Fri
May 17 2013 12:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords, Part 29

A Read of Ice and Fire Storm of Swords Part 29Welcome 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 29 of A Storm of Swords, in which we cover Chapter 49 (“Catelyn”) and Chapter 50 (“Arya”).

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 Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler 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!

Before we begin, MAJOR SCHEDULING NOTE, PLEASE TAKE HEED: Okay, so I realize that this is probably some of the worst timing ever, but nevertheless a veritable concatenation of scheduling conflicts, on both my part and on Tor.com’s, have led us to conclude that the Read will have to go on a very brief hiatus for next week. Therefore, there will be no AROIAF post next Friday, May 24th.

I know, we suck, I’m sorry, but it had to be done. Hopefully you will all find a way for your hearts to go on.

AND ALSO, pursuant to some of those same ongoing scheduling conflicts, henceforth the Read is also moving to a different day, as Friday is no longer tenable for at least the near future. Therefore, after the one-week hiatus the Read will resume on Thursday, May 30th, and forward from there will continue to be published on Thursdays until further notice.

Okay? So: no post next week, and posts on Thursdays from now on. Got it? Good. I love y’all, you’re like butter. And now, moving on to actual content! Hooray!

 

Chapter 49: Catelyn

What Happens
Catelyn is deeply worried by the flooded and unfordable river as they approach Walder Frey’s stronghold. She urges Robb not to let the Freys provoke him, and to ask for food if they do not offer it, so as to invoke the protection of guest right. Robb answers he has his army to protect him. Frey’s grandson and current heir Ser Ryman comes out to meet them with his three sons, but Grey Wind snarls and attacks his party, to everyone’s shock. Robb and Catelyn manage to call him off before blood is shed, but Ryman is furious. They indicate that Robb’s army must wait upon the riverbank, rather than within the keep. Grey Wind balks at entering the keep, which Catelyn notes, and Robb has Ser Raynald Westerling stay with the wolf (also conveniently keeping him out of the hall).

In the hall, Lord Frey makes mocking comments about Robb’s crown and the supposed comeliness of Queen Jeyne, but Robb only makes his apologies for the slight. Frey lines up his daughters to show to Robb and demands he apologize to them instead, which he does rather handsomely. Then Frey has Edmure’s betrothed, Roslin, brought in; Edmure is delighted to see that she is very pretty, though Catelyn thinks she looks too delicate for healthy childbearing. Frey laughs when they ask for bread and salt, but gives it to them. Catelyn is surprised to see their chambers are comfortable and finely appointed, but still insists they should post their own guards.

Edmure is puzzled why Frey would give him someone so lovely as Roslin, when he had plenty of other much less attractive daughters to foist off on him. Catelyn suggests that Roslin may be a favorite of Frey’s, who he wants to make a good match. She cannot outright reject Edmure’s notion that Roslin may be barren, but points out this would work against Frey himself if he wants his descendants to inherit Riverrun. Edmure is also surprised at how well they’ve been received, commenting that he expected the old man to “piss in our wine and make us praise the vintage.”

Catelyn goes back to the hall and asks after Ser Perwyn, who had escorted her to Storm’s End, but Lame Lothar tells her Perwyn is away. Catelyn goes to see the maester, Brenett, who reassures her that Roslin’s mother was of similar build to her daughter and yet was extremely fertile, with five living children. Catelyn goes to Robb, and finds him with several of his lords, including Roose Bolton. Bolton tells them his bastard Ramsay took some of the Winterfell survivors back to Dreadfort, and sent the skin of Theon Greyjoy’s finger to Catelyn as a token of his captivity. She refuses the “gift” queasily. Robb wants Theon executed, but Bolton convinces him that Theon has more value as a hostage.

Bolton also tells Catelyn that Ser Gregor Clegane attacked his forces while they were crossing the Trident, killing many and capturing Ser Wylis Manderly, but that he has left six hundred men at the ford to ensure Clegane does not cross as well. Robb is angered at the losses there, as well as at Duskendale; Bolton tells him Robett Glover was distraught and heedless upon learning of the fall of Deepwood Motte. Bolton has brought five hundred horse and three thousand foot with him to the Twins, and Robb tells him he shall be their rearguard.

“I mean to start for the Neck as soon as my uncle has been wedded and bedded. We’re going home.”

Commentary
Ugh. Why does that last line sound to me like a soon-to-be-messily-slaughtered day player in a B horror movie declaring “Oh, good, we’re safe now!”?

Probably because this whole chapter has made my hair stand on end, for all that nothing really happened in it. Starting with Grey Wind’s behavior, which is to me a veritable four-alarm air raid siren saying

 

(Parenthetically, badass points (or possibly crazy points) go to Catelyn for deliberately jumping in front of an attacking direwolf, because damn.)

More flies with honey, I hear they say. Because, yeah, Walder’s nicey-nice behavior here is just not on the level, I bet you anything. And there has GOT to be a catch re: Roslin. Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but y’all, it’s not like I don’t have cause. People being nice/merciful/conciliatory for no good reason in this series? Yeah, doesn’t happen.

And I also find it ominous that such a point was made that Perwyn is not going to be there. I don’t specifically remember his interaction with Catelyn during the whole Renly thing, but I have to assume that he got on with Catelyn at least moderately well, and the fact that someone in the Frey household (possibly the only one in the household) with more than a passing reason to be sympathetic to the Starks (and who also happens to be Roslin’s full brother) is mysteriously not able to be there is just one more alarm bell in a whole cacophony of them.

I mean, maybe I’m totally wrong and Walder Frey just hit his head or something and the concussion is making him accidentally vomit compassion all over everything, but I really rather doubt it.

On other matters: Oh, so Theon’s alive (if minus a phalange or two)? And a prisoner of Bolton’s bastard? Did I know that before? Oh, well, no matter. Point is, eek. Because dear little Ramsay is positively made of badwrongno, and as much as I am not a fan of Theon’s, I’m not sure that even he deserves to be at that sicko’s mercy.

(Now, having, say, Gregor Clegane in that position… well, I would be willing to hear out a case for that. Not to mention for a couple of the other more delightful and charming folks we’ve come across in the course of this series….)

Speaking of whom, so Clegane apparently attacked Bolton’s force at the ford. Okay, I’m sure this will come to have relevance at some point, so I suppose I should try to remember that it happened.

And… um. Yes. So. I suppose I should go on to the next chapter now.

(eek?)

 

Chapter 50: Arya

What Happens
Sandor Clegane and Arya travel toward the Frey keep in a wagon with salt pork stolen from a farmer. They come across a knight (Ser Donnel Haigh) on the road, but Sandor keeps his face hidden and his tone respectful, and the knight rides on without recognizing him even though Sandor sneers afterward that they’d fought each other in tourneys before. Arya feels that she should be excited they are almost there, but she has been plagued with terrifying if vague dreams, and worries about whether her mother or Robb will even recognize her. She also worries that Bolton is there, and whether he knows that she was the one who slit his guard’s throat to escape Harrenhal.

They hear music as they approach, and the Hound comments that the wedding will be over but the feast still going. They come to the vast camp of Robb’s army on the riverbank; they are not allowed through to the castle, but directed to the camp feast tents instead. Arya looks around for a familiar face or House crest as they head through the camp, but sees only strangers. She hears soldiers drinking and cheering “Here’s to the Young Wolf and Queen Jeyne,” and wonders who that is. Then she sees northmen in the feast tents, Karstarks and Umbers, and asks Sandor if they shouldn’t go to them, or to the man (Sedgekins) they had been told to find.

“Sedgekins can bugger himself with a hot poker.” Clegane shook out his whip, and sent it hissing through the soft rain to bite at a horse’s flank. “It’s your bloody brother I want.”

Commentary
Well, if you guys think you’re going to be frustrated leaving things on this cliffhanger for two weeks, think how I’M going to feel. Because AAAAAAAHHH OMG WHAT HAPPENS NEXT DOES ARYA GET TO HER MOM WHAT IS WALDER GOING TO DO WHAT IS SANDOR GOING TO DO ARE MORE STARKS GOING TO DIE HOLY CRAP AAAAAAAHHHHHH

And… um. Other than noting the bullet Sandor unwittingly helped Arya dodge by refusing to go to the Karstarks, whose loyalty to the Starks is, shall we say, shaky at best at the moment, I… really have nothing to say about this chapter? Because it’s only like four pages long? And is nothing but set-up for the obviously Major Shit that is about to go down one way or the other in the next two chapters? And… I’m sorry?

Just so you know, I seriously fought with myself over whether to just turn the page and keep going, but I didn’t, because hilariously, I can’t risk it. Because, well, Major Shit is obviously about to go down, and I want to have plenty of time and space to deal with that because I don’t know how much of it I’ll have to deal with. And we wouldn’t want to deprive y’all of seeing my possible resulting meltdown in full, loving, and non-rushed detail, now would we?

No, no we would not.

So, yeah. Just FYI, though: if either Robb, Catelyn or Arya dies in the next two chapters, I may have to LOSE MY SHIT. Be ye forewarned.


And on that extraordinarily tenterhookian note, we out! Remember: no post next week, and we resume on Thursday, May 30th. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH

78 comments
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
1. AlirozTheConfused
Oh good, Leigh!

You posted today!

Anyways, Leigh, if you're reading this, I would HIGHLY recommend not reading the posts below this.
Scott Silver
3. hihosilver28
Reread hiatus: coitus interruptus anyone? :) Hooray for a wedding chapter making that joke viable. *hears sound in the distance. oh, someone coming to revoke my internet card*
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
4. AlirozTheConfused
SCHEDULE ALERT!

SCHEDULE ALERT!

SCHEDULE ALERT!

THIS IS NOT A DRILL REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A DRILL. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

ALL HANDS ON DECK, ALL HANDS ON DECK, ALL HANDS ON DECK!!!

Anyways, Leigh, you expect bad things to happen? Since when has GRRM ever done the expected thing?

Anyways, Leigh, what are you doing reading this comment? I told you to stop reading the comments. Now stop and go home. Really. I mean it. There's nothing in this paragraph. Quit it. I'm getting mad. Really, Leigh, can't you take a hint. STOP READING THIS. Go away, there's a monster at the end of this paragraph, oh no, a monster.
Pat .
5. dolphineus
Therefore, there will be no AROIAF post next Friday, May 24th.


Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Vincent Lane
6. Aegnor
Am I being punked? Where's Ashton Kutcher? Where's the cameras. Not funny guys...you can come out now.
Rob Munnelly
7. RobMRobM
Cliff hangers FTW!

Impeccable timing, by the way. The counterpart HBO episode that should address the trips to the Twins and related events is scheduled for Sunday, June 2 (Monday in Europe), only a few days after your next scheduled post.
Kieran B
8. Isengrim
Funnily enough this scheduling delay means that the reread will synch up almost precisely with the show, which will be recounting (I presume) the events of Edmure's wedding two weeks from Sunday.

Looking forward both to the episode and the reread!
Kieran B
9. Isengrim
Question for Leigh - do you really wait a whole week to read the next chapters? There are some pretty brutal cliffhangers in ASOIAF.

I remember the first time I read ACoK and it looked like Bran and Rickon were dead I skipped ahead until I found a Bran pov chapter to reassure myself.
Balthamel
10. Balthamel
eek eek...
Rob Munnelly
12. RobMRobM
Cat is made of awesome in her chapter. Very focused on what she needs to do for Robb and her brother. Really well done.
Balthamel
13. Someguynameddave
That was a pretty boring chapter. I can't imagine much of importance is gonna happen any time soon.
Noneo Yourbusiness
15. Longtimefan
um. Puppies?

Seriously, what can one discuss for two weeks only referencing previous chapters? These chapeters are just a greeting and an arrival. That is not much to comment on.

I am sure people will I just do not know what to say.

I guess we can discuss the detail of the Hall of Frey and the adjoining grounds. :)
Chris Lough
16. TorChris
@RobM. It's going to be the best weekend ever.
Steven Halter
18. stevenhalter
Chapter 49 - Catelyn:It's only been about year of in world time since Robb crossed the Green Fork the first time. It seems like longer. A lot has happened in the books since then and maybe this odd way of reading (a chapter or two a week) makes the time seem more drawn out. Rain and flooding--a dreary opening. Grey Wind charging at the Frey's isn't a good start to an apology. Since the wolves seem to have good sense about such things, I'm going to assume the Frey's mean no good. We've had plenty of intimations about that via the Bolton's. Catching the army against a flooded river could be unfortunate. I would guess that the Frey's wanted to do more than see Jeyne. "Ooops, she fell in the river," or something. And, they are providing wine and ale--trying to get the men drunk? Robb's apology seemed decent, although Walder didn't seem very appreciative. Cat prefers the big boned girls. Somehow I don't feel as reassured as Catelyn that they have eaten with Walder. So the men are passing beneath Catelyn's room. I think that means the Stark's are being housed in the castle on the opposite side from where the men will be. I don't like that. And Bolton is here--also not good from what we had seen before. He starts off by not quite telling the truth about the sack of Winterfell. Bolton is in charge of the rearguard. That is a really bad thing.
Balthamel
20. MDNY
I love the admiral ackbar quote- which I think you've used before (maybe in the WOT reread? or was it in this one?). Yep, that was my immediate thought as well, and apparently Catelyn's, and pretty much everyone EXCEPT for Robb, who is still all pissy over Bran and Rickons' "deaths", and thus refuses to truly heed his direwolf's warnings. Man. What a bonehead move, IMHO. Otherwise, what really struck me was how much Bolton and Freys' tale wandered from the truth. We saw what happened at Winterfell, and it was all the Boltons' work that left Winterfell a gutted ruin, and Big and Little Walder were assholes. Theon was an angel compared to the bastard of Bolton. Roose Bolton has been one of the creepiest characters from the get-go, not to mention their family has a history of problems with the Starks, who tried to cut down on flaying people alive, which is apparently the sport of choice at the dreadfort. What a charming family.
The moment we were told that a few of the Frey children/grandchildren who are closest to Robb will be unable to attend, my alert status went from yellow through orange straight to red. Not a good sign. That plus Grey Wind growling= get out now. Unfortunately, I don't think Robb is as genre-savvy as we are.
Arya's chapter....not much to say. It's just a teaser to drag out the tension....she's getting closer...and closer...to her family.
I cannot believe we have another week to wait for the wedding. Ummm...not complaining, but man, I might die from the tension here. At least the move to Thursday means 1 less day of waiting!
Chris G
21. HardTruths
It went past ridiculous a long time ago - and absolutely no offense is meant by that.

I follow MANY of the other Re Reads/Reads/Re Watches/Blogs etc here on Tor and none of them have ever had the constant drama this one (and the WOT one) have so continuously - and I am pretty sure that all of those bloggers get sick, have to move, have familiy emergencies etc also (though though those things *do* seem to be a much, much more oresent factor in LB's life for some reason) ...

Its why many of the other bloggers here read ahead and work ahead by submitting ADVANCE posts so that when these things to happen the schedule blog posts is not affected.

Why someone doing this would NOT sta a few weeks ahead just because of these very things have always mystified about this and the WOT blog...im friends with a couple other Tor bloggers and one stays almost SIX WEEKS ahead (and that person, like myself, works two other fulltime and very demanding jobs.)

I mean, no one can deny that this (And the WOT) blog get ''affected'' constantly. And, if you follow other blogs on Tor like I do (and you are honest), you also can not deny that this and the Wot blog have way more issues over the years.

It is worth thinking about - in my opinion, which, I think I still have the right to express here.

If I do not, please, please let me know and I will correct that.

At any rate, I am sure I will get flamed for being honest and speaking up. No offense was intended. Just honest observations, hard truths and a bit of practical advice that can be taken or left - It's all the same to me.

Good Day.
Deana Whitney
22. Braid_Tug
Agh!!
Well, Thursday works better for me over the summer anyways.
:-) Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!
Edit for clarity: Some could not tell I was joking.
And you all did notice that Leigh said it was her and Tor.com, that was having Friday conflicts, right?


@21: WOT drama? What are you talking about for WOT drama?
We have fun over there!

This one has drama because people are going "See this hint? ! See this hint?! I'm so clever, but I'm not telling you this hint!"
Balthamel
23. Sooner_fan1222
@ 17,

I see what you did there haha.
Balthamel
24. sjb
Does anyone know what else Leigh does? I'm not complaining about her being gone for a week, just curious what else she does for work. This is the only thing I know her from. Does she write other blogs?
Balthamel
25. InsertcleverGOTnamehere
Definite flag @17

just saying...
jus
Brian Carlson
26. images8dream
@22: You know that blog Neilg Gaiman wrote, "George R.R. Martin is not your b*tch?" Leight Butler isn't either.
Balthamel
27. InsertcleverGOTnamehere
@21

Remind me what you paid to view this purely entertaining blog?

Oh right, nothing! While we may not like having to wait 2 weeks for next post, in perspective, this is a completely free blog, that Leigh chooses to do for our entertainment. Therefore, I am grateful for the enjoyment reading the blog brings me, and understand that sometimes stuff happens. You want to write a blog and stay 6 weeks ahead? Have at it. Otherwise, take what you can get, and stop bellyachin'.
Scott Silver
28. hihosilver28
@HardTruths
It's a valid point. But I also think that keeping it in real-time is valid too. It lends the read more immediacy to what she's doing. I think both ways of doing a blog have their pros and cons.
Balthamel
29. SKM
@26: Co-sign!

If you can't wait one week to see Leigh comment on a book you've already read, a service you don't pay for, your sense of entitlement needs some pruning.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
30. AlirozTheConfused
Leigh's gonna need pillows and a tissue

Highlight the following for my response to the "sense of entitlement" issue:

We're not annoyed about the wait.

We're annoyed that at this rate

the show will get to the next chapters before Leigh

and nowhere on the internet will be safe that day

She won't be able to avoid the reaction

to the upcoming action

I'm willing to wait a month or more

to see her unrushed reaction, fo' shore

We're worried that the reaction just won't be

And that's the cause of our irritability.

Anyways, Miss Butler, please don't highlight whited-out stuff, and, anyways, quit reading the comments. I already told you, yeesh.
Ted Herman
31. WinespringBrother
Wow, Leigh, so you're not going to sneak a peak just because there is no re-read next week?

Eek!
Rob Munnelly
32. RobMRobM
BM and TorChris - a virtual meeting at the spoiler thread may be in order.
David Thomson
33. ZetaStriker
I'm so sad Leigh can't do next week. SO SAD. Seriously. You were concurrent with the TV show!
Rob Munnelly
34. RobMRobM
@30 - I'd like to respond on spoiler thread.
Noneo Yourbusiness
35. Longtimefan
Part of what makes the re-reads or reads with Leigh Butler connect with me is the fact that she writes in the now.

She is not creating an verneer of polish that has been stripped and glossed and reworked until it can be set on a shelf and pulled down to suit as time requires it.

The read is alive because Ms. Butler writes in the moment and her vitality and reactions are vicseral becase of that.

The delays of life are part of that experience and while they may be frustrating for us the occasional readers they are probably of great concern for her. As such it is my opinion that we should accept that they happen graciously.

Why? Because as much as she may have chosen to become a public figure by sharing with us her writing she is still a person who has a life that should remain personal and unknown to us even if that life calls her away from the gift she choses to share with us here at Tor. com.

Her dedication to the read is (in my mind) unwaviering and for that she garners my loyalty. Whatever awkwardnessess of life occur that create these little delays I am willing to step past as we journey together through these posts.

I would invite you to approach the reads the same way. You may chose not to but it may be more pleasant of a journey if we did not stand at every root and bramble along the way and decry its existance until it is disloged or pushed aside.

But that is just me.

Edit. Some spelling corrections. Probably not enough of them but I am busy at work. (and a poor speller with a lack of spell check skills.) :)
Steven Halter
36. stevenhalter
Chapter 50 - Arya:OK, I said in the last Arya chapter that riding down
the road was a bad plan and here we have some outriders. They got past, but still, it doesn't seem like the best idea. I'll admit that the
reasoning of going in disguise is not too bad, but as Arya thinks as
soon as someone wants to see the hood down, the game is up.
Have events gone ahead and they have really missed the wedding or is
something else going on with those pipes and drums? I certainly feel a
tension of something bad here. Maybe it is just the tension from last
chapter seeping through. Ah, Arya sees Karstarks and Umbers--also not good.
So, nothing much happened in that chapter except the tension seems higher to me. Bolton's and Karstark's outside seems truly bad.
Bridget McGovern
37. BMcGovern
To everyone complaining (and/or blaming Leigh for the delay), I want to assure you all that we here at Tor.com came to Leigh with the scheduling issues, not the other way around. I know it's incredibly frustrating to have to wait another week, moving the post was the only way we could ensure we could all do our jobs properly on the production, editorial, and moderation end of things. That's all I'm going to say about the behind-the-scenes situation, except that we really appreciate your patience, and please refrain from dumping on Leigh (who is awesome).

Obviously, the spoiler thread is probably the best place to discuss a lot of these other comments and concerns, but as folks have already pointed out, the timing does sync up rather well with the show, if you're watching along (the show takes a break Memorial Day Weekend, too), so there will be plenty to talk about, in two weeks.
Rob Munnelly
38. RobMRobM
@35 - +1!!!! Very nicely said. Just like Min tells Elayne in WoT that she's happy to get as much of Rand as she can get, even if she has to share, I'll take what I can get from Leigh and be happy for it.

Exhibit A of why we love Leigh:

Just so you know, I seriously fought with myself over whether to just turn the page and keep going, but I didn’t, because hilariously, I can’t risk it. Because, well, Major Shit is obviously about to go down, and I want to have plenty of time and space to deal with that because I don’t know how much of it I’ll have to deal with. And we wouldn’t want to deprive y’all of seeing my possible resulting meltdown in full, loving, and non-rushed detail, now would we?

No, we wouldn't. Enjoy your week off and see you on the 30th.
Tabby Alleman
40. Tabbyfl55
I know how we can pass the time. Let's figure out how we can trick convince Leigh to do a (re)read of Norman's Gor series next.

There aren't enough desks in all the world... heh.
Rob Munnelly
41. RobMRobM
@40. Having read all those books as a teenager, your post is hilarious. Gor makes Conan the Barbarian books seem like models of political correctness.
Tabby Alleman
42. Tabbyfl55
I just KNOW how much they would appeal to Ms. Butler's sensibilities! : )
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
43. AlirozTheConfused
Sorry to rain on Longtimefan's awesome post

but the s in visceral is like the s in most

My only uggetion to uch aweome peeche

i to reinert the letter "", thu I beeeche

Anyways, isn't it hilarious how paranoid this series has made Ms. Butler? She doesn't even expect good things to happen ever anymore. She has to see the evil intent behind every good act.

So, as for mister Jar Jar Martin, I must say: Mission Accomplished on his part.

He's gotten you to expect exactly what he wants you to expect.

You're playing right into his hands.

Anyways, STOP READING LEIGH STOP READING LEIGH TOP READING LEE TOP REEBING LEE TARP WEEBLING WEE.
Jamie Watkins
44. Treesinger
Everyone join me now in singing "Anticipation." I know the wait will be worth it.
Elizabeth Doolin
45. mochabean
While I assume you won't be getting this far down in the comments, thanks for the post, as always.

Arya has some great observations in this chapter -- many of them I didn't notice until my second re-through. Leigh has really captured the feeling of pervasive dread.

All admiration for your self restraint!
Balthamel
46. argliac's antler
Why do people keep referring to this as a RE-read? Is that why people are careless with spoilers previously? Perhaps they think Leigh has read the books before?
Balthamel
47. Aerona Greenjoy
Legitimately speaking, Lord Walder has 29 kids, 45 grandkids, 23 great-grandkids, and 4 great-great-grandkids.* One should keep that in mind when deciding to oppose him. (wise nod)

*If I counted accurately from the AFFC appendix, that is. A Wiki of Ice and Fire's family tree is evn more confuzzling, so I didn't use it. Most of those listed are alive as of this chapter.
George Jong
48. IndependentGeorge
I'm starting to think we should save the moderators some time and just have them delete all of the comments in this thread and start over.
Caughlin Butler
50. RowanEkko
I love how Martin so effectively creates a sense of tension and unease - where I'm constantly torn between wanting to skip ahead to the 'resolution' (ha! as if) and wanting to throw the book at the wall and scream in frustration. He is one of the masters of manipulating his readers' emotions and truly getting under their skin. Waiting for his books to be published is agonising, but the end result is excellent.

@Longtimefan - I heartily agree with your sentiments.
Deana Whitney
51. Braid_Tug
@ 48, IG: Thanks for the laugh!
Yea, Leigh should proablly avoid the comments this week all together.
Rafael
52. Ryamano
Am I the only one who's waiting more eagerly for Stevenhalter's posts than Leigh's?
Balthamel
53. nor
For what it's worth, I do think it's surprising that these blog post's AREN'T written a week or two in advance... I like the "immediacy" that @35 talks about, but I don't see why Leigh writing her reactions and saving them for a week or two would make any difference to us (how could we tell?), and it does seem like it'd make life easier for Leigh in the long run by giving herself a buffer to work with...

I'm not trying to dictate the schedule, and I realise that in this particular case Tor.com wanted the delay as well, I'm just saying that (to me) it doesn't seem like the logical way to write a blog.
Caughlin Butler
54. RowanEkko
@nor - yeah, that makes sense - the immediate reaction is what is so great to see, but as long as it's written right after the chapter is read then the blog schedule could theoretically be unaffected.
Balthamel
56. Gregor Lewis
Those who complain at delay: Please calm down. As has been mentioned, this blog is free, entertaining, very well written and endlessly interesting, thought provoking even!
Those who complain at SPOILERS possibly ruining Leigh's ability to conduct this "READ (for the first time) of ASOIAF" authentically: In my opinion Leigh is a very skilled writer. I have every faith she can make it work, regardless.

Also, she already knows about certain events - SPECIFICALLY the fate of certain Starks - if one particular, typically witty aside she made lo these many years ago, early in the WOT re-read is any indication.

I don't know if she HAS read any or all the ASOIAF books. I do know, because she told me - with her witty aside - that she is aware enough of certain details, to comment on them in a tangentially linked Re-Read years ago.

Any writer needs an angle. Some make use of them more openly than others. I enjoy Leigh's work, whenever and however she chooses to produce it because she is smart, sharp, sassy and downright funny.

I feel no sense of ownership or expectation of Due Date. Last I looked, this is not a scholastic institution and we are not her professors. Lighten up people and enjoy the fact that the way Martin is going, Leigh is going to have ALOT of material to cover, if she follows this series through to its currently undetrrmined conclusion.

Lastly, I will not say where exactly I read the comments I referenced above. If anyone chooses to deny them, I know and their writer knows the truth. Maybe I am breaking some kind of "WALL" of understanding here, but frankly, I am fed up with the sense of ownership and entitlement that is becoming more and more prevalent in the Comments section here.

grl
Balthamel
57. fellknight
LOL.

That is all.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
58. AlirozTheConfused
This read is like a copy of the book Leigh's reading, with all her comments and reactions written in the margins, and things she doesn't like scribbled out with grumpy faces and little anime drawings when she's happy and such.

We also get to write comments in the margins, too, but we make sure not to tell her what happens next. It's like a weekly record, and at the end of the school year, it's a real record of the culture and feelings of the class of 2011/2012/2013.

It's also like we're all friends who go to the Butler residence every friday to experience Leigh. Because she's a personality in motion, and she doesn't self-censor. Her verbatim, unpolished, reactions are what's truly going through her mind. It's undiluted human experience and emotion, also known vernacularly as "feels". At the Butler residence, we experience her reading of the book almost as if it were a movie with everyone shouting comments and making up their own dialogue and sub-plots and analyzing camera angles and having a great time just seeing Leigh's reactions.

I've been reading this ever since the week she invented the term, "sulkytime". I went back and read her reaction to Jon giving Needle to Arya.

I've been waiting for the thursday after thursday next since then, and if some dingbat is going to spoil that, then all of those who, like me, have been patiently waiting for what happens the thursday after thursday next, if some dingbat spoils that, then we might as well have told her back at the very beginning what happens and see her reaction then for all the truth there's going to be in it.

That's dozens of people waiting for years, and getting cut off thirteen days early.

Can you see why we feel like this is a place in which we belong, and that we'd be slightly miffed if someone spoiled?
Balthamel
59. Gregor Lewis
Sorry, you misunderstand me. (if indeed it is me you are responding to @58.

I do not advocate spoilers at all. This blog has rules and there are other places - on this site even - where fans can indulge in them.

You said in earlier comments on this thread you were worried the effect this latest delay would have on Leigh's ability to avoid spoilers, because the TV show would have reached the same stage as the re-read.

The meaning I took from that was Spoilers would become EVEN MORE pervasive, thus making Leigh's avowal to come to each part of her re-read ignorant of what comes next EVEN MORE difficult.

My contention is she already knows and that she already knew before she started this "Read". In my opinion that hasn't affected her ability to write this blog according to the supposition that she doesn't. She is THAT GOOD. At least that's what I think.

I just don't appreciate those above, however reasonable they think they are, bemoaning her frequent departures from announced schedule, as if this is a homework assignment they have set her.

I am happy to wait to read whatever she has put together, whenever TOR.COM presents it.

grl
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
60. AlirozTheConfused
I'm also happy to read whatever she has put together, whenever it's presented.

I'm just really ticked at those who post spoilers.

Yeah, Leigh can take as long as she wants, I'm just worried about her getting spoiled.
Balthamel
61. GarrettC
As a small, meaningless aside from the rest of the conversation:

"And there has GOT to be a catch re: Roslin."

It took me way, way, way too long to understand that sentence. It was over a minute and a half before I stopped reading GOT as an acronym...
Balthamel
62. Josh L
Well, now I know what concatenation means.
Balthamel
63. Black Dread
Anyone else have a terrible ache in the pit of your stomach reading this?
Mike DMonte
64. MickeyDee
HardTruths@22 - you have the right to post your views and I would defend your right to express them. We all get frustrated by the waits between reads BUT and this is not me trying to be a dick here, BUT we don't get an automatic entitlement to Leigh's labours. If you can't stand the frequent interruptions then put your hand up and see what you can do to help. I suspect absolutely nothing but at least you're offering to be part of a solution not a whinger in the wings.

I enjoy Leigh's re-reads. I accept that I do not pay her a single cent so she is not beholden to me. She has no obligation to me or any of her other readers. She spends time blogging a "re-read". We spend time reading her blog of a "re-read". And we get to throw rocks occassionally. That is pretty much the transaction.

Don't like it? Find a way to try and fix it. Or just find something else to occupy your time in the wait. Can I suggest: http://blogoficeandfire.blogspot.com.au/2009/05/introduction.html

He started in may 2009 and gave it up in 2010 but is possibly the funniest take on ASOIAF you will ever read.
Chris Nelly
65. Aeryl
I don't have anything to add, I'm just commenting so I can track the thread!
Balthamel
66. Ser Erryk
Eek, eek, it rhymes with "week."
Balthamel
67. should_i_bother?
@64: Hardtruths @22 DID offer a solution - write ahead of time to avoid unforseen circumstances affecting the schedule. While he was a tad... em, overly passionate, for my taste, in his original post, he did very clearly offer a solution.

Also, Leigh is paid for her writings, as are all the other Tor.com bloggers. So you could make the arguement (and many have done, on many occasions) that she does have an obligation to her readers.
Chris Nelly
68. Aeryl
No, if she WERE paid, and I think you are mistaken on this, her obligation is to TOR who pays her, not to the readers. Tor has an interest in ensuring her readers are satisfied, and whether Tor feels that is the case, is NONE OF YOUR CONCERN
Don Barkauskas
69. bad_platypus
@67, 68: Leigh has confirmed in the past that she is paid for this, but (as Aeryl says) that means she is answerable to Tor.com. If we were paying for access, we would have a reasonable complaint. Since we're getting it for free, there's no basis for complaint.

For me personally, I'm disappointed when weeks get skipped or shorted, but Leigh is more than entertaining enough on the other weeks to make up for it. I had actually given up on the series after AFFC, but when this Read started, I started following along because of Leigh's work on the Wheel of Time re-Read. I soon realized I didn't remember the series well enough to follow and sat down and re-read it and am now back into it. So for me, I'm willing to accept the occasional week off or shorter week as the price we pay for Leigh's brilliance the rest of the time. YMMV.
Bridget McGovern
70. BMcGovern
Again, I will point to my comment at 37 and repeat that the scheduling changes were made at Tor.com's request. Leigh is paid for her posts, as are all our bloggers, and we have a wonderful working relationship. I don't really see how discussions about how and when she writes her posts have any further relevance in this thread, since that wasn't an issue, here, so I'd appreciate it if we could drop it and get back to discussing the book. Thanks!
Balthamel
71. argliac's antler
Heeeey, the delay here works out pretty well because the HBO show is going to be delayed a week also (due to that Liberace movie with Michael Douglas). I'm truly mesmorized by the sync up between Leigh's blog and the TV show. It's like it was meant to be!
Balthamel
72. d-mac
@52 and @stevenhalter

I have a much different take:

I'm not certain i understand the purpose of your series of "pseudo-spoiler, set-up, in case you missed it, so you don't miss whats coming next" summaries through out this reread. They seem to be written from a perspective of a first read, but clearly demonstrate your guilty knowledge of things to come. You provide speculation on future events as if you don't already know, but you do. And the fact that you will also toss in the occasional "red herrings" just makes your comments disingenuous. Whom do you serve (other than Ryamano) pointing out the "important bits" in the covered chapters that have later relevance?
Balthamel
73. d-mac
As for the other comments about Leigh's posting schedule, I'm imagining a scene reminiscient to that of Col. Jessup on the stand in "A Few Good Men" (read Leigh as Jessup):

"You want me on this blog, you NEED me on this blog...I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a person who reads and enjoys the lively summaries and comments on this free-blog that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a web-domain, and start your own blog. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think you are entitled to."

It's all in good fun kids
Iris Creemers
74. SamarDev
@ 72 d-mac
I think Steven could 'defend' himself just right, but a) I think that isn't nesseccary (why question his integrity?) and b) I thought it wouldn't hurt to let you, as fellow rereader on a read-blog, know that I really don't think he is making up that he is reading for the first time.
@ Steven: I do appreciate your posts, both here and at the other reread (although I'm still not used to the change from shalter to stevenhalter ;-))
Steven Halter
75. stevenhalter
SamarDev@74:Thanks. One of the reasons I filled in the "teven" part was that it becomes easier meeting people in real life at cons and such.

d-mac:All I can do is assure you that I am in fact reading these chapters for the first time. You are free to believe what you wish, of course. My procedure for some time now is to wait until Friday morning and read the next scheduled chapter. Last week I read nothing from ASoS as it was prescheduled. As I read, I try to jot down thoughts. Then, when the post comes out I check out if there will be another chapter. Sometimes I read Leigh's comments at this point, sometimes I wait. I post what I have written about the first chapter. At some point after that, sometimes right away and sometimes much later I read the next chapter if there are any and then read through the comments. I usually wait on the comments a bit for spoilers to get caught out and stop reading them if they are getting problematic.
The only reason behinf=d doing this is that it is an interesting
exercise and is quite helpful in understanding the point of view of other first time readers on these voyages. So, basically for fun and exploration.
One thing I have found interesting is how the level of commenters exceitement is itself somewhat revealing. For example, it is clear that something is going to happen in the next chapters as everyone is basically leaping up and down waiting for the read to get there. Even with no details exposed, this gives hints to watch for things that are coming soon. And, Martin is sprinkling hints through the chapters as to the shape of things to come.
Balthamel
76. d-mac
@stevenhalter

mea culpa

I really thought you were masquerading as if it was a first read, my apologies for making that incorrect assumption. And as long as it is your first read, then your comments and speculations are well within bounds.
Iris Creemers
77. SamarDev
@ 75 Steven
writing a post like this feels like I'm joining a MBotF-conclusion-Q&A, and so should come up with a good question ;-)
But I admire your restraint in reading in Leighs tempo. I finally ordered a SoIaF-box in 7 parts last weekend, which can be delivered any moment. Then I can start my first reread of this series, and I don't know if I'll be able to stop when I'll reach the chapter Leigh is at that moment...
Steven Halter
78. stevenhalter
SamarDev@77:It is really quite odd to read at this pace. There are certainly plusses and minuses. I look forward to the post days to read my next chapter(s) and trying to figure out what is going on. The protractedness of the read and inability to google things makes it easy to drop details from past books.
There are lots of other books to read at breakneck speed, so it isn't like I don't have anything else to do. :-)
Balthamel
79. KathrynM
@78 stevenhalter: Keep up the good work! I look forward to your insights as well as Leigh's, & it's tinged with just a shade of jealousy that you are reading for the first time...:)
Aaron Miller
80. altarego
I value the integrity and brief spark of epiphany that precedes coming upon a juicy bit of story that we didn't *just* imagine.

I'm not actively pointing fingers at anyone, but I don't speak up unless folks are trying to squeak by that issue (hint hint spoiler spoiler). I'm sure I'm not alone with @d-mac in seeing that @stevenhalter seems to provide a bit too much "prognostication".

Not just once...more like 7 or 8 times over the past few months. Maybe he's a golden child with a grasp on GRRM's 8-ball, but I'm starting to doubt that.
Rob Munnelly
81. RobMRobM
@80 - I disagree with your assessment (strongly). Your mileage, of course, appears to vary.
Bridget McGovern
82. BMcGovern
altarego @80 I believe d-mac's question/issue was resolved up at #76; stevenhalter's responses further up in the thread are good enough for me, as both a reader and a moderator.

I know it's not intentional on anyone's part, but it's starting to feel like we're ganging up on an individual commenter, a bit, in this thread. Feel free to read the comments in question or not, moving forward, but I don't think there's much left to discuss, here. Happily, there's a new post coming up in a few hours, so we can get back to actually talking about the book :)
Balthamel
83. Heronimus Rex
It finally happened. I knew it would come and I have dreaded it ever since. Two weeks ago I just HAD to read the next Catelyn-chapter. I just had to, you know? And now... Now I have to read the whole story from that moment on. Half way Feast allready. O well... It's a good thing I love the story and every single word of it.

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