Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Eddard • Tyrion

If I needed someone to throw a bachelor party, Khal Drogo would be my first choice, Tyrion Lannister second, and Eddard Stark dead last. Robert is having his midlife crisis -- he just wants to bang a tavern wench or assassinate a dragon, and Eddard keeps shooting him down. Snow and hardship made Lord Stark stoic and wise, but it also turned him into a wet blanket. If Robert wants to kill kids, let him. In Martin’s world, kids are treated like adults -- Jon gave a kid a sword, Drogo married one, and Jaime pushed one off a ledge.

Eddard disagrees with a lot of what Robert says and does, and would rather be back in Winterfell. Instead, he’s trudging south with a caravan composed of people he can’t trust and a King who won’t listen. It sucks, but it could be worse -- at least he’s not Jon Arryn.
____________________

Tyrion suffers through the bone chilling trip to the Wall, and stops to read about dragonbone. I had thought Viserys and Dany were calling themselves “dragons” metaphorically -- I didn't know that dragons actually existed. Perhaps my surprise was a result of the distinct lack of wizards and magic so far in these books. Sure there are mythical creatures, like the Others or the direwolves, but a flying, fire-breathing dragon seems out of place right now in the universe Martin has created. Usually, most fantasy stories have some sort of wizard throwing lightning bolts by now.

Tyrion and Jon bond some more. I like that Martin wrote these two with such noticeable, important flaws. Every character has flaws, but unlike Robert who can stop eating cupcakes or Cersei who can stop doing her brother, Tyrion and Jon cannot choose to stop being a dwarf or a bastard. Tyrion chose to go north, and he seems far more like a Stark than a Lannister. He and Sansa should just switch families.

23 comments:

  1. I really like the low magic setting Martin has written. And yeah, the character flaws are what makes the series. There aren't any flawless characters, although some disguise their flaws as strengths well. Martin is good at turning so called strengths into weaknesses, too.

    I'm enjoying your write-up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Knight of winterMay 12, 2009 at 9:35 PM

    Dont you just love Tryon as a POV?! There are so many sides to him and he is very witty!

    I like how magic and magical beasts are toned down in Martin's writing. Many fantasy authers solve problems with a wizard pointing his finger and poof problem over. Seems like such a lazy way of developing a plot. With Martin there is none of that

    ReplyDelete
  3. A wizard did it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah, poor Eddard. He is so grumpy at this point in the series, but i love him anyways. He is one of the only people around at this point that really just wants to do the right thing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm impressed that you are picking up on so many of the little details and throwaway lines on your first read through.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I could very well be wrong, but did anyone give you a vague summation of the book before you picked it up, therefore giving you an idea of how it goes; or do you just read meticulously?

    You seem to be extremely perceptive.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Or your just not?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think this blog makes me pay more attention to details -- most readers don't have write paragraph analysis and summaries every two chapters. If I'm not sure about something, like where Dany is relative to the Starks, I ask my friend (who has read all the books) and she fills me in without spoiling anything. I can't look up stuff on Wikipedia because its full of spoilers. I ask a lot of questions, but she seems more than happy to talk about the series.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jason, as it should be obvious by now, Ice and Fire is the kind of series that makes people want to talk about it. Case in point: all of us readers of your blog just itching to tell you the cool things that you will be reading. And waiting in the sidelines for your next update.

    Speaking of which: yes, there are dragons, and there is magic (dead people don't get up and walk on their own). But like the whole seasons thing, the point of view characters don't know that much about it, and thus neither do you. The unreliable point of view style lets Martin get away with hand-waving a lot of the reality-defying stuff.

    Grey Wolf

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous, I can read and blog faster, but the trade off would be less content per chapter. Not really sure if that's better, as this blog is not just for readers but for me to look back on when I'm done with this series (hopefully). I'll put up a poll.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is hillarious stuff. Great wit and very keen insight for first time through. If you are anything like most of the people who have read this you will be reading it through more than once. Suggestion - Try the audio books. I know it not the same but this series is the exception. Roy Dotrice (reader) is an amazing talent and adds many layers with his charactorizations. Also the future installments come slowly and with every new book you almost have to do a reread to remember all the charactors. This is a very cool idea of yours, and I thank you for allowing me to see this through the eyes of an Ice and Fire newbee. Keep it up. I hope you don't get bored with it and stop.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Audio books are a cop out the first time through unless you can't read. In that case, learn. Afterwords its ok, for pure entertainment. I wouldn't though.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Can you do us all a favor and get rid of the option for people to post as anonymous?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Knight of winterMay 13, 2009 at 6:16 PM

    Lol StarkTheWolf

    Couldnt agree more. It kinda wierd to see Anonymous disagreeing with anonymous and then agreeing with anonymous about anonymous' original comment.

    However I'm not sure this blog site allows you to disable this options.

    ReplyDelete
  15. it is especially wierd because we are all the same guy... ;-P

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree with anonymous! He's brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
  17. actually all we anonymi are a collective consciousness formed from the raw knowledge of the internet itself! fear our power!

    ReplyDelete
  18. What the fuck is an anonymi? Sounds like a STD-causing germ.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Its too late for you. Your walled in.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tyrion and Sansa should just switch families?

    That is a detail worth picking

    ReplyDelete
  21. "[Tyrion] and Sansa should just switch families."

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    AHAH HA HA HA HAAA

    HO HO HO

    AHA

    HA

    OH BOY

    YOU SURE ARE GONNA LOVE THIS SERIES

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm going through and reading all your posts, and falling in love <3 As for Robert and Ned, I can't be the only one who got a Henry VIII-Sir Thomas More vibe, can I?

    ReplyDelete

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