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Blangadanger

Reached the End of A Storm of Swords

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...and I am giddy with glee. What an awesome read. SPOILER WARNING for rest of post: Yes, everything leading up to and including Edmure's and Sansa's respective weddings is a miserable journey of hopelessness for the reader, but the last half of the book was just incredible. I felt like every chapter starting with and following Bran's chapter at Nightfort was filled with exciting events and epic dialogue.

I love Arya so much even though it's painstakingly hard to watch her run from one place to another frantic to find some sort of comfort. I love the way her story wrapped up at the end of aSoS too, though it begs the question what sort of power can she have over pirates in the sea now. I want so much of Arya, and it's painful that she doesn't come in closer to them in this book. Nymeria is so close to her, and yet she doesn't seem to realize. She should have made for the Wall all along, but she's even farther away than she started. I also think that of all the Starks she has the most advantage of taking vengeance (Freys, Boltons, Lannisters, Cleganes, you name it), considering just about no one knows who she is, and those that do know (save for the Brotherhood without Banners) are mostly dead. I still haven't figured out if Roose Bolton actually knew who she was at Harranhal. I assumed he did, yet he never makes any mention of it, other than to Jaime when he says something to the effect that he knows where she is (but that might have been a lie orchestrated by Tywin, so who knows?).

Tyrion, poor Tyrion. I knew while reading about Joffrey's wedding that it couldn't turn out well for Tyrion. But boy, I had no idea that he would not only get his vengeance on Shae (wow, I think I was just as blind as Tyrion was to her true aspirations) but on his near invincible father as well. I was literally laughing during that whole chapter even though I knew Tyrion was in grave danger. Blessed Tywin who can't stand whores has one in his bed. Ah the sweet irony. I can't wait to see what Cersei thinks when it all becomes public.

Jaime. Just wow. I had no idea that I would like him as much as I did by the end of the book. Jaime appears to have a lot more intelligence and wit than his twin sister, but his blind devotion to his heart always overshadows logic or reason. That he would go back and save Brienne was just so sweet that I could hardly believe he was his father's son. I still believe that he will ultimately profess his love for Cersei openly, damning them both. Perhaps now that his father no longer stands in the way, he'll do that.

Speaking of Brienne, she is clearly an interesting character. I could not understand what Jaime meant by sending her off to save Sansa though. No one knows where she is (or so I thought). I was really hoping that Brienne would meet up with Arya somehow, maybe even at Harranhal, but it doesn't appear that's as likely now. Those two are very similar in that they are damned determined not to be taken advantage of, but they can't always prevent it. They always leave a path of death behind them too.

I'm not really that amused with Stannis so far. It's clear to me that he's not the god Melisandre makes him out to be, but I can't tell if it's clear to him or not. Stannis is either a fool or extremely cunning. Perhaps he's using Melisandre to his advantage rather than the other way around. Davos reminds me a lot of Lord Eddard Stark, which is not exactly a good thing. They are both so noble and honest, it's frustrating when they make the inevitable bad decisions. I fear that Davos being so bold and relentlessly forthcoming to Stannis will be his undoing before long. Melisandre is a very interesting enemy (yes I don't consider her a character of "good" at all). I'm interested to know whether she and Thoros are actually of the same religion and power, or would they view each other with contempt. Melisandre actually reminds me of Saruman from LotR in that she's all-knowing, but doesn't actually know what she thinks she knows.

As boring as I found Jon's chapters in aCoK, Jon was probably my favorite to read in this book. He's truly had an epic journey already, and he appears to have his father's blood alright. That whole chapter where Jon is struggling to come to terms about Stannis's offer, I was in his shoes struggling just as much. Giving up his father's religion and forsaking his brothers and sisters by proclaiming himself Lord of Winterfell was hard to grasp, especially for a reader, since we know that many of his siblings do live, but at the same time, having that power would do wonders to finding those siblings and restoring the House of Stark. It was a decision filled with anguish, but then GRRM throws Ghost back just in time, and I nearly jumped out of my bed with glee.

And then we come to Sansa, who's had a terrible, terrible year. You know, as much as I think her character is predictable and unlikeable, her POVs often provide the best insight into what's going on in the "Game of Thrones". No greater example is the last chapter of the book where Lady Lysa utterly spills the beans on everything that's happened up to this point. Littlefinger is indeed a very, very interesting character. I get the feeling that he'll always know more than the reader ever will. What I can't figure out about him is if everything is going to plan or if he's just very good at reacting to all the crazy events that have happened. For instance, it's obvious that he has had a hand in killing at least two Hands of the King now, and maybe he even thought that he was killing Tyrion as well, but how much of that (besides his poisioning of Arryn) circumstantial and how much of it was planned? I'm not even so sure that his kissing of Sansa wasn't staged for the purpose of getting Lysa in a situation (a lover's quarrel including the singer) that could only be played to his advantage.

I guess this was more of a forum post for myself to wrap my head around this awesome book. If anyone is still reading though, I'd be happy to hear what you think about the following questions. Note that I haven't read the next books though, so please don't provide blatant spoilers not found in the first three books.

1. Is Davos still alive? It never mentions his death, so I assume that aSoS must be like aCoK where his story just abruptly stops without us knowing.

2. Does Varys know what Tyrion's plan was when he told him of the secret path to the Tower of the Hand?

3. Why does Jaime tell Tyrion a revised version of the events with Tysha? Does he want Tyrion to carry out his father's murder?

4. When Tyrion tells Jaime he killed Joffrey, are we meant to believe that Jaime believes him? Jaime left so soon that it didn't feel resolved.

5. When Arya decides to try to take a ship to the Vale, is it because she thinks Sansa is there? How would she know that she is there, and for that matter, how does Sandor know that she must've been taken there?

6. What is so important for Melisandre and Stannis to come to the Wall for? I may have missed something, because I really don't think Stannis could care less about what happens to the men of the Night's Watch.

7. What the heck is Cold Hands (maybe this is more of a rhetorical question since not much is said of it in aSoS)?

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2. Well, we never know with Varys and Littlefinger...

3. Jaime had a long journey with Brienne that really made him "change". He's a new person now, and just couldn't stand anymore to lie to Tyrion. Plus the fact that it may have been the last time he'd ever see him. So...

5. She thought the only kin she had left was Lysa Arryn and Jon (the others are either dead or in an unknown location), but she wasn't sure Lysa would recognize her and help her. And if I remember well, she finally took a boat for Braavos (sorry for the spoil if it's in AFFC and not ASOS).

6. Melissandre wants to fight the Great Other. You'll learn more about her motivations later, I won't spoil.

Stannis, if I remember well, says that thanks to his Hand, he now understands that he has to save the realm in order to become king, and not become king to save the realm. That's why he came to fight the Others.

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Thanks, Pliskin. Regarding Arya, you didn't spoil anything. I just got the notion that Sandor Clegane somehow knew that Sansa was at the Vale when he heard about Joffrey's wedding, but I have no proof of that.

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3. Why does Jaime tell Tyrion a revised version of the events with Tysha? Does he want Tyrion to carry out his father's murder?

I don't think so. I think he was just feeling guilty about it.

5. When Arya decides to try to take a ship to the Vale, is it because she thinks Sansa is there? How would she know that she is there, and for that matter, how does Sandor know that she must've been taken there?

There's no way she could've known. LF made sure it was all very secret.

7. What the heck is Cold Hands (maybe this is more of a rhetorical question since not much is said of it in aSoS)?

An unwight apparently. The most popular theory is that he's

Benjen Stark.

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An unwight apparently. The most popular theory is that he's

Benjen Stark.

Really? Because that would be pretty awesome I think. Dunno if I'd be inclined to jump to that conclusion without reading a little more about him first though.

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Really? Because that would be pretty awesome I think. Dunno if I'd be inclined to jump to that conclusion without reading a little more about him first though.

I think the fact that he calls Sam 'brother' is a hint towards Benjen Stark. I think I'd be really cool if it was since I feel like we got robbed of him so early. However, I have a feeling GRRM has something else in mind.

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Excellent post Blang. I just finished the book a few weeks ago and was blown away by it. My husband's further along in the series then I am so it's been fun telling him what I've just read because every time I kept asking him about how the book was, he'd just tell me things getting really interesting and unexpected.

I was most struck by how much my feelings towards Jaime changed. Did not see that coming at all. He's now one of my favorite characters and I can't wait to see how his realtionship with Cersei will change. And with Tyrion if they ever see each other again.

It's heartbreaking reading both Arya's and Sansa's chapters but for completely different reasons. I want so badly for Arya to be reunited with someone in her family (please be Jon!) and she just keeps getting turned around never knowing which way is the right way. Sansa is one of my least favorite because it annoys me so much that she doesn't ever fight back. She just takes everything that happens to her and unlike Arya, never tries to figure out a way out. Sansa's chapters, though, are interesting in terms of everybody else around her and their actions. And now that she's in Littlefinger's hands, I can't begin to imagine where that will go. It was great seeing her show some emotion when she was building Winterfell in the snow at the Vale. She needs to start to grow up and think for herself. So hard to believe her and Arya are related.

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It was great seeing her show some emotion when she was building Winterfell in the snow at the Vale. She needs to start to grow up and think for herself. So hard to believe her and Arya are related.

Yeah, I wasn't too fond of Sansa at the beginning of the book, but that last chapter really helped me realize that she's still a dreamer at heart. I had started to think that perhaps the Lannisters had worn her so thin, that she'd never recover, but the way she built a little snowhouse commemorating Winterfell, I was reminded that she is still a young child like Arya. Maybe she'll never be as determined or crafty as her sister, but perhaps all of her struggles in King's Landing have taught her to be a better person. We'll see.

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I just finished it too.

As I said a few times, Jamie is my favorite character in the book. Arya is a close second. I actually always thought Tyrion's whore was going to turn out to be Vary's spy, but I suspect this of everyone near Tyrion. The Stannis story is not moving enough, I still don't even know if I like or dislike Stannis.

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I was so pissed with Sansa when Arya was brought before King,Cersei and that little Snot Joffrey. She was so freakin wimpy but Sansa is learning slowly...you will see. Arya is my girl!! She's a real badass. Wait and see what happens to Theon whoa! I'm on book 5 but thanks to you guys' posts i have to go back to previous books cause i read them too fast so all five books are on my bed, gotta get a kindle they're too heavy to cart back and forth to work, I actually left work "sick'' just so I could go home and read the rest of the day and night. i agree with you TeamDanyArya.

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ASoS was quite fantastic. One of the best books I've ever read. So many ups and downs and I agree that Arya's continuous failure to find solace is painfully disheartening. I too started to like Jaime in the book, but couldn't fully commit because I never forgot he pushed Bran out a window. He definitely became a different man when he lost his hand and started to see what an evil woman his sister truly is. I sometimes felt sorry for Sansa, but couldn't fully commit to her either because she ratted out Ned to Cersei and he lost his head. Loved Jon's transformation into a man and a leader. He's a true Stark. I loved the epilogue. It had the same slowly building sense of impending doom the Red Wedding had, but with the tables turned. I'm a fifth of the way through aFFC and I actually really, really like it. I've been really trying to get more friends to read aSoIaF, but they cringe when they see the size of the books. Truly disheartening. I think anyone who loves to read should have the same pleasure I've had reading these awesome books.

1. I assumed he stayed at Eastwatch when Stannis rode for Castle Black? Could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure we haven't seen the end of Davos. He was the one that convinced Stannis to go to the Wall. I don't think Stannis would sail without him and Stannis left Ser Rolland as castellan at Dragonstone.

2. I think Varys did know. Tywin didn't like Varys and was sending Cersei back to Casterly Rock. Not good for Varys. Or perhaps he knew Shae was there and deviously wanted to inflict a little mental anguish upon Tyrion before he departed by having him find his lover and betrayer in his father's bed.

3. He became a changed man when he lost his hand and came back to find his venomous sister hardly sympathetic. I am interested to see where the love affair goes. I think he falls a little out of love with her every time he sees her singular vision of power.

4. You lied to hurt me. I'll lie to hurt you. Both incidents were very personal to their respective subjects.

5. That's where the Hound was taking her to get a ransom from Lysa.

6. Pliskin summed it up perfectly. While pointing north, Stannis said "There is where I'll find the foe I was born to fight."

7. My first and immediate thought was Benjen. I guess I'll have to keep reading and find out.

Melisandre reminds me more of Grima Wormtongue and his spells that drained Theoden of life. Jon's chapter at the end of the book described Stannis as a big man but gaunt and looking ten years older than he was. Even some of Davos' chapters described the same thing.

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Melisandre reminds me more of Grima Wormtongue and his spells that drained Theoden of life. Jon's chapter at the end of the book described Stannis as a big man but gaunt and looking ten years older than he was. Even some of Davos' chapters described the same thing.

So so so so true. She's like a big red life sucking leech :agree:

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5. That's where the Hound was taking her to get a ransom from Lysa.

Melisandre reminds me more of Grima Wormtongue and his spells that drained Theoden of life. Jon's chapter at the end of the book described Stannis as a big man but gaunt and looking ten years older than he was. Even some of Davos' chapters described the same thing.

Wow, that's a nice description of Melisandre. I like the comparison. I guess I was a little confused about the whole Hound and Arya going to Lyse thing. When he hears that Joffrey has been killed and that Sansa has gone missing, he immediately says they're going to the Eyrie, so I thought he knew something about Sansa headed to the Eyrie.

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