Songs of Ice and Fire – A Dance with Dragons

After a week spent being (only a little) annoyed with everyone who had it & another week (or so) spent actually reading it…I can now *finally* pass some kind of opinions on GRRM’s Dance with Dragons.

Aside from all the critics, Cristi, Adina & Raych all read the book before I did – and came out of it with varying levels of enthusiasm. I think I am, as I usually find myself to be, somewhere in the middle. What everyone noticed – and what I can also attest to – is that a considerable chunk of this book seems like an exercise in prevarication & evasion. And I’ll be blunt, I don’t care all that much about the history of Valyria or the Free Cities, about the relatives of whatever minor character pops up etc…building a world & a certain atmosphere takes time, but once you’ve built that world (and I do consider 4000 pages some serious building) you could get to the point quicker before you reach 5000. I’m just sayin’. I’m a little frustrated too, because it seems that we are nowhere nearer to tying together all the threads – if anything, the ball is ever more tangled than at the end of book 4. Plus, now I have….GRRM knows how many years to wait for it all to unravel.

But anyways, I’ll go through my usual roster of characters (with spoilers, obviously):

– Jon is…presumably dead. He wasn’t exactly a great Lord Commander – he’s not a uniting force within the Night’s Watch, but he tried to be more inventive and more open to the actual peril (the whole business with the wildlings). In the end, he didn’t make any allies and didn’t earn much respect either. For the most part, he just seemed to be beating his head against a wall really. But, for all the annoyance of feigned deaths & for all his occasional whining, I would be glad to have him back. (not as an other though)

– Bran has found his 3-eyed crow – only it’s an odd, half-human, half-tree figure living underground. Is he on his way to becoming king of the mole-people? 😛

– Arya is still training in the House of Black and White in Braavos. She’ll make a great killer, but I still wonder how she (or Bran, Rickon or Sansa – the last 2  didn’t even make an appearance in the book) will get swept up in the inevitable fight for Westeros & the crown.

-Daenerys started out as a queen in Meereen and ended up as Khal Jaquo’s possible hostage. But she did ride a dragon & fight various little battles (not necessarily of the kind that require swords) inbetween. Ser Barristan is still her loyal subject & Quentin Martell popped up at her court asking for her hand on the basis of a pact made by their parents (for other children, true, but who’s counting). Too bad he came on the eve of her wedding to Hizdahr, a son of Meereen who promised her peace in the Free Cities – and eventually this little adventure of his (and his attempt to steal a dragon) got him good and roasted. Good riddance, I say – one less character to track.

– Tyrion escaped to Essos, as we all know, and went from lord to slave and now to mercenary – member of a company of sellswords (they’re all the rage in that side of the world apparently). He’s clever as ever, but I was really hoping he’d get to meet and advise Dany – a goal which couldn’t be more distant. He did meet, on his way, a couple of resurrected characters (they were only presumeddead, but still 😀 ): Jon Connington, former Hand of the King and friend of Rhaegar Targaryen and…Aegon Targaryen, Rhaegar’s son, Daenery’s nephew, believed to have been killed by Gregor Clegane on Tywin Lannister’s order. Our friendly spider Varys was the one to save him and he has, apparently, been grooming him for kingship. Hopefully, that world is big enough to accommodate 2 Targaryens and 3 dragons 😉

– the other Lannisters aren’t exactly having the best time: Jamie only got one chapter, at the end of which he left with Brienne – since then, there’s only been word that he’s “lost in the riverlands” (did Brienne buy her life with his? I wouldn’t have thought it her style, but hanging can probably alter personalities a bit :D). Cersei did her walk of shame and she’s supposed to be excluded from any position of power but….her uncle Kevan was just killed by Varys. So…who knows, really, what she’ll do next? I assume the meek persona she’s displaying is just a facade…

– Stannis is dead, according to Ramsay Bolton. But since it’s this creep’s word we’re talking about, I wouldn’t be so sure. And speaking of Ramsay – he’s turned Theon Greyjoy into a shell of a man…but I can’t say I feel bad for Theon. What he did with Winterfell can’t be erased with a bit of flaying and some fingers.

All in all….everyone’s still scattered, and the dice are up in the air. But they’d better fall somewhere and make some moves in the next 2000 pages – otherwise we’ll be waiting for the 10th volume by 2031 😀

And a non-connected bonus: the cast of GoT+GRRM+the 2 creators & producers @ Comic Con.


~ by ameer on July 29, 2011.

8 Responses to “Songs of Ice and Fire – A Dance with Dragons”

  1. well eu nu am citit-o, si nici nu vad cu ce ocazie o sa o fac….yeah, fuck reading, anyways

  2. Jon isnt dead. I think he warged into his wolf to be later reborn into a person and fulfill the Azor Ahai prophecy.

    Daenerys bored me to tears. Crying and lusting after a guy the entire novel like a moronic 16 year old. Yes, she is one. SO WHAT?!

    Everything else… meh.

  3. I agree with you for the most part a dance with dragons opened up a ton of new questions. Especially bran’s chapters. Everything that he saw from the Weirwood’s perspective bring a lot of information to my mind.

    Warning Potential Spoilers Below!

    Dany: I definitely agree with you about her. She was entirelly too childish to me in this book. Just about all of her chapters were very boring to me. I did enjoy all of the tidbits including Ser Barrastian, because some of the background information that he presented helps to piece together some of the missing puzzle.

    Jon: And I think that Jon’s chapter is a little bit easy to misinterpret. I don’t think anyone at this point believes that Jon is dead. Just about everybody believes he will transfer himself into his direwolf appropriately named Ghost and wait while someone heals his body. go back and read melissandre’s chapter very interesting. She talks about seeing Jon in her fire first he was a man then a wolf then a man again.

    Also I would argue the whole point of this book, was to set Jon up for greatness. I would say that he earned tons of respect. Don’t forget that the wildings had just agreed to march with Jon to get see Ramsay Bolton about a certain threat he had made. Remember with nearly every act that Jon performs he is getting a few bonus points from the wildings.

    My prediction is the wall will fall or the wall will be abandoned, Jon will be healed and will end up leading the free folk and everyone in the north against the others. I also believe that melissandre will not be the one who saves him. I think it will be Howland Reed.

    Don’t worry I think we will be getting tons of answers in the next book. Remember Bran is in a position to reveal a lot now with his weirwood network. What he saw in this book all but said that Jon is all likelihood not Eddard’s son but he is certainly a stark on my opinion.

    Bran:And Bran’s chapters is not looking well to me. Remember what the prologue was talking about it seems to me like Bran has done the opposite of everything that was talked about in it. Interestingly enough is direwolf is named summer so it would seem as if Bran’s story could turn out to be one of the most important ones is the whole series even though he doesn’t get a lot of chapters.

    Tyrion: was still his regular self but I liked him better when he was the kings hand. He had more power and influence. I look forward to the time when tyrion get’s back to that point.

    Rickon:Don’t forget rickon might not be in great shape. In the beginning of of Jn’s first chapter it says that he could no longer feel one of the remaining wolves, nymeria was referred to,summer was referred to but not shaggydog and as we know when the direwolf is seperated from its master the owner is usually in big trouble.

    • You’re right about Mellisandre, I’d forgotten about that – but, at the same time, I thought she was hinting at his being a warg (which he’s yet to openly admit) and not at the future. But your way might work better 😉 The trouble with Jon is that he’s too naive and inexperienced to do all the politicking needed to earn the loyalty and allegiance of the crows. The wildlings are fighters and he wanted to take them to a battle – a battle that would avenge Mance Rayder as well as Jon’s own – but once that’s done, he would still have needed the Night’s Watch. And that’s why his speech – while inspiring – wasn’t really thought through. But, then again, all these heros are good in wartime and most likely dead when peace comes.
      Bran’s influence was already seen with Theon I guess – but he still seems too far, too remote from all the turmoil. He can know a lot of things from his weirwoods – but how much can he change, what can he really do – and will his weirwoods help him find Rickon? Because that’s my assumption; since Rickon left with Osha he’ll eventually end up near a heart tree and Bran might contact him. All the Stark children – which seemed so important in the beginning – are on the sidelines now and largely dead to the world so I’m really hoping that’s not how they’ll remain.
      About Jon’s parentage – Selmy’s remembrance of the tourney and Ashara Dayne’s death after the death of her new born daughter either closes up the argument that Ashara is Jon’s mother (and comes in support of Jon being Lyanna’s son) or…not. That’s kinda what I both like & hate about GRRM – not even his narrator’s are fully reliable; and you can never take anything for granted…

  4. Hm, your post is not very inspiring either!:) I wonder whether I would finally buy the book or just borrow it…

    • ufff, i wasn’t trying to be discouraging – either way, tot cred ca e de citit & I’m sticking with it til the end 😉

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