A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold (2000) – George R. R. Martin


Four stars

Read May 01 2015 – Jun 02 2015

Book 3.2 in A Song of Ice and Fire

The Starks are scattered.

Robb Stark may be King in the North, but he must bend to the will of the old tyrant Walder Frey if he is to hold his crown. And while his youngest sister, Arya, has escaped the clutches of the depraved Cersei Lannister and her son, the capricious boy-king Joffrey, Sansa Stark remains their captive.

Meanwhile, across the ocean, Daenerys Stormborn, the last heir of the Dragon King, delivers death to the slave-trading cities of Astapor and Yunkai as she approaches Westeros with vengeance in her heart.

I gotta say, this be full of the twists and turns and bloodletting that everyone has come to know about Game of Thrones. I’ve been walking through the world, head in the sand, twisting and swerving every spoiler that comes hurled my way from what appears to be everyone I know. And I didn’t do too badly at all, considering how much took me by surprise in the second part of A Storm of Swords.

So let’s start off with The Red Wedding. Well, it’s not technically called The Red Wedding in the books, but if you at all know people who watch the TV show I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. It was nowhere near as gruesome or horrendous as I thought it would be. I mean, yes, it’s another king down the drain, but I was expecting all sorts of fucked-uppery but it was just your usual run of the mill ambush. Although it does raise the question – who do we want to win the Iron Throne now that Robb Stark is gone?

Could be Sansa or Arya I suppose, but they’re so locked up in their own journeys that I don’t really see them going back to rule the Seven Kingdoms. I mean, what’s up with Petyr Baelish? He’s locked up in some shaady shit fo’ sure; still not sure what his motives are. I mean, what did Lysa mutter before she died? Something about Tears of Lys and Jon Arryn? Oh, and anyone who couldn’t see that Petyr was into Sansa must be absolutely blind.

 But who to rule: not the hideous Joffrey (but he’s dead too now – I guess times are tough in the get-married-and-live-happily-ever-after industry), but maybe his younger brother Tommen? I don’t think so – for a start he is ridiculously young (even by ASOIAF standards) and well in the hands of Cersei and the Lannisters. Who I still don’t like. I mean, Tyrion was always the best of them all (good riddance to Tywin, he deserved what he got), and it appears Jamie is leaning that way as well after losing his hand. As a side note, it infuriates me that in the show Cersei is portrayed as the one who wants to declare their love, while Jamie is the villainous one. I really really really do not like Cersei and do not see why everyone is so enamoured with her – oh but she’s so strong and queenly and well she just loves her children can’t you see? No, I can’t, and irrationally it makes me even angrier at her, like somehow she stepped out of the pages of ASOIAF Inkheart-style and convinced the writers of GoT that she should be the one who’s adored. I won’t stand for it, Jamie is miles better than her!

What about Stannis? Well, much like the people of the Seven Kingdoms I doubt the readers have much love for him. Respect, maybe, but we need someone that we’re able to cheer for. At least he was the king who finally moved his ass to help the Night’s Watch up on the Wall – Storm of Swords left us with Jon as commander, and a possible uneasy alliance between the Brothers and the wildlings. RIP Ygritte, you died beautifully. But of course we can’t forget Dany, dear Dany, who I actually think is a fabulous character now! Not the TV version, but in the books she is absolutely perfect. A little bit flawed, a little bit lost, strong, compassionate – I don’t know if she’s meant for Westeros, but she could totally rule the desert lands of Essos.

A Song of Ice and Fire
A Game of Thrones (1996)
A Clash of Kings (1998)
A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow (2000)
A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold (2000)
A Feast for Crows (2005)
A Dance with Dragons: Dreams and Dust (2011)
A Dance with Dragons: After the Feast (2011)


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