A FEAST FOR CROWS

I like that we pick up without any lost time. It’s just like changing perspectives in the book. Martin is reliable for this. At the end of the book, Martin explains why he wrote things the way he did, why people were conspicuously absent etc. He also claims to have written tons about the other characters already. So why so long between books then? More on that in a minute.

So let’s talk about Cersei Lannister. There are a lot of people in this series that it’s easy to dislike and even to hate; for me it’s her that I hate most of all. She never get’s what she deserves! Why can’t someone just take the bitch out? Just stab her in the heart or poison her and get it done already. I’d strangle her myself but when I put down my book I remember that these are only figments of Martin’s imagination and that the life his words breathe into them is only temporary. Damn I love these books!

Have you ever been walking down stairs so absentmindedly that when you take the next step you meet with ground too soon? Your foot hits hard and it jars your whole body and leaves you feeling a little disoriented? That’s how I felt at the end of Feast. I turned a page and that was it. No more story, just Martin’s explanation. It’s very frustrating to be left with questions and impatience and know that I’m still weeks away from answers. It’s akin to being a teenaged boy whose girlfriend will let him get to third base; he can see home but she just won’t let him go there. Or when you’re a small child determined to go to the bottom of the pool and back up in one breath. You’re just a finger’s breath away from the bottom, but you can’t hold your breath anymore and go shooting back to the surface. I’m sure you can relate to at least one of those examples.

Did you know that by and large Dickens’ novels were published in short instalments and he was paid by the word? Personally, I think that’s why his works are all so deadly dull. But sometimes I think that concept is a pretty good one. After all, what are TV shows but a chopped up movie (especially ones like V or Lost)? The Song of Ice and Fire series would be a great one to dole out bit by bit don’t you think? I’d say on a monthly basis. Martin should be able to keep up with that. Book five is just about out, which he implied a good chunk of it he’d already written when four was out so he must be well on his way to completing the material for six. You see where I’m going with this? They could release the entire book in book format later, for people who like to own their books (like me) but in the mean time, they’d make money hand over fist for the people who just can’t wait (also me) by releasing the bits in an eBook format. Just a thought. Set your watches people for July 15th. And now for the plot review, so if you don’t want spoilers, this is where you stop reading.

PLOT SUMMARY

We begin the tale in Dorne (our first time there incidentally). Myrcella Baratheon was sent there, it’s also where the Red Viper, who lost his life defending Tyrion’s innocence, is from.

I told you Jon was smart. He’s sending Sam to Oldtown with Maester Aemon, Gilly and the child. He wants Sam to become a new master and wants Aemon’s blood (Targaeryen blood) out of reach of the red priestess and her fires. Two birds, one stone. Of course the whole idea terrifies Sam.

Ooops, I lied. It’s to Braavos that Arya has gone, not Pentos. But now what? She knows no one here and has nowhere to go. Braavos is modeled after Venice with its waterways and bridges. Ah Venezia, how I long to visit you…but back to Arya. She’s ended up at the House of the Many-Faced God.

For a woman who thinks she’s so clever, why is it things are always happening faster or other than Cersei Lannister anticipated? Beauty, spite and cunning. That’s all she is. Heat and a flash in the pan but for all her scheming, she doesn’t contingency plan and when you’re playing the game of thrones you need to plan a lot better than she does.

Martin kept pointing out this boy on a piebald pony who turned up everywhere Brienne went. Even an idiot would pick up on it and I like to think I’m not an idiot. But I didn’t expect it to be Podrick Payne, Tyrion’s squire. Didn’t think he had it in him. Will he be of any use finding Sansa though?

What a farce! Tommen has now married Margaery Tyrell, who is roughly twice his age.

Back in Sunspear, (Dorne) Myrcella has taken to life like a fish to water. She loves the food and is growing close to her betrothed. And her sworn sword is in love with Arianne (the princess and heir). I smell complications ahead.

With Theon Greyjoy, Balon’s only surviving son, dead, his brother Aeron calls for a kingsmoot where Asha, (Balon’s daughter) and Victarion and Euron (the other two brothers) are among those who make a claim for the Seastone chair. In the end it’s Euron Crow’s Eye who is victorious.

Princess Arianne of Dorne decided that her father’s “thinking” was not as good as action. With the help of some friends and Myrcella’s sworn sword, she has spirited away the young princess and plans to crown her and claim the Iron Throne through her. Alas Doran Martell has anticipated his daughter and stopped them. Poor Arys Oakheart (Kingsguard assigned to Myrcella and lover of Arianne) died needlessly rather than yield to Martell’s men.

Poor Arya, she’s what, 11? And now at the House of Black & White (same as the House of the Many-Faced God) in Braavos and they’re telling her she has to give up everything she is – which is little enough – in order to stay with them. That’s so unfair! She’s had it the worst of the Starks, living or dead. All Arya’s worldly goods she tosses into the waters of Braavos except for Needle, which she hides. The following day she begins training and when she’s learned a little of their language, she’s sent away to submerse herself in the city to learn the language better. That much at least is true – that submerging yourself in a language is the best way to learn it.

Apparently Davos has been beheaded on Cersei’s orders whilst at White Harbour trying to drum up support for Stannis. (I don’t believe that because Martin specifically mentions him in his little blurb at the end of the book.)

After having him conquer some lands and castles for him, Euron is sending Victarion to fetch Danaerys to be his wife. Victarion agrees to go but plans to take her for his own instead. Euron consolidates his position and continues reaving and generally making life difficult for Cersei throughout the rest of the book.

Who is wandering around in Sandor Clegane’s helm? No idea but I know he’s dead so I guess eventually we’ll find out.

Arya killed Dareon, the Night’s Watch singer who forswore his vows. This is not a girl I see easily returning to the folds of traditional Westerosi society, even if she ever has the chance to. I think it more likely she’ll end up a pirate or sharing Jon Snow’s watch. And the “kindly man” has blinded her. I wonder what she’s expected to learn and whether or not it’s a permanent blinding.

Poor Sam – I flip back and forth between exasperation and feeling sorry for him; this time it’s the latter – Aemon has died and left him to deal with everything alone. Aemon believed that Danaerys is their hope and that Melisandre (the red priestess with Stannis) has read the signs wrong. He’s charged Sam with making the maesters (please excuse any use of “master” Word keeps autocorrecting “maester” so I’m not sure I catch them all) at Oldtown understand this and send a maester to Danaerys. It seems a big job for Sam, yet so would making Jon Lord Commander of the Watch and he did that…

Oh this is too good. When it comes to Sam, you can spin a wheel between fear, despair and shame and you’ll get his reaction to every situation. It’s shame he feels after shagging Gilly, but I just thought, what took so long? You had to know it was going to happen at least once.

Loras Tyrell has taken Dragonstone in the name of King Tommen. But the idiot knight wanted so much to be a hero that he’s going to die a hero’s death, covered in glory – and the wounds from multiple arrows and boiling oil. Cersei couldn’t be more pleased.

At last Gendry makes an appearance, although it’s only a small one. Just to remind us that Robert’s boy is still around I guess. He’s smithing at the crossroads inn. Brienne comes to the inn on her search for Sansa and puts together who the boy is pretty quick but has no opportunity to reveal the identity of his father to him.

Another mystery solved. It’s Rorge (the noiseless outlaw) who is wearing Sandor Clegane’s hound helm. Brienne did for him quick enough, but then his buddy Biter (the tongueless outlaw) was on her and managed to do significant damage, breaking her arm, a couple of ribs, nearly strangling her and taking a chunk out of her face before someone (turns out it was Gendry) comes to her rescue.

Continuing his path back to honour, Jaime, whom Cersei ordered to take Riverrun is trying to do it without taking up arms against a Tully or Stark and thereby keeping his vow to Catelyn Stark. He’s offered Edmure Tully very generous terms. No one will die if he accepts but everyone will die and the castle will be destroyed if he does not. Edmure’s pretty useless, I think he’ll yield.

So one of Arianne’s companions, Gerold Dayne, known as Darkstar, hurt Myrcella before escaping Prince Doran’s men. Sliced off her ear and maimed her face. What an ass. Why would he do that to a harmless little girl? Somebody should have his head off.

Doran Martell is much sneakier that I gave him credit for. He promised Arianne to Viserys. Lucky for her the little snake is dead. That would not have been a good match. But knowing that he did this, what else has Doran done to bring about the fall of the Baratheons and Lannisters I wonder.

Edmure yielded.

Devious. That’s the word that best describes Littlefinger. He’s killed his wife (after having her kill her first husband) and is now plotting to marry Sansa/Alayne to Harry the Heir, who by some convoluted figuring is actually little Lord Robert’s heir. The same little lord whose death Littlefinger is planning even as he plans the betrothal.

Brienne is brought before Lady Stoneheart for judgement, who as we all know is Catelyn Stark reborn. It was not Thoros who brought her back though, it was Beric Dondarrion. And now Beric is gone for good. Catelyn/Stoneheart continues to exact her meagre vengeance and now that includes Brienne. She and Podrick are dangling together but with no clean break they must die slowly or perhaps be rescued. We won’t find out until A Dance with Dragons.

It looks like the Lannisters had another victory to add to their list; that of Cersei over Margaery Tyrell. Ah but the bitch gets her just desserts – FINALLY! The High Septon (who is another character I would kill if he were real or we were both figments) has Cersei seized, stripped and charged with murder, treason and fornication. Can’t wait to see how this turns out, especially since Jaime is leaving her to her fate.

Poor Sam, he just isn’t built for the world of politics. Not enough power in his brain. But he did manage to get Aemon’s message heard and presumably Maester Marwyn will next appear at the side of Danaerys Targaryen.

Where are they now?

 

The Starks

Sansa – playing the part of Alayne Stone in the Eyrie

Bran – north of the wall, searching for the 3-eyed crow

Rickon – haven’t heard a word about him since he parted ways with Bran in the last book

Arya – in Braavos, blinded by the “kindly man”

The Baratheons

Myrcella – languishing wounded in Dorne

Tommen – still the king in Kings Landing

Stannis – in the North

The Lannisters

Cersei – captive of the High Septon

Jaime – at Riverrun

Tyrion – we haven’t heard a word of him all book (insert sad face)

Everybody else

Jon Snow – on the wall, Lord Commander

Samwell Tarly – in Oldtown to begin forging his maester’s chain

Davos – in White Harbour, maybe dead, more likely alive

Danaerys – ruling some eastern city

Littlefinger – conspiring and making plans from the comfort of the Eyrie

Doran Martell – in Dorne but not sitting idle

 

And now you have my 2¢ for today.

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~ by leslies2cents on June 1, 2011.

2 Responses to “A FEAST FOR CROWS”

  1. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? Cheers

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