Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tara's ASOIAF Re-Read: AGOT, Jon IX - Daenerys X

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

And I've finally finished AGOT!

Of course I only had three chapters left after my last recap, but as they're the last three, a lot of things finally come to fruition. First, Jon attempts to "run away" because he's like fourteen (fifteen?) and not thinking straight. Also because he's always kind of indecisive and whiny.

Sorry, Jon just really gets on my nerves sometimes. I don't even hate him; I just don't care. Poor Jon Snow.

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So Jon runs away and his friends bring him back. Or, as Mormont put it, "honor" brings him back. (His friends' honor, that is.) It's funny, re-reading this chapter and being so frustrated with Jon made me think about all the other times, both before and after, that one friend or another (or a group of them) helps (or outright makes) things work out for him. Kind of interesting how that's the case, and yet Mormont is also constantly reminding him that "The things we love destroy us every time".

Let's just say I much prefer the advice, "The hard truths are the ones to hold tight."

But that's less about AGOT and more about me, so moving on ;) Jon makes it back to Castle Black, Mormont gives him a good talking-to, makes him promise not to run off again, and then announces that they'll be going beyond the Wall. And so, just like that, we are pushed into Jon's ACOK storyline.

Meanwhile Catelyn is dealing with the news of Ned's death, as well, though in a much less annoying fashion.

Okay, okay, I'll stop hating on Jon for now. Promise.

Really though, while Catelyn's final AGOT chapter is frustrating in its own right, it's less to do with her and more because it goes back and forth between her thoughts on what's going on, her father's half-nonsensical musings, and the annoying debate between Robb's bannermen. The only thing that really stuck out to me - until the rousing end of the chapter, that is - was Tytos Blackwood kneeling at Riverrun's heart tree with all the Northern lords. Perhaps it's nothing important, really, but considering how he pops back up in Jaime's storyline, it's hard to not read anything into this at all.

Additionally, Catelyn's line "She asked herself what gods she kept these days, and could not find an answer" really stuck out to me...if only because of her later fate. (Or maybe, in a way, lack of it?)

And then of course, "King in the North"!

I've said it before and I'll say it again; I'm not a big Robb fan. Don't hate him. Don't particularly care about him, to be honest. Yet it still "gets" me every time, when the Greatjon names Robb King in the North and all the other bannermen follow suit.


In conclusion, dragons!

Okay, so there's actually way more to Dany's final AGOT chapter than her dragons - including some passages that gave me pause, though as always it's at least a little bit likely that I'm reading into things. The first one to jump out at me was her promise to Jorah that "one day you shall have from my hands a longsword like none the world has ever seen, dragon-forged and made of Valyrian steel". Although I'm not a big proponent of some future where Dany and Jon are married and ruling together, my first thought was "hmm, wonder if she will end up handing Longclaw off to him somehow". That said, now that there are dragons again, maybe she'll actually be able to make him another Valyrian steel sword somehow? Or maybe nothing will come of it at all, since in her current storyline she's banished Jorah, anyway. (Though I don't really believe that nothing will come of it.)

And because this is ASOIAF and it's basically impossible to not read into things, I'm suddenly really interested in the placement of the dragon eggs...
"She climbed the pyre herself to place the eggs around her sun-and-stars. The black beside his heart, under his arm. The green beside his head, his braid coiled around it. The cream-and-gold down between his legs." 
Another thing that probably isn't all that important, but hey, when you're waiting this long for the next book that you just keep re-reading the first five over and over again, it's hard to not nitpick stuff like that. And to be honest I'm interested in hearing if anyone else thinks there may be some importance to the way Dany placed each specific egg!

One final thought: it really is a good sign that the first time that I read AGOT, got to the end, and "witnessed" the birth of Dany's dragons, I didn't think it was ridiculous. Until ASOIAF, I'd always been more of a sci-fi girl when it came to the books I read...but Game of Thrones proved to me that fantasy can be done right. It opened up whole new worlds for me - in reading, in writing, and in real life.

Little did I know what I was getting myself into at the time...though that became quite a bit more clear with A Clash of Kings. And with that, I move on to ACOK, which at the moment I still consider my favorite of the five published books :) Pin It

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