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Xray the Enforcer

[ADWD SPOILERS] The Wayward Bride

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This chapter reads like a mix of a cheap sex novel from some sleazy magazine, and a bad fighting movie where the "bad guys" politely attack the heroine with her unrealistic mad fighting skillz one by one. Why use stealth only to blindly attack (wearing hardly any armour) superiorly equipped enemies, instead of using bows or other missile weapons? Or if attacking openly, why not use the heavily armoured knights to ride down the unmounted ironborn? I don't think Stannis is so cynical that he uses the mountain clans as cannon fodder.

This is IMO the worst chapter in the whole series.

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Stannis can't use his knights because the ironborn are escaping through the middle of a forest, where the knights can't ride worth shit, let alone charge. As for longbows, I admit that's a little puzzling, but perhaps the tribes don't use them?

Regarding Stannis's cynicism: He openly stated it as his intention to use the wildlings in his front ranks. Granted they were former enemies and prisoners of war, and he's got to be somewhat more kindly disposed toward the tribes because they've joined him of their own will, but he's got few enough men of his own as it is. I'm sure he'd use them in his front rank if he thought it'd save his core army. Stannis is big into duty and honour and doing the right thing, but in this case he genuinely thinks that his ascension to the throne is that right thing, and it trumps all other right things. Stannis wants to win.

I find these complaints about Asha's "unrealistic" mad fighting skillz perplexing and frankly disturbing, given this is a series with Jaime Lannister and Loras Tyrell in it. If you happen to respond to this comment, please, please do not write "but she's a girl", or any variation thereof.

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OK, not using the knights is logical since it's in forest terrain.

As for Asha's skills, maybe I'm a bit harsh on her. For the record I found Tyrion's skill with an axe even more unrealistic. But what irks me most about the scene is that it so vividly brings to me an image of crap fighting movies where the mindless bad guys rush the hero one by one instead of making a co-ordinated attack, or just simply shoot the hero.

I can understand Stannis using the wildlings in the van since their loyalty is questionable, but he'll need every clansman he can get and can't afford to squander them.

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Yeah, I'll give you that the clansmen thing's a little weird, definitely. Might be they're the best Stannis can do, though. Based on the descriptions I thought the forest was pretty dense, and the clansmen are probably used to navigating it and fighting in it. And I didn't get the impression Asha's band was that large, skilled yeah, but not large. [There's a tiny bit more info on how this went down later in the book, but I won't post it here for spoilage reasons.] I guess I saw Asha's fight sequence as her awesome defiant stand, rather than a legitimate attempt to escape that might actually work. As the little horror-movie moment with the head being thrown back out of the trees seems to tell us, the clansmen can run circles round the ironmen in the forest. Asha and her people might take out a bunch of them, sure, but they never really had a chance so far as I can see. I guess I just didn't interpret their moment here as particularly unrealistically awesome; they did good, but nowhere near good enough to actually get away.

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Was no-one else outraged by the very sexist way in which Martin wrote about the rape scene?

No. I thought it was one of the hottest scenes in the whole series. :P If you read carefully, you will find that Asha and Qarl have been lovers for YEARS. I believe that was explained through the whole peach thing. He knew exactly what she wanted.

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Is it me or are the ironborn having a rougher go of things than the Starks? They are getting spanked every place where they made gains inland, Theon is some weird Bolton plaything, and now Asha is getting some axe upside the head. Seems like everyone not going with Euron is taking one hell of an epic butt whoopin. As much as I have been ho-hum on the Ironborn part of the story, I'm interested now to see if Asha/Theon can somehow come out of the dumps and upend their uncle and his tooty horn.

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I...OK, I am normally a very careful read, but I seemed to have missed the part where Asha learns about Theon being alive, in or before this chapter. AFfC just mentions that she is unsure of it, but not that she knows for sure he is alive. Please correct me if I am wrong!

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The flayed flesh seems to be her sign that he is still alive and being tortured...

Oh yes, she receives a letter at Deepwood Motte with a patch of his skin inside...thanks for making me remember!

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Maybe someone from HBO ask Martin to introduce more random sex......

HBO is not even sure they will get to go this far in the series. The executive producer was quoted as saying that so far they have only planned up to the Red Wedding. I'll post a link here if I can find it.

Having said that, I don't think it was random sex. This goes towards Asha's character. She is an Ironborn and raised to be a tough leader. She has a dislike for softies, and wants to make her man earn his place in bed.

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Ok, am I the only one getting weary of the cheap "death" chapter endings? When one actually turns out to be true, I won't even believe it.

I like her character, but her story doesn't interest me much at this stage. Maybe getting mixed p with Stannis will change things. (I hope)

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I really hope Asha is dead. Her character got on my nerves. She's more of a stereotypical "warrior woman" than Dany, Arya, or Brienne.

I don't think she's dead. She and Theon still have a part to play. If she were dead she wouldn't have been dreaming about Stannis' men a the end.

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HBO is not even sure they will get to go this far in the series. The executive producer was quoted as saying that so far they have only planned up to the Red Wedding. I'll post a link here if I can find it.

Having said that, I don't think it was random sex.

i agree with you.. but the producers never said that.

On of the Ds (i can't tell them apart, lol) at comiccon said something like "IF we can get to the RW, i can start thinking to retire" (it's on winter-is-coming.net) he meant that if they reach the RW the future of the show is assured. Anyway, even if you read it in the other way, doesn't mean they want to end with the RW, only that they're sure they can get at least there. I remember D&D saying somewhere that they've already thought about the last episode of the series..... they surely like to plan

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How was it sexist?

It wasn't real rape anyway. It was a rape fantasy. Some game the two play together. Or at least that's what I got out of it.

I agree that it wasn't a real rape

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She can't be dead. I don't think GRRM ever leaves any doubt as to whether a POV is dead or not.

Eddard: decapitated

Catelyn: throat cut

Soiled Knight: decapitated

Also, all the prologue/epilogue POVs are pretty clearly dead by the final line of their chapter. In case of Asha it's too easy to think she's knocked out and realizes that it's Stannis's men attacking her as her last thought. My guess is, she's not dead and will somehow join with Theon as per her plan to void Moot's decision.

You're spot on, except about Chetts pov prologue, where at least for me it was clear until after i read one of sam's chapter

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No. I thought it was one of the hottest scenes in the whole series. tongue.gif If you read carefully, you will find that Asha and Qarl have been lovers for YEARS. I believe that was explained through the whole peach thing. He knew exactly what she wanted.

Agreed! I was initially quite put off! That would have been a reprehensible portrayal of rape, but once it was explained that they had been lovers for some time it all made sense. After that I thought it was sweet. If I was in Asha's position, stuck at a fort that is more likely to fall each day, she can't go home without actually being raped by this new husband, Euron is determined to castrate her power, her immediate family nearly all dead, I'd need a lover. For a girl like Asha, Qarl is much more appealing than Tris. I just read that Sady Doyle piece on the gender implications of the series, and a criticism she leveled was that the only women who has sex with multiple partners, Cersei, is evil. Asha is great counter argument.

He better not kill her! She's the only interesting part of the Iron Islands plots!

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The sex scene didn't trouble me that much, as it appears soon it's not a rape (she's wet before he gets in...) and Asha should cut her rapist's cock instead of suck it !

Anyway, I first thought it was Bolton's army, I'm surprised Stannis arrived so soon with the mountain clans.

Asha's obviously not dead (it would have been more explicit ans spectacular), and the last verb about her is "dream"....

So Stannis would try to deal with her to get her on her father's throne, and get the iron island with him ?

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Hi All,

First time poster, long time lurker and a long time fan -- since ACoK was published.

I'm on a re-read of ADwD, together with AFfC. Something has been bugging me about Asha's first chapter 'The Wayward Bride'. At least one other person I've seen has noted that Asha's fight reads like she was killed.

Later, she stood back-to-back with Qarl, listening to the grunts and curses all around them, to brave men crawling through the shadows weeping for their mothers.

A bush drove at her with a spear long enough to punch through her belly and Qarl's back as well, pinning them together as they died. Better that than die alone, she

thought, but her cousin Quenton killed the spearman before he reached her. A heartbeat later another bush killed Quenton... (p 349)

I wonder if GRRM meant to kill her off in ADwD and then had a change of heart. The phrase 'as they died' definitely makes it sound as it happened. Perhaps that was the original end paragraph for her chapter.

I know some members join up in Q&A sessions with GRRM. Has anyone thought of asking him, if Asha was originally meant to die in ADwD? I for one am very curious to know.

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Nah - it's saying that the spear was long enough to pin them together as they died, NOT that it had actually done so. Instead, Quenton killed the spearman before that could happen. 'As they died' is just part of a description of a spear.

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