Friday, February 26, 2010

Jon • Catelyn

Jon wears gloves to hide his burned hand. He should wear one shiny glove like Michael Jackson, because they have so much in common already. Both had troubled childhoods, both are kind of emo, and both were ambivalent about being black. Gloved Jon finds Sam in the library cracked out on books. Sam has finally found his calling. I bet he can't wait to drop some cartography knowledge in the training yard. Some kid will knock Sam on his butt during sword practice and Sam will be like, "Yo fool, back in 1694 the Redwyne ranger scouted Lorn Point to Frozen Shore. Bitch."

The Watch is preparing to mass and go north to find Benjen, but Sam is worried that they will never return. Jon is confident that a few hundred ex-cons can fight the magical undead. Jon and Sam visit LC Mormont who is a cranky but funny old guy. There's some confusing history with lots of names. Cliffnotes: Aemon could've been king but actually turned it down because he made a vow. It was probably a good decision, as every king we've read about thus far has died in some horrible way. Mormont tells Jon all this because at some point Jon will have to make the same about keeping his vows. Jon promises to never break them, partly because he fancies himself honorable and partly because he a virgin and doesn't know what he's missing.

Robb's a king now and is busy drafting a peace treaty. He makes all these demands but refusing to give up the only thing the Lannisters truly care about -- Jaime. While Robb is reciting terms, the Greatjon is apparently stuck in the last chapter of Game of Thrones because he can't stop yelling "THE KING IN THE NORTH!!" repeatedly. Anyway, much of Robb's badass northern army doesn't like this peacemaking. They'd lose it completely if they knew that Cat wants to take it a step further and trade Jaime for her two daughters. Come on Cat, you're a northern woman, and Jaime's family executed your husband. Robb should wait until it's dark and "accidentally" release Grey Wind into Jaime's cell. The next morning he can tell Cat it was an accident while secretly fist-bumping Lord Karstark.

Robb's clearly annoyed at Cat's nagging, so she leaves him to visit her dying father. She learns from her brother the Blackfish that the Riverlands are a chaotic mess. War, death, brutality, and GREGOR are everywhere. Robb has no options against Tywin, who sits in the Fort Knox of castles, Harrenhal, while another Lannister army grows back at Lion City. Cat and Brynden think their only hope lies in asking Renly for help, but I have a better solution.

"Looking 2 buy dragon
Reply to:
Wanted: 1 dragon. must be able to fly.
Offering: 1 direwolf, mint condition. not afraid of men.
Location: Riverrun
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests"

Robb should just post that and wait for xXxpRiNcEsSDaNy13XxX to respond. She can afford to trade, because while she has three magical dragons, she has zero magical wolves. However, going by rarity, a dragon is worth more than a direwolf -- exactly 1.33 times more. Plus the shipping for a wolf is probably greater. I can imagine Robb eagerly waiting for delivery then being super disappointed at the tiny dragon. Be more thorough in your product description Robb, you gullible newbie. Naturally, Cat would leave negative feedback. "Bad seller... dragon 2 small 2 carry son."

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bran • Arya

I almost forgot Bran still had chapters, and it took me a few minutes of digging to remember what last happened to him in Game of Thrones. Bran was just chilling with his little bro Rickon back in the crypts, mourning their dad. Recently, their wolves Summer and Shaggy howl all the time. Maester Luwin thinks its because of the gigantic comet. Their resident wise old woman Nan just casually asserts that the comet means dragons, but everyone ignores her. Luwin should take a hint from every fantasy book ever written: if a wise old woman speaks, she's always right.

Bran complains about his wolf dreams while Maester Luwin offers his cynical scientific advice. Luwin needs to realize that he lives in a universe where dragons and zombies exist. Compared to those, a kid dreaming he's a wolf isn't that weird. Instead, Luwin acts like Bran's shrink and basically writes Cat a prescription for Ritalin. The rest of the chapter is Bran dreaming he's a wolf, which is trippy and strange and frankly kind of cool. Wolf Bran is fast, strong, and generally awesome. But it must suck when Bran wakes up and realizes he can't walk or maul annoying children anymore.

Arya witnesses the exodus of peasants seeking refuge at King's Landing to escape the war-torn countryside. Yoren's group instead travels north, stopping only to bury Praed. I don't know anything about Praed, other than that his name rearranged spells "raped." The group stops at an inn and we get some background about what's been going on. I think it's cool that Martin gives us a commoner's viewpoint on the war, as listening solely to leaders and council chambers dissociates the reader greatly from the grim, brutal reality. We learn that Grey Wind is helping build Robb's legend and Nymeria made some friends and now leads a giant roving wolf pack. Awesome. I suppose Arya could go searching for her, but that would instantly reveal her identity.

Arya meets the three chained guys in the back of Yoren's wagon. One talks a lot, one is vulgar and violent, and the last one is some sort of ogre-monster. Martin obviously wrote this scene because these guys will eventually be freed, so I am curious as to what happens when the chains come off. Maybe they'll be nice guys who will muss Arya's hair and call her "little sister." Or maybe they will, as Rorge so eloquently put it, "shove a stick up her bunghole." Arya certainly didn't help by punching Biter in the face.

Arya prepares to duel the Bull, but they're interrupted by the Gold Cloaks. They want "the boy," which turns out to be Gendry, probably because Cersei figured out he was Bob's bastard son. The City Watch guys are all big and bad with their swords and warrants, but Yoren doesn't care and tells them to fuck off anyway. A fight seems imminent, but the Gold Cloaks realize they are outnumbered and peace out, vowing to return. What's going to save Yoren's band of ex-cons when the Gold Cloaks come back? My bet is on the three chained guys or a giant pack of wolves.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sansa • Tyrion

Sansa's having a grand time in King's Landing as Joffrey's betrothed. She gets front row tourney seats, wears nice clothing, and has the honor of receiving the occasional royal beating. She's guarded by Arys, one of Joffrey's bodyguard knights who frankly is kind of a pussy. He compliments Sansa, talks about gossip, and even hits her with less enthusiasm. Come on man, grow some balls. How can you call yourself a Kingsguard if you can't even beat a teenage girl properly?

The tourney is quite lackluster. This time, there are no pretty boys like Jaime or Loras. There are no badass GREGOR-induced deaths or exciting Hound interventions. It sucks so much that Joffrey almost kills a drunkard out of boredom, but Sansa saves the poor guy. The incident all but proves that Joffrey is a psychopath. The kid beats his girlfriend, almost kills a guy for being drunk, laughs when his brother falls off a horse, and doesn't seem to remember that his "father" King Gored Bob died quite recently. The tourney is interrupted by Tyrion's arrival to the city. Despite Tyrion's kind words and gentlemanly behavior, Sansa doesn't trust him. I can't imagine why -- he's only a hideous dwarf with mismatched eyes from the family that executed her father. What's not to trust?

Tyrion was sent to King's Landing to help rule, but he first must gain entrance to Cersei's council meeting. In his way is pop singer turned actress turned Kingsguard Mandy Moore, who doesn't really obey Tyrion as much as the two dudes with swords that Tyrion brought with him. Cersei isn't happy that her father named Tyrion Hand, but she can't really do anything about it, as her actual power lies in Tywin's army, not Joffrey's title. Tyrion immediately dismisses the council and tells Cersei that he has a plan to get Jaime back by trading Sansa for him. Robb probably loves his sister, but he would have to be beyond stupid to trade Jaime for her. She doesn't even have a wolf anymore. If I were Robb I'd offer to trade Jaime back for half of Tywin (the upper half) and half of Cersei (the lower half). That way the Lannisters are deprived of their two greatest assets. Brilliant, I know.

We also found out that Joffrey just arbitrarily decided to execute Ned, despite agreeing to allow post-confession Eddard to go to the Wall. Joffrey apparently didn't even tell anyone, and on the day of the pardoning just decided "meh, let's execute him" as if he changed his mind about ordering eggs or pancakes. Cersei can't control him, sounds like one of those parents who just proclaims "what am I going to do with him!?" as if she had nothing to do with the fact that her son turned into a gigantic asshole. What Joffrey needs is a good old fashioned spanking, and Tyrion thinks he's the one that can do it.

Tyrion gets triple slapped for making twincest jokes, but knowing Tyrion, he probably likes it so its win win win. Tyrion goes off to clean up the city, using the patented two step Tyrion motivational technique: 1) make joke, 2) threaten death. Tyrion makes his way to his clansmen and Shae and has a WTF VARYS moment. The dickless King's Landing TMZ already knows everything. After delivering the "I know about your whore" threat, Varys leaves and Tyrion gets down to business with Shae. And by that I mean they have boring sex that totally does not live up to the potential a dwarf-prostitute pairing. Tyrion's falling in love. Again. With a whore. Again. Sigh. When will that dwarf ever learn?