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David T. Cole

The Official Re-Read Project - Book 3: A Storm Of Swords

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Prologue

Chett is cold, miserable, and blames Sam and Jon for the fact that he isn't still at Castle Black with his cushy job serving Maester Aemon. He struggles to get the starving hounds to track a bear and Lark the Sisterman thinks they should give up hunting for the day. Small Paul tells Lark that Mormont won't like it if they come back empty handed. 

Lark doesn't give a damn what the Lord Commander wants and reminds Small Paul that Mormont will be dead before dawn. Small Paul doesn't understand why they have to kill the Old Bear and Lark has to remind Paul that Mormont will have them hunted down if they leave without killing him. Paul agrees that he'll kill the Lord Commander. 

Chett goes over the plan one more time and says that in addition to killing Mormont, they'll need to kill Blane from the Shadow Tower, the men who are on guard duty, Dywen and Barmen for tracking, and Sam because he handles the ravens. He emphasizes that they'll need to kill the men as quietly as possible otherwise their entire plan is fucked.  

Chett thinks about how the wildlings are likely going to arrive at any moment and hopes to be well away from the Fist by the time that happens. Scouts have reported that twenty or thirty thousand wildlings are making their way down the Milkwater and about five hundred of them are mounted. More than half of the numbers are women and children, and the wildlings seem like they have no intention of returning to their villages since they appear to be traveling with everything they own. Chett is sure that if they stay and fight that the wildlings will easily overwhelm them. 

Thoren Smallwood and Mallador Locke are trying to convince the Old Bear to stay and fight, but Mormont wants to wait for his other scouts to return including Qhorin and Jon. Chett gets a kick out of imagining Jon meeting a gruesome death and hopes that the wildlings kill Ghost too. 

The hounds haven't been fed in three days, so Chett plans on turning them loose on the horses after the tethers are cut in order to create a chaotic scene. Chett hopes that the diversion will initially keep the other men from realizing that he and thirteen other brothers are missing. 

Chett goes over the plan in his mind and thinks about how much he's going to enjoy killing Sam.

The men have different plans for where they want to go after they escape. Lark says that he and his cousins will build a boat and head for the Sisters, but Chett thinks he's a fool for wanting to return to a place where people will know that he's a deserter. Ollo Lophand wants to head for Tyrosh and Chett considers going with him, but ultimately thinks that he wouldn't be able to make a life for himself there since he doesn't have a trade or speak the language. 

Chett thinks about how much he liked Craster's keep and thinks he'd like to be some kind of combination of Craster and Mance Rayder. He wants a keep and a bunch of wives and wants to live like a king. He thinks about how women have never been attracted to him because of the boils on his face and remembers how good he felt after killing a prostitute who refused to have sex with him. He's furious that he was sent to the Wall for killing the woman and thinks that he's on the verge of taking his life back. He decides that he's going to follow Craster's lead and take any woman he wants. 

Small Paul interrupts Chett's thoughts to ask him what's going to happen to the Old Bear's raven if Mormont isn't around to feed him. Chett doesn't understand why Paul cares and tells him to kill the raven too if he wants. Paul doesn't like the idea of hurting the bird and seems concerned that the raven might be able to tell on them since it can talk. Paul asks if he can keep the bird and Chett agrees just to get Paul to stop talking about it. Lark says that they can always eat the raven if they get hungry and Paul warns Lark that he'd better not try to eat his bird. 

Once they've returned to the Fist, Chett spends awhile watching Sam and other men practicing their archery. Chett thinks again about how angry he is that Sam took over his job stewarding for Maester Aemon. He goes out of his way to laugh at Sam when he misses his targets, but Edd and Grenn are both patient and encouraging with Sam and Sam ends up hitting the target on the third try. 

Sam is super excited that he actually managed to hit the target and even Tollett admits that he's seen worse shots than Sam. Chett ruins Sam's moment and tells him that he'll probably piss himself once he's up against Mance Rayder's men. Edd teases Chett about his lack of intelligence and his comments make Grenn laugh and even Sam starts smiling again. Chett stalks away and thinks about how he'll be killing Sam later. He wishes that he had enough time to kill Tollett too. 

Chett lets Mormont know that they didn't find any meat and thinks about how he'll never have to deal with the Old Bear again after tonight. 

Everyone notices that it's colder than usual and Dywen comments that the forest is weirdly quiet and that there aren't the usual noises that they'd hear from various animals including wolves. He wonders where they've all gone. 

The men are called to assemble and Mormont tells them that they're going to march on the wildlings. He acknowledges that the wildlings have the numbers but also lists the reasons that they'd be vulnerable to an attack. He admits that there's a chance they might all die but asks the men to remember their vows. The men seem inspired by Mormont's speech and come together as they say the words. After the men say the words, the wind intensifies, and Mormont's raven repeats the word 'die'. 

Chett worries that Mormont's speech might give some of his men a change of heart and starts going over everything that could go wrong with his plan. When he finally falls asleep he has a dream about the girl he murdered. When he wakes up, he sees that it's snowing and starts to cry. The snow has ruined all of his plans and he thinks about how unfair life is. He imagines that he'll be killed by the wildlings and dumped in an unmarked grave. 

Chett decides that he's still going to kill Sam and goes over to where he knows Sam is sleeping. Just as Chett is about to put his hand over Sam's mouth so that he can slit his throat, he hears the sound of a horn. At first he thinks it's one blast and wonders if this means that Jon, Qhorin, and the others are returning. 

Sam wakes up just before the horn sounds a second time. He asks Chett if there were indeed two blasts and wonders if he was dreaming. Chett tells him it's no dream and thinks about how Mormont told them that the wildlings were ten days away. Chett is pleased to see how scared Sam looks and snarks at Sam that there's a wildling axe out there with his name on it. 

Chett's bitching about the situation is interrupted by a third blast from the horn. 

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Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

The sound went on and on and on, until it seemed it would never die. The ravens were flapping and screaming, flying about their cages and banging off the bars, and all about the camp the brothers of the Night’s Watch were rising, donning their armor, buckling on swordbelts, reaching for battleaxes and bows. Samwell Tarly stood shaking, his face the same color as the snow that swirled down all around them. “Three,” he squeaked to Chett, “that was three, I heard three. They never blow three. Not for hundreds and thousands of years. Three means--"

“--Others.” Chett made a sound that was half a laugh and half a sob, and suddenly his smallclothes were wet, and he could feel the piss running down his leg, see steam rising off the front of his breeches.

 

Edited by Avaleigh
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Very much looking forward to your reread of A Storm of Swords, Aveleigh!

Chett is a nasty individual and no loss to the human race but man, did he have a shitty life.

I had forgotten the scene where Sam learns archery from his friends.  That was nice.

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This is probably my favorite prologue. A lot of that is due to the ending and the atmosphere, but it's also because of what a thoroughly nasty piece of shit Chett was. The guy plans to murder not just Mormont but also several others including guys who just had the bad luck to draw guard duty that night, his co-conspirators include a fellow murderer and a serial rapist, and he beats and starves the dogs he's in charge of. Then he wants to kill Sam even after his falls through, purely out of spite, and hesitates at the mere possibility of Jon Snow returning. So it's just pretty satisfying when Chett pisses himself in terror realizing the Others have come for them.

Chett's mutiny plan was pretty thorough but I don't know he thought Craster's Keep would be a way to avoid getting caught for desertion, since NWmen frequently came and went from Craster's he really couldn't have set up a permanent abode there without the Watch finding there'd been a change in management there. And he keeps thinking he'd be in Castle Black if he still had his old job, but Sam, the guy who has his old job, wasn't left at Castle Black, he was right there with them, so that didn't really make sense either. My favorite irrational grievance of Chett's was his being offended by being arrested by a Frey bastard instead of Lord Walder himself. How fitting that such a petty, resentful, bitter man lived on the lands of the most petty, resentful, bitter lord in Westeros.

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Chett is awful but I also understand his anger on some level. He committed a crime and is sent up to the end of the Earth. He manages to make something for himself (a man can rise up in the Night's Watch) and just when his life is set, Jon and Sam come along and everything changes. He's wrong to blame them for it, but people aren't rational so it's also not too surprising that he does blame them.

As for actually committing mutiny, again, I see it as wrong but very human. They're out in the cold, in danger from Wildings and maybe the thing that tried to kill Mormont without a great mission statement (let's find out what's happening and maybe find Benjen and maybe fight the Wildings but also stay here running out of supplies like sitting ducks?) and I'll be honest, I don't think its a great plan either. I would never decide to kill a bunch of people because of it, but I do get why we wants to take action of some sort.

Of course, none of that understanding undoes the fact that Chett is a horrible person who would kill his brothers to get away from the Watch or undoes how he treats the dogs he's working with or how he is with Small Paul. Seeing him terrified at the end of this chapter is just desserts in some ways but of course its not just him in danger, it's everyone.

The end of the chapter with the horn blasts is one of the most chilling and effective pieces of writing in the whole series. Because Martin does such a great job building up the various Watch traditions, those horn blows are so powerful. It gives me chills.

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Oh, and I didn't think the girl Chett killed, Bessa, was a prostitute, just someone thought to be pretty loose. He mentions her being with other guys, but nothing about them paying her. If that was the case, I would think he'd try to offer her whatever meager valuables he had instead of just some flowers. It sounded more like he was trying to woo her.

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2 hours ago, Lady S. said:

Oh, and I didn't think the girl Chett killed, Bessa, was a prostitute, just someone thought to be pretty loose. He mentions her being with other guys, but nothing about them paying her. If that was the case, I would think he'd try to offer her whatever meager valuables he had instead of just some flowers. It sounded more like he was trying to woo her.

I was confused about that because he referred to her as a whore and mentioned that he'd only ever been with whores that he'd paid, so I thought he was affronted because he was willing to pay, brought her flowers, and she was still like, 'As if, dude'. I can see how it can be read the other way though. 

Lady S, this is is my favorite prologue too. I love the touch of how all of the animals seem to have vanished and how Dywen knows that something weird is going on. 

I also like how Chett makes fun of Sam and claims that Sam is going to piss himself if he ever has to face a wildling only to be the one who pisses himself after the third blast and in front of Sam no less. I thought that was great. 

I don't care if he's a cliched character or not I have mad love for Small Paul. He doesn't want to kill the Old Bear and if it were up to him he'd have fled without trying to kill anyone unless they physically tried to stand in his way or something. I also thought it was cute that he was seriously wondering if Mormont's raven would rat them out. Also, the detail about him wanting to make sure that he has seed for the raven and the way he tells Lark not to even think about eating his bird.

I wish that Small Paul had been friends with Jon, Grenn, and that set instead of falling in with Chett, Lark, and those other douchebags. 

Characters like Chett and Softfoot are why I had no problem with the Craster's Keep scene on the show that made so many fans go into meltdown because of the depiction of rape. So many men in the Night's Watch are total scumbags. The lowest of the low an if they ended up being in a situation like that IMO you can bet your ass that they'd behave that way and even worse. I thought it made sense for the show to acknowledge how horrible some of these guys are. 

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My favorite irrational grievance of Chett's was his being offended by being arrested by a Frey bastard instead of Lord Walder himself. How fitting that such a petty, resentful, bitter man lived on the lands of the most petty, resentful, bitter lord in Westeros.

Your summation of this made me laugh out loud. It is indeed very appropriate that this guy would be one of Lord Walder's people.  

The most chilling part about Chett to me is the way that he relives the moment of killing Bessa and thinks of it as the sweetest moment in his pathetic life. He doesn't look back in horror. He's still happy about what he did to her and doesn't feel a shred of guilt. When she comes to him in his dream, he isn't disturbed by her presence because of what he did. He's disturbed when she comes to him in the dream because he isn't seeing her die the way that he usually does when he dreams about her. He's completely sick. 

One more thing that jumped out at me:

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And Sweet Donnel Hill was all easy japes. He had white teeth and fat red lips and yellow locks that he wore in an artful tumble about his shoulders, and he claimed to be the bastard of some Lannister.

Just like with Marei down in the brothels, I would not be surprised if this is a bastard of Tywin's. This guy easily sounds like he could be a cousin of Joffrey's. 

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I'll always prefer the prologue of COK more with its long awaited introduction to Stannis and all the attendant gothic weirdness of his court but this is pretty great just for its atmosphere and the reminder that high minded oath aside, the Night's Watch has some pretty bad guys in its ranks.  It's a life sentence in one of the shittiest places on the continent for both major and sometimes rather minor crimes.

Chett is all kinds of vile but has had kind of a shitty life and you can see where he'd be resentful that he lost what for him was a rather cushy gig for something that really wasn't his fault.  He had no control over being lowborn and illiterate.  Jon and Sam aren't rightfully to blame because it's not like they deliberately set out to take the steward job away from him, but you can kind of see where he thinks they are.  I also think it's rather telling that his idea of living the high life if he manages to pull off this murder-desertion spree is being the lord of Craster's Keep, which if I remember correctly castle-raised Jon thought was little better than a pigsty.

The ending with the third horn blast is a great piece of writing for the fear it inspires.  The first time I read it I thought damn, this is it.  The Others are here.  Little did we know two full books later we'd still be getting there.

Edited by nodorothyparker
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1 hour ago, nodorothyparker said:

 I also think it's rather telling that his idea of living the high life if he manages to pull off this murder-desertion spree is being the lord of Craster's Keep, which if I remember correctly castle-raised Jon thought was little better than a pigsty.

I thought about that too. What's telling to me is that he isn't grossed out at all by Craster making his daughters and granddaughters his wives. He doesn't see him as a bad guy at all really, he basically sees him as a role model and a guy who has it made. Jon on the other hand immediately recognizes how grim and sick the set up is. Jon isn't the only man in the Night's Watch who gets that Craster is bad news but it seems like the main reason that men don't like Craster is because he's a miserable SOB who gives them the bare minimum as opposed to them being flat out disgusted that he's about as sick as they come when it comes to his personal life. 

The way incest is portrayed in this story is interesting because you have the royal family leading by example so that it isn't quite as taboo as it is in our world. The Faith may have preached against incest but only when it became easy/easier for them to do so and even then they basically made it seem like there are exceptions if a person happens to be among the elite. Public incestuous unions aren't even exclusive to the Targaryens. From TWOIAF we see that the Starks have examples of incest too that make them seem right in line with the Spanish Hapsburgs, but the Starks don't seem to be viewed as strange in that regard and I suppose part of that has to do with them being seen as the "good" family in the series.  

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Yeah, two reasons I have little sympathy for Chett are that he has no remorse for his crime and actually treats the moment of Bessa's death as a treasured memory, and that he looked at Craster's rape and incest factory and thought all those defenseless sex slaves made for a sweet set-up.

Small Paul, btw, is someone I think could be another descendant of Duncan the Tall, because "thick as a castle wall" was what Dunk's old master used to say to him and it's something he repeats to himself. So, that could be meant as a clue. And Sweet Donnel Hill, I believe, is the only one of these scumbags known to have survived the Fist and not participate in the actual mutiny at Craster's later. So, I guess he had a change of heart at some point.

The literacy advantage Jon and Sam have just shows how the Watch isn't actually all that egalitarian. They put in a token effort to teach guys how to fight but it never occurs to anyone to try teaching illiterate stewards how to read even though they really needed a literate steward to help the blind maester. 

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If you really look at the Watch, most of the officers or anyone who's anyone important is highborn.  They may give great speeches about how who you were before doesn't matter there, but it clearly does.  Chett and Lark even note that all the officers are in Mormont's tent at one point talking furiously and that they get drunk on words instead of wine because they're highborn.  As an illiterate, Chett probably lucked into the steward's job only because no one more suited was available until Sam showed up and it never occurred to anyone that he could be taught to read if that was needed.

I've long thought that whether incest is really that big a deal in this universe depends entirely on whether it's needed to be for plot purposes.  Martin clearly loves writing about the Targaryens and as Avaleigh notes, nobody was making much of an issue of their perpetual inbreeding until they were no longer able to roast people alive just because they could. One of his main characters is a product of such a brother and sister union.  The main objections to what was going on at Craster's mostly seemed to be that he was stingy with both the food and supplies and letting the men associate with his women.  The reaction such as it was to the rape and incest factory seemed more of a "oh yeah, that's gross too, I guess."  I often get the sense that if the products of the Lannister twincest were not sitting on the throne with no obvious claim while their opponents and eventually the Faith were continually stirring people up against it that most wouldn't care all that much about it either beyond thinking that Cersei and Jaime were kind of disgusting and good luck marrying into that.  

I love so much that we're finally into this book.

Edited by nodorothyparker
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That is true.  You can rise far in the Night's Watch but it really, really helps if you are highborn and have a "Ser" before your name.  It certainly makes sense since "growing up in a castle" means that you've had access to training and education than most men in the Night's Watch or in Westeros.  Highborns were also much more likely to have engaged in some real combat too.  Having a bastard surname seems to be a real plus in the NW as well.

A lowborn can rise far.  Qhorin Halfhand was a lowborn and he ended up First Ranger and second-in-command of the Shadow Tower.  Cotter Pyke is an interesting one too.  Although he has a bastard surname, what little we know about him is that he is an illiterate born to a bar wench who was a pirate before he was sent to the Wall (and I'm pretty sure he didn't come to the Wall willingly).  You can rise far as a lowborn but noble birth still counts for a lot.  I'd say it's bastards who benefit the most from the Wall.

It appears that marrying your cousin isn't not out of the norm in Westeros just as it was not out of the norm in our own world until the last few decades.  Tywin and Joanna were cousins (though how far apart has never been stated) and A World of Ice and Fire establishes that Ned's parents were also first cousins.  The Targayens had dragons and after they went extinct, they still had the power and influence where the Faith didn't publicly object to incest.  Of course, they were probably the first ones to complain about it after the Targs were overthrown and it become totally taboo again.

I liked the ASOS's prologue a great deal although I think the one for ACOK's might be better.  GRRM does a really great job bringing Dragonstone to life and it introduces so many key players in Stannis, Davos and Melisandre.  I think it's a great introduction for Stannis and I think the show made a mistake by not adapting most of this scene as it would have fleshed out the character a lot more.

Edited by benteen
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2 hours ago, benteen said:

That is true.  You can rise far in the Night's Watch but it really, really helps if you are highborn and have a "Ser" before your name.  It certainly makes sense since "growing up in a castle" means that you've had access to training and education that most men in the Night's Watch or in Westeros.  Highborns were also much more likely to have engaged in some real combat too.  Having a bastard surname seems to be a real plus in the NW as well.

A lowborn can rise far.  Qhorin Halfhand was a lowborn and he ended up First Ranger and second-in-command of the Shadow Tower.  Cotter Pyke is an interesting one too.  Although he has a bastard surname, what little we know about him is that he is an illiterate born to a bar wench who was a pirate before he was sent to the Wall (and I'm pretty sure he didn't come to the Wall willingly).  You can rise far as a lowborn but noble birth still counts for a lot.  I'd say it's bastards who benefit the most from the Wall.

It appears that marrying your cousin isn't not out of the norm in Westeros just as it was not out of the norm in our own world until the last few decades.  Tywin and Joanna were cousins (though how far apart has never been stated) and A World of Ice and Fire establishes that Ned's parents were also first cousins.  The Targayens had dragons and after they went extinct, they still had the power and influence where the Faith didn't publicly object to incest.  Of course, they were probably the first ones to complain about it after the Targs were overthrown and it become totally taboo again.

I liked the ASOS's prologue a great deal although I think the one for ACOK's might be better.  GRRM does a really great job bringing Dragonstone to life and it introduces so many key players in Stannis, Davos and Melisandre.  I think it's a great introduction for Stannis and I think the show made a mistake by not adapting most of this scene as it would have fleshed out the character a lot more.

Theon was just being Theon when he imagines himself quickly becoming Lord Commander or First Ranger or whatever it was that he had in his head, but all things considered, if he'd been willing to check his ego, he probably would have done well at the Wall. I can't help but wonder what Thorne would make of Theon and how he'd be inclined to treat him during training. Would he make jokes about Theon being a prince? I'm guessing he wouldn't be able to make fun of him for being a child murderer since their crimes are supposed to be forgiven if they take the black, but I wonder if he'd be inclined to be extra hard on him or if he'd sort of be okay with due to the Jon factor. 

Yeah, cousin marriage doesn't seem to be a big deal at all. There are the Karstarks and I think House Tyrell has at least one example. Lysa also makes it seem like a union between Sansa and her son would be perfectly fine. The Starks are a little different in that they have examples of uncle/niece marriages according to the world book. (I thought that stood out considering how many people think that Jon and Dany could be the end game. I don't personally think that they are but can see why other people do.) That reveal surprised me and made me think that might be a reason why the 'wolf blood' has remained so strong in the Stark family. 

It seems like the Faith had stronger feelings about polygamy over incest. Even when the Targs no longer had dragons the Faith basically just let them do their thing. 

Regarding the prologue from Clash--I thought it was great and was initially a little bummed that they didn't include Patchface because he's so damned creepy, I always wondered why this guy was allowed to be Shireen's constant companion and babysitter. 

Thinking about the elimination of Patchface on the show has me thinking about Hodor and I'm starting to wonder if there's going to be some kind of amalgamation of the two characters. Realizing that Hodor could talk at one point made me think about how Patchface used to be a clever kid until the shipwreck. Patchface seems to have seen or become something and with Hodor I feel like it's similar. Hodor is what happened to Willas/Walder. Melisandre sees Patchface and thinks that he's dangerous. It made me wonder what she'd make of Hodor and whether or not hearing him say that name would freak her out. 

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Hmmm...Hodor being given the Patchface backstory (or at least a version of that) would be intriguing.  I'll give the show credit.  I never thought I'd be so intrigued about a Hodor backstory.

Thank you for reminding me of Patchface.  Another good element of the Clash prologue, particularly his tragic backstory.  I've always wondered what the dumbass Ironborn would think if they learned that a lackwit jester was practically the spokesperson of the Drowned God.

There was an uncle/niece marriage in the Stark line?  Oof, I missed that.  A good connection though, how the inbreeding might have led to the retaining of certain skills like the inbreeding did for the Targaryens. 

I had forgotten to put down the example of Lysa wanting to marry Robin (or Robert in the book) to Sansa.  Sana's mental objections seem mostly the age difference with her cousin and the fact that he's a little nut.

The Karstarks another good example.  Lord Karstark wanted his daughter Alys to marry Robb.  It's made clear that they are distant cousins at best but Karstark uses that connection to damn Robb as a kinslayer.

I can't imagine Thorne liking Theon's attitude one bit and I can imagine some of the nicknames he'd want to give him.  Though the two would be likely to bond over hatred of Jon Snow.  One of those fun what ifs. 

Thorne also seems attracted to the idea of having "powerful" friends.  Slynt at least had the perception he had a friend in the Crown.  Theon pretty much burned every bridge but the end of his rule over Winterfell.

Edited by benteen
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1 hour ago, benteen said:

Hmmm...Hodor being given the Patchface backstory (or at least a version of that) would be intriguing.  I'll give the show credit.  I never thought I'd be so intrigued about a Hodor backstory.

Thank you for reminding me of Patchface.  Another good element of the Clash prologue, particularly his tragic backstory.  I've always wondered what the dumbass Ironborn would think if they learned that a lackwit jester was practically the spokesperson of the Drowned God.

There was an uncle/niece marriage in the Stark line?  Oof, I missed that.  A good connection though, how the inbreeding might have led to the retaining of certain skills like the inbreeding did for the Targaryens. 

I had forgotten to put down the example of Lysa wanting to marry Robin (or Robert in the book) to Sansa.  Sana's mental objections seem mostly the age difference with her cousin and the fact that he's a little nut.

The Karstarks another good example.  Lord Karstark wanted his daughter Alys to marry Robb.  It's made clear that they are distant cousins at best but Karstark uses that connection to damn Robb as a kinslayer.

I can't imagine Thorne liking Theon's attitude one bit and I can imagine some of the nicknames he'd want to give him.  Though the two would be likely to bond over hatred of Jon Snow.  One of those fun what ifs. 

Thorne also seems attracted to the idea of having "powerful" friends.  Slynt at least had the perception he had a friend in the Crown.  Theon pretty much burned every bridge but the end of his rule over Winterfell.

I actually forgot that Rickard Karstark wanted Alys to marry Robb. I was actually thinking about Alys nearly being forced into a marriage with her cousin Cregan. 

IIRC there are two uncle/niece marriages in the Stark family tree. 

The Wall has some of my favorite what ifs in terms of sending characters there. Ned, Tyrion, Jaime, Theon, Rickard, Bronn, Jorah--I'd have been interested in seeing what all of these characters would have done had they been sent to the Wall. 

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Joffrey screwed the Realm again when he executed Ned.  Ned would have been a great leader for the Wall in the fight against the White Walkers.

Jaime at the Wall would have been interesting there.  If he could get past his Cersei obsession, I think he would have thrived there.  I remember someone speculating on that on the TWOP boards.  They mentioned Ned would have forgiven him his crimes, Jaime and Benjen would have served together and perhaps become friends and that Tyrion likely would have been more of a presence up in Winterfell in visiting his brother.

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Now that I'm thinking about this, is there any stated reason why Robb couldn't have sent Rickard to the Wall rather than execute him? Is the idea that it would have been too difficult to get him there without him escaping? 

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Good question.

I think that giving a prisoner the option to take the black is at the discretion of the Lord or King.  I think in Karstark's case, an example had to be made.  Karstark crime was a grievous one and he did it against his King's wishes, potentially undermining the war effort.  Executing Karstark would send a message to Robb's bannermen that executing prisoners would not be tolerated and that they couldn't get out of it by taking the black.  Also, punishing Karstark and his men for their actions might persuade the Lannister side not to start executing their own prisoners in retaliation. 

Edited by benteen

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I thought it was more that people must CHOOSE to take the Black, it's not presented as an option. Given that (we're told) that many choose death over the Wall, maybe he'd just prefer death to the loss of status. And refusing to take the "easier" option acts as more of an FU to Robb.

Edited by John Potts
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That I can definitely buy too.

I don't believe the Wall was brought up as an option though but I can't remember.

Edited by benteen
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Yeah, I don't think Robb was obligated to offer to send Rickard to the Wall if he didn't ask for that option. Luwin told Theon to beg for that option and that Rodrik would then feel obligated to grant it, not that the option would have to be offered by Rodrik. Even Starks aren't that generous and merciful.

13 hours ago, benteen said:

A lowborn can rise far.  Qhorin Halfhand was a lowborn and he ended up First Ranger and second-in-command of the Shadow Tower.  Cotter Pyke is an interesting one too.  Although he has a bastard surname, what little we know about him is that he is an illiterate born to a bar wench who was a pirate before he was sent to the Wall (and I'm pretty sure he didn't come to the Wall willingly).  You can rise far as a lowborn but noble birth still counts for a lot.  I'd say it's bastards who benefit the most from the Wall.

It appears that marrying your cousin isn't not out of the norm in Westeros just as it was not out of the norm in our own world until the last few decades.  Tywin and Joanna were cousins (though how far apart has never been stated) and A World of Ice and Fire establishes that Ned's parents were also first cousins.  The Targayens had dragons and after they went extinct, they still had the power and influence where the Faith didn't publicly object to incest.  Of course, they were probably the first ones to complain about it after the Targs were overthrown and it become totally taboo again.

Yeah, Qhorin is probably the best lowborn success story. I also thought of Cotter Pyke's illiteracy, but his having a last name should mean his father was an ironborn nobleman, which probably led to his having ship-captain experience, which probably gave him an advantage at Eastwatch by the Sea. Btw, the last name thing is why I don't think Sweet Donnel was Tywin's bastard, Avaleigh. Tywin would never publically acknowledge a bastard, but we know he had less secretive family members like Gerion and Jason Lannister (Joanna's father). Actually, it sounds like everyone but Tywin and Jaime had no secrets or sexual qualms, so Donnel's father could have been any Lannister really, and there are a lot of Lannisters. (Which still leaves the possibility that Marei could be Tywin's. I also think Pycelle is a Lannister bastard, but he's obviously too old to be Tywin's.)

Tywin and Joanna were first cousins, that was revealed in the Lannister family tree and the Lannister chapter of the World Book. The Stark uncle/niece marriages both happened in the same generation where two brothers married their elder half-brother's daughters, who should have been the rightful heirs. There was definitely something fishy going on there with the succession, which we'll probably learn more about in the next Dunk & Egg installment, so it's hard to say if this was actually common practice for the Starks. I do think it could mean something for Jon/Dany because I'm guessing the age difference between the dead eldest and his half-brothers was such that the couples were actually close in age as Jon/Dany would be, but being half-siblings means there'd be less shared blood involved. Not as much unshared blood as cousins but less than the average avuncular relationship.    

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The main reason I got the impression that this is a bastard of Tywin's is because he ends up on the Wall. The one bastard of Gerion's that we know of was at least looked after. Marei in a brothel, Donnel at the Wall--to me that sounds right in line with Tywin being so prideful and horrible that he wouldn't care what happened to any of his own bastards because he wouldn't want to acknowledge them. I thought Donnel was just guessing that he's a Lannister bastard but didn't know for sure.

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Jaime I

Everything about the world seems sweeter to Jaime now that he's out of the black cell. He laughs out loud and amuses himself for a moment by picturing Brienne wearing one of Cersei's gowns. He thinks about how Brienne spends most of her time scowling and takes a moment to admire her muscles. He's impressed by how good she is at rowing and notices that she's a lot better at it than his cousin Cleos. He wonders how well she's able to fight with her longsword and is determined to find out once he manages to rid himself of his chains. 

Jaime thinks about how drunk he was as they were leaving Riverrun and thinks about how Tyrion will laugh when he tells him that he basically slept through his own escape. He asks Brienne to remove his chains and she tells him it's not happening. She calls him Kingslayer and he responds by calling her 'wench' instead of Brienne. Brienne insists that Jaime call her by her name and he reminds her that his name isn't Kingslayer. Brienne asks him if he denies that he killed a king and he responds by asking her if she denies being a woman. 

Cleos is uncomfortable when Jaime starts insulting Brienne and asks his cousin to remember to be courteous. Jaime thinks about how Cleos isn't much of a Lannister even if he is the child of his aunt Genna. He thinks his cousin looks like a weasel and fights like a goose. 

Jaime thinks back to the vow that Catelyn made him swear at sword point and how she makes him swear that he'll never fight again against the Starks or Tullys. She also makes him swear to do what he can to get Tyrion to send her daughters back. 

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I wonder what the High Septon would have to say about the sanctity of oaths sworn while dead drunk, chained to a wall, with a sword pressed to your chest? Not that Jaime was truly concerned about that fat fraud, or the gods he claimed to serve. He remembered the pail Lady Catelyn had kicked over in his cell. A strange woman, to trust her girls to a man with shit for honor.

Jaime thinks about how Catelyn is putting her faith in Tyrion and thinks out loud that Catelyn isn't as stupid as he initially thought. Brienne mistakenly thinks that Jaime is calling her stupid and he explains to her that he was talking to himself; it's a habit that he's slipped into since he's been locked up.

Jaime comments on Brienne's accent and guesses that she's a woman of noble birth. Brienne admits that her father is the Lord of Evenfall. Jaime wonders why Brienne is serving Robb when the Tarths are sworn to Storm's End. Brienne explains that she serves Catelyn and asks Jaime to stop talking. Jaime says that he's had enough of silence so Brienne tells him to talk to Cleos and says that she isn't interested in having a conversation with a monster. She says that any man who kills his king, fucks his sister, and flings a child from a tower deserves no other name. 

Jaime warns Brienne to be courteous about Cersei and goes back to calling her 'wench'. When Brienne objects, Jaime asks her why she cares how he addresses her if she considers him to be such a monster. When he calls her Lady Brienne he can tell that he's rattled her a bit and asks her if she'd prefer to be addressed as Ser Brienne. 

Cleos tries again to get Jaime to stop insulting Brienne, but Jaime doesn't care and asks her if all of the women on Tarth are as unattractive as she is. Brienne calls Jaime a monster again and says that if he doesn't be quiet she'll gag him. Jaime tells Cleos how rude he thinks Brienne is but admits that she has courage since there aren't many men who would have the nerve to call him a monster to his face. 

Cleos makes a comment indicating that Catelyn told Brienne a heap of lies about Jaime and Jaime can't decide if Cleos is being an idiot or a kiss ass. When Cleos says that anyone who believes that a member of the Kingsguard would harm a child simply has no understanding of the word honor, Jaime decides that Cleos is just trying to suck up. 

Jaime thinks about how he sort of regrets throwing Bran from the tower and thinks about how much grief Cersei gave him afterwards. Jaime remembers Cersei saying that they should have been able to frighten a seven year old into silence and seems to think that Bran might not have even understood what he witnessed. He also remembers Cersei telling him that he never thinks and remembers her worrying that Bran would wake up and tell Ned everything. He wonders if Cersei was behind the attack on Bran but doesn't think that she would have hired the guy who botched the job. 

Jaime tells Brienne that they'd save a lot of time if they went to Tywin instead of King's Landing but Brienne isn't going for it and says that she'll return with Catelyn's daughters or not at all. 

Jaime gets Cleos to shave his head for him and hopes that this will disguise him somewhat. When he looks at his reflection in the water, he thinks that he looks as though he's aged five years. He also thinks about how he doesn't look as much like Cersei and knows she'll hate that. 

They sail past village after village but there are no signs of villagers for the most part. They see a dead body in the water dressed in Lannister colors and Jaime wonders if he knew the man. They also pass a tree with a bunch of dead women hanging from it and there's a sign that says 'They Lay With Lions'. Brienne is shocked at how savage the scene is and Jaime points out that the women were butchered by men who are on the side Brienne is currently on. 

Cleos mentions that he's heard that Harrenhal was taken over by Roose Bolton and Jaime thinks that means that the kingsroad and Trident are likely being watched. Brienne tells Jaime that he's under her protection and says that she's just as good of a fighter as he is. She mentions that she was a member of Renly's Rainbow Guard and this causes Jaime to tease her some more. 

Brienne cuts the women down from the tree and wants to bury them, but they're interrupted when she notices a sail in the distance. They jump back into the boat and do their best to haul ass but Jaime knows that there's no way they're going to be able to outrun a river galley. He thinks about how Tyrion might be clever enough to think of a way out of the situation.

Cleos is sweating and nervous and doesn't think they'll be able to fight off the twenty or so men that are following them. Brienne continues to insist that Jaime is under her protection and he thinks to himself that she's like a female version of the Hound. Jaime asks her to either protect him or allow him to fight so that he can protect himself. 

Ser Robin Ryger is leading the men who are trying to recapture Jaime and he's around the age of Hoster Tully. When the boats are about forty feet apart Ryger calls out to them and tells them to throw their oars and weapons into the water. Cleos tells Jaime to let Ryger know that they were freed by Catelyn and Ryger responds by telling them that Catelyn doesn't rule Riverrun. Ryger tells them to throw their swords into the river and Jaime replies by saying if he did have a sword he'd gut Ryger with it. Four archers fire at Jaime and one arrow misses him by a foot. 

Brienne jumps out of the boat and starts to climb up the face of a cliff. Jaime realizes that the archers will take Brienne out if they see her climbing so he decides to distract Ryger by challenging him to single combat. Ryger tells Jaime that he wasn't born yesterday and says that he's supposed to bring Jaime back alive if possible. 

Just as the archers are about to start shooting again, Brienne manages to push a massive boulder off of the cliff. It strikes the galley and the boat immediately begins to sink. A couple of the archers aren't able to swim and this makes Jaime laugh. He decides that the gods are good after all. 

Brienne dives off of the cliff so that she can get back into the boat and Jaime thinks for a moment that he'll use the oar to rid himself of Brienne once and for all. Instead, he ends up giving her a hand so that he can help her back into the boat. He tells her how stupid she is and points out that they could have sailed on without her. He asks her if she expects him to thank her and she tells him that she doesn't want his thanks. She repeats that she swore an oath to bring him to King's Landing and Jaime smiles in wonder that Brienne fully intends to keep her word. 

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Jaime does have some great lines in this chapter, particularly about Brienne.

Poor Cleos.  He really doesn't seem like a bad guy but it's not going to end well for him.  And in the end, no one cares about him.  Not even his mother.

I forgot about Brienne pushing the boulder off the cliff.  I wish we'd gotten to see that scene in Season 3.

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Marrying your cousin isn't that uncommon in our world - it often happens in "Closed" communities (like the Amish or Hassidic Jews) where you have to marry one of your own. Queen Victoria married her 1st cousin, Prince Albert in the 1830s (400 years or so after GoT times!) so it isn't that unusual in this world.

Anyway, on to the Jamie Chapter - I'd completely forgotten Cleos Frey had left with Brienne and Jamie (partly because he wasn't on the show) but he is eminently forgettable. Nice to see Brienne being a complete badass here with the whole dropping rocks on her pursuers. And we get insight into Jamie's character that he immediately wonders what it would be like to fight her (and the Belligerent Sexual Tension between the pair is easy to see as a prelude to a more intimate relationship between the two).

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I admit to having a chuckle from Jaime taking offense at the accusation of violating his sister, though it's not quite as funny after Septgate. I also liked him thinking that Cersei wouldn't like his haircut because he'd look less like her. He's aware that some part of their relationship is based on vanity but he's fine with that at this point.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I'd like to point out that Jaime remembers Cersei giving him shit about Bran "afterward, when the boy refused to die". So, not in the immediate aftermath inside the tower and probably not even the first days after the murder attempt either. She only decided killing Bran was a bad idea once it became clear Jaime hadn't actually killed him.

Jaime is still pretty unpleasant at this point, both in his attitude about Bran and the way he and Cleos both dismiss the hanging corpses. It was impractical for Brienne to waste time trying to bury them, but seeing as how the poor women were only tavern workers who probably had little choice about serving and being groped by Lannister soldiers and they likely weren't really paid for it, I think the least that could be done is to just call them dead women instead of dead whores. What I give Jaime credit for is helping Brienne against his first instincts. It reminded me of Tyrion defending Catelyn against the mountain clansmen. I don't think either made a conscious decision there, but in the moment they and their captors were working together on the same side.

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I really enjoyed this chapter. It was exciting and there was so much humor in it. I laughed out loud when Jaime thought to himself that Cleos's snores sounded like 'ducks mating'. 

Also, for all of the talk that Tyrion is the Lannister whose mouth is constantly getting him into trouble, I think that Jaime is just as bad. Repeatedly insulting the archers and nearly taking an arrow for it. It's also like he can't help himself when it comes to mocking Brienne. 

Brienne strikes me as being incredibly sheltered. She has no idea how close she came to getting her face bashed in. 

Jaime definitely shows how monstrous he can be in this chapter. He basically blames Bran for what happened and somehow thinks that a seven year old boy wasn't innocent. It's also pretty sick that he gets a kick out of seeing that some of those guys aren't able to swim. On the other hand, I guess if I'd been in a black cell for a year or however long and I knew these guys were trying to bring me back to it, I'd probably feel pretty relieved at that turn of events too. 

Jaime is definitely still in asshole mode but he's an entertaining asshole. I liked him contemplating the sanctity of the vow he was forced to swear and how he knows the that the current High Septon is a fraud.

It's great to go back and see how the Jaime/Brienne relationship started off and knowing how far they eventually come. Jaime has already made progress as a human being in his first chapter. He starts off thinking about how he's going to rid himself of Brienne and ultimately decides to help her. He even thinks that it would be ungenerous of him to wish that she'd hit her head after her dive off of the cliff. 

I also liked Jaime thinking that perhaps Catelyn is smarter than he originally gave her credit for. 

Lady S, I agree with your thoughts about Jaime remembering what Cersei said about Bran. She also contradicts herself because on one hand she's claiming that they could have frightened him into silence and that he might not have understood what he saw. Then she starts worrying that Bran will tell Ned everything so I definitely think she was fine with Jaime pushing Bran, she's just pissed that Bran managed to survive.

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So much truth about Jaime's mouth.  It's just as bad as Tyrion's and it will get him into pretty big trouble.

Good point about how sheltered and naïve Brienne is.  That's definitely a little different on the show.  She's still naïve to a certain degree but is older and more experienced.

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I've always said that GRRM does a great job at showing how Jamie and Tyrion are clearly brothers. They do have their differences, obviously, but they have a similar sense of humor and they both have a way with words, which often gets them into trouble. They have both made me laugh throughout the series but neither is a comic relief character, which I think the television show misunderstood when it came to Jamie last season. 

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I love these chapters so much it's hard for me to even pretend to be objective about them.  

I do remember on my first read being surprised to see that the first chapter out of the gate was a Jaime POV all the way into the third book.  He'd certainly been interesting in Catelyn's last chapter in the last book, but as far as we knew, the guy was an asshole.  A snarky asshole, but an asshole nonetheless and what possible new perspective could he contribute?  But right off the bat we're getting his take on the shove out the window heard round the world, and it's not a mustache twirling sort of evil thing but not an innocent misunderstanding and hey I'm really a good guy kind of thing either.  After two books of hearing about the twincest and all its fallout, we get our first glimpse into the mindset of the guy who's fucking his sister.  I was interested to learn that he understands that part of his appeal to her is as her mirror image and it doesn't occur to him to be bothered by it or take it to the next logical step of considering if that means she doesn't even see him as a person.

The writing is so sharp here dialoguewise and the whole action piece is great.  I'm sorry too we didn't get to see Brienne scaling a cliff and dropping a boulder on the Tully ship.  It's nice to see her in her element rather than yet another chapter of Catelyn or whoever feeling sorry for the poor ugly awkward girl.  Jaime certainly gets his jabs into because yeah, he just will not stop running his mouth, but I like that you can clearly see him realizing that he's underestimated her and that there's more there worth knowing.  His surprise at being on her side at the end is also nice.

If I knew that someone was trying to capture me to at best drag me back to a nasty dank cell with an overflowing shit pail, I'm not sure I'd be all that concerned about what happened to them either.

Edited by nodorothyparker
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Catelyn I

Ser Desmond Grell is serving as castellan of Riverrun, so it's up to him to deal with Catelyn's crime. Ser Desmond has known Catelyn since she was a baby and seems uncomfortable and embarrassed over everything that's happened. Desmond and the steward Utherydes Wayn tell Catelyn that they're sorry for what happened to Bran and Rickon and tell her that all of Riverrun is mourning with her. 

Desmond suggests that Catelyn wasn't in her right mind when she decided to free Jaime and suggests that the grief over what happened drove her temporarily mad. Catelyn tells the men that she knew perfectly well that what she did is treasonous and says that if they fail to punish her, then the other men will think that they were somehow in on it. 

The men agree that she'll be confined to a tower cell and Catelyn convinces them to allow her to be confined in her father's chambers so that she can care for him in his final days. Catelyn gives her word that she won't try to escape. 

As Catelyn sits with her father she wonders what he would think about what she's done. The room smells like death and this makes her think about Ned, Bran, and Rickon. Hoster's eyes open after Catelyn comments on what a horrible thing it is to lose a child. Hoster says, "Tansy" and his voice sounds full of pain. Catelyn sees that her father doesn't recognize her but has never heard him say the name Tansy before. Hoster asks to be forgiven and says 'Tansy' again. 

Catelyn wonders if Tansy might have been a mistress of her father's and asks him who Tansy is. Hoster says the word 'dead' and then grabs Cat's hand and tells her that she'll have other children who are trueborn. She wonders who her father thinks he's talking to and considers that he might think that she's her mother, Tansy, or Lysa. 

Hoster starts coughing up blood and tells Catelyn to be a good wife and says that she'll be blessed with trueborn sons. Maester Vyman gives Hoster another dose of milk of the poppy and Hoster is soon asleep once again. 

Catelyn tells Maester Vyman that her father was calling for Tansy and asks him if he knows of a woman by that name. Vyman doesn't know anyone by that name but says that he'll make some inquiries. He says that it's common for smallfolk to name their daughters after flowers or herbs. Vyman tells Catelyn that Ser Desmond doesn't want him talking to her about anything that isn't specifically to do with his duties. Catelyn tells Vyman that he must do as Ser Desmond commands. 

Catelyn watches from the balcony and feels hopeful that Ser Robin hasn't returned. She sees a raven come to the castle and is immediately filled with dread over what news it's bringing. When Maester Vyman returns to attend to Hoster and bring Catelyn her dinner, he tells her that he spoke with Utherydes and Utherydes doesn't know of any woman named Tansy ever being at Riverrun while he's been in service. 

Catelyn asks about the raven and Vyman is uncomfortable but eventually tells her that Tywin has left the Riverlands. He also tells her that Robb has been wounded but Robb says his wound is no cause for concern. Robb hopes to return to Riverrun soon. Catelyn asks Vyman for more specifics but he reminds her that he isn't supposed to be telling her anything. 

After Vyman leaves, Hoster starts talking about Tansy again and asks for forgiveness. He seems to associate Tansy with blood. Catelyn is disturbed by her father's words and wonders what he did to this woman that requires such forgiveness. 

Catelyn is haunted by the dreams she has of her children that night and wakes up thinking about what her father has been saying. She wonders if he got a woman named Tansy pregnant. She has no problem imagining her brother Edmure fathering bastards but she finds it hard to believe of her father. She considers the idea that Tansy is a pet name that Hoster sometimes uses for Lysa. 

She thinks back to when she and Lysa were wed on the same day and wonders if Lysa had a miscarriage shortly after the marriage rather than a late period as she'd always assumed. 

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She and her sister had been married on the same day, and left in their father’s care when their new husbands had ridden off to rejoin Robert’s rebellion. Afterward, when their moon blood did not come at the accustomed time, Lysa had gushed happily of the sons she was certain they carried. “Your son will be heir to Winterfell and mine to the Eyrie. Oh, they’ll be the best of friends, like your Ned and Lord Robert. They’ll be more brothers than cousins, truly, I just know it.” She was so happy.

Catelyn remembers how upset Lysa was after Robb was born and how she could only bear to hold her nephew for a moment before she was overcome with tears. She also remembers how hastily Lysa's marriage was arranged and how much Jon Arryn wanted to have an heir. She thinks that Lysa must have been the price that Jon Arryn had to pay in order to secure the allegiance of House Tully. 

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Small wonder her sister’s marriage had been so loveless. The Arryns were proud, and prickly of their honor. Lord Jon might wed Lysa to bind the Tullys to the cause of the rebellion, and in hopes of a son, but it would have been hard for him to love a woman who came to his bed soiled and unwilling. He would have been kind, no doubt; dutiful, yes; but Lysa needed warmth.

Catelyn writes to Lysa and asks her to reconsider traveling to Riverrun before it's too late. She says that if Lysa isn't willing to risk the journey, she asks for her to at least writing to her father to forgive him so that he can die in peace. Catelyn doesn't think the letter will do much good since Maester Vyman has made it clear that Hoster doesn't have much time left, but she wants to try anyway and thinks of how strong the Tully men are. 

Edmure returns to the castle and makes his sister wait for a couple of hours before he's willing to see her. Catelyn tells Edmure how unwell he looks and he tells her that he managed to drive the Lannisters back. He also mentions that Stannis lost the battle at King's Landing and says that his entire fleet was burned. Catelyn doesn't like the idea of a Lannister victory but tells Edmure that Stannis is no more a friend to them than Tywin is. She thinks about how she still has nightmares about Renly's murder.

Edmure informs Catelyn that Highgarden and Dorne are with the Lannisters now and tells her that she had no right to release Jaime. She replies that she had a 'mother's right' but realizes what a blow it is about Highgarden deciding to be on Team Lannister. She tells Edmure that Tyrion swore in open court that he would send back Sansa and Arya, and Edmure gives his sister the news that Tyrion was wounded in the battle at King's Landing and will likely be dead before Brienne and Jaime make it to the city.

Catelyn wonders if the gods would truly be so merciless and thinks about how she'd mainly pinned her hopes on Tyrion keeping his word rather than Jaime. 

Edmure tells his sister that he sent ravens to let Roose Bolton know that Jaime has escaped and has offered a thousand dragons for his recapture. Tears come to Catelyn's eyes and she thinks about what a fool her brother is. She tells him that all he's done is guarantee that she'll never see her daughters again. She says that Brienne might have had a chance if they weren't being hunted but now the plan is screwed. She tells Edmure to leave her alone and says that she has nothing more to say to him. All she wants to do is have a dreamless sleep. 

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Catelyn thinking it was impossible for Hoster to have fathered a bastard reminded me of Cersei thinking Tywin had been celibate for almost 30 years. I feel like there are a lot of parallels between this family and the main Lannisters, though one big difference is that I can't imagine Tywin suffering such guilt over mistreating any of his children. Anyway, it's also easy to see where some of Catelyn's issues with bastards and extramarital sex come from.

I guess now is the time to say how confused I am by the timeline of Lysa's pregnancy and the tansy tea. Was she pregnant already by the time of the fateful duel? Because even though she was the one playing nursemaid to Petyr afterwards, I'd think a near-fatal wound would be an obstacle to sexual healing. Then there was an indeterminate time between the duel and Brandon's death, because even if he left Riverrun for the final time that very day it would still take time to get to KL and have Rickard summoned and make the trip down to join him and then be killed. After that more time would be taken up with Jon Arryn calling his banners, Ned going back to Winterfell, Ned summoning his own army and marching south, and Ned and Jon Arryn meeting up again at Riverrun. So, by the time of the double wedding, Lysa must have been running out of time before she started to show. But my issue is that according to Lysa, she told her father pretty early on thinking he'd have Petyr marry her, and that that was the real reason Petyr was sent home as soon as he was fit to travel. Then why did Hoster wait a few more months before poisoning her into a miscarriage? Without a husband on hand she'd be having a bastard and surely that would be even worse than having a legitimate Baelish baby. Was he planning for a while to coerce Jon Arryn into marrying her and did he falsely think Arryn could be persuaded into claiming the baby as his own? That must have been what Lysa thought the deal was when she told Cat she was pregnant, but even if Jon Arryn had been willing to pretend he was the father, how would that even work with her at least 3/4 months along and them being strangers before the wedding day? They'd have to say a healthy, normal sized baby was born a few months premature and I feel like that would be an extraordinary occurrence in a world of such high infant mortality. 

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I've never been clear on the timeline of any of that.  It seems like a whole lot of things had to happen over some pretty significant distances in a fairly short amount of time for it to all go as it did.  The lines in this chapter about Jon Arryn having a prickly sense of honor and how he would have had a hard time taking what he considered a soiled bride are one of the things that make me think he wasn't quite as much of an all-around great guy as Ned and Robert say he was.

This chapter, with the news of Stannis's defeat and the consolidation of the south behind the Iron Throne, lays out just how badly Robb is outgunned now and why it was such a bad idea for Catelyn to give up their only leverage in releasing Jaime.  Her insistence that Tyrion swore an oath at court and Jaime at Riverrun sounds so feeble in the face of this, as does her continuing to put her faith in Tyrion's honor considering that Tyrion engineered Jaime's earlier escape attempt and that she's never given up her notion that Tyrion tried to assassinate Bran.  Learning that Edmure put a bounty on Jaime sets the stage for what we know comes next.

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On 5/7/2016 at 1:28 PM, Lady S. said:

Catelyn thinking it was impossible for Hoster to have fathered a bastard reminded me of Cersei thinking Tywin had been celibate for almost 30 years. I feel like there are a lot of parallels between this family and the main Lannisters, though one big difference is that I can't imagine Tywin suffering such guilt over mistreating any of his children. Anyway, it's also easy to see where some of Catelyn's issues with bastards and extramarital sex come from.

Meanwhile, we have Catelyn and the Stark kids believing Ned being capable of it even though most readers side eyed that pretty quickly. I can understand why they'd never dream in a million years that he'd lie about it, not criticizing any of them, it's just interesting that the guy who seems least likely to have fathered a bastard is one pretty much everyone thinks has done it. 

I agree, I can't see Tywin losing a night's sleep over the way he's treated any of his children. I wonder how much guilt Hoster felt prior to becoming ill and whether or not he ever tried to make it up with Lysa before this only to be rejected. If he were in his right mind, I can't help but think that he'd be horrified to see how his grandson Robert turned out. I wonder what he would have thought of the plan to have Robert fostered with Stannis (or Tywin)? I wonder why Jon didn't consider having his son fostered at Riverrun? Is the idea that Hoster was already ill and Edmure would be a bad influence or a flakey guardian? Or would it be too easy for Lysa to meddle if her son were being fostered at a castle where she may or may not have some power as Catelyn does/did? 

I'm confused about the timeline of Lysa's pregnancy too. I don't really have anything to add other than being particularly confused as to what all Jon Arryn knew with regard to Littlefinger. I have to assume that he didn't know anything or wouldn't he have side eyed Lysa's relationship with Petyr a bit more when they were all at King's Landing. 

5 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

I've never been clear on the timeline of any of that.  It seems like a whole lot of things had to happen over some pretty significant distances in a fairly short amount of time for it to all go as it did.  The lines in this chapter about Jon Arryn having a prickly sense of honor and how he would have had a hard time taking what he considered a soiled bride are one of the things that make me think he wasn't quite as much of an all-around great guy as Ned and Robert say he was.

This chapter, with the news of Stannis's defeat and the consolidation of the south behind the Iron Throne, lays out just how badly Robb is outgunned now and why it was such a bad idea for Catelyn to give up their only leverage in releasing Jaime.  Her insistence that Tyrion swore an oath at court and Jaime at Riverrun sounds so feeble in the face of this, as does her continuing to put her faith in Tyrion's honor considering that Tyrion engineered Jaime's earlier escape attempt and that she's never given up her notion that Tyrion tried to assassinate Bran.  Learning that Edmure put a bounty on Jaime sets the stage for what we know comes next.

I can understand why Catelyn is angry with Edmure but I thought she probably should have dialed it back a bit when she started calling him a fool since I'm sure a lot of her side thinks that what she did was extremely foolish. 

I was struck by how Catelyn thinks that Tywin and Stannis are on the same level as far as their side is concerned. I also think it's interesting that she still has nightmares about what she saw in the tent. I would think that most people wouldn't be able to easily shake something like that off so I'm glad that she's still disturbed by it because I know I would be. She's one of the few people in this story who knows how shady Stannis is. 

I'm confused as to whether or not Catelyn still believes that Tyrion was behind the attempt on Bran. She had so many doubts and when Jaime backed up Tyrion's story she seemed to at least reconsider. She still thinks the Lannisters are behind it but I wonder now if her main suspect is Cersei.

I agree about how feeble it sounded when she mentioned that Tyrion swore an oath at court. Since she seems like a true believer in the gods, I wonder if that extends to her believing that a trial by combat is a genuine indicator of a person's innocence and that's the other reason why her attitude towards Tyrion seems to have changed somewhat. The other thing that she must think back to is the fact that he did save her life. 

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Stannis did make a point of telling Catelyn that he considered Robb a traitor for trying to break the North away and would be treated accordingly if he didn't fall in line.  So from that perspective and being fairly certain that Stannis murdered his own brother for not backing him, it's pretty to easy to see why she would equate Tywin and Stannis.  

Jaime did back up Tyrion's story even though they haven't seen each other in something like a year at this point and would have no way of getting their stories straight.  Catelyn acknowledges as much.  Jaime also tells her that he'd know if Cersei had done it.  I guess what you think she believes now depends on whether you think she believes Jaime.

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5 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

I've never been clear on the timeline of any of that.  It seems like a whole lot of things had to happen over some pretty significant distances in a fairly short amount of time for it to all go as it did.  The lines in this chapter about Jon Arryn having a prickly sense of honor and how he would have had a hard time taking what he considered a soiled bride are one of the things that make me think he wasn't quite as much of an all-around great guy as Ned and Robert say he was.

I've never liked Jon Arryn. A lot of his decisions have done more harm than

One of my main reasons for disliking Arryn is how he decided to practically reward Tywin and house Lannister for the sack and Elia, Aegon, and Rhaenys' murders by having Cersei marry Robert. He helped sit Robert on the throne, didn't give Elia and her children justice, was the one who officially started Robert's Rebellion with raising his banners. All around Jon Arryn was not a good man IMO. 

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14 hours ago, Avaleigh said:

I agree, I can't see Tywin losing a night's sleep over the way he's treated any of his children. I wonder how much guilt Hoster felt prior to becoming ill and whether or not he ever tried to make it up with Lysa before this only to be rejected. 

I'm confused about the timeline of Lysa's pregnancy too. I don't really have anything to add other than being particularly confused as to what all Jon Arryn knew with regard to Littlefinger. I have to assume that he didn't know anything or wouldn't he have side eyed Lysa's relationship with Petyr a bit more when they were all at King's Landing. 

I can understand why Catelyn is angry with Edmure but I thought she probably should have dialed it back a bit when she started calling him a fool since I'm sure a lot of her side thinks that what she did was extremely foolish. 

I hadn't really thought about it that way before, but it is possible Hoster's words were part of a conversation he already had with Lysa since he's unaware of the present time or who he's speaking to and seems to be repeating things as they went before, saying he didn't want to hear about the wretched stripling, talking about Cat's upcoming wedding to Brandon, and talking to Cat as if she were Minisa.

I need to just stop thinking about Lysa's pregnancy because I'm also confused about Catelyn mistaking a very bloody miscarriage for a late period. Did Lysa's periods just always come super heavy and leave her bedridden for days? The only thing I'm sure is that Hoster never told Jon Arryn who impregnated because even he shouldn't have been dumb enough to invite his wife's former lover to court at her request.

I'm glad she didn't call him a fool out loud but poor Edmure getting shit on even when he's cleaning up her mess. It's a mark of how beyond sense she is on this matter that she ever expected him to go along with this doomed plan and not try to get Jaime back.

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It's interesting with Hoster that after Tywin Lannister, he might have been the most ambitious Lord in the Seven Kingdoms with his obsession with powerful marriages.  Cat was being shopped to House Stark and Lysa to House Lannister early on.  When that fell through, she was married to House Arryn.  It's mentioned in AFFC that he was wanted Princess Arianne to visit Edmure in the Riverlands and it's noted that he wanted his brother the Blackfish to marry a daughter of House Redwyne.  All powerful, prominent Houses.  His obsession with these big political marriages cost him his relationship with his daughter and led him to be estranged to his brother for years (although Brynden still returned to fight for his family in the end).

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19 hours ago, benteen said:

It's interesting with Hoster that after Tywin Lannister, he might have been the most ambitious Lord in the Seven Kingdoms with his obsession with powerful marriages.  Cat was being shopped to House Stark and Lysa to House Lannister early on.  When that fell through, she was married to House Arryn.  It's mentioned in AFFC that he was wanted Princess Arianne to visit Edmure in the Riverlands and it's noted that he wanted his brother the Blackfish to marry a daughter of House Redwyne.  All powerful, prominent Houses.  His obsession with these big political marriages cost him his relationship with his daughter and led him to be estranged to his brother for years (although Brynden still returned to fight for his family in the end).

I wonder if this fixation you mention was passed on to the Tully children in some way and this is why Catelyn insisted that Ned accept the position of Hand offered by Robert.  Lysa has a warped mind, but she's still partly about getting power for herself, Littlefinger and her son.  Edmure seems to be afraid to marry an ugly woman, but still agrees to a Frey marriage, even though they are certainly not known for their good looks and he is obsessed with not losing an inch of territory to the Lannisters or anyone else.

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Catelyn seems to view herself as more of a Southroner and is thus much more susceptible to the idea of making those alliances and taking what power and influence you can get.  Because that's the culture and family she came from, where you don't turn down the opportunity to be hand of the king and wield that kind of power.  I've always found it interesting in light of that that none of the Stark children were fostered anywhere and that Robb is what, 14 or 15 in the first book?  Yet there's not even a hint of sniffing around any possible marriage alliances and the Sansa-Joffrey betrothal happens only because Robert thought to suggest it.

I think we're supposed to think it's just that the North is very alien and separate from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, almost an entity to itself.  It's certainly often portrayed that way.  But then the story almost goes out of its way at times to remind us how very Southron Catelyn can be in her thinking.

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7 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

Catelyn seems to view herself as more of a Southroner and is thus much more susceptible to the idea of making those alliances and taking what power and influence you can get.  Because that's the culture and family she came from, where you don't turn down the opportunity to be hand of the king and wield that kind of power.  I've always found it interesting in light of that that none of the Stark children were fostered anywhere and that Robb is what, 14 or 15 in the first book?  Yet there's not even a hint of sniffing around any possible marriage alliances and the Sansa-Joffrey betrothal happens only because Robert thought to suggest it.

I think we're supposed to think it's just that the North is very alien and separate from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, almost an entity to itself.  It's certainly often portrayed that way.  But then the story almost goes out of its way at times to remind us how very Southron Catelyn can be in her thinking.

I think Ned didn't foster Robb because than he'll have had to foster Jon and I don't think Ned wanted Jon away from him. 

Or losing half of his family in Robert's Rebellion screwed up Ned to the point where he just decided to keep his family together. 

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I suspect both of those reasons are correct.

If Ned had fostered Robb, I think White Harbour would have been a good place for him.

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Arya I

Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie are riding away from Harrenhal and Arya is thinking back to how she killed a man during their escape. Wolves are howling in the distance and she keeps looking over her shoulder because she knows that men will be sent to find them since they stole three horses in addition to stealing a map and dagger that belonged to Roose Bolton. Arya wonders if Vargo Hoat will be sent after them and worries about his penchant for cutting off the hands and feet of people who displease him.

Once Harrenhal is out of sight, Arya wants to avoid the roads and Gendry and Hot Pie don't question her. Arya realizes that Hot Pie is scared of her and feels that it's better for him to fear her because this way he won't do anything stupid. She thinks that she should feel more frightened but notes that she feels calmer now than she ever did during her time at Harrenhal. She reminds herself of Syrio's teachings and whispers that fear cuts deeper than swords. 

They eventually pass a burned village and see a bunch of men hanging from a row of trees. Hot Pie starts praying for the Mother's mercy and this makes Arya start thinking about her list. 

Gendry finally asks where they're going and Arya tells them that once they make it to the Trident they'll be able to make it to Riverrun. Hot Pie seems pretty amazed that Arya is able to read and understand a map. Hot Pie wonders why Arya thinks they'll be safe at Riverrun but she just tells them that they will be and refrains from mentioning that it's her grandfather's castle. 

Arya is concerned that they aren't traveling quickly enough and there's a moment where she thinks that she sees men in the distance, but it turns out to only be a pack of wolves. Arya howls at them and the largest of the wolves howls back at her; the sound makes her shiver.

Hot Pie starts to complain that he's sore from riding and says that he'll fall off of his horse if he doesn't get some sleep. Arya asks Gendry if she thinks the wolves or the Bloody Mummers will find Hot Pie first if he falls off of his horse and Gendry replies that the wolves have better noses. Hot Pie has no reply and decides that it's better to stay upright. 

Arya realizes that Gendry and Hot Pie are slowing her down because they basically have no experience with riding but she doesn't want to leave them behind, and feels somewhat responsible for them. 

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She would make much better time on her own, Arya knew, but she could not leave them. They were her pack, her friends, the only living friends that remained to her, and if not for her they would still be safe at Harrenhal, Gendry sweating at his forge and Hot Pie in the kitchens. If the Mummers catch us, I’ll tell them that I’m Ned Stark’s daughter and sister to the King in the North. I’ll command them to take me to my brother, and to do no harm to Hot Pie and Gendry. They might not believe her, though, and even if they did... Lord Bolton was her brother’s bannerman, but he frightened her all the same. I won’t let them take us, she vowed silently, reaching back over her shoulder to touch the hilt of the sword that Gendry had stolen for her. I won’t.

They look at the map together and Arya tells them that it will be days before they reach the Trident. After riding all day long, Hot Pie whines about lighting a fire and Gendry and Arya yell "No!" in unison; it reminds her of when she and Jon used to say things at the same time. She thinks about how she misses Jon more than any of her other brothers. 

Arya forces them to keep going until Gendry realizes that Arya's horse has been going in circles because she's fallen asleep in the saddle. He gets her to agree to rest and Arya reasons that whoever is following them will have to sleep at some point too. Gendry volunteers to take the first watch so that she and Hot Pie can sleep.

Arya has a dream where she's in the skin of a wolf leading a pack of other wolves on a hunt for four members of the Bloody Mummers. The wolves quickly overcome the four men they're hunting and Arya's last vision is of ripping off the arm of one of the Mummers.

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I can't remember, is this the first time we get any real sense of Arya warging into a wolf?  I know she thinks she's dreaming here.

Before so many chapters in these books became yet another travelogue that didn't seem to go anywhere, I enjoyed chapters like this.  This one tells you a lot about class differences with Gendry and Hot Pie barely able to stay on their horses because they've never ridden before and their astonishment that Arya can read.  It also makes me a little more impressed how well Arya was able to pass for a peasant serving kid for so long until I think about how lucky she is that she's just young enough that she hasn't really drawn too much unwanted attention yet from all the random horribles she's been serving.   Luckily for her, she doesn't have to put her backup plan of revealing to the Bloody Mummers who she is if they're captured to the test.

I love the kids bickering and I love the observation that while maps helpfully have names printed on them that riverbanks do not.

Edited by nodorothyparker
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20 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

I can't remember, is this the first time we get any real sense of Arya warging into a wolf?  I know she thinks she's dreaming here.

Yes, this is her warg awakening, though she heard a lot of howling all through Clash. I love the end of this chapter, where Nymeria and her pack protect Arya and her pack without Arya even realizing that. Arya spends most of the chapter worried about outrunning their pursuers but she's still got her northern guardian out there to help her survive. Her last chapter ended with the rain washing the Bolton guard's blood off her hands and this wolf dream ends with Nymeria covered with blood in the rain, as if Arya's inner wolf really did become more powerful when she decided she was done with wooden teeth and being a mouse in Harrenhal.

It's impressive that the boys don't even question Arya's role as leader by this point, even though she's smaller and younger than both of them, and as far as Hot Pie knows, she's just another King's Landing orphan and a girl to boot. Gendry is around Robb's age, with the strong Baratheon build, and he's a guy yet he only acts as Arya's partner and follows her advice. She was leading her own little pack just like Nymeria even before they learned she could read and navigate.

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Tyrion I

Tyrion is finally awake and Bronn is there to bring him up to speed on all that's happened since the battle. Tyrion notices Bronn's new sigil and is sour when he's told about the sellsword's new knightly status. He comments that the gods have a lot to answer for and asks Bronn about those who were lost in the battle. 

Bronn mentions that Ser Jacelyn Bywater was killed by the gold cloaks after he tried to keep them from fleeing the battle. The gold cloaks panicked after seeing Joffrey being led away from the fighting and assumed that all was lost. Jacelyn was nearly able to get the men to fall back into line until someone decided to put an arrow through his neck; after that, he was pulled from his horse and quickly overwhelmed. Ser Addam Marbrand is now in command of the City Watch. Tyrion thinks that putting Marbrand in charge of the gold cloaks was a shrewd move on his father's part and notes that Marbrand is like Jaime in that he's the kind of man that other men like following. 

As for Tyrion's clansmen, he learns that the Stone Crows are still in the kingswood because Shagga seems to like it there. Timett decided to lead the Burned Men home after taking all of the plunder they could carry from Stannis's camp. Chella attempted to come back and approached the River Gate with some of the Black Ears, but they were chased away by Lannister soldiers and private citizens of King's Landing. Tyrion thinks about what ingrates the people of King's Landing are and remembers that some of the Black Ears died for them. 

Tyrion asks about Alayaya and is told that Cersei did have the girl freed, but only after first having her whipped. Alayaya was then forced out of the gate while she was naked and bleeding. Tyrion thinks about how Alayaya was learning to read. He then remembers that he promised to take his payback out on Tommen and asks how he could possibly inflict something like that on an eight year old boy. Bronn tells him that he doesn't have the option since Tommen is no longer in his custody. Once Cersei learned that Ser Jacelyn was dead, she sent the Kettleblacks over to Rosby to fetch Tommen. 

Bronn tells Tyrion about how Stannis managed to escape and says that it's because all of Stannis's Lyseni kept their galleys out into the bay and beyond the chain. 

Tyrion asks about Robb and is told that the northmen have been burning their way towards Duskendale. Tywin has sent Randyll Tarly to deal with them and Bronn admits that he's sort of interested in going along. He's heard that Tarly is a good soldier and is "openhanded" in terms of plunder. Tyrion tells Bronn that he can't leave because he's the captain of the Hand's guard and Bronn has to remind Tyrion that he's no longer the Hand of the King. Tywin is Hand and he has a guard that doesn't include Bronn or any of the other people that Tyron hired. Kevan gave Tyrion's people some money and they were then relieved of their duties. 

Tyrion asks if Margaery Tyrell has arrived in King's Landing and is told that she's on the way. Margaery is already very popular with the people because the Tyrells have been bringing food into the city from Highgarden in her name. Tyrion is bitter over how popular the Tyrells are in comparison to him. 

Tyrion has help getting dressed and then goes to visit with his father. He sees the preparations for Joffrey and Margaery's wedding and runs into Addam Marbrand on the stairs. They chat about Marbrand being made commander of the City Watch and Marbrand mentions that Tyrion's cousin Tyrek is still missing.

Tywin is wearing the chain of the Hand of the King and Tyrion has a moment where he thinks about how the chain looked better on him. Tyrion learns that Joffrey and Margaery will be getting married on the first day of the new year which also happens to be the first day of a new century. Tywin says that it will be a dawn of a new era. 

Tywin acknowledges how hideous Tyrion's wounds are and asks him if he killed the man who cut him. He also says that Jaime wouldn't have been so foolish as to remove his helm during a battle. Tyrion asks Tywin why he's still in the city and Tywin says that they can't launch an assault on Dragonstone until Lord Redwyne comes with his ships. When the subject turns to Robb Stark, Tywin mentions that a large force of northmen are descending towards Duskendale. When Tyrion makes further inquiries, Tywin tells his son not to trouble himself. 

Tyrion finds out that Littlefinger has been made Lord of Harrenhal and Tywin says that it's an empty title. Tyrion tells his father that the title might not be as empty as they think and says that Littlefinger never does anything unless he has a good reason. 

Tywin can see that Tyrion wants to know what his own reward will be and asks him what it is he wants. Tyrion says that he wants gratitude and says that he saved the city. Tywin acknowledges the roles various people played in achieving their victory and admits that Tyrion's chain was crucial to their success. He also says that it was a good move to make an alliance with Dorne but admits that he's uneasy about giving them Myrcella as a hostage. He says that Myrcella has arrived in Sunspear and is already getting along well with Trystane. 

When the subject turns to the Martells, Tywin mentions that Tyrion promised Prince Doran vengeance and says that the matter will come down to blood. Tyrion asks Tywin if he's really so fond of Gregor Clegane and Tywin comments that 'every lord has need of a beast from time to time.' Tywin notes that this is a lesson that Tyrion seems to have learned for himself considering his clansmen from the Vale. 

Tyrion is just about to leave when he decides to turn and tell his father that what he really wants is Casterly Rock. He insists it's lawfully his and Tywin's reply is that the Rock is Jaime's birthright. Tyrion says that Jaime is out of the running because of the rules for Kingsguard members and says that he wants Tywin to finally stand up in front of the realm and let everyone know that Tyrion is his son and heir. Tywin says that Tyrion will never have Casterly Rock and Tyrion can't keep himself from asking why.

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 “You ask that? You, who killed your mother to come into the world? You are an ill-made, devious, disobedient, spiteful little creature full of envy, lust, and low cunning. Men’s laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colors, since I cannot prove that you are not mine. To teach me humility, the gods have condemned me to watch you waddle about wearing that proud lion that was my father’s sigil and his father’s before him. But neither gods nor men shall ever compel me to let you turn Casterly Rock into your whorehouse.” 

Tyrion understands that Cersei must have told Tywin about Alayaya and realizes that it was Tywin who decided to have the girl whipped. Tywin says that Cersei told him about Tyrion's threats against Joffrey and Tommen and Tyrion admits that he did what he did so that Alayaya wouldn't be hurt. Tywin seems disgusted that Tyrion would threaten his own family in order to save the virtue of a woman like Alayaya. Tyrion says that Tywin is the one who taught him that a good threat can sometimes be more effective than an outright blow. He tells Tywin that if he's so interested in whipping people, he should start with Joffrey. 

Tywin doesn't want to hear anymore about Tyrion's rights to Casterly Rock and tells Tyrion that this will be the last time he brings shame on House Lannister. He also says that he'll hang the next whore that he finds in Tyrion's bed. 

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6 hours ago, Avaleigh said:

Tyrion finds out that Littlefinger has been made Lord of Harrenhal and Tywin says that it's an empty title. Tyrion tells his father that the title might not be as empty as they think and says that Littlefinger never does anything unless he has a good reason. 

Littlefinger's plot armour is particularly resilient at this point in the story.

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Tywin had a right to be upset with Tyrion over the Tommen threat though I always wondered if Tywin actually did love his grandchildren.  He seems to love the idea of family more than the actual members of his family, save for Jaime (and I believe he views Jaime as an idealized version of himself).  Tyrion did a lot to defend King's Landing and all Tywin can harp on is his whoring.  Again, making Tyrion hate him when he could have made Tyrion his most important ally.

Bywater was a legit loss for Tyrion although Tywin likely would have removed anyone who was loyal to Tyrion once he returned to King's Landing.

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When the subject turns to the Martells, Tywin mentions that Tyrion promised Prince Doran vengeance and says that the matter will come down to blood. Tyrion asks Tywin if he's really so fond of Gregor Clegane and Tywin comments that 'every lord has need of a beast from time to time.'

Thank you for reminding me of this line.  When I read the first Thrones book, Clegane reminded me a lot of the book version of Luca Brasi.  Luca is played more for laughs in the Godfather movie but in the book he is described as a truly terrifying figure and is the only man the Don fears (and vica versa).  He did some things that you could easily see Gregor doing and Michael (after hearing about Luca's worst crime) later asks his father why he allowed an animal like Luca around him.  The Don replies that there are men in this world who scream out "Kill me!  Kill me!" and it was Luca's job to get rid of those people.  It seems Tywin has a similar view of Clegane.

One other thing about this chapter...isn't there a reference to Bronn shooting Tywin a particularly murderous look when Tywin dismisses him?

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10 hours ago, Avaleigh said:

Tywin acknowledges how hideous Tyrion's wounds are and asks him if he killed the man who cut him. He also says that Jaime wouldn't have been so foolish as to remove his helm during a battle

I'd like to point out that Jaime did just that in the Whispering Wood, when Catelyn was able to recognize him from her vantage point by his hair. Tywin is just so full of shit in this scene. Tywin is just so full of bullshit. He mocks Tyrion for wanting recognition even though Sansa's last Clash chapter was a big Lannister celebration honoring and rewarding pretty much everyone but Tyrion, and while I'm sure Tywin's ego didn't really need Joffrey naming him savior of the city, there's no way he would have let himself be left out while the Tyrells were proclaimed saviors instead. He claims no one is denying the part Tyrion played, but that's what he's doing by minimizing Tyrion's importance. Tywin and the Tyrells' arrival wouldn't have been so glorious if they found Joffrey and Cersei dead with Stannis on the throne. Tywin's abuse of Alayaya to teach Tyrion another lesson is especially egregious knowing he's not actually that opposed to whores. That last remark was just an empty and hypocritical threat, unless he was planning to hang Shae when he was done with her as his own mistress.

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You are an ill-made, devious, disobedient, spiteful little creature full of envy, lust, and low cunning

Funny that if we take out ill-made and little, we get Cersei!

I felt really bad for Tyrion in this chapter.  He's even more disfigured, he's lost any power/support he had, and no one recognizes his achievements.  That said, I don't understand what Tyrion was expecting would happen once Tywin came to town.  Tyrion was Hand because Tywin was fighting a war, it was always Tywin's title, not Tyrion's.

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