A Clash of Kings

An Examination of Hoster Tully

Another great 3 part series from Bryndenbfish:  Be sure to read part 1, part 2, and part 3.

In part 1, we examined how Hoster Tully’s penchant for making alliances secured House Tully as one of the preeminent houses in Westeros at the outset of the War of the Five Kings, and in part 2, we examined Hoster’s political talents. In Part 3, we turn to more personal matters. While Hoster had a talented hand at politics, his downfall and the downfall of his house would come from the hands of those who were closest to him. The personal relationships that Hoster would cultivate would ultimately lead to the ruin of his House.

  Posted by - February 3, 2014 at 9:37 am

Categories: A Clash of Kings, A Dance with Dragons, A Game of Thrones, A Storm of Swords   Tags:

Torrent for The Lands of Ice and Fire

Don’t even think about it!  After receiving my book yesterday, I couldn’t be happier with everything.  The hardcover binder, the size and quality of the printing of the maps, but most of all the new content!

I’m not sure what most people’s expectations were but the map of Essos in particular is SWARMING with new cities and regions that we have never heard of!  Will we find out more about the history of Essos?  Just when you were thinking that Essos was nothing more than the free cities, Slaver’s Bay, and old Valyria, GRRM comes out and drops a bomb on us.

Serious, buy this and consider framing at least a few of them.  It will be the best $24 you spent this year.  Maybe get a few for Christmas gifts!

  Posted by - October 31, 2012 at 7:39 am

Categories: A Clash of Kings, A Dance with Dragons, A Game of Thrones, A Storm of Swords, Dunk and Egg, The Winds of Winter   Tags: , , , , , ,

The Battle of the Blackwater – From Stannis POV

Here is an interesting video that someone put together to attempt to show The Battle of the Blackwater from Stannis Baratheon’s POV.  We know that GRRM has never written a chapter from a King’s POV, so this is a fairly interesting take.

If you missed it, you can click here to read our Season 2 recap.

  Posted by - September 16, 2012 at 8:38 am

Categories: A Clash of Kings   Tags: , , , , ,

Definitive season 2 recap part 2

 

So here we are in part 2 of our definitive season 2 recap, picking up where we left off after part 1.

Bran/Rickon:

  • What we expected
We knew that Bran and Rickon would be forced into exile/hiding at some point during the season, but the details around things weren’t clear.  Bran matures a bit over the course of the book as he is exposed to what it’s like to be a lord.  And of course they are “killed.”
  • What we got

Pretty much what we expected.  Bran yields Winterfell to Theon when the time comes, and when the time is right, they escape with Hodor, Osha and the direwolves.  Then they double back and hide out in the crypts while Winterfell is burned.  Who exactly did the burning is not revealed, so that’s something we expect to see resolved early in season 3.

Maester Luwin

  • What we expected
Luwin plays things pretty straightforward for a Maester.  He does have an important conversation with Bran where they discuss magic and the likelihood of its existence.
  • What we got
We got what we expected, plus a little additional content.  Maester Luwin’s conversations with Theon Greyjoy make for some interesting dialogue.  In the end, he advises Osha as he did in the book, minus some of the details as to which enemies are in which direction.

Robb Stark

  • What we expected
Ahh Robb.  Robb isn’t present for much of A Clash of Kings, but we do receive many updates of his victories and other movements.  Overall there wasn’t much expectation regarding Robb other than him continuing to win battles in the field.
  • What we got
We got a full on romance with a woman who replaced Jeyne Westerling, Talisa.  He not only weds her, but we watch the entire relationship develop from the moment he meets her amputating a leg, all the way up to the wedding ceremony itself.

Cat Stark

  • What we expected
Cat starts out the book heading south to meet with Renly.  She picks up Brienne after the shadow kills him, and then proceeds to free Jaime Lannister when she finds out that Bran and Rickon are “dead.”
  • What we got

Cat’s behavior is inline with what we expected in the book, but some of the details were changed quite a bit.  She winds up bumping into Littlefinger in Renly’s camp and acquiring Ned’s bones.  What happens to Ned’s bones?  Nobody knows.  She also gets reemed by Robb when she frees Jaime.  All in all, not far off.

 

And that’s it for part 2.  We will be back in part 3 with updates on Jaime and Brienne, Littlefinger, Daenarys and Tyrion.

 

 

  Posted by - September 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Categories: A Clash of Kings   Tags: , , , ,

Definitive season 2 recap part 1

Now that the sun has set on season 2 of Game of Thrones, I wanted to go thru and thoroughly recap each character and storyline.

Stannis:

  • What we expected

Stannis spends a fair amount of ACOK building an army and telling the realm about his rightful claim.  All of which builds up to the Battle of Blackwater.  He enlists Melisandre in some nefarious deeds and Ser Davos in some more honorable deeds, and in the end is defeated and retreats back to where he begins, Dragonstone.  The only POV in the presence of Stannis is Ser Davos, which leads to a limited view of all that Stannis does.

  • What we got

We met Stannis at the very beginning of the season and he immediately rose to the top of interesting characters.  We also get to see a lot more behind the scenes with Stannis since we are not limited by POV characters.  We see him having sex with Melidandre, and later admitting to murdering his brother to Melisandre.  This may have caught readers by surprise since Stannis repeatedly denies any involvement in Renly’s death in ACOK.  Overall, Stannis is very true to his form in the books.  To quote Donal Noye,  “Stannis is pure iron, black and hard and strong, yes, but brittle, the way iron gets. He’ll break before he bends.”

Melisandre:

  • What we expected

Melisandre is portrayed as a strong and independent foreigner to Westeros.  She brings her religion from the East, but her followers are incredibly loyal.  She is also described as extremely beautiful and radiates warmth.  She births two shadows that go on to commit very high-profile murders, one such birth we are on hand to see via Ser Davos’ POV.

  • What we got

For the most part Melisandre’s role was as expected.  I think universally people didn’t find the actress as visually appealing as raiders might have expected, and some might have been surprised by her seduction of Stannis (“I WILL GIVE  YOU A SON”), but on balance, she is what we would have expected.

Davos:

  • What we expected

Davos is a really interesting character in the books.  He’s a new POV to readers in ACOK, and I think for the most part he is immediately likable.  He comes from nothing, has high amounts of honor and loyalty, and in a sense can fill the void left by Ned.  He comes across a lot of inner conflict and difficult decisions that challenge his loyalty to king and family.  Stannis mentions often that his onion knight always speaks honestly, sometimes to a fault.

  • What we got

I think both the story line and actor portraying Ser Davos nailed the role.  Davos devotion to both his king and his sons comes across very clear.  Everything that he does is for both his King and Family.  Perhaps those should be the words of house Seaworth.  I haven’t come across any real criticism of how the show or actor depicted Ser Davos, and I don’t expect to.

Beyond the Wall

Jon:

  • What we expected

Jon has one of the more interesting story lines in ACOK.  While many people consider the book to be mostly setup for things to happen in ASOS, the Jon story line advances quite a bit.  Jon continues to learn from the Lord Commander as his steward, then is given a chance at his first real ranging beyond the wall with the Halfhand, then develops his relationship with Ygritte, and furthermore, the rest of the wildlings.

  • What we got

By and large, most of the expectations were met, but there was a lot of “creative license” used in Jon’s story line.  It began early in the season with the time spent at Craster’s keep.  The show spent multiple episodes there, and added in a conflict between Jon and Craster that left many book readers scratching their heads.  We are constantly hearing that not everything can be included in the books, so when new scenes and story lines are ADDED, we really hope they bring value to the table.  I’m not sold that the Craster vs. Jon developments really added much.  Then there are theevents from the ranging with the Halfhand.  Pretty much everything was going according to plan until Ygritte escapes instead of Jon letting her go.  Then he is captured, and discovers the Halfhand is as well.  I don’t know if it is clear to viewers exactly what the Halfhand was asking of Jon, but maybe they didn’t want to be too blunt.  Things end on a note similar to ACOK, with Jon and Ygritte developing a flirty relationship, with an unknown destination.

Sam

  • What we expected

Sam isn’t yet a POV character in ACOK, so we only spend time with him in the presence of Jon.  That said, we expect much of what we got in season 1, where Sam waddles around and adds bits of comic relief.  The one important event is his introduction to Gilly.

  • What we got

The show spends more time with Sam than one might have expected, but it seems to make sense as much of it is developing his relationship and/or fascination with Gilly.  Their first scene together where Sam introduces her to Jon is close enough to the book version, and the fact that he constantly mentions her to Dolorous Edd and Grenn helps the viewers to understand just how much he has a crush on her.  I should make a special note here that the final scene of the season leaves viewers wondering about the fate of Sam.  An army of White Walkers and wights are marching directly in Sam’s path, and there is no clear indication as to whether or not Sam will survive.

Winterfell

Theon:

  • What we expected

Oh Theon.   The character people love to hate.  Robb’s best friend who returns to Winterfell to capture it in the name of his father.  When the shit hits the fan, Theon turns to the unlikely prisoner Reek for some help and things go terribly wrong.  That is of course, all after hunting down the escaped Bran and Rickon, and tarring the miller’s boys in their place.

  • What we got

The show really expanded on the inner conflict within Theon Greyjoy.  While he is known throughout the realm as a turn cloak and any northman would be honored to be the one to slit his throat, the show attempts to make the viewer feel bad for Theon.  Theon arrives in the Iron Islands fully expecting his father to accept Robb’s terms and fight beside the Starks.  The rejection that Theon receives wounds him deeply and the scene where Theon writes a letter to Robb warning him, but then burns it before sending truly shows the emotional turmoil that Theon faces.  While there is no Reek in season 2, most of the events involving him still take place via substitute characters, mostly Dagmar Cleftjaw.

Bran/Rickon:

  • What we expected

Bran and Rickon go thru quite an adventure in ACOK.  Theon captures Winterfell, they escape, hide in the crypts, and then escape again just in time to hear Maester Luwin’s last words.  And at the end of the book, Bran and Rickon split up  along with Hodor, Osha, the Reeds and head off on their respective paths.

  • What we got

For the most part the show stayed true to the story lines of Bran and Rickon.  Rickon smashed walnuts, and Bran got to be in charge for a couple of episodes.  In the end, their journey was similar to the book even if the circumstances around them were different.

 

 

That’s is for part 1 of this series.  You can continue reading part 2 where we cover Robb, Cat, Jaime, Brienne, Littlefinger, Daenarys, and Tyrion

 

 

 

 

  Posted by - July 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Categories: A Clash of Kings   Tags: , , ,

Friday Theory: Daenarys and the House of the Undying

I thought it would be timely to talk about Dany’s time in the House of the Undying Ones for this week’s Friday Theory, since the season finale of Game of Thrones will entertain this very topic.

Despite all of her advisors being against the idea, Daenarys visits Pyat Pree, drinks shade of the evening, and enters the House of the Undying.  After being specific instructions on how to navigate thru the house, her journey begins.  It is not long after entering that Dany realizes something is up:

I am in the pretense of sorcery.

Dany has “visions”, or sees things in rooms, that have come true, but we aren’t to believe that 100% of what she sees has or will happen.  That’s the thing about visions, they have a strange way of coming true without necessarily being what you think.  The first scene of a naked woman with four men having their way with her is commonly believed to represent Westeros and the four kings fighting over her; Stannis, Robb, Renly, and Joffrey.

The next scene represents the Red Wedding.  I won’t go into detail here in case anyone hasn’t read A Storm of Swords.

Dany then begins to see things that are more familiar to her.

She fled from him, but only as far as the next open door.  I know this room, she thought.  She remembered the great wooden beams and the carved animal faces that adorned them.  And there outside the window, a lemon tree! The sight of it made her heart ache with longing.  It is the house with the red door, the house in Braavos.

This is also where things get perilous for Dany.  She is beckoned inside the door which specifically goes against the instructions that Pyat Pree gave her.  The visions are coming fast and furious now, and we are transported to the throne room of King’s Landing where a conversation between a (mad) King and “a man below him.”  This is foreshadowing of a conversation that Jaime has with Brienne.  This is where we learn why Jaime killed Aerys despite what all other people may think, and when Jaime tells the story, we know it to be true because of this vision.

But now we get to the most important vision.  Sometimes GRRM hides very important facts in the slightest of passing phrases.  But this is a case where I think he is hiding something in plain site.  Dany sees a man that she believes to be her brother Viserys, but then realizes he is taller and eyes darker.  The man is speaking to a woman with a newborn baby.

“Aegon, What better name for a king?”

The man speaking is Dany’s older brother Rhaegar, and the woman his wife Elia.  Rhaegar believes that his first born son Aegon will be king some day, a reasonable assumption at the time.  The next piece of dialogue is the key.

“Will you make a song for him?” the woman asked.

“He has a song,” the man replied. “He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.” He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany’s, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. “There must be one more,” he said, though whether he was speaker to her of the woman in the bed she should not say. “The dragon has tree heads.”

So there we have it.  A song of ice and fire is the very name of the series, and Rhaegar claims that it belongs to Aegon.  Many believe that Aegon, who we meet in A Dance with Dragons is not the true Aegon.  Despite a reasonable amount of evidence that Varys the spider and Magister Illyrio actually planted a Blackfyre child to pretend to be Aegon, I think this is one of those cases that GRRM is just being overly blunt to the point that readers are skeptic.  Aegon as you may know has already landed in Westeros and is currently invading the Storm Lands.

So mayhaps Aegon will sit the iron throne at the end of the series of books, but what of this “one more” and the dragon needing three heads.  First, let’s settle the math equation.  If there needs to be three heads, and one head is Aegon(born in 282 AL), that leaves us two short, not one. Dany was born 2 years after Aegon in 284 AL.  It’s possible, although not very likely, that Rhaegar was referring to his daughter and eldest child, Princess Rhaenys.  She dies very young during the sack of King’s Landing and, despite Aegon’s “resurrection”, it doesn’t appear that she was as lucky.

Perhaps Dany is still one head of the dragon, and Rhaegar just means that there must be one more child of his, to join with Aegon(his son) and Dany (his sister) to be the three heads of the dragon.  That is where Jon Snow comes in.  The inspiration for Robert’s rebellion was Rhaegar “kidnapping and abducting” Lyanna Stark, but there is much evidence that it may have been a mutual “vacation” of sorts.  The presence of three knights of the kings guard at the Tower of Joy where Ned “rescues” Lyanna is the largest piece of evidence.  So despite there being multiple suggestions of Jon Stark’s mother, it is likely that he is actually the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna and the third head of the dragon.

However, there are many who believe that Jon is actually the prince who was promised.  Melisandre’s visions seem to lend credence to this theory.  Is it possible that Dany’s vision in the House of the Undying Ones was not actually Rheagar with Elia, but Rhaegar with Lyanna?  Maybe they intended to name Jon as Aegon, but Ned changed his name to keep his secret.  This isn’t likely although it is possible.  Jon was born in 283 AL, so the “one more” could then have been Dany to be born a year later.  But those who believe R+L=J also think that Lyanna died during child birth, so Rhaegar would have never been able to have such a conversation with her.

Which leads me back to what I said earlier about visions.  You can never truly trust them.  When asked in an interview about Ned’s dream/hallucination about the Tower of Joy,  GRRM stated that this dream is not completely literal (Ned was dreaming, after all) but some basic facts can be gleaned from it.

So what do you think?  Who was Rhaegar talking with?  And most importantly, who are all three heads of the dragon?

  Posted by - June 1, 2012 at 8:33 am

Categories: A Clash of Kings   Tags: , , , , , , ,

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