Fri
Dec 7 2012 2:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords, Part 11

A Read of Ice and Fire on Tor.com: A Storm of Swords, Part 11Welcome 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 11 of A Storm of Swords, in which we cover Chapter 19 (“Tyrion”).

Short entry is short, because (a) this was the most uncompressably talky chapter in history (like srsly STOP TALKING JFC), and (b) I’m a bit swamped distracted by some other reading I’m currently doing.

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 Tor.com. 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 19: Tyrion

What Happens
Tywin Lannister seats himself at the king’s place at the table after greeting the Lords Tyrell, Redwyne, and Rowan; Lord Mace Tyrell, Varys, the High Septon, Cersei, and Pycelle are also there, along with several others Tyrion does not know. Tyrion has taken Pycelle’s usual seat, and a wasted-looking Pycelle is careful to sit far from him. Tyrion thinks that much has changed while he was convalescing, and is contemptuous of the discomfort of most of the courtiers at looking upon him. Ser Kevan had mentioned the poor health of Ser Lancel, and Tyrion wonders whether Cersei would go so far as to actually murder him, or if she is just hoping he will die.

Varys reports on a successful ambush of Robb Stark’s followers, and Tywin announces that they will attack Riverrun as soon as Robb departs for the north, as they suppose he must in order to take his claimed kingdom back from the ironmen. Ser Kevan adds that Balon Greyjoy has written to propose alliance. Redwyne and Tyrell are in favor of taking the offer and letting him have the North, but Tywin counters that Gryejoy is already fighting their enemies for free, and they are better off letting the proposal lie and seeing if something better arises. Tyrion thinks that Tywin has something up his sleeve regarding this “better option.”

They also discuss Lysa Arryn and the Vale. Tyrell and Redwyne opine that she should be left alone; Tyrion angrily points out his own treatment at her hands, as well as her failure to swear fealty to Joffrey. He volunteers to take some men and handle Lysa, but this earns contempt from Tyrell, and Tywin interjects that he has other plans for her. It transpires that Littlefinger intends to travel to the Vale to “woo and wed” Lysa. He implies that his previous carnal knowledge of her will ensure his success. Tyrion thinks that his seemingly backhanded acquiring of Harrenhal is what made the idea possible, and also concludes that this was all planned out long ago. Tyrion asks how they are to manage their finances while Littlefinger is away, and to his shock and displeasure finds that Tywin intends for Tyrion himself to step into the role of Master of Coin. Littlefinger intends to leave the next day.

They discuss the wedding arrangements, and Pycelle interjects the news that Prince Doran and three hundred Dornishmen intend to arrive in time for the ceremony. This displeases Tyrell, as Highgarden has often feuded and raided with Dorne over the centuries, but Tywin squashes Tyrell’s objections with the revelation that Doran is coming to be on the council, and also for “the justice Robert denied him for the murder of his sister Elia and her children.” No one dares to mention that it was Tywin himself who’d had them killed. They move on to discuss divvying up the confiscated lands of lords loyal to Stannis or Renly, and Tyrion notes that Tyrell gets the largest slice of the pie by far. Varys mentions sightings of a true kraken off the Fingers, and rumors of “a three-headed dragon” hatched in Qarth, but Tywin is uninterested.

They discuss returned gold cloak deserters; Varys suggests sending them to the Night’s Watch, owing to the disturbing reports they’ve had from the Wall, but Tywin decides that they should be made examples, and orders them kneecapped and beggared. Tyrion, remembering his own visit to the Wall, protests this decision, but Tywin opines that if the Wall falls, the ensuing wildling invasion will be Stark and/or Greyjoy’s problem, and if they fall, Mance Rayder may prove a valuable ally. Tywin then kicks out everyone else but Cersei, Tyrion, and Kevan.

Tyrion argues that Littlefinger is not to be trusted, but Kevan counters that he has served them well, mentioning that he’d brought them word of a Tyrell plot to spirit Sansa Stark off to marry the heir to Highgarden. Cersei is astounded by this news, and Tywin declares they must forestall this development, as he “will not have the rose and the direwolf in bed together,” and says they will stop it by marrying Cersei to Willas Tyrell instead. Cersei is horrified, and argues fiercely that she will not marry again at all, but Tywin ignores her protests, and Cersei leaves in a fury. Tyrion cannot decide whether to sympathize with her or be gleeful, though he wonders whether Jaime will let this new marriage occur this time.

Tyrion soon forgets Cersei’s predicament, though, when Tywin announces it is high time he marries as well. Tyrion divines that Tywin means to marry him to Sansa Stark, and points out that the Tyrells will take offense, but Tywin counters that if they seal the deal before the Tyrells can even announce their plan to marry her to Willas, they will have no cause to protest. Tyrion opines that forcing Sansa to marry him after she has finally escaped “His Grace the royal pustule” seems very cruel, but Tywin replies that Sansa’s happiness is no concern of his, but rather securing the north, to which Sansa is the key. Tyrion protests that she is still a child, and proposes returning her to her mother or brother, but Tywin scornfully counters that then she will only be married off to a northman or one of Riverrun’s allies, and that she must marry a Lannister.

Kevan points out that whoever marries Sansa has a chance at becoming Lord of Winterfell, and Tywin cruelly reminds Tyrion of how his disfigurement has prevented any other marriages Tywin had tried to arrange for him, and doesn’t see why he wouldn’t jump at the chance for Sansa. Tyrion replies he’d rather have a wife who actually wants him, and Tywin replies that if Tyrion thinks his whores truly want him, he is a fool. Tyrion asks why not go for Greyjoy’s daughter if he wants the north, and Tywin opines that Greyjoy will not hold the north for long.

Tyrion further points out that Robb’s heirs via the Freys will supercede any claim to Winterfell he might have through Sansa, but Tywin reveals that Robb Stark has broken his oath to marry into the Freys by marrying Jeyne Westerling instead. Tyrion is astonished at such foolishness, and also bemused that his father displays so little fury at the Westerlings’ betrayal of their allegiance with the Lannisters, remembering Tywin’s infamous treatment of those who’d broken with him in the past. He asks if the Westerlings and Spicers can be such great fools as to think the wolf can defeat the lion.

Every once in a very long while, Lord Tywin Lannister would actually threaten to smile; he never did, but the threat alone was terrible to behold. “The greatest fools are ofttimes more clever than the men who laugh at them,” he said, and then, “You will marry Sansa Stark, Tyrion. And soon.”

Commentary
WHAAAAAAAT

My brain, she has asploded. *Booge*, splatter, no more brain, sorry, goodbye.

Because, uh. Whuh, bzuh.

No, seriously. How I am supposed to react to this? I cannot not even wrap my brain around the concept here, so how I am supposed to come up with anything coherent to say about it?

Tyrion marrying Sansa? I am floored. FLOORED, people.

Because, okay. I like Tyrion, and I like Sansa, and I am rooting for them both, but this… lordy. There’s so many implications packed into this that I hardly know where to start unpacking them.

I actually don’t think, on reflection, that Tyrion would be the worst choice for Sansa—I mean, at least I can be reasonably sure that he won’t treat her like utter shit—but I can hardly see it going well. First of all, you know Sansa will be horrified by this proposition, and even if Tyrion doesn’t deserve to be viewed with revulsion (in my view, anyway), Sansa doesn’t actually know that, does she?

She’s matured a lot since the beginning of this series, but, well, expecting her to be thrilled to be married to a disfigured dwarf is probably not very realistic. And on a much less shallow (and much more important) level, expecting her to be thrilled to be married to a Lannister of any stripe, even the sole member of the family who has remotely tried to be nice to her, is probably even less realistic. And for the latter reaction, at least, you can hardly blame her.

Not to mention that any way you slice it, even if this marriage somehow works out in the long run, at the moment what it represents is both parties’ choices being taken away from them, in the most cavalier and callous way possible. Ugh.

Which is by way of saying that I am having trouble separating my reaction to this specific arrangement from my general nausea at the entire scene, in which every woman mentioned is basically discussed in the same terms one would use to discuss cattle at the marketplace. Which, unsurprisingly, makes me rather burn with rage—even for Cersei. I don’t like her, at all, but I’m not going to be hypocritical enough to be enraged on Sansa’s behalf and not on hers, when basically the exact same thing is happening to them both.

God, can you even imagine being in such a position? To have no say or recourse in to whom you end up shackled for life? To being regarded as nothing more than property to be traded?

Gah.

But aside from the general injustice of it all, wow, the irony here is just off the scale, isn’t it? Cersei’s going to be forced to marry the guy Sansa was going to be (sort of) forced to marry? Dude. My head, she spins. Not that this Willas guy is getting a nice deal out of it either, because Cersei is going to eat him alive, and he probably won’t even deserve it.

And it was Littlefinger who ratted out the Tyrells’ scheme? How the bloody hell did he find out about it?

Sansa Stark, [Tyrion] mused. Soft-spoken sweet-smelling Sansa, who loved silks, songs, chivalry and tall gallant knights with handsome faces. He felt as though he was back on the bridge of boats, the deck shifting beneath his feet.

My respect for Tyrion increases tenfold at his dismay for Sansa’s feelings about the situation (against all cultural conditioning to the contrary, evidently), even as simultaneously my sorrow for him increases by the same amount, that he has to believe that he should be the cause of her disappointment. I could wish that, if this marriage actually comes to pass, that they both eventually manage to find happiness in it, but all things considered I think I’d better not hold my breath.

Sigh.

Tywin, meanwhile continues to be as fluffy and huggable as ever. “Break their knees with hammers,” indeed. Both metaphorically and literally, it turns out. The intensely creepy thing is, I bet that Tywin thinks he’s being eminently practical and fair in all his dealings with his children. Which, yeah. Maybe it isn’t entirely his fault that all his kids turned out so insanely fucked up, but I’m not betting money on how large the percentage is which can be laid at his feet, because wow.

In other news, Littlefinger aims to marry Lysa? Um. Dude.

I don’t remember by now if we’ve ever had any confirmation on this one way or the other, but barring such I reeeeally tend to doubt that Lysa ever let Petyr Baelish lay a finger (little or otherwise, heh) on her when they were all kids together, any more than Catelyn did. Although I suppose it’s possible that she has such bad taste, but Tyrion is quite right in that Petyr didn’t have the rank to make it worth putting up with, well, him.

So, overcompensating and lying through his teeth, check.

Given that, I have to wonder what exactly Littlefinger’s got up his sleeve to actually persuade/coerce Lysa into a marriage. There’s gotta to be something, because if he’s just relying on either his native charm or Lysa’s grasp of sweet reason, he just may be screwed – and not in the way he wants, either. But one thing Littlefinger is not, is stupid. So I feel relatively safe in assuming he has some kind of diabolical back-up plan. I would probably feel more apprehensive about this if I cared in the slightest about Lysa, but I don’t so I’m not. Sowwy.

Of course, as smart as he is, Petyr may not be aware of just how utterly bugshit Lysa has lately become (if I were Tyrion I certainly wouldn’t bother cluing him in before he goes), so Petyr may actually be in for a very nasty surprise. We shall see, I suppose.

Also, wow, Joffrey was not even at this meeting. Not that I care much about him learning the ropes of proper kinging, because, you know, with the vitriolic hatred and all, but that’s a pretty sharp indication that Tywin also doesn’t give much of a crap about it either. I’d say I’m surprised, but, well.

As for what Tywin’s alternate plan is regarding the Vikings Ironmen, I can only assume he’s working on bringing in someone from overseas, since I think pretty much everyone on this continent is either allied with him already or at war with him. But other than that I got nothing.

“And [Lady Sybell Westerling’s] grandmother was some woman he’d brought back from the east. A frightening old crone, supposed to be a priestess. Maegi, they called her. No one could pronounce her real name. Half of Lannisport used to go to her for cures and love potions and the like.” [Tywin] shrugged. “She’s long dead, to be sure. And Jeyne seemed a sweet child, I’ll grant you, though I only saw her once. But with such doubtful blood . . . ”

Jeyne Westerling’s grandmother was a Maegi from overseas? Like whatshername, the witch who screwed over Daenerys? (Mirri Mas Duur, or some other double-voweled variation on that.) Reeeally.

…I wonder if Maegi do love potions, eh?


And that’s what I got for this one, kids. Have a lovely weekend, and check in to the site this coming Tuesday for maybe something special related to That Other Blog I do here, and I’ll see you with more ASOIAF next Friday!

68 comments
Marty Beck
1. martytargaryen
re. "Other Reading"... so jealous, srsly. Thank you for getting even this out, Leigh! On to the post...
lake sidey
2. lakesidey
My my, I do wonder what could be that other thing you're reading...

is envious

~lakesidey
Juice
3. Juice
Wow, I had forgotten how this chapter sets up the stage for so many events to come !
Chris Nelly
4. Aeryl
Oh, Leigh, your unpreparedness if very amusing, and that's all I can say

**heads to Spoiler Thread**
Juice
5. TBGH
Worth the wait.
WHAAAAAAAT My brain, she has asploded. *Booge*, splatter, no more brain, sorry, goodbye.

Because, uh. Whuh, bzuh.

No, seriously. How I am supposed to react to this? I cannot not even wrap my brain around the concept here, so how I am supposed to come up with anything coherent to say about it?
Tyrion marrying Sansa? I am floored. FLOORED, people.
Juice
6. Tenesmus
It is amzing how obvious things are in hindsight, but obfusicatory they are in the set up. Maybe it is a testament to GRRM's writing, or maybe it is just the fact that he buries so many innocuous details in with the shiny nuggets you never see anything coming.
Marty Beck
7. martytargaryen
This was an awesome post Leigh. Most of your reactions were just what I had predicted (in my head as I was rereading this morning)....right down to your sympathy for Cersei.

Littlefinger.... :-/ one of my favourite characters to loathe....guess we'll just have to RAFO about that one.
s r
8. Veovim
I really hope you're going to do an end of book review of your predictions, Leigh, because that would be a seriously funny post (and not just for this chapter, either).
Julian Augustus
9. Alisonwonderland
This chapter is one of the reasons a re-read is always so useful. Here we are presented with so much information, and the significance of most of this information would not be apparent until much later, by which time the information is, likely, already forgotten.
Chris Chaplain
10. chaplainchris1
A. If you need help with the other reading, lemme know.
B. This entry may be shorter, but is awesome. LOLing at the description of Tywin as "fluffy and huggable" and the sowwy not caring about Lysa and the not caring about Joffrey's education what with the vitriolic hatred and all. Classic bits!

Also, yes, SO unprepared.
Chris Nelly
11. Aeryl
@9, I know. I just started to reread GoT the other day, and how my perception of the story has changed knowing what I know now SPOILER like in the second Catelyn chapter, when she recieves the letter from Lysa fingering the Lannisters in the death of Jon Arryn.

MIND BLOWN
Stefan Mitev
12. Bergmaniac
Tyrion would be a pretty terrible husband even if he looked OK on the outside. He's a pretty terrible person with all kinds of serious issues about women, love and trust.

Besides, even if he was a saint, his family murdered Sansa's father and are trying to do the same to the rest of her family, which by itself pretty much dooms from the start their marriage
Juice
13. Lsana
As far as Littlefinger's knowledge of Lysa goes, it's worth remembering that Lysa was at court up until the start of Game of Thrones, as was Littlefinger. He's seen her almost as recently as Tyrion has. True, those few months may have made a big difference, but it's not like Catelyn who was still relying on memories of Lysa as a girl at Riverrun.

I think this chapter has some of my favorite Tyrion-snark in it. I loved his running commentary on the council meeting. My favorite was on his speculation about Jaime's reaction to a marriage between Cersei and Willas;

"The unfortunate Willas Tyrell was likely to develop a sudden fatal case of sword-through-bowels, which might sour the alliance between Casterly Rock and Highgarden. I should say something, thought Tyrion, but what? Pardon me, Father, but it's our brother she wants to marry."
Juice
14. o.m.
Just wondering -- Cersei is being ordered to marry Wyllas, and Tyrion is being ordered to marry Sansa. Regardless of gender, Tywin sees his kids as dynastic bargaining chips.

Yet your reaction is a lot more "poor Sansa" than "poor Tyrion". Sure, he is an adult and presumably has more options to cope with a forced marriage, but neither of them has much of a say.

(And can you image what would happen if Tywin had struck a deal with they Greyjoys instead and given Tyrion to Asha? Shae would be toast.)
Juice
15. Joruus
They say hindsight is 20/20, but apparently she also carries a huge club. I've been smacked in the head multiple times by re-reading this chapter.

I have no idea how I missed everything that's dropped here. It seems so obvious now.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
16. Lisamarie
I can't wait for the rest of this book ;)

Also, I want your other reading ;)
Deana Whitney
17. Braid_Tug
I find it odd that Tywin would want a double connection to the Tyrell clan. I mean Joffrey is the future King and already marrying into the clan. Why waste the "Queen Mother" on a double alliance? And isn't it sad that even the Queen is forced to take that from her Father? What a jerk!

And agree, Tywin does not give a rats ass about if his grandson, the King, knows a thing about being a King. He just wants a movable game piece.

Tyrion + Sansa : you've already said it best.

Leigh, thanks for giving us this one chapter while ripping into AMoL.
Juice
18. Andy L.
I had the same reaction as many of the commenters about "preparedness" and the benefits of hindsight in doing a re-read. Leigh, you're gonna be majorly gobsmacked when you get to the reveal. I don't think this is a spoiler -- hesitate -- but . . . nah, I can't risk it.

I'm currently listening to the audio version of this book. It is excellent and makes by commute bearable. Great way to "re-read" a book.
Juice
19. Skyweir
@ o.m.: Well, for Tyrion, life married to Sansa need not change much. Indeed, if he was a more nasty and unpleasant person (like most people think he is), there would only upsides to marrying Sansa.
- There are no other likely marriag prospects,
- He would become defacto Lord of Winterfell, and since his claim to Casterly Rock is non-trivial (Tywin will not live forever), he could end up leading 2/7 of the Realm.
- Sansa is showing clear signs of growing into becoming a very beautiful woman. Sure, she is a 14 year old girl now, but in 4-5 years time....
- He could continiue having mistresses and whores as much as he wanted. As the husband in this culture, he really holds all the cards.

For Sansa, there are nearly no upside. Htyrion is a Lannister, he is known to be tresonous, he is a disfigured dwarf with a biting wit, she is 14 but would be required to produce some kind of Stark baby to sollidify any claims to Winterfell, and so on...

The only upside would be that she might get to go home to Winterfell at some point, though only when the rest of her family is dead....
Juice
20. Wortmauer
Yeah ... "other reading," ha, I WONDER WHAT THAT COULD BE.

So the council meeting seems to be largely about marriages. I never really noticed how many planned weddings there seem to be of late. Joffrey to Margaery. Asha to her longship (already consummated). Robb to a Frey (cancelled, presumably). Arya to a Frey (if Team North can find her). Robb to Jeyne Westerling. Sansa to Willas (now seems unlikely). Myrcella to a Martell. Littlefinger to Lysa. Tyrion to Sansa. Cersei to Willas. And one more in the works which I'll leave out as I don't think it has been explicitly mentioned yet. Maybe Jaime should marry Brienne, which would be seriously unpleasant for both of them, but think how pissed Cersei would be.
George Jong
21. IndependentGeorge
It might be cruel, but I actually don't have any problem with his punishment towards the gold cloak deserters. Desertion - not retreat, but desertion - in the midst of battle is one of the most serious crimes in any military justice system; it's a capital offense in many of today's militaries, let alone Westeros. Deserting the king in the midst of battle is even worse, no matter what we think of that king.

Of course, there's also Jaime's crime, which went unpunished...
Juice
22. o.m.
@19 Skyweir, you're right as far as the practical aspects are concerned. Which is why I mentioned the possibility that Tyrion would get Asha. Was that ever serious?

But my point is that Tywin treats all his kids, female or male, as tools for his power plays. Shouldn't we be equally upset about both cases?
Juice
23. Filipe
Leigh, it's worth pointing out that Lisa lived in King's Landing till her husband's death, so even if Littlefinger might be unaware about how paronoid she currently is, he is certainly way more prepared to meet current Lisa than her sister were.
Marie Veek
24. SlackerSpice
@20

Actually, I'm pretty sure the upcoming wedding to Arya got canceled along with Robb's back in Clash of Kings:

"On her way to the godswood, she passed the Wailing Tower where once she had lived in fear of Weese. The Freys had taken it for their own since Harrenhal's fall. She could hear angry voices coming from a window, many men talking and arguing all at once. Elmar was sitting on the steps outside, alone.

'What's wrong?' Arya asked him when she saw the tears shining on his cheeks.

'My princess,' he sobbed. 'We've been dishonored, Aenys says. There was a bird from the Twins. My lord father says I'll need to marry someone else, or be a septon.'"
George Jong
25. IndependentGeorge
But my point is that Tywin treats all his kids, female or male, as tools for his power plays. Shouldn't we be equally upset about both cases?
Really, though, how is that any different from Hoster insisting that Ned marry Catelyn after Brandon's death, or Rickard betrothing Lyanna to Robert? Such is the life of a noble in Westeros - you don't get to marry whom you wish, but you live a life far more secure than any commoner. (Though I maintain that Illyrio Mopatis has it better than any other character in the book).
Steven Halter
26. stevenhalter
Chapter 19 - Tyrion: This was a very interesting chapter from a number of points. Tyrion has been pretty static up to this point--unconscious and lying in bed with most of your nose gone will do that to you. I liked the way GRRM is starting to get him back into the game by having him attend this council. Tyrion has been out of it so we get a good excuse to get us caught up on what is happening. Things don't seem to be going well for the Northern forces from what is said here.
Other than Tywin, Littlefinger, Tyrion and Varys, most of the rest here don't seem to be really first class thinkers and Littlefinger isn't on anybodies side except his own. So, that may help out in the long term for the North.
In the short term, Robb's marriage seems to loom even more ill advisedly. From the extent of everyone's reaction here, I think we can safely say that Robb has really stepped into it. The whole cloth of relationships is brokered on people keeping their words in regards to major deals of marriage and fealty. We'll have to see how that works out.
One interesting thing is that Tywin does not seem to have the news that the Bolton's have captured Theon and Winterfell as he mentions him as a possible suitor for Cersei.
And, that brings us to the pair of marriages here. Cersei is told that she needs to get married to some suitable person and if she cooperates, she can have some choice in the matter. Jaime will not be pleased with that as Tyrion notes and we'll see how cooperative Cersei is in this. Political marriage is the order of the day here.
The other marriage under proposal is Tyrion and Sansa. There is the age issue, of course, that makes us feel a tad squickish, but Sansa is of a marriageable age in Westeros. As Tyrion thinks/notes, Sansa would be married off no matter where she goes--she is far to valuable as a trading piece. All things considered, Tyrion would probably not be a bad choice for her, although I don't think she will take that info very well at first.
Chris Nelly
27. Aeryl
Yes, marriage is the watchword of the day. I sarcastically commented to my partner that the book should have been named "Storm of Rice" instead of Swords.
Juice
28. MJF
"A Whirl of Weddings"? "A Mass of Marriages"?
Margot Virzana
30. LuvURphleb
Oh tywin ignoring the Wall.

Technically tywin doesnt need sansa. Once they defeat the starks/ greyjoys all other opposition tywin can just grant winterfell to any lord he wants too. So its good for sansa in the strictest "you get to live" sense that tywin is bothering with bloodlines
Juice
31. ~dream
GRRM's world building is based on heavy research into medieval Europe, and the abyssmal treatment of women and offspring is intended to be largely realistic for that time period. So, yeah, it sucks, but GRRM effectively communicates the entire suckage of the system, methinks.
Chris Nelly
32. Aeryl
30. Its not just that Tywin can give it to who he wants, he has to secure it. And to secure it, he needs the support, or at least the acquiescence of the populace. Having Sansa, an actual Stark, there will help with pacification.
Juice
33. Michael F Flynn
That was exactly the gimmick used by Henry VII Tudor to graft himself onto the the York/Plantagenet family after killing or otherwise disposing of all the other legitimate and illegitimate heirs of poor Richard III York. He had the bill of attainder repealed without a reading. (Repealing it meant the older of the two princes in the tower became de jure king of England, but it also meant that if they were to conveniently show up missing, the sister would inherit and her husband would gain control.) Tudors were related by marriage to the Lancasters; so the parallel with York/Stark and Lancaster/Lannister is instructive. GRRM is not slavishly following the wars of the roses, but tweaking it a bit and, dare I say, simplifying it.
Rob Munnelly
34. RobMRobM
Ware the long content filled chapters....

This is highlighted by the quote above from the last arya chapter in acok, where arya's fiance cried about the loss of his engagement...to arya. And it didn't even get mentioned in the summary or commentary. Keep that as a cautionary tale for this chapter. Ware!
Rob Munnelly
35. RobMRobM
Lots to love here
- tyrion getting grudging and in some cases heartfelt compliments from the collected lannisters and tyrells.
-tyrion's quip about being summoned to the lists at the end of the cersei discussion.
- tyrion's lily bart problem w sansa. See E. Wharton, House of Mirth. If he were not a dwarf this likely would have been his destiny - marrying a young pretty daughter of a major house - but he doesn't want to pull the trigger.

One other note mr halter - don't see a text basis for assuming tyrell has a first class mind. First class ambition or gluttony, maybe. (Edited to correct the major typos - hard to post from the road)
Juice
36. Lsana
@19,

Just a quick correction on Sansa's age: she isn't fourteen, she's twelve. Even in a mideval culture, that's young to be getting married. Tyrion having a bit of a "squick" reaction is pretty normal.

@27,

Before Storm of Swords came out, Martin joked that this was his take on "Fout Weddings an a Funeral."
Steven Halter
37. stevenhalter
RobMRobM@35:Thanks, edited--I meant Tywin. Tyrell has no particular talents of course. Too many Ty names here.
As a side note--my strategy of reading just one chapter on Friday morning is working well.
Juice
38. Michael F Flynn
@36: Twelve-year olds. Checking my handy-dandy medieval dynastic trees.....
Beatrice of Burgundy ('more beautiful than Venus and richer than Juno') was 12 when she was wed to 34 yr old Kaiser Friedrich Barbarossa. (She was, as most medieval women, a power in her own right, being suo jure Countess of Burgundy, and quite active in her husband's campaigns.)
Beatrice of Provence was 12 when she married Charles of Anjou (20)
Blanche of Castile was 12 when her grandmother Eleanor of Aquitaine took her to marry Louis VIII Capet (13). (She later became de facto ruler of France.)
But it should be noted that the first children of such marriages were often born five years after the wedding.
Eleanor of Aquitaine, suo jure Duchess of the Aquitaine, was an elderly 15 when she married Louis VII Capet (17).
Jakub Wrobel
39. ptyx
Sansa is 14 in ASoS, she was 12 at the beginning of the series and one book covers roughly one year.
Maiane Bakroeva
40. Isilel
Ptyx@39:
Sansa is 14 in ASoS, she was 12 at the beginning of the series
Nope, she was 11 in AGOT and she is almost 13 at this point of ASOS. The Appendices are quite helpful in tracking ages of characters. She is younger than normal for maidenly brides by Westerosi standards - 15-18 seems the usual age and long betrothals are common - i.e. Cat was betrothed at 12, but was supposed to marry at 17-18. However, it is not unheard of, unfortunately for her.

Re: Tywin, ya, his kids and other relatives are dynastic pawns for him, even though, hypocritically, he himself never remarried, not even when Jaime was de-facto taken from him as a heir.

OTOH, re: Cersei, I think that there are additional factors. Tywin is quietly furious at her for the series of catastrophic failures as a regent that almost got them all killed, her ongoing behavior, even in this very conversation, shows that she would be a hindrance to him, rather than an asset if she remains at court _and_ there are those ugly rumors of incest that need to be discouraged.
It is fairly interesting, IMHO, that seemingly Tywin believes that Cersei having another kid with somebody else would discourage those, BTW (ha!) - so he is blind indeed.

Another interesting snippet are the supposed brides Tywin tried to get for Tyrion - personally, I always thought that he was either lying or that he was just going through the motions.
As we now know, he never wanted Tyrion to inherit Casterly Rock and if Tyrion had a healthy kid, particularly a son, it would be much more difficult to deny him this.
And the selection of girls makes no sense if Tywin wanted his ouvertures to be accepted. I am sure that Lord Frey wouldn't have denied him and that his own vassals probably wouldn't have dared to, either. If he truly wanted to get a match for Tyrion, he would have done so years ago.

Re: City Guards deserters and the Night's Watch - well, Tywin isn't alone in thinking that it merely protected the North against the wildlings. Both Ned and maester Luwin thought so too, so...
Nathan Rice
41. quazar87
I never considered the angle that Jeyne may have potioned Robb into it. I always thought that it was just another example of a Stark who lets his honor knee-cap him.
Rob Munnelly
42. RobMRobM
@41 - I don't think Jeyne has it in her, but I'm suspicious of her Mom, the daughter of the Maegi, who may have skills and willingness either to entice Robb off of the Frey path and/or prevent them from having kids (or both).
Juice
43. Crusader75
@42 I don't not think we know enough about Jeyne at this point to make that determination about her motivations. However, knowing that Robb's marraige to a daughter of a house normally loyal to the Lannisters, which has conveniently wrecked one of Robb's more important alliances does put into question whether his and Jeyne's romance just happened.
Steven Halter
44. stevenhalter
On a bit more closer examination of this chapter, I note a few things:
Many of the victories occurring for the Lanisters are coming from the Lords who formerly supprted Renly.
The Lord Randyll who is mentioned crushing Robett Glover is (I believe) Samwell's father. Both he and the Tyrell's would have been Renly supporters. Robett is the guy who pretended to be held captive in order to take Harenhal.
The fact that Krakkens exist is interesting--I'm guessing some sort of giant squid. The report of the three headed dragon is interesting also and I'm guessing it is a confused report of Dany's three dragons (although maybe not).
Sanctume Spiritstone
45. Sanctume
Who would the likely person to help Lysa leave King's Landing?

I think Littlefinger is the most likely candidate to arrange her travels, even feeding that info to point against Lannisters.
Juice
46. a1ay
I never considered the angle that Jeyne may have potioned Robb into it.

Really? First thing that came to my mind when I read that line.

The fact that Krakens exist is interesting--I'm guessing some sort of giant squid.

Indeed - see the arms of the Greyjoys.
Rob Munnelly
47. RobMRobM
"Many of the victories occuring for the Lanisters are coming from the Lords who formerly supprted Renly. The Lord Randyll who is mentioned crushing Robett Glover is (I believe) Samwell's father. Both he and the Tyrell's would have been Renly supporters. Robett is the guy who pretended to be held captive in order to take Harenhal."

Nice observation, SH. You can see why Randyll didn't feel the love relative to our Samster. One can also assume Tyrell bannermen navies are playing a role in controlling Stannis' remaining ships.
Juice
48. Wongchi
Is it weird that I'm kind of hoping that Tyrion takes Sansa under his wing and shows her how to navigate the intrigues of the court and she under his tutelage becomes a smart kind hearted femme fatale foil to the likes of Cersei? I don't want them to have a romantic relationship at all but that kind of "lets watch each other's backs" relationship I would find heart warming.
Chris Nelly
49. Aeryl
@48 LOLOLOLOL

That's all I got to say.
Rob Munnelly
51. RobMRobM
Going past 1 pm is usually a bad sign, based on past history. Let's hope Tor.com is having some editing delays and we'll get one soon....
Vincent Lane
53. Aegnor
@50 It's been late before. Once it wasn't posted until 3pm eastern. Usually if there unexpectedly isn't going to be a post, Leigh or one of the Tor people posts a notice in the previous post (i.e. this one). Haven't seen anything yet, so hopefully it is just late. Looking forward to the reaction to the next two chapters.
Bridget McGovern
54. BMcGovern
No post today--sorry, guys! Leigh got held up by pesky non-Westeros-related issues and wasn't able to post. Hopefully everything will sort itself out, and in the meantime, have a great weekend!
Juice
55. AndrewB
Aegnor @53: ask and you shall receive (unfortunately).

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
Yuriev Olmos
56. Baikala
BMcGovern @54:

I know that Leigh doesn't 'work' for us but, Does she known how many people in the world she has refreshing tor.com every 5 minutes on Fridays from noon to 14:00 CST expecting our weekly dose of Westeros?

A quick message around 12:30-ish would be great next time, we will be heartbroken still but the anxiety will end sooner.
Chris Cangoodly
57. TheHardestTruth
Just to head off the usual crowd: Yes Leigh misses a lot, moves a lot, gets sick a lot etc....Yes she missed a ton of postungs this year. Yes they got shorter and often were not the length she'd promised. Guess what? Might be time to get OVER IT. She will be the first (and has, here in this very space before) to tell you that she is not Miss Consistent or Miss Traditional and if that is what you need then there are several other excellent Tor.Blogs that may suit you better.

BUT. If Leigh's special brand of insanity IS your fix, then enjoy it WHEN you get it and let it all be good.

Good day. :-)
Chris Cangoodly
58. TheHardestTruth
P.S. that was totally NOT at #56 just in general.
Pat .
59. dolphineus
Since I don't have a post to read today (hope everything is OK Leigh) I re-read this one.
Martin is a little too good at giving us clues. He peppers the text with little pieces here and there and you don't pick them up until your 2nd or 3rd read. With everything said about Littlefinger and Lysa, would this be considered a spoiler?
Rob Munnelly
60. RobMRobM
Dolph - yeah, I'd avoid that. We had that discussion back when that text first appeared a few chapters ago.

On to the main point, GRRM is awesome at subtly giving clues that pay off down the line.
Juice
61. Auga
Please ask that in the spoiler thread!!!!! Jesus!!!!!
Leigh Butler
62. leighdb
Sorry guys, I just realized I never posted a comment here letting you know there would be no post last Friday. I totally thought I had, but obviously I was wrong. I suck, I'm sorry.

But there will definitely be a post this coming Friday, I swears!
Rob Munnelly
63. RobMRobM
Leigh - guess you lost track during your jaunt down WoT memory lane....
George Jong
64. IndependentGeorge
@63 - Leigh, your punishment is to write, "Jaime Lannister is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life," 100 times on the blackboard.
Juice
65. Rancho Unicorno
@63 - Leigh, your punishment is to write, "Jaime Lannister is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life," 100 times on the blackboard in your next post so as to be recorded for posterity. And no cheating with copy/paste - it needs to be hand-typed (is that a thing?)
Mike DMonte
66. MickeyDee
Hmmm @64 & 65 great minds or aliases think alike?

Hey be nice to Dolph - until I followed that link I had no idea that I had that growing in my garden. Bloody weeds.
Mike DMonte
67. MickeyDee
And Leigh - don't sweat it. Put your feet up, relax, take it easy. You've given us some awesome entertainment through this re-read and if we don't get a post from you when we expect then so what. It's your blog and we thank you for sharing.
Vincent Lane
68. Aegnor
@66,

Rancho Unicorno was just quoting IndependentGeorge and "fixing" it. Notice the striked-out text?

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