Let's Read A Song of Ice and Fire part XII

A Clash of Kings part five! ~400-~500!

Okay, so the semester is well underway. And that means being busy like whoah. Which means it's taken approximately a month to get to this update. So, I'm going to be a bit more holistic in my approach. Rather than a chapter by chapter breakdown, I'm going to give a general impression of the section touching on some important thoughts.

So, Tyrion's making some major changes. New master in the citadel now that he's taken Pycelle out of the equation (only two more in the small council to take care of, three counting Cersei), he just stomps all over Joffrey's ordering Sansa stripped and beaten, and he turns Cersei's messenger and Jaime-replacement into his own man. Dude's seriously lovesick about Shae, though. That's gonna come back to bite him.

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Arya makes it to Harrenhal. Gotta say, it didn't look so good at first. But who happens to show up but Biter, Jhaquen, and the other guy. Arya saved them and they're doing her a good turn: she gets to be the Ghost of Harrenhal and kill three people. Chiswyck's the first. Who else?

Sansa, as noted, was stripped and beaten in front of half the court by Joffrey's order. She's wise enough not to trust Tyrion and tell him the truth, but I expect Tyrion would respect her gumption if she did. Dontros made an attempt to intervene in the beating, but no avail. Her notions of romance (the old medieval kind) are slowly being torn down: every person she sees who is a knight she recognizes truly now: "they are no true knights, not one of them."

Bran's denying his magic. Slow to come around, that boy is.

Dany finds out Robert Baratheon is dead. The three strangers are certainly interesting. Quaithe is nice enough to warn her, at least.

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And lastly, Catelyn's treating with the brothers Baratheon did not go exceptionally well. Stannis and Renly just can't with her, and it's just all about proving one of them the victor before anything else. Neither would consider an alliance, but nobody would expect that kind of reason anyway. And what do they have to show for it? Renly's dead, cut down by some shadow blade sent by Stannis or his red priestess. Just gonna say, that's definitely some kind of magic, like the most overt kind shown so far. Brienne is suspected almost immediately, but some degree of reason prevails and she escapes with Catelyn.

I want to focus a little on an anecdote in one of the chapters as well: the gangrape of the tavernkeeper's daughter by Gregor and his men. One of the most interesting things about this series to me is the degree to which Martin clearly researched his stuff, because while this is not the Middle Ages it is clearly based on the Middle Ages. And in the Middle Ages, that was in fact something a knight would be able to do without damaging his honor at all – because the peasantry truly did not count as full people. Chivalry was for the nobility, not for the commons. It's one of the contradictions inherent in the institution of knighthood which I think Martin employs well and uses to show the brokenness of that system.

Things of importance:
* Selmy is still out there
* One down, two to go. Who will Arya choose next? I don't dare hope for Tywin or Gregor, but Weese seems likely next.
* Tyrion is slowly pulling King's Landing into his orbit – but what is the chain about?
* Brienne is with Catelyn… will she be joining Robb's army now?
* Tyrion wants to get Sansa out of the betrothal.

Predictions pulled out of my ass:
* I'm still expecting the wolves led by Nymeria to show up some time before the end of the book.