Fri
Apr 22 2011 12:31pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones, Part 5

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinWelcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 5 of A Game of Thrones, in which we cover Chapters 8 (“Bran”) and 9 (“Tyrion”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, The Powers That Be at Tor.com have very kindly set up a forum thread for spoilery comments. Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

Chapter 8: Bran

What Happens
Most of the household is off hunting, and Bran is excited that they are heading south the next day. He thinks of how he wants to be a member of the Kingsguard when he grows up; he had been fascinated by the two the king had brought with him (Sers Boros and Meryn). He intends to go around saying his goodbyes, but he gets choked up and decides to go climbing instead, leaving his wolf (who he still hasn’t named) behind in the godswood. Bran has been climbing as long as he can remember, and is never afraid of falling, ignoring all his mother’s efforts to dissuade him. He is heading to his favorite place, the broken tower where he likes to feed to crows, when he overhears a man and a woman talking inside the Old Keep, where no one ever goes.

They are discussing Bran’s father becoming the Hand; the woman insists that this puts them in danger, but the man counters that he would far rather have honorable enemies than ambitious ones. The woman points out that his wife is Lady Arryn’s sister, but the man laughs that Lysa is “a frightened cow” who has no proof of anything. The woman goes on that she knows Robert doesn’t love her, and wonders how long it will be before he puts her aside for “some new Lyanna”; the man thinks they’ve done enough talking. Bran realizes he needs to see who they are, and hangs himself upside down to see that the man is blond, and kissing and “wrestling” with the woman, who Bran recognizes as the queen. She sees him and screams, and Bran slips and almost falls, but catches himself on the ledge below the window. The man, who Bran also recognizes, gives Bran his hand and yanks him up on the sill.

“How old are you, boy?”

“Seven,” Bran said, shaking with relief. His fingers had dug deep gouges in the man’s forearm. He let go sheepishly.

The man looked over at the woman. “The things I do for love,” he said with loathing. He gave Bran a shove.

Screaming, Bran went backward out the window into empty air. There was nothing to grab on to. The courtyard rushed up to meet him.

Somewhere off in the distance, a wolf was howling. Crows circled the broken tower, waiting for corn.

Commentary
Oh shit.

Jesus Christ, I… I don’t even know what to say. Except that I really wasn’t expecting to cry this early in the book.

Shit.

I think I need a minute. Possibly also a drink.

Okay, so… uh, if I had Jaime Lannister in front of me and a gun in my hand right now, I would probably be going to jail. It is extremely fortunate for me (and for him, I suppose) that he is a fictional character.

A fucking incestuous murdering ASSHOLE BASTARD of a fictional character who deserves to have his fictional nuts torn off and fed to the fictional crows instead of (fictional) corn. WHILE HE WATCHES. FICTIONALLY.

Jesus. Oh, Bran, I’m so sorry.

(He never even got to name his wolf…)

Everything I thought I was going to say about this chapter is completely exploded. I was all reading the first part, enjoying how much Bran was enjoying his climbing, and thinking of how when I was young I used to love crazy climbing stunts too, even if I didn’t have a vast ancient fortress to do them in, and thinking what a cool little kid he was, Jesus you are a SADIST, George R.R. Martin, and then… that. God.

Okay, I’m going to have to focus on the politics here or this entire post is just going to be me cursing helplessly and getting upset all over again.

So… incest! Twincest, no less! DELIGHTFUL. That is not sick and twisted at all, no sirree. Ye gods.

Though I have to say, I’m honestly not even that shocked—not about that part of it, anyway. I read somewhere once that incest between twins is all about narcissism—because it’s basically like having sex with yourself, you see. And while I have no idea if there’s any factual basis to that in the real world, it fits perfectly with what I know so far about Cersei and Jaime, who (I’m utterly certain) think that no one else in the world could possibly be anywhere near good enough for them.

Also, there’s just no way someone can be capable of shoving a seven-year-old off a window ledge (Jesus) without being either psychotic, or so incredibly egocentric as to render the lives of everyone around you meaningless, except in how their lives (or the loss of them) affect your own. And I think Jaime Lannister is a lot of things, most of those things being, shall we say, somewhat uncomplimentary—but I don’t think he’s crazy.

I also don’t think there’s much chance he’s going to be suddenly eaten by a grizzly in the next chapter, either. Which SUCKS.

Shit.

 

Chapter 9: Tyrion

What Happens
The wolf howling is making Tyrion uneasy. He reminds the septon, Chayle, to return the books he’s borrowed, and heads out for breakfast. On the way, he overhears Prince Joffrey and his bodyguard, Sandor Clegane (called “the Hound”), discussing Bran. Clegane wishes the boy would hurry up and die, but Joffrey is more annoyed that his wolf won’t shut up. Clegane offers to kill it for him, which delights Joffrey. Tyrion interrupts to point out that the Starks would be likely to notice that. Clegane mocks him, but Tyrion ignores him to tell Joffrey he needs to go pay his respects to the Starks. Joffrey replies that the Stark boy is nothing to him, and Tyrion slaps him, twice, and orders Joffrey to do as he’s told. Sniveling, Joffrey runs off; Clegane remarks threateningly that the prince won’t forget that, and Tyrion replies that he hopes he doesn’t.

He breakfasts with his brother and sister and the royal children. Cersei tells him Robert is still with the Starks, having “taken their sorrow deeply to heart.” Tommen asks after Bran, and Tyrion replies that there is no change, but that the maester found that a hopeful sign, and that the boy might yet live. He notes the quick glance between Cersei and Jaime at his words. Myrcella asks if Bran will get better; Tyrion replies that his back is broken and his legs shattered, so Bran may live, but he will never walk again. He remarks that he would swear the wolf’s howls are helping keep him alive in some way. Cersei shudders and says she won’t let those things come south, but Jaime doesn’t think she’ll win that fight. Tyrion then informs them of his decision to go north to the Wall with Jon and Benjen, in order to “stand on top of the Wall and piss off the edge of the world.” Cersei storms out, children in tow. Jaime comments that if he were Eddard he would not let his child live in such misery, as a grotesque cripple; on behalf of “grotesques,” Tyrion begs to differ. He hopes the boy does live, as he is very interested to hear what he has to say.

His brother’s smile curdled like sour milk. “Tyrion, my sweet brother,” he said darkly, “there are times when you give me cause to wonder whose side you are on.”

Tyrion’s mouth was full of bread and fish. He took a swallow of strong black beer to wash it all down, and grinned up wolfishly at Jaime, “Why, Jaime, my sweet brother,” he said, “you wound me. You know how much I love my family.”

Commentary
So, first of all, wow. Bran lived? I totally thought he was dead.

Second of all… God, I don’t know but that it makes things even worse. While of course Jaime’s opinion that he should be “put out of his misery” is bullshit even without his ulterior motive for saying it, being a paraplegic in this world… Man. Well, in any world, really, but especially this one.

Ugh, I don’t want to think about it anymore, that poor boy. The unfairness of it, an innocent child’s life destroyed for the sake of ambition, is simply monstrous. The only thing I can hope for here, I guess, is that Bran recovers enough to point the finger at Mr. and Mrs. Severely Need To Be Mauled By Diseased Bears, but I’m not holding my breath that justice will be served, frankly. Certainly not this early on, anyway.

Meanwhile Tyrion continues to be cool, in a kind of unbalanced and deeply bitter way. Judging from this POV, he’s the kind of character, I would venture to guess, who could very easily tilt either way on the “Hero/Villain” seesaw.

So far I’m on board with rooting for him, though. I’m not sure what his game is yet (though there’s no doubt he has one), but anything that involves smacking around a Lannister is JUST FINE with me right now. I LOL’d, seriously.

(Yes, I know Joffrey is technically a Baratheon, but whatever. If we’re going strictly by personality, he’s a goddamn Lannister through and through, and you know that’s what he considers himself anyway. Bah.)

I initially had a little bit of hope, on reading this chapter, that Tyrion will figure out what happened with Bran and expose the deed even if Bran can’t. But then again, there’s this:

There was very little that Jaime took seriously. Tyrion knew that about his brother, and forgave it. During all the terrible long years of his childhood, only Jaime had ever shown him the smallest measure of affection or respect, and for that Tyrion was willing to forgive him most anything.

Aaand that is what we in the business call your basic Achilles heel. Crap.

Not sure what to make of Tyrion’s remarks about Bran’s wolf. On the one hand, the direwolves are about the only even vaguely magical-like things we’ve seen in this remarkably magic-free epic fantasy so far (with the exception of the frozen zombie dudes in the Prologue, of course), so maybe there’s some basis to it. On the other hand, Tyrion is clearly having a great deal of fun fucking with his siblings re: Bran here, so he could just be making the whole thing up. Could go either way. We’ll see, I guess.


But not until next time, Gadget, next time! Have a lovely weekend, and we’ll be back with more next Friday!

103 comments
Benjamin Moldovan
1. benpmoldovan
First! To be more substantive, I loathe Jaime as well. Though he IS an interesting villain. Anyway, he may have been reluctant to do attempted murder of a child, but he did it, so he gets no credit from me. Tyrion, I want to like, though he is a bitter, vindictive son of a gun, though understandably so.

By they way, how do you pronounce Jaime? JAY-mee? JAYM? Some other way?

Ben
Richard Boye
2. sarcastro
I was eagerly awaiting your response to this, and I was not disappointed.

Also, you have ironically made a passing joke that I find amusing for reasons other than what you intended, methinks.

Well done!
Evan Langlinais
3. Skwid
Aaaaand, you can now feel free to watch the first episode of the TV series, because it ends with "The things I do for love!"

It's always interesting to see what people think of the book at this point...
Tae
4. Tae
@1Very good Ben....very Good!

Nice reread Leigh, reminds me of when I first picked them up =)
Matt Belanger
5. mabwi
Your reaction to this chapter did not disappoint.
Mari Ness
6. MariCats
And THIS was the chapter that got me hooked on the series.

I don't know what that says about me. But I figured that any series willing to toss a kid out of the window to hide a seriously icky sex scene was a series that would be willing to provide the unexpected.
Marcus W
7. toryx
Man.

Leigh's reaction to Bran's chapter was exactly why I love this re-read (and this book) so much. I remember being stunned myself on my first read, hardly able to breathe for a second. And that's when I first truly fell in love with this book.

Why? Because in all my fantasy reading I've never truly been afraid for a character I was fond of. Sure you fear that they're going to harmed or that things are going to go bat shit wrong but death? Nah, not so much. Then GRRM comes out of nowhere with this scene and my entire perspective of the world shifted. Nothing could be taken for granted anymore.

It was like opening up a book for the first time all over again. Not a specific book. ANY book. Because I literally had no way of knowing what was going to happen next. I read this book for the first time in 2000 or 2001. So I was in my mid-twenties at the time and I'd been reading pretty fanatically for a long time. Since I was 8 at the absolute latest. As a result, I'd become pretty good at predicting what was going to come next. I knew all the tropes, the cliches...when it comes to fantasy in particular, there weren't many surprises, especially in my favorite series at the time (WoT).

So yeah. This particular chapter changed the world for me. And George R.R. Martin became my favorite fantasy writer at that very moment.

Then you have this Tyrion chapter and I suddenly became a huge fan of Tyrion. I hate little snots like Joffrey (young or old) and it's so satisfying when someone won't hesitate to put the bastards in their place.

I also thought this chapter was pretty masterful in telling us everything we need to know about Tyrion. He's clever and witty and not afraid of telling the truth and yet...yet he's a victim of his own circumstances and as Leigh quoted, he'll forgive his brother almost anything.
Kate Nepveu
8. katenepveu
Yup. That was what you call your memorable moment, right there.  One doesn't often expect that kind of thing, especially so early.

(Also: Rich! No spoiler hints, damn it!)
Tae
9. Dietes
This was the chapter that hoooked me.
Tae
10. denari6
Leigh

My wife had a similar reaction when she saw that part on HBO and promptly demanded me tell her what happens next.

I never really understood the magical connection between the wolves and the children other than the symbolism.

GRRM, sadistic bastard...

Don't worry little sister, there are more~

D
Sky Thibedeau
11. SkylarkThibedeau
I had the same reaction you did in Chapter 8. Jaime is perhaps the most interesting character in the Saga besides Tyrion. You'll see what I mean as you progress thru the other books.

Spoilers *** Potential Spoiler**** Warning Danger Will Robinson ****

If your heart was in your throat regarding Bran's fate here, just wait!!! Reek reek reek............

****************
Christopher Orr
12. Daedalus
@sarcasto

Indeed. I am reading this at work and had to stiffle my laughter when "that" was mentioned. It is simultaniously wonderfully fun and maddingly frustrating to watch someone read this for the first time.
Tae
13. denari6
Me@10

I just reread my ending and yeah...

I mean more instances of sadism within the book.
David W
14. DavidW
This was the chapter that made me first quit reading the series. I quit many times before I was able to finish all the books released so far.
Tae
15. trench
I was expecting alot more cursing from leigh when she got to Bran's chapter. Oh well.
someone else
16. Naraoia
Moments like this are what shatter my psyche every time I read ASoIaF.

Also, Leigh, I have to say you are a perceptive one! :)
Ted Herman
17. WinespringBrother
Don't worry, Leigh, it only gets better (worse?) from here :D

You may notice that unlike in WOT, payback often becomes a major theme (at least as far as I have read, which is through book 1), though often in surprising (and very gratifying!) ways.

I recommend reading the entire book before watching the series, since HBO (at least for the first episode) seems more focussed on visuals and one-liners (though it is still entertaining) than characters.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
18. tnh
Ben P. Moldovan @1, could you please not do the "first" thing? Everyone reports it, and it makes a lot of noise in the system.

If you'll promise not to do that again, I'll let this one stay up.

(Offer only good until Matins, so act now!)
Tae
19. EvilClosetMonkey
As many have said, the Bran chapter sealed the deal for me. Not only is the Queen having sex with her brother (who's freaking job is to protect the king) but her brother threw the 7 year old son of the King's best friend out a window. I also like how Jaime catches Bran, helps him up to the ledge, and then pushes him out the window.

I also find it interesting that the only member of his family that Tyrion doesn't seem to have an adversarial relationship with is his twincest loving, child murdering (attempted!) brother. What a lovely family :)
James Whitehead
20. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
I do like Tyrion for trying to knock some sense into Joffrey. Little spoiled boy seems unsuited to mount any throne without any help. Sad that it seems only Tyrion who sees it & tries to do something about it. I wonder if Martin will use Tyrion like Shakespeare used his dwarves/fools; to clue us in to things that the rest of the ensemble misses.

Jaime throwing Bran to his supposed death was definitely GRRM putting all readers on notice that this wasn't going to be your typical fantasy books. I really wasn't expecting that at all; nor the 'twincest.'

@15trench, I think Leigh expressed herself rather well. ;-)

Kato
Tae
21. Dank
To be fair to Jaime, it wasn't only his ambition that he was thinking of when he pushed Bran. If the King knew about their affair, they might both be executed.
someone else
22. Naraoia
WinespringBrother@17:

Luckily, some characters manage to shine anyway! *Arya love*
Tae
23. ksh1elds555
RE: this chapter and how it affected me. I was shocked and totally appalled by Jaime's actions in this chapter. First impressions really stick with me. Some people have said Jaime is one of their favorite characters but I was never never never able to get over this chapter and find him likeable later on, although lots of readers do. Maybe it's being a mom of a little boy, who knows...
Tae
24. EvilClosetMonkey
I also love how at this point it kinda seems like Jaime has a villain's checklist that he's using to live his life. Let's see: Kill the previous king whom you took an oath to protect? Check. Commit treason against the current King whom you took an oath to protect? Check. Up the ante on the treason by making sure it involves twincest? Check. Try to kill the young son of the new Hand? Check.
Makes you wonder what the next thing on the list is ;)
Birgit
25. birgit
I also don’t think there’s much chance he’s going to be suddenly eaten by a grizzly in the next chapter, either.

Why a bear when there's an angry direwolf around?

Tyrion then informs them of his decision to go south to the Wall with Jon and Benjen

The Wall is in the north.
Rob Munnelly
26. RobMRobM
Leigh
- One correction: the Wall is north rather than south. The rest are heading south back to Kings Landing.
- Ben: if you do that on the Wheel of Time post, the moderators come in and give you a rainbow/kittens picture to make fun of you. You've been warned.
- Skwid - not yet. The scene in the TV show that precedes this one is still a chapter or two away.
- Last week I gently suggested you get yourself a drink before reading these chapters ... but I guess you didn't. Now you know why.
- What toryx said re issues raised therein.
- "Also, there’s just no way someone can be capable of shoving a seven-year-old off a window ledge (Jesus) without being either psychotic, or so incredibly egocentric as to render the lives of everyone around you meaningless, except in how their lives (or the loss of them) affect your own." Pretty clear Jaime felt compelled to do it for his sister, and was not happy about it. "The things I do for love" indeed.
- Tyrion has a strong sense of courtly obligations - telling his nephew that his failure to condole has been noted and forcing him to comply.
- "Joffrey replies that the Stark boy is nothing to him..." Only his future brother in law. Might be nice for him to comfort Sansa while he's at it.
- "Clegane remarks threateningly that the prince won’t forget that, and Tyrion replies that he hopes he doesn’t." The actual text is very funny here - something like "If he doesn't remember, be a good Hound and remind him."
- I love Tyrion's interactions with his much sweeter nephew (Tommen) and niece (Myrcella). He is a loving uncle to them and they appreciate him.
- "... only Jaime had ever shown him the smallest measure of affection or respect, and for that Tyrion was willing to forgive him most anything. Aaand that is what we in the business call your basic Achilles heel. Crap." You've put your finger on why Tyrion is an interesting character at this point in the book. The internal conflict, it burns!

Rob
Tae
27. Wortmauer
Sarcastro, Skylark: Seriously. What part of The Powers That Be at Tor.com have very kindly set up a forum thread for spoilery comments. Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. don't you understand? You're worse than RobbSRobbS.

Leigh, I had the same reaction when I first hit the Tyrion chapter. "wow. Bran lived? I totally thought he was dead." This chapter came as a huge relief, even as ... I agree that with that extent of injury, one can expect a pretty sucky life. But I love how Tyrion's there to provide the "on behalf of grotesques" perspective on the euthanasia question.

Agreed on the narcissism of the Jaime/Cersei relationship. GRRM totally sells this one - I could absolutely see how those two would not think anyone else out there is pretty enough or, frankly, Lannister enough to compete with each other.

Back to the story: it's kinda too bad Tyrion is too loyal to his family to either (a) air his suspicions about what really happened, or (b) stop coaching Joffrey and let the boy reap whatever political fallout he may from his folly and self-centeredness. Actually, on (b), I'm of too minds, because it is great fun to see Tyrion slapping his nephew around.
Tae
28. jelsel
hi Leigh,

quite fascinating to follow this through your eyes, and kinda hard to refrain from doing spoilers so i'll just say;


enjoy!
Richard Fife
29. R.Fife
First time I read this chapter, it choked me up a bit. I was still single and childless. Second time, I raged a bit. I was divorced and with two kids. Third time I experienced it (the TV show), I felt an urge to jump into the TV and kill the man. The added bit here is that both my kids are little monkeys at the playground, and the actor they have playing Bran is just about as cute as cute gets for a rough-n-ready climbs-everything boy.

Tyrion is without a doubt my favorite character thus far in the series, and I knew it from the moment he pep-talked Jon, and I it doesn't matter how many horrible things he does from this point on, I'll probably always enjoy him, just because he seems to be the character with the surest handle on the concept of common good, despite his twisted view of it.

(read: I don't like Ned)
Delos Rifenburgh
30. KaijuGamer
I was eagerly waiting your reaction to Bran, and was not the least disappointed. I also have to say that you have a way with words!

Now that you've been properly shocked into the mood for the books, I am really looking forward to your ractions to even the most mundane things :P I know when I first read that, all my previous expectations went completely out the widow, just as Toryx said in her comment! And, to that sort of reaction out of you, GRRM did his job well!
Rob Munnelly
31. RobMRobM
And, to keep up my own tradition, the relevant post from the always entertaining Blog of Ice and Fire (although this one is not as amusing as some - I wonder why). Note the similarities between the blogger's analysis and Leigh's:

++++

Bran hasn't named his wolf yet, and is having second thoughts about going south. He aspires to one day join the Kingsguard -- the Westeros version of the Secret Service. He does his best spiderman impression on Winterfell's walls and overhears a revealing conversation between the queen and her twin brother. Cersei is very paranoid of Ned and his motivations now that he's accepted the Hand position, especially considering Lysa's murder accusations. Then, as if to outdo Viserys and Dany, Cersei and Jaime have some good old fashioned twincest while seven-year-old Bran voyeuristically watches their "wrestling match" from the window. Upon discovery, Bran almost falls, but Jaime saves him, only to shove him off the ledge again.
My reaction, after the initial "WTF did that just happen?" was to hope that Bran's wolf ran under him and softened the impact. Thankfully, Martin does not believe in such ridiculous cop outs, because Bran survived the fall and is in a coma. If Bran ever wakes up and explains what happened, there will a lot of people angry with the Lannisters. Thus far, Jaime hasn't been a very good Kingsguard, considering he's screwing the King's wife and tried to kill the Hand's son.


____________________

I think it's awesome that Tyrion gets his own POV. Readers rarely get the villain's side of the story, especially one as likable as Tyrion. His disciplining of Joffrey was interesting; Tyrion may not have genuine concern for Bran, but he clearly understands the politics of the situation. What I learned from this chapter was that all Lannisters are not created equal: Tommen and Tyrion differ greatly from Joffrey and Jaime.
In addition to being a dwarf, Tyrion seems to be far more intelligent and perceptive than the other Lannisters. I wonder if he knows about his siblings' incest, especially since Jaime seems so careless. Royal adultery with your sister the queen while right under the King's nose is stupid, but pushing a Lord's son out the window is even stupider. Also, after observing how Joffrey behaves, Cersei must be a very inept mother. How could these two twin idiots possibly have kept their affair a secret for all this time? I assume this isn't the first time they've secretly had sex. Judging by Robert's reaction to the Lyanna's death earlier, Jaime would not survive if his affair with Cersei was discovered.

If there was any doubt about me finishing this book, these last two chapters erased them -- I can't wait to find out what happens
R B
32. MasterAlThor
Leigh,
Once again.....you have put to words what many of us have felt and now we get to see that our feelings were shared by our leader. It is almost like having them validated.

Like many this was the chapter that hooked me. It was also the chapter that let me know "that death was lurking around the corner" for just about anybody. And one of the greatest quotes in the series was uttered by an utter bastard. Hows that, see I can play with words too. (I am just not as good as you are)

I have to say that I am enjoying that I have read this and you are reading it for the first time. You have no idea what you have gotten yourself into. Heh heh.

Dragon
Rikka Cordin
33. Rikka
Hey, you can watch the first episode now! :D

Also. Get used to the "he's not dead? I so thought he was dead!" feeling because after all the rumors, people tend to believe in GRRM's rampant killing-off of characters even moreso than he actually does. You'll be tricked a time or two, I'm sure; other times you'll hope you were.
Tae
34. JoeNotCharles
tnh @18: You can report posts here? Awesome. How do I report the people that won't stop posting obliquely hinted spoilers?
Tae
35. JoeNotCharles
Rikka @33: Like you! STOP. THAT. STOP IT NOW.
Jen Hill
36. greybon
Well said, Leigh! Like others have said, we've all been waiting to see your reaction to this scene.

When I first read this chapter I had to set the book down for a bit. And I had to remind myself to breathe. It was hard accepting the idea that Martin wasn't going to let anyone be safe even though everyone had warned me. In fact some warned me twice. What can I say, I'm dense. :P But this is that moment that seems to hook everyone. And I was indeed hoooked. Of course the book didn't stay down very long. I had to keep reading!

Looking forward to more of your reactions as you go along. :)
Tae
37. Tenesmus
As always, I just love your insightful analysis...

(Yes, I know Joffrey is technically a Baratheon, but whatever. If we’re going strictly by personality, he’s a goddamn Lannister through and through, and you know that’s what he considers himself anyway. Bah.)

Tyrion is clearly having a great deal of fun fucking with his siblings
Chris Lough
38. TorChris
@RobM. South switched back to north. Very embarassed that I missed that!
Marcus W
39. toryx
Tenesmus @ 37:

Tyrion is clearly having a great deal of fun fucking with his siblings

While not actually, y'know, fucking them. I always found that highly amusing.

On another note...

As a couple of others have said, I wouldn't recommend watching the HBO series until you've finished the book (if even then). The show isn't presented in the same order as the chapters in the book. Besides that, some things are presented in slightly different ways which, I believe, would color your perception of the novel and might even be disruptive to the experience of reading it.

So all of you who are reading for the first time, it's my opinion that it's not safe to watch the HBO show until after you've finished the book. That's just one person's opinion, anyhow.

RobM: Totally agree with you about the way Tyrion treated his other nephew and niece. The imp is such an interesting character!

Oh and KaijuGamer, for the record, I'm a his, not a her.
Corey Sees
40. CorwinOfAmber
"You know how much I love my family."

Ha.

Hahaha.

I love Tyrion. In terms of dialogue, he's definitely the Mat of this series, in that he gets all the best and wittiest lines.
Roland of Gilead
41. pKp
Aaah, yes, the "oh shit did he just do that" moments. These are one of the greatest things about these books, and without spoiling, I can only say that, if anything, they get even more brutal later on. There is one scene in book three (those who have read it will no doubt know what I mean) that literally took my breath away and forced me to put the book down, breathe a bit, scream a few choice obscenities and then take the book back and re-read the whole chapter to make sure what I just read had actually happened. And that was after Bran, and after, well, that Other Oh Shit Moment I won't talk about.

In other words : it gets worse. Much, much worse. And I can't wait to see your reaction to these later moments (and all the other great things the series has to offer, of course).
C C
43. Hatgirl
I am so cross with Tor.com! Everyone (well, bar a couple of enthusiastic blurters) has been so good about not spoiling things for Leigh by blabbing in the comments, and Tor.com have just spoiled the Bran scene for everyone who follows the tordotcom Twitter feed!
"Bran is thrown from the tower in today's Game of Thrones read, leading to the most profane paragraph in Tor.com history!"

For Pete's sake, people...
Marcus W
44. toryx
Hatgirl @ 43: Really? Oh, that's messed up. For shame.

Of course, now that twitter itself is actually the most profane twit in Tor.com history.
j p
45. sps49
JoeNotCharles @34- You have to be signed in, I believe; then there is a "Flag" choice, along with "Bookmark" and "Edit" (for your own posts).

tnh @18- why would you let that "first" post stay? will everyone else get a bye?

Hatgirl @ 43- do I recognize you from Scans Daily?
Joseph Kingsmill
46. JFKingsmill16
I thought we were only suppossed to be talking about what happened in these chapters and the ones that came before it?

Please stop with the valed warning spoilers. Us who have already read the series many many times need to refrain from ruining the suprises. And YES, just saying "Oh my God there are many more of these moments in the series" is a form of spoiler no matter how innocent you are trying to be.

I also agree that you should wait to watch the series until after you finish this book. They do seem tyo be doing things a little out of order and could ruin things and give misperceptions.
C C
47. Hatgirl
sps49 @45 Nope. Must be some other hat wearer
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
49. tnh
JoeNotCharles @34: You report anything by clicking on the word "flag" in their message header. I take it you're unusually sensitive to spoilers? That's legit. I'm not going to scold anyone. I'm just going to explain something to the other commenters.

Sensitivity to spoilers isn't a single condition; it's a continuum. Some readers care more about surprises than others. As a separate issue, some readers are better than others at spotting new developments before they arrive. Bear in mind that the latter sort may be better at it than you are. You may think you're not telling them anything significant, when in fact you're providing them with enough information to ruin a major surprise later in the story.

One of the hardest things to hide is your overall understanding of the work. It's impossible to avoid that entirely, but try to be mindful of the problem, and avoid it when you can. An easier one to spot is the future tense. If you find yourself using it, stop and reconsider before going on.
Tae
51. Carolyn H
Ah, what can I say? I can say that's it's been a very freaking long two weeks waiting for Leigh to get to this chapter. I can for sure say that!

The first time I read about the twincest, I thought I'd misread that Jaime was Cersei's sister. That can't be right, I thought. so I checked. Yep, it's right, the twins are going at it. And then I thought, so this seems as though it's been going on for a while, which made me wonder who, precisely, is Joffrey's father? Because at this point, I already can't stand Joffrey, so I'm thinking that the apple hasn't fallen very far from the tree, so to speak. I'm just saying. I sort of like the king, for all his obvious faults, but that Joffrey is a Lannister if ever there was one.

But then poor Bran goes out the window. I was sure he was dead. I think everyone who reads this book thinks he is dead. And then we find out he isn't, but his dream of being a Kingsguard is never going to happen. In this difficult world, his life isn't going to be anything like what it should have been.

Oh, I was hooked, all right. If I wasn't before, I was seriously hooked at this point. And I think I was hooked before becuase I am such a sucker for mystical things like The Wall, and the whole "winter is coming" thing and all the rest of it. But these chapters told me that I was going to be on a very dark trip, and I loved it!
Tae
53. Carolyn H
As to Tyrion: I like him and always have, despite everything. He seemed very practical to me, if with a jaundiced eye. He couldn't compete for the throne or take center stage because of being a dwarf, though in many ways he is the best qualified for those duties. He's the smartest and sees the world as it is, not with the biases or hidden agendas so many of the others have. He's always going to have an interesting take on what's going on around him.
Andrew Foss
54. alfoss1540
I'm a first-time-reader as well. And was shocked by the deathfall, but not the twincest (Dany and Vany put us on notice how F'd up this place is). My shock is Queencest - meaning the Royal line is probably tainted (which way, who knows). The intrigue here is fascinating.
Benjamin Moldovan
55. benpmoldovan
sps @ 45: *rolls eyes* Sheesh, chill out dude.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
56. tnh
sps49 @45:
tnh @18- why would you let that "first" post stay? will everyone else get a bye?
I'm letting it stay because Ben Moldovan said he's sorry. I think that's fair. We don't yet have a formal rule set for this site. Tagging first is always a little transgressive, but some sites will smack you for it and others won't. It's enough that Ben and anyone else who reads this thread now knows not to do it, and why: it creates noise in the channels.

Will I give others a bye? Context matters, but on the whole, no, I probably won't. For one thing, we've now established that it's something we don't do here. You all know it, and you can pass it on to other readers at the same time that you're flagging maladroit comments.

Here's a question you didn't ask: Does this mean that any misbehavior not prohibited is allowed to happen at least once? Answer: It does not. The internet isn't the wild frontier it once was. People pretty much know not to troll forums, flame each other hairless, employ sockpuppets, or use one of the three words you can't say on Boing Boing. Unless they have a really good excuse, I'm going to assume that anyone who does that stuff knows better but is doing it anyway.

How to do it right: Have good conversations. Engage with other readers and their opinions. Help those who are new or confused. Share your knowledge, interests, and enthusiasms without straying too wildly from the topic. Don't import fights from other universes. Et cetera.

And now, back to A Game of Thrones.
Tess Laird
57. thewindrose
Leigh - You can always blame moving and the con-crud for mixing up the direction:)

The Bran chapter starts off so innocently, a tour of Winterfell from a young boys eyes. Cat so worried that he may fall one day, and Ned just excepting that Bran is going to do it:
Once she made him promise that he would stay on the ground. He had managed to keep that promise for a fortnight, miserable every day, until one night he had gone out the window of his bedroom when his brothers were fast asleep.
He confessed his crime the next day in a fit of guilt. Lord Eddard ordered him to the godswood to cleanse himself. Guards were posted to see that Bran remained there alone all night to reflect on his disobedience. The next morning Bran was nowhere to be seen. They finally found him fast asleep in the upper branches of the tallest sentinal in the grove.(This makes you wonder what the Starks would have thought of a time out chair!)
As angry as he was, his father could not help but laugh. "You're no my son," he told Bran when they fetched him down, "you're a squirrel. So be it. If you must climb, then climb, but try not to let your other see you."

So Bran hears people talking in a part of Winterfell that no one goes to any longer. He hears his fathers name mentioned and wants to see who is talking(knowing that this is important - what a brave boy of 7 years!)
We get to hear about more characters we haven't met yet:
"We ought to count ourselves fortunate," the man said. "The king might as easily have named one of his brothers, or even Littlefinger, gods help us. Give me honorable enemies rather than ambititious ones, and I'll sleep more easily by night.

So this whole conversation has me worried about Eddard Stark - what is he moving into by going south with the king? And then Cersei sees Bran and can only think of herself and Jamie does the unthinkable.
The man looked over at the woman. "The things I do for love," he said with loathing. He gave Bran a shove.

Now I am definitly not arguing that we absolve Jamie of what he did here, but some of his words and actions make this not totally black and white. ie Jamie is vile and beyond redemption.
'The things I do for love' is said with loathing. Jamie also doesn't seem to have any ambitions for power. ie "You should be the Hand."{Cersei} and {Jamie}"Gods forbid," a man's voice replied lazily. "It's not an honor I'd want. There's far too much work involved." In fact he just seems interested in all things Cersei, and bugger anything else. (I am not saying that's good or excuses what he just did to Bran, but this - Jamie needs to let his brain do some thinking. I can hope that he suffers for what he has done here, but that Cersei does as well!)

In the next chapter we have Tyrion, who thinks that there was very little that Jamie took seroiusly. Yet, Jamie has been the only person who has shown him any kindness while Tyrion was growing up. And the end of the Chapter we have another great line from Tyrion:
"Why, Jamie, my sweet brother," he said, "you wound me. You know how much I love my family."

Rob Munnelly
58. RobMRobM
"We get to hear about more characters we haven't met yet..." *nods* Stay tuned.
Kurt Lorey
59. Shimrod
Assuming, of course, that Joffrey's father is actually Robert and not Jaime.
Kev Hamm
60. cavynmaicl
So I started this series because I adore the WoT reread that Leigh has been doing for the last five bazillion years as we wait, semi-patiently, for AMoL to be published, and I'd been looking for a new set of books.

Holy buckets, tho, I couldn't keep pace with Leigh. I got to the Bran Tossing and couldn't stop, then read the next chapter and my thirst for the depth of what happened wasn't slaked.

And now I'm on A Feast for Crows. Dammit.

That said, these two chapters set forth my interest in five characters - Tyrion, Cersei, & Jaime had all been "Meh, I'll follow, but we all know what they're about" characters, and then the twincest sets two apart, while a slapping of the heir-apparent to the kingdom sets the third truly apart. Tyrion is the outsider, much like Jon Snow, and both knowing his place, and acting to improve it in ways that don't upset the cart too much, have made him an impressive man or he couldn't have done what he did. My impression was that he'd be the character to watch for, as major plot changes would pivot around him.

As for the Twins J&C, they became more interesting because it was Jaime and not the Evil Queen who tossed Brandon, but not with glee, Jaime did it because it had to be done. What else has he done that 'had to be done'? I want to know, and I want to know now.

Cersei has now fallen from the archetype Evil Queen Manipulating All to "A Good Manipulator, but Perhaps Manipulated More Than Even She Or The Reader Could Guess" all with a gasp.

My admiration of GRRM rose immensely with this chapter, even as I wanted to smack him for tossing Bran out a castle window.
Peter Stone
61. Peter1742
Martin is doing something very clever in the Bran chapter that you might not notice on the first read-through. He's revealing the incest to the reader without revealing it to any of the point-of-view characters (unless/until Bran wakes up), so the plot can get started while the reader knows some important information the point-of-view characters don't. Martin has remarked a number of times how difficult it is to convey information about an event to the reader when none of your point-of-view characters are present to see it, and this is a very clever solution.
Tae
62. Wortmauer
benpmoldovan@1: By they way, how do you pronounce Jaime? JAY-mee? JAYM? Some other way?
I've always said it like "Jamey" in my head. But it would be funny if it were more like "Jaine" Farstrider or Mazrim "Taime", right? (I.e., an ah-ee diphthong. Taim is, at least, so I presume Jain is too.)
Peter1742@61: Martin is doing something very clever in the Bran chapter that you might not notice on the first read-through. He's revealing the incest to the reader without revealing it to any of the point-of-view characters
Agreed, it's a nice literary device. Not only do we get to find out about the incest without a POV from Jaime or Cersei, GRRM fills in some exposition about King's Landing and the Story So Far. Even if, as others have noted, some of the players are "more people we haven't met yet", it's still useful background. And I like the presentation, through a POV who himself is going to understand even less of it than the reader. Smooth.
Elena Amici
63. Elena
and THIS is what i though reading these chapters.
and THIS is the chapter that made me love asoiaf.
and now i feel a littl guilty saying that jaime is my favorite character (and jon and arya, but nobody is going to kill me for that)
i will never undersand people's disgust about twincest. i'm in the party of those who think people can do whatever they want to, unless they hurt somebody else. Twincest is okay. Shoving a 7-years-old-child out of a window is not.
ps: it's spelled jay-mee :)
lake sidey
64. lakesidey
@ 63 Elena: You said ps: it's spelled jay-mee :)

And here I was thinking it's spelled Jaime. Silly me. Of course, it's only pronounced Jaime!

@ Leigh: Total satisfaction. I've been waiting a fortnight for your reaction to this. Also, all of what toryx said @7 works for me too. Though I had started off with "the Hedge Knight" and so had a little bit of idea that things could get pretty grim in this world....but pushing a 7-year-old of a ledge? That got my attention...

Somehow, at this point I kind of related Tyrion to Bean from the Ender books. Stunted, but smarter and more perceptive than most people around, hence brings a different thought process to bear - survival is a priority....

~lakesidey
Tae
65. Cotillion
Oddly enough, until hearing it said in the TV show I'd always assumed it was the spanish "Hi-mee", such as Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia. On the other hand, I do tend to assign "foreign" pronunciations to characters in fantasy books where the author uses names you'd find in America, mainly because it keeps me from associating "Jaime" in the book I'm reading with "Jamie" at my office.

I actually tend to enjoy when there's familiar-but-not-quite names, such as Eddard and Rickon (and for that matter, Matrim if you jump between Leigh's blogs), because they're unlikely to result in you meeting another fan and arguing about the pronunciation (Kvothe, anyone?).

lakesidey@64: Great allusion to Bean.
Maiane Bakroeva
66. Isilel
Lakesidey @64:

Somehow, at this point I kind of related Tyrion to Bean from the Ender books.

I have always associated him with Miles Vorkosigan, but growing up in far less fortunate circumstances. There are a lot of parallels.

I have to say that IMHO in this case the twincest isn't just narcissism. J&C are, in a sense, star-crossed lovers, who couldn't find romantic fulfillment in any other way.
And of course I am not at all outraged on behalf of whore-mongering Robert - it is only fair that his wife finds solace elsewhere. Too bad that it has to be in secret.

I guess that I am in a minority that I was a little disappointed that Bran survived his fall. Sure, I was as stunned as anybody when he was thrown, particularly after that initial rescue, but this seemed like a return to scheduled programming of the fantasy genre. I am so glad that I was mostly wrong in that respect, heh.
Claire de Trafford
67. Booksnhorses
I think Leigh and Toryx summed up my first reactions to these chapters so not much more to add there.

I always assumed that it was supposed to be pronounced Haime, but could never do that in my head and read it as Jamie. And it still bugs me - why couldn't he just be called Jamie?!!!!! It's like reading books with Celtic names and I have absolutely no idea how the hell they are supposed to sound.

I also agree that it is very good planning on J + C's part not to have been caught, or suspected, before this. Fancy managing to carry on an affair in the busy King's Landing, and then being caught in a deserted tower in a castle in the middle of nowhere when everyone was on a hunt! No wonder they pushed him out the window! Although I was very upset at the time.
Tae
68. thorhammer737
The really messed up thing about about Bran's fall was the early part of the chapter when he thinks about how he wants to be in the King's Guard. Whether he lives or not, that's not going to happen now.
Theresa DeLucci
69. theresa_delucci
I knew I was going to like Tyrion when he had his bastards/dwarves conversation with Jon, but when he slapped Joffrey... that was the moment I fell in love.
Alice Arneson
70. Wetlandernw
Note for those who just can't resist making the "you don't know what you just said" and "it only gets worse" comments - if you would put them on the spoiler thread, you could get all your chuckles out as well as providing fodder for those who are less spoiler-sensitive and would like to be in on the joke.* Posting them here only annoys people who really don't want clues for anything. Like tnh said @ 49, be considerate of those who might catch more of a clue in your comment than you thought you were giving.

*For example, I'm not reading the book, so I think it would be kind of fun to go to the spoiler thread and see what foreshadowings are being noted by those who have read before. When I have time, I'll go see if there's anything interesting; I haven't checked for a while.
Elena Amici
71. Elena
64.lakesidey
yep, you're right :D
pronunced jay-mee, spelled jaIMe (how many people write jamie? LOL)
Elena Amici
72. Elena
@69.theresa_delucci
"... when he slapped Joffrey... that was the moment I fell in love."

well...
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2vkg76w&s=7
:D
Tae
74. EvilClosetMonkey
@ #73 3SecondCultist

um, WTF, what part of NO SPOILERS is so hard to understand?!

Please, someone take down this comment.
Donnie Koss
75. fearLan
@73 3SecondCultist

This is a no-spoiler thread, idiot. You suck at life.
Irene Gallo
76. Irene
# 73 removed.

3second,
Please keep spoilers in the designated spoiler thread in the forums.
Amir Noam
77. Amir
Leigh:

Jesus you are a SADIST, George R.R. Martin


Indeed.
Without spoilers, I'll quote this bit from GRRM's version of last year's Suvudu Cage Match final (Rand vs. Jaime):

"Your gods are false," Min insisted. "The Creator -- "

"I knew your Creator," the dwarf broke in. "Lord Jordayne, he was called here." He took a sip of wine and smiled sadly. "A good fellow, warm-hearted and generous, with a rare fine humor. He lived down south, at the Tor, and was famous for his hospitality. Lord Jordayne has been much missed by all who knew him. The tales he told will be fondly remembered by all those who heard them. But he did not create Westeros, my lady, no more than Lord Costayne or Lord Vance or Lord Peake. We have our own Creator here... a crueler one than yours, I fear. In his domain the only pattern is the one men make themselves, There are no ta'veren. No man is ever safe."


Here's the full fight account (with some spoilers!):
http://grrm.livejournal.com/147038.html
Tae
78. t-con
"Tyrion is clearly having a great deal of fun fucking with his siblings"

Bad choice of words after last chapterXD
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
79. tnh
Amir @77:
But he did not create Westeros, my lady, no more than Lord Costayne or Lord Vance or Lord Peake.
Aha! Thomas B. Costain. That's of a piece with the observation that GRRM's work owes more to Shakespeare's historical plays than to his tragedies and comedies.
Denni Caid
80. songstress7
Ahh, payoff chapter #1 for the vicarious read. Ever since this series of posts started I've been looking forward to Leigh's comments on this one. As others have said, the reaction did not disappoint. :)

Love, love, LOVE Tyrion's chapters. Sometimes I have to stop and read something aloud just to fully appreciate the wit and the wording.

And Jaime... at this point, he's one of those characters you love to hate.
Mo -
81. Astus
I only read the book for the first time last year in a period where I was suffering from anticipation shivers for ToM :P

I've got to say, this scene jolted me out of the semi-casual (not so much bored but just not really invested) approach that I was taking. It went from being the type of book where 'Oh, I've got a couple of free minutes. Let's read a bit of a GoT' to 'OMG WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!?'
I'm happy to say that that approach carried through most of the book where I was eating it up if only to see if there were any other such experiences.

Bran's age still gets me. I have a cousin who recently turned 7 and like many young boys, he's a bit of an imp (reference to Tyrion not intended ;])
The abruptness of it and how Jaime quickly decides to drop him really struck me hard. What a freaking bastard. No, beyond that. It's just....

Joffrey getting slapped made me smile. A twit. Glad to see his siblings are developing differently. Makes me wonder why he's so different. They all seem to spend quality time with mummy.
Barrett Taylor
82. B_Taylor
So, while it has been touched on by some other posters, I thought I'd comment on Jaime shoving Bran off the ledge. Cersei is committing treason, which Robert (who doesn't like anyway) would have her executed on the spot for if he found out. (It might well get all three kids killed as well, since who can say who their father(s) were, if their mother wasn't faithful? A pitty about Tommen and Myrcella, but Joffery deserves it.) Jaime would also probably be executed (since it is probably also treason to have an affair with the queen, just as her having an affair is). Thus, Jaime is not acting out of ambition (at least, not to me), but out of self preservation and love of his sister.
Philbert de Zwart
83. philbert
It's funny how Leigh goes on about bears: for all the talk of wolves, there is a distinct lack of any bears in these here books.
Tae
84. cheem
@83, which house has the bear as its sigil again?
Janet Hopkins
85. JanDSedai
The Mormounts of Bear Island; we met the disgraced heir in exile with Visyris and Dany.
Tae
86. Jack Stark
I fucking despise Jaime, and one of the things that bothers me the most with these books and their fandom is the way that this a-hole is given the "Draco" treatment - but while Draco was only a annoying little shit, Jaime is a complete monster. No matter what the reason, his actions could never be justified - crippling a seven year old is a Moral Event Horizon, people. No matter how pretty the perpetrator is.
Steven Halter
87. stevenhalter
My reaction to chapter Bran was pretty much exactly like Leigh's. I was thinking, "Gee, what a cool kid, I'm going to like him and Arya." Then, boom Jaime pushes him out the window. So, yeah I don't like Jaime or Cersei as she seems to be the one who gives him the go ahead for the push.
Rob Munnelly
88. RobMRobM
@77 - I happened to be re-reading A Storm of Swords the other day and, lo and behold, the reference to Lord Jordayne of the Tor is actually in the text and not just a Suvudu death cage match write up invention. (One of the bannermen to the Lords of Dorne, for those keeping track at home.) No doubt George put it in as an homage to RJ but I laughed when I saw it in text.

Rob
Marcus W
89. toryx
RobM @ 88:

Back in the day Jordan and GRRM were often mentioned in one breath. Lots of Jordan fans became GRRM fans and vice versa. Anyway, in 2001 (sheesh, almost ten years now!) there was a con in Illinois where Jordan was Guest of Honor and GRRM was the Toastmaster/ Master of Ceremonies. During the opening ceremonies, GRRM was doing his introduction speech and announced that he'd decided once and for all to put the speculation to rest. He was Robert Jordan.

Just as he said that, Jordan stepped up onto stage and quietly walked up behind him looking bemused as GRRM talked about how he'd been using RJ as a pen name until he felt comfortable enough to publish a grittier, harsher fantasy under his true name.

Anyway, I can't possibly do justice to the tale but it was pretty funny. As I understand it, that weekend was actually the first time the two men had met but since Jordan had provided a blurb for A Game of Thrones, there was mutual respect on both sides.
Mo -
90. Astus
@89: I would have loved to see that. If only someone could have captured it on video. Would have yted it in a heart beat. :)
Rob Munnelly
91. RobMRobM
That's a cool story, Toryx. I was aware that RJ's blurb was considered important to the success of GoT but didn't know of interactions beyond that. I'm not surprised that they respected each other. It is known.
Marcus W
92. toryx
Astus @ 90: I was very fortunate to be there. It was one of the most enjoyable Cons I'd ever attended. At the time, however, I had neither camera nor camcorder.
Rob Munnelly
93. RobMRobM
GRRM just posted on his blog a picture of a fallen King Kong. This means that A Dance with Dragons is complete. Hooray!!!! Just in time to get the book published in July.

Rob
Rob Munnelly
94. RobMRobM
Arggh. Maybe not so fast.

++++

Jeez, guys. Calm down.This is why I hate to do updates.I say I have good day, and immediately I have a hundred people deciding this means that DANCE is finished.I'm not the oracle at Delphi. Whatever casual comments I make on this Not A Blog are just that, and should not be subjected to analysis, interpertation, or decoding.When I finish DANCE, you'll know it. I will write something like this: "I have finished A DANCE WITH DRAGONS." You won't need to parse any hints.For the record, I have not finished A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. I just had a particularly good day yesterday. I hope to have another one today.
lake sidey
95. lakesidey
I think that pic seems pretty much indicative of "finished"? Especially given the very suggestive title " 'twas beauty..." Given that he keeps referring to the book as Kong, and keeps talking of jetplanes and so on - if that post doesn't refer to the ending of the book then . . . er . . . I'll be a monkey's uncle?

~lakesidey
Carol Witt
97. carolwitt
Argh. I tried to edit my post to include the URL and it's now flagged as
spam. In any case, that quote is from a post from January 30, 2010.
Tae
98. Wortmauer
I liked the way GRRM told toryx@89's story: grrm.livejournal.com/21250.html
That's where I first found out RJ had passed away. What a shock.
Tae
99. rfs
lakesidey@95

I think that pic seems pretty much indicative of "finished"?

I don't recall exactly what GRRM had said "Kong" was, but I got the impression it was a major plotline of the book and not the boot itself. He mentioned it in the same way he use the "Myreenese knot" phrase.
Rob Munnelly
100. RobMRobM
Book is over. Editor confirmed it and there is a video of her on line discussing the manuscript. Kong has always referred to the entire book not just one plot line.
Barrett Taylor
101. B_Taylor
@100 RobMRobM - and the Ice and Fire Update page on Martin's site now says "Done." Would of been nice if he'd said that in his Not a Blog post (since he flat out said that he would say "I have finished A DANCE WITH DRAGONS."), but still, what's a day between frantic fans and their author?
Tae
102. Vorbis
This was the point where I stopped reading the book, so I'm glad you're taking this bullet for me. I realised at this point that I didn't need whatever fuckups were in GRRM's psyche on my conscience and wandered off.

Haven't been remotely curious since then to know what happened, but since I like your read's Leigh I'll keep up with it via you =)
Corneliu Dascalu
103. corneliu9d
Welcome to the world of GRRM, Leigh, where you keep waiting for everyone dear to your heart to die. Horribly. I hate Martin for this.

The most disturbing thing is that scenes like this really happened in our own real history. And probably even worse (think of the mongol invasions, the Inquisition, Hitler, Stalin etc.).

Still, I didn't need a reminder in a fantasy book.
Tae
105. Dolphineus
I can't help giggling while reading your read through Leigh. I've read this series a handful of times. You have a pretty good read on most of the people, but its a long series, and shit happens. I want to comment on a couple, but I'm not sure how far you've read yet. And, as you already found out with Bran, GRRM can sure throw some curve balls!

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