Sunday, August 10, 2014

Storm of Swords: First Half (ASoIaF predictions; Spoilers!)

Book 3

Suspect Catelyn kills Jaime because she threatens she will have his blood if he doesn't keep his oaths. He won't keep them, she will kill him. But only after something really terrible happens like all her arms get cut off or she thinks all her children are dead, but obviously they're not; Arya, Sansa, and Bran clearly have long story arcs ahead. But SOMEHOW disaster has to make her magic so she can kill people. (Also she keeps having like quasi-magical portents and visions.)

Surprised Robb and Joffrey survived book II.

I hope Brienne gets to kill a lot of people who annoy me. No one in particular, just characters who annoy me.

Neither Tyrion nor Jaime tried to kill Bran; was it Varys?

Someone is getting their nose chopped off at a wedding, since Tyrion made a point that one is more likely to get one's nose chopped off in battle than at a wedding.

Davos turns on Stannis.

Rhaegar obviously found a prophecy when he went to become a warrior.

Ugh, way rapey, Ser Jorah. You're one of the three betrayers of Dany obvs. Ugh, ugh, ugh, so creepy.

Jon's wolf that never makes noise will later howl at a moment of great importance.

Catelyn talks about how she HAD five children and now has three, which makes me think maybe three of them survive the series – I predict Robb and Rickon as the dead ones.

Illyrio is funding Stannis, apparently?

Oh Robb. Oh Robb. Such bad life decisions. GRRM did a nice job setting up Robb's failure to follow through on the marriage contract. He made it both inevitable and totally understandable that a 16-year-old would make such a dumb mistake.

Cersei is only buying Sansa a new dress to try to whore her out to someone. I mean maritally, not literal whoring.

OH LOOK IT'S MY ZOMBIE ARMY! That was quicker than I thought.

I think Tyrion is being set up to take the fall for Littlefingers' shady accounting.

OH BAM SANSA AND TYRION WHAT DID I TELL YOU? But I'm a little confused as to whether Cersei was in on it with Tywin or whether Cersei had a different plan.

Is Jeyne working for Tywin? Robb's honorable like his father, Jeyne will sleep her way to power like her mother? But maybe not by seducing a king but sleeping with him to betray him.

The dreaming hag – shadow with a burning heart butchering a golden stag is Stannis killing Renly. Man without a face on a bridge, with a drowned crow … don't know. Woman that was a fish, dead crying red tears – I think that's Catelyn, crying for her dead children, and she's dead too … and then she opens her eyes … ZOMBIE CATELYN? I just KNOW Catelyn is magic. Maybe she is a magic zombie.


Okay I am totally more into this series now and getting wrapped up in it but when I stop to think about it these plots are stalling out a bit and it's very Harry Potter and the Neverending Camping Trip. Lots of following people kidnapping/hostaging other people as they wander around. That's kinda dull.

If there's going to be zombie Catelyn I wonder if there will be zombie Robb. But probably zombies can't be king, and also then what would zombie Catelyn be mad about?

You know nothing, Jon Snow. Nothing except how to pleasure a woman. Me, I just know how to say this one sentence over and over and over. Why? If you don't already know I'm not telling you, because you know nothing, Jon Snow.

Well Dany's obviously not going to sell a dragon. Also “Missandei” is uncomfortably similar to “Melisandre” in print, I keep misreading.

This section with Daenerys talking to Ser Jorah about what a king is for and how Viserys should have protected her is almost unbearably clunky and nonsensical. Dany's passion for justice has been worked into the narrative and didn't need to be called out for extra explication like that.

Hahahahaha, that was pretty sweet, Daenerys 4 Lyfe. (Although that did not sound like a very realistic description of a dude getting his head set on fire. Like, probably you couldn't watch the individual eyeballs melt before the whole face just melted.)

Where does the food for all these Unsullied come from? I have concerns about supply chains in these novels.

Knight of the Laughing Tree
Meera and Jojen wouldn't be all “Haven't you heard this story a million times?” if it weren't about Eddard himself and their father.

Four wolves – Eddard (quiet wolf), his dead older brother (wild?), Lyanna, and his younger brother (the pup – Benjen, right?). Which makes it Jojen and Meera's father (Howland, I think) who is the crannogman who is the protagonist of the story. And the dragon prince is Rhaegar, and maybe this is the first time Lyanna and Rhaegar meet? That's probably the major purpose of the story here, to put Rhaegar and Lyanna in one place, and give a reason the Reeds are so loyal to the Starks.

Who is in the armor? Short, booming voice, mismatched pieces, talented enough to beat knights. Probably not the older brother Stark. Could be young Robert. Could be Howland himself. Could be Lyanna? Could be Rhaegar if Rhaegar is short. I think Benjen is probably too young.

Melisandre's theology is going to run into some serious problems when she meets Dany and Dany's whole fire/light powers.

Why do fantasy novels always have such long, long timelines? Ghiscar is 5,000 years old, Dorne is 3,000 years old. If this is timeline 1200-ish, 3,000 years before would be 2000 BCE and 5000 years would be 4000 BCE and basically humanity had just discovered pottery, plows, and horse domestication. It's not exactly a complaint, it's just a weird thing common to fantasy epics. Thousands upon thousands of years and nobody discovers anything.

Okay, Stannis is TOTALLY NOT CREEPY JESUS. Melisandre either just picked him because he's convenient and has a claim to the Westeros throne, or else she's super-bad at identifying Creepy Jesus (Azor Ahai).

Suspect Gendel's tunnels will come back later on.

Beric Dondarrion is way more magic than Stannis – okay now I'm farther along and he's been resurrected like 8 times, he is TOTALLY more Creepy Jesus-y than Stannis.

Robb thinks about how Rollam and Ser Reynald stand in the places of his brothers (Bran and Jon Snow), which makes me think both of them will die since he thinks his brothers (Bran and Rickon) are dead. The chapter ends with Edmure reluctantly agreeing to the wedding (literally the last line) so obviously this wedding is going to shit. People don't do things in the last line of chapters in this series unless it's about to go REALLY IRONICALLY BADLY.

Dornish/Cornish whatever don't be afraid to put a lampshade on it GRRM.

Oh man suddenly there is a lot of exposition and it's getting dull. Jaime's being sent here and there for Reasons explained at length. Tyrion is thinking Thoughts about Oberyn. Arya is off this way and that way with many different outlaws. Shifting gears, I guess, as some plot lines begin to run down and others have to get started. I've lost track of which group of miscreants is running around with Ary, but it probably doesn't matter as so far nobody has expressed any interest in return her to Catelyn.


(47% of the way through Storm of Swords)

1 comment:

  1. I'm not much of a SFF reader, so I won't comment on the other works in this genre, but with regards to your comment on the long timelines, I don't think it's all that odd.

    Ancient people have come and gone for tens of thousands of years, since before the ice age, technologies have been created and lost. There are old tools that have been found that date back to 10,000+ years ago, etc, and yet some of these things were later reinvented thousands of years later. Catalhoyuk, Indus Valley Civilization, are all ancient lost civilizations dating back thousands of years. Especially when there's a threat of large external forces that destroy everything (ice ages, other natural disasters, changes in weather patterns, white walkers?), technological advances can stall or be lost.

    Even in civilizations that stay in tact, technological advance take longer than you might think -- India and China are both 4,000-5,000 years old and that's only what's recorded.

    If you think of Ghiscar as one of the fallen ancient cilivizations and Dorne as India/China -- these timelines make a lot of sense.

    Anyway, my point is, I don't find the long timelines bothersome. Western civilization as we know it today has only been able to advance so quickly because the ice ages stopped, other civilizations rose and survived and a lot of the technology already existed so they were able to skip a lot of steps.