It took me a good, solid six months to get through this book. I started it shortly after I finished book four, wanting updates on the characters I actually cared about, rather than the Dornishmen and other losers Martin gave me to read about in the previous installment. With the third season starting on HBO, I decided to take a break because this book’s contents won’t be airing on the cable channel until at least 2016. But then during the season there was stuff that happened where I was like, “Wait, this is book five shit!” so then I picked it up and tried to stay ahead of the show. Particularly the Theon Greyjoy stuff. He’s presumed dead until book five when Reek, his new moniker given to him by Ramsay (“No Relation to Michael”) Bolton, has his own POV chapter. But there he is right in season three on TV, with A Series of Unfortunate Limb Losses, including one which definitely DOES NOT happen in the book, unless I skimmed over that part. HINT: below.
Anyhoo. It had actually taken me such a long time to read this that I had to go back and read the WIkipedia summary, and I realized that I must have skimmed quite a bit of this. Because there were whole sections that I read on Wikipedia that I was like, “REALLY? THAT happened?” Example: there’s a whole thing with Davos and they tell him about the plot to pretend he’s dead and then go get Rickon Stark and stuff. Huh? I think I just couldn’t care less about Davos so I may have skipped that whole chapter. Oops. And then I really didn’t pick up on everything that was happening with Bran.
Actually, if I had one main complaint about this novel it would be that it needed more Bran. Much like a balanced diet. Bran’s stuff ends about halfway through the book when he’s with the Three-Eyed Crow (not a euphemism for a body part). I kept waiting for him to show back up again, and he didn’t. Boo.
My other main complaint, and this goes for book four as well, is George, please stop introducing new characters. I barely give a shit about the ones you have now, and you’ve killed the ones I liked in your heartless and shifty little way. AND LET’S NOT EVEN TALK ABOUT JON SNOW. Seriously. I refuse to believe it. Right after I read this part, I Googled “Is Jon Snow alive” and the peoples of the Internet gave me hope.
So now I’m all caught up on this series. Anxiously awaiting the next book. C’mon, Georgie! Finish that bad boy. And pretty please, make Jon be not dead in this one. Not undead-not-dead, but alive-not-dead. Otherwise, keep up the great work.