Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tara's ASOIAF Re-Read: AGOT, Arya I - Tyrion II

* PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL RE-READ POSTS WILL INCLUDE SPOILERS FOR ALL PUBLISHED WORKS IN THE SONG OF ICE & FIRE UNIVERSE. *

This second set of chapters was a lot more difficult for me to read because it featured several of my least favorite characters - Jon, Eddard, and Tyrion among them. Not that I outright *hate* Jon or Ned, but I've got several bones to pick with Tyrion, and having all three of them featured in this chunk of reading was just a bit rough.


Especially on the heels of the opening chapter - Arya's first POV chapter, and also our first real introduction to my beloved Sansa...and, amusingly enough, to another favorite of mine, as well: Sandor Clegane. Unfortunately Arya doesn't really introduce either one of them in the best light, and I especially remember reading her thoughts on Sansa the first time around and wanting to just pat little "outsider" Arya on the head. Later, though - including on this re-read - it really stuck out that Arya actually wasn't hating on Sansa so much as she was hating on herself. Do the two of them get along perfectly? Certainly not, but then, what sisters do?

Of course, I've said most of that before, but I guess I'll just always feel the need to remind people that Sansa is awesome and that even though she and Arya are different, liking Arya doesn't mean you have to dislike Sansa. Does it suck that Arya is jealous of Sansa? Yeah. But how much of that is really Sansa's fault? Even Arya admits that her older sister is too well-mannered to smirk at her misfortunes.

Clearly I could go on and on about Arya and Sansa (more so Sansa, let's not lie), but a lot of other things happened in these seven chapters. One thing I've noted several times since I started reading A Game of Thrones again is how many times they talk about Joffrey's height! Of course he's only twelve, but he's noted as being taller than quite a few other characters. Honestly I never really pictured him as being tall, and I'm not sure if that's the show version of Joffrey taking over in my mind or due to the fact that I pushed the comments on his height out of my mind because that simply wasn't how I saw him throughout any of my previous readings.

Again, though, my sudden obsession with Joffrey's height is nothing compared to other occurrences, such as Bran's fall...but I also found myself paying a lot more attention to Bran describing Winterfell and how well he knows it thanks to all of his climbing. He may not be climbing again anytime soon (or, okay, ever), but that doesn't mean he won't be able to tell others where to go...even if he ends up having to do it via Weirwood-Net.

One thing that seriously confused me, though, is the bit in Ned's chapter when he and Robert are talking about who gets to be Warden of the East. I suppose I get that it's possible for Jaime to hold the title, but why does Ned go on to mention that Jaime will inherit the position of Warden of the West? And on top of that, Robert responds that "Lord Tywin looms eternal as Casterly Rock, so I doubt that Jaime will be succeeding anytime soon." If Jaime gave up his inheritance when he joined the Kingsguard and Casterly Rock must pass to someone else, how can he still end up as Warden of the West? (I'm seriously asking here, because I can't see this as anything but a slip, or perhaps just a "forgotten" conversation.)

All of the above was of course brought up along with the news of Daenerys Targaryen's marriage to Khal Drogo. To be honest I've always thought that the end of her wedding chapter was a bit, well, cheesy, it's still one of very few "sweet" things that happens in this series. But in this case, it's a bit harder to savor the "present" when I know what happens later - at least for me.

As for Jon, it feels like we get more information from Tyrion's chapter than from his own. While Jon's goodbyes do a lot to bring his character to life (particularly with Bran and Arya), most of the real information that we get about him is from Tyrion, as they travel to the Wall. And along with his insights about Jon, we learn quite a bit about Tyrion's obsession with dragons. As someone who isn't a big fan of the "Tyrion is a secret Targ" theory, reading this chapter again kind of made me cringe a little inside.

I hope to have another re-read installment up soon, as the Thanksgiving holiday should free up quite a bit of my time for reading and writing...after all, "a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge."
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