Feb 15 2013 2:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords, Part 18

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 18 of A Storm of Swords, in which we cover Chapter 31 (“Jaime”) and Chapter 32 (“Tyrion”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, 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 31: Jaime

What Happens
Jaime thinks that he has never experienced such pain and humiliation as the severed stump of his hand has given him, and he falls into despair in the days afterward, as the Mummers taunt and torture him, giving him horse piss to drink and tying him to Brienne to ride, and keeping his severed hand on a cord around his neck. He tries to fight once with his left hand, but his captors defeat him easily. Brienne comes to him later, and tells him he must not give up, and when he rebuffs her, she calls him a coward, which shocks Jaime, as it is the one thing no one had ever accused him of. He decides that he must live, for his family and also for his enemies, and promises himself that he will have a new hand made of gold, and use it to rip out Vargo Hoat’s throat.

He grows sick and weak as they travel, his stump becoming infected, but laughs when he hears they are going to Harrenhal, and tells Brienne that that is where he won the white cloak and was humiliated by Aerys on the same day. That night Rorge, Shagwell, and Zollo (the Dothraki that cut off Jaime’s hand) come with the intention of gang-raping Brienne; at first Jaime advises her to “go far away” and not fight them, but Brienne indicates she will do no such thing, and when it comes to it, Jaime shouts “SAPPHIRES,” reminding Hoat of the reward for Brienne he’d lied about before, and Hoat comes and stops his men and sets guards on them thenceforth. Brienne asks him later why he had defended her; Jaime claims it was only so he could hear Vargo Hoat say “thapphireth,” but she thanks him anyway. He answers that a Lannister always pays his debts.

When they arrive at Harrenhal, Brienne points out the banners, which show that the Boltons hold the keep, but Jaime observes that there are heads alongside the Stark banner. Hoat presents Jaime to the lords within, and Jaime greets the Freys and offers condolences for Ser Cleos, whom Hoat’s men had killed. Brienne comes forward and declares her name and allegiance to House Stark, but Ser Aenys spits and replies that Robb Stark betrayed them. Brienne answers that she knows of no betrayal, but that she was sent by Lady Catelyn to deliver Jaime to King’s Landing.

The men begin to argue over what to do with Jaime until Roose Bolton arrives. Jaime taunts him, but then thinks that Bolton is far more unnerving than Hoat could ever be. Hoat declares his intention to send Jaime’s severed hand to Tywin Lannister and demand gold to ransom him, and then give him to Karstark instead, but Bolton informs him that Karstark is dead, beheaded as a traitor by Robb Stark. He also lets them know the change in King Joffrey’s wedding plans and Stannis Baratheon’s defeat at King’s Landing. He sends Jaime to have his wounds tended, and Brienne to “suitable rooms.”

The ex-maester Qyburn tends Jaime’s wounds; he tries to convince Jaime that he should lose his whole arm, but Jaime threatens him, and so he agrees to only cut away the flesh al readyrotting. Jaime endures the agony of the surgery, refusing any anesthetic, and tells Qyburn he should attend to Brienne as well. Qyburn promises to return with leeches in the morning.

Oh, so they did cut his hand off!


Well, I guess I should have known that the fake-out option was way too kind a course for this to take.

But I profess that I am honestly surprised anyway, because all we’ve ever heard about Jaime (aside from regicide, sleeping with his sister, and defenestrating little boys, of course) is how super ultra boffo amazing he is as a swordsman, but we never really got to see that on-screen, so to speak. (Unless you count his duel with Brienne, which I really don’t.) And yet, here he is, permanently maimed before we even get to see that so-vaunted battle prowess. That’s… a weird choice, methinks.

That said:

It was his right hand that made him a knight; his right arm that made him a man.

Dude, that’s just fucking sad. I can certainly see where living in this ridiculously violent, war-is-everything culture could lead someone to believe this, of course, and even more so for Jaime in particular, who doesn’t seem to think much of himself aside from his ability with a sword, but that doesn’t change how sad it is that he would believe it.

And I love that his solution to this is not to figure out how to think of himself as a man without his fighting hand, but to fantasize about getting a replacement hand to smite the shit out of his enemies with. (A gold one, no less, hah.) Not that I can’t see a certain appeal in the fantasy, mind you—God knows I would be all about smiting people who fucking maimed me—but still, talk about your one-track mind.

Also, I am hardly an expert in either swordfighting or medieval prosthetics, but I don’t think I’m wrong in being rather skeptical about the efficacy of using a solid gold hand to fight with. Call me crazy, but I’m thinking there might be some logistical issues with that plan.

Although, to be fair, having your hand chopped off and then allowed to fester, not to mention various other lovely abuses like being fed horse piss and etc., is not exactly a situation that lends itself to clarity of mind, so maybe I should cut Jaime a little slack re: realistic future career planning at this juncture.

As far as the Jaime-Brienne relationship goes: Okay. So, I get that I am supposed to be feeling more kindly or sympathetic or whatever towards Jaime as a result of the obvious fact that he totally likes/respects Brienne despite all his protestations (both verbal and mental) to the contrary. And I do most definitely give him serious props for keeping her from being brutally raped, don’t get me wrong, but can I just say that this is a thing that drives me completely crazy about guys like him?

Because this is a thing I have absolutely encountered in real life (albeit, naturally, in muuuuch less dire circumstances), and it makes me bonkers: this inability of a certain type of guy to admit, out loud, that they think a woman who doesn’t fit what they think of as the “right” type of woman (whatever their particular iteration of that stereotype) might be awesome anyway.

It’s like, what, dude, you think they’re going to revoke your bro card if you actually acknowledge, without prevarication or backhanded pseudo-compliments or the culture-specific equivalent of pigtail-pulling, that this woman who does/says/is things that she “shouldn’t” do/say/be, is actually pretty damn cool because of that and not in spite of it? I mean, I get it, peer pressure and cultural biases and, I dunno, bros before hoes or whatever stupid pride thing, but Jesus Christ, you like her, just fucking admit it already.

Seriously, how is this so hard? You’d think you were asking this guy (the many, many versions of this guy) to give up nuclear launch codes to the Russkis or something.


All that said, I guess I have to give kudos to Martin on the characterization front, because holy crap did he nail That Guy perfectly in Jaime. As a writer I say Bravo; as a woman, I say Aaaaargh.

Anyway. In other news:

And Tyrion, his little brother, who loved him for a lie.

*raises eyebrow* A lie? What lie, I wonder? If we’ve been told already I don’t remember. Does this have something to do with the whole “Tyrion’s First Marriage” debacle?

A spotted bitch followed them through the camps barking and growling until one of the Lyseni impaled her on a lance and galloped to the front of the column. “I am bearing Kingslayer’s banner,” he shouted, shaking the dead dog above Jaime’s head.

*rolls eyes* Dude, if you’re going to taunt your enemies, at least make your taunts make sense. How the hell is a dead dog anything like a lion?

Jaime saw green flames reaching up into the sky higher than the tallest towers, as burning men screamed in the streets. I have dreamed this dream before. It was almost funny, but there was no one to share the joke.

Hrm. Okay, I’m pretty damn sure that Jaime wasn’t in King’s Landing for that battle, so what is he talking about here? Is he saying he had a prophetic dream of how all that would go down, or is he talking about another battle in which something similar happened? I have Puzzlement.


Chapter 32: Tyrion

What Happens
Tyrion rides with Bronn to the ruins of the harbor, which his father has tasked him with rebuilding since Ser Kevan Lannister’s breakdown in the wake of the loss of one son and the likely loss of the other two. Tyrion wonders where he is supposed to find the money for this project, but thinks that at least his father is giving him something significant to do.

He is in a very bad mood, mostly as a result of the strain of his marriage to Sansa. Somehow the rumor that he has not yet consummated the marriage has gotten out, but Tyrion is more distressed at Sansa’s deepening misery than at the notion that the castle is laughing at him. Their nights together are torture for him, as he realizes that he wants her lust and love both, which he cannot have. He is also somewhat disappointed that Shae is not more upset by his marriage, but thinks to himself that her acceptance is the best he can hope for.

He and Bronn wend their way to a wine sink in a poor part of the city, and Tyrion enters alone to find the singer Symon Silver Tongue. Tyrion hopes to bribe Symon to leave Westeros in order to keep the secret of his liaison with Shae secret, but the singer demands instead that Tyrion rig it so that Symon can be entered into the tournament of singers at Joffrey’s wedding, else he will spill the beans on Shae. Tyrion tells him Bronn will call on him soon to arrange it, and leaves. Once back with Bronn, Tyrion tells him to kill Symon discreetly.

On his return, Tyrion is summoned to Tywin’s chambers, where he finds his father inspecting two magnificent swords, made of Valyrian steel with a curious red hue to the metal. Tywin indicates that one is for Joffrey and the other for “my son,” by which Tyrion knows he means Jaime. Tyrion comments on how there is not even “a dagger for the dwarf,” and Tywin replies he is welcome to take one from Robert’s extensive stash of such. Tyrion reports that the harbor will be enormously expensive to repair, and wonders where he is supposed to get the coin for it, given Littlefinger’s usury and the extravagance of Joffrey’s approaching wedding. Tywin tells him to figure it out or step down as Master of Coin.

Tywin moves on to the topic of why Tyrion has not yet had sex with Sansa. Tyrion tells him it is none of his business how Tyrion conducts his marriage, but Tywin warns him that a marriage which has not been consummated can be annulled. Tyrion changes the subject to Cersei’s wedding, and is gleeful to hear that the Tyrells have refused the match with Willas on the grounds that Cersei is too “used.” Tywin warns him never to speak of the refusal even to Cersei.

Pycelle enters, with a poisonous glare for Tyrion, to report that there is a message from Castle Black saying that wildlings are moving south “in vast numbers,” and that Lord Mormont may be dead. Tywin scoffs at the notion that the raiders can have very large numbers, and refuses the message’s plea to send them more men. He muses, though, that the Watch will need a new Commander, and Pycelle slyly suggests Janos Slynt. Tyrion protests this move strongly, but Tywin ignores him and orders Pycelle to send a message strongly hinting that Slynt should inherit the title. Tyrion reflects that he should have had Slynt and Pycelle both killed just like Symon.

See there, Father? he wanted to shout. See how fast I learn my lessons?

Oh, jeez.

Janos Slynt as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch? That might not be the worst idea I’ve ever heard, but that only proves how many utterly, utterly abysmal ideas I’ve been privy to in my lifetime, fictional or otherwise. Holy crap.

Hopefully, though, the combination of that suggestion with the also spectacularly abysmal decision not to send the Watch more men will inspire the brothers to flip a nice big “Fuck You” bird to Tywin across the board, and this utterly terrible idea will not come to pass. I live in hope. I don’t know why I live in hope regarding this particular series, but hey, it’s something to do.

Besides making horrifically shortsighted strategic decisions, of course, it’s lovely to see that Tywin Lannister is also still striving for that Father Of The Year trophy. It warms the heart, it does, no, for real. *rolls eyes*

The irony of the sword business, by the way, now that Jaime doesn’t actually have a sword hand to wield his so-special gift with anymore, is certainly not lost on me. That’ll be a super-fun reunion, won’t it? “Oh, hey, now you’ve got two ‘deficent’ sons, Dad. Ha ha, SUCK IT.”

(And wow with how much schadenfreude Tywin’s douchebaggery inspires in me, huh. Sheesh.)

And heh, so the Tyrells are striking back for the Sansa business, are they? Refusing the Dowager Queen for their crippled son, my goodness. SCANDAL—or it would be if it gets out, which hey, it probably will. The irony there is that it’s meant to be an insult, and yet Cersei will most likely be relieved—assuming Tywin doesn’t find her someone even worse to marry, of course. I won’t be taking the bet that he won’t find some way to make that happen.

Because Tywin is a right bastard, in case you haven’t noticed. I’m not sure how you couldn’t have noticed by this point without being dead, (or, you know, not reading this series), but I am all about ensuring the spread of TRVTH, you guys. Tywin Lannister = giant tool. Thank you for your attention.

In other news, well. So Sansa and Tyrion’s marriage is apparently going about as well as I expected—which is to say, very, very badly. Sigh.

Someone mentioned in the comments to the last post that it would be well to remember that the Tyrion in the books is not meant to be nearly as handsome as the actor playing him on the HBO series, Peter Dinklage. Which is a useful thing to be reminded of; I’m not watching the series for spoiler-avoidance purposes (something which makes me sad on occasion, but I’ll get to see it someday), but I saw when Dinklage won the Golden Globe and the Emmy, and even if they makeup him to be ugly on the series (which, judging from the clip, they do not appear to do), there’s no denying that he’s still an empirically attractive guy. Which, by the descriptions in the book, Martin most emphatically did not intend Tyrion to actually be. Especially not at this point, where he’s not only deformed but mutilated.

So okay, Tyrion is hideous, physically. It’s still just—a shame.

(It’ll be interesting, when I do get to finally watch the series, to see how they handle Tyrion’s mutilation post-battle, which I don’t think the show has actually gotten to yet.)

And speaking of ambiguous reactions, here we also have Tyrion ordering a man’s death, eh, to protect the secret of Shae. I should probably be appalled about that.

And I am, I think. Mostly because I am not sure how the revelation of Shae represents a threat to Tyrion anymore. Not to buy into the general horribleness of the culture here, but I am pretty damn certain that Tyrion is neither the first married man in Westeros to see whores on the side, nor will he be the last. I understand why Tywin had such a problem with it before, but now that Tyrion is respectably married....

…okay, except for how it’s an open secret that he hasn’t consummated that marriage, never mind.

Still, surely there is some way to blackmail/coerce the singer into leaving, instead of just killing him? I mean, hell, couldn’t Tyrion have the man forcibly captured and tossed on an outgoing ship, instead of having him murdered in cold blood (and rendered down for soup stock, jeez)? Bluh. Not cool.

Unfortunately, though, Tyrion has a kind of terrible point in this chapter, in that his mercy toward Slynt and Pycelle is seriously backfiring on him (and the country) right now. As horrifying as it is to say, there’s no denying that things would be better (or, at least, less sucky) if both of them were dead. And you can’t even say things would only be better for Tyrion himself, because I think we can all agree that Slynt not being in charge during a major wildling incursion into Westeros would be acres better than the alternative, because the alternative is frankly terrifying.

ARGH. Moral dilemmas, they are fired. DO NOT WANT.

So, therefore, I am going to look at completely non-ethically fraught pictures of puppies, and you are going to have a weekend! See you next Friday!

Steven J Benjamin
2. Steven J Benjamin
I wasn't sure if it was clear to you, from reading the summary but the Night's Watch chooses its own commander. Tywin can't order Slynt to be the new Lord Commander, but of course he can plot behind the scenes.
Chris Nelly
3. Aeryl
Wildfyre was used in King's Landing and Jaime was present for? Do tell.

I had my doubts as to whether Martin would go through with it, but he did, adding a completly new dimension to Jaime. He's had an essential part of his identity ripped away, how will he ever pull himself together from this?

If you are interested in how Tyrion's disfigurement is handled, the Chaos trailer posted here on Tor has absolutely NO spoilers, as it's just shots of different characters looking at the camera, including Tyrion.

Tyrion is still scared that if anyone in the family found out about Shae, they would hurt her to get to him, plus he was told to leave her behind by Tywin, who would do to her what he did to Tysha just for the principle of the matter. So while I don't agree with Tyrion about his actions, I can see that he thinks he is protecting Shae from herself.


Was it not mentioned that the two swords were made from Ice? Cuz I though Leigh's be freaking over that.
Steven Halter
4. stevenhalter
Chapter 31: Jaime -- They did take the hand, so I got that one right. Until they were arguing about raping her, I was actually more concerned about what had happened to Brienne. It was nice that something at least went right here and she hadn't been raped. Nice for Jaime to yell sapphires also.
I would have thought that Jaime would have practiced a bit more with using his left hand for his sword. It seems like only common sense that you might need to fight left handed in a battle if you had taken a wound. It's also not really that hard, unless you are hopelessly one-handed, to learn to use a sword with either hand. But, I guess Jaime didn't anticipate ever really getting hurt. That says something.
Bolton was pretty decent here. He was at least acting civilly and treating Brienne well. The wound cleaning really didn't sound fun at all.
Joseph Haines
5. IamJoseph
@3 Spoiler
It wasn't revealed in this chapter, it is a Sansa chapter that we learn about it if I remember correctly.
Steven Pattingale
6. Pattingale
Puppies are a suitable antidote for aSoIaF. :) Soft, cuddly puppies and kittens. Little warm balls of fur. Yup.
Steven J Benjamin
7. DougL
Well, Tyrion has to keep Shae secret for one reason only, Tywin, and I suppose the rumours of no marriage consumation would not be helped by it being public knowledge that he was seeing Shae.

I don't feel much sympathy for Jaime, but I am not a sympathetic kind of guy, what this book and further writing in the series does is flesh out his character so he is not just a charicature of a bad guy, which he kind of was until we started seeing inside his head.

Roll over for possible spoiler: Jaime probably dreamed of King's Landing burning after he learned of Aerys' plan, granted, he prevented it from occuring, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't affect him.
George Jong
8. IndependentGeorge
@3 RE: Tyrion - if he really loved Shae, he'd have sent her across the narrow sea to either wait for him, or move on with her life. That removes Symon as a threat without having to kill anyone, even as it improves his own position. While I understand why he does it and can sympathize, ultimately they're selfish and, yes, evil.

At this point, Tyrion is straddling the line between a Type-III and Type-IV Antihero.

Re: your spoilered text:
//It is not mentioned explicitly until Joffrey's wedding, and even then only indirectly (though obviously). Jaime says it outright when he gives Brienne Oathkeeper.//

@4 - I fenced very briefly in college, and we did train with our off-hands, and it is really effing hard. We only did it for fitness (so our right arms don't end up being twice the size of our left) - nobody ever expected to hit anything with it.

It's akin to expecting Peyton Manning to practice throwing with his left hand because his neck is bothering him when he uses his right.

ETA: goddammit, my white text reverts every time I edit. I'm really sorry, I hope I didn't ruin it for anybody.
Stefan Mitev
9. Bergmaniac
Slynt may be a big time jerk and guilty of serious crimes, but there's no reason to think he's that incompetent as a commander. After all he got a pretty important job without being a noble, which is pretty impressive in Westeros.

And let's be honest, it's not like the Old Bear is that good as a commander, what with his "brilliant" idea to take the majority of his forces north of the Wall and face 30 000 with his 300 men at a way lesser fortification...

Here Tyrion shows his true colours again, casually ordering a murder like it's no big deal at all.
Marie Veek
10. SlackerSpice
I think the whole thing with Shae is that Tyrion still brought her to King's Landing against Daddy Dearest's wishes. Considering that Tywin threatened to hang any women he heard about after learning about his 'trysts' with Alayaya...

The bowl of brown thing is a bit much, though, I agree.

And now- *fish flops off to the spoiler thread*
Joseph Haines
11. IamJoseph
@4 When wielding a full size shield, you can't use another weapon. And they were designed so that they couldn't be dropped quickly either. They were strapped to the arm so that they couldn't be knocked away by an enemy. It's a speciallized form of combat that doesn't easily transfer over.

Even sword styles that don't use a shield will almost always concentrate the sword in the main hand. See professional fencing for example. Switching hands can actually be detrimental in the learning.
Chris Nelly
12. Aeryl
@7 Yeah, without the rumors of Shae, Tyrion could play at being similiar to the obviously-homosexual-yet-still-not-discovered-by-our-intrepid-reader character.

@8, I could have sworn Tywin mentioned it when he showed it to Tyrion, but I guess not, but I coulda sworn it was this chapter I got outraged. Oh well, flail fit postponed.
Steven J Benjamin
14. Lsana
I'm pretty sure the reason Tyrion is so determined to kill Symon is has nothing to do with Sansa. It's because of Tywin's beating of Alayaya and his threat to hang the next woman he finds in Tyrion's bed. Tyrion believes him, and I think he's right to do so. However, there were other ways Tyrion could have protected Shae, and it does say something about him that this was the one he chose.

It never occured to me before that refusing Willas for Cersei might be revenge for the Lannisters taking Sansa. I always more or less assumed that the QoT had told the truth about just not wanting her grandson to marry a woman with Cersei's reputation. Seems not unreasonable that she'd prefer to make sure that her great-grandkids were actually hers.
Marty Beck
15. martytargaryen
Great post Leigh. thank you.

I think you are off on Tyrion's motivation to kill Shae (and it is an important distiction). He is not protecting himself or his honor, but Shae herself. It is also not coincidence that in the same chapter he notes his disappointment in Shae's lack of emotion over his marraige to Sansa.

What is Tyrion to Shae? That's the big question, because mostly we get the details of the relationship from Tyrion's POV.
Is Tyrion's view of the relationship completely out of focus? I always maintained that he loves Shae, a "whore", so easily because the events surrounding his first marraige left him with the feeling that he is only good enough for whores.

If this is as I expect, Symon dies because of Tyrion's messed-up self image that resulted from his messed-up right-old-bastard father.

As for the lie Jaime told Tyrion....well, if I remember Tyrion's story he told Bronn back in AGoT....didn't Tyrion get deceived by Jaime into thinking he was really rescuing a crafter's daughter, when in fact she was a very expensive mainden prostitute? That's what I took that reference to mean.
Steven J Benjamin
16. TheAardvark
They actually have done Tyrion's post-battle scar/injury in the show (at the end of the second season, coinciding with the end of ACoK), and it wasn't all that gruesome.
Marie Veek
17. SlackerSpice
@13: Screw that, get the dude some automail! The recovery process would be a snap - all you'd have to do is tell him "Hey, this shrimp got an arm and a leg when he was eleven, and he managed to get through it in a year, when they said it was gonna take three!" Throw in motivation to see his family again and ensure that the Bloody Mummers go down in flames, and he'd probably manage it in months.
Chris Nelly
18. Aeryl
@15, But Tyrion knows the truth about what Jaime did in re Tysha, so that can't be the lie he's talking about. Plus decieving someone like that is not a reason to love them.
Steven J Benjamin
19. Dragonfire
You're coming right along, Leigh. I always look forward to Friday afternoons to read your posts!

Good points on the pros/cons of offing Symon. Dead singers sing no little songs.

I see GRRM is winning you over re:Jaime... you are still resisting, but you aren't quite as feverent in your dislike as you once were.

Can't wait until we get to the good stuff!
Rob Munnelly
20. RobMRobM
Leigh - was that a James Bond reference in the cut text ("No Mr. Hoat, I expect you to die")? Anyone know?

Love how Jaime already is reevaluating his life due to the loss of his good right sword hand that has been the basis for his fearsome reputation through the years. And the line about trying to get Hoat to say "thapphires" is comedy gold that is covering up some humanity hiding under the jerk-like exterior. Leigh didn't quote it but I love the exchange at the end - Qyburn - who is she to you?; Jaime - funny to say, but she's my protector.

I'll pass on saying much about the Tyrion chapter except that Symon is being all too direct that he intends to blackmail the heck out of Tyrion to get what he wants and wasn't inclined to accept the reasonable offer of receiving some funds and then moving on. Given Shae's life and, potentially, his own, I have trouble challenging Tyrion's assessment that it's time to get rid of the blackmailer.
Steven J Benjamin
21. sofrina
the singer made a mistake with tyrion. people underestimate him because he's a dwarf. they forget that he's a lannister and you don't mess with them if you don't have to. tyrion has to kill the singer because blackmail is an ongoing transaction. he can hold that secret over tyrion indefinitely, asking for more and more payment. tyrion's only other option is to expose his own secret, which will get shae killed.
Steven J Benjamin
22. TBGH
I think it's interesting to see the mild outrage with Tyrion's decision to murder a blackmailer contrasted to the criticism of Ned for upholding honor in all circumstances.

Probably not the same commenters, but it really gets back to one of the main themes of the book. Do the ends justify the means?
Steven J Benjamin
23. Black Dread
Sept 14, 2012: "goddammit, a Jaime POV. I do not want to get in this guy’s head! I do not want to start sympathizing with him! DO NOT WANT! Curse you, GRRM!"

Feb 15, 2013: "so maybe I should cut Jaime a little slack..."

I've been looking forward to this day.
Steven J Benjamin
24. Black Dread
I never felt too bad for the singer. Besides being obnoxious and a blackmailer, he was just plain stupid. Why would he think he could casually threaten a Lannister or any high lord without a knife finding its way into his back?
Steven J Benjamin
26. lburns05
The have shown clips of post-wound Tyrion. He doesn't look as mutilated as I think he should.
Chris Nelly
25. Aeryl
@24, Apparently whatever Obilivi-itis that Shae has is contagious.
Vincent Lane
27. Aegnor
I don't have too much angst over the singer. If Tywin found out about Shae, then she is dead. Tyrion knows this. So essentially the singer is saying "do what I tell you or I'll do something that will get the woman you love horribly killed." At that point he really only has two options: send her far away where Tywin can't get to her, or kill the singer. He has already shown an inability to send her away, even though he knows he should. He tried to find a 3rd solution but the singer was not ameniable. It was his own greed and stupidity that cost him his life.
Sky Thibedeau
28. SkylarkThibedeau
This is the chapter where Jaime starts to be redeemed in my book. Brienne has been showing him what knighthood and honor should be. he is beginning to grow as a person. All the baggage he has been carryig because of the incest and the regicide are starting to fall away because of being escourted by the Maid of Tarth.
Rob Munnelly
29. RobMRobM
Random shout out/law of conservation of characters - I believe the guy who did the sword work is Gendry's former master. The more you know....
Rob Munnelly
30. RobMRobM
HBO show - yes, Leigh, avoid the HBO show for at least some additional unspecified time. There is a lurking something something in the books that you haven't identified yet in our read but is highlighted in spotlights in the TV show. While it might be fun to watch your jaw hit the floor (please have someone train cameras on you and post on Youtube), it would be better to have you figure it out in your own time. You have been warned.
Stefan Mitev
31. Bergmaniac
BTW, Tyrion had no problem at all blackmailing his own cousin Lancel, which makes his outrage towards the singer quite hypocritical. He truly is a nasty piece of work.
Steven Halter
32. stevenhalter
IndependentGeorge@8 (&others):I've been fencing for the last 30 years and teaching fencing for the last 20 years, so I've got a bit of experience.
Once you have the basics down, switching hands isn't that hard for many people. Some people can't cope, it is true, but in the most part, what I've seen is that even if you don't regularly practice with both hands, you get around a 20% reduction in effectiveness. A little practice will shape this right up.
Now, there are certainly areas where people become highly specialized (like shield & sword as mentioned above) but we have already seen many examples of Sers fighting without shields and the ability to fight in a well rounded fashion would have been very useful in the fighting we have seen in Westeros so far.
I am actually not referring to Jaime's fighting in this chapter. The poor guy just had his hand chopped off and was ill with fever to boot--plenty of reason for him to do poorly when he picked up the sword.
His moping about and wanting a gold hand (now there's something that wouldn't work at all to hold a sword) is a tad on the dramatic side. If he wants revenge, then strap a shield onto his bad arm and start training with a sword in his left. If he is really as good as everyone alludes in the books then he should be able to get back in the swing of things pretty rapidly. If he wants to just sit around, that's fine also, but if he wants to, retraining is a possibility.
I'm sure that Syrio Forel wouldn't have moped about so.
George Jong
33. IndependentGeorge
@30 - At the current pace, the SOS read should last until August. FFC has 46 chapters + prologue, DWD has 71 chapters + prologue/epilogue. Throw in Dunk & Egg, and let's say we have another 70 weekly installments before Leigh runs out of material. That only takes us to Autumn 2014.

That's about the best case scenario for Winds of Winter getting published, and personally I have my doubts. That's as good a time as any to start watching the HBO series. One episode per week should stretch it out another 30 weeks, leading to a perfect segue to watching season 4 live. If she doesn't figure out what you're referring to by then (and, at this point, I don't see it happening until/unless she does a re-read), we should expect a massive headdesk sometime in winter 2014.
Vincent Lane
34. Aegnor

"BTW, Tyrion had no problem at all blackmailing his own cousin Lancel, which makes his outrage towards the singer quite hypocritical. He truly is a nasty piece of work."

I think you are being much too hard on Tyrion. Why was he blackmailing Lancel? Because Cercei was out of control and was going to take everyone down with her. If he hadn't, he wouldn't have found out about the wildfire, it would have been so poorly implemented by Cercei that she likely would have ended up accidentally burning down KL.

And he didn't show outrage at the singer. He just made a decision that leaving him alive was way to risky. And that was a perfectly logical (and probably correct) conclusion to reach).
Chris Nelly
35. Aeryl
Plus, look at what Lancel was being blackmailed for(diddling a relative, grieving widow, cuddleuppet of most fearsome swordsman) and what Tyrion is being blackmailed for(ill advised but consensual sexual relationship). You could consider it "adultery", but I don't because Sansa does not want to be in the relationship, so she would not be hurt by the fact her husband is getting sexual release elsewhere. There is a world of difference between the violations being held over their respective heads.
George Jong
36. IndependentGeorge
But Tyrion himself is in no danger for having his affair revealed. Shae is, and there is a very simple solution to that which Tyrion himself has already figured out: send her the f*** away from King's Landing. He hasn't even had the decency to reveal the danger she's in yet.

There are reasons for that, perfectly understandable reasons, but... they're still bad reasons, and selfish reasons. It's one thing to kill to protect the ones you love (which is how Tyrion sees it); it's another thing entirely to kill in order to... keep the one you love in a gravely dangerous situation for your own self-gratification. Worse, he's deliberately keeping her ignorant about just how dangerous her situation is, preventing her from even making an informed choice about it.

Again - given his life experiences, I completely empathize with him and understand why he's doing this, but that still doesn't make it any less wrong or evil.
Chris Nelly
37. Aeryl
He did tell her in GoT when he was sent, didn't he? And I recall him warning her about having the singer around.

Now, I agree the smartest thing to do would have been to send her away, and he should be judged for putting his own gratification over the safety of others.
Steven J Benjamin
38. jeanthesquare
Leigh, I don't think Jaime is struggling to admit his growing respect (and more?) for Brienne before his peers, he is struggling to admit it to himself, because he has been trained (/trained himself) to think in a certain way: not only that women should have a certain type of beauty, but that there are no women but Cersei. This makes him a bit less That Guy in my opinion, and a bit more of an engaging character.

That is to say, it does not at all make him admirable, but it does make him interesting, rather than simply a cock.
Marty Beck
39. martytargaryen
@36 - re. sending Shae away...this an extetion to what I was trying to mention earlier. Shae is not in love with Tyrion (as is hinted at in this chapter) but loves the lifestyle of KL court. Also, Tyrion is blinded by this thing he calls love. On some level he know she doesn't love him, but it is the closest thing he is ever going to get (in his mind) to Twe Wuv. He can't give that up....he is, after all, a romantic at heart.
George Jong
40. IndependentGeorge
@6 I guess this is as good an excuse as any to post random links to cute puppies.
Steven J Benjamin
41. Nessa
The most hilarious part of this chapter was when I read about the QoT rejecting Cersei like that. I would have loved to see Tywin's face when he first heard that (And man, how catty was he, calling Willas Tyrell a "cripple" when he was the one so eager to get Cersei married off to him in the first place?). Anyway, I wasn't really shocked that Cersei was rejected, even without the whole marriage-fiasco with Sansa. Who would want their grandson married to a woman who supposedly cheated on and killed her former husband (and let's not forget that Sansa has already let out that she's "evil")? And really, they wanted Willas to marry sweet, young, naive (and malleable) Sansa, who comes with the juicy prize of Winterfell. The QoT must have steamed at the ears when Tywin offered self-widowed-with-three-kids Cersei Lannister (who doesn't even come with Casterly Rock) instead.
Steven J Benjamin
42. Veggiedaniel
Is this the first time we've seen Bronn shift from "trial champion-bodyguard-traveling buddy-hilarity compadre" into Tyrion's personal hitman?

Also, Joffrey gets a new sword! Valeryn steel, no less!(whistles impressed)
I'm positive such a beautiful weapon won't be put to ill use.

Like decapitating puppies and peasants.
Lindy Brown
43. lbrown
I remember I was really kind of horrified at Jaime losing his hand. I just thought it was such a waste.

Also, is it weird that I was kind of surprised that Ser Kevan was having a breakdown over the fact that he lost one son and was likely going to lose two more? Wow, a Lannister that actually cares about his children? Crazy!
Steven J Benjamin
44. AndrewV
Because this is a thing I have absolutely encountered in real life (albeit, naturally, in muuuuch less dire circumstances), and it makes me bonkers: this inability of a certain type of guy to admit, out loud, that they think a woman who doesn’t fit what they think of as the “right” type of woman (whatever their particular iteration of that stereotype) might be awesome anyway.
You know, it's funny... from the reader's point of view, we could say the same thing about Sansa toward Tyrion. Yes, the situations are quite different and Sansa has more reason to dislike the Lannisters than Jamie does to dislike Brienne... but women are just as capable of being "that girl" who totally can't give a guy enough credit for one thing or another.

And honestly, it's every bit as unjustified as when a man does it to a woman.
Nisheeth Pandey
45. Nisheeth
@43, Ibrown:
Lets just say, Kevan Lannister is the only Lannister that I have liked from the very beginning.

@30, RobMRobM:
Any chance you could post what it is in this thread (whited out obviously)? I am not sure what you are referring to, since I haven't watched the series in a while (watched it in one go a while back).
Stefan Mitev
46. Bergmaniac
Aegnor @34 - "Plus, look at what Lancel was being blackmailed for(diddling a relative, grieving widow, cuddleuppet of most fearsome swordsman) and what Tyrion is being blackmailed for(ill advised but consensual sexual relationship)."
I don't see the difference. Cersei was a widow and cousins having sex is not against the law or custom. Neither Lancel nor Tyrion did anything wrong morally or legally. And Lancel had way less of a choice in starting his affair than Tyrion, given that Cersei was the Queen Regent. Not that he was unwilling as far as we know, but refusing her was never really an option.

Blackmailing your own first cousin and putting him in a mortal danger is worse than blackmailing some guy you don't know in my book. And Tyrion wasn't doing it because of some noble reasons, he just wanted to get some info on Cersei so he could be one step ahead of her in their childish battle for dominance when they should've been united against the common enemy. Tyrion knew about the wildfire long before he started blackmailing Lancel, BTW.

This is how Tyrion rolls. He's a hypocrite to the core. He loves to mock everyone savagely, but gets outraged and often violent when anyone mocks him.
Rob Munnelly
47. RobMRobM
Nisheeth - I don't trust my white space fu, so I'll post my point over in the spoiler thread, if that's ok.

Also, re your post and @43, there is at least one more but we haven't had the pleasure yet of a meeting in this read.

Andrew@44 - nice point.

marty @39 and others especially Aeryl at @37 - the problem for Tyrion is that Shae refuses to accept that she is at grave risk and won't accept being bought off and sent away somewhere safe. She also has problems avoiding situations that threaten to significantly increase her own risk - like consorting with Symon. As Tyrion lacks the heart to send her way against her wishes, he feels compelled to take steps to protect her, even if otherwise distasteful.
Rob Munnelly
48. RobMRobM
Berg - "childish battle for dominance"? Cersei was mis-running the kingdom and risking losing the war (and the Lannister lives), and was ruthless enough to eliminate Tyrion as an impediment if he slipped up. (See, e.g., Cersei's game of thrones discussion with Ned in AGOT.) The stakes were mortal, at least on Tyrion's side, and I don't have a significant problem with his using levers against a cousin expressly acting at Cersei's tool.
Steven Halter
49. stevenhalter
It seems odd and somewhat possibly nefarious for the Frey's to be meeting Bolton. Seems like behind the scenes action. It has been a long time since we saw Robb last, again.
Steven Halter
50. stevenhalter
Chapter 32:(iPhone so short) -- The singer got greedy so not a lot of sympathy.
A light sword could work for Jaime's weaker hand.
Just what sword did they use for the steel for two blades? Have we seen Ice for a while. Seems like something Tywin would do.
Rob Munnelly
51. RobMRobM
SH - thoughtful points. I'll pass on further comment, if it pleases you.
George Jong
52. IndependentGeorge
@32 - There's actually precedent in-world for that; Qhorin Halfhand supposedly was better fighting with his left-hand than his right. But as to why he never bothered training with his left, I imagine it's for the same reason the marine corps teaches right-handed marksmanship: you have finite resources to devote to training, so you don't want to waste any on something you're less likely to need. Any time he spent training with his sword in his left hand is time he didn't spend training with it in his right.

At this point, Jaime has over two decades of muscle memory working against him. He might become competent with his left after a while, but it will be years (if ever) before he's anywhere near the same level.
Steven J Benjamin
53. KingsGambit
Besides making horrifically shortsighted strategic decisions, of course, it’s lovely to see that Tywin Lannister is also still striving for that Father Of The Year trophy.
I'm with you on the Father Of The Year trophy, but given the information Tywin has, I feel his decision not to help the Wall is strategicly sound. Information Tywin has:
- The Others are nothing but a tale to scare children
- Anything north of the wall is almost impossible to survive in, so no wildling army could be a real threat to the realm.
This leads Tywin to the decision that anything distracting people in the North from fighting him is a good thing. He's a nasty man, but his military and political decisions are pretty smart.

I still count Tyrion as a good guy. Ruthless when he has to be, but mostly good. Symion was obviously not backing down and it would have been stupid to let him live. Moraly right, but stupid. Not just for what would happen to him and Shae, but also for what is would do to his already weak credibility if he was blackmailed and allowed the blackmailer to live.

BTW, I love the way the different storylines keep tying into each other in small (and sometimes not so small) ways. KL got the news about Mormont and the wall got sent Slynt from KL earlier. Unrelated to these chapters I also love the way some news gets distorted as it has further to travel.

@RobM I'd say the thing Leigh hasn't picked up yet and is shown on HBO isn't a major spoiler and I'm sure she'd pick it up on a quick reread. A quick reread between books on this read might make sense anyway. The main reason for staying away from the HBO show would be that it might catch up with the read in the coming season. Not sure how far along book 3 they will take us.
Chris Mattox
54. SerBastard
Sounds like Jaime needs to start taking "Dancing Lessions" from a Water Dancer to learn a new style of combat. That or invent some kind of sword prothetic. That's assuming he even survives this mess.

By the way, I'm finally caught up to this read.
Steven J Benjamin
55. Meraxes
Ah, another lass falls, kicking and screaming, for the wicked wiles of the goldilocks Lannister, mr There are no men like me, throws kids out of the window with one hand, while commiting regicide with the other.
Steven J Benjamin
56. Asbjorn
I've always thought Shagwell was one of the nastiest members of the Bloody Mummers, only surpassed by Rorge and Biter.
Rob Munnelly
57. RobMRobM
KingsGambit - thanks for the post. Not a big spoiler per se, but an interesting one that I'd prefer not to have us reveal for reasons I'll cover briefly in the spoiler post. I'm not sure she would pick it up on re-read - she's started by drawing an incorrect conclusion from the key facts and that initial impression has stuck with her throughout the read.

Generally, the HBO show would be dangerous for Leigh spoilage purposes because it does present certain information out of order. For example, Jaime made a point about a historical event in one of the Season 1 episodes that was not made clear in the books until late ASOS or even AFFC. I'd also bet dollars to donuts that we see some AFFC plot points in this Season's show even though it's supposed to roughly coincide with the first half of ASOS - because the writers and showrunners are expressly making the point that the books now are only a jumping off place for construction of the narrative, and they feel free to go forward where appropriate.
Steven J Benjamin
58. Nessa
@44: Oddly enough, I think I kind of agree with you there. The circumstances are indeed different for Sansa, but I do think she is going to have some 'character development' in the future where she realizes that Tyrion really was pretty good to her overall. Not that I think she's actually going to fall in love with him, but I think she'll soon start to appreciate what he has done for her, and not think of him as just a typical Lannister anymore (like she already does for Tommen and Myrcella). Of course, it's too dangerous for her to start showing any such affection now, but maybe somewhere down the road things will change.
Stefan Mitev
59. Bergmaniac
Oh, come on. Tyrion married a 12 year old hostage against her will and she's supposed to see his good sides? Sansa's treating him far better than he deserves, given that he's one of the leading enemies of her family and married her against her will. He's lucky she hasn't stabbed him in his sleep so far.

It's amazing how much being really funny makes readers forgive a character all kinds of things. Tyrion orders someone to be murdered and made into soup so he could keep having sex with his favourite prostitute, and it's no biggie, most people's reaction is "this guy had it coming". He breaks Marillion's fingers gleefully because he didn't like his songs about him and practically nobody holds against him. He lets a murderer go unpunished because he needed to keep his private Clansmen troops happy and most readers are totally OK with it. He organises the burning alive of thousands to keep an illegitimate sadistic psychopath on the throne yet most people cheer him on while he does it.
Steven Halter
60. stevenhalter
Bergmaniac@59:Excellent points. Tyrion seems relatively better than other Lanisters; mostly because we get a sympathetic POV for him. POV changes everything.
In a fair world pretty much all of the Kings and their Sers would be currently in a dungeon. One needs only switch the titles to dictators and thugs--really much the same thing.
Deana Whitney
61. Braid_Tug
Wow, Berg! Tell us how you really feel.
Just goes to show why Tyrion is such a polarizing characters in this complicated story. Much harder to deal with than the relatively "simple and straightforward" charters of David Eddings or Robert Jordan.

Anyone else suddenly wondering how long Silk would last if dropped into the middle of this world? He would be about the only one to live more than 2 weeks, but not sure if he could make it long term. Beldin might last, he sees the bad of everything.

And I don’t see Sansa ever becoming a woman who could stab her husband in cold blood. Tyrion’s lucky the younger sister was not around to marry. Besides, what would killing Tyrion gain her? A prison cell? Yes, she’s in one now, but its large and full of pretty dresses and the illusion of free movement. Killing him would get her raped by Joffery and anyone else he wanted to join in the “party” before being left to die painfully in a cell.

Sorry baby’s been sick so not much to add, and my brain is a bit fuzzy right now.
Vincent Lane
62. Aegnor

I think you dislike Tyrion and therefore view all his actions in as negative a light as possible. He didn't marry her against her will. She was getting married to a Lannister against her will (something which Tyrion had absolutely no control over) and he gave her the option of marrying Lancel instead. That was something he had no obligation to do.

Tyrion killed the singer so that the woman he loves wasn't hung. Marillion continuously and vicously insulted him with his songs and Tyrion took the opportunity for a little bit of revenge when he had the chance. Wrong? Maybe. Understandable? Yes. The clansman murder? He's dealing with a bunch of barbarians that he has a teneous hold over. Sometimes as a leader you have to make uncomfortable choices. If he doesn't make that decision, the hilltribes desert him, Cercei kills/imprisons him, Stannis wins. Tyrion knew this and made the only decision he could have that wouldn't be brain dead stupid.

And the last point? He ordered people killed. In battle. During a war. Seriously? That he is a good guy on the wrong side just makes him a more interesting character.
Stefan Mitev
63. Bergmaniac
Aegnor @62 - I don't dislike Tyrion, he's a great character. It's his whitewashing and the absurd "Tyrion is a good guy" claims which I have a big problem with. Because he clearly isn't. He's a murderer, he has a cruel streak, he's ruthless and willing to do almost anything to achieve his goals. He's not a good guy working for on the wrong side, he's bad guy working for even worse guys. But Tywin and Joffrey being monsters doesn't make Tyrion good. Even Martin himself called him "the greyest of the grey".

He married Sansa against her will and this is a fact. Yeah, it wasn't his idea, I never claimed it was. The "choice" he gave her wasn't really a choice at all - five minutes before the wedding which meant Sansa had a good reason to think Cersei and Tywin would get really angry at her for wanting Lancel instead of Tyrion. More importantly, Sansa didn't want no Lannister at all.

So breaking Marillion's fingers because he sung sarcastic songs about Tyrion was "maybe" wrong? Wow, I don't know what to say. And the outcome of the war and the fate of KL in no way depended on whether Timett was punished for his murder. Tyrion could've simply sent Shae away instead of ordering the murder of Symon, but hey, what's one man's life compared to Tyrion's sex life and his paid for "girlfriend experience", right?
Vincent Lane
64. Aegnor
"He married Sansa against her will and this is a fact."

Absolutely. To some extent he married Sansa against his will too. And the choice he gave Sansa may not have been much, but it was the only choice in his power to give. And keep in mind that giving her that choice could have resulted in him losing Winterfell. That is something he would never have done if ambition was his only drive.

And I'm sorry, I'm not going to crucify Tyrion for taking some small revenge on someone who had been verbally tormenting him for days (who was part of a group holding him captive). Wrong or not.

If prosecuting Timmet for the murder would have almost certainly resulted in him losing most of his hilltribe force. Timett was well respected, and prosecuting him for doing what they would see as the
proper and expected thing (killing someone who tried to cheat him) would have ended any support from the hill tribes except maybe those who were enemies of the Burned Men. And that would have probably led to his own death, sack of KL, and Stannis on the Iron Throne.

And yes, he could have sent Shae away against her will rather than killing the blackmailing scoundrel who was willing to rat out Shae (resulting in her brutal death) to get what he wanted. He couldn't bring himself to do that, and he had tried multiple times.

I have no problem calling him a grey character, he definitely is. But he definitely falls on the good side of the grey spectrum.
Steven J Benjamin
65. Nessa
@Bergmaniac: I agree with you that I don't like "white-washing" of Tyrion's character. Tyrion is certainly a grey character (and he only gets greyer as the series progresses), and I don't agree with a lot of his actions, but I think his actions to Sansa were overall 'kind' (for a given definition of the word). She doesn't owe it to him to love him or even 'like' him, but I think she might some day respect what he 'has' done for her (especially since he did it against the wishes and expectations of his family, and sufferred jeering from society for it). I don't approve of the Tyrion/Sansa marriage and I don't think it has a chance of working out (some very optimistic people will disagree with me here, I think, haha), but I do think Tyrion should be commended for at least trying (at personal cost) not to make her more miserable than she already was.
Nisheeth Pandey
66. Nisheeth
@Bergmaniac, 63:
I don't think you can call Tyrion bad (or good). I don't think that apart from select few characters in the series (like Jeoffery, the Mountain etc), you can call any person Bad (same goes for good as well). He is somewhere in the middle. I would say that he is interesting, but trying to classify him as good or bad (or somewhere in the middle, leaning on one side) simply doesn't work.
Steven J Benjamin
67. Black Dread
What is this "is Tyrion a good guy" debate? Didn't GRRM prove what happens to the truly honorable with Ned Stark?

Rob Stark broke his oath to the Frey's. Jon broke his oaths to the Night's Watch. Daenerys just stole a slave army. Are there any "good guys" alive over the age of 12?

I like Tyrion (he is at least examines his conscious from time to time unlike some of his relatives) and I didn't give the blackmailer a second thought.
Eli Bishop
68. EliBishop
KingsGambit @53: I'm sure Tywin thinks he's being rational for the reasons you said, but he's got the same blind spots as Cersei and many of the other characters: he doesn't take people seriously unless they're of some obvious advantage to him, and he can't admit that there's anything important he doesn't know. He doesn't give a moment's thought to whether the Night's Watch might be a good source of information about what's going on beyond the Wall; his opinion that the wilderness can't support a large army isn't "information," it's just a guess by someone who's spent hardly a day up north in his life. Even though there's hardly any down side to helping the Watch and possibly great benefit to him if their information is solid, his pride won't let him take the chance that they could be playing him for a sucker to any degree; so he focuses on nothing but their self-interest, and pushes Slynt on them even though anyone who's ever met Slynt would know he'll be totally lost there. And the idea that anything that distracts Robb couldn't be a real problem... it's shallow, short-term thinking, and Tywin probably knows enough military history to have seen examples of people getting in trouble that way.

He's such a forceful personality, and so un-silly, that it's easy to see why characters and readers give him so much credit for being the ultimate clear-eyed hard-headed realist... but you can't really be clear-eyed if you have no imagination or empathy at all, because there's always going to be something that's outside of your experience.
Rob Munnelly
69. RobMRobM
Eli - nice points. I view Ned as being too much for the realm and too little ruthlessness to make things happen the way he wants things to be, and Tywin the converse. Both are smart and tough but with different blind spots.
Steven J Benjamin
70. Niccibee
I'm still not convinced that Tyrion is as ugly as he says he is.

I know he thinks he's horrendous, (and Ceresei, Tywin and anyone with beef with him will back it up), but the prostitutes that he dallies with can't ALL be Oscar winning actresses, and they seem to not mind spending time with him at all.
Chris Nelly
71. Aeryl
@7o, I don't know if it's that they don't mind his appearance, or just that they are happy to have a client that treats them with a modicum of decency(from what we've seen in the show, which has him spend a lot more time with prostitutes, and he's always very courteous and pays well, whereas the only prostitute in the books is Shae).
Steven J Benjamin
72. Nessa
@70: Westeros is a war-torn place, and Tyrion is a Lannister (which means he was plenty of money to throw around). They probably don't find him attractive, but they're willing to take his gold. Plus, he got his nose cut off at Blackwater, so I doubt he looks good.
Chris Mattox
73. SerBastard
@72 In addition to the nose wasn't his cheek crushed in from the 1st battle he rode into with his barbarians? I seem to remember him growing a beard to help cover it up.
George Jong
74. IndependentGeorge
@68 - I have to disagree with you on this one. Except for the threat of the white walkers (which even the Northerners don't take seriously anymore), Tywin is completely right about his assessment. The Wildlings can't field a large army; the bulk of their horde is comprised of non-combatants, and they are utterly without discipline in their ranks. If they weren't trapped below the neck, the northern army alone could wipe them out easily; as it stands, the wildlings might breach the wall, but they don't have the logistical sophistication to pose a real threat to the south. They pose exactly the same risk and opportunity as the Greyjoys, except only a fraction as dangerous as they are entirely at the northerners.
Steven J Benjamin
75. DougL
As to Tyrion, most people don't mention this, but to me, it was his most egregious action.

When he was coming back down the mountain from Lysa's place there, he basically became an arms dealer, to save his own life, he would equip the Hill Tribes with much better weapons and even some armor. To save his own life, he doomed untold numbers of vale smallfolk to death, rape, torture, kidnapping, slavery and whatever other crap the Hill Tribes get up to with normal folk.

To me, that is not acceptable, it is a totally forseeable result of his actions and while I enjoy reading his PoV, he is far, far worse than Jaime in my book, and Jaime is bad.
Chris Nelly
76. Aeryl
This is true but he never would have been put in that situation had a)Catelyn not taken him prisoner, b) Lysa had not treated him so badly.

And I can't really hold against him that he has the same attitude every other noble in these books has, that their life is more important than the lives of peasants.
Steven J Benjamin
77. DougL
Well, I have the advantage of having done several papers on Duress as a defence in Canadian Law (admittedely 10 years ago now).

So Aeryl you are falling into a trap here.

Tyrion does not have the right to condemn others to die just because a third party, who will not be affected put him in danger. Umm, a perhaps bad analogy, someone deliberately runs you off the road, to avoid going off a cliff you decide to swerve into a bunch of pedestrians to slow you down.

Well, there are two ways to read fantasy and history more generally. Your second sentiment would have you reading about the Spanish Inquisition or Witch Trials and saying, oh, they were okay because that was the world wide (well, Christian), attitude at the time.
Chris Nelly
78. Aeryl
I'm not saying he has the right, all I'm saying is I understand his viewpoint here, and like I said who put him in the position that he had to bargain for his survival with the hillfolk in the first place? The liege lord of The Vale, Lysa Arryn. To me, Lysa is way more culpable for the harm done by hill tribes than Tyrion. Plus, who's to say the hill tribes aren't really the aggrieved party here. They are barabaric sure, but I tend to side with those living in the worst conditions and suffering the most oppressions, and it seems to me the hill tribes qualify.

Why aren't they considered residents of The Vale, and treated as such? Why do they live in such poverty? They don't even have steel for tools much less weapons. We don't know the specific answers to those questions, but based on experience, my guess is that someone decided that leaving a large group of people untamed and forcing them to steal and raid to survive, gave incentive to the other peasants to support their nobles, lest the same thing happen to them.

So, no it's nothing to do with supporting the sentiments of the time, and more of my innate desire to root for the underdog, which the hill tribes definitely qualify as, in my book.
Steven J Benjamin
79. Sagitta
There's no doubt Tyrion crosses a serious moral boundary by resorting to cold-blooded murder, but the alternatives at this point are very limited and, dare I say it, even less attractive.

Even if Tyrion has the willpower to never see her again, Shae's life is still forfeit while she remains in King's Landing. But she refuses to believe she's in mortal danger, and refuses to leave town. Tyrion doesn't have a kidnapping ring of his own, so the only way to get her away without her consent is Varys - which means Shae will spend the rest of her life as a slave in some brothel across the narrow sea. Not a very appealing plan A.

Tyrion has already tried plan B: paying off Symon Silvertongue. But the singer clearly intends to milk the dwarf for all he is worth, then sell out to Tywin. Symon must know this will lead to Shae's murder, but after worming her way into the girl's confidence he has no qualms about seeing her swing in exchange for money he doesn't need. It's unfortunate for him he has unrealistic expectations of how Lord Tywin will ensure his silence.

This folly can only end with the death of Shae, Symon, Tyrion and/or Tywin. Much as the Imp might wish it, his father looks unlikely to drop dead, so the logical choice is Symon. This way everyone wins: Shae survives, Tyrion keeps his romantic fantasy, his dad avoids embarrassment, and Symon is spared being tortured for the names of everyone else who knows the secret.
Michael Booth
80. Etherbeard
I'm curious. If Jaime were an artist instead of a swordsman, would you be so callous toward his identity being so fully wrapped up in his right hand?
Steven J Benjamin
81. CarpeComputer
@ DougL

You might have done some studies of law in Canada, but i have finished a 5 year law study on a university dating back to the time when only Japanese Furries inhabited North America :D

And the situation was as fillows: Tyrion's life (something which the law is protecting) is endangered, therefore Tyrion has the right to sacrifice something which is of lesser or equal (or at least not unambiguously greater) importance then the object he is trying to protect. The safety of the peasants in the Vale is not of greater importance then the life of a Lannister (even making the absurd assumption that everyone is equal, tsafety of many people is not unambiguously more important then the life of 2 men ). He is, therefore able to succesfull argue that he did not breech the law.

Other then that, Tyrion is a memeber of the Lannisters. He is therefore able to recruit soldiers for his father. Even if his life did not depend on it, getting more rectuits for his army is nothing strange in a war between parties, which didn't sign conventions ;)

Oh, and I am not defending Tyrion. Due to an event not yet disclosed in the Read, I despise the patricidal midget as much as I liked him before. I just wanted to throw my 2 cents why selling arms when the alternative is death by feeding your dick to mountain goats is actually legally ok.

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