Mark Reads ‘A Storm of Swords’

In the third book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, there is no book in the world that a person could be less prepared for. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read A Storm of Swords.

Well. Well.

Let me go over my predictions for this book (and laugh and then sob viciously because of how wrong I was) before we get into the forty million things we need to talk about. Oh my god.

  1. Davos’s fate is left open at the end of the last novel. As much as I like him, I don’t think he’s going to last. My guess? He gets the prologue chapter and we see him die. I’m glad Davos is not dead. Bravo to GRRM for taking a character who had a somewhat limited role in A Clash of Kings and giving him such a rich, fascinating story. Oh, Onion Knight, be my savior. Davos has such a well-defined sense of honor and loyalty and I’m shocked he’s not dead yet. Everyone else who seems to possess just a modicum of decency in this series is generally murdered. These books are bleak, and the good side rarely, if ever, makes any headway. (To be fair, the characters can’t even really be split into a “good” and “bad” dichotomy anyway. BLESS YOU, MORAL AMBIGUITY.) Davos, after having lost sons and then ARRESTED after Blackwater, stands up to Stannis, laying out his beliefs out of both loyalty and honesty. AND STANNIS DOES NOT HAVE HIM KILLED. It’s such a bizarre thing for this book because this rarely happens. But I like the dynamic between Stannis and Davos, especially as Davos can see the strain that Melisandre is putting on the king. Oh, and I got this wrong.
  2. Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie will be captured by someone working with the Lanniesters by the second chapter from her point-of-view. HAHAHAAHAHAHAAHA GOOD LORD. Not even close. Oh my god, the Brotherhood Without Banners. Host to some of the best and most shocking scenes in the whole goddamn book. THOROS. LORD BERIC. OH MY GOD THE TRIAL BY BATTLE. Oh my god, I love it. And then Arya and Sandor and oh christ, this goddamn book. I’ll get into that more later.
  3. Stannis didn’t survive the Battle of Blackwater Rush. CALLING IT. Wow, why did I think this? Stannis was too integral to the story to kill off. I’m surprised he’s still alive, but then again….oh god, THE WALL. I NEVER SAW IT COMING.
  4. Guess who else died in the interim? Shae. I know, it hurts, but GRRM seems to like making Tyrion suffer, so this would be like…the final nail in the coffee. Oh, I am just precious. Nope, not even close. TYRION’S FINAL CHAPTER, THOUGH. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. That may be the most surprising twist of the whole book. Again, I’ll get to this at-length in a bit.
  5. And I know it’s bad to make a prediction that hinges so strictly to another, but because of #4, I bet Tyrion finally breaks and betrays the Lannisters by the end of the book, taking Bronn with him. WELL. HOLY SHIT. I mean, he does do this, but not for the reason I listed here. And I have no idea if Bronn goes with him. I give myself a half a point for this one.
  6. Catelyn will finally kill Jaime by the end of the novel. Yes, I don’t think Jaime will escape. YEAH. NO. Catelyn returns Jaime to King’s Landing with Brienne escorting him, and WHAT THE FUCK. First of all: Brienne = pure love. I love her so dearly and I would be honored to have her as my knight. And honestly? I like Jaime. Kind of a lot? AND I CAN’T BELIEVE I AM SAYING THAT. The Kingslayer was so revolting in the first two books, and I was shocked that I began to look forward to his chapters. GRRM, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?
  7. Look, I don’t even know how to deal with Melisandre, but I bet she takes control of what Stannis leaves behind and becomes a new threat to the Iron Throne. Haha, nope. I’m really striking out on these predictions, too. Melisandre, I CANNOT FIGURE YOU OUT. Oh god. 
  8. I think that last one is based on the title: A Storm of Swords. That seems like a reference to a chaotic battle of sorts, and I think all the parties who are claiming the throne will finally come to fight in ONE gigantic battle. Or something? Nope. But THE RED WEDDING. OH MY FUCKING GOD.
  9. Sansa will attempt to escape on Joffrey’s wedding day, and she will succeed. But GRRM can’t give us too much joy! We’ll find out Ser Dantos has another plan for her that puts her right back in peril. Okay….so technically this is true? The first half, at least, but…okay. I’ll give myself half a point for this one.
  10. We will get a chapter narrated by Rickon. Man, where the fuck is Rickon? He wasn’t in the book once!
  11. Bran will find a way to meet up with his mother by the end of the novel, who will realize that killing Jaime was a mistake because her sons are alive. (The Starks seem to make a lot of “noble” mistakes, so this is my guess.) Hahahaha, y’all seriously must think I am a goddamn fool at this point. I WILL NEVER GET ANYTHING RIGHT FOREVER. Ugh, he and Jon were SO CLOSE to seeing each other. I know it’s unrealistic at this point, but I want the remaining Starks to find one another so badly. It’s heartbreaking to me that the four remaining children and Jon are all separated. 🙁
  12. Unfortunately for anyone ever, I bet Theon did not die when Winterfell was under siege a second time. But just purely for my own joy, Robb kills Theon by the end of the book. I know it’s unrealistic, but it’s all I want from life right now. Damn it, only half right. No Theon death, but that’s because of the most horrifying scene ever. 
  13. Jon. JON SNOW. my god. So he’s with the wildlings. I predict he has sex with Ygritte by the end of the book, and his big “moment” is that he is given the choice to kill one of his men to prove his loyalty or risk his life, so he follows Halfhand’s advice not to waver and kills someone from the Night’s Watch. OKAY. HALF RIGHT. Oh my god, Jon Snow, YOUR STORY IS AMAZING. You spend time with the wildlings, fall for Ygritte, then betray Mance and join the Night’s Watch, defend the Wall, get detained by Allister Thorne (I FUCKING HATE YOU), go back to the Wall, then become LORD COMMANDER. Look, I’m not going to lie: during the first siege by the wildlings, as they were creeping up the stairs, I thought Jon Snow would die in this book. After the last book and especially after the Red Wedding, it was clear that any of the main characters could die at this point, even more so than before. I thought this would be it for Jon, and I was so pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. I’m still suspicious of GRRM because…oh god, I like Jon Snow so much, and GRRM kills everything I love. IT’S TRUE.
  14. I think Robb’s going to die in this book. I HATE TYPING THAT but look the Starks just die all the time. So yeah. I DON’T WANT IT, but it’s going to happen. I wish I was wrong about this. Can I deduct a point out of pure misery?
  15. Samwell Tarly is going to kill for the first time in this book. SAM THE SLAYER! HOLY SHIT, AMAZING. JUST AMAZING.
  16. WE WILL GET A CHAPTER FROM ASHA GREYJOY’S PERSPECTIVE. oh please please please let this happen. Nope. Where was she? No Theon, No Asha, no Rickon. FOR NEARLY 1,200 PAGES.
  17. Loras Tyrell will align himself with Catelyn Stark. I DON’T EVEN THINK THIS MAKES ANY SENSE but there’s no way he’d go with the Lannisters, even if Margaery is wedding Joffrey. Hahahahaha, sweet summer child, I was unprepared. Brienne was the one to align with Catelyn Stark while Loras moped around because of his dead boyfriend. Also he is TOTALLY A YOUNGER VERSION OF JAIME.
  18. Littlefinger will be behind the attempt to get Sansa away from Joffrey because he’s gross. HOLY SHIT I ACTUALLY NAILED ONE COMPLETELY. And to specify, I meant that JOFFREY was gross, and that’s why Littlefinger was behind it. I mean…I am intrigued by Petyr, but he is kind of gross. ALSO: THE LAST CHAPTER OF THE BOOK. MY GOD. 
  19. Like #16, I know this won’t happen, but I want a chapter from Varys’s point of view. PLEASE. JUST ONE. Please grant me this just once. JUST ONE CHAPTER, GRRM. PLEASE. #teamvarys and I don’t give a fuck.
  20. Edmure Tully dies. Nope. Taken prisoner by the Freys. Also, way to fuck everything up for Robb, you asshole. 
  21. Hot Pie dies. Nope. Left behind. As was Gendry. 🙁
  22. We will see H’ghar in a new face. And it will be shown that it’s Syrio Forel. Or whomever he is. Nope. Unless it’s proven later. 
  23. DAENARYS. Oh god, she’s going to Pentos. She’ll make it there and find out Illyrio tricked her into coming, and he’ll try to kill her to get the reward on her head, and HE WILL BE ROASTED ALIVE BY HER DRAGONS. NOPE. BECAUSE….okay. I am so conflicted by Daenarys! She is clearly a badass and I love that she is discovering just how much power she has. I love that she frees slaves wherever she goes. I love that GRRM also has the foresight to make it obvious that she is not necessarily the white savior she thinks she is, especially as the cities she emancipates aren’t not suddenly bastions of goodness and morality. She makes mistakes, but she learns to fix them. I am so excited to see what becomes of her remaining in Meereen. SO EXCITED.
  24. Westeros will learn that dragons exist. FUCK YES. Nope!
  25. One of the warlocks from the House of the Undying will also cross the narrow sea and to get revenge on the temple being burnt down by killing Jonah Mormont. I HATE EVEN TYPING THAT. NOPE. Oh my god, I wasn’t even fucking close. Oh my god, the Unsullied. And Astapor. And the 163 slaves. And BARRISTAN SELMY!!!!!!!!!!! oh my god this goddamn book. 

Five out of twenty-five. Well, that’s a slight improvement from last time, right???

I haven’t even touched the surface of what this book has done to me. I got a lot of non-spoilery warnings about this book. It’s funny how so many people gave me pre-emptive hugs. People were concerned for my well-being. They gave me warnings that seemed to suggest I was about to do something foolish, like leaping off a building or going bungee jumping without training. It cannot be that bad, I thought. I’d survived some hellish shocks before, expected many more, and was properly prepared for the onslaught of death to come. It is a storm of swords and certainly many people would die, right?



The rather brilliant Neil Slorance (whose Tumblr rules, and whose shop is full of wonderful things you should buy) drew this cartoon, which I discovered when I was just barely through this monster of a book:

People told me there was a thing that happened in A Storm of Swords that was a million times worse than the death of Ned Stark, and I couldn’t believe it was possible. Why do I do this to myself? So in honor of this frighteningly accurate cartoon, and as a way to organize all of the things I need to talk about, y’all are getting a list.

Each and Every Moment That Made Mark Put Down A Storm of Swords and Walk Away From The Book Because This Is Just Too Much

  1. The three blows of the horn in the prologue. Meaning the Others have arrived. Yeah, you start your book this way? Well, I was never prepared.
  2. Okay, Samwell’s first chapter is fantastic enough, and I love the flashback device that GRRM uses to give us the information of what happened when the Others attacked the Fist of the First Men. So things were already pretty tense and real. And then Samwell kills an Other by using the dragonglass dagger and IT DISSOLVES. Yeah. I had to take a break after that.
  3. Tywin Lannister tells his son, Tyrion, that he must marry Sansa Stark. Yeah, I’m sorry, but WHAT THE FUCK???
  4. Vargo Hoat cuts off Jamie’s right hand. At this point, I was wondering what could possibly be worse than all of this.
  5. The display of obedience from the Unsullied. Not many things make me queasy, but good fucking god.
  6. Daenarys killing Kraznys and ordering her dragons to burn the slavers alive. Just….THIS IS LIKE BARELY A THIRD OF THE WAY THROUGH THE BOOK. By this point, A Storm of Swords has one of the most rapid blots of any book I have ever read.
  7. The mutiny at Craster’s Keep and Lord Commander Mormont’s death. It’s seriously too much. I LOVED MORMONT. And oh god, Samwell just sitting there with Mormont’s head in his lap. FUCK.
  8. Sandor Clegane and Lord Beric battle in single combat and Lord Beric dies and then IS BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE. WHAT THE FUCK.
  10. The Red Wedding. I’m not good at figuring things out. I’ve just resolved myself to accepting this. Thinking back to the old woman’s dreams, Arya’s dreams, and the prophecy of Melisandre, this was unavoidable. And it still hit me so hard. My friend had just arrived in San Francisco, so I got her at the airport. I had read up to Arya’s chapter before it, anxious to see a reunion between Arya and her mother. We ordered Thai take-out that night and my roommate, my friend, and I were sitting around a coffee table in my living room when I got to this part. I sat there for a moment and was quite literally thinking to myself, “DON’T CRY. DON’T DO IT.” Then I put the book down and curled up and tried to fit under the table and I couldn’t and I just felt so completely numb and empty. This is a thousand times worse than Ned Stark’s death, worse than any twist in His Dark Materials, worse than every death in Harry Potter, and if anyone ever asks me what the least prepared I ever was for a fictional story, I will say the Red Wedding and I will not hesitate for one second. There is no preparation possible for this chapter.
  11. It hurts so much, she thought. Our children, Ned, all our sweet babes. Rickon, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Robb…Robb…please, Ned, please, make it stop, make it stop hurting…The white tears and the red ones ran together until her face was torn and tattered, the face that Ned had loved. Catelyn Stark raised her hands and watched the blood run down her long fingers, over her wrists, beneath the sleeves of her gown. Slow red worms crawled along her arms and under her clothes. It tickles. That made her laugh until she screamed. “Mad,” someone said, “she’s lost her wits,” and someone else said, “Make an end,” and a hand grabbed her scalp just as she’d done with Jinglebell, and she thought, No, don’t, don’t cut my hair, Ned loves my hair. Then the steel was at her throat, and its bite was red and cold.
  12. Brilliant writing, GRRM, despite that you broke my heart. And if I may take up #12 to say so, the writing all throughout A Storm of Swords is among the man’s best. And we’ll get to my other favorite section in a little while.
  13. I waited sixteen hours after the Red Wedding before I picked up A Storm of Swords. This was true devastation on my part. I’d come to love every Stark character so much, and GRRM had spread the entire family across Westeros. This was the first chance for any sort of reunion to take place, and it was stolen from us by the Freys. I, too, like many of you, was so furious and heartbroken that I did not want to read any further. And I didn’t for quite some time, much longer than I ever had in any book I had read that upset me. The next afternoon, I picked this book up again, read Arya’s chapter, which ended with her getting Sandor Clegane’s axe to her head. And I was like FUCK THIS I AM DONE. No, wait, let me use an emoticon to express how I felt about the end of this chapter: (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
  14. Ygritte dying in Jon Snow’s arms. Yeah, at this point, I was just internally begging GRRM to stop killing characters I liked. And then I realized this was pointless.
  15. The realization that Arstan is BARRISTAN SELMY. I had completely forgotten about him since A Game of Thrones and seriously had to take a couple minutes to calm down before I moved on in the book.
  16. Joffrey was the one who tried to kill Bran. At this point, I swear to you, all I wanted was the earth to swallow up that asshole forever. OH, FOR ONCE, MY PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED BECAUSE…
  17. JOFFREY IS POISONED AT HIS OWN FUCKING WEDDING. No lie, I was on BART when I got to his death and I CHEERED OUT LOUD and everyone stared at me and then I felt slightly embarrassed and then I thought FUCK THAT I HATE JOFFREY. Poor Margaery, though. 🙁
  18. Sansa goes through with escape and LORD PETYR IS THE ONE WHO ORGANIZED THE WHOLE THING. what the holy fuck.
  19. Prince Oberyn’s battle by combat against Gregor Clegane. “You raped her. You murdered her. You killed her children.” One of the most chilling scenes of the entire fucking series. Just unbelievable, and made even more shocking when GREGOR EVENTUALLY WINS AFTER CONFESSING WHAT HE’S DONE. oh my god.
  20. Daenarys banishes Ser Jorah Mormont. Yeah, I knew she was conflicted about his unwanted advances and it’s actually a good decision on her part–though one that will inevitably lead to some sort of backlash, since Jorah is far too proud of a person to take this. But STILL. Holy shit!
  22. VALAR DOHAERIS. What??? WHAT???? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. oh my god ARYA STABS THE TICKLER TO DEATH and what the fuck is that coin Jaqen gave her???
  23. Tyrion’s final chapter is perhaps the most mind-blowing moment of all of A Storm of Swords. The “bad” guys in this series do not seem to get their comeuppance, and the further I got in these books, the more certain I was that Tywin Lannister was invincible. I was happy that Varys and Jaime rescued Tyrion, though then immediately was heartbroken by the reveal that Tysha was not hired to shame the Lannister dwarf. Looking back, after all the shame heaped on Tyrion for the things he’d done for his family and the crown, it really was inevitable that Tyrion would turn against the Lannisters. I was ecstatic to find out how Varys knew so much of people’s private conversations (I WANT A HOUSE LIKE THAT), but simply expected that Tyrion would confront his father before escaping. Instead, he strangles Shae (NO WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING BAD TYRION) AND THEN SHOOTS AN ARROW INTO HIS FATHER’S STOMACH. And how about that final line? Seems GRRM planned this the whole time, because Tywin Lanniester did not, in fact, shit gold.
  24. The Wall is Jon’s. Enough said.
  25. I mentioned before that the final paragraph of the Red Wedding chapter blew me away. It is a deeply distressing and disturbing bit of prose, but contrast that with Sansa building Winterfell in the snow outside the Eyrie. Heartbreaking, yes, as Sansa has to accept that she is the only living Stark alive. (OH GOD, THE STARKS HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON.) So she builds her home from memory in the bright snow that has fallen outside. It is a gorgeous and comforting memory for her, and also provides the first moment that I feel good about Petyr Baelish as well. Yeah and then WHAT THE FUCK. Everything is PURE CHAOS after this, though I do love the tiny moment where Sansa beheads Robert’s doll and places it on a stick on the wall of Winterfell. Is this foreshadowing for Sansa’s development in A Feast For Crows? I WOULD LIKE TO THINK SO. And then. AND THEN. Oh god, Lysa’s confrontation with Petyr and Sansa. Again, I believed that Sansa could die here at the end, as much as I didn’t want it, especially after Lysa reveals SHE POISONED HER OWN HUSBAND, JON ARRYN. WHAT THE FUCK!!!
  26. Petyr Baelish tosses Lysa out the Moon Door. You are kidding me. YOU ARE FUCKING KIDDING ME.
  27. The epilogue of A Storm of Swords is perhaps the only epilogue I have ever read that I find to be pretty much perfection. I’ve never really understood the need for them. Well, except for in Arrested Development, which saved some of the best jokes for an epilogue. But after the chaos and destruction of this novel, GRRM has one final surprise for us. Valar Morghulis. All men must die. And the epilogue shows us that there might just be some vengeance for the Stars. The Brotherhood Without Banners trick Merrett Frey into capture and bring forth a sole witness that he was involved in the Red Wedding: Catelyn Stark. Who was brought back from the dead. And still has the wounds she suffered from Raymund Frey and herself. And I cannot believe that this is how this book ends.

I missed a lot, I know. But this is a long, dense book, full of so many details, character arcs, and plot twists that it’s almost impossible to talk about everything. But I do want to say that reading A Storm of Swords was difficult, challenging, and immensely satisfying. This is fantastic literature that’s both gripping and thought-provoking. I have no clue where this can go after here. LIKE HALF THE CHARACTERS ARE DEAD. What the fuck?

We can discuss a lot of the stuff I missed in the comments, and I’ll post my predictions for A Feast For Crows later this week. (It won’t take place of an American Gods review, though. Two posts in one day!)


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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150 Responses to Mark Reads ‘A Storm of Swords’

  1. Maartje says:

    There really is no way to prepare for the Red Wedding. Lots of my friends have stopped reading after that.

    I have to admit, I was ambivalent about Shae. I loved the character in the TV series, but in re-reading the books after that I found her strangely flat. All innocence and smiles and 'I want my jewels' and 'my giant of Lannister.' Which could've worked, but then she testifies against Tyrion AND ends up in bed with his dad, and if there were any hints in those chapters that she was coerced/regrets it, I must've missed all of them. And, conversely, if there were any hints in the earlier chapters that she was shrewd and opportunistic, I missed them too. Maybe it's just the strict adherence to POV (with nobody really noticing her except Tyrion, who's blind with infatuation) but all in all she didn't seem like a person.

  2. leighzzz31 says:

    GoT took me about a week and a half to read. CoK? A week. SoS? 3 DAYS. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME, GRRM?

    Me while reading:
    A whole lot of
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    Sansa is my favourite character ever. I love her so freaking much (like I love almost all the female characters) and I think she’s the bravest of the bunch. Considering all she’s been through, it’s a wonder how she’s still alive. I’ve decided I want her to be Queen. Sorry, Dany.

    I sympathize with Cersei now? What? How did this happen? The whole ‘not born a man’ thing made me understand her motives a lot more, plus she clearly loves her children, plus I’ve ended up hating Tyrion, so I suppose this makes sense. I also love every conversation she has with Sansa.

    I also like Jaime. HOW, WHAT, WHY? I hated him during the last two books. HATED HIM. And I now I understand him, I think he’s a decent human being and I love his ‘relationship’ with Brienne. Also, omg, how did I go from ‘ewww, incenst’ to ‘hey, Jaime’s kind of sweet when he’s thinking about Cersei and their love story is sorta tragic’? YOU HAVE BROKEN MY BRAIN, GRRM.

    I hate Tyrion. Just, urgh, I wanted to break something everytime I read his POV chapter. And when he marries Sansa? Seven hells, man, why did you even think she would want to consummate the marriage? Just, urgh.
    Ser Barristan Selmy. Whaaaaat? I’ve been wondering what had happened to him ever since Joffrey fired him and that reveal was the best thing ever. You are my new favourite, Barristan.

    I did not find Davos boring. Which is very surprising. He’s a good Hand, if going to the Wall and Edric Storm are anything to judge by.


    • leighzzz31 says:

      The trial by combat between Oberyn and Gregor Clegane. I read that chapter so fast my eyes must have been a blur and kept yelling ‘DIE, DIE,DIE!’ whenever I read Gregor’s name. “You raped her. You murdered her. You killed her children.” I loved that part (plus Oberyn’s the definition of a BAMF) and it reminded me of this: “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die.” Best thing ever. I was so sad when he died.

      Joffrey dying. I may have done a happy dance.

      Also, I was surprised to find myself liking Jon’s chapters. And I really enjoyed the wildlings we met (I love Ygritte, don’t care what anyone says, YOU KNOW NOTHING). I flailed a bit when he became Lord Commander.

      And inevitably
      <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

      Why was there no proper goodbye between Gendry and Arya? I loved them together.

      Any mention of Loras and Renly’s relationship got me sad. “When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” I still think Renly would have been the best King. Fuck you, Stannis.

      The Red Wedding. Just…why? Why? It was so painful to read even though I’d been partially spoiled about it. I loved Robb (mostly thanks to Richard Madden, which makes the whole thing doubly painful) but reading it through Catelyn’s perspective was soul-crushing. She was one of my favourite characters and it was horrible enough reading through all the tragedies of losing her husband and children but watching her son being betrayed and killed in front of her? I had to stop reading for a while after that.

      More notes:

      Sam ‘s chapters were so boring I might have fallen asleep during one of them. I swear the word craven is now embedded in my brain. We GET IT, Sam. Now, shut up and go away.

      I love Petyr Baelish. He’s the epitome of creepiness (I cringed when he was with Sansa) but he’s so devious and cunning and please don’t kill him off too soon, GRRM.

      The Knight of the Laughing Tree was a brilliant story-within-the-story. I’ll cling to the hope that – THEORIES ABOUND – it was Lyanna in disguise. I’m still not convinced we have the whole story where she’s concerned. I’ve read the theories(R+L) and I want them to be true.

      Lady Olenna is the funniest old lady that ever was.“I do so hope he plays us ‘The Rains of Castamere.’ It has been an hour, I’ve forgotten how it goes.” I laughed so hard at this part. She’s awesome.

      Filch (from HP) has been ruined for me forever. I don’t think I can watch him dance awkwardly with Mrs. Norris again without shouting ‘DIE, WALDER FREY, DIE!’.

      • Ryan Lohner says:

        There's some word that Olenna will be played by Maggie Smith. I was hoping for Judi Dench myself, but either would be awesome.

        • leighzzz31 says:

          Maggie Smith would be kind of perfect I think. The character she plays on Downton Abbey is very similar to Olenna so I can definitely see that!

      • monkeybutter says:

        It's amazing how getting a character's POV can completely turn around my feelings about them. Jaime's now one of my favorites. Coulda done without the moon-blood-next-to-dead-incestuous-offspring sex part of their POVs, though.

        I liked Oberyn, too, and the fight was a really intense scene. I wish he hadn't died.

        I loved the Knight of the Laughing Tree story, and I'd be overjoyed if your theory was right. I want more about her, too. It's great that the Frey's were the assholes in that story, too. God I hate them. And I love the Reeds for being around to tell all of these side stories.

        "When the sun has set, no candle can replace it."

        <img src=""&gt;

        • leighzzz31 says:

          I've chosen to ignore and/or forget every sex scene written by GRRM (except maybe Jon/Ygritte, that was OK). So 'moon-blood-next-to-dead-incestuous-offspring sex' means nothing to me lalalalalalalala XD

          Lyanna is my favourite long-dead character so I want to know everything about her!

          That gif is me reading anything conerning Loras/Renly. :'( I hope we get to see more of them in season 2!

          • knut_knut says:

            every book is worse than the other, too! (in terms of sex scenes). I feel so silly for complaining about twincest in GoT

            • leighzzz31 says:

              LOL, yes, twincest is the least of our problems. NSSP znqr zr jnag gb oyrnpu zl oenva va grezf bs frk fprarf. V zrna 'zlevfu fjnzc' naq 'sng cvax znfg' fgvyy znxr zr fuhqqre.

          • monkeybutter says:

            Seriously, there'd better be plenty of Renly/Loras scenes before they're cruelly separated. And if hater fanboys end up crying about it, even better.

    • Doodle says:

      I also like Jaime. HOW, WHAT, WHY? I hated him during the last two books. HATED HIM. And I now I understand him, I think he’s a decent human being and I love his ‘relationship’ with Brienne. Also, omg, how did I go from ‘ewww, incenst’ to ‘hey, Jaime’s kind of sweet when he’s thinking about Cersei and their love story is sorta tragic’? YOU HAVE BROKEN MY BRAIN, GRRM.

      Yeah pretty much my thoughts exactly. Jaime is so awesome! I kindof love him! How did this happen!

      Also 100% on everything else you said.

    • takashid says:

      Just wondering, why do you hate Tyrion? He didnt ask to be married to Sansa, his dad practically forced him to. He also tried to consummate it because his dad was expecting that. I seem to remember that almost every scene after that Tywin kept telling him to hurry up and do it. Which he didnt, after she refused him the first time. Sorry to go on a bit, not meaning to tell you your wrong, but Tyrion is really one of my favorites. Just curious as to your reasons for hating him.

      • leighzzz31 says:

        Hm, I’ll try and explain it as best as I can. I liked him well enough in GoT, his sarcasm and dry wit was really appreciated whenever he faced Lysa or Joffrey and he was one of the few characters who managed to get things done. He’s still one of the most interesting to me and so are his chapters but he has started to get on my nerves a bit since CoK. I think what may have tainted my view at first is the fact that he’s obviously one of GRRM’s favourites and we’re clearly meant to root for him as the ‘best’ Lannister, one of the smartest in King’s Landing, the ‘likable asshole’, if you will. I’m a reader that, when you tell me/show me persistently how awesome someone is, I’ll just go ahead and dislike them. Also he’s entirely too much like Lord Tywin for my taste; he’s self-serving , he’s backstabbing, he’s misogynistic and the moral ambiguity we’re shown is not nearly enough to redeem him in my eyes. Like I said, I HATED Jaime too but his POV in this book made me like him; he clearly loves Cersei and his relationship with Brienne makes it seem possible that he can redeem himself. Whereas Tyrion…we’ve had his POV all three books and nothing’s made me like him any better and his motives seem to be limited to bitterness, vengeance or self-gain. I guess those are probably my main reasons. I still enjoy his chapters mostly because his story is one of the most intriguing but I don't think I like him as a person.

        Phew. Long comment is long but I like discussions like these 🙂 especially in a book series so dividing.

        • takashid says:

          Yeah, but being one of GRRM's favorites just means that you suffer more 😛 😉
          Personally i dont really agree with you lots of those things. The idea that he is the "best/only good" Lannister was shot down by Jaimie's surprising character development. As for being like Tywin, i agree that they have the same effective and pragmatic thought process but other then that i cant really see where you found some of those bad qualities. Backstabbing and self serving describes about 90% of all the people in Kings Landing, so that just tells me he's playing the Game of thrones right (i.e. not the way Ned played it). However even then he still cares about his family until Jaimie tells him the truth.

          I really don't know how you can possibly see him as mysoginistic. Certainly he enjoys whores, but he treats them like real people and spoils Shae rotten, giving her anything she wants. He even threatens to hurt Tommen to Cersei in CoK for the sake of a whore girl who was took the fall for Shae. Above all else, after the first night with Sansa when she said No, he accepted that and never tried to force her. He could have her at any time and no one would have stopped him. Tywin kept encouraging him to force her into it. But he doesnt. If he was mysoginistic then he would simply have ignored Sansa's refusal.

          "his motives seem to be limited to bitterness, vengeance or self-gain."
          Really? i dont see this. To me it always seemed like his motive was to get respect and love, something he has always been denied by the world and his family(except for Jamie, and even then it seems more like he just pitys Tyrion). He is bitter about Tysha, but he doesnt really take it out on others, and only turns to vengance after he finds out the truth about her.

          once again long comment to match yours, but i do enjoy a good debate ^_^

          • leighzzz31 says:

            The idea that he is the "best/only good" Lannister was shot down by Jaimie's surprising character development.
            Jaime, Cersei and Tywin, though, have all been vilified in the last two books, from Tyrion’s perspective as well as others. For two books we assumed Tyrion was the only somewhat decent one. Jaime I now like but Tyrion isn’t quite cutting it for me because I never believed he was as good as GRRM presented him.

            Backstabbing is definitely King’s Landing’s favourite sport, I never saw it as a good thing. It’s the way Tyrion plays it (much like his father) and his reasons that put me off (keep in my mind that I’ve read the next two books too, so I’m not only talking about SoS).

            As far as the misogyny goes I’ll start by saying I don’t really like how Tyrion seems to view women in general: there are whores and ‘whores’ (Cersei seems to fit that description for him) and ladies and they each have their uses.

            His attitude towards Alayaya is a semi-decent one, yeah, but I think that’s more him feeling guilty coupled with ‘A Lannister always pays his debts’; she helped him, so he must help her.

            Ah but ‘spoils her rotten’ does not equal respect. As far as I saw it, the jewels, the house, the singer were Tyrion’s payment; Shae was still a whore who provided him with her services. And I always saw Shae as a small act of defiance against Lord Tywin; he specifically told him not to bring her to King’s Landing, so Tyrion brought her to King’s Landing and keeping her safe was as much for his own good as for hers. A happy Shae meant a silent Shae.

            Sansa is eleven years old and Tyrion even entertaining the notion that she might sleep with him makes me shudder. He accepts her refusal but again it’s a chance to defy dear Lord Tywin and the fact of the matter is I don’t think Tyrion wants Winterfell (which is what a consummated marriage would get him); he wants Casterly Rock.

            I know there's no way we're going to agree on this but like you said I enjoy a good debate too! It's not like I have a grudge against Tyrion though – pretty much everyone in ASOIAF has an ulterior motive that's more than a little shady – that's half the fun!

            • Jen says:

              I think it's incorrect to assume that being Martin's favorite means we're supposed to approve of his every action. Tyrion has a lot of unlikeable qualities, but I think he has a lot of admirable ones as well, although my opinion of him took a huge shot when he killed Shae. Nevertheless, I don't think he is a misogynist, and until things go sour he does treat her with respect and kindness. I agree that part of bringing her to KL was to defy Tywin, and part of the problem was that he didn't really see her for the person that she was, more like a replacement for Tysha/someone he could delude himself into thinking he was in a relationship with.

              He didn't have anything to feel guilty about with Alayaya until she was seized by Cersei, and before that he treated her with respect, talked to her a few times and asked her what she did when she was pretending to be his whore while he was gone, and seemed to be genuinely interested in her response. His attitude towards women (and whores especially) seems more decent than most people in Martin's universe, even though he does make rude comments on several occasions, especially to Cersei, but I think that has more to do with the fact that she hates him.

              And as for Sansa, I think it was pretty clear that he despised the idea of having to sleep with her, not only because it was against her will, but he makes it clear several times that he views her as a child no matter what his father and his society has to say on the matter. And again, you're not wrong in saying that part of this is to defy his father, but part of it is also because he recognizes it as wrong. The only reason he ever entertains the notion of sleeping with her is because he feels that he has to, but would much rather have her consent in the matter and so tries to make it easier on her by telling her that she shouldn't be afraid of him and that he has no wish to hurt her, that he's been forced into this situation but that he could be a good husband to her nonetheless. Yes, it's an uncomfortable situation, but compare it to Khal Drogo, on Dany's wedding night, who turns out to be not as bad as Dany fears but who never shows half the concern for her as a person.

              Now, I haven't read anything past SoS and I really hated it when Tyrion killed Shae, so I don't know if he's going to get worse from now on, but up until that point I saw him as a deeply flawed but fundamentally decent guy.

              • leighzzz31 says:

                I don't think Tyrion being GRRM's favourite automatically means we have to approve of his every action (I don't think I approve of any character that completely, they're all very flawed one way or another) but it was very obvious to me when I first started reading the books (after watching the show, where I did like Tyrion quite a bit) that he was one character GRRM loved quite a lot. That in itself didn't bother me until SoS but by then I wasn't very fond of Tyrion , so it rubbed me in the wrong way.

                As far as Shae's concerned, right now I can't remember any point in the book that I became aware that he respected her. He certainly deluded himself when it came to her, that's definitely true. Now, Sansa, well, I'm going to have to say he creeped me out a great deal when it came to her, especially when I read about their wedding night. Even though he doesn't actually sleep with her, the fact that he entertains the thought and actively pursues it (though he stops himself thankfully) was enough to put me off his character for good. His thought process when it comes to Sansa (and women generally) skeeves me out.

                Just want to add that all this Tyrion hate (though I don't really hate him) comes from someone who's read all five books so maybe (now) I'm judging him as a whole and not just based on SoS. I'd like to see your thoughts on him as the series goes on!

                • @GalFawkes says:

                  Yeah, but look at what he's growing up with. Look how much worse his peers are. Given that? He's the one man in his society who moves away from misogyny and hating on prostitutes /at all/. He treats whores like human beings. He gives two shits about Sansa's welfare. And in relative terms, given the attitudes towards women around him, yeah, I'm willing to give him cookies for that.

        • @GalFawkes says:

          If Tyrion is a misogynist, he's no more so than his peers. In fact, he's much less so. He's growing up in a world where women can be virgins or whores, and yet he treats prostitutes like human beings. He is the /only/ one who treats sex workers like human beings and he's the /only/ one who gives a shit about consent. And I don't think the fact that GRRM roots for him means that we're meant to approve Tyrion's every action. Tyrion isn't immune from male privilege.

  3. monkeybutter says:


    Okay, got that out of the way. Ahahahaha, I'm still not over your predictions. They're adorable. You even guessed that Robb was going to die, and you were still never prepared. The Red Wedding is the worst, and I can't decide what's rougher, Arya coming so close to reuniting with her family, or Catelyn's internal pleading not to cut her hair. 🙁

    And fucking Edmure. I hate him probably more than I should, but he's so damn useless and pissy. Cat and the Blackfish are the only worthwhile Tullys. Anyway, in reference to prediction #20, though I can't stand Edmure and the way he failed Robb in battle, Robb is the one who really screwed things up for himself. Ned Stark is dead for a reason. Don't imitate him. Also, it's kinda funny that Robb and Edmure start fucking up as soon as Cat isn't there, or they're ignoring her advice. Just sayin'.

    So she builds her home from memory in the bright snow that has fallen outside. It is a gorgeous and comforting memory for her, and also provides the first moment that I feel good about Petyr Baelish as well.

    Please tell me you're talking about the part before he kisses her. Otherwise, no. No no no. He is SO CREEPY. I'm glad Sansa is away from the Lannisters and Tyrells (though I don't hate the idea of her with Willas), but Littlefinger is hardly an improvement. His character keeps things interesting, but he grosses me out. Take care, Sansa.

    • michellenotprepared says:

      I agree that Petyr Baelish is a total creeper. There is something about him that makes my skin crawl… plus after reading this book I really just felt like he was pulling a bunch of strings so that he can end up with Sansa because he was obsessed with Cat. I don't see it as anything nice at all… he just wants Sansa, which is gross… he could be her dad. I really, really do not like him.

    • Doodle says:

      SIRIUSLY. I agree with you guys so much! Littlefinger is so creepy! He totally wants Sansa because she looks just like his Cat. Who wasn’t his. Gur bayl guvat gung pbashfrf zr nobhg guvf gurbel gubhtu vf gung vs ur qbrf jnag ure, jul vf ur frggvat ure hc jvgu Uneel gur Urve? Confused.

      Also, Lysa was…disturbing. Has anyone read the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”? Well, the feeling I got in that story is the same as she gave me. You will know if you’ve read it. Eurgh. Ick. Squick.

      • monkeybutter says:

        I can see some parallels between them, yeah, especially if you take the interpretation that the narrator was trapped in her marriage. There's so much wrong in their lives that is rooted in the unequal treatment of women in their societies.Lysa did what she was told, was forced to abort one child and lost several more, and she was unhappy and neglected in a loveless marriage. By the end, she was horribly paranoid and disturbed. So yeah, they both conjure strong feelings of pity and horror.

      • birdbrainblue says:

        Npghnyyl, lbh xabj jung V guvax vf tbvat gb unccra jvgu Fnafn naq Uneel? Yvggyrsvatre’f tbvat gb zneel gurz, gura XVYY UNEEL bapr ur vzcertangrf Fnafn, gura zneel Fnafn uvzfrys naq ehyr guebhtu svefg ure naq gura gur xvq. Vg’f n tebff vqrn, ohg vg svgf jvgu uvf punenpgre naq jung jr’ir frra uvz qb fb sne.

        • monkeybutter says:

          Eep. I just realized that everything about Uneel gur Urve qbrfa'g unccra hagvy gur arkg obbx. Bbcf. Fnafn'f fgbelyvar ehaf gbtrgure sbe zr. So, I rot13'd your and Doodle's comment.

        • Doodle says:


    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Yes, I mean BEFORE he kisses her. It's a very brief moment of pleasantry and then WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING

    • lunylucy says:

      Petyr is a pedocreeper. It is known.

      <img src=""&gt;

      by spoonybards on dA

    • @GalFawkes says:

      Yeah, Edmure's fucking entitlement…
      And who wants to bet Stephenie Meyer got the idea of Jacob imprinting on Nessie from Petyr's creeping on Sansa? (I jest, I jest, but that's what I thought of.)

  4. Ryan Lohner says:

    And if you really want the full experience of reading this series, you'll now wait five years to read Feast for Crows, and another six to read Dance with Dragons. On the bright side, there's a SLIM chance the series will be finished by then.

    Tywin actually got shot in the balls. I'm sure several other people have said this by the time I'm writing, but I feel like saying it again.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Huh. One reply before mine. Well, that last part looks kind of silly now.

    • cait0716 says:

      I feel like I've been reading A Feast for Crows for five years. And I'm still only halfway through. V whfg ungr gur vebaobea fb zhpu. Rirelgvzr V trg gb bar bs gurve puncgref vg gnxrf zr n srj qnlf gb cflpu zlfrys hc gb ernq vg. I'm sure I'll get through it someday. If I can manage to stop picking up other books in the meantime.

      • knut_knut says:

        I know what you mean. The best part is, reading ADwD is like reading AFFC all over again! At least up to a certain point. yaaaaaaaaaaay -_-

        • woot says:

          "A Dance With Dragons" picks-up significantly in the second half, easily becoming as good as books one and two.

          • knut_knut says:

            I like ADwD MUCH more than AFFC, ohg vg jnf jrveq ernqvat vg naq tbvat “jnvg…qvqa’g gung unccra va gur ynfg obbx?” V xrcg sbetrggvat nobhg 2/3 bs NQjQ onfvpnyyl gnxrf cynpr ng gur fnzr gvzr nf NSSP.V qvq guvax fbzr bs Qnal’f naq Dhragla’f puncgref jrer qhyy, gubhtu. Gb zr, NQjQ jnf fznpx va gur zvqqyr (zl beqre bs snif tbrf NFbF, TbG, NQjQ, NPbX, NSSP). V xabj jul TEEZ unq gb fcyvg NSSP naq NQjQ, ohg V guvax vg znqr gur ynggre n ovg njxjneq gb ernq.

            ETA: shoot, I realized this might be a spoiler because I don't know how much Mark ~knows~. I'VE RUINED EVERYTHING D:

            • roguebelle says:

              Jryy, va fbzr cynprf, yvxr Wba'f qvfphffvba jvgu Fnz, vg yvgrenyyl *vf* gur rknpg fnzr fprar, whfg jvgu Wba'f vagreany zbabybthr vafgrnq bs Fnz'f. :/

              • woot says:

                I like that. Maybe it's a bit tedious, and if I was working as editor I know exactly how I'd work both books into one big 1200 page monster, but you'd lose some interesting things in the process. As long as The Winds of Winter and A Memory of Spring are as good as the first three books – as long as shit gets done and not talked about, as long as we get beautiful action walking in such beautiful coordination with character development like we did in Storm – the fourth and especially books will be seen as being good. I honestly do think the fifth one is really good anyway (150 pages to; GRRM is doing something pure evil, I can feel it), but fandom will hate it if the rest of the series is more Feast, less Storm, because they'll think of it as being part of the suckiness. I personally enjoyed both books, but I think it's time he picked up the pace a bit…we'll see.

  5. cait0716 says:

    I loved Ygritte, but I spent a few chapters pissed at Jon. He was so in to duty and honor and tradition that I couldn't help but think he'd be a member of the tea party if he were real and lived in America. And that kind of soured me on him. Thankfully, he mostly redeemed himself with his awesome defense of the wall

    I'm still absolutely shocked by how callous Jaime was about Joffrey's death. I mean, I never liked Joff, but Jaime was just so indifferent. And when he and Cersei had sex right by his corpse I got really wigged out. It was just wrong in every possible way.

    I came into the Red Wedding knowing that Catelyn died at some point and that Arya didn't die in this book. So it didn't hit me as hard as it hit other people, but it was still quite the shock. The style of this section was interesting, too, with the alternating chapters between Catelyn and Arya building up to that climax. When we started getting alternating Sansa and Tyrion chapters, I knew something major was going to happen at Joffrey's wedding.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Oh, Jon. You know, I'd see him more as a military man who would register Independent rather than take a side while in service, like Colin Powell, because duty and service comes before personal beliefs. Those lofty Stark ideals.

      Yeah, that scene…eurgh. I'm pretty sure GRRM just writes a new, horrific sex scene or phrase every time we complain.

    • Doodle says:

      Okay…I definitely do not remember the Jaime and Cersei having sex next to Joffrey's corpse! When did that happen!

      • Doodle says:

        Nevermind…it just came rushing back. Guess I blocked it from my memory.

        • @RaudhrGarm says:

          Same. I understand the reasoning behind writing it (shows what sort of relationship they have) but I do not want.

          It's like "reptilian penis" from Lies of Silence. No. Do not want. Go away.

  6. knut_knut says:

    UNEXPECTED GOT REVIEW!!!! ASoS is definitely my favourite book of the series so far- so much unexpected shit happens!! I’ve loved Sam right from the moment we were introduced to him, but this is when my love for him turned into a full blown obsession. I stayed up late to finish ASoS and when I was done I was so emotionally strung out and sleep deprived that I made a really awkward Sam blingee -_-

    ADWD spoilers: Rira gubhtu V’z abg n Qnal sna, V srry FB ONQ sbe jung unccraf gb ure sebz urer ba bhg 🙁 Fur’f whfg gelvat gb or n tbbq dhrra! Ng yrnfg Znex jvyy rawbl vg?

  7. Julezyme says:

    My call: Shae in Tywin’s room was a total setup by Varys.

    • Lina says:

      This is strange to me. I thought it very odd that Shae would be in Tywin's bed. It keeps bugging me and I keep wondering if I missed something.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        I honestly read it more as Tywin being a hypocrite. BUT I COULD BE WRONG.

      • Jen says:

        I thought the exact same thing. It's probably that Tywin is a hypocrite, but even so it doesn't make sense to me that he would want to take his despised dwarf son's leavings. Or maybe we're supposed to assume that Shae seduced him, I have no clue.

    • Jaime says:

      Varys strongly urged Tyrion not to go up there and to hurry his ass up so they don't both end up executed, so that kinda doesn't make much sense to me. Tywin is just a dirty hypocrite.

  8. Ryan Lohner says:

    I'm really wondering how the show is going to handle the Selmy reveal. He's not in any kind of disguise, as no one there has met him before, so it seems they can't possibly do the reveal like it is in the book. My best guess is that they'll play the moment he returns (presumably in the season two finale) as a big "he's back" moment, and then leave us wondering if he's going to help Dany or kill her.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      That might be an interesting dynamic. So that the whole time WE know, but Dany doesn't, so it's played as a source of tension.

    • roguebelle says:

      I was wondering that, too — like if they'll try to disguise him from the audience, or just give up that premise and let us know even though she doesn't, play on the dramatic ironies there. I would guess the latter, seems like there'd be more ripe potential for stuff from Selmy's perspective along the way.

    • @RaudhrGarm says:

      Well, he does have the beard.

      It [i]might[/i] help.

    • calimie says:

      Well, I figured it out the moment he appeared with Dany, so it's simply a matter of waiting until she finds out.

  9. quenstalof says:

    Ugh the Red Wedding. I was on the train somewhere between LA and Riverside when I read it. I seriously wanted to cry. I looked around and decided against it and continued reading because it had to be a fake out like Bran. Right? Right? Please? 🙁

    My dad started to read these books, and every few days I ask him about it. It's kind of nice to have something to talk about, but really I've just been gauging how long it will take him to get to the Red Wedding. Last week he randomly came downstairs and told me "I'm done with this book" and I laughed because I knew exactly where he was and that he was not done with the book.

    I'm pretty sure everyone remembers exactly what they were doing when they read the Red Wedding

  10. Noybusiness says:

    "Oh, Onion Knight, be my savior."

    For a moment I thought you were familiar with Final Fantasy III.

  11. woot says:

    So, at this point we can pretty much talk about Rhaegar, right? The single best non-existant character in the book? And a certain theory about him and two other characters that everyone seems to accept as true?

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I'd still rot13 it just in case, but CAN WE TALK ABOUT HIM.

      • woot says:

        What did you think? It's amazing how he can go from being such a villain in book one, because of the perspective we get on him from Robert, to being, well, a pretty cool guy, actually, in Selmy's POV.

        When you finish A Feast for Crows, look up some of the theories surrounding him. Re-read parts of book one and two, especially Ned's memories of the Tower of Joy. Re-read the House of the Undying scene.

        Be. Amazed.

    • elusivebreath says:

      I would really like a book all about Rhaegar and Lyanna and everything that happened leading up to Robert becoming King. I would read the shit out of that.

    • roguebelle says:

      V nz fb, fb pbaprearq gung E+Y=W jvyy ghea bhg abg gb or gehr, abg orpnhfr vg jnfa'g *vagraqrq* gb or, ohg orpnhfr TEEZ jvyy or gvpxrq gung gur snaf svtherq vg bhg naq punatr uvf tnzr (naq znlor gung'f jung'f orra gnxvat uvz fb ybat jvgu gurfr yngrfg vafgnyyzragf, vf ercybggvat gb nppbhag sbe gung). V rawbl uvf obbxf, ohg V qba'g guvax zhpu bs ubj ur vagrenpgf jvgu naq erfcbaqf gb uvf snaf, naq ur whfg frrzf yvxr gur glcr jub jbhyq sybhapr va n uhss orpnhfr uvf OVT FRPERG tbg svtherq bhg.

      • woot says:

        He indirectly acknowledges the truth of the theory in "Dance", when (holy shit spoilers): Oena frrf Rqqneq cenlvat va sebag bs gur Jrvejbbq gerr naq nfxf gung "gurl tebj hc yvxr oebguref, jvgu abguvat ohg ybir orgjrra gurz".

        I don't think he'd deviate from it. He actually pretty much confirms it in books one and two, if you go back and re-read them. Go to part three in this article (PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO KNOW A MAJOR INSOFAR UNCONFIRMED POTENTIAL SPOILER DON'T EVEN HOVER YOUR MOUSE OVER THAT LINK) and read it, especially part d. It lends a lot of hard evidence to the theory.

      • lala says:

        I think if he was planning to do that just because of fandom theories then he would've stopped putting hints in the books by now. I mean, I had the theory by the end of the first book, and then there was just more stuff to confirm it for me in the next ones…

    • Doodle says:

      OH MY GOSH I really want to know that true story of everything that happened back then!!

      Oftentimes, really amazing stories like this one get half of their awesomeness from their backstories. (Think Final fantasy 7, Star wars, Harry Potter…I can't think of any more right now but there are lots!) It just adds an entire dimension and so much (mysterious) context to the story! I cannot wait to find out more about that whole…sequence of events and what really happened.


  12. drippingmercury says:

    You know nothing, Mark Oshiro. 😉

    The first time I read this I freaked out when the Hound hit Arya with his axe and COULD NOT STOP MYSELF from checking the chapter titles because oh god I could not have handled it if she had died.

    FUCK YEAH OBERYN MARTELL, INIGO MANTOYA OF WESTEROS. He's one of my favorite characters, even if he's only alive for a few chapters.
    Gbb onq V unir gb jnvg nabgure obbx orsber V pna fgneg zl gehr Znegryy fgnaavat, gubhtu. V ybir rirel ynfg bar bs gurz (Fnaq Fanxrf sgj) naq Qbear vf gur orfg qnza cneg bs Jrfgrebf.

    Petyr Baelish is also one of my favorites, despite being a total creeper. After the end scene with Lysa I had to set the book down for about 20 minutes in order to reconsider everything I thought I knew about the whole war. PETYR, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT. WHY ARE YOU TROLLING ALL OF WESTEROS.

    Qbrf Znex xabj ubj Srnfg naq Qnapr ner fcyvg hc?

    • cait0716 says:

      He's trolling Westeros because he's still bitter that Catelyn didn't choose him, as he explained in that strange lesbian sexposition scene in the tv show. I could see him winning this whole thing.

      • Jaime says:

        Unless Sansa rips his head off and plants it facing the ruins of Winterfell, “You did this you perv!”. The secret lessons he gives her in Feast are bound to bite him in the ass someday.

      • knut_knut says:

        I have a feeling it's going to end up between Varys and Littlefinger. I doubt either of them will make it to the throne (I don't think either of them want to be king and Varys can't have children so…) but they both have an enormous amount of influence and power. They should join forces as frenemies and they'd be unstoppable! Or they'd bicker all the time and it would be a total disaster. Whatever, I just like seeing them together

        • doesntsparkle says:

          I'm under the impression that whoever sits on the Iron throne has to have Targaryen blood. That's how Robert got the Throne before the series starts and why Dany's important. Then again, Martin likes to play with our expectations.

          ADWD spoilers:
          Tbq bayl xabjf ubj znal frperg Gnetnelraf ner bhg gurer.

        • monkeybutter says:

          <img src=""&gt;
          OTP No, wait, that would be awful.

    • roguebelle says:

      I did the EXACT SAME THING about Arya.

    • monkeybutter says:

      V yvxr gur Fnaq Fanxrf, V jnag Qbena gb trg uvf eriratr fbzrubj, naq gur Znegryyf ner zl snibevgr aba-Fgnexf, ohg Abegu >>> Qbear. Gur Abegu vf jurer nyy gur tbbq (zrffrq hc) fghss unccraf. V yvxr ubj qvssrerag gurl obgu ner sebz gur erfg bs Jrfgrebf, gubhtu!

      Znex xabjf gung fbzr punenpgref nera'g frra va NSSP be NQJQ, ohg V qba'g guvax ur xabjf gung NSSP sbphfrf ba gur Fbhgu, naq NQJQ ba rirelbar ryfr, be gung ur jba'g frr Qnal, Wba, be Glevba sbe n srj uhaqerq cntrf.

  13. Shadowmarauder78 says:

    My reaction to Stannis at the wall was literally FUCK YEAH STANNIS!!

    Definitely my favorite character in A Song of Ice and Fire. I love the dynamic between Stannis and Davos, reminds me of Ned and Robert. It's strange how Robert got so close to someone like Ned who is a lot like his brother; they both have a sense of duty bound honour that overrides everything. But Stannis and Robert just didn't really get along, although Stannis is kind of humorless.

  14. Jaime says:

    I advize you to read the House of the Undying chapter in Clash NOW. You will be shocked. D:

  15. elusivebreath says:

    Does anyone else wish Mark could just skip AFFC entirely and just go straight to ADWD? I'm itching to talk about ~things~ and ~stuff~ and ~theories.~

    • Jaime says:

      I’m excited for him to read about a certain character who is spectacularly redeemed ala Jaime, but other than that not really. In hindsight Feast turned out to be more exciting than Dance, which is so painful to say…

    • ninja_bat says:

      Not really, but then again, I *like* AFFC… and he won't have to wait elevenhundred years, or however long it took Martin to write ADWD, so he won't miss the characters therein as long.

  16. feminerdist says:

    OMG THIS BOOK! I don't even know where to start.

    Drogon almost getting sold and looking so sad then setting people on fire!!!
    The weddings! All the fucking miserable weddings! So much going on! Fuuuck!!
    That 77 course meal. I want to eat ALL of that food. MMMMM.
    Brienne of goddamn Tarth. BAMF.
    The Queen of Thorns, FUCK YES.
    Barristan Selmy!!!
    Oberyn Martell. Had to get fucking cocky. Fuck.
    Tyrion!! WTF are you doing?!!!
    Petyr Baelish was behind EVERYTHING. HO. LY. SHIT.

  17. celestineangel says:

    Fffffffffffffff this book WHAT IS IT. I just… it was … I can’t. I CAN’T. WTF, the Red Wedding.


  18. doesntsparkle says:

    For all of the complaints about how violent this series is, I would have like a more violent death for Joffrey. After seeing the Starks suffer so much, I want the characters I hate to have horrible deaths. Joffrey didn't suffer enough for my taste. Especially compared to Robb and Grey Wind. I sound horrible.

    I'm not sure how I feel about Jeyene Westerling(sp?) Robb should have trusted his Direwolf. They are smarter than people.

    UGH, I read this about six months ago and I'm still not over the Red Wedding. They had guest rights! They should have been safe. Fuck you, Walder Frey.

    Holy Character Development, Jamie Lannaister. I love what GRRM did with his character. I resisted liking Jamie for as long as I could. If you would have told me that he would turn out to be one of my favorite characters in the series when I was reading book one, I would have laughed in your face. How did you do that Martin?

    It was cool seeing how Jamie and Cersei's relationship works from a POV character. I've just been squicked out by their relationship for two books and was jarring to see how tender and complicated it is. But that reunion scene in the Sept. Probably the grossest sex scenes I've ever read.

    Also, I'm really looking forward to the inevitable Buster/Jamie mashups that Arrested Westeros will be turning out come season 3.

    • Jaime says:

      And Cersei was having her period. There are no boundaries with these two!

    • monkeybutter says:

      And if the AD people aren't toying with us, there might even be new material for Arrested Westeros!

      I agree, I wanted Joffrey to suffer endlessly. But I'm not sure what GRRM could have done to satisfy my lust for revenge.

    • @lnich says:

      It is of course a matter of personal perception, but I thought Joffrey's death was definitely suitably horrible. Suffocating is a terrifying way to go, and I imagine Joffrey's last moments were nothing but really intense fear and panic.

      The thing is (and I'm sure other people can sympathize) I have asthma and have nearly suffocated a few times myself. As a result, Joffrey's death was probably the most vivid in the series for me and I found it particularly terrible. Whether it is objectively bad "enough" (in so much as anything can be objective in this context), I couldn't say. I'd certainly say he suffered a lot, though.

      • cait0716 says:

        I agree. At first I was a little disappointed that Arya didn't get her revenge, but on reflection I realized what an awful way that would be to die. And it was such a slow, drawn-out death, too.

      • doesntsparkle says:

        I'm letting my hatred of Joffrey get in the way with sympathizing with him in anyway. If it was any other character, I wouldn't feel this way. He's the closest thing to a mustache twirling villain ASOI&F gets.

    • lunylucy says:

      I can never tell new readers that Jaime is one of my favorite characters because it feels like spoiling people. I don't want to deprive anyone of experiencing that shift in POV. That's what GRRM truly does best- gets you to really know someone and see things from their perspective. His characters are so very human and complex.

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  19. Karen says:

    I stan for Catelyn Stark pretty hard core, so I was a wreck at the Red Wedding. Everything that Cat has done has been for the benefit of her family. All she's wanted is to try to keep her kids safe. And she dies believing that her husband is dead, Arya is probably dead, Sansa has been married off to their worst enemies, Rickon and Bran are dead, and she sees Robb killed in front of her. And her last thoughts are of Ned.


    But at least this book gives us Jaime/Brienne. I ship them so hard. I am so easily swayed by charm and humor. Jaime has done some terrible things, but he makes me laugh and seems to be at least recognizing that his past actions were wrong. Plus the reveal about why he killed Aerys is pretty brilliant.

    I still cannot with Sandor though. Unlike Jaime (who has also done terrible things) Sandor just feels sorry for himself and gets drunk and is weird and creepy about Sansa. No thanks.

    ALSO THE NEAR MISSES IN THIS BOOK ARE THE WORST. Jon and Bran were so close to meeting up! Arya was practically at the Red Wedding! I'm gonna need some Starks to meet up ASAP.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I'd be totally okay if the rest of the series was just Jaime and Brienne wandering around Westeros being hilarious and adorable. I don't care who sits on the throne, or when winter is coming, I just want them to be okay. And if they run into future Arya and her blacksmith Gendry, that'd be cool, too.

    • @Arachne110 says:

      My favorite exposition in the book is when we find out why Jaime kills Aerys. Hands down favorite.

    • @GalFawkes says:

      The whole time I read I was waiting for Jaime and Brienne to get it on. He's so clearly attracted to her despite his going on and on about how she's not attractive.

  20. roguebelle says:

    I always forget just how much happens in this damn book.

    The Red Wedding is one of the few places in all of fiction where, yeah, no matter how many times I read that book, I have to put it down for a good long breather afterwards.

    But then I had a little dance party over Joffrey's death. ;D

    And I know just how you feel about Jaime. GRRM constructs it so that you hate him so much for so long, and then… you get inside his head… and he's still not a good guy… but he's not as bad as you think, and there are reasons why he is the way he is… He's so complex, even though he pretends to be and wants to be so uncomplicated.

  21. Suzannezibar says:

    Oh god oh god oh god. I am feeling so physically drained just from READING THIS REVIEW and remembering everything that happens…compare that to actually reading the book, dear gods.

    Okay, so I read the Red Wedding chapters in an airport waiting area, while my flight was in the process of getting twenty hours (yes, twenty hours) delayed. And I was sitting alone, in one of those hard plastic waiting chairs, sobbing quietly to myself for about forty-five minutes. And I had sooooo many people come up to me and be like "are you okay? Are you missing something really important because of the delay?" And I had to just whimper "No…just…this book…I can't….I can't even…"

    I still haven't had the stamina to start Feast For Crows since finishing this book (though I really should by now, it's been three months). But seriously. As unprepared and horrified as I was reading this book, I was also SO INCREDIBLY MOVED by how amazing it was. And I love that you point out the beautiful writing moments and everything besides. Because for me, at least, this is GRRM at his absolute best. Even if it involves ripping out our hearts and stomping on them in thirty-five different ways.

  22. Lina says:

    How do I translate the stuff in ROT13?

  23. Albion19 says:

    I was sorta spoiled for The Red Wedding but it all happens so suddenly that I was still shocked.

    I adore Brienne/Jamie. I hope they're as awesome on screen as they are in the books.

  24. Melissa says:

    I am totally on #teamvarys. He's so mysterious and awesome. Too many people dismiss him and forget he knows *everything*!

  25. ddlebrun says:

    Oh, I tried to warn you about shae without being spoiler-y! TV Shae and Book Shae are two entirely different creatures. The thing about Book Shae to remember is she really isn't a prostitute–she's a camp follower which is more akin to a groupie. Whether she was playing Tyrion or is just really that shallow is up for debate, but she really bears little resemblence to TV Shae (they even look different). And as I much as I hate what Tyrion does to her at the end, I'm glad Martin does it because even the characters you love are capable of doing things you can't forgive them for.

  26. Barbara says:

    I think you should get at least partial credit for #24. Varys mentions that they are talking about dragons across the narrow sea, but everyone dismisses it when he says it.

  27. Clare says:

    that final Sansa chapter. oh god. I'm tearing up just thinking about it. damnit, now I have to get my copies out again and read and cry and read. cannot wait for your predictions, the series is somewhat different from the end of ASOS!

  28. lunylucy says:

    Thank you for this review, Mark. It's everything I wanted and mooore. There is truly no way to prepare for ASOS but it is also most people's favorite book. It's like GRRM stomps on our souls with iron boots and we're like, "Please sir, can I have some more?!" My top three favorite moments in the whole series were from this book alone for the longest time ("Drogon, Dracarys"–> Dany being aswesom, "I only rescue maidens"–> the culmination of Jaime's sudden!awesomeness in this book (CAN I JUST? FAVORITE CHARACTER AFTER HATING HIM FOR TWO BOOKS. ALSO I SHIP JAIME/BRIENNE LIKE BURNING), and "Only Cat" just for sheer chill factor and all the stuff we find out in the preceding conversation.) Also "the Wall is yours, Jon Snow" ASLJ;DA <33 AND SAME THE SLAYER AND AND DAVOS AND SANSA IN THE SNOW AND JOFFREY FINALLY BITING IT AND DAT EPILOGUE.


    Nobody's shared images with you and that is A TRAGEDY.
    <img src=""&gt;

    <img src=""&gt;

    <img src=""&gt;
    (by the-sly-wink on dA)

    <img src=""&gt;

    This amazing Red Wedding piece.
    <img src=""&gt;
    by FatherStone on dA

    <img src=""&gt;
    *by Gold-Seven on dA)

    <img src=""&gt;
    by Anday on dA

    <img src=""&gt;
    by Noe_Izumi on dA

    <img src=""&gt;
    (by Michael Komarck ;_;)

    You might also enjoy:

    Also GRRM admitted to setting up that final "shit gold" line for Tywin since forever.

  29. Jen says:

    And the worst bit of the Red Wedding? You KNEW it was coming, Martin foreshadowed and foreshadowed that one. Upon reread, you'll see it all–the House of the Undying, the Hound telling Arya,"(M)aybe we'll even be in time for your uncle's bloody wedding.". It's just such little things tucked here and there that it never registers in mind until AFTER. Oh god, even now, you are so not prepared.

  30. Anseflans says:

    When Sandor hit Arya in the head with his axe I started reasoning with the book. No. Really. I started reasoning with my book.

    *end of chapter*

    *leafs through to the next chapters to look for Arya's name*

    "Okay book, we're good. But remember… I'm watching ya…"


  31. WorldOfSnark says:

    Congrats, Mark! You have survived one hell of a book :).

    It is gripping, exciting, fast-paced, emotional, and so, so cruel… isn't that just GREAT?

    I remember reading the Red Wedding fully expecting SOMETHING bad to happen. I mean, we have seen how petty and self-centred the "late Lord Frey" is, right? So, along with the characters, I was dreading Edmure's wedding.
    I am absolutely convinced that my face looked like something straight out of a cartoon… eyes popping and mouth gaping wider with every single word. I just could not believe he would go there, it was so utterly outrageous!! It was not just the cold-blooded murder that got to me but the epic scale on which it happened (and NOT epic in a good way). Frey completely ignored guest right which is practically sacred in that world, openly opposing the Tullys (his freakin' LORD!!!) and the king he had allied himself with, then proceeded not only to imprison Edmure and kill said king but pretty much OBLITERATE most of Robb's army and retainers! Not mention what they did after they killed Robb; just, UGH.
    And I cannot help but imagine old Frey sitting there cackling his wrinkly, malicious arse off while watching all that. God, I REALLY just want to throw him off of one his precious towers! Sheesh, I really wrote myself in a rage there.

    I ended up calling my friend who had told me I just had to read this series and who got regular feedback on my reactions, anyway. This time, she got a full blast of high-volume FUUUUUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!!!!!!, probably followed by a number of other colourful expletives… I am honestly not sure anymore. She is still rather fond of that memory :D.

    That was, for me, when "not putting ANYTHING past GRRM" got set in stone. I was ready for bad but that was off the charts.

    As for Joffrey, I cheered along with every other reader.
    I thought it slightly disturbing that I could be so gleefully happy about the death (and suffocating is CRUEL) of a 13-year-old – maybe 14 by the end – but that did not really last all that long. He was a horrible, sadistic human being and totally deserved it, so there, conscience.

    I love Brienne and, at the same time, feel so sorry for the woman in that kind of society and with everything that is happening to her. ADWD SPOILERS: V ZHFG xabj jung gur uryy vf unccravat jvgu ure naq Wnvzr! Jurer ner gurl tbvat? Jung vf fur tbvat gb qb? NEETU!!

    I LOVE what GRRM has done with Jaime's character! Talk about not judging a book by its covers. Absolutely brilliant!

    Also, Tyrion! Way to take out Tywin! The amount of mental and emotional pain that man has heaped upon Tyrion his entire life is just staggering, not to mention his plotting in general.

    Love for Lady Olenna! That old lady is fierce, smart, funny, and does not take any shit. A fabulous grandma.

    AAHHH, I cannot stop, sorry, everyone!

    Stabbing the Other and conspiring to make Jon Lord Commander… wow, Sam, who would have thought :).

    I agree with pretty much everything you said about Jon: fantastic character.

    Poor Sansa, Petyr is more than gross (GOD, that twist with Lysa!!), and poor Arya, what are you going to do?

    I really think that is enough now…

  32. Calla says:

    Nothing fictional has ever affected me as strongly as the Red Wedding. I was on an airplane at the time, and I finished Cat’s beautiful horrifying last chapter, and I just sat and sobbed in front of strangers. And then I put away the book, because I couldn’t stand to look at it anymore, and then I took it out again and stared at it and seethed at GRRM for the rest of the flight.

  33. klmnumbers says:


    First of all, this book turned me into a Jon and Jaime stan. Second of all, this book made me completely fall for Robb, and then have him BRUTALLY TAKEN AWAY. I think the scene that made me smile the most was Robb telling Catelyn that he was legitimizing Jon, and he didn't really care what she thought. He was a Stark in the truest sense, and in the event of Robb's death, they needed a Lord who was not Tyrion Lannister. It was a political decision, but it was fueled by the love and respect of two brothers. My creys. my creys.

    Also, I never noticed this until your post: "The white tears and the red ones ran together". A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, AMIRITE?

    Oh, and I definitely yelled at my book when Petyr pushed Lysa out the Moon Door. That whole plot just… I cannot. And Petyr.. lusting after poor Sansa? Creepstown, USA – Population: you.

  34. Cammy says:

    OMFG, I just finished reading the red wedding and afterwards Arya's chapter where it seems that she's dead as well… after that I couldn't read any further. Like everyone else I just wanted to cry for Cat and Robb and everyone else. So Cruel of GRRM to make you like the northmen so much – the Mormont women, the Greatjons etc. just to kill them off!!! WAAAHH! I should have known, everything was so obvious! How everything was darting to this kind of end… but I was reading and reading and just couldn't believe that he would kill off two Starks (I head to search the internet 'til I was sure that Arya's not dead after all) and Robb's whole army… unbelievable, I just didn't expect GRRM being SO CRUEL!!! NO WAY! There has to be another ending … I loved Robb, I loved Cat as well as I loved Ned. Why does he make his readers love the Starks so much and kill them all… kill them all T__T

    I'm not prepaired to read on yet though your Review made me somehow laugh a little bit. I just really needed someone to talk to but in lack of someone in person I just read your blog =P

  35. K-mon says:

    Congrats, Mark. I think the Red Wedding ='( is the asoiaf fan rite of passage. Excuse me while I go sob as I remember the details. Also: fuck the Boltons and Freys.

  36. lanae5850 says:

    I cannot remember if anyone has posted this but The Red Wedding was foreshadowed in aCoK. It was when Dany was in the House of the Undying and those rooms were opening to her and she looked in them. She saw the feast with all the dead and the head of a wolf sown onto a man's body. I was rereading this the other day and was like… how obvious! I'm wondering if anything else was foreshadowed in that scene.

  37. @GalFawkes says:

    So…I actually feel sorry for Lysa. Am I the only one?

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