So I've gotten into a good rhythm with my article, and I had trouble sleeping the other night, so I was able to down another 100 pages and put this together for you.
Game of Thrones part five! Pages 501-~600.
Action! Intrigue! Betrayal! Wieners! These hundred pages had it all. I expected some stuff to go down, but I wasn't imagining quite the cascade we got. As an added bonus to future installments, because I have the mentality of a teenager every time we get a great line about one of the characters' wieners flapping softly in the breeze, I'll underscore it with a line from the song. Should we by some miracle have more wieners in a hundred pages than there are lines to the song (eight), I'll start from the top… in Spanish. Una salchicha una salchicha….
Eddard: The king is dying because he got gored by a boar while hunting very drunk. When I said he wasn't long for this book I wasn't quite imagining it happening the very next chapter. Oh, and there's a squire who just so happens to have been keeping him supplied constantly. Probably in the employ of Cersei. Anyway, Ned takes down his will, even going so far as to *gasp* not include some of the exact wording so that he can make sure Joffrey doesn't become king. Ned, I'm so proud of you. You've learned the value of dishonesty. Oh, and Rob wants Ned to call off the kill on Dany. Too late, of course.
Now, Renly seems a bit hotheaded, but he's right. You've got to strike while the king's ailing but not dead – Cersei would only expect a move from Ned after that point, so she'd be preparing like crazy but not doing anything, and you could catch her off guard this way. Ned, though, is too optimistic and honorable for that sort of thing, which, *sigh*, it's like, dude, you should know this isn't that kind of story. Even if you don't realize it's a story (Sansa kind of does, just the wrong genre – she thinks this is a medieval romance), you've got decade long winters – nothing to be optimistic about.
The end here proves just how much Ned really needs to learn about trust, though. Ned, what does Littlefinger tell you? Don't trust him. What did you just do? Trust him to pay for the goldcloaks. Now, I'm no expert, but I'm under the understanding that mercenaries, and that's what the goldcloaks are right now, are loyal to who pays them, not the guy who sends someone to pay for them. But Ned'll never see that coming.
Jon: This chapter spoke to me. Lots of nifty information – so there are the old gods, and then there are "the Seven" who I presume are the gods of the seven kingdoms? Not to get too deep into it, but feels like a kind of unorganized, pseudo-pagan sect and a more organized, "mono-pantheonic" sect. This could be interesting later. But back to the plot, we get promotion ceremonies. Jon's all "I wanna be a ranger," but dude, chill. It's obvious to anybody reading and to all your buddies that you're being groomed to take command. Like I said back in the first two hundred pages:
* Jon's up at the Wall. I'd guess he eventually takes charge up there
So I'm going to call that prediction safe and practically complete, even. And when Sam and Jon do theirs out in the woods north of the wall, Ghost discovers a hand for them. Spooky. When I was at this point, I figured probably one of Ben's guys but not Ben's because he's gonna be important.
Eddard: The king is dead. Ned has kind of learned the value of dishonesty, if only by proxy. Ned's offer is, for obvious reasons, unheeded. Don't like her, but Cersei's just better suited to this whole court thing than Ned is. Ned's mistake, I think, is being so half-hearted about this. He's willing to make the smallest concessions to playing the game and he thinks it's enough, but he's not willing to do things like fill in the council before things get bad and maybe get some of them able to help. The turning of the goldcloaks is not unexpected, but man it sucks seeing Cersei get the upper hand (and Joffrey not have his head on a spike – he and Rob Arryn can go fly together).
Arya: Arya on the run. All around this has been a great chunk, as it's scattering people and shaking things up. Arya on the run means having to put her skills to use. Her first confrontation… well, she didn't remember the fancy stuff, but she remembered Jon's lesson and stuck him with the pointy end. As a fencer, the rest will come with practice, and I look forward to that. She's smart – figuring out how not to look out of place, how to hide, how to get back down to those dungeons, how to conquer her fear.
Sansa: She's painfully innocent, isn't she? So Jeyne's father's dead, Jeyne will be dead shortly, and Sansa's being held as insurance by the Lannisters that the Starks won't do anything to stop them. Now, what should happen if she continues writing to her family and perhaps lets slip some knowledge to them? She's still so enamored with Joffrey, though, that doing it on purpose doesn't sound likely. But she realizes she never asked about Arya and they never said anything about her – there's hope for the girl yet.
Jon: So the Wall gets the news about Ned, but first they find the bodies Ghost led them to: Jafer and Otho (Otho the Othor now). They catch the blue eyes, but they don't quite know what's up there, and Sam proves himself really useful with the blood analysis (he could get a job at Miami Metro Homicide). So some good recognition from the Old Bear, and of course Thorne has something to say about Ned to antagonize Jon. That conspiracy I smelled earlier? I think it's his conspiracy. Anyway, Jon gets in trouble but gets to acquit himself by taking out Otho the Othor with Ghost's help. And so everyone except those at the Wall are looking in the wrong direction. South's not important – North is.
Bran: So Robb's going south – and Bran's got the right of things – it's the wrong direction to look. They've figured out a way for Hodor to carry him around, and Bran appreciates it while hating the way people look at him. Out in the weirwood he chats with Osha, who I honestly had kind of forgotten had been left alive after the attack, and she tells him how to listen to the gods, about the Others and giants, and even about this Mance Rayder guy. Speaking of giants:
"Hodor," Hodor agreed. He was dripping wet from the neck down, steaming in the chill air. His body was covered with brown hair, thick as a pelt. Between his legs, his manhood swung long and heavy.
Wiener, wiener wiener, wiener wiener…
Anyway, the big thing (heh), I think, is this: Bran resolves to learn magic. Oh yeah. Right on that front as well. Robb better watch himself – he's got people, and he's earned their loyalty for now, but he's heading into a trap, and taking his eyes off the real threat.
Daenerys: Right at the beginning of the chapter we visit Khal Drogo and Dany.
His manhood glistened wetly.
One wiener next to another wiener….
Anyway, failed assassination attempt, which means the king really screwed the pooch by going along with the council – or perhaps this is exactly what the council wanted. I'm not going to trust that the small council is in anyone's pockets except their own. Khal Drogo's determined to cross the sea now – which makes me realize that the Dothraki lands aren't on the map at the beginning of the book, which also means that they're looking at a somewhat long voyage, and complete blindness about what's lurking northward. Oh, and Dany is getting the idea with the eggs. Good Khaleesi.
Things of importance:
* Dany's starting to think about hatching the eggs
* The small council's got its own agenda, probably tied to ensuring their position. Aligning themselves with everyone and then taking the side of whoever proves themselves most ruthlessly willing to pursue power seems to be the MO.
* Bran's made the first step toward getting magic: wanting magic.
* Arya's on her own and could well pop up anywhere next.
* Sansa's captive, but she might well become something of an inside agent for the Starks so long as she keeps her wits about her and realizes what her situation actually is.
Predictions pulled out of my ass:
* Bran getting magic all but confirmed.
* Jon taking charge up at the wall all but confirmed.
* I almost see Cersei pulling a Titus Andronicus and getting the Starks to pledge fealty only to kill as many of them as possible. The Red
Robin wedding may well be the elimination play which goes all kinds of wrong for the Lannisters.
* Starting to think Ned will survive this book, but not for long into the next. Like, killed in the first hundred pages.
*There will eventually come a run of a hundred pages where I get to start the Spanish translation of A Chorus of Wieners for you guys.