Updated on October 10, 2016
15. ‘A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow’ by George RR Martin
Read my review of the second book, ‘A Clash of Kings‘.
At last, I’ve managed to get ahead of the TV series so I don’t know everything that’s about to happen. It does feel a little like I’ve been set free in the vast sea of characters – until now the TV show has been supporting me gently through all the plot’s complexities – but I think I can handle it.
Jaime: I liked Jaime a lot more in this book, probably because we get his point of view, and get to see that he’s more than just an arrogant twat. He still is an arrogant twat, of course, but at least we get to read about his begrudging respect for Brienne and his worries that his strength is waning. Oh, and when his hand gets cut off you can’t help but wince.
Catelyn: As always, my least favourite character. She lets Jamie go, trusting him to return her daughters to her when he gets to King’s Landing. (We learn through his chapters that he would have done, just to surprise everyone by keeping his word, but, although this makes me respect him more, it does little for my opinion of Catelyn). The thing that stood out most from her chapters was actually to do with Robb – he doesn’t trust his direwolf’s judgement of people, which is a terrible idea. If your pet wolf growls at someone, they’re probably a dick.
Arya: Arya is awesome and she’s getting a lot darker – she remembers the people she has, directly and indirectly, killed, and she realises that she’s willing to kill again if she has to. In her future I predict that she won’t be reunited with her mother any time soon – if ever – but she will get it on with Gendry. (Yes, she’s a child, but half the characters are and that doesn’t stop them all marrying each other.) Also, in this book she encounters Beric Dondarrion, who keeps coming back from the dead. This is a new magical element that could have far-reaching effects (The return of Renly? The return of Ned?).
Tyrion: My favourite scene in ‘A Storm of Swords’ went something like this.
Tywin: Cersei, you’re going to have to get married again.
Tywin: You too, Tyrion.
Tyrion: Ah, crap.
Yes, he marries Sansa Stark – not a match I saw coming, but quite a sweet one. He doesn’t force her to consummate the marriage, preferring to wait until she’s ready for him to touch her, and we see a lot more of his weaknesses in general (he just wants gratitude and respect from his father, he hates it when women recoil from him because of how he looks). Tyrion takes a lot of shit and continues to be one of my favourites.
Davos: I feel so sorry for him. He’s rescued off a rock, goes to kill that hag-bitch Melisandre, and gets chucked in jail for his pains. Then he’s released and is made Stannis’ Hand. Alas, I feel that even this promotion won’t help him put a dagger through that evil cow’s heart.
Sansa: Naive and optimistic, despite everything she’s been through. She fantasises about marrying several different men, but when she does end up married, it’s to Tyrion – far from the tall, dashing knight she was dreaming of. Instead she’s cold and mean to him, but I guess she can’t help it. Sansa is a pretty accurately portrayed shallow teenage girl.
Bran: His wolf dreams are stronger and he can inhabit the body of his pet wolf almost at will. At first I thought they should just let him be a wolf all the time – he can walk again and he prefers it to being a helpless little boy on the run. Of course, his real body would wither and die, which isn’t great, and also, if he’s a wolf, he can’t get inside the minds of other people! Oh yes, for a minute Bran inhabits Hodor’s body, which is some freaky shit. I sincerely hope he develops that skill, becomes Joffrey, and throws himself into a bloody pit.
Jon: I love Jon. He’s truly conflicted: when does pretend betrayal become real betrayal? If he’s a Brother of the Night’s Watch, why does he respect Mance Rayder so much? How can he be anything but an oathbreaker, since he’s broken his vow of celibacy by having sex with Ygritte? The wildlings make it across the Wall and prepare to attack Castle Black but, in the final chapter, Jon escapes. If Ygritte ever finds him again, she is going to be pissed.
Daenerys: When she said she would trade one of her dragons for an army of Unsullied soldiers, I genuinely freaked out. How could she, the Mother of Dragons, my favourite character, the most badass woman in the book? But nah, she bought her Unsullied, then used the dragon she was trading to torch the city of Astapor and all its slave traders. I didn’t think I could like her more, but apparently I can. A LOT.
“Rhaegar fought valiantly. Rhaegar fought nobly. Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died.” – Jorah Mormont
Read my review of the next book, ‘A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold’.
If you enjoyed my review, why not buy the book and let me know what you think?