Fri
Aug 17 2012 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings, Part 31

Welcome 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 31 of A Clash of Kings, in which we cover Chapters 65 (“Sansa”) and 66 (“Theon”).

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 65: Sansa

What Happens
Sansa joins the rest of the court in the throne room, all in their best finery, as Joffrey receives the heroes of the battle. Lord Tywin Lannister enters first, and Joffrey proclaims him Savior of the City and awards him the title of Hand. He also greets Lord Mace Tyrell of Highgarden, and awards him a place on the Council, and his son Loras a place in the Kingsguard.

Garlan Tyrell, the elder son, asks as his boon that Joffrey consider taking his sister Margaery (lately betrothed to the late Renly Baratheon) in marriage. Joffrey makes a show of declaring that he has made a sacred vow to wed Sansa Stark, but Cersei and the High Septon both declare that the Starks’ traitorousness removes any obligation to honor that vow, and so Joffrey (sullenly) accepts Margaery instead. Sansa tries desperately to look downcast instead of elated.

Joffrey goes on to give awards and accolades to many other heroes of the battle, including some six hundred new knights, though some are too wounded to appear; among these is the Imp, who is “said to be dying as well, from a terrible cut to the head.”  Among them is Petyr Baelish, who is made Lord of Harrenhal “for faithful service to crown and realm”; Sansa reassures herself that Littlefinger will not be able to hold it long against Robb and his allies.

Then the captives are brought in, and Joffrey accepts oaths of fealty from those who switched sides during the battle or who beg for mercy, but a handful remain defiant. Joffrey has one executed on the spot, but then several more begin crying imprecations against Joffrey and the other Lannisters, and Joffrey becomes so furious ordering their death that he slams his arm into the spikes decorating the Iron Throne, cutting himself. He wails for Cersei, and one of the rebellious knights shouts “The throne denies him! He is no king!” and tries to rush the dais. Ser Meryn Trant kills the knight, Cersei takes Joffrey out, and Tywin takes over the proceedings.

After it is finally over, Sansa goes back to her rooms, ecstatic over her new freedom, until she goes to the godswood to meet Dontos, who tells her that her situation is now worse than before, as Cersei will never let Sansa go, and if Joffrey wants her, he will still have her. Sansa is appalled, but Dontos assures her he will get her away on the night of Joffrey’s wedding. Sansa protests that that is more than a month away, but Dontos tells her to be patient, and gives her a hairnet made of spun silver, set with rare “black amethysts from Asshai.”

“It’s very lovely,” Sansa said, thinking, It is a ship I need, not a net for my hair.

“Lovelier than you know, sweet child. It’s magic, you see. It’s justice you hold. It’s vengeance for your father.” Dontos leaned close and kissed her again. “It’s home.”

Commentary
A magic hairnet, huh. Never seen one of those before!

Okay, so I will have to admit to some total naïveté here, because initially I was just as thrilled as Sansa to hear she’d been put aside, and just like her I didn’t follow through to the logical conclusion until Dontos brought it up. Which sucks, because now it seems likely that Joffrey will feel more free to violate her now than he did before. Which, in case you have not gotten the memo here, makes Leigh a very potentially angry blogger.

LEAVE SANSA ALONE, PEOPLE, I WILL CUT YOU. I WILL CUT YOU DEEP.

Sigh. Tragically, I suspect my willingness on the cuttage front is probably not actually going to have a whole lot of impact on what happens. Funny how that works!

Fortunately for me, though, there are inanimate objects to do the cutting for me, yay! I will not lie: I totally grinned and clapped when Joffrey sliced himself up on the Iron Throne and outed himself as a whiny wuss to the whole of the kingdom. Normally I suspect I would have more sympathy for a, what, fourteen or fifteen-year old being forced to sit on what is basically the chair version of an iron maiden, but Joffrey has loooooong since forfeited any rights he might have had to my sympathy, and so I merely point and laugh, and hope it helps undermine his kingship.

As for Margaery: that poor, poor girl. As for the rest of the Tyrells: well, I guess we know your price down to the penny now, don’t we? Wow.

And okay, WHERE IN BLUE BLAZES did Littlefinger come from, y’all? I’ve been periodically wondering where the hell he’s been for like 90% of this book, and now he pops up out of nowhere and gets awarded Harrenhal and nobody even says what he’s been doing! AAAAAAGGH.

Of course, I can’t even remember by now what it was he was supposed to be doing in the first place. Mainly, I suspect, because I was so sure he was going to run off and do the complete opposite. So maybe I unfairly maligned him (pshah) and he actually did do whatever it was he was supposed to do and now he’s getting rewarded for it, and voila. Except, now I really wish I could remember what that thing he was supposed to do was, because I suspect things would be making a lot more sense now than they are if I did.

I’m not entirely sure that last sentence made any kind of grammatical sense, but I think you probably get my gist.

Also, what the hell is this shit with Tyrion being severely wounded and Tywin swooping in and being all well I’ll just take over this Hand thing then, shall I? Ta! FIRST of all, that is a whole bowl of bullshit on general principle (though I can’t say it’s particularly surprising, of course), but SECOND, what, not even a mention of Tyrion’s heroism during the battle?

Of course, maybe they have no idea he was heroic. And actually in thinking back on his last POV I’m not even positive you could actually even call his exploits heroic per se… no, I take that back, he went out there when the even the big bad Hound refused to do so. And since a lot of people very seldom bother to define the distinction between “bravery” and “suicidal stupidity,” he should totally have gotten kudos for that at the very least. But nooooooo!

Have I mentioned that Tywin sucks?

And also, Tyrion is not dying. Because I Said So. LIES ALL LIES.

The Lord of Casterly Rock made such an impressive figure that it was a shock when his destrier dropped a load of dung right at the base of the throne.

AHAHAHA. Okay, I’m twelve, but that’s hilarious. Because that is totally what would happen if your arrogant ass insisted on riding a horse into a throne room! Hahahahaha you douche.

 

Chapter 66: Theon

What Happens
Maester Luwin comes to Theon when the first scouts of Rodrik’s forces appear beyond the walls, and urges him to surrender; there has been no word from Theon’s uncle or father. Theon accuses Luwin of secretly wanting him dead, and Luwin quietly asserts that he serves Winterfell, and he is bound to counsel whoever holds it. He tells Theon he has no hope of holding here, but Theon tells him he can expect no mercy if he does yield, and sends him away.

He gathers his remaining men and tells them that he does not intend to run, but will not force any of them to stay. For a moment he thinks none of them are going to join him, but finally seventeen of them do so. He tells the rest to run to his sister, and they leave. Theon tells Lorren to get the noose ready, and arms himself for battle.

A herald comes from the gathered force of over a thousand men, offering parley for “Theon Turncloak.” He rides out alone to meet Rodrik, who spits at his feet and berates him for murdering children and turning traitor to those who treated him so well; Theon reminds him he is ironborn, not a Stark. Rodrik demands his surrender and his life. Theon signals Lorren, who pulls out Rodrik’s daughter Beth onto the wall and puts a noose around her neck. Theon tells him that they will disperse by nightfall or his daughter hangs.

Rodrik curses him, and offers himself in exchange, but Theon refuses, and says after Beth another hostage will be hanged every dawn and dusk until they are gone. He rides back to the castle, certain that Rodrik will eventually attack anyway and that there is no way out of the situation. Luwin comes to him with a suggestion, that he offer to surrender and take the black. He assures Theon that Rodrik will allow it, and that way Theon will live. Theon considers the idea, and is on the verge of accepting when Kromm shouts that hundreds more men have joined Rodrik’s forces, but then attacked them.

Theon asks if it is Asha, but Kromm says no, they are northmen, with a bloody man on their banner. Theon recalls Reek had belonged to the Bastard of Bolton, and wonders if perhaps he had not abandoned Theon after all. He goes to the wall and watches the Bolton men gradually butcher the other side, until a man in a red helm approaches the gate and tosses three corpses before it: Ser Rodrik, Leobald Tallhart and Cley Cerwyn. Theon orders the gates opened and goes to greet his rescuer, who turns out to be Reek.

Reek laughs and explains that he is actually Ramsay Bolton, the Bastard; Reek was his serving man, and he had switched clothes with him before the hunters shot him down. Theon orders Palla brought out for him as promised, but Ramsay declares her beneath him, and says he’ll take Theon’s bedwarmer Kyra instead. Theon angrily calls him mad, and Ramsay backhands him, shattering his cheekbone. Theon lies on the ground in agony while the Bolton men kill the rest of his men and Luwin as well.

Save me the Freys,” the Bastard was shouting as the flames roared upward, “and burn the rest. Burn it, burn it all.”

The last thing Theon Greyjoy saw was Smiler, kicking free of the burning stables with his mane ablaze, screaming, rearing . . .

Commentary
Well, shit.

Isn’t it kind of hard to burn a giant stone castle, like, actually to the ground? Yeah, but I bet you can still do a metric fuckton of damage in the meantime. Well, that just sucks. So does that mean bye-bye Winterfell?

And oh, Theon might be dead. Dead or unconscious, one of the two.

If he’s unconscious, fine. If he’s dead, FINE.

Seriously, it’s almost not worth it to call him a tool by this point; it’s like an insult to tools the world over. He’s just horrific and pathetic and UGH. Threatening to hang children, ugh. Oh, never mind, actually murdering children; “ugh” doesn’t even cover that one.

And I love that little moment of hope Martin gives Theon (re: the Night Watch thing), right before pretty much literally kicking him in the teeth. And seriously, did you have to kill Luwin? And Rodrik? Bah.

Jeez, man, are you nice to any of your characters? Don’t answer that.

And also: ohhhhhhh. So Reek was the Bolton bastard all along? Whoa, did not catch that one at all. I thought they’d killed the bastard guy, but I guess not so much. Well, that’s not chilling or anything. I gotta say, this Bolton clan features some seriously fucked-up individuals, not to put too fine a point on it. Ick.

Ickiness aside, I’m really not clear on what Reek’s (I might as well stick with the accurately descriptive name) long-term plans are here, because I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that Robb is going to take rather large exception to him burning down his house and so on. I have to assume Reek’s thinking he’s going to set up his own little rebellion against the North, but I really can’t imagine that going any better for him than Theon’s attempt, unless he’s got some serious ace up his sleeve.

Which, admittedly, he might well have, so maybe I should shut up and wait and see. Mostly I just hope Robb comes back and kills them all, because sheesh.

I wonder if Beth and Palla and Kyra and the rest survive. I hope they do. I ain’t gonna hold my breath on it, though.


And that’s our show, yaaay! Have a Friday, and I’ll see y’all back here for more next week!

60 comments
Pat .
1. dolphineus
Ramsay Bolton
/shiver

Margery ... I think the HBO series gave you a better picture of Margery than the books do. Thus far in the books, all we know about her is she is Loras' sister, and was married to Renly. Now she is engaged to Joffrey. And?

And poor Sansa. I'm free, I'm free she thinks. Yup, she is free of any obligation Joffrey felt to keep her alive. Or intact. Or virgin.
She just can't win, can she?
olethros
2. olethros
Wouldn't have pegged you for an Iron Maiden fan.
Vincent Lane
3. Aegnor
Leigh,

Littlefinger was sent by Tyrion to forge an alliance between house Lannister and House Tyrell, by offering marriage to Joffrey. The marriage would ensure that Margaery's son would eventually become king. Littlefinger was fabulously successful at this, hence the reward of Harrenhall.
Stefan Mitev
4. Bergmaniac
Littlefinger was send earlier to arrange the alliance between the Tyrells and the Lannisters through the marriage of Joff and Margaery. He did i successfully, surprisingly enough, which lead to the victory at Blackwater.

The whole "Reek was actually Ramsay" deal has always seem really forced to me. And of course the chapter had to end before we knew whether Theon survived or not, GRRM loves this trick and overuses it shamelessly...
Jakub Wrobel
5. ptyx
NO, LEIGH! Don't you ever call Lord Ramsay "Reek" again, because if he hears it, he will flay you, cut off your fingers and rip out your tongue and burn your house to the ground (and that's just for starters)!
Stefan Mitev
6. Bergmaniac
Theon is a jerk for sure, BTW, but he's a very interesting character with all of his conflicting emotions and uncertainties. One of the best Martin created. He did a lot of dumb things and some terrible crimes, his entitlement is annoying, but I can't help but have some sympathy for him and his desperate struggle for acceptance.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
7. Lisamarie
The creepy thing about Ramasay Bolton is that even his own father thought he was too creepy...
Steven Halter
8. stevenhalter
OK, so Sansa's position is now even worse. The magic hairnet is interesting--has to do something nasty, being from Asshai.
Theon totally deserves what he is getting. Unfortunately, Winterfell, Luwin and Rodrik (and everyone else) are paying for his payment.
olethros
9. nancym
It is hot and humid and icky here, but when I read the name "Ramsay Bolton" I got an awful cold shiver that just won't go away. Too creepy indeed. I can't say any more...
Deana Whitney
10. Braid_Tug
Talk about the north being a bad place to live in right now. Winter is comming, but the strongest building with the largest stores of food has been raided and invaded, what 3 three times now? And is being burned to the ground? Talk about short sited!!!

Things suck for the nobles. Don't even want to think about being a poor person in the upcoming winter. It's going to be worse than the Black Death when a 1/3 rd of Europe died.

Poor, Sansa... such a brief moment of hope. You know, her sister really is better at expecting and accepting that life just sucks and there are no "true knights" or "happy endings."

And wow, 600 new knight? Is the crown picking up the tab for arming them all? Or giving them a place to work? Guess they just made a bunch of broke landless court trash.
olethros
11. Dan Someone
Just a side note: Is it wrong that every time I read "Asshai" I pronounce it in my mind as "ass-high"?
olethros
12. Clamarnicale
You keep on using the name 'Reek', Leigh. It's a good name. And it rhymes with a lot of things, so I've heard.
olethros
13. owleyes
@5 and @7: Both of you posted spoilers with your use of the name "Bolton." Ramsay is a bastard and goes by "Snow" at this point in the book.*whited out for spoilery content in pointing out other spoilery content*

@8 Shaltar: UM HI. We don't know yet whether Tyrion survives. White out please.
olethros
14. Lsana
Despite what Dontos said here, Sansa's position is not all that much worse than it was before. She's no longer Joff's fiance, but she's still Robb's sister, and she's still extremely valuable as a hostage. She's not going to be killed, and no one is going to allow Joff to rape her. At least as long as Robb is still fighting. If Robb wins, she goes home intact. If Robb loses...well, Sansa was always screwed if Robb lost. The daughter of a dead traitor and the sister of another was never going to become Queen, and if the engagement wasn't broken off until the end of the war, they might very well have killed her to end it. Less controversy that way.

Plus, Joff will probably be kept busy for a while greeting his new betrothed and preparing for the wedding, so torturing Sansa will no longer be his top priority.
Francesco Paonessa
15. ErrantKnave
Leigh, what @5 ptyx said. It's Ramsay, not Reek. You have to remember his name.

@11, I keep wondering if GRRM did that on purpose.
Jakub Wrobel
16. ptyx
@13
I didn't use the name, but if you're picking my post, I must say you are wrong.
Ramsay says in this very chapter:
"Snow, my wife called me before she ate her fingers, but I say Bolton."
olethros
17. Kana
re: burning castles,

I had always wondered what the deal was with burning stone castles to the ground, but someone explained to me that while the stones themselves are obviously fine, it's the mortar which loses all of its strength from the heat. Depending on how bad the fire is and the construction it might mean that the walls end up outright collapsing, or it may only weaken the construction.

So basically after a big nasty fire, even though there's probably going to be a big recognizable structure left, it's probably dangerous to anyone living inside and useless as an actual fortification.
olethros
18. Black Dread
What LittleFinger got was a title. Harrenhall is a cursed ruined dump (as Arya saw first hand) - and currently held by North men. Maybe after the war is over, enough peasants can be found to farm the lands and make the place profitable again. Until then, LittleFinger just got "Lord" stuck in front of his name.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
19. Lisamarie
@13 - yes to above - I was basically just referring to him as HE himself refers to himself. I actually forgot that he is referred to by others as Snow (even though the whole bastard name thing is kind of a big deal in the series, I just blanked out there for a minute) and used the surname to indicate that he is Roose Bolton's son (which is not a spoiler).
olethros
20. owleyes
@16: I'd forgotten about that quote, but if that's all you were referencing, my apologies. *Roose Bolton revokes Ramsey's bastardhood and names him a true son later as a result of his taking Winterfell, so what you and the others wrote could be interpreted as spoilers*
olethros
21. Ser Tom
@8: Spoilers Much? About a chapter or two ahead of us there, friend.

Leigh, love these posts. I finally caught up with you last week. I eagerly await next week.

RE: Theon. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. One would hope Robb manages to re-claim the North for realz sometime soon. It's all well and good to call oneself King in the North, but when said kingdom is falling apart at the seams, it doesn't really matter how many battles one wins in the River lands.
olethros
22. Black Dread
Arya had the brains to know that it's a bad idea to be rescued by a phyco with a skinned man on his flag. Stupid Theon wasn't that bright.
Steven Halter
23. stevenhalter
@13&@21:I haven't read ahead.
Edit:Ah, now I see, I did read chapter 67 thinking Leigh would read 3 chapters--sorry edited out comment.
Usually I don't read the chapters for the week until Leigh posts--silly spare time let me read 3 chapters earlier in the week. :-(
Rob Munnelly
24. RobMRobM
Shalter - beat me to punch.

Magic hair net - must not say anything.

Horse dump - in the hbo show and it was epic.

Reek/snow/bolton - has put robb into a horrible position. Emphasis on saving freys suggests political acumen.

Palla/kyra/beth - yikes. Hoping for a good outcome....

Rob
olethros
25. Spearmaid
@23 are you sure? Your comment is surprisingly detailed for not having read ahead.
olethros
26. owleyes
@Shalter: Thanks for editing your comment :)
Rob Munnelly
28. RobMRobM
@25. He's sure. (Shalter's a fantasy geek and looks on the read with his knowledge of other genre stories.

Incredibly aggravating that LF, sent by Tyrion to solicit the Tyrells, gets a castle where Tyrion (as far as we can see from the encomiums handed out at the celebration fest and irrespective of whether he lives or dies) gets bupkiss. No, Tyrion, Joff forgets nothing - almost like Irish Alzheimers (never forget a slight).
Steven Halter
29. stevenhalter
@28:In this case, it turns out I had read chapter 67. Bad on me. Mea maxima culpa. (Thanks for the "fantasy geek" support though :-) )
George Jong
30. IndependentGeorge
The recap for what Littlefinger was doing is in Part 17 (Chapter 36: Tyrion), and included this nifty little bit of analysis:
Eye-glazing aside, I am all for this plan, for the sole reason that it is (among many other things, naturally) Tyrion’s attempt to get Sansa away from Joffrey, and I am ALL ABOUT making that happen. Of course, that puts poor Margaery Tyrell in the crosshairs instead, which sucks, but what can you do? Frankly I’d be happy if no woman ever had to come within fifty feet of the little shit for the rest of his life, but if someone has to take that bullet, I’d at least prefer it not to be Sansa, you know?

...the Sansa aspect of it notwithstanding, though, there are some major flaws with this plan as well. The main one being that if it works, it works in Joffrey’s favor, which is all kinds of BOOOO HISS in my particular book, but the other being that it lets Littlefinger loose to run amuck in the world with gold and military puissance galore, which may or may not work in the Lannisters’ favor but can’t possibly be much good for anyone else’s favor – anyone besides Littlefinger himself, of course. Good Lord, the man could do anything.
Liz J
31. Ellisande
About castles burning-- the roof and floors were usually supported by wooden beams, so setting the castle on fire could result in the interior and roof collapsing, even if the outer walls held.
Steven Halter
32. stevenhalter
@31:Yeah. Also, even if the walls stay standing there is usually a lot of stuff inside that can get damaged. Just google "Windsor Castle fire" for some images of the flames from what looks like a stone structure from the outside.
olethros
33. KingsGambit
Great post, as allways!

Just a small clarification: Tywin didn't just take over as hand, he was named the hand late in book 1 or early in book 2. He sent Tyrion to be acting Hand in his place and Cersei was furious that he didn't take orders from his own daughter the queen.

The whole Reek/Ramsay thing had me completely confused, I had to read back to understand what had happened. On fan-forums he was refered to as the the Bastard of Bolton, or the BoB. I don't know why, but I allways liked the name. Not just any Bob, but the BoB. I loved is quote on how he beat ser Rodriks army with so few men "He thought us friends. A common mistake". Foreshadowing what happened only half a page later.
olethros
34. pwl
Until then, LittleFinger just got "Lord" stuck in front of his name.
Littlefinger already had "Lord" in front of his name. He was lord over a few acres on the smallest of the Fingers, in the Vale of Arryn.
Bill Stusser
35. billiam
Iron Maiden FTW, Leigh! I just saw them at the White River Amphitheatre (out here near Seattle) last month and they were awesome! And they played Run to the Hills, too!

I agree with Bergmaniac @6 about Theon being one of GRRM's most interesting characters, and that's saying something considering what series we are reading. And let's not forget whose idea it was to kill the miller's kids in the first place, thats right, it was the Bastard of Bolton. I wrote in the spoiler forum (back when we did the last Theon chapter) that when Theon thinks about the heads on the spikes that he remembers that Reek had flayed them before dipping them in tar. Nice bit of foreshadowing who Reek really was there.

Not much else to say about these chapters here but I will be posting something on the spoiler thread.
Vincent Lane
36. Aegnor
True, but his title is mostly ceremonial. I don't think he is called a Lord due to his dominion over the Fingers. It is due to his position on the small council (similar to Lord Varys).

Being Lord of Harrenhall actually makes him a significant Lord over a large portion of land and income. If you were to break up the Lordships into tiers, with the lords of the great houses (Starks, Tyrells, Lannisters, Arryns, Baratheons, Martells, Greyjoys sortof, Targaryens) being teir 1, then some of the other major lords being tier 2 (Boltons, Karstarks, Umbers, Freys, Tullys, etc), and then those like Varys, Littlefinger, and other minor lords of small domains being a much lower teir 3.

This move catapults him from down in tier 3 to near the top of tier 2 as one of the more powerful lords in the Riverlands. And what's more, the other lords are loyal to the Tullys. If the Lannisters win the war, then the Tullys would be finished, which would open up all kinds of possibilities for Littlefinger in the Riverlands.
olethros
37. papertiger41
Nice joke about the magic hairnet. Now I bet the Hound's offer looks so much better in retrospect, doesn't it? I love how both sisters are compelled to make such choices. At least Arya had the nerve to get out of Dodge.
Rob Munnelly
38. RobMRobM
I dipped into the spoiler forum to add a little magical hairnet fun and to vent a bit more about one of last week's chapters - jammed packed with plot, spilling out all over the place, not all of which made it into Leigh's summary or discussion.
Rob Munnelly
39. RobMRobM
One question (to which I do not have a clear answer) - is the BoB trying to create the impression that Winterfell was trashed by the ironborn rather than by him? Might save him from revenge by Robb....
olethros
40. LizzieKath
I want to lock Ramsay and Theon in a pit together forever with only each other as company, because they DESERVE each other.
Steven Halter
41. stevenhalter
@37: That's my thinking also. So far, no evidence that Sansa is better off not having gone with the Hound. I was actually pleased that at least Joff didn't immediately do something really vile to her right after the battle.
shawn keeling
42. longerwaves
Leigh, if you thought Lord Tywin's horse shitting in the throne room was funny then (Edit: The rest of this comment discusses a scene from HBO's Game of Thrones; highlight to read) you will be happy to know that they kept that part of the book very much intact for the show. In fact, if memory serves me, it is the opening scene for one of the episodes, and was actually quite funny. The opening shot is in the throne room, and you see Joffrey sitting on the Iron Throne, then it pans back to show everyone in their Sunday's Best, all the way back to the lord Tywin on his magnificent horse and *JUST* before the horse starts walking forward, he does his buisiness, right in the throne room. My first thought was "it must have been hell trying to get that horse to shit on que", then I burst out laughing because it looked so..random. Like they were shooting the scene and the horse just decided to drop a few stones. I did not even remember that scene from the book until I read your post.
olethros
43. EmmaPease
By the time the battle was over Tywin was in charge and I'm fairly certain he wouldn't let anyone damage a valuable hostage like Sansa. She is even more valuable now as the only known remaining legitimate sibling of Robb Stark; if he dies, who has the best claim to rule of the North (if not her if she is barred by being female, her potential sons).
Pirmin Schanne
44. Torvald Nom
One question (to which I do not have a clear answer) - is the BoB trying to create the impression that Winterfell was trashed by the ironborn rather than by him? Might save him from revenge by Robb....
Quite possible. It doesn't look like there are a lot of survivors that don't belong to the Dreadfort.
Bill Stusser
45. billiam
And of course the chapter had to end before we knew whether Theon survived or not, GRRM loves this trick and overuses it shamelessly...
Not disagreeing with you here, but you have to remember that GRRM used to write for Television.

Onto a different topic, it is obvious that the Tyrells want more power for their house by having Margaery be queen, if not with Renly then with Joffrey. So we have Stannis to thank for the Lannister/Tyrell alliance. What an asshat, he certainly made LF's job easier. I think that it is poetic justice that having his brother killed costs Stannis the Battle of the Blackwater.

One last question, will we be doing Three chapters next week? Since, you know, there are only three chapters left and all.
olethros
46. Tenesmus
Arya's and Theon's final chapters in this book have two things in common that set up, in hindsight, the third book. Well written.
olethros
47. KingsGambit
@36 IIRC, Littlefinger was made Lord of Harrenhall and overlord (or whatever they call it) of the riverlands, making him a tier 1 lord, replacing the Tully's.

A lot of fighting will be needed before Littlefinger is Lord of the Riverlands in fact as well as in name, but it's a great prize, nonetheless. His political importance and marriage prospects have greatly improved.
olethros
48. SnowBear
I was hoping Sansa would leave with Clegane... He definitely had a soft spot for her, and I don't think he would have hurt her. The only time he ever did physically hurt her was under King's command. I was actually hoping he was going to kiss her at that moment Sansa thought he would... I think maybe part of her wanted him to. Unfortunately for Sansa, the Hound has been the closest thing to "The Knight in shining armor" she has always dreamed about.

I wanted her to go with him, fall in love, (beauty and the beast) and possibly get to see the Hound fight for the North which would give him the chance to face his brother in battle. That's what went through my mind before she rejected him. And Mrs Potts singing, "I think there's something there that wasn't there before."

This is Westeros not Disney!
olethros
49. Wortmauer
— Well, at least your name isn't Ramsay Bolton.
— You know, there's nothing wrong with that name.
— There was nothing wrong with it... until that no-talent assclown became famous and started going on raids.
— Well, why don't you just go by Reek instead of Ramsay?
— No way! Why should I change? He's the one who sucks.
olethros
50. koondog
#49 Office Space
Steven Halter
51. stevenhalter
billiam@45:I hadn't actually been keeping track of how much book was left. If you don't look with an ereader, there isn't any obvious way of knowing, so that's interesting that there are only 3 chapters left.
I've read chapter 67 and my plan is not to read any more until Leigh reports next Friday.
Of course, I'll also be at Worldcon, so we'll have to see if there is a lull to read the remaining chapters. Alas, I'll have to avoid GRRM readings also.
Rob Munnelly
52. RobMRobM
Snowbear - the Hound never hit Sansa. Joff always used the other KGM

Billiam - would be great if leigh would finish next week thn do her wrap up post the week after. Then onto ASOS.

Shalter - best to avoid grrm. He's been reading chapters from WoW, one from a character who would be a spoiler and another whom we haven't met yet, so also a spoiler. He does have another book coming out, The World of Ice and Fire, that covers history of people and places in westeros and across the sea. If he reads from that, it might not be so spoilerific, but probably will be anyway..
George Jong
53. IndependentGeorge
#49 - You had me laughing for a good five minutes there. I now can't even picture Reek/Ramsay without thinking of Michael Bolton and the Bobs.
Management Services
54. ManagementServices
Hi, everyone--just a quick note on Leigh's behalf to let you know that she's not going to be able to upload a new post today, 8/24 (but hopefully she'll be feeling much better this time next week!). Thanks for your patience in the meantime, and have a good weekend!
Rob Munnelly
55. RobMRobM
Leigh - come back to us! We only have a bit more clashing before it's time to go storming....
Billy Abbey
57. felix
I was about to make a joke about management services taking her hostage.....BUT on second thought


I LOVES ME SOME MANAGEMENT SERVICES
olethros
58. JohnnyMac
Leigh, hope you feel better soon! Very sorry to hear you are sick. Your Read of ASoIaF is one of my favorite things on Tor currently.
Steven Halter
59. stevenhalter
While we await the next post (no, the evil Spoiler-Free for all does not count although it almost caught me as I at first read it as Spoiler Free, For All) I thought I would share a bit from the Hugo's for those of you who didn't see GRRM's acceptance of
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form). Amusing and spoiler free:
GRRM mentioned that he had eaten dinner at the Palm restaurant in Chicago for good luck as he had initially been contacted by two scriptwriters for the HBO show at the Palm restaurant in L.A. for lunch.
They had gone there for lunch and eaten and talked and drank coffee. Gradually the lunch crowd had left and they continued on talking and drinking cofee. Eventually they were the only ones left in the restaurant. They continued talking and then the restaurant started filling with the dinner crowd as they continued talking and drinking their coffee.
Quite the lunch meeting!
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
60. Lisamarie
Hah, I totally read it as 'Spoiler Free' as well. Except it was totally not!

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