Friday, 4 January 2013

Week 1: A Song of Ice and Fire Challenge (chapter 0-7)

0. Prologue  (page 1)
Bam! We're thrown straight into this perilous world. A little bit confusing at the moment because I don't really have a feel for who everyone is and what this world is about. Straight away I can tell this book is not going to be all smiles and happy rainbows. I can already tell the description in this book is going to be top notch. Just as I'd pretty much worked out who I liked (Will) and who I didn't (Royce) they all went and got killed off except for Gared. Ah but just because they're dead it doesn't mean they'll stay dead!  Can't wait to see what's going to happen in this novel, I'm already pretty much hooked. 

1. Bran I  (page 11)

Aww Bran sounds such a cutie, even though he's only seven years old his dad makes him come along to the beheading of Gared (so that's everyone I bothered memorizing dead) which makes me feel oh so sorry for him. We're also introduced to direwolves and aww how cute do they sound. Never mind that they can rip you to shreds I still want one. In this chapter we're introduced to the Lord Eddard Stark's son's, who to me seem like they have to put on an act in front of their father. What I really got from this chapter though is that this place is god-damn cold. This is not a nice place to live by anyone's standards its all cold and hard but seemingly clean. The only character apart from Bran that I have any feeling towards so far is Jon Snow the bastard child (that's not me being cruel he's the kings illegitimate son). Its obviously the authors intention for the readers to feel more of a connection to Jon as he's seen through Bran's eyes as being rather awesome. I'm so glad he ended up getting a direwolf in the end, even if it's basically the runt of the pack. I'm sure all these 'signs' are leading somewhere epic but not sure what that's going to be just yet, but I can't wait. 

2. Catelyn I  (page 19)
Okay so there where a hell of a lot of names thrown around in this chapter, I didn't bother remembering most of them because if the get killed off again I'll just have to throw the book at the wall. From what I could glean, there's Catelyn, who's married to Eddard (aka Ned?). Originally from the House of Tully, Catelyn doesn't like the starkness of the House of Stark (get it? Ha). Basically this chapter is mostly giving us information (a bit much sometimes) and there's not much going on. We learn that Catelyn's sister is married to some old Lord that's just died. This Lord (can't for the life of me remember his name) brought up Eddard and King Robert, so they're basically brothers. After the Lord's death the King decides he's coming to visit Ned along with his 100+ followers of guards and such. Also along for the ride are the Kings in laws who are cowards and who Ned doesn't like. Oh almost forgot to mention the 'Other' sightings, apparently they haven't been sighted for 8000 years, so obviously the prologue seen was a much bigger deal than I originally thought. Don't know if its a case of they've been seen but by no one alive kind of deals, who knows. I'm sure all this will come to a big climatic scene. 

3. Daenerys I  (page 25)
So was yet again confused by this chapter. Because Daenerys (Dany) is described as a princess I was expecting her to be the kings daughter. Logical thought on my part? Apparently not. Turns out Dany is the daughter of the previous king. Dany as a character seems like she can grow very loveable and I have absolutely no problem with her. Its her brother, Viserys, who I want to stab in the eye. Seriously what is wrong with him? At first glance it seemed he was like this because he's the result of an incestuous relationship between father and father's sister. But no, Dany was conceived the same way and her mind seems rather normal to me. So what exactly is my problem with him? Its not even with him and  Dany having a somewhat incestuous relationship themselves. I can kind of get my head around that seen as humans as a species have been known to this continuously throughout history (think Egyptian Pharaohs). I know. Its the whole 'waking the dragon' thing he does. What the hell is that about? Is it some type of euphemism? Sure sounds like one. 'You don't want to wake the dragon do you?', 'you do not steal from the dragon'. It was creepy to say the least. This is definitely a chapter to get us fighting in Deny's corner and totally hating Viserys. Its hardly hard for us not to hate a guy who would gladly offer up his sister to 'forty thousand men and their horses.'
Characters: Daenerys Targaryen (Viserys' sister), Viserys Targaryen (heir of Airys II), Illyrio Mopatis (dealer), Drogo (warlord of Dothraki nomads), Jorah Mormont (exiled knight).

4. Eddard I  (page 36)
So we finally get to meet this amazing king. Everybody (including his so called close friend Ned) is expecting some magnificent warrior who's built like some kind of giant king. What we get in fact is a jolly fat man who's as wide as he is tall. He's nothing like the man Ned remembers, they haven't seen each other in nine years so this is rather understandable. Straight upon arrive king Robert demands to be taken to the crypts to see what I'm believing is his one true love, Lyanna (who happens to be Ned's sister). Robby boys not impressed with his sweetheart being buried underground in this cold, dark place and would rather her be surrounded by the flowers and sunshine she loved so much. Ned, though, made a promise to his dying sister that he'd bury her with their other brother, Brandon and their father. There's also talk of another promise Ned made with his sister, didn't really know if it was still the being buried in a crypt promise or a different one all together. Its obvious to me that Robert is as oblivious as most leaders in fantasy novels. It seems he's sat on his (huge) backside too much ad doesn't pay enough attention to those around him. This is even more obvious when the king offers Ned a position as the King's Hand (basically the Beta to his Alpha) and makes plans to betroth his son Joffrey to Eddard's oldest daughter, Sansa. Its obvious to everybody, except the King, that Eddard in no way wants this position or for his daughter to marry the prince but he can't just outright say no to his friend and his King, so he's given the time to think it over. I've got a sneaky suspicion their friendship won't last much longer.

5. Jon I  (page 46)
Sooo happy there's a POV from Jon. He's by far my favourite character of the novel. I can tell we're going to get some right good times from him. This chapter starts off with Jon drinking his weight in alcohol, which is never a good idea. I love Jon's take on the royal family. The previous chapter was focused mainly on the king and Jon's view, whilst rather cynical is entertaining and gives me an instant opinion on the members of the court. We become aware of Jon's interest in joining the Night's Watch because as he sees it he will have no life when all people see him as is a bastard child. He needs a good shaking if you ask me, yeah I understand why he's all depressed about it. Come on who wouldn't with the way nearly everyone sneers at him, like its his fault his dad shagged his mum. But seriously, dude needs to just get over it. Which is why, I'm sure, I've become very fond of Tyrion the dwarf (also the queen's brother). He has some words of wisdom, mixed with wry humour, for our jon. He basically tells him his life could be a whole lot worse, he might be a bastard but at least he's not a dwarf. 'All dwarfs are bastards, but not all bastards are dwarfs.' I love Tyrion sense of humour. He's got a right to be all cranky, really. How cool is Ghost (Jon's direwolf)? I seriously want that one. What could be more awesome than an all white wolf, with bright red eyes that moves as silently as the wind? Dude sign me up for one now!

6. Catelyn II  (page 55)
It turns out the Queen killed off Jon Arryn (previous King's Hand). Not like we didn't see that coming but you know, its nice to have your thoughts confirmed. This news comes in the form of coded letter from Arryn's wife Lysa. As the letter is addressed to her, Catelyn is the only one who does (and can) read the letter, the fact that she burnt it though straight after reading it, did not go unnoticed by me. Why did she do that? Was that really all there was to the letter? Or was there something more? This early in the novel I just find myself constantly questioning everybody's actions. Everyone seems suspicious to me. I'm not really sure how I feel towards Catelyn as a character. She just seems a little cold hearted towards Jon. I mean I kind of understand that you wouldn't want to be reminded of the fact your husband had an affair but its hardly Jon's fault. He didn't ask to be born. Also Jon's what fourteen? Shouldn't she have kind of thawed towards him by now. I don't have a clue how I'd react in this situation but I'd like to think I wouldn't blame the innocent child. As if Jon doesn't have it hard enough, what with being a bastard, he has to live with the knowledge that his siblings mother hates him. I'm so glad she hasn't managed to poison her children against him, at least that's the case with Bran, I'm not really sure on the other kids. 

7. Arya I  (page 64)
We're finally introduced to the Stark's youngest daughter Arya (wonder when we'll meet Sansa). Aww I want to just lift her up in a big hug and squeeze her silly. I have a feeling, though, that this would not be appreciated by what is obviously a feisty young lady. Why are we, as readers, drawn towards the oppressed? I feel like I've found my kindred spirit in Arya. I too was often forced to partake in 'ladylike' activities when all I really wanted to do is run around with the boys and get all muddy. I'm instantly drawn to fighting Arya's corner, I hope I see more from her because she gives a nice light-hearted view on the world around her. Also I love the chat between her and Jon, its good to see another of the Stark children that isn't prejudice towards my favourite character Jon.

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