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Let's Read A Song of Ice and Fire: part IX

A Clash of Kings part two! ~100-~200!

The first book was called A Game of Thrones, but this section could just as easily be entitled "Here's a whole pile of new thrones on top of that." And we finally get some insight into Theon – I've been wondering about that guy for a while, but there just hasn't been enough to even make the slightest guess about him. Still early yet, so still setting up for the book, but things are growing clearer. And there's still the matter of how each faction is interpreting the comet.

Catelyn: So main things. Robb's not taking too comfortably to the crown. Either very subtle foreshadowing that kingship won't go over well or easily, or a good mark of character. As with the theory behind the Iron Throne, which I like, being king shouldn't be easy. Ser Cleos is going to deliver Robb's message to the Lannisters. Can't say that looks likely to be taken well. Theon's to go to his dad – we'll cover that later, though. Harrenhal, from this chapter, seems to be being built up. Probably the climax of the book will be a battle there, judging by how much that place gets brought up. Catelyn and her uncle seem to be teasing a possible alliance with Renly. We'll see about that, too.

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Tyrion: Janos Slynt to the Wall, and new head of the city guard. Tyrion's not messing around with getting things in place. As suggested by the last chapter with Arya, Cersei has been systematically trying to expunge all evidence of Robert's dalliances. Varys and his riddle are quite amusing, but it's I have an idea what the answer is at this point, even if Tyrion doesn't. Who killed Eddard Stark? Varys would take credit – he's the shadow, the spider, the knowledge, and he told Ned to confess. And he probably had a hand in the shadows on the other side and advised Joffrey's position. Sowing dissent among the Lannisters and eliminating an inconvenience like Ned would serve Varys doubly well than either alone.

Arya: Not too much here. They see the burnt fields, pick up a woman and her child, the woman dies. There is still the child. So a dangling thread for now. Important at the end, though – Arya meets one of Nymeria's pack. I wonder how the reunion's going to go.

Davos: Ooh, Onion Knight gets his own chapters now. This guy's likeable enough. There's really only one thing I want to talk about here, and it's the Red Sword. The moment Stannis reached in with a padded glove, I knew that the Red Sword would be a real deal, but Stannis wasn't going to have it. That sword ain't it – Melisandre's got power, but she's a charlatan. This Saan guy's got the right of it, and Stannis might have the most legitimate claim to the throne, but the dude has no sense of tact or politics.

Theon: I said we'd get to him. At long last we get some concrete info about him, too. So his father led a rebellion, claimed a crown, and was pushed back hard by Ned and Robert, leading to Theon joining the Starks as a hostage. Whereas we didn't get much personality out of him before, he's pretty clearly revealed to be something of a self-important jerk here. His uncle seems humorless, but sharp and willing to put princelings in their place. As for Balon, well, a new side joins the conflict, and he doesn't take kindly to Robb's language. He's not going to help Robb – he's going to sack Winterfell.

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Daenerys: They're striking out, Dany and her little band. We get a bit of development on Jorah – Dany surmises he's in love with her, which puts a bit of the old school medieval romance into the story, where a knight's love for his lady is the most sacred thing. As it says in Don Quijote, el caballero andante sin amores era árbol sin hojas y sin fruto y cuerpo sin alma. The knight errant without a lady love was a fruitless and leafless tree and a body without soul. That's nice, having a knight in this story who harkens back to our own history of stories about knights. Wonder what the story with the dragonseekers is.

Things of importance:
* Nymeria's been sent a scout and discovered Arya.
* Theon's dad has become a new side
* The dragonseekers
* Lightbringer (that name with the whole red deal means I'm just going to call that religion the Luciferian sect from now on)
* Possible envoys to Renly from Robb's camp
* Tyrion's rearranging King's Landing

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Predictions pulled out of my ass:
* The Greyjoys are going to attack Winterfell
* Someone's going to pull the real Burning Sword from a fire by the end of this book. Even odds it's either Robb, Gendry, Jon, or someone we've not even met (or a real outside shot at being the Onion Knight).
* We may get an alliance between Renly and Robb, but I'm not banking on it being long-lived.
* Stannis will be the first side in this conflict to fall. Melisandre, however, not so much.

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