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Xray the Enforcer, July 14, 2011 in Still Reading
I can't believe nobody has posted anything about this chapter.
I love hearing more about the Iron Bank of Braavos. It sounds like they can be a game changer in Westerosi politics.
And giants. I love the giants.
Given Patchface's prophecies, I guess that Jon's plans for the corpses might bear fruit...
I agree with everything you said :) My only issue with the chapter was the girl on the dying horse. I just don't want to invest in more new characters, especially another girl with a claim she has to fight for. (Or perhaps I should know this character and haven't figured it out yet? Lol.) My guess is that no good will come to Jon Snow out of her visit.
My guess is that she was only there (from a plot perspective) to warn Jon about Karstark's betrayal of Stannis.
So while this whole book my want for Dany anywhere near the Iron Throne has tumbled down my want for Jon has risen heaps. All his chapters have been the opposite of Dany. While she seems to be showing much indecisiveness and inability to lead Jon has been growing strong in his role as Lord Commander.
The grey girl turned out to be a surprise after all my thoughts were on Asha, one of the Mormount girls, Arya or either of the Jeynes.
I remember when reading Cersie be an idiot to the bank in aFfC and thinking that they may turn to Stannis and help his effort for the end benefit of getting their payment and lo and behold it seems like it will be the case....if he survives Winterfell!
This is my favourite Jon Snow chapter yet, Martin has developed a real style for writing both Jon and Dany in this book. My thoughts on this chapter are a bit scattered so I'll bullet point them.
Thoughts on this chapter:
* The Braavosi are descended from those who fled the dragonlords of Valyria. They do not jest, or like, dragons. That is a very interesting reveal, combining that with the book about the death of dragons buried beneath the citadel in a locked vault... I think that someone in Braavos has a vested interest in seeing the dragons put down.
* Jon has borrowed gold from the Iron Bank to pay for food for the Watch, unfortunately there has been a massive war which has killed off a lot of the reserves for winter. The price of food is going to be astronomical, there is no way that Jon is going to be able to pay back the Iron Bank. Part of me doesn't think that the emissary is going to return to Braavos though.
* Queen Selyse is a pain in the neck.
* Jon is beginning to pay the price for sending Val beyond the wall. I think that both Jon and Stannis thought that Val was their prisoner, it will be interesting to see how the Queen's Men react when they discover that Jon has loosed her beyond the Wall. I don't think she is going to be coming back.
* Good to see the Hardhome plot continuing. Its a shame we don't have a PoV covering those events.
* The ending with Alys Karstark is excellent. I never saw it coming. The cliffhanger here is remarkably good, as Jon has to decide once and for all whether he is going to bring the Night's Watch down on the side of the Iron Throne or Stannis. I think this decision is going to cost Jon his head sooner or later...
* As an aside, being stuck in the snow should work out well for Stannis, surly Karstark will arrive at Winterfell first and if he hasn't started the siege then Stannis will know he means to play him false.
... Roll on the next Jon chapter PLEASE...
How's news going to reach stannis of arnolf's betrayal?
This chapter is also important in that Jon now has proof that it's Mel who knows nothing! I wonder how Mel herself will take this - but I guess she'll find a bend way to bend her own interpretation so that she doesn't have to doubt herself.
I'd send a ranger (or two) as messenger down the Kingsroad and have him wait near Winterfell. It'd certainly be faster than crossing through the forest with a host (it's a paved road after all), and a NW ranger wouldn't be that bothered with snow storms.
At the end of the chapter, when Alys says "You are my only hope, Lord Snow," did anyone else think of:
"Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope"?
(After lots of lurking, my thoughts of Star Wars of Ice and Fire seemed to warrant a first post. Hi!)
DId anyone else hear Jon use the royal WE at one point when referring to the night fort
A very revealing chapter, particularly as juxtaposed with the last Dany chapter.
Jon is building an empire through making hard choices, unpopular choices, and mature choices.
Dany is losing an empire through immaturity and a desire to please everybody.
Its very clear, in this book, who the superior ruler is right now. Doesn't mean it won't change.
Jon is uniting people( even those that don't want to be united), and using every asset available to him. GRRM rarely gives us the satisfaction of good intentions working out, but I expect this one too. Maybe that's just GRRM setting me up to be crushed again.
I think we are going to see Ygritte's song come to fruition literally. Wun Wun is going to end up the (literal) last of the giants, he will fight on the side of man, and we will probably see him die this series. George will make us all weep for the last of the giants.
Alysanne as the rider was a surprise, though it was foreshadowed with the letter that Stannis shared with Jon. Another showing that while what Mel sees will come true, she has no clue on the meaning of them.
First post, so I'm a bit nervous here :P
Okay, about Alys Karstark being the supposed "sister", I'm quite certain that Melissandre will use the "oh but they are of Stark blood too" argument, when Jon confronts her about the misinterpretation (if he really does) and the argument about the fires not being always clear or something.
I like Stannis, but I don't mind if he actually dies in Winterfell. Since the Melissandre chapter, to me, he stopped being a contender to the throne, but instead a device for Melissandre to get to Jon. Even if she doesn't know it yet.
If he dies in Winterfell, then she'll realize that he wasn't Azor Ahai reborn after all and start thinking behond of what her flames tell her.
I love the irony when Jon learns that a girl has arrived as Melisandre predicted, his thoughts turned to if it was Arya she would not be safe at the wall and what would be best would be to send her across the sea to Braavos. If only he knew lol
I found this chapter rather boring. It felt like I was listening to a grocery list as jon is thinking about money and supplies and stores... zzz...
It wasn't awful just "ho hum..." I'm not sure I need to hear about Jon cleaning the kitchen.
For me the most interesting part was the end, revealing Arnolf Karstark's scheming to claim the land and title of Lord for himself and his betrayal of Stannis. Only using Stannis so the Lannister's WILL kill the hostage. How sleazy. It's really because of this that I want Stannis to survive so Arnolf can get what's coming for him, then Alys finding a nice match, becoming Lady Karstark and thumbing her nose at her uncles.
I can kind of see Mel explaining away how it wasn't Arya on the horse. The big issue is how Jon is going to keep Alys Karstark safe...
I had a bad feeling at the end of this chapter. Jon is making good choices, hard choices... he's doing exactly what Ned taught him to do... and that scares me. GRRM likes to pull the blanket out from under us when it comes to the best characters.... Ned died when I thought he might be allowed to take the black; Robb died while returning to Winterfell with his family and the same with Cat. Even Arya went blind just when it seemed like she was starting to fit in in Braavos.
I'm sitting on the change up, but I'm still going to wail and nash my teeth if the worst befalls Jon Snow.
Also, has GRRM gotten Biblical on us?
"And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth."
Will hell be following Alys to the Wall? Surely death by hunger, sword and by the beasts of the earth is coming.
Jon= I love how he is so much more pro-active, intelligent, and tolerant than almost anyone he comes across.
'My lord father used to say a man should never draw his sword unless he means to use it.'
I had a bad feeling at the end of this chapter. Jon is making good choices, hard choices... he's doing exactly what Ned taught him to do... and that scares me. GRRM likes to pull the blanket out from under us when it comes to the best characters.... Ned died when I thought he might be allowed to take the black; Robb died while returning to Winterfell with his family and the same with Cat. Even Arya went blind just when it seemed like she was starting to fit in in Braavos. I'm sitting on the change up, but I'm still going to wail and nash my teeth if the worst befalls Jon Snow.
Yes - things will not go easy for Jon, despite his abilities... also, regarding the Karstark girl - what exactly can he do for her? He was thinking to himself that even if his own sister turned up, he would have to send her to Braavos - too dangerous on the wall, and a man of the Night's Watch cannot get involved in the disputes of Westeros.
Be interesting to see what he does anyway.
At the end of the chapter, when Alys says "You are my only hope, Lord Snow," did anyone else think of:"Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope"?(After lots of lurking, my thoughts of Star Wars of Ice and Fire seemed to warrant a first post. Hi!)