Chapter 53 (Jon VII): This was a weird chapter. Jon has a discussion with Qhorin about Mance, and learns some interesting stuff. Mance used to be a ranger of the Watch, but deserted because he couldn't handle the discipline because he was born a wildling north of the Wall. Jon goes to sleep, and has... a wolf dream? Apparently the warging ability is hereditary, since Jon and Bran both have it. So far there hasn't been anything about Robb, Sansa, or Arya experiencing anything like this. Granted, Lady is dead, and Arya did everything she could to drive Nymeria away for her own safety. Jon, inside Ghost, seems to make contact with Bran inside Summer. So wargs can make psychic contact with each other through their animals? Interesting bit there. He finds out that Bran and Summer are in a dark place, filled with death. That sounds significant but wasn't anything I could put a finger on. Jon was in Ghost while Ghost was sleeping, it seeems, so Ghost wakes up and sees a huge army organizing. Then Ghost gets hits by an eagle and wounded badly, but the rangers patch him up. They pass back where they met Ygritte and leave one behind to hold off the wildlings, but a hunting horn comes soon. I see a fight on the way.
Chapter 54 (Tyrion XII): Tyrion isn't getting everything right. Most things, but here he slips up a little bit and lets Cersei get a jump on him. She has dinner with him, and once again shows that she isn't right in the head. Tyrion makes it perfectly clear that Joff will be well away from the fighting and well guarded, but she still is convinced he is trying to kill Joff just because he wants a couple of the Kingsguard in the battle, and Joff visible on the walls surrounded by a dozen gold cloaks and two white cloaks. So then Cersei mentions that she has Tyrion's whore. Except it happens to be the wrong woman. Cause you know, those medieval prostitutes are so tough to tell apart. All this time he has been going to Chataya's and using a secret passage from one's room to go to Shae, and he never thinks once about the danger he is putting Alayaya in. But he never lets on to Cersei about her mistake, and this time around not only threatens to avenge any hurt to her, but manages to stop Cersei from slapping him for once. The queen has such a winning personality. Not.
Chapter 55 (Catelyn VII): This looks like a cliffhanger chapter to me. It's not the end of the book, but we don't see Cat or Jaime again before the book ends, so what happened is left unresolved. Cat manages to get Jaime nicely drunk and has a not-so-friendly chat with him. They aren't on very good terms anyhow, and she has just learned that Bran and Rickon were killed by Theon. He offers up some information, but not much of it is directly useful to Cat. He confirms Tyrion's version of the story about the dagger, and adds the interesting bit that Robert had it after that tournament. That is something she could use. He also confirms that he is the real father of Joff, Myrcella, and Tommen, and admits pushing Bran. Then he tells the story of how Ned's father and brother died. One cooked by fire inside of his own armor, and the other left to strangle himself trying to save him. If we ever doubted King Aerys was a monster, I think this story puts those doubts to rest. But then there's the ending. Jaime begins tossing around insults as he finishes off the last of the wine Cat sent him to loosen his tongue. Cat calls out to Brienne, who came down to the dungeon with her and has been outside the cell, and says "Give me your sword." What does Cat do with the sword? Is Jaime still alive at the end of this chapter? After everything he has done here, and in the first book, not to mention betraying his sworn oath to defend Aerys with his life, I think Cat could kill him without any moral qualms at all. She wouldn't lose any sleep over this afterward. The only reason she has to leave him alive is to keep her daughters safe (remember, no one on the Stark/Tully side knows Arya isn't held hostage). Cat isn't exactly in a good frame of mind right now, so she might kill him anyway. If she isn't meaning to kill him, then what? Does she just mean to give him a pretty new scar? Or is she going to chop something off? She's never met Shagga, but she might still independently think of cutting off his manhood. Maybe she would even feed it to the goats.