Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Catelyn • Arya

Catelyn has her own personal spa in Winterfell's hot springs, but Eddard rarely joins her because he is the personification of winter, right down to his business-like performance in bed. We learn a bit about Lord Stark''s history and why he's so serious: it's hard to smile when your sister, father, and brother are all dead before their time. Ned sounds like he really needs a vacation. He needs to enjoy his southern hottie wife and badass children, especially after a long day's work of executing deserters and refraining from laughing.

Via secret letter, we learn that Queen Lannister murdered Jon Arryn. I had to look up who this guy was in the appendix*. Lord Arryn was the former King's Hand, and thus his death is why King Bob came north to offer the position to Ned. To get to the bottom of the murder, Ned decides to accept the King's offer. Eddard also decrees that Catelyn must stay in the north. How many Jon and Jane Snows will he bring back with him this time? His affair makes sense though, because someone who is so intense and emotionless all the time must be prone to sudden and major lapses in discipline. Without this flaw, I would have predicted that Martin would soon reveal that Eddard Stark is actually a robot. Ned decides to take his daughters to court, while Robb and Bran stay at Winterfell with Catelyn and Jon Snow goes north to fight Zombie Waymar.

Lastly, we learn that Catelyn hates Jon Snow, and it's hard to blame her. Jon is a constant symbol of her husband's unfaithfulness, he's got an annoying matyr complex, and he makes friends with ugly Lannisters while getting drunk at Winterfell social events.

* I laughed out loud when I saw that the Arryn motto is "as high as honor" and they have a bastard girl named "Mya Stoned".
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Arya's chapter is easily my favorite so far. Her personality is perceptive and hilarious, delivering several quality zingers throughout the chapter. She has some serious Ashlee Simpson-esque jealousy going on, but only because she is too young to see that her skills in math and horseback riding are far more awesome than Sansa's dancing, singing, and sewing. She named her wolf appropriately (Sansa named a wolf "Lady", what the hell), she treats Jon with respect, and she wants to go fight with the boys. I can't think of anything I dislike about her.

We also learn that Prince Joffrey predictably sucks at swordfighting and that he and his men are huge assholes. This doesn't bode well for Sansa, but it could be worse -- at least he isn't a gigantic Khal three times her age or an over-the-hill King who is still in love with a dead girl. Ned and Catelyn seem to have the only healthy, loving relationship, and even theirs is characterized by duty and adultery.

28 comments:

  1. trying a little too hard to be funny, but still enjoy reading a first time reader's reactions

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  2. Wow, not a lot of readers pick up on Nedbot on the first read-through. Whoops, spoiler alert!

    But seriously, I like reading your reactions, keep it up!

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  3. Your reactions to Ned are very interesting, particularly in regards to Jon. I love knowing things you don't but getting to see things fresh from your perspective. :)

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  4. Disagree about the trying too hard to be funny thing. this is funny. keep it up. enjoying this very much.

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  5. Ah, reading this makes me nostalgic - Arya's first chapter was my favorite early POV too.

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  6. also agree about trying a bit too hard to be funny, noticed it more so in this latest blog entree than the earlier ones. Still worth the read for now

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  7. funny as hell, i am enjoying your review.

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  8. Don't be so quick to make conclusions. Not all is as it appears. Understand the truth is often blurred, and the realization of a character is subjective. Even things you take as fact are not always so. Sometimes they are though. Keep Reading. Also, Mya STONE is her name, and she is not part of the Arryns. This book requires you forget all about modern moral context. Some of which is quite inane.

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  9. Bran, pg. 76? Your next entry should be very interesting.

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  10. I love this blog. It's entertaining and funny, and interesting to hear what the blogger thinks of my favorite and least favorite characters. Plus, it gives me something to read while waiting for A Dance with Dragons!

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  11. Love the blog as well. Don't listen to people saying you're trying too hard to be funny, it doesn't come off that way. Just keep reading/writing. As a matter of fact I would recommend not reading any comments because of the possible spoilers. There's really 2 or 3 plot twists that could completely ruin the series if you knew them ahead of time.

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  12. Really enjoying your writing style and can't wait to see what you think of a few certain upcoming plot moments. I wonder how many times you'll end up throwing the book(s) across the room as I know many people have.

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  13. I think you haven't understood the tone of the book(or at least it seems from your comments).A song of ice and fire is not a comic or hilarious story:the author is trying to create a suspension of disbelief that you're often breaking with your sarcastic commments.If you're looking for something to laugh about,try the right books.Every thing has its meaning,trying to subvert it will not help its comprehension.It is just an opinion,sorry if i have been too rude.

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  14. Great blog! I love the funny take on the serious books. I don't see anything wrong with approaching these books with a healthy dose of sarcasm - under all that "suspension of disbelief" there are some truly funny moments. Can't wait for your next entry!

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  15. That girl's name is Mya Stone, not Stoned and she's not an Arryn bastard.

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  16. Lol... all i can say is ignore all of these folks who take the books too seriously! I love, love, love the books, but they are not above some good-natured ribbing/sarcasm. Lighten up folks! This blog is funny.

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  17. Anonymous, I understand the tone of the book. However, its not enjoyable for me to write in depth, serious analysis of something that I read for fun. I know that everything can be explained by accepting that Martin's universe works in a certain way. I'm not looking for a comedy series (even though there are plenty of funny moments already).

    Just because I don't write "Eddard is a very strict man, Bran has seen so much for being eight, it must have been hard for Jon to grow up when Catelyn hates him, Arya is a tomboy, and Sansa doesn't fit well in the North" doesn't mean I don't think these things. They are very obvious to any reader, so I don't I need to write them. These books have been around quite a long time, and my friend tells me they have been (seriously) discussed to death.

    Anonymous#2, thanks for your concern about spoilers. I just read the most recent Bran chapter (post coming tonight, hopefully) and I must say it was very, very surprising, and I agree my experience would have been greatly hurt had I known what was going to happen. What I might do is give my friend who has read the series already access to delete comments, and she can remove the ones that give away too much.

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  18. That or just have her copy and paste the messages to you which aren't spoilers. Having her delete spoilers is good too, but there will still be windows of time where you could accidentally read a spoiler before she has been able to read and delete it.

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  19. Knight of winterMay 6, 2009 at 5:45 PM

    Jason, I enjoy your blog very much.
    I see that you have Arya at the top of your power list :) and note that you enjoyed her first POV very much. Not gonna write any spoilers of course but I will share with you that in my opinion Arya's story is one of the best in the series and her character developement is superb.

    I am doing my first re read of AGOT at the moment and am enjoying reading your thoughts on the series as i enjoy the book for the second time. Enjoy the books and keep blogging!!

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  20. Bloody Hell Jason, Spoilers! I didn't know you'd read the Bran chapter already. What a way to come across this. You just ruined my blogging experience. Have some decency next time and wait until you actually write it!! Geeze.
    Wait, what?

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  21. I definitely think you should get your friend or someone to screen comments. Even though I read the series years after most of my friends had, I knew absolutely nothing about it going in and I can't imagine it would have been nearly as gripping if I knew even a little bit of what was going to happen.

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  22. I concur, either screen comments or lock 'em - when I read the comments section of this blog it feels to me like a bunch of kids who're watching a movie they've already seen with someone who hasn't. Struggling to sit tight and keep their mouths shut, wanting to explain the intricacies of the books and going "SHH HERE COMES THE BEST PART!" Thereby ruining the best part.

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  23. Perfect Analogy by the Anonymous above me! :D

    Please for your own enjoyment of these books, screen comments. Smashing blog by the way. I'm enjoying it immensely.

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  24. Really? "Smashing" blog? What a "smashing" way to put it.

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  25. You're hilarious!! I do love witty snark, and buddy-boy, yer doin' it right. More! More! More!

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  26. Do you realize you've become a Star at westeros.org? (THE premier Ice-Fire forum?) We love you, love your posts, hunger for more. Read! Read! Post! Post! If you want to peruse your stardom at westeros, click to 'General' and look for your Blog of Ice and Fire thread. Warning--a few little spoilers there, but nothing major. Come on, READ! POST! We want more!

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  27. OK I have read up to this point in the blog, gonna wait a bit before continuing so I can savour the awesomeness of it. Kinda like I wish I had done with the series... anyways, yeah we love you at 'The Board'. Watch out for spoilers there though, they're everywhere.

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  28. Jason, just started reading these and you're giving a very crappy day a nice silver lining. Some of these commenters have less humor than Ned Stark! I love your tone and find these summaries spot-on! Your May 6 comment--I get it completely.

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Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I love feedback and comments, but please keep them spoiler-free. Enjoy!