A Game of Thrones
Week 2: Pages 109-202
Poor, frozen Ned Stark. Crossed between what he said he’d do, who he wants to be, and who his king/best friend/brother wants him to be. I do not envy his position. I think the king has become soft and spoiled while he allowed his best friend to harden on his own at Winterfell, where Ned wishes he’d stayed. King Robert is crazed with hatred for Targaryens and doesn’t listen to the truths spoken by his Hand. Frustrating, to say the least.
The Fool has ridden north to the Wall, intending to inspect it and get a feel for the world (or lack of one, as they say) beyond. He is riding with Benjen Stark, Jon Snow, and a few others. Jon and Tyrion’s relationship here takes a step that I didn’t expect, but do enjoy and appreciate. Tyrion’s smart mouth and well-read brain come in handy. Not to mention the tid bits about dragons that made me swoon! What smart details to add! Well played, Mr. Martin. Well Played.
The last time we saw Catelyn, I was hoping for someone to smack some sense into her or, better yet, put her out of my misery. Well *boom* wish granted. Not how I was expecting, of course, but in a way that makes perfect sense. Still, she’s a sharp tongued wench. She left at the end of the chapter with barely a thought toward her sons. After spending all that time draped over Bran’s bedside, I can understand the statement that she’d done all she could there. But, come on, Brickon is 3ish…he doesn’t understand why Mommy wouldn’t see him and why Mommy left. And Rob is 14 and the head of the keep now…his Mom could probably have been a big help to him. But no, no one could be trusted, it had to be her. Pfft.
This girl…this poor simpering fool of a girl…makes me want to smack her. I suppose she’s just too much like her mother. In love with the idea of being betrothed to the simpering princeling, in love with the nice pretty things and the ideas that have half formed in her mind. She meets the knights and has, shall we say, strong feelings of both respect and fear. Ok, good…then Joffrey, the spoiled idiot, parades his “Hound” in front of her to scare her and offers to take her off on a day exploring “just the two of them”…I was actually pleased when they stumbled upon Arya and Mycah. I was afraid Sansa was going to get herself injured or raped or all of the above because she couldn’t see past her mental images to get a bead on the real prince. Then he got bit and I thought…well that’s not going to end well. Stupid
This chapter was short, but HARD. To see Cersei Lannister and the probably inbred **** prince sit there, accusing, lying, and manipulating in order to make Joffrey out to be the victim and the hero all at once…to me it makes him look weak and his mother look a fool. But to Eddard…to Eddard it looked like his daughters opening a schism between them that might possibly never be fixed. It looked like having to kill the sweetest and best trained of the wolf pups on a whim and a whine while his best friend washed his hands of the situation and refused to ‘man up’ and handle the situation. It looked like Sansa losing her beloved pet because of Joffrey, but blaming Arya. It looked like a bad day.
This is probably one of my favorite chapters in anything I’ve read this year, if not this decade. Bran’s dream was fabulous, a little spine tingling, and a lot mysterious. The best part, for me, though was when Bran finally awoke and found his wolf pup. Those first words after his coma…wonderfully done.
She arrives at King’s Landing and sends Ser Rodrik to the castle to find Ser Aron Santagar in an attempt to discover who might have owned the dagger sent to murder Bran in his coma. The dagger that sliced Catelyn’s fingers and sent her on this mad journey. In the in between time, Cat goes to rest but gets herself lady napped and taken to Littlefinger, Lord Baeris who had been her father’s ward and like a brother during their growing up time…until he dueled her betrothed for her hand. Guess who’s dagger it is? What a tidy little bow.
Jon is now in training at the Wall, learning to be the man he swore himself to be. He is also much hated for his attitude. The loner illegitimate son of Lord Stark, Jon finds issues on both sides and none of his training mates are keen on him. Tyrion Lannister’s advice, ‘don’t let them see that the words cut or you’ll never be free…’ good advice that I’m sure Jon will take, but The Bear then calls him away…a bird has come to tell him some good news.
Ned is running ragged, already disillusioned and exhausted by life in the palace and life as the King’s Hand. Along with the issues between his children and his own extreme dislike of the counsel and learning just how out of it as a king his bestie really is, Ned finds his wife in a brothel. Ok, ok…so they were both taken there in order to speak in a place where no one would suspect either of them of ever being. Still, it is kind of funny. The love and respect between them is obvious, but I still don’t particularly like Catelyn. Eddard, on the other hand, is growing on me.