- “Her men had always made her wait.” Reasonably true to the condition of women in Catelyn’s milieu, although a bit whiny-sounding in the moment. (But worthwhile as a set up for the wonderfully evocative “Jaime Lannister … who men said had never learned to wait at all.”)
- Sounds like Brynden is the source of some, but not all, of Robb’s supposed precocious strategic brilliance.
- Robb is “near as tall as [Catelyn]”? It seems like he was described as taller than that before.
- Dacey Mormont is introduced, and it doesn’t sound like she does much waiting around for men.
- Jaime’s not in his white armor. Isn’t he at least theoretically supposed to still be acting on behalf of the King?
Tag Archives: JaimeLannister
Mormont: “The things we love destroy us every time.” Is this true? Just sticking to the major POV characters:
- Ned is destroyed by his love of (his idealized image of) Robert, and his resulting blindness to crucial aspects of his situation. (His love of honor figures in also, but this reread has shown Robert to be much more important than I previously realized.)
- Catelyn is destroyed by her love of her family(or of her concept of herself as perfect family woman), and of drama (e.g., foolishly insisting on traveling to King’s Landing herself; kidnapping Tyrion and then ignoring all logical arguments as to his innocence).
- Jon is destroyed by his love of being right (see his own comment about himself below). Ultimately this stems from his love of his father and yearning for a level of security and recognition not afforded by his social status.
- Daenerys was, for quite a while, on the path to being destroyed by her love of her people, or more cynically, of her image of herself as mother savior and emancipator. (Daario’s just a blip on the radar screen.)
- Theon is destroyed by his yearning for validation, stemming from his frustrated love of the Starks and what they stand for.
- Jaime did rather poorly living a life defined by his love of his sister.
- If Brienne has been destroyed, it’s by her love of honor and, possibly, Jaime.
On the other hand:
- Arya loves her family, her freedom, and the satisfaction of attaining mastery, and has mostly benefited by at least the latter things. And she’s about as far from destroyed as any major POV character at this point.
- Sansa loves her illusions, and is also far from destroyed yet.
- Tyrion loves his own intellect and the idea of being in love with a woman. Things haven’t gone well for him, but when it comes down to it, most of his misfortunes have been visited on him by others in spite of his efforts to avoid them. In particular, the bane of his existence is his father, who he mostly has the sense to hate.
- Bran suffered significant harm due to his love of climbing, but once again, I think the blame for that (as well as for his increasingly creepy situation) largely falls on others, including possibly the gods/fate.
- Davos seems to love his family and to have a generally strong but realistically calibrated moral compass, which one could describe as a love of goodness. He’s lost a lot, but once again, largely due to the actions of others, and he has remained more stolidly himself (i.e., undestroyed) than any other major adult character.
- Sam loves knowledge, comfort, and his brothers (particularly Jon), and is doing quite well so far.
- Cersei loves herself (her brother/husband and children, I think, are loved only as extensions thereof). I don’t think I’d call her destroyed as all her sufferings don’t seem to have made much of a psychological dent.
Elsewhere in this chapter.
- I think this is the point where Jon chapters, never my favorites, become the boring stuff I have to get through to reach the good stuff (like, yes, Sansa chapters). I’m just not that into zombies, male bonding, or teen angst.
- “Jon Snow was nothing if not stubborn.” Word.
- Jon was “a babe in arms” when the current summer began. So Robert’s war took place in winter?
- Old Nan says: in the past, the Others invaded the south and destroyed human cities and even kingdoms.
- Jon is bright enough to doubt that Joffrey would allow Eddard to live (Joffrey’s handlers apparently weren’t).
- “If Lord Eddard was killed, [Catelyn] would be as much to blame as the queen.” Word again.
- Mormont’s raven initially screams “corn,” but is later able to manage the much more situation-appropriate “burn.” If the raven is a front for the three-eyed crow, this suggests a limited degree of control of its faculties (insufficient, for example, to make it say “There’s a zombie in the solar!”)
“If [Ned] could prove that the Lannisters were behind the attack on Bran, prove that they had murdered Jon Arryn…” Honorable Ned, trying to prove an untruth! Then, later: “The dagger, Bran’s fall, all of it was linked somehow to the murder of Jon Arryn, he could feel it in his gut.” It’s fabulous to read a genre novel where a “good” character can have a *wrong* gut feeling, where his problem is less the existence of the array of baddies out to get him than his inability to correctly grasp the nature of their badness and thereby maneuver around it.
I’m wondering what this chapter’s non-effeminate Varys knows, though. He asserts that Arryn was killed for “asking questions,” which is only indirectly true if at all. Baelish, not the by-amateur-genetic-studies-threatened Lannisters, instigated Arryn’s death. Like Varys, Baelish may want to delay the coming succession crisis, and silencing Arryn would work in service of that — but clearing the path for further psychosexual manipulation of Arryn’s wife seems a stronger motivation. Does Varys know Baelish was responsible for Arryn’s death (in which case he’s deliberately allowing/leading Ned to think it was the Lannisters) or would he be as surprised by that knowledge as I was when I first encountered it?
Elsewhere in this chapter:
- Robert comes around with a bullshit after-the-fact apology for killing a little girl’s dog. Sure, Robert, you’re real sorry.
- He also wonders, “How could I have made a son like [Joffrey]” while calling Loras “a son any man would be proud to own to.” Surprisingly un-homophobic, or just oblivious?
- Renly knows that Tyrion never bets against his brother … but Ned and Catelyn? Nope. (Also, this is Jaime’s second unhorsing in recent memory — was he already slipping as a jouster at this point?)
- Another horse (and human) realism fail: book Loras, like TV Loras, is “slender as a reed,” as is his horse … never mind that a man and/or horse of that build could never carry a suit of armor.
- First mention of Mya Stone (though not by name).
“The things I do for love,” he said with loathing. [Jaime in Bran 2, just before putting an innocent child to (presumed) death on Cersei’s demand]
“Damn you, Cersei,” he said with loathing. [Robert in Eddard 3, having just agreed to put an innocent animal to death on Cersei’s demand]
Robert seems to be under no illusion of “loving” Cersei, so why did he do it? He’s intimidated by her family’s power, no doubt — but mostly he just can’t be bothered to do the right, but marginally more difficult, thing. Instead he “shrug[s] irritably” and lets her have her way. It speaks to how well Robert’s character is drawn that I found this completely believable — I’ve met the type (though thankfully not any who were in that kind of position of power). And once again, Robert is not Ned’s friend, and is possibly to self-absorbed and emotionally lazy to be anyone’s (whether inherently so, or because Cersei has worn him out).
Other notable stuff from this chapter:
- The name-check of House Darry, one of whose members was Dany’s guardian, serves to nicely tie disparate threads of the story together.
- Renly’s reaction to Joffrey’s defeat in, er, battle is hilarious. “Lion’s Tooth!”
- Arya’s immediate, unconditional defense of Lady (and by extension Sansa, who just betrayed her) is both believable and endearing.
- I’m surprised at the extent to which both of Ned’s first two chapters are “about” Robert. I had forgotten that Ned’s is the only POV through which we directly observe Robert to any significant extent.
- I am not convinced, however, that Robert is, or possibly ever was, Ned’s “friend” in any real sense. No one who actually knows Ned would propose to him a life of knight errantry and tavern wenches. And it takes a lot of doublethink on Ned’s part to remain “friends” with someone who condones the murder of an infant.
- Still, “you were never the boy you were” is a pretty great line.
- This chapter has the first mention of Varys that I’ve noticed (as the source of Robert’s intel about Dany’s marriage).
- We learn in this chapter that Jorah sold slaves, though no reason is given beyond simple monetary greed.
- Robert is mean to his horse. Boo.
- Robert: “give them half a chance, [the Targaryens] will murder me in my bed, and my sons with me.” Umm, no, that’s not the Targaryens, it’s your wife.
- More Robert wisdom: “Lord Tywin looms eternal as Casterly Rock.” Ha. (There’s a definite lack of clarity about Jaime’s status here, though: Robert does seem to think he will eventually “succeed” his father, despite being a Kingsguard.)
(Originally the R+L=J evidence thread, now expanded to include the Robert’s rebellion historical morass that surrounds it)
- She died of bleeding and/or fever (AGoT Eddard 1)
- She extracted a promise from Eddard just before her death, implied to be a promise that he see her buried in the Winterfell crypt (AGoT Eddard 1)
- Robert believes she was raped “hundreds” of times by Rhaegar (AGoT Eddard 2)
About Jon Snow’s parentage:
- Ned will not name Jon’s mother (AGoT Catelyn 2)
- Winterfell servants once spread rumours that Jon’s mother is Ashara Dayne. Ned was not thrilled with this and silenced the servants (AGoT Catelyn 2)
- Ned told Catelyn not to ask about Jon, and called Jon his “blood” (AGoT Catelyn 2)
- Robert believes Jon’s mother is a commoner named Wylla (AGoT Eddard 2)
- Ned says of Wylla, “I dishonored myself and I dishonored Catelyn” (AGoT Eddard 2) [Now that is interesting, assuming you don’t believe Jon is the biological son of Ned and Wylla. Is lying about Jon’s true parentage (rather than anything to do with Wylla) the “dishonor” Ned is really talking about? It’s a bit of a stretch to see that lie as dishonoring Catelyn. Or did Ned in fact sleep with Wylla, thus giving Ned’s statement the same sort of grain of truth as “he is my blood”?]
About Robert’s rebellion:
- Aerys did something “unspeakable” to Ned’s father and brother, which led to at least the father’s death (AGoT Eddard 2)
- The Lannisters did not take sides until late in the game (AGoT Eddard 2)
- After taking Robert’s side, Tywin took possession of King’s Landing by pretending to be allied with Aerys (AGoT Eddard 2)
- Tywin presented Robert with the corpses of Aerys’ wife and children. Robert’s uncritical acceptance of this caused a brief schism between him and Ned (AGoT Eddard 2)
- Jaime, who was seventeen, killed Aerys, then briefly sat on his throne and behaved in a flippant manner(AGoT Eddard 2)
- For a first POV chapter, this chapter reveals surprisingly little of Tyrion’s inner life: it’s largely composed of dialog. We do get a sense of his intelligence through his subtle observation of his siblings’ behavior, though. And we learn that he’s willing to stand up to Joffrey.
- The Winterfell library is sold hard in the opening paragraphs, probably in an attempt to make the reader care about its forthcoming destruction by fire.
- Sandor’s “spirits of the air!” schtick feels out of character: is he elsewhere portrayed as a stand-up comedian?
- Joffrey: “I cannot abide the wailing of women.” I’m hoping to eventually look for patterns in these off-handed sexist comments: do their sources tend to mostly be less admirable characters? characters headed for a gruesome end?
- IMHO, cooking bacon “until it turns black” is a waste of good bacon.
- The younger pseudo-Baratheon children are once again portrayed as nice kids.
- Jaime says he would euthanize a son of his that was in Bran’s situation. Of course he is literally hoping to convince those in authority over Bran to euthanize him, for purely selfish reasons–but it’s interesting to consider the words as applied to Joffrey: is Jaime aware of his actual son’s problematic nature? Does he wish he had not brought him into the world, or could remove him from it?