Let’s Read A Game of Thrones! Part 28: Eddard 6

Ahem. Let’s read A Game of Thrones!


 

Eddard 6 (27)

Janos Slynt, Commander of the City Watch, has come to complain to the king’s council about the security of King’s Landing during the buildup to the Hand’s tourney. He needs more men to combat the rise in crime. Lord Renly Baratheon is not sympathetic, but the King’s Hand Eddard Stark immediately orders more men hired, and commands Littlefinger to find the funds to pay them. He also temporarily detaches twenty men from his own guard to help the watch, and Slynt departs gratefully. After the man leaves, Ned grumbles about the tourney being held in his name, and Pycelle points out that such events are good for the realm, bringing wealth to many. Littlefinger and Renly start joking about whores, and the name of Renly’s prudish brother Stannis Baratheon comes up. Ned wonders aloud when Stannis would return from Dragonstone and resume his seat on the council, but the only response is another joke from Littlefinger. Continue reading

Let’s Read A Game Of Thrones! Part 27: Jon 4

It’s still Friday. Really.


 

Jon 4 (26)

Jon is practicing swordwork with his new comrades, when a new recruit enters the practice yard. It is an extraordinarily chubby boy, who is obviously intimidated by his surroundings. Ser Allister Thorne orders him to get equipped at the armory, where the armorer Donal Naye had to completely customize armor to fit his girth. When the boy was finally equipped, Ser Allister set him to fight against Halder, a former stonemason apprentice. The newcomer is completely destroyed by Halder, and yields; but Thorne tells the boy to get back up, and incites Halder to strike him until he does. At this point Jon intervenes, and prevents Halder from attacking the boy further. Incensed, Ser Allister calls two more people, Rast and Albett, to join Halder; unbidden, Pyp and Grenn reinforce Jon, and it becomes a 3 vs. 3 battle. Jon fights Halder, and in exchange for a heavy blow to his shoulder, he breaks Halder’s balance and defeats him. Grenn is holding his own against Albett, but Pyp is hard-pressed against Rast. Jon intervenes with a strike to Rast’s helm, and Pyp is able to take advantage to defeat the bigger man. Jon turns to help Grenn, but Albett surrenders rather than face two opponents. Furious, Ser Allister stalks off. Continue reading

Let’s Read A Game Of Thrones! Part 26: Eddard 5

Ugh…neck pain is painful…


 

Eddard 5 (25)

Eddard Stark is chatting with Grand Maester Pycelle, about the death of Jon Arryn. Pycelle tells him that, in retrospect, Lord Jon had seemed to be subtlety declining for some time. However, one day he came to borrow a certain book from Pycelle, and by the next day he had collapsed. He did not recover, but steadily weakened, and none of the attending doctors could help him. He died in the presence of his wife, Lady Lysa, as well as King Robert. His last words were “The seed is strong.” When Ned asks whether Jon Arryn’s death seemed unnatural, Pycelle says that he considers it fairly normal, but dodges Ned’s question about whether he had ever seen it before. When Ned suggests that he might have been poisoned, Pycelle claims that it would be unlikely, but at the same time tries to divert Ned’s suspicions onto the eunuch, Varys. Ned begins to leave, but on impulse asks to examine the book Lord Jon had asked to see before he collapsed. Pycelle promises to find the book and send it to him. Continue reading

What Would I Rather Be Reading? Part VII: Digger (and others)

This is coming later than I anticipated, but I expected that. While WordPress will list this as posted on Monday, it’s still Sunday where I live. So I win! Now. Has everyone gone and read Digger? No?

No problem, you can still go do that now.

….What, still not going? You’re only hurting yourself, you know.

So you’re probably wondering why I seem so insistent that you check this one out. Well, it is excellent in many ways. The art is good, the story is fantastic, and the characters are…well. You know the usual moral relativism, grey vs. grey morality, right? Basically, everyone has a dark side, no one is pure, that sort of thing? That is very much not in evidence in Digger; instead, if I were to say that everyone is a good person, I would be exaggerating only slightly. Every character has reasons for their actions and stances, and though some parties are more reasonable than others, there is almost no malice between characters. Which is not to say there isn’t conflict; there is a lot of conflict, but it is almost always generated from the clash of different cultures and worldviews, and once common ground is found the characters get along reasonably well. (There is, of course, one major exception, behind the majority of the plot. But the narrative to reach that point is so well constructed, I would never dream of spoiling it for you.) Continue reading

Let’s Read A Game of Thrones! Part 25: Bran 4

Just sliiiiigtly late today. Time management, fail!


 

Bran 4 (24)

Bran is in his tower, watching Rickon playing with the three direwolves from his window. He is quite bitter because he can’t join them, and angry at the crow from his dream for tricking him into thinking he could fly. He is listening to Old Nan, an old woman who had come to Winterfell a long time in the past as a wet nurse for a different Brandon Stark, and who occasionally seemed to confuse Bran with that child, or with Bran’s uncle who was killed by the old Targaryen king. Old Nan is trying to tell him stories, but he is sick of listening to her. He thinks about his family, broken and scattered, and feels lonely and isolated. Old Nan finally grabs his attention with a story about the Others, the white walkers, who appeared during a dark, unending winter, and who hated and slaughtered the living without mercy. She speaks of a hero, who set forth to find the children of the forest with companions, and how he was pursued by the Others and hounded until all his companions were gone… Continue reading

Let’s Read A Game of Thrones! Part 24: Daenerys 3

My daughter damaged one of the pages of this chapter. Literary criticism at its finest!


 

Daenerys 3 (23)

Dany is riding with Ser Jorah Mormont, on top of a ridge above the Dothraki grasslands. They are followed by a party including Viserys, but Dany decided that she didn’t want to listen to her brother whining again today. She leaves orders for everyone to remain behind, and rides off down the ridge by herself.

As she rides, she thinks back on the journey to this point. At first, riding had been a terrible ordeal. She had been completely unprepared for riding entire days, and her body had become a mass of sores and screaming muscles, and she began to consider death a preferable alternative. But one night, she had a dream of a dragon, which breathed flame at her that consumed her body without causing her pain. When she woke up that morning, she was feeling better, and afterwards she quickly healed and toughened to the point that riding became her favorite activity. Continue reading

Let’s Read A Game of Thrones! Part 23: Arya 2

And now, angst.


 

Arya 2 (22)

Arya’s father is late to dinner again, and she can tell that he has been fighting with the King’s council. Ned discusses the upcoming tourney with Jory, and Sansa expresses a desire to attend. Ned doesn’t want to allow it, but Septa Mordane talks him into it. He allows Sansa and Arya to attend; however, Arya doesn’t want anything to do with the event. She and Sansa begin to argue, before their father stops them. Ned leaves the hall without eating anything, and Arya begins to muse gloomily upon her current life. No one attempts to address her, and she misses her brothers and the days back at Winterfell. Eventually she starts brooding about Mycah, and how no one she trusted had tried to help him. Becoming angry, she gets up and leaves, ignoring Mordane who tries to stop her.

Back in her bedroom, she begins to cry, and blame herself for everything that has happened. She goes to her chest and removes her sword, Needle, from where it is hidden beneath her clothes, and draws it. Mordane starts pounding on the door, demanding that Arya open it, and threatens to tell her father. Arya screams at her to go away, and Mordane leaves. The girl stares out the window, wishing she could climb like Bran, and starts dreaming of running away, finding Nymeria, and returning to Winterfell, or even joining Jon on the Wall. Then her father arrives. Continue reading

What Would I Rather Be Reading? Part VI: Journey to Chaos

When I refer to a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, does everyone know what I am talking about?

For those who fear the gravimetric horror of TVTropes, it refers to a setting where everything can exist, even if they have wildly different origins: aliens, gods, wizards, vampires, management consultants, hillbillies, etc., etc. Anything and everything is thrown together, and mixed thoroughly. And Brian Wilkerson has done just that, in his Journey to Chaos series: he has taken everything that he likes (with a strong lean toward Japanese anime and video games), thrown it into a giant blender, and hit ‘liquify’, resulting in a jumbled but delicious mess.

Um. I feel my metaphor is getting away from me, so let’s move on. Continue reading

Let’s Read A Game Of Thrones! Part 22: Tyrion 3

Let the disconnected time resume. Welcome once more…


 

Tyrion 3 (21)

Tyrion is at dinner with Lord Commander Mormont and a number of his men, having informed them that he plans to return south. He spends some time joking with the men, although Ser Alliser Thorne gets angry at the dwarf’s mocking tone and leaves. The other men are more relaxed, even when Tyrion pokes fun in their direction. Later that evening, Tyrion is alone with Mormont, sharing a mulled drink by the fire. Mormont insists that he have an escort as far as Winterfell, and Tyrion thanks him while internally wondering what Mormont wants in return.

Mormont points out that Tyrion’s sister is the queen, that his brother is acclaimed a hero, and that his father was the most powerful lord in the south. He wants Tyrion to tell the King, and others, of the pressing need for good men in the Night’s Watch. Mormont has felt the approach of Winter, and seen the signs of a great disturbance in the North. He warns Tyrion that when Winter arrives, the Watch is in no position to hold back the horrors that could arrive. Tyrion gravely agrees to pass the message along; he fails to mention that King Robert will ignore him, his father will treat him as though he were crazed, and his brother would simply laugh the warning off. Continue reading

Let’s Read A Game of Thrones! Part 21: Eddard 4

Hey, there. Merry Christmas, or whatever, time-bound souls. Wish I could say that I was having a merry time, myself, but frankly, things are rough. My essence is unstable, my mortal shell is acting strangely, and I’ve been hearing worrisome noises coming from the Gate. Furthermore, Fang of Shadow is off doing his actual job, leaving me with no one to talk to. Oh, the book spirit came back, but now she’s hiding for some reason. No help there. Even the jackal puppies are off doing… something. They told me it was a secret, so I didn’t look into it.

Also, on top of everything else, I’m having trouble connecting to the internet. I know the problem, but it’s not something I can easily solve at this time. So the heavens alone know whether this can even be posted on time.

Well. Fortunate that my readership is small, then.


Continue reading