Sansa was on stage when Ned's head came off, and it probably rolled to a stop just in front of her. Post beheaddard, Sansa for once has an understandable and non-idiotic reaction, grieving by going comatose in her room. She even fails spectacularly at suiciding out a window. Oh well, it was the thought that counts. Eventually Joffrey comes for her, because for some reason the Lannisters still want the marriage to go through. This time though Sansa is a tad less enthusiastic about marrying him. Obviously, Joffrey doesn't tolerate defiance, and treats her like Robert treated Cersei -- by beating her. Ah, good old teenage domestic violence. Except Joffrey is such a wuss that he can't even properly beat a young girl, ordering his guards to do it.
At court, Sansa observed as King Joffrey handed out extremely harsh sentences. Thus, Sansa shouldn't feel so bad, because Joffrey is clearly not biased against the Starks. He's just extremely pro-beheading. Joffrey is also pro-choice, giving a singer the option of keeping his fingers or his tongue. Joffrey muses out loud about whether their kids will grow up to be stupid like Sansa. I know Martin wrote that conversation as sort of a joke, but I see it as a perfectly legitimate concern. If my daughter were to take after dumbass Sansa, she would betray our family and cause my death. Not exactly grade-A genes there.
Joffrey actually shows Sansa her father's head. Sansa actually shows some backbone and talks back to him, but Joffrey does not hesitate to proxy Chris Brown her again. Sansa really should just stab Joffrey in his sleep or poison his food. Open defiance will just earn her more Meryn backhands. As her face swells up from the beating, Sansa remembers Petyr's words about life not being fair. However, the universe seems to know exactly who deserves what. Sansa betrayed her family the first time, and her wolf was killed. Sansa betrayed her family a second time, and now she's just a shell of her former self, living in her own personal hell. It might be harsh, but she brought it on herself. What will the universe do when Sansa makes her next blunder?
Dany is starting to go crazy, obsessing over her eggs and dreaming about her dead brothers. Her baby Rhaego was born dead, with wings and a tail. It's clear what happened -- the kid was a half dragon half human. No wonder the Targaryens married each other. If Dany had sexed Viserys instead, maybe she'd be giving birth to a full blood dragon. Wouldn't that be cool!? It turns out MMD had to sacrifice Rhaego to keep Drogo alive, but MMD sucks at black magic and was only able to retain a vegetable version of Drogo. Vege-Drogo can't lead anyone because he can't ride, and just about all of his 40k khalasar immediately left, taking the horses with them.
Dany finally figures out that MMD didn't have the best intentions. "But I saved you!" Dany cried. That means nothing to MMD, because she watched all her people die. Besides, she had already been raped several times before Dany intervened. And it was doggystyle! Apparently, rape is even worse when its performed using a sexual position you do not enjoy. It makes perfect sense, as the Dothraki are accustomed to hot wedding dancers, not old ugly lamb women demon sorceresses. In the end though, MMD had the last laugh, because she basically killed both Drogo and his son. Dany is broken and miserable, and that night decides to put Vege-Drogo out of his misery.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Arya's loss of innocence continues. She can now add bird hunting to her impressive list of skills. Knifing stable boys? Check. Neck-snapping pigeons? Check. I don't know what's more disturbing, Arya's complete nonchalance at bare-handed killing or her struggle to stay alive in the ghettos of King's Landing. I suppose her desensitized analytical mind is a key to escaping traps like the fake Wind Witch, but it also means she'll never become the typical princess. Arya doesn't bitch or moan through injury, hunger, or despair, and the universe rewards her stoic endurance of hardship with a front row seat to Eddard's confession and stoning. Where is the karmic justice!? You won't find any in Westeros.
And just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, Arya actually witnesses her father's execution. The whole sequence was very Braveheart-esque, with Arya watching powerlessly from the crowd and Sansa begging for his life on stage. Didn't Cersei understand that when word of this reaches Riverrun, Jaime's head is going to roll as well? Maybe that's what Cersei wanted all along -- Jaime was the only other person who could definitively confirm Joffrey's parentage.
Did I see Eddard's death coming? Of course! I spotted it a mile away. I can't believe Martin would be so cliche and predictable. Just kidding. I had no idea. I thought Ned would confess, be sent to the wall, and happily lead some sort of revolt with Jon's help. He's the fucking main character. He has POV chapters. You'd think Martin would at least let him die in his own chapter. Instead, Eddard dies right in front of his two daughters and his final POV words to the reader consist of a dickless spider offering him a choice between painkillers or Sansa's head. Eddard Stark: honorable, stupid, and now deceased.
EDDARDSo I finally confessed. Time to go to the Wall. Wait. Why is the executioner coming? Why is he picking up that axe? Why is he swinging it? What the f-
Even after this Arya chapter, I believed the beheading was fake using sleight-of-head. But the next chapter confirmed it: Ned was dead. He was now dead Ned. Or Deaddard Stark. Or Beheaddard Stark. When the Northern army hears about this, they are going to be so pissed. Bossman Robb and Widow Cat are going to flip out. Also, Arya is kidnapped by some weirdo creepy child molesting black brother who keeps insisting she's a boy.
Bran watches the dregs of the North fight in their yard. Eddard and Robb took all the good men south so Ser Rod is left training the rejects. No legged Bran watches with resentful stoicism, aspiring to be a half-knight on Hodor's shoulders. But MC Luwin shoots him down, because unreachable dreams can break Bran's poor legless heart. This is the north, and winter is coming. It's physically impossible for Ser Santa to visit every Westeros castle in a single night. The Easter Bunny doesn't actually exist, as rabbits (even direrabbits) do not have the intellectual capacity to decorate and and deliver eggs. Babies are not brought by storks, but rather created when a knight repeatedly thrusts his penis into his maiden wife's vagina. Or when a Dothraki best man feels like mounting an unsuspecting female wedding guest.
Branstradamus wants to go to the crypts to talk to his father because he dreamed he talked to Eddard there last night. While most kids would go play games or watch a movie, the Stark children visit ancient tombs and dream about talking to ghosts. Osha comes too, because the North has a rehabilitative justice system, unless you're a black brother (racial profiling, it happens even in the North). In the crypts, they find little Rickon already there, waiting for Deaddard. Both Stark boys can see dead people. MC Luwin remains skeptical, until a bird from King's Landing delivers the news: like Bruce Willis, Maester Luwin is actually a ghost who died years ago and exists only in Bran and Rickon's imagination. Also, Eddard Stark is dead. That's no surprise though. The Stark boys already know because they can see the future. Can Bran and Rickon see if they'll survive the next book? I can't wait to find out.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Catelyn witnesses Stark-vs-Lannister Round 2. She remembers how she only knew Eddard for two weeks before he left for war, but that was enough time to knock her up. She has all those motherly fears of Robb dying, but she really shouldn't worry. Robb has grown a beard now, and bearded men are harder to spot and even harder to see. Robb will need it -- he's sneaking up on Jaime Lannister, who has no idea that he's coming thanks to the Seven Kingdom's version of a cell phone jammer (archers shooting birds down). I don't know why Cat is so worried. Win or lose, Robb will survive. He has a gigantic supernatural wolf protecting him.
The battle is a success, and the Starks have captured Jaime Lannister. But he's just a reckless sister-fucker. The real challenge is Tywin, who remains at large, like a child molester loose in the woods. Still, Robb beat half the Lannister army and can probably get Eddard back, as Cersei would almost certainly trade for her brother. This battle also proves that other than GREGOR, the southern knights really suck. The badass northern bearded viking men may be non-knighted, illiterate, and stubborn, but they know how to fight. Winterfell! Woooo!
Drogo is dying thanks to MMD's poison. It's painfully clear to the bloodriders and even half-retarded Drogo himself that the maegi is bad news, but Dany is a dumbass and still doesn't realize. She even calls for MMD to treat the Khal after he fell from his horse, which is apparently the biggest Dothraki signal of doom and death. Its like an Irishman dropping his mug or a Chinese kid forgetting his multiplication tables -- when it's over, you just know.
Dr. Jorah shows up and diagnoses in five seconds that Drogo is as good as dead. Jorah advises that they flee and hide in Asshair. The bloodriders get pissed and start smacking a Duur, but Dani stops them because, well, she's an idiot. Dany is starting to panic, because once Drogo dies, the bloodriders will turn on them. Incredibly, through massive, incomprehensible stupidity, Dany decides that their best shot is to let MMD perform another dark ritual. Yes, that's right -- she's essentially letting Drogo's poisoner finish the job. Jorah should just bitchslap Dany and take control, but instead he fights the bloodriders so that MMD can finish her crazy incantation. Then Dany goes into labor, and her stupidity was so great that it became contagious, infecting Jorah and her handmaids. They decide to bring Dany to MMD, because who better to deliver a baby than a clinically insane demon sorceress?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Dany supervises post battle clean up, which involves little girls dutifully retrieving arrows from dead corpses. Khal Drogo had just conquered two other khalasars, and his men are happily pillaging and raping. Their victims are a peaceful agricultural village who are literally called "lambs." Drogo will sell all his captives into slavery, where healthy young boys and girls will fetch a handsome price. I assume this is where Varys makes his orders -- the Meereen version of Amazon.com, where he can get free super saver shipping on orders of 50 or more "little birds." Dany chooses this exact moment to start a women's rights movement, stopping several rapes. Drogo supports her, telling his riders to "find other lamb women" instead of raping the ones Dany chose to protect. Great job Dany, you "protected" a dozen women while several thousand others continue to be raped.
One of the former rape-ees is this woman from Asshai (yes, that's the actual name of the place, haha) who wants to help by treating Drogo's wound. The bloodriders don't trust her, but Dany does. Mirri Maz Duur was being raped, her people were being murdered, and she's some sort of demon sorceress, but other than those things, what's not to trust? The most damning evidence against MMD is that Martin spends far too many words talking about her for it to be a normal healing. Dany has experienced so much hardship and despair yet somehow remains far too trusting and innocent.
Tywin decided to put Tyrion in the vanguard of the attack, which can be interpreted as a big honor or even bigger insult. Tyrion doesn't seem very pleased that he wasn't given command -- Tywin put GREGOR in charge. Did Tyrion expect to be the leader or something? Will men even follow him into battle? Also, if you want to survive a war, there's no easier way than to be the tiny dwarf who fights next to the largest guy out there. Despite this, Tyrion storms off, upset at his social status among Tywin's inner circle. Meanwhile, he has more important things to do, like entertain the whore that Bronn found. Her name was Shae, and she was a good actress. Tyrion "suspected" that her delight during sex was faked. Come on now, Tyrion -- you're supposed to be cunning and intelligent. I'd put the percentage chance of Shae faking an orgasm with the "Giant of Lannister" at roughly 800%.
The next day's battle came early. I like the way Martin writes his battles -- POV really makes it seem quite personal and less like the scientific "200 men move left" type of sterilized storytelling. Tyrion actually does decently in the battle, holding his own with the help of some luck. Half his barbarians died, but I doubt Tyrion cares very much. The important thing is that he (and Bronn) survived the battle. Afterwards, it turns out Tywin counted on Tyrion and his men breaking, so even in victory, Tyrion disappoints his father. The battle on the whole was a huge success, but it seems Robb wasn't there and is making for Riverrun instead. I'm not going to pretend I understand all the tactics and who has what army and where, but I assume Tywin thought he was engaging the entire Stark army but only part of it was here, so the Lannisters fell for some sort of fake out.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Walder Frey is the Hugh Hefner of the Seven Kingdoms. He's old, he has many wives, he's slow, and everyone operates on his time. His castle is called "the Twins," presumably due to his love of boobs. I'm calling it right now, once the war is over, Lord Frey is going to start up the first major porn magazine, rated NC-8. That's right, children under the age of eight won't be able to read it -- the harshest, most stringent rating ever given in Westeros. Question: What's the best way to cross the Twins? Answer: a motorboat. Haha.
Lord Hefner has quite an ego, taking a page from George Foreman's book and naming all his sons after himself. He wisecracks that Catelyn just wants to get him alone because she has "designs on his fidelity," and makes her jump through all the requisite hoops to make him feel big and important. It seems Walder and Hoster are not the best of friends, and in the only measuring stick that matters (number of sons), Cat's father simply doesn't have enough. Walder Frey must be a medical marvel to be able to still make sons at the age of ninety, and he is unimpressed by just about everything. But in the end, all it took to secure safe passage was a marriage pact between Robb and one of Walder's many daughters. Just like that, the northern host crosses the equator. To the south lies lions, battles, and Robb Stark's first real test.
Jon hears that Robb is marching south, and that the rest of his half-family is either preparing for battle or already captured. Jon relives his battle with zombie Othor at night when he dreams about the undead corpse with Eddard's features, and during the day when he endures the pain of his burned and bandaged arm. It must be quite "hard" for him, to forswear women and also lose usage of his right hand. But Emo Jon doesn't return, because the Lord Commander gives him House Mormont's prize Valyrian steel sword "Longclaw." It was meant for Jorah but we all know he's kind of a loser, so Jon gets it instead. While a flamethrower would be more useful, the sword is an awesome, well-deserved gift. Jon's friends are impressed and clearly jealous, but then again they never had to fight zombies. Sam even had a greatsword named "Heartsbane" once. But rearrage that name and you get "he eats Bran," so Jon shouldn't let Sam near his little brother. At least not when Sam is hungry.
Jon goes to MC Aemon, and they have a heart to heart chat about decisions. You see, MC Aemon isn't just a blind man. He's the brother or uncle or whatever of the Targaryen kings that Robert hates. He's the Master Emo that even Jon can respect -- Aemon went from royalty and dragons to books and ravens without making even one blog post. And he says its Jon's decision to make; to stay or go. I think he'll stay. How much help could one extra bastard sword be anyway?
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Sansa watched as the newly crowned King Joffrey read out the list of traitors, which included her parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, and a host of other names. Basically, it was a checklist of every cool character in the series, minus Tyrion and the Cleganes. Then he dismisses Ser Barristan from the Kingsguard and appoints Tywin and Jaime to high ranking positions. I know we're supposed to feel bad for this old guy, but Mr. Selmy really wasn't getting it done. Did the United States let whoever was protecting JFK guard the next President? Hell no. If I was Cersei I'd fire him too.
Sansa then begs for Joffrey to spare her father's life. Of course, had Sansa not been an idiot and divulged Eddard's plans to the Lannisters, Joffrey would be the one begging for mercy. Eddard will have to confess to the crime, something I doubt he'll do because of his rigid adherence to honor and duty. What a mess. Is Martin trying to make us hate women? Because Catelyn arrests the wrong guy, Cersei is a gigantic bitch, Sansa is a vapid traitor, and Lysa is literally insane. The only two likeable female characters are a trophy wife for The Rock and a preteen wild child who is basically a boy.
Eddard is not having a fun time in the dungeons of King's Landing. He blames himself for failing Robert and for the horrible situation he's in. He lost to Cersei in a battle of wits. That's like losing to Sam in swordfighting or GREGOR in chess. It should have been like taking candy from a baby. Eddard becomes delusional, talking to himself and dreaming about the good old days, when he wasn't locked up in a windowless room for being a traitor to his best friend. He remembered the time Jaime was inducted into the Kingsguard (lol bad decision, Aerys) and when Pimp Rhaegar dissed his own wife for Lyanna.
Varys comes in and tells Eddard about all the mistakes he made: his decision to warn Cersei, his refusal of Renly's offer, and not listening to Littlefinger's advice. Varys tells Eddard what he should do: swallow his pride, confess to treason, and be granted mercy by the Lannisters. If Eddard can do that, he'll be sent to the wall. Not a great fate, because we all know Eddard loves his whores and property rights, but it's still better than being dead. What's Vary's stake in all this? Why, he's just serving the realm... and trying to save his own ass. If Eddard can't do it for himself, then he should do it for his daughter. Varys then offers Eddard a choice -- does he want the next visitor to bring him milk of poppy for the pain, or bring him his daughter's head?
To me, neither of those two choices sound so bad. Of course, I'm kidding. I don't actually want Sansa dead. Not because she had good intentions, or that she didn't know any better, or that a largely innocent young girl doesn't deserve such a fate. I don't want Sansa dead because living out her days as Joffrey's wife and Cersei's daughter-in-law is a far worse fate than death.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I decided to do three chapters because not much happens in the Dany chapter, and the other two are also better summarized if read together. That and they are filled with a ton of names and locations and military tactics that I don't really understand.
Dany has been trying to get Khal Drogo to conquer the Seven Kingdoms, but he's not interested because they'd have to cross a huge sea. The Rock would sink to the bottom of the ocean and horses can't drink seawater. Dany goes to the Western Market, where someone tries to assassinate her with poisoned wine. Jorah saves her, but only because he's operating on threat level midnight -- he knows an attempt is coming. Afterward, Dany tries to make a dragon egg omelette by cooking them in the fire, but they don't hatch. However, the assassination attempt pisses off Khal Drogo enough for him to declare war on the Seven Kingdoms. Watch out Westeros, the Dothraki are coming!
Catelyn arrives at Robb's camp. She quickly realizes that her son is leading this gigantic army to war, and he's just this fifteen-year-old who is brave but extremely inexperienced. She then tells him that if he loses, there's no hope for any of the Starks -- his father and sisters would forever be captives and they would spend the rest of their days in a Lannister dungeon. But hey, no pressure. The rest of the chapter is spent discussing military tactics and appointing commanders. I only recognize the Greatjon and Karstarks, the rest of the northern bannermen are unfamiliar to me. Robb doesn't seem very confident in his decisions, and that doesn't bode well for his chances, no matter how badass his army may be.
Tyrion finally returns with his mountain clansmen in tow. Tyrion discusses military tactics with his father Tywin and his uncle Kevan. After reading Martin's description of Tywin, I can't shake the picture of a bearded Captain Picard / Professor X. The guy is never phased, and seems to be completely in control of any situation, even when the clansmen busted in on their meeting. Tywin speaks with such supreme confidence, its easy to feel bad for the Starks. It seems like Robb is in for a rude awakening now that he's playing with the big boys.