So I'm really far behind everyone else in the Game of Thrones series (I KNOW IT'S CALLED A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE BUT THAT'S TOO LONG), and I just finished book 2, Clash of Kings. IS IT STILL GOOD? Yes. Yes, it is. And there are new characters! New characters that I like muchly. I ignored these books for a long time, partially because I assumed GRRM was gross and wanted to write about young girls having sex and being all medievaly submissive.
|I mean, look at that guy|
But NO. I am shocked -- SHOCKED -- by how generally badass his ladies are. But not in a "I'm a liberated woman character" sort of way, which is annoying in its own right. These books pass the Bechdel test with flying colors, despite having a ton of dudes (since it's basically medieval England and who runs the world? -- white dudes).
In this book, you meet Brienne of Tarth, Asha Gryejoy, and Meera Reed. Also Maege Mormont peripherally, who some people ship with Robb Stark, but as far as I've seen, she's only referred to? But when she's referred to, it's like "Lady Mormont just stole a whole bunch of cattle" and people are like "Damn, bro" and it's like "Yeah. 'Cause she's awesome." You might say "psh, cows," but HOW DO ARMIES EAT I ASK YOU. Through Lady Mormont and her cow-stealing, that's how.
There's also this thoughtful exchange between Brienne the knight and Catelyn, Lord Stark's wife:
"When you’re armored it’s hard for anyone to hurt you.”
“Knights die in battle,” Catelyn reminded her.
Brienne looked at her with those blue and beautiful eyes. “As ladies die in childbed. No one sings songs about them.”
Let's also not forget that GRRM can be funny sometimes, but because it's rare, it takes you off-guard. For example:
At Winterfell they had called her “Arya Horseface” and she’d thought nothing could be worse , but that was before the orphan boy Lommy Greenhands had named her “Lumpyhead.”
I was looking through my highlights of CoK, and most of what's highlighted is descriptions of food. I wish to pay someone to come over and make Game of Thrones food. And then someone will sing while playing a lute. But no for reals, look at this:
There were great joints of aurochs roasted with leeks, venison pies chunky with carrots, bacon, and mushrooms, mutton chops sauced in honey and cloves, savory duck, peppered boar, goose, skewers of pigeon and capon, beef-and-barley stew[...]There was black bread and honeycakes and oaten biscuits ; there were turnips and pease and beets, beans and squash and huge red onions; there were baked apples and berry tarts and pears poached in strongwine. Wheels of white cheese were set at every table, above and below the salt, and flagons of hot spice wine and chilled autumn ale.
I have a problem I really pompously thought I wouldn't have, which is keeping people straight. Years of Dickensian novels made me think I would be totally set in this area. "I WILL REMEMBER ALL THE PEOPLE," I thought. But when you have at least a hundred lords and they keep switching allegiances and some of their children fight for one king and some for another, NOPE. Not gonna happen. I have no idea whose side anyone is on. Except for Robb Stark. Pretty sure he's on the side of the Starks.
The relationship between Sansa and the Hound INTRIGUES me, but my friend Katie-Anne has pretty much quashed any thoughts of that becoming an interesting thing. Their dialogue of "You're awful" and "I'm honest. It's the world that's awful" had me going "Oooooooooh" because yeah, it's a little emo teenage boy, but it also informs Sansa she needs to stop thinking people who say the truth instead of just polite things are bad people.
I'm worried about Rickon.
I want to marry Asha Greyjoy but visit Katie-Anne in the Stormlands all the time, where she shall be married to Beric Dondarrion, because FUCK living on the Iron Islands. But Asha Greyjoy, hello.
|hey girl hey|
I have been instructed I have to read the other three IMMEDIATELY (by Katie-Anne), but I feel like burnout is extremely possible? So while I've started Storm of Swords, I don't expect to zoom through, because finishing one of these books is like running a marathon (....I would assume) and I need to breathe for a while and maybe read some completely-un-fantasy-like bookage.