Arya is lonely. Her father is stressed and busy with council meetings, her wolf is gone, her butcher boy is in pieces, and her sister blames her for Lady's death. Even if Sansa would talk to her, they have nothing in common. Arya likes sword fighting, horseback riding, and being awesome, while Sansa's interests include sewing, betraying her family, and reinforcing traditional female gender roles. At dinner, Arya loses her appetite, tells her Septa to suck it, and contemplates running away as she hides in her room. Eddard visits her there, and in true Stark parenting style, allows his eight-year-old daughter to keep a deadly weapon. He also signs her up for sword fighting lessons, presumably because he wants Arya to accidentally decapitate the next poor butcher boy she befriends.
Arya’s "dancing" instructor is Syrio Forel, who apparently graduated from Wise Old Master University along with Pai Mei, Yoda, and Mr. Miyagi, because he has the complete repertoire of unorthodox methods, hidden skills, and a strange way of speaking. In her first POV chapter, Arya received a uberspecial sword. This is her second chapter, and she is already on her way to becoming a ruthless preteen killing machine. I see where they are going with this. In chapter three she will gain the power of flight, and chapter four will have her stopping bullets and traveling back in time.
Dany isn’t having fun. Martin goes into graphic detail about how she rides hard during the day and gets ridden hard at night. It’s so bad that she contemplates suicide, but is stopped by some wacky empowering dragon dream. Soon, she’s beginning to tolerate and even enjoy her new life. As they travel, Dany becomes more confident, more aware of her unique situation, and more like a true Dothraki. The end of the chapter is very significant -- she is symbolically seizing control by becoming the rider instead of the mount. It’s also the first (and hopefully last) time I feel glad that a tiny thirteen-year-old was impregnated through public, animalistic sex with a gigantic horse lord.
Viserys is the exact opposite of his sister, growing more detached and delusional each day. Every time he goes off on one of his crazy wake-the-dragon rants, Ser Jorah and MC Illyrio humor him to his face, but exchange nervous, knowing looks. Amazingly, Viserys thinks it’s completely fine to discipline the Khal’s wife via boob grabbage just as he's done numerous times before. This time though, it’s not the same. This isn’t a king punishing his subject in King’s landing, or an older brother asserting dominance over his younger sister in MC Illyrio’s slave quarters. This is a pathetic pretend dragon offending Drogo's queen. This is a Khalasar crossing the Dothraki Sea, and that means egotistical little punks get choked with whips.