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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Week 1 Discuss Prologue to Ch 7 (Cersei) stop at 2455, read ch8 (Jaime) 4795 – Ch15 (Samwell) stop at 4789

Hopefully everyone will sync up shortly. I'm actually enjoying this re-read much more than I thought I would, the ties to ADWD help out a lot! There are even some nice call backs to the Dunk and Egg books if you pay attention.

1. Aeron Damphair is placed in the awkward position of having to choose between his brothers and his king’s heirs. Is his decision to call a Kingsmoot just a delaying tactic or a method of rigging the vote for a particular person?

2. Incidentally, does anyone else get a decidedly Lovecraftian air from Damphair and his rantings about a kingdom below the sea, “For what is dead may never die”, and all that? I wonder, given what Patchface says at Dragonstone, if there isn’t some sort of aquatic world down there.

3. Prince Doran orders the Sand Snakes (the rather violent daughters of Prince Oberyn) confined. Is he truly going to avoid conflict with the Lannisters? How will hearing of Tywin’s death change his plans?

4. Our first Cersei POV. What does it show about her mental state? Will she be a fit regent for Tommen or an unstable ruler like Joffrey?

5. Brienne searches for Sansa. Is she likely to have any success? Has Littlefinger hidden his tracks perfectly?

6. Jon sends Sam, Maester Aemon and Gilly to Oldtown. Will Stannis (or Melisandre) let a Targaryen slid his fingers? Why is Gilly so concerned about Mance’s son?

7. Arya reaches Braavos. What awaits her there? Will she be accepted as a Faceless Man or will her familial ties prove too strong?

8. Cersei finds herself alone amongst the Tyrells. Is she handling them well? Should she heed Kevan’s counsel?

9. Where is Varys? Is he implicating the Tyrells by leaving a Highgarden gold coin in the cell of the jailer?
 

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I've actually read way ahead. I can see what people's complaints about this book is: everyone is kind of treading water and some of the narrator choices are really odd. And some of it is a bit confusing. So many new names thrown out in new environments that it's hard to keep track. But overall I'm still enjoying the read.

jason10mm said:
1. Aeron Damphair is placed in the awkward position of having to choose between his brothers and his king's heirs. Is his decision to call a Kingsmoot just a delaying tactic or a method of rigging the vote for a particular person?
That whole family is nuts. I can't say I like any of them except sometimes Asha. Aeron comes across like a religious fanatic. But my guess is he's only fanatical about his gods when it's convenient for him. He's playing a game of some kind and wants to rig the vote for someone. But who? I don't think it's Asha. And it's not the newly returned brother (forget his name now.) Does that only leave one more? Or is he doing something that might get himself on the throne?

2. Incidentally, does anyone else get a decidedly Lovecraftian air from Damphair and his rantings about a kingdom below the sea, "For what is dead may never die", and all that? I wonder, given what Patchface says at Dragonstone, if there isn't some sort of aquatic world down there.
What did Patchface say? (And who's Patchface? :D )

3. Prince Doran orders the Sand Snakes (the rather violent daughters of Prince Oberyn) confined. Is he truly going to avoid conflict with the Lannisters? How will hearing of Tywin's death change his plans?
At first I thought Doran was the voice of reason and the Sand Snakes were crazy. But frankly I've come around to thinking that Doran is just weak. He's out to appease the Lannisters and, well, we know about the Lannisters. What's in it for Doran is unclear. I doubt it's just the peace and quiet he says he wants. And if that's what he wants he's not likely to get it anyway.

4. Our first Cersei POV. What does it show about her mental state? Will she be a fit regent for Tommen or an unstable ruler like Joffrey?
It's exactly as I suspected: she's a paranoid, vain, self-centered lunatic. No, she's not a fit regent for Tommen. She's almost as unstable as Joffrey, but she's learned to hide it better. She's not interested in ruling the Kingdom for the sake of the Kingdom; she's only interested in power. Everything inevitably comes around to her. She could very well be the Mad Queen Cersei; it won't take much or very long for that to happen.

5. Brienne searches for Sansa. Is she likely to have any success? Has Littlefinger hidden his tracks perfectly?
I don't see how Brienne could succeed. She's not looking anywhere Littlefinger and Sansa have been. Brienne is on the road Dontos would have taken, but we know Dontos was only a red herring for everyone. Brienne is completely on the wrong path.

6. Jon sends Sam, Maester Aemon and Gilly to Oldtown. Will Stannis (or Melisandre) let a Targaryen slid his fingers? Why is Gilly so concerned about Mance's son?
Is that the only scene we'll get with Jon in this novel? *sigh*

Jon is wise to send Aemon away. He is not safe with Melisandre since Aemon has Targaryen royal blood in him. And we know Melisandre wants nothing more than royal blood to do her magic with.

I've read ahead so I know why Gilly is so worried abut Mance's son.... Sorry!

7. Arya reaches Braavos. What awaits her there? Will she be accepted as a Faceless Man or will her familial ties prove too strong?
I think Arya's ties to her family are gone at this point. Certainly in Braavos. Who is there in Braavos to recognize her?

8. Cersei finds herself alone amongst the Tyrells. Is she handling them well? Should she heed Kevan's counsel?
Cersei is being outplayed by the Tyrells. At least for now, I suppose. It comes from her paranoia. There's that old expression "You're not paranoid if they're really after you." Well, yes, the Tyrrells are after her for sure, but she's too paranoid and frantic and vain to really take full grasp of the situation. She thinks it's about her and it's not. It's about the Kingdom and power and she's playing the wrong game.

9. Where is Varys? Is he implicating the Tyrells by leaving a Highgarden gold coin in the cell of the jailer?
Where the heck is Varys? It's unclear where the coin in the jailer's cell came from. Surely vanishing like he did only makes Varys seem even more guilty. It's not clear if he'd have enough time to explain himself (before losing his head) if he was still around. But simply disappearing makes him look extra guilty. He's definitely not with Tyrion (wherever Tyrion is). But where and why is Varys hiding? Not even being in touch with Jaime...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Patchface is Stannis' jester/fool. He was from Braavos (I think) and his ship (with the father of the Baratheon boys) crashed at sea and he was the sole survivor. He often went on and on about living with the fishes or somesuch. I'm sure it is nothing, I'm just a Lovecraft fanatic and these things are very similar to Cthulhu in R'lyeh or the Deep Ones. I have heard that GRRM had a bunch of pet turtles as a boy and in fact the early seeds of ASOIAF were the stories he would make up about them and their little aquarium/terrarium castle. So perhaps the Ironborn worship a Turtle god :p

Sounds like Arya will have to give up her past life to be with the Faceless ones. I'm not sure she can do that. Unfortunately I agree with you that there is probably no one left who actually recognizes Arya aside from Jon and Sansa. Heck, at this point those two are probably the only ones left who could even properly vet someone pretending to be Arya, though I suppose there are a few folk from Winterfell who would remember Arya's antics still around. Hmmm, maybe she won't have such a hard time giving up that life after all...... but there is still Nymeria running around somewhere, I have hopes for that reunion one day!

Balon Greyjoy has three brothers. Euron is the one who returned the day after Balon died (also called Crow's Eye). Victarion is a successful raider commander, and Aeron (also called Damphair) is the priest. Balon had three sons, two of which were killed during his rebellion and Theon, who is currently MIA. So yeah, the lines of succession are a bit muddy. The Ironborn are just so deliciously viking, I love them!

 

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Just wanted to post that I am here and I am currently caught up on the reading, but I am getting ready for a long weekend out of town, so I haven't had a chance to think about the questions. I will try to get to it today or tomorrow - although I may fall behind the reading for next week, depending on how much reading time I get on my trip.
 

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jason10mm said:
1. Aeron Damphair is placed in the awkward position of having to choose between his brothers and his king's heirs. Is his decision to call a Kingsmoot just a delaying tactic or a method of rigging the vote for a particular person?
It takes me a while to get a handle on new characters, so I am not completely sure what to make of Aeron Damphair. I am not sure exactly what he wants, but he certainly does not want Asha, Euron, or Theon. He seemed to think favorably of Victarion but can't seem to justify him, so the Kingsmoot may be a way to validate his nomination.

jason10mm said:
2. Incidentally, does anyone else get a decidedly Lovecraftian air from Damphair and his rantings about a kingdom below the sea, "For what is dead may never die", and all that? I wonder, given what Patchface says at Dragonstone, if there isn't some sort of aquatic world down there.
I never really considered this or that there might be a connection to Dragonstone. It just all seemed morbid to me - all the drowning of the men and such - like the Pike was a place of the dead.

jason10mm said:
3. Prince Doran orders the Sand Snakes (the rather violent daughters of Prince Oberyn) confined. Is he truly going to avoid conflict with the Lannisters? How will hearing of Tywin's death change his plans?
Another character I don't have a handle on yet.

jason10mm said:
4. Our first Cersei POV. What does it show about her mental state? Will she be a fit regent for Tommen or an unstable ruler like Joffrey?
Cersei seems to live in her own little world. She only cares about her needs and desires and ambitions and doesn't think at all about Tommen or the realm. Without help from a good leader, I think her rule will fall apart rather easily. She and Joffrey are cut from the same cloth and her influence made him what he was.

jason10mm said:
5. Brienne searches for Sansa. Is she likely to have any success? Has Littlefinger hidden his tracks perfectly?
I think Brienne may eventually have success. She is certainly on the wrong trail and I have no idea where on the map she is - I haven't had a chance to take a look at it, and I am not sure why she is going where she is going. However, I have some hope that she may eventually head toward the Vale thinking that Sansa may have fled to her Aunt. But then again, I don't know if she knows Lysa is dead - if she knows that, she might not head in that direction. The thing about Brienne is that she is stubborn and determined and she does have some smarts as well. It may take her a long time and she may go off on the wrong path more than once, but she will stay on the hunt and if she picks up a trail, she will follow it to the end. If anyone can track her down, it will be Brienne.

jason10mm said:
6. Jon sends Sam, Maester Aemon and Gilly to Oldtown. Will Stannis (or Melisandre) let a Targaryen slid his fingers? Why is Gilly so concerned about Mance's son?
I don't really know what is on Stannis' mind at the moment, but I do believe Jon was right to send Maester Aemon away as I do believe he is at risk on the Wall. I also wondered why Gilly is so concerned about Mance's son. I have wondered if maybe they didn't switch the babies to get Mance's son out of harm way, but I can't see why Gilly would have agreed to anything that would put her own child at risk. There was definitely a lot of suspicious mention of the differences between the babies (one being loud and the other quiet and such). I know there is something going on here, but I don't know what.

jason10mm said:
7. Arya reaches Braavos. What awaits her there? Will she be accepted as a Faceless Man or will her familial ties prove too strong?
I think Arya will be accepted as a Faceless Man. At the moment, her ties are pretty severed and she is starting a new life and one she will likely excel at. I do believe that eventually she will return to her family and play a role in their future, but only when she knows she has a family to go back to. And she will be a very changed person by then - playing a very different role.

jason10mm said:
8. Cersei finds herself alone amongst the Tyrells. Is she handling them well? Should she heed Kevan's counsel?
She handles no one well as she can't think outside her own petty little mind. She should heed Kevan's counsel, but she never will. She will never give up the things she has been longing for now that they are within her grasp, even though the outcome could be disastrous.

jason10mm said:
9. Where is Varys? Is he implicating the Tyrells by leaving a Highgarden gold coin in the cell of the jailer?
No clue - but it doesn't seem like an accident that this coin was left behind.
 

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jason10mm said:
Patchface is Stannis' jester/fool. He was from Braavos (I think) and his ship (with the father of the Baratheon boys) crashed at sea and he was the sole survivor. He often went on and on about living with the fishes or somesuch. I'm sure it is nothing, I'm just a Lovecraft fanatic and these things are very similar to Cthulhu in R'lyeh or the Deep Ones. I have heard that GRRM had a bunch of pet turtles as a boy and in fact the early seeds of ASOIAF were the stories he would make up about them and their little aquarium/terrarium castle. So perhaps the Ironborn worship a Turtle god :p

Sounds like Arya will have to give up her past life to be with the Faceless ones. I'm not sure she can do that. Unfortunately I agree with you that there is probably no one left who actually recognizes Arya aside from Jon and Sansa. Heck, at this point those two are probably the only ones left who could even properly vet someone pretending to be Arya, though I suppose there are a few folk from Winterfell who would remember Arya's antics still around. Hmmm, maybe she won't have such a hard time giving up that life after all...... but there is still Nymeria running around somewhere, I have hopes for that reunion one day!

Balon Greyjoy has three brothers. Euron is the one who returned the day after Balon died (also called Crow's Eye). Victarion is a successful raider commander, and Aeron (also called Damphair) is the priest. Balon had three sons, two of which were killed during his rebellion and Theon, who is currently MIA. So yeah, the lines of succession are a bit muddy. The Ironborn are just so deliciously viking, I love them!
Thanks for the recaps! It's hard to keep track and with the gaps between books a lot of these peripheral characters get completely forgotten. I can't keep up with the Greyjoys except Theon and Asha!

I've been thinking about Arya and there's actually a few more people who would recognize her besides Jon and Sansa, plus Bran. (Rickon is too young to remember her). There's whatever's left of Catelyn. Theon. Gendry and Pot Pie (or was that Hot Pie?) But I don't see how any of these characters can possibly reconnect with Arya from across the ocean. She's in a completely different world and they're not part of her new life at all. She can easily forget them (the ones she thinks are alive anyway) and move on. In some ways I think only Jon and Gendry would have any kind of emotional pull with her. But they are too far away at this point.

And oh yes, Nymeria. I actually forgot about Nymeria. I can't believe Martin hasn't brought Nymeria back yet in some form. And I can't imagine she won't be returning at some pivotal moment in the future!
 

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VondaZ said:
It takes me a while to get a handle on new characters, so I am not completely sure what to make of Aeron Damphair. I am not sure exactly what he wants, but he certainly does not want Asha, Euron, or Theon. He seemed to think favorably of Victarion but can't seem to justify him, so the Kingsmoot may be a way to validate his nomination.
I agree with you completely on having a hard time settling in with all these new characters. And we're being dropped in the middle of all kinds of action (such action as it is anyway.) I'm surprised Balon was killed off the page, actually. Seems like it's a scene ripe with dramatic possibilities! Oh well. But all these Greyjoys fighting for their throne, who can keep track. Have we even met any of them besides Asha? I know there were also rumors that Euron might be a Faceless Man? Is that true or did I hallucinate that? Not sure we've seen any evidence of that yet.

Cersei seems to live in her own little world. She only cares about her needs and desires and ambitions and doesn't think at all about Tommen or the realm. Without help from a good leader, I think her rule will fall apart rather easily. She and Joffrey are cut from the same cloth and her influence made him what he was.
Agree completely. Cersei is a mess. She's not half as smart as she thinks she is because she thinks the world does and should revolve around her. It'll all come crashing down. (My fantasy is that Catelyn will do something horrible to her. Too much to ask for?) And no, she doesn't give a crap about Tommen; in her mind he's not (won't be) half the King Joffrey was. And her desire to remove Maergery out of the picture is interesting. She didn't mind Maergery marrying Joffrey, right? Why is she so actively plotting to remove Maergery away from Tommen? Why is Maergery more of a threat to Tommen than she was to Joffrey? Well, I guess one reason is that Tommen is much more maleable than Joffrey was (and not just because Tommen is so much younger; temperamentally he's much sweeter.) Cersei knows Maergery would rule over Tommen even when Tommen is of age. And she doesn't want that! She's starting something ugly with the Tyrrells. (Okay, so the old Queen of Thorns (to be played by Diana Rigg on the TV show!) did kill Joffrey, but Cersei doesn't know that.) How will her war against the Tyrrells play out? Hmm...

I think Brienne may eventually have success. She is certainly on the wrong trail and I have no idea where on the map she is - I haven't had a chance to take a look at it, and I am not sure why she is going where she is going. However, I have some hope that she may eventually head toward the Vale thinking that Sansa may have fled to her Aunt. But then again, I don't know if she knows Lysa is dead - if she knows that, she might not head in that direction. The thing about Brienne is that she is stubborn and determined and she does have some smarts as well. It may take her a long time and she may go off on the wrong path more than once, but she will stay on the hunt and if she picks up a trail, she will follow it to the end. If anyone can track her down, it will be Brienne.
It's true that Brienne is very stubborn and determined. But I just can't see at this point how she can stumble upon Sansa. She won't even recognize her if she does see her.

I think Arya will be accepted as a Faceless Man. At the moment, her ties are pretty severed and she is starting a new life and one she will likely excel at. I do believe that eventually she will return to her family and play a role in their future, but only when she knows she has a family to go back to. And she will be a very changed person by then - playing a very different role.
I think there's only 2 Arya chapters in this book? Which sucks! I have no doubt Arya will be accepted as a Faceless Man and will become successful. And I agree, she will play a role in the future within her family - but what that role is, who knows. At this point the Starks are completely destroyed. They need to be rebuilt from the bottom up and who knows if Martin has any intention of doing that at all. He certainly hasn't shown any interest in doing that so far!

She handles no one well as she can't think outside her own petty little mind. She should heed Kevan's counsel, but she never will. She will never give up the things she has been longing for now that they are within her grasp, even though the outcome could be disastrous.
Agreed again. Cersei has no grasp whatsoever on the world at large and who does what outside the city gates. She only knows how things affect her. And she's being pretty nasty to Jaime; constantly laughing at his "stump." If a Lannister always pays his debts - surely every verbal cut will come back to haunt her. He's obviously deeply unhappy about his current physical state and she shows zero sympathy. It's all about her, how his missing arm affects her, etc.

Also, what about that Prologue? Not as interesting as the previous ones and I have no idea what it was all about. Sam is going to learn to be a Maester, so I assume he's going to end up at the Citadel, so I guess all of those characters will return?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think the important bit with the prologue is that the dragonglass candles are lit. This is something the maesters cant ignore, it might help get westeros off their butts and fighting the Others. Or just get them fighting Daenerys. The theft of the key may be important as well, certainly someone wants some lore the Maesters have hidden away.
 

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jason10mm said:
I think the important bit with the prologue is that the dragonglass candles are lit. This is something the maesters cant ignore, it might help get westeros off their butts and fighting the Others. Or just get them fighting Daenerys. The theft of the key may be important as well, certainly someone wants some lore the Maesters have hidden away.
Haha, I missed all of that! Or have already forgotten. I think because it was kind of a....boring Prologue. All these new characters we've never heard of to keep track of. And I personally didn't care about any of them because there was no focus to it. I remember something about a key.... I have no recollection of candles. I must have completely spaced out!
 
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