Gerris pointed to where a corpse slumped against a brick wall, attended by a cloud of glistening greenflies. 'Did his death have meaning?'
Quentyn looked at the body with distate. 'He died of the flux. Stay well away from him.' The pale mare was inside the city walls. Small wonder that the streets seemed so empty. 'The Unsullied will send a corpse cart for him.'
'No doubt. But that was not my question. Men's lives have meaning, not their deaths.'
- A Dance with Dragons, The Spurned Suitor
Not entirely true, I think, but I agree with the sentiment, especially in the context of this world. It seems to me that too many characters are trying to die meaningful deaths, rather than live meaningful lives ... (and I suspect that, in typical GRRM style, since Quentyn doesn't want to learn this lesson, he's doomed to both lead a meaningless life and die a meaningless death -_-).
So, we're fast approaching the end of this book - and if I'm honest, I'm past ready for it ;)! Not that I'm not enjoying reading it - I really am! But there comes a point when I yearn to read something else ... and I think I reached that point a hundred pages ago :P!
Nevertheless, Dany, Tyrion and Jon especially still keep me on the edge of my seat with their story lines. Particularly now that Dany has flown off to God knows where, Tyrion has cleverly tricked his way into freedom and Jon ... oh Jon. I sense something evil coming his way. Does he have any friends left at Castle Black? He's sent everyone away who likes him even just a little bit. I know that the saying goes "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." ... but honestly, whoever came up with this clearly had no clue what they were talking about. At least if they meant it in the literal sense. Jon desperately needs the support of his friends - not only so they can protect him and support him in his decisions, but also for emotional and psychological reasons. He's setting himself up to be this lone, tragic hero, and I really don't think that he'll be able to bear that for long, even if he does believe in honour and duty and all that jazz.
On another topic, I'm getting a bit tired of all the new point of view characters I have to admit. The thing is, once I'm five pages into their chapters I'm usually fine (even when it comes to Victarion ...) but those first pages ... they involve a lot of sighing and skipping ahead to see how many pages until the next Dany/Tyrion/Jon chapter xD. The only exception to this are the Barristan Selmy POV chapters - I actually quite like "Ser Grandfather", as Dany calls him, and I've really enjoyed his storyline so far. But yeah, the Ironborn chapters ... I'm not really a fan of those. Even though I think that Asha is a great character!
Finally, I'm really crushed that there aren't going to be any more Theon chapters in this book ;_;! His POV was really one of the most interesting ones for me and I sooooooo wanna know if he managed to escape together with Jeyne ... *sigh* Well, maybe I'll still find out, if he's making for Stannis as he said he would ... because that's where Asha is ... and I've still got one more of her chapters left ... ;)
Jon walked to the edge of the Wall and gazed down upon the killing ground where Mance Rayder’s host had died. He wondered where Mance was now. Did he ever find you, little sister? Or where you just a ploy he used so I would set him free?
It had been so long since he had last seen Arya. What would she look like now? Would he even know her? Arya Underfoot. Her face was always dirty. Would she still have that little sword he’d had Mikken forge for her? Stick them with the pointy end, he’d told her. Wisdom for her wedding night, if half of what he heard of Ramsay Snow was true. Bring her home, Mance. I saved your son from Melisandre, and now I am about to save four thousand of your free folk. You owe me this one little girl.
- A Dance with Dragons, Jon XI
So, even with work and writing a paper for uni I’ve managed to read 350 pages of this book so far this week ... o_O How do the pages fly by so quickly? If this was a regular book I’d probably already be done with it - or at least very close to finishing. Must be magic ...
Exciting stuff has been happening again! I just finished Theon’s last chapter in this book ... boooo! It was just getting so suspenseful - GRRM can’t just leave me hanging there! Did Theon and Jeyne survive that fall? And even if they did, did they manage to get away? I can’t imagine that you can just jump from the battlements without seriously hurting yourself and surely they’d be able to catch them ...?
I like that Dany is being quite nice to Quentyn - I don’t know why, but I was expecting her to be somewhat mean to him, for whatever reason. I really feel for her though. That last scene I read, when Missandei finds her crying after her first night with Hizdar ... :( Poor Dany. She’s so alone. She really needs a friend - and I think she really needs to leave Meereen behind her, even though I get that she doesn’t want to abandon her subjects. I just have a feeling that with Hizdar in power now she’ll be side-lined really quickly ...
In more positive news: JAIME! Oh my God, I got to read a Jaime chapter again :DDD (yes, I love Jaime to bits ...)! I loved how honourable he was trying to be during his negotiation with Blackwood - even though I wasn’t too keen on his rudeness to the son afterwards (shhh, it’s okay Jaime - it’s okay to be the hero in the story sometimes, no need to revert to your former dick-ish self ...). But OH GOSH Brienne! So she’s alive ...
That was the good news - now for the bad ... WTF?! I hope she’s not actually leading Jaime to his doom now DDD:?! I know that happy endings are extremely unlikely in this universe ... but do we have to go all out Romeo and Juliet with these two? Pleeeeease no! I couldn’t bear it if Jaime lost all the respect he has found for Brienne :(!
I won’t lie though - the most exciting part for me was still when Jon thought that he might see Arya again. I literally had to stop reading for a bit to calm my nerves xD. Even though I knew it was impossible that he would actually see her - still, his anticipation and happiness that he might be able to talk to his little sister again ... it really touched me. I really hope these two are going to see each other again one day.
“A girl?” Jon sat, rubbing the sleep from his eyes with the back of his hands. “Val? Has Val returned?”
“Not Val, m’lord. This side of the Wall, it were.”
Arya. Jon straightened. It had to be her.
He wanted to believe it would be Arya. He wanted to see her face again, to smile at her and muss her hair, to tell her she was safe. She won’t be safe, though. Winterfell is burned and broken and there are no more safe places.
- A Dance with Dragons, Jon IX
If we don’t get a reunion of these two at one point I’ll be pissed off D:! Loooooook how much they miss each other <3!
Me reading the Jon chapters in A Storm of Swords:
More than ten pages?
Me reading the Jon chapters in A Dance with Dragons:
More than ten pages?
I’m a fickle being ...
"With their black hoods and thick black cowls, the six might have been carved from shadow. Their voices rose together, small against the vastness of the night. 'Night gathers, and now my watch begins,' they said, as thousands had said before them. Satin's voice was sweet as song, Horse's hoarse and halting, Arron's a nervous squeak, 'It shall not end until my death.'
May those deaths be long in coming. Jon Snow sank to one knee in the snow. Gods of my fathers, protect these men. And Arya too, my little sister, wherever she might be. I pray you, let Mance find her and bring her safe to me."
- A Dance with Dragons, Jon VII
Jon, can you be anymore heartbreaking?!
102 pages in 24 hours - it's been a while since I've read a book this quickly O_o! There was so much exciting stuff happening, I really couldn't stop reading!
I enjoyed the Melisandre POV chapter a lot - I didn't think I would, since I don't particularly like her, but it was really interesting to see things from her perspective. And at least now I know that she really does believe in all the BS she spouts all the time (I wasn't totally convinced before ...).
I'm really becoming a fan of the Reek/Theon chapters - I feel like his redemption is imminent (pleaaaaase!) and I really can't wait for it! Hopefully he'll be able to help poor Jeyne in some way. I haven't finished the chapter which contains her wedding to Ramsay yet, but I feel like this can't end well for her. Particularly if it's true that Ramsay already knows that she isn't the real Arya.
Bran was really quite interesting as well - reading about the history of the greenseers was slightly tedious, but the visions he had of his family (presumably) through the centuries were amazing. I want more of that :D! I'm still trying to puzzle out who the white-haired woman might be (Can Bran maybe see into the future too? Is that Daenerys?) etc.
And lastly - Jon. Oh, Jon. my heart really breaks for him - he's so torn between saving his sister from a terrible fate and remaining true to his duty as the Commander of the Night's Watch ... he really is his father's son. (I do keep whispering "Go and save Arya!" at him though, as I'm reading ... :P)
Gah! I wish I could read even more quickly xD! I want to know what happens next! :)
"He's to marry Arya Stark. My little sister."
"Your sister," Iron Emmett said, "how old is ..."
By now she'd be eleven, Jon thought. Still a child. "I have no sister. Only brothers. Only you." Lady Catelyn would have rejoiced to hear those words, he knew. That did not make them easier to say. His fingers closed around the parchment. Would that they could crush Ramsay Bolton's throat as easily.
- A Dance with Dragons, Jon VI
Can we have a sibling reunion soon, please? Pleeeease?
So, I've now gone from feeling absolutely bored by the Jon chapters to loving every bit of them - you can really feel the tension rising and I'm dying to know how this is all going to end. Will Jon be sacked from his post as the Commander of the Watch (if that's at all possible)? Will he go and rescue "Arya"? Or will Arya(?!) actually come to the Wall? What did Melisandre see??? I can't waaaaaaaait to find out!
The Dany chapters are getting progressively more exciting as well! I really don't know what'll happen with her - but it looks bad! I get that she can't run ... but ... RUN, GIRL! She's like a sitting duck in that city ..
And before we leave - something unbelievable has happened: I was actually on the edge of my seat reading a Davos chapter. Don't get me wrong - I like Davos! He's a sweet guy ... but his chapters are usually not exactly the most exciting ones. This time around though ... boy. I wonder where Manderly has sent him now. Where in the world do they eat human flesh O_O?
The Karstarks took the Drunkard's Tower and the Umbers the Children's Tower, he recalled. Robb claimed the Gatehouse Tower for his own.
If he closed is eyes, he could see the banners in his mind's eye, snapping bravely in a brisk north wind. All gone now, all fallen. The wind on his cheeks was blowing from the south, and the only banners flying above the remains of Moat Cailin displayed a golden kraken on a field of black.
- A Dance with Dragons, Reek II
And all of a sudden I feel just terrible for Theon ... Martin's ability of rehabilitating characters is amazing, honestly.
Old Ser Goodwin was long in his grave, yet she could hear him whispering in her ear. ‘Men will always underestimate you,’ he said, ‘and their pride will make them want to vanquish you quickly, lest it be said that a woman tried them sorely. Let them spend their strength in furious attacks, whilst you conserve your own. Wait and watch, girl, wait and watch.’ She waited, watching, moving sideways, then backwards. then sideways again, slashing now at his face, now at his legs, now at his arm. His blows came more slowly as his axe grew heavier. Brienne turned him so the rain was in his eyes, and stepped back two quick steps. He wrenched his axe up once more, cursing, and lurched after her, one foot sliding in the mud …
… and she leapt to meet his rush, both hands on her sword hilt. His headlong charge brought him right onto her point, and Oathkeeper punched through cloth and mail […]
- A Feast for Crows, Brienne VII
Brienne is awesome. I rest my case.
Lightning cracked to the south as the riders swung down off their horses. For half a heartbeat darkness turned to day. An axe gleamed silvery blue, light shimmered off mail and plate, and beneath the dark hood of the lead rider Brienne glimpsed an iron snout and rows of steel teeth, snarling.
The door to the inn banged open. Willow stepped out into the rain, a crossbow in her hands. […] Brienne heard the man in the Hounds helm say. “Loose a quarrel at me and I’ll shove that crossbow up your cunt and fuck you with it. […]” The fury in the man’s voice drove Willow back a step, trembling.
Seven, Brienne thought again, despairing. She had no chance against seven, she knew. No chance, and no choice.
She stepped into the rain, Oathkeeper in hand. “Leave her be. If you want to rape someone, try me.”
- A Feast for Crows, Brienne VII
Oh my God, oh my God, oh my Goooooooooooooooooooooooood! I just love Brienne so much - how can anyone not?
'Your word of honour?' Ser Brynden raised an eyebrow. 'Do you even know what honor is?'
A horse. 'I will swear any oath that you require.'
'Spare me, Kingslayer.'
'I want to. Strike your banners and open your gates and I'll grant your men their lives. [...]'
- A Feast for Crows, Jaime VI
I won't lie, I love Jaime's sass ;).