Sunday, June 14, 2009

Catelyn • Eddard

After a perilous journey, Catelyn finally arrives at the Vale of Arryn. Her sister’s castle has more levels of security than Fort Knox, and is an acrophobic nightmare of cracking spiral steps, narrow windy bridges, and sickeningly steep ascents. It takes Catelyn days to reach the top, ironically guided by bastard girl Mya Stone. When Catelyn has a vertigo freeze up on the mountain crossing, Mya was there to help her. See Cat? Bastards aren’t all evil. I predict in a few chapters, Martin is going to reveal that Cat herself is a bastard, and we’re going to get one of those great “Noooooooo!” screams.

Catelyn chats with her uncle Brynden the Blackfish, who to my great disappointment is not actually black. After some more climbing, she finally meets her sister at the Eyrie. To quote Martin, Lysa Tully has become “thick of body” and “pale of face,” which is a nice way of saying she’s a fatty who never leaves the house. Martin must have realized the lack of creepiness in this chapter, because everything was totally normal until Lysa suddenly whips out a boob for her six year old son to suck on. In the wake of Jon Arryn’s death, Lysa has become a paranoid, overprotective, crazy woman. Traumatic family incidents tend to do that to people. Just ask Catelyn, who kidnapped the son of a powerful house for a crime he didn’t commit. Ladies and gentlemen, the Tullys: no incest, but horrifically bad decision making nonetheless.
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We see the consequences of Cat’s action immediately. Jaime Lannister confronts Eddard and Littlefinger outside a brothel, and he’s quite pissed about Tyrion’s disappearance. If Eddard was clever, he’d say “Mr. Lannister, I do not know the whereabouts of your brother, but I might have more information in a few hours, when I will have more than two guys with me.” Instead, Eddard predictably answers “Of course I arrested that stupid dwarf,” which results in a very one-sided fight, a very broken leg, and a very dead Jory.

The shit really hit the fan this chapter. I wonder what Jaime’s reasoning was behind wounding Eddard and killing his men. I doubt it would actually help Tyrion, because when Catelyn hears about this, the poor dwarf is going to get tortured even more. If that’s the case, why didn’t Jaime capture Ned and trade him for Tyrion later? Because he’s Jaime Lannister, man of action, whose strongest trait was never thoughtful planning. The Starks and Lannisters are now at each other's throats, just like Varys predicted.

24 comments:

  1. Knight of WinterJune 14, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    I love how littlefinger skips out in that chapter when Jaime and Ned confront each other, with a quick "I'll call the cops, kthxbye!!"

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  2. great post. I totally agree by the way, if a kid can walk up and say "hey ma, i'm hungry" they are too old to breast feed

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  3. Ah, poor Jory, we hardly knew ye.

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  4. Yeah, if you haven't noticed by now, Ned's character flaw is his inability to lie, deceive, or do anything dishonorable.

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  5. Eddard probably lied about ordering the Imp arrested because I assume only he (or the King) has the legal powers to do so. Catelyn would have no such powers, so Eddard has to prevent her being done for kidnapping.
    If so, it was the smart thing to do.

    The real interesting question is this: Eddy here isn't particularly known for visiting whorehouses. Yet Jaime manages to ambush him on the way back from one. Lucky guess or inside job?
    *looks at Littlefinger*

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  6. You should consider not having comments... I see spoilers :/

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  7. I don't think Jason reads comments any more, he used to respond here but hasn't for quite a few posts.

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  8. I was waiting to see what you would think of these chapters. I personally thought the parallel you drew between Catelyn and Lysa's respective bad decisions was interesting. As much as they both to overreact their situations, they do so in opposite ways I find. Catelyn overreacted decisively and actually *did* something. Lysa just became a terrified cow, and I always despised her stick-your-head-in-the-sand brand of stupidity MUCH more than Catelyn's rashness.

    As for comments/spoilers, if you still read them, I would disable anonymous posting. Just my two cents.

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  9. Do you hear that? Crickets. Apparently anonyposting is now disabled.

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  10. Yep, I haven't been reading comments for fear of spoilers. I re-enabled anonymous posting, and I'll have one of my friends delete insulting or inappropriate comments from now on.

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  11. So what's with the slower pace Jason? You losing interest in the book? =P

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  12. Just another new reader letting you know that I'm lurking. Good stuff so far.

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  13. StarkTheWolf, I've been busy with real life stuff the last few weeks, and don't have much time to read, let alone write about it. Also, since I committed to doing this blog, I try hard not to read ahead because it becomes very difficult to write about chapters that I read a while ago. On the plus side, it allows me to pay a lot closer attention to details since I do basically a close reading of each chapter, but it's not possible for me to just bang out 10 chapters in one sitting.

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  14. word, I gotcha. I was just messing with ya since you had like 15 done in May but only 5 in June. No worries bro, take your time. It's a very enjoyable blog.

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  15. Well, and the fact that June is definitely only half over. >.>

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  16. Ok, smartass, calm down.

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  17. Am I not the very picture of serenity? Fie, I say, away with thee; mountains shall crumble ere my tranquility do the same.

    And this is getting quite OT, so, leaving.

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  18. I like reading your opinions on these chapters (and not just for your quips, of course). Feels like I'm reading the book again, and I can laugh at all the humorous bits. First time I read this series, I didn't read every word like you seem to be doing, so I think it's great you're taking care to do that. A good way to read a book. Especially one like this, where Martin spends a ridiculous amount of detail in this world he's spinning.

    Anyway, to make this longwinded post somewhat constructive, how about more on your FEELINGS when reading... theories, conjecture? You had more of that in earlier posts and I enjoyed those as well, though if they're cramping your style, by all means, leave them out... I like straight (but snappy) synopsis as much as the next fellow. :(

    Oh, and good call on not reading comments for fear of spoilers. You should get your friend to monitor these for you. They're pretty lethal.

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  19. Does anyone know of any other book blogs of this quality? I've read this book and am finding this blog highly entertaining! I'd now like to read some more of a similar ilk, especially if they are books by Peter F Hamilton or Iain M Banks.

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  20. Super awesome! Great refresher! Unfortunately, it pains me to witness the birth of yet another soon to be frustrated GRRM fan. I tried my hardest not to be bitter but I'm only human and I just can't see a justification for all of his side projects and peddling of wares. Enjoy the series. I'll keep reading. You're a funny dude.

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  21. Justification: It's his life and he can do what he wants with it. I can understand the frustration though. As most of the characters in the series could tell you, you rarely get what you want in life, and we are, as you said, only human.

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  22. I can also understand the frustration, but will offer further justification: Many of the things you think of as "side projects" predate ASOIAF.

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  23. I realize it is his life and can appreciate that. That's why I don't say bad things about the man...just express my feelings toward the whole situation. He probably shouldn't have designated a page on his site for ASOIAF updates just to say there will be no more updates though. And, if I may, ASOIAF is his bread and butter and his "masterpiece" if you will. It is hard to argue that without it he would be equally as successful. I'm not looking for an argument as there is no point in it. George will finish when he's ready and I, like most, will read it when he does. Meanwhile, I'll just piss and moan when I think about it and move on.

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  24. Yes, I also want him to finish the remaining books as quickly as possible, but instead of thinking about that, I divert my energy that would otherwise be expended in useless frustration into rereading the existing books, which I think will make the forthcoming ones that much more savoury. (-:

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