Catelyn is Eddard's wife, who used to live in a nice warm castle in the South where there were happy girly gardens. Instead, she married into a household where it snows during the summer and her backyard is straight out of Pan's Labyrinth. More Stark badassery: when Catelyn talks about how their three year old is fearful of his new wolf pet, and Eddard responds "then he must learn to face his fears." Apparently, the Starks are training Rickon to be Batman. Arya and Sansa are Eddard's daughters, and even though Jon mentioned they existed in the Bran chapter, I was still half expecting Martin to tell me in true Chuck Norris fact fashion that the Starks have no daughters, only sons.
We find out that the Other sighting is kind of a big deal, as they have never been seen for 8,000 years*. It could be a "those who see them are already dead" kind of deal, but Gared got away just fine, and could have told the story. Maybe nobody believed him. As for the rest of the chapter, I had a hard time focusing because there were simply too many names being thrown around. We learn that an old Lord who saved Eddard's life is dead, and his widow is Catelyn's sister. Also, King Robert is coming and he's bringing his Lannister in-laws, who are cowardly and come from the south (read: wussiness^2). * 8,000 years? Really? Right now we're on year 2009 and we have the Internet and space shuttles while poor King Robert travels by covered wagon. ____________________
I was terribly confused at the beginning of the next chapter. My first thought was that Dany was a Lannister, since she was described as a princess. Instead, she and her brother are far away in never never land, a place where it's okay to grab your underaged sister's boob and refer to yourself as a dragon. Viserys has decided, in his Dr. Evil-esque plot to conquer the world, to not marry his sister, instead choosing to sell her off to a guy who may or may not have a taste for "boys, horses, and sheep". Dany is predictably terrified when meeting this Khal Drogo, who I assume looks exactly like the Rock in The Scorpion King. Can you smell what the Khal is cooking? Statutory rape of your 13-year-old wife! Viserys wants his army though, and has no problems letting between one and forty thousand guys use his sister. Congratulations Martin, three chapters in and I already see why your series can only be made on HBO.
PS - Magister Illyrio has one of the best gangster (or rapper) names ever, and he's already in the business of human trafficking.