Speaking of stuff I have to get through to get to the good stuff … it’s a Bran chapter. Still, I found a lot to remark on here.
- Old Nan says: the Karstarks have Stark blood in them. Also, Maester Lewin dismissively equates Osha’s warning about the Others to an Old Nan story.
- The Karstarks are described as barbarians with “hair worn loose past the shoulders.” Once again, except for a couple of baldies, pretty much every man whose hair length has been described so far has been identified as having long hair, including such civilized types as Jaime, Tommen, Renly, Loras, et al., as well as Ned — so how does having long hair suddenly make one a barbarian? (Especially when it somehow also makes one a woman?)
- Here Bran approaches the Old Gods as some modern American Christians do Yahweh, i.e. with prayers phrased as a list of requests. The Old Gods religion has in general struck me as more like animism: the spirits are out there in nature, you may or may not be able to appease them, but they are definitely not your personable, human-like sugar daddy. Does Bran’s behavior reflect the influence of the Faith on the Stark children, as transmitted by Catelyn?
- In any case, Bran is also becoming more comfortable being watched by the weirwood.
- What would have happened if Robb had given the command to Theon, as he was apparently advised? I don’t see Theon turning cloak under those circumstances–he would probably have never had the chance to visit the Iron Islands, and this show of faith on Robb’s part would have inspired him to be his best self. Then again, Theon, being no great strategist, might well have lost the war, in which case the Lannisters would have executed Robb (though not burned Winterfell; that would be a waste of good capital).
- Robb seems to have taken some anger management lessons, and still shows his vulnerable side only to Bran.
- Who will go south and return? (Sansa? Arya?)
- TMI about your sex life, Osha, not to mention that of your giant friends.
- Smiling is a bad thing, judging by the constant contemptuous descriptions of Theon doing so.
- You know you’re living in a culture of violence when an eight-year-old can be described as “too craven to take his own life.”
- “‘Hodor,’ Bran agreed, wondering what it meant.” Will we ever find out?