Oh, Dany. Torture is never the answer. Hostages are also probably not a great solution.
More prophecy! I love figuring out what prophecies foretell in books. Okay, so people are coming. Kraken = Victorion, Lion = Tyrion, the sun's son = Quentyn. But I don't know who the pale horse is, or the dark flame (someone from Stannis, maybe?), the griffin, or the mummer's dragon. I wonder if the "perfumed seneschal" could mean Varys rather than Reznak.
Whoa, locking her dragons up (and possibly losing one of them) is hardcore. I like that the dragons are proving to be actually dangerous, instead of cool pets. I wonder if Tyrion is going to know how to deal with them? He's been promising that he knows lots of dragon lore. I really like where this storyline is going.
I figured out that this was actually Theon pretty quickly, mainly because I'd heard he was in this book as a POV character. Theon has done some pretty terrible things, but still… this is fucked-up. It makes me feel sorry for him, which I would not have thought was possible.
Also, that was a much more graphic description of eating a live rat than I really needed in my life, thanks Martin. Especially since I happened to be eating lunch while I was reading this chapter (at least it was sushi and not …I don't know, something rat-like).
Are all the Freys five minutes away from sociopathy? The two Walder boys did not seem like they would enjoy torture back when they were hanging out with Bran. I guess kids can change quickly.
Ugh, Ramsay Bolton is so creepy. The Boltons are the scariest characters in these series, I think. Poor Jeyne, or whoever the fake!Arya really is, for having to deal with them. That is a scene I am not looking forward to.
Zombies in the snow! I am generally not all that into zombies, actually, but this was quite a creepy scene, particularly when they first appear.
Man, Bran's repeated possession of Hodor is going to have some serious consequences, I am calling that right now. Even though it was always morally terrible, it really went over the line for me in this scene.Something about Hodor's body telling Meera of Bran's love for her is just… UGH.
Children of the Forest! I am so excited we are getting to see one. There's been so much subtle foreshadowing of them throughout the books.
The greenseer is creepy as hell. Even though most of the stories we've heard about the Children of the Forest depict them as good, I'm still not sure whether Bran is about to meet the forces of good or evil. The wights trying to stop him from reaching the cave argues that they're on opposite sides, and yet… a living corpse/tree/thing never seems like a good idea. Intriguing that used to be part of the Night Watch. I wonder if he will turn out to be someone we've heard of… Brandon the Builder, maybe?
Glad someone is forcing Tyrion to get over a bit of his alcoholism. I was getting tired of it. Which is odd, as I usually have a thing for self-loathing (in fictional characters), but not here. Maybe it's the heavy misogyny Tyrion's got going. I prefer straight up misanthropy in my literature!
All the backstory on Tyrion's childhood and dragons (not together) is pretty interesting.
Not sure what's going on with Griff and Young Griff. Something unusual, but I can't yet figure it out. I wonder what the secret was that Tyrion won in not!chess. I have no idea what the "birth of kings" line is about at the end. I feel like I should be able to figure it out, but it's not happening. I should have paid more attention to something, but I don't know what.
Not too much happens in this chapter. I always like hearing how rumors of what's happening get around to different places- it seems like everyone knows Tyrion killed his father. Interesting that rumors of Dany are making the rounds of common people, though most of the various lords seem to have not heard or don't care.
I like that Dany's still doing her "I am only a young girl and know little of such things" act. You'd think someone would notice she always uses the same phrase, though.
Dany's having to face some harsh truths here. Interesting that it's Xaro. I did not expect to ever see him again. Seems that word is spreading about her dragons no longer being seen. There's going to be major consequences from that, I predict.
I am glad Dany decides to stay and try to deal with the problems in Meereen. It would be easy for her to leave for Westeros, but everyone who tried to help her in Meereen would die. I'm not sure what the long-term plan here is, though. It seems like Meereen is too far away to rule from King's Landing, even if it was calm. Perhaps she just means to stabilize things and then leave.
War! Oh, this is going to be interesting.
Stannis is starting to seem less like a "strictly honorable" guy and more just like a dick. I think he should have more respect for the whole "Night's Watch doesn't take sides" thing, since he's always claiming to be about the law and the rules and so forth. Also, don't let your followers make fun of other people's religions. That is never good.
Melisandre's ruby on Rattleshirt is strange and possibly terrifying. I am not sure how it works, but it seems like a bad, bad thing.
The backstory on Whoresbane is interesting. I hadn't expected that.
Godry "GiantSlayer" is so annoying. I hope something terrible happens to him soon.
Hmmm, this Hill Clans plan is intriguing. I kind of can't imagine Stannis managing not to mess it up somehow (probably by being a rude dick, it is what he specializes in), but I'm looking forward to where this is going to go. Not sure what Jon wants the Wildlings for either.
Interesting stuff about greyscale. There's been so many references to it over these books that I'm really glad they're finally actually explaining what it is.
I find the Stone People way creepier than even the wights. Just something about that slow death… ugh.
Whoa! Young Griff is baby Aegon! Or at least is an impostor for that role. I'm kind of leaning towards impostor, myself; I'm not sure when anyone would have had time to switch babies during the Sack of King's Landing.
I'll assume also that Tyrion is not really dead here. Wonder what he'll be next time his POV comes around.
Poor Davos. He tries so hard.
OH MAN! The Frey's retelling of the Red Wedding is just So. Fucked. Up. I kind of like that no one seems to actually believe it, though they're going along with it for political purposes. But MAN. I did not see that reinterpretation coming. Poor Robb. I hope you get remembered as better than an evil werewolf.
Have we meet Wylla before? I like her. I'm glad someone is speaking against the Freys. I hope we see more of her.
DON'T DIE, DAVOS! I LOVE YOU.
Reek is creepy, and yet compelling. I wonder if Ramsay really intended for him to capture the castle, or if this was just a convoluted way of killing him off.
Random note: I love the name "lizard lion" for alligator. That is just fun.
Man, these are some creepy, depressing scenes. From the dead guard of drinking bad water, to the now!dead commander who got a poisoned arrow, to people eating dead bodies… vivid stuff.
Ramsay = terrifying for ever.
Aaaaaaaaand of course he kills them all.
Oh, Jeyne. There are terrible things coming your way.
Again, please no spoilers beyond this in the comments.