A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold – George R.R. Martin

That was for the good at least. The one-armed armorer was hard headed, tough, and well seasoned in war. Ser Wynton Stout, on the other hand . . . well, he had been a good man once, everyone agreed, but he had been eighty years a ranger, and both strength and wits were gone. Once, he’d fallen asleep at supper and almost drowned in a bowl of pea soup.

THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS (So now you know..)

A Storm of Swords 2: Martin is clearing down the decks, the pieces are moving slowly around the board, swapping sides like the wind changing direction.

Starting over somewhere else completely, Daenerys takes down Yunkai with bribery, a few barrels of wine and her unsullied, before moving onto to the next city where she uncovers one of her three promised treacheries and finds a new knight. After taking this city, she decides to try and have a go at ruling as a queen while her dragons grow, but don’t worry Westeros, your time will come..

Arya tries to run away again in her Olympian quest to get home, but runs into Sandor Clegane, which was a bit unfortunate to say the least. But the Hound is nothing if not practical, he serves no master now but does like the feel of a lot of coin. This works quite well for both of them until he seemingly gets himself killed so Arya legs it.

Catelyn is packed off to Seaguard while Robb decides to take back Moat Cailin, he’s left Jeyne his wife back in Riverrun (on the advice of his mum), but wait, didn’t the dwarf woman warn Beric and his flaming sword not to go to Riverrun? Oh Catelyn what have you done? Again. Before she’s off to Seaguard though she has to attend her brothers wedding to one of Walder Frey’s brood, on arrival Catelyn is on heightened alert, something must happen, initially it doesn’t, but still she frets, and well she should.

Samwell is on the run with one of Craster’s wives and her babe, before getting rescued by loads of ravens and a man on an elk, it all happens beyond the Wall
Speaking of the Wall, Jon made it back! Amazingly everyone believes him straight away as he moans that the Wildlings are south of the wall while the Maester seemingly cuts up his leg.

Then Martin goes on a rampage. At Edmure’s wedding he KILLS ROBB AND CATLEYN in one chapter! Damn Walder Frey. I had to put the book down. For several days.

Meanwhile Stannis looks over the map of his kingdom and plots.
Bran finally makes the wall, and is met by Samwell, apparently the man on the Elk wants to meet Bran.

It’s Joffrey’s wedding..and continuing with the theme of great weddings, Joffrey dies near the end of it after choking on his wine..or did he? Sansa uses the dying King as a distraction to escape and meet up with an unexpected ally, leaving Tyrion in the brown stuff. He’s rescued by Jaime before taking a detour from his escape route to murder Shae and his father, Go Family Lannister. Jaime also frees Brienne and gives her a nice sword, then seemingly wants to be able to write something nice about himself in the White Book, lets see how that goes.

Sansa becomes someone else as she starts her new life with Littlefinger, who pushes Lady Arryn from her sky window dungeon and blames it on the singer, and why not eh?

Jon protects the wall before being tried for desertion..go figure, you wonder why he bothers. In their darkest hour the Nightswatch are rescued by Stannis! he’s finished plotting and breaks the wildlings. He wants Jon to become the Lord of Winterfell, but thanks to the clever work of Samwell, Jon is made Lord Commander of the Nightswatch, we have to wait until book five to work out what Stannis thinks of that.

And there we are, the end of book four, a hideous death toll with Tommen and Stannis seemingly the only Kings left in the field, and Daenerys across the sea, but winter is coming (it seems to be taking it’s time) and so are the Others, but the North is slowly sorting itself out it seems, it was a rare bit of warmth when Samwell and Jon met up near the end, the only happy bit in four long books, at some point things must start coming together, surely? I’ll just keep reading until it does.

“I know your history, Ser Denys,” the king said brusquely. “I give you my word, I shall not ask you to lift your swords against any of the rebels and usurpers who plague me. I do expect that you will continue to defend the Wall as you always have.”
“We’ll defend the Wall to the last man,” said Cotter Pyke.
“Probably me,” said Dolorous Ed, in a resigned tone.
Stannis crossed his arms. “I shall require a few other things from you as well. Things that you may not be so quick to give. I want your castles. And I want the Gift.”
Those blunt words burst among the black brothers like a pot of wildfire tossed onto a brazier.

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