What Jenny's Reading

{June 8, 2014}   Game of Thrones, Book 4: Thoughts

Before we start, can I say that apparently I’ve screwed up the date/time settings on this blog, and thus am posting FROM THE FUTURE? I’ll tell Marty McFly “hi” from you all.
Unfortunately I didn’t like this book as much as I liked the last one, so this write up probably won’t be as entertaining. Sort of how I loved book one, was “meh” on book two, loved book three. Mostly I think it was because it focused on characters I don’t like very much. Also, I feel like this book, more than any others that preceded it, is telling a story about women who stand up against their traditional roles and then get smacked down for it. I’m really hoping this is leading to something other than “Ladies be crappy rulers because they are ladies” or some other misogynist thing. NOTE: I am not saying George R. R. Martin in a misogynist. I’m just saying the story being told really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But that’s okay. Good stories should make you think. And this story is far from done.

1. These books are always starting with a description of things that we don’t really care about at the time, which become important later or at least introduce new characters. I mean, all I want to read about right now is the fallout from Littlefinger’s killing Lysa, and I have to endure pages of something about an Alchemist? Patience, Jenny, patience…
2. I like the Sand Snakes. All the awesome characters in these books are women/girls. Throw off those patriarchal chains, ladies!
3. Ugh. As if I couldn’t dislike the Ironborn more, they’re all “Oh, a lady can’t rule us because of…um…vagina!” Shut up, jerkwads. You know what? You deserve Theon!
4. Arya’s going to get some training of some kind, I guess. That’s all I’ve got on that for now.
5. I know I should feel more sympathy for Cersei, with being a woman in a man’s world and all that, but she’s just so hateful that I can’t. I think she’s being set up for a fall, so we’ll see how that goes.
6. Wow, Littlefinger is one cool customer, isn’t he? I think he’s pretty gross, but I have to admire the sheer amount of balls he’s carrying around.
7. Are we ever going to find out what’s happening with Tyrion? And Jon? Dany? This book sort of feels like marking time, because we keep spending time with characters that I don’t actually hate, but don’t actually care that much about either.
8. Poor Gilly. Did John really steal her baby and replace it with the other baby? Wow. That’s….well. I hope that’s not what happened.
9. Did Arya join a cult? I was so sad when she was thinking about getting rid of Needle, and all it represented. I think of all the still living characters, she’s suffered the most. Poor Arya.
10. The Crow’s Eye is going to steal Daenerys’s dragons? Good luck with that, pal.
11. Now Cersei apparently has some kind of sad past where she was supposed to marry Rhaegar, but didn’t, and then some old fortuneteller told her some awful prophecy. I don’t care about Cersei and her problems.
12. Arianne was supposed to marry Viserys, then? Interesting. I’m thinking Daenerys might find a warm welcome if she ever docks on Dorne.
13. So the giant wolf pack is being led by Arya’s Nymeria, right? I mean, that’s the only thing that makes sense.
14. Sam met Arya! I love these little touches where the storylines intersect. I was hoping she’d ask him about the Wall or something.
15. And the Greyjoys strip women naked, parade them about as serving girls, and then rape them while they cry. Excellent. Hopefully the dragons set them all on fire. And they want to capture and force Daenerys to marry one of them? Again, good luck with that, pal.
16. I’m waiting for the reveal that the Merryweathers are secretly working from Greyjoy, or Stannis, or even were formerly loyal to the Starks.
17. Holy crap, Littlefinger. I may not like the guy, but I’d definitely want him on my side.
18. Okay, we’re all aware that the younger, more beautiful queen the witch was referring to is Daenerys, right?
19. And Cersei is caught. You know, this whole storyline just makes me uncomfortable. I don’t mind Cersei being called out for sucking as queen, but I wish it had played out differently. How much cooler would it have been for her to actually be great? It feels like she’s being punished, not just for her faults, but for being a woman and aspiring to greater than her station. It’s icky.
20. And Brienne and Pod are hanged but Zombie Catelyn. So do they die? Yet again I say, great. A woman pushing back against the limited position of her sex in the world is punished. I’m not sure what the Zombie Catelyn storyline’s purpose is yet.
21. Sorry to see Aemon die, but since he was so old that surprised me the least. Looks like the stories are going to start intersecting more, which is exciting.
22. Oh, I get it now. So they divided this time period into two books, and the next book will start from the same chronological place that this one did, except with different characters. That’s going to be confusing.


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