R’s Thoughts: A Storm of Swords – Part 2

The first part of my commentary regarding George R.R Martin’s A Storm of Swords can be found here. A Storm of Swords is the third book in the series of A Song of Ice and Fire and will be basis of the third season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. As I’ve said, other than finding that my heart was shattered after finishing it, the book was simply brilliant and became my favorite out of the three books I’ve read so far in the ASOIAF saga. I suggest you jump to the first part of my commentary on it here before going further. Basically, for me the experience of reading A Storm of Swords was:

And if you haven’t read the book yet or avoiding any spoilers for the possible events of HBO’s Game of Thrones’ third season, I suggest you stop reading beyond this cut because this will definitely be spoiler-filled. Hodor?

Let me start with our man of the Night’s Watch, Samwell Tarly. Sam’s chapters in this book were so-so and although I never really warmed up to his character, I’m excited to discover what’s waiting for him and Gilly. They’re adorable together and Sam’s learning to understand what it means to be brave bit by bit. he’s quite smart and he has potential as long as he learns to let go of his anxiety. He needs to learn to trust himself more! And at that point where Bran’s party and Sam cross paths in the book, it just made me think that it couldn’t be anymore appropriate. I think it was great that Bran and Sam could share a new adventure together since I think these two characters are looking and learning more about themselves at the edge of the world. Being pitted against an unknown danger and this character ‘Coldhands’ would no doubt bring out something from them that they didn’t even know they had… I just have to know what’s next for them!

Let’s now jump from the Wall to further East in Pentos by the sea. First of all Daenerys Targaryen this season in the TV series and pretty much what happens to her in ACOK:

Ugh. I’m starting to have a complicated relationship with her character to be honest, at that point. Here in the book, Dany’s become more complex and a rounded character. She’s gathering up an army, she frees slaves of cities in the East—basically showing to the world that she’s to be taken seriously and she has power, a queen in her right and she’s all like:

However I do think that she needs to work on her means to achieve her goals. Dany definitely has power in her hands now and she does as she pleases with it and sometimes I find her becoming conceited. Not entirely sure what direction her character will take on the 4th book and I also have to note that there has been some interesting developments in her camp.

Remember when Dany was in the House of the Undying in A Clash of Kings and they said that she experience betrayal: “three treasons will you know: once for blood and once for gold and once for love.” I think that the treason for blood occurred with Mirri Maz Duur with her child and Drogo. This time the treason for gold, well… Jorah Mormont.

SERIOUSLY?! Honestly, whenever I read about Jorah automatically Iain Glen in the series comes to mind. And I can’t help but ship him with Dany because of that! And now we learn that Jorah has been the one to inform Varys of Dany’s existence to Robert which resulted in trying to get Dany killed in A Game of Thrones. And now Dany’s deeply hurt by this because Jorah’s been there for her ever since and that just sucked so bad. I can’t really imagine Iain Glen crying and having a fit with her about this. Can’t watch that. I’m too attached to Jorah’s character!

Then there’s this Arstan Whitebeard (such a cool name) character that Dany and Jorah meet while try to make their way through the Free Cities. And surprise, surprise… Ser Barristan Selmy! Arstan turns out to be an alias of the banish and humiliated Lord Commander of Robert’s Kingsguard and he tell Dany he’s come to seek her and recognizes her as the rightful ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. While Jorah insists to Dany that her judgment about him is wrong and has done nothing to betray her trust, Ser Barristan submits to her judgment and Dany in turn forgives Barristan. With Jorah gone and Ser Barristan as the Lord Commander of her Kingsguard, Dany’s path as queen is getting a bit more interesting.

Back at King’s Landing, we’ll tackle Tyrion’s story and Sansa’s as well.Tyrion’s been an interesting character from the start and I always found his chapters to be such a joy to read because they usually turn out to be more surprising than most. He’s been having a lot of troubles since the stint he pulled at ACOK and the situations he found himself here are more compromising than ever. Really, really compromising WTF situations if I should emphasize! One was that since that little shit Joffrey agreed to marry Margaery instead, Sansa was compelled to marry Tyrion. And thus wedding festivities of Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery ensues with the Tyrells in court. And suddenly… JOFFREY CHOKES AND DIES.

YES PEOPLE, JOFFREY, THAT LITTLE SHIT IS DEAD! You’re going to Hell, little boy! He chokes, he got poisoned—either way, he’s dead! I swear to gods, HBO better make this scene worth watching. They better! As much as I have a solid hate for his character, I have to say I’m going to miss him. He’s definitely bought a certain flavor to the madness of the books so far. And in the TV series, I’m really going to miss seeing that awful smug face of him! Jack Gleeson does a really, really good job of making people hate him so. Cersei immediately suspects Tyrion of killing her son because of the open verbal ‘threats’ he’s made to Joff in the past, but what’s interesting is that it was implied that it was Margaery’s grandmother Olenna Tyrell responsible for the dastardly deed! I love that woman. And I have a growing intense fascination with the Tyrells and I can’t wait what else are they scheming in King’s Landing.

Now we get introduced to Oberyn Martell of Dorne, who has come to King’s Landing to honor their alliance with the Lannisters because of Myrcella being engaged Trystane Martell. Other than his extremely attractive name, he’s also a physically attractive and skilled fighter well known by his alias as The Viper and just top notch. Basically in love with him and I didn’t care how old he was. Besides, he’s fathered the Sand Snakes, which I’m guessing take after their ruthless father. He’s basically a badass who offers to represent Tyrion in a trial by combat to prove Tyrion’s innocent. And holy shit, this dude is going against the Mountain! THE Mountain! And he’s all like “Hello, my name is Oberyn Martell. You killed my sister. Prepare to die.” I was tense the whole moment and Oberyn’s got serious skills and the Mountain finally confesses to killing Princess Elia and…

The Mountain kills our home boy Oberyn.

Why did you have to fuck him over GRRM?! Sure the Mountain eventually dies in a very slow and agonizing way since Oberyn’s spear is poisoned but come on! Oberyn’s great! Well, shit. All I’m waiting to read now is the whole Martell family raging, absolutely raging and looking for justice over Oberyn’s death. God. One appearance! Shame, shame. I just want to know if the Martells are indeed interesting as our Dornish hero.

As if Joffrey’s death, Tyrion being imprisoned and Oberyn’s death was enough to send me at my wit’s end, Jamie and Brienne comes and Jamie ends up rescuing Tyrion and through Jamie discovers something that makes him… Lord Tywin Lannister in the end did not shit gold. What?!

To Tyrion Lannister for standing up for himself against his oppressive father and committing patricide, I commend you! That confrontation was incredibly nerve wracking I have to say. I just had to cheer for Tyrion! HBO better get this right as well!

At this point, my head was starting to really hurt and experienced in full the emotional trauma in the hands of a paperback. So many ups and downs in the story that it feels like you don’t even have a moment to breath and take it all in. Turns out, with Sansa’s story, I don’t get a break from all the wailings and the rollercoaster of emotions just yet.
Initially, I was incredibly annoyed of Sansa in the first book but at this point, I can’t really say the same for her that she’s an incredibly superficial girl. Here we see Sansa as a survivor, a true brave Stark and it just makes my heart wrench when I’m reminded how different she is from Arya but share the same strong marrow in their bones. Both are survivors in their own way. Sansa all throughout the story keeps herself intact despite being in the heart of the most poisonous game there is. Before I used to think that all the stuff she keeps saying about daydreams was her refusing to see the reality of things. But when I think about it and if I was in her position, they’re probably the only thing and the only way for me to hope amidst such circumstances and I am a hostage in the middle of it. I truly admire her and so far, I believe she’s one of the best players of the game in the story.

Sansa, it turns out, was smuggled out of King’s Landing and brought to Littlefinger who tells her he’s responsible for Joffrey’s death. I just had a bad feeling about this because Littlefinger is such a creep and a schemer and I don’t like him at all! He tells Sansa that he’s going to take her to her Aunt Lysa in the Eeyrie where they can see refuge and eventually it turns out that Littlefinger plans to woo crazy Lysa Arryn and marry her and be Lord of the Vale. Sansa hides as Littlefinger’s illegitimate daughter using the name Alyane Stone but only Littlefinger and Lysa knows her true identity. And this is where shit starts…

Littlefinger gets all creepy with Sansa telling her that “there’s so much of your mother in you” talk and really Sansa, GTFO!

Littlefinger then marries an increasingly unstable Lysa and have crazy noisy sex but then Littlefinger creeps up to Sansa in the garden and kisses her (oh yeah HBO, you better include this scene too or hell will break loose!) :

Things become worse when Lysa loses her shit and get’s all crazy at Sansa. Dumb cunt. I’m sorry I just hate Lysa too!

And then Lysa starts telling and screaming at Sansa (while trying to throw her out to the Moon Door) what really went down: Littlefinger took advantage of Lysa’s obsessive love for him to convince her to poison Jon Arryn and to blame the Lannisters, so he can be Lord of the Vale. The fire that started it all!

Of course, Littlefinger can’t let her Lysa live after losing her shit and so, he pushes her to her death at the Moon Door:

Littlefinger, the Troll, the troll living under your bridge:

+++

Ultimately, I was quite speechless after finishing it and I really took a moment to absorb all of it. The experience was breathtaking and it was such a rewarding experience for me to be able to read literature like this that definitely let me explore another world and let me feel all these wonderful (and painful) feelings. From the beginning to the epilogue and the writing, it was amazing! I really felt with this book that I am there in Westeros and looked further beyond to discover a kind of magic, romance, something more than the mundane and something exciting beyond your daily life.

The book is perfect just the way it is and I sincerely hope that HBO would be able to translate these complex stories properly on screen once they start with season 3. I do have a bit of an issue with HBO’s Game of Thrones season 2 about taking too many liberties with the characters. I love some of the direction they’ve taken although the rest I’m not sure. I really hope they do it right! So that’s it for my spastic feelings over this phenomenal book. If you have any thoughts about it as well, feel free to share and comment! 🙂

For now, I’ll just take a break and I’ll eventually buy the 4th book soon!

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