Monday, May 10, 2010

#ASOIAF Re-read: A Game of Thrones, Part 13

Hi there. Welcome to the ASOIAF Re-Read, the late night edition. Your host spent the last few days driving hundreds and hundreds of kilometers (1 kilometer = 0.621371192 miles, for those of you who like your measurements in imperial), and had no time to type things out at the usual time.

But better late than never, right? I'm going to pretend that you answered yes. It makes things easier that way.

So let's get down to business. This post covers Chapters 31-32. The very first post is here, the most recent post (Part 12) is here, and all the entries can be tracked with the ASOIAF tag (#ASOIAF on Twitter). All posts contain occasional spoilers for the first four books in A Song of Ice and Fire. The same goes for the comments section.

As always, I appreciate your comments, theories, corrections, and what-have-you.

And now I think it's late enough. Let us begin.

Chapter 31: Tyrion

What Happens

Tyrion watches some of his captors butcher his horse. They are on a treacherous mountain path, where food is scarce and risk of injury is high.

Tyrion has a flashback to when he was captured. He'd been looking forward to supper before he found himself surrounded by swords. Thinking to save himself from an untimely death, he voluntarily submitted to Catelyn. He and his men, Morrec and Jyck, were stripped of their weapons by the sellsword Bronn, while the innkeeper pleaded with Catelyn.

"Don't kill him here!"
"Don't kill him anywhere," Tyrion urged.
"Take him somewhere else, no blood here, m'lady, I want no lordlin's quarrels."
"We are taking him back to Winterfell, she said, and Tyrion thought, Well, perhaps...

Another look at the room showed that, while a dozen or so men had responded to Catelyn's cry for help, there were about fifty men in the room, all told. It would be a long ride to Winterfell. He mentioned to everyone in the room that Tywin Lannister would wonder what had happened to his son, and pay a handsome reward for news of what happened at the inn. He knew that the lure of gold would send several men on the way to Casterlly Rock, and more would bring news of the even to King's Landing and beyond.

Catelyn countered that by offering a reward to any who would go with them and safeguard their way back to Winterfell. Several men came forward at that, thwarting Tyrion's plan. Even then, he was not truly dismayed. Enough men would spread the word, and there was bound to be rescue at some point on the road. The thought gave him comfort all through the next day's ride, even though he was blindfolded and bound over a horse.

It was not until they stopped at nightfall that he realized how well Catelyn had played him. When the blindfold was removed, he saw that they were not on the kingsroad or on the way to Winterfell.

"This is the high road," he gasped, looking at Lady Stark with accusation. "The eastern road. You said we were riding to Winterfell!"
Catelyn Stark favored him with the faintest of smiles. "Often and loudly," she agreed. "No doubt your friends will ride that way when they come after us. I wish them good speed."

Days later, he is still bitter about being out-smarted. As he is forced along the eastern road to the Vale of Arryn, Tyrion mulls the fates that will await his captors when he gets free.

As travel conditions worsen, Tyrion tries to reason with Catelyn. He argues that she risks his death at the pace they are going. When Catelyn suggests that could have been the point of capturing him, Tyrion counters that she could have had him killed long ago. He tells Catelyn that he did not try to have Bran murdered, and the assassin's blade was not his. For a moment, he thinks she is doubtful. Catelyn asks why Petyr would lie.

"Why does a bear shit in the woods?" he demanded. "Because it is his nature. Lying comes as easily as breathing to a man like Littlefinger. You ought to know that, you of all people."
She took a step toward him, her face tight. "And what does that mean, Lannister?"
Tyrion cocked his head. "Why, every man at court has heard him tell how he took your maidenhead, my lady."
"That is a lie!" Catelyn Stark said.

A sellsword apprehends Tyrion, and Catelyn declares that while Petyr used to love her, there was never anything between them, and Tyrion is a liar. The dwarf does not agree.

"And you are truly a fool, Lady Stark. Littlefinger has never loved anyone but Littlefinger, and i promise you that it is not your hand that he boasts of, it's those ripe breasts of yours, and your sweet mouth, and the heat between your legs."

He goes on to ask how Littlefinger claimed to lose his dagger. When Catelyn tells him part of the story, Tyrion guesses the rest, but the camp is attacked before he can go any further. Catelyn allows Tyrion and his men to be armed, so long as they promise to re-submit to capture once the battle is over. They do, and suddenly the camp is overrun. Tyrion hides at first, until a horse and rider find his spot. Forced to fight, Tyrion acquits himself well. He kills a couple of men, and even rescues Catelyn as she is surrounded by three brigands.

Catelyn's side is victorious, but there are less of her men standing after the fight. Catelyn lets Tyrion keep his weapons in case they are attacked again, but says she trusts him no more than before. Yet he rides up beside her after they leave the battle scene behind.

"As I was saying before we were so rudely interrupted," Tyrion began, "there is a serious flaw in Littlefinger's fable. Whatever you may believe of me, Lady Stark, I promise you this--I never bet against my family."

Commentary
For all that it features a little battle scene in the middle, this feels like one of the quieter chapters in A Game of Thrones. We start with Tyrion and his captors on a mountainside, and then Tyrion and a few less captors continue on their way.

Nontheless, this chapter give us a closer look at the plotting and allegiances between some of the characters we've met so far.

I have to say I was pretty impressed with the way Catelyn outwits Tyrion at the inn. Tyrion prides himself on being able to outsmart just about anyone. Then along comes Catelyn, and she beats him at every turn. That takes quick thinking and presence of mind. Just in case there was anyone who thought Catelyn was more emotional than intellectual, there is a dwarf on his way to the Eyrie who could argue otherwise. Then again, her men and resources are dwindling, so she may be fighting a losing battle anyway.

Speaking of Tyrion, I believe this is the first time we hear the phrase, "A Lannister always pays his debts." It is rarely an empty promise. In a land where people hold grudges against family honour for years, the Lannisters tend to pay their debts more often than the rest.

I wonder if it was humour on George R.R. Martin's part that made him give Tyrion an axe in the fight scene. There is an unwritten rule that all fantasy dwarfs must fight with axes, and Tyrion is no exception. Except, he is stunted man and not a true fantasy dwarf, and he's far from a fierce warrior. Still, he survives, and he cracks some skulls doing so.

Also, wanting to shout "Casterly Rock" was hilarious. That part makes me laugh every time.

Lastly, we have Tyrion's claim never bets against his family. This was something I pointed out a few chapters ago when Littlefinger claimed to lose his dagger in a joust when Tyrion bet against Jaime. I said Littlefinger's claim was ludicrous, yet Catelyn had no way of knowing the truth. Well, here is Tyrion letting her know the same thing. It can also be taken to mean that Tyrion wouldn't bet against himself either, so Catelyn should be on her guard, if she wasn't already.

The chapter ends with his revelation, so we don't know how seriously Catelyn takes the claim, but I don't think she is as sure of herself as she was when she had Tyrion trussed and blindfolded. We've seen that she's intelligent. Unfortunately, she's committed to this boneheaded mess. The way back is now lined with shadowcats, crazy hill folk, and anyone looking to curry Lannister favour. Catelyn can't exactly afford to doubt herself, but you have to wonder what she's thinking in her heart of hearts.

Littlefinger and his pack of lies will be addressed at another time.

One more thing: I have a soft spot for scallywags and sellswords. I feel like Bronn is underutilized in this series, but I don't know if ASOIAF would have benefited from a more lighthearted character. What do you think? Would you have preferred if Bronn became more of a comedic rogue and opportunist a la Jarlaxle or Jack Sparrow?


Chapter 32: Arya

What Happens

Arya is hunting a cat in the Red Keep. After many cuts, scrapes, and misses, she has managed to catch almost every cat in the castle. One black tom eludes her until she manages to leap on it and catch the cat unawares.

The tom is not pleased, and it scratches and howls, attracting some unwanted attention. Princess Myrcella and Prince Tommen are out and about with a septa and Lannister guards, but they do not recognize Arya in her plain clothing and messy state. She tries to stay quiet and bowed down. When she does not respond to the septa's questions, the septa tells the guards to grab the child.

Arya twists away from the guards, leaping past them and running away. She runs up, down, and around several halls, losing her pursuers, and only stopping when she crawls through a small space into a dark cellar.

Her eyes grow accustomed to darkness, and she sees the room is filled with the skulls of monsters with huge heads and large, sharp teeth. She gets over her fear of them, and leaves the cellar, wandering down dark paths until she starts to hear noises. There are voices coming from below, and the smallest, faintest light. The light and the voices are getting stronger as they approach.

There are two men. One is a fat man with a yellow-forked beard from the Free Cities, and the other is a stout man with a steel cap, chain-mail, and a stubbled yet familiar face. They are talking about someone who found a bastard, the troubles with the current Hand, and news that a princess is with child. Loras and Renly plan to wed Robert to Margaery Tyrell, and there are other schemes at court, but the most troubling player is Eddard Stark. He is near to finding the truth about a certain secret. Combined with other schemes, the situation in King's Landing is troubling.

The men keep walking until Arya can't hear them any more. She tries to follow them, but loses them in the dark. She creeps through tunnels for a long time, eventually ending up in a sewer that empties into the river. She bathes in the river, and walks the few miles back to the Red Keep. The guards at the gate do not believe she is Ned's daughter, thinking she is a scrawny, dirty beggar and a boy, but she sets them straight.

"I'm not a boy," she spat at them. I am Arya Stark of Winterfell, and if you lay a hand on me my lord father will have both your heads on spikes. If you don't believe me, fetch Jory Cassel or Vayon Poole from the tower of the Hand." She put her hands on her hips. "Now are you going to open the gate, or do you need a clout on the ear to help your hearing?"

She is brought to Ned, who is reading a very fat book, but has been worried about his daughter's disappearance. Arya breaks down and tries to tell Ned about what she overheard, but she understood little and forgot plenty. The only thing she knows for sure is that they were talking about Ned, and they were talking about killing him. Ned thinks she is tired and was probably spying on mummers getting ready for a play. She tries to argue, but they are interrupted when a man named Desmond announces that a man of the Night's Watch has arrived with urgent news. Ned agrees to see him, and Yoren enters the room.

"Yoren, as it please m'lord. My pardons for the hour." He bowed to Arya. "And this must be your son. He has your look."

Yoren tells Ned that he is in King's Landing to ask for more men for the Night's Watch, but he rode hard the last few days to deliver different news. He is the first in King's Landing, but riders will already have reached Tywin Lannister with the news. He suggests that they talk in private, and Ned Desmond to escort Arya to her room.

Arya asks Desmond if he'd let anyone kill her father. He tells her that Ned is safe from killers and wizards because he is surrounded by northerners, and they are better swordsmen than Lannisters or any others.

Commentary
Little Arya Stark's training is coming along quite well, wouldn't you say? I don't think Ned intended her to learn stealth and acrobatic skills that might come in handy for a top-notch assassin, but there's no question that Arya is a very dedicated student of Syrio Forel. Catching the cat was kind of ho-hum, but the sequence when Arya has to run away and avoid capture is pure fun. And she finds the room where Robert had the Targaryen dragon skulls mothballed.

Of course, swimming in sewer-water can't be that healthy for you, but just add that to the long list of things little Arya goes through as she builds up her toughness. I can't decide who my favourite female character in ASOIAF is, but Arya would be a good contender for the title. I also think she might be the most stoic and stubborn Stark (or Snow) in Westeros. Take that statement for what it's worth.

Oh, and I included the quote of Arya telling the guards what's what not for any special significance, but because it strikes me as behaving very much like a short-tempered, braid-tugging Wisdom would in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. (Hey, if I can reference Jarlaxle, then Nynaeve al'Meara is fair game.)

How much do you think Arya appreciates being mistaken for a boy all the time? It exasperates her, but I don't think she's hurt by it. But Yoren's line is priceless. Chalk one up for the old greasy watchman.

This chapter: Intrigue galore. How fortunate that Arya just happened to get lost in the secret passages under King's Landing, overhearing the plotting of a couple of schemers. It's too bad she didn't understand a lot of it, and it's even worse that she couldn't convey the parts she did understand to Ned.

Back to the schemers. The fat man with the Free Cities accent and yellow-forked beard is Magister Illyrio, in town to give some pretty important news to someone he clearly trusts. The other would be Lord Varys.

Whose side is Varys on? Is he working for the good of the realm? Does he have Targaryen loyalties? Is he looking out for number one, sort of like Littlefinger? Is he a fighting eunuch, sort of like Strong Belwas? That would go against his public persona, but it accounts for the mail he's wearing for Illyrio, and the steel cap reminiscent of the Unsullied. But presumably that's a disguise, so even Illyrio isn't getting the real Varys. Is he even a eunuch? We've yet to see a lot of Varys's disguises, but I can only come up with three explanations for them:

a) He's a fantastic mummer. The easiest explanation for dressing up and costume changes, but Varys is presumably too good at the political game for your average mummer and eunuch.
b) He can use magic, like Illyrio suggests. Possible, but real magic is hard to come by in this series, and I don't remember any similarities between Varys and the followers of R'hllor.
c) He's one of the Faceless Men. Good explanation for his uncanny transformations and intelligence, but how likely is it that the Faceless Men would place someone in a non-assassinating role for years? We know they are a costly organization, so presumably this would not be a contracted job.

That's all I can think of. I like C the best, but there is still too little information about the Faceless Men. If anyone has other theories, please share.

As for what Varys and Illyrio are discussing, it looks like their plans are being rushed. But what are their plans? Do they want Robert on the throne, or Daenerys, or someone else? I have to say that the plot between Loras and Renly is pretty low. I mean, it's completely benign compared to the other plots at court, but it's not exactly honorable. We'll have to remember that in future considerations of the Knight of Flowers and his handsome lord.

It's a shame Arya doesn't have a better understanding of what's going on. If she did, and if she could keep herself together, it's possible Ned would have taken her words seriously. Instead, Arya's well-meant warning comes out garbled, and incorrect in some areas (i.e., the bastard in question is Gendry, not Jon). But it's almost time for Ned to wake up anyway. Mostly. So...

***

...Come back on Thursday to see what happens when you stand up for your beliefs and defy your king. All this, and more, in Part 14.

7 comments:

ibeeeg said...

"I have to say I was pretty impressed with the way Catelyn outwits Tyrion at the inn"
Yeah, me too. I am not a big fan of Catelyn and I am not sure why. But as time goes on, I am liking her more and more. She is smart and clever, she really is. I found that I liked her even more in ACoK. Do you think I will like her more in A Storm of Swords? By the way, I am starting that book tonight as soon as I am done commenting here.

"Just in case there was anyone who thought Catelyn was more emotional than intellectual, there is a dwarf on his way to the Eyrie who could argue otherwise." Who would have questioned her intellect? It was always there from the start, but you bring up a thought for me. I do not really think of her as emotional. Do you?

"Tyrion is no exception. Except, he is stunted man and not a true fantasy dwarf, and he's far from a fierce warrior. Still, he survives, and he cracks some skulls doing so." Okay, I will admit, I was a bit surprised that he could hold his own as well as he did and does. He uses his wits while in battle, I think that is a pretty cool aspect of him as well.

"Would you have preferred if Bronn became more of a comedic rogue and opportunist a la Jarlaxle or Jack Sparrow?" Ummm...nope.. Not Jack Sparrow...goodness no! ;D Anyway, I do think his character is good the way it is, at least I think this from where I am at in the reading.

"Of course, swimming in sewer-water can't be that healthy for you" Okay, there are some things that are just plain gross and this is one of them! Arya gets herself into many situations that I think are a bit gross,and she does not seemed bothered much. Then again, she is 9 and I have a theory about kids who are under the age of 12 or so. For the most part, they just do not care about hygiene and stuff...they just don't. ;)

"I can't decide who my favourite female character in ASOIAF is, but Arya would be a good contender for the title." So far, Arya is my favorite. At one point, it was between her and Dany but right now...it is Arya. Who is a contender for your favorite female character?

"It's a shame Arya doesn't have a better understanding of what's going on. " "Instead, Arya's well-meant warning comes out garbled, and incorrect in some areas (i.e., the bastard in question is Gendry, not Jon)." The way Arya explains what she saw and that she does not have a better understanding clearly displays her age, in my opinion. That is one thing about this series that has gotten to me, it is the ages of the children, what they do and are asked to do. At one point, it seemed like they were acting/being much older than they were. I get it that they live in a different time and situation than what I know but still. Anyway, as my reading has gone on, I have decided that several of the "kids" really do act their age, or what I think "acting their age" ought to look like.

Lya said...

Good on you for sticking to the schedule even in your exhausted state (and for being considerate enough to provide us with metric-to-imperial conversions! I can do Farenheit-to-Celsius in my head but this is a byproduct of growing up in an immigrant household in the US.)

"Don't kill him here!" "Don't kill him anywhere." is such classic Tyrion humor. I would bet money that GRRM was totally laughing his head off when he gave Tyrion an axe.

Just in case there was anyone who thought Catelyn was more emotional than intellectual, there is a dwarf on his way to the Eyrie who could argue otherwise. YES. Cat: 1; Tyrion: 0. Although to be fair, on my first readthrough I thought Cat was overemotional. Upon closer reading my respect for Cat grew tenfold and I wondered what I was thinking. It's easy to cast her in the "overwrought mother" role because we're tempted to contrast her with young, male, action-oriented types like Jon or Robb, when in reality it's not really a fair comparison. We have seen what happens when a woman tries to wield male power (Cersei) and it ain't pretty, which gives us a greater appreciation for Catelyn's brand of "soft" power. ibeeeg, I'm glad she's growing on you!!

It can also be taken to mean that Tyrion wouldn't bet against himself either, so Catelyn should be on her guard, if she wasn't already. Point. You are sharp! I never caught that.

I LOVED the cat-catching sequence! I think in general the Arya chapters are the best-written. Meaning that when you consider them invididually, they are superior in terms of craft. This one's excellent but other ones that come to mind include Arya in flea bottom (culminating with Ned's execution) and "Cat of the Canals," which I would argue is the best-written chapter in the entire series, period. I think it's cool that Balerion (Princess Rhaenys' black cat) is still hanging around and king of the keep these many years later. IIRC Balerion peed on Lord Tywin's plate or something when they were having a feast to separate Cersei and Robert's betrothal at the end of the rebellion. Clearly this cat is awesome.

I think Arya is much harder than Nynaeve. They are both blunt and short-tempered and impatient, but the core of Nynaeve's identity is that she is a healer. I mean, there was never any question that she would join the Yellow. She's involved in the preparations for Tarmon Gaidon because she wants to get Lan some backup (obviously) but also because she wants to preserve Rand's humanity, what little is left of it. Her most basic impulse is to heal. With Arya the impulse is to hurt, even to kill, and maybe if the war hadn't erupted she never would have learned to express that impulse. However Jon knows her well enough to give her a sword as a parting gift. I really would have liked to see how her life would have unfolded if she hadn't been forced to become a tough-as-nails prepubescent assassin.

Finally, I would respectfully like to assert that your speculations regarding the Spider are pure hogwash. Varys = The Prince That Was Promised. It is known.

ibeeeg said...

Lya, I wondered how someone could think that Cat was more emotional than intellectual, and then when you said, "It's easy to cast her in the "overwrought mother" role because we're tempted to contrast her with young, male, action-oriented types like Jon or Robb, when in reality it's not really a fair comparison." I thought, Oh yeah, the "overwrought mother" syndrome that is why people would think she is more emotional than anything else. The thing is, for me, I do not see her as over emotional at all. She is a mom of 5 and as such, she will have worries and emotions. She irritated me greatly with her attitude towards Jon, but still, she is a good mom. I don't see her as emotional (I see her with emotions just not "emotional"). As time goes on, she impresses me more and more with her smarts. Yeah, I agree, it is not fair to compare a character such as Cat with those who are more action-oriented. "Catelyn's brand of "soft" power", I like what you said here Lya, but I would differ with you and not even use the word "soft". I think I get what you were meaning, but I do believe that the way Cat holds her own is powerful. True, not in the way Cesari has power but, well, I don't think kindly of Cesari, so I don't like how she uses her power or even the way she thinks.

When you guys go all WoT on me, my mind goes a bit fuzzy. LOL. Seriously,you guys leave me in the dust with WoT talk. I guess that is a sign that I really need to read book two, The Great Hunt (I believe that is the title). But, Lya, I found it interesting that you compared Ayra with Nynaeve. I like Ayra and I liked Nynaeve in EoTW. As I read on with WoT, I hope I get to see more of Nynaeve...thinking that I do.

"With Arya the impulse is to hurt, even to kill, and maybe if the war hadn't erupted she never would have learned to express that impulse. However Jon knows her well enough to give her a sword as a parting gift. I really would have liked to see how her life would have unfolded if she hadn't been forced to become a tough-as-nails prepubescent assassin." Lya, I keep going back to the fact that Arya is a young girl...9 years old. I am not surprised to read what you wrote. She is on survival mode, from where I am at in the readings, plus she is now unguided in life. I like Arya a whole bunch, I am glad to see her survival skills, she is tough, and the impulse stuff...again...she is young and unguided. I bet that if her life unfolded in a nicer way she still would have been a tough cookie, an awesome woman to contend with...I hope that will be true for her even now, if not.....well....that will be how it will be. By what you wrote, I gather that Ayra will beome lethal, I saw that tendancy in ACoK. I hope as she goes down that path that I will still like her as well as I do now. Again, these are my thoughts, from a reader only just getting into book three. My thoughts may be faulty, and may be laughable, so be it. Clearly, Francesco and you know more about the series than I. Keep the laughter under your breath and all will be well. :D For now, this is how I see it. Lya, It is fun reading your thoughts.

Lya said...

Oh no I hope I didn't spoil you too bad! I'm glad you're back but it completely didn't occur to me you're still on Book 3, so I will try to keep the spoilers under wraps from now on. :D

Since you're new to this fandom you might not be aware there is a lot of negativity out there directed at Catelyn. I tend to get overprotective of her. There are Cat-hate threads that go on for fifteen pages over on the westeros boards. I have no idea why the phenomenon is so widespread but it makes me happy that you defend her intelligence, even if you are not (yet) a big fan!

Fair enough point about "soft" power. I was fumbling for the right word and "soft" wasn't it but it came closer than anything else.

Maybe we should "go all WoT" on you more often, if it will convince you to give WoT another shot? Bwahahaha. Although I will understand if you never do pick it up again. It is SO FREAKING LONG and there are stretches that I get painfully bored.

Yes yes yes Arya will eventually become SUPER SUPER BADASS. That is all. To say more would be spoilage.

Also, I meant to ask you this last time but forgot: I would be interested in hearing who your favorite characters are thus far in the game. I had to fill out a ridiculously detailed application for an LJ sorting community earlier this week (I was sorted into House Tyrell!) and one of the questions was to list your top 3 favorite and least favorite characters. Mine are (1) Jaime (2) Arya (3) Egg, in that order. (Egg is from the Dunk & Egg short stories, which are AWESOME and you should read them asap as soon as you finish the series proper.) My least favorite are (1) Dany (2) Stannis (3) Arianne Martell (the heir to Dorne). I had to write long long explanations justifying each choice but I won't bore you with those.

And Francesco I know you share my love of Jaime but what are your other faves?

ibeeeg said...

"Oh no I hope I didn't spoil you too bad!"
No worries, the story has not been spoiled.

"I'm glad you're back but it completely didn't occur to me you're still on Book 3, so I will try to keep the spoilers under wraps from now on"
I have been warned about spoilers each and every time I read these posts. Sooo...don't worry about me, but if you can keep major and very obvious spoilers out that would be great. I am reading book 3 now, and plan on reading book 4 right after. Then I will be all caught up! :D

"Since you're new to this fandom you might not be aware there is a lot of negativity out there directed at Catelyn."
I have read a bit in that direction. I, at this time, do not understand why that is.
"at-hate threads that go on for fifteen pages"
Geesh...really? That is pretty bad Cat hate. wow.
"makes me happy that you defend her intelligence, even if you are not (yet) a big fan!"
It is very easy to see her intelligence and to negate that fact is foolish, besides, there is a part of her that I do like even though I am not completely won over yet.

"I was fumbling for the right word and "soft" wasn't it but it came closer than anything else."
Ha! I do that a lot. I think I know what you mean by the word "soft"... she is not a hard-core powerhouse...she is not in the forefront of leadership YET she is wise, knows when and what to speak. She is a diplomat of sorts within a family that is respected, one that has power it seems.

"Maybe we should "go all WoT" on you more often, if it will convince you to give WoT another shot?"
haha..very funny. The thing is, I did like EoTW but it wore me out a bit keeping up with some of the terminology,and the world took a bit to wrap my head around as the world-building was a bit slow for me. I also felt like a lot of it was written in riddles with all of the "The wheel weaves as the wheel turns" talk. But, with all of that said, I did make a connection AND I do want to read the next book, believe it or not. Oh yeah, before I move away from WoT, my favorite character in the EoTW was a secondary character - Lan.

Back to ASOIAF, my favorite characters so far, after just the first two books: (1) Arya (2)Jon (3)Tyrion And damn, if Ned did not go and get himself beheaded, he would have been on the list.
My least favorite: (1) Dany (she got weird in ACoK, and I liked her a whole lot in AGoT) (2) Theon (3) Cersei
That is my list, for now. It may change up, actually, it will most likely change up a bit as I read on.

"Egg is from the Dunk & Egg short stories, which are AWESOME and you should read them asap as soon as you finish the series proper."
Duly noted. Thanks for that information.

Errant Knave said...

Catelyn has her emotionally hysterical moments now and then. They usually occur when her kids are threatened, but they can pop up at random now and then. More so in her first few chapters.

"Cat of the Canals" is a wicked cool chapter. But it's not my favourite. At least, I don't think so. My opinion might change by the time I get there. And Balerion the cat stole a quail right out of Tywin Lannister's hands at the feast. Peeing would have been just as good, but I think Tywin might have killed it on the spot. "they were having a feast to separate Cersei and Robert's betrothal at the end of the rebellion." If only. I'm going to assume you meant "celebrate". ;)

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that Arya was like Nynaeve. I only meant that she reminded me of her because she is a short woman bossing people with her hands on her hips. Then again, that description could fit any number of women in Randland. Throw in a sniff and she's good to go. (FYI, there will be several times when I will "go all WoT". It's tough to keep a lid on that.)

Arya as something other than a tough-as-nails prepubescent assassin: I can't recall if it was you who mentioned this already, or if I read it somewhere, but GRRM realized years ago that he wasn't going to be able to stick to his original plan of having everything take place over several years. That's why Arya is still a girl instead of a woman as of AFfC. There's no telling what we could have seen of her.

Top 3: Jamie, Tyrion, Brienne. Arya has the stronger claim (SUPER SUPER BADASS), but Brienne needs some love too, so I vote for her. That doesn't make much sense, but I really do love Brienne's bits.
Bottom 3: Qyburn, Walder Frey, Stannis. Stannis is just unlikable, and if "the seed is strong", how come he doesn't have the Baratheon look? Hmm? Arianne Martell is a good candidate as well.

The Prince that was Promised? Varys?! Fiddlesticks. I say he is Azor Ahai.

Lya said...

Lol "separate" my bad. Thank you, it was indeed the quail eggs.

BUT.

AZOR AHAI=DOLOROUS EDD

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