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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » A Feast For Crows *SPOILERS* (Page 1)

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Author Topic: A Feast For Crows *SPOILERS*
Xavier
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Okay, so I am done.

I realize that the only hatracker that can probably read this right now is Kama, but it will be here when the rest of you guys finish.

So... I enjoyed it. But not as much as I expected I would. I'm still digesting it, but I will break down my initial thoughts here.


**** SERIOUS SPOILERS TO FOLLOW ****


First I will start with what I liked. Surprisingly, the parts of the book I absolutely loved were the parts which took place in Dorne and the Iron Islands. The chapters were fast paced, featured interesting characters, and most of all: important things were happening. Shocking things, eventful things, and things which mattered in the grand scheme of the books.
I also liked Arya's chapters a lot. Too bad she only got three of them.

The problem I had with the rest of the chapters was that not much of interest was happening. Sam has always been a very sympathetic character, but his whole presence in this book was simply a journey from one interesting place (The Wall) to another interesting place (Oldtown) with absolutely nothing which really mattered to the story in between.

Then the new POV character: Brienne. Her chapters were probably the thing I like least about the book, and it felt like she got more chapters than anyone. Was there really any reason we needed to have her as a POV? It was boring to read about her quest, because we already knew where both Sansa and Arya were. So we knew that the fool she was being led to wasn't Dontos. We knew that the Hound wasn't the one who had attacked the Saltpans. We knew that the Lady Stoneheart was Cat. So nothing really got revealed. Her last chapter was tragic, of course, but I think made it even more plain that the chapters were unnecessary, considering Brienne didn't even have a larger part to play in the later books.

Which reminds me of Sansa's chapters. The only one which really made me excited was the last one, where littlefinger reveals his plan to marry her to the Heir of the Vale, and reveal her as Sansa Stark. But even that is a let-down. The climax was the revelation of a plan? Why not have her last chapter be the actual fulfillment of the plan he was talking about? (You know, something happening?)

Cersie's chapters were okay, I suppose. It was interesting to see the world from Cersie's perspective, but it got boring. Her chapters were very similar to Tyrion's in "A Clash of Kings", but instead of following a brilliant man making clever decisions, we were watching a stupid woman make terrible decisions. Not nearly as fun being in her head as it was to be in his.

Even Jaime's chapters didn't stick with me, and he was enthralling in ASOS.

I have higher hopes for the next one. No Brienne. No Cersie (most like). No Sansa (though her story was almost to the point where its interesting).

Hopefully Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Bran, and the rest won't disappoint.

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Mr.Funny
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*Avoiding looking at the thread*

Assuming that you're posting this because you acquired and read the book...

You suck. I hate you.

That is all.

*cries*

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mackillian
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How did you get it?!
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Ser Bronn Stone
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New here, but have read it.

Sam's chapters were made interesting for me by the revelations made by Aemon during them. We learn an awful lot about the Targs and their history.

GRRM told us in an interview long ago, that the Brienne chapters would be VERY important. And then we read them and they don't seem to be. My guess is that she is going to do something NEXT that is so huge that he needed to establish the efforts she made to get to where she gets. As in, it would have seemeed completely bogus if she'd have just out of the blue done whatever it is she is going to do.

I think Jaime's redemption is well underway. He managed to successfully balance his duty as LCOTKG with his oath to Catelyn Stark. He made a peace between Edmure and the Freys.

It was fun for me to see Cersei choke in her own half-baked plans. The chaos that will be needed when Daenerys returns to Westeros had a wonderful advocate in her. She managed to screw up a really good thing.

I do concur that it is the weakest to date. But I also think it is a worthy heir. And that in the end, the tale would have seemed rushed and forced if we hadn't gone through those parts. It is half a book though - and I won't judge it too harshly until we've seen the other half.

In earlier books, we needed to see Arya's wandering aimlessly for a book and a half to really feel how gut wrenching it was when she came SO close to being reunited with her mother and brother. And I think that when the Brienne subplot is fully revealed, we will better understand why it was important that we follow the frustrating parts of her journey.

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Valentine014
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Ok Phil, I swear I didn't read your post (I am still only just past the prologue), but to answer mack's: amazon.uk. See Sakeriver's Popular Culture page to read the complete fiasco. [Roll Eyes]
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Kama
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I liked Brienne chapters.
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OlavMah
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I think you'll like the upcoming Jon chapters, Xavier. Cool stuff was happening at the Wall, at least, in the draft I read. The style of the action and plotting reminded me a lot of the first book (though not the events, new events.)
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Kama
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the upcoming Jon chapters in the next book, you mean [Razz]
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Xavier
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So now that I am done, I've been reading a lot of the threads over on the ezboard.

A couple of thoughts after reading other people's opinions:

1) My gut feeling after the prologue was that the man who killed Pate was a faceless man. I didn't consider that it may have been Jaquen himself. The board seems pretty convinced, and I'll have to read more into it.

2) Did the word that Brienne scream stop them from hanging her? I admit that when I read that chapter, I never even considered that Brienne may have survived the encounter. Its just in Martin's nature to kill off main characters, and she seemed done for. Current speculation over on ezboard is that she screamed "sword", in reference to the BWB making her choose between the sword and the noose. I must say that if she did survive and choose to go after and attempt to kill Jaime, it would make her chapters in AFFC's make a lot more sense. We the readers would need to be shown what caused such a dramatic turn-around from Jaime sending her off to find Sansa, to her trying to kill Jaime. It would make Brienne's chapters in the next book (or the one after it) much more interesting, since she would be attempting to kill the man she has clearly fallen in love with. Talk about inner conflict. It would also make her central to the main story, which is the thing which probably annoyed me most with her POV.

But that would mean that even Brienne's story was not resolved in this book. I think that's part of why I still feel unsatisfied. No one's story really concluded in a climactic way.

For example: in A Game of Thrones, Ned was captured and imprisoned, and in A Storm of Swords, Tyrion was. Both of thier trials were concluded in the book they took place in, and both of them got their story resolved in a climactic way. In AFFC, the story ended when Cersie was imprisoned. No resolution at all.

Another example: in Cat's final chapter of A Game of Thrones, Robb is declared as King in the North. Very climactic. In AFFC, Sansa's chapter concludes with Littlefinger revealing a plan to set up Sansa as ruler of the Vale (and possibly more). One had the event actually happen, one revealed that it might happen at some point. Obviously one is more satisfying than the other.

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OlavMah
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Yes, I meant in the next book. George RR Martin and I in the same writers group, so I've read bits and pieces of both upcoming books. He also read a new chapter at last years Bubonicon (in Albuquerque). The Jon section was my personal favorite out of what I've seen, but its all good stuff.

I think it's always very likely that Martin hasn't killed all the characters that *appear* to be killed.

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plaid
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Just finished it. (Sort of -- I skipped re-reading the Arya, Iron Islands, and Dorne samplers that'd already appeared; now I'll go back and re-read those bits.)

Some initial thoughts... liked it a lot (a lot lot LOT), but yep, not as much going on in this one. I kinda expected that -- GRRM had talked before about how the book was originally going to jump ahead five years, only a combination of flashback/jumping ahead didn't work, and so he re-structured the book to NOT jump ahead... so I kinda figured that this one would be a setup for the next book.

I was happy to see the Arya and Sam chapters, since I hadn't expected to see them in this book... and it was nice to get that one chapter up north before Sam sets sail.

I was glad there weren't too many Sansa characters -- she's always been annoying, though less so here, maybe she'll be easier to like as she gets older.

The Dorne chapters felt a bit rushed to me somehow, so I didn't like them as much as I'd hoped, but maybe I'll like them better when I re-read it... liked getting to see Oldtown and Bravos...

I'm skeptical about whether the Hound's really dead -- I wouldn't be surprised if he's become one of those mute monks on that island. Davos's death is mentioned, but I'm figuring that that's a fake. (And, I'm wondering if the Mountain himself is quite dead, since there was a cryptic bit between Cersei and -- letsee, was is Qyburn -- about restoring a knight to the White Cloaks...)

I like it that I still don't have too much of a sense of what's going to happen -- all these random factors like the Mage and Dorne and Littlefinger and some surviving wolves are complicating things, and everyone's starting to get interested in dragons... wonder if the next book (after A Dance of Dragons) will still jump ahead 5 years...

OK, all for now, more later!

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plaid
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... and back with more!

It's kinda strange contributing so much early on to one of these threads, I usually come in to them late... anyway:

Re-reading some bits: yep, that's got to be the Hound still alive, as the gravedigger... and it sounds like the Mountain is now something like a zombie/member of the Others...

Brienne's shouting a word... I had a few fanciful thoughts, like maybe that the word she shouted was "Arya!" (since Cat might not know that Arya had survived King's Landing, and so that might get her interest). But re-reading the scene, it didn't seem as if Cat necessarily was there at the hanging...

Or: what if Brienne actually said "Noose!" -- and then they hung her anyway, but revive her because they need someone to lead them who's more freshly dead, since Cat's not a great leader having been 3 days dead before being revived, and Lord Beric stopped being as good after being revived so many times?

(edit to add more to the last paragraph, funky German keyboard I'm using made me post before I could finish.)

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plaid
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But aside from those fanciful ideas... I think it's most likely that Brienne did yell "Sword," if only to save Pod and Hyle...

A few other things I liked = the Sparrows -- interesting to see the pilgrims and how they cause the election of such a radical new High Septon. (Not a nice guy as it turns out, but that's the medieval church for you.) Even better, I liked reading about Septon Meribald and the brothers of the Quiet Isle -- nice to see some genuinely devout clergy in action (as it happens, away on the fringes -- away from the cities, with all their lords and power and corruption -- which makes sense).

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Ser Bronn Stone
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The description of the man who kills Pate in the Prologue is exactly identical to the face Jaqen assumes when he leaves Arya at Harrenhal, including the curly hair and the scar.

If it isn't Jaqen, it is a remarkable coincidence.

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Noemon
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:: bumped to torment Adam ::
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Kettricken
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I liked it, but didn’t love it. I enjoyed all the characters, but wanted a bit more to happen. I think I was used to a shock a minute!

Sansa is much improved. She has really grown up, and the best moment of the book was when Littlefinger told her his plan for her. I’ve been wanting to see some Starks back in the open.

Jamie is definitely a reforming character. Cersei was interesting. I really dislike her, but was beginning to understand her a bit more. Yes she is power mad and inept, but she grew up in a household where had she have been male she would have been encouraged and probably been taught more politics.

Brienne’s story I don’t get. I found her a good character, but don’t understand whatt he point was. If she does turn out to be alive hopefully we’ll find out. If she is dead, what was the point of those chapters?

Arya was disappointing. She has been one of my favourites from the start, but I really don’t get what she is doing. I don’t think she will complete her training without really becoming no one, then there will be no place for revenge. She must see that, so why continue while revenge is what she wants?

I also found Dorne interesting, I really though that Arianne would succeed in declaring Myrcella queen and I really wanted to read the Cersei chapter when she found out.

I can’t wait for A Dance with Dragons.

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Belle
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Satisfying to see Cersei get caught in some of her own tangled webs.

Who do you think Margaery was really um...having to drink the moon tea for?

Is it possible she really wasn't fooling around and there is another use for moon tea?

Jaime, Jaime, Jaime. Throwing Cersei's plea into the fire. Ah, Jaime how you've changed.

Someone is going to rue the decision Cersei made to re-instate the military order of the church. That's going to prove very significant, I think.

So what we learned from Aemon - dragons are not male or female, so the "prince that was promised" could well be a princess - Dany. What does that do to all the theories that it's Jon Snow? Nothing? Knowing Martin, it could be Jon, Dany, or someone completely different.

The prophecy given Cersei was very interesting. Refresh my memory - was she born first or was Jaime? I can't remember. And the younger, more beautiful queen - Margaery or Dany?

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Frisco
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I skipped over all the replies in this thread, 'cause I've only had time to get a couple hundred pages so far (damn work).

But did anyone else notice that Brienne (when getting her new painted shield in Duskendale) thinks about her father's armory and the shield with the tree and falling star painted on it?

I mean, it's already been suspected that Brienne is a descendent of Ser Duncan the Tall, but this pretty much removes all doubt.

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Belle
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One more thing - I could have sworn that throughout the Cersei chapters Martin was trying to convince us she was pregnant. Remember all the references to her gowns being too tight around the middle?

Whose baby? The Kettleback? Jaime?

And I wonder - does Martin just like to have a lesbian scene in every book? First Dany, now Cersei - we could hold a wager on which woman will sleep with another woman in the next book.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not a total prude I just abhor gratuitous sex and gore in books. If it reveals something about a character, or is important to the story then fine. But many times it doesn't do either one. This encounter Cersei had didn't teach us anything new about Cersei. It taught us that Cersei wished she had been born a boy and lamented that she didn't have the power and respect that a man in her place would have. It revealed that Robert was a drunken boor who never came to her bed out of love and she didn't love him. But we already knew all that. The scene told us nothing new about Cersei. I could help but feel it was just in there to titillate readers (most likely male readers, I'd imagine) and frankly, I wish it'd been left out.

[ November 10, 2005, 07:08 PM: Message edited by: Belle ]

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plaid
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Cersei pregnant? Hmm, hadn't thought about that, I'd ntocied maybe one reference to Cersei complaining about tight dresses and taken it as more of her worrying about getting old and losing her beauty.

Cersei's got to survive (at least for now) -- doesn't the prophesy say that she'll see all of her children die?

Did anyone notice any possible references to Rickon? I don't have any of the GRRM books handy right now, but where was it that Rickon and Osha were headed off to -- was it the Menderly family?

Also: did any of the scenes in AFFC match the visions that Dany had in the weird house in, um, Qorth (hope I'm getting that right) back in the second book?

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imogen
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quote:
The prophecy given Cersei was very interesting. Refresh my memory - was she born first or was Jaime? I can't remember. And the younger, more beautiful queen - Margaery or Dany?
She was born first, by a minute or so.

I think the young beautiful queen isn't Margaery - I was actually thinking Sansa, but Dany might well fit the role.

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Valentine014
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As best as I can remember, it was White Harbor that Rickon and Osha were headed to. This was the Manderly family's base of operations.

There was mention of the Manderlys, I think it was in a Cersie chapter. The small council got word that the Manderlys were holding the Onion Knight (Davos) and asked what to do with him. She (or someone else) said to kill him, and later they got reports that they had beheaded him. (how much of this am I remembering correctly?) Nobody I've talked to really thinks they killed Davos though.

quote:
Who do you think Margaery was really um...having to drink the moon tea for?
That bugs me as well. I think maybe she was asking for it for a friend or family member. I seriously doubt Margaery was sleeping around.

quote:
And the younger, more beautiful queen - Margaery or Dany?
I am betting its Dany. There could be another possibility though. Sansa could end up being crowned Queen of the North. Its a long-shot, but its a possibility. Also, when Littlefinger referred to the "War of Three Queens" he may have been referring to Sansa as the third queen. I personally think it was Dany he was talking about, but its something to consider.

Glad you guys are getting done.

Welcome to the spoiler thread Belle and Kettricken [Smile] .

Edit: This is Xavier

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Belle
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Well if Cersei was born first, then Jaime is also her younger brother and that fits - I've been thinking that Jaime would have to wind up killing her.

I didn't think of Margaery needing moon tea for someone else, but that does make sense. She really didn't strike me as the type that would be foolish enough to risk everything for a fling.

Anyone think Loras will survive?

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Xavier
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I actually don't think he was injured at all.

I think its part of some sort of scheme developed by the Queen of Thorns. She did help arrange Joffrey's murder, after all. I think she's too smart to have allowed Margaery and Lorus to both end up in such dire circumstances. It seemed to me from their scenes together in ASOS that the Queen of Thorns kept Margaery in the loop, and Margaery and Loras were very close. Loras isn't an idiot either.

The Tyrells are playing the Game of Thrones as well, and they are much better at it than Cersie. I bet the Queen of Thrones, through Margaery, had Loras make the vow to end the siege at Dragonstone. Then after the battle they spread rumors of him being gravely injured, as an excuse to not return to Kings Landing.

Remember, at the end of AFFC, there is a Tyrell army marching towards Kings Landing. I'll bet Loras is leading the Vanguard [Smile] .

(though this is just a theory, of course)

Edit:

quote:
She really didn't strike me as the type that would be foolish enough to risk everything for a fling.
Actually, come to think of it (in terms of the grand Tyrell plot), I think it was all intentional. Margaery had access to the Tyrell family Maester at Kings Landing, so why would she ask Grand Maester Pyrelle for the moon tea?

The only reason I can think of would be to have the fact that Margaery was requesting moon tea leaked to Cersie, so that she would go ahead with her plan. Otherwise, Cersie could not have been sure that Margaery was not a virgin (which would have ruined Cersie's scheme if the inspection found a hymen).

I think that the woman Cersie was sleeping with (and telling all her plans to) was a Tyrell spy, reporting everything Cersie was scheming back to the Tyrells. So when Cersie was close to going through with the plan to frame Margaery as reported by the Myrish spy, they had their double agent tell Cersie about the moon tea to get her to go ahead with the plan.

The arresting of Queen Margaery gives the Tyrells an excuse to march against Kings Landing, and to get rid of Cersie as Queen Regent as well.

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Belle
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Xavier - you are a devious one. And your right - the Queen of Thorns is not to be underestimated.

Yes, I like your theory. [Smile]

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Xavier
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I added some more, I'd be interested in what you think of it. Thanks for the encouragement!
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Belle
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I had the same thought about the woman being a spy. I think Cersei's biggest weakness is that she overestimates her ability to have a hold on people. She believes that her beauty and sexuality makes her invincible, that no one who she has introduced to her "charms" could possibly ever betray her. Witness how, despite all the nasty things she said to him, she believes Jaime will drop everything and still come to her rescue. She confided in this woman because she believed the woman was bound to her by lust and would not betray her. She was so taken aback by the knight's confession that she lost her composure and turned and ran.

Her illusions are beginning to crumble and all she's believed is now falling apart around her.

Things will not go well for sweet Cersei from here on out.

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Kettricken
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Interesting theory, Xavier, but it would have put Margaery at great risk. It was pointed out that highborn girls are very unlikely to have a hymen as horse riding breaks it at an early age.

I also thought the Cersie finding her cloths tight was her getting old not pregnancy, but the latter would be much more interesting. Try explaining that with a dead husband.

My biggest reason for trusting the Tyrells was that Cersie doesn’t trust them, and I don’t trust her judgement. But since no one can be trusted, Cersie would have to get it right once!

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Xavier
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quote:
Interesting theory, Xavier, but it would have put Margaery at great risk. It was pointed out that highborn girls are very unlikely to have a hymen as horse riding breaks it at an early age.
It is a risk, and that is probably the biggest problem with my theory.

But...

Consider how strong the case is against Margaery right now. Her one accuser has since changed his story. She probably has several witnesses that the moontea wasn't for her, and the lack of a hymen can easily be explained away.

Plus, if Loras is still in good condition, a trial by combat would be an acceptable last resort.

quote:
My biggest reason for trusting the Tyrells was that Cersie doesn’t trust them, and I don’t trust her judgement. But since no one can be trusted, Cersie would have to get it right once!
I don't think there's any doubt that the Tyrells have been scheming against Cersie. The evidence that the Queen of Thrones was in on the poisoning of Joffrey is pretty solid.
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Belle
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There's no question the Tyrells want to bring the Lannisters down. They also know the truth about the children, remember the Queen of Thorn's question to Sansa "Tell me about this boy who calls himself Baratheon but looks so very Lannister." They know, and I don't think they ever had any intention of Margaery remaining married to ANY Lannister - they probably mean to do away with Tommen as well. Maybe not, maybe they trust his more tractable nature and think that Margaery would be able to control him, but they definitely want Cersei out of the way. Tyrion did them a favor by removing Tywin from the picture.
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David Bowles
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So, the big question is... do I shell out the dough for the hardcover or wait for the paperback?
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Kwea
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Buy it now, it is worth it. [Big Grin]
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Belle
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I buy books in hardcover that I know I want to keep in my permanent library, so that's why AFFC qualified for hardcover for me.
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plaid
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Loras being unhurt is a way interesting theory, I totally didn't think of it... one bit of support for it being that GRRM doesn't actually show us Loras's injury as it happens. (With all the other viewpoints in this book, it's hard to imagine him refraining to add in one more for Loras's hurt.) (Unless the viewpoint chapter will show up in A Dance with Dragons -- Davos might've been at the siege, and then we'd get to read an appropriately horrifying account of Loras's injury...)
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Carrie
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As far as the hardcover v. paperback issue goes... I make my series match, so I won't be buying my own copy until the paperback comes out. That said, I've read the entire thing at the bookstore, and my sister's getting me an autographed hardcover copy tonight. [Big Grin]
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imogen
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Finally read the last chapter.

So - what's with Pate at the end? There's got to be a connection with the Pate who (apparently) was killed at the start.

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Noemon
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I assume that this Pate is the faceless man who killed the real Pate at the start of the book.
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Noemon
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quote:
I'm skeptical about whether the Hound's really dead -- I wouldn't be surprised if he's become one of those mute monks on that island. Davos's death is mentioned, but I'm figuring that that's a fake. (And, I'm wondering if the Mountain himself is quite dead, since there was a cryptic bit between Cersei and -- letsee, was is Qyburn -- about restoring a knight to the White Cloaks...)
I just assumed that the burly brother digging a grave on the island was actually the Hound, especially when Stranger was nearby. I could easily be wrong, but Martin likes to trot characters past each other like that, so I wouldn't be surprised.

As for the Mountain, I assume that Quyburn has found a way to reanimate the dead. I wonder what he's got for a head at this point?

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Noemon
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quote:
I think the young beautiful queen isn't Margaery - I was actually thinking Sansa, but Dany might well fit the role.
It could be Sansa, but my money is on Dany.

quote:
Also: did any of the scenes in AFFC match the visions that Dany had in the weird house in, um, Qorth (hope I'm getting that right) back in the second book?
Good question. I'm going to be rereading that section tomorrow or the next day. If somebody doesn't beat me to it I'll let you know what I can spot.
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Kwea
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Quarth.
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imogen
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The Hound is definately alive - he appears in Brienne's last chapter.
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Carrie
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I don't actually own the book yet, but I'm reading it in the bookstore now for the second time and feel qualified enough to offer my opinion on that which I've read a second time.

quote:
I assume that this Pate is the faceless man who killed the real Pate at the start of the book.
I think it's got to be, what with the taking of the iron key.

The three queens? I think Dany, Margaery and Sansa. I personally don't think Cersei actually qualifies, since she's no longer married to a king nor is she the only (assumed alive) heir to one.

Oh, and that "word" Brienne shouts. My guess is "Arya." Someone's got to tell Lady Catelyn.

My beefs:

What actually did happen to Rickon? Will we ever see him again?

Poor old Aemon. I really liked him. I wish he'd made it to 110.

Um... that's about all my griping. I really liked Victarion going off to "steal" Dany. And the fact that Sam has met both Bran AND Arya made me laugh out loud. I hope we get to see more of the Sand Snakes in the future. They're intriguing. And I loved Cersei being locked up and Jaime not looking like he's going to answer her summons.

I will pay more attention to mentions of preggers Cersei and the Mountain - and the Hound - being alive. Kinda. I guess my hope that those latter two would actually just die already made me skim.

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LadyDove
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I'm listening to the audio. Though the story is good, IMO the reading is just so overdone. Ugh. I prefer my scratchy cassettes to this reading where he appears to put emphasis in all the wrong places.

I've never listened to a book that was quite as annoying as this one.

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Belle
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Actually I'm rethinking the Cersei being pregnant idea.

I've gone back and looked over the timing and I don't think it fits. When she and Jaime met in the sept after Joffrey was killed she was in that delicate time of the month. I don't see how she could be pregnant enough for it to be affecting the fit of her clothes.

So...I'm going to say that the other theory, that it's just a sign of her fading beauty is probably more correct.

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TomDavidson
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quote:

And, I'm wondering if the Mountain himself is quite dead, since there was a cryptic bit between Cersei and -- letsee, was is Qyburn -- about restoring a knight to the White Cloaks.

It's not all that cryptic. As I understand it, Qyburn's been working on the animation of corpses.
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by imogen:
The Hound is definately alive - he appears in Brienne's last chapter.

Are you sure? What role does he play?
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Kama
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that's not Sandor.
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Noemon
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Right, it's just his helmet.
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TomDavidson
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Isn't it Lem? Or did I misread that?
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Noemon
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Yeah, I believe it was. The helmet went from Sandor's carin to Rorge to Lem, I believe.
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