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Well. I haven’t heard from that so-called book spirit in a while. Either the jackal puppies are still chasing it…or the meds are working. Either way, I should be able to get through this chapter in relative peace.
So yeah, Tyrion. I have this dim sense that I’m going to dislike him in the future, but for the moment, he’s a good antidote for the hate I felt for the last chapter. As to why…well, let me summarize first.
Tyrion 1 (9):
Tyrion has been reading in Winterfell’s library all night, but the howls of a wolf distract him from his reading, and he decides to get some breakfast. He wakes the septon, Chayle, and bids him to be careful when he puts the books away, as they are fragile and rare.
The dwarf makes his way down the tower with difficulty, and as he descends he hears the burnt knight, Sandor Clegane, talking to Prince Joffrey about Bran dying, and the howls of his wolf. Clegane offers to kill the pup, and Joffrey is amused; Tyrion, however, is not. Arriving on the scene, he scolds Joffrey for not offering his condolences to the Starks. When the boy protests, his uncle slaps him, twice, and sends him scurrying off to do what he was told. Clegane is angered by Tyrion’s behavior, but the dwarf nonchalantly brushes him off.
Inside the Guest House, Jaime and the queen are eating breakfast, along with Tommen and Myrcella. Tyrion wonders aloud if Robert is still in bed, but his sister informs him that Robert had stayed with Lord Eddard, and grieved with him. Jaime mused idly that Robert has a large heart; Tyrion notes to himself that Jaime doesn’t take much seriously, something his brother is willing to forgive him for, seeing that Jaime was the only member of his family to treat the dwarf like a person.
Tommen asks how Bran is doing, and Tyrion responds that the boy was not getting worse, although he was not improving. This was taken as a hopeful sign by his physician, and the children were pleased to hear that Bran might recover. Tyrion noticed that his siblings were much less pleased by the news, and filed that fact away. He went on to muse that the wolf seemed to be keeping the boy alive somehow; when the doctor closed the window to shut out the noise, Bran weakened, and when the window was reopened, he stabilized again. The queen is upset by this, and wants to forbid the animals from going south with them. Jaime, however, seems to recognize how hard it would be to separate them from the Stark girls.
Tyrion asks if they were leaving soon, and his sister notices that he excludes himself from leaving with them. When asked, Tyrion admits that he has an interest in travelling north with Benjen and Jon, to see the Wall and “piss off the edge of the world.” Cersei decides she has had enough of Tyrion’s company at this point, and takes the children with her when she departs.
Jaime and Tyrion’s conversation turns back to the injured boy, and Jaime suggests that it might be more merciful to kill the boy, for even if he survives he would end up a “grotesque”. Tyrion, often noted as a grotesque himself, is understandably sardonic about this suggestion, and needles his brother a bit, suggesting that he would like to hear what the boy had to say if he did wake. Jaime’s reaction confirms the little man’s suspicions, and he finishes his meal while grinning at his brother’s discomfort.
Yes, though short, this chapter was a lot more comfortable for me than the previous one. Although, again, I seem to remember that Tyrion is going to do things that piss me off in the future, in this chapter he has nothing but good traits, which I shall now lay out for you.
Firstly, and most importantly, he respects literature. He spends his time studying, he is careful with delicate and rare books, and he sacrifices sleep to read more. Forget his appearance, this is a man who I can respect.
But you don’t respect books, obviously.
Damn it, I thought I was rid of you.
Book spirit: How could you do that…no, never mind, you’re an asshole. How could they do that?
Do what, bite you? Don’t underestimate jackals, they are interesting and talented creatures.
Book spirit: Aren’t they just scavengers?
Nah, they get a bad rap, that’s all. Anyway, I’m kind of pleased with Tyrion in this chapter, so why don’t you go somewhere else and stop bugging me for a while? Unless you want to play with the puppies some more, of course…
Book spirit: Fine, I’m leaving. But I’ll be back.
…not if I get these meds right, you won’t be. Anyway, where was I? Books. Yes. Good on him. Secondly, Tyrion slaps around Prince Joffrey for being stupid, something I would love to do as well. Thirdly, he refuses to be bullied by Clegane, which made me happy. Fourth is the way he trolls his sister and brother, in the process working out who was really behind Bran’s “accident”. Really, the only thing that worries me is that he is obviously going to support Jaime, for being the only one who treats Tyrion like a human being. But even that is completely understandable.
Other than that, there isn’t a lot to say. There isn’t a lot of drama in this chapter, mostly just a lot of talking. I guess the major take-aways are two: Bran might survive, though crippled, and Tyrion plans to accompany Benjen and Jon to the wall. I’m still bitter about Bran and his useless superpower, so never mind that; but Tyrion and Jon could be an interesting combination.
I guess I do have one last thing to say…while I wouldn’t go so far as to call this chapter comic relief, it is positioned very well to relieve the tension of the last chapter. For all the disrespect he gets, Tyrion is quite competent, and it’s a pleasure to read someone who is neither a child, nor fooling himself. A breath of fresh air, as it were. Good job, R.R.
And that’s it. That’s all I got. Short chapter, fun interactions, no progress. Heh. If I wasn’t so busy, I probably could have done the next chapter this week.
…just scanned it. Nope, I’m going to be angry again, let’s leave it for next week. I need to pick up the pace, though, or I’ll never get through this. Sigh…
Next time: Somebody reaches the legendary “Dan’s 0% Approval Rating.” Who will it be? Hint: it’s not Jon, the POV.