Saturday, 10 August 2013

A Song of Ice and Fire Book Club - Chapters 29-42: Dragons, Family and Lannisters

House Musk 


It's time for another round up of A Song of Ice and Fire in our A Game of Thrones Book Club. As usual I am accompanied by our host,, Allison at Geek Banter and Ria at Bibliotropic.

Make sure you head on over to see their thoughts on the book so far and answers to this weeks questions.

This week we are discussing Lannisters (again), dragons and family.

From Jamie:
Danaerys has grown quite bold since she was sold off to Khal Drogo, to the point where she has much less of a problem swinging for Viserys 'douchebag of the year' Targaryen. Do you think her development is down to her becoming stronger, the fact that she has a child to protect or is she getting comfortable in the safety of the khalasar?
Danaerys has always been dominated by her brother, who takes pleasure in reminding her of who is the 'true dragon' and heir to the Iron Throne. Since becoming part of the khalasar she has become a more important figure than her brother, earning the loyalty of some of her new companions including the khal himself. She has had to become strong to survive amongst her new people, and in so doing has realised she is far more capable than she or her brother first thought. The safety of the khalasar certainly gives her room to grow, knowing she has protection if her brother responds badly to her gentle pushing of his limits. With the seed of thought in her mind that maybe Viserys isn't the 'true dragon' after all, that only leaves her and her unborn son. The strength of a mother is a force to be reckoned with, and will only serve to increase her confidence further.
From Allison:
So far, I am generally pro-Stark and anti-Lannister, but in the case of Catelyn vs. Tyrion I am torn. Who do you feel allied with in their situation?
As much as I'm beginning to like Catelyn Stark, I am not with her in her decision to take Tyrion Lannister prisoner. I don't think he has had anything at all to do with what he has been accused of, and is being used as an easy scapegoat because he is so much more vulnerable than the other Lannisters. His physical limitations leave him open as a target, and I think Catelyn has taken the opportunity to get any vengeance she can in the name of Lannister.
I have definitely been rooting for Tyrion through his adventure as a prisoner.
What I'm reading:
From Ria:
It seems that the author uses a good deal of archetypes as a base for his characters. Do you feel that this weakens the story when characters are models bordering on stereotypes, or does the large cast with a diverse number of archetypes balance that out?
With such a large cast of characters all interacting over such a vast landscape, the level of archetypes is less important. As they progress and come into contact with each other and are presented with different situations, they have the opportunity to break from their stereotype and establish themselves as a fuller character. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in future books, with the introduction of new characters along the way.
From me:
What do you think of Catelyn Stark's sudden capture of Tyrion Lannister and her trek to see her crazy sister? Was it a mothers reaction seeking revenge, or a strong woman trying to do her best for the Realm?  
I think it was a split-second decision made by Catelyn to take Tyrion Lannister as her prisoner. In the Inn where she was trying to remain hidden, his unveiling of her identitiy backed her into a corner and she lashed out in response. In her thoughts she holds him and his family responsible for the attack on her son, and so it is in part a mothers instinct to want to have some revenge. Her acts are a reflection of this impulse to pay back what has been done to her family.
I have enjoyed having proper time this week to sit down and get fully engrossed with the book, and the questions have been great for stretching my thoughts on what I've made of the story so far. 
Having discussions like this really does encourage you to think a bit more about what's being read, rather than just skimming along as I think I have done in the past. It's definitely helped in changing my reading habits and has made me enjoy the book even more.
Thanks you guys!


  1. I agree that the discussions are great for helping to analyze more about what's happening in the book. It's also an interesting challenge to try to put my reactions into words. Moreso than a basic review, anyway, because there I can avoid mentioning specifics if I want, but that's a lot harder to do when nearly all of the questions we're posing to each other involve specific events and spoilers.

    And I'm loving seeing how Danaerys is growing as a person. :D

    1. It is difficult not to reveal spoilers I must say. Having seen the first two seasons I have an idea of what to expect, and I have to check myself to make sure I don't give anything away to those that haven't.
      One of my pet hates is people blatantly revealing spoilers, so I try not to do it myself.

  2. I don't really like Catelyn at all, but she does have a positive stubborn streak. I'm interested to see how her character will grow.

    1. I think part of my liking for her is that she's a Stark, which I realise isn't the best reason :-)
      I think she'll have her own part to play in the bigger picture and I too look forward to seeing how she is developed.

  3. I think Catelyn's actions and mindset with Tyrion seem typical of a Tully - Catelyn herself remarks on this when Lysa starts baying for Tyrion's blood, just because he is there and can be made an example of. Catelyn should have seen that in herself too - her impulse to see justice done meant that she leapt on Tyrion the first chance she got, even though the case against him wasn't that strong.

    1. I agree it was definitely an on-the-spot decision. For Tyrion it was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think she's compelled to carry on though, regardless of the evidence against him, especially as they lost men along the way. She would have too much guilt to carry if they had died for nothing.