This post will contain spoilers for A Dance With Dragons!
As I suspected I was not as into this book as I was AFFC. I enjoyed meeting Griff and Quentyn but some of the chapters at the beginning started to bore me a bit. Also please get Stannis away from me. In the middle it gets more exciting as everyone closes in on Meereen.
At the beginning it appears that both Tyrion and Jon have changed for the worse. Tyrion is horrible, all he thinks of is violence, he scared a girl half to death in his first chapter. Jon is making cruel decisions like sending Gilly away without her baby and sending Maester Aemon to his death to ‘protect them’. Just tell Stannis to go away, he’s a sociopath, you don’t have to be one too Jon!
Bran’s chapters end early on, we barely hear anything from him. He is still trying to learn how to use his gift. But there is a chapter with Theon where he is in Winterfell’s Godswood, he hears whispers and thinks he can see Bran’s face in the weirwood tree so clearly our boy is getting better.
I enjoyed reading about all the characters converging on Meereen. Quentyn, Griff, Aegon and Tyrion all trying to get to Dany and trying to navigate around all the armies headed for the city. Dany is in real trouble, she has about ten armies heading for her city. While inside the city walls her people are being murdered. It’s an absolute mess and I still don’t fully understand her decision to stay there rather than head for her ‘home’ in Westeros. Not that I want her to attack my babies but I am worried for her.
The biggest game changer in this book is finding out that Rhaegar’s son Aegon is still alive. Jon Connington, one of Rhaegar’s childhood friends somehow swapped the boy for another and has kept him hidden in Essos all this time. They have been plotting with Varys to get Aegon to marry Dany. Another Targaryen changes everything, ‘the dragon has three heads.’ Aegon is the second. But he decided to go in a different direction on Tyrion’s advice, Aegon takes the Golden Company across the sea himself to take Westeros. They don’t have any dragons but they do have the element of surprise and a war torn country to prey upon.
Tyrion gets his humour back later on. He also saves Jorah from being sold to a woman who kills her slaves for meat. They end up escaping their masters and joining the Second Sons. Tyrion is trying to convince them to join Team Dany again when we leave them. But Dany has gone, she has disappeared with Drogon so who knows if she will ever see Jorah again.
Jon also chills out slightly. He sasses Stannis’ wife and her stupid guards. It’s hilarious how up their own arses they are. Jon thinks Arya is riding to the wall fleeing Winterfell and the Boltons but it’s actually Alys Karstark who is running from her uncles and an unwanted marriage. As we know Arya is in Bravos learning how to become an assassin! I am proud of Jon, he made sure all the wildlings could come through the Wall and help protect themselves from the White Walkers. But some of the Night’s Watch loathed him for it. My Jon died alone in the cold, betrayed and stabbed by his own men.
The only Theon chapter I could read without wanting to throw the book across the room was quite late on. The Bolton’s and their allies are all snowed in at Winterfell, waiting for Stannis’ army to arrive. But men keep turning up, murdered, the storm is only getting worse. The North Rememberers.
Jaime only has one chapter, he’s just wandering through the Riverlands, in no haste to get back to King’s Landing where his sister is imprisoned! Thanks bro. But before he can get home he comes across Brienne. Usually this would be great, but she has been tasked with bringing Jaime to Lady Stoneheart. I don’t know how Jaime is going to talk himself out of this, I just really don’t want him to die!
Cersei’s chapters broke my heart. I hate seeing her suffer like that. The whole time she is imprisoned she still has faith that Jaime is coming with his army to save her. But we know that is not true. I am so in awe of her strength, even when faced with the humiliation of the walk of atonement, she is fierce and strong and knows that this is the only way to reach Tommen. I was sobbing through the whole chapter but she has her champion now, the Sparrows’ days are numbered.
This is a re-read but I completely forgot what happened in the epilogue! Kevan Lannister is now acting a regent. He is trying to make the chaos around him better. But he is doing too good a job. He was summoned to Grand Maester Pycelle’s chambers, only the old man is dead and Kevan gets shot in the chest with a crossbow. Varys has somehow managed to get back into to capital. He’s determined to have chaos so that Aegon can swoop in and take the throne. Kevan was the Lannister’s only hope, I have no idea what is going to happen in The Winds of Winter but it doesn’t bode well for most of my favourites.
On my kill list: Stannis, Melisandre, Theon, The Boltons, Walder Frey and all of his offspring, The High Sparrow and all his followers, the Ironborn, Jon’s murderers and Varys.
Let me protect them: Cersei, Jaime, Brienne, Arya, Tyrion, Jorah and Dany.
Heartbreaking death: Jon Snow
Some people believe that Jon isn’t dead or that he will be brought back in TWOW but to me it was clear that Jon died in his last chapter. I will never forgive those traitorous pieces of shit for killing Jon. He was the kindest and most intelligent person at the Wall. Jon was the only person who could see that by protecting the wildlings he was stopping the Wights army of the dead from growing stronger. The betrayal is the worst part, Jon put everything into being the best Lord Commander of the Nights Watch he could and they stabbed him in the back, literally. I am so sorry Jon.
Favourite quotes: “Men are beasts, selfish and brutal. However gentle the words, there are always darker motives underneath.” – Vagarro’s Widow
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, the man who never reads lives only one.” – Jojen Reed
“I rose too high, loved too hard, dared too much. I tried to grasp a star, overreached and fell.” – Jon Connington, this quote breaks my heart. He’s spent most of his life in love with Rhaegar and hoping some day to avenge him.
“I am a lioness, I will not cringe for them.” – Cersei Lannister
“However bright a torch might burn it could never match the rising sun.” – Kevan Lannister, thinking that if Rhaegar had married Cersei the prince would not have turned to Lyanna.
That’s all we have for the moment, most of my favourites are in peril and I am patiently waiting for The Winds of Winter to be published!