Oct 26 2012 2:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords, Part 6

A Read of Ice and Fire on A Storm of Swords, Part 6Welcome 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 6 of A Storm of Swords, in which we cover Chapter 10 (“Davos”) and Chapter 11 (“Jaime”).

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, please note that the Read of Ice and Fire spoiler thread has been moved to a new thread here on 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 10: Davos

What Happens
Davos watches as Shayala’s Dance approaches Dragonstone, his thoughts filled with Melisandre. He thinks that she has broken Stannis to her will, and vows to cut her heart out. The captain of the ship, Khorane Sathmantes, had given him a dirk and treated him very kindly during the trip, but Davos had been sick for most of it, from the rich food and also from a persistent, bloody cough. Khorane had told him of how Stannis had been defeated at King’s Landing, including the rumors of Renly’s shade fighting alongside the Lannisters and how many of Stannis’s supporters had defected as a result.

The ship enters the harbor, and Davos looks in vain for his sons’ (Dalle and Allard) ships among the paltry few at anchor there. Davos intends to go to Stannis immediately when they dock, but the captain insists that he go find Salladhor Saan first. Davos finds him doing inventory on a Pentoshi ship, and Salladhor is astounded and overjoyed to see him alive. He hustles Davos to the cabin and plies him with hot wine and food, and mentions in passing that the ship they’re on once belonged to Illyrio Mopatis, which Salladhor has seized, in keeping, he claims, with his new role as “Lord of Blackwater Bay.”

Davos tells of his escape, and Salladhor is greatly concerned by his obvious ill health. Davos asks after his sons’ ships, and Salladhor regretfully says there was no sign they survived the battle, but relates that his younger son Devan was rescued from one of the wrecks, to Davos’s joy. Salladhor urges Davos to join his company and sail for him, but Davos replies that his duty is to Stannis. Salladhor counters that Stannis has no ships to give him, and warns Davos that the king is changed since the battle, and refuses to see anyone but Melisandre, even his wife and daughter. He talks of rumors that the red priestess and the king go down into the fiery mountain where no one should be able to survive.

Davos declares that the trap on the river was Melisandre’s doing, as punishment for Stannis leaving her behind, and Salladhor warns him to keep such sentiments to himself lest the queen’s men overhear. Davos then declares his intent to kill Melisandre, to Salladhor’s dismay, who opines that Davos’s illness has “cooked his wits,” and urges him to rest and recover. Davos thanks him, but refuses, insisting on going to the castle immediately. Salladhor tells him he will be burned as a traitor whether or not he succeeds, but Davos says he believes that to kill Melisandre is the only reason he was rescued from the sea. He refuses to yield to his friend’s entreaties, and at length Salladhor grows angry and bids him to go.

Davos goes to the castle, where the gate guards almost do not let him in, and when they do, he is sent to Aegon’s Garden instead of the Stone Drum where Stannis resides. While he waits, Princess Shireen runs through, chasing the fool Patchface, and then a boy crashes into him, knocking him down. The boy introduces himself as Edric Storm, King Robert’s son, and Davos recognizes the resemblance. Edric proudly informs Davos that his father came to see and train him every year, and demands to see Davos’s maimed fingers. He declares it ill done on his uncle’s part, and that his father would not have done it.

They are interrupted when Ser Axell Florent enters the gardens flanked by a dozen guards, whom Davos realizes are Queen’s men. He greets Davos grimly, and Davos asks if Florent has come to take him to the king.

“I have come to take you to the dungeon.” Ser Axell waved his men forward. “Seize him, and take his dirk. He means to use it on our lady.”

Well, that’s what you get for blabbing about it, isn’t it, Davos? Pro tip: The first rule of Assassination Club is, you do not tell every Tom, Dick, and Salladhor Saan about your assassination plans!


I’m not actually 100% sure that it was Salladhor who sold Davos out, of course, since it did seem like Salladhor does genuinely like him, and if I’m reading this chapter correctly, it seems like Davos told the captain of the ship who rescued him about his intentions too.

Hell, Davos is clearly not firing on all cylinders here in any case, so God only knows how many people he blathered to about it, really. He definitely should have taken Salladhor’s offer of bed and sick-care, and not just because of the cough.

Don’t get me wrong, I am having zero problems with the idea of Melisandre going to hang with her buddy Rasputin in the afterlife, but I would also prefer that Davos at least have a shot at surviving the process.

But noooo, he had to go be sick and delirious and get himself arrested. Dammit, Davos.

In other, related news, I am HIGHLY suspicious of this whole “no one sees the king” business, which pings my Hinkydar™ like a nuclear sub ramming a Disney cruise ship.

No, I don’t know what that means either. Shaddup.

Because, come on. Either Stannis is totally dead and Melly and Co. are hiding it, or he’s close enough to death’s door that being seen by people would give it away. And/or, he’s experiencing severe shadow shortage, owing to my whole theory about Stannis being the source for Melly’s Magical Shadow Assassin Babies (nope, still doesn’t get old), and shadow shortage makes you, um, I dunno, sick or wasted-looking or something. Or maybe he’s bonk starking ravers. Or all three.

Look, I might not know specifics, but it’s totally gotta be some combination of the above. Unless he’s just really depressed and emo over his battle losses, but that would be super lame if so.

At any rate, assuming he’s not dead, someone should tell him it’s not a good idea to play with zealots in volcanoes, because apparently some people have all the self-preservation instincts of a lemming on crack cocaine. Lordy.

Whatever’s going on, there doesn’t seem much doubt that Melisandre is pretty much calling the shots in Dragonstone nowadays. I will endeavor mightily to contain my profound shock at this astonishing turn of events. *rolls eyes*

It’s interesting that Salladhor has evidently seized one of Illyrio’s ships. I don’t know if it means anything other than that it will likely make Illyrio even more pissed at Dany for essentially doing the same thing, but I am suspicious of coincidences like that.

We also very briefly meet another of Robert’s bastards here. I have no idea if Edric Storm is going to play any kind of major role in events in the future, but based on the little we see here I kinda like him, if for no other reason than that he totally called bullshit on Stannis’s maim-tastic idea of fair play re: Davos. You tell ‘em, Edric.

And last and randomly least:

Dragonmont is restless this morning, Davos thought

*blink blink* Whoa. Cognitive dissonance. Never mind, carry on!


Chapter 11: Jaime

What Happens
Jaime spies an inn on the bank of the river, and needles Brienne into going ashore to investigate. Jaime is highly amused by the inn’s sign, which depicts the last king of the north (Torrhen) kneeling to Aegon. They are greeted at crossbow-point by a young boy, who demands to know if they are “lion, fish, or wolf?” Brienne tells him they came from Riverrun, and wish to buy food and drink. An older man enters and offers them horsemeat and stale oatcakes. He claims he found the original innkeeper dead, and claimed the place by default.

Over dinner, the man asks them where they are bound. Ser Cleos tells him, King’s Landing, and the man calls them fools, saying he’d heard King Stannis was outside the city with “a hundred thousand men and a magic sword.” Jaime is enraged by the news, but keeps quiet. The man advises them to keep clear of the kingsroad and the river route both, which he says is riddled with brigands, suggesting that they cut overland instead. Brienne points out they would need horses for that, and Jaime points out the convenient fact that there are horses in the stable at the inn.

The stable is piled high with stinking horse manure, even though there are only three horses in it. The man claims the plow horse was there already, the ancient one-eyed gelding wandered in on his own, and the fine knight’s palfrey they found riderless, with a blood stained saddle. Brienne offers him three gold dragons for the horses and provisions, but refuses the offer to stay the night even when the man drops the price. Cleos is disappointed, but Jaime agrees with Brienne. They have to cut the chain between Jaime’s ankle manacles so he can ride, but his hopes of escape are dashed when Brienne puts him on the one-eyed gelding.

They reach the burned-out village the man had told them about, and Brienne takes the opposite road from the one the man had suggested they follow. Jaime is surprised, as he would have made the same decision. Cleos is confused that they are ignoring the innkeep’s advice, and Brienne tells him that was no innkeep, and was probably hoping to heard them into a trap. Jaime agrees, and reflects that the wench “may be ugly but she’s not entirely stupid.”

They ride half the night before making camp, and Brienne takes the first watch. Jaime asks her if she has any siblings, and Brienne slips and almost refers to herself as her father’s son, which makes Jaime laugh, but then thinks she reminds him of Tyrion, and tries to apologize to her. She replies that his crimes are “past forgiving,” and he tells her not to presume to judge what she doesn’t understand. She demands to know why he took the white if he only meant to betray it, and Jaime thinks to himself that she would not like the answer: he had joined for love.

He remembers how Tywin had brought Cersei to court to try and marry her into the Targaryen line, and when Jaime visited the capital Cersei had told him Tywin meant for Jaime to marry Lysa Tully. But if he took the white, she said, they could stay together, and Tywin could not stop it once the king announces it.

“But,” Jaime said, “there’s Casterly Rock . . . ” 

“Is it a rock you want? Or me?”

She had made love to him all that night, and in the morning Jaime agreed to the plan. But it did not work out as planned, for Tywin was so enraged that he resigned as King’s Hand and went back to Casterly Rock, taking Cersei with him, and Jaime was left babysitting a mad king.

He tells Brienne she didn’t know Aerys, but Brienne replies that even a mad king is still king, and Jaime broke his oath. In retaliation, Jaime accuses her of committing the same crime, and laughs mockingly when she insists that “a shadow” killed Renly, not her. He continues to needle her, and she almost attacks him, but restrains herself. She says to be a knight of the Kingsuard is a great gift that Jaime soiled; he replies that it was the white cloak that soiled him, not the other way around, and tells her to stop envying that he has a cock and she doesn’t. Furious, she stalks off.

Jaime dreams/remembers the day of the sack of King’s Landing, and how he entered the throne room with the blood of the last Hand (Rossart) on his blade, and how Aerys had soiled himself before Jaime caught him and slit his throat. Jaime remembers thinking it shouldn’t have been so easy. His father’s knights had burst in right then, and seen him standing over the king’s body. Lord Crakehall told him the city is theirs (though that hadn’t been quite true yet), and asked if they should proclaim a new king as well. Jaime knew what he was implying, and was tempted a moment to proclaim for the Targaryen heir (Viserys) with his father as Hand, until he remembered that Aerys’s blood is in Viserys, and told Crakehall to proclaim “who you bloody well like,” and sat on the throne to wait and see who came to claim it. It turned out to be Ned Stark, who Jaime thinks had no right to judge him either.

Brienne wakes him with a kick before dawn, and they set out.

…Yeah, I still don’t like him.

Mainly owing to his oh-so-delightful commentary, both mental and out loud, re: Brienne (most of which I left out of the summary because this chapter would not compress, argh). Because you know, sexism being endemic in a person’s culture does not excuse it, nor make it any less off-putting to hear. And in the same vein, I know Jaime is hardly the first person (in his culture or ours) to conflate physical attractiveness with intelligence/wit/talent/skill, nor will he be the last, but that doesn’t mean I like him any better for falling into such a common (and shallow) trap of a fallacy, either. Plus, all that aside, I happen to think Brienne is awesome, and it sucks when other people fail to acknowledge an awesome person’s awesomeness no matter what the reason may be.


That said, it was interesting to get some more of the backstory of this whole ridiculous mess from Jaime’s perspective. Even though I suspect we still do not have the whole story of why Jaime really decided to kill Aerys, because the way the chapter read I got the distinct impression we had skipped something in there, between Jaime taking the white and the sack of King’s Landing. Whatever it was, it must have been a doozy to piss Jaime off that badly.

Which leads me to believe it must have had something to do with Cersei, since Jaime demonstrably does not give two shits about pretty much anyone else in the world besides her. Aaand there’s a pretty obvious inference to be drawn about what that something might have been, too. However, if I’m reading this right, Cersei was way the hell over in Casterly Rock for most or all of the time Jaime was in the Kingsguard, so logistically that seems problematic. So maybe I’m wrong and it has nothing to do with Cersei. *shrug* I’ll find out, I’m sure.

Most interesting, of course, was the revelation that it was Cersei who effectively derailed Jaime’s entire life for the sake of their illicit and (and I use the word advisedly) sordid love affair. All I could think was, damn, he so should have told her to stuff it.

It’s a little dizzying, in fact, to try and picture how differently things would have gone if Jaime had told Cersei to stuff it; if he’d married Lysa and inherited Casterly Rock and so forth and so on. I kind of wonder whether, if he had, if the usurpation and the war and everything basically going to hell would never have happened.

When I was a kid I was in love with Madeleine L’Engle’s books. If you’ve read A Swiftly Tilting Planet, then you’ll know what I mean when I sadly call Jaime’s remembered conversation with Cersei in this chapter a Might Have Been moment. “Sadly,” because I rather doubt there’s going to be a Charles Wallace (avec unicorn!) around to go back and fix it. More’s the pity.

(If you never read L’Engle’s books, your childhood was a wee bit deprived, dude. Sorry.)

And I want to say something sanctimonious here about how if Cersei had really loved Jaime, she would have let him go, to live a life in which he wouldn’t constantly be in danger of being discovered to be sleeping with his own sister. Because beyond just the obvious fucked-upedness of that, it’s also just no way to live a life, man. But, well, it’s pretty obvious by now that Cersei is not exactly the poster child for noble self-sacrifice. I mean, damn, girl even manipulated Jaime, the supposed love of her life, to get what she wanted, so clearly my sanctimoniousness is wasted here. Sigh.

Brienne, meanwhile, continues to be awesome and clever and about a million times more forebearing than I probably could have been in dealing with Jaime’s bullshit. Even though I do rather disagree with her, in principle at least, on her ironclad hatred of Jaime based on the Kingslayer thing. But then, I was raised in a culture that lionizes a group of men who willfully rebelled against an unjust king, so naturally I would be at least a little more inclined than she to believe that there are circumstances under which betraying a dangerously unfit monarch would be more right than the opposite.

Then again, I’m not sure I would go so far as to condone actually slitting said monarch’s throat in cold blood, so there’s that. But my point is, in my arrogant opinion, Brienne shouldn’t hate Jaime for killing a psycho king; she should hate him because he’s a giant jerk.

…Right. And I just re-read that, and realized that I had just inadvertently suggested that Brienne should judge a man more harshly for his personality flaws than for regicide. This series is breaking my brain, I swear.

So we’ll pause for the nonce, while I get my brain at least temporarily unbroke (De-broked? Dis-broken?), and you have a hopefully fabulous fall week, which may or may not include candy and pumpkins and a no doubt truly excessive number of Avengers-related costumes. Merry early All Hallow’s Eve, my peeps, and see you next Friday!

1. OsRavan
nice review! I really enjoyed your analysis of stannis a lot.

On a flip side to your brienne comment. Do you think prettu/good looking people (whether that is jaime or just in general) *also* sometimes get judged unfairly based on their looks?
2. Black Dread
For some reason I love these books the most when the characters are out on the road. Whether it's Brienne and Jamie, Tyrion, or Arya - there is nothing better than a good GRRM road trip.
Vincent Lane
3. Aegnor
Its not just Cercei he cares about, but also Tyrion. But yeah, they were both back in Casterly Rock.
Marty Beck
4. martytargaryen
@3...and himself, to be sure.

On first read (this is only my second) I did not have the same ideas of why Davos was captured by the witch's men....but to avoid spoilers I will say no more.

I did not expect you to like Jaime after reading this chapter, Leigh. But it is interesting learning his motivations for the things he has done.

Also, if I remember correctly from Brienne's introduction in aCoK, Leigh, you had luke-warm initial impressions of her. Do you remember? And do you recall when her awesomeness ramped up in your view?
Rob Munnelly
5. RobMRobM
I like the Patchface, Shireen, Edric Storm show. That would be a fun road trip.

Patchface is a puzzle - bits of his nonsense speech sound portentous but I can't figure out whether they are or if it's just nonsense.

Re who snitched - can't tell from here whether it's Sam, the other Captain or Mel's magical powers. Can't discount the third possibility.

Edric Storm - I'd have to look back but pretty sure GRRM discussed him and the circumstances of his birth in past chapter - and you did as well, as I recall. Think major party foul.
Vincent Lane
6. Aegnor
As for why he killed the mad king...RAFO.
Vincent Lane
7. Aegnor

The thing about Brianne is that she goes against the typical architypes in fantasy fiction. They are either beautiful and helpless princess (like Arwen), or are beautiful expert fighters (Aviendha, the rest of the Super-girls from WoT). Having one of the primary female characters being a very ugly woman with a brutish appearance is quite different.

Leigh, regarding Edric Storm, if you remember he is the result of Robert doing the deed on Stannis' marriage bed with a noble woman. It totally humiliated Stannis. He is the boy that Melisandre told Stannis he had to have to succeed for some reason. He's the one that the castilion at Storm's End wouldn't give up (and hence he had to be killed by the shadow baby).
Emmet O'Brien
8. EmmetAOBrien
Or maybe he’s bonk starking ravers

This may be the first time I have associated the concepts "what about a Thomas Covenant reread at some point" and "funny".
Rob Munnelly
9. RobMRobM
Re Jaime/Brienne -

"lion, fish or wolf"? - yep, that pretty much sums up the crappy life of the little people in the Riverlands while the big guys play their game of thrones.

Brienne may be generous and nicer than Jaime, she is also sharp (unlike Cleos Frey), and it is nice to see Jaime realize it. Tons of horse poop in empty stall spells potential trouble, as both realized.

"...marry into the Targaryen line...." At that point, timing must have been Tywin wanted Cersei to marry Rhaegar instead of Elia of Dorne. That would have changed the story a bit. EDIT - actually checked the text (for once). Rhaegar was already married and in text Jaime thinks either Tywin wanted to wait for Viserys (ugh) or that sickly Elia would die and Cersei could step in.

"Right. And I just re-read that, and realized that I had just inadvertently suggested that Brienne should judge a man more harshly for his personality flaws than for regicide." Depends on the justification of the Kingkiller, eh? Guy takes out Hitler but remains a total *ss doesn't get a free pass for obnoxious behavior - or does he?
10. Lsana
"It’s a little dizzying, in fact, to try and picture how differently things would have gone if Jaime had told Cersei to stuff it; if he’d married Lysa and inherited Casterly Rock and so forth and so on. I kind of wonder whether, if he had, if the usurpation and the war and everything basically going to hell would never have happened."

An interesting what-if. Most likely, the events at the beginning of Robert's Rebellion go the same way: Rhaegar still takes Lyanna, Aerys the nutcase still kills Rickard and Brandon and demands the heads of Ned and Robert, Arryn, Baratheon, and Stark still rebel. The question then becomes, is Tywin still annoyed enough with Aerys that he sits the rebellion out, or do the Lannisters actually join on the Targaryen side? And also, given that Jaime-Lysa marriage has created a de-facto alliance between Casterly Rock and Riverrun, is a proposed marriage between Ned and Cat enough to bring the Tullys into the rebellion?

All in all, it seems that the most likely change if Cersei hadn't interfered here, is that Robert would have lost his rebellion, the Vale, the North, and the Stormlands would have burned, the Eyrie, Storm's End, and Winterfell would have been reduced to rubble, and most of our main characters would either be dead or would never have been born. Strange as it seems, we may need to be grateful to her.
Bill Stusser
11. billiam
First off, Jaime does acknowledge Brienne's awesomeness, more than once actually, in this very chapter. Second, something you seem to be missing here is that Jaime is insulting Brienne on purpose in an atempt to goad her into attacking him so he can get rid of her and escape. He is trying to piss her off (and the fact that he is pissing you off is proof that he is doing a good job) but she's not taking the bait.

Also, while we don't know the whole story of what happened at KL at this point, we did get the story of how Aerys cooked Ned's dad and strangled his brother, Brandon, in the chapter where Cat talks to Jaime in the dungeon at RR from ACoK. Let's just say that we already have reason enough to know that Aerys deserved his fate.

One of the things I like about Jaime's POVs is that we get a lot of the backstory from him. It is cool that GRRM uses the POV of someone from the wrong side, so to speak, to flesh out what has gone before. As opossed to hearing everything from one of the heroes of the story.
Steven Halter
12. stevenhalter
Chapter 10:Davos--I admit to being a bit disappointed when I saw the chapter title as Davos has seemed somewhat minor. His contemplation of cutting out Melisandre's heart seems to bode for some excitement at some point, though. I've got to say that just walking up and slicing away doesn't seem like a good plan. He should have stayed with Salladhor and at least gained some strength. The whole Stannis sees no one thing seems pretty suspicious--dead or wasted/enthralled on dark magic seem likely.
Edric Storm seems like he could be eventually interesting. But, it is off to the dungeons with Janos as the chapter ends.
13. Cass314

I really don't know if you can bring the Tullys into the fold if they have ties to Casterly Rock. Not only because Ned had to wed Cat, but because Jon Arryn agreed to wed Lysa, which, given her issues, may well have been the more critical part of the deal.

However, it's hard to say. There's long been a hypothesis kicking around that Rickard had southron ambitions before Rhaegar absconded with Lyanna in tow, and a corollary hypothesis that some of the great houses were in tentative alliance with respect to shoring themselves up against any possible fallout of Aerys' madness, Lannisters possibly included.

Usually, children of the great houses wed into the families of their bannermen, or, more rarely, into the royal line, for the same reasons--to shore up ties across lines of hierarchy. Think not of the parents of the crop of kids running around currently, but the grandparents. Norrys and Flints and Littles in the north, Redwynes, Hightowers, and Whents in the south. The spate of inter-kingdom betrothals going on during Aerys' reign was not necessarily normal, from Lyanna/Robert to Brandon/Cat to Lysa/Jaime. Really the only kingdoms not involved in this nonsense were Dorne, which had close ties to the throne through Elia, the Islands, which are always off doing weird stuff, and the Reach and Vale (until later), where there were not marriagable children. Even Rhaegar seemed to know this had been simmering for a while. So while it took wedding both girls to high lords to get Hoster Tully into the alliance when he knew that was what he could get, who knows what would have happened with only one marriage available if he and the other high lords had indeed been mulling changes for a while. Maybe his new ties to the Lannisters get him to sit out, but maybe not.
Steven Halter
14. stevenhalter
Chapter 11: Jaime -- Jaime is still in chains, good for Brienne for not giving in yet.
"Wolves or Lions, what's the difference? Doesn't put such a good light on either side.
Jaime seems quite the sexist. Brienne seems to be making all the correct choices so far. At this point, it seems like they need to cooperate in order not to just get killed on the road. I doubt that will happen although it also seems unlikely that they will just merrily ride on to King's Landing without some encounter.
The back story was interesting, but not quite all there yet.
15. olethros

Alternately, Tywin could be so pissed at Rhaegar for dropping Cersei that he joins up with the S/B/A rebellion early on and ends up king himself.
16. Gentleman Farmer
I think the reason Brienne is offended by Jaime's actions more than his personality lies less in the regicide aspect than in the oathbreaking.

As evidenced by her journey so far, Brienne takes her oaths seriously, and is horrified that someone might think she'd break her word. I don't think she would have been offended if Rickard Stark or Ned or Robert had killed Aerys, probably chalking some of it up to "Aerys was a really bad dude" and "history proved the rightness of their cause".

I think the part that sticks in her craw is that seven of the greatest knights in the realm swore themselves to be bodyguards to the king, gave up their family titles and ability to marry to protect the king, and one of those knights killed the king when there was no one else to defend him. Hearing Jaime explain that the king wasn't a nice guy does nothing to justify why it had to be Jaime that killed him, and why he broke his oath.

I know that's the part that I get stuck on, rather than the regicide. Whether or not I could get past Jaime throwing a nine year old out a window, I just don't feel sympathy for his oathbreaking, never mind how maudlin he feels now.

Reminds me of Theon who breaks his word, does all kinds of awful things and then feels sad that people don't like him.
Steven Halter
17. stevenhalter
I've got no problem with Jaime killing Aerys. Aerys seems to have been a particularly bad person and they don't seem to have a mechanism for removing a king other than killing him (maybe a problem that).
As Leigh mentioned above, it did seem like the backstory was leaving out some motivation for what exactly drove Jaime to that final action. Up to that point he had been serving him while watching various people get roasted, so it doesn't seem like Jaime was just all of the sudden realizing, "Hey this guy doesn't deserve to be king." Something pushed him over that line.
I will guess that eventually we will get that scene.
Rob Munnelly
18. RobMRobM
@16 - Brienne reacting to oathbreaking. *nods*

shalter v. 2 @17 - thinking that something happened to trigger Jaime's decision to kill Aerys. *nods*

id. @12 - this discussion raises the issue of what is really means to be Stannis post-Blackwater battle - and what it means to be Melissandre. Army decimated, navy decimated, Lannisters linked to the powerful Tyrells....Not a great situation from Stannis's perspective or, presumably, from Mel's. One response is to draw in and keep isolated and to spend more time in consultatation with Mel. Interesting to think about what could be their plan going forward and whether Davos will be there to be part of it.
Deana Whitney
19. Braid_Tug
Re: Jamie & Cersei - did neither of them ever think
1) Their sexual relations was wrong and against the Sevens? (then again their Kings were used to marring their sisters)
2) That life could change?

Does the book say how old they were when Jamie committed to a Bachelor order for life?

How shortsighted.
Steven Halter
20. stevenhalter
RobMRobM@18:The "no one gets to see him but Mel" part seems to imply something darker than just consultation is going on. But, maybe he is just shut away and depressed. Writing poems about flowers and poodles (his new coat of arms no doubt -- Fear my Poodle.)

Braid_Tug@19:Shortsighted. Yeah, that seems to cover that segment of the exchange.
21. Aellinsar
Yes, they do say. I can't recall exactly but I velieve it was 16 or 17 (youngest Kinsguard ever).
22. MJF
Braid @19: Jaime (and therefore Cersei) was fifteen when he swore the oath.

@ several: Why do people keep referring to The Thing With Bran as "throwing a nine-year-old out a window" (not just here, I've seen it elsewhere as well)? Bran was seven at the start of the series.
23. Lsana

There are certainly other ways that things could have fallen out, but I think they mostly range from the "No worse for the Starks than the current situation" to the "Really, really sucks for the Starks." I also didn't want to go too deeply into either Tywin's or Hoster's possible motives for fear of treading on the dreaded "S" button; at least some of that would be spoilers.


That's something I'd noticed too. Tywin's wife was his cousin. Catelyn's mother was a Whent, one of her father's bannermen. Jon Arryn's first two wives were both Vale women. We don't know anything about Ned's mother (something that sort of irritates me), but it's a safe bet she wasn't from one of the great houses, else Ned would have called on her family for help in the rebellion. Yet all of a sudden, after a generation where everyone married there own bannermen, marriage proposals between great houses were suddenly popping up like weeds.

I suspect it means nothing, but it is kind of fun to speculate about.
Nathan Martin
24. lerris
The HBO series aged all the kids by two years.
25. Scafloc
"I was raised in a culture that lionizes a group of men who willfully rebelled against an unjust king"
I did not know that Leigh. Are you Dutch too?
Julian Augustus
27. Alisonwonderland
Robm @9: Westeros turned a blind eye to Targaryen incest, but I doubt anybody would have countenanced Cersei marrying another woman (sorry, I couldn't help it)..
Julian Augustus
28. Alisonwonderland
Leigh, re who snitched on Davos.

Recall that several times it has been stated that Mel sees things in her flames. Davos of all people should know how powerful a sorceress Mel is. Why did he think that he could just walk up to her and cut her heart out? That's just dumb.

You may also recall the prologue of aCoK. Maester Cressen had a similar idea as Davos, save Stannis from Mel by killing her. So he put a deadly poison in a cup of wine and took it to Mel. But, of course, Mel knew what Cressen was trying to do, so she tried to dissuade him from going ahead with his plan. In the end, when he insisted on making her drink, she did drink the poisoned wine, and watched as it was rather Cressen who fell dead. You may be wasting your time looking for a snitch.
29. digireign
"All I could think was, damn, he so should have told her to stuff it."

That's what she said!
Rob Munnelly
30. RobMRobM
@27 -LOL.

@23 - As Tyrion would say, no doubt Mrs. Stark was "some woman, most of them are." You do raise an interesting point. We do actually know the house of Rickard's mother, but I don't recall if we know it in the books as of yet, so I'll let it be. But not knowing Rickard's wife is, indeed, odd, and it must be assumed that she would be from one of the northern houses.
Rob Munnelly
31. RobMRobM
@19, 22 - yes, the chapter itself says 15.
Rob Munnelly
32. RobMRobM
@20 - LOL. Maybe they've just decided to say the heck with it and are having lots hot monkey sex (or hot poodle sex, take your pick) in the saunas under Dragonstone.

On a somewhat more serious note - given what we know about Mel and Stannis, what is their plan going forward? What are they doing together in their session deep under Dragonstone?
33. MRCHalifax
Leigh, you're in the middle of the process of starting to like Jaime Lannister, I can tell. I know, it's hard to admit at first. Your brain is saying 'Hey now, he threw a kid out a window and he sleeps with his sister, you're not allowed to like him.' And your brain makes a good argument! But in the end, most everyone loses this fight. I hated Jaime too, once. Now? I love that man. A friend of mine started reading, he hated Jaime at the start. Now? He loves Jaime Lannister.

Jaime is like Tyrion, completely misunderestimated by everyone. And as you get inside and see what he's really like, see what a huge woobie he is... Love blossoms. Just give in, Leigh. It's inevitable. You too will love Jaime Lannister.
Nathan Rice
34. quazar87
Killing a king is no worse than killing any other man. In fact, the king has more power than any person in the kingdom, so making him a victim is so difficult as to be impossible. It's far worse to kill any man besides a king. There have been plenty of philosophers who have argued that it's the duty of a true citizen to kill kings wherever they sprout up.

Now killing a person that you have sworn to protect, even a king, I can see that being problematic. But Aerys was sadistic madman. Oath or not, anyone who allows such a man to live, and could alter his condidtion, is complicite in his crimes. It's the other members of the kingsguard who soiled their cloaks by not killing Aerys immediately when his madness manifested and turned the kingdom over to Rhaegar.
Jonathan Levy
35. JonathanLevy
16. Gentleman Farmer
and others

I think the reason Brienne hates Jaime is this:

The thing Brienne wanted more than anything was to be part of Renly's Kingsguard. For this she struggled and trained, gave up everything she might have had if she had as a noblewoman, and endured taunts and insults from every man she ever met.

Jaime got everything Brienne wanted at 15, and what did he do? Break his Oath and Murder his King.

At least, that's how she sees it, and it's why she despises him.
36. Nate42
Not that Jaime is some sort of paragon of virtue or anything, but the thing to keep in mind is, basically he DID kill Hitler. And then spent the rest of his life being vilified for that. So is it any wonder he has a bit of an attitude problem? And as far as the sexism thing goes, although he is more likely than most of his peers to say exactly what he's thinking, ultimately he's more respectful of Brienne than basically any other male in the series.
Deana Whitney
38. Braid_Tug
@ Scafloc, 25 & Alisonwonderland, 26:
Yep, Leigh meant the US. But thanks for pointing out other countries have risen up and killed their king at various points in history. (Hello France, Russia, China, etc…)
And how many went back to being Monarchies vs. becoming Democracies? (Hello Holland)
Steven Halter
39. stevenhalter
The rise and fall of democratic institutions vs monarchy/tyranny is an eternal crimson braid through the last couple thousand years.
Fantasy tends to have monarchies, but we do have to be careful not to be sucked into the "monarchies are the only path" point of view. Now, at this point in Westeros, monarchies are there and established, so that is what we have.
I would agree with JL@35 on the base reasons behid Brienne's dislike of Jaime.
Steven Halter
40. stevenhalter
RobMRobM@32:Just what Stannis and Mel are actually up to is a good question. Right now, they are without ships and a large percentage of their troops are gone as well.
They have Mel's shadow magic, so some kind of ritual enhancing that is a good bet.
Exactly what the costs associated with shadow magic are is a bit unclear at this point. There seemed to be some toll being taken upon Stannis, so there probably is a limit to how much/how often the magic can be employed.
Also, some od the other gods Davos' The Mother) don't seem real pleased with Mel's role.
I would tend to agree that it was Davos' just mentioning his plans that got him in trouble. Mel seems to have some sort of scrying ability.
Brandon Lammers
41. wickedkinetic
Favorite Jaime line - 'there are no men like me, there is only me' - he is the arrogant dashing swashbuckler even after rotting in a cage for months - still prickly and rude and offensive in chains when someone comes to have a chat.... gotta love the Lannister force of personality if nothing else - Tywin, Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion at least have that in common... its interesting that even though Tywin has very little love or respect for Tyrion, they practically have the same name....
42. Dragonriding Moogle
I think it's very illuminating that Brienne's reasons for Jaime-loathing are 'oathbreaking' rather than 'jerk'. Not only does she take her oaths seriously, but she'd also be used to people treating her badly. It's doubtful anything Jaime's saying to her is a new insult. Which is a sad commentary on Brienne's life up to this point.

Brienne is one of my favourite characters, in part because she's so different from the expected 'warrior woman'. Most female warriors are described, IMO, pretty unrealistically. No scars, long flowing hair, attractive and feminine figures (not too bulky!) It's nice to see a woman described in a way where it seems reasonable she'd be really strong and tough. Also nicely subverts the idea that males are 'allowed' to be physically imperfect and scarred but women aren't (at least not and still be main characters).
Jonathan Levy
43. JonathanLevy
I think you could say Brienne stands somewhere between Jaime Lannister and Sansa Stark.

On the one hand she's abandoned the classic female roles, and gone to be a warrior like Jaime - and she's good enough to be in his league, as her victory in Renly's tourney showed.

On the other hand, she still clings to all of Sansa Stark's illusions about knighthood and chivalry - keeping your oaths, serving your Lord, behaving honorably.
Deana Whitney
44. Braid_Tug
@ 22. MJF: or anyone who can tell me.

I have the 2011 paperback version of the book. (had an eailer version, but gave up and sold them).

on page 131, Bran says "I'm only nine." So was this a re-connect to
align the books and the show? Since GRRM liked "aging up" the kids?

Is that way some of us say 7 and other say 9? The version of the book we read?
Don Barkauskas
45. bad_platypus
Braid_Tug @44: I have the 2002 Trade Paperback edition, and mine also has Bran saying "I'm only nine."
Janet Hopkins
46. JanDSedai
In the current book, Bran *is* nine. It is 1 1/2 - 2 years after the events of the first book. I always took the disconnect between stated ages and apparent psychological ages as being on another planet (i.e. not *this* earth).
Deana Whitney
47. Braid_Tug
@ 46, JanDSedai; it's been that long in story? Seems shorter somehow...

Thanks bad_platypus!
Deana Whitney
48. Braid_Tug
So I just read the Jamie chapter, rather than the re-read.
He focused on his Gold armor and questions why no one ever asked who killed Rossart.

Wonder if wearing the gold armor was his way of saying "I'm not Kings guard."
But also wondering if Rossart did something to help piss him off...
49. Black Dread
wickedkinetic - The early Jamie POV's struck me how much he and Tyrion think alike. Once past there enormous physical differences, and the fact that Tyrion is a bit brighter, they think much alike.

Both tend to look at every situation from several directions, and often reach different conclusions than other people.

If not for Tywin and Cersie's influence - Tryion's brains and Jamie's sword would have been an unstoppable team.
Brett Dunbar
50. Brett

It isn't an accurate description of the American War of Independence. By that point the UKs government was pretty firmly under the control of parliament. The policies objected in the Declaration of Independence were basically all parliament's not George III, however for political reasons they pretended that it was him. Basically you fell for some highly dishonest 18th century spin.

The Civil War on the other hand was a revolt against a tyrannical king, Charles I had goverened for a decade without parliament. After repeatedly levying war against his own people he was executed. After the restoration the monarchy lost most of it's powers due to first the glorious revolution in 1688 (last successful invasion of Britain) followed by a fairly constant erosion of royal power.
51. Sad Doctor
The early Jamie POV's struck me how much he and Tyrion think alike.
Once past there enormous physical differences, and the fact that Tyrion
is a bit brighter, they think much alike.
It's pretty interesting to look at the differences between Tyrion and Jaime. It's probably a bit early to really get into Jaime's character, but generally even though Tyrion's definitely smarter, Jaime is a lot more honest with himself.
Thomas Simeroth
52. a smart guy
"Fool's blood, king's blood, blood on the maiden's thigh, but chains for the guests and chains for the bridegroom , aye aye aye."
Brandon Lammers
53. wickedkinetic
I'm thinking the underwater world that Patchface is always singing about - the Mer-Folk or whatever - will turn out to be real and play a small part at some point.... I think they write him off as a nutjob, and he probably is damaged by his ordeal - but there has to be some substance to his madness....
Jim Crumley
54. crumley
I'm a bit surprised about the confusion on why Jaime killed Aerys. From this chapter:
When Aerys saw the blood on his blade, he demanded to know if it was Lord Tywin's. I want him dead, the traitor. I want his head, you'll bring me his head, or you'll burn with the all the rest. ..."
It is is not clear why Aerys wants Tywin dead, but it is not surprising that Jaime picked Tywin over Aerys.

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