- More obesity as comic relief: a “septa as big as a draft horse” with “legs as thick and white as marble columns.”
- Oh, and Illyrio is “grossly fat, yet he seemed to walk lightly, carrying his weight on the balls of his feet as a water dancer might” — because, as we don’t learn until ADwD, he was one.
- Myrcella and Tommen are uncharacteristically mean here.
- Old Nan sayeth: there are steps to hell, and they are dark.
- Varys to Illyrio: “the [Lannisters] tried to kill [Ned’s] son.” So Varys really doesn’t know who was responsible for the Bran assassination attempt? Or is he referring only to the defenestration?
- Varys and Illyrio sure sound like they intend for a Dothraki invasion under Dany to be the main event of their coup — not as though she’s a distracting sideshow or as if they expect her to die, as is implied in ADwD.
- Much has been made of Margaery’s resemblance to Anne Boleyn, but here she’s just as much Catherine Howard: a woman chosen by scheming relatives/courtiers to seduce the king and thereby win his favor for her procurers.
- Lest we get too sympathetic to Varys, here he is ordering up fifty tongueless slave children.
- Ned and Old Nan have a strangely late-twentieth century concept of a wizard: “a long white beard and a tall pointed hat speckled with stars.”
- Yoren meets Arya, and mistakes her for a boy, making his later recognition and choice of disguise for her plausible.
- Arya’s patronization by both her father and his guards is striking: do they really think she’ll believe one of them is worth ten of the enemy, or that it does her any long-term good to tell her so?
Tag Archives: MyrcellaBaratheon
- 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?
Such evocative descriptions of Sansa here (italics mine):
“Our half brother,” Sans corrected, soft and precise.
Sansa was too well bred to smile at her sister’s disgrace, but Jeyne was smirking on her behalf. Even Princess Myrcella looked sorry for [Arya].
(A little hint there that Myrcella’s not a mean girl, too.)
Cersei is “as beautiful as men said.” She has long golden hair and emerald green eyes. Her smile looks fake to Jon (and GRRM implies it would look fake to any adult, by saying “even at fourteen” Jon can see through it — although it could just be Jon’s preternatural bastardly maturity, of which more later.)
Myrcella is “a wisp of a girl, not quite eight” with long golden curls.
Tommen is plump and has white-blond hair that is longer than Arya’s. We learned in Catelyn I that he is seven (which would make for some pretty close birth spacing between him and Myrcella — I almost feel sorry for Cersei).
Joffrey is twelve, taller than fourteen-year-old Robb who has himself been described as notably tall. He has long, thick blond curls, emerald green eyes, and pouty lips.
Jaime is “tall and golden, with flashing green eyes and a smile that cut like a knife.” And of course, Jon thinks he looks like a king should look. I use this, along with the image of Jaime sitting on Arys’s throne after assassinating him, is the basis for my “Jaime will end up King” theory. (No, I’m not serious, and am too lazy to try to come up with political/military circumstances that could allow this to happen — just having fun as a confirmed Jaime fanperson. Really, I think he’ll end up perishing in some form of suicide-by-cop while symbolically trying to do his job as Kingsgaurd by defending a king who he ironically doesn’t like or respect much, such as maybe Stannis. Hopefully not until very near the end of the series, and not until after strangling Cersei.)
Tyrion gets more description than any of the others:
“[H]alf his brother’s height … [with] stunted legs. His head [is] too large for his body, with a brute’s squashed-in face beneath a swollen shelf of brow. One green eye and one black one peered out from under a lank fall of hair so blond it seemed white.”
And of course, there is the final line of the chapter–“just for a moment, Tyrion Lannister stood tall as a king”–undermining my Jaime for King campaign before it even started.
Interestingly, both Tyrion and Tommen have white blond hair, while the rest are described as golden. Tommen’s biological parents are siblings, Tyrion’s (if we assume they’re exactly who they’re supposed to be) first cousins; it seems like the Lannisters may have a recessive white-blond gene floating around and these two got a double dose. Tommen’s white-blondness does undermine those who would use Tyrion’s white-blondness as evidence that he’s actually a Targaryen, unless they want to argue that Tommen is a Targaryen too. (I never liked that theory, if only because it makes Tyrion’s relationship with Tywin less artistically satisfying to me if Tywin’s not really his dad. Tywin doesn’t get a loophole for treating him badly, nor Tyrion a loophole for kinslaying.)