A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 16 (SPOILERS)

Pages 864 – 924 – THE END!!!

Jon:

Jon has pretty much taken over the position of teaching the newest Watchmen sword skills.  He’s just such a great leader especially for a boy so young.  You know he’s destined for great things.

Stannis summons him one night sending Melisandre to retrieve him.  Jon is very curious but also apprehensive about Melisandra and the Lord of Light.  Stannis believes Jon to be innocent of the crimes Slynt wants him punished for and has a very special offer to make him.

Basically, Stannis wants to partner with Jon – to have Jon give up being a member of the Night’s Watch and return to Winterfell to rule as Lord Jon Stark.  Kings have the ability to legitimize bastards and Stannis is offering Jon that opportunity.  Jon is a bit gobsmacked.  Stannis also wants to partner with the Wildlings – to allow them to live in The Gift – probably so that he can have extra soldiers on his side and to keep one enemy at bay.  To help this partnership, Stannis wants Jon to marry Val – aunt to Mance Rayder’s heir.  Oh, and Jon must give up the old gods to worship the Lord of Light.

Wow – that’s a lot for a boy to take in.  Jon asks for time to consider the offer.  You can tell he’s not entirely thrilled with the notion of betraying the Watch again, but he’s always wanted to shed the bastard baggage.  We shall see!!

Tyrion:

Tyrion’s down in the black cells not so patiently awaiting his death.  These are the same cells that held Ned Stark in his final days.  Suddenly, the door opens and Tyrion knows his life is at an end.

Except that it’s Jaime come to save him!  Jaime explains to Tyrion that he owed him a debt.  Jaime finally admits to Tyrion that Tysha – Tyrion’s first wife – was not a whore at all, but exactly who she claimed to be.  She really loved Tyrion, but good ol’ Tywin made Jaime lie.  Tyrion has no forgiveness for Jaime in this matter and even slaps him!  Tyrion trots off to find Varys on his own.  They are going to smuggle him out of Westeros and across the sea.

Tyrion meets up with Varys and they travel through secret tunnels deep in the castle’s belly.  Varys tells Tyrion they are beneath the tower where the Hand’s chambers are and Tyrion demands directions to the Hand’s chambers – his father’s chambers.  Once there, Tyrion finds Shae in his father’s bed and kills her.  Next, he kills Tywin – his own father.  A bad ass scene if there ever was one.  CAN. NOT. WAIT. FOR. THIS.  HBO better get it right.  I finally feel like the old Tyrion is back and badder than ever.

Samwell:

Stannis wants the new Lord Commander chosen by the end of day.  Sam conjures up enough courage to play the two vote leaders against one another so that Slynt won’t win.  Unfortunately, neither man is willing to bow to the other.  Sam gets discouraged, but puts the idea of a new Commander in their minds – Jon Snow.  Both men seem willing to believe Jon might be a decent leader, not as great as they would be, but close.  Sam seals the deal by lying to both men – stating that Stannis is going to put the other in power if the men don’t choose.  Well played, Tarly.  Well played.  I like this new found confidence in our dear Sam.  Can’t wait to see his character development in future books.

Jon:

This chapter is bittersweet knowing that Jon doesn’t appear in the next novel.  I will miss my husband of the North.

Jon’s still working through his decision and having a bit of internal turmoil over whether to accept Winterfell.  But finally, a divine intervention of sorts makes his decision for him – Ghost returns!!!  Oh Ghost, how we’d missed you.

The final vote goes down for Lord Commander and Jon gets chosen.  YES.  He’s finally arrived at the doorstep of his destiny.  He owns the Wall now and must face Stannis.  Until next time, Jon, until next time.

Sansa:

What a bizarre chapter.  That singer dude is still after Sansa’s body.  Weird.

Sansa wakes to a snow storm and heads out to the garden.  She begins to build a castle and this takes up the rest of the day.  Of course, the snow castle she’s building is Winterfell and before long Littlefinger joins her – helping her finish some of the more difficult sections.  Littlefinger is creepy like a child molester.

Little psycho Robert joins them in the garden and proceeds to destroy the castle.  Sansa gets pissed and Robert has one of his episodes.  Next Littlefinger attacks Sansa with his tongue.  Disgusting.

Lady Lysa calls Sansa to her chambers or whatever.  Sansa is prepared to be punished over the Robert incident, but instead Lysa goes batshit over seeing Sansa kiss Petyr.  Lysa is pretty much trying to kill Sansa, but Littlefinger comes to the rescue and pushes his darling wife out the sky window.  Bye bye, Lysa.  What the hell is Littlefinger up to?  He pushes the blame onto the sleazy singer.  A fun scene, but very odd.

Epilogue:

Nothing much to say here other than:  Zombie!Catelyn.  She’s joined Beric and his men as an undead thing.

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 15 (SPOILERS)

Pages 803 – 863

Danaerys:

Dany sacks the unsackable city.  How?  By tearing up Illyrio’s ships and making weapons, battering rams, and shields.  She also sends Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan with a group of men through the sewers to free the slaves (causing an uprising/rebellion within the city itself).  She is ruthless – slaying men and hanging their bodies from the walls just as they did the slaves in a greeting to her.  Dany doesn’t play – she keeps shit real.  She sees it as a hard justice.  I do think she questions her actions though – I believe she wants to be merciful, but fears it will make her weak.

Reports from her previously sacked cities are not good.  The same old corrupted systems are being rebuilt.  She’s beginning to feel like she doesn’t actually know what she’s doing.  She doesn’t want the same to happen here in Meereen.  She knows the people have heard of these other cities and will want to follow her.  She has neither the food nor experience to lead this many people.  Dany’s inexperience is beginning to shine through.

Dany summons Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan to come before her and answer for their crimes.  She sort of wishes they had never returned from the sewers because facing them is difficult – especially Jorah.  Ser Barristan is kind, honest, and honorable in his intentions towards her and she forgives him easily.  Jorah is the opposite – cocky, argumentative, and feels like she owes it to him to forgive him.  She banishes him – a hard decision, but one she believes in.

Finally, Dany decides to end her conquering march through these slaver cities.  She wants to rule the city of Meereen and learn how to be a queen.  A good decision, I think.

Jaime:

I think this was one of the best Jaime chapters and honestly, one of the best character development chapters we’ve seen. Jaime sits with the new King Tommen as the young boy signs many parchments and royal decrees.  You can kind of see Jaime’s mind spinning – understanding this whole kingdom and ruling faction as a complete farce.  He’s been out secretly practicing sword fighting with Ser Addam and realizes just how miserably weak he is.  The beating he takes is really more symbolic than physical (even though he’s sore as a son-of-a-bitch).

He discovers that Tywin has found a fake Arya Stark and is sending her off to marry Roose Bolton’s son Ramsay.

Jaime feels like his new sword is a kick in the gut and a mockery of the man he now is.

Tywin is in a bit of a position with Prince Oberyn dead and demands Pycelle save Ser Gregor’s life, but Gregor is near death.

Cersei is waiting in Jaime’s chambers ready for some disgusting lovin’.  Jaime, for the first time, really doesn’t want Cersei and sends her on her way.  I mean, he does want her – badly – but as a wife, not just a whore sister.  She really is convinced now that he’s lost his mind.  He also informs her that Joffrey probably sent the assassin after Bran and that he believes Tyrion is probably not guilty.  Cersei is livid.

Jaime summons Ser Loras to bring him Brienne.  Loras has had a change of heart after speaking with Brienne and believes she could be innocent of killing Renly.  Jaime wants Brienne to hunt down Sansa Stark and take her somewhere safe.  He wants to try to do the honorable thing now.  Not sure how much we can trust this because Jaime is very deceptive – but something really rings true here – he just seems tired of all the scheming and game playing.  He gives Brienne his new sword and sends her on her way.

He pulls out the White Book to update his entry and writes the truth – ugly though it is and I respect him so much even if he is having a whiny pity party.

Jon:

Slynt and his cronies still think Jon a turncloak.  But since Aemon and the other swear to his innocence he’s giving Jon one last chance to prove his loyalty – by going beyond the wall to parlay with Mance Rayder who wants to talk.  Jon thinks this is a bad idea, but he basically has no choice.  Off he goes.

Tormund rides out to meet him and bring him to Rayder.  Can I just say that I love Tormund and his ‘Har’s!  I think he’ll be a super fun character in the show – as long as they cast him properly.  You can tell that Tormund and Jon have a mutual respect for each other which is nice.

Mance Rayder isn’t super happy to see Jon.  Dalla is in the corner giving birth – no big deal.  Rayder shows Jon that they do have that magical horn thing and will use it unless the Watch agrees to his terms.  Basically, this horn possesses the power to bring down the Wall, thus allowing anything and everything into the Realm of Westeros.  Not good.  Rayder wants he and his people to be allowed to cross the Wall peacefully.  Jon knows this will never happen.

Very suddenly, an attack is upon the Wildlings – not from the Wall, but from the north.  Rayder thinks he’s been betrayed, but Jon swears he doesn’ t know what’s happening.  Essentially, Stannis and his men (thank you, Davos!) have come to save the Wall from the Wildlings.  A battle breaks out and Stannis is obviously going to win.  A fun little twist – and one I predicted at the end of Davos’ last chapter.

Like Jon, I miss Ghost.  Hopefully, he’ll reappear soon enough.  I also still like Mance and the Wildlings.  I think everyone should learn to get along and that each group can really learn something from the other.

Janos Slynt is a sleazy bastard.

Oh – and I kind of want the horn to be blown.  Is this wrong?

Arya:

Arya and Sandor find themselves at an Inn and are reacquainted with the likes of Polliver and The Tickler – some of the men are on Arya’s hitlist.  I love that her hitlist is also her prayer list.  They end up fighting.  Arya kills two of them herself and Sandor is seriously wounded.  Arya also reunites with Needle!!

They also discover that Joffrey’s dead – perhaps by Sansa’s hand!

Continuing on their journey, the Hound grows weaker and weaker.  Arya tries to take care of him and even removes his name from her hitlist which surprises her.  Eventually, the Hound is so weak that Arya decides killing him will be best, but when she goes to do it she can’t – despite the fact that he asks her to.  Instead, she just goes off on her horse, leaving him for dead under a tree.

She makes her way to the coast, hoping to pay her way onto a ship that will take her to the Wall.  She sells her horse and then finds a ship.  The ship won’t take her to the Wall because they are sailing for Braavos and the waters around Westeros are too dangerous.  Arya remembers the coin Jaqen gave her, pulls it out, shows the captain, and speaks the magic phrase – Valar morghulis.  The crew stares at her in wonderment and invites her aboard – no questions asked.  AWESOME.

Samwell:

Sam and Gilly make their way to Castle Black after leading Bran and the others through the gate and swearing not to tell anyone they are still alive.  Sam is astonished at how devastated the Castle is but so happy to be back among his friends again.  He is especially happy to see Jon.

Sam is obviously smitten with Gilly.  Jon tells Sam he can’t keep her (what is she, a dog?).  Sam has this idea of writing to his family, asking them to take her in by saying the child is his own.  Jon’s not sure a bastard upbringing is such a good idea.

Jon, despite capturing Mance’s son and the Horn of Winter, is still seen as a traitor by Slynt and his men.  The Brothers are currently voting on the next Lord Commander.  Each night at dinner they vote – the winner has to receive a huge majority and so far none have achieved this feat.  Jon knows that Slynt is destined to win.  Sam is desperate for this not to happen and begins to plot a way around Slynt’s victory.  He’s terrified though.

I love Sam.

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 14 (SPOILERS)

Pages 735 – 802

To be honest, I finished the book prior to writing the remaining recaps.  We’ll see how much my memory serves or fails me.  Wish me luck!

Tyrion:

Okay – so Tyrion is being held captive in his chambers as the trial begins.  Obviously, he’s suspected by nearly the whole Realm of killing Joffrey.  His uncle comes to him and tells him to find some witnesses because Cersei has found many against him  Tyrion tries Bronn, but Cersei has wedded him off to Lady Lollys and given him a castle.  Tyrion knows he and Bronn are finished as BFFs.

At the trial, Tyrion is run through the mud with honest lies.  Everything said has just a hint of truth so that Tyrion really stands absolutely no chance.  He has no witnesses, but hopes that Sansa can be found on his behalf.

Prince Oberyn comes to Tyrion asking him to pursue a trial by combat with himself as Tyrion’s champion.  Cersei has already selected Gregor Clegane and we all know the Dornish man wants revenge against The Mountain.  He also has ideas of rewriting succession laws to allow inheritance for the oldest child – no matter gender.

Somewhere along the way Tywin, via his brother, also offers Tyrion his life if he confesses to the crime.  He’ll be forced to take the Black, but will be allowed to keep his head.  This same offer was accepted by Ned Stark….

Unless Oberyn really can defeat Clegane, I’m not sure there’s a way out for Tyrion at this point.

Jaime:

Jaime sits alone as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard in his new chambers which seem quite comfy.  He’s feeling lonely and sad – abandoned by his family.  I imagine he’s beginning to understand Tyrion a whole lot more these days.  He flips through this large book where the Commander must update each individual profile for the Kingsguard members.  It’s the facebook of their day, I suppose.  Jaime’s own entry is lackluster and surprisingly short.  He’s not as accomplished as one might think.

The other members of the Kingsguard join him for a meeting and he pretty much pisses them all off one by one.  Finally, only Ser Loras remains and Jaime sees a punk kid filled with arrogance – mainly, himself.  Loras still wants Brienne’s head, but Jaime manages to cool his anger and persuade him that perhaps Brienne is telling the truth.  He beseeches Loras to visit her in her cell and talk to her rationally.  If he still thinks she did it, he’ll have her head.  Jaime as the voice of reason is freaking my shit out, but I like it.

Jaime respects Loras because of the loyalty and passion he’s shown and still shows towards Renly, Loras’s true king and lover.

I heart Jaime unconditionally these days.

Sansa:

The sea makes Sansa sick.  Littlefinger informs her they aren’t sailing for HER home, but rather HIS home.  Joy.  Sansa is super upset.  They arrive at the Fingers which is a dreary little place, but Littlefinger still reigns supreme here.

Littlefinger informs her he is waiting on Lady Lysa Arryn to arrive as they are to be wed.  Sansa is taken aback.  After the wedding, they are to move to the Eyrie.  Sansa hopes for the best.

Lady Lysa and her bag of loose screws arrives and demands to be wed to Littlefinger immediately.  Littlefinger wants to wait but Lysa is all hot and bothered for her Petyr – the man she’s waited on her whole life.  The man that essentially made her hate her sister – since we all know Petyr truly loves Catelyn.

Littlefinger and Sansa have come up with a secret identity for her – Alayne Stone – bastard child of Petyr, daughter to a foreign woman who died in childbirth.

After their quickie wedding, a terribly loud sex scene between Lysa and Petyr that we all could have done without.  Sansa/Alayne is almost raped by Lysa’s singer, Marillion.  The next morning Lady Lysa speaks with Sansa (she’s been told her true identity) and explains that Sansa will now be married off to her son, sickly little Robert, once Tyrion is beheaded.  Sansa begins to realize that she’ll never be allowed to marry for love.

Lady Lysa sickens me physically.

Jon:

The Wall is still under siege from Rayder’s attacks, but the Watch is holding their own.  Rayder’s men are building a ‘turtle’ which basically acts as a shield against the Watch’s arrows, rocks, and fires while they smash down the Wall’s gate.  Jon outsmarts them and has barrels filled with frozen water/ice ready for the turtle when it arrives.  The ice barrels destroy the turtle.  Jon is quite the leader.

With the Wall safe another night, Jon swallows some dreamwine and heads off to the land of nod.  He’s awoken by men who demand his audience.  Janos Slynt has arrived and accuses Jon of being a turncloak/oathbreaker.  He even has a lovely Wildling prisoner, none other than Rattleshirt, to help back up his story of killing Qhorin Halfhand.  Aemon can’t save Jon.  They lock him up in an ice cell.  NO, NOT JON!!!!

I am glad, however, that Castle Black is receiving reinforcements.

Tyrion:

An intense chapter.  First, Pod admits in a lack of words that even he thinks Tyrion’s guilty.  Next, Shae completely betrays Tyrion during the trial and my heart broke in two for him during this scene.  It was brutal.  Tyrion demands his trial by combat.

On the day of the fight, Tyrion wakes up happy – his heart filled with hope at Oberyn’s prospects.  Oberyn seems calm, cool, collected, and completely confidant of his victory.

The battle is epic and should be an amazing part of the HBO series.  Oberyn uses his wit and quickness to physically and psychologically tire the Mountain.  Eventually, Oberyn wounds Clegane severely and has him flat on his back – ready for the final kill blow.  Oberyn gets too cocky and too close.  They begin to wrestle on the ground where Clegane ultimately wins – throwing Oberyn’s words back in his face.  Tyrion empties his stomach and is dragged away to the black cells.  That doesn’t sound good.  Tyrion’s days appear numbered.

The part where Clegane kills the little town boy – horrible.  I hate this man.  He’s not even human in my opinion.

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 13 (SPOILERS)

Pages 685 – 734

Sansa:

Sansa escapes the Red Keep unnoticed and heads to the godswood.  She’s happy Joff’s dead (obviously).  She changes into clothes she’s hidden – darker clothes since she’s being smuggled out of Kings Landing – and waits for Dontos.  He arrives and lets her know that Tyrion and her are being blamed for poisoning Joffrey.  Sansa realizes that her hairnet Dontos wanted her to wear so badly is missing a black amethyst – when she puts two and two together she realizes that Dontos has chocked Joffrey.

They leave the castle grounds and make their way safely to Blackwater Bay.  A little boat rows them out to a bigger ship where Sansa finds Littlefinger waiting for her.  He’s masterminded this entire plot down to the dwarf jousting routine.  Dontos wasn’t really on Sansa’s side, he just wanted ransom money.  Littlefinger quickly has Dontos killed as his payment.

Littlefinger killed Joff just to get Sansa!!  Do you think  he means to wed her?  Oh my goodness – he’s a creepy dude.  I want to know his motivations.  He’s a mastermind.  Watch out Sansa – you are most definitely NOT safe.

Jaime:

Jaime learns of Joff’s (his son’s) death and doesn’t seem too moved by it.  He arrives in Kings Landing where some recognize him and some don’t.  He wastes no time re-introducing himself.  Ser Loras wants Brienne’s head for supposedly killing Renly.  Jaime saves her, but agrees to have her locked up for the moment.

Of course, Jaime’s first stop is to Cersei who is in the Sept praying over her dead son’s body.  The have dirty, nasty, disgusting reunions.  Cersei wants Tyrion’s head served on a platter.  Jaime tells her he wants to marry her – she thinks he’s lost his mind.

Next, Jaime goes to see his father and it isn’t a happy homecoming.  Tywin is pissed that Jaime’s hand is gone and you can tell he pretty much sees Jaime only as a sword.  Tywin informs him that he is being removed from the Kingsguard to marry and become Casterly Rock’s true heir.  Cersei is to marry Oberyn Martell.  And that will be the end of that.  Jaime tells him no, that he’s a member of the Kingsguard forever, and that none of his father’s plans are worth shit.  Tywin denounces Jaime as his son.

Jaime is now the new Tyrion.  Tywin seems to have no problem ridding himself of sons these days.

Davos:

Davos has betrayed his king.  He’s secretly removed Edric Storm from Dragonstone on a pirate’s ship.  He spends a lot of time wondering what will happen as a result.  When he is next with Stannis and Melisandre he owns up to his betrayal and begs Stannis to do the right thing.  He offers his head as long as Stannis will hear him out one last time.  At the end of the chapter Davos begins to read from a parchment.  We know nothing more.

Poor Davos just wanted to be an onion smuggler.  Then he just wanted to serve Stannis faithfully, raise his sons, and die an old man.

Jon:

My lord husband of the North awakes to the sound of the horn.  Two calls – the Wildlings and Mance Rayder have arrived at the Wall.  Everyone rushes to their places atop the wall where they will be pretty safe.  No way to get up there but through the elevator.  A handful of men, including Donal Noye (acting commander), head down to the gate to protect it.  Noye leaves Jon in charge of the Wall – he is amazed, scared, and honored by this new duty.

The Wildlings attack and that includes trying to ram the gate open with Mammoths and Giants.  The Watch concentrates their forces on the gate.  It’s the dead of night so no one can see much.  Jon’s leg hurts something fierce.

Eventually, the Watch are able to push back Rayder’s army as the sun rises.  Jon and a few other men head down to check on the gate and the men left guarding it.  Jon leaves Grenn in charge of the Wall.

The men at the gate have all lost their lives and the other door has been successfully breached.  Jon decides they need to blockade the opening with whatever they can find and someone needs to be put in charge.  He lists several men he thinks would fit, but no one will listen to him.  They name him their new leader.

JON SNOW for the win!!!

OH…and he burned Ygritte’s body.  He says he’s done with kissing.  I hope not – what a waste.

Arya:

Arya is broken.  She still hopes in her heart that her mother is alive, but her wolf dream shows her otherwise.  She has a horse now, but lacks the spirit to escape.  The Hound isn’t even much guarding her anymore.  I feel Arya giving up on happiness and perhaps even life in general.  So sad for one so young.  I particularly thought it sad at how different she was than the one little girl her own age.  Wow.

The Hound wants to try to ransom her to Lady Lysa, but the way to the Eyrie is blocked.  So Clegane sets his sights on Riverrun instead.  Arya wants to go to the Wall and to Jon Snow.  Clegane doesn’t seem to care much for that idea.

Other points of interest – the Hound teaches Arya where a man’s heart is and how to poke it – plus how to plunder his body once he’s dead.

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 12 (SPOILERS)

Pages 624 – 684

Bran:

Bran and his friends arrive at one of the old Night’s Watch castles, Nightfort, which is known through scary stories and rumored to be haunted.  But Jojen has had a green dream and knows there is a gate here that they must cross to reach beyond the Wall.  They can’t find a gate, but do find lots of rats.

We learn that Bran knows Jon is alive through Summer.  Summer survived the attack with the Wildlings, but suffered an arrow through the leg.  He’ll live.  Bran also knows of Robb’s death and Grey Wind’s death.  Sad face.

They decide to spend the night in the castle’s kitchens where they can light a warm fire and cook their supper.  A well also resides in the kitchen that has stairs leading down into its deep, dark belly.  They are all frightened of what may be down there.

During the night, Bran hears footsteps ascending the well’s stairs and wakes Meera.  Meera grabs her weapons and throws the net around the figure that eventually emerges from the well.  It’s just Sam, though.  They free him and he explains who he is.  Gilly and the child are also with him.  Bran tells him he must go back down and through the secret gate.  Sam says only a Brother can do it – so he offers to lead them there.  Gilly waits by the fire for Sam’s return.  Sam sees the small group safely to the other side.

I don’t know why Bran has to go beyond the Wall.  Can Jojen be trusted?  You never know with GRRM.

Danaerys:

Her horde arrives at another, much larger city.  She wants to sack it as well as this appears to be a very brutal place.  Unfortunately, there is no good way into the city’s walls.  The slavers mock them rudely which pisses Dany off.  Much bickering about their options ensues.

Dany decides to go for a horse ride through her people, taking Arstan as protection.  They encounter a stowaway Mero who tries to kill Dany, but old man Arstan slays him.  Dany wants Jorah to knight him, but turns out – he’s already a knight!  That’s right, folks – Arstan is none other than Ser Barristan Selmy.  Didn’t see it coming – awesome.  Selmy and Jorah exchange some heated words where Selmy uncovers Jorah’s early deceptions.  Dany is pissed and wants both of them gone.  She says she knows where they need to go, but doesn’t tell us.  I wonder?

Also, Dany wants Daario’s body.

Tyrion:

Tyrion wakes early one morning to have a little tryst with Shae down with the dragon skulls.  He decides to marry her off to some guy named  Ser Tallad.  I can’t imagine she’ll be pleased by this.  That is literally all that happens.  What was the point?

Sansa:

Sansa awakens on Joff’s wedding day and prepares to attend the royal breakfast with her lord husband, Tyrion.  She’s very distant and utterly miserable.  You get the distinct feeling that she’s up to something.

Joff’s breakfast includes his wedding gifts.  Tyrion gives him a book about kings that Joff hates – shocker.  Anyway, he takes his grandfather’s gift (the new sword) and hacks the book to bits.  I seriously pictured some whiny petulant child having a tantrum here.  Joff is so weak and needs to be bent over and spanked.  Or just removed from the world entirely.  Don’t you agree?

During this breakfast, Tyrion comes to believe that it was Joff who planned and staged the assassination attempt on Bran’s life those many moon’s ago.  Joff is an evil goat-faced bastard.

Tyrion:

The wedding happens and Tyrion waxes poetic most of the time on how much he needs to take a piss.  He’s really noticing Sansa acting even more distant that usual and really goes out of the way to try and cheer her up.  But she is like zombie!Sansa now.

At the feast, everyone gets drunk, eats a lot of food, and watches the many entertainments.  There is a jousting skit involving two dwarfs, a pig, and a dog that Joff finds especially amusing.  Tyrion and Joff exchange words and then Joff struts over to pour wine over his uncle’s head.  Joff continues to be brutal towards Tyrion in front of all his guests.

Then they break open the pigeon pie.  Joff goes back to continue his assault of Tyrion – noticing that Tyrion hasn’t touched his pigeon pie.  How dare he!  Joff takes a bite of it and chokes to death – literally.  Cersei goes nuts and orders Tyrion arrested for her son’s death.  She also blames Sansa, but Sansa has disappeared.

FINALLY, a death I can get behind.  What will happen now?  I do wish his Royal Evilness had met a much uglier end however.  His death scene was slightly underwhelming.

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 11 (SPOILERS)

Pages 574 – 623  DAMN YOU, George R.R. Martin.  How could you?  This book is almost too much.  I miss the days of A Clash of Kings when things were slow and boring.

Catelyn:

The wedding is over and the feast is in full swing.  Everyone is having a merry time even though the food is yucky.  Catelyn keeps noticing how drunk all her men are – not a good sign.  Robb has done his duty well – dancing amiably with many of the Frey women.

Finally, time for the bedding!  The raucous wedding party begins to crowd around the happy couple, stripping them naked, and carrying them off to bed.  Such a lovely tradition, no?  Anyway, Catelyn stays behind, her mind racing, and finally the truth dawns on her, but it’s too late.  House Tully/Stark is about to be majorly betrayed.  Catelyn now understands that the Freys who were loyal to Robb aren’t just ‘away’, but they’ve been murdered.

House Frey turns on its guests and begins slaughtering everyone.  A table is thrown over Robb to protect him, but three arrows have already found their way inside him.  Catelyn hides as best she can desperate not to lose another child.  She grabs a dagger, Lord Frey’s halfwit son, and promises to kill him if Frey doesn’t allow her son to leave peacefully with no further harm.  Robb is now on his feet.  Frey informs Catelyn that he cares nothing for the halfwit and a sword is plunged through Robb’s heart.  Catelyn follows through on her threat as well before going mad.  They slit her throat.

HOLY JESUS.  WHAT THE HELL?  It was just one little fucking marriage.  To align yourselves with the Lannisters over that is just repugnant.  I hate the fucking Freys more than the Lannisters.  Good-bye Robb.  Poor Queen Jeyne.  Who did Robb name as his heir??? (Not that it matters, Bran is still alive!!!).  AMAZINGLY SAD, BUT AWESOME SCENE.  Season 3 is going to be another shocker.

Arya:

Just as they are about to make their way into the main wedding tent, Sandor and Arya notice people fleeing The Twins.  Sandor figures out quickly that the Freys have united with the Lannisters and released a blood bath on the Tully/Stark fleet.  Arya wants to find her brother and mother quickly, but the Hound assures her that both are dead – otherwise, the Stark men wouldn’t be running away.  Sandor begins doing battle and Arya just kind of stands there before trying to run inside to her slaughtered family.  But before she can get anywhere, the Hound takes an axe to the back of her head.

Arya is going to be one messed up person if she survives all these shenanigans.

Tyrion:

Nothing quite like a home-cooked meal with your wife – unless you are Tyrion and Sansa.  Man, they are so awkward, clumsy, and tense around one another.  This marriage is doomed.

Sansa runs off to pray and Tyrion is summoned by Tywin.  The news of Robb’s and Catelyn’s deaths have reached him.  Tyrion immediately knows that his father helped plan this whole un-honorable death scene.  Edmure has been taken prisoner and they hope that Uncle Tully will give up Riverrun very soon.  Joffrey is all – ‘no mercy, off with their heads’.  He doesn’t believe in letting anyone bend the knee and give up.  Tywin is beginning to understand how much of a monster his nephew is.  Joff has no real power as long as Tywin’s around though.

The Martell/Tyrell tension is heating up.  Fights have broken out and men have been killed.  Tywin doesn’t want to offer up Gregor Clegane to Martell justice so he invents another story of how Elia was killed and tells Tyrion he must adopt the story as well.  Tyrion’s not so sure this plan is going to be successful.  Tywin encourages Tyrion to produce an heir soon with Sansa and Tyrion smartly remarks that he should have no problem bedding the woman when he tells her of how his family has just murdered her brother and mother.

I’ve decided that all of these people are insane.

Davos:

The Davos chapters are growing tiresome.  Stannis just isn’t compelling and Melisandre cheats.  They learn of Robb’s death.  They bicker about what to do next.  Melisandre still wants to kill Edric.  Davos is learning to read with Stannis’s daughter and Edric.  Davos reads a letter from the Wall warning of the DOOM.

We’re also waiting for Joffrey to die since Melisandre’s black magic is coming true.

Jon:

Castle Black awakes to find Mole’s Town burning.  They know the Wildlings will arrive soon so they begin major preparations for battle.  They take the high ground, mainly arming themselves with arrows.  The Wildlings arrive later that night and the battle begins.

The Wildlings have far more men and seemingly are going to beat the Watch.  But once they are all on the wooden stairs leading to the top of the wall, the Watch sets it on fire.  So the Watch wins, but pretty much everyone dies barring a few scattered brothers here and there.  Jon heads to the ground hoping that Ygritte escaped.  He finds her still alive but with an arrow through her lung.  Her death scene is oddly sweet – “You know nothing Jon Snow”.  RIP Ygritte.  I’ll miss her.  I’ll probably cry during this damn scene – more so that Robb’s death.  Is that odd?

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 10 (SPOILERS)

Pages 528 – 573 – These journal entries are getting shorter and shorter because the plot is moving so quickly now that I read WAY AHEAD.  And now I can’t remember all the little details of each chapter, but the high points are all still there.

Samwell:

In the fallout of the chaos at Craster’s, the decent brothers have left to flee back to the Wall.  Sam and Gilly were among them, but Sam fell behind and the others left him.  Now just he and Gilly (well, and her babe) are very slowly making their way somewhere.  They are pretty much lost.

They stop in an empty Wildling village to warm up, eat, and sleep.  In the night, Sam awakens with a bad feeling just before Small Paul arrives at their door – a very dead Small Paul with a raven eating his face.  Sam orders Gilly outside and attacks the zombie!Paul with the dragonglass to no avail.  Then he destroys him with fire only to walk outside and see Gilly surrounded by more of his dead brothers – their horse gutted.  Ravens come down in huge numbers to distract the white walkers and a brother wearing the black arrives on an Elk.  He swoops up Gilly and Sam.  Sam notices he has a black hand with fingers of stone.  Is this Benjen?  A great scene!

Arya:

Arya and the Hound are journeying somewhere.  Arya believes it to be Kings Landing.  They come across a river they must ford, but the damn thing is too flooded.  They find some men with a makeshift ferry and promise to pay their way once they are safely deposited on the other side.  These men are stupid and believe them.  During the crossing, Arya almost jumps over the side, but just as she’s about to try escaping AGAIN, one of the men falls into the current and is immediately washed away to his death.  So much for that idea.

On the other side, the Hound pays his way with an IOU parchment.  The men are pissed, but the Hound rides off before anything can be done about it.  Sandor informs Arya that now her would-be saviors (Beric and his men) won’t be able to cross because they only have IOU parchment as well.  Arya is so pissed.

Clegane informs her that she’s not being taken back to Kings Landing and that they just crossed the Trident.  They are practically right on top of The Twins.  The Hound hopes to ransom Arya and perhaps join Robb’s cause.  That’s about his only option at this time.

I love that Arya’s been constantly plotting her escape or the Hound’s death.

Jon:

With his leg about to fall off and his horse dying of exhaustion, Jon reaches the small village outside the Wall.  He tells the people to pack their things and head to Castle Black b/c the Wildlings are coming.  On a new horse, Jon quickly makes his way to the Wall.  He quickly learns that they know he’s been riding with the Wildlings because some of the brothers spotted him.  He explains Qhorin’s plan and they take him to Maester Aemon to see about his leg.

He learns that Commander Mormont has been killed by his own men, that Winterfell has been destroyed by Theon, and that Bran and Rickon are supposedly dead.

We learn that Grenn made it back to Castle Black safely, but left Sam behind (which doesn’t make Jon happy).

Jon warns everyone of the approaching Wildling party.  There’s hardly anyone left at Castle Black and no real leadership. A new Commander has not been voted in yet – I hope they vote in Jon.

Catelyn:

They finally arrive at The Twins – very late due to the weather which is already a bad sign.  Upon arrival, some of the Freys ride out to meet their party only to be attacked (but not harmed) by Grey Wind.  Oh no, Robb.  Go home right now!

Lord Frey receives them and is his normal charming self.  This man is utterly disgusting and hardly trustworthy.  This whole chapter was filled with tension and foreshadowing.  Anyway, Robb apologizes to everyone and Catelyn makes sure to ask for food which should protect them under the guest’s rights/laws.  I think the Starks are in trouble.  All of the Freys that Robb liked, who had been with him before he married Jeyne, are nowhere to be found.

Edmure meets his new bride and she is rather comely, but tiny (she also cries a lot).  He’s quite pleased.  Catelyn visits the maester to see if the child is fertile.  The maester assures her she will give Edmure many sons, just as her mother did.

Roose Bolton and his men arrive and there are more war discussions.  I am terrified to keep reading.

Arya:

The Hound and Arya sneak their way into The Twins wedding feast by pretending to bring food and supplies to the wedding.  When Arya can finally see the feast tents, she immediately begins searching for a familiar face or anyone wearing her family’s sigil.  She finds no one – oh dear.  Sandor wants to find her ‘bloody brother’ and get this show on the road.

Nothing much happened, but dammit, I’m terrified.  It’s also ass o’clock in the morning, but I can’t stop reading.  MUST. KNOW. WHAT. HAPPENS.

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 9 (SPOILERS)

Page 461 – 527

Jon:

I was right!  The men Bran sees are the Wildlings with Jon Snow!  But before they arrive at Queenstower, Jon and Ygritte have many interesting conversations that really highlight the differences between those beyond the Wall and those of the Realm – also the similarities.  Jon is growing increasingly bothered by his betrayal, but also, as his feelings deepen for Ygritte and the men he’s coming to know, he worries about them as well.

Once at Queenstower, they come across the one man Bran first saw with his fire.  He’s old and not bothering anyone, but the Wildlings demand that Jon slay him – mostly as an act of loyalty.  Jon refuses and Ygritte gets pissed so she slits his throat herself (the old man, not Jon).  Jon knows he’s in deep shit, but Summer comes to the rescue slaughtering many Wildlings and Jon sees his only chance of escape.  He begins to slaughter as well, eventually hopping on a horse and riding for hours.  When he dismounts he discovers that the has a nasty arrow wound in his leg.

This scene should be spectacular on the show, don’t you think?  I wonder what will happen with Ygritte?  Will they ever find each other again?  Was she the one who shot him?  Exciting times!

Danaerys:

Speaking of exciting, Dany has discovered a taste for war, victory, and ultimately, blood.  Along with her new army (who she’s freed, essentially) and many of the citizens of Ghris (who are weighing her down, but she won’t abandon them), she arrives at Yunkai and hopes to overtake this city as well – mostly to free the slaves and give her men some practice in actual battle.  A little good with the bad.

The three different peoples of the city are invited (well, their leaders are invited) to join her cause peacefully.  She gives them until the next morning, or in one case, three days, to acquiesce or she will attack.  Despite these promises, she sneak attacks in the middle of the night and wins.  One of the leaders actually pledges his allegiance to her before the attack and helps sack the other tribes.  When Dany marches into the city three days later, the freed slaves come out, shouting at her lovingly, touching her, and devotedly calling her ‘Mother’.  Dany is pleased with herself.  She only lost 12 men.

Dany is GANGSTA.

Arya:

Poor Arya – AGAIN.  Will this child never get a break?  Seriously.  I almost dread her chapters now.  There’s more red priest stuff.  She discovers that Jon Snow’s mother, Wylla, was wetnurse to fellow outlaw child Ned, also a high born lad.  He also informs her that her Lord Father also was in love with Lady Ashara a high born Dornish woman before he was married to Catelyn.  Arya gets mad at Ned for these stories because she believes they cheapen her father’s honor.

They also find out from the crazy old lady who always wants a song in payment for her information that Riverrun is to be attacked and taken by the Lannisters.  Apparently, Catelyn and Robb and many others will have moved on to The Twin’s for Edmure’s wedding, so they’ll be safe.  Still, a crippling defeat.  Arya gets upset and runs away when they suggest not taking her back to her mother if it’s not possible.  Guess who catches her?  Sandor Clegane, the Hound himself.  DAMMIT. But he was so nice to Sansa – so maybe there’s hope.

Jaime:

Happily making his way back to Kings Landing,  Jaime finds himself reminiscing of past journeys in these same woods.  Happier times, at least for him.  He’s still quite feverish and they give him dreamwine to help him sleep.  He has a nightmare that’s he’s been abandoned in the dark belly of Casterly Rock to await some sort of DOOM!  Who should arrive to help him?  That’s right, Brienne.  Feeling guilty much, Jaime?

When he awakes, Jaime bribes his guardsmen to take him back to Harrenhal, saying he forgot something.  Of course, he’s speaking of Brienne!  When they get back, Jaime finds Brienne in the fighting pit with a huge ass bear of the non-teddy variety.  They’ve also given her only a fake sword and no armor.  Vargo is a sicko.  Jaime jumps in to save her valiantly and Bolton’s other men take the bear out with some arrows.  When asked why he came back for her, Jaime says “I dreamed of you.”  Love their relationship so freakin’ much.

Catelyn:

The Stark/Tully party is making their way down to The Twins for Edmure’s party.  The weather is dismal and all the rivers are flooded.  Edmure hopes his new bride will be attractive.  Catelyn chastises everyone.  Her mother hen routine gets annoying at times.  She keeps reminding Robb about how kiss-ass he needs to be.  Robb knows – he doesn’t need her hounding.

Robb knows he needs to name an heir in his place until Queen Jeyne provides one.  He can’t have Tyrion taking Winterfell and the North.  He informs his mother that Jon Snow is who he intends to name.  Catelyn is livid.  King Robb doesn’t care.

Balon Greyjoy is dead.  Oh no.  That Melisandre bitch’s spell is starting to come true.  I smell bad things for Robb.

Robb’s new battle plan involves hopping on some boats and taking the Iron Islands and the North.  He’s sending his mother to another friendly castle as prisoner…err…I mean, guest.

He has all his men sign his ‘this is who will be my heir’ document at the end of the chapter, but we never see who is named.  This is just some scary ass foreshadowing.

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 8 (SPOILERS)

Pages 404 – 460

Davos:

So, I read pretty far ahead and can only hope I do these chapters justice.

Davos is summoned from the dungeon by Stannis.  The new Hand – brother to the former Hand who just happens to be Davos’s cellmate – threatens Davos that unless he tells Stannis that he agrees with the Hand’s plan to attack Claw Island (I think that’s what it was called), he’ll meet an untimely end.  Davos agrees.

But Davos is an honest man, at least to his King.  He tells Stannis the plan is stupid and cowardly.  The Florent is sent away to get Melisandre.  Stannis knows about his plot to kill the red priestess, but doesn’t seem too concerned – just still trying to convince Davos that she is amazing.  Davos will never believe this.  Anyway, Stannis makes Davos a Lord and his new Hand.  Can you feel the love?

Melisandre comes in and performs some magic involving leeches and Edric Storm’s blood (Melisandre wants to sacrifice the bastard child, but Stannis refuses to kill his nephew).  Part of this black magic involves not very good things for Robb.  Oh goodness.

Not a super exciting chapter.

Jaime:

Jaime has been invited to dine with Roose Bolton, but must first bathe.  He finds a naked Brienne bathing and hops on in with her.  Such a weird scene.  If they film this, I think I’ll giggle.  Anyway, they have a very interesting conversation about the circumstances surrounding Jaime’s slaying of King Aerys.  Turns out, he’s not such a horrific Kingslayer after all.

He keeps hurting his stub and almost passes out.  Oddly, Brienne gently finishes bathing and dressing him.  Almost motherly.  Oh yeah – Jaime’s naked body reacted to her naked body!

At the dinner, Jaime learns he is to be returned to Kings Landing, but poor Brienne is being  handed back to Vargo for all his raping pleasure.  I wanted to stab Bolton in his disgusting eyeballs.  I hope Brienne kills them all.

Tyrion:

The Martells and other big, bad Dornish Lords and Ladies are set to arrive at Kings Landing.  Tywin sends Tyrion and some others out to greet them – a slight not having Joff or himself go.

The head Martell who was supposed to come is home sick and instead the more sinister, younger Martell is in his stead.  Tyrion begins to worry.  He figures the Martells who hate the Tyrells and aren’t a fan of the Lannisters are up to no good.  They exchange pleasantries and ugly stories about Tyrion’s birth – Cersei was such a little bitch even in youth.  Then the thinly covered threats are outed.  Martell wants revenge for the slaying of Elia, wife of Aerys – he’s holding a major grudge.  Tyrion warns him that he’s drastically outnumbered.  I hope the wedding turns into a war.

Arya:

The bandits – I think they call themselves the brown brothers – battle and defeat some of the Brave Companions.  Sandor has been let go, stripped of his gold.  Arya learns about the many times Beric has died and been reborn by Thoros.  Gendry decides he wants to stay with the outlaws as their blacksmith which hurts Arya – he’s one of her only friends in the world.  She feels abandoned by everyone.  She wants the Hound dead.  I want the tv peeps to change this.  I want Gendry to stay apart of Arya’s life and the show!

Luckily, the Hound reappears with more threats, demanding his gold back.  Beric tells him they’ll have to pay him after the war is over – that they currently have no gold.  Sandor is pissed, but leaves.  They know he is probably sniffing around somewhere close so everyone’s on their toes and a bit frightened.

I love Arya and feel really bad for her.  I can’t believe Gendry would abandon her.  Why can’t he just go with her to Riverrun and serve as a blacksmith there?  He’ll get paid and be able to have a family and a home.  I hope he finds out soon that he’s Robert’s bastard son.  I want him and Arya to get married one day.  I’m making my sad face.

Bran:

Holy Moly – Bran finally has a halfway decent chapter!  They find a tower in the middle of a lake to stop for the night because a monster storm’s a brewin’.  The tower is called Queenscrown and there’s a backstory that I won’t go into.  Anyway, the causeway leading to the tower is under water so they feel fairly safe stopping for the night.  Once inside, they manage to make it to the top of the tower, but notice a fire coming from the abandoned village.  Then, they notice many more men stopping to seek shelter from the storm and grow increasingly terrified.  Hodor begins to shout and they can’t seem to shut him up – they know they’ve been heard.  I suspect the Wildling raiders with Jon Snow.

Bran manages to channel Hodor for a quick second to shut him up which scares him – Bran is getting stronger.  Then he channels his wolf on command and feels Summer’s fear as he closes in on the abandoned village and its new denizens.  Chapter ends.  Should be a great suspenseful end to an episode!

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 7 (SPOILERS)

Pages 342 – 403

Jaime:

So…they sliced off Jaime’s sword hand.  He feels like that might have been all he was…that one hand.  The Brave Companions treat Jaime and Brienne like complete shit – tied up together at all times with Jaime’s rotten hand hanging around his neck.  Lovely.

When they come to rape Brienne, Jaime saves her.  He does shit like that and then I sort of like him, but he’s evil.  Right? RIGHT?  They arrive at Harrenhal where Roose Bolton and his men are stationed.  Bolton is disgusted at how the prisoners have been treated.  Since Brienne pledges her allegiances to House Stark he releases her from her shackles and sends her off to bathe and get new clothes.  Jaime is sent off to the fallen Maester to see about his hand.  He refuses to let them cut off his arm, even if the infection means death.  The Maester cleans Jaime’s stump the best he can.  Meanwhile, Jaime learns about what happened with the  Battle of Blackwater Bay and some of the aftermath, including Joff’s new bride-to-be.

I think I like Jaime and now I feel dirty.

Tyrion:

Tyrion is out on Tywin’s orders inspecting the damage done to Kings Landing and estimating that there isn’t enough money in the realm to fix it.  Then he heads over to that singer’s house to threaten him all the while planning on having Bronn kill him.  Things are not going well with Sansa.

Tywin requests his presence and shows him the two Valyrian swords he had made – one for Joffrey as a wedding gift and the other for his son.  For just a moment, I thought Tywin might mean Tyrion, but no.  He demands Tyrion find a way to pay for the repairs and a way to bed Sansa Stark.  Cheery times.

Shae seems nonplussed by Tyrion’s new wife.

Pycelle brings news of the Wall and suggests placing Janos Slynt as Commander since everyone assumes Mormont is dead.  Tyrion loudly objects, gets overruled, and wishes he had killed Slynt when he had the chance.

Samwell:

The surviving members of the attack have made it back to Crastor’s.  Sam is trying to nurse the near dead back to life, but to no avail.  Men have mockingly started calling him ‘Slayer’.  Crastor wants the men gone.  Mormont decides he’ll leave on the morrow.  Crastor holds a pretty sad feast for their farewell.

At the feast, the Watchmen get pissed at Crastor’s offerings and slay him.  Next they slay Mormont for trying to discipline them.  Basically, hell breaks loose and the men start raping the women and looting the place.  Several more men die.  Sam gives up as the Old Bear lays dying in his lap until Gilly, her new son, and two other women convince him that he must leave as Mormont wishes – back to the Wall to let everyone know what has happened.

Another scene that should film well.  These men are bat shit and it’s time the Realm offered up honorable men to the Wall or everyone is going to die.  Sam must now get the message out that dragonglass and fire is the only way to take out the Others.  I’m sad to see the Old Bear go, especially in this manor.  He wants Sam to tell Jorah that he forgives him.

Arya:

The man the bandits have captured is Sandor Clegane.  I figured it was him.  They all travel to Ser Beric Dondarrion and Thoros the red priest to hold the Hound accountable for his crimes.  Arya can’t wait to see him die in punishment for killing Mycah, the Butcher’s boy.

Clegane is sentenced to trial by combat and will go up against Ser Beric himself.  Beric’s body shows the scars of fatal wounds, yet he still lives.  Beric now serves the Lord of Light so you know magic is involved.  The Hound pretty much slices Beric in half after a tiresome battle and is declared winner, thus innocent of his crimes.  Arya grabs a dagger to take care of him herself, but watches as Clegane cries like a baby over his new burns.  At the end of the chapter, we realize that Beric has returned to the living.  Oh dear at all this magic.

Another fantastic film-worthy scene.  Arya has become quite hungry for revenge and death, has she not?  I worry about her now.  I see her ending up in very dark places.  I wonder what Beric will do with her?

Catelyn:

Lord Hoster, her father, has died.  They hold the funeral services for him.  Some Frey men have come to discuss the betrayal and Lord Frey’s new commands.  Spirits are not high.

The Freys also bring word of a burned and destroyed Winterfell as well as the slaying of the smallfolk and Robb’s men.  Apparently the little Freys who were taken in as wardens of Winterfell managed to escape with Bolton’s bastard along with the women and children of the castle.  The defeat among Robb and his men is palpable.  No one knows what happened to Theon.

Lord Frey has promised to forgive Robb as long as he comes to The Twins to apologize in person as well as having Lord Edmure Tully agree to wed his 16-year-old daughter, Roslin, immediately.  Edmure wants none of this, but what can he do?  He complies.

I miss Robb’s direwolf.  I don’t know what he should do next.  Catelyn wants him to bend the knee and go home to defend his own castle.  Robb refuses.