* PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL RE-READ POSTS WILL INCLUDE SPOILERS FOR ALL PUBLISHED WORKS IN THE SONG OF ICE & FIRE UNIVERSE. *
I can't lie - even after all of my bitching about Tyrion, the chapter that started off this part of my re-read is a good one. Mostly because we finally meet the infamous Tywin Lannister, but also I have to admit that there's probably no better way to meet Tywin than through the very jaded eyes of his absolute least favorite child.
Side note: Sometimes the show really got things right, and one of those things was casting Charles Dance in this role. Oh, and not giving him those ridiculous "side-whiskers, two great thickets of wiry golden hair that covered most of his cheeks from ear to jaw."
|Seriously, this is what I picture. Much better sans side-whiskers.|
I mean really though, if "Lord Tywin did not believe in half measures", why not shave it all off?
Anyway, on to more important things...like Sansa!
Seriously though, Sansa V is a pretty darn important chapter, both in terms of her own character development and the things she witnesses. First, she's gone from being an important member of the court - the future queen, and all - to being the daughter of a traitor. And she's treated as such; men and women who were once friendly to her now won't even look at her. She's a pariah. Yet she takes that in stride and stays throughout the entire session, even allowing herself to hope, when she hears them list Arya's name, that her sister made it onto the galley and then to Winterfell.
Before Sansa's truly big moment, though, we see Ser Barristan ousted from the Kingsguard and Sandor Clegane brought up to take his place. I honestly don't know as if this scene really 'hit' me the first couple of times I read it, but now I find myself chuckling at Cersei and Joffrey's folly, and also questioning how they were ever allowed to do things like dismiss a member of the Kingsguard for the first time ever...and then replace him with a man who, much as I love him, refused to say a knight's vows. And even told the entire court he wouldn't ever do so.
And then Sansa finally works up to presenting herself before the king and the queen regent to beg for her father's life. I really don't understand how even the most misogynistic Sansa hater can't look at that and say, "Wow, an 11-year-old girl got up in front of 'king and country' to apologize for her traitorous father. Because regardless of what we readers think or know, and even despite the fact that Sansa herself doesn't truly believe that her father is a traitor, she knows that's what everyone else thinks, and she plays the game as best she can in hopes of saving him."
But yes, I know there are still plenty of Sansa haters out there who refuse to look at things that way. So moving on...Ned is bothered by the past and assaulted by the present in the form of Varys, who shows up in one of his myriad disguises to teach Ned a thing or two about what he wants and about who really suffers during these games of thrones. Because yeah, once in a while GRRM says something really meaningful and quotable.
Even more important, though - at least in my opinion - are Ned's thoughts about Lyanna and her bed of blood...and Jon. The fact that only a couple of chapters later, Daenerys meets Mirri Maz Duur, who tells her "I know every secret of the bloody bed"...I mean come on, how heavy-handed can ya be, Mr. Martin? ;)
Speaking of Dany, I find it interesting that when she attempts to "save" the Lhazareen women from being raped, Jorah tells her that she is Rhaegar's sister, "in truth". Personally I'm still torn on whether or not Rhaegar took Lyanna against her will, and while I know that Jorah isn't exactly the best judge of [moral] character, this particular passage really stuck out at me as perhaps a bit more proof that Rhaegar wouldn't have kidnapped and raped Lyanna Stark. Ah, the things we may never know...
Meanwhile Drogo is dealing with some gross (and as we all know, eventually fatal) injuries and Jon is back to being a bit whiny despite the talking-tos he receives from both LC Mormont and Maester Aemon. Plus Robb arrives at the Twins, Catelyn deals with Walder Frey on his behalf, and the alliance that ends up being the ruin of the soon-to-be-King-in-the-North is struck.
Things are moving along quickly at this point and several of them come to a head in Tyrion VIII. Shae has finally arrived on the scene, and well, we all know how that turns out. I mean honestly, even in the way Tyrion describes her it's clear that she's trouble. Silly Tyrion for basically forgetting who and what she is, even as he later constantly reminds himself.
But I digress. There's a battle, Tywin thinks he's won, but it turns out Robb isn't stupid! Sorry not sorry, Tywin. He's a great character and I'm no big fan of Robb, but the end of this Tyrion chapter always puts a bit of a smirk on my face, when the boy essentially outsmarts the legendary commander.
And now I've got just two recaps left for AGOT! It's amazing how much more interesting this stuff seems now that I've read it several times...I know that probably doesn't make much sense, but the first time I ever read A Game of Thrones, I wasn't really hooked until after Ned died. Only in hindsight do I understand how much I was really missing...