged with treason.  Jon’s all upset about this and doesn’t think it could be true.  Mormont just hopes Ned will be sent to the Wall because they need someone of his caliber.  Real sensitive Old Bear.  He has a point.  But still, it’s a shitty thing to say.  Mormont tells Jon he hopes he isn’t going to do anything stupid and stresses that his old life is finished and his duty is at the Wall now.

  Later in the dining hall, Jon’ friends are expressing support for him.  However, he overhears Alliser Thorne making fun of him and calling him a traitor’s bastard.  Jon lunges to attack Alliser and everyone has to separate them.  “Hold me back, bro!”  Jon gets in trouble for this and is confined to his cell.

  Later that night Ghost wakes him up pawing at the door.  He’s snarling and the air is really cold.  Jon opens the door and finds his guard dead on the floor.  Ghost leads Jon up to Mormont’s chamber.  There is dead Othor.  Poised to attack.  He cuts off Othor’s hand and the hand moves by itself and grabs him.  Ew!  Othor tries to choke Jon by shoving his icy fingers down his throat.  Ghost pulls him off.  Mormont’s raven says “Burn, burn, burn!”  Jon takes the lamp and lights the curtains on fire and whipped them at Othor.

 

Bran VI

  Robb has called his banners and the different Lords and their people are streaming into Winterfell.  Maester Luwin tells Bran that Robb will be marching south soon.  This is upsetting for Bran but Luwin tells him Robb must greet Lord Karstark the latest and last arrival and won’t have time for him.  Awww.

  Bran has Hodor take him to the godswood.  Summer accompanies them.  He sends Hodor to soak at pools while Bran reflects by the heart tree.  Bran remembers a recent night when Lord Greatjon Umber threatened to leave if he wasn’t placed first in the marching order.  Robb told him to go home and after the war they’d come and get him and hang him as an oathbreaker.  Umber pitched a fit and Robb sicked Grey Wind on him.  Grey Wind bit off two of his fingers.  For some reason this act of manly macho bonding made them besties.  Later that night, Robb came to Bran’s room to confess how scared he’d been.

  Back in the present, Osha, who is wearing chains on her ankles interrupts Bran’s prayers just as the leaves are spookily rustling.  Osha tells him the rustling is the Old Gods answering him.  She tells him that Robb shouldn’t be marching south.  The Old Gods can’t watch him there because the weirwood trees are cut down in the south. 

  Hodor interrupts them.  He’s naked and swinging his big schlong around.  Osha remarks that he must be giant.  Bran says that Maester Luwin told him that giants were extinct.  Osha begs to differ.  She tells him that there are not only giants beyond the Wall, but Others and wights.  She advises Bran to tell Robb he’s marching the wrong way.  Later on, Luwin tells Bran all her stories are bullshit.  OK Lu.

  Two days later, Robb and his host march south.

 

Daenerys VI

  Dany is trying, unsuccessfully to persuade Khal Drogo to cross the Narrow Sea and invade Westeros.  Drogo doesn’t quite get it.  He doesn’t understand the need for an “iron chair” and thinks the sea is poisoned and evil because horses can’t drink it.  The Dothraki are really afraid of the sea and travelling it.  Jorah later councils Dany to be patient and they decide to go gal pal it up and shop at the western market.  This is why you’re in the dreaded friendzone Jorah!  I kid, I kid.

  Once they get there, Jorah leaves Dany and the rest of the group to seek out the captain and see if any letters have arrived for them.  They come upon a wine merchant.  When Doreah tells the merchant he is addressing Daenerys, he offers her a special wine from the Arbor where the best wine comes from.  He gives her a cask, when Jorah appears out of nowhere and tells her not to take it.

  He commands the wine merchant to open the cask.  The merchant hedges, but Jorah threatens him into pouring some.  Jorah tries to get the wineseller to taste it.  Instead of complying, he runs off.  Jhogo catches the wine merchant by the leg with his whip and the Dothraki take him to meet the Khal.  Jorah says he knew the wine was poisoned because of a letter from Ilyrio.  he leaves it at that.

  Dany is super pissed. She thinks that the Usurper has awoken the dragon and he will be sorry.  Ha ha Dany.  He’s already dead!  She has Jorah light a fire and puts her dragon eggs in.  The fire doesn’t harm the eggs at all.

  Later Drogo comes home from his hunt with the pelt of a white lion for Dany.  He is so enrage when he learns of the assassination that he decides he will win the “iron chair” for Rhaego after all.  The next day, the Khalasar starts west.  They chained the wineseller to Dany’s saddle and leave him to run naked after it until he can’t keep up anymore and gets dragged to his death.  Yay happy ending!

 

Catelyn VIII

  Cat and Blackfish ride to Moat Cailin escorted by Robb’s bannermen Lord Wyman Manderly’s sons Wlyis and Wendel.  Both of the Manderly brothers are morbidly obese, although Wyman is even bigger and can’t even ride a horse.  Robb has temporarily set up camp in Moat Cailin.  An abandoned fort in the neck, separating the north and south.  It’s the old broke down stronghold of the First Men.  It’s also a little bit creepy and said to be haunted by ghosts of northerners who long for southron blood.  It’s also impenetrable from the south because it’s surrounded by bogs.

  Inside, Robb is sitting with his advisors.  Greatjon Umber and Roose Bolton who is intimidating, speaks in whispers and has icy creepy eyes.  Not suspicious at all.  Robb inquires about Ser Rodrick Cassel and she informs him she’s sent him back to Winterfell to act as Castellan.  She also has to break the news to the northern lords that her crazy ass sister let Tyrion go.

  Catelyn asks everyone to leave so she and Robb can dine alone.  She can’t quite believe her kid is leading men to war.  In a moment I find incredibly cute and sweet Robb asks her if she’s going to send him back to Winterfell.  Cat wants to, but knows she can’t because if he gets sent home by mommy none of the bannermen will take him seriously ever again.

  They talk battle strategy for a bit.  Sorry, this stuff is boring to me.  Read it yourself if you want the details.  Afterwards Robb is about to send her with an escort back to Winterfell.  She tells him, no she is going with them to visit Riverrun.

 

Deaths in this recap: 1  The wine merchant.  Not named, but he’s important enough to be included.

Cumulative deaths: 23

Maybe deaths in this recap:  0

Cumulative maybe deaths:  1

Betrayals in this recap: 0  There’s an implied betrayal here, but I’m waiting until it’s confirmed.  No I’m not putting Sansa in here.

Cumulative betrayals: 6

Incest incidents: 0 

Cumulative incests: 6

 

Smack My Viserys Up

Book I am reading:  AGOT

Chapters:  Daenerys IV, Bran V, Tyrion V, Eddard X, Catelyn VII

Booze in my flagon:  Cabernet – sauvignon

 

Daenerys IV

  Dany and the khalasar enter the Dothraki city of Vaes Dothrak.  Holy shit there are a lot of words the spell check doesn’t recognize there.   There are gates but no walls or buildings.  Viserys has been on horseback again.  His punishment for threatening Dany had been to walk behind the khalasar.  The Dothraki nicknamed him the “Sorefoot King.”  Since his royal wussiness couldn’t keep up, he got offered a place in the cart.  Unfortunately for Viserys, the cart is for eunuchs, cripples and women in labor.  This earned him the new nickname of Khal Rhaggat aka the Cart King.  Haha.  Viserys sucks.  Dany for some reason takes pity on him, doesn’t tell him he’s being mocked and sexes up Drogo until he lets him ride the horse again.

  They ride past all sorts of statues that have been stolen from the cities the Dothraki sacked.  This always reminds me of Return to Oz when Dorothy goes back to Oz and it’s in ruins.  If anyone cares, that movie is not canon at all.  Not even a little.

  Viserys, never one to have learned his lesson keeps trashing the Dothraki to Dany.  Once he is out of earshot Jorah says that Viserys should have stayed in Pentos.  He doesn’t belong with the khalasar.  You don’t say Jorah?  Jorah also expresses skepticism that Viserys is capable of conquering Westeros.  We also learn from Jorah that the Dothraki are far superior to Westeros armies in open battle, but Westrosi are better at siege craft.  We’ll probably need to know this much, much, much, much later.

  Then Jorah loses most of the book readers by expressing his hatred Ned Stark.  Um, Jorah?  It isn’t Ned’s fault you decided to FRAKKING TRADE SLAVES.  Jorah is a bitter bitch though, so he doesn’t quite grasp this.

  As everyone settles in, they must surrender their weapons.  In Vaes Dothrak, warring khalasars are at peace and they are all one blood.  It is against their religion to spill any blood here.

  Dany takes a bath and asks Doreah to invite Viserys over for dinner.  Viserys sort of tolerates Doreah more than the Dothraki.  Because she’s white and because Ilyrio let him do her back in Pentos.  Dany has gifts for Viserys.  A fancy brand spanking new Dothraki outfit.  All of his silk Westeros clothes is all gross and doesn’t travel well.  Viserys storms in an is all pissy because “nobody commands the dragon.”  He punched Doreah in the eye for requesting his presence at supper.  Seriously.  What an asshole.  Dany tries to smooth things over but the Dothraki outfit just pisses him off more.  Why next she’ll suggest he braid his hair.  The horrors!  Dany points he has no victories and therefore has no right to a braid.  Snap, snap, snap in a z formation!

  This sends Viserys into rage spasms and he threatens her and her fetus.  So she straight up smacks him in the face with a bronze belt.  In your mind you should be   Viserys’ cheek is bleeding so technically Dany is breaking the rules here, but since I don’t care about religious customs I’m willing to overlook.  Especially since nobody else ever cares about this.  Viserys storms off and Dany goes to sleep snuggling her dragon eggs.

 

Bran V

  Bran is riding his horse Dancer on his special new saddle.  He is accompanied by Robb and Theon, Summer, Grey Wind and some guards and Joseth the stable guy.  Maester Luwin also comes with in case Bran falls and needs medical attention.  For some undisclosed reason he is riding a donkey instead of a horse like everybody else.  This is bizarre.  I went horseback riding once and I’m a total city girl.  It isn’t that hard.

  Theon is being smarmy as usual and he tries to talk about his sexy times with a girl named Kyra (we’ll see her again later).  Robb cuts him off because of Bran’s young delicate ears.  Robb is giving me some Tipper Gore vibes right now.  Theon responds with his patented shit eating grin.

  To further distract Bran from Theon’s debauched ways, Robb decides they should race.  Finally they slow and have a brother-brother chat about how the wolves were restless and howling the night before.  The talk turns dark.  We learn that word has reached Winterfell of Benjen’s disappearance, Catelyn’s arrest of Tyrion and most recently the slaughter of Jory and Ned’s other men.  Ned’s leg is shattered and he is in a coma.  It is hinted that there might be a war pretty soon.

  Theon rolls up on them and points out that Robb can call the banners if Ned dies.  Very sensitive of you Theon.  All the unpleasant subject matter has spoiled the day and Bran wants to go home.  Robb and Bran go out to look for the wolves.  They ride off away from the others and hear the wolves howling.  Robb rides off to get them and leaves Bran alone.

  Suddenly, a Night’s Watch deserter and some wildlings appear.  They want to rob Bran and make fun of him for being a cripple.  Bran tries to threaten them by identifying himself as a Stark but this just gets them more riled.  Then Robb comes back to the rescue.  Robb seems outnumbered.  Until the direwolves bound up to the attackers.  There is some gory fighting.  Finally, four of the six attackers are dead.  Robb is fighting the wildling woman called Osha and one of the men has a knife to Bran’s throat.

  There is a tense stand off.  Until Theon comes out of nowhere and shoots the man with an arrow.  Osha, now outnumbered is a hostage.  Theon is awfully proud of himself but Robb is pissed off for acting without getting orders.  I’m actually on Theon’s side with this one.  Anyway, all is well and they go back to Winterfell.

 

Tyrion V 

  Tyrion has been in the sky cells of the Eyrie. They are open air.  They’re carved in the wall of the cliff so there’s no escape.  To make matters worse, there is a slight incline so one can never sleep easy for fear of rolling out of the cell.  I’m not even afraid of heights and that’s really scary.  They tend to drive prisoners insane and they often just jump.  Another fun feature is the guard Mord.  He’s big stupid and mean and is making Tyrion’s life miserable.

  Tyrion was placed in these cells after being brought in front of Lysa and Robert.  Robert was way to excited at the prospect of sending Tyrion out the moon door, a door that opens out to the cliff.  Executions are done via moon door instead of beheading and hanging like everywhere else.  Cat tries to be the voice of reason and gets Tyrion put in the cells instead.

  After several days Tyrion bribes Mord into telling Lysa he wants to confess.  It works and Tyrion is summoned to the great hall to face Lysa, Robert and all the Vale lords.  Bronn is there too.  Of course, Tyrion does not confess to the murder of Jon or the attempted murder of Bran.  He gets all snarky and confesses to the mischiefs he has done throughout his life.  Of course, this makes Lysa want to Hulk smash everything with her inappropriately milk-filled boobs. 

  Now that Tyrion is in public, he is able to exercise his right to a trial.  He wants a trial by combat and wants to call Jaime.  They won’t allow that though, because it would take forever to get him to the Eyrie.  It is decided that Ser Vardis Egen will be Lysa’s champion.  In a sort of but not really surprising twist, Bronn offers to act as Tyrion’s champion.

 

Eddard X

  The good news is, this chapter’s short so you won’t have to read too much.  The bad news is, it starts with a dream sequence.  Apologies.  I’ll do my best.

  In the dream Ned and his bannermen are riding to the Tower of Joy where the Kingsguard are guarding Lyanna Stark.  Lots of guys are with Ned, but the most important one is Howland Reed, lord of Greywater Watch in the Neck (the marshy bit right on the border with the south.  As a Minnesotan, I am reminded of the Boundary Waters).  There are seven of them but the 3 KG they face are formidable.  They are Arthur Dayne, Oswell Whent and Gerold Hightower.  Arthur Dayne as a really cool and famous sword called Dawn.  It’s pale and shiny and possibly magical.

  Ned wonders why the KG haven’t fled with Willem Darry, Viserys and Dany.  However, as Gerold points out the KG don’t flee.  This, dear reader is a big clue to one of the central mysteries of the series.  You probably already know this, but if you don’t take some time to reflect after this chapter.  Or just Google Tower of Joy.  Whichever. 

  They fight.  Lyanna screams Ned’s name.  Ned whispers “I promise” and wakes up in the Tower of the Hand.  Phew!  Dream sequence recap is over for now.

  We learn that Jaime has fled the city back to the Lannisters home Casterly Rock.  Robert and Cersei have come to visit Ned even though he’s still groggy and high on milk of the poppy.

  Cersei is acting bitchy.  Because of course she is.  Robert just seems annoyed at all the trouble.  He’s pissed at Ned and Cersei for arguing with other.  Robert is so lazy. 

  Ned learns that Littlefinger was vague about their errand at the brothel so he tells Robert right in front of Cersei that they were seeing Robert’s bastard.  Damn.  That’s pretty cold.  Funny though!  Cersei wears her poker face but you know she’s pissed.

  They all fight more.  Robert still doesn’t want to take a side so Cersei gets all kinds of mad and Robert DVs her.  I want to slap Cersei too, but I still think this is unacceptable behavior on Robert’s part.  Robert sends Cersei away so they can have what passes for male bonding in Westeros.  Robert reinstates Ned as hand of the king and informs him he is going on a hunt the next day.

 

Catelyn VII

  Word has reached the Eyrie that Jaime is gathering troops at Casterly Roc.  Cat and Rodrick are discussing it.  War is looking more inevitable by the chapter.  Catelyn’s a little grumpy because Lysa is being selfish and won’t send anyone from the Vale to help defend Riverrun.  Cat goes to talk to Lysa.  She is worried about the trial, but Lysa is super confident her champion will win and Tyrion will be sentenced to death.

  Now it is time for the trial.  Vardis Egen is all dressed up in fancy armor.  Bronn is just about armor free.  It really looks like Bronn is at a disadvantage here guys.  Cat remembers the time Littlefinger foolishly challenged Brandon Stark to a duel for Cat’s heart.  LF lost in a big way but Cat begged Brandon to spare his life.

  Of course, here in an official trial by combat there will be no sparing of lives.  Vardis and Bronn fight and what do you know?  Bronn turns out to have the advantage because he isn’t weighed down by tons of armor and Vardis is extra arrogant.  Bronn wins to nobody’s surprise.  Lysa, according to the laws of Westeros has to let Tyrion.  Sad trombone for Lysa!

 

Deaths in this recap: 3  Hali and Stiv are the only named ones of the party that attacked Bran.  Then we have Vardis.

Cumulative deaths: 14

Betrayals in this recap: None

Cumulative betrayals: 3

Incest incidents: None

Cumulative incests: 3