The eunuch is back! This is not good news for Kevan Lannister. It seems that if you’re the POV character in a prologue or epilogue, you’re not going to have a good time. I think they’ve all died.
AGOT: Kid beyond the wall killed by wights.
ACOK: Maester poisons himself trying to kill Mel.
ASOS: Black Brother dies shortly after the prologue / Frey hanged by Zombie Cat.
AFFC: Poor old Pate.
ADWD: Man beyond the wall wargs into a wolf as his human body dies (presumably he’s still alive via the wolf)
And of course that leaves us with Kevan. Shot by Varys with lots of tiny little stab wounds from his little birds, just to make sure. After the crossbow but before the knives Varys manages to fill Kevan in on his plan for Aegon, that he has been groomed since birth to rule. This sits just fine with me. If he wants to fight for the throne and take it back, by all means, go for it. That’s how Robert did it, and how the Targaryens did it 300 years before. We readers are quite often reminds of the Mad King and how terrible he was, but overall the Targs seem like pretty competent rulers. 300 years of relative peace, certainly when compared to the last couple years in Westeros.
In addition to Kevan’s death, maester Pycelle bites it as well. Kev sees his body as he enters his chamber, Varys took him out first. We also see the official Citadel white bird of winter. Because it’s not really winter until you’re told as much.
Before he took a crossbow bolt to the guy Kevan had some important Hand business to tend to. The council talked about Cersei and her upcoming trial by battle. It seems that there are definitely some suspicions about the true identity of Robert Strong. If it’s anything but Zombie Gregor I will be shocked. That’s kind of the only thing he can be. They also talk of Connington and the Targaryen “pretender”, they must crush them etc. and so forth. And of course the crown has no money left and debts are being called in (thanks Cersei!)
A pretty solid epilogue to what turned out to be a pretty solid installment of ASOIAF. It’s hard to rank them without seeing them as a whole, but I’d go with: ASOS, AGOT, ACOK, ADWD, AFFC. With AFFC being the only one I really felt was a chore to get through. If I ever do re-read them though, I bet it will be easier.
So now I wait, as so many have been already. It sucks not having the next book waiting for me. When I started I had 5000+ pages in front of me, it seemed like I would just never reach the end. Or that if I did, surely the next 1000 pages would be ready by then. Ha. GRRM writes at his own pace and it is that of a snail’s. The Winds of Winter is sure to have much more action, which AFFC and ADWD was sorely lacking. I guess that’s what happens when your master plan for an epic fantasy series falls apart when you decide to change things in the middle (referring to his planned time jump after ASOS, but he instead just went ahead and wrote AFFC and ADWD, giving us the unfortunate chronological split).
Anyway, my next post won’t be until TWOW hits my Kindle. Unlike these last couple books I will write all those summaries/thoughts in real time as I read it. I will likely burn through the book much faster as well since getting through just one will be a much easier task than getting through all five. And to avoid spoilers.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you whenever GRRM decides it’s time for us to continue A Song of Ice and Fire!
Things aren’t looking all that great for Dany. She can’t control Drogon, she’s starving, lost, and it sure seems like she’s riding the pale mare. She’s also getting her moon’s blood, I thought that was over with after the events of AGOT, but maybe it’s a symptom of the flux. Or maybe the witch’s words are coming true. A sun rose in the west and set in the east, mountains blew in the wind like leaves, and now all she needs is for a child to quicken in her womb. How fucking awesome would it be if KHAL FUCKING DROGO found her at the end of this chapter? As little sense as it would have made I think I would have loved it.
Instead she’s found by another Khal in the final line of the chapter and GRRM has a couple years to figure out what to do with her.
Quentyn is officially dead, it just took a few days. Third degree dragon burns will do that. Barristan has sent the Green Grace to talk to the Yunkai, but doesn’t believe it will actually change anything, so he continues planning for an attack. He wants to send Quentyn’s friends to the Tattered Prince during this battle to try and get the hostages sent back. This will probably not work.
Green Grace returns and shocker, the Yunkai will only be reasonable when the dragons are dead. Fair enough, really. In the meantime they begin flinging six trebuchet’s worth of corpses into Meereen. It’s a damn shame we won’t be seeing this battle until The Winds of Winter, what the hell is going on GRRM, give us the good stuff!
He ain’t dead, I’m calling that right now, probably along with every other reader. But he was stabbed at least four times, so that sucks. I mean, he might die, but he won’t stay dead. Mr. Snow is just far too important in this world to go out like a sucka.
But then again, this IS A Song of Ice and Fire. More on this in my ADWD Final Thoughts post.
Before his brothers betray him, Jon receives a letter form Ramsay. Well, it says it’s from Ramsay, btu I have my doubts. He has allegedly killed Stannis and Mance and wants his bride back. I’m fairly confident that Stannis is not dead, at least not yet. I don’t think Mance is dead either, but I’m not as confident. Ramsay, or someone posing as Ramsay, is trying to get under Jon’s skin. He resolves to go to Winterfell and sort this shit out, but he will go alone. Jon is not one to force oathbreaking upon others. But wildlings are free to come, and plenty join up with him. He sends his black brothers on a rescue mission to Hardhome. It’s really a terrible idea, he’s guaranteeing lots of death, but I guess he feels those saved from being turned to Ice Zombies will be worth it.
It was Quentyn and crew who loosed the dragons. Not on purpose, they meant to steal them, but come on now, fucking dragons, yeah right. They got the guard’s code word for the day (“dog”) which got them as far as the door to the dragon’s pit. It’s ok though, they won the fight and got in. This is where the real trouble begins.
You see Quentyn, THESE ARE DANY’S DRAGONS. And they even spit fire at her. So you don’t stand a chance. Targ blood or no, you’re done. I mean maybe he pulls through due to that blood of the dragon nonsense, but I’d bet a pretty penny that this means the end of QBall. And I don’t care. GRRM made the mistake of thinking we actually cared about this guy. If this is the only Big Scooby death of the book I’ll be really disappointed. He is barely even a Big Scooby anyway. We need someone who had a big part since AGOT to go down.
Ser Barristan decides that the king needs to be taken down a peg or two. He conspires with the Shavepate and makes his way to the king’s bedroom. There is a kick ass fight, and since Selmy is smart enough to wear armor, he wins, spilling Khrazz’s guts all over the floor and taking Hizdahr into custody.
Chapter ends with a cupbearer bringing news: “Hey, by the way, the dragons are loose.” HELL YEAH.
Lil T signs away a shit ton of gold to get into the Second Sons. When that’s all done head heads out looking for armor and finds Penny. The dog and the pig are gone, she’s pissed, and he’s trying to play down the fact that they are almost certainly dead and eaten by now. Oh well, at least they probably weren’t raped, though if this were Westeros….
It seems that Penny has a case of the bloody flux, which is pretty much a death sentence. It’s ok though because she’ll likely die in battle first. Jorah shows up with a nippled breastplate and they await a fight. Tyrion’s got some plans to get the Second Sons to change sides, since he thinks they will lose. Of course he’s scheming, this is the Imp. We’ll find out exactly what that plan is in a few years.
It still feels like these should have been in AFFC. I get that GRRM needed to split the books geographically instead of chronologically, but why not put everything he had for Jaime and Cersei into book 4? They added nothing here, at this point Cersei’s chapters are just a distraction from the real action happening across the Narrow Sea and up at the Wall.
But anyway, they shave her, everywhere, and parade her naked as the day she was born through King’s Landing. She takes it pretty well at first but by the end she is crying, crawling and bleeding. It’s all part of her atonement before trial by combat, and it’s confirmed that there is a new member of the kingsguard, Ser Robert Strong. Hopefully, AKA ZOMBIEGREGOR. which means we won’t see it in this book. GOD DAMMIT I don’t want to wait.
I wonder why Tommen is allowing all of this shit to happen to his mother. I guess he doesn’t really even know, Marg is keeping him company, but there’s no way Joff would stand for this.
Her first assassin mission, and she comes up with a clever little plan to do it. Poison a coin, slip it into a payment, knowing that this dude bites all of his gold, and voila, one dead insurance agent.
We get a look into the Face Room, it seems that before you get to change your face magically like Jaqen did you get actual peeled faces graphed onto your skin, but still with some magic since Arya couldn’t feel any difference. I’m not totally clear on this. And it will probably not be made clear until we see it happen on TV. You know, when the actress who plays Arya is about 35 years old.
I like her little updates, unlike the other carryovers from AFFC I’m always happy to know what’s happening with Arya. Each of her chapters is like a little self-contained adventure that feels like it’s building up to something huge. Hopefully she is back to being a featured player in the next book. How does winter affect Essos anyway? So far it still seems pretty darn hot there.
So Victarion is basically a serial killer at this point. He calls it sacrifices to the gods, but he is roaming the seas having a murderous good time. They’re headed towards MEereen, capturing every ship they find to add to their fleet, “freeing” the slaves aboard (by allowing them to live and continue rowing, but for Vic now), and killing just about everyone. He even fills up a small boat with pretty ladies and then just sets it afire, a sacrifice to both the Fire God and the Drowned Gods. I gotta say I’m not a fan of this guy.
Moqorro and Victarion take a look at the Dragon Horn and Moqorro explains that any mortal man who blows the horn will die. But regardless of who blows it, it will answer to its master, who must be bound to it with blood. So I guess Vic will just have to continue killing folk and somehow bid the horn to himself. I’ll find out in a couple years.