A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 6 (SPOILERS)

Pages 294-341

Jon:

We’re finally back with Jon and Ygritte!  But first, Jon and the Wildling party are preparing to cross the Wall.  Jon says a sad goodbye to Ghost, who won’t be able to come (hopefully, this is only a temporary parting!).  Jon is forced to share more information about the Watch, all the while feeling guiltier and guiltier about his betrayal.  Yet, he knows if he’s caught lying they will kill him and Ygritte and still attack the Wall.  He thinks about his father a lot during this chapter.

We don’t get to see Jon and Ygritte’s first night together except through flashbacks which are highly guilt ridden from Jon’s perspective.  But what we do know is that Jon likes the lady loving – his body and mind have completely betrayed his vows and he’s beginning to question at least the no-women aspect of them.  Jon and Ygritte get up to much more bedroom acrobatics – in a sex cave no less!!  Love it.  Can’t wait to see how they film the cave scene – and they better film it!

Dany:

I spoke way too soon about her parts being boring.  This last chapter was overflowing with badassery.  She decides to buy ALL the Unsullied army, plus the future boys waiting to become the Unsullied.  Essentially, she’s wiping out most of the slave trade.  Of course, this comes at a cost and she sells her goods, her ships, and Drogon the dragon.  Oh My.

When she goes to make the exchange, she commands her new army telling them they are hers.  The head slaver dude gets all pissy because Drogon doesn’t want to go with him.  Dany is like – well, duh – he’s no effing slave and then has Drogon char the slaver’s head and whatnot.  Dany uses her men and the Unsullied to destroy the remaining slavers.  Wowsy.  Go Dany.  I do wonder how she’ll be received with a slave army though – on Westeros slaving is a big no-no.  Just ask Jorah.  Also, she has a new handmaiden – a former female slave who she freed, but the girl decides to stick around.  I would too.

Will be amazing on television as long as they have the budget for it.

Sansa:

Sansa finally has her new dress and is super excited to try it on for the first time.  Cersei is with her and Sansa feels like a beautiful woman.  Poor dear.  When they bring in the maiden cloak of House Stark to pin it to her shoulders, she realizes something is awfully amiss.  This is wedding garb.  That’s when they break the news to her that this is actually her wedding dress and she is now on her way to the Sept to marry Tyrion.  Que freak out of the century.

Eventually, Sansa bows to her duties, knowing she is trapped and goes peacefully to her wedding.  Tyrion offers to let her marry Lancel instead, but Sansa is nothing if not obedient and marries Tyrion.  He promised to be good to her.  What a mess.

The wedding feast is a gay affair for everyone but the happy couple.  Sansa wants so much to enjoy her wedding, but Tyrion won’t even dance with her.  Instead, she dances with nearly everyone else and Joff promises to make her his whore.  Good times.  Sansa notices how the Tyrells have completely ditched her.  Fickle friends, that lot.

When it comes time for the bedding ceremonies, Tyrion cancels them by pretending to be much drunker than he is and manhandling Sansa back to the wedding quarters.  All for show.  He yet again assures Sansa he’ll be good to her, but they must consummate the marriage whether either one of them wants to or not.  Sansa, like a wounded puppy, disrobes and stands before him shaking.  Despite his best efforts, Tyrion is drowning in desire.  This is one of the hardest scenes I’ve had to read.  Both naked, they climb into bed – Tyrion tries to reassure Sansa, but he knows she detests the way he looks.  Eventually, he sits back and tells her they won’t lie together – that he’ll wait until she desires him.  Sansa pretty much lets him know that will never happen.  Tyrion is very, very wounded.

Heartbreaking.  With the actress who plays Sansa so young, I doubt this scene will involve any nudity on screen.  But it has the potential to be devastatingly amazing.

Arya:

Still nothing happening.  The weird little band find themselves at a sizable town where they stop at the friendly local brothel.  Arya is scrubbed clean again and put in lace.  I find a lot of humor in these moments.  Gendry is acting a bit strange towards her – I think he has a crush, but I’ve been wrong before.

At the end of the chapter, a group of men arrive with a captive they pronounce as a Lannister.  People think it’s Jaime, but when Arya sees him she knows it’s not the Kingslayer, but the man’s identity makes her wickedly happy.  We’ll find out next chapter.

Jon:

Nothing too exciting.  They are trying to go over the wall.  Several men fall to their deaths, but eventually the rest make it to the top, including Jon and Ygritte.  Ygritte cries because they apparently wakened all those white walkers looking for some magical horn to bring down the Wall, never found it, and so now have loosed evil on the world for naught.  She hates the bloody wall.

Should film well.  I miss Ghost.  You know, they’ll probably try to put Jon in some kind of peril for these scenes.  Up the tension factor a bit.

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 5 (SPOILERS)

Pages 235-293

Jaime:

Continuing on their journey to Kings Landing, Brienne, Jaime, and Cleros run into some trouble in what appears to be a deserted town.  An archer sends arrows their way killing Cleros and injuring Brienne…not that she shows any sign of pain.  Jaime takes Cleros’s sword and begins a half-assed swordfight with Brienne.  Both hold their own for a long while, but Jaime quickly tires.  Eventually, they are pretty much wrestling in the stream.  Brienne is winning when they hear laughter from the shore.

The Brave Companions or some such nonsense – those randy bandits now serving under Roose Bolton and declared for House Stark – take them hostage back to Vargo (I think that’s his name).  Brienne has lots of raping to look forward to and Jaime will see pain.  Jaime determinedly tries to convince the men to take him to his father in return for gold unharmed.  He also helps Brienne by saying her homeland has many riches as well.  This promises to keep them alive, but Brienne is dragged off to endure gods know what and Jaime ends the chapter with a scream.  I can only assume the ‘message’ Vargo wants to send Tywin is a severed portion of the Kingslayer’s body.

Another interesting chapter tidbit – Jaime wants to marry Cersei and even considers marrying Joff to his sister, Myrcella.  Um…yuck for the thousandth time.

Arya:

Not much happens here.  The group of travelers are still searching for Ser Beric and visit many people.  One of them includes a woman who lives in the trees – literally.  They eventually wind up at Lady Smallwood’s small castle and are treated quite kindly.  Lady Smallwood bathes Arya and makes her don a dress again.  Gendry laughs at her, but then they wrestle outside and Arya rips her dress and dirties it all up.  She’s still a little wild one.

What I took away from this chapter was a sense of safety for Arya.  I can finally believe no one among this group means her any harm – just want to use her for ransom.  They could have sold her off or killed her a thousand times over again.  I’m glad she’s okay.

Not a lot happening, but a fun scene I hope they add to the show.

Danaerys:

Dany has convinced her ship to take her to Ghis where she meets with the head slaver of the Unsullied army.  I’m guessing he’s the head, not really sure.  He’s disgusting, though.  He tells Dany about the Unsullied and insults her a great deal in a tongue he believes she doesn’t understand while the interpreter says nicer things.  Dany hears all and is pretty much appalled at how the Unsullied have been trained.  They kill babes and pups to prove loyalty!  Oh my.  She leaves the slaver with a bad taste in her mouth.

Back on ship, she slaps Jorah.  She’s still reeling from his kiss.  She thinks it was terrible behavior, but it awoken her desire for sex again and makes her miss Drogo.  There’s even a masturbation flashback in which her handmaid, Irri, helps her out.  The boys will love that scene.  Dany knows she must hire an army despite how much she despises these people.

Her dragons hate being trapped beneath the deck.  Not much else to say.  Dany’s story is really boring me these days.  I miss Drogo almost as much as her.

Bran:

Bran, Hodor, Jojen, and Meera are still traveling through the wilds towards the Wall.  They spend the night in a cave with a man who warms them the Wall isn’t such a great place since word reached about the attack beyond the Wall.  Everyone is tired, hungry, and bored.  Bran misses his old life and the people in it.  Meera tells a story about a would-be knight who beat all the odds to seek revenge.  I’m sure I was supposed to learn something here, but not sure what.  Honestly, a boring chapter.  Nothing happens and the plot was not furthered.  Do we really need to check in with Bran to learn nothing?  I guess we can take away the fact that none of the rural Northern men are bothering them.  They seem like a nice, civil, slightly wild bunch.

Davos:

Davos is locked in the dungeon, but he’s warm and has been nursed back to health.  Melisandre comes to visit him, assuring him that no one betrayed him – she just saw his intentions to kill her in the fire.  They have a long, rather boring discussion about fire, light, and the one god.  Blah, blah, blah.

Next, the Florent who was serving as Stannis’s Hand is brought down to the dungeon to join Davos as a traitor.  Apparently, he was secretly trying to broker a deal with Tywin to marry Stannis’ daughter to Tommen Lannister, make Stannis Lord of Dragonstone and Storms End – as long as Stannis would stop the king nonsense and pledge fealty to Joff.  They didn’t like that so well.  As Davos explained, Stannis is no quitter and wouldn’t marry his daughter off to a product of incest.  The Florent sobbed.

I hate Melisandre and wish she would die in her fire.

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 4 (SPOILERS)

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Pages 181-234

Sansa:

Sansa’s getting a new gown!  She’s grown three inches and has boobs now!  The Tyrell women are treating her like family and she’s happy to have female companionship again.  I’m pretty sure she can’t trust these women, but she’s starving for some happiness.  Sansa believes the little women are fools to be so happy in the lion’s den.

Margaery takes her hawking telling her how much she’ll love Willas and calling her sister.  Sansa begs her not to marry the cruel Joffrey.  Margaery assures her that her brother will protect her.  Sansa knows better and thinks Margaery should know better as well.

Sansa has sad little daydreams of how happy her life with Willas will be – who’s the fool now, Sansa?  She tells Dontos she won’t need his services any longer.  He beseechers her to reconsider, knowing that the Tyrells aren’t to be trusted and are only after her for her claim to the Stark household.  She is heir now behind Robb since everyone thinks Bran and Rickon are dead.

Sansa stays lost in her daydreams.  She should have learned better than this.  People are going to hate her even more now if she goes on likes this in season 3.

Arya:

As I suspected, Arya’s been betrayed.  Harwin (I think that was his name) no longer claims allegiance to the Stark family, but rather to Ser Beric and the smallfolk.  Arya realizes this when she notices that they aren’t marching north, but south.  The tribe of bandits plans to drop her off with Ser Beric to do with as he pleases.  I don’t think they really mean her any harm, but they aren’t loyal to who she needs them to be loyal to.  Hot Pie has stayed behind at the Inn to become their baker.

Arya decides to escape and takes off on her horse to no avail.  Harwin eventually catches up to her and swears her no harm again as long as she rides back peacefully.  She agrees, but I have a feeling her little list of names will be longer in her prayers tonight.

I hope they film the horse chase scene.  Will be a romping good time.  Poor Arya just never manages to catch a break.  But I guess that can be said of all the Stark children.

Samwell:

Our first Sam chapter!  Could Sam be a more sympathetic character?  He is terrified of everything, fully admits that he has no business being a Watchmen, and yet, he has no other options.  I do not envy him his life.

Anyway, we find him in the aftermath of the massacre sponsored by the crazy, zombie-ish white walkers.  The Watch was a group of 300, now more like 50 with men dying everyday.  Sam is begging his feet to keep walking, but he’s tired, freezing, hungry, and a scared little boy.  He keeps flashing back to the battle on the Fist.

Basically, the Night’s Guard didn’t stand a chance.  There were hundreds of Others and very little means of killing them.  Only so many fire arrows can be shot.  They had to flee.  Sam was able to perform his one duty – get the ravens off to the Wall with news of the battle.  He almost managed to stay out of the way as commanded.

Now that the men have been beaten and are doing their best to escape the Others, Sam just wants to lay down in the snow and die.  They are still being chased and he sees no point in going on.  He feels he’s done his duty and can die with some sort of honor.  He finally falls down and decides to sleep away his last minutes wrapped in the warmth of the snow blanket.  Grenn and Small Paul find him and ruin his plans.  Small Paul, a giant of sorts, picks him up and carries him a ways.  They fall way behind the other men and eventually Small Paul can no longer handle Sam’s weight.

All of  a sudden, a white walker appears on a white walking horse – dismounts and is ready to kill them.  Small Paul is impaled and Grenn’s torch is beheaded (betorched?) by the walker.  Sam, craven that he claims to be, grabs his dragonglass dagger and rushes the walker, stabbing him only to watch him melt away.  Apparently dragonglass is the only weapon able to destroy these mofos.  Good for Sam.  Grenn convinces him to keep walking.

Not sure how they’ll film this since they’ve already shown the white walkers in season 2 and shown Sam being discovered by them.  The Others didn’t even pay him any attention and Grenn left him behind to die (in the show).  Something to look forward to, I suppose.  This battle would look epic on screen, don’t you think?

Tyrion:

Oh dear.  So the King’s council met and had very interesting discussions.  Tywin is plotting and planning and he’s completely terrifying.  Littlefinger is off to woo Lady Lysa.  Tyrion is now in charge of the money.  Cersei is to marry again – Tywin wants her to choose Willas Tyrell (that’s right – they got wind of the Tyrell plans to wed him to Sansa).  And even Tyrion’s wedding is forefront in Tywin’s mind – to Sansa Stark.  OMG.  The weddings in this series are just as dangerous as the wars.

Another fantastic scene for Peter Dinklage.  I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he is told he’s to wed and bed Lady Sansa.  Wow.

Catelyn:

More fallout from Catelyn decision to release Jaime.  Rickard Karstark and some of his men, men loyal to the North, committed treason by killing Tully guardsmen and slaying two child captives – a Lannister and a Frey.  The rest of the Karstark troops have fled camp in search of the Kingslayer.  Robb is losing his men quickly and running out of options.  His luck in battle might be running out.

Robb makes the hard decision to behead Rickard Karstark – and obviously, he does it himself (Daddy taught him well).  He’s just a 16-year-old manchild.  Can you even imagine?

At the chapter’s end, Jeyne comes to Catelyn worried for her new husband and how the death sentence has affected him.  Catelyn just tells Jeyne to be patient, that Robb will come to her, and oh…she needs to produce some heirs and quickly.  AWKWARD.  Jeyne explains they try several times a day.  Man…thank the gods my mother-in-law and I have never discussed such things.

I do hope we get to see Robb do some beheading in season 3.

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 3 (SPOILERS)

Pages 120-180

Jaime:

Superb chapter!  Not for anything that happened, but for the backstory we’re given.  Brienne, Cleros, and Jaime arrive at what appears to be an abandoned Inn.  Jaime busts open the door only to be confronted by the new ‘owners’ who have pillaged and taken over.  For the right price, our band of three obtains some provisions, three horses, and some bad advice.  Thank goodness Brienne is smart enough to know when she’s being lied to.  Jaime is respecting her more and more, but still treating her in accord with the douche that he is.

Anyway, when they stop to rest for the night Jaime fills us in on his history – how he became a member of the Kingsguard and whatnot.  Apparently, his father planned to marry him off to Lady Lysa Tully so Cersei (the great disgusting love of his life and twin sister) plotted and schemed to have him become a member of the Kingsguard to avoid the marriage and be hers forever.  Disgusting.  Anyway, it worked, but dear Lord Tywin resigned as Hand of the King and removed himself and Cersei back home.  Jaime was forced to stay behind to protect his King.  So while he might not be married off, he still wasn’t allowed to be with Cersei due to distance.  He was 15 years old.

Then he relived his slaying of King Aerys and his Hand.  He was caught mid-slay, but didn’t really care.  He next sat upon the throne waiting to see who would come to claim it.  Eddard Stark arrived first.

I love learning what makes these characters tick and this just helps explain Jaime so much.  Villain that he is – he’s still one of the most interesting people in all the Realm.  I could totally do without the Cersei love, but can oddly respect Jaime without loving him.  I wonder if the show would ever do a flashback scene – I’d love to see Aerys Targaryen and a young Jaime.

One of the best chapters yet.

Tyrion:

Tyrion’s chapters are always so dense with information and double speak that I’m almost convinced I need to read them twice.  I know I miss things.

This time Tyrion pays a little visit to Lord Varys and learns that everyone has their eye on him just waiting for him to muck up.  Cersei, we also discover, is still using her sexual wiles to get her way.  Tyrion has no friends and a shit ton of enemies.  He wants to see Shae for one last time before he sends her away for her own safety.  A meeting is arranged for later that night in Lord Varys’ chambers.

As Tyrion prepares for their meeting, we can see how deeply he’s fallen for Shae.  He’s like a giddy schoolboy.  Shae doesn’t want to leave, of course, and our giddy schoolboy stupidly grants her her silly wish.  Tyrion thinks with his penis a lot.  I fear that either Shae is bad or bad will happen to Shae – and soon.

What else do we learn?  Shae might be ‘accidentally’ spreading knowledge to the wrong people (which is anyone at this point), so Tyrion has Bronn hunt down the singer she recently spoke with.  Varys is a great little spider.  Tyrion thoroughly searches his chambers and finds NOTHING of importance.  Not even any papers.  Plus, he only has water in his pitcher – SHAME!  Varys has also been hired by Lord Tywin to spy on Tyrion.  I kind of like Varys.

We’ve already seen a version of this scene between Shae and Tyrion at the end of season 2.  I would suspect some gossiping between him and Varys to show up in season 3.

Arya:

Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry have found a lovely garden by the Trident that has been abandoned.  They are happily stealing vegetables when they hear signing and men approaching.  With nowhere to hide, they confront the men who appear friendly enough, but trust is not something to hand out easily.

Regardless, Arya knows they kind of have to do what the men say since they don’t have a great chance of beating them in a fight.  The men are traveling to a nearby Inn and invite Arya and the boys along (they probably really just want their horses, let’s be honest).  Anyway, off to the Inn they go – the very same Inn we last saw with Jaime and Brienne.

Almost immediately Arya can tell these people are robbers/bandits, but they have yet to do anything wrong towards her.  In fact, they offer her food in exchange for the stolen vegetables.  The men want Arya’s horses and make her a promise – they’ll repay her after the war.  Arya isn’t impressed and instead offers the horses in exchange for the boat left by Brienne outside.  Suddenly, Gendry runs in announcing soldiers approaching.

Arya and Hot Pie immediately jump up to run.  Soldiers mean capture to them, but the bandits stop them despite Arya breaking one of their noses.  She’s a tough cookie.  The soldiers enter and Arya immediately recognizes them as one of the men of Winterfell, Harwin, who used to lead her around on her horse when she was younger.  Arya immediately begins to sob (I almost cried with her, poor thing) and once Harwin notices who she is bends the knee to her and announces her true identity.

What this chapter reminds me of is how fierce, brave, and strong Arya is, but also how young, scared, and vulnerable she  really is in the face the shit that has come her way.  Despite all her bravado, Arya is still a small, young lady all alone with no one to truly count as friend by her side.  I hope that Harwin is a friend.  Please let Harwin be a friend.  But you can’t trust anyone these days.

This scene would give the actress who plays Arya (Maisie?) the chance to shine.  Hope to see it!

Catelyn:

Catelyn is still under castle arrest when Robb arrives back in Riverrun.  Her brother, Edmure, wants nothing to do with her.  She can only hope Robb will forgive her.  He immediately summons her to the Great Hall.  She notices some new people behind him, men and women, who appear to be Lannister Bannermen.  She thinks it odd that he would bring captives in the Hall.

She asks Robb’s forgiveness and he grants her wishes – stating that love can bring about great folly.  Many of the Bannermen treat  her quite icily however.  Catelyn notices that Grey Wind is not beside Robb and thinks it rather odd.  Robb dismisses everyone, but the family and the new people.  Catelyn quickly learns why Robb was so quick to forgive her – he’s married Jeyne Westerling of the Crag.  It’s her family that stands behind him.  This means he’s forsaken the detestable Freys to whom he’d promised to marry a daughter and combine houses.  That’s 3000 Frey soldiers he lost for 50 new Westerling men who are former Lannister lackies and a lesser house than Frey.  Bad military decision.  But Robb is in love and took her virginity – the noble thing to do was wed her.  Jeyne seems nice enough.

Back in private chambers, the family squabbles.  Catelyn learns that Grey Wind doesn’t much like these Westerlings and the Westerlings don’t won’t him around.  This worries Catelyn immediately and she urges Robb to pay attention to his wolf and send away the man Grey Wind particularly hates.  Then they all gang up on Edmure who has been boasting of his  minor defeat against Tywin’s forces.  Robb informs him that he made a huge mistake by distracting Tywin and that Edmure had only been ordered to protect Riverrun.  Edmure’s ‘glorious win’ kept Tywin from heading further west where Robb’s men were waiting to defeat his entire army and allowed Tywin to learn the news of Stannis approaching Kings Landing in time to save the day there.  BAD EDMURE, BAD.  Edmure feels like shit and promises to lead the Van in the next battle.  Robb knows he must regain the Freys if he is to win this war.  Catelyn urges him to first win back Winterfell.

I can’t believe Edmure!  I look forward to this scene next season.  We’ve already seen Robb’s new wife and whatnot so nothing new to film there.  I’m confused about what’s happened at Winterfell and who actually is in charge of the Castle there.  What happened to Theon?  In the book, I thought he was killed.  In the show, he was captured.  We shall see, I suppose.

I do think the new Queen Jeyne is going to cause problems.  Poor Grey Wind – banished to the outside.

Jon:

So, I’m probably just going to squee a lot!  Jon saw the Giants who resemble large gorillas!  They ride mammoths!  An eagle nearly took out his eye!  Tormund kept goading him about Ygritte – almost like ‘Ygritte and Jon sittin’ in a tree…’ Jon blushed a lot.  But Ygritte is after his body and wants to have his babies.  Jon is afraid of her, but a body wants what a body wants.  I know he doesn’t want to father bastard children though – maybe they’ll get married.  I love them.

Mance wants Jon…uh oh.  Mance has discovered Jon lied to him about the Watch’s raider party.  They’ve stumbled across the camp of the Guard where many of the Watchmen have been slaughtered by, we’re assuming, the Others.  Mance is not happy and demands that Jon tell him lots of info and then sends him on a mission to the Wall to betray his Black Brothers even further.  Ygritte helps save him by saying they ‘sleep’ together every night.  So now, Ygritte in very plain words explains that Jon must make this true.  I can’t wait to see what happens underneath Jon’s cloak when they get back to camp!!!

Also, so funny that Jon uses Ghost to scare Ygritte away from his bed.

A Sword of Storms Journal – Part 2 (SPOILERS)

The story is moving so much quicker than the previous two books or maybe it’s just better told.  Loving it so far.  I think these journal entries will be posted every Friday for the next 15-16 weeks.

This journal includes 5 chapters and covers pages 62-119.  Let’s jump right in!

Sansa:

As we all know, Sansa’s been pushed aside as Joffrey’s bride – replaced with Margaery Tyrell, Renly’s widow.  She receives an invitation to sup with Margaery and her family as a pre-wedding celebration and doesn’t know what to make of it.  She’s pretty much frightened of her own shadow at this point and can you blame her?

When the supper day arrives, Loras Tyrell shows up at her door to escort her to the feast.  He seems pleasant enough until Sansa mentions some men he had the misfortune to recently slay and he gets a bit moody.  Luckily, they reach the feast and Sansa is handed over to Margaery who seems quite friendly.

Sansa is introduced to the other Tyrell women present – most importantly Lady Olenna, Margaery’s grandmother.  She’s nicknamed the Queen of Thorns – could be a good thing or a bad thing – not sure.  She’s a hoot and a half.  What transpires during supper is an invitation for Sansa to visit Highgarden and marry the oldest Tyrell boy, Willas, who Margaery swears is kind and gentle.  He is, however, a cripple.  And how much can Sansa really trust these people?  She agrees to head to Highgarden if Lady Olenna can convince Cersei.

I’m not sure what to make of the Tyrells and Lady Olenna – are they good or bad?  They seemed honorable.  They asked Sansa about Joffrey’s true nature and made sure that no spiders in their little webs could hear her answer.  Obviously, they are on their own side at the end of the day – but they seem to want to ally themselves with the Stark family.  Or maybe they just want Sansa removed?  Not sure.  A bit worried.  But a great scene and one I hope to see in the show.

Perhaps Sansa will choose to escape with Dontos instead?  Can he be trusted?  Oh dear.

Jon:

Jon is my favorite character.  I now consider him my husband beyond the wall.  That’s right, don’t judge me.  Anyway, so excited for his story line.

Jon is now playing double agent amongst the Wildling forces.  They have almost arrived at Mance Rayder’s camp.  Jon is doing his best to watch and observe these strange people.  He notes that they really do seem to be free.  While they have leaders, they are free to voice their opinions, talk back, and do as they please for the most part.  He also notices that they camp very loosely – without a lot of protection.  He decides they lack  military discipline which leaves them extremely vulnerable and easy pickings in battle.  Or do they just have scary Others protecting their ass, Jon?  Be careful my pretty one.

Ghost is not winning over many friends.

Ygritte puts her hand a little too highly on Jon’s thigh.  In Season 2, the show really played up the flirting between Jon and Ygritte – well, more like her baiting and goading him with his virginity, but it was cute.  The book hasn’t much done that yet.  I mean, I thought Ygritte was old and scary while first meeting her in the books.  When I saw her in the show, I wondered if I had actually missed the description and signs of their impending ‘sexcapades’.  That hand on his thigh might indicate that I was a lousy reader.

Finally, they take dear Jon to Mance’s kingly tent where he meets the ‘court’ so to speak.  He mistakes an earless warrior for Mance which makes everyone chuckle.  Manse is actually the skinny dude singing the little song that Jon completely ignored.  Fascinating.

Mance and Jon sit down and share some stories.  I love Mance already.  I want to be a Wildling now.  I get the sense that Jon likes him too, but knows this man would kill his family in a heartbeat so he works hard to convince Mance of his turncoating ways.  Mance reveals that he’s met Jon twice!!!  Didn’t see that one coming.  First, when he was just a little boy and Mance was a young Watchman.  Then when King Robert visited Winterfell to ask Ned to be Hand.  WHAT?  Mance blended in with the King’s men, ate the Stark food, drank their mead, and had a jolly good time of it.  He wanted to scope everyone out.  Well played, Mance.

After swapping desertion stories (Jon claims to be deserting because of how he was treated as a bastard), Mance welcomes him with a handshake.  I am terrified for Jon.  I cannot wait for Season 3.

Other bits – Mance has a Wildling love named Dalla who is pregnant with his child.  The Night’s Watch have a much closer relationship with the Wildlings than they’ve previously let on.

Daenerys:

In A Game of Thrones, Dany was a favorite, but fell from grace a bit in A Clash of Kings.  Her story just kind of fell flat.  To be honest, I preferred the very different events of her escapades in Qarth from the tv show.  In fact, I’m pretty fuzzy on the details from the book.  I’m hoping she gets a better treatment this time around.

She’s on Illyrio’s ships, sailing for Pentos with his men.  She’s happy as a clam on the water and loves watching her dragons grow.  Jorah is not so happy.  He smells danger from Illyrio’s men.  But Dany just giggles and ignores him.  Finally Jorah beseechers her to test their faith by switching course, sailing for the slaver islands, and buying an army of Unsoiled that will be loyal to her.  He plays Dany like a fiddle and she immediately agrees.  Dany is quick to trust and too open to persuasion by others.  I’m still not sure how trustworthy Jorah is.

Then, of course, Dany is all naked and gets up to dress in front of Jorah.  He grabs her and takes advantage of her.  I mean, it was just a kiss, but she was half naked!  She enjoyed it, but felt it was not correct behavior for an exile knight towards his Queen.  Not sure what will be come of this.  I don’t want her with Jorah.

Interested to see how much the dragons are in season 3.  Will the CGI budget increase?  I hope so, HBO.  I missed those little guys.  Also, what will the writers/producers do about her handmaids?  They were killed off on the show, but not in the books.  At least, not yet.  Will she get new maids?  I want her to have female companions.  We shall see.

Bran:

Bran’s another one of those characters I’m not feeling too much at the moment.  Nothing seems to be happening with him whatsoever.  At the beginning of his chapter he’s inside Summer battling a pack of wolves for their spoils.  Hodor begins to wake him up, but he doesn’t want to leave Summer’s skin.

But awake he does and we discover that he’s taken refuge in an out of the way Tower’s vault.  It’s a relatively safe place with plenty of game to catch and eat.  Jojen wants to keep moving north so that they can find the three-eyed crow and Bran can continue his education – his mystical education, that is.  Bran whines like a little boy for a while, but then carefully considers his options and agrees to go.

Meera is a great huntswoman.

Looking forward to see how they cast Jojen and Meera in season 3.  Also, I don’t think Rickon and Bran split up on the show.  Wondering how this will play out.  I miss Osha.

Davos:

We rejoin Davos on his journey back to Dragonstone with revenge in his heart.  Upon his arrival, he learns Stannis sees no one and stays shut up with the sorceress Melisandre.  Davos cannot wait to cut out her heart, but he is oh-so-weak with a deathly cough.  I don’t think Davos is long for this world.

Determined, he heads to the castle’s gates and demands entry.  While he’s awaiting welcome, he is run into (literally) by Edric Storm, Robert’s bastard son.  Davos sees another contender for the crown in the young lad and his fear grows for Stannis’ future.

The Queen’s men (those who follow the red priestess) appear and arrest Davos claiming they know he has arrived to kill the lady (I’m going to assume they mean Melisandre).  Poor Davos.  At least he knows his son Devan lives.

Why is Stannis, a military legend, so loyal to this evil, mystical bitch?  Is she evil?  I don’t like her and it bugs the shit out of me that a smart man like Stannis would fall under her spell.  Could he actually be under a spell?

I want the Onion Knight to survive!

Stay tuned for Part 3 next Friday!

A Storm of Swords Journal – Part 1 (SPOILERS)

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?

Prologue:

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?

Jaime:

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?

Catelyn:

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.

Arya:

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:

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.

Davos:

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.

A Storm of Swords Journal

That’s right – I’m going to keep a journal as I read the third novel in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series.  I am just so completely smitten with this series and have so much to say that I’d like to keep a log of my thoughts.  And what better place than my own blog?  These posts will definitely be fairly self-indulgent and generally speaking probably boring to other readers – especially if you are not a fan of or not familiar with the series.  And yes, there will be spoilers.

I want to concentrate on the book in 5 chapter intervals – not a huge interval, but with Martin’s imagination so much can happen in 5 chapters.  I’d also really like to record my expectations about how the television series will handle the book’s events.  Re-reading these posts will be so much fun when the show actually airs next year and won’t require me to re-read the massive novel.  I’m even thinking of vlogging my reviews of season 3.

The book is scheduled to arrive at my house Tuesday (I can barely stand the wait).  For now I’ll just sort of lay out my expectations.  So many fans of the novels have expressed their love for the third book.  Several people I’ve talked to cite A Storm of Swords as their absolute favorite installment.  Even though I know better, these reactions have my expectations super high.  I’m trying to ground myself, but I can’t – especially with my rather lukewarm feelings about the first half of A Clash of Kings.

I do remain spoiler free…mostly.  Some things occurred at the end of season 2 of the television series that spoiled bits and pieces of the future story.  I’m vaguely aware that something major happens in book 3 – something that will apparently knock me on my ass.  Martin has already been contracted to write this particular episode of the show entitled, Autumn Storms.  I have absolutely no clue as to what the event could be, but I am willing to guess!!  I hope it involves the forces from beyond The Wall entering the southern lands and the battle that should ensue.  If my guess is even remotely correct, I’ll be thrilled because that’s what I’m looking forward to the most.  The Others!!!!

Beyond that, I don’t have very many specific ideas about what will go down.  More battles as Robb still hopes to free the North from the Lannisters, Dany still dreams of re-taking the Iron Throne, a new Mad King sits upon the throne and will hopefully not sit there long, and then there’s Jon Snow with the Wildling forces beyond The Wall.  Oh…and where will Rickon and Bran end up?

One kind of general idea/theme/story that I would like to see more of in A Storm of Swords is love.  I mean, true love – not just marriage for political gain.  I’d like to see our heroes and heroines struggle more with their emotional attachments versus the pragmatic alliances of war and country.  We are beginning to see this with Robb in the show, but hopefully that particular story line will feature smartly in book 3.  And as much as I want Jon and Dany to eventually join forces to rule the Realm, I’d really like to see poor virginal Jon finally get some.  I’m also rooting for Arya and Gendry which is probably fairly far-fetched since she’s so young.  But a Baratheon married to a Stark needs to happen.

I’ve also heard tales that Arya and Dany’s stories both take really dark turns.  Not sure how true this is, but that excites me.  Assuming more death awaits me is probably smart and completely terrifying.  I don’t want to lose any of my favorites from the story because I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle it.  When I thought Bran and Rickon were dead, I very nearly stopped reading.  I know readers felt this way about Ned Stark when he  met his abrupt end, but I never liked Ned and thought his family had a better chance of surviving without his rigid take on honor.  Please just don’t take Ned’s children away from me – well, you might could take Sansa.

Enough for now!  Tuesday – where are you!!!