Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tara's ASOIAF Re-Read: ACOK, Catelyn I - Jon II

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

My second set of ACOK chapters featured some character positioning and a decent amount of, well, plotting...or at least attempted plotting. It's hard to not re-read some of these chapters - most notably Catelyn's and Theon's - without thinking about all the things that change and/or go wrong between here and the end of the book.

There was definitely a lot going on with Catelyn, though. First things first, what did happen to "the ancient crown of the Kings of Winter"? Maybe it doesn't matter at all, but in this series it's hard not to wonder what statements are throwaways or red herrings. So will we ever find out what Aegon did with that crown? Does it even matter? Only time will tell...just sucks that that time will be many many years. Heh.

One thing that shouldn't be "throwaway", though, is the Blackfish's insistence that the comet, a.k.a. "the Red Messenger", isn't "crimson...Nor Tully red, the mud red of the river. That's blood up there, child, smeared across the sky." And what house uses blood red for one of their colors, hmm? ;)

Anyway, so Robb sends some piss-poor peace terms to King's Landing by way of Tywin's nephew Cleos Frey. Reading through those terms, I was half exasperated because of how strict they were, and yet still half excited that Robb was putting his foot down (yes, even knowing what happens later). Of course that doesn't stop me from being frustrated over his whole "the girls aren't worth Jaime Lannister" thing, even as I *kind of* understand where he's coming from (more so because I know how pissed off Lord Karstark is and what soon becomes of that).

Speaking of the Stark girls, while Arya's one chapter in this section doesn't seem overly important, and Sansa isn't featured at all, I can't help but think of her when reading Davos' chapter. As he watches the statues of the Seven burn at Melisandre's behest, Davos notes that

"The Maiden lay athwart the Warrior, her arms widespread as if to embrace him. The Mother seemed almost to shudder as the flames came licking up her face. A longsword had been thrust through her heart, and its leather grip was alive with flame. The Father was on the bottom, the first to fall. Davos watched the hand of the Stranger writhe and curl as the fingers blackened and fell away one by one, reduced to so much glowing charcoal...The gods in the pyre were scarcely recognizable anymore. The head fell off the Smith with a puff of ash and embers."
I've long seen this passage as a reference to the Starks - or at least mostly so. The Father (Ned) is the first to fall - and he was of course the first Stark to die. The Mother (Catelyn) has a longsword through her heart, "its leather grip alive with flame" - what is this if not a reference to Lady Stoneheart? And the Maiden (Sansa) lies "athwart the Warrior, her arms widespread as if to embrace him". Now most people associate Jaime with the Warrior, but Sandor can hold that place too (possibly even more so, because while he's not technically a knight, he pretty much keeps the knightly vows more than anyone else). The question is, does this refer to Sansa's interactions with Sandor in ACOK...or some future interactions that we have yet to witness?

I got lazy after drawing four of the Seven, sorry.

In terms of the Stranger, while again that could refer to Jaime (and the fact that the hand of the Stranger writhes and curls "as the fingers blackened and fell away one by one" certainly denotes the loss of a hand), if we're sticking with Starks here I suppose it could also refer to Jon and that burned hand that he's always freaking flexing.

I'm not really sure what to make about the bit regarding the Smith. Most people, myself included, associate Gendry with the Smith, but I really really hope we don't see his head get lopped off...perhaps there's someone else close to the Starks who fits as the Smith, or maybe the statues head falling off isn't blatant symbolism for what's to come.

Or perhaps, again, I'm reading too much into all of this

Thankfully I'm not the only one reading into things...even characters do it. In this case I'm talking about Theon and how he notes that Asha's longship is called Black Wind while Robb has a wolf called Grey Wind.

Seriously though, Theon's chapters are so painful for me...though I suppose not as painful as Tyrion's. Of course at this point Tyrion actually isn't all that bad (most of the time, anyway), so I suppose Theon can take the cake for most obnoxious character at the moment. Sad, because I do love Asha, and I really did enjoy the Iron Islands chapter in The World of Ice & Fire.

So Catelyn is still at Riverrun, Tyrion is wreaking havoc in King's Landing, Arya is still trekking up the Kingsroad, Davos is freaking out about Stannis and Melisandre, Theon has made it back to Pyke and his obnoxious father, Daenerys is resting up in Vaes Tolorro, and Jon is wandering around beyond the Wall (but still with the Night's Watch, of course). Not much happened in these seven chapters, but a lot of stuff was set up. And of course I still had to go and focus on things that are possibly completely unimportant because that's how re-reading ASOIAF works ;) Pin It

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