Thu
Jun 13 2013 12:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords, Part 32

Storm of SwordsWelcome 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 32 of A Storm of Swords, in which we cover Chapter 54 (“Davos”).

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!

Chapter 54: Davos

What Happens
In the Map Room, Davos listens to Sallador Saan’s possibly-exaggerated account of the Red Wedding, and thinks that the Freys are cursed, to have flouted guest right like this. Melisandre, Queen Selyse, and Ser Axell Florent all declare it a miracle from R’hllor, but Stannis is pretty sure it’s Walder Frey’s doing. Stannis wants to offer pardons to the remaining Starks and Greyjoys in return for their fealty, but Melisandre tells him she has seen that it will not work, and only more pretenders to the throne will rise.

She urges him to show the realm a sign of his power, but Stannis snorts that he has none to show. Selyse says that he only lacks dragons, and Stannis points out that every attempt to conjure or replace dragons in the past has failed. Melisandre says none of the others paid the proper price, and says if Stannis gives her “the boy” (meaning Edric Storm) for R’hllor, the prophecy will be fulfilled and “your dragon shall awaken and spread his stony wings.” Axell and Selyse add their pleas to Melisandre’s; Selyse says the boy’s very existence is a curse on their marriage, conceived as he was in their own wedding bed. Stannis, however, insists that even if Robert defiled their bed, it was not the boy’s fault.

Melisandre put her hand on the king’s arm. “The Lord of Light cherishes the innocent. There is no sacrifice more precious. From his king’s blood and his untainted fire, a dragon shall be born.”

Davos notes that Stannis does not pull away from her as he did Selyse. Stannis muses that it would be “wondrous” to see stone come to life, and remembers seeing the dragon skulls in King’s Landing as a child. Davos then speaks up, and reminds Stannis that no man is more cursed than a kinslayer. Melisandre is angered, but Davos goes on, asking why Edric’s life is needed for this. Melisandre answers that “only death can pay for life,” and a great gift requires a great sacrifice. She reminds them of what even a little of his blood did, but Davos sees no proof that her leech-burning ritual was what actually caused Robb Stark and Balon Greyjoy’s deaths.

He further points out that she is “short a king,” as well, and Stannis agrees. Melisandre asks if Joffrey should also die, if that will prove her god’s power, and Stannis replies that it might. Davos adds that it also might not, and shuts Selyse and Axell up when they try to chime in on Melisandre’s behalf. Stannis kicks them all out, but Davos stays behind to remind him that his daughter plays with Edric, and will be heartbroken if Stannis were to murder him. He urges Stannis to meet the boy, but Stannis warns him to lay off.

Davos persists, and Stannis counters furiously that his concern is the realm, not one boy. He speaks of Melisandre’s conviction of his destiny, and his own uncertainty about it. He says his supposed magical sword did not turn the tide at Blackwater, but a dragon would have. He says he has seen things in the flames, too, a king with a crown of fire, burning him to ash.

“If Joffrey should die… what is the life of one bastard boy against a kingdom?”

“Everything,” said Davos, softly.

Stannis warns him to go, and this time Davos listens. He thinks of his family and how he misses them. He looks at the myriad of fantastical creatures, especially dragons, carved into the stone of the castle, and wonders if they were really carved, or were actually real dragons turned to stone. Sallador appears, and opines that if the dragons did come to life the whole castle would collapse. Davos asks if Sallador has forgiven him, and though he pretends otherwise, it seems he has.

Sallador observes that the queen’s men do not care for Davos, and that Davos has been making his own allies among those who feel that Stannis is too firmly under Melisandre’s control. Davos does not outright confirm it, but obliquely indicates it is true. Sallador asks if Stannis will really sacrifice Edric; Davos says he won’t, but Sallador is not convinced. As he leaves, he opines that “the higher a man climbs the farther he has to fall”—Davos knows he means Davos himself, and thinks he agrees.

He goes to Maester Pylos, who tries to convince Davos that being the Hand is the same as commanding a ship. Davos disagrees, and says that he is too lowborn and uneducated for the task. Pylos points out how many renowned scholars, lords and knights had made terrible Hands, and how a blacksmith’s son had become one of the best. He offers to teach Davos to read, along with Edric, Shireen, and Davos’s own son Devan, and Davos accepts. He finds the lessons difficult and humiliating, but perseveres.

After the children leave one day, Davos asks for a message to read rather than a book, and Pylos finds him an old one to puzzle out. Davos stumbles through it, and realizes he is reading a message from the Night’s Watch, warning that the King Beyond the Wall is heading south with an army of wildlings, and that Lord Mormont is missing and feared dead. He demands to know if Stannis has seen this. Pylos says he’d brought it to Lord Alester, who was Hand at the time, and that Alester had told him not to waste his time with it, as they had no men to spare anyhow.

Davos concedes this last point, but asks if Pylos is sure neither Stannis nor Melisandre saw the letter. Pylos is sure. Davos remembers Melisandre’s prophecy (One whose name may not be spoken is marshaling his power, Davos Seaworth. Soon comes the cold, and the night that never ends) and Stannis’s vision of “a ring of torches in the snow with terror all around”. Then he remembers the story Sallador told him about how Azor Ahai tempered Lightbringer by thrusting it through his wife’s heart, and wonders if now that is Stannis and Edric’s roles. He decides it makes no matter to them if a wildling king conquers the north, but asks Pylos to find him a different, less troubling letter to read.

Commentary
I’m not sure if the chapters in this book are actually getting denser/longer (it’s hard to tell when you’re looking at an electronic version), or if it’s just that my natural affliction affection for verbosity is slowly coming unsquashed from the hole I periodically try to stuff it into (Wheel of Time Re-read readers: shaddup), but these summaries just keep getting longer. And it is Annoying.

Anyway!

So, as this chapter demonstrates, Davos is a morally upright, reasonable, perceptive, intelligent guy who is not afraid to speak truth to power, stands up for what he believes in, seeks to better himself for the good of others, protects the innocent, has an absolutely delightful aversion to fanaticism, and is a good dad.

Therefore, if he actually survives past the end of this book I will be ASTOUNDED.

Happily so, because damn if he isn’t one of my favorite supporting characters right now, but given that this series seems to be an exercise in worshipping at the altar of Machiavelli Was So Right, Bitches, Davos might as well be walking around with a giant glowing neon target painted on his forehead. Maybe with a big blinking arrow pointing down at it for extra emphasis.

(I may have expressed this sentiment about Davos before, but even if so it bears repeating in my opinion.)

Granted, he’s had that target on him pretty much from the moment he was introduced as a character, and he’s made it this far, so maybe I am not giving him enough credit. And Sallador did point out that he is gathering allies. But, you know, (a) gathering political allies among the disenchanted of your king’s subjects can look an awful lot like “preparing for a coup d’état” to the paranoid—and what monarch isn’t paranoid?—and (b) I’m not sure how much having political leverage of any kind will avail you when your number one opponent is a woman who can literally kill you with her vagina.

Well, okay, with the magical shadowy assassiny products of that vagina, but still. It’s not like that’s better.

So Davos had better hope that Stannis never finds out that his Hand is doing such potentially seditious politicking behind his back, because I’m pretty sure the only thing keeping Melisandre from popping out an instant solution to her pesky ex-smuggler problem is the fact that Stannis likes him so much, and would probably instantly suspect her if Davos were to suddenly die in a suspiciously X-Files-ish manner.

Or even if he died in a completely mundane manner, actually, since Melly is currently claiming that her leech thing was totally responsible for Balon falling off a bridge and Walder Frey being THE GIANT INFECTIOUS BOWL OF ROTTING PIG ANUSES he is and offing Robb.

Which hey, maybe her curse really was the cause for the deaths, or at least the catalyst for them. I tend to doubt it, if for no other reason than I refuse to accept a death curse that kills off Robb Stark but spares fucking Joffrey as legit—just because you’re a morally defunct death curse doesn’t mean you can’t have taste.

Or, um. Something like that. (Sometimes I am amazed at the shit that comes out of my mouth. Or keyboard. Whatever.)

Anyway, I suspect we’re never going to find out for sure, because that is just how Mystical Shit rolls in this story, but either way the backfire on Melly is that any untimely deaths of her political opponents, no matter how innocuous or natural-seeming on the surface, are going to look seriously hinky to Stannis. Who, I am gratified to see, still maintains a healthy amount of skeptical eyebrow-raising when it comes to the Holy R’hllors on his payroll. Which is a trait I can always appreciate in a person, even if I dislike them for other reasons.

So, stalemate for the moment. At least I hope.

[Stannis:] “She talks of prophecies… a hero reborn in the sea, living dragons hatched from dead stone… she speaks of signs and swears they point to me.”

Well, uh, except that I’m pretty sure that if anyone is “a hero reborn in the sea,” it’s probably actually Davos. Which, now that I’ve realized that (i.e. three seconds ago when I reread that bit), gives me a smidge more hope re: Davos’s life expectancy range. Which then leads me to wonder whether Melisandre herself realizes (or admits) that.

I would tend to think not, if only because if Davos is a hero, and Melisandre is his enemy, then what does that make her, hmm?

I mean, it seems pretty cut and dried to me, but of course everyone believes that they are the hero of their own stories. And yeah, sure, but, well. On the one hand, we’ve got a person who wants to murder an innocent child in cold blood and use said murdered child’s parts to cook herself up a weapon of mass destruction, and on the other hand we’ve got a person who is like, hi, that makes you a monster, how about no.

It’s pretty much a no-brainer as far as I am concerned. Any magical destiny Messiah that requires an act so heinous to achieve his goals is not a Messiah I want saving me. Thanks, but me and my thermal undies will be fine over here basking in the toasty warmth of my lack of horrific guilt by proxy, you feel me?

Of course, there is one place in this chapter where the otherwise awesome Davos has an epic fail, and that of course is his decision to ignore the letter from the Night Watch. Which:

*headdesk*

Granted, he’s perfectly right that they have no troops to spare, but the part I’m headdesking about is his decision not to even mention it to Stannis. Because keeping vital tactical information from your war leader/king/boss type person always ends well!

AAAAGH.

Who cares about Mance Rayder conquering the north, you ask? Um, YOU DO, Davos. Because if it’s not your problem now, it’s going to be your problem later, and by then it might be a bigger problem than anyone can handle.

I dunno. Davos’s thought that it didn’t matter seems a pretty clear indicator, to me anyway, that while his loyalty may be secure, he doesn’t really believe that Stannis will actually win this game of thrones.

And… yeah, I think he’s probably right. Unless Melisandre just keeps killing every other contender that pops up, like a never-ending continent-wide game of Whack-A-Royal, but I suspect that might max out her Mystical Holy R’hllor MasterCard faster than she thinks.


Or, I don’t know what I’m talking about and am totally wrong. Won’t be the first time! Join me next Thursday and find out!

61 comments
Emmet O'Brien
1. EmmetAOBrien
hero reborn in the sea

Stormborn, perchance ?
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
2. AlirozTheConfused
As this is the second post, you'll have a second verse of rhyme; but I'm sorry to take up space, I'll try to be first next time. Though I know at Davos you'd like to snap/ Stan lacks the force to fight where frozen walls fell / with which war to wage (one thousand at cap) /with what walking wights, walkers white, well, well, well/ and for all Davos knows this is a trap / so said onions shan't survive such snow so swell / the man with mangled hand, he can't understand/ how well watch would welcome, e'en a small band/////Leigh, you should know if e'er you go to Lima / this ain't iambic pentam'ter (rhyme nut) / Hendecasyllabic Ottara Rima / It's good to rhyme with if you're in a rut / "Hendecasyllabic" like Wormtongue Grima / ain't true, half lines have ten syllables but / it rhymes A_B_A_B_A_B_C_C / like proper Ottara Rima does, you see.
Black Dread
3. Black Dread
living dragons hatched from dead stone… eggs?

I read about that happening somewhere.
Chris Nelly
4. Aeryl
I do want to point out, Mel just can't POP OUT a shadow baby whenever she wants. She needs a partner to take life force from, and two was about enough to kill Stannis.
Chris Nelly
5. Aeryl
I love how Mel hears all these prophecies, that we know refer to Dany, and they just go right over her head. *SCHWEW*

I really wonder, did she only come to Dragonstone to find the Targs, and because she found Stannis instead, did she just ASSUME, that he's the one she's been looking for? I mean, I know she sees him doing stuff in the flames, so I guess I can understand, but damn it makes me giggle.
Marie Veek
6. SlackerSpice
@3: And Mellie pretty much repeats Mirri's words from Game of Thrones.
Julian Niquille
7. Gesar
@1: I always thought the sea in that prophecy was the Dothraki Sea, plain and simple, rather than the Stormborn bit.
Marie Veek
8. SlackerSpice
@5: Either that, or R'hllor took one look at her, thought "Okay, don't want her anywhere near my shiny new hero", and pointed her at Stannis just to get her out of the way.
Adam S.
9. MDNY
Great post as always. I LOLd multiple times.
I do want to point out something without spoilers. Melisandre believes Stannis is Azor Ahai reborn because he rules Dragonstone, a land that fits the prophecies. And she wants to bring dragons from stone.
Danaerys Stormborn was born on Dragonstone, however. And Dany has already brought forth dragons from stone. This chapter is the clearest one yet that Melisandre is right about most things. She is following the right prophecies, and has an ALMOST-right interpretation. However, in picking out Stannis as her Azor reborn, she just misses. I'd also point out that Dany brought dragons from stone in the Dothraki sea, where she herself also re-emerged from the fire. The Dothraki sea is not a sea at all, but still bears the name.
Davos continues to be a cool character. I love that he pushes himself to learn to read. He is one of the most unequivocally "good-guy" characters in the books, despite characterizing himself as grey.
Black Dread
10. AverageJoe3571
"A hero reborn reborn in the sea..." Might that refer to an Iron Islander, baptised by drowning to their Drowned God? "What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger" - CoK chp 11 Theon.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
11. AlirozTheConfused
Hey, post number 5, don't make me summon Srinuvasa Ramujan to boil you alive. 'Tis a spoiler, tis not cool; and I don't want to be cruel, but cut it out, that's not what we're about. Take it to the spoiler thread where you can talk 'bout what you've read.
Pat .
12. dolphineus
"a hero reborn in the sea, living dragons hatched from dead stone"
I've always assumed this was Dany. Born on Dragonstone could be born in the sea. Living dragons hatched from dead stone is obviously her. But what if they are referring to two different people?
(possibly a spoiler so whited out) Is there anyone else who might be "reborn in the sea?"
The problem with prophesy/visions is they are vague and you can never tell until after they come true exactly what they meant.
Black Dread
13. Aerona Greenjoy
"Everyone believes that they are the hero of their own stories."

With its numerous but exclusive POVs, moral ambiguity, and relative lack of really central characters, ASOIAF demonstrates this fact like few stories I've seen. Few characters consider themselves 'secondary supporting roles,' even if we or someone else does, and even the nastiest probably wouldn't call themselves villains.
Black Dread
14. sofrina
what part of #5's comment is the spoiler?
Black Dread
16. Aerona Greenjoy
@10: I reluctantly doubt that, but would be very happy if it proves to be the case. ;-)
David Thomson
17. ZetaStriker
Weren't the Dothraki plains also called the sea of grass or something?
Black Dread
18. Dragonfire
@5... I wouldn't say that as if it were fact. It isn't proven, and a great many people think AA is a character other than Dany.

@15... I don't think it's a spoiler per se, but it was stated as fact, which it is not, and the post should probably be modified in some form.
Chris Nelly
19. Aeryl
@15, I'm only referring to the prophecies mentioned in this very write up, born from the sea, dragons from stone. I don't remember any other prophecies that may or may not be talked about this chapter, and whether they've been confirmed or not.
Bridget McGovern
20. BMcGovern
Re: spoilers--if you think a comment on this thread contains a spoiler, please flag the comment so that if can be dealt with. Flagging sends an alert to myself and the other moderators, and is a much more efficient way to let us know there may be an issue than calling each other out in the actual thread. I'm honestly not sure #5 counts as a spoiler, but I've whited out a bit just to be on the safe side. Lastly, getting into a discussion about spoilers? Please do it on the Spoiler Thread. Trying to discuss potential spoilers here is obviously going to cause some problems. Thanks.
Black Dread
21. Aerona Greenjoy
I love the way ASOIAF treats prophecy, foretelling, omens etc. In most fantasy, these are are enigmatic and rarely come true in expected ways, but they come true. Here, various people make various claims. Some have come true (e.g. Red Wedding). Some haven't yet. And some have possibly come true, but refer to things which could've been otherwise and may have been coincidental. The red comet in ACoK, taken as a victory omen by eventual winners and losers alike, demonstrated this brilliantly
Black Dread
22. GarrettC
Re: Davos's life expectancy.

I don't think acting morally is a problem in the story. I don't think that's what's gotten anyone killed. It's failing to act quickly on the correct moral impulse that gets people dead.

This is, of course, the advantage bad guys naturally have. They don't have to hesitate over their decisions because some small moral matter butting in the way doesn't bother them.

But Ned delayed his actions re: the good of Westeros because he wanted to give little ol' Cersei a shot to escape. He let a minor moral decision delay his more important moral action. He hesitated, and died for it.

Robb, and Cat, did this kind of stuff, too. Robb had a greater (in scope, I mean) moral obligation to the Freys than he had to Jeyne, but he let the smaller one be his bigger priority. Etc. Etc.

Jon, on the other hand, has a moral obligation to the Watch, but he also has a distracting smaller one to Ygritte. When the critical moment comes, he takes the Watch without hesitation--AND HE LIVES. It's glorious. He's got his priorities straight, and he doesn't screw around with delays. And he lives.

What Davos has going for him is that he acts, at least so far, on the correct moral impulses without any true hesitation.
Black Dread
23. Clyard
Could Patchface - the fool at Dragonstone that plays with Shireen possibly be the hero reborn of the sea? He came in the boat that Stannis's parents drowned in and lost his abilities by the time he washed up to shore.
Dreama Pritt
24. gotcha42
I'm with 10. AverageJoe3571's comment:
"A hero reborn reborn in the sea..." Might that refer to an Iron Islander, baptised by drowning to their Drowned God? "What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger" - CoK chp 11 Theon.
That is exactly what came to my mind.

And, the "living dragons hatched from dead stone" sure sounds like Dany's dragons to me.
Dreama Pritt
25. gotcha42
Duplicated comment deleted.
George Jong
26. IndependentGeorge
I love Ned, but I think Davos is easily the single most purely "good" character in the entire series. It never occurred to me that the prophecy might refer to him, but really, I'd rather follow Davos than anybody else in the entire series - including our ostensible protagonists.
I’m not sure if the chapters in this book are actually getting denser/longer (it’s hard to tell when you’re looking at an electronic version), or if it’s just that my natural affliction affection for verbosity is slowly coming unsquashed from the hole I periodically try to stuff it into (Wheel of Time Re-read readers: shaddup), but these summaries just keep getting longer.
I don't know that they're getting longer, but nearly every chapter going foreward contains either a huge event, or a huge reveal. No spoilers, but there's a good reason readers generally regard SOS as the best volume of the series, and the Red Wedding is only one small part of it.
Emmet O'Brien
27. EmmetAOBrien
Gesar@7: I disncline to the "Dothraki sea" interpretation here because Melisandre generally talks about her prophecies as visual, so it seems more plausible that she had seen an actual sea; I don't think she could misread it as referring to Stannis if she had seen visions of grassland.
Black Dread
28. superkicker
mel's prohpecies are alwasy 100% accurate. Her intepretations are always just 100% wrong.

Ive always found it funny, that her god gives this awesome gift to her... and shes is completely unreliable with it.

divine irony right there.
Black Dread
29. Black Dread
I always liked the Stannis / Davos relationship.
Stannis values him for his absolute honesty and loyalty. He knows Davos won't lie or flatter - and he'll tell him a hard truth right to his face.

Davos knows Stannis can be a prick - but admires his rigid sense of justice.
Marie Veek
30. SlackerSpice
Because it bears mentioning:

" Yet in the city, the lions prance and dance. The Red Wedding, the smallfolk are calling it. They swear Lord Frey had the boy's head hacked off, sewed the head of his direwolf in its place, and nailed a crown about his ears. His lady mother was slain as well, and thrown naked in the river.'"

Lovely.
Deana Whitney
31. Braid_Tug
It’s pretty much a no-brainer as far as I am concerned. Any magical destiny Messiah that requires an act so heinous to achieve his goals is not a Messiah I want saving me. Thanks, but me and my thermal undies will be fine over here basking in the toasty warmth of my lack of horrific guilt by proxy, you feel me?
Love how you put things. Totally feel ya!

Sorry, mostly posting to follow the thread this week.
Black Dread
32. sofrina
@28 - i tend to think melisandre's misunderstandings are part of her god's plan. she influences players who have critical roles. and it's her conviction in the prophecies of azor ahai that give her the ruthless will to succeed.
Black Dread
33. TBGH
I favor the Dothraki sea theory. Even if she did see it in the flames the whole point of the name is the tall grasses rippling in the wind strongly resemble a sea. Considering she's seeing images in flame it makes total sense (at least to me) that she could confuse the two.
Sydo Zandstra
34. Fiddler
Re: Balon Greyjoy's death.

I always thought it was Jaqen H'ghar, killling him.

He did tell Arya he was on an assignment, and the Iron Islands seemed to be on where he was pointing at, mapwise...
Tricia Irish
35. Tektonica
.....like a never-ending continent-wide game of Whack-A-Royal, but I suspect that might max out her Mystical Holy R’hllor MasterCard faster than she thinks.

My goodness you have a way with words! Made my day!
Steven Halter
36. stevenhalter
Chapter 54: Davos -- I read this chapter this morning while waiting on
appointments so I didn't get to type as I read. Frey is even more
evil/twisted than I thought if he really cut off Robb's head and sewed
on the wolf's. And threw Cat in the river. That's some nasty stuff.
Stannis didn't seem to appreciate it either. So, at least he seems
consistent.
Mel seems to be seeing the prophecies but not
interpreting them very well. Dany has already clearly brought the
dragons back from dead stone and she did have the blood of a king in
Drogo. Davos does seem to fit the hero reborn from the sea although Dany could fit that also. The king consumed by his crown could fit Dany's brother or be more metaphorical.
It certainly feels like someone (Mel cough Mel) is going to at least try
to sacrifice the kid. Probably for no reason as the dragons are already
hatched.
I do hope that Stannis doesn't think that Davos is betraying
him in Davos' gathering of allies. Davos probably should mention the
note about the North although I think Jon is on his own there.
I do hope that Mel is right in her "Joffrey will die" prophecy. I can get behind that.

If anyone has seen the Kaley Cuoco as a genie, where the girl asks an army to avenge her father--I'm so picturing Arya there:
Black Dread
37. frekklefayce
If we think that Meli's visions are visual and therefore she would not have confused "sea" with "Dothraki Sea" then the same must apply to all her visions. "Living dragons hatched from stone", wouldn't she have seen eggs if there were some?

I really think that Meli's visions are symbolic/metaphoric. And I think that she knows they are. That is how she has the chance of misinterpreting them. If they were just accurate visual images of the future, there would be no confusion.
Julian Niquille
38. Gesar
@27: I don't think Melisandre is refering to her visions in that case, but my reasoning against it contains a spoiler: we know from AFFC that Aemon has also seen this prophecy, because he refers to this "prince" and how he had never thought it could have been a girl/princess. So this has to come from a book, that Rhaegar also read... presumably Sam will find this book in Oldtown?
Scott Silver
39. hihosilver28
@30 SlackerSpice
Ugh, I remember how I felt reading that.

Fuck

Yup. that sums it up.
Rob Munnelly
40. RobMRobM
Yes, the thowing Cat in the river thing - pretty twisted version of a Tully funeral, eh?

Not to overdo the parallels with the HBO show but a bunch of this plot was in the show on Sunday, including the word for word dialog of the back and forth ending in "Everything." (The show Davos is excellent too. Scenes of him learning to read are fantastic.)

Axell Florent - beautifully written as an incompetent butt kisser. He and other "Queen's Men" are not a likeable bunch.

"Any magical destiny Messiah that requires an act so heinous to achieve his goals is not a Messiah I want saving me." Unfortunately, we're working with precedent of Azor Ahai who tempered his sword by killing his wife. Why not roast a bastard???

"I suspect that might max out her Mystical Holy R’hllor MasterCard faster than she thinks...." Very nice image, Leigh. (I see Tek liked it as well.)
Marie Veek
41. SlackerSpice
@39: Yep.

'Cause let's face it, there's fucked up, and then there's Fucked Up.
Julian Augustus
42. Alisonwonderland
Mel is clearly the Elaida of this series; she gets accurate visions, but always misinterpretes them. For both Elaida and Mel, I'm sure the principal reason for the misinterpretation is pre-conceived notions. Mel believes Stannis is AA, so she tries to fit every vision to that notion, even when Rh'llor himself shows her directly that she is wrong.
Black Dread
43. Twedge
@42: Hah! I love the comparisson between Melisandre and Elaida--very true. Although, Melisandre is also a good contender for the Sevanna role too (shudders while thinking of trudging through Crossroads of Twilight and That Plotline)...love me some WoT like I love me some ASOIAF, just like I love me some rereads; thanks again, Leigh!
Black Dread
44. adavidoff
I am rarely moved to post, but I could not let this gem pass me by without expressing my admiration for your total command of the language--
"Walder Frey being THE GIANT INFECTIOUS BOWL OF ROTTING PIG ANUSES" is the most eloquent and accurate description I have ever heard/read of anything, ever.
Black Dread
45. Gold for Petyr
Davos what a fucking asshole. Abadoning the wall. He should have said something!
tayyab saeed
46. skyhawkafm
I don't believe that Azhor Ahai is gonna be any one like Davos, Iron Born, or Stannis .................. Dany has a fear a chance but getting "reborn" at "sea" takes my mind towards certain directions which are slightly spoilirific or at least possibly spoilirific , so not gonna say anything about it now
Tom Smith
47. phuzz
Azor Ahai tempered his sword in his wife, Dany hatched her dragon eggs in her husband's pyre (after smothering him while he was sort-of still living).
I always put it down to Westeros (and the rest of the world) being a decidedly non-feminist place, so even Mel assumes that a great hero is going to be a man, not a woman. Mind you, has she heard the rumours about some Targarean girl with dragons swanning about ion the other side of the sea yet? I'd quite like to see the scene where she hears about Dany and face-palms.
Black Dread
48. Gold for Petyr
"reborn" at "sea"

sounds like patchface to me.
Black Dread
49. Lord Foul's Bane
ROTFLMAO!
Madam Butler, this is why we love your reads (and re-reads)!

Happily so, because damn if he isn’t one of my favorite supporting characters right now, but given that this series seems to be an exercise in worshipping at the altar of Machiavelli Was So Right, Bitches, Davos might as well be walking around with a giant glowing neon target painted on his forehead. Maybe with a big blinking arrow pointing down at it for extra emphasis.

Yep, my first thought about Davos was the same as yours. I mean, I like him too, but he's basically carrying a big glowing sign that says, "Drop nuke HERE ->"...

I’m not sure if the chapters in this book are actually getting denser/longer (it’s hard to tell when you’re looking at an electronic version), or if it’s just that my natural affliction affection for verbosity is slowly coming unsquashed from the hole I periodically try to stuff it into (Wheel of Time Re-read readers: shaddup), but these summaries just keep getting longer. And it is Annoying.

Yes, they are. And yes, it can be.

Or even if he died in a completely mundane manner, actually, since Melly is currently claiming that her leech thing was totally responsible for Balon falling off a bridge and Walder Frey being THE GIANT INFECTIOUS BOWL OF ROTTING PIG ANUSES he is and offing Robb.

I think that I never, EVER, want to piss you off and have you write about it, that's what I think.

Crap. I just realized that all the other snarky things I was going to say about Wicked Witch Mel & Co. were going to be spoilers. Oh, well. Let's look at the comments:

@2 - Huh? That looks like there's a spoiler in the middle of all that.... ?
@8 - That's assuming there is actuall a R'hllor and that he/ she/ it plans that far ahead....
@11 - See @12
@28 - Have to agree here. I would think that if I were R'hillor and I wanted a minion to fufill a prophecy, I'd at least give a hint as to when they seem to go off course, ESPECIALLY if I've given them as much power as Mad Mel seems to have.
@30 - gruesome, yes, but didn't the Brits during medieval times hang, draw, and quarter their tratiors to the Crown (occasionally)? Not condoning, just pointing out the precedent.
@32 - Well, I'd have to agree w/ Leigh & @31 - any god that also can't trust it's own minions with the info to get the job done can just leave me off the save list.
@37 - I think that Mel might be seeing the visions but without any real context to go with them. Case in point: the pic in @36. If you hadn't seen the commercial, how would you know that the picture isn't about Joan of Arc?
@42 - When did R'killor try to show Mel that she was on the wrong track? What did I miss?
@47 - I'm not sure I'd want Mel's character to live long enough to get to that face- palm, but if she does it will be well worth seeing, I have to agree.
Black Dread
50. Aerona Greenjoy
Ah, wartime Westeros, where kings die like flies and flies eat like kings.
Deana Whitney
51. Braid_Tug
@ 50, Aerona: you have the best one liners...
Loved your Dothraki wedding comment after the RW, and now this one.

Now that I think about it, sort of expected more of a comment from Leigh about Robb’s & Grey Wind’s defilement.

@ 36, Steven, “That’s some nasty stuff.” Yes it is. One of the hardest punches in the gut to me.
Salt on a raw wound.

@42, good comparison
@ 44, agree
Black Dread
52. Black Dread
@49 - One of the things I like about Davos is that he seems aware of the "Nuke me" sign he's wearing. He has decided to just accept it and live his life honestly until the nuke goes off.
Black Dread
53. Aerona Greenjoy
@50 - Thanks!

I'd thought of Mel as a twisted Moiraine-wannabe, but Elaida sounds like a good counterpart. (Complete tangent -- I'm surprised to have never seen WOT readers expressing amusement at Tyrion being nicknamed "Halfman.")
Steven Halter
54. stevenhalter
Braid_Tug@51:Yes. It occurs to me that hoping to see some "bad guys" die in a suitable fasion is becoming almost as much of a driver as hoping some of the "nice guys" win out.
Jeremy Morton
55. Raistlan
"the Holy R’hllors"
Brilliant! And, yes, Davos is pretty damn awesome.
Black Dread
56. DougL
Davos isn't gathering allies to oppose Stannis, he's gathering men who are still loyal directly to Stannis, not the Queen (Mel). It can hardly be considered treason.

This book moves at a really frenetic pace from the Red Wedding on, and it's fantastic.
Black Dread
57. DougL
@53. Aerona Greenjoy

I suppose she has shades of Elaida circa Camelyn, but she's nothing like the Elaida who was maybe corrupted by Fain, at the Tower.
Black Dread
59. Lord Foul's Bane
@22 - Very interesting insight! I'll have to keep this in mind as I do my own reread to see if I agree. :)

@45 - From Davos' and Alestor's reactions I'd postulate the Night's Watch has done a lot of crying for help over the years and the Wildings have never made it much past the Wall; I think Davos would rather not give Melisandre something she can twist to her own purposes unless he absolutely has to. The Wall is very far away; Mad Mel the Evil Witch of Fire & Blood is in the same building with him, and as Hand his priority has to be keeping Stannis' head on straight as he was asked to do.

@50 - Instant classic! Love it! (What are the odds it will end up on a fan's t-shirt somewhere? )

@52 - Agreed. Need more like him in RL.
Marie Veek
60. SlackerSpice
@59: I imagine the current view of the Night's Watch as a dumping ground for undesirables doesn't help with that. Nor does the fact that the only evidence anyone's gotten of the impending Ice ZombiPocalypse (the reason Mance is doing anything in the first place) has been a half-mad Watch deserter and a wight hand that had rotted away by the time anyone bothered to listen. (Really, no one thought to preserve it or something?)
Black Dread
61. Aerona Greenjoy
@57: I'll take your word for it. To be honest, I glazed over many parts of WOT which didn't involve Shadowspawn or Forsaken.

@60: Good points.
Anthony Pero
62. anthonypero
There are so many contenders for AA at this point that it could be anyone. Which is the point, I'd guess. When the prophecy is finally "fulfilled" it could be that no one actually knows about it. There could be 3 or 4 AAs running around at the same time.

Of course, its impossible to talk about this intelligently without including infor from aFFC and aDWD, so I'll just leave it at that.

As fas as R'hllor and Mellisandre, remember that the story is called A Song of Ice and Fire. Two sides, not ten. Eventually, all of our key players, except the wildcard Littlefinger, will be aligned (willingly or not) with one of those two factions, I'd guess. Whether R'hllor really exists or not is immaterial. The power he represents is certainly real. The other side is Ice, represented by... the Others? I'll take Melli and R'hllor all day over that, based on the information we have to this point.

Of course, we probably don't have all the information regarding the Others either.
Adam S.
63. MDNY
@62 I would caution you to remember where we heard the term "song of ice and fire" in Dany's vision at the House of the Undying . While on first hearing it, this sounds like a fight between 2 sides, there was a reference to one person when the term was used, rather than it referring to 2 opposing sides. Can't get into the specifics here, but there has been discussion on this issue in the spoiler thread.

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