What Jenny's Reading

{June 5, 2015}   Game of Thrones, Book Five: Thoughts

Okay, it’s finally the last (for the time being) book in the Game of Thrones series!  This review is longer than the other ones I’ve done, because I added a bunch of thoughts and theories at the end.  Who knows when Winds of Winter is going to be released???

1. We start with a wildling who is dying. In the great tradition of GOT books, we get tons of pages on this random dude that we have never met before. So he’s a warg and can take on six different animals, is dying, whatever, becomes a wolf. It’s a “second life” so okay.
2. Oh, wait. I think we did meet him before, but it’s been so long since I read the books that I forgot. See what happens when you wait a thousand years between books, GRRM?
3. Ugh, Tyrion. I mean, I love Tyrion, but the whole “Where do whores go?” just needs to stop. Sick of that phrase already. Well, they don’t go to Penthos, which is where he ends up after killing his dad. He’s with Illyrio, that guy from way back in the beginning who helped the Targaryens with Khal Drogo. All you really need to know is that he’s on a journey to get to Dany and help her reclaim her throne.
4. Well, we do get to meet Aegon Targaryen, who is I guess Rhaegar’s son who was saved from being killed during the war. He is Dany’s age, actually a little older, but for some reason he seems like he’s younger. I guess because he wasn’t married and we’ve barely met him.
5. There’s a lot of discussion about Rhaegar in this book. Like, more than I remember in the other books. I mean, we’re all aware of the L + R = J theory, right? I’m going on record now to say that I think it’s true. Way too many hints about Rhaegar being a really good guy, and also about him being in love with Lyanna.
6. I mean, really. I think even his name is a clue. Jon Connington was one of Rhaegar’s best friends, and is also his son Aegon’s caretaker/foster father. Naming the boy Jon was a nice way to honor that friendship, and since it’s not a Targaryen name, it wouldn’t rouse any suspicions when Ned took him home to Winterfell. In this version of the theory, the baby was born while Ned was there, and Lyanna maybe died in childbirth.
7. And: “Promise me, Ned”? And she was so relaxed once he made the promise? How could that have just been about him taking her body back to the North to be buried under Winterfell? But a promise to keep her son safe and hide his true identity, that is a promise that would soothe a dying mother.
8. Also, why do I feel like Lady Lemore, the septa with Aegon, is actually Lyanna Stark? I’m probably wrong, she’s probably Ashara Dayne, because we know Lyanna’s dead and also even if she was alive, it makes no sense for her to be with Aegon and not her own son. But…hmm. I don’t know. I guess we’ll see whenever GRRM finishes this series. Hopefully he does that before we all die of old age.
9. Oh, and I have another theory. There’s a discussion about a prophecy too, I don’t really know what it is but it has something to do with the three-headed dragon. I think Rhaegar read the prophecy and somehow decided he’s the one who has to bring it about. Remember back in book one when Dany was in the House of the Undying? And she saw that scene that I think was from Aegon’s birth, and Rhaegar saying something about needing another?
10. So here’s where it gets a tiny bit complicated. I actually don’t think that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna. I think she left with him willingly, for her own reasons (probably because Robert sucked). But I also think it’s possible he didn’t love her, either. Maybe he needed her for the prophecy? I don’t know. We know that Elia was too frail to have another baby.
11. I do not trust Daario. I think he’s slimy. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like he’s just biding his time and will betray Dany. I know she thinks Jorah betrayed her for love, but he actually betrayed her for coin, for getting his lordship and so forth back from Robert Baratheon. Technically, he betrayed Robert when he fell in love with her.
12. Maybe I just don’t like the actor who plays him. Daario, I mean. I miss the first actor. This new one just seems like a bland simpleton pretty boy.
13. Also, can we talk about Dany’s ineptness as a ruler? She’s really mucking this whole thing up. What made her popular and strong were her dragons, and freeing the slaves. Now she’s chained up her dragons and is doing the whole fighting pit thing again.
14. I’m not even going to talk about Theon/Reek. Not even a bit.
15. Oh, except this: the Boltons are a piece of work, right? Roose is all, well, I’ve got a new wife but Ramsay keeps killing my legitimate sons. Ugh! Roose! You are failing to live up to the psycho expectations of your Bolton nature, you know. Maybe you should just murder Ramsay and marry Fake Arya yourself.
16. Yeah, way back in like book two, they sent off a fake Arya Stark to marry Ramsay, since everyone thinks all the male Starks are dead, and Jon as both a bastard and a member of the Night’s Watch can’t take ownership of Winterfell. The fake Arya is actually a friend of Sansa’s who sort of looks like Arya. Theon notices right away and thinks everyone is stupid for not knowing, but really they do know and are all playing a farce.
17. Also I feel like I should apologize for Ramsay. I feel like my distaste for the villains of this story has brought him about. I know it’s illogical, but there you go. I mean, I hated Joffrey SO MUCH, and then when he died I was so happy. But then Theon showed up, and while he wasn’t sadistic he was just awful and it was like UGH, GO AWAY THEON, and now we have Ramsay. Who is the literal Worst.
18. Dany flies on Drogon! After she marries that weirdo who is probably the Harpy, they watch the fighting in the slave pits and Drogon comes and they try to kill him, so she jumps on and flies away.
19. I mean, really Dany, why are you so blind and trusting? You marry the guy for peace, which I get and all, but if everyone’s like, Dude, he’s totally the Harpy, maybe you should believe them. How else was he able to broker the 90 days’ peacetime? Because he told his followers to stop murdering people for 90 days!
20. Much as I dislike Cersei, I really dislike her so-called punishment. She has to walk naked all the way through King’s Landing while people yell and throw things at her. I know what she did was bad, but this just seems really slut-shamey to me. If Jaime were there, would he have to do this too? Somehow I doubt it.
21. Yes, even though all of this is pretty much her fault, I still think it’s not okay.
22. How is it her fault? Well, she got that Lancel kid to kill Robert, and then she raised a crappy son who ordered Ned Stark to be killed instead of sent to the Wall, which pretty much kicked off the War of Five Kings. Then she was a shitty regent who let all the power go to her head and made a mess of everything. So yeah, I think at least the vast majority of issues are her fault.
23. Or maybe they’re Ned’s. If he hadn’t been so stupidly noble in the first book, I guess none of this would have happened either. Clearly it’s his fault for failing to set Cersei on fire. Though I guess that would’ve started a war anyway.
24. Really, nothing happens in this book. Or rather, things happen, but we don’t get to see them. Like apparently Stannis died in the fight for Winterfell? Except we don’t see it, we just hear about it. Ramsay sends Jon a letter about it.
25. I don’t think he’s dead, though. And I’m not just saying that because I’ve read some upcoming info about Winds of Winter. He’s too important a character to just kill “offscreen” like that.
26. Real Arya is still in Baavos, still training to be an assassin. I find her parts of the book the most interesting. Sort of like a Nikita thing, except no sexytimes with her mentor since she’s still a kid and that would be gross.
27. But wait! Tyrion hooks up with JORAH MORMONT. Remember Jorah? He’s back and he’s taking Tyrion to Dany, as gift or something I guess. Wheee!!!! I love Jorah. I know he’s a looney fucker with a crazy crush, but he’s so devoted and he keeps things interesting. And Dany’s decision-making abilities really went to shit after she banished him.
28. Arya gets her first job, or I guess her graduation or something. She has to kill some fat landlord. To do it, they change her face. Arya finds out that these people change their faces by using actual dead faces, from people who came to the House of Black and White to die. Ick. Like leaving your body for science, maybe? Anyway, the mentor guy tells her while she’s wearing the face that she might have bad dreams, since the dead girl’s life was very hard. Oh, that is fucked up. She does succeed, though.
29. Oh, and Jon “dies” too, like pull the fucking other one George R.R. Martin, no way do I believe he’s forever dead. Obviously Melisandre will resurrect him, or something, or he will warg into Ghost, or one of Dany’s dragons (my money’s on Rhaegal) would fly up and somehow save him, and he’ll be brought back to life.
30. I feel like so many of these chapters are about people who are on their way to do something awesome/evil or both, and yet nothing happens. Like that Greyjoy dude, who spends his entire chapter talking about going to get Dany and marrying Dany and sacrificing pretty girls to the Red God and yet…they are still on a boat when the chapter is over. I think there are supposed to only be two more books in the series? How the hell is this story going to be done in just two books?
31. Tyrion and Jorah join the Second Sons, a company of sellswords in Yunkai, because they want to get into Meereen to see Dany. But whoops, they find out that Dany is gone on Drogon, and suspected dead. Jorah goes catatonic when he finds out and Tyrion just sort of yanks him along for the ride.
32. Oh, before that, they were sold into slavery along with another dwarf named Penny, who hooked up with them at some point. She has a pig and a dog, and I am done, fucking DONE, with all these innocent animals dying. Could maybe some people who actually deserve to die actually die?
33. Speaking of which – I can’t remember if I mentioned Quentyn before, one of the princes of Dorne. Anyway, long story short, he travels to Dany to marry her, but he’s too late and Selmy tells him Dany’s already going to be married. This all happens before the Drogon thing, of course.
34. I still don’t understand why she wanted to marry that jackass, but whatever. I know the reason was to try and get in with the Meereen families and avoid a war, but if she’d just moved on toward Westeros it never would’ve been a problem. I know she was trying to learn to rule, but what the fuck, really, she was always going to leave them anyway.
35. Oh, so Quentyn has the sads, and then decides to release her dragons after Dany flies away on Drogon, and gets his stupid self killed in the process. See ya, Quentyn! You seemed nice, but were also boring, and I think Dany’s supposed to marry Jon, anyway.
36. Oh yeah, Tyrion and Jorah. Interestingly, the Second Sons is run by a guy called Ben, who used to be one of Dany’s people but then he betrayed her. I wonder what kind of welcome Tyrion will get once Dany gets back.
37. Or maybe she’s not coming back at all. There’s a long chapter about her and Drogon, and her attempt to follow the river back to Meereen. She doesn’t know about the chaos at home so assumes people are looking for her. She has awful dreams and we deal with that “go forward, go back” from way back in the second book I think. She gets sick and is bleeding. I think she had a miscarriage because she doesn’t think it was her period. Anyway, so she runs into a khalasar and calls Drogon. He attacks one of the horses and she eats because she’s starving, and then poses by her dragon for the rest of the group, because the Mother of Dragons is both a diva and a total badass.
38. I think the Khal here was one of Drogo’s allies who turned on him, and Dany, when Drogo got sick and “died.” Well, that’ll be a fun homecoming.
39. I am also assuming that Dany will become Khaleesi of this khalasar, not necessarily by marriage but maybe they all follow her because they remember her and the dragon eggs. I am going to assume that the “go forward, go back” thing means she has to go back to her roots with a horselord.
40. Or maybe Quaithe was just as sick of Meereen and Slaver’s Bay as the rest of us, and was trying to get Dany to go back to Dragonstone, where she was born.
41. The book ends in King’s Landing, with Kevan Lannister – remember him? Cersei’s uncle? He’s the King’s Hand now. We get boring political stuff and then he has dinner with Cersei and Tommen. At the end, he gets called to the rookery because a raven’s come, and we find out that this pure white raven with no written message heralds the change in seasons. Winter is finally here. Thank the gods, as they’ve been babbling about its arrival for five books now.
42. He thinks a lot about Cersei and how sorry he is that things turned out how they did. Well, I am sorry, too, but I still think she sucks.
43. He also thinks a lot about Rhaegar and how much Rhaegar sucks for refusing to marry Cersei – or rather I guess that Aerys sucks for not letting him marry Cersei. Personally, I think that Rhaegar probably had a say in who he married, but that’s just my opinion. Also, shut the fuck up about how beautiful she was/is. Maybe it’s because I think she has an ugly soul, but whenever people go on and on about how beautiful she is I just want to roll my eyes.
44. Then Varys shoots him and grandstands a bunch about how Kevan is a great guy but he needs to die because he was putting King’s Landing back together and would’ve successfully united the Seven Kingdoms under Tommen, and Varys can’t have that. He needs everyone fighting so that they’ll rally under Aegon, once he raises his banners. He goes on and on about how awesome and noble Ageon is, like GOD VARYS, WHY DON’T YOU JUST PROPOSE, right?
45. And that’s the end of the book.
46. So: some thoughts. I recently re-skimmed the books as well (what can I say, I’ve been bored). Not that it has much to do with the larger plot, I just want to reiterate my distaste for Catelyn. What a bitch! Personally I think it’s pretty damn evil that she took her anger out on an innocent little baby, regardless of whether or not Jon is really Ned’s son.
47. I mentioned my Jon theory earlier, but I want to expand on it. I don’t see who else could be his parents. Why else would Ned have been so secretive? I mean obviously it’s possible that Jon really is Ned’s, but if so, why keep the mother’s identity a secret? Maybe if she was highborn to protect her reputation, but still, people would’ve known she was pregnant. So that’s how I’m thinking things are going to go.
48. I guess I wouldn’t be super shocked if it turned out her mother really was Ashara Dayne, or some lowborn woman. No, that’s not true. I would be shocked if his mother wasn’t someone really consequential, even if it turns out that Ned really is his father.
49. Let’s talk a bit about this Azor Ahai business, too. We know Melisandre thinks it’s Stannis. I don’t. I think the ceremony of Lightbringer was made up to fool Stannis’s men. At least, that’s the feeling I got when I read it all those books ago. I think the book wants us to believe it’s Dany, and that makes a lot of sense: she was “born,” so to speak, from her husband’s pyre, and brought forth the dragons, and the red comet appeared right before she burned. But I’m not convinced of that, either. I keep thinking it’s Jon, but we don’t know enough about the circumstances of his birth to know whether it’s possible.
50. The “three-headed dragon”: there are a lot of theories about this. I don’t know if that’s just a Targaryen thing, or if it’s part of the “prince that was promised” thing, or how it relates to Azor Ahai. Anyway, I think that Jon and Dany are two heads, and the third is the question mark. Aegon is the obvious answer, but for some reason I just don’t think he’ll be sticking around for very long. He’s planning on leading a battle, for one. A lot of people think it’s Tyrion, apparently, that somehow he’s a Targaryen and not a Lannister. I don’t know about that either, but I wouldn’t be totally shocked by it. I just hope it’s not either Jaime or Cersei, because they both suck and don’t deserve to ride on dragons.
51. Unless, of course, the ones who ride the dragon end up dying. Then I’m totally okay with it being Cersei. Wow, I really hate her, don’t I?
52. I’d really like to read this prince that was promised prophecy. I know it’s about a prince who’s supposed to unite all the kingdoms but I’d like to read what it actually says. Why did Rhaegar think it was possibly him? And then his son?
53. You know, the “prince that was promised” sounds an awful lot like “the Stallion Who Mounts The World.” In which case, sorry guys, but he’s dead. That witch lady killed him all the way back in book one.


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