Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sansa • Arya

I dread Sansa chapters. It's like double the work because the reader has to parse through her clueless observations to understand what's really going on. In this chapter, Sansa discovers a note left by the freedom fairy. Someone wants to meet in secret with Sansa to send her home. The "someone" turns out to be Dontos, the knight Sansa saved from a an execution at Joffrey's birthday tournament. Sansa is hopeful, even though the only thing Dontos accomplished thus far was to be demoted from knight to fool.

She later runs into the Hound, who talks all tough but seems like he's actually a big softie, because he doesn't do anything to Sansa even though he's very drunk and knows that she was up to something. Sandor even helps her slip back into the castle. But afterward, he rants at her about how dogs are loyal and how she is a bad liar and horrible person. His love-hate relationship with Sansa is hard to understand. I can't tell if the "song" he wants from her is sex or truth or something else entirely. It is super creepy though, can you imagine a gigantic hulking beast-man hooking up with a tiny girl? Oh right, that happened repeatedly in the Dany chapters already.

I have officially reached the point where I do not care what happens to Sansa at all. I don't care that she might escape or she might get punished with a beating. I don't care that she gets stalked by Littlefinger or the Hound. She's been dead to me ever since she lied about her awesome sister's fight with Joffrey and then ratted out her own father.

Arya and the lost boys wander around the countryside, having escaped from the Lannisters. They go back to the site of the battle, and find almost everyone dead, including Yoren. The three surviving men quickly abandon the kids, who are forced to eat bugs and frogs and whatever else they can find. It doesn't help that Arya's companions are basically useless. Gendry manages to figure out that "Arry" is a girl, but when Arya comes clean, Gendry freaks out after learning Arya is a "highborn lady." He even bows and tries to apologize for talking about cocks. It's endearing and ridiculous for him to try to use proper manners after they've been through so much brutality together, and quite symbolic of how deeply ingrained the class hierarchy can be in the average peasant. It's also funny because Gendry is half highborn too, he just doesn't know it. As king, he could talk about cocks all he wants.

Arya and Gendry go on a date. Everything was going great: they sneak around stealing food, smelling dead bodies, and watching crows peck out the eyes of hanged men. How romantic! Unfortunately, they are interrupted and captured by GREGOR's men, who have no problem beating down little kids. Lommy, the injured kid who was whining about yielding the whole time, is executed. A GREGORman just calmly drives his spear through Lommy's throat because he didn't want to carry him. It was so casually done, as if he was at a fast food place ordering a cheeseburger. Poor Lommy. He was annoying, but not spear-in-throat annoying. As they are taken away by GREGOR, that argument Arya and Gendry had earlier about m'ladys seems so long ago and trivial. In a fairy tale, maybe Nymeria runs out of the woods and rescues them. But if this chapter has shown us anything, it's that war-torn Westeros is anything but a fairy tale.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bran • Tyrion

Back and Winterfell, Bran voltrons with a gigantic dim witted servant named Hodor. It sucks for Bran because he has to do all the annoying lord paperwork but gets none of the usual benefits. He can't joust or swordfight or climb or even dress himself anymore. However, not many knights get to ride a 7-foot tall Hodorse. If Sir Lancelot had a choice between riding an ordinary horse and Shaquille O'Neal, he'd pick Shaq every time. Despite this, Bran still gets made fun of by the douchebag Frey kids, and Maester Luwin shuttles him off to talk politics and business. The lesser lords are doing their best to sell Bran on their coins and ships, especially Fat Wyman.

Afterward, Bran hangs out with Osha. Apparently, despite an attempted kidnapping and murder, the Starks think it's okay to let Osha be alone, naked, with one of their 8 year old princes. Then the chapter talks about bastards and widows and other inheritance stuff that I don't particularly understand. Martin must have a huge excel spreadsheet to keep track of who marries who and who is lord where. Anyway, we learn that Bran has selectively blocked out the traumatic experience of Jaime shoving him out a window. But at the end of the chapter Cley Cerwyn discusses the Stannisfesto's twincest claim, which causes Bran to dream about the incident that night. The important thing here is not that Bran remembers, but that Mr. Cerwyn has successfully peformed inception. Cue loud foghorn noise.

King's Landing is not doing great. Everyone fears that King Bob's brothers will march on the city at any moment. The Lannisters have enemies everywhere and daddy Tywin can only be in once place at a time, much to Cersei's dismay. Thus, Tyrion must set out and win alliances for the Lannisters, through letters and marriages and Littlefinger's cock. We get some backstory on Pedo Petyr, who turns out to be quite the social climbing businessman, multiplying the king's fortunes and debts while simultaneously inserting his own cronies. He also nonchalantly brags about stealing both Tully sisters' "maidenhood," though probably not at the same time. Littlefinger is attempting the rare mother sister daughter trifecta with Cat Lysa and Sansa, impressive. Play on, playa. Tyrion offers him a big castle, and that's enough for Littlefinger and his virginity stealing cock to be on the next ship to the Vale.

Next, Tyrion details his plan to give the Prince of Dorne the killer of his sister. I don't even know who Doran Martell is and had to look at the map to find Dorne, but the guy must be important if the Lannisters are considering giving up GREGOR. Supposedly Tywin ordered GREGOR to rape and kill Doran's sister and her child. While that does sound like something GREGOR would do, let's not convict an innocent man. Remember, we're talking about GREGOR here, who is not only a knight but also happens to be the single greatest academic mind in all of Westeros. Are we sure he killed Elia? Someone call Ser Johnnie Cochran.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Arya • Tyrion

The bar exam is over, time to read and blog again, hooray! The past few months were awful, but I had fun on my bar trip and I'm excited to start reading again. I purposely left Clash of Kings at home because I knew I'd just blow through it on the plane instead of write blog entries. When I got back and finally picked up the book, I was worried I had forgotten all the characters, but after a few visits to the appendix I was good to go. It was much easier picking it up this time compared to my first hiatus after Game of Thrones.

The Yoren train chugs north, looting dead bodies and acting paranoid. You know the situation is bad when the theives, rapists, and murderers can't even travel safely. Hot Pie tries to bond with Arya, but she's not having any of it. Aw, he just wants to be your friend, and he can bake pies for you. Eventually everyone goes to sleep behind some stone walls, but Arya's internal wolf alarm wakes her up right before the Lannisters arrive. They don't believe Yoren's Night's Watch neutrality explanation and attack. Yoren decides to fight instead of surrender, because surely a few new Night's Watch recruits can hold off a hundred fully armed men. But they do have the high ground, and momentarily execute a mini Helm's Deep, stabbing the Lannister guys as they come over the wall. In true Martin-esque fashion, no Gandalf comes to save them. Despite Arya's badass enemy face stabbing, Yoren's party is overwhelmed. Between the Lannisters and the fires, almost everyone bound for the Wall dies, but Arya and a few of the boys manage to escape. At the last minute, Arya decides to save those three dudes in the wagon, tossing them an axe. Surely, that's the last we'll see of them, right!?

At this point in the books, I know Martin well enough to realize that if a character has a careful, thoughtful plan at the beginning of a chapter, future events will almost always foil it. Additionally, things don't just go wrong. They go retardedly wrong. They go so wrong that the plan which sounded reasonable at the time becomes completely ridiculous in hindsight. So the instant Yoren decided to spend the night in the holdfast and sail up the river the next morning, I knew their little band of misfits were screwed that very night. In Martin's universe, plans are always fucked up. Examples: We'll just check out these dead wildlings and then head back to the castle. I'll just push this kid off the ledge and he'll die. I'll just marry my sister off and use her husband's army. I'll just buy the city watch. I'll just arrest and prosecute this dwarf myself. I'll just let this demon sorceress deliver my baby. I'll just confess and be sent to the Wall.

The Stannisfesto has reached King's Landing, proclaiming Jaime and Cersei's incest loudly and proudly. Cersei wants all copies burned. Clearly, she doesn't know how spam mailing works. Littlefinger is smarter, and suggests counter-libel. Though in Stannis's case, it's not really libel, since the statement about Cersei's twincest was a) true and b) even if it was false, Stannis's actions don't meet the higher burden of proof for public figure defamation because he didn't act with reckless disregard for the truth. Stannis, if you get sued, hire me. Anyway, Littlefinger suggests spreading a rumor that Stannis's daughter was actually the product of Selystache and Patchface the fool. I have an even better rumor: Joffrey is the son of both Robert and Stannis. That's right, they had a gay brotherly affair. Robert carried the child to term, that's why he got so fat. Not only does that one-up Stannis's suddenly tame incest-only accusation, but it eliminates all the claim problems too as Joffrey is Stannis's rightful heir. Problem solved.

Meanwhile, King's Hand Tyrion is busy making gigantic chains for some sort of fat girl BDSM party. I'm glad to see LeBronn here, who decided to leave the Vale and take his talents to King's Landing. Soon, it's time for Tyrion to secretly sneak away to Shae. A wise man once said, sometimes, you just gots to get your freak on. Before that though, Tyrion has a quick chat with Varys about who leaked Joffrey's true parentage. But Varys feigns ignorance, and Tyrion is conflicted about whether the dickless know-it-all is his friend or enemy. I hope Tyrion doesn't end up dead like the previous Hands. He's so much more entaining and interesting than Jon Arryn or Eddard Stark.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Still Alive

I haven't died. I love Clash of Kings so far. But I have finals until the second week of May, and I just have no time to do anything outside of studying. After finals, I will try to do a lot of reading and blogging. Then I have to prep for the bar exam (ewww) in late July. Terrible, I know. I'm sorry. But from what my friends tell me, the HBO show isn't out until 2011 and Martin isn't done with Dance yet. So anyone that reads this series is used to waiting. I hope you all understand! I shall return in a few weeks. See you then.

Update: No new entries until August at the earliest, possibly even mid August, depending on how long it takes me to recover from the massive hangover I'll have after finishing the bar exam.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Daenerys • Jon

I wish there was a fast forward button so we could see Dany's dragons fully grown and kicking ass. It's like Dany has three winning lottery tickets, but she has to walk through a minefield to collect her money. Her measly band of khalasar leftovers drop like flies every day, following the red comet to Asshair. Dany wonders to herself if she went through the entire ordeal in Game just to die from heat exhaustion in the desert. Don't worry girl, writers generally don't kill off their main characters who they spent an entire book developing. Well actually, Dany isn't indispensable, but her dragons are. That would be a cool twist, if Dany died right here. The next POV would be "Drogon" and we would get 15 pages of "hiss meatttt hiss hiss." Instead, Dany and her followers find an abandoned city with figs and water. They're saved!

Jorah tells Dany about his relationship history. He clearly wants to sex up Dany so badly right now. And there's no better way to charm a princess than to tell her that your wife was so unhappy she left you to become the merchant concubine. I'll paraphrase the story. Basically, Jorah was a B-student who received a full ride scholarship at Bear Island Community College. But the day of the college entrance exams, he luckboxed a perfect score. Because of this fluke performance, he got into Lynesse University, the Harvard of Westeros. Tuition was $50,000 a year, but Jorah still went because DAMN that school had a hot young student body. Halfway through his second semester, Jorah flunked out and couldn't pay his student loans, so now he is wifeless and exiled. I suppose he had a chance to get in Dany's pants by playing the Sean Connery-esque suave mature older guy role, strutting around with his manly beard and repeatedly telling the khalasar "stay thirsty, my friends." But after the Lynesse story, and the creepy "she looked like you," Jorah's chances with Dany are as dead as Drogo.

The next morning, Dany decides to send out three riders to scout out the land around her. Two come back with nothing, but the third returned with three visitors from the city of Qarth -- a warlock, a merchant, and Quaithe "of the Shadow," whatever that means.

Jon, Sam, and many more Night's Watchmen (including one guy named "Smallwood," haha) travel north to find Benjen. They find deserted villages, skeletal remains, and creepy giant trees. LC Mormont wonders why wildlings burn their dead. Really? Did you not get attacked by a zombie a few weeks ago in your bedroom? The one Jon had to burn to kill? Remember?? Old Mormont is becoming senile. Anyway, the NW rangers grow restless and uneasy after finding every town deserted. The LC isn't scared though, because they have over three hundred men, and thus they can easily deal with supernatural ghosts who can raise the dead. The only guy who isn't growing more scared is Sam, because he already max out his scared-ness the instant they stepped outside Castle Black.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Davos • Theon

I'm sorry for the lack of updates. I've been busy with school and other stuff. Sometimes I may read a few chapters every other day, sometimes it might take a few weeks. I originally wanted to do the next few books this summer, but I couldn't wait so I started Clash early. Still, going slowly might be better anyway, because Martin doesn't seem to be finished with Dance yet. Stay with me though! I promise I'll get through every page.

Davos was a smuggler turned knight. Kind of like Han Solo, if Han Solo had a bunch of kids, developed an inferiority complex, and had a man-crush on Admiral Ackbar. Davos shouldn't feel bad though, because this is fantasy. The smuggler farmboy / street beggar / ordinary girl always turns into a Knight / Jedi / Prince / vampire girlfriend. Davos watches Melisandre burn old, non-red religious stuff. Everyone is nervous, but I don't know why. Clearly this guy R'hllor knows what he's doing. He can give you a +50 defense buff against old maester poisoning. He can light swords on fire. His red wizards are smokin' hot chicks. But it seems only Selystache loves the bonfire. This must be what it's like when Tom Cruise tries to convince all the other Hollywood Stars about Scientology -- everyone mumbles their half polite, half terrified agreement.

Davos gets a recap of King's Landing events from Salladhor Saan, a smuggler slash trader slash banker slash notorious pirate. Meanwhile, Stannis plans to deliver hundreds of letters proclaiming that King Bob's "kids" are actually the product of twincest. Great start with the commoners, Stan. You are not only doing the first ever spam mailing campaign in the history of Westeros, but you're also laying the groundwork for future heredity lawsuits. Peasants, are tired of watching your siblings own land? Just sue them, because they aren't trueborn heirs! Call the law firm of Lannister & Lannister.

But Stan knows that words alone won't win him his rightful throne. So he's chosen his weapon, and it's red and flaming. In the Lord of Light way, not in the homosexual way. Sorry Dave.

Another new POV! I had to look up a quick history of Theon before reading this chapter. Theon lives with the Starks, but he's actually a hostage taken to keep his father in line. He also kicks heads and is a bit reckless with his arrows. Robb has decided to send him back to his father to ask for help. I agree with Cat that this seems like a stupid move. Why would you willingly give up the one bargaining piece you have? It ends up not mattering anyway, as Balon doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about Theon, in the Randyll Tarly Sam Tarly you are not my son GTFO kind of way.

Theon's boning the captains daughter. She's trying to convince him to keep her as his "salt wife," but Theon isn't swayed so easily by the promise of a well made peppercrab stew. He then proceeds to teach her how to give a blowjob, Theon style (if she tries to pull away, grab her hair!). You see, like most royal sons, Theon is kind of a misogynist asshole. But the materialistic captain and his slutty gold digging daughter aren't exactly calling him out on it. Theon's mind is on the Robb's letter and what his father Balon would say. That's right, as Theon receives a blowjob, he's thinking about his father.

There's no trumpeting fanfare or welcome reception at Pyke. Theon meets his uncle Aeron, who promptly drops some seawater religion on Theon's head. Quote Aeron, "Men fish the sea, dig in the earth, and die. Women birth children in blood and pain, and die." These islands certainly seem like a fun place. Theon finally meets with his father, who immediately calls Theon a sissy girl. Come on Balon, be nice to the kid -- it's not every day your son thinks of you mid-blowjob. Things don't go well for Theon. He does not say the right things and his pitch backfires badly. Balon isn't going to attack the Lannisters like Robb wanted. Do you hear that? That's the sound of a father's rage, a burning letter, and a son's plan blowing up in his stupid asshole face. Welcome home, Theon. Robb shouldn't have sent you.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tyrion • Arya

Tyrion chats with former City Watch commander Janos Slynt, who can't tell the difference between Arbor and Dornish wine because he's an uncultured dumbass. Janos was the guy who helped promptly execute Ned after Joffrey's command. He also sent a certain Mr. Deem to brutally kill one of Robert's infant bastards. I don't understand exactly why Tyrion is so pissed at this guy. Maybe Tyrion is just a nice guy who wants to have justice for Eddard and Bob's baby. More likely, Tyrion is just tywining up loose ends, and this guy is one of them. Lord Slynt acts tough for about ten seconds before Tyrion hits him with "I'm Tyrion from House Lannister, bitch!" Poor Janos is immediately deported to the Wall.

Afterwards, Tyrion and Varys talk about that riddle Varys posed earlier about the king, the priest, and the rich man. Something about how power is really a shadow but shadows can kill, whatever. Varys then proceeds to mentally fellate Tyrion with the "often, a very small man can cast a very large shadow" line. If Tyrion was smart, he'd whack Varys right now. Why? Because this guy is worst kind of threat. There are two types of power -- hard and soft. Kings and City Watch Commanders and rich Lords have the hard kind, capable of decreeing and ordering and buying whatever they wish. Tyrion can out hard power just about anyone with the wealth and power of House Lannister at his back. But Varys has no hard power. He's just a fat, dickless man who listens through the walls. However, Varys is the Bill Gates of soft power, and his all knowing information network is a far larger danger to Tyrion as Hand than any army of swords. Of course, Varys succeeds, convincing Tyrion to keep him around because Varys "serves the realm."

Arya continues to travel with Yoren on the Kingsroad to the Wall. Everything along the journey is sunshine and rainbows. People celebrate in villages they pass, and every night their little group sits around a campfire and sings Kumbayah. Rorge makes smores and Biter plays the banjo. (This is not what happens). Martin seems determined to hammer home a theme that was prevelant all throughout Game of Thrones: life is not fair. Good characters are born as bastards or as dwarves or into slavery, while bad characters get wealth, power, and beauty. The honorable guys don't always win in the end, and the douchebag assholes sometimes never get what they deserve. In a perfect world, Yoren and his guys would get free drinks all the way to the Wall and Arya would get a hug from Jon. But not in Martin's universe.

The situation in the Riverlands is harsh and horrible. Everyone is on edge and the group travels in constant fear. They avoid a group of wounded soldiers and even rescue the "please, please" crippled woman and her baby. We get plenty of description about her, but it's all for nothing as she dies the next day. The kids have to drink water that tastes like dead bodies and piss in front of wild animals. It's only a matter of time until Arya comes face to face with her direwolf. Surely Nymeria will remember her former owner, but I don't look forward to her meeting Yoren or Hot Pie or Gendry.