Mark Reads ‘A Feast For Crows’

In the fourth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, George R.R. Martin takes a totally different approach to breaking my heart a billion times over. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read A Feast For Crows.

After I wrote the review for A Storm of Swords, I took a break for a day or two from reading this series before I started A Feast For Crows. And before I ever read a goddamn word of the actual book, HALF OF MY PREDICTIONS WERE RENDERED ENTIRELY OBSOLETE. I’m fascinated to see how GRRM deals with splitting characters and events. I mean…is Davos really dead? That can’t be true because isn’t he at the Wall? Or did he go somewhere else when Stannis went to the Wall? AH CHRIST WHAT IS GOING ON?

Anyway, let’s deal with predictions, and then I’ll jump into a more proper review of everything else.

  • Tyrion Lannister is headed for the Wall. Why not meet up with Jon Snow and Stannis Baratheon? He just betrayed the Lannisters in the worst way possible, so it makes sense he’d head to people he might be of service to. HAHAHA NOPE. No Tyrion. OH GOD WHERE DID YOU GO, TYRION???
  • Okay, I know this is wishful thinking, but if Arya boarded a ship across the Narrow Sea, she will….meet Daenarys? PLEASE? I just want a holy union between these badass women and that is all I want from life. NOPE. Not even close, but UGH OMG ARYA YOUR STORY IS SO SPECTACULAR. 
  • Oh god, SANSA. Look, I am still shocked at the end of A Storm of Swords. I don’t know how Sansa is going to escape from Littlefinger if they’re in the Eyre, so my prediction: she finally snaps and kills Petyr Baelish by the end of the book. NOPE. Good christ, am I going to get any of these right? Sansa’s story is fascinating to me because of the way she adapts her identity as Alayne and separates it from being Sansa. Even if she is annoyed by Robert Arryn’s presence and wants so dearly to get away from the Eyre, I found it touching that she still treated Lord Robert with affection and care. It’s strange to think about where she started off, wanting to be queen to a noble king, and where she has ended up. Her final chapter presents one hell of a possible story: her return to Winterfell. I mean…I want her to be Queen of the North because SHE WOULD BE THE BEST AT IT, but marrying Harrold? oh god WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
  • DAVOS. My onion knight, i love you dearly. I think that he’ll be killed by an Other and I will never forgive GRRM for it. I HOPE IT IS NOT TRUE THAT HE DIED.
  • What’s fascinating about the end of the last book is that, essentially, it’s really just Stannis and Tommen left. With Stannis at the Wall, I don’t think there’s going to be a huge quest for the Iron Throne, so I think Cersei is going to settle in as Regent to rule from King’s Landing. Oh, finally, I get one right! Look, I will not apologize for thinking Cersei is one of the best-written characters in this whole series. She gets a lot of hate from people who seem unable to separate her actions (which are quite terrible sometimes) from their judgment of her as a person. Yes, she can be cruel, but nearly everyone in this series does horrific things, so why do we accept that Arya murders people, but Cersei deserves our hatred? There’s genuinely so much to love about Cersei! I am in love with the way she uses her attitude to dismantle the absurdity of the court around her. Why should she have to do things in the same way as all the men before her? Why should she have to trust the people around her who have demonstrated, time and time again, that they are horrifically untrustworthy? I don’t know whether GRRM intends it or not, but I wonder if the end of this book was meant as a punishment for her trying to rule King’s Landing as a woman, or if that’s just an unfortunate implication. She still has more story to tell, so I am honestly happy that she hasn’t died yet, and I did start to worry that we were headed there at the end of A Feast For Crows. But she’s alive. GOOD. But Jamie has refused to help her, so….OH GOD I WANT CERSEI TO STAY ALIVE.
  • Well, I also don’t think it will be that easy for her, though, because Cersei is…paranoid? I mean, she is in a general sense, but her brother just killed her father, so I think we will see her lash out at those around her in order to maintain her power. (PS: GOD I LOVE CERSEI SO MUCH.) Damn, okay. I was totally right about this! And her paranoia is largely justified, given what happened at the end of A Storm of Swords. But in a way, it’s sort of her downfall as well. By trusting almost no one, she has nothing to fall back on when her plan to oust Margaery Tyrell completely crumbles.
  • We will get a chapter from the perspective of a Tyrell. Damn it! Nope, but there were MARTELL CHAPTERS. 
  • We will find out what the HELL happened to Theon Greyjoy. WHERE THE FUCK IS HE. DAMN IT! No Theon! So he’s in A Dance With Dragons, right? HE BETTER BE. 
  • Okay, I didn’t get it last time, so I’m begging for it now: PLEASE, JUST ONE CHAPTER FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF ASHA GREYJOY. PLEASE. WELL, I WILL BE A BUMBLEBEE’S UNCLE. Nope. But we did get Victarion and Aeron!
  • Sooooo….Catelyn is re-animated, right? She wasn’t just temporarily alive because that’s not how it works. I predict we will see her again at least once in the book. WHICH I WOULD LIKE VERY MUCH. I ALMOST WANT TO TAKE THIS BACK. Catelyn’s reappearance breaks my heart. What an awful, awful twist. Which I will get to with…
  • BRIENNE. OH BRIENNE, HOW I LOVE THEE. So, she’s off to find Sansa. Well, obviously she won’t, and she won’t find Arya either because she’s not even looking in the right place. My prediction is that she actually finds Rickon instead. Brienne, if you are dead, I will find GRRM’s house, go to it, and just leave a really stern letter in the mailbox. But christ…her story might be my favorite in all of A Feast For Crows. She’s on an impossible journey to find Sansa Stark, made all the more awful by the fact that we ALREADY KNOW SHE IS IN THE WRONG PLACE. Yet along the way, we see her continue to grow as a character, and to pick up travelers like Podrick Payne, WHO WAS ABANDONED, Dick Crabb, and Hyle Hunt. BUT HONESTLY, LET US TALK ABOUT THE SCENE AT THE WHISPERS. I was already in shock when Crabb died, and then BRIENNE KILLS PYG, SHAGWELL, AND TIMEON BY HERSELF. Well, Podtick did help with a couple well-placed rocks. LOVE YOU, PODRICK. And then there’s Meribald! Oh god why do I love these characters so much? I should really stop, because then GRRM does things like ORDER BRIENNE TO BE HUNG. I need to know what that single word is that she yelled. WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT. oh god please don’t let  her and Podrick die :(
  • WHERE THE FUCK IS RICKON. The forgotten Stark! OMG how hilarious would it be if we get to book seven and all the Starks are dead and Rickon just emerges from a cave and is like I’M KING OF THE NORTH, FUCKERS. Okay, an actual prediction: We’ll find out where he is and what he’s been doing. Nope. The eternal forgotten Stark. Where the fuck is he?
  • ARYA!! I LOVE YOU DEEPLY AS WELL. Oh god, WHAT IS THAT GODDAMN COIN SHE GOT AND WHAT DOES IT DO? Obviously, I predict we find out what that coin means and what that phrase that was spoken back to her means, too. VALAR DOHAERIS. All men must serve. God, I love Arya’s journey as well; she is forced to face her ego, her temper, and discard many of the hopes and dreams she had as Arya Stark. It’s clear that Jaqen purposely sent Arya here to learn how he was able to change faces, so of course I am quite excited to see what becomes of it. How awesome was it to see Arya as Cat through Samwell’s eyes? So the question remains, though: Is she actually blind permanently? Was that punishment for killing Dareon?
  • AND WE WILL SEE J’AQEN H’GHAR AGAIN. CALLING IT. Okay, we could have, but I’m counting this as a NO.
  • Oh, and Sandor Clegane obviously didn’t die. CALLING THAT, TOO. DAMN IT. I HAVE NO CLUE. Ugh where is he???
  • oh god JON SNOW ON THE WALL. omg he’s fucking LORD COMMANDER AND SHIT. I can’t even goddamn GUESS what the hell is going on. But let’s try: Mance Rayder will escape from captivity. NOPE. lol.
  • Someone will blow that horn thing that’s supposed to bring down the wall and it will work. Nope. Samwell sold it!
  • then disaster Nope. It’s all in the next book. 
  • then how will i survive By not reading anything about the Wall.
  • Okay, seriously. Samwell will lose his virginity to Gilly. I dunno, I’m sort of feeling them as a couple? I mean, obviously I ship the fuck out of Sam/Jon, but let’s be real here! OH SHIT I WAS RIGHT.
  • Hi, Jaime. Can we have a moment? I hated you. I did! And something happened during A Storm of Swords, and I find myself unbearably fascinated by your character. There’s a clear division between you and your sister, and I think you’ll exploit that, eventually betraying her, too. See, the Lannisters will finally fall apart after what they did to the Starks because sometimes, retribution takes a long time to happen. LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS IS. LOOK AT IT. He exploited the break in their relationship and while he didn’t betray her, he denied her. The Lannisters have fallen apart, but it’s more because of what Cersei did to the Tyrells than anything else. Ugh, Jamie, how did I come to enjoy your chapters so much?
  • GENDRY CHAPTER. IT’S HAPPENING. LOL NO.
  • Bran, you are in hiding. What are you doing? I have not the slightest damn clue what’s happening to him. Um….he will…um….nope. I have nothing. Nothing at all. We’ll just count this as a strike against me right off the bat. NOT EVEN IN THE BOOK. fuck.
  • DANY. DANY. DANY. How many ways do I love you, Dany? So, she’s remaining in one place to rule Meereen, and Jorah has been banished. OH GOD. Well, here’s my first prediction for her: I think she’ll make a terrible mistake because she has no one to stop her anymore. I lost before I started.
  • I think that by the end of the book, she’ll be able to ride her dragons. No.
  • Someone’s face will get melted off by a dragon. Not even.
  • Why am I even typing words at this point? Because there is no way to be prepared for these books.
  • ONE CHAPTER FROM VARYS’ POINT OF VIEW. JUST ONE. PLEASE. COME ON PLEASE GIVE THIS TO ME. 
  • Okay, DEATHS. I will put each name separately because it cannot be a GRRM book without LOTS OF DEATHS. This is true! OMG Arys Oakheart. :( :(
  • Bronn. Nope. That fucker is still alive and being all lordly and shit. Love you, Bronn.
  • Ser Jorah Mormont. Wrong book.
  • Gilly. Nope.
  • Pycelle. Nope. AND NOW RUNNING KING’S LANDING.
  • Petyr Baelish. Nope.
  • Janos Slynt. Wrong book. 
  • Pyp. (NOOOOOO.) Wrong book.
  • Stannis. And let me add to that: Melisandre will do it. She’s clearly vying for some sort of power, and he’s the only one standing in her way. Wrong book.
  • Roose Bolton. Nope.
  • And my last prediction: A chapter from the perspective of Ramsay Snow. Because we keep reading about him secondhand, and it’s about time we heard from the man himself. Goddamn it, I got virtually nothing I wanted.

FINAL SCORE: 6.5 out of 39. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I think that as a whole, I had a lot of fun reading A Feast For Crows. People warned me that I might think this is boring coming out of A Storm of Swords. It’s true that this book is certainly much “slower,” but I actually appreciated that there wasn’t some horrific turn of the plot every five chapters. Instead, this is about how Westeros deals with the utter bloodbath at the end of the last novel. While I admit that in the beginning of the book, I wasn’t entirely transfixed by the stories of House Greyjoy or House Martell, I came to really appreciate that GRRM fixated on people and places we’d never seen before.

A Feast For Crows is like a giant chessboard in a way, and I think that whatever happens in The Winds of Winter will heavily rely on everything here in this book. We’re still dealing with a world that’s been torn apart by war, and one of the things I enjoyed about this book was how we got to see various places in Westeros and how the events of the last three novels ruined people’s lives. We get to see a lot of that while Brienne, Podrick, and Hyle travel with Meribald; GRRM doesn’t ignore how this sort of violence has ravaged the countryside. The introduction of the Sparrows is a sign of that, too, and I found it telling that after everything the kings did before her to create the existence of them, Cersei was the one who ultimately had to deal with them. Is it only going to get worse in the next novel? (Or…well, the sixth novel? Omg, I know nothing.)

I do have to lodge a gigantic complaint: I am exhausted by the in-universe rape/misogyny. Given that the bulk of this book is from the perspective of women (WHICH IS REALLY QUITE COMMENDABLE FOR HIGH FANTASY), it’s become a game of mine to see if I can go five pages in a chapter narrated by a woman and see if I can’t find a reference to rape, sexual violence, or women knowing their place. Look, George R.R. Martin, I GET IT. You have made the reality of this fictional universe quite apparent to me. PLEASE STOP REMINDING ME EVERY FIVE PAGES. Not only is it quite distracting, but it’s unpleasant in a way that is drastically off-putting.

HERE ARE SOME ODDS AND ENDS THAT I HAVE. omg did you love my segue.

  • EDMURE TULLY YOU ARE WONDERFUL. Brynden WHERE DID YOU GO omg.
  • God, EURON IS SO FUCKING CREEPY.
  • Doran Martell, YOU ARE CRAFTY.
  • Sweet summer child, ARIANNE WAS SUPPOSED TO MARRY VISERYS. WHAT THE FUCK.
  • Pate. PATE. WHO THE FUCK TOOK PATE’S PLACE.

But let’s talk about the real shit: Certain people know of Dany’s dragons, and are now heading across the narrow sea to bring her to their side. SO YEAH WHAT THE FUCK. I assume that’s going to be dealt with in A Dance With Dragons in some way, since those characters only have chapters in the book.

oh god what is happening at the Wall and where is Tyrion and how is Dany doing in Meereen and where is Davos my onion knight omg

A final note: Predictions will be posted next week! But more importantly, on Monday, I will start J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. SWEET SUMMER CHILD.

About Mark Reads

Vegan cyclist, Internet community nerd, atheist bookworm, high-five purveyor.
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170 Responses to Mark Reads ‘A Feast For Crows’

  1. Ryan Lohner says:

    I get enormously pissed off when people say that they were bored by the Greyjoy chapters and skipped them, and then have the nerve to complain that the story's confusing and things weren't set up properly. Well, how do you fucking know? So thanks for not doing that.

    Oh, I imagine you're laughing at those of us who settled in to wait years to learn what Brienne's one word was, knowing that we might not even find out in the next book given the split between characters.

    • cait0716 says:

      I wasn't bored by the Greyjoy chapters, I was angered by them. And though I didn't skip them, I came very close. As a whole, their kingdom doesn't seem to have a single redeeming quality

      • Saber says:

        They do have the closest thing I've seen to a democracy, with the Kingsmoot thing. That's something?

        No, while I can skip NOTHING in these books, the Greyjoys were not my favourites.

        • cait0716 says:

          Wasn't that the first Kingsmoot in a thousand years or something, though? And it felt so rigged, but maybe that's because I despise everything the krakens hold dear.

          • Saber says:

            It felt rigged because it was made to look like political elections!

            Ok ok, jesting over. But I got the idea that the kingsmoot was a purely Iron Island thing, did they even mention it happening somewhere else?

            • xpanasonicyouthx says:

              I MEAN.

              They are all kind of awful people?

              But I am endlessly fascinated by them.

              I feel like that's how I feel about this whole series though.

    • Anna says:

      I feel the oposite way. I did not skip or run through the iron islands-chapter, but i didn't feel that they had much to do with the rest for the story at all. Yes they've raided oldtown in a feast for crows, but we did not have to read iron island-chapters to know that.

      Only interesting thing that we learned is Euron Greyjoys plan for Daenerys, but still. Amazed as I am with the prospect of iron islanders seeking contact with Daenerys, it still was A LOT of boring chapters in a feast for crows.

  2. cait0716 says:

    tl;dr: I'm still enjoying the story, but this book felt unbalanced to me.

    I have mixed feelings about this book. I mostly enjoyed it, but it's definitely my least favorite of the series so far. And I'm currently taking a hiatus from the series with plans to pick up ADWD in November because I need a break to digest all the new characters and kingdoms and plots. Not to mention a break from the misogyny/rape that Mark complained about

    I didn't like the sheer number of perspectives Eight of them were brand-new, whereas the previous books only had two new POV characters each. It was cool to get the chapters in Dorne, but I had a hard time keeping the characters straight or really caring about anyone besides Arianne (who got two chapters) and Myrcella (who I recognize from ACOK). When characters were only given one chapter, I had a hard time even remembering their names (especially since the chapters weren't named after them. I don't know why that naming scheme helps me remember better, but it does).

    I can pretty much do without the Greyjoys. I came close to skipping their chapters which is something I don't usually do, and ultimately couldn't bring myself to do. But every time I came to another Greyjoy chapter I'd put the book down for a few days and read something else until I finally convinced myself to just pick up the book and read the goddamn chapter (it took me a month and a half to read this book, which may be some kind of record for me). Even Asha started to grate on me. I get that she's a product of her environment, but I didn't really want to read about it. All in all, I think the book is plenty complex without the Greyjoys and their ridiculous rebellion. I wish they weren't included in the series at all (also because then Winterfell would still be around)

    To me, it felt like Brienne's journey was a bigger part of the book than it needed to be. Her journey out to Crakehall and back ultimately seemed a little pointless, and I would have liked a few more Martell or Sansa or Arya chapters in places of that particular side-plot.

    I did enjoy the Cersei chapters, even though I don't really like her. She's paranoid and power-hungry and constantly lashing out. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion until everything eventually came crashing down around her. I don't trust Taena half as much as she does, mostly because she seems to have really poor taste in friends. And I think the valonqar from the prophecy is Jaime, not Tyrion. Tyrion is too easy.

    I also really enjoyed everything in Sam's and Arya's plots, though I'm a bit concerned by how disconnected they're becoming from the rest of the characters. I also think Sam is somehow going to be the one to find Rickon, given that he has now stumbled across both Bran and Arya. He's like a Stark magnet.

    I really like that the focus of the series seems to be shifting from kings to queens. The second and third books gave us the War of Five Kings, most of whom are dead now. Stannis is up north and Tommen barely counts. In the meantime we have Cersei and Dany in power, Arianne scheming to get power for both herself and Myrcella, and Sansa poised to emerge triumphant as the queen of the north, if not more. I could see the next phase being the War of Five Queens, and that's really exciting to me. Possibly six queens, if Margaery hangs around.

  3. Michael says:

    I don't think that Cersei is being 'punished' for attempting to rule King's Landing as a woman. I think that terrible things happen to her because she is a terrible leader. She is capricious, paranoid, and has no idea how to wield the power she has. As someone said at some point in one of the books, "She loves to play the game of thrones, but she is not very good at it."

    Cersei seems to be under the same impression, though–i remember her complaining more than once about how it isn't fair that she can't rule because she is a woman. While there /is/ a lot of bias against women in these books, I don't think that's the main obstacle preventing her from being a good ruler. It's her.

    • cait0716 says:

      I really like this analysis of Cersei.

    • Zoli says:

      This. I think she could probably get away with changing some of the traditions eventually; that's not the problem. The problem is that she's just not nearly as good at politics as she thinks she is, and her massive paranoia does not help either. I mean, we saw this back in A Clash of Kings through Tyrion– Cersei kept coming up with all these plans that were terrible tactically AND bad for morale. You know, like continuing to have awesome feasts while people starved in the main city? And spending all the kingdom's money on fancy new ships instead of defense? Cersei absolutely didn't care that the crown was already massively in debt or that she'd have to do something to fix that if she wanted the realm to survive.

      In AFFC it just gets worse, because now Cersei has no one to limit her– she has kicked Tyrion out, Tywin is gone, Jaime is ignoring his sister. She doesn't trust any of her advisors and kicks out competent choices for men either corrupt or incompetent just so they're not Tyrells. She completely fails to understand the need for the political alliances her family so carefully set up. So in the end she alienates everyone and her bad choices go unchecked, and things just get worse and worse.

      Oh also everytime the Sparrows were mentioned I cringed. There's a reason that the Church was removed from political and military power in this setting– it's because zealots are REALLY REALLY DANGEROUS. Adding them to an unstable situation was probably the WORST possible thing she could have done in terms of keeping her own political power intact. :/

      I admit, I don't particularly like Cersei anyway, and her awful choices make it hard for me to sympathize with her. The realm can really only get better if she gets removed from power.

    • Liam says:

      Sooo true. After all, Margaery would essentially be the Queen Regent with Cersei out of the picture, and she'd be a much better ruler.

    • Tauriel_ says:

      This, this, this. She's really a horrible, horrible person, vain, selfish, paranoid, with no self control or self reflection whatsoever, and she thinks she can do whatever she wants, and damn the consequences. She's a BAD ruler, but not because she's a woman, it's because of all those other things.

      Note: Joffrey was a bad ruler for THOSE EXACT SAME REASONS, and he was a man. Well, a boy. Well… you know what I mean. ;)

      I must admit I really, really hate Cersei and I was incredibly pleased and satisfied how her plan to get rid of Margaery backfired so gloriously on her. I literally punched the air and shouted "YES! Justice at last!" :D We have a saying in Slovakia: "God's windmills turn slowly, but surely." (meaning that everyone will get their due eventually) It's funny how it's almost literal in Cersei's case, given that she was arrested by the church.

  4. earis says:

    Thanks Mark, for calling out the woman-hate that runs rampant through the book. GRRM does have to walk a line between late medieval sensibilities and modern sensibilities, but the idea that everyone is so down on woman is stomach turning, even for a die-hard fan of the series, as I am.
    Personally, I think that the character who suffers most from this is Cersei. A friend of mine once pointed out that almost all the female characters who have children in ASOIAF have characterizations that almost exclusively derive from their role as mother. In Catelyn's case, it makes her determined. In Cersei's case, it drives her mad. And while it is certainly understandable for a regent whose son died to develop paranoia about the remaining heirs, everything is couched in terms of Cersei's appetites. Her desire for power, her desire for food, her desire for sex, all of these are used as signposts to her delusions of grandeur and tyranny. Robert was the same way (remember when he wanted to assassinate Dany), but no one questioned his legitimacy. Cersei is punished, both in book and out of book, for being a woman and desiring power.
    I think that's why I love Dany so much. Along with surrounding herself with smart, strong people regardless of gender or race or class, she also feels empathy for the most vulnerable and marginalized people in every society she encounters. And this brings back the motherhood themes, but instead of limiting her power, her empathy for her children, be they the dragons, the freed slaves, or whoever she can protect, makes her more powerful than her enemies could possibly imagine.

    • la.donna.pietra says:

      But is that an indictment of those female characters or the patriarchal environment that says their only worth is as bearers of children?

  5. ddlebrun says:

    Honestly, if you score more than two I think that's awesome, and your score maybe actually higher. You asked what happend to Sandor. Go reread the part where Brienne is on the island with the silent brothers. Pay attention to the horse and to gravedigger who is one of their newest brothers. And then remember what their leader said, "The Hound is dead" and "Sandor Cleagane is at peace"

  6. Patrick721 says:

    THE HOBBIT FUCK YES I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS. Mark, which version of the Hobbit are you using, because I want to do this with you. It's been so long since I read that book. (You are going to watch the animated movie when you're done, right?)

    • notemily says:

      I second the request for which version. Preferably with ISBN number because I am a dork.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        It's the Kindle version! There's only one.

      • stefb says:

        Oh my god there are so many editions though I expect most of them are the same unless they're the early, early versions (do those even exist any more?, they must be incredibly rare) I have one actually from 1966 Ballantine edition (I have to dig around my grandma's house for the box set which has crests on it (bzt Ryira perfgf! bs Srnabe, Ryebaq, Tnynqevry, Pryrobea, Svajr, rgp *salivating*), but the second LotR book was missing and the first is in terrible shape while the third is in excellent shape).

        The second one I have is ISBN 0-618-00221-9 let us be nerds and compare. I figure Mark will most likely read the second one I have, it's the one I see in bookstores most (and the cover is prettyyy), and I assume they will have that one for ebook?

    • kartikeya200 says:

      I am SO FULL OF EXCITE for this. It's been years and years since I read the Hobbit, and it was so a part of my childhood.

      Now I just need to actually find my copy. This…might be easier said than done.

      • chikzdigmohawkz says:

        Oh, I spent at least an hour going through my brother's boxes of books trying to find them (he packed them away when he left for basic training). I found them in two different boxes, all the way at the bottom of the pile. I honestly have no idea why he owns them and I don't, even though I read them years before he did.

    • fantasylover120 says:

      I'm pumped for this too because I'll be rereading along cause I seriously haven't read this book since Middle school so it's been over a decade…;feels old;

  7. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for calling out all the rape/violence women get put through in this series. It's something that actually contributed to my eventual decision to just wait till the whole thing's over and then tackle all the books in one go. I understand that this is a medieval fantasy and that women go through hell. I do not like having it described to me over and over again in rather brutal and graphic terms. I get that women are raped. I do not need descriptions of it every other damn page (yes, an exaggeration, but not entirely unjustified). I'd be willing to cut Martin slack because it's a war fantasy, and I did get through the first three books, but the fourth book was where I couldn't handle it anymore. There's a fine line between realism and overkill when describing a situation this brutal, and there are times when I think Martin crossed it by a mile and a half. It's frustrating to me because I love some of the characters to bits, but at times I just have to put the book down because of the rape and violence issue.

    Whew. Rant for today over. But yeah- adult content doesn't always equate to adult thinking, and I think someone might want to just suggest this to Martin. Then again, as long as he has female fans validating him,he probably won't care (he's had a couple interviews/blog posts where he's said something to this effect. I have to go to class or I'd hunt them down).

    • nonny says:

      THIS!

      I got through the first two books, and the rape/violence was infrequent enough for me to enjoy them, but there was a really horrible scene near the beginning of the third that made me put the book down. It was years ago now so I don't remember it really well, but I think it made me feel sick and nauseous. It just wasn't worth it to me to read it after that, no matter how much I loved some of the other characters. I've always wanted to come back to it someday for all the things I loved in this series, but I'm also waiting till they are all out so I can get through them all in one go.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Spoilers for ADWD:

      Gurer vf n cnegvphyne cnffntr va bar bs Qnal'f puncgref jurer zhygvcyr punenpgref vafhyg ure sbe orvat "ybbfr" naq rirel fragrapr znqr zr jnag gb guebng chapu TEEZ. QHQR. JR. TRG. VG. FGBC. QBVAT. GUVF.

      • Woooow. I think I'm going to need a huge dose of calming tea (yay Uncle Iroh) when I decide to pick this series up again. And as a complete sidenote, I've been a lurker/anonymous commenter up till now, and your blog is one of my favorite internet creations ever :D

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          OMG THANK YOU

          I will say I'm about 400 pages into ADWD and it is just…well, aside from that moment, it's just FUCKING FANTASTIC. It is right up there with ASOS in terms of excitement, WTF-ery, and beautiful character development.

          • Hm… ASOS was by far my favorite. Guess I should start slogging through AFFC again. Make ready the tea water! :)

          • jesicka309 says:

            We read at the same pace, Mark. This = awesome. I'm at 433 and BZT CBBE GURBA. V qba'g rira pner gung ur'f n qhzonff, ab bar qrfreirf jung Enzfrl Obygba unf qbar gb uvz. V jnag gb uht Gurba naq fnl "vg'f bxnl, jr xabj lbh qvqa'g xvyy gur Fgnexf.Gvzr gb erqrrz lbhefrys!"

  8. JonT says:

    Umm we DID have an Asha chapter didn't we?

    • cait0716 says:

      You're right. I remember being horrified once we actually got inside her head, because she's every bit as misogynistic and woman-hating as her uncles and it disgusted me. I get it, given what she was raised in and as, but it was still hard to read about her after that. I mean, back in ACOK it was fun to see her put down Theon, because he was a jerk. But after reading this book I realized that Theon is basically the best the Greyjoys have to offer in terms of sympathetic characters.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        OH SHIT YOU ARE RIGHT. THE KRAKEN'S DAUGHTER. I totally forgot!!!!

        • birdbrainblue says:

          How could you forget that after begging for it two reviews in a row? D8

          • xpanasonicyouthx says:

            BECAUSE MY BRAIN TURNED TO MUSH AFTER THESE BOOKS.

            I think between this, Luther, Breaking Bad, and the final six episodes of season three of Battlestar Galactica, my brain just gave up on trying to remember anything.

            • Tauriel_ says:

              You know, I've always been wondering how you manage read/watch/review all this stuff, reply to comments, and still have enough time to make a living! :P

              I'm beginning to suspect you have a Time Turner or a TARDIS which gives you extra time to do all that stuff. ;)

  9. Shadowmarauder78 says:

    Cersei's chapters just made me lose what respect i had for her. She's just such a fucking idiot. She thinks that's she's as good a leader as her father, but she's just totally incompetent. Left to her own devices she just fucks everything up.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      I found it kind of disappointing that getting inside Cersei's head didn't yield any new insights into her, like was done so well with Jaime. Though maybe that has something to do with her having already started to lose her mind by the time we get those chapters.

      • Shadowmarauder78 says:

        Same here. Jaime's chapters were a revelation for me that completely changed how i thought of him. Cersei, on the other hand just got worse.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          Could we not call her an idiot, please? That word has a history of being used in a negative connotation in the mental health community.

          I would argue that Cersei's chapters completely and utterly changed my mind about her. Yes, she does make quite a few critical mistakes, but I learned so much more about why she turned out this way.

          • Shadowmarauder78 says:

            Ok would a moderator mind removing that post then. I will never warm to Cersei, she is just full of spite, i've never forgiven her for having Sansa's direwolf killed.

    • Radgast says:

      I enjoyed the Cersei chapters on a sort of visceral level; it's like what they say about watching a train wreck. You know, given Cersei's temperament and inclinations, that she will be self-destructing eventually in some way; it's just precisely which brick in the Jenga tower will be the one she pulls to cause the collapse. The enterainment was from that angle, for me.

  10. leighzzz31 says:

    So, OK, after the epic that was A Storm of Swords, I did not expect to find myself riveted by AFFC, especially given that it's one half of a whole story. And I think that's very obvious in the writing; you get the sense once you finished the book that there should be more to go on, something to give it a more rounded ending. I like how you compared it to a chess match; the pieces are being set in this book and we're all on the edge of our seats for them to move. And then…they don't. It just ends with no much happening in terms of plot development and I can understand why people don't like this book, because it feels unfinished and they had to wait like six years for the next one. Also, if your favourite characters happen to be Dany, Tyrion or Jon, I totally get the frustration.

    But, I really liked this book. REAALLY LIKED IT. I didn't love it, granted, because the Greyjoys and the Martells didn't have the most riveting stories to tell and the plot was going at a snail's pace, but there are at least three major reasons that this book was infinitely enjoyable to me:

    Namely, JAIME, CERSEI, SANSA.
    These were established as my favourite characters in the last book (at least in Jaime and Sansa's case) and GRRM gives me a book featuring them prominently? IT'S LIKE CHRISTMAS. Plus, we're given insight in what for me is the mind of THE most intriguing female character of the series, Cersei? I could kiss you, GRRM!

    To be honest, I could have read this whole book purely from Cersei's point of view. I expected to read her chapters in AFFC after ASOS and Jaime's story and I was incredibly satisfied by it. She's been painted as a clear villain throughout the first three books and I totally bought it; she was horrible and I wanted her to die a painful death. But, after reading Jaime's feelings towards her and after being in her head for a short while, I've done a complete 180 on Cersei. I no longer think she's inherently evil; basically Cersei's first and worst mistake that's tainted all her decisions since then is being born a WOMAN in a MAN'S world and having the nerve to have a man's AMBITION. She's the firstborn but she's denied Casterly Rock because she's a girl; she marries a king but never comes close to power until her sons come to the throne and even then she's only a Regent; she's suspicious of everyone and everything because she knows they don't honestly value her because she's a woman and she becomes subsequently paranoid. And, if that wasn't enough, we learn something else that's been haunting her all her life and fed her paranoia; the prophecy about the valonquar (which I hope GRRM somehow manages to overthrow – I think that would be an awful ending for such a brilliant character – I know she has to die because her story can't really end another way, but I hope she dies on her own terms at least). Also, her ending: I was boiling with anger when I heard the accusations against her. Alright, they're true but Robert was guilty of most of these and no Septon would ever freaking condemn him. Urgh the misogyny in this world makes me ill.

    I could honestly go on and on about Cersei but it's pretty clear why I've come to love her, I think. Jaime's story continues to fascinate me (and break my heart, I can't believe how invested I am in an incestuous relationship, eeek) and the fact that he's lost his hand but still attempts to remain a knight and a Lannister is fascinating. And he still wants to keep his promise to Catelyn! Sansa, on the other hand, I was terrified for but she's proved above and beyond that a sword is not the only way to play the Game of Thrones. Petyr is obviously a great teacher (though still creepy but I enjoy him enormously).

  11. Dent D says:

    Woo hoo, The Hobbit! I have never actually read The Hobbit. I've read LotR three or four times but I've never been able to push through the first couple chapters if Bilbo's tale. NOT THIS TIME. I am SO EXCITE to start this and read along with Mark. :D

  12. Appachu says:

    I haven't read A Feast For Crows yet, so I have only this to say: The Hobbit! Yay!

  13. notemily says:

    I just scrolled down for Hobbit confirmation. HOBBIT!!!

  14. monkeybutter says:

    Oh, and I can't believe your teachers never made you watch the animated Hobbit movie! Oh boy, I have memories of that!

    • stefb says:

      I've never seen the animated movie either! Tolkien wasn't required at my schools (I read them anyway because of the movies though). Didn't they make the Jbbq-ryirf terra? JULLL.

      Nyfb, V whfg tbbtyrq hc na vzntr naq JUNG UNIR GURL QBAR GB GUENAQHVY UR VF ABG NA VZC. UR VF ORNHGVSHY NAQ XVATYL.

      • monkeybutter says:

        I've never read the books! Well, I started the Hobbit, but never finished it. Anyway lrf, gurl qvq! Bar bs gur znal ubeevslvat nfcrpgf bs gur zbivr! V qba'g erzrzore znal fcrpvsvpf nobhg gur fgbel, bayl gung zl yvggyr xvq oenva pbhyqa'g unaqyr Enaxva-Onff' ovmneer navzngvba.

      • knut_knut says:

        What?! That movie is FLAWLESS, and by flawless I mean filled with nightmare fuel. It was on TV all the time and I would always watch it. I think Rankin-Bass also did The Last Unicorn, which I LOOOOOOOOOOVED (I watched it so often I destroyed the tape), and because the animation was similar I would watch The Hobbit even though it gave me nightmares.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I KNOW. How did I miss out on EVERYTHING?

    • t09yavosaur says:

      I remember watching the movie curled up on my friend's couch while he went to clean his room (as a girl I wasn't allowed to help).

  15. @unefeeverte says:

    I actually enjoyed A Dance with Dragons quite a lot more than A Feast for Crows. Right up until the end, when RAAAAAR. (<– my reaction)

    Also, I CANNOT wait for you to start the whole Hobbit/LotR thing. Because I think those books are very different from what you've read (on Mark Reads) until now. Maybe that's because they're so much older than everything else – I think the "oldest" books on Mark Reads were, what, from the 90s? Anyhow, it'll probably awesome.

  16. Becky says:

    Coming out of lurkerdom to say I <3 you so much for your defense of Cersei. I feel like people hate on her without making an effort to understand <i>why she is the way she is. And I definitely think she gets more hate because she's female.

    I think a lot of the reason people were frustrated with this book when it first came out is because we had been waiting 5 years for what turned out to be only half the story, and knew it might be another 5 (and it was) before we got to read the rest of it. I think knowing you get to read ADWD as soon as you want to makes AFFC less frustrating.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      YES CERSEI IS WONDERFUL AND I LOVE HER omg I would totally let her be ~my queen~

      And it's so similar to what is happening with me while watching Battlestar Galactica. The episodes that fandom hates aren't terrible to me because I have less time to develop my own expectations about it.

  17. la.donna.pietra says:

    I live about 45 minutes away from GRRM's house, so if you ever want me to deliver something, just say the word. (Disclaimer: I will not deliver any savage beatdowns or flaming bags of poo.)

  18. drippingmercury says:

    OK, first and foremost: FUCK YEAH, HOUSE MARTELL. I love House Martell the very most of all the houses. There’s the Stark-like sense of justice and numerous strong women, but with more cynicism and political savvy! And Dornish law/culture is more egalitarian than anywhere else in Westeros! Total props to Arya for naming her direwolf after Dorne’s founder, Nymeria; clearly, Arya knows what’s up. Plus, I just find the Martells more relatable than the Starks since they’re a much more dysfunctional family. The Dorne chapters tend to be one of the things people complain about with Feast, which makes me sad because I love Dorne so.

    Speaking of things people complained about in Feast, AAAAHHHH I LOVE THAT YOU LOVED BRIENNE’S STORY ARC. If I could just hug that bolded paragraph forever, I would. I love Pod and Brienne’s interactions. He doesn’t know what to make of her, or even what to call her, but he squires for her with every bit of the devotion and loyalty he showed Tyrion. On that note, how heartbreaking was Pod off on his own, searching for Tyrion? “I’m his squire but he left me!” PLEASE DON’T BE DEAD POD I HAVEN’T GIVEN YOU ALL THE HUGS YET.

    Things actually worthy of hate in Feast for Crows? VICTARION. AERON. EURON. Basically all of the Greyjoys except Asha. SEVEN HELLS ARE NOT ENOUGH FOR THEM. No wonder Theon is so fucked up, his entire culture is based on pillage, slavery, and rape. WTF.

    Re: gigantic complaint—I think the rapeyness reached a new level in this novel, for a variety of reasons. Despite the sexual violence prevalent in the series, Martin avoided having a POV character on either side of the incident, which I appreciate – it seemed he didn’t want to go into THAT amount of gruesome detail. But then there’s shit like Cersei’s “Myrish swamp” scene, the closest thing the series has gotten to a POV rape. It starts out as an interesting reflection on her rape by Robert and I can understand Cersei trying to find power in doing the same thing to Taena, except… whoops! Turns out Taena’s totally into it, so it’s not really the rape Cersei intended! It’s actually HOTT LADY SEXINGS. WHAT. Martin, stop. Please? Don’t do that. Don’t take rape and make it sexy.

    Naq gura gurer'f Nfun'f svefg puncgre va Qnapr. V nz fb abg bxnl jvgu guvf ~VG VF ENCR UNCCRAVAT ABJ bu jnvg gur ynql vf npghnyyl GBGNYYL QBJA fb vg'f gbgrf svar naq fhcre frknl~ ohyyfuvg.

  19. Karen says:

    lol. It was adorable reading all your predictions for AFfC. I like some parts of AFfC (Brienne, Jaime, Cersei and Sansa to be specific) but OMG I HATE THE GREYJOY CHAPTERS. I do love Asha, but OMG ALL OTHER GREYJOYS CAN GTFO.

    I do think that Cersei's descent into paranoia is pretty fascinating and makes me think that the prophecy is self-fulfilling. I know some people who HATE the prophecy, but idk. It made me understand Cesei's motvations a lot better.

    The story that Brienne told about her experiences at Renly's camp broke my heart btw. I LOVE BRIENNE FOREVER AND EVER AND SHE NEEDS PEOPLE TO BE NICE TO HER. Speaking of which, I kind of hate what GRRM did to Cat. I mean, I love Cat with every fiber of my being, so to see her turned into this creature that is pure vengeance makes me super sad. Also, Brienne and Cat were pretty much the only female friendship in the entire series, so to take that relationship and then turn it into Cat being a merciless killer and willing to hang Brienne… no me gusta.

    Also, I'm not really a fan of Arya's storyline. She doesn't feel like Arya anymore. She's becoming something else. And it just feels weird and disjointed from the rest of the stories.

    OH AND SAM'S STORY WAS SUPER BORING AND ALSO HIS SEX SCENE WAS SO BAD. FAT. PINK. MAST. WTF?????

  20. pica_scribit says:

    I just…can't get on the Cersei bandwagon. Her obsession with that stupid prophesy really fucking annoyed me. She's so completely convinced that it's about Tyrion in such a paranoid narrow/singleminded way, when all the word means is "little brother". How many little brothers are there in this damn series who could possible want Cersei dead at this point? Her paranoia brings her whole world crashing down on her head as she systematically goes after her own allies, convinced that they are out to get her. She's not concerned with ruling wisely or well, just with protecting her own power (and her children, which is fair enough, I grant you). She is a complete and total despot, and she's convinced that she's every bit as clever as her father, who was a ruthless asshole when it came to dealing with his enemies, but at least he knew how to make and keep alliances. Cersei seems completely incapable of seeing the big picture, and with as much power as she hold, at least in the first part of this story, she needs to be able to do that. So yeah. Not Impressed by this paranoid tyrant.

    • @RaudhrGarm says:

      Yeah, too much Cersei love. Alright, it's fine if you liked Robert as a character, then I can understand liking Cersei a bit better.

      BUT if you didn't like Robert Baratheon but love Cersei, well, that's a bit of a double standard. Of course it swings both ways, but in general, I liked neither. Both are horrible rulers naq V sbe bar jrypbzr bhe arj ebfr bireynqvrf.

      As for Cersei protecting her children? Nope. Remember the prophecy, which she seems to be putting much stock in (Hello Tom), she will "live to see her children crowned and die". Might be paraphrasing slightly, but the meaning remains the same. She thinks that so long as her children live, she's immortal. Ergo, any protection of her children stems from her own desire to live, which is one of the reasons she is most terrified of Tyrion. He killed her father, who she aimed to be most like and thought of as all powerful, and her first son (so she thinks). Therefore, she most likely believes that he is the Valanquar (sp?), the little brother who has already managed to kill two Lannisters close to her.

    • mverlaine says:

      I've always been convinced that Jaime's been set up to kill Cersei, honestly.

  21. tethysdust says:

    The constant misogyny does bother me, though I can mostly get through it because I'm really invested in the story at this point. I hate the Greyjoys, though. There is nothing redeeming about that whole family, and I wish we could stop getting inside their heads. However, I did like this book as a whole, mostly because of Arya and Sansa (and Brienne, too). Also I second (third? fourth? 156?) the complaint: Where the *fuck* is Rickon?!

    And I am so excited and nervous for the Hobbit/LOTR. I'm excited because I loved those books so much, and I'm kinda nervous because I'm really afraid that Mark won't…

    • knut_knut says:

      ZR GBBBBBBBB! V’z fher ur’yy ybir gur jbeyq Gbyxvra perngrq, ohg n ybg bs crbcyr svaq uvf jevgvat grqvbhf. V ybir Gbyxvra naq jbhyq erernq Gur Uboovg/YBGE rirel Puevfgznf ohg rira V trg fghpx fbzrgvzrf.

  22. MidnightLurker says:

    We need a Hobbit banner to not be prepared to!

  23. Ravenclaw42 says:

    …Is is bad that I come here and to TV Tropes to get as thoroughly spoiled as possible before attempting to read the rest of these books? I only just got past the Red Wedding, which I thank the heavens I was spoiled for, so that I could read it with some degree of clinical detachment. I usually don't like spoilers and love being surprised, but I think there's a difference in being surprised by cleverness/character development/questions being raised or answered/emotionally riveting deaths/sheer head-asploding WTF moments, and being surprised by an author coming up behind you, knocking you down, putting you in an arm lock and bashing your face into a curb over and over, which is kind of how I felt when reading the first 2 1/2 books unspoiled. :/

    I really, really want to like these books, and I do like GRRM's writing and I LOVE lots of his characters, but the characters' circumstances and the increasing crapsacky-ness of the world keep killing my ability to stay invested. And it's not even that I don't like dark fiction. I do. But I think this is the first time I've really experienced what TV Tropes calls Darkness Induced Audience Apathy. :(

    • arctic_hare says:

      I've heard a lot about these books, but things I've heard about the grimdark and the rampant rape and misogyny kill my desire to ever read them, to be honest. (That and a lack of interest in medieval settings in general.) I am really susceptible to Darkness Induced Audience Apathy.

      (So what am I doing in this review? Hobbit excitement and stuffs, like notemily I came in just for the confirmation of that!)

      • Ravenclaw42 says:

        I actually ended up reading them because my mother is so in love with them and is one of those people who was a fan from book 1 and suffered through the massive breaks between books. It's funny, she's been reading them and waiting on them for my entire life, and it's only with this latest book that I'm really old enough to read them. (Well, I was old enough when AFFC came out, but I was at school.) I wanted to be able to share in her excitement over the HBO series and ADWD, so I feel 1000x worse that my reaction to these books so far is one of morbid curiosity mixed with "oh god make it stop whyyyyyy T_T".

        Talk about LotR, so rot13'ed for the principle of the thing:
        V guvax vg'yy or vagrerfgvat gb frr Znex'f ernpgvba gb Gbyxvra'f fyvtugyl nepunvp dhnyvgl pbzvat nsgre zbfg bs guvf frevrf. Gurl'er obgu uhtr qrnyf va gur uvtu snagnfl traer, ohg rira vs TEEZ unf arire fnvq fb, V guvax vg'f vzcbffvoyr gb jevgr n cbfg-Gbyxvra uvtu snagnfl rcvp jvgubhg vg orvat n zvzvpel bs, ernpgvba gb be vasyhraprq ol YbgE va fbzr jnl. TEEZ fryyf uvzfrys ba na nyzbfg nagv-Gbyxvra, zbqreavfg ulcre-ernyvfz juvyr Gbyxvra jnf zhpu zber vagrerfgrq va zvzvpxvat napvrag Abefr fntnf naq perngvat fbzrguvat arj gung sryg vaperqvoyl byq. Gurl'er fhpu qvssrerag fvqrf bs gur fnzr pbva, naq V xabj juvpu bar V yvxr orggre, ohg V jbaqre vs Znex'f ernqvat bs Gbyxvra jvyy or pbyberq ol uvf univat ernq TEEZ evtug orsber vg.

        Nyfb, jr trg lrg nabgure bs gur Znal Qrnguf bs Frna Orna. KQ

      • t09yavosaur says:

        Sometimes I really appreciate Mark reading things before me so I don't have to if I don't want to. I learn enough to make general conversation and add to my nerd-knowledge stores.

    • MidnightLurker says:

      Yeah, I never even made it past the FIRST book because of this.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I totally get this sensation. I suppose I am starting to find the grim nature of this to be a bit tiring. There is like…no hope at all in these books!

      The only redemption left is if the Others spill over the Wall and annihilate all of Westeros. I would give my firstborn child if GRRM did that. It would make me so happy.

  24. MidnightLurker says:

    Yay!

  25. stefb says:

    Mark are you doing The Hobbit predictions or are you jumping right into reviewing? (I would not mind that but your predictions are fun)

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      There are….well, I explain that. Sort of. There's an introduction before I jump into reviewing. :)

      • notemily says:

        I kind of love reading about how unprepared you are for things you know nothing about, like when you said the only thing you knew about BSG was the "pylons." It's like that tumblr game where you leave the names of shows people have never seen in their ask box and they try to summarize them. Or Kate Beaton's Doctor Who comic.

  26. pennylane27 says:

    lalala skipping spoilers STILL haven't finished A Game of Thrones I fail so much lalala holy shit there's a lot of bold sentences there lalala

    okay, last paragraph YESSSSSS HOBBIT TIME! doing a little happy dance I've lost the last shred of dignity and the respect from my family but I don't really give a fuck. Which reminds me I've found the most epic gif ever

    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ls9q7dhsR81qc24fn.gif"&gt;

    to conclude OMG THE HOBBIT SO EXCITE OMG

  27. redletter_ says:

    If Brienne is dead I will WREAK my VENGEANCE on SOMETHING.

    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ltfwdyYO711r00bgi.gif"&gt;

    Because NOOOOOOO.

    I'm #12 in the reserve line for DWD at the library, it's taking forever because they only have 3 copies, I feel like I'm never going to get my hands on it, BAWWWWWWWWW.

    ALSO, super excited for The Hobbit, I shall be re-reading it alongside, BRING IT.

  28. stefb says:

    I think it's safe to say that people are excited for The Hobbit.

  29. Phoenix Lord says:

    I've been an avid reader of this blog since Mark read Half-Blood Prince on his old site. I'm a first time commenter though. I'm looking forward to Mark's opinions on The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books. I've read the Hobbit once and the LOTR books multiple times. Will Mark also do a Live Blog of each movie when he is done with each book? I like the movies better than the books and I wanted to know what Mark thought of the movies.
    I'm also currently reading A Storm of Swords so I might be behind Mark by a good distance in the series but I love reading Mark's opinions and predictions on the books and I don't really care about spoilers. I do have a basic knowledge of what's going to happen next and needless to say I'm excited. I find that if I have a basic knowledge or other people's opinions (positive or negative) of a series or book I will like the book no matter what

  30. Tauriel_ says:

    Hobbit/LOTR question, Mark: Will you read/review them chapter-by-chapter, or as whole books?

  31. Shannon says:

    two things, ok:

    1.) Roose Bolton: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

    2.) "Who the fuck took Pate's place?" Well, uhh if you were paying attention, you'd have counted one more correct prediction.

  32. Hokuto says:

    The two main things I came away with from this book were 1) tinhattery about the continued life of Sandor Clegane (I AM A PERVY HOUND-FANCIER OKAY) and 2) a deep, dark desire for Barristan Selmy/Aerys II fic. SELMY CAME AND RESCUED HIM FROM DUSKENDALE ALONE LIKE A KNIGHT SAVING A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS OKAY

  33. woot says:

    You may find yourself really enjoying A Dance with Dragons. I'm actually kind of looking forward to you reading the storyline of one particular POV…

    And yeah, you've seen Jaqen. This isn't a spoiler. The man's description from the prologue matches his description from the end of Clash Of Kings, when Arya watches him change his face.

    You're missing a lot of nuances, by the way. I'm surprised. There's the "mayhaps" thing from the Red Wedding, for example. Or Alleras the Sphinx/Sarella Sand…

    To me, the most heartbreaking part about A Feast for Crows was Brienne weaping over Renly. There's a double whammy there because Renly's gay, man; Renly's gay.

  34. woot says:

    OH, also, at this point you're pretty much prepared to read the theory about Jon Snow's mother. Do you know who his mother is yet? Well? Do you?

    This essay covers things up to and including Feast, and was written before Dance came out. Prepare to be surprised. And flabbergasted. Interestingly, the theory is indirectly acknowledged in Dance.

  35. takashid says:

    You know who are two characters that i really want to meet up? Brienne and Jorah, because that would be awesome. Maybe if Jorah came back to Westeros after being kicked out by Danny? I think her and Jorah would get along great. Jorah comes from a family where the women fight alongside the men, so he wouldn't look down on her like so many others and actually give her the respect she needs. In fact, i just want Brienne to meet any of the Mormounts. can they just like take her away to Bear Island and give her all the love and respect she deserves? Please Martin? No? Okay. :(

    • Karyn says:

      If I recall, didn't Brienne's own father treat her all right? Or has it been too long since I read the books and I am horribly mistaken?

      But yes, Brienne would make a badass Mormont.

  36. klmnumbers says:

    WHY AM I IN THIS POST? I'm like 2/3 done with the book. I agree with the general consensus that I hate the Greyjoys pretty much uniformly. Just being in their heads has made me like Theon in retrospect bc he's misogynistic and horrible but was taught to be that way from the start. And even with that drilling, he is so much more human, forgiving, and almost kind.

    However, I have to say that I love your Cersei defense. I hate her a lot (because I love Jaime, and her snide thoughts make me sad), but she doesn't deserve nearly as much vitriol as she gets. You can see her self destruct, and it is FASCINATING.

    Also, without knowing how the book ends and going solely off of the first Dorne chapters, I <333 Doran. I loved the Martell stuff so much. They were so fascinating to me (compared to the evil pirate Greyjoys).

  37. Drake says:

    Do you know about the short stories George R. R. Martin wrote set in Westeros? I’m not totally clear on your spoiler policy here, so I’ll only give information that the author himself willingly gave explaining the premise of the stories at the signing I went to. The stories are an on-going series (so far there are three of about nine planned) that start roughly eighty-or-so years before Robert’s Rebellion, and take place when the Targaryen dynasty was still in control and there was peace in the land. The first story is called The Hedge Knight, and can be found in the Legends anthology edited by Robert Silverberg.

    The already-published stories, and a fourth one that Martin is currently working on, will be collected in to one volume either next year or in 2013, so you might want to wait until then to pick them up, but if you can find Legends in a library or in a bargain bin at Barnes & Noble, I suggest snatching it up and reading it. Some fans actually think their better than the series proper, but there are also those that dislike them. Popular fan theories hold that they may contain foreshadowing for future books in the main series, but Martin has never openly confirmed or denied that.

  38. summer says:

    But Sam never sold the Horn of Winter, he sold the broken horn Jon gave him that he found near The Fist.

  39. knut_knut says:

    FGBC JVGU GUR PNGPUCUENFRF, TEEZ!

  40. cait0716 says:

    I really like the parallel between Cersei and Theon. I hadn't thought about it from that perspective, but they do have a lot in common. Trying to impress their fathers will ill-advised schemes, they ultimately don't have enough foresight to succeed.

  41. Saber says:

    "Jurerire juberf tb"

    QB LBH URNE GUNG? GUNG VF TEEZ OERNXVAT ZL URNEG.

    But yes, Sansa for the north! With someone her age (Be gur Ubhaq, jub vf PYRNEYL ABG QRNQ) And being a BAMF

  42. monkeybutter says:

    Rkprcg "vg vf xabja" orpnhfr vg vf fhcrevbe gb nyy qvnybthr va gur obbxf. VG VF XABJA.

  43. Nora says:

    I love that GRRM in rot13 is TEEZ. Like, gung bar Wnvzr puncgre va NQJQ. What a TEEZ!

  44. knut_knut says:

    VG VF XABJA

  45. leighzzz31 says:

    I try :)

    (I'm sure there's more I can't remember right now. I couldn't fit 'You know nothing, Jon Snow' there though)

  46. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE

  47. leighzzz31 says:

    Let's just say GRRM repeats himself. A lot. Everyone has a catchphrase XD

  48. monkeybutter says:

    YOU KNOW NOTHING, MARK OSHIRO.

  49. stefb says:

    I was nervous for that casting but I am quite pleased with everything I've seen already (I am religiously following PJ's facebook for any news–more production videos please!)

  50. tethysdust says:

    Lrnu, V ubcr fb! V jnf cerggl zhpu n Gbyxvra snangvp jura V jnf n grrantre, fb V'ir ernq YBGE, Fvyznevyyvba, Gur Uboovg, naq n snve nzbhag bs naabgngrq rneyl jbex gung uvf fba choyvfurq. Vg jbhyq whfg or ernyyl fnq vs Znex raqf hc ungvat fbzrguvat V ybir.

  51. You make some really good points. I just love Tolkien so much I want everyone else to adore him as much as I do and I know from experience that doesn't happen.

    (By the way, is it really bad I was tempted to rot13 this even though there's no spoilers? I'm having too much fun making sense into gibberish and vice versa. Yet another wonderful thing Mark Reads has introduced me to) :)

  52. stefb says:

    At this point I'm too paranoid of accidentally spoiling Mark that I feel the need to excessively rot13 my comments lol Also, I'm too excited and I feel like I might accidentally let something slip (I did this during Deathly Hallows without even thinking but that was one of the weeks Mark was gone and so thankfully wouldn't have been able to read that comment–I remember being in extreme panic-mode). Anyway, I've certainly rot13 some things that really didn't need it.

  53. stefb says:

    I'm so thankful for Christopher Tolkien, otherwise we'd have so much less than what we have now.

  54. notemily says:

    Guvf vf fbzrguvat V'z n ovg jbeevrq nobhg bapr jr fgneg ernqvat. Ubj zhpu zngrevny gung'f abg npghnyyl va gur obbxf vf BX gb gnyx nobhg? Zvqqyr-rnegu vf fhpu n evpu jbeyq naq gurer'f fb zhpu bs vg gung vfa'g va YBGE.

  55. knut_knut says:

    this is strangely accurate

  56. notemily says:

    I think Puevfgbcure Yrr jnf xvaq bs qvfnccbvagrq nobhg uvf cneg va gur svyzf. Vg zhfg unir fhpxrq sbe uvz gb or fheebhaqrq ol crbcyr jub unqa'g rira ernq gur obbx naq jrer whfg yvxr "uboovgf yby" naq ur jnf yvxr LBH QB ABG HAQREFGNAQ GUR VAGRTEVGL BS GBYXVRA. Ur jnf rfcrpvnyyl zvssrq nobhg uvf qrngu fprar, V erzrzore ernqvat–rvgure gung vg jnf fvyyl (vzcnyrq ba n fcvxr) be gung vg jnf phg bhg bs gur gurngevpny rqvgvba, V pna'g erzrzore.

  57. notemily says:

    btw I don't know if anyone cares, but I tracked down the leather-bound seven-volume edition and it's the Millenium Edition. The books spell TOLKIEN along the side! Used copies go for 80 dollars on Amazon marketplace! New for almost $300!

  58. stefb says:

    Ur jnf znq vg jnf phg bhg bs gur gurngevpny irefvba–npghnyyl n ybg bs gur pnfg zrzoref unq ernq YbgE orsber svyzvat (V erzrzore Qbzvavp Zbantuna fnlvat guvf va cnegvphyne) naq Vna ZpXryyna jnf gryyvat Frna Nfgva guvatf Fnz jbhyq qb va gur obbxf, naq gung ur arrqrq gb qb gurz gbb orpnhfr gur snaf jbhyq ybbx sbe gurz (yvxr tenoovat Sebqb'f unaq jura ur jnxrf hc). Ur jnf ernqvat gubfr cnegvphyne cnffntrf evtug orsber gurl svyzrq gur fprarf. V thrff ur dhvpxyl orpnzr dhvgr n Gbyxvra rkcreg.

    V xabj gung Puevfgbcure Yrr jnf gryyvat Crgre Wnpxfba rknpgyl gur xvaq n fbhaq n crefba znxrf jura ur'f fgnoorq va gur onpx gubhtu, va terng qrgnvy (ur jnf yvxr va gur frperg freivpr be fbzrguvat yvxr gung naq fb xarj guvatf) V guvax ur jnf zhpu unccvre jvgu gur rkgraqrq rqvgvba (juvpu fubhyq or gur bayl irefvba Znex jngpurf). V jngpurq gur nccraqvprf snveyl erpragyl fb guvf vf cerggl serfu ba zl zvaq.

    Lbh pna gryy gur zbivrf jrer n ynobe bs ybir, gubhtu. Naq Gur Uboovg ybbxf gb or gheavat bhg gung jnl gbb.

  59. tethysdust says:

    To sum it up without spoilers :)…

    Mark, does it count as spoilers if we provide background information during LOTR/The Hobbit that is not contained in those books? There is rot13 discussion about whether or not that kind of information is a spoiler.

  60. tethysdust says:

    Unun gung'f onfvpnyyl ubj V srry, gbb! Gurfr obbxf jrer fb vzcbegnag gb zr tebjvat hc. V thrff V'z n yvggyr byqre guna Uneel Cbggre (gubhtu V ybirq gubfr obbxf, gbb), fb YBGE jnf zl puvyqubbq snagnfl fgbel.

  61. tethysdust says:

    rot13 is fun! It's like talking in a secret code! I would suggest converting to Tengwar for LOTR spoilers, but that might be going a little too far down the Tolkien fanatic road…

  62. notemily says:

    Hot Sidekick Assistant, I need you!

  63. @unefeeverte says:

    How much do I love the fact that this world has enough background that ISN'T contained in 1300+ pages, and DOESN'T refer to any actual events in those books, to necessitate that question.

    This is gonna be fun.

    (I really hope he loves it too, though. Anything else will break my heart.)

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