Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Challenge of Ice and Fire: Week 8

A Clash of Kings: Arya III to the end of Tyrion IV (p. 278)

My previous posts on A Clash of Kings:   week 7

9. Arya III

In the aftermath of the encounter with the Gold Cloaks, Arya shoots down suggestions that Gendry could be Ned’s bastard. It is interesting that Lommy immediately thinks of that reason for their interest in Gendry, even though he has the wrong father. I love her feistiness, but I do wish that she could be a little less rash sometimes. I was waiting for someone to ask why she would know anything about Ned’s bastards, but her comment was ignored, thank goodness. The encounter with the wolves was encouraging, as I hope this means that we will see the return of Nymeria: Arya needs all the help that she can get. The desolation of the farmlands and the lack of food both reinforce the problems that we see in King’s Landing. It is also fairly scary when even Yoren is worried about the road ahead. However, the destruction of the village where they find the little girl is enough to scare any sane person.

10. Davos I

Davos is a very intriguing character, although I still cannot understand why he helped Stannis during the siege. The burning of the religious icons seems like a very rash move as it could alienate many of Stannis’ allies, although they seem to be too scared of Melisandre to rebel. I am genuinely surprised that Stannis agreed to go through the farce of collecting the ‘burning sword’. It is obviously not magical and neither was his recovery of it: if you are the ‘chosen one’, surely you do not walk out of the flames with your clothes on fire. I can only assume that Stannis is trying to placate Melisandre so that she will continue to support him. Whatever his reasons, it seems like a cynical act. Stannis also seems to be somewhat stupid, declaring Cersei’s children to be bastards without any concrete proof, never mind that he might possibly be stirring up a religious war as well. He is so self-righteous that he refuses to think about the implications of his actions. However, I hope he wins so that I can see Salladhor Saan get his night with Cersei! :)

11. Theon I

Theon continues to be a repellent character. His treatment of the ship’s captain and his daughter is both cruel and unnecessary. I can only hope that his arrogance will lead to a painful downfall. As we learn more about the Iron Islanders, he seems to fit in quite nicely with their worldview. They seem like a less civilized version of the Vikings: happily stealing what other people work hard to grow or make as if that is their right. I am amazed that Ned and Robert let this bunch of grim bastards live after the rebellion. However, I do have to like Lord Balon for one thing: he and his even grimmer brother burst Theon’s bubble of arrogant self-importance pretty quickly. It is hard to think of the Starks as soft and lordly, but in comparison to Lord Balon they look as effete as Varys. It seems like Theon’s wonderful future, as foretold by the comet sent to signal it, will have to be put on hold for now.

12. Daenerys I

How ironic to name the little gold dragon after Viserys in the hope that it can do better than him. As a leader, Daenerys is having a really tough time of it, although her khalasar are remarkably compliant. No one blames her for leading them off into an endless desert where many of them drop dead. I am not sure if this is due to stoicism or simple hopelessness. Their discovery of the destroyed city is fortunate, saving them all from certain death, but it almost seems to good to be true, especially when we hear about other similar cities nearby. It was good to learn more of Ser Jorah’s backstory, although his second wife sounds like a horribly spoiled brat. It is sad that he has fallen for Daenerys, as she will break his heart by not returning his affections. 

Is it just me, or does it seem a little dangerous to declare that you have dragons without knowing who you are talking to? I loved the description of the camels that the representatives from Qarth are riding, but I would be more cautious than Daenerys around people who include a self-styled warlock.

13. Jon II

The villages beyond the Wall are deserted, with no sign of where the Wildling occupants have gone. However, they do not seem to have been turned into wights, so at least everyone can sleep relatively safely. It is even creepier that most of the animals have left as well: and yet the Brothers continue to ignore these signs and carry on with their searching. I like the fact that Sam has managed to become less panic-stricken now that he is actually in mortal danger: but I predict brown trousers when they do eventually get attacked. Of course, they could just throw Dolorous Edd at the enemy to bore them to death! :D

14. Arya IV

Well, it was a good plan to sleep in the fortified part of the village, just a shame that some roving rapists decided to show up and kill everyone. It seems like some of Lord Tywin’s men are having way too much fun to be bothered with the ancient agreement of neutrality that rules the Night’s Watch. If this is how Joffrey’s forces are behaving then they are doing a great job of recruiting for the other armies that are moving to oppose him. Arya and Gendry seem fairly capable in the fight, although I do wish she could have chosen something other than “Winterfell!” to yell repeatedly. I hope that her decision to free the three ‘gentlemen’ in the cart does not come back to haunt her, but my immediate concern is that she manages to escape.

15. Tyrion III

Oh look, another outburst of stupid stupidity from Cersei! This one actually had me shaking my head and chuckling at her tantrum. I am sure that in her head it makes sense that she stamps her feet and shouts and then things get done, but it all sounds so foolish out loud. Her ever so wise suggestion to ban people discussing the accusations in Stannis’ letter was also hilarious: I could almost see Tyrion rolling his eyes at that gem. Of course, the best response to the letter would be to make no response at all, but the decision is made to spread a rumor about Stannis’ daughter, poor kid.

What exactly does Tyrion need with his mighty chain? I am sure it will be more effective against their enemies than Cersei’s ranting. I also liked the way he handled the craftsmen: anyone would think that he has been ordering people about for years. I liked the cloak and dagger method for meeting up with Shea, but I am very wary of Tyrion trusting Varys. That Spider is as slippery as the slipperiest eel and will, no doubt, outlive everyone.

16. Bran II

I hate to say it, but this was a fairly boring chapter. We are shown the highly exciting life of the Lord of Winterfell and the petty disputes that he must make decisions about all the time. I felt so sorry for Bran as he sat through it all, and I was impressed that he stayed awake as well. There seems to be some problem with Roose Bolton’s bastard that will no doubt lead to unpleasantness later on. I felt a lot of sympathy for the recently widowed Lady Hornwood, who now has men fighting over her because she has no heir. At the end of the chapter, Bran finally remembers the events in the tower and knows how he fell. I am not sure if this will have any significance because there are already sufficient reasons for Robb to take out the Lannisters, but it is probably good that Bran has the memory. As this is accompanied by a reappearance of the three-eyed crow, I hope that this means something about Bran’s ability to dream as Summer.

17. Tyrion IV

Oh, Tyrion, you are a tricky little Imp! I see what you did there with Maester Pycelle and Littlefinger. I am beginning to enjoy watching Tyrion wield his power. He is just so wonderful and cunning. I wonder what drug he took from Pycelle’s room? Littlefinger claims to have deflowered both of the Tully sisters: disgusting little twerp. I can understand why Tyrion has an instinctive dislike for Littlefinger: he is so mercenary and self-serving. Tyrion has a certain pride and honor, and is instinctively affronted by Littlefinger’s brashness. I love the fact that Tyrion plays Varys by confirming what his ‘little birds’ have already reported. I cannot say that I am happy that Tyrion is using his niece and nephew as political pawns, but anything that gets them away from their terrible mother seems like a good idea. I was appalled to learn that Gregor Clegane had supposedly raped the Princess Elia before killing her: yet another reason for wanting to see his head on a spike!

We meet Cersei, who is very cross because Tyrion got rid of Ser Janos Slynt, and also that Renly is openly marching towards them. I particularly loved her comment about Tyrion making their father come to King’s Landing: as if he had a hope in hell of accomplishing that. She also wants him to rescue Jaime. Why not ask him to pull down the moon as well? The woman is so detached from reality that she is laughable.

I was surprised and disappointed that Tyrion refused to see Ser Alliser Thorne. I thought he would have put personal feelings aside to fulfill his promise to Mormont. Even though Ser Alliser is a jerk of the highest order, the Old Bear would not have sent him unless it was important. I suppose Tyrion is a little busy trying to save everyone in the city, so I will try to forgive him at the moment.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please let me know what you think, because comments make me happy!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...