The last couple of installments I've begun a new approach in composing this stuff. I invested in a small steno notepad, and I'm jotting down some thoughts as I read. Since my posting has fallen considerably behind where I am in the book (which I actually finished a week ago), it seemed easier to get my impressions of a chapter before my feelings became influenced by parts later on in the book. This will come in really handy for anytime I do a blog of my thoughts on a book I get from the library rather than one I own, since I would be likely to have it due back before I've posted all the blog installments.
Chapter 43 (Jon V): Well, Qhorin Halfhand has finally shown up. A few days later than was expected, but they had trouble on the way to the Fist of the First Men. Wildling trouble, that is. They killed most of the ones they ran into, but a few go away. Some of the rangers are getting tired of this expedition and show an unwillingness to fight. Qhorin has info from a prisoner that Mance Rayder is gathering a huge force, with wargs and mammoths, for an attack on the Wall and into the North. Supposedly, Mance is hunting for some magical doohickey in the Frostfangs that will allow him to cut a breach in the Wall with sorcery, and attack into Westeros. Yikes. Sure, it's from a prisoner who may have been making it all up, but that's still not a good sign of things to come. Qhorin suggests sending parties into the Frostfangs to sscout the area better, and wants Jon for the one he is commanding himself. Jon accepts. Things look like they could get ugly.
Chapter 44 (Tyrion X): Tyrion is taking some mighty big risks here. First off, he learns from Lancel that Tommen is being spirited out of the city by Cersei to keep him safe, and out of Tyrion's control. So Tyrion arranges for Ser Jacelyn to go out and kidnap Tommen and keep him safe... and out of Cersei's control. Then he heads off to Chataya's for a trip to see Shae, but changes his mind partway there and rides directly to Shae's place. Varys shows up in disguise and Shae recognizes him right off. Varys seems to be really good at disguises, but still needs to work on it. Tyrion learns from him that Ser Cortnay is dead and Storm's End has surrendered to Stannis. Tyrion worries for King's Landing and decides to put Shae to work in the castle kitchens to protect her. Varys suggests making her part of a lady's household instead, and Shae is more receptive. She hadn't been keen on the kitchens idea. I don't think I would be either. Shae could get into his chambers via a secret entrance. I winder if that's how Cersei got into his chambers earlier.
Chapter 45 (Catelyn VI): This is one of those chapters that really doesn't do much. Cat and Brienne see Edmure off when he goes off to fight Tywin. Tywin tries to find a spot to cross the river but finds it too well defended. So he tries to cross in force, and gets beaten back. Riverrun has a big party, but Cat isn't so sure that this is a good time for it. She looks at a map, and thinks she knows where Tywin is headed. Southeast, toward the Blackwater river.
Chapter 46 (Bran VI): Bran is in the wolf dream when he hears weird noise from outside. Shaggy and Summer both sense danger in the castle, but can't escape. Bran wakes up in bed and calls for his guards, but no one comes because Ser Rodrik has taken everyone to help Torrhen's Square. Theon walks in and tells Bran that Winterfell has been captured, and Bran, as acting Lord of the castle, must yield. Bran reluctantly surrenders Winterfell. Mikken the smith resists and is killed. Alebelly died during the intial fight, and these are confirmation of Jojen's dream of the sea hitting the castle and those two drowning. Reek, the smelly manservant of the Bolton bastard, goes over to Theon's side, as does Osha. Bran's feelings are hurt, since he'd though Osha was his friend. Winterfell is in for a rough time of things.