This will contain spoilers for A Clash of Kings so read on with caution!
This is one of my favourite in the series. The way George describes the war torn country is chilling, in fantasy we often read or see the glory of the battles but not the effects they have on the people left behind. The Riverlands are burning, it’s people rounded up and brutally killed. Arya gets captured by a group of vile men determined to get their hands on gold or the illusive Beric Dondarion who was sent out by Ned Stark to capture the Mountain and is still continuing his quest.
Tyrion had the most chapters in this book which is lucky because his were definitely my favourites. He is either making me laugh or cry, there is no in between! Tyrion and Cersei’s relationship is so complicated, I absolutely love reading them sass each other and try to out do the other. They’re both as dramatic as each other. But ultimately Tyrion worked hard to protect King’s Landing in this book, he was never thanked for it but he saved the city.
The Battle of Blackwater is one of the most epic and chilling sequences in ASOIAF, we flick between Davos, Tyrion and Sansa to get the full view of the battle. I of course was rooting for King’s Landing because half my favourites are in there and Stannis is the worst! I forgot how arrogant and pathetic he was until I read these chapters. He’s convinced he is the Azor Ahai, a prophecy that claims this man will come to save Westeros in its darkest hour. This is hardly our darkest hour for starters and you can’t rule your way out of a paper bag Stannis, face it, no one likes you, no one respects you and using magic to kill your own brother does nothing to help you. That’s probably why I hate him the most, Renly was a sassy gem, I miss him!
One of the most important chapters was when Daenerys visited the House of the Undying. She went there to secure funds for some ships but ended up seeing visions of the past and future. There is so much in there; Dany sees here old childhood home with the red door, she witnesses her father sitting on the Iron Throne calling to “burn them all.” One of the most important visions that we only now know the meaning of now is the Red Wedding *shudders*. Dany sees her brother Rhaegar and his wife Elia after the birth of their son, Rhaegar names his son Aegon and declares he is the prince that was promise, but he wants another child because “the dragon has three heads.” There were many more but my other favourite was a blue flower growing from a chink in a wall of ice (our boy Jon!)
On my kill list: Stannis Baratheon, Melisandre, Theon Greyjoy, all the Iron Born, Joffrey Baratheon, Tywin Lannister, Gregor Clegane and everyone working with him and Littlefinger.
Let me protect them: Arya, Sansa, Jon, Tyrion, Jaime, Cersei, Catelyn, Brienne, Bran and the smallfolk of Westeros.
Favourite dynamic: Cersei and Tyrion – although they don’t really get on at all, they’re constantly paranoid that the other person has the upper hand. But honestly together they are so funny, they’re both clever and brilliant at living life in the capital (i.e bribing and manipulating people) if they teamed up they would be unstoppable. There is one moment where Cersei truly shows her affection for Tyrion when they learn that Stannis went to attack Storm’s End, it is such a lovely moment. “They laughed together. Cersei pulled him off the bed and whirled him around and even hugged him. For a moment as giddy as a girl. Is this the Cersei that Jaime sees? When she smiled, you saw how beautiful she truly was.”
Favourite death: Stannis’ hopes and dreams – *evil laugh* when he lost at the Battle of Blackwater he barely left his chambers for weeks, you can’t magic your way out of that one can you! He was an arrogant fool and his army paid the price. My favourite bit of the aftermath is that the soilders swear they saw Renly’s ghost fighting against Stannis, that’s karma!
Favourite quotes: “There are ghosts everywhere. We carry them with us wherever we go.” – Jorah Mormont
“The gods don’t care about men, no more than kings care about peasants.” – Brienne of Tarth
“Love is poison, a sweet poison, yes, but it will kill you all the same.” – Cersei Lannister
“I think it passing odd that I am loved by one for a kindness I never did and reviled by so many for my finest act.” – Jaime Lannister
Who I actually want to win the war of the Five Kings: I would have loved Renly and Robb to form an alliance, Robb could rule the North and Riverlands and Renly the rest. But as much as I hate Joffrey, I wouldn’t want the other Lannisters to die so…awkward.
Most heartbreaking deaths: Renly Baratheon – I think it’s so sad because of all the potential that Renly had, yes his claim to the throne wasn’t strong but to be killed by magic, a literal stab in the back by his own brother, it was so awful. Also he’s one of the few gay characters in the series and Loras’ heartbreak at losing his boyfriend was too much. Also Brienne who was also in love with Renly saw him murdered before her eyes but could do nothing, if Catelyn hadn’t been there Brienne would have been left in the pavilion, in shock and sobbing at the death of her king. Luckily Catelyn saw the danger they were in and ran.
Maester Luwin – I mean the entire destruction of Winterfell was awful but when Bran and Rickon find Maester Luwin dying in the Godswood it’s so sad. This man helped raise all the Stark children and when Ned and Catelyn left he became another parent to the boys. He was such a kind and wise man, he did not deserve to die in such a way. When the boys leave him they are leaving behind their childhood and any happy memories that they have from it.
I have started A Storm of Swords already and it’s already making me cry! What are your thoughts on A Clash of Kings?