Sunday, March 21, 2010

Davos • Theon

I'm sorry for the lack of updates. I've been busy with school and other stuff. Sometimes I may read a few chapters every other day, sometimes it might take a few weeks. I originally wanted to do the next few books this summer, but I couldn't wait so I started Clash early. Still, going slowly might be better anyway, because Martin doesn't seem to be finished with Dance yet. Stay with me though! I promise I'll get through every page.

Davos was a smuggler turned knight. Kind of like Han Solo, if Han Solo had a bunch of kids, developed an inferiority complex, and had a man-crush on Admiral Ackbar. Davos shouldn't feel bad though, because this is fantasy. The smuggler farmboy / street beggar / ordinary girl always turns into a Knight / Jedi / Prince / vampire girlfriend. Davos watches Melisandre burn old, non-red religious stuff. Everyone is nervous, but I don't know why. Clearly this guy R'hllor knows what he's doing. He can give you a +50 defense buff against old maester poisoning. He can light swords on fire. His red wizards are smokin' hot chicks. But it seems only Selystache loves the bonfire. This must be what it's like when Tom Cruise tries to convince all the other Hollywood Stars about Scientology -- everyone mumbles their half polite, half terrified agreement.

Davos gets a recap of King's Landing events from Salladhor Saan, a smuggler slash trader slash banker slash notorious pirate. Meanwhile, Stannis plans to deliver hundreds of letters proclaiming that King Bob's "kids" are actually the product of twincest. Great start with the commoners, Stan. You are not only doing the first ever spam mailing campaign in the history of Westeros, but you're also laying the groundwork for future heredity lawsuits. Peasants, are tired of watching your siblings own land? Just sue them, because they aren't trueborn heirs! Call the law firm of Lannister & Lannister.

But Stan knows that words alone won't win him his rightful throne. So he's chosen his weapon, and it's red and flaming. In the Lord of Light way, not in the homosexual way. Sorry Dave.

Another new POV! I had to look up a quick history of Theon before reading this chapter. Theon lives with the Starks, but he's actually a hostage taken to keep his father in line. He also kicks heads and is a bit reckless with his arrows. Robb has decided to send him back to his father to ask for help. I agree with Cat that this seems like a stupid move. Why would you willingly give up the one bargaining piece you have? It ends up not mattering anyway, as Balon doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about Theon, in the Randyll Tarly Sam Tarly you are not my son GTFO kind of way.

Theon's boning the captains daughter. She's trying to convince him to keep her as his "salt wife," but Theon isn't swayed so easily by the promise of a well made peppercrab stew. He then proceeds to teach her how to give a blowjob, Theon style (if she tries to pull away, grab her hair!). You see, like most royal sons, Theon is kind of a misogynist asshole. But the materialistic captain and his slutty gold digging daughter aren't exactly calling him out on it. Theon's mind is on the Robb's letter and what his father Balon would say. That's right, as Theon receives a blowjob, he's thinking about his father.

There's no trumpeting fanfare or welcome reception at Pyke. Theon meets his uncle Aeron, who promptly drops some seawater religion on Theon's head. Quote Aeron, "Men fish the sea, dig in the earth, and die. Women birth children in blood and pain, and die." These islands certainly seem like a fun place. Theon finally meets with his father, who immediately calls Theon a sissy girl. Come on Balon, be nice to the kid -- it's not every day your son thinks of you mid-blowjob. Things don't go well for Theon. He does not say the right things and his pitch backfires badly. Balon isn't going to attack the Lannisters like Robb wanted. Do you hear that? That's the sound of a father's rage, a burning letter, and a son's plan blowing up in his stupid asshole face. Welcome home, Theon. Robb shouldn't have sent you.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tyrion • Arya

Tyrion chats with former City Watch commander Janos Slynt, who can't tell the difference between Arbor and Dornish wine because he's an uncultured dumbass. Janos was the guy who helped promptly execute Ned after Joffrey's command. He also sent a certain Mr. Deem to brutally kill one of Robert's infant bastards. I don't understand exactly why Tyrion is so pissed at this guy. Maybe Tyrion is just a nice guy who wants to have justice for Eddard and Bob's baby. More likely, Tyrion is just tywining up loose ends, and this guy is one of them. Lord Slynt acts tough for about ten seconds before Tyrion hits him with "I'm Tyrion from House Lannister, bitch!" Poor Janos is immediately deported to the Wall.

Afterwards, Tyrion and Varys talk about that riddle Varys posed earlier about the king, the priest, and the rich man. Something about how power is really a shadow but shadows can kill, whatever. Varys then proceeds to mentally fellate Tyrion with the "often, a very small man can cast a very large shadow" line. If Tyrion was smart, he'd whack Varys right now. Why? Because this guy is worst kind of threat. There are two types of power -- hard and soft. Kings and City Watch Commanders and rich Lords have the hard kind, capable of decreeing and ordering and buying whatever they wish. Tyrion can out hard power just about anyone with the wealth and power of House Lannister at his back. But Varys has no hard power. He's just a fat, dickless man who listens through the walls. However, Varys is the Bill Gates of soft power, and his all knowing information network is a far larger danger to Tyrion as Hand than any army of swords. Of course, Varys succeeds, convincing Tyrion to keep him around because Varys "serves the realm."

Arya continues to travel with Yoren on the Kingsroad to the Wall. Everything along the journey is sunshine and rainbows. People celebrate in villages they pass, and every night their little group sits around a campfire and sings Kumbayah. Rorge makes smores and Biter plays the banjo. (This is not what happens). Martin seems determined to hammer home a theme that was prevelant all throughout Game of Thrones: life is not fair. Good characters are born as bastards or as dwarves or into slavery, while bad characters get wealth, power, and beauty. The honorable guys don't always win in the end, and the douchebag assholes sometimes never get what they deserve. In a perfect world, Yoren and his guys would get free drinks all the way to the Wall and Arya would get a hug from Jon. But not in Martin's universe.

The situation in the Riverlands is harsh and horrible. Everyone is on edge and the group travels in constant fear. They avoid a group of wounded soldiers and even rescue the "please, please" crippled woman and her baby. We get plenty of description about her, but it's all for nothing as she dies the next day. The kids have to drink water that tastes like dead bodies and piss in front of wild animals. It's only a matter of time until Arya comes face to face with her direwolf. Surely Nymeria will remember her former owner, but I don't look forward to her meeting Yoren or Hot Pie or Gendry.