This should be my last installment here till I crack open Clash of Kings. That won't be for another several days.
Chapter 68 (Danaerys IX): So Drogo isn't doing so well. Mirri's techniques have left him pretty much a brain-dead invalid. Mirri has taken her revenge, Dany's child has been delivered stillborn. This was where it got weird for me. I could understand her magic killing the baby, she'd already said that death would be the price for Drogo's life, and that no one should enter the tent while she was weaving her healing spells. But leaving the baby looking like it has been dead for years (much longer than it's been in the womb, mind you) and with a physical description that isn't even human??? The way the baby was described, it sounded like it was some kind of dragon. Now are you telling me Dany had a whole different species in her oven? From a real-world point of view, this is probably so Dany can bill herself as "mother of dragons" later on. Literally. No matter what she does, she can't bring Drogo's consciousness back to what it was. So she takes a pillow and smothers him with it. I liked Drogo, and had been hoping to see him around longer. But considering Jason Momoa is starring in the reboot of Conan, which may turn into a franchise series of films, I figured he wouldn't have signed onto the GoT series if it was for more than one season. Unlikely he could have devoted the time to both. Granted, I have no idea how things play out with Drogo on TV. I'll be glad when it comes to DVD.
Chapter 69 (Tyrion IX): So now we have the Lannisters dealing with the consequences of getting soundly clobbered in battle. Tywin is not what I would call a happy man. Nor does it sound like the Lannister clan is all that unified right now. Tywin has nothing but disdain for the way Cersei and Joff have been handling things. He scoffs at being issued commands by Cersei to do stuff with his forces, scoffs even more at Joff wanting to lead the City Watch into battle as an army (leaving the city totally undefended), and wonders whose idiot idea it was to make Slynt a lord. I bet it was actually Slynt's idea.... when Littlefinger offered him and the Watch six thousand gold to betray Ned and side with Cersei and Joff, Janos said it wasn't enough, and named his own price. So Tywin decides to put his own stamp on Joff's reign by sending Tyrion to King's Landing to take charge. The new Hand has appointed a Hand of his own. Tyrion is told by Tywin not to take Shae to court, but he tells he that he is taking her to King's Landing anyhow. Well, his father didn't say anything about bringing her to the city, just don't bring her to court. Nyah nyah nyah, Father. Meantime, Renly has declared himself king from Storm's End, and the Tyrells have sworn themselves to him. I'd love to know just what law of succession Renly is basing his claim on. Even if he doesn't know that Joff isn't Robert's son, he remains the youngest of three Baratheon brothers. Stannis is the eldest, and has a much closer claim. And I'm guessing that Renly and Stannis together would have a better shot at winning than if they each fight their own war.
Chapter 70 (Jon IX): Jon has had some doubts about his future in the Watch the last few times we've seen him. Now it comes to a head. He follows through on his plans to desert, leaving Sam as the only one who knows. Sam goes to the other boys, and the bunch of them ride off to bring him back. All sorts of craziness is going on up north. Elk and mammoths (mammoths are still around in ASOIAF world? Cool!) are fleeing south and Mance Rayder is gathering his forces at a new spot. It'll be interesting when and if we eventually get to see Mance in the flesh. Mormont wants to take a large force north and investigate, and hopefully find Ben. They said it best in the Star Wars movies: "I have a very bad feeling about this."
Chapter 71 (Catelyn XI): So now we get to see Riverrun up close. The assorted lords gather and try to figure out what to do next. News comes of Tywin making for Harrenhal (Slynt will be unhappy to see the fate that is befalling his new estate in this war) and of Renly's claim to the throne. A big argument breaks out over whether they should declare for Renly or Stannis, or make peace with Joff and see who wins between the other factions. In the end, they decide on a new possibility... secession. So the North is going to try and secede from the rest of Westeros, with Robb as King. I'll love to see how this plays out in Book Two.
Chapter 72 (Danaerys X): This chapter was pure awesome sauce. Dany gives the bloodriders her bride gifts back, and asks for their oaths, which thy refuse. Jorah does give her the oath, but os convinced she means to die on Drogo's pyre. Instead she gives that role to Mirri, who claims she won't scream. Riiiiight. When you get tied to a funeral pyre, covered in flammable oil, and then set aflame, you're gonna scream. And she does. The dragon eggs go on the pyre too... cue the dramatic music there. THe fire burns and burns, and Dany walks into the fire despite Ser Jorah's best efforts to stop her. But when the fire dies, she is unharmed and has three living baby dragons hanging onto her, two of them nursing from her breasts.
I'll be back in a couple of weeks to begin the second book. Till Then,