Songs of Ice and Fire – A Storm of Swords
Reading 1000-page books is considerably slower if you do it almost only on weekends. Which is how I went through A storm of swords and most likely how I’ll be going through A feast for crows. So… 3000 pages later, my enthusiasm for Westeros has dimmed slightly – probably because in ASOS there were a few plodding parts – like Arya changing hands a gazillion times or Jamie & Brienne’s road to King’s Landing, or a lot of what Catelyn does. But, in truth, for every one of these, there were just as many…surprises. I use the ellipsis because by now I expect someone’s world to be turned upside down every hundred pages, so the effect is somewhat diminished. And speaking of diminished effects – note to GRRM: the fact that you’re supposed to keep track of so many things happening at once in so many places, will invariably render the impact of any event smaller than it deserves to be (see the two weddings or the battle for the Wall).
In AFFC there will be 3 regular narrators missing: Daenerys, Jon and Tyrion – and the latter two I will miss terribly. But there’s the promise of book 5 (for which I won’t have to wait 6 years, just a couple of months 😉 ) when they’ll all be back – so at least I don’t expect them to turn up dead. Yet. Although, with GRRM, you never know, he might pull a Catelyn/Beric on anyone…
So…where are we now?
– All the kings we started with are dead, except for Stannis, and we find out weddings are more dangerous than battlefields.
– Stannis has saved the Wall in the nick of time, and I am reminded that I really hate these last-minute out of the blue saves. It’s too fucking contrived.
– Tyrion has become a fugitive, accused of killing Joffrey (although whoever did that should be richly rewarded), but not before he truly turned into a kinslayer and murdered Tywin. And without Tywin…I expect Cersei will rise and bitch to her heart’s content. At least Tommen is soft and still amenable enough to turn into a decent human being, if only he’d get some proper guidance.
– Jamie L. is now the one-handed Captain of the Kingsguard. I finally get why people were enthused over Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s casting; given this new light shed on Jamie, he’s pretty damn perfect.
– Jon Snow was close to becoming Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell – and while I kinda wanted to see a Stark in Winterfell, it just didn’t feel right for the character. Him being the 998th Lord Commander of the Nightwatch – much, much better. Stannis will be pretty pissed; I wonder who he’ll actually get to hold Winterfell.
– Arya is on her way to Braavos, after seeing quite a few on her deathlist dead and leaving us to wonder what fate the Hound will actually have. Oh, and a fake Arya is to marry Lord Bolton’s bastard. I guess by now Jon is her only hope of every being recognized by anyone. Or zombie-Catelyn.
– Sansa is now a Lannister by name, after being forced to marry the Imp (though still a virgin, so I assume this marriage will be annulled at some point). She’s also on the run, being suspected of conspiring with her husband to poison Joffrey and is now playing the part of Littlefinger’s daughter (I fully expect he’ll want to marry her – for Winterfell, for revenge on Catelyn…her destiny’s getting pretty soapy). And remember the whodunit in GOT? Finally, we know who truly killed Jon Arryn. Thankfully, his annoying, whiny, cowardly killer is now dead too.
– Daenerys rules some city beyond the Narrow Sea and has banished Jorah Mormont. The man can’t catch a break; he’s always banished from somewhere and always does stupid things for a misunderstood notion of love. I hope we haven’t seen the last of him yet. Oh, and Ser Barristan Selmy popped up at her court – I had completely forgotten about him since Joffrey dismissed him.
– Bran if off somewhere beyond the Wall looking for a three-eyed crow with “Coldhands” and the Reeds – and no one except for Sam Tarly knows he’s still alive. They’re all acting like he’s destined to be or do something – so he’d better not end up dying after falling in some ditch.
I think that’s all. Judging by the narrators, looks like in AFFC we’ll focus a lot on the Iron Islands and their claim to the North and on Dorne. Too bad Oberyn Martell is dead, he was a pretty cool character and I’m sure Dorne would be spicier with him around. Still, I would like to see Theon Geyjoy die painfully, so with that in mind, I carry on 😉