Finally finished ‘A Storm of Swords’ the 3rd book in George R.R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga months ago and it was a joy to rediscover it all over again yesterday while I was waiting for patients to come by. Getting shipped into the world of ASOIAF is something I look forward to every time I turn a page; all at once I’m somewhere chaotic, breath-taking, turbulent and interesting and that’s how reading books should be! Supposedly, I planned on reading it once HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 2 ends but I just couldn’t fight against the irresistible to urge to open it and find out what happens after A Clash of Kings‘ ending because that definitely left me hanging.
Thank you for the copy, N! I love you and I can’t help but think of you every time I fan girl over it. I wish you were so much closer ♥
There’s nothing like the first time reading and finishing the 1127 pages of the intense continuation of Martin’s epic and re-reading it by snippets just made those raw feelings then come back. Will this be a coherent and objective commentary? We’ll see. Again, this won’t be spoiler free like the last entry I did for A Clash of Kings. I suggest you don’t go beyond this cut if you haven’t read the book and wouldn’t want to risk knowing what happens next. Hodor? Hodor. Thank you!
Initial thoughts after putting it down?
Thank you random dude for summing it all up for me and bless the one who made this perfect .gif for a perfect indescribable emotions. And I’ll probably continue on abusing .gifs as a perfect illustration of my battered emotions.
In A Storm of Swords, the event picks up slightly before the end of The Clash of Kings. As everyone knows by now, Renly Baratheon was killed and only four contenders for the Iron Throne remain. Now, Joffrey Lannister now sits in the Iron Throne and apparently is doing a pretty shitty job as an uneasy ruler of the Seven Kingdoms while his uncle and most bitter rival to the claim, Stannis Baratheon, is defeated and disgraced over the massive (and epic) Battle of Blackwater Bay. And the massive shift of powers set motion the most overwhelming series of events in the saga I’ve read and ultimately made A Storm of Swords my favorite among the books so far.
From how the events in the first two books, I knew this it was going to be difficult reading this one. A quarter into the book and I was completely tense for hours considering how masochistic it was getting where suddenly so many cruel shit is blowing up everywhere and my feelings! Where do I begin…
The book definitely broke my heart in more ways than one but I love it just as much as it made me sad and empty afterwards. This third installment definitely showcased GRRM’s flawless writing skills as guided us deeper into each of the multi-faceted characters’ motivations and the changes undergo due to the circumstances they are unwillingly pulled into. There’s some serious character development that went on here and it’s astounding how but by bit he reveals more truths about them. Its keeps getting more complex and he just makes you embrace the harsh truth of humanity through his writing. Bravo GRRM for illustrating the indescribable dynamism of human experience through this epic!
Once again, the world of the Seven Kingdoms further expands as we’re introduced to the world of the Wildings under the rule of the enigmatic Mance Rayder, Dany and her khalasar takes us into the Free Cities to raise an army and the proper introduction of the other two major houses in Westeros: the Tyrells and the Martells. In ACOK, we are only given a brief introduction to the Tyrells through Loras and his sister Margaery. Now they come to court after a new allegiance that was formed between them and the Lannisters to win the battle of Blackwater Bay. Then we are given a brief introduction to the Martells, the ruling house to the kingdom of Dorne, through the arrival of Oberyn Martell.
Jamie Lannister gets to be a POV character in this one and GRRM wastes nothing with his character. Jamie’s chapters is one of the best for me since it’s incredibly well-written and seeing things in his perspective made me realize how much sense he makes and the other characters in the book have an incredibly narrow-minded opinion about him. You’re with Jamie when he goes all through the complicated emotions he feels about his notorious inescapable title of ‘Kingslayer’ and his relationship with his family members. I’m just like…
As much as I find the relationship between him and Cersei fascinating, it makes me so angry! And please, that sex scene with Cersei in the Sept while she has her period…
Angry sex is okay but come on! Cersei’s moonblood is fucking poisonI tell you. I just want to shake and slap Jamie though and make him realize that Cersei won’t do shit for him now. Ugh. Other than that Jamie’s perfect for me and I’m just in love with the the relationship he has with Tyrion. Epic moments, but I’ll get to that with Tyrion’s arcs in the book.
Oh gods, Brienne and Jamie… Where do I start? The amount of sexual tension between them is unbearable and I love it! Great dynamic between them though and I thoroughly enjoy their squabbles and debate over honor. Brienne of Tarth is a great character and I’m growing attached to her as much as I love Jamie. Brienne of Tarth is a force to be reckoned with and I have immense respect that she embraces her feminity despite everyone give her a hard time because of her gender and honorable character. She let’s them know she’s a woman, gives everyone who crosses her shit and knows she’s to be taken seriously. My feelings for the both of them are just…
He sprang to his feet and drove at her, the longsword alive in his hands. Brienne jumped back, parrying, but he followed, pressing the attack. No sooner did she turn one cut than the next was upon her. The swords kissed and sprang apart and kissed again. Jaime’s blood was singing.This was what he was meant for; he never felt so alive as when he was fighting, with death balanced on every stroke.
Not exactly a sex scene but come on! Perfect GRRM, just perfect and just what am I going to do with my crush for Jamie now? But gods, why did they cut off his arm?! I don’t even know what I’m supposed to feel about that…
Now then, I shall move on to my babies the Stark children including Jon Snow. They’re the epitome of surviving against the odds (well except for one which I will get to later). We go through the books with them as they travel but then their storylines advances dramatically that there were definitely moments that I needed to stop reading and put the book down since I’m incredibly overwhelmed by all the emotions they bring out from me.
Arya’s adventures and her actions never fail to astonish me and the turning point is in this book where Arya leaves her friends to learn to wield the courage and strength she has and journeys to the land of Braavos. I’m so excited for the fourth book since this is a new chapter for her in a land that completely unfamiliar to her. I could never forget that scene in the book where she wargs into Nymeria and that was the shit!
Bran’s adventures with the Reed siblings and Hodor to the Wall also left me tensed and astonished. The aspect of magic in the world of ASOIAF so far has showcased the magic of the Asshai, the Undying and when Bran manages to warg with Summer. And now were going to be introduced to a much older kind of magic and this works with Bran so well I think. It’s a struggle since his injury and he’s trying to find his gain back his … footing (no pun intended) after all the terrible things that has happened. It will be hard but I believe his journey will bring out the best of him.
Oh Robb Stark, King of the North. “I took her castle and she took my heart” You know, sometimes I forget that Robb is still 16 and reading this reminded me of that fact. It’s an endearing quality and it’s definitely realistic that at that age, your hormones were definitely raging and you definitely need a break of some sort from the burdens he carries.
Oh Robb Stark, King of the North. “I took her castle and she took my heart” You know, sometimes I forget that Robb is still 16 and reading this reminded me of that fact. It’s an endearing quality and it’s definitely realistic that at that age, your hormones were definitely raging and you definitely need a break of some sort from the burdens he carries. I just had a problem with the fact that he just forgot Grey Wind like that just because the Westerlings aren’t fond of him 😦 And I was really optimistic about the cause of the Northmen and Robb finally gathering his siblings in the near future. But then, GRRM definitely has a way with messing with our heads and hearts. He leads us to believe one thing then with a sudden jerk, we’re presented with the opposite. In what way? Three words: THE RED WEDDING. My faces reading that damned part of the book…
I wailed like a pterodactyl and nearly flung the book across the room. Some unexpected cruel shit right there. I’m just glad I didn’t get too attached to the relationship Robb has with Jeyne but that was just too painful! I think I will never be ready to watch the Red Wedding on TV and god, please I just want to send the Freys and the Lannisters to the Seven Hells over and over again! Fuck this, really! I can’t wait to see what happens to the Freys in the next book and by Gods if they are punished I swear I’ll relish every bit of it! I was really optimistic about the Stark siblings reunited complete at some point in the story. But Jesus. For any future weddings in Westeros, if you hear them playing the song The Rains of Castamere playing, GTFO NOW!
I found it really uncomfortable to read through Catelyn’s last moments since it made me think how much I liked her character as well. She isn’t my favorite character and I have a hard time relating to her but I can’t push aside the fact that she’s embodies the aspect of the Mother so well. Everything that she does is clearly a result of her love for her family and loved once and her vengeance she makes use for the family she has left. Cat has taken so many hits by watching her family scattered either through death, war or children growing up. And suddenly at the epilogue, BAM! A reanimated corpse of her appears with the Brotherhood and I found it incredibly eerie to say the least.
Meanwhile up the North, Jon Snow and Ygritte. Ah, I like Ygritte! My heart is exploding for her and Jon’s interesting relationship and surprisingly I found myself invested in their partnership. Other than of course the sex scenes (which seem to agree with him), he’s learning a lot and I really forget that he’s still a boy! But then…
“He found Ygritte sprawled across a patch of old snow beneath the Lord Commander’s Tower, with an arrow between her breasts. The ice crystals had settled over her face, and in the moonlight it looked as though she wore a glittering silver mask.
The arrow was black, Jon saw, but it was fletched with white duck feathers. Not mine, he told himself, not one of mine. But he felt as if it were.
When he knelt in the snow beside her, her eyes opened. “Jon Snow,” she said, very softly. It sounded as though the arrow had found a lung. “Is this a proper castle now? Not just a tower?”
“It is.” Jon took her hand.
“Good,” she whispered. “I wanted t’ see one proper castle, before…before I…”
“You’ll see a hundred castles,” he promised her. “The battle’s done. Maester Aemon will see to you.” He touched her hair. “You’re kissed by fire, remember? Lucky. It will take more than an arrow to kill you. Aemon will draw it out and patch you up, and we’ll get you some milk of the poppy for the pain.”
She just smiled at that. “D’you remember that cave? We should have stayed in that cave. I told you so.”
“We’ll go back to the cave,” he said. “You’re not going to die, Ygritte. You’re not.”
“Oh.” Ygritte cupped his cheek with her hand. “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” she sighed, dying.
I have no words. I couldn’t hear the sound of actually flinging the book against my bedroom wall (lost all control I’m sorry, those lines we’re incredibly sad but perfect) over my pterodactyl wailing that just went on. And I have to admit I shed a tear for that. Goodness! And I’m trying not to make myself sadder by dwelling on the thought that Ygritte might’ve conceived Jon a child. Okay, shit. I’ll shut up now. As for the flow of Jon’s story, it’s getting very exciting and he has a long way to go now that he’s the Wall’s Lord Commander. I’d like to believe he hasn’t lost his eye on his goals of making something of himself. Being caught up in a lot of tumultuous and complicated emotions about your place in the world would really make you lose it at some point or break down internally. He’s trying the best he can to be strong and I’m very much rooting for him. And that moment with Stannis just proved he has what it takes to be Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. I was pretty tense that time and Stannis is just a cold, blunt motherfucker. I admire Stannis though I don’t think he’ll make a good king.
For now, I’m cutting this entry short. The first two books of the series were intense but the third book just blew me away and I still have plenty to say about the rest of the characters and their respective stories especially with Dany, Tyrion and Sansa’s stories. It’s just utter madness I’m telling you! And hopefully the next commentary would be more coherent than this. I’m hoping.