I have been up to quite a lot of stuff lately. I’ve picked up two new games and finished a few books. To recap what you already know:
- I purchased Pokemon and X-COM: ENEMY UNKNOWN
- I finished reading A Storm of Swords, Warm Bodies, Neverwhere, and At the End: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel
- I am finally going to get to read books alongside my book club, Bad Wolf Bookclub at Tumblr — The Night Circus
- I played actual PvP games in League of Legends and didn’t do so bad
With Pokemon White 2, I’ve beaten the 8th gym. I have to say, Pokemon has a great RPG plot going on. Its target audience aside, I am really enjoying the game. I traded up a bunch of my Pokemon from my Pokemon White game, so my main team consists of: Whimsicott, Galvantula, Braviary, Flygon, Krookodile, and Jellicent. I have quite a few Pokemon on reserve, such as Chandelure.
There was also a confrontation with Lord Dennis, as I call him, as well as other cameos. If the Pokemon trend continues, I hope the next generation has even more story elements added to the mix. Maybe even allow us to design our own character? Multiple story line trees? Elderscrolls: Pokemon Edition? I know I am wishing for a lot, but I hope that the writers for the game continue to flesh out the Pokemon world. Its completely possible to have deep subjects in children’s fiction, I know. Have you ever seen Avatar: The Last Airbender? Once I finally gave it a try, cause I was in the anime or bust group before, I came to love it. Such a full and rich world with real conflict. I can always wish!
X-COM: ENEMY UNKNOWN
I picked up X-COM last weekend too. Boy, is that game just SO MUCH fun. The micromanagement of research and equipment, the strategy of whom to take with me on a mission, the complete fear of losing any of my characters (whom are named after IRL loved ones), and, of course, missing a 99% shot while I am right in front of the alien — THAT’S X-COM, BABY! At first, I was totally worried about the remake, because the first thing we were shown was an FPS game. A complete betrayal, as Internet Personality Guy Spoony would say, but the Civilization guys got their hands on the game and worked to bring X-COM to 2012. X-COM was originally a game that came out in the early 1990’s. It was pretty much the best game ever made for the PC for that entire decade. Yeah, I played Doom, Duke Nukem, and other games, but X-COM was the only game that made me actually scared to make a single move.
The original X-COM had two core gameplay elements. The TBS and the spreadsheets.
The player could see all of X-COM’s expenses right down to what you paid everyone monthly including scientists and engineers. The player could also see which countries were contributing to the X-COM project and which ones seemed to be waning in support. The original X-COM also utilized a system of time units and every thing you did during battle aside from a few small actions cost time units. Some of your soldiers could have a lot of time units or could be totally restricted. Stats seemed to be generated at random, but usually you wanted to make your team have the best of the best. You could also have a squad as big as 20some people, but you could also get majorly boned if the game loaded your Skyranger in a bad place. For example, as soon as the map loads, an alien throws a grenade STRAIGHT into your plane. This causes panic sometimes, but mostly your soldiers are likely to die, because there is not enough room for all of them to make it out alive.
The X-COM remake takes the essence of all that, but streamlines it in a way that is both easy to get into and challenging. Instead of Time Units, there are 2 actions per turn (where attacking first will end your turn, so be wise). Instead of hiring and firing scientists and engineers, you must earn these personnel or build more laboratories/workshops. They also made it extremely clear, at all times, how countries felt about your operation around the world. There was also a reduction in the amount of units you could take with you on any given mission. From 22 to 6 total. WOW! Yet, the game is pretty balanced for the casualcore and diehard fans of the series. Playing on Ironman in any mode is likely to cause balding. Ironman is a mode in which you CANNOT revert to previous saves. Once that team member dies or that country leaves X-COM — its for good. This adds a whole new level of difficulty and drama to the game.
I am having a buttload of fun playing X-COM and trying to 100% every mission I encounter (or at least get away with 15/18 civilians in Terror Missions). I haven’t bothered to do priority missions yet, since I am too busy building enough Titan Armor to accommodate EVERY soldier in my barracks, but so far the combat seems pretty legit. Also, a minimeme has been born from the frustration and nerdrage this game has induced.
I have been reading so many books lately. My head is bubbling from all the fictional knowledge. I feel like I know WAY too much about the geography and history of the Song of Ice and Fire series (alternatively known as the Game of Thrones series). I know where the Twins are located and why its an important, strategic location. I know about how Rhaegar made Lysanna the Queen of Beauty and Love (I believe that was the title) and how it may have been the trigger for starting Robert’s rebellion. I also have a few theories about Jon Snow’s origin, because I have a lot of doubts about him being Eddard’s child.
I have also finished a charming book called Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. The story takes place from the POV of a zombie guy. His name is R, because he honestly can’t remember his entire name. He is lucky, though, because most zombies don’t even have that much to go on. He’s an average guy, married with kids, gets hungry and sometimes eats folks, and enjoys a good laugh with his buddy M from time to time. One of the driving forces behind the story is the REASON zombies eat people. Its not much of a spoiler, but zombies eat the brains of the living in order to feel alive and thrive on the devoured’s memory. Zombies don’t really have memories of being alive. They don’t recall their 8 to 5’s or family, but they can relive ALIVE moments by eating the brain of a living person. This stirs R into a journey of understanding as he rescues a living girl whose boyfriend’s brain he’d just eaten. Its a completely heart-touching story that was a breeze to read! I finished it in a single day, because I simply couldn’t put it down. I won’t tell you more except to buy it or check it out! Its worth your time if you love zombies or strange stories.
Neverwhere is everything I expected it would be. It seems like it could be a graphic novel on the same level as The Sandman. Its about common man Richard Mayhew. He’s got no spine, but he is fine with what his life is like. He does everything his girlfriend asks of him. Richard’s life is changed forever as he stumbles onto a dying girl — that apparently everyone around him just wants to ignore. Doing her a favor causes everything to go haywire for Richard, so he has to embark on a reluctant journey in order for things to be normal and samey again. People often accuse Neil Gaiman (the author) of writing the same story over and over, but honestly, its just that his style conveys the story of normal vs weird so well. I can’t wait to bite into Stardust.
At The End: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel was terrible. THE END.
I have to admit that I have lied again. Instead of posting a thought every 200 pages, I simply finished the entire book, A Storm of Swords. I couldn’t resist it, because the book grabbed me and forced my eyes to hurt so very much. I have mentioned before that I hadn’t seen very much meaningful death in the Song of Ice and Fire series since
Sean Bean Eddard Stark died. A Storm of Swords starts injecting the sense that no character is safe from death. What follows will be a ton of spoilers about this particular book, so if you hadn’t read it — wtf, go read it! This series is just getting BETTER and BETTER. I am completely and utterly pumped to read A Feast for Crows despite the low murmur of people that seemingly dislike that book.
Every character, except Bran Stark, experienced enormous changes. To their character, position, or otherwise. Things are happening, and most of them aren’t good. The Stark children, meaning the legitimate ones, are in dire situations. The symbolism of the Stag killing the Dire Wolf at the start of the whole series is becoming hazy with the children, because I had figured that keeping their Dire Wolf with them would keep them safe, but that’s turning out completely false. At this point, I don’t believe the Dire Wolves represent anything narratively. What the Dire Wolves have done is show us that those of Ned’s bloodline are Wargs, people that can see through the eyes of beasts.
Bran Stark’s story for the entirety of the novel was somewhat disappointing. Most of his segments involve hearing stories about old tournies, traveling North, and hiding from people. Things do pick up somewhat in the last two entries in Bran’s POV, which contain the sentiment that Bran and Jon might become united after so much has happened. Instead, though, Bran saved Jon Snow via Worg powers, then continued North through the wall with the help of Sam Tarly. Honestly, Bran’s POV is the only one I find to be forgettable in the whole novel, but I know in the next novel (or the one after, depending on how the next two work out) that Bran will be a much more important character since he is going to train his Warg powers… I think. Oh yeah, Bran can also Warg into people too. Specifically Hodor.
Cat Stark spends most of her POV telling us how stupid and brave her son, Robb, is. She may not say those words directly, but I can sense that’s the impression we are meant to get. Robb has Ned’s honor, but Cat’s impulse. King Robb married some other female, not a Frey as was agreed, and lost thousands of men for it. The Freys hold the Twins, which is a bottleneck of sorts, plus they have a ton of men. When offered a chance to redeem himself by offering Edmure Tully’s hand in marriage to a Frey girl. Edmure is not pleased with the offer, since Frey girls are often homely in appearance, but King Robb has no choice but to take the
bait chance. Robb honestly needs the Freys support to back him up and help him reclaim the Northern lands from the Iron Men.
When Cat Stark and Robb arrive, they are completely pleased to see that the girl offered to Edmure is actually a cute girl. Walder Frey gives Robb a lot of crap during the wedding. Then, when Cat thought everything would turn out okay, the Freys attack and kill Robb and many of his men. Cat actually kills a Frey she tried to use as a bargaining chip to save Robb’s life, and ultimately dies. This event would be known as The Red Wedding. The Freys even removed Robb Stark’s head and replaced it with Grey Wind’s head.
The Red Wedding is one of the most major climaxes in the novel. Not only is one of Eddard Stark’s children now dead, but the act also took one of the runners for the crown out of the game. Unlike many of the previous deaths of non-POV characters, Robb’s death brings with it not only whirlwinds of negative emotions, such as uncontrollable despair, but it changes many political alliances and WILL motivate revenge. One way or the other. The fan reaction to The Red Wedding was enormous. Tumblr alone is filled with a ton of reaction gifs and wails of “OMG WHY WHY WHY???” Here are common .gifs used to describe the sentiment about The Red Wedding:
Sad.gifs aside, the fan response to The Red Wedding seems overwhelming. So many people had such a depressed reaction to it. Like some, I did have to reread those pages to make sure I understood what was occurring correctly. Yes, Robb Stark truly died. Robb Stark wasn’t the only King to die in this novel, however.
Balon Greyjoy also dies in the novel. For those who may not remember, he is Theon’s father and a man who crowned himself King when Robb offered to help Balon out (I forget exactly how). His death is important for Theon, whose POV is curiously absent, who is the ‘rightful’ heir to the Greyjoy throne.
Lastly, Joffrey dies. Yes, that Joffrey. That repugnant 13 year old boy with a heart made of fail and cruel. Joffrey seems to choke, then die. Its discovered he may have been poisoned. Cersei and company believe its Tyrion’s doing, but we will go into that later. Joffrey is dead. HE IS DEAD. I couldn’t be happier about that. Sansa uses the confusion of his death to escape from King’s Landing and heads North with Petyr. More on that later as well. So many events are stirring with the death of these 3 Kings, but why did it happen so conveniently within a close time span?
King Stannis Baratheon put a Lord of Light spell on all 3, or at least asked the Lord of Light to kill them all. This was impart to see if the Lord of Light could be real. Stannis and the priestess Melisandre have become much bigger players in the book than I originally anticipated. The defeat near King’s Landing seemed to me to squash all hope there was for Stannis to become King. Davos, now Hand of the King to Stannis, reveals to Stannis that The Wall is under attack. Davos also lets Edric Storm, Robert Baratheon’s bastard, noble son, escape from Stannis and Melisandre. The two of him were planning to use his blood to wake all the dragons on Dragonstone from slumber. Davos is probably becoming one of my favorite characters, because he actually stands up for what he believes in. He is an average man, as he professes, that doesn’t know much about politics and war and religion, but he tries to keep Stannis from becoming an evil King.
After cursing those kings, Stannis heads to The Wall to help the Night’s Watch. Jon Snow and his brothers are all battling the wildlings, winning for the most part, but are outnumbered and don’t exactly have their own giants they may turn to for help. Jon Snow goes to speak with Mance once more, but they all become attacked as Stannis’ men join the fray. Mance’s wife has a child while her sister acts as a wet nurse. They 3 get captured by Stannis and the war with the wildlings is more or less over.
Jon Snow, during the battle, had to watch Ygritte die. It was a sad moment, because I knew there was probably no way she and Jon could stay together. I really liked Ygritte, because she really did seem like a high spirited young woman. I wonder if the show will remain faithful or try to keep her around for the obvious drama. After the conflict with the wildlings, Stannis offers Jon something unimaginable. A king may legitimize a bastard by royal decree, and with Robb, Rickon, and Bran all dead (or presumed dead), Jon Snow could become a Stark of Winterfell. For a moment, I was extremely excited that Jon Snow might not get treated so poorly. Jon Snow would marry Mance’s Wife’s sister (since Stannis seems to consider her something like a noble) and take Mance’s family with him to Winterfell to hold hostage. Gilly and Sam had made it to Castle Black with Gilly’s son, so Jon imagined that they could all go to Winterfell and be happy raising their children.
Sam, however, was unaware of this offer Jon Snow received, and was working to keep the corrupted ex-Gold Cloak from becoming Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Sam tried to sway the votes to go to one of the other elders who held 1/3 of the vote, but neither would yield if it meant the other elder would win. So Sam put up Jon Snow’s name instead, thus causing Jon to win the 2/3 votes needed to become Lord Commander. I am pretty excited about what may come from this new development, but I want Jon Snow to be happy so badly. I feel like he could die serving the Night’s Watch.
The Lannisters are as dysfunctional as ever. Jaime came home with Brienne, but Brienne was immediately imprisoned due to Sir Loras still suspecting her of killing Renly Baratheon. Jaime seems to speak up for Brienne and inform Loras that Brienne’s honor would be way to strong to allow her to murder Renly. Loras seems to accept this notion after awhile, and Brienne is allowed to leave King’s Landing with Oathkeeper, a sword made for Jaime from Ned Stark’s Ice. Jaime tells Brienne that her oath should cause her to look for and keep Sansa Stark safe from Cersei. He goes as far as to ready her with horse and other provisions as well as official documentation that she is on King Tommen’s business.
Jaime shows up just as Joffrey is being readied to get buried. Cersei is weeping for her late son in a church. Also Jaime and Cersei have sex right then and there. Awwwwkward! Despite that, I still love Jaime’s character… even though he did try to kill Bran. I have mixed feelings, I guess. Joffrey, however, pieces together that Joffrey had sent the assassin after Bran while Bran recovered in his bed. Jaime also learns that Tyrion has been put in the dungeon for the assassination of Joffrey. Tyrion, as we know, had nothing to do with it, but since he was the last one to poor wine for the king (at Joffrey’s behest), Tyrion is automatically guilty in most people’s eyes.
Tyrion spends most of his later POV rotting in a cell, wishing he could prove his innocence. Not even Varys can help him as Tyrion stands in court before Tywin, Tyrell, and Martell, a Dornish Prince visiting in hopes he can get the Mountain’s head. Between court trials, Tyrion cannot convince anyone to help him until Martell shows up. Martell offers to be Tyrion’s champion if he chooses to trial by combat. They both know the Queen will name the Mountain as her champion. Tyrion still opts to try to defend himself with words, but is undone by surprise witness Shae. Shae basically becomes a big bitch and accuses Tyrion of saying things during sex he never did. While I was reading her speech, I felt so depressed about how much Tyrion tried to protect her, but ultimately it came to a shrieking woman calling him an imp.
Tyrion then asks for trial by combat, and the Martell vs Mountain showdown occurs. Martell is obviously teasing the Mountain during the entire battle. Martell’s spear is coated in a black poison of some sort, and gets cuts and jabs in on the Mountain. Eventually, the Mountain overcomes Martell and kills the Prince. While Cersei gets the verdict she wanted, Tywin must have realized how terrible it would be for relations with Dorne. The Mountain has now killed a Prince and a Princess.
Tyrion is allowed to escape, because Jaime lets him out of his cell. Jaime loves his brother, that much is obvious to me. However, Jaime lets it be known that Tysha, Tyrion’s former wife, was not a whore as he was led to believe. Its very possible that the incident with the barracks was a rape which ended with Tyrion having sex with her after all she went through. Jaime says he was sorry for letting Lord Tywin know about Tyrion’s marriage to a legitimately good, lowborn person, but Tyrion cannot forgive Jaime at this time.
Tyrion meets up with Varys and they travel via the dark dungeons to freedom until Tyrion recognizes one of the rooms they venture through. He remembers that Shae and he had relations in this particular area and knew the way from this location to the room of the Hand. He asks Varys to wait for him a moment as Tyrion goes up to his former chambers. There he finds Shae naked in Tywin’s bed. She tries to plead with him, but Tyrion kills her. He then confronts his father, the Lord Hand, and demands to know where Tysha is. Tywin simply states that she went where all whores go. Tyrion didn’t like the answer, so he killed his father too. Honestly, I cannot blame him. Tyrion escapes and goes across the Narrow Sea to some unknown place.
Sansa Stark was said to be an accomplice of Tyrion’s, but she was just as unaware. She gets picked up by Sir Dontos, but she is delivered to Petyr Baelish. Lord Baelish kills Dontos, revealing that Dontos was under his coin this entire time. Baelish also reveals that he and the Queen of Thorns, Olenna, killed Joffrey. Olenna did not want her granddaughter, Margaery, to marry the cruel Joffrey. Margaery, presumably, knew about the poison as well, because she drank from the same cup. Good riddens, I say, because Joffrey was cruel and unusual. I hope Tommen doesn’t grow up to be like his brother. Baelish and Sansa head to Baelish’s house in the Vale where he dyes Sansa’s hair black and instructs her that she will pretend to be his bastard daughter, Alayne Stone, and that he will marry her aunt, Lysa Arryn.
Petyr and Lysa marry immediately at his house, Lysa overjoyed to finally marry the man of her dreams. This part confused me, because I thought she was still afraid to have anything to do with ANYONE. What the heck!? After they travel to the Eyrie, Sansa is sexually harassed by Marillion, Lysa’s musician. Lysa also proposes to marry Sansa to Robert Arryn, her sickly son. Still, Sansa tries to make due. She enjoys some time in the snow, and recreates Winterfell. She remembers her brothers and sisters, missing each of them very much.
Then shit gets real. Petyr Baelish comes over and helps Sansa make her Winterfell. She is completely happy that at least Baelish is nice to her out of everyone. Then… he kisses her. Not a father-daughter kiss, but a romantic kiss. Sansa does not like this and asks Baelish to never kiss her again. He just seems to laugh and walk off. Lysa sees this and later summons Sansa to the throne room.
Lysa asks Sansa to stop trying to steal Baelish from her, because Baelish and Lysa are SUPER SERIOUS couple. Sansa defends herself by saying she would never do that, and that Baelish kissed her first. Lysa refuses to believe this and well… she spills a lot of beans.
- Lysa had sex with Baelish, even though he was in love with Catelyn Stark. She miscarries due to her father’s intervention.
- Lysa put Baelish in court by manipulating Jon Arryn, her husband.
- Lysa killed Jon Arryn at the behest of Petyr Baelish.
- Lysa blamed the death on the Lannisters, just as Baelish asked her to.
Baelish is basically behind the entire war in a major way. While Bran’s plummet helped accelerated it, Baelish and Lysa orchestrated enough misgiving to make the Starks upset with the Lannisters. I wouldn’t be shocked if Baelish helped Cersei kill the King, kill Ned (who wed his beloved Cat), he assisted with Joffrey’s death, and god knows what else he’s had a hand in. I don’t know what Baelish wants… but he’s a very creepy guy. Now with Cat gone, does he mean to marry Sansa and act like she is her mother? CREEPY. Oh, Petyr also pushes Lysa out of the moon door, something she was trying to do to Sansa, and blames it on Marillion. Less people that know the truth. Great!
Arya is not having a great time either. She is forced to travel with Sandor Clegane, who kidnaps her from the Brotherhood. Sandor begins to take Arya North in hopes to ransom her to her mother or brother. He no longer gives a damn about Joffrey, and, to me, seems kind of lost. They get into fights, but do eventually reach the Twins where Robb and Cat are about to get murdered by the Freys. The reach the outside wedding feast just in time to catch the action of the Freys killing everyone. Arya tries to run into the castle to help her mother, but Sandor knocks her out with the back of his axe and rescues her from that situation.
Finally, Arya and Sandor run into Tickler and co. Arya reclaims Needle and they all fight. Sandor kills one of them and Arya stabs the Tickler to death, but they both run off. Sandor is wounded in the battle and asks Arya for a clean death under a tree, but Arya instead walks off. She ventures to Saltpans and sells her horse. She gains passage to Braavos by using the coin that Jaqen H’ghar gave her. This is where we leave off with Arya’s story, but I get the feeling she is going to try to train to be an assassin of some kind. Which will make her pretty badass.
Dany and her army have been up to great things. They’ve been conquering slave cities, freeing all the people, and gaining many followers. She has come to realize, however, that the cities she has left behind have reverted. Upset by this fact, Dany continues her assault on Meeren. Meeren was the largest of the slave cities. The owners of the city burnt and salted the land around Meeren in hopes to keep Queen Daenerys out and starved. Dany walks with Whitebeard through the crowd of those she had freed. Dany is attacked by the former captain of sellswords Dany now commands, but Whitebeard rescues her.
Dany, with gratitude, wants to knight Whitebeard, but he reveals who he truly is. He is Barristan Selmy. If you don’t recall, like I had a hard time doing, he is the former Lord Commander of the White Cloaks, the men whom guard the King’s life. He tells Dany that he is sorry for the disguise, but he wanted to know if Dany was a true Queen. He also apologizes for serving under the Usurper. Barristan then calls out Sir Jorah and explains that Jorah had been spying on Dany this whole time! Something we knew since Game of Thrones that Dany did not. Dany almost banishes the two of them together, because this is an awful lot of lying her top two men did to her. Instead, she orders them to enter the sewers of Meeren and find a way for her men to enter the gates. The two men accomplish their task and Dany takes the city of Meeren. She makes Barristan her Lord Commander of the Queen’s Guard, and exiles Jorah, who simply cannot stop being a twat. I’m sorry, but if he was just a bit less proud, Dany would have forgiven him easy.
Jorah is one of those characters I really liked, but when he just grabbed Dany the way he did earlier in the novel, I did a 180 on my feelings. Jorah is a knight, and while I knew his original mission was to spy on Dany… I just can’t believe he would act so gross with Dany. I get it. She looks like your ex-wife that hates you. Cool. Can you get over that please?
This book was honestly the best in what I’ve read so far. While this is only the third book, it surpasses both the first and second novel. The second novel left me wanting somewhat, so for a while the first was best. ASoS is officially my favorite and I can’t wait to see what HBO will do with it. I know they made plans to divide it into two seasons, which is fine. Hopefully it gives GRRM the time he needs to complete the series, since its only 5/7 books thus far completed. I will be holding off on reading the fourth book, mostly because my head is still drowning in all the detail, information, and theories I concocted while reading ASoS. AFfC should be way more epic than I am being led to believe by outside forces. I am sure it will be full of OH MY GOD moments and WTF.
Oh yeah, Catelyn Stark is now a zombie.
I’m going to admit right now that I lied in my last post about A Storm of Swords. I am going to make a blog every 200 pages rather than every 20%. Due to my gaming stuff, personal life, and work, I don’t have as much time to digest the books I do want to read. I’m currently struggling to finish reading At The End: An Apocalptic Novel by John Hennessey for a Twitter group I am in called Two Girls One Book, but with how badly the book is written I usually end up googling pictures of cute puppies instead.
Without too much further ado, I want to jump right into my thoughts about A Storm of Swords, pages 202 – 412!
Let’s begin with Jon Snow and his mischievous little adventures up North of the Wall. Looking back on my previous entries, I haven’t written very much about Jon Snow or analysed anything about his character. The reason for this isn’t because I find his story or character boring, but that its easy to forget about Jon Snow since he is so far removed from every other event in the novels. Jon Snow was a Man of the Night Watch, and, while he cares deeply about what might happen to his half siblings, nothing he does personally influences their stories or the war. He has no eyes or ears during the war and his POV doesn’t give us any insight to the politics behind the war or war strategies. Jon Snow, like Daenerys Targaryen, may as well be light years away from the events unfolding on the mainland of Westeros. Unlike Daenerys, however, Jon Snow has nothing to add to the combat anytime soon. That was until he joined a the army of Wildlings.
Jon Snow, at the behest of the late Q. Halfhand, joined the Wildlings to spy on them. Through Jon’s eyes we are now witnessing what is to become a pressing matter for Westeros, the invasion of Wildlings and the Others. The increasing threat of the Others is made more pointedly by the slaughter of the Night’s Watch on the Fist (a place, not the thing). Ygritte, a female Wildling, has really taken a liking to our Jon Snow and she is basically his guide to what its like to be a Wildling. The relationship between Ygritte and Jon Snow also pulls me away from the typical feel of the book since Ygritte is more or less a Manic Pixie Dream Girl in terms of personality.
The first part of the definition strikes me as Ygritte’s role in Jon Snow’s story. While she is a character in her own right, Ygritte is there to help Jon embrace life and help him learn about what things are like North of the Wall. Her catchphrase is seemingly, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” She repeats this phrase many times in the last chapter I read for this blog. The last part of the definition doesn’t seem to fit her… yet. Ygritte is mysterious enough that I am not certain if she loves Jon Snow or is just really into him. The way things are looking she must love him, her behavior denotes that much. She could be a great liar, but that wouldn’t really fit the archetype she has found herself in. My biggest worry for the character is she will die trying to protect Jon Snow. Or something along those lines.
Sam, Jon Snow’s obese friend, has his own POV chapter now. I was worried he was killed in the battle with the Others that Jon and the Free People stumbled onto atop the Fist, but its nice to know he somehow made it. Sam is a character I wanted to know more about, because he was flung from a world of comfort into a frozen hell. Sam isn’t a bad guy and is book smart, which makes me relate to him somewhat. Even though I might have more guts and fight in me, I enjoy a character that is at least true to himself. It was really moving when Edd and Grenn were helping him get back up to move on, though he was ultimately carried by strongman Tom. From Sam’s distorted thoughts in the text it was apparent how much strain and stress he had taken — and he was frail to begin with. This chapter shows me that no character’s ‘3rd person text’ is completely true. Sam was having trouble remembering what exactly had happened and it showed in the narrative. Sam’s POV chapters will clash nicely with Jon Snow’s. If the Night’s Watch fights the Wildlings we should be able to see both sides of the battle.
Arya Stark is learning the hard way that she should never bother to reveal her real name and station. Its understandable that she revealed herself to Harwin, a man that used to work for her father, but during a time of so much strife its incredibly reckless. Arya is one of my favorite characters, and I do enjoy reading all of her chapters. Its hard to explain, but I like her snarky thoughts about the people around her. It would be amazing for Arya to meet up with her mother again, but I have a feeling that may not happen any time soon. Arya would be confined again into the role of a little lady in-training, and the story of a girl struggling with being trained to be someone she doesn’t want to be is a little old and boring. Arya, at least from what I could gather, has always wanted an adventurous life. Now that she is living it I wonder what she will do next. She is currently traveling with Gendry and a band of AWOL soldiers to see Lord “Lightning” Bolton. I don’t really know much about Lord Bolton other than he formerly bent the knee to Eddard Stark and then ended up becoming a turncoat. He held Harrenhal, but now he is just the wind and they are chasing after it. Aside from these facts, not much else to report on for our dear boy.
Tyrion and Sansa’s POVs continue to greatly entertain me. Watching them try to avoid toes (or in Tyrion’s case, step on them) is easily some of the better drama I’ve ever read. For example, Petyr Baelish has played another card on the table. He has offered to Joffrey’s council his promise to wed Lady Lysa Arryn. If he accomplishes this he will have the Eyrie (which is implied as sporting a large army as well as land) and he promises to raise her son to be a supporter of King Joffrey and the Lannisters. Given the way the TV show has been going, I was worried he would try to marry Sansa Stark, because she looks a lot like her mother. I get very creepy vibes from him, so it wouldn’t have been so shocking. This, however, is leagues more interesting. Sadly, I think he will accomplish his goal. I wonder if he wants to style himself a King in his own right? A commoner King, because as I recall Baelish is a lowborn man that clawed his way to the top.
As for Sansa and Tyrion… well, they are married now. Say what!? Yeah, I heard me. THEY ARE MARRIED. My mind was blown reading it. At first, during Tyrion’s chapter where we learn that Baelish is going to court Lysa, Tywin suggests to Tyrion that he marry Sansa Stark because the Tyrell’s mean to marry her to Willas Tyrell, which would have granted Tyrell’s the power of Winterfell if Robb Stark could be dealt with. Of course, no one knows Bran and Rickon Stark are very much alive and well, though they travel north and may not be found alive yet. Sansa’s marriage to Tyrion is extremely awkward. I’m so glad it was him that she ended up being force to wed since we have no idea what Willas Tyrell is like anyway. Plus Tyrion is a gentleman, mostly, and won’t force Sansa to do anything she doesn’t want to. I’m glad he acknowledges that she is still a child and didn’t consummate. This is such an interesting turn of events and it makes me eager to read more!
King Idiothead the Dumbest of his Name (yeah, I am super original) intends to make Sansa his whore anyway. I hope Tyrion Lannister can keep Sansa safe or sneak her out of King’s Landing at least. Sansa had done some stupid things in the first book, but she doesn’t deserve what has become of her. Cersei, however, may be carted off to marry Willas Tyrell since her son is old enough to rule on his own AND her father is there to be the Hand properly. Cersei hates the idea with a passion and I can’t help but find some happiness in her misery.
Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth tried to continue their journey south to King’s Landing, but have been caught by mercenaries working for House Stark. After an epic sword fight with one another, they are ambushed by these ‘mummers’ and are presumably raped and/or tortured. I hope Brienne isn’t raped at the very least, because she is fastly becoming one of my favorite characters. She reminds me of what Sansa was like, but with Arya’s will and desire to fight.
Daenerys found herself trapped between hard decisions. She could either enlist a slave army or attempt to hire sellswords. The slave army would be so disciplined that they would never disobey her or go AWOL, but slavery is illegal in Westeros and the lords who might receive her would look down upon her. The sellswords are the opposite, they wouldn’t cause lords to look down upon her, but there is a chance they would turn against her for higher coin. Her main enemy is King Joffrey and he is backed up by Lannister banks. Daenerys had to go with purchasing a slave army despite how it made her feel. The slave army, known as the Unsullied, are men that know no fear and are all eunuchs. They would not rape or pillage, because they were conditioned in their training to desire no such thing. They would obey their master without question going as far as killing themselves if that was what had been asked of them. Ultimately Daenerys set up a brilliant plan. She traded her Drogon and ships of valuables for 8,000 + strong slave army, then when the slaves understood she was their master, she commanded them to kill every slaver in the city and free all the slaves. Her dragons flew into the sky breathing fire all around while the people chanted, “Dracarys!”
I am certain the Unsullied will always behave like slaves, or at least it will take them a long time to learn how to be ‘normal’ again. This will probably be a point of contention between Daenerys and the lords in Westeros. If she becomes Queen, her decision to enlist the slave army, even if she freed them anyway, might come back to haunt her politically.
I’m going to point out that the meme about G. R. R. M. killing off every character seems false.
Of course, I am only on the very first 35% of the third book in a series of five (so far), but so far the only surprise death has been Ned Stark. While many characters have died since the start of A Song of Ice and Fire, most of them were minor characters in the long scheme of things. The death of Maester Luwin, while heart wrenching, did not seem so shocking to me or unnecessary. When I picked up this book series, I was told not to get attached to any character, because they could die. As far as I’m concerned, the only character that has died and made a large impact on my feelings was Ned Stark. Renly Baratheon was minor. Maester Luwin was minor. That maester of Stannis Baratheon was extremely minor. The Stark’s children’s uncle was minor (I assume he is dead).
When I talk about main characters, if I do in this blog, it will always be about prominent characters that are featured in the book. Tyrion, Jon, Arya, Sansa, Catelyn, Jaime (recent), Davos, Dany, and any other POV character I am missing. If any of them die it will be shocking. If Cersei, Joffrey, Stannis, Robb, Tywin, Shae, Bron, Gendry, and Hot Pie die it will be shocking, because they are main characters with their prominent appearances and influence. I suppose its just an issue of which characters seem ‘expendable’ for the plot and which aren’t. The death of a maester is not as grave as the death of a character’s whose POV we see, because that is one less person we can use to understand the politics and movement of the plot. The death of some random sons of Davos is not as serious as the death of say Cersei (if she does die), because Davos’ sons did not have as much influence over the fate of Westeros.
My question is: Who out there feels I am wrong about this? Are there any characters you really liked, other than Ned Stark, that has been offed? Please keep this restricted to the first two books in the series! I would love to know, though, because so far I feel certain none of my favorite characters are going to bite the dust!
Good evening! WARNING: Spoilers for the book and the TV show inside!
I’ve decided to do a blog for about every 20%ish for A Storm of Swords. As many of you may know, this books is freaking long! I’m not talking about 500 pages long, which is actually a pretty healthy read. We’re talking in the four digits long. This sucker is 1128 pages long! It might just be because I enjoy reading the paperback edition, though I can imagine the hardback copy is capable of knocking some heads.
The first thing I noticed about this book was the fact that Jaime Lannister actually has his POV inserted into the book. WOAH! I always kind of liked Jaime Lannister, because I felt he wasn’t completely full of poop. While he is willing to throw a kid out of a window, Jaime Lannister seems like one of the more ‘honest bad-guys’ in the novel.
There are only 3 seemingly bad guys and that is Cersei Lannister, Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre, and Joffrey Baratheon. While I don’t hate every single Lannister, I’m finding Cersei to be a universal antagonist. Not only is she in charge of the main force that keeps Sansa cooped up, but she is the one that ultimately unleashed her hellish son, Joffrey, on the world. King Joffrey needs no explanation. He’s a 13 year old mad with power whose papa never loved him and whose mama kept from learning morals. Finally, there is Stannis Baratheon and the fire priestess woman, Melisandre. My main point for putting Stannis in the same position as Melisandre is because without her he would probably not be a threat. Melisandre is obviously the mastermind behind the two of them and her weird magic seems like a textbook definition of evil. She births shadow children that assassinate people of her choosing.
As I read on I found myself flopping on where I stood with Tywin Lannister, because he seemingly believed every word Cersei told him and decided to ‘neuter’ Tyrion. Tyrion is the only truly good child this man has and Tywin decided to forget the amends he had been making with Tyrion and brought up the whole “During your birth you inadvertently killed your own mother!!!” While I understand this takes place in a medieval-like time so medical science is not that far along, I can’t help but feel that Lord Tywin is just being extremely petty and, given all his other accomplishments, should know better than to blame Tyrion for something he didn’t do.
I understand Tywin is basing this on the action that Tyrion sent Myrcella and Tommen away, but I can’t help but think Tywin thinks too lowly of his son, the very son he sent to be the Hand. Of course, this isn’t a complain about the writing or the direction G.R.R.M. is taking his work, no. I’m quite pleased with the amount of imperfection these characters display and it really builds up natural drama.
Why can’t Lord Tywin Lannister see that Tyrion is doing his best? Why can’t he forgive his son for wrongs he didn’t actually commit? Why is he trusting Cersei Lannister now after admitting to Tyrion that she was not fit to rule King’s Landing? He has very good reasons for not being able to live up to what I was hoping would happen, and that is plain frustrating.
Another character which has caught my eye more as of late is Sansa. Sansa Stark was someone I thought I would straight up hate simply due to her naivety and her decision to lie to King Robert Baratheon about the incident near the river. Her insistence that she truly wanted to marry King Joffrey at the time was annoying and reminded me of YA books I’d rather forget. . . and then it got real.
When Ned Stark lost his head and Sansa was suddenly the daughter of a traitor trapped as a bargaining chip with the Starks in the North, Sansa became a real character in my eyes. I suddenly understood why G.R.R.M. wrote her to believe fully in court songs and think that all knights were good, because watching Sansa struggle to retain her dignity and mind against the way the real world worked took her story to the place YA books could only dream of. Innocence clashes against the true world as Sansa wishes for a knight to rescue her, but, instead of being an idiot, Sansa keeps her guard up and continues to act in public. I’m completely thrilled for her since she is no longer betrothed to Joffrey and is now being set up to marry a Tyrell.
A character who has fallen in popularity with me since the start of A Storm of Swords is none other than Jorah Mormont. As readers may know, I totally love Dany. She is my vote for ruler of Westeros, and Jorah used to be a good person in my book for helping her out when she needed it most. As Dany’s early chapter ends, Jorah, who has been a gentleman up until now, decides to grab at Dany and force her to make out with him. Since the last book, my opinion of him was stable even after hearing about how much Dany resembled his lost love. Its clear now that Jorah means to act on his love for a past woman and seeks to conquer Dany now.
A few things,
- You do not just grab a woman’s breasts without her allowing you to do so. This involves some sort of verbal understanding. If you don’t know, ask.
- You do not just force a woman to kiss you. It sounds silly, but you can’t just suddenly kiss a person you’ve had no previous kisses with. There are some things that have to come first, like permission, or context that leads to kissing.
Even Khal Drogo got her in the mood first and didn’t immediately jump to the boob-numbered base (the TV show version doesn’t count!). While at the end of the day this is all still incredibly creepy given that Dany is between the ages of 13 – 15 by now, the way Dany reacts just screams “What the hell are you doing!?” which is always a no even if her body liked it. Jorah seems to claim that no one will love Dany the way he does and this is sending awful vibes about the guy. The kind of guy that does you favors not because he cares or because he actually loves you, but because he thinks he will get ‘his’ in the end. It makes me look back at their relationship and feel creeped out about it all.
Moving on to Bran, I’ve noticed something sad — his story is getting boring. Near the end of the last book and the start of this book, Bran is just being his direwolf and staying put. While I understand that to get where he and his party are going will take a long time given that they are walking on foot, it seems to me Bran’s parts are only necessary to tell us his powers as a warg are getting stronger. This doesn’t mean I don’t like Bran as a character, but I do feel like I could stand to not read about him if nothing interesting is happening at all. I suppose, perhaps, I can’t care whether he hunts and eats other animals through his direwolf or not.
Finally, King of the North, Robb Stark, is completely like his mother. Catelyn Stark is impulsive and sometimes irrational (she has pretty much committed treason about twice now), and King Robb has married some random girl simply out of passion. In case readers don’t recall, Robb had promised to marry one of Lord Walder Frey’s daughters. Lord Walder had been providing a decent sum of Robb’s numbers in this war, so of course, Robb has lost that support and is in a pickle. The best part is his mother is furious with him, but it would seem to me that they are like mother like son at this time. I am not sure if they can win back Walder Frey’s support without having to kill Robb’s current Queen. I wouldn’t be shocked, because she has been very suddenly introduced.
Alright, a slight pet peeve has picked up for me this moment. The television show during Season Two shows multiple points of view and not just those of the books. This sits well with me for the most part, however, I don’t understand why Robb Stark had married Talisa Maegyr… a TV-only character. I suppose this leaves Robb still without Frey’s help possibly since Talisa can offer Robb even less of an army than Jeyne Westerling can. Still, marrying Talisa in the book seemed to imply a lot of political backwash not just from Robb’s camp, but with the Westerners who seem to rally for the Lannister’s. Talisa does not seemingly offer this sort of political angle. I suppose when I read farther its possible that whom Robb marries doesn’t matter as much as the fact that he isn’t marrying a Frey.
As I mentioned in my introductory post, I have been reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series alternatively known as The Game of Thrones books. I have to admit that I was skeptical of the series at first due to the amount of hype it commands as well as the amount of spoilery memes that spawn on my Facebook feed once a day or so.
I ended up finally picking up the book series thanks to the creation of my Goodreads account and friends that have been reading a whole lot more than I have. Once I started the first novel A Game of Thrones, I couldn’t put it down. Unlike the YA books I had been reading at the time, the story was driven by the protagonists of the book and not simply by whatever antagonizing force happened to be around (I’m looking at you every vampire book ever). My favorite characters in the first book was a tie between Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister. This put me in an interesting position as I read the book, because I found myself cursing Catelyn Stark and Cersei Lannister the whole way through. I couldn’t wish for the fall of the Lannister family without remembering that Tyrion happened to be apart of that whacky family. Tyrion, the voice of reason in my opinion, was a nasty Lannister. It can be argued, however, that Catelyn had her fair part in starting the war by kidnapping Tyrion on a whim despite knowing that there was no evidence that he had any part in Bran’s attempted assassination.
All jabs at Catelyn Stark aside, I can see her point of view and its increasingly frustrating. There are only a few characters in this book that you can hate outright, like King Jerkfrey the first of his name, but even characters you thought you’d hate for the entirety of the book turn out to be real people with hard problems and bad choices. Darn you, Cersei and Catelyn, I want to hate you so badly. Even Sansa, whom I disliked at first on principle cause she was so impossibly naive, has flaws and strengths that make me grow to care about her. The situation she finds herself in turns her into one of the most sympathetic characters in the whole series when Book 2, A Clash of Kings, kicks in.
The entire cast draws the reader into their daily struggle with the lies characters tell each other, the politics between the different families, and the raging war that engulfs all of Westeros. I don’t know about other readers, but its really hard to root for just one family’s stake in the war between the different contenders for the crown. While I think Joffrey is a complete jerk and technically shouldn’t be king, if the Lannister family loses its likely that what happened to the Targaryen’s will happen to them. I don’t want Tyrion to die and I kind of don’t want Tywin to die either. I don’t want the Starks to lose, because I like most of them and hopefully they get to remain as the kings of the north or at least don’t completely fall if they end up losing. The Baratheon brothers, both claiming they want to be king, are polar opposites of each other yet each of them is interesting in his own right, though I can admit I am fine with them failing as long as Davos Seaworthy makes it out alive.
Finally, we come to Daenerys Targaryen aka Dany and her stake for the kingdoms. What Robert Baratheon and his army did to the Targaryen was horrifying. I get the whole “They killed my girlfriend” bit, but he was ready to slaughter the little girl as well. Out of all the characters, I think Dany is the most entitled to becoming the Queen of Westeros. Her claim to the throne of the 7 realms is a lot more faithful than Joffrey, who isn’t even the trueborn son of Robert Baratheon making his claim even further from the throne than it already would be. Dany is also, in my opinion, the most noble and kind out of all of those running. Also, she has dragons.
At the end of A Clash of Kings, I can’t help but feel that Dany will become the rightful Queen of Westeros and that she will give her mercy to all of the warring houses. Lannisters will be pardoned, Starks might get to keep their northern lands depending on how things play out, and most importantly they can finally work together, because Winter Is Coming.