The book is officially in my greedy little hands! And it’s GIGANTIC, but beautiful. The maps on the end pages have been modified and updated, but I’m afraid to look too closely for fear of spoilers. Martin also includes a little message that not everything, especially in the beginning, is taking place in sequential order which I already supposed. My little journal entries are going to cover five chapters at a time – or roughly 50 pages. This first entry gets a bonus due to the prologue and ends up a total of 60 (1-60) pages. Let’s dive in, shall we?
We’re beyond The Wall at the Fist of the First Men with Chett, our narrator and member of the Night’s Watch. He and his fellow brothers are out tracking a bear with the hounds – rather unsuccessfully. What immediately catches my attention is how cold the North has gotten and how well Martin makes you feel that iciness down to your very bones. Winter is coming – and rather quickly.
Chett is not a great man. We soon learn that he has convinced 14 men (himself included) to kill the Lord Commander Mormont and other leaders of the Watch during the night. Why? He’s terrified of the impending war with Rayder and the Wildlings who are approaching with many, many more men than the Watch. Chett plans to kill all those who are for sticking around and fighting in order to leave in charge those who wish to turn around and flee back to the relative safety of The Wall. Basically – he’s a cowardly little shit.
Did I mention that our dear Chett got sentenced to the wall for murdering a girl who wouldn’t sleep with him? Pleasant little fellow, no?
After giving up on the bear, the small party heads back to camp where Chett now proceeds to make fun of Sam – for being fat and a coward – because Chett is SO BRAVE and gorgeous with his boil covered face. We learn that Chett’s intense animosity comes from Jon Snow helping Sam become assistant to Maester Aemon, the position that Chett once held. So now he despises Jon and Sam equally. He plans to kill Sam for good measure.
But during the night, his plans are foiled by an intense snow storm (coincidence? I think not). He gives up on murdering the commanders and instead focuses on taking out poor Sam in his sleep. Before he can get the job done, the horn sounds not once, not twice, but three times. You know what that means folks…Sam is saved by the bell!!!! Thank the gods because we LOVE Sam. Also, all the men are probably about to be slaughtered by the Others. Good times.
At the sound of the three horns, Sam turns ghostly pale, but our new friend, Chett, pisses himself. He’s so brave, that one.
A great opening for the novel. The prologues always add a deep sense of foreboding and a promise of things to come. I cannot wait for the Others to make their appearance and the battle to begin. One of my most anticipated story arcs for the book and the show. HBO gave us a little glimpse in the season 2 finale and the White Walkers looked amazing. Plus, Jon Snow! How has he fared as double agent inside the ranks of Rayder’s men? What’s up with Ygritte? And has Ghost been welcomed by the Wildling troops with open arms?
A new perspective and a fun one at that! I’ve wanted to get inside the Kingslayer’s pretty little head for a while. Imagine all the terrible things that cross this man’s mind? And we are privy to some fairly disturbing thoughts involving his beloved twin sister. Yuck.
This particular scene has actually already been included in the Season 2 finale of the show. Catelyn has entrusted Brienne with the duty of taking Jaime back to Kings Landing to bargain a deal for her daughters. Without Robb’s permission I might add. In the book, Ser Cleros, a sad excuse for a Lannister and Jaime’s cousin, accompanies Brienne as the negotiator. Nothing about this plan seems wise.
I liked being inside Jaime’s head to discover his true thoughts and opinions of Brienne. He’s a complete asshole to her, but he develops a definite sense of respect for her as a warrior and perhaps even a worthy opponent. He has a vision of smashing her head with the oar (they are traveling by boat) and yet uses it to pull her back into the boat. Jaime does some interesting things. Just when you’ve decided he’s an evil, no-good bastard, he does something strangely out of character – like helping/saving Brienne. What could his motives be?
Another interesting difference between the show’s scene and the source material – Jaime shaves his head so as not to be recognized in his chains. I suppose the show wants Jaime to remain the gorgeous hunk of man that he is, but the book has no need of such things. Also, he’s been severely weakened physically by his incarceration which makes me wonder how good of a fighter he will be at the moment. We do know that he doesn’t fear death at all – a ferocious trait in any warrior.
Also, Brienne is pretty much a super hero with in-human abilities. Don’t you think? Looking forward to seeing future interactions between Brienne and Jaime. Good stuff.
Oh…one more thing. The Tullys and their Bannermen have been up to no good raping and pillaging the common people just as the Lannisters did. Is there truly a good side?
Oh, Catelyn. Girl, you have lost your mind. I want to smack you, but I kind of understand. You think Bran and Rickon are dead – you’ve lost your husband – your father waits at death’s door. Grief is all you know and it has made you bat shit. Letting Jaime go was a supremely bad idea, but you want your daughters back. You need to be surrounded by your children, to be a mother. Too bad Arya isn’t even with the Lannisters.
In the show, Robb has his mother arrested and held under tent arrest. In the book, Robb is off fighting and Catelyn remains at House Tully with her dying father. She’s placed under castle arrest in her father’s chambers and not allowed to leave. She sits by his side thinking lots of mopey thoughts and listening to her father babble rather incoherently about the things than plague a dying man.
He mentions someone named Tansy. Catelyn begins to piece together that her father sold off Lysa to a much older Jon Arryn those many years ago because she was with child (by another man, apparently) and Arryn was in desperate need of an heir (no one need know the heir to be illegitimate). What interests me here is how almost naive Catelyn is about extra-marital affairs. Pretty much everyone in this damn book is sleeping with someone other than their spouse. Even her husband who might be the most honorable man to have ever lived. You can also kind of see how Cat hero worships her father, even into middle age.
Finally, Edmure (Cat’s brother) returns and informs her he’s sent ravens out announcing Jaime’s escape so that someone can capture him and return him to his captors. This greatly distresses Cat because she knows Jaime will probably never return to Kings Landing or Riverrun. Her daughters will be lost to her forever. She’s in a bad place mentally. I’m worried she’s going to go as insane as her sister since it obviously runs in the family.
We also learn that Robb’s been wounded in battle which seems a bit ominous. The Starks aren’t having their best day ever.
I know HBO decided against introducing her brother and father in season 2 for good reason. Looking forward to seeing them in season 3 though. They help Cat’s characterization because she’s a woman who has always been honor bound and loyal to those she considers family. Family comes first to her at all times.
Been looking forward to catching up with Arya ever since her escape from Harrenhal. Honestly, her chapter wasn’t super exciting or informative. Along with Hot Pie and Gendry, they ride tirelessly through the wilderness on their way to Riverrun and safety. Hot Pie complains a lot and Arya resists rest stubbornly until she is forced to give in and sleep. In her dreams she is no longer girl, but wolf. Her pack attacks the Harrenhal men tasked with hunting Arya down after the escape.
Not much to say here. Arya is a brave little mofo and I still love Gendry. Loved her line about missing Jon Snow. Arya’s one of those characters that must never die because I’m not sure I could survive without her in the stories.
Tyrion’s between a rock and a hard place. I feel so miserable for him. He was so brave and smart during the Battle of Blackwater Bay only to be almost killed at the hands of his sister’s commands. Then his father swoops in, saves the day, removes Tyrion from his duties as Hand, and pretty much throws him away without a second glance. Tyrion is in major trouble. He has no friends in Kings Landing which is sad because these people are his FAMILY.
I’m worried that even Bronn will now betray him. Excuse me, Ser Bronn. Damn you, Tywin!
The exchange between Tyrion and his father was so bitter and sad. Tyrion’s been blamed his whole life for killing his own mother in childbirth. His father refuses to accept him as a true son, has the harshest things to say to Tyrion, and refuses to allow him to inherit Casterly Rock even though Jaime isn’t allowed to bear children and whatnot being a member of the Kingsguard. And why, you might ask? Because Tywin hates that Tyrion respects and loves women who are prostitutes. He doesn’t want his castle turned into a whorehouse. Tywin is a pig.
This scene makes me miss the Tywin we saw in Season 2 who was such a great father figure for Arya. Of course, that relationship doesn’t exist in the book.
I’d enjoy seeing this scene between Tywin and Tyrion in the show just to kind of remind us that Tywin is a shit and to allow Peter Dinklage to stretch those amazing acting muscles of his. So far, nothing I’ve read yet is anything new for the show – most of these events took place in some form in the season 2 finale.
Also, I want to know where The Hound has run off to! I adore him.
We find our dear Onion Knight on the shores of a small rock island in the middle of a treacherous and hidden section of Blackwater Bay. He’s near death with not much food or water, severely wounded, and with not much hope of survival. He’s sad about what happened and about leading his sons to their death. He loathes himself for abandoning the Old Gods in order to help Melisandre and her shadow baby. He’s a broken man.
When he finally spots a ship, he almost doesn’t flag it down, but at the last minute he decides he has unfinished business and thankfully the ship is filled with those loyal to Stannis. Davos is going home to kill a bitch, I hope.
This scene probably won’t make it into the show because it’s mostly Davos’ internal battle. I love a good Davos scene though – he’s such a lovable ex-smuggler.