Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tara's ASOIAF Re-Read: AGOT, Catelyn III - Eddard IV

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

And all of a sudden A Game of Thrones is full of action!

I think because I didn't realize just how hooked I was on this book/series until Ned died (obviously much later on in AGOT), I forgot just how much happens so early on. Seriously, in these seven chapters we get the attack on Bran (well, more so Catelyn), Arya and Joffrey's fight by the Trident, Cersei (well, and Robert, really) forcing Ned to kill Lady, Bran's crazy symbolic dream, Littlefinger telling Cat that the dagger used in the attack is Tyrion's, Ned's arrival in King's Landing...needless to say, that's a lot to pack into seven chapters. First I'll leave you with this awesome Paint "drawing" that I did, though...

(Yes, that's Robert, Sansa, and Lynna. I'm aware the females are not properly dressed. I was lazy.)
There's honestly so much to say about all of this that I don't even know where to start. First though, harkening back to my earlier thoughts on Catelyn - don't tell me she isn't pretty bad ass, grabbing hold of that Valyrian steel blade with her BARE HANDS and then BITING the attacker. Talk about a mother protecting her cub! She really shows both her Tully side (family, mostly) and her wolfish Stark side in this chapter. Earlier on she may think about how she doesn't truly belong in the North, but if anything proves that she does, it's this.

And then finally...Sansa's first chapter! Oh Sansa my BB...how I love her. The way she handles her encounter with Ser Barristan and Renly, not to mention Ilyn Payne and The Hound, is the first real sign of how awesome she is, because we're finally seeing things through her eyes. And I gotta say, she handles that situation like a boss.

Later in Sansa's chapter, during Joffrey's fight with Arya, she's obviously conflicted, and who can blame her? She's upset with her sister but Sansa also understands that Joffrey is drunk, and even though she's frightened and upset, Sansa does what she can to try to stop their fight. And when things go badly, she notes the way Joffrey reacts and his attitude toward her. She may try to overlook it later, but the North remembers...and so does Sansa. Just something for all those Sansa haters to keep in mind...

Unfortunately what happens in the following chapter doesn't paint Sansa or Sandor - two of my favorite ASOIAF characters - in a very good light. I get that. But as I've gone on and on about Sansa (and what happened in this particular scene) before, let's just leave it as, SHE LOST HER DAMN DIREWOLF PEOPLE. I think she's suffered enough.

As for Sandor, well, he was doing what he had to - obeying orders. That doesn't mean that I agree with his actions (um, of course I don't), but remember that obedience is the only thing that has gotten him anywhere in his life.

When we finally hear from Bran again, the majority of his chapter is one long, insanely symbolic dream. But reading it yet again has left me with quite a few questions, not the least of which is about him seeing "dragons stirring"...in Asshai?! I'm not sure why this never jumped out at me before, but if anyone has thoughts on it I'd love to hear them!

I finally had my first moment of confusion regarding the show versus the books in Jon III. I had to read the passage where Benjen is going off on a ranging and tells Jon they will speak when he returns twice, and thought to compare it to Ned telling Jon something similar (that they would talk about his mother 'soon', or something like that)...and then later I realized that only happens in the show! Damn, too, because my mind was going some interesting places when I was thinking about comparing those two conversations...

Anyway, earlier in his chapter Jon mentions that Ser Alliser doesn't hate him as much as he hates the other trainees; this is something I'd forgotten about, and at first I was questioning it, because all I remembered was how much Ser Alliser despises Jon. But then Jon made a joke at Ser Alliser's expense...something that gained him respect from his fellow trainees, but cost him that little bit of an edge he supposedly had with Ser Alliser, which obviously costs him later on.

Back in King's Landing, was Ned scaling the same cliff/wall that Sansa climbs down when she escapes the Red Keep in A Storm of Swords? That's the first time I've put two and two together on that one! And considering that soon after, Ned does quite a lot of thinking about Sansa...well, I may be reading too much into it (don't we all do that from time to time, with this series?), but I really loved the parallel there. And yes, Ned, killing Lady and leaving Sansa without her direwolf was folly!

Now I'll finally get back to the silly picture I included in this entry. At the end of this, his fourth POV chapter, Ned thinks about Robert turning away from the body of baby Aegon, and how he did something similar when Cersei demanded that Lady be killed in Nymeria's place. And then Ned compares Sansa's pleading to Lyanna's! "He could still hear Sansa pleading, as Lyanna had pleaded once." I really can't believe that this was just a stray thought, especially as it adds more (albeit, pretty minor) credence to the R+L=J theory.

Hopefully I'll be able to continue steamrolling through these updates over the long weekend! Yay holidays...sort of. ;)
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