"Shocking. Positively shocking." Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger
Chapter 6 (Catelyn II): I seem to have gotten to the series first major bombshells. In hindsight, it isn't hard believing that Jon Arryn was murdered. Hand of the King seems like the sort of job that comes with a giant bullseye on your back. Murder... "murder most foul"... would certainly explain Arryn's sudden illness when he had been the picture of good health just a couple of weeks before. I bet it was poison of some kind. Given the way that medieval times worked, I can't see anything wrong with the decisions on where to leave the children. Robb is Ned's heir, and does need to learn to rule. A three-year old is too young to take that far south, and the daughters will indeed need to see the wider world for when they get married off. Bran would have been helped by the trip south, and might have been discouraged more effectively from climbing all over the place in the royal castle. At the least, he would be wary while he needed the time to explore it some. It looks like Jon Snow will come into play later on in the events in the North. I wouldn't mind seeing him someday proving himself in Catelyn's eyes As things are, she is holding Ned's time with another woman against Jon, as if it's somehow Jon's fault. If he can do so without alerting the attention of the Lannister bunch, Ned would benefit from finding out who delivered Lysa's letter to Maester Luwin. This may be the only person, aside from King Robert himself, that can be trusted in the Baratheon household... or at least in the Baratheon traveling party.
Chapter 7 (Arya 1): Arya, from the brief glimpse we have of her, is also unfairly put down upon by her family. No wonder she gets on well with Jon. So she can't do needlework. Big deal. When she is married off, she'll likely have servants to do it for her. So will Sansa, for that matter. Joffrey... another arrogant, annoying member of the young nobility. Except he's a Crown Prince, so he even lords it over other nobles.
Chapter 8 (Bran 2): And here's where the other shoe dropped for me. Not content with assassinating the Hand of the King, Jamie and Cersei decide to top it off with killing a seven-year-old boy who had the bad luck to overhear their evil planning. One thing the conversation between them, and the events with Joffrey in the previous chapter, made me wonder, was whether Joff is an active participant in the plot, or just a pawn? The Lannisters look like they want to get rid of Robert and put Joff on the throne, and then they can be the powers behind the throne without being in the forefront. What happens when Joff comes of age? How long is he going to be willing to be just a Lannister puppet? I don't expect him to stay loyal to his father, though. Not with that divided coat of arms.
Finally, a question of nomenclature: One thing I've noticed is the chapters are not numbered. Instead each one is simply titled with the first name of the POV character. What's the standard for referring to chapters among ASOIAF fans? Do people normally number the chapters anyway? Just using the names from the books would be confusing, since there are several identically titled chapters. I'm planning to keep this blog going through till the end of the book, and pick it up again whenever I get to the following books. (I happen to be in the middle of several book series at the moment. Reluctance to juggle yet another series of books was part of what took me so long to start ASOIAF.) If I stick with the blogging, I want this not to get confusing as to where in the book I am for those reading.