I finished the book a couple of days ago - it is the best book so far. The first half was ok, but the second half - starting with the RW - was ... wow!!!
There are so many great moments. On the top of my head:
Jaime - the Oathkeeper:
Jaime's turnover was so unexpected! I love the way his story arc is developing. He has become such an interesting character - trying to do the right things, but somehow at the end always being considered as a man with no honour and an oathbreaker. Brienne was in this case his strong moral compass. She showed him his worst features and threw them in his face all the time, till he actually realized how he looks in other people's eyes and more important why. I loved the part with his return to KL and the ambiguous meaning of him becoming the head of the KG. The man who always recalls in his memory Ned Stark and all the great knights, who wanted to be like them, but was rejected in some way, by being called the Kingslayer.
Arya - the mini-Jaquen:
Arya and her finally getting back Needle ... and her revenge to one member of her night prayers. I always knew that she will have her sword back. I kind of hoped she will meet Nymeria again, but I guess I'll have to wait. I was not found of her and Sandor travelling around. The Hound had more interesting interaction with Sansa, but their paths seem to separate, so I'm pleased with the way things are going. There will be something seriously messed up with this kid. I expect here more assassinations and less thoughts about her family. I thing she has the potential to become a really dark character with really messed up ideas about good and evil. But who could blame her, after everything she's been gone through. But that is fine by me. She is one of my favourites and I can't wait to find out what happens to her next.
Sam the Slayer:
So pleased that Sam has its own POV. He is one of the most realistic characters and I loved to see the NW through his eyes. The "great" Watch being introduced through the eyes of a coward and somehow this "coward" turned up to have the closest interaction with an Other anyone has ever had and stayed alive (as far as I know). I was pleasantly surprised that he crossed ways with Bran. Also I expect more to happen between him and Gilly. Will see what is going there.
Oberyn for president!!!
Oh, how I liked that character! He was so charismatic and mysterious, seeking justice and revenge ... I really wished he didn't have to disapper from the surface so early. And the fight between him and the Mountain - that was some great writing, so full of suspense and me showting "Nooooooooo" at the end. I don't like the Cleganes, so I'm glad that Gegor is really suffering. I'm really looking forward to learn more about Dorne. Those folks seem to be awesome.
Bran - the Warg:
Ok, he finally made it to the Wall. Yay!!! It was great that he was involved in Jon's escape from the wildlings. I knew they won't meet but it was really refreshing that two Starks were so close. Bran's chapter is turning out to be a great adventure storyline:
- warging into direwolf - checked,
- warging into Hodor - checked,
- have some really weird friends with extraordinary powers - checked,
- listening to some stories from the past with ambiguous meaning - checked,
- finally meeting the third-eyed-crow - che.... No, wait ... who is that guy again? Ok, meeting one more mysterious character - checked.
I have the feeling that Bran's POV will be of great importance and can't wait to read more about his adventures.
Sansa - thank God there are some other characters around her:
This girl has to start thinking and learning. And it would better be fast. Now she has the best teacher. She ignored Tyrion (completely understandable), but now she has to pay more attention to LF's actions and stop imagining that some brave knight is finally going to rescue her. I admit that the last chapter with her was a big surprise - there was a major plot-twist, which I didn't see coming. Now I finally have some admiration to LF (I'm more of a Varys-fan). Can't really say more for now. Hopefully her character is going through some major change.
Dany - the Queen of ... not Westeros?
I have to admit , besides the House of Undying - chapter in the second book, there wasn't actually anything interesting in her storyline. But in the third book I was kind of excited about her conquering expeditions. The one thing that bothered me, was her great strategic decisions during the battels, which came from ... nowhere. I am aware that the dragons have to grow up, and so has Dany, but I hope she makes it to Westeros soon (with at least one dragon). I've seen enough exotic cultures already.
Father/son - issues:
Well, I'm glad to finally find out, that Tywin does not shit gold. Imagine how weird would that be... But the guy deseved it. I was happy to see some justice here. Tyrion's storyline was as interesting as always. He had to make some tough decisions (mostly to kill people at the end) and he is now furious with all the members of his family and will hopefully get the f*** out of KL. I always knew that he and Varys have some special bond. I don't know how his character is going to be more awesome than that, but I will be glad to find out.
Jon - the LC:
My favourite character has a great storyline in this book. There were so many awesome moments in his plotline and he had to make some tough decisions too. His character is developing with every chapter. I expect him, now that he is the LC, to feel less sorry for himself and not being preoccupied with his bastard-issues, but to be more focused on the current situation. With Stannis and Mel around him, he will have to show some diplomatic skills, but also a good leading qualities. I was pleasantly suprised by the chapter, where he was in charge of defending the Wall. Showed some great strategic thinking. Some significant moments were:
- when he first met Mance,
- the moments in the cave,
- the escape from Ygritte and the wildlings,
- the defence of the Wall - one of the best-described battles in the books,
- his dialogue with Sannis,
- Ghost finding him and how that affects his decision
- and the final chapter where he is named LC.
I just couldn't figure out how the h*** did Mormont's raven get there. Does anyone has some theories or is this explained in the next two books?
Stannis to the rescue:
Finally one king who pays attention to the true danger. I'm really starting to like the guy. No matter for what reasons, he is ready to defend the realm from the one danger that really matters - not fighting over some stupid iron chair. I'm curious to see how that goes. Davos is also cool, but Mel is kind of odd - not really trustworthy for now.
Three weddings and two funerals:
The RW - that were some hard pages to read. I already described my reaction while reading the RW in another thread, so I won't write tha same all over again here. But one thing is for sure - hate the Freys and the Boltons - they must get what they deserve.
The other wedding with unhappy ending (not that Tyrion and Sansa were happy, but at least both of them stayed alive) was not that shocking. But I was really intigued, who the possible poisoner might be. I actually felt a bit sorry for Joffrey (yeah, that's right!) and Cersei. No idea where that pity come from. I also liked the character of the QoT - it is very interesting. The whole introducing of some new families like the Martells and the Tyrells is pretty cool.
Undead, Uncatelyn, Unberic ... lots of Un-characters are coming towards us. I trust GRRM completely and I'm sure that they all surve some important purpose. Can't really comment on this issue without more information. So I will just keep reading and see what Uncat is up to.
Wow, I just wrote a short novel myself
Good luck to those who dare to reed the whole thing
Starting to read AFfC now ....
Edited by Lyana, 23 April 2012 - 04:59 PM.