[Re-Read] A Storm of Swords – Tyrion II

This post has spoilers for George RR Martin’s fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, including fan theories and speculation. If you do not wish for certain information regarding future plot points from this series or other related series to be revealed to you, you might want to consider not reading any further.

Well, it’s been a while but it looks like the ‘Re-Reads’ part of Re-Reads and Reviews is back on the menu. I don’t intend to go on hiatus again but no promises right now, unfortunately, given how bonkers my schedule is right now. It took me a while to even remember where in the story we stopped, and then it took me a while to just familiarize myself with the story again; it’s not like I’ve forgotten anything but rather I needed to remember what I’ve already talked about and what I intended to mention in future posts. For we dive back in to this read-along, I should probably explain why there has been such a long gap between posts on A Song of Ice and Fire. Long story short, I was rather disheartened by the fact that we still don’t have The Winds of Winter. Yeah, yeah Martin isn’t our bitch, sure, message received – but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s been six years and the book is nowhere in sight. I guess I could finish this re-read project and move on – it’s not like there’s any shortage of things for me to cover – but when I first started this way back when, I sort of imagined that The Winds of Winter would be out by now and that was primary motivation in getting me to pump post after post out. Of course, back then I also had a mountain more time than I do now, which obviously helps as well, but when the key motivating factor disappeared, I turned my attention to other topics. The good thing is that when I decided to pick my books back up, thanks to Amazon, I had all my notes exactly where I left them – I don’t know if there is a way for us to share annotations with each other, but that could be a pretty cool idea for a community read through.

Coming back to this re-read project, I guess, if it’s not going to be in time for the release of The Winds of Winter, then at least it will get some buzz around the final season of Game of Thrones – to which I have foolishly read spoilers. I won’t spoil anything here of course, but be warned that as always, this re-read does have spoilers for the television series. The re-read last left off with us looking at the older Lannister boy as he began to the long, long journey to redemption. This post however, picks up on where we left Tyrion – he has recovered from the worst of the wounds that he experienced in the Battle of Blackwater Bay but there are psychological scars that are still plaguing him, though of course, we aren’t told this. Not a great happens in this chapter from a plot perspective, but a lot of Tyrion’s future misfortune is sown here. His unwillingness to set Shae aside, his inability to accept that he is no longer able to call shots, his insistence on staying in game that is looking like it has already been lost. As has always been the case with Tyrion, these decisions are understandable, if not logical, but they will come back to bite him nonetheless.

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[Re-Read] A Storm of Swords – Jaime II

 

ASoSSecond Jaime chapter! This week, we’re back with Jaime Lannister but he’s still very much in his embittered, condescending phase of character development. That means he’s still looking for a way to escape Brienne’s clutches, he’s still insulting everyone around him but we’re beginning to see that there’s more to him than lusting after Cersei and bitterly reminiscing about how he became the Kingslayer. Ok, so not a lot more than the lust and reminiscence but it’s enough to be going on with for now. Particularly, in this chapter, we have to once again adjust our view of Jaime – he’s not just a lying, murderous rat trying to weasel his way out, but instead, there is some vague hint of goodness about him. He makes his first attempt at reaching out to Brienne but she, understandably enough, is in no mood to hear it. It’s a shame but it’ll take a fairly traumatic experience for the two of them to open up to each other.

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[Re-Read] A Storm of Swords – Davos II

ASoS

This post has spoilers for George RR Martin’s fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, including fan theories and speculation. If you do not wish for certain information regarding future plot points from this series or other related series to be revealed to you, you might want to consider not reading any further.

The last time we saw Davos Seaworth, he was demonstrating just how Seaworthy (look, let me just have this one) he was by surviving the sinking of his ship, the burning of his fleet, the loss of his sons, starvation, dehydration and a crisis of faith. This week he makes it to Dragonstone, a man with a mission. This is a fairly long chapter though not a particularly eventful one. We learn just how poorly Stannis’ war fares, though we learned enough from the other characters to hazard a guess before this; indeed, most of this chapter is devoted to getting the characters on Dragonstone moving along on their storyline for this book. The chapter ends with Davos out of the frying pan and into the fire – or is it the other way around? Either way, it’s hard to envy Davos his cold dungeon cell when he’s only just recovering from his nasty ordeal.

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[Re-Read] A Storm of Swords – Bran I

ASoS

This post has spoilers for George RR Martin’s fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, including fan theories and speculation. If you do not wish for certain information regarding future plot points from this series or other related series to be revealed to you, you might want to consider not reading any further.

Rounding out our list of first chapters – well, except for Samwell, who’ll come in a little late to the party – we have Bran the Broken! This isn’t a name that he’s particularly fond of, mind you, as he keeps reminding us in this chapter but I won’t tell if you don’t. The chapter opens like so many Bran chapters feel like they do: with Bran warged into Summer and unwilling to return to his crippled, whiny body. Now, I’m not really hating on Bran or anything but the truth is that his chapters are just a lot of work to get through. Of all the viewpoint characters in A Storm of Swords, Bran suffers the most because his chapters tend to wander more than anyone else’s; with the sole exception of Brienne, Bran spends more time just wandering around with nothing of consequence happening to him. This chapter is a good case in point – and the characters aren’t even moving! They make the decision to head North and beyond the Wall but it feels like this could just as easily have been put into the end of the previous chapters at the end of Clash – that way, we could have skipped this chapter and joined Bran when he was already well on his way to the Wall.

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[Re-Read] A Storm of Swords – Daenerys I

ASoS

This post has spoilers for George RR Martin’s fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, including fan theories and speculation. If you do not wish for certain information regarding future plot points from this series or other related series to be revealed to you, you might want to consider not reading any further.

After what has felt like an eternity, we get another Dany chapter! This particular chapter is a long, long one and fairly discussion heavy one since it deals largely with the past and Dany’s future plans. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have really mixed feelings about Dany’s arc in A Storm of Swords. On one hand, watching her continue to talk proactive action and topple kingdoms is undeniably awesome but it is all retroactively spoiled by how little I cared for her character’s plot line in A Dance With Dragons. Still, that’s a some distance away so there’s no need to bring it all up now; instead, we’ll focus on Dany’s heritage, Barristan ‘Arstan Whitebeard’ Selmy the Bold, Dany’s arrival in Slaver’s Bay, Jorah ‘Forever Friendzoned’ Mormont and the Unsullied. Yeah, this is gonna be a long post.

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[Re-Read] A Storm of Swords – Jon I

ASoS

This post has spoilers for George RR Martin’s fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, including fan theories and speculation. If you do not wish for certain information regarding future plot points from this series or other related series to be revealed to you, you might want to consider not reading any further.

Check it out, first Jon chapter! This chapter is a great one – it introduces to the Wildlings; who until this point in the story, we’ve only seen as hostile; as well as to the Wilding way of life and, of course, the King-Beyond-The-Wall, Mance Rayder. The chapter is important in the sense that it sets up everything that is going to happen north of the Wall right away. We get the tension between Jon and the Wildlings, Jon’s unease at being even a false traitor, the romantic tension between Jon and Ygritte, and most interestingly, the mutual respect that Mance and Jon share for each other. It is in this chapter that Jon begins the long process of not seeing the Wildlings as wild, hostile savages but as a group of people like any other and of course, this will play a big role in influencing his actions in A Dance With Dragons.

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[Re-Read] A Storm of Swords – Sansa I

ASoS

This post has spoilers for George RR Martin’s fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, including fan theories and speculation. If you do not wish for certain information regarding future plot points from this series or other related series to be revealed to you, you might want to consider not reading any further.

As far as Sansa chapters go, this one was one of the lightest and most optimistic yet – there is no physical or emotional abuse and even if there is some manipulation, at least it’s coated by kindness and concern. When we last saw Sansa in Clash, she was getting accustomed to the new court order – Tywin was in charge and Sansa herself was no longer Queen-to-be. Given all the turbulence that she saw and experienced in Clash, there was reason to hope that her fortunes would take an upward turn in Storm, and in some ways, they do but in other ways, things only get worse for the poor girl. This chapter covers her first meeting with the Tyrells – Margaery and Olenna. As such, it is also our first time meeting one of my favourite characters in the entire series – the Queen of Thorns herself, Lady Olenna Tyrell. I’ll expound upon why exactly I love the wrinkled old harridan so much but I very much suspect that I’m far from the only one who is a fan. Of course, this is also our first Sansa chapter in Storm and I’ll also be talking a little about the interesting twilight zone that Sansa’s character is caught in, where she has learned her lessons about trust but is still, at heart, the same naïve young girl she has always been.

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