Writing down my thoughts as I’m reading proved a really interesting experience. It made me analyzes the book, think about it, much more so than I ever have before. It’s more work, what teachers call “active reading,” but with the right book, it’s a worth-while experience. Especially so when reading one for a second time, specifically looking to get something new, something more out of it.
The last chapter! We started this book north of the Wall and we’re ending it across the Narrow Sea. I think this is symbolic of the series as a whole, since I suspect that it will come down to dragons versus ice-zombies. Well, it’ll be a long time before the series gets there, meanwhile we’re on Essos, getting ready for Dany to finish her transformation from scared little girl into ass-kicking warrior queen.
Ned and Catelyn were married at Riverrun, it was there he left her when he rode off to war, and there that she gave birth to Robb. Now, Riverrun is indisputably Robb’s birthplace, and it is Catelyn’s home, but I wonder at her considering Robb’s return to it as a homecoming. There’s something really wrong about calling Riverrun his home, and I don’t think it’s just my prejudice against Catelyn talking. Robb may have the Tully looks, but as Ned’s heir and Lord of Winterfell, I think his ties to the North are of paramount importance to him, and I don’t know that Catelyn is doing him any favours if she influences him any way towards divided loyalties.
You know what scene at the end of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are sneaking out to go after the Stone and Neville stands up to them and asks them not to go so as to not get the Gryffindors into trouble? This scene is exactly like that, with Jon, his horse, and FYC being Harry, Hermione, and Ron, and Sam being Neville. This makes the horse the smartest person in the scene.
Tyrion, my little ray of sunshine in a sea of misery and horror, how I love thee. Tyrion is with his father as Tywin is being notified of Jaime’s capture. Tywin is distraught at the danger the son he gives a damn about is in. Tyrion is distraught at the danger the one family member he loves and who loves him back is in. An assortment of Lannister captains and bannermen are also present, whether or not they are distraught, I couldn’t say.
Sansa and I finally have something in common — when things are horrible, we hide under the blanket in our beds. For some time after Ned’s execution (at least several days), she spent all of her sleeping and waking moments there, when she slept, she dreamt about Ned’s death, then her own. And then Joffrey arrived to make her real life even worse than the nightmares.
Arya is hunting pigeons on the streets. It’s a good thing Syrio’s training has her so well-prepared for the life of a street urchin. Unfortunately, bakers are not interesting in trading freshly baked tarts for dead pigeons, no matter how fat a pigeon it may be. Imagine that. Luckily for Arya, the baker is fat and unlikely to catch her. Luckily for the baker, two city watch guards are around to make up for any deficiencies in his physique.
Catelyn, guarded by thirty knights, is waiting for the fighting to end one way (in Robb’s favour) or the other (in Jaime’s favour) and ruminating on all the times she had to wait for her men to come home: her father, Brandon Stark, Ned Stark, now Robb. It’s all very archetypally mediaeval, the fair maiden on the battlements, the men riding off to war. Catelyn is content with waiting, and that makes one of us, because I am bored to tears. Time to skim until something actually happens!
Dany is inspecting the aftermath of a battle — more of a slaughter, really — from the privileged height of her horse. Another khalasar had come across a shepherding village and were in the process of savaging it when Drogo & co showed up and finished off both. We’re treated to some lovely scenes of torture, killing, and rape. Dany is affected but reminds herself that this is what it will take to reclaim her throne. It’s like Jorah said, the people don’t care who gets sit on the throne and no matter who wins the war between kings, the people will always lose.
And we’re back! Ok, so I’m back. I apologize for my protracted absence. It’s a combination of real life, propensity for procrastination, and the fact that the last chapter that I recapped reminded me that this series will eat my soul and I needed time to regain my will to live, or at least to read. I would’ve loved to come back to Tyrion, but I’ll accept Jon as a suitable consolation prize. To the Wall!