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26 July 2011 @ 10:18 pm
a dance with dragons - reaction  
And so ends part one of my Westeros overdose. At some point I'll watch the show and then I'll go in overdose for realz. Anyway, this is probably gonna be lengthy. And mostly of the OMGOMGOMG variety.

The good

1. So, let's get point one out of the way first.

My favorite POV character this round was Theon.

No, I can't believe it either. But while he hasn't like become my favorite character overnight, his POVs were some of the best writing in this book and I'd dare say series even if my stomach did its twist and turns whenever reading them. Just - I learned what careful what you wish for means, because while before Winterfell getting sacked he was an ass and that was sadly the truth, he didn't deserve what he got. No one deserved what he got. At the rat bit I already realized it was like BAD, but at that scene after Ramsay's and Jeyne's wedding, y'know, the last two pages of that chapter, I couldn't have held a grudge even if I wanted. Also I might have not realized a bunch of things while reading ACOK - meanly how really fucked up with identity issues poor Theon was even before he got skinned and lost a bunch of fingers. It doesn't justify the crap he did and his total lack of foresight, but I might have made more of an effort. Anyway. I take back everything I said in my ACOK review re being happy of where he ended - he didn't deserve that. And he paid enough, really. *shudders* that said, freaking awesome redemption arc anyone? I loved his scenes in the godswood (it was Bran calling him y/y?) and when he was like 'I just wanted to be one of them' I cried inside. Or something. And when he went and jumped off the castle with Jeyne/I read Theon on the POV name I cheered. Like, a lot.

And when he turned up at Stannis' during Asha's POV I wasn't happy, I was so positively delighted I grinned for a good while. I have to bow at GRRM's skill though - I never had such a 180° turn regarding someone I hated. Also that was some Stockholm Syndrome at the best, ouch.

Also, random: while reading the Reek chapters (just the Reek ones though - the others not so much, but then again it's the Reek persona that was the point) I couldn't help thinking about Trash from King's The Stand. Anyone else? Because while Trash -> Randall Flagg was a tad more... let's say consensual, and it lacked the whole torture part of it, I just couldn't help thinking that there was the same vibe. Just me?

1b. If Ramsay doesn't suffer a lot before he dies (or if he doesn't die) I'll be very disappointed. Just. Ugh. Think he might be as bad as Walder Frey, in my list of most hated characters.

2. Second-best thing of this book out of the way even if er, how it ended.

THE WALL. LORD COMMANDER JON.

JUST.

JON. It's not even that I love him - I do and I missed his face a whole damn lot - but IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR PEOPLE WITH A SHRED OF HONOR/COMPETENCY TO GET IT GOOD IN THEIR LIFE? That stated: I don't think Jon is done yet. The end of that chapter positively and utterly horrified me and I was ready to slam that book against the wall before realizing that it's so heavy it'd have blown holes in it, but then I realized that Melisandre had been seeing Jon in the flames whenever she wanted them to show Azor Ahai and while I really don't read these books because I care about the prophecies... well. That prophecy says that AA needs to be reborn in fire and ice and have a magic sword made of Valyrian steel or something like that (and Jon has the awesome sword), and Jon DID die in ice (or is about to), so if Mel pulls out a Beric Dondarrion or a magical healing on him (like Victarion before) he -is- literally reborn in ice and fire, right? Or, for an alternative: seen the prologue, I'd be tempted to think that he goes and wargs into Ghost at least for the time being. Because then I have no idea why that prologue had to state that Jon is a natural for warging. Also usually major deaths aren't left on such cliffhangers (as far as I can remember anyway). So I'm in denial that Jon is dead until next book comes out. That said OUCH THAT SCENE it had such Red Wedding vibes I couldn't help shuddering all over. I had figured there was going to be some kind of mutiny, but... not that bad? Ouch.

That said, the rest was brilliant. I love that Jon was competent and had horizons broad enough to realize that more wildings outside the wall = more zombie fodder. Though clearly did it go well for him, NOOO. Sigh. *hugs Jon* one would think that he had found his place at the wall, finally, and then they go Julius Caesar on him. Oh Jon, seriously. Though well, if he survives this, or he's reborn or whatever, it means he's free to leave the wall since his watch is over, right?

Seriously someone get Sam there and resurrect him and let them hug it out. I don't even know. That part about killed me. Also Stannis, I still like you - more or less. Selyse, you can gtfo.

2b. I miiiight decided that Melisandre can stay. I still think she's dangerous/too much of a fanatic, but having the confirmation that she actually buys her own crap and that she gives a damn about Davos was enough to make me re-evaluate her a bit (I was convinced that she was bullshitting her way through the entire thing, and while knowing that she has good intentions doesn't make her less dangerous, at least I can stop waiting for her to double-cross people. Not that I appreciate people being burned alive though.)

3. DAVOS. <33333333 First: I totally knew he wasn't dead. GRRM, offscreen deaths that don't stick: I learned the lesson. Also: HE'S GOING TO GET RICKON. OH MY. FINALLY! Not that I actually CARE about Rickon strictly but it's ridiculous that until now he had just disappeared. Anyway, nothing but love for his chapters. I just love that he isn't getting the short end of the stick WHILE being a thoroughly decent person.

3b. Manderly is my new favorite minor character. When he was like 'I have a wedding to attend' and 'the North remembers' I got chills. Also because FREYS COMEUPPANCE, YES. Waiting for it. And heee, I never thought I'd say that but... I totally loved the Frey!pies bit. Comeuppance, yessssssssss.

4. Jon Connington! I'm not especially invested in the whole Aegon thing, but Connington is awesome. And tragic. (And an idiot - cut off your stupid fingers!) Also he's totally in love with Rhaegar still, awww. I really enjoyed his chapters.

5. Tyrion: or, I didn't like that he DOESN'T meet Daenerys when it was the set up from second number one, but I still enjoy him a lot. And I liked Penny - mostly because she gave Tyrion a reality check that he kinda seriously really needed. I liked that he ended up with Jorah as well (ouch, poor lovesick Jorah!). I was just hoping he'd catch up with Dany, uuugh.

6. Bran! Or: it was a good part but ouch poor kid has the saddest arc in this book. (Also I reiterate: if GRRM ever kills Hodor he has no heart). One thing I didn't like: that he was done with Bran's bits mid-book when he ended up wasting a lot of space for stuff that was really not needed. (More on that later.) But just having Bran & co. arriving there and setting it up in a way that makes it seem like Bran is trapped there forever (just, NO come on, he's TEN) and then leaving it there when there was no Bran at all in the fourth book... WHY. Though I hope for his sake that he quits warging into Hodor because there's no way that's going to end well.

7. JAIME. THE JAIME CHAPTER. Mostly: BRIENNE IS ALIVE and they're in the same place and he called her my lady. I sort of started swooning in shipper glee, and then it was over already. Siiigh. And now it's years of speculating on where they ended up - though even if it seems like Brienne is bringing him to un!Cat, I think she's going to come clean with him when they're alone. I can't see her killing him just like that - it'd be the most OOC thing ever. If it ends with them going to search for Sansa so they can bring her to un!Cat and have her release Brienne from that oath I'd die of joy. Also Jaime likes his women innocence? Yeaaaahright.

8. The epilogue: or, I'm kinda sad that Kevan bit it bc if you ask me he was the only Lannister around who was mostly a decent person to begin wth, but woah the ending. That was chilling. Like, CHILLING. Also uhm guess it means that the kid is legit? I mean, why should Varys lie when he's about to kill Kevan anyway?

9. I love the wildlings. (and if Jon is toast, I can only hope that Tormund stabs Bowen Marsh.)

10. Asha confirms herself as awesome made flesh even if her situation is way less than ideal. But yeeeaaah she's alive! And hey, she even found family! (I'll very much look forward to see her and Theon hopefully grow closer, possibly without gropings of any kind.) Now from what I gather since Theon is alive they could invalidate the kingsmoot? Since he wasn't there when he was the legitimate heir? Though as things are now I don't think he's fit for any kind of ruling - but if it ended up with them regaining the islands after allying with Stannis and ruling together or something I'd totally like it. It's obviously too good for these books, so I'll totally hold no hope for it, but.

11. So-so liking: Cersei. I still don't like her and errrrr I might have had a laugh or two at her expense when she was like 'Jaime would never go off with such a wretched thing as BRIENNE, he'd so come to me first!' because well, er, Cersei, girl is a good person you know, but her chapter where she had to do the walk of shame might have been the first time since book two during which I found her interesting. And where I kinda felt for her though I didn't pull a Theon 2.0 on her - after all she didn't lift a finger when Joffrey was like 'oh yeah, now I'm having Sansa naked in front of everyone while I make people beat her' (and to be honest that was a bit in AFFC where she was seriously pissed with Sansa for escaping when she had had such a good treatment - yeah, right). It was horrible and it wasn't a pleasure to read (and it did make her compelling), but I'm way far from actually liking her. Character-wise. Now if maybe next book she's less boring than usual..

11b. So uhm. Her champion is... Franken-gregor? Greg-stein? O__O also they DID send the head to Dorne and Frankengregstein is headless? O_o because that skull they sent in Dorne was freakishly huge. Ugh. Qyburn is a sick puppy. Maybe they should give him Ramsay.

12. The Dorne chapter was short but I LIKE! I like Doran's planning, I like the sand snakes working their magic and I can't wait for them to come back full force.

The bad:

13. ... the pacing.

I didn't mind it per se, but if the plan is seven books and by the end of book five Daenerys is BACK WHERE SHE STARTED, when is she going to get to Westeros? Because she has to get to Westeros or this entire thing has no sense. Also she has the dragons, so even if the other Targ is legit it's not like we had dragons happening for it to be a red herring. At this point she's going to get to Westeros in what, book nine?

14. It pains me to say so, but the only part I enjoyed about the Dany story this round was Barristan. I don't mind that she made a pretty crappy job of ruling Mereen, and I do get that she's fourteen and she needed to fuck things up or she'd really have been a Mary Sur, but... stuff like going outside to feed sick people so that the plague arrives straight into town was seriously making me facepalm. And marrying the guy she married? (sorry, can't remember the spelling) it was so freaking obvious that it was a bad idea. Also she was seriously stupid to refuse Quentyn when it meant she'd have had a freaking army inside Westeros without even needing ships. Okay maybe the bad idea was chaining the dragons in the first place. Also, poor Quentyn. You didn't deserve to be roasted alive.

Also I think that if the redundant had gone, Dany could have had her spiritual awakening at least some three hundred pages before the last chapter. :/ though I did like that one chapter. (Also, seriously, Daario? Tbh I'd have preferred Jorah XDD)

15. Errrr. Uhm. Victarion drowning/burning the seven girls...? If I ever had any sympathy for him (which I pretty much lost when they told that whole story about how he can't keep a wife) then it's gone. Also he doesn't look like the person who has problems with burning people - riiiighht exactly what I needed. Can I hope he blows that horn?

16. Said already, but having three Bran chapters (and arguably just four with Davos - but if he wanted to leave that for the next book then I get it) when half of the Dany chapters was filler was a pretty stupid move. Especially when I think it was Bran talking to Theon in the wood? I mean, it'd have been waaay more interesting if Bran had got more than those three meager chapters when the stuff in Meereen got multiple ones and as stated half of that could imo have gone).

17. Seriously, if Jon is dead - UGH WHY. Okay self, DENIALDENIALDENIAL. Good? Good.

The I-don't-know-what-to-make-of-it

18. The Arya chapters were pretty excellent but they belonged in the book before. Here having just two in the second half seemed totally random - if he had stashed them in the other book it'd have been better also because that blindness cliffhanger was mean. Unless he wanted them here because the whole warging theme was heavy in this book and not so much in the other, but still. Anyway I'm very excited to see where Arya's story goes - I'm not willing to bet money that she can really leave Arya behind and become no one.

19. Aegon. I realized somewhere in book three that after Robb had died my interest in dinasties/the game of thrones/houses was secondary to my interest in the characters themselves, so I couldn't really care less about who's the rightful heir (also all my favorites aren't in the run for the Iron Throne anyway), so the whole rightful heir because he's Rhaegar's son is totally lost on me. I liked the kid and his interactions with Tyrion, and if he's legit and has a good chance then good luck, but I'm not flipping over that. (Tbh until the last page of the last Jon chapter I thought the wall was the place I'd have stuck with because of the lack of houses/heirs/crap like that and because they're supposed to accept everyone, but yeah, right.)

20.Frankengregstein. I'm mostly baffled. Especially if it turns out that he's without head after all.

21. The ending. If next book is Dany winning the Dothraki one by one all over again, she's never really going to Westeros. Also eeeew poor Barristan is being thrown corpses with trebuchets inside the city? And then people complain about Jaime saying he'd throw Edmure's kid that way. XD

22. That said, NEXT BOOK PLEASE GIVE ME SOME BRYNDEN TULLY. Possibly maybe smacking sense into his un!niece. I love my Blackfish, all right.

23. PLEASE TELL ME MANCE SURVIVED. I liked him a lot and I was like O___O when finding out he wasn't dead at all, and that letter of Ramsay's was imo pure bullshit, but still. I need reassurance. Oh well, it's not like I buy offscreen deaths anymore, right.

OVERALL

The only major quibbles I have are the pacing in the Dany chapters, THAT JON CLIFFHANGER (SERIOUSLY *DENIAL*) and the lack of Bran and Davos in favor of, as stated, the filler in the Dany chapters. Not that I don't think that a book like this needs filler, but the Meereen bit was... too much filler. The rest I overall really liked with moments of insane love thrown in (mainly: Jon at the wall, everything in Theon's arc, Jon Connington, Jaime chapter, Davos). My only problem now is that I hope it doesn't take GRRM another six years for the next book because he can't leave me worrying about Jon/Brienne-Jaime/Stannis (I mean, that letter from Ramsay was obviously bullshit except for the Mance bit because if Stannis was dead he'd have Theon back and wouldn't ask for him, but I'd really like to know wtf is going on at Winterfell) until I'm thirty, dammit. Then again except for MAYBE Jon (and it probably won't stick) no one I cared for has bit it this round (tho I'm bummed about Kevan), so I can more or less call it a win on the 'OMG PEOPLE I CARE FOR DON'T DIE' front. Also I'm still in awe of GRRM's skill for making me do that total 180° on Theon. I'm still baffled at myself for that, but then again hey, he just had to go through torture I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy! I'll just embrace it, I guess. And next time I re-read Clash of Kings I swear I'll be more open minded.

... phew. Well then. I'm done. XD
 
 
feeling: contemplativecontemplative
on rotation: elevation - U2
 
 
 
yellowhordeyellowhorde on July 29th, 2011 12:44 am (UTC)
Yes, I agree 100% in hoping that it doesn't take another six years for him to finish the next book. That's too long to wait! I want to know more NOW, dammit. XD Unrealistic and very entitled of me, I know, but I want what I want. LOL
the female ghost of tom joad: asoif >> i dreamed of youjanie_tangerine on July 29th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)
Lol, I CAN'T WAIT SIX YEARS TO FIND OUT WHAT JAIME AND BRIENNE ARE DOING or wtf is going on with Jon. ;) I might have been spoiled because I finished the fourth the week that the fifth came out, but. XD I WANT MORE TOO. *is addicted*