Chapter 12 (Danaerys I): Well, I had been wondering how much longer before we got to Dany. Things aren't going so well for her, Jorah, and the Dothraki who have stayed with her. She's down to a hundred, and only four of them are warriors, counting Jorah. She takes the blood-red comet as an omen and for lack of a better plan, decides to head in its direction wherever that may take them. I haven't even mentioned the comet yet, I don't think. Everyone seems to get some sort of omen out of it, but they all seem to come up with something different. Following the comet doesn't turn out to be such a good idea. It involves trekking through a huge, extended desert. No food or water, save for the horses that die, winds up killing a lot of their small band, including one of Dany's handmaidens. Then they come across an abandoned city. It's indicated this is a place the Dothraki have sacked before, and the Dothraki are probably responsible for the place's death. There's water and food here, and it seems like a good spot for the people to rest and recuperate. They need it badly. While they're here, we learn Jorah's backstory: widowed once with no heir, and then covered himself in glory and valor during Balon Greyjoy's revolt. He was knighted for his performance, and won the tourney Robert held as a celebration of victory. (Any excuse for a tourney was a good one as far as Robert was concerned, we learned in Book One.) He capitalized on this to win the hand in marriage of his second wife, and wound up going deep into debt to please her, but he had to flee the realm and she left him. Sad story, really. Then... bombshell... he mentions she looked much like Dany. He's in love with Dany! Dany has sent out her bloodriders to find some sign of other people, and one brings back a delegation from the city of Qarth who wanna see the dragons. So the band might survive after all.
Chapter 13 (Jon II): Jon and the rest of the big huge ranging are heading north, and finding a lot of empty villages along the way. No people, no animals, no nothing. No sign of what happened to them, either. Even the woods are empty, with no game to be found for hunting. This chapter just made me uneasy. Sooner or later, they'll either run into Others, or Mance Rayder's bunch. Either one isn't likely to be a happy encounter.
Chapter 14 (Arya IV): Things get ugly here. Yoren's bunch (a lot of this book so far seems devoted to people traveling in large groups) finds an empty town and consider building rafts to get across God's Eye (a cool name for a lake). They decide to wait till morning. Most of the animals were taken when the people fled, but they find a goose and some chicken, and some crops. They bar the gates, and spend the night. I'm guessing they didn't hide their fire well enough when cooking the birds, since Lannister troops come calling The conversation Yoren has with their leader indicates that the cretins think they're Beric Dondarrion's bunch, but don't care if they aren't. The Lannisters are willing to butcher them either way. No surprise there. Thus far, Cersei and her cabal have shown they don't seem to care much about the laws and traditions of the land that have lasted for centuries, including the ones pertaining to the Night's Watch. These troops don't seem to know that Yoren's band is actually wanted by Cersei, which is a good thing I guess, or else things would go even worse. The town burns. Most of the band, including Yoren, gets killed. Even ones that yield, because the Lannisters have no honor and don't follow the rules of war as anyone else knows them. Unpleasant folks. Arya and Gendry manage to get a few to safety via a tunnel, and she takes the time to give the bound prisoners an axe to free themselves. Whether they help her or make her regret this remains to be seen; I'm calling it a 50-50 chance. But we will see at least one of those three again, I bet.