Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Dance with Dragons (ASoIaF, spoilers)

It makes me nervous that Dany thinks of Missandei last when mentally listing people who might betray her.

Three-eyed crow = some Night Watch guy with the sight. At first I thought it might be Benjen but the three-eyed crow probably has to be a lot older so I am off that prediction.

“Are you quite certain that Daenerys will make good her brother’s promises?” -- is this speaking of a different brother? Which brother? Rhaegar or Vanerys or someone else?

Varys -- “he taught them to read as well” --  like Dany freeing the slaves? Will this make Varys more loyal to Dany?

8% -- Gray death! I knew there'd be a plague!

“The worst part was knowing that nightfall would bring no relief. Up in the high meadows north of Lord Yronwood’s estates, the air was always crisp and cool after dark, no matter how hot the day had been. Not here. In Volantis, the nights were almost as hot as the days.” I FEEL YOUR PAIN MERCHANT’S MAN. THIS IS WHY I LEFT NORTH CAROLINA.

Quentyn is going to die, he is totally incidental to this plot.

In the story the elephant driver prods the elephant with his heels -- no, in reality, they use big honkin' hooks, and it is not cool. And also we need to stop elephant habitat destruction and probably they should not be kept in zoos only really big nature preserves so they can walk a lot.

Nerd Interlocuting: Speaking of tendentious complaining ... I am slightly bothered that all the hot women in Game of Thrones are SLIM and that Cersei is spending lots and lots of time working on being slim and tightly-corseted [Erin: And high breasted.] It's not fucking 1870 you dumbass [Erin: Yeah, it seems like there should be buxom wenches, if nothing else.] Exactly! curves! child-bearing hips! well-fed chubby cheeks! especially since he DOES spend a lot of time on the quality and quantity of the food of the rich vs. the hunger of the poor. Cersei should be a chubbo [Erin: Yeah, that's a good point. Does he comment on Sansa having the equivalent of baby fat? And then slimming out?] I think so, yeah [Erin: I hope Sansa wins.] me too

GRRM: "Stretch marks that could only have come from childbirth" -- NO YOU DUMMY stretch marks are from PREGNANCY! Another symptom of being too famous to be edited.

30% - Not really buying young Griff as Rhaegar’s kid

Benjen Stark isn't permanently lost ... He seems obviously key to some future plot point.

The Mountain isn't dead because the skull is not definitive. People in this novel suffer from terrible genre blindness. If you don't see someone die AND BE BURNED in a character POV chapter, THEY ARE NOT DEAD. Don't believe it when you just get shipped the skull.

This book much better than the last one. Also cannibals are a totally good place to hide if you're Rickon.

40% -- Tyrion is on his way to serve Dany and probably to save Meereen

I refuse to let Jon be Azor Ahai. I quit this book if he is.

(GRRM describes Melisandre as breaking her fast - put a pin in this until slightly below.)

Waaaaaaay too much Ramsey Bolton.

So I assumed the horn that wakes the sleepers was magic to wake up dead warriors to fight for good, I guess because there's something like this in The Hobbit? It only just occurred to me now that it means literally that a horn is waking up sleeping warriors in the castles or whatever and that is supposed to be our first thought, and the magical meaning is supposed to be a surprise. So, prediction, some magic horn will wake "sleepers" (i.e., dead people) to fight for humanity against the Others.

Well Reek definitely rhymes with a lot of things. Reek, Reek, it rhymes with Martinique.

Apparently this is the book where random eligible heirs start popping up. They are all boring.

68% -- Uh ... It took me until midway thru the escape to figure out Able was Mance. Doh.

Hahahaha hello MOUNTAIN. This makes me think the Hound isn't dead for real either. They will have to face off. Symmetry!

One of the problems with book 4 and 5 is the lack of plot line in individual books. Book 1 had a really strong individual plot line (Eddard's story) that carried the book through and also connected to the larger saga; that has faded over the series.

I love the Braavosi battlefield banker. I totally buy this. Bankers do anything to protect their investments. I love it.

Bored of slave Tyrion. We don't need a billion chapters to make the point.

80% ... Interest flagging. Liked this book a lot better than the last one but let's ... finish ... up.

GRRM says that Theon gets up from sleeping and "breaks his fast." He makes a point earlier about Melisandre getting up in the morning and the squire asks if she wants to "break her fast." This is 100% petty and pedantic, so feel free to skip ahead, but to me this is another sign of getting too big to be edited. The "fast" that is being broken in the word "breakfast" is the midnight-until-Mass fast that Catholics were obligated to observe until the Second Vatican Council, because you can't mix Jesus in with regular food in your stomach acid. Just sleeping overnight is NOT A FAST, and it is sort-of weird and throws me out of the narrative when people in the book solicitously act like not eating while sleeping was a massive hardship. I know it's just a fake-medievalism meant to serve the mood of the story, but this is why editors are important.

100% and Done -- This one was a sad book. And didn’t have enough plot. Poor Ser Kevan.

Jon Snow is obviously not dead. Maybe wildlings save him?

Cersei won’t die at the trial. Margaery probably won’t, but I suppose maybe. Upon reflection, I am actually slightly so-so on this now ... I thought the trial would be in Book 5, but with it being pushed to Book 6, maybe Cersei will die, especially if it drags out through half the book. But, I will predict, Cersei survives the trial. Jamie has to kill her later on.

Not convinced Stannis is dead.

Varys, give up, there’s enough dead people. Varys stabbing people at the end is just depressing, things are unstable enough. Be better at your job and you won't have to stab quite so many people!

I feel like GRRM has put off showing us magic or religion or The Others for too long. He's managed to foist off a really long historical fiction epic on SFF nerds as a fantasy epic by promising magic that never shows up!

Okay, so, Mirri Maz Dur -- Dany’s womb just quickened again when she PLOT-CENTRALLY MENSTRUATED (It was not actually clear to me in the story if she had been menstruating all along or just suddenly re-menstruated, but obviously it mattered to the story ... or maybe miscarried). Quentyn is the sun, who "rose" in Westeros and "set" in Essos. The great grass sea is growing dry for winter … mountains blow in the wind -- volcanic ash? Maybe a volcano erupts next book? Obviously Drogo is not coming back (BURNED IN POV CHARACTER CHAPTER!) so it must be some Drogo-lite or Drogo-junior or something.

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