Jul 27 2012 2:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings, Part 28

A Read of Ice and Fire on Tor.comWelcome 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 28 of A Clash of Kings, in which we cover Chapters 57 (“Sansa”), 58 (“Davos”), and 59 (“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 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 57: Sansa

What Happens
Sansa listens to the singing in the sept as she watches Joffrey mount his horse in richly ornamented armor. Tyrion sees her and asks why she is not with the other ladies in Maegor’s, and she tells him Joffrey had sent for her to see him off, and then she intends to pray. Tyrion replies dryly that he won’t ask for whom. He then comments that this day might change everything, and that he should have sent her off with Tommen.

Joffrey interrupts to summon Sansa (as if she were a dog, she thinks), and show her his new sword, Hearteater and make her kiss it. She does, loathing him deeply, and asks hopefully if he will lead his knights into battle. Joffrey says no, that Tyrion says Stannis will never cross the river, and Sansa comments that her brother Robb always goes where the fighting is thickest. Joffrey frowns and promises he will gut her brother with Hearteater once he’s done with his traitor uncle, and leaves.

Sansa goes to the sept, which is crowded to bursting, and makes offerings for each of the seven gods and sings along with the hymns, praying for her family and friends, living and dead, and even for Tyrion and the Hound. But when the septon begins leading a prayer for Joffrey, Sansa stands and leaves.

She goes to Maegor’s Holdfast, the castle-within-a-castle where all the highborn ladies are waiting out the battle. She meets Lady Tanda at the drawbridge, and tries to reassure her daughter Lollys, who is crying and resisting going in. Eventually her sister Falyse and the maidservant Shae force Lollys across, and Sansa thinks of the rumor that Lollys is pregnant.

Inside the holdfast, Sansa sees with shock that Ser Ilyn Payne is there, holding her father’s sword Ice. Osfryd Kettleblack comments that Her Grace expects to have need of him, and Sansa wonders whose head Cersei is after. Cersei enters, and Sansa asks her why Ser Ilyn is there; Cersei replies “to deal with treason”, and defend them if necessary, which Cersei seems convinced it will be. Sansa asks if her guards won’t protect them, and Cersei sneers that the guards will be the first to run if the city falls. She observes that Sansa has no idea what happens when a city is sacked, does she. Sansa says true knights would never harm women and children, but the words ring hollow to her.

“True knights.” The queen seemed to find that wonderfully amusing. “No doubt you’re right. So why don’t you just eat your broth like a good girl and wait for Symeon Star-Eyes and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight to come rescue you, sweetling. I’m sure it won’t be very long now.”

Well, Cersei’s hardly my favorite person, but she’s just about right in this chapter; when a city is sacked, it doesn’t end well for anyone. The women least of all.

What a dreadful thing, to just have to sit there and wait to see whether you’re going to be perfectly fine, or (most likely) raped, murdered, or both. I’d like to declare I’d rather be out there fighting, where at least you’d have the illusion of having some miniscule amount of control over your own fate; I’d like to declare that, but I’ve been around long enough to know that, lacking the experience of it, I can’t really know how I’d would react in this situation, even if I were given a choice between the two courses of action, which in this scenario I would not be. But if I were given the choice, how would I react?

*shrug* I don’t know. Maybe I’d be the one hiding under the tables the whole time and hoping someone else will solve all my problems for me. I don’t think that’s who I’d be. But I don’t know.

And really, all things considered? I’m pretty okay with never finding out.


Let his sword break and his shield shatter, Sansa thought coldly as she shoved out through the doors, let his courage fail him and every man desert him.

Girl, it’s like you read my mind.

Also, go Sansa for goading the little shit, and for refusing to pray for him. Small rebellions, perhaps, but maybe they will lead to greater. Or Joffrey will get killed a lot in this thing and it’ll be a moot point. That would be sweet.

Whose head is Cersei after? Well, I’m betting that if Joffrey doesn’t come back from the battle, it’s probably going to be Tyrion’s. Even so: Joffrey’s death? SWEET.


Chapter 58: Davos

What Happens
On his ship Black Betha, Davos approaches the mouth of the Blackwater Rush River along with the rest of Stannis’s vast fleet. The fleet is under the command of Ser Imry Florent, Stannis’s brother-in-law. Davos thinks his plan of attack too bold, an attempt to make up for the significant delays they had encountered en route, but his suggestion to Ser Imry that they send a few swift ships to scout the river rather than committing their full force at the outset was met with derision. Imry was certain the few ships the boy king had to oppose them would present no difficulty, but Davos thinks it is foolish to meet them on the river, where the narrower space reduces their advantage of numbers.

As the fleet enters the rivermouth, Davos notes the towers on either shore and presumes (and then confirms) they have a chain boom between them, but the boom is not raised. The few ships waiting to meet them are missing several of the king’s most formidable vessels. Davos smells a trap, but cannot figure out what exactly it is. The castle above begins raining down pitch, arrows, and boulders, while Stannis’s forces across the river form up to cross. Davos is grateful that Stannis bowed to pressure from his officers and sent Melisandre back to Dragonstone along with Edric Storm.

The battle is joined, and all descends into chaos rapidly. Davos rams a Lannister ship and sinks her, and then wildfire destroys a Baratheon ship. Davos hates wildfire, which is almost impossible to put out, but thinks of Ser Imry’s assurance that there are few true pyromancers left, and the city’s supply will soon run out. Boulders from the city’s trebuchets sink some ships, and Davos barely avoids a ramming attempt on his own ship. He sweeps alongside and boards the would-be rammer instead, and is nearly killed in the fierce ship-to-ship fighting. They take the enemy ship, and Davos observes that despite heavy casualties, the battle is going in their favor. Then he sees one of their own ships, Swordfish, is aiming to ram one of the derelict Lannister ships in the harbor.

Slow green blood was leaking out between her boards.

When he saw that, Davos Seaworth’s heart stopped beating.

“No,” he said. “No, NOOOOOOOO!”

Swordfish strikes the wreck, shattering the thousand jars of wildfire inside, which spreads across the surface of the river. Davos screams for the ship to back away, but it is too late: the wildfire ignites, and Davos is flung into the water from the force of the explosion. He struggles to the surface and sees that most of Stannis’s fleet, including his own ship, is on fire. He lets himself be swept out by the current toward the bay, planning to swim ashore, and then sees that now the chain boom has been raised, blocking the mouth of the river, and ship after ship is crashing into it, setting each other aflame.

A wall of red-hot steel, blazing wood, and swirling green flame stretched before him. The mouth of the Blackwater Rush had turned into the mouth of hell.

War is nuts, you guys.

So this was a very gripping and well-choreographed and detailed (and long) battle scene that I did not even attempt to capture more than the broadest strokes of in the summary, because yeah, no. If you want all the very bloody details I suggest you read the original.

It’s so weird reading about a battle in which you really don’t particularly want either side to win. Or rather, a battle in which you’re only rooting for a side to win because that means a few specific people have a better chance of surviving. So I was rooting for the Lannisters here merely because I don’t want Tyrion, Sansa, and Shae to die.

I mean, there are other people I’d be happy to see live, like Davos himself, but I’m probably not going to be too overly upset if they don’t. And honestly, I want Shae to live more because I know what her death will do to Tyrion than for her herself. That’s probably terrible of me, but, well, I’m risking enough just getting as attached as I am to these few characters!

So really, as long as Tyrion and Sansa make it out okay I’m not sure I really care who wins this fight. I loathe Joffrey, but it’s not like Stannis has inspired me with a ton of confidence that he and his magical-shadow-baby-assassin™-birthing cult instigator henchwoman will be much better.

And of course, a fairly significant additional weight on the Lannister side is also that, should they win, King’s Landing will remain unsacked and a whole lot fewer innocent civilians will die. So yeah, I guess you could say I am on the Lannisters’ side in this particular fight, but that is very definitely in spite of them, not because of them.

(Man, I hope Joffrey dies even if they do win. I don’t think we’re all that lucky, of course, but I can hope it!)

And from the looks of things, so far I’m picking the winning side. I mean, I don’t know yet how things are going on the landward front, but if you were in Stannis’s naval forces, your chances of survival have just dropped to somewhere between slim and yeah, so much for that.

Clever, clever Tyrion. I think that somewhere way back in the day I speculated that the chain he was talking about was going to be used to block the harbor, but letting the enemy in first and then trapping them with it (and then setting everyone on fire, natch), that I hadn’t seen coming. Well, not until I got to this chapter, anyway. The minute I read Davos’s thought about Imry reassuring them that there would be hardly any wildfire I was like, welp, in case I was wondering how this is gonna go down, I can stop! Basically Imry and Co. did the equivalent of marching up to Tyrion’s oven, sticking their head in, and turning it on their damn selves. In retrospect they might as well have put on big red bows before going in. Nice.

And of course no one listened to the lowborn Onion Knight, who only survived forty years on the sea as a smuggler, simply because he was a smuggler. Show of hands if you’re shocked!

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Oh, class snobbery, how Darwinian you can turn out to be.


Chapter 59: Tyrion

What Happens
Tyrion watches from above as Stannis’s fleet and their own alike is consumed in green wildfire on the river below, and thinks that it is only half a victory, and will not be enough. Joffrey complains about his ships burning, too, and Tyrion tells him they were doomed in any case. He estimates that even with the success of his trap, thirty or forty enemy vessels survived, and will be able to bring Stannis’s land forces across once they recover.

He knows his own men will only hold up as long as the battle is going their way, and gives orders for a sortie against the survivors dragging themselves out of the river, and for the Three Whores (the trebuchets) to be swung further west. Joffrey complains that Cersei promised him control of the Whores, and Tyrion lets him go ahead with flinging the Antler Men (with antlers nailed to their heads) from the trebuchets (as he had promised to “send them back to Stannis”). Joffrey runs off happily, and Tyrion thinks that Cersei had better be protecting Alayaya as well as he is Joffrey.

A runner comes with news that the enemy is bringing a ram up to the King’s Gate, and Tyrion rides there quickly to find it is already in use. He orders the sellswords and gold cloaks gathered there to form up for a sortie, but Sandor Clegane appears and refuses to go out again, stating that he has lost half his men fighting out there. Tyrion is shocked to realize Clegane is afraid, and that he needs to replace him, but cannot think of anyone, so he says he will lead the sortie himself. Clegane laughs in disbelief. Tyrion shouts for the men to form up, but only a few respond to the order.

He looked contemptuously at the others, the knights and sellswords who had ridden with Clegane. “They say I’m half a man,” he said. “What does that make the lot of you?”

Shamed, many of the rest fall in. Tyrion tells them he isn’t going to shout Joffrey’s name, or Casterly Rock either.

"This is your city Stannis means to sack, and that’s your gate he’s bringing down. So come with me and kill the son of a bitch!” Tyrion unsheathed his axe, wheeled the stallion around, and trotted toward the sally port. He thought they were following, but never dared to look.


On the one hand, go Tyrion! On the other: ah, crap.

But then again, Tyrion did mange to do pretty well up in the mountains with the not dying in battle, so maybe he’s not completely screwed. I really, really hope not.

And so Sandor Clegane crapped out, did he? Well, at least the man’s consistent. He says he’s not a knight, and he really really isn’t one. Good… for him? I guess? Sort of?

On the other hand, wow with how very not acceptable it is to be disobeying orders on the battlefield. I mean, even in the current Uniform Code of Military Justice for the U.S. armed forces, the penalty for refusing to obey a lawful order in wartime can include being sentenced to death. I can’t imagine the punishment in Martin’s world being any lighter. No bueno, Señor Clegane. No bueno at all.

So perhaps it is Clegane who has a date with the lovely Ser Ilyn Payne, and wow that’s probably the most pun-ish name Martin’s allowed himself so far, isn’t it? I may have said that already but it bears repeating.

As for Joffrey’s antics with the Antler Men: Gosh, just when I thought that kid couldn’t get any more adorable. I know it’ll cause all kinds of problems for Tyrion if he dies, but can’t we kill him anyway? Please? Pretty please with sprinkles?

You know, I sense there may have been a theme in my musings for this post. WHAT COULD IT BE.

Well, if you don’t know I ain’t gonna tell ya! Have a lovely weekend, persons, and I will see you next time!

Rob Munnelly
2. RobMRobM
Leigh - you didn't highlight the big issue for Cleghane - possible spoiler ++ wildfire is his Kryptonite. He's terrified of fire (understandably, given what happened to his face as a child). ++
Rob Munnelly
3. RobMRobM
Re Davos, I wish you had noted that most of his kids are also part of the battle on other ships, so the recognition of the trap with wildfire causes even more more pain and heartache than might otherwise be felt.

And don't get me started on the Florents, this idiot in particular....
William Carter
4. wcarter
In Sansa's place I do know what option I would choose if I could. Run.

For someone in her political position, staying in a city ruled by one group of enemies and under seige by another is is absolutely as dangerous as Cercei thinks it is.

And fighting? That's suicide. In another series perhaps, with her main charcter plot armor, she might have a chance but in Martin's world or real life she wouldn't have a prayer.

Trying to escape the city while everything is all chaos would be the only hope she has. It's obviously risky as well, but there's at least a chance she could make it out a guard's gate and away from the city proper while everyone else was busy killing each other.

She could be caught, or even killed. But being captured would leave her no worse off than she already is, and there's no garuntee she won't be killed anyway.

At least if she tries to run there is a chance she could escape and be miles away before anyone even realises she's gone.
Peter Stone
5. Peter1742
RobMRobM: Is your comment 2 a spoiler? As I remember, GRRM covers it explicitly in the next ***Sansa*** chapter, so Leigh will learn exactly why Clegane decamped next week, but I don't think he mentions it in this one.
Black Dread
6. Black Dread
Correct - Clegane is terrified of fire - AND - he is honest enough to recognize that Joffrey isn't worth getting burned for.
Stefan Mitev
7. Bergmaniac
Tyrion here organises and orders the burning alive of thousands of people to keep a sadistic psychopath (who he knows is illegitimate) on the throne. Yet so many readers still consider him "a good guy. Go figure...

Not to mention how he just handed the Antler men to Joffrey even though he knew very well what a sadistic bastard his nephew was.
Gary Singer
8. AhoyMatey
Thanks Leigh. Loved the reference to alt.wesley.crusher.die.die.die :D. Jeez, I'm getting up in years...
Mike Lapp
9. EvilClosetMonkey
@ 7:
It's not like the choice is between Joffrey and rainbow colored unicorns. Besides this is war, it's not like Tyrion rounded up a couple of thousand people and set them on fire for fun. Burning Stannis's men could save the men, women, and children of King's Landing. I think it is pretty clear that Tyrion is not fighting to keep Joffrey on the throne. One of the expected results of his actions, provided he is successful, is that Joffrey will keep the throne but that isn't why he does what he does.

As for the Antler Men, it's certainly not Tyrion's most benevolent act; however, they were doomed regardless and one could argue that keeping Joffrey occupied by flinging the traitors into the Blackwater could actually save more lives than it costs. If Tyrion denies him, Joff may accept it but may get an even worse idea in his head later in the battle that he won't back down from.

Edited for clarity
Mike Lapp
10. EvilClosetMonkey
@ 4:

Running is definitely an option but I don't know that it is a better option. Even if she escapes instead of getting raped and/or killed, Sansa would be out in the countryside with no one to protect her, no way to protect herself and no wilderness survival skills. I think Arya's chapters show pretty clearly that Sansa would be doomed in that situation.

Besides, Stannis has no reason to harm her and she would be a very useful hostage for him. Sansa will likely be much better off if Stannis wins and she escapes the sack unharmed.
Rob Munnelly
11. RobMRobM
Peter - I thought it was in the chapter text but didn't re-read ahead of time, so if I erred I apologize.

Note to all - how do you white out text? I'm happy to go back to post 2 but I've never done it.
Black Dread
12. Pheran
@9: Spoiler alert! Mods, please do something with this comment.
13. JimmyMac80
@11 It's not a spoiler, while Clegane doesn't flat out state it, Tyrion figures it out, "He is afraid, Tyrion realized, shocked. The Hound is frightened. . .
The wound, the fire . . . he’s done, I need to find someone else, but who?"
Black Dread
15. Insomnia333
@7 Well he's not just keeping Joffery on the Throne, he's also trying to save his own hide as his head will go up on the pike right next to Joffery should the city fall. Even should he somehow escape, the fall of Kings Landing would mean the end of House Lannister. That is why he is fighting, not to save Joffery, but himself and his House. If it wasn't for Cersi having Alayaya, I'm sure he would have no issues with Joffery having an "accident" and then having Tommen take the throne.
William Carter
16. wcarter
if you are signed in you should see the word EDIT in grey under your handle. It should look something like: FLAG ] BOOKMARK ] EDIT.
Just click edit then under the text body click the orange A with the color boxes and select white then highlight the text to white it out and put a spoiler alert on either side of the whited out text. Then just click the post button. Should take you about 30 seconds all told.
Lindy Brown
17. lbrown
I was surprised that Leigh mentions Shae as someone she wants to survive. Did you read what she said about Lollys about the whole rape thing? She is definitely not a nice person.

I'd like to say Tyrion can do much better, but the reality of it, he probably can't. Poor Tyrion. Shae is only staying with him because of his wealth and social status.
Rob Munnelly
18. RobMRobM
@16 - thanks but I msut be doing something wrong. edit, A, white, color the text, post ... and nothing's happening.
William Carter
19. wcarter
Huh. Try highlighting the text first then selecting white.
Deana Whitney
20. Braid_Tug
@ 12, I don't see how 9 is spolier.
Based only on what's been talked about up to now, he's right.
Based on what comes later, he's right. The books are just that messed up.

War - it sucks all around in this kingdom.
21. JimmyMac80
@20 It's a spoiler because it says that *Tyrion and Joffery win the battle. But at this point that's not decided.*
Pat .
22. dolphineus
And finally, an actual battle scene! Despite the fact that there is a massive civil war going amongst 5 or 6 different kings, this is the first battle scene we get in the series. We always join Robb or his bannermen just after the battle. Well done battle scene too! Some very clever tactics. Also a very gritty look at how the battle isn't just between the kings and their knights, but will effect everyone in the city.
Rob Munnelly
23. RobMRobM
@22 - Agreed. These are nice chapters (and the TV version on HBO is the highlight of Season 2).

@21 - Not seeing the spoiler in what was written.

@19 - still all kinds of fail. I can get it to disappear on my screen but when I preview or post it still shows up. Argh.

@17 - Leigh's desire for survival of Shae is tied to likely impact on Tyrion but, yes, she's (Shae's) not that nice of a person and Tyrion potentially could be with a better person (but likely not better in the sack).
Steven Halter
24. stevenhalter
RobMRobM:Sometimes it takes a couple of tries for the white out to work. Usually, though," edit -- preview -- white out -- post" will do the trick.
Lindy Brown
25. lbrown
There was also that battle in GoT between Tywin and Bolton, where Tyrion and his men were in the vanguard. That was also on screen.
Steven Halter
26. stevenhalter
GRRM is running a bit of a risk in making everyone so morally gray. Leigh's list of who I would care lives from King's Landing is fairly close to mine. In both cases, that's a fairly short list. Luckily, it's a fairly interesting list.
Rob Munnelly
27. RobMRobM
@26 - Tyrion, Sansa, Myrcella, Tommen, Varys, one and only one member of the Kingsguard who shall remain nameless at this point, Lollys (need to feel bad after what she's been through)....Any more? Gendry's master?
Rob Munnelly
28. RobMRobM
@24 - I'm losing respect for my own technical facility. I'll crawl off into a corner now....
Peter Stone
29. Peter1742
Leigh: great job again this week. I don't see how you can stand waiting until next week to see how this battle turns out.

21. JimmyMac80: I don't believe @9 was a spoiler, but you just wrote a spoiler in @21 trying to explain what was wrong with the non-spoiler @9 (and in fact, the only really big spoiler in these comments). Somebody please white it out.
Anthony Pero
30. anthonypero
RobM and Shalter:

I stopped caring what happens to anyone in this series at some point that shall remain nameless. By caring, I mean I stopped having a rooting interest. I still care to know what happens, however. I just don't care if its bad or good. That's the power of Martin's prose, and strong characterizations.
Black Dread
31. Subbak
@27: Actually, Gendry's master is one of the Antler's men, IIRC. So he's already dead.

He offered to make an armour with a wolf-head helmet for Ned in the same manner as he later did for Tyrion (with a demon helm), and when Tyrion learns he is one of the AM, he reflects that he'll never have that helm after all).
Can't remember his name, though.
David Goodhart
33. Davyd
I may be getting my scenes mixed up, but doesn't Cercei at least imply, if not out right say, what Payne's purpose is, who he's really there for? Does that come later?

Edit for Grammar.
Black Dread
34. Zizoz
Tobho Mott was Gendry's master, but he was not an Antler Man. That was Salloreon.
Jennifer McBride
35. vegetathalas

Shae was raped by her father. If I was molested/raped constantly and nobody cared about it or tried to protect me...and then I saw a woman who was smothered with silk and never had to do a day of work in her life getting extra pampering for something I'd endured repreatedly without assistance, I'd probably get annoyed too.

Tyrion isn't exactly a nice person either. He freaking raped his own wife after she was gang-raped by a barracks full of soldiers. Regardless of his own internal justification, as Tyrion admits, that's still a crappy thing to do. And you're down on Shae for...trying to ensure she'll never starve to death by wheedling expensive gifts? Making unkind comments about the women whose lifestyles she envies? Double standard much?

That's the wonderful thing about Martin's world. Everyone's a crappy person in some way. Except dead Ned and maybe Arya.
36. birgit
doesn't Cercei at least imply, if not out right say, what Payne's purpose is, who he's really there for? Does that come later?

That's in the next Sansa chapter.
Black Dread
37. FallenKing
Sansa has always been one of my favourite characters. I'm not sure if I would be as strong as her if I was in that situation. I think its sometimes easy to forget she is only 13/14 at this point. In some ways I find Sansa more believable, and likeable, than Arya who I feel acts significantly older than her years.
Rob Munnelly
38. RobMRobM
@37 - interesting response. I see a lot of Arya's actions as being quite juvenile and age appropriate, such as using Jaqen to kill bad people around her rather than the Mountain or Joff.

@36 -agreed.

@35 - there are a lot of non-crappy people around, they are just hidden by the surrounding crappiness. I'd put all the Stark kids in the noncrappy category (even Sansa, who had some serious flaws in AGOT), Ned (Catelyn has some semi-crappy elements so I'll leave her off), Maester Lewin, Septa Mordane, Brienne, Tyrion (I'm not convinced by the commentary here suggesting he's awful - he's making the tough decisions needed to rule effectively in the midst of opponents), Davos, Maester Aemonn, Lord Mormont...
Lindy Brown
39. lbrown
@35- Maybe some compassion for someone that has gone through something similar to what Shae has?

I haven't actually seen from what I read that Lollys has gotten any special treatment for being raped. Yes, she is pampered, but that's just the usual pampering any high born Lady would receive. I get the pression
Lindy Brown
40. lbrown
Sorry, I didn't finish that thought before accidentally pressing the post button and on an android phone, it doesn't give you the option of previewing the comment.

Anyway, I got the impression that Lollys is treated with disdain by everyone in court before and after the rape.

Of course, we don't know much about Lollys. Has she ever had a line other than the one in this chapter?
If she was mean and treated Shae like dirt, I would change my tune and say that Shae's comment was not so bad. But the impression I got was that Lollys is just someone that's pathetic and unwanted and maybe a little dim witted.
Black Dread
41. duckchick
@35 That's strange...when are we told that Shae was raped by her father? I don't recall this info ever being stated.

Of course, if something bad happened to Shae, and it probably did as it's been implied, then it really doesn't matter who it was. Still, I don't recall this info. Can you tell me which book?
Lindy Brown
42. lbrown
I believe it was alluded to in this same book, when Tyrion said that he wanted her to become a kitchen maid in the castle, for her protection. She said something like she had washed dishes before and didn't like it, just like she hadn't liked her father having sex with her.
Tricia Irish
43. Tektonica
There are a few good guys in the Nights Watch too....Jon Snow, their leader Mormont, Maester Aemon, Benjen Stark, Samwell Tarly....

Really enjoying this Leigh!
Rob Munnelly
44. RobMRobM
Tek - I named a couple of those in my post (Jon, as one of the Stark kids, Mormont and Aemon). Sam is, of course, pretty uncrappy as well. Ben seemed pretty darned uncrappy in the short time we knew him.
Black Dread
45. duckchick
@42 Thankee kindly! Hmm, I totally missed it, or just don't remember. Got to do some rereading, I do.
Black Dread
46. FallenKing
Perhaps it is not Arya's actions which I find "more grown up", but her response to these actions. At times I find her to be slightly cold and uncaring, though maybe this is just me. I wonder if an eleven year old, who had the power of life and death in her hands, would feel little in the way of guilt. Up to moving to kings landing Arya had eperienced a pretty comfortable life, and sometimes I think Martin expects you to go along with the choices Arya makesbased on the fact that she has the "wolf blood".
Rob Munnelly
47. RobMRobM
@46 - This is a good topic but I can't say too much without drifting towards what may come later. She's absolutely cold and uncaring at points but shows her big heart at other points. She's likeable and scary both. Arya's experienced a ton of bad things over the past few months and seems to have a bit of post traumatic stress disorder at this point. I find her fascinating. I also think Martin is trying to make the reader feel uncomfortable at the same time he wants you to root for her. We should pick this discussion up again later.
Deana Whitney
48. Braid_Tug
Yes, Shae's had a crappy life. But I don't think even she ever had to suffer 50-100 men having forceful sex with her IN TWO HOURS (or so). That would unbalance anyone.
So I guess their "Moon tea" is only good if you take it before sex, not after it. Otherwise, why didn't someone give it poor Lollys?

Totally random thought question:
Has GRRM addressed where silk comes from in his world? WOT deals with it, but I don't remember if Martin ever did.

Sorry, war makes me think of trade.
Jakub Wrobel
49. ptyx
@48 - Melisandre wears silk cloths - Melisandre is from Asshai - the silk comes from Asshai.

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