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Amph ASOIAF: "A Clash of Kings" Chapter-by-Chapter: Chapter Thirty-Two: Sansa

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Nevermind, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Well, *is* he a better person? He keeps trying to play by their rules.
     
  2. Gonk

    Gonk Jedi Knight star 6

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    Jul 8, 1998
    I state again that I've only read so far as a certain point in AGoT.

    I'm at the point where Ned is about to confront Cersei in a massively stupid move -- and I am starting to see that his character isn't matching the action Martin needs him to take. It sticks out like a sore thumb that Ned does this: yeah, he's worried about the children, but by Martin's own admission Robert has granted clemency before.

    Someone in Ned's position has simply too much motive to trust that Robert would NOT kill the children. Yes, he quite possibly would, but that's something that not only will Ned not want to think, but he's got so much motivation not to think it, or rather, to rule it out. There's been some doubt sown in Ned about how Robert has changed, but I'm not sure it's enough to justify what Ned does. Until now I've thought Ned was more or less in character, but there's some pieces not fitting seamlessly here. Ned doesn't have enough feelings written in toward the Lannister children or to Cersei to lay the ground for what he's preparing to do.

    Again though, it works better on the show. Because on the show, there's actually more of a vague connection of something between Ned and Cersei, whether it's a mutual respect, a pity of Ned for Cersei, or IMO, a small hint that Cersei knows that if she had been married to someone like Ned to begin with, her life would have been a lot better. This is carried a lot by the fact that the show underscores that Cersei was, once upon a time, infatuated with Robert.

    That said, to Tyrion: from the point where I'm at Tyrion has so far used the methods of the Lannisters, I guess, but for different motives. Primarily, self-preservation rather than gaining power. Tywin and Cersei look to gain more and more power. Jamie is satisfied with the power he has previously won. Tyrion is simply handed power in the course of his primary goal of self-preservation.
     
  3. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    That was my problem with Eddard, too; when the plot and his characterization collide, the plot wins, to an unbelievable degree.

    Re: Tyrion. Frankly Tyrion would be better served by taking the Black, where his particular talents could be used. Martin claims he won't because he won't be celibate, but that's not a real problem given the buried treasures. I don't see the point of hanging about being insulted by your nearest and not-so-dearest.
     
  4. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Chapter Five: Arya (2)

    Summary: The gold cloaks try to serve a warrant on Yoren & Co.

    Some Thoughts: A short chapter

    The Edward Bulwer-Lytton Memorial Award:

    For ye Fanboys: All for one and one for all

    Where Have I Seen This Before? Dept: The Oregon Trail

    Fantasy Tropes: [link=http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ASongOfIceAndFire]The Blacksmith[/link]

    The Awesome Scene Syndrome Dept: You know it?s coming.

    The Department of Silly Names: Lord Mooton, Jaqen H?gahr

    What we learn: Gendry is being targeted by Cersei

    What I liked: The effect of the war on the ordinary people is already apparent; and the misdirection re: Arya and Bull

    What I didn?t (in particular): The three psychopaths. I?m guessing Yoren would slit their throats quietly in reality; but obviously Martin?s got an Awesome Scene planned. Damn.

    Criminal Record: One poisoning, one thrashing

    POVs to date: 4

    Arya's character arc to date: Is given razor-sharp dangerous sword/Is allowed to keep razor-sharp dangerous sword/Goes cat-catching so that she can help out with Bad Exposition/Uses razor-sharp sword to commit her first murder at age nine/Witnesses Dad?s decapitation/beats up thug until he soils himself/beats on a hissing psychopath/

    Rating: 2.5/5


     
  5. Gonk

    Gonk Jedi Knight star 6

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    Jul 8, 1998
    That was my problem with Eddard, too; when the plot and his characterization collide, the plot wins, to an unbelievable degree.

    I didn't see it as too much of a problem until it got to this point. I just didn't buy his emotional reasoning at all in telling Cersei.

    And that's too bad because as I said, I think the series succeeds where Martin fails. So it was definitely possible for him to have pulled this off. Ned does a lot of ruminating about caring for children... and he's not a neglectful parent or anything, but it comes off as you say in the end. It's more of a theoretical love: he's a good father to his children compared to other characters, but there's nothing "shown" in his POVs that he values children above anything else. It's "proven" simply by what he thinks, not hinted at in interactions he has with others, etc.

    You have here a man who values his own children as a good father, and the Lannisters have pushed his son out a window and in his mind have otherwise tried to kill him as well. He values his good friend the King. He values the relationship he had with his foster father who is dead, clearly by the Lannisters. He even has a fair respect for Stannis Baratheon, clear enemy of the Lannisters. Plus his wife's sister hates them, and he doesn't know Lysa's loonie tunes.

    And yet Ned throws all that away on his own certainty of what Robert will do to the children of his enemy? Even when Robert has granted clemency in the past?

    It's not that Ned isn't thinking clearly -- he's probably right: Robert probably WOULD kill them all. But given all this motivation, you have to figure that Ned would have difficulty seeing it like that so easily. In other words, he's thinking TOO clearly. He's thinking so clearly that all his other natural motivations aren't having an effect.

    Could a man in such a position throw all that motivation away for the sake of the Lannister's own children? YES, absolutely: but Martin did not create that character. He did not create a character that dotes on his children all that much -- he's merely less of an absentee father than his contemporaries. It's not like Ned Stark is written as a great philanthropist of Westeros Children's Aid. Quite the contrary, he lets Jon go to the wall without much trying to dissuade him. Yeah, he brought his bastard home with him which proves he's a better father than Robert would ever be, and comparisons with Tywin would be a grave insult. That still doesn't mean that in the modern world he'd take up a job with children's protective services.

    So yeah, at this point in the story, I'd say your point on Ned servicing the plot is sustained.
     
  6. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Chapter Six: Jon

    Summary: The Watch is forming an expedition beyond the Wall, to be led by Mormont.

    Some Thoughts: This expedition seems like a remarkably stupid idea, but the PLOT requires it, so there. I mean, does Mormont think Ben Stark is still alive? If he does, he?s an idiot.

    For ye Fanboys: The prince who drank wildfire. I imagine this would be the equivalent of someone drinking nitro glycerine.

    Where Have I Seen This Before? Dept: Eddard and his PLOT problems

    Fantasy Tropes: [link=http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CelibateHero]Celibate Hero[/link]

    She Blinded Me with Non-Science: This seems to be a very long-lasting comet.

    Speaking Forsoothly: ?Don?t cozen me?

    As You Know, Captain: The history lesson.

    It's So Good I have to repeat it: The Crow Chorus

    The Department of Silly Names: Endrew Tarth,

    Characterization: Jon is not exactly emphatic with poor old Sam, is he?

    What we learn: Mormont continues to wonder about Jon?s loyalty.

    Not thinking it out: Mormont has seen the Others, yet he still want to go beyond the Wall? But you can't argue with the PLOT.

    What I liked: The description of Renly as copper.

    What I didn?t (in particular): That damned crow. It?s like having a permanent echo.

    Criminal Record: One poisoning, one thrashing.

    POVs to date: 8

    Jon's character arc to date: Gets drunk/Has shindy with his stepmother/Gets an attitude adjustment/Passes the attitude adjustment on/Intervenes in recruitment/Pouts when he is sorted into Hufflepuff/Fights off zombies storming da castle/Suffers a chorus of raven, but does *not* rhyme it with ?craven?/His desertion is foiled by his pals and his dilatory direwolf/Jon needs to sample life beyond the Wall, so his commanding officer sacrifices himself to the PLOT/

    Rating: 1.5/5
     
  7. Kyptastic

    Kyptastic VIP star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Sep 10, 2005
    Mormont's only seen the Wights, not the Others. In any case, they don't have enough information on the numbers of the wildlings or the Others and the small groups that he'd sent out were coming back with no information or not coming back at all. Taking the strength of the Watch out was a gamble, but a necessary gamble.
     
  8. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Why would *he* lead it?
     
  9. timmoishere

    timmoishere Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Jun 2, 2007
    To keep the troops in line.
     
  10. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    No, he has to lead it because the PLOT demands that he die.
     
  11. timmoishere

    timmoishere Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Jun 2, 2007
    Sure, believe that if you want to, but that's not the real reason.
     
  12. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Chapter Seven: Catelyn

    Summary: Having interfered disastrously before, Catelyn is still at it

    Some Thoughts: Oh noes! A Catelyn chapter. I hate Catelyn chapters with a mortal passion.

    Fantasy Tropes: [link=http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RapePillageAndBurn]Rape, Pillage and Burn[/link]

    Improbability Dept.: A crown as described would be too heavy to wear.

    As You Know, Captain: the history of Harrenhal

    The Department of Silly Names: Ser Cleos Frey, Ser Burton Crakehall

    What we learn: The Lannisters are gathering for a third battle

    Not thinking it out: Don?t send Theon, do get rid of Catelyn

    What I liked: Nothing

    What I didn?t (in particular): It?s just filler

    Criminal Record: One poisoning, one thrashing

    POVs to date: 4

    Complains about husband's bastard/Complains about husband's bastard/Foils assassination attempt on her son/Is told the assassin's name by her ex-boyfriend and an eunuch/Arrests Tyrion for attempted murder, bad puns and trying to steal her hotel room/Climbs a mountain in the dark with bastard/Watches younger sister behave in an even stupider way that her own/Decides to abandon her younger sons at Winterfall/Makes a deal with a superannuated weasel/Sits around watching a battle because Martin needs a POV/Remembers prepubescent sex scene/Annoys the hell out of her son, her brother, her uncle and the surrounding host/

    Rating: .00000000001/5
     
  13. Penguinator

    Penguinator Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    May 23, 2005
    Okay, so he goes to keep the troops in line - [hl=black]and he winds up dead for his effort. It would've happened had he stayed at the Wall, as the plot required his death, and would arguablly have worked better to illustrate the fact that not everyone at the wall is happy. This would also foreshadow Jon's own "fate" in A Dance With Dragons.[/hl]
     
  14. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Okay, that's possible.
     
  15. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

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    Jul 13, 2008
    Technically as this is a book that's the only reason anything happens.
     
  16. Penguinator

    Penguinator Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    May 23, 2005
    I mean, it's not like it's a massive improvement, but still. I just find that whole ranging expedition to be fairly pointless. If Mormont needs to bite the big one, maybe he could at least go out like the badass he's made out to be.
     
  17. timmoishere

    timmoishere Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Jun 2, 2007
    In hindsight, the expedition was pointless, but people rarely have the foresight to know the consequences of their decisions. One common theme of this series is that seemingly minor actions or decisions often have far-ranging consequences. At the time of the expedition, the Night's Watch knew the following:

    1) Rangers that had been sent out in small groups were disappearing.
    2) The wildlings had abandoned their villages north of the Wall.
    3) The Others, long thought to be a mythical race, had returned.

    Given that knowledge, what should the Night's Watch have done? Huddle behind the Wall and wait for the inevitable? Or go out in force and see just what the hell is going on up north?
     
  18. Penguinator

    Penguinator Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    May 23, 2005
    Or perhaps send out the small band led by the Half-hand, because that worked out fairly well, all things considered. A full military force? Not so much, IMO.
     
  19. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

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    Jul 13, 2008
    Yeah, a full force is tactically moronic. You've got the single largest defensive barrier protecting your location and it is (as far as they know) nigh-impregnable. Enemy force is of unknown size potentially distributed over a vast region of largely undocumented territory. So yes, you do hunker down in Castle Black and wait, while you maybe send out a scouting force with a sufficient supply of ravens. Hell, that's not even Sun Tzu, that's just a no duh.
     
  20. FatBurt

    FatBurt Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Jul 21, 2003
    I also never understood the reason for a full force ranging.

    I did however have no issue with Mormont leading the full "charge" as in yea good old days the General/King often lead from the front
     
  21. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    This is what you have an executive officer for, IMO.
     
  22. FatBurt

    FatBurt Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Jul 21, 2003
    Modern day military you'd use the XO true, but in "days of yore" they lead from the front
     
  23. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Joffrey isn't.
     
  24. FatBurt

    FatBurt Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Jul 21, 2003
    Fair point, but Joffrey is what 14? even back in "yore" I don't ever recall reading about such a young leader at wartime.

    That being said, Robb (slightly older at 17/18) is leading from the front and there is also history of young leaders of a similar age
     
  25. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Rob's 15, which I find completely unbelievable.