This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

This book is really book two of the Song of Ice and Fire series. But I didn't blog about it right away and once I finished book three, I wanted to blog about that one first since it was fresh in my memory. I just hope I can relay this book as best as I can, trying to keep the third one from blending into this one.

This was my true endeavor into the world of Westeros. Game of Thrones was basically a book that followed the tv series...well, the other way around, of course :). But for me, I watched the series then read the book. I pretty much knew what was going to happen but, even better, I got to know the characters from the inside, something a tv series could never do.  But with A Clash of Kings, I was entering new territory. I would not know what was going to happen.

And it was great. We have the same cast of characters, minus the dead one (RIP Eddard Stark). We are introduced to two new POVs: Davos Seaworth, AKA the Onion Knight and Theon Greyjoy, who was Eddard Stark's ward.

While Davos is new to the reader, Theon was introduced in GoT. He was reared with Bran, Robb, and the rest of the Starks, including Jon Snow...despite the fact that he was actually a young boy taken hostage. He was treated as one of the Starks and even fought alongside Robb during two battles. But no matter how one can be treated fairly, greed of power and respect still get to the heart of many a man...and Theon was one of them.

He decides he wants Winterfell and storms it and takes over. Bran, Rickon, Hodor, and two unique children of a trusted comrade, Jojen and Meera, manage to escape Winterfell. Theon, however, has two peasant boys killed, beheads them, tars the heads and mounts them on the walls of Winterfell and claims they are Bran and Rickon. News makes it to Robb, Sansa, and Catelyn. Eventually, Theon is captured by yet another crazy MFer and we hear nothing from him again...

Tyrion Lannister is heavily focused in this novel. He is great. Smart, with a bit of a heart but not enough that he won't kill if necessary. He is sent to King's Landing to be the temporary Hand of the King until his father, Tywin, is done with commanding the battles and can return to take the role himself.

And Tyrion gets to work and is able to make allies with other kingdoms by marrying off Cersei's children: Joffrey is now set to wed someone else, so in that sense, Tyrion has saved Sansa from Joffrey's brutality. The other children are also promised off, much to Cersei's dismay.

Stannis Baratheon, the late King Baratheon's brother, stakes claim to the throne. He works with a witchy woman, Melisandre, who worships a different god than most of the people of Westeros. There is definitely a magic and supernatural feel to this woman and her fact, Renly Baratheon, Stannis' younger brother, who also wanted to lay claim to the King-ship, is slain before a big battle between the two houses. A mysterious shadow comes in, as he is dressing for battle, and kills him with two people in the room.

So basically, all of Westeros is in a state of chaos.

And now for some great quotes...the first is between Tyrion and Varys, the Spider. Tyrion has just made Baywater the Commander of the City Watch and has thrown the horrible Janos Slynt under the bus and is sending him to the Wall. After Slynt is escorted away by Baywater, Varys congratulates Tyrion on the episode...they drink wine...Dornish wine...and Tyrion responds to Varys with his wicked wry sense of humor:
Varys filled a cup. "Ah. Sweet as summer." He took another sip. "I hear the grapes singing on my tongue."
"I wondered what that noise was. Tell the grapes to keep still, my heard is about to split..."
Another humorous quote, this one from Dolorous Edd, a man of the Night Watch. He and Jon Snow, and others, are sent to rummage through houses in an abandoned village. After their commander, Old Bear, says he wishes 'old bones could talk' as they looked a skulls beneath a weirwood:
"And who's to say the bones wouldn't lie? Why should death make a man truthful, or even clever? The dead are likely dull fellows, full of tedious complaints -- the ground's too cold, my gravestone should be larger, why does _he_ get more worms than I do..."
And one more from Tyrion, as he approaches the Maester Pycelle, an older man who has served the king for 80 years. A spread of food is set out and he pontificates to Tyrion:
"In these sad times, when so many hunger, I think it only fitting to keep my table spare.
'Commendable,' Tyrion admitted..."I take a different view. If there is food, I eat it, in case there is none on the morrow."

1 comment:

  1. I love Tyrion! This was a good book, i'm glad you're loving the series.